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Monthly Archives: July 2021

Martha O’Sullivan has loved reading romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing her own books is the realization of a lifelong dream. She is a graduate of Illinois State University where she wrote for the school newspaper and was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. She is also a former Acquisitions Editor at MacMillan Computer Publishing. Martha writes contemporary romances with traditional couples and happy endings. Her Chances Trilogy is available at digital retailers everywhere. Her current work in progress is Christmas in Tahoe. A native Chicagoan, she lives her own happy ending in Florida with her husband and two daughters.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why? 

Martha: I write what I love to read, contemporary romance with happily-ever-after endings. Some of the best writing advice I’ve ever gotten was write what you know.

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

Martha: I don’t know that it was a conscious decision. It was always in the back of my mind, but I was busy with life, my family. I’m not sure what happened that April night ten years ago, but I just started writing and couldn’t stop. My favorite author will come as no surprise—Nora Roberts. My first romance novel was Heartbeat by Danielle Steel.  I read it, and many of her early books, many times! 

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

Martha: Reading. Right now I’m reading Taylor Jenkins Reid’s new book Malibu Rising .

Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?

Martha: I’ll date myself—I loved the Flintstones growing up. I loved Pebbles because she was a redhead like me. She made me feel less different.

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet ‘in person’ and why?

Martha: I’d like to meet my maternal grandfather who died before I was born. I grew up hearing stories from my grandmother about life in Ireland. I’d like his take on it. 

Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

Martha: Lay in the sun and read on the beach in Lake Tahoe.

Beverley: What are you working on now?  

Martha: My next project is Christmas in Tahoe . It’s about a romance novelist is who finds herself at loose ends. She goes to Lake Tahoe in search of a fresh start and finds so much more.

The Chances Trilogy by Martha O’Sullivan available at digital retailers everywhere and .

In Second Chance , star-crossed lovers Lindsay Foster and Brian Rembrandt get a second chance at love amid the brilliant blue waters of Lake Tahoe. In Chance Encounter , Delaney Richards and Mike Savoy’s quest for love takes them from Tahoe’s tranquil shores to the capricious streets of San Francisco. And in Last Chance , the heat doesn’t come from the blazing summer sun and white-hot sand, but from the insatiable desire between friends-turned-lovers Moira Brody and Paul Webster. All of them will risk their hearts, and their lives, to find true love.

Blurb about Last Chance , The Chances Trilogy Book Three

    Moira Brody knows Paul Webster better than he knows himself. But neither one of them know that he is as desperately in love with her as she is with him. Still, she isn’t going to wait around forever, especially on Valentine’s Day. When Paul finds that out the hard way, he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. He won’t lose her. Or let the past dictate the future.

    But first Paul and Moira have to do something they’ve never done before—go on a date. A first date that turns into a passionate night together, something for which Moira has waited a long time. 

      As the veil between love and friendship grows increasingly thin between them, Paul lets his guarded heart fall in love with Moira.

     But it’s more complicated than that…

     These friends-turned-lovers will have to look at each other with fresh eyes and brave hearts. Moira will have to take an epic leap of faith and Paul will have to take the ultimate risk—again. But not everybody is on their side. And Paul will have to choose between following his head and listening to his heart. Or risk losing Moira forever.

Buy Links:

Second Chance

Chance Encounter

Last Chance

Please visit for blurbs, excerpts, links and more. 

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Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where the summers are too short and the winters are too long. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to develop the many stories coming to life in her head. She writes contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When not working on her next book, she can be found with her husband, her daughter, and her yellow Labrador. Darlene’s favourite pastime is taking summer day trips to the Valley to soak in the small-town feel.

Author Interview:

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?

Darlene: I write contemporary romances on the sweeter side. I like focusing on the relationship between the hero and heroine. I also enjoy mixing a few twists and turns into the plot.

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

Darlene: I wasn’t really influenced by anyone in particular. I love reading, so one day in my teens, I picked up a pencil and plotted the story spinning in my head.

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

Darlene: This is going to sound crazy, but my answer is housework. While cleaning the house, a new story will suddenly come to life in my head, or ideas on a current story will work its way through a difficult scene.

Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?

Darlene: My favorite cartoon character is Snoopy. I love dogs! Snoopy is adorable. I can draw him, and I have several Snoopy pins.

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet ‘in person’ and why?

Darlene: I have two. 1. Carol Burnett, because she is my favorite comedic actress. 2. Michael Buble because I love his music. My husband got us tickets to see him in concert in 2020, but due to Covid, the concert was cancelled. I was heartbroken because I was this close to seeing Buble live.

Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

Darlene: Good question! Probably read or catch up on the movies I have recorded. Or maybe design a new video book trailer for one of my books. I’d probably waste most of my free day wondering what to do, lol.

Beverley: What are you working on now?

Darlene: I am writing the next book in my Redford Falls Series. The next five books will focus on the Marley brothers, starting with the eldest brother, Ethan. I am also plotting a new book that follows Cherry Red, my ice cream story (coming soon!). The spin-off will have Brando, Carly’s firefighting brother, getting a big surprise.

Blurb for Under The Apple Blossoms

A tragic accident tore them apart. She left him behind and broke his heart. Is he strong enough to risk it again?

Police officer, Tyler Kringle, keeps his heart locked behind bars. His first and only love, Maripier Nadeau, left Redford Falls many years ago after a family tragedy. She moved on, leaving him to pick up the shattered pieces of his heart. But now Maripier is home to care for her father and to attend a dedication ceremony in her mother’s honour. Her return rattles Tyler’s cage, causing old emotions to resurface. Once he discovers the truth from the past, can he reclaim the love of his life and lock-down their future before she leaves again?

Excerpt for Under The Apple Blossoms

Glancing in the rearview mirror, she lifted her foot to let the vehicle slow. Stupid. Fleeing the accident and speeding away from the police was a rash judgment call. The kind officer seemed quite taken with her car, and the pony warranted the enthusiasm. The policeman, whose tall, fit body filled out his uniform, had short dark brown hair with layers blending into the top. She sensed a strange pull toward him, and when he removed his sunglasses and she looked into his eyes, she understood the attraction. It took only a second to make the connection. The hot police officer was none other than the ex she left behind so many years ago. The revelation soured their casual banter. Seeing Tyler stole her breath, and the clear blue sky turned dark and stormy. Thankfully, he hadn’t recognized her. Maripier expected to see him at some point, but not within minutes of arriving. Taken aback, she ran. Just like before.

Buy Links for Under The Apple Blossoms

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Bob grew up in a pretty typical Southern household. An Army brat, he was born in Germany and spent his formative years moving around the country from post to post, never going to the same school twice until his father’s retirement.

A typical teenager of the 70’s, he spent hours playing baseball, tennis, band, and dumping hard earned quarters into his favorite arcade games.

He retired from the Air Force in 2000 and began working in the technology department of a local sheriff’s office, where he will soon retire.

A lover of both PC and console games, Bob has spent many hours immersed in the lands of role playing and make-believe with friends and family. This is where his love of writing took off as he and his online friends spent hours writing epic tales of fantasy, love, and adventuring. Oh, and dragon slaying. One can’t forget that.

He is married to his best friend and love of his life, Pam. They live on their small ranch/farm in Clarksville where Pam keeps him busy with the multitude of chores that come with having three horses and four cats. He has three great kids who are the lights of their life.

Fate Takes a Hike

This book is a result of a challenge I set myself in July of 2020. I’ve always been a puttering kind of writer. Small stories here and there, usually a result of some game I was playing or some small moment that caught my eye or popped into my head. 

One evening in July of 2020, my lovely wife and I were watching a Hallmark movie. We enjoyed watching them as they always make you feel good and we had our favorite sets of actors/actresses.

For some reason, that one night, I turned to my wife and said “You know, I think I could write one of these stories. I’d make it a bit more edgy, but I could do this. Guy, gal, plot, love story, conflict, happy ever after. I could do that.”

She looked at me with that quirky smile of hers and said “You probably could.” Then she went back to her reading. 

For the next couple of days, I let my mind wander over story ideas. ON July 7th , I opened of a Google Doc file, and 4 months later, I had my first draft of the story.

I hope the story lets the readers know that when you let it, love can heal a broken heart and bring life and love back into your life.

Prologue from Fate Takes a Hike


     Mist from the early morning rain clung to the trees and mixed with the light breeze to cool the sweat on my face as I walked up the small trail.

     Just past the halfway point to the glade, I stepped over the roots of old Splitjaw. At some point in its past, the aged fir tree had been bent over and broken, creating a necklike structure where the shattered ends split open, making the trunk look like the opened jaws of an alligator. Kara, my fiancé, named it Splitjaw during our first hike in this area.

     I smiled, thinking back to that day and her silliness. She’d insisted that Splitjaw needed to be fed. She had dug through her backpack and pulled out some beef jerky, which she opened and stuck in its jagged “mouth.” Pleased with herself, she’d shouldered her pack and continued with our trek.

     Digging into one of the cargo pouches on my pants, I pulled out the strips of beef jerky I brought with me for this very moment. I unwrapped them and placed them into Splitjaw’s mouth. Pocketing the wrapper, I patted the tree and proceeded on my way. Tradition satisfied.

      It was close to noon when I stepped out of the trees and into the clearing. Sunlight bathed the meadow. The tall, waving grasses forming a sea of green, almost like a calm lake. The lone Oregon white oak dominated the center of the clearing, a soldier standing guard over the meadow and its denizens. I had no idea how that acorn made it to this area, but I was happy that it had found a home here.

     Its branches spread outward to provide shelter and shade to all those who gathered below them, perfect for the task I had given it.

     I drew in a cleansing breath, shaking myself from my reverie, and continued walking until I stood under the oak’s branches. I unshouldered my backpack and set it down against the tree before letting one hand rest gently on its trunk.

     “Sorry I’m late. I was finishing up some drywall in one of the upstairs bedrooms and lost track of time.”

     I bent down, opened up the pack, and pulled out a collapsible rake. Unfolding it as I stood, I began clearing the detritus of small limbs and leaves from around the area.

     “It took longer than I planned, but I got the flooring finished in the kitchen. I know we talked about that white checkered slate tile, but it was out of stock and the backorder was going to take too long. So, I ended up doing a grey, sixteen-inch tile that has four small black diamonds in the center. I think it looks fantastic against the backsplash.”

     I continued my rundown of my construction highlights as I kept raking.

     Satisfied that no limbs or leaves remained, I collapsed the rake, stowed it back in the pack, and pulled out a small set of shears. I squatted down on one knee and began trimming the grass around the two small bronze markers. I worked in thoughtful silence, letting the metallic snip-snip of the trimmers soothe my mind and heart as I cleared back the grass and weeds that had grown since my last visit.

     Once everything was pruned to my liking, I stowed the shears and retrieved a small rag and bottle of brass cleaner. Pouring a small bit of the solution onto my cloth, I began scrubbing the bird droppings off the markers.

     With the bronze gleaming again, I stowed all of my tools and supplies and gazed down at the markers, telling myself I wouldn’t cry even as the first tear worked its way down my cheek. Every time I thought I had cried myself out, I found that with these two, I never would.

       Kara Berman

     Loving Wife

      Karen Berman

     Beloved Daughter

  “I love you both,” I whispered, letting my fingers lightly brush the metal.

I stood up, grabbing my backpack and swinging it up and onto my back. I shrugged my shoulders a couple of times to seat the straps comfortably, then fastened the belly band, tugging on it to make sure it was tight.

With a final, pained glance at the markers, I turned and headed east, passing quickly out of the meadow and into the trees beyond.

Buy Links for Fate Takes a Hike

Amazon – both formats

Barnes and Noble – both formats

Google Play – EBook

Kobo – EBook

Social Media Links


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Welcome to summer and our group blog. It’s another interesting topic this month. Marci Baun came up with it, Deleting scenes: Do you ever delete scenes? When and why do you delete them? And what do you do with them? Do you save them? Or just toss them?

Yes, I delete scenes. Earlier when I was writing one of my fantastic scenes and when I read it over it added nothing to the story. I knew I couldn’t leave it in, but it was so great. I put it in a folder so I could use it later or even in another book. I never did reuse it.

I still delete scenes. These days it’s usually part of a scene., usually part of a scene. I find myself writing into a corner and I may not find my way out, so I cut it and start over. I hit writer’s block and when I go over the scene, I try to write I find I’m trying to make my characters do something that goes against their personality and beliefs. So, I cut the scene and go back to where the character wants me to go. When I cut them now, they get tossed. I’ve learned if they get cut they probably aren’t that good.

When I’m writing a scene there are some things a good scene needs. The setting needs to be clear to the reader at the beginning. The scene needs to share important information to the reader about the characters and/or the story.  There needs to be a clear goal about what the scene needs to accomplish. Conflict and action are important and should result in an emotional change and end the scene with an ending that keeps the readers turning one more page.

I’m looking forward to reading about other writers have to say about their scenes.

Anne Stenhouse

Dr. Bob Rich

Skye Taylor

Connie Vines /

Marci Baun

Victoria Chatham

Fiona McGier

Helena Fairfax

Rhobin L Courtright  

Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. She has been writing since childhood and continues today with articles, video scripts, and other content as an independent marketing consultant. Addison enjoys traveling, collecting interesting cocktail recipes, reading, jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing, and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy.

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name and where did you grow up?

Gillian: Hey. I’m Gillian Davis from Sugar Creek, Missouri, outside of St. Louis. If you’ve never heard of it like most people, it’s a little town outside of Kansas City.

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

Gillian: My story in Becker Circle and Dark Energy, Return to Becker Circle is current. Luckily all of the craziness in my life happened before the pandemic hit. The outcomes may have been entirely opposite if the timing was different.

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

Gillian: I worked hard to graduate early from Harvard last December then start over in Dallas with a good accounting job and my own apartment in Becker Circle. I’d be happy anywhere but Sugar Creek after Mom’s death and losing Dad to the bottle. Then there’s what my ex did on my last birthday. Boston’s not big enough for both of us. They say Becker Circle is the “it” place to live. I call it home now, but the fresh start has been way harder than it should be.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Gillian: Why does crime always find me? Or do I find crime? All I want is a good job, a few friends who accept me for who I am, and to be happy. Meeting a fun guy who’s good to me wouldn’t be so bad either. I’ve met amazing people and had three job opportunities, but luck hasn’t been on my side.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Gillian: I’ve come so far since moving to Dallas. Taking the bartending job was a blessing and a curse. It’s how I met Jon but also where I saw someone die. It led me to Pinkie and my new career but almost got me killed. Then the FBI arrested Pinkie for a cryptojacking scheme leaving me to run his two bars. It’s been tough. Now I’m not sure if I’m an accountant, bar manager, or crime fighter.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Gillian: Pinkie is my mentor and my friend. I will not let him go down for something he didn’t do so I force myself to trust the cops, people who had hurt me, and others I know are criminals. Those criminals upped the ante in this war. Now it’s our move. The good news is no one except for me knows what our move might be.

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

Gillian: I always keep my word, no matter what, even if it gets in the way of my happiness. That’s why rule eighteen of my new life is, “Never make a promise I can’t keep.”

Blurb for Dark Energy:

Cybercrime doesn’t talk. It creeps in and destroys lives right under Gillian’s nose when a cryptojacking scheme lands her boss, Pinkie, in jail. Gillian had just started over with a new career, boyfriend, and confidence after escaping a vicious murder investigation that shattered her ability to trust. Then Pinkie’s arrest leaves her struggling to run his two bars while also unraveling the conspiracy.

Gillian will not let her mentor and friend go down for something he didn’t do. Neither will Jon, the most talented musician on the bar’s stage and the perfect boyfriend…until his good fortune sends her reeling. Gillian forces herself to trust the cops, people who hurt her, and known criminals. Will it be enough to free Pinkie and save her life? Watch the book trailer .

Excerpt from Dark Energy:

I lock the front door behind him, stash the cash in the safe, and log the receipts, just realizing how not enough rest has caught up with me. Sleep will be welcome after last night. I turn off the last light and head through the heavy back door to the parking garage when strong arms wrap around me from behind.


A rag covers my face, garbling my scream. Exhaustion converts to fear. All I see is cloth and concrete.

I swing my body around with everything I have to escape my captor’s hold before everything goes black.

Time passes before I come to. How much, I have no idea. I struggle to break loose. My arms and legs are tied to a chair, and my face is covered. “Where am I?

Who’s here?” My heart might pound through my ribs.

“Hello, Gillian. Sorry to drop in uninvited.”

“It’s you. Again.” I’ll never forget the voice I heard the first time someone held me hostage after Bobby died.

“Indeed, we meet again. Trust me, this is a friendly visit.”

“Then why am I tied up and blindfolded?” My heartrate slows. For some odd reason, I’m not afraid I’m about to die.

“Please don’t take it personally. It’s purely so I can remain anonymous.”

“We have these things today called phones. Don’t you guys use burners so no one can trace the calls? Might try that next time.”

“You being here is much more personal.”

Then why can’t I see him? Footsteps travel across the room.

“You and Pinkie have a nice place here.” Carl’s pots and utensils clank together like off-tuned chimes.

“I heard about Pinkie’s misfortune. If you want to keep this nice place, we need to work together.”

“Why would we work with some guy who keeps kidnapping me?”

“I always like your spirit, Gillian Davis. Your question is smart. There’s someone new in town. He’s trying to control Dallas. Keep hard working entrepreneurs like Pinkie and me from running our businesses.”

Buy Links for Dark Energy:

Publishe r fbclid=IwAR3JxFrd2hK60VSCx47QlVSh3hy-jNzQCWgxQIfeF9hPjs5zXxHSBaXppEs


Barnes and Noble

iBooks http s://

Kob o htt ps://

Smashwords – 50% off in July 2021 h ttp s:// ttp

Author proceeds go to Hope’s Door New Beginning Center to help fight domestic abuse.

Social Media Links for Addison

Connect with Addison on her website , Tirgearr Publishing , Amazon , BookBub , Instagram , Twitter , Facebook and YouTube . Text “AddisonBrae” to 888.431.1137 or visit and be the first to receive a text message (no more than 1 per month) on book launches, appearances, and book sales.


Summer is here and so is climate change apparently. Out here we’re setting records for high temperatures and forest fires. In other areas, they’re having torrential rains, winds, and tornadoes. How’s your summer going? I hope you’re managing whatever weather you have.

I‘m doing a little writing. I’ve finally set some goals. I’m editing and rewriting my latest WIP. It’s in a rough draft. I don’t have a title yet but I’m trying a few different ones. The two I’m working with at the moment are SHE SAW SHE RAN… MURDER UNLEASHED. I’m open to suggestions. If you check out my website for July, you’ll find an excerpt from the book there. down, it’s under the picture of the wolfhound, one of the main characters. I’d love to hear any comments.

I also just posted the Wednesday question on Would love to hear your answers.

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Born and raised in New Orleans Julie Ann Dupré senses things other people don’t. She’s living in New York when she’s told her mother has been killed in an attempted robbery, which is odd because Perrine didn’t have anything valuable to steal. Julie Ann comes home to find the truth and discovers there’s a family secret, hidden for years. She searches to find the real reason for her mother’s death. Now someone is trying to kill her. Will her psychic senses, a little dog and a detective keep her safe?


Detective Connor O’Reilly, a native of New Orleans and comes from a family of police. He’s an honest cop but realizes there is corruption in the division. He meets Julie Ann at her mother’s house and is immediately attracted to her. After telling her about the attempted robbery he checks into the case and finds no one is investigating the death. Julie Ann deserves the truth and he wants to know what really happened. He starts a thorough investigation. He’s warned off the case and then he receives a death threat.


Julie Ann and Connor work together to unravel the real reason behind Perrine Dupré’s murder, Julie Ann’s mysterious past, and why people want her dead, while developing their challenging relationship. Can they both survive? And what about their relationship?


Good question. I don’t know. I’m going to try and find out. Did she have any enemies? Was there anyone who didn’t like her?”

“Perrine? No sir, everybody loved that woman.”

“If everyone loved her and she had nothing to steal, who would have shot her?” “That’s your job, ain’t it?”

Connor smiled. “Yes, it is, and I am trying to do it. Will you be here in the morning?”

“I might. Why?” She raised her chins. Her eyes narrowed.

“I’m bringing Julie Ann home, maybe around eleven. It would be nice to have someone here to welcome her.”

“I’ll be here. I’d do anythin’ for that child. Poor little thing, you should have let her stay here the night. It would have been better than some old hotel. I could have taken care of her.”

“I didn’t know you were here. She came to the house direct from the airport earlier, but because of the tape couldn’t get in. I guess she didn’t think of coming across the street to see if you were home.”

“She was probably distraught. I didn’t see her arrive or I would have come out. I was probably in the back trying to keep cool. After the murder we’re all being pretty careful around here.”

“That’s a good thing. Keep it up. With the stress and the heat Julie Ann was exhausted, close to collapsing. That was why I took her to a hotel.”

“Poor baby, is there anythin’ I can do?”

“Not tonight. I’m guessing she’s already asleep, but if you could be here for support in the morning, I’m sure she’d appreciate that.”

“I be here. I watch for her.”

“Good, here’s my card. If you think of anything you didn’t already tell the police, or if you have any concerns, call me. I want to help you and Julie Ann get to the bottom of this.”

“Sure,” thick lips compressed into a tight line, “like the cops are really going to do anything to solve the murder of a poor, lady down here. They’ve already written it off. I know how you all work.”

“Not everyone works like that. I’m really going to try and find out what happened.” Connor pushed the door open a little farther. “You said murder, not robbery. Do you know something I don’t?”

“I know what I know. It wasn’t no robbery. Perrine was murdered and if you look hard enough, you’ll see that, too. The rest of those corrupt cops went through the motions. They weren’t there long enough to figure out nothing.” Savannah stared up at him her eyes glittered with suspicion before she shoved the door shut. Connor heard the lock snap and then a chain being slid into place. Savannah obviously knew more than she said, but what? Nothing added up. One thing he was sure of, it wasn’t a robbery gone bad.
The forensic guys would come back and go over the house and grounds with a fine-toothed comb. They’d look for anything that might provide a lead.

He’d interview the neighbors after everyone got home from work. In the morning he’d interview Julie Ann and see if she had any information that might explain a motive for murder or what the killer might have been searching for in that little office. 

He needed to talk to the coroner and then Frank. After that he’d work on background checks, including one on Savannah Cheval, before he picked up Julie Ann from the hotel.

This case was more than just robbery. A murder had occurred, and he wouldn’t let the case become another of the unsolved murders, despite what Tozer and anyone else might want. There was a murderer out there. Until they found a motive, Julie Ann might be next on his list. Connor wanted to catch him and make sure that didn’t happen. He needed a motive and a suspect.

Could he find anything to give him a clue as to where to start?

Born and raised in New Orleans Julie Ann Dupré senses things other people don’t. She’s living in New York when she’s told her mother has been killed in an attempted robbery, which is odd because Perrine didn’t have anything valuable to steal. Julie Ann comes home to find the truth and discovers there’s a family secret, hidden for years. She searches to find the real reason for her mother’s death. Now someone is trying to kill her. Will her psychic senses, a little dog and a detective keep her safe?


Detective Connor O’Reilly, a native of New Orleans and comes from a family of police. He’s an honest cop but realizes there is corruption in the division. He meets Julie Ann at her mother’s house and is immediately attracted to her. After telling her about the attempted robbery he checks into the case and finds no one is investigating the death. Julie Ann deserves the truth and he wants to know what really happened. He starts a thorough investigation. He’s warned off the case and then he receives a death threat.


Julie Ann and Connor work together to unravel the real reason behind Perrine Dupré’s murder, Julie Ann’s mysterious past, and why people want her dead, while developing their challenging relationship. Can they both survive? And what about their relationship?


Connor waited a few minutes before he followed her.
She touched the doorknob. A vision passed in front of her. A man inside stood by the door. There was a flash. Her mother crumpled to the ground.
Julie Ann dropped her hand and took half a step back.
Damn her mother’s visions. She’d known he was waiting, and she was going to die.
That’s why she ran away from the house. So she didn’t die inside. Thanks, Mom.
After a deep breath, Julie Ann opened the door, hesitated and stepped inside. She stopped to survey the room.
An icy cold blasted through her body. It felt like she had floated outside her body.
She could see the room and herself standing there staring at the space by the door where the man had waited. He was fuzzy, not clear enough to describe. She briskly rubbed her bare arms.
“Are you okay?”
She continued to rub her arms. “I will be. It feels cool in here.”
“Why don’t we do this later? You can stay at the hotel a few more days, or with Savannah.”
“No, I’m fine, really. I’d like to go through the house now. I’ll stay here tonight.”
“Are you sure? Do you think it’s wise? If your mother’s death wasn’t a robbery you could be in danger. They got to you in the hotel.”
“I realize that.” Julie Ann whispered.
“Julie Ann! Is that you girl?” The voice came from the sidewalk Julie Ann turned back to the door. The solid shape of the older woman limped across the street with the help of a gnarled wooden cane.
“Savannah? Yes. It’s me.” Julie Ann skipped out the door and down the walk.
“My, you sure are skinny, girl. Don’t you take time to eat in New York? Come here, baby.” Savannah held out her ample arms.
Julie Ann moved into the circle. Savannah wrapped her tight and held her for a long time.
Julie Ann found comfort for the second time in days.
“I’m so glad you’re still living here. I can’t believe she’s gone. It’s not fair. She was such a good person.”
“You got that right.

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Running late this month. I’m going to blame it on the summer heat and the Canadian July 1st and American July 4th holidays. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and stayed safe.

We have been breaking heat records up here with temperatures around 39 Celsius or 100 Fahrenheit. 

Our area is going to Stage three of Covid opening, which means no masks except on public transport and government buildings. Some businesses have decided to require masks or ask for proof of immunization. Hopefully it works out and we can enjoy the summer. I’m still a little cautious. We’ll see how the next few weeks go. 

Last month I listed my limited goals for the summer. I’m hoping my muse likes the heat and returns home. I have finally started to write and edit. Fingers crossed I can keep it up. One on my challenges is doing blogs and book tours and websites, etc. If I spend my writing time doing them, I don’t have the energy, time or focus for the real writing. So, I’m cutting back on PR for now. 



I’m busy editing and rewriting Murder Off-Leash. It’s my temporary title.

I’m trying to come up with a better one. 

Here’s an excerpt.

Susan fumbled for the key. Her left hand still gripped the dog leash. Her other hand automatically tried the doorknob, fully expecting it to be locked.


It clicked opened.


She frowned and hesitated a second. That was strange. He always kept it locked.


A soft popping sound came from inside the room.


A low guttural growl became a snarl. The giant wolfhound yanked on the leash, dragging  Susan reluctantly through the doorway.


She let out an involuntary gasp. At the far end of the room Mr. Andrews, still sat in his favorite chair. He was slumped forward, dark blood matted the back of his head. The man behind the chair turned, his gun pointed at her.


Their gaze locked briefly. Susan shivered as she stared into his cold, pale blue eyes.


Wolf barked furiously. He strained at the leash, attempting to lunge forward. He jerked her closer to the man. He fired at her but missed when Wolf jerked her off balance.


In that split second, the animal’s shaggy head rubbing against her waist, Susan Brown, single mother and professional dog walker, knew the true meaning of terror.  Her chest contracted. She heard a scream.


It couldn’t have come from her. She couldn’t even breathe.  She felt frozen, unable to move. She offered up a wordless prayer that her legs would move. She turned and felt a flash of relief when they responded. Yanking at the leash with both hands to get the dog started, Susan raced out the door and down the apartment hallway. Another shot missed her.


Oh God, I’ve got to get to Hank. I can’t let anything happen to my son. He’s too young to be without his mother.


Her pulse pounded in her ears, terror clutched her throat, her thoughts on her son she ran. The enormity of what she had just witnessed sank in. He would be after her, probably speeding silently down the hall behind her. Even if she got away, he’d have to find her. He ‘d have to kill her.


The dog’s leash was still wrapped tightly around her hand. Wolf whined as he tried to return to his master. Her mind fixed on her son, sweet, loveable Hank she dragged the dog along with her. . She had to get to Hank. If the killer shot her, what would happen to her son?  No father, and then no mother. Even if she escaped the killer would hunt her down. He’d find out about Hank. He might try to get to her through her son. Oh God, and then he’d kill them both.


Prodded by fear for her son, Susan rounded the second-floor landing, feet barely touching the floor. 


Damn, the dog is slowing me down.


She should let go of the leash, but it was wrapped too tightly around her hand. She would have to stop to release it. So, she kept running, dragging the reluctant, barking wolfhound behind her.


She didn’t see the man until she landed on top of him at the foot of the stairs. The three of them collapsed in a pile. Man, woman, and dog, all leashed together. Susan's gaze met his glare. She found herself staring into deep, Mediterranean-blue eyes. Her stomach contracted in a spasm of cold recognition. Then the terror blasted back, full force.


This had to be the worst day of her life.


“What the hell’s goin’ on?” He snapped.


Susan struggled against him. The dog leash, tangled around their legs, held their bodies firmly together.


The frantic dog continued to bark and struggle for freedom. The result pulled them even tighter together. The barking , the heat, the sweat, and the closeness surrounded and compressed her so she couldn’t breathe.


With supreme effort, spurred on by terror, Susan managed to get her feet solidly on the floor and slide out of the tangled mess. She hit the floor running, raced out the door, down the few steps and into the descending darkness of the humid, crowded, New York Street.


“You! Stop! Wait! Stop! Damn it!”


July rain spattered her face,  dripped off the end of her nose and chin. Behind her, she could hear him swearing and the dog barking. Free of the dog she sprinted through the crowd, down the street and around the corner. Her feet pounded  against the pavement as she pushed past blurs of people, lights, and buildings. She vaguely heard the angry voices as she shoved her way through the crowd, slamming bodies that were in her way and for the first time she could remember, she was glad of her height and her long legs. They rapidly covered the distance between her and Hank. Once they were safe, she’d take time to figure out a plan.


She felt badly about leaving the dog. Poor Wolf...he was such a sweet animal. Now he’d lost both his master and the only other person he knew, his dog walker. Hopefully, someone would be found to look after him, but that wasn’t her concern. Not now. Her mind was unable to focus and kept flitting from one idea to the next. She had to maintain her concentration and come up with a damn plan, for the sake of her son.


She didn’t slow down until she neared the apartment building. She jogged up the steps and into the building. She stopped and waited. She peaked outside. No sign of the killer. Hopefully, she’d have a little time to work out a plan.


The youngest of four, her family usually helped her solve her problems, even helped her make decisions. Until she was thirteen and was left home alone with her mother, they had done everything for her.  She had finally realized she was responsible for her own life and needed to take control of her own decisions. It was slow work. When she was under stress she reverted to her engrained patterns of behavior, wanting someone else to take the responsibility. 


She sighed because  she not only had to fight this battle alone, but somehow, she had to make sure Hank was safe. If she contacted her family the killer might even track them down and use them to get to her.


Who knew what a cold-blooded killer might do to keep from getting caught?


Beverley Bateman Blogger

I am managing to keep up with my blog and some great author guests. You can still follow me follow me there Tuesday and Thursday at for writing tips, hints and guest authors. Check out the exciting authors and their new books this month. 

This month, I am continuing my book tour with Silver Dragon June 14 to July 14.


Happy Summer!

Are you interested in the environment? Have you heard of the Climatarian Diet? I hadn’t and when I read this article I thought I’d share it. It came on a Weight Watchers letter. It was written by Ashley Linkletter.

Changing eating habits to be more climate-friendly is not only good for the environment and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it can also have an overall positive effect on our health. Choosing locally grown produce, fewer packaged items, and better-quality meat, eggs, and dairy are all habits that can lead to weight loss or maintenance as well as contributing to an overall feeling of nutritional wellbeing. What makes the climatarian diet so appealing is its lack of firm rules, which means you can incorporate as few or as many of the following suggestions as you would like.  

– Eliminate or reduce the consumption of beef and lamb. Cattle that have been raised for milk, meat, or manure are responsible for roughly 65 percent of livestock emissions of greenhouse gases. If you’d still like to enjoy beef, buy it less often and look for local, organic options that come from reputable farms with a focus on animal welfare.

– Choose sustainable seafood, meaning it comes from an abundant, well-managed source. Look for the Ocean Wise Canada label wherever you buy seafood or browse the online directory for recommendations on buying in-season, responsibly harvested fish and shellfish.

– Opt for locally grown, seasonal produce whenever you can. Signing up for a weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) box or shopping at the farmers market is not only beneficial for your health and the well-being of the environment, it’s also an impactful way to support the local economy.

– Cut down on food waste as much as possible. A 2017 study examining food loss in North America found that Canadians wasted 396 kilograms of food per person each year (the research accounted for food waste at all stages of the food supply chain.) Ideas for reducing food waste include buying only the food you need, following a strict grocery list, not grocery shopping while you’re hungry, and learning how to properly store and freeze leftover food.

– Learn how to dispose of food in a more environmentally friendly way. From urban composting to finding municipal recycling depots that accept food packaging and other flexible plastics, there are plenty of ways to rethink how common food waste is traditionally discarded.

– Be mindful of disposable products. Decrease your carbon footprint by bringing your own reusable cup to the coffee shop, keeping a stash of cloth grocery bags in the glove compartment, switching to washable cloth rags instead of paper towels, storing food in jars and resealable containers, and carrying a refillable water bottle with you at all times.

                         I’d love to hear your comments on this.