When the need to protect overrides the right to privacy:
The Justice Department has proposed exempting the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) System from various provisions of the federal Privacy Act, which “requires federal agencies to share information about the records they collect with the individual subject of those records, allowing them to verify and correct them if needed.”
This data base contains: fingerprints, iris scans, palm prints, voice data, photographs, and other biometric data on millions of Americans, including many never convicted of any crime.
The department says it’s needed “in order to prevent interference with the FBI’s mission to detect, deter, and prosecute crimes and to protect the national security.”
Dance or Die
By Liza O’Connor
Tess Campbell, mafia princess, has fallen in love with a British prince, who is protected by a Secret Service agent during his stay in America. Two weeks into their budding romance, Tess’s father, a psycho mafia don, kidnaps and nearly kills the prince and his Secret Service agent, believing she has taken both as her lovers. The brutal assault reveals the true character of each man and Tess must face some hard truths, even as she takes control of her destiny to build the finest state park in the country.
Excerpt for Dance or Die
Once Dan closed the door to her bedroom, he leaned against it. “Tess, you are bringing twenty wild cards into close proximity to Steel. With their pictures and socials, I can clear them before tomorrow morning. And if we have a problem, I can have Sheriff Cobbs remove the fellow when he arrives at the road.”
She frowned, no longer worried about their privacy rights, but worried the social security numbers might belong to some nice person who had no interest in tree barrier building. “If my father’s got someone in that group, despite Sheriff Cobbs’ efforts, then the social will probably not belong to them.”
“Yes, but you took pictures. I can run them through the government database. Then we’ll know if a picture and the social match. If it doesn’t, we have a problem.”
He left and returned a minute later with his laptop and copied the files. He then kissed her forehead. “Thank you. I’ve been fretting all day how the hell I was going to vet these guys. Cobbs assured me he knows each of them personally, but his job isn’t on the line; mine is.”
“What do you mean?”
“My boss has warned me that if Steel dies, I’m done.”
“That’s not fair.”
“No, but Britain is evidently very protective over their royals.”
“Don’t mention his affliction in front of the guys.” Steel didn’t like anyone knowing he was a British Prince.
“I wouldn’t mention it in front of you, but you’ve known for a while.”
“So you understand why I can’t let anything happen to him?”
“Yeah,” she muttered. To be honest, she was pretty sure they weren’t on the same page as to why Steel needed to be protected. Her reason had nothing to do with his distant connections to the Queen. Steel was a good and honorable man in danger from a lunatic mobster. That was why she thought it so important to protect him.
Once she returned to the living room, she sat by Frank. “I need your opinion on something.”
“Can you talk here, or do you need me to go to your room?” he asked softly.
That caused Steel’s head to pop up and study them.
“I was going to give my guys temporary badges good for the month tomorrow. I thought it would help me with their names and ensure no one else shows up claiming to be one of my workers.”
His brow furrowed. “No one is going to sneak in and work for a check that will go to someone else.”
She sighed. “I’m guessing you don’t know who my father is.”
He shook his head. She noticed Jack was staring at her, clearly listening. She looked to Steel. “Any reason you don’t want me to tell them?”
“That’s your business, Tess,” Steel replied, once again focused on his computer.
She glanced back at Sonny, not wanting him to be left out. They all had the right to know the danger her proximity caused. “Sonny, can you leave the food for one minute?”
He turned off the flame and hurried over and sat on the arm of the couch.
“I’m sorry. I figured you guys knew who my father was…since everyone seems to know. He’s Benito Campinelli. My great-grandfather was a powerful and vicious mafia don in Chicago. Thankfully, he was assassinated and Grams escaped to Iowa and changed her name to Campbell. That’s why I’m Tess Campbell.”
Frank’s brow furrowed like a pug while Jack and Sonny stared at her in shock. She hurried her explanation on while she still had the nerve to share this.
“My father is a horrible man. My mother either killed herself because of the nightly beatings he gave her, or my father killed her because his mistress was going to have his feral sons. I think he hung her, but I have no proof of that.”
When no one said anything, she continued. “His mistress is now my step-mother. When I turned sixteen, he tried to marry me off to a Chicago mobster, so I came to live with Grams and tried to forget I had family other than her.”
Tess ran her hands through her hair. “Unfortunately, since Grams died, several things have happened which makes me believe my father has decided to interfere with my life.” She refocused on Frank. “So I have to worry he’ll sneak in one of his thugs into my workers so they can cause trouble. That’s why I need the badges.”
A Fortune to Die For
Dance or Die
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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Ms. O'Connor writes stories that have you fully engaged in the book. This was one I couldn't put down. I had hoped for a happy ending for everyone but I wasn't looking at the clues. Just when I thought I knew what would happen...bam! I was blindsided by Steel. When Ms. O'Connor wraps up a series, she does an amazing job tying up all the lose ends, even those you didn't notice.
Tess is a wonderful character who really wants to do the right thing. She is open to love and falls in over her head because she thinks people are genuinely good, even after having a horrible mob boss for a Dad. I was like Tess, very happy until my eyes were opened and then I couldn't put the book down. I had to stay up late and finish it. I needed to know there was a happily ever after... and there was...but it didn't come about the way I thought...Ms. O'Connor made it even better!
Musings from Michigan