The Road To Kelly’s Koffee Shop!

The Road to Kelly’s Koffee Shop

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It pretty much started with this little guy! I love dogs and I love to cook. A cozy mystery incorporating those two things felt like a natural thing for me to do. The problem was that no one else wanted me to write about dogs and food.

Here’s why. I’ve published several books in the suspense and mystery genres which have done well. Blue Coyote Motel, Coyote in Provence, and Cornered Coyote were all award winning, bestselling books. The thinking by my mentor and others was – “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In other words, don’t change the genre because you’ll lose your reader base.

Their point was valid, but for one year I kept thinking about writing a cozy mystery. Early last October my husband I took a vacation through Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and Sedona. Our son and daughter-in-law flew in from Seattle to spend some family time. I remember getting my iPad out early one morning while I was drinking coffee in bed in the hotel. I sketched out Kelly’s Koffee Shop and decided to write it when I got home. I started it the day after we returned and it just flowed. The characters dictated where the story was going and Rebel, based on my boxer dog above, was a big part of the book, along with family recipes which I included in the book.

So against the advice of mentors, I published the book, did some social media on it, and that was it. I’d done what I wanted to do – write a cozy mystery A week later it was on the Hot New Releases in Animal and Culinary on Amazon. Since then it’s consistently been at the top of the cozy lists! I started doing a Happy Dance and writing the next book in the series. Since my other books had done well, but not this well, I didn’t encounter any resistance when I told the naysayers that I was writing a new book, Murder at Jade Cove, with Rebel, a couple of puppies, and more food. This book did the same thing that Kelly’s did. Climbed right to the top of the charts!

Naturally, the characters told me they needed more exposure, so I began writing White Cloud Retreat which continues the story of Kelly, the amateur sleuth who owns Kelly’s Koffee Shop, the county sheriff she’s engaged to, Mike, Rebel, and a cast of quirky characters. Dogs, teens, boomers, and lots of food figure into the novels. Here’s a link to all my books: http://ow.ly/I6JSm 

People always ask where I get my recipes and ask me if I really cook those things. Yep! Our family has always liked to eat and when my husband was a California Senator, we entertained a lot in our home. While I’ve never worked in a restaurant, I’ve taken a lot of cooking classes.

Although I’m not one of the characters in my books, per se, a lot of the experiences and places I’ve been are. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Rebel this year, but we just bought a new little boxer puppy who will be joining us on Valentine’s Day. Rather appropriate I think! And what are we naming her? Why, Kelly, for Kelly’s Koffee Shop, of course!

Hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed the write. And in case you haven’t seen her before, here’s our new Kelly! She’s the little fawn on in the back with her tongue hanging out of her mouth. How cute is she???

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Guest Interview with Uvi Poznanky

The very talented author, Uvi Poznansky, features me on her blog today. Here’s the link:  

Interview with
Dianne Harman 
Author of
Kelly’s Koffee Shop is a cozy mystery which is quite different from the suspense books you’ve written in the past. Why the change?
I wanted to write something that would allow me to focus on two of my passions: food and dogs. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend cooking schools throughout the world and a cozy mystery seemed like the best way to do this, although there’s a lot of food in most of my books, particularly Coyote in Provence.
Are any of the characters based on you?
No, not per se. I love to cook and having a protagonist who owned a coffee shop was a natural. I also have read some books where recipes are included and I decided to do that. These are my recipes or family recipes, all tested and cooked by me! As far as Rebel, the dog in the book, I suppose it was a chance for me to pay homage to a boxer of mine who died this year by the name of Rebel. The dog in the book is very similar to mine, but my husband is not based on Mike!
Was it difficult for you to change genres? I’ve always heard that one should not deviate from a genre they’ve had success with.
I’d heard the same thing and vacillated for over a year about writing in this genre. The interesting thing is that the book practically wrote itself. We were on a vacation and I jotted down some notes in bed one morning while I drank coffee. I started to write it the day after I returned and three weeks later it was on Amazon and has had a phenomenal success. At the moment it’s the #1 bestseller in Cozy Mysteries – both in culinary and animals. I’m doing a Happy Dance every day!
I assume, based on the success of Kelly’s Koffee Shop, that you’ll be writing other cozy mysteries. I see that Kelly’s Koffee Shop is the first in the Cedar Bay cozy mystery series. Tell me about that.
I never started out to write a series, it just happened. Toward the end of Kelly’s I started thinking about the next book, Murder at Jade Cove, which was published a few week ago and is the #2 bestseller in Cozy Mysteries – both in culinary and animals, right behind Kelly’s Koffee Shop! I published the third in the series, White Cloud Retreat, and it’s already a Hot New Release and in the top five of culinary and animals. I’m in the middle of the final editing of the fourth in the series and expect it to be out in a few weeks. I’ve never had so much fun! The characters are telling me what to write so I’m reading a novel while I’m writing it. As to where this will all lead, I have no idea. We’re getting a little boxer puppy on Valentine’s Day. Who knows? Maybe the puppy will spark a series!
Thank you very much for having me as a guest. A few months ago I never thought I’d publish a cozy mystery. Who knows what the future holds?
Here’s the link to the book:

You Don’t Want To Miss These Giveaways!

GIVEAWAY! Two Kindle versions of White Cloud Retreat, the third book in the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series. Here’s the link to my Facebook page to enter: http://ow.ly/HEBA5  Contest Ends midnight Friday. Enjoy!

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And the second giveway is for two autographed print copies of Blue Coyote Motel, the first in the Coyote Series. Here’s the link to the Facebook page to enter this one: http://ow.ly/HECdL  Good Luck!

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Going To Be A Great Week!

It’s going to be a great week. Just saw a hummingbird on its nest outside my office window – 3rd year in a row. And..

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Here’s a photo of the little girl we get to bring home Valentine’s Day. She’s the fawn colored one in the rear with her tongue hanging out. How cute is she? And all the rest!

Kelly’s Koffee Shop Blog Tour Schedule – Giveaways!

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Kelly’s Koffee Shop is being featured on the following blogs. I invite you to visit them for guest posts by me, interviews, reviews and giveaways. Enjoy!

January 15 – Kelly P’s Blog – Guest Post

January 16 – MysteriesEtcReview, Giveaway

January 17 – deal sharing aunt – Interview, Giveaway

January 18 – Michele Lynn Seigfried’s Blog

January 19 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Guest Post, Giveaway

January 20 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

January 21 – A Blue Million Books – Interview, Giveaway

January 22 – Omnimystery News – Interview

January 23 – Community Bookstop – Review, Giveaway

January 24 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Guest Post, Giveaway

January 25 – off

January 26 – Latte’ Da! – Guest Post

January 27 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

January 28 – off 

January 29 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Review, Interview, Giveaway

January 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Giveaway

White Cloud Retreat Is Now Available!

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Number three in the best selling Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series, White Cloud Retreat, is now available http://t.co/UUbC2E5zcF  It’s priced at 99¢ or you can get it for free on Kindle Unlimited. Enjoy!

Bookarma Featured Book!

Featured Book

Murder at Jade Cove

By Dianne Harman

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? Join Kelly, the owner of Kelly’s Koffee Shop, her boxer dog, Rebel, and her fiancé, Mike, the county sheriff, as they try and catch the person who killed Jeff Black.

 

Thrilled to get this notice in the email from Bookarma!

Cozy Mystery Fans – Get Ready!

The third in the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series will be out within the next ten days and I’m really excited!

Here’s a taste of what the book’s about:

What could possibly go wrong at a beautiful Oregon vineyard overlooking the ocean with the White Cloud Retreat Center located in the middle of the property and run by a world famous Buddhist Zen Master? Murder, for one thing, but who could possibly have a motive for killing the beloved Zen Master?

Finding out is the job of Sheriff Mike, ably assisted by his soon-to-be-wife, Kelly, an amateur sleuth, and their two dogs, Rebel and Lady. The vineyard is famous for its White Cloud Pinot Noir wines and the coffee shop that Kelly owns, Kelly’s Koffee Shop, is equally popular with customers looking for good food.

This is the third book in the popular Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery series. Plenty of good food and lovable dogs! If you liked Kelly’s Koffee Shop and Murder at Jade Cove, you’re going to love White Cloud Retreat.

I think my graphic artist did an amazing job on the cover. Hope you agree. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s available!

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Have To Share The Good News!

I’m so excited! I just found out that Kelly’s Koffee Shop was voted as one of the top 30 Indie Books in 2014. Here’s the link:(99) Dianne Harman http://ow.ly/GTjNE

Wow! What an honor. I want to thank all of you who voted for it, have purchased it or reviewed it. It’s currently #1 in Kindle cozy mystery culinary, #1 in Kindle cozy mystery animals, and #1 in Books cozy mystery animals. Doing a Happy Dance and it’s all due to you, my friends. Thank you again! Plus – Kelly’s Koffee Shop and Murder at Jade Cove are #3 and #4 in overall cozy mysteries.

Here are the links:

Kelly’s Koffee Shop – http://ow.ly/GWnSb

Murder at Jade Cove – http://ow.ly/GWowV

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We’re Getting a New Addition to the Family!

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Those of you who have read Kelly’s Koffee Shop and/or Murder at Jade Cove are well aware of how much I like dogs. Rebel, Lucky, and Lady figure prominently in them. I had the boxer, my son and daughter-in-law have the yellow labs. What most people don’t know is that my husband and I had to say good-bye to Rebel this year and it wasn’t easy!

So, while he can never be replaced, the little female boxer above wormed her way into our hearts at first sight. We get to bring her home on Valentine’s Day. How appropriate!

I would rather imagine she’ll find a way into one of my books, or maybe a bunch. Jury’s still out on the name, but isn’t she just adorable? Stay tuned…

THE ONE COMING OF AGE NOVEL YOU CAN’T MISS IN 2015!

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I like to read in all genres and this is a book you can’t miss. It’s simply wonderful. I was fascinated by the technologies available on the Internet and the impact they have on lives. The glimpse into a young woman’s in an exotic country is riveting. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. So saying, I asked the author if she would be willing to write a guest post and she graciously agreed. I know you’re going to want to read it so here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Before-Time-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00N37LK4M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420219355&sr=1-1&keywords=before+time

“Behind every great story, there are some events that brought the story to the author’s mind. Sometimes, it’s the events in one’s life that make up an amazing story or sometimes, it’s their amazingly overactive imagination that comes up with characters and a story that become the heartthrob of their readers worldwide. When I started writing Before Time, I had no intention of putting it out there for others to read.

At that time, I just knew that I had to write this one down because it was a story that was different and one that wanted itself to be told. No doubt there has been a great deal of published works in the internet romance genre but with Before Time, it was more a story, it was life and air for me. It was an insight into the heart and soul of Onaiza, my female protagonist. She’s young, selfless, intelligent but immature and sensitive, all the traits of being a protected and nurtured female. In some ways, Onaiza has a piece of me in her, my wild spirit or perhaps my intellect but I see a great deal of my teenage self in her.

People frequently ask me about how I came up with the story. Well, it all happened some years ago when by chance I rambled through software called mIRC which was quite popular in the late nineties to the teenagers then. With my background in technology and computers, that specific era is called the evolution of technology because internet was a new invention and with that, many people were just learning about it. Moreover, it had just recently launched in Pakistan as well. At that time, there were no social media sites like we have today. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Pinterest, nothing. Just plain mIRC. Well, for most of my readers who have read my book, I’m sure that they didn’t even have any idea what exactly mIRC is. It is small chatting software where people can log in anonymously and talk to strangers. This anonymity and secrecy charmed people into using the software initially but then, with different servers available for chatting, it became quite popular in the late nineties.

With my curious nature, I wanted to explore this software. It’s always interesting to learn about older technologies because I’m a techie myself. I developed my interest in computers from there and while I was getting acquainted with people and such, the idea for Before Time came to me. It was new, different and amazingly interesting to me. mIRC is full of strangers thus, I came up with my male protagonist, Asher. He was the total opposite of Onaiza and like they say opposites attract, thus they were attracted.

I’m sure that you will definitely enjoy reading this novel as much as I enjoyed writing about my main protagonists.”

Thanks for a great post!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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There’s still time to enter the daily giveaway – through January 4th. Just go to my facebook to enter: https://www.facebook.com/dianneharmancozymystery

One copy each day of Kelly’s Koffee Shop and Murder at Jade Cove

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