Lauren Carr, Meet Gnarly: When Fiction Comes to Life


Blast from the Past Tour Banner


Lauren Carr 2Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award.

Lauren is also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. It’s Murder, My Son, Old Loves Die Hard, and Shades of Murder, have all been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Blast from the Past is the fourth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series. The next installment in the Mac Faraday series will be released in October of this year.

Released September 2012, Dead on Ice introduces a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates. The second installment in the Lovers in Crime series will be out in 2013.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:




Blog: Literary Wealth:


Gnarly’s Facebook Page:

Lovers in Crime Facebook Page:

Acorn Book Services Facebook Page:

Twitter: @TheMysteryLadie


From the beginning, I have known, and been told by multiple sources, that I am not realistic. Used to be, people would tell me that in the form of “Let me tell you what your problem is.” Now that my books have been selling, I’m told that in the tone of “You have a wonderful imagination. What else do you have in that pretty little head of yours?”

When it comes to writing, I prefer to substitute my own reality. When writing a newspaper article, substituting your own reality doesn’t work. Feature editors frown on you telling readers that the giant pond the landscaper installed in the golf course around the time that his wife disappeared would be the perfect place to hide her body—at least not without any actual proof.

That’s not to say that reality can’t be entertaining. I have found that reality can be amusing when looked at in the right light or with the right twist.

Which is where Mac Faraday’s Gnarly came from.

Gnarly was not in the first draft of It’s Murder, My Son. Between drafts, my son was given a puppy during half-time at a football game. No, Ziggy was not a door-prize. A woman came up to my then seven-year-old son and asked, “Would you like to hold my puppy?” I thought, what harm can come from holding a puppy. As soon as he had it, she said, “It’s free. You can keep him.” Then, she was gone.

We named him Ziggy. Tristan wanted to call him Cutie-Pie. But then I envisioned telling a sixty-pound Australian Shepherd to let go of a burglar’s leg. “Down, Cutie-Pie.” It’s hard to say that with a straight face. So, we settled on Ziggy.

Ziggy became a kleptomaniac. Things would disappear around the house. Not quite to the extent that Mac and his neighbors on Spencer Point experienced, but shoes, towels, articles of clothing, some of my underwear, would disappear only to be found under our bed, where Ziggy made his den.

Lauren Carr GnarlyAs with Gnarly, a dog trainer explained that Ziggy’s kleptomania was out of boredom.

In researching this, I found various sources of similar incidents. Bonnie, a bassett hound in my mother’s neighborhood, was a known thief. My mother learned to never leave shoes, books, or articles of clothing on her patio because Bonnie would steal it. Once, my mother looked out the window to spot Bonnie running off into the woods behind her house with her rake. She couldn’t believe that that dog, with its short little legs, was able to carry off a rake with its long handle, but she saw it with her own eyes.

In Old Loves Die Hard, my editor questioned the possibility of Gnarly walking into a store, shoplifting a bone, and leaving without anyone stopping him—until I sent her the video of the news report, complete with security footage. (

She had a similar reaction to the opening of Shades of Murder, when Gnarly held up the package delivery truck for dog biscuits. For this, I didn’t have film footage. I only had witness statements about a husky name Sarge in our own neighborhood who blocks the road until the drivers pay the toll.

After four books featuring Gnarly, even if he is based on my Ziggy, I found myself yearning to have a German Shepherd named Gnarly. I had made Gnarly a German Shepherd, instead of Australian, out of memory for a German Shepherd my husband and I had when we were first married. His name was Winston and, as happens with all dogs eventually, he grew old and passed away.

So, when my friend JoAnne, who owns a German Shepherd named Tala, told me that the same breeder we had gotten Winston from had a litter of puppies, on a whim, I called to ask to see them—and fell in love.

The real life Gnarly was born November 30, 2012. I brought him home on January 18.

So far, he has proven to be as strong-willed as his namesake. Gnarly believes it is best to start the day at six o’clock in the morning. Since he’s crated, he is unable to leap up onto the bed, and hop up and down on my chest when I’m slow to rise. So, he has to be content with howling and barking curses in his doggy language.

Smart: Yep, Gnarly does have that down. At three months he can sit, stay, wait, down, walk on a leash, and steal socks and underwear out of the laundry and hide it just like his namesake.

Like Mac, I have had some disagreements with Gnarly over how things are going to go. For example, house training is not an option. Gnarly believes it should be. Since I refuse to go outside to conduct my business, he thinks he should be allowed to do it in the house as well when the weather does not suit him. It depends on who you ask as to who is winning this debate. I say I am. My husband says Gnarly is.

Now all Gnarly has to do is get his ears to stand up straight and learn to sign his autograph at book signings.


The Past Comes Back with a Blast

Blast from the PastIn Blast from the Past, Mac Faraday finds himself up to his eyeballs in mobsters and federal agents.

After an attempted hit ends badly with two of his men dead, mobster Tommy Cruze arrives in Spencer, Maryland, to personally supervise the execution of the witness responsible for putting him behind bars—Archie Monday!

Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lakeshore resort town of Spencer, Maryland, things may be hotter than even he can handle.

In this fourth installment in the Mac Faraday Mysteries, readers learn more about Archie Monday’s past in a flash—as in a gun fight when the syndicate comes to town. “Readers love to be surprised,” mystery author Lauren Carr says. “In Blast from the Past, they are going to be surprised to discover the secret of Archie Monday’s past, which threatens her and Mac’s future.”

Blast from the Past also takes the Mac Faraday Mysteries to a new level as his relationship with Archie Monday moves onto a whole new level. “I do listen to readers,” Carr explains. “They have been clamoring for Mac and Archie to get together for three books.”

What about Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s canine inheritance—the only German shepherd to be dishonorably discharged from the United States Army? “It’s not a Mac Faraday Mystery without Gnarly,” Carr promises. “Let’s just say Gnarly kicks things up a notch in his own way.”

Available through: CreateSpace, Ingram, Baker & Taylor,,, and Everywhere Fine Books are Sold

ISBN: 0985726776 • ISBN-13: 9780985726775
Pub. Date: January 11, 2013 • Trade Paperback/Kindle • $13.99 (Print)/$0.99 (EBook)

Continue Lauren’s tour at the following stops:

Mar 15: Author Interview: Ashley Ann Torbek’s Blog:

Meet Author Lauren Carr: Get Together @ Facebook. Hosted by Rebecca Sweeney Graf:

Mar 19: Guest Blog Post: ABookVacation: Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy:

Mar 20: Guest Blog: Creatures, Crime, and Creativity Blog: Authors Fictional Lives Come to Life: Lauren Carr Meets Gnarly!

Mar 23: Author Interview: Alex’s Interviews:

Mar 26: Guest Post: Bookingly Yours:

Mar 27: Book Review:

Mar 28: Guest Blog: JL Gregor’s Bugs:

Mar 29: Tour Wrap Up: Literary Wealth

11 thoughts on “Lauren Carr, Meet Gnarly: When Fiction Comes to Life

  1. It’s great to be back at Buried Under Books. As you can tell, I love to collect pet stories for my books. So if anyone has any to share, love to hear them!


  2. Enjoy reading your pet stories. I love my dog and my cat and they bring a lot of joy to my life. I think some interesting stories could be set around working animals such as field trial dogs. Professional bird dog field trials pay good money prizes and competition is high.


    • Hey, Pat, sounds like motive for murder to me. When you have good money prizes and stiff competition, I’m already having ideas! Like a dog goes out to bring in a bird and brings back an arm instead.


      • Yes, that would work. Also, championship dogs have been picked up at trials – bird dog trials turn the dogs lose to follow the birds and the Judges and handlers follow on horseback. Dogs have been stolen for ransom and championship dogs used to breed.


  3. Raising Gnarly, I have played with the idea of him being kidnapped for ransom, only to have the kidnappers end up offering Mac money to take him back after he … With the real Gnarly, it would be their carpet, plants, eat their car keys, shred their clothes … Yeah, I can see that happening. Sorry, I got to go run to save a plant!


  4. Gnarly is my kind of dog. Makes me want to write a dog mystery book. It’s more like, you follow your dog and see what her average day is like. Then one day she doesn’t come back and your now back on the trail.


    • It’s exactly like that. I find with our new addition, I have spent a lot of time watching him, studying, trying to figure out how his mind works or what he is thinking. I’ve also gotten some good material–like his refusal to go outside when the weather is bad, especially when it is raining. Wouldn’t be so bad if he would hold it until it stopped raining.


  5. My dog needs a huge nudge to go outside in the rain and gets right at the edge of the sidewalk to go but has no problem going out in the snow or if ice and sleet is coming down – that just doesn’t make sense to me but I guess it does to her.


  6. The other day, I woke up and it was pouring rain. I saw Gnarly stick his head out. A drop landed on his nose, he turned around, came into the garage and peed right there next to the SUV drivers side door. I thought, “It’s going to be a lo-ong day.” I wanted to cry. And it was a long day. But the upside, it’s material for a Mac Faraday book when Gnarly refuses to go out in the rain and Mac has to clean it up.

    I find that Gnarly tends to humanize Mac. Nothing brings you down to earth like having to clean up after a four-legged critter.


  7. Pingback: Blast from the Past: Tour Wrap-up | Literary Wealth

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