Friday, June 24, 2016

Candidate for Murder {+ Giveaway #Vote4Gnarly}

I’m delighted to be participating in the iRead Spotlight Blog Tour for author Lauren Carr’s latest release, CANDIDATE FOR MURDER.

As part of the tour, you have the opportunity to win a Fire Tablet (open internationally). To find out more about this unique giveaway, please see the end of the post.

Here’s a description of this entertaining story.

It’s election time in Spencer, Maryland, and the race for mayor is not a pretty one. In recent years, the small resort town has become divided between the local year-round residents who have enjoyed their rural way of life and the city dwellers moving into their mansions, taking over the town council, and proceeding to turn Deep Creek Lake into a closed gate community—complete with a host of regulations for everything from speed limits to clothes lines.
          When the political parties force-feed two unsavory mayoral nominees on the town residents, Police Chief David O’Callaghan decides to make a statement—by nominating Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s German shepherd, to run as mayor of Spencer!
          What starts out as a joke turns into a disaster when overnight Gnarly becomes the front runner—at which point his political enemies take a page straight out of Politics 101. What do you do when you’re behind in a race? Dig up dirt on the front runner, of course.
          Seemingly, someone is not content to rest with simply embarrassing the front runner by publicizing his dishonorable discharge from the United States Army, but to throw in a murder for good measure. With murder on the ballot, Mac Faraday and the gang—including old friends from past cases—dive in to clear Gnarly’s name, catch a killer, and save Spencer!

Lauren joins us to answer some questions about her writing. Welcome, Lauren.
Where do you write?


I have a writer’s studio on the top floor of my home. It is my space. No one is allowed in it because in my studio—I am completely me—the good-the bad—the messy.

Translation: When I write, I only write. That means I don’t pay attention to dust on my desk or the ringing of the phone. My husband is a former navy officer who sees every speck of dust. So he’s not allowed to enter my studio—because then he would have a stroke and I’d have no one to go out to get food.

Is there a specific ritualistic thing you do during your writing time?


I wouldn’t call it ritualistic, but I do have a tendency to get lost in my book when writing. I mean I can even lose sense of time.

In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper?


Back in the nineties, before laptops, I would write outlines for my books on yellow notepaper. Rarely would I refer to them. The writing of the outline helped me to sort out the plot in my own mind.

Actually, you would be surprised by how many writers do write in longhand. I once took at survey of the students in a writing class I taught. Half of the students write in long-hand. Me—my handwriting is so bad no one would be able to read it if I wrote in longhand.

What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?


Timing. I write full time. However, even so, it is difficult because when I really get going at a certain spot in a storyline and the words are flowing freely, reality will come crashing in. I’m in the middle of a pertinent scene or shootout and suddenly, it’s six o’clock in the evening, I have people bleeding out on the streets, and I’ve taken nothing out of the kitchen to cook for dinner.

Seriously, not only is it frustrating, but it is those types of interruptions that can cause the type of mistakes in continuity that readers may pick up after the book is released. For example, in Kill and Run, in one scene, one reader noticed that Jessica sat down twice during a conversation without standing up before sitting down the second time. 

I have no choice but to blame my family for picking up this nasty habit called eating. It wouldn’t be so bad if they knew how to cook.

What do you know now about writing that you wish you knew when you first started out?


Being an author is a business—treat it like one. When I first started getting published, my husband, who is my business manager and has a law degree in business law, kept telling me that this is a business. He wanted receipts and when I would be offered a personal appearance I would be so excited—until he started asking questions like, “How far away is that? How much gas are you going to use getting there? How many books do you expect to sell? Are we going to make money or lose money?”

I considered him a wet blanket. After all, I was an author—an artist! Once, I accepted a speaking engagement at a library that was over five hours from my home. I drove five hours there in the pouring rain, spoke to a full house. They were so engaged and had so many questions, I was there twenty minutes longer than expected. Then, they all rushed out to borrow my book. I sold one book. I didn’t even make enough money to pay for the gas I used traveling there and back.

Now, I do treat my writing and book promotion like a business. I rarely make public appearances because I get more promotion for my time spent online via blog tours and guest blogs. I’m still an artist—an author, but I’m also a business person.

Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?


Think of marketing as one of those chores that’s all part of the business—not an option. In every profession there are things that you have to do because it is part of taking care of business. Lawyers have to keep up on new laws—otherwise, they could make mistakes that will land their clients in jail. Doctors have to deal with insurance companies and forms or they won’t get paid for their services. 

Authors have to deal with marketing or readers won’t know about their books and if readers don’t know about their books, they won’t buy them. If readers don’t buy your books, then you won’t make money. 

A best-selling author told me to spend one hour a day working on marketing—using social media and the Internet. Within a year of taking her advice, my books started making best-sellers’ lists and I am now in the top-100 police procedural authors on Amazon. I now spent three-four hours a day working on marketing.

What are you working on now?


By the end of summer, September 2016, Lovers in Crime will see the third installment for that series, Killer in the Band. Fans of the Lovers in Crime and the Thorny Rose Mysteries will get to know more about Joshua Thornton Jr (J.J.), Murphy’s identical twin brother and Joshua Thornton’s eldest son. 

J.J. has graduated at the top of his class from law school and is returning home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to the Thornton’s shock and dismay, J.J. decides to move in with Suellen Russell, a lovely widow twice his age. The move brings long buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. When a brutal killer strikes, the father and son must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the crosshairs of a murderer.

In November, fans of the Thorny Rose Mysteries will see the second installment for that series, A Fine Year for Murder

Thanks for stopping by Lauren and sharing your writing habits with us. It's always interesting to see how a story comes about.

Author Lauren Carr
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries. The twelfth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, Candidate for Murder was released in June 2016.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

For more on Lauren and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

You can also find out more about Lauren by visiting the following blogs participating in her tour.

June 20 - Working Mommy Journal - book spotlight / giveaway
June 20 - My Journey Back - book spotlight / guest post
June 20 - Books for Books - book spotlight / guest post
June 21 - Christy's Cozy Corners - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 21 - fuonlyknew - book spotlight / giveaway
June 22 - Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 22 - Book Reviews Nature Photos - book spotlight / author interview
June 23 - Writers and Authors - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 23 - Rockin' Book Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 24 - bookmyopia - book spotlight / guest post
June 27 - The Travelogue of a Book Addict - book spotlight / giveaway
June 27 - Nighttime Reading Center - book spotlight
June 28 - Stranded in Chaos - book spotlight / giveaway
June 29 - Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin' - book spotlight
June 29 - The Autistic Gamer - book spotlight
June 30 - Katie's Clean Book Collection - book spotlight / giveaway
June 30 - Tea and A Book - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 1 -     Brooke Blogs - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 1 -     Cheryl's Book Nook - book spotlight / giveaway
July 4 -     Ali - The Dragon Slayer - book spotlight / giveaway
July 4 -     Book and Ink - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 5 -     New Horizon Reviews - book spotlight / author interview
July 6 -     Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine - book spotlight / guest post
July 6 -     Library of Clean Reads - book spotlight / giveaway
July 7 -     T's Stuff - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 8 -     Words And Peace - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 11 -   StoreyBook Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
July 12 -   Carole's Book Corner - book spotlight / giveaway
July 13 -   Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 14 -   Christa Reads and Writes - book spotlight
July 15 -   Bound 2 Escape - book spotlight
July 18 - - book spotlight / giveaway
July 18 -   Puddletown Reviews - book spotlight
July 19 -   100 Pages A Day - book spotlight / giveaway
July 19 -   A Mama's Corner of the World - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 20 -   Mystery Suspense Reviews - book spotlight / guest post
July 21 -   Heidi's Wanderings - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 22 -   3 Partners in Shopping - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 25 -   Celticlady's Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
July 26 -   A Soccer Mom's Book Blog - book spotlight / giveaway
July 27 -   Reading Authors - book spotlight / giveaway
July 28 -   Deal Sharing Aunt - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 29 -   Jessica Cassidy - book spotlight / author interview

Now here’s a book trailer for CANDIDATE FOR MURDER for your viewing pleasure.

This is a tour-wide giveaway. The winning prize is a Fire Tablet with 7 inch display, Wi-Fi, and 16 GB. The giveaway is open internationally. The winner will be the person to use #Vote4Gnarly most often between now and when the giveaway ends on Aug 5, 2016.

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.

Thanks for stopping by today during this spotlight. What are your thoughts on entering a dog as a candidate for an election? Have you ever heard of unusual candidates being nominated to run for an office?


  1. Sounds like an exciting read.

  2. If it's all in the timing, then perfect timing with that title!
    And darn your family for wanting food. Need to teach them to forage.

  3. What a fun interview! So glad to stop by today and thank you for inviting me! Don't forget to enter the giveaway! Campaign for Gnarly and you can win a free kindle! #Vote4Gnarly

  4. What a timely book! And a really interesting interview, too! Thanks, both.

  5. Oh God, I can relate to driving many hours to do a talk at a library only to have most of the people want to borrow rather than buy my book.

  6. Sounds like when you write, you're really focused. That's great!

  7. Congratulations Laura.
    I would MUCH rather vote for a German Shepherd than the candidates in our current election. I grew up with Shepherds and bed-hogging and food thievery were their worst crimes. (And sweeping things of coffee tables with their tales). Our human candidates records are not nearly so clean.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.