Book Title: Killer Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 232 pages
Genre: Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: April 23, 2020
Audiobook release date: August 5, 2020
Tour dates: Sep 21 to Oct 16, 2020
Content Rating: G. This is a true cozy mystery. No sex. No on-stage violence. No swearing. Just good clean fun!
Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.
When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.
But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?
With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes.
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REVIEW by LAWonder10:
I love Lauren Carr's writing and now I get to listen to the audio books as well! It is so enjoyable listening to her books I have read in audio form! It is a wonderful "refresher" to my mind of stories I only partially remembered. Her writing is the type one can listen to/read more than once and still enjoy!
Killer Deadline is a great title for this particular book. The Cover image is a great choice, too!
The human and non human characters and the background scenes are fantastic! It is so easy to lose oneself into the story. As always, Lauren Carr has added much humor and outrageous antics corresponding with adventure, mystery and suspense.
This book is about an individual who walked away from her one true love because of unique conditions. Years later, she is a successful newsperson who must now decide whether she should leave her success to return home to take over the small town news media station which has been in her family for years. Is her love still single? She is urged by her email friend to "give it a shot". The email "pal" challenged her to face her dilemma and he would face his as well.
In the meantime, she is determined to solve a past murder. As she pursues this, other individuals start expiring.
The Narrator, .Anita Alger, did a very good job with her voice fluctuation and enunciation, but her voice was too delicate and "airy" for the "manly" main character which slightly annoyed me. Other than that, I totally enjoyed this audio.
I offer a Four and a Half Stars rating.
This was gifted me with absolutely no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.
"Here we go! Carr is a master storyteller who always offers a plot full of twists and turns, a bit of humor to offset the dark, and a unique cast of characters. In Killer Deadline that cast includes - handsome Ryan, her first love (who is now her step-brother); a mysterious social media friend called Nerdy Guy; Elmo, a super smart dog, a boxer, she rescued who has become a social media star and has a penchant for cleaning; a TV station full of suspicious employees; and more.
"This book is a wonderful read to pick up at the end of a long day. It truly is a "cozy murder mystery." I promise, it'll draw you in right from page one and keep you turning the pages until you reach the very last page. I can't wait for the second book in this series." - Marilyn R. Wilson, Olio by Marilyn
What the F^%& Does That Word Mean? By Lauren Carr
Back a few years ago, my husband and I went to see a movie that was very popular at the time. It was an action film that was full of tense scenes, high suspense, great acting, and a thrilling climax. We loved it. It wasn’t until we were leaving the theatre that we both heard a woman behind us say to her husband, “Did you notice that there was not one swear word in that whole movie?”
She was absolutely right.
We were enjoying the plot, action, and drama so much that we never noticed the absence of swear words. Did the audience rebel upon the absence of nudity and cuss words?
I don’t think so.
Contrary to what Hollywood, publishers, and others in the publishing and entertainment industry may say, there is a big audience of movie-goers and readers (my audience) who just want a great plotline minus the vulgar stuff.
When a reader is enthralled by a great plotline, suspense and twists that leave him or her breathless, intriguing characters, and great writing, they aren’t going to notice there aren’t any cuss words, dismembered body parts, or play by play description of sex. They’re too wrapped up in the book to notice it.
But, take a book with a great plot and high suspense, fill it up with vulgar dialogue, and then take a detour from the story for the obligatory sex scene, then many readers will find themselves so distracted by the language that they can’t concentrate on the book, which is what the author is selling.
I can say truthfully that I have turned off award-winning movies because the swearing is so distracting (especially the f-word) that I can’t follow the plot. They may have had great acting, but the dialogue (aka writing) is horrible.
To many people, curse words are like sending an email filled with caps. Many people are offended by curse words. Maybe they can take a few well-chosen words if they are necessary to the scene, but if you hit them with a hell, damn, shit, crap, or f-word on every page, then they start thinking about using your book to line the kitty box.
In my second book A Reunion to Die For, I had an earthy character who did swear a lot. He was killed early on, but for the first couple chapters of that book, his dialogue was cuss filled. One reader let me know that she was quite unhappy about the inclusion of those words in my book. However, it was necessary because that character would not speak without using those types of words.
Another author I know recently released a book that included a motor-cycle gang as the antagonists. Those characters would swear heavily, so she had to include it in their dialogue. But, those words were not used in dialogue between her protagonist and other characters. I completely enjoyed her book and no, I did not cringe at the use of those words because she did not use them excessively and they did fit with her plotline.
However, if curse words are used purely for shock value, and used excessively, then many readers, like me, will toss the book aside and cross the author off our list. A lot of readers and reviewers view casual use of swear words as a sign of low-class, lack of intelligence, and lack of self-control/discipline. “You can’t even control your mouth.”
Hopefully, other young newbie writers can take note of the reality about how curse words are really viewed by readers and reviewers.
1) Cursing adds realism. Depends on who you hang out with. I have traveled in Europe and have socialized with people from all walks of life: from the homeless to multi-millionaires. Most people do not use profanity and view those who use it as unintelligent because they aren’t smart enough, or too lazy, to think of more descriptive and polite words to express themselves. .
2) Swearing adds emphasis—tells readers how stressful the situation is for my characters. This explanation makes me laugh. Say you’re a police officer who does not swear in his normal every day life. Suddenly, a bullet flies over his head. What is his first reaction? “Hey a bullet just flew over my head! Now I can say ‘f#*&!” If your characters don’t usually swear, they aren’t suddenly going to break into a string of profanity just because they are stressed. Curse words and swearing is not part of their normal make-up.
3) My target audience will expect and want curse words. Do you really want to confine yourself to a small section of potential readers? If you want to break into the big leagues to earn a wide audience, take a look at the books of huge and famous authors who are on best-sellers lists. Most of them do not use excessive swearing.
When it comes to searing, authors need to remind themselves of this:
Words are important. Words have meaning.
Every word has a meaning and a value attached to it. A tightly written book does not use words that have no meaning. It will come across as lazy.
For example: When a writer uses a line like this in the narrative: “What the hell was going to happen to her?” or something to that affect. What does “the hell” mean? Think about it. We know what “What, was going, happen, to, her” means. But what meaning and value does “the hell” have in that sentence? They are just words that drag down the potential image of your characters and yourself as an author worthy of respect.
So I offer this advice to budding authors, if you care about going down in literary history as a literary master, and not a lazy amateurish writer, you will take a close look at every swear word in the dialogue and really think (without rationalizing) about the value they add to, or take away from your book.
When in doubt, delete it. Believe me, if your book has a strong plot, characters, and everything else, your readers will never notice that missing curse word.
** Lauren, I would love to add my "Amen" to this!! However, I feel it is very effective when an author writes "he let loose some expletives" or 'cursed" etc. The reader "gets then picture" without the offensive use of fowl language. Some "Hells" and "Damns" can usually be tolerated but the "F-bombs" and God's name in vain" etc. are just "Tooo Much"! (Lu Ann)
Meet the Author:
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
Killer Deadline marks Lauren's first venture into mystery's purely cozy sub-genre with a female protagonist.
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.
A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest ~ Bookbub
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