WARRIOR ROGUE (The Drift Lords Series #2) by Nancy J. Cohen
A fashion designer and a space warrior race to fulfill an ancient prophecy and save the world.
When fashion designer Jennifer Dyhr loses her lead actor for a video-game commercial, a replacement literally drops from the sky. Reluctant to let him leave, she hires him as a model for her studio. But when terrorists attack their flight home, Jen must awaken powers she didn’t know she had to protect them both.
Trade PB: 978-1-61217-739-7, $16.99, Wild Rose Press, April 26, 2013
Digital: 978-1-61217-740-3, $5.99, Wild Rose Press, April 26, 2013
Kindle ASIN: B00AU62NQS
When fashion designer Jennifer Dyhr loses her lead actor for a video-game commercial, a replacement literally drops from the sky. Reluctant to let him leave, she hires him as a model for her studio. But when terrorists attack their flight home, Jen must awaken powers she didn’t know she had to protect them both. Will she be able to keep her heart safe from the sensual man beside her?
When space ops warrior Paz Hadar falls through a spatial rift onto Jen’s set, he soon realizes she is essential to his mission. Not only must he protect her, his success depends upon her special powers. But as they struggle to stay one step ahead of the enemy, he discovers that fighting his attraction to the lovely Jen is as much a challenge as keeping them both alive.
The engine whine surged as the jet lifted. She gripped the counter to steady herself.
He didn’t budge, his cobalt eyes narrowing. “The prophecy says we must be together. It may not be what either of us wants, but there is no denying Fate.”
Oh, but I do want you, buddy. And judging from the bulge in your pants, the feeling is mutual. “What prophecy?”
His mouth quirked up at the edges. “The one that claims you and I have to join forces to fight evil.”
Here he goes with his delusional nonsense again.
She jabbed her finger in the air. “The only reason we’re together is because I offered you a job. We should discuss your duties. They do not include seducing me.”
He lifted an eyebrow. “If that’s true, why did you kiss me back and put your arms around me?”
His knowing smile made her stutter. “T-That was a momentary lapse. It won’t happen again.”
“Won’t it? You felt it, too, the connection between us. I knew it the moment I saw your watch. Your destiny is written there, and it’s linked to mine.”
INTERVIEW with Nancy J. Cohen
I’m slightly intimidated. Nancy is an amazing person in real life and she’ s so organized about everything. So let’s get this started. What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I started out writing futuristic romance and have five novels published in that genre. These stories combine my love of scifi and romance (yes, I’m a Trekkie). Now I write The Drift Lords Series for The Wild Rose Press. This was a different approach for me because it involves myth and magic in modern times. Warrior Prince begins in Orlando where a sinister theme park introduces the evil Trolleks, invaders from another dimension. Adventure, romance, and danger make for an action-packed thrill ride through each series book. I love creating these stories where anything can happen. I can’t help infusing them with a touch of humor as well.
Since I also like to read humorous cozy mysteries, I write those, too. I have ten books in my Bad Hair Day series featuring hairstylist Marla Shore. Marla operates a salon in sunny South Florida. When she isn’t busy cutting and coloring people’s hair, she solves crimes. Shear Murder, the latest title, is available in ebook and hardcover editions. It’s about weddings and new directions in life. The next book in this series will be Hanging By A Hair. Readers have given these books rave reviews and have come to look upon the continuing cast as friends. I enjoy plotting the mystery and figuring out the relationships among the characters. These are my story focus, not forensics or graphic crime details. They’re fun, fast-paced mysteries set in Florida.
Star Trek brought me and my dad together. Great stories. Writers are often asked what inspired them. So have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
In the early days, I read Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, and Judy Bolton mystery series. This initiated my love for the genre but it did more than that. Reading about Cherry Ames made me want to become a nurse. And so I volunteered in a local hospital and took employment, when of age, as a nurse’s aide for a summer job. Nursing school loomed in the future following high school. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree and went on to earn a master’s degree in nursing. I worked for ten years as a registered nurse.
I could never be a nurse. Way too much blood and suffering. I don’t like being near sadness. I’ve always wanted to ask you how did you get started writing?
I was an avid reader when I was young and tried my hand at some short stories. But it wasn’t until graduate school in nursing that I decided to write a novel. Stories by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Phyllis Whitney inspired me to write romantic suspense. I bought a book called Structuring Your Novel and that taught me how to write a full-length book. I wrote six books before one sold. I submitted the first three manuscripts myself. They got rejected. Then I joined Florida Romance Writers and got an agent at one of their conferences. This agent submitted books four through six. At that point, a writer friend (Marilyn Campbell) suggested I write a futuristic romance since I loved Star Trek and read romance novels. I wrote Circle of Light based on a dream. That title sold and won the HOLT Medallion Award.
Sounds so good. Rejection sucks. How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
Warrior Rogue is my 18th published work. I love them all but my very first published book was a fulfillment of my dreams, so that holds a special place in my heart. That’s probably the fantasy I’d like most to come true.
So cool. I hope to have that soon, as in this year. Tell us about your current series.
The Drift Lords are a team of warriors from space who are called to duty whenever there’s a breach in the space-time continuum. Usually these rifts involve an old enemy, the Trolleks. This time, the Trolleks have devised a means to open the rifts themselves, rather than it being a natural event. Anomalies occur at these sites, like the Bermuda Triangle. This time the Drift Lords cannot repel the Trollek invasion on their own. According to prophecy, they must join with a select group of Earth women whose special powers can defeat the enemy. If they fail, Ragnarok—the end of times—will occur and the multiverse will be destroyed.
Every book in the series is the story of one Drift Lord and his destined mate. They may be working toward an overall team goal, but each character has personal issues to overcome, and each volume holds its own in terms of a happy ending.
A friend of mine whose sick at the moment loved your book, and I will get to it. It sounds farout and a great escape. Work keeps me on my toes with all the testing, but that’s boring. What inspired your latest book?
The idea for the Drift Lords Series came from a ride at Disney’s Epcot theme park. In the Norway pavilion is a ride called Maelstrom. You board a boat that glides into a dark tunnel and rises up a steep incline. At the top are 3 trolls who cast a spell for you to disappear. Suddenly, the boat is whisked backward through time into Norwegian history. I loved the idea of evil trolls, and this is where the series took root. In the gift shop, I bought books on Norse mythology and that got me started.
Warrior Rogue is a direct sequel to Warrior Prince. It’s a continuation of what happens to one of the characters at the end of the first story. The action starts off in Tokyo and then moves to Hong Kong, Manhattan, and Palm Beach. I’ve been to all of those places and used my travel diaries to help me set the scenes. The hero—Paz Hadar—is stranded in a strange land, unable to contact his team, and lacking his equipment and weapons. Jennifer Dyhr, an American woman he meets in Tokyo, offers him a ride to the States in her business jet, but along the way they are assaulted mid-air. Jen and Paz get into one scrape after another, all the while trying desperately to get home.
The trolls and that ride are just fun, not scary. Plus I’m having a love affair in my head with Ragnar Lothbrook on the Vikings right now. Hope one of your men has Ragnar’s smarts. What is your next project and when will it be released?
Coming next is another Bad Hair Day mystery, Hanging By A Hair. And then I expect my 20th book to be Warrior Lord, #3 in the Drift Lords Series. Meanwhile, I’ve planned a research trip for Bad Hair Day mystery #12. I’m also working on a couple of standalone mysteries to see if they’re fit for self-publishing.
The hair ones always sound just plain fun reads. What is your favorite part of writing?
I like the plotting process, although it can give me a headache until all the threads come together. When that happens, it’s a sublime moment. So is being in the zone, when I’m in the second half of a book and the story flows on its own. Once the story is in my head, my subconscious takes over, and that’s when story magic occurs.
Now the opposite, what is your least favorite part of writing?
I hate beginnings. Facing page one is the hardest part. Putting characters on stage for the first time before I really know them is always difficult.
You are one of the most organized and prolific people I know. Tell me your secrets. What is your typical day like?
I wake up between 4 and 5, drink coffee, begin work. I’ll set myself a daily quota regardless if I am in a writing or revision stage. I try to get this done before normal business hours when the world interferes. Then I can spend the rest of the day on marketing activities or go out with friends.
Sounds fun. Being diligent is key. How does your family feel about your writing career?
They are proud and supportive, but they don’t read my books.
My parents have never read anything I wrote, including term papers in school. They only cared about the grade or if I’m happy. But they love me. So Nancy, let’s be real, how much time do you spend promoting your books?
After I finish my daily writing quota, I spend all the rest of the day on promotion. It never ends, and it’s never enough.
That’s alot of time. Do you have critique partners?
Yes, I meet every other week with five other published authors, and we critique each other’s work. We are all members of Florida Romance Writers.
The published group that meets on a weekday. Sounds good and I bet you’re the organizer. A few of us meet on Saturdays, but it’s so not the diligence y’all have. Anyone whose read my blog knows I’m always asking this question and why. How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
I might steal characteristics from people I meet, but I’m more likely to write personal experiences I’ve had into a story.
Surprisingly good answer that is honest. Do you have a view in your writing space? What does your space look like?
I work in a dedicated home office lined with bookshelves. I have a wide corner computer desk with multiple drawers and shelves, and another mahogany desk for correspondence. My view is out the front of the house. Various knickknacks around the office are gifts from writer friends or related to my writing. For example, I have three trolls sitting on a shelf above my computer monitor to inspire me when I’m writing the Drift Lords stories.
Sounds awesome. I have a couch. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely a plotter. I write a complete synopsis before I begin writing.
Everyone knows I like talking about hot guys. So tell me about your hero. Give one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.
Paz Hadar is the team’s linguistics and communications expert. He looks like Sawyer on Lost. He has delft blue eyes, caramel blond hair, and dark brown stubble. Paz is from Morata in the Zood System, where he owns a multi-level home overlooking the desert plain of the Red Flatlands. He can say “Come to bed with me” in numerous languages. In his spare time, he works on a special project that could have wide repercussions if made public.
Like the other Drift Lords, his special ability to detect cors particles became apparent at puberty. Cors particles are produced at the event horizon of a rift, and so the Drift Lords are able to tell when a breach has opened. This talent is rare, and thus enlistment in the League of Drift Lords is mandatory for anyone who has the genetic marker.
Paz’s father considered him a freak because of his differences and because he didn’t want to take a position in the family business. After Paz completed basic Drift Lord training, he joined SattCom Networks as a field technician. Hesitant to realize his potential, he needs Jen to help him move forward.
Paz sounds pretty hot, much hotter than than guy I know in real life with that name. Yours sounds sexy. So tell us about your heroine. Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.
Jen is a fashion designer known for her designs based on Viking influence. She’s told no one about the visions she has wherein she’s living back in that era. In Tokyo working on a video game commercial, she’s stunned by the arrival of a substitute actor for their lead character who’s called in sick. The new guy is stark naked. Feeling drawn to him, Jen gets him dressed and then hires him as a model for her upcoming Spring line. It’s on their way home that the true adventure begins.
Jen has always had to prove herself to her demanding mother, and she seeks a partner in life who will appreciate her value. She doesn’t believe Paz when he tells her she’s part of a prophecy and she has a special power.
Who would believe your part of a prophesy anyhow? Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in?
No, I’ve floundered from time to time, trying different things. And it took a while for my mystery series to take root. Now that’s where my biggest fan base is, but I keep going back to paranormal/scifi/fantasy romance because it fulfills a need in me to write adventure stories. I read in the genres that I write, but I also like to read historical romance and mysteries.
Sounds true enough. Besides FRW, do you belong to any writing organizations?
Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, Novelists, Inc., and International Thriller Writers.
Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
Never Give Up, Never Surrender.
Follow the 3 P’s: Perseverance, Professionalism, and Practice
It’s only over when you say it’s over.
Keep learning and growing as a writer. The learning never stops.
Have faith in yourself.
Where can readers find you?
BUY Warrior Rogue at The Wild Rose Press
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Nancy J. Cohen is an award-winning author of eighteen romance and mystery novels. Her humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series features hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several of these titles have made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list. Shear Murder is the tenth and latest title in this series. Nancy’s imaginative romances have also proven popular with fans. Her paranormal romance titles have won the HOLT Medallion Award and Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. Warrior Rogue, #2 in the Drift Lords Series, is her latest title from The Wild Rose Press. Active in the writing community and a featured speaker at libraries and conferences, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets.
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