Posts Tagged ‘Warrior by Zoe Archer’

An interview, some explanations and a contest

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Today, I have author Zoe Archer here and I am grilling talking to her about WARRIOR, the first in her four book Blades of The Rose series. As it happens, I have read the first three in the series and at this point would kill to get my hands on the fourth.

Catullus Graves, a recurring character is the first three and the hero of book four goes on my list of Romance Heroes I Would Marry.

This is just an AMAZING series. It’s fun and swashbuckling and if you haven’t bought these books yet, you should. Go do that, then come back. Buy page for Warrior

Here is a paragraph stolen from the middle of Zoe’s complete bio: Although she was born in New York and lived there until she was six months old, Zoe had no recollection of living anywhere but in California. So everyone was surprised, including her, when she moved to Iowa City to attend the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Much long underwear was worn. Two years and several snowstorms later, she was the proud owner of a shiny new MFA from the Writers’ Workshop. As soon as the degree was in her hot little hand, she promptly moved back to Los Angeles, her home town.

Before I start the interview, you should know there is a contest involved. Further info at the bottom of the post.

About Warrior

Tell us about your book! It’s the first of a 4 book series so can you also tell us a little about the world it’s set in?

Cover of Warrior by Zoe Archer

Gabriel Huntley, Smoking Hot Hero

is the first book in my four book BLADES OF THE ROSE paranormal historical adventure romance series. (There are a lot of modifiers there–but I’m kind of creating a new sub-genre, so modifiers are definitely necessary.) The Blades of the Rose are a secret organization of men and women that protect the world’s magic from ruthless exploitation. Each of the BLADES books features a new hero and heroine in an exotic location, with plenty of adventure, action, magic…and hot, hot sensuality. Here’s the back cover blurb for WARRIOR:

To most people, the realm of magic is the stuff of nursery rhymes and dusty libraries. But for the Blades of the Rose, it’s quite real, and in danger of being misused by a powerful enemy.

The vicious attack Capt. Gabriel Huntley witnesses in a dark alley sparks a chain of events that will take him to the ends of the Earth and beyond – where what is real and what is imagined become terribly confused. And frankly, Huntley couldn’t be more pleased. Intrigue, danger, and a beautiful woman in distress – just what he needs.

Raised thousands of miles from England, Thalia Burgess is no typical Victorian lady. A good thing, because a proper lady would have no hope of recovering the priceless magical artifact Thalia is after. Huntley’s assistance might come in handy, though she has to keep him in the dark. But this distractingly handsome soldier isn’t easy to deceive…

The Interview

Q: I loved loved loved the hero of Warrior, Gabriel. Is there some characteristic of his that is your favorite? I’d tell you mine, but I don’t want you to copy me. Also, can you surprise and delight us with something about him that didn’t make it into the book? Feel free to make something up.

My favorite thing about Gabriel (aside from his rock-hard abs) is his sense of humor. He may be a tough soldier, but he can be very funny–dry and self-deprecating. I love a man who can make me laugh. Hmm…something about him that didn’t make it into the book? He rescues spiders when they’re trapped inside.

CJ: I totally believe that about Gabriel saving spiders. FYI, I too, appreciated his rock hard abs, but also how he knows his way around an oasis.

Q: Same as above only for your heroine, Thalia.

I really like Thalia’s confidence. She knows she isn’t the model of delicate English femininity, and she’s fine with that. She is, in fact, happy with herself. And I think it’s that confidence that is one of the reasons why Gabriel is so attracted to her. A little known fact about her is that, in the winter, she boils treacle and then drizzles it on fresh snow. When the treacle cools, she chews on it. She has strong teeth.

CJ: You do NOT mess with Thalia. Ever.

Q: You hear that Carolyn Jewel is in town and shopping for a new outfit to wear to a televised gala affair where she is presenting you with a prestigious writing award. Last you heard she was muttering something about harem pants and strapless pants suits. You are locked in a room with nothing but a fork, a bar of your favorite chocolate and a cardboard box that says DO NOT OPEN!!! what would you do and why?

I’d eat the chocolate immediately. I would shake the box to determine its contents. If it groaned in pain, I would then open the box. If it kept silent, I might prod it with the fork. Then I would stand on the box to reach the air vent, crawl out the air vent, get outside and run to Carolyn Jewel’s hotel room with some lovely, dressy separates for her. I’m thinking maybe a tailored, feminine take on the tuxedo with a sparkly, cleavage-enhancing top underneath. If she balked at wearing the cleavage-enhancing top, I would remind her that there is a high degree of likelihood that Alexander Skarsgard will be watching the televised gala affair.

CJ: One cleavage enhancing top coming up. . .

Q: What were you like as a kid?

Let’s just say I was…awkward. I was skinny, short and had a panda painted in the corner of my pink-tinted glasses. I think that says it all.

CJ: Pandas rock.

Q: As you know, the other day, Warrior was out and about in Northern California and even visited the Apple Store in Santa Rosa CA. Please explain.

Everyone knows that warriors need to stay mobile and current with technology. Blades of the Rose, especially, need to use technology since a central tenet of the Blades is to not use any magic that isn’t theirs by gift or right. So, when it comes time to fight the bad guys like the Heirs of Albion, they need all the technological help they can get. Does Apple make an iRifle?

CJ: Actually, there’s an app for that: Here and here. And also here.

Q: Anything else you want to add?

There’s a new BLADES OF THE ROSE book out every month through December! This means that WARRIOR is available now, SCOUNDREL comes out October 5, REBEL is on shelves November 2, and STRANGER is available on December 7. A complete set of BLADES books makes an awesome Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa gift. Treat yourself, while you’re at it.

The Trailer

The Contest

Zoe is giving away a signed copy of Warrior. To get yourself in the running, answer the following question in the comments. You have until midnight Pacific Wednesday, September 22. Void where prohibited.

Kilts, in or out, and why?



Warrior’s Fun Day!

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I am completely innocent in this, let me say. I always am, you guys know that. Warrior, by Zoe Archer has an attitude. I kind of impressed actually. It’s not every story set in 1874 that is as bold with modern technology as this one. I’m not saying there’s any modern technology actually IN the book. I’m saying the book was hanging around some pretty powerful technology/magic.

All the same, I’m going to have some choice questions for Ms. Archer and I hope she’s up to the task of explaining what happened.

Carolyn Sets the Scene

Spine of Warrior in Carolyn's Purse

Hey! Who Invited You? Oh. Right.

OK, so first off, it’s 2:40 pm and I have been working at the day job since 5:24 AM.

It is now time to pick up the progeny and a couple of other kids who need a ride home. This, my friends, is the beauty of a telecommute day. School is out at 3:00pm. My commute consists of the walk from the living room table to … wherever I want to go. The boy and I have a 4:30 appointment at the Apple Store in Santa Rosa because the trackpad on my son’s MacBookPro is not working smoothly. This interferes with all the time he spends doing his homework playing World Of Warcraft. I’d feel like a terrible parent, only he gets As at school. I don’t know how he does at WOW. I understand there’s a lag problem on account of our sucky internet. Anyway, I walk from the living room into the TV room — that’s about four steps, I think, and pack up his laptop.

I am delayed from a timely departure because I can’t find a certain book that has the word Warrior in its title that was next on the TBR. It is not where I expected. I found it where it was NOT expected. Excuse me, Warrior, what is up with that?

We’re off!

I make it to the High School and text the boy to remind him NOT to get on the bus. He and his friend “Percy” show up and, strangely, they offer me $20 to run over some kid on a bike. I refused, by the way. It turns out to be their friend “Jimmy.” I had not, by the way, yet moved from my parking space. Besides, $20 is not nearly enough. I worry about either of them getting their licenses. Normally, I would also be giving Percy’s sister “Alicia” a ride, too, but when I ask where she is Percy assures me she is going home with a friend. Percy and the progeny are laughing and misdirecting me with offers of $20 to run over Jimmy. I start backing out of the parking space and Alicia sprints up to the car, afraid she was about to be left with no way home. Which she was. The boys in the back of the car are dying with laughter.

I promise Alicia that in future, I will expect her to call me if she is in fact, not in need of a ride home, otherwise, I will assume Percy is lying. Which he probably would be. Last year Percy told me a wild story about how Alicia stabbed him in the hand with a fork. Perhaps that wasn’t an accident and/or undeserved.

During this whole episode, Warrior did nothing. NOTHING!

Heading to the Santa Rosa Apple Store

We're going to the Apple Store!

Anyhow, I drop off Percy and Alice and head toward the freeway. Sort of.

It turns out that since the previous night I did ALL the progeny’s laundry (other than the clothes he had on) my son did not have any money with him at school because he took the money out of all of his pants pockets because otherwise I would be rich and he would be poor, though clothed in clean clothes and underwear. And from there it turns out that he was expecting to buy breakfast at school so didn’t eat at the house. Only all his clothes were clean and there was no money in his pockets. (Because if it’s in his pockets when the pants hit the laundry, the money is mine.) The deal is that if he doesn’t take his lunch to school, he has to spend his own money to buy lunch at school. Or if we stop someplace because he doesn’t want to eat at home, it’s on his dime. He tells me he’s really hungry, has no money and reveals that he has had NOTHING to eat all day.

This picture is of the parking lot at the auction yard (Livestock auctions every Monday at 11:00 AM!) where there is a great little hotdog place called Roy’s. They close at 4:00 pm. We stop there so he can get something to eat. While I wait for him, I program the GPS because I am not to be trusted with directions. And in fact, the GPS lady tells me to go straight from the auction yard driveway and I go right. And then a little later, she tells me to go left to the freeway only I’m momentarily frozen because I DO NOT KNOW which way is left. I get into the right lane and realize my error just in time to get into the left lane.

In the back of the car — which is where my son prefers to sit, I can hear a muffled and very pained, “Oh, god, Mom. How long have you lived here?”

I ignore him since I get that a lot. “Recalculating” is the GPS lady’s favorite word.

Warrior by Zoe Archer on seat of car

Riding Shotgun

Warrior rides shotgun. Fortunately, once I make it to the freeway, with Warrior strangely silent, it’s more or less a straight, slow, traffic delay infested shot to the exit I need. The GPS thinks it will take us 13 min minutes to go 7 miles. The boy and I have a good laugh over this.

To most people, the realm of magic is the stuff of nursery rhymes and dusty libraries. But for the Blades of the Rose, it’s quite real, and in danger of being misused by a powerful enemy.

Right. Do you see all the stuff that guy on the cover is carrying? And he STILL does nothing. All I hear is “recalculating” and “oh, god, Mom.” By the way, that is duct tape residue on my dashboard because I bought the unit the night before a long drive for a soccer game when I was just tired of spending 1 hour lost for every 2 hours on the road, and the glue/sticky stuff that’s supposed to affix the base to the dash didn’t dry in time. NEVER travel without duct tape. At the day job once, we used it to tape in the cooling unit vents when the server room was overheating. My (former) boss liked it so much he tried to steal my duct tape. Uh, no.

Warrior Outside The Apple Store

Warrior Outside The Apple Store

Here we are at the Apple Store! Ten minutes early. It took us 35 minutes to go 7 miles.

That’s me holding the camera and that is my son’s arm holding Warrior. I think he grew another inch taller just from the contact.

Huntley knew how to fight in the worst conditions nature and man could create. Monsoons, blizzards, scorching heat. Bayonets, sabers, revolvers, and rifles. He’d eaten hardtack crawling with maggots. He’d swallowed the most fetid and foul water when there had been nothing else to drink. None of it had broken him. He had nothing left to fear. Yet the idea of truly settling down, finding, good Lord, a wife, it turned a soldier’s blood to sleet.

My son’s 15. He doesn’t even have a license yet so we actually don’t talk much about the wife thing. I’m pretty sure at some point we’ve talked about eating maggots, though.

Look at all those Apple employees! Later on, the progeny remarked that he had counted and blue-shirted geeks out numbered customers by 2 to 1. I think that’s by design.

Warrior by Zoe Archer, cover of book backs and legs of Apple Store employees

In. Like a Warrior

I’m not blaming Warrior for anything at this point because we’re in an Apple Store. The cool factor settles in pretty quickly. Everything is so pretty and they let you touch it. The very moment you look longingly at anything, someone really nice and wearing a blue shirt is only too happy to demonstrate how wonderful and awesome it is and, indeed, just how much you don’t even realize you NEED to walk away with something pretty and shiny and the hell with your credit cards or the kid’s college fund. And if you do, you go home happy and all tingly, just like Steve Jobs HIMSELF reached some place kind of personal and did it better than anyone else ever. In the universe.

Fortunately, we were in the back waiting for our appointment which began promptly at 4:30. Warrior was strangely quiet, but like I say, I’m not blaming. They didn’t even have credit cards in 1874. I bought AppleCare at the time of purchase which was whenever that was– they looked it up for me — so the laptop is still well under warranty. The trackpad was indeed not functioning in a shiny manner so they are fixing it for him.

Warrior against Red Background of makeup

Not very subtle, Warrior.

This picture’s totally gratuitous. There is no psychology at work here. Honest.

In a bit, unless Zoe decides she’s never speaking to me again, she’s going to be here to explain things.