Monday, 1 June 2015

Guest Post: Pack of Trouble by @LizaOConnor

My character Dr. Connors takes advantage of new discoveries.

The reason Dr. Connors is considered the finest doctor in all of Britain is because:
1) He constantly reads ups on best practices, despite his very busy schedule, what with caring for the Queen and a great deal of the Parliament members, not to mention saving the lives of Xavier & Vic every other month.
How does he do it? He hires the top medical students to alert him to promising new techniques and methodologies they discover while tending their classes. He also tends a great deal of lectures. For example, he is a true believer of Listers’ insistence that ‘germs’ are often the true cause of deaths among patients.
2) He practices what he learns.
Connors is a certified germaphobe. He does everything in his power to remove germs from the proximity of his patient. He dips all his surgical instruments and his rubber gloves into carbolic acid.
He has built his own private surgical room. His nurses are trained to constantly clean everything. And he is always on the lookout for improved materials.
For example: he recently discovered a new metal created by using Hans Goldschmidt low carbon technique. (It’s the forerunner of Stainless steel.) Connors is so impressed with the metal that he has a surgical table created with it. It can be wiped down with carbolic acid and very strong. Thus the table is lighter and easier to move.
(Later, additional modification will occur that disqualifies his current table from being called ‘stainless steel’, but not a problem.  He’ll just commission a new table when they improve the metal further.)
3) Connors is never satisfied with current standards and looks for ways to improve matters
While most surgeons of his time perform surgery wearing their street clothes, and operating with their bare hands, Dr. Cannon has learned to operate wearing vulcanized rubber gloves. The gloves do diminish his sense of touch, but they greatly reduces induction of germs.
He also had his tailor make him simply constructed, white cotton ‘suits’ that can easily be washed after every use. He keeps them at his office and changes into them whenever he has a surgery to perform. He even brought a clean suit to save Vic in Spain.
Dr. Connors ideas are so advanced, that it will take the medical society at large another 50 years to catch up. But if you asked him, he would insist all he did was make use of the knowledge provided during his time.
Sadly, a great deal of patients died during the Victorian era due to the arrogance and ignorance of the typical doctor. Since antibiotics had yet to be discovered, germs killed more people than botched surgeries.

While Xavier’s plan to take a holiday in Europe for Vic to have her baby incognito works well enough, complications during the birth almost takes both mother and child. Dr. Connors performs his first cesarean ever. While successful, Vic takes months to recover. A prisoner to the bed, she spends her time encouraging marriage between two of their employees. Unfortunately, Xavier’s original negotiations with Tubs prevents the giant from acting upon his heart. While Xavier chases ladies enjoying the sun, Vic convinces Tubs to resign his service.
When Xavier and Vic return to England, the head of Scotland Yard awaits them at the dock. A great change in Parliament has occurred due to the fallout of their last investigation. England is crumbling beneath an outbreak of crimes and their help is desperately needed before lives are ruined and jobs are lost.

After Connors washed Vic, he left to change into clean clothes while Sara mopped the floor, and Tubs scrubbed down the walls. Xavier kept watch over Vic, giving her another whiff of chloroform whenever she showed any sign that pain touched her unconscious state.
Once Connors had returned and cleaned his surgical equipment with carbolic acid, he applied an alcohol based rub over Vic’s belly. He then sent Sara and Tubs to the corner behind him. “When I have the baby, Sara, come and take it.” He paused and focused on her. “Do you remember what you are supposed to do?”
Both she and Tubs nodded.
“Then let us begin.”
As his knife sliced into Vic’s tightly stretched belly, Xavier stared in helpless horror. A soft cry of pain escaped him. Nothing in his life had been as terrifying as this current nightmare.
Connors spoke as he continued to cut. “Xavier, keep your focus on Vic’s face. You don’t want her to feel this.”
Xavier returned his attention to Vic, wishing he could push time back and faithfully use his vulcanized rubber condoms. He was a selfish bastard and now his beloved had to pay a terrible price for his failing.
His eyes remained focused on Vic. He very well might go mad if he saw what Connors was doing to her. Instead, he studied the dark skin beneath her eyes. She looked as if she’d been boxing with Tubs. Her pale cheeks bothered him as well. Normally, she had rosy cheeks to match her exuberant nature. He ran his hand through her hair until it snagged on a tangle.
While in Spain, Vic had allowed her hair to grow out so she could stop wearing the itchy wig he’d bought her. However, her long hair had been a trial in itself, always getting in the way and tangling in his hands. He much preferred the two-inch hair she normally had when she lived her life as a young gentleman.
“Sara, come take the child,” Connors stated.
Xavier was determined not to look, but then something hit the floor.
Had Sara just dropped their child?
He stared at the maid crumbled on the floor. Sara had fainted, thankfully before Connors had the chance to pass her the baby. His eyes fixated upon sight of Vic’s womb splayed open like a gutted calf. He felt damn close to joining the girl.
Tubs reached over and took the baby then carried it to the dresser. A moment later, the child screamed at the top of its lungs.
Xavier returned his focus to Vic. “It’s out Vic. The cannonball is out and sounding just like you. Don’t you dare give up now. I can’t do this alone.” He began a long litany of promises, if only she’d stay with him. “I promise never to throw anymore ink wells at people who enter my office without permission. And you may use the typewriter whenever you like and I’ll not complain. And when you interview clients, I will not show my impatience nor poke at you for questions you failed to ask.”
Connors eventually ended the list of promises when he pushed Xavier aside and listened to Vic’s heart with his stethoscope. Not wishing to, but unable to stop himself, Xavier looked at Connors’ handiwork.
The ever-so-proper Dr. Connors had covered her with a sheet, but Xavier needed to assure himself the gutting had been repaired. He lifted and stared at the ugly, eight-inch long gash neatly sewn with catgut.
Connors re-dipped his vulcanized gloves into carbolic acid and carefully removed them, placing them upon a towel to dry. Returning to Vic, he nudged Xavier aside and tugged the sheet over the wound. “Everything went well. If infection does not set in, then she should recover.”

Book 5
Free with Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Need to catch up?
Book 1
Book 2
Book 2.5
Book 3
Book 4

All Xavier & Vic books are Free with Amazon Unlimited

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 normally. But all those bad behaviors has given her lots of fodder for her humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.
You have been warned.
Mostly humorous books by Liza:
Ghost LoverTwo British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. And there’s a ghost cat that roams about the book as well. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)
Untamed & UnabashedThe youngest of the Bennet sisters, Lydia, tells her story. A faithful spinoff from Pride & Prejudice.
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.
The Hardest Love Is to love oneself. Sam’s story.
The Adventures of Xavier & Vic Sleuth series: (Late Victorian/Mystery/Romance)
The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.
The Missing Partner — Opps! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.
A Right to Love — A romantic detour for Jacko. Want to see how amply rewarded Jacko was when he & Vic save an old woman from Bedlam?
The Mesmerist The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.
Well Kept Secrets — Far too many secrets are being kept and as we all know, secrets have a way of coming out.

Investigate these sites:


  1. Thanks for having my Pack of Trouble over. Hopefully, they didn't maul, chew or break anything. There's enough of that going on in the book.

  2. What a wonderful excerpt! Poor Vic... I'm sure things will begin to look up now that the baby is here.... right??