Friday, September 27, 2013

Am I blogging for the wrong reason?

The other day, an Internet-acquaintance asked, "What do I get out of reading your blog?"

This was in relation to a lecture about good and bad blogging, and the words, I don't care, rested on the tip of my tongue. I bit them down; they seemed a bit too politically incorrect even in my own ears.

"I don't know. Depends on who you are and what you're interested in."

I wouldn't get out of it that easily.

"Why should I visit your blog? Will it make me a better writer? Will it get me published? Will it teach me to cook? What's your theme?"

"Uuh..."

I've heard so many times that I should stick with a schedule for blog postings, so people will know when to expect something to appear. So many people have told me I need to pick a theme and stick to it. That way I will allegedly attract a certain group of people who will love my blog and keep coming back to it.

I'm sure this is good advice, but you know what? That's not why I write.

At my daytime job I write the PlexiDor blog. It's focused on pets, mainly dogs. I post on it every weekday. Every Monday I write about a rare dog breed, early every month I introduce a dog of the month, and the rest of the time it fills up with random pet news and pet related stuff that catches my interest.

The PlexiDor blog has a plan, a meaning, and a focus. It's meant to build relations with pet lovers, to inform, and build brand awareness.

That's great for a company blog.

In comparison, my own blog should reasonably be about building relations with book lovers, to inform, and build awareness about me. The purpose of the blog should be to convince people to buy my books.


Boring!

Seriously; I know some things about writing, but I don't know everything. I don't want every person who visits my blog to start writing and thinking like me.

I know some things about publishing, but far from everything. Every person's experience will be different, and my way of seeing things isn't always right.

I know a little about a million things, and a lot about a few. While I'm more than happy to share, writing about the same subject every day for year after year would bore both me and my visitors to tears.

My blog is called, "Maria's Random Thoughts" and that's exactly what it is. I keep it as an outlet for whatever I want to write about, whenever I want to do it. If I don't feel like writing I won't post anything. Other days I write more than one post.

Some things will be of common interest; from time to time I share my experiences from publishing, self-publishing, writing, editing, photo-editing, using computers, whatever it might be. Some days I like to share a book I read and loved, or a book from someone I know. Other days I just want to babble about what happened to me, or something I saw. If people find it entertaining, that's great. If not, well, there are many blogs on the Internet.

Maybe this is an awfully egotistical approach. I still like my blog.

I guess the answer to the question, "What do I get out of reading it" is "For better and for worse, you get to know me." =)

Do you have a blog, and if so, why do you write it?
If you're an avid blog reader, what do you expect from a blog?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm going to the RT Booklovers Convention 2014

In May next year the RT Booklovers Convention comes to New Orleans. I'm going! I've never been to New Orleans and it's super-exciting!

Besides the convention itself, I'm thrilled to get to meet so many online friends and my publisher in person. I know a lot of people through the Internet and now I'll finally see them.

To me, May is far into the future. I know it will be here before I know it, but next summer is still a blur in the distance.

I told my husband today, "I want to give ample warning. I'm going to a book convention in May."

He said, "May? As quickly as time goes that's in two weeks."

"Naah. First there's Halloween, Thanksgiving, your birthday, Christmas, my birthday, and maybe even Easter."

"Hmh. Okay then..."

Poor guy. He doesn't like going places, so he doesn't want to follow. Thus he's stuck at home, holding down the fort, with four dogs to care for. He's a good sport, though. He never says no.

I always feel bad for leaving him, and I feel horrible for leaving the doggies. Whenever I don't come home the usual time, they sit glued by the window, waiting. This is exciting enough to outweigh my bad conscience, though.

ARe you going?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cover reveal: Shadow of a Man

I woke up this morning to a wonderful surprise: my e-mail held the cover of my new novella Shadow of a Man. It belongs to a series called Borealis, written by different authors. The novellas have different characters, but they all take place on the space station Borealis.

I love these books, because each writer brings something unique into a familiar setting. Some are funny, some make you sit on the edge of the chair wanting to bite your nails, others are romantic...

Mine will be released October 11, and I am proud to be a part of this unique project!

Blurb:

There might be a place Theresa fears more than Borealis, but she can’t think of one. The old and decrepit station houses all sorts of cruelty, and to make it better, this is where her husband Dominic was imprisoned, drugged, and tortured. He returned a mere shadow of his old self, scarred by abuse and Uudon withdrawal.

Borealis is the last place Theresa wants to go, and the only one she can’t escape. Dominic’s apparent madness does nothing to alleviate her fears. Her once sweet husband has turned into a womanizing monster, and will destroy anyone who gets in his way.

Geo, her faithful and all too handsome bodyguard, appears to be the only one on her side. He once helped rescue Dominic, and pays for the insurrection with a lifetime on the run. This might be a situation not even he can handle, and Theresa fears none of them will make it out alive.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rain-day


Today would be a perfect day for writing. The rain is pouring down and it's kinda dark. I could sit here in my little cave and type away all day without being distracted by outside. 

When I grew up, my mom taught me that if the sun shines you're supposed to go outside and do something. This is sound advice in Sweden and deeply rooted in my soul. Unfortunately, I still haven't learned it's not applicable to Florida.

Here, the sun usually shines, and it's usually somewhere around 90 F in the shade. Being outside is not good for you. Most of the time it's not even pleasant.

I still give it my best shot. I grab my laptop and attempt to follow the shade. To be a good Swede I should chase the sun, but it's too hot for that.

While there will probably be a perfect writing day some time in the future, today is not it. I need to go to the day job and make some money to pay the house loan, my car, and dinner. LOL! Don't get me wrong, I have a pretty good job, but it's hard for a real life company to compete with the adventures taking place in my brain. =)




Friday, September 20, 2013

Undercover as paperback!

My novel Undercover is now available as paperback! Come join me in a happy dance! =D

I haven't actually held it and flipped through it yet, and the wait for the UPS truck is nothing short of gruesome. I should have a copy here on Monday. Excitement!

I always liked this story. Naturally, since I wrote it. LOL. Readers seem to either love it or hate it. Either way it stirs some form of emotion, and that has to be a good thing. =)

Blurb:

Jenny Moore is good at her job. Her colleagues have become family and her life is enriched by both good friends and a cat with personality. There's still something missing. She longs for adventure - in a nice and moderate dose that will fit in with the rest of her life.

When Alexei Roshenko steps over her threshold the tall, dark, and handsome stranger sweeps her off her feet. He appears to be the answer to every romantic fantasy any woman ever had, and to make things better, he's mysterious and exotic.

There's more to Alex than meets the eye - a dark and violent past is catching up with him. When Jenny acts on a whim and follows him to Russia, she soon finds herself entangled in a web of deceit and secrets beyond her wildest imagination.

Survival will depend on an inner strength she didn't know she possessed, and only one thing is certain: life will never be the same again.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dogs writing books?!?

I like to feature books written by my friends, and today I have a brand new treat: Tales of a French Scent Hound by Debucher Baguette, AKA, Emma the GBGV.

I can almost hear What? and Who? echo across the Internet. 

Emma the GBGV (Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, I think) is an extraordinarily talented dog. I mean, just look at this photo. I've told my dogs to go to the kitchen and bake some cookies with the reasoning that Emma does it. They look at me like I'm an idiot. Clearly I am the one supposed to provide cookies for them! Anyway, I met her online through her blog, and then I met her human at a blogger conference. 

I'm pretty sure Emma's human does most of the typing, but I wouldn't put any money on it. Emma does a lot of things other dogs don't, and if any doggie were to be good at typing, it would be her.

Check out the blurb:

What in the world is a GBGV? Who is Debucher Baguette, aka Emma the GBGV? Find out as Emma tells all about her breed and adventures in her own words, barks, and howls. She is a talented writer, currently residing in Minnesota with her furry siblings - Kuvasz sister Kate, kitty brother Bert, and kitty sister Sophie. 

Emma shares her amusing tales about running a successful B&B for dogs, helping out with housework, being a master chef in the kitchen, her life as a photo model, and many other humorous undertakings. Emma is definitely not your average dog, and her tales are also out of the ordinary!

Tales of a French Scent Hound is Emma's first book, and if it's anything like her blog, it's worth every cent. 

Spotlight on The Underground Series by Jessica E. Subject


The Underground series
Rebels and Romance
By Jessica E. Subject

In the future...

The corporation Planet Core holds all of the power. They place restrictions on the lives of those living within their boundaries, including who they can love. And there is no escape.

Deception runs deep...

The rebel group, calling themselves The Underground, is disputing the corporation’s leadership. With the desire for freedom, they will fight.

And betrayal can come from anyone...

Will the rebels defeat Planet Core, or end up fighting for their lives?

Reviews:

Never Gonna Let You Go:

“Her stories are so beautiful and hard to put down. But I must admit, this was my favorite one. Being I am a sucker for a good conspiracy, I was foaming at the mouth with this story.”
~Offbeat Vagabond

Never Gonna Desert You:

“Never Gonna Desert You is a fast paced sci~fi romance that gives you pause and makes you think about what life might be like on Earth someday.”
~ Illustrious Illusions

Never Gonna Say Goodbye:

“I loved this story. Never Gonna Say Goodbye had a lot of heart, and engaged my emotions in a way that I wasn’t prepared for.”
~ Wicked Readings by Tawania 



Never Gonna Let You Go
The Underground book 1
By Jessica E. Subject

Erotic Sci-Fi/Dystopian Romance – FF & MF
ISBN: 978-1613332061

Caught in a tangle of lies, Calla Jacobs must sort through the truth to discover where she truly belongs. A biologist for Planet Core, she finds herself ensnared in a web of deceit. Sent to Airondelle, she must work with a team to prepare the newly discovered planet for colonists from Earth. But the mission does not go as she expected. Her former lover, Erik Edwards, shuns her, sending Calla into the arms of Melina Holloway, their commander, for the attention she craves and more. A confrontation among the trio leaves her with a broken heart, and fleeing from the two people she trusted most.

Attempting to break free from the lies that bind her, she discovers Planet Core has deceived everyone. And when she returns to Earth, Calla learns just how far Planet Core’s control reaches.

Available From:

Book Trailer:


Excerpt:
Melina stood up. “Well, I guess we’re done for tonight.”

Instead of packing up the Jeeps and heading back to camp, they lingered, staring at each other in the moonlight. Calla didn’t want to move. She fixated on her commander’s mouth. What would it feel like?

Before she realized what was happening, Melina pressed her lips to Calla’s. Holloway’s hand met the small of her back, drawing her in closer. Calla sensed the woman’s hunger, but pulled away, surprised by her commander’s actions and still ashamed of her body’s rush of desire.

“Holloway, this isn’t allowed. You of all people should know that.”

Melina strolled around behind her, keeping her hands on Calla’s shoulders, and kneaded the knots across her back. “No one needs to know. It’s just the two of us out here.”

Calla moaned as her commander’s thumbs dug deep, releasing her stress from the mission and Erik’s attitude. The massage was the precise touch she needed. “That feels so good.”

Melina swept Calla’s hair from her shoulders and kissed her neck, turning the massage into something sensual. “I have much more planned for you.”

“Holloway, I’ve never ….”

“Been with a woman?” Melina spun her around. Tilting her head, she gazed into her eyes, brushing a thumb across her lips. “There’s a first time for everything.”

Never Gonna Desert You
The Underground #2
By Jessica E. Subject

Erotic Lesbian Sci-Fi/Dystopian Romance
ISBN: 978-1613335468

Determined to find and bring back her girlfriend, Brook enlists in the next mission to the foreign planet, Airondelle. But the deception at Planet Core continues, and Brook doesn't realize the depth of her father's involvement until he orders her terminated. Struggling to stay alive, she quickly learns nothing is as she believed. 

Will she ever find Melina? Or will Brook be stuck light years from home, alone, and with a fierce predator hunting her down?
Available From:

Excerpt:

“Let’s go, Malock.” Jager raised his eyebrows. “Or did you change your mind?”

She stood and released a deep breath. Even with her trepidation, she refused to back out now. Melina waited for her. “No, I’m looking forward to seeing Airondelle for myself.”

Brook spun away and rushed to catch up with her comrades. If she revealed her plans, she’d be stopped before she could find her lover. She would have to hide Melina right under their noses to bring her home. She pushed her shoulders back. I can do this. I have to.

The all-terrain vehicles sat loaded with equipment for the mission in front of the swirling mass of the portal. Her father certainly wasn’t wasting any time getting a team back to Airondelle. Crewmembers already filled the first vehicle, so she hopped into the back of the second.

Jager passed around everyone’s mission directives then shoved in on her left. Thank goodness he was the last to load. With his bulk, he occupied both of the remaining seats.

Before she had time to read her personal orders, they proceeded into the portal. She passed through the spinning matter, her body pulled and stretched in every direction. Unknown forces pushed on her chest, making it difficult to breathe. She gripped the seat, hoping she wouldn’t get pulled out. But the awkwardness didn’t last long. The transporter room light years away, clean, fresh air poured into her lungs. The alien vegetation of the foreign planet lined the rough dirt road they traveled. She yearned to explore the flora and fauna on a more intimate level. And she would, after setting up camp.

She opened the folder with her mission directive inside. Instead of the stack of papers detailing what Planet Core expected of her, she found a single sheet.

Her father’s handwriting scrawled across the page. You can never know the truth.

Hard, cold steel pressed against her temple. A gun. Her breath caught. What the hell is going on? She grabbed her knapsack and launched out of the vehicle.

Never Gonna Say Goodbye
The Underground #3
By Jessica E. Subject

Erotic Gay Sci-Fi/Dystopian Romance
ISBN: 978-1613335857

Rebels, former Planet Core employees, have banded together in The Underground. They fight against the policies of the corporation that owns the lease on their lives. They will have their freedom or they will die trying.

The rebellion is stirring…

Will Garrison leads the fight against the control of the corporation—he wants his people to have their rights to live and love back. Reunited with his lover, former Planet Core medic Tim Harris, the men disagree on how to take down the corporation.

And the desire for freedom…

Tim’s plan requires that he provide a distraction while Will leads The Underground’s forces in a lightning raid, but who can Will trust when he’s already been betrayed once?

May cost these men everything…

Timing is everything, because if either fails The Underground may be crushed under the weight of Planet Core once and for all.
Available From:

Excerpt:

“Let’s do this.” Gun aimed to shoot, Will took a deep breath and stepped inside the portal. The mass pulled his skin in every direction. His stomach churned. And then the sensations ended.

He’d made it. Resting his hand on the closest structure, he inhaled sharply, trying to gain his bearings.

The rest of the team gathered beside him, Brook and Melina the only two not affected by the trip.

“Shit.” He needed to focus, regain control. He blinked hard then glanced around the transporter room. Empty. No one had come to meet them.

“Something’s wrong,” Melina whispered, ready to fire her own weapon. “There is always at least one guard in here.”

“I guess we got lucky.” Dale sauntered to the center of the space, raised his arms and spun in a circle. “We are all alone in here. Time to find the fucker and take him down.”

A sudden hiss silenced him. Red light burned his clothing and left a clean, cauterized hole through his chest. His eyes rolled back in his head, and he fell to the ground.

Will rushed in front of the others, shoving them behind the portal.

So much for being alone. How many waited to take them down? He peeked around the structure, weapon at the ready. No one. The guards had to be hiding, waiting for him and his crew to come out.
And come out they would, fighting all the way.


Bio:

Jessica Subject is the author of contemporary and science fiction romance, ranging from sweet to erotica. In her stories, you could meet clones, or a sexy alien or two. You may even be transported to another planet for a romantic rendezvous. 

When Jessica isn't reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to get out and walk. Fast. But she just may slow down if there is a waterfall nearby.

Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at jessicasubject.com and on twitter @jsubject.



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I'm sponsoring a contest!

Are you familiar with the Long and Short Reviews website? If not, now's a great time to visit. They run weekly contests, and this week, you can win an Amazon gift card, an e-copy of my novel Flashback, and some other cool stuff.

Entering the contest is wicked easy; you do simple stuff that you want to do anyway. Like... liking me on Facebook. LOL!

If you haven't read Flashback, here's the blurb:

As the sole survivor of a Taliban POW camp, Steve Petersen is damaged goods. He is convinced that he left his sanity within the horror-filled walls that held him captive for the better part of a year. His mind is trapped in moments of graphic, soul-crushing flashbacks, and his only solace is the momentary reprieve he gains from alcohol and drugs.

When he mysteriously wakes in a bright and cheery bedroom that belongs to a woman he barely remembers meeting, he knows he should leave and save the widow Anna from his own special brand of crazy. Leaving is not as easy as one would think, and he finds himself drawn into a world of real life problems such as folding laundry, and what to make for dinner.

This new way of life eases his need for drowning his pain in substances and offers moments of quiet healing – until Anna disappears. To save her, Steve must face the demons that have tortured him for so long and return to the place where it all began. Afghanistan.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dogs and frogs

Topper prefers to chill in the sofa. Yup, he
really does sleep like that. =)
A couple of weeks ago rain poured down at evening-walkie time. I decided to walk the dogs around the house one by one. Topper hates rain, and with any luck we wouldn't all have to be soaked.

I walked Bonnie, and noticed a big frog sitting on the pavement close to the house. It had the cutest feet. She has a decently evolved hunting instinct, and I was happy she didn't see it.

Anyway, by the time I'd taken Bonnie in and did the same routine with Topper, I had forgotten all about the frog.

It was still there, and Topper went, "Hey, what are you?"

I said, "Leave the frog alone. They're not for eating."

The frog clearly shared my sentiment; it jumped to get away from the dog and landed on my leg. It was big, cold, slippery, and hung on for its life.

I bounced on one foot while shaking the other leg, attempting to get it off without hurting it, without falling in the rain, and without dropping Topper's leash. "Get off me, get off me, get off me!"

In retrospect I didn't have to worry about the last part. Topper sat down, tilted his head to the side, and gave me a look of, "What the hell are you doing?"

Sometimes it's a good thing only the dogs see me, and that they haven't figured out how to use a video camera. =D

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Review snippets for Operation Earth

Operation Earth has received some pleasant reviews. Check out these snippets, and click on the blog names to get the complete verdict.

"Maria Hammarblad is a fantastic storyteller who makes her story come alive with epic battles and heartfelt scenes."
-- Wicca Witch 4 Book Blog

"The novel skillfully weaves romantic elements with tension, action, and suspense. At times, I was anxious right along with the characters, rapidly turning pages to learn their fates."
-- The Eternal Scribe

"From the fist few pages, I was hooked as Opertion Earth starts in an alien ship and Earth is about to get some unwanted guests."
-- Ebook Escapes

"If you love your Sci-Fi with some romance, definitely check out this one."
-- Claire's book corner

"I was surprised by how excited I was to get back to Operation Earth every time I had to put it down."
-- Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, and Romance

Thank you everyone for taking the time to read and review! Critique is invaluable, and each of these reviews (in the full version) taught me something about myself and my writing. =D

Friday, September 13, 2013

I guess I'm older than I thought...

When I was a little girl, I thought grown-ups with their repeated doctor visits sucked. I would never be that uncool and sit in a crowded waiting room. I would never look forward to have someone poke and prod me.

About a month ago I started feeling really crabby and wanted to go see a doctor. I didn't exactly look forward to the poking and prodding, but it would be nice to have someone do a check-up and tell me any ailment was imagined. You know, kind of like when you take your car to the shop and it works perfectly while you're there, only to begin the same ole antiques the next day...?

The insurance company gave me the runaround, and came up with the brilliant deduction that there were no doctors to be had within 150 miles of my zip code.

Useless.

I complained to my boss and suggested that if our medical insurance company can't find it in their hearts to approve a doctor in the area, maybe we should change company. Both my employer and I pay a lot of money for that insurance each month.

He said, "Well, what do you need done?"

"I need to get my blood pressure checked, and get some asthma medicine."

"Get your blood pressure checked? You can do that at Publix."

Sure, but what good would that do me?

I stood my ground, and he said, "Well, if you really want a doctor, find a gynecologist."

I would normally find the comment hilarious, but since I really haven't been feeling good my patience isn't what it should be. I gave a deadpan glare. I don't think my medical problems stem from my ovaries.

He gave up on the discussion and gave me the phone number to our company contact.

She found a covered doctor in no time - even though the insurance company claimed they weren't any - and just like that I had an appointment. So far so good.

My appointment was today, and I expected a quick in and out. It didn't quite turn out like that.

In my mind I'm as cool as Xena. Complete with armor.
They took my blood pressure nine (!) times. I now have a pile of hypertension medicine sitting in the kitchen. I'm waiting for results of chest X-ray and EKG, and I have an appointment with a lab next week for a list of blood work long as my leg.

What the hell is happening? 

I'm used to being a model of health, and all of a sudden I'm expected to eat pills and I'm forbidden to use salt.

Good gravy. Or, wait, there can't be a good gravy without salt.

For now I'll just sit here and sulk. By tomorrow I've probably had the time to convince myself I'm invincible again. Just like Xena. I always wanted to be Xena.

A thought on reviews

I think every author gets a warm and happy feeling when receiving a good review. Given some time, we also learn to cope with people not liking our work. (How dare they? LOL!)

Here's the thing though: reviews and ratings are subjective.

There's no set scale for what five stars, three stars, or one star means.

Readers know this; most readers I've asked about it look at the text in the review and use this to determine whether pros and cons will apply to them or not. As writers of a book or manufacturers of an item on the other hand, it's easy to get mentally stuck on the stars.

I personally don't write reviews if I can't give the book/item at least three stars. When I was a little girl, my mom taught me, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

It's a good rule.

I give five star reviews if I loved something, four star reviews if I liked it, and three star reviews if it was okay. I like to say positive things and make people happy. Also, I don't want to linger on the negative in life. I'd rather forget about it and move on.

My way of reasoning might be right or wrong; it doesn't matter. The scale is subjective.

When talking to people on Goodreads, I heard some other interesting opinions.

One reader said three stars is her normal. For her, three stars is a good book. In order to get four or five, the material has to sweep her away. If it's just okay she'll give it two, and if she dislikes it, she'll give it one.

Another reader said three stars is a book she liked. Four stars means she wants to read the book one more time, at some point in the future. Five stars means that she wants to read the book over and over again.

To be honest, I find it difficult to remember that the rating system means different things to different people. I can get a three star review and be all disappointed, until I actually read the review and realize the person has another frame of reference.

What do you think? How do you reason when you give reviews?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

How not to interview for a job... if you want it. By Liza O'Connor!





HOW NOT TO INTERVIEW FOR A JOB…if you want it, by Liza O’Connor
THE EVENT YOU ABOUT TO READ IS TRUE, I SWEAR IT ON JESS’S SWEET HEAD.





Never, Jess. I’d never risk your life to amuse my readers. This is a true story.


Before I decided to dedicate my every waking hour to writing and publishing, I actually had serious, important jobs.

I know…hard to believe. During my interviews that resulted in employment, I managed to keep my humor in check. Those where my humor burst out, well, those were hysterical moments that I doubt the interviewer will ever forget. When I’d go bad on an interview, I’d go really bad.




On one interview, after keeping me waiting nearly a half hour, a guy walks in and sits. “So tell me about yourself?”

Having disliked the commute to their office, and now bored with my wait, I smiled and replied, “Well, I graduated second in my class from a small school in Arkansas, but that only assures you I can count to ten as long as I’m not wearing shoes.”


Seriously, that’s what I said. I am interviewing for a strategist position with one of the top three electronic firms in the world, and not only do I begin with my high school achievement, which no one cares about, but I imply I am too stupid to count to ten using my fingers, and must take off my shoes to get the job done.




And I said this with a straight face.

The interview went on for over three hours, with five guys coming in to interview me.


I’m pretty sure the behind the scene conversations went like this, “Jack, you have to interview this lunatic. She’s hysterically funny, only she’s being serious.”


One guy asked me how I would go about creating a strategic campaign for their products. (They have about a zillion, but he was a later interviewer, clearly here for the comedy hour.)

So I smile. “First I would reach out to the current users for [company name] and your competitors products and see what they think.”

My answer surprised him, because that’s actually a good way to start.

“What else?”

“I won’t know until the users tell me why they prefer your competitors’ products over yours.”

That went off really well. He left and the CEO came to interview me next.

Naturally, I tried to behave for him, but using the information provided to me by the head hunter, I managed to piss him off too.

The Headhunter had mentioned during her prepping, they needed a top notch strategist because the customer perception was their products were inferior to Sony and others.

So I mentioned to the US CEO (Big CEO is in Korea) that the public’s ‘perception problem’ needs to be addressed. He became outraged. “******* is a highly admired and respected company. There is no perception problem with the company. People love and admire our products.”

I gave up being nice and lectured him. “You may have solved the quality differences, but you’ve yet to solve the public perception issues and just waiting for people to notice the improvement will take years at best.

Note to anyone who actually wants a job: NEVER LECTURE THE CEO, at least until you become a trusted ally.

Not surprisingly, I did not get the job.

Truth is, after driving there, I knew I didn’t want the job, because the commute would have made me miserable. If I can’t get somewhere within 30 minutes during non-rush hour time, I’ll spend my life on the road during rush hours, and probably die in a fiery ball of metal and plastic.




Still, I went in with the intention of giving a good interview for practice. Then, when they would offered me the job, I’d turn them down.

However, since Serious Liza had no metaphorical money in the pot, Funny Liza dived into the pot head first.



Now in my story Oh Stupid Heart, (2nd book of A Long Journey to Love)



Trent stupidly signs an employment contract without sending it to his lawyer. Bad move because it turns out the contract he signed says the new employee Grant can’t be fired, even for cause.



And his raises are guaranteed. The only way to get rid of him is for him to leave voluntarily.


And the only reason he’d do that is if he got a better job elsewhere. Trent did his part by taking all responsibilities away from the jerk. His ‘job’ is to do nothing other than scratch his ass. And a security guard sits and watches him to ensure that is all he does. He cannot use any electronic devices while at work. He sits on a hardwood chair with a straight back and stares at an ugly wall.

But given in 3 years his salary will climb to a half million, Carrie can’t trust having the most boring job in the world will make him leave. She needs to get Grant an offer of a better job. So she asks Dan, the head hunter, to set her up for an interview with an unethical competitor in need of an EA. She arrives at the interview wearing the ugliest suit that has every existed.

(Her twin sister gave it to her.) On every skill questioned, Carrie admitted while she had skills, Grant’s were far more impressive, except when it came to typing. She was by far the superior typist.
Soon after she left her interview, Dan, the headhunter, requested she come to his office.




He is pissed. The CEO had reamed him for sending an unqualified candidate (Carrie) and withdrew the contract for an EA because he had found one on his own. (That would be Grant)

Yeah! Mission accomplished!

Solves Trent’s nightmare, but Dan wants retribution for the money he lost and the hit to his reputation he took.


Uh Oh.

To find out how, you have to read the book.


Oh Stupid Heart
Book Two of: A Long Road To Love
Humorous Contemporary Disaster Romance
By Liza O’Connor

Blurb:


Carrie Hanson is in love with a different species: Trent, a pampered, uber-rich socialite who’s also her boss. Everyone keeps telling her it’s a train wreck looking to happen, but her heart wants what it wants. So despite the billion and one reasons not to, Carrie commits to this inter-species relationship. But while she's off being trained for her new job responsibilities, a beautiful ex fiancĂ©e is working hard to get Trent back and Carrie fired.

Excerpt:

As the train filled with lesser quality people all talking on their cell phones, the noise and cacophony of smells began to irritate Trent. If not for the pleasure of holding Carrie, he would have demanded the conductor stop the train and let them off so he could have his driver rescue them. The train barely picked up speed before it slowed down, stopped, and allowed more people on. They just kept coming and coming. His glare discouraged a few people from sitting on the other side of Carrie, but eventually an old, heavyset black woman collapsed in the seat with a sigh.


“Don’t normally get to sit,” she muttered, and released a heavy sigh of exhaustion. Her faded, crumpled, threadbare clothes looked as tired as she did.


The conductor stopped and demanded five dollars. She pulled out a coin purse and tried to pay him in quarters.

“No coins.”

The woman put a calloused hand to her forehead and shook her head. “It’s all I got.”

“Not my problem,” the conductor said.

“Take her fee out of the change you owe me,” Trent snapped. Why did the guy have to be such a jerk?
The guy clicked more paper then thrust a ticket into her coin-filled hand. Finally, he handed Trent three twenties.


“And a five,” Trent growled.

The conductor muttered softly and thrust his hand into his pocket and pulled out a five. He glared at Trent. “You’re only getting this, because of her.” He nodded at Carrie. “Otherwise, you’d pay a second service fee.” He handed Trent the bills and stormed off.

The old woman flashed Trent a weary smile, displaying brown and yellow teeth, which made him slightly nauseous.

His grandmother had always said “Never engage with the common people. Perform all charity at a distance.”

“Thank you for the ticket. They’re so expensive, especially since I got sick last month and needed medicine. I didn’t have any money left to buy a monthly ticket.”

“How much is a monthly ticket?” he asked.

“$125.00. But I don’t have it, so I’m paying ten dollars a day. And I only make sixty a night, forty once they take out taxes.”

“What do you do?”

“I clean an office building. Job starts at 8 p.m. and I have to be done by 5 a.m. with no excuses. If I don’t show, or I don’t finish, I get fired.”

He retrieved his wallet, culled two hundred, and added it to the change the conductor had returned. He passed it to the woman. “Here’s enough to buy the monthly ticket and a bit extra to put aside to buy medicine the next time you get sick.”

The woman studied the hundred dollar bills. “Are these real?”

“I assume so. I got them from the bank.”

The woman’s brow furrowed and handed them back to him, keeping the twenties and five. “I can’t afford to get arrested. I’ll lose my job.”

Never had a person refused his money before. It hurt his feelings and frustrated him. Damn it, I wanted to be charitable. Why can’t the damn woman just do her part?

A Long Road to Love
Book Two
Oh Stupid Heart
Coming Mid-September

Book One
Worst Week Ever
Amazon

Liza O’Connor
Author Bio:

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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
LIZA O'CONNOR &
SAVING CASEY:

Liza's Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter
 Worst Week Ever Trailer
Other Books by Liza O’Connor
Saving CaseyWorst Week EverComing Soon:
Oh Stupid Heart
Coming To Reason
Ghost Lover


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