Tag Archives: superheroes

Release Blitz: The Prince and the Pencil Pusher by Kenzie Blades

The Prince and the Pencil Pusher | Kenzie Blades

The Prince and the Pencil Pusher Blitz Banner

Release Date: September 28, 2020

Cover Design: Fern Lee

Buy Link: Amazon

Add to Goodreads

book_covers

Blurb

Bad things happen when supos go unchecked. That’s why Abarra needs The Ministry: to keep tabs on royals with powers run amok. Queen Maialen has entrusted the safety of her subjects to her nephew, Prince Xabier, placing the agency in his capable hands.

Only, the Prince would rather spend his days putting his own power to good use in the vineyards than to wither away on the bureaucratic vine. Tired of policing perpetrators and babysitting bean-counters, he schemes to groom his first lieutenant (and second cousin) the Duke of Shrubs. After months spent moving chess pieces, he is poised to convince the Queen to assign his cousin to his post.

But an unlikely pawn still stands in his way: the sexy Zain Otxoa is the pushiest pencil-pusher in all of The Ministry and head of internal affairs. Prince Xabier has plotted to have him fired at least thrice. Zain’s influence over the Queen—his only saving grace—is baffling.

When a master maneuver to have Zain reassigned exposes a shocking imbroglio, Prince Xabier learns The Ministry isn’t what it seems. And Zain isn’t a pawn at all.

Excerpt

Not so fast.

My heels clicked in rapid succession as I walked down the centerline of the grand executive hall. It was far afield of the offices on lower floors. It took minutes to get all the way up there, which was why I’d needed to make haste. Left unattended on nights when he would rather have been any place but at his post, the Prince had a tendency to disappear.

The floors were made of marble and their design was quite ornate—a wide white border off to each side, with an elaborate design forming a runway down the middle. It wasn’t a pattern, but a work of art, its geometric pieces reminiscent of stained glass. It gave the sense of walking on a rug made of stone.

Hues from garnet, to ruby, to tawny, to rose made up elements of a palette that swirled and faded to ambers and golds. They complemented magnificent oil paintings of Abarran countryside that lined the grand corridor’s high walls. Spaced-out sitting benches rendered the space worthy of entertaining. Yet, he kept it to himself, and spent most of his time alone.

The downstairs offices were another story. They were filled with six-by-six-foot cubicles configured en masse for the Ministry’s rank and file. Enclosed offices here and there were reserved for mid-level managers: MLMs, as we liked to call them. I inhabited one of the better of these offices—a space in the corner on a higher floor with a not-bad view—though an MLM I was not.

Ostensibly, I was the Head of Internal Affairs, which was exactly her intention—a gross understatement considering my deep involvement with the covert side. Not making that last fact public was by design. My list of responsibilities was too long to name—too long for me to remember most days. Yet, the highest of my duties was to babysit him.

He was Prince Xabier Garrastazu, third in line to the South Abarran throne, son of Prince Frantzisco, nephew to the Queen, and Duke of Brix. He was also the Minister of Powers—the highest-ranking official at this agency and—despite my charge to keep him from making too big a mess out of things, he was—technically—my boss.

“Is he in?” I asked Eusebio, more for his benefit than mine. I knew the Prince’s comings and goings. I had eyes on him at all times. I tried not to roll my eyes as Eusebio made a production of picking up the phone to announce my arrival. The Prince enjoyed forcing me to wait to be let in.

Good.

The more ridiculously childish and infuriatingly vain Prince Xabier, Duke of Brix, chose to be wherever I was concerned, the easier it was to ignore his ridiculous appeal.

“Your Grace.” As usual, I greeted his back, the part of him that always seemed to face me when I walked into his suite. Even from behind, the man was magnificent. Broad shoulders filled out a perfectly tailored button-down made of fine fabric and subtle herringbone design. Today’s shirt—white if you weren’t paying attention—was the faintest of lilac. He was the epitome of a dashing prince.

To be clear, I was paying attention, not only to the way its snug fit showed the definition in his shoulders—to the place where the fabric stopped and his rolled-up sleeves gave way to skin. For all the hard work he didn’t do, there needn’t have been any rolling up of sleeves. In my most outlandish of theories, he did it to torment me.

“Mr. Otxoa,” the Prince greeted blithely, not turning toward me just yet. He stood on a rug in the sitting area with his gaze remained fixed on the fire. His office was a projection of the man himself—pleasantly fragrant, clean to a fault and dripping with style. Tufted wingback chairs with ottomans flanked a matching Chesterfield, all three in a dark teal.  Fire glow warmed his features, casting appeal on the planes of his face, flattering the smooth line of his nose and cutting shadows from his diamond jaw.

I stopped at the edge of the rug next to the drink trolley that carried only wine. Its twin at the other end of the Chesterfield was all crystal decanters and spirits. When he turned, I was meant to bow out of deference. This was always the most difficult moment—the one when he first cast his gaze upon me. I faltered at the devastating beauty of his eyes.

“And what have you for me tonight? More documents to sign, no doubt. More supos with powers run rampage?”

He made no secret of the fact that my presence vexed him. Unencumbered by the burden of common birth, the Prince was under no obligation to feign politesse. Logic dictated that his resentment stemmed from me holding him to task. Instinct told me that the sport he made of pushing my buttons was something more.

The Prince finally cast his sapphire gaze upon me and I did bow then, thankful that the deep hue of my skin made it easy to hide my flush. Blood that he could not see rushed to my cheeks and prickled my nose and burned the tops of my ears. If he resented me, I, too, resented him. Training the Prince was not supposed to be so difficult as this.

About the Author

Kenzie Blades is a queer author of romantic LGBTQ+ fiction and is the alter ego of a multi-award winning author who writes other fiction under a different name.

Kenzie lives in San Francisco and enjoys lots of things that start with the letter B, like bacon, bourbon and books.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | eMail | Instagram

Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a $10.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

IndiGo Badge

book_covers

A YA superhero breath of fresh air from the pen of TJ Klune

TJ ExtraordinariesThe Extraordinaries by T.J. Klune

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think if I was a teenager, queer, or had grown up under difficult circumstances, this book would be like a breath of fresh air, a lifebelt in the sea of turmoil and something to bring hope and a feeling of “normalcy” as it is an encouraging homage to the great superhero stories of the Golden Era of Comic Books.

For Nick, his fanfiction is something vitally important, a connection to the Extraordinary he has a huge crush on and there were lots of “Superman/Lois Lane” vibes in his queering of the relationship between Shadow Star and a character who may be just a tiny bit like Nick.

It’s TJ Klune, so there is all the hilarity and wonderful use of language you’d expect to find in any book from this author. And, because it’s TJ Klune, there’s so many more layers and depth to the story being told.

It’s YA superhero fiction so as a 50-year-old woman, I’m not the key demographic for reading it, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t relate to the struggles Nick goes through in his day-to-day life as he juggles with his best friend (and possible love of his so-far very short life) Seth, his unfailing desire to become an Extraordinary, his ADHD, and his dad’s fears.

The relationship at the heart of this teen romance is just a hug in a sweetie wrapper. The depiction of how the ADHD affects everything Nick does felt honest and true to me even though I am not experienced with the condition myself, I have friends with atypical children and it rang similar to their lives.

It ends with a cliffhanger, as this is a trilogy of books being published by TOR Teen, and it didn’t surprise me as this is basically your typical Sci-Fi/Fantasy superhero book – but queered up, which I absolutely love. I love that this book will be on the shelves of all the major bookstores not hidden away in some online only corner of the internet.

I love that a big five publisher, (and the most respected name in Sci-Fi/Fantasy publishing in the industry), picked this series up and is putting all its considerable weight behind it. For any teenager wondering if they’re ever going to see themselves represented in a superhero book, The Extraordinaries is that book.

ARC kindly received from Hodder & Stoughton via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review

View all my reviews

Release Blitz: Under Siege by Katey Hawthorne

Under Siege | Katey Hawthorne

Superpowered Love #9

UnderSiege RDB Banner Final

Release date: 17.02.20

Universal Link:

mybook.to/Under_Siege

Under Siege Cover

Blurb

After shaking off a toxic boyfriend, admissions counselor and activist Kieran returns to his safe place: the lake house. Andrew and Gabriel have welcomed him there as an occasional third in their bed since they got together, and nothing could be more comforting. Kieran knows it’s not a long-term situation for him, but Andrew and Gabriel have other ideas.

Just when everyone’s settled, Andrew and Gabriel’s unspecified law enforcement work brings Rocco, a mysterious figure fond of long skirts and heavy metal, into their protective custody. Though no one can tell Kieran what kind of trouble Rocco’s in, the two get closer and closer until their mutual attraction is too much to deny. To start a real, honest relationship, Rocco will have to come clean about his big, superpowered secret.

Before they can find their way to happily ever after, though, Rocco’s trouble shows up to lay siege to the lake house. Maybe, if they can fight their way out, Rocco can be free to live and love Kieran once and for all.

Excerpt

“Your hair’s so silky.”

“You’ll make me vain.”

“You deserve to be.” I started brushing his locks in long, gentle strokes. The same instinct that had told me not to push my luck earlier pinged again, though, and so I went back to the former subject: “Historical-era Marry, Fuck, Kill. Or if you’re not into marriage, fucking, or murder, we could change one of those to ‘befriend’ or even—”

“Marriage, fucking, and murder are cool.” Rocco sounded amused. “Well, okay, no, murder is not cool, but for the purposes of a game, sure. Where to first?”

I started finger-combing idly as I considered. “You said eighteenth century. Let’s do that first. Lemme think… Okay, got it: Mozart, Marie Antoinette, Ben Franklin.”

“Fuck Ben Franklin—heard he was an old perv,” Rocco replied immediately.

“Totes.”

“Murder Marie Antoinette, because fuck the monarchy.”

“Zero sympathy,” I agreed.

“Marry Mozart. To be in the presence of a genius, right?”

“He sounds high maintenance, but I’d probably pick the same.”

Rocco chuckled.

I realized I wasn’t actually doing anything but playing with his hair, even if he wasn’t complaining. I should probably do something about that—

He cut into my internal monologue with, “I got an idea. I just gotta check some dates.” Thankfully, Andrew had smuggled him that burner phone after all, once he’d made Rocco promise to use it only for general web surfing. It didn’t have any money on it, so it was basically a wifi-only iPod.

I smiled and started applying some hair gel to sections and combing it through carefully. After a few seconds, he said, “William Wallace, Genghis Khan, Eleanor of Aquitaine,” he said.

“Wait, which one was she?” I asked.

“Queen of England, married to Henry II. Her kids were Richard the Lionheart and Bad King John.”

“Oh, Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter,” I said.

“Exactly!”

“Obviously marry Eleanor. Amazing,” I said. “I love a fierce lady who fucks up her kids that hard.”

“Right on,” he replied.

“Ummm…fuck Genghis Khan. That’d be a wild ride. No, wait, I can’t murder William

Wallace. Scotland would hate me. This is a hard one.”

He laughed, and I realized that was exactly why he’d done it. “Think of it as Mel Gibson.”

“Okay, yeah, we’re murdering Wallace.” I asked, “What era is this anyhow?”

“High Middle Ages,” he replied.

“Fancy.”

“Thank you, Wikipedia.”

“I got one,” I said, tugging at his hair to get it to lie down flat. I needed it to dry a little before I could tease it up. That had to be how to get the bouffant look, right? “Madonna, Janet Jackson, David Bowie.”

“Oh god, eighties, why?”

“Don’t tell Andrew you said that.”

“Okay, okay, uh…” He paused. “Marry Janet, fuck David, kill Madonna.”

Really don’t tell Andrew that last part. Though he’d approve of the Bowie thing.”

“Who wouldn’t?”

“No one who saw Labyrinth.”

SuperpoweredLoveSeries

Series Link:

http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/p/under-siege.html

About The Author

Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered and paranormal romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.)

Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Ohio with her family, two cats, and two huge puppies. In her spare time she enjoys travel, comic books, B-movies, loud music, video games, Epiphones, and Bushmills. Her favorite causes include animal rescue and bisexual representation in media.

She is an unashamed fangirl and collects nerdy tattoos like she’s trying to prove it.

Social Media

http://www.kateyhawthorne.com

https://www.facebook.com/katey.hawthorne.33

https://www.facebook.com/groups/kateyhawthornes/

http://hawthornetaylor.tumblr.com/

https://twitter.com/hawthornetaylor

https://www.instagram.com/hawthornekatey/

http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/p/newsletter.html

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Vibrant Promotions Logo (1)

Under Siege Blurb

 

« Older Entries