Friday, August 29, 2014

Guest blog: Troublesome Apprentice

Kristina interviews Davy the driver. (Yes, even the driver is interesting.)
Kristina: As anyone who has read Liza O’Connor’s novels knows, she writes full bodied secondary characters worth knowing. Today, I’m interviewing Davy, the driver. Welcome Davy, have a seat.
Davy: *removed hat and sits* Thank you ma’am. It’s a pleasure to be here, but I should tell you in advance, I won’t be talking out of turn about Xavier or Victor.
Kristina: Actually, I want to know about you. I understand you’ve spent time in prison.
Davy nodded: I was falsely accused of a robbery I didn’t do.
Kristina: But you were a thief were you not?
Davy: *sighs heavily* I had a family back then. A man has to care for his family. I was an honest cabbie working fifteen hours a day to put food on the table and pay the rent. We lived on the East End. In 1866 another cholera outbreak occurred and both my wife and son got sick. They were dying before my eyes, I needed money for a doctor, so I returned to being a cracksman, a skill my pa taught me.
Kristina: What’s that?
Davy: I broke into the safe of a man who had more than he needed. I only took ten shillings, enough to buy the medicine and pay a doctor to care for Anne and David. I doubt the bloke ever noticed the missing coins.
Kristina: Did it save your family?
Davy: *shakes his head* I got snagged on my way home that night by a bizzie.
Kristina: What’s that?
Davy: A policeman that sticks his nose where it don’t belong. A bank had been robbed and they were looking for someone to pin it on. When they discovered my tools of the trade, they laid the crime on me. I was sent to Pentonville Prison for twenty years.
Kristina: What happened to your wife and son?
Davy: For twenty years I wondered and worried about that. We weren’t allowed visitors. When I was finally released I went straight to our old tenement building, but the people living in our room didn’t know where my wife and son had gone. Then I saw my wife’s teacups on their shelf. They were her pride and joy. She would have never left without them. I knocked on the other doors until I found someone who had lived there twenty years before. The old woman gave me the news I feared. They had died of cholera two days after I was taken away. We need to talk about something else. *rubs his face with his sleeve.*
Kristina: Of course. How do you like working for the greatest sleuth in England.
Davy: *smiles* I love it. He’s the best man I’ve ever known. He gave me a job when no one else would, and he’s always done right by me. And recently, he said I was his family and when I got too old to drive, he’d have to take care of me instead of me taking care of him.
Kristina: He must pay you well, for that is a very fine suit you are wearing.
Davy *chuckles* The suit is Vic’s doing. He’s a young gentleman that Xavier recently hired as a secretary. He says my appearance reflects upon the office, so I need to dress accordingly. Then he took me to his tailor and had the fellow make me a double worsted wool suit. I think the world of the young man.
Kristina: Don’t get too attached. I’ve heard Xavier can’t keep a secretary for more than a week.
Davy: That was true ‘til Vic came onboard. He’s a cut above by all measures. Smart as a whip, not afraid to stand his ground, and as thoughtful as they come. I’m thinking the boy’s a keeper. Before me Xavier went through a driver a day, sometimes two.
Kristina: So your life is good now?
Davy *brow furrows* Mostly so. But to speak the truth, I worry a great deal about Victor. Xavier calls him a trouble magnet, and then tells me to keep him safe if he’s not around. You’ve no idea how hard that particular job is! The boy is constantly hell bent to save somebody with no regard to his own life. I’ve aged ten years since he came to work for us.
Kristina: How long has he been working for Xavier?
Davy: Five days going on a hundred years. And I best be getting back before the boy finds more trouble to get into. Xavier would never recover if something happened to Vic. It’s been a pleasure meeting you ma’am. If you ever find yourself in trouble, be sure to give Xavier Thorn a visit. There is no better sleuth in all of England.
Kristina: I will certainly keep that in mind.  *waves goodbye*. 
I rather like their driver. Shame his past was so awful, but thankfully things are better for him now.  Let’s check up on Vic and Xavier now….

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

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.

One glance at the statue and Davy tensed and stared at Vic with worried eyes. Before he tried to pull her from the house, she hurried to the back wall and peeked behind the paintings. A soft noise made her turn around. Davy had not only found the safe in the base of the statue, but opened it, as well. 
With a small battery-powered torch she had acquired from her Oxford professor, she studied the documents. Many were letters from Conrad demanding ‘proof of vice’ for various people. The tone of the letters made her appreciate Xavier all the more, for barely a sentence in the letters did not contain some form of insult or abuse. 

Unfortunately, she found no bill of sale for the horses. She tried to put the papers back but Davy took them from her and placed them ‘just so’ in the safe. Evidently, he had taken the effort to remember how they laid before the rifling began. She smiled at him for his cleverness, but his grim expression never altered.

Even when they had safely slipped away and returned to the office, his expression remained bleak and his heart seemed heavy with regret.

“Davy, what’s wrong?”
“I swore to Father Daniels I would never return to thievery, and until tonight, I have faithfully kept my promise.”
“You have still kept your promise. You didn’t steal a thing. You only prevented an apprentice investigator from getting into trouble.” She took his hands into hers. “I would have failed at my mission without you, Davy. Burglary isn’t as easy as I thought. I learned so much from you tonight.”
“I was actually feeling better until your last statement.”
“You should. You did a good deed and you haven’t broken your word to either the Father or Xavier. You did not steal anything and you kept me safe.”
“Listen to me, Victor. Burglary is a dangerous profession. If you break into the homes of evil men, the probability of being shot is all too real.”
She nodded solemnly. “I won’t do it again, until I’m better trained.”
Davy held his head as if in pain. “I’m taking you home now. I can’t take no more tonight.”

The Troublesome Apprentice
Read Free With 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.
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.

Investigate these sites:

Don’t forget to enter to win one of the two $25 Amazon Gift Cards.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 25, 2014

Meet My Character Blog Tour: Ember Wilson

I have been tagged by the sweet and incredibly talented Beth Barany in the Meet My Character Blog Tour. Let me introduce you to Beth then to my character.

Award-winning author, Beth Barany has been making up fantasy and adventure stories all her life. She writes magical tales of romance and adventure for women and girls to transport them to new worlds where anything is possible. In her off hours, Beth enjoys capoeira, reading and watching movies, and traveling, with her husband, author and singer/song writer Ezra Barany. Beth Barany lives in Oakland, California with her husband, two cats, and over 1,000 books.

Thanks, Beth! Now let's meet Ember Wilson, my kickass female lead in the upcoming sci-fi romance release, Amethyst Chronicles: Winter's Kiss

What is the name of your character?  Is he/she fictional or a historic person? Ember Wilson and she's fictional

 When and where is the story set? 1000 years from the end of the third book in my Mirrors series. This is a spin off of sorts.

What should we know about him/her? She's the leader of a genetically enhanced group of humans and she has a HUGE chip on her shoulder.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life? After years of harsh and unpredictable weather, Earth can no longer grow most of it's own crops. Food has to be outsourced to other worlds. A scientist named Clayton Rudo has announced he has a weather machine which will control Earth's climate, make it steady, and reverse the damage done so we can sustain ourselves again. However, Ember learns he really plans to use it to control Earth.

What is the personal goal of the character? To kill Rudo and restore Earth.

Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? This is the first in a new sci-fi romance series. Amethyst Chronicles will span many books and may have a spin-off or two of it's own. Winter's Kiss is the set title. Stay tuned to this blog for updates!

 When can we expect the book to be published? I don't have a set date yet, but possibly October or maybe middle of September.
So, that's Ember! And now, I shall tag...

Karyn Pearson is the author of Spark (Hellfire Trilogy #1) and Inferno (Hellfire Trilogy #2). She is a full-time pet parent of her two dogs Nikki and Jamie. She has a B.A. in Anthropology and has explored dozens of cultures in her studies, but has imagined countless more. Karyn enjoys reading, playing action RPGs, and plotting the next adventure for her characters whenever she has a spare moment free of the dreaded and undefeated “puppy dog eyes attack.”
Her current projects include Embers (Hellfire Trilogy #3) and the first novel of her upcoming vampire series, Arcturian Bloodlines. When she’s not writing, Karyn can be found playing with her puppies or Googling various dangerous topics for novel research that make her constantly question why federal agents haven’t yet knocked down her front door

Find Karyn at her website, her Amazon author page, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Google+

AmyBeth Inverness is a writer by birth, a redhead by choice, and an outcast of Colorado by temporary necessity, AmyBeth is a creator of Speculative Fiction and Romance.   She can usually be found tapping away at her laptop, writing the next novel or procrastinating by posting a SciFi Question of the Day on Facebook and Google Plus. When she’s not writing, she’s kept very busy making aluminum foil hats and raising two energetic kids and many pets with her husband in their New England home.

Connect with AmyBeth on her website, Twitter, her Amazon author profile, Google+, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Both you ladies have one week to post!

Thanks for joining me on this edition of the Meet My Character Blog Tour. Catch you later.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mirrors 3

I need your help! For a long time, I had considered my Mirrors series as a trilogy. I had an idea for a fourth book but recently changed my mind. What I had in mind actually works better as the third book in the Amethyst Chronicles. Now it's still kind-of a trilogy. This storyline will conclude with the third book (out hopefully in November) but I am writing origin stories for Jackson, John, Seth, and Logan. Mack will get her own as well, but it's a prequel to Mirror Image and will be huge. I had penciled the title for the third book as Mirror Reformed based on the events from Mirror Shattered, but as I sit here writing, I'm not sure it fits.

So I need your help!

Do you like the title, Mirror Reformed? Can you think of a better one? Let me know! Leave a response here either telling me Mirror Reformed is great or pitching your own idea. From this point on, I'll be referring to it only as Mirrors 3 until the cover reveal.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Sinful Rewards #4 by Cynthia Sax

Enter to Win 
$25.00 Amazon or B&N eGift Card
Digital Copy of SINFUL REWARDS Book 1&2
by Cynthia Sax

Four years ago, Bee Carter left her tiny hometown, escaping her tormenters. She concealed her tarnished reputation under a good girl persona, hiding her history from Nicolas, her strong and silent billionaire, Hawke, her tattooed bad boy biker, and Cyndi, her man crazy best friend.

Today, she’s returning home… and she’s not alone. Some of her deepest darkest secrets will be revealed. Trust will be tested. Clothing and inhibitions will be discarded. Bee and her hometown will never be the same.

When her past and her present collides, will any of Bee’s relationships survive?

Pre-Order Today!

Cynthia Sax lives in a world filled with magic and romance. Although her heroes may not always say, “I love you”, they will do anything for the women they adore. They live passionately. They play hard. They love the same women forever.

Cynthia has loved the same wonderful man forever. Her supportive hubby offers himself up to the joys and pains of research, while they travel the world together, meeting fascinating people and finding inspiration in exotic places such as Istanbul, Bali, and Chicago.  Please visit her on the web at


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Blog tour: Pippa Jay

Without a doubt, one of my favorite sci-fi romance authors is Pippa Jay. I always love hosting her on my blog and am proud to call her a friend. Today, I give her the floor as part of her tour for the recent release of Tethered. This is a book I can't wait to read. All yours, Pippa!


When Kristina asked me for a post on the importance of women in scifi, immediately Mary Shelley leapt to mind. Every time there has been posts about the bias against women in SF, the misogyny, the claims of 'fake' geeks girls, etc, usually the first thing mentioned is that a woman wrote the first SF story ever. So I'm not going over that ground again, even though I think it's hugely important. Instead, I decided to talk about the women IN scifi—the characters rather than the creators—and specifically one woman who had a real impact on me. Because to me, the portrayal of those is just as important and significant as the die-hard gals who keep going with their favourite genre no matter how tough the going gets.

There are several scifi women who have inspired me to write what I write. They've inspired my characters too. But the first I can remember was a companion from long running cult SF series Doctor Who—the feisty and determined Sarah Jane Smith. For those who may not be familiar with Classic Who, she was the forerunning of characters like Martha, Rose and Donna Noble. Years before Donna was giving the Doctor what for, she was there, arguing with him, getting in his way, and just as often saving him. She was the first companion I remember who, while she did her fair share of screaming, also did a fair bit of fighting, of facing up to the villains, and who wasn't afraid to speak her mind or stand up for what she believed in. It made a lasting impression on me.

And when she got her own spin-off series—The Sarah Jane Adventures— even though it was meant for kids, I watched that too. My kids watched and enjoyed it with me. My daughter got to see one of the SF women who had such a huge impact on me, and I hope she gained something from it.

With the death of actress Elisabeth Sladen—who played Sarah Jane, and with such courage up to the end as she carried on filming despite cancer—a part of me died too. But I hope some of the decisions I've made in my life, and the way I write my female characters in my story pay some small homage to the influence she had on me for so many years.

Do you have a character who inspired you as a child?


She can kill with a kiss. But can assassin Tyree also heal one man’s grief, and bring peace to a galaxy threatened by war?

For Tyree of the Su, being an assassin isn’t simply something she was trained for. It’s the sole reason for her existence. A genetically enhanced clone—one of many in Refuge—she’s about to learn her secluded lifestyle, and that of all her kind, is under threat by a race capable of neutralizing their special talents to leave them defenseless.

For Zander D’joren, being a diplomat has not only cost him his appearance, but also the love of his life. Scarred, grieving, he must nonetheless continue in his role as co-delegate to the fearsome Tier-vane or risk a conflict that could only end one way.

Now both of them need to keep each other alive and maintain a perilous deception long enough to renegotiate the treaty with the Tier-vane, or throw their people into a war that could wipe out Terrans and Inc-Su alike. But there’s more at stake than humanity, whether true or modified. Can the love growing between them save them both? Or merely hasten their destruction?


Buy links:

Breathless Press - (and for the whole of August, Breathless Press is offering 50% off to celebrate their 5th birthday!)

Add it to your Goodreads TBR here –

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After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), three self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply, The Bones of the Sea, and Reboot), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

Blogs –

Adventures in Scifi -

Spacefreighters Lounge -



Code for the rafflecopter giveaway – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 9, 2014

SFR Bridge Presents: Mirror Shattered

Currently I am one week away from launching the second book in my sweet sci-fi romance series, Mirror Shattered! I've been busy getting everything together for my launch (party with us on Facebook! and thought I would treat to a special glimpse inside! Click the picture to go back to the homepage for others involved in this weeks SFR Brigade presents!

I am excited to present Mirror Shattered! It’s been two years since Maddie discovered the truth of her origins. No longer living the ‘comfortable life’ she has become a valued member of the Intergalactic Security Commission surpassing all expectations. Life isn’t easy as the ISC struggles under new leadership. Adding to the adjustment, the new leadership uncovers details that shake Mack and Maddie to their core.

Amid the chaos of what has become, Mack, Maddie and their team are sent off world on a mission that eventually fails, as they narrowly escape with their lives. En route to home their most trusted ally, the Isgurd, delivers more bad news. The team is left with the knowledge that the ISC never existed and the option to repair damage done by the time altering Synth.
Returning to 1965 is the easiest decision they face.
Here is the excerpt from this exciting installment! This is a sneak peak into a pivotal point in the book:
"Mack, please,” Maddie pleaded, tears rolling down her cheeks. “I don't want to fight you."
"That's too bad. I sure want to fight you." Mack ran toward Maddie.
Before Maddie could defend herself, Mack punched her hard in the face. Maddie gasped as the pain reverberated through her face and more tears swelled up in her eyes. Her hand instinctively touched her cheek, feeling the heat rise on her skin. Mack shoved Maddie away from the crowd, giving them more room.
"Look at you. You are weak. You are pathetic, Maddie. I can't believe we share the same DNA. You embarrass me," Mack bitterly said.
"Say that again," Maddie said in a low, dangerous voice.
"You. Embarrass. Me," Mack repeated.
Maddie finally had enough. She ran toward Mack, using her shoulder to knock her to the ground. She straddled Mack’s waist, her punch made contact with Mack's jaw as the other woman tried to toss Maddie off of her. Maddie’s stronger, robotic hand grabbed Mack’s arm and pinned it to her side. Another punch connected on Mack's face before Mack used her strong legs to flip Maddie onto her back, striking her as well. Maddie threw up her forearms to protect her face. The back of Maddie’s hand struck Mack in the face, causing her to whip her head around by the force of the blow then she elbowed Mack in the throat. The mad woman sputtered in shock and pain, grabbing at her throat. Maddie’s punch connected with Mack’s nose, potentially breaking it, and causing the woman to sputter and roll away from her.
"Had enough?" Maddie asked, breathing heavy.
"You wish," Mack said, getting back on her feet.
Mack grabbed Maddie by her shirt but before she could throw her punch, the sky above them started getting dark.
"What's that?" Maddie asked, looking up.
"You being wrong," Mack bitterly said, shoving Maddie away.
Mirror Shattered is available for pre-order! Reserve your copy for $.99! Get it at Barnes and Noble or Smashwords before the price increases to $3.99