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Monthly Archives: March 2021

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?

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Someone had shot her back tire. Janna gripped the wheel to keep the vehicle on the road. She debated whether to try and outrun the shooter, wherever he was, or find cover. The windshield shattered as a third bullet entered the passenger side.

So much for outrunning the shooter.

She scanned the area and spotted an outcropping of rocks a few feet ahead on her right. She aimed the vehicle in that direction.

Two more shots, and both the back tires went down.

Definitely find cover.

Janna ducked low behind the steering wheel until the vehicle reached the rocks. When the car stopped, she grabbed the keys from the ignition and her purse and dove out the door. Bullets bounced off the rocks behind her as she scrambled for cover. Whoever was doing the shooting was serous. Anyone of the shots could have hit her.

She reached the rocks, keeping low until she got to the middle where she curled up as tightly as possible, her back against a rock. Her heart pounded in her ears, her breathing came in gasps. This was getting to be a habit. First someone tried to kill her in Seattle, and now, out in this god-forsaken country.

What the hell is going on? Why are they shooting at me? Was it the same person who shot at me in Seattle? That doesn’t seem likely, but who even knew I was coming here? Maybe it’s someone just trying to rob a stranger.

Yeah right, be honest, Janna, does this road look like many strangers came this way? And if they did, would they have a lot to steal? You really think this person selected a spot in the rocks where he would have a good shot at my vehicle. Coincidence? Not damn likely.

At least she’d worn boots and jeans—even if they were designer jeans. Now they were filthy, and so was her red sweater and jean jacket.

Another shot hit the rock behind her. She rolled over onto her stomach, shaded her eyes, and squinted into the sun. He must be up on the cliffs straight ahead. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she might have glimpsed a light, maybe a reflection off his scope.

Terrific! Now what? My gun is in my purse. I could fire back, but that would be a waste of bullets at this distance. 

She yanked out her cell and punched in 9-1-1.

Damn—no reception.

A pounding pulsed through the ground and came closer. Janna could feel the vibrations. It felt like horses. She glanced around, without raising her head, to see what was coming.

Suddenly there was a hand in front of her face.

“Grab it and jump on.”

The deep, rumbling voice was not asking. It was an order.

Janna grabbed the strong hand. In one smooth motion, she swung up behind a man on his horse. Seconds later, she had her hands wrapped around his well-developed, muscular chest, as the big chestnut thundered across the ground, out of the bullets’ range.

The man wore a leather jacket over a sweater. Her hands slid under the jacket for better grip. Even through the sweater she could feel sinewy muscles. She laid her head against his back and his braid. She took a breath in, inhaling the rich scent of leather, trying to calm her racing heart rate.

She glanced behind her. The cliffs were fading into the distance. The muscles of his well-developed shoulders bunched and relaxed as he led the horse at a gallop across the field. She felt safe for some unfathomable reason.

He had a familiar woodsy scent that made her think of sex under pine trees, not that she’d ever made love there. In fact, her sex life was pretty negligible these days.

They’d been riding for several minutes when Janna leaned forward. “You can put me down any place. I can manage now.”

“Really? And just what are you going to do out here, miles from town, by yourself, with someone shooting at you?”

The voice was deep, but soft, and rolled over her like warmed brandy. It triggered something in the back of her memory. The earthy scent, the sinewy body, the braid, the voice… She knew this person who had ridden up out of nowhere to save her.

“I have my cell. I’ve already called 9-1-1,” she snapped.

“And did you get an answer?”

Janna yanked her cell phone up where she could see the screen again and re-tapped in 9-1-1. And then there was that famous phrase—No Service.

There was a deep chuckle. “That’s what I thought. There’s no service in this area. The mountains block it.”

It’s Women’s History Month.

Women’s History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. It is celebrated during March in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, corresponding with  International Women’s Day   on March 8, and during October in Canada, corresponding with the celebration of   Pers ons Day  o n October 18.

In the United States, Women’s History Month traces its beginnings back to the first   International Women’s D ay  in 1911. In 1978, the   school district   of  Sonoma, California  participated in  Women’s History Week , an event designed around the week of March 8 (International Women’s Day). In 1979 a fifteen-day conference about women’s history was held at   Sarah Lawrence Col lege   from July 13 until July 29, chaired by historian  Gerda Lerner . It was co-sponsored by Sarah Lawrence College, the   Women’s Action All iance , and the Smithsonian Institution. When its participants learned about the success of the Sonoma County’s Women’s History Week celebration, they decided to initiate similar celebrations within their own organizations, communities, and school districts. They also agreed to support an effort to secure a National Women’s History Week

In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980, as National Women’s History Week. The proclamation stated, “From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength, and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well. As Dr.   Gerda Lerner   has noted, ‘Women’s History is Women’s Right.’ It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision. I ask my fellow Americans to recognize this heritage with appropriate activities during National Women’s History Week, March 2–8, 1980. I urge libraries, schools, and community organizations to focus their observances on the leaders who struggled for equality – Susan B. Anthony ,  Sojourner Truth ,   Lucy Stone ,  Lucretia Mott ,  Eliza beth     Cady Stanton ,   Harriet  Tubman and  Alice Paul .   Understanding the true his tory of our country will help us to comprehend the need for full equality under the law for all our people. This goal can be achieved by ratifying the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that ‘Equality of Rights under the   Law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Carter was referring to the   Equal Rights Amendment , which was never ratified, not to the amendment which did become the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution after his presidency.

In 1981, responding to the growing popularity of Women’s History Week, Sen.  Orrin Hatch  (R- Utah ) and Rep   Barbara Mikulsk i   (D- Maryland ) co-sponsored the first Joint Congressional Resolution proclaiming a Women’s History Week. Congress passed their resolution, which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next several years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as Women’s History Week. Schools across the  country also began to have their own local celebrations of Women’s History Week and even Women’s History Month. By 1986, fourteen states had declared March as Women’s History Month. (This is thanks to Wikipedia)

The following year, Congress declared  March  1987 as the first official Women’s History Month.  

Women’s History Month is a time when we can educate ourselves on historic moments women fought for and our progress thus far, along with celebrating women as a whole. And what better way to do that than reading a bunch of books about women by women?

If you are looking for recommendations on biographies that will educate you, comedies that will make your belly ache or stories that encapsulate the unique challenges women face every day, read on. Here’s a website that lists more books to read during Women’s History Month.

Want to educate yourself in another way as well? Some interesting podcasts to listen to during this month include “The History Chicks ” by Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider, “Stuff Mom Never Told You ” by iHeartRadio and “The Other Half: The History of Women Through the Ages ” by James Boulton.

Portraits of women trailblazers Esther Marjorie Hill, Gisèle Lamoureux, Joy Kogawa, Nellie Cournoyea and Portia White .

March is Women’s History Month. Also, The Ides of March and St Patrick’s Day. It’s a busy month. 


Women's History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. It is celebrated during March in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, corresponding with International Women's Day on March 8. 


There’s a saying, ‘If March comes in like a Lion it goes out like a Lamb.’ I think with the Polar Vortex, rain, and wind that qualifies as coming in like a Lion. Let’s hope for spring and March leaving like a lamb. 


Covid may be starting to improve. People are getting vaccinations against it. We’re still wearing masks and social distancing. I’m beginning to feel things may improve and my muse is back from a winter vacation. 


I’ve started to write. Not a lot, but more than I have been. I’m also taking a break from my novel and writing a novella. We’ll see how it goes. 


I do a BIAW and many of the participants are saying they aren’t motivated, can’t focus, or aren’t interested in writing, or their story. For many the Covid has affected people, writer, emotionally and mentally. As Covid retreats I hope our writers become more normal and excited about writing.


Targeted by Beverley Bateman

U.S. Cover

Here’s another excerpt from Targeted.


A few minutes later Janna swung up on Blaze’s back and trotted out the gate. They continued to trot for a short distance while Janna got the feel of the saddle and his gait, then she nudged him gently. Blaze broke into a cantor and headed toward the trail and up the hill. Within minutes she’d adjusted to his gait.

The familiar scent of pine trees reached her nostrils, the smell of the outdoors. A breeze ruffled her hair. The silence was unbelievable. You didn’t get that in the city and you never got complete silence.

“Let’s go, boy.”

Blaze increased his gait to a gallop. His hooves pounded across the dry ground. Janna tightened her grip on the reins, enjoying the freedom as she rode past familiar parts of the ranch. It felt good. She’d missed this. Maybe she could keep the ranch and spend a few months of the year here.

Yeah right—never going to happen.

Besides, there was Kye. She had been sure she was over him, but he still caused emotions she didn’t want to feel. Anytime he was around those damn feelings kicked in. She wanted him to hold hr, kiss her and make love. She remembered their lovemaking. Oh yeah, did she remember their lovemaking? 

And then there was the fact someone was trying to kill her. If she hung around very long they might succeed. Of course, they’d tried once in Seattle so they could try again wherever she was. She wouldn’t be safe until whoever it was, got caught. 

She gave herself a shake and concentrated on the ranch as they rode. She tried to remember the layout as they galloped along. It had been a long time since she’d ridden around it with Duke and she’d been a lot younger. Back then she hadn’t paid too much attention where they rode. She enjoyed riding and being with Duke.

Janna pulled lightly on the reins and Blaze veered to her right.

The sun beat down on her back. It felt good. So did the fresh air and the smell of cattle when she rode past a small herd. A little later she recognized the fencing between Duke’s place and the Hawkins ranch. Colorado spruce dotted the landscape along the fence. Farther along Janna spotted Green Mountain ash on a small hill. Janna smiled. She’d even remembered the name. Gradually things were coming back to her. There were some good memories here.

The motion of riding in the saddle felt soothing. She needed to do this more often. She’d forgotten how much she’d enjoyed her time on the ranch and she loved riding.

They headed toward the grove of tall pine trees at the back corner of the property. The tall trees were bunched close together. No sun got through their thick branches.

The grove bordered the Blackfeet land. It was the burial ground for Blackfeet chiefs, medicine men and other elder tribe members and was considered a sacred grove, a holy place. The Native Americans came here for guidance and to talk to their elders. It was on Duke’s property. Somehow the Blackfeet had never registered their claim and the grove became part of the ranch property. But Duke had always respected the Native American claim to the land, and they had free access from any side of the grove.

Now with Duke gone and her life being threatened the grove could also be in danger. She needed to protect it.

Janna reined in Blaze and halted a few hundred yards away. Leaning forward on the saddle horn Janna stared into the grove of Lodgepole and Ponderosa pine trees.  They stood tall and stately, crowded close together to form a dark impenetrable forest. Other people, like Kye, said the souls of past native chiefs lived there and could only be seen by members of their tribe or the owner of the ranch. The story went that the spirits sometimes helped people with difficult decisions.

She’d asked Duke about it once.  He’d told her the spirits lived in the grove and sometimes appeared to him and talked to him. He’d smiled and said, “If I have important questions, I ride out there.”

“Do they talk to you?”

Duke shook his head.

When she’d been a child, she’d hoped to see them. Now, as an adult, she’d dismissed them as a myth.

A shivered shook her spine. Smoke or low clouds formed amongst the trees.

Were their people there, in the smoke?

Hazy figures gradually took the wispy forms of the native Blackfeet chiefs and elders. A chill crept down her spine. Duke had been telling the truth. Now they stood tall among the trees regarding her.

Janna squinted into the darkness and swallowed several times.

Was her mind playing tricks?

The leader was dressed in the full Blackfeet chief regalia. A couple of others appeared to be medicine men and one was a woman. 

They waited.

“I’m Janna. Duke left me the ranch.”

The forms, or spirits, as she was beginning to think of them, nodded.

“He’s dead.”

They stared at her.

Of course, if he left the ranch to her he was dead. They must think she was a complete idiot.

They appeared to be waiting for something—questions? Comments?

“Was Duke murdered?” It popped out of her mouth and shocked her.

Where had that come from?

The elder in the center nodded. The others followed in agreement.

Janna sat stunned. “Was it a robbery?”

This time they shook their heads.

If you believed in the spirits and what they had acknowledged, Duke had been murdered. Kye was right, but then he’d probably checked it out with the spirits, too.

“Who did it?”

They stared at her.

Okay, they didn’t speak.

“Am I in danger?”

They nodded.

She sat quietly staring into the grove.

“Should I keep Eli with me?”

This time they smiled and nodded.

“I am going to sell the ranch. Many people want to buy it. One of them is a government agency.”

The spirits shook their heads.

“So you’re saying I shouldn’t sell to them. What about the conglomerate that wants to buy it?”

Again they shook their heads. The smoke began to dissipate.

“I have more questions.” Janna watched the smoke disappear.


The dark forbidding grove stood tall and imposing. After several minutes she turned Blaze toward the ranch. Maybe the spirits only answered so many questions or stayed for so long. The encounter felt surreal. Janna tried to digest what had occurred.


Other than my group blog on my blog, March 23rd, I’m not doing a lot of guest spots this month.

You can still follow me follow me on my blog Tuesday and Thursday at for how I’m doing, tips, hints and guest authors. There are some exciting authors and their new books this month. Have a good month. 

Beverley Bateman Blogger


And you can follow me follow me on my blog Tuesday and Thursday at for how I’m doing, tips, hints and guest authors. There are some exciting authors and their new books this month. 

Happy St Patrick’s Day!