It's almost time! My next novel, Unexpected Superhero, is about to be released! Yay!! I can't wait to show you what I've been working on for the last many months, so I thought I'd share some of it with you now. 🙂
First, a big shout-out to John Bucholtz, awesome husband and cover designer extraordinaire, for this fabulous cover! This is a limited edition because I hired a professional model to do a photo shoot for the cover image, but it won't be ready until next month. John had been working with me on a cover earlier, but I was annoyed that I couldn't find anything that looked like a superhero costume that didn't look like a Superman costume. Even with that handicap, John did an amazing job! Thanks, John!
Unexpected Superhero is the first book in The Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series. When Tori Lewis returns from her honeymoon after a whirlwind romance with Joe Clarke, she finds out she has a super power. She enlists the help of Superhero X, who has rescued her more than once, to figure out how to proceed. Meanwhile, Tori's husband Joe is trying to decide how to tell his new wife that he's a superhero. The timing has never been right, and it's getting worse by the day. When Tori's nephew is kidnapped, the two must work together with other superheroes to rescue him before an evil plan comes to fruition.
And now, for your reading enjoyment, the first scene from the book…
Tori Lewis was out of M&Ms. None in her purse, none in the glove box. Even the emergency packet in her briefcase had been consumed during her pre-wedding jitters. After the job interview she’d just endured for Half TV, a local cable TV station, she needed a chocolate fix. Now.
“I know I’m supposed to go to you for comfort,” she muttered to God as she pulled into a parking spot, “but if you wouldn’t mind, a package of M&Ms would jumpstart the process.”
The bell tinkled over her head as the door of Ed & Eddie’s Corner Market closed behind her. Tori stamped the snow off her boots as her eyes adjusted from the deepening twilight outside to the bright fluorescent lights of the store. It took her a moment to notice everyone in the store staring at her. Including the guy with the gun.
Tori froze. She always assumed her love of the colorful chocolate candy might one day destroy her figure, but she never expected her addiction to end in gunfire.
The gunman swung toward her. His bulky open coat couldn’t hide the fact that the skinny boy was no man. A Detroit Tigers baseball cap covered most of his brown hair, but not his panicky eyes. “What do you want?” His voice came out higher at the end and he cleared his throat. “Well?” he asked, forcing the word out at a lower pitch.
“Uhh… M&Ms,” Tori said. It sounded like a question. Her brain was having a hard time getting up to speed in this unexpected situation. God, help me.
Her eyes darted around the small store. An older woman cried and held a nearly hysterical younger woman, shushing her to no avail. One of the men held a baby ensconced in a little pink snowsuit. Another nodded quietly at her as if to convey caution.
Situation confirmed. She was hip-deep in doo-doo. Where was her big, strong new husband when she needed him?
The armed boy-man cocked his head toward the candy aisle. Tori didn’t know if he meant for her to move out of the way or if he was just being unusually helpful by pointing her in the right direction. Erring on the side of caution, she forced a fleeting smile and mumbled “thanks” as she walked past him and down the middle aisle to stand in front of the M&Ms. Now what?
The gunman turned back to Eddie, the cashier and half-owner of Ed & Eddie’s. “Hurry up before someone else comes in!”
“Easy, dude, easy,” Eddie said, moving his hands slowly toward the cash register. Eddie wasn’t very old either, early 20s or so, but he was sadly experienced in the holdup category. Tori couldn’t remember the details, but she’d heard bits and pieces of stories. Come to think of it, why did she shop at a store with a record anyway? She remembered Eddie had played sports in high school. Something like baseball or wrestling or karate could come in handy right now. Hopefully his sport hadn’t been cross-country running.
Tori glanced at the M&Ms next to her. More than ever she needed to stress eat. Could she open a package now and pay Eddie later? Maybe two packages. Her hands started to shake. She shoved them in her pockets.
Today was only day ten of her new and fabulous married life. She hadn’t wanted to go out today anyway and now this. Only two days ago she and Joe had checked out of their Disney World hotel, blue skies and temperatures in the 70s, nothing on their minds but a long and blissful life together. Tori prayed now that she’d make it to day eleven of that life. They hadn’t been married long enough to do anything except have sex – which was awesome – but she’d hoped for more. After all, they figured they’d have the rest of their lives together. Neither of them thought the “death” part of “till death do us part” would happen until there was a lot more gray hair involved.
The sound of a crying baby registered. Tori glanced over at the well-dressed man in the expensive trench coat. He kept his back between the gunman and his child. A gesture Tori would normally find heartwarming. But today it was the action of a man who wasn’t going to get involved. Great. He wouldn’t be of any use. So this is where equal opportunity gets us. Tori considered offering to hold the baby so he could help the other men save the day. Her self-esteem would be fine with that. Maybe if she were comforting someone, she wouldn’t feel like crying herself.
Enough! Tori wiped at her eyes. She was not letting some stupid, scared boy dictate her life and death. She’d spent too much energy changing her life into just what she wanted to lose it now. She chewed on her lip. What could she do?
A movement from the corner of her eye. She saw one of the men – the one who’d nodded calmly at her – edging closer to the gunman. Yikes. Should she duck or help?