Title: Temporary Superheroine
Author: Irene Vartanoff
Genre: Superhero Adventure (often found in the fantasy category)
Superheroine who flies and shoots power bolts out of her fingers to do battle with a menacing supervillain. And what about the weird comic book artwork spam that arrives on her computer? And the reports in the media about supervillain sightings? Is Chloe, a struggling webcomics artist, the cause of real-life chaos? To stop her life from imploding even more, Chloe desperately agrees to a stint on a television superhero game show that puts her in intimate contact with an enigmatic comic book company executive, and gives her a chance to question a beloved comics icon. But Chloe must cross over to a bizarre mirror universe to find answers—and start living her dreams. On the hunt for a supervillain with a bad attitude and for a brilliant comic book creator with a grudge against society, Chloe needs all the help she can get to save two universes.
PG-rated nonstop comic book style adventure set in two universes, with plenty of super-powered battles and recognizable classic comic book scenarios—and some iffy romance thrown in. Don’t miss the sky highway to Iceland.
CHARACTERS IN THIS STORY
Chloe Cole: Reluctant female superhero, strong female protagonist, possessor of super powers, snarky 25-year-old with parent and boyfriend issues
Roland Kirby: Eager comics fanboy, dependable partner in other world adventures, ex-boyfriend who won’t go away, sweet geek who believes in comic book science
Eric Wood: Suspiciously charming comic book company CEO, possible secret villain, questionably honest potential lover and confidant
Jovial Jerry Fine: Beloved elderly icon of the comic book world, benign but skeptical participant in fast-paced adventures, knows more than he tells
Diabolical Dave McCay: Maverick comic book artist, man who wants the modern world to be what it was like in 1962, troublemaking genius
Bodacious Barb: Knows the secrets behind the comics, doesn’t give a damn
The Purple Menace: Supervillain, mad scientist, wants to take over the world—make that two worlds
When I awoke, I was in a cage hoisted above a cauldron of boiling chemicals. It had to be boiling chemicals because I’d seen this predicament in a bunch of classic comic books. The chemicals stank. I’d probably die from the fumes long before the Purple Menace could lower the cage into the gigantic pot. Which was his obvious intention. This world wasn’t exactly original. My hands were tied behind my back, but my feet were free, and I attempted to stand. On the second try, I made it.
“Hey, what’s up with putting me in a cage?” I called to the Purple Menace, who bustled into the room, heading for another bank of machines.
“You didn’t think I would let you ruin all my plans, did you?” the Purple Menace called out in a matter-of-fact way, as he flipped a few switches and turned some dials.
“No, I guess not,” I agreed groggily. “What is that stench? It’s probably killing all our brain cells.”
“Nonsense. All science improves the world,” he replied.
An attitude straight from Diabolical Dave’s brain and the middle of the prior century, when scientific progress produced world-class poisons like DDT.
“Seriously, doc—may I call you doc?—research in my dimension has proved chemical vapors are bad for people,” I said. “I could get cancer hanging around here.”
“No need to worry,” he said grandly. “Soon my lovely machine will lower you into the cauldron and you will die.”
My strength felt very depleted. I didn’t know what he had hit me with aside from the bolt, and it didn’t matter. The Purple Menace intended to kill me in the over-the-top manner of typical comic book supervillains.
“This is a bad joke,” I shook my head, disgusted. “How about letting me out and we’ll talk?” Worth asking. Anything to stall him while I regained my strength.
“No more chatter. Now is the time for action,” he said. He made a grand gesture and hit a big red button. All the machine lights blinked. The motor that controlled the pulley started up, and it began to lower me toward the cauldron.
“Soon I will have more power. Then I will control the entire universe.”
The cage continued its descent toward the boiling chemicals.
“Sure,” I scoffed. “I’d like to see that.”
He sent me a creepy glare. “You think I’m merely a comic book character with no brains. I am a scientific genius. Soon my power shall surpass anything known to man.”
“I believe this is where I say you won’t get away with this,” I said mildly. I felt sick. Still weak. As the cage lowered, it was getting hotter.
“There you go again, making feeble quips because you think all superheroines must,” he replied.
“It’s in the rule book,” I joked.
ebook and print on Amazon http://amzn.to/1L25FOw
Award-winning author Irene Vartanoff combined her love of comic books and romances by working for Marvel Comics and DC Comics as well as Harlequin, Bantam, Berkley, and My RomanceStory.com. As a teenager, her letters to the comic editors caused such a sensation she was incorporated into the storylines of several comic books, notably, Metal Men and The Flash. Dubbed “Poison Ivy” at DC Comics, she received a new sobriquet when she took an editorial position at Marvel Comics, working closely with Stan Lee, who named her “Impish Irene.” Following a long editorial career in romance publishing, Irene turned to writing novels. Her first superhero adventure novel, Temporary Superheroine, was quickly followed by her first sweet contemporary romance novel, Captive of the Cattle Baron. Book 2 of the Temporary Superheroine series, Crisis at Comicon, is available for pre-order on Amazon, and her first women’s fiction novel, Summer in the City, will be published in November. Irene is also the author of several romance graphic romance novellas, including Breaking All the Rules and The Egyptian’s Texas Spitfire. Under her comic book nom de plume, Poison Ivy, she contributes to the MyRomanceStory.com blog. A lifelong East Coast resident, Irene currently lives in a forest of tall oaks in the wilds of West Virginia.
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