By Lynn Cahoon:
So excited to be here today. So what shall we discuss? Books, crafts, photography? I love talking with creative people, no matter their medium.
In most of my books, I talk a lot about food. So it was no surprise when I wrote A Story to Kill, I have an amateur chef serving as Cat’s best friend and partner in the writer’s retreat business. Shauna has a bit of the Irish in her so she makes a mean Shepard’s pie. I went to my first Irish pub on last year’s trip to the Big Apple, and we hit two that trip. Loved the food, except for smooshed peas. I’m going to have to add that experience to a book, because that stuff is awful. Maybe Shauna loves the stuff? It’s little facts that bring the characters to life for me. And things I love to play with.
Food is my comfort. I learned that from my mother. She didn’t have a lot of money, but she always made dinner a meal. Especially on Sunday’s. We typically had chicken fried in lard in the iron skillet. She had to make it in batches since the pan wasn’t big enough to feed all of us. And she fried everything, including the gizzards and heart. I never understood why she loved those. Mashed potatoes, milk gravy, and corn we’d cut off the cob and frozen the summer before.
And she always had dessert. A cake, cookies, or homemade ice cream. Yum.
So I always add meals into my stories. Mostly because I believe people need to share the food experience. And it’s always the best place to catch up on the gossip of the day.
In A Story to Kill, the writer’s retreat serves breakfast to the participants, but Shauna’s always setting out cookies or treats in the dining room. Running sugar highs is one way to assure a high word count. At least in my opinion.
I’m also a big Top Chef fan. Well, that and the other chef competitions. I can watch those shows over and over, always learning something new I can use in my own kitchen. Unfortunately, my husband is less than adventuresome in his meal choices. I have to ease new food into the rotation. And the guy loves packaged foods. Like Kraft Shells and Cheese. It’s plastic food, but he loves it. Which is another characterization I may have to add to one of my future characters. Or maybe Seth has grown fond of the stuff since he’s been single for a while?
This is why I love writing. It’s an adventure.
So what is your favorite dinner? Homemade or pre-packaged?
Thanks for stopping by Lynn! I personally love food of all kinds, both homemade and pre-packaged depending on what I have going on that evening. With kids, you do what you can when you can. If I have a choice though, though, I love homemade better than anything. I grew up eating good homemade food from just about every culture I can think of. From southern food to food from the far east, I have a taste for it all. Can I borrow Shauna by the way?
Review of A Story To Kill :
Author, Cat Latimer, wants to open up a monthly writer’s retreat where writers of all walks of life and styles can get away for a week and focus on their writing. After acquiring back her beautiful home in Colorado in the will of her ex-husband, she turns the home into just that. But, not everything is going according to plan as one of the authors die during the retreat and secrets from the past start to come out of the woodwork itself. Between rekindling an old romance and discovering secrets the home holds, Cat is finding it hard to concentrate on making the retreat the relaxing refuge it was meant to be.
I never knew it took so much quiet to be a writer. I could feel Cat struggling with all the chaos around her. I am not sure if all writers are introverts, but Cat feels like one to me. Maybe she was not always though. I am still left with so many unanswered questions. I am intrigued by the personalities that Lynn throws together at this retreat for Cat and her best friend and co-owner, Shauna, to deal with. What a great team they make.
The book was interlaced with suspense, humor and inside information about being a writer that the reader will be able to chew on. I believe Lynn was trying to give us a sneak peak at her and other writer’s lives and what they go through, minus the dead body of course. I loved how one of the characters, even though in peril, uses the opportunity to research for her next book while being locked away in jail. How cheeky this character is. She might have been my favorite because when she first comes onto the scene at the first of the book, I did indeed blush a bit and might have lost my coffee. Oh Lynn!
I don’t see how anyone could not enjoy this journey with these writers, professors and the mystery they are all involved in together. And, this book is just the beginning as we are left with unanswered questions at the end. Come now book two. Out with you!
“To the Warm Springs Writers Retreat. May it survive, thrive and prosper.”
–A Story To Kill
About the Author:
Lynn Cahoon is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Tourist Trap mystery series, including Guidebook to Murder, Mission to Murder, A Shoe to Kill, Dressed to Kill, Killer Run, Murder on Wheels, and Tea Cups and Carnage (releasing June 2016) She’s also the author of the Cat Latimer mystery series with the first book, A Story to Kill releasing August 2016. Guidebook to Murder won the 2015 Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction.
She’s an active member of MORWA (local RWA chapter), MWA, and International Thriller Writers.
Lynn’s contemporary romance series, The Bull Rider Series, includes The Bull Rider’s Brother, The Bull Rider’s Manager, and The Bull Rider’s Keeper (a 2015 RONE finalist.) She is also the author of The Council Series — A Member of the Council, Return of the Fae (a 2014 RONE finalist), and The Salem Gathering. The Castle View series, includes Wild Hearts and Roadside Attraction. The third book in the series, Project Detour, will be released Summer 2016.