Sunday, August 19, 2018

A Fortune to Die For by Liza0Connor



Since the White Oak Mafia Series not only has trees, but the Iowa mafia in it, I thought you might like to catch up on some mafia lingo.

There’s a great deal of mafia lingo, most of which we can generalize and call the Italian language. However, they use some English words as well.

But here are some of their special Mafia lingo:
1)  Euphemisms: The Mafia LOVES euphemisms
The Books: That’s what they call the Mafia families. When ‘the book’ is closed, someone has died. When the book opens, someone becomes part of the family.  They call it The Book because nothing is ever written down. (That last part is not a euphemism, that’s just being perverse! Books are full of words.)
Comare: This is what they call their mistresses, but the dictionary translates it as ‘godmother’.   Okay, that’s just creepy.
Empty suit: someone with nothing to offer, one who tries to hang around with mobsters. (I’d call that bad judgement)
Get a place ready: To find a burial site.  (Get a place ready sounds much nicer, doesn’t it? The term probably came into use when the feds started tapping telephones.)
Give a pass: To grant a reprieve from being whacked. (I probably need a pass for this blog.)
Going south: stealing, passing money under the table, going on the lam. (I’m pretty sure that means they need to “get a place ready” because he’s not getting a pass if he steals from the Mafia.)

2)   Insulting terms in Mafia Lingo (and what the dictionary thinks it means.)
babbo:  A dope, idiot, useless underling.   Real Meaning: Dad.  (Seriously? Dad is a dope and idiot???? Does this mean mafia bosses have father issues?)
cafone:  (slang pronunciation "gavone" ) a phony or one who is an embarrassment to himself and others    Real meaning:  ‘boor’
cugine: a tough guy wanting to be ‘made’ (invited into a family).   Actual meaning: cousins.

3)   Crime lingo: Since that’s their business, they need words for it.
Beef: A complaint or disagreement.  In English, it means a slaughtered cow.
Burn: to murder; other synonyms: break an egg, clip, do a piece of work, hit, ice, pop, put out a contract on, whack. Etc. (Just as Alaskan natives have twenty words for snow, the mafia has even more for murder.)
Cleaning: Stopping at lots of shops to avoid being followed.??? Wouldn’t stopping at shops just give them time to catch up to you?
Fence: someone with worldwide outlets to liquidate swag.  (Isn’t that the definition of IKEA?)
Hard-on with a suitcase: mob lawyer and if it’s a female lawyer it’s just a half a hard-on with a suitcase. (grrrr)

So there you have it.
By their language alone, I can tell that Mobsters are perverse, creepy, misogynistic, not terribly bright, prone to killing people (but are neat since they will bury those they whack, ice, cap, burn, or whatever) are attracted to IKEA warehouses and have serious Daddy issues.

Liza, the mafia isn’t known for their sense of humor. You probably shouldn’t play with them.

Good Point! If you are mafia, I’m just being perverse and saying the opposite of what I actually mean. Please don’t kill me!

Blurb
Megan Clarke had a good life until she wins the Mega Times Lottery and discovers the prize comes with a curse. Worse than the many money-hungry suitors, a serial killer has her in his sight. She changes her name and moves to Iowa with plans to buy their last major forest of white oaks and turn it into a State Park. Unfortunately, the Lottery Curse doesn't stop at state lines and someone there wants her dead, as well. Good thing a disturbingly handsome law officer is just as determined to keep her alive.

 Excerpt
“Right now, you can’t leave this apartment. Any meeting you have must be done over the internet.”
“I don’t think I can get this done if I can’t talk to people face to face. What if I bring you and your posse with me?”
Steve met her gaze. “Sorry, it’s a lynch mob, not a meeting. And while tables are turned over in outrage at your stealing jobs, and chairs are being thrown for ruining their lives, at least, two of these are known aliases of hit-men who will take you out. And since you have not written a Will under your new name, nor have any known relatives, all your assets will go to the state.”
Her heart pounded so hard it felt like it might burst from her chest.
She gripped his arm for comfort. “I would like to leave Iowa and handle this matter far, far away from here. I’ll move the land to a trust, which will run it as a private park in perpetuity, and I’ll leave everything else to you.”
“I’d love to get you the hell out of here, but we have zero confidence in the police force. We cannot safely move you right now. As far as the trust idea, hold off on creating it. This may be over sooner than you think.” He then stood and pulled her tight against him. “And for your clever idea to leave your cursed money to me, not happening. Leave it to someone you hate. And that had better not be me.”
She smiled at his point-blank refusal to be the recipient of her money. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking straight. I would never want to put such a curse on you. I take it back. I’ll leave the money to…Traver, or would if I could remember his last name or knew his address.”
“No, you will not. Leave it to some group protecting forests from developers. Someday, we are getting beyond your Lottery Curse, which won’t happen if you push it on me or enrich con-artists.”
She smiled. “So you see a future for us?”
He studied her. “Since you’re smiling, I’ll risk answering your question. I do. I’m picturing something a bit quieter than it’s been so far, but perhaps just as exciting in other ways.”

BUY LINK
A Fortune to Die For

Free with Kindle Unlimited
About Liza
Liza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved nicely. But all those bad behaviors has given her lots of fodder for her humorous books. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.
You have been warned.


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(Insert White Oak Series)

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Dark Chocolate and Strawberries by Daryl Devore

Namaste
Writers sit a lot. A lot! We hunch down over our computers or tablets or journals and write. Sometimes for hours on end. Some of us critique chapters of other writers or do beta reads, which means read the entire book looking for plot problems etc. But all of that involves sitting. So, it’s important that at some point we get up and move. What do I do?

I garden. I bake. I work out, but my most favourite thing is…I love yoga. Yoga is my chocolate. Well, sort of. Chocolate IS my chocolate, but yoga blisses me out just as fabulously.

Yoga is not something you learn overnight. It takes a while – as a matter of fact – years to learn.

I don't mean the pose. Anybody can do an adequate down dog after just a few weeks. It's what's going on in the head that takes years to learn.

I do Yin and Hatha. Every Yin needs a Yan and that's why I take Hatha. Yin is stillness. Hatha is motion.

I love Yin. Let me repeat – I LOVE YIN!!!!

Yin is a slower form. But that doesn't mean it's easy. The poses are held for up to five minutes. Settling one's body and mind takes practise. I've watched numerous people come to class, shift and fidget then leave disgusted that they didn't move or get any sort of workout. I want to shout at them – just because you didn't break a sweat doesn’t mean you didn't challenge your body. Take the time and savour the class. It will bring you bliss.

The poses are designed to put moderate stress on the connective tissues of the body (tendons, fascia and ligaments), aiding with circulation in the joints and improved flexibility. I can attest to having a damage knee re-stretched in Yin class. For the first few months, in saddle pose, my teacher said I looked like I was in agony. (Not exactly, but close). But over time, the tight connective tissue stretched and eased, making my knee joint less painful. I'm not claiming it cured my knee. The joint is still damaged, but it's less painful and easier to move – therefore improving my quality of life.

Then there's the meditative aspect of the class which leads to an inner silence. For the first year, holding a Yin pose for five minutes, my brain went over my day, planned out groceries or plotted the next chapter. After all, I had nothing else to do while I was "just lying there".

Now, I settle into a pose and my mind goes quiet. No thoughts. No craziness. Just - peace. Calmness. Sublime tranquility.

How has this helped my writing? It gets me up off my butt and out to class. I interact with real people, not just my characters. And that alone is a good thing. My body now moves more easily. I feel refreshed and energized and when it is time to sit down and write, I can clear my mind and focus on what needs to get done.

What's a naughty fairy tale like Red Riding Hood without Red, the huntsman, grandma and especially, the big bad wolf?

Esmerelda 'Red' Hood is summoned to her mother's executive suite only to learn her sweet granny is headed for a romantic cruise with a gigolo. Horrified, Red races off to save her grandma before it's too late.

On board, Red meets Andrew Woodsman and Willem Olf. One a cutie with the biggest puppy eyes and the other a dark, sophisticated predator. Her grandmother's warning rings in Red's ear "Never trust a wolf in sheep's clothing."

Even with the warning, Red has trouble choosing which man could be the big bad wolf and which could be her happily ever after.

Note: This book was previously published by New Dawning Bookfair under the title Sexy Red Hood.




Bio and Social Media Links
Two writers in one. Daryl Devoré writes hot romances with sexy heroes and strong heroines. Victoria Adams is Daryl Devoré's alter ego when she's inspired to write sweet romances with little to no heat.

Daryl (@daryldevore) lives in an old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a large salt water aquarium full of fish, a black cat named Licorice and some house ghosts. Her daughter is grown and has flown the nest. Daryl loves to take long walks on her quiet country road or snowshoe across the back acres, and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She has touched a moon rock, a mammoth, and a meteorite. She’s been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flown high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter, and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life’s an adventure and Daryl’s having fun living it.













Monday, August 13, 2018

Rana: Teenage Queen by Liza O'Connor



When Humans first arrived on Hope

As Earth’s population overran the available supply of food, and women had become a scarcity most men could not afford, many chose to take their chances going to another planet. While the first planet named Hope could not survive all the privileged non-working people who arrived, a hardworking group from the original Planet Hope secured a ship and left the planet they now referred to as ‘Hopeless’ and found a new planet which, they again named Hope.  (You know the saying that Hope springs eternal…)

This time, they would return to the ways of older times. No more democracies, parliaments, congress, or house of lords. The captain of the ship declared he and his crew would split up the small planet and each would be “Kings” of their lands. They divided up the livestock and the few women so each Hold would have at least one woman, and sufficient livestock to grow their herds.

Upon landing on Hope, a contingency of very small humans met the tall humans, claiming they already lived on Hope, but would welcome their company. They even offered to show the colonists the best spots to build their holds.

Since they were barely half the size and a quarter of weight of the arriving humans, the newcomers didn’t fear them, and accepted them as guides to their new homes. Later, when they saw the beautiful petite women of these small people, most of the kings, and the ministers took a beauty for their wife. Nor did any of the tiny men object. Thus, for the first two hundred years, Earth humans thought the little humans were harmless and weak.

BLURB

Rana is only sixteen when she becomes queen. Her first challenge is to quell an internal coup while a massive army storms the gates of her castle. Her enemies believe her to be a child, but she has powers they’ve never suspected. She also has great dreams for her people, and she will do whatever is necessary to make them happen, even marrying a prince she does not want.

EXCERPT
Rana’s father stared at her a long time. She saw nothing familial in his hard, black eyes. Finally, he sighed. “Come to the window and I will tell you my concerns.”

He was her father. She had loved him all her life, but she no longer trusted him. She walked to a different window on the same wall. “Tell me where you need help.”

He sighed heavily and stared out at the expansive grounds of the castle. “The left wall has been breached and the men are entering the shed. They will find a secret tunnel into the main castle. I have men posted at the tunnel door, but it won’t be enough to stop them from entering and killing the citizens hiding in the cellars.”

“Why would they kill citizens?”

“Because they have orders to find you and the citizens will not tell them where you are.”

She closed her eyes and focused her thoughts, calling banshees from the ground and sending them into the tunnels. She feared for the soldiers guarding the tunnel door, but better a few men die than the women and children. They were the future of the kingdom.

Certain twenty banshees could handle all who entered the tunnel, she refocused on her father. “What else?”

He rubbed his neck. “This would be easier if you could tell me what you can do.”

“What else?”

When he didn’t answer, she focused on the battle outside. “Those catapults seem to be doing a lot of damage.”

A burst of pain erupted from his chest. “Aye, they are.”

She focused on the ground beneath the heavy machines. A moment later, the ground shook, and a crevice opened along the line of catapults. She watched with satisfaction as the machines disappeared. Mother had let her practice opening a half-inch crevice in the vegetable garden once, but this was her first attempt at allowing her power out at full force.

Adrenaline surged through her body at just how powerful she could be. She was about to close the crevice except it cut off over fifty percent of the men attacking her kingdom. She decided to leave it.

“What else?”

She looked to her father, expecting him to be overjoyed with her abilities. Instead, he stared at her in horror. “What are you? You aren’t my daughter! I didn’t create you!”

His words stung like a whip. She stepped back from the pain as her body filled with a sickening sense of danger. A moment later, arrows shot through the narrow windows, one slicing through her father’s neck.

She watched in confusion as the giant man who had loved her all her life, save today, fell to his knees. Blood pumped out the exit side of the arrow, turning the walls bright red.

She remained where she was, tucked to the stonewall and watched his life spurt out of him.

Had he not attacked her with such words, she might have realized the danger came from outside in time to save him. But now, there was nothing she could do for him.

When the fountain of red stopped, she crawled beneath the arrows that still showered through the windows, to be closer to her father.

She slowed time so she could safely approach him and grip his hand. Dull eyes opened and stared at her, prompting her to speak before he died.

“I am your daughter! You taught me to care for our people. You taught me their safety comes before all else. I will not allow them to be conquered and enslaved. I will win this battle and make this kingdom a place of safety and happiness. I will do it in your name because you are my father, and before today, you loved me dearly.”

A single tear ran from the edge of his eye, off his cheek, and fell into the blood pooling beneath his head. His eyes slowly closed.

She placed her hand on his chest and smiled as tears of relief fell upon his chest. He had died in peace, not anger. His initial repulsion of her powers had not lasted. His last emotion had been relief.

SALES LINK
RANA: TEENAGE QUEEN
About the Author
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.




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Saturday, August 4, 2018

A Ghost Walker's Love Story by Liza O'Connor What happened to Jack?





What happened to Jack?

When Jack first met Alice, he seemed like a really nice guy. But when it came between her and his job, he chose his job.
Still, she would have stayed if his 'new job' hadn't been to assist the same sadist that had long ago tortured her friend Tobias. 
The evil man now wished to experiment on her.



BLURB

Alice is a ghost walker: an ordinary person capable of separating her soul from her body. Unlike her fellow ghost walkers, she uses her ability trying to help protect the world from terrorists and madmen. Finding an FBI agent that she trusts, she supplies the information needed to stop several atrocities from occurring.

She believes she is safe from discovery. However, agent Jack Callaghan finds her with clever sleuthing and romances her with pure intent. Unfortunately, their unexpected union brings wrath down upon them from all sides. Her fellow ghost walkers believe she has betrayed their code of secrecy; the director and fellow agents question Jack’s commitment to the agency, and want Alice brought in so they can discover how she disappears at will. In this maelstrom of betrayals, Alice uncovers the truth about the three men who claim to love her and discovers which one holds true.

Warning: Alice is so dedicated to stopping terrorists that she will let nothing get in her way, not even when she discovers her body is being used against her will. Since she's not in her body when this happens, saving lives remains far more important!https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif


Excerpt

To get Dr. Strovski to show them how to turn down the frequency disrupter she had to return to her body. The moment she entered the room she felt ill, however, the debilitating sickness she had felt in Jack’s apartment did not come. With her soul back in her body, her pulse strengthened.
As Dr. Strovski approached, she fluttered her eyes and then relaxed, pulling out of her body. She played this game over the next half hour until in frustration, he pulled a remote control from his pocket and punched in a code.
She opened her eyes for a moment and went limp again, certain he had only lowered the disrupter a small amount. With Tobias observing the doctor’s manipulation of the control, they played a slow and tedious dance.
Dr. Strovski was no fool, and on several occasions, he turned the disrupter to a higher level to verify she wasn’t tricking him into lowering the frequency so she could escape.
Tobias provided her the degree of alertness she was to feign.
Everything was going well when Dr. Strovski returned the power to full force and made a phone call.
“The package is ready for transport.” Dr. Strovski removed her monitor tabs, placing them into a long slender box that appeared to mimic her actual biometrics.
Tobias motioned for her to leave her body, but all the activity on her body was making it hard to concentrate. So, he pulled her soul from her body.
Now this is a useful new ability, he declared. I imagine you can do the same for me.
Rest assured, I won’t. That was most unpleasant! Alice complained.
Well, if I am ever in my body being tortured, I hope you will risk being rude and pull me out.
That goes without saying, but I wasn’t being tortured, and the sensation of being pulled out was extremely unpleasant!
You are out, so stop whining. We need to change our plans.
Why? Surely you know how to work that control device by now! Alice complained.
I do, but…
But what? You should steal it now and pop me out!
There is a problem. I cannot lift the device from his pocket. Whatever that disrupter is doing makes it impossible for me to materialize sufficiently to actually lift it.
His response terrified Alice. Then how are we going to do this?
Well, from his phone call and actions, Dr. Strovski plans to move you someplace else. That may provide us with a better chance to disrupt the disrupter. Just stay here with me until then.
Alice could tell he was scared, but his determination to rescue her overrode his fear. She was certain he would succeed, maybe not today, but eventually he would set her free again.

BIO

About the Author
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
Investigate these sites:





Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Ghost Walker's Love Story by Liza O'Connor



Still
Being a Ghost Walker is dangerous.
There are a great many risks.
The main one being that if someone locates your body, they might take you to a hospital where doctors will declare you dead and harvest your organs. 
Then you truly will be a ghost.


BLURB
Alice is a ghost walker: an ordinary person capable of separating her soul from her body. Unlike her fellow ghost walkers, she uses her ability trying to help protect the world from terrorists and madmen. Finding an FBI agent that she trusts, she supplies the information needed to stop several atrocities from occurring.

She believes she is safe from discovery. However, agent Jack Callaghan finds her with clever sleuthing and romances her with pure intent. Unfortunately, their unexpected union brings wrath down upon them from all sides. Her fellow ghost walkers believe she has betrayed their code of secrecy; the director and fellow agents question Jack’s commitment to the agency, and want Alice brought in so they can discover how she disappears at will. In this maelstrom of betrayals, Alice uncovers the truth about the three men who claim to love her and discovers which one holds true.

Warning: Alice is so dedicated to stopping terrorists that she will let nothing get in her way, not even when she discovers her body is being used against her will. Since she's not in her body when this happens, saving lives remains far more important!https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif
Excerpt
Don’t Lose Her

Jack smiled as he closed his cell phone. She had given him far more information than she realized. He turned on his computer and located the position of the various hiking trails she had mentioned. One wasn’t a trail at all. It was a private residency and the ‘trail’ was the road that looped around the lake. A place only a local would know.
He called his secretary and told her to find him a home near Cedar Lake for a two-week vacation, beginning as soon as possible.
He knew fate was with him when an hour later she called back with a house for rent by the week directly on the lake. It was vacant now.
***
Alice was halfway around Cedar Lake when a jogger came up behind her. She moved over to let him pass, but instead, he slowed down and matched her walk. “Beautiful day, isn’t it?”
Alice almost stumbled in shock. It was Jack Callaghan. How had he found her? She had been so careful.
“It is,” she replied, altering her voice to hide her unique accent. She could tell by his expression, he was no longer certain he had found his quarry.
“Do you live here?” she asked, to further confuse him.
“No. Just taking some time off for a vacation.”
“What do you do for a living?”
“Law enforcement, and you?”
“Law enforcement—do you mean the police?”
“No, FBI.”
He looked more uncertain now.
“Wow!”
“And you?”
“I’m just a mother and housewife, although I shouldn’t say “just”, for I’ve come to the conclusion it’s a thousand times harder than a corporate job.”
“I believe that’s true. My name is Jack Callaghan.” He held out his hand.
Alice placed her hand in his. “Ann Smith.”
“Do you live around here?”
“Across the lake and up the mountainside a bit.” She glanced at her watch. “And I’m late for a hair appointment, right now.” She wished him a good day and headed off in the opposite direction he was running.
***
When she disappeared from his sight, he called Harry. “Don’t you dare lose her.”
“I’ve got her in my sights. Are you sure that is her?”
“Pretty certain, why?”
“Well, she looks a bit heavier and less pretty, plus she doesn’t appear to live in Cedar Lake. She’s headed out toward Morris Avenue.”

“Don’t lose her.”





ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

Social Networks
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
Investigate these sites: