Monday, July 16, 2018

Amnesia and a New Release by Diane Burton

How did it get to be the 16th of July already? I thought I had days before my post was due. Must be a case of NewRelease Amnesia. I spent last week running from one blog to another promoting my newest book, NUMBERS NEVER LIE, a romantic suspense. The week before, I had to write all those blogs. So, July disappeared in a blink.

A topic lately here has been promotion--what works and what doesn't and how do we know? I like to blog. Short, focused posts with a purpose. I like telling people about my stories. I like finding the perfect (for the topic) excerpt. When I've read other blogs promoting a new book, I skim the excerpt because I've read it before. I try not to use only one excerpt. But, there are only so many excerpts you can add without giving away the book.

Does blogging help? I like to think so. But how can I tell? As an indie writer, I can see the results daily on Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). How accurate are the numbers? Good question. I have to trust KDP to record them. I've checked a few time since last Monday (release day) and I'm pleased so far. If the comments on the blogs are any indication, the book should be flying off the virtual shelves. LOL People are being polite, kind even.

This weekend while I took a breather from the blog tour, I didn't look at my calendar. I knew I didn't have any posts scheduled for today. Wrong! So here I am late, with apologies. I must have been hit with amnesia.



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?


“What do you mean no toilets?” Drew Campbell stopped on the dusty forest path, hooked his sunglasses on the placket of his golf shirt, and stared at his daughter.

“Dad-dy.” Ellen groaned. Was she only fourteen? She did exasperation better than his administrative assistant. “I told you we were camping.”
Not for a moment would Drew reveal that camping was not what he remembered her saying a week ago. She said she wanted him to come along on an outing with her little group of friends. He figured a hike, picnic lunch, and then home in time for supper.
After taking a call on his cell in the parking lot near the trailhead, he’d gotten his first surprise. That’s when he found out about the “no electronics rule.” No cell phones, no iPods. All were locked in the vehicles. Only the leader carried a cell phone, for emergencies only.
His second surprise came when he opened the hatch of the Navigator. Five backpacks. Five backpacks with bedrolls. He’d transported four girls. It didn’t take a law degree to figure out who the fifth backpack was for. He was in deep shit. But what could he say in front of Ellen and her friends?
“Of course, sweetie. I knew we were camping.” A lie to save face wasn’t wrong. Right?
“Yeah, sure, Dad.”
She didn’t believe him? What happened to the adulation that used to be in her eyes? The “Dad is perfect” look.
He tried again. “Camping, like KOA. You know, kiddo, shower buildings, restrooms, flush toilets. Right now, I’d settle for a port-a-potty.”
Ellen groaned again. “Da-ad.”
If he didn’t know better, he’d wonder if she had a stomach ache.
As he’d done several times in the past three hours, he took out his handkerchief, looked at it in disgust, and tried to find a clean spot. He wiped the sweat off his forehead. It was hot and sticky, more like August in Michigan than June. Drew intensely disliked sweating. Clean sweat—in a gym—was all right. Not this . . . dirt. More than sweaty, he hated being dirty.
Considering the rain in early spring, he was surprised at how dry the path was. And how much dust twenty feet could kick up on a forest path. That, however, was not his first concern. He needed a john. Bad.
“C’mon, Ellen. Isn’t there a restroom nearby?” he asked quietly. “Even an outhouse?”
“Dad, this is Prim.” Ellen had mastered the art of eye rolling. As he’d learned in the past few months, that innate skill emerged in girls during adolescence.
“Prim? What is that?” Drew gave her the self-mocking grin that always made her laugh. “A new all-girl rock group?
Ellen wasn’t smiling. She lowered her voice. “It means Primitive Camping. We go in the bushes.”
“What!” He looked around, realizing that the other girls were staring at him. He hadn’t meant to sound so loud.
“You are embarrassing me.” She stomped away, kicking up more dust. Before she got to her friends clustered nearby, she shot over her shoulder, “I wish you’d never come. I knew it was a dumb idea to ask you.”
“Hey, come back here, honey. I’m sure this is a little misunderstanding. C’mon, Ellen.” In the year since his wife died, he and Ellen had had a lot of misunderstandings.
“I think she’s mad at you.”
Drew turned toward the quiet voice behind him. There she was, leaning back against a tree, her knee bent and booted foot propped against the trunk. Maggie Sinclair, Director of Camp Hell. He knew Jack’s sister was an outdoor nut, but he didn’t think she was this bad. Pissing in the bushes, for God’s sake.
Maggie was a tall woman, only a few inches shorter than his own six feet. She had the tan of a person who spent time outdoors, not a sunbather, though, with laugh crinkles around her eyes. Still, the rough-neck tomboy he’d grown up with. Who else would want to spend a summer day backpacking on dusty trails through snagging underbrush instead of out on a perfectly manicured golf course where you only ventured into the rough to retrieve an errant ball?
Despite the heat and humidity, Maggie’s white T-shirt, with its pink ‘Race for the Cure’ logo, was still white and her jeans, though faded, remained clean. With her dark brown ponytail pulled through the back of a Detroit Tigers baseball cap, she looked as cool as when they started on this trek three hours ago. That almost irritated him more than her awareness of friction between him and his daughter.
“Ellen? Mad at me?” He affected mock surprise. “Your powers of observation are amazing. Are you ever wrong?”
She cupped her elbow in her hand and tapped a finger against her jaw. “Let me see now. I was wrong once—fourteen years ago. That’s when I married Roger Dodger.”
Roger Dodger. An appropriate name for the jerk. The guy got out of paying anything even though she'd supported him while putting him through his MBA, because of Maggie’s inept divorce lawyer. It still pissed him off that she hadn’t come to him. Never mind he specialized in criminal law. He would’ve made an exception for her.
“Let me think. Have I been wrong since?” She continued the damn tapping then snapped her fingers. “I’ve got it. I was wrong to let Ellen’s city-soft lawyer daddy help chaperone this trip.”
Drew gave her the smile that prosecutors knew better than to believe. “And here I thought it was because nobody else would.”

Available at Amazon  
Free with Kindle Unlimited

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and romance into writing romantic fiction. She blogs here on the 16th and 30th of each month. She shares snippets from her stories every weekend on her blog


Jannine Gallant said...

We all have our brain-dead moments! Other than our group blog (which I love), I've given up on blogging. I'm not a fan of coming up with new topics to post about. I think everyone has to do the type of promo that they enjoy or go crazy with the process! Best of luck with Numbers!

Andrea Downing said...

I think I've been brain dead for months now, Diane, so you have my sympathies, Well done for getting the post up, and the book sounds great.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Yep, you definitely fit in with this group - with all due respect to our esteemed colleagues. I'm with Jannine. Whatever type of promo you enjoy, you should do. Best of luck with your latest. LOVED the excerpt.

Rolynn Anderson said...

What a great excerpt, Diane! Thanks for whetting our appetites for your new book. I'm glad your book is out and you can think more clearly...after all that blogging, I'd be brain dead, too. Congrats and happy sales!

Alison Henderson said...

Your release-week activity had my head spinning, and I was a mere bystander. Congrats on your new release. I hope your sales stay strong and continue to grow!

Vonnie Davis said...

Strong sales are always great. I loved your excerpt. Very tempting. So much so, I finger clicked on Amazon. As for blogging, I'm glad that works for you. I used to love it. Now I tend to shy away. I can't even get into my OWN blog. I thought I had yesterday and was so pleased. I wanted to see how a picture placement looked and clicked on Preview...and it was the Roses of Prose blog, not mine as I had thought. Seems the Universes is telling me I can only post here.

Diane Burton said...

Jannine, I agree. A writer has to do what works best for her. I can go crazy other ways. LOL

Diane Burton said...

LOL, Andrea. Never knew so many of us suffer from the same malady.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Margo. It was so great chatting with you yesterday at our friends' 50th wedding anniversary. I'll catch up with you guys soon.

Diane Burton said...

Rolynn, thanks so much. And happy birthday to you!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Alison. You think your head was spinning. LOL Hubs looked at all the notices of blogs on FB and couldn't believe it.

Diane Burton said...

Vonnie, that is so funny. Thanks for the good wishes.

RE Mullins said...

I think all of us suffer from the same 'brain dead' malady. I have trouble coming up with blog ideas although I do feel they force me to practice writing in short (hopefully intelligible) bites. One of my college instructors said my writing was verbose - something I need to continue to work on

Leah St. James said...

I'm adding my kudos for getting a post up so quickly! Fantastic excerpt! I just finger-clicked at Amazon, too. Wishing you many, many sales. :-)