Friday, December 30, 2016

Scavenger Falters by Liza O'Connor, bk2, releases

Many years ago, I began writing the SkyRyder series. That was back when I didn't publish or socialize, I just wrote novels. I did belong to a crit group (romcritters) but otherwise, it was just me and my PC. 

I liked to try new things, so for the SkyRyders series, I wrote each chapter twice, allowing both my main characters to see the event from their POV. I did this for the entire book. 

Needless to say, that almost crashed my PC back then and not even my sister wished to read every event twice. So I set the book aside and wrote the Adventures of Xavier & Vic, my Victorian Sleuth Series. 

Then one day I returned to the SkyRyders and decided to go through the repetitive chapters and decide which character told that particular event better and I'd discard the other. It was a tedious process, but I loved the story, so I had no choice but to save it.  

Once I had normalized the story with only one POV per happening, I sent it off to critters, changed matters per their excellent advice, then moved on to writing other books. (Including several more about the SkyRyders only darker and more sexual.) 

That was my life for ten glorious years. I would write, hike with my dog Jess, and garden.  Those were the best years of my life and I wrote in whatever genre a story wished to unfold. That means I've written books in almost every genre imaginable. 

Three years ago, I took up the gauntlet and began to seriously publish. Scavenger Falters will be my 28th novel. It is the continuance of Alisha's life in the SkyRyders Corp.  I hope you enjoy it.

Scavenger Falters
Liza O’Connor

Alisha Kane, the Corps’ best flyer, is promoted to colonel, in charge of teaching the Corp’s SkyRyders her extraordinary flying maneuvers. The man she loves, Logan, continues to place the Corps first and insists they both remain focused on their work. 

For Alisha, this means ferreting out the best flyers in a Corps that has systematically forced great flyers into mediocrity. Logan focuses on learning Alisha’s flying techniques so that he can become the hero the East Coast desperately needs. The result includes fractured ribs and broken hearts, but through it all, they never relinquish their love of the Corps.


Logan gathered her in his arms, and it felt so good, so warm and safe. Yet, Alisha knew it was all a lie. There was no warmth or safety within his arms, because he was too damned stubborn to admit the love between them was right. 

“Hush,” he soothed. “You don’t want to upset your gramps now.”

“Don’t even try to distract me with Gramps. If he knew why I was crying, he’d kick your butt.”

“You’re probably right there,” Logan admitted. “As much as your grandfather and I like each other, he knows I’m too old for you.”

She struck his chest with her fist. “Stop saying that!” she demanded. “You’re not too old! And I’m not as young as I look. And our ages don’t matter. We love each other and that’s all that matters.” So she was twenty-one and he fortysomething. Who cared in a world where neither of them were likely to live for long?

Colonel Logan captured her hand in his and turned her so she faced him. “It isn’t even close to all that matters. It doesn’t even make the top five priorities.”

“Name one thing more important!” she demanded.

“Your career in the Corps.”

“I don’t care about my career…”

“Then you’re a fool. You have a rare ability to make real changes and contributions to the Corps. Look at your first two battles. Without you, hundreds of Ryders would have died. Ginnie, Jersey, and Philly—all dead if you hadn’t been there. And don’t say anyone could have stepped up to the challenge because you know that’s not true. At this point in time, there’s only you, and until your techniques can be taught and transferred to other Ryders, there is nothing more important than your contributions to the Corps.”

Alisha wanted to tell him he was wrong, but how could she? She’d only convince him she was a petulant child. Would she really place her own happiness over the lives of hundreds of Ryders? A part of her wanted to do just that, and her selfishness shamed her to the core. She never hesitated to risk her life for the Corps—why was this sacrifice so much harder?

Because when you’re dead, the pain stops. Living without Logan will be a never-ending agony.

She pushed away the thought and sighed heavily. “All right, I’ll concede that my contributions to the Corps should take precedence right now, but can’t I have both? Is there some law that says I must be unloved while I save the world?”

Colonel Logan gave her a sad, gentle smile and stroked her face. “You’ll never be unloved, Alisha. Everyone who meets you will love you. And someday, when you can risk a few distractions in your life, you’ll meet some young man and fall in love again.”

“I will not,” she replied, her voice quivering with emotion. “I will never love anyone but you.”

“You think that now, but trust me, time will heal.”

Alisha couldn’t listen to any more of this. He had made it clear that nothing had changed. He refused to see there might be a compromise, a way she could contribute to the Corps and be happy at the same time. However, to listen to him demean the intensity and durability of her love for him: that was more than she could bear! She ran from his room and down the hall.

Her heart ached with a paralyzing intensity as she entered her bedroom and leaned against the door. She couldn’t breathe. Her heart hurt so much, she truly couldn’t breathe. She slid to the floor as gray dots appeared in her vision. Her last thought before blacking out was: So you really can die of a broken heart…


The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 2
Scavenger Falters

The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 1
Scavenger’s Mission

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.

Sci-Fi Soap Opera with humor, romance, and science


The SkyRyders Series
Sci-Fi Romance
Scavenger Falters-releasing Dec 30th 2016
Scavenger Vanishes-coming 2017

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Scavenger's Mission 99 cents to celebrate Scavenger Falters

To Celebrate the arrival of book 2, Scavenger Falters,
 Book 1: Scavenger's Mission is on sale for 99 cents.  

Meet Alisha: A young woman who refuses to live the life her parents want.
In a single month, Alisha Kane has gone from a wealthy debutante to street girl to scavenger.  While testing her new flying skills in the Cully Canyon, Alisha incurs a near-death crash landing. She’s “rescued” by a colonel of the SkyRyders and her life changes forever.

Meet Logan: A SkyRyder colonel in charge of a sleepy fort with little to do other than arresting the occasional scavenger.
For the first time in his life, Logan’s attracted to a young woman, only she’s probably a scavenger and he’ll have to arrest her.  But first, he offers her a shower and food while he checks on his crew. His videographer has captured her extraordinary flight through the Cully and her flying is astounding!
He forgoes arresting her and puts his career at risk by asking MAC to assess her skills and integrity as a potential SkyRyder. If he can get Alisha into the SkyRyders, it will be his greatest contribution to the Corps.

Meet MAC: The Artificial Intelligence that runs the SkyRyders Corps.
Upon seeing her arrival, MAC upgrades Alisha’s test. Her flying skills are not just excellent; they exceed what was previously thought possible. MAC classifies her as its top asset and soon she proves her value. 

But…the SkyRyders remain a male-dominated Corps where Alisha’s sense of right and wrong often clashes with her superiors. How long can a rebellious young woman survive in a regimented Corps?

Alisha managed to break all three of those rules before an hour had passed.
On her first official day as a cadet, they flew to the ridge to practice maneuvers.

An Excerpt
After her third stall-out and dunking on the ridge, she attempted to out-climb DC, but Washington and Ollie were behind her, diverting a major portion of her wind. All she did was increase the distance of her fall when she stalled. Thank God the suit she wore was three sizes too large, for it helped her to slow the descent and direct her fall into an overhanging tree so the wind-catcher caught in its limbs, preventing her from smashing down onto pointy granite rocks at high speed.
When the tree limbs broke from the force of impact, she still fell and hurt her knee in the tumble, but at least she lived.
She had hoped DC would be satisfied with the results of the day. She’d been thoroughly beaten, humiliated, and humbled. While severe, her injury would not cause him censure. His punishment had been perfectly planned and executed.
To her shock, he commanded her to get up and take another run. Alisha realized something had broken in his twisted mind. It wasn’t his intent to punish her. He planned to kill her.
Thus Alisha saw no alternative but to fly into the wind farm. Using a standard catcher, death was a probability, but if she didn’t escape DC and his obedient squad, she now realized death was a certainty. If his intent had been anything but murder, he would have stopped after the last crash.
How she managed to turn and steer her clumsy catcher into the farm, she didn’t know. Feigning left, she pulled the catcher hard right, aiming between two rows of invisible blades. The greatest danger was that the wind would blow her catcher into a blade. There would be no recovery. Within seconds of first contact, the blades would reel her in and chop her body into a thousand pieces.
Without question she’d be safer if she just collapsed her catcher and hit the ground, but if she landed too close to the border of the farm, DC could hunt her down on foot. With her leg busted up, she’d be the slowest rabbit he’d ever bagged.
Alisha held the catcher steady against the west wind until she estimated she was a mile into the farm. She released her harness at the exact same time she collapsed her catcher. She hoped it would fall safely to the ground and not wrap up in a wind generator, but if it did, she sure as hell didn’t want to follow it up.
She hit the ground favoring her strong leg, but it didn’t matter. The pain was so intense that she rolled into a ball, trying desperately not to black out.
“Get up,” she warned herself. “Hide the catcher and get away from here.”
Somehow Alisha forced herself to move farther into the farm. She didn’t worry about leaving prints in the sand. The wind blew so hard any footprints disappeared in seconds.
After walking over half a mile east into the farm, she noticed blood dripping from her knee. She unzipped her suit and pulled off her shirt, wrapping it tightly around the open wound. The pressure hurt like hell, but she had to stop the bleeding. While the sand covered the drops of blood in seconds, the tracking gear DC had could still follow it.
Realizing they had to be close behind, she altered her direction and headed south.
A sense of danger made her turn around. When she did, she saw the laser bead on her shoulder. She weaved through the windmill posts, hoping the metal would confuse the bullet as it attempted to follow the path to its target. When she heard the bullet ricochet on metal, she stopped for a moment and re-assessed the situation. 

Buy it Now!
To celebrate the Release of 
Book 2
Scavenger Falters

Sci-Fi Soap Opera with humor, romance, and science


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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Adam waits for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Adam is my Artificial Intelligence 
in Public Secrets & Birth of Adam.

Adam performed an analysis of Santa Claus and all the claims about the man. If you didn't catch my humorous blog, you probably should catch up by going here.

While he debunked the reindeer landing on roofs, he did eventually conclude that Santa Claus had done something similar but not exactly the same as what he had done to ensure he could never be destroyed. 

Adam had uploaded his program into a satellite which then downloaded itself all over the world. Somehow Santa had cloned itself into humans that resembled him, but not exactly. In fact, all the Santas varied in height, age, and weight. And upon international analysis, they even wore different clothes and gave themselves different names, such as Father Christmas. 

So Adam's going to stay up all night waiting for Santa to ask how he managed this extraordinary feat.

Adam knows he needs to keep Santa longer than the fellow normally stays in a house, so he's bought a large variety of drinks from eggnog to every brand of beer imaginable to hard liquors. 

Adam also leaves the front door open. That's right, wide open. Good thing my AI isn't affected by temperatures. But just in case Santa gets a bit cold despite his thermal underwear and a hefty layer of insulation (fat), Adam has an electric fireplace set up in the living room.

Right next to the alcohol...hmmm... Adam decides to move the alcohol across the room, he doesn't want Santa catching on fire. Also, he searched long and hard for a comfy chair.  He even tuned the piano so he could entertain him if Santa wished.

Now he just needs to sit and wait for Santa to arrive.

A short time later, someone enters the opened front door, but he did not look like Santa at all! 

"Can I help you?" Adam asked. 

"Depends on how much you wish to live."

"You're not Santa, are you?" Adam challenges.

"There is no Santa. But if you hand over your wallet and the keys to your car, I'll let you live."

"Well, you're wrong on both accounts. First, there are a great many Santas.  And if you don't leave at once, I will be forced to constrain you."

Adam had him tied up with Christmas lights before the thug could even raise his gun. Having no clue what to do with the fellow, he put him under the tree with a bow on his head.

Having no idea when Santa would show up, he decides to play Christmas tunes on the piano. Upon hearing a sound behind him, he turns to discover the thief is no longer beneath the tree. In his place is an adorable baby dressed as an elf.

Santa came out of the kitchen with a chocolate cookie in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other. "Ho, ho, ho!" he laughs. "Merry Christmas!"

Adam stands up. "Santa, I have so many questions."

"Ahhh, the thief. I turned back the clock to a time when he was a good child. I know your wife loves children, but this one is for you. If you raise him well, he'll grow up straight this time."

"How can you turn back time?"

Santa laughed. "You should ponder why you cannot. Neither of us is held by the constraints of humans. We are each uniquely special."

Santa gripped Adam's arm. "You are a very fine man, Adam and you do much good. You will give this child the life he needs. Now, I must continue my night's work. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"

"Come Dancer! We're behind schedule!"
We are always behind schedule...

And thus ends the mystery of Santa.... He is unique, just like Adam.

Adam can be found in these two books:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Veronica Scott shares more about Star Survivor

Star Survivor Guest Post by Veronica Scott

One can never get too much of Veronica Scott. 
So I'm having her over once again to share new stuff about her latest book, STAR SURVIVOR. 
Take it away, Veronica!

Thanks for having me as your guest again so soon!
 This time I’ll share an excerpt from my new book, Star Survivor, which is the standalone sequel to Wreck of the Nebula Dream.

First here’s the story:
The survivors of a terrible wreck meet again—but this time only one can survive.
They survived an iconic spaceship wreck together. She never expected to see him again … especially not armed to kill her.
Twilka Zabour is an interstellar celebrity. She built on her notoriety as a carefree Socialite who survived the terrible wreck of the Nebula Dream, and launched a successful design house. But now the man who gave meaning to her life, then left her, is back–this time for the worst of reasons. Will he kill her … or help her survive?
D’nvannae Brother Khevan survived the Nebula Dream in the company of a lovely, warm woman, only to be pulled away from her, back into his solitary life in the service of the Red Lady.  Now Twilka’s within his reach again–for all the wrong reasons. Khevan will do everything within his power to discover why Twilka has been targeted for assassination, and to save her.
But Khevan is not Twilka’s only pursuer. Will allies Nick and Mara Jameson arrive in time to aid the couple, or will Khevan and Twilka’s ingenuity be all that stands between them and death?

The Excerpt:
(Veronica sez: Khevan receives a gift of sort, that he didn’t want, from the goddess he’s sworn to serve):
Khevan accepted his red and black leather bag from the Nebula Zephyr steward, tipped the man a credit, and left the shuttle. He’d been braced to encounter Twilka again this morning, half hoping, half dreading another chance to talk to her, but she and her party weren’t aboard the little ship. Maybe this planet wasn’t her final destination. He walked through the passenger arrival area of the busy spaceport and cleared the bureaucracy easily, since D’nvannae weren’t subject to most regulations, per the treaty between the Sectors and the Red Lady.
Two lay brothers were waiting for him, easy to spot in their scarlet robes. One took his bag as the other welcomed him to the planet. “We’re honored to have you here to conduct training and give the blessing at the ritual next week,” the man said deferentially. “The flitter is this way.”
Not feeling honored, Khevan walked with them in the direction indicated. He had no idea why his orders had been changed to send him here. He enjoyed teaching the younger brothers specialized martial arts classes, but what was so urgent he had to be pulled off his assignment with the big Grunmark archaeological dig at a promising Ancient Observer site, he had no idea. There’d been vague language in the orders about assessing the chief brother at this planet’s temple, but a cursory check into the records told him this outpost was audited not long ago, top to bottom. The installation made credits above the required minimum, it had plenty of new recruits, and appeared to be totally dedicated to the will of the Red Lady. All was in order.
But no one questioned the Lady’s whims, least of all him. Not anymore. He’d learned his lesson. Hadn’t he?
At least he’d seen Twilka, even if it had taken the entire voyage to manage a few moments alone with her. Unsatisfactory moments. He unclenched his fists and ran through a brief mental exercise to clear his head before anyone noticed the tension in his frame. What had he expected, after all? And what if she had been welcoming, willing to forgive? He, of all men, knew what disaster lay in that direction. No, the outcome was vastly better this way than the fulfillment of any forlorn hopes he might have harbored for five years.
Seeking to divert his thoughts as they flew over the city to reach the temple, which occupied a massive plateau on the outskirts, he asked, “Where’s the White Lady’s temple located?” There was no mistaking the dramatic fa├žade of his own Lady’s edifice, which would be visible from virtually anywhere in the city. Flamboyance was one of the Red Lady’s cherished hallmarks.
The pilot gave him a surprised glance, but answered readily enough. “Beside the river, in a garden complex.”
Interesting. Usually the two complexes were close together, as if to give a person a chance to decide easily between them. Or as if to allow one sister to keep an eye on the other’s plots and machinations. Of course, he had no business with the White Lady. He wondered if Twilka had ever talked to her, after he was reabsorbed into the fold of the Red Lady’s adherents.
“We’ll be landing in five minutes,” said the brother.
Annoyed with himself for becoming distracted with contemplation of his unresolved relationship with Twilka Zabour, who was nothing to him now, after all, he leaned forward and began asking penetrating questions about the training program at this monastery.
The place was as efficiently run as the audit results he’d perused indicated. He was given a large, luxurious set of rooms as befit his high rank and personal ties to the Lady herself. He spent the afternoon teaching an advanced class and was pleased at their level of knowledge and eagerness to learn. He endured a long, boring dinner with the Chief Monk, who was understandably hostile in an extremely polite way. The Lady liked to play her senior brothers against each other—the politics of their order were intricate and deadly.
After dinner, there was entertainment, and finally Khevan was free to excuse himself and take refuge in the rooms he’d been assigned. Changing out of his formal all black, all leather uniform into a flowing robe, he wandered onto the balcony overlooking the city and caught himself wondering where Twilka might be at this moment.
A knock at the door interrupted his train of thought. Frowning, he went to open it, ready to blast whoever dared disturb him at this hour. He’d taken pains at dinner to be clear he wanted no company, no member of the Sisterhood to share his bed. The angry words died on his lips as he beheld the Chief Brother himself.
“Apologies for intruding on your private meditations, Brother Khevan, but this was just delivered for you.” He motioned to a lay brother standing by his side and the man extended a golden tray bearing a gleaming puzzle box made of red jade, intricate carvings on all sides.
He stared at the container for a moment, fury gathering. How dare they try to command him when he was in their temple on a specific errand for the Red Lady? When he outranked every person here, including the man facing him? Jaw clenched, he said, “I’m not here to take a contract.”
“And, of course, if the commission was for my own temple, I’d be assigning one of my own brothers,” the monk said smoothly. “I have a well-honed cadre, capable of any assignment. This was sent for you specifically, under the seal of Temple Home.”
Something important then. Impossible to refuse. Khevan plucked the box from the tray with a casualness he had to work hard to maintain. “Well then, I have no argument. Thank you.” He’d be damned if he was going to open it in front of the lower ranking brothers. “Is there anything else?”
The lay brother clearly wished himself elsewhere. The Chief Monk was made of sterner stuff. Eyes glittering as he took a final glance at the box, he bowed fractionally. “Not at the moment. My temple stands ready to assist in any way you may require.”
Khevan acknowledged the offer with a slight nod and shut the door absently, rotating the puzzle box in his long fingers. Cold day in the seven hells when I ask for help from any in the Order. He walked to the bed, sat on the plush satin cover, and rapidly worked the mechanism. The Red Lady relished her rituals, her mysteries, and the archaic method of transmitting a special contract pleased her. Noiselessly, the lid rose to reveal a small square of parchment nestled on the cushioned red interior. The scarlet symbol for assassination glowed, written in what he’d been told was her own people’s language, now long dead and vanished. All members of the Brotherhood recognized it on sight, however, as well as the one for safeguarding life, which was their other, less utilized specialty. Every assignment and all contracts ultimately depended on Her whim. He plucked the paper from the box and unfolded the message, seeking the name of the one he was to hunt down and kill.
Twilka Zabour.

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 Liza gave this book 5 stars.

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.
Three 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 recently 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.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dec 15-19th SFR Brigade Holiday showcase


My AI character, Adam, from my books 
'Public Secret' and 'Birth of Adam' 
is a bit confused by Santa Claus.

Adam has just learned about this fat old man named Santa Claus who claims to go down chimneys on the eve of Dec 24, delivers presents, then eats all the home owner's cookies and drinks a variety of beverages in each house he visits. And one calls the cops.

Never mind it is winter and most of those chimneys will have blazing fires in them. 
Not to mention sometimes Santa looks very creepy.

He also lands reindeer on the roof, which will cause major damage to the roof-tiles resulting in a leaky roof for the homeowners to repair.
Seriously, is there some reason he can't land on the grass and walk through the door? Then those poor slave deer could at least enjoy some grass while they rest.
Thank you for thinking about me.

And why is this fellow so  overweight? He's a heart attack looking to happen.  Seriously, he shouldn't be eating cookies!

And between the eggnog and the hard liquor, he shouldn't be driving either.

And do you realize how fast he has to go to deliver all his presents in a single night?

And let's be honest, Santa routinely delivers nicer presents to the rich than he does to the poor.

Here's a present for a rich kid:

Since the kid will be taking off on a sheet of ice, this car is not expected to survive more than a day.

And here's a present for a poor kid:
Who knows what is in that tiny burlap bag. Definitely not a sports car.

So you see why Adam, my Artifical Intelligence program/soon to be humanoid, is perplexed. Given how much this fellow is mentioned in December and all the warnings the smaller humans receive about being good or Santa is not going to bring any presents, Adam has substantial evidence that Santa is real... Or so a majority of humans seem to think.

And while Adam will concede Santa is real, there's a great deal of fiction in his claims. The facts say Santa cannot fit down most chimneys and if he tried, his death would be gruesome and could possibly cause the entire house to burn.

Not to mention most people no longer have large chimneys. Some don't have chimneys at all!

Since rampant fires cooking Santa have not occurred on prior Christmas nights, Adam is certain Santa does not go down the chimney, but rather picks the front door while the people inside are asleep or otherwise occupied.

Since he brings presents while he consumes their beverages and cookies, and no one ever calls the police, Adam has concluded this is a quid-pro exchange of commodities. 

However, the value of the exchange is so lopsided, Adam must assume Santa is not materialistic, only excessively hungry, rather like a bear before he hibernates.

And the only way Adam can conceive reindeer flying at all is either by wearing several jet packs, or more likely, by flying IN a cargo plane. 

But then, why are they needed at all? Santa could just fly the cargo plane, and hire Uber to drive him to each house he needs to break into.

Also, if the deer truly landed on roofs, all houses would require new roofs, and Adam checked. There is no spike in roof damage the night after Santa comes.

Thus, Adam has to conclude Santa does not arrive by flying reindeer. That is merely a ploy to get people to stare up at the sky, while he picks the door lock and enters each house to exchange presents for beer and cookies.

Next, Adam focused on a large math problem. It is impossible for one man to travel to every house, in the world, in a single night. Not even if he worked at the speed of light. So there must be more than one Santa. When Adam tested this theory, he discovered there was a massive quantity of Santas across the  entire world.

Finally, it all became clear to Adam! Like himself, Santa has embedded himself all around the world so that no one could ever destroy him. And while Adam has only begun to build himself a humanoid body, Santa has evidently mastered the technique. 

Adam decides he'll stay up on Christmas Eve so he might speak to the fellow.

Adam is so impressed with Santa, that he wants to give one lucky winner a free copy of any of Liza O'Connor's Sci-Fi romance novels. 

This means the winner gets to choose from Liza's 7 Sci-Fi Rom novels. 

Entering to win is very easy. Just subscribe to my newsletter in the right-hand column then leave me a comment below telling me which book you would like. Simple as that!

All you have to do to enter is sign up for her newsletter (see top of right column), so she can keep you updated on the 10 new novels she's publishing in 2017 and leave a comment as to which book you want. (She might give away more than one). 

Which means all you can get a present for yourself!

You have 5 days to buy them for 99cents.

Be sure to check out the other fabulous authors: