Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Release Tour: Scarred by Erica Hayes

Superpowers don't make you a hero.

Verity Fortune's crime-fighting days are over. In exile, defeated by her smug supervillain nemesis, her shady past exposed—even her own superpowered family condemn her as a traitor. Whatever it takes, Verity's determined to prove she can still be a force for good.

Now, Sapphire City faces a new threat. A delinquent duo with extraordinary powers and a terrifying talent for destruction. Outmatched and on the run, her telekinetic powers faltering, Verity can't defeat this menace alone—but who can she trust, when the only person who believes in her is her arch-enemy?

Author Bio

I'm an Aussie living in northern England, where at least the hospitality and the beer are warm. I write in coffee shops, feed my enormous cat, and watch TV or read until far too late at night. If it's got serial killers, superheroes, monsters or spaceships – preferably all four – I'm there.

On the big issues: Captain Picard is cooler than Captain Kirk, Batman would beat up Superman, and vampires are hotter than werewolves any day. See, I knew we'd get along.

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Romance, action and superheroes. Did I get your attention?

Who doesn't love an action-packed, romantic tale about super-powered heroes fighting crime? With cool futuristic tech, awesome villains, creepy conspiracies for world domination – and most importantly, tough heroines with sexy sidekicks?

Verity Fortune from my Sapphire City series doesn't consider herself romance heroine material. She's too forthright, for one thing. She has what you might call zero filter. If there's something inappropriate to be said, she's your girl. (Author note: no idea where she gets that from. Nothing like me at all.)

What's more, she's far from immune to the lure of evil. Verity is far from convinced that she's cut out for this hero business, and her inability to brush off Razorfire, her suavely seductive arch-enemy, only proves the point.

Enter Verity's white-knight sidekick, a mysterious illusionist called Glimmer. Who always does the right thing at the right moment, and never even thinks anything remotely unheroic. What's more, he's cute, ridiculously healthy, can cook like a demon and never indulges in self-destructive behaviour like binge drinking or eating too much ice-cream. Feeling inadequate much?

Here's a snippet from near the beginning of SCARRED. Verity's mistakes have led to her entire crime-fighting family going into hiding, and her arch-enemy is victorious, at least for the moment. She's torn between wanting Glimmer to forgive her, and being envious that he's so damn perfect. Where does he get off, thinking he's too good for her? On the other hand {whispers} what if he really is?


I crept to the cell next to mine and pushed on the unlocked door. "You awake?" I whispered.

Dim green glow filtered from a computer screen, throwing the tiny cell into shadows. A cursor blinked solemnly from a window brimming with wingdings code. Schematics and circuit diagrams were stuck to the whitewashed walls with tape and gum. The crumpled bed had disappeared under a heap of silicon hardware, cables, parts of phones; more of the same cluttered the desk, next to coffee mugs and empty cola cans and two unwashed dinner plates.

Glimmer lay asleep at his desk, green light rinsing his face. Head pillowed on one arm, dark hair with an albino splash in front tumbling onto the keyboard. His warm vanilla-spice scent drifted, both comfort and accusation. I inhaled more deeply, like I did sometimes when he wasn't watching. Oyy. Even working nineteen hours a day in a grubby cell deep in the ruins of a sadist's hellhole, he managed to smell like this. If Glimmer were a villain—if he'd even a breath of badness in him, which he didn't—you'd flee from that scent alone.

He looked exhausted, dark stubble stark against his too-pale face. Time was, he'd worn his mask twenty-four-seven around me. No longer. He'd nothing to hide, except that he was young and talented and didn't deserve the shitty deal Razorfire had hurled his way.

I bit my lip. Once upon a time, Glimmer had been my friend. God, I longed to talk the way we used to. Trade insults, give him crap about his hair product. Say, dude, you'll never believe what happened to me tonight and have him scoff at me, charm me with his grin and his wise-ass wit. I wanted to be dazzled by his white-knight geekboy brilliance, and hunt criminals together safe in the knowledge that he'd never betray me, never give up. Hell, the jealous part of me wanted to smack his pretty face for being so much better at it all than I.

Compelled, I drifted my palm over his cheek, just a twitch from touching. His breath warmed my hand, and my pulse quickened, shame and loneliness and some deeper compulsion I didn't understand mingling like inks in my blood. I could wake him. Stroke that velvety hair from his eyes, take heart from his sweet, crooked smile…

But if I touched him, he might look at me.

Uh oh. Cue awkward silence and fidgeting. Will Verity and Glimmer sort themselves out by the end of the book? Or will Verity's self-doubt and prickly attitude—not to mention her dark obsession with a certain cunning, super-clever arch-villain—get in the way?