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The Fourth Victim by Beverley Bateman

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. 


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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“What the hell happened?” Carly’s voice reverberated against the metal walls. She strode through the door into the refurbished meat freezer, now The Foundation’s office. 


The room had been part of an old meat packing warehouse in the Bronx are of New York City. The metal outer walls kept the cold inside. Even though they’d covered the blood-stained cement floor with under padding and thick wool carpeting, and hung tapestries on the wall, a chill always invaded the room. It assaulted her body right through to the bone.


Tortoise-shell glasses framed her bleary eyes and she clutched a bundle of fur under her arm. She plopped the dog into a chair. “I had to bring her with me. She whines and I get complaints from the other residents.”


Her two partners, a super model and a computer programmer, had already arrived. A slightly overweight blonde, her eyes red-rimmed and her nose pinkish, popped out from the back room, outside the freezer. She carried two pink mugs, the steam leaving a trail behind her.


“You’ve got another stray? How many animals does that make now?” Julie placed one of the mugs in front of Carly before she patted Phoenix’s head. “Poor baby, she’s going to get cold in here.”


“She’s wearing a fur coat. She’ll be fine.” Carly inhaled the rich scent of the freshly brewed liquid. “Thanks for the coffee, Julie. I could use it. So what happened?”


“Don’t know. I got here a few minutes ago. Nadia will fill us in. I’ve checked the bank balance so we can cover whatever she needs.”


“Good girl. You must have broken a record getting here this quick.” Carly took another sip of the hot, black liquid. “I took a cab instead of getting Sam to drive me, and paid my cabbie extra to speed, but you still beat me. You look like hell, Nadia.” She turned to the other woman who stood in the back doorway, talking into her cell.


The tall woman wore worn designer jeans and a rumpled white t-shirt. She clicked off her phone. Without makeup and black hair pulled into a pony-tail, no one would recognize her as one of the world’s top super models.


“Thanks. You don’t look so hot yourself. You’re wearing glasses?”


“No time to put in contacts. I never expected this.” Carly responded. Her gut clenched at the thought of losing one of their team. The possibility had always been there, but they spent time and money to make sure it never happened. Unconsciously, she moved her hand across her stomach. 

They’d saved a lot of women and up until now, never lost a team member. Now they had to save one of their own. “How long have you been here?”


Nadia massaged her temples. “A little while.”


Carly pulled her cashmere sweater tighter against the penetrating chill. “You didn’t call us right away?” 

Almost the end of the year. Challenges continue, floods, mudslides, the ups and downs of the Covid pandemic and the confusion on how to respond to it. My response to it is to protect yourself and protect your family, friends, and the community.


The pandemic and the things associated with life around it, have affected many people in many ways. People say we have lost a year, or maybe two, of our lives, especially the older people.

I’m one of the people affected. I haven’t been able to write, either edit or work on a new novel. The joy of writing has gone. It’s not fun anymore. I have nothing to say on my website. I avoid anything to do with marketing and then feel guilty because I should be doing more.


After struggling for the last year, without any results, I have decided to take a break. If I’m not enjoying it and excited, that will show in my writing, should I manage to drag a few words onto a page. I’m not sure how long this break will last. For now, I’m closing my website temporarily. I’m hoping by taking a break and doing things I used to enjoy like playing the flute or painting, I might get a fresh outlook on life and want to share stories again.


If and when I get a great new idea for a story, feel motivated and excited and can’t wait to get words on paper, I will start writing and rejuvenate my website. 



I may post to my blog occasionally if I have anything I feel might be interesting, writing related or not.

If you have questions or comments about any of books or anything else, you can reach me there.



I want to thank my web person, Dee Carver,, for all her hard work and for working on ideas for marketing for me. If you’re looking for a web person you can find her at Personalized Marketing Inc.

In the meantime, I wish everyone a healthy and safe Christmas or whatever you celebrate or believe in, at this time and throughout the year.


My books are still available if you’re looking for a gift or something to read over Christmas. I hope you enjoy them. And hopefully I’ll be back by this time next year. 




Winter is on the horizon. I’m not sure what it’s like where you live but we’re having a lovely fall. Day time temperatures are above freezing and mostly sunny. 

The US border is finally going to open land travel to people fully vaccinated against Covid. We will finally be able to head south to our place in Tucson, hopefully before the snow begins.


This month we have Remembrance Day in Canada on November 11th. Let us never forget and honour our heroes, the armed forces, both past and present. Wear a poppy and have a moment of silence to remember.

In the US November 11th is known by the Americans as Veterans Day or Armistice Day. It honors the military veterans who are people who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Two minutes of silence is held at 11 am.


And then the Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a Federal holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Traditionally, this holiday celebrates the giving of thanks for the autumn harvest. This year it will be on November 25th. It’s a big family holiday with lots of food and football. 

I’m taking a break from editing. I need to get the house winterized, pack and plan our trip, then drive south. I do most of the driving. Our daughter will be staying in our place while we’re gone. So no blurb this month.



Enjoy the fall and remember Remembrance Day


Fall is officially here. Leaves are changing color, weather is cooling down and it’s leaf scuffling time.

In Canada we have Thanksgiving coming up the second Monday of the month. It has been an official holiday since November 5, 1879. It celebrated the harvest and other blessings of the past year.

According to Wikipedia on January 31, 1957, the Governor General of Canada issued a proclamation stating: "A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the second Monday in October."

Thanksgiving corresponds to the British and continental European harvest festival with churches decorated with cornucopias, pumpkins, corn, wheat sheaves, and other harvest bounty. British and European harvest hymns are sung on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

While the actual Thanksgiving holiday is on a Monday, Canadians may gather for their Thanksgiving feast on any day during the long weekend; however, Sunday is considered the most common. Foods traditionally served at a Canadian Thanksgiving may include roasted or barbeques turkey, ham, stuffing, sausage meat, mashed potatoes, yams, gravy, cranberry sauce, corn, various autumn vegetables (including squashes and Brussels sprouts), and pumpkin pie. Various regional dishes and desserts may also be served, including salmon, wild game, butter tarts and Nanaimo bars.

The Canadian Football League usually holds a nationally televised doubleheader, the Thanksgiving Day Classic.

Many communities in Canada hold events in the week prior to, and/or on the day of the holiday. It could include a parade consisting of floats, civic figures in the region, local performance troupes and marching bands.

I’m still plugging slowly along at my editing, but I have difficulty concentrating. My muse has apparently taken a long vacation or is staying safe from Covid. It’s on the increase in my area and all over. We have the highest number of active cases since the pandemic began. 



Here’s an excerpt from Witness to Murder.

Excerpt from Murder Off-Leash.

Jerking the steering wheel sharply to the right, Mitch pulled the car into the service station, stopping at a pump one over and the pump behind her. He stayed in his car, attempting to slide his large frame down into the seat, pulling his Yankees baseball cap over his eyes.

“Fill’er up,” he mumbled to the attendant. “Oil’s fine.”

The attendant, a pimply-faced kid in his teens, removed the lid from the gas tank, cautiously eying the large dog lying in the back seat as he filled the tank. The dog raised his head and let out one bark. The attendant jumped back, spilling the gas. “Jeez.”

“Don’t worry He doesn’t bite.” At least I don’t think he bites...maybe I should buy a muzzle just in case, Mitch thought to himself. He had no idea why he had that dog in his back seat. He didn’t even like dogs, hadn’t since he’d been bitten by that damned Doberman. He had overcome the fear when he’d joined the force, but he still didn’t like the damn animals.

He turned and looked at the large sad brown eyes, as the dog lay slobbering all over his seat. “It’s okay, boy. It’ll get better. It can’t get much worse.”

Mitch paid the attendant, then shifted the gears of his older model, slightly rusted, dark blue Chevrolet. The car looked more like an old family sedan, but he’d had the engine rebuilt under that slightly rusted hood. It could take almost any damn car on the road. Every once in awhile some hotshot teenager would rev his engine as he pulled up beside him at a stop light, challenging him to a race, laughing at his heap. Mitch always enjoyed the shocked look on the kid’s face when he left him behind, eating his dust.

He eased the car forward, pulling out of the service station and moving to a spot on the street where he could watch her in his rear view mirror. She and the kid had gone inside the convenience store.

Mitch reached into the brown grocery bag on the seat beside him. Just in case she didn’t stop, he’d picked up enough junk food to last for a couple of days, including dry dog food and a couple of jugs of water. He’d also managed a stop at one of the fast-food drive-thrus along the highway, when she and the kid stopped for lunch. The fries were cold, but still not too bad. He bit into another hard, cold, greasy one, and waited for her next move. He could sure use a cold beer about now. He should have picked up a six-pack. He scratched his chin, then rubbed his hand up his cheek. He needed a shave. Like that was going to happen.

The whining started in the back seat. Then the shaggy head appeared, resting on the top of the passenger’s seat, leaning over Mitch’s shoulder. Mitch grabbed a hand full of dry dog food and dumped it on the back seat. He’d have to get the damn car vacuumed one of these days.

The dog slid back down on to the seat, munching away on the dry food. He appeared to be in mourning if dogs did mourn. Most of the time he just kind of lay there on the seat, whining occasionally. He hardly even barked anymore.

Beverley Bateman Blogger

This month, I’m only doing my Group Blog on October 15th   at  

Please follow me on my blog Tuesday and Thursday and the third Saturday at for writing tips, hints, and guest authors. I have a great group of authors and their new books this month. And post your thoughts on the blog post, or anything else you have on your mind. 

Enjoy the fall and happy Halloween!



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  


Please follow me on my blog Tuesday and Thursday and the third Saturday at for writing tips, hints, and guest authors. I have a great group of authors and their new books this month. And post your thoughts on the blog post, or anything else you have on your mind. 


And check out my newsletter this month. 


Not only running late again, but this summer I have very little writing news.

Our temperatures continue to set records, staying in the mid to high Celsius. We have daily high heat warnings. I live in Alberta, and with the high temperatures and no rain, we have a few forest fires in the north. Our neighbors to the west in British Columbia are setting records for forest fires and the amount of acreage burnt. Firefighters from Mexico and Australia have been deployed to BC to help get the fires under control. The smoke from all the fires blows across and covers our province. For weeks, as well as heat warnings, we’ve had smoke advisories recommending we stay inside. We’re not even supposed to walk our dogs. So poor Benji only gets a couple of quick trips daily. 




Our area opened up the Covid rules. Now it’s no masks except on public transport and government buildings. On August 16th there won’t be any Covid rules. If you’re a contact of Covid you don’t have to isolate. No size limits on group sizes. Since they opened up, our daily Covid cases have increased. We were down to 2 active cases and now we’re up to 103 active cases in our town. Some businesses have decided to require masks or ask for proof of immunization, but the government isn’t recommending it. They say we can’t beat Covid, so we need to learn to live with it. I don’t disagree with the theory, but we need to take baby steps and learn how to live with it. It’s also against CDC, public health and WHO recommendations. 

My editing is going slowly, like at a snail’s pace and my muse hasn’t returned so even less writing.




I’m still crawling through edits so here’s another excerpt from Murder Off-Leash.

Susan turned, looked toward the play area, and called out. "Hank! Hank, honey, we’re going."

There was no answer.

"Hank. Hank. Where are you?" Susan raced outside. The play area was empty.

"Hank!" She screamed. Terror grabbed her body and squeezed tight.

There was no sign of Hank or the dog. Not a sound. It was deadly quiet.
              Mitch heard her screams. He raced past Susan toward play area. and was right beside her. The kid had to be around.

How could he have let a little boy disappear? Some cop he was. It was beginning to look like Maria was right when she said he was a lousy cop as well as a lousy lover

"It’s okay, Susan. He’s around here. If anything had happened, we would have heard Wolf bark."

"Maybe he shot Wolf before he had a chance to bark. Maybe he’s shot Hank. Hank!" Susan screamed.

"We would have heard the shot. Or we’d see Wolf. He’s not going to lug a dead dog anywhere. Besides, he’s not after Hank. He’s after you. He would keep Hank alive to get to you."

"Hank! Where are you, honey? Don’t play games with Mommy. Please honey." She raced down the outside of the motel. Her eyes brimmed with tears

Mitch matched her stride. "Hank! Hank, where are you boy? Wolf! Here boy."

"He’s found us, and he’s got Hank. I’m sure I heard someone last night." Susan’s voice rose to a high pitch.

"No. There was no one there last night. He wouldn’t have found us — you, yet. There hasn’t been time and I haven’t given out any information. It will take him a couple of days to catch up. Trust me."

"Right, I should trust the guy who let a murder occur in front of me. Hank! Hank, please honey! Answer Mommy! Oh God, please let him be alright. He was in the play area a minute ago. I shouldn’t have left him alone. I should have been in there with him. It’s my fault. If anything’s happened to him, it’s my fault. I can’t even take care of my own son."

“You’re a great mother. We’ll find him.” Mitch strode  around the motel building. The kid had to be here. Maybe he was playing hide and seek. There was no way the Iceman would have found them yet. No way. He wasn’t that good. Was he?

Susan followed after Mitch. "Hank! Wolf! Hank! Where are you?"

"Hank! Hank, where are you?" Mitch yelled.

It seemed like an eternity, but in about five minutes they had circled the motel twice, with no sign of Hank or Wolf.

"He’s gone. He’s been kidnapped. I know it." Susan ran her fingers through her hair, tears streamed down her cheeks.

Mitch pushed Susan in the direction of the cafe. "Look, I’m going to check out that grove of trees over there. Why don’t you go back to the cafe and ask if they’ve seen him, or if they’ve seen anything suspicious?"

If he found anything in those trees, he didn’t want Susan with him.

"Are you sure?"

"Uh huh, positive. He and Wolf may have gone back there. You know, maybe they were hungry again. I’ll also ask the motel clerk if he’s seen anything."

Susan started running toward the cafe. "Please, please God, let him be there."

Mitch heard her praying as he headed for the grove of trees. He was doing a little praying of his own. He walked slowly through the trees, looking for any sign a boy and a dog might have been there. He believed they had just wandered off. Where would a boy and his dog go? He glanced back at the cafe to see if Susan had found them...

Part of him was looking for Hank and the dog; the other part was still reeling from that kiss. The result from that kiss was screwing up his ability to concentrate. He’d done it partly to throw her off balance, but also because he desperately wanted to kiss her. He’d wanted to do it from the first, when she ran into him at the bottom of the stairs. He still remembered his reaction to her lips when she was lying on top of him, her lips millimeters from his. The memory of her haunted him, even when she wasn’t there.

But it had backfired. That kiss had thrown him totally off balance. He didn’t want anything to do with her. He didn’t want any relationship with any woman, particularly this one. And after that kiss, he knew he wasn’t going to be able to just walk away from her.

She had responded to his kiss, almost without hesitation, which had surprised him. He’d actually expected to get his face slapped. When she hadn’t and he found her receptive, her body warm and sensual moving against his, white heat roared through his body.

He enjoyed her kiss and her body. It was a new feeling he hadn’t experienced before. He had never felt anything like this with Maria. He had pushed himself away and turned his back on her. He couldn’t let her see how she affected him.

He finished checking the small grove of trees and breathed a sigh of relief. Not that he’d really expected to find anything, but you never knew. There was still no sign of Hank, Mitch was starting to get worried. He didn’t figure the Iceman could have found them yet, but... he headed back to the motel.

"Mitch, I found him! He’s here! I’ve found him!" Susan shouted and waved from the front of the cafe.

"Where was he?" Mitch loped across the clearing to her.

Inside he found Susan on her knees, hugging Hank. She was laughing and crying as she touched Hank’s face and rumpled his hair. Wolf sat quietly at Hank’s side, panting and drooling, his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth.

"They were in the cafe, just like you said. Honey don’t ever do that again. Mommy was so scared." Susan kissed Hank on his cheeks, forehead, and mouth and hugged him tightly.

"Wolfie wanted something to drink tho I went in and athked the lady for some water. They were really nice and gave me a big bowl and everything."

"That was nice of you and them, but you should have told me where you were going, honey." Susan kissed Hank on the top of his head as she stood up.

"I didn’t want to bother you and Mr. Pellagrino. You were fighting. And there wath a man watching uth. I got thcared."

"We weren’t fighting. We were just having a discussion, but it’s okay to interrupt. You bother Mommy anytime, promise? Promise me you’ll always tell me where you are. Promise?"

"I promith."

“What do you mean a man?” Susan suddenly realized what Hank had said. Her face froze as terror crept back across like a dark shadow.

“He wath watching uth from the treeth.”

“Who was it? The Iceman?” Susan stared at Mitch. Her voice climbed up an octave.

“No. I’m sure it wasn’t.” Mitch watched her pull Hank tightly against her.

“Then who? Is there someone else on my trail?”

“Probably just a coincidence.”

“You think? I mean you really don’t think it was someone watching us?” Susan stared at him, waiting for his response.

“I really don’t think so. Come on, let’s blow this place.” Mitch tried to sound convincing. Was there another guy? Did the Iceman have a partner? What if they had been found already?

Beverley Bateman Blogger

This month, I am part of N.N. Light’s Mystery Suspense Mini event, August 16th at 9 am at Drop by for a chance to win a $66 Amazon gift card. The Rafflecopter direct link is


Please follow me on my blog Tuesday and Thursday and the third Saturday at for writing tips, hints, and guest authors. Check out the exciting authors and their new books this month. And post your thoughts on the blog post, or anything else you have on your mind.




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

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

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

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



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

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

Here’s an excerpt.

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


It clicked opened.


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


A soft popping sound came from inside the room.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Damn, the dog is slowing me down.


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


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


This had to be the worst day of her life.


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


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


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


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


“You! Stop! Wait! Stop! Damn it!”


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


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


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


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


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


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


Beverley Bateman Blogger

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

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


Happy Summer!

May News I thought Covid was on the decrease. It’s been over a year and we now have the vaccines, but we are in a third wave and most places appear to be at the moment. Yesterday we had our highest number of total cases yesterday since the beginning last year. New cases keep coming every day, and most of them are the variants. Younger people are getting Covid, and they may die.


I’ve had my second Covid immunization, but I’m still concerned because cases keep rising. I don’t socialize or if I talk to people, it’s with a mask and six feet apart. I haven’t eaten out in over a year. Indoor dining is closed again.


People talk about getting back to normal, but I don’t see that light in the near future. We are entering our third lockdown, including schools, personal fitness and non-essential stores.


I also have some additional family health issues for a month or two. And while we don’t have snow, but we are still getting very cool temperatures.


My muse appears to be staying way and the result is a difficult time writing. I manage a few words and that’s it. No motivation and difficulty focusing. I don’t have a new book or one even close at the moment. So, check out my website and my books.


Since I have nothing new to share and I’m not feeling spring-like yet I thought I’d share the one thing that brightened my day this week.

Tiger Gives Birth to 3 Cubs at Toronto Zoo After 104 -Day Pregnancy.

Mazyria the Amur tiger, who gave birth to three cubs in 2013, is now a mom of six after giving birth to another trio of tiger cubs on April 30 at the Toronto Zoo 


And here’s the article and a video as well.




This month, again, I’m a little overwhelmed with some family issues and lack of focus so I’m only doing my Group Blog on ‘Does writing change the author? Do you think your writing has changed you in any significant way?’ May 22nd at 


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



Victoria Day

Happy Victoria Day to my fellow Canadians


Happy Memorial Day to my US friends! 

Memorial Day

Beverley Bateman Blogger


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

We had a huge snowstorm last week for two days and about seven or eight inches of heavy wet snow. Followed by several days of cold, windy, rainy days. Our last lockdown is starting to open up June 1st.  


WE raced home last March 20th to cross the Canadian border before it closed. And it’s been closed ever since. I’ve done quarantine, isolation, masked, shutdown and social distanced. It’s been fourteen months. Between Covid and a cold winter I’ve been affected like so many other people. I’m hoping with summer approaching I’m going to get back on track. I’m beginning to feel more motivated. Enough that I’ve set up at schedule for the next month. I’ve rethought Lydia’s story and come up with some draft notes. That’s a good start. And I plan on writing one hour a day for four days a week. Not lofty goals but more than I’ve done for quite awhile.


I also plan to edit Death Awaits, one hour a day four days a week. Since I haven’t managed any amount of successful writing for a long time, I’m hoping these are reasonable goals and I can fit them in with summer activities like gardening.


I’m hoping my muse is also ready to put in an occasional appearance and help me with writing Lydia’s story.


I’m still having issues with motivation and difficulty in focusing. I don’t have a new book or one even close at the moment, but I’m hoping to change that soon. In the meantime, check out my website and my published books.




This month, again, my PR is being cut back again. I’m hoping to put my energy into writing instead.


I am doing a book tour with Silver Dragon June 14 to July 14.


Beverley Bateman Blogger

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


Welcome to Summer!

Death Southern Style Front Cover FINAL 500 PIX

April Showers I can’t believe April is here. We’re a quarter of the way through this year. Spring was supposed to be March 21, but we brought April in with a snow squall. I was raised on the prairies and I’d never heard of a snow squall. I couldn’t believe the wind warning and the heavy blowing snow. We had a fifty – seventy vehicle accident that morning. Winter appears to have passed and spring may be popping its head up occasionally. (fingers crossed) 

Easter is in April this year. Also, we get our second Covid vaccine this month.  It will be nice to feel ninety-five present protected, even though we’ll still mask and social distance. 

Covid appears to be increasing again, mostly with the variants, even with more people are getting vaccinations against it. With spring and warmer weather coming, I’m still beginning to feel things may improve. My muse is back but not working yet. I think it’s sort of a post Covid response.

I’m drafting notes, starting to write. Not a lot, but more than I have been. I’m also taking a break from my novel and writing a novella. We’ll see how it goes. I’m doing a one hundred words a day and Word by Word.


Death Southern Style Front Cover FINAL 500 PIX

Here’s another excerpt from Death Southern Style.

Marie L. growled a low guttural sound deep in her throat and stood up on the bed. 

Julie Ann rolled over and automatically moved her hand toward the dog. “It’s okay. Good dog, good girl. Go back to sleep.” She closed her eyes. 

Marie uttered another growl. This time the hairs on the back of Julie Ann’s neck stood on end. She could hear a noise downstairs. Footsteps? A door? 

Damn, she’d forgot to put the chair in front of the front door, but she’d put the new lock on. 

She laid quietly, patted Marie and shushed her. She could hear a creak on the stairs. 

She reached for Marie, but the dog jumped off the bed and ran toward the stairs. 

Julie Ann hesitated then moved to the closet and pulled the hangers aside. She closed the secret room door and climbed on to the cot. She wrapped her arms around her legs, listened and waited. She couldn’t believe someone was back again, especially after the attack on Savannah. The stakes appeared to be getting higher. Perrine had died but that wasn’t enough. What did they want? What were they afraid she knew and might expose?

She heard Marie growling and barking.

A man’s voice shouted, “Go away and get out of here. Damn dog, go.”

The barking continued. 

Julie Ann heard steps come into the bedroom. The cupboard door was opened and slammed shut. The man swore and stomped off into Perrine’s room. Marie continued to bark and follow him. Julie Ann could tell where he was by the sound of his feet. She wasn’t sure but it sounded like he might have a limp.

Maybe he had a bite on his ankle.

She sat quietly and shivered at the sound of someone wandering through her home, sure that it was the same man who had killed her mother and probably attacked Savannah. He probably had a gun. She offered up a silent prayer that he didn’t decide to shoot Marie.

Why was he back here? This was the third time. He hadn’t found anything on his previous visits so the only reason she could think of for this one was that he wanted to kill her. There was no other motive she could think of and so far, no one had found a motive for any of the killings. Why?

Maybe Connor was right – maybe she should move to a hotel.

No, she wouldn’t let them chase her out of her home. Besides, she was safer here anyway. If they wanted her dead, they could find her in a hotel. They had the first night. And she might not have the same safety she had here, in Perrine’s secret room. Still shivering she listened to the steps move downstairs and out the door, Marie barked at his heels.

There was silence, then a scratching at the closet door.

“No, Marie – go away.” Julie Ann whispered. 

Marie continued to whine and scratch. Julie Ann jumped up, opened the door and let the dog in. “Shh, be quiet.”

Marie jumped up on the cot and snuggled next to Julie Ann. Julie Ann patted her absently, “Good dog, good girl.”

Everything had gone deadly quiet.

She waited for another few minutes. There still wasn’t a sound. “Okay girl, let’s check and see if he’s gone.”

Julie Ann slid the door open and slipped out into her bedroom. She stopped, pressed her back against the wall and listened.


“Okay girl, we’re going downstairs to make sure he’s gone, so no barking.”

The house was in total darkness. Julie Ann crept out into the hall and down the stairs. Silence echoed through the house.

She flipped the light switch. A soft yellow light flooded the room. There was no one there. The front door had been closed and locked. He’d picked the lock. She should get a new one with a bolt.

Julie Ann noticed a scrap of paper caught under the front door frame.

He must have dropped it when he left.

She scuttled across the room and grabbed it. It was folded in squares. She opened it and read it. Blindly she reached for a chair and collapsed into it, the note clutched in her hand.

I can’t continue. The guilt is too much.

I don’t want to live without her.

This is the only way I can escape.


Julie Ann


April - Marcia Anderson’s Go Pets Blog 

April 1 - Darlene Fredette’s Blog A Day in the Life Spotlight 

April 17 - Group blog How do you choose your characters' names? Are there any you avoid?) 

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

Beverley Bateman Blogger


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