Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Liza O'Connor's new story - The Troublesome Apprentice

Layne: Glad to have you over for a chat. I understand you are the inspiration for Conon Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.
Xavier: Gads! You understand incorrectly then. I am nothing like Conon Doyle’s character and I wish people would cease spreading this ridiculous rumor about London.  I do not play the violin, I am not addicted to cocaine, I do not declare cases solved on the flimiest of evidence. If anyone resembles Holmes, it is Victor, my secretary and investigator in training. Vic has the finest intuitive skills I have ever seen. Better than even the impressive Chief Inspector Stone of Scotland Yard.
Layne: That’s a difference. I believe the inspector in Doyle’s books was a bumbling idiot.
Xavier: The only resemblance between me and this Holmes character Doyle created seven years ago, is that we both solve our cases, albeit in different ways. Now that Victor has joined me, I expect we will solve more cases than ever.
Layne: But you and Holmes both smoke pipes.
Xavier: As does half the men in England, while the other half choose to smoke cigarettes, an inferior, but less costly choice. Smoking is a sign of manliness.
Layne: I understand you did meet Doyle once…
Xavier: Yes, and had I realized he intended to write mystery novels, I would have thrown him out at once, but he claimed to be a doctor, wishing to consult on a client’s mysterious death. It was not until an hour later when I asked for the name of the family involved that he admitted he'd made the situation up, he just wished to understand how one might go about discovering the truth when those connected to the crime would do all they could to obfuscate what happened.
Layne: How did you respond?
Xavier: The moment I realized that he intended to take a turn at writing novels, I threw him out. But only after I gave him a stern warning not to dare make me a character in his book.
Layne: Which he did anyway.
Xavier: Have you not heard a word I have said? He did not put me in his book. His character is nothing like me.
Layne: Clearly, I’ve hit a tender spot. Let us move on and discover more about Liza O’Connor’s Humorous Late Victorian Mystery novel, the first of many, called The Troublesome Apprentice.

The Adventures of
Xavier & Vic
Book 1
The Troublesome Apprentice
By Liza O’Connor

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.

Mrs. Wimple entered and, before Xavier could ask if she wished tea, Victor, the impertinent pup, asked the question as he showed her to a chair. She requested tea, and Victor promised to bring it shortly.
“He’s new,” Mrs. Wimple said once the scamp had left the room.
“Yes, I recently acquired him. He’s just come down from Oxford.”
“Oxford,” Mrs. Wimple repeated, clearly impressed. “I would not think a young man from Oxford would wish to be a mere secretary.”
“Daresay you are right. Victor is my apprentice. He is learning the craft of investigation.”
“Oh, how very exciting for him.”
“I have strong hopes for the young man. He’s incredibly bright and very insightful. I daresay, within a year, I will be forced to make him my partner or he’ll leave and open his own office.”
“And then we would have two Sherlock Holmes.”
Xavier’s muscles tightened at her words. He had already told the damnable woman during her first visit Sherlock Holmes was a fictitious character who bore no resemblance to him at all. He hated it when clients thought themselves clever. “Yes, and imagine how confusing it would be.” He rapped his pencil on the edge of his desk. What is taking Vic so damn long? Unless he has never made tea and hasn’t a clue, but surely he can figure out something so simple.
Victor returned carrying a silver tray burdened with a large assortment of bowls, cups, and saucers. Where the bloody hell did he find a serving set? In the past, all the secretaries had brought a single cup of tea.
Mrs. Wimple seemed to appreciate all the tomfoolery and complimented Victor on his fine manners.


“Mr. Holmes was telling me you are an Oxford man.”
Vic smiled with amusement at Xavier being called “Mr. Holmes”. “I am indeed, ma’am.” Vic smiled at Xavier. “And you, Mr. Holmes, how do you wish your tea?”
Xavier’s eyes narrowed. “Guess.”
Vic handed him a plain tea, then removed the service tray and returned with pencil and paper to take notes. To her surprise, Xavier waited for her to sit before beginning.
“I’ve decided to place Victor in charge of your case, Mrs. Wimple.”
That made no sense. She’d nearly burnt down his place of business. Hardly a reason to promote her to investigator. Without a doubt he was up to something.
“Since he has not read my notes from the first meeting, we are going to start at the beginning, as if you have never been here before. I would like you to tell him all pertinent facts, but bear in mind, if you lie to him, he cannot help you.”
“Lie? Why would I lie?”
“I sincerely hope you will not, but you lied to me. You wasted my time in our last interview and I’ve no patience left. Therefore, I am going to sit quietly and enjoy my tea while Victor conducts his interview. If he manages to do what I could not, I will allow him to continue to learn this business. However, if he cannot pull the truth from you, I will fire him for incompetence and it will be on your head, Mrs. Wimple.”
“But that’s not fair,” she protested.
Vic couldn’t agree more. True her actions had almost scarred Xavier for life and burnt down his business, but he had given her his word she would not be fired for three months. She was barely into her second day. She studied her cranky employer, trying to make sense of his turnabout. He showed no anger, only annoyance, all aimed at Mrs. Wimple.
Xavier set his cup on his desk and leaned forward. “I’m sorry, but it’s your punishment for wasting my time with lies and half-truths.”

The Troublesome Apprentice

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

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Please welcome Haley Whitehall. She is doing an interview with Ida Page from Wild and Tender Care!

I’d like to thank fellow Liquid Silver Books author Layne Macadam for hosting me today. I’m having fun on my Wild and Tender Care release tour. Today I brought Ida Page with me to answer a few questions. She is the fiery redheaded heroine in my historical western.

Character Interview Ida Page from Wild and Tender Care

1. Can you tell me a little bit about Big Rock, Colorado?

I can tell you a lot about this growing city in Colorado Territory. Not sure you’d like my view though. It became a boom town when gold was discovered. Lots of rough men came to Big Rock and I did quite well for myself working at the Blushing Rose. Now you don’t hear as much about miners striking it rich as you used to. Families are moving in and I’m struggling to make a new place for myself.

2. What is your profession? Do you like your job?
Ha! I used to be a shady lady. Even though the Blushing Rose shut down everyone still views me as a whore. Now I take in laundry to support myself. Who really likes doing laundry? It is an honest living though.

3. You were immediately attracted to Dr. Steere. What drew you to him?
I guess every woman takes notice of a stranger in town. We met at the Independence Day picnic. He was clean-cut and handsome. His long black hair and copper skin made him stand out from the other men in attendance. I was flustered when he showed an interest in me.

4. Did it bother you that Dr. Steere is a half-breed?
No. The day we met he told me his mother had been Creek and his father a white trapper. He was orphaned at a young age. I can sympathize with that as I was raised in an orphanage myself. We quickly found we had a lot in common.

5. Did you know you had nursing skills before Dr. Steere called upon you?

No. When the smallpox epidemic broke out I just rose to the occasion. None of the other men or women in town were willing to lift a finger to help him, and I knew the poor man couldn’t tend all those patients himself.

He pressed his lips together and after a second forged on. “So if you wouldn’t mind, could I sit with you?”
She should tell him no. Make a scene and embarrass him so he never came around her again. It would be for his own good, but selfishly she wanted him to stay. The good people in town would set him straight later. Since he didn’t know about her sordid past he could not be blamed for keeping her company.
“I would like that very much, Dr. Steere.”
He sat next to her, folding his legs crisscrossed. Like an Indian. He clearly had some Indian blood mixed with the white blood in his veins. Probably a half-breed. It wouldn’t be polite to ask, and his ancestry did not bother her one bit. He took off his hat and set it in his lap.
A fluttering sensation in her chest gave her a heady rush. She had been with many men in her short lifetime, but none had given her this feeling. Swallowing a sip of punch, she wished he would hold her hand. Yes, it was a foolish notion. They weren’t children stealing a kiss in the barn loft. Everyone was watching them whether he was aware of it or not.
Finishing her plate in silence, she inhaled his masculine scent, a unique combination of the outdoors and antiseptic. It fit the doctor. She drank down the last of her punch and set the empty cup on top of her plate.
Dr. Steere stood and offered her his hand.
Hesitating a second, she let him pull her to her feet.
He glanced at the couples dancing. “Would you like to join them?”
That was a terrible idea. She didn’t want to be forced to leave the picnic, but the hope in Dr. Steere’s eyes quieted her protests. And damn it, she would like to dance. She untied her bonnet and left in the grass next to his hat. “Yes,” she said, offering a smile. “I would love to.”
He hooked his arm around hers and her body tingled. Being led across the lawn to the designated dance floor she felt like a princess. The reel ended and many of the couples left to get refreshments. The musicians switched to a slow song to give the couples remaining a chance to catch their breath.
He unwound his arm and wrapped his palm around hers, placing his other hand on her hip.
The back of her neck prickled. “I feel everyone’s eyes on us,” she whispered. The waltz was a song for lovers.
He grinned. “Let them stare. It doesn’t bother me.”
It shouldn’t bother me either. She enjoyed the warmth of his hands, the heat in his gaze, and the remnants of tobacco on his breath. Focusing on him, she blocked out the unfriendly vibes sent in her direction. Though not powerfully built, she felt the strength in his arms, his suit hiding his rippling muscles.
He peered down at her, holding her gaze. The pleasure in his dark brown eyes likely mirrored her own. For a second she forgot about her past and let herself get caught up in the music, caught up in his touch, and lost herself in his sensual smile.
The song ended, and Dr. Steere did not let her go. Again Ida knew she should protest. It would be unseemly if they danced together any longer.

Mini Blurb:
The town of Big Rock, Colorado is changing its wild-west ways, and ex-madam Ida Page and new town doctor William Steere are finding it difficult to be accepted for who they are. But when these two outcasts meet, they find their rightful place in each other’s arms. Haley Whitehall burns up the pages in her hot, new historical romance, Wild and Tender Care.
Buy Links:
Liquid Silver Books    ~    Amazon US     ~    Amazon UK     ~    Barnes and Noble     ~    ARe

Bio and Contact Links:
Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical fiction and historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy. Visit Haley’s website at http://haleywhitehall.com.

Thank you so much Haley for visiting me today. I wish you every success with your new book and I must say I love the cover!!