HAPPEN IN YOUR FAMILY?

Christoph Fischer is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read everything he’s ever written and when I found out he had recently published a new book, I Acouldn’t wait to ask him about it. Trust me, if Christoph has written it, it’s worth reading! This is a not-to-be missed book!

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Christoph, why does an author write a certain book? Is it from personal experience, something that has always interested them, or something they’ve thought about?

That’s a very good question and particularly relevant to “Conditions” which is the first novel I wrote. As many first novels do – it reflects experiences and thoughts from my life. (Possibly too many, in fact, I cut a lot of paragraphs that had little to do with the story).

In “Conditions” I wrote about a dispute over material issues at the time of a funeral. The significant personal experience leading to this topic was the death of my father 18 years ago. Friendly relatives advised us children to get an independent advisor on how to split the estate and create records of who got what etc. – as to prevent future arguments and resentment. The three of us declined the offer because we were too grief struck to care. However, I didn’t want to write a memoir or tell a story as it happened and so in my book I explore characters that do care and argue over material things at the time of a family bereavement. That scenario was much more interesting to explore exactly because it bears no resemblance to my own experience.

As much as I would like to be a writer with a specific brand, a successful repetitive formula and bestselling series, I need to be involved with the topics of my books in order to get to the end of a story and often switch genres, as the ‘muse’ takes me to different places:
I have written Historical novels that explored the life and times of my ancestors. I used what I knew about them and what I found out about the eras and places during my family research. Then I wrote a contemporary novel about Alzheimers’ Disease, which affects so many people these days.

So, yes, all three apply to all of my books. Personal experiences inspire me but I need to have a strong interest in the subject that goes beyond anecdotal writing. Researching facts and working through the issues is important for me, too. Writing in that regard can be a learning curve for me and a mental process. A large portion of the editing process is dedicated to then make these heavy books more palatable.

Since my teens I’ve had friends or acquaintances who suffered with mental conditions, whether it be ‘regular depression’ or more obscure illnesses. Some were good friends, others I couldn’t relate to as well as I would have liked. However, those people kept popping up in my life and taught me a few things by sharing their thoughts and experiences with me. Observing them and witnessing some ‘naturals’ who knew intuitively just how to handle any type of ‘difficult’ people has always filled me with particular admiration and aspiration. Looking back now, I think it was always a given that my first novel would have mental health and being different as one of the main themes and that my characters would mostly be oddballs and ‘misfits’.

30 years ago many of these disorders were not diagnosed and people were branded as odd or as having ‘learning difficulties’. Nowadays we have labels, help systems and functioning treatment plans in place at least for some of them. I believe, however, that we all (myself included) still have a lot to learn about accepting and integrating ‘different’ into society, which is why I decided to publish “Conditions” instead of keeping it in a drawer.

I hope “Conditions” can help raise awareness and, as one kind reviewer phrased it, that it
“put a lovable face on a stigmatized group, and …[leaves reader]… feeling hopeful that with love, understanding, and proper medical care, mentally ill and autistic people can not only lead a full life, but enrich our world with their creative gifts.”

Thanks Christoph. Here’s some information about and links to his books:

The Luck of the Weissensteiners (Three Nations Trilogy Book 1)

In the sleepy town of Bratislava in 1933 a romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin. Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe and re-draws the visible and invisible borders. The political climate in the multifaceted cultural jigsaw puzzle of disintegrating Czechoslovakia becomes more complex and affects relations between the couple and the families. The story follows them through the war with its predictable and also its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times after.
But this is no ordinary romance; in fact it is not a romance at all, but a powerful, often sad, Holocaust story. What makes The Luck of the Weissensteiners so extraordinary is the chance to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences. This is a wide-ranging, historically accurate exploration of the connections between social location, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck.

On Amazon:  http://smarturl.it/Weissensteiners
On Goodreads: http://bit.ly/12Rnup8

On Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1bua395

Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/OtmyZh4Dmc/?autoplay=1

B&N  http://ow.ly/Btvas

Sebastian (Three Nations Trilogy Book 2)

Sebastian is the story of a young man who has his leg amputated before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls on to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty and hopefully find love.
Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna and the timed of the war and the end of the Monarchy while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.
Fischer convincingly describes life in Vienna during the war, how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the Monarchy, the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era.
As in the first part of the trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiners” we are confronted again with themes of identity, Nationality and borders. The step back in time made from Book 1 and the change of location from Slovakia to Austria enables the reader to see the parallels and the differences deliberately out of the sequential order. This helps to see one not as the consequence of the other, but to experience them as the momentary reality as it must have felt for the people at the time.

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TNTSeb
On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pthHZ

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/pthNy

Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/95jvSpHf5a/

B&N http://ow.ly/Btvbw

The Black Eagle Inn (Three Nations Trilogy Book 3)

The Black Eagle Inn is an old established Restaurant and Farm business in the sleepy Bavarian countryside outside of Heimkirchen.  Childless Anna Hinterberger has fought hard to make it her own and keep it running through WWII. Religion and rivalry divide her family as one of her nephews, Markus has got her heart and another nephew, Lukas got her ear. Her husband Herbert is still missing and for the wider family life in post-war Germany also has some unexpected challenges in store.

Once again Fischer tells a family saga with war in the far background and weaves the political and religious into the personal. Being the third in the Three Nations Trilogy this book offers another perspective on war, its impact on people and the themes of nations and identity.

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/pAX3y

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pAX8G

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TBEI
Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/mB2JZUuBaI/

Time To Let Go:

Time to Let Go is a contemporary family drama set in Britain.
Following a traumatic incident at work Stewardess Hanna Korhonen decides to take time off work and leaves her home in London to spend quality time with her elderly parents in rural England. There she finds that neither can she run away from her problems, nor does her family provide the easy getaway place that she has hoped for. Her mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and, while being confronted with the consequences of her issues at work, she and her entire family are forced to reassess their lives.
The book takes a close look at family dynamics and at human nature in a time of a crisis. Their challenges, individual and shared, take the Korhonens on a journey of self-discovery and redemption.

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/BtKtQ

On Goodreads:  http://ow.ly/BtKs7

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TTLG

Conditions

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family.
The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside.
Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast.
Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/C0ZqX

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFF

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/C0Ziw

Short Biography:

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small hamlet, not far from Bath.  He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. In May 2014 he published his first contemporary novel “Time To Let Go” in May. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl

All Facebook links:

http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl

http://www.facebook.com/TheLuckOfTheWeissensteiners?ref=hl

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sebastian/489427467776001?ref=hl

http://www.facebook.com/TheBlackEagleInn?ref=hl

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Time-To-Let-Go/257989361049799?ref=hl

 

CAN THIS MARRIAGE SURVIVE…?

If you’d like a free e-book in the Coyote Series, please email me at dianne@dianneharman.com!

I always like to share the articles I write for the Huffington Post. Here’s the newest one that was published yesterday.

 

Dianne is the author of five books including the newly released boxed set of the Coyote Series. Her first cozy mystery will be out soon.

COOKIE WITH MILK CARAMEL

When I was growing up there was a magazine that featured a column, “Can This Marriage Survive?” Divorce was pretty uncommon in those days and I was fascinated by the monthly column and the predicaments the men and women who were featured in the article got themselves into. At some level a lot of the advice in that column must have stayed with me, because I’ve been married a long, long time. Our long-time marriage is kind of a dinosaur in this day and age where starter marriages have become the norm.

So saying, this may be the year that I need to remember all the advice that was in the columns. I wrote a post a couple of months ago about the Family Reunion. Four days of being together with the family can be a bit stressful. Just look at how people dread the holiday season — and it’s not always about gaining the ten pounds from eating well.

Then my husband and I had to deal with the death of our beloved boxer, Rebel. Anyone who’s ever had a pet knows what it’s like to return home and not have your little friend there to greet you. And then the decision about whether to get another pet — and if we got the same breed would we always compare the new one to Rebel? The jury’s still out on that one.

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The next major survival was a 10-day road trip that my husband and I just returned from. Actually, it was a wonderful trip. We took a couple of things off of our bucket list by visiting Zion and Bryce National Parks. We relaxed in Sedona, played golf in Scottsdale, and visited one of the best national history museums I’ve ever seen. My husband had noticed it on the Internet. There was no advertising leading up to it; it was just plunked down in the desert between the two National Parks. Animals, arrowheads, birds, etc. were all displayed in authentic settings along with over 500 butterflies. If you decide to do the parks, this is a “don’t miss” place to put on your agenda. We even survived me driving at times, him navigating, and me missing the washed-out golf cart path and almost upending the cart. However, all that pales with what’s coming next.

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Tomorrow begins the demolition of the kitchen. Yup, a complete redo. When you live in a house for a number of years, you overlook sagging cupboards, water stains on interior cabinets where coffee cups have been put away before they were completely dry, dated pulls, and drawers that squeak every time they’re opened. Actually, you don’t even notice them, at least we didn’t. It took a visit from our son to tell us the time had come. The kitchen was definitely dated!

In about eight weeks we’ll be the happy owners of a new kitchen including appliances, charging station (evidently a necessity as our lives revolve around our iPhones, iPads, and other electronic goodies), countertops, cabinets, and …

I have the feeling the domino effect will set in soon. I remember looking at the kitchen tile many years ago and thinking it needed to be re-grouted. What I had difficulty explaining to my husband was why the upstairs had to be re-carpeted. He really didn’t think that had much to do with the tile being re-grouted. The domino effect had come into play.

As I took a final look around the kitchen this morning, I began to wonder just how creative I was going to be with an electric fry pan, a barbecue, a toaster, a coffeepot, and a slow cooker. There will be no oven or microwave for the next eight weeks. And have you ever known a remodel to be finished in exactly the projected time frame? I haven’t. It’s a good thing we had the Family Reunion this summer because Thanksgiving will definitely be out and possibly Christmas. Everyone I’ve talked to who has gone through a remodel says it was one of the most stressful times in their lives. Swell. And why did we decide to do it? Well, if and when we sell our house, the first thing a realtor will tell us to do is upgrade the kitchen and they’d probably be right. When we made the decision to upgrade, it seemed logical to do it now and enjoy it while we’re living here. At the moment, I’m having serious doubts whether that was a wise decision. Then as soon as the upgrade is finished, time for a new puppy! You don’t think that will be stressful, do you? Stay tuned!!!!!

 

WANT TO KNOW HOW YOUR BOOK IS DOING? CHECK OUT THIS NEW TOOL!

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AUTHOR RISE – YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS NEW KID ON THE BLOCK!
I have published six books and don’t have time to constantly check and see how my sales are. Plus, I decided long ago it’s probably not good for my marriage or my sanity – one day I’m up and ecstatic, the next day down and forlorn!
This new company notifies you when there’s a spike in sales. I have one book that has not been doing all that great and I’ve kind of forgotten about it. Imagine my surprise when I looked through my email a few days ago and read that the paperback version had risen over 900,000 points and it’s number was below 100,000 on Amazon. That’s not a bestseller, but it alerted me that for some reason, there was interest in it.  I’ve become such a fan of this new business that I asked Chris Weber, one of the co-founders, if he would send me some information about this important new tool.
Trust me, you’re going to want to subscribe to this!

The following is information from Chris about AuthorRise – and don’t you love the name? My book sure rose!

Well, to start, we’re trying to encourage a long-term mindset of awareness rather than obsessing over statistics like follower count. So for the analytics, my advice would be to check back once or twice a day to see if you have any big jumps in your Amazon or Twitter accounts and then look to see if there is corresponding activity on Twitter (which is what we track for the moment) or somewhere else on the web. What we’re hoping is that by showing you what’s going on, you can start to identify patterns, and that those patterns will start to show you what works best for you in terms of connecting with your audience.
There’s also a new tool in the toolbar that looks like a little paper airplane. These are called flyers and are a way to do content marketing more efficiently. Essentially, you can attach an article, blog post, interview, etc to the same location as a link to your book, and then share the “flyer” with all of your social networks at once. It’s a way to connect your book directly to any other writing you do, and soon you’ll be able to track their performance in great detail.
What we’re trying to do long term is give authors information that actually empowers them to sell more books. Right now, that information is limited because we’re still just getting started, but that’s changing every day. Once you subscribe, you’ll be able to do cool stuff like keep track of your Amazon sales rank and measure your Twitter reach. In addition, we’ve just added a couple of other features to help you grow your audience and sell more books:

 

Rank-spike notification: Now you can know whenever there’s a significant jump in the best-seller rank of any book you track. It’s always nice to know when sales are picking up, and finding out in real-time is a great opportunity to take advantage of that momentum.

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Since the book I’d been notified about was in hardback form, I asked him if they were tracking ebooks as well. Here’s his answer:
The short answer is yes, we can track ebooks just as well as paper or hardback.
BUT…what shows up in your AuthorRise stats depends on how your Amazon account is set up. Essentially, when you sign up with us, we go and look at your author page and pull in the top 5 books listed as “new and popular.” Where it gets complicated is that each book has an “edition” based on format, so the e-book is one “edition” the paperback is another, etc. For each book, there is a “top edition” which all of the other editions are organized under.
Right now, AuthorRise only tracks one edition for each book (this is going to change in the next week or so) because we figured this would be the one the author cared about most.
It turns out that most authors have no idea Amazon organizes their work this way and as best we can tell, the author has no control over which edition is the top one and this is why sometimes you’re tracking the edition you care about and sometimes you aren’t.
So we didn’t know Amazon worked like this, and authors don’t seem to either, but we’ve pieced it together over the last month or so and are now working to give you options to change which book and which edition of each book you track. I figure, just because Amazon doesn’t give you that control doesn’t mean we can’t!
Sorry if that was more information than you needed but I try to share the inner workings of these issues with people as we learn them. Seems only fair that you should know how your own business is set up with them.
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Fascinating stuff and I think this is only the beginning. I also want to tell you that I had some problems setting up my account – computers are not my forte – and they took care of my issues immediately without making me feel like an idiot. If you’re like me, that means a lot.
This is a tool you don’t want to be without. It’s free and you’ll get in on the ground floor. Hope you like it as much as I do!

DOMINOES: THE BACK STORY!

If you’d like a free e-book in the Coyote series, please email me at dianne@dianneharman.com! 

I became a fan of C.B. Blaha after reading her amazing novel, Dominoes. I’m always looking for a good suspense read and this one didn’t disappoint. I’m very familiar with the area she writes about and have visited it many times. I contacted her and asked if I could write a blog about the book. Enjoy!

dominoes

I’m originally from a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I attended Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania (which was actually Seton Hill College at the time) with a major in Theatre and a Minor in Art.  I moved to California in 1984 and resided in the San Francisco Bay Area until March of 2000 when I relocated to the High Mojave Desert and acquired my teaching credential.  I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I never seemed to be able to focus long enough to write an entire novel until now.  I’ve written many things that I haven’t published, one of these being a children’s book which I wrote when my son was very small.

My enthusiasm for writing was spurred by my fifth grade English teacher, Ms. Schank, who often said to me, “Write the book, and I’ll get it published.”  Unfortunately, Ms. Schank passed away about a year and a half before I started Dominoes, but I feel as if she was still encouraging me from the great beyond, so I dedicated my book to her.  Another teacher who greatly inspired my desire to write was my eighth grade English teacher, and I suppose I will dedicate my next book to her.

What made you decide to write Dominoes?

My writing of Dominoes just happened.  One day, I sat down to my computer and started writing about the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, CA.  I had been there several times, and my intention was to write a short story, but my characters quickly took hold and essentially told me that this was going to be much more than a short story.  As the characters developed, they more or less dictated the plot.  So, nearly seven hundred pages later, I thought the story was finished, but it’s not.  I tried to start a completely new novel, but the characters from Dominoes kept telling me that we weren’t quite finished.  So, I am now working on a sequel where some of the old characters remain, but new characters are developing quickly.

Sounds like the characters dictate the plot. Would that be right?

I worked out the plot within the writing of the novel, so I didn’t really know where it would go until it had some essence, but even then it would sometimes veer off in a direction I hadn’t anticipated.  As you know, there is a kidnapping in Part 1, and while my mind was focused on the resolution of that issue, other things were happening elsewhere in the story leaving many loose ends that needed to be tied up.  I bounced many of my ideas off of my mother, and we would sometimes speculate on the direction in which the story was headed.  After I finished Part 1, I started keeping brief notes on the plot development in each section, and I would read over them every morning to help me decide who would be the subject of that day’s writing and what would most likely happen to them.  The plot would sometimes change directions in the middle of my writing because the characters would move it away from my original intention.  One of the threads that runs through all four parts wasn’t added until after the first draft was finished, but it really adds emphasis to the surprise ending, and this is the only plot twist that was implemented without my characters’ consent, as it were.

Have your friends and family been supportive of your writing?

So far, I’ve gotten very positive feedback from all of my friends and family members who have read Dominoes.  There aren’t that many people around who are bothered by the amount of time I spend writing, but I have to admit that it did subtly annoy my significant other on a few occasions.

Do you have a favorite character? If it’s made into a movie, who would you like to play the part?

My two favorite characters are the twins, Ardina and Sophia, but I had the most fun writing Ardina and Tony because they were completely over the top most of the time.  I also had a blast writing the homeless people, but seeing the whole novel come together was absolutely thrilling because some days the writing would more easily fall into place than on other days.  If I were to pick an actress to play the twins, I’d choose Alexandra Daddario, and Seth Rogen would do well as Tony, but he’d have to shave his head.  Ellen Page would make a good Sally, and of course, I’d need to find a Tom Petty look alike to play Horace.  That’s as far as I’ve thought out the movie version of Dominoes, but there are plenty of good roles in this story.

What do you like best about writing?

I love watching the movie version unfold inside of my head.  In a certain sense, my characters come to life, and I often discuss them as if they were real people.  When my sister asked me to tell her about Dominoes, she started commenting on one of the character’s actions as if these things really had happened then caught herself and said, “Wait a minute!  She’s not real.”

What’s your least favourite thing about writing?

I intensely dislike editing my own work and formatting it for physical publication.  I find this to be extremely time consuming and boring, so it will be a happy day when I can afford to pay other people to do these things.

What about your cover art?

I did the cover art myself.  The picture for Part 1 was taken in the Angeles National Forest.  We were driving around with my box of dominoes when I saw a big chunk of pyrite up on an embankment.  So, we stopped, and I climbed up there with my box of dominoes, positioned a few of them on the rock, and took several pictures.  Some kind of gnat-like bug inhabited the area around me, and they were flying into my face and buzzing around my head, but for my cover’s sake, I suffered through the indignity.  Later, I downloaded the pictures onto my computer and played with the photo options.  The photos for Parts 2 and 4 were taken inside of my house, and for Part 3, we went into a Joshua tree grove and probably took about fifty pictures.  After I chose the picture I wanted, I super-imposed dominoes onto the desert floor before applying artistic effects.  So, for the cover of Dominoes Complete, I simply made a window pane of the four pictures.  The paperback version, however, has an old paper overlay that covers some of the window pane hiding most of the cover art for Part 3 which is one of my favorite covers, but I’m still pleased with the paperback cover.

Are you a writer who likes silence or music playing when you write?

I need absolute silence to write.  Currently, I don’t have an office in my house, so this sometimes poses a problem.  My desk is just outside the master bedroom in an alcove on the landing of the second floor of my house, and when people are around making noise while I’m trying to write, I have a tendency to get a little cranky.

What about the editing process?

Originally, all four parts were written as one complete novel which was edited and revised once before I initially started publishing the parts as ebooks.  At first, I published the parts separately because they were book length on their own, and I later published the entire novel as one ebook.  This past summer, I combed through the book, revised and edited a few more things, and published it as a paperback.  I also updated the ebooks with these revisions.  My mother was my first editor, my son pointed out a few things when he read the book, and I was my final editor, but by the time I felt the need to do this, over a year had elapsed since my completion of the book.  So, it was all in the family for this first go around.  The hiatus from my work allowed me to see things with new eyes, and I feel that the changes I made help the novel to read more smoothly.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

My advice to new writers is to get your ideas down on paper, or more likely into your computer, without being hypercritical about mechanics.  I have to admit that I am one of the worst followers of this advice, and I have to force myself to not read and reread everything immediately after I write it, but I’m getting better at allowing the ideas to flow from my brain to my fingers to the keyboard without interruption or loss of my train of thought.  Mechanics can be dealt with later.

Books and authors. Favorites?

I used to be a huge science fiction and suspense fan, but I’ve moved more toward crime thrillers and mysteries such as the books written by James Patterson and Janet Evanovich.  However, I like a good family drama as well.  One Hundred Years of Solitude byGabriel Garcia Marquezis one of my favorite books, but I also used to enjoy reading Tom Robbins, and many other established authors.  Some of the newer writers have published wonderful novels, and I’ve read a few, but I find it difficult to read when I am working on my own novels.  I’ve purchased lots of ebooks, but I prefer books in a physical format.

Tell me what else you like to do.

I live my life outside of writing as an elementary school teacher.  When the idea for Dominoes struck me, I was on medical leave, so I had time to write each day and I truly lived like a writer with a deadline because I knew that I would never finish the novel if I didn’t do so before I returned to school.  At that point, I lived to write, so I didn’t have much of an alternative existence.  These days however, I do manage to attend a few concerts, visit museums, read a little, travel a bit, and cuddle with my kittens.  I’m hoping to establish a sane schedule that allows me to enjoy life more as well as reach my writing goals.

Would you share what you’re working on now?

As I already mentioned, I’m working on a sequel to Dominoes.  The current title is Jacks, and it will be more about picking up the pieces, but there will still be plenty of twists and turns.  I’ve also started work on a shorter selection involving the hierarchy of a species, but I don’t want to give too much away.

Thanks and I hope everyone rushes out to get the book. It’s that good!

Here’s some links for more information:

https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=C.+B.+Blaha&sitesearch_type=STORE

Website:  www.dominoesnovel.com

Facebook:  CB Blaha

Facebook Book Page:     https://www.facebook.com/cb.blaha?ref=hl

Twitter: @CBBLAHA

Authorsdb: http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/13752-c-b-blaha

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7353243.C_B_Blaha

 

 

 

 

 

COZY MYSTERIES YOUR GENRE?

If you’d like a free e-book, please email me at dianne@dianneharman.com! 

I’ve become fascinated by cozy mysteries and am in the process of writing one. Naturally, I’m doing a lot of reading in this genre. I recently read Cupid’s Curse by Kathi Daley and loved it. I contacted her and asked if she would write something for the blog. She generously agreed and here it is. How cute is this cover? Enjoy!

TurkeysTuxesTabbiesEbook

To answer a few of the questions you asked, Dianne, as for the back story on this particular book, I publish a book a month and try to take advantage of holidays when I can. This book is set at Thanksgiving. I grew up in a situation much like that which is demonstrated in my books. Small town, big family, mom who was holiday crazy. We were the house that was always decorated and the family that had so many traditions that we were immersed in each holiday from the beginning of the month to the end. My books simply share this feeling of small town cozy. And no we never really had any murders at all let alone one a month.
I never plot my stories and never know where they are going when I start writing. I rarely know who the victim is and have only written one book where I knew the murderer before I wrote it. I just sit down and think, “Okay it’s Thanksgiving what is going on?” Once I have that first paragraph I just keep writing until it’s done. I know this isn’t much of an answer as to the backstory of the book but, beyond this, there really isn’t one.
The description states: When the cat lady of Ashton Falls is found dead in her home just days before Thanksgiving, Zoe must track down a killer while dealing with a house full of socialites who have come to Ashton Falls to bid on Zak in a high class bachelor auction.
I came up with this concept because at the end of Haunted Hamlet – (the Zoe Donovan before this one) we find out that Zak (Zoe’s boyfriend) is going to be entered into a bachelor auction and I wanted to showcase cats since most of the books are dog heavy. Zoe owns a wild and domestic animal rescue and rehabilitation shelter so there are always lots of animals but I felt like the dogs had been running the show.
Here is the link to the book.

Books by Kathi Daley

KathiEdit

Come for the murder, stay for the romance.

Buy them on Amazon today.

Paradise Lake Series:

Pumpkins in Paradise

Snowmen in Paradise

Bikinis in Paradise

Christmas in Paradise

Puppies in Paradise – February 2015

 Zoe Donovan Mysteries:

Halloween Hijinks

The Trouble With Turkeys

Christmas Crazy

Cupid’s Curse

Big Bunny Bump-off

Beach Blanket Barbie

Maui Madness

Derby Divas

Haunted Hamlet

Turkeys, Tuxes, and Tabbies

Christmas Cozy – November 2014

Alaskan Alliance – December 2014

 Road to Christmas Romance:

Road to Christmas Past

If you like the genre, you can’t go wrong with her books! Highly recommend them.

WHAT IF? CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES!

If you’d like a free e-book, please email me at dianne@dianneharman.com! 

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I’ve featured a couple of authors on this blog who have done “What If?” posts on their books. It occurred to me that I’d be remiss if I didn’t do one on the Coyote Series, so here goes! This is from Maria’s point of view – one of the main protagonists in all three books in the series: Blue Coyote Motel, Coyote in Provence, and Cornered Coyote.

“What If I’d never applied to Moore Pharmaceutical Labs for a job? What if I hadn’t taken the anti-aging hormone my brilliant scientific husband-to-be, Jeffrey, offered me? What if we hadn’t bought the Blue Coyote Motel in the desert after he was fired for giving it to me? What if I hadn’t taken Freedom, the anti-depressant/anti-aging drug Jeffrey formulated? What if I hadn’t killed him when he became insane?

“What if I hadn’t gone to Provence? What if I hadn’t met Jordan, a Los Angeles Art Theft Detective who was in Provence looking for stolen art, when I was a chef at a Michelin restaurant in Provence restaurant?  What if I hadn’t discovered the formulas for the drugs on an old computer I’d taken to Provence when I hurriedly left the United States? What if Jordan and I hadn’t discovered the little Afghanistan girls in Pierre’s parents’ barn? What if I hadn’t met Darya and told her about the formulas? What if Jordan had stayed in Provence with me?

“What if I hadn’t come back to the United States to live with Jordan? What if I hadn’t been arrested for Jeffrey’s death? What if the guests at the Blue Coyote Motel hadn’t become addicted to the drug Jeffrey piped into the air-conditioning? What if Slade Kelly hadn’t been able to get the Mexican Mafia to protect me while I was in prison? What if Slade hadn’t helped me during the trial? What if Jordan had left me? What if…?”

Enjoy! Here’s some sites where you can find the books.

Amazon: http://ow.ly/CrIek

Smashwords: http://ow.ly/CrIzW

Kobo:http://ow.ly/CrJ2X

WHAT IF? PART II

If you’d like a free copy of any of the books from the Coyote Series, please email me at dianne@dianneharman.com

Enjoy another “What If?” from Jennifer Theriot. Her books are wonderful and I highly recommend them!WHAT

Product DetailsProduct Details

What if? Ash Harper Weighs in….

WHAT IF?

I’m picking up the ball where Patti Fiala left off with her ‘What if’, from her book Dog Days of Summer and I’m going to give you a’ What if’ from the perspective of Ash Harper, the sexy, handsome widower from my Out of the Box series…..

What if I hadn’t gone to the airport that day?

Quite simply, the world stood still the moment I first laid eyes on Olivia Petersen. It was evident by the way she looked at me when I held up a sign with her name on it at the airport. She smiled, set her bag down and shook my hand as I introduced myself. A spark ignited feelings I haven’t felt in such a long time and it was like I was resuscitated back to life. Her hair is brown and her eyes are the most amazing shade of green. I’m in awe of her beauty.

I’m Ash Harper – a widower and I live in Highland Park, Il.  Before I met my soul mate Olivia, I was living my life status quo. I lost my wife Anne to cancer 5 years ago and since her death I’ve been in survival mode. I fully immersed myself into my work to mask my loneliness. I’ve tried dating but no woman has come remotely close to garnering my interest.

I have more money than I could possibly need – I’ve got an airplane, 2 homes, 2 cars and by all accounts I should be happy, but I wasn’t – until I met Olivia, that is.

What if Olivia’s husband didn’t get transferred and move to Highland Park? I’d never have met my beautiful Sunshine.

And if her husband didn’t cheat on her and leave their marriage, would she and I be together right now? Probably not.

When she was in the depths of despair the night Alan left her, I was there to rescue her.  Did I take all the hurt away? Absolutely not. But I was there for her and on that evening we built our relationship. Fate brought us together in the worst of circumstances. Would I wish that on anyone? Not on your life. Infidelity is a horrible thing and the pain it caused Olivia made me feel so helpless.

I believe in love at first sight. It happened to my parents and I truly believe in it. I love Olivia with every breath in my body and I want to love and take care of her for the rest of my life. I love spoiling her and spending money on her….finally I’ve a got reason to live!

So many what ifs race through my mind and it frightens me to think ‘what if I didn’t meet Olivia Petersen?’ I’ve found my soul mate, the love of my life and I’m going to take the ball and run with it.

Life gave me a second chance. I’m going to embrace it like there’s no tomorrow…..

OUT OF THE BOX SERIES:

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Out-The-Awakening-Jennifer-Theriot-ebook/dp/B00CNX3MU2

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Out-The-Regifted-Jennifer-Theriot-ebook/dp/B00JJBPSZS

AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=out+of+the+box+awakening

AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Box-Regifted-Jennifer-Theriot-ebook/dp/B00JJBPSZS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402349971&sr=8-1&keywords=out+of+the+box+regifted

AMAZON CANADA: http://www.amazon.ca/Out-Box-Awakening-Jennifer-Theriot-ebook/dp/B00CNX3MU2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402350031&sr=8-1&keywords=out+of+the+box+awakening

AMAZON CANADA: http://www.amazon.ca/Out-Box-Regifted-Jennifer-Theriot-ebook/dp/B00JJBPSZS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402350056&sr=8-1&keywords=out+of+the+box+regifted

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/out-of-the-box-awakening?keyword=out+of+the+box+awakening&store=nookstore

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/out-of-the-box-regifted-jennifer-theriot/1119080752?ean=2940045805322

SMASHWORDS: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/346048

SMASHWORDS: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/424006

ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/out-of-the-box-awakening/id694909679?mt=11

ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/out-of-the-box-regifted/id853349862?mt=11

KOBO: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/out-of-the-box-awakening

KOBO: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/out-of-the-box-regifted

 

WHAT IF?

 

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What If?

 

I am very blessed to be connected to some very talented, amazing authors. We’ve decided to start a blog series named “What If”.  Our “What If” series will feature each of us, discussing, “what if” from the character’s point of view from one of our stories.  Today, my “What If” is from Jeremiah’s point of view from Dog Days of Summer by P.J. Fiala. Enjoy!

 

What If, from Jeremiah (Dog) Sheppard.

 

When I was asked to write my “What If” I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it.  First of all, I’m not a writer, I’m a bike builder. Second of all, when I think of what if, it turns my blood cold, because, my what if, is What if I had never met Joci?

 

The second my eyes landed on Joci, my world stood still. She walked into our meeting room at Rolling Thunder and I lost myself. I felt like time stood still as I stared into her beautiful stormy gray eyes and then, she smiled, and I was completely head over heels in love with her. My pulse was racing, my heart hammered so thunderously in my chest that I thought I was going to pass out. Never in my forty-five years on this earth did one person so captivate me as she did.

 

I asked her out, and she said she couldn’t. I went home so dejected and confused. How could I change her mind? I didn’t know what “I can’t” meant. How could I overcome that? The only saving grace was that I knew I would see her again because she was helping us organize the next Veteran’s Ride for the shop and she was designing a logo for Rolling Thunder.

 

I asked Joci out four times before she finally said yes. Actually, the last time I decided to throw my cards on the table and I told her we were going out, period, end of story.

 

So my, what if’s are many. What if Joci would not have walked into my shop? What if I wouldn’t have told Joci we were going to be together? What if she would have said No? It’s devastating for me to think about because our life together is so full and rich. I can’t imagine not having her in my life.

 

Patti Fiala

PJ Fiala

 

I was born in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri named Bridgeton. During my time in Missouri, I explored the Ozarks, swam in the Mississippi River, and played kickball and endless games of hide and seek with the neighborhood kids. Spending summers in Kentucky with my grandmother, Ruth, are the fondest childhood memories for me.

 

At the age of thirteen, my family moved to Wisconsin to learn to farm. Yes, learn to farm! That was interesting. Taking city kids and throwing them on a farm with twenty-eight cows purchased from the humane society because they had been abused was interesting. I learned to milk cows, the ins and outs of breeding and feeding schedules, the never ending haying in the summer, and trying to stay warm in the winter. Our first winter in Wisconsin we had thirty-six inches of snow in one storm and were snowed in our house for three days! Needless to say, I wasn’t loving Wisconsin.

 

I am now married with four children and three grandchildren. I have learned to love Wisconsin, though I still hate snow. Wisconsin and the United States are beautiful, and my husband and I travel around by motorcycle seeing new sites and meeting new people. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are interested in where we are going and what we have seen along the way. At every gas station, restaurant, and hotel, we have people come up to us and ask us about what we are doing as well as offer advice on which roads in the area are better than others.

I come from a family of veterans. My grandfather, father, brother, two of my sons, and one daughter-in-law are all veterans. Needless to say, I am proud. Proud to be an American and proud of the service my amazing family has given.

Website: https://www.pjfiala.com

You Tube http://goo.gl/3F2keF

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pjfiala1

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/pfiala

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pattifiala/dog-days-of-summer/

Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/pfiala

Authorsdb: http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/8914-pj-fiala

AuthorsdB – Book: http://tinyurl.com/p8gmujz

AuthorsdB – Book Cover Contest:

http://authorsdb.com/books/2014-book-cover-contest/romance-2014/dog-days-of-summer

Thunderclap Campaign: Started September 12, 2014

http://thndr.it/1m0gvdM

Goodreads author:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7866768.P_J_Fiala

Goodreads Book:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21851827-dog-days-of-summer

Amazon Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/mmcrnlb

RebelMouse: https://www.rebelmouse.com/pjfiala/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+PJFiala/posts

Spotify: www.spotify.com

Follow the links for the playlists for each book:

Second Chances  – http://tinyurl.com/nuut3wn

Dog Days of Summer  – http://tinyurl.com/qhld35l

Rydin the Storm Out – http://tinyurl.com/l8x8p84

LinkedIn:

http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=hb_tab_pro_top

Amazon Listmania List:

http://www.amazon.com/lm/R36XEL1VZUDWU3/ref=cm_lm_pthnk_view?ie=UTF8&lm_bb=

Bookarma:

https://bookarma.net/book/9781595983251-dog-days-of-summer

Riffle: https://read.rifflebooks.com/profiles/151221

 Riffle-Dog Days: https://read.rifflebooks.com/books/331300

Thanks, Patti! Who wouldn’t want to read this? Plus, the cover is very easy on the eyes!

As always, if you’re interested in receiving a free book from the Coyote Series, please email me at dianne@dianneharman.com

 

 

 

EVER WONDER HOW A COZY MYSTERY IS BIRTHED?

DDCover

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!

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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!

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

ARE YOUR ADVERTISING DOLLARS WORKING?

BCM_KDP 1.0

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!

 

Award Winning Author in the Mystery & Suspense genre