Guest: Lynn Cahoon

Edith here north of Boston, enjoying some actual May weather, finally. We have H&H jpegwritten about writers’ retreats several times on this blog, and the core Wickeds just returned from our annual Maine retreat. Let’s welcome guest Lynn Cahoon back on the blog, and hear about when she took herself on a retreat. She also has a new mystery out, Hospitality and Homicide, which sounds fabulous, and she’s giving away one e-copy to a randomly chose commenter here today!

Lynn: Thanks for having me over today! I got to meet several of the Wicked Cozys at Crime Bake last year. Such a fun event!

The Writer’s Retreat

I write a lot about writers. And readers. And bookstore owners.  People I like to hang out with as a person.  And when we hang out, we talk about setting up a magical event called a retreat. I know people who do this. (One is a Wicked.) You see posts filled with pictures of a lovely, deserted cabin on a seashore or up in the woods. Or even on top of a skyscraper in a big city.  And, if they’re doing it right, a message saying “I’ll be off line for a while.”

But I had never taken the time to do my own retreat.  My life is busy with a day job, the writing gig, a husband who likes to visit our lake property often, like every time he can. Driving somewhere to lock myself up and write? It seemed indulgent.

IMG_0660Until I went to Chicago for Printer’s Row. I had a panel and was signing afterwards. Two hours out of a weekend committed and I had a deadline the next week, but I also had a hotel room reserved in a lovely place.  I flew up on a Friday after work, ordered room service for dinner, then opened my laptop. By the time I left on Sunday, I had over 10,000 words and was ready to cross the finish line.

I loved it.

I didn’t get out much that weekend, except to the MWA booth for my event, but my mind soaked up the atmosphere of the hotel, the sidewalk café where I ate dinner, and I watched a group of friends talking and catching up which turned out to be IMG_0681part of an opening scene for the next book I had on deck to write.

By taking some time away from my desk and my computer, I filled the writer well inside me.  And the room service was delicious.  I’ve got another retreat on the books for 2018 and I’m planning time at my next convention to treat at least part of the week as a retreat. I’ve learned the magic.

In Hospitality and Homicide, we find Nathan Pike, a well-known mystery author taking his own writing retreat.  I understand Nathan Pike’s need to get away from his normal life to write his next book.  And having 24-7 access to Greg who’s the South Cove head detective would be a huge bonus, curtsey of our friend the mayor.  No one counted on Nathan writing the murder scene that happened just days after he arrives in town. And no one expected Nathan to work out the how-to details on a ride along with Greg.

Readers: Have you taken a break from real life to fill your creative well? Remember, one random commenter will win an e-copy of Hospitality and Homicide.

A visit to the serene coastal town of South Cove, California, could make anybody feel refreshed and inspired. But as Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—discovers, some folks won’t live to tell about it . . .

Mystery author Nathan Pike checked into South Cove Bed & Breakfast to compose a compelling novel, not commit murder. But things get real when a rival B&B owner ends up exactly like the victim in his draft—undeniably dead. As Nathan prepares to complete his magnum opus behind bars, Jill’s the only one who can prove his innocence and deconstruct Cahoonthe plot of a twisted killer!

Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. GUIDEBOOK TO MURDER, book 1 of the series, won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She also pens the Cat Latimer series. A STORY TO KILL, and FATALITY IN FIRELIGHT are available in mass market paperback. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at



Guest: Lynn Cahoon

Edith here, happy to have Lynn Cahoon back with a new cozy release, Tea Cups and Carnage! Take it away, Lynn.

Finding Your Tribe

Let me just start by thanking the Wicked Cozy Authors (especially Edith Maxwell) for letting me come visit today.  With that pleasantry out of the way, I want to talk about tea cups and carnagetribes.

I’ve been around a lot of tribes lately and have been thinking about the way the world works now. As a kid, I loved it when I found my first tribe in middle school. We could have been called The Three Girls who Loved to Read. We spent our lunch hours in the school library, unpacking new books, updating the card catalogue, and just enjoying being around so many books.

In high school, my tribe was the geeky band kids. We ate lunch together, hung out together, traveled together to band activities, and all read the mandatory book – The Lord of the Rings.  I felt like part of a community. People who understood me and didn’t judge if I was just a little different than the popular kids.  This group got me through a lot of bad years.

When I was in college, I never found that group or my tribe. I hooked up with my first husband sophomore year and he was possessive.  I thought that was love. I was wrong.

In the workforce, I enjoyed the people I worked with, but kept my distance. As my son aged, I joined a local church and I found a new tribe. People who loved reading, theatre, and God. My husband was not amused.



After the divorce, I decided I wanted to play darts. When I hooked up with my new beau, he was deep into the dart world. (Yes, there really is such a thing.) This was fun and I became pretty good for a girl (not my words), but I felt like there was something missing.

When we moved to St. Louis, I found out I had breast cancer. Through the months of treatment, I did some soul searching to determine what I wanted to do with my life. Writing came back as the answer time after time.

I joined a local romance writer chapter (new tribe). Wrote a few books, finally got published in 2012 (publisher tribe and then off shoot tribe). And now I find myself re-visiting my tribes. I’ve joined Mystery Writers of America and have a great tribe in the Chicago area I’m just getting to know. I’ve met a lot of cozy authors and am building my tribe one conversation at a time.  I have a tribe of readers who are wonderful to get to know and easy to talk to either on line or in person.

My new husband and I have a tribe of people who like to ride the trails out where we own property.

I’m surrounded by people who are part of one or more of my tribes and I’m loving the sense of community. As a young girl in rural Idaho, I always wanted to be part of something more. Now I am and I’m loving every moment of it.

Tribes are a big part of my writing as well. In the Tourist Trap mystery series, Jill and the South Cove gang are a community that cares about each other. A place where I’d love to live.  In Tea Cups and Carnage, the tribe is made bigger with a new business being added to the fold.

Readers: So what about you? Do you have a tribe that gets you?

Tea Cups and Carnage

The quaint coastal town of South Cove, California, is all abuzz about the opening of a new specialty shop, Tea Hee. But as Coffee, Books, and More owner Jill Gardner is about to find out, there’s nothing cozy about murder . . . Shop owner Kathi Corbin says she came to South Cove to get away from her estranged family. But is she telling the truth? And did a sinister someone from her past follow her to South Cove? When a woman claiming to be Kathi’s sister starts making waves and a dead body is fCahoonound in a local motel, Jill must step in to clear Kathi’s name–without getting herself in hot water.

Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today bestselling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also the author of the soon to be released, Cat Latimer series, with the first book, A STORY TO KILL, releasing in mass market paperback September 2016.She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at


Guest: Lynn Cahoon

Edith here, happy to introduce fellow Kensington Publishing author Lynn Cahoon. Sherry and I met Lynn at Bouchercon last fall and were delighted to meet a new-to-us mystery author. Take it away, Lynn!Cahoon

Traveling by Plane, by Space Portal, or by Book.

Hello Wicked Cozy Authors and blog readers. Thanks for having me over today. I’m excited to be here.

New England has been on my travel wish list since I was a kid. It might be the lobsters, the ocean, the birthplace of the American witchcraft lore and, of course, a possible sighting of Stephen King that draws me to dream about visiting. I hear some people visit to watch the leaves.

Edith: I walked by King’s house last year!

Lynn: I’m a little different. As a writer, that’s a good thing. I’ve always been the one who pauses to catch the exact right word, while others chatter away. I’m the one watching out the window as we drive through places I’ve never been rather than singing along with the radio. If you ask me what I’m doing, I’ll laugh and tell you I’m wondering about the people who live here. Or lived here.

IMG_1994I made my first visit to North Carolina last year, primarily for Bouchercon in Raleigh, but also to visit my son who has made the research triangle his new home. We spent my birthday playing tourist on the Outer Banks. I was speechless.

We visited the site where the Wright Brothers tested their aircraft. We found a working lighthouse and my son climbed to the top. I got as far as the fourth landing, confirming I’m afraid of heights. And we visited Roanoke and looked for the space portal that sucked the Lost Colony to their new home, Croatoan. We joked that the portal would open up and suck one or both of us into the new reality. Yes, he has the same twisted mind as I do. A gift as a mother I am proud to see I passed on. IMG_2064

So when I started writing the Tourist Trap series, I let my mind wander and soon, a new town of South Cove appeared on the central California coast. A town where the mayor is more worried about getting re-elected than running the town and where businesses are focused on making money off the tourists who tend to wander in off the Pacific Coast Highway. Unless we’re talking about bike rental shop owner, Dustin Austin. He’s more interested in getting a good tan than Central CA coastlinerenting bikes.

Or he was before his wife came back on the scene. Honestly, no one in town even knew he was married. Especially not Sadie Michaels, the baker/owner for Pies on the Fly who had been dating the guy. Yep, there are some crazy things happening in South Cove in Murder on Wheels, which just released on Tuesday. And Jill Gardner has a front row seat to the madness.murder on wheels

I hope you come and visit Jill and her gang in South Cove. I think you’ll enjoy the trip.

The food truck craze has reached the charming coastal town of South Cove, California, but before Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—can sample the eats, she has to shift gears and put the brakes on a killer . . .

Now that Kacey Austin has got her new gluten-free dessert truck up and running, there’s no curbing her enthusiasm—not even when someone vandalizes the vehicle and steals her recipes. But when Kacey turns up dead on the beach and Jill’s best friend Sadie becomes the prime suspect, Jill needs to step on it to serve the real killer some just desserts.

Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today bestselling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also the author of the soon to be released Cat Latimer series, with the first book, A STORY TO KILL, releasing in mass market paperback September 2016.She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at

Readers:  Aren’t you dying to jump into this series? What questions do you have for Lynn about the central California coast – or space portals?