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The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist's Solution by Lisa de Nikolits Banner

The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution

by Lisa de Nikolits

on Tour March 1-31, 2020

Synopsis:

The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist's Solution by Lisa de Nikolits The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is about a couple experiencing a crisis. The husband, Lyndon, loses his job as editor of a financial magazine. Neither are happy with aging. Lyndon has gotten by with charm and frozen emotions. The wife, Margaux, has no idea how angry she is with him for his detachment. It is her idea to sell the house and just travel. But he is not coping well with retirement, so he simply walks off a ferry in Australia and leaves her. He steals a cat (well, he steals an expensive SUV that happens to have a cat onboard) and he flees Sydney, ending up in Apollo Bay, a few hours south-west of Melbourne, where he falls in with a group of anarchists and punk rockers in a tattoo parlour, planning revolution. Meanwhile, Margaux sits tight in Sydney with no idea of where her husband might be or what happened. She moves into the red-light Kings Cross area, befriending the owner of the hostel, a seventy-year-old ex-cop drag queen from Saint John, New Brunswick, and waits to hear from her husband. When she learns that her husband is fine, she is consumed by wrath and she invokes the angry spirit of an evil nurse, a key player in the terrible Chelmsworth sleep therapy in which many patients died (historical fact). While Lyndon gets in touch with his original career ambition to become an artist and wrestles with anarchism versus capitalism, Margaux learns to deal with her rage. A serio-comedic thriller about a couple who embark on an unintentionally life-changing around-the-world adventure, The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is about the meaning of life, healing from old wounds, romantic love at all ages, and how love and passion can make a difference, at any age.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense Thriller Published by: Inanna Poetry & Fiction Series Publication Date: September 30th 2019 Number of Pages: 300 ISBN: 1771336498 (ISBN13: 9781771336499) Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Margaux My husband has fallen overboard into the black sea of the Sydney Harbour. Panic stops my breath as if a cork has been shoved down my throat and I run from one side of the ferry to the other and back, but, just like the last time I checked, he’s not there. It’s close to midnight and the Sydney Harbour is a tar pit of roiling waves, churning and chopping. I lean over the railing, trying to see him in the water, searching for an out-stretched arm but the ferry is moving too quickly. Half a dozen people onboard look at me curiously and I can see them thinking nuts, she’s nuts, don’t make eye contact. I can’t breathe for panic and I am panting like a dog, making horrible sounds. I grab the deckhand by the arm. I try to form words but I can hardly talk and all I can say is husband, gone, must have fallen overboard and I point towards the thick molasses water. The deckhand is kind. He doesn’t call me a raving lunatic. He helps me check the ferry from stern to bow, starboard to port, not once but twice. He asks for my husband’s cell phone number and he dials it on speaker. It goes straight to messages. I’ve already tried, with the same response. Hiya, Lyndon here, do the necessary or forever hold your peace. “He’s fallen overboard,” I say. “We have to send out a rescue party. We have to find him.” *** Lyndon I’m driving on the wrong side of the road. Except of course for them, it’s the right side. I am driving a stolen car and I must concentrate, I can’t afford to get into an accident. For the most part, this car just about drives itself. I got lucky, what kind of idiot leaves a brand-new Jeep running while she gets a coffee? I was standing there, about to sip my skinny flat white when this rich suburban ditz comes along, parks right in front of me, leaps out and rushes into the coffee shop. It’s not like I was looking for a car to steal, of course not, but when she showed up, I knew what I had to do. I sidled around the car, opened the door and shot into the driver’s seat, quickly pulling the door closed. The air con was an arctic blast and I was chilled in seconds. Where was the off-switch? But more importantly, I had to get the hell out of Dodge. I pulled out into the traffic, bracing for sirens, flashing lights and my imminent arrest but there was just the usual Sydney gridlock. I threaded in between the cars, glancing in the rearview mirror and looking for a furious blonde in hot pursuit, shaking her fist and dialling 911 but there was no sign of her. I fumbled with the car’s buttons and levers, driving with one hand, and I managed to turn off the air con. I opened my window and let the warm summer wind blast into the car, washing it clean of the cold, burnt air. But where was I going? A quick decision was necessary. I called up a map of Australia in my mind. I’d studied it long enough before this trip, losing myself in the tongue-twisting Aboriginal names like Woollara, Woolloomoolo and Wollongong and wishing that I didn’t have to go at all. But, here I was, and I had a choice. I could go north east or south west. But the north east Gold Coast sounded cheap and nasty so Melbourne won the coin toss. I was about to take the turnoff for the Hume highway when I realized that highways might have cameras, whereas the smaller roads would not and I decided to navigate by the compass on the dashboard and stay off the radar as much as possible. I had the sudden worry that the car might have a tracker but I figured that if it did, there wasn’t much I could do about it. I felt strangely free and yet resigned at the same time. I checked the gas tank. Full. I didn’t have to worry about that. In fact, for the first time in ages, I didn’t have to worry about anything at all. I was free. Free from all the societal and familial shackles and manacles. I pounded the steering wheel with my fist and I grinned a Jack Nicholson crazy-man smile – yes, I’m doing the Jack-man proud! I’ve been bowed and beaten and nearly broken but not for one second longer! I’ve finally taken control. I released all the windows in the car to get the full volume of the sweet-scented, hot Australian summer and I leaned back in my luxurious seat to savour my moment of triumph. I didn’t let the bastards grind me down! I reached for my skinny flat white and took a satisfying gulp. Say what you will about the Australians, they make great coffee. I took another slug and nearly choked because at that moment, a scream pierced my eardrums and my scrotum clenched so far back in my body I was convinced I’d lost my balls for life. I choked down the mouthful of coffee and shoved the cup into the holder. Another ungodly ear-piercing howl filled into the air and I nearly swerved off the road. I white-knuckled the car into submission and tried to steady my heart which was pounding so hard that my eyeballs were popping. What in god’s name was that? There was a demon in the car? Oh my god, don’t tell me it’s a baby. I stole a car with a baby in it, didn’t I? I glanced into the back, fully expecting to see a baby staring at me with accusing eyes. It’s one thing to be a car thief – which, I’ll have you know I am not – but a kidnapper? My insides sloshed back and forth as if I’d swallowed the green mush that Margaux made me eat instead of breakfast, hoping to get my weight gain under control. I have that same bitter taste in my mouth now as I prepare to meet the gaze of the stolen baby. The baby strapped into the car seat, pursing its little Chuckie-doll monster mouth and getting ready to let loose another of those horrifying screams. But there is no baby. There is no car seat. No Chuckie. Relief washes over me and my balls ungrip a millimeter. At least I am not a child thief, I am not a kidnapper. I can breathe again. Thank god. There is, however, a large grey box on the back seat. A cat box. I take my eyes off the road for a moment and swing around to look at the box. Yes, it’s a cat box. I have kidnapped a cat. I have catnapped. I am a cat-thieving felon. I am sixty years old and I am a cat thief. It is one thing to steal a car, but it is quite another to steal a cat. You do not steal cats. Top of the range Jeeps, yes, that is somewhat acceptable, although of course, I am not a car-thief by profession or nature although deep down, I must be one, since I appropriated the car with such natural ease. I have been a car thief for my entire life, only I never knew it until now. But I am not, nor ever will be, a cat thief. Thoughts fill my mind like dust devils and whirling dervishes and I force my eyes back onto the road. I must focus. Self-recriminations and internal philosophical debates are of little use to me now, I must think. But another eardrum-destroying howl fills the car, as if a hundred geese are being mauled by a pack of wild dogs. And then, pigs are tortured and they squeal and honk and attack each other in a frenzy and it’s all I can do to keep the car moving in a straight line. My hands are shaking and sweat pours off me and I am stuck to the leather seat I was admiring only moments before. What in the blazers is that box? Is a cat even capable of making sounds like that? I need to pull over and dump the box. Nothing in the world should make a noise like that, not even Lizzie Borden’s family as they were chopped up by her nasty axe-wielding little hand. And why is the cat suddenly so distraught when it was utterly silent when I made off with the car? Why is it howling now, a good half an hour later? I scramble for solutions, which is pretty hard to do when devilish sounds are turning the mushy insides of my bowels to ice despite the summer heat which is flooding the car. Ice… which in turn which makes me recall the air con – the car was like a refrigerator when I took it – could it be that the creature wanted the air conditioning back on? Another yowl fills the tiny area and I’m about to pull over and pitch the box out but there are cars in front of me and behind me and I can’t stop – where did all this traffic suddenly come from? Pulling over is not an option. I fumble with the buttons on the steering wheel and manage to close the windows. I punch the air con up to the max, full blast. The cat is still squealing and hissing and I pound the steering wheel with my fist. “Shut up, shut up, shut up, cat,” I shout into the back of the car and I give a low growling moan, trying to quell the beast into submission. I can’t count the years since I’ve raised my voice. I’ve never raised my voice to my children, or my wife and certainly not my staff members. “Shut up! Shut up!” I increase the volume of my chant and my growl turns into a scream which sounds rusty at first, a bit squeaky and I’m certainly no match for the cat who is still putting me to shame. “Shut up! Stop it, eyyyyyyy yayyyyy!” I put some force behind it and soon I am reaching down into my lungs and my gut and it feels fantastic and I grin like Jack while I scream. It takes me a while to notice that the cat has gone quiet and the only sound in the car is coming from me. Feeling remarkably stupid, I stop shouting and all I can hear is frigid air blasting into the confines of the car. I am covered in goose bumps but the cat is silent. I was correct. The cat loves the air con. I clear my throat and readjust my body in the seat and try to reorganize my thoughts and myself after my unexpectedly exhilarating screamfest. I wonder if I should carry on screaming for the fun of it but I have lost momentum. The car is as cold as mortuary’s freezer. That’s why the woman left the car running when she went to get her coffee. To keep the cat happy. That must be some cat. *** Excerpt from The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution by xx. Copyright 2019 by Lisa de Nikolits. Reproduced with permission from Lisa de Nikolits. All rights reserved.
 

Guest Post:

Why Should Readers Read The Occult Persuasiona and The Anarchist’s Solution?

Why indeed? This is perhaps the best question out there!  Well, to start with, it’s a one-of-a-kind punk-themed suspense thriller that combines the winning elements of many bestselling novels. It’s a picaresque thriller with elements of punk rock, combined with domestic thriller intrigue, aspects of esoteric spirituality, unexpected adventures and a brand new cast of unique, hilarious, and relatable characters.

And the book came about under most unusual circumstances! On a trip to Australia, I thought my husband had fallen overboard into Sydney Harbour. In fact, I missed the ferry stop! But I truly thought he was gone. And in that moment, a hundred scenarios flashed across my mind. None of them made it into the book but the seed was sown and I reaped it with all my might!

On the same trip, we visited Balmain and it was there, at the abandoned Rozelle Asylum for the Criminally Insane, (ironically now home to the Sydney International Festival of Authors, among other things), that I felt the presence of the evil Nurse Nancy.

Research into the asylum led to the discovery of the Chelmsford Sleep Therapy which tied in perfectly to the book.

Add to that the fact that I’ve always loved Sid Vicious (who doesn’t?!) and have always wanted to write about him, I studied tarot, focusing on Liz Worth’s book (with her permission), Going Beyond the Little White Book: A Contemporary Guide to Tarot

Also, I wondered about the statue of the Virgin Mary at Coogee for many years and I’ve wanted to work that into a story, as well as the lives of the drag queens in Kings Cross. I lived in Sydney for two years and I wanted to use the city as a backdrop for quite some time.

I also tried to research throwing a roll of toilet paper off the Sydney Harbour Bridge but, contrary to my work of fiction, there are cameras and steel fencing everywhere you look! So me and my roll of toilet paper didn’t get to actually try the experiment but I did the math and the toilet paper protest could, in theory, work!

And I wondered in as store full of anarchists, in Newtown – they frightened and fascinated me!

I figure all of that makes for a really fascinating read and that’s why I think readers will love this book!

Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog and I very much hope your readers will pick up a copy of The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution today!

 

Author Bio:

Lisa de Nikolits Lisa de Nikolits is the internationally-acclaimed, award-winning author of nine novels: The Hungry Mirror, West of Wawa, A Glittering Chaos, The Witchdoctor’s Bones, Between The Cracks She Fell, The Nearly Girl, No Fury Like That, Rotten Peaches and The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution (all Inanna) No Fury Like That was published in Italian in 2019 by Edizione Le Assassine under the title Una furia dell’altro mondo. Her short fiction and poetry have also been published in various anthologies and journals across the country. She is a member of the Mesdames of Mayhem, the Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and the International Thriller Writers. Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits came to Canada in 2000. She lives and writes in Toronto.

Catch Up With Lisa de Nikolits On: LisadeNikolitsWriter.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Lisa de Nikolits. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on March 1, 2020 and runs through April 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.
CLICK HERE for the Rafflecopter giveaway  

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

Death and Betrayal by Seeley James Banner

Death and Betrayal

by Seeley James

on Tour February 17 – March 20, 2020

Synopsis:

Death and Betrayal by Seeley James
Jacob Stearne, ex Army Ranger and current Sabel Security operative, is about to propose to his girl when he discovers that “next generation” weapons are being shipped to our enemies. Some factions in the US government ask him to find the perpetrators while others work to make sure he fails. His intended fiancé does not understand his disappearance and he can’t give an explanation. When Jacob sets out to expose the billionaire intending to auction off national secrets, he is fired, expelled, and hunted by the government that once awarded him medals. If he ever wants to return to his homeland, he must insert himself into the dangerous world of technology smugglers. It’s a place where only the aggressive and ruthless survive. In the cutthroat world of modern-day pirates, every breath he takes may be his last. He must ask himself, can he outsmart the most corrupt billionaires in history before democracy is destroyed? Can he lose the woman he loves to save the nation?

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller Published by: Machined Media Publication Date: February 18th 2020 Number of Pages: 300 ISBN: 978-1-7333467-2-6 Series: Sabel Security Thriller #8 Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

The man they called Ra stood on the Savannah’s main deck, staring hatred into the eyes of the general’s emissary. The smug bastard needed to learn a hard lesson about respect. Ra took several deep breaths, tamping down his growing agitation without betraying his emotions. The general had a good deal of money to spend. Ra held the emissary’s gaze as he cooled off. He said, “We’re talking about an auction for the most advanced weapon system the world has ever seen. An auction the general could easily win. What concerns could he possibly have?” Ra resisted the urge to glance over the sea toward Monaco’s harbor. He was dying to see if his darling’s tender was on its way back from town, but he wouldn’t allow himself to be distracted. “The general does not believe you have what you claim.” The emissary said in his heavily accented English. He gestured with his arms wide, encompassing Ra’s superyacht. “I do not see it here on your little skiff.” Behind his left shoulder, the emissary’s sycophantic lieutenant made an insolent face to match his boss. The dig was childish. Ra had the biggest yacht in Monaco, a present to himself after making billions in commodities. Too big to dock in the harbor. Sure, it was post-season, and the Numina would drop anchor due east of him in a few weeks. Until then, the Savannah reigned supreme. He felt like gutting the slimy emissary for his rudeness. Instead, he smoothed his Kiton sport coat and puffed up his thin frame. “Don’t be a fool,” Ra sneered. “If I kept Alvaria onboard, sleezy generals from around the world would send commandos to take it from me. In case that’s what you’re thinking, rest assured, I have security. We call them ‘the dogs.’ You’ve met two of them.” He gestured to two bulky men in black suits standing close by. “Fido and Rover. Spot keeps watch with a rifle in case someone approaches uninvited. There are more. I have a whole kennel.” Ra turned his back on his guests and checked the harbor. He couldn’t wait for his darling to return but he needed to conclude this delicate business before then. He didn’t want her to see the kind of men he dealt with. The emissary wore a ludicrous uniform without insignia yet festooned with medals. His black hair was greased straight back with what might’ve been motor oil. The lieutenant dressed and groomed himself to match. The very definition of a toady. “The general does not believe the system can do what you claim,” the emissary said. “Oh, my misguided friend. Alvaria is the stuff of autocrats’ dreams.” Ra laid his hands on the railing, keeping his focus out to sea. “Imagine what it can do. At the push of a button, a hundred drones leap into the air, locate their target, and annihilate whoever you choose. Each drone on a single-purpose mission, never stopping until one of them achieves the objective.” He straightened up and turned to face the emissary. “No more political rivals. No more annoying reporters asking inconvenient questions. No more adversaries across your western border. Everyone doing as they’re told, all under the general’s control. As it should be. It’s science fiction—and it’s here today. If your general doesn’t want to bid on it, he won’t get to see the show we have scheduled.” “The general is skeptical you can obtain this system.” The emissary crossed his arms and widened his stance. “The Americans have impenetrable security.” “I stand on my reputation. Many times your poor general has failed to pay me in a timely manner, yet I have never failed to deliver what he needs. From rocket launchers to automatic rifles, they arrived on time and under budget. He would still be a lieutenant were it not for me making good on my promises. He knows damn well my word is gold. My plan has been in the works for years. I have all the right people in all the right places. Alvaria will fall into my hands at exactly the right moment. If he does not believe me, he won’t see the demonstration.” Ra paused before making a sympathetic face. “Until his rival uses it to target him.” To his credit, the emissary didn’t flinch. “Think about this,” Ra said. “If Iran acquires Alvaria, they could destroy the ruling classes of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in an afternoon. The next morning, they could annihilate Iraq’s parliament. Then, they invade. The price of oil skyrockets because they would control 24% of the world’s production. Sanctions are lifted under threat of an oil embargo. And just like that, the Persian Empire is reborn.” The emissary thought while he took a long, deep breath. He pressed a finger to his lips and looked at the deck. After a long moment, he lifted his finger and shook it at Ra. “The general does not like the glimpses of the future you have illuminated. He does not want to participate in your auction. Instead of bidding for it, he will report you to the Americans. That way, no one will have this system.” He paused and smiled. “There will be no resurgent Persian Empire.” Ra flicked a quick glance at Fido, who sprang into action. To the emissary, Ra said, “I am most disappointed to hear you say that. On a different subject, do you recall meeting my man Bonham in a café last month? Bonham is my second-in-command. He offered you money to turn against the general. Ah, I see from your surprise that you do recall the encounter vividly. Well, sport, the problem for you is that when you turned him down, your lieutenant did not.” As the emissary’s surprise turned to shock, his gaze swiveled to his lieutenant. At that moment, Fido knelt at the emissary’s feet and clamped leg irons on his ankles. In disbelief, the emissary looked down at his shackles, then followed the attached chain to find Rover standing at the railing, holding a very large, very heavy stone. “Do you think you can scare—” “You’ve been paid,” Ra said to the emissary’s lieutenant. He held out an old, razor-sharp dagger. “Slit his throat.” The lieutenant stared at Ra in disbelief. “Now?” “Yes, now. Or die with him. Your choice. Ah. You’ve seen the light. Good man. Right here, above the collar. Stand behind him so you don’t get blood on yourself.” As the young man weighed the knife in his hand and moved behind his former boss, Ra took out his phone, set it to video, and pressed record. The knife slashed through the stunned and wordless emissary’s neck. Blood sprayed forward. Rover dropped the rock overboard. The chain’s slack disappeared and yanked the emissary’s body with it, over the railing and into the deep. The young man looked up at Ra, who kept the video rolling. The psychological weight of his first murder began to contort the young lieutenant’s expression. As he pondered his rapidly changing allegiances, he looked down to find Rover placing leg irons on his ankles. Behind him, Fido stood at the railing with another rock. He looked back at Ra and squeaked, “Why? I did what—” “I think it’s obvious, isn’t it?” Ra asked. “You can’t be trusted.” Over his shoulder he saw the tender bearing his darling returning from shore. She would be onboard in five minutes. No time for long goodbyes. He turned back to face the lieutenant as Rover slit the young man’s throat. “There are four more of your kind in the general’s private guard. He’ll be dead by morning, so you’ll be in good company.” The stone dropped. The chain tightened. The lieutenant’s body flew over the railing into the deep. Ra looked at the pool of blood covering the deck. He snapped his fingers. A steward appeared. “You see this ugly mess? Scrub it clean.” *** Excerpt from Death and Betrayal by Seeley James. Copyright 2020 by Seeley James. Reproduced with permission from Machined Media. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Seeley James Seeley James’ near-death experiences range from talking a jealous husband into putting the gun down to spinning out on an icy freeway in heavy traffic without touching anything. His resume ranges from washing dishes to global technology management. His personal life ranges from homeless at 17, adopting a 3-year-old at 19, getting married at 37, fathering his last child at 43, hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim at 59, and taking the occasional nap. Seeley’s writing career began with humble beginnings including publishing short stories in The Battered Suitcase leading to being awarded a Medallion from the Book Readers Appreciation Group. Seeley is best known for his Sabel Security series of thrillers featuring athlete and heiress Pia Sabel and her bodyguard and operative, veteran Jacob Stearne. One of them kicks ass and the other talks to the wrong god. Seeley’s love of creativity began at an early age, growing up at Frank Lloyd Wright’s School of Architecture in Arizona and Wisconsin. He carried his imagination first into a successful career in computer technology sales and marketing, and then to his real love: fiction.

Catch Up With Seeley James On: SeeleyJames.com, Instagram,Twitter, Goodreads, BookBub, & Facebook!

Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Seeley James. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on February 17, 2020 and runs through March 22, 2020. Void where prohibited.
CLICK HERE for the Rafflecopter giveaway  

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

“Steps up several levels into an exciting category all its own. It’s thriller, cold case, mystery suspense, and police procedural, all rolled into one exciting novel. Set amidst the political drama that comes with Washington DC and the Pentagon, a current multiple murder becomes a search years in the past. With a young, hot lieutenant assigned to NCIS, and his beautiful new wife, you have all the makings of a bestseller.  Nicely done, Ms. Carr!” – Review by Merry Citarella, Mystery Suspense Reviews

The Latest Best-Selling Thorny Rose Mystery Available Now!

Get Your Copy Today!

 

Join us for this tour from Jan 20 to Feb 28, 2020!

 

Book Details:

Book TitleThe Nutcracker Conspiracy (A Thorny Rose Mystery #4) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  388 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   January 30, 2020
Content Rating:  PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books are murder mysteries,
so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on
stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some
mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!

 

Book Description:

Three years ago, the nation gasped in horror when the President of the United States barely escaped an assassination attempt that left two dead—the vice president’s wife and the attempted assassin.  Even after numerous investigations proved otherwise, conspiracy theorists argue that the assassin was acting on orders from the CIA, FBI, and every federal agency within a hundred miles of the capital.

Aspiring Author Dean Conway is the last person Lieutenant Commander Murphy Thornton wants to spend his Saturday afternoon when they end up at the same wedding reception table. While their wives tend to bridesmaid duties, Murphy is trapped listening to Dean’s latest work-in-project—completing the manuscript of an investigative journalist who’d disappeared months earlier.

“She was number twelve,” Dean says.

“Twelve?” Murphy asks.

“Twelve witnesses connected to or investigating The Nutcracker shooting have died either in an accident or suicide.”

Two days later, Dean dies suddenly―but not before sending a text message to Murphy:

“13”

 


Author Interview with Lauren Carr/The Nutcracker Conspiracy

  1. What was the highlight of writing The Nutcracker Conspiracy?

How the mystery unfolded. It’s difficult to explain without giving away any spoilers. When working on a plotline, I always start out with the mystery. We have the crime and the mystery that needs to be solved.

During my writing process, I work the case in my mind. I solve the mystery myself. Of course, it is fictional, so I can change the facts because they aren’t really facts. During this process of The Nutcracker Conspiracy, I was surprised and delighted to have the mystery go in a completely different direction than my mysteries usually go.

  1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I believe writers are born writers. They may not be penning novels or selling books on Amazon, but they’re writers. You can tell a writer by asking them how their day was. A normal person will say, “Fine.”

A writer will set the scene with the weather. “It was a dark and stormy night, …” Do character development. Establish the conflict and build to a climax. Ten minutes later, you’ll forget what your question was. But that will be okay because you enjoyed an entertaining story.

  1. You started out your writing career writing a humor column for a local newspaper. What inspired you to start writing mystery novels?

I loved murder mysteries. In the back of my mind, I wanted to writer murder mysteries, but I never dared. I thought murder mystery writers had to be wickedly clever and I didn’t think I was clever enough to do it.

Maybe it’s because I was such a murder mystery fan and read so many, but I went through a spell where I would solve the mystery by page forty. I knew all of the formulas in writing mysteries because I had read them all.

Or, I disliked the long stream of protagonists. It seemed like most were so damaged and broken. That’s because the writers wanted to make their protagonists vulnerable, thus more relatable to the readers. But there’s a difference between vulnerable and broken. I had no respect for the detectives. Your readers have to respect and like the protagonist.

One day, I tossed a book across the room and said, “I could write a better mystery than this.”

And so I did.

  1. What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Write what you love. Think about what you want to tell your readers and write it. Forget about what’s selling. That’s other people’s writing. If you write what you love and love what you write, then it will come across between the lines and your readers will come.

  1. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good murder mystery writing?

Keeping your focus on the mystery. Many writers in the name of realism or character development or whatever, stray away from the murder mystery and take the reader down the path of drama. Sometimes it’s a love interest or a comical side plot.

While readers may enjoy the characters and grow to like or even love them, a mystery writer must not forget that the prime objective of a murder mystery is the mystery.

Not too long ago, I was watching the latest episode of a murder mystery series. The series was on its fifth season. I used a timer and discovered that out of forty minutes only twelve minutes was focused on the murder mystery. The rest of the episode, close to three-fourths, was devoted to the protagonist’s love life and a comical side plot between the other series characters.

The mystery wasn’t even that challenging. The show’s writers had shifted the focus of the murder mystery show from mystery to romantic drama. Not surprisingly, the viewing audience had dropped, and the show was cancelled.

Could it be because the original viewing audience was mystery fans who stopped watching because the mystery was reduced to a subplot?

My books are character driven. I do include witty bantering between the characters and even insert a quick love scene, but always, with every scene, I strive to move the mystery forward.

  1. What’s next for Lauren Carr? What are you working on now?

The fourteenth Mac Faraday Mystery! I’d started writing Came Upon a Midnight Murder in September, but then Murphy of the Thorny Rose Mysteries started talking to me and I had to set Mac aside to write The Nutcracker Conspiracy. That’s the problem with imaginary friends. Sometimes they get jealous of each other.

Anyway, I am back to writing Came Upon a Midnight Murder. Deep Creek Lake rocks with scandal when, during a Christmas party attended by most of Spencer’s rich and powerful, the host is murdered.

This year, we’re going to celebrate Christmas in June!


Check Out These Other Thorny Rose Mysteries:
“The plot was original, fresh and fast paced in spite of the “traditional elements” employed which can normally be found in any other
thriller of this genre. The USP of this story would be its unpredictability. When you think you have it all guessed up, the plot
would change its course keeping you hooked. There were a lot of suspense twists and turns that kept the momentum up. Needless to say, the writing was simply perfect. One thing that writer needs to be lauded for is the humor she inculcated in the book. Minus those humorous parts, the book would have been one serious read.” – Reviewer: Book and Ink

 

Book Description:

Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is what had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed.

Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer.

The case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike.

In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, the Lovers in Crime join newlyweds Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday to shift
through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives of the Thorny Rose uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning killer?

“Mysteries, murder, danger, and memories that threatens their lives keeps the action and suspense at a high level and even when the answers are found, it left me wanting more.” – Review by Sherry Fundin of Fundinmental

Book Description:After ten months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in the darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family while visiting family at the winery near-by, and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

 Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Audible
Add to Goodreads

Murder by Perfection is a wonderful read and a perfect to escape from the challenges of a busy day. Danger, intrigue, humor, and love all take their turn in this tale which will keep you reading into the wee hours.” Review by Marilyn R. Wilson, Olio by Marilyn

Book Description:Beware: Perfection has a dark side!

Frustrated with their busy schedules, Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday attempt to find togetherness by scheduling a weekly date night. The last thing Jessica Faraday expected for her date night was to take a couple’s gourmet cooking course at the Stepford Kitchen Studio, owned
by Chef Natalie Stepford―the model of perfection in looks, home, and business.

When Natalie ends up dead and Murphy goes missing, the Thorny Rose detectives must peel back the layers of Natalie Stepford’s life to discover that the pursuit of perfection can be deadly.

 

Buy the Book:
Amazon
Add to Goodreads
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!

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

Tour Schedule:Jan 20 – Library of Clean Reads – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / author interview / giveaway
Jan 20 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Jan 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / author interview / giveaway
Jan 20 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Jan 20 – redpillows – book spotlight / guest post
Jan 21 – My Reading Journeys – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / author interview / giveaway
Jan 21 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 22 – Jypsylynn – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Jan 22 – eBook Addicts – series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 23 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Jan 23 – Leels Loves Books – book review of A Fine Year for Murder
Jan 24 – Bookmark and fork  – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Jan 27 – Christa Reads and Writes – book review of Murder by Perfection
Jan 28 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Jan 29 – 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Jan 30 – Library of Clean Reads – series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 30 Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of Kill and Run / giveaway
Jan 30 – 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News – series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 31 – fundinmental – series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 31 – redpillows – series spotlight
Feb 3 – b for bookreview – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 3 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – book review of the Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 4 – Christa Reads and Writes – book review of the Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 4 – Blooming with Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 5 – Leels Loves Books – book review of Murder by Perfection
Feb 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – series spotlight / giveaway
Feb 6 – Dab of Darkness Book Reviews – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / author interview / giveaway
Feb 7 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Feb 7 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Murder by Perfection
Feb 10 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 11 – Laura`s Interests – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Feb 11 – eBook Addicts – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 12 – FUONLYKNEW – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 12 – Leels Loves Books – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 13 – Casia’s Corner – book review of Kill and Run
Feb 13 – I’m All About Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 14 – Pause for Tales – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 17 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
Feb 18 – Bookmark and fork  – series spotlight / giveaway
Feb 19 – JBronder Book Reviews – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Feb 19 – Literary Flits – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 20 – Svetlana’s reads and views – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 21 – Divas With A Purpose – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post
Feb 24 – Laura`s Interests – series spotlight / giveaway
Feb 24 – My Devotional Thoughts – series spotlight
Feb 25 – Peaceful Pastime – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 25 – Svetlana’s reads and views – series spotlight
Feb 26 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight of the Nutcracker Conspiracy / author interview
Feb 26 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Feb 26 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Feb 26 –fundinmental – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 27 – My Devotional Thoughts – book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 27 – Read and Review – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 28 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 28 – Casia’s Corner – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 28 – Adventurous Jessy – book review of the Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Enter the Giveaway:
 

CLICK HERE for the Rafflecopter giveaway