Amos, Diane A.

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Amos, Diane A.

PERSONAL:

Married; husband's name Dave; children: four.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Portland, ME. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Artist and writer.

WRITINGS:

Getting Personal, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2003.

Mixed Blessings, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2004.

A Long Walk Home, Harlequin (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

Winner Takes All, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2005.

Outlaw Hearts, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Diane A. Amos is an artist and writer. Amos published her first novel, Getting Personal, in 2003. The book's main character, Monique St. Cyr, is an obituary columnist for a Maine newspaper who dreams of one day becoming a major investigative reporter. Monique's mother, Anne Marie, lives next door and writes erotic fiction. Anne Marie steals Monique's identity for online sex research and also tries to set her daughter up with various men. Monique begins to date police officer Jake Dube but loses his trust after her dishonest behavior when she essentially steals money from her employer.

Susan Mobley, writing for Romantic Times Online, found that "you can't help but root for a heroine" like Monique. Mobley said that the novel "is a fun, lighthearted story that does have its more serious moments." Kathy Boswell, writing in Best Reviews, described the novel as "one hilarious madcap adventure." Boswell stated: "This book had me in stitches from one page to the next. I have never laughed so hard." Harriet Klausner, also reviewing the book in Best Reviews, said that "though the lies told by Mo- nique will bother some readers, this chick lit tale is enhanced by the lead character's online dating fiasco." Booklist contributor Maria Hatton described Monique as "spirited and all-too human." Hatton said of the book: "Warm and lighthearted, Amos's novel will charm readers with its vivid characters."

Amos' second book, Mixed Blessings, was published a year later. Monique and Jake manage to stay together, but as Jake pushes for marriage and kids, Monique wonders if giving up her new career as a reporter is worth it for the relationship, even if he may be the right man for her. Monique's mother, on the other hand, is getting married and allows her sister and father to move into her duplex, creating a new case of unwanted family involvement in Monique's personal life.

Mobley, again writing for Romantic Times Online, noted that Mixed Blessings is "more serious than" Getting Personal, but "still has plenty of fun to be found." A contributor to Love Romances & More mentioned that "the supporting cast of characters are all endearing with their little foibles," adding that Amos "has done a splendid job of bringing them to life." The same contributor concluded that "Amos has written a thoroughly enjoyable book filled with action, romance, and mystery." Booklist contributor Hatton found that "Amos presents a fast-paced, thoroughly enjoyable story that will leave readers wanting yet another helping" of the regular characters, especially Monique.

In 2005, Amos published A Long Walk Home, in which Portland National Bank vice president Annie Jacobs is mourning the loss of her husband while trying to come to terms with the recently discovered fact that he had been dishonest despite her loving admiration of him. Her estranged sister, Dana, asks Annie to look after her teenage daughter, Summer, while Dana goes into rehab. Annie agrees, but finds that Summer is rude, disrespectful, and distrustful of adults. Annie recognizes that Summer has not had positive support in her life and Annie aims to fill that void while healing her own wounds in the process.

Page Traynor, writing for Romantic Times Online, thought that relevant research in the novel seemed "forced in." Traynor added that "some surprises in the plot would have strengthened the story." Klausner, writing in Best Reviews, described the novel as "a strong character driven tale." Klausner explained that "Summer is a fabulous character as Diane Amos provides the audience with a powerful look into a distraught disengaged teen." Writing in Curled Up with a Good Book, Shannon Bigham "recommended" the book, calling it both "an engrossing novel" and an "enjoyable read." Bigham stated: "I enjoyed reading about all of the characters, and the reader will find that not only does Summer evolve and change throughout the novel, so does Annie."

Amos also published Winner Takes All that same year. Set in New England, the story starts with Floyd's RV dealership holding a raffle to win a new Winnebago. A computer error, however, causes duplicate tickets to be printed, one of which is ultimately drawn as the winning entry. Both Thomas O'Leary, a construction company owner, and Karen Ann Brown, a bank executive, hold the duplicate winning tickets and are stubbornly forced into a contest for sole ownership of the vehicle. Both must travel in the Winnebago for one month in the state of Maine and compete with each other to see who can provide the most publicity for the RV dealer. The one who is most successful will win the RV. Thomas brings his dog, while Karen Ann brings her cat and a friend's children. Floyd tries to sabotage their attempts in order to avoid giving the Winnebago to either of them. Ultimately, Thomas and Karen Ann fall in love but worry about their life after their month-long stint in the RV.

Klausner, again writing in Best Reviews, said that the novel "is a fun contemporary." Klausner opined that "readers will win with this amusing romantic road show as Diane Amos shows her talent by providing a fine love story."

Amos published Outlaw Hearts in 2007. The novel is set in the years following the American Civil War. English immigrant Bekah Benson moves to Londonderry, New Hampshire, in search of the other part of a medallion she has owned for years that once belonged to her missionary parents and leads to a hidden treasure. She finds the missing piece of the medallion being worn by Zachariah Thompson, a man convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Zachariah agrees to give Bekah his half of the medallion if she helps him escape from jail. With help she manages to do this and fall in love with him at the same time.

A contributor to Publishers Weekly thought that the relationship between Bekah and Zachariah "strains credibility." The contributor found the romance in the story to be "sweet as corn syrup." The contributor concluded that "though light on period details, it's a serviceable romance." Klausner, writing in the Midwest Book Review, commented that "Reconstruction Era romance readers will appreciate this fun tale filled with an interesting twist as Bekah and Zachariah learn what a treasure" really is.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 1, 2003, Maria Hatton, review of Getting Personal, p. 1583; May 1, 2004, Maria Hatton, review of Mixed Blessings, p. 1549; July 1, 2007, Maria Hatton, review of Outlaw Hearts, p. 38.

Midwest Book Review, August, 2007, Harriet Klausner, review of Outlaw Hearts, p. 35.

Publishers Weekly, May 28, 2007, review of Outlaw Hearts, p. 35.

ONLINE

Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (March 30, 2003), Harriet Klausner, review of Getting Personal; (July 14, 2003), Kathy Boswell, review of Getting Personal; (June 29, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of Winner Takes All; (November 5, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of A Long Walk Home.

Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (March 5, 2008), Shannon Bigham, review of A Long Walk Home.

Diane A. Amos Home Page,http://www.dianeamos.com (March 5, 2008), author profile and interview.

Diane A. Amos MySpace Profile,http://www.myspace.com/dianeauthor (March 5, 2008), author profile.

Love Romances & More,http://www.loveromancesandmore.com/ (March 5, 2008), review of Mixed Blessings.

Romantic Times Online,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (March 5, 2008), Susan Mobley, review of Getting Personal; Susan Mobley, review of Mixed Blessings; Page Traynor, review of A Long Walk Home.

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