Thursday, June 25, 2015



Liz Lucas, a 52-year-old widow, is beginning to think she’s been given a second chance at life by owning a successful spa located in a beautiful forest area on the coast north of San Francisco.

What could possibly go wrong? Well, for starters, discovering that a guest staying in cottage #6 at the spa has been murdered.

In order to save the spa’s reputation, Liz, along with her two dogs, Brandy Boy and Winston, sets out to find the killer. The cast of characters includes a handyman, spa employees, the bumbling police chief, the owner of Gertie’s Diner, the dead woman’s husband (the mayor), his girlfriend, and a Tiffany glass collector. One of them probably committed the crime, but it’s up to Liz to quickly find the culprit.

I'm happy to have fellow cozy mystery writer Dianne Harman here today. I asked her to tell us how she got started writing, and here's what she had to say . . .


My daughter-in-law and I were at a spa in British Columbia for a few days. We both had the same facialist. She looked fabulous. I looked like a purple plum. My skin flaked off. I looked so bad when I got on the plane the stewardess asked what had happened to me. I began to concoct a story in my mind about how a facialist hated older women. The book came from that experience.

Murder in Cottage #6 is the first in the Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery Series. My Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series had done very well, and I wondered what would happen if I wrote another series. The book was an April and May Amazon All-Star, so it obviously worked. The second book in the series, Murder and Brandy Boy is also doing very well, and I’m editing the third in the series which goes by a working title of Murder and the Tarot Card Reader.
I live in Huntington Beach, California. Lots to love here with the exception of traffic! Fortunately we live near the beach in a pretty inaccessible area, so we can escape the crowds and the traffic.

I’m very fortunate to be able to make writing my full time career, albeit a career that began when I was in my late ‘60’s. Never would have thought I’d be doing this, but I absolutely love it. Most fun I’ve ever had.

My first book, Blue Coyote Motel, just happened. My husband and I were staying at a boutique motel for a wedding our son was in. It was October in Palm Springs, California, normally a beautiful time, but it was 107 degrees. For a reason I’ll never know, I turned to my husband and said, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if someone put a feel good drug in the air-conditioning and everyone felt good all the time?” He looked at me and said, “There’s your book.” I wrote the whole thing on my iPad and that was the beginning, really just a couple of years ago.

I started writing cozy mysteries because it was a genre in which I could combine my love of dogs and food. Lots of recipes and puppies and dogs in these books.

If authors write about contemporary life, I think parts of them are bound to seep in. I suppose if you’re writing science fiction or dystopian, that wouldn’t be as true, but I can’t help but put some of my experiences in my books. For example, I went trekking in Nepal and although I’m not the character in that book, one of the characters in Blue Coyote Motel does that. We took a motor home trip us the California coast and stopped at a place I think was called Jade Beach many years ago when our children were small. Murder at Jade Cove came from that experience. I would have to say parts of me are probably in all of my books, I’m just not in a book.

I decided to self-publish because a man whom I respect a great deal as an author sat down with me and told me what steps I should take to publish a book. He was adamant about self-publishing for several reasons. His publisher had declared bankruptcy and he lost quite a bit of money. He also felt I would have far more control over my projects and make more money. I’ve never been sorry I’ve done that.


Dianne Harman draws her stories and characters from a diverse business and personal background. She owned a national antique and art appraisal business for many years, left that industry, and opened two yoga centers where she taught yoga and certified yoga instructors. She's traveled extensively throughout the world, most recently dividing her time between Huntington Beach, California and Sacramento, California, where her husband was a senator. An avid reader, Dianne brings the richness of her life experiences to her three series, Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series, Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery Series, and the Coyote Series.

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