Jul 21, 2011

Guest Post (And Giveaway) from Lauren Carr

Mystery author Lauren Carr is on the blog today!! She graciously sent me a copy of each Mac Faraday novel that she's written for review. The book definitely kept me interested, and now you will have a chance to read them! Details will be at the bottom, but FIRST.. Lauren talks about her first crush!!

My First Crush: Joe Hardy Lives On

(No, not Shaun Cassidy. It was Joe Hardy.)

Readers are very interested in what has influenced me to write mysteries. Why not romance or poetry? Why mystery? I always begin by describing how my dear sweet mother used to read Perry Mason to me at bedtime. By the time I was old enough to hold a book, I was reading the Bobbsey Twins and, from there, the Hardy Boys.

At this point, readers will become excited and say, “I used to read the Hardy Boys, too!”

I wonder sometimes if it says something about my psyche that I didn’t simply read the Hardy Boys, but developed a full-fledged crush on them, Joe Hardy, in particular.

I was a natural reader. By the time I was eight years old, I had devoured every copy of the Bobbsey Twins at the library. I then had to I move on to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys; or start over again with the first installment of the Bobbsey Twins.

For some reason, Nancy Drew failed to hold my interest. Maybe it was because she was so much older that I couldn’t identify with her. That book went back to the library unfinished. With my choices reduced down to re-reading the Bobbsey Twins or starting the Hardy Boys, I checked out The Mystery of the Flickering Torch. By the end of the third chapter, I had developed my first crush.

Critics of the Hardy Boys Mysteries claim the characters of the two brothers are identical. The only difference between them is that Frank had dark hair and Joe was blond. But in my heart of hearts, I knew the difference. Frank was eighteen and older, almost a man; whereas, Joe was sixteen, so subconsciously I may have thought he was more obtainable.

My crush on the Hardy Boys was almost insatiable. My mother didn’t, and still doesn’t, buy books. My access to Joe was limited strictly to what the library had on their shelves. (My crush was before the Hardy Boys television series.) At two books a week, I had read every copy that I could obtain in no time. I had started to read them a third time by the time I discovered real live boys who weren’t confined between the covers of a book.

Keep in mind that the object of my attraction was not a visual image seen on television or in the movies, like the teen idols that cause girls to scream and faint today. Any physical image I had of Joe came from my imagination, based on the writer’s description and the drawings on the book’s front cover. So, it had to be something other than sexy blond hair, baby blue eyes, and a cute butt that caused my obsession with him.

Thinking back, I realize that I was excited by Joe’s drive to find out the truth despite the risks involved. I was thrilled by the sense of danger. No matter what it took, even if his quest meant standing up to someone of a higher authority, he did what was right.

Those very qualities that attracted me to Joe Hardy have found their way into the heart of the protagonists in my books. While the physical attributes may differ, I have discovered that the characteristics that attracted me to him are always there.

It’s Murder, My Son introduces readers to Mac Faraday, a homicide detective who inherits a fortune from his birth mother, the late Robin Spencer, the Queen of American Mysteries. Mac was considered the best detective on the force, but he continually butt heads with his supervisors for asking too many questions. He cared more about finding out the truth than closing a case in record time.

When Mac moves to his late mother’s estate on Deep Creek Lake in Maryland, his dog Gnarly brings home a dismembered head. Now a multi-millionaire, most men would be content to let the authorities remove the head so that they could go back to working on their tans.

Not Mac Faraday.

Who does that head belong to? Is it in any way connected to the murder of the neighbor killed during the St. Valentine’s Day blizzard? Who was the mysterious man calling himself Pay Back stalking her? What was he paying her back for? How was he able to get in and out of the house to kill her without tripping the security system?

Even with a fortune that goes beyond his wildest imagination, Mac dives right into the case to get the answers to all these questions, not unlike my first crush, Joe Hardy.

And my mother said it was only puppy love.

Shaun Cassidy, FYI.

Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. From murderous bedtime tales, she grew up to write mysteries for television and the stage. She wrote her first book after giving up her writing career to be a stay-at-home mom.

Her new series, The Mac Faraday Mysteries, set in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, where she and her family often vacation. The first book in this series, It’s Murder, My Son, will be released Summer 2010 in audio, Kindle, and print.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made speaking appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She is also an active member of Sisters in Crime. She lives with her husband and son on a mountaintop in West Virginia.

Check her out on her blog and her Facebook page!

Giveaway Alert!!

I have a print copy OR ebook copy of each of Carr's Mac Faraday novels to giveaway to one lucky winner! Here are the details:
  • Leave a comment with your name and email address/twitter handle plus which format you want and you're entered.
  • For fun, tell us who YOUR first crush was :o)
  • Leave a separate comment for one extra entry if you tweet about the interview/giveaway. Please include direct link.
  • Must be 13 or older.
  • Since we have ebooks, this is international!
  • You don't have to be a follower, but it's appreciated of course!
  • Ends at 11:59 PM PST on Thursday, 7/28/11.
  • Winners will be picked with random.org.
  • Questions? Email me at imabookshark AT yahoo DOT com!
Thanks so much to Lauren Carr for the guest post and giveaway! She's fantastic, so I'm sure she'll be back on the blog in the future!! :o) THANK YOU!


  1. name: Melissa
    Email: mel91284(at)yahoo(dot)com
    Twitter: mel_91284
    Type:Print copy

    My first crush was donnie wahlberg from new kids on the block!

  2. I tweeted

  3. Hmm, my first crush was no one famous. It was a friend of the family and back then I thought he was soooo cute :-) Thx for the giveaway!
    ebook /Kindle
    Twitter: (at)_yay_

  4. Lauren, you hit the nail on the head about the lasting impression left by the books we read when we were very young. I believe they influence the choices we make as adults much more than we realize.

  5. Yay! I'd love to win print copies. My heart still flutters at the picture of Shaun Cassidy - I always thought he was much hotter than his brother. (that would be David Cassidy not Frank Hardy)

  6. Sounds great. Count me in, please. I would like the print copies, please.

    First crush was a boy named Michael. That was in 1964, I think.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  7. My best friend's younger brother.
    I actually stopped by to say that there is no way the Hardy Boys were the same with different hair. Sorry, but Frank was definitely the cuter of the two - he was smarter, more put together, and could stay in a serious relationship (but he really needed to hook up with Nancy Drew - ever read the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Supermysteries? Talk about major sexual tension).
    Anyway, since I am here and this turns out to be a giveaway post, I might was well enter. I prefer print.

  8. I devoured the Bobbsey Twins books too when I was young. I love reading mysteries!

    I prefer print but either would be fine with me.

    I am a GFC follower - I love your blog!


  9. Id love a print copy (email in my public profile)


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