Three strong women are willing to do anything, include taking on the Mafia, to preserve the last White Oak Forest in Iowa.
Helen has lived and protected the property for most of her long life, but she’s dying and needs to find a new caretaker. Her Mafia crazed sons wish to raze down the forest to make themselves billionaires. She locates an avid hiker in New Jersey with the love and money to take over the woods.
Megan is convinced her lottery win came with a curse. The day she receives Helen’s offer to buy her woods she also learns a serial killer has her in his sight, so she changes her identity, moves to Iowa, and buys Helen’s forest. While the Mafia Don, Benito Campinelli, would not order a hit on his own mother, Megan is fair game.
Tess, the granddaughter of Helen, has lived with her grams since her father tried to force her to marry a Chicago Mafia Don when she turned sixteen. Under Grams’ guidance, she learned how to care for the forest. To protect Tess from being forced to sell the lands to her father, Megan turned the lands into a State Park with the caveat that Tess will become the forest manager once she gets her Master’s degree. Until then, she will assist the person in charge.
Together these women can take on anything, but what happens when Tess is on her own?
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.
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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' 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
By the time Tess climbed in the car, she was perilously late. She drove the pot-holed road as fast as she dared, but she saw no chance of making up the time.
She arrived at the airport at 6:16 p.m. “Please let the plane be late,” she said to the ceiling of her car. She wondered if God would realize she was talking to him. Since she hadn’t spoken to God since her mother died, he probably had no clue who she was.
By the time she parked her car and made it inside, it was 6:28, and according to the board, the plane had arrived at 6:02.
“Shit!’ she yelled and held up her sign with Dr. Castile’s name. She waved it about as she hurried to the luggage carousels. She rechecked the board to determine which luggage loop she needed to haunt.
She’d made it two-thirds of the way around the carousel when someone gripped her arm and turned her around. An annoyed, blond Adonis with long hair pulled into a ponytail, wearing tight jeans and a tweed jacket, glared at her. “Gads, woman! I’ve been chasing you through the whole bloody airport!”
His English accent reminded her of James Bond, but his attitude wasn’t nearly so polite.
“Shouldn’t you stand in one place and let your passenger come to you?” he demanded.
Dear God, this couldn’t be her new boss. Surely, Mr. Barkman wouldn’t send a hippie to Grams’ house. “Are you Doctor Alastair Castile?” Please say no.
He rubbed his temple. “Why else would I chase you all over the airport?” His gaze swept up and down, taking her in. “I must presume you are new to your occupation, and no one has taken the trouble to train you.”
Great, a misogynist. But he sure as hell didn’t look like a doctor. “May I see your passport please?”
“I beg your pardon?” His voice had a decided chill to it.
“To prove you really are Dr. Alastair Castile.”
“Surely, you jest.”
“You can either show me your passport or move on. You’re too young to have a doctorate, and you look more like a male model than a forest manager, so I’m thinking this is some stupid frat prank.”
Tess turned to leave, but he grabbed her arm again. When she turned, an obnoxious smirk formed on his lips as he shoved his passport under her nose.
Opening the passport, she read Dr. Alastair Bastion Castile.
God knows her, all right, and he’s clearly pissed as hell.
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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