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Joan Harmon

Joan Harmon

Bellevue, Nebraska

Joan Harmon is a Midwest native, born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. Attending college at Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, MN; she majored in Sociology and Anthropology. Her adult career has revolved around training horses and state politics immersing herself in the observance and study of relationships.

Joan loves to read, both fiction and non-fiction, and has had a life long desire to write. As her own life recently took a sharp turn she decided the time was right to devote to her dream of writing. She has finished her first manuscript and has begun on another new story.

With her warm wit and masterful way of relating to others her stories embrace the struggles and heartbreaks in life as her characters discover the strength and wisdom to overcome them.

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About the author

I was born and raised in the
St. Paul area of Minnesota.  I love the
four seasons; yes even the winters!  You
may have heard the term “Minnesota nice”; it is a true phenomena most of us
will smile and talk to anyone especially in the awkward silence of an
elevator.  I share this tidbit because it
is at the core of what draws me to write.

I’m a big picture kind of
person and relationships fascinate me so I suppose it wasn’t too surprising
that when I went to college at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN that
I studied Sociology and Anthropology.     

I married and unfortunately divorced.  My daughter and I moved home to “temporarily”
live with my parents.  Due to unplanned
circumstances my daughter and I remained with them until she went off to

One of those unexpected
circumstances was the diagnosis of my dad; my daughter’s hero; with Alzheimer’s

Dealing with a family member
who has an incurable illness often changes our perceptions.  Watching my loving dad slowly lose his memory
and the things he cherished was heart wrenching.  My mom went everyday to the nursing home;
long after he had no idea who she was. 
There she befriended many, as only she could do.  I watched the relationships evolve and this
is eventually what my first book was inspired by. 

I lost my mom this past
summer, before I finished my book, but she knew I was writing it and I know it
both pleased and amused her. 

My stories revolve around
relationships and the inevitable challenges life throws our way; challenges
that many of us face day to day.   The characters are ones that all can identify
with and want to know.  The stories are
light and endearing on how some choose to face the unforeseen twists of fate.
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Success! The Adventures of the Last Wives Club has already sold 83 pre-orders , was pitched to 6 publishers , and will be published by Christian Faith Publishing, Inc .

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The Adventures of the Last Wives Club

Humor, mystery and romance as four women together readjust to single life after losing spouses to Alzheimer's.

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Literary Fiction Women's fiction
49,000 words
100% complete
2 publishers interested


When who you believe yourself to be for your entire adulthood is changed by a single event, what do you do? How do you identify yourself now that a role you have been playing is no more? This is a story of how friendship helps us define the next steps in life well into our golden years!

My family was forever changed when the rock of our clan was stricken with Alzheimer's Disease. My dad slowly and painfully slipped away from knowing any of us and I watched my mom faithfully spend time with him everyday. Through her time being at the nursing home with my dad she made friends with several other women who also had spouses with Alzheimer's. They formed a strong bond through tears, laughter and support with one another. Their friendship continued on long after they had all said their final good-bye to their mates.

They called themselves The Last Wives Club!


*    Chapter 1 - Now that the four friends are widows they decide to take a trip together to help ease the loneliness of living alone.

*    Chapter 2 - As the women board a train bound for the west coast they begin to sort out their personality differences.

*    Chapter 3 - The first stop over of their trip; the friends decide on a trail ride.  As a couple of them find out it isn't so easy to ride a horse or even to get off of one.

*    Chapter 4 - While making friends aboard the train they meet two charming brothers who are travelling alone.

*    Chapter 5 - Arriving in Sandpoint, ID where they plan on staying for a few days, they stretch their legs with a hike on a trail in the nearby mountains.  From this vantage point they discover all the untouched natural beauty where this little city sits.

*    Chapter 6 - Checking into the B
B where they would stay a couple of them chose to relax while the other two explore the Inn.

*     Chapter 7 - It's a beautiful day as the ladies decide to explore the town. 

*    Chapter 8 -  A surprise awaits them as the brothers too had made the stopover and join up with them as they check out the activities.

*     Chapter 9 -  The women are wined and dined by their new companions.

*    Chapter 10 - Relaxing with their hosts of the B
B the women share how they first met their spouses.

*    Chapter 11 - The friends enjoy a spa day together and a little casino fun.

*     Chapter 12 - You are never too old to have a crush as one of the ladies discovers when she goes on a date.

*     Chapter 13 - Saying good-bye to their new friends the women board the train once more to their final destination.

*      Chapter 14 - Claude and Lester introduce the ladies to some interesting fellow travelers on their way to Seattle.

*     Chapter 15 - One never knows the fun and treasures that will be found at Seattle's famous fish market as the women soon find out. 

*      Chapter 16 - Rita convinces Marge to go on a double date and Kitty and Marvel have a stay in picnic.

*     Chapter 17 - The friends explore the large Seattle zoo and encounter extreme embarrassment trying to find their way back to the hotel.

*     Chapter 18 - Unaware of being set up Rita and Marvel are taken in by the charms of the two brothers; revealing more than they should.

*     Chapter 19 - While taking in the beauty at the Washington Arboretum the friends split up to visit different gardens.  Kitty finds herself reminiscing; something she rarely let herself do.

*     Chapter 20 - The ever constant togetherness takes its toll as the women have a blow up.

*     Chapter 21 - The friends take a time out with one another for a little while as they each sort through how to move on.

*     Chapter 22 - After a day apart the friends reconnect feeling refreshed.  Meanwhile a local con game is underway.

*     Chapter 23 - After running into a couple they met on the train the ladies all take a nostalgic step back proving you are never too old to swing.

*    Chapter 24 - While the goods arrive for the brothers the women are delighting in shopping and sight-seeing.

*     Chapter 25 - Lester and Claude take all the women out for a celebratory dinner.  Kitty remains suspicious and Marge finally confronts Rita about her feelings for Claude.

*     Chapter 26 - On their last morning in Seattle, Claude treats Rita to breakfast and has a surprise for her.  As they board the train headed back home the friends recount their adventure.

*     Chapter 27 - Marvel ponders her life going forward while the brothers seal their business dealings.

*    Chapter 28 - Revisiting Sandpoint and their friends; the women share pictures and stories of their trip.

*     Chapter 29 - Suspicions mount as the women encounter questions regarding the brothers from fellow passengers.

*    Chapter 30 - Home sweet home!  After their adventure the friends are happy to be back home.  On his journey back to the Midwest, Claude realizes his true feelings for Rita.

*    Chapter 31 - Appearances can be misleading and not everyone is who they say they are.  Suddenly the friends find themselves in the middle of a plot of deception.

*    Chapter 32 -  Back home, Rita tries to understand everything that has happened.

*     Chapter 33 - When one's heart is hurting friends and a project are good medicine.  The ladies all go to Rita's to assemble their photos of their trip.  Meanwhile Rita receives plans from Terry on how to proceed; she agrees to meet Claude for dinner.

*    Chapter 34 - The set up. 

*    Chapter 35 - With the support of her companions Rita begins to heal from her hurt and embarrassment.  It's time for them to plan their next adventure!


Adult women, especially in the 40 and older age group, will be drawn to this story.  I have sent drafts of my manuscript to unsolicited women who see this story as not just of a light, fun read but a story that can open conversations about life issues that are being dealt with on a daily basis. 

Alzheimer's, dementia and other ailments that inflict the senior population is growing due to the age of the baby boomer generation.   Experts estimate 5 million Americans are afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease and recently has been identified as the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer in older adults.

All women experience often embarrassing situations from hot flashes to bladder leakage.  These are topics that women are finally opening up and commiserating about.  Sharing experiences and being able to laugh about them ease women's trepidation of these natural functions of aging.


The characters are everyday people that my readers will identify with.   Many who read it will be those that are the caregivers of loved ones so I see promoting it through readings at support groups, churches, senior living activities and also through outreach to women with flyers, book signings and social media.  

Through my professional life I have made many contacts in many different arenas and have great opportunities to reach out to share my book.  Many of the people I encounter are facing similar dilemma's with parents suffering from incurable illnesses or conditions and can relate well to the subject matter of my story.



 by Tamara Traeder and Carmen Renee Berry -  it is similar in the complexities of  women friendships but the strength of that bond even through our differences.  Different in how that friendship comes about and how it plays out in life.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells -it's different because these women don' have a history together because they meet and bond over a life situation that occurs in the latter years of our life journey.  Facing how does one redefine one's role in life.

At Home in Covington by Joan Medlicot - this book is different in that it takes on a modern tone with the online predator predicament however it shares the conflict of being in close quarters living with a friend.   The power of true friendship shines through.

The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith - this book is similar in the bond of women friendship rediscovering their roles in life.  With the similar witty and heart winning female characters.  It is different in circumstances of the friends coming together to support one another.


2 publishers interested
Agora Publishing logo Agora Publishing

Agora Publishing is a Canada-based not-for-profit organization, founded in 1997 with the aim of making book publishing accessible to all writers across Canada and internationally.

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Do you have a Twitter following of at least 5000?

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Contact us for more information.

Applications are due Saturday, May 29, 2021.

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Services offered include: Editing, Cover Design, Print Layout, eBook Conversion, and Distribution.

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  • Update #3 - Where are we in the publishing process Sept. 28, 2016


    I am sending out this update to keep you apprised of where my manuscript is in the process of being published.

    Since the contest …

  • Update #2 - Thank you! May 10, 2016

    Thank you all who have pre-ordered my book!  The time to pre-order my book has now come to an end but I'll keep you updated …

  • Update #1 - Off to a good start April 27, 2016


    It's been an exciting first 24  hours of my book pre-order campaign!  Thank you for checking out me and my story out and for …

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  • Kathy Mahoney
    on April 26, 2016, 3:55 p.m.

    Congratulations Joan... I'm looking forward to receiving and reading your book.

  • Karen Koke
    on April 26, 2016, 4:21 p.m.

    Looking forward to reading your book and sharing it with others, Joanie.

  • J Braddock
    on April 26, 2016, 5:44 p.m.

    Joanie!!!!! I'm so excited to get to read this and think of your parents. Thanks for sharing this. Hugs!

  • Carole Peter
    on April 27, 2016, 9:44 p.m.

    How exciting! I can't wait to read this story. Hugs. CWP

  • Rebecca Meade
    on April 28, 2016, 4:23 p.m.

    You're welcome my dear friend, can't wait to read your first book!!

  • Alexis Anderson
    on May 8, 2016, 1:57 p.m.

    So excited to read this Joan, I know you poured your heart and soul into it! Thank you for sharing!

  • Carol Brahee
    on May 11, 2016, 12:46 a.m.

    Congrats on your first Book Joan! I can't wait to read it.

  • Cheryl Shipp
    on May 12, 2016, 2:06 a.m.

    Happy to buy, and so excited to read! Hope this goes thru because I'm getting a message from website saying "we'll be back." I don't know what that means, because I can't imagine a website that's not online 24/7. Hope this payment gets to making your book a reality, because I'd love to read it.

  • Kristi Dockter
    on May 22, 2016, 4:19 a.m.

    My best friend of almost 25 years wrote her first book. I'm excited and honored to receive my signed copy!! Love you always and forever Joanie Pony! ❤️😘❤️