Monday, April 2, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway with Author Zoë Archer

Boots! Boots! Boots! (And Steampunk)
Guest Blog by Zoë Archer

Today, I’m going to discuss a subject very near and dear to me: boots.

If you follow me at all on Twitter or Facebook (and less frequently on Pinterest), you already know that I have a mild obsession with boots.  If, perhaps, you’re not as familiar with me and my personal mania, let me introduce the topic by stating I have at least twenty pairs of boots currently jamming my closet.  Twenty is actually a conservative estimate.

My boots run the gamut: hiking boots, snow boots (not yet worn, as I live in Los Angeles), ankle-high boots, tall boots.  I steer away from boots with tall, skinny heels, and, since I’m only 5’, I avoid over-the-knee boots. While they look awesome and remind me of 18th century highwaymen, over-the-knee boots would make me resemble Lowly Worm.

But I love boots because they shout “Adventure,” and “Badass Ahoy,” which is something I know I need more of in my life.  Even if I can’t jump from rooftop to rooftop, or sail the seas in pursuit of treasure, at least I can have on the appropriate footwear.

One of the reasons why I’ve been drawn to steampunk is because of its fashion aesthetic, especially the boots.  Boots are a key element in steampunk clothing.  If you’re traveling the globe in an airship, journeying from one adventure to another, you’ve got to be suitably shod.  That means boots, and lots of them.  Even better, it means boots with buckles, my absolute favorite.

But don’t worry, if you prefer a daintier, more Victorian-looking boot, steampunk has that, too.

One thing that distinguishes a steampunk boot from its actual Victorian-era counterpart is the distinct fantastical element, the deliberate over-the-top quality, from the number of buckles to kind of trim.  These boots are meant for adventure, but they’ve also got style and swag (as the kids say), which is part of the whole science fiction-meets-history vibe that shapes steampunk.  Victorians were keen on making everything—even machines—beautiful, so that philosophy of adornment continues in steampunk clothes and shoes.

So, yes, boots and steampunk are inexorably linked—one of the many reasons I enjoy writing steampunk romance.

It certainly wasn’t a hardship that I kept picturing boots of every stripe and variety when writing SKIES OF FIRE, my steampunk romance.  Knowing that Captain Christopher Redmond was striding around his airship wearing tall buckled boots gave me an added incentive to sit down to my keyboard every morning.  And of course, his old flame Louisa Shaw’s work as a spy means that she needs appropriate footwear when prowling around behind enemy lines.

So, tell me, do you have a favorite pair of boots?  What kind would you want to wear on a steampunk adventure?  Leave a comment, and I’ll pick a winner to win a print copy of SKIES OF FIRE. 

Now, I’m off to look at more pictures of boots on the Internet—I mean, do research.

SKIES OF FIRE: The Ether Chronicles Book 1

Man made of metal and flesh

Captain Christopher Redmond has just one weakness: the alluring spy who loved and left him years beforewhen he was still just a man. Now he's superhuman—a Man O' War, made as part of the British Navy's weapons program—and his responsibility is to protect the skies of Europe. If only he could forget Louisa Shaw.

A most inconvenient desire

Louisa, a British Naval Intelligence agent, has never left a job undone. But when her assignment is compromised, the one man who can help her complete her mission is also the only man ever to tempt her body and heart. As burning skies loom and passion ignites, Louisa and Christopher must slip behind enemy lines if they are to deliver a devastating strike against their foe . . . and still get out alive.

Zoë Archer: website, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr

Bio: 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. Zoë and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, live in Los Angeles. Nico’s story in the world of The Ether Chronicles will be available in July 2012. Please visit Zoë on the Web at


  1. I don't really care about shoes or boots, but if my best friend read this post, she would be jumping in her happiness - she keeps telling me that the first thing she looks at on a man is what he's wearing on his feet :) So I don't have a favorite pair of boots but I'll make sure to ask her about her favorite :)

  2. I have way too many pairs of boots to have just one fav. On a steam punk adventure I would definitely wear this pair with lots of buckles and traction that I have. They fold over right below the knee and are this burnished gold color.

  3. My favorite pair is a pair of ankle high black leather boots with a strap across the instep and a big silver buckle. Oh and 3" heels.

  4. OMG I would have to go with the almost flat book that come to my knees that look like work boots or the black leather ones (once again to knee) that have zippers (open enough to slide card in)and have 4 inch heels but the 1st pair would work way better than heels for a Steampunk adventure lol... I LOVE boots so much!

    t.mahaffy25 (at)

  5. Yesss, someone to share my love of boots with! I adore wearing boots, though most of mine are skinny heeled knee high ones. I am 5'3" and love the extra leg length high heels give me, you could pull off some stilettos. I do have one pair that would be perfect to take with me on a Steampunk adventure, I call them my pirate boots. They have a 2 inch heel, black, knee high, with lots of buckles and straps. Wearing them makes me feel sexy, and I think they would look killer with a Regency/racy type dress =)

    eyesofblueice (at) gmail

  6. It's hard to pick a favorite; I love them all for different reasons! I have a pair that has 4-inch heels and an almost oxfordian look to them--strutting around while nearly 6 feet tall is immense fun.

  7. I am definitely a boot whore! I hate window shopping (I mean what's the point if you can't buy anything!) but I will look and admire boots for hours given the chance. I have finally bought a pair of black 3 1/2" killer boots that would fit into the Steampunk aesthetic. I love alot of the clothing seen on book covers and described in the books. I think I could write a blog on cool leather jackets - what do you think? :)
    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

  8. Is it wrong that I was hoping you were giving away one of those kick-ass pairs of steampunk boots?? I could so easily develop a bad shoe and boot habit. Instead my disposable income goes towards ebooks and chai...

    My favourite boots are black leather ankle boots with a block heel. Light, comfortable, and flattering, they are comfortable and *sob* worn out after five Canadian winters.

  9. I do have a favorite pair. They are black with a little heel. Not too tall but enough to add some height and make my pants the right length. They are super comfy and were from the first time I wore them.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  10. I own maybe 4 pr of shoes, so I'm not a shoe or boot nut. My mom on the other hand has more shoes than carter has pills. I think boots can be sexy, but they're just not for me. Leather boots that come up the calf, with lots of buckles and places to hide goodies.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  11. I have a favorite pair of boots. I'd probably wear a pair of black, comfortable boots on the adventure.


  12. I'd want to wear my buckle up, buckle down knee high boots on my Steampunk adventure. These are serious boots just made for high jinks.


  13. It's pouring cats and dogs outside -okay I'm not living in an alternate reality - so it's just raining hard and I wore my leather boots. I just like that I don't have to worry about the hem of my pants getting wet and more importantly it's very comfortable. That is what I care the most about in shoes. High leather boots would work nicely on a steampunk adventure.


  14. I had a terrific pair of boots: black, knee-high with small high heels: it was perfect because due to the heels it was elegant and yet they weren't high so it was comfortable to walk around in them all day. Loved wearing them with skinny jeans, especially in rainy weather as that way my jeans wouldn't get soaked and yet I remained classy and trendy. Sadly I wore them out and I wasn't able to find their successor ever since :-( But I'm still looking, hopefully one day I will find THE ONES...

    Thank you for the fun post Zoe and congrats on the release!!

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com