Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In The Name of Love Character Quiz: From Diane Burton’s One Red Shoe

Can you guess why Diane Burton is one of my favorite guests? Just like her characters, she’s funny, smart, and passionate about what she does. Oh, and because we’re both more than a little bit OCD. I feel like a doting godmother when it comes to One Red Shoe’s Daria and Sam, having been there almost at their inception. They took their first breath during a writing exercise, and over the years I’ve gotten to watch them struggle, grow and finally step out on their own (kind of like Daria!). And I couldn’t be more proud to introduce you to their story.

My best laid plan to have a full review ready was curtailed by a power outage. I read as far as I could by the flickering battery of my iPad (Darn you, Mother Nature!) . . . far enough to remember just how much I loved these characters. Daria could easily have been just a caricature of the naïve tourist in over her head. Sam might have become the cookie cutter spy on the run, reluctant to seek her assistance. But they’re so much more . . . delightfully so! One Red Shoe channels an inner Romancing the Stone adventure, with untested but always ready Daria as the heroine, resourcefully albeit it reluctantly, living the life she’s only written about, and hero Sam, the jaded, world-weary man with a mission who rediscovers his heart of gold while trying to shield the woman who repeatedly saves his butt (in more than one way). Their dialog is witty and engaging, the twists of plot clever and often laugh-out-loud (in a very good way!), and their romance fresh, genuine, and one you’ll root for. I guess that was a review after all! Maybe I should just let Sam and Daria convince you that you’ll adore One Red Shoe as much as I do by interrogating them about their outlooks on love . . . (shining that bright light in their eyes)

©Why are you still single?

Daria: In two words—my brothers. Talk about overprotective. They still treat me like I’m 13 instead of almost 30. Okay, you want the truth. I never loved anyone enough to be willing to fight for them.

Sam: In two words—my job. I never want my wife to worry about where I am or who I’m with. On top of that, bad guys don’t hold off their nefarious deeds for dance recitals and T-ball games. How could I tell my children that my job is more important than they are?

©What was your first opinion of each other?

Sam: I thought she was a wide-eyed innocent who didn’t have a lick of sense. She didn’t know me from Adam yet she took care of me when I was shot in the butt. I felt like a fool.

Daria: I thought he was playing copycat with that guy in the movie who wore one red shoe until I realized the red was blood. I’m a sucker for wounded animals so I couldn’t leave a wounded man to fend for himself, could I? Especially when he couldn’t even stand without help.

©What first attracted you to each other?

Sam: her optimism and enjoyment of life. And her sheer guts. Not much sense but real guts to get me away from assassins.

Daria: I wasn’t at first. He scared me until I realized he kept trying to protect me. But he trusted my instincts and when his plans didn’t work out, he went along with mine. Of course, he was out cold when I made them.

©Who made the first move and what was it?

Daria: I did. We’d just escaped from the assassins and we were both high on adrenaline. I kissed him. Then we almost had wild monkey sex on the bench seat of my Grandpa-mobile (a boring brown Buick). He broke it off.

Sam: Of course I broke off that kiss. She deserved better than sex with a broken down wreck of a man on the run from the Russian Mafia. She’s the kind of woman that has happy-ever-after written all over her. And that was something I couldn’t give her.

©What would you be willing to change to make this relationship succeed?

Sam: Give up the work I love in Washington and move to her farm in Iowa.

Daria: Leave my home and join him in Washington.

©What’s the best thing about the two of you together?

Sam: She brings joy into my life and reminds me why I became an agent—to protect my country from those who would destroy it.

Daria: We’re stronger together than apart. That and the fact that he’s a great kisser.

Wannabe writer rescues wounded spy while risking her heart.

Daria Mason’s life is too predictable. Nothing ever happens in her small Iowa town where everybody knows everybody else. But when she travels to New York City looking for a little excitement, she never expects to bring home a wounded spy.

From the moment agent Sam Jozwiak steals intel vital to US security from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist.

Sam and Daria flee cross country with the assassins right behind them. Sharing danger and excitement—and a few kisses—with Sam soon has Daria convinced he’s the man for her. He thinks she’ll be better off once he’s out of her life for good. With their lives on the line, can she convince him they belong together?

For the second time in her life, Daria Mason came face-to-face with a man pointing a weapon at her. A pervert, with unzipped jeans, wielded a green box knife. Because she’d raced into the restroom without checking out the situation, he now stood between her and the exit.

She was at the end of the proverbial rope. After walking in circles, she finally found a restroom and nobody was stopping her from using it. Especially not someone playing copycat with that guy in the movie who wore one red shoe.

“I am having a really bad day,” she declared in the don’t cross me voice she used on her brothers. As soon as her words echoed off the hideous pink and black tiled walls and floor, she lowered her voice. “You are in the wrong place, mister. Now zip up and get out.” She pointed straight-armed toward the door.

The man shook his head and set the flimsy knife on the counter. “Lady, you have more guts than sense. You are in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” His voice was even softer as hers. He eyed her with a look so dark and intense it paralyzed her like a hawk froze its prey.

One Red Shoe 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 Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, the first book in a series about strong women on the frontier of space. One Red Shoe is her first romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s Website.


  1. Hi, Nancy. Thanks so much for your glowing endorsement. After spending all morning in a doctor's office & nearly hacking up a lung, your "review" made me feel so much better. :) Always a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me--rather, Daria & Sam.

  2. Wonderful stuff, ladies. Can't wait to get going on my copy of ORS. And give my endorsement, glowing of course!

    1. Looking forward to seeing what you think, Margo.

  3. Fantastic book - I totally agree, Nancy! Great job and great interview, Diane. :)

  4. Diane, it's on my TBR list. Nancy's review and the excerpt have really hooked me. Can't wait to read the whole book!

    1. Thanks, Loralee. I was blown away by Nancy's review.

  5. What a great interview and review. I've got to put this on my reading list.

  6. Great review...and well-deserved. I LOVED the interview. I feel like I know Daria and Sam even better than I did. Such a wonderful story!

    1. Thanks so much, Alicia. Your editing made my story even better.

  7. I've already bought the book but haven't had time to read it! I need to stop working so I can enjoy reading again! I hope you feel better Diane and Thanks Nancy for the great review and interrogation of the characters!

  8. HI Diane, Love that last line. so good! Cant wait to read this one. My favorite part of the interview was about her overprotective brothers.

    1. LOL Those brothers do take responsibility way too far.

  9. Great interview, ladies. Can't wait to read the book.

  10. Diane, thanks for sharing Sam and Daria with us! I've enjoyed every minute I spent with them.