Friday, November 29, 2013

SFR Brigade Presents: more from Brand New World

The SFR Brigade Presents is a blog hop where sci-fi romance authors present snippets of their work. I want to share an excerpt from my novella Brand New World.

Brand New World is the first book in my Embarkment series, and they're a bit different from all my other books. They're written in first person, and they're more playful than my "serious" books.

Check out the other participating authors as well! =)


The door to my new home slid open, and Adam said, “It’s not perfect, but it will have to do for now.”

He put me down on a couch in the middle of the room, and I experienced a brief but intense feeling of loss when he no longer held me. Odd. There might be a perfectly reasonable psychological explanation to it, but still… Odd.

I glanced around to distract myself. The room was nice, but impersonal. It reminded me of a hotel in the upper price range.

My new friend took a seat next to me, a little awkwardly as if it was difficult to find a comfortable position. “Are you hungry?”

I probably should be, but eating was the last thing on my mind. I shook my head and fingered the sofa. The fabric under my fingers was almost familiar, but not quite. Everything was like that; just a little off, enough to be disturbing. Just like him.

Adam looked human and felt human to touch. He was solid and warm, but didn’t really have a smell. 

Not until now did I realize everyone I ever knew except for him had an elusive feeling of humanity around them. Maybe it was the lack of endorphins and other things a living body would produce. Maybe all of us pick those things up all the time, without even knowing. “Are you really an android?”

“You’ve asked me that before. Yes, I am an artificial life form. Look here.” He rolled his sleeve up, showing a perfect arm. It was slightly tanned, muscular, and covered with fine hairs, just like a human’s would be. He ran his fingers over the skin and I gaped as a hatch opened. A moment earlier, it was seamlessly attached, and now a portion of his skin and underlying whatever it might be slid to the side, revealing metal and circuits. “Wow!”

He grinned. It was the first real smile I saw on his face, and it looked perfectly human. “That’s exactly what you said the first time I showed you.”


When Alexandra wakes up in an unknown environment, populated by a cat-like woman with a tail and a hologram of a rockstar, she knows she has to be hallucinating. Maybe she hit her head, or finally suffered that nervous breakdown. It doesn't get any better from finding out she died and was taken into the future by the elusive Adam, whom she can't remember, or from people telling her she's on a spaceship.

The last year or so is gone from her memory, and she has no choice but to try to adapt. As days go by, her new environment becomes more and more unnerving. She finds herself helpless, and completely dependent on a man who isn't even human.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

It's happening this weekend: Matlacha Authors Festival

If you're in the area, I will be speaking at 12:20 on Saturday the 30th. 
I will also have a table with books, postcards, and swag.
I'd love to see you there!

Happy Thanksgiving!

When I first came to the US I didn't understand Thanksgiving at all. (I had actually never heard of it.) Now I appreciate the concept - not to mention getting a holiday - but Black Friday still puzzles me. 

The first time I heard "Black Friday" I thought the nation was in mourning over something historical, but I couldn't figure out what. Then hubby explained that it's the day most retailers' numbers get in the black. That's sad. They've run the entire year up until now with a loss? Wow.

Last night I saw a Black Friday commercial on TV. It was a choir dressed in Christmasy clothes, singing, "Go, go, go, go, go, shop, shop, shop shop."

So, the entire nation spends one day being thankful for what they have, and then they go out in the middle of the night to fight with other people to buy more stuff.

Go, Go, Go, Go, Go, Shop, Shop, Shop, Shop...

I'm not going, and I'm not buying, but I am thankful. In the spirit of giving something back, Touch of the Goddess is free for Kindle all Thanksgiving holiday until Sunday.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May your holiday be wonderful and special. May your food be delicious, your friends and family peaceful and loving, and every traveller kept safe.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book review: Saving Casey by Liza O'Connor

Cass Goldman is at the end of her life, and decides to end it for both herself and her dog. Right there I decided not to like her. If you want to move on to whatever's after this life that's fine, but leave the dog out of it. As the story moved on, I still couldn't help but love her.

Cass is re-born into the body of Casey Davidson, and calling Casey a troubled teen would be an understatement. Cass not only has to adapt to being a teenager with all that comes with it - raging hormones, school, parents, and homework - but she must also learn to navigate the darker undercurrents of Casey's life, a task much more complicated than it appears at first sight.

Liza O'Connor has a knack for creating believable characters, even when they end up in the most fantastic settings. They come across as real people, with real people's hopes, fears, victories, and failures. This book touches on some serious subjects, but O'Connor keeps it light and humorous.


Having been diagnosed with cancer, Cass Goldman decides to opt out of any futile medical care and end her life. While she has some thoughts on afterlife, she never expects to reincarnate into the body of a seventeen-year-old girl named Casey Davidson.

When she awakens in a hospital, Cass discovers two disturbing facts: One, she is now inside the body of a troubled teenager, and two, the former owner of this body committed suicide, but only Cass knows that. Everyone else believes Casey has survived, but suffered a complete memory loss. Cass has two choices: to take on Casey’s life and turn it around, or to confess the truth about her reincarnation and end up in a mental asylum. Given this second chance to life, Cass decides to take on the future life of Casey—the frightening ghoul-faced teen with short, black, spiky hair.

Every person around Cass has an ulterior motive and discovering the truth of Old Casey’s life is more complicated than the “new math” she is forced to learn in school. In addition, Cass has to contend with raging teenage hormones and the prior crimes of Old Casey, which she might not remember, but everyone else certainly does. However, her biggest frustration concerns her feelings for her father’s rugged security specialist who sees her only as a teenager and doesn’t want to explore the mutual attraction between them.

Will her second chance at life prove to be worth the struggles she has to overcome?

 See the book on Amazon!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

SFR Brigade Presents: Shadow of a Man

The SFR Brigade Presents is a blog hop where sci-fi romance authors present snippets of their work. I want to share an excerpt from my novella Shadow of a Man.

This is book number XII in Desert Breeze Publishing's Borealis series, written by different authors and with different main characters, but in the same setting.

Check out the other participating authors as well! =)


The fabric between her fingers distracted her enough to bump into a stranger, and she glanced up with an apologetic smile. An enormous man looked down at her, and he did not seem happy.

"I'm sorry. I should watch where I'm going."

Her smile made the ominous wrinkle between the stranger's eyebrows deeper and the look on his face caused a hoard of Oralinian flutterbugs to set flight in her stomach. Something was wrong, but she couldn't figure out how to set it right. She had made a mistake, but she apologized. What else could be expected from her?

A moment later, Geo had his arm around her shoulders and pulled her away.

"I apologize for my sister. She's unaware of the local customs."

The stranger didn't follow and Geo whispered, "Stop smiling. I know you're a nice person, but Galiadians see smiling as an insult."

"You're joking?"

"Not at all. Didn't Dominic tell you anything about this place? Be careful with smiling and be careful with looking at people. Ranierans tend to dismember anyone who stares."

"Dismember? You don't really mean that, right?"

"Unfortunately I do. Be careful."

He was too close and his words too bizarre. She would have a hard time believing a person could tear someone else's arms off for staring at the best of times. With him touching, keeping her mind on gruesome matters was nothing short of impossible.


Shadow of a Man

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.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Character interview with Gar from Ghost Lover by Liza O'Connor!

Maria: Hi, I’m headed to Earth. England to be precise. I’m to interview Gar Durran, one of the many characters in Liza O’Connor’s upcoming book, Ghost Lover. For some reason Liza arranged for me to interview him instead of the heroine’s fiance, which would seem the logical choice. She wouldn’t tell me why, but hopefully we’ll figure it out.

Yikes! I may have gone through a time warp, because that looks like a freaking castle. I like castles, but let me text Liza, because I do not want to tangle with angry knights… 
Ah, she says the the Durran castle has existed since the 12th century, but if there are more than three towers, then we are on time.

 She also claims it’s cram full of ghosts in the spring time when the garden is in bloom. Naturally, she sends me here in the fall.

* Arrives at the massive, carved wood door and knocks *
* Butler takes Maria directly to the library. *

Maria: Wow, is this a nice library, there must be thousands of books in here. If you like, I can digitize them and insert a microscopic implant in your brain so you access them whenever you want.

Gar: *stands, causing what sounds like a cat to yowl.* Miss Hammarblad, welcome to my home. And I’ll pass on the implant. I’m an old fashion fellow. I like to view actual paintings of art and hold books as I read.

Maria: *shakes hand with him* I suppose that’s why Liza painted you instead of buying pictures as she did for everyone else.

Gar: I suppose I should be grateful she took the time to paint me, but I wish she would have bought oils and canvas and done it properly. Instead, she somehow managed to paint it on her computer.

Maria: Well, you know starving authors and all.

Gar: *motions for her to sit on the leather couch as he sits in the chair across from her.* May I get you something to drink and perhaps a light snack. I’m sure you must be tired from your journey.

Maria: I'd love some coffee. Lots of milk but no sugar. And maybe a cookie or something...

Gar: *stares at the desk in anger, then jumps up and rushes towards it, grabbing a teacup just before it falls off the edge. Then he speaks in a soft, but very angry whisper* I’m warning you, Mr. Finch!

Maria: Mr. Finch, the ghost cat? Is he here? Is that who complained when you stood up?

Gar: *Sighs heavily then returns to the couch, the teacup safely in his hand.* Liza told you about Mr. Finch?

Maria: Yes. Was she not supposed to?

The butler enters. “James, please see this cup is cleaned and put away. And serve Miss—

Maria: Just call me Maria

Gar: Maria a coffee and a pour me a brandy.

James: Yes, sir.

Maria: And a saucer of milk for Mr. Finch.

*Purrs resonate through the room*

Gar: Never mind the milk. And fix my brandy now. *Once James left, Gar spoke.* Sorry, but Ghosts do not drink or eat. All Mr. Finch would have done was walk through milk leaving pawprints all over the room. While he is invisible to the human eye, he remains substantially here in this plane of existence.

Maria: Exactly what does that mean?

Gar: If he deigns to greet you, you will notice. He weighs nearly two and three quarters stones.

Maria: Sorry, I have no idea how much a stone weighs.

Gar: About 17 1/2 kilograms.

Maria: What’s that in pounds?
Senna: *speaks from the door* Mr. Finch weighs about 39 pounds, which is very large, even for an ocelot. In fact, if Guiness would allow ghosts to compete for their records, I’m pretty sure he’d go in the record books as the heaviest ocelot ever. 

*She hands Maria her drink and then sits by Gar, handing him his brandy with a loving smile*

Gar: Why are you serving the drinks? That’s James’ job.

Senna: *grimaces* The servants have their hands full right now.

Gar: *takes a deep gulp of the brandy* What has my brother done now.

Senna: *places her hand on his leg* You don’t want to know. It will only put you in a bad mood and then Mrs. Hammarblad—

Maria: Call me Maria.

Senna: And I’m Senna. Then Maria will think you are ill-tempered instead of being the nicest man she has ever met.

*Gar’s arm flew upward.*

Gar: Finch! Watch what you’re doing! *He turns to Senna.* Did I douse you in brandy?

Senna: *pets air above her lap* Not enough to fret over. I’m fine.

Maria: So Mr. Finch is in your lap right now?

Senna: Mr. Finch, may Maria pet you? She’s come all the way from a different galaxy in her spaceship to met you.

*Senna stops petting and sighs.*

Senna: I’m sorry. He seems to have left.

Maria: Jumps as a crushing weight drops across her lap. Tentatively she lowers her hand and makes contact with a hard furred body.

Mr. Finch’s purrs resonate through the library.

Maria: This is fabulous. I wish I could see him.

Senna: He’s always invisible, but Lassier created two paintings of Mr. Finch. One when he first bought him from a sailor and later in his prime. Let me get them for you.

*Senna leaves the room.*

Maria: I like her.

Gar: She’s the finest woman I’ve ever known. *He sighs and stares at his hands wrestling one another*

Maria: I think you love her.

Gar: *nods once* With all my heart, but she is engaged to my brother, so nothing can be done. Lassier tried to fix matters, but it hasn’t worked.

Maria: Lassier?

Gar: He’s the most troublesome ancestral ghost in the castle. Renoir Lassier, the famed artist who is renowned for his sexual escapades both when living and in his afterlife.

Maria: You mean—

Gar: He’s a ghost lover and has been consoling unhappy Durran wives for centuries. I suppose he’ll be doing the same for Senna when she marries my brother. *He tosses the remainder of his drink down his throat*

*Senna renters the room* Here are Lassier’s paintings of Mr. Finch.

Lassier says as a kitten, Mr. Finch would not be still, so painting him was nearly impossible, but once he matured, Mr. Finch was a perfect model and thus the likeness was excellent.

Gar: *smiles at Senna* Where on earth did you find these?

Senna: They showed up in my room one day.

Gar: *grips her hand and kisses it, then looks at Senna* I can speak for the entire staff, Brendon and I, plus all the ghosts when I say I am so glad you’ve become a part of our family.

Senna: I’m not really part of the family yet. You haven’t agreed Brendon and I may marry yet.

Gar: Senna you became a part of this family from the day you arrived. Never doubt you belong here.

Maria: *lifts the invisible cat on her lap and gently places it on the couch.* Well, I think I’ve enough for my blog now. Thank you so much for your time. *She glances down at the indent on the couch* I am honored to pet you, Mr. Finch. *She then smiled at Senna* And you Senna. Knowing Liza, your future will be difficult, but in the end, things will work out, so never give up. *glances at Gar* Either of you.

 And thus ends Maria’s interview. Hope you enjoyed it.

Ghost Lover
By Liza O’Connor

Contemporary Romance with a touch of paranormal

Two sexy English brothers. One irresistible ghost. Who would you choose as your lover?

Completely broke and with a criminal record to boot, Senna Smith is one day from eviction from her apartment when Brendon, her promiscuous roommate from London, suggests she go to England, marry him, and manage his fortune. With few other options, she agrees to an open marriage. But she’ll never, ever, have sex with him, knowing if she falls in love with him, he’ll break her heart.

As trustee of Brendon’s family fortune, there is no way Brendon’s older brother, Garrison Durran, is going to let him marry a self-professed American gold-digger. As Senna tries to embrace castle life and English society for Brendon’s sake, Gar discovers Senna is the perfect woman for him--beautiful and intelligent, kind and caring. Now, if she wasn’t already engaged to his brother…

The ancestral ghost of Durran Castle has to intervene if the Durran brothers have any chance of an heir. He can’t leave them to fix matters on their own. They are useless buggers when it comes to love. As counselor to Gar, matchmaker for Brendon, and lover to Senna, a ghost’s work is never done.

CONTENT WARNING: Allergy warning: Ghost cat in book.


Brendon moved to the window and stared out. “I don’t think you realized how bad things became for me when Nan died. I’d lost the only person who cared for me. I had no one left. The million dollars I lost on a roulette wheel wasn’t done just to get rid of the cook. I did it to get your attention. While you didn’t give a shit about me, you’ve always loved money. And it worked. You finally noticed me.”
“And sent you away,” Gar said with remorse.

“Yeah.” Brendon turned and gave him a faint smile. “Not exactly the response I’d hoped for, but it turned out all right. I met Senna and since then life keeps getting easier with each day. Now I find I even like you most of the time.”

“Well, the feeling is mutual. You’re still eccentric, but you’ve a good heart and good intent, and I’m proud you’re my brother.”

Suddenly the door opened and Senna walked in looking at both men with concern. “Are you two having a fight?”

“Not at all.” Brendon smiled. “In fact, Gar told me he’s proud I’m his brother.”

Senna’s eyes filled with appreciation as she grinned at Gar.

Her smile almost broke Gar’s heart. God help him, but Brendon had nailed the truth. He did love Senna, and more than anything, he wanted her to be his wife.

Author Info

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.


To Be Released December 2, 2013 Click Here for More Information  

FREEBIE!!!! To One Lucky Commenter, 
I’ll give away one copy of Worst Week Ever  

What do you get when you put a hardworking, can-do middle-class young woman together with an egoistical, outrageous, billionaire boss, then throw in the worst week of disasters imaginable?

A humorous disaster romance of epic proportions.

Just leave an email address in your comment  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bah! Humbug, by Jackie Leigh Allen

The holidays are coming up with alarming speed. If you need something to read during Thanksgiving, why not try some new authors through free reads? That way you will know if you like their work, and if you want to buy a full-length book.

I wrote about Bah! Humbug last Christmas. I still love it, and I recommend that you check it out. =)

Could Santa Claus be the man who's been right under your nose all year?

Heather Fisher Black's third man of the year has just exited right when she needs a date for Christmas dinner. The whole gang from Win's War will be there and everyone will have a partner, even Win's grandfather.

To download this book, please follow this link.
My review:

I haven't read Win's War - yet - and the blurb had me a bit confused. I still liked the title Bah! Humbug and the premise, so I plunged in. This is a very enjoyable read that had me chuckling at times. Like, when the heroine forgets the name of "Jerk number three" - even though she used to hope he would propose. 

The book is easy to get into, and the characters are likeable and seem real. It's a perfect story to curl up with in a cozy corner, shutting the world out for a while. I've read a number of novellas in a short period of time, and this one sticks with me, popping into my mind from time to time. :-)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bewitching Book Tours Hot Holiday Giveaway!

Nov 15 - Dec 15


1 Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch or equivalent value Amazon Gift Card

3 Bewitching Prize Packs full of books and book swag goodies - open to US Shipping - prize packs may contain print copies of The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle, Would Be Witch by Kimberly Frost and Earth Angel by E Van Lowe, Paranormal Pleasures by Roxanne Rhoads, Tasty Christmas Treats by Roxanne Rhoads- books will be distributed among the 3 prize packs

1 e-book set of the first three books in the Seven Seals Series by Traci Douglass

1 Release, book 3 of The Angler series by Annie Nicholas

1 ebook copy Murder on Mars A New Orleans Mystery by MM Shelley

1 Ebook giveaway Hollow’s End by Marianne Morea

1 Ebook copy of Tigress by JE Taylor

1 ebook copy of In Flames by Jessica Jayne

1 copy of River Road by Suzanne Johnson

1 ebook copy of Visionary- Unleashed by N Dunham

1 copy of each Bleeding Hearts and Blood Rush by Ash Krafton

1 ebook copy of Soul Meaning (Seventeen Book 1) by AD Starrling

1 ebook copy of Blaze Ignites by JL Madore

1 e-book copy of Operation Earth by Maria Hammarblad

1 Earth’s Requiem. Print if in the U.S., an e-copy otherwise.

1 ebook copy Silent Oath (Book 2 of the Locked Within Trilogy) by Paul Anthony Shortt

1 Ebook: Five Golden Rings by Jeffe Kennedy from the Season of Seduction Carina Press erotic holiday anthology

1 eBook: An Unexpected Bride (The Bride Series, Book 1) by Shadonna Richards

1 eCopy of Divine Destiny by Joanna Grace

1 Ministry Protocol: Thrilling Tales of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences

1 Ebook giveaway. "Beautiful Stranger" by Katalina Leon

1 ebook copy of Chasing the Star Garden by Melanie Karsak

1 ebook copy of Cleaning Up by Jophrael L Avario

1 One e-book copy of Haven by Celia Breslin

1 one e-book copy of Dragon Fire by Dina Von Lowenkraft

1 ebook copy of Hex and the Single Witch by Roxanne Rhoads

1 one kindle copy of Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden

1 One ecopy of Cursed Ever After by AC James

1 copy of The Miss Education of Dr. Exeter by Jillian Stone

1 ecopy of Catwalk:Messiah by Nick Kelly

1 ecopy of Wucaii by Pembroke Sinclair

1 ecopy of The Bottom Line by Shelley Munro

1 Ebook copy of Dangerous Pursuit by Margaret Daly

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The Universe - or is it Fate - is fickle.

If someone had told me yesterday that an asteroid would collide with Earth, that we'd have a flood of Biblical proportions, or that a so...