Diane Kelly

Diane Kelly is Filing for Readers

A Tara Holloway Novel
St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 0312551266

Tara Holloway has got your number. A special agent on the IRS’s payroll, she’s dead-set on making sure that money crimes don’t pay…

Tax cheats, beware: The Treasury Department’s Criminal Investigations Division has a new special agent on its payroll. A recovering tomboy with a head for numbers, Tara’s fast becoming the Annie Oakley of the IRS—kicking ass, taking social security numbers, and keeping the world safe for honest taxpayers. Or else.

Tara’s latest mission finds her in hot pursuit of ice-cream vendor Joseph “Joe Cool” Cullen. Along with frozen treats he’s selling narcotics—and failing to report his ill-gotten gains on his tax returns. Over Tara’s dead body. Then there’s Michael Gryder, who appears to be operating a Ponzi scheme…with banker Stan Shelton…whose lake house is being landscaped by Brett Ellington…who happens to be dating Tara. If following that money trail isn’t tough enough, now Tara must face a new conundrum: Should she invest her trust in Brett—or put him behind bars? New love always comes at a cost but justice? Priceless.

FILE EARLY  If you'd like a sneak peek at Diane's Debut !!

A CPA and tax attorney, Diane spent several years at an international accounting firm where she had the pleasure of working with a partner later convicted of tax shelter fraud. She also served a stint as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas under an AG who pled guilty to criminal charges related to the tobacco company lawsuits. Given this work history, Diane decided self-employment might be a good idea. She also realized her experiences with white-collar crime were excellent fodder for a novel. Her fingers hit the keyboard and thus began her "Death and Taxes" mystery series.

Diane won the prestigious Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Award in 2009 and has earned over two dozen RWA chapter awards.


ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
DIANE: As often as possible!

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading?
DIANE: LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE. I grew up in the Midwest and loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. When I was young, we went on family vacations to visit some of her homes. My sisters and I loved it but my brother would complain about being dragged to another one of “that darn pioneer girl’s houses.”

ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
DIANE: I never liked fairy tales much, to be honest. So many of them involve a female waiting to be saved by a male. While I like a strong male character, I want my heroines to be smart and resourceful and feisty, too. They need to play an active role in their own rescue and to be equal to the male.

ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
DIANE: I always related to the little bird in the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons who claimed to be a chicken hawk. I was the youngest of four children and thus sometimes treated dismissively when I was young. But like the little bird, I was determined that I was, indeed, a chicken hawk and my voice would be heard!

ANGI: What turns you off like nothing else?
DIANE: Men who spit in public. Ew!

ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
DIANE: I always have a book with me and take advantage of snippets of time to read while waiting in the school parking lot, going on a road trip, standing in lines at the bank or post office. I read a few pages in bed every night when winding down at the end of the day. I also read sometimes in the bathtub when I can find a spare moment to relax.

ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
DIANE: I’ve always liked the sound of a train whistle in the distance. It makes me feel like I’m connected to other parts of the world and my mind wanders, wondering where the train came from and where it’s going and what interesting things might be happening in those places.

ANGI: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
DIANE: Definitely action adventure! The female characters play a much more active role in action adventure movies than in fairy tales.

ANGI: Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?
DIANE: Yes! I love to live vicariously through characters, especially when they are doing exciting, dangerous, courageous things I’d never be brave enough to try myself. It’s all the fun and thrills with none of the risks!

ANGI: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
DIANE: Definitely writing. I like to play with words and try to say things in clever, funny ways. An agent once told me that it was clear I had a love of language. I was very flattered by that. My kids often groan at my puns, though. Nothing like living with two teenagers to keep a person humble.

ANGI: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
DIANE: That I write for them, with the hope that I can bring laughter to their day. Life can be tough. We all need a good laugh now and then!

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: I have adored the title of your debut release since first seeing it on the contest circuit. I’m so glad you got to keep your title. And I laughed out loud when reading the title of your second: DEATH, TAXES & A SKINNY NO-WHIP LATTE. Care to share anything about that No-Whip Latte? And what might be next for Tara Holloway?
DIANE’S GOTTA ANSWER: Tara becomes addicted to lattes when running late-night undercover surveillance. Unfortunately, while the extra-whip, extra-drizzle caramel lattes may help her stay awake in the wee hours of the night, they aren’t doing her waistline any good. She’s forced to switch to skinny, no-whip lattes lest her butt become as big as the case she’s working on. In book #3, DEATH, TAXES, AND EXTRA-HOLD HAIRSPRAY, Tara’s after a preacher who’s pulling the wool over the eyes of his sheep. He may not worship a golden calf, but he’s using the church as his own cash cow, using the funds from the collection plates to finance a lavish lifestyle.

Funny thing about the title of my debut novel. Originally it was “Filing Status: Single.” Not nearly so catchy, huh? Once I changed it the manuscript really took off in contests. I’m a firm believer in a catchy title!

DIANE WILL draw from those leaving comments for THREE (3) copies of DEATH, TAXES, AND A FRENCH MANICURE.
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

THE CPA’S QUESTION FOR TODAY: Who’s more important to you in a book – the heroine or the hero?

Website on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/dianekellybooks or Twitter.
Send an email to: diane@dianekelly.com. Watch for Diane on
Killer Fiction.

READERS DON’T FORGET to follow us on
Facebook & Twitter (#GetLostStories) for a daily update on who’s visiting GLIAS and what they might be giving away! Join us on tomorrow when Cat hosts Addison Fox and back on Friday when Donnell hosts Linda Lovely. ~Angi


  1. Good Morning, Diane!
    It's nice to have another chaptermate here on GLIAS...I've been waiting for your book for so long (I know YOU have!)

    Have fun with your release and much success on the entire series. To answer your question, as a writer, getting the hero right is more important for me. But as a reader...well, it's the combination that the hero & heroine make a great life-long team. Without the chemistry...they judt don't seem real.


  2. It's funny how we look at things at a little differently as writers versus readers, huh? And I agree - chemistry is critical! When it works, that spark adds so much!

  3. I write historical fiction but have to think anything that spices up tax litigation must be pretty sexy reading. I'm looking forward to reading!

  4. Diane, I remember seeing your win in the RWR oh-so-long ago and loving the title then, too. :) Congratulation on the releases.

    As for the importance - well, I can't think of a time where I wasn't invested in both characters. The story is what gets me involved.

  5. Both are important. The hero and the heroine have to have something together, so they are both important. They have to connect.

  6. Hey Diane and Angi,

    Congrats on your debut, Diane!

    I'm one of Diane's critigue partners which means I get to read her books first! :-)
    I love reading about her characters because they're interesting, witty and have hilarious adventures!

    Great interview!

    Angela Hicks

  7. I'm in it for the hero, but I agree with Diane in finding passive heroines No Fun to read. Excellent questions, Angi! Diane's sparkle really comes through. Congratulations on the release, Diane.

  8. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by so far today! I stepped out briefly to take the dogs to the dog park (they were bouncing off the walls, making it impossible for me to work!) and it's nice to see so many of you have chimed in! Angi is a great interviewer. She could easily replace Barbara Walters. : )

  9. You've found me out. That's my secret goal in life, Diane....replacing Barbara Walters. LOL

    Fun questions = Fun answers
    and they really let you get to know a person.


  10. Definitely the hero. That's what sells a romance for me. Yes, the heroine should be strong and independent as well, but it doesn't matter as much because if there's a great hero, I will put myself into the story opposite him and kick the heroine to the curb anyway. :)

  11. Diane, Your series amuses me no end! A likeable IRS agent...jeez, you are talented! Lol! I have not read you yet, but I'm getting a Janet Evanovich vibe here and if that is the case, then Agent Holloway can be as alpha female as she wants! The heroes can come and go...or come back...;)

  12. Aloha! Coming to you from Barbara Vey's link. What a fun idea for a mystery series! It must be fun for Tara to flash her IRS badge like the FBI!

  13. Linda - you crack me up! I've had that same feeling when reading before, too. Like, "Get out of the way, heroine! I'll take this guy on myself!"

    Gjillian - I've been compared to Janet Evanovich, which thrills me to no end. I love the Stephanie Plum books! Funny you should mention heroes coming and going . . . But that's all I'm going to say about that. *wink-wink*

  14. Hi Diane,
    I'm so excited your book is out!!! I've been waiting what feels like forever to read it. :) For me, reading the hero's POV is better than the heroine's. Usually. They're usually easier for me to write too. But if I'm reading a story that has romantic elements instead of a straight romance, it's more important to read the heroine's POV. Go figure. :)

    Good luck with your book!!

  15. Kim in Hawaii - I bet you get to read a lot on the beach! Wish I was in Hawaii too! Thanks for coming by!

  16. Your book titles are fun! I only enjoy reading books with a good dose of humor.

  17. I ran the numbers of comment posters thru random.org and it picked 6, 7, and 8. That means Sally, Linda, and Gjillian won! Please contact me at diane@dianekelly.com with your address so I can mail your book to you.

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by today! And thanks to Angi for hosting me!

  18. Diane, I'm so excited for you! Your books sound wonderful and I can hardly wait to read DEATH, TAXES, AND A FRENCH MANICURE asap.