Wednesday, May 04, 2011

HOLY GUACAMOLE - Dan and Denise Harmer - Free Book

Today, we're talking to an interesting couple. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

Dan - Well, our first (unpublished) novel was a not-so-disguised autobiography that saved thousands of dollars in shrink bills and was a hoot to write. Once I got that out of my system I became a wee bit more covert. In Holy Guacamole, Trace Domingo is one cup me, one cup my best friend growing up, and one cup of dark roast espresso. Bonnie is Denise with attitude and money.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Denise -  I used to memorize license plates. Okay, sometimes I still do.

When did you first discover that you were a writer? 

Dan- We are a little unusual in that we write as a team. Denise, a former stenographer and devourer of books, is the editor and technician. I (Dan) fine tuned my creative storytelling in high school as a way of explaining why I missed class whenever the surf was up. But I also began journaling and song writing at that time. Then it just expanded from there. We both love off-beat stories, both fiction and non-fiction, even allegory. But I love most stories that reveal part of the mysteries of God, like the parables that Jesus told.                      

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

Denise - Almost anything Christian fiction. I also really enjoy a happy ending.

Dan - I like the classics—Calvin and Hobbes, Moby Dick. Yes, I read the whale biology section (okay — scanned it.) Recently I read Yann Martel’s Beatrice and Virgil. I cried. it was beautiful.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Denise - Sanity, what’s that? Our family of six lives on a ranch with 23 animals at last count. It’s always a little crazy around our house.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Dan - I always tell my friends that if I use their name, or something close to it, that is a compliment, but in Holy Guacamole I used a friend’s name, and although she was a hero, she was a homely hero and that did not go over well. Lesson: If you steal a friend’s name, make them skinny, brilliant, and give them super powers.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Denise - Teaching all four of my children to read. I wouldn’t trade that accomplishment for anything.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

Dan - If? Just watch me devour a plate of spaghetti after a long day in the shop.

What is your favorite food?

Dan - This is funny, because there is a section in the book where the two main characters discuss their all-time favorite food. For Bonnie, it is a snow queen nectarine, peak of the season. For Trace, it is a ball park dog with mustard and kraut. What was the first question? How much do we put ourselves into the characters? Apparently there is a little bit slipping out here.

Denise - Anything dark chocolate! I’m a bit like our main character, Bonnie. No hot dogs in my top ten — or even on the list.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Denise - I think the whole aspect of getting noticed among so many talented writers. We really had to do something unique but something the majority of readers would enjoy. Who doesn’t enjoy good food?

Tell us about the featured book.

Nestled along San Diego’s coast, the former romantic getaway of the silver screen’s most notorious lovers is now the sizzling hacienda of Bonnie Miller’s culinary boot camp. “If you are what you eat, make it hot, spicy and irresistible,” is her motto, and this queen of Southwestern cuisine enjoys quite a savory life; success, fame, and a reputation for the finest palate west of Barcelona. That is, until a pot-rattling bang causes Trace Domingo, a washed-up sports writer, to crash into her life. His arrival turns up the heat at the culinary boot camp as Bonnie discovers in life’s recipe book, it is not the spices which add the most flavor, but how truly hungry you are.

Please give us the first page of the book.

            “Egg zombies. Flavorless egg zombies.” Chef Bonnie Miller’s voice cascaded from the flat screen mounted above the utensil rack. “Rotting in their little cardboard graves.” With a wrinkled nose she raised a store-bought egg, then cracked it against the bowl’s rim. The camera zoomed in as she held a suffering look. “Even the yolk is deathly pale. And notice the viscosity. Thin and runny. Eww.” She shook her head while she held the bowl at arm’s length and poured the contents into the trash.

           “She’s such a snob, Trace. Isn’t there a game on?” O’Brien said as he diced tomatoes beside me.

“Shhh.” I raised a halting hand.

On the TV screen Bonnie now held a brown speckled egg. “Take a look at this one, fresh from our chickens this morning. Thank you, girls.” She smiled. “It’s still warm. Like a beach pebble a few minutes removed from the noonday sun.”

I caught myself smiling back at the television.

 How can readers find you on the Internet?

You can find us on our website at,
on Facebook, Dan and Denise Harmer, Authors,
or on Twitter @SoCalWriters

Thank you, Dan and Denise, for the fun time we had today.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.



Dan and Denise said...

Good morning! Thank you, Lena, for letting us share a little about ourselves and Holy Guacamole. We'll be checking back a little later in the day. Looking forward to seeing who the winner is.

Unknown said...

This couple is new to me, but this book sounds quite interesting! Thanks for the chance to win!
Kari in Oregon

Lorna Faith said...

Dan & Denise:) Your book sounds good it can only get better from there when you combine it with great fiction!
The first page has a cozy feel...would love to read your book:) Please enter my name in the hat!

Lorna from Alberta
lornafaith at gmail dot com

Claire Koenig said...

Please enter me! I'd love a chance to read this.
Claire Koenig
SF Bay Area, CA

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this story :)

karenk...from pa
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copyy of this book. Angelac from Kentucky

Dan and Denise said...

Lorna, you're right. Great food and great fiction are a perfect combo. Hope you get a chance to dip into Holy Guacamole.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Judy K said...

What a neat couple. Enjoyed the interview immensely. I would love to win a copy of Holy Guacamole. This couple is new to me also.

God Bless,

Judy K from IN

apple blossom said...

Please include me thanks
I live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Jan Christiansen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan Christiansen said...

As an admitted Food Network junkie, this book sounds like something I could devour in one sitting! Is it mean to hope that I win?

Jan from Arizona
jan [at[ janiceeileen [dot]com

kylady717 said...

Holy Guacamole, I'd love to win this book....sounds yummy :)

Mona G./Ohio

kristen said...

What a fun book!! Please enter me:)
Kristen from WA

Anonymous said...

Hi, I would like to win this book. sounds great...

Angela C./Ohio

Jo said...

This couple is new to me. I really enjoyed the humor in the interview as well as the humor in the little bit that I read. Sounds like a great book. Thank you for entering me in the giveaway.


rbooth43 said...

This first sentence has me hooked to read HOLY GUACAMOLE: “Egg zombies. Flavorless egg zombies.”
Rebecca from NC
rbooth43(at)yahoo(dot)com said...

Please enter me. Thanks for the chance the book sounds interesting.

Brenda from Michigan

dancealert at aol dot com

Merry said...

Holy Guacamole sounds like a fun, engaging story. Sign me up, please!
Merry in TX

Cindy W. said...

Awesome name for a book. I love it. Would love to win a copy.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W. from Indiana


Coolestmommy said...

Loved the intervies. Giggled throughout. I imagine it looking a lot like my husband & I working together. And the opening page sound really fun. Can't wait to read this one!

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot ocm

holdenj said...

The premise of this looks great. Thanks for the info and chance to win.
Julie from MN

Ashley Ludwig said...

Congratulations, Dan & Denise! Fun story, hopping with action, and delicious foodie delights!

I love Trace & Bonnie... Well done! we're so very proud of you!


Bakersdozen said...

I want to read their book. I live in S. California.