Honesty time; Archer Season 6; Dafuq?

HONESTY TIME — Okay, I’m going to be completely honest: I have not seen the third season of “Hannibal” yet. It’s on my DVR along with season two, which I did watch and enjoy, but I’m scared to watch season 3.

I’ve heard things. Good things. Bad things. Heartrending things.

I know that it’s supposed to be super beautiful/awesome/eye-opening, and I totally love the show, but I’m pretty squeamish. I want to watch season 3, but I’m scared to watch it because it’s going to be me watching it all by myself, and while I can read all kinds of horribly descriptive things, the sight of blood makes me go “Whoo-ee, that’s me losing my lunch.”

Still. I’mma try to watch season 3 over the next couple days. Pray for me (and Will Graham).

Hopefully I don’t start writing a bunch of Hannigram stories while sobbing into my keyboard. But who knows. I’m pretty weird.

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ARCHER SEASON 6 — Dammit FXXHD, all I wanted was to see season 6. I’ve been waiting a ridiculously long time for you to finally show it, and what happens? Somehow you manage to get all the way to episode 6 before I realized that you’d finally finished the recap of season 5. Seriously, do you gotta be so cruel?

And when I looked up the info, what do I see? You continue season 6 and go straight through to seasons 1 and 2, and likely 3, 4, and 5. I just want to see season 6!

Ugh. It’s going to suck having to wait for you to go through all the earlier seasons again. My life is garbage.

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DAFUQ?: Totally saw this on Cracked. It’s from the “21 Absurd Lies Companies Have Used to Sell Products” article, number 8.

Cracked: Pom advertisement meme

From an explanation in the comment’s section, I guess as long as there’s been no study firmly disproving a claim, under First Amendment laws a company can saw what-the-fuck-ever they want. So you can’t say that your product cures death, but…

“Read ‘Allies & Enemies’ by Harper Kingsley and you just might live a happier and longer life. You might even be one of those people that is more resistant to cancer, colonoscopies, and fecal worms. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. But you might be.”

Wow. *mind blown*

“Allies & Enemies,” by Harper Kingsley is live! [superhero, mm, novel]

Allies & EnemiesTitle: Allies & Enemies
Author: Harper Kingsley
Series: Heroes & Villains (Book Two)
Cover art: Aisha Akeju
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: mm, superhero, urban fantasy, sci-fi
Word count: 129,000

Summary: In the wake of the death of the Fabulous Kims, Vereint cannot forget Melissa, the little girl they left behind, a girl that now has no family. Certain he and Warrick can be the family she needs, he pushes to adopt her. That she proves to have superpowers only confirms he’s right. Melissa is their darling daughter by day, and by night she trains to become Blue Devil, sidekick to Blue Ice.

Then the unthinkable happens, destroying the happiness Vereint and Warrick worked so hard to build—a tragedy so great that the long-vanished Darkstar returns with murderous intent …

It’s here! Allies & Enemies is currently live at Less Than Three and at Smashwords.

Are you excited? I’m excited.

And if you feel like you need to catch up on the series, here’s the links for Heroes & Villains at Less Than Three and at Smashwords.

EXCERPT of Allies & Enemies:

The sun struggled to shine through the clouds, and it was one of those days destined to be miserable. Not just because of the weather, but because of the girl sobbing out her heartbreak on a sterile hospital bed, the sheets pulled up around her shoulders as she buried her face in the flat and lumpy pillow.

Vereint clenched his hands together on the handles of the two shopping bags he held. It took all of his willpower to keep from running into the room and scooping her into his arms. Instead, he stood in the hallway and watched through the window as she mourned the loss of her parents. Behind and to the left of him, he could hear Warrick talking to the nurse and the social worker, and Vereint was sure everything was just about worked out.

They were going to take that little girl home and give her a family and make sure she grew up knowing that she was loved. He didn’t think they could ever erase the loss of her parents, but they would try their best to make her realize she still had a whole life to live and they would be there for her.

Vereint heard the slight scuff of dress shoes on the linoleum floor, and then Warrick’s arm settled across his shoulders. He didn’t hesitate to hug Warrick’s wrist against his chest. He breathed in the scent that his brain uniquely identified as Warrick Reidenger Tobias and something screaming and tight in his chest released. “Do we get to take her now?”

“I talked them around,” Warrick said. “There will be social service visits and we’ll have a social worker assigned. They’ll still be looking for any family she has, but she gets to go home with us tonight. They say she’s all right, just shaken up, so it’ll be better for her if she doesn’t spend another night in the hospital.”

“Good.” Vereint had never been fond of hospitals. Just the smell and the sounds were enough to make him uncomfortable; he couldn’t imagine how miserable it must be for a grieving twelve-year-old who had watched her parents die. “The guest room will be fine for tonight, and tomorrow I can go and get things to make it more comfortable.”

He’d get her a few things to make her feel welcome, then later after her grief had a chance to settle he would take her to pick out things she wanted for herself. It would give them a chance to bond. He wondered what she looked like when she smiled.

“Here comes the social worker,” Warrick said.

There was the clack-clack of sensible pumps attached to a tall, thin woman with a pair of no-nonsense glasses perched on her nose. She looked like she might be kind, but also as though she didn’t suffer fools. The subdued floral print of her purple and black blouse showed she had a softer side that they would be able to appeal to.

“Mr. Georges-Tobias, Mr. Tobias, I’m Nancy Daniels and I’ve been assigned to Melissa’s case.” Her handshake was brusque and businesslike. She wasn’t ready to be friends, not until she was sure of them, but Vereint knew she was the kind of ally they were going to need. He’d done a bit of research about child services, and while money could take them far, they would need her help to smooth away the minor irritations of the legal system.

He smiled at her, trying to pour on the charm without going too far over the top. “Thank you. I’m just glad you’re letting us take her home with us.”

She sighed. “It will be nice for her to be out of here. From what the nurses have said, last night was not a good night for her.” She walked toward the door. “Come along and I’ll introduce you.”

Warrick reached the door first and held it open with easy grace. He brushed his hand against the small of Vereint’s back as Vereint passed by him. Vereint gave him a smile before his attention was caught by the girl on the bed.

Melissa was a cute Korean-American girl with long black hair and a triangular-shaped face. She was short, her body so tiny that her head looked large in comparison. With the opening of the door, she hastily sat up, raking her hands through the tangled mess of her hair and scrubbing at her eyes with the corner of the sheet. Her face was still blotchy and red, but her chin firmed as she pretended she hadn’t been crying.

“What do you want?” she asked, her lips twitching as she tried to maintain her control. She blinked rapidly to clear the gleam of tears from her eyes.

“Hello, Melissa,” Nancy said, her voice gentle and soothing. “I know you said you want to leave the hospital, and that’s why I’ve brought these two gentlemen with me. This is Vereint Georges-Tobias and his husband Warrick Tobias. They want you to stay with them until everything gets figured out.”

Melissa gave them a suspicious glare. “I don’t know them. I don’t want to go anywhere with them.”

“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to,” Nancy said, “but Vereint and Warrick are offering you a safe place to stay.”

Vereint stepped forward, shifting the bags until they hung from his left wrist, and held up his hands, palms out so she could see that they were empty. He gave Melissa a tentative smile. “Hi. I can tell you want to get out of here. I don’t much like hospitals myself, and it must be pretty cold here at night, huh?”

Her black eyes were still suspicious, but she gave a nod of grudging agreement. “The blankets are thin and you can hear everything that goes on at night. I think the man in the next room died last night; there was a big ruckus and people were running in and out.” Her chin was a hard nob that she refused to let tremble.

Vereint pressed his lips together. He’d pushed for her to be put in a different unit of the hospital, but her brush with the freeze ray that had shot her parents meant she needed close observation. At least, that had been the line the doctor had given when Vereint had asked if she could be discharged two days ago. Vereint didn’t think a lonely and sterile hospital room was a healthy environment for a traumatized child. He didn’t want to see her spirit damaged.

The fact that she was defensive made him like her more. He’d felt as though something had stabbed him in the chest the first time he’d seen her after her parents’ death. He’d never believed in fate, but it was obvious to him that he and Warrick had to take her home and raise her as their daughter. There had been so much hurt in her eyes when they’d met his and so much spirit beyond that, it had been no effort at all to nudge Warrick into grudging action.

/EXCERPT

Release for Allies & Enemies; Recommended Reading

Release date for Allies & Enemies

Found out the release date for Allies & Enemies — July 16th, 2014 from Less Than Three Press. I don’t have a cover to show you yet, but it’s coming 🙂

I am so excited because I’ve been swallowing down all these spoilery-type comments or what have yous because the events of Allies & Enemies are very startling. There’s a reason why I couldn’t give any tasty excerpts from later in the book … because things get heavy. Like whoa.

Allies & Enemies” is the second novel in the Heroes & Villains series. It can be read as a standalone novel, though the backstory from “Heroes & Villains” would probably make it a better experience for readers.


Recommended Reading:

Armor, by John Steakley [military sci-fi]

The book is only available in print, but it’s worth the buy. If you’re into military sci-fi, bad assery, body armor, and humans versus giant bugs, you definitely need to add this book to your collection.

Blurb borrowed from The Official Unofficial John Steakley Site: Armor is the tale of Felix, a scout fighting in a brutal war on a planet known as Banshee. While on the surface it’s an action/sci-fi book like Starship Troopers [Heinlein] (which it was inspired by), it’s much, much more. It’s the story of a man who simply does not want to live anymore, but has a thing inside of him (he calls it his Engine) that will not allow him to simply lay down and die. So he lives on, fighting through hopeless battle after hopeless battle with no hope of either victory or defeat.

Blur borrowed from Wikipedia: Armor is a military science fiction novel by John Steakley. It has some superficial similarities with Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers (such as the military use of exoskeletons and insect-like alien enemies) but concentrates more on the psychological effects of violence on human beings rather than on the political aspects of the military, which was the focus of Heinlein’s novel.

My thoughts: I recently recommended Armor to someone and it brought up all these feelings in me, so much that I went back and read the book again. And it’s still as mind-blowing as the first time I read it as a teenager.

It is unfortunate that John Steakley died before he could complete the sequel to Armor, though I’ve recently found out that he allowed an excerpt of the work to be put online. Here’s the link to the Armor 2 excerpt. I’m curious to know how much of the novel was completed and whether there will ever come a time when the fragments will be available to the public.

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Elfhome, by Wen Spencer [urban fantasy] (Elfhome, Book 3)

Currently available for the Kindle price of $3.99. If you’ve got the rest of the series or you’re starting your collection, this is a great deal.

Summary borrowed from Amazon: #3 in the groundbreaking, award-winning Elfhome series. Pittsburgh, PA has been magically transported to a world of elves and magic in order to stave off a monstrous invasion of Earth. Now Tinker must root out and destroy an evil plot.

Elfhome. A world of powerful magic, beautiful elves, man-eating trees, frost-breathing wargs, and god-like dragons. Pittsburgh. A city that has been stranded deep in virgin elfin forest to stave off an invasion by the merciless oni. Its population of sixty thousand humans and a handful of elves are pitted in war that will only end in genocide. Winter is coming. Supplies are running low. All political ties are fraying. Hidden somewhere in Pittsburgh’s crumbling neighborhoods, a vanguard of oni are growing in number and attacking from the shadows.

Girl genius Tinker was once a human orphan, growing up on the Pittsburgh streets. Now she’s an elf princess with all the bells and whistles. She rules over a melting pot of humans, elves, half-oni, and the crow-like tengu. Tinker is determined to make her city a place of freedom. She’s going to have to kick butt and take names. Seven elf children are already missing — and the oni eat their prisoners when they outlive their usefulness.

Book One: Tinker
Book Two: Wolf Who Rules
Book Three: Elfhome
Book Four: Wood Sprites (forthcoming)

Tinker introduces our titular main character, Alexander Graham Bell, better known as Tinker. Girl genius caught up in strange happenings in a Pittsburgh that travels back and forth into Faerie. She saves Wolf Who Rules and finds herself dragged into adventure, danger, and a plot by the secretive and evil oni.

Wolf Who Rules continues Tinker’s story as she faces the mistakes that she’s made and desperately tries to fix things. All while following the yellow brick road.

My thoughts: This series is a lot of fun and I have a great deal of fondness for Tinker. I was pleased that the latest book, Elfhome, includes Oilcan’s story as it happens, and I can’t wait for the fourth book, Wood Sprites, which is coming in September of 2014.

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Jurisdiction Series, by Susan R. Matthews

Blurb borrowed from Amazon: Andrej Koscuisko had graduated with the highest honors from the Mayon Medical Center and could have started a lucrative private practice. But his father had other plans for him, sending him to Fleet Orientation Station Medical where he will learn to become a Ship’s Surgeon, a highly skilled torturer armed with the powerful Writ of Inquistion. Unable to escape his brutal training, Koscuisko will have to reconcile his natural empathy for the sick with a dark secret he will learn about himself.

Blurb borrowed from Amazon: Under Jurisdiction torture isn’t about truth. It’s about terror.

The Jurisdiction’s Bench has come to rely on the institutionalized atrocities of the Protocols to maintain its control of an increasingly unstable political environment. When Andrej Koscuisko, a talented young doctor, reports to orientation as a Ship’s Inquisitor he will discover in himself something far worse than a talent for inflicting grotesque torments on the Bench’s enemies. He will confront a passion for the exercise of the Writ to Inquire whose intensity threatens to consume him utterly.

As he struggles to find some thread of justice and compassion under the Law, as he fights to hang on to what remains to him of his sanity, he will make powerful enemies who are eager to use his knowledge, his empathy, his passion against anyone who challenges the Bench.

Book One: An Exchange of Hostages (Andrej Koscuisko).
Book Two: Prisoner of Conscience (Andrej Koscuisko).
Book Three: Angel of Destruction.
Book Four: Hour of Judgment (Andrej Koscuisko).
Book Five: The Devil and Deep Space (Andrej Koscuisko).
Book Six: Warring States (Andrej Koscuisko).

My thoughts: I liked the original covers a lot, but I’m just happy that this series is available for a reasonable price. The books all seem to be $4.99 in Kindle format. I’ve really only read the Andrej Koscuisko novels, as I didn’t even realize the other stories were part of the same series.

These are some really gritty books that involve torture and sadism. Andrej is a man that knows he has some very sick impulses, but he can’t seem to help himself. It’s kind of like those Star Trek mirror-verse stories where Bones is Emperor Pike’s personal medic and receives Kirk as his slave — Bones enjoys bringing pain even as he’s a talented healer and refuses to take it when he catches his wife cheating on him. He goes after her and her lover, then takes custody of his little darling Joanna, with gladiator/pleasure slave Kirk as her secondary caregiver.

Except Andrej doesn’t have a whole lot of sex and it doesn’t happen on-screen, as it were. He likes hurting people, but otherwise is very polite, clean, has impecable manners, and comes from a family that’s like something out of an old Russian play (though I’m not sure if everyone dies).

I haven’t read the books in several years, as I couldn’t find copies to purchase, so it’s a great find that they’re newly available as ebooks. I’ve got to move some money around, but these are definitely going on my to-buy list.

EDITED: I bought the first two books, and whoa. I did not remember how psychologically twisty and disturbing everything was. There’s more sex than I remembered and I’d forgotten how angry the Bench could make me. This series is definitely for Mature or Adult audiences only.

I’d forgotten that Andrej was forced to join the Fleet by his father, who had been a member back when things were different and before torture interrogation became so wide spread and abused.

Still, the world is gritty and fascinating. I am going to finish getting the rest of the series, though I would recommend that you sample the second or third book before buying the first book, as An Exchange of Hostages introduces the world and doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty until after the sample would be done.

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Wolf’s Hour, by Robert R. McCammon [historical fantasy]

This book had been out of print for a long time, and now it’s finally available again, though seemingly only as an ebook ($7.99). Still, this is really exciting because this has got to be one of the greatest werewolf books I’ve ever read.

Beginning during World War II, we’re thrust directly into the action with our main character then there’s a break during the second part of the book that goes back to when Michael was Mikhail and how he became a werewolf, then things go back to the “current” action happening. The writing is great, the story is spellbinding, and this has to be McCammon’s best. I love it!

Blurb borrowed from Amazon: On the eve of D-Day, a British secret agent with unique powers goes behind Nazi lines

Michael Gallatin is a British spy with a peculiar talent: the ability to transform himself into a wolf. Although his work in North Africa helped the Allies win the continent in the early days of World War II, he quit the service when a German spy shot his lover in her bed. Now, three years later, the army asks him to end his retirement and parachute into occupied Paris. A mysterious German plan called the Iron Fist threatens the D-Day invasion, and the Nazi in charge is the spy who betrayed Michael’s lover. The werewolf goes to France for king and country, hoping for a chance at bloody vengeance.

Other classics by Robert R. McCammon:

Swan Song [apocalypse].
Stinger [aliens].
They Thirst [vampires].
Usher’s Passing [horror].

You can tell that a lot of these stories were written in the late-80s/early-90s, but they’re still fun reads. Swan Song has to be my favorite apocalypse book, possibly because of nostalgia, but whatever the reason it’s got a spot in my heart.

Allies & Enemies, by Harper Kingsley. Chapter 5 [superhero, mm]

Title: Allies & Enemies
Author: Harper Kingsley
World: Heroes & Villains
Genre: mm superhero
Summary: Warrick comes home after a bad experience. They have to deal with the aftermath and revelations.

 CHAPTER FIVE

 Brushing Mr. Cuddy turned out to be one of those things he really enjoyed. He wouldn’t have imagined it could be so soothing, but there was just something about it. Running the soft bristles through his silky white fur and hearing the whispery “shush-shush” sound and his reverberating purr of satisfaction.

Mr. Cuddy opened one slit-pupiled green eye to give Vereint a rolling look. His front paws kneaded at the couch cushion and Vereint could feel him pushing back against the brush demandingly.

“Are you still playing with that cat?” Melissa asked disbelievingly. She was standing in the living room archway with an energy drink in her hands. “You’re going to get too attached and Miss Cuddy’s gonna be pissed you’ve stolen her husband.”

Vereint wagged the brush at her. “I’m not trying to steal her cat. She left me a whole list of things she expects me to do for him. Brushing him every night was on it.”

“And how exactly did she talk you into cat sitting?” Melissa stepped into the living room and leaned her elbow against a chair back.

“She didn’t want to put him in one of those animal hostels and was completely upset,” Vereint said. She’d been pitiful and he’d been desperate to get her away from his door. “How could I tell her no when she was so desperate? Besides, Mr. Cuddy is a great cat.” Continue reading Allies & Enemies, by Harper Kingsley. Chapter 5 [superhero, mm]

Allies & Enemies, by Harper Kingsley. Chapter 4 [superhero, mm]

Title: Allies & Enemies
Author: Harper Kingsley
World: Heroes & Villains
Genre: mm superhero
Summary: Vereint and Warrick are still adapting to having a teenaged girl in their lives.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

Life settled into a routine they could all live with. The whole having a kid thing no longer seemed like such an emotional ball kick and Melissa really began to seem like a member of their family.

It was hard keeping Warrick’s identity as Blue Ice away from her, but it wasn’t like they hadn’t been practicing liars before. Vereint’s supervillain past seemed more like dirty laundry than Warrick’s predilection to go out and save the world.

Melissa spent most of her weekdays at the expensive prep school they’d gotten her into. Burstow Academy was the same place Warrick had gone to as a kid, so she received a legacy benefit, and even though her last name was Kim, it was well understood that she was a member of the Tobias family. Special treatment abounded.

There had been a few rough spots, like when Vereint got called in because Melissa had been “acting out.” He’d shown up nervous, expecting to hear that his kid had killed someone or leveled a large chunk of the school. Instead he’d had to bite his lip hard to keep from calling the teacher a “Nominal bitch” to her face and flinging her desk at her. He still had a few anger issues he hadn’t managed to tame.

Some jerk had called Melissa a chink whore. So naturally she’d kicking him on the shin and cursed at him in Korean. By the time Vereint got there, the kid had already been sent home with an ice pack and Melissa had nearly been suspended for physical assault. He’d had a long talk with her about how physically attacking someone was not the correct response, especially when she was at school, and she seemed to really understand. Especially when he pointed out that his being called into school was not a good thing.

Vereint was proud of his level of control. Nobody died and he got Melissa’s suspension revoked. But that teacher had been added to his List.

Other than a few minor issues, Melissa settled into school with the kind of easy grace other kids envied. It seemed natural that she would become popular and join after school activities such as Cheer Squad, gymnastics, and drama club. She was so full of energy that she was constantly looking for something to do with it.

Life was good. Continue reading Allies & Enemies, by Harper Kingsley. Chapter 4 [superhero, mm]

Allies & Enemies, by Harper Kingsley. Chapter 3 [superhero mm]

Truly, Vereint is desperate to fit into normal life. I think that’s what I like about him. Sure, he messes up, but he tries hard. He just can’t help it that sometimes he forgets how breakable other people are.

Title: Allies & Enemies – Chapter Three
Author: Harper Kingsley
World: Heroes & Villains
Genre: mm superhero novel
Rating: mature
A/N: Sequel to Heroes & Villains.
Summary: Chapter One & Two HERE (opens in another window.) Chapter Three has Vereint panicking over his parents wanting to meet Melissa. Yet Warrick can’t be found.

 

CHAPTER THREE

Life with Melissa wasn’t all roses and happiness. She was a grieving girl, and once the shocked placidness wore off, she was a bit of a spitfire. There were definite traces of a brat in there.

There were a couple of times where Vereint had to remind himself that he wasn’t a supervillain anymore. There were a couple of times where Warrick had to remind him rather forcibly as well, though those little scuffles usually ended in fabulous makeup sex, so he didn’t mind that as much. Still, having a kid around was a whole different world for them. It added depth to their relationship or something.

Vereint’s mom, Sandra, barely gave him any warning before she was in a car with Patrick and Hank, promising a long visit. She was desperate to see her new granddaughter and she wasn’t going to let anything get in her way, Vereint included. Not that he would ever try to block her from anything–he wasn’t that stupid.

His mother was a force of nature wrapped up in a human skin.

Instead, he made sure the apartment was immaculate. He liked hearing Melissa’s soft giggles as he raced around at human speed washing dishes, folding laundry, vacuuming, and preparing a feast for their guests.

“You could help me, you know,” he said, giving her a sideways glance. She was curled up on the couch, her little feet wearing brightly colored striped socks.

She shrugged. “I could. But you seem to be having a lot of fun.”

He switched off the vacuum cleaner and put his hands on his hips. “That’s it, little lady. Get your hiney off the couch and go make sure your room is clean. My mom’s going to want to see it first thing to make sure you’re not living in squalor.”

There was a visible shifting behind her eyes, as though she was contemplating telling him to go shove it. Finally, she threw her feet off the couch and stood up, padding quietly toward her room.

“I’ll be in with fresh sheets in about ten minutes,” he called after her. “I don’t want to see a single toy on the floor.”

“Gotcha!” she called back.

Vereint stood there for a long moment. His life really had become something very different and strange, yet it was a good kind of strange. Warm and quietly happy.

He shook his head and switched the vacuum cleaner on, going back to making sure all the lines in the carpet bent the same way. He paused midway through to light the scented candles on the coffee table and on both end tables, sniffing contentedly as he worked.

He glanced at the decorative sun-faced clock on the wall and had to wonder where Warrick was and when he was going to be home. Warrick had promised that he would be here when the Georges appeared. Continue reading Allies & Enemies, by Harper Kingsley. Chapter 3 [superhero mm]

Excerpt: Allies & Enemies, updates, and winner announcement

I’m still doing the Scapple beta, but not as seriously as those first few days. I’ve turned in a few bugs and hiccups to the team and it’s likely that I’ll be buying the program when it’s out of beta. Until then I don’t want to save too much to it.

Still, I’ll try to get a screencap of my mind map. It basically spans all of my stories and I had a lot of fun making it. There may have been some squeeage.

Scapple for Windows is supposed to be $15. Which is reasonable. Scapple is by literatureandlatte.com, the same guys that do Scrivener.

*

small-HeroesVillainsThe winner of the Heroes & Villains blog tour giveaway: Sin Chan. I’ll be contacting you shortly. Congratulations.

Thanks to everyone that participated. I hope you all had a great weekend.

-I wrote a list of everyone’s name with a number beside it, then went to random.org and had the numbers drawn. Easy peasy.

*

Here, have an excerpt of the upcoming Allies & Enemies, sequel to Heroes & Villains. It continues the story of Darkstar, though several years later.

Honestly, it’s really hard for me to find good excerpt material that doesn’t spoil the story. A lot happens in Allies & Enemies, but it’s all tied into the main plot. It’s kind of a struggle because I’ve never been very good at keeping any kind of secret. I want to just babble it all away, but I can’t.

Anyways, here’s a scene where Melissa of the Fabulous Kims is doing some stuff. Yeah, stuff.

Like helping to stop a mad bomber in Megacity.

Title: Allies & Enemies
Author: Harper Kingsley
World: Heroes & Villains
Genre: mm superhero novel
Word count: 136,000
Excerpt rating: teen+

Summary: Melissa gets herself into some trouble.

EXCERPT:

It was strange how color saturated everything had begun to look to her exhausted eyes. A bone deep weariness had settled over her and it was a battle to lock her knees to keep from stumbling.

More than anything she wanted to slip into her own bed. She wanted to nuzzle her cheek against her pillow and close her eyes, just for a little while. A few desperate hours of rest.

Instead Melissa was once again helping to defuse a bomb. It was one of dozen she had to deal with before she would be allowed to sleep.

It made her want to sleep.

She blinked her stinging eyes quickly and didn’t let her eyelids stay closed for too long. That way lay madness and a crashing down on the building below while the bomb exploded, killing her and anyone nearby.

At least this time she was partnered with Leithfold, a quiet superhero that didn’t seem to hate her the way Sonic Pulse did. He did his job anyway, with an easy competence she couldn’t help admiring.

Melissa gripped the side of the building with her gloved hands and felt the tugs of the straps around her waist. Once again she was to use her ability to fly to help an earthbound colleague dangle from the side of a building. It felt very spy movieish and she might have been amused if she wasn’t so tired.

“Hey, what’s going on up there?”

The irritated snap to Leithfold’s voice jerked Melissa back into focus. She hadn’t even felt her eyes close and had begun to sag against the side of the building, releasing some of the tension in Leithfold’s line.

“Sorry,” she called down, then forced her eyes to stay open. Her neck felt made of rubber and her head kept sagging forward or back and she would have to snap upright. Everything was getting a bit hazy around the edges and she didn’t know how much more she could take.

“After this, I’m going to need a break,” she said into her comm.

“I hear you. We can stop off for some coffee before heading to the next target,” Leithfold said.

Melissa held back a groan. Her stomach churned from all the coffee and energy drinks she’d downed already. It was only luck and a damn good super metabolism that kept her hands from shaking. She didn’t know how much more she could take before she started screwing up.

Maybe I can get in a power nap somehow?

She snorted. Where had all that boundless energy she’d once possessed gone? Now she just felt tired; jaded and tired, her dreams ground small by reality.

“All right, got it,” Leithfold said. “Pull me on up.”

Melissa grabbed the climbing ropes and hauled the much larger man up onto the roof. “Do you really think we’re going to manage all the bombs?”

Leithfold tugged his uniform straight. “Probably not. Considering the law of averages, there’s a good chance a few bombs will be missed.”

“Wow, that’s pretty negative thinking,” Melissa said.

“Truth hurts. And there’s hundreds, if not thousands of bombs set up all over the city, and he’s still making more. We’ve only got a finite number of superheroes to handle things. It’s gonna make things messy before it gets over.”

Melissa rolled her eyes. “Well, you’re just full of puppy kisses and bunny fluff.”

He gave a surprised sounding laugh. “Haven’t you heard? Negativity is the new positivity.”

“Whatever. Let’s get out of here.”

Moving around and having someone to talk to had perked up her energy, but she knew it wasn’t going to last. What she desperately needed was a good night’s sleep, something she would only be able to dream about for awhile yet.

“Well isn’t this cozy,” a raspy voice drawled.

Melissa whirled around, dropping the rope she had been coiling. “Whoa, who are you?”

The guy looked like he’d escaped from some hell or other. His head had been shaved and was only now speckled with stubble. His cheekbones in his emaciated face were sharp protrusions, the bone trying to tear through the fragile skin. His eyes were sunk deep in his face, shadowed and insane.

Just looking at him gave Melissa a foreboding chill. This wasn’t just some homeless person as she’d first assumed. This man was dangerous.

“You’re going to come with me,” he said, staring at Melissa.

Leithfold stepped half in front of her. “Now look, I don’t know what you think is happening here, but it’s not. Don’t make us arrest you.”

The man grinned, a frightening spread of teeth and gum. “She’s coming with me or–” He pointed toward the distant spire of the Steiger building and there was the bright flare of an explosion. “–I’ll blow up this whole half of the city.”

“You’ll blow up too,” Melissa said.

The man — Atom Splitter — just grinned. “I am a walking chemical reaction. I am immune to my own powers. I could blow up the whole world and dance between the twirling waves of flame. I am unstoppable. But you can die in screaming, burning agony. It’s your choice.”

If there was one thing Melissa hated dealing with, it was a superpowered madman. There was no reasoning with whatever lurked behind Atom Splitter’s eyes; he was blackhole empty, swallowing all the light.

“Why do you want me? What are you going to do?” she asked. There was no way she wanted to go anywhere with this guy, but she didn’t see much choice. He’d rigged enough bombs that there was no doubt about who was in charge of the situation–he was.

“You’re a brave little toaster, chugging along.” He laughed, making her shiver at the unpleasant sound. “Just like him.”

“What are you talking about?” Leithfold asked.

Atom Splitter snarled at him. “You shut your mouth. You’re ruining our beautiful moment.” He held his hand out toward Melissa, the tips of his fingers stained black from whatever chemicals he’d been using. “Come here now or I blow up your precious city.”

Leithfold tried to stop her, but she brushed his hand off her elbow. Her boots crunched against the rooftop and her heartbeat thudded loud but sure in her ears.

Atom Splitter’s hand was warm even through her gloves. His laugh was choppy and unpleasant. “I’m disappointed, but maybe you’ll be enough.”

As she was led away by the mass murderer, she realized that she wasn’t sleepy anymore.

Melissa was wide-awake.

/EXCERPT

Allies & Enemies, by Harper Kingsley. Chapters 1+2 [superhero, mm]

Title: Allies & Enemies
Author: Harper Kingsley
Pairing: Vereint Georges/Warrick Tobias
Genre: mm superhero
A/N: This isn’t even 10% of the novel, which is 136,000+ words of awesome. You know you want some superhero/supervillain relationship action. Plus, OMG, it gets real in this one.
A/N 2: **Spoiler alert** If you haven’t read Heroes & Villains, you might be a bit spoiled just by the everyday stuff. **Spoiler alert**
Content Warning: There’s some sexy happenings, but it’s not in super graphic detail.
Summary: The first two chapters. Picks up from the epilogue of Heroes & Villains (Less Than Three Press – August 14, 2013).

CHAPTER ONE

The sun was struggling to shine through the clouds, but it was just one of those days guaranteed to be miserable. Not just because of the weather, but because of the girl sobbing out her heartbreak on a sterile hospital bed, the sheets pulled up around her shoulders as she buried her face in the rather flat and lumpy pillow.

Vereint clenched his hands together on the handle of the shopping bag he held. It took all of his will to keep from running into the room and scooping her up into his arms. Instead he stood on the other side of the glass and watched her mourn the loss of both of her parents. Behind and to the left of him, he could hear Warrick fast-talking the doctors and the police and anyone else he had to, and Vereint was sure everything was going to work itself out.

They were going to take that little girl home and give her a family and make sure she grew up knowing that she was loved. He didn’t think they could ever wipe away the loss of her parents, but they would try their best to make her realize that she still had a whole life to live and they would be there for her. Continue reading Allies & Enemies, by Harper Kingsley. Chapters 1+2 [superhero, mm]