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Paranormal Palooza

Transcript  of guest post on WriteAwayBliss

THE MERKABAH RECRUIT

Question I’m most often asked: “What facts are real in the novel and which are products of your imagination?”

An ancient geometry. Three gruesome murders. One reluctant heroine.

Legends, lies, and mystical mayhem thwart an empathic professor’s attempt to solve paranormal crimes.

Available at Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/L.-Z.-Marie/e/B008ZLJ4LW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1 

Mystical—Paranormal—Historical—New Age—SciFi—Romance—Mystery

Truth be told—it just doesn’t fit into a single genre! It’s genre-busting! 

THE MERKABAH RECRUIT is the 1st in a 5-part series about an empathic professor who discovers the shadowy line between myth and cosmic reality when she is hired to work for an age-old occult organization. Embracing New Age, ancient history, myths, and science, the novel explores a world of infinite wonder and possibility.

Because the novel mixes many historical, religious, mystical, and scientific elements together, I’m often asked, “What’s real and which are products of your imagination?”

 Here’s a few teasing tidbits about what is REAL: 

Empaths:
These individuals actually feel the emotions of others. They are emotional sponges and can be highly sensitive to sound, smell, color, and cosmic energy. They instinctively know when someone is lying, may be clairvoyant, and experience the physical pain of others.Most of us are empathic to some extent.

 

 Merkabah :
It’s an ancient geometry and spiritual tool found in many religions.

The word comes from Egyptian texts and each syllable has a specific meaning.

  • Mer—inner  light
  • Ka–spirit or character
  • Bah—physical body
Definitions vary:
  • Chariot of Ascension
  • Angel of the Chariot—the cheribum
  • Cart to ride in
  • Throne of God or chariot—Hebrew)
  • Ship—Arabic
  • Trans dimensional vehicle—a few African religions
 

Chakras:

 A chakra is the wheel of light spinning around you. Created by the vortex of magnetic earth energies and electric cosmos energies, the convergences of these energies form your personal chakra or personal energy.

 

 Dark Matter/Quantum Physics:

 84% of the matter in the world is comprised of dark matter! It’s an energy force that explains phenomena like the migratory behavior in the animal kingdom, cosmic events (black holes), and unexplained anomalies in the world—perhaps, ghosts, spirits, angels, myths, and other dimensions.

MerkabahSeries2

 

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The Merkabah Recruit. Available on Amazon.

Click HERE to buy!

Need a visual? Click HERE for Pinterest pics.

A fresh kill. An ancient evil. And the only person capable of preventing the next murder is an unwitting and anxiety-prone recruit.

Divorced, depressed, and dissertation-less, Daphne Sites is stunned to learn that a unique empathic ability allows her to identify otherworldly life. So when a mystical  organization asks for her help, it’s difficult to refuse.
Serik Jalani is the man who must convince the reluctant recruit to assume an awesome mantle of responsibility. There’s only one way to do this. Reel her in slowly.
Except Daphne suspects Serik is not being entirely truthful. About the organization. About the mission. About his identity.
As Daphne attempts to keep her new life secret from two sassy sisters, one jealous ex-husband, and her Bimbo-Barbie neighbor, she struggles to embrace the mysteries of a cosmic technology and realize her own self-worth.

If Daphne hopes to stop the murderer she must first confront her biggest problem. Herself.

At a time when recent theories like Quantum physics confirms the existence of the fantastical, The Merkabah Recruit flirts with the links between treasured legend and scientific possibility. A story that blurs the shadowy line between myth and fact.

The 1st in a 5-part in series.

Click HERE for the first 8 chapters!

Smart Phone Smarts

Smart Phones are ONLY as smart as their owners!

I’m constantly discovering new way to use my iPhone, especially the camera function!  I also show my students how to use this powerful technology with intelligence!

I take a photo of :
  • where I parked the car because I can never remember!
  • clothes/fabric I’m trying to match
  • the description of a restaurant menu item–so I can prepare the dish at home
  • students who fall asleep in my class. I say, “Now I can show your mom why you have a D  in this class.” They never nod off again!
  • anything funny to use in a future blog
  • old family photos
  • some thing I can’t decide to buy
  • any information I don’t want to write down
  • ideas/examples for later projects

I tell my students to use their SmartPhone to:

  • look up definitions/pronunciations of vocabulary words
  • search for facts related to whatever we’re studying
  • find answers to those random questions they sometimes ask about the author or text we are studying
  • take a pic of notes or lengthy instructions I wrote on the board

I even created several SmartPhone lessons.

1.  Symbol Scavenger Hunt: In groups of 4, students break into teams of 2. The first team goes out onto campus, takes  pic of something symbolic of ______________. (teacher provides topics like, love, teenagers, school, sadness, joy etc)  and forwards it to Team 2 back  in the classroom. Those students must articulate/write 3 different reasons  what the object is symbolic of. The teacher accepts or rejects their rationale and gives them the next topic. The group with the most successful explanations/rationales wins!

2. Texting Shakespeare: Students must rewrite their most wordy text using Shakespearean language.

3. Hashtag: Students hashtag a literary passage.( Much more fun and effective than asking them to find the main idea or theme)

4. Tweet: Students must write a 140 character topic sentence. This exercise helps them learn to write concisely!

Related Posts: iPhone how to; Techno troubles;Password Blues; iPhone how-to

 My debut novel is FREE this Friday and Saturday!

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Wardrobe Malfunctions

The 73rd Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsIs it me? Is it a girl thingThere was a time when I  pulled on a pair of pants, threw a top over my head and BAM! I was fashionable. No longer! The current fashion trends require some serious pre-planning to pull-off.

Here’s a few clothing choices with which I have difficulty:

  • Wispy see-thru blouses that are indecent and require a tank top
  • Loosely knit sweaters that have more holes than yarn! (thus, a sweater that is not warm–oh, the irony)
  • Crop tops requiring a lengthening layer underneath or fabulous abs ( have the layer, not the abs)
  • Tunic tops that only look good with skinny pants
  • Low rider jeans that make sitting without butt cleavage a challenge
  • Tops cut down to there! ( layering again)

Clothes are just too ambiguous these days!

There are:
  • skinny jeans as tight as  leggings
  • leggings that resemble jeans
  • pants that look like a skirt
  • dresses that are as short as tunics
  • skirts which look suspiciously like a tube top
  • skirts that double as either a skirt or dress
  • yoga pants that might as well be trousers

While shopping the other day I held up a filmy $300.00 piece of I-don’t-know-what and asked my daughter, “What’s this?”

“IDK,” ( she speaks in text )”but it’s marked off 60%.”

“It’s either a skirt or a top,” I say with great confidence.

“No, it’s a dress!” She shows me the little bralette insert at the top.

Well, I’l be damned. In addition to the price, manufacturers should include the type of clothing and how to wear it–you know, skirt, top, dress, pants. Wear with buttons in back—something like that.

I almost bought a sheer net A-line garment to wear over a dress or pants or pantsuit or skirt or…you get the picture.  Don’t know what I was thinking! It was just so pretty—and impractical…and another layer!

Hubby wonders why I stamp my feet in the closet.

“Look at all your clothes!” He sweeps his a hand across the row of filmly, diaphanous, knitted tops and wide, skinny, straight, pants/skirts.

“Yeah! But nothing goes! Achieving the bohemian-chic or hipster effortless look is too time-consuming!”

Related Posts: Fashionista Fanatic
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Smokin’ Good Times

In the Impatient Me post, I mentioned that one of my children had set fire to the house. A reader wanted wanted to know if my statement was really true. Well…almost. And not on purpose, mind you.

Here’s what happened:

Many years ago, I told the oldest two kiddos to go downstairs and start breakfast while I changed the baby’s diaper. I’m talking about pouring milk over cereal. A ten year old can accomplish this task without supervision–one might think…

Well, the diapering took longer than expected and I probably began a load of laundry, tripped over a few plastic toys, and stepped on a Barbie shoe ( ouch!) by the time I walked into the kitchen.

The two oldest were munching on bagels and cream cheese. Nothing amiss.  I set the baby in the highchair and started the coffee pot. Child #3 climbed up on the chair and tried stealing his older brother’s bagel. The normal breakfast shenanigans. I put the kettle on and began packing lunches.

No sooner was one sandwich made when I noticed smoke coming from the stove top. I turned off the kettle, removed it from the burner. Smoke poured from under the stove top.

My first guess, old food had stuck on the bottom of the kettle. Nope. Kettle underside was clean. Meanwhile, the smoke increased! And my kiddos were sitting not 3 feet away.

Just so you know,  the gas burners are located on an island in the middle of the kitchen. There’s 2 drawers on either side and under the range top is pot storage.

I still was not overly concerned. Guess, I wasn’t fully awake… hadn’t had my coffee yet.

I checked the space underneath. No smoke. Where was it coming from? The smoke began pouring from the burners.

And that’s when I panicked.  The realization dawning! “It’s gonna blow!” I screamed, grabbing all the kiddos and pulling them out of the kitchen. I’m thinking, there must be a  gas leak in the stove top!  Once it ignites the whole island is going to EXPLODE!

Who knows how much time we had before the inferno erupts!

I bolted to the stairs, baby in one hand, toddler under my arm, and screamed to my husband. “FIRE!”

Of course, he came barreling down the steps and, sure enough, saw the smoke filling up the kitchen. After a 911 call we ran outside and waited for the red truck.

A few minutes later, a whole bunch of buff fireman raced into the house. The kiddos, meanwhile, were enjoying the early morning excitement.

Five tense minutes passed.

“It’s OK.” A handsome fireman waved us back inside. He held up a blackened potholder. “You really shouldn’t stuff a smoldering potholder into a drawer.”

A what? I didn’t use a potholder…wait a minute…

“Who used a potholder this morning?”  I asked both school age kiddos.

They both took a step back.

“Sammy made the bagels.” Big brother pointed to his sis.

My daughter suddenly looked very concerned, but said nothing.

“Did you use a potholder?” I asked trying to sound as sweet as possible.

Her head shook back and forth.

“I won’t be mad, I promise. Did you use a potholder? I promise I won’t yell.”

A blonde head bobbed once.

“Why?”

“The toast was hot, so I used the potholder, and then…”   And then the tears flow.

Frightened I would be angry because she burned a potholder, she stuffed it back into the drawer, where it began to smolder; eventually causing all that smoke.

Who knew a scorched potholder could be a fire hazard?

We laugh at the memory now.

Children…never a dull moment.

Related Posts: Experienced Mom lesson #1; Wanted:Food Fairy; Impatient Me

 

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Signs You’re an Empath

Are you an empath?

You are an empath if you have highly developed intuitive senses or sensory perceptions.

The Mirriam Webster dictionary  defines empathy as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts and experiences of another of either the past or present without having the feeling, thoughts and experiences fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.

 Did that definition help? No?

In reader friendly terms: Empathy is feeling the emotions of others

All humans possess empathic characteristics to a certain extent–we can “catch” a sneeze from someone else, or laugh/cry when we see others doing the same.

“Don’t cry! I’ll start crying too.” A phrase used by many women–whether they have extreme empathic traits or not.

We all put on our game face-especially in public, but an empath actually feels what another is really feeling.

Indicators you’re an empath:

  • Do you get instant feelings  about someone and intuit their true mood?
  • Do you instinctively know if someone is lying and the emotion behind the lie ( malice, guilt, courtesy)?
  • Do you cry or laugh or sneeze or feel pain when you are in close proximity to another who is experiencing those emotions/symtoms? For example: Will your own knee hurt when speaking to someone who is recovering from knee surgery?
  • Do certain noises drive you crazy? ( besides a screaming baby on an airplane)
  • Does a particular scent cause you to cry or laugh for no apparent reason?
  • Can you discern the prevailing emotion in a meeting?
  • Can you discern the emotional atmosphere in an empty room? ( leftover or residual emotional energy)
  • Can you determine if a person has high or low energy upon first meeting them?
  • Do parties leave you drained or overwhelmed?
  • Do people seek you out to dump on you emotionally?
  • Does watching some horror or tragedy on TV or movies leave you upset for hours!
  • Do you feel compelled or obligated to help people in pain?
  • Are you able to heal people through word or touch?

Most people possess empathy–it’s what makes us human.

Advertisers know this and  use our capacity to feel another’s emotions to drive sales ( think about all those sad puppy commercials).

Many websites are devoted to Empaths and the “problems” that come with being an emotional sponge. Wish I had time to review them all for you!

Related Posts: Engaging Enigmas
Click  Amazon link for novels.

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I

Teen Slang 3

Are you flossin’ to your friends about your knowledge of slang!

Final 20 words! I saved the easiest ones for last! (Although I included a few obscure terms  just to “keep it real.”)

1. steelo
2. bomb
3. crib
4. ghetto
5. yo
6.keep it real
7. play
8. all that
9. player
10.kill it
11. grip
12. hot
13. holla
14. cold
15. what’s up
16. off the hook
17. beef
18. peace
19. ice
20. floss

 

Definitions below!

1. steelo: noun: 1. style   2: confidence
2. bomb: ( often followed after da)  adj: 1. excellent  2. popular
3. crib: noun: house, abode
4. ghetto: adj: cheap, imitation
5. Yo: interjection denoting surprise, recognition. hey (In Shakespearean times is was ho— only one letter change)
6. keep it real: verb: to tell the truth, to be authentic
7. play: verb: 1. to deceive, mislead, lie to  2. noun: sex
8.  all that: adj; arrogant, pompous, egotistic
9. player: noun: one who is sexually assertive with multiple sexual partners, one who is skilled with flirting or manipulating others
10. kill it: verb: to do a great job/task, to perform well
11. grip: noun: a large amount,
12. hot: adj: attractive,trendy
13. holla: verb: to call out 2. noun; a greeting
14. cold:  adj: cruel, unkind,
15. What’s up ( pronounced wazzup or wad up) interjection: greeting
16. off the hook: adj, very fun/enjoyable,
17. beef: noun: problem, negative reaction
18. peace or peace out: interjection: good bye
19. ice: noun: jewelry, diamonds,
20. floss: verb:1.  to brag, to show off. 2. to pretend

Are you keeping hip with the times or are you no longer in the teen lingo loop?

OK folks, that’s all for the slang words! Hope you had fun!

Related Links: Teen Talk; Teen Slang #2
Click  Amazon link for novels.

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Teen Slang 2

Don’t be a tool!

OK hipsters! I have 20 more words for you! Let’s see if you know the definition of these slang terms.

1. tool
2.down
3. trip
4. beat
5. chill
6. wack
7. tight
8. bunk
9. dis
10. bling
11. game
12. props
13. step off
14. front
15. played
16. lit
16. janky
18. dope
19. Hoopty
20. hater

Here are the definitions.

1. tool: noun: fool, person with no self-esteem
2. down: adj: to be in agreement
3. trip: verb: to panic, worry
4. beat: adj: being old -fashioned, not trendy, boring
5. chill: verb; to relax,to clam down
6. wack; adj: crazy, inappropriate, weird, stupid
7. tight: adj: cool, excellent, begin emotionally close to a person(s)
8. bunk: adj: no true, unacceptable, disagreeable, false
9. dis: verb: short for disrespect, criticize,
10. bling: noun: jewelry, shiny, sparkly
11. game: noun: having charisma, people skills, sex appeal
12. props: noun: to give credit, to praise,
13. step off: verb:to leave alone, to retreat
14. front: verb; to pretend to be something your not
15. played: verb: over used, tired
16. lit: noun: to get drunk, high OR to get angry
17. janky: adj:nasty, tacky, worthless
18. hoopty: noun: old, dilpatidated  car
19. dope: adj: awesome, great
20: hater: noun: a person who is jealous of another

How many did you get correct?
Think you can
 you use the words in a sentence? Leave a comment using the terms!

20 more words tomorrow!

Related Links: Teen Slang; Teen Talk 3#
Click  Amazon link for novels.

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The Perfect School Bag

If you could design the perfect tote to carry all your work/school/gym/office stuff what features would it have?

Wish I could find the perfect tote bag for hauling around all my teacher essentials. I’ve only been looking for the perfect bag forever ( a tiny exaggeration). Like the perfect purse, I wrote about in an earlier blog,( Surviving my Purse)  the perfect tote doesn’t seem to exist. Oh sure, there are a plethora of totes, carry-alls, back packs, duffles, briefcases, and school bags available at Macys, Target, Office Max, etc, but none seem designed for the fussy selective high school teacher.

Here’s a few of my basic needs:

  • Must stand up on its own. I have lots of meetings to attend and a floppy bag is just so…floppy. ( Bags that stand on their own are easier to rifle through)
  • Must have a shoulder strap or cross-over length strap. This will be be good for hauling stuff long distances–like from one end of campus to the other.
  • Must have room enough for iPad, a few books, lunch, pair of flats, and a stack of essays.
  • Must have multiple outside pockets for holding: 1) my morning Starbucks,  2) classroom keys/campus ID,  3) cell phone, 4) random papers picked up at teacher mailbox
  • Must also have multiple inside pockets for: 1) the dreaded red pen, 2) pencils, 3) iPhone cord,  4) flash-drives, 4) notepad
  • Must be water repellent  (sometimes is actually rains in SoCal!)
  • Must not be black! Objects tend get lost inside a black-lined bag.
  • Must have waterproof lunch compartment. (Most teachers bring their lunch and beverage, and I can’t remember how many times my lunch leaked all over essays or –yep–all over my iPad. Note: I tossed the Tupperware for some leak proof glass containers.)
  • In fact, a watertight iPad compartment would be great!
  • Points for stylish looks

Sort of sounds like I’m looking for a portable office–which is often the case.

waterproof lunch bag is attached to tote--not so stylish

waterproof lunch bag is attached to tote–not so stylish

I found an almost perfect book bag at Barnes & Noble. It’s just lacking a long shoulder strap.

The perfect tote for the office! Sigh. Maybe one day I’ll find it.

 

 The Merkabah Recruit 
is FREE for AmazonPrime members
and $2.99 on Kindle
Don’t have a Kindle?
Download a FREE app for iPad, iPhone,Android, Blackberry, or Mac

Chocolate Cheddar Review

cheese 4I love chocolate.                                                   I love cheese.                                                   But together?                                              Would it please?

 

I broke down and finally bought Trader Joe’s chocolate Cheddar cheese and I must say it’s not bad. As you can see from the photo, the cheese has dark chocolate shavings inside–meaning, it’s MOSTLY cheese.

First, I tasted it plain and cold. The OK cheddar flavor was followed by a hint of chocolaty sweetness.

Second, I sipped red wine and nibble on the cheese. Much better! The wine helped bring out the flavors of both. SO, this would be a good novelty cheese to include in a sampling if you need quick, fun party nibbles.


cheese 5Third
, (I’m ever so diligent during chocolate experimentation) I added a slice of cheese atop a split croissant, and warmed in the toaster over!  Magnifico! On par with Nutella! The heat brought out both flavors and, combined with the delicate taste of the croissant ,made for a yummy–if not calorie-laden–treat.

I think this chocolate cheddar would be great wrapped in a wonton and fried. Hubby’s family stuffs empandas with cheese, so this might be a unique substitute.

cheese 1If you love the idea  and taste of a sweet cheese, I suggest buying an expensive gourmet bottle of vinegar ( don’t even ask how many bottles of flavored specialty vinegars I have) and shake the decadently sweet drops onto the cheese for a real “party in your mouth.”

 

 

 

The Merkabah Recruit 
is FREE for AmazonPrime members
and $2.99 on Kindle
Don’t have a Kindle?
Download a FREE app for iPad, iPhone,Android, Blackberry, or Mac

 

 

School Answering Message

Taking the day off to catch up on teacher and author responsibilities, BUT so as not to leave my faithful readers high and dry, I will share a funny video.  Any teacher will appreciate it. Sometimes, I wish I could leave something similar on my voice mail.

 

 

The Merkabah Recruit 
is FREE for AmazonPrime members
and $2.99 on Kindle
Don’t have a Kindle?
Download a FREE app for iPad, iPhone,Android, Blackberry, or Mac

Techno Troubles

I love technology. I do! I really do. Except on those days when everything goes horribly wrong. Well, maybe not horribly, but it’s frustrating when the technology doesn’t work and I  waste time.

Case in point: Monday.
  • My car won’t “find” my phone so I can’t  make a hands-free call.
  • Once the car finally “finds” my phone, the cheerful female voice informs me the “phonebook” is empty. Empty?
  • Walked into the classroom to find a new phone system installed—complete with high-tech phone. Great! Except, there’s  no User Manual—I might read it–uummmm who am I kidding? Because of the upgrade, important extensions were changed. Now I have zero clue how to get messages AND I don’t know how to record a greeting AND passwords haven’t been assigned  to access the voice mailbox. ( ACK! Another password to add to my list—see yesterday’s post)
  • Printer gets jammed.
  • Computer won’t “load.” No icons. Just blue empty screen. Once. Twice. Three times. Ahhh—there it goes. I have icons!
  • Can’t figure out the digital recorder I need to use today. There’s a wheelie thingy, and a mode button and a whole row of functions I can’t figure out.
  • Phone has no bars. (Ten years ago, no one would have known what that statement meant—now you’re all thinking—“Yep, no bars, you’re in a dead zone.”
  • My iPad is demanding a new email password.
  • The connector from digital recorder to computer doesn’t work.recorder
  • My school computer won’t “read’ the memory card.
  • Online form won’t download correctly.
  • Keep getting errors on an upload.
  • I can’t remember which flash drive I put all the stuff I need for today’s work.

I love technology. I love technology. I love technology.

I’ve had worse TechnoTrouble days. We all have. What’s yours?

The Merkabah Recruit 
is FREE for AmazonPrime members
and $2.99 on Kindle
Don’t have a Kindle?
Download a FREE app for iPad, iPhone,Android, Blackberry, or Mac