Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Over The River and Through The Woods






A holiday pastiche from the authors of Mindful Writers Retreat, sure to light your festive candles!














From a Thanksgiving snow storm that mends old feuds… to the family misunderstandings that fuel new ones… a quirky elf and some romantic stardust will get you ready to go Over the River and Through the Woods on a journey through time!

Proceeds benefit Ligonier Camp & Conference Center Home of the Mindful Writers Retreats, Ligonier, PA

Available at....








Book Excerpts

LIMITED TIME OFFER
by Phil Giunta



***


A GIFT
by Lori M. Jones




***

Also available in the Mindful Writers Retreat Series...

Into the Woods is the title and theme for this assortment of short stories, poems, essays, music, and one walking meditation. Each piece is unique in tone and genre and the result is that the collection captures the fascinating, frightening, fun, healing, and fantastical wonder of time spent in the woods. The twenty-six contributors who attend Mindful Writers Retreats in the mountains of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, are donating one hundred percent of the proceeds to support the research and work of The Children’s Heart Foundation.

Available at....






Mindful Writers Retreat Authors 
Many of the writers who contributed to the anthology. 
The retreats happen at Ligonier camp and conference center in Ligonier, PA. 


Twenty-one Mindful Writers Retreat Authors contributed to OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS. The group consists of bestsellers, award-winners, first-time authors, seasoned veterans, poets, memoirists, essayists, musicians, journalists, novelists, and short story writers who are traditionally, self and hybrid published. At Mindful Writers Retreats the labels don’t create a hierarchy, but instead reveal the richness of those who attend. Every single writer contributes to the magic and the fun that results from meditation, walking in the woods, and hour upon hour of mindful writing.

“Thanksgiving Traveler” – Janet McClintock
“Solstice” – Eileen Enwright Hodgetts
“Magic Sleigh Bed” – Michele Savaunah Zirkle 
“Tidings of Comfort and Joyce” – Kimberly Kurth Gray
“The Bridge on the River Obi-Wan” – Ramona DeFelice Long
“Reminiscing on the Nostalgia of Happier Times” – Amy Morley
“Christmas Pearl” – Demi Stevens 
“Once Upon a Life Well Spent” – Hilary Hauck
“The Christmas Tree” – Kathleen Shoop
“Tink” – Abigail Drake 
“Limited Time Offer” – Phil Giunta
“Cranberry River” – Lorraine Donohue Bonzelet
“The Christmas Angel” – MaryAlice Meli
“A Gift” – Lori M. Jones
“Stars of Peace” – N.J. Hammer
“Fathers and Daughters” – Jennifer Diamond
“The Day the Magic Died” – James Robinson, Jr.
“Shaping Christmas” – Denise Weaver
“Buon Natale” – Cara Reinard 
“First Nativity” – Larry Schardt
“’Twas a Hard Day’s Night and Another Auld Lang Syne” – Sherren Elias Pensiero

Many of the writers who contributed to the anthology. 
The retreats happen at Ligonier camp and conference center in Ligonier, PA. 

Find the Mindful Writers Retreat Series on Facebook HERE


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Winners Prize - 
$50 Amazon.com Giftcard plus Over the River and Through the Woods paperback
Second prize - Over the River and Through the Woods paperback
Open Worldwide
Ending on Sunday 8th December at 11.59pm EST


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EVERY REASONABLE DOUBT Free eBook Promo




EVERY REASONABLE DOUBT

PAMELA SAMUELS YOUNG

* MYSTERY/LEGAL THRILLER *



Title: Every Reasonable Doubt
Author: Pamela Samuels Young
Publisher: Goldman House Publishing
File Size: 722 KB
Genre: Mystery/Legal Thriller

When attorneys Vernetta Henderson and Neddy McClain are tapped to take on the biggest case of their careers, they are less than thrilled about working together. Their strained relationship, however, is the least of their problems. Their socialite client—charged with the brutal murder of her husband—is demanding an immediate dismissal of the case. But a ruthless prosecutor is determined to make sure that doesn’t happen. Forced to fight a common enemy, the two women close ranks and, in the process, develop a bond that sees them through the uncertainties of trial, the pain of betrayal and pressures neither could have imagined.

cLICK BELOw TO GET YOUR FREE COPY!

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2WNlraB

______________________





______________________


Prologue

If Max Montgomery ever had to commit to monogamy to save his wife’s life, she would just have to come back and haunt him from the afterlife.
Max rested his forearm on the registration desk as his eyes anxiously crisscrossed the lobby of the Beverly Hills Ritz-Carlton. He watched as people milled about, dressed in tuxedos and evening gowns. He made eye contact with a short, brown-skinned cutie who sashayed by in a dress so tight he could see the faint outline of her thong. Max smiled. She smiled back. Too bad he was already about to get laid. Otherwise, he definitely would’ve taken the time to follow up on that.
“Here’s your key, Mr. Montgomery,” said a cherub-faced girl with a shrill voice. “You’ll be in room 502. One of our most elegant suites.”
When he reached for the key, his fingertips accidentally brushed her hand and she nervously looked away. She wants me, Max thought. But she was way too young for his taste.
He thanked her and headed for the bank of elevators in the rear of the lobby. Max tapped the elevator button and the car to his left instantly glided open. Some of the tension eased from his body once he was safely inside. He had waited nearly a week for this night and his wait was almost over.
The anonymous invitation to a “private evening of intimacy” had intrigued him and he had immediately decided to accept. No questions asked. A man like Max didn’t make hasty decisions very often. On the rare occasion that he did, it was only because he was banking on a huge payoff.
Max stepped off the elevator, studied the sign directly in front of him, then turned left down a long hallway. He walked with a distinctive, self-assured stride, like a male model taking a slow stroll down the catwalk. He stopped in front of a door near the end of the hallway and fished the plastic card key from his breast pocket.
A huge smile of anticipation spread across his face as he entered the lavish suite. The place was a classy ensemble of muted colors, luxurious fabrics, and calming scents. From the flowing silk curtains to the massive mahogany sleigh bed to the sleek suede comforter, everything in the room spelled class with a capital C. And that pleased him.
Max made his way over to a nightstand near the window, his feet sinking into the plush, caramel-colored carpet with every step. He examined a champagne bottle sitting near an antique lamp. Dom Pérignon, vintage 1995. Definitely his style. He only hoped his host was familiar with some of his more erotic personal preferences.
The sight of a red teddy hanging from the corner of the headboard triggered a twinge of arousal that warmed him inside. He rubbed the soft fabric between his fingers, smiled again, then tossed it onto the bed. On the floor near the nightstand was a large wicker basket with three packages of rose petals, twelve scented candles, two champagne glasses, and a book of matches. He set the basket on the bed and read the fancy gold card inside. It provided additional instructions for the evening.
Max glanced at his watch. He didn’t have much time. He scooped up the basket with one hand, began undoing his tie with the other and proceeded into the bathroom. It was just as dazzling as the rest of the suite. The marble floor, the shiny granite countertop, the extravagant gold fixtures were all symbols of an affluent lifestyle Max knew well.
As the card commanded, Max filled the oversized Jacuzzi tub with water, sprinkled it with the rose petals and positioned the candles about the room. He lit each one, then turned off the lights to admire his handiwork. Yes, yes, yes. He was about to have himself one big ball.
Max ripped up both the invitation and the card and flushed them down the toilet. A married man could never be too careful. Just as he was about to head back into the bedroom, the enormous mirror on the wall directly across from the tub stopped him in his tracks. Max grinned. He would get to watch.
Marching into the bedroom, he stripped off his Hugo Boss suit and draped it over the back of an armchair near the bed, making sure his pants were carefully folded along the crease line. After removing the rest of his clothes, he grabbed the champagne bottle and strutted naked into the bathroom, where he eased into the steaming hot water and waited.
All day long he had tried to figure out who his freaky little hostess might be. He had instantly ruled out Janice. A single parent with three kids didn’t have the time, not to mention the energy, to plan something this elaborate. She could barely escape from her solo law practice for their once-a-week lunchtime romps. That left Paula, a stewardess who had served him on a flight to New York three months earlier, and Natasha, the big-breasted Swede who was temping as a receptionist at his firm’s Newport Beach office. She had straight out boned him with her eyes when he walked up to the reception desk to find out her name. Yeah, both Paula and Natasha were kinky enough to plan something like this.
Max poured himself a glass of champagne and took a slow, satisfying sip. The air jets pelting his back with spurts of water felt great. He closed his eyes and slowly twisted his head to the left as far as it would go, then repeated the move on the opposite side. The muscles along the base of his neck felt like dense, knotted fists. Maybe she would give him a massage afterward.
At the sound of the hotel room door opening, Max bolted forward, causing rose petals to splash onto the floor. He could feel his pulse racing as he waited for his mystery date to appear, and when she did not, he settled back into the tub and tried to calm himself down. She was probably just slipping into that sexy little teddy. He was so hard now he had to fight the urge to jack himself off.
Max reached for the champagne bottle to refill his glass just as a sharp, searing pain attacked his left temple. He hoped it wasn’t another migraine. There was a time when he could almost will them away if he concentrated hard enough. But that wasn’t working anymore. He sat the bottle back down. He would wait and share the rest with her.
Max leaned back, sucked in a long, deep breath, and closed his eyes for several seconds. When he reopened them, he could not focus. A thick curtain of haze had suddenly filled the room. He tried to sit up, but his head felt heavier than a bowling ball and fell backward, slamming hard against the tiled wall. He was now blind, dizzy, and in excruciating pain.
By the time the bathroom door opened, Max could feel the presence of someone else in the room. He could even hear a voice. A voice he was too dazed to place, speaking words he could not quite make out. Max had never had a migraine like this one before. He tried to speak, but his lips spewed nothing but gibberish. Had the champagne been spiked?
Without warning, a powerful jolt of pain pierced the right side of Max’s chest at the same time that his head seemed to explode.
His visitor, hovering over him now, plunged a knife deep into Max’s chest, then repeated the motion. A second time, a third time, a fourth time. The stabbing continued until the rose petals disappeared into a pool of deep, dark red.

 

______________________






Award-winning author and attorney Pamela Samuels Young writes mysteries that matter. Dubbed “John Grisham with a sister’s twist” by one reviewer, Pamela’s fast-paced novels often tackle important social issues.

Her most recent legal thriller, Failure to Protect, takes on the bullying epidemic and its devastating aftermath. Pamela won the prestigious NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction for her thriller Anybody’s Daughter, which provides a realistic look inside the world of child sex trafficking. Her courtroom drama Abuse of Discretion centers around a troubling teen sexting case. #Anybody’s Daughter and #Abuse of Discretion are young adult editions of the two books. A young adult version of Failure to Protect goes on sale in December 2019.

Pamela also writes dangerously sassy romantic suspense under the pen name Sassy Sinclair. Her first foray into the romance genre, Unlawful Desires (2017), was awarded Best Erotic Romance by Romance Slam Jam. Her second book, Unlawful Seduction (2018), was honored as a finalist in Romance Writers of America/Passionate Ink’s Passionate Plume contest in the Best Contemporary Erotica category.

The prolific writer is a frequent speaker on the topics of sex trafficking, bullying, online safety, fiction writing, self-empowerment, and pursuing your passion. To invite Pamela to your book club meeting or to read excerpts of her books, visit www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com and www.sassysinclair.com .

website & Social links




http://www.pumpupyourbook.com
 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Great Kids Don't Just Happen



Book Details:

 

Book Title:  Great Kids Don't Just Happen, 5 Essentials for Raising Successful Children by Dr. Paul Smolen
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction
Genre Parenting/Family
Publisher:  Torchflame Books
Release date:   October 22, 2019
Tour dates: Nov 4 to Nov 29, 2019
Content Rating: G


 

Book Description:

 

If there are children in your life, you need Dr. Smolen's research and wisdom!

Physically and emotionally healthy children are Great Kids. They are happier when young and thrive as adults.

Pediatrician Dr. Paul Smolen identifies five essential parenting elements which help develop happy and successful kids.

In Great Kids Don't Just Happen you will learn how to use those elements and nurture the children in your life.

The author's observations and advice are supported by scientific studies referenced throughout the book and personal observations from his many years of practice as a pediatrician. The five essential elements and how to apply them are made easy to understand in the warm words of one who knows, practices, and teaches from research, observation, and experience.

Learn how to provide:
  1.         Realistic praise
  2.         Consistent limits
  3.         A healthy emotional environment
  4.         Strong parental commitment
  5.         Stability
Dr. Smolen's research and wisdom are sure to be of great help for your family and loved ones.


BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon * Torchflame Books
Add to Goodreads

 
Meet the Author:

Dr. Paul Smolen, also known as Doc Smo by his friends, is a pediatrician with 37 years of experience caring for children and families. He is a graduate of Duke University (1974), Rutgers Medical School (1978), and Wake Forest University-N.C. Baptist Hospital (1982). At Wake Forest University he completed a residency in general pediatrics, served as chief resident, and completed a fellowship in ambulatory pediatrics. Subsequently, he became board certified in the American Academy of Pediatrics (1983) and completed his recertification in 2014. For the last 37 years, he has been an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, helping to train a generation of medical students and pediatric residents as well as author several research papers. He is also the author of a parenting book called, Can Doesn’t Mean Should.

With 37 years under his belt, Doc Smo is a bona-fide expert in knowing what parents want and need to know about parenting and child health. Imparting practical and useful advice is the goal of every “Pedcast”. Smiling along the way can’t hurt!



Connect with the author:      Website      Facebook    Twitter   



Book Tour Schedule:

Nov 4 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 4 - Working Mommy Journal / book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 5 – fundinmental – book spotlight
Nov 5 - Over Coffee Conversations – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 6 – Reading Authors Network – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 7 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 8 – b for bookreview – book spotlight / author interview
Nov 11 – The Clipped Nightingale – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 12 –Character Madness and Musings - book spotlight /
Nov 13 – To Thine Own Shelf – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 14 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 18 – Momfluenster - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Nov 19 – Laura's Interests – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 20 – Genuine Jenn – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Nov 21 – On My Bookshelf – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 22 –From the TBR Pile - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 26 – Bookmark and fork – book spotlight / author interview
Nov 27 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight
Nov 28 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 29 -  Celticlady's Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 29 - Svetlana's reads and views - book spotlight / giveaway


Enter the Giveaway:

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Magic Under the Mistletoe by Lucy Coleman




Magic Under the Mistletoe

Christmas and romance are in the air...



It's December 23rd and while everyone else is rushing home for the holidays, workaholic Leesa Oliver is dreading switching on her out-of-office for the festive season. And it seems her equally driven boss, Cary Anderson, isn't relishing spending Christmas at his family's country estate either.
So together, they draft an unexpected Christmas contract: They'll spend half of the holidays with each other's families, pretending to be a couple. Leesa knows the insufferably good-looking Cary will make her Christmas more bearable, but what happens after the last of the mince pies have been eaten...?
Leesa signed off on a sensible business agreement, but somewhere, amongst the fairy lights and carols something seems to have changed... It seems there might just be some magic under the mistletoe this Christmas!
Purchase Link - http://smarturl.it/MagicUnderMistletoe



From the opening scene on the airplane, bumping through turbulence and unruly child passengers, I loved the descriptive wording of this book. I could feel the chill in the air and the tension between videographer Leesa Oliver and her perfectionist boss, Cary Anderson. I think Cary, with his ever changing moods and somewhat hidden sense of humor, was my favorite character.
When a rare white-out blizzard closes the airport and Leesa fortunately is offered sanctuary at the home of Cary's grandmother, this dysfunctional holiday romance takes some very pleasant twists.
I could smell the blue spruce and cinnamon in the opulent vintage halls.
Learning that Cary's grandmother, who raised him and his brother, is the Queen of romantic fiction yet has a difficult and distracting romantic history herself, added depth to the desire for her to find a happy ending for her grandson.
Then, Leesa, spending the holiday with a family not of her genetics, but rather of her former marriage, with a recent heartbreak for all, added compassion to what could be construed as a shallow reason for faking a relationship.

What is supposed to be a one time arrangement to benefit both families turns into something more and made me feel warm and cozy overall.






Author Bio –
From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton - who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman - says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’
Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.
When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.
Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.
Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.
Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. She writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links –
Giveaway to Win a Signed paperback copy of Snowflakes over Holly Cove and Christmas Pamper Pack. (UK only)





*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Wild Sky by Lexi Rees




Wild Sky
After delivering the pearl, Finn and Aria thought life would return to normal.
But with the survival of the clans still in peril, they must continue their quest.
Can they find the next relic before the forces of evil?
Not everyone is who they appear to be
And time is running out ...




Pre-order Link


Lexi Rees writes action packed adventures for children. The first book in The Relic Hunters Series, Eternal Seas, was awarded a “loved by” badge from LoveReading4Kids and is currently longlisted for a Chanticleer award.
She’s passionate about developing a love of reading and writing in children, and as well as an active programme of school visits and other events, she has published a Creative Writing Skills workbook, is a Book PenPal for three primary schools, and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities. 
In her spare time, she’s a keen crafter and spends a considerable amount of time trying not to fall off horses or boats.
Social Media Links –

The Last Thing She Said (Chris Matheson Cold Case Series) by Lauren Carr



"Too many twists and turns to easily share about this book. Nevertheless, Carr has pulled off another "hit" that kept me reading in one setting until the clues were so well together that the villain fell into our laps...or Chris's, LOL Carr has put a lot into the book beyond the mysteries this time...Characters enjoyed chocotinis, visited book stores...and even blundered into getting engaged (the ring had been purchased 4 months ago)... But, for me, a special thank you for the political spoof at a time when politics at the national level is devastating, gave me a laugh and lightened the load of it all!" - Review by Glenda Bixler, Book Reader's Heaven 




Book Details:

Book Title:  The Last Thing She Said (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery #3) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  386 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   July 22, 2019
Formats available for purchase:  paperback, ebook, audiobook (audible & itunes)
Tour dates: October 7 to November 15, 2019
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:
“I’m working on the greatest mystery ever,” was the last thing noted mystery novelist Mercedes Livingston said to seven-year-old Chris Matheson before walking out of Hill House Hotel never to be seen again.

For decades, the writer’s fate remained a puzzling mystery until an autographed novel and a letter put a grown-up Chris Matheson on the trail of a cunning killer. With the help of a team of fellow retired law enforcement officers, each a specialist in their own field of investigation, Chris puts a flame to this cold case to uncover what had really happened that night Mercedes Livingston walked out of Hill House Hotel. Watch out! The clues are getting hot!

  Buy the Book:
Amazon.com *
Add to Goodreads


Crossing Genres - Writing Outside the Box
By Lauren Carr

One day, my husband came home from work, where he was a church administrator. With a laugh, he recounted how the teachers had been struggling on the first day of preschool with teaching the three and four-year olds the rules for walking in a line to the bathroom.
Think about these young minds learning the rules for going to the bathroom.
If there are rules for going to the bathroom, then why should authors be surprised to learn that there are rules for writing fiction?
One well established rule is to find a genre, learn the rules for that genre, and stick to them.
Luckily for me, no one told me that rule until after my third book had been released.

I’m a mystery writer. For me, the rules are simple:
ü  Dead body by page ten.
ü  Detectives work the case.
ü  Solve the murder.
ü  Catch the killer.
ü  The end.

I wasn’t aware of any issue until a reviewer who gave me a five-star review asked what genre I was writing in.
My reply: Mystery.
To this, she responded, “Is it a cozy? The amateur detective points to a cozy. But it’s too gritty to be a cozy. It reads like a police procedural. Yet, with the humor, it reads like a cozy.” She ended up declaring my books “gritty cozies.”
That was when I decided to dive deeper into this matter.

My twenty-seven titles, across four series, are cross-genre, also known as a hybrid genre or genre mashing—a blending of themes and elements from two or more different genres.
In my Deep Creek Lake mysteries, Mac Faraday is a homicide detective. After inheriting a fortune from his birth mother, mystery author Robin Spencer, he moves to a mansion on a lake in a resort town in western Maryland. Since he doesn’t like playing golf, Mac solves murder mysteries with his half-brother, David O’Callaghan, the local police chief.
Based on the rules established by publishers and agents, the Mac Faraday Mysteries are cozies because Mac is an amateur (even though he is a retired homicide detective). Yet, some of the murders happen “on-stage” which makes them police procedurals.

Then, there is the romantic relationship between Mac and Archie Monday, his late mother’s lovely personal assistant. That takes us into the romance, romantic-suspense, genre.
Like those preschoolers breaking out of line on the first day of school, I was merrily writing outside the box—and still am. 

This is really nothing new. Many successful authors have successfully blended more than one genre in their books. Stephen King (horror/fantasy/mystery). Alan Baxter (fantasy/horror/thriller). Terry Pratchett (fantasy/humor)
Like those authors before me, I did not sit down one day and decide, “I’m going to mash up cozies and police procedurals and romantic-suspense.” On the contrary, I had developed an intriguing premise and put together some fabulous and intriguing plotlines and had a blast writing wonderful books that readers and reviewers have fallen in love with. As a result, I have established a fan base who enjoy my outside-the-box mysteries.

In fiction, there are genres, which contain subgenres. All of them have rules. Blissful in my ignorance, I was writing what I wanted to write. More than one reviewer described my mysteries as police procedurals that have the charm of a cozy. Recently, I was surprised to discover that I also have quite a following among romantic suspense enthusiasts.
I had no idea I was breaking any rules until someone told me.
As an indie author, I didn’t have an agent or publisher to slap my wrist, shake his finger at me, and say, “No, no, no!”

As is often the case, the passage of time can lead many to forget the origin and reason behind the rules. Genres and subgenres were established by brick-and-mortar booksellers for organizational purposes—in order to know what shelf to place the print books on.
If a customer was looking for a mystery, the bookseller would ask, “What type of mystery do you want?” If the customer wanted a cozy-hobby-mystery, then the bookseller would lead the reader past the shelf filled with serial killer police procedurals to the one packed with basket-weaving cozies.
Publishers and agents passed those rules down to authors.
Following the rules for the genres and sub-genres made it easier for the publishers and booksellers to know what reading audience to target.

Those days are past. Independent writers don’t have to fuss about what shelf their books go on. The use of tag words makes it easy for Amazon’s algorithm to place my mysteries with cozy, police procedural, and even romantic suspense—making it easy for readers to find me no matter what sub-genre they consider my books.

That’s not to say that there aren't advantages to being aware of some of the rules for the genres.
Some readers do live and die by the rules.
For example, in cozy mysteries, never hurt the dog or cat! In It’s Murder, My Son, the first Mac Faraday Mystery, Mac swatted Gnarly, his German shepherd, on the snout when he tried to attack a murder suspect. Two years and one book later, a woman made a point of coming to a book event to chew me out in person. “It’s okay to kill someone,” she said in a loud voice, “but never hit the dog.”

Two other rules for cozy mysteries:
ü  No explicit sex.
ü  Never swear or curse.
Not being a fan of foul language, I don’t use curse words. Though, I do have a “hell” or a “damn” when the situation warrants. As for sex, I close the bedroom door.
Yet, recently, Kill and Run received a one-star review from a reader outraged because the word “erection” was used. According to her review, this book never should have been listed as a cozy mystery. Even though the married protagonists enjoyed their romance “off-stage,” behind closed doors, she considered it much too explicit for cozy readers. It wasn’t the “hell” or “damns” that curled her hair. It was the “erection.”

Such reader reactions to my cross-genre mysteries are few and far between. I look at it this way. There have been writers for thousands of years before booksellers, publishers, and agents constructed the genre boxes. Writers began writing within the confines of those boxes to appease them.

Since independent writers are forging onward without traditional publishers and agents—maybe it’s time for us to smash those genre boxes as well and embrace the thrill of writing outside the box!




Once again we are captivated not only by the human detectives searching for clues to a very cold case ( 4 decades!) but also by the animal antics of the extended clan and crew created in Lauren Carr's extremely active imagination. I have no idea how she keeps it all straight.
Various characters from different book series become entangled and entwined as they are called in to unravel a disappearance, kidnapping, murder, and identity transformation with fraud and other deception motives. Could a woman actually will herself to death?
Even if I tried to tell you all the themes and plots going on I know I would miss a few - too numerous to count yet when all is said and done, they come together brilliantly.
Romance, failed relationships, parenting ~ all play roles as the Geezer Squad does what they do best.
Do not worry if you are unfamiliar with each series or how things came before as it is explained while the story unfolds. The characters have depth and continue to develop as the story moves forward.
Chris Matheson is the central protagonist but not the only one focused on, nor is the "victim," a deceased woman who isn't who she has been believed to be.

Superbly narrated by Mike Alger, I hear his voice even as I read the other books in these series.




You may also choose to read and review:



Book Details:

Book Title: Winter Frost  (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery #2) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult fiction,  332 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  January 22, 2019
Formats available for purchase:  paperback, ebook, audiobook (audible & itunes)Tour dates:  October 7 to November 22, 2019
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!

"Filled with twists and turns, Winter Frost reads perfectly well as a stand-alone, although it is part of a series. The author creates tension and suspense throughout by keeping the reader guessing; she keeps readers engaged with well fleshed out characters and a dash of humor. Sterling, the retired German Shepherd police dog turned card shark, is a new favorite. As the story flows, the truth unfolds, layer by layer, leading to a satisfying conclusion.

"Winter Frost was an entertaining, at times humorous read with suspense, some surprises, and even cute animals in the mix." Review of Winter Frost by The iRead Review
 
Book Description:
It all started with a chance encounter in the city with Blair, his late wife.

Chris Matheson and the Geezer Squad, working under the guise of a book club, dig into the events surrounding his late wife’s supposed death halfway around the globe. A state department employee shoots himself in the back three times. A CIA operative goes missing. A woman is targeted by an international assassin three years after being declared dead in a terrorist attack overseas. 

Nothing is as it seems. 

In his most personal cold case, Chris fights to uncover why the state department told him that Blair, the mother of his children, had been killed when she was alive. What had she uncovered that has made her a target? Who terrified her so much that she had gone into hiding and why are they now after him?
 


Book Details:

Book Title: ICE  (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery #1) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult fiction,  364 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  February 26, 2018
Formats available for purchase:  paperback, ebook, audiobook (audible & itunes)Tour dates:  October 7 to November 22, 2019
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!

"ICE is a strong start to a new series that will have fans of Lauren Carr thrilled to be introduced to another set of memorable and entertaining characters. Carr's Geezer Squad has brought sexy back to mature men and women, whose kickass attitude and smarts sizzle as they melt the clues to those cold cases!"  Laura Fabiani, Library of Clean Reads

"For the whodunit mystery buff who loves ever-increasing suspense and danger, Lauren Carr's newest series offers up a big dose of both. Murder and mayhem seem to be Chris's new companions after returning home following the loss of both his wife and his father. Juggling the parenting responsibilities of his three daughters with his mother is not something Chris was expecting at this point in his life, but life isn't something that goes as planned." 5-Star Review at Blooming with Books

 
Book Description:
When Sandy Lipton and her unborn child disappeared, the court of public opinion found young Chris Matheson guilty. Decades later, the retired FBI agent returns home to discover that the cloud of suspicion cast over him and his family has never lifted. 

With the help of a team of fellow retired law enforcement officers, each a specialist in their own field of investigation, Chris Matheson starts chipping away at the ice on this cold case to uncover what had happened to Sandy and her baby and the clues are getting hot!
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon.com * Audible


Meet the Author:  

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

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr 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 two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

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


BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Oct 7 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of The Last Thing She Said
Oct 7 - JB's Bookworms with Brandy Mulder – book review of Ice / giveaway
Oct 7 – Bookriot – audiobook review of Ice / giveaway
Oct 7 – Just Another Reader – book review of Ice
Oct 7 - Rita's Reading Room – series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 7 - Viviana MacKade – series spotlight / guest post
Oct 8 - Just Another Reader – book review of Winter Frost
Oct 8 - JB's Bookworms with Brandy Mulder – book review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Oct 8 – Amy’s Booket List – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Oct 8 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review of The Last Thing She Said / guest post /
             giveaway
Oct 9 - Cuzinlogic - series spotlight / giveaway
Oct 9 - JB's Bookworms with Brandy Mulder – book review of The Last Thing She Said /
              giveaway
Oct 9 – Just Another Reader – book review of The Last  Thing She Said
Oct 9 - The Voracious Bibliophile – book review of The Last Thing She Said
Oct 10 – Librorum in Sempiternum – book review of Ice / giveaway
Oct 11 – It's All About the Book – book review of The Last Thing She Said
Oct 14 – b for bookreview – series spotlight / author interview
Oct 15 - Buried Under Books - audiobook review of Ice / giveaway
Oct 15 – Pause for Tales – book review of The Last Thing She Said
Oct 16 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said /
                 guest post / giveaway
Oct 17 – Library of Clean Reads – series spotlight / giveaway
Oct 18 - Library of Clean Reads – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Oct 19 – Bookriot – audiobook review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Oct 20 – Librorum in Sempiternum – book review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Oct 21 - Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Oct 21 - Words And Peace – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 22 – Kristin’s Novel Café – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said
Oct 23 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said /
                 guest post
Oct 24 – Haddie's Haven – audiobook review of Ice / giveaway
Oct 24 – FUONLYKNEW – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Oct 24 - My Journey Back - series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 25 - Blooming with Books – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Oct 25 - StoreyBook Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 26 – Bookriot – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Oct 28 – Sefina Hawke's Books – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said
Oct 29 - Buried Under Books - audiobook review of The Last  Thing she Said / giveaway
Oct 29 – My Reading Journeys – book review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Oct 30 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – book spotlight of The Last Thing She Said /
                 giveaway
Oct 31 – Dab of Darkness Book Reviews – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said
                 / giveaway
Nov 1 – Life as Leels – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 4 – Books for Books – audiobook review of Ice / giveaway
Nov 5 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 6 – fundinmental – book review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Nov 6 - My Reading Journeys – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 7 – Haddie's Haven – audiobook review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Nov 8 – Literary Flits – series spotlight / giveaway
Nov 11 – The Avid Inspri – book review of Ice / giveaway
Nov 11 - Books for Books – audiobook review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Nov 12 – Librorum in Sempiternum – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 13 – Celticlady's Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 13 - A Fountain of Books - book review of The Last Thing She Said / guest post / giveaway
Nov 14 - T's Stuff – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said / author interview /
                 giveaway
Nov 15 - The Avid Inspri – book review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Nov 15 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 18 – Laura's Interests – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said / guest post /
                 giveaway
Nov 18 - Books for Books – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 19 – JBronder Book Reviews – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said
Nov 19 - Shalini's Books & Reviews – book review of The Last Thing She Said
Nov 20 - fundinmental – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 20 – Haddie's Haven – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said / guest post /
                 giveaway
Nov 20 - I'm All About Books – book review of The Last Thing She Said / guest post /
                giveaway
Nov 20 - Svetlana's reads and views – book review of The Last Thing She Said /
                giveaway
Nov 21 – Books Are Love – book review of The Last Thing She Said / author interview /
                 giveaway
Nov 21 - The Avid Inspri – book review of The Last Thing She Said / guest post /
                 giveaway
Nov 22 - Adventurous Jessy – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 22 – SammieReadsBook – book review of The Last Thing She Said / author
                 interview / giveaway
Nov 22 -  Jypsylynn – book review of The Last Thing She Said


ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
Ends November 30th, 2019