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

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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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Humorous, Contemporary, Disaster Romance

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 Blurb

What do you get when you put a hardworking, can-do middle-class young woman together with an egoistical, outrageous, billionaire boss, then throw in the worst week of disasters imaginable? Book 1 of the 4 book series A Long Road to Love, named Worst Week Ever. Trent Lancaster spends one month without his Executive Assistant (or as his driver refers to Carrie: ‘Trent’s brain, left hand, and right hand’). He’s had a miserable month without her at his side and to ensure it never happens again, he intends to marry this brilliant beauty. Only given all the times he’s threatened to fire her, he’s not sure she even likes him. However, the future of his company and his happiness depend upon him succeeding, so Trent begins a slow one week seduction that happens to coincide with Carrie Hanson’s Worst Week Ever when everything that can go wrong does so in hilarious form. (Hilarious to the reader, Carrie is not having much fun this week.)



  Excerpt

Carrie squeezed her eyes shut, waiting for the thump of a body against the limo’s hood. “Maybe I shouldn’t have insisted Sam take a shortcut,” Trent muttered beneath his breath. She groaned softly. If her boss questioned his actions, then matters must look grim outside. She tensed even further, expecting to hear multiple bodies slam into the car. Sam braked hard, turned right, and resumed driving a billion miles an hour. If not for the seat belts, she and Trent would’ve sailed into the front seat, and then plastered against the door. To secure her further, Trent protectively placed an arm around her shoulder and pulled her against his warm chest. She focused on the thumping of his heart. It beat once to three of hers. God, how can he be so calm? Determined to match his bravery, she tried to raise her head, but he wouldn’t let her. “Just a little longer, I hope. Sam, when do we depart this third world country?” “Two more blocks, sir.” “Thank God. You’ve terrified poor Carrie to death.” Instantly, the limo’s speed dropped. She turned her head sideways so Sam might be able to hear her words. “Your driving doesn’t frighten me, Sam, the neighborhood does.” As if on cue, a round of three loud pops sounded, followed by three thunks into her side door. She squeaked like a mouse at the first thunk. By the third, her body shivered in fear. Trent’s arms tightened around her as the limo picked up speed again. “We’re okay,” he assured her, then his lips pressed against her temple. His calm certainty silenced her tremors. Having successfully soothed her, he released his outrage upon Sam. “Why the hell did you drive us through here?” Sam calmly replied as he drove the car at a billion miles an hour, taking corners at deadly speeds. “I warned you the locals might not welcome us.” “Someone just shot at us?” Trent yelled. Sam’s nonchalant reply sounded almost surreal. “I’m sure they didn’t mean for you to take it personally, sir.” Maybe none of this is happening. Maybe I fell asleep in the traffic and my dream has gone rogue. Her heart calmed and she nuzzled closer to Trent, breathing in his masculine scent. Secure in her dream, she confessed something she never would in real life. “You smell good.” Trent’s arms relaxed a bit and he chuckled. “It’s called Trent. I had the cologne custom developed. They assessed my natural odors and then determined the optimal combination of scents to create my unique smell.” She snorted. Even in her dreams, he remained the strangest man she’d ever met. If she had all the money in the world, she’d try to end poverty and violence in…whatever hell they’d just driven through, not have some custom designed perfume created so she’d smell really, really good.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

LIZA O’CONNOR

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

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WATCH THE VIDEO

Trailer Link for Worst Week Ever Trailer

Author Quick Chat with Liza O’Connor

Hi, readers! Today I’ve got author Liza O’Connor here for a quick and easy chat…except that if you know Liza you’ll know, too, that nothing is every quick and easy with her!  I mean that in a good way… I think.  LOL   As always, chatting with Liza has left me laughing.  Here’s the simple question I asked her:

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? 



And now, without further ado, here’s is her not-so-simple answer!

The answer to this question has been rated overall as Mostly TRUE: It contains 9 True statements, 2 possibly true statements, 2 no clue if true statements, and 1 clearly ridiculous claim.

 



 

Where would I like to be? It wouldn’t be in Iowa where blind people can walk around in public wearing loaded guns, which they may legally fire if they feel threatened.  [True]

It might be New Zealand, which, in my opinion, is the most beautiful place on Earth. [True OPINION]

Outer SpaceBut since the choice was anywhere, I would like to leave Earth, which isn’t going to be habitable by humans much longer [possibly true] and find a new planet to live on. To do this we will need to travel faster than the speed of light. [probably true] Fortunately a method is being worked on by NASA.  They’ve invested 1 scientist and $50K to solve this problem. [True, but not very impressive.] Hey, it’s something.  [true]

Hopefully, he’ll work this out quickly, because once the ocean currents stall out due to salt water dilution, history says we only have about 25 years before a million year freeze sets in. [Liza’s conclusion upon reading a few graphs. No clue if true] When that happens it won’t matter if I’m in Iowa, New Jersey, or New Zealand. [True]  There is probably someone secretly building an underground environment to keep humans alive. [No clue if true] But seriously, I don’t want to go underground for a million years. [True. Liza has mole issues]

So my hopes are that Richard Branson goes beyond the tourist rides, steals the one scientist working on warp drive, and build us a spaceship capable of speeds faster than light. [True hope] Still, I will probably die of old age before the ship arrives anywhere. [true] But that’s better than being stuck underground for a million years with some blind guy from Iowa trying to shoot pigeons out of trees that don’t exist. [Ridiculous for multiple reasons.]

(In case you haven’t guessed, there’s a blind guy from Iowa shooting pigeons in Climbing Out of Hell.) [True]



Whew!  Got all that? So, readers, where would you like to live?



United Fed of Nuts

 

 

Liza O’Connor is a nut!  She has the badge to prove it.

 

 

 

 



 

Check out Climbing Out of Hell by Liza O’Connor

Billionaire Trent Lancaster has destroyed his relationship with the only woman who ever loved him. Now we discover the full truth of what happened.

He actually had reasons for his behaviors.

Still, there is no going back. Trent has lost Carrie forever, but he would rather die than marry Coco, so he does just that. Trent gives away most of his possessions, fakes his death, and starts over with a new face and a better attitude in a small town in Iowa where his half-brother Sam is sheriff.

Losing his true love has fundamentally broken Trent to his core. His only chance for happiness is to become the better man Carrie had always seen inside him.

True change is not easy. Can Trent grow up and become a man we can love?

Trent climbing out of hell3 (400x640)

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