Hello, friends! I am not actually here right now as I'm on a road trip to Chicago to see Hamilton - yay! I'm so excited to be seeing the show and also to have Diane Burton as my guest on the blog while I am gone. Diane is here as part of the blog tour for her new release Numbers Never Lie
and she's sharing a bit about the novel's Michigan setting. Take it away, Diane!
Thanks so much for having me here today, Julie. I’m excited
to share my latest release, Numbers Never Lie
, a romantic
suspense, that was over fifteen years in the making. Life intrusions made me
set this story aside until this year. It was so much fun to finish it and be
able to share it with everyone.
Be sure to see the Rafflecopter at the end of this post and
sign up to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.
The story takes place in West Michigan, near Grand Rapids,
Michigan’s second largest city. Maggie Sinclair’s best friend talked her into
helping with a group of girls who loved to camp. When her friend moved away,
Maggie “inherited” the group of fourteen-year-olds who desperately want to camp
at Isle Royale National Park.
Isle Royale (sounds like “royal”) is a rugged, isolated
island in Lake Superior. The only way to get there is by boat or sea plane from
Michigan, Wisconsin, or Minnesota. If you want solitude and adventure, it’s a
great place. Backpackers, hikers, boaters, fishermen, kayakers, and scuba
divers will find plenty to do. Camping on the island is primitive. But, if
roughing it isn’t your style, Rock Harbor Lodge is available June through
September. Maggie, her friend, and the girls prefer to rough it. Isle Royale
and the other 450 surrounding islands make up the National Park.
An abundance of wildlife live on the island. You’re liable
to come across moose, wolves, foxes, beavers, squirrels, plus pond life, like frogs,
salamanders, and turtles. The girls in Maggie’s group are gearing up for the
trip by learning as much as they can about the wildlife. One of the girls, who
wants to be an ornithologist, is studying birds in order to recognize the
different species. She even has a recording of bird songs so she can identify
the sounds they hear.
In preparation for the trip, the girls need to toughen up. Walking
every day and hiking each weekend would be ideal. But there’s one glitch. For
safety reasons, Maggie won’t take the girls camping without another adult. The
moms don’t want to and the dads are too busy. If only someone would volunteer.
When the girls thought all was lost and their camping days
were over, Ellen says her dad (Drew) will chaperone their weekend camping trip.
But did Drew know what he volunteered for?
shocking secret brings danger to Jack Sinclair and his sister Maggie.
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
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.
wondered for the tenth time that morning why she hadn’t had her head examined
before agreeing to Ellen’s offer. The week before, Maggie called off the trip
when not one parent volunteered to chaperone. She hated disappointing the girls
who had been crushed when their leader moved away. For the past two months, they
talked about camping again. But week after week they returned with the same
news. Their mothers refused, and their dads were too busy.
So when Ellen
said her dad would help, the girls went wild. And Maggie, who should’ve known
better, believed Ellen who swore she’d asked and her father agreed. Maggie
should have followed up with a phone call, but years of avoiding Drew Campbell
prevailed. Years of unreciprocated longing—from when her heart first took
notice, through the years when he was single, then when he was married. Except
for that one time, she never let him know. Avoidance was best.
Now here she
was needing his help with the girls. Preparing them for a week-long camping
trip to Isle Royale had been Trish Morrow’s goal when she started the group
four years ago. The girls loved roughing it. They just needed more hiking and
camping experience before tackling the primitive island in Lake Superior.
gotten a late start this morning because of the fog, Maggie noticed the girls’
energy start to flag after the fifth mile of the hike. That was when she put
Drew Campbell at the front of the line. From the rear, she watched him trying
to set a faster pace—especially after Gretchen’s assurance that they could keep
up. The man was in a world of hurt even if he was making a concerted effort not
to show it. He looked so trim, so athletic, Maggie had assumed he was in good
jockey. He probably got his exercise in a climate-controlled gym. No, wait. In
a health club.
For better or
worse—and she was afraid worse
the operative word—she was stuck with him for the next thirty hours.
Are we having fun yet?
herself as she tromped through the woods with eight tough little girls on the
brink of womanhood and her brother’s best friend. From the back of the line,
Maggie watched his long-legged stride and the way his navy golf shirt revealed
his strong shoulders and
the way his
obviously new jeans conformed to his butt. She lifted the tail of the bandanna
knotted around her neck and wiped the sweat from her upper lip. She couldn’t
blame the sun for the heat coursing through her.
she told herself, keep your mind on the matter at hand. And not how good
Campbell’s butt looked in tight new jeans.
Good Lord, she
felt fifteen again—instead of thirty-four. Her stomach in knots, her skin on
fire. Lusting after the man who said she kissed like a guppy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Numbers Never Lie
is available at Amazon
Diane Burton combines her love of
mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction.
Besides the science fiction romance
and Outer Rim
she is the author of One Red Shoe,
romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a
contributor to two anthologies: Portals,
and How I Met My Husband
Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five
Connect with Diane Burton online:
up for Diane’s new release alert: http://eepurl.com/bdHtYf