Saturday, December 22, 2007



1/18/08 - BOOKMASTER, 2929 N. Scottsdale Rd, 10 am - 2 pm

This is a mulit-author signing, KOOL-FM will be broadcasting a remote from the location during the event.

1/23/08 - WORKSHOP - North Valley Library, Anthem - 7 pm

I'll be doing a mini-workshop called, "Are You a Plotter or a Pantser?" Do you plot your book or write it by the seat-of-your-pants? Do you outline your story or just sit down and start typing? What's the best way to write a novel? I'll talk about the advantages and pitfalls of either technique, and give some hints on how to make each method work for you, including 3 Basic Outline Formats, 7 Things Pantsers Must Do, 8 Things Plotters Must do, and What Other Authors Do.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


So what have I been doing these past months?


No, not butter. A new book.

When I’m starting a new book, I find I have to let the story elements work their way around in my head for a while, and when the story is fully conceptualized in my mind, I begin the actual writing. While those plot points are swirling, I work on my characterizations, and make notes of possible story events and turning points. When the book is literally bursting out of my brain, I can finally type “Chapter One.”

While all that is going on, it’s hard for me to do anything else, including blog. Now that I’m a hundred pages into the manuscript, I’m getting a head start on my New Year’s Resolution to keep up this post. I promise.

My new as yet untitled work in progress is a follow up to my first book, THE CHARMSTONE, which was released last April. This new one is also set on the Navajo Reservation in Monument Valley, and involves a young woman who leaves the comfort zone of her ordinary life to find people and seek answers to questions from the past. By doing so, she becomes immersed in a culture entirely new to her. There’s an old photograph. A missing child. People with secrets, lots of them. Some worth killing for.

I think you’ll like it as much as you all liked THE CHARMSTONE. And, by the way, thanks for that.


January 18, 2008 - Bookmaster in Phoenix

January 23, 2008 - North Valley Library in Anthem, AZ , Workshop - "Are You a Plotter or a Pantser", 7:00 pm

February 9, 2008 - Bookmaster in Anthem, AZ

New in my music collection:

HOBO by Billy Bob Thornton
E2 by Eros Ramazzotti

Sunday, August 05, 2007


I’m very happy to announce that my romantic suspense novel RUNNING FROM STRANGERS will be released by Five Star in September 2008. Pleased, too, that I’ll again be working with Tiffany Schofield and the other wonderful Five Star editors and support staff. Really, they treat their authors like rock stars, and diva that I am, I love it!

RUNNING FROM STRANGERS is the story of child advocate Allie Hudson who is forced to go on the run with a child in her care. In her youth, she’d frequently chosen to ignore the consequences of her free-spirited behavior leaving childhood sweetheart Beck Williams to take the blame. Because he loved her, it was an arrangement that suited them both. Until someone died and Allie disappeared. Now twelve years later, Allie, a devoted child advocate, disgraced family court lawyer, and widow of a murdered cop, seeks refuge at Beck’s secluded Southwest Colorado ranch.

The events in this book were inspired by my work as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) in the child welfare system, and highlight some of the problems inherent in child protection services throughout the country. Whether due to lack of funding, lack of qualified child welfare administrators, or lack of proper care facilities, these kids don’t have it easy. In the book, Allie becomes emotionally attached to the children she advocates for, going far out of her way to see that they are well fed, clothed and cared for. There’s a lot of action and suspense in this book, and a surprise twist at the end. I hope you enjoy it.

New in my music collection - Beautiful Door by Billy Bob Thornton
(Yes, that Billy Bob Thornton. How many of you knew Billy Bob sang in a rock band? I didn't.)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Monument Valley Revisited

I went back to the Navajo Reservation to do some research for a follow up book to THE CHARMSTONE. I’m pleased to say that book has generated a lot of interest, and quite a few readers have asked me if there will be a sequel. So I went to Monument Valley to get back into The Rez mode, to see if anything has changed, and to meet up with my old friend, Don Mose. It was Don’s cultural preservation efforts at Monument Valley High School that inspired the work of Durango Yazzie in the book.

Only a few things have changed in Monument Valley. The tiny grocery store down the road from Goulding’s has tripled (at least!) in size and is now a modern supermarket with fully stocked shelves. What we called The Mall, a row of makeshift plywood sheds featuring splendid Navajo jewelry, pots, rugs, and baskets, has moved from the road leading to the Tribal Park to the side of Highway 163. It’s now called The Indian Market, but it will always be The Mall to me. Of course, I had to add a couple of pieces to my Southwest jewelry collection.

Had a nice chat with Don Mose. We talked a little about my new book idea. It won’t be a sequel exactly, though I will try to bring in a character or two from THE CHARMSTONE. The new story was not fully formed in my mind, but I knew I wanted to include certain plot elements and Don was able to expand on those for me. For the historical plot elements – the old Indian Boarding Schools – he referred me to Robert Johnson at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock. (Robert, I’ll be calling you soon.)

Don and I sat in the shade at the Tribal Park during their fabulous Drums of Summer celebration. There were Native American exhibits, songs and dances from various tribes, recognition of Elders, Veterans and local officials, and music. A lot of music. Two of Don’s sons, Travis and young Don, are in rock bands now. I hadn’t met them before, so I stayed to hear them play.

Imagine my surprise when I saw they looked exactly like the young Navajo rock musicians in THE CHARMSTONE! It was as if Larry and Albert Rainwater had walked right out of the pages of my book! I mentioned it to Don, and he just smiled and said sagely, “Yes, you really had a vision there, didn’t you?” I guess I did, Don. I think learned it from you.

And one more thing. Cell phone service on the Rez is close to nonexistent, at least it was for my AllTel phone, especially in the remote vicinity of the Park. But as I was walking through the lobby of the Park Tourist Center, my cell phone rang. It was my agent calling to tell me Five Star had made an offer on a second book!

I’ll blog more about that later.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ready For My Close-up, Mr. DeMille

I booked a print job recently, an ad campaign for Casino del Sol in Tucson, Arizona. It was a cast of about thirty people who had been picked to represent a broad range of age and lifestyles. The idea was to show people from all walks of life enjoying an evening at the casino, not just gambling, but dancing and having fun, or enjoying an intimate or family style dinner.

The photographer/director was Rick Peterson of Peterson Productions in Tucson. Check out his website to see his fabulous work. It was a three day shoot, and Rick was the epitome of saintly patience trying to keep track of everyone, giving direction, and calmly shooting still shots for ads and billboards, and a video TV commercial.

I was in about three scenarios. Winning at the poker table, playing the slots, and dancing with one of the other cast members. That's me in the picture gettin' my groove on.

Added to my iPod: Digeridoo Australia by Koomurri Tribal Dance

New in my music collection: Escape by Enrique Iglesias and Insomniac by Enrique Iglesias.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


An awful thing happened last month. I was in a car accident. Thank God and Toyota I wasn't hurt and neither was anyone else, but it rocked my world just the same.

I was on my way home from a Society of Southwest Authors meeting at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Phoenix. Picture this - Saturday afternoon in downtown Phoenix, on torn up Seventh Street right in the middle of the light rail construction. (Who voted for that anyway? I don't know anyone who did.)

The street was blocked and I was detoured off onto a thoroughfare I didn't know to a part of town I'd never been before. I was going slower than the other cars - those drivers undoubtedly more familiar with the area than I - looking for something I recognized. With my turn signal on, and after checking my mirrors, I gradually moved over into the left hand lane when a car barreled into me. He hit me so hard, he pushed me ahead and through an intersection!

Never saw him! I swear he came out of nowhere!
In retrospect, I'm pretty sure he came up fast behind me, and impatient with my slowness and not noticing my turn signal, attempted to pass me at the same time I was changing lanes.

So, I was without a car for several weeks and must admit I was traumatized. By the third week, my stress was palpable, but along with it came a twinge of guilt that I was so emotionally attached to a material object. The guilt was momentary, though, because it occurred to me that my car was more than a giant hunk of steel, rubber and plastic. In reality, my car was my security. My safety. My escape from whatever unnamed danger might arise – severe storm, terrorist attack, any natural or man-made disaster. It's an SUV, sturdy and safe. Four wheel drive to take me far into the low desert or over the most rugged mountain pass. Big enough to live in if I had to!

You can see how distressed I was.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Today is release day for my romantic suspense, THE CHARMSTONE.

I'm honored to say it's a Five Star PUBLISHER'S CHOICE! for April. It's so fabulous having that kind of support from my publisher and editor. They've been a dream to work with. John Helfers and Tiffany Schofield are amazing - endlessly courteous, patient, understanding, accessible, available and prompt. They've never failed to answer a question, return a phone call, or reply to an email.

Not all authors are able to say that about their publishers and editors. I'm truly blessed.

Thank you Tiffany. Thank you John. Thank you Scott.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Romance Review

I'm so pleased about the nice review of my book from an Internet website,

They said: "The Charmstone is one of those books that will stay with the reader... It has rich history, romance, intrigue, mystery. You do not want to miss this wonderful book. Highly recommended."

And they rated it Five Roses. Thank you.

Invitations for the May 6 launch party and signing are being designed. Mailing lists are ordered.

Watch for news about events here and on my website.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


I'm blogging again. Drum roll, please.

I've been busy. Finished a second book. Nearly finished a third, but had to put it aside (again) before writing the final chapters, because the release date of THE CHARMSTONE is drawing near. Marketing efforts for it are rolling along. Make that steamrolling along. Make that steamrolling OVER me. I hired a publicist to help.

The book is generating a little excitement and some local buzz. I've been invited to hold a book launch party and signing at the very posh JD Challenger Art Gallery in Carefree, Arizona. JD Challenger is America's leading artist of Native Americans. The people in his paintings seem to speak to the viewer through their eyes if not their spirit. You can see a sample of JD's amazing work on his website at

Celebrating the debut of THE CHARMSTONE at the gallery seems fitting as the book is set in Monument Valley, the wildest, most remote part of the Navajo Reservation. We're sending 1000 invitations. We'll feature Charmstone wine from Pine Ridge Winery in Napa. I'll blog more about this event as it draws near.

Meanwhile, pre-publication reviews of THE CHARMSTONE are coming in. I close my eyes, almost afraid to read them, then experience a twitch in my heart when I peek and see that the reviewer not only got it, but liked it. And is recommending it! Oh, my!

Here's what Booklist will say in their March 1, 2007 issue: Harrison's top-notch romantic suspense sheds light on the beauty of the land and culture of the Navajo.

Top-notch, they said. I like that. Thank you.