Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Three Days to Forever by Lauren Carr | Blog Tour with Excerpt and Author Guest Post

The Blurb

In this latest Mac Faraday Mystery from best-selling mystery author Lauren Carr, readers will embark on a roller coaster adventure with old friends (including the Lovers in Crime team of Prosecutor Joshua Thornton and Homicide Detective Cameron Gates), but also meet new ones as Mac Faraday’s daughter Jessica Faraday and Joshua Thornton’s son Murphy Thornton join the team in the race to get the love birds to the altar!

With three days left to the year, Deep Creek Lake is hopping with holiday vacationers and wedding guests pouring into the Spencer Inn for Mac Faraday and Archie Monday’s huge wedding ceremony which is being touted as the social event of the year.

But droopy flowers and guests who failed to RSVP are the least of Mac’s and Archie’s problems when a professional hit squad hits Spencer Manor to send the groom, Joshua Thornton, Archie’s mother, and Gnarly running for their lives.

With time running out to the big day, Mac Faraday and Spencer’s small police force have to sort through the clues to figure out not only who has been targeted for assassination, but also who is determined to stop everything … FOREVER!

Three Days to Forever by Lauren Carr 
Series: Mac Faraday Mystery , #9
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Publication Date: January 19, 2015
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Paperback: 438 pages
ISBN-10: 0692353844
ISBN-13: 978-0692353844
E-Book File Size: 2674 KB
ASIN: B00R2803RI

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

    The Excerpt

    How many years have I lived here, and I still don’t know where Archie puts the scissors?

    After closing the drawer in the nightstand on his side of the bed, Mac gave up and twisted around to grasp the designer tag hanging from under his armpit. Hoping to not tear a hole in the new blue sweater that his daughter, Jessica, had given him for Christmas, he gave it a sharp tug.

    The tag gave way, but the plastic do-hickey that kept it attached to the sweater didn’t.


    From where he was sprawled out in the center of the bed, Gnarly cocked his head at him.

    “I don’t suppose you could bite it off without putting a hole in this sweater, huh, Gnarly?”

    Mac studied the label he had torn off. Dolce & Gabbana. 

    Never heard of them. But if Jessica bought it, it has to be expensive, and she’ll have a fit if I put a hole in it. Mac went into the master bathroom in search of nail clippers.

    Gnarly’s bark, and then his jump between the bed and the door, prompted Mac to forget the do-hickey hanging under his armpit. After grabbing his gun from the drawer in the nightstand, he followed Gnarly down the stairs to the two-story foyer, out the cut-glass front door, and onto the front porch. Mac clutched his weapon behind his back. When Gnarly, sitting at his side, uttered a low growl, Mac tightened his grip and watched the sedan slowly make its way around the circular driveway before coming to a halt at the bottom of the porch steps.

    When the elderly driver stepped out of the car, Mac placed her and the car.

    Agnes Douglas. Archie’s mother.

    No wonder Gnarly had growled. He never had liked her very much ... and the feeling was mutual.

    Shoving aside his fears about the safety of Archie, his family, and their friends, Mac forced a wide grin onto his face. 

    After shoving the gun into the back waistband of his pants and covering it up with his sweater, he hurried down the steps to take the white-haired woman into his arms. Like her only daughter, she was petite. She fell two inches short of five feet tall, and Mac had to bend over to hug her. In her heavy dark blue winter coat and thick snow boots, she resembled a blue snow man.

    Shouldn’t she be with Archie and the bridesmaids getting their hair done at the salon? Oh well, Agnes goes and does what she wants when she wants. Best not to question.

    “Agnes, I’m so glad to see you.” Mac clasped her arm, slipped his other arm around her waist, and guided her across the slick ice, up the steps, and inside.

    At the top of the steps, Gnarly backed away. Agnes had made it quite clear to Gnarly that he was only allowed to look at, but not touch, her.

    “I told her that I had one of my headaches.” At the top of the porch steps, she turned to Mac. She tilted her head back to peer up at him from over the top of her glasses. She paused to look him up and then down, and then she noticed that he was wearing only his bedroom slippers without any socks. “What are you doing outside in two feet of snow and ice without boots on?”

    “I heard you coming and didn’t want you to slip on the ice.”

    Agnes’ head bobbed up and down while she chastised him. “Do I look like I need your help? I haven’t broken a hip yet. Archie depends on you. What good are you going to do her dropping dead from pneumonia?”

    Unable to come up with an answer, Mac shrugged.

    Willing Gnarly out of her way, she opened the front door. 

    “I hope you have the tea ready.” Grabbing him by the elbow, she ushered him inside. Gnarly was barely able to slip inside before she slammed the door.

    “Actually,” Mac said as gently as possible, “I was on my way out.”

    Her head snapped up to glare at him. “What do you mean you were on your way out?”

    “One of my groomsmen and I have an appointment with the tailor.” Mac looked down at the tiny elderly woman who stood before him in the middle of the living room. She clasped her handbag with both hands in front of her.

    Like a referee at a boxing match, Gnarly sat between them, looking from one to the other.

    “Did I do something to upset you, Agnes?”

    “I think it’s best if we lay out our ground rules before you marry Archie,” she said.

    Sensing a battle, Mac folded his arms across his chest. He was physically setting up a barrier. “Okay, Agnes. Shoot.”

    “To be blunt,” Agnes said in a tone devoid of emotion, “I’m giving this marriage five years. Archie refuses to tell me how much you’re paying for this huge three-ring circus, but I hope you’ll think it’s worth it when you only get five years on your investment.”

    “Five years? Investment?” Mac chuckled. “With all due respect — ”

    Agnes’ hand shot up. She shook her head. “Don’t give me that all-due-respect crap. I’ve had seven children, six boys. Archie’s daddy keeled over with a heart attack when she was only five years old. Since that time, I’ve been ’round the block so much that I wore a rut in it and” — she shook her finger at him — “I learned ages ago that when someone says to me ‘with all due respect,’ they’re not giving me an ounce of it.”

    “I don’t consider Archie to be an investment,” Mac said through gritted teeth. “And to be blunt, I don’t think you know enough about our relationship to be in a position to make any sort of prediction about the success or lack of success of our marriage.”

    “Archie has spent the last dozen years of her life hiding out in this mansion, taking care of your mother,” Agnes said. “Then, she’s spent the last few years in your bed. Now,” she glanced him up and down, “you’re a very attractive man, and I’m sure Archie wouldn’t want to marry you if you weren’t good in bed. I’m sure all of that money adds to your appeal, but there’s more to lifelong happiness than sex and money. There’s character, and marriage with a man who has no character — ”

    Mac stepped toward her. “What gives you the right to comment on my character?”

    As if to voice his agreement, Gnarly barked.

    Author Guest Post

    Looking for Characters
    By Lauren Carr

    On January 19, Three Days to Forever, my latest Mac Faraday Mystery, was released and I held my breath. Every author holds their breath until they get their first review. Even after Three Days to Forever made it up into the top ten on Amazon in police procedurals, I still waited anxiously for reader response to this mystery which brought together all of the characters in my various series and introduced new ones.

    As usual with my books, many of the reviews noted, “cast of characters are well developed and interesting,” “characters you will love (especially Gnarly),” and even simply, “great characters.”

    One reader wrote, “I wasn't sure how this book was going to go at the beginning. Some of the characters in particularly Archie's mom, seemed too silly. But as the book moved on and the story was fleshed out it all made sense.”

    With a big sigh of relief, I let out my breath. That was exactly what I was aiming for.

    My favorite part of being a writer is finding new characters and exploring their minds and backgrounds to figure out what makes them tick. I enjoy presenting the character to the readers as a whole, and then, through the story, I slowly peel back the layers to show the reader what is underneath — who that character really is.

    Such was the case with Agnes Douglas, the mother of the bride (Archie Monday), in Three Days to Forever. When readers first meet Agnes, she arrives unexpectedly at Spencer Manor and launches into an argument with Mac Faraday by announcing that she is giving their marriage five years before they divorce.

    This is not a good first impression for Archie’s mother. But then, during the course of the book, as readers get to know Agnes — see what makes her tick — their impression changes — and so does Mac’s.
    Admittedly, I knew while writing Three Days to Forever, that readers may think Jessica Faraday was a shallow rich man’s daughter. She wears designer clothes, has an expensive (and unruly) Sheltie named Spencer, and drives a purple Ferrari. But after I take readers into the mind of this young lady who graduated with a master’s degree in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, they come to realize that underneath her faux furs and leggings, Jessica Faraday is one smart cookie in high heels who has it all together.

    I’m a people watcher. Even before I wrote my first book, I would study those around me and try to dissect their personality. “Why is she like that?” “What is his motive for treating his wife that way?”

    I was really no fun back in my single days because instead of listening to my dates, I would be listening to the people at the next table. Now my husband recognizes that look in my eyes when I pick up a particularly juicy exchange that isn’t happening at our table.

    Here’s a hint: Many authors listen in on conversations to hear how people talk to each other. It helps us to write dialogue. I read in one blog about an author who overheard a man plotting to kill his boss while his wife was shushing him. So don’t plot a murder while eating at McDonald's. The lady at the next table may be a mystery writer and you can find your conversation in her next book.

    Years ago, my family made a pit stop on the way to Snow Shoe, West Virginia. I was sitting in the car when I saw a man come out of the bathroom, purchase a soda at the machine, and go to his car. He was medium height, black hair on top of his head with gray from the temples down, like a gray strip around his head. Under a hook nose that was so huge it looked fake, his mustache was bushy and gray and he had a gray goatee. He also had a pot belly above his waist that made him look nine months pregnant and about ready to burst.

    This stranger’s appearance was so intriguing that I have stored him away in my memory to use later in a book. Years later, I am studying this man to find out who he is and what makes him tick. I still don’t know what book I will use him in. I may kill him. Or maybe he’ll turn out to be a killer? Maybe. Maybe not.

    You’ll need to read my books to find out.

    The Author

    About Lauren Carr

    Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Three Days to Forever is the ninth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

    In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

    Three Days to Forever introduces Lauren Carr’s latest series detectives, Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday, in the Thorny Rose Mysteries. Look for the first installment in this series, Kill and Run, in Spring 2015.

    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 year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

    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 three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

    For More Information:
         Visit Lauren’s website.
         Connect with Lauren on Facebook.
         Connect with Lauren on Twitter.
         Find out more about Lauren at Goodreads.
      ●   Find out more about Lauren at Amazon.
         Visit Lauren’s blog.
         Contact Lauren.

    Praise for Lauren Carr:

    Reviewer: Shana Benedict, ABookVacation Book Reviews ~
    Lauren Carr’s mystery novels are indeed one of my go-tos when I’m looking for a good whodunit. 
    Reviewer: Every Free Chance Book Reviews ~
     Lauren Carr does a good job of moving the quirky storyline along nicely with an abundance of witty dialogue.  And you have no idea who the good guys are and who the bad guys are until the end.

    Pump Up Your Book

    If you enjoyed this post, please show your appreciation by sharing it.