Side by Side fun by Lynn Cahoon

In A Very Mummy Holiday, Jill and Greg head to Oregon to the sand dunes. Jill’s looking forward to putting her chair up on the beach and taking in some ocean views while reading one or more books. Greg on the other hand, has different plans. Besides the ocean side views, the best thing about the trip is the ability to take out the side by sides to ride the dunes.  What are side by sides?  They are like a mini Jeep. I decided to bring them into the story because my husband and I love riding these upscale off road vehicles.

We’ve gone a lot of places with our toy.  A few years ago, we spent Thanksgiving at Little Sahara in Oklahoma. Little Sahara is a riding park that has miles and miles of sand dunes. It has a lookout station where you can watch others driving the dunes if you’re ready for a break. And you can drive into town for a quick lunch or to pick up supplies.

This April, we spent my husband’s birthday with friends camping and riding trails in the hills of Tennessee.  The views at the lookout called The Top of the World were amazing.  The mountain trails were rocky and steep and had several waterfalls to stop and visit.

Riding sometimes means climbing steep hills or going down washed out trails that require the driver to dodge and weave through the ruts in order to not get stuck. But mud happens and sometimes, coming home from a ride means a change of clothes and a shower to get the splashed mud (or dust) off.

I love the views and scenery I get while I’m riding with my husband. Sometimes the trails make my heart race a bit, but we’ve taken safety precautions, like five point harnesses, just in case.  During the Tennessee ride, we went by three different ancient cemeteries. I thought a lot about the people who chose to live (and die) on the side of a mountain. It gets my writer mind flowing, even though I don’t write in the historical genre.

It makes me think of new and exciting adventures for Jill, Greg and the gang. And the best thing about riding a side by side instead of an ATV? Emma can come along for the ride. Like Emma, we like to find wildlife while we’re riding. And our new pups love riding with us as well.

Riding side by sides is an amazing way to reconnect with nature, find hidden treasures, and sometimes, find a mummy in the dunes. Well, it happened to Jill and Greg.

Have you been side by side riding?



From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lynn Cahoon’s Tourist Trap series, Jill Gardner has left her book-and-coffee shop behind to spend Thanksgiving week in coastal Oregon. But before the feast can start, foul play interrupts their vacation . . .

When Jill and Greg join another couple, Blake Jennings and Kathi Corbin, for a weeklong camping trip, Jill is delighted to have a few days to take in the beauty around them before they dive into the Thanksgiving holiday. When the foursome take the off-road vehicles out on the dunes for a local adventure, they find an unexpected treasure—a ring attached to the hand of its prior owner. Can Jill and Greg solve the mystery before they join the woman buried in the shifting sands?

Praise for The Tourist Trap Mysteries

“Murder, dirty politics, pirate lore, and a hot police detective: Guidebook to Murder has it all! A cozy lover’s dream come true.” —Susan McBride, author of The Debutante Dropout Mysteries

“Lynn Cahoon has created an absorbing, good fun mystery in Mission to Murder.” —Fresh Fiction