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Fall has officially arrived – leaf scuffling time. I don’t know where you live but we have below freezing temperatures at night and we had snow flurries yesterday and today. So far it’s not sticking. Thank heavens! I head south to avoid cold weather, but we don’t leave for another four weeks. 

In the meantime, I’ve edited The Fourth Victim and I’m getting it formatted. I have my cover artist working on the cover. I’m hoping to have it by the end of this coming week. Watch for a new cover post. My goal is to have The Fourth Victim released by October 26thI’m hoping to promo it after I get the cover and then guest blogs in November. 

For October I’m promoting By Design and Don’t Go at https://view.joomag.com/marketing-for-romance-writers-magazine-jan-2018-volume-1-issue-1-10-18-mfrw-mag/ . I’m looking at changing the cover on Don’t Go. 

I’m starting to work on my newsletter. I started with MailChimp, but I found it confusing. I’ll see how the next attempt goes. I’m hoping to eventually send out one every three months. 

On a personal side, I’m preparing to head south in about four weeks. We got the roof, deck, and carport repaired – so everything is now waterproof. When we get back they’re replacing some of the floors that were damaged, the ceilings and the electrical. It will be nice to have it all done. 

Also, I’m Canadian so we have Thanksgiving October 8th, turkey, ham, and all the trimmings. Then when we go south I get to do it all over again. It’s great for the waistline. I do my Christmas cards before we go. I’m also working on the next book in my Hawkins’ Ranch series, Gabe’s story and hoping to finish off Death Southern Style. We’ll see how that goes this month. I’ll keep you updated. 

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all the Canadians! 

The Fourth Victim, Sara’s story is finished, edited and formatted.
And I have the cover! I love it.

Check it out.

The Fourth Victim by Beverley Bateman

Release Date November 1st. It is available for pre-order.

Stay tuned, additional buy links coming soon. 

 

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 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? 

Dairy-free-Eggnog | Beverley Bateman | Christmas

Ho, ho, ho it’s the Christmas Season. We’re settled in Tucson and the weather is normal for the area. We’re sunny and getting a little cooler. They’re still putting our place back together – slowly – very slowly. I’m putting up the lights. I found a light-up 22” panda which I love. And I’ve started playing Christmas music.

 

NaNo was a bust this year. With everything else going on I didn’t get much done on Escape, the fourth book n the Hawkins’ Ranch series. Here’s a blurb for it.

 

Amy has suffered abuse for years. Finally, she decided it was escape or die. Now she’s running for her life and she doesn’t trust any man.

 

Gabe Hawkins, the oldest brother in the Hawkins family, has never found the right woman. His brothers are all happily married and he’s the only who is still single. Riding around the ranch he finds a skinny, terrified, poorly dressed woman in her late twenties. He’s not attracted to her, but he wants to protect her. That turns out to be harder than he thought. Even with the help of his family, can he keep her alive?

Can Amy ever learn to trust a man? Her life may depend on it.

 

And, The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story, is now available in paperback. Here’s the buy link https://www.amazon.com/dp/0991874897 You can also check it out and get the buy link on the Works by Beverley – Suspense page.

 

The Newsletter I’ve been talking about for so long is finally ready to be sent out. I hope you’re on my list but if not, please sign up. Click on More – then click on contact and sign up there. I’ll only be sending it out every three or four months and I’m hoping to have something of interest for everybody.

Also, please follow my blogs, guests and group blogs on my blog page.

 

 

Dairy-free-Eggnog | Beverley Bateman | Christmas I’m putting a recipe in my newsletter, but I thought I’d share one for a Non- Dairy Eggnog here.
Dairy-Free Eggnog (Serves 4 to 6)
2 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup bourbon, or dark rum (optional)
1/3 cup agave syrup, or honey
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla liquor)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until very light and frothy, 1-2 minutes. Refrigerate until the eggnog is thoroughly chilled. Blend again briefly, then serve and top with freshly grated nutmeg. Enjoy!

 

Have a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

The Fourth Victim by Beverley Bateman

 

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe we’re into a new year. Where did 2018 go? 

Happy New Year - Beverley Bateman Christmas decorations are down and put away for another year. I don’t make resolutions, but I do make goals. I do personal goals and I do writing goals. I’ve been working on them on my blog. You check them out there. We’ll see how well I do in 2019. Please follow my blogs, guests and group blogs on my blog page. I have some great authors and their new books coming up this month. 
Thank you to everyone who checked out my first newsletter. That was a goal I reached in 2018. I’m planning another one for March.  If you haven’t signed up for it click on More – then click on contact and sign up there. I also did an Amazon ad in 2018. Not sure how that worked out, but it was another of my goals for 2018. 

 

One thing I’ve never done is giveaway books. Originally it was because I’m not that techie and couldn’t figure out how to do it. Then I wasn’t doing a lot of promotion, so I just didn’t bother. But one of my goals for 2019 is to do more promotion and giveaway a few books. 

 

 

 

One of my personal goals is to eat healthier. In 2018 I started to cut back on meat, especially red meat and eat more fruit. I’ve always eaten lots of veges but fruit - not so much. After a little research I decided to follow the Mediterranean Diet.  If you’re interested, or want to eat healthier this year, the top three diets for healthy eating and lowering blood pressure are the Mediterranean Diet, The DASH Diet and the Flexitarean Diet (That just means you eat both vegetables and meat) 

The Fourth Victim by Beverley Bateman

 

And, The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story, is now available in paperback.

Here’s the buy link https://www.amazon.com/dp/0991874897

You can also check it out and get the buy link on the Works by Beverley – Suspense page

 

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year and success in whatever your goals may be!

Happy Success - Beverley Bateman

Can you believe we’re into February already? January whizzed by. How are you doing with your goals?

 

 

And it’s Heart Health month. As writer’s, we need to be aware of taking care of our body and our heart, because we spend a lot of time sitting – and eating chocolate. So review your diet and your exercise program, even just a short walk a day helps.

I am working on eating healthier and found some great vegetarian recipes, ratatouille, lentil stew and od others that I really enjoy, so I’m on track there.  And I’ve been blogging on the New Canada Food Guidelines, best diets, along with some vegetarian recipes and I’ll be doing the superfoods of 2019 on my blog. Check it out. I’ve also had some awesome authors and their new books as guests.

I’m working on my March newsletter. I’m hoping to add a guest author and maybe a giveaway. That’s one of my goals for this year. We’ll see if I make it in March. If you haven’t signed up to get it, please go to More on this site and click on it.

Check out my cover in the slide show at http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

 

And enter the contest at https://www.booksandmore.club/ where My Fourth Victim and buy link is shown. Or check out the Raffle copter on https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e226730a31/?fbclid=IwAR1zIFKjeX_X_7_jS_BlzXllfstkIvfIZxgiulEL658hnvMfDxTsdJc2KN4

For February I’m hoping to get a few more words on the page for my WIP, Gabe’s story.

The Fourth Victim by Beverley Bateman

 

And if you don’t check it out anywhere else, here’s my latest:

The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story, is now available in paperback.

Here’s the buy link https://www.amazon.com/dp/0991874897

You can also check it out and get the buy link on the Works by Beverley – Suspense page.

Have a wonderful month, read lots of good books and Happy Valentine’s Day!

We’re over a quarter of the way through 2019 already. I hope you’re working your way through your goals for the year.

April is a busy month. It’s Cancer Awareness month, plus Easter is this month.

 

I’m running behind, but that tends to be my usual pace.  We just got back from snow birding, to much colder weather than I left. Now I’m unpacking and trying to remember where everything goes, plus all the appointments and other things that need to be done.  I’m judging the Daphne contest and I need to plan Easter dinner. But I’m hoping I’ll now get back into a routine. There’s not all the activities and crafts, etc. that are available where we stay down south.  I should be able to focus and get lots of writing done.

I’m hoping to have another installment from my new book available to post here next month, but this month I thought I’d share an Easter Recipe.

 

Scalloped Potatoes  6 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1-1/2 cups whole milk  (or cream if you want to be decadent)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 pounds red potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk (or cream). Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheddar cheese until melted.

Coat an 8-in. square baking dish with cooking spray. Place half of the potatoes in dish; layer with half of the cheese sauce. Repeat layers. Top with parmesan cheese.

 

Bake, covered, 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until bubbly and potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes longer.

This month I’m doing: 

 

Spring Break Bookapal

ooza at https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/spring-break-bookapalooza

The Foundation Sara’s Story will be featured on  April 22nd

 

Rafflecopter at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e226730a33/?

 

I’m doing a promo, from April 8 – April 30, on Red Carpet Fiction at

https://www.redcarpetfiction.com/bookbub-april2019

 

And don’t forget to check out my blog and some great authors with their new books and other information.

Targeted by Beverley Bateman

 

Wow! April showers bring May flowers. We’re into May – and we just had snow. I don’t know how the weather is around where you live.  Hopefully those spring flowers pop up soon. 

 

And where am I in my writing? I am getting back into writing mode. I signed up to attend the Romance Writers of America Conference in New York. That should be a good experience and hopefully there are lots of good workshops.  I’m busy reading my Daphne contest books – almost finished and there have been some great entries. 

 

I’m writing but I’m sort of working on two books at the same time. I don’t usually do this but I’d like to get both books finished by the end of summer. I’m working on book two of The Foundation series and the stand alone, Death Southern Style. 

 

 


 

Here’s a short excerpt from the second book of The Foundation series, Liability Wife Lydia’s story.  Hopefully you’ve read Book one of The Foundation series, The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story. If not and you’d like to check it out,  there are a couple of links below – and you can also win Amazon gift cards. 

 

If you have read The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story, remember Lydia? Lydia is another member of the team. She’s the wealthy Florida socialite married to a doctor. It’s her money but he wants it and if they divorce he gets nothing. So he’s hired a hit man.  Here’s a short excerpt. 

Lydia hesitated at the door of her Florida home. It had been almost five months since she’d been back. She’d had the locks changed so her wonderful, cheating husband couldn’t get in. Still...

 

                She knew he’d hired a hit man but she hoped she had slipped back into town unnoticed and if she was quick, she could get in, do a quick check and remove some of her stuff before her husband or the hit man knew she was back in town.  She had a flight back to New York tonight.

 

Her first stop had been to her lawyers to sign the changes to her will.

 

                Now she glanced over her shoulder.  The street looked empty. She turned the key and the locked clicked. Lydia slipped quickly inside and locked the door. The place had the musty scent of being closed up for a few months. No one, including Paul, had been back inside. He was staying at the Men’s club. She’d checked out his location and itinerary before she’d come back to Florida.

 

                The house gave off unwelcoming, almost threatening vibes. She felt a little vulnerable without her team. A smile touched her lips briefly. She’d never expected to become a special operative with a strong supportive team. If they were here they’d have her back. They were back in New York, but would always be there for her if Paul continued to try and have her killed.       

 

                She hurried to her office, opened a couple of drawers, grabbed a diary and some computer disks. Lydia dropped them into the backpack she’d brought with her and hastened up the stairs to her bedroom. In the closet she removed a few favorite outfits. At the back of the closet she opened the secret compartment where she kept her good jewelry, dumped everything into the backpack, shivered, and ran down the stairs. Something felt off.

 

She wanted out of the house. She darted down the hall to the back door.  A click from the front door caught her attention. Lydia’s stomach clenched. Someone knew she was here. They were trying to break into the house.

 

                Lydia paused one second and focused her mind on the front door. She could see the lock. Using her power of telekinesis she visualized the pick being pushed into the lock, slid it out of the lock and dropped it in the plant beside the door.

 

                She heard someone swear.

 

 


 

Targeted by Beverley Bateman

U.S. Cover

 

This month I have the cover of my book, Targeted and the buy link on display at http://www.romancebooks4us.com/ 

   

And check out The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story on Rafflecopter, https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e226730a34/?fbclid=IwAR282GC1fT_LEgRv3y9trVo40_UhQzqre8-o3fk1uFvMOF8wp1Ajg4V8hU0  

You could win a $50 Amazon gift card.

   

Also check out The Red Carpet for The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story at https://www.redcarpetfiction.com/amazon-may2019

to win 2 Amazon gift cards.


 

This month is Victoria Day in Canada, Monday, May 20th.  It’s a statutory holiday, celebrated on the Monday preceding May 25th, to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday. And it’s Memorial Day in the United States, the last Monday in May. It commemorates all men and women who have dies in military service for the US.

 

 

And don’t forget to check out my blog and some great authors with their new books and other information.

Have a great Holiday Weekend – whichever holiday you celebrate!

Targeted by Beverley Bateman

Can you believe we’re almost half way through this year? Where are you in all the goals you set? Or did you set any? Me? I’m not doing as well as I had hoped. You know, that darn life thing keeps interfering. I have done my June’s newsletter and it should be out by now and I’m giving away a copy of Hunted. If you’re not receiving my newsletter and would like to, go to and sign up. 

 

I’m busy doing my blog with lots of great authors and some interesting topics. Click on my blog and check out my blog site. 

 

I finished reading my Daphne books and found a couple of great reads. I’m not sure I should make any recommendations but Loreth Anne White has new book out “The Girl in the Moss’ which is terrific. 

 

I am finally getting more organized. I got my garden in (not writing orientated) and I’m busy trying to eat healthy. I’ve decided I’m a flexitarian, eating less red meat and more vegetarian and having fun trying out new recipes. And I’m catching up on all those writing extras. I’m also getting back into writing mode, which I said last month.


 

I’m still working on two books at the same time, The Foundation series and the stand alone, Death Southern Style. And I keep thinking about Gabe’s Story – an abused woman who finally escapes her husband. 

 

Here’s another short excerpt from the second book of The Foundation series, Liability Wife Lydia’s story.  Hopefully you’ve read Book one of The Foundation series, The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story. If not and you’d like to check it out, there are a couple of links below – and you can also win Amazon gift cards. 

 

If you have read The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story, remember Lydia? Lydia is another member of the team. She’s the wealthy Florida socialite married to a doctor. It’s her money but he wants it and if they divorce he gets nothing. So he’s hired a hit man.  She’s still part of her team and they’re off to South American to save a woman. Here’s a short excerpt (draft).  



Hidden in the shadows they watched the guards change. The heavy under growth prevented any sun shining through but keep the humidity locked in, giving the air a sauna-like feel.  
 
"Ready?" Lydia whispered.  
 
Sara nodded, moving toward the path. She got the assignment because she spoke fluent Spanish. With her dyed black and make up darkening her skin she looked Peruvian. Mac had helped her dye her hair and use the skin darkener. He really had come a long way. With a quick glance at her team she pulled a scarf over her head and sauntered towards the prison gate.  
 
Maggie moved with her, sliding into the undergrowth near the guard.  
 
The guard stopped her,  
 
"I'm working in the kitchen today. Maria is sick."  
 
He nodded and waved another guard to escort her.  
 
"Scuse." Sara bumped into him as she passed, pocketing his gate key. She dropped into Maggie's hand as she proceeded into the prison.  
 
In the kitchen Sara removed her scarf and pulled on an apron. The head cook shouted at her in Spanish to make the soup.  
 
Sara swallowed a smile. The soup was perfect. As she added bouillon and water she pulled out a slim container from her pocket and dumped a large portion of the powder into the cauldron. Continuing to stir, she hummed a melody from her childhood. This had been easier than they expected, but would the rest of the plan work as smoothly?  
 
When she finished the soup Sara checked the coffee, adding more water and a generous dump of powder.  
 
A few hours later, after finishing the menu for dinner Sara left the prison. Maggie returned the key to her form a hidden post in a bush near the gate.  
 
Sara smiled at the guard, running her fingers up his chest s she returned his key. Then, smiling, she swaggered down the trail, hips undulating, as she headed toward town. Rounding the corner she slipped off the trail into the darkness of the jungle where her team waited.  
 
"They should sleep well." Sara grinned as they crept through the underbrush to the temporary camp they had set up.  
 
Several hours later, in the pitch black of night, the four women made their way back to the prison gate. Dressed in fatigues and black face the women waited outside the prison gate for the change of guards.  
 
Lydia nodded and they crept forward to the gate. Inside a guard slumped to one side, leaning against the pillar, snoring loudly.  
 
Maggie pulled out the key and opened the gate, just enough for the women to slip inside.  
 
Once in the courtyard Maggie grabbed the guard's keys. Sara led the way through the prison, at a fork she turned away from the kitchen and toward the cells. As they searched for Dr. Miguay a few inmates woke, shouting to be released. Most slept soundly.  
 
Dr. Miguay had a cell to herself near the end. Opening the cell door, Sara found the woman sleeping soundly. "Damn, she must have eaten the soup. Quick, Maggie, the antidote."  
 
Maggie dug into her pack and handed saran a syringe. Sara shot it into the doctor's upper arm and waited.  
 
She remained asleep on her cot for several more minutes. Finally her eyes flickered open. She stared up at the four women.  
 
Speaking in Spanish Sara said, "We're here to rescue you. We're Americans. We're taking you to the United States."  
 
Dr. Miguay tried to sit.  
 
Sara helped her reach a sitting position and swing her legs over the edge of the cot and stood up slowly, stilling staring at Sara. Sara grabbed the woman's hand and pulled her forward, slinging her over her shoulder.  
 
Outside the cell Sara dropped the doctor to the floor. Maggie took the doctor's other hand and  
 
The doctor nodded as they plunged through the dense underbrush, Diane hacking away at roots between them they pulled her down the corridor between the cells toward the front gate.  
 
"This way," Sara said in Spanish as they charged into the underbrush. "We have about an hour until we get to our plane."  
 
The doctor nodded. "I speak English. Why are you doing this?"  
 
"We don't like to see women abused." Diane gave a curt laugh. "You do good work."  
   


 

Targeted by Beverley Bateman

U.S. Cover

This month I have  the Book of the Month spot. Check it out at http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

 

And check out The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story on Rafflecopter, https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e226730a35/?fbclid=IwAR2rRqtBu16os8TM80X6q4ejESjVt088dbAUFypAKmVW9zOV26Lst13TaWQ  You could win a $50 Amazon gift card. 

 

Also check out The Red Carpet for The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story at https://www.redcarpetfiction.com/bookbub-june2019 to win 2 Amazon gift cards 

 

June 12th I’m at Mary Schmidt’s mary.mmschmidt@gmail.com 

 

June 14th – It’s the 500th Anniversary at I Love Romance Blog   http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/  And I’ll be there. 

 

June 22 – It’s group blog on my blog site https://beverleybateman.blogspot.com/ - And we’re discussing “Has an event in your life, or that of someone you know, or one covered in the news, ever worked its way into one of your stories?” 

 

And my June newsletter is out. You can check it under More on this site https://beverleybateman.us18.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=59d3bc1ca47b46363bacc673f&id=d54f2401ab 

 

Don’t forget to check out my blog and some great authors with their new books and other information at https://beverleybateman.blogspot.com/


 

Have a great summer. 

Back to School is here! Summer is sliding int Fall. Everyone is getting organized, signing up for classes for their children and themselves. And the Canadian Thanksgiving is just over the horizon.

 

If you happen to be looking for writing type classes check out  http://www.rwakissofdeath.org/coffin 

August has been an interesting month, kind of a mixture. I had issues with my Shiba Inu dog, which I posted about on my blog. She started to have seizures, but I think I have her stabilized. I had a few personal issues, so I’ve been getting tests done – nothing serious. I did get a little writing done, but for some reason I haven’t been able to focus on one book. I keep going from one to another on three books. So, I sat down, looked at three books and made a decision to finish one. The one that should be the quickest to finish is Death Southern Style -so I’m going to try and write every day and get it finished this month. Wish me luck. Then I can move on to the next one.

Here’s a short Blurb from Death Southern Style.
(I posted an excerpt in my newsletter.)

 

When Julie Dupré is told about her mother’s murder she’s in shock. Why would anyone shoot Perrine, and in her own home? She didn’t have anything valuable to steal. And everyone loved her. Julie takes a leave of absence from her career as an interior designer in New York and heads home to New Orleans to find out how Perrine died, and why. Now someone is trying to kill her.

 

Detective Connor O’Reilly is assigned the case he finds no one is investigating the murder. It’s being swept under the carpet. He wants to know why, but he’s being stone-walled by higher authorities.

 

Connor and Julie come together to unravel the secrets behind the murder and find themselves delving into dark secrets from the past. Can they prevent another murder and expose the hidden truth?


 

I finished my newsletter and it’s gone out. If you’re not on my list sign up. It includes writing info, guest authors, recipes and it only goes out four time a year.

 

I also blog twice a week. I do guest posts, usually on Thursday so if you’d like a spot, let me know. And one Saturday we do a group blog.

 

This month you can also find me at:

 

On September 21 the group blog will be talking about – “Has an event in your life, or that of someone you know, or one covered in the news, ever worked its way into one of your stories?”

 

September is going to be a busy month for me. I’m blogging on several romance authors’ blog sites. I’d love to have you drop by, say hi and check out their authors’ blog pages. See the dates below.

I have ‘Targeted’ in the Book of the Month spot on RB4U, http://www.romancebooks4us.com/ 

 

Also check out ‘Fall into These Great Reads Bookathon’. I’m promoting The Fourth Victim on September 19th and A Cruise to Remember on September 28 at https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/fall-into-these-great-reads-bookath .

 

And if you want to win an Amazon gift certificate check out http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e226730a38/

 

I’m also doing a Halloween Blog during October at https://kate-hill.com/halloweenpage/

 

And like I mentioned I have lots of great authors guesting on my blog at https://beverleybateman.blogspot.com/. Please come by and share your thoughts and comments.

 

 

a cruise to remember by beverley bateman

 

Enjoy the official start of Fall.

The Holiday Season has arrived. Thanksgiving is over and December is here. I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I haven’t put up my Christmas tree or started decorating yet. It’s on my list. At the top of my list is Finish the Damn Book. I am writing and editing Death Southern Style. My goal is to send it for editing December 5th. I also have a beta reader ready to read and share her opinion If anyone would like to be a beta reader for me, please contact me at babateman@shaw.ca . I’d love to have another person share their honest opinion of my book. I’ve also got my cover artist working on a cover for Death Southern Style. Check out my blog site in a week and I should be posting draft copies of a cover and asking for your input.

I am getting more done being down south with warmer weather and no snow. I’m signing up for guest blogs for next year. I’m planning my goals and priorities for 2020. My dog is holding her own, which is great. My health is better. I don’t do well in the cold. I’m busier but more organized – I hope.

 

Did you realize we have reached the end of another decade? What are your goals for the next decade? I find that a scary thought. I usually do one-year goals and priorities, sometimes five-year goals but ten years – yikes!

Here’s s short excerpt from Death Southern Style

 

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

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. 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 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.

Why was he back here? 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, too.

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.

Silence.

“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

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

 

 

This month check out:

December 4th for my cover and post and the rest of the month Christmas Holiday Festival and  four Amazon or Barnes and Nobel gift cards from $10 - $50 at https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/christmas-holiday-festival

 

 

All month my cover and book Missing and give away at https://www.redcarpetfiction.com/author-giveaways-contests

All month you can check out my book and be eligible to win a $50 amazon gift card at Rafflecopter http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e226730a42/?

December 27 - Group Blog – start at https://beverleybateman.blogspot.com/and we’ll be writing a short story, flash fiction, or excerpt from one of our books.

Don’t forget to check out my blog and some great authors with their new books and other information at https://beverleybateman.blogspot.com/ and post comments.

And come back next month to see if I’ve got Death Southern Style on sale.

 

 

Here’s here is a favorite Christmas recipe of mine if you like Cranberry sauce with your turkey

 

Cranberry “N” Cot Relish (Makes 4 cups)

 

3 cups raw cranberries

1 cup sugar

1 28 oz can of apricots

1/3 cup rum

Measure cranberries into a 13x9x2 inch baking dish

Sprinkle with sugar

Cover with foil and bake in a slow oven, 300 deg F, for 45 minutes

Drain apricots, reserve ½ cup of syrup

Remove foil and add drained apricots and syrup

Cover and return to oven.

Bake an additional 15 minutes.

Stir in rum.

Cover and chill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Holiday Season everyone!