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
Thank you so much. I am really pleased with the cover for Killer Deadline
It was designed by Courtney Vail of Exquisitely Covered Books. https://www.exquisitelycoveredbooks.com/
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
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.
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