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Beyond The Page: “Scarlet Fever” by Christine Bell, from “Holding Out for a Hero” anthology

Mar 1
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Holding Out for a Hero coverAre you a fan of comic books? Like to read about superheroes battling villains?

Here’s your chance to win a four (4) novellas about falling in love with a hero…and a villain.

I’m talking about Entangled Publishing‘s anthology, “Holding Out for a Hero“.

Today, we have Christine Bell on CABR to tell us about her contribution to the anthology – “Scarlet Fever“, which she co-wrote with Ella Dane.

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CABR: Tell us about the concept behind “Holding Out for a Hero

headshot_christinebellCB: Holding Out for a Hero was an Entangled Publishing brain child, and I love superheroes, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to throw my hat in the ring!

I contacted my friend and co-author, Ella Dane, and we decided that we wanted to do a different superhero story. One that featured two flawed characters who are total opposites and forced to work together.

Scarlett Fever leads with her gut and jumps into everything she does with reckless abandon. While Blade of Justice is a thinking person. Methodical and precise, he doesn’t make a move without choreographing it first.

We plopped them in the middle one-horse town Plunketville Oklahoma, home of the Sasquatch, added some small town color and quirky secondary characters and it made for a ton of humor and a lot of tension between the two o them.

CABR: What was it like co-writing “Scarlet Fever” with Ella Dane for the anthology “Holding Out for a Hero” ?

CB: I loved it. She and I think so much alike and compliment one another so well, she’s an absolute dream to write with!

CABR: Were you inspired by any famous superheroes? X-Men perhaps?

CB: I love X-Men, but I don’t think so. We sort of just bounced ideas back and forth and viola, there they were, plain as day.

CABR: Tell us about your favourite scene in “Scarlet Fever“. Can you provide an excerpt from it?

CB: I love the scene where they first get to Plunketville and Scarlett faces her first challenge as a full-fledged superhero.

Here’s a taste (excerpt):

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Holding Out for a Hero coverScarlett stared up into his dark brown eyes and suddenly forgot what she’d been thinking. Frozen under an intense stare, she had a flashing image of leaning into him and pressing her lips against his. The air around them held as still as her breath until a sound out of place caught her attention and broke the spell. A funny feeling tugged at her insides.

“Did you hear that?” She reluctantly pulled back from Blade, more than a little disconcerted.
“What?”
She noticed his voice was rough but before she could contemplate that nugget, she heard it again. A snicker and the strike of a match against flint. Blade straightened, and his expression slipped into the calm, focused super-demeanor she was well familiar with. He’d heard it too.
Without speaking, they moved toward the sound to investigate. Rounding a corner, they spotted three young boys in front of an open mailbox. They were giggling and trying without much success to light a strip of firecrackers.
Before the boys could even register that they weren’t alone, Scarlett stood in front of them, holding the firecrackers in her hand.
“What’s up, boys?”
Three jaws hung wide, and the boy holding the matches stammered, dropped his weapon of mischief, and ran. The other two kids stared at her for a second longer, then followed suit.
The fireworks burned in her palm for a split second before she pulled their heat into her body, defusing them.
Scarlett smiled, rolled the strip into a tight coil, and stuffed it into her purse pocket. She wiped her hands together at a job well done. The first crisis in Plunketville had been averted.
She turned to find Blade watching her, one side of his mouth turned up in what might have been the start of a smile.
“Congratulations,” he deadpanned. “You saved a mailbox.”
Her euphoria tanked instantly. “Shut up.” She pushed past him, deliberately smacking into his broad shoulder, and started for home.
“I’m looking forward to reading the report you’re going to send Hammer on this. Clearly, a super-villain is behind this act of terror. Maybe he goes by the name The Postman, and he limits his attacks to mail receptacles.”
She narrowed her eyes. Like he’d done anything since they’d arrived besides charming the apron off a waitress? Maybe he could put that in his report. “I said shut it, wonder boy,” she huffed without glancing back. The last thing she needed to see was that smug look again, or worse, that incredibly cut torso that made all kinds of strange wants race through her body. And wanting Blade was not going to help her get rid of him.

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CABR: Is this your first co-authored book? Any more in the near future?

CB: 
This is my third co-authored book. I also wrote a holiday novella with Riley Murphy that will be released with Entangled Publishing in the winter and a book called Three to Tango with L.C. Chase

CABR: What’s next for you Christine?

CB: I am currently working on a Halloween novel for the Brazen line at Entangled, along with a series for their Indulgence line.

Chocolate and tea picTRIVIA

eBooks or paperbacks?

CB: eBooks!

Chocolate or tea?

CB: Seriously? Has anyone ever said tea??

CABR: LOL (Hope you enjoy this picture of chocolate AND tea from the Chocolate Love blog 😀 )

Ideal vacation?

CB: Tropical. Beach and sight-seeing by day, poker and black jack by night.

Panster or plotter?

CB: A little of both. I start with a loose outline and roll from there.

If you could meet anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

CB: Wowww…Do that have to be REAL? If no, then Severus Snape. If yes, then Amelia Earhart.

CABR: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us at CABR, Christine.

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Holding Out for a Hero coverScarlett Fever by Christine Bell and Ella Dane

After five years in training, it’s finally time for Scarlett Fever and her fellow superheroes to leave the United Superhero Academy and test their powers out in the real world. There’s only one problem. She’s been assigned to partner with arrogant, by the book, and irritatingly hot, Blade of Justice.

Blade’s whole life has gone according to plan, and he’s more than ready to move on to the big time, protecting a metropolis of his own. But his perfectly ordered life is derailedwhen he’s teamed up with the fiery maverick, Scarlett Fever.

Sparks fly the moment they arrive in Plunketville, Oklahoma, as they each set out to force the other to request a transfer. They soon discover there’s more going on in this single stop-sign town than blowing up mailboxes and cow tipping. If Scarlett can get Blade to listen to his gut, and he can teach her to use her head, they just might have a fighting chance.

 

Ironheart by Nico Rosso

Vince might be hard as steel, but he’s not invincible. Not when iron touches him, especially in the hands of an evil minion. Not when Kara ran away after a whirlwind affair, just when he thought he might be falling in love. And definitely not when she returns, looking for his help.

The archvillain TechHead is coming for Kara and her superhero teammates, and he’s determined to use their combined power to create the ultimate weapon. But Kara can’t fight him alone. She needs Vince’s brutal skill, though being with him means she risks losing her beloved secret identity, leaving her nowhere else to hide.

When TechHead makes a play to capture Kara, Vince has more to lose than just his heart. But he will do anything for the woman he loves, even if it means putting his heart on the line again.

 

Playing With Fire by Tamara Morgan

Fiona Nelson has always been one hot ticket—even before she took the conversion serum that gave her superhuman abilities. Fiona’s powers come at a price: lack of human contact, or she won’t be the only thing burning. When she loses control of her emotions, her fire powers run rampant…and she’s hurt enough people already. Including herself.

But when the man behind her conversion returns to blackmail her into helping him gain power, the only person she can turn to is Ian Jones, the man who broke her teenage heart. The man determined to expose the criminal known as Fireball, whose explosive escapades are just a little too close to Fiona’s M.O.

Ian is convinced Fiona’s dangerous, convinced she’s Fireball, and convinced he’ll damn himself if he doesn’t resist a heat that’s always drawn him to Fiona like a moth to a flame—but Ian has his own secrets.

And he’ll learn far too soon what happens when you play with fire.

 

From the Ashes by Adrien-Luc Sanders

Sociopath. Killer. Deviant. Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called that and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded countless crimes to build his father’s inhuman empire.

Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford—

antisocial graduate researcher, quiet underachiever, and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve.

One kiss leads to an entanglement that challenges everything Tobias knows about himself, aberrants, and his own capacity to love. But when his father orders him to assassinate a senator, one misstep unravels a knot of political intrigue that places the fate of humans and aberrants alike in Tobias’s hands. As danger mounts and bodies pile deeper, will Tobias succumb to his dark nature and sacrifice Sean—or will he defy his father and rise from the ashes to become a hero in a world of villains?

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