Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Why did I write about Men Behaving Badly in my book Ghost Lover by Liza O'Connor

Bad Boys are attracted to me and I don't have the sense to send them off, but I will not marry anymore of them, that is a certainty!

I call them Bad Boys, because they don't seem to ever grow up!

In my real life, my badly-chosen husband tried to kill me three times before I finally realized he wasn't just ignorant of dangers, but he was actually trying to get me to kill myself in a sporting accident.

I just thought him an idiot on attempt one and two. But on attempt three he showed his hand and the game was up.

You are probably wondering what I did to make my husband hate me so much.

Honestly, I don't think he hated me at all. We'd been getting along tolerably well since I didn't make a big issue about all his chickies. I did yell at him when I gave him $600 to buy a TV, since I worked and he didn't. Instead, he spent the money on something else, then when I got home, he yelled at me for not giving him enough money. I requested he give me back the $600 and I would buy the TV, since I knew where to buy it. Thus, he had to admit "he had lost" the money. Yeah, right....

Anyway, matters between us were not good that month because he remained angry at me when I refused to give him any more money to buy a tv.

Then I did something really stupid. I had received a $500,000 life insurance policy from my company. Stupidly, I told the JERK he was the benificiery.

And thus began his plots on ways to kill me that wouldn't fall back to him.

First, he decided we needed a vacation. So I got time off and we went to an east coast ski resort. I warned him I would need lessons because I had never skied before. 

"Sure no problem," he says.

When we arrive at the slopes, I reminded him I had to sign up for beginner lessons. Jerk complains about me wasting money and assured me he could teach me how to ski.

So instead of lessons, he takes me to the chairs that travel way up to the very top of the mountain. To explain how unprepared I was, I fell flat on my face, the moment I attempted to leave the chair. 

The guy manning the chair yelled at JERK for bringing me up there, since he had to shut down the chairs and move me to the side before he could restart them. Of course, Jim insisted I could ski. He pulled me further away from the guy in charge of the chairs and then told me how to ski. "Go straight down."

However, all the other skiers about us were not going straight down. They tended to weave back and forth, not straight down. So I ignored the JERK and attempted to follow the other skiers. That didn't work well either. I was constantly falling. Finally, I found a way to get down without killing myself. I would head off on a slight downward angle then when I got too close to the trees, I would intentionally sit down, then shuffle about to head across the narrow area of snow again. (This was a 3 black diamond run through a narrow channel between large trees. Excellent choice to kill me.)

I eventually made it down ALIVE but it was mostly by butt skiing. Jerk angrily demanded we go back up. I refused and told him to ski on his own. I was headed to the lodge, to drink hot cocoa for hours.


Since I refused to return to the ski slope, the Jerk chose his next best option: Cross County Skiing for experienced skiers only, no patrols section of a nearby mountain. I don't know what the JERK was thinking. Compared to the nightmare of yesterday, this was easy as pie. Also, there were nice people who would give me advice on improving my cross-country skiing. So I never fell once. I had a great time! 
The happier I got, the angrier JERK got.

Since I clearly was NOT going to kill myself cross-country skiing, he declared it was time to go home. So we left our vacation early.

A few months later, when the spring rains arrived, JERK wanted to go Kayaking  I had no idea what that was, but since it was in water, I was up for it. I spent much of my younger years on the water. I was certain I could handle anything in water. However, I did insist we take a course on how to kayak first. Oddly, JERK agreed. 

So off we went into the mountains and arrived at the rollocking river. I was in heaven, but Jerk seemed a bit worried. (Turns out he had never done this before.)
Given we were beginners, our first day wasn't on the river. We had to learn how to enter and leave the kayak and save one another before we could go down the river.

I had full control of my kayak from the very first. Jerk was a bit shaky. So I let him roll over first and  I promptly saved him. 

Now it was his time to save me. So I purposely flipped upside down and swept the sides of the kayak trying to find the nose of JERK's boat which I would use to flip myself back over. When I concluded the Jerk had no intention of saving me, I popped off the skirt, pushed out of the kayak, then swam out to the back side of the kayak so I could see what the hell JERK was doing.

And this is when I realized the JERK wanted me dead.

He was about ten feet away, his arms crossed on his chest, starring at my overturned kyack. His face was grim and determined. Finally, I understood. The JERK was trying to kill me.

Upon seeing my upside down kayak and the JERK doing nothing to save me, our instructor paddled like a maniac to reach my overturned kayak.

Finally, JERK moves, only to place his kayak directly in the instructor's path, delaying his effort to save me.

Had I not gotten out of the kayak long before, I would have drowned, but there was no possibility that I would just hang upside down and drown myself. I am a survivor. 

I made my presence known so the nice instructor wouldn't have a heart attack. Still, he yelled at JERK.

The next day, the instructor insisted I would be his partner on the river. I greatly appreciated it, because that way I could learn without any fear of dying. And I had a fabulous day. 

JERK had a terrible day. He kept rolling over due to the water in his kayak. All he needed to do was stand up and pour the water out. But none of the guides would tell him that. Instead, he floated down in a wobbly half-filled with water kayak, having a miserable time, while I discovered I loved kayaking!

When I returned to work on Monday, I changed the beneficiary on my life insurance. Then I broke the news to JERK that night that he was no longer the beneficiary. Then we had an argument.

I divorced him soon after. He even cried when I declared us DONE!

And while I had boyfriends going forward, I never married again. I concluded I had poor taste in men and I didn't want to risk a second murderer, for the next one might have been competent.

And here is how I used my no so near death fiasco to write a lovely, amusing story about boys behaving badly.

The story is about two brothers, one a bit grumpy, and the other a bit similar to the JERK, only nicer. Brandon likes to steal stuff, but he never tries to kill anyone.  As the story proceeds, my heroine keeps softening both the badly behaving brothers into better-behaving fellows. 

There is also a ghost lover from the past and a ghost cat who lives in their castle whether the brothers like it or not. At first, our heroine likes the ghosts far more than the two brothers, the worst of which she has, sadly, agreed to marry...just not yet...or perhaps ever.

While having the patience of a saint most of the times, when her temper breaks, it is most fierce.

Then midway through this story, matters get REALLY tangled. It's outrageous, fun, and loving and I hope you'll give it a try.

Here's an excerpt:

Senna woke to her breast beeping. Trying to make sense of the oddity, she pushed herself up to rest on her elbows and discovered the noise came from Brendon’s wristwatch. Somehow, his hand had found its way beneath her bra,
during the night, and now chirped like a baby chick.

She contemplated tearing his hand off at the wrist, but he looked so angelic with his curly dark hair framing his handsome face. With a heavy sigh, she unlatched her bra and eased his hand out, then gently shook him until his face scrunched into a pained grimace.

He groaned and frowned at his noisy watch. “This is a god-awful hour to be woken up,” he said in his sexy British accent. “Never bothers me when I’m coming home at this hour.”

Senna rolled her eyes. “Speak for yourself.”

Pushing himself up, he shook his head. “Remember the second night I came around? You kept yelling at me, ‘Did I realize it was four in the morning?’ At the time, I couldn’t understand your fuss.” He groaned and scratched his scalp. “Well, I certainly understand it now. It’s bloody hell to be woken at this ungodly hour.”

About Liza O'Connor
Liza 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. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Dance or Die @Liza0Connor

By Liza O’Connor
Contemporary Suspense/Romance


Tess Campbell, mafia princess, has fallen in love with a British prince, who is protected by a Secret Service agent during his stay in America. Two weeks into their budding romance, Tess’s father, a psycho mafia don, kidnaps and nearly kills the prince and his Secret Service agent, believing she has taken both as her lovers. The brutal assault reveals the true character of each man and Tess must face some hard truths, even as she takes control of her destiny to build the finest state park in the country.

Excerpt for Dance or Die

Excerpt for Dance or Die

“Steel is much the same as he was yesterday,” Sheriff Cobbs snapped. “He’s insisting you stole a valuable ring from his hand while he was being beaten by Benito.”
“Why would he say that?” Tess asked.
“Then you don’t possess a ring of his?”
“I do, but he gave it to me.” She reached in her shirt and pulled the chain holding his ring out so the sheriff could see it.” She focused on Sheriff Cobbs as he studied the ring. “When exactly did he give this to you?”
“Four or five days ago. I had begged him to make love to me, but when he discovered I was a virgin, he refused, saying we’d be safer if I remained untouched. I thought he was backing off, but to prove he wasn’t, he pulled this ring from his finger and gave it to me as he asked me to marry him sometime in the future. I threw my arms around him and said I would. He asked me not to show it to anyone. So I wore it on a chain beneath my clothes.”
“Unfortunately, he now claims you stole it. Any chance anyone else overheard any of this?”
“No. It was just the two of us.”
The old sheriff sighed heavily.
“I would never steal from him. I love him! Why would he accuse me of stealing from him?”
“He’s claiming it’s an heirloom worth half a million.”
Tess pulled the chain over her head and handed it to Sheriff Cobb. “I had no idea it was so valuable. Why would he give me something like that?”
“It might be because he loved you at the time, or he might have been setting you up from the first. I’ve no idea.” He removed the ring from the chain and handed it back to her. “The chain is yours, right?”
She nodded.
“I believe matters went down just as you claimed. However, that’s going to get you thrown into prison for grand larceny.”
Tess opened her mouth to protest, but the gravity of the situation left her mute.
He held up the ring. “So I’m going to return to the barn and find this ring near the post Steel was tied to. Then nobody can be falsely accused of anything. It’s just a lost and found priceless ring.”
“But Steel knows he gave it to me.”
The sheriff grinned. “I’m sure he does. But the only way he could prove you stole it was if I found you wearing it. Which I haven’t. I will find his ring at the barn, so to my perspective, it must have fallen off his finger while he was being battered.” He then eyed Tess. “But you can never talk about this to anyone. You understand?”
Tess nodded. “He really hates me…”
“He’s full of rage and you should stay far away from him. Had he succeeded with this trick, you’d be in prison for twenty years. And God only knows what would become of your forest by the time you got out.”
God! Steel truly hated her.
“Just put this all in your past and move on.”
“Can I hug you?”
“No, you can’t, but only because I was never here.”
He tipped his hat and hurried outside, rather like a reverse Santa who carries away gifts that would ruin her life.
She sat down in her Grams’ chair, shaking at how close she had come to losing everything dear to her over a ring that had been given to her in a moment of love.

Had Steel ever loved her or was this just a clever way of securing control of her forest? She had no doubt that the governor could and would remove her permanently if she had a criminal record.
Book 1
Book 2
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.

Investigate these sites:

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Unexpected Love @LizaOConnor

How To Wreck a Career

There’s probably fifty ways to achieve this one. Cursing out your boss would be one. However, ignoring Home Security advice and taking a bunch of students into the Middle East into a war zone would no doubt be one.

And it’s a guaranteed firing if some of the students get killed.

By Liza O’Connor
Contemporary Suspense/Sweet Romance


Tess Campbell is a mafia princess who wants nothing to do with her dangerous family. She’d rather spend her life making Grams's forest the best state park in Iowa. 
Alistair Castile, aka Steel, is a British prince, his archeological career in ruins due to his promiscuous nature. He’s hired on as forest manager of Tess’s woods and quickly falls in love with the charming young woman, so different from the socialites of his world.
Only there are several serious barriers between them: Steel’s career cannot withstand another scandal and Tess’s father will kill anyone who gets in the way of his daughter marrying a Chicago mobster.

Excerpt for Unexpected Love

Here’s Steel’s version of how some of his students got killed:

“To get my field work funded from a legitimate source, I had to become a college professor. That resulted in a great deal of young women enrolling in my classes.”
“I can imagine,” she chuckled, but sobered at his pained eyes.
“Because I didn’t believe in love, I didn’t value their affections. I was going through my female students about one a month.”
Her heart tightened. “What do mean ‘going through’?”
“I’d let a young woman pursue me for a while, then drop whoever I was shagging—and to me that’s all it was—to start up with a new student. But at the first fight or argument, I’d drop her for the next in line.”
“That sounds horrible…for everyone.”
“Well, it almost cost me my career, and it did cost me my first job.” His eyes darkened with pain. “It probably caused two young women to lose their lives. So from my view, I had become a man who shamed and disgusted me.”
She wanted to comfort him, but she couldn’t until she knew more about the two women who died. “The two women…” She didn’t even know how to finish the question.
“They were grad students, probably in the picture you found on the Internet. Diane Compton and Ashley Stanton. I’d had affairs with both of them while they were undergrads. When they applied to go on my archeological dig, I turned them down. Only they took it to the dean, declaring I was discriminating against females. So the dean insisted I take them.”
He sighed as he covered his face with his hands and remained quiet for a long moment. Finally, he spoke. “I treated them with utmost professionalism, but they constantly challenged my orders and questioned my competency. The male grad students were convinced I was sleeping with them because why else would I put up with all their shit?”
“Why did you?”
“Because I felt responsible for the anger that fueled their bad attitudes.” He sighed heavily and stared at the ceiling a long time before continuing.
“When the helicopter arrived and started shooting at us, I ordered everyone to the hills. So naturally, they refused to leave the car. I can’t help but think if I had never mixed work with pleasure, they would still be alive. Their parents certainly thought so. They blamed me for luring their daughters into harm’s way.”
“But you tried to stop them from going.”
“The dean seemed to have forgotten that. I was charged with behavior unbecoming and for endangering the lives of my students. Never mind they had approved and paid for the dig, never mind that I had never had sex with these women since they became grad students. They declared the whole disaster entirely my fault.”
She gripped his hands in hers. “It wasn’t. First of all, they pursued you as undergrads.”
He nodded.
“Then they forced you to take them on this dig. And finally, they ignored your orders, which ultimately got them killed. Your only mistake was not to build a wall between personal and professional.” Pain forced her to close her eyes as she realized something. “And Dr. Castile, you’re doing it again.”

Book 1
Book 2

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.

Investigate these sites:
(Insert White Oak Series)

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!

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.

“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.”

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.

Investigate these sites:

(Insert White Oak Series)

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Dark Chocolate and Strawberries by Daryl Devore

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.