The Murders at Astaire Castle: The Paranormal Cozy That Isn’t—and a Giveaway!

Lauren Carr 2Best-selling mystery author, Lauren Carr is the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries and the Lovers in Crime Mysteries. Reviewers have noted that her humorous cozies have a touch of crime drama, without losing the cozy charm. 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, Acorn Book Services will be releasing several books over a variety of genres. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Blog: Literary Wealth:

Well, on July 19, Mac Faraday’s latest mystery was released. As of this writing, The Murders at Astaire Castle is Number 7 on Amazon under Kindle/Mystery-Thriller/Cozy and has been receiving rave reviews from both reviewers and readers.

Now I can breathe a sigh of relief.

Let me tell you a secret about writers: Basically, we’re all insecure. I imagine that isn’t news for anyone. Being insecure, no matter how many books we write, we suck in a deep breath at the moment of a new release and hold it until the first review comes out—at which point we will either jump for joy or go find a speeding truck to throw ourselves under.

The Murder at Astaire Castle caused me additional anxiety. Why? Well, it all started with the haunted castle …

Another secret about writers. We’re artists. Artists, like athletes, have to push ourselves. Otherwise, we become comfortable, and when we become too comfortable, our talent becomes stale.

The Murders at Astaire CastleHave you had a favorite author who you love to read, but then after a while their new books read just like their previous books? Then, you start to get bored. This happens when the author stops pushing themselves. They, or their publisher, has created a nice comfortable box in which the author writes without pushing themselves.

Well, any of you who work out at the gym know that when you don’t push yourself to go for the burn, and you just go through the motions, that you stop getting the benefit of the exercise.

It is the same with writing. It is when a writer starts going through the motions, writing formula, that the stories become stale. The creative juices stop being so tasty. The writer stops having fun … and so does the reader, because the stories cease to be as fresh.

So, we writers push ourselves. Sometimes, when we push ourselves, we stumble and fall.

Which was why I was holding my breath with The Murders at Astaire Castle.

In anticipation for a Fall release, I had decided to have a Halloween theme for Mac Faraday’s latest mystery. Halloween has always been a fun time. It’s the time to break out! What a better time to stretch my creative muscles!

As a child, at Halloween, I would pretend to be one of the Bobbsey Twins searching for clues to lead me to a secret treasure. If I was lucky, it was made up of chocolate. As a teenager, I was Nancy Drew. Always, when October rolled around, I craved mysteries with something extra added—something beyond the normal—something supernatural. As an author, I couldn’t resist taking this one Mac Faraday Mystery on a scary Halloween adventure.

Lauren's own Gnarly at almost 5 months

Lauren’s own Gnarly at almost 5 months

Murders and paranormal activity go together hand-in-hand, don’t they? Where better to run into ghosts and goblins than a castle? And, since we have Gnarly, who better for him to encounter than a Wolf Man. Not a werewolf, a wolfman. There is a difference, as a paranormal fan told me.

So, this cozy mystery writer decided to write a cozy with a bit of paranormal. But no, I did not decide to write a paranormal! It’s a murder mystery with a haunted castle and a Wolf-Man (no, we are not talking about Gnarly)!

In The Murders at Astaire Castle, Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns to never tell Mac Faraday not to do something when he orders him to stay away from the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop—even though he owns the property. It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!

Topping the list of the ten most haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago—and Mac Faraday owns it!

In spite of David’s warning, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.

What starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet—including a wolf man. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly.

I certainly can’t be the first murder mystery writer who decided to include a paranormal element in her mystery. Can you think of any other murder mysteries that included something from another world in it?

You might win a copy of The Murders at Astaire Castle by Lauren Carr!

There will be one print copy (US residents) and one ebook copy

(international). To enter the drawing, name your preference of print

or ebook and answer the following: In the feud between werewolves

and vampires, who do you vote for? Werewolves or Vampires?

Gnarly says Werewolves Rule.

The winning names will be drawn on the evening of Sunday, August 11th.