'Cancelled Vows'

by DIYStudent about a year ago in literature

A Review

'Cancelled Vows'

The day of Police Chief David O’Callaghan and his to be wife Chelsea Adams’ wedding day is coming up fast. However there is a last minute snag to the happy couple's special plans for their special day. David is still technically married, he has to divorce his first wife first. David, Mac, and Gnarly rush to New York City to get a divorce for David. He has five days to divorce his old girlfriend or his wedding plans will be ruined. However a murder blocks the path between David's divorce and wedding plans. Luckily Mac Faraday and his K-9 Gnarly are there to solve the murder and get David to the church in time for his wedding.

Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr is an international best-selling author. Lauren Carr is popular for her Mac Faraday and Lovers in Crime Mysteries, as well as her the Thorny Rose Mysteries books. Lauren Carr spends time speaking at schools, youth groups, and author panels at conventions. When she has the time, Lauren Carr shares her experience as a writer and her knowledge of publishing through workshops in community education classes. Lauren Carr currently lives with her husband, son, and four dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

My Review

The first thing I noticed when I cracked open the book was the cast of characters' page. I really love it when author's have some sort of character page as it makes a lot easier for the reader to keep track of multiple characters. If the reader gets confused on who a character is or their relation to another character then in this book the reader can just flip back to this page and the little blurb with enlighten them. I really liked that it was ordered my order of character appearance.

The prologue was a great way to pull the reader into the story. The prologue take place two days in the future and involves a cop shooting another cop who was going to kill him. This little scene really pulled me into the book and got my involved in the story line.

Gnarly was my favorite character in the book. I really loved the reactions from the characters when he ate the wedding rings. It was hilarious, I could really just see it happening. A similar thing happened to my family. My Dad bought my mother these really expensive earnings. One fell into our dogs bowl and was never seen again.

This book is very well written. I like how it merged a murder, romance, and suspense elements together. I also liked how the book could be read by adults and teens. There was no graphic violence and there were no bad words or cursing scenes. This book would be great for those who enjoy a good clean murder mystery.

My Interview of Lauren Carr

Was it difficult to keep the content to PG only?

Actually, for me, it’s not.

I’m an independent writer, which means that I’m not restricted by anyone’s guidelines except my own. However, having said that, now that I have three mysteries series and have established an audience who looks forward to the next book, I am aware that my readers have certain expectations based on my previous books. Therefore, I am aware that if I suddenly had a graphically violence murder or a lurid sex scene, my readers would rebel.

That’s okay. I am my own censor and my guidepost is my own comfort level. I don’t write anything that I myself am uncomfortable reading.

Do you feel that this book would be appropriate for young teens (Why or why not)?

I believe so. There is no explicit sex, vulgar language, or graphic violence. Most television shows and movies are rougher than my books. However, I do remind readers that this is a murder mystery and more than one victim is killed “on-stage.”

When it comes to authors making a judgement call on if a book is appropriate for certain age groups, I highly recommend that parents keep in mind that everyone’s definition of a clean read is different. Not every parent has the same cringe threshold.

Several years ago, I was at a book event. A friend of mine happened by and we were speaking when a woman stopped by to look at It’s Murder, My Son, the first installment in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. She asked if it would be appropriate for her twelve-year-old daughter. I assured her that it would and the lady happily purchased It’s Murder, My Son.

As soon as the woman left, my friend launched into me. She was horrified because in her opinion my books are not appropriate for pre-teens or even teenagers, even though there were no sex scenes, graphic violence, or profanity in them. According to this friend, who had never read any of my murder mysteries, my books are inappropriate because they have murder in them.

Yet, I was reading murder mysteries like Perry Mason and Agatha Christie when I was ten-years-old.

For this reason, I recommend that when it comes to making a judgement call, that parents read the prologue of my books first to get an idea of the tone and then decide for themselves.

Was it fun writing a K-9 into the book?

Oh, yeah! Ironically, Gnarly was not in the first few drafts of It’s Murder, My Son, which surprises readers because he became such a major part of the series.

I had writers block between drafts of It’s Murder, My Son and didn’t write for a year. When I returned to writing, I decided I was going to write for myself and write what I would enjoy writing. A few months before I made that decision, we had adopted an Australian shepherd, Ziggy, who is highly intelligent and extremely precocious. I had him analyzed by a dog behaviorist because he was such a handful. She explained that he is so intelligent that he is easily bored, which is what leads to him getting into trouble.

Many of the incidents in the first few books of the series revolved around actual things Ziggy would do or real dog stories that readers have told me. We now have a real Gnarly, a German shepherd who can open any door, including those with round doorknobs—just like the fictional Gnarly!

People are always sending pet pictures, especially dogs, to me. I love any furry animal. I have a friend who’s a romantic suspense author. She has sexy men on her book covers. So she is always having sexy pictures sent to her by male models who want to be on her book covers.

Me! I get dog and cat pictures. But that’s okay. I don’t have to worry about what my husband is going to find in my emails!

Was there any one thing that really inspired you to write this book?

Since David O’Callaghan and Chelsea Adams got engaged in Open Season for Murder, I knew that Cancelled Vows had to deal with their wedding. That was the starting point.

David O’Callaghan is such a complex character because he grew up with Mac’s birth father. He was a witness to everything that Mac Faraday only read about in his birth mother’s journal about his parents’ love affair, which was years before Patrick O’Callghan had met David’s mother.

Going into Cancelled Vows, I wanted to explore more deeply how that troubled marriage affected David’s relationship with women.

How better to do that than to be forced to revisit an old girlfriend when it is discovered that he had married her via a drive-thru in Las Vegas? When David, Mac, and Gnarly go to New York to get the marriage dissolved, a murder sends David on the run from the police, during which he takes a hard look at his past and makes hard decisions about his future.

Did the book turn out the way that you originally planned it to?

None of my books ever turn out exactly as I have planned because my characters tend to take me into other directions—but I always end up where I want the book to end up. For Cancelled Vows, I wanted readers to see a different side of David O’Callaghan, Mac’s half-brother. During the course of the series, he’s been a hottie who has had several relationships with women. I wanted to explore that part of him, and allow readers to see him from a different perspective.

I’m very pleased with the result because I believe that not only will readers see David differently, but by the end of the book, David’s character has definitely grown as well.

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