An Alessandro Review: Behemoth and the Wisp by Linn Edwards

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

 

The Compound protects the remnants of often horrific human experimentation during World War II. Now a new generation comes of age, some with strange powers and abilities, groomed to be weapons for justice.

Mason and Jordie are young men, each with a special gift and strongly attracted to each other. When they finally reach out and really connect, they must also be careful. Mason can become intangible like a mist, then completely whole and solid again — even during sex. Jordie is a nine foot tall giant, able to leap great distances in a single bound. Together they face challenges in figuring out sex and love.

When a woman in their group at The Compound appears to be kidnapped, Mason and Jordie must put aside their own secrets to help her. But they soon discover everyone secrets, and not everyone in The Compound is who they seem.

 

Mason aka The Wisp and Jordie aka Behemoth are living in a compound founded by the government, they are basically heroes in training. They are told that they would be safe in the compound, but when Mason wants to get some alone time to relieve the sexual tension he has build up because of Jordie, his room-mate, one of their fellow companions gets kidnapped. So Behemoth and The Wisp has to work together to solve the problem that came up. Not only the kidnapping, but other things that seem strange in the compound.

First of all, I really liked the first few pages of this book. Basically it was the only thing I liked about this book.

The first few pages actually explain how those super heroes came to be. Also there was a small side-story about a folks-tale, which was quite interesting. I didn’t know the name of the folks-tale, but apparently it is called “Widows Walk” at least that’s what it’s called what the woman does in said Folks-tale.

It was quite a good beginning and I thought, this is probably relevant to the story in this book, because there is also this woman, who is just named “Madame” in this facility who is basically the “mother figure” of said super heroes in training. But I thought wrong. It wasn’t something I expected.

 The story was really fast paced, after only a few minutes I was already at 15% or something. So I thought to myself, that this is just a super short story, so I lowered my expectations about this book. But even then I couldn’t really find anything to enjoy about this book. Every time a problem came up, it was resolved in a few sentences. There was no story build up at all, there was no struggle at all. I thought this book would involve some action, but there was like minimum to non action. The sex scenes were quite predictable, because every time there was progress in the plot there was a sex scene. Then came another plot scene and another sex scene.

I also struggled with the relationship of the MC. Yes it is said that those MC know each other for some years know, but neither of them exploited their sexual desire or emotions. I just thought there was not a real connection between those two, maybe there was, but we, as readers, didn’t get to read about that. And after one event they’re in love and behave like they were in a relationship for I don’t know how long?

To my next point. I didn’t enjoy the writing either. It was good to some extend, but even I who is not a native English speaker, could see some mistakes in tenses and grammar.

This book is written in third person POV, so I expect, when I’m following more than one person, that in every chapter or section there will be an indication to which person I’m following at the moment. This was the case, to some extent. Often I was confused which person I was following in the moment, so I had to reread some sections of the books, which is quite shocking, because it was such a short story.

I feel like there was such potential in this book. The ideas were great, but the execution was lacking. This story would be okay, if it would be a start of graphic novel or a comic book? But not really in book form. There was just not much to picture here, so I think the author didn’t do a good job in portraying the story she wanted to tell.

 

The cover of “Behemoth and the Wisp” by “Written Ink Designs” was okay. I think it could be used to any book about super heroes to be honest. Although the suits of the characters portrayed in the cover didn’t match the suits of the characters in the book.

 

Sales links:   JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published April 22nd 2017 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN139781634863650

 

A VVivacious Review: Fierce by Rob Rosen

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Rating: 2.5 Stars out of 5
 
Lucas has superpowers or as he likes to call it, he is super. He was raised by wolves, is as hairy as one and is in love with his best friend Craig.  But as luck would have it Craig reciprocates Lucas’ love and also knows his super secret.
 
In the summer before senior year Craig and Lucas start a relationship and become a superhero duo that saves the world, but as they are superheroing the differences between Craig and Lucas become starkly apparent. Will things work out between these two or will this difference of opinions turn them into mortal enemies?
 
I am utterly confused as to whether I liked this book, loved it or barely tolerated it. As I read this book there were parts that I barely tolerated, some that I liked and some that I loved.
 
Let’s start with the things about this book I barely tolerated and the first among those things would be Craig. Early on in the book I mistakenly made the assumption that Craig and Lucas were end game and this made the fact that I didn’t like Craig all that more disquieting. I think quite a few people reading this book would make that assumption, I know I did, but I feel like this book should be read as an adventure that follows Lucas’ life story. Craig falls more in the evil genius than superhero category in this book and his backstory does make him the perfect foil for Lucas’ Fierce (Lucas’ superhero name). 
 
I personally didn’t find the beginning of this book interesting to the extent that if I wasn’t reviewing this book I would have probably quit reading it at this point but having said that I do realize that if I hadn’t continued reading I would have missed the best part of this book.
 
The best part of this book was the dilemma of being a superhero. Almost in all superhero stories the people closest to the superhero are benefitted even if they are in the wrong because well that’s how the story goes and the same thing happens in this one to an extent. But what I liked about this book was that it took that example and made Fierce/Lucas face the truth that even when you do the right thing it will turn out be the wrong thing for someone good, someone who doesn’t deserve the punishment for the justice you have meted out. I think the best part of this book was bringing into focus that superhero stories make the world black and white when the world is rarely so. I loved this book for that and I loved the confused, struggling with himself and his superhero identity version of Lucas.
 
I liked Lucas’ character quite a bit and I understood and fully sympathized with his fervour to find out about his birth parents. But from here on the plot feels a little repetitive, it seemed like all these people did was go to Granite peak and back and up again and back and so on and so forth. Also the resolution of the plot isn’t as cut and dry as I would have liked. I didn’t understand the idea behind the whole revenge plan that happens post Fierce’s rescue and after that the story is all muddled up.
 
For me none of the side characters, except Craig, stood out much. I liked Todd and Lucas and their relationship though I think it is time that someone tells Lucas that he does a very bad job of hiding his superpowers.
 
This book has its moments but you will have to take the good with the bad.
 
Cover Art by Rob Rosen. I liked the cover but why Lucas is wearing glasses on the cover is beyond me a tribute to Superman perhaps?
Sales Links:
Book Details:
ebook, 225 pages
Published March 25th 2017 by JMS Books LLC admin@jms-books.com
ISBN139781634863599
Edition LanguageEnglish

Its Superheroes Raised by Wolves Time! Rob Rosen on ‘Fierce’, his latest release + Giveaway

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Fierce by Rob Rosen
JMS Books LLC

Available for Purchase at

JMS Books LLC | Amazon | Goodreads

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Rob Rosen back today to talk about his latest novel, Fierce!  Welcome, Rob!

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Hello, I’m Rob Rosen. I’ve written romantic-comedy novels about zombies and werewolves, vampires and any number of assorted bad-ass drag queens, but for my 11th novel, Fierce, I decided to touch on the superhero genre, only with a decidedly different twist. Lucas, my novel’s hero, has major super powers, powers that he wants to use to do good in the world. He’s tall and handsome, and has one hell of an awesome crime-fighting costume. On the surface of things, he’s your standard superhero. This book veers into newer territory in that Lucas must face the realities of actual life, that to do good you sometimes have to do bad, that to put the criminal away, you might have to hurt people, even innocent people. Life is not black and white; crime-fighting isn’t either. What if you have to kill the bad guy? What if you have to put someone you know in jail? What if your powers were actually meant do evil things? Tack on trying to protect the world and your family at the same time, all while going to college, leaving home for the first time, trying to find love as you try and find yourself, and Fierce, I hope, really does sail the genre into uncharted superhero waters. 

For some more background, here’s a little blurb for you:

Lucas has a typical life — apart from being abandoned as a baby, raised by wolves, and having super powers. Still, inside, he feels like two people, both vying for control of himself. He’s a superhero and a nerdy college freshman. He’s both feral and tame. He wants to do good in the world and, at the same time, he wants to do nothing. And most of all, he wants to find his birth parents.

In this comedic tale of romance, mystery, and adventure, our hero is joined by his hunky boyfriend, his acerbic boss, an uptight college science professor, and his ex-boyfriend/once crime-fighting partner — not to mention a whole pack of wolves — to help foil his nemesis and uncover the secrets of his past to save his future.

If you find the above intriguing, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of the book, which is available in all e-formats and as a paperback. 

Oh, and if you need some further persuading, here’s a little bit of the very beginning of Fierce:

“Help!”

I know, strange way to start a story, me screaming at you like that, but they say you need to grab the reader’s attention right off the bat. Help! I figured would do just that. Plus, you know, help was just what I needed. I mean, I was locked in a cage, my life in jeopardy of being snuffed out—which was par for the course, but still. In any case, help! seemed right on up there with the greats: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; Call me Ishmael; Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret. And I only needed four little letters to get my point across. Take that, Judy Blume!

Anyway, back to that aforementioned help I was shouting for. No, it wasn’t my best moment, to be certain, what with me being a superhero and all. Fierce. That’s my name; pleased to meet you. Though I’m guessing you’ve probably already heard of me, me being famous and all. And yes, that’s me blowing my own horn. Louis Armstrong should blow a horn so well, in fact.

All that being said, and in case you’ve been living under a rock and have yet to hear of my, you know, greatness, here’s my story in a nutshell:

As a baby, I was raised by wolves in the mountainous wilds of Montana.

I have super powers. Like, seriously super.

I catch bad guys for a living. For free! Minus, of course, the well-merited and desperately sought-after publicity.

But, you ask, raised by wolves? Come on now, Fierce, really? Does that actually happen? Wolves eat babies, don’t they? I mean dingoes do—or so I’ve heard, a la one Miss Meryl Streep—so it stands to reason that wolves do, too. Though not these wolves. These were tame wolves. Well, tameish. They were zoo wolves, hand-raised by humans. Except, they escaped during a freak storm, back to the wilds from whence their ancestors came, never to be seen again.

I saw them right off the bat, though. Well, sawish. I mean, I was a baby at the time, my eyesight not what it is today—which is freakishly strong, by the way. And yes, toot, toot, my horn doth bloweth, yet again. Gabriel in the heavens up above turns green with envy at my tooting abilities. Oh, and in case you hadn’t already surmised it, superhero, at least in my case, equates to super ego. Freud missed out big time on the likes of yours truly.

But I digress. Back to the wolves.

Best I could figure it—seeing as, again, I was just a baby at the time—the initial wolf pack consisted of ten wolves that once inhabited a small zoo on the outskirts of Billings, Montana. One fateful day, a tornado hit. A big one. Huge even! Dorothy would’ve shit her panties it was so friggin’ massive. Anyway, from what I’ve read, the storm struck quite suddenly, too suddenly for the folks at the zoo to be able to corral all the animals beforehand, so, when the fencing to the wolves’ enclosure twisted and uprooted, out they sped. The zoo figured they died in the storm, except, well, duh, they didn’t. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be hearing this account right now, right? Then help! would’ve been lost to the cosmos. A truly sad thought, I know.

Now then, wolves, it should be noted, are wily and smart creatures, so the first thing they did was run. Free at last, free at last! In other words, once the storm broke, they found themselves as far away from humans as they could get. Eventually, they wound up along the outskirts of Granite Peak, which is the highest natural point in all of Montana, the tenth highest state highpoint in the nation. Granite Peak is also the second most difficult state highpoint to climb because of the generally poor weather and equally poor delineated pathways. Montana being so sparsely populated to begin with, the wolves could easily escape and literally never again be spotted. Which is just what they did, until, ultimately, they were spotted by the tiny likes of me. Fate! Or, you know, simply pure dumb luck. Depends on if your glass is half full, I suppose.

Enjoy!

Rob Rosen

http://www.therobrosen.com

About Fierce

Lucas has a typical life — apart from being abandoned as a baby, raised by wolves, and having super powers. Still, inside, he feels like two people, both vying for control of himself. He’s a superhero and a nerdy college freshman. He’s both feral and tame. He wants to do good in the world and, at the same time, he wants to do nothing. And most of all, he wants to find his birth parents.

In this comedic tale of romance, mystery, and adventure, our hero is joined by his hunky boyfriend, his acerbic boss, an uptight college science professor, and his ex-boyfriend/once crime-fighting partner — not to mention a whole pack of wolves — to help foil his nemesis and uncover the secrets of his past to save his future.

Giveaway

Rob Rosen is giving away a eBook copy of Fierce to one lucky reader.  Leave your email address along with a comment for Rob below.  A reader will be chosen at random by Rob and voila! The ebook will be yours!  Of course, you must be 18 years of age or older.

Like Your Romance Superpowered? Check out ‘Stronger, Better, Faster, More’ by Carlin Grant and Katey Hawthorne (guest post and giveaway)

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Stronger, Better, Faster, More by Carlin Grant and Katey Hawthorne

Publisher: Loose Id LLC
Release Date:12/29/2015
Cover Artist Mina Carter

Buy it here at Loose id or other links here

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is so happy to have Carlin Grant and Katey Hawthorne here today to talk about their latest story, Stronger, Better, Faster, More and Superpowers.  Welcome, Carlin and Katey!  Tell us more!

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Superpowers we Love by Carlin Grant and Katey Hawthorne

Thanks so much for letting us stop by today, Melanie. For our book birthday, Carlin and I decided to talk about a major theme of our new book, Stronger, Better, Faster, More: SUPERPOWERS. What we love, both personally and to write. Read on, and remember to enter our giveaway.

Katey: So, obviously I love superpowers, and obviously Carlin does too, since we met geeking out over Marvel characters. But when it comes to favorites I think I have two clear winners, both of which I have now written about: Pyrokinesis and Superspeed.

Superspeed, at last at last, is featured in Stronger, Better, Faster, More. As the title might imply. I love this power because there are so many great iterations of it and how it affects the character who has it. Some can turn it on and off, which is convenient. Others are constantly sped up, though, which is Vel Chandrasekhar’s ability/problem. So he’s constantly feeling like the whole world is moving in slow mo, constantly having to slow down how he talks, eats, walks, constantly being super impatient with everything. Except he’s actually mega-patient, in his world.

That has been, by far and away, one of my favorite things to write about ever. I’m glad this book and Vel gave me the chance!

Carlin: I actually love superspeed too, when presented the way Vel’s was in Stronger, Better, Faster, More where the character’s entire world is sped up. I’ve found that, in both reading and writing, I’m drawn most to superpowered characters whose abilities either come with drawback when using it, like Beau’s endurance, or is something they have to manage in their everyday life, like Vel’s superspeed.

When writing superhumans, you always run the risk of creating a character that’s too large or powerful to relate to, and I feel like drawbacks help a character stay accessible to the reader. When you see a character struggling to manage the side effects, it makes you want them to succeed. When they go into a fight or rescue situation knowing it’ll mean intense pain for them later, it makes that sacrifice and risk a lot more meaningful.

As for me? I’d go with teleportation. It’s hard to beat fast, free travel.

Title  Stronger, Better, Faster, More by Carlin Grant and Katey Hawthorne

 

 

Book Blurb

When he gets super-endurance powers out of nowhere, being a culinary student and kids’ soccer coach isn’t enough for Beau CGKH_StrongerBetterFasterMore_coverinWarren–he has to be a superhero too. A sweet, hardworking trans man from a close knit family, it’s important to Beau to use his new abilities to stand up for people who can’t protect themselves. When he runs into a speedster at a fire rescue, he doesn’t expect it to be his high school crush, Vel Chandrasekhar. Turns out Vel got superspeed when Beau go his endurance, so they decide to make their single supe act into a duo.

With their immediate attraction and superpowered libidos, it’s not long before Beau and Vel are roommates-with-benefits. That’s the idea, anyhow, if only Beau can keep from falling back into his old crush hard, since Vel’s self-esteem issues have left him skittish about relationships. Just when things are at boiling point between them, though, their search for their own superhero origin story leads them and their families into mortal danger. The only way to survive the truth is to depend on each other–and admit they’re a lot more than friends.

  • Genre: M/M,  Paranormal, erorom
  • LengthNovel (72k)

About the Authors

Carlin Grant is a queer writer who likes to put the focus on LGBTQIA+ characters and has a sweet tooth for romance. Growing up in backwoods North Carolina left them with a love for the characters, culture, and folklore that is common in the rural South, and these themes often show up in their stories. When they’re not writing, Carlin enjoys reading, video games, superheroes, mixtapes, and visiting the beach. They currently reside in coastal NC, where they spend most of their time chasing after their toddler.
Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Ohio. In her spare time she enjoys comic books, B-movies, loud music, Epiphones, and Bushmills.

Giveaway

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the authors.  Good luck and happy reading!

RAFFLECOPTER:

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A MelanieM Advent Story Review: Four Alternative Christmas Presents by Tam MacNeil

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Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5

Sleigh Ride Advent StoryIt’s Christmas Eve, and newly minted superhero Matt AKA “Strong Man” is in the middle of taking down one of Central City’s most notorious criminals, the mesmerist and villain Dr. Destructo. It’s Matt’s first mission, and he’s working with his idol and secret crush, Jake X-Ray. He doesn’t want anything to go wrong.

Unfortunately for him, everything goes wrong. Soon Matt finds himself racing through alternative presents, trying to capture Dr. Destructo and trying to figure out why all the Matts in these other scenarios have the one thing he really wants—a relationship with Jake.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package “Sleigh Ride”.

If you are a fan of super heroes and romance, this story was written for you.  Superhero Matt has just come into his super powers but is having a hard time finding acceptance among the other super heroes, especially the one he secretly adores, Jake X-Ray.  Then his first mission with Jake goes wrong and they find themselves chasing the villain through multiple alternative universes.  In each one that Matt has found the acceptance this Matt desires and love with Jake!

Why can’t Matt find it for himself in his universe?

I think the story was cute, a little disjointed and missing important world building elements.  If you love superheroes, you might find the story cute enough that you won’t care.  But if you aren’t a fan, then the issues might irritate you enough to make you want to put it down.  It had a lot of promise with the plot that I just didn’t think the author was able to deliver.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 24 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN B018RRVX2Q

A Stella Review: Flyboy’s First Misadventure (Flyboy’s Misadventures Book 1) by Havan Fellows

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Flyboys First_1400Secrets? Oh yeah, Dean Wades has a doozy. When he goes up, he doesn’t necessarily come back down. Okay, that’s not true. Dean’s a master at falling, it’s the landing that could use improvement—a lot of improvement. After thirteen years of attempting to conquer this gravity defying mystery, he can no longer live with not knowing what he is anymore. So he heads cross-country to see the two people who just might be able to give him the answers he seeks…his folks.

Easygoing Gavin Trevor is always willing to help his family, even when they have ulterior motives…like forcing him to make up with his annoying older brother. When a simple task at his parent’s house puts him in a position of danger, he’ll need a lot more than luck to avoid a serious injury—he’ll need his very own superhero.

And the fates collide, well sort of. It may not be love at first sight—Gavin was unconscious in Dean’s arms for their initial introduction…but perhaps these two men can make it a relationship at first flight?

A threat against Gavin’s family throws a wrench in their plans, and while Dean gladly offers his amateur talent to help the mission, Gavin doesn’t want to put his rescuer’s life in jeopardy by risking exposure of the greatest secret ever.

This proves to be a rescue adventure for the books. Or is that a rescue misadventure?

Flyboy’s First Misadventure was a lovely read, a great addition to this new series. I found Havan’s writing easy and really great. I need to check out more by this author, because honestly this one was a winner.

Gavin is a tattoo artist apprentice, struggling to be accepted by his military family and always fighting with his brother. One day while helping his parents in some houseworks involving a ladder, he literally falls into Dean’s arms.

Dean is a cute superhero, he can fly (well not exactly fly, more like jump high in the air, flutter a little and then face-plant in the dirty ground!) and has an amazing best friend in Tia. They are on a trip to see Dean’s folks to come out of his hero closet and maybe learn more about his talent.

I saw the sparkles between my MCs from the start and it was a crescendo in the story, with a lot of funny moments, some sweet ones and an unexpected rescue mission, until I wasn’t sure anymore who was the real superhero. It’s a story that has a lot of potential and it needs a sequel or two. I’m so glad Havan has more to come. This was just the start.

If you’re looking for some light book, easy, fun and believable in its not real world, you have to give a chance to this one. I’m glad I did cause I enjoyed it a lot.

Flyboy’s First Misadventure is part of the Story Orgy Collection: Superhero. Four authors, Lee Brazil, Havan Fellows, Em Woods and Hank Edwards will show us some new heros to love. I can’t wait to read the next stories.

Cover art by Startled Monkeys Media. The cover caught my attention first, it’s colorful and funny. I soon liked it and wanted to know more about the story. Well done.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 107 pages
Published October 12th 2015 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
ASINB015WXHX9U
edition languageEnglish

A Stella Review: A Man of Unusual Talent by Lee Brazil

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Man of Unusual Talent_1400Collin Crane is a man of unusual talent. Really unusual. Too weird for the Guinness Book unusual. On the fifty-year plan to a doctoral degree in physics, and a quiet quest to understand his own oddities, Collin clings to obscurity. This superhero has learned the hard way that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Enter Mathias Giraud, football hero, local cop, and CC’s secret fantasy since high school. Mat’s a simple man with a hero complex fostered by comic books and Marvel movies. Saving the world is his fantasy, but since his roots are firmly planted in Morrisonville and reality, he’ll settle for protecting and serving. Until he clashes with CC at the local convenience store and is reminded of his own high school crush.

When marshmallows are involved, the course of true love is bound to get sticky

I haven’t read a lot by Lee Brazil (surprisingly) but A Man of Unusual Talent soon took my attention, from the start it was impossible to put down. Funny, engaging and with a story to follow, it was just the right book I needed to read. Sweet, cute and quick, with not a lot drama at all. One of that books I like to have by my side when I just want to relax a little. And the writing with my favourite double point of view was really good and smart.

After having spent years trying to control his talent, CC having achieved nothing, he’s still trying to solve the mystery his that talent is, still taking shower after shower to take away the delicious (not to him) smell of marshmallows, still crushing on Mat, the handsome cop of their conservative town with the hero complex. But CC doesn’t know Mat is attracted to him too, wanting to cherish him and his vulnerability. Who’s the hero and what are their superpowers?

The title says it all, CC has a really unique talent, I still can’t believe Lee, or better the girl who came up with the prompt, could think of something so unbelievably cute. As soon as I realized it, I was laughing my head off. I hit it off with all the characters from the first lines till the last ones(my favorite: CC whispered, “What is your superpower?” “Love.”). It was a lovely surprise to me.

I’d like to recommend this short story to anyone who is looking for a break with something unusual, funny and well written .

A Man of Unusual Talent is part of the Story Orgy Collection: Superhero. Four authors, Lee Brazil, Havan Fellows, Em Woods and Hank Edwards will show us some new heros to love. Stay tuned in the next days for my review of Flyboy’s  First Misadventure by Havan Fellows.

Cover art by Startled Monkeys Media. The cover caught my attention first, it’s colorful and funny. I soon liked it and wanted to know more about the story. Well done.

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Kindle Edition, 96 pages
Published October 12th 2015 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN139781311891150

Superhero Spotlight: ‘A Man of Unusual Talent (Lee Brazil) and ‘Flyboy’s First Misadventure (Havan Fellows) Series: Story Orgy Superheroes (guest post, excerpt and contest)

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Book Names: ‘A Man of Unusual Talent ‘ by Lee Brazil

and

‘Flyboy’s First Misadventure’ by Havan Fellows

Series: Story Orgy Superheroes
Release Date: October 12, 2015

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Goodreads Links:   A Man of Unusual Talent  and   Flyboy’s First Misadventure

Publishers:

A Man of Unusual Talent: Lime Time Press
Flyboy’s First Misadventure: Appleton Publishing Avenue
Cover Artist: Startled Monkeys Media

superhero logo

 

We have a first here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Four characters from two books have stopped by to be interviewed. Collin Crane (CC) and Mathias Giraud (Matt) from A Man of Unusual Talent by Lee Brazil along with Dean Wades and Gavin Trevor from ‘Flyboy’s First Misadventure by Havan Fellows.  Let’s welcome all four!

  Our Interview with Characters Dean, Matt, CC, and Gavin!

Dean: Did Havan Fellow and Lee Brazil really leave us here to do this one all by ourselves?

Mat: We’re adults. We can handle it. I think the truth is, there’s no coffee and they saw a Starbucks on the corner when we drove up.

CC: Now that sounds like the truth.

Dean: But they had to realize that letting us all talk at once could be…um…

Gavin: They said something about not wanting to be around when we air our dirty shit. I guess we should introduce ourselves at least.

Dean: Not sure we’re airing any dirty stuff. I vote for Mat to start, he’s the person of authority here.

Mat: I’m Mat Giraud. I’m a policeman, and this is my lover CC who is a student of physics.

CC: Nice. Gloss over the whole career as a convenience store clerk thing. Are you practicing that for when I meet your parents?

Mat: Don’t be silly. My family get’s gas at the convenience store, same as everyone else in town. Of course they know where you work. But where you work isn’t who you are.

CC: But you called yourself a policeman.

Mat: Because I am. And always will be. You aren’t always going to work at that place.

CC: *glowing* Thank you.

Dean: Well, that leaves us, Gav. Hello. I’m Dean Wades. I’m from the west coast but currently visiting Florida, have a crazy best friend, and oh yeah, I can fly. This is Gavin Trevor…

Gavin: And I have an annoying older brother, I’m training to be a damn good tattoo artist, and he might be able to fly, but he can’t land worth shit.

Dean: Ouch… Crash land with someone one time and they never let you forget it. We’re the main characters of Flyboy’s First Misadventure and from Havan Fellows imagination.

Gavin: Really warped imagination—

CC: Uh… maybe I should have mentioned the marshmallows?

Gavin: *snorts* Okay, not as warped as Lee Brazil, evidently. But hey, our writers are pretty cool. They write for this group the Story Orgy and that’s where they got the prompts for these superhero type books.

CC: Seriously? Is that what this is all about? Here I’m trying to use physics and biology and it’s that simple?

Dean: Yeah, because only they would call us superheroes.

Gavin: Well, I think you’re kinda super…

Share a list of things you’ll never do again.

Dean: I’ll never forget to take my allergy medicine again. Levitating while you sneeze is not good.

Gavin: I’m never letting my brother get the better of me again…

Dean: Really? So this is a fantasy list?

Gavin: Fine, I’m never doing high school again, not with my brother and his group of buddies.

Dean: We might all go for the no high school again thing.

Mat: Uhm… let’s see. I’ll never let my cousin Thorne answer a call from the convenience store again. And I’ll never sleep alone again. And I’ll never go to a Marvel movie alone again…

CC: Wow…you uh… Okay. I’ll never doubt Mat again. And that other one he said, except the Marvel thing. I’m not going to go see Ant Man.

Mat: Then I won’t either.

For more Story Orgy Superhero goodness, our co-writers Hank Edwards and Em Woods will be releasing their books soon. 🙂

Blurb(s)

A MAN OF UNUSUAL TALENT:Man of Unusual Talent_1400

Collin Crane is a man of unusual talent. Really unusual. Too weird for the Guinness Book unusual. On the fifty-year plan to a doctoral degree in physics, and a quiet quest to understand his own oddities, Collin clings to obscurity. This superhero has learned the hard way that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Enter Mathias Giraud, football hero, local cop, and CC’s secret fantasy since high school. Mat’s a simple man with a hero complex fostered by comic books and Marvel movies. Saving the world is his fantasy, but since his roots are firmly planted in Morrisonville and reality, he’ll settle for protecting and serving. Until he clashes with CC at the local convenience store and is reminded of his own high school crush.

When marshmallows are involved, the course of true love is bound to get sticky.

FLYBOY’S FIRST MISADVENTURE:

Flyboys First_1400Secrets? Oh yeah, Dean Wades has a doozy. When he goes up, he doesn’t necessarily come back down. Okay, that’s not true. Dean’s a master at falling, it’s the landing that could use improvement—a lot of improvement. After thirteen years of attempting to conquer this gravity defying mystery, he can no longer live with not knowing what he is anymore. So he heads cross-country to see the two people who just might be able to give him the answers he seeks…his folks.

Easygoing Gavin Trevor is always willing to help his family, even when they have ulterior motives…like forcing him to make up with his annoying older brother. When a simple task at his parent’s house puts him in a position of danger, he’ll need a lot more than luck to avoid a serious injury—he’ll need his very own superhero.

And the fates collide, well sort of. It may not be love at first sight—Gavin was unconscious in Dean’s arms for their initial introduction…but perhaps these two men can make it a relationship at first flight?

A threat against Gavin’s family throws a wrench in their plans, and while Dean gladly offers his amateur talent to help the mission, Gavin doesn’t want to put his rescuer’s life in jeopardy by risking exposure of the greatest secret ever.

This proves to be a rescue adventure for the books. Or is that a rescue misadventure?

 

Pages or Words: A Man of Unusual Talent (28,000), Flyboy’s First Misadventure (32,000)

Categories:

  • A Man of Unusual Talent: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Humor, Paranormal, Romance
  • Flyboy’s First Misadventure: Gay Fiction, Humor, M/M Romance

 

Excerpts:

A Man of Unusual Talent:

Mathias squirmed on the seat. Had to piss. He cast a glance at his partner. Dillon was such a hard-nose. “Hey…how about you pull into that gas station over there? I got to take a leak.”

Dillon’s lip curled, but he swung the patrol car into the convenience store parking lot. “I told you not to get the grande coffee at Mabel’s. Good thing it’s dead tonight.”

“Want anything while I’m in there?” Mat paused with his hand on the door latch, cocking his head at Dillon. Guy wasn’t so bad…just a walking encyclopedia of procedure and a nitpicker. He gave out more jaywalking and broken taillight tickets than any cop on the force.

“No eating in the squad car.” Dillon turned to face him, lips narrow and tight, radiating disapproval.

“You know…if you weren’t my brother…” Mat shoved the door open with unnecessary force. The captain was punishing him…all because he’d missed last Sunday’s dinner with the family. Well, Pop should learn to separate work from personal. Riding with Dillon for a week was going to be torture. If Pop…Captain Giraud, head of Morrisonville’s twenty-five man police force…made good on his threat to force his grandsons to ride together for a month they’d be lucky if the both of them survived.

Shaking his head, Mat slammed the cruiser door as forcefully as he’d opened it. A poster on one of the convenience store’s huge plate glass windows boasted of sixty-four ounce sodas in refillable Hulk, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Black Widow, and Thor cups. Mm. I need to go see that new movie. “I’m getting a soda,” he called over his shoulder to Dillon as he opened the door. “Can I get the restroom key?”

His gaze automatically surveyed the interior, noting it was deserted except for the cashier…a cute little guy named CC he vaguely remembered from high school…and two hoodie-wearing teens. “Everything okay tonight, CC?” he asked. Not that he expected a negative answer; it was just that Collin Crane looked a little freaked. The two kids weren’t any bigger than Collin and weren’t familiar to Mat, so he figured they weren’t troublemakers. Generally he’d had dealings with most of the town’s rowdy teens.

“Yeah, fine, these two were just getting gas. Thanks for coming in, fellas.” CC stepped back, grabbed the restroom key off the hook, and tossed it to Mat.

Mat caught the keys, watching the boys leave without speaking. “Seriously, CC. Those kids giving you trouble? I can talk to them.” Something about the smaller man…regret probably, for ignoring the way the kid was bullied in high school…made him feel a little protective. It was weird, but Mat had learned a lot since he’d turned his back on bullying when he was a kid. Then he’d thought it was enough that he didn’t participate when Jake and Thorn and the others messed with the younger kids. Now…social guilt? Whatever. He was a better person at thirty than he had been at fifteen.

CC looked up, cheeks flushed a little, lower lip trembling. “No…it’s okay. They just wanted gas.”

“Okay. I’ve gotta go, but I want a Thor cup when I get back.” He nodded and walked toward the narrow hall lined with empty boxes which led to the restroom.

“You a fan of The Avengers?” CC called after him.

Mat paused and glanced back over his shoulder, letting his smile widen. “I’m a huge fan of Thor…that is one well put together man.” He was still chuckling over CC’s strangled response when he closed the restroom door.

FLYBOY’S FIRST MISADVENTURE

He attempted to roll the green-eyed man with the dreamy voice off him, but only succeeded in flipping them over so he was now stuck on top. What the fuck? He glanced down their bodies and noticed a cord of some kind wrapped repeatedly around their midsections and legs. No wonder his legs had stopped obeying him. A quick look up showed him numerous clothes line poles with no actual line attached to them.

Well, that was probably because it was all bound around their bodies…and tight too. In the middle of their airborne Cirque du Soleil auditions, their bodies managed to rearrange themselves so the clothesline wrapped them up in the missionary position. With them being damn near close to the same height they lined up quite perfectly with each other.

And that thought made Dean’s cock jump and want to do a few flying lessons of its own.

Dean saw the fog lift from his captive’s eyes as they narrowed with suspicion. His voice was steely this time, not whimsical and light with confusion. “What is happening?”

When all else failed, there was one surefire way to handle what appeared to be an unhandleable situation—channel his snarky best friend Tia.

So he put on a lopsided smile and shrugged as he tried to loosen their bonds somewhat. “You know how Mondays are…run out of coffee, get an extra dose of paperwork at the evil day job, end up in a neighbor’s backyard tied to a charming and well-meaning stranger…” He forced a chuckle out for good measure.

The man’s intense voice didn’t cut him any slack. “Today’s Sunday.”

 

Buy the book:

 

A Man of Unusual Talent:

 

Flyboy’s First Misadventure:

RC

Meet the Authors

LEE BRAZIL:

Somewhere in a small town in up-state New York are a librarian and a second grade teacher to whom I owe my life. That might be a touch dramatic, but it’s nevertheless one hundred percent true.

Because they taught me the joy of reading, of escaping into worlds crafted of words.

Have you ever been nine years old and sure of nothing so much as that you don’t belong? Looked at the world from behind glasses, and wondered why you don’t fit?

Someone hands you a book, and then you turn the page and see… There you are, running from Injun Joe in a dark graveyard; there you are fencing with Athos; there you are…beneath the deep blue sea- marveling at exotic creatures with Captain Nemo.

I found myself between the pages of books, and that is why I write now. It’s why I taught English and literature for so many years, and it’s why my house contains more pounds of books than furniture.

If I’d had my way, I’d have been a fencer…or a starship captain, or a lawyer, or a detective solving crimes. But instead, I am a writer, and I’ve come to realize that’s the best thing in the world to be, because as a writer, I can be all those things and more.

If I hadn’t learned to value the stories between the pages, who knows what would have happened? Certainly not college…teaching…or writing.

 

Where to find the author:

LEE BRAZIL:

HAVAN FELLOWS:

 

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Tour Dates & Stops:

12-Oct: Michael Mandrake, Jessie G. Books

13-Oct Love Bytes, MM Good Book Reviews

14-Oct Unquietly Me, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Happily Ever Chapter

15-Oct Joyfully Jay, Inked Rainbow Reads, Molly Lolly

16-Oct Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, V’s Reads, Bayou Book Junkie

 

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: 2 – $10 ARe Gift Cards (One each to two winners).  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the authors and Pride Promotions.  

 

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Heat Things Up with Cari Z on Superheroes and Where There’s Smoke…(guest blog and giveaway)

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Where There’s Smoke by Cari Z
Riptide Publishing

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Here today at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is Cari Z talking about Superheroes and her release Where There’s Smoke.  Check out her guest blog and book details below. And don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway.

Cari Z on Superheroes….

Superheroes seem to be having a moment right now. A big one.

They’re everywhere. They’re in blockbuster movies (hello my Avengers, it’s been far too long), they’re getting their own shows on TV, they’re on t-shirts and backpacks and bags of Doritos. Yes, I can now eat Captain America-endorsed Doritos, and that actually does incline me to grab a bag. I mean…it’s Chris Evans. Yes, please. Then there are the comics, don’t even get me started on the comics and how much money I’ve spent and how many different timelines there are, I will go insane if I think about it too hard.

I love superheroes, from the staunch to the sly, but I’ve also got a major soft spot for those who are endowed with great power and choose not to accept that great responsibility along with it. Or if they do, they do it for what we’d think of as the “wrong reasons.” Money, notoriety, the sheer thrill that comes from using your power for yourself and no one else. Selfish reasons. Personal reasons. These are the sorts of motives that turn a potential hero into a villain, but that doesn’t necessarily make a person bad.

These are the people who take a shitty situation and make the best of it, or decide not to let someone else make their decisions and run their lives. You don’t have to be The Joker to make villainy interesting. Be a nihilist, be a hedonist, be the Jackie Estacado of the criminal underground. This was the sort of character I wanted to focus on in the first book of the Panopolis series, but naturally I couldn’t start right there. Instead I took a normal guy named Edward Dinges and stuck him in Panopolis, the city of Heroes and Villains. I gave him a decent job, an average history and an overall humdrum life, and then…I made him fall in love.

With a villain.

How does love change you in the face of overwhelming odds? Where There’s Smoke has the answer.

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Panopolis is a rough place to be an average Joe. I came here looking for adventure and excitement, but nobody cares about one more normal guy in a city filled with super-powered heroes. The closest I’ve come to glory is working in a bank that villains often rob.

But then I maybe accidentally-on-purpose helped a villain escape the hero who was trying to save the day. Imagine my shock when, a week later, that villain asked me out for coffee. One date turned into more, and now I’m head over heels in love with Raul.

Falling in love with the guy dubbed the Mad Bombardier isn’t without its downsides, though. I’ve had to deal with near-death encounters with other villains, awkwardly flirtatious heroes who won’t take no for an answer, and a lover I’m not sure I can trust. It’s getting to the point where I know I’ll have to make a choice: side with the heroes, or stand fast by my villain.

Either way, I think my days as a normal guy are over.

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to combat her antisocial reading behavior, she did all sorts of crazy things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to finally joining the Peace Corps, which promptly sent her and her husband to the wilds of West Africa, stuck them in a hut, and said, “See ya!” She also started writing in earnest then, because when you have no television, no car and nothing to read other than a French translation of Twilight, you find ways of entertaining yourself. She’s been back in Colorado for a while now, but stuck with the writing.

Cari posts a free weekly serial on her blog at carizerotica.blogspot.com. Come read, come say hi, or check out her other works at cari-z.net.

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Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a paperback copy of Rules To Live By. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 2. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your email so we can contact you if you win!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Review: Heroes & Villains (Heroes & Villains #1) by Harper Kingsley

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

heroesvillains400Once Vereint Georges realized he had superpowers he dreamed of the day he would become a superhero and help save the world.  He would be adored, famous and hopefully wealthy.  But the reality was far different than he ever could have imagined.  Vereint didn’t like sewing his costumes and he had to keep his day job in order to live. Then his first rescue as the superhero Starburst went horribly wrong.  The person he rescued was badly burned by his superpowers and Vereint threw up in front of the cameras.  To make it worse, his superhero name reminded everyone of the candy and not a hero.  In fact, there were so many superheroes that he was ridiculed by the very people he was supposed to save and mocked by the other superheroes who wouldn’t accept him, especially the superhero Blue Ice.   Vereint hated being a superhero but what else could he do?

Well, he could become a villain and soon Darkstar was born.  Vereint found it incredibly freeing and lucrative to be evil.  He was even good at it!  Soon the populace of Megacity feared and idolized him.  Darkstar even had people wanting to be his minions.  Vereint as Darkstar had finally made it and life was outstanding.

Blue Ice, aka Warrick Tobias, hated Darkstar.  He hated him when he was Starburst and hated him worse now that he was supervillain Darkstar.  Darkstar was all Warrick could think about.  It was almost like he was obsessing over him.  Of course, Darkstar was impossibly gorgeous with that black hair and mesmerizing blue eyes.   Darkstar even invaded his dreams so what is a superhero to do?

When Darkstar and Blue Ice’s clashes turn amorous it leaves both metahumans confused and maybe even hopeful.   A superhero and a supervillain falling in love? Is that even possible?  It’s time for Darkstar and Blue Ice to find out.

I throughly enjoyed this book.  I didn’t know what to expect from the blurb but the reality of the story was so much better than I expected.  In fact, I felt as though I got two books for the price of one.  Heroes and Villains is the story of two metahumans who live in the metropolis of Megacity (of course).  Harper Kingsley starts off the story in a setting than any reader of comic books would recognize.  Those anonymous buildings populated by typical humans going about their business even as superheroes and villains clash in the streets and air all around them.  Disasters and super battles are commonplace and there is such a surfeit of superheroes and supervillains that each has a council to keep them organized.  For the superheroes, it is the League of Superheroes and  for villains it is the League of Ultimate Evil.  There is the Police Commissioner and his Code Black that will summon the superheroes when needed.  It’s all there and accounted for, all the elements we have come to expect, love, and maybe even giggle at when we think of superheroes, supervillains and the cities they live in.  As I was reading, all I could think of was how much fun Harper Kingsley must have had writing this story.

From the names to the costumes and superpowers, Kingsley takes our superhero characters and has fun with them, starting with the position that the reality of being a superhero isn’t what it is cracked up to be.  What if, when a fire happens, not one hero shows up but twenty? And some are great and others? Maybe not so much.  What happens when the superhero isn’t wealthy but just getting by in a Dilbert like desk job?  How do they account for the time they must take away from their jobs to save people and put out the fires?  Like Vereint, they must come close to getting fired because they have used up all their vacation days.  Plus they might not be able to pay their rent on time because they have to spend their money replacing costumes.  It’s a great parody and I loved it.

Kingsley works magic here with the superhero trope.  With their arrogance and position in society, the author’s superheroes act more like a group of mean girls than heroes. Blue Ice in fact is a legacy superhero (five generations of his family have been in the business), and he feels weighed down by the responsibilities he has shouldered since the age of 14.  He lives in the penthouse of Tobias Towers, naturally, and secretly despises the humans he is supposed to protect.   He also resents the  adulation and lifestyle that is Darkstar’s while also being envious of his freedom.  I loved all the details Kingsley brings to the character of Blue Ice.  It’s not only funny, but it also rings with authencity.  Warrick Tobias as Blue Ice really dislikes his job and is in denial about so many things about himself, including his sexuality.  So how does he handle it?  By being a bully.  He is as responsible for Vereint becoming Darkstar than anyone else because of his constant mocking and demoralizing actions towards Starburst.  Warrick is also in his 30’s and now has to follow a Heart Healthy diet. Here is a taste of Warrick Tobias:

It wasn’t like Warrick didn’t understand that he was acting completely insane, but he just couldn’t seem to help himself. There was something about the whole Darkstar situation that just drove him to the verge and maybe a little bit over. The fact that he didn’t really know why he cared that much just made it even worse because the mystery itself was eating away at him.

Warrick spooned up his last bite of maple and brown sugar oatmeal before picking up the plump yellow banana he’d chosen for his breakfast. He squeezed it gently between his fingers, seeing that it didn’t have a single brown spot. It was a singularly beautiful piece of fruit.

As he’d resigned himself to the idea that he was in his thirties— his early thirties, but his thirties nonetheless— he’d had to make a few dietary changes in his life. He’d had to cut back on the sugars, the trans fats, the delicious carbs, and basically everything else that he loved so that he didn’t end up bulging out of his supersuit. He couldn’t have a greasy breakfast of bacon, eggs, and hash browns at his favorite diner anymore, and if he did go there, he had to pick things off the Heart Healthy menu.

I hate egg white omelets and turkey bacon. I want to eat fatty pork bacon and scrambled eggs covered in melted cheese. I bet Darkstar doesn’t have to worry about anything. His super metabolism probably …

“Dammit!” Warrick shouted, flinging the hapless banana across the room to splatter against the wall. Everything in his head came back to Darkstar and he just couldn’t help himself. It wasn’t like he was obsessed or anything. Except that it really seemed like he was obsessed, and not even the self-knowledge that he was out of control helped any.

And Vereint Georges is just as nuanced and believable character as Warrick.  His character changes from a naive, hopeful young superhero to someone who gradually becomes disenchanted with the harsh reality of his dreams.  Nothing measures up.  He’s the new boy, the young “dorky, loser” as the popular kids nee superheroes call him.  Always on the outside, never has the cool clothes, trying to hard to fit in and perpetually disdained for his efforts.  And when he has finally had enough, we are with him 100 percent.

He couldn’t really understand why no one could take him seriously. He tried just as hard as every other hero, so why didn’t he get any kind of respect?

If it was just Blue Ice treating him badly, he might have been able to ignore it, but it was everyone acting like it was a crime that he wanted to save them. They made fun of his name, his ideals, everything about him.

What do I feel about the way everyone treats me?

The answer came in a surprisingly cold voice:   I’m angry.

And of course, they won’t like him when he is angry.

Clenching his hands into fists at his sides, he gritted his teeth and tried to bury his anger deep inside him. He almost had himself back under control and relaxed a little, sure he wasn’t going to completely lose it.

“You know, you’ve got a hole in your shirt,” Blue Ice said, pointing.

“THAT … IS … IT! I have had enough of all this crap.”

Filled with rage, Starburst could feel himself trembling uncontrollably. Violet color began rising around his body and he felt his hair shifting in an unfelt breeze. His eyes felt hot all of a sudden and he was afraid of what was going to happen, but he couldn’t stop it. He was just so frustrated and angry.

Thus Darkstar is born.  But there is so much more to come.  There is the physical attraction both men feel for each other, poseurs who want Darkstar’s attention, more mega explosions and evil doings galore.

Right up until the halfway mark, the story still has the feel of a parody about it.  Then it changes.  An evil deed by Darkstar has profound affects upon his thinking and the story starts to become darker with more real emotions and events that will play with the reader’s empathy and affections.   There were elements of cruelty before but now it fully comes out to play.  All the metahumans really don’t like the regular human beings very much.  They regard them as so much sheep and their actions reflect that.

Kingsley also starts to concentrate on the growing relationship between Warrick and Vereint, the changes in their characters and all the outside influences that effect their lives and potential future.    From the somewhat gentle lampooning of the genre, the author takes this satire to a darker level, bringing a certain amount of grit to the characters and the scenes.  Not everyone will appreciate the loss of the humor and cartoonish takeoff that the first part of the book represents. I liked this element but also understand its lack of appeal to some readers.

I also felt that the story especially the epilogue was a little long.  It certainly could have been shortened without harm to the narrative.   Still, I can say that I really liked Heroes and Villains, it is one of the more unusual stories that I have read recently and I throughly appreciated that.  From every aspect of this novel,  the attention to detail , the inclusion of all the expected comic book elements to the terrific characterizations,  I highly recommend this book to all.  Let me know what you think.

Cover designed by Aisha Akeju.  I am not sure what I make of this cover.  I appreciate the pointillism of the graphics that convey a sense of comic book similarity but I wish it had taken that element a little further in design.

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 211 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Harper Kingsley