Launch Party for Warrior

Come in and make yourself comfortable!  Sven has a great array of appetizers, and we have these cool-o choices of party favors, midget laser swords or tiny blasters (in honor of Will and Audra’s favorite online game).  Pick one on the way to the bar.

Warrior_FINAL_3I am seriously celebrating–see the honking big champagne flute in my hand?–because some couples are just easier than others, and this couple were not what we might call cooperative.

I was working on the book down in my Lair cave, when Will, who resembles Eric Christian Olsen of NCIS: LA with disordered brown/blond hair and a couple of days’  scruff on his jaw, sauntered into the room.  He leaned a hip on the corner of the desk, crossed his arms over his chest, and said, “Babe, you need to match up somebody else.”

I raised an eyebrow.  “It’s your turn.  And calling me babe will not help your cause.  Do you call your mother that?”

“No, and she doesn’t mess around in my life, either.  I like my life as it is.”

I patted his knee.  “You just think so.” Really, his flavor-of-the-week dating strategy had to be getting old.  “This’ll be better.  You’ll see.”

Someone called out from the historical writers’ section, “Reformed rakes make the best husbands.”

I gave Will a See? look as he sputtered.

“I am not a rake,” he managed at last.  “I’m always honest, I always stick to women who’re good with short-term, and I never poach.  I’m a good guy.”

“So your friends have said.”  I smiled at him. “Good guys deserve their own HEA.  So why don’t you just go dig something up (he’s an archaeologist as well as a mage) and stop worrying?  I’ve got this.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” he muttered.  But he shoved off the desk and started out.  At the door, he turned, glacial blue eyes narrowing.  “You should write about Griff.  You still haven’t given him back what he lost.”

“Griff has Val.  And he knows I’ll get to him.  He’s fine.”

Grumbling, Will rolled out.

ONWR_W_BillysIsI had about half an hour of peace before Audra, who resembles actress Julia Jones of the Twilight movies, knocked on the door.  “Excuse me,” she said, tucking her shoulder-length, black hair behind her ear.  “Will and I may be thrown together on this excavation, but he’s really not my type.  And I am seriously not his.”

She looked so earnest that I had to smile as I asked, “Does he make your heart go pit-a-pat?”

Color surged into her cheeks. Her gaze fell, and she jammed her hands into her pockets.  “That’s not relevant,” she answered.

“Leave that to me,” I told her.  “Just go about your business, finish your excavation, and all will be well.”

Mumbling under her breath, she left. Demetrius assured me there  would be no further visitors.  Unfortunately, our chief resident gladiator couldn’t do anything to stop them from texting me, though how they got my number, I don’t know.

Anyway, let’s get to what their book is actually about.  Here’s a description:

A Woman Tainted by Darkness

Archaeologist Audra Grayson is finding out-of-place relics that could torpedo her already shaky career. Now brilliant, sexy consultant Will Davis is sent to take over. Worse, working on the site strengthens the evil shadow that nearly ruined her before, and she fears he not only suspects her of fraud but thinks she’s crazy–unfit for the job.

A Mage Sworn to Oppose It

Will magically senses the darkness in Audra when they meet, and he vows to ignore their growing attraction. When deadly ghouls target her project, Will realizes they want the odd relics to open a portal for demons from the Void between worlds, making everything on Earth an endangered species.

The Fate of the World at Stake

With ghoul attacks escalating and mage traitors in league with the enemy, time is running out for Will to stop the portal from opening. The chemistry between him and Audra threatens to combust, but the darkness within her may give the enemy its chance. If she’s its victim, he must free her. If she’s its ally, he must destroy the love of his life.

If you’d like to read the first chapter, click here.

autumn_trees_OkefenokeeWarrior takes place mostly in the month of November, when the swamp looks like the photo at right.  The one above was taken in February, when the last of the needles were off the cypress trees.

I enjoyed doing the archaeology research and reading about Cherokee customs (Audra is half Cherokee), though a lot of what I read didn’t actually make it into the book.  I created the island for the excavation after visiting Billy’s Island in the western Okefenokee Swamp (you knew the swamp was coming into it somewhere, I’m sure!)

There’s a Native American burial mound on the island, which is fairly large, so I decided to have a mound, too.  According to my research, there are at least 70 such mounds in the wildlife refuge, and looting was common before the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service took over.

ONWR_W_BurialMdIt was hard to photograph the mound and get a sense of it as a mound when we were there in February.  It’s so big that getting a clear view to show its slope is tough because there are, uh, plants in the way.  And my camera batteries were dying from the cold.

The shot at left is the best I could get.  I was standing at the base of the mound, and the tree about 2/3 of the way up was about level with my face.

You know I love trivia, especially word trivia, and in the course of emailing with archaeologists, I learned that the word dig (which I had sprinkled liberally through the book and so had to change) isn’t generally used by professional archaeologists in North America.  It’s used more for European or Biblical projects and in popular media.

My cover was done by the fabulous Lyndsey Lewellen, who found a perfect stand-in for Will. The book is currently available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and awaiting approval on Kobo and iBooks, which should come in the next day or two.

So that’s Warrior.  Trying to turn Mr. Flavor of the Week into a one-woman man was an interesting challenge. Kick back, have your favorite hors d’oeuvres and drinks, and let’s celebrate that it’s done!

I’m giving away a signed, print copy of either Warrior (paper copies coming but not yet ready) or Sentinel to one commenter today.  So tell me, what’s your favorite book, TV show, or movie featuring either a reformed rake or an archaeology plot line? And what are you drinking or munching today?



  • flchen1 says:

    I have to confess I don’t know many, but I did love Ravished by Amanda Quick–the heroine is an archaeologist, I think. I don’t believe the hero is a reformed rake though–for those, I go to two Sebastians–St. Vincent (Devil in Winter) and Ballister (Lord of Scoundrels)… 😀 Happy congrats on Warrior, Nancy!!!

    • Thank you, Fedora! I loved those early Amanda Quicks. I haven’t read either of the other books you mentioned, though Lord of Scoundrels has been on my must read list for a while. I’ll have to check out both of these.

  • Jane says:

    Hello Nancy,
    Congrats on the new release. Love the party favors. I wanted to be an Egyptologist/archaeologist. My favorites include The Mummy trilogy and Romancing the Stone.

    • Jane, thanks! Speaking of Egyptologists, have you read the Amelia Peabody mysteries? If not, you might like them.

      I love Romancing the Stone but have never seen the Mummy movies. I keep thinking I’ll catch them on TV but never seem to catch the beginning.:-/

  • Helen says:

    Woohoo Nancy YAY I have been looking forward to this one 🙂

    How about Harrison Ford in the Raiders of the Lost Ark movies 🙂

    There are probably lots more as well I have just got home form a romance reader retreat at Jenolan Caves and am very tired LOL the brain is not functioning properly

    Huge congrats on the release of to Amazon to buy it 🙂

    Have Fun

  • Amy Conley says:

    Congrats on the new book Nancy.
    As far as my movies if would have to be Raiders of the Lost Ark. Harrison Ford, woulld be a great snack choice.

  • Mary Preston says:

    WARRIOR looks amazing.

    I agree upon Indiana Jones – the first & third movies anyway.

    It’s a tall, cold drink for me today. It is unbelievably hot. A storm is on the way.

  • Shannon says:

    My favorite reformed rake in fiction is Reggie in The Rake.

    As for semi-reformed rakes, I think Hans Solo in Star Wars is one of my favorites. He still doesn’t have his HEA but he’s discovered there’s something more than the deal or the scam.

    And for the record, I hate archeologists or at least some of them. There’s an outside wall on Hatsheput’s temple that has a depiction of an expedition to collect animals from Africa and Arabia. The first time I saw it was pre-digital computer so I was sparing with photos. When I went back in 2005, it was blacked off because there was a dig going on. It’s suppose to take 10 years. Arrggghhh.

    • Shannon, how frustrating!

      I think Han had the best character arc in the Star Wars movies. He’s a great example. A.C. Crispin wrote a terrific series of prequels about Han.

      The Rake, under its original title of The Rake and the Reformer was the first Mary Jo Putney I ever read. I loved it.

  • Brenda Rumsey says:

    This book sounds so good…hope to read it soon.
    My favorite archeology based books was the AREA 51 series by Robert Doherty. It was fun seeing the great mysterious locations of the world in a new and different light and the characters interaction.

  • Justine Gauckler says:

    My favorite archeology based movie is always The Mummy and the Indiana Jones series.

  • deb meredith says:

    Hi Nancy! Big congrats on the new release. Will be ordering today! Can’t wait to read it!
    I love archeology and have to admit the Harrison Ford movies are my favorite. The whole idea of digging up part of the past just fascinates me.

    Are you coming back to Lori’s get together this year? Sure hope so. Really enjoyed chatting with you!

    • Deb, thanks! I hope you enjoy Warrior.

      I had a great time at RAGT last year, especially meeting you and other readers who were so friendly. Whether I get back will depend, as so much does, on our family’s schedule. I hope to make it, though.

  • catslady says:

    I have to go with The Mummy and the librarian lol. I was one of those kids that was always digging in the dirt so it’s a subject I enjoy. What term do they use instead of “dig.” And how about a nice red wine. Congrats on your newest!

    • Thanks, catslady! Red wine sounds great.

      The Librarian is another series I think I would like and never seem to see. I liked Noah Wyle on ER and Falling Skies.

      Archaeologists use excavation, project, or just site. I’m really used to dig, though, maybe from movies.

  • Cassondra says:

    Well, for archaeology I like The Mummy a lot. I like the Indiana Jones ones too, but in later years, though I’m not a huge Nicholas Cage fan, I really like the National Treasure series–that’s not really archaeology though.

    I’m trying to think of a book I’ve read with archaeology at its center. I know there’ve been one or two surely, but I’m drawing a blank.

    YOu already know I love this book–it may be my favorite of your mage stories so far. I think it’s Will’s stubborn refusal to see the truth that makes me both want to smack him and love him at the same time. You did a good job wrangling both of these people!

    • Cassondra, thanks! I’m glad you’re liking Will’s story, even if it does make your smacking hand twitchy.

      There’s The Mummy again. I really have to check those out!

      The Amelia Peabody books are the last ones I remember that centered on archaeology.

  • Becke says:

    Congratulations! I’ve always liked your character Will and there’s something about the guy that doesn’t plan to get caught that triggers the imagination.
    I’m very close to a young man that thinks along those lines. So far, he hasn’t fallen prey to a young woman. However, it’s been interesting to watch unfold–as long as he hooks up with a young lady I like.

    There’s a real fine line between treasure hunter and archeologist. The Nick Cage movie was another one. I liked Raiders that featured Sean Connery as the dad.

    • Becke, thank you! I hope the young man you’re watching ends up with someone great.

      I liked that Raiders, too. I’ve never seen the National Treasure movies all the way through, but they’ve come up several times today.

  • Dianna Love says:

    Woot!!! So glad this one is out. I just downloaded it, in fact. 🙂 Looking forward to another mage story and seeing how you wrangled him in. *g* I love archeological stories and as for movies – Indiana Jones will always rank high up that group for me. I’m eating my husband’s home made granola that we affectionately call Karl’s Crack because you’re hooked as soon as you take a bite (just ask Cassondra ;->). Congrats on the new release, Nancy!!

    • Thanks, Dianna! I think Indiana Jones ranks high on almost everyone’s list.

      The homemade granola sounds fabulous. I don’t suppose Sven could get the recipe from Karl?

  • Hi Nancy!

    Congrats on finishing this one! And smack Will for me too. Glad the boy learned to listen.

    Favorite movies is the Indiana Jones series. Not overly fond of the mummy series (though I liked the mobile skeletons) 🙂

    Passing on the food. Was up late last night watching OSU beat Penn State in double overtime at a party. I’m sugared out.

  • bn100 says:


  • Nancy, huge congratulations on the release of Warrior! As you know, I have a great fondness for reformed rake stories – I’ve written quite a few myself. I loved the excerpt and the story sounds so intriguing! Actually have you read the Ruth Galloway books by Elly Griffiths? They’re set in a very atmospherically described Norfolk and they feature a forensic archeologist who gets involved in solving mysteries. I think they’d be up your alley!

  • pam howell says:

    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    PICK MEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

  • Joan Kayse says:

    Hey Nancy! Congrats on the release of WARRIOR!

    Love your mages. HATE swamps, but love hot guys with magic 😉

  • Deb says:

    Congrats, Nancy!! Woohoo!!!
    My fave archaeology movies are the Indiana Jones movies, especially the first two. Harrison Ford was perfect as the hero in them; handsome, intelligent, and a dashing adventurer.
    Funny you should mention mounds. My lesson tomorrow is about the Mound Builders in Iowa and Effigy National Monument Park in northeast Iowa. (Our unit is the First Iowans.) After the reading portion, my kids are going to “excavate” granola bars and see if they can dig up chocolate chips and almonds without breaking them. 🙂

    • Deb, thanks!

      What a terrific unit for your class–it sounds fascinating. I loved the mounds at Ocmulgee, which I visited for Sentinel. That “excavation” will be interesting. *g*

      It’s hard to go wrong with Indiana Jones. 🙂

  • Barbara Elness says:

    My favorite book series with archaeology are Zoe Archer’s The Blades of the Rose series. My favorite movies are the Indiana Jones movies, especially Raiders of the Lost Ark. And there is a new series coming based on the made-or-TV movies – The Librarians, starring Noah Wyle on TNT. I can’t wait for that.

    • Barbara, I haven’t read the Zoe Archer books, but they sound interesting. I liked Indy, too, especially the first one. Other people have mentioned that librarian series. I need to check it out.

  • Caren Crane says:

    Nancy, I have so been looking forward to this book! I have loved hearing about your trips to Okefenokee and seeing pictures of it. It’s so cool! The Indian burial mound really makes me want to become an archaeologist again (like I wanted to when I was younger). Honestly, I love all archaeology stories. I’m with others, though, in that The Mummy is a favorite! But let’s not forget that Jurassic Park also started out at an archaeological site. Love that one, too!

    My favorite books set in the archaeological world are, hands-down, the Elizabeth Peters series about Amelia Peabody. And Emerson, naturally. 🙂

    Tonight, I am having red wine and noshing on salmon croquettes. I didn’t know Sven made croquettes, but these are divine! I suppose Swedes know their way around all sorts of fish, huh? 😀

  • Caren, red wine and salmon sound great together. You know I like the Amelia Peabody books even though Ramses is not a favorite.

    Good point about Jurassic Park. People tend to forget that.

    I still need to see The Mummy.

    Thanks for the kind words. I’m sometimes amazed my friends don’t stick their fingers in their ears and go, “lalalalala” when I start in on the swamp.

    If you like mounds, check out Ocmulgee, outside Macon. Very cool!

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    WOOT!!! Warrior is HERE! I’m so excited for you Nancy. them Rogues…love them too. And Will is a rogue of the first order. Grins.

    You definately need to see The Mummy. You would love it.

    I adored this book. and loved the swamp trip we took too. Hurrah for Warrior!!

  • gamistress66 says:

    happy release!! 🙂 Will sounds delightful 😉 when archeology & movies are mentioned together I naturally think Harrison Ford & Indiana Jones {sigh} 🙂

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Welcome to the world, Will! I’m so happy that Nancy has finally turned you loose to find your happy ever after! 🙂

    You can add me to the list of Indiana Jones and The Mummy fans.

    Nancy, I’m surprised you haven’t yet discovered Zoe Archer’s The Blades of the Rose series. They’re right up your alley. I’ll add my recommendation to Barbara’s. I loved them!

  • Rae Latte says:

    Congrats on the book! Love the cover!!!

    For a reformed rake I’d go with Stephanie Laurens – any Cynster Novel.

    As for yummy food and drink it was a Latte and chocolate – LOTS of chocolate today!

    • Rae, thanks! I love the cover, too.

      You know the Cynsters are another series I’ve never read that people keep mentioning. I should check them out.

      A latte and chocolate sounds great!