Here Comes The Holiday Giveaway!

Harman & Burke Holiday Giveaway!

WELCOME! It’s the holiday season so why not celebrate with a giveaway?







GO TO RAFFLECOPTER USING THE RAFFLECOPTER LINK BELOW…You will need to enter your email address and two special words, one found on each of our blogs!

 How do you find the special words?

  1. You’re already on my blog and: My favorite thing about the holidays is family.

  2. Go to VISITING ANNA CELESTE BURKE’S BLOG @!blog/c1dh1 All I want for the holidays is (her special word)

  3. Then click on the Rafflecopter link:     Follow the instructions and enter the two words you have found

Why choose “family” as my special word? I suppose family isn’t a particularly different wish. I’m sure many of you have a number of wishes for family visits, health, happiness, and I want all of those things for my family, and so it’s at the top of my list. Funny, as I’ve gotten older, the list doesn’t even include the material things. Don’t we wish we all would have learned that lesson when we were younger!

 What do you want for the holidays?

 Whatever it is, I hope you get it and that your New Year is the best ever! THANKS for stopping by and for entering the holiday giveaway. Hope you’ll keep an eye out for future giveaways and for new releases from me and other cozy mystery authors to be featured on my blog in the new year. Happy Holidays!

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It’s Free Today!

FREE today only! Don’t want you to miss out in case you haven’t read it! Bestselling Kelly’s Koffee Shop – first of the Cedar Bay cozy mystery Series Dogs, food & recipes


Weekend Giveaway!

I am so thrilled that in just ten short days you have made my latest book, Murder at the Bed & Breakfast #194 on Amazon’s paid Kindle list. Woohoo! I thank each and every one of you. What I’d like to do is giveaway an ebook of your choice, so if there’s a book of mine that interests you, please put it down in comments and a winner will be chosen Monday morning. Again, thanks!!!

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Dogs and Puppies!


As many of you know, my husband was a California Senator for many years. As you also may know, politics can be ugly and it was! Our house was broken into. Family heirlooms were stolen and we also received death threats. Fun stuff – not!

My husband and his advisers became very concerned for my safety as I often stayed here at our home in Huntington Beach while he was up doing the people’s work in Sacramento. They insisted I get a gun or a dog. Afraid I’d shoot the wrong person if I ever had to use the thing, I opted for a dog. They suggested I get a guard dog. and so I did – a huge brindle boxer I named Rebel. Yes, you’ve read about Rebel in a number of my books. Only difference was that Rebel was a brindle boxer and the Rebel in my books is a fawn.

He and I traveled back and forth to Sacramento. As a matter of fact, he was pretty much with me wherever I went unless my husband was with me. He was a true guard dog. His rear was always pointed at me so he could survey the landscape. When he came in the house he checked every room to make sure it was safe. He never rested until he could fine me and make sure I was safe. Fabulous dog and I loved him dearly!

Unfortunately the time we get to spend with our furry friends is often far too short and so it was with Rebel. After finishing off the grandchildren’s ice cream bowls one night, he suffered a massive heart attack and died in our arms. Have tears just writing about it!

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Fast forward a year later. Time for a new pet. I knew I could never replace Rebel, so I opted for a female fawn boxer, rather than a male brindle boxer. What to name her? I did a post on Facebook and asked if anyone had a suggestion. I received a lot of them, but the one that stuck was Joe’s. He said “It’s a no brainer. Kelly’s Koffee Shop is such a best seller, you should name her Kelly.” And so I did.

We chose her from a breeder’s litter. She was the pick of the litter. We saw the mom and the dad, both beautiful big boxers. Somehow Kelly missed the part about growing up to be the size of her parents. She’s about half their size and almost a year old. Don’t think she’s going to have a growth spurt at this time.

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And a guard dog she is not. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and anything that makes a noise is a reason to run in the house! Good thing the political days are over, and my husband’s home all the time! Her saving grace is her sweetness and she definitely qualifies for cute points!

If there’s a lesson to be learned I suppose it’s to love whatever and whoever you have for the time you have them, and then share that love with someone or something else. So, I would have to say that Dianne is grateful for Kelly!



Scavenger Hunt This Week!

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This is the week for the Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt.
The goal – to find the four secret words. The clues will be provided in Dianne’s newsletter on November 16, Dianne’s Blog on November 19, Kathi’s newsletter on November 18, and Kathi’s Blog on November 20.
The clue will be somewhere in the text and will be in the following format:
Kathi is grateful for ___________ . The word that comes after for is the word you enter into the rafflecopter.
Here is the link to the rafflecopter:
Here are the links you will need:
Dianne’s Blog:
Dianne’s Newsletter: sign up at
Kathi’s Blog:
Kathi’s Newsletter:

Murder & The Monkey Band Giveaway!

This week’s giveaway is for Murder & The Monkey Band. I’ll be giving away two autographed copies of them. As always, please leave a comment and sign up for the newsletter. TheExample (12) winners will be chosen from those people. Good luck and thanks for entering!

Murder at the Cooking School Giveaway!

Amazon just delivered some Murder at the Cooking School books to me, and I decided that a couple should definitely be in the hands of readers. I’ll be giving away two of them. As always, please leave a comment and two winners will be chosen from those people. Good luck and thanks for entering! If you haven’t already done so, would appreciate it if you would sign up for my newsletter. Thanks!


Kelly’s Koffee Shop Audiobook Is Here!

I was just notified that the audiobook for Kelly’s Koffee Shop is now available for purchase on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon. This is the first book in the award-winning Cedar Boy Cozy Mystery Series and has 492 reviews. Recipes, food and a wonderful boxer dog! Here’s the link: I interviewed a number of narrators and think this one really captures the essence of the characters.


In celebration, I’m be giving away two copies of it, so please leave a comment and I hope you win! Contest ends Sunday night. Good luck!

Can You Get Out Of Your Box?

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Out of the box. What a tired, trite phrase! And yet, like so many expressions, there’s gold in it! This one comes from a famous puzzle, where in order to solve it one had to extend the lines beyond the artificial boundary created by the puzzle. The boundaries are psychological. Wow! That’s food for thought!

How many boundaries in our lives are psychological? How many boundaries are artificial? I would guess most of them. There’s another expression that’s the antithesis of “out of the box,” the “comfort zone.” I’ve been thinking how these expressions often dictate what we do in our lives, in other words, we become so content in our “comfort zone” that we rarely “think out of the box.” And what are we missing? A whole lot of life!

I picked my granddaughter up from kindergarten the other day afternoon and she told me on the way home that her father had made her breakfast for dinner the night before – eggs, bacon and pancakes. She was thrilled because it was NOT dinner. I told her I prefer dinner for breakfast, leftovers from the night before. You could almost see the wheels turning in her little head. “Dinner for breakfast.” How out of the box is that! When she told me that was silly, I told her there was no difference between breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast. She thought about it during the drive home and then told me what she’d really like to have is macaroni and cheese for breakfast. Why not? Not sure her parents are going to be all that thrilled with our conversation, but it was out of the box.

Several years ago a friend and I traveled to Bali. Her son had surfed at Uluwatu and told his mother that it was considered to be one of the best places to surf in the world, certainly in Bali. When we arrived in Bali, the first thing we did was go to a local restaurant. My friend looked out the window at all of the motorbikes lined up outside and said, “Let’s hire a couple of them to take us to Uluwatu.” That was wayyy out of my comfort zone, but I’ve adopted the attitude of “If I don’t do it now, when am I going to do it?” So we asked the restaurant owner if we could store our luggage there, hired a couple of young men to take us to Uluwatu. and off we went on the back of their motorbikes. Regret it? Absolutely not! It was one of the best experiences of my life.

I love crossword puzzles. One of the main reasons I enjoy them so much is that some answers force me to think differently. Last Sunday, I was doing one and could not come up with a three letter word for “before VW.” I would bet that most of you would think as I did, what type of van, etc., was before the Volkswagen? I handed my husband the puzzle and asked him if he could fill in some of the blanks that I’d been unable to. A little while later he told me he couldn’t think of what would be before VW. It came to me in a flash – STU – the letters of the alphabet that are before VW. Now that is definitely thinking out of the box! And it was the correct answer.

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Old thinking which helps us stay in our comfort zone is probably causing us to miss a lot of wonderful experiences. When my husband was very active in politics, we entertained a lot. I remember a reception we had at our home. One of the things I’d made was chocolate brownies with scattered bacon bits on top of the frosting. A woman came up to me and asked me what the things on the top of the brownies were. I told her they were bacon bits. She was silent for a moment and then she said, “I’ve never seen that done. Where did you get the recipe?” I told her I didn’t have a recipe, it was just something I’d thought of on my own. She told me that she could only follow recipes and declined to try one of the brownies because it hadn’t been made from a recipe. I felt sorry for her, thinking of all she must be missing out on in life. And for the record, the brownies were good!!!

For the weekly giveaway of  the books in the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series please sign up for my newsletter. Thanks and get out of the box!


Big News! Don’t Miss This!

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As a thank you to everyone who’s signed up for my newsletter, I will be sending a boxed set of the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series to a random weekly winner. To enter all you have to do is go to and sign up for it! If you’re already signed up, you’re eligible. Good luck!

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!


Award Winning Author in the Mystery & Suspense genre