Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Crimes Past by Lauren Carr--I Read Book Tour-Review with Guest Post and Giveaway

Crimes Past: A Mac Faraday Mystery by Lauren Carr

About the book 
It’s a bittersweet reunion for Mac Faraday when members of his former homicide squad arrive at the Spencer Inn. While it is sweet to attend the wedding of a former colleague’s daughter, it is a bitter reminder that the mother of the bride had been the victim of a double homicide on her own wedding night.

The brutal slaying weighing heavy on his mind, Mac is anxious to explore every possibility for a break in the cold case—even a suggestion from disgraced former detective Louis Gannon that one of their former friends was the killer.

When the investigator is brutally slain, Mac Faraday rips open the cold case with a ruthless determination to reveal which of his friends was a cold-blooded murderer.

And I thought
First I loved it and another 5 stars for Lauren Carr.  

I was planning on keeping some of it close to the vest and tell you that you need to read it (and well you do)  because I am not giving anything away but...(read the guest post from Lauren she spills the beans!)

With all that said this was another great mystery for Mac, David, Archie and a few others to solve. 

And as with all the previous books there is more to meet the eye than just one little 'ole murder or mystery.  Excuse me that's how we talk in Texas. 

There's always underlying plots and drama and this has a doozie of one.  But I promise I am not spilling the beans.  

One of my favorite parts is the cross-over characters from the others series that visit and either become a part of the story or 
make a cameo appearance.   

I love the characters that Lauren Carr introduces to the reader. 
And well I can't get enough of them.

There are a few new characters in Crimes Past to join this wonderful cast. 

One being a 15 year old that can't seem to figure out it's really not O.K.  for him to drive even though his grandmother gave him a car. 

 He gets into a 'heap O trouble' ( Another saying we use here in Texas.' ) when in the end the real murderer that everyone is trying to catch kidnaps said 'kid'.  But the kid is a chip off the old block (not sayin' which block) he is just smart enough to turn on his cell and his mom was smart enough to have a tracker on it.  And well mystery solved the bad guy is caught. 

And all ends well and Happily Ever After.  And well just to warn you even though I won't give it away have a couple or more tissues cuz this ending is good!

I received a complimentary copy. 
My review will appear on Amazon and Good Reads. 

Guest post
It’s My Book – The Fine Line Between Giving Readers What They Want & Writing Your Story
By Lauren Carr

Have you ever read Misery by Stephen King? In this thriller, the author of a book series has an accident and ends up in the hands of his number one fan. When she reads his unpublished latest novel, she flies into a rage to discover that he has killed off her favorite character. From there, things go south as she holds him captive until he does a rewrite that satisfies her.
That’s practically every writer’s worst nightmare in more ways than one—and I’m not just talking about being held against my will.
Writers want readers to love their books and characters. Their dream is for readers to become involved with what goes on in their fictional world. Instinctively, they want to please their readers because without them, they’re destined to work as greeters at Wal Mart.
Having said that, some writers may go a bit overboard in an effort to please readers, or potential readers. They trade in their own creative instincts for voting ballots in hopes of a guarantee that their book would please everybody.
As a publisher, I had run into a few writers who checked in with their friends and family about what to do every step of the way. One writer distributed her unpublished manuscript to her co-workers. When they suggested adding a subplot to the storyline, she held up publication until she could write it. As her editor, I told her that the subplot took away from the tightly written storyline.
Her response: “I know, but I don’t want to hurt their feelings.”
One cover designer I had worked with vowed to never work with an author again after the tenth revision to the cover for his debut novel. She would send him a proof and then not hear from him for a month, at which time he would return to request additional revisions. When she discovered that he had been forwarding the proofs to his friends and then spent weeks collecting their critiques, she cut him off. “I had no idea this was a community project,” she told me.
Works of fiction aren’t meant to be community projects.
Think about it.
Our creative minds are the end product of our individual experiences. How we perceive or experience an artistic endeavor is solely based on our own perception of it. What I see in Mona Lisa’s smile is not the same as what you may see. Because of that, the writer seeking cover design insight from all of his friends is doomed in his quest to please every single potential reader who looks at the finished product.
Let me illustrate: A seemingly simple thing like a character’s name. When I was growing up, there was a bully at our school named Eric. To this day, the name Eric conjures up a bully in my imagination. As a writer, I cannot use the name Eric for a positive character in my books, because in my imagination, I cannot see an Eric in a positive light.
But, a reader who has met and fallen in love with an Eric who has treated her like a queen would have a completely different reaction to that name.
For the most part, writers feel territorial about their stories and characters. We worked hard to create our fictional world, and we feel that we are within our right to play God when determining what happens to the characters.
I experienced that territorial instinct even before I was published.
A love for murder mystery novels was a thing I shared intimately with my mother. It was our thing. So, when I started writing murder mysteries, of course, I ran them through her. She was my beta reader and Man! she was good. It’s been over a year since she has passed, and I have yet to find anyone who could spot plot holes or loose ends like her.
When A Small Case of Murder, the first Joshua Thornton book, was still in draft form, my mother declared that she did not like the names of Joshua Thornton’s daughters. Since she was my mother, I changed their names to Tracy and Sarah. Now, I can’t even recall what their original names were.
But then, two books later, when I introduced Gnarly, the rambunctious German shepherd, in the Mac Faraday Mysteries, she told me to lose the dog. Actually, she felt so strongly that she wanted me to have him run over by a car.
That was when I told her, “It’s my book. If you want Gnarly run over by a car, you’ll have to write your own book to make it happen.”
At that point, the lines were drawn. She knew what line to not cross.
Yet, as a reader, I confess that I stopped reading a mystery series when the writer killed off a continuing character who I and many readers had fallen in love with. Yes, that does happen in real life. People we love are killed. Still, I felt betrayed.
It is with that awareness, that authors need to keep a finger on the pulse of their readers—and characters.
Admittedly, it is a fine line for writers. You can’t hand over your creative control to your readers, otherwise the fictional control that you have created will cease to be yours. Yet, if you alienate your readers, then you’re liable to end up cleaning toilets at Target.
Being a territorial author, I kept a tight grip on my power of veto when my mother and a few readers objected to a new character I introduced in Cancelled Vows, the eleventh installment of the Mac Faraday Mysteries. A few readers even stated that they were mad that I had created the loud, leggy Texas heiress named Dallas Walker.
Admittedly, my own mother had declared that Dallas, who she called a homewrecker, deserved to be shot.
“It’s my book,” was my response. “If you want to see Dallas Walker shot, you write your own book and shoot her.”
It was with this determination, that I vowed to keep Dallas Walker.
But then, there is another part of the equation that plays a part in a writer’s fictional world. The character’s themselves. Interestingly, in Twofer Murder, I noticed that Dallas Walker and her love interest, David O’Callaghan were going in different directions emotionally.
Thus, in Crimes Past, Dallas Walker exited through the back door as Lieutenant Commander Hope West entered through the front. A navy pilot, Hope is a divorced mother of a teenaged son who travels to Spencer to reconnect with her first love—David O’Callaghan. A military officer, she’s a loving, yet strong woman, who rises to the occasion when her son is taken hostage.

My mother would have loved Hope West. And if she didn’t, I’d tell her what I always told her, “It’s my book. If you don’t like Hope West, you can write your own book.”

And my thoughts...well dawng I wasn't going to give it away in my review.  I must have been one of the few that liked Dallas.   With that said it all worked out well except Dallas leaving.  Maybe she needs to show up somewhere else?  You think? 

Meet the author
Lauren Carr
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

​Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram

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  1. Hmmm. Notice that Dallas hasn't been shot. She can come back someday. Thank you so much for the fabulous review of CRIMES PAST. I am so thrilled you enjoyed it and am certain your followers will enjoy it as well. Here's wishing each on luck in the giveaway.

    1. Oh I noticed she is only travelin' I hope you liked it.

  2. The book sounds great--I'd love to read it!