Friday, November 2, 2012

Lauren Carr Halloween Bash Mystery Tour Day #6 Secondary Characters & #Giveaway

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. The next book in this series, Shades of Murder, will be released May 2012. This will be Lauren’s fifth mystery.

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.

Mac Faraday Mysteries
Cast of Characters

Robin Spencer: Queen of Mystery. World-famous mystery author. Upon her death, it is revealed that as a teenager she had a son out of wedlock, to whom she has left her vast fortune.  She was the love of Police Chief Patrick O’Callaghan’s life.

Police Chief Patrick O’Callaghan: Spencer’s legendary police chief. The love of Robin Spencer’s life. But life must go on. After her parents had split the young lovers up, he married Violet and had a son, David. A man of honor, he kept his marriage vows to his wife, even after Robin returned to Spencer. The best of friends, they shared the knowledge that somewhere out there was the product of their love, who grew up to become Mac Faraday.

Mac Faraday: Underpaid homicide detective, now retired. His wife leaves him and takes everything. On the day his divorce became final, he inherited $270 million and an estate on Deep Creek Lake from his late birth mother, Robin Spencer.

David O’Callaghan: Spencer police officer, promoted to chief of police after death of his father, Police Chief Patrick O’Callaghan. Mac Faraday’s half-brother and best friend.

Archie Monday: Personal assistant to the world-famous mystery author Robin Spencer. Lives in the guest cottage at Spencer Manor and, according to Robin’s will, is permitted to continue living in the guest house for as long as she wants. She doesn’t want to move. Mac doesn’t want her to go.

Gnarly: Another part of Mac Faraday’s inheritance from Robin Spencer. This German Shepherd is the only dog to be dishonorably discharged from the United States Army. Don’t ask them why. They refuse to talk about it.

Arthur Bogart: Spencer’s Deputy Police Chief. Best friend of Patrick O’Callaghan. David’s godfather. Don’t let his gray hair fool you. Every rookie the joins Spencer’s tiny police force thinks they can take this muscle bound old man down. They end up pinned to the matt in less than thirty seconds.

Characters from the Lovers in Crime Series (introduced in Shades of Murder)

Joshua Thornton: Hancock County, West Virginia, prosecuting attorney, former JAG lawyer. Retired after the sudden death of his wife Valerie left him to raise five children on his own. He now lives in the same stone house in Chester, West Virginia, where he had been raised by his grandmother.

Detective Cameron Gates: Spunky Pennsylvania State Police’s top homicide detective. Not only is she spunky, but her colleagues claim she’s crazy, having lost her mind after her husband, a state trooper, was run down by a drunk driver during a routine traffic stop only four months after their wedding day. Cameron prefers to think of herself as “determined” when it comes to catching the bad guy.

Donny Thornton: Joshua Thornton’s sixteen year old son, the youngest of five children. The last child left at home.

Irving: Cameron Gates’s cat. You’d have issues too if you looked like a skunk.

Admiral: Joshua Thornton’s dog. The Irish Wolfhound-Great Dane mix has the heart of a chicken.

Old Loves Die Hard…and in the worst places.

In Old Loves Die Hard, Lauren Carr continues the rags-to-riches story of Mac Faraday, an underpaid homicide detective who inherits two-hundred-and-seventy million dollars and an estate on Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, from his birth mother on the day his divorce becomes final.

Mac is settling nicely into his new life at Spencer Manor when his ex-wife Christine shows up—and she wants him back! Before Mac can send her packing, Christine and her estranged lover are murdered in Mac’s private penthouse suite at the Spencer Inn, the five-star resort built by his ancestors.

The investigation leads to the discovery of cases files for some of Mac’s murder cases in the room of the man responsible for destroying his marriage. Why would his ex-wife’s lover come to Spencer to dig into Mac’s old cases?

With the help of his new friends on Deep Creek Lake, Mac must use all of his detective skills to clear his name and the Spencer Inn’s reputation, before its five-stars—and more bodies—start dropping!


Georgetown, District of Columbia—Three Years Ago

Does heavy rain affect the murder rate the same way a full moon does?
Squinting through the rain flowing down his windshield like a waterfall, Lieutenant Mac Faraday pondered this ques-tion while easing his sedan around the emergency vehicles surrounding an SUV in the downtown parking lot.
Mac hoped the patrolman in the yellow rain parka flagging him down wouldn’t comment on his car’s grinding brakes. Payday was Friday. Then, he could replace the brake pads. With his luck, the pads would wear down to the rotors first.
“What’ve we got?” Mac blinked against the raindrops splashing onto his face and into his blue eyes while calling out the window.
“Looks like a robbery gone bad, Lieutenant,” the officer reported. “One shot behind the ear through the driver’s side window. Wallet and watch are missing.”
“M.E. here yet?”
“Not yet,” the officer said. “Everyone is taking their sweet time hoping the rain will stop.”

“Either that or they know something we don’t and are gathering the animals.”
Before Mac could wind up his window, the officer cleared his throat. “Uh, Lieutenant?”
“You should get your brakes checked. They’re grinding.”
“I’ll do that,” the detective replied. “Thanks for telling me.”
After parking between two patrol cars, Mac climbed out of his car and pulled the collar of his raincoat tight around his neck a moment too late. His auburn hair clung to his scalp while cold heavy raindrops formed a watery path down the sides of his head and the back of his neck to send a shiver down his spine.
The forensics team parted when Mac jogged up to where they were searching the inside of a dark blue SUV that looked black under the storm clouds. The only one who didn’t move out of his way was the lifeless body slumped over the center console. The shattered glass from the window resembled a sequined baby blanket where it covered his black trench coat.
Except for the stream of blood that flowed from the hole behind his left ear, Mac guessed that in life, he had been a good-looking fellow. His black hair had been neatly trimmed. Judging from his buffed fingernails, he had been meticulous about his grooming.
The parking lot belonged to a six-story red brick office building. In a previous life, it had been an eighty-year-old ten-ement. After forcing the neighborhood unfortunates out, a group of entrepreneurs renovated the building to house judges and lawyers in posh office suites.
Mac asked, “Anybody know who he is?”
“Dylan Booth.” From behind his back, Mac heard one of the uniformed officers who had been the first on the scene answer. “He worked for Judge Randolph Daniels on the top floor. He was an intern.”
“He was going to graduate from law school this spring,” another voice came from behind the officer. Drenched to the bones by the storm, a gray-haired man with a worn wrinkled face stepped up to the detective. He wore a light jacket over his security guard’s uniform.
Searching for reasons someone would want to kill the
law student, Mac asked, “Would I be correct in assuming he wasn’t working on any criminal cases?”
“Nah,” the guard responded. “He did mostly research and stuff for Judge Daniels, and he worked hard.” Noting
that it was Saturday, he went on, “He came in bright and early this morning. Left about two o’clock. He signed out at one-fifty-eight. He said he was going to finish up at home.”
From where he stood, the guard glanced into the back of the vehicle. “Did you all find a box?”
“Box?” Mac glanced over his shoulder at the forensics officers to see that they were also puzzled by the question.
“A document box.” The guard held out his hands a couple of feet apart. “You know. The kind you carry file folders in. When he left he was carrying one. I could tell by the way he was carrying it that it was heavy. He must have had it full.”
The uniformed officers and forensics team responded in unison with shakes of their heads to the inquiry about the box.
“Do you have any idea what he had in it?” Mac asked.
It was the guard’s turn to shake his head. “I assumed case files, being that he worked for the judge and all. What about his computer case?”
“No laptop or case,” an officer within hearing distance reported.
Mac summarized, “Looks like we have a missing laptop, watch, wallet, and mystery box. Very interesting.”
He turned to the officers inside the SUV. “Did the killer leave anything behind?”
“He missed his cell phone.” Like a prize, a young officer held up the phone encased in a plastic bag.
Mac examined the instrument, which contained so many features that he had trouble determining which button to push in order to find the call log. Seeing his problem, one of the forensics officers took it and pressed a couple of the buttons until he found the log.
“What’s the last call he made?” asked Mac.
The officer read off the number. “He made the call this afternoon at one-fifty-two. Didn’t the guard say he signed out at one-fifty-eight?”
Mac noted, “Then he made this last call right before he left.”
“And he was shot shortly after two.”
While the number was being read off, Mac had dialed it into his cell phone. “Let’s see who the last person he spoke to happens to be.”
He pressed the phone to his ear. After four rings, a voice mail system picked up: “You have reached the office of Assistant U. S. Attorney Stephen Maguire…”

"With it's tight plot, well-crafted and believable characters, and complex mystery, It's Murder, My Son is a thoroughly enjoyable read. I look forward to many more Mac Faraday mysteries."  John J. Lamb, author of the Bear Collector Mysteries

"A most unusual and surprising plot, intriguing characters, snappy dialogue, great settings and a dog named Gnarly are the prime ingredients in Lauren Carr's terrific new mystery, It's Murder, My Son." F.M. Meredith, author of An Axe to Grind

What started out as the worst day of Mac Faraday's life would end up being a new beginning. After a messy divorce hearing, the last person that Mac wanted to see was another lawyer. Yet, this lawyer wore the expression of a child bursting to tell his secret. This secret would reveal Mac as heir to undreamed of fortunes, and lead him to the birthplace of America's Queen of Mystery and an investigation that will unfold like one of her famous mystery novels.

Soon after she moves to her new lakefront home in Spencer, Maryland, multi-millionaire Katrina Singleton learns that life in an exclusive community is not all good. For some unknown reason, a strange man calling himself "Pay Back" begins stalking her. When Katrina is found strangled all evidence points to her terrorist, who is nowhere to be found.


Deep Creek Lake in Spencer, Maryland

The sitcom was senseless. That didn’t matter. Katrina was too tense to handle anything with depth. The hot bath and martini had failed to soothe her nerves. She ran the water until steam filled the master bathroom.
The weather channel had predicted that the severe winter storm would hit around midnight and continue through the next day. Spotting storm clouds on the horizon, Katrina anti-cipated waking to white-out conditions. Buried in a thick white blanket would be her last memory of Deep Creek Lake.
After a long soak in the tub, Katrina slipped into her red silk bathrobe and combed out her long black hair. Tenderly, she rubbed the most expensive anti-aging moisturizer over each inch of her olive flesh.
Her beauty had earned her millions. That made it worth preserving at all costs.
Time for a third martini before bed. She wondered if she would hear from her husband before she fell asleep. He had told her that he would be working late in the city.
Like I don’t know what you’ve been working late on. Go ahead. Get snowed in with Rachel for Valentine’s Day. Enjoy it while you can.
After completing her nightly beauty routine, she returned downstairs to the home theater where she got sucked into a verbal exchange between a husband and wife about their teen-age son’s sexy girlfriend.
A noise outside made her jump out of the recliner.
She glanced at the clock.
Almost nine. Could Chad have decided to come out when I mentioned my appointment with the divorce lawyer? Maybe he does love my money more than he loves Rachel.
She listened. Nothing except the wind signaling the blizzard’s approach.
Maybe I should call David? No. It wouldn’t look good if Chad found him here. He’s already suspicious.
The German shepherd began scratching at the back door.    
Not again, you damn dog! When you aren’t wanting out or in, you’re digging up the back yard.
With a groan, she pulled herself out of the recliner and let the dog out onto the patio. As long as she was up, she poured herself another martini and admired her reflection in the mirror behind the bar before returning to her seat for another sitcom.
Her mind sucked in by the television, Katrina was un-prepared to fight when her killer attacked and pinned her down by her throat.
“Did you really think I was going to let you leave?” she heard through the roar in her ears while gasping her last breath.

 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.
In 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!

“Bad dog!” Mac chased Gnarly inside the house. “Up to your room and don’t come out. I want you to think about what you did.”
Instead of galloping up the stairs to the master suite, Gnarly jumped up onto the loveseat in the living room. Like a defiant child, the dog returned his master’s glare.
“Do what I say.” Mac pointed up the stairs. “You heard me.”
Still, Gnarly refused to move.
“I’ll teach you who’s boss.”
When Mac grabbed him by the collar, Gnarly pulled away. Keeping hold, he wrestled with the dog until he had him in a headlock. The two of them landed on the floor and rolled across the carpet toward the stone fireplace.
“Will you stop playing with Gnarly and open this box?” Archie called up to them from the dining room. “I’m dying to know what’s in it.”
Declaring himself the victor, Gnarly jumped up onto the loveseat and plopped down with an “Umph” noise.
Archie slipped the sealed envelope that had come with the package into Mac’s hand.
“Who said dogs are man’s best friends?” He frowned when he read the return address on the envelope. It was from a lawyer’s office. He asked the dog on the loveseat, “Are we being sued by another one of your victims?”
Gnarly snorted and shook so hard that the tags on his collar rattled.
“Since when do lawyers send huge packages special
delivery to people they’re suing?” Archie waved an arm in the
direction of the box. “You read the letter. I’ll open it to see what’s inside.” Without waiting for permission, she kicked off her shoes and went into the kitchen to retrieve scissors for
cutting the cord and tape sealing it shut.
Gnarly galloped down the steps to sniff at the box that had invaded his home.
Meanwhile, Mac tore at the envelope, which contained a
letter and another envelope. The inside envelope was addressed in blue script to Robin Spencer with the word PERSONAL printed in capital letters underneath her name.
“What does the letter say?” Archie came back in from the kitchen. With the scissors, she broke through the plastic cord wrapped around the box.
Mac was still reading the first letter. “It’s a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo. This guy, Archibald  Poole, died. He had left this to Robin Spencer. In the event of her death preceding his, it was to be passed on to her next of kin. Since that’s me, I get it.”
Archie stopped snipping.  “Archibald Poole?”
Gnarly stopped sniffing.

October 28 - November 3

October 28 - Introducing the Mac Faraday Series
October 29 - Lauren Carr Interviewed
October 30 - Meet Mac Faraday

Character Interview at Black Hippie Chick's Take On Books & The World
Interview & Review at Melina The Reader

October 31 - Music Day
Lovez 2 Read
November 1 -  Mac Faraday Series Book Trailer Promo's
Spotlight at MK McClintock's Blog
November 2 - Secondary Character Profiles
Guest Blog at Lori's Reading Corner
November 3 - Mac Faraday Tour Wrap-Up

Review & Guest Blog at A Book Lover's Library
Reviewed at The-Self-Taught Cook

See you tomorrow, and think of what you want to know from Lauren because tomorrow is YOUR day!


BK said...

I love it :).

Michelle Cornwell-Jordan said...

Great post!:O) Looking forward to checking it out!

Pit Crew

Unknown said...

Great post! and really interesting characters!

Lauren Carr said...

Thank you so much for stopping by. Glad you like the characters. They are so much fun to create and "work with" while writing the Mac Faraday Mysteries.