Hello, and welcome to another exclusive interview from Swoonworthy Battle Heroes magazine! If you’re new to this publication, here’s what you need to know:
- SBH is an elite club exclusively for fantastical, swoon-inducing battle heroes! In an effort to acknowledge the amazing women who fight evil alongside their male counterparts, SBH has just launched a Warrior Women division. This issue debuts the first female inductees.
- Membership in SBH/Warrior Women is determined by the 4 pillars of heroism: courage, character, conquering-of-evil, and charisma (aka swoonworthiness).
- This month we’re inducting FOUR new members —
- Amelia, a dual-born Daughter of Power now fighting evil in Arameth*, along with Lytira, the warrior-queen of the Sephram. These two women helped turn the tide of the battle in Arameth*, and one of them even prevented the (re)death of a prophesied hero! And…
- Calla, wolf-shifting princess of Schwarzwald**, along with Hayden, powerful wolf-shifting witch of Schattenland** , who are both working diligently to extinguish evil from The Black Forest!
*Arameth is a nexus world, one which touches Earth and other dimensions, but don’t worry; the heroes of Arameth won’t let anything happen to Earth… or at least, they’ll try not to. You can find out more in the Legends of Arameth series, starting with The Lex Chronicles trilogy by Crystal Crawford.
**Schwarzwald and Schattenland are part of a cloaked fairy tale kingdom hidden in the Black Forest of Germany, not that you’ll ever be able to find anything on it in the “normal” history books. To find out more about Schwarzwald, Schattenland, and their heroes, check out The Immortal Grimm Brothers’ Guide to Sociopathic Princesses series by M.J. Padgett (don’t forget to check out her blog, too!).
And now, the feature you all came here to see…
Swoonworthy Battle Heroes presents:
an exclusive peek at our latest Warrior Women club induction, featuring Lytira and Amelia from Arameth, and Calla and Hayden from Schwarzwald and Schattenland!
hosted by Lex and Jack
Lex: Welcome, ladies, to this special edition of Swoonworthy Battle Heroes: and the launch of our Warrior Women edition. We’re really excited to have you here! For our readers, here’s what to expect today… we’ll be doing two interviews, first with Lytira and Amelia from Arameth, and then a second with Calla and Hayden of Schwarzwald and Schattenland. Today, Jack and I will be heading up the interviews, as Wil and Acarius are… well, they’re just not as entertaining as we are, right Jack?
Jack: What? Sorry, didn’t hear you. I was eating.
Lex: Is that… hey, I told you to get your own peanut butter! That was my last jar!
Jack: Here, have it back, whiny baby.
Lex: Ew, no. You ate straight out of the jar. You owe me a new one.
Jack: Get in line, buddy. I owe, like, ten people jars of peanut butter.
Amelia: Um… guys… aren’t we supposed to be answering questions or something? I thought this was about us.
Jack: I’m ready. Lex is the one whining about peanut butter.
Lex: That’s it. I’m hiding your spoon.
Amelia: Won’t he just eat it with his fingers, then?
Jack: Yes. God gave me ten built-in spoons, Son of Prophewhatever.
Lex: Seriously? How did you ever make it in as a Swoonworthy Battle Hero if your fingers are always greasy from peanut butter? How do you even hold a weapon?
Jack: Surprisingly well. It sort of adds grip. You wouldn’t think that but–hey, does Lytira’s eye always twitch like that?
Amelia: Only when she’s about to stab someone.
Lex: Well, time to get back to the interview! Lytira, how about we ask you the first question?
Lytira: You may ask Amelia or myself. That is why we are here, is it not? I did not come here to discuss your snacking preferences.
Jack: Peanut butter is not a snack, it’s a lifestyle, but anyway… Lex tells me you are the bravest warrior he knows, Lytira. Can you tell us what your specialties are?
Lytira: Specialties? I kill those who need to be killed in the way that best kills them. I have many techniques at my disposal.
Jack: That sounds like a reasonable approach to dispatching evil. Do you have a preferred technique that would, say, rid the world of the evilest evil to ever live?
Lytira: *narrowing her eyes* I am partial to stabbing.
Lex: I can vouch for that one. So, Lytira, would you like to share some of your unique abilities? You know, the ones that, say… someone who isn’t Sephram wouldn’t be able to do?
Lytira: You know we do not openly discuss those things. Our mystery keeps us at an advantage over our enemies.
Lex: Right. Okay… Amelia? Why don’t you share some of your abilities?
Amelia: Well, I mean, I’m not like… a fighter, exactly… but I can do magic…
Jack: Ooh! Like fairy magic or something else? Please don’t say gooey evil magic because we have enough of that to last a lifetime–or many lifetimes–but fairy magic, or really anything else is cool.
Amelia: Gooey? No, I wouldn’t say it’s gooey. And definitely not evil. It’s more like… bright? Honestly, it’s not so much attacking-type magic as like a “stop the dark magic from killing all of us” type thing.
Jack: Well, you would be handy to have back at the forest for sure, but…. Hey! Wait a minute! You’re that girl Lex talks about, like, all the time!
Amelia: Really? He does? *looks at Lex* You do?
Lex: Jack, seriously? I thought what happened in the hero-cave stayed in the hero-cave, man!
Jack: But… isn’t she the one who keeps you from blowing up? You’re constantly going on about not wanting to blow up, right?
Lex: Yes, Amelia is… she is… well, she’s kept me from exploding… more than once. I owe her my life.
Amelia: That’s… less romantic than I was hoping, but true.
Lex: Amelia, I didn’t mean to… I mean… you aren’t upset, are you? You know what I…
Amelia: Don’t worry, Jack. He’s not always like this. He just has a hard time expressing his feelings in public.
Jack: *narrows eyes* In which public? He’s got a big mouth around–
Lex: Dude, that was supposed to be guy talk! What are you doing right now? You’re ruining my brooding hero street cred!
Jack: Maybe if you shared your peanut butter with me like Acarius does, things like this wouldn’t happen.
Lytira: Does Acarius speak of his feelings to you, Jack? I was not aware he trusted you so deeply. What… what has she said?
Amelia: She means about her. She wants to know if he’s talked about her.
Jack: *glances warily at Lex* Um…
Lex: Nope, no… we’re not doing this. Back to the planned questions.
Jack: But if it’s what the ladies want to discuss, who are we to derail their induction interview?
Lex: Hey, angering Acarius means angering Mare, remember? Do you want an angry, creepily-intelligent horse on your hands? I sure don’t. But hey, if you do…
Jack: Okay ladies, enough about romance and feelings. Weapons of choice that do not involve creepy horses that may or may not have eaten me alive in my worst nightmares?
Lytira: Claws… or daggers.
Amelia: I’m more of a… sunbeam sort of girl, I guess?
Jack: How does your sunny magic work, exactly?
Amelia: Oh, it basically sears through evil and incinerates it. Sometimes it burns things and we think maybe it could explode, but we’ve never let it get that far. But it can also be warm and fuzzy! You know, like when I’m not trying to kill you.
Jack: *peers at Lex* Could we perhaps borrow her to kill a centuries-old evil person for, I don’t know, a few days maybe?
Lex: That’s totally up to her. I mean, we need to make sure the evil villain trying to destroy our own world is taken care of first… and it would be nice to have her around so that I don’t blow up… I mean… don’t you have your own heroes for that? Taking ours would be sort of inconvenient for us.
Jack: Yeah, but dragons are so difficult to control–I mean, dragons, ha! Who said anything about dragons? Not me! No dragons here. Nope.
Lytira: We have grotesque lizard-creatures corrupted by dark magic who incinerate entire villages. But we do not have dragons… I have never fought a dragon before. I would like to.
Amelia: *laughing nervously* Ha. Lytira… always the joker. Nobody wants to fight a dragon… Right, Lytira?
Jack: Good thing there aren’t any dragons, then, right?
Lex: *glancing sideways at Jack* Yes. That’s a relief, for sure. So, ladies, I’m sorry to rush this interview, but we’ve gotten a bit side-tracked and we still have another pair of lovely Warrior Women to induct today, so… let’s bring it to the final questions, shall we? Why do you think you’re a good fit for Swoonworthy Battle Heroes’ Warrior Women division?
Amelia: I… um…
Lytira: Amelia was the determining force which kept evil from overrunning our royal city of Zeriphath in our last battle there. She is a worthy hero, and more than deserving of induction.
Amelia: Thank you, Lyt! That’s so sweet!
Jack: Aw… she’s in! Lex, do you have anything to add? You know, about Amelia? Maybe about how you feel about things…
Lex: I don’t really think this is the place for that, Jack…
Lytira: Are you not confident enough in your feelings to declare them, Lex?
Lex: What? No, it’s not that, it’s just…
Amelia: Lex, you know I don’t need you to say it in front of everyone here. I wouldn’t mind, but… you don’t have to. You know how I feel about you. You don’t need to prove anything.
Lex: It’s not that I don’t want to say it in public, it’s just that… you know… we haven’t exactly talked about all of this, and I wasn’t sure what you… I mean… I…
Lytira: This interview has grown awkward. I tire of it. Do you have a final question for me as well?
Jack: I don’t know. Will Acarius freak out? Will Mare eat me?
Amelia: Are you planning to hurt Lytira? If so, I’d run now. Otherwise, ask away! We’ll just… pretend the weirdness with Lex didn’t happen and move on… Lex and I will talk later.
Lex: No, wait. I do have something to say. Amelia, I… I mean, you… are… um… that is, I’ve been…
Lytira: I think he is attempting to confess emotion.
Lex: *sighs* You know what, just… *glances at Jack* Give me second, dude, okay? *leans over and whispers something to Amelia*
Amelia: *giggles* Really? Lex, do you mean that?
Jack: I… I think she’s swooning! *looks at Lytira* Is that a swoon? I think it’s a swoon! Oh, my little heart!
Lytira: I would not know. Sephram do not swoon.
Jack: Really? Interesting. Well, Acarius does–I mean… Lytira, can you tell me why you want to be a member of our Warrior Women division?
Lytira: He… does? Nevermind, I will answer your question; that is why we are here. I am a woman. I am a warrior. Does it not go without explanation why I would seek to join this division?
Jack: She’s in!
Lex: Thank goodness! Okay, time to wrap up, see you two lovely ladies later… Next!!!
Amelia: *shakes her head* He’s cute when he’s uncomfortable, isn’t he?
Jack: Adorable. Anyone have a spoon?
Lex: Ew, no, not the fingers again, just… here! Here’s your spoon. Take it. You’re unbelievable. Anyway, Lytira, Amelia, thank you so much for joining us! We’re happy to add you to our Warrior Women division. Our people will be in touch with details on your membership benefits and other opportunities.
Lytira: Thank you, Lex. We will depart now.
Amelia: Yes, thank you!
Lex: Amelia, wait! We’re… still on for dinner tonight, right?
Amelia: Of course. See you later, Lex. Nice to meet you, Jack!
Jack: You too! Glad to put faces with names finally!
Lex: *glares at Jack* Dude. Really? You totally threw me under the bus!
Jack: I… what? I did not! There were no buses!
Lex: *sighs* It doesn’t matter. It was long past time for me to tell her that, anyway. So… your girl is coming up next, right? Anything I should be told so that I don’t, you know, embarrass you completely in front of the woman you love?
Jack: Um, maybe don’t mention gooey evil magic?
Lex: What is this evil gooey magic you keep going on about, anyway?
Jack: You know, like, it’s just… gooey… and evil. It kind of slithers around from one–
Hayden: Hey babe. Why was Lytira mumbling something about idiots in the hall?
Lex: Uh… Jack, maybe you can take this one?
Jack: Sure… he was an idiot. I mean… we were idiots. I mean… have I told you I love you yet today?
Hayden: What did you do, Jack? Did you put Lex on the spot? I told you not to do that!
Calla: Telling Jack not to do something is a lot like giving him permission to do it.
Lex: Someone should have told me that before today… Anyway, welcome, potential SBH Warrior Women! It’s lovely to meet you. So, tell me about yourselves. You’re Hayden and Calla, correct? What types of warriors would you say you are?
Calla: Well, I had no idea I was a long-lost princess for about fifteen-hundred years… technically, I’m not really sure how long since I sort of kept dying and coming back every so often… anyway, I guess… Um, the evilest-evil-killing kind?
Lex: Dying and coming back is something I can definitely relate to. Did you suffer memory loss? Because from my experience, that was the most disorienting part of the whole thing.
Calla: Oh yes! I had no clue who I was, then weird things started happening to me. I mean, I already turned into a wolf, then suddenly I discover I have brothers and sisters. Then Wil came along and, well, you’ve met my husband.
Lex: Yes, I have. He had many lovely things to say about you, by the way.
Calla: Did he? Did he tell you the one where he’s a gazillion years old and I’m twenty-three? He always says that, but it’s not exactly accurate. I mean, he broods about everything and I keep telling him he’ll get wrinkles… anyway, yeah…
Lex: He did mention that. Isn’t an almost-gazillion-years age difference a little awkward? But I suppose when you’re being resurrected over and over, time takes on a totally different meaning, am I right?
Jack: Hey, try having your soul hurtled through time and space, dude! Talk about strange.
Hayden: I did what I could. *shrugs* I make no apologies. I haven’t felt the need to after… well, that one big apology of which we do not speak.
Lex: I… really feel like there’s a story there I’m not being told…
Jack: Trust me, you don’t want to know. But Hayden should be in the division because, honestly, I think it took a lot of guts to do what she did.
Jack: What? I’m just saying… I love you.
Lex: Jack, are you… blushing?
Jack: I’m not… okay fine! I’m blushing! But dude, she saved my life after a troll tried to eat me! She’s like… like my Amelia to your Lex… whatever that means.
Lex: In that case, she’s in. Hands-down, absolutely.
Hayden: What exactly happened in here before Calla and I came in? This is like a bad flashback from when I was in the psychiatric hospital and the nurses would stop talking or say random things when I walked in the room.
Lex: Let’s just say I was resistant, but after the way Amelia looked at me, I’m thinking Jack no longer owes me replacement peanut butt– Wait… you were in a psychiatric hospital?
Calla: We don’t really talk about that. It’s a… touchy subject.
Hayden: Did you take Lex’s peanut butter? I just bought replacement jars for ten other people, Jack!
Jack: Sorry… I love you!
Lex: Does he say that every time he’s in trouble?
Calla: He says it all the time, period.
Lex: Aw, Jack… that’s… so sweet!
Jack: *glares at Lex* I get it, okay? I threw you under the bus but now you have a date, dude. Getting back to the interview, Hayden, dearest love of my life–my very long life–can you tell me why you nominated Calla for induction?
Hayden: You told me Wil made you.
Calla: What? Hey! I’ll have you know I’ve slayed my fair share of… wait… no I guess I haven’t actually killed any evil. Hmm… um… I’m really good at planning?
Lex: Trust me, strategists are way underappreciated. Acarius helped me with our strategies, you know, since I couldn’t remember things at first… that’s definitely a worthy skill! How can you win a battle against evil without a plan?
Calla: I know! I mean, way back when we were hunting Snow White, my husband and his brother wanted to use swords! Swords! Who uses swords? Maybe I’m crazy, but I like my evil as far away as possible, and swords are just too close for comfort.
Lex: That’s understandable. So, you mentioned you can shift into a wolf. Do you have any other magical abilities?
Calla: No, nothing magical. My mother, Ravenna, she’s a witch and it skips generations, so no magical ability here. Hayden, she’s an amazingly talented witch though.
Hayden: I kill pretty well with it, yeah.
Lex: *glancing at Jack* The calm way in which she said that was slightly terrifying.
Jack: If by terrifying you mean beautiful, then yes. Did I mention she can make things explode?
Lex: No, but that sounds Warrior Women-worthy to me.
Hayden: Thank you, Lex
Lex: Amelia, my… uh… well, Amelia… she has magical abilities, too. Hers is mostly defensive — she’s saved my life more than once with it — but she can definitely be dangerous when she needs to be. Can you explain a little about how your magic works?
Hayden: Um… sure… well, I can shift into a wolf, too. That’s easy. It’s technically not magic, it just… is. We get all tingly and just shift, like changing clothes. As for my magical ability… it’s changed a lot over the last few months, but now it’s mostly light magic that’s just… well, just there. I think about what I want to happen, wave my hands around like a madwoman, and BAM!
Lex: Wow, that sounds useful. So… say for instance you wanted to, I don’t know, like… infiltrate a magically-protected evil mountain in the middle of an ocean, you could wave your hands and make an opening?
Hayden: *shrugs* Sure, probably. I’ve done stuff like that before.
Lex: *glances at Jack* Interesting…
Calla: We have a few witches on our team. Hayden, Heidi, Ravenna, Fiona, Julianna, the fairies, my other mom… gee, we should be set, huh?
Jack: Here’s hoping.
Lex: Well, Hayden, Calla… it sounds like you are both essential to your world’s fight against evil, but here’s the big question… are you Swoonworthy?
Jack: What do you mean, are they swoonworthy? Look at her! She’s practically perfection wrapped in… in… she’s better than peanut butter!
Lex: *grinning* Chill, dude, I was joking. They’re in. But… wow… better than peanut butter? Hayden, I’m assuming you understand the depth of that comment better than I do, but I’m pretty sure he’s wrapped around your finger.
Hayden: *smiling* Well, it took long enough.
Calla: Pretty sure he always loved you, but what do I know about things like that? So, we’re in then?
Lex: If Wil’s brooding stories are any indication, you’ve had your own share of “always loved you,” right Calla? But yes, you’re both in! Congratulations, ladies, you are now SBH Warrior Women.
Hayden: Awesome! Now, can I please get back to, you know, fighting evil?
Jack: Yep, of course, but… would you mind… *whispers to Hayden*
Hayden: For crying out loud, yes, I will bring more peanut butter.
Calla: Brooding and peanut butter… this is what life has come to, but… I sort of love it in a weird way. Anyway, thanks for having us guys!
Lex: Our pleasure. Oh, and… if you see Amelia in the hallway, could you ask her to wait for me? I think I have something else I need to tell her.
Calla: Of course… *whispers to Hayden* He totally loves her. Now, if we can get the other one to admit his feelings.
Lex: I can hear you. Hey, you know what? Maybe we should arrange an interview between you ladies and Acarius sometime. I think he may have something he needs… a little encouragement admitting.
Calla: I agree. Hey… after we defeat our evil, we can throw a ball!
Lex: A… ball? You are going to save the world from evil and then throw a ball?
Calla: Sure, why not? All the best romance happens at a ball. Everyone knows that. Don’t worry. We’ll plan the whole thing, just… just don’t die fighting your own evil. So… are we done here, or do you guys want to swoon over Hayden and Amelia some more?
Lex: Hey, I don’t… I wasn’t… *sigh* Yes, we’re done here.
Hayden: Great. See you at dinner, Jack.
Jack: I love you!
Hayden: Geez, Jack. Chill. Go do… swoonworthy stuff. See ya!
Lex: *smiles at Jack* Hayden seems nice. Amelia would like her, I think. But I do hope she brings an extra peanut butter jar to replace the one you took.
Jack: You said we were cool with the peanut butter! Remember… never mind, I’ll just steal another one so I’ll stock you up.
Lex: I was joking; it’s all good, Jack. Seeing you and Hayden made me realize… anyway, that doesn’t matter. Just… we’re good on the peanut butter. Enjoy whatever she brings you. And, uh… I guess we should end this now? You know, for the readers watching this degrade into us blabbering on… Want to take the snazzy wrap-up, Jack?
Jack: What? Sorry, I was watching Hayden.
Lex: Seriously? Fine, I’ll do it… Well, SBH readers, there you have it… four new inductions into our brand-new Warrior Women division here at Swoonworthy Battle Heroes magazine! I hope you’ll join us for future issues to get to know more evil-fighting heroes worth swooning over. Thanks for reading!
Thanks for joining us here today at Swoonworthy Battle Heroes magazine for our first-ever Warrior Women edition! We hope you enjoyed today’s interview. In future SBH WW issues, some of our newly-inducted Warrior Women will take over as hostesses!
Do you want to see more interviews like this? Let me know in the comments!
For more about the characters in this interview, check out:
Crystal Crawford // CCrawfordWriting
- More about the author and about Arameth (home of Lex and Acarius!)
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M.J. Padgett // MJPadgettBooks
- More about the author (creator of Wil and Jack)
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