Today is the official release date for The Troublesome Apprentice and it appears Liza has sent over every character from her book.
Melissa: Listen up people! I’m telling you right now, you cannot all talk at once. So I’ll do a short interview with some of you and that’s it. We’ll start with the character I recognize from the cover, which hopefully means you are a main character.
Vic: I am a main character. In fact, I am the troublesome apprentice that the great Xavier Thorn hires.
Xavier: And I am Xavier Thorn and thus should have been addressed first.
Melissa: you look a bit rumpled to be the greatest sleuth in England.
Xavier: I’m in disguise! Egads! You are as troublesome as my pup.
Melissa: You have a puppy?
Vic: No, he calls me his untrained pup.
Melissa: Don’t you find that annoying?
Vic: Not nearly so much as Xavier calling himself my ‘master’. I don’t like that at all.
Melissa: Nor would I. Why do you put up with him?
Vic: Because he’s an extraordinary, brilliant man whom I find most challenging…and I do love a challenge!
Melissa: Oh dear, it sounds like to me that you’ve fallen in love with the annoying fellow.
Vic: What? Nonsense. I’m a young man. Why would I fall in love with a man?
Melissa: That sometimes happens in life, but from reading Liza’s blurb, I’ve discovered you aren’t a young man but a young woman who dresses like a man. May I ask why?
Vic: Because these are exciting times IF you are a man. If you are a woman, you are advised to bath twice and change your clothes five times each day. I much prefer to only bath once a week and wear my suit the entire day, thus leaving me ample time to learn to be a great detective from the brilliant Xavier Thorn.
Melissa: And did Xavier Thorn change the way he treats you once he discovered you are a woman?
Vic: *smiles* Not at all. He still yells for no reason, gives me impossible tasks, and torments me with my ignorance.
Melissa: Sounds delightful. Perhaps we should get to the mob of people hanging about?
Xavier: Yes. Allow me to introduce my people, so they can return to their jobs.
Davy is my driver. Before acquiring him, I would fire a 2-3 drivers day. He’s been with me many years now and has become like family.
Davy: Nice to meet you, ma’am.
Xavier: Then there is Jacko.
Jacko: You appear concerned that I look like a pirate. However, I’m a good pirate now, so you’ve no need to worry. I only steal kisses from pretty ladies…like you. But a kiss shouldn’t concern you…
Xavier: Settle down, Jacko. Born a gypsy, raised as a pirate, Jacko has a true talent for stealing. A most useful fellow.
*Xavier stares at the next guy in line*
Gads! Who put Jacko next to the Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard? Stone, when I said Jacko has a talent for stealing, I was referring to kisses, nothing more.
Stone: *rolls eyes* I’m well apprised of both Jacko’s and Davy’s pasts. Davy has truly reformed, Jacko…I suspect stealing is second nature, but I trust you to keep him in line. Now may we go? I’ve a great many cases to work.
Xavier: Yes, go on. Vic perhaps you would like to parade in your family.
Vic: We’ll start in the right hand corner and go clockwise. First, there is Gregory, officially he’s the butler, but in truth he is like a bossy surrogate father to me. When I decided to be a boy at 13, he took me under his wing and taught me how to behave like a proper young man.
Gregory: And he was a very fine young gentleman until he went to work for Xavier Thorn.
Vic: Next, is my sister Claire. She has decided never to marry and has chosen Jonas, a servant to be her lover. That way she can always have her way and no one can tell her what to do, which would certainly not be the case if she were to marry a gentleman.
Claire: We both wanted our freedom, I just chose a different way than Vic.
Vic: Next is Jonas, my former—dare I say—unwanted manservant. He’s now the butler in training. He won’t speak, so let’s move on to Aunt Maddy. I’m sorry to say she can’t speak either. She was pushed before a carriage. That’s the first mystery Xavier and I solve, although to be honest, discovering the truth didn’t make me feel better. It just made me want to catch and imprison all criminals in England.
Xavier: Speaking of which, we need to be getting back to our investigations. Crime waits for no blog.
Melissa: I suppose you are right. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll carry on from here without your help.
*Waves goodbye as they leave and then sighs with relief*
Melissa: Honestly, Liza has lost her mind. Who else would send over EIGHT characters and a corpse for me to interview? Well’ let’s learn more about this book.
The Adventures of
Xavier & Vic
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.
“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, causes 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?”
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 Lover--Two 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.
Musings from Michigan