A Fine Year for Murder 002 - A Fine Year For Murder Book Spotlight
Book Description:


After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.


When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.


Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?


Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~ Add on Goodreads



Book Trailer:



How Long Is Too Long? Does Word Count Really Matter?

By Lauren Carr


Back in the days of the giant lizard (aka dinosaur), I wrote my first book, which I call The Great American Catastrophe. This was back before the delete button was invented and traffic on the expressway during morning rush hour was often held up by a T-Rex chowing down on a Volkswagon on the on-ramp.

The Great American Catastrophe was over about 1200 pages long. Don’t ask me about the word count. Bill Gates, who was in puberty at the time, hadn’t invented that function in MS Word yet.

However, I can tell you the word count for A Fine Year for Murder, the latest installment in the Thorny Rose Mysteries, which was released on January 30. At 327 pages long, it has a word count of 97,247 words. That is a fraction of the length of The Great American Catastrophe, which is currently buried in my mother’s basement.

My writing has definitely tightened up over the decades. By tighter, that means my writing is leaner. (This is not my assessment, but that of reviewers who have praised my mysteries for being quick, fast paced reads.) Extemporaneous scenes or facts that add nothing to the mystery are left out, nor is there an overabundance of adjectives and adverbs. Part of that can be attributed to my laziness. I have better things to do than sit at the laptop trying to think of a creative way of describing a tree. (It’s tall, made of wood, and has green things hanging from the branches.)

But just because I don’t like to sweat bullets coming up with flowery ways of describing nature, does that mean description is bad? Has the Charles Dickens’ style of writing gone to the wayside with readers’ longer attention spans? Is there still a place in literature for sweeping epics like Moby Dick and Gone With the Wind.

Good question.

As an author who has mentored new writers, occasionally, this question will find its way to the forefront. At practically every book event, I will get asked about word or page count. “What word count should my book be?” “How many pages are too many for my sci-fi?”

When I started writing, I didn’t ask that question. My belief was that my book will be as long as it needs to be. Not all stories can be fit into a box dictating a specific size.

My first published book, A Small Case of Murder, was 134,000 words. It did well. However, when my next book, A Reunion to Die For (121,000 words) was picked up by Five Star Mystery, I was told to trim it down. With the removal of a subplot, it came in at 112,000 words. At a mystery writers’ conference, I was perplexed by comments from other authors about how thick my book was. I didn’t think it was that big of a book.

Compared to A Fine Case for Murder, A Reunion to Die For and A Small Case of Murder are epic novels.

The trimming of my books has happened not due to any dictate from anyone. It has happened as a natural progression in my writing style. With It’s Murder, My Son, I found my voice. While I insist my mysteries are not written by a formula, I am now able to see the fat that prevents the story from moving forward and trim it.

I have found it surprising to discover that my mysteries, stretching across three series, have been enjoying great success in sales and reviews, while other authors I know, who have thicker books with large word counts, are having difficulty in even getting reviewers to take them on, even though their books are great literary pieces. For some time, I have concluded that the issue was a common problem with new authors. Reviewers didn’t want to risk investing the time on new authors with big books that would require more time to read and write a review.

Then, one Christmas, I released a mini-anthology, A Gnarly Christmas, (along with Lucky Dog, another short story) and was shocked when this twenty-seven page short story (without any marketing to speak of) began to outsell my full books. Years later, it has been consistently in the top one hundred among mystery anthologies on Amazon.

While a host of explanations for the volume of sales could be offered from fans of my books snapping up the short stories to fans gravitating toward the dog on the cover, I can’t help but wonder if readers are clamoring for a quick read.

Think about it: How many of us, even those of us who are readers, have the time to commit to a four-to-five hundred page book? Sociologists have been reporting for years about how busy our lives are compared to our parents. With only sporadic portions of time to sit down to our e-reader, most people may prefer books that they can quickly devour over the few hours they may have to read over the course of a week rather than invest weeks in a longer piece.

Publishers have been trimming back the word count for years. It used to be anything goes, and then it was down to 120,000 then to 100,000, until it was 80,000, and so on. Their explanation: Readers want shorter books.

Another explanation: Longer books make for more publishing material, which makes for higher production costs, which makes for more expensive books for which readers don’t want to pay when it comes to new authors.

E-books took that explanation out of the equation. They don’t require paper and ink. Therefore, an author can make their book as long as necessary to tell a great story without any consideration for production cost.

Based on the surprising success of my short stories, I have come to suspect that there is truth in publishers’ assertion that most readers are seeking quick reads over long reads.

Is the market for longer books reducing?

A few years ago, I asked that question to a fiction writing class I was teaching, I was almost lynched by this roomful of avid readers. Those wanting longer books were offended by the very question. So I can say, yes, there are readers for longer books.

But then, why are authors of longer books, great longer books, having difficulty achieving good sales?

Well, while there are avid readers crying out for big fat books, there are other readers who will confess that they do gravitate toward shorter books.

Does word count really matter? Answer: Yes and No.

With the revolution in publishing, and authors taking the power back for their creative literary success, we no longer answer to publishers dictating the word count to us. We can make our books as long as they need to be to tell our story and still get it out there to the readers.

HOWEVER, if we want our books to be successful in sales, we need to keep in mind that while there are readers who love big fat books, there are also a large number of readers who don’t want to commit to a big read—especially for an unknown, unproven author. They only want something to read on the train into work or at night before they go to bed, or while their child is practicing fencing, or they have a short attention span. Whatever the reason, there are many readers who won’t buy or commit to large books.

That being the case, if your book has a large word count, this segment of readers won’t be buying your book.

Another way to look at it:

Authors of quick reads can attract readers from both pools. Thus, these authors can enjoy a wider audience.

Authors of longer books do lose that portion of the reading audience who run screaming like little girls at word counts above 100,000. However, while these authors may not rake in as much in sales, that does not mean that they cannot be successful.

It depends on your definition of success.

If success is measured by how many books you have sold, then you want to keep your word count down.

If your definition of success is measured by the praise of a smaller audience for having created a great literary piece that will stand the test of time, then word count is an irrelevant issue. Take heart. Everyone loves a good cheeseburger, but it takes an educated palate to enjoy the fine taste of caviar. Point in fact: Moby Dick was discovered decades after Herman Melville died penniless.

Conclusion: Does word count matter? The answer is up to each ind



Feb 1 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 1 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / guest post

Feb 1 – Books for Books – book spotlight

Feb 1 – Sylv all about books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 2 – Working mommy Journal  – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 2 – fundinmental – book spotlight / author interview

Feb 2 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / guest post

Feb 3 – Nighttime Reading Center – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 3 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 6 – My Journey Back – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

Feb 7 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

​Feb 7 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – book spotlight

Feb 8 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 8 – The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 9 – fuonlyknew – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

Feb 10 – A Holland Reads – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 13 – For Life After – book spotlight / guest post

Feb 14 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 15 – Carol’s Notebook – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 16 – Laura’s Interests – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 17 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight /

Feb 21 – JBronder Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post

Feb 22 – Christa Reads and Writes – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 23 – Within The Pages Of A Book – book spotlight / author interview

Feb 24 – Thoughts on Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 24 – Rainy Day Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

Feb 27 – The World As I See It – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 28 – Jessica Cassidy – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

Feb 28 – Elsie’s Audiobook Digest – book spotlight / author interview

March 5 – Writers and Authors – book spotlight


Author’s Bio:

Lauren Carr 2 002 - A Fine Year For Murder Book Spotlight

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!


Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.


Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.


Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook


Say Your Piece


About The Author

My kids are finally all in High School. One is driving. I am FREE! I want to discover all there is to do and be now that the vomit diapers and carpool are over. Let the ADVENTURE begin!

57 Responses

  1. thegreenage.co.uk

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  2. ecoease.co.uk

    One thing I’d really like to reply to is that fat reduction plan fast is possible by the right diet and exercise. An individual’s size not simply affects appearance, but also the general quality of life. Self-esteem, depressive disorder, health risks, and physical abilities are affected in excess weight. It is possible to do everything right and still gain. If this happens, a medical problem may be the perpetrator. While too much food rather than enough body exercise are usually responsible, common health concerns and key prescriptions might greatly enhance size. I am grateful for your post right here.

  3. kvarnens klippotek

    I have read a few excellent stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much attempt you place to create one of these excellent informative website.

  4. sex

    Very fantastic information can be found on web site. “Society produces rogues, and education makes one rogue more clever than another.” by Oscar Fingall O’Flahertie Wills Wilde.

  5. toolstation.com

    I must show my gratitude for your kindness for individuals who should have help with this situation. Your very own commitment to passing the solution all through became exceedingly valuable and have continuously made individuals just like me to arrive at their dreams. Your entire useful advice denotes a lot to me and much more to my peers. Many thanks; from each one of us.

  6. stopslip.co.uk

    Useful info. Fortunate me I discovered your website accidentally, and I am stunned why this coincidence didn’t came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

  7. sylglas.com

    I’m often to blogging and i actually respect your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your website and maintain checking for brand new information.

  8. vikingtapes.co.uk

    I have learn a few excellent stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you set to create this sort of excellent informative website.

  9. selfadhesive.co.uk

    I really enjoy studying on this website, it has got good content. “And all the winds go sighing, For sweet things dying.” by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

  10. gaffatape.com

    You can definitely see your expertise in the paintings you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

  11. Business

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I am quite certain I’ll learn plenty of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  12. cordek.com

    Good – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task.

  13. pyramid-display.co.uk

    you’re really a just right webmaster. The site loading velocity is amazing. It kind of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. In addition, The contents are masterwork. you’ve done a magnificent activity in this subject!

  14. Women

    Whats up very cool web site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds also…I am happy to search out a lot of useful information here in the post, we need work out extra strategies on this regard, thanks for sharing.

  15. k5market marketing

    Together with every thing which seems to be developing within this area, all your points of view happen to be rather refreshing. On the other hand, I am sorry, but I do not subscribe to your whole suggestion, all be it exhilarating none the less. It looks to everybody that your comments are generally not totally rationalized and in simple fact you are generally yourself not really thoroughly convinced of the point. In any case I did appreciate reading through it.

  16. Pets

    Normally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice post.

  17. Web Design

    I truly enjoy looking through on this site, it has superb articles. “And all the winds go sighing, For sweet things dying.” by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

  18. andrea riccardi

    I’m not sure exactly why but this web site is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  19. Maroochydore solar and gas

    Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  20. Dating

    certainly like your website but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the reality nevertheless I will surely come back again.

  21. texas driver education

    The subsequent time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I imply, I do know it was my choice to read, however I truly thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you might repair in case you werent too busy looking for attention.

  22. Best Spyware Free

    It is in reality a great and useful piece of information. I¡¦m satisfied that you shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  23. brady.co.uk

    Hello, Neat post. There is a problem along with your web site in internet explorer, may check this… IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a good part of other folks will leave out your great writing because of this problem.

  24. Travel

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

  25. e-magnetsuk.com

    But wanna comment on few general things, The website design is perfect, the articles is rattling great. “Crime does not pay … as well as politics.” by Alfred E. Newman.

  26. sylglas.com

    Nice blog here! Additionally your website loads up very fast! What host are you the use of? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink on your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  27. Norman Roberts

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  28. Natalie Hinn

    This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

  29. india pussy

    It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to recommend you some attention-grabbing things or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles relating to this article. I want to read more issues about it!

  30. protecdirect.co.uk

    I found your blog web site on google and test a number of of your early posts. Proceed to keep up the very good operate. I simply extra up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. In search of ahead to reading more from you in a while!…

  31. thesitebook.com

    I¡¦ll immediately clutch your rss feed as I can’t to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  32. rénovation nice

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  33. skdtapes.com

    Howdy! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when browsing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!

  34. Health

    You are my breathing in, I have few web logs and often run out from to post .I think this site holds some very good information for everyone. “Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.” by Francis Bacon.

  35. diy.com

    Thanks for your helpful post. Through the years, I have come to understand that the particular symptoms of mesothelioma cancer are caused by a build up associated fluid between your lining of the lung and the chest muscles cavity. The infection may start within the chest place and spread to other body parts. Other symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include weight-loss, severe breathing in trouble, vomiting, difficulty eating, and inflammation of the neck and face areas. It really should be noted that some people having the disease don’t experience almost any serious signs at all.

  36. Juwelry

    I conceive this website has got some very great information for everyone :D. “America is not merely a nation but a nation of nations.” by Lyndon B. Johnson.

  37. indigoshop.co.uk

    magnificent points altogether, you just won a logo new reader. What could you suggest in regards to your publish that you made some days in the past? Any certain?

  38. Porno

    Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

  39. SPAM

    I needed to create you this very little remark to be able to thank you so much over again on the nice strategies you have contributed here. It is quite incredibly generous with people like you to convey openly just what a number of people would’ve distributed as an e book to generate some dough for their own end, principally considering the fact that you could have tried it in the event you desired. These tricks in addition served to provide a fantastic way to be aware that many people have a similar interest like my very own to realize a lot more pertaining to this problem. I believe there are lots of more fun times ahead for people who see your website.

  40. protection.co.uk

    I truly wanted to send a small message to say thanks to you for these nice concepts you are showing at this site. My considerable internet investigation has now been paid with excellent concept to write about with my good friends. I ‘d suppose that we website visitors actually are really lucky to exist in a remarkable network with very many brilliant professionals with very helpful basics. I feel quite happy to have used your entire webpage and look forward to really more thrilling moments reading here. Thanks once more for everything.

  41. buy medicine online

    I have been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Studying this info So i am satisfied to express that I have a very good uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I so much definitely will make sure to do not forget this website and give it a glance regularly.

  42. Cristine

    More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you’re not more popular because you really have a gift.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.