New Release: The Troublesome Apprentice by Liza O’Connor

XnV Troubled Apprentice 400 x 640

 

The Adventures of Xavier & Vic

Book 1

The Troublesome Apprentice

By Liza O’Connor

 

Cases Solved:

The Key to Aunt Maddy’s Death

The Missing Husband of Mrs. Wimple

The Disappearing Scarlet Nun

The Clever Butcher’s Wife

The Rescue of Lady Anne

 

While investigating the death of a friend and client, Maddy Hamilton, Xavier Thorn (reputed to be the greatest sleuth in England) is greatly impressed with Maddy’s nephew, Victor, and offers him a job as his secretary. Aware of Xavier’s history of firing secretaries, Victor garners a promise that for three months he cannot be fired. Vic then proceeds, in Xavier’s view, to be cheeky and impertinent at every turn.

Xavier endures the impudent pup because Victor is most skilled in extracting the truth from clients and intuiting facts with little evidence to assist. As they solve a string of cases, Xavier discovers a few more important details about his troublesome apprentice, such as her true gender, and the realization that she has awakened his long dormant heart.

 

EXCERPT

Vic knelt down to reduce her height and reached to the sill of the fireplace. “What if he knocked over the vase when searching the sill, then feared the item might have been in the vase and had fallen into the embers?”

“A reasonable possibility. Do you think he recovered what he sought in the ashes?”

“No, for he continues his search. You can see soot on the coffee table and side table drawers.” Vic pulled them open to study the contents. Dark smudges marred the napkins and doilies in the top one. The other, however, was completely empty. “How odd.”

“What did the bottom one have in it?”

“Buttons.”

“As in buttons for dresses?”

“Rather too bold for a dress, although some had been snipped from coats. Aunt Maddy collected fanciful buttons.” Vic stared at Xavier’s suit. “The ones on your vest would have caught her eye. I used to tease her she was part crow, for they are reputed to have a weakness for gewgaws.”

Pain filled her heart. She’d never tease Aunt Maddy about anything ever again. She paused and choked back the tears threatening to fall.

“Were they valuable?” Xavier’s voice lost its bark.

“Some had jewels embedded, but nothing one would kill for.” Vic shook her head. “I don’t think he came for Maddy’s collection, I think he simply couldn’t resist it once discovered.”

“I agree. How did you reach your conclusion?”

“Because he now searches the desk. If he had come for the buttons, he would have left directly.”

“And how did you determine he searched the desk last?”

“The footprints show he went first to the fireplace, and from there we can follow a trail of soot until we reach the small side table. It is here the soot stops. Perhaps he took out his handkerchief, wiped his hands, before bundling the buttons in the cloth. With his hands now clean, he ran them through his hair, either because he has a nervous tick or perhaps a stray lock had fallen into his eyes. Intending to search elsewhere, he walked to the door and tried to open it. In doing so, he left an oily residue from his hand. Finding the library door locked, he returned to the desk and, using the letter opener, pried free the center drawer.” Vic opened the desk drawer and frowned at the chaos. “He certainly searched in here. Aunt Maddy kept a very tidy desk.”

“Can you tell if anything is missing?”

“Not in this state. I would have to put everything back in place first.”

“Do it,” Xavier said. “So far all we know about the object the man sought is it isn’t paper. Had it been, he would have gone to the desk first.”

“Nor is it something he expected Aunt Maddy to value greatly, or why would she leave it on the fire sill or in a table drawer?”

Xavier stared at her.

“What?”

“Nothing. Continue on with your work.”

As Vic put all the objects of the drawer back into their proper places, she discovered one thing: Xavier Thorn had absolutely no patience.

“How long could this possibly take?”

“There are hundreds of items,” Vic explained.

Xavier exhaled in frustration. “It is good I sent home my driver. He would have died from pneumonia by now. By the way, your butler has obligated you to provide me with a carriage home.”

Vic smiled at his declaration.

“I trust your smile is one of compliance. Are you not done yet?”

“I will tell you when I’m done,” Vic snapped. “And why are you suddenly so impatient?”

“Beyond the drawer, we are done here. I wish to proceed with the investigation!”

Vic stopped. “Mr. Thorn, I do not expect you to do more than what you have so ably done today.”

“Are you firing me?” Xavier asked in outrage.

“I have not actually hired you. I only wished for your advice, but it was wrong of me to think you would do this without expecting compensation. Send me your bill and I will see it is paid.” Vic had no idea how she would do so, given she had no money.

“Bloody hell! I will not be brought in and then tossed aside at your whim. Maddy Hamilton was not just a client, but a friend, and I had every intention of finding her killer before you invited me here to use me and cast me off like a dock whore.”

Vic stopped working on the drawer. Clearly, she had insulted Mr. Thorn, but what caught her attention was a particular part of his ranting. “You knew she was killed before we even spoke?”

“Yes. It is why I wished to speak to you. If you recall, that is what I said when I introduced myself.”

“How did you know she’d been murdered?”

Xavier paused, as if debating whether to answer.

“I am sorry I insulted you,” Vic offered in hopes of soothing his temper. “It was not intentional. Please understand, I loved my aunt dearly, and I can either fall apart over her death or focus on finding her killer. I believe the latter is more productive. Moreover, I would greatly appreciate your help, but it appears Aunt Maddy had little money left when she died and, until I find a job, I cannot afford your services.”

She paused and met his unnerving glare. “I should have explained my situation from the first. But before you leave, could you please tell me how you knew she’d been murdered?”

 

 

BUY LINK

 

The Troublesome Apprentice

Amazon

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Liza O’Connor was raised by feral cats, which explains a great deal, such as why she has no manners, is always getting in trouble, and doesn’t behave like a proper author and give you a proper bio.

She is highly unpredictable, both in real life and her stories, and presently is writing humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.

Mostly humorous books by Liza:

Saving Casey – Old woman reincarnates into troubled teen’s body. (Half funny/half traumatizing)

Ghost LoverTwo British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. There’s a ghost cat too. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)

A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)

Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.

Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.

Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.

Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

LIZA O’CONNOR, XAVIER & VIC:

Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

Prior Tour Sites

 

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Don’t Forget to enter to win one of the two $25 Amazon Gift Cards.

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New Release: Playing with Fire by Devika Fernando

PLAYING WITH FIRE – Book 1 – Four Elements of Love

Playing with Fire NewIf you’re playing with fire, prepare to get burned – or to fall in love.

Sparks fly when Felicia and Joshua meet. Discovering her inner fire and unleashing unimaginable powers makes her realize that all her life, she has been hiding her true self. When buildings burn and people are in danger, the tempting game of playing with fire becomes serious. Will their love and desperate struggle for control save her life, or will the fire magic turn itself against its mistress?

 

New Release: Tethered by Pippa Jay

TETHERED

Tethered by Pippa Jay She can kill with a kiss. But can assassin Tyree also heal one man’s grief, and bring peace to a galaxy threatened by war?

For Tyree of the Su, being an assassin isn’t simply something she was trained for. It’s the sole reason for her existence. A genetically enhanced clone—one of many in Refuge—she’s about to learn her secluded lifestyle, and that of all her kind, is under threat by a race capable of neutralizing their special talents to leave them defenseless.

For Zander D’joren, being a diplomat has not only cost him his appearance, but also the love of his life. Scarred, grieving, he must nonetheless continue in his role as co-delegate to the fearsome Tier-vane or risk a conflict that could only end one way.

Now both of them need to keep each other alive and maintain a perilous deception long enough to renegotiate the treaty with the Tier-vane, or throw their people into a war that could wipe out Terrans and Inc-Su alike. But there’s more at stake than humanity, whether true or modified. Can the love growing between them save them both? Or merely hasten their destruction?

 

Special Promotion: Tangled Bundle by Leah Braemel

 

“The love scenes sizzle on each and every page. I couldn’t get enough and had to read it twice—okay, three times!

Joyfully Reviewed

Two scorching hot western ménages in one package, from author Leah Braemel.

 

box set bundle graphic for 99 cents

 

 

 

Texas Tangle (Tangled Series, Book One – contemporary western erotic romance)
Thanks to her cheating ex-husband, all Nikki Kimball has left is a bruised heart, an over-drawn bank account and an empty home. When sex-on-legs Dillon Barnett and his foster-brother Brett Anderson start showing more than just neighborly attention, Nikki is intrigued.  Back in high school, the two friends fought a bitter battle to win her heart. Society says Nikki must choose between the two men she loves. Is she strong enough to break all the rules in order to find happiness?

 

Tangled Past (Tangled Series, Book Two – historical western erotic romance)

Forced to marry a man she just met, Sarah McLeod clings to the hope that she’ll finally find the love and acceptance she’s always craved. But her tenuous dreams of a happy life on the frontier are in danger of being dashed by the one thing she can’t change—her husband’s love for another man. With the open frontier closing in around them, is Nate’s suggestion of a permanent threesome their path to happiness? Or will others destroy what they’ve found together?

Buy the Bundle:

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Google Play ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

 

 

 

Excerpt from Texas Tangle

 

Nikki snuggled up to Brett, smiling that same beautiful smile she’d given Dillon in the kitchen a few days before. His heart lodged in his throat, realizing it was all for him. Maybe he’d still be around tomorrow. Maybe he still had a chance with her.

She shook her head, causing her hair to brush over his chest in an erotic caress that had him hardening again. “Why would I regret showing you just how much I love you both?”

Emotions swamping him at her pronouncement, Brett swallowed hard. He threw one arm over his eyes, unwilling to let either of them see the emotion he couldn’t keep from his expression. It was either that or let the tears that prickled beneath his lids spill down his cheeks for everyone to see. He hadn’t let himself cry since he was a kid. He’d learned early not to show any type of emotion, and he couldn’t let her—anyone, even Dillon—know how she affected him. He couldn’t give anyone that type of power ever again. Yet here she was, bit by bit, pulling down the barriers he’d built.

If Nikki chose Dillon instead of him, it was going to hurt worse than any beating his father had given him. Even if she did choose him, he doubted Dillon would be as magnanimous in defeat as he’d promised. Either way he’d lose—in winning Nikki’s love, he’d lose Dillon’s friendship. If she chose Dillon over him, he couldn’t be able to bear watching the two of them together knowing she’d loved him, just not loved him enough.

She shifted until she was draped over top of him again, her body a comforting blanket. Something brushed his cheek. “Hey, are you okay?”

Her simple touch shattered the remaining walls. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly as if she would float away if he didn’t.

“I love you,” he whispered, the words tumbling out before he could stop them. He held his breath once he realized what he’d done, the power over him he’d handed her.

* *

 

Leah 2Leah Braemel is the only woman in a houseful of males that includes her college-sweetheart husband, two sons, a Shih Tzu named Seamus and Turtle the cat. She loves escaping the ever-multiplying dust bunnies by opening up her laptop to write about sexy heroes and the women who challenge them.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

 

New Release: O Captain! My Captain! by VL Locey

O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!

 



Vicki            V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs,  romance tales of any genre, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers,  comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a steer named after a famous N.H.L. goalie,  a pig named after a famous President, and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

 

FIND V. L. LOCEY ONLINE AT:

Facebook: VL Locey

Twitter @vllocey

Pinterest

Goodreads

Blog: Thoughts from a Yodeling Goat Herder

 

Secret Cravings Backlist Books:

 

Pink Pucks & Power Plays (Book One of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

 

A Most Unlikely Countess (Book Two of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

New Release: Rhapsody in Paris by Ju Ephraime

RHAPSODY IN PARISRhapsody in Paris



Ju Ephraime began writing professionally at age 19; at that time, she wrote short stories for the local radio station in her home town. She gave up writing to pursue her education and has since earned several degrees, including two Masters and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Northeastern University in Boston. During the course of her schooling, she wrote and published a working curriculum for a career school, a business manual and its answer key, as well as other literary work. In 2010 she revisited her first love, writing for fun and enjoyment. She writes high heat, steamy, romance novels. The first was, State of Ecstasy in the LaCasse series, which was soon followed by, Temptation to Sin, Loving Therèse, #2 in the LaCasse series. Ju has gone on to write several more books, including, The Odor of Violet, on tour this month, Complete Surrender, #3 in the LaCasse series; as well as, a Christmas Novella, Footsteps in the Sand and her award winning paranormal, White Magic Woman, Quarterfinalist in Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest, 2013, out of over 10,000 entrants.

Ju lives in Connecticut, where she is very active in her community. She is the administrator of a business school and the president of a non-profit organization that dresses individuals for job interviews.

New Release: Keeping Faith by Christina Cole

KEEPING FAITH

Cowboy on Montana ridge at first light,mountain backgroundEverything they say about Tom Henderson is true.  Born in a barn, the bastard son of a drunken whore, he’s got nothing to offer, and any dreams he might have are as far away as the distant snow-capped Rockies — and probably as unattainable. He’s long had his eye on pretty Lucille McIntyre, but that’s just one more impossible dream.

Lucille has always been considered the prettiest and most popular girl in Sunset, but her father’s sudden death has left her shaken and sad. Now, life seems to be passing her by.

When a prim and proper spinster arrives to deliver a squalling 3-month-old infant to Tom, his life and Lucille’s both change. His decision to keep the baby girl sets off a firestorm among the good ladies in town who don’t consider him fit to raise a child.

Together, Tom and Lucille will do anything in their struggle for keeping Faith.



Christina Cole will always be grateful to her grandfather who patiently held her on his lap and taught her to read. He also told her stories of his own childhood and stirred her imagination with scenes from days gone by. From him, she developed not only a love of words and story-telling, but a deep appreciation for history and a longing to learn more about the past.

Today, she still loves reading, and loves sharing her own stories about men and women and the romance of an earlier time.

Her romantic stories have been published online and in print, and she’s also published inspirational pieces, poetry, and essays.

She is happily married to the love of her life, and lives a simple, uncomplicated life in a small mid-western town.