Lynn Cahoon's Blog

February 16, 2017

We have a guest blogger here with us... Jade Blackwell's the amateur sleuth in Gilian Baker's Blogging is Murder.  So I'll turn it over to the professionals...the fictional blogging professional.***Hi there, fellow cozy mystery lovers! I’m Jade Blackwell, the protagonist of Gilian Baker’s new series justly named, The Jade Blackwell Mysteries. It’s so cool to have a series named after you, just sayin’.Lynn asked me to pop in today to tell you about how I became a professional blogger, and I was only too happy to. So, here we go. {Clearing my throat}Five years ago, I was working as an English professor at the University of Wyoming, near my hometown of Aspen Falls. I’d worked there since receiving my Ph.D., and had finally clawed my way to the top to earn one of the few coveted tenured positions in the department. It’s what I’d always wanted to do—teach others about my passions—literature and writing.But with each passing semester, I was losing interest. I felt blasé. I was ready for a new adventure. But where to begin? Teaching was the only thing I’d ever known. But the endless department meetings, apathetic students and mounds of grading were wearing me down. I wanted control of my life back. I worked every evening and weekend grading papers, and was still always buried. Who was I kidding? I wasn’t convincing anyone to study the classics with zeal or to write coherent literary analyses.One day, I was flipping through a literary writing magazine and saw an article about how blogging was changing the writing world. I’d been on very few blogs, and only then to verify them as unfit to be included in a scholarly paper when they ended up on a student’s reference page. What I learned in that article led me to do research on ways to make a living writing online. And so my new adventure began.I started by creating a ghostwriting service for bloggers and other online entrepreneurs. I kept my position at the college for as long as I could, wanting to make sure I liked the lifestyle before going gung-ho. Turns out, I loved it. Instead of  “publish or perish” writing, I got the chance to do research and write on a huge number of topics I’d never known much about. And, I was getting paid handsomely for me expertize. I turned in my notice, effective at the end of the current semester and gave myself over fully to living life as a solopreneur.As my number of ghostwriting clients grew, I added a blog to my repertoire. A Writerz Block is for fledgling writers who are looking to make a living writing online. There I cover topics such as finding freelance writing work, blogging for income, self-publishing fiction and non-fiction, as well as writing and marketing tips. It’s the best of both worlds—I get to teach people who actually want my help, and I get paid to write.You want to know another amazing thing about my blogging journey? I have time to play the amateur sleuth! Even though I taught classic lit for years, to my way of thinking, there’s nothing better than a well-plotted mystery. I got a chance to put mystery-solving knowledge to good use in my first sleuthing adventure, Blogging is Murder. If you’d like to see how I nimbly cracked the case (okay, I did it by accident) follow this link to pick up a copy.***About Gilian BakerGilian Baker is a former writing and literature professor who finally threw in the towel and decided to just show ‘em how it’s done. She has gone on to forge a life outside of academia by adding blogger & ghostwriter to her CV. She currently uses her geeky superpowers only for good to entertain cozy mystery readers the world over. When she’s not plotting murder, you can find her puttering in her vegetable garden, knitting in front of the fire, snuggled up with her husband watching British mysteries or discussing literary theory with her daughter.In her next life, she fervently hopes to come back as a cat, though she understands that would be going down the karmic ladder. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona with her family and their three pampered felines.Blogging is Murder-Though she was certainly born with all the traits of a world-class private detective, blogger Jade Blackwell believed she would do nothing more than solve the murders in her latest favorite cozy mystery book.Set in mountainous south-eastern Wyoming, Jade Blackwell lives in a log home in the quaint village of Aspen Falls with her husband, Christian and daughter Penelope (Ellie). She left her life as a tenured college English professor at the University of Wyoming four years ago, sick of the bureaucracy, mounds of essays to grade and apathetic students. She turns to blogging and ghostwriting as her new career.Jade’s promising career as a blogger halts abruptly when she learns of a hacker who is controlling her friend and fellow blogger Liz Collin’s business remotely. When the hacker is found dead in her home, Liz is thrown in jail.Determined to help her friend regain her life and livelihood, Jade teams up with Liz’s reluctant lawyer, Gabriel Langdon, to get Liz off the hook and out of jail. What she learns will break the case wide open, while unraveling her faith in humanity and the safety she feels living in the Rocky Mountain hamlet she calls home.An exciting thrill ride from the first page, to the last. Read Gilian Baker’s Blogging is Murder, the first book in the Jade Blackwell cozy mystery series!Contact Gilian Baker directly at gilianbakerauthor@gmail.comBLOGGING IS MURDERon AmazonGILIAN BAKER’S WEBSITE
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Published on February 16, 2017 22:21 • 12 views

February 12, 2017

Have you ever felt like a horder?  I'm getting close. I have enough books in the house to open my own small library. I've have a pile of receipts on my desk to record in my accounting system. And my husband says we have enough coffee cups for a roadside diner.It's time to thin the madness.  But that's hard for me. I love having my choice reading material. And what if I donate a book, just to find later, I love that author?I'm reading the life-changing magic of tidying up and have a strong connection to the joy-sparking idea. I'm starting with my closet. I know what clothes I love and what ones I keep because either I spent too much money on it to get rid of, or I think I'll love it someday.What about you? Do you hold on to things?
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Published on February 12, 2017 14:27 • 18 views

February 8, 2017

Do you ever feel like you have everything under control, and then, poof, the floor drops out from underneath you. Welcome to my current world.I'm not sure how things got so frantic, but I'm having stress dreams again. That's how I roll, saving roaming puppies and kittens from certain harm while I try to rest my mind.But I've got a plan. Now I just have to work the plan. The good news is I haven't given up on my thirty minute work out time (Country Heat rocks) and this has given me more energy which I need to finish up some stuff before release week explodes in just over two weeks. Not that I'm counting.Have you pre-ordered Fatality by Firelight yet? Nervous and inquiring authors want to know.... :)
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Published on February 08, 2017 16:35 • 12 views

January 29, 2017

We're already almost one month into 2017. Where are you with your new years resolutions?I decided to focus on two things this year, at least outside my career as an author.One is exercise. My goal was to work out more times a week than I don't. I'm trying to lose weight. And I want to feel better. I've been doing good, but  it's been a struggle. I don't love running. I don't love most exercise, but last year I bought a CIZE workout program. I wasn't the best at it, but I kept trying. This year, I bought Country Heat.I love it. It's dance based. I know, it's early in the process, but I feel stronger. I can feel the workout. And I like the music.I don't dread going to exercise. The session is 30 minutes, with a countdown clock which makes it easier to push through to the end. Liking what I do makes it easier to be consistent.And consistent is my second word. More consistent with workouts, with writing sessions, with touching base with friends.Both of these words are up on my white board - right under Liliana Hart's quote - "Dreams don't fall into your lap. Make it happen."Exercise plus Consistent equals work. Work plus luck equals success.May you be successful might just be a curse. :)
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Published on January 29, 2017 15:57 • 24 views

January 22, 2017

The weekend's almost over and for once, my time was mostly spent on fun stuff. Call it a bonus for finishing a book at the first of the month, but I needed a weekend where I didn't think about writing.  So we went out to the cabin.I started reading a book - and got drawn in by the author's deft use of conflict between the love interests. What he wants and what his secret is - is the total opposite of what she needs and her own secret. In the middle, their mutual attraction to each other. Only, he doesn't know she thinks she knows his secret. He just wants a wife.I went trail riding with my husband and as the group we ride with gathered and talked, one  of the kids took off on his dad's side by side. With permission. In the passenger seat? A little girl from another family. They did circles, going in and out of the mud, and generally, had fun. But my writer mind took off and caused a horrible accident and a chance meeting later in life. Where they might fall in love.Then the kid hit a bolder with the side by side. Joy ride and story ended. (No kids were harmed in the telling of this story. But the side by side had a bent brush guard. )So yeah, even when I'm not writing, I'm writing. Story telling has always been the way I deal with reality. If he says this, I'll say that...Stories where the smart girl winds up with the misunderstood bad boy... and sometimes, it all starts with a meet cute set in personal history.
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Published on January 22, 2017 16:02 • 11 views

January 15, 2017

One of the funnest parts of being an author is meeting readers. It warms my heart that so many people have taken to Cat and the Aspen Hills gang.I'm finishing up my Fatality Tour and have the following dates/places where I'll be... Stay tuned for more listed on my website as they get scheduled.March 1 - Middendorf-Kredell Branch Library2750 State Hwy K, O'Fallon, MO 63368Program Starts at 7pm - Books will be available for purchase.March 4 - Highlands-Shelby Park Branch LibraryMid City Mall, 1250 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204Program starts at 2pm - Books will be available for purchase.March 18th - Poison Pen Bookstore4014 N Goldwater Blvd #101, Scottsdale, AZ 85251Joint book signing with Laura Bradford, Paige Shelton, and Chevy Stevens.Signing runs from 2-3pmMarch 19th - Barnes and Noble - TucsonFoothills Mall, 7325 N la Cholla Blvd #100, Tucson, AZ 85741Joint signing with Laura BradfordSigning runs from 1-2pmCan't make it to any of the in person events?  I'll be virtual touring as well. And Fatality by Firelight will be available at your local B&N or independent bookseller, like Main Street Books in St. Charles, MO.Lynn
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Published on January 15, 2017 07:10 • 26 views

January 8, 2017

So here are two items from Lynn's list...I want Jill and the gang from The Tourist Trap mysteries to be part of a movie deal this year.I want to write all three books in the new Angie Turner mystery series about a farm-to-fork chef and set in Southwestern Idaho (my old stomping grounds.)Which one is a dream and which one is a goal? And why?The first one is a dream. Mostly because I have NO CONTROL over the outcome. I can send queries to film agents and do a lot of wishing, but that's about it.The second one is a goal. I CAN control what I write and what I turn into my publisher.Why am I talking about this? Because I think newbie writers set themselves up for disappointment by goaling for things they have no control over. You can't goal to make a list or to win a contest. You can goal to enter the contest and write the best darn book possible.I'm seeing a lot of goal setting that more dream based. Now don't get me wrong, I believe in the power of dreams. I love the story of Jim Carey and how he wrote himself a multi-million dollar check postdated years in the future for acting services. That's putting your wishes into the universe.The goal is working your butt off in creating today's wins to build up to tomorrow's success.So what's your goal for 2017? I'm focusing on consistency. In my writing life and in my personal life.
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Published on January 08, 2017 15:01 • 12 views

January 2, 2017

New Years Eve went by way too fast. I wrote for a bit, read through my current pages, and then we went riding.Later in the evening, we joined up with other trail riders at the community center to dance 2016 away and welcome the baby new year.But what I love most about the new year, is the new chances we get to improve our selves, our lives, and our communities. I'm a believer that change starts inside so this year for me is about consistency.I'm a terrific starter. One thing that writing has taught me, it's not so much about how you start, but what you do day to day to get the job done. That's consistency. That's the magic.I've made goals with my best friend who also writes. She gets it when I'm trying to explain and better, she knows when I'm fooling myself.What are your goals for the year? Do you have a word that encompasses 2017 like me?
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Published on January 02, 2017 12:05 • 28 views

December 25, 2016

We're holding the traditional Christmas dinner tomorrow due to my husband's work schedule.  We had a lovely date night last night for our Christmas present to each other.I know you all are busy with family events or bringing down that TBR pile, one lovely book at a time, so I'll keep this short.I hope you all have a restful and recharging holiday season.Lynn
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Published on December 25, 2016 07:15 • 27 views

December 18, 2016

We had summer here for a long time. It was 70+ degrees the night of my last library signing mid-November. And I was perfectly happy with that. It reminded me of my San Diego trip.But now the weather has turned cold -my watch tells me it's 10 degrees out there, and so I'm making some chicken broth and a chicken and rice soup for lunch.I want to make cookies.But I know if I do, I'll eat them all. Every last one. The cowboy likes his Oreo's rather than homemade. He doesn't know what he's missing.I'm sending out my Killer Party cover reveal in my newsletter today. If you're not part of the fun, you can sign up on the website at www.lynncahoon.comHappy holidays, keep warm, and I'll chat with you soon.
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Published on December 18, 2016 11:14 • 20 views