Shining the Spotlight on Author of Killer Deadline

Posted: April 29, 2020 in Announcements, Blog Tour Hosting, guest post, rafflecopter, Recommended Reading
“Lauren Carr’s books are never boring, that’s for sure. They entertain, give us a good mystery to dig into, keep the reader guessing, give us a few good laughs and make us eager for the next book. Warning: Lauren Carr’s series are addictive, so be ready to read more than just one book!” – Laura Fabiani, Library of Clean Reads


Join us for this tour from April 20 to May 22, 2020!

Book Details:

Book TitleKiller Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr

Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  232 pages

Genre:  Mystery/Cozy Mystery

Publisher:  Acorn Book Services

Release date:   April 23, 2020

Content Rating: G. This is a true cozy mystery. No sex. No on-stage violence. No swearing. Just good clean fun!

“Here we go! Carr is a master storyteller who always offers a plot full of twists and turns, a bit of humor to offset the dark, and a unique cast of characters. In Killer Deadline that cast includes – handsome Ryan, her first love (who is now her step-brother); a mysterious social media friend called Nerdy Guy; Elmo, a super smart dog, a boxer, she rescued who has become asocial media star and has a penchant for cleaning; a TV station full of suspicious employees; and more.”This book is a wonderful read to pick up at the end of a long day. It truly is a “cozy murder mystery.”  I promise, it’ll draw you in right from page one and keep you turning the pages until you reach the very last page. I can’t wait for the second book in this series.” – Marilyn R. Wilson, Olio by Marilyn

Book Description:

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.

Order Your Copy Today! ~ (paperback)

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Meet the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns! Killer Deadline marks Lauren’s first venture into mystery’s purely cozy sub-genre with a female protagonist.

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.

A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

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

Guest Post: Connecting Your Readers to Your Characters

By Lauren Carr

Last night, I bailed on a book. I’m not a quitter. Firmly, I held to the belief that by the time I got one-third of the way into the story, I would care enough about the characters to strive onward to “the end.”

I feel guilty for jumping ship on a fellow author’s book—especially since this book had been selected by my book club. Yet, when most of the other club members stated that they were moving on to the next month’s selection, I figured that gave me a license to do the same.

The overall complaint: We couldn’t connect with the book’s characters.

Why couldn’t I, or anyone in our book club, connect with the characters in this book? The writer never allowed us to get close enough to them.

Every writer dreams of readers getting pulled into their book. The best way for that to happen is to have your characters grab the readers and yank them into the plot to go along for the ride. But before that can happen, the characters need to get close enough to the readers to grab them.

For example, after several chapters into this murder mystery, I realized that I had yet to meet the murder victim. Granted, the victim in this cold case mystery was long gone when the book started, but still …

Every detail in the mystery was reported via narrative as the protagonist read reports and discussed the case with her colleagues. Through the detective investigating her disappearance, the readers learned the victim’s name, that she was a student, and the date she disappeared. We learned that she had parents and the major she was studying in college. Basically, the reader learned nothing more about the victim than what appears on the average resume.

In order to get close enough to the characters to connect with them, the writer needs to allow the reader to meet them.

Sometimes the premise can make this difficult. Once, I beta read a cozy mystery for a writer in which the amateur detective investigated the case via gossip from various investigators and witnesses. There were no visits to the crime scene. No direct dialogue with any suspects or witnesses. The protagonist learned everything second or third hand.

Think about this. If the protagonist is experiencing the storyline second-hand—then the reader is experiencing it third-hand.

Admittedly, this can be an issue for writers of mystery (especially cold case mysteries), suspense, or thrillers where the protagonists are investigators brought into the story after the fact. For example, the novel opens with the police detective arriving on the scene after the murder. However, there a tricks and tips to bring your readers up close and personal.

Involve Your Characters and Keep them Close: Keep your characters up close to the plot, either by time, place, or motivation. One common technique is to make the protagonist have a personal stake in the outcome. The antagonist targets him, or the victim is a personal friend.

Often, readers will joke about how common it is for the whole family tree of the amateur detective in a cozy mystery series to have been murder victims, witnesses, or suspects—all in the name of connecting the protagonists to the plot!

Actually, the protagonist does not need to be that close for the reader to connect.

In one murder mystery I read, the detective simply looked wistfully down at the victim, a sweet looking young woman. His partner asked him what was wrong, and he replied that the victim reminded him of a sweet Italian girl from high school who had won all the boys’ hearts.

“Oh, the one that got away, huh?”

“No, the one that I married,” he said.

At that moment, readers connected to the victim via the detective who took a personal interest in the case simply because she reminded him of his wife.

Other techniques for connecting readers to distant characters:

Prologues: If you are writing a police procedural or detective novel where the crime is committed before the protagonist is introduced, consider opening your book with a prologue. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out scene. Mine are usually only about five pages long. Introduce the readers to the victim. Let them experience the event, the fear, the horror, first hand. This will grab your reader by the throat and yank them into the book. This type of prologue can serve a dual purpose if your novel has an otherwise slow opening.

Flashbacks: Most writing rules strongly suggest using flashbacks sparingly. If you are writing crime fiction in which your detective is not personally involved with the victims and witnesses (say a police procedural) you may want to consider using flashbacks, written from the witness’s or victim’s point of view during the investigator’s interviews with them.

This will take your readers one step closer to the action. Also, during the flashback, you are putting your reader into the witness or suspect’s head. This trick will engage them in the action.

That’s the whole idea. Before your readers can become engaged in the action, they need to connect with your book. The best ones to connect with your readers are your characters—but they can’t do that unless you let them get up close and personal with your readers!

Tour Schedule:

April 20 – Olio by Marilyn – book review / giveaway

April 20 – Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway

April 20 – Michelle’s Goodreads – book review

April 21 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway

April 21 – The avid reader – book spotlight / giveaway

April 22 – Thoughts in Progress – book spotlight / giveaway

April 22 – Brooke Blogs – book spotlight / giveaway

April 22 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

April 23 – My Journey Back – book review / author interview / giveaway

April 23 – Christa Reads and Writes – book review / giveaway

April 23 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book spotlight

April 23 – Books for Books – book spotlight

April 24 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway

April 27 –Cassidy’s Bookshelves – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

April 28 – It’s All About the Book – book review / giveaway

April 28 – Down the Rabbit Hole – book review / author interview / giveaway

April 29 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway

April 29 –Lamon Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

April 29 – Laura’s Interests – book review / guest post / giveaway

April 29 – 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

April 30 – I’m Into Books – book spotlight / giveaway

April 30 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway

April 30 – Booksandsunny – book review / giveaway

May 4 – La libreria di Beppe – book spotlight / giveaway

May 5 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway

May 6 – A Madison Mom – book review / giveaway

May 7 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway

May 8 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review / giveaway

May 11 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway

May 12 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway

May 12 – Leels Loves Books – book review / giveaway

May 13 – FUONLYKNEW – book review / giveaway

May 14 – fundinmental – book review / giveaway

May 15 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway

May 15 – Adventurous Jessy – book review / giveaway

May 18 – Mowgli with a book – book spotlight / author interview

May 19 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway

May 20 – Peaceful Pastime – book review

May 20 – eBook Addicts – book review

May 21 – JBronder Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway

May 21 – Books and Zebras – book spotlight / giveaway

May 22 –  Sahar’s Blog – book review

Enter the Giveaway:

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  1. Lauren Carr says:

    Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog to share these tips and points to connecting readers with your characters.


  2. Thanks so much for being our guest! We wish you great success!


  3. […] 29 -Laura’s Interests – book review / guest post / giveawayApril 29 – 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News – book spotlight / guest post / giveawayApril 30 –I’m Into […]


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