Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Valerie Ullmer Releases Xander (A Dark Assassins Novel Bk 3)

 Xander (A Dark Assassins Novel Book Three)



Xander (A Dark Assassins Novel Book Three)
By Valerie Ullmer

Genre:  Paranormal Romance



BLURB

Half-human, half-shifter.
 Xander has secretly yearned for a mate for most of his immortal existence, and yet after three of his friends found exactly what he’s always wanted, he’d come to believe that he’d missed his chance at happiness.


Until he heard her voice.

Frost is a wildlife biologist and tracker and she has been assigned, despite her adamant protests, to lead mercenaries into the mountains of Snowfall, Colorado for the sole purpose of killing immortal shifters.  In order to protect those who have no idea the kind of danger they are in, she agrees.  As she leads the armed men on a wild chase around the snow-covered pines, she could sense that she was running out of time.

Until she heard his voice.


Xander understands exactly who Frost is the moment he hears her thoughts.  With the help of Kane and Gunnar, they eliminate those in her group as they try to keep her safe.  But during the fight, she is hurt and all of his protective instincts flare to life.  As Xander learns more about her, he realizes that Frost might be the key to the creation of the immortals, both vampire and shifter.  



But when she becomes a target from those who want to destroy the Dark Company and Xander’s family, how far will he go to save her?


 Buy Links 




 Excerpt

Xander froze when he heard a feminine voice carry over to him, she sounded closer than she had been even a few moments before.  He should have sensed her coming closer.  But the only question on his mind was why the fuck she was tagging along with a group of mercenaries.  He heard the voice again, a tinny version of her voice, and for a long moment he couldn’t understand the words.  Until she stepped forward.

No, no.  Not that way.  Not that way.

Something warmed his chest as he heard her in his head as clearly as they were speaking aloud.  A familiarity washed over him and he felt connected to this woman in an elemental way.  A feeling a peace settled over him.  He knew this was the first time he’d ever heard her voice.  He was so stunned and happy that he didn’t even question how they were able to mind link.

Can either of you hear the woman’s thoughts?

Woman?  Gunnar sounded confused.

Kane’s reply was quick and clipped.  No.

Hello?

Hello?

Xander tried to get her attention.  Can you hear me?
He held his breath when he heard her distinct gasp, knowing that their mind link worked.  His chest filled with dread at the thought that she gave herself away, until he heard her next words.

“I spotted a grizzly bear in the trees to the west.  Sorry, I startled him and he ran off.”

For long seconds, the men in the clearing stared at the woman before they were ordered to keep searching.

Xander stood close enough that he could see her curves underneath the heavy white parka.  And having the worst timing in the world, Xander felt himself harden.  He took a deep, cleansing breath of sharp mountain air that instantly cooled his overheated body.

Yes, I can hear you.  These men, seven in total, are looking for immortals.  They have been contracted by my boss at U.S. Fish and Wildlife to kill them.  Apparently the immortals are supposed to become animals.  Can you help me without hurting yourself?  They are heavily armed.

Xander was taken completely by surprise.  She didn’t question their connection but instead relayed vital information that he would need.  He could also start to feel her emotions.  She wasn’t scared, just determined.  He could hear her heart beating at a fast rate and her breathing strained from either the hike up the mountain or the tension in the air.  He watched as she subtly shifted her head around as she searched for him, unable to spot him in the trees.

We can help.  I’m going to communicate with my team and we’ll take out the men.  Are you okay with that?

Yes, I know they are paid mercenaries and I’m pissed that they killed a wolf two days ago for no other reason than they wanted to shoot something.

What’s your name?

Frost.

Frost, I’m Xander.  When I tell you to run, run south.  Okay?

Yes, I understand.

Xander relayed the conversation he had with Frost.  We are going to have to kill them, there’s no other way around it.  They couldn’t have a threat looming over them, especially if one escaped and brought in a stronger, more trained group of mercenaries.  Although they could easily defeat any group of fighters, keeping their existence a secret was crucial.  The more humans that knew about them, the bigger the danger it posed.

Working as a team, they closed in on the unsuspecting mercenaries.  At first, they quietly removed those men who were stationed on the outer perimeter, using knives to subdue them, or in Xander’s case, using his bare hands and quickly snapping their necks.  He didn’t want Frost to see blood on him.  The only sound he could hear detect was the grunts of the men who were dispatched.  By the time Gunnar, Kane, and he closed in on their ranks, there were only three mercenaries remaining.

The older man spotted movement in Gunnar’s direction and without hesitation raised his weapon and started firing.  The wolf easily dodged the shots before melting farther into the trees.  Silence descended upon the area as the man searched for Gunnar.

Frost, run south, keep as low as you can and use the trees as cover.


About Author


Valerie writes paranormal and contemporary romances with strong alpha males and brilliant, beautiful heroines. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her wonderfully supportive husband and their funny and wise black lab. She's addicted to coffee, crime shows, and reading and writing character driven romances.

 Socal Media 




Monday, July 24, 2017

Gina Danna shares a Civil War Picnic


Civil War Era Picnics  - Oh my!



In celebration of my upcoming release, Unconditional Surrender, the 2nd book in Hearts Touched By Fire series on the Civil War, I wanted to share with you how the Victorians entertained during the long, hot days of summer.

Today, summertime usually means more free time, more festivities and get-togethers with people going to fireworks, picnics and concerts to name a few. Back during the 19th century, people did many of the same things, though transportation was not as fast as we are used to, so in order to make events more fun, house parties in the South were big affairs, with people arriving at the host’s house and staying for days, even weeks.

But let us look at an event we do today—picnics. Unlike today, with many serving hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, potato salads and much more, the type for the Victorians were more like a multi-course meals served outside — ‘dinner alfresco.’ The following list contains what was available for a party of forty, according to Isabella Beeton, Book of Household Management, 1861.

                                

Sherry to start
Claret for meats
Champagne for desserts
Brandy to finish
36 quarts of ale
72 bottles of ginger-beer
Soda-water
Lemonade
Water is not taken as it ‘can usually be obtained, so it is useless to take it.’
A joint of cold roast beef
A joint of cold boiled beef
Two ribs of lamb
Two shoulders of lamb
Four roast fowls
Two roast ducks
One ham
One tongue
Two lobsters
One piece of collared calf’s head
Eighteen lettuces
Six baskets of salad
Six cucumbers
Stewed fruit well sweetened
Three or four dozen plain pastry biscuits to eat with the stewed fruit
Two dozen fruit turnovers
Four dozen cheesecakes
Two cold puddings in moulds
Two blanc-manges in moulds
A few jam puffs
One large cold plum pudding
A few baskets of fresh fruit
Three dozen plan biscuits
A piece of cheese
Six pounds of butter
Assorted breads
Rolls
Cakes
One half pound of tea
Coffee is not suitable for a picnic, being difficult to make

Things not to be forgotten at a picnic –

A stick of horseradish
Bottles of mint-sauce
Salad dressing
Vinegar
Made mustard
Pepper, salt, good oil and pounded sugar

Beverages  -

3 dozen quart bottles of ale
Ginger-beer
Soda-water
Lemonade of each two dozen bottles
Six bottles of sherry
Six bottles of claret
Champagne a discretion
Any other light wine that may be preferred
Two bottles of brandy


The above is list is overwhelming. They also took china, crystal and silverware, since paperplates, plastic cups and throw-away forks and spoons do not exist. The weight of all this required wagons and the cost? No doubt exorbitant! 

But collard calf’s head? Tongue? And all that alcohol. Wow!


                     


Blurb -
Unconditional Surrender
Hearts Touched By Fire, Vol 2

Confederate Major Charles Silvers has had enough war. After two years of fighting, his view of a glorious Southern victory over the North has lost its luster and been replaced by a burning desire to return home to Virginia and life as it used to be, before the war. When he meets Sarah Lawrence during the siege on Vicksburg, Mississippi, he is convinced the blond-haired beauty could fill the void in his life—but what he does not know is that this Southern belle isn’t what she appears to be…
Tortured by memories of the night in 1860 when masked bushwackers torched her Mississippi home and killed her father, Sarah escaped the South. Now, however, she’s back and seeking revenge. As one of the best spies in the Union Army, she’s in a unique position to get her wish. For her, a Confederate Major, even a devastatingly handsome one, is just the tool to obtain the information the Union needs—even at the cost of her heart. 


Available August 28, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Luck be an Angel, a sweet romance with a guardian angel.


Meet Sara: She is the sweetest, most patient, encouraging and hardworking mom you’ll ever meet.  

Sadly, the ‘good people of Briarville” wish to judge and destroy Sara’s life. The shops won’t even allow her to buy from them. She has to drive all the way to Fayetteville. When she recently won a house, but had no property to build upon, the town purchased her some cheap bog-land OUTSIDE of their city limits, so her kids no longer could go to school.
What terrible unforgivable act has Sara done to make a whole town hate her? Each year on February 14, she gets pregnant with another child. When the story begins, she has sixteen boys and one in the bun. And here’s the kicker: She insists that she’s never laid with a man.
Well, the townspeople don’t believe her. So once she moves into her new home, they explain her boys can no longer attend the Briarville school. Then, Child Services steps in and warns if she does not obtain a tutor in the next week, they will have to take the boys and place them in foster homes.
Thankfully, Ethan arrives, pretending to be a tutor arrives just in time. His motives aren’t pure, but his timing is impeccable!

BLURB
 Reporter, Ethan Long, is sent into the backwoods of Arkansas to investigate a woman who claims her sixteen boys were born by Immaculate Conception. Not believing in divine intervention, Ethan plans to uncover the identity of the man who continues to impregnate Sara Smith every year, leaving her to raise her sons on nothing but luck and love. He enters their home as a tutor and eventually discovers the truth, but not before he has fallen in love with Sara and her wonderful boys. Now he must face his own crossroad in life and decide whether to follow his heart or his professional obligations.

EXCERPT
Sam came running out the back door. “Mom, our school teacher has come! Joshua’s started the interview.”
His declaration caused all the boys to drop the clothes and run into the house, leaving Sara to pick up the fallen clothes and add them to the pile requiring a second wash.
Sara hurried with her chore, worried that the poor woman would run off before she could intervene. The sight of so many boys, identical but in age, all in one room, could be a bit terrifying.
By the cluster of bodies in the kitchen, she assumed Joshua had chosen his favorite room for the interview. She shook her head and gently moved her mass of boys about so she could enter.
She heard Joshua’s voice, full of challenge. “By only moving one match, I want you to make a perfect square.”
Her eldest wasn’t interviewing; he was testing the poor woman…
She finally moved aside Colby so she could see the teacher and apologize for her son’s inquisition. Her apology was lost in the shock of discovering the teacher was not a woman. He was most decidedly a man, probably in his late thirties, with a long nose, which gave him a slightly hawkish look. His dark eyes presently sparkled with amusement as he studied the puzzle her son had posed. She liked his face. He looked like a good man. Only she didn’t want a man. She couldn’t have a man here. She had enough problems with the townspeople thinking ill of her as it was.
The man leaned over and gently tugged on the leg of one match a bit, making a tiny square in the center. The younger boys cheered his success.
He stood and bowed to the applause of the boys and then grew serious when he noticed a smiling woman standing in the midst of her boys. She smiled and stepped forward.
Joshua stood up, his chest puffed out with pride. “I’ve checked him out, Ma. He’ll do just fine.”
“Does that mean they won’t take us away now?” her ten-year-old, Oliver, asked.
Peter ruffled his younger brother’s hair. “That’s right O, you can stop screaming in your sleep now.”

SALES LINK
For
Luck be an Angel

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.

A Long Road to Love Series
Humorous Contemporary Disaster Romance

CONTEMPORARY SUSPENSE
White Oak Mafia Series
Snarky, Romantic, Suspense Thriller

Often Humorous, Contemporary, Romance/Suspense
Standalone books with a special twist
Even the strong can use a helping hand when life gets hard.

Humorous, Contemporary Romance with Ghost & Ghost cat

Sweet Contemporary Romance with a Paranormal twist




Monday, July 17, 2017

The Danger of Being a Spin off


While Jacko works for Xavier and tolerates Vic, in A Right to Love, he and Alice are the main characters and the rest of the crew, including Vic and Xavier, are secondary characters. Thus, it technically didn't qualify to be part of THE ADVENTURES OF XAVIER & VIC. So it became a spinoff, which I labeled Book 2.5. Sadly, I've discovered that has resulted in poor Jack and Alice being terribly ignored. Peeps happily read through books 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 6, 7, and 8, not realizing they have missed a book which shares details you won't learn otherwise.
To hopefully correct the situation, I'm going to create a 3 book series about Jacko. For you see, Alice wasn't Jacko's first love. He had fallen for Lady Anne as well, and she has two books, in which poor Jacko looks like a contender but get's kick to curb eventually. Then he returns to England, and meets Alice. Their story is a long one. Perhaps, I'll divide it in two and make it four spinoffs. Maybe, I'll call the series FINDING LOVE or maybe Jacko's Search for Love.



Jacko, a gypsy with a great love for stealing, rescues a suffragette from Bedlam. Upon returning the elderly woman to safety, he meets her blue-stocking daughter. Alice has decided she prefers managing her estate farms over London society. She is resigned to never marry until the handsome and surprisingly wealthy man with a dark past and several identities steals her heart.

Jacko struggled to keep his eyes open. It seemed like days since he had last slept. He tried to recall the last time he had a solid four hours of rest. Thinking back, he groaned at the answer. Not since Davy asked him to assist Vic. God, Xavier’s pup was about to run him into the ground with her relentless tasks.
Normally, he would have refused this assignment. Any damn fool could follow the directions here. He came for one reason.
As he turned the last curve in the road, his heart lifted at the sight of Alice standing outside of the house, waiting for him. He blinked, uncertain if she were real or an illusion of his sleep-deprived mind. He had left so abruptly last time, he hardly deserved such a welcome.
As he neared, she stepped forward, as if impatient to receive him. Now certain she was not an illusion, he smiled in return and nudged the horses to move a bit faster.
The horses ignored him. Five hours of lugging a load of humans had taken its toll on all. When he pulled to a halt, Alice stood next to the wagon, shifting from foot to foot, impatiently waiting for him to tie off the horses and get down.
He cursed softly as he struggled with his simple task. Her groomsman, Dom, climbed up from the other side. “I’ll take it from here, sir.”
Jacko rested his hand on Dom’s arm and nodded in appreciation. He then stumbled off the wagon. He would have fallen if not for Alice’s strong grip around his waist. God, she felt wonderful.
“Are you hurt?” she asked as her hands frisked his chest. The electricity in her touch helped him revive.
“I’m just tired. Vic is a hard taskmaster.”
Alice brushed gentle fingers over his cheek. When he looked in her eyes he saw more than concern, he saw both desire and love. He shook his head and tried to clear his mind. Ladies did not love men like him.
“Let me get you to bed,” she said.
Now certain he had fallen asleep and simply dreamed her looks of love and desire, he shook his head. “I have to wake up.”
“Just lean on me,” she insisted. She then spoke loudly to the assembled company. “Welcome to Litchfield. My butler Thomas will see you settled. If any of you know why you are here, please let him know.”


Still certain he dreamed, he laughed at her request. He had never heard a more dignified admission of confusion. “God, you are magnificent.”

Friday, July 14, 2017

The missing book of The Adventures of Xavier & Vic series--A Right to Love, Romantic Suspense Spinoff

We’ve all had them. Guys whom you have nothing in common with but who refuse to get your hints of non-interest.
Well, Alice Collin’s problems in the 1890’s were far worse than just annoying pests. Her horrid step-father wanted to force her into an early marriage with a young man of his choosing so he could take charge of her valuable estate and strip it to the bone.
While he could force her to wear risqué dresses and endure the men’s company, she still found ways to chase them off.
Here is an event told by Victor Hamilton during a discussion with Jacko:

VIC:
“You and Alice would make the perfect couple. You could just follow me around and laugh all day long.”
Her comment took Jacko by surprise. “She’s married, is she not?”
Not…. Nor likely to ever be.”
Delighted to discover his heart might not be so foolish after all, his fingers rapped on his knee in excitement. “And why is that?”
Vic snorted as a sly grin appeared. “She loves to test suitors by fire.”
“Test them how?”
 “My favorite was when Alice went rowing on the lake with Alton Dobbs.” Chuckling at the memory, Vic shared how Alice had tipped the boat then left him to fend for himself when he didn’t try to save her. “She failed to tell anyone he required rescue until two hours later, when during lunch, her mother asked her what she had done with Alton. After lunch, we went down to the lake and found him clinging to the boat, bleating for help.”
Jacko snorted in contempt. “Good. A man who would save himself before a lady is no man. He deserved to drown.”
“Not likely. The lake was very shallow. Had he bothered to stand, he would have discovered the boat was in four feet of water.”
 “I’m glad she did not marry this fool. Tell me more.” Jacko leaned back and smiled. He liked Alice even more now.
“In London, she purposely cut the leads needed to control her carriage horse so they would break with the first hard tug. Then she allowed Sawyer Higgenbottom to drive her through the park. A man, playing an accordion, spooked the mare and off it went. Naturally, Higgenbutt, that was my nickname for him, yanked the reins. When they snapped and he realized he’d lost control of the carriage, the coward leapt to the ground without a single thought to Alice.”
Jacko growled.
 “He broke his arm in two places during the fall.”
“And what of the lady?”
“Oh, she had trained her horse to voice commands. She was never in danger. After calling her mare to slow, she commanded it home, leaving Higgenbutt to fend for himself.”

 “Good for her!”
***
Unfortunately, her step-father did far worse than attempt to steal her property. He ruined Alice so no gentleman would have her. Then he sent her sweet mother to Bedlam and paid to ensure she would die there...only Vic and Jacko intervened.

***
Jacko falls in love with Alice when he rescues her mother and brings her to Alice's country estate. Yet, he's been through this before. Proper ladies have no interest in a pirate gypsy, but knowing that could not alter his love for the beautiful young lady.



Jacko, a gypsy with a great love for stealing, rescues a suffragette from Bedlam. Upon returning the elderly woman to safety, he meets her blue-stocking daughter. Alice has decided she prefers managing her estate farms over London society. She is resigned to never marry until the handsome and surprisingly wealthy man with a dark past and several identities steals her heart.



A Right to Love
Free with Amazon Kindle Unlimited

A Right to Love is a spin off
of the Adventures of Xavier & Vic’s
Humorous, Late Victorian, Romantic Sleuth series

Need to catch up?

Book 1

Book 2

Book 2.5

Book 3

Book 4

Book 5

Book 6

Book 7
 Book 8
Free with Amazon Kindle Unlimited


All Xavier books Free with Amazon Unlimited



Liza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved normally. But all those bad behaviors has given her lots of fodder for her humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.
You have been warned.
The Adventures of Xavier & Vic Sleuth series: (Late Victorian/Mystery/Sleuth Romance)
The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.
The Missing Partner — Opps! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.
A Right to Love — A romantic detour for Jacko. Want to see how amply rewarded Jacko was when he & Vic save an old woman from Bedlam?
The Mesmerist The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.
Well Kept Secrets — The problems with secrets is that they always come to light, no matter how you wish to silence them.
Pack of Trouble — Changes are a part of life, but these changes almost kill Vic.
The Darkest Days — Muddled cases make Vic very grumpy.
The CrimeLords’ War — Vic is almost killed twice as she tries to prevent a CrimeLords’ War, stop a female Russian spy, and locate Xavier.
Toxic Diamonds The Queen’s Diamonds have been stolen, Director Stone of Scotland Yard is missing, and there is a toxic gas that may kill hundreds of Londoners.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
LIZA O'CONNOR’S MANY BOOKS
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