28 November 2010

Guest Author: Zoe Archer

This week on Unusual Historicals, we're welcoming back one of our fabulous contributors, Zoe Archer, as she celebrates the release of the third and fourth installments of her "Blades of the Rose" series. REBEL is available now, and STRANGER will hit the shelves on December 7. Both take place in an alternative Victorian era where magic thrives.

Here's the cover copy for STRANGER:

He protects the world's magic--with his science. But even the best scientists can fall prey to the right chemistry...


Gemma Murphy has a nose for a story--even if the boys in Chicago's newsrooms would rather focus on her chest. So when she runs into a handsome man of mystery discussing how to save the world from fancy-pants Brit conspirators, she's sensing a scoop. Especially when he mentions there's magic involved. Of course, getting him on the record would be easier if he hadn't caught her eavesdropping...


Catullus Graves knows what it's like to be shut out: his ancestors were slaves. And he's a genius inventor with appropriately eccentric habits, so even people who love him find him a little odd. But after meeting a certain red-headed scribbler, he's thinking of other types of science. Inconvenient, given that he needs to focus on preventing the end of the world as we know it. But with Gemma's insatiable curiosity sparking Catullus's inventive impulses, they might set off something explosive anyway....

"Set in 1875 England, the final volume in the Blades of the Rose quartet is a thrilling installment in the series as past characters join forces to save the world. There's action, adventure and love... Archer has proven herself to be a grand mistress of the historical paranormal who knows how to blend history and fantasy without one overshadowing the other, a feat worthy of her Blades." ~ RT Book Reviews on STRANGER.


Who are the Blades of the Rose?

The Blades of the Rose is a secret organization of men and women who travel the globe to find and protect the world's magic from exploitation. And when I say they travel the globe, I mean it. If they had frequent flier miles back in the 1870s, the Blades would have earned a lot of points.

You were here in October to talk about books one and two in the series. Tell us about books three and four.

REBEL is the story of Astrid Bramfield and Nathan Lesperance. Astrid was once a Blade, as was her husband, but whilst on a mission together, he was killed by the Blades' enemy, the Heirs of Albion. Her husband actually died in her arms. Deeply scarred, Astrid severed her ties with the Blades and retreated to the depths of the Canadian Rockies. When fate has her path cross with Native attorney Nathan Lesperance, neither Astrid nor Nathan are prepared for the immediate attraction between them, nor the danger that threatens them from every side.

Canadian Rockies? Sounds like an unusual setting.

Unusual, as well as gorgeous, dangerous and rich with folklore. Perfect for a Blades of the Rose adventure.

What about book four in the series, STRANGER?

STRANGER is the final book in this initial four-book series, and it features my absolute favorite character, Catullus Graves.

Tell us about Catullus.

He's the Blades' scientific genius, the man responsible for inventing all of the diabolical gadgets the Blades take out into the field to help them in their work. The Graves family has been creating amazing devices for the Blades for generations, and Catullus is the latest scion. He's brilliant, has a massive waistcoat collection, and fancies women with freckles. Unfortunately for Catullus, he's far more comfortable inventing devices than talking with women, so when he meets American reporter Gemma Murphy (who has quite a few freckles), he's both attracted and flummoxed. Poor Catullus!

This is the Unusual Historicals blog. STRANGER is set mostly in England. What's so unusual about that?

This isn't the England of ballrooms, drawing rooms and house parties. From the moment Catullus and Gemma land in Liverpool, they are on the run, traveling by train, horse and on foot. These are the country roads and small villages of England, nothing glamorous about it. They also go to Glastonbury, London, and a surprise location I can't disclose without spoilers. Plus, Catullus is a Black Briton--an important component of British life that isn't seen very often in historical romance.

Now that the series is wrapping up, do you have plans for more Blades of the Rose books?

I'd love to write more! It all depends on how well these books do. *stares meaningfully at readers*

What's next for you?

Right now, I'm working on a new paranormal historical series called THE HELLRAISERS. It's about a group of 18th century English rakes who inadvertently release the Devil from his prison and literally raise hell. These guys are radically different from the Blades. The Blades are good guys, through and through. The Hellraisers are very, very bad boys.

I like bad boys.

Get in line.


Here's the deal, readers. Zoë is seeking locations for her next four Blades novels. Leave a comment suggesting where you'd like to see a "Blades of the Rose" adventure set. One commenter will win REBEL and STRANGER! (US and Canada only, thanks.) I'll draw the winner at random next Sunday. Void where prohibited. Best of luck!