Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Halloween with the Swat Team by Gail Koger


 No, I wasn't arrested. Gee, what kind of person do you think I am? Okay, maybe I'm a bit psychotic but in a good way. But your question was, how did I get to spend Halloween with a bunch of hunky cops?

It all started when my new neighbors moved in. The minute I saw the stick thin, tattooed-covered biker chick I thought to myself, Houston we have a problem. I just knew she was a tweeker. For you civilian types it's cop talk for a meth user.

Being the friendly sort, I went over to introduce myself. Okay I'm a snoop. The second I told her I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher, the biker chick let out a shriek, and bolted into the house. Huh? I looked around, expecting to see a big, scary cop. Nope. Just me. What a twitchy little thing.

About that time two of her fellow tweekers roared down the street on their Harley motorcycles. You know the type. Big, dirty, and hairy. I waved all friendly like, and wondered where I had left my pepper spray. My new neighbors gave me the one finger salute and rode their motorcycles into the house. Nice.

Wanting to welcome them properly to the neighborhood, I typed up a nice letter, and left it in their mailbox. It said:  I know what you are doing. The police know what you are doing. We are watching you. Move now or face the consequences. P.S. There's a nice trailer park on Grand Avenue that would be perfect for your business.

The next day they had surveillance cameras installed. Yep, they were pointed at my house. Any time their "friends" showed up, I would walk out, and write down their license plate numbers. They scattered like roaches. I'm pretty sure I put a big dent in their business.

Halloween rolled around and dang it, they were still there. I wrestled my six-foot automated wicked witch to the bushes by the front door and turned on her motion sensor. Let the fun begin. The minute the doorbell sounded, the evil witch cackled wildly, and the screaming started. Hey, Halloween can be fun for adults too. I doled out candy to the giggling hordes of little fairies, princesses, and Batman wannabes. My wicked witch was a big hit.

My witch suddenly came to life and shrieked like an enraged banshee.  I opened the door and blinked in surprise as two cops sheepishly holstered their weapons. I grinned and held out my bowl of candy. "She scares the crap out of everyone."

Assuming his best tough cop demeanor, the cute older officer plucked a Snickers from my bowl, and replied, "Ma'am, there has been an incident next door, and we need you to go inside, and lock the doors."

Fat chance. I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher, and well versed in the art of prying information out of the most reluctant caller. I gave the officer my best smile and went in for the kill.

I got both of their phone numbers and found out that my neighbor's drug deal had gone south. They had a possible hostage situation, and they needed to use my front yard as a staging area for the SWAT team. Whoopee!  A bunch of hot cops in my yard. Not so whoopee was the chance of a major shootout. Where the heck had I put my bullet proof vest?

Ten minutes later a loud cracking boom sounded, and my wicked witch crackled insanely. The tweeker's house had been breached, and the good news was no shots had been fired. I took a cautious look out the front window, and watched the hunky cops stuff my idiot neighbors in the backseat of a patrol car. Freedom at last!    

My doorbell rang, the witch cackled gleefully, and I opened the door.  "Trick or treat," said the hot cop.  "Definitely the treat," I answered pulling him inside.

Gail Koger Bio:

I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for thirty-one years and to keep insanity at bay, I took up writing. Not to worry. The insanity isn’t catching – much. Other than the addiction to chocolate and the twitch in my left eye, I’m good. I’ve had my weird but true stories published in newspapers and magazines.


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Surviving Sojourn by Liza O'Connor

Pane is the product of one of the God crew mating a sentient orangutan during an era when Zousan sent his fellows out to teach sentients not to kill each other. The crew called it the Make Love Not War campaign.

And it resulted in a great many baby Gods.

Normally, the God’s DNA overwhelms the other species resulting in pure God DNA in the offspring.
Except, on occasion, it turns out the sentient creature will have stronger, better DNA in some sections of the DNA strand resulting in a mix breed rather than a pure God. That is how Pane came to be.

While Zousan was worried when Athena took a liking to Pane—(He did not want furry grandkids), over time, he also grows very fond of Pane. He promotes him to top shepherd and constantly praises him for his fabulous ability to get sentients to cooperate with one another and solve their own problems. This is critical to the PATH of LIGHT's success upon the final collapse.
The contract Zousan signed severely limits the number of times Zousan or any of his crew can intercede to save the various sentients needed to save the Path of Light. So Pane’s incredible gift of persuasion, foresight, and genuine love for his sentients makes all the difference in their battle to ensure the Path of Light triumphs over darkness.
Over time, Zousan come to love Pane like a son. He could not be prouder of his top Shepherd.
But the sentient computer Marybell senses her Pane beloved needs physical love, so Marybell suggests and Zousan acquires a Tea Cup Puppy that resembles Pane a great deal. When the puppy licks Pane’s nose, he licks the puppy and a love bond is set forever.

Ah, Puppy Love!

Surviving Sojourn
Liza O’Connor
An alien species is removing human colonies from planets, but to where, no one knows. Sojourn, along with the Emperor’s daughter and their crew, must find this unknown species and negotiate a treaty before the Empire’s army declares war on all non-human races.
Those who do not follow the Path of Light would prefer to kill all the non-human sentient beings before they are even aware they are under attack.
 Matters turn bleak for the Path of Light when Sojourn’s ship crash-lands on Terranue before their journey even begins.

Zousan smiled as he turned from his monitor. “Marybell, I have a great wish to reward Pane for his extraordinary work getting the alien bias removed from the books so Drogan could return to Captain Longfellow’s service.
“He did more than that,” the sentient computer replied. “By not placing Drogan on the crew list, your father has been under the presumption he died and thus has made no further attempts to kill the poor fellow.”
Zousan had wished he’d known what an ass his father intended to be. Then he would have bothered writing a trillion rules to stop his father from cheating. But no, he mistakenly believed he and his brothers and sisters had been successful with their intervention and his father had realized he needed to stop controlling all of their lives. Given all the troubles his father had plagued him with, he worried what happened to Poseidon’s fishing trip and Hade’s desire for a warm climate. He doubted his father had played fair with them anymore than he had with Zousan.
“What does Pane want more than anything?”
“To be woken with kisses,” she replied.
“I thought you loved Pane?” Zousan challenged.
“I do!”
“Then why did you suggest I find him another woman to warm his bed?”
“I suggested no such thing! I said he wanted to be woken with kisses.”
“And how do you propose we achieve the matter? I guarantee you no female on this ship will accept the job.”
“Well, I would, if I could, but I can’t. But I have found a cute little tea cup poodle to do the trick.”
“There’s a planet with sentient tea cups?” Zousan asked. He was definitely demoting whoever made tea cups sentient.
“Actually one your idiots did try to make sentient tea cups, to prank you, but when he poured the hot water into the cups, I made it so hot the cups melted, spilling hot water all over the idiot.”
“Why didn’t you tell me about this before?”
“We weren’t on speaking terms back then. You preferred your interface.”
“That was a huge mistake on my part. One in which I’m most thrilled to have changed.”
“Thank you. I much prefer our current relationship as well.”
“So, back to the original topic. What type of Tea Cups are able to kiss Pane awake?”
“It’s a puppy. A very tiny puppy. So small, he’ll fit in a tea cup. Which means Pane can keep him in his pocket so he doesn’t have to worry about the little fellow when he’s working.”
“Then let’s get him a teacup puppy. He’s more than earned those kisses.

Sales Link
Book 4 : Surviving Sojourn
Book 3: Surviving Terranue
Book 2: Surviving Outbound
Book 1: The Gods of Probabilities
All books are free for KU subscribers
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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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Surviving Terranue @Liza0Conner


One disturbing point of my books is there are quite a few Pre-ordained deaths. Both Tamara and Blue are fully aware that their deaths were pre-ordained. On the positive side, neither actually ‘dies’. The simply transform into a different entity, rather like a powerful spirit.

I wouldn’t mind a pre-ordained death, especially if I got to help a great cause in doing so. Then, hopefully, I could get everything in order before my death. Maybe even clean the house, but that would be the last on my priorities. If I knew the exact time of my death, I could give all my stuff away and not worry about the future.  But alas, we don’t get an exact time of death. Even if you have cancer, exactly when you will go isn’t known until a short while before. Six months can be three months or nine.

I would love to know, down to the very second, so I could give away all my worldly goods in person. It would please me a great deal doing good deeds ‘til the end.

My spirit-Tamara was told by Pane, as she endured agonizing pains of death, that her demise was pre-ordained and necessary to protect her soul-bond and her husband when they go Outbound. And while she didn’t enjoy her excruciating death by poison, at least she didn’t have to blame herself for being stupid enough to stick her hand into a bag which was supposed to have apples in it only to be bitten by a deadly inland Taipan snake. That it rested in her bag of apples is most odd because it naturally lives in Australia, which was half-way around the world.

The Inland Taipan is normally non-aggressive to humans. It would prefer to get away from people. But stuck in a bag with a giant hand reaching in, it had no choice but to defend itself. And it did, killing Tamara in short order. As she died, Pane told her the good news about her transformation so she could keep Saran and Dmitri safe.

The other pre-ordained death is Blue’s, yet Pane has no idea who told him about his forthcoming death. Pane had no idea of the complexities required to save the Path of Light until a short time before the event when he dreamed a very complex solution to the problem at hand.

Do you think it possible that the dream Pane had in his sleep was like the advice he gives his sentients while they sleep? Did an even bigger God, possibly the First God, dream speak to him?

What do you think?

Surviving Terranue
Liza O’Connor

 Leading a colony of frightened people on a new world is rarely easy. The human colonists of Terranue have as their leader, Tamsarandem, the only Soul-bond of Three that has ever existed. Unfortunately, some perceive the innate kindness in the shaman’s choice of leaders as a weakness, thus, challenges begin. From the moment they arrive on the planet, self-survival instincts take hold among the colonists, putting the survival of the colony at risk.

To survive, they must act for the good of the colony rather themselves, even when their natural instincts tell them to do the opposite. First, they must befriend the dominant intelligent life form on the planet, long-haired blue cattle, only slightly smaller than the blue bull Tamsarandem brought with them. Second, they must find a way to survive three of the planet’s five seasons. Otherwise, they’ll be baked, frozen, and pummeled to death. Third, they must protect themselves from the giant bears, saber tooth lions, and T. rexes that roam their planet. But worst of all, deep within the planet, a seed of evil grows, waiting to devour every living creature on the surface.

Every day in their new paradise is a challenge to survive. Despite all the advantages the Gods have provided, success is neither easy nor certain, and people are rarely as good as they need to be.

 Zousan worried over the twenty-six percent probability of The Path of Light succeeding in every single universe. It made no sense! The chances of the same percentage occurring was less likely than every sentient being in existence choosing the correct Zega Lottery’s seven hundred game symbols. No. This had his father’s hand written all over it. Damn Cronus! Why couldn’t he just be proud of his son’s success? Why was he driven to crush and devour his children? Was his ego so fragile?

While Zousan wasn’t crazy about most of his offspring, he certainly didn’t spend a second on conniving ways to destroy them. He just left them behind when his father allowed him his own multiverse. He happily escaped the man’s tyranny, taking his one sweet offspring, Athena, with him. While his other children were a pain in the ass, he absolutely adored his talented, brilliant daughter.

Without her, he would have failed early on, since she was the only one Cronus had ever shared the secret of creating life with. Fortunately, his father adored Athena and had showed her how to make life when she was but a little girl, long before Zousan demanded his own multiverse which he assured his father would be far superior to his.

“Pane have you found the source of trouble?” he asked his top shepherd. 

Sales Link
Book 3: Surviving Terranue
Book 2: Surviving Outbound
Book 1: The Gods of Probabilities
All books are free for KU subscribers
About Author
Liza is a multiple-genre-author of nearly fifty novels. 

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Surviving Outbound, Back story for Shaman Troy @Liza0Connor

Backstory for Shaman Troy
Like many third sons of the better families in Caldone, when Jason Troy turned ten he was sent to the temple in hopes of being chosen as a shaman. Only one in a hundred boys that arrive is chosen. Many are dismissed on their day of arrival when they failed various tests for empathy and kindness. The result of the early culling of meanness means his fellow students are really nice and no one ever plays pranks and will always help if you struggle on a certain skill or lesson.

But it also means in the first two years, you are always losing beloved friends when they are sent home once the shamans determine a student lacks the skills required to be a shaman in his field. One friend, who had been soaring through the tests was dismissed when he wrote a compelling letter to Headmaster Daniels that females should also be allowed to be shamans. From that debacle, Jason realized some of the leaders were less enlightened than others and that speaking out, even on a just cause, could get you removed.

Thus, he studied hard and avoided the headmaster as much as he could.

In his second year at the Shaman’s school, he had a dream about a cave. The next morning he woke early and logged out with the intent to go hiking in the nearby mountain despite the fact he was not in the least bit athletic. The Shaman logging him out worried as he stared at his sandals. “You are not properly dressed,” he scolded.

Jason’s heart quickened. What would he do if the shaman refused to give him permission to leave? “Sir, I must go. I am confident the Gods will keep me safe.”

The old fellow walked to a cabinet and opened the door. “You should never presume such a thing. The Gods are busy managing the entire multiverse. What would happen if everyone took such an attitude?”

“You are correct, Shaman Michel, I apologize. I will return to my quarters.”

The Shaman pulled out a pair of hiking boots and socks, an aluminum canister and two energy bars. “If the shoes fit, you may go. Otherwise, you cannot.”

To Jason’s amazement, the shoes fit to perfection, so off he went with water and energy bars, in search of the cave he’d dreamt about.

Two hours later, he located a cave opening hidden by a large bush. Upon entering, his skin tingled like it did when he entered the main shaman temple for prayers. Thus, he knelt on the stone floor and prayed. “I am your servant to command.”

A sense of peace surrounded him, but no commands were given. He rose and moved deeper into the tunnel. While he may have forgotten food, water, and proper shoes, he had remembered to carry a small electric torch, which revealed twelve stone tablets in a dark hole in the very back of the cave. He sat and tried to make sense of the words on the tablets. While he had learned twenty-three languages thus far, he did not know what the markings on the stone meant.

Memorizing the shapes of the letters, he returned to the library and searched for the same symbols. After three days of failure he approached his favorite teacher, Shaman Piper, for help. The shaman marveled at the letters Janson had drawn then lead him to a room stacked with boxes. Locating the box, the shaman and Jason carried it to a table in the room. There they sorted through the stone tablets.

“This one!” Jason cried, finding a tablet with similar markings.

“Are you certain?” the shaman asked in disappointment.
Jason nodded.

The old shaman sighed. “It is Gaelic, a language that none of us know.”

Jason sighed. Why would he dream of a lost language?

That night when he went to sleep, he dreamed of returning to the cave where he placed a stone tablet in his lap. Whenever he stroked a cluster of symbols in the stone a word spoke in his head. When Jason woke, he wrote the meaning of each cluster of symbols. Over the next five years, in his spare time, Jason mastered the lost language of Gaelic. One day he was in the garden, working on translating the words of the tablets, when the Supreme Seer approached.

“It is not allowed to carry stone tablets from the library,” the great Seer chided.

Jason looked up at the old fellow with such a kind face. He sensed nothing but light in the seer. “It is not a tablet from the library. I found it in a cave. I am trying to translate it into a language we can read.”

To his surprise, the great Seer sat down beside him on the grass and asked to see the tablet. Jason gently placed it in the old shaman’s lap. “The first part says ‘To save the Path of Light, the Soul of Three must travel to New Earth before the darkest hour befalls.”

The Seer frowned. “How do you know this?”

Jason grimaced and shared his strange dream. This might very well get him expelled from school, but he could not lie to the Seer.

“Help me up,” the Seer requested.

Jason secured the tablet and assisted the Seer up.

“Thank you. Now, who has assisted you with your path?”

“Shaman Michel gave me shoes so I could travel safely to the cave, and Shaman Pippa told me the language was dead. That’s when I had the second dream which helped me translate the first tablet.”

“Let us see if Shaman Michel has boots that will fit me,” the Seer said.

Oddly enough, the boots fit the Seer perfectly and the two made their way to the hidden cave. The Seer laughed when Jason pointed to the large bush that hid the entrance. “Right before our eyes, but none could see it.” He then patted Jason’s arm. “Except for you. I perceive greatness in you, my boy. Indeed I do.”

A week later, Headmaster Daniels attempted to send Jason home, but the Seer overruled him. The Seer then put Daniels in charge of feeding the poor and asked Shaman Pippa to be headmaster of the boys.

A month later, Jason was given his cloak of a shaman by the Seer himself and promoted into the High Council. His only focus was to find the Soul bond of Three and a blue bull who never forgets.

While he was honored to sit with such enlightened shaman on the council, Shaman Daniel never let him forget he was inferior and the moment he failed, he’d lose his seat.

Surviving Outbound
Liza O’Connor
Saran along with her ‘not dead, just no longer human’ soul-bondTamara, and their giant blue bull leave in search of a handler so Blue can escape Earth and travel outbound. The man Saran meets and falls in love with turns out to be Tamara’s husband. Their spiritual joining of three sets into play a prophecy written long ago. Together, they become Tamsarandem, the most powerful soul-bond in all the multiverses.  

The shamans pay for their voyage to Terranue, an unknown planet, never before colonized by humans. In return, Tamsarandem must look after the other colonists and help them to prosper and find their Paths of Light. They will need to do this mostly on their own, for the Gods are running out of authorized interventions. However, the God Pane, with the help of the sentient ship-computer, Marybell, constantly search for clever workarounds to ensure The Path of Light will reign supreme upon the final collapse. But there is only so much they can do within their bureaucratic rules.

Having failed to stop Tamsarandem from leaving Earth, those who walk the Path of Darkness embed their own people, including their darkest lord, on the ship to ensure it will never arrive at Terranue.  

Shaman Daniel, who sat to the Seer’s right, spoke urgently to their leader, his request loud enough to be heard by all. “Allow me to bring in someone with more experience.”
The Seer placed his hand on Daniel’s arm. “We wouldn’t even know of The Soul-Bond of Three if not for Shaman Troy. He alone found the Cave of Light and mastered the lost language of Gaelic. He then discovered the passages that foretold of The Soul-Bond of Three. Do you truly believe a boy so young could have achieved such a feat without the help of the Gods?
“Your Imminence, I do not deny the boy has accomplished much, but perhaps he has done all that he was meant to do. Perhaps now, it is time for our scholars to take over.”
Shamans around the table nodded in agreement.
Shaman Troy bowed his head in shame. He had failed everyone.
The Seer of Light shook his head. “I have never forbidden any of you to search caves for lost tablets, from learning the archaic languages of the past, or from discovering hidden clues in sacred texts. By all means, assist in this critical matter if you will. But Shaman Troy will continue the path he set upon twenty years ago when he was a mere child of twelve. And I have faith the Gods will deliver The Soul-Bond of Three to Shaman Troy when the time comes.”

Sales Link
Book 2: Surviving Outbound
Book 1: The Gods of Probabilities
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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Gods of Probabilities, Bk 1 of The Multiverses by Liza O'Connor

Telling time in Space
How could spacemen traveling through space measure time in a meaningful way?

It’s not as simple as it sounds.

On Earth we initially established our years, days, minutes and second between the Earth’s rotation around the sun.  It’s not quite accurate, which explains leap year every four years, but it does well enough to get by.

But what if we moved to the new Oceana, a planet far away in a different galaxy? Would we call a single rotation of our new planet around our new sun a year?  But what if it has two suns (which it does) and our planet is a moon rotating around a large gaseous planet that rotates between two suns. What if that rotation shifts from time to time due to the gradational pull of each sun?

Those are matters my Oceanics must deal with, but honestly, they are flexible with time, it being an illusion and all. If it is dark, they sleep. If it is light they study or work according to the plans of their teachers. They have no perceptible season in the water since it remains a pleasant temperature year around. So no one actually cares what time it is.

In book 2, my human (well, mostly human) colonists will land on a very different a planet. The planet comes with five seasons, three of them quite deadly and the sentient beings, who resemble cows and bulls, count their years by the passing of the five seasons. It makes sense that on such a planet you will create time categories that work specifically for your planet. It’s not helpful to designate a certain number of days a year if it doesn’t consistently correspond with changes in the seasons.  If May is freezing one year, and underwater the next year because you failed to alter ‘time’ to your new life cycle, you aren’t going to be a successful colonist.

So how will we do this? If we arrive with watches set to earth, what good are they? If they have no means to be recalculated, then they are worthless.

One already invented measurement device uses a pulsar to tell time. But while considered ‘out of space’ from our position on earth, it wouldn’t be accurate for a space ship to use as it flew toward and away from its pulsar.

However, the latest advancement in atomic clocks is one called the Quantum Logic Clock that’s based on measurements of individual ions of Beryllium and aluminum. It could set a truly Universal standard that regardless where you are in the universe, you could use since all you need to do is bring the ions with you.
One should expect all space stations and ships will adapt to Universal Standard time since they have no ‘seasons’.

However, most planets will prefer to use a clock that corresponds with their seasons based on their rotation around their sun or suns. Not a problem if all time devices include a small computer within which can translate Universal time to local standards. 

So while in local standards Earth time doesn’t not equal Terranue time, the pulse of universal time that runs ALL clocks is the same. And if you need to talk to someone off planet, you can flip over to Universal time and tell them when they should arrive. Otherwise, there might be a time confusion and they’ll try to land in Hard Days when the temp climbs to 240 degrees, or Cold days when it drops 40 below freezing, or worse yet, they attempt to land in Angry Days when the winds and hail would obliterate the ship in short order. 

In my story, this single quantum pulse is called an echon.

However, for ease of reading, the time conversions have been made to this version so Earth people can understand the times, since they have failed to adapt to the Universal Standard System.

The Gods of Probabilities
Liza O’Connor
The Gods require a time shifter to ensure the Path of Light reigns during the final collapse of possibilities. To speed the process of finding an Oceanic with the specific talents needed, God DNA is induced in several batches of Oceanic eggs, resulting in a generation of brilliant tiny blue Oceanic children.

One charming boy named Drogan has the ability to manipulate quantum reality in ways that will strengthen the Path of Light. Only trouble is that his gift runs a high probability of killing him and wiping out the Path of Light for good.

While the bureaucratic Gods will try to assist, in Quantum all possibilities not only can, but do happen, so the future is never certain.

Athena smiled at her discovery of a small water-based planet with a heavy atmosphere similar to Zepwick’s. It also had an excellent magnetic shield protecting it from the two suns that warmed this system.

Technically, it was a moon of a large gaseous planet, and would have been a block of ice if not for the second sun. With just a few adjustments, it would be perfect for the Oceanics.

Knowing humans would eventually need to arrive on the planet and take Drogan with them when they left, she tugged a portion of the molten-hot core of the planet upward, creating an underwater volcano to establish a moderate-sized island fifteen feet above the ocean.

She gathered thick piles of fish shit and rotted sea plants, placing it over the pockmarked lava rock. Then, selecting a few promising plants from beneath the ocean, she modified them for land survival and scattered them about the barren island.  She smiled at her work. By the time the humans arrived, the island would make a lovely stopping point.
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Liza is a multiple genre author of soon to be 50 novels of many genres. 

Liza would love to know: What’s your favorite genre?
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