Born in Canada, Barbara Ann resided in the US for twelve years. There she was published for the first time, first in newspapers and magazines and then, in 2003, her first book was released. Watching the expressions on the faces of her readers as well as answering questions about her characters is what drives Barbara Ann to write yet another book. Her favorite genre is murder mystery but each book brings forth characters who rely on God as they solve the puzzle in their life. Her readers also have a tremendous amount of input when they wonder what happened to this character or that one, even if they are secondary to the story.
Author: Barbara Ann Derksen
Book: Shadow Stalker
Genre: Christian Mystery & Suspense
Price: $4.99 on sale for $.99
Link to Amazon: http://amzn.to/1io0CKR
Excerpt: Chapter 2
Conrad Finder stepped fully into the office, his welcome assured. "Let's sit where we won't be interrupted. And go ahead and lock yur door. This won't take long." The larger man moved toward the hallway leading to the back of the office area. He turned as Jeremy slipped his key in the lock to secure the front door.
Jeremy stared at the man who'd treated the little five-year-old as his own daughter for so many years. He pointed the way to his office, and stepped around the older man to open the door. He noticed the worried countenance that the man wore but remained silent until Conrad was settled on a comfortable chair.
The seating arrangement in the room was designed to seat a few people at a time around a sofa and chair configuration, There was a work station across the room complete with more than one computer and a couple of extra computer screens. Jeremy was all about hi-tech. "Sorry I have no coffee to offer you. My office assistant is not in, as you can see." Jeremy sat on the sofa facing Conrad. "Now, what can I do for you?"
Conrad cleared his throat. "Two weeks ago, one o’ my ranch hands was murdered. The investigation went nowhare but a couple of my hands said Jose spotted some smoke coming from one of the line shacks. No one from the ranch was workin’ thare so he went ta see what or who might be trespassing. Anyway, they found his body a few miles from the cabin. He'd been shot in the head, execution style. For the almost 20 years that Christine lived with us, there were no incidences that gave us a reason to suspect that her parent's killer had found her. Now ..."
"You mean, you think this is tied to her. But why? Couldn't it have been a random killing ... maybe a rustler? They do still have cattle rustlers in Texas, don't they?" Jeremy sat forward, placing his elbows on his knees.
"The killer was careless ... or maybe deliberate. He left a picture of Christine behind at the cabin. I think it was one of them computer generated pictures but it looked close enough. I think she’s in danger. I want you to protect her. I will pay whatever it takes." The man cleared his throat. This was an issue that affected him deeply, it appeared. "I care for Christine, like a daughter. I do not want her to be hurt any more. Her decision to move back to Canada was against my wishes but I was only a guardian. Once she became of legal age, your father, her lawyer, told her she was free to live wherever she wanted. I cannot protect her in this city."
Jeremy stood, his hands on his hips. The scowl that had been on Conrad Finder's face was now on his. "Is there any way one of your ranch hands may have ... well ... fallen for her and had her picture, left it at the cabin?"
"No. No way. They’re all married. I haven't had an unattached caballero in five years. My men are loyal and wish to remain on the ranch to raise their families. I don’t need to hire anyone else. Besides the murder, there is stealing but no one is stupid enough to go up against the Texas justice system these days. Our courts are tough since we have so many illegals. And they only want to remain hidden. This man seemed to flaunt his power ... I mean ... he killed Jose in broad daylight only a few miles from the main house." He wiped his face with a handkerchief he’d removed from his pocket. "Do you have some water?"
"Sure." Jeremy walked over to the small bar he kept for his clients. He pulled a bottle of water from the tiny fridge.
Conrad took the bottle, snapped off the cap, and took a long swig. He swiped the extra moisture from his lips before continuing. “I had my ranch hands search every inch of the property. Other than that photo, he left nothing behind. There’s not a trace of him and I have no way of knowing what Jose told him before he died. There were a couple cigarette burns along his jaw line.”
“Your ranch hands know Christine’s history?” Jeremy frowned, creases flowing from side to side across his forehead.
Conrad scowled. “You think I’m a stupid man, don’t you? Of course they don’t know anything about her except what is right before their eyes. They do know she’s not our daughter. But that’s all.” He took another drink from the water bottle.
“Then there was nothing for Jose to tell his killer. But …”
“That’s not the point. It’s what he does know that could endanger her. Are you going to protect her or not?”