Excitement! Just ordered the proof copy for my first book in a new cozy mystery series. The book is titled The Cedar Spa and is in the Dinner Diva series. I had to share the cover!


It’s about a facialist at a spa who almost ruins the faces of four older women and yes, this is loosely based on my experience at a spa of a facial gone bad! Thankfully, it turned out okay. As I was on the plane coming home, skin flaking off, huge sunglasses on trying to hide my face from concerned glances, the seeds of the story were planted.

Why would a facialist not tell me that my skin would itch terribly and that my face would almost be purple? Spent the rest of the flight drawing broad strokes and began to fill them in when I got home. Thus The Cedar Spa was born, and loving to eat and cook, I needed an excuse to write about food. And what if one of the women who had been given a bad facial had recently been widowed and was ready for new beginnings? (That part was literary license, my husband will be happy to know.) And why not as a Dinner Diva – giving dinner parties by invitation, but each guest had to bring someone unknown to the Diva? Voila – a book was birthed. Hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed the write!


Looking to publish it in the very near future. Stay tuned.



As always, if you’d like a FREE book in the Coyote Series, please email me at dianne@dianneharman.com

This is fascinating. I received it in my email this morning from Bookarma. We always wonder whether our advertising works and as authors, it’s very difficult to determine what advertising dollars are spent wisely and which advertising dollars are not. This is pretty nuts and bolts and I’ve just decided to add another book after seeing these stats!

The Trust Factor

Independent and self-published authors have weathered a lot as the industry has shifted from big publishers acting as the gatekeepers—deciding who’s in and who’s out—to a marketplace of free-flowing ideas. The publishing industry, like any other, is complex, and there’s a lot to learn. It’s not easy to navigate, especially if you’re trying to figure it out by yourself. 

It’s not uncommon to hear of authors who invested their trust and finances in a “helpful resource,” but ended up with a substandard product. In short, they got rooked. If you’ve heard the scam stories or have been a victim yourself, it may be hard to trust another provider who says they want to help you. But we do!

n fact, Bookarma envisions a world where people can discover books that provide solutions to their problems and/or fulfilling entertainment from independent authors—authors who are no longer constricted by the traditional publishing model and can now reach a global audience. What’s our goal? It’s connecting indie authors with every reader.

In order to build your trust, we’d like you to try before you buy. We want to help as many authors as we can to get global exposure that they could never achieve on their own. So we want you to have your first month free. The monthly subscription doesn’t cost much in the first place — only $15 — and the first month is on us. Go to Bookarma, sign up, start a Campaign, and use the coupon code getkarma at checkout. You won’t pay a cent for your first month!

Success Story


Dianne Harman’s Blue Coyote Motel – on Bookarma for seven months — has been shared and viewed by an entirely new audience! Check out Dianne’s results:

  Shared 181 times

  Got 1,666 Clickbacks to the book information and sales page

 That’s a 920% return! That’s 1,666 new people who viewed the book and had the opportunity to buy it!



If you’d like a free e-book, please email me at dianne@dianneharman.com! 
Want to share my most recent Huffington Post article with you!

IMG_4670 copy

Who Needs January 1? Fall’s the Time for New Beginnings

Posted: Updated: 
 New clothes, new teachers, changes — that’s the fall season for me. Television golf becomes something of the past and now college and pro football teams vie for our attention. Summer’s over. The barbecues and the beach are history. This is the time for making resolutions. I’ve never quite understood the New Year thing for resolutions other than we start over at January, the first month of the new year.

But fall — it’s filled with endless possibilities. Losing the weight to fit into that great dress for Christmas, cleaning out computer files, planting fall flowers, not to mention vegetables — everything’s a possibility. I might even start my Christmas shopping early this year! Certainly some of the stores already have geared up for it and are propositioning me.

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like this. A man was at our home recently, giving us an estimate on redoing our kitchen — yeah, that’s going to be a major new beginning and probably a hassle as well — and he mentioned that the type of product he was recommending wouldn’t show stains from water or ice. He went on to say that he was beginning “Sober September.” I asked what he meant and he told me that he and his wife had decided to forego alcohol, meat, bread, and pasta during September so they could lose the weight they’d gained over the summer. He went on to say that New Year’s or Lent was the time most people made resolutions like that, but to him September was the perfect time to do it. He told me his children had just gone back to college and since Labor Day had passed, he didn’t need to worry that he’d renege because of celebrations or holidays. He has a point. How many times have the best laid plans been sabotaged because of a holiday or a festive occasion? A lot!

I love to see the return of the school buses, the children with new backpacks, and wearing outfits for the first time. My granddaughter transferred from a day care school to a, in her words, “real school.” She’s now in a pre-kindergarten class at an elementary school. And the most exciting thing in the world happened to her the first day of school. She was asked to name the room’s pet goldfish. That’s pretty heady stuff. So what did she name it? “Sparkle.”

Her mother was reminded of the time, but was smart enough not to say anything, when she and her brother had purchased goldfish at a school carnival. She remembered the two of them coming into my bedroom early the next morning to tell me something was wrong with the goldfish — they were floating. My husband was on a fishing trip so early, very early, in the morning we held a burial for “Sparkle” and “Darkle.” After the goldfish incident, we decided we were better off with dogs!

My grandson, a third grader, was excited because his teacher said if they finished their lessons on time and correctly, they could play games such as Monopoly. That’s a game I still love and of course I’m going to have to buy one so we can play it. It will probably be a new beginning for me when I realize how many different games of Monopoly there are now. I certainly found that out with a recent purchase of the Trivial Pursuit game my son and daughter-in-law love to play.

As we get older, we forget how exciting things can be when they’re experienced for the first time. Let’s face it, at this stage there are relatively few first time experiences, at least ones that I want to have. Monopoly for the first time, a goldfish, a new backpack, these are the first time things for youngsters, but we can still enjoy new things. Try planting something and watching it grow. Now that’s exciting and a whole new beginning for that seed!




This is an author I highly recommend, having read a number of her works – and who wouldn’t love the cover! This is a must read!!!

Title: Before Time

Series: The Time Series # 1

Author: Xunaira J.

Audience: NA

Genre: Tragic Romance

Formats: E-book and Paperback

Publisher: Xunaira J.

Editor: Michelle Browne

Expected Date of Publishing: 20th November 2014


His eyes told her what his tongue could not.

Nineteen-year-old Onaiza Shahid is a loner and a dreamer, bookish and socially isolated. A chance ramble into chatting software changes everything. The words of a stranger compel her. Addicted and falling fast, their secret love changes her life. But will the idealistic teenager get her happily ever after?

Book Links -

Amazon Pre Order / Goodreads

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/296620920525545/

Goodreads Event: https://www.goodreads.com/event/show/940482-cover-reveal-before-time?utm_medium=email&utm_source=copypasteevent

About The Author -

Born on October 17, 1990 in Islamabad, Pakistan, to a government officer and a homemaker, Xunaira J, as a child dreamed of being a writer.She always loved writing short stories and has been active on Helium (www.helium.com) as a creative writer. She has been a blogger and been writing articles on relationship and family for a long time.When she was young, she used to write for US Magazine. Currently, Xunaira is doing her Bachelors in Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing and writing at the same time. The name of her first book on Amazon Kindle is “The Cursed City” while her second book is a book of collective short stories which will be published in October, 2013. Meanwhile, She is working on another Mystery/Romance novel which is almost reaching completion. She is anticipating to publish it sometime next year.

Media Links-

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon / Pinterest


Please email at dianne@dianneharman.com if you want a FREE copy of my book (any one)!




You’ve probably heard the term, “So many books, so little time!” That’s pretty much aimed at the reader. I find I’m faced with a different problem, “So many books to write, so little time!”

People always ask me “where do your ideas come from?” I usually answer “everywhere!” Literally, everywhere you look, there’s something happening that could probably go in a book. From the determined little seed that became a cyclamen and is pushing its way up through a break in the patio concrete to the offhand comment someone recently made about a new neighbor who shared the same birthday as the old neighbor, in a house that’s resulted in tragedy for all of the families who have lived in it. Now that’s a story I’ll probably have to write. – The House of Bad Juju! Maybe there could be a cyclamen seed growing in it’s patio.

Seriously, the problem is not finding material – the problem is finding or making the time to expand the material into a story. And don’t even mention the Muse – you know, the one I’ve written about who wakes me in the middle of the night with ideas. I don’t know if it’s because it’s the end of summer or what. I’ve always been invigorated more by fall, rather than the New Year, so her appearance isn’t surprising. But at 3:00 a.m. every night? I’ve got a notebook full of ideas for books and some are demanding that I pay attention to them immediately.

Don’t we have enough people we’re trying please without having to please our Muse? I’m thinking of family members, friends, employers, and employees, but a Muse??!!! She’s taken over my head and I can sense ideas are falling out. I have to be quick to capture them because we all know if we don’t write something down in the middle of the night, it will drift into the nethers, never to be retrieved.

If someone told me they had a persistent Muse and asked what they should do about it, I’d probably tell them to see how many of the ideas would fit into one book and to write the noisiest ones down first. So what in the devil are you doing writing this blog, my Muse asks? Okay, I hear you. Off to write…

Enjoy the new beginnings always present in Fall. I intend to!

If you’d like a free e-book from the Coyote Series: Blue Coyote Motel, Coyote in Provence, or Cornered Coyote, please email me at dianne@dianneharman.com. Please specify whether you’d like it in EPUB or MOBI format. Thanks and enjoy!


3D (1)

Whooppppeeee! I ran a promotion yesterday with Michael Gallagher’s Kindle Books & Tips. I’ve had good luck advertising with him in the past and wanted to promote Cornered Coyote, http://smarturl.it/CorCoy. Yesterday morning’s numbers on Amazon for Cornered Coyote were about 46,000. The numbers began going down yesterday afternoon Here’s this morning’s number.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,572 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100
Paid in Kindle Store)
#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense >
Crime Fiction > Organized Crime
#5 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense >
Crime > Organized Crime
#10 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Private Investigators

That’s incredible and I would have been thrilled with that alone, but here’s the interesting thing – I have four books in the Coyote Series, Blue Coyote Motel, Coyote in Provence, Cornered Coyote, and the recently published boxed set of all three, Coyote Series. - the other three books rose hugely in Amazon’s rankings as well.

Blue Coyote Motel: 9,896 and a best seller in three categories – had been about 170,000

Coyote in Provence: 47,899 and a best seller in three categories and #1 in one category – had been 212,000

Cornered Series: 49,596 and a best seller in one category- had been 303,000.

Of course these numbers fluctuate several times a day and all four books had been selling well, but not this well!

What I find so interesting is that the halo effect must be alive and well. Since Cornered Coyote was the only book I promoted, why did the others do so well? That meant people had to actually go to these books on Amazon and buy them. And the Coyote Series is a boxed set for $2.99. People can buy all three of the books for that price, but instead many bought Coyote in Provence for $2.99.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled but am at a loss as to how this happened. I had scheduled a promotion today for Cornered Coyote with Choosy Bookworm. I’m curious if the momentum will hold or if this was a fluke. BUT NUMBERS LIKE THAT I’LL TAKE ANY DAY!!!



I feel like I’ve just had another child! COYOTE SERIES (BOXED SET) http://ow.ly/APiSg just went up on Amazon. This combines the three Coyote books, Blue Coyote Motel, Coyote in Provence, and Cornered Coyote. A number of people said they’d like to read all three in order, thus the boxed set.  They all are “stand-alone” books, but I thought it was a good idea. Here it is!3D (1)

If you haven’t read one or all of them, here’s a brief summation:

“Discover why this trilogy of fast –paced, suspense novels has received over ’175′ five star reviews on Amazon, has been a Chanticleer CLUE award finalist, a Quarter finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award contest, been featured in the Top Ten Books at Authorsdb, been the Book of the Month at several Book Clubs and is at the top of a few good lists on Goodreads.

The story revolves around the rags to riches rise of Maria Brooks who marries a deranged genius working in the pharmaceutical industry. Drug addiction, anti-aging, art theft, murder and the reader’s favorite – Slade Kelly, a flawed, noirish undercover detective makes this an engaging and entertaining read. The action spans the globe – from the barren deserts of California to the snow-capped Himalayas, with stopovers in breathtaking Provence, ritzy New York and windy Chicago.

Sweet, orphaned Afghan girls, dreaded gangsters in the mafia, dirty politicians and unscrupulous businesses make their presence felt as the series weaves along at a sprightly pace. “Will Maria go to prison ‘forever’? Will Slade die in a gun battle with the FBI? Will the motel guests be able to break the inadvertent drug habit they picked up at the Blue Coyote? Who are those little Afghan girls in the barn in Provence? Will Jordan and Maria ever find happiness?”



Yankee Club with the rose

Michael Murphy is one of my favorite authors. I discovered him when his novel, Goodbye Emily, was recommended to me. If word of mouth helps to sell a book, I should get a prize for the number of people I’ve told about it. If you’ve heard of Woodstock or can remember it, you’ve got to read the book. When I learned that he had a new book out, I asked if he’d write a column for my blog and here it is. Trust me, this is someone who knows humor well and we can all learn from him!

Four Reasons Authors Should Incorporate Humor in their Writing

Many authors are hesitant to utilize humor in the stories, even though readers love humor in most any genre. Nelson DeMille interjects humor in fast-paced frightening thrillers. Stephen King’s stories are chilling and often absurdly humorous which he uses to enhance scenes and characters.

Writing humor is not as difficult as some writer imagine. Humor results from conflict, the same as drama. The perspective is different.

Think of two great slapstick comedians, Charlie Chaplin and Dick Van Dyke. They could fall down stairs or struggle to lift a heavy object and it’s funny. In other situations, other stories, a fall down stairs would be a tragic.

There are many reasons for authors to utilize humor in their writing:

  • Humor can complement suspense by temporarily lessening tension
  • Enable an author to address serious issues
  • Allow an author’s work to stand out from others in their genre
  • Enhance characterization

Humor has always been an important part of my writing, even in my recently released historical mystery set in 1933, The Yankee Club. The story unfolds during the Prohibition-era in New York City.  This is my 9th published novel, but I’ve never attempted to write a true historical fiction and wondered whether I’d be able to capture the life and times of 1933, particularly whether my humor would translate to life in the thirties.

The use of humor in my previous novel, Goodbye Emily, allowed me to address serious issues faced by aging baby boomers. Of the three principle characters in that novel, one struggled with broken heart syndrome over the loss of his wife, his career and the possible separation with his only daughter. Another, a Vietnam vet, struggled with drugs and PTSD. The third had been placed in a nursing home with Alzheimers.

Without humor, the novel would present these conditions in a more serious manner and would no doubt depress readers rather than offer an optimistic look at the future of our aging baby boomers, the novel’s theme. Equally as important, the main character, Sparky, would be presented with a more sullen makeup.

In 1933, our country’s economy was on the brink of collapse, and Prohibition had led to the rise of organized crime. 12 million people were out of work. Many were homeless, and some turned to extremist politicians, Nazis on the right and communists on the left. Nothing funny about that at all.

The humor in The Yankee Club addresses these issues within the framework of a mystery based on historical events. The two main characters grew up in modest homes in Queens, but at the start of the novel, Jake Donovan is a successful mystery writer and Laura Wilson is a popular Broadway actress. Both deal with guilt over their successes which have isolated them from the poverty suffered by most.

Jake and Laura find themselves in danger often in The Yankee Club. Humor diffuses the suspense, enhancing the tension at the same time. Like I did in Goodbye Emily, I created humorous scenes and characters so the story would unfold while addressing the difficult issues of the times. My goal was to weave mystery and romance much like the movie series that inspired the story, The Thin Man movies with William Powell and Myrna Loy.

I encourage authors to look for ways to utilize humor within their genre the same way they create drama; utilize conflict in a scene. Humor will enhance the drama and the work will stand out from the crowd.

******************************************************************************The Yankee Club   http://www.amazon.com/Yankee-Club-Jake-Laura-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00IHMFANK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1409068819&sr=1-1&keywords=the+yankee+club

A mystery writer returns to the bright lights and dark alleys of New York City—uncovering a criminal conspiracy of terrifying proportions.

In 1933, America is at a crossroads: Prohibition will soon be history, organized crime is rampant, and President Roosevelt promises to combat the Great Depression with a New Deal. In these uncertain times, former-Pinkerton-detective-turned-bestselling-author Jake Donovan is beckoned home to Manhattan. He has made good money as the creator of dashing gumshoe Blackie Doyle, but the price of success was Laura Wilson, the woman he left behind. Now a Broadway star, Laura is engaged to a millionaire banker—and waltzing into a dangerous trap.

Before Jake can win Laura back, he’s nearly killed—and his former partner is shot dead—after a visit to the Yankee Club, a speakeasy dive in their old Queens neighborhood. Suddenly Jake and Laura are plunged into a conspiracy that runs afoul of gangsters, sweeping from New York’s private clubs to the halls of corporate power and to the White House itself. Brushing shoulders with the likes of Dashiell Hammett, Cole Porter, and Babe Ruth, Jake struggles to expose an inconspicuous organization hidden in plain sight, one determined to undermine the president and change the country forever.


I’ve mentioned before that I contribute to the Huffington Post. Here’s my latest article on “the dreaded family reunion.”file000773519295

I remember when it started. A year and a half ago my husband walked into my office and said, “Guess what? My brother just e-mailed me and he thought it would be a great idea if we had another family reunion. What do you think? They’re looking at some place in California.”

A million thoughts flooded through my mind. What if they want to come to our house? What will I feed everyone? Where will they stay? Where will they go? One of the secrets of a long marriage is knowing when not to say what you’re thinking. I replied, “Sure, that would be great. Why don’t you write them all and suggest several places, like Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, and Southern California.”

This was my husband’s side of the family, a small family, but still…that would still add up to a lot of work. Copious emails later we discovered everyone wanted to come to Southern California — home of Mickey Mouse and the beach — and where we lived. Our daughter and her family live close by and our son and his wife, Seattleites, would stay with us. Nineteen people (not counting the animals who would accompany the people) would be attending the reunion.

The first thing to do was pick a date. No problem. Found one that worked for everyone. We never thought to consult the local Huntington Beach calendar. Next on the “to-do” list was to secure housing for the rest of the group. We live in Huntington Beach, close to the Pacific Ocean, so that was a no-brainer — had to be a hotel on the beach. Right? Wrong! Found out the U.S. Pro Surfing Championship was being held that week and the room rates were understandably elevated. When you live near the beach and you’re in the tourist industry, there’s a small window for making a major profit and this was definitely the profitable season.

Many motels and hotels later we found one that worked. Next on the list was to figure out, based on arrival and departure schedules, how many people would be eating meals at our home and when. That was the difficult part. Everyone was arriving at a different time and taking off at a different time. I finally resorted to a spreadsheet. I decided to have bagels, sweet rolls and make-ahead casseroles for breakfasts. Lunches would be a “make it yourself sandwich bar.” Between the beach, Disneyland, shopping (that was a priority for the teens and early twenty set — fortunately our daughter is “queen of the outlets” and was happy to take on that role), I had no idea how many people would make it to the house for those meals.

My husband pulled up information on all of the different places they could go, kinds of things they could do, and made more lists. He also emailed everyone a map with directions on how to get to our house. This turned out to be critical because people landed at airports in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Ana — and some even drove. Naturally, the City of Los Angeles, in its infinite wisdom, decided to close down the major arterial street to the Los Angeles International airport during their stay. I still find it hard to believe that a city the size of Los Angeles cannot find another time for street repairs — July in Southern California??? Peak tourist time??? What were they thinking???

My husband emailed everyone to get the T-shirt sizes for all the attendees and we had them made with “Harman Family Reunion” superimposed over crossed surfboards on a dark blue background (after all, Huntington Beach is “Surf City!” Everyone was required to wear theirs for the “photo shoot” on the last night. We gathered up “boogie boards” the beach crowd could use for modified surfing. We packed duffel bags full of towels, knowing they wouldn’t have space in their luggage to bring any.

Lists for meals, lists for ingredients, what to get when so it wouldn’t spoil. How much could I make beforehand and freeze? My desk was littered with lists! We had people arriving from North Carolina, Kansas, Colorado, and Washington. That includes a lot of different food likes and dislikes, never mind that the ages ranged from 76 to 4 ½. We had a popcorn machine complete with sacks. For dessert there was cheesecake, carrot cake, chocolate mousse, cookies, and frozen popsicles, etc. for the little ones. Casseroles, hamburgers, barbecued salmon (on the slow night when most of the attendees were at Disneyland), and a Mexican fiesta the last night complete with margaritas. Don’t think bottled bubbles are a part of a fiesta, but the children loved them. The afternoon before the fiesta my son and I went through boxes of family photos and put the relevant ones on a large oak table in the house.

I had a conversation (actually it was more of a plea) every morning with the wind gods regarding the ocean breeze that comes up at 3:30 in the afternoon and makes eating on the patio impossible. Fortunately, they listened and cooperated with a rare inversion that left the evenings wind free and warm.

Were there foul-ups? Of course. Somehow my grandson’s (age 8) T-shirt was an adult medium. He was not thrilled with wearing it to the family “photo shoot,” but was a good sport. It came off immediately after the shoot. Somehow I lost eight hamburgers. We made them ahead of time and put them in the freezer. I took the patties out of the freezer the morning we were going to have them for dinner and didn’t see the two packets on the bottom of the freezer. Fortunately, we had just enough even without the “ones hiding.”

As we get older, we realize how precious family is. A shared history, genes, and relatives bring one together in a way nothing else can. Was a good time had by all? I think so. But I wonder if they all slept as well as I did the night they left!

Will it find a place in one of my books? Probably!



I have no idea why, but I picture my Muse as a woman who escaped from a fairy tale. She’s got long black hair, a purple robe trimmed in ermine, and vivid blue eyes.

She generally comes to me around three a.m. and whispers in my ear. My muse tells me stories that I need to tell, characters I need to write about, social issues that need to be aired, and solves the problems I’m having with a story lines and situations. I never know when she’s going to pay me a visit, but I’ve learned to keep notes after each visit!

The first time she appeared it was in Palm Springs, California. My husband and I were at a wedding and it was 107 degrees in October. The wedding was to be held outside. The old boutique hotel the wedding party had taken over had recently been renovated and the air conditioner was completely silent. Words tumbled out of my mouth that only could have come from the Muse. “Tom,” I said to my husband, “wouldn’t it be interesting if someone put a ‘feel-good drug’ in the air-conditioning and everyone felt good all the time?” I remember thinking, where in the devil did that come from?

He pointed his finger at me and said, “There’s your book.” And so it was. The Muse opened the door for the Coyote Series. First came Blue Coyote Motel, the tale of guests who stay at a motel and become inadvertently addicted to a “feel-good” drug and the havoc it wreaks on their lives. I thought that would be the end of my writing career, but everyone who read it wanted to know what happened to Maria, the protagonist. The Muse whispered that a book should be written about Maria in Provence, oh, it said, and be sure to weave in something about your experiences as an art and antique appraiser and don’t leave out the fabulous food in you ate when you were in Provence! Coyote in Provence  was born. Then the Muse whispered that people wanted to know what happened to Maria and Jordan, who met in Provence. And what about Noor, the little Afghan orphan? I answered the Muse and wrote Cornered Coyote.

While I was finishing up that book, one night the Muse urged me to get up and write down what she was going to tell me. She told me of a woman who could see numbers above people’s foreheads and that Slade Kelly, everyone’s favorite private investigator, who’s prominent in Coyote in Provence and Cornered Coyote, should have his own series and this should be the first book in the series. The working title is Red Zeroes. I’m about half-way finished with it.

Two nights ago the Muse was at it again, telling me about the second novel in the series. Now I can’t wait to get to it.

My question for all of you, how does a Muse become born and how do you get one? Or is my Muse unfaithful, visiting other authors in the middle of the night? And why did she wait until this time in my life to appear? Did I have to go through a lot of experiences to merit a Muse? Inquiring minds…

What does your Must look like?

Blue Coyote Motel  http://smarturl.it/bcmo

Coyote in Provence  http://smarturl.it/cipr

Cornered Coyote  http://smarturl.it/CorCoy

Award Winning Author in the Mystery & Suspense genre