Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Five W's: Diane Burton's Numbers Never Lie, Giveaway

The Five W's of Stories
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story blog. This week fellow West Michigander author and friend, Diane Burton, shares the 5 W's--who, what, where, when and why--in her brand new release, Numbers Never Lie. I'm thrilled to help her get the word out about her latest romantic suspense. It just happens I love reading and writing romantic suspense, and this book, which takes place in West Michigan, is waitng for me on my Kindle. Sounds like the perfect way to wind up my summer fun.

Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win Numbers Never Lie or your choice of Diane's books. Deadline for entry is Sunday, August 26, 10:00 pm ET.
Numbers Never Lie by Diane Burton
Romantic suspense
The 5 Ws for Numbers Never Lie by Diane Burton

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Janet. I love this concept of the 5 Ws. That’s the essentials of a good newspaper story. In fact, I just used that comment in my work-in-progress, a science fiction romance. But today, we’re going to concentrate on my newest release, NUMBERS NEVER LIE, a Romantic Suspense.

The story has three main characters: Jack, his sister Maggie, and his best friend Drew. The three were childhood friends. Jack only appears in the first chapter, but he’s the impetus for the rest of the story. In her teens, Maggie had a crush on Drew. Because of his friendship with Jack, Drew never followed through on his own desires—hands off his best friend’s baby sister. Both have been married in between. Drew’s ended in the death of his wife, Maggie’s in divorce. Now, they have a second chance at happiness. Their reunion, so to speak, came at the hands of his fourteen-year-old daughter. She begged him to help Maggie chaperone her group of friends on a weekend camping trip. Because he’d been concentrating on work, he thought she meant a little hike in the woods. Wrong. For a man who hates being dirty and sweaty, Drew was in for a big surprise.

Jack’s car crash. The sheriff claims nighttime fog coupled with speed, Jack not wearing his seatbelt plus the lack of airbags led to his death. Maggie is certain the crash was no accident. Because Drew is with her when she got the news, and he sees how determined she is to discover what really happened, he’s reluctantly drawn into her quest. More clues that it wasn’t an accident plague Maggie. Break-ins indicate someone is looking for something. The more Maggie digs into Jack’s crash the more someone is determined to stop her. Drew is equally determined to help and protect her.
Lake Michigan
West Michigan, from Muskegon to Grand Rapids. Since I live in west Michigan, and have written other stories set in the area, I chose to set this story here, too. Lake Michigan has a powerful influence on the weather. Fog in the summertime is common. I’ve woken up to fog so thick I couldn’t see the neighboring houses. So, fog contributing to Jack’s crash is believable.

Current day. I’ve set books in the future. Science fiction romances, always with a mystery and a relationship, are so much fun. And I’ve written a series of cozy mysteries also set in current day (and along the Lake Michigan shore). Although I enjoy reading some stories set in the past, I’ve never had the inclination to set my stories then. The components of NUMBERS NEVER LIE make it a story set in present day.

At first, I thought the “why” should be the characters’ motivation in the story. But I already answered that above. Then, I thought maybe readers might like to know why I wrote this story. I started writing it over fifteen years ago. Life intruded (as Life does), and I set the story aside. Thinking the story was almost finished, I picked it up this winter. It wasn’t, and it took longer than expected to complete. NUMBERS NEVER LIE (the third or fourth but final title) was originally about the camping trip. I’d been a volunteer with Girl Scouts for many years, so knew about the outdoors. I’ve never been fond of camping, though, so I could empathize with Drew. As I got back into the story, it became obvious that Jack’s car crash was most important. Fifteen years ago, I worked as an administrative assistant and had a lot of contact with accountants. One in particular was of immense help with my learning Excel. He’s the reason I made Jack an accountant. Of course, he wasn’t too happy when I told him the accountant dies in the first chapter.

Janet, thank you again for inviting me to your blog. I enjoyed sharing my story with your readers.
Photos courtesy of Diane Burton.
# # #
UPDATE September 29,2018--MY REVIEW of Numbers Never Lie

Diane Burton's romantic suspense novel, Numbers Never Lie, has just the right mix of romance, mystery, and humor for me. As I looked back on the story, I saw where she foreshadowed the ending and added red herrings. Truly a great storyteller's technique. Loved her depiction of Maggie as a mom dealing with a 14-year-old and as a sister mourning the loss of her brother. I live in the area where the story took place, so it was fun and easy for me to picture the locations because Ms. Burton painted the scenes so well. If you're looking for a great read this fall when you are wrapped up in your afghan with a cup of hot chocolate, choose this cozy mystery. J.Q. Rose

A Romantic Suspense
By Diane Burton
Release Date:  July 9, 2018
Length: approx. 80,000 words
Click Amazon to download a sample or order Numbers Never Lie.
Free with Kindle Unlimited

Back of the Book

A shocking secret brings danger to Jack Sinclair and his sister Maggie.

As kids, they were the fearless threesome. As adults, Jack's an accountant; Drew, a lawyer; Maggie, a teacher and camping troop leader. Upon returning from a weekend camping trip, Maggie receives horrifying news. She refuses to believe her brother Jack’s fatal car crash was an accident. If the police won’t investigate, she’ll do it herself. Convincing Drew Campbell to help is her only recourse.

Drew Campbell was too busy to return his best friend’s phone call. Too busy to attend a camping meeting important to his teen daughter. Too busy to stay in touch with Jack. Logic and reason indicate Jack’s accident was just that--an accident caused by fatigue and fog. Prodded by guilt, he’ll help Maggie even if he thinks she’s wrong.

A break-in at Jack’s condo convinces Maggie she’s right. Then her home is searched. What did Jack do that puts Maggie in danger?


Slinging the laptop case/briefcase over his shoulder, Jack checked the room assigned to him for the audit to make sure he hadn’t left anything out. He shut off the lights and locked the door behind him. He still had much to do. Sure, Ben said he would finish the audit. That wasn’t the way Jack worked. When he started something, he always finished.
“Working kinda late, arncha, Mr. Sinclair?”
Startled, Jack looked over his shoulder.
The janitor leaned on his mop. “It’s after midnight.”
“No rest for the weary, Max.” Jack pocketed his keys.
“You be careful going home, Mr. Sinclair. Fog was rollin’ in off the lake when me and the missus drove in to work.”
“Thanks for the heads-up.” Jack saluted the affable worker and headed down the hall. The doors to the other offices were closed. Only the cleaning crew remained.
Hazel, Max’s wife, stopped dusting the receptionist’s desk. “’Night, Mr. Sinclair. You best be careful. Noticed you parked all the way down at the end of the parking lot. The light there is out. Saw that when we came in. The company that takes care of our lights won’t come out ‘til Monday. You want Max to get a flashlight and walk out with you so’s you can find your car? What with the fog and all?”
Jack forced himself to smile. In the five days he’d been auditing the books at the plant near Muskegon, he often worked so late that he ran into the older couple. “I’ll be fine.”
“’Night, then. You be careful, now. Ya hear?”
Even before he pushed open the heavy glass door, he saw that Max and Hazel were right. The solitary light at this end of the parking lot barely penetrated the fog. Maybe he should have taken Hazel up on the offer of a flashlight. He wasn’t worried about finding the Blazer in this pea soup. It would be a wonder he didn’t trip on the curbs.
The flashlight on his cell phone. Duh. He should’ve thought of that. Jack clicked it on, but it only shone a foot or so in front of him.
He heard a soft skitter near the dumpster. Rats? He shuddered and clicked his remote. From fifteen feet away, his head- and taillights barely penetrated the mist.
It would be a slow drive back to Grand Rapids. He should get a motel room for the night. Finding a vacancy anywhere along the Lake Michigan shoreline would be next to impossible in the summer and even more so late on a Friday night.
Weary beyond belief, he dragged himself to his car. He needed to return tomorrow—make that later today. He had to do more digging in the company’s files. He couldn’t believe what he’d discovered so far. This went way beyond anything he imagined. The implications—
Startled by the familiar voice, he dropped the keys. His phone slipped out of his fingers and skidded away. The fog gobbled up the light, and he lost sight of it. He peered in the direction of the sound. The figure stepped away from the dumpster’s hulking shape.
“We need to talk.”

Numbers Never Lie is available at Amazon.

Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win Numbers Never Lie or your choice of Diane's books. Deadline for entry is Sunday, August 26, 10:00 pm ET.

About Diane:

For more info and excerpts from her books, 
click here to visit Diane’s website: 

Connect with Diane Burton online

Sign up for Diane’s new release alert: http://eepurl.com/bdHtYf

Coming Up:
Click here now to go to the Books We Love Insiders Blog to discover the "stoopid" thing I did.--a cautionary tale. 
September 1-3--Labor Day Weekend in the USA
Wednesday, September 5--Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop

The 5 W's of Story
Wednesday, September 12--Guest author C. Lee Mackenzie


Juneta key said...

Congrats Diane.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Juneta!!

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Diane, for being my guest this week on the Focused on Story blog. I enjoy sharing the Five W's of your story with readers. Anxious to crack it open on my Kindle.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Juneta, for visiting.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, J.Q., for having me here today. I apologize for not stopping in sooner. We lost our internet this morning until now. Isn't that the way things go? I hope you enjoy Numbers.

Alicia Dean said...

I enjoyed the post, such a great read!! Wishing you the best!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Alicia. And thanks for your great editing. You always make my stories better.

Kara O'Neal said...

This was interesting. I especially enjoyed the "why" answer!

Alina K. Field said...

I've got to get to that part of Michigan some time. I've only ever been in and out of Detroit. Putting it on my bucket list.

Maureen said...

I enjoyed the post!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Kara.

Diane Burton said...

I hope you do, Alina. I'd love to see you in person and be your tour guide. :)

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Maureen. You are such a faithful follower.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Alicia, for stopping in.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Kara, This 5 W's event is the perfect way to get inside the writer's mind and deeper into the story. I've enjoyed having guest authors "reveal" so much about their books this spring and summer. Thank you for visiting.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Maureen, Diane is a joy to host.

J.Q. Rose said...

Alina, West Michigan has beautiful beaches and quaint lake shore towns. Come on over!

Susan Coryell said...

What a nice way to organize your book blog! It sounds very exciting. Good luck.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Susan.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Susan, Thanks for stopping in.

Melissa said...

Looks like a good book. Congrats, Diane!

Marsha said...

Hey, JQ. Good luck with your book, Diane. I Fbed and Tweeted.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Marsha. Your sharing always makes a good difference in views.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Melissa, Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment!

J.Q. Rose said...

Congratulations to Maureen--winner of Diane's giveaway prize! Enjoy!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Melissa.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks a lot, Marsha.

Diane Burton said...

Adding my congrats to Maureen. Yay!

Lena Charles said...

Public health is a field for people who care about the greater good of human beings. So it is very important for everyone. bernard bensaid

Happy Independence Day to My IWSG Friends and Readers!!! #IWSGBlogHop, #fourthofjuly

  Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop #IWSGbloghop What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group? Founded by author   Alex J. Cavanaug...

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