Saturday, January 30, 2016

Aurora's Song by Cherime MacFarlane, Liza reviews

AURORA'S SONG

AUTHOR: Cherime MacFarlane
GENRE: Paranormal Romance


Algen is finally home after spending most of her teen years, and young adulthood in Washington State. She has never been clear on the reason she was sent to live with her father’s relatives. But she has a job she loves and can finally live in the place she loves. The Aurora Borealis fascinates her; Algen has missed the lights and winter terribly. The Grannies want her to be careful. Should she be careful of the new hire at the native corporation? She’s sure if he gets too close her heart is going to be in grave danger. The cultural anthropologist is pursuing her with the single-mindedness of a big predator. Gunrik is too smart, too much of a hunk and far too tempting.



Ignoring the question, I sipped my tea and considered exactly what I was prepared to reveal to the man. I decided to keep my cards concealed. "I've made an offer, and I refuse to go into details about my reasons. You may accept or reject the offer. I do need to tell you there may not be another."

"Offer accepted. What time will you be there? May we sit together?"

"We may. If all goes well, perhaps you can escort me to brunch afterward. We shall see."

I thoroughly enjoyed the game we played. Gunrik interested me. I hadn't met a man who would spar with me in a long time. He could think fast on his feet. Verbal fencing could be so much fun. 

But I sensed he was almost as careful about who he let into his private world as I was. We resembled two tigers playing mating games. When tigers finished mating, the females went off to have and raise their young, and the males went back to their solitary existences. 

How would this work out? Would teeth and claws come into play? He had piqued my curiosity, and I do love puzzles.



Liza's Review of  Aurora’s Song 


An enchanting novella about a woman’s ability to sing to the Auroras that dance across the Alaskan skies. This is Algen’s tale… and Gunrik’s. However, be warned. Singing to the Aurora Borealis is very dangerous.

There is a great deal of truth in this story. While I cannot say if the above warning is true, I do know the government really did import reindeer and Sami people from Norway to Alaska to teach the Alaskans how to herd reindeer. Then 40 years later, a law was passed that only native Alaskans could own reindeer. Thus, the Sami’s had to sell their reindeer, their only means to survive. Talk about a huge betrayal. Many Samis left Alaska for good and I suspect they are still bitter about their unfair treatment, and rightly so. I mention this because it brings authenticity to the story.

My review: I loved Algen right off. I loved her honesty, her love to challenge, her sense of timing, when matters should occur.

Next we meet Gunrik, and he fascinated me as well. While his intentions are not quite as clear at first, in short order I liked him as well, and truly enjoyed their odd dance to becoming intimate, and their intimacy turning into love.

While I was not ready to leave these characters when the end arrived, that is the only negative I had with this story. I loved the characters, all of them, I loved the true history shared, and I loved their dance to love.

So I give this a 4.5 (dinged for ending too soon) and round it up to 5.0 because Amazon doesn’t allow 4.5s by reviewers.












Although born in New Orleans, I am proud to call myself an Alaskan. I have lived here since 1977. I have seen -40 degrees, hauled water, made bear bacon and I live in a cabin. I have used a fishwheel to catch salmon coming up the Copper River. I was my second husband's chief mechanic's helper and roadie. I have cut firewood on shares. I worked as a cocktail waitress during pipeline days in a small lodge on the Richardson Highway.

My second husband, a Scot from Glasgow, was the love of my life. When I write Scots dialect, I personally experienced hearing it from my in laws. When my husband got on the phone to Scotland, after 5 seconds I could barely understand a word.

We moved to Wasilla to get warm. It barely drops past -25 degrees here in the winter. I became a paralegal and worked for over 26 years for the same firm.

Alaska is my home. I never thought I would love it so much, I never want to leave. The beauty of Alaska is a draw I cannot resist. I love the people and the history. I have been captured by a place I came to under duress. Life does play some interesting tricks on one. My love and I were not apart more than 24 hours for 20 plus years. I never wanted to be anywhere but with him. He was a man to run the river with and was my biggest fan.

         

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Fairly Certain by Deborah Ann Davis


Deborah will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour




Fairly Certain
by Deborah Ann Davis

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Young Adult Fiction

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BLURB:

Petir takes a rough tumble in the Connecticut woods, but awakens in the middle of old England. His instinct to freak out is tempered by the arrival of a fair maiden wearing a bow...and arrow. Throwing caution to the wind, Petir decides he has nothing to lose by pursuing Maid Rianne. But when she is captured by the enemy, a geek with no ability to defend himself must find a way to rescue the fair maiden.

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EXCERPT:


You cut, and I’ll wash,” instructed Cord.

Petir peered into the huge wooden bowl to find a variety of greens, roots, and mushrooms. “Where did all this come from?”

“We find many things in the forest besides you.” There was that mischievous smirk again.

He sifted the veggies through his fingers and held up a tightly curled green with a fuzzy brownish cover. “What are these?”

“Fiddleheads. They be young ferns. ’Tis past their season. We were lucky to find these.”

“You eat ferns?” asked Petir. Gross. This is the kind of babble you’d expect from a dream.

“Just peel off the outside and cook. They make for fine eating,” said Fryer over his shoulder.

“Sure they do. I suppose you can eat these, too?”

Cord looked to see what he was holding. “Milkweed stalks.”

“Milkweed? You mean that plant with all the white fluffy stuff?” Oh, yeah, dream-babble going on here. Absolutely.

“Yes, but you canna eat the mature plants. Only the young shoots are edible,” said Fryer. “You had them in this morning’s stew.”

“I did?” Petir took a moment to survey his stomach. He patted his belly. “Seems okay. Just don’t tell me there were any frogs in there.”

“Frogs? No, there were no frogs in there, but—”

Petir interrupted Fryer by raising his hands as if warding off the cook’s words. “Stop. Really. I don’t want to know. Just tell me what you want me to do, and I’ll do it, but spare me the details.”






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Fairly Certain is available through:







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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I’m DEBORAH ANN DAVIS, and I write Quirky New/Young Adult Fiction with a Twist. I began writing when searching for inspiration for my 5th grade English Journal. Lo and behold, my world was full of funny tales just waiting to be told. It never occurred to me to pursue writing, not even when I discovered my flare for telling stories at college parties.

After a string of undergrad majors, I realized I could reach a captive audience EVERY DAY in the public school system. As you probably know, teenagers love to laugh, and what could be more entertaining than Biology, Earth Science, and Environmental Science? I jumped into teaching with both feet and loved it for 27 years. It came with an added bonus: Once teens know you like to laugh, they want to make you laugh. Go figure.

Twelve years after our first kiss, I reunited with, and married my childhood sweetheart. Together we coached our daughter's AAU Basketball Team, which swept States two years in a row. (Yay!) Then, for several years, our daughter and our money went to college.

During a particularly nasty bout of Lyme disease, I turned to Fitness to boost my Health, and to Writing to boost my Happiness. Currently, I am a healthy and happy Educational Speaker and a Certified Personal Trainer who loves to write.

We presently reside on a lovely lake in Connecticut. When I’m not writing novels for my Love of Fairs series, I enjoy dabbling with living a sustainable life, dancing, playing outside, and laughing really hard every day. I also promote increasing movement throughout your day as Wiggle Writer in my Merry Meddling blog at http://deborahanndavis.com/merry-meddling/ .





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Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter!















Sunday, January 24, 2016

Secret Hungers Presents 2 boxsets: Salacious & Intoxicating

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Secret Hungers Presents:

SalaciousSalacious
A boxset, sure to satisfy contemporary BDSM, ménage and MM lovers, written by eight bestselling and award-winning erotic romance authors.








Frisky Business (Frisky Romance #1) by Michele Bardsley

Synopsis: When Claire Williams is talked into one last favor for her ex-boss, magazine publisher Lucius Devereaux, she never imagines she’ll end up at a BDSM resort. Worse, she accidentally stumbles into a slave auction— and finds herself sold to a mysterious, masked Dom who promises to show her passion beyond her wildest desires. After the billionaire magazine owner buys his almost ex-assistant under the guise of a Dominant, he’s not sure how long he’ll be able to keep his identity secret. He’s wanted the beautiful, strong woman since the moment she started working for him. Now, he has a chance to show her true pleasure. Still, the only thing Lucius wants more than Claire’s body… is her heart.



Seducing My Billionaire Boss by Cynthia Sax

Synopsis: I have to land the position Robert Reyes, the CFO of Powers Corporation, recently posted. My friend’s health depends on it. I’ve heard the rumors— that Rob will require… extra duties from this new hire. He’s young, handsome, intelligent. Pleasing him won’t be a hardship. Not falling in love with him will be the big challenge. I’ve lusted after Rob for years, like him more than is prudent, dream of him every night. Touching his body, tasting the salt on his skin, will be both a self-inflicted torment and a fantasy come true. I’ll be a convenience for my hunky executive. This is a job, not a romance. As long as both of us remember this, our relationship should work.



The Dirty Martini (Cocktails Book Four) by Renee George


Synopsis: When bartender Chris Lawson goes into shock after getting the worst news of his life, he wakes up in the arms of Marty Lincoln, an Army Ranger on leave from his post. Even in his grief, Chris feels instantly connected to the war ravaged vet. Only two problems: Marty is his boss’s younger brother. And even if that wasn’t an obstacle, the battle-hardened Ranger is straight. Or is he?



Curing Doctor Vincent (The Good Doctor, Book 1) by Renea Mason


Synopsis: Elaine Watkins, Public Relations Advisor, is surprised when she receives a summons from the very attractive and enigmatic Dr. Xavier Vincent. She worships the talented physician and company icon responsible for developing the cure that saved her sister’s life and isn’t immune to his charm. Even though puzzled by his request, she is excited and eager to get started on his latest project. But Dr. Vincent has other ideas. Instead of discussing cures, drugs and marketing strategies, he asks Elaine to join him in Paris to indulge his unique sexual appetites. Torn between gratitude for saving her sister, her attraction for the powerful man and compromising her pre-conceived notions of sexuality, she must decide if it’s easier to feed his desires or walk away. Until she devises a plan of her own.


“Make no mistake, Elaine, I am a king. Kings command and conquer. They are brutal and uncompromising. You don’t want a king. Face it, you came here expecting a saint.” —Dr. Xavier Vincent


Red Hot (A Sapphire Club Masquerade Novella) by Erzabet Bishop

Synopsis: One bet. One kiss is all it takes. Girl’s night out was supposed to be her downtime, but Justine Harwood finds herself staring temptation in the face when her author buddies give her a dare she can’t refuse. But Justine has secrets of her own. A polka dot dress and some seductive intentions are all Justine needs when she heads to The Sapphire Club to meet her girlfriend and hopefully a new boy toy. Because some men just need to learn their manners and Justine is just the woman to teach them. If you can’t stand the sizzle, step away from the fire… Brendan is a secret submissive, torn between his working day world as a local news reporter and his fantasy world at The Sapphire Club. He loves to watch, but when he steps too close to the object of his desire, will he be able to back away before he gets burned?


Stuck In Between (A Bound by Your Love Series novel) by Blakely Bennett

Synopsis: Jacqs is a twenty-eight year old woman caught up in an on again, off again relationship with Bond, who is her best friend and the one who causes her the most heartache. She succumbs, yet again, to his powerful charisma, but vows not make it into more than it is, a great night of sex. Bond, too sexy for his own good, wants Jacqs for himself as he “dates” his way through the female population of South Florida. He selfishly doesn’t see the conflict of interest. Red, Bond’s best friend, has watched Bond take Jacqs for granted for way too long and soon stakes his own claim on her. Will Red and Jacqs budding relationship pull apart their tight-knit group of friends and will Jacqs survive being Stuck in Between.


Sin at Sea (A Sinful Series Novel) by Emma Nichols

Synopsis: When Alysin decided to surprise her boyfriend at work with dinner, the surprise was on her. Since he was going at it with his secretary on the conference table, she packed a bag and called her BFF. Jolie and Alysin had been traveling the country, working as digital nomads for ten years ever since graduation. Taking this as a sign it was time for a new move, they decided to take a cruise, regroup, and make a plan. Then she meets Mr. Bedroom Eyes. Following her lead, they pretend to be married so she can rid herself of the guy who started hitting on her before the boat left the dock. Though it was supposed to be a momentary arrangement, he asks her to take it one step farther. Then another. Along the way, Alysin learns she won’t have to fake an orgasm if she’s with someone who knows what to do, not all men suck, but the best ones suck really well, and sometimes what starts out as something pretend, can fast become something completely real. Will the woman who lives life with no regrets, regret she made the stupid rule about not exchanging names and contact info?



Blind Taste Test by Anne Lange


Synopsis: An erotic romance author who needs to inject more realism into her sex scenes finds herself in the middle of a blind taste test in which she’s the dish for a double helping of dessert.



Buy Links:

kindle-logobandn-iconkobo_logo_FINALPMS












IntoxicatingIntoxicating


A boxset, sure to satisfy erotic romance lovers, written by seven contemporary romance authors.








Sucked Into Love (Bachelorette Party Series #1) by Rochelle Paige

Synopsis: It’s just Jocelyn’s luck that she meets her match at the fake bachelorette party her best friend throws for her… She knows better than to get pulled into any of Cee-Cee’s antics. It must have been sheer exhaustion that made her agree to help her best friend out with a work project – one that ended up with her playing bachelorette for the night! No man ever wants to be knocked off his feet by a woman he meets while she’s wearing a bachelorette “suck for a buck” shirt… Andrew knows that he wants Jocelyn the moment he lays eyes on her, but he’s never been one to poach on another man’s territory. He walks away but finds himself changed by the experience. Imagine his surprise when he sees her again, only to discover she isn’t married and has never even been engaged. Although this is book one in the Bachelorette Party series, there is no cliffhanger. Each book features a different couple. And if you’ve read the Blythe College series, you’ll see some familiar faces in Sucked Into Love.



The Only One For Her by Carlie Sexton



Synopsis: When is a heart too broken to fix? Just days before his wedding, handsome, successful entrepreneur, Trace Michaels, finds out his love wasn’t enough. With a broken heart, Trace lands in Maui, hoping to find solace in the beautiful island. What he finds is beauty, but in the form of an alluring, grieving woman. One he feels an instant and inescapable attraction to. Young widow, Lindy Bernard, had her heart broken when her husband died. In Maui to reluctantly close a chapter in her life, she suddenly finds herself in the arms of a drop-dead, gorgeous Adonis. After his relentless pursuit, Lindy and Trace begin to find healing… only to have that endangered by a secret threatening to tear them apart. All is not what it seems in Trace’s company, and it seems one woman has set out to ruin him. Can he juggle the odious plots against him while chasing the woman of his heart? Will she wait or are some hearts too broken to be fixed?



Cop Shot by Lexi Ostrow



Synopsis: Bridget O’Casey has wanted nothing more than to be a cop since she was a little girl and used to listen to her dad’s stories. He however, was completely against it and she found herself modeling. When he was gunned down on a chase it only furthered her desire to put her life in a different direction and finally enroll in the academy. She wanted revenge for her father’s death and honoring him was the only way to really do so. A night of partying before the first day could spell disaster when she finds out who the deadly handsome man was. Jeremy Trellins is a high profile detective. When things get slightly of out control and he’s put on training duty he wanted nothing to do with it. Until he found out the woman he slept with the night before was now one of the recruits. He’s torn between his duty and his desire and she’s not giving him any indication she doesn’t want him right back. When a series of police station shootings break out across southern California things get shaky as the academy must make the choice to train, or shut down. When a link to Bridget appears with the killings there is so much more on the line for Bridget then she realized. It’s not all black and white as Bridget takes the connection to the killer and her own thoughts of revenge resurface. She will have to find a way to balance training, a not so secret relationship that could both of them removed from the force and a killer that has his sites on her.



A Favor by Fiona Murphy


Synopsis: Zoe has been called cold and empty and undeserving of love when she can’t give it back. It isn’t how she wants be, but she knows no way of changing it, so she understands and hasn’t gone looking for a relationship. But then it finds her in the form of Sam King. Sam is a former Ranger, scarred on the outside from a mission that forced him out. The security contracting company needs Sam, but very soon Zoe realizes she needs him too. But it isn’t fair to get involved with him when he’s already been hurt, she has no right to add to his pain. But Sam is insistent that he’s not looking for a relationship— sex is all he wants and needs from her. Fighting Sam and her body is a lost cause, and she gives in. Soon she’s the one wanting more from Sam, but how can she find a way to not be cold and empty? Is it her turn to end up hurt at the end?



One Summer by Kassandra Wylde


Synopsis: Twenty-two-year-old recent nursing graduate Amy is headed to Greece – much to her parents’ chagrin. They want to keep her home in Arizona where they can keep an eye on her. Amy wants adventure, though, and quickly falls for her gorgeous Greek professor, Dimitri. When Amy finds out that her Greek god is married, and meets his beautiful wife, Lydia, she is torn between her attraction and respect for their marriage. Then when Lydia makes Amy an offer she can’t refuse, she struggles with the possibility that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Despite her concerns, eventually she gives in to Lydia’s encouragement, and Amy and Dimitri’s passionate affair is everything Amy has ever dreamed of. What starts out as a breezy summer fling, however, becomes a struggle for happily ever after when the lovers are faced with the ultimate betrayal. They must learn to trust again in order for their love to survive, but is it too much to ask?



When Forever Ends (The Maxwell Series, Book 1) by Mariah Kingsley



Synopsis: Charles has loved Vivian with all of his heart for the past twenty years, but after overhearing a conversation between her and her girlfriends he learns that she doesn’t feel the same. Cassie and Mason have tried and failed at having a family, and the loss has begun to change the way the love that was once so solid. Cassie has the job opportunity that will take her away from her husband for a few months. Hoping that the time away will bring them closer together. Charles and Cassie become great friends and after a short time they begin to confide in each other about their greatest fears. Their failing marriages. With the commitment to help each other fix their dying marriages they begin to see all that they were missing in each other.


Masked Hearts (Book 1 in the Holiday Cafe Series) by Evelyn Aster


Synopsis: Mark is a rich single dad crazy about his son’s teacher. Sienna, recently ditched at the altar, refuses to date him but agrees to nights of breathless sex in his expansive house in the foothills. On a whim, she binds herself to the tie rack in his closet and realizes how much she trusts him with her body. But will she ever trust him with her heart?



Buy Links



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Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Muddle Past Holds No Certainty


Back in the 19th century, the dangers of inbreeding were already known, but common rules did not apply to the wealthy and royalty, so no one objected or thought it the least bit risky when Victoria marries her first cousin, Prince Albert Francis Charles Augustus Emmanuel of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Royals had been inbreeding for a long time. After all, there were only so many royalties available around the world.
The intermarrying and weakening of the future generations is what, I believe, changed the future of Britain from a monarch driven society to a Parliamentary ruled country, which is a good thing. But how specifically this played out was not so good.
While England had had deranged Kings before, when young Queen Victoria came to reign, the members of Parliament saw an opportunity to grab power without madness ever coming into the conversation.
Initially, Queen Victoria had planned to never marry and rule England on her own. Even so, Parliament immediately pulled her authority to condemn or absolve prisoners charged with a sentence of death, because that would be too much for a young lady to bear. 
Soon enough, she was talked out of the ‘never marrying’ idea and not only did she marry her first cousin, but bore him 9 children. Having so many children took a great deal of time, so naturally the parliament kindly took more responsibilities upon their shoulders. Then her beloved husband died, and she went into permanent mourning. An old, heart-broken queen, should not be burdened with the weight of the world, so Parliament took over even more responsibilities.
At this point the facts have become muddled, erased, and modified, so the truth can never be known for sure, but her grandson, Prince Albert, in line to be king after his father Edward, was reputed to be mentally impaired, and some believe he might have been Jack the Ripper.
Yes, everyone and their uncle might have been Jack the Ripper. One of the oddities of this mystery is the massive quantity of people who 'might' have been Jack the Ripper.
However, there remains compelling evidence that it might have been Prince Albert. But be warned, my speculations lead to a very dark story.
If you sort through the pictures of the women killed by Jack the Ripper and remove those where the body was cut in two, which were clearly the works of a different serial killer, and the face slashers, you’ll find all but one of the women resembled the queen, and the one who didn’t look a thing like the queen, resembled Prince Albert’s mother. Could that be a coincidence? Yes, it could be. Or it could be a young man who hated his domineering grandmother because she admantly disapproved of his life-style and considered him unfit to ever be king. As an author, I can very see how his rage against his grandmother might have resulted him in taking his anger out on women who looked like grandmother, but he believed no one would care if he killed. 
A compelling timing coincidence is that when Albert was sent away to India, Jack the Ripper ceased killing, and when Albert returned and his plans to marry fell apart, deaths, in the same manner as Jack the Ripper began again. 
Oddly, the police refused to acknowledge these new deaths belonged to Jack the Ripper. However, in short order, Prince Eddy Albert caught ‘a cold’ and died and this 'new killer' that happened to kill like Jack the Ripper, stopped killing as well. And within a short time, (weeks) after Albert died, Albert’s tutor, who might have been his co-conspirator in the deaths, starved himself to death (or perhaps was silenced so no one lived to tell the truth…)
And yes, I do know of the recent DNA of a barber was found on the clothes of prostitute. All that proves is a local barber of the Victorian time had sex with a prostitute, which was nothing abnormal. There is no evidence that Jack the Ripper had sex with any of his victims.
The Queen’s grandson was rumored to be gay. When he got caught in a raid of Gay Club, it got him sent to India). If Albert was Jack the Ripper, he would have had no interest in having sex with his victims. His mad rage would come from his inability to be good enough in the Queen’s eyes. And frankly he wasn’t good enough. Due to the inbreeding, he was mentally impaired and would have been a disastrous king.
Everyone believes Queen Victoria hated her first son, Edward VII because she held him responsible for the the death of her husband who supposedly caught a cold and died. (Albert had traveled to scold the Edward for womanizing and died months after.) But the Prince Regent did not die of a cold. He had Crohn’s disease which had been miss-diagnosed as Yellow Fever. He’d also been sick for a long while, so I find it hard to believe his death would cause her vendetta against her son.
However, if she blamed her son for having spawned a deranged, violent child who would later become a psychopath, presuming the child had become so wantonly and out of control due to Edward’s proliferate ways, that might be a very good reason why she planned to never let Edward rule a single day and why his first born died of a mysterious ‘cold’ soon after Jack the Ripper returned the second time. But since the world couldn't know this reason, the blaming Edward for Albert's death might have been concocted after the fact.
IF Albert was Jack the Ripper, even if the secret was kept from the common people, those in Parliament would have known and acted upon the situation, allowing them to strip away the last vestiges of power from Queen Victoria…which they did.
And, she never objected. But how could she if her grandson were Jack the Ripper? Had such a fact been known, her line of rule would have been destroyed.
Despite her efforts, Queen Victoria did not outlive her son Edward VII. When she died, instead of preserving all her diaries, her daughter, after rewriting the sections she wished to keep, burned the original diaries. Those diaries could have revealed the truth in this matter, but they were destroyed, so the truth could never be known.
And how did her son perform as king? Since he just needed to be a front man for the Parliament, he did his job rather well. But he only reigned 9 years before he died. Then, Edward’s second son George V took reign through the trying times of WWI.

The powers that Victoria lost were never regained by any king or queen since, and in my opinion, that is a good thing. For mad or not, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I'll take a Parliament or Democracy over a Monarchy any day.

Nothing I've stated proves Albert was Jack the Ripper.
However, using logical deduction, I find the possibility compelling.
There are dates in schedules kept by the Queen that prove Albert was not in town at the time of some of the murders. Once such date if for a murder that shows no resemblance to Jack the Ripper. The other three dates are close to the end or beginning of the dates written in the schedules. They could have easily have been altered when they needed an extra day to hide the truth, so I've ignored it as unreliable evidence. 

Given two very different communications to the police, it is possible Albert and his tutor were both involved in the murders, thus explaining the two very different letters. 

However, if my conjectures are right, then this had to be one of the most massive coverups ever, where over five hundred people were identified as the possible killer to keep anyone from focusing on Albert. 

A second serial killer's work was declared the work of Jack the Ripper in an effort to muddy the water (It was not the same M.O. and Scotland Yard should have known that, even back then.) To be honest, they appear to have thrown any woman who died into the mix to help muddy the water. 

Evidence was lost or not preserved at all. Witness statements were never taken. Schedules of the Queen could have been modified, and friends of the Queen might have lied when they swore Albert had been visiting them when the murders occurred.
So, in the end I focused on a few compelling items:
When Albert left the country, Jack the Ripper stopped killing. 
When Albert returned and his love marriage didn't happen, the murders began again.
The murdered victims resembled the queen except for one that resembled Albert's mother.
When Albert died, the new murders stopped.
Albert's tutor starves to death two weeks later.

Do I think Albert died of the flu? Not at all. I think the Queen, realizing there was no other way to stop her grandson, ordered his death. And for the tutor's part in these horrors, the fellow suffered a slower, torturous death.
And those in the Parliament, who knew the truth, secured Queen Victoria's last vestiges of power and England moved to parliamentry rule for the better of all.
But here's the very strange thing:
There continues, to this day, efforts to further muddy the waters (such as the DNA of the barber found on one of the murdered prostitutes clothes which proves nothing but the woman serviced her clients). The DNA fiasco had an 'expert' giving lectures and sharing on twitter that finally the matter was resolved. 

Given a three year old child could see the DNA evidence wasn't proof of anything, you have to ask who would work so hard to muddy the waters further over something that happened over a hundred years ago. 

Another present day muddying the water efforts, there is a website that presents all known probable killers, ranking over half of them far more likely than Albert. Yet, the 'evidence' is weak at best in these others cases, while I believe the evidence against Albert is compelling. So how did so many get ranked so much higher than Albert? Not by honest evaluation of verifiable facts, that is for sure.
I can only think of two entities that would try to silence this puzzle once and for all a hundred years after the event. The British Royalty or the Parliament. But sadly, their efforts only make me more certain that Albert was indeed Jack the Ripper. 

Liza O'Connor is the author of a Late Victorian Sleuth Series called The Adventures of Xavior & Vic


by
Liza O'Connor
When the pot has too many cooks a feast can be ruined, and that’s exactly what happens with Xavier and Vic’s new cases. Each proves more complicated than initially thought with criminals dropping out of the sky, wreaking havoc upon Xavier, Vic, and their excellent employees. By the end, Vic threatens to open a school that teaches criminals how to stay out of each other’s way.

Worse yet, a treasured member of the staff is shot in the heart while attempting to save Vic and the Queen’s cousin.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Changing Victorian London

In today's world, we tend to gather in like minded (and salaried) neighborhoods.


That was not the case in Mid-Victorian times.


Back then, London was a hodgepodge of wealth and extreme poverty side by side. Rigid class segregation wouldn't occur until near the end of century and become more defined in the twentieth century.


That is not to say they didn't have wealthy areas where all aspired to live, but until someone wished to sell their house you just had to endure living somewhere else not quite so prestigious.



The West End was preferred habitat for the wealthy socialites, but even there, those who served the wealthy such as dress makers and tailors by necessity had to live close by, so great & moderate poverty could always be found just a block or two away from great wealth.



Central City was populated with the new merchant class, some of which, were quite rich. And those serving this new class of wealth lived close by.



The manufacturers tended to live on the boarder of the city proper or just outside it.  I imagine this was because land would be cheaper and more available for the construction of large buildings if they were built outside of the old London walls. They also favored areas further out, such as Clerkenwell, Shoreditch, East End and Southwark. Wherever there were manufacturing sites, a community of suppliers to serve the site would develop, as well as laborers needed to run the lines. So again, you ended up with a mixed neighborhood.


Above is an 1888 map of the WhiteChapel area where Jack the Ripper killed his victims. The red marked areas are where the wealthy live while the black and blue are areas of extreme poverty. Right behind many a rich house resides the poorest of poor.


In the map below (1902) the segregation of the classes of wealth and poverty had greatly altered the landscape. For example, in the map below, the light blue area that is cut in two by the Thames is Central City. In mid-Victorian it would have been heavily red with rich merchants. But by the end of the century merchants no longer felt the need to live by their businesses and now the area is strongly made of poor people with employment, but only making 18-21 shillings a week.

                                Central City

BLACK: Lowest class. Vicious, semi-criminal.
DARK BLUE: Very poor, casual. Chronic want.
LIGHT BLUE: Poor. 18s. to 21s. a week for a moderate family
PURPLE: Mixed. Some comfortable others poor
PINK: Fairly comfortable. Good ordinary earnings.
RED: Middle class. Well-to-do.
YELLOW: Upper-middle and Upper classes. Wealthy.

This segregation may have been due to the improved transportation available, both in trains which were economical enough for the moderately poor to afford, and the automobile for the wealthy giving each the ability to reach their place of work without living next to it.

I hoped you enjoyed this assessment of how and why neighborhoods came to segregate by class and wealth.

In the spring of 1896, automobiles are just becoming feasible in England. However, trains within London can be used short durations at a low cost, allowing people to live further out where prices are cheaper and commute to their jobs. Their expanded reach also gave them more opportunities for employment if they possessed wanted skills.

Thus, begins the migration of the lower classes into areas of their own level. For some, it would be an opportunity to rise into the middle class, while others sank deeper into desperate poverty.





When the pot has too many cooks a feast can be ruined, and that’s exactly what happens with Xavier and Vic’s new cases. Each proves more complicated than initially thought with criminals dropping out of the sky, wreaking havoc upon Xavier, Vic, and their excellent employees. By the end, Vic threatens to open a school that teaches criminals how to stay out of each other’s way.

Worse yet, a treasured member of the staff is shot in the heart while attempting to save Vic and the Queen’s cousin. 


Liza O'Connor is the author of a 
Humorous, Romantic
Victorian Mystery series, 
The Adventures of Xavier & Vic.

Book 1
The Troublesome Apprentice


Book 2
The Missing Partner

Book 2.5
(spinoff)
A Right to Love
Amazon
Book 3
The Mesmerist 
Amazon


Book 4
Well Kept Secrets
Amazon


Book 5
Pack of Trouble
Amazon


Book 6
The Darkest Days
Amazon