We’re sure Dianne Harman had us in mind when she wrote Kelly’s Koffee Shop. Read on and get to know Dianne!
I’m often asked why I set the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery series in Cedar Bay, Oregon, when I live in Southern California, why I had the protagonist, Kelly Conners, own a coffee shop, and if Rebel, Lucky, and Lady are based on real dogs. Valid questions!
I’ve traveled up and down the Oregon coast several times. Our son and daughter-in-law live in Seattle, so when we drive to see them, that’s the route we use. I’ve always been captured by the beauty of the Oregon coast because it’s so different from sprawling urban Southern California coasts. There’s something about the fog and rainy atmosphere that speaks “cozy mystery” to me. The forests I’ve seen on the drives became a part of the series, particularly the second book, Murder at Jade Cove. And Jade Cove – that’s loosely based on a wonderful remembrance of traveling along the California Big Sur coast on a motorhome trip when our children were young. There is a beach called Jade Beach in Big Sur and we searched for jade on it. It was so much fun and I still remember the joy the children experienced when we actually found some jade!
As far as Kelly’s Koffee Shop, although it exists only in my mind, it’s become quite real to me. Several of the beach cities in Northern California and Oregon have restaurants located on the docks jutting out into the water. I wanted to create a small town restaurant where the patrons and the owner all knew one another. Since I love to cook, it was also a vehicle for me to be able to talk about favorite family recipes and incorporate them into the stories. I envision the coffee shop as a meeting place where people freely gossip about what’s going on and each other, and certainly looking for the latest tidbit when a murder’s occurred in the town. Over the years, I’ve always enjoyed books that had actual recipes in them, so I decided to put recipes in my books – and they are all from my kitchen!
The dogs? Rebel is based on a boxer I had for many years. He truly was a guard dog. I’m convinced that I was the person he’d been put on the earth to guard and protect. He always placed himself between me and whoever I was talking to. When he was lying down, the rear of his body was always towards me and his face away from me, just checking out who might be coming in the room or what danger might lurk there! When he came in the house from outside, the first thing he did was run from room to room to find me. Once he found me, he was fine. My husband and I had to say farewell to him this year. His time had come, but it sure wasn’t easy. It’s been several months now and last week we bought a new little boxer puppy who will be joining us on Valentine’s Day – fitting I think! Her picture is below and we’ve already named her Kelly for Kelly’s Koffee Shop.
Lucky and Lady, the yellow Labrador retrievers who join the series in Murder at Jade Cove, are loosely based on dogs my son and daughter-in-law have.
They have three labs and I love the easygoing breed. Although none of the characters, events, or settings are based on real things, certainly bits and pieces of my life show up with tweaks here and there!
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today and as promised, here’s the photo of Kelly, the highly anticipated new addition to the Harman family!
- Series: A Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery
Kelly pulled into the harbor parking lot next to the pier and noticed that Amber’s car wasn’t in its usual place and there was no sign of her. She was usually standing at the door of Kelly’s Koffee Shop, waiting for Kelly to open up. Wonder what that’s all about, she thought. The local residents of Cedar Bay come to Kelly’s Koffee Shop for breakfast, lunch, and lots of gossip. Kelly serves it all up as she works to solve the murder of the high school Homecoming Queen. The townspeople can’t believe what has happened in their sleepy little Oregon seaside town. She identifies five prime suspects, but which one did it? Follow Kelly, her boxer dog, Rebel, and her boyfriend, Mike, the county sheriff, as they try to determine who the killer is in a murder that’s shocked the town.
Kelly’s Koffee Shop is a mouth-watering cozy mystery with recipes
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