Saturday, July 15, 2017

Saturday's Series Spotlight: The Adventures of Xavier & Vic featuring The Troublesome Apprentice by Liza O'Connor


Title: The Troublesome Apprentice
Author: Liza O'Connor
Series: The Adventures of Xavier & Vic #1
Genre: Historical Mystery, Victorian
Release Date: July 27, 2014
Summary:
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.




“Heed my words, Victor, for if you disobey me tonight, I will torture you each day forthwith and you will never be allowed to accompany me on another mission.”

His dark eyes narrowed as he studied her, evidently trying to determine if she intended to obey his orders. “Consider it a test of your ability to follow my instructions and do not dare fail.”

“I won’t.” Vic ensured her response sounded less surly and more sincere in tone.

Xavier placed his hand on her back. “Good lad. Now, if Inspector Stone received my note, his men are probably watching the exterior of your house. When this man…, let us call him Mr. GewGaw, arrives, they will no doubt insist upon sneaking up the stairs to stand ready outside the door. I’ve forewarned your impudent butler, lest we have a commotion. However, the key reason I mention this, Victor, is to warn you to remain in the closet. If Inspector Stone burst into the room, he might mistake you for the murderer. You will thus remain hidden until I retrieve you. Do you understand?”

With a sigh, Vic nodded her head.

“Good. Now not another word or you will find yourself in hell.”

She wanted to say threats were not necessary, but she feared her protest might toss her into the promised hell, since he had said ‘not another word’.

*****

Vic learned much about her new profession over the next four hours.

Lesson one: Waiting for a criminal to show might rank the most tedious and boring occupation in the world.

Lesson two: Remaining perfectly still, stuffed into a dress closet for hours, caused muscle cramps that hurt like bloody hell.

Lesson three: The desire to sniffle can reach a level of mental anguish in less than an hour.

Lesson four: One should always go to the water closet before beginning a surveillance mission.

Lesson five: If not for the mental torture of sniffle prevention, the pain of muscle cramps, and great need for a toilet, a person waiting to assist would surely fall asleep, for the body is accustomed to sleeping when it’s dark and nothing is going on.

Lesson six: The profession of banking has its good points and should be reassessed.

A soft bumping noise distracted Vic from her list. At first, she suspected Xavier had dozed off and fallen onto the floor. However, as further noise sounded, including the breaking of glass, Vic knew their plan had come to fruition. Soon, they would have Aunt Maddy’s killer.

Vic listened as the window opened followed by a great deal of huffing and wheezing. Finally, the sound of feet thudded onto the floor. Drawers opened and closed while someone systematically searched Aunt Maddy’s room. As time went on, Vic questioned the wisdom of her hiding place. Soon, the man would open the closet to search it as well. Vic readied herself to leap out, deciding surprise would be her best defense.

She could hear the man breathing outside the closet and readied herself for attack. Before the door actually opened, the lights in the room came on and Xavier spoke with a deadly calmness that sent chills down her spine. “Lost something?”

Author Bio:
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.

You have been warned.



FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  WEBSITE 
  AMAZON  /  GOODREADS 



The Troublesome Apprentice #1

Series

Brought to you by:

Digital Velocity by Reily Garrett

Title: Digital Velocity
Author: Reily Garrett
Series: McAllister Justice #1
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Summary:
The deadliest weapons are the ones we never see.

Keyboard prodigy, Lexi Donovan has risen from teenage orphan of the streets to complete independence with little help along the way. When a pervert threatens her friend, she sends an anonymous message to police, leading to a firefight that leaves a cop wounded.

Detective Ethan McAllister’s well-ordered life turned upside down the day an obscure text message led to a sexual predator’s identity and arrest. Since then, Callouston PD’s finest can’t trace the elusive hacker. The latest tip leads him to a brutal mutilation and a riddle indicating the identity of the next murder victim.

The dark net houses a playground for the morally depleted and criminally insane. When Lexi discovers the killer’s digital betting arena, she finds herself centered in a cyber stalker’s crosshairs, a psychopath bearing equal talent.

Street life strengthened Lexi while toughening her protective shell, but nothing could shield her from the shrewd detective forging a path to her heart.

“Digital Velocity is a fast-paced romantic suspense thriller that sophisticatedly weaves drama, excitement, grit, raw emotions and mystery. Garrett takes her readers on a journey where suspense and romance are taken up several notches as she unfolds and reveals the identity of a murderer that is on the loose. With her vivid prose, Garrett entices readers to see the bond that is brewing between Detective Ethan McAllister and his unlikely informant.” -Michelle Tan, RT Book Reviews


I move frequently—but gain no distance.
I am warm, moist, and dark but give no comfort.
I can stretch and shrink, giving or taking at will, bringing both pain and pleasure with each.

“If God wanted you to tie the knot, he’d give you a near-death experience to better appreciate life, along with a craving for procreation. Then he’d smother your soul with the essence of venison, squirrel, frog legs, taters, and beer, to attract a likely counterpart from the sticks. No, wait. The latter has already happened, hasn’t it? Sorry.” Ethan narrowly kept his balance on the green-slicked, handmade bricks leading up the two-story, mauve-colored Victorian. If his 210-pound mass ended up sprawled on the steps, no doubt the picture would be splashed all over the precinct by noon with various unsavory captions.

“Maybe you should try it. The stick up your ass has to cause at least minor discomfort.” Larrick’s early-morning snark was a common greeting.

“Hey, I’m a normal guy.” Ethan glared over his shoulder.

Larrick snorted.

“Still wet from our early-morning storm. Watch your step, it’s slippery.” Scanning the myriad amorphous shadows lurking in the wood line, realization struck that he and his partner were sitting ducks if a sniper perched among the loblolly pine and oak trees lining the front and side yards.

Larrick’s reply came in equal measure of soft tones. “Either that or a large flock of birds dropped in recently to help her redecorate. Great detective work.”

“Bird droppings are—”

“Are sought after for facials. Especially the Japanese Nightingale shit.”

“Only you would know that.” Ethan adjusted his tie, an acknowledgment of the apprehension filling his mind.

“Are we whispering because your paranoid gut can’t assimilate food well enough to distinguish indigestion from an outside threat? This woman lives alone, gonna think we’re a couple of perverts and be liable to shoot us.”

“Word has it she’s a pacifist.”

“Fine. You’re one to talk about signs—dragging my ass to a stranger’s house at this ungodly morning hour to knock on the door and ask, ‘Lady, are you all right? We’re police detectives who received an anonymous tip you might have a hangnail. Perhaps we could lend you a pair of nail clippers?’” Derision and humor warred for dominance in Larrick’s tone, yet his sharp gaze continually scanned the perimeter in consideration of his partner’s unarticulated hunch. Yin and yang, they fit together, a clean-cut detective and his partner whose hair length had passed regulation specs weeks ago.

“You know this isn’t the first tip we’ve gotten, not to mention the fact that the other leads were solid and led to arrests. And while we’re at it, why don’t you step to the side? Standard police procedure when approaching an unknown situation.” Ethan turned sideways, standing by the door with his hand poised to knock on the solid oak. He hesitated. Moisture coated his palms, a rare occurrence. Scrutinizing the interior through the door’s narrow sidelights yielded nothing more than expected. Elegantly upholstered furniture, gleaming hardwood floors, and delicate bric-a-brac adorning the thick mantle and each side table completed the sophisticated picture. “Don’t see any problem. Maybe she’s fallen and can’t get to a phone.”

“You expected an old lady brandishing her curling iron? As for leads, I get mine from three-dimensional people while you get yours from a bunch of ones and zeroes. Why can’t our IT department trace your anonymous texts further than the loony bin? Though that’s probably appropriate, since your secret admirer’s last present consisted of a flower basket bigger than my TV, along with fur-lined cuffs. I’ve never laughed so hard I pissed myself. I thought that was hogwash, a myth made up by old ladies.” Larrick leaned over the iron railing to peer through the window. “Can’t see squat, bottom sill’s too high.”

“As my partner, you’re supposed to have my back, not stab me in the back. You didn’t have to broadcast it through the whole department by hanging the cuffs from the sprinkler system with a bunch of roses twined in them. Now my brothers won’t let up, and I’ve been subscribed to every kinky magazine known to the publishing world. You think I should know why some whacko chose me for their personal marionette?” Ethan suppressed a shudder before his partner gained more verbal ammunition. If his suspicions were correct, his informant was, in fact, a beautiful enigma with waist-length, chestnut hair and an emerald gaze capable of melting steel.

“Maybe because you were the youngest to make detective? Rising star, golden boy, and all that shit.”

“No. Probably afraid your redneck ways would rub off on them, or maybe because I’m the biggest sap.” Ethan’s gut rumbled, more of a warning sign from a well-heeled intuition than hunger. “Larrick, this doesn’t feel right.” Behind him, the slide of metal on leather let him know his partner just palmed his Glock. Three years of working together circumvented the formality of dissecting gut reactions.

A creak of leather sole betrayed Larrick’s backtracking to scrutinize the surroundings. “Side windows are lower. I’ll take a look.”

“Hood of her BMW is cold. Didn’t go anywhere recently.” Larrick’s harsh whisper halted a nearby squirrel scampering up a tree, its head cocked to one side while studying the strange human interlopers.

Sunshine warmed the first spring buds on the low shrubbery bordering the walkway to complete the idyllic setting. Nothing but peace and serenity, yet Ethan’s heart hammered against his ribcage like an aggressive punk drummer. With his partner disappearing around the corner, he again scanned the perimeter while the morning’s corrupted equanimity formed a sour wad in his chest. A lazy March breeze combed its cool fingers through his short hair while the deep foreboding received with the initial text message blossomed into multiple horrific scenarios, leaving one of them a corpse, their life’s essence forming macabre shapes on gleaming hardwood floors.

“I see bare feet beyond the kitchen island. Toes up. Probably female.” Larrick’s disembodied whisper just provided probable cause. “Backup?”

Tender Echoes #0.5
Summary:
Theft of spirit is no one’s birthright.

A quirk of her X chromosome furnished Alexis with an edge few others enjoyed. After fate plunged her into orphan status and an intolerable foster home forced her to the streets, a group of prostitutes sheltered her from their vicious pimp. Seeing something special within, they nurtured and shielded her from their harsh reality until she could forge her own path in life.

Destiny frequently takes us back to our roots. Lexi’s return journey begins when a serial killer attacks one of her adopted sisters. Relying on courage and wit, she must stay a step ahead and secure evidence to free her family from a psychopathic murderer.

Author Bio:
Reily’s employment as an ICU nurse, private investigator, and work in the military police has given her countless experiences in a host of different environments to add a real world feel to her fiction.

Though her kids are her life, writing is Reily’s life after. The one enjoyed…after the kids are in bed or after they’re in school and the house is quiet. This is the time she kicks back with laptop and lapdog to give her imagination free rein.

In life, hobbies can come and go according to our physical abilities, but you can always enjoy a good book. Life isn’t perfect, but our imaginations can be. Relax, whether it’s in front of a fire or in your own personal dungeon. Take pleasure in a mental pause as you root for your favorite hero/heroine and bask in their accomplishments, then share your opinions of them over a coffee with your best friend (even if he’s four legged). Life is short. Cherish your time.


FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  BLOG
KOBO  /  B&N  /  AMAZON  /  GOODREADS



Digital Velocity #1
B&N  /  KOBO  /  GOODREADS TBR

đź’¸Currently Freeđź’¸
Tender Echoes #0.5
B&N  /  KOBO  /  GOODREADS TBR




Brought to you by: