A Day in the Life of Zoe Faust by Gigi Pandian

Accidental AlchemistI’m used to living on my own. For decades, I’ve been traveling around the U.S. and living out of my silver Airstream trailer – until this week.

I was tired of my itinerant life, so I bought this dilapidated Craftsman house in Portland, Oregon, a friendly city full of people seeking to reinvent themselves. My plan is to plant a real garden for the first time and years, become a regular at the neighborhood teashop that’s full of kindred spirits, and fix up my basement to resume the studies I abandoned ages ago. I’m hoping to put down some roots for at least a few years, until my past inevitably catches up with me.

I’m not a criminal – although I was once viewed that way. I’m an alchemist. I accidentally discovered the Elixir of Life over 300 years ago. Now aside for my naturally white hair, I don’t age the way most people do. It’s difficult – even dangerous – to explain alchemy to people, so I keep moving. Out of necessity, I’m careful not to reveal my true identity. I don’t tell people that the reason I wake up with the sun is because planetary alignments dictate it, nor do I tell them I start my day by drinking a green smoothie or an herbal tea because my vitality is tied to the energy of plants.

But it looks like I wasn’t careful enough. There was a stowaway in the moving crates I shipped to Portland from a storage facility in Paris. When I opened an oversize box containing equipment from my old alchemy laboratory, sitting among the hermetic vases and glass vessels was a three-and-a-half-foot gargoyle. He unfurled his wings and stepped out of the box.

I’ve seen a lot in my 340 years, so I didn’t run screaming from the house when a living gargoyle greeted me with a thick French accent. It’s a good thing I didn’t, because within only a few days I’ve grown quite attached to the little creature. It turns out he sought me out to help him decipher the strange alchemy book that brought him to life but now threatens his existence.

The gargoyle’s name is Dorian Robert-Houdin, and he looks remarkably like one of the gargoyles I’ve seen sitting atop Notre Dame in Paris. He’s as real as you or I, and his ego is bigger than that of any person I’ve ever known. After tasting his culinary alchemy, I don’t blame him for his ego. Using the healing herbs and vegetables I grow and preserve, the impish gargoyle gourmet can transform the simplest ingredients into the most decadent vegan feasts I’ve ever tasted.

As if my life wasn’t complicated enough, now I’ve got a secret gargoyle chef for a roommate and an ancient mystery to unravel. Unfortunately, before I could get to work decoding Dorian’s mysterious alchemy book, my new home was burglarized. Dorian’s precious book was stolen along with other items, and the man I hired to fix up the house was murdered on my porch. But my contractor’s death can’t have anything to do with me and Dorian. Right? I can’t tell the police about the urgency in recovering the missing alchemy book, so to save the life of my misfit friend, I must rely on the help of my new neighbors and delve into the alchemical past that I’ve been running from.


You can read more about Zoe and Dorian in The Accidental Alchemist, the first book in the new “Accidental Alchemist” mystery series, published by Midnight Ink.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on January 15 for the chance to win a copy of THE ACCIDENTAL ALCHEMIST. The giveaway is open to everyone.

About the author
Gigi Pandian is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series (Artifact, Pirate Vishnu, and the forthcoming Quicksand) and the new Accidental Alchemist mysteries. Gigi’s debut mystery novel was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant, and her short fiction has been short-listed for Agatha and Macavity awards. A cancer diagnosis in her 30s taught her two important life lessons: healing foods can taste amazing, and life’s too short to waste a single moment. Gigi spent her childhood being dragged around the world by her cultural anthropologist parents, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with an overgrown vegetable garden in the backyard.

Visit her at gigipandian.com and connect with her on Facebook (facebook.com/GigiPandian) and on Twitter (@GigiPandian).

73 responses to “A Day in the Life of Zoe Faust by Gigi Pandian

  1. This is a series I am really looking forward to reading. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  2. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy. This sounds great.

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  3. Yes please Dru, this one really tickles my fancy. I can even remember the giant Gilbert Chemistry set I inherited from the boy who lived upstairs from us in East NY. He left if for me when he and his family movie. I had lots of fun making stinky smelling smoke.

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  4. Melody Gonser

    This book appeals for many reasons. I am looking forward to reading it. I get a kick at the thought of the gargoyle. Thank you for this giveaway.

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  5. Sounds great! And a gargoyle! Awesome! Will be reading this soon! Thanks for the chance.

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  6. Gabrielle David

    Sounds like an interesting book. I look forward to reading it.

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  7. I’ve read the Jaya Jones series and now one with a gargoyle. Cute!

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  8. Just adore the many things this book seems to delve into, living in a new community, creating a garden , making wonderful vegan meals and preserving youth , can’t wait to read it . Happy Days.

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  9. What a fun book!

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  10. This book sounds like fun! I normally don’t read books with fantasy elements, but I found myself really wanting to know more after I read today’s “Day in the Life.” Adding it to my TBR list–and I LOVE the cover!

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  11. Looks interesting, like the cover. thank you for the chance 🙂

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  12. Dawn Frazier

    This book sounds amazing!!

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  13. Sounds like a great book! What a twist to the storyline. Already on my book list and I’m looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the info.

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  14. This book is being reviewed all over at the moment. Would love to read it

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  15. I love her books. And a live gargoyle? Irresistible.

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  16. I have this book on my “want to read” list~it sounds absolutely fantastic! Thank you for the contest!

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  17. Having never read any of her books, I would love the opportunity to win a copy. Thank you for the review/interview.

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  18. Sounds good!!

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  19. I am pleasantly surprised. I have just thought of this for the first time but I have not ever read a book with live gargoyles in it! What a great idea. Hopefully (since this is the first in more than likely a series) the gargoyle will stay around like a familiar. Can’t wait to read it, thanks for the chance at winning a copy.

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  20. I have occasionally wondered about the secret life of gargoyles. It’s obvious they’re doing something when we’re not watching. Thanks for the elucidation.

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  21. This sounds like a very fun and imaginative book!

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  22. A tip of the chemo cap to Gigi, and a welcome to Zoe and her stone-faced sidekick.

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  23. You had me at “gargoyle.” Loved Jaya Jones and can’t wait to meet Zoe!

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  24. What an interesting sounding book.

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  25. Gigi’s books are always a treat.

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  26. Would love to win this book, so different then what usually read.

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  27. I’m really looking forward to this book. Sounds so different from others.

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  28. Thanks so much for hosting me today, Dru Ann! And thanks for the enthusiasm, everyone 🙂

    Since I see there are several fellow gargoyle fans, FYI I post gargoyle photos at my Gargoyle Girl Blog: http://www.gargoylegirl.com/

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  29. Stephanie Koenig

    This is a must read!!

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  30. Looks like s other winner.

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  31. A living gargoyle—Now that really has me interested! Please put my name in the hat for your drawing.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  32. Sounds interesting. Would love to win. Thanks for the chance.

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  33. Anita Yancey

    The cover is a little creepy, but the book sounds great. Thanks for the chance to win it.

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  34. i really really really want to read this book!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

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  35. Connie Reynolds

    Love to try.

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  36. Barbara Hackel

    This sounds like a fascinating book! I am anxious to read it. Thanks Gigi and Dru for the opportunity to enter the giveaway!

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  37. Gigi Pandian is a new author for me, and the book sounds great. I like the combination of mystery, supernatural, and (friendly) gargoyle. 🙂 Thank you for the giveaway.

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  38. This sounds like a great book, rather like Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden and Kevin Hearne’s Atticus O’Sullivan series. Would love to read it. Thanks for giving us all a chance.

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  39. Sounds like a great story. Some interesting elements, for sure.

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  40. This sounds like so much fun. Thanks.

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  41. I like Gigi’s other series and I plan to read this one too. Congrats

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  42. Marilyn Watson

    How fun…love the twist of a Gargoyle.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  43. Sounds perfect for me

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  44. Oh, I would love a copy to share with friends!

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  45. Carol Summers Kolber

    I like to read paranormal cozies. This sounds like a winner.

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  46. Anxious to read more about Zoe! Curious about her last name and how life with a gargoyle will play out! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  47. Ana Mafalda Valente

    Sounds like a really interesting book, thanks for the opportunity!

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  48. Really enjoy Gig’s other series! Can’t wait to read this one.

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  49. Jen Frederick

    This book sounds great. I would love to win this one. I love the cover, because I love gargoyles. I loved the posts on Gigi’s facebook page, the gargoyles leading up to the release date. How fun. Thanks f poo r the chance and congrats on your release Gigi.

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  50. A gargoyle? AND an ancient mystery?? Plus the v* word??? I’m in!

    *as in vegan, not a word I hear often in these parts

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  51. I had a gargoyle on the dashboard of my car for years — my Mom gave it to me as a Christmas present — even my kids loved it. This book looks right up my alley. It sounds great!

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  52. I love the Jaya Jones books. I would love to win this new book.

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  53. Oh this one sounds awesome. Love gargoyles so the cover caught my eye

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  54. Patricia Allen

    Looking forward to this unique story line.

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  55. This sounds like great fun.

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  56. pricillaelvis

    Happy New years!! thanks for the chance to win

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  57. The book sounds fantastic! I really appreciate the opportunity to win a book and will keep my fingers crossed! I can’t wait to read the series!

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  58. donnadurnell2013

    What a different, and interesting, idea this story will be. Alchemy and gargoyles, tho I wouldn’t care for the vegan diet.

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  59. Kelley Morrow

    I cannot wait to get lost in this book. The book and the arthor sound amazing!

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  60. Stephanie Gerber

    Love starting a new cozy mystery series!

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  61. Vicki Skidmore

    This sounds like such an original idea for a cozy series – and I love anything paranormal. Looking forward to reading it, and would love to win a copy

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  62. This sounds like fun! Very imaginative!!

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  63. Stephanie Koenig

    Thanks so much for this opportunity!

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  64. Intriguing. I really enjoy imagination in books, and this seems like it has tons of it.

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  65. Great story! What’s not to love about a gargoyle with a French accent named Dorian Robert-Houdin. I’m sure I’ll love your book and look forward to the series. Congratulations.

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  66. I love Gigi’s writing starting with Artifact. I know the gargoyle will be a real treat to meet. The whole story sounds intriguing.

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  67. Would love to win this book. just set her first book ARTIFACT on my TBR pile. I know this isn’t part of the Jaya series.

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  68. My favorite thing to do is read

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  69. This sounds like a real fun read. I can’t wait.

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  70. contest is closed.

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