About the book Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.
When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.
But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?
With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes.
Hello Lauren and welcome back to the blog. I am so happy to get the chance
chat again about another new book!
Before we get into the new series let’s have a bit of fun. I seem to always be
of food when I sit down to write an interview. It’s lunch time here. What’s on
your luncheon plate?
Oh, I’m afraid my luncheon plate is rather boring. I’m
eating a ham sandwich and tomato soup. With the social distancing, we haven’t
been going out to eat. I’m a gourmet cook, but after a while, it becomes a
grueling chore. All I could muster to cook for lunch was a can of tomato soup
and I threw together a ham sandwich.
How’s the weather now? It’s springtime in Texas my favorite season. What
is your favorite season?
Spring is my least favorite season. I have seasonal
allergies. There have been times that my hay fever has gotten so bad that I
seem to go through spring in a pollen-filled fog. My favorite season is winter.
I love to get snowed in and write by the fire.
Do you write everyday like on a schedule or does your writing tend to ebb
as your creative mind takes over?
I do write every day. Other times, it’s new material. If the
words are not there, then I will go back and rework something that I have
already written. If the words are really flowing, then I will write until they
stop—even as I am nodding off to sleep. Right now, I’m working on the next Mac
Faraday novel. Came Upon a Midnight Murder is a Christmas mystery.
I know you’re a big dog lover but I was wondering if there is a special
place in your heart for any other kinds or pets or animals? I am thinking of
Thor in your Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery Series. Did you ever have a big
No, but I wanted a rabbit. I was raised on a farm and we had
animals all the time. I also had a horse. Lady was an Arabian. I have a fondness
for horses. I think they are beautiful animals. That’s why Chris Matheson has a
horse farm. The last couple of times I have ridden, I’ve had serious falls. I
got a concussion on the very last fall and ended up in the emergency room. That
was when my husband put his foot down. I’m not allowed to ride horses ever
again. I can only ride in my writing.
I am just dying to ask some question about the new series. I was so happy to
learn you were writing a cozy. Was it difficult to wrap your head around this
A little bit. Generally, I write according to my rules. My
books have all been cross genre, or rather blended genres: a mixture of police
procedural, cold case, political thriller, and so on.
But, when the character of Nikki Bryant crashed into my
life, I realized that for this book, I was going to have to obey the rules and
expectations for the cozy mystery genre. I confess, more than once, I went to
Google to ask about if this or that was allowed in a cozy.
One of the hardest things to adjust to was portraying the
relationship between Nikki Bryant’s mother and stepfather. I wanted the readers
to see that Nikki’s mother Kathleen had a loving relationship with her second
husband, who happens to be the father of Ryan Spaulding, Nikki’s love interest.
At first, I had written their scenes together as quite … feisty. But, in
keeping with the cozy rules, I went back and really toned them down.
How easy/hard was it to leave your other series for a bit and visit Nikki’s
Very hard! I was in the middle of Came Upon a Midnight
Murder, my Mac Faraday Mystery, and suddenly there was Killer Deadline
running through my mind. I tried to set it aside, but I knew that Killer
Deadline was going to be a much shorter project. It’s two-thirds the length
of my other books. But I’m already back with Mac Faraday again.
I love the cover of Killer Deadline how much input did you have in
Believe it or not, this cover is a pre-made one that I
selected from her site. Since Killer Deadline is a cozy, I had to research cozy
mystery book covers. I had to do something different. I knew I wanted an
illustrated cover. There are so many ways to go. My husband saw this cover on
Courtney’s website and I thought, “That’s it.”
Then, I groaned.
You see, I have been telling writers for years in my
publishing classes, when I teach community ed, “Never put your character on
your book cover!” Among other things, you end up married to that model. Or in
this case, I’m married to that drawing of Nikki. But she is Nikki. And the
cover perfectly catches the fun feel of the book.
But, Courtney assured me she has plenty of artwork with
Nikki that we can use for future covers.
You do know what that means? I’m now married to Courtney
Vail and Exquisitely Covered Books for future Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery Covers.
What/who came first series concept or Nikki?
The mystery always comes first. In this case, the murder of
a news journalist, who isn’t really taken seriously as a news journalist, who
announces that she has a huge story and is killed before she can break that
story. Then, I asked myself who is going to investigate this murder. That was
when Nikki came to mind, and she came very quickly.
An investigative journalist, Nikki Bryant is one of my more
fun protagonists. Not only is she the first female lead protagonist, but she’s
also the most impulsive. Nikki operates almost solely from her gut. She’s got
tremendous instinct but gets into trouble because she is so impulsive.
Ryan Spaulding serves as her anchor. The head of the local
crime scene investigators, he’s her connection in law enforcement—and her love
interest. At one point in Killer Deadline, Nikki’s mother tells Ryan to
keep her out of trouble. He responds, “That’s what defines me.” Basically,
Ryan’s job is to keep Nikki out of trouble, and failing that, get her out of
I loved reading Killer Deadline thanks for giving
us a brand-new series to love! I appreciate the chance to chat again. But
before I go I have one more question.Wasn’t Dallas Investigative
Reporter? Just wondering because I hear Nikki will be looking for a new anchor.
Yes, Dallas Walker was an investigative reporter. Who knows?
Maybe she’ll make a return to do the evening news at WKPG-TV.
I guess I have a sentimental attachment to journalism. That
was my minor in college. I got my start writing freelance for newspapers. I
learned rather quickly that journalism and mystery writing don’t mix because
when it comes to journalism, your stories are supposed to be factually
accurate—not fiction. At least, they’re not supposed to be fiction.
Till next time.
Sherry at My Jouney-The-Journey Back
And I thought A brand new book; a brand new Cozy series always brings a smile to my face. A new series by Lauren Carr had me on the edge of my seat waiting to turn the pages. And turn the pages I did. I love the new series. I love the new characters. It was a bit hard to leave behind her much loved characters for this reader but these new characters and series grab your heart and drag you in and won't let you go. As always Lauren gives us some giggles and a great story with lots of twists and turns and a few surprises. Killer Deadline is filled with some fun, smart and savvy characters. Even the dog Elmo is smart, savvy and has his own following as a social influencer. Killer Deadline is a great start to a new Cozy series. It is filled with mystery, twists & turns and light humor that will make you laugh along the way. And a little romance. I am looking forward to the next one! Thank you Lauren and congratulations on the new series. I received a complimentary copy. My review will appear on retail sites, Good Reads.
Hello and Welcome to another HH post. Happy Homemaker originated over at Sandra' blog. I added 'In Texas' because I love where I live.
I am glad you stopped by. Here's whats going on. What's been happening and plans for the new week. The weather A bit cooler just making it to the upper 60's. It has been cloudy for a couple days and it just seems colder. It is sunny today and no rain, A great outside day. What I am wearing Still in P.J.'s it's a lazy day so far. Outside my window Beautiful sunshine. And very quiet except for a loud car that just drove my. On the breakfast plate
On the menu/dinner plate Our Kroger had a great sale. This turned out so good! We bought 2 put 1 right into the fridge. I cooked this one and sliced for dinner and put half in the freezer for Stew. Plans for this week I might or I might not cook . . . Stew I have been craving Chicken Pot Pie. I saw a Lobster Pot Pie on t.v. last night. Hmm they used frozen veggies the Cowboy thought that was yucky. We've been thinking of making Tuna Casserole one day. I have Ground Beef in freezer maybe that Goulash I put on the list last week. I found a great sounding recipe for Coconut Shrimp And maybe I'll make an Apple Pie. Thinking of doing it on a sheet pan. We'll see I am reading
On the reading pile I've added a few more to the pile . . .
In the craft space Finishing up a scrap Junk Journal. This one completely made from scraps or trash. The instructions were to make it pretty. It was a fun challenge. I'll post the completed project soon. My 'To Do' list A new/old list I did get the yarn moved that I had on my list last week. So I can check that one off! Clean off Kitchen table Find a new way to store snacks, sweets and fruit for the Cowboy currently it is all on the kitchen table. Vacuum and Mop the house Clean the refrigerator Put away laundry from the rocker in the bedroom Move the rocker to the living room Make an A frame trellis for Cucumbers and get them planted Mow the leaves under the bushes for compost Plant potatoes
My 'Ta Da' moment Not much Ta Da going on around here. I got the yarn moved out of the craft room
In the garden Peas and Green Beans growing, I have a second round of peas in the green house ready to plant. I had originally planted Marigold seeds in this egg carton. The didn't sprout. Then I planted the Peas and guess what decided to sprout. If you look close you can see tiny little Marigolds.
Celery in green house
It is growing well. Very bushy.
A younger Celery plant with Zinnia's
Basil and the Tomato that I started from a slice are growing Carrots and Onions are growing need to plant more 2nd round of Green Beans planted 2nd round of Sun Flowers planted Corn planted not sure the first row will make. A blog I like Today I am sharing mine.
I am planning to post less reviews here. I will try to post some Christian fiction and Devotionals. All my reviews are over at my book blog click here to visit My Reading Journeys Something fun to share From the camera
I finished a fun project this week. This was something new for me.
Package wrapped and all ready to mail. I wrapped in white tissue because the project is white. I realized the envelope is really thin and I was afraid if it should get wet that a colored tissue might bleed. I used some fibers and wrapped like a present. I bought these fibers at marked down really cheap at Hobby Lobby thinking they were for crocheting because they were in the yarn section.
I realized they are being used in Junk Journals.
The new project was Lace Tabs for Junk Journals
The Tabs can be sewn on to the pages of a Junk Journal to decorate it.
The instructions required the Tabs to be 3x5". I thought that was kind of big. But I followed the instructions . . .
I began with a strip of Muslin fabric that was about 2" wide. I tore it to make the strip so the edges would fray. I laid pieces of lace on the strip and sewed them down.
When I completed two strips I sewed them together to make 1 piece that was 3" Then I decorated by adding more layers of lace.
This was a fun project. And even though I am finished and the SWAP is mailed I am planning on making more.
It gave me a chance to use a few pieces of lace that I have/had that I did not know what to do with. In the center of this photo you can see a piece that kind of looks like wings. It was a big piece that looked like it was meant to sew on a dress. It had blue and pink sequins and beads that I cut off. I cut it in about half and attached to the tab. In the lower left you can see a crocheted flower I made years ago.
I made this one different making my foundation piece 3x5 and then sewing pieces mostly flat. Very little layering on this one.
I used small pieces of beading in this one. And a triangle piece of tatting. I only have a very little strip so I use it sparingly. It is very old.
A closer look.
I loved how this one turned out. I wanted to keep it. I am glad I have the pics so I can copy it and make another one to keep.
I enjoyed this project and learned a new kind of sewing. The Tabs I made for my partner are in the mail. I can't wait to see what she sends me!
Do you sew? Do you make Junk Journals or are you interested in learning to make one? You can browse Pinterest and you can find groups on Facebook.
The sun is shinning and it promises to be a good day for working
outside. I am very Thankful today for our nice weather her.
I am Thankful that we were able to stay in this house and I can keep and even improve my garden this year!
I am Thankful for food on the plate(s) and this morning I am sharing a few plates with you . . .
Not sure if I shared this one from last week. I made Ceasar Salad no bottle dressing this time. It has been so long since I've made it I had to find a recipe. LOL. It was so good.
I served it with Chicken Alfredo. I used leftover Chicken that I had cooked on our Rotisserie.
I begged the Cowboy to try the bread. He ate one bite. Who doesn't like Oatmeal Bread. Really!
A Breakfast plate. I forgot to take a pic. as I was handing it to him I said "Wait I need a pic!" Scrambled Eggs, a Sausage Patty, Hash Browns just the way he likes cubed with Menudo seasoning sprinkled on. And Watermelon.
Pan Seared Flounder, Baked Potato and Broccoli with Cheese Sauce. He didn't really like the Broccoli because it was frozen and honestly it isn't as good as it used to be. Too many stems. He has to have cheese on top.
It wasn't even Tuesday and I made Taco's. They were so good. The chips were great. We used a new Salsa in a can. I don't remember the name.
I fry my shells. I hate store bought. I don't have a fryer I just use tongs and a wooden spoon. They come out rustic.
I love to use my little green bowls. They came in Oatmeal. My mother had them and never used them.
More leftover Rotiserrie Chicken. I eated Wing Sauce. We love homemade Mac/Cheese.
A few grapes on the plate with the Salad slauthered in Bleu Cheese Dressing.
And last night a yummy meal. The Cowboy didn't feel good. This is all he wanted.
Tuna we bought at Aldi. It was really good. I have never liked it before.
The Salad was in a bag. It was Super Food. Kale, Brussel sp...Is spell check working on you blogger? It stopped working on mine. I wish the would not change things up. Sprouts, Broccoli and Cabbage I think. I like the mix. There is enough for another meal I think I will add Romaine to kick it up a bit.
What's in the garden . . .
On the left are Peas. They are teeny tiny. I sprouted them in the Green House. I have one more tray to get in the ground today. And On the right is a Bush Green Bean by a weed. Man I can't get rid of the stupid weeds. Today If I have time I am going to mow some leaves and put on the beds. I think there are 5 Bush Green Beans. The Pole Beans did not sprout. I am going to plant more today I hope! And with that said....I am off to dig in the dirt.