By J. H. Bográn
Nancy J. Cohen is nothing if not versatile. She writes the humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring hairdresser Marla Shore. Several of these titles have made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list. Cohen is also the author of WRITING THE COZY MYSTERY, a valuable instructional guide for writers on how to write a winning cozy-style whodunit. Her imaginative romances have proven popular with fans as well. Her titles in this genre have won the HOLT Medallion and Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews.
For this story, the focus is on the next volume of WARRIOR LORD. I first met Nancy J. Cohen when she was about to release a book in her Bad Hair Day series. Then she was kind enough to let me steal the spotlight on her blog. Now I’m pleased THE BIG THRILL gave me the opportunity to her a few questions about her new book.
What’s the plot of WARRIOR LORD – Drift Lord 3?
Pottery sculptor Erika Sherwood has no idea her televised wedding in Las Vegas is for real until an official confirms she and the stranger she’s just met are legitimately wed.
A Drift Lord and warrior of the Tsuran, Magnor tricks the redhead into marriage because she’s one of six women prophesied to save Earth. But as he’s forced into her company in their race against the apocalypse, he wonders if he risks his heart more than his life.
Can a free-spirited ceramic artist and a fierce swordsman trust each other enough to prevent disaster?
What differences can the reader of book 2 expect from this third volume?
WARRIOR LORD 3 concludes one story thread but introduces another. So while it answers some questions, it raises more. We have the appearance of some new mythological creatures such as gnomes, ogres, zombies, and Hel, the goddess of the underworld. These fantasy elements are blended into a contemporary setting that roams from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, Norway, Florida, Arizona, and a volcanic Pacific island. As with any romance series, the hero and heroine differ from previous volumes. WARRIOR LORD features Lord Magnor of the Tsuran and Erika Sherwood from Arizona.
Tell us a bit about Erika Sherwood.
Erika is a free-spirited ceramic artist who designs mythical figures such as trolls and fairies. She owns a pottery studio but plans to earn her education degree so she can teach arts and crafts to special needs kids. Too restless to attend college earlier, she held several jobs until she eventually opened a pottery studio to the dismay of her staid parents. Now much more goal-directed, she’s in Vegas for an art show. She needs money to fund her education. So when Magnor, a stranger she meets in the casino, proposes they both team up to enter an engaged couples contest, she leaps at the opportunity to win the prize package. The trouble begins when they are declared the winners and have to get married on live television.
What can you tell us about the antagonist?
Loki is a shapeshifter and foster son of Odin, the All-Father in Norse mythology. Because he was responsible for killing one of Odin’s sons, Loki has been banished to an underground prison. He schemes to make his escape and to destroy the multiverse in revenge. To that end, he’s manipulated the Trolleks into invading Earth through a dimensional rift in the Bermuda Triangle. The space warriors called the Drift Lords are summoned to defeat these evil forces. However, battling a god requires different skills than fighting on the battlefield, and they need the help of a band of women who have powers derived from Odin. Erika Sherwood has no idea of her role until she meets Magnor, who recognizes that she’s his destined mate and one of the six women who will defeat Loki according to prophecy.
What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?
Aside from the Norse gods and Odin’s powers in particular, I had to research volcanoes since a climactic scene is set on a mountainous island with an imminent volcanic eruption. Another scene is set at a Copenhagen theme park similar to Tivoli Gardens, so I needed maps of this park layout to act as my model. I’ve been to most of the places in this story, so I referenced my travel journals for sensory details. And I looked up legends on Hel, goddess of the underworld, who is introduced in this tale along with her army of dead walkers.
WARRIOR LORD feels like a departure from your Marla Shore mystery series. How do you keep them separate?
I work on one book at a time. It’s refreshing to change genres since these stories are so different. The mysteries are logical, grounded in reality, and must stay within certain parameters. My Drift Lords series also takes place in the modern world, so most locations in these stories are real. But the fantasy element allows my imagination to run free and my characters to have adventures that wouldn’t be possible in a traditional mystery.
Will you be making a tour, or appearances to promote WARRIOR LORD?
Yes, I will have online appearances beginning July 30 and a Blog Tour August 4-11. You can access my schedule here.
What are you currently working on?
I am doing final edits for PERIL BY PONYTAIL, my twelfth Bad Hair Day mystery.
What’s your next big project?
I’m preparing to put my mystery backlist titles into audio formats. And I have an indie project about to make a debut. It’s my late father’s account of his hitchhiking adventure across the U.S. in 1929. I am excited to make this available to fans of travel adventure and American history. After these are done, I’ll work on the next title in one of my series.
Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring hairdresser Marla Shore. Several of these titles have made the IMBA bestseller list. HANGING BY A HAIR is her twentieth published book and number eleven in her series. Nancy is also the author of WRITING THE COZY MYSTERY, a valuable instructional guide for writers on how to write a winning whodunit. Meanwhile, her imaginative romances have won the HOLT Medallion and Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. A featured speaker at conferences, libraries, and community events, Nancy is President of Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter.
To learn more about Nancy, please visit her website.