Friday, October 19, 2012

Guest Blog & Giveaway with Zoe Archer

As much as I love a big, bad alpha hero, I’m also a sucker for an academic heroine. Maybe it’s because I was an academic for so many years, or maybe it’s because women’s education has been such a controversial topic over the centuries, but give me a heroine who has a particular area of academic expertise, and I go gaga.

Not all academic heroines are necessarily meant for being out in the field. Some aren’t used to being away from their desks or out of the library. But often, they find their strength once they get out there, away from the books. I’m thinking of women like Evy Carnahan from The Mummy. When we first meet her, she causes a domino effect of destruction in a library, but by the end of the film, she’s doing some serious ass kicking. Or what about Amelia Peabody from Elizabeth Peters’s mystery series. She might be a sheltered academic at first, but it doesn’t take her long to not only rise to the challenge of the Egyptian desert, but also get the grouchy (and sexy) Emerson under her thumb.

Before SKIES OF STEEL, I’d written an academic heroine before. London Harcourt, from SCOUNDREL, is an expert linguist—but she’s self taught and essentially closeted as a specialist in her field. Plus, she’s extremely sheltered. When she encounters the world outside of her small London Society circle, she had a lot of real-life learning to do.

But Professor Daphne Carlisle, the heroine of my steampunk romance SKIES OF STEEL, is very different from London. Firstly, Daphne is a tenured professor of anthropology, and has spent a considerable amount of time out in the field, studying different cultures that are in danger of vanishing beneath the crush of modern society. When she approaches Captain Mikhail Mikhailovich Denisov in a seedy Palermo tavern, seeking his help in freeing her kidnapped parents, Mikhail believes she’s just a prim and unworldly academic. Mikhail is a rogue Man O’ War—a man enhanced through technology to be faster and stronger than normal men, plus he can power and pilot airships. It takes a lot of convincing—plus the promise of money—to get Mikhail to agree to help Daphne. He thinks he’s going to have to keep her from bumbling into trouble throughout the mission. But appearances can definitely be deceptive. Academic Daphne may be, but she’s far from helpless and bumbling. And there’s more to her story that Mikhail knows.


By Zoë Archer

Out Now!
In the world of The Ether Chronicles, the Mechanical War rages on, and appearances are almost always deceiving . . .

The prim professor

Daphne Carlisle may be a scholar, but she’s far more comfortable out in the field than lost in a stack of books. Still, when her parents are kidnapped by a notorious warlord, she knows she’ll need more than quick thinking if she is to reach them in time. Daphne’s only hope for getting across enemy territory is an airship powered and navigated by Mikhail Denisov, a rogue Man O’ War who is as seductive as he is untrustworthy.

The jaded mercenary

Mikhail will do anything for the right price, and he’s certain he has this mission—and Daphne—figured out: a simple job and a beautiful but sheltered Englishwoman. But as they traverse the skies above the Mediterranean and Arabia, Mikhail learns the fight ahead is anything but simple, and his lovely passenger is not entirely what she seems. The only thing Mikhail is certain of is their shared desire—both unexpected and dangerous.


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About 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 STEEL, 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.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Blog 

So, tell me, do you have a favorite academic heroine? What do you find appealing about heroines with a scholarly background? Leave a comment along with your email address, and one person will win a digital copy of SKIES OF STEEL! Open to everyone. The winner will be announced on October 25th.


  1. Ok then I am all in cos it sounds wicked :)
    I am all for a woman with brains, but then I like all kinds of heroines. As long as the story is good they can be whatever they want to be..except for tstl

    booksforlife (at) (gmail) dot com

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks for a great post and congrats to Zoe on the newest release! Ummm... I like "scholarly" heros b/c smart is sexy :) One of my favs was Dr. Jackson from Stargate, not a book, but he was sooo dreamy :)


  4. I like Indiana Jones. I think he is hot but I like reading about all types of heroes and heroines. Please enter me in contest.

  5. Love smart heroines. Smart usually means capable, not helpless. I was having a hard time picking favorites, so I chose some I really liked. I really like Soteria(or Tory) from Acheron(Dark Hunter series). I also really liked Professor Irene Conridge from Shelly Laurenston's shifter series. Both are very intelligent and capable or taking care of themselves.

  6. I really liked Liliana Claremont in Heather Snow's Sweet Enemy - she's an accomplished chemist and made a fantastic heroine.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  7. I cant think of one that I have read. So no favorites. I have read plenty of smart ones though

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  8. I can't think of an acedemic heroine at the moment. I know I've read at least one, but I'm at a loss.

    Sara M
    sara_UFblog [at] yahoo [dot] com



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