Book Tour with Guest Post & Giveaway! Crimes Past (A Mac Faraday Mystery) & Spring Thaw by Lauren Carr



Book Details:

Book Title: Crimes Past by Lauren Carr
Series: A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 13)
Category: Adult fiction, 322 pages
Genre: Murder Mystery
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: October 16, 2018
Tour dates: Nov 12 to Dec 14, 2018
Content Rating: PG (mild violence and sexual suggestion)



Book Description:


It’s a bittersweet reunion for Mac Faraday when members of his former homicide squad arrive at the Spencer Inn. While it is sweet to attend the wedding of a former colleague’s daughter, it is a bitter reminder that the mother of the bride had been the victim of a double homicide on her own wedding night.


The brutal slaying weighing heavy on his mind, Mac is anxious to explore every possibility for a break in the cold case—even a suggestion from disgraced former detective Louis Gannon that one of their former friends was the killer.
When the investigator is brutally slain, Mac Faraday rips open the cold case with a ruthless determination to reveal which of his friends was a cold-blooded murderer.



Crimes Past book trailer


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Book Details:

Book Title: Spring Thaw by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult fiction, 237 pages
Genre: Murder Mystery, Short Stories
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: August 12, 2018
Tour dates: Nov 12 to Dec 14, 2018
Content Rating: PG (mild violence and sexual suggestion)



Book Description:


In today’s hectic world, many whodunit fans don’t have time to get their mystery fix diving into a whole novel. Lauren Carr’s SPRING THAW AND OTHER MYSTERY SHORT STORIES is for these fans—but that doesn’t mean whodunit fans who do have time can’t dive in as well.


A novella, Spring Thaw features retired federal agent Chris Matheson from Lauren Carr’s newest bestselling cold case series. When his late father’s former friend is indicted for the seven year old murder of a church bishop, Chris renews old broken friendships to thaw out the cold case.


Featuring Mac Faraday from Lauren Carr’s popular Mac Faraday Mysteries, an estate auction turns into a deadly affair after Gnarly's antics cause Mac to purchase a gem of a dress, which isn't his color in Killing Bid. (Previously published in Lauren Carr’s BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)


Beauty to Die For features the Lovers in Crime, Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates in a race against the Angel of Death to clear the name of a dying woman's son, who was framed for murdering Miss Pennsylvania. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)


Countdown to Murder returns to the Lovers in Crime where Cameron and Joshua try to solve the murder of a young pregnant widow before it happens. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)


Mystery fans will see that every dog has his day, especially if that dog is Gnarly. In Lucky Dog, Gnarly helps Mac Faraday to solve the murder of a wealthy society girl. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)


Dog Loving Mystery Fans will get a special treat when they read The Gnarly Rehabilitation Program. In this Gnarly Mystery Short, Bert and Ernie learn the hard way that crime does not pay when they dog nap Gnarly. (Previously published as a bonus feature with A WEDDING AND A KILLING.)


Gnarly, the rambunctious German shepherd, is also features in Lauren Carr’s Christmas short, A Gnarly Christmas. It is Christmas day and Gnarly has been up to his old tricks again. Now he's in the dog house--or rather the boathouse--after stealing the Christmas feast! Moments after Archie and Mac leave Spencer Manor, Gnarly hears a call for help from Rocky, the Maltese down the street. Four assassins for hire have invaded the home of Rocky's elderly owners. While the home invaders wait for instructions from a mysterious caller, Gnarly must plot to stop them. Can Gnarly save Christmas with only the help of an 8-pound Maltese dressed in an elf suit? (Previously published as a single short story by the same name.)



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AVAILABLE in print or ebook


Crimes Past -
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Spring Thaw -
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Praise for Lauren Carr's books:


“Lauren Carr is a master storyteller who combines the humor of Janet Evanovich and the investigative skills of Patricia Cornwell. She is always at the top of my reading list."
- Sherry Fundin, Fundinmental


"Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!"
- Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R


"Lauren Carr's books are never boring, that's for sure. They entertain, give us a good mystery to dig into, keep the reader guessing, give us a few good laughs and make us eager for the next book. Warning: Lauren Carr's series are addictive, so be ready to read more than just one book!"
- Laura Fabiani, Library of Clean Reads


"She is an amazing author that draws you into the story, makes you fall in love with the characters (they feel like family!) and keeps you guessing right to the very end."
- Working Mommy Journal


"Lauren Carr does a good job of moving the quirky storyline along nicely with an abundance of witty dialogue. And you have no idea who the good guys are and who the bad guys are until the end."
- Every Free Chance Book Reviews



Story Ideas: From the Author or Her Characters

By Lauren Carr



“Where do you get your ideas?” is a common interview question for fiction authors.



While the words may be the same, the tone and expression of the one posing the question can differ greatly—from being mightily impressed to awfully concerned. Sort of like the way my sister looked at me when she said, “I don’t know how your mind works.”


Neither do I.


The fact is, I have always had a highly active imagination. Yes, I was one of those kids who had imaginary friends. I still do! Now they’re starring in my mysteries.

As a child, books often served as a launching off point for my own stories which I would act out in the backyard with my dog, who grudgingly wore costumes to portray his roles. Of course, he got big headed about it and would often storm off to his dog house in a snit. Stars!


Sometimes, I would get ideas from other stories—which is totally legit. Many famous books have been inspired by the work of others. Dan Brown came up with Digital Fortress after reading Sidney Sheldon’s Doomsday Conspiracy.


I remember as a child starting to read a Bobbsey Twins mystery, only getting a couple of chapters in, and then setting it aside and going off on my own adventure. When I would return to finish, I would be disappointed because my story intrigued me so much more.


Anything can inspire me. A friend being late when meeting me for lunch can serve up a story idea involving the assassination of an ambassador and a witness’s grand escape from a band of highly trained assassins. But who are the assassins working for? That is the mystery.


I admit, I am always searching for more and fresh ideas. My recent release, Murder By Perfection was inspired by the news story of a real murder. A suburban housewife in her forties was found strangled to death in her front yard. The attractive woman was the mother of two, with a successful husband, and lived in an upper-middle class neighborhood. From the outside looking in, she had the perfect life.


However, in their search for the killer, the police discovered that underneath that perfection—everything was rotten. She had a secret life—that of an internet porn star. For a fee, viewers could go onto her site where she would model sexy lingerie and other things.


Dreams are another big contributor. My current work in progress, The Root of Murder, which is a Lovers in Crime mystery, was inspired by a YouTube video about a surprising discovery one woman made after getting her DNA ancestry results. The next morning, I woke up with the whole story written in my mind.


Some of my story ideas have evolved from previous story ideas. For example, Crimes Past has been fermenting in my mind for years—so long that I couldn’t tell you where the original idea came from. I’ve known for several books that I wanted Mac to go back to investigate a cold case—one that involved his colleagues, but I just couldn’t find the right case for that reunion. It started coming together after I wrote ICE, a Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery, which came to me from a documentary I saw about a group of former students investigating the cold case murder of their beloved teacher.


Once inspired with a story idea, the fun stuff begins. Keep in mind, very often these ideas are just that—ideas to jump off from. The actual storyline still needs to come together.


That is where my series characters come in.


As the writer of four series, I have a variety of characters to work with. Some plotlines work better with some mysteries than others. For example, the double cold case murder of a bride and groom, a pair of detectives, in a high-class hotel filled with cops was made for Mac Faraday. At first blush, I wanted to take him back to Washington to investigate the case, but Mac didn’t want to leave Spencer, Maryland.


I know what you’re saying. That sounds weird. For someone who is not a writer, that sounds crazy. “You mean you have fictional people telling you what to write?” Mac Faraday is a fictional character, after all. Yes, my characters do have a say in how a storyline progresses.


My books are character driven. I develop my characters based on my mystery. My mystery is a puzzle. Yes, I know who “did it” before I sit down to write it. I know the beginning, I know the ending. But I can say that almost always, the road to the ending is not what I had planned when I sat down to write my first sentence. For the book to end the way I want it, I need certain things to happen and I depend on my characters to make that happen.


Characters who won’t direct me to my ending aren’t fully developed. For example, I know how each of my series characters drink their coffee. I know what restaurants some like better than others. More than once, I have eliminated characters and replaced them with entirely different characters (not main series characters) because that character wouldn’t take the story in the direction it needed to go.


I also know when a series character is ready for a change.


For example, in Crimes Past, many readers were shocked at the departure of Dallas Walker from David’s life and the entrance of Lieutenant Commander Hope West. Some readers may think that the change was totally on my part, possibly with input from some readers who didn’t like Dallas.


Well, as the author, I do have veto power in the final edit. Actually, the character of David O’Callaghan had grown so much since the first installment of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, that he had outgrown Dallas. Six installments ago, he would not have been ready for Hope. When it came time to write Crimes Past, he was ready for me to bring her in.


Many readers are very excited about the arrival of Hope West and her son in the Mac Faraday Mysteries and are curious about the direction the series will go now.


So am I.


I’ll email Gnarly in his dog house to ask what’s next.



Prizes: Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Lauren Carr, author of Crimes Past (open internationally to wherever Amazon delivers / 1 winner)

(ends Dec 22, 2018)




Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

‚ÄčLauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.


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