I am so excited to have Lynn stop by today!
She is touring with Great Escapes Book Tour too!
Hi Dollycas and thanks for having me over today.
Dressed to Kill, the fourth Tourist Trap mystery released yesterday so I’m out on a virtual blog tour talking up my book, signing virtual copies, and drinking lots of virtual champagne.
Not as glamorous as you imagined, huh.
I’m always interested in an author’s path, so stroll down memory lane with me. Eight years ago, I had just started this day job when I found out I had Breast Cancer. 2007 was the year of cancer since I got the trifecta of treatment options – surgery, chemo, and finally radiation. After that, they started me on hormone therapy, taking a pill once a day.
During this year, I had a lot of time to do two things. Read and think. I started figuring how what I wanted to read and found they’d even named the genre, cozy mysteries. 🙂 I combed the library for copies. One day when I was waiting to get a shot to boost my red blood cells, the weekend nurse at the hospital started talking cozies with me. She told me about a local author who wrote a series about a woman and her mother set in Texas. But the cool thing was this author, Susan McBride, lived in St. Louis. The next day, when I got another shot, she had brought in her old copies of the series and I fell in love with the Debutante Dropout.
I posted about this nurse’s act of kindness and the books she’d given me. Susan caught my blog on her name search. (Yes, we Google our names to see if anyone’s talking about us. It’s a bad habit. LOL) She reached out and we emailed back and forth for a while. She’s also a Breast Cancer survivor and is a warm and wonderful person in addition to being a great author.
And then she sent me the latest book in the series.
I felt overwhelmed with gratitude from this woman who didn’t know me from Adam. This was the type of author I wanted to be. And anytime I’ve considered my options on how to handle a sticky author situation since, I always ask, What Would Susan Do. The question has served me well.
The other thing I did as I survived 2007 was think about my future. If I would have one, I wanted it to be the life I wanted, not just the one I accepted. Reviewing my MUST DO’s, I realized I’d always wanted to write an essay about the times my family froze corn together. It was an all-day affair. I wrote the essay, sent it off, and sold it within a month. Then I wrote another one about the one gift my ex-husband gave me that kept me from giving up and returning to our broken marriage. The Tool Box sold to Chicken Soup for the Divorced Soul a few months later.
This writing thing was easy. I kept going and a dream of actually becoming a published author started to niggle at my brain. It took me three years to get my next sell, a short romance story. I sold several to Women’s World and quite a few to the True’s before Dorchester went bankrupt.
I kept writing. I met more writers, became good friends with Laura Bradford, another cozy mystery and romance writer, and logged in a lot of rejections.
In 2012, Harlequin turned down The Bull Rider’s Brother. I loved this story and was in Idaho when I got the news. My husband read the rejection letter to me over the phone. The next weekend, I sent a query letter to a new small romance line, Crimson Romance. They responded in less than an hour, asking for the full. By the end of the next week, I had a contract in hand. I kept pushing, kept writing, and kept learning.
In 2013, Kensington bought the first Tourist Trap mystery, Guidebook to Murder, in a three book e-first contract. I dug in and wrote the next two books and learned a ton about edits, working with a publisher, and the dreaded marketing. In 2014 after Guidebook released, it hit the NYT’s list in June that year.
Today, I have four books available, one on pre-order, one that will release in January 2016, and have just signed a deal for three more adventures. By the end of 2017, there will be nine books available in the series.
When I was imagining my future during the year of cancer, I never thought that ten years later, I’d have a series with nine books, not to mention the numerous romance stories that I have available for your enjoyment.
And I owe it all to my readers. So thank you and I hope you enjoy Dressed to Kill as much as I did writing it.
About Lynn Cahoon
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and two fur babies.
Dressed To Kill (A Tourist Trap Mystery Book 4)
4th in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Lyrical Press (June 23, 2015)
Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More in the tucked-away town of South Cove, California—is not particularly thrilled to be portraying a twenties flapper for the dinner theater murder mystery. Though it is for charity…
Of course everyone is expecting a “dead” body at the dress rehearsal…but this one isn’t acting! It turns out the main suspect is the late actor’s conniving girlfriend Sherry…who also happens to be the ex-wife of Jill’s main squeeze. Sherry is definitely a master manipulator…but is she a killer? Jill may discover the truth only when the curtain comes up on the final act…and by then, it may be far too late.
These Tourist Trap Mysteries are so much fun to read. All the characters I have grown to love are back. Jill, Aunt Jackie, town detective/Jill’s boyfriend, Greg King, Officer Toby/barista, and more. Greg’s ex, Sherry, has come to town and is opening her own shop, Village Duds, and Jill is not happy about that. Sasha has been hired full time at Coffee, Books, and More after completing her internship. This frees up Jill for more time reading and investigating too.
Jill has roped Greg into taking part in the “Dying for Trouble” dinner theater murder mystery that is being held to raise money for the local woman’s shelter. That turns out to be a good thing because a dead body is found before the first dress rehearsal barely begins. Jill quickly realizes she knows who it is, it’s the man from the bank that was getting up close and personal with Sherry at the last Business to Business meeting. Could she have killed him?
The author threw plenty of red herrings into this one and that’s what has made it my favorite book in the series so far. Jill doesn’t give up and she really wants to share what she is finding with Greg but is afraid to because he will tell her to back off. He knows she is asking questions of those she suspects and he worries she is going to push someone too far.
Cahoon has written a story with dialogue that is easy flowing and realistic. The plot is tight with a few very interesting subplots. One involving Aunt Jackie just cracked me up. The characters to continue to evolve and the romance level is just right.
I recommend you read these books in order but this 4th installment can be easily read as a stand alone.
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Be sure to visit the rest of the stops on the tour!
June 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
June 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Cozy Wednesday
June 24 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – Review
June 25 – Lilac Reviews – Review, Guest Post
June 26 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post
June 27 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post
June 28 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
June 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
June 29 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review
June 30 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
July 1 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Guest Post
July 2 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Guest Post
July 3 – Community Bookstop – Review
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”