Friday, July 31, 2015

Jeremy Bates - The Catacombs is featured in the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Jeremy Bates's New Book: The Catacombs.

Author Jeremy Bates is the #1 Amazon bestseller author of White Lies. He is a Mystery and Thrillers writer.

The Catacombs

World's Scariest Places Book 2

Author: Jeremy Bates

Barnes and Noble

Paris, France, is known as the City of Lights, a metropolis renowned for romance and beauty. Beneath the bustling streets and cafés, however, exists The Catacombs, a labyrinth of crumbling tunnels filled with six million dead.

When a video camera containing mysterious footage is discovered deep within their depths, a group of friends venture into the tunnels to investigate. But what starts out as a lighthearted adventure takes a turn for the worse when they reach their destination—and stumble upon the evil lurking there.

Excerpt from The Catacombs


They were dead. All of them. Pascal, Rob, and now Danièle—dead.

I tried not to think about this as I fled down the crumbling and rock-strewn hallway. I kept the torch ahead of me and above my head so the smoke didn’t waft back into my face. The flames bounced shadows off the stone walls and filled the air with a sickening tar-like stench. The only sound was my labored breathing and my feet splashing through the puddles that dotted the chalky gray ground.

A passageway opened to my left, a gaping mouth leading away into blackness. I veered into it, hoping to zigzag ever farther through the underground labyrinth, praying it didn’t lead to a dead end. If it did, I would be trapped. My pursuers would catch me. Smash my skull into bits like they did to Pascal. Set me on fire like they did to Rob. I couldn’t fathom what they did to Danièle, but judging by her screams, I suspect she got it the worse.

I wanted desperately to believe that this wasn’t the case, that Danièle wasn’t dead, and for a moment I allowed my imagination to run wild with fanciful speculation, because I hadn’t actually seen her die…

No—I heard her. She was gone, she had to be, and I was next, as doomed as the rest of them.

Still, I kept running, I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I was too afraid to accept the inevitable and give up and die, too hardwired to survive, even though there was nothing left to live for.

I opened my mouth and yelled. I hated the sound of it. It was shrill and broken and full of pain, what might come from a mongrel dog beaten to within inches of its life. My disgust with myself lasted only a moment, however, because seconds after the wretched moan tapered off, a riot of savage cries erupted from behind me.

So goddamn close!

The cries rose in a crescendo of frenzied bloodlust. Terror blasted through me, but I couldn’t make my legs move any faster. They were cement blocks. I felt as if I were running in the opposite direction on a moving walkway.

Suddenly the ceiling and walls disappeared and a vast darkness opened around me. While looking up to gauge the size of this new chamber, I stumbled over unreliable ground, lost my footing, and fell upon a mound of rubble. The torch flew from my grip and landed a few feet ahead of me. I stared at the polished rocks illuminated in the smoking flame until I realized they were not rocks but bones. Human bones. Skulls and femurs and tibias and others. I grabbed the torch by the handle and thrust it into the air.

Bones and bones and more bones, for as far as I could see.

I shoved myself to my feet, took several lurching steps, as if wading through molasses, then sagged to my knees. A centuries-old femur splintered beneath my weight with a snap like deadwood.

The sounds of my pursuers grew louder. I refused to look back over my shoulder. Instead I clutched at the bones before me, my fingers curling around their brittle lengths, pulling myself forward, my legs no longer responding at all.

Finally, beyond exhaustion, I flopped onto my chest and lay panting among the thousands of skeletonized remains as a sleepy darkness rose inside me.

They don’t smell, I thought, bones don’t smell, funny, always imagined they would.

And then, absently, in a back-of-the-mind way: I don’t want to die like this, not here, not like this, not in a mass grave, I don’t want to be just another pile of nameless bones, forgotten by the world.

That video camera.

That fucking video camera.


Chapter 1

I was seated at a pavement terrace in Paris’s 3rd arrondissement, waiting for my steaming cappuccino to cool down and thinking that I was a long way from home. I was born in Olympia, Washington, but my family moved to Seattle when I was ten because my father was sacked from his job as a camera technician at Canon and decided he could find better work in a bigger city. He ended up selling used cars at a Ford dealership. He was never very good at it, not a natural salesman, and took orders from someone twenty years his junior until he retired. My mother, the head librarian at a private high school in Olympia, found administrative work with the King County Library System in Seattle. Though she took a salary cut in the move, she didn’t complain. She’d always been a team player, putting others ahead of herself. This was especially true for family.

A lot of my adolescent friends went to Seattle University or U Dub or one of the smaller colleges in the state. They wanted to stay close to home so they could live with their parents to save cash. Where’s the adventure in that? I’d thought, and relocated across the country in New York City to study journalism at NYU. I wanted the college experience, and for this you had to get away from home. I remember my grade twelve English lit teacher telling the class one day how college was going to be the best three or four years of your life, so you better make the most out of it. In my case he had been right. It wasn’t that college had been ridiculously fun—though it did have its moments—it was that things had been pretty shitty for me ever since my younger sister, Maxine, died two years after I graduated.

As I braved a sip of my cooling coffee, I decided the 3rd arrondissement reminded me of Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood. It had a young vibe, with all the pubs and designer boutiques and vintage shops and brasseries-turned-hipster hangouts. The main difference, I’d say, was that here nobody seemed in any real hurry to get anywhere.

The tables around me had filled up with the after-work crowd, the men in dark suits, some without neckties or blazers, the women in institutional skirts and plain blouses. As seemed to be the fashion in this city, everyone sat facing the street, nonchalantly judging the people walking by.

I returned the white mug to the saucer with a delicate clank of porcelain and judged too. A woman dressed in lipstick colors and high heels held my attention. She was willowy with sharp cheekbones and a hooked nose, not the type of lady you’d approach for directions. A pair of big sunglasses covered much of her face. That was something else here. Everyone had great eyewear. No cheap prescription Lenscrafters, or pharmacy-rack shades with colored lenses and fluorescent frames. Only high-end designer stuff. I bought myself a pair of Ray Ban Aviators a while back. I also started wearing a lot of neutral tones. Nowadays I stuck mostly to black, and I guessed I looked about as French as you could get.

Just then I spotted Danièle halfway down the block. She was riding toward me on a pink bicycle with fenders the color of pearl and a wicker basket mounted on the front handlebars.

I stood and waved. She pulled next to the table, scissor-stepped off the bike’s seat, propped the kickstand, then bent close for a double air kiss—social protocol for both hello and goodbye. I haven’t gotten used to this yet, it wasn’t me, but whatever. When in Rome, right?

“Sorry I am late, Will,” she said in her French-accented English. “Do you want anything to eat?”

“I’m good,” I said, and retook my seat while she entered the café. I watched her through the large bay window. With her jet-black shag, pixie face, dark mascara, sooty lashes, and pale lips, Danièle reminded me of Joan Jett in the “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” days. She wore a butterfly-print summer dress that clung to her thin body as she moved, a silk scarf looped chicly around her neck, and knee-high green suede boots.

How long had I known her now? I wondered. Two months? Two-and-a-half? Something like that. I’d been in Paris for at least a couple weeks then, got tired of pantomiming my way around the city, so decided to give learning French a shot. I placed an ad for a language exchange partner on the France version of Craigslist. The site was used mostly by American expats. Apparently the French haven’t taken to it because of their difficulty pronouncing “Craigslist.” Even so, I received several replies. I chose to partner with Danièle because she came across as open and friendly in her initial emails.

We’ve gotten to know each other fairly well since then. She was born in Germany to a German father and French mother. They divorced when she was six, and she moved to France with her mother and older sister. She graduated from L’Ecole des Mines two years before. It was a prestigious engineering school, the MIT of France. She could have interned at any company she wanted. But, according to her, she wanted to take it easy for a while, so now she spent her days working in a florist shop and her nights exploring the network of catacombs that snaked beneath the city.

We got together twice a week, usually on Mondays and Fridays. She would teach me French one day, I would teach her English the other. Actually, I didn’t really “teach” her anything. She was pretty much fluent. English had been a prerequisite for admission into Les Mines, and she’d studied it extensively as an adolescent. She told me she just wanted someone she could speak the language with so it didn’t get rusty on her.

She liked me—romantically, I mean. She was fairly obvious about it too. I should have been flattered. She was good looking. I’d thought that the first time I saw her. But I hadn’t come to Paris searching for a relationship; I’d come to get away from one—at least the aftermath of one. My ex’s name was Bridgette Pottinger. We’d met at NYU. In our senior year we moved into a tiny flat together off the Bowery near Chinatown. I got a job as a copy editor for the Brooklyn Eagle. She was accepted to the law program at Columbia. I popped the question a year later at the top of the Statue of Liberty. I know, cheesy, but at the time I’d thought it was romantic. The wedding was planned for the following July at a lodge on Lake Placid.

The night before the ceremony my younger sister, Maxine, and my best friend, Brian, died in a boating accident. The wedding, of course, was cancelled. My life was thrown into chaos. My parents blamed me for the death of Max. My friends blamed me for the death of Brian. Bridgette and I began to unravel too, and we decided it would be best to take a break. I had moved on from the paper to a travel writing gig, assisting with the guides for the Mid-Atlantic states. I was close with my boss, both professionally and personally. He knew what I was going through, knew I needed a fresh start. He told me head office was looking for someone to revamp a few of the European editions, and he put my name forward. A month later I was in London, getting the lowdown for a revised Paris guide. The other correspondents in Paris were covering the cafés and restaurants and hotels. My brief was to cover the nightlife scene. They wanted to jazz up the guide to appeal more to the younger crowd.

And so far, so good. My new boss liked the copy I was turning in, and I liked doing what I was doing. I spent my nights checking out different bars and clubs, and my days writing up an opinion of them. There was a lot to do, and the deadlines were tight, but the work kept me occupied, kept me from thinking too much about my old friends, family, and most of all, Bridgette.

Still, I’d be lying if I said I’d gotten over Bridgette. I hadn’t. In the back of my mind I had a plan. After a year or so away, I would return to the States, I’d be a little more worldly, a little more mature, and Bridgette and I could start things anew.

I winced. Danièle’s birthday party. Christ. How the hell did I get roped into that? Danièle’s friends—an eclectic mix of bohemians and young professionals—had been pleasant, the drinks kept coming, and everyone got piss drunk…and then…then everything blurred together.

When I woke in Danièle’s bed Saturday morning, I could barely remember how I got there. Filled with guilt, I did the asshole thing and left without waking her. I spent the entire weekend at my laptop whipping my latest bar and club notes into some sort of coherent form. I didn’t answer my phone when Danièle called Sunday afternoon, and we didn’t communicate again until earlier today when she texted me to confirm that the lesson was still on.

I almost cancelled, but I knew how obvious that would look.

Danièle returned from the café proper with a cappuccino now. She sat across from me, took off her sunglasses—Fendis—and smiled hesitantly. I cleared my throat. I had already decided to act as if this was any other lesson, and I said, “French or English today?”

A flash of surprise crossed her face before she turned her attention to the spoon stirring her coffee. “Friday was French,” she stated. “So today is English, if that is all right.”

“Good with me,” I said. “So…”

She lifted her eyes. “Yes?”

“I’m thinking of a topic to discuss.”

“How about the weekend?” she suggested coyly. “You always ask me about my weekend on Mondays.”

“Did you get up to anything on Sunday?”

“On Sunday?” More surprise, maybe some disappointment. She shrugged. “No, I stayed home all day. What about you, Will? Were you hung over both Saturday and Sunday? Or did you do anything special on Sunday?”

“I made chicken Provençal. Have you tried it?”

“Of course I have. I am French. What else did you do?”

“Nothing really. Work. That’s about it.”

“I see.”

I frowned. “You see?”

“You do not want to talk about Friday night. I see. That is fine with me.”

“I had a fun time.”

“Did you?”


“All night?”

I wondered if I was blushing. “Yeah.”

“You were gone when I woke up. I thought…”

“I know, I— What time did you get up?”

“You are very good at avoiding this topic.”

“What topic?”


“I’m not avoiding it.”

She nodded silently.

I lit a Marlboro Light to give myself something to do. The trio at the table next to us were sharing a bottle of wine and laughing loudly. This made the silence between Danièle and me seem all the more protracted and uncomfortable.

I decided it was stupid to try to ignore what had happened between us, to pretend this was nothing but another lesson.

We had slept together. We were having coffee now.

That made this a date, didn’t it?

At least in Danièle’s mind it did.

“I liked your friends,” I said, segueing back to Friday.

She smiled. “They liked you too.”

“Except for one guy. What was his name? Patsy…?”


“He had a wool cap.”

“Yes, that is Pascal. You do not like him?”

“He’s fine, I guess. He just didn’t seem like he wanted to talk to me.”

“Because he has a crush on me,” she stated matter-of-factly.

“A crush?”

“Yes, for many years. We were in the same freshman class at school. He was with me during my initiation.”

Danièle was referring to her university initiation. She had told me all about it on numerous occasions. You could enter her favorite stomping ground, the catacombs, any number of ways, including Metro tunnels, utility systems, church crypts, and the basements of homes, hospitals, lycées, and universities (apparently there was even an entrance in the bowels of Tour Montparnasse, one of Paris’ first skyscrapers). Like most of the other buildings in the old Latin Quarter, L’Ecole des Mines had its own secret access points, and it was a tradition for seniors to drop freshmen into the underground maze and have them find their way out again.

I said, “Do you guys still go into the catacombs together?”

“Many times. As a matter of fact—” Her phone rang. “Just a moment, Will,” she said, and answered it. The voice on the other end was male. My French was still piss poor, and I was only able to gather that she was meeting this person later in the evening.

“Big date tonight?” I asked when she hung up.

“Would you be jealous if it were?” “Immensely.”

“I do not believe you.”

“I would be.”

“You know, Will, I thought we had a good time on Friday.”

“We did.”

“Then why…I have the feeling you…regret it.”

I looked at my cigarette. “I don’t regret it.”

“Then why are you acting so strange?”

I was about to tell her I wasn’t acting strange, but I held my tongue. I suppose I was.

I took a final drag on the smoke and stubbed it out in the ashtray. “Look, Danièle. I like you. But we have been friends for a while now. And then…you know, just like that. Boom. I—it’s a bit overwhelming.” She considered that, nodded. “Okay, Will. I understand. You just tell me when you are ready.”

I studied her. The delivery was so pokerfaced I couldn’t discern if she was being sincere or sarcastic…

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Website: Jeremy Bates
Author's Blog: Jeremy Bates - Suspense Author
Twitter: @jemacba
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Amazon Author Profile

Author Description: Jeremy Bates is the award-winning author of several novels and short stories. He writes suspense, horror, and thrillers. The novels in his "World's Scariest Places" series are set in real locations, and so far include Suicide Forest in Japan, The Catacombs in Paris, Helltown in Ohio, and (forthcoming) Island of the Dolls in Mexico.

Author's Book List
Dark Hearts - Suspense Horror Thriller & Mystery Short Stories): A Collection of Four Novellas
A collection of four novellas exploring the dark side of love:

Black Canyon
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado boasts one of the most beautiful and deepest canyons in the United States. For twelve-year-old Brian Garrett, a weekend camping trip in the park promises to be an opportunity to bond with his aloof parents. But after his father suffers a horrible accident during a hike to the chasm’s floor, events spiral quickly out of control, and over the next twenty-four hours Brian will uncover a terrifying dark side to his father—and an even darker side to himself.

When a man wakes in a rundown apartment, hooked up to a strange machine, a dead body in the next room, he has no memory of who he is, or what he is doing there. Over the next forty-eight hours, however, as he works to unravel the mystery of his identity, he'll come to realize that some things are better left unknown.

When a former soldier recently released from prison comes looking for his longtime girlfriend, and discovers she has moved on with another boyfriend, he vows to kill her. Now, it seems, she only has one option: Run.

New York City. Eight million people. You never know what kind of psycho may be living next door.

Order the Book From:

Helltown - World's Scariest Places Book 3
Since the 1980s there have been numerous reports of occult activity and other possibly supernatural phenomenon within certain villages and townships of Summit County, Ohio - an area collectively known as Helltown.

When a group of out-out-town friends investigating the legends are driven off the road by a mysterious hearse, their night of cheap thrills turns to chills as they begin to die one by one.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Suicide Forest
Just outside of Tokyo lies Aokigahara, a vast forest and one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in Japan...and also the most infamous spot to commit suicide in the world. Legend has it that the spirits of those many suicides are still roaming, haunting deep in the ancient woods.

When bad weather prevents a group of friends from climbing neighboring Mt. Fuji, they decide to spend the night camping in Aokigahara. But they get more than they bargained for when one of them is found hanged in the morning—and they realize there might be some truth to the legends after all.

Book Trailer: Suicide Forest

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White Lies
While driving to a charming village tucked away deep in the Cascade Mountains of eastern Washington, where she is to begin a new job teaching high school English, Katrina Burton picks up a young hitchhiker who turns out to be drunk and predatory. Fearful for her safety, she lies about her destination in order to get him out of the car. But when she later discovers that he is a teacher at the same school, she finds herself feeding that initial lie with more lies. Then Katrina meets a mysterious man . Handsome, charismatic and strong, he is exactly what she needs to extricate her from the expanding network of lies, now spinning out of control. She falls fast and hard for him. But her perfect solution soon becomes a nightmare that lands her in the middle of a grisly murder. And Katrina's problems don't stop there.

She must decide whether to betray her new love or to cover up the murder and hope for the best.

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Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Dianne Harman - The Death Card is featured in the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Dianne Harman's New Book: The Death Card. 

Author Dianne Harman an Award-Winning Bestselling Mystery, Suspense and Romance author of The Teddy Saga, the Coyote Series, the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery and the Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery.

The Death Card

A Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery

Author: Dianne Harman


Seth Williams, the bumbling and incompetent police chief of Red Cedar, calls Liz Lucas and asks her to help him solve the murder of his deputy, Leroy. He’s worried he might be a suspect because Leroy was going to run against him in the upcoming police chief election. His alibi is that he was getting a tarot card reading from Madame Dika when the murder occurred, but she vehemently denies that the reading ever occurred.

Liz and her protective dog, Winston, follow numerous and sometimes conflicting clues as they try to discover who killed Leroy. Was it the tarot card reader, Madame Dika, who had served time in prison for a psychic scam involving jewelry? Her brother, Anton, who has ties to a Southern European stolen credit card ring? Tom Rice, an ex-felon who had been in prison for wife-beating? Donna, Leroy’s ex-wife, who wants to get the back alimony Leroy owed her by making a claim against his life insurance. Or Ratface, Leroy’s bookie? And yes, it might even be the police chief himself.

And what about the relationship between Liz and Roger, the San Francisco lawyer she’s in love with. He gives her advice and helps her solve the case, but will their long-distance relationship turn into something more?

This is the third book in the best-selling Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery Series.

Excerpt from The Death Card

Chapter 1

Liz Lucas, the owner of the Red Cedar Lodge and Spa, was sitting next to one of the large floor to ceiling windows in the great room of the lodge. Where she was sitting provided her with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged Northern California coastline. Sunset was just beginning as the sun started its slow descent over the ocean, making the colors of the sky gradually turn from a soft pink to a deep blue. It was her favorite time of the day, a time when she could take a moment to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the lodge.

The guests staying in the nearby cottages would be arriving shortly to enjoy the sunset along with the wine and cheese that she and Emily had set out for them in the great room. Liz and Emily had almost finished the preparations for tonight’s family style dinner of grilled salmon served over a bed of spinach with béarnaise sauce, accompanied by a rice pilaf. She smiled thinking how the salmon dinner with its beautiful eye appealing presentation would soon generate numerous compliments from the hungry guests. Her grilled salmon dinner was the signature dish of the lodge and had even been written up by a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle who had spent time at the spa.

The reporter had given the spa a five star rating and written in glowing terms about the lodge’s camp dog, Brandy Boy. The ringing of her cell phone interrupted her reverie, and she glanced at the screen to see if she knew who was calling.

Oh swell, just what I need. A call from Seth Williams, the police chief of Red Cedar, and one of the most obnoxious lecherous men it’s ever been my poor misfortune to know. So much for the peace and calmness of the moment. He’ll probably want to tell me about the Victoria’s Secret catalogue he got in the mail, and how he’s partial to black lace or ask me if I’ve decided to accept his standing invitation to have dinner with him. Yuck.

She sighed and answered the phone. “Good evening, Seth.”

The man on the other end of the phone didn’t sound like the Seth she’d always known. The obnoxious lecherous man she knew was gone, and in his place was a man who sounded absolutely terrified.

“Liz, I need to talk to ya’. Would it be all right if I come out to yer’ place right now?”

“What’s wrong, Seth? You sound different. Is everything all right?”

“No it’s not. Can’t talk over the phone. I’ll tell ya’ when I get there. I need yer’ help.”

“Fine. I’ll see you in a few minutes.”

Ten minutes later there was a knock on the front door of the lodge. Winston, Liz’s ninety pound boxer, looked up from his oversized dog bed when he heard the knock. Liz motioned that everything was okay and for him to lie back down. She walked over to the door and opened it. Standing in the doorway was the obese chief of police, his uniform shirt stained as usual after his regular morning breakfast at Gertie’s Diner. He was twisting the rim of his hat in his hands and clasping it so tightly she could see the whites of his knuckles.

“Seth, come in. What’s wrong? You don’t look very good.”

“Liz, Leroy’s dead. Been murdered right smack dab in his office at the police station.”

“Oh no! Seth, that’s terrible. Please, let’s go downstairs to my living quarters and talk. The guests will be arriving momentarily for dinner, and I don’t want them to be upset by this news.”

She walked into the kitchen where Emily was putting the final touches on the dinner and said, “Emily, you’re going to have to take over for a few minutes. I’ll be downstairs if you need me. You know what to do. Thanks.”

Liz motioned for Winston to follow her and walked downstairs. Seth was standing inside her living room, waiting for her. “Seth, sit down. Let me get you a glass of water. Tell me everything. Do you know how it happened?”

The fat sheriff plopped down on a chair and began to talk. “It bein’ Sunday, nobody else was at the station other than Leroy. I’d been out all day ticketin’ speeders. That’s always a good day to get ‘em. When I finished writin’ the last ticket for the day, I went back to the station to see if anything had happened during the day I needed to know about. Leroy works on Sundays, and I expected him to be there. When I went inside the station it was real quiet. Couldn’t figure out where he was cuz I’d seen his car in the place where he always parks. City could probably make a lot of money by sellin’ the drillin’ rights to that parking space to an oil company given the amount of oil his car drips on the ground. Anyway, I yelled out for him and didn’t get no answer, so I walked down the hall to his office.”

Author Genre: Romance and Literary Fiction

Website: Dianne Harman Author
Author's Blog: Dianne Harman Author
Twitter: @DianneDHarman
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Amazon Author Profile

Author Description: Dianne Harman draws her stories and characters from a diverse business and personal background. She owned a national antique and art appraisal business for many years, left that industry, and opened two yoga centers where she taught yoga and certified yoga instructors. She's traveled extensively throughout the world, most recently dividing her time between Huntington Beach, California and Sacramento, California, where her husband was a Senator. An avid reader, Dianne brings the richness of her life experiences to her novels, Blue Coyote Motel, Coyote in Provence, and Cornered Coyote - all of which are available now in the Coyote Series.

Being a dog lover and having attended numerous cooking schools, she couldn't resist writing about food and dogs, thus the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery series, which includes family recipes! Kelly's Koffee Shop and Murder at Jade Cove have been on the top of the culinary, cozy, and animal charts within a week of being published and the third in the series, White Cloud Retreat, will be published very soon. Kelly's Koffee Shop was recently voted as one of the top 30 Best Self-Published Books of 2014.

Several books in the series have been designated by Amazon as All-Stars because of their sales and Dianne has been named by Amazon as being one of their most popular authors.

An Award Winning Bestseller, Blue Coyote Motel was selected as a quarter finalist in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award contest, Goodreads Psychological Thriller of the Month Book, and e-thriller Book of the Month. Blue Coyote Motel and Coyote in Provence were finalists in Chanticleer's CLUE awards contest.

Blue Coyote Motel is a suspenseful love story which begins in the barrios of Southern California and spans the globe in such diverse locations as Provence, South America, and the Himalayas. The beautiful Latina, Maria, and her husband, Jeffrey, a scientist fired from a prestigious laboratory, struggle to build a new life in a remote Southern California desert area as owners of the motel.

Along with the anti-aging hormone, Jeffrey invents a "feel-good" wonder drug to help Maria with her depression. As Jeffrey becomes insane, he begins to experiment with the wonder drug. Six wayward travelers, including an alcoholic priest, a couple who own gold mines in Brazil, a depressed widow, a struggling salesman, and a Native American pediatrician, find themselves spending the night at the small motel. The next morning they wake up feeling better than ever. Has Jeffrey's miracle drug delivered? Or is the nightmare of addiction only beginning?

Coyote in Provence and Cornered Coyote complete the trilogy which spans the globe and introduces a character, Slade Kelly, a loveable irascible private eye, who many say has become their favorite literary character. The Mafia, food, wine, art, Provence, courtroom drama - all find a place in these books.

Author's Book List
Murder in Calico Gold - A Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery
Kelly and her husband, Sheriff Mike, take a trip to the small town of Calico Gold, California, after his elderly Aunt Agnes calls and tells him she needs his help and expertise.

The day after Mike finds out Aunt Agnes has made him the sole beneficiary of her large estate, including the Robertson Ranch and the beautiful Queen Anne house on it, she’s murdered.

Aunt Agnes was revered by many of the town residents, but she had her enemies as well. The list of suspects includes a local judge, a real estate developer, a nearby rancher next whose cattle desperately need water from Aunt Agnes’ property, a Vietnam vet who’s recently been evicted from the shack on her property, Mike’s newly discovered cousin, and Sheriff Mike himself, since he has the most to gain from her death.

Join Kelly, Mike, and their dogs Rebel and Lady, as they work to clear Mike’s name and bring the murderer to justice.

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Murder and Brandy Boy - A Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery Series Book 2
Liz Lucas, the owner of the Red Cedar Spa, hires an intern to help her prepare family style meals served to guests at the lodge. Only days before graduation, his car crashes over a cliff and into the ocean. Was it suicide or murder?

Liz, along with her trusty dog, Winston, sets out to find the killer. Was it the high school computer genius, Nerdy Birdie? Brent, who was going to Stanford on a football scholarship? Kaitlin, the quarterback's girlfriend? Clamhammer, the gangster from San Francisco's Chinatown? Or Nerdy's mother, the president of the Women Whose Husbands Left Them Club?

Who would have thought Brandy Boy, the lovable but lazy St. Bernard who's the mascot of the Red Cedar Spa, would become a nationally recognized hero?

This is the second book in the best-selling Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery Series.The author has been designated by Amazon as one of its most popular authors for the last five months.

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Murder in the Pearl District - Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series Book 5
Kelly, the owner of Kelly’s Koffee Shop, has reluctantly agreed to cater a dinner party for her friend Sophie Marchant in Portland’s popular Pearl District. The guest of honor, Donatella DeLuca, is a famous chef and owner of the highly acclaimed restaurant, Mangia! Mangia!

The day after the dinner party Donatella is found murdered. Who did it? The arrogant newspaper food critic? The sous chef at Mangia! Mangia!? The beautiful ex-wife of the television station owner who was going to produce Donatella’s new TV show, Dining with Donatella? The French chef whose nationality is questionable? Or the deranged “hostess with the mostest?”

Join Kelly and her dog Rebel, along with reluctant advice from her husband, Sheriff Mike, as they try to discover who murdered Donatella and why.

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Murder in Cottage #6 - Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery Series Book 1
Liz Lucas, a 52 year old widow, is beginning to think she’s been given a second chance at life by owning a successful spa located in a beautiful forest area on the coast north of San Francisco.

What could possibly go wrong? Well, for starters, discovering that a guest staying in cottage #6 at the spa has been murdered.

In order to save the spa’s reputation, Liz, along with her two dogs, Brandy Boy and Winston, sets out to find the killer. The cast of characters includes a handyman, spa employees, the bumbling police chief, the owner of Gertie’s Diner, the dead woman’s husband (the mayor), his girlfriend, and a Tiffany glass collector. One of them probably committed the crime, but it’s up to Liz to quickly find the culprit.

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Marriage and Murder - Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Book 4
After a long courtship, Kelly, the owner of Kelly’s Koffee Shop, and Mike, the county sheriff, finally get married. Their honeymoon is cut short when Jesse, the owner of the local wine store called 'The Crush' gets murdered. Why would anyone want to murder Jesse, a likeable and legendary wine expert?

There are a number of suspects including his ex-wife, an alcoholic who hates liquor stores, a Mafia hit man, a wealthy French woman, two winemaking brothers, and even his sister. But who did it? Join Kelly, Mike, and their dogs, Rebel and Lady, as they seek to find the killer. Along the way, you’ll find lots of good food and mouth-watering recipes.

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White Cloud Retreat - Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Book 3
Third book in the popular and best selling Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series.

What could possibly go wrong at a beautiful Oregon vineyard overlooking the ocean? Could the White Cloud Retreat Center on the vineyard, run by a world famous Buddhist Zen Master hold a deep, dark secret? Murder, for one thing, but who could possibly have a motive for killing the beloved Zen Master?

Solving the mystery 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.

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Murder at Jade Cove - Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Book 2
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.

Well, it’s not as if no one wanted Jeff dead. He had enemies. There were a lot of people who didn’t want to see his property turned into a commercial hotel and spa. Finding suspects won’t be hard to do, but finding out who killed him will be. No one would ever nominate Jeff for the “Most Popular Citizen Award.” This is going to be a nightmare for Mike. I wonder how I can help him, Kelly thought.

Murder at Jade Cove is another mouth-watering Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery with recipes and a surprise at the very end!

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Kelly's Koffee Shop - A Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Book 1
Kelly pulled into the harbor parking lot next to the pier and noticed that Amber’s car wasn’t in its usual place and there was no sign of her. She was usually standing at the door of Kelly’s Koffee Shop, waiting for Kelly to open up. Wonder what that’s all about, she thought.

The local residents of Cedar Bay come to Kelly’s Koffee Shop for breakfast, lunch, and lots of gossip. Kelly serves it all up as she works to solve the murder of the high school Homecoming Queen. The townspeople can’t believe what has happened in their sleepy little Oregon seaside town. She identifies five prime suspects, but which one did it?

Follow Kelly, her boxer dog, Rebel, and her boyfriend, Mike, the county sheriff, as they try to determine who the killer is in a murder that’s shocked the town.

Kelly’s Coffee Shop is a mouth-watering cozy mystery with recipes!

Learn more about Dianne’s other books at

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Set Includes the following full-length novels:
Blue Coyote Motel
Coyote in Provence
Blue Coyote Motel

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?

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CORNERED COYOTE - Coyote Series Book 3
Maria is tired of running from the law and comes back to the US from France. She murdered her husband, a deranged genius in self-defense and is arrested on arrival. Will she come out unscathed or will this be the biggest mistake of her life? Will she taste freedom or will she remain behind bars forever?

Follow the loveable yet eccentric private investigator, Slade Kelly, (a readers' favorite), as he tries to save Maria from seemingly insurmountable odds.

The story moves at a rapid pace, from the ghettos of Chicago to the beaches of Florida, from the streets of Los Angeles to the lush gardens of New York city. Each twist and turn comes with its own cast of colorful characters, from sleazy men in the mafia to hot, desperate women, who will do anything to make it big, in a world that is always trying to keep them small."

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Coyote in Provence - Coyote Series
Just Announced! A finalist in Chanticleer's prestigious CLUE awards contest!

COYOTE IN PROVENCE (A COZY MYSTERY) #1 on 12 Goodreads Top Books Lists

>>>>>What happens when the very beautiful and sexy Maria Brooks, now Elena Johnson, a woman hiding out in Provence, France, from the California legal authorities, meets Jordan Kramer, a handsome art theft detective from Los Angeles?

>>>>>He's looking for stolen California paintings reportedly for sale in Provence. She's trying to stay under the radar. Both share a love of food and wine.Will Jordan find Pierre, the French chef who's suspected of being the art theft? And who are those young Afghan girls hiding out in his parents' home?

>>>>>If you liked Dianne Harman's award-winning novel, Blue Coyote Motel, you don't want to miss Coyote in Provence. Great mystery, wine, food, and art in romantic Provence!

>>>>>Blue Coyote Motel, the first book in the Coyote Series, was a quarter finalist in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award contest, a Goodreads Psychological Thriller Book of the Month, and an e-thriller Book of the Month. Coyote in Provence continues the story of Maria, the captivating character in the trilogy.

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Blue Coyote Motel
Would you take an anti-aging hormone? What if you could keep your youth? If someone you knew was terrified of aging, and you'd invented the hormone, would you give it to them? Even if it meant discovery would cause you to lose your chance of winning the Nobel Prize?

An Award Winning Best Seller, Blue Coyote Motel was chosen as a quarter finalist in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award contest in the mystery/thriller category as well as a Goodreads Psychological Thriller Book of the Month.

Blue Coyote Motel is a suspenseful love story which begins in the barrios of Southern California and spans the globe in such diverse locations as Provence, South America, and the Himalayas. The beautiful Latina, Maria, and her husband, Jeffrey, a scientist fired from a prestigious laboratory, struggle to build a new life in a remote Southern California desert area as owners of the motel.

Along with the anti-aging hormone, Jeffrey invents a "feel-good" wonder drug to help Maria with her depression. As Jeffrey becomes insane, he begins to experiment with the wonder drug. Six wayward travelers, including an alcoholic priest, a couple who own gold mines in Brazil, a depressed widow, a struggling salesman, and a Native American pediatrician, find themselves spending the night at the small motel. The next morning they wake up feeling better than ever. Has Jeffrey's miracle drug delivered? Or is the nightmare of addiction only beginning?

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Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
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eBook Author’s Corner
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