Book Review And Author Interview — Burden of Proof

8 Oct

Reeling from a negotiation gone wrong, FBI Special Agent April Ramos is caught off guard when a frazzled young woman shoves a crying baby into her arms, then disappears. Worry for the child’s safety quickly turns to fear when a man claiming to be the girl’s father abducts them at gunpoint. April puts her hostage negotiation skills to use to learn more about who she’s dealing with: Jason Snyder, a fugitive accused of murder.

As Jason spins a tall tale about being framed for the killing of his business partner, April must sort through his claims to find the truth. A truth that becomes all the more evident after April overhears a conversation between Jason and the local sheriff and realizes something more sinister may be happening in their small town of Sweet Briar, Texas. But aligning herself with a known fugitive to uncover the burden of proof could cost April her job . . . or worse, her life and the lives of other innocent people.


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne du Maurier, Inspirational Reader’s Choice, and Carol Award contests. Firewall, the first book in her Houston: FBI series, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best Christian fiction books of 2014.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the following social media platforms or others listed at

My Impressions:

Burden of Proof, DiAnn Mills’ latest romantic suspense novel, begins with action and continues to give the reader a twisting reading ride throughout. A kidnappings lead an unjustly accused businessman and an FBI hostage negotiator to join forces to uncover the truth of corrupt officials in a small eastern Texas town. Likable characters, a puzzling mystery, and fast-paced plotting make this one a recommended read.

While I always love the suspenseful stories that Mills creates, with Burden of Proof being no exception, the characterization in this novel is its strongest element. Main characters April Ramos and Jason Snyder are believable in their reactions to the situation they find themselves in and interactions with each other. They make a great team in more ways than one. Secondary characters, both the good guys and bad, are interesting and add depth to the small town feel of the novel. There’s an FBI connection, but April and Jason often find themselves on their own in their quest for truth and justice. The two characters’ relationship develops amidst the car crashes, explosions, and danger that seems to lurk around every corner. As stated, April is a hostage negotiator, and I think Mills got that part of the story spot-on. There’s great insight into the dynamics of managing difficult situations and exploration of the motives and thinking of criminals and victims. The spiritual journeys of both Jason and April are intriguing as well, and I found they unfolded naturally. Jason must come to grips with the anger that has accompanied his life and April discovers relationship rather than religion.

For fans of romantic suspense, this novel is a must-read. I really liked Burden of Proof. It kept me guessing and turning the pages!


Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


Q&A With DiAnn Mills 


1. What is the most rewarding part of being a writer?

Entertaining others with story. My goal is for the reader to slip into the shoes of the point of view character and live vicariously through the character. I love the entire process. It’s hard work but incredibly satisfying. 

2. What is the most challenging aspect of being a writer?

The same process as what rewards me about being a writer. Each book must be stronger, deeper than the previous one. Characters must be more unique with a credible inner world that touches readers emotionally. Plot is drawn from the character’s fears and weaknesses. Dialogue has the ability to share conflict while the setting works against the character’s goals. 

3. Why romantic suspense?

We live in a scary and unpredictable world. Most of us don’t want to dwell on the real danger and the violence that exists, and I want to show trained men and women who are dedicated to preventing and stopping crime. Those characters want to find someone to love too, and romantic suspense allows me to create both. 

4. What is a little-known fact about you?

I’m a very private person when not teaching and speaking, an introvert who thrives on alone time. Those who view me at conferences see a friendly woman (I hope) but once home I’m exhausted and it takes a few days to recover.  

5. How many words do you write a day? 

Depends on my goal for the book. When I receive a contract, I back up two to three months from when the book is due then divide the number of days in which I’ll be home writing, excluding holidays, vacations, weekends, and conference. Next I take the number of words in the manuscript and divide it by the writing days. Always write more than the goal amount and it’s approximately 1750 to 2500 words.

6. What is your favorite dessert?

Anything apple. Has to be warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cup of freshly brewed hot coffee.

7. Do you read when you write?

Yes. How can I compete if I don’t know what’s selling, specifically bestsellers. Other writers challenge me with their techniques, characterization, and plot twists to make my stories stronger. 

8. What is your least favorite food?

Red meat, potatoes, white rice, white bread

9. What is one thing quirky about you?

What isn’t? LOL  I’d say that I can’t wear a watch, too much electricity in my body. I’ve been known to de-magnetize room keys at hotels. Guess I’m electrifying. 

10.  What’s one thing you would like to impart to your readers about your books and being an author?

Writing isn’t for the faint-hearted. A writer must be disciplined, able to work alone, accept constructive criticism, edit and edit again, hustle like it was up to him/her while relying on God as the Boss, and have a solid relationship with God. Then repeat.

4 Responses to “Book Review And Author Interview — Burden of Proof”

  1. Paula Shreckhise October 8, 2018 at 7:40 am #

    Getting ready to sink my teeth into this one!

    • rbclibrary October 8, 2018 at 1:32 pm #

      I know you will love it!

  2. diannmills October 8, 2018 at 8:02 am #

    Thank you so much!

    • rbclibrary October 8, 2018 at 1:32 pm #

      You are so very welcome! Thanks so much for sharing April and Jason’s story.

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