03 October 2010

Guest Author: Zoe Archer

This week on Excerpt Thursday we're featuring Unusual Historicals contributor and Kensington author ZOE ARCHER as she celebrates the release of the first two books in her Victorian "BLADES OF THE ROSE" series. Last month saw its launch with the Mongolia-set WARRIOR, and the series continues in October with SCOUNDREL, which takes place in Greece. Join us on Sunday when Zoe will be here to answer questions and give away goodies! Here's the blurb for SCOUNDREL:

The Blades of the Rose are sworn to protect the sources of magic in the world. But the work is dangerous--and they can't always protect their own...


London Harcourt's father is bent on subjugating the world's magic to British rule. But since London is a mere female, he hasn't bothered to tell her so. He's said only that he's leading a voyage to the Greek isles. No matter, after a smothering marriage and three years of straitlaced widowhood, London jumps at the opportunity--unfortunately, right into the arms of Bennett Day.


Bennett is a ladies' man, when he's not dodging lethal attacks to protect the powers of the ancients from men like London's father. Sometimes, he's a ladies' man even when he is dodging them. But the minute he sees London he knows she will require his full attention. The woman is lovely, brilliant, and the only known speaker of a dialect of ancient Greek that holds the key to calling down the wrath of the gods. Bennett will be risking his life again--but around London, what really worries him is the danger to his heart...


October is month two of the four-month back-to-back releases of the "Blades of the Rose" series, which means that on October 5, SCOUNDREL will be hitting shelves. But my September release, WARRIOR ("Blades of the Rose" Book One), is still available!

SCOUNDREL received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was also Pick of the Week. PW called SCOUNDREL a "delightful tale of an intelligent, competent woman sharing adventure and romance with a formidable partner...[heroine] London's personal growth paces the adventure story beautifully, and readers will cheer for both the romance and the Blades."

Who are the Blades of the Rose?

The Blades of the Rose make up a secret organization of men and women who follow the four points of the compass to find and protect the world's magic. Blades are explorers, cryptographers, trackers, inventors and adventurers, protectors of the underdog, defenders of freedom--all ever-so-slightly mad. Considering that Blades aren't allowed to use magic that isn't theirs by right or by gift, and that their foes are ruthless men bent on world subjugation, to be a Blade means you're a little bonkers. But that's one reason why I love them.

You say that the Blades travel all over the world to protect magic?

Yes! WARRIOR is set in Outer Mongolia, SCOUNDREL is set in Greece and islands in the Aegean Sea. Then REBEL takes us to the Canadian Rockies, and finally STRANGER is set in England, but not the England most historical readers ever get to see--plus a secret location that I can't reveal yet.

I'm sorry...did you say the BLADES books are historical romances?


And there's magic?

That's right.

Plus adventure? And unusual locations?


Um...I don't think I've ever read a romance like that before.

You probably won't! With the BLADES series, I've tried to create a brand new subgenre that combines rich historical detail, exotic locations, unique magic and a lot of action and adventure. The heroes are sexy and the heroines kick butt in a non-anachronistic way. If readers come away from these books having had a great time, then I'm happy.

Is the hero of SCOUNDREL really that much of a SCOUNDREL?

Oh, Bennett is completely, utterly, totally unrepentant about his scoundrel-ism. But he's not malicious about it. He just really, really loves women. A lot. And they love him. A lot.

So Bennett isn't capable of settling down?

He doesn't think so. Yet I have it on good authority that he's about to meet the one woman he can't live without. Too bad she happens to be the daughter of his most hated enemy...


Readers, who is your favorite scoundrel? Leave a comment or question for the chance to win signed copies of both WARRIOR and SCOUNDREL. The winner will be chosen at random announced on Sunday. Giveaway is limited to readers in the US and Canada. Void where prohibited. We'll draw a winner at random next Sunday. Best of luck!