Sunday, November 25, 2018

BK 4 Well Kept Secrets by Liza O'Connor

The Adventures of

Xavier & Vic
Book 4

Well Kept Secrets

by 
Liza O’Connor

Cases to be solved:
A Trust Misplaced
Death is a Poor Thank You
To Bedlam Did She Part
A Truth Hidden with Love
The Bump That Dare Not Be Ignored

Blurb


The great Victorian sleuth Xavier Thorn and his partner Vic Hamilton take a case close to home. Their youngest staff member, L’il Pete, discovers his mother murdered in the alley. Jacko is called up from the country to assist in solving the crime. The good woman’s murder proves to be tangled up with a much larger and shocking list of crimes perpetrated by a powerful man who may truly be above the law. Making matters more complex: Vic discovers her recent weight gain may be the result of a condition that could destroy her life and everything she loves.

AMAZON


EXCERPT


The caterwaul of two women fighting on the street below jarred Li’l Pete awake. He rubbed his eyes, angry with himself for falling asleep. Surely, his mum should be home by now, but the icy cold of the room told him she wasn’t. Pulling the blanket tighter against his small body, he shivered in the darkness, not just from the frigid temperatures, but also from what her absence meant.
Maybe she’s still at work.

Her hours had been getting longer and longer, even though she wasn’t paid a pence more. He furrowed his brow at the unfairness. When he worked past his normal hours, Mr. Thorn paid him extra on the spot. But the sorry sod his mum worked for gave her nothing more for working hours past the half-day he’d hired her to do. Most weeks Pete brought home more than she did and that wasn’t right. He was only nine-years-old.

He tugged the thick blanket about him. Victor Hamilton, one of his bosses, had given him the thick padded quilt just two weeks ago when the temperature dropped dreadfully cold. Vic said it was the warmest blanket they made. Pete didn’t know if that were true or not, but it was the warmest blanket he or his mum ever had. And without it, they would have frozen for sure this last week. According to the criers, the cold broke -15 degrees.

Still, he shivered beneath the blanket, more from fear than cold and prayed to God to give him his mum back. “You didn’t give me a pa. I’ve forgiven you for that, but you can’t take me mum. She’s all I got.” Tears rolled down his face. He didn’t know why he bothered talking to God. The bloke never listened to him; otherwise, they wouldn’t be living in the lower docks.

As dim light crept through the window, Pete’s stomach turned to lead. Something had happened to his mum. She was never this late.

Maybe she was hurt and needed his help.

With chattering teeth, he abandoned the warmth of the blanket and shoved his tiny feet into the boots Vic had bought him, so he could do his job as their message boy without his feet falling off.

To the best of his memory, he couldn’t recall anyone whose feet had actually frozen and broke off, but he knew of seven boys who plum froze to death in the cold.

At least he didn’t have to waste time getting dressed. He’d never taken off his clothes or coat last night…much too cold for that, given their apartment wasn’t a bit warmer than outside, only less windy.

His parched throat drove him to the table, hoping some water remained in the pitcher. He spied an inch in the bottom, frozen solid. Without a fire, he had no way to warm it up. And he had nothin’ to start a fire with.

He put a torn, sad coat over his good one so nobody would realize he had something worth taking. Then he tied rags around his fine leather boots to hide them too. Otherwise, he’d be stripped bare and left to die in the cold before he got two blocks from home.

The people who lived in this part of London would take advantage of anyone smaller, and unfortunately, Pete was not only nine, but a really small nine at that. Most seven-year-olds could take him in a fair fight, not that anyone hereabouts fought fair.

Thus, Pete had to use his brain to keep what was his. So far, it’d worked. Nobody had any idea what a great job he’d landed at Thorn’s Private Inquiries. Both he and his mum had the good sense to keep his good fortune a secret.

At the thought of his mum, his heart sunk. Something was terrible wrong. He could feel it.

With no further concern to his parched throat or empty belly, he left their room and began the cautious climb down four flights of stairs.

Some of their neighbors were dangerous men who would kill just for the fun of it. Worried that one of them had gotten his mum, he eyed the floors and walls for any sign of fresh blood. He passed several stains on the scarred and splintery grey wood, but those had all occurred before last night.

Once outside, hugging the wall in the shadows, he studied the street for dangers. He recognized a boy of fourteen huddled on a stoop two blocks down. He’d need to avoid Teddy. The yob had lifted a knife off a dead man a few weeks ago, so he was doubly dangerous.

Li’l Pete slipped into the alley between the two tenement buildings. Hopefully, the next street would be clear of trouble. He picked his way through the narrow, three-foot-wide space between the brick buildings. Garbage filled the alley, stuff so broken that not even the poor could make use of it.

While watching his footing, Pete kept an eye on the windows above for pots being emptied. Otherwise, he’d be covered in crap. He hated that more than anything. That was the worst!

His gaze fell upon the sleeve of a coat lying beneath an old worn out mattress and he came to halt. Being covered in shit wasn’t even close to the worst thing possible.

There was nothing special about the brown coat, except it looked exactly like his mum’s, even to the patch on the right elbow. His focus followed the sleeve down to the cuff, which had the same frayed edges he saw daily when his mother caressed his face. His eyes then focused on the pale, white hand at the end of the sleeve.
“Mum!”

About the Author

All Xavier & Vic books are 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 nicely. But all those bad behaviors has given her lots of fodder for her humorous books. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
LIZA O'CONNOR’S MANY BOOKS
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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Bk 3 The Mesmerist by Liza O'Connor


The Adventures of

Xavier & Vic
Book 3
The Mesmerist
By
Liza O’Connor
Cases Solved:
The Servant Serves a Deadly Cup of Tea
The Magical Accruing Interest
The Mesmerizing Mrs. Meyers


The Bank Robbery of Mammoth Proportions



Blurb

Vic has become a full partner of Xavier Thorn’s Private Inquiries, yet trouble threatens their personal and business relationship as facts from the past come back to haunt Xavier. Worse yet, a formidable foe returns and proves to be more than Xavier can handle. Fortunately, with his amazing partner and a growing staff, they are ready to take on any problem that comes their way. If only their clients were more forthcoming with the facts! 


Excerpt

London, England September 1894
Vic woke the moment Xavier slipped from their bed. She rolled to her back and ran her hands through her short blonde hair. “It’s still dark outside.”

Xavier turned on the gas lamp by his dresser, illuminating his tall, sinewy form. “I am all too aware of the time.” The grumpy petulance in his voice indicated whatever assignment called him out did not rate higher than his sleep...or their normal morning wakeup routine.

The later she greatly enjoyed. Her partner might be fourteen years her senior, but he easily matched her in stamina and desire.

After splashing water on his dark hair, he briskly combed the wayward strands into submission. Once done, he opened the closet and glared in outrage. “Victor, you have appropriated more than your share of the closet again.”

“That’s because my share should be half, not a quarter. In fact, since you care nothing about clothes and I’m a ‘fashionable young gentleman,’ I should have more than half.”

He snared a collection of her silk shirts and tossed them upon the bed. He followed with an armful of her suits.

Bolting up in fury, Vic glared at him. “Stop mangling my clothes!

“It appears I have no choice if I am to locate my desired apparel.”

While she might love her annoying curmudgeon, times like this, she wanted to strangle him. “I put a suit on the hook for you. Why must you burrow in the back of the closet at all?”

He pulled out a somber black tuxedo with a crimson silk vest. “Because I require this one.”

Vic studied the garment in shock. Where the bloody hell had that come from? In their year and a half together, she had never seen this suit. Even odder, the design was the latest fashion. It could not have resided in the closet for more than a few weeks at most. “That is very fine. When did you buy it?”

“You’re the detective in training; tell me.”

Resentment flooded her mood and made her surly. “I rescued you when the whole of Scotland Yard could not. You should give me my due. I am not only a detective, but a highly skilled one at that.”

A faint smile came to his lips as his black eyes narrowed. His large, hawkish nose gave him the appearance of a bird of prey, ready to swoop. “Then answer my question. How long has this suit been here?”

Thinking back, she recalled a finger smudge residing on the sleeve of her supposedly clean shirt last week. When returning to the closet to retrieve another shirt, she had tripped on a stool that for some reason lurked halfway in the door.

Now those oddities finally made sense. “Last Monday.”

Xavier’s eyebrows rose a half inch. “Ha! I was not even here last Monday.”

“But you did not put the suit in the closet. If you had, it wouldn’t have taken you so long to find the garment. Nor would you have required a stool to manhandle my shirts.”

“What on earth are you going on about? There is no stool in this room.”

“There isn’t now, but there was last Monday.”

His brow furrowed. “And what the blazes does that have to do with my suit?”

“Nothing if Li’l Pete wasn’t so adamant that all messages and deliveries fall in his work domain.”

“Refrain from calling him ‘little,’ if you please. He is trying to overcome that hindrance.”

Pete was their youngest employee, nine years old, and small for his age. Hell, she had been taller when she was six. But Pete was a determined little fellow with a double helping of character. He’d also been destined for a short life until the good pirate Jacko introduced him to Xavier.

Realizing her impossible partner still awaited her solution, she returned to the mystery at hand.

A glance at the legs of Xavier’s suit-pants told her Pete hadn’t worked alone to retrieve Xavier’s suit. Had he done so, the pants would be covered in mud, given the torrid rain they had Sunday night.

Tubs must have accompanied Pete to the tailor and then carried the suit for the boy. Seven-foot-tall and sturdy as a rock, their largest employee could easily hold the suit above the muddy walkways, and no one on Earth could knock him down. He was thirty-four stone of solid muscle.

Xavier arched his right brow in challenge. “So you are saying I sent a three-foot boy to retrieve the most costly suit I have ever purchased in my life?”

She chuckled at the annoyance in his voice. Xavier hated ‘wasting’ money on clothes. The purchase had to have killed him. She imagined it cost him nearly a hundred pounds.

“No. You sent Mr. Tubs along to assist in the retrieval. However, I believe once the garment was safely brought upstairs, Pete insisted on securing the suit in your closet, which explains the dirty handprint on one of my shirts and the stool I tripped over.”


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bk 2.5: A Right to Love by Liza O'Connor


Book 2.5
A Right to Love
By Liza O’Connor

 

 

Blurb

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

Excerpt

Litchfield, England Spring, 1894
Alice’s hands trembled as she opened Mrs. Bainsworth’s letter.
My dear Alice,
I hardly know what to write. I have been in Italy for two weeks, and have not found anyone who has seen your mother. I have inquired with all her friends and engaged them in the search. I do not believe she is in Italy, and certainly not in Sicily, as Mr. Carson claims.
My dear, I do not trust your stepfather, and I fear for your mother. If you have not heard from her since I’ve left, you must go to Scotland Yard at once. Perhaps they can force the truth from the dreadful man.
A friend always,
Julia Bainsworth

Alice refolded the letter and looked to her butler hovering at her elbow. “Thomas, ready my carriage. I am going to London.”
The old man’s worry-wrinkles deepened. “London, Miss? Has your mother returned then?”
“No. Nor does she appear to be in Sicily, as Mr. Carson claims.”
Her dedicated butler gripped her arm. “You are not planning to confront him alone, are you? It would not be wise. I will send Bart and Ludson to accompany you.”
She covered Thomas’ hand with her own. “Bart and Ludson have work here, plowing their fields. Neither they nor their families would appreciate me taking them away from their farms just because they are too large for my stepfather to intimidate.”
Thomas’ grip held firm. “I assure you, Miss, they would rather lose two days work, than the first decent estate manager this land has ever had.”
Alice smiled at the compliment. She had tried very hard to win over her tenant farmers in the last year. While they all had been thrilled to see the last estate manager go, they became downright horrified when she announced she would take on the responsibility herself.
“Did they really say I was the best? Or are you imbuing them with your beliefs?”
His eyes darkened in outrage. “I’ll send for them now, and they can tell you themselves.”
She placed a hand on Thomas’ rigid, boney shoulder. “I believe you, and if I were foolish enough to confront Mr. Carson, I would consider the offer. However, I hope to keep my stepfather entirely unaware of my arrival in London.”
Thomas’ brows furrowed as he crossed his arms. “Then what is your purpose?”
She did not have time for this discussion. Her mother’s life was in peril. Right now, she needed servants who did their job without question. “Thomas, I am not required to tell you such matters. Truly, you forget yourself.”
She turned and went to the library safe. From it, she extracted a small handgun and tucked it into her traveling purse. “And have May prepare a basket of food.” She looked up to find Thomas gone.
Recalling her last remark, she grimaced. She feared she had hurt the dear old man’s feelings. She knew Thomas didn’t see himself as a servant, but rather her protector, mentor, and ally in war.
Cursing herself for her insensitive response, she hurried to the hall. “Thomas,” she called.
He stepped regally from the kitchen carrying a basket of food. “I had the cook assemble you sustenance for your journey.” He then sniffed and turned his head slightly to the left so he need not look her in the eye.
Alice took the basket from his hand and set it on the shiny, waxed floor, then hugged him.
He remained stiff as a washboard during her brief expression of affection.


She stepped back, upset by his rejection. Throughout her childhood, his hugs were the best part of her days. “Thomas, forgive my thoughtless words. I am just worried about Mother. My purpose in London is to see Victor Hamilton, who works for the investigator Xavier Thorn. I am going to hire him to help us find out what has happened to her.”




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
First, I got tired of telling my proper blog. Now, I’m tired of telling my improper bio. So what’s left?

Liza O’Connor was born, raised badly, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast…and employment. 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.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
Investigate these sites:




Saturday, November 10, 2018

Bk 2 The Adventures of Xavier & Vic, Victorian Sleuth Series, by Liza O'Connor


The Adventures of
Xavier & Vic
Book 2
The Missing Partner
By Liza O’Connor
Cases to be Resolved:
The ‘New Woman’ Who Lost Her Old Mind
The Lost Servant of Dante’s Hell
The Disappearance of a Very Important Man
The Abduction of Sneaky Snake by a Grand Elephant
The Cat Who Wore Too Much



Vic Hamilton takes the reins of the investigation office, while Xavier Thorn disappears on an assignment for the British government. Her caseload is entirely ‘lost and recovery’ cases. In the midst of solving all her client’s problems, she learns that the government has lost Xavier. With the help of the gypsy pirate Jacko, and her driver Davy, Vic rushes against time to rescue everyone. Most alarming, she befriends and hires a dangerous criminal as an employee of Xavier Thorn’s Private Inquirieswithout Xavier’s permission.


EXCERPT 

London, England, March 1894
Xavier entered through the back door of his place of business, Xavier Thorn’s Private Inquiries, and slipped into his office.
His apprentice-partner Victor Hamilton sat at the desk, pounding away at the typewriter. “I would be better off deciphering hieroglyphics. How is it possible no one made Xavier learn to form his letters properly?” Vic squinted at his scrawl. “Sometimes I think the man was raised by wolves.”
It had been nearly a year since he’d hired Victor as his secretary only to discover that beneath the boy’s manly attire was the body of a young woman—a woman he loved more than life itself. She fit him to perfection. While Xavier had no use for a proper wife, Vic filled all his needs both personally and professionally. Had he searched the entire world, he could not have found a better partner in life. And how she came to be his, still amazed him.
Wanting an interesting life, Vic had chosen at the age of twelve to live her life as a man. Her guardian, Maddy Hamilton, had allowed her to do so, and gave her butler Gregory the task of raising Vic into a proper young man. And while the butler annoyed Xavier with his high handedness, he could only praise the fabulous young man Vic had become.
Even before he discovered Vic’s true gender, the scamp’s brilliant mind and intuitive skills captivated him. While Xavier was considered to be the most brilliant sleuth in England, given time, he had no doubt Vic would surpass him.
But his pup wasn’t there yet, and he did not appreciate her current tirade in the least. Not after all the risks he’d taken to see her. He eased behind the chair and curled his hands around her delicious neck.
She jumped at his touch. “Damn it, look what you made me do!” She pointed to the blackened mess caused by four keys striking the page at once. “I’m not typing this over. You’ll just have to make do with a blot in your notes.”
His grip on her neck tightened, and he leaned down to speak softly in her ear, “Quiet, pup, or I’ll have to muzzle you.”





Book 1
The Troublesome Apprentice


Book 2
The Missing Partner




First, I got tired of telling my proper blog. Now, I’m tired of telling my improper bio. So what’s left?

Liza O’Connor was born, raised badly, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast…and employment. 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.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
Investigate these sites:



Monday, November 5, 2018

Bk 1: THE ADVENTURES OF XAVIER & VIC, A VICTORIAN SLEUTH SERIES by Liza O'Connor



The Adventures of
Xavier & Vic
Book 1
The Troublesome Apprentice
By Liza O’Connor
Cases to be Resolved:
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



BLURB
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
Xavier held his pen, poised to write a second note. Perhaps he should retrieve Victor in person. No, he must wait. The young man would come or he would not.

Since returning to his office, he had spent considerable thought on his feelings towards Victor. The combination of the boy’s brilliant young mind with Maddy’s eyes and character had brought his stone-dead passion to life. He had never experienced such intense sexual stirrings before, and certainly never for a young man.

This sudden hardening of his manhood at the mere thought of the fellow was most distracting, and frankly unwanted, at least on his part. What Victor thought or wanted, he had no idea. However, since the young man refused to come to work, even when summoned, Xavier surmised he had not been comfortable with the length of time he’d been held last night.

Xavier cursed and threw his inkwell at the door. Unfortunately, the door opened at the same exact moment and the glass bottle slammed into Victor’s stomach, covering him in India ink.

“Damn it, Victor, knock before you enter,” Xavier cursed as he rose and approached the boy. “You are covered with ink,” he complained.

The fault is entirely yours, but we will make no more of it. Just remember to knock in the future.”

“I daresay I’ll not forget for a very long time,” Victor growled.

“Excellent attitude,” Xavier declared with excessive cheeriness. He ceased smiling as the young man continued to glare at him. “I hope you have not come to hand me your resignation because I will not take it. You have committed to remain three months, and I will hold you to it. And why are you so damnably late today?”

“Because I was sleeping and Gregory did not give me your note until I woke a half hour ago.”

“A fine excuse if masters customarily wrote notes ordering their people to work and, without such a note, the people were not meant to come.”

“Given last night, it had not occurred to me…never mind. You are right, I am completely in the wrong, and I apologize. I will be here at the crack of dawn each morning.”

Xavier relaxed. “Good enough.” He returned to his desk. “About the embrace last night…it was a one-time event.” He watched Vic’s expression and thought he caught a moment of regret before acceptance and relief took over.

Victor nodded. “I understand. You showed me a moment of kindness and I show up eight hours late for work. However, surely throwing an inkwell at me and ruining my best suit somewhat balances matters.”

“I did not throw the inkwell at you, but I am in agreement all should be forgotten and we will proceed from here. First of all, you need clean clothes. I doubt my clothes will fit you.”

The boy gave Xavier’s lean but muscular body a quick study, blushed, and agreed they would not.

The tightening of his loins caused by Vic’s perusal of his person unsettled him. “Well, you cannot remain as you are. You will make a mess as you dig your way through a mountain of paperwork. Go to the kitchen and find something to solve your problem. I expect you back here in ten minutes, ready to work, not a second later.”




The Troublesome Apprentice
Kindle Unlimited




I’m tired of telling my proper bio. So you get the improper bio.

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.



FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
Investigate these sites: