Best-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.
My family has a Halloween tradition. Of course, it includes watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”. I think every family has that tradition. It’s right up there with “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown”.
I’ve had to have seen the Great Pumpkin children’s special at least forty-five times (that’s how long ago it premiered on CBS) and still, at that moment when the moon is full and that dark figure rises up out of the pumpkin patch, I can feel my heart beating away with fright-filled anticipation.
The eerie figure turns out to be a beagle, who has no candy to give to all the faithful boys and girls.
Sally demands restitution for missing out on her Halloween candy.
Believe me. This is a scary time of year. I think it has to do with the chilling fingers that seem to reach out of the dark windy weather to prick our skin to make goose bumps. The dying trees and falling leaves contribute to the eerie scene to turn our mood in the direction of spooky.
Even more bizarre is our yearning to be scared.
We aren’t so anxious to get the stuffing scared out of us during the summer. Can you imagine sunning yourself on the beach when a wolf man strolls up to you from the water’s edge to breathe down on you? Most likely, you won’t be thrilled when you yell, “Stop blocking my sun, Fur-Face!”
It has something to do with the setting.
Wait two months.
When the weather turns cold, the leaves drop from the trees, the wind kicks up, and the moon turns full—you won’t only be looking out for the wolf man or vampire or Great Pumpkin—you’re hoping for one. If you’re lucky, all of them to come give your heart a good jump start.
Some of us aren’t quite so excited about being scared or maybe we scare ourselves too much.
Every year, our church has a trunk or treat, in which our members will decorate their vehicles and line them up on the soccer field for the children to gather their Halloween candy. Some of the volunteers will dress up in costume.
Last year, I was dressed up like a farmer in overalls. My husband, Jack, went as himself. He’s much too distinguished to dress up in costume. As always, his gray beard was nicely trimmed and he was clad in his winter coat and gloves to keep him warm on that cold autumn night.
We had decorated the back of our SUV with fake giant spiders and spider webs. At the end of the evening, half of the vehicles had left as the time wore on and the children dwindled down to only a few stragglers or late comers.
Then, it was time to go home.
Most of the outdoor lights shut off. The only light left to illuminate the field was that cast by the headlights of the few remaining vehicles.
Leaving Jack alone, I had left the back of the SUV to go talk to some friends on the other side of the field when I saw a young mother and a little girl dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood, complete with a cape hurrying along the line of vehicles left to get whatever candy was left.
“Jack,” I called back to our SUV, “we got one more.”
A moment later, there was a high pitched scream. Her red cape flapping behind her, Little Red Riding Hood went flying across the field—screaming the whole way.
Her mother was right behind her. “I told you that some of them would be scary.”
Not far behind them, my husband was running with his arms outstretched offering the bowl of candy. “Wait, little girl! Don’t you want some candy?”
Apparently, Jack was in the front of the SUV when he heard me call. As the girl approached the back of the vehicle, he came out of the shadows. With his beard and dark coat, she thought he was the …
(Wait for it!)
Big Bad Wolf!
Now poor Jack is banned from Trunk or Treat. He’s still waiting to get mad about it.
Admittedly, I am not a paranormal fan. I may be the only reader in America who has not read a vampire romance. Yet, when October rolls around, I’m craving a little something extra in the whodunits I devour. That was why I wrote The Murders at Astaire Castle, a mystery with a touch of paranormal.
In this Mac Faraday mystery, Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns the hard way to never tell Mac 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 … or my husband.