Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
About the book (provided by IRead Book Tours)
Summer of Love & Murder
Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.
The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross hairs of a murderer.
Praise for Lauren Carr’s Mysteries:
“Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!”
- Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R
“As always, Lauren Carr brings an action-packed story that is almost impossible to put down. Her mystery plots have so many twists and turns that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. And the action just didn’t stop from the very beginning till the very end.” - Melina Mason, Melina’s Book Reviews
An Interview with Lauren . . .
When did you begin writing?
My mother said I was always making up stories. When I learned how to read, I was rewriting the Bobbsey Twins to turn the mystery of the missing sea shell into a kidnapping story.
What is something you've written that will never see the light of day?
Oh, are you talking about The Great American Catastrophe? I wrote that one summer back when I was in my late teens or early twenties. For a full summer, I gave up my social life, television, everything to work away on my electric Selectric typewriter. This was before computers and word processors … or the delete key. By the end of the summer, I had a 900+ page manuscript. Only thing was—I had no idea what to do with it. This was also before the Internet. Back then, the only way to get published was to send it to a literary agent in New York or go there yourself. Nope, I never sent it to any literary agents because copying 900+ pages cost close to a hundred dollars back then. Yep, it is still in my mother’s basement and will never see the light of day.
Have you ever been discouraged in regard to your writing ability and if so, how did you get past it and move forward?
Oh, yeah! It is rare for a writer not to get discouraged. Always, just when I was about to give up, God would send someone to cross my path to revive me.
Back in the 1990’s, I sent A Small Case of Murder, my first mystery novel, to a whole slew of literary agents. This was long before Amazon and KDP books. One of the literary agents was a huge success whose authors regularly appeared on Oprah. Well, he sent a long, two-page letter telling me how much he absolutely loved A Small Case of Murder-paragraph after paragraph. He talked about loving the characters, the brilliance of twists and turns, and how the plotline progressed. It was clear that he read every word and page of this book.
And then—on page two, he ended with the rejection, stating that he did not know how to market me.
Well, bucko! How about marketing me as a brilliant author who takes her readers on rollercoaster rides with breathtaking twists and turns?
Even years later, when I had writers block for a year, I would turn my back away from the rejections and the bad influences to focus on the positive reinforcements in my journey toward being a best-selling author.
One thing that authors often forget—authorship is not a sprint to success, but a marathon. If you want to reach the finish line—you need to keep on going, persevere, even when the running gets tough. That’s why many writers never reach their publishing goals. They give up too soon.
What's your favorite thing about writing?
Leaving my world to join my characters in our imaginary world.
What's the hardest thing about writing for you?
It’s not the hardest, it’s the most challenging. As an author, I consider myself an artist. So, with every book, I try to raise the bar by trying something different. For example, in Three Days to Forever, I left the standard who-killed-the-murder-victim-in-the-parlor-with-the-candlestick (which is always fun) to take readers on a thrill ride by bringing terrorists right into Deep Creek Lake. I also kicked it up a notch with some new and different characters.
Luckily, most of my readers love that I’m always trying new things with every books and I enjoy the challenge of writing them.
What inspires you to write?
Anything. People—even complete strangers. Circumstances. News headlines. Real murder cases. Anything, anywhere, anyone, anytime can inspire me.
What is your writing style? Do you like to outline or just write as you go?
It’s a combination of the two. I’m a pantser. I will think about a plotline for weeks or months—usually while I am writing another book. Sometimes, I will write out an outline, but not necessarily refer to it. Writing it down only makes the twists and turns in my plots clear in my head. Then, once I have everything down, I will sit down to begin writing it.
Funny thing is, one hundred percent of the time, my characters will take me in different directions between the beginning and the end of the book. But that’s okay.
Do you have a favorite spot where you like to write?
I have quite a few spots. My husband built a studio for me, but my son took it over. So now, I will write in a chair in the corner of the living room or in the sitting room in our master bedroom or even in bed in the evening.
What is your writer food?
Hershey Kisses. Not any of the new fancy flavors. I like the reliable milk chocolate. If I’m wrapped up in a scene and on a good roll with a book, I can eat the whole bag of Hershey kisses and not even realize it until they are gone and those little foil wrappers are all around my laptop and on the floor at my feet.
What inspired you to write Killer in the Band?
For each mystery, both the Lovers in Crime and Mac Faraday Mysteries, I chose the setting after coming up with the murder plot. I tailored the characters to fit with the mystery. Lovers in Crime is a small town setting. I grew up in Chester, West Virginia, and there are quite a few farms in and around the Ohio Valley.
I introduced readers to Joshua Thornton in my first book, A Small Case of Murder. Readers of that book may remember that Joshua’s mother grew up on a dairy farm and that on his mother’s side, Joshua comes from a long line of farmers. Therefore, it was destined that eventually, a Lovers in Crime Mystery had to be set on a farm.
If you could choose a dream cast for Killer in the Band, who would you pick?
Oh, my, I have no idea.
Your Mac Faraday series, the Thorny Rose Mysteries, as well as the Lovers in Crime series, have all garnered a loyal following. We will still be seeing these series continue as well, won’t we?
Each series will continue to grow on their own with interconnecting mysteries occasionally. In January, there will be a new Thorny Rose Mystery, A Fine Year for Murder.
In A Fine Year for Murder, Jessica Faraday and her husband, Murphy Thornton, dive into the cold case murder at a family owned winery.
After ten months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.
When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.
Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?
As long as readers are clamoring for mysteries, I’ll be writing them.
Many thanks to Lauren and IRead Book Tours for providing a copy of Killer IN Band.
I will be posting my review in November as part of the tour.
Killer In The Band is available now at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (click for direct links)