You Don’t Want To Miss This Free Book!

Dear Readers,
I’ve never done a free book on Amazon Select, but I want to let you know that today, October 4th, and tomorrow, October 5th, Murder at Jade Cove is free. This is book two in the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series. Join Kelly, Mike, and her dog Rebel as they search for the killer of Jeff Black. Here’s the link:
Was it the environmental activist enamored with spotted owls, someone from the local Native American tribe, Jeff’s son, Jeff’s wife, or his wife’s lover?
Might want to read it and find out. As always – plenty of dogs, food, and recipes.

Murder & The Monkey Band Just Landed!

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Woo Hoo!
My newest book, Murder & The Monkey Band, is now live on Amazon. Here’s the link: I’m offering it for $.99 for two weeks, and then the price will go to $2.99, but I wanted you to have a chance to buy it before it does.
The story is about a recently divorced woman who is an antique and art appraiser. She goes to live with her sister, a modern day psychic – read that no turbans, etc. – in High Desert, California, a small town about thirty miles from Palm Springs.
As always, an interesting cast of characters, food, recipes, and a lovable black Lab dog. This is a new series, and it gives me a chance to use my background as an antique and art appraiser. The compound they live in is loosely based on one that my husband’s great-uncle lived in with several artists. I’ve thought about it a lot over the years and decided to put it in a book. People always ask me where the things come from. Well, now you know!

Fancy An Audiobbok?

It took me awhile, but I finally listened to a number of readers and now have Murder in Cottage #6 on audiobook. Kelly’s Koffee Shop will be available soon. And why an audiobook, you ask?

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When I published my first book, Blue Coyote Motel, I had a large party. One of the women who came asked me when I was going to publish it in audio because she had trouble reading. Her words have stayed with me the last couple of years, and I decided the time had come to do it.

It was quite a process. I listened to dozens of narrators read my book – daunting to hear your words rather than read them – and I finally decided on a woman whose voice I loved! I felt she really got the characters. Then I had to listen to the whole book to make sure there were no errors. Although I liked several of the other narrator’s voices, they made mistakes in what they sent me, such as reading the same line twice. I thought if they were that sloppy in the demo, it did not bode well for a book that required about four plus hours. The narrator I chose made one little error which was easily fixed, but did require that I listen to the whole thing.

Then how to market it? I live in Southern California, and traffic is such a problem here that listening to a book while one is stuck in traffic is pretty common, but I wondered if traffic was really that much of a problem elsewhere as my audience is world-wide. I put the question out to several readers and received feedback that I found very interesting, such as one woman telling me she always listened to an audiobook when she cleaned house. Another one told me she rode the subway to and from work and always had a book with here. And so it went: from jogging to driving the children’s car pool.

I feel good knowing that I’m giving people an alternative way to read, particularly those who may be sight impaired. So if you know someone who could use an audiobook, here’s where they can get Murder in Cottage #6:

Please leave a comment. You may be winner of a Murder in Cottage #6 audiobook giveaway! Enjoy and thanks! And stay tuned for Kelly’s Koffee Shop!


Another Giveaway!


This week’s giveaway is the seventh book in the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series, Murder at The Cooking School. I loved writing this because  it brought back so many memories of when my husband and I spent a week at a cooking school in Tuscany. Readers have told me they got a real feel of Italy when they read the book. Hope you enjoy it!

If you’ve not already done so, please sign up for my newsletter which lets you know about my latest releases. To win the copy, please leave a comment. One winner will be selected. Enjoy!

Monday Morning-Time For A Giveaway

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This week’s giveaway is the second book in the Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery Series, Murder and Brandy Boy. I loved writing this because of the wonderful St. Bernard who delivered a wee bit of brandy to the guests in the cottages. But can he prevent murder?

If you’ve not already done so, please sign up for my newsletter which lets you know about my latest releases. To win the copy, please leave a comment. One winner will be selected. Enjoy!

Woohoo! Have to Share a New Book!

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I Love this cover. It’s for the first book in a new series which I plan on releasing within a week or so. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I was able to use a couple of my experiences when I was an antique and art appraiser – particularly the one where the psychic holds a butcher knife over her head, slices into the styrofoam wig stand head, and out pops the diamond ring I couldn’t find! That was pretty exciting!
And here’s a blurb about the book:
Marty Morgan is a recently divorced antique and art appraiser who moves from the Midwest to live with her sister in High Desert, California, just outside of Palm Springs. Since their early childhood days, her sister has always possessed unexplained psychic abilities that often enable her to predict future events.
An antique appraisal in the home of a recently murdered woman puts Marty at the center of a search for the killer. Who did it? The woman’s son? The well-known collector of antique Meissen china? A professional art and antique thief? The owner of Mai Tai Mama’s Restaurant?
And just what part did the collection of Meissen Monkey Band figurines play in the murder? Detective Jeff Combs is just as determined to develop a relationship with Marty and her dog Duke as he is to solve the crime. Will the psychic abilities of Marty’s sister help her find the killer?
Dianne is the author of two other best-selling series, the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series and the Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery Series. This is the first book in her new “High Desert Cozy Mystery Series.” To find out more about Dianne and her books, visit her web site at


It’s Never Too Late!


According to whatever written word one is reading, I’m elderly, or so they refer to people my age in the newspapers and in books. I’ve always liked the saying that goes something like, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” I think I’d be in my 40’s or 50’s. You probably wonder why I even both to bring this up.

Well, I wrote my first book and published it when I was 68. Now, it’s three years later, and I have fourteen books out and all of them have been best sellers and several are #1 at the moment in various categories on Amazon. Too late to start something new? Don’t think so. At least that memo never made it to me.

It all started when my husband and I were at a wedding in Palm Springs. It was 107 degrees in October. I made an offhand statement that changed my life. I looked at him and said, “Wouldn’t it be wild if someone put a drug in the air conditioning and everyone felt good all the time. And so Blue Coyote Motel was born, the first of three in the suspense series. I started writing it that afternoon on my iPad at the hotel. It received great reviews and even won a couple of awards. I was pleasantly shocked.


I changed genres a year ago. I remember the moment well. We were at a resort in Arizona, and I was having coffee in bed, playing with my iPad. I started making some notes about a coffee shop on the Oregon Coast. At that moment I decided to write a cozy mystery because I love dogs, food, and cooking. A month later I published Kelly’s Koffee Shop, the first of the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series. For whatever reason, it was an instant hit with people and climbed to the top of the charts, even making Amazon’s Best Seller List of Top 100 Paid Kindle Books. Without setting out to do it, I’d started a series. People wanted more of Kelly and Mike and their adventures. Several books into the series I wondered what would happen if I started another series.

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I wrote about a woman who is widowed and owns a spa/lodge north of San Francisco on the coast. The first book in that series, Murder at Cottage #6, sold amazingly well. I was thrilled that I wasn’t a one series author.

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Now I’m getting ready to publish the first book in yet another series, Murder and the Monkey Band, a High Desert Cozy Mystery Series set in a small town near Palm Springs, California. The protagonist in this series is an antique and art appraiser with a psychic sister. I’m looking forward to seeing how it will do.

I’ve been told by readers that one of the reasons they love my books is because the main characters are middle-aged. They’ve seen a lot of life and even have a little baggage at this time of their lives, but don’t we all? Children, grandchildren, ex-husbands, deceased husbands, all of these are part of my books.

When I speak to groups I’m often asked if I have any advice for someone who would like to write a book. Sure do – just do it. You don’t need a million workshops, review groups, or a degree in writing. Just do it! Follow your passion. Who knows? You may have a best seller on your hands, but you’ll never know unless you do it.

I’d love to introduce you to my first cozy mystery, Kelly’s Koffee Shop. I’ll be giving away a signed copy. To enter, please leave a comment. Thanks and enjoy!

Mystery Writers Giveaway!

A week to go until the ‘Event’! What can you expect from the authors? Competitions, giveaways, prizes, and the chance to discuss their writing and try some of their books! At least two authors a day will be giving something away! So, tell your friends and keep watching the page!mystery meme2

Mystery Writers Revealed!

You don’t want to miss this upcoming event!

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So, when exactly are your favorite mystery authors going to be around to answer questions, give away books, and talk about their writing? Well – here you go!
Saturday 12th September:
10-11 Perry Elisabeth, KJ Traynor and Eden Bale.
11-12 Mary Ellen Hughes and Celeste Burke
12-1 Sheila Odom Hollinghead, Vicki Vass,
1-2 Kathi Daley, Pamela Kelley, Elizabeth Lorraine and Tonya Kaypes
2-3 Susan Holmes, Amy Metz and Amy Vansant
3-4 Sylvia Selfman, Jb Hawker, Duncan Whitehead & Dianne Harman
4-5 Ritter Ames, Laurinda Wallace, Sherry Chamblee & Maria Swan
5-6 Stefania Mattana, Ca Larmer & Morgana Best
6-7 Karoline Barrett, Julie Moffett, Abby Vandiver

Audiobook Giveaway!

I just found out that the audiobook of Murder in Cottage #6 is now available. With such good news, I decided to do a Giveaway. Please leave a comment, and if you haven’t done so already, please sign up for my newsletter.

Contest ends this Friday at midnight. I’ll be giving away two audio books. Good luck and as always, enjoy!

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Murder at the Cooking School Has Landed!

Happy Monday!
I was just notified that Murder at the Cooking School is now available on Amazon Kindle. I wanted you to be the first to know. Here’s the link: The print version will be available in a couple of days.
Here a brief synopsis – it’s #7 in the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series..
“Cooking is nourishing. Murder isn’t. Kelly and her husband, Sheriff Mike, take a belated honeymoon and travel to a cooking school at the Castello di Nardo in Tuscany. The day after they arrive, they learn that Signora Nardo, the owner of the cooking school, has been murdered.
The Signora had her share of people who would like to see the first lady of the castle dead, including her brother, Salvadore, her lover, Giovanni, her lover’s wife, Angelica, the Signora’s husband, a rival cooking school owner, and her sister-in-law, who happens to be the resident chef at the cooking school. Identifying suspects isn’t the problem – finding out which of the suspects killed the Signora is.
Follow Kelly, Mike, and her new four-legged furry friend, Caesar, while they help the local chief of police try to solve the murder. There’s plenty of mouth-watering food, recipes, and a very big guard dog.”
It’s priced at an introductory price of $.99 for now, but I do want to let you know that I will be raising the price shortly.
My husband and I were fortunate to spend time in Tuscany at a cooking school. The recipes all come from there as well as some of the experiences, but we never had to deal with murder!

Everyone Needs A Bernadette In Their Life!


It’s not often I use my blog to urge you to buy  a book that I believe is a “must read” for everyone. Today I’m doing that. The book is Love A Foot Above the Ground by Anna Celeste Burke, and yes, that badge is correct. It was recently voted by readers as one of 50 self-published books worth reading.

It’s not only charming, it beautifully deals with the subject of love and loss – for a young woman. I was so taken with the book that I contacted the author and asked her if I might write a blog and if she would let me know how Bernadette came about. Was she someone in Ms. Burke’s past or a created character. It really doesn’t matter, because she’s simply one of the best characters I’ve run across, and I read a lot!!!

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I invite you to read her thoughts on Bernadette and when you’re finished with that, buy the book on Amazon. Believe me, you won’t regret it! Here’s the link:

Without further ado, here’s Ms. Burke’s thoughts on Bernadette:

Imagining Bernadette…

Rich or poor, we should all have a Bernadette in our lives.

Love a Foot above the Ground is Bernadette’s story. She’s a major character in the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series. That series features uber-rich Jessica Huntington as a reluctant amateur sleuth. It whisks together mystery and a family saga with themes found in women’s fiction—infidelity, betrayal, divorce, addiction, family and relationship problems. The biggest mystery for Jessica to solve is how her privileged, well-planned life has turned into an utter disaster.

Bernadette is the leavening agent, a key ingredient that adds spice to this series. A mother figure, she’s the heart of the home where Jessica grew up, even though Bernadette’s not related to any of them. Hired to manage the estate before Jessica’s birth, Bernadette soon became much more. The Huntingtons are blessed with good things—wealth, status, education, an illustrious genealogy, but as in so many families that seem to have it all, there is something missing. Money doesn’t buy you happiness, good mental health, morality or ethics, important things that Bernadette seems to possess in spades.

Tough as nails, resourceful, and resilient, Bernadette’s capacity for good is disproportionate to her physical size: she’s tiny. Her influence is disproportionate to her social standing as measured by any of the metrics used to track status, place people in a ‘class,’ or locate them on a hierarchy of power and success. She’s a household manager, and to many that’s synonymous with ‘the maid.’ The maid she is not! Bernadette has a profound sense of service and duty without being subservient. She’s kind and funny, but fierce too when making sure Jessica faces the problems in her life. In book 2 of the Jessica Huntington series, A DEAD SISTER, she tells Jessica: “The worst kind of truth is better than the best lie.”

Love a Foot above the Ground is a glimpse into Bernadette’s past, the circumstances that forged her character, and the bond she formed with Jessica. Bernadette’s story reflects a profound faith and a love of family, nurtured in a traditional setting: a small fishing village on the Sea of Cortez in the 1960s. In her world, “love lifts you up about a foot above the ground,” she tells Jessica, and “even the shadows cast by love are heaven sent.”

She knows what she’s talking about. Bernadette’s world came crashing down around her at sixteen. Those events might have crushed many of us. Not Bernadette. In this coming of age story there’s romance, adventure, mystery, and tragic loss, but Bernadette prevails, an inspiration to us all.

Where does this character come from? Elements of Bernadette recount heroic female figures from my favorite childhood books. Heroines in real life, too, who showed up in school auditoriums to tell us that girls had the right to dream big! She’s also a testament to my chance encounters with every day saints. I’m talking about women working as teachers, school nurses, sales clerks, librarians, counselors; tucked away in unglamorous nooks and crannies, offering small gestures of comfort and support we too often take for granted.

Is there a real Bernadette out there somewhere? I hope so—hordes of them, in fact.

Where to find the book:













Thanks, Ms. Burke.

I’m a real fan of this lady’s writing, having read everything she’s written and thoroughly enjoyed each one, but I have to tell you, Bernadette will stay with you. If nothing else, put her in the corner of your mind. Her wisdom will serve you well!



Time for a Giveaway!

It’s time for a Giveaway! You may be one of two winners of my latest book in the Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery Series, The Death Card, by simply leaving a comment, signing up for my newsletter if you haven’t already done so, and going to my Facebook page,, and sharing the post regarding the Giveaway. It will be at the top of the page. The Giveaway will end Saturday at midnight. Good luck!

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If you can’t wait to see if you’re a winner, here’s the link to buy it:

As always, enjoy!

Mystery Writers Revealed

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I’m involved with a group of authors in the mystery/cozy mystery genres and this is a date you don’t want to miss. A chance to ask authors questions, etc. I really think you’ll enjoy this, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you know about it.

You Say Tomato…


Duncan Whitehead is one of my absolute favorite authors. I’ve read everything he’s written, and I stand in awe of his wit and cleverness. He’s one of the few people who makes me laugh out loud. When I finish one of his books I’m always amazed at how he can weave a story with so many twists and turns you have no idea how it’s going to turn out. He’s the winner of the 2013 and 2014 Reader’s Favorite International Book Award and Gold Medalist.

I recently asked Duncan to write about his latest book, You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato, She Says Murder. First a little background about Duncan. If you’ve not read this talented author before, I envy you. It’s rare to discover an extremely talented author who, after reading one book, makes us want to read everything that author has written. He’s one of the few I put in that category.

Multi Award Winning Author, Duncan Whitehead hails from the UK and after a successful career in the Royal Navy where he served in British Embassies throughout South America before he joined the world of superyachts.

Eventually retiring to Savannah, Georgia, he began to partake of his greatest passion, writing. Initially writing short stories he finally put pen to paper and wrote THE GORDONSTON LADIES WALKING CLUB, inspired by the quirky characters and eeriness of his new environment. The book, a dark comedy mystery, which boasts an assortment of characters and plot twists, is set in the leafy neighborhood where he once lived.

His passion for comedy saw submissions to many online satire news sites and a stint performing as a stand-up comedian.

Duncan has also written over 2,000 spoof and comedy news articles, under various aliases, for an assortment of websites, both in the US and the UK.

He has penned further novels; a comedy set in Manhattan, THE RELUCTANT JESUS, published in April 2014 and republished in July 2015. He has also recently released the final two books in THE GORDONSTON LADIES DOG WALKING CLUB TRILOGY.   He has also recently published two short stories.

Well known for his charity work, kindness to animals, children and old people; and, of course, his short-lived bullfighting career and his hideous hunchback.

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato, She Says Murder

I wrote ‘Tomato’ because I enjoy reading quick short stories that end with a twist.  When I began writing it, I had already visualized an idyllic country village in Dorset, where everyone knew each other.  The characters were inspired by my imagination of two old ladies, growing old gracefully and having nothing really to worry about.

Both main characters have no worries, no fears. and the last thing you would expect is for them to be involved in a murder.

I love old English Black and White movies, and I adore Agatha Christie.  Ealing Studios in London used to produce many films that contained characters like the ladies in my book.

The book also has a moral tale.  It shows the lengths someone will go to to win; even if those measures are extreme.

The story is short and sweet, a bit like a tomato and, for info…I love them!  –  –  –

Author Page 0n Amazon




Award Winning Author in the Mystery & Suspense genre