Lillian Brannon wakes up on Valentine’s Day in an exact replica of her bedroom but the only item that she believes is authentic is her dog, Laude. She is held captive in her kidnapper’s basement apartment, summoned upstairs once a week for a chaste dinner. But will his kindness last, and more importantly, why isn’t anyone looking for her?
Lillian’s story is interwoven with that of Nathan, a NYPD officer, who is intrigued by Lillian’s disappearance- how can a young woman be gone for two weeks before a Missing Person Report is filed? Local police believe Lillian has voluntarily abandoned a life she didn’t like. Lillian’s best friend convinces Nathan the authorities are wrong. With no jurisdiction, no resources, and no witnesses, he is compelled by the pictures of Lillian with her sweet smile and sparkling green eyes to obsessively take up the case. Armed with Lillian’s keys and personal information, he spends hours, then days in her home trying to find clues that will lead him to her.
I woke with a terrible headache. The pounding reminded me of the night Annie and I discovered the potency and, the next morning, the after effects of martinis. The smile that thought brought to my face quickly faded when the throbbing intensified.
I feared opening my eyes. Not sure if that would make my head hurt worse and scared what I would see. I tried to recall my evening. I didn’t remember going to bed. Truth was, I didn’t remember coming home.
No. I remembered getting on the elevator. And, arguing on the phone with Annie, before getting on the elevator. And hanging up on Annie as I got on the elevator. But that was it. No getting into my apartment; no getting into my bed. I was trying to remember more when I remembered the most important thing, Laude.
I gradually opened my eyes and there she was. Sitting right next to me, staring at me. Her ears, which usually stood straight up, were down. Her head was down, too. Not exactly cowering but not the usual morning, happy to see you posture of my puppy. It was a bit disconcerting to see those two dark eyes fixed on me, never mind not knowing how long they had been staring at me.
Yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s life takes a chaotic turn once she agrees to not only be the doula for her pregnant best friend, but also play foster mother to two puppies. The chaos only gets worse when Kate finds the dead body of a philandering fertility doctor and Rachel, one of her yoga students, fleeing the scene.
Kate is convinced her student is innocent, and she sets out to find the real killer before her testimony condemns Rachel to a life behind bars. But her hands are full with caring for three dogs, teaching yoga classes, and gaining an unexpected crime-solving partner. If she’s not careful, Kate’s next yoga pose may be a fatal one.
About The Author
Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series featuring yoga teacher Kate Davidson and her feisty German shepherd, Bella. Tracy loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any form possible. Her first book, Murder Strikes a Pose won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and is a 2015 Agatha award nominee for Best First Novel.
Tracy and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.
If you are looking for a humorous paranormal/supernatural story with some quirky characters, check out A Ghostly Reunion and the Ghostly Southern Mystery series by Tonya Kappes.
Emma sees murdered dead people, after being conked on the head by a plastic Santa. Her home and the family business are one and the same, Eternal Slumber Funeral Home. People of the town thinks she’s a loon, but really she is a Ghost Whisperer. I loved the TV show, so any book that reminds me of it, is high on my reading list.
Emma is planning her ten year high school reunion and her least favorite person deigns to grace them with her presence, Jade Lee Peel. She epitomizes why we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
This light, ghostly murder mystery is filled with humor and quirky characters with large personalities. Occurring in a small town, we still have plenty of suspects and it takes a while to figure it out.
Sooo…if you like some laughs with your murder, you will want to add A Ghostly Reunion and the Ghostly Southern Mysteries to your reading list.
A KILLER ending and I can hardly wait to read more.
Emma Lee Raines sees dead people
Proprietor of the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home, Emma Lee can see, hear, and talk to ghosts of murdered folks. And when her high school nemesis is found dead, Jade Lee Peel is the same old mean girl—trying to come between Emma Lee and her hot boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, all over again.
There’s only one way for Emma Lee to be free of the trash-talking ghost—solve the murder so the former prom queen can cross over.
But the last thing Jade Lee wants is to leave the town where she had her glory days. And the more Emma Lee investigates on her own, the more complicated Miss Popularity turns out to be. Now Emma Lee will have to work extra closely with her hunky lawman to get to the twisty truth.
About the Author
For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been self-publishing her numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plotlines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans. Be sure to check out Tonya’s website for upcoming events and news and to sign up for her newsletter! Tonyakappes.com
Cowabunga Christmas by Anna Celeste Burke hooked me. How can I possibly resist sitting in that lounger, watching Kim and Brien hit the surf and wonder what trouble they will find as they butt into a murder mystery.
Christmas, a tropical beach locale and a dead Santa…Merry Christmas to you.
Cowabunga dudes and dudettes, “Sur’f Up.”
Cowabunga Christmas by Anna Celeste Burke has so much going for it…A gorgeous cover, hot surfer dudes and dudettes, Santa, a murder mystery and…
We begin our adventure by jumping the fence around the closed pool at this elite resort and taking a “midnight” swim. I have jumped a fence or two in my time, so I thought this was a good sign.
It’s Christmas, Kim is on her honeymoon with her hot and hunky surfer dude hubby, Brien. Kim was going to learn to surf and she got her very own wettie for Christmas.
They are opposites – He is hard and fast, she is slow and soft. The picture of them, in my head, is my favorite two characters from NCIS Los Angeles, Kensi Blye, Daniela Ruah, and Marty Deeks, Eric Christian Olsen.
Shortly after their pool jumping adventure, a body is found floating in the pool…dead. Oh no, it’s Santa.
We have a double and a triple cross and is there a treasure?
Cowabunga Christmas by Anna Celeste Burke with its easy reading and colorful characters has all the elements for a fun and humorous cozy mystery.
One mystery is solved…but, wait, there’s more on the horizon in Gnarly New Year.
“Cowabunga Christmas – it’s the most epic Christmas anyone could every have. We had one of the most awesome mornings surfing.” From Brien.
I LOVE Lauren Carr’s romantic mysteries and I am delighted to be able to share Killer in the Band with you today.
There is also an awesome giveaway, so be sure to enter!
INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN CARR
I love learning about authors, their inspiration, their likes and dislikes and those funny little things that give me insight into their personality. I am so happy to have Lauren Carr here, sharing some thoughts about her books and herself. Welcome, Lauren.
Lauren Carr is the bestselling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, and the Thorny Rose Mysteries. We caught up with the charming mystery writer during her most recent virtual book tour for Killer in the Band, the 3rd in the Lovers in Crime series.
Lauren, thank you so much for chatting with us. Right off the bat, I’m curious. Is it hard to break away from your successful Mac Faraday series to work on a different one?
Yes and no. I love Mac Faraday and the gang in Spencer, Maryland! But that’s not to say that I don’t love Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates. The Lovers in Crime mysteries are set in Chester, West Virginia, the real small town where I grew up. Joshua Thornton was my first protagonist featured in my very first books, A Small Case of Murder and A Reunion to Die For. Returning to Joshua Thornton, Cameron Gates, and their family is very much like going home again.
Killer in the Band focuses a lot on J.J. Thornton, Jr., Joshua’s eldest son. Are you planning to take a new direction with the Lovers in Crime?
No, not at all. Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates are the Lovers in Crime and they always will be. But, like real people, they don’t live in a vacuum. Joshua Thornton does have a family from his previous marriage who are going to insert themselves into Joshua’s marriage and the Lovers in Crime’s cases.
In Killer in the Band, J.J. returns home after graduating from law school and rekindles a romance with his first love, Suellen Russell, a woman twice his age. When it turns out she has information on one of Cameron’s cases, J.J. can’t not get involved.
When you sit down to write a book, a paragraph, or whatever you‘re working on at the moment, do you just sit down in front of the computer, or do you need an outline of some sort? Is there any other prep you need in order to organize your thoughts either before you write or in the process of writing?
I will think about a book, or a part of a book, for a long time before I sit down to write it. I thought about Killer in the Band for a couple of years before I sat down to write even one word.
For new books, I will have everything sorted out in my head, most especially the killer, how he or she did it, and how my protagonist captures them before I sit down to write it. These are the most important elements for me to have. If I don’t have those things sorted out, then I could end up halfway through a book and find that I have no ending, which would be a huge waste of my time.
I will write notes, but only to sort the mystery out in my mind. More than half of the time, I don’t even refer to them once I sit down to write. The process of writing out the notes helps to sort it out.
Who is your greatest inspiration to write? What person makes you believe in yourself, and how?
My mother and my husband. My mother was the first to encourage me to put my imagination on paper. It was easy since I have always been a big reader.
Also, my husband Jack, no matter how many rejections I would receive, always insisted that I keep on going—keep on writing. Even when I had writers block, he was there for me.
Do you have any aspirations to be similar or comparable to another author? Why?
Agatha Christie and Earl Stanley Gardner. They were my first favorite mystery authors, so they will always have a special place in my author’s heart. My complex mysteries have been compared to Agatha Christie and when that happens, it makes my whole day better.
What has been the biggest high since becoming a published author?
Seeing all of my books break through on Amazon to make the top one-hundred in sales in both cozy mysteries and police procedurals. When readers and reviewers began posting fabulous reviews, and even sending e-mails, I knew then that all those years of hard work and learning were worth it.
Has becoming an author changed you, or the way you think about certain things? If so, how?
I am definitely more confident about my writing. Also, I have become more open to other authors’ writing.
I turned down two offers from commercial publishers to independently publish It’s Murder, My Son, and I have never looked back. Before I decided to be an indie author, I was rejected by many literary agents and publishers for a variety of reasons. In a nutshell, they did not think that I could be a commercial success. One literary agent, a big one, told me how talented I was in a two-page letter, ending with a rejection because he did not know how to market me.
I did not fit into a box that they had created. But I have found an audience, and I am a success. Many indie authors, who commercial publishers and literary agents would refuse to talk to, have found audiences without the blessing of commercial publishers or literary agents.
This has made me believe that if you write what you love, even if it is not my cup of tea, or the cup of tea of a New York bigwig, then if you publish and market it correctly, there is an audience out there for you. It’s just a matter of bringing your work to them.
What is your greatest fear about being an author?
From the first word to the moment it became available for purchase, how long did it take you to write and publish Killer in the Band?
That is a very tricky question. I’ve been thinking about the plot for Killer in the Band for a couple of years. I’d say a year ago I sat down to start writing it, right after the release if Kill and Run, which features Joshua Thornton Jr’s twin, Murphy. I was more than halfway through writing the first draft when in March I was completely inspired by the presidential election to write Candidate for Murder. Since that book had such a timely theme, I had to set Killer in the Band aside. I returned to it in June.
I guess to answer your question, I don’t know.
And now, for something completely different…some slightly off-the-wall and possibly irrelevant questions. Feel free to answer as many or as few as you like!
What’s your favorite candy? Ice cream?
Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar King sized for candy. Rocky Road ice cream slathered in Magic Shell for ice cream.
Would the 8-year-old version of yourself kick your ass or praise you for what you’ve done with your life?
Praise me for what I have done, while sighing with relief because during my twenties & thirties, it was touch and go there.
Do you have any talents you haven’t shared with us?
I’m a gourmet cook and love it.
Imagine you’re the sole survivor of a plane crash at sea, and you awake stranded on a deserted and uncharted island in the Bermuda Triangle. Nobody knows you’re there, and you have nothing but the clothes on your back. You’re all alone, and there’s terrifying sounds coming from deep within the jungle. Late that night as you’re starving, a large suitcase washes up on the shore. You open it up. What’s in the suitcase?
A pink handgun with “Pink Lady” engraved on the muzzle, big box of dark chocolate to eat, a cell phone with all of the bars, and working laptop to write about my adventure while waiting for a ship full of handsome sailors to come save me.
What are you working on now?
Each series will continue to grow on their own with interconnecting mysteries occasionally. In January, there will be a new Thorny Rose Mystery, A Fine Year for Murder.
In A Fine Year for Murder, Jessica Faraday and her husband, Murphy Thornton, dive into the cold case murder at a family owned winery.
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 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 living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting 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?
As long as readers are clamoring for mysteries, I’ll be writing them.
OMG. She did it again. Lauren Carr has created another romantic suspense mystery that had me reading, ignoring my hubby and my mother, unable to put it down until the last page was read.
Killer in the Band is A Lovers in Crime Mystery that is chock full of wonderful characters, both human and animal. Her ability to bring them all to life is amazing. I laughed and cried, because she made me do it.
I cannot pick a favorite character. They are all amazing in their own way. It took me a little while to figure out the culprit(s). Even the bad guys have their reasons for doing for what they do and I could empathize with them…for a moment or two. BUT nothing justifies taking a life.
There is more than one mystery that will have to be solved and more than one villain. I felt so bad for both of them and that is when I know I have read a fantastic story.
Lauren does have a way of springing surprises on me that have my jaw hanging open, thinking, I sure didn’t see that one coming.
The animals…I just don’t know what to say. Some people do seem to have a special ability making it seem as if they talk to them. I do not want to spoil anything, but…have you ever looked in your critters eyes and wondered what they are really thinking?
The characters have trust issues that take time to work through, making it read like real life. I want to tell them…to be a go between and explain things, but that is not my place. I am just a spectator in this complicated story.
My emotion were high and low, happy and sad, and I was left with a good feeling when all was said and done.
I WANT MORE!!!!!!!
I received a copy of Killer in the Band from Lauren Carr.
Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.
The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross hairs of a murderer.
Praise for Lauren Carr’s Mysteries:
“Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!” – Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R
“As always, Lauren Carr brings an action-packed story that is almost impossible to put down. Her mystery plots have so many twists and turns that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. And the action just didn’t stop from the very beginning till the very end.” – Melina Mason, Melina’s Book Reviews
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!
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, 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, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.