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Category: Beverley Bateman

Jan Selbourne was born and educated in Melbourne, Australia and her love of literature and history began as soon as she learned to read. After graduating from a business college here career began in the dusty world of ledgers and accounting, working in Victoria, Queensland and the United Kingdom. On the point of retiring, she changed course to work as secretary of a large NSW historical society. Now retired Jan writes historical fiction. She has two adult children, a lovable dog and lives near Maitland, New South Wales

USA Today Bestseller Author Eileen Troemel writes action packed and emotionally powerful fantasy, scifi, romance. She’s versatile and writes in many genres.  She’ll try almost any genre if it means she can tell a good story.  In addition to her writing, she loves to read, crochet, and research genealogy. Her best days are spent with her family of three adult daughters and her husband or writing.  

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Susan: Susan Cooper

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Susan: Wisconsin, USA.

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

Susan: In the year 2030

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

Susan: My life, as I knew it, came to an abrupt halt when I became aware of a huge conspiracy hidden behind the walls of a renowned philanthropic organization. To start at the beginning, my brother Micky, a well-known archeologist, was the achiever in our family. That was my excuse for drinking too much and drifting from job to job – until he was convicted of embezzlement and sent to the world’s toughest prison, on the moon. Micky can be a mind-numbing nerd but he’s no thief and I wanted answers. That’s when I met Greg Tanner searching for his brilliant linguist cousin Samantha, accused of treason and sent to the same prison. At first, I wasn’t sure if he was genuine, but it soon became obvious someone wanted both of us silenced. We had no choice but trust each other and take the shuttle to the moon. The dark side of the moon.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Susan: Greg and I knew Micky and Samantha were set up and the answers were inside the impenetrable moon prison. Like most people, we were in awe of the first moon landing in 1969. We had no idea the moon’s inhabitants were a lot smarter than us.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Susan: Greg and I didn’t have time for a plan. It was a case of heading into the unknown. Were Micky and Samantha alive? If they were how would we get back to earth and seeing planet Earth from the moon brought home how much danger we were in. I won’t tell you more because I want you to find out for yourselves.

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

Susan: It took a trip to the moon and enormous danger to make me grow up.

Blurb for The Moon Crossing

USA Today Bestselling Author Eileen Troemel and Coffee Pot Book Club Historical Fiction Silver Medal author Jan Selbourne present an alternate history, sweet romance of life after the Moon Landing in 1969. 

In 2030, World Correction Center – the Earth’s most secure prison – is a miserable place to land. Since it’s on the moon, it’s inescapable. It contains the worst criminals Earth has ever seen. So why are the brilliant minds across the globe being sent to this black hole of the justice system. When renowned archaeologist Micky Cooper is charged with embezzling, his sister Susan knows it’s a set up.  It’s up to her to prove his innocence. Susan thinks she might be paranoid but she swears she’s being followed and should she trust the nice man whose cousin has disappeared as well? Was it a chance meeting or is he against her too? Teaming up with Greg Tanner, a man equally resolved to prove the innocence of his cousin, Samantha Tanner – a word leading linguist – Susan and Greg seek clues wherever they can find them, but they’re barely keeping one step ahead of those who want them to stop.  They begin to unravel the web of lies, fraud and cover up. Just when they start to put pieces together, Susan and Greg are forced to run for their lives.  With a nudge from Samantha they find someone to help. Is this woman an ally? Or simply part of a greater conspiracy to hide the truth? What exactly is on the moon and why are the Earth’s greatest minds being sent there to serve time?

Excerpt from The Moon Crossing

“The prison and the workers’ facilities and the resort have brilliant high tech security, yet you’re telling us we can walk out onto the moon surface and enter another unused tunnel?” Greg said incredulously. “Why doesn’t this right hand tunnel link up with the old emergency tunnel?”

“If I knew, I wouldn’t be standing here trying to explain,” James said brusquely. Then he took a deep breath. “I don’t know. It’s twenty percent information and eighty percent assumption and hope to hell I’m right. Maybe the damned tunnel caved in or was the unmarked tunnel a deliberate ruse in case prisoners did escape. Shut the door behind them because there’s nowhere for them to go.”

Susan put her hand on James’s arm. “I know the two of you are connected but you better loop us in so Greg and I can follow directions too.” Her heart thudded in her chest. She lied and cheated to get to the moon. The Commander, whom Samantha mistrusted and feared, searched for them. She held the hand of a man she barely knew and they followed two aliens in human form to a high security prison.

Tell this one to your friends, Susan, and when they stop laughing, they’ll demand to know what you’ve been drinking. More likely a ghastly nightmare, then she stumbled on the uneven surface. No, it’s real. Micky, please be there, her throat tightened, please be alive. 

Buy links for The Moon Crossing The Moon Crossing eBook : Troemel, Eileen, Selbourne, Jan: Kindle Store

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When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel, and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at

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

Jana: I primarily write contemporary romance, and mostly small-town romance within that genre. I guess the genre appeals to me because I have small town roots and I feel comfortable there. But I also love other romance genres. My next project is a time travel series that combines my love of World War II stories with mystery and the paranormal.  

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

Jana: Probably every author I’ve read over the years. Historical authors like Mary Balogh and Jo Beverley, romantic suspense authors like Nora Roberts and Suzanne Brockmann, and small-town authors like Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery. There are elements of each of these writers (and many more) that I am drawn to and try to emulate. Their writing encourages me to stretch myself, and to be the best writer I can be.

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

Jana: Being with other writers. Since this past January I’ve been getting together with some writer friends on Zoom to critique each other’s work. It’s been great to reconnect with them and talk writing. I’ve always loved writer retreats where we can physically get together. We write by day and get together for meals and during the evening to talk and laugh and commiserate about the writing life. I love retreats because for the time I’m there, I don’t have to think about anything but writing. I don’t think about the day job, or the laundry or any or the million tasks that wait for me at home. We’re planning our first retreat in two years in October 2021 and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Covid doesn’t upset our plans. 

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

Jana: Probably Bugs Bunny. Watching The Bugs Bunny Show is one of my favorite childhood memories. I like Bugs because he’s cool and he’s smart. He doesn’t let anyone or anything faze him. Nobody’s going to get the better of Bugs!

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

Jana: I’ve always wanted to meet Nora Roberts in person. I want to know how she manages to be so prolific. If she’s got a secret that makes her write faster and keep coming up with great ideas, I’d love to know about it!

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

Jana: If I had a free day, and for some reason I wasn’t using it to write, I’d likely be reading. Back in June, my husband and I rented a cabin at the lake. I decided to take a break from writing for a few days, and since there was no Internet, I couldn’t spend any time online. So I read and I didn’t feel guilty about not doing something else. It was wonderful.

Beverley: What are you working on now?

Jana: I’m currently working on a new book to give away to readers who sign up for my newsletter. Right now it has the working title “Home to Solace Lake”, and it’s a prequel to my Love at Solace Lake series . When I originally wrote this series in 2018, Jerry and Denise were minor, but important, characters in book 3. Their story always intrigued me and I wanted to know how they got together. So, I decided to give them their own book!

Blurb for Unexpected :

Single dad Ben Greyson wants only to retain custody of his two stepdaughters. A dysfunctional childhood has made family the most important thing in his life. When his late wife’s parents sue for custody, a desperate Ben is left with two choices – run away with his girls or marry his next-door neighbor.

Jamie Garven wants to be a mother. She’s intrigued by her handsome new neighbor and falls in love with his little girls. Then Ben is faced with losing his children, and Jamie agrees to marry him for a chance at motherhood. They’re determined to show the world, and the girls’ grandparents, two loving parents.

Their marriage of convenience turns into unexpected love. But Ben interprets Jamie’s efforts to save their family as betrayal—they could lose everything, including each other.

Excerpt from Unexpected:

“Is there anything I can say to make you change your mind about running away?”

“Say you’ll marry me.”

The words were out of his mouth before he knew he was going to say them. Jamie stared at him, eyes wide.


“Marry me. You’re the only woman I’d trust with my girls.”

It suddenly made sense. If Jamie married him he could keep his kids.

She jumped to her feet, waking one of the dogs who’d been sleeping on the couch next to her. “What kind of marriage do you want, Ben? Are you proposing something for show?”

“No! I don’t know!” He stood and grasped her arms. “If you’re asking me if we’ll sleep together as man and wife, I don’t know.”

Her mouth twisted as if she was holding back tears. “You know I love the girls, but please don’t ask me to pretend. The last few months of my marriage, all I did was pretend. I pretended I had a husband who loved me. I swore I’d never do that again.”

Ben wanted to take her in his arms and hold her. He hated doing this to her, hated making her relive unhappy memories. He was asking too much of her and he didn’t blame her for saying no.

“Please, forget I said anything.”

He’d stick to his original plan. He and the girls would disappear. He’d change their names, go someplace where no one knew them. A life on the run wasn’t what he wanted for his children, but he’d do whatever he needed to do to keep them.


“I’m sorry, Jamie.”

Ben was out the door before he could hear anymore of her objections.

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I write dogs into most of my stories. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s because I feel pets, in my case dogs, are wonderful companions and can make our life much better. They also teach us about caring and responsibilities. I find that subconsciously I end up putting a dog into my stories.

When I write a dog into my novels they usually belong to the heroine. And they aren’t just a nice pet that wags their tail and looks cute. Most of the time they are mutts. They frequently are a character in the story. In Targeted, Lucky is a stray the heroine rescues. Then Lucky sort of rescues her.  In Death Southern Style, the dog, Marie Laveau, has psychic abilities.  

I love my dogs and I find writing about them in my stories is fun. They can add to the plot in many different ways. They can help develop the characters. Hopefully, the reader will enjoy them and accept their role in the story.

I was watching a new series on TV the other night and in the first program, there was a dog as part of the team. I smiled and immediately became more interested in the program. I hope that works for my readers, too.

Other authors have cats, hamsters, and parrots in their stories. What about you? Do you write pets into your stories? Do you like to read about pets in a novel.? If you do, what kind of pets? I’d love to hear your thoughts about animals in novels.

(And this is my rescue dog. :))

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through Daulton Publishing, The Wild Rose Press, and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Susanna: Susanna Lorican. I’m the youngest of five children.

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Susanna: In Derby, in the southern part of Derbyshire at my father’s manor. It’s in the country, a couple hours north of London.

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

Susanna: My story takes place in the Year of our Lord 1834. William IV sits on the British throne, but the time period is still often refereed to as the Regency Era even though the Prince Regent—who later became George IV—has long passed.

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

Susanna: I’ve been in love with my older brothers’ childhood friend for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, Camden always saw me as a pest and didn’t pay much attention to me. Isn’t that always the way? But I think Amber, my author, wanted to bring us together after we have both had a chance to mature and experience life. Granted, Camden experienced much more than I did—he’s eight years older than I am—but I’m not the naive girl most everyone believes me to be. I have reasons for everything I do, even if it may seem foolish at the time.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Susanna: To marry the man I love. Camden and I have had a long courtship, and it’s finally our wedding day. We’re eager to embrace our new life together, but fate seems to be conspiring against us.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Susanna: Everything that could go wrong, does. I have a secret that’s been eating away at me, and there is only one solution to the problem—marrying my betrothed. But with an unexpected snowstorm blowing in and threatening to cancel the wedding, I may be in serious trouble.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Susanna: Everyone is telling me to postpone the wedding until spring, but it’s impossible. I have to keep strong and see my Christmas wedding through to the end, somehow.

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

Susanna: Yes! My story takes place on my wedding day, so I assume some readers would be put off by that. But rest assured, my story isn’t a book two or a continuation of another story. It’s a complete standalone novella about two people who are already madly in love. Camden and I are ready for married life and will do anything to reach the altar.

Most romance books are about people meeting and falling in love, but there’s little detail to the wedding, marriage life, and the possible children to come. Amber Daulton wanted something different for Camden and me, so she’s telling our disastrous wedding story and showing how love triumphs in the face of adversity.

I hope you give Forever Winter a chance!

Blurb for Forever Winter:

A perfect Christmas wedding, a snowstorm, and a shocking secret. What could go wrong?

Susanna Lorican must marry the man she loves before the truth is discovered, or face the gossip of the ton. With an unexpected snowstorm injuring the minister, her future hangs in the balance.

Viscount Camden Beckinworth vows to keep his bride safe, even if he must betray her confidence. When their love is put to the test, how will he uphold her honor without jeopardizing his own?

Excerpt from Forever Winter:

Oh, my. The air in her lungs froze as he teased and tasted her lips in a decadent, feather-soft kiss. She moaned into his mouth and closed her eyes.

“You are so beautiful.” He trailed his lips down her neck.

“Camden.” She gasped and gripped his broad shoulders for an anchor in the storm of bliss threatening to sweep her under. Spots dotted her vision like twinkling stars peeking through dark clouds. She blinked several times and nodded to the entryway. “We must control ourselves. Anyone could see.” The smirk crawling up his cheeks clenched something deep and primal inside her. She breathed harder and inched closer to his heaving chest.

“Let them. We are betrothed. Two people in love who are about to wed are expected to kiss.”

“Kiss, yes,” she whispered. “You, my lord, make love with your lips.” Heat flamed in her cheeks and surely reddened her face.

Camden laughed and trailed his fingers up her bare arm to the puffed sleeve. “Do I? You have never admitted that before.”

“There are some things you should not be privy to.”

“Really? I’m honored that my bride appreciates the way I kiss. If she didn’t, what kind of man would that make me?”

She stepped away and smacked his biceps. “There are eyes and ears everywhere, Camden. Especially today. I’m positive the servants are already gossiping that we are spending time together on the one day we should keep our distance. It is bad luck.” And since their chaperone had left them unaccompanied, she expected another servant to arrive any minute, courtesy of her mother.

Camden drew her back into his arms and brushed his lips across her hairline. “I make my own luck. We control our destiny, Susanna; no one else. Besides, you have nothing to worry about. The one activity we shared truly worth gossiping about will never reach the light of day.”

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Award-winning author Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, sometimes with a dash of kink. Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in nineteen works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait, as well the erotic romance Kinky Briefs series and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.

When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.

Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!  

Beverley: Why do you write romance?

Seelie: Because I am fascinated by the games people play to find and secure a lasting relationship, which is not always love. There’s the chase, the courtship, the falling, the surrender. That’s what I try to capture in my stories.

Beverley: Do you prefer a certain type of romantic hero?

Seelie: I adore smart, dashing gentlemen who aren’t afraid to live on the edge. They can be a bad boy, a billionaire, a prince, or a secret agent. That hint of danger just hooks me! However,  they have to be paired with strong, independent women who aren’t afraid to fight for what they want, even love.

Beverley: Why did you write “Ye Gods! The Law is an Ass?”

Seelie: Donovan Trait is a vampire lawyer. In the human world, a very respected lawyer. I wanted to give him the opportunity to shine in the vampire world. So I created a scenario where his turned vampire bride Shirley is unfairly punished for an unintentionally violating their marital agreement, as well as other outdated, outrageous, and outright discriminatory laws—she unintentionally  To survive and protect their unborn child, they must not only fight back, but also rebel. In this instance, human history provides them with the path. That gave me the opportunity to draw parallels between the fight for human rights and the rights of vampires who aren’t purebloods. It also allowed me to poke at the continued need of both societies to embrace social change. Perhaps surprisingly, the vampires lag far behind the humans in terms of equality and individual freedoms. However, in the end, the message is clear: Whether human or vampire, an individual is entitled to certain rights and liberties. And no human or vampire has a right to deny them.

Blurb for Ye Gods! The Law is an Ass :

  It was the Great Lie, and it could destroy the Vampire Nation.

In First, We Kill All the Lawyers, vampire lawyer Donovan Trait survived repeated attacks by a serial killer. Now, after violating a marital agreement with the Vampire Coalition, and several ancient Vampire Laws, Donovan, and his newly-turned vampire bride are on the run. You see, in exchange for permitting a pure-blood vampire to marry a turned human, the Traits agreed to allow vampire scientists to monitor the conception and birth of their children. When Judge Shirley Magnusen Trait turns up accidentally pregnant on her wedding day, the fury of the Coalition is unleashed. The tribunal recommends unacceptable punitive action and the Traits are forced to flee to a mysterious island of vampire nuns. The Traits are, by profession, seekers of the truth. But this time, the truth may not set them free. In fact, it could start a revolution. Will the Traits escape the clutches of the Coalition and keep their babies safe? Or will their family be…eliminated?

Excerpt from Ye Gods! The Law is an Ass:

Jonathan opened the envelope and reviewed the report. When he got to the last page, his eyes grew wide. “Donovan, it seems Shirley had a reason for that lightheadedness.”

Donovan gasped. “What is it?”

His father handed him the document and pointed at the bottom of the page. “She’s pregnant.”

Donovan grabbed at the wall. Overwhelmed with unfamiliar emotion, he settled onto a chair and rested his head in his hands. “Ye Gods,” he muttered. “I’m going to be a father.”

“And I am to be a grandfather, finally. However, I am afraid the Coalition may have a problem with this. They may not permit your marriage today or anytime soon.”

Donovan Trait turned to his father, his eyes filled with fury. “Why does it matter? We’re already married in the human world and we are about to repeat our vows before all in the Vampire Kingdom. This doesn’t change anything. It’s not like we are going to have a child out of wedlock. We have broken no laws.”

Jonathan Trait arched a fluffy white brow. “We need to discuss this, son.” He sat beside him. “The problem is, you explicitly agreed to allow the Coalition to oversee the conception and birth of any children born of this joining. Every step of the process was to be observed, studied, and documented. You know this.”

“So, they are going to force us to terminate the pregnancy and start over?” Donovan groaned. “It’s too late. I will not force her to start over. They can be voyeurs the next time. I am sure Shirley will have no problem with the monitoring of her pregnancy. It’s not like she can consult with a human physician. They would not understand that her child may have fangs in utero. And the blood work…” He shuddered. “I can’t imagine what…”

Jonathan frowned. “The agreement says from the point of conception, son.  You know what sticklers they are. Our women became barren more than a century ago. We need to understand why. From a scientific perspective, we need to know exactly what was different, so we can find a solution.”

Donovan harrumphed. “Seriously? Did they wish to observe while I made love to my wife? That’s ludicrous. Horny old bastards.”

Jonathan chuckled. “Some of those old fuddie-duddies would stroke out if forced to watch a virile man like you seduce his wife.” His expression turned somber. “Let’s look at the facts as we know them. As a lawyer, that’s a process with which you are familiar.

“Human women can’t carry a vampire child to term. We know that. They miscarry. The human uterus is simply not strong enough to withstand the damage caused by a developing vampire fetus. Those fangs shred the amniotic sac. However, we also don’t know if a female vampire can carry a human baby to term. Shirley may not be able to provide the fetus with the nutrition that it needs to develop properly.

“In addition, we don’t know the point of conception, which means we don’t know if Shirley was fully turned when she conceived. We also don’t know what the genetic makeup of the baby will be and whether that will change as the pregnancy progresses. Furthermore, we don’t know whether the baby’s genetics will alter after birth. We don’t know what the child will need to survive. We don’t know much.

“That raises several questions, Donovan. Is Shirley’s life in danger? And is your child’s life in danger? Not just physically and genetically, but socially. The baby is an anomaly. To some, an adnomination. A freak. He or she will constantly be in danger. If you had kept to the agreement, she and the baby would have been protected. Now everything is at risk.”

Book Trailer—

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Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where the summers are too short, and the winters are too long. 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.

2020 Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Carly: Carly Redd

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Carly: Halifax, Nova Scotia

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

Carly: Current date. Summer.

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

Carly: I worked as a bartender while earning a degree in Business and Marketing. I then started making ice cream. My story is fun because who doesn’t love ice cream! 😊 (smile)

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Carly: To open my own ice cream shop… and to get through my ex’s engagement party that I am forced to attend.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Carly: To not fall for my pretend boyfriend, who happens to be a hunky firefighter.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Carly: I lost all resolve as soon as I got to know Noah.

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

Carly: You’ll have to read my story to find out 😉 (wink)

Blurb for Cherry Red:

This summer, ice cream entrepreneur Carly Redd’s only focus is expanding her business—until she’s coerced into attending her ex’s engagement party. Showing up without a date is unthinkable. She reluctantly agrees to be escorted by her brother’s co-worker, although doing so breaks her rule of not dating firefighters.

The daughter of the town’s fire chief should wear a Do Not Touch sign, but firefighter Noah Harding’s interest blazed the moment he saw Carly. Agreeing to be her fake boyfriend is a no-brainer, but convincing Carly to trust him with her heart is harder than extinguishing a fire.

Overstepping the platonic-only rule is as dangerous as fire and ice swirling into tempting combustion.

Excerpt for Cherry Red:

“This might seem like a strange question, especially since we’ve just met, but would you be interested in going out for a coffee? Or an ice cream?” Noah rested an arm on the bar.

Carly glanced down at her jeans and black T-shirt embroidered with the company name and logo…a cluster of red cherries. In a room full of women all dolled up in fancy—and some a bit scanty—dresses, why would this incredibly handsome man ask her on a date? “I appreciate the offer, but I’m not interested…”

Noah raised a brow. “I know you like ice cream, so is it the coffee, or me?”

“What? No. I mean, yes.” She took a second to collect her scrambled thoughts. “I like coffee. I just don’t hang out with firefighters.” Not that he was a real firefighter. Did impersonators count in her rules of men to avoid? She never dated a stripper, but she wasn’t sure she could have a relationship with a guy who was paid to take off his clothes and have other women fawn over him. Not that the guy asked her on a date…just a simple coffee. His frown made her feel badly. “I’m sorry. It’s nothing personal.”

“Burnt in the past? No pun intended.” He smiled.

She couldn’t help but smile back. “Something like that.”

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In September, in Canada, we have two statutory holidays. The first one is Labour Day. It was voted as a legal holiday, July 23rd, 1894. It’s held on the First Monday in September. This year it’s Monday, September 6th. This holiday celebrates the achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. 


The second holiday is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This is a new holiday recently voted on by the government. It will be the last day of the month. This year it will be held on Thursday, September 30th. The federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal people, established, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.” It’s a commitment to reconciliation and ensuring that the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools in Canada is never forgotten. This day provides an opportunity for each Canadian to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools. This may present itself as a day of quiet reflection or participation in a community event.

Summer is racing toward the end. Children are already back in school, some wearing masks, some not. 


Covid cases have been rising for the last few weeks and with cold weather ahead it becomes more concerning. And the variant, Delta, is affecting more and more children. Forest fires continue. As well as hurricanes and floods. These are world-wide issues. I send positive thoughts to all those affected. 


All these challenging events affect my writing. I’m overwhelmed and find it difficult to get lost in my story and I’m worried about the upcoming months.



I’m plugging slowly along at my editing, but I have difficulty concentrating. However, I think I have finally come up with the title for the book, Witness to Murder. Maybe I’ll work on a cover.

Here’s an excerpt from Witness to Murder. 

Excerpt from Murder Off-Leash.

Dog training (Obedience): Command: Go at the leash

“Is the dog his?” Pete nodded to where the animal sat with his head on the man’s lap. 

“Yeah, I guess. Behaves like he belongs here.” 

“Yeh, man, he does. Whattcha gonna do with him?” 

“Me? With who? Oh, the dog? How the hell should I know? I figure he might have seen the murder. Hell, he might be our only witness. Don’t suppose downtown will buy into keeping him as a material witness...” Mitch raked his gloved hand over his hair. 

“Doubt it.” 

“How about convincing downtown to pay for kennel fees? Just until we find someone to take him. Think that would work?” 

“Once again, I doubt it. They’d think you were nuts.” Pete said. 

“They think that already. Maybe I’ll try finding a relative, or maybe one of those snoopy neighbors.” 

“Eh man, not very likely. Too bad. He’s a nice dog, but not many people are going to want an Irish wolfhound. They usually like small dogs, or shepherds.” Pete replied. 

“That what he is? A wolfhound? He is damn  big. Maybe I could find the nearest SPCA and drop him off...Someone’s bound to want a great dog like him.” 

“The SPCA will probably put him down in a couple of days, if no one adopts him. That’s what they do, ya know.  You don’t know much about animals, do you?” 

Mitch shook his head. “Nope. Never really interested me. Maybe you could take him?” 

“Sorry, nope. I live with my family. Remember? There’s five of us and Ma has a poodle.” 

Mitch felt his brows furrow. He resented Sanchez for living at home and having a large, loving family. He resented what his own family, and that ex-wife bitch, had done to him and how he didn’t have a home anymore. Anger began to rise inside him as he thought about it. He punched his right hand into his palm. Life outside his work sucked. In fact, he didn’t have one, but that was his least that was what he told himself. 

“Why don’t you take him?” Pete interrupted. 


“The dog. Why don’t you take him?” 

“No damn way. First, my landlady says no pets, and my room’s too small. And second, dogs and me don’t get along too good. One bit me once. Since then, I firmly believe that dogs should always be kept at a safe distance.” 

“This one looks pretty friendly.” 

Mitch scowled. He’d have to figure something out. Right now, the dog was the least of his problems. 

“Yeah, well I’ll worry about him later. Right now I better call this in, then we’ll check the roof. You might want to pick up that umbrella in the hall. It might belong to a witness, or the murderer. The lab guys can dust it for prints when they get here.” 

He picked up the receiver and dialed the number. The guys uptown weren’t going to like this. They weren’t going to like this at all. In fact, they were going to be downright pissed off. The idea had been to keep the guy alive, at least until after he testified. That’s why he and Sanchez had been assigned this damn babysitting job. They’d even had a heads-up there might be an attempt on his life and the guy still got knocked off. 

Damn, it was hot. Mitch wiped his forehead again. He probably wasn’t even going to get time to change his damn shirt. This thing would take all night and probably straight through the next week or two. He’d screwed up. The case would be dismissed due to lack of evidence and the racketeers would be back on the street by tomorrow. No way should the killer have gotten to the perp, not if they’d been doing their job. It was almost like the guy had inside information. 

Mitch sighed. He knew he should mention the girl, but this looked like a professional hit. If she saw anything, the shooter would probably be looking for her, too. Mitch wanted to get to her before the killer did. 

He was convinced there was an information leak in the department. There had been too many coincidences, even before his brother was shot. Dom’s death had just reinforced his conviction. IA had investigated but never come up with anything. Mitch didn’t want any information leaked that might give the killer a headstart in locating the witness. Mitch wanted to find her first and see what she had to say, either about the murder or what she had seen. 

Damn, maybe he was kidding himself. Maybe he just wanted to see her again.  

Beverley Bateman Blogger

This month, I’m only doing my Group Blog on September 18th   at  


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An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes.  When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

2020 Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Billy: I’m Billy Redsky, one of the heroes from Real Warriors, the fourth and final book in the When We Were Young series.

Beverley: W here did you grow up?

Billy: On the rez.  Thunder Mountain First Nation.  It’s a stone’s throw from Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario.

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

Billy: Grunge, baby.  Grunge.  Well, that’s when the series starts.  Now we’re in post-grunge because Real Warriors is set in 1999.

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

Billy: My author gave me a father I never knew who left when I was two.  He’s in prison now serving about ten or fifteen years for armed robbery.  Knowing him, he was probably coked out or drunk when he pulled that job.  My Mom’s a total lush who’s trying to kick booze.  My older brother’s a loser who deals drugs and is affiliated with an outlaw motorcycle gang.  Because my fam are such losers, I got put into foster care.  But it’s not too shabby.  I’m bunking with my dream guy.  The super-sexy and super-cool René Oshawee, the hottest guy on the rez, heck, in the city of Thunder Bay.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Billy: Just like it says in the blurb:  To live as a true “out” couple with René, and finally have a real brother in my older brother Hoyt.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Billy: For starters, René’s too scared to come out, so we’re still hiding in his closet.  As for Hoyt, he has no intentions of giving up his life of crime.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Billy: I sure do, but I won’t say what I’m up to, or how I came up with the idea.  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

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

Billy: I dig root beer, motocross, art, nature, and wildlife.

Blurb for Real Warriors:  

The courage of a warrior is a must on their new path, or they’ll never grasp their happily ever after.

Just when eighteen-year-old Billy Redsky believes he’s holding his happily ever after in the palm of his hand, he must practice what he’s learned in ceremony to face two more tests—share with the world his love for René, and let go of the past.

But that’s not so easy.  René is terrified of exposing their secret to anyone else but his family.  As for Billy’s brother, he has no intention of changing his criminal ways.

Only a miracle can help Billy reach his final destination on the red road his Ojibway ancestors once walked.  For his dream to come true, he must look deep inside of himself and trust the creator he follows.

Excerpt from  Real Warriors :

As they drew closer to Parry Sound, a sea of green welcomed them. The time on the clock stereo was closing in on twelve-thirty.

René turned down the volume that had been blasting. He’d humored Billy by letting him play the Goo Goo Dolls. “We gotta stop somewhere. I need to use the john, and my taste buds are dying for a ciggie.”

“Sure. I need another coffee.” Over an hour ago, Billy had polished off his large cup of joe.

“It’ll be about another two hours before we reach Sudbury.” René checked the dashboard. “Fuel’s still good. We can fill up again there. This U-Haul is gonna really eat up the stuff once we get deep into the Shield.”

“I get to drive once we’re out of Sudbury, right?”

“Yeah. I know you’re itching to try out some highway cruising.” René softly chuckled.

“You read my mind.” Billy reached over and locked their fingers together, since René didn’t have to shift gears yet.

They bypassed Parry Sound and made their pit stop at a mom-and-pop operation about fifteen minutes out. The place was locally owned by an Ojibway couple who told them the reserve was nearby.

“You fellas coming from the city? Which rez you from?” The man’s baseball cap was slung on backward.

“Yep. T-O. We’re from Thunder Mountain. It’s a hop, skip, and a jump from Thunder Bay.” Billy leaned against the truck.

“You fellas are a long way from home. Heading back for the summer?” The sun shone down on the man’s many wrinkles and bronzed skin.

“Heading home permanently.” The area was peaceful. Tons of trees and far from the craziness of the city.

“Permanently? Not gonna finish your education?” The old man frowned.

“Yeah. In Thunder Bay. My boyfriend’s starting his second year of university in the fall.”

“Eh? Boyfriend?” The old man’s eyebrows thrust upward and then relaxed.

René emerged from the store. He carried two more cups of coffee and another bag of food. They’d eaten their muffins. Billy’s stomach grumbled for lunch.

“What’cha got there? By the way, name’s Quentin.”

René approached them. “René Oshawee. That’s my buddy, Billy.”

The hunger growling in Billy’s stomach vanished.

“Buddy?” Quentin squinted his wrinkled eyes. “I thought you said you were boyfriends?”

The sunglasses hid René’s gaze, but the pink on his cheeks was a knock to Billy’s gut. “Oh…uh…yeah. Boyfriends.”

“We should go.” Billy threw open the door to the truck.

“Geez, I was gonna say I know a few Oshawees. Ah, I’ll let you fellas move along. You got a lot of driving ahead of you.” Quentin waved. “Be safe now.”

Billy got in the passenger side.

René set the coffee cups in the holders and placed the bag on the console between them.

They left the gas station.

René kept griping and re-gripping the steering wheel. “I’m sorry.” His voice was quiet.

“Nothing to be sorry about. I…” Did Billy understand? He was trying his best to, but moments like this, he could use some advice from René’s wise uncle, Ned Atatise.

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I have a difficult time with metadata. I’ve taken classes to try and figure it out but it’s a little like learning Greek. I thought if I blogged about it, it might help me gain a better understanding and maybe it might get other authors thinking about it. This is definitely not a techie post. Please feel free to comment.

What is Metadata?

It’s information, the information bookstores, libraries, and online stores use to categorize a book – your book. (or my book).  To start it should include the title, genre, series information, the author, blurb, back cover, table of contents, index, page numbers, publisher and copyright, and narrator if it’s an audiobook.

Researching Amazon and other bookstores can help with those. They can be keywords, mystery, hard-boiled, spy stories, tales of intrigue, political, kidnapping, thriller, etc.. Research books similar to yours, or by a similar writer and see the tags they use on their book store page.

Metadata can help sell your book by helping people who read your genre, find your book. Then your cover and blurb will help sell them your book. The metadata also helps the bookstores place your book in the right spot for the reader looking for your book.

Some area to check when doing your metadata is if the book is a series. Did you include the series number? That information will usually link the books, making it easier for readers to buy the next book.

It can be work at the start when you publish your book but metadata is a very important tool to sell your book.

And that’s not all. Then there are the metatags that are used for SEOs. That’s way beyond me at this time.

 Check out these – and get a chance to win an Amazon Gift   Certificate