The Jaunty Quills are excited to welcome author Zoe Archer. Zoe is known for her versatility. She is equally comfortable writing historicals, steampunk, and intergalactic romance. She’s just released her debut romance, Lady X’s Cowboy, digitally. Keep reading to find out how to win your copy.
Shana: Welcome, Zoe! Tell us about Lady X’s Cowboy. That title piques my interest.
Zoe Archer: The title was inspired by both newspaper gossip columns as well as the John Singer Sargent painting, Madam X, which was extremely controversial at the time.
Shana: Your hero, Will Coffin, is a Colorado cowboy in London. I love that set-up. Why did you decide to pair a cowboy and an English lady?
Zoe Archer: They’re very different from each other, not just in terms of nationality, but social class, too. Will is an orphan who comes to London to try to locate the family he never knew. Lady Olivia Xavier is a society widow. She’s pretty unconventional, especially for someone of her social standing and gender—she owns and runs a successful brewery. She’s also a secret reader of penny dreadful novels, her favorites being ones that feature cowboys.
But there’s another nobleman that wants Olivia’s brewery, and will stop at nothing to have it. After Will comes to Olivia’s rescue from a bunch of hired thugs, the two strike up an unusual bargain: she’ll help him find her family if he’ll help protect her brewery. She also moves him into her London townhouse as part of the bargain.
I really wanted to play with the whole notion of “opposites attract,” and couldn’t think of two more opposite people. But Will and Olivia discover that there’s a lot more drawing them together—society and public opinion be damned.
Shana: You write in a variety of sub-genres and settings. Which is your favorite and what do you feel all of your books have in common?
Zoe Archer: Honestly, I don’t have a favorite. I only write books that I want to read, so I’m comfortable writing across all different subgenres and locations.
All my books have action, adventure, strong heroines, and sexy heroes who appreciate the heroine’s strength. I want to make sure that the hero and heroine like each other, as well as desire each other—that they see themselves as lovers and partners.
Shana: I hear you have an impressive boot collection. Tell us about your boot obsession. What else interests you?
Zoe Archer: I’d go into my closet right now and count them, but that would take too long, plus I’d have to undo a very delicately balanced tower of boot boxes, like Jenga, except with boots. For me, boots represent adventure, especially boots with buckles. If a pair’s got buckles on them, I want them.
I also love to bake. After a long day of writing and creating something intangible, it’s nice to physically make something. It gets me out of my head. Plus, the end results are delicious! But I don’t do it very often because my husband and I work at home and don’t have kids, so we’d wind up eating everything I bake, which is tasty…but not super healthy.
Shana: You’re married to a published romance author, Nico Rosso. What’s it like being married to an author? Do you ever collaborate?
Zoe Archer: We have an awesome partnership. We even share an office. Our desks are eight feet apart (we measured). We collaborate on plotting my books, plus he’s my critique partner. Nico plots his books on his own, but I’m the first set of eyes to read his manuscripts and give him notes.
We don’t actually write books collaboratively, but we created steampunk romance series The Ether Chronicles together. As we were working out the details of the world, we realized it was expansive enough and there were enough stories in it to be able to have us both write in the same world. He writes the steampunk Westerns, and I write the steampunk everywhere else. All the awesome steampunk gadgets are his inventions, and it’s fun incorporating them into our different books.
Shana: Finally, tell us what you have coming next.
Zoe Archer: Speaking of steampunk, my next entry in the Ether Chronicles, SKIES OF STEEL, actually comes out October 9 in digital format, and then a few weeks later as a POD book. After that, the third and final HELLRAISERS book will be released April 2013. Then (yes, there’s more), I’m starting a new historical romance series for St. Martin’s Press called NEMESIS UNLIMITED, which I’m describing as Leverage/Burn Notice in Victorian England. It’s straight historical, meaning there are no paranormal elements. Just a sexy, gritty, dark world. The first book in the series, SWEET REVENGE, comes out June 2013.
And then I have one more Ether Chronicles book to write. So, yeah, it’s a little busy over here.
Readers, now it’s your turn. Do you like books with cowboy heroes? What makes them so sexy? One reader who comments will be randomly chosen to win a digital copy of Lady X’s Cowboy (open internationally).
LADY X’S COWBOY
Constrained by her life as a Society widow, Lady Olivia Xavier finds escape in two unusual ways: as the owner of a successful brewery, and as a secret reader of penny dreadful Western novels. But Olivia’s beloved brewery is being threatened, and she has no ally in her fight. Until a mysterious cowboy steps out from the London fog, saving her from a terrifying brawl. Suddenly, Olivia isn’t just reading about the Wild West, she’s living it.
Colorado cowboy Will Coffin has made the long journey from his Rocky Mountain home to discover his birthright. While searching for his family, he encounters the beguiling Olivia. Will’s never met a real English lady before—certainly not one as lovely and courageous as Olivia—and he can’t resist coming to her rescue.
Olivia is powerfully drawn to the rough but honorable cowboy. She proposes a most scandalous arrangement: in exchange for helping protect her brewery, she’ll help Will find his family. Even more scandalous is that he’ll be sleeping under her roof. The entire arrangement sets Society’s tongues wagging. Meanwhile, the danger to the brewery, and Olivia herself, keeps escalating. But nothing’s as dangerous, or seductive, as the growing desire between the lady and the cowboy…
Lady X’s Cowboy was originally published by Dorchester in 2006 and is newly revised by the author.
Zoë Archer is an award-winning romance author who thinks there’s nothing sexier than a man in tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies her master’s degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines and heroes in tall boots. She is the author of the acclaimed BLADES OF THE ROSE series and the paranormal historical romance series, THE HELLRAISERS. She and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, created the steampunk world of THE ETHER CHRONICLES together. Her steampunk romance, SKIES OF FIRE, is now available from Avon Impulse, and Nico’s steampunk Western, NIGHT OF FIRE, is also available now. Zoë and Nico live in Los Angeles.