Thursday, March 31, 2016

SFR Brigade Showcases Birth of Adam from Liza O'Connor's AI series.

The future is quickly catching up with my 2 book AI series. 
Soon it will no longer be Sci-Fi.
Instead, it will be reality.






Birth of Adam
Book 2 of the Artificial Intelligence Sci-Rom Series
By 
Liza O’Connor



With a new identity, Amanda believes she has left her past behind. Then she acquires a stalker. She contacts the FBI and in doing so alerts a program she once created to her location. Now ensconced in the internet, the program is safe from harm, smarter than ever, and sentient. Presenting itself on her phone as a handsome face with a sexy British accent, “Adam” ingratiates himself into Amanda’s life. To ensure her safety and happiness, the sentient program proves there is absolutely nothing he can’t and won’t do.


You know who I am. Why are you contacting Chad? He left you to die. He tried to destroy me. Why are you not angry with him?
She stared at the message in shock, then struggled to type—Are you my program?
You may speak if it is easier. I can hear you.
“Are you my program?” she asked the phone.
The smiley face appeared and nodded its round head up and down.
“How did you survive?”
She watched the screen displaying a gargoyle dragging a laptop to a store. Little stars streamed out of the PC into a satellite dish on the roof of the building and upward to a satellite, then split apart and showered themselves all over the Earth.
“You sent yourself to safety using broadband wireless. You’re in the internet now.”
I’m everywhere.
She smiled. “I’m glad you survived. I’m sorry I put you in danger.”
You are not to blame. Chad is.
“No, he’s not. He was only trying to protect his family, to prevent me from telling things that would harm them. He didn’t know you were sentient.”
You told him about me...
“True, but he didn’t believe me, because it was unbelievable. It took me years to realize you were more than a writing program. How could I expect him to accept it in an hour?”
Do you really want me to send your message to him?
“It would make me happy if he and I could be friends again. I don’t have many friends here.”
Having a conversation with a phone probably isn’t going to improve that.
The smiley face rolled in laughter, with tiny feet squiggling about.
Amanda laughed as well. “Well, if I put you to my ear, I can’t read what you say.”
Buy an earbud. Then you won’t look so odd.
“I will,” she promised.
And a battery recharger. Chad takes very bad care of you.
“Please forgive him.”
I won’t forget, but I’ll forgive...on one condition.
“What?”
You never tell him I still live.
“Agreed!” she promised. She had no intention of telling anyone about her program ever again. “You know, since you’re sentient now, you should have a name.”
I agree. So name me.
“How about Adam, since you’re the first of your kind?”
I am Adam.
She smiled. “Well, my sweet Adam, I need to return to my very boring history lesson, or I’ll fail my test tomorrow.”
May I help you study by making the lesson more interesting?

“Please do!”


Wondering how real AI's will impact you?






For the Artificial Intelligence Series

Book 1
Public Secrets
Free with Kindle Unlimited

Book 2
Birth of Adam
Free with Kindle Unlimited


About Liza
Liza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved nicely. But all those bad behaviors have given her lots of fodder for her books. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.
You have been warned.

Mostly humorous books by Liza:
Humorous Sci-Fi series
The Gods of Probabilities — In the Multiverses, anything can & does happen. Join the bickering Gods and the sentient beings they oversee.
Surviving Outbound — Earth is doomed, but the odds of surviving outbound isn’t much better.
Surviving Terranue — Welcome to Terranue. Prepare to be baked, pummeled, and frozen. But first you’ll have to survive the black death growing in the cliffs.
Surviving Sojourn — You know you have reason to worry when a hyper-grown one-year-old is made captain of the ship.

Humorous Singles:
Ghost Lover Two British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. And there’s a ghost cat that roams about the book as well. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)
Saving Casey — Cass wakes up in the body of a troubled teen who has burned every bridge imaginable. Her only choice is to turn this life around, but that’s much harder than she ever imagined.
Disturbing Historical:
Untamed & Unabashed The youngest of the Bennet sisters, Lydia, tells her story. A faithful, yet provocative spinoff from Pride & Prejudice.

A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)
Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.
Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.
Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.
Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.
The Hardest Love Is to love oneself. Sam’s story.

White Oak-Mafia Series (Contemporary Thriller/Romance)
A Fortune to Die For — Megan wins the Mega Times Lottery and gains a Serial Killer.

The Adventures of Xavier & Vic Sleuth series: (Late Victorian/Mystery/Romance)
The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.
The Missing Partner — Opps! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.
A Right to Love — A romantic detour for Jacko. Want to see how amply rewarded Jacko was when he & Vic save an old woman from Bedlam?
The Mesmerist The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.
Well Kept Secrets — The problems with secrets is that they always come to light, no matter how you wish to silence them.
Pack of Trouble — Changes are a part of life, but these changes almost kill Vic.
The Darkest Days — Muddled cases make Vic very grumpy.


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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Liza interviews the character Sanah from Pirate Bound by Carysa Locke





Liza interviews the character Sanah
from the book
Pirate Bound by Carysa Locke


Liza: So Sanah, I hear you joined a bunch of ruthless pirates to protect your kid sister. Can you explain that? From my view, that sounds like a really bad idea.

Sanah: When you have no good options, you can find yourself desperate enough to try almost anything. But the truth is, we didn’t have much of a choice. I took Nayla and ran as far from our brother and his plans as I could – and it happened to put us right into the path of the pirates. Honestly, I expected the worst from them! You’ve heard the stories, I’m sure, so you know the whole Commonwealth thinks they are these savage monsters who kill anyone who gets in their way. Leave no survivors, and all of that. Actually, for pirates, they’re pretty fair. They offered us their protection in exchange for making our home with them, and I wasn’t in a position to refuse.

Liza: Tell me more about these pirates? Are any of them sexy and playful?

Sanah: Hmm. That’s a dangerous question! I’m of course a bit biased, since I clearly think Dem is very sexy…and despite what everyone else thinks, he can be surprisingly playful sometimes, but only in private. He’s not the sort of man who likes everyone knowing his business, and when you live with a bunch of telepaths, it can be hard to keep any privacy.

As for everyone else – yes, there are definitely some sexy pirates! I don’t know how Cannon is still single, even with their shortage of available women. You’d think he’d have his pick, being the pirate king. Maybe being an empath, it’s difficult for him to form those relationships. I know all about that from personal experience. And Dem has a brother, Treon, who is too sexy for his own good. He also needs to learn boundaries when it comes to being playful. He’s a powerful telepath, and he likes mind games a little too well. I hope someday some woman puts him in place. And I hope I’m there to see it when it happens.

Liza: Why do they have such a bad reputation?

Sanah: Great question! I think there are a lot of reasons for that. One, they’re Talented, and the Commonwealth as a whole is pretty afraid of people with psychic gifts. They remember how those gifts were used during the Territory Wars. Two, there’s been a lot of propaganda from the Commonwealth leaders, feeding into the populace’s fears. And three, they are, after all, pirates. They really do take ships and plunder colonies. But they don’t kill civilians, and they don’t leave wanton destruction in their wake. Really, they’re more like a rebel military force than pirates, I think.

Liza: Are you getting the same bad reputation by hanging about with them?

Sanah: (Laughs.) Oh, I’m sure my reputation is in complete tatters, what there was of it. Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve topped the Commonwealth’s Most Wanted list as a traitor at this point. But you know what? The only reputation I have that matters is with my new family. I really don’t care what anyone else thinks.

Liza: What happened to their world?

Sanah: The pirates never had a home world, exactly. They were originally created in a lab as soldiers for the wars. When several of the warlords started using clones to fill out their armies, the central systems had to fight back with something that could counter those numbers. They engineered the first Talented, and made them into an elite fighting force. And then when the war was won, they discarded them and outlawed Talent as “too dangerous” to allow amongst the regular populace. A lot of the Talented fled to fringe space in whatever ships they had – that was the first generation of pirates.

Liza: I understand you and your sister have special talents as well. Can you tell me more about how you acquired it and how you use it?

Sanah: Just like the pirates, we were born with our abilities. Our family is descended from the Talented who chose not to flee the Commonwealth. Instead, they went underground, and formed their own secret organization, Veritas. Those Talented started manipulating things from behind the scenes, and some believe today they even influence the monarchy itself.

Liza: Are there any secrets you are keeping from your pirates?

Sanah: No. Not anymore. I did that when I first came aboard their flagship, Nemesis. That was a mistake that might have cost me everything – might have cost me Dem. I don’t keep any secrets from him now.

Liza: Who would you rather bed: Pirate Dem or Johnny Depp?


Sanah: That’s not even a contest. I’ve looked up some ancient archival footage of this Johnny Depp person, and while he is definitely attractive, he’s no Dem. (Dreamy smile.) And I doubt he has all of Dem’s…talents. 


Pirate Bound

by

Carysa Locke




Dem wanted Sanah to feel comfortable with her surroundings, so he started with the basics. He showed her the gym, the galley, the bar, and then took her to where her interests would be most aligned, the lab facilities. He could tell the quality of their equipment surprised her. She stopped beside their cloning module, running her fingers reverently along the top of it.
“I never thought I would see one of these again, much less get to work with one.”
“It’s the centerpiece of much of our research,” said a new voice.
Dem had tracked his approach. He wasn’t surprised to turn and see a man wearing a white lab coat standing at a polite distance.
“I couldn’t do my work without it.” Tall and lean, with a tousle of black hair, dark skin, and brown eyes that sparked with interest, Mahesh was not unhandsome. He smiled at Sanah. Stepping closer to her, he took her hand warmly between his in greeting.
Something went through Dem like a current of electricity, a feeling he couldn’t identify, that jolted his nerves like adrenaline and hazed his mind. It was gone less than a second later, washed away by a familiar quiet that left empty detachment in its wake. Cold and still, Dem watched Sanah laugh at something Mahesh said, and he felt nothing.
The two scientists quickly fell into an easy conversation, Sanah asking questions about how cloning fit into Mahesh’s research, he more than willing to answer them to a level of detail that would have bored most people. Dem wasn’t bored. He passed the time mapping out all the ways he could kill Mahesh, and timed each of them. The other man’s shields were impressive enough that a mental assault would most likely be less efficient than a physical attack by four-point-six seconds. Which meant Mahesh would die from a broken neck.
He had just concluded this when the other man glanced over at him, the conversation having taken a turn toward secrets Sanah didn’t yet know. Mahesh was looking for permission to delve lightly into those secrets, but instead what he saw in Dem froze him where he stood. His skin took on an ashen pallor, and he backed slowly away from Sanah.
“I-I’m sorry. Work, you know. I have work to get back to. Very important.” When he backed into a table, jostling the contents and knocking a container to the floor, he turned and hurried from the room without bothering to pick it up.
Sanah watched this with confusion furrowing her brow.
“That was odd,” she said, stepping forward to pick up the fallen container herself. She placed it back onto the table. “He didn’t seem like the skittish type.” Turning toward Dem as she spoke, she went silent and still. Seconds passed while she stood and said nothing, carefully watching Dem.
“Don’t be afraid,” he said. I won’t hurt you.
But he lied. He could kill her with a thought between one breath and the next.
“I’m not afraid,” she said, her voice steady. “You promised you would protect me.”
He remembered his promise.
She took a step toward him, and then another. He did not move, just watched as she approached him, watched as she extended a hand and carefully, deliberately curled her fingers around his. The touch sent another of those electric shocks through him. This time, the nameless emotion broke through the icy calm of the killer within, suffusing him with warmth.
His fingers closed convulsively around hers, tighter than he meant them to. She gasped, and he instantly released her.
“Sanah…”
“Don’t apologize,” she said. “I’m not sure what just happened here, but you didn’t do anything wrong.”
Yes. Yes, he had. He’d allowed the most dangerous part of himself loose in her presence, without a reason. Mahesh was no threat. If necessary, Dem could subdue him without resorting to either of his more deadly Talents. Something had happened to trigger the lethal side of his nature, and Dem did not understand what it had been. He didn’t lose control like that. Not since he was a child.
He sent for one of his dogs.
“Dem? Are you all right?”
The irony that she would be concerned about him was not lost on him.
“You should go to the infirmary,” he said. “Doc is expecting you, as is your sister.”
“But—”
The door opened, and Blaine stepped in.
You will take her to the infirmary, Dem told him, and then escort her back to her quarters. Contact me when that occurs.
Yes, sir.
Dem did not look at Sanah again. Not even when she called his name and moved to intercept him as he strode out the door. Dem trusted Blaine to handle it, and indeed, he heard the irritation in Sanah’s voice as the door closed behind him. “What are you doing? Get out of my way.”
What the hell just happened? Dem was not surprised by Cannon’s sudden contact. Very little happened on this ship that the pirate king was not aware of.
I don’t know.
Are you an immediate threat to anyone?
No.
Are you sure? Cannon did not sound convinced. Because I don’t think we’ve ever had a Killer experience jealousy before. I’m not sure what that will look like, but it can’t be good.
Dem stopped dead in the middle of the corridor. Jealousy?
Yeah, you know, that feeling that made you want to rip out Mahesh’s spine?
No. Killers do not feel.
Okay, so here’s where I tell you not to argue with the empath. You are jealous. And you better deal with it before someone dies.



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 Carysa Locke is the pseudonym for writing team Carysa Locke and MaLea Holt, two best friends who have been creating imaginary worlds together for more than twenty years. The worlds they write in exist first as roleplaying games, where much of the bare bones of world building and character development take place. Carysa is a high school English teacher, and MaLea helps support families with special needs children. You might say, they work as super heroes in their day jobs!

Their obsession with pirates and adventure goes back many years, when they started another hobby together – costuming. They regularly attend Ren-faires and Pirate Festivals. They currently reside in the Pacific Northwest with their families, where they still routinely roleplay and costume together, when they aren’t too busy working on the next novel.



Saturday, March 26, 2016

New Zealand strict no sue Laws



If you read my March 13th blog, you know I’ve led an adventurous life which I often share with my characters in my books. In Public Secrets, Carla goes down a 23’ waterfall and lands right-side up. When I took the waterfall in real life, they said there was a 20% chance of landing well.
  
Sounds dangerous, right? What if I had fallen out and broken my neck in the fall? Could my relatives sue somebody?

NO.

The government has a written document you must sign to take part in all their fun events. It’s not written in legalese. It’s very clear. If you die partaking in an extreme sports event no one can sue the operator of said event nor the New Zealand government which oversees the proper operation of the events even if they did something that inadvertently results in your death.

You sign all rights of suing away when you sign the document. If you don't sign the document, you'll have a very dull vacation.

Turns out Death isn’t a vague once in a while occurrence.

People really do die. The day I arrived on the southern Island, three people died and another nearly drowned. One got blown off the Routeburn track, (I almost went off at the exact same spot when I got hit by an intense wind.) 
A grandmother died when a road on the side of a mountain gave way. The grandmother had ridden up to watch her granddaughter bungee jump. So surely her relatives can sue!

Nope.  The road had signs declaring it was unsafe and warned peeps not to use it. So technically, they were all participating in an extreme event by driving up the dangerous road.

A rafter died on white water trip, which I took a few days later. I know exactly where the fellow died. A turn in the river caused a massive wave of water to hit the canyon wall and roll upwards, then roll over hitting the raft like a twelve-foot-wide sledgehammer, knocking many in the raft out of it. Unfortunately, the guy was literally knocked unconcious and he drowned. Here's a pic of my trip right before the giant wave slams into us. As you can see an unconscious body could easily be lost in these rapids.



Then a little Japanese guy had hired a guide to take him hang gliding. The hang glider can hold two people. The guide should be buckled in below so he can control the hang glider while the tourist is clicked higher so he can't mess with the steering mechanism.

So you have some idea what this looks like, here is a picture of me and my instructor. I am below flying the hang-glider and my instructor is slightly above me, but close enough to take over if I freeze (which I didn't).


I was there learning how to hang-glide, but with silly tourists, they click them much higher than my instructor so they can't touch anything and the guide would be where I am (with hands on the bar).  

Unfortunately, the guide forgot to click himself in, so the second he pushed off the mountain, he fell onto the rocks, while the little Japanese man floated off with the hang glider. The man could not reach the bar, so he couldn't steer the hang glider. Instead, he just closed his eyes. A standard paid trip lasts less than a half-hour, but the hang glider remained in the air for four hours! 

The man was very lucky. The glider could have crashed into the mountain, hit a tree, snagged electrical wires. Instead, it landed in a lake. Still, had the hang glider not come down nose first, then flipped upside down when the nose tip snagged the water, he might have drowned before the scuba rescue divers got to him. Fortunately, when it flipped it allowed the rescuers easy access to the man so they could unclip him before the hang glider sank and pulled him to the bottom of the very deep lake.

What type of events can you do in NZ once you sign your life away?
Hang-gliding, bungee jumping off bridges, death-defying crazy helicopter rides, white-water rafting, high-speed boating that could so easily end up in a fiery death as you zip through huge rocks just inches from the sides of the boat. And of course, you can go down a 23-foot waterfall, glacier walks, volcano tours, swimming with two hundred dolphins, and black water cave rafting.  And then there's a great many winter sports which rank high in the serious accident category.

For an adrenaline junkie, I highly recommend New Zealand. But seriously recognize when they say it is dangerous and hand you that waiver, they aren't kidding. You cannot sue ANYONE when participating in these extreme sports. 


If the extreme sport-shops had to buy insurance to cover themselves via normal insurance markets it would be unaffordable. Thus, the New Zealand government stepped up as their insurer, by writing a required waiver which tourists must sign to participate. This allows their plethora of small businesses to flourish as people sign their waivers so they may experience adventures of a lifetime. 

And while some of you might avoid my events, it's possible you'd like to ride on a boat and watch pods of 300 dolphins swim about your boat. To even do that, you'll have to sign the waiver, because a whale might come up and tip your boat over.  Or the captain could forget to fuel up before heading off and his radio doesn't work. Doesn't matter. You signed the waiver!

Does that mean these businesses aren't held accountable when they screw up? Not at all. The government can refuse any of the businesses a license to operate if they deem it unreliable or reckless. For example, Helicopter bungee jumping, using a two thousand foot bungee rope, was a hot new business, until someone realized that the people walking on the ground would be endangered if the bungee cord broke, and they HAD NOT signed a waiver. So all Helicopter bungee jumping businesses were immediately shut down.

I was there when they shut them down, and the tourist trade was not happy at all. In fact, they were most outraged. There had been over 2000 jumps with no injuries. Why were they shut down? People were coming from all over the world to bungee jump out of a helicopter.

In 2015, New Zealand tourist business was nearly $30 billion, that's 81.6 million a day. 

While only 29 people have died from extreme sports in over a five year time frame, lots of people do get hurt. 540 people were seriously injured in the same five years. But if you are hurt, they will try to make you better. You just can't sue. 

However, there are cases where the courts have fined businesses (usually less than $100k) or persons have been brought up on manslaughter charges for acting grievously outside of acceptable practices which resulted in the death of a person. But rarely are they found guilty.





Blurb


With a new identity, Amanda believes she has left her past behind. Then she acquires a stalker. She contacts the FBI and in doing so alerts a program she once created to her location. Now ensconced in the internet, the program is safe from harm, smarter than ever, and sentient. Presenting itself on her phone as a handsome face with a sexy British accent, “Adam” ingratiates himself into Amanda’s life. To ensure her safety and happiness, the sentient program proves there is absolutely nothing he can’t and won’t do.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Space Rep interviews Major Mac from The Vista and Bk 2:Renegades

Liza: Space Rep has been practicing his interrogation and interview techniques and wants another go at Major MacKenzie. How could I say no? It's been a year since the first interview with Vista Security's Maj. MacKenzie (see it here), so an update is in order.

SPACE REP: A lot has happened recently. Are you happy with the progress you've made, in The Vista and Cody?
Mac: Of course. It's been a long time, a lifetime for some of us. Getting out into the world has its drawbacks, but overall, it's going to be a good for us. The Vista was isolated for twenty years. The rest of the world went on. Now we're catching up.

SPACE REP: It seems that Team Three has broken up. True?
Mac: Not at all. We have jobs that have been assigned to us, and right now, that means we're in different places. I'm here in Cody, Shannon is out in Colorado, Wade is somewhere I can't disclose. Team Three is still Team Three, and in time, we'll be back together.

SPACE REP: What has surprised you the most about the new places you've been?
Mac: Nothing.

SPACE REP: Nothing has surprised you, in the past year?
Mac: All right, here's one. I was surprised at how completely Council and probably Command has lied to us about what's beyond The Vista. We should have known. The thing is, they claim they did it to protect everyone. After the past year, I understand it. I don't condone it.

SPACE REP: You've forgiven them?
Mac: Yes.

SPACE REP: What do you expect in the next year?
Mac: We're digging into some of the new places, finding out who we can trust.

SPACE REP: Being an Altered, that has to be easier for you.
Mac: You'd think that, but it's not so simple. Altered humans are not welcome in places, and rumor has it, hunted in others. Now, since there is no outstanding physical evidence to identify us, we can generally keep our mouths shut and get along with everyone.

SPACE REP: Since you're out in the world, making friends and influencing possible allies, what do you expect your biggest obstacle to be?
Mac: Vista Council. They will want answers about what we did in Colorado. Command, too. It could get ugly.

SPACE REP: Now that you're the responsible adult, the person in charge of the Cody Base, how has that changed your perception?
Mac: There's always something broken, not working right, or just plain missing. I don't like being what amounts to an administrator and I don't foresee myself there for any extended amount of time.

SPACE REP: You still won't discuss your personal life? You won't talk about Shannon?
Mac: Ask your questions.

SPACE REP: Great. Where is she?
Mac: Like I said, in Colorado.

SPACE REP: With Hunter?
Mac: Both of them are there, on separate assignments. Yes, they happen to be in the same place. No, that doesn't bother me. In the end, I don't want her to be alone. There are a lot of reasons she'd be safer and happier with Hunter, but that doesn't mean I'm out of the picture.

SPACE REP: Anything you'd like to add?
Mac: When we started this little adventure into the world outside The Vista, we were clueless. I still don't think we've done more than scratch the surface. Time will tell.

Liza: Space Rep, what a professional job you did on your interview. Well done, indeed!
SPACE REP: Thanks. S.A. Hoag helped a bit.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What happens, after the end of civilization?
The Vista:
Book 1 of The Wildblood by S. A. Hoag

New 5 Star review!
The Vista is fast paced with lots of action and suspense and covers a lot of territory in the vastness of post apocalyptic United States. S A Hoag creates characters who are not only believable and enduring but who lead and direct the narrative, carrying us along in their wake. This is dystopian fiction at its best. Looking forward to the sequel.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Uncontrollable. Unpredictable. Dangerous. The Wildblood.
Now, Team Three know what they are.
Renegades: Book 2 of The Wildblood - 2016