Alec and Beth are back! This superhero romance was my first full-length published book with Samhain and the book that lead to seven other sales with the publisher before they closed up.
The Phoenix Institute Returns!
Rise of the Firestarter, book one of the Phoenix Institute superhero romance series, is now available at all ebook outlets. You can get it at Amazon or follow this link to the other outlets, such as iBooks, Kobo, and B&N. Scroll down a bit for 3 exclusive excerpts but keep reading if you want to learn why they were out of print (so to speak) for over a year.
Okay, it’s taken me a while to bring this series back for a couple of reasons. One, I had some family emergencies last year that ended well (whew) but took a ton of time away from my writing career. Two, I wanted to roll the Phoenix Institute out with a fanfare. Than meant rebranding and that took time as well.
For this book, the original title was Phoenix Rising. While I was happy with that title and its original cover, it turns out that “Phoenix” is a popular word to use in titles, especially for SF/F. I wanted my book to stand out more, especially in searches, not get lost among all the Phoenix-named books.
I also wanted covers that would better showcase the romance in the books.
Last but not least, I wanted a series logo for the whole Phoenix Institute series. All the books will be branded with my new logo, now seen at the top left-hand corner of Rise of the Firestarter. The logo and covers were designed by Melody Pond, who had the patience for going over multiple drafts to get this just right.
I’ll roll out book 2, Dark Inferno, on in August, and release another one every following month until all six stories in the series are out. December is reserved for Ghosts of Christmas Past, which I did not retitle because that was perfect. (There are some minor plot adjustments and tweaking coming to Dark Inferno and The Immortal’s Ghost, books 2 and 3 in the series but the rest will remain as before.)
Then… the ta…da…the plan is for a full-length novel next year that ties up the long-running subplot involving the series antagonist. That story will bring us full circle and it will be an Alec and Beth book, focused on Beth taking control of the full range of her formidable powers. No title yet on that one. I thought of Rise of the Telepath, as a callback to book 1, but perhaps that’s not catchy enough?
Suggestions welcome. 🙂
Now…blurb and excerpts for Rise of the Firestarter!
The world’s most powerful weapon is a young soldier raised in isolation…..
Alec Farley is a telekinetic firestarter who’d been trained to work with a special forces team to defend America from its most dangerous threats.
Or so he thinks.
He doesn’t know his mentor has plans to control the world, he doesn’t know what he’s been taught is lies, and he doesn’t know why the lovely psychologist sent to help him has instead kidnapped him.
Beth Nakamora went undercover to contact Alec, but when it becomes clear Alec needs out, any way possible, she kidnaps him to show him the outside world and his true place in it.
Neither expects Alec’s power to trigger Beth’s latent telepathy. Neither expects the fiery attraction that nearly consumes them. Now, they must learn to trust each or else Alec will never be the hero he’s meant to be.
Excerpt #1: First Meeting
Alec was taller, stronger and, well, far more grown-up than she’d imagined. Somehow, she’d mentally slotted him in with all the adolescent teens she counseled. No doubt because she thought of Alec as needing her help.
But this was no boy.
Alec was a full-grown man, every inch a soldier, and a very attractive one, or would be once he stopped scowling. If God reached down to create a superhero, he would look much like Alec Farley. His shoulders were wide and strong and his dark blue T-shirt hugged his flat stomach.
She’d expected to be fascinated by him but not to be so impressed.
He moved like a dancer, in perfect balance, and his wavy dark hair half-hid an unnerving gaze as his blue eyes seemed to notice everything all at once. She wondered if Alec was using his telekinesis to explore the room. From what she’d been told, he was capable of using TK to poke into corners, check under objects like the two chairs and even under the carpeting. Something beyond his pacing definitely seemed to be happening. She could practically feel power oozing out of him.
If he’s like this now, what is he like when he’s calling fire?
Excerpt #2: Alec Gets Flirty
She shoved her hand into the M&Ms and tossed a handful at him.
“C’mon,” he said with disgust. Some test. He twitched a finger and grabbed the M&Ms in midair with his TK. They hovered, unmoving.
He could toss them back at her but why waste M&Ms? He twitched his finger again and formed the candy into a line. He let them fall into his mouth one by one.
“Mmmm…” he said, swallowing the last.
She hadn’t moved, her mouth set in a line, but there was something about her expression that made him think she was amused. That wasn’t what he was going for, though that half-smile was awfully attractive.
“Was that a proportional response?” he asked.
She grabbed the bucket of ping-pong balls and tossed the lot at him.
Like the M&Ms, he took hold of the balls with his TK with little effort. They were so light, it was easy to keep them hovering.
He let his hands fall to his sides and began juggling with his TK. The balls zipped around his head and shoulders, faster and faster with each second. But he wasn’t watching them. He was looking for some reaction from her.
Her eyes widened. And her face started to flush. Interesting. Did she get turned on when he used his power?
Excerpt #3: Flying (This is from near the end but I love it so I couldn’t resist.)
“Can we get down now?”
He looked below and the container ship was a speck in the ocean below them.
He was flying.
Okay, not exactly flying. His TK was pushing against the ground and holding them up. Or maybe it was pushing against the air molecules. He wasn’t sure. It didn’t matter right this second. It was just cool.
“Funny, it seemed hot to me,” she said, her voice muffled against his chest. “But can we get down now?”
“You don’t like heights, counselor?”
“Not when nothing is holding me up, no.”
He grinned. “I’ve got you.”
She started to laugh. “Yeah, but who’s got you, Superman?”