Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Get Your Super Love On! (Plus Deleted Scene)

Finding someone to love is hard, y’all.  Okay, correction – finding someone to love is the easiest thing in the world.  Finding someone to love who loves you back and wants to spend the rest of their life with you forever and ever amen – that’s the hard part.  Dating can be an exercise in doubt.  Does he like you?  Do you like him?  Does he like you as much as you like him?  WHY ISN'T HE CALLING, DAMMIT?  Do your lives fit together?  Do you want the same things?  Will you still want the same things in ten years?  Twenty?  You can make yourself crazy – and that’s just dating in the real world.  Just think how much it must suck to be single with superpowers.  

Darla, the super heroine of my new release Superlovin’, is just a single girl, living in the city, looking for love… and, okay, yes, she straps on some spandex and flies (literally) off to do some derring-do every night, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want a nice, normal relationship for the times when she isn’t kicking bad guy ass.  Unfortunately, Darla also has super strength, so she has to always be careful with her beaus, lest she get a bit carried away and crack a rib or three in a moment of passion.  The idea of being able to be her whole self with a man – badass strength and all – is a temptation nearly impossible  to resist – even if the man who brings that out in her is a villain himself.  

And that's where Lucien comes in.  Second generation villain.  Trouble in black leather.  Super strong.  More than a match for our girl.  But can they get beyond their ethical differences?  You're gonna have to buy it to find out, boys and girls.  (On sale now!  KindleNookSamhain!)  ...but I'll give you a hint: it's a romance.  Everyone lives happily ever after. Thems the rules.

Here's a peek at the official blurb and below that, cast your eyes upon the (unedited) scene I like to think of as See Darla Date, deleted from the final work but originally the opening chapter.  Enjoy and may your week be all things Super!

She could resist this bad boy…if he wasn’t so damn good at it.
A Midnight Justice story

Darla Powers, a.k.a. DynaGirl, is the Jessica Rabbit of crime fighters, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy finding a date. When her latest ex opines she’s not helpless enough to make him feel manly, she flies off to take out her romantic frustrations on a villain dumb enough to pick tonight to break into a secret government vault.

Lucien Wroth’s father may be a famous supervillain, but Lucien doesn’t see himself as a bad guy. Just one determined to free his baby sister from a supercriminal’s clutches. He’s this close to getting his hands on a vital set of schematics when one sultry superheroine catches him elbow-deep in a top-secret safe.

Darla is horrified when Lucien’s pretty face—and bulging muscles—distract her enough to let him get away. No one escapes DynaGirl. But somewhere along the way to getting revenge for her public humiliation, she and Lucien become uneasy allies…resisting an all-too-easy attraction. Suddenly she suspects the perfect man for a good girl just might be a very bad boy. 

Warning: This book contains heroes, villains, mind-games, epic battles, bustiers, leather, and an infamous “Women of the Cape” Maxim photo spread.

(Deleted Scene after the jump)

Chapter One – Even Superheroes Get the Blues
“It’s over, Darla.  I’m afraid you just aren’t feminine enough for me.”
            “Excuse me?  Not feminine enough?” Darla Powers glared across the starched white tablecloth, wishing she had the ability to burn her dinner companion with lasers shot from her eyes.  Sadly, that wasn’t among her skills.
Kyle’s Adam’s apple bobbed beneath his perfectly cleft chin as he squirmed in his chair.  His “not girly enough” excuse might have been more believable if he hadn’t addressed it toward one of her most feminine attributes – her boobs. 
Not feminine.  Ha!  She wasn’t vain – well, not terribly vain – but she owned a mirror.  It wasn’t every day a woman who spent the better part of her life in spandex and had been called the Jessica Rabbit of crime fighters by drooling newscasters since she first put on the cape got told how un-feminine she was.
“I’ve tried to make this work,” Kyle mewled.  “But there’s only so much a man can take.”
I will use my powers for good.  I will use my powers for good.  Darla chanted to herself as her fingers drummed divots into the tabletop.  Not to pulverize the bones in my pathetic excuse for a date’s face. 
“You have to understand what it’s like for me,” he whined – okay, he didn’t whine.  Assistant District Attorneys on the fast track didn’t whine.  He argued his case.  The asshole.  “The snide remarks.  ‘Did you play damsel in distress last night, Kyle?’” he mimicked acidly.  “My testosterone drops every time you save the day.  I’m a man, Darla.  But with you, I’m…  You’ve never needed me to open a jar for you.”
“A jar,” she repeated, the statement echoing hollowly as something deep inside her heard those words and withered. 
This wasn’t just about Kyle being an idiot.  It was about every man who had dumped her over the years when the novelty of a flying girlfriend wore off and they started feeling emasculated by her superstrength.  The way he kept hitting the word man made that perfectly clear.
Darla pursed lips that had won her the title of Naughtiest Do-Gooder in the press two years running.  “Let me take over for you, Kyle.  It’s not me, it’s you, right?  This femininity issue.  It isn’t about my sex appeal, because, let’s be honest, I’m hot. This is really about the fact that you can’t get it up unless a woman acts like a wilting virgin who needs your big strong manly arms to protect her.  That about sum it up?”
Kyle’s face turned an impressive shade of scarlet.  His eyes scuttled around the restaurant.  Maybe she’d said can’t get it up with particular volume, but the man was breaking up with her before their entrees even arrived.  He hadn’t earned the right to ask her to keep her voice down.
The dumbass should’ve known better than to confront her in public to try to avoid an emotional scene.  He should’ve known her better after four weeks.  Darla didn’t get emotional, period.  But she never shied away from a scene – public or otherwise.  Charging right in.  No hesitation.  That was her M.O.  Even the supervillains knew that.
“This is exactly what I’m talking about,” Kyle huffed.  “You won’t even let me be the man in the break-up.  You have to take everything over.”
“If you were a real man, I wouldn’t have to try so hard to let you be one,” she snapped.  “But I’m terribly sorry if I’m interfering with your ability break up with me like a man.  I suppose I should be proud that you didn’t do it by text message.”
Kyle blanched then flushed, showing an impressive range of skin tone variation in a two second span – or so it appeared to Darla’s sensitive vision.  The ability to see minute shifts in human physiology made her a bitch to lie to. 
She groaned.  “Should I be checking my messages, Kyle?”
“No,” he muttered, still ultraviolet.
“I see.  So you originally planned to break up with me by text, but…?”
He pressed his lips together, but the words burst out anyway.  “Do you know how hard it is to get a reservation here?  I would’ve had to wait for months if I hadn’t said I was bringing DynaGirl.”
I will use my powers for good.  I will not render my date truly spineless just because he is an invertebrate weasel.
Darla shoved back her chair with enough force that it smacked to the ground and cracked in two.  Crap. She’d have to send the restaurant a check tomorrow.  “Goodbye, Kyle.  You’re a real class act.”  Dipshit.
She stalked out of Le Cirq, head held high. Every eye followed her regal procession – never let it be said DynaGirl didn’t know how to make an exit.  As she stepped onto the red carpet covered sidewalk outside, flashbulbs exploded and a dozen voices chattered excitedly at her. 
“Darla, baby, give us a smile!”
“How ‘bout a pose, DynaGirl!”
“Ms. Powers, what are your thoughts on the latest round of experiments on morality correction therapy for supervillains?”
Darla held up a hand and flashed a toothy grin she didn’t come close to feeling.  “No comment today, Kim,” she called to the intrepid young reporter who seemed to get tied up on train tracks at least once every other month thanks to her ongoing public flirtation with Captain Justice. 
Darla wanted nothing more than to crawl into her secret lair and lick her wounds, but if there was one thing that’d been drilled into her since birth it was that supers didn’t show weakness.  It was her duty to protect the citizens of this city – and to always have a smile on her face. So she blew her fans a kiss and struck a saucy pose for the cameramen before launching herself into the air, grateful for the spandex shorts she’d worn under her dress as the camera lenses followed her ascent.  A teen super only had to flash the paparazzi once to learn that lesson.
She flew to the top of a nearby building, landing carefully on her stiletto-heeled boots (zipped tight at the ankle so they didn’t fall off mid-flight).  Leaning against a transmission tower, she pulled out her cell phone and hit the speed-dial, needing a dose of comfort. 
A booming voice answered on the first ring.  “Pumpkin!”
“Hi, Daddy.”  Her throat closed, the sound of his voice bringing tears to her eyes.  Darla gave a discreet sniff.
“What’s wrong?  Are you hurt?”
Damn super hearing.  “I’m fine, Daddy.  How’s China?”
“Beautiful country.  And the peace talks are going remarkably well.  Your mother and I did a flyover of the Great Wall this morning.  Fascinating defense structure.  Outdated, of course, what with the recent swell of superpowers in the Chinese populace, but fascinating nonetheless.” 
Darla smiled wetly at her father’s blustery voice, wishing he weren’t half a world away so the only arms that had always been stronger than hers could wrap around her and make her feel small and safe again.  “That sounds great, Daddy.”
“Here, talk to your mother,” he said in his typically abrupt fashion.  Her acute hearing picked up the background noise of the city behind him – it’d be early morning there, Beijing just starting to rise – and then his voice, lowered but still audible to her, “Talk to your daughter. She’s upset but won’t tell me why.”
Darla smiled.  The one thing that could make the Daring Dynamo feel weak was his daughter’s tears. 
“Baby?” her mother’s sweet high voice chimed through her earpiece.  “What’s wrong?”
Darla sniffed, no longer bothering to mask the sound.  “Kyle dumped me.”
“Oh sweetie,” her mother crooned.
“What’s that?” her father demanded in the background.
“She and that Kyle broke up,” her mother whispered.
“Good,” her father barked.  “She’s too good for him.”
If only that were the case.  If only Kyle’s rejection hadn’t poked a vulnerability inside her super shell she hadn’t even known existed.  “Mom, he said I wasn’t feminine.”
“Oh sweetie, that’s just silly.  You have my figure, but your boobs are much less aerodynamic than mine.”
“Why are you talking about her boobs?” her father grumbled.  “Is there something wrong with her super suit?”
“Darryl, why don’t you run off and fetch us some breakfast?  We’re having a mother daughter chat.”
Darla waited until the sound of her father’s muttered complaints receded.  “It’d just be nice, for once, to date a guy who was stronger than me.  Someone whose ribs I wouldn’t have to worry about cracking if I hugged him too hard.”  Or got a little too caught up in the heat of the moment…
“What about that nice Captain Justice?”
“He’s in love with Kim Carruthers.  That’s how all the super men are – rescuing damsels and falling head over heels for them.  Or banging their way through the super groupies who want to join the Mile High Club the super way.  None of them want a girl who might actually be able to hold her own in an epic battle.”  She sighed.  “But what’s the alternative?  I hate going out with guys who are in awe of me.  I don’t want to be put on a pedestal any more than I want to be the butch one in a relationship, but being able to bench press a car and rescue orphans from burning buildings just makes me...” Lonely “…a total dating freak.”
“You aren’t a freak.  There is nothing wrong with you,” her mother defended with the time-honored blindness of mothers everywhere.  “You just haven’t met the right guy yet.  Someone who will appreciate all the things that make you special rather than make you feel like there’s something wrong with you because you’re so wonderful.”
“I thought Kyle… he seemed so real.”
“I know.  He was kind of a self-absorbed schmuck.  I certainly didn’t love him, but I thought he was the last man in the city who’d be threatened by my strength.  He seemed so confident when we met at the DA’s fundraiser ball.”
“I know you don’t want to hear it, but I’m glad you broke up.  He had political aspirations and I didn’t want to see him using my baby for votes.”
Darla cringed.  Yet another less-than-flattering aspect of their relationship she’d been stupidly oblivious to.  “He probably already got a bump just by being seen with me.  As my former boyfriend, he gets all the publicity but none of the embarrassment if I botch a rescue.”
“He’s beneath you.  Don’t give him another thought.”
Easier said than done.  The man didn’t merit a thought and she wouldn’t be wasting any on him, but the insecurities he’d sparked refused to die down.
“Should your father and I come home early? He’s been fussing about missing the Super Summit next week—”
“No! God, Mom, no, don’t cut your trip short.  This is nothing.” 
“You’ll find the right young man, baby.  Don’t you worry.  You have time.”
Time wasn’t the problem.  Finding a single guy who wanted her after the novelty of being with a super wore off… that was the problem.
Off to her left, a green-gold streak shot through the sky, like a lightning bolt striking in reverse, shooting back up to the clouds. 
“I gotta go, Mom.  The mayor just set off the signal.”
“Be safe, baby.”
“I will.  Give my love to Daddy.” 
She thumbed off the phone and quickly stripped out of her dress, revealing the super suit beneath.  All her stupid angst was shoved to the background as Darla focused on the one thing she’d always been good at. 
She’d never been in more of a mood to kick some evil ass.

Superlovin' Now Available wherever ebooks are sold, including Kindle::Nook::Samhain

And don't miss the other exciting superhero stories of the Midnight Justice collection - Breaking Bad by Jodie Redford and Blade of Moonlight by Kimberly Dean!


Vivant said...

Bonjour, and happy release day!!!

Vivi Andrews said...

Merci beaucoup! ;)