Monday, October 13, 2014

The Murders at Astaire Castle Book Blitz - Win FREE Books from Lauren Carr

We're happy to be hosting Lauren Carr and her THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE Book
Blitz today!

Title: Married One Night

Author: Amber Leigh Williams

Publisher: Harlequin Superromance

Pages: 384

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON
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Title: The Murders at Astaire Castle

Author: Lauren Carr

Publisher: Acorn Book Services

Pages: 286

Genre: Mystery

Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON

Mac Faraday Meets
the Wolf Man!

Never tell Mac Faraday not
to do something.

In The Murders at Astaire Castle, Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday 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.
“Halloween has always been a fun time,” best-selling author Lauren Carr explains in a note at the beginning of her fifth Mac Faraday mystery. “It’s the time to break out and be someone else. As a child, 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.”
In this latest installment of Carr’s hit series, 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.

Book Excerpt:


November 2002 – Astaire Castle, top of Spencer Mountain,
Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
Shivering, Rafaela turned up
the fan for the heater in her old Plymouth. The weather channel was calling for
snow. With an eye on the storm clouds heading straight for Spencer Mountain,
she picked up the speed a notch. Her car bumped along the worn road cut through
the trees and rock to take her to Astaire Castle.
The notion of being trapped
at the castle by a winter storm made her curse the day she had accepted the job
as housekeeper at the Astaire estate. The young illegal immigrant thought her
prayers had been answered by landing the job at the luxurious estate. Not only
was it prestigious to work in a castle, but lucrative since Damian Wagner was
paying almost twice her normal hourly wage.
What a gem to put on my
housekeeping resume! To be hire by only one of the world’s most famous authors
of horror books—even more famous than Robin Spencer—to clean an
honest-to-goodness castle. So what if the Astaire Castle has a reputation of
being haunted? I’ll be making a bundle for cleaning five days a week in the
daylight. Besides, I don’t believe in no ghosts.
Rafaela regretted her
decision the first time she walked into Astaire Castle.
At first, she dismissed her
cleaning supplies moving from where she had left them as forgetfulness.  Then there was the time she kept hearing
someone whispering her name. She had looked around, but never saw anyone. Same
with doors closing or opening or footsteps coming up behind her, and the
old-time music and party noises in empty rooms when no one was there—she tried
to tell herself that it was all her imagination.
None of that was anything
compared to the Wolf Man who she had seen in the dining room mirror while she
was cleaning it.
She had heard all about the
Wolf Man who lived in the woods surrounding Astaire Castle. The woman with two
teenagers who lived in the apartment next to hers was quick to tell her about
him. Rafaela had dismissed it all as ghost stories made up by her neighbor’s
kids to scare her—until she had seen him with her own two eyes.
That day she ran out of the
castle. She returned only after Genevieve, Damian Wagner’s daughter, had
promised that her father finish his book and be moving out of the castle by the
end of the year—at which time he would pay her a handsome bonus that would give
her enough money to visit her family in Brazil for Christmas.
Rafaela caught her breath
when her Plymouth entered through the gate at the end of the road to pull into
the front courtyard and fountain.
The fountain was off. Damian
Wagner had never bothered to turn it on. He wouldn’t notice if it was. He spent
his time banging away on his computer in the study on the top floor. He
wouldn’t eat if it weren’t for his daughter bringing food to him.
Then there was the
editor—Mr. Jansen.
He reminded Rafaela of a
bird with his bony frame, high cheekbones over a pointy chin, and thick
eyeglasses with his blinking eyes magnified behind them. He sounded like a
squawking bird with his high-pitched voice no matter what his mood or what he
was saying. Ready to pounce in anticipation of any need from Damian Wagner, he
was always lurking nearby.
Damian’s daughter,
Genevieve, was as charming as beautiful. She often asked Rafaela about her
family in Brazil and about her life in Deep Creek Lake.  For the new immigrant to America, Rafaela
felt as if she was making a friend who would give her good references for more
housekeeping jobs in the resort town of Spencer—more millionaire estates to
clean—estates that weren’t haunted.
Rafaela pulled her car
around the circular drive and parked at the bottom of the steep steps that led
to the front door. When she got out of her car, the wind howled and whipped her
long dark hair around her head. The wind actually seemed to want to rip her
thin coat off her body. Grabbing her box of cleaning supplies, she squared her
shoulders, and sucked up her nerve to go inside.
Need to make this quick.
They don’t have enough money to make me stay here during that storm.
The wind yanked the heavy
wooden door from her grasp to slam it against the side of the house.
“Stupid door!” Rafaela set
the box inside the foyer and went outside to grab the door and pull it shut.
“Mr. Wagner! Mr. Jansen! Genevieve! It’s me, Rafaela! Hope I’m not disturbing
you.” She picked up the box and made her way through the foyer.
“Raf-aela …”
She stopped. With wide eyes,
she peered up the staircase to the second floor balcony. “Is that you, Mr.
Wagner?” She paused to listen. “Genevieve?”
“Get out. Now.”
Has to be my imagination. She reassured herself. “There’s no such thing as ghosts.
There’s no such thing as ghosts,” she muttered over and over to herself while
hurrying to the back of the castle.
“I don’t suppose you had any
trick-or-treaters last night, did you?” she called out to ease her nerves with
the sound of her own voice. “Not up here I suppose.”
She waited for an answer.
She heard footsteps on the floor up above.
The smell of burnt meat came
to her nose. It smelled like steak that had been left on the grill for too
They must have grilled
steaks last night.
“Lots of little children
stopped by my apartment.” Feeling braver as she rattled on, Rafaela set the box
of cleaning supplies on the kitchen table and gathered together her duster and
furniture polish.
Best to start in the living
room. The antiques, wood, and silver takes the longest.
Admiring the decades-old
priceless china encased in the china closet, she went through the dining room.
With her cleaning lady’s eye, she gauged what needed to be addressed on this
visit that she may have missed before. She stopped when the blotch of red on
the doorframe through the kitchen caught her eye.
What’s that? Catsup?
It wasn’t until she spotted
a spot on the floor that she first considered that it wasn’t a condiment, but
something much more sinister.  She
spotted another. Bigger this time … and another.
There was a red pool in
front of the kitchen door that opened out onto the back patio and deck that
projected out over the rocks to provide a massive view of the valley down
below. All of the drops and splatters and pools led to the common source—the
fire pit outside.
She saw the flames and smoke
wafting in the wind whipping around her where she stood in the open doorway.
She stared at the blackened objects in the pit. What at first appeared to be a
burnt log projecting out of the flames took shape.
The hand and fingers reached
out to her.
The index finger was
pointing at her.
Through the rapid beating of
her heart, Rafaela could hear the footsteps behind her coming closer.
“Get out!”
His image was reflected in
the glass pane of the door. The wild hair. The crazed eyes.
It’s the Wolf Man!

Watch the Trailer!

About the Author:

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Twelve to Murder is the seventh installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Lauren launched the Lovers in Crime (first introduced in Shades of Murder) mystery series in September 2012 with Dead on Ice.

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.

For More Information

Lauren is giving away one paperback copy, two ebook copies and three audiobooks of THE 

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are
    confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Six winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins October 6 and ends
    October 31.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on
    Monday, November 3.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
luck everyone!


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