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Monthly Archives: December 2018

Dairy-free-Eggnog | Beverley Bateman | Christmas

Ho, ho, ho it’s the Christmas Season. We’re settled in Tucson and the weather is normal for the area. We’re sunny and getting a little cooler. They’re still putting our place back together – slowly – very slowly. I’m putting up the lights. I found a light-up 22” panda which I love. And I’ve started playing Christmas music.


NaNo was a bust this year. With everything else going on I didn’t get much done on Escape, the fourth book n the Hawkins’ Ranch series. Here’s a blurb for it.


Amy has suffered abuse for years. Finally, she decided it was escape or die. Now she’s running for her life and she doesn’t trust any man.


Gabe Hawkins, the oldest brother in the Hawkins family, has never found the right woman. His brothers are all happily married and he’s the only who is still single. Riding around the ranch he finds a skinny, terrified, poorly dressed woman in her late twenties. He’s not attracted to her, but he wants to protect her. That turns out to be harder than he thought. Even with the help of his family, can he keep her alive?

Can Amy ever learn to trust a man? Her life may depend on it.


And, The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story, is now available in paperback. Here’s the buy link You can also check it out and get the buy link on the Works by Beverley – Suspense page.


The Newsletter I’ve been talking about for so long is finally ready to be sent out. I hope you’re on my list but if not, please sign up. Click on More – then click on contact and sign up there. I’ll only be sending it out every three or four months and I’m hoping to have something of interest for everybody.

Also, please follow my blogs, guests and group blogs on my blog page.



Dairy-free-Eggnog | Beverley Bateman | Christmas I’m putting a recipe in my newsletter, but I thought I’d share one for a Non- Dairy Eggnog here.
Dairy-Free Eggnog (Serves 4 to 6)
2 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup bourbon, or dark rum (optional)
1/3 cup agave syrup, or honey
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla liquor)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until very light and frothy, 1-2 minutes. Refrigerate until the eggnog is thoroughly chilled. Blend again briefly, then serve and top with freshly grated nutmeg. Enjoy!


Have a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

It’s almost Christmas. Shopping, baking, Christmas cards should be almost done.

Someone posted they didn’t relate to Christmas and the commercialism, which I can support. And that for many people who live alone, live below the poverty line or with disabilities, it can be a very lonely time, made worse by all the talk of big families and get togethers. I also believe this is true. I thought I’d go back and check out the history of Christmas, before Santa and the commercialism.

The word Christmas comes from a shortened form of Christ’s mass. It’s a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the earth commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is preceded by the Advent or the Nativity fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days.

The traditional Christmas narrative, the Nativity of Jesus, says Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem of Joseph and Mary.     Although the month and date of Jesus’ birth are unknown, by the early-to-mid fourth century the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25th . For Christians, the belief that God came into the world in the form of man to atone for the sins of humanity, rather than the exact date, is considered to be the primary purpose in celebrating.

Over the centuries and years and through various countries things like gift-giving, Christmas carols, Christmas trees, Christmas cards, Christmas decoration, Christmas lights, Christmas crackers, a special meal, and Santa have been added. Gift-giving and other aspects of the holidays have heightened economic activity to the point where the meaning of Christmas has almost disappeared.

In this time of lights and spending large amounts of money on gifts maybe we need to sit back and remember that birth long ago, and the people today who are poor or alone during this holiday season. Just a thought.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Charlene Raddon began writing nearly forty years ago. She never meant to be a writer. In college she studied fine arts. But that was before she discovered romance novels, and before she woke up one morning after a dream so vivid she knew it belonged in a book. She got out an old typewriter and ever since, instead of painting pictures with paints and a brush, she does it with words. An Amazon bestselling author, Charlene was first published in 1994 by Kensington Books. Today, she’s an Indie author. She is also a book cover designer specializing in western historical covers.


Believe it or not, the Puritans believed in drinking. In fact, they brought more beer with them than water. Early Americans took a healthful dram for breakfast, whiskey for a lunchtime tipple, ale with supper and ended the day with a nightcap. Continuous imbibing clearly built up a tolerance. By 1830, consumption had peaked at 7 gallons per year per person.

By the late 19th Century, dipsomania, or alcoholism, was being treated as a disease. The first arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol was in 1897.



Physicians began to consider alcoholism a disease, but they had no real cure. There were facilities for the treatment of dipsomania, and if that failed, there were always insane asylums where people with disabilities of all sorts were put to get them out of the way.

In my new novel being released December 15, titled Thalia, The Widows of Wildcat Ridge Book 7, my heroine, Thalia, goes to the town doctor for advice in trying to cure the man she loves of drinking. He tells her, “Alcohol consumption eats at your innards over a long period of time and brings about a long slow death. It grinds away a man’s liver and other organs. Those who recover from it are often plagued with liver and heart problems the rest of their lives.” He tells her of asylums back east where they treat dipsomania, but he doesn’t recommend them. “Horrible places they are,” he says.


But alcohol wasn’t the only addiction rampant in the nineteenth century. During this time, much of the food consumed by working-class families was adulterated by foreign substances, contaminated by chemicals, or befouled by animal and human excrement. By the 1840s home-baked bread had died out among the rural poor; in the small tenements of the urban masses, unequipped as these were with ovens, it never existed. The list of poisonous additives reads like the stock list of some mad and malevolent chemist: strychnine, cocculus inculus (both hallucinogens) and copperas in rum and beer; sulphate of copper in pickles, bottled fruit, wine, and preserves; lead chromate in mustard and snuff; sulphate of iron in tea and beer; ferric ferrocynanide, lime sulphate, and turmeric in Chinese tea; copper carbonate, lead sulphate, bisulphate of mercury, and Venetian lead in sugar confectionery and chocolate; lead in wine and cider; all were extensively used and accumulative in effect, resulting, over a long period, in chronic gastritis, and often fatal food poisoning.


And adults weren’t the only ones imbibing these poisons. Most medicines, even for children, contained alcohol or opiates or both. Laudanum is a tincture  of opium  containing approximately 10% powdered opium by weight (the equivalent of 1% morphine ). Medical officers were convinced that one of the major causes of infant mortality was the widespread practice of giving children narcotics, primarily opium, to quiet them. Laudanum was cheap enough, about the price of a pint of beer. Opium killed far more infants through starvation than overdose. Dr. Greenhow, investigating for the English Privy Council, noted how children ‘kept in a state of continued narcotism will be thereby disinclined for food, and be but imperfectly nourished.’


At mid-century at least ten proprietary brands of medicines containing opiates existed, with Godfrey’s Cordial, Steedman’s Powder, and the grandly named Atkinson’s Royal Infants Preservative among the most popular. Opium in pills and penny sticks was widely sold and opium-taking was described a way of life in places.

Morphine was treated like a new-fangled wonder drug. Injected with a hypodermic syringe, the medication relieved pain, asthma, headaches, alcoholics’ delirium tremens, gastrointestinal diseases and menstrual cramps. By the late 1800s, women made up more than 60 percent of opium addicts.

By 1895, morphine and opium powders, like OxyContin and other prescription opioids today, had led to an addiction epidemic that affected roughly 1 in 200 Americans. The Civil War helped. The Union Army alone issued nearly 10 million opium pills to its soldiers, plus 2.8 million ounces of opium powders and tinctures. An unknown number of soldiers returned home addicted, or with war wounds that opium relieved. Opiates made up 15 percent of all prescriptions dispensed in Boston in 1888, according to a survey of the city’s drug stores.


Only around 1895, at the peak of the epidemic, did doctors begin to slow and reverse the overuse of opiates. Advances in medicine and public health played a role: acceptance of the germ theory of disease, vaccines, x-rays, and the debut of new pain relievers, such as aspirin in 1899. Better sanitation meant fewer patients contracting dysentery or other gastrointestinal diseases, then turning to opiates for their constipating and pain-relieving effects.



Blurb for Thalia:

Thalia Plunkett has loved Duncan Moon, known as Dinky, all her life. Now he’s in big trouble. Can Thalia help Duncan kick the booze threatening to kill him, and win his love? Or will he choose whiskey over her?

And who is the mysterious man watching Thalia?



The topic for this month was  an excerpt from one of your stories that shows the spirit of this season (however you define it) and tell why you used it (excerpt does not have to be Christmas themed). OR write a short story or flash fiction piece for the season.

First, thank you Rhobin for these interesting topics all year.

Next, I don’t have any Christmas excerpts so I wrote a short piece with my characters from The Hawkins’ Ranch series. It’s a short piece on what I think would be an ideal Christmas with family. I hope you enjoy it.

Gabe watched Cody carefully picked up Gran, so she could place the star on the top of the tree. Gran and Grandpa Jack had bought the star their first Christmas. The had little money at the time and chopped down a small tree and strung it with popcorn balls, but they’d wanted a star. So, their Christmas present to each other had been that star. It had been on the family Christmas tree every year since.

Cody gently placed Gran down and she perched on the chair closest to the tree. Gabe smiled at the family gathering. Everyone was here for the annual tree lighting and dinner. Children skipped around the room putting red and green balls a on the lower branches and Lucky and Blue added their barks from behind the gated doorway. Annie put another record on the old record player in the corner. Silent Night filled the room.   Everyone joined in to sing along to the familiar lyrics. The children curled up with their parents. Gabe added his baritone voice to the words.

Cody sat down beside Maggie and Matt wriggled in between them. Kye stood behind the chair where Janna sat. Eli climbed up on her lap snuggled and against her shoulder. Kye’s hand rested on Janna’s shoulder touching her dark hair and Eli’s head. Molly, Matt and Eli knew the words and added their childish voices.

Even Luke had taken time away from his practice to be here with Allie and Molly, their adorable red-headed, adopted daughter.

As the song came to an end, Sam plugged in the lights and the eight-foot fir tree burst into light. Everyone oohhed. The children grinned. Gabe smiled. It was a familiar scene filled with love. Delicious smells of carefully spiced mulled wine and Christmas baking emitted from thee kitchen. He and his family had so much to be thankful for. Maybe this would be the year he’d add a new member to the growing family – maybe. Until then he’d appreciate another special Hawkins’ Christmas with his family, food, music and love. It would be a wonderful Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!


And don’t forget to check out these other websites to read their thoughts on

Skye Taylor

Helena Fairfax

Anne Stenhouse

A.J. Maguire

Fiona McGier

Connie Vines

Diane Bator

Dr. Bob Rich

Victoria Chatham

Rhobin L Courtright

Two weeks until Christmas, how are you doing?

Decorations and tree up – check

Music playing -check

Christmas cards sent – check

First Newsletter out (Yeah me!) – check. And you can sign up for it

at my website

Shopping – in progress

First Christmas party – check

Christmas baking – in progress. I included my recipe for quick,

yummy Christmas cookies in my newsletter

Latest book, The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story now in paperback – check

So, I still have shopping and baking and planning Christmas dinner to do.  

And I’m trying to work on my new WIP. Do you get much writing done

during this time of the year?

I find it a challenge so here’s a few hints that I use and might work for you-

Making a list and checking it twice. 😊

– Write down your goals for each day – including shopping, wrapping, Christmas

concerts, etc.

– Check your schedule and decide when you have a spare fifteen minutes – get up a few minutes earlier, stay up later, write by hand during a lunch break – fit in fifteen minutes of writing

– Waiting in line to mail parcels, do research 0n line or carry a book with you, or jot down things you need to check

You want get a lot of pages written but you will get a few done over the holidays and you’ll keep your WIP fresh. And when you’re busy doing research or thinking about your story you may get a thought that gets you excited and find you have to write the scene or chapter.

If you have any suggestions to help with writing during the holiday season, please share them with us.

Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she’s read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.

But Lexi’s first love is romance novels so she married her two first loves, romance and the classics. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a sensuous experience with a “whole lotta story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Holly: My name is Holly Douglas. I’m a widow.

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Holly: I grew up in New Hampshire, but I married a Scotsman, so I live in Deervale, Scotland now. My family wants me to move back to America, but I want to stay here. I feel closer to my husband here, especially because he’s been visiting me for the last three years and sending me spirits. They are so much fun. I love flying with them.

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Holly: Well, that’s a loaded question. It takes place in my past, my present, and in my future. Though as Malcom and Joy, my Spirits of Christmas Future, told me, I can make my future change.

Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Holly: Oh, I’m just a regular person. My biological dad had nothing to do with me. When I was a teenager, my mom and I were living in an apartment building that caught on fire on Christmas Eve. We were placed with the Tinders by our social worker, Jessica, who along with Duncan were my Spirits of Christmas Past. Anyway, Mom ended up marrying the Tinders oldest son, so I got a new family. I met Cameron at the Highland Games and we were together for two years before we married. Unfortunately, he died on Christmas day two years later. He was rock-climbing. I was devastated.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Holly: My goal? Oh, I want to convince my husband’s spirit to keep visiting me for the rest of my life. It’s hard though because if he stays too long with me, he could turn into a ghost. And yes, there’s a difference between a spirit and a ghost. Cam’s and my connection is so strong that he’s in danger of becoming a ghost. If he turns into a ghost, he’ll be stuck on the living plane for eternity. That would be great while I’m alive, but after I die I’ll transition and he’ll be stuck here, so we don’t want that. But I really miss him. We were soulmates. Coco, she was one of my Spirits of Christmas Present, along with Ian, and she could see soulmates. She said they glowed and Cam and I were definitely soulmates.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Holly: Well crap, I kind of answered that, didn’t I. Except you should know that Cam is trying to get me to let go of him. The spirits he sent helped me cope, but now he wants me to move on. I hate that he’s trying to push me away. His best friend Ethan, who is still alive, by the way, is trying to help me out.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Holly: I’ve tried reasoning and pouting and yelling and crying. I’m not sure what else I can do. I’m hoping Ethan has some ideas. He’s always been the smart one of Cam’s two best friends.

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Holly: About me? I’m really not that interesting. Oh, but I do own the One of a Kind Christmas Shop here in Deervale. It was Cam’s idea, but I’ve always run it. I find artisans to make one-of-a-kind ornaments and decorations for Christmas. We are doing better this year because we’ve had a lot of American visitors. Christmas isn’t as big here in Scotland as in America. Here they celebrate Hogmanay a lot more.

I’m getting pretty excited because I’m only days away from seeing Cam again. It’s only once a year, but he has my heart and though he says this is his last visit, I’m hoping for a Merry Christmas anyway. I really don’t know how I can say goodbye.

Blurb for About One of a Kind Christmas:

For her to love him, he must face a spirit, an archangel…and himself.

The spirit of Cameron Douglas has totally screwed-up…again. Now, he has to fix his mess in one night with the help of his best friend and somehow encourage his widow to move on.

Holly Douglas is anguished that this is the last Christmas she’ll be visited by her late husband, Cameron. For three years he’s sent her the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and they‘ve helped her cope with her loss. But now all that ends, and she doesn’t understand why he must push her away.

Ethan Stewart has been in love with Holly since Cameron’s death, but she isolated herself from everyone, including him. Then something changed, and he was welcomed back as her friend. But he wants more— to love her openly, and most of all to make her happy again. Though he loved his best friend like a brother and will do anything for Holly, as he’s pulled into the spirit world, he discovers the price they must pay for their chance at forever…and it just might be too high.

Excerpt for About One of a Kind Christmas:

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before opening them. “I miss Cam. It was as if we were two parts of the same soul. I lived vicariously through him even while I worried constantly about him. It was one of the reasons I was constantly warning him to be careful. I was afraid to lose him.”

Ethan looked away and rubbed the back of his neck. “And then I did.”

She felt as if her heart were breaking all over again, not for her but for Ethan. He was so good to her. He even loved her. And she… “Ethan, I understand.”

His gaze returned to hers. Though she couldn’t see his face clearly, the limited light reflected off the sheen in his eyes.

She placed her hand on his cheek and rising on her toes brushed her lips across his in a feather-light kiss. She only meant to give comfort, but a spark of something else hit her heart.

She remained there, her lips close to his but not touching, wanting more but afraid to ask.

Ethan remained absolutely still, his breath mixing with her own.

He loved her but would never push her. It wasn’t his nature. She could walk away right now, but to what?


She stared at his mouth in the dim light. She wanted to live again. She wanted to feel again. Tilting her head, she pressed her lips more firmly against his, moving her hand down his stubbled jaw and behind his neck to pull him closer.

Ethan’s lips opened, and she slipped her tongue between them.

As his arms came around her, it was like waking from a dream. A slow burn flowed through her veins as he took control of the kiss and explored her mouth with his tongue. It was an unhurried exploration and heat built in her belly. When he pulled back to lick the underside of her top lip, she took her first deep breath. As she exhaled, tingles spread throughout her body.

He kissed the corners of her mouth before leaning his forehead against her own. “Ye catch my blood on fire, lass.”


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