Tag Archive | amwriting

Talking a little Homicide with Lynn Cahoon

I don’t know about anyone else out there in blog-land, but I love visiting South Cove. It reminds me of a combination of two small towns in Kentucky that I love to visit, Smith’s Grove and Glendale.  There is every kind of small business you can think of and that small town feel in both.  Today, we get to talk to Lynn Cahoon on her virtual tour about South Cove, the characters she writes and about herself and her writing the books. 

BTB: Welcome back to Booth Talks Books Lynn! It was so great to see you again in LynnBowling Green for the Southern Kentucky Book Fest.  Me and my daughter loved chatting you up.  Let’s do some more yapping as they say here in the south.  So, are you loving this virtual tour your on across all the book blogs?

LC: Thanks Sheryl! It’s great having a virtual tour for this book release because I can be everywhere across the country with no travel time.

BTB: First things, first.  How did you get started writing?

LC: I always wanted to be a writer, but I’m a black and white girl. So there was NO clear career path to be an author. I could go to college to be a journalist, but, I knew that would mean I’d need to talk to people. I really didn’t want to do that. So I got a political science/public administration degree and went to work for the state. I stayed there for 20 years, then decided I wanted to try something else. It was also the same time when my son went away to college and I got a divorce. Why not quit my job too? I started taking classes in the MFA of Creative Writing program.

Then I started dating my husband.  Darts takes a lot of time. We played league two or three nights a week, tournaments on weekends, and then at least once a month, we traveled for tournaments. No time for classes or writing.

Fast forward to 2007. We’d moved from Idaho to Illinois. I got a job with corporate America. And got my mammogram as soon as my insurance became effective. That decision changed my life. And probably saved my life. 2007 was the year of breast cancer. When you’re going through treatment, you realize what’s really important. And what you want your life to mean.

I wanted to be a writer. So I wrote. I submitted. And finally sold in 2012.

BTB: Hospitality and Homicide is the 8th book in the South Cove series and yet you keep introducing us to new places in the town. This time, we get to head to the local bed and breakfast. Why a bed and breakfast this time around? What is it about a murder and a bed and breakfast that is so unsettling?

LC: Actually Bill and Mary’s South Cove B&B have been there all along, but we’ve never stepped inside. I like visiting new businesses and focusing on different characters with each book. Of course, Jill, Greg, and Aunt Jackie will be major in all of the books, but I can feel when we haven’t brought a secondary character around much. So Esmeralda has a big role in H/H.

BTB: What do you think the fascination is with readers and the novice sleuth like Jill? She just seems to be in the worst places at the worst times. Why do you think us readers like her so much? Why do you like her so much?

LC: I like her because she mostly says what she’s thinking and does what she wants. I think sometimes women are so focused on what other people need from them, they forget about taking care of themselves. Jill may focus on food and running, but she makes sure she has Jill time. I think readers like the novice sleuth because they can imagine doing the same things, but safely in their arm chair.

BTB: Most of the time, the main character solves the crime. Do you think it’s important in an ongoing series that the mystery be solved each and every time? What do you think about an ongoing mystery through a series?

LC: You need a mystery solved in every book. But I believe you can have an ongoing mystery that continues in several books. Like my Cat Latimer series. Cat has an overarching mystery with who killed her ex-husband, but each book focuses on one current murder. Castle did this with who killed Beckett’s mother.

BTB: Why is Jill still running Coffee, Books and More? With all the adventures of crime solving, has she given serious thought to changing careers?

LC: Running the coffee shop is her life. I don’t see her giving it up anytime soon. She’s had the corporate lawyer gig, and she likes being a small business owner. Besides the shifts she schedules herself for give her a lot of time for her favorite pastime, reading.

BTB: I understanding needing some reading time and time to one’s self.  Speaking of one’s self let’s put you in Jill’s shoes.  Okay, you are in the same situation as Jill, would react any differently than her?

LC: Jill’s stronger than I am. She’s takes big risks (leaving her job and opening a coffee shop).

BTB:  What have you learned from Jill and her risk taking and adventures in South Cove that has stuck with you the most?

LC: She takes care of herself better. I am learning those skills as I go through life.

BTB: In Hospitality and Homicide, we have an author whose crime in their book comes true in real life in South Cove. First of all, that must be freaking for Nathan Pike, the author. Has this ever happened to you or someone you know?

LC: Actually, I’ve never heard of that happening to anyone. Sometimes, fiction can be stranger than truth.

BTB: So why do you choose a specific place to set your world?


LC: Mostly the place calls to me.

BTB:  Call you?  Really? That’s interesting.

LC: Seriously.

Guidebook to Murder started because I was vacationing in central California visiting my sister. I stopped by a small tourist town and found a house that was up for sale. The house was run down, the yard more like a

Click To Buy

pasture, and I wanted that house more than anything. Of course, I was going through a divorce and had a kid ready to go to college. Not a time to uproot my life and move to a coastal community. But I took a picture of the house and kept that picture on my computer for a long time.

Finally, the story came to me and the Tourist Trap series was born.

BTB: How do you choose between using a real town and a fictional town like South Cove?

LC: I’ve only used a real town when I wrote a short romantic novella (Playing Doctor.) It’s set in St. Louis, but mostly in the hospital.

Fictional towns are so much easier to work with. You have to know the area you’re using for the book but you can make the town look anyway you’d like. Until you’re several books into the series that is.

For my Farm to Fork Mystery series (releasing 2018), I’m turning my old home town into River Vista, Idaho. That way I can make it look anyway I want and still keep the feel of small town Idaho.

BTB: Do you run any book clubs or meetings for your fan following?  I would love to be apart of one as I am sure many of your readers would be.

LC: Hmmm, good question. I don’t. I know several authors do and have built a strong following talking about books, their own, and comparable. Currently I have a day job as well as the writer gig. This might be something I could start up when I only write.

I’m an officer in my work Toastmaster club and run meetings there. But I don’t think that’s what you want to know about.

Lynn Panel

Southern Kentucky Book Fest author panel 2017

BTB: I guess you could start a book-club at the Toastmaster’s club.  No, but seriously, you should start one.  Readers seem to really latch on to your characters and I’m sure getting to discuss them with you would really be amazing.  I know I would love it.  So, how do you develop these three dimensional  characters?

LC: Some people do character interviews, but I kind of know who I’m working with and, like any good relationship, you learn more by spending time with your imaginary friends. The good news is your editor can rein you in when you go off script. That’s also the bad news in case they don’t see it. I’ve really enjoyed doing character blog posts and interviews for the different bloggers. Sometimes my characters surprise me.

Esmeralda, the fortune teller/police dispatcher in the Tourist Trap series has a little vignette I wrote for a release bonus. I so enjoyed taking a peek into her world.

BTB: Esmeralda is such a great and original character.  Do you ever gather and plot with other friends or authors and just talk about murder and mystery to inspire the your books?

LC: Laura Bradford and I talk a lot both in person and on line. Every time I’m with her, I get a new bright and shiny (idea.) I’ve only ever plotted out one book with her, and it was Cat’s young adult novel that I am so going to write one of these days. What I’ll do with it, I don’t know, but it’s getting written.

BTB: I had wondered if we’d ever get to dive into Cat’s book!  That is something I would for sure read since I get snippets of it in the Cat Latimer series.  As a reader, I get to escape with a well-written book. What do you as the author get from writing?

LC: I do write for the money. If you went to a job and didn’t get paid, it would be called volunteering, not a career. Writing is a career for me. I get annoyed with people who say they write for the love of writing. It’s a job. It’s a great job, but you have to treat it like a job or it can overwhelm you. I love getting the bright and shiny new idea and seeing it develop into a real story. I’ve always told myself stories. Now I get to tell my stories to others and get paid. It’s a win-win.

Thanks a ton Lynn for hanging out here at the Booth Talks Books blog and answering all these questions. 

Hey readers, if you have questions, please leave them in the comments below for Lynn.  Also, feel free to just say hi or how you liked the interview.  You know I like to chat you all up.

Buy Hospitality and Homicide

Spotlight on LEA WAIT

Tightening The Threads

Maru with Tightening the Thread by Lea Wait

 

In the coastal town of Haven Harbor, blood runs thicker than water-and just as freely . . .

Antique dealer Sarah Byrne has never unspooled the truth about her past to anyone—not even friend and fellow Mainely Needlepointer Angie Curtis. But the Tightening The Thread Lea Waitenigmatic Aussie finally has the one thing she’s searched for all her life—family. And now she and long-lost half-brother, Ted Lawrence, a wealthy old artist and gallery owner in town, are ready to reveal their secret connection . . .

Ted’s adult children are suspicious of their newfound aunt Sarah—especially after Ted, in declining health, announces plans to leave her his museum-worthy heirloom paintings. So when Ted is poisoned to death during a lobster bake, everyone assumes she’s guilty. If Sarah and Angie can’t track down the real murderer in time, Sarah’s bound to learn how delicate—and deadly—family dynamics can truly be…

Buy “Tightening The Threads

Coming October 31, 2017

Christmas in Haven Harbor, Maine, means family, trouble, and murder . . .

Thread The Halls

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This Yuletide season, there’s no time for Angie Curtis and Patrick West to linger under the mistletoe. Patrick’s being needled by his mother—movie star Skye West—to set the stage for a perfect white Christmas as she brings her costar, screenwriters, and director home for the holidays. With his mother’s long list of wishes, Patrick’s becoming unraveled. To help, the Mainely Needlepointers offer to decorate Skye’s Victorian mansion and create needlepoint pillows as gifts for the guests.
 
But not long after the celebrity celebrants invade Haven Harbor, an unscripted tragedy occurs. Then some questionable Christmas cookies make Patrick sick. Before Santa arrives at the town pier on a lobster boat, Angie and the Needlepointers need to trim down the naughty list, catch a cold-hearted killer, and wrap up the case . . .

PreOrder “Thread The Halls

Lea Wait PortraitAbout Lea: Maine author Lea Wait writes two mystery series: the USA Today best-selling Mainely Needlepoint series, the most recent of which is Dangling By a Thread, and the Agatha-finalist Shadows Antique Print series, the most recent of which is Shadows on a Morning in Maine. Wait also writes historical novels set in nineteenth century Maine for readers eight and up. She invites readers to friend her on Facebook and Goodreads, to visit her website, www.leawait.com, and to read the blog she writes with other Maine mystery writers, www.mainecrimewriters.com.
Lea Wait grew up in Maine and New Jersey, majored in drama and English at Chatham College (now University) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and earned her MA and DWD in American Civilization at New York University. While raising the four daughters she adopted as a single parent Wait worked in public relations and strategic planning for AT&T. She now writes full-time and often speaks at schools, libraries and conferences. She is married to artist Bob Thomas, and has written about their life together in her Living and Writing on the Coast of Maine.

*Please leave a comment below and let us know which of Lea’s books YOU love the most.  If you haven’t read any yet, that’s okay!  Do you knit?  What’s your hobby?  Drop us a message and say hello to me and especially to Lea. *

 

February 2017 Mystery Releases

I love mysteries and love going through the list each month to see what is coming out.  Here is a list of this month’s releases that I got from http://www.cozy-mystery.com in their monthly release section.  I hope you find a new book that you will love!  I am already working on several of these.  So many GREAT authors in this month’s line-up.

February 2017 Releases

Winnie Archer : Kneaded to Death

David Baldacci: The Width of the World

Christy Barritt: Shadow of Suspicion

M.C. Beaton: Death of a Ghostfacials-can-be-fatal

Laura Bradford : Death in Advertising

Lynn Cahoon: Fatality by Firelight

Nancy J. Cohen: Facials Can Be Fatal

Deborah Crombie: Garden of Lamentations

Maddie Day : When the Grits Hit the Fan

Krista Davis: Mission Impawsible:

Phillip DePoy: The English Agent

Kate Ellis: The Mermaid’s Scream

Joanne Fluke: Banana Cream Pie Murder

Susan Furlong: War and Peach

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles: Old Bones

ghostly-mortalityMiranda James : Twelve Angry Librarians

Tonya Kappes: A Ghostly Mortality

Faye Kellerman: Bone Box

Jonathan Kellerman: Heartbreak Hotel

Diane Kelly: Death, Taxes, and Sweet Potato Fries

Debbie Macomber: If Not for You

Emma Miller: A Love for Leah

Joyce Carol Oates: A Book of American Martyrs

Carlene O’ConnorMurder at an Irish Wedding 

James Patterson: The Darkest February

death-and-the-gravediggers-angel

James Patterson: Achilles

James Patterson & Emily Raymond: Humans Bow Down

James Patterson & Shan Serafin: The Women’s War

James Patterson & James O. Born: Saving Nathaniel

James Patterson & Marshall Karp: NYPD Red 5

Rhonda Pollero: In Justice

J.D. Robb : Echoes in Death

Loretta Ross: Death & the Gravedigger’s Angel

Annelise Ryan : Dead in the Water

Paige Shelton: Bookman Dead Style

Charles Todd: Racing the Devil 

Betty Webb: Desert Vengeance

fatality-by-firelight

Save Our Cozies READathon

13690613_306391963026599_308016324513905570_nWith the news that some of our favorite cozies getting the ax, we have banned together as readers, bloggers and even authors (who also read and blog) to come together for one day and read some of these book series that are in peril.  There are many, which is sad. They span across many publishers.  My hope is that these get picked up by other publishers so we can continue on our adventures with our favorite heroines, cats, dogs and continue to knit along as we help solve a mystery.  We have so many things to 8bfa7e_d363a24be1654109bd029cb48012d6e5.jpg_srz_p_228_330_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzstill do with these characters.  They are our family, friends and in some cases, characters we LOVE to hate.  You know who you are.

I will be home reading and blogging most of the day tomorrow, Saturday the 16th as we pay homage to these artists of the pen.  Below are some links you can follow.  It’s going to be like a big family gathering via the internet and it will be amazingraisin the dead

29867784Goodreads Link:https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/191144-save-our-cozies-readathon

Facebook Link:https://www.facebook.com/groups/726103940858234/

 

So, what’s the OFFICIAL word on this READathon?  Here ya go!

Purpose of the Readathon:

Due to mergers among publishing companies, several beloved cozy mystery series have either been cancelled or are in danger of being cancelled. Depending upon an individual author’s contract, he or she may not even be able to self-publish or take the series to a new publisher. The Save Our Cozies Readathon seeks to:

  • Raise the reading public’s awareness of this issue across a range of social media platforms.
  • Introduce the reading public to these series.
  • Encourage publishers to rethink their decision to cancel cozy mystery series.
  • Create and support a community of readers and authors.
  • Read lots of quality, fun cozy mystery books!

 

FAQ

What is a cozy?

A sub-genre of mystery or crime fiction in which the violence is downplayed or happens “off screen”. The books tend to focus on non-professional crime solvers and contain little or no sex or foul language. For a complete definition visit the excellent Cozy-Mystery.com at http://www.cozy-mystery.com/Definition-of-a-Cozy-Mystery.html

 

What is an online cozy readathon?

An online readathon is an online 24 hour event that brings together a community of readers and authors to participate in all things cozy. This includes reading, posting frequently on social media, visiting author’s websites, posting reviews, visiting book blogger’s websites, and/or participating in fun challenges/activities. The amount and type of participation is up to the individual.

 

 

Canceled Series and Books by Publishers:

51WdpWVmJ6L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Penguin Random House
Avery Aames – Cheese Shop mysteries
Beverly Allen – Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries (not renewed) Now writing Vintage Toyshop Mysteries for Crooked Lane as Barbara Early.
Janet Bolin – Threadville Mysteries
Melissa Bourbon -Magical Dressmaking. Is thinking of self publishing but not anytime soon. Source: Author’s FB page.
Jacklyn Brady – Piece of Cake mysteries
Lucy Burdette – Key West Food Critic series
Amanda Carmack – Kate Haywood Elizabethan mysteries
Maia Chance – Fairy Tale Fatal
Erika Chase – Ashton Corners
Peg Cochran – Gourmet DeLite
Laura DiSilverio – Mall CopMall Cop
Monica Ferris – Betsy Devonshire Needlework series. Is shopping for new publisher and has plans for future books.
Christy Fifield – Haunted Souvenir. Owns rights, plans to self-publish.
Shelley Freydont – Celebration Bay
Eva Gates – Lighthouse Library (not renewed, possibly still hope). Is writing the Sherlock Holmes Bookstore and Emporium series for Crooked Lane under the name Vicki Delany. The year-Round-Christmas series by Vicki Delany is still continuing with Berkley.
Rosie Genova – Italian Kitchen mysteries
PickledVictoria Hamilton – Vintage Kitchen mysteries (she is continuing the series with another publisher, ebook only.)
Mary Ellen Hughes – Pickled and Preserved mysteries.
Annie Knox – Pet Boutique
Elizabeth Lee (Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli) Nut Shop Series
Meg London – Sweet Nothings Lingerie
Molly MacRae — Haunted Yarn Shop (plans to continue the series)
Leigh Perry – Family Skeleton. Shopping for a new publisher.
Cate Price – Deadly Notions
Paige Shelton – Farmer’s Market and Country Cooking School
Christine Wenger – Comfort Foods Mysteries (NAL, which was merged into Berkley); is considering self-publishing.Peril by Ponytail

FIVE STAR (Gale Cengage)
Five Star has dropped their entire mystery lineup.
Nancy Cohen – Bad Hair Day
Maggie Toussaint – Dreamwalker Mysteries
Susan Van Kirk- Endurance Mysteries
Limitless Publishing
A E H Veenman – Marjorie Gardens Mysteries (Limitless Publishing)

Kensington
Anna Loan-Wilsey – Hattie Davish

Move your blooming corpseMacmillan / St. Martin’s Press
D.E. Ireland – Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins (switching publishers)

Publishing Daley

Kathi Daley is a self published author. Some may wonder what that means having seen all the big names publishing companies on so many books at the various book stores.  So, what does it take to be self published?  Kathi joins Booth Talks Books today to talk to us about the process and what she hopes to accomplish in the future as she sbooktarts aiming her books toward bookstores.

Booth Talks Books: Why do you choose to self publish?

Kathi Daley: I chose to self-publish because I am impatient. It really is as simple as that. Finding an agent, waiting for them to find a publisher, then waiting for a publish date and finally seeing your book in print can take years. With self-publishing the timeline from completed manuscript to book for sale is about a month. I have been very happy with self-publishing and would choose that route all over if I had to do it again.

 

BTB: What was your first self published book?

KD: Halloween Hijinks – Zoe Donovan #1

 

BTB: What does your day look like when it comes to writing, promoting and such?  What all is involved?

KD: I work a LOT of hours. I get up in the morning, have some coffee, and immediately get onto the computer. I have to do my birthday posts as early in the day as I can since I am on the west coast, so I always do those first. I then answer emails and take care of other social media tasks such as giveaways and promo updates. This takes about two hours. I then have breakfast and write until I get my word count for the day (usually around 5,000 words). I do try to relax in the evening and I do try to take at least one day a week off and one short (week long) vacation every few months.

 

BTB: Now, you want to try to get your books physically on bookstore shelves.  How does a self-publishing author go about that?  What obstacles do you face that those with a publishing company don’t face?

KD: When your books are trade published the publisher takes care of distribution. The publishers have contracts with large retailers and your books are sent to the retailer from the publisher. When you self-publish you have to contact the bookstore directly and convince them to give your book a shot. I am trying to get my books into Barnes and Noble. It’s a process to be sure. It helps if those who buy the books would go into their local branch and requests the books. If the buyer for the store has enough requests for an author’s books they are more likely to decide to carry them.

 

BTB: Do online purchases and reviews help get a book into bookstores?  How can readers help if at all?

KD: Online reviews and purchases most definitely help. Bookstores look at those types of numbers when deciding whether or not to carry a specific book. As I indicated in the previous answer It helps if those who would buy the books would go into their local bookstore and requests the books. My books are available for order through Createspace’s expanded a distribution network so bookstores can buy them wholesale and sell them retail if they choose.

Thank you so much Kathi for taking the time to be with Booth Talks Books today.  This information is for sure something that will help us readers better understand another segment of the world of the author.

Now, it’s time for you readers to leave a comment for Kathi!  Comment below with your e-mail address for a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-card and a paper (Us Only) or e-copy of  Shamrock Shenanigans.  And, if you have questions for Kathi, ask away!  She’s SO good with her readers.

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