Friday, July 6, 2012

Shades of Murder by Lauren Carr




About the Book:

Question: What do you get the man with everything?

Answer: When that man is the heir of the late mystery writer Robin Spencer, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday, you get him cold case to solve.

Shades of Murder: A Mac Faraday MysteryIn Shades of Murder, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune. This time the benefactor is a stolen art collector. But this isn’t just any stolen work-of-art—it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it.

Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the art world by storm with her artistic genius. Hours after unveiling her latest masterpiece—she is found dead in her Deep Creek Lake studio—and her painting is nowhere to be found.

Almost a decade later, the long lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case.

A world away, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; former JAG lawyer Joshua Thornton agrees to do a favor for the last person he would ever expect to do a favor—a convicted serial killer. 

The Favor: Solve the one murder wrongly attributed to him.

Joshua finds an unexpected ally in Cameron Gates, a spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman known to the media only as Jane Doe, Victim Number Four, was the victim of a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron set out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Little do these detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision course when they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with a killer who’s got a talent for murder!


Have you every wanted to name a porn star? 

Isn't it everyone's dream?

This is YOUR lucky day!

Lauren has a contest going on AND YOU can participate!

Dead on Ice, the first installment in a new series entitled the Lovers in Crime Mystery. This book brings back Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates, who we first meet in Shades of Murder.

In Dead on Ice, Cameron investigates the murder of a female porn star, whose mummified body turns up in an abandoned freezer found in Joshua’s cousin’s basement.

In Dead on Ice, Cameron Gates is tasked with solving the murder of a missing porn star. The case has a personal connection to Joshua because the star’s mummified body is found in an abandoned freezer in his cousin’s basement. It doesn’t take long for their investigation to reveal that the risqué Hollywood legend’s roots were buried in their small rural town, something that she had kept off her show business bio. She should have kept it off her road map, too. Because when this starlet came running home from the mob in 1985, it proved to be a fatal homecoming. Your job, should you chose to accept it is to find both a stage name (naughty is okay, but it must be clean) and real name. The female character comes from the Hookstown, Pennsylvania area outside Pittsburgh.

From June 1-July 31, I am holding a contest to Name the Porn Star! The winner will win autographed copies of all three Mac Faraday Mysteries, and a copy of Dead on Ice, which will be released Fall 2012. (E-pub or print, winner’s choice. Print versions are only available for winners in the US)

The contest is to provide both a stage name (naughty is okay, but it must be clean) and the real name of the murder victim in Dead on Ice. E-mail your suggestions to me (writerlaurencarr@comcast.net). Put Name the Porn Star in the subject line. Please include contact information, including mailing address and phone number.


About the Author:

Lauren Carr
Author/Publishing Management
  
Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award. A Reunion to Die For was released in hardback in June 2007. Both of these books are in re-release.

Lauren is also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. The first two books in her series, It’s Murder, My Son and Old Loves Die Hard have been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Lauren’s fifth mystery, Shades of Murder has been receiving rave reviews since its release.

Lauren’s sixth book, Dead on Ice, will be released in Fall 2012. Dead on Ice will introduce a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, in which Joshua Thornton will join forces with homicide detective Cameron Gates.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This spring, two books written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and two dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

  
Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:
                 http://mysterylady.net/
Blog: Literary Wealth: http://literarywealth.wordpress.com/
  
Twitter: @TheMysteryLadie



Guest Post

Practical Tips for Beginning Mystery Writers
By Lauren Carr

Everyone wants to be Jessica Fletcher. Do you remember Jessica Fletcher? Oh, that’s right. She was in the 80’s. I guess I’ve dated myself. Okay! I admit it! I’m THAT old. Do you want to make something of it?

All right. My mood is swinging  back into the other direction. … Where was I? Oh, yes, you want to be a mystery writer.

Number One: Research. Research in mystery writing is very important. However, I strong advise against hands-on research in murder mystery writing. No matter how good you may be, if you kill your ex-husband, they are going to catch you and you will go to jail. Then you will be spending so much time fighting off a muscle-bound, tattooed roommate calling you “Cupcake” that you won’t have time to write your book.

It is best to do your research online. Google is a good starting source. There is an unbelievable wealth of sources on the Internet now, geared specifically toward writers for research in law enforcement and forensics. I know one author who found a video on YouTube on how to build a bomb.

Number Two: Once you’ve done your research into murder, you now need to come up with a story line.  The best place to start is to come up with a protagonist. Another word is hero. Some writers base their detectives on themselves. Others base them on their fantasy hero. At this point, ask yourself: Who do you want to save the day? You or some dashing, sexy, man with piercing eyes and a big gun? …
(Hold that thought while I go get a glass of cold water.)

Number Three: Your victim. You can’t have a murder mystery without someone getting killed. You may already have a murder victim. Many murder mystery writers have victims in mind before they have even thought of writing a book. If they are honest, many mystery writers were driven to write murder mysteries because of their victims.   

This is the one case where it is okay to ask: Who do you want to kill? Bosses are a favorite. Once at a book event, a reader told me that she had two ex-husbands that she wanted me to kill between the pages for her.

Number Four:  How are you going to kill your victim? If you are basing your victim on someone in particular, you may already have a murder method in mind. Or you may have so many ideas that you don’t know which one to choose from. It is all a matter of preference. Do you want your murder victim to go out with a whimper or a bang? Is he or she worthy of going out in a blaze of glory? If not, maybe you want a particularly tortuous death, like being dined on by a komodo dragon. Or, you could have him die “off-stage”. In this case, you don’t need to write it out. You could simply have the reader hear about it later.

Number Five: The solving of the case. This is where many mystery writers get tripped up. They have so much fun with steps one-through-four that they’ve forgotten that someone has to solve their victim’s murder. Maybe because subconsciously, they don’t want their victim’s murder solved. That is something for the writer to take to Dr. Phil to sort out.

As much fun as it was killing their boss or ex-husband or nasty neighbor or lawyer who rolled over and played dead in divorce court or—How about that teacher in high school who gave me a “B” on the essay when I bloody well deserved an “A” and because of that I didn’t get into the Harvard and my life was ruined and now I’m cleaning gutters for a living—

Excuse me. Back on track.

Your mystery does need to get solved. After the murder, you need to lead the reader on the path through the detection, solving of the crime, and the capture of the killer.

That’s right. In the end, the killer is captured by the detective.

That’s why in the beginning I warned you not to practice this in real life at home.

Happy Mystery Writing!

Giveaway!!

Even though I am not reviewing the book until the fall,
Lauren has offered a book for a giveaway NOW!
The giveaway is open until August 25, 2012.

Just leave a comment with your email address to enter.
Don't forget to follow my blog so you'll know when the review comes out!



Shades of Murder can be purchased on Amazon:



Don't Forget!
From June 1-July 31, Lauren is holding a contest to Name the Porn Star!


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8 comments:

  1. Hello, Donna and all your friends. It is a pleasure to stop by today to offer these "tips" to your readers who may have been driven at one time or another to contemplate plotting a murder mystery. This was a fun post to write and I hope your readers enjoy it.

    I'm also looking forward to reading the entries for the Name the Porn Star Contest!

    Best,
    Lauren

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Lauren! I hope you receive some great suggestions!

      Delete
  2. Great interview and tips on mystery writing. I'm looking forward to the review, although I can tell you Shades of Murders is a terrific read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Cindy! I can't wait to read the book, especially since you said it was a great read. Thanks.

      Delete
  3. Loved this post....so much going on. It's always interesting to learn more about what makes an author "tick." The humorous tips on writing mysteries were great! I think I shall have to look for her books!
    Now, to think of a really super name....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely want to know what name you come up with!

      Delete
    2. I most certainly will let everyone know on my website and blog (Literary Wealth). I will also publish a list of runners-up. I've gotten some good suggestions.

      Best,
      Lauren Carr

      Delete
  4. Hello, Snoodles! Glad you love the tips. Remember, don't practice them at home. ;)

    I look forward to hearing your names in the Name the Porn Star contest.

    Best,
    Lauren

    ReplyDelete

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