The Romance of Language: Word for the Week 6/09/17


“A heroine.”

–Hezekiah Burhan’s  Nomenclature and Expositor, 1833

First recorded usage was between 1595 and 1605.


“Beauty, daughter of the gods, Now thy glorious birth remember: Make me victress in the fight, That the gods may live forever.”

–from Fergus Hume’s The Harlequin Opal: A Romance Vol. 1 (of 3), 1893.

My Victresses for the House of Pleasure series so far:


   Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam

Only Scandal Will Do




 Lady Juliet Ferrers

Only Marriage Will Do



Violet Carlton

Only A Mistress Will Do



onlyscandalwilldo sizeONLY MARRIAGE WILL DOonlyamistresswilldo





Posted in Romance of Language | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cover Reveal: Like a Firework ~ A Celebration of Love

A multi-genre collection by the Authors you love:

Deb Julienne

Burst of Courage

Contemporary suspense


Krista Ames Author

Their One Right Thing



R.M. Duffy

The Real Me

Contemporary with dash of suspense


Lisa Kumar

Claiming Riley

Contemporary Paranormal


Viviana MacKade

All Those Miles I Walked

Contemporary suspense


RaeAnne Hadley

The Bachelorette’s Heart


More to come about the set on Viviana’s blog, so stay tuned for blurbs and a chance to know better the Authors.

Posted in Book Spotlights, contemporary romance, Cover Reveal | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Be My Guest! ~ Author Interview with Liza O’Connor


banner-memeHello, and welcome back to my author interview feature for 2017.

I’m back from my May hiatus and I’m eager to get back to my special guests. Each Wednesday I post interviews with authors across all romance genres and beyond. Although I’m primarily an historical romance writer, I do read outside my genre and suspect a lot of you do as well. And what’s more fascinating than finding out more about either your favorite authors or new ones?

So now gather round the tea table, grab a scone or cookies, and a cup of tea or coffee and discover a new friend in the writing world.

This week on Be My Guest, I’m sitting down with Liza O’Connor, long-time friend and author of contemporary, historical, and sci-fi romances. She’s here to share a little more about her very eclectic and dare-devil life and career.  I’m truly excited to sit down and grill…er, um chat with Liza. She’s a sweetheart!

Author Bio :

Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.



Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

And check out Liza’s

30+ books



And now heeeeere’s  Liza!

  1. Who was the first romance author and book you read?

My older sister let me read a book about a young woman who had three lovers, one of them being a cat burglar who would crawl in through the window and make love to her. She also had two other lovers. None of them filled all her needs, but each one filled some of her needs. I thought it most shocking at the time. (I was probably 8 yrs old at the time.) I really liked it, but I don’t remember the name or author. Still, it had a major impact on me by making me believe that anything goes!

Wow! Talk about the power of reading!

  1. Are you a pantser or plotter? What is your process?

Pantser all the way. In the garden, I plot. When writing, I’m all pants. I give my characters something to kick matters off (usually pulled from a life experience), then let them take it where they want. If matters start to slow, I’ll throw in a new character to get matters moving again.

Just so you know, this sometimes doesn’t work well. I’ve many stories that I wrote that will never be published because they even disturb me. Sometimes what my characters naturally do just doesn’t work for me. Since I wasn’t publishing at the time, I’d just move on to a new story.

I think all pantsers are brave.

  1. Who or what inspires your writing?

My crazy life and the life of people I’ve known are a main inspiration for me.

I can see that in the books of yours I’ve read. 🙂

  1. Which of your own books is your favorite and why?

My favorite book and series, is The Adventures of Xavier & Vic. Book one is The Troublesome Apprentice.  It’s a Victorian Sleuth series. When Xavier Thorn hires a young man, the fellow turns out to be a 21 yr old young woman in disguise, but it takes him awhile to discover that. All he knows at first is the young man has amazing intuitive skills and for the first time in his life, Xavier feels the odd emotion of love. This is my favorite series because the characters are clever, outrageous and often over the top. Xavier is a bellower at first and Vic is determined to break his bad habits (and he has a ton of bad habits in book one.)  However, be warned that one of the cases in book one concerns homosexuals, so if you are homophobic, then skip book one and start with book two.

  1. What is your favorite holiday and why?

I ignore all holidays. Their sole purpose seems to sell something, be it eggs, candy, chocolate, or expensive toys.

  1. What is the most exciting/daredevil thing you’ve ever done?

In New Zealand I rafted down a 23 foot waterfall. In Australia I learned to hang glide off a mountain. My instructor had promised me the sheep would move out of my when landing. They didn’t and they weren’t nearly as soft as they appear. And in some state, I don’t remember now, I jumped out of a plane and my toggles were tangled so I had to untangle them before I could control the parachute. (Actually, that was a very calming moment.)

  1. What is the first thing you do when you get a story idea?

I wake up, hurry downstairs and type quickly.  (I dream my stories. If they are really good, they’ll wake me up.)

  1. Do you have any hobbies/passions outside of writing?

I garden, I sing, I paint, I scuba dive, I hike with my dog Jess every day. I used to fly planes, but I don’t now (too expensive and stopped being fun). Currently, I start the day out gardening about four hours and then sit in a chair publishing and marketing my books that I’ve written in the ten years where I did nothing but write (and go on adventures in which I would then write novels about).

Thus far, I’ve written and published about 34 novels. I’m trying to publish a book a month. That turns out to be really hard. I’ve got all the books for this year lined up through November (I refuse to publish in Dec.) But I’ve no idea how long I can keep this up. It’s exhausting!

I cannot imagine! I put out maybe 3-4 during a good year, and that is exhausting. You truly are an Energizer bunny!

  1. Who is your favorite non-romance genre author? What is your favorite book of theirs?

That’s easy: Douglas Adams  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  I love to laugh and this may be the funniest book ever written.

I loved it when I read it in school. My daughters adore the movie (which I haven’t seen).

  1. What is your favorite cuisine?

Breakfast with boiled Amaranth with Apple, Orange, pecans, and dark chocolate

  Now, tell us a little bit about your book Proud Mary.

  1. What was your inspiration for Proud Mary?

Life events and curiosity.  When I was 17, I worked the night shift at a chicken processing plant as the security guard in the summer (to earn money for college).  It was in a dangerous part of town, so except when it was time to make the rounds with my big metal clock, I would stay in my locked guard room. One of the drivers would often stop by and flirt though the window. He was constantly asking me out for dates. Just as he was about to convince me to go out with him, one night, I get a phone call from his wife asking if he was there. He wasn’t, but I promised to let him know she called the minute he arrived.

He was so embarrassed when I informed him his wife needed him to call her at once. That was the moment I learned men lie and not to trust them.

In my book, Proud Mary, my heroine had no clue her fiancé is already married. The jerk has even bought her an engagement ring, but claims, because he’s Catholic and can only marry once, he needs to know for certain she can have children before they get married. So Mary goes off the pill.

Not one person at work shared with Mary that Danny was already married, just like none of the other truckers warned me the jerk driver had a wife. Fortunately, my guardian angel made his wife call me before I ever went out with him.

But in Mary’s case, Danny laced her drink then took her out the back alley and had her against a wall. Then their boss came out and told Danny his wife was expecting him at home.  Once Danny runs off, (Mary is a bit outraged to discover her so called fiancé already had a wife!)  her boss, Charles, takes advantage of Mary’s inebriated state, and in a single night, she’s gets pregnant with two babies from different fathers.

I researched and made certain that could happen. It can and does happen.

I learned that too from an episode of Grey’s Anatomy! (Statistics say that 1 in 12 women who have multiple partners and get pregnant can have this happen.)

There is a reason why they got Mary pregnant. It was planned, only Danny never got his wife’s permission and she is livid and looking for blood. That’s just the start of the book, the plot continues to thicken. My editor, for this book, thinks it should be made into a movie.

I do too!

  1. Are the character names special in any way?

Proud Mary could only be that, even knowing that when published, she’ll be stuck with a bunch of other Proud Mary books.  The only time I care about names is if I realize the character’s name was used by a different character in one of my other books. Then I will research names and what they mean to try to find a better name for my character.

I now have the Ike and Tina Turner song stuck in my head. LOL

  1. How long did it take you to write this book?

Proud Mary was a fast bloomer. I think I wrote the first draft in about two months. Then it went through rom-critters and many changes, then finally, ten years later, I sent it to an editor, created a cover, and now I’m publishing it. To be honest, I delayed publishing anything for ten years because I was having too much fun writing novels. Finally, a very talented author, Rebecca Royce, demanded I publish something! So I began publishing. It took me two books to realize that I enjoyed self-publishing over the slow process and poor pay of going through publishers.

Now, the Infamous Lightning Round:

  1. Chocolate or vanilla?

Dark Chocolate for sure.

  1. How many states have you lived in?

Seven, I think.


  1. Would you rather skydive or scuba dive?

I do both, but I’ll give preference to scuba diving now.

Me too!

  1. Cat person or dog person?

My dog is annoying me these days, so I’m declaring myself a cat person.

Yay! A convert! LOL

  1. What’s the one thing you would never do?

Swallow the worm in a tequila bottle.


Honestly, there are many things I won’t do..

  1. Who is your favorite cartoon character?

Road Runner. He was always going someplace…mostly off cliffs, but he never dies.

This was great fun. Thanks for having me over!







Mary Mason may have lost her job and reputation, but she has too much pride to allow vengeful women and their manipulative husbands to destroy her life and steal her new born babies. Unfortunately, pride alone isn’t going to save her. When Captain Chad Danton answers a call about a prostitute soliciting at the local library, he discovers a determined woman in desperate need of medical care. Upon hearing Mary’s story, he resolves to help her, not realizing her enemies will join those who wish to destroy his career.


Mary shook her head. “Charles may not have signed anything, but I’m positive he took her.”

“As am I,” Lexi said. “But he didn’t want this traced to him, so somehow he got this hospital to release her without proper authority from either parent. I’m hoping this national coverage will make the hospital come forward about Lott’s part in this abduction, but that’s secondary to the possibility that when this plays all over the nation, some neo-natal nurse, or hospital official is going to see it and say, ‘Oh shit, we’ve got that baby,’ and call either Lott or us.”

Mary’s stomach roiled with concern. “But if they call Lott…”

“His lines are tapped. John will alert whatever police force in whatever state he needs to secure your daughter before they have a chance to move her again.”





Thank you so much for being my guest this week, Liza! I always love chatting with you. Proud Mary sounds like a fantastic read!

Next Wednesday my special guest will be contemporary romance author Jennifer Lowery. Hope you return to you favorite Wednesday spot to meet her!

Posted in Author/Character Interviews, Be My Guest, Interviews, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Last Chance: Her Perfect Gentleman Boxed Set Ends May 31

All good things come to an end, and our Regency boxed set, Her Perfect Gentleman, will end as well on May 31, 2017.

This fantastic collection of Regency titles will be no more after next Wednesday, so if you’d like to take advantage of eight Regency novellas, by outstanding authors like Ella Quinn, Collette Cameron, Gina Danna, Lauren Smith, Elf Ahearn, Louisa Cornell, Marie Higgins, and myself, please grab it now before it’s too late!

He must woo his wife to awaken her past or lose her to a pirate forever.

BRIDE OF FALCON by Collette Cameron
Faced with spinsterhood, Ivonne Wimpleton takes fate into her own hands determined to win the heart of her wholly unacceptable childhood love . . . scandal be damned.

Even though their families demand that the youngest son of a duke, Lord Quartus Trevor, and the Duchess of Wharton remain apart, but their hearts don’t seem able to listen.

Is giving her heart to a stranger worth the price?

He’ll do anything to be her heart’s delight—except tell the truth.

He has a thousand reasons to steal the bride, but only one reason to steal her heart.

The thought of Claire Albright in the arms of another man is unbearable, but in his heart, Lord Flavian Monroe knows he mustn’t ask her to share the consequences of one terrible mistake.

Gemma never planned on falling in love with her childhood sweetheart’s best friend, Jasper, when he returns home, but she can’t resist the naval officer’s brooding charm.

Her Perfect Gentleman is available for .99 on:


Posted in Historical Romance, On Regency Romance, Promotion, Regency Romance, Spotlights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Spotlight on Passion and Plunder by Collette Cameron


Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Book 5


Would you sacrifice everything for the person you love, knowing you can never be together?

A desperate Scottish lady

Lydia Ferguson—the sole surviving heir to the Laird of Tornbury Fortress—has lost nearly everyone she loves. Now her father lies on his deathbed. And as if this isn’t dire enough, he’s invited men from the surrounding area to a warrior’s contest—the winner to claim Lydia as his bride.

A Scotsman dueling with his past

Alasdair McTavish, son of Craiglocky Keep’s war chief, is a seasoned warrior in his own right. So when he’s sent to Tornbury to train the Ferguson soldiers, he’s more than equal to the task.

A danger unseen

When a dangerous adversary makes a move against Lydia, a dastardly scheme comes to light, and Alasdair realizes only he can protect Lydia.

Don’t miss the 5th installment in this sweeping historical Highland romance series—get your copy of Passion and Plunder for a romantic Scottish adventure you won’t want to put down.


Mustering her courage, she reluctantly raised her focus from the soft, worn leather encompassing his ridiculously broad chest.

“Dinna look so woebegone, lass.”

“What are we to do?” She stared up at him, refusing to permit her surge of tears to fall. “Da wouldn’t have forced either of my brothers to marry before assuming the lairdship. This stipulation reveals his lack of faith in me. In my gender.”

“Nae, he wouldn’t, but I think he believes he be protectin’ ye.” A throaty quality deepened his voice as he drew her into his arms. One large hand framing a shoulder and the other cupping her waist, he pressed her near.

God help her, his strong, comforting embrace felt splendid, like a long overdue homecoming. So secure and safe.

And a bit terrifying too.

She wanted to wrap her hands around his large frame, bury her head in his shoulder, and stay snuggled there for hours.

Perchance days.


Desire blazed in his eyes as he tilted her chin upward at the same moment he dipped his lower. Her woman’s intuition recognized the passion bubbling beneath his composed demeanor.

PASSION AND PLUNDER is available at Amazon.


A bestselling, award-winning author, COLLETTE CAMERON pens Scottish and Regency historicals featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intelligent, intrepid damsels who reform them.

Blessed with three spectacular children, fantastic fans, and a compulsive, over-active, and witty Muse who won’t stop whispering new romantic romps in her ear, she still lives in Oregon with her mini-dachshunds, though she dreams of living in Scotland part-time.

Admitting to a quirky sense of humor, Collette enjoys inspiring quotes, adores castles and anything cobalt blue, and is a self-confessed Cadbury chocoholic. You’ll always find dogs, birds, occasionally naughty humor, and a dash of inspiration in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances.

Connect with Collette:






Amazon Author Page:

Book Bub:

Collette’s Chèris VIP Reader Group:






Posted in Promotion, Spotlights | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Liza O’Connor Takes on Jack the Ripper in Six Sisters of Shame

Jack the Ripper is a perfect example of hiding the truth behind too many trees.

But is it even safe to see the tree? People, some clever authors, have mysteriously died after writing their conclusions that agree with mine. I feel a little safer, being in the US. But if I mysteriously die due to the characters I attribute to having murdered SOME of the women, claimed to be by Jack the Ripper, let it be a lesson: No one likes a smart ass, especially not Royalty.

Here are the items that drew me to whom I chose, for my fictional book, to portray as the murderers.

That’s right, I’ve two men, which explains much of what confused Scotland Yard by the letters they received…IF they were confused at all. In my story, they are not confused, they are simply following the Queens orders to obfuscate matters and accuse everyone possible so the true culprits won’t be found.

Stepping out of the forest, most of my evidence is based on odd coincidental items.

The original batch of murders have two entirely different styles of murder, one in which the bodies were cut in two, the other in which they are slashed. I tossed the cut in two bodies out since they were clearly done by someone else.  Then I looked at the pictures of the remaining dead women and discovered a very odd coincidence: They all resembled the queen, except for one, who resembled Princess Alexandra.  The mother of the Prince Albert (Eddy).

Jack the Ripper seemed focused on killing heavy-set, jowled, middle age prostitutes who resembled the queen, and then one younger, prettier woman who looked like the prince’s mom.


Pure coincidence, I’m sure, but in my fictional story, I ran with it.

Another coincidence is that the murders stopped when Prince Albert (Eddy) got sent to India.

When he returned, all remained quiet until he was told he couldn’t marry the woman he wished, because she was Catholic. And thus, began a new spree of killings, only despite they had the same profile as the prior Jack the Ripper deaths, Scotland Yard refused to attribute them to Jack the Ripper.

In my fictional book, Scotland Yard was ordered by the Queen, to obfuscate or be fired. So my Scotland police are not a happy lot. And when my six young ladies get taken by Edwin and Jack Stephanos (the Jack the Ripper duo in my story) there is nothing they can do. (Slight name changes are my hopes of me not being sued or worse.)

One final coincidence: When Eddy and Jack died, the murders stopped.

Their official causes of death: After two new slayings occur, Prince Albert Eddy is whisked away, only to ‘die of a cold or influenza’, and his crazy tutor Jack Stephens dies two weeks later. They claim he was so broken-hearted over the loss of Albert that he refused to eat. Seriously? The guy was a deranged bully. He cared only for himself.

If I had written my deadly duo’s explicit deaths, Edwin would have probably died by an overdose of Laudanum.  Jack Stephanos would have died in his cage from starvation when they refused to give him food. He was a mass murderer and had pulled the prince into this mess. He deserved to suffer before dying. Since it took him two weeks to die, they might have once in a while given him something gross to eat to extend his torture.

In this fictional story, my fabulous sisters are the reason why Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror ends. Six brilliant and talented sisters, plus the men who love them. Jack the Ripper never had a chance.


Six Sisters of Shame

By Liza O’Connor


In his second marriage, a marriage of true love, Douglas Marsh has acquired six beautiful, identical daughters, who have made a pact never to marry. All are a challenge to the strict mores and interests that young ladies of Victorian England should have, but all are uniquely wonderful. He strives to match his new daughters to men who can appreciate each girl’s talents and interests. Only, one of his daughters wishes to choose for herself, and her choice sets off repercussions that could destroy them all.



After much discussion, the girls elected Charity to face Prince Edwin. Her personality was less likely to get them killed.

She stumbled into the parlor, shoved viciously by the prince’s tutor.

“Here’s your trollop, Edwin. Retrieved as you requested.” The anger and resentment was evident in the man’s voice.

She kept her head bowed, as Chase had advised, and stood before Prince Edwin with her hands clasped. She studied him beneath her lashes to get a better understanding of the man who now controlled their fate.

The prince had thinning brown hair and sunken eyes. There was a dullness to his focus, which indicated either poor eyesight or mental deficiencies.

“You look nothing like the woman I remember.” His focus turned to the man who had brought her. “Jacky boy, you brought me the wrong one.”

“This is the whore your father wanted,” James Stephanos replied and poured himself a drink. “Perhaps it’s her more modest dress that baffles you.”

“Yes, that must be it.” He glared at her. “Trying to hide behind decency. Well, it won’t work. Jack and I saw you at the Circus, enticing my father.


Six Sister of Shame



About the Author

Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.



The Adventures of Xavier & Vic

Humorous, Late Victorian Sleuth Series

The Troublesome Apprentice

The Missing Partner

A Right to Love (a romantic spinoff)

The Mesmerist

Well Kept Secrets

Pack of Trouble

The Darkest Days

The CrimeLords’ War



Untamed & Unabashed

Spinoff from Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice

Six Sisters of Shame



Click here For ALL Novels by Liza including other genres

Social Networks 

Facebook    Facebook Author Page   Twitter  Multiverse Blog

Posted in Guest Posts, Historical Romance, Promotion | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 05/07/17 Heart of Delight ~ Tempting Fate


I’m staying with my Handful of Hearts novella Heart of Delight, again this week for WWW, but this will be my last post until June. I’ve got two deadlines for two different editors–one for the next House of Pleasure Book and one for book two in my Widow’s Club series–both on June 1. So I’m writing frantically for the rest of this month. When I come back in June I hope to show you a few snippets from Book 1 of The Widow’s Club series, To Woo A Wicked Widow.

So for now I hope you enjoy this final snippet of Heart of Delight, and have a wonderful month of May!


Before we leave Heart of Delight, one more meeting between Hal and Gabriella. 🙂  They are outside in a garden (the cover depicts the exact point of this scene)  and he has just told her he has arranged for her to meet the Duke of Rother, the man she seeks. (Very creative punctuation utilized to conform to WWW rules.)


 “Shhh,” he murmured, turning her in his arms, “you are a very beautiful woman, Gabriella, more beautiful than any woman I have ever seen.” He smoothed a strand of hair back behind her ear, and she shivered with desire.

Merci, mon ami,” she said as she cupped his face, so handsome and strong. Why would fate tempt her with him at this moment? “Vous êtes très beau, et très cher.” She swept her lips across his, a fleeting kiss that thrilled even as it tortured. “I must go, mon cher for I dare not stay here longer,” she said as she broke through his grip, his touch still lingering.

“You but trifle with me—” the bitterness in his voice smote her heart “—though if I were instead my master, the marquess, you would not run from me.”

Oui, non, oh sacrebleu, you cannot understand,” she wailed then dropped her voice.

            They must not be discovered.


He’ll do anything to be her heart’s delight—except tell the truth.

Gabriella d’Adventure is on a mission. She has come to England as a lady’s maid in pursuit of the Duke of Rother. When she meets Horace Carpenter, valet to a marquess, she is delighted to enlist his aid in gaining her heart’s desire: a meeting with the duke. But will her growing feelings for the handsome valet interfere with her plans for the duke?

The eccentric Marquess of Halford, Hal to his friends, is tired of the demands of Society, especially his father’s decree that he marry this Season. When a breathtaking young woman intrudes on his solitude, he is captivated and introduces himself as his valet in hopes of learning more about her. Despite his fear about the true motive behind Gabriella’s quest to meet the Duke of Rother, Hal agrees to help her gain an audience with him, all the while praying his deception won’t ruin his chances of winning her love.


Heart of Delight is available in the Her Perfect Gentleman boxed set for just .99!

Amazon and B & N.


Books in the Handful of Hearts series:

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here.  There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.



Posted in A Handful of Hearts, Heart of Delight, Historical Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , | 31 Comments