I have this fascination with lions, and they seem to be fascinated with me as well…Only not in a good way. When I was in Australia, a male lion left his ladies to come down to the corner of the fence, from where I was admiring him. He started roaring midway there and once he got to the corner and was only a foot away from me, my heart was literally pounding. It wasn’t just the extreme loudness of the roar. I could feel the heat from his breath. Every sense of survival instinct within me screamed “Run Bambi Run”. Instead, I remained frozen to the spot and let him yell at me for nearly a half hour. Then he returned to his females and I moved on, my heart still pounding.
Then when I was in Canada, I came upon another male lion who seemed to want to play with me. He didn’t roar at first. He just stalked me, hiding behind little trees that could not block his giant body from view. Finally, he went into attack mode, rushing towards me. When he neared the fifteen-foot fence, he leapt, hitting it about seven feet up, and to my horror, the fence bowed out as if it wished to fall on me.
He hung there, evidently very proud of himself, then he dropped back to the ground and roared at me over and over.
I hurried off to the main gate and reported the incident to the person at the desk. The lady assured me they were building a new lion exhibit and it would be ready in a month or two. I told her I didn’t think she had that long before the lion escaped his cage. I often wondered which of us was correct.
Lions still fascinate me, but I never wish to encounter one without a sturdy fence between us because something about me sets them off.
By Liza O’Connor
Stationed on opposite coasts, Alisha and Logan must each face their own demons and challenges. On the West Coast, Alisha loses her rank for butting heads with General Powell and soon discovers the life of a private can be utter hell. On the East Coast, newly promoted General Logan discovers his soldiers do not recognize his authority to command. In an effort to retake control of the East Coast Corps, Logan authorizes unthinkable actions. When Alisha faces a life-threatening crisis, will Logan rise above his own troubles, or will she discover love and rescue with her best friend Jack?
Alisha was glad to be off the stage. Despite the very brave front she had put on for the general, the rage inside him was palpable and frightening. It reminded her of a time when a massive lion stood just inches in front of her at a zoo and burst into roars of fury. Primal fear had surged through her body as the lion’s hot, deathly breath swept over her. Her chest literally vibrated from its roar.
Powell had not yet roared, but his pent-up anger was even more frightening than a lion’s.
The general called the meeting to order. “Upon reviewing the videos of the battles, I am extremely disappointed with both the planning and execution of the battle.” He then spent fifteen minutes slamming Jack for his substandard efforts. Ignoring Alisha’s participation completely, he moved on to the performance of the men. After he called out the first name and demerits, Alisha spoke up loudly.
“Sir, per reg 6.98, I request transfer of the demerits to myself.”
“Granted,” the general replied, and read off the next name.
Stubbornly, Powell read off every single name on his list, and just as stubbornly, Alisha took on the demerits of every Ryder herself. By the end, she had acquired 15,132 demerits.
The general glared down at her. “Fifteen thousand demerits drops you down to a buck private, Kane.”
The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 3
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.
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