Thursday, August 20, 2020

Magic by Lynn Cahoon

JENN McKINLAY: Can you feel it in the air?



Autumn is coming (please, God, it's like 100,000 degrees in AZ) 
and with it, my favorite reads arrive most of which will include 
some sort otherworldliness like today's guest's new series -
Kitchen Witch! Here to tell us more is the delightful Lynn Cahoon.

LYNN CAHOON: Magic.  
It’s my go to reading subject. I totally fell in love and bought into the idea of magic as a kid (Phantom Tollbooth – Wrinkle In Time, and as I got older, The Lord of the Rings.)  I love magic on television and movies (Bewitched, Charmed, The Magicians, The Librarians.) As I’ve grown, I’ve continued to seek out magical realism in all content forms like Harry Potter, Harry Dresden, and Practical Magic.) It’s my go to, feel good story. 
Magic is also my favorite subject to write. 
When I was offered a chance to bring Magic Springs, Idaho to life with my local Kitchen Witch, Mia Malone, I jumped at the chance. Why? Now that’s another subject. 
I think I liked the ability to have a secret power, like a superhero without the cape or tights. Witches have a history in our real world. The Salem Witch trials being our historical reference on the question of how we deal with differences.  The answer is not well.  
Going even farther back, healers were suspected of witchcraft by using plants and potions to care for patients’ bumps and bruises. I’m sure for some people, blood letting was a healing proposition, but for most of the patients, it just made them weaker.  By tapping into this rich history, being a kitchen witch, allows my main character, Mia, to help heal others as well as create amazing food to sooth the soul. 
In story, magic is a way for crisis to be averted. Or, if things go completely out of hand, you can use the Christmas wish theme (Family Man, It’s a Wonderful Life) to make things go back to normal for everyone but your main character. He or she has learned their lesson and will be a better person for it.  
It’s something I wish we had in real life. Like the easy button from the commercial. A way to take the bad and turn it into something good.  And with the world events that are occurring recently, that’s a button I wish I’d had. 
But since I don’t own an easy button, I’ll write my Kitchen Witch mysteries. The magic in the books isn’t used to solve the mystery. That would be a short book. All it would take was a session with the Ouija board and ask the question, “Hey, dead guy? Who killed you?” The board answers and case closed. 
In my worlds, using magic for personal gain is a no no. The goddess doesn’t like it when you try to invoke the easy button. Instead, magic for Mia and her grandmother is a way to support the world and their community.  Magic is part of their being. Mia’s love of cooking and her skill as a chef and caterer can be considered magic as well. 
Even in the real world.  So what’s your favorite magical book? 
Lynn

Pre-Order Now

CHILI CAULDRON CURSE
Releases August 25, 2020
Chili Cauldron Curse 
releases August 25th, 2020
New York Times bestselling author Lynn Cahoon introduces a new heroine with her own special brand of culinary magic in this novella to introduce her Kitchen Witch series.

When Mia Malone’s grandmother asks her to take a week away from her restaurant job and come to Magic Springs, Idaho, she’s happy to oblige. Like Mia, Grans has witchcraft running through her veins, and life with her is never boring. Plus, the cause is a good one—helping Grans get the local food bank up and running again. But there’s an unappetizing surprise in store. While Mia is knee-deep in boxes of donated produce, she encounters the body of Dorian Alexander.

Dorian was a warlock, leader of the local coven. He was also her Grans’ new beau. There’s no potion that’ll make this trouble disappear. But if Mia wants to keep her Grans—now a prime suspect—from serving a spell in prison, she’ll have to unearth the real killer fast. . . .
  


NYTand USA Today bestsellingauthor, Lynn Cahoon, writes the Tourist Trap, Cat Latimer and Farm-to-Fork mystery series. The Kitchen Witch cozy mystery series will release in 2020. No matter where the mystery is set, readers can expect a fun ride Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com



67 comments:

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  2. Congratulations, Lynn! A new series is something to celebrate . . . I’m looking forward to reading Mia’s story.

    Favorite magical book? It’s difficult to pick just one, but “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” is the one that immediately comes to mind . . . .

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  3. Congrats on the new series!

    I don't escape to fantasy as much as I do mystery, although I'm sure I'd love it if I did. I did enjoy Harry Potter, after all, and I'm a life long Narnia fan.

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    1. I named my hard drive on my very first Mac "Narnia" so when it booted up it read "Narnia" :)

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  4. I could use a little magic right about now, and I’ll be happy to get a taste of it in your new series, Lynn. Congratulations on the start of what sounds like a great series.

    Favorite magical book? Hmm. Like Mark I’m a big Harry Potter fan and Narnia. Practical Magic is wonderful, too. I don’t think I can choose just one.

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    1. Midnight Margaritas? Maybe that's the magic you're looking for.

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    2. That does indeed sound like just the ticket!

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  5. A kitchen witch sounds fun, Lynn! Interesting that you're starting a new series with a novella - can you say more about that?

    Right now my favorite magical book is Cate Conte's new Full Moon Mystery series, which started this summer with Witch Hunt!

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    1. I really enjoyed Witch Hunt, too.

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    2. I've always had good luck with novellas as far as selling well so my publisher wanted to give new to me readers a smaller price point to enter the series. The fun part is I get to tell the little stories in between the books. Stories that aren't quite a full novel.

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  6. Greetings Lynn, I need some magic too! I used to love Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, The Phantom Tollbooth--first I'd like to go back and reread those, then try yours.

    How do you set up the rules for a magical world?

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    1. Hank asked the same question, but I'll answer here as well. (I'm going backward in the posts.)Rules of my magic world, I have several 'magic' spell books I've been using for my world. Since Mia's a kitchen witch, she's focused a little differently. But as Grans and Mia work through the books, rules are set as the world is built.

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  7. Congratulations on the new book!

    I love all those mentioned already. Much as I liked Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic, I liked The Rules of Magic even more. I have also really enjoyed Juliet Blackwell's Witchcraft series, with protagonist Lily Ivory. Another author I have only recently stumbled upon who does magical realism very well is Sarah Addison Allen. Her books are all free-standing, but I think they all employ an element of magic. I've read and loved The Sugar Queen and The Peach Keeper so far.

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    1. Susan, thanks for the nod to Sarah Addison Allen--looks like I'll be adding to be TBR stacks.

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    2. Thanks for the suggestions, Susan! those are all new to me, but I've loved some of Juliet Blackwell's other books.

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    3. Yes, to Sarah Addison Allen books! Love them all!

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    4. Love Juliet Blackwell. And Sarah Allen is an old friend of mine - we got fired from Harlequin together :)

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    5. Susan, I wondered about The Rules of Magic. Thanks for adding it to my TBR list. :)

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  8. Yes!! Another series to look forward to reading!! Thank you, Lynn! I do love magic--most of what's already been mentioned--with an especially fond nod to Harry Potter and to Practical Magic. The Lord of the Rings, also Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series, The Blue Sword, David Eddings' The Belgariad, Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea trilogy (plus the fourth book), and so many more.

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  9. Congratulations on launching a new series, Lynn. I do love contemporary fantasy that includes just the right dash of magic.

    I grew up reading Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain, a heroic fantasy series based loosely on the Welsh folklore included in The Mabinogian. After that it was Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series, plus reams of the actual folklore that underpins it all. As an adult, the children's author Diana Wynne Jones has also become a favorite, as well as Lois McMaster Bujold's World of the Five Gods books. Her "Paladin of Souls" just rocks.


    My current favorite? Sorry, but I'm going to brag. I'm deeply in love with the characters and complexities of my own series of magical novelettes, starting with Deep Ellum Pawn, and soon to include my new Ms. Eddy story, Deep Ellum Blues. I think a touch of magic makes everything more interesting!

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    1. Isn't writing magic fun? Congrats on the series.

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    2. The Deep Ellum stories are terrific!! Such an interesting take on magic, and readers will love Ms. Eddy.

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    3. Diana Wynne Jones is one of my all time favorite authors. Each story unique and fully realized, from young children to super dense adult stories.

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  10. Oh, the Edward Eager mysteries! Half Magic, Magic By The Lake, Knight's Castle--any else know them?
    Lynn, congratulations! How did you decide on the rules for your mysteries?

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    1. I haven't heard of the Edward Eager mysteries. I'll look them up. :) Rules of my magic world, I have several 'magic' spell books I've been using for my world. Since Mia's a kitchen witch, she's focused a little differently. But as Grans and Mia work through the books, rules are set as the world is built.

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    2. The world building is always what intimidates me about magical realism.

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    3. I did get a 'correction' on a recent pre-published review. Apparently those who are living the lifestyle say a warlock is not a male witch, but refers to an evil entity. So there's that. I've been careful to avoid the term. Except it's in my cover blurb. LOL

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  11. Congratulations Lynn!

    Favorite magic? I can't pick one. Harry Potter, Narnia, and Lord of the Rings are all in the top spot. :)

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  12. Congratulations on the new series, Lynn. It sounds spectacular. As a child, I spent hours learning the art of the nose wriggle. My favorite magic book - it's not really magic, or is it? The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It's still my favorite comfort read.

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  13. Bippity boppity boo! My favorite adult magic books are the Rivers of London series and the Harry Dresden series. And I'm behind on both. Congratulations on your new series, Lynn!

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    1. I'm listening to Side Jobs (Butcher) on audio and have Peace Talks in print.

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  14. Lynn, welcome to Jungle Reds. And congratulations on your new series!

    My favorite magical book is Harry Potter.

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    1. More favorites: Castle in the Mist, Carnival Magic and the Other Side of the Wall by Amy Ephron.

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  15. I'm an eclectic reader. so two of my favorite magic series books are Terry Brook's the Magic Kingdom of Landover series and Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality.

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    1. Nice choices. I loved Katherine Kurtz's Deryni series.

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  16. Sounds like a really fun new series - Congratulations, Lynn!
    For me: Harry Potter. And I've got to put a plug in for my sister Amy Ephron's Carnival Magic, Castle in the Mist, and The Other Side of the Wall. I also loved The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. And all the Oz books I read when I was a kid.

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  17. I've just reread all the Harry Potter books, and I think every time I read them they are better. Such plotting! Such world building! Such great characters and wonderful storytelling. I'm also a huge fan of the Rivers of London books by Ben Aaronovitch, and Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden novels. But I grew up on Narnia and Middle Earth, as well as Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising, and Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen.

    I adore Gigi Norwood's (as G.S. Norwood) Deep Ellun novellas (anticipating another one!) and am huge fan of Deborah Harkness's books.

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    1. Oh, thought of another one! The Shades of London trilogy, by Maureen Johnson. These are YA novels but my daughter and I loved them.

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    2. Deb, thanks. I am adding these to my reading list. I love books about magic.

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    3. I'm reading Maureen's Truly Devious books right now. Fun YA mystery.

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    4. Yes to the Deborah Harkness books!! They were so engrossing!

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    5. I love Harry Dresden. Such a great series.

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  18. We do truly need some magic now, don't we. Looking forward to reading about your Kitchen Witch!

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  19. It looks like we're having a magical week here at JRW! Lynn, I think it's a brilliant idea to start a new series with a novella - it's an easy way for readers to check it out and get hooked on the characters.

    Since I've seen many of my fave magical books already suggested, let me offer Eva Ibbotson's Which Witch?. She had many wonderful juvenile books with monsters, ghosts and magic (including The Secret of Platform 13 yes, well before Harry Potter came out. Which Witch? is a terribly funny account of a coven's version of The Bachelor - several witches are competing for the hand of the great warlock, Arriman the Awful. The heroine is a white witch who can only conjure flowers and puppy dogs. Her familiar is a worm. Not a poison worm, an earthworm. Can she overcome great odds to win Arriman's heart? (Probably.)

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    1. I'm ordering Which Witch? right now. Thanks, Julia!

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    2. A witch version of the bachelor? I'm in. LOL

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  20. I think Alice Hoffman writes some of the best slightly magical books.

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  21. Lynn, I asked you a question farther up - possible to answer? Thanks!

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    1. Just got it. My internet goes in and out. :)

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  22. Lynn, I am so looking forward to reading your novella. I just LOVE magic in my books! Thanks so much for visiting us today!

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    1. Thanks so much for inviting me. Jungle Red has always been one of my favorite blogs!

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  23. I loved the Phantom Toll Booth! I am excited for your new series!

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  24. Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede, A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer, anything by Sharon Shinn and Patricia McKillip.

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