Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Guest Post: Graeme Smith


by Graeme Smith


The inspiration for The Awakening of Abraham Brown came through my own spiritual awakening which has been a culmination of the following things:

  • During the 1970's I practiced Hatha Yoga which involves traditional physical exercises.
  • This eventually changed as I became involved with the practice of Raja Yoga during the 1980's which involves meditation techniques and detachment.
  • I have studied and practiced Martial Arts for the past 35 years and hold the rank of Fourth Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate.
I wanted to write a story which highlighted man's inhumanity to his fellow brothers and sisters and also the terrible destruction to nature and animals. 

The central character Afro American Abraham Brown has faced racism many times in his native America and he now finds himself thousands of miles away from home, fighting the Nazi's, the biggest racists on earth. 

I needed to highlight the futility of war and to try and point out why some humans become racists and bigots.  I also wanted the story to be balanced and to contain male and female aspects (yin and yang). 

Abraham is accompanied by two fellow white Americans whose lives are transformed whilst being with him.

The story was also brought about through my own personal expression and thoughts which I hope will make each reader examine their own ethics and morals.


Graeme Smith was born in Exeter in 1957.

His father died when Graeme was just 18 months old.

Together with his mother, brother and sister, they were forced to downsize and move house in order to survive (there was no benefits system in the late 1950's). This had a profound effect on all of their lives.

Graeme has three children and two grandchildren.

His hobbies and interests are Kenpo Karate, metal detecting, charity fundraising, collecting knapped flints and dog walking.
He currently works for the NHS at a hospital in Exeter.

He has just written another novel entitled Agrar of the Cornish and is actively seeking an interested publisher for this book.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015



When the family SUV flips and Kimberlee is rushed to the hospital, Black Cat (Thumper) and his soul-mate are left behind. Black Cat loses all memory of his former life and the identity of the lovely feline companion by his side. “Call me Angel. I’m here to take care of you.” Her words set them on a long journey toward home, and life brings them face to face with episodes of joy and sorrow.

The two cats are taken in by John and his young daughter, Cindy, facing foreclosure of the family vineyard and emu farm. In addition, someone is playing increasingly dangerous pranks that threaten Cindy’s safety. Angel makes it her mission to help their new family. John’s prayers are answered in unexpected ways, but not until Angel puts her life at risk to protect the child, and Black Cat finds there are more important things in life than knowing your real name.


Elaine, how did you get started writing?

I’ve written poems and short stories since I was a child. I still have a manila folder with faded typed stories from my high school years . . . back when dinosaurs roamed and we had manual typewriters.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
I’m probably the only author you’ll ever meet that actually enjoys the editing process. My editor/mentor makes suggestions regarding the characters thoughts and feelings or suggests changes to the scene. She’s usually right. Her suggestions are often met with much eye-rolling and anguish on my part, but after I do the work, the scene is always better.

What books do you currently have published?
Three cat mysteries: Black Cat’s Legacy, Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer and Black Cat and the Accidental Angel.

Can you share some of your marketing strategies with us?
Handing out bookmarks whereever you find a bunch of helpless people standing in a line is often rewarding. The public loves to "meet a real author." I ask if they like cats or read mysteries, (who doesn’t like cats or mysteries?), then hand them a bookmark. They often go home and download the Kindle version. Seeking interviews, book reviews, and guest posts with enchanting websites helps.

How do you feel about Facebook?
Facebook is a place to put your name and your work in front of the public, but with care and thought before with each entry. Keep it clean, thoughtful, funny or comment on a subject consistent with your WIP. Share your author events, reviews, and awards, but don’t say “buy my book” so often as to turn anyone off.

For what would you like to be remembered?
Oh, wouldn’t it be great if folks remembered the pleasure of reading my books. Or, to remember how I helped mentor their writing, but mostly as a good mother, wife, sister, and friend.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I live quietly and don’t actively seek attention, but putting a microphone in my hand is like lighting a fuse. I love the sound of my own voice. (Confession is good for the soul, right?) I become an extrovert with the printed word, probably even worse than when someone mistakenly hands me a microphone.

Do you spend more on clothes or food?
Definitely food. I usually buy my clothes from the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop, a high-end donation shop where the profits go to cancer research. Such good quality and great prices spoil me for shopping at other stores.

What is the most daring thing you've done?
I was a flirt and drove my 57’ Plymouth too fast. Married at 18 and a mother at 19, that was all pretty daring, but 53 years later, I still have the same husband and two great kids, so it was the right choice after all.

What is your most embarrassing moment? 
Most Embarrassing Moment award goes to . . . Elaine for spilling a whole can of paint on a friend’s carpet. Showing another friend how it accidently happened – I spilled another can of paint.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
Oh, goodness. It’s so much easier to write ‘funny’ than to write sad, so I don’t do much of that. Writing a few of my animal stories has made me cry. It’s terribly hard to write about the loss of things we love.

What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?
I attended a conference where an influential editor from a major magazine reviewed submissions from each attendee. He couldn’t say a gracious thing about anyone. He smashed the hopes and dreams of a few. His mean comments made some cry. He hurt me such that I could not look at the piece I submitted for over a year. What did I learn? When asked to give an opinion of someone’s writing, tell the truth, but always find something good and encouraging to say. Offer advice and refer them to help with their writing. None of us have the right to destroy another’s dreams with cruel and negative comments.

Who would you invite to a dinner party if you could invite anyone in the world?
What a neat conversation it would be – Agatha Christie, John Steinbeck, and Ellery Queen, though I’d be so intimidated, I’d probably choke on my salad.

What is your favorite movie?

Several come to mind as favorites. Gone with the Wind, The World of Suzie Wong, The Quiet Man, Bells of Saint Mary, It’s a Wonderful Life.

Do you have a favorite book?
Shogun,  Noble House, Grapes of Wrath, The Silent Meow, Captain from Castile. But, definitely, Black Cat and the Accidental Angel --right up there with my favorites.

How about a favorite book that was turned into a movie? Did the movie stink?
Captain from Castile was an awesome book, but the movie left much to be desired.

Do you sweat the small stuff?
I don’t always succeed, but try very hard to think, “Will this really matter six months from now?”

If you had to choose a cliché about life, what would it be?
Not a cliché’ but a bible verse to live by. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

If only more people heeded that advice. What are you working on now?
Currently, I’m writing a book set during World War II, Mrs. Odboddy, an eccentric older woman sees herself as a hometown warrior and a scourge of the underworld, as she believes conspiracies and spies abound and her duty is to bring them to justice. The first, Mrs. Odboddy Home Town Patriot, will be published in spring, 2016.

Lightning round:
Cake or frosting? Cake
Laptop or desktop? Desktop
Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? Chevy Chase
Emailing or texting? Text whating?  Definitely, emailing.
Indoors or outdoors? Indoor
Tea: sweet or unsweet? Sweet
Plane, train, or automobile? Automobile


Elaine Faber is a member of Sisters in Crime, Cat Writers Association, and Inspire Christian Writers, where she serves as librarian and an editor for their annual anthology.
Elaine has published three cozy cat mysteries, most recently, Black Cat and the Accidental Angel. Her short stories are in multiple anthologies. She lives in Northern California with her husband and multiple feline companions.

Connect with Elaine:


Tuesday, August 25, 2015



Frantic flight, peaceful life. Act of treason on an island country. Cauldron of warring emotions. Exotic beauty, ace with a gun. Hunk with gifts for mockery and cooking.

Nine-year-old Leilani and her family mysteriously flee the island country of Costa Mora, leaving her father. Years later, her peaceful solitary life in California ends when she rescues Justin Halverson from thugs and she learns a devastating truth about her father. As she agonizes over her father, Justin comforts her, and they’re drawn closer together.

With Justin, she returns to her birthplace to get her father quietly out. There, she reconnects with her past, but can she forgive her father and accept him for who he is? Can she finally be at peace with who she is? Welcome, Reluctant Stranger interweaves a love story into a tale of past political intrigue and Leilani’s inner journey, accepting her past.

Our Inevitable Love Affair With Stories

by EJourney

We may very well be wired for stories. We have many uses for them. They can make us cry, laugh, get angry. They may change how we see things, draw us closer together, and push us to take certain actions.

There is power in stories. They can change our brains, say some social scientists who have studied brain cells and substances our bodies produce while we watch, read, or listen to stories. Researchers have shown:

People who read a lot of fiction tend to have higher levels of empathy and better social skills than those who don’t, probably because of the strengthening of the mirror neuron (brain cell for empathy).

Storytelling may have been and will continue to be essential to our evolution into compassionate beings.

But it’s not only listening to stories, reading, or watching films that’s proven of benefit to us. Writing stories, especially ours (as in a memoir), can also heal what ails us. How? Via a form known as “expressive writing.”  If you keep a journal of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, then you have engaged in expressive writing.

Psychotherapists know this. They may include Writing Therapy (a formalized sort of expressive writing) in their arsenal of psychotherapy/counseling techniques, along with those based on art and music. Writing Therapy is effective, particularly for treating debilitating stress after traumatic events.

So, do you need to go into Writing Therapy for the act of writing to help you cope with trauma, emotional pain, grief, loss, or anything else that bothers you? Fortunately, the answer is no. Just take up pen and paper or your preferred electronic gadget and open your soul.

Here is what some authors say about what writing stories did for them:

“Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence.” Alice Walker, Pulitzer prize winner (The Color Purple)

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.
” Graham Greene, British novelist shortlisted for Nobel Prize (25 novels)

“The more I wrote, the more I became a human being . . . I was getting the poison out of my system.” Henry Miller, American literary innovator (Tropic of Cancer)

Pouring a painful experience on paper or your computer is cathartic. Even the act of reading through what you’ve written can be therapeutic. When you go back later to a journal of your experience, you’re more detached and can see it with fresh eyes. Your perspective can change and you may realize there is a lesson you can learn from it.

I started writing my thoughts and feelings in a little notebook when I was a kid, to help me cope with the loneliness of an only daughter whose three brothers didn’t want to be bothered with a sister. I think I have finally become reasonably comfortable with myself. But writing has grown into a habit I’ve become addicted to.

Much has been written on the emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing. Here’s one you can find on the web:  http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/11/5/338.full


E Journey is a realist who thinks she has little imagination. Credit that to her training (Ph. D., University of Illinois) and work in mental health, writing for academics and bureaucrats, and critiquing the work of others. She’s been striving ever since to think and write like normal people.

She’s a well-traveled flâneuse — a female observer-wanderer — who watches, observes, listens. And writes. A sucker for happy endings, she finds enough that depresses her about real life, but seeks no catharsis by writing about it. For her, writing is escape, entertainment. She doesn’t strive to enlighten. Not deliberately. But the bias of her old profession does carry over into her writing. So, instead of broad shoulders and heaving bosoms, she goes into protagonists' thoughts, emotions, inner conflicts, insecurities, and struggles to reach balance and grow.

Monday, August 24, 2015



Alex O’Hara finally gets a case that will give her bottom line a much needed boost. She might even be able to change her diet from ramen noodles to prime rib. All she has to do is track down a man who’s been missing for over ten years. Piece of cake . . . until an old flame arrives and a mugger roughs her up with orders to back off.


Diane, how did you come up with the title, The Case of the Bygone Brother?
I wanted something that sounded like a Nancy Drew book, my favorite books as a kid. The reader knows up front this is a mystery. I plan to use an alliterative title in future books.

How would you describe your book in a tweet?
Small town—Big case PI mystery. Find lost brother and make beaucoup bucks. Avoid old flame. The Case of the Bygone Brother by Diane Burton.

Did you have any say in your cover art? What do you think of it?
I sure did have a say. Since I’m self-published and have no artistic talent, I hired a cover artist. Florence Price from The Novel Difference has done three of my covers. She is great to work with. She really listens/reads my mini-synopsis and what I want on the cover. She’s come up with great ideas, too, often better than mine. I love the cover for The Case of the Bygone Brother. You can tell it’s a cozy mystery, not a thriller or dark & dangerous.

What’s your favorite line from a book?
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” ~Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. It evokes so many questions. Where is Manderley? What is it? A city, village, estate? Why did the narrator dream about it? Is this a repeated dream? Why? I loved the book from the first time I read it and each time after.

How do you get to know your characters?
They reveal themselves as I write. I’ll have a basic idea about them then — wham! — my fingers will type something and I’ll think “Where did that come from?” It’s such a great feeling.

Yes it is. When you start a new book, do you know what the entire cast will be?
Never. I know the main characters, of course, and some of the secondary ones. But not everyone. Some characters demand names and others are identified by their occupation: the waiter, the driver, etc. Giving the person a names makes them more important. The story evolves and the characters reveal themselves. With The Case of the Bygone Brother, I use a lot of Dutch names because West Michigan was settled by immigrants from the Netherlands. In fact, I named the title character, Harry Anslyn, after one of my ancestors, Louis Anslyn who fought in the Civil War.

With which of your characters would you most like to be stuck on a deserted island?
Nick Palzetti from Bygone Brother. He has skills! And he’s not bad to look at.

That always helps! Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.
When Nick returns after a long absence and finds Alex lying across the top of a lateral file cabinet trying to retrieve something behind it. He wise-cracks, and when he tries to help her down, she falls on top of him. Years ago, Alex had a giant-size teen crush on him. And now he’s back and finds her as klutzy as ever.

Who are your favorite authors?
Jayne Ann Krentz (aka Jayne Castle & Amanda Quick) — strong plot, intriguing characters. Linda Howard — stories with such emotion that I cry, great characters, and marvelous plot twists. Linnea Sinclair — best science fiction romance around, action/adventure in space. (BTW, I also write sci-fi romance.)

Which author would you most like to invite to dinner, and what would you fix him? Or her.
Madeline L’Engle. I’d ask her how she came up with the idea for A Wrinkle In Time and the rest of the books. I read it to my 6th grade class and to my children. Fascinating. BTW, you can come, too.

Thanks. What book are you currently reading and in what format?
I’m between books right now. I just finished Siren’s Call by Jayne Castle. Love her Rainshadow series, and this one is great. Even when books have other formats, I love reading on my Kindle. I’m supposed to be reading The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate for my book group. Since it’s in trade paperback (from the library) I haven’t started it yet. Yikes! Book group is next week. I’d better get cracking.

How do you handle criticism of your work?
Poorly. LOL I huff and whine and grouse — at my husband, never the critiquer or my freelance editor. Then I respond very politely “Thanks. I’ll consider that.”

Where’s home for you?
A Lake Michigan resort town, similar to Fair Haven (the fictional setting for The Case of the Bygone Brother) but a lot bigger. After moving many times because of my husband’s job and “power shopping” for a new house as soon as ours sold, we’d have to settle for what was available. This time we had a house built close to our grandchildren.

What three books have you read recently and would recommend?
A Killer Past by Maris Soule that features a 74-year-old heroine who literally kicks the butts of 2 gang members when they try to rob her. She has skills!

No Brakes: On the Wing by Ellen Ann Callahan. Wow. Debut book full of suspense and emotion, fast paced.

Released (Nogiku series, Book2) by S.J. Pajonas. This series is blowing me away. Post-apocalypse with hope.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Watch movies and read. I love to garden, but bad knees make it difficult. Now I “sidewalk supervise” my husband. Quilting, which I’ve neglected. I’m helping my 8-year-old granddaughter learn to sew clothes for herself and her American Girl doll, so maybe I’ll get back to quilting, too.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’m living right where I want to be, close to family. Unfortunately, only half my family. If money was unlimited (or I sell beaucoup books LOL), we’d live half the year in Michigan and the other half in Arizona with the rest of my family.

What are you working on now?
The next Alex O’Hara novel, The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé. She gets into more trouble again. My plan is to release it in October. I need to do a little more revising on Christmas in Space, a novella to be released in late November. And I’m in the planning stage for the next Outer Rim novel, a science fiction romance. Too many stories, not enough time. LOL


She had trouble written all over her.

Like a scene out of The Maltese Falcon, a beautiful woman begs the P.I. for help. Shades of Sam Spade, with a slight difference. The elegantly-dressed woman pounding on my plate glass window was more than twenty years older than me and, even though my name is Alex O’Hara, I’m not male. But I am a PI —O’Hara & Palzetti, Confidential Investigations since 1965. Not that I’ve been around since 1965.

As soon as I unlocked the outer door, the woman burst through, a few maple leaves stuck to her Manolo’s. Frankly, I was surprised she wore only a sweater. She must have been freezing out there. In spite of the fact that it was mid-October, the temp had dipped that afternoon to the low forties. We might even get frost.

“Ms. O’Hara, thank God you’re still here. I was so afraid—” She broke off on a sob. Taking a small, white, lace-edged handkerchief out of her Louis Vitton purse, she dabbed at her eyes.

Now I’m not one to belittle a person’s worries. However, I thought she switched a little too quickly from imperious knocking to damsel in distress.

Damsel? Not quite. I pegged her around fifty-five, give or take a few years, and well-preserved. Even in her Manolo’s, she only came up to my chin. Next to her I felt like a hulking giant. Since I’m five-ten in my socks, I look down on most women. Despite her elaborate up-do, from my angle I could see her roots. A visit to her hairdresser might be in order. But I digress.

“What can I do for you?” I tried not to sneeze from her overpowering perfume. An oriental scent. Shalimar or Opium. I never knew which was which. I tried them on at the perfume counter at Macy’s. That’s the closest I’d ever get to wearing expensive perfumes.

“I need your help.” Her breathy voice reminded me of Marilyn. As in Monroe, not Manson.

Because Pop loved old movies, I became addicted to them. Just like I did with detective novels. I cut my teeth on Nancy Drew, moved on to the likes of Daphne duMaurier and P.D. James before graduating to Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. I watched Masterpiece Mystery on PBS and every movie Alfred Hitchcock made. In my teens, I watched reruns of Remington Steele. Once, I wore a fedora like Laura’s to work. The Pops laughed so hard I never did again.

I ushered the woman into my office with its mahogany paneling and closed the door. I held out my hand. “As you’ve guessed, I’m Alex O’Hara.” I looked at her expectantly.

She laid her hand in mine. I clasped hers firmly enough to reassure but gently enough not to crush the delicate bones beneath the cold skin.

“My name is Babette Rhodes. Babette Anslyn Rhodes.”

She perched on the visitor’s chair, her back finishing-school straight and knees pressed together. I took my place behind the desk in the big leather chair that had been Pop’s. While she twisted the handkerchief, I stacked the bookkeeping papers and tucked them into the top desk drawer. Once I placed a clean legal pad in front of me, I folded my hands on top ready for her story. A story that could solve my financial problems.

“Ms. O’Hara, I must ask you to keep what I am about to tell you in absolute confidence.”

“Of course.” Hadn’t she see the word confidential on the sign on the door?

“My brother is missing. I must find him.”


Diane grew up in the Detroit-area and has lived in Portage (MI), Sedalia (MO) as well as a brief stint in Chicago-land.  She’s been a Parks & Recreation supervisor, an inventory clerk for a flute store, and a long-time volunteer for Girl Scouts. Her last job was for an oil and gas exploration company where she discovered the cure for insomnia—reading oil and gas leases.  Her longest-running gig was as a teacher where she taught elementary kids for over 10 years.  She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and the Mid-Michigan and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal chapters of RWA. She met her own hero on a blind date. It was love at first sight--for her. It took him a little longer. They currently reside in West Michigan and have two grown children and three delightful grandchildren.

Diane has been a reader all her life and loves movies, especially action adventure, mysteries, science fiction, and romantic comedy. Castle, Firefly, and NCIS are her favorite TV shows. So is it any wonder that she writes science fiction romance and romantic suspense, both with comedic elements?

Connect with Diane:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Saturday, August 22, 2015





Chiari Warriors is an anthology of short stories by 18 authors from across the globe - the UK, the USA, Canada, and Europe. The tales they tell are both nonfiction and fiction. Many are based on real life experiences. Others are based on vision and a wondrous source of imagination that these very special authors bring to their readers. Some of the stories they tell will make you cry, others will make you laugh. But some of their writing will actually terrify you when you realize that some of the accounts they recall are actually true stories from real events in their lives.

Indeed, there's something for everyone here: tales of love and war, of honor and disobedience, of hate and humor, of desire and desperation. They have produced a roller coaster of emotion on their journey to complete this anthology. It's a book to savor and enjoy, page by page.

Above all, this anthology contains the true story of a young boy who suffers from Chiari Malformation - a condition for which there is currently no known cure. The work itemizes the condition and the problems associated with this horrible human condition. Written by the self-styled Chiari Warriors, the book seeks to raise funds for health practitioners and research analysts. Accordingly, proceeds from the sale of this work will be donated to the Birmingham Children's Hospital Research Unit (a registered charity in the UK) in order to fund dedicated research into this life-threatening condition. The results of this research are shared across the globe between UK institutions, the Chiari Institute in New York, and elsewhere. If you do nothing else today, download this one to savor while doing something worthwhile for the children of the future.

Paul Anthony and family meet with the Clinical Research Unit at Birmingham Children's Hospital.


Mike McNeff, USA

Amy Metz, USA

C.C. Champagne, Canada

Wayne Zurl, USA

Carter Novels, USA

Marion Tervitt, Scotland

Edward Lightfoot, England

Dave Miller, England

Joan Cook, Spain

Sandy Kilpin Miller, England

Ray Gregory, England

Steve Sharpe (with Ben)

Roger Price, England

Matt Shields
Harlequins Rugby Team
presenting his Wembley shirt to our Chiari Sufferer

Paul Anthony, England

Steve Borthwick - ex-England Rugby Captain and now Forwards
Coach for Japan Rugby Team, with his teammates,
sending a message from across the Atlantic:

Friday, August 21, 2015


Literary Fiction / Family Saga
Date Published: December 2014

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Joe Zizzi's childhood in the 1950s had everything a kid could want--pro athlete dad, wonderful mom, cool big bro. When the '60s kick in, this ideal life is violently shaken: a car crash claims his mother's life and his father's career, and brother Matt becomes distant and disturbed. Over the years, Joe learns to cope and carves out a niche for himself as a college sports star, and later as a coach and writer, but he can't quite shake the family legacy. Diagnosed with kidney failure, the semi-pro husband and devoted dad has life-and-death decisions to make--and life wins, though perhaps only by a slim margin.


It can’t be possible. I can't possibly have PKD. Dad wasn't symptomatic until he was about seventy or so. Here I am, I'm not much past fifty and here I am. I know with the spring term being on, I had to start coming out with it. I told the players about my condition. I’d done this in the fall also, telling them I wasn't well, but this term I told the kids the first meeting, complete with the official name for the thing. I told Sr. Frances about my condition. I told Father Arsenio about my condition. The word gets around, and the parents are all talking to me. My colleagues are beginning to avoid me. I sense distance once I let them know what was happening and the word starts getting out.

I'm on a low-protein diet, and I'm fatigued, having trouble sleeping. Between the low-protein and the little sleeping, I'm in a lot of trouble. An opposing coach catches me looking like I’m nodding out at the game. The opposing team is snickering. The kids win it for me; I’m the human interest story. They've probably never seen classic movies in their lives, but they're winning for me—the coach needs an operation! The kids are of course involved in normal real-time culture. They've named me J-Ziz and I accept it as the awesome name that it is. They worry about me. They want to know about the food restrictions. Sometimes I'm busted when they catch me eating the bad stuff in my office, which I do on a regular semi-regular basis. My standard speech is, “I'm not going to be one of these ‘do as I say, not as I do’ types with you. I'm on the straight and narrow a lot. But it's taking some getting used to. I gotta fall off the wagon sometimes or else (a) I'm not going to be human, and (b) I'm not gonna be happy." I'm entitled to this dog or murder-burger or whatever.

About the Author

Chris Six is a New York-based writer and the recipient of somebody else's kidney.

Contact Links

Purchase Links


$5 Amazon Gift Card

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Thursday, August 20, 2015



Jill Gardner — owner of Coffee, Books, and More — has somehow been talked into sponsoring a 5k race along the beautiful California coast. The race is a fundraiser for the local preservation society — but not everyone is feeling so charitable . . .

The day of the race, everyone hits the ground running . . . until a local business owner stumbles over a very stationary body. The deceased is the vicious wife of the husband-and-wife team hired to promote the event — and the husband turns to Jill for help in clearing his name. But did he do it? Jill will have to be very careful, because this killer is ready to put her out of the running . . . forever!


Lynn, tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?

Killer Run, like all the Tourist Trap mysteries, is a standalone within a series.

All of the books are set in South Cove, California, the best little tourist trap on the central California coast. The town folk include people you love, people you love to hate, and a few additions with each book. Guidebook to Murder won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction this year.

Where’s home for you?
Right now, I’m living in a historic river town on the Mississippi river. I love the small town atmosphere and the proximity to my job along with various shopping areas.

What’s your favorite memory?
I must have been pre-school as we moved out of this house by the beginning of third grade, but the front closet had an entrance to the crawl space below. The thick iron handle was recessed into the floor. I remember sitting in that closet and making up stories about how it was a portal to another land.  

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?

The difference between writers and authors is determination. They keep getting back up when they get knocked down. This may not be your time, but it only takes one editor to love your book. All the rest is luck. Julia Quinn said in her keynote at #RWA15 this (or a version of this) – “You can’t please everyone, every time.”

Do you have another job outside of writing?
Currently yes. I license and title vehicles for a leasing company here in St. Louis. Not the most exciting work, but I get to play with my imaginary friends a lot while I’m working.  

Would you rather be a lonely genius, or a sociable idiot?
Like most authors, I’d take the lonely genius. I do like my time alone because, let’s face it, if you’re thinking about your story, you have your characters to keep you company.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
Never give up, never surrender. I just attended the annual Romance Writer’s convention and in different forms, I must have heard that sentiment daily at sessions.

How did you create the plot for this book?
I’m a pantser, but I go into the book knowing a few things. Like for Killer Run, I knew they were going to sponsor a run, that Jackie was going to be more active in the sleuthing part (Jill needs to keep an eye out on that one), and that a new business was being added to the mix.

I love finding out new and interesting things about my town and the people who live there. Harrold, the owner/operator of The Train Station is going to throw the gang a big curve. 

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
The middle of the book. Any book, every book. There’s a story called The Phantom Tollbooth and it talks about the Doldrums . . . I feel like I’m lost in that mythical country every time I hit halfway and my mind starts playing tricks on me.

That's where I am right now! What are you working on now?
Starting this week, I’ll be returning to South Cove for Tourist Trap #7. I signed a three-book contract extension at the beginning of 2015. So happy the readers are enjoying Jill and the South Cove gang because it means I can keep writing the series.


New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho expat. She grew up living the small town life she now loves to write about. Currently, she’s living with her husband and two fur babies in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. Guidebook to Murder, Book 1 of the Tourist Trap series won the 2015 Reader’s Crown award for Mystery Fiction.

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