Monday, 11 June 2018

Ice, A Cold Case Mystery Audio Book By Lauren Carr

Today on the blog we have a guest post from Lauren Carr, the author of ICE, an audiobook about a cold case mystery. 

Warning – You Could End Up in My Book
By Lauren Carr

My favourite part of being a writer is finding new characters and exploring their minds and backgrounds to figure out what makes them tick. I enjoy presenting the character to the readers as a whole, and then, through the story, I slowly peel back the layers to show the reader what is underneath—who that character really is.

In my newest release, Ice, the most interesting relationship is between my protagonist Chris Matheson and his mother, Doris.

While he does have a close relationship with his mother, Chris is not a momma’s boy by any means. Retired from the FBI, the recent widower has moved his family back home, where his mother, also a recent widow, helps him raise his three young daughters.

Both Chris and Doris are quick-thinking, strong-willed individuals. I found their exchanges to be some of the most fun and intriguing dialogue to write. I could envision their rapid-fire responses to each other, as illustrated in the excerpt below:

After reporting that Billie’s had relocated into a shopping centre across from the post office, Doris followed her son into the mudroom. “You’re going out for breakfast?” she asked when she saw him putting on his coat and boots. 

“I’m meeting Elliott and—” Realizing how strange it would sound to be meeting his book club for breakfast on such short notice, Chris stopped. “Elliott. He called and asked if I’d like to meet him for breakfast.” 
“Elliott?” Doris clasped her chest. Even Sadie and Mocha were cocking their heads at him. Three pairs of eyes narrowed. “Why?” 
“Why not?” 
His quick response gave her reason to pause, but not long enough for him to make his escape. “You do know the power is out?” 
With a nod of his head, Chris responded that he did. “Do we have enough milk, bread, and toilet paper? I can stop in town if we don’t.” 
“Yes, but you know those girls are going to have fits when they realize that we don’t have cable or wi-fi.” 
“Which is why I’m leaving before they wake up,” Chris said with a wicked grin. 
“And you’re leaving me here alone with them?” 
He grasped her shoulders. “Mom, no one is better in a crisis than you. I saw you practically deliver a baby yesterday.”
“I did not deliver a baby,” Doris said. “I only calmed three hysterical law enforcement officers highly trained to handle emergencies until the ambulance got here. And don’t think I didn’t notice you taking an extremely long time to clear that lane, which you conveniently didn’t finish until just when the EMTs arrived. Even after the ambulance got here, you hid in the barn until after they took Regina away in the ambulance.” 
“I was being thorough in salting the driveway.” 
“And all of that was for what? False labor.” 
“Do you think Patterson wanted to go into false labor out here? She just landed a big case—one that can make her career if we can prove the Krawford family had something to do with Bukowski’s murder. Now she’s bedridden until she has the baby.” 
“You get along with her, don’t you?” Doris asked. “Can you trust her to not frame you like Rodney Bell is probably going to try to do for Ethel Lipton’s murder? From what you told me about this Tommy Bukowski, someone with a grudge against you could spin it to make it seem like you whacked him. They could say you saw him around town and decided to get even with him for getting one of your witnesses killed.” 
“And left his body on our property for me to find? That would be just a little bit stupid.” 
“Or just a little bit genius depending on how you look at it.”
“Regina Patterson does respect my experience and skills,” Chris said. “Plus, she’s fair enough to keep me in the loop dur­ing her investigation, which is why I agreed to help her while she’s bedridden.” 
“I knew you’d find some way to worm your way into this case,” she said. “Is Regina still at Jefferson Medical? If the power doesn’t come on soon, I’ll take the girls in for breakfast and we can stop by to visit her.”

“No, she’ll be gone,” Chris said. “Her husband was going to take her home as soon as they released her. He’s a nice guy. Helen and I waited around at the hospital last night until he got there. She’ll be working remotely from her bed. Speaking of Helen, why didn’t you tell me that she’d moved back here?” 

“I did.” 

“Did not.” 

“Did so.” Her hands were on her hips. “It was the Friday after Sierra started working at the library and Helen came in to pick her up.” She wagged her finger at him. “I told you at dinner that night.” 

“Mom, I’d remember if you’d told me that Helen Lawson had moved back here.” 

“We were eating tuna casserole, and you said, ‘Uh-huh.’” 

“That explains it.” He wrapped his scarf around his neck. 


“We were having your tuna casserole,” he said. “I was obviously too traumatized to notice what you’d said.” 

“Stop being a smart ass. I told you that Helen Clarke has moved back, and you said, ‘Uh-huh.’” 

“Her name was Helen Lawson.” 

“Her name is Helen Clarke.” 

“Now,” Chris said. “Back when we were dating, it was Helen Lawson. When you told me that Helen Clarke had moved back here, I had no idea who you were talking about.” 

“If you didn’t know who I was talking about, why didn’t you ask me?” 

“Because I didn’t care.” He zipped up his coat. 

She folded her arms across her chest. “If you didn’t care, why are you upset now?” 

“I’m not upset.” 

“If you’re not upset, why are you beating my chops about not telling you that your first love had come home.”

With a low growl, he yanked open the door—allowing a sharp breeze through the mudroom that sent Sadie retreating into the kitchen. 

“Don’t forget your hat! You’ll catch your death of cold!”

With a sigh, he reached through the doorway to snatch his knit hat from the coat hook.I’m often asked where I get my inspiration for characters and their witty exchanges. Simply, I’m a people watcher. Even before I wrote my first book, I would study those around me and try to dissect their personality. “Why is she like that?” “What is his motive for treating his wife that way?”

I was really no fun back in my single days because instead of listening to my dates, I would be listening to the people at the next table. Now my husband recognizes that look in my eyes when I pick up a particularly juicy exchange that isn’t happening at our table.

Not only do I watch people, but I listen to how they talk to each other. So take this as a warning. If you’re sitting in a restaurant with a writer nearby, most likely, she’s listening in on your conversation. It helps us to write dialogue. I read in one blog about an author who overheard a man plotting to kill his boss while his wife was shushing him.

So don’t plot a murder while eating at McDonalds. If I’m the lady at the next table, you may find your conversation in my next book.

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