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Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Who's For Dinner Fridays, and Saturday Sampler.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Earth Day

photo credit: www.popularmechanics.com
I remember the first Earth Day. I was teaching third grade then. It made us aware of what we were doing to Earth and became a terrific addition to the science program. For too many years, people didn’t think about what was happening to our environment. While industrialization helped the economy, smog, emissions from factories, and dumping waste into our rivers, lakes, and oceans hurt our environment. The air we breathe, the water we drink was being poisoned. A Wisconsin senator decided something had to be done to bring awareness to what we were doing to our planet.

Each year since 1970, we celebrate Earth Day. Shortly after the first Earth Day, Congress created the Environmental Protection Agency. Since then, our air has gotten cleaner, our water cleaner, toxic chemicals banned, and much more. Click here to learn about the environmental victories since 1970.

All this is great. But what would happen if the current laws are reduced or eliminated? Would our rivers catch fire again? Would we not be able to breathe without wearing some type of filtration system? 

Because of industrialization, many of our rainforests are being decimated. Trees clean the air. Their roots help prevent erosion.

This year, the focus of Earth Day is on Environmental and Climate Literacy. Through education, we learn how to care for our home. We also must learn about climate change and its threat to our planet. Earth is the only home we have. Because of the lag in space exploration, there is no Earth-like planet we can go to when we destroy this one.

What can we do to save our planet? Some very simple things, like plant a tree. Read more here. Also, remember the 3 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle. If we all do something, even little things, we can make a difference.



Sunday, April 23, 2017

#WeWriWa - #8Sunday The Case of the Meddling Mama: The Mother


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday, the weekly hops for everyone who loves to read and write! Writers share an 8 to10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

My snippet is from my newly-released The Case of the Meddling Mama an Alex O'Hara Novel, third in my PI mystery series. Apologies for the creative punctuation, which was done to keep within the sentence limit. 

From Ginnie, I learned the following about Karl Trimmer: thirty-two, computer programming consultant, worked at home—in a new condo in Country Club Estates, a new development north along the lakeshore.
“Where did he live before that—an apartment?”
“No, he lived at home.”
Although I was surprised, I had to remember how bad the economy had been a few years ago—a lot of people fresh out of college or who’d lost jobs moved home.
“I wondered about that, too,” Ginnie tapped her short, no polish nails on the chair arm, “His mother has health issues, and since Karl’s an only child, he took care of her.”
“And what changed that he moved out—did she die, or move into a nursing home?”
“Oh, nothing like that, he hired a homecare worker to stay with her during the day--his mother can get around with a walker, and Karl got her one of those medical alert necklaces, so she can call for help if she needs it.”
“Are you concerned about her disability?”

“Maybe a little, she’s only fifty-two and I don’t understand her illness, but Karl said it can be debilitating, and . . .”

The Case of the Meddling Mama released last Monday. It's available at:



Blurb:




This is the last snippet from The Case of the Meddling Mama. Next week I'll introduce a new story. Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors.  


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Danger in the Stars by Veronica Scott: An Empath and a Warrior @vscotttheauthor

I'm so happy to have Veronica Scott here again. She's one of my favorite authors of science fiction romance and a generous friend. Yesterday, she had me as her guest on Here Be Magic blog. 

I'm excited that she's here to talk about her latest release, Danger in the Stars. As soon as it came out, I had to read it. (You can read my review on Amazon.) Action, adventure, paranormal activity, a tortured heroine bent on revenge, and a reluctant hero. Doesn't that sound great?

Welcome, Veronica!

Thanks for having me as your guest again, with an excerpt from my latest scifi romance release, Danger in the Stars!

There were several themes I wanted to weave together in this book, one being the idea of an empath using her abilities as a powerful weapon. When I was a kid I saw a Star Trek episode entitled “The Empath” and I was much struck with the heroine’s abilities and limitations, and the effects of what she did. (I also decided at the time that I must be an empath too, although sadly without any extra super powers!).


It was fun to now take that concept and run in a totally different direction with it. I also included an organized crime element in my plot, which isn’t an area I usually delve into, but I figured the Mob will probably go to the stars with humanity in some form or another. Having an evil, unprincipled group like the Amarotu Combine entrenched in the Sectors offers a lot of plot possibilities. I like to keep my novels firmly in the science fiction realm but also to change things up and offer different looks at the interstellar world I’ve built and adventures my characters can be drawn into. With a strong romance and a Happily Ever After ending, of course!



Here’s the story for Danger in the Stars:
Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.

Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.
The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?
VS Note: This is the story of the sister who is mentioned in passing in Star Cruise: Stowaway, my story in the award winning PETS IN SPACE anthology. The new novel is completely standalone.

Excerpt  - the moment when Miriell is forced to show ruthless crime boss Opherra what her powers are capable of accomplishing. Jareck is her criminal ‘handler.’ The scene is in a luxurious restaurant.

It was at the third course when Opherra suddenly leaned over and said to Jareck, “I want a demonstration of what the performer can do. Prove to me you can be of assistance in what I need.”

“Can you give me a few more details on what you want me to make her do?” Jareck asked.

Miriell felt nauseated as her muscles tensed while she waited to learn what atrocious act she’d be required to perform now, what perversion of her Thuun-given gifts would be demanded.

“The end game is to help me attract a particular influential gentleman who’s been curiously resistant to my charms,” Opherra said, her lips twisted in annoyance. “I need him in thrall to me for our plans here to move forward. In too deep to back out when I reveal my true agenda. No names, but he’s key. My boss is tired of waiting for the standard ploys to yield results.”

“Is he here?”

She shook her head. “Of course not. I need to see these abilities in action before I risk my entire operation on an unknown.” Glancing around the restaurant, she laughed. “Oh yes, an excellent target for the demonstration I want. You see that blonde woman, the one with her husband, the older couple and three children? I’ve never seen anyone less likely to commit suicide. Make her throw herself off the balcony, and I’ll be a believer.” She drummed her talonlike red fingernails on the tablecloth. “Now.”

Miriell’s heart sank. The target was clearly happy, surrounded by her family, and had been casually targeted by Opherra to die just to prove a point. She gathered her power, which was curiously difficult to do, perhaps because she was so repelled by the task, and hummed the death song under her breath. Reaching out with her senses, she found the tiniest gray in the unfortunate woman’s vivid colors. Each sentient had their private sorrows and constant worries. Miriell worked to expand the gray, suppress the other colors. The woman’s companions were oblivious to her sudden silence, because the lively children were laughing and talking so happily. Suddenly, there were gasps as the target of Miriell’s attack rose abruptly from the table, knocking her chair into the person next to her. Face blank, the woman strode toward the edge of the dining area and the observation platform that built over thin air. It had safety rails, but nothing robust enough to stop a determined adult from pitching headfirst to the ground hundreds of feet below.  Her husband raced after her, but she had a head start and was increasing her speed as she went.

Hoping no one would notice what she was doing, Miriell continued her pressure on the woman but began to subtly affect one of the waiters carrying a huge load of dishes until, at literally the last second, he backed away from a table and collided with the suicidal woman, sending them both reeling and collapsing to the floor, tangled together, covered in food and broken crockery. Miriell released her hold on both sentients and fell back in her chair. Hand shaking, she reached for her glass of water and sipped, although her throat was nearly closed from stress. Please let that be enough of a demonstration for Opherra.

Buy LinksAmazon      iBooks    Kobo     Barnes & Noble

Author Bio:
Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”





Monday, April 17, 2017

Release Day!


Today's the day that The Case of the Meddling Mama is released. Alex can't even go to a dress shop without being "accosted" by well-meaning friends, who try to drum up business for her. Here's a sample.


When two women entered the exclusive dress shop, Ellie left to greet them while her assistant chivvied me to put on the shoes. White socks, black strappy heels, and the gorgeous emerald green bridesmaid dress—I made such a fashion statement as I stood on the platform, call Vogue.
I so didn’t want to be there, especially when I recognized one of the women. I’d been the bearer of bad news to Nora Finley last week—her Mr. Perfect turned out to be a Black Widower. He and his cohorts had the perfect plan, a plan I thwarted just in time.
“Oh, you’re here,” Nora cried out when she spotted me and tugged on her companion’s wrist, practically dragging her over. “Ginnie, this is the PI that saved my life, Alex O’Hara!”
I cringed while heat bloomed in my cheeks.
Nora looked up at me. “I’ve been telling Ginnie here that she absolutely must hire you to check out her boyfriend—she met him on one of those online dating sites.”
Ginnie winced, like she wanted the floor to open up and swallow her. I knew the feeling. Having so much attention made me cringe. Meanwhile, Ellie’s assistant told me to stand still while she crawled around sticking pins in the gown.
“Go on and talk to Alex, Ginnie,” Nora said. “I’m going to find you the perfect dress for your next date. Ellen has the best selection in Grand Rapids. Oh, forget that. In the entire state of Michigan. I always find something here.” She took off across the store.
Poor Ginnie—a deer captured in the headlights had nothing on her. With her blond hair and fair complexion, her embarrassment was even more apparent. I figured I’d better do something to break the awkwardness. With a smile, I leaned over, held out my hand. “Hi, I’m Alex O’Hara, reluctant dress shopper.”
“Ginnie Bakker, also a reluctant shopper.” She shook my hand and returned my smile. “I like your dress.”
I preened—didn’t get a chance to do that very often since elegant clothes were not my normal attire. In fact, I felt more comfortable in the jeans and T-shirt hanging on hooks in the dressing room. Give me a good pair of running shoes, and I’m happy.
“The gown is for Ellie’s wedding next month.” I twirled around and nearly ended up on my face. Pins scratched my ankles through my socks, and I almost wrenched my ankle—high heels and I never got along.
“Whoa, are you all right?” Ginnie put out a hand to steady me.
While I laughed, Ellie rushed up to us. “Is Klutzy Alex at it again?”

The Case of the Meddling Mama is available at:



I hope you enjoy The Case of the Meddling Mama. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

#WeWriWa - #8Sunday The Case of the Meddling Mama: The Client



Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday, the weekly hops for everyone who loves to read and write! Writers share an 8 to10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

My snippet is from my upcoming release, THE CASE OF THE MEDDLING MAMA, an Alex O'Hara Novel, third in my PI mystery series. Apologies for the creative punctuation, which was done to keep within the sentence limit. The "reluctant" shopper who met Alex at the dress shop and blindsided by her friend into getting Alex to check out her new boyfriend, has shown up for an appointment.

“So nice to see you again, Ginnie,” I said, shaking her cold and shaky hand.
As she sat, I walked around the big mahogany desk that dominated the office and settled in the black ergonomic chair. From beneath my partially-closed eyelids, I saw a hint of apprehension swimming in her eyes—needing to put her at ease, I said, “Did you find a dress at Ellie’s?”
“Oh, yes,” she said, surprised at my question, “I always find something there, she carries fantastic clothes.”
I laughed, “At equally fantastic prices.” Time to find out what she wanted. “I wish Ellie had come to me before she met all those losers—she’s happy now, and that’s all that counts, so what can I do for you?”
She cleared her throat, looked down at her hands then up at me before saying, “What you did for Ellen, keep me from making a big mistake.”
After she told me what she knew about Karl Trimmer, I asked if she’d met his mother.
She made a face. “I’d rather not talk about that.”


Once again, Alex O’Hara is up to her ears in mysteries. After surviving an attempted murder, all she wants is R&R time with Nick Palzetti. But his mother leaving his father (“that horse’s patoot”) and moving in with Alex puts a crimp in their plans. Then Nick leaves on assignment and the teen she rescued from an abusive father believes his buddy is doing drugs. Meanwhile, Alex has two easy cases to take her mind off her shaky relationship with Nick—a philandering husband and a background check on a client’s boyfriend. Piece of cake.



Release date: this Monday, April 17, 2017. Available for pre-order at the special price of $1.99.


There is a glitch with Amazon--a glaring misunderstanding. They will publish the unedited version then will send an immediate update. I hope they keep their promise!



Friday, April 14, 2017

Liza O'Connor and the Scavenger Vanishes Blog Tour

Liza O'Connor is back with a tease about her latest release. When I read the first book in this series, I was enthralled with the hero, the heroine, and the premise of humans being able to soar like a bird. The second book was even better. I can't wait to read this one. 

Scavenger Vanishes
By
Liza O’Connor


What is a Virgin Mistress?
After the Terror Wars, the world’s population was far beyond what could be fed and sheltered, so new laws were created to drastically cut the population.

A young woman only had ONE chance at being a mother. If she got pregnant the very first time she had sex, it was designated a virgin birth. However, even then, the father of the child could decide to toss the mother out and keep the child, so motherhood was never a sure thing, not even for the lucky few.

And if you dare tried to have a baby outside of that once in a lifetime chance, and the police caught you, your child would be aborted and you would be charged with its murder and spend the rest of your life in prison.

While the rich thought this a very fine law to serve the poor, they twisted the rules a bit for themselves. Their daughters would remain Virgin Mistresses for as long as it took for the girls to become pregnant.  Thus, the parents would negotiate with another rich man to become their daughter’s husband, based on business needs and connections. Once the contract was signed, the young woman would claim to be a virgin until she became pregnant. She would remain living with her parents and would visit the gentleman or he would visit her. The gentleman might even be married already. Not to worry. Setting aside the current  wife was commonly done.

If a man were in serious need of a son to carry on, he could have several Virgin Mistresses at once, then marry the first one to become pregnant. As soon as the child was born, he could keep the mother, send her back to her parents, or even kill her.
In Alisha’s case, the President of Americas, her parent’s choice for her, had a wife, but he would set the lady aside once Alisha got pregnant. However, Alisha ran off and joined the SkyRyders instead of becoming a breed cow. 

Good thing too. The President was known for his abusive outburst, which would have resulted in Alisha’s death, for she wasn’t nearly submissive enough for the President.



Scavenger Vanishes
By Liza O’Connor

Blurb
Stationed on opposite coasts, Alisha and Logan must each face their own demons and challenges. On the West Coast, Alisha loses her rank for butting heads with General Powell and soon discovers the life of a private can be utter hell. On the East Coast, newly promoted General Logan discovers his soldiers do not recognize his authority to command. In an effort to retake control of the East Coast Corps, Logan authorizes unthinkable actions. When Alisha faces a life-threatening crisis, will Logan rise above his own troubles, or will she discover love and rescue with her best friend Jack?
EXCERPT
“Private Kane,” the general barked. “Why is it, except for Logan, not one of your students has attempted to shoot target thirteen?”
“Its position makes it almost impossible to hit, sir. I advise them not to try.”
“It’s clearly not impossible to hit. If I recall, Logan shot a bulls-eye. And he’s not even a high-ranked marksman.”
In the old days, Alisha would have smartly pointed out that Logan had almost cracked his ribs trying to shoot the target, and the general must have realized by now that Logan was a top-notch marksman. However, the new Alisha said nothing.
Powell told Dryer to hold up the test. He then looked down at Alisha. “I not only expect to see each of the remaining fliers try for the target, but each one who misses it will mean another thousand demerits on your record.”
Alisha could see Colonel Dryer smiling as he stood behind the general. She knew better than to object to the unfairness of the order. “Sir, yes, sir.” She jogged over to the four remaining fliers. It was an impossible request. Not only were these her four weakest fliers, but also her four weakest marksmen.
“See how well it goes when you stay focused?”
They all nodded, now confident and certain they could also pass the test.
“In fact, I’m so confident you can do this, that the general and I have made a little bet on the side. He asked me why no one shoots the left-hand target, and I told him it wasn’t worth the trouble. Well, he thinks it is, so he suggested I come up with some incentive to see which of you can get closest to the bulls-eye.”
“I thought that target was impossible,” one of them reminded her.
“No,” Alisha assured them. “General Logan nailed it with a bulls-eye. It’s just you have to shoot across your torso. You can’t turn the catcher to shoot, or you’ll go off target.”
“That’ll hurt like hell,” another objected.
 “There will be a kickback,” Alisha admitted. “But you guys are as tough as leather. I’ve seen you take some brutal tumbles in the wind tunnel. You can’t tell me a little kickback is going to frighten you off.”
“If you promise to rub salve on my bruised ribs, I’ll give it a try,” Rodney Rutherford stated. He’d been “going for the gold” for the entire two weeks, so she wasn’t surprised by his suggestion. What did surprise her was how quickly the other three agreed to the same deal.
“Fine, I’ll rub salve on anyone who hits that target,” she agreed. It was a hell of a lot better than a thousand demerits. “But you can’t dunk the test to do it. You have to pass and hit the target.”
“And if we pass and hit a bulls-eye?” Rodney asked.
“The general will probably promote you to captain.” She hoped that was incentive enough.
“No, no, no…You can’t make promises for the general. What will you do?”
The general’s words came back to her about doing whatever it takes to get him ten more fliers. She had no doubt they wanted some sexual incentive. My job really is like being a virgin mistress.
“What do you want?” she asked
“A kiss or a lap dance, our call,” Rodney offered.
“Deal.”




SALES LINK
The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 3
Scavenger Vanishes

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.
SCIENCE FICTION
Sci-Fi Soap Opera with humor, romance, and science


Sci-Fi/Romance


The SkyRyders Series
Sci-Fi Romance


Follow Liza O'Connor 

Check out all my books on Amazon
Be sure to click FOLLOW  on my Amazon page so I can alert you to new books.
which I've dedicate to Sci Fi books

Wander over to my personal Facebook Page
where I talk and share about books, politics, and other silliness.

Twitter is a great place to find me: @Liza0Connor 
(That's @Liza, the number 0, then Connor)

THERE’S OVER 30 OF THEM


Monday, April 10, 2017

Television, Traveling, and Tigers

Have you been watching “Feud: Bette and Joan”? Very interesting series. I remember watching Whatever Happened to Baby Jane on television back in the late 1960s. Freaked me out. The following day, one of my first graders talked about watching it. WTH? What were those parents thinking?

Anyway, the series about the ongoing feud between two aging superstars has been fascinating. I’ve always been a “star” watcher. I love movies, as if you couldn’t guess by now. Every chance I get I read People magazine, usually in a doctor’s office. I can just imagine how the feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford would play out in today’s media. Susan Sarandon as Bette and Jessica Lange as Joan are perfect for the roles. I could believe that I’m watching the real Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.

Another movie on television caught my attention ahead of time. So I set up the DVR to record it just in case we missed it. We missed it. Worse, the time allotted was wrong. Instead of a 90 minutes, To Walk Invisible the Bronte Sisters ran for almost two hours. When the recording shut off in the middle of the movie, I was so disappointed. Fortunately, it reran at 3 am the following week. I recorded it again (adding an hour to the time indicated). What a fascinating look at the family life of three classic authors and what they had to go through to get their works published. If you get a chance, it’s worth watching.

Rogue One came out in DVD last week. Haven’t had a chance to watch this. Again. We saw it at the show. Unfortunately, because much of the cast is British (and other nationalities) and Hubs and I have some hearing problems, we missed a lot of the dialogue. I’ve been waiting for this Star Wars affiliated movie to come out on DVD so we can get closed captioning. I didn’t have time to get to the store and purchased it, let alone watch it.

Rogue One came out on Tuesday. We left on Wednesday, driving to Arizona. We left behind rain, with a good possibility for snow, for Spring in the Southwest. After the first day of rain, we had sunny, warm days for the rest of our trip. How wonderful to see flowering shrubs and trees leafing out. The farther south, the more definite Spring had arrived. Our family back home assured us the snow went east of us. Still, we were happy to leave it behind.

In the month since we left AZ, Toddler Girl’s vocabulary has increased by leaps and bounds. She’ll be two next week (our reason for returning), and we’re fascinated by how many words she knows and uses correctly plus how much she understands. This is a fabulous time. I’m so glad we could spend so much time with her. Our lovely daughter-in-law (and son) welcome us so graciously and enjoy having us stay with them. We love the time with our granddaughter and they make it easy for us.


I’m anxiously awaiting the return of my edited manuscript—which will probably be here before this post goes up. Good thing. I’m almost afraid I’m cutting it too close. The finished ms. is due on Amazon on Thursday. The penalty if I miss that deadline is steep. No more pre-orders for a year. I won’t miss the deadline. The Case of the Meddling Mama will be released a week from today, April 17th. While it’s on pre-order, it’s priced at $1.99. After release, it will go up to its regular price of $3.99. I’ve had a lot of fun offering snippets each weekend. I hope you’ve gotten a chance to read them. 

The Detroit Tigers won opening day. Currently, they’re in second place in the American League Central. What a great week!


I hope you have a great week.