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Monthly Archives: August 2020

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Melena: Melena Rhyker

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Melena: Born and raised in Mississippi. Had never left home alone until my venture to Utopia, TX.

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

Melena: The Crossed Penn Ranch in Utopia, TX.  Although mine is told in modern day, the story of living through grief is timeless.

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

Melena: My Heart Weeps begins the day of my husband’s funeral and continues through my journey of grief into new life and possibly new love. Pamela chose to tell my story because she experienced this same level of loss in her own life when her husband passed away in 2009.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Melena: I hope to show people everywhere that God has a plan for each of our lives and regardless what valleys we go through – death, divorce, loss of a job – there is HOPE on the other side of grief.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Melena: My biggest conflict is dealing with my husband’s death. Then there’s the choice to open up to the possibility of love again…

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Melena: To think too far ahead much less plan anything is too overwhelming. My only goal but to get through one day at a time as whole as possible.

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

Melena: I’m an artist. God has given us each a gift or talent. I’ve always used my talent as a means to gift others, but at the Crossed Penn Ranch, my talent flourished into much more than I ever dreamed possible. This is another takeaway from my story…. God is not finished with you! Allow HIM to work through you in whatever gift He has given, and you’ll be amazed, and surprised, at how your life may turn out.

Blurb for My Heart Weeps: 

After thirty years married to the man of her dreams, Melena Rhyker is devastated by her husband’s death. Relief comes in the form of an artist’s retreat at the Crossed Penn ranch in Utopia, TX. She rediscovers a forgotten dream as her artistic talent flourishes into that of a gallery-worthy artist. Will she have the courage to follow the path she was destined to travel?

Garrett Saunders has been on the run most of his life. Abused and abandoned as a child, he escapes the clutches of a past filled with pain and shame, and hides from his calling as a Native American healer. His years as a CIA agent aid in overcoming his childhood and honing his talent and skill as a fine art photographer. 

Follow their journey as two people who come from totally different backgrounds, but share gifts of gigantic proportions, find meaning and purpose in the Texas Hill Country.

Excerpt from My Heart Weeps :

     “So did all this frivolous energy give you any ideas about the future? There’s a light in your eyes that wasn’t there this morning.”

Melena smiled. “You always could look right into my soul. Actually, I’m thinking I should take your advice and quit my job or take an extended leave of absence.”

“I think that’s a great idea. Have you put numbers together with your finances to see how long you could go without a regular income?”

“Only in my head, but I think I have enough for the better part of this year.”

“What will you do? I mean, staying holed up in the house is definitely not healthy.”

Melena leaned back in her chair with a sigh. “It’s never easy, is it? I mean, I get all excited about finally making a decision for myself, and up pops a dozen other issues to consider.”

She thought a moment, shrugged. “Maybe I’ll work on my art. Jon always said I have talent and that I should do something with it. But I’ve been content to use it only as a means to gift others. Maybe if I put as much passion and energy into painting and glass work as I did my marriage, our home, and our life together, I could be successful enough to earn a decent living.” She blew out a breath. “I don’t know…I can’t think past tomorrow or next week, much less the future. It’s all so overwhelming.”

My Heart Weeps is on sale for a limited time @ 99 cents and FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

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Pam is giving away 1 Ebook, 1 Autographed Print Book, 1 Audio Book, a $15 Amazon Gift Card, a 1-month Audible membership and a SURPRISE Giftpack to 6 lucky people! (1 prize per winner) Names will be collected throughout the tour which ends Sept. 30th. Winners will be notified, and prizes awarded by October 10 th so be sure to leave your EMAIL Address!

Sara’s emotionally abusive husband dies unexpectedly. She’s struggling to reclaim the intelligent, independent person she was before she married. She vows never to let a man take over her life again. Now she’s part of a special team, training to help other women.
Mac is has been responsible for training women in special ops techniques so they are prepared when they are challenged to save other women. When he meets Sara sparks fly between them. He wants her to quit the training and let him take care of her.
Sara graduates and now she and her team have to save Sara’s daughter from a serial killer. Can Mac step back and trust her in a dangerous situation? Can Sara and Mac resolve their issues, or will they go in opposite directions?



Buy links:


“I see, sort of.” Sara tried to organize her thoughts. “Mostly I saw bits of your childhood. Is there anything I can do to prepare?” 


“Read the book.” Nadia strode down the path toward the exit. A few seconds later she swung back to face Sara. “Wear something dressy, but comfortable, and bring another outfit, something you might wear to your defense class.” 


This time she disappeared around the corner. Sara stared after her, absently patting Gloria. What had she got herself into? She should have asked more questions. Maybe she could practice tonight, but what would she practice? Nadia had said it wasn’t clerical. 


Sara turned the card over. 

Nadia N Nassif
The Foundation 


A New York address was in the bottom left hand side of the card and a phone number in the bottom right hand corner. She’d check the address in the phone book when she got home. 


“Gloria, come.” Sara signaled with her hand and the dog bounded across the grass and skidded to a sit at Sara’s feet. “Good girl, time to head home.”  


Sara pulled the leash tight, “heel.” 


She walked down the path Nadia had taken. She replayed their conversation in her head. Why had Nadia been following her?

What did they want from her? Should she even go to their interview? Then again, how often did someone offer to pay for a trip to New York? 


Sara checked down the street before she crossed. Gloria jerked on the leash and pulled Sara back. “Gloria, what the…?” 


A motorcycle roared by, inches in front of Sara. 


“Oh, my gosh.” She’d been so busy thinking, that she hadn’t double checked in both directions before she stepped off the curb. If it hadn’t been for Gloria she’d have walked out right in front of the motorcycle. 


Breaks squealed as the Harley slowed to a stop and swung around. The rider pulled in front of Sara and stopped. He removed his helmet. 


“Are you okay? I didn’t mean to come that close.” 


“No, it’s my fault. I was daydreaming and not watching where I was going.” “You’re okay?” 


“I’m fine.” Sara stared into a pair of warm deep brown eyes. Warmth started at her toes and crawled through her body. It heated every part of her. She swallowed hard and tried to drag her eyes away from his square face with the five o’clock shadow. 


“Mac Langston.” He pulled off the leather glove on his right hand before he extended it. 


Sara put out her fingers and immediately found them engulfed in a strong, warm, hand. She could feel a few calluses on the pads of his palm, the hands of a working man. Another jolt shot through her body. Darkness, flashes of light, loud noises—it was a gunfight of some kind. Was this man part of it or observing it? 


That made twice today. After blocking the flashes for years her rusty senses appeared to overcome the blocks quickly. They also took a toll on her energy levels. 


“Excuse me, are you all right? Ma’am?” 


Sara gave her head a shake. “Sorry. Sara, Sara Peters and I really am fine. Thank you, Mr. Langston.” 


“Mac, please, and after a shock like that I insist on seeing you get home safely. Hope on and I’ll give you a ride.” 


“I don’t think that will work. My dog doesn’t ride motorcycles and neither do I.” Sara pulled on the leash and started to walk away. 


“Right, of course,” Mac slapped his forehead. “Then I’ll have to walk you home.” 


“No, don’t be silly.” 


Mac pulled on his glove, lifted his leg over the bike and proceeded to walk beside her. He pushed the bike. “Do you live very far?” 


Sara shook her head. “No, in the next block.” 


“Good, this thing could get a little heavy if we had to go a couple of miles. So what were you thinking about?” 


“Pardon me?” 


“Instead of paying attention to where you were going?” 


“Oh, about a job interview I have coming up.” 


“A career change?” 


“It’s something like that. This is my house. Thank you, Mr. Langston.” Sara turned into the yard. 


“Have dinner with me?” 


“Excuse me?” 

What elements do you include in your stories to make a story seem and feel more realistic to the reader? Thanks, Rhobin for another thought-provoking topic.

I guess the first things I use to make a story more realistic is setting and weather. It doesn’t have to be in a lot of detail, but enough information that the reader can picture where the story takes place and maybe feel the heat or the cold. They’re there with the character. Adding a hobby, or occupation can make the character more realistic. It might be one they can relate to or one they’re interested in learning about. What the character is feeling so the reader can get a better feel for the character. And I add a lot of characteristics, so the reader gets to know the character better. A pet is always a nice touch. Be it a dog or a horse it can draw the reader in and give a more realistic touch to the story.

Here’s the beginning to Death Southern Style. See if the details make the story feel more realistic.

PerrineDupré hurried down the street. She needed to get home. Dark New Orleans clouds hovered overhead. Thunder rolled. Large drops of late May rain pelted the streets of the French Quarter. It sounded like hail as the fat globs bounced off the pavement behind Perrine. The ozone mixed with the scent of magnolia and the smell of shrimp and fish cooking in the area.

The older African American woman struggled against the wind. It whipped her umbrella inside out. She clutched it tightly so not to lose it. Rain blurred her vision. Thunder crashes caused her to jump. She stumbled up the three steps to her front door. Her daughter was coming home for a visit. Perrine’s pulse increased and a smile sneaked out.

And now let’s see what my fellow authors have to say about realism in writing.

Skye Taylor

Victoria Chatham

Judith Copek

Diane Bator

Dr. Bob Rich

Fiona McGier

Rhobin L Courtright

As far back as I remember people said to ‘write what you know’. They’re still saying that today.  Hmm….

I agree with this statement, depending on the genre you write. If you write historical how can you ‘write what you know?’

In this case I believe write what you know means a lot of research so you’re familiar with the genre, the clothing, the architecture, the language, occupations, the morays of that time.  In other words, immerse yourself in that genre until you feel part of it. Then write it.

If you’re writing contemporary anything, you should be comfortable with your location and setting, occupations, language and age, beliefs and our culture and challenges. I’ve read books where Hotel is in Victoria, on Vancouver Island in BC. You have to take a ferry from Vancouver to get there.                                                                                                                                                              And  if you’re going to commit a murder, learn about guns, poisons, fighting techniques, etc.  


Westerns and horror genres can fit in with historical and contemporary. The author then needs to know about the genre and research the addition information on the addition. For example, learning about ranching, horses, guns of the time, etc.  


When it comes to other genres, sci-fi and steampunk, I don’t write these, but I believe the author must create a world where they set the story. Like the historical genre, they fit in with the statement of ‘write what you know’. Instead of researching for a historical for example, the sci-fi author develops their own world. They need to develop and be familiar with the clothing, architecture, language, occupations, religions, and morays of the world. They become familiar with the world they develop.

Targeted – A ranch in Montana, a Native American, and a paranormal touch. I researched the Blackfoot Tribe, mostly on line. Also at a museum, (p art of the Nation is in Canada),  and in an online class. The ranch life I posted to a loop and got info from people who live on cattle ranches. And I have a friend is is a psychic. 

So, an author should ‘write what they know’ or know what they want to write about. Your thoughts?

Sara’s emotionally abusive husband dies unexpectedly. She’s struggling to reclaim the intelligent, independent person she was before she married. She vows never to let a man take over her life again. Now she’s part of a special team, training to help other women.
Mac is has been responsible for training women in special ops techniques so they are prepared when they are challenged to save other women. When he meets Sara sparks fly between them. He wants her to quit the training and let him take care of her.
Sara graduates and now she and her team have to save Sara’s daughter from a serial killer. Can Mac step back and trust her in a dangerous situation? Can Sara and Mac resolve their issues, or will they go in opposite directions?



Buy links:


Sara sat upright in bed. Cold sweat dripped down her back and between her breasts. In the dark, her hand inched across the sheets of the new queen-size bed. A sliver of moonlight slipped through a crack in the thick drapes and landed on the empty pillow. 


For a second she could smell his aftershave. She shivered, yanked her hand back from the pillow and pulled her knees to her chest. She clutched the covers tightly to her body. 


Don’t be ridiculous Sara. He’s not here. He’s dead. He can’t hurt you anymore. 

She’d cleaned the room enough times, over the last eighteen months, to get rid of any scent of him. She’d even bought a new bed, mattress and sheets. 

He was dead. But in the dream he came back. Even in the dream Gordon had the power to return her to that pathetic, abused woman she’d turned into over the years of their marriage. For almost a year and a half Sara had worked to break the chains of abuse that kept her from living her own life. She’d come a long way. She hadn’t had the dream for months. 


She swung her legs over the side of the bed. Her feet landed on Gloria’s soft, furry back. Sara reached down and patted the dog’s large head. “Good old Gloria, always there for me.” 


The dog raised her head and licked Sara’s hand with a short whine, before she flopped back down to sleep.

Sara pulled on her robe before she crept downstairs. Hot chocolate would go good right about now.

She grabbed the milk carton from the refrigerator and took a swig from the container. Two years ago she could never have done this. Gordon would have punished her if he’d caught her. 


“Here’s to you, you bastard, wherever you are.” She toasted the milk carton before she took another swallow.

It ticked the hell out of her that she’d been so stupid. He’d made her a victim and she’d allowed it. She couldn’t believe a woman working on her college degree would let any man to

Who is your favorite hero and why?

I’ve found several awesome hero’s in my reading, but up until the last book, my favorite has always been Roarke from the ‘In Death’ series by JD Robb. Roarke … sigh. He’s tall, black hair, amazing blue eyes, a great physique and he’s absurdly handsome. He’s super wealthy but generous. He’s a reformed thief. He’s polite, intelligent, speaks with an Irish brogue. His voice is smooth whether he’s negotiating a business deal or spouting poetry. He’s considerate and a great lover. He is an awesome dresser and understands fashion and fashion statements, including from a woman’s viewpoint. He treats everyone well and his employees love him. He remembers anniversaries and all special dates He’s thoughtful and treats animals well.

Of my books, I think my favorite hero is Kye, from Targeted.   He is tall, black hair and brown eyes, well-built and muscular. He’s Native American from the Blackfoot tribe. He’s intelligent and well-spoken but he doesn’t treat women as equal. He wants to take care of them. He’s generous. As a lawyer he provides free service on legal issues with the local Blackfoot tribe. He believes in the supernatural and his past elders. He becomes more open to learning about relationships. 


       What about you? Who is your favorite hero from any book or genre?

Sara’s emotionally abusive husband dies unexpectedly. She’s struggling to reclaim the intelligent, independent person she was before she married. She vows never to let a man take over her life again. Now she’s part of a special team, training to help other women.
Mac is has been responsible for training women in special ops techniques so they are prepared when they are challenged to save other women. When he meets Sara sparks fly between them. He wants her to quit the training and let him take care of her.
Sara graduates and now she and her team have to save Sara’s daughter from a serial killer. Can Mac step back and trust her in a dangerous situation? Can Sara and Mac resolve their issues, or will they go in opposite directions?



Buy links:


The office said he’d had a heart attack. Was he alive? Did she want him to be? What if her husband had to stay home for a few weeks to recuperate? Palms sweating, Sara’s breath came in short, shallow bursts at the thought.

The taxi jerked to a stop in front of the hospital emergency entrance.

Sara fumbled through her purse and counted out her meager number of dollar bills. Gordon didn’t allow her to have a credit card and he only allowed her to have a small amount of cash. She didn’t have enough money to pay the taxi.

“I’m so sorry. I left home without any cash. I...I ... Would you take a check?” Tears spilled over and trickled down her flushed cheeks.

The driver spun around. A short stubby finger waved at the sign over the rearview mirror. “Look lady, it says right there - No Checks.”

“I know, I know. I’m sorry. My husband has had a heart attack and I ... I don’t know what to do.” Sara ran her fingers through her hair and scrunched the tight bun at her neck.

The driver shook his head. “Aw, shit. Go ahead, lady. Write the check.”

Sara pulled the single crumpled check Gordon allowed her carry for emergencies out of her purse. When she touched the check a vision of Gordon floated in front of her.

She froze and rapidly blinked her eyes. She only saw the ghosts of dead people. Gordon didn’t believe her and forbid her to ever mention it.

Could he really be dead?

“Gordon?” she whispered.

“Lady, are you writing that check or not?”

“Yes, sorry.” Sara scribbled her signature on the bottom of the check. “Please, fill it in, and give yourself a generous tip. Thank you, thank you so much.” She clutched her worn purse to her chest, slid out of the cab, and scurried through the emergency room doors.

What if he was dead? She didn’t have any money. Gordon did all the finances and never shared anything with her.  How would she manage?

Twenty years ago, she could have handled it. Could she do it again? But he couldn’t be dead. Gordon would never allow that to happen.

His face flitted in front of her, fixed in an angry glare.

He had to be dead or she wouldn’t be seeing him. He didn’t want to be dead. He didn’t want her to be free. If he thought she could see him he’d be furious.

Sara shuffled toward the reception desk. She glanced over her shoulder, searching for some sign of Gordon, listening for his voice, waiting for him to yell at her. She couldn’t believe he was really dead, even though she had seen him. She clung to the edge of the transition counter, her head down, chewed on her lower lip and waited to be noticed.

Finally a brusque voice snapped, “Can I help you?”

Sara looked up to see a heavy set, older woman in a loose blue top. The woman’s thick dark brows met in a v in the middle of her forehead.

“I’m sorry, I ...I’m looking for my husband. His office phoned to say he’d been brought here.” Sara shrunk into her body.

“Name?” the woman commanded.

“Gordon, Gordon Peters.” Sara stared at her worn black oxfords, then at the scuffed, gray linoleum with the red, blue and yellow lines that led to different areas.  Maybe she shouldn’t have come. Maybe she should have waited for Gordon to call and tell her whether she should be here or not. But if he was dead she would have to make her own decisions. Her pulse raced. Her head pounded. For the last nineteen years she had never made a decision. Gordon made all of them for her.

“When was he admitted?” The woman reminded Sara of a sergeant major.

“I’m not sure, less than an hour ago. They told me to meet him here. Maybe he’s been discharged already?” She chewed her thumbnail. If Gordon had been discharged, he’d be furious at her for spending all that money on a taxi.  But she’d seen his ghost.

Tension twisted her stomach into knots. The pain caused her to clutch her purse tightly against her abdomen. She needed to get home and start dinner. She’d have to take a bus. Did she have enough money? She opened her purse.

The woman moved to a second pile of folders and pulled one out. “You’re his wife?”

Sara nodded. “Yes. Can I see him?”

A sob slipped out. If she didn’t find see him soon, he’d be furious. He’d think she was too stupid to even find him in a hospital and he’d be right.

His ghost floated in front of her. This time confusion mixed with his anger

“Have a seat, Mrs. Peters. I’ll have the doctor speak to you.” The sergeant major’s voice softened. She indicated a chair near the desk.

“No, please, I need to see him right away. He’ll be upset if I’m late.”

The woman rounded the desk and laid her hand on Sara’s shoulder. She squeezed gently for a second. “It’ll be okay, honey. You just sit down for a minute. The doctor will be right out.”




My Historical Romance Book Sale Starts Today!

Hi everyone,

Welcome to August! If you love to get swept away by romances set in different time periods, I’ve got great news for you – all of my historical romances are on sale for a limited time.

The sale starts today, August 1, and ends on Saturday, August 15.  

But there’s one catch – these titles are on sale everywhere you buy ebooks – except for Amazon. Yep, you read that right. So, if you get your ebooks on Kobo, Apple, Nook, 24 Symbols, Scribd, Playster etc. this sale is for you .

My historical romances are anything but boring, and they vary in heat levels and settings. Some books are mild and others are scorching hot! The time periods and settings are as varied as the heroes and heroines. I even have two historical/fantasy trilogies: The Royal Desires series and the Naughty Nobles trilogy.

If you love single titles, you can lose yourself in a pioneer/adventure romance ( Loving a Wild Stranger ), a Colonial mystery ( Dangerous Indenture ), a Gothic romance ( Redemption from a Dark Past ), a paranormal Viking tale set in Celtic Scotland ( The Viking’s Witch ), and a love story set in the Old West ( Love, Lies & Redemption ).

Want to learn more about these titles? Full book summaries and reviews are on my site:

There are two ways to order:

Visit my Books2Read page: choose a historical romance, and follow the links to order.

Or, go to my website: find a book you like, then follow the link under the book description that says:  “Buy it on other platforms:” That link will take you directly to the book’s ordering page.

It’s easy. And it’s economical. All the books in the sale are $1 off until Saturday, August 15. So stock up on some great reads now and enjoy them for the rest of the year.

Happy Reading!

Kelli A. Wilkins

I don’t usually discuss books or write reviews, but I just finished reading Golden in Death by J.D. Robb. I’m feeling confused. Help me out with this.

I love J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) I’ve been reading her books for years and I think I’ve read most of her books/series. People have commented about some of her recent books as possibly been written by someone else. I hadn’t noticed it, but I did with Golden in Death.

One of the things I’ve always liked about J.D. Robb’s books are her characterizations. Her regular staff and group of close friends, their involvement and development and their relationship with Dallas. You get to know them and they become part of the story over time. They grow and develop over the series, new ones are added. 

In this book there was very little of that and only mentioned occasionally and some not at all. Other than Dallas, Peabody and Rourke and the people who died or were interviewed there was very little character development.  Dallas’ character appeared different and more two dimensional and she talked differently. The plot was interesting but even that felt a little weak. So, was it written by J.D. Robb, or someone else?

I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts.    

Targeted by Beverley Bateman

After and eleven year absence Janna Kincaid inherits a ranch and is forced to return to a town she only remembers with unhappiness, a man to whom she was briefly married and never wants to see again, and someone is trying to kill her.


Kye Hawkins has loved Janna since he first met her. They were married but a few weeks later she ran away, without an explanation. He still hasn’t figured out why. Now she’s coming back. Does she still love him? Can he rekindle the romance and also prevent her from being killed.


Janna doesn’t want Kye’s help in anyway, yet he always seems to be there when she’s in trouble. Can they work together to find a killer, save the Native burial ground and home of the spirits, and find romance again?

Buy links:


Kye filled the doorway, standing there looking regal and completely self confident. Tall and good looking, eyes that could always see right through her and that shy smile she’d felt was reserved mostly for her. She’d fallen in love with him soon after they’d met. She’d been about five at the time. He was smart, and there was something about him, an unfathomable depth, like he’d been here for many centuries. She remembered thinking at the time, I’m going to marry him when I grow up.

She felt that same pull, even after all these years.

No, I’m not going back there. Yes, I’d married him, like I’d said, but it hadn’t worked the first time. No way would she open herself to that pain again.

“Is there anyone else living here?” Janna asked.

“No. Why would you ask that?”

“For one thing, the house isn’t covered in dust and cobwebs. For another, I thought I saw a shadow heading upstairs.”

“You saw someone upstairs?”

“It was probably my imagination.”

“We don’t want to take any chances. I’ll check upstairs.”

“No, its okay. I can do it later.”

“I’m checking it now.” Kye strode by her, brushing her arm as he past. He climbed the stairs two at a time.

At his touch, the electric current sent synapses through her body, which responded, but her mind said ‘same old Kye, always taking charge.’

She headed toward the kitchen and found a kettle. By the time he came back down, she had her emotions under control and bit her tongue to refrain from commenting on taking orders from him.

“There’s no one up there, and no sign of anyone. There was an open window upstairs. I don’t remember leaving it open when I was here. Anyway, I closed it and locked it.”

“Thanks for checking. I appreciate it.”

“No problem. As for the house, Duke’s been gone for several weeks. The place was tossed when he was killed. No one’s been out here since. When I heard you were coming back, I came out and straightened up a bit. I didn’t want you to see what a mess they’d left.”

“Who left the mess?”

“They said it was an intruder, the one who shot Duke.”

“But you don’t believe it?”

“I think someone killed Duke and then tossed the place looking for something, probably his Will.”

“You think someone killed him because of the ranch?”

Kye nodded.

Janna met his eyes and saw real concern there. He knew how she would have felt if she’d walked into the mess. She wondered where Duke’s body had been found.

“Here, in the kitchen, by the stove. He was shot three times in the chest.”

It was like he’d read her mind.


Hawkins Ranch Series: Book 1



Hawkins Ranch Series: Book 2