Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Root of Murder ~ Audio Book Blog Tour Review & Giveaway!




THE ROOT OF MURDER
A Lovers in Crime Mystery, #4
BY LAUREN CARR
Narrated by Mike Alger
Genre: Adult Fiction (18 +)
Category: Mystery
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: March 20, 2019
Audio: 8 hours, 53 minutes
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:
Homicide Detective Cameron Gates learned long ago that there is no such thing as a typical murder case. Each mystery is special in its own right—especially for the family of the victim.The homicide of a successful executive, husband, and father seems open and shut when the murder weapon is found in his estranged son-in-law’s possession. The circumstantial evidence is so damning that when her step-son, J.J. Thornton, agrees to act as the defendant’s public defender, he assumes his first murder case will be a loss. Only the report of a missing husband proves that this case is not as open and shut as it seems. Strap on your seat belts for a wild ride in this mystery rooted in decades of deception that sprouts into murder.
Buy the Book:
Amazon.com
Add to Goodreads

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HALL WAYS REVIEW. Audio Book Review. The murder of John Davis is an open and shut case…until it isn’t. It’s open and almost shut, then opened and almost shut again. Repeat, repeat, repeat! I’ve read a bunch of Lauren Carr’s murder mysteries, but I think The Root of Murder may hold the record for the number of dead-end paths that I merrily followed and the number of times I was incorrect as to figuring out the killer’s/killers' identity. Why am I so gullible?! Lauren Carr is a master of misdirection, and I drink the delicious Kool-Aid every time.  

“I don’t believe in coincidences.”

As is typical in a Carr mystery (The Root of Murder is the fourth book in the Lovers in Crime series), no time is wasted, and readers have a dead body within the first few pages.  Lieutenant Cameron Gates is on the scene and with the help of her husband, attorney Joshua Thornton, and his son J.J. Thornton, a young criminal attorney, the trio tracks down leads and suspects, discovers a gazillion motives, and even opens an old case file when it seems John Davis’s murder may have ties to deaths in the past.

I recently read and reviewed the second book in this series, Real Murder, and it’s clear A LOT happened in book three, Killer in the Band. None of it was critical to understanding The Root of Murder, but in reading with my ears, I was a little confused at first with a few of the new characters. (Those who read with their eyes will find several pages that share the cast of characters and who they are.) I am quite interested in filling the gap and hope to go back and read books one and three in the series!  

In addition to the author’s excellent ability to weave multiple story pieces into one big, elaborate tale, what I enjoy about this book and the Lovers in Crime mysteries is the relationship between Cameron and Joshua. They are not youngsters navigating a marriage and relationship. They are mature characters who have life experience under their belts, including prior marriages and a blended family, and there is chemistry there that adds depth and authenticity to them as a couple. (And I appreciate that we get hints at their friskiness, but the details are left behind closed doors.) It’s refreshing to see a passionate middle-aged-ish couple who are a powerhouse together but who also each have their own high-profile careers and pursuits.

Carr also does a great job with giving her readers a break from the intensity of the murder plot lines by threading in secondary stories that are high interest but not stressful – and in The Root of Murder, there’s a small paranormal element thrown in and of course, comic relief mostly provided by animals with personalities big enough to take over the page. (Charley, the watch rooster, is my new favorite.) There are plenty of elements for readers to enjoy in The Root of Murder, and I’ll continue to read books by Lauren Carr – and she’s a prolific writer, thank goodness, so that’s an easy thing to do.

ABOUT THE NARRATION. Mike Alger has been the narrator for all of Carr’s books that I’ve listened to, and I think he keeps getting better. He has an even delivery, he keeps the voices for the multitudes of characters separate and unique, and he does an admirable job with female voices so that they don’t sound ridiculous. (They do sound like a man voicing a female, but it works.) I listened at my usual 1.25x, which is perfect for me and keeps the pace where I like it.  I ended-up buying the eBook and using Whispersync to go back and forth between formats, and I HIGHLY recommend that for people who enjoy audio but can’t always listen.


Thank you to iRead Book Tours and the author for providing me a digital Audible audio download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give. 

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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

Fall in Love with These Other Lovers in Crime Mysteries:
A Lovers in Crime Mystery, Killer in the Band by Lauren CarrBook Details:
Book Title: Killer in the Band  (A Lovers in Crime Mystery #3) by Lauren Carr
Genre:  Adult fiction,  430 pages
Category:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  Oct 3, 2016
Available for review in:  print, Audible download, mobi, epub, PDF
Content Rating:  PG-13 

Book Description:
Summer of Love & Murder

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.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads
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Real Murder by Lauren Carr
Book Title Real Murder (A Lovers in Crime Mystery #2) by Lauren Carr
Genre:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  302 pages
Category:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:    May 28, 2014
Content Rating: PG-13


Book Description:
When Homicide Detective Cameron Gates befriends Dolly, the little old lady who lives across the street, she is warned not to get lured into helping the elderly woman by investigating the unsolved murder of one of her girls. “She’s senile,” Cameron is warned. “It’s not a real murder.”

Such is not the case. After Dolly is brutally murdered, Cameron discovers that the sweet blue-haired lady’s “girl” was a call girl, who had been killed in a mysterious double homicide.

Meanwhile, Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton is looking for answers to the murder of a childhood friend, a sheriff's deputy whose cruiser is found at the bottom of a lake. The deputy had disappeared almost twenty years ago while privately investigating the murder of a local prostitute.

It doesn’t take long for the Lovers in Crime to put their cases together to reveal a long-kept secret that some believe is worth killing to keep undercover.
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

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Dead on Ice by Lauren Carr
Book Details:

Book Title Dead on Ice (Lovers in Crime Mystery Book #1)by Lauren Carr
Genre:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  234 pages
Category:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   August 22, 2012
Content Rating: PG-13

Book Description: 
Dead on Ice is the first installment of Lauren Carr’s new series (Lovers in Crime) featuring Hancock County Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton and Pennsylvania State Police homicide detective Cameron Gates. 

Spunky Cameron Gates is tasked with solving the murder of Cherry Pickens, a legendary star of pornographic films, whose body turns up in an abandoned freezer. The case has a personal connection to her lover, Joshua Thornton, because the freezer was located in his cousin’s basement. It doesn’t take long for their investigation to reveal that the risqué star’s roots were buried in their rural Ohio Valley community, something that Cherry had kept off her show business bio. She should have kept her hometown off her road map, too—because when this starlet came running home from the mob, it proved to be a fatal homecoming.
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

Lauren Carr
Meet the author:    With over forty years of writing and publishing experience, international best-selling author Lauren Carr has played an active role in the revolution of independent authors.

While studying for her college degree in English and journalism, Lauren worked as an editor and layout design artist with the federal government in Washington, DC. It was there that Lauren learned the foundations necessary for book publishing. 

Lauren’s debut mystery, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Awards. On the heels of that success, she accepted an offer from a traditional publisher for A Reunion to Die For.

When it came time to publish her third book, Lauren rejected offers from two traditional publishers, choosing instead to independently publish It’s Murder, My Son, which made it to #1 in sales on Amazon in cozy mysteries. She has never regretted her decision to become an independent author.

Realizing that she could use her experiences to help other writers achieve their dreams to become published authors, Lauren established Acorn Book Services, offering professional services to independent authors.

The international best-selling author of over twenty-five murder mysteries, Lauren has gone on dozens of virtual blog tours (most with iRead Book Tours!) and has seen first-hand that how an author publishes is irrelevant to success. The key is exposure to potential readers. Virtual blog tours are an excellent avenue for book promotion. Book spotlights, reviews, author guest posts and interviews are forever, unlike in-person book events, which become a memory as soon as they have finished.

With her vast experience, it seemed only natural for Lauren Carr to jump at the opportunity to join the iReads Book Tours team. She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in West Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

You can usually find Lauren plotting her next murder mystery in her writer's studio on her mountaintop. Visit Lauren's  website https://mysterylady.net/ to learn more about her murder mysteries, Acorn Book Services, and now iReads Book Tours!

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

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Real Murder ~ Audio Book Review & Giveaway!

REAL MURDER
A Lovers in Crime Mystery, #2
BY LAUREN CARR
Narrated by Mike Alger

Genre:  Adult Fiction (18 +)
Category:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Length: 7 hours, 53 minutes
Release date:    January 10, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13

Book Description:
When Homicide Detective Cameron Gates befriends Dolly, the little old lady who lives across the street, she is warned not to get lured into helping the elderly woman by investigating the unsolved murder of one of her girls. “She’s senile,” Cameron is warned. “It’s not a real murder.”

Such is not the case. After Dolly is brutally murdered, Cameron discovers that the sweet blue-haired lady’s “girl” was a call girl, who had been killed in a mysterious double homicide.

Meanwhile, Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton is looking for answers to the murder of a childhood friend, a sheriff's deputy whose cruiser is found at the bottom of a lake. The deputy had disappeared almost twenty years ago while privately investigating the murder of a local prostitute.

It doesn’t take long for the Lovers in Crime to put their cases together to reveal a long-kept secret that some believe is worth killing to keep undercover.
BUY THE BOOK:

REVIEW:
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HALL WAYS BLOG: AUDIO BOOK REVIEW. As is always the case with Lauren Carr’s mysteries, readers need to hold on tight and pay attention because the twists and turns and multiple plots in Real Murder add-up to one crazy road trip. Real Murder is the second book in the Lovers in Crime series, but it stands alone just fine and the author does a good job of getting readers up to speed. (Though now I am interested in reading book one, Dead on Ice, when “the lovers” aren’t yet married.)

I jumped into Real Murder without actually reading the book’s description. Having read (with my ears) several other books by Lauren Carr, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. The downside of doing this is that one of my very favorite characters in the book got murdered – not a spoiler since it’s revealed in the book’s description, but the very short time Dolly was in the story, she was brilliant. This just goes to show the level of excellence of the author’s characterization talent.  (Side note: I love that Cameron is so real and shows readers that even the most kick-butt women who seem to have their acts together still have self-doubts about their aging bodies and their attractiveness. Even better? She knows the fault in her thinking, has an eff-it attitude, and drowns her sorrow in fudge sundaes. REAL.)

Real Murder is one convoluted story with an incredibly large cast of characters (and of course, a few scene-stealing pets), multiple layers, and a lot of murders that span decades. (I believe the print version may have a list of characters to help keep them straight.) As you read/listen, you think surely there must be a connection between all these people and the new and cold cases; however, Carr misleads and redirects readers from every fully figuring out the answers.  Maybe you figure out the killer, but can you figure out the motive? Or maybe you figure out the motive, but can you figure out who had it?  Maybe you don’t have a clue about any of it, but the bottom line is that you will be compelled to continue until it’s all spelled-out in a fabulous and fully satisfying conclusion.

ABOUT THE NARRATION: Mike Alger has been the narrator for all of Carr’s books that I’ve listened to, and he does a great job in Real Murder. As is the norm for Alger’s narrations (and most others), I listened at 1.25x. Technically, there weren’t any issues and Alger’s pacing was even. Male characters are more natural sounding than the voices of the females, and Alger nails the voicing of the slimy, shady men so that readers’ ears will perk up and the distrust radar will turn on.  The only thing that seemed off was Alger’s pronunciation of “madame.” When in reference to a woman who runs a brothel, I hadn’t heard this pronunciation before, so it caught me off guard every time.

Carr’s mysteries are always engaging and Real Murder is a real escape and enjoyment. I highly recommend this book to readers who love cozy mysteries, with quirky but realistic characters that you won't want to let go.

Thank you to iRead Book Tours and the author for providing me an audio download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.

Meet the Author:
Lauren Carr
With over forty years of writing and publishing experience, international best-selling author Lauren Carr has played an active role in the revolution of independent authors.

While studying for her college degree in English and journalism, Lauren worked as an editor and layout design artist with the federal government in Washington, DC. It was there that Lauren learned the foundations necessary for book publishing. 

Lauren’s debut mystery, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Awards. On the heels of that success, she accepted an offer from a traditional publisher for A Reunion to Die For.

When it came time to publish her third book, Lauren rejected offers from two traditional publishers, choosing instead to independently publish It’s Murder, My Son, which made it to #1 in sales on Amazon in cozy mysteries. She has never regretted her decision to become an independent author.

Realizing that she could use her experiences to help other writers achieve their dreams to become published authors, Lauren established Acorn Book Services, offering professional services to independent authors.

The international best-selling author of over twenty-five murder mysteries, Lauren has gone on dozens of virtual blog tours (most with iRead Book Tours!) and has seen first-hand that how an author publishes is irrelevant to success. The key is exposure to potential readers. Virtual blog tours are an excellent avenue for book promotion. Book spotlights, reviews, author guest posts and interviews are forever, unlike in-person book events, which become a memory as soon as they have finished.

With her vast experience, it seemed only natural for Lauren Carr to jump at the opportunity to join the iReads Book Tours team. She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in West Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

You can usually find Lauren plotting her next murder mystery in her writer's studio on her mountaintop. Visit Lauren's  website https://mysterylady.net/ to learn more about her murder mysteries, Acorn Book Services, and now iReads Book Tours!

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

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Giveaway!
WIN A $50 AMAZON GIFT CARD 
courtesy of Lauren Carr, author of the Lovers in Crime Mysteries.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:
Sept 9 -  Rockin Book Reviews - review of The Root of Murder / guest post / 
  Lovers in Crime series spotlight / giveaway
Sept 9 - Working Mommy Journal - review The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 9 - Amy's Booket List - review The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 10 - The Quirky Romantic - review of The Root of Murder / author interview / giveaway
Sept 10 - Life as Leels - review of Dead on Ice
Sept 11 - Literary Flits - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 11 - Hall Ways Blog - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 11 - My Reading Journeys - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Sept 12 - Elizabeth McKenna - Author - book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 12 -  A Fountain of Books - review of Dead on Ice 
Sept 12 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Killer in the Band (audible) / giveaway
Sept 13 - Words and Peace - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sept 16 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Sept 16 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 16 - Amy’s Booket List - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway
Sept 17 - Hall Ways Blog - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 17 Laura’s Interests - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Sept 18 - Literary Flits - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway 
Sept 18 - Read and Review - book spotlight / guest post
Sept 18 - Sefina Hawke's Books - review of The Root of Murder / series spotlight
Sept 19 - #Redhead.with.Book - Lovers in Crime Series book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 19 - Life as Leels - review of Real Murder
Sept 20 - Locks, Hooks, and Books - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Sept 20Nighttime Reading Center - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 23 - Amy’s Booket List - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 23 - Christa Reads and Writes - review of The Root of Murder / series spotlight  / giveaway
Sept 24 - Fundinmental - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 24  A Fountain of Books - review of The Real Murder 
Sept 25 - Library of Clean Reads - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 25  Laura’s Interests - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 26 - FUONLYKNEW - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 26 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - review of The Root of Murder / guest post 
Sept 27 - Locks, Hooks, and Books - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 30 - Amy’s Booket List - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Sept 30 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 30 - Life as Leels - review of The Root of Murder
Sept 30
Older & Smarter? - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 1 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Oct 1 - Dab of Darkness - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Oct 2 - Literary Flits - review of Real Murder
Oct 3 - Books for Books - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Oct 3  My Reading Journeys - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Oct 4 - Locks, Hooks, and Books - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway
Oct 7 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Oct 8  A Fountain of Books - review of Killer in the Band 
Oct 9 - I’m All About Books - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 9 - Kristin’s Novel Cafe - review of The Root of Murder
Oct 10 - Books for Books - review of Real Murder  / giveaway
Oct 10 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway
Oct 10 - Locks, Hooks, and Books - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 11 - Pause for Tales - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 14 - Celtic Lady’s Reviews - Lovers in Crime series spotlight / giveaway
Oct 14 My Reading Journeys - review of The Root of Murder / guest post / giveaway
Oct 15 - Dab of Darkness - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway
Oct 15 - Bound 4 Escape - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 16 - A Fountain of Books - review of The Root of Murder / author interview 
Oct 17 - Books for Books - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway
Oct 18 - B for Bookreview - Lovers in Crime series book spotlight / author interview
Oct 21- 
Nighttime Reading Center - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 21 - Laura’s Interests - review of The Root of Murder / guest post / giveaway
Oct 22 - Dab of Darkness - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 22 - Books Are Love - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Oct 23 - Books Are Love - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Oct 23 - Books for Books - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 24 - JBronder Book Reviews - review of The Root of Murder / series spotlight / giveaway
Oct 24 - Books Are Love - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway
Oct 25 - Jypsylynn  - review of The Root of Murder
Oct 25 - Adventurous Jessy - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 25 - Books Are Love - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 25 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway