Nerdflirt Snippet From Nobody's Hero

February 21, 2012

Okay, so in re last week's post about comic book inspirations and me confessing I was paying direct homage to the Fantastic Four in Nobody's Hero, here's a snippet of Jamie and Kellan having their first ever nerdflirt at the Winking Lizard. (Yeah, it's a real place, so the innuendo is not mine this time. Ohio people, you know what I mean.) See, Jamie spotted a Spider-Man picture in Kellan's cube the other day. And Jamie is a salesman; he knows how to use what people give him to get them interested. He's not too proud to employ these tactics in the real world, especially not when the enticement's adorkably hot.

“I don’t know about trash.” And encouraged by his sudden affection for strong language, I said, “But I do know you’re a fucking nerd.”

Kellan laughed. “What gave me away? The affinity for SQL?”

This was sarcasm, but I replied in earnest: “Spider-Man.”

“Heh.”

“I mean, I was more of a Fantastic Four guy, myself, but --”

“Spidey and Human Torch crossovers.”

“Yes.” Torch. Obviously based on an experience with someone who was awakened, by the way. You get a good heat-type, and they can make it look like they’re covered in fire. It’s magnificent.

“Those were the best.” He took a long swig and grinned. His wide shoulders rounded, he slouched, but not in that protective, curling-in-around-himself way. “Fucking Johnny Storm, man.”

The strange softness of his voice combined with his wanton use of the word “fuck” had a predictable effect. It beguiled me into admitting, “Always thought he was hot.”

“Shit, I was just about to say you remind me of him.”

“That’d explain it.”

“What?”

“Why I think he’s hot. I get a little narcissistic sometimes.”

He smacked the bar and laughed, this time out loud.

“See, you laughing at my jokes only encourages me.”

He shot me a sideways glance, a little knowing smile.

The gaydar, which had been swinging this way and that all night, finally pinged so hard it pinned the needle. Something hot woke up deep in my belly.

And then, of course, my phone buzzed.

Less than a month now 'til the expected release date. More Nobody's Hero fun and excitement on the page right here. Wee!

The Fantastic (Or Why I Love Superhero Science)

February 17, 2012

So, yes, technically the characters in most of my books (all of them, at the moment!) could make superheroes of themselves. They do have superpowers, after all! I called the blog "superpowered love" because that's the point: romance novels about people who have superpowers... that complicate their love lives.

Some might've noticed that although each book really only explores one major aspect of that, the rules of these powers are already hard and fast. That's what the Superpowered Science page is all about, thanks to our Neuronaut-in-Chief Irene Ballagh. We're not making this up as we go along because I believe wholeheartedly in the importance of Superpowered Science as the core around which all the stories are built -- which aspect to I get to explore next, and whose story is that?

From whence came this obsession? I gotta blame Ultimate* Fantastic Four.

Really, it doesn't matter how you explain the origin of the powers, to me. Genetic mutation (X-Men), a chemical spill (The Flash), a ring that means you're a superawesome cosmic protector (Green Lantern), or simply a genetic trait passed down through generations, whatever. So long as the powers operate within certain boundaries, so long as the author plays by certain rules, I can suspend my disbelief. I mean, let's not even get into the ways shapeshifters screw with the laws of conservation. Holy shit. The point is that I just need a pseudo-scientific-but-based-in-actual-science excuse to believe -- well, and it helps if the story and characters are interesting enough that I want to.

And Ultimate Fantastic Four had alllll of that. That is the book that made me truly fall in love with sexy superhero science and understand its full applications. First there's my love of geeks and inherent belief that scientists are sexy... well, just look at them:

From Ultimate Fantastic Four #2 (Bendis, Millar, Kubert)
Now that is some seriously adorable nerdlove between Reed and Sue, amiright?

In the original* Fantastic Four book, the eponymous team got their powers from SPACE RADIATION... or something. I don't know, it was always with the gamma rays back in the 60s. The Ultimate-verse team launched in 2004, so it got a much-needed update, and their powers are -- well, I won't spoil it, since The Fantastic is readily available as a TPB now if people are interested, but it's all because of an experiment Reed's been working on since he was quite literally eleven years old and getting constant swirlies in gym class. (Yes, the transporter issue mentioned in above awkward geekflirting panels.)

So The Fantastic is the story arc of the first six issues -- them getting their powers, and some of them being less excited about it than others...

From Ultimate Fantastic Four #5 (Bendis, Millar, Kubert, Dell)

Seriously, how can you not love these huge dorks? I love them so much I just scanned all that crap in just so I could do this post. C'monnnnnn.

As the book gets going, the implications of their new powers and the dimension that caused them get more and more interesting and less and less random. A pattern emerges, and it just adds to the sheer unadulterated awesome of these four characters. Which is a lot of awesome, frankly.

And that is why I love superhero science. Because it does that for me. So that's why I gotta have it, and that's why I'm lucky Irene feels the same. She's the Reed to my Johnny.

Well, except I'm not quite that dumb. But feel free to contradict me if you see this, Reenie :D

I always like to give full credit to my inspirations, so I even included some geekflirting in re: Fantastic Four in Nobody's Hero. Stay tuned for a snippet on that subject next week, I think!

*For the uninitiated: Ultimate Marvel is different from Regular Marvel. Long story short, Ultimate was an alternate universe reboot in 2000. Both universes still exist in Marvel Comics -- I buy books from both. There's a Spider-Man in Ultimate-verse (Miles Morales) and a Spider-Man in what we'd think of as regular Marvel-verse (Peter Parker), and they never, like, meet up and cause a temporal vortex or anything. That'd suck. But yeah, Ultimate verse has waaaaay less baggage.

WiP Wednesday: Inspiration and the ATF

February 15, 2012

Thank you to everyone who dropped a comment in the giveaway. Copies of Nobody's Hero will wing their way to both Dianna and Sarah as soon as I get them. Yay! And never fear, there will be a big giveaway after the book drops in March too -- with prize packs, Like the Riot Boy giveaway back when Et and Brady first hit the scene in November, there will be Nobody's Hero themed prize packs.

Which means I'm giving away comics, Irish-American punk, and Guinness paraphernalia, yeah. Pretty much. But also, a copy or two of Nobody's Hero itself. In which the love interest is an Irish-American punk comic book nerd who likes Guinness. Fair enough, I reckon.

Right, onto this WiP Wednesday thing again. The truth is that I've not been writing anything this month. I have loads of editing projects to get through and March is going to be hellacious (in a good way), so I want to clear everything out. That means I've been reading even more than usual, but yeah. No writing.

I have, however, been preparing stuff I've already written for submitting to my editor for consideration. It's a gut-wrenching process, trying to decide if a manuscript is finished enough to be seen, but I am extremely lucky in my crit partners and beta readers, most of whom I've known for at least the better part of a decade. Let's just say they aren't afraid to let me know when I suck, and I thank all the gods I've ever heard of for that every day.

The next one to get shipped off is a story about a superhero. I know, all this stuff (so far) is superpowered, but Andrew is actually a vigilante crime fighter in a small town in North Carolina. As a kid, my family spent a lot of long, hot summers in Carolina after my grandparents retired to a lake house down there -- and that house served as inspiration for Andrew's, the little town nearby as inspiration for the imaginary Hooperstown he's devoted to saving. I was plumbing the depths of my childhood summers to come up with the perfect setting...

And I thought, hell, this should be a story about two people who had an adolescent summer fling at this house once upon a time.

The guy telling the story is a different sort altogether. Gabriel is a cocky young special agent. That's right, FBI vs. Superhero.

And Gabriel isn't my fault.

Last summer my friend Hayley stayed with us for a few weeks while she was interning at the ATF. (Federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, yeah, for real. She's hardcore.) We started talking about the crap people have to go through to become FBI agents (which some do after working at the ATF, and some special agents work for the ATF -- which is a totally badass job, but that's another story). And I said, "Man, anyone who got through that would have to be pretty proud. And maybe a bit of a cocky prick, even."

She agreed.

And Special Agent Gabriel GenĂȘt was born. All Hayley's fault.

Will this story ever see the light of day? I don't know, really, but I sure as hell had fun writing it. I even had fun writing the synopsis last night, if you can believe it. Weird how disparate inspirations can come crashing together to make something like that...

I collected some stories like this from romance authors all over the place a few months back: The Inspired (Part 1?). I had Kirsty Logan, Belinda McBride, Jessica Freely, Louise Bohmer, and Lisa Kessler link or tell their stories that day -- and I totally want to do it again. So if you have a pre-existing blog post or a similar story of inspiration, drop me a line and I can include it in my next inspiration round-up! I've already got a few reeeaaaaally good ones lined up -- coming soon :D

Valentine's Day Giveaway

February 10, 2012

This contest is now closed! Thank you!

Some call it St. Valentine's Day. Some call it Singles Awareness Day. Some call it Horny Werewolf Day. Whatever you call it, it's about love. Or sex. Not the same, but often intertwined, and a particular area of interest here at Superpowered Love.

Which is why it's clearly time for a giveaway.

How to enter:
Leave your name and email address (or twitter handle, or tumblr, or some other way to get hold of you on the internet) in a comment on this post.

[ETA: Trouble posting a comment? It's cool. Email me (kate [at] kateyhawthorne [dot] com) and let me know, and I'll enter you in the proper order. Promise.]

How you could win:
At midnight (okay, maybe 11.59pm) on February 14, I'll hit up random.org and let it pick two winners.

What you can win:
One of my three books, whichever you like, in the e-format of your choice. Yes, that means Equilibrium, Riot Boy, OR Nobody's Hero. Of course, if you pick Nobody's Hero, you'll have to wait for mid-March to roll around, since it's not out yet. But what are a couple of weeks in the name of love, right? You'll get your copy the very moment I get mine, just before it goes live on the Loose Id site.

Not sure which one, if any, might suit you? Find blurbs, excerpts, character stats, and in the case of the already-out ones, review links on their individual pages:

Equilibrium
Riot Boy
Nobody's Hero


And here we go!

(Other giveaway here, but you have to bring a date, and it's waaaaay creepier :D)

Friday = Excerpts + Giveaway

February 8, 2012

A quick announcement/forewarning type deal about stuff happening on Friday, February 10:

1. Nobody's Hero Excerpts -- well, at least one of them. There will be at least two on the page, as usual, one very sexy, one a bit shouty. Which kind of describes Jamie and Kellan together. Well, no, they don't shout, but Kelly does tend to, uh, prickle.

2. A V-Day giveaway. You will have to do quite literally nothing but leave your email or twitter or some other way for me to get hold of you. I'll be giving away two books of the winner's choice -- including Nobody's Hero, for those who have already been awesome enough to grab the first two. So come back on Friday, if you can!

A quick reminder/attention grabber about things that have happened just recently but may still be of interest:

1. Badass 5 star review of Riot Boy at Joyfully Jay. Holy crap, she so gets Etienne. I cannot express how happy this makes me. Thanks for taking a chance on it, Jay!

(FUCK ME, ETIENNE t-shirts really should be a thing...)

2. Giveaway at Joyfully Jay includes a copy of Riot Boy, but that's just one among many. I'm reading along to keep up with a lot of her reviews (just finished Reverb, which I think she's reviewing tomorrow, guh) and mmmmm so much rock star goodness.

3. If you like your fae superdark, angsty, dreamy, and magical, you can win a free copy of The Other Me's debut novel, Scripped. That's a fun giveaway -- you get to bring a date :D

It is not the same cracky love you might know from This Me, but it's still love. Extremely dysfunctional and laced with pain, but hey. Some of us like it both ways. *Cough* See prologue here or excerpts at the official site, if you wanna know what I mean.

Let's rock

February 5, 2012

Before I get rocking, quick note on that last post. I edited it to show, but this is really cool so I wanted to make a big deal: there's a petition to the RWA thanks to author Sara York. Hit it up, if you're as annoyed/angry/saddened/insert_unpleasant_emotion_here as me.

Okay, rock stars! This week, the lovely Jay from Joyfully Jay is reading a bunch of incredible rocker books, doing reviews, giveaways, and all other manner of rocker-oriented goodness. As you might've guessed, I am excited. I didn't just randomly write a book about a punk rock dude. My mom taught me to play guitar when I was a kid (yeah, so, my mom is amazing, by the way), and she did that because I was already locking myself in my bedroom with everything from The Beatles to the Buzzcocks every night. And nothing has changed in the years since -- at least, not on that front.

So of course I'm going to be reading along with some of these books, because waaaaaaaaugh! Rock 'n roll! Click her pretty button over there to see what's in the lineup.

Added excitement: Riot Boy made her list. Mind officially blown when we met and she told me she'd just finished it for that purpose. So. Cool. She'll be doing a huge giveaway (link is to preview post, actual giveaway post comes Monday) over the course of the week where anyone can win copies of hot rocker books -- Riot Boy included.

I don't know about you, but I'mma live in rock star land allllll week.

Though I guess Brady isn't technically a rock star. More of a... guy who rocks on a tiny, badly lit stage. While wearing awesome t-shirts. But it's like the song says, "In my mind my dreams are real."

(Yeah I just quoted/linked Oasis. I'm showing my age, and I'm pretty sure Brady's pissed at me. Aw, hell.)

This RWA Thing

February 3, 2012

Note: MTM will no longer accept same-sex entries in any category.
-More Than Magic contest rules, Romance Writers Ink Chapter of RWA


I'm not commenting/just directing attention to this because:

1. What the actual fuck?
2. I'm not an RWA member, let alone anywhere near this chapter.
3. This sort of thing is WHY I'm not an RWA member. Which sucks because I'm pretty sure it'd be awesome for me, but I'm kind of a stubborn dick about matters of principle. Therefore, I am losing out, and that makes me a sad panda.
4. I think the RWA members fighting to get things like this sorted are badasses.

So if you're wondering what's up with that WTFery, both within the larger scheme and on its own, please check out these excellent posts by Kari Gregg and Heidi Cullinan.

(Bonus points for bi shout-out go to Heidi. Word.)

ETA: Epic Stephani Hecht post, too.

ETA2: Author Sara York started a petition to send the RWA to ask them to address the issue. Woohoo!

Okay, next time I'll be sunshine and roses, promise. There's a bunch of fun stuff coming up, including rock star love and, yes, a Valentine's Day contest. OF COURSE. Love is what we do around here. Whateverlove, baby.

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