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 Get Lost in DEVIL'S KISS

Hellraisers Book 1

A handsome devil

1762. James Sherbourne, Earl of Whitney, is a gambling man. Not for the money. But for the thrill, the danger—and the company: Whit has become one of the infamous Hellraisers, losing himself in the chase for adventure and pleasure with his four closest friends.

Which was how Whit found himself in a gypsy encampment, betting against a lovely Romani girl. Zora Grey’s smoky voice and sharp tongue entrance Whit nearly as much as her clever hands—watching them handle cards inspires thoughts of another kind…

Zora can’t explain her attraction to the careless blue-eyed Whit. She also can’t stop him and his Hellraisers from a fiendish curse: the power to grant their own hearts’ desires, to chase their pleasures from the merely debauched to the truly diabolical. And if Zora can’t save Whit, she still has to escape him…

Excerpt     Trailer


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. December marks the beginning of her new paranormal historical romance series, THE HELLRAISERS. Zoë and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, live in Los Angeles. Please visit her on the Web at http://www.zoearcherbooks.com/

by Zoë Archer

I'm writing this blog post from the front seat of my car, parked at the Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond, California.  As I'm writing this, my husband (fellow romance novelist Nico Rosso) is receiving instruction on how to drive a Formula race car.  Once the instruction is over, he'll get to drive an actual Formula car around a race track for eighteen minutes.

I purchased this race car experience for Nico as a gift.  Neither of us are NASCAR fans, and we don't go to other car racing events.  So, why did I get him this gift?  Because it seemed like a fun, cool experience.  Definitely thrilling.

People do all sorts of things in pursuit of thrills.  Mountain biking, bungee jumping, sky diving, swimming with sharks.  A friend of mine has been taking flying lessons.  She's offered to take me up in her plane, but I'm not that much of a thrill-seeker, especially where high altitudes are concerned.

Why do we chase excitement?  What is it about tempting danger that's so appealing? 
Some of us lead pretty quiet lives.  We wake up, make sure everyone is fed and off to school or work, go to our own jobs, come home, read or watch television or mess around on the internet (guilty), until it's time for bed. Rinse. Repeat. Doing something that gets the adrenaline pumping—even if it's watching a scary movie—reminds us of the visceral, precarious nature of life.  It's easy to get sucked into a sense of complacency.  But when we catch big air on our snowboards (not something I've ever done), our heart beats faster, our pupils dilate, and we become more basic, more animal. 

DEVIL'S KISS is the first book in my new Hellraisers series.  The Hellraisers are a group of five rakes, all of them wealthy, most of them titled.  They're handsome, rich, powerful.  Anything they want, they can have.  No wonder that the Hellraisers have earned their name. They spend their nights chasing pleasure and experience from one end of London to the other.  You name a sin, they've done it.  From horse races in the middle of the night to entertaining whole troupes of opera dancers.  The Hellraisers are some very bad boys.

Whit, the Hellraiser hero of DEVIL'S KISS, gets his thrills at the gaming tables.  Nothing excites him more than tempting the odds at cards or hazard.  He doesn't care if he wins or loses a fortune.  All that matters is the risk.  Even women don't excite him as much as a night in a gaming hell.

Things change, however, when Whit meets Zora Grey, a Romani woman and an expert at manipulating cards.  The fiery Gypsy woman intrigues Whit, just as she's fascinated by this blue-eyed stranger with clever hands.  Though Whit and Zora come from very different worlds (he's an earl with several estates, she tells fortunes and lives in a tent), the attraction between them is undeniable.  And thrilling.

But everything is threatened when the Devil himself offers Whit the power to manipulate probability...a temptation far too good to refuse.  A thrill-seeker like Whit find the offer irresistible, never counting on the price of this power.

Ah—here comes Nico, fresh from tearing up the track!  He’s got a huge smile on his face.  Clearly, he had fun.  It’s not just the speed, he says, but the open cockpit, the rumble of the engine…the primal feeling of man, machine and the winding road.  I think I earned my Wife Wings today. 
So whether it's the 18th century or the 21st century, we can't seem to get enough thrills.

What's the craziest or most exciting thing you've ever done in pursuit of a thrill?  Leave a comment, and I'll pick a commenter at random to win a signed copy of DEVIL'S KISS (US and Canada only for print copies, international for a PDF).
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  1. Welcome to GLIAS, Zoe !

    My biggest thrill? Well...I'm a huge rollarcoaster rider and rode a double loop coaster about 6 times in a row. More recently, I crossed the Capillano Suspension Bridge & Cliffwalk. I hate those types of things. Hate them. But I wasn't going to sit on the side-lines and let hubby go without me. Determined? Thrills? I'm actually THRILLED *I* accomplished it.

    BEST OF LUCK with the book!

  2. Hi Zoe! Great to see you. So sorry for the blogger snafu that made your post show up so late!

    I'm much less of a thrill seeker as I've gotten older, I've discovered. More of a security girl--pesky realization of my mortality, I suppose! I've done my share of thrilling things--roller coasters, cliff jumping, etc. Just don't ask me to do anything downhill. I have an irrational fear of falling downhill, be it skiing, running, etc. No idea why, but even in high school, when I'd run cross-country, I'd walk DOWN the hills and RUN up them. Crazy :)

    Congrats on the new series! Looking forward to it.

  3. Thanks for having me, Heather and Angi!

    Most of my risk has been of the professional kind--I'm not good with heights, and I am super motion sensitive. I always wanted to be one of those tree-climbing kids, heedless of danger. Ah, well, at least I can write about thrilling things. ;)

  4. The only "thrill" that comes to mind is that which I get from working with scary animals.

    I definitely did not go into zookeeping for the thrill of it, or to prove that I'm courageous or strong. I went into it because I love taking care of animals. But I've found that I do get a rush -- that "holy crap, look at what I can do!" feeling -- whenever I become confident enough to capably handle a challenging animal that would, in a different environment, send me running in the opposite direction. I mostly like knowing that I'm doing my job well, because that means the animal isn't overly stressed by working with me.

  5. I'm not a thrill seeker by nature. I am terribly afraid of heights but I did take a ride on the London Eye ferris wheel. It is even more frightening because it doesn't stop. EVER. You have to hop on while it is still moving. Very scary. Plus I was in formal wear (it's a long story LOL).
    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

  6. Hi Zoe! I can't wait to read the first book in your new series. It sounds fabulous!

    I'm not a thrill seeker...at all. The only daring thing I've ever done is to go on a roller coaster ride. But my mom (who the family has nicknamed Speed Racer) did the NASCAR riding experience years ago when she was in her mid-50's. She had a blast.


  7. It wasn't in pursuit of a thrill, but I once jumped into the deep end of a pool at the urging of a friend. I didn't know how to swim at the time. At all. The lifeguard had a really fun time fishing me out.

  8. But was it a CUTE lifeguard, Julie?


  9. I'm not sure this is the same sort of "thrill" as skydiving or something similar, but I traveled all the way from the US to England just to see my favorite actor in a play.

  10. Gosh, I don't think I'm much of a thrill-seeker but when it comes to food I can be. I like to try all sort of things so perhaps that's where my adventurous side lies :)


  11. Hi Zoe!

    I'm late getting in here, but I have to tell you I read the excerpt for Devil's Kiss and I must have more!

    I'm a travel-thrill seeker. Love to duck into back alleys and spooky courtyards. That's how I found Bleeding Heart Yard in Hatton Garden, London. Just skulking about...and it turned out to have a history! How could it not? ;)

  12. I hate to admit I'm not much of a thrill-seeker. I'm more the play it safe kind of person. Although, I did do a lot of mountain climbing (on trails) when I lived in Virginia and some of them over looked some pretty steep drops.