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Category: #MFRWhooks

Death Southern Style Front Cover FINAL 500 PIX

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?

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Coming Soon!

 

Excerpt

“Did they find anything voodoo at the crime scene?”

Connor shook his head. “Not that I’m aware of. Why?”

“I wondered, since someone put the doll in my room.”

The elevator slowed to a stop and Connor stepped to one side to let Julie Ann exit first. “The car’s parked out front.”

Julie Ann walked briskly through the lobby, unaware of the admiring glances from most of the men checking her out. Connor noticed though and fought the impulse to tell them to quit drooling.

On the street Julie Ann paused by his dark sedan. It was still early so the temperature was bearable, but the humidity immediately started to seep through her top. She waited for Connor to catch up so she could climb into air-conditioning. She glanced up and down the street.

Connor noticed her checking out the street. He dropped the luggage in the trunk. Someone must have followed them from the house yesterday. That’s the only way they’d know where she was. Was she checking to see if anyone was watching them today?

He needed to be aware of that possibility. He opened the passenger door and lightly touched her curls to make sure she didn’t bump her head when she slid into the seat. A warm sensation shot right to his groin.

He pulled his hand back and reminded himself again of the reasons he couldn’t get involved with a victim of a crime, especially this one.

“Slide in and I’ll get that air-conditioning going.”

“Thanks.”

Connor drove through the narrow streets, periodically checking his mirror. He found a parking spot halfway down the street from a restaurant he knew.

“Come on lady, you may not need food, but I need a coffee. It could be a rough day.” Connor took her arm as they headed to the restaurant.

Julie Ann nodded. “I could use another coffee. I’ll be okay today. Everything hasn’t really sunk in yet, except that I know it wasn’t a robbery.”

“What do you mean?”

“I just know.”

“Is there something you’re not telling me?”

“Not at the moment. I have no proof.” She hesitated. “I know my mother and I’m familiar with the area. Nothing makes any sense.”

He was a cop. He went with facts. He wouldn’t understand how some things felt right or wrong. He probably thought she was a little crazy.

Maggie McGonigal will protect her son at any cost, including her own life. After seven years in witness protection someone has found her and is trying to kill her. She contacts the man she never wanted to see again. Now to convince him to take a son he doesn’t know about back to his ranch in Montana, so she can disappear again.

 

Cody Hawkins comes running when the woman he wants to forget calls him for help. Someone is trying to kill her.

 

It’s been seven years since Maggie walked away. Why contact him now? Who would want to kill her? Can he help her and then walk away from her? Or can he convince her to return to Montana and let him protect her?

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Excerpt

“If someone wants you dead, I need to be here, in this room, to keep you both safe. Now that’s settled, why would someone want to kill you?”

“Six years ago, I witnessed a mafia shooting in Chicago. I’ve been in the witness protection plan ever since. It looks like they finally found me.” She glanced across at Matt.

A cracking sound pierced the room. A jagged pattern cut across the window, scattering shards of glass on the floor.

Maggie screamed.

Cody threw himself at her, pushing her to the ground. Another bullet embedded itself in the wall, inches above where she’d sat minutes before.

“Mommy,” Matt yelled.

“It’s okay, honey. Lie still. Don’t move.”

Using his elbows, Cody cautiously raised himself. Sliding off Maggie, he crawled across the floor to the bed where he reached up and pulled Matt into his arms. Clutching the boy tightly against his chest, he could feel the little heart pound wildly.

“Hey, buddy, it’s going to be okay. What were you watching?”

“The Roadrunner, Wile E. Coyote is going to drop a rock on him.”

“Think he’ll get him?”

“No. of course not,” Matt laughed. “The bad guy never wins.”

Cody smiled. If only life was that simple. The bad guy never wins.

“How about you watch it from down here?”

“Why? Why are you and Mommy on the floor? What was that loud noise?”

“It’s sort of a game. We want you to play, too, so you have to watch TV down with us.”

“Okay.” Matt slipped from Cody’s arms to lie on the plush hotel carpet. He stared up at the cartoon still playing on the TV and became mesmerized by the colorful action on the screen.

“Are you all right?” Cody flashed a look at Maggie.

“I’m fine. Take care of Matt.” She clenched her upper arm, but the red continued to trickle down to her elbow and drip onto her jeans.

“We’re doing great, aren’t we, buddy?” He patted Matt on the head.

Another crash filled the room as a third shot shattered the mirror. The glass sprayed across the bed and floor like pebbles spread across the shore by ocean waves.

Matt and Maggie screamed.

Cody tightened his arms around Matt and glanced at Maggie.

Any color left had fled her face, her body shook, and the blood continued to ooze between the fingers she had clamped around her arm.

“You’ve been shot. You’re bleeding.”

Missing by Beverley Bateman

Running from a disastrous engagement, and an over-powering father, Dr. Allie Parsons agrees to help out an old friend and travels to Duster, Montana. She's agreed to help the local doctor for a brief period of time until he can find a permanent new doctor. Raised her whole life in New York city, Allie is greeted with culture shock when she finds out how small Duster is, but she also finds a warm, friendly community. And the doctor turns out to be young, tall dark and handsome. He sends her emotions shooting sky high. On her arrival n Duster she finds herself involved with the Doctor's family, his daughter and a mysterious stranger who leaves notes at the clinic. Allie fears they are a warning he's going to kidnap the doctor's daughter.

 

Luke Hawkins, one of the Hawkins' boys is looking for a doctor to take over half the practice from the retiring doctor. He's not expecting his temporary replacement to be a young, sexy, single woman from New York. He knows she's the woman he's been searching for, but he also know she won't stay in Duster. He doesn't believe the notes are meant for him until some kidnaps his daughter. Now he has to save his daughter and convince the woman he loves that she really is a small town doctor at heart.

 

 

Targeted by Beverley Bateman

U.S. Cover

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?

 

Don't Go by Beverley Bateman

"It had all of the hallmarks of romance that I've come to expect (and love) and so, so much more! I am a fan. I almost didn't buy, but some greater force made me. lol I'm so very glad it did." 

4 Star Review by VintageLover on Amazon 

Don’t Go is a dark romantic suspense that takes place predominantly in Reno. Sam is a Washoe Sheriff detective with a background of sexual abuse. Now she works in teen chatrooms to catch sexual predators.

 

A serial killer is targeting blonde teen girls in chatroms and one of the girls from Sam’s chatrooms is now missing.

 

Devlin is a Reno cop who like undercover work and doesn’t do missing kids – except they’re short staffed and he’s assigned a missing girl. He doesn’t believe in relationships and likes one night stands. Now he’s stuck working a case with a computer smart detective who obviously doesn’t do one night stands and has no use for Reno police.

 

Reluctantly, they must work together to solve this case. Can they resolve their personal issues and bring down a serial killer?

 

 
 
 

Excerpt

 

She leaned back in her chair. Her forehead squeezed against her skull, shooting barbs of pain to her eyes. The chocolate hadn’t helped the stress.

“How did I miss this one?” She punched her fist into her palm. Insidious memories crept from the dark corners of her subconscious, spun a cocoon around her and dragged her back into the dark, tangled web of her own past.

The sickening sweet smell of overpowering aftershave snaked up her nostrils; fat, sweaty palms grasped at her thighs. She knew what was going to happen. She was unable to scream, unable to escape…no one to help her.

The images crashed over her, scattering years of counseling like broken shells on a beach, covering her soul with the spray of desperation and anger.

Sam scrubbed at a tear drifting down her cheek, and forced the images back into the darkness, back into the locked box.

It’s not about me. It’s about this girl and another predator creep.

With clenched fists she white-knuckled the arms of the chair to keep from throwing the damn computer against the wall.

“Find anything?” Kerensa strolled back into the computer room, a partially eaten sugar donut in her fingers. A faint white trail drifted behind her. “They got a whole box of these out there if you want to grab one before the other detectives get back and scarf them all.”

“Damn it! I should have seen it coming. Where the hell are they?” Sam kicked her chair away from the computer and stood. “No thanks. Those things can kill you. I’d have to work out an extra hour tonight.”

“Hey, they’re no worse than that stash of chocolate you hide in your bottom drawer.”

“A girl has to have something to combat the frustration. Besides, dark chocolate is good for you.”

“Right, if you say so. You know, girlfriend, you need to learn to relax, enjoy life, and find a man who likes his woman well-padded.” Kerensa patted the green uniform shirt stretched across her protruding belly. A safety pin protected a button from popping off.

“Like Tim?” Sam allowed a faint smile to tug at the corners of her mouth. “You’re lucky. Chocolate is my replacement for men. Chocolate won’t screw with me.”

“Too bad, ’cause being a natural blonde with a great bod, you could probably get any man you wanted.”

“Yeah, right.” Sam shook her head and walked toward the door. “I’m taking a break, but not to get donuts. I need to think.”

“Take your time, girl. Hey, if there’s any of those donuts left, bring one back for me, will ya?”

Sam nodded. She rubbed her temples with her fingers, trying to exorcise the images of what the girl would go through if she met that damn creep. A sigh slithered out into the squad room as she headed toward the pot holding the day-old coffee.

“You okay?” Pete Sandusky nodded in her direction.

The acrid, slightly burnt odor of chicory and rancid coffee beans made her wrinkle her nose before she even reached the coffee maker.

She shook her head, poured a half cup of the sludge, and rested her butt against the table beside the box of sugar donuts. “No. Not really.”

With her mug clutched in both hands, she stared across at Pete. He was a good cop. He’d been there about twenty years and looked everyday of it. Gray fringe around a shiny pate; round, gold-rimmed glasses perched on a short, flat, boxer-type nose, and an inner tube that had settled around his waist under the dark green uniform.

“It’s a feeling I’ve got.” After a quick sip of the disgusting liquid she stuck out her tongue. “Yech. Why doesn’t someone throw this crap out?”

Pete shrugged. “What doesn’t feel right?”

Hunted by Beverley Bateman

Maggie McGonigal will protect her son at any cost, including her own life. After seven years in witness protection someone has found her and is trying to kill her. She contacts the man she never wanted to see again. Now to convince him to take a son he doesn’t know about back to his ranch in Montana, so she can disappear again.

 

Cody Hawkins comes running when the woman he wants to forget calls him for help. Someone is trying to kill her.

 

It’s been seven years since Maggie walked away. Why contact him now? Who would want to kill her? Can he help her and then walk away from her? Or can he convince her to return to Montana and let him protect her?

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5 Star Review

R. Courtright

Maggie is in witness protection with her six year old son, but someone is trying to kill her, probably the crime boss whose son is in prison due to Maggie's testimony. She contacts the man she once loved, Cody Hawkins, but when he betrayed her, she fled her home town in Montana pregnant with his child. Now she desperately needs his help. Cody takes Maggie and her son Matt home to his family's ranch. He isn't going to let Maggie run away again, and when he finds the boy he has already let beguile him is his son, quickly falls in love with him. Both Maggie and Cody have made serious mistakes in their past, but with killers hunting Maggie and another, persistent and vindictive woman hunting Cody, can he and Maggie find love? This story is full of great characters, and both alpha man Cody and strong woman Maggie can be ornery, but the story also circles around the very strong Hawkins family and the very loyal town's people, which adds an interesting dimension to it.

Excerpt

“Why would anyone want to kill you?”

“Like I said, it’s a long story.”

“Well, darlin’, you asked me here. It was a long drive from Montana, so go ahead and let’s hear the whole story.”

“I was a witness to a murder. Maybe we should talk after dinner, when Matt is asleep. Will you be staying at the hotel tonight?”

“I wasn’t sure where I would spend the night. Hadn’t planned on staying in this expensive tourist trap, but if what you’re telling me is true, then, yes, I’m staying here tonight.”
“I’ll call down to the desk and book you a room.”

“No, if I’m going to protect you, I’ll be sleepin’ here, in your room tonight.”

She squirmed in her chair and he forced himself not to smile. He could only imagine what she was thinking about the two of them spending the night together in this small hotel room.

“If someone wants you dead, I need to be here, in this room, to keep you both safe. Now that’s settled, why would someone want to kill you?”

“Six years ago, I witnessed a mafia shooting in Chicago. I’ve been in the witness protection plan ever since. It looks like they finally found me.” She glanced across at Matt.

A cracking sound pierced the room. A jagged pattern cut across the window, scattering shards of glass on the floor.

Maggie screamed.

Cody threw himself at her, pushing her to the ground. Another bullet embedded itself in the wall, inches above where she’d sat minutes before.

“Mommy,” Matt yelled.

“It’s okay, honey. Lie still. Don’t move.”

Using his elbows, Cody cautiously raised himself. Sliding off Maggie, he crawled across the floor to the bed where he reached up and pulled Matt into his arms. Clutching the boy tightly against his chest, he could feel the little heart pound wildly.

“Hey, buddy, it’s going to be okay. What were you watching?”

“The Roadrunner, Wile E. Coyote is going to drop a rock on him.”

“Think he’ll get him?”

“No. of course not,” Matt laughed. “The bad guy never wins.”

Cody smiled. If only life was that simple. The bad guy never wins.

“How about you watch it from down here?”

“Why? Why are you and Mommy on the floor? What was that loud noise?”

“It’s sort of a game. We want you to play, too, so you have to watch TV down with us.”

“Okay.” Matt slipped from Cody’s arms to lie on the plush hotel carpet. He stared up at the cartoon still playing on the TV and became mesmerized by the colorful action on the screen.

“Are you all right?” Cody flashed a look at Maggie.

“I’m fine. Take care of Matt.” She clenched her upper arm, but the red continued to trickle down to her elbow and drip onto her jeans.

“We’re doing great, aren’t we, buddy?” He patted Matt on the head.

Another crash filled the room as a third shot shattered the mirror. The glass sprayed across the bed and floor like pebbles spread across the shore by ocean waves.

Matt and Maggie screamed.

Cody tightened his arms around Matt and glanced at Maggie.

Any color left had fled her face, her body shook, and the blood continued to ooze between the fingers she had clamped around her arm.

“You’ve been shot. You’re bleeding.”

“Brilliant diagnosis, Sherlock, like they say in the movies, it’s just a flesh wound. I’m fine.” She pulled herself to a sitting position and leaned back against the chair, pasting a smile on her face. Her body shook hard enough to rock the chair.

“It’s not that serious. It just burns like I’ve been branded.”
“Keep the pressure on and stay down.”

“Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.”

“Matt, go stay with your mother.”
Matt crawled to his mother’s side. “Are you okay, Mommy?”
“I’m fine, honey.” Maggie attempted a smile. “Shouldn’t we get out of here?”
“Hang on. We don’t know if anyone is out in the hall. There could be a second person waiting to get you if you survive the shooter and try to escape.”
“I didn’t think of that.” Maggie dropped her chin to Matt’s head. “Now you know why I want you to take him away from here.”
It had been a few minutes since the last shot, so Cody inched his way to the window on his knees, carefully avoiding shattered glass and mirror. When he reached the wide windowsill, he pulled himself up by his arms, cautiously peering out over the ledge. A turret blocked part of the view of the harbor, but there would be a clear view into Maggie`s room from the higher floors in the tower. Using his finger, he drew an imaginary line from the bullet hole in the wall, to the middle of shattered area of the window, attempting to gauge where the shots had come from. It looked like the fifth floor of the tower. He double-checked but couldn’t see anyone moving around over there.
Reaching for the cord, he closed the thick heavy curtains. Then he stood and edged to the hotel room door. He carefully unlocked it and opened it a crack.
He waited a second, then opened it a little more and slipped into the hallway.
A few minutes later, he reappeared.
“I think it’s okay now. Let’s check the damage.” He dialed the front desk to get a doctor.
He hadn’t expected any of this when he came here; someone shooting at them, a six- year old who wanted to come to his ranch and Maggie with a bullet in her arm.
What the hell had she gotten herself into? And how the hell could he protect her and her son?

Missing by Beverley Bateman

Running from a disastrous engagement, and an over-powering father, Dr. Allie Parsons agrees to help out an old friend and travels to Duster, Montana. She’s agreed to help the local doctor for a brief period of time until he can find a permanent new doctor. Raised her whole life in New York city, Allie is greeted with culture shock when she finds out how small Duster is, but she also finds a warm, friendly community. And the doctor turns out to be young, tall, dark and handsome. He sends her emotions shooting sky high. She’s welcomed into the Hawkins family and develops a relationship with his daughter. A mysterious stranger leaves notes at the clinic and Allie fears they are a warning he’s going to kidnap the doctor’s daughter.

 

Luke Hawkins, one of the Hawkins’ brothers is looking for a doctor to take over half the practice from the retiring doctor. He’s not expecting his temporary replacement to be a young, sexy, single woman from New York. He knows she’s the woman he’s been searching for all his life, but he also knows she won’t stay in Duster. He doesn’t believe the notes are meant for him until his daughter is kidnapped. Now he has to save his daughter and convince the woman he loves that she really is a small town doctor at heart.

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Excerpt

Allie swallowed several times, to loosen up her vocal chords.
“You’re welcome. Heidi did a good job. She’s a quick learner. I sent her home and told her to come back in the morning. I hope that’s okay.”
Luke nodded. “Good decision, thanks, but what about you?”
“What about me?” A shiver of anticipation wrap around her like a silky shawl. She looked up at the man who sent her heart racing and heat flooding through her body.
“I should probably get a little information on you, sort of a hiring interview, although you already have the job. You do have a license to practice in Montana, right?”
“Yes. With help from an agency I hired, I managed to get it in six weeks.”
“Good, how about malpractice insurance?”
“I extended mine with the company that already carried my professional liability insurance in New York.”
“You’ve been doing a residency in family practice in New York City and just completed it. So, you`ve had no experience working on your own?”
“No. I was looking at options when Dr. Angus called and I’ve spent the last two months preparing to move here.”
“Good old George. I met him when I was doing a residency. I gotta remember to send him a thank you and a good bottle of scotch. So it was because of him you chose to move to Duster, even if it’s only temporary?”
“That’s right.”
Luke stared at her.
“You had no other reason for taking such a leap from big city to the very small town of Duster, even if it is only temporary?”
“No, I didn’t.” She had no plans to share her life history with him. Being treated like a child, double checked on everything she did and being put down continuously by her father had dissipated her confidence in her abilities. Until she’d studied family practice. She had never been able to please her father and when he took the side of her two-timing, unfaithful fiancé...
“When George mentioned he’d pressured some poor suck--soul into helping until we found a permanent replacement for Doc Edwards, I didn’t expect that person to be a female family practice resident.”
“I sent you my resume. It said Alexandra on it.”
“I was so damned happy to finally get a response from anyone I guess I didn’t read it closely. Plus, I was probably exhausted. You were a qualified doctor, licensed in New York and finishing a residency in family practice. It was an answer to my prayers. Even if you only came here temporarily, and under George’s urging and pleading, I was ecstatic.”
“I hope you pay more attention when you read patient’s charts.”
“I deserve that. I talked to George and I swear he called you Alexander.”
“George is one of the few people who call me Alexandra, besides my family. You might have thought he said Alexander.”
“That could be it.”
“Also, on my resume it said I placed second in my residency, even if it was in New York, not a small community.”
“I saw that and it added to my excitement about you coming here. Sorry about missing the name, but when you go sleep deprived for so long, you miss stuff. I know that’s no excuse for not reading it correctly. Believe me; I’m thrilled to have you here.”
“Is there anything else you may have missed and need to know?”
“I don’t think so. You did good work today, both as a doctor and a receptionist, even without a lot of experience.” He flashed a smile at her. “And the people liked you. I heard them talking and some told me directly. Welcome to Duster. Thank you for coming and I hope you like it here.”
“I hope so, too. I’ll be going now, if that’s all right?” She reached for her jacket. If she stayed much longer she’d probably break into tears and confess how she really felt about his town.
“That depends on where you’re going. You said you hadn’t found accommodations yet?” Stepping behind her, he took her jacket.
She felt his body heat as he moved closer to her.
Damn, he was one sexy man.
“No. Not yet. I’m hoping to check into a hotel for tonight and start looking for an apartment tomorrow. Can you recommend one? There is a hotel in this town, isn’t there?”
“Yes, but I’m afraid The Inn is not quite up to New York standards. You’ll spend the night with me.” Luke held out her jacket.
What was he suggesting? 

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

 

 

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Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Could he really be dead?

“Gordon?” she whispered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Name?” the woman commanded.

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

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

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

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

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

Sara nodded. “Yes. Can I see him?”

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Death Southern Style Front Cover FINAL 500 PIX

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

 

 

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Excerpt

Connor leapt out of the car and hurried to the gate. He lifted the latch and the gate squeaked. The body had been found at the bottom of the stairs, probably before she got through the gate. She’d opened the gate, seen someone, turned and ran. The shooter had followed her out and shot her.

A robbery gone bad didn’t make sense. If she was running away why would someone shoot her? He hadn’t been going through the house to steal something. He’d been waiting for her to come through the door. That was the only thing that made sense. It wasn’t a robbery. A robber would have heard the gate squeak when she came home. He had time to get away.

Conner squatted down by the markers and used his hand to figure out the general direction the shot came from. He’d get forensics to do a technical check, but it looked like it came from outside the front door and to one side. Connor ran his tongue over the inside of his cheek.

If it had been a robbery, why did it appear that the person stood right there by the door, waiting for her to open it? He should have been searching the house for something he could steal. Had the killer been waiting for her? Had she even opened the door? Had she known someone was inside? And if she had, how?

Conner ducked under the ribbon. From his pocket he pulled out the key he’d picked up before he originally came out to check on the angry woman from New York. He shoved it into the old brass lock.

Before he turned the key, he bent down to observe the fresh scratches around the keyhole. Connor took out his notebook and made a notation about the scratches. It looked like someone had picked the lock. Forensics would have picked it up, or they’d pick it up when they returned. He pulled out his camera and took several shots. He wanted to make sure nothing got missed.

Had forensics also photographed the scratches? He’d check with Frank.

He pulled gloves out of his pocket and snapped them on before he turned the key and pushed open the heavy, blue painted wood door. He stood quietly in the doorway. His eyes scanned the room. With the curtains pulled shut, the inside was dark and cool.

Connor closed his eyes in an attempt to get a feel of the robbery and the murder.

Nothing came to him except this niggling feeling that it wasn’t a robbery. If that was the case it was a deliberate murder. It made more sense, but what was the motive?

How the hell could he convince anyone, especially Tozer, that he had a ‘feeling’ it wasn’t a robbery? The death needed to be investigated as a murder. Maybe forensics could give him something.

Missing by Beverley Bateman

Running from a disastrous engagement, and an over-powering father, Dr. Allie Parsons agrees to help out an old friend and travels to Duster, Montana. She’s agreed to help the local doctor for a brief period of time until he can find a permanent new doctor. Raised her whole life in New York city, Allie is greeted with culture shock when she finds out how small Duster is, but she also finds a warm, friendly community. And the doctor turns out to be young, tall, dark and handsome. He sends her emotions shooting sky high. She’s welcomed into the Hawkins family and develops a relationship with his daughter. A mysterious stranger leaves notes at the clinic and Allie fears they are a warning he’s going to kidnap the doctor’s daughter.

Luke Hawkins, one of the Hawkins’ brothers is looking for a doctor to take over half the practice from the retiring doctor. He’s not expecting his temporary replacement to be a young, sexy, single woman from New York. He knows she’s the woman he’s been searching for all his life, but he also knows she won’t stay in Duster. He doesn’t believe the notes are meant for him until his daughter is kidnapped. Now he has to save his daughter and convince the woman he loves that she really is a small town doctor at heart.

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Excerpt

“Good, you finally got here. I thought Jean would send someone a little faster.” His rich, smooth voice rolled over her. “Look, we’re backed up. Patients’ files are over there and the appointment book is on the desk. Check them in, pull their file, and put the file in the slot by the examining room door.”

“Excuse me?” She stared up at the man snapping orders at her. She’d run away from one tyrant and had no intention of putting up with another overbearing one, even if he was knock-down gorgeous. His firm abs, linebacker-type shoulders and muscular body did not compensate for his attitude.

Who did this jerk think he was?

Her back stiffened. She assumed he was the doctor, but his manners confused her. If staff and working partners were expected to put up with this, no wonder they hadn’t been able to find another doctor.

“You’re not going to make me repeat all that are you? I have a room full of patients. When I asked Jean to send a temp over from the hospital, I thought she’d send someone with training and at least a vague idea of what they were doing.” A sigh slipped through his lips and he rolled his eyes. The look he gave her placed her one step above an idiot.

He pointed to a huge pile of folders. “The patients’ files are...”

Allie pulled her shoulders back, raised her chin and tightened her lips together. “Excuse me. I believe you’ve made a mistake. First of all, I’m not stupid. Second, I’m not your damn temp. I’m a doctor, Alexandra Parsons, M.D. I understood you were expecting me.”

“You’re the new doc? Shoot. I didn’t expect you today.” The heart-stopping man stared down at her. His full lips drooped in apparent disappointment.

The disappointment could be her or the fact he still didn’t have a temp. She couldn’t tell.

“I arrived early, so I could acquaint myself with the town and find a place to live. I dropped by to introduce myself.”

He focused on her, drawing his eyebrows into a frown. “You’re the new physician? I should have known by that fancy outfit, it screams big city.”

“Sorry. I’ve just arrived and haven’t had time to get my jeans and plaid shirt yet. I’ll move that to the top of my list, so I’ll fit in.”

A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth, but he controlled it, as he ran his fingers through the tangle of dark curls. “Look, I’m sorry. I mean...my mistake. Donna, my receptionist, quit this morning with no notice. She ran off with some truck driver. I’ve got a room full of patients and a long list of messages to return. The phone keeps ringing, and yes, I desperately need another doctor. However, right this minute, I need a receptionist to sort this mess out.”

“I see.”

“I also desperately need another doctor. My day is not going well, as you can see. I’m Luke Hawkins by the way.” He stuck out his hand.

She wiped her hand on her skirt before extending it. He immediately encased it in strong fingers.

“And I suppose the receptionist is expected to be a female?”

“Wha...?” He dropped her hand.

She shook her head. “Forget it.”

Death Southern Style Front Cover FINAL 500 PIX

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

 

 

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Excerpt

Immediately he gave himself a mental slap and tightened his grip on her large suitcase. He followed her out the door reminding himself, one, she was family of a victim. And two, he only did no string relationships. She had strings written all over her. Back off O’Reilly.

“You’re looking better. Sleep well?”

Julie Ann nodded. “I went out like a light. Thanks.”

“Did you eat breakfast?”

Julie Ann nodded. “I’m usually not much of a breakfast person, but with a busy day in front of me I ordered room service and pigged out on bacon and eggs. No grits.”

“No grits?”

“I know I’m in New Orleans, but breakfast is bad enough, let alone with grits on the plate.”

“At least you got your protein for energy. My mother says breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’ll take the doll to forensics.”

“I want to keep the doll for now, if it’s okay. There’s someone I’d like to see it. Then I’ll turn it over to you.”

Connor hesitated. “Okay, as long as you turn it over soon.”

They headed for the elevator.

“Did they find anything voodoo at the crime scene?”

Connor shook his head. “Not that I’m aware of. Why?”

“I wondered, since someone put the doll in my room.”

The elevator slowed to a stop and Connor stepped to one side to let Julie Ann exit first. “The car’s parked out front.”

Julie Ann walked briskly through the lobby, unaware of the admiring glances from most of the men checking her out. Connor noticed though and fought the impulse to tell them to quit drooling.

On the street Julie Ann paused by his dark sedan. It was still early so the temperature was bearable, but the humidity immediately started to seep through her top. She waited for Connor to catch up so she could climb into air-conditioning. She glanced up and down the street.

Connor noticed her checking out the street. He dropped the luggage in the trunk. Someone must have followed them from the house yesterday. That’s the only way they’d know where she was. Was she checking to see if anyone was watching them today?

He needed to be aware of that possibility. He opened the passenger door and lightly touched her curls to make sure she didn’t bump her head when she slid into the seat. A warm sensation shot right to his groin.

He pulled his hand back and reminded himself again of the reasons he couldn’t get involved with a victim of a crime, especially this one.

“Slide in and I’ll get that air-conditioning going.”

“Thanks.”

Connor drove through the narrow streets, periodically checking his mirror. He found a parking spot halfway down the street from a restaurant he knew.

“Come on lady, you may not need food, but I need a coffee. It could be a rough day.” Connor took her arm as they headed to the restaurant.

Julie Ann nodded. “I could use another coffee. I’ll be okay today. Everything hasn’t really sunk in yet, except that I know it wasn’t a robbery.”

“What do you mean?”

“I just know.”

“Is there something you’re not telling me?”

“Not at the moment. I have no proof.” She hesitated. “I know my mother and I’m familiar with the area. Nothing makes any sense.”

He was a cop. He went with facts. He wouldn’t understand how some things felt right or wrong. He probably thought she was a little crazy.

Holly Devine - Assistant PI (2 book series) by Beverley Bateman

A Cruise to Remember

An amnesia victim found by the side of the road is befriended by Lillian, an older woman with early Alzheimer's. Lillian takes the victim, who they call Hallie, with her as a companion on a Caribbean cruise. Eric is an Interpol agent working on catching an international jewelry theft ring. He's undercover as the ship's doctor on the Caribbean cruise ship. Sparks fly when Hallie and Eric meet, but as the cruise progresses Eric’s thinking Hallie might be the thief stealing from the passengers. His reasoning is Hallie’s amnesia and Lillian’s Alzheimer's make a good cover. What’s the chance of two people traveling together having amnesia and Alzheimer’s? And then Lillian keeps coming up with pieces of jewelry passengers have dropped or lost.

 

To complicate everything someone is trying to kill Hallie and she has no idea why. Lillian finds an older cowboy who she's interested in and then there's the sleazy man who keeps hitting on Hallie. As the cruise progresses Hallie gradually starts to regain her memory. Eric decides she's not a thief, but has to find the real one and keep Hallie safe while their romance heats up.

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Excerpt

Strange.

She sat back up and twisted around to adjust Eric’s jacket. There was a hole in the back of the deck chair.

Funny, I don’t remember it being there before I picked up the jacket.

She ran her finger over the hole.

“Here we go.” Eric carried a couple of tall, red, orange and yellowed colored drinks topped off with parasols.

“What were you doing?” he asked.

“I’m not sure. There was a funny sound, like a mosquito, and I think this hole just appeared.”

“What the hell...?” Eric placed the drinks onto a nearby table. He ran his finger over the hole.

“It’s a bloody bullet hole.”

“A what? You’re kidding?”

“No, I’m not. Where were you when it happened?” Eric looked at the hole. He squinted back in the direction it would have come from.

“I guess that’s when I bent down to pick up your jacket.”

“My God, you could have been killed.” Eric pulled Hallie into his arms and squeezed her against his chest. “You’re sure you’re all right?”

“I think so. I mean, I wasn’t hit or anything. I can’t figure out what’s happening. This has to be one of the worst nights of my life.” 

 


 

A Murder To Forget (Holly Devine)

A woman disappears along with the country club golf pro. The woman's sister believes the husband has murdered the woman. The husband says they've run off together. Holly has been assigned the case to find out what happened to the woman. Her search leads her to an arms dealer with a waterfront estate in Florida and his sinister right hand, who keeps threatening Holly. The ATF are watching the man, trying to find out the details of an arms deal that's coming down, where they can arrest the man. 

The arms dealer, and husband, shows an interest in Holly. He invites her out. Holly is contacted and asked to help them with their case because she looks a little like the man's wife and t he's interested in her. She can get inside the estate and maybe, find out information about when the deal is going down. Holly agrees, even though it could put her life in danger.

 

All the protection techniques in place go awry. Will Holly survive?

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Excerpt

PROLOGUE

Brilliant oranges and reds danced against the backdrop of an inky black sky. Two red taillights drove away from the display and disappeared into the darkness.

Flames shot toward the heavens and illuminated the darkness of the night. A few scraggly palm trees stood guard in the background.

For a second, the flames almost disappeared. They withdrew to ground level and crawled on a belly of orange and white along the dirt. They flared up even higher and brighter; fingers of yellow and green reached for the sky. Soft yellows and mauves slipped in and out amongst the brilliant reds and oranges and created a beautiful choreography of color. They moved in tune to a silent orchestra.

The show continued throughout most of the night. It could have been a beautiful Las Vegas revue with the vivid colors dancing against the night sky, but unlike a Las Vegas Revue, no one was there to see it. No one enjoyed the choreography of the beautiful dance or the splendid colors that pranced around the night.

There was no applause - only a deadly silence.