Thursday, November 14, 2019

Cassie's Troubles @Liza0Connor 3




Cassie's Troubles 3




Blurb






The SkyRyders are no longer the best-skilled fliers in the sky, and MAC is determined to rectify the situation by breeding better fliers. However, the introduction of an exceptional flier into the project brings an underlying cancer to light. Convinced the Corp removed a maneuver so a female could pass the flight exam, the male cadets in the Academy revolt. Sensing chaos and mutiny at the Fort, the enemy cartel gathers a force to annihilate the entire West Coast forces.



Excerpt



Twelve months later, Cassie glared at the grey walls of General Adams’ waiting room. Of all the betrayals in her life, this was the hardest slam, and because of her twenty-year contract she signed, she didn’t see how she’d get out of it.

What angered her most was she hadn’t even seen it coming. Yet, she should have. The signs were there. She had noticed the absence of women captains, yet she let her captains distract her with lectures to focus on herself: “Apply yourself and you’ll go far.”

Well, she applied herself, and look where it got her, in some Ryder’s version of a medieval harem. She had flown herself right into the Corp’s dirty secret that no female recruit ever heard about.

Dare to exceed and the Corp turns you into a breeding cow to make future fliers.
“Cadet Brown, the general will see you now,” the male admin announced.
Cassie stood up and tugged at the ridiculous short skirt she wore. She longed for her fly-suit.

General Adams surprised her. He was both younger and better-looking than the general at Dix, and the expression on his face, she had never seen on a general’s face before. He looked at her with an expression of kindness. It still didn’t change her resolution not to be part of this breeding program. She had not signed up for harem duty.

“Sit down, Cadet Brown,” the general ordered.
Cassie sat in the chair on the other side of his desk and tugged at her skirt.
He smiled at her sympathetically. “It’s just a uniform, cadet. I find all this braid about the neck quite irritating, myself.”

“If you want to trade uniforms, sir, I’m game,” she replied.
He gave her a slight smile and walked around the desk. Leaning against its edge, he studied her. “You aren’t particularly pleased with your new assignment.”
“No, sir, I’m not,” she replied curtly.

“I remember when I first became general here. My supply chain was an absolute disaster. Everyone I put in the job hated it. Each flier I tried to put in the role was worse than the one before. Finally, a wise old general suggested I appoint someone to the job who actually liked logistics. I did, and I’ve never had a supply problem again.”

“That is a very inspiring story, sir.”

“What did you find inspiring about it, Cassie?”

The change in his voice and the use of her first name in such a familiar manner threw her off-guard for a moment, but she rallied.

 “It inspires me to inform you I find my new assignment insulting and belittling, and I will be extraordinarily bad at it.”

The general laughed softly. “Everyone feels that way at first. Come back in six months and if you still hate it, I’ll get you transferred into a regular Corp unit.”




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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, skydive 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 throughout her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

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Friday, November 8, 2019

Cassie's Troubles @Liza0Connor bl0g 2



 Blog 2
Cassie’s Troubles

Blurb



The SkyRyders are no longer the best-skilled fliers in the sky, and MAC is determined to rectify the situation by breeding better fliers. However, the introduction of an exceptional flier into the project brings an underlying cancer to light. Convinced the Corp removed a maneuver so a female could pass the flight exam, the male cadets in the Academy revolt. Sensing chaos and mutiny at the Fort, the enemy cartel gathers a force to annihilate the entire West Coast forces.

Excerpt


Cassie called the number on the card. The man who answered invited her to come for an immediate interview. When she arrived, the recruiting officer was both respectful and enthusiastic about her possible careers within the Corp. Because rank was decided by MAC, the non-biased computer that ran the Corp, women could advance up the ranks of the Corp, same as a man. The Corp had a proud history of great women officers, including several Generals. He told her about General Alisha Kane and her meteoric rise.

He then explained the Corp would invest more in a soldier who was willing to make a serious commitment in return. If she were willing to commit the time, they were willing to foot the bill for the special training required to move a soldier from good to great.

Focused on the goal of becoming a general, Cassie enlisted as a SkyRyder with a twenty-year commitment, which placed her on the fast track for training and promotions. She signed the contract, making her safe from her father, her unknown fiancé, and the countless lawyers her father would unleash to get her back.

She was headed to her new base two hundred miles away before her father’s car arrived on campus to retrieve her. She knew she’d never see her family again. But given the choice of the life her father offered to the opportunities of the Corp, she never wavered in her conviction she had made the right decision.

***
Like all recruits, she entered as a first-year cadet. Being a cadet was hard, but she expected it to be hard.
While she wasn’t treated noticeably different from her male counterparts, she did notice all the captains, lieutenants, and every other officer she saw were men. Looking around her, twenty percent of the cadets were women and some of them were damn good fliers. So where were they going? Why weren’t any becoming captains?

Her captain, Captain Dan Torres, told her to stop worrying about the other women and just focus on herself. She had talent, and if she applied herself, there was no limit to how far she might go. He’d tell her these words of encouragement when she lay in his cot at night. During the day, he bellowed and threatened her much the same as he did the other cadets in his squad.

She resented the dual relationship at times, and by the end of her year, she preferred the bellowing to the praises, because when she really started to show progress, their relationship turned downwind, and the sweet praises turned sour, more like belittlements disguised as praise. What her captain didn’t realize was that the more he bellowed, the harder she worked to prove him wrong.

The day she successfully completed her test on the glide maneuver was the happiest day of her life. It wasn’t just that she’d move to a better squad and captain. It wasn’t even that she had learned a maneuver that only a small percentage of fliers ever mastered, and it had taken her one month, not years, to do it. The reason this was the best day of her life was for the first time, she felt real hope. Cassie Brown knew without a doubt she could and would become a general of the SkyRyders’ Corp.

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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, skydive 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 throughout her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.


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Monday, November 4, 2019

Don't believe any thing! Warning from Liza O'Connor


Memories- How reliable Are They?

When I was in college, I roomed with a very strange woman, and together we made the strangest occupants of our dorm hall.

Without even trying, we managed to terrify our dorm ‘mother’ into thinking we were witches. (or so I recall.)

I will state right now, I am not, nor ever have been a witch. However, my roomie later in life did become a good Wiccan. But there was no witchcraft going on during college. We were just two theatrical young women in a very bizarre college where classes would be shut down and all students corralled into giant auditoriums to watch fake healings. During that particular week, I took a puppet ostrich, a pillow, a blanket and the book Elmer Gantry to the never-ending pontification and healing event. There I read aloud the first page of the book, over and over, for a very long week.

I still remember the words: Elmer Gantry was drunk. Lovingly and pugnaciously, he was drunk.

If you google Elmer, you will discover that quote isn’t correct. However, it is what my brain recalls clearly, and I did read those lines over a hundred times.

So why aren’t they right? How could I read a sentence a hundred times, and still have it wrong? When did I start getting it wrong? 
  
I probably had it correct when reading it directly from the book. But somewhere during the week, I stopped actually reading it. I’d just open the book and burst out in oration.

 Thus, it probably started to change then.  I also remember the cult leader, finally seeing me with my pillow, blanket, and puppet ostrich far back in the balcony, and sending his security goons after us, thus requiring us to scatter.
I’ve no idea if that really happened. Before I found out how terrible memories are, I would have sworn it was true. But now, I’m not swearing to anything. 

The human brain is a terrible recorder of facts. 

If you want semi-factual memoirs, write it down as they happen. They’ll still be wrong, but that’s as close to factual as you’ll get to the truth. Unless you are willing to walk around with a video cams & mics attached to you. That would get you closer to the facts.

Turns out you will alter a memory every time you recall it. The more you recall it, the more you change it. Thus, the memories you remember the best are very likely your most inaccurate memories. I don’t know about you, but I find that concept highly annoying and unfair.

As part of my ‘humans can’t remember worth crap’ blogs, I would like to share how I managed to give a friend a PSTD event without actually doing anything but talk.



In fact, I had no idea I had done great harm until many years later when Facebook came to be and we all reunited electronically. She reminded me about the time we kidnapped a cute guy named Steve, tossed him into my roomie’s car and drove around for hours before releasing him.

I did recall the cute guy named Steve and I’m certain my roomie had a car, which I often drove in, but I had NO recollection of kidnapping cute Steve against his will. 

However, my friend did and the guilt of her memories had continued to grow over the years until it had become a major traumatic event in her life. (While she didn’t say so in her comment, for such ‘guilt’ to grow, I’m thinking in her memories we did something more than drive him around Oklahoma for hours. I’ve no idea what we did, because I’ve no memory of the event.)

Wishing to resolve the matter, I contacted my former roomie and asked her if she remembered us ever kidnapping Steve. Nope, she did not remember it. Then I contacted Steve. Surely he would remember? His reply: nope, but sounds like fun.
Clearly, Steve was thinking we’d be doing something more than driving around town, as well, because having my roomie drive us around town didn’t sound fun at all to me. She was a terrible driver back then and her constant braking and then speeding up always made me car sick….or so I remember now.

However, since neither the alleged victim, nor me, nor my roomie remembers the event at all, I let my friend know it didn’t happen so she could stop feeling guilty.

Want to guess how that ended?

She became very angry and assured me it did happen and it altered her life forever! She went on about the pain it has caused her. Then she defriends me.


Until I discovered how easily memories could be created, I had no idea what had just happened. Upon giving the matter more thought, this is what I think happened, but I could be making it up.

 I faintly recall one night the three of us were in our dorm room, and I said “wouldn’t it be fun if we kidnapped Steve…” and then me and my roomie, both being of theatrical natures, would have created an entire event of fun things to do with cute Steve.
I think my friend got so caught up in our imagination, that it settled in her brain and later when she recalled it, the part of it being a ‘wouldn’t it be funny’ idea wasn’t retained, but the kidnapping was. And thus began the foundation of her PSTD event. And while my brain said, ‘You’re just making shit up, I’m not recording any of this’, her brain said ‘let’s record this. It’s a fascinating tale.’

My friend now lives in a remote place, raising llamas, selling llama sweaters via the internet. I hope, trauma memory aside, she loves her life, for I recall her being a lovely person and I feel bad about planting the seed that became her future trauma.



Friday, November 1, 2019

Cassie's Troubles @Liza0Connor

Blog 1.5 for
Cassie’s Troubles


Blurb


The SkyRyders are no longer the best-skilled fliers in the sky, and MAC is determined to rectify the situation by breeding better fliers. However, the introduction of an exceptional flier into the project brings an underlying cancer to light. Convinced the Corp removed a maneuver so a female could pass the flight exam, the male cadets in the Academy revolt. Sensing chaos and mutiny at the Fort, the enemy cartel gathers a force to annihilate the entire West Coast forces.


EXCERPT

Cassie lost her train of thought the moment a squad of SkyRyders dropped from the sky and landed twenty feet to her left. She noticed they wore combat gear. Two of them were young women, and both were armed to the teeth, the same as the men. She liked that.
A male SkyRyder, slightly older and rather “easy on the eyes” with his chiseled looks, approached her as the others folded their catchers into small bundles.
“If you were going to buy drugs on this campus, where would you go?” His lips turned into a seductive half-grin.
She smiled in return. “I’d go have my head examined.” She nodded at the frat house on the corner. “However, idiots who have no appreciation for their brain cells go over to the green house on the corner, but somehow I suspect you already know that.”
“I always like to get a local confirmation whenever possible and especially if it means talking to a pretty young woman.”
She smiled at his compliment. Normally, such a line would piss her off, but not when it came from those lips.
“You wouldn’t happen to know whether they conduct their business in the cellar or the attic, would you?”
Cassie gave this some thought. “I’ve never been in the house, but I have lectured a few girlfriends after they’ve gone there, and I noticed they had cobwebs from the Andillous family on their clothes.
“Cobwebs can be found in both cellars and attics.”
“Not troglobiont cobwebs. They are only found in moist areas such as the Cully River canyon and on rare occasions, basements, if they’ve been extended deep into the rock of the cliffs behind the house.”
He smiled appreciatively at her observation. “That is most helpful.” He then returned to his crew.
She watched as they disappeared right before her eyes. She had heard the Ryders had suits that made them invisible. She had thought it was bullshit, just something to scare little drug-dealers out of a life of crime. Now she saw it was true. Her mind turned to working out how they did that.
A few minutes later, she heard the low rumble of a concussion bomb from within the building and the cliff behind it. Silence followed. Except for a few people near the building running like hell to get away, no one came out of the house. She worried about the Ryders. She should have mentioned the frat house might be well-armed, but then shouldn’t they expect that?
The Ryders reappeared in front of their gear. The captain, however, materialized beside her. He knelt and studied her with his intense blue eyes. Lots of guys took notice of her, but this was different. He seemed to be measuring her worth as an intelligent human being. “What’s your major?”
“Quantum Physics, and Mathematics.”
He nodded with approval and handed her a card. “Keep this card in case you ever want a career with the Corp. It will exempt you from years of screening.”
“Thanks, but I’m going to finish school and become a scientist.”
He smiled and stood up. “Good for you. We hire scientist, you know.” Then he rejoined his group and latched into his catcher. Upon his command, the squad soared into the sky as if they were puppets yanked from the story.
Just as they disappeared, a ping sounded from her laptop, alerting her she had mail. Cassie glanced at the email. It was from her father. She opened it, expecting him to explain why the funds for this semester had yet to arrive into the school’s account. She had already received a second notice. Upon reading the email, she understood why the money had not arrived. According to her father, her education had gone on long enough and it was time for her to take on adult responsibilities. A car would come for her at three today, and tomorrow she would be married to some man she had never met in her life.
She fingered the card in her hand. Life in the Corp sounded a hell of a lot better than her current future.
Links for many booksellers

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, skydive 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 throughout her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

Social Networks
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
LIZA O'CONNOR
Investigate these sites:
Liza’s Multiverse Blog
Liza's Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter
All the Many Books Liza has written