About the book:The tourist town of South Cove, California, is a lovely place to spend the holidays. But this year, shop owner Jill Gardner discovers there’s no place like home for homicide. . .
As owner of Coffee, Books, and More, Jill Gardner looks forward to the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers. But when the mayor ropes her into being liaison for a new work program, 'tis the season to be wary. Local businesses are afraid the interns will be delinquents, punks, or worse. For Jill, nothing’s worse than Ted Hendricks--the jerk who runs the program. After a few run-ins, Jill’s ready to kill the guy. That, however, turns out to be unnecessary when she finds Ted in his car--dead as a doornail. Officer Greg assumes it’s a suicide. Jill thinks it’s murder. And if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, a spoiled blonde wants to sue the city for breaking her heel. Jill has to act fast to solve this mess--before the other shoe drops. . .
Interview with Lynn CahoonWhat’s the story behind the title If the Shoe Kills?
It’s a Cinderella reference. The new store in town is a glass shop and has a glass slipper on the sign. I love the idea of Cinderella getting all feisty and taking care of business.
If the Shoe Kills is the third in the Tourist Trap Mysteries. Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
The Tourist Trap Mysteries follow my amateur sleuth, Jill Gardner, and her adventures in South Cove, a small tourist town on the central California coastline. I love building this town as the stories build and learning more about the friends and enemies surrounding Jill. Each book can be read as a stand-alone. My publisher released three books in the series this year, and I’m contracted for three more next year.
Do you have another job outside of writing?
I do have a day job. I’m in administration for a large St. Louis leasing company. So if you need to know how to tag or plate your car in Georgia or parts of Canada, I’m your girl.
Which character did you most enjoy writing?
I adore Aunt Jackie. She says what’s on her mind, no matter who’s around to hear. And she’s living her life, even with the challenges she runs into during the story. Sometimes I wish I was more like her.
One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him off. He decides to beat you to the punch. How would he kill you?
Oh, this is a great question. For the WIP, (Tourist Trap #5) the victim would chose something up close and personal, like a blade, since I was totally messing with their livelihood and life. I don’t think this person would take kindly to the threat.
With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?
Stephen King (Nuff said.)
Rachel Ray (And hope we have access to a fully stocked kitchen.)
Laura Bradford (My BFF)
Robyn Carr (I’d love to pick her brain on writing.)
Bob Mayer (So he could help me career plan.)
What song would you pick to go with your book?
If the Shoe Kills is a holiday book, happening just before Thanksgiving, so I should pick "Over the River," but I believe the feel is more with the Christmas carol, "Oh Holy Night." Mostly due to the re-birth of one of the characters. The hymn reminds me of hope and the chance of a new day for a new choice.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Harlan Coben (Can I add him to the bookstore group too?), Robyn Carr (LOVE her Thunder Point series.) I’m developing a reader crush on Joe Hill too which is a dilemma on loving both a father and a son. Oh, and Jim Butcher.
What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
Currently I’m listening to Harlan’s Stay Close. In paper, I’ve got several started including Jim Butcher’s Storm Front, Elizabeth Lynn Casey’s Remnants of Murder, and Lori Wilde’s The First Love Cookie Club. And a few more I’ve got opened and started somewhere around the house.
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
On my desktop in my office, first thing in the morning. But that doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, so now I write anywhere I can and anytime. Except I’m an early to bed kind of girl, so my brain is mush after 9.
What’s your favorite memory?
Watching the light wheel change the color of the silver Christmas tree in the first house I remember. I began to story-tell at a young age, hanging out in the hall closet where there was an entry to the crawl space below. I believed it was a portal to another world.
What do you love about where you live?
I live in a historic river town on the Mississippi. I love living near the water and cross two rivers to get to my day job. I love the history that surrounds me every day, but I’m particularly fond of the road filled with antique shops where I love to wander.
Have you been in any natural disasters?
One earthquake so far.
How did you meet your husband?
I met my current spouse in a bar. His girlfriend and my boyfriend (at the time) were on a dart league together. So while they played, we talked. I liked him from the first time we talked, but the thing he did for me was make me question my tendency to settle in relationships. I wasn’t in love with the guy I was dating, and, I wanted to be in love. So I broke it off with the first guy, and a few months later, fate brought us back together. We’re going on fifteen years together now.
If you could only keep one book, what would it be?
Illusions by Richard Bach. Or Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.
You’re published by eKinsington. How did you find them, and how long did your query process take?
I love this question because I’m the poster child for Never Give Up, Never Surrender. I’d had Kensington written on a note card for years because they accepted unagented submissions and published cozy mysteries. I sat in on a couple panels at RWA Nationals the last time it was in New York City and really liked some of the editors. I shopped Guidebook to Murder to a bunch of agents for a couple years with no bites. Then, I found the index card on my desk. I submitted and forgot about it. A few months later, I got an email from my editor asking if I’d thought about a second book in the series. I sent her a partial, and by April of 2013, I had a contract in hand.
What are you working on now?
Book #5 of The Tourist Trap series where Jill and the town sponsor a fun walk/run on The Mission Trail.
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