Kitty Bucholtz, author of Unexpected Superhero, is here today to tell us why she loves superheroes. Her book is free today and tomorrow, Oct. 17 & 18, at . Welcome, Kitty.
Why I Love Superheroes
by Kitty Bucholtz
I love heroes.
I love how they talk. They know when it’s time to be tough, and when to be gentle, and when to lighten the mood. They know what’s important in life and they don’t take themselves too seriously.
I love how they walk. They have confidence in themselves and they believe in other people. But they are open to change, willing to learn and grow, even in unexpected ways.
I love heroes because they make me want to be a better version of myself. That’s what I love about most superhero movies. The idea of each of us choosing to put others before ourselves speaks to me. Standing up for what you believe in, even knowing someone is going to knock you down for it, that’s a worthwhile ambition.
I love almost all superhero movies, but my current favorite superhero is probably Captain America as he’s portrayed recently by Chris Evans. He is a hero in every way. He believes in the ultimate good and will fight any number of bad guys to protect virtue and home. He is innocent and idealistic, honorable and high-principled, wholesome and without reproach.
And he’s not hard on the eyes.
Of course, I understand that Captain America is too perfect. If I were genuinely looking for Steve Rogers as a future husband, I’d be sorely disappointed. When I was twenty-two and in premarital counseling, my pastor said something very similar. So when I had the idea to write about superheroes, I decided I wanted them to be more like real people. Not as perfect as Steve Rogers/Captain America on the one hand, and not as obnoxious and self-centered as Tony Stark/Iron Man on the other.
I chose the names of my characters to underscore their personalities. The hero, Joe Clarke, is an average everyday Joe – who happened to be born into a long line of superheroes. The heroine, Tori (Victoria) Lewis, doesn’t let life defeat her. Her sister, Lexie (Alexia), was so named because she is a stout defender of the people she cares about.
Because I love marriage and all the crazy wonderfulness that goes with it, I decided to start book one (Unexpected Superhero) with Joe and Tori returning from their honeymoon. No matter how perfect a man is – or a woman – or how much they’re in love, it is super difficult to weave two lives into one. But it’s much more enjoyable – even downright funny – to watch someone else go through it. So that’s what I’m doing with my superhero series, the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke.
No matter how many times I see Captain America, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, or The Avengers, my heart beats faster when I watch his heroics and follow his ill-fated but beautiful romance. In a completely different way, I love watching my hero Joe try to figure out how to be a husband. And I love seeing my heroine Tori learn to share her life and gain confidence in herself and the people around her. Those things require their own kind of courage.
I could use a little more courage myself. And that’s why I write about heroes.
Newlywed Tori Lewis wants nothing more than a quiet life with her hunky new husband. She doesn’t expect to walk into a robbery right after her honeymoon. But even more shocking is her discovery that she stopped the gunman with a super power! How did that happen?
Undercover superhero Joe Clarke and his team are investigating a string of missing children. When the father of a lost boy turns up dead, the team must decide if the death is related to the disappearances – or to the super villain group, The Nine.
Meanwhile, Tori decides to try out this superhero thing. She needs a mentor, so she asks Superhero X to help, the only superhero she’s ever met – and the only one she’s ever kissed. As they work together, Tori worries that the superhero is getting too familiar. How can she be attracted to one man when she’s wildly in love with another?
Will she have to choose between her husband and her destiny? No one warned her that love would be so complicated!
Available exclusively at Amazon Kindle through October 21, then available everywhere. FREE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, SEPT. 17 & 18.
Available in print at most online retailers (Amazon, B&N, Books-a-Million)
“Unexpected Superhero brims with fun, adventure, and romance in the pursuit of justice! Don’t miss this riveting start to an exciting new series in the urban fantasy genre!” – Jennifer Lyon, Blood Magic
Tori Lewis was out of M&Ms. None in her purse, none in the glove box. Even the emergency packet in her briefcase had been consumed during her pre-wedding jitters. After the job interview she’d just endured for Half TV, a local cable TV station, she needed a chocolate fix. Now.
“I know I’m supposed to go to you for comfort,” she muttered to God as she pulled into a parking spot, “but if you wouldn’t mind, a package of M&Ms would jumpstart the process.”
The bell tinkled over her head as the door of Ed & Eddie’s Corner Market closed behind her. Tori stamped the snow off her boots as her eyes adjusted from the deepening twilight outside to the bright fluorescent lights of the store. It took her a moment to notice everyone in the store staring at her. Including the guy with the gun.
Tori froze. She always assumed her love of the colorful chocolate candy might one day destroy her figure, but she never expected her addiction to end in gunfire.
The gunman swung toward her. His bulky open coat couldn’t hide the fact that the skinny boy was no man. A Detroit Tigers baseball cap covered most of his brown hair, but not his panicky eyes. “What do you want?” His voice came out higher at the end and he cleared his throat. “Well?” he asked, forcing the word out at a lower pitch.
“Uhh… M&Ms,” Tori said. It sounded like a question. Her brain was having a hard time getting up to speed in this unexpected situation. God, help me.
Her eyes darted around the small store. An older woman cried and held a nearly hysterical younger woman, shushing her to no avail. One of the men held a baby ensconced in a little pink snowsuit. Another nodded quietly at her as if to convey caution.
Situation confirmed. She was hip-deep in doo-doo. Where was her big, strong new husband when she needed him?
The armed boy-man cocked his head toward the candy aisle. Tori didn’t know if he meant for her to move out of the way or if he was just being unusually helpful by pointing her in the right direction. Erring on the side of caution, she forced a fleeting smile and mumbled “thanks” as she walked past him and down the middle aisle to stand in front of the M&Ms. Now what?
The gunman turned back to Eddie, the cashier and half-owner of Ed & Eddie’s. “Hurry up before someone else comes in!”
“Easy, dude, easy,” Eddie said, moving his hands slowly toward the cash register. Eddie wasn’t very old either, early 20s or so, but he was sadly experienced in the holdup category. Tori couldn’t remember the details, but she’d heard bits and pieces of stories. Come to think of it, why did she shop at a store with a record anyway? She remembered Eddie had played sports in high school. Something like baseball or wrestling or karate could come in handy right now. Hopefully his sport hadn’t been cross-country running.
Tori glanced at the M&Ms next to her. More than ever she needed to stress eat. Could she open a package now and pay Eddie later? Maybe two packages. Her hands started to shake. She shoved them in her pockets.
Today was only day ten of her new and fabulous married life. She hadn’t wanted to go out today anyway and now this. Only two days ago she and Joe had checked out of their Disney World hotel, blue skies and temperatures in the 70s, nothing on their minds but a long and blissful life together. Tori prayed now that she’d make it to day eleven of that life. They hadn’t been married long enough to do anything except have sex – which was awesome – but she’d hoped for more. After all, they figured they’d have the rest of their lives together. Neither of them thought the “death” part of “till death do us part” would happen until there was a lot more gray hair involved.
The sound of a crying baby registered. Tori glanced over at the well-dressed man in the expensive trench coat. He kept his back between the gunman and his child. A gesture Tori would normally find heartwarming. But today it was the action of a man who wasn’t going to get involved. Great. He wouldn’t be of any use. So this is where equal opportunity gets us. Tori considered offering to hold the baby so he could help the other men save the day. Her self-esteem would be fine with that. Maybe if she were comforting someone, she wouldn’t feel like crying herself.
Enough! Tori wiped at her eyes. She was not letting some stupid, scared boy dictate her life and death. She’d spent too much energy changing her life into just what she wanted to lose it now. She chewed on her lip. What could she do?
A movement from the corner of her eye. She saw one of the men – the one who’d nodded calmly at her – edging closer to the gunman. Yikes. Should she duck or help?
Kitty Bucholtz is the author of the romantic comedy Little Miss Lovesick and the light urban fantasy Unexpected Superhero. Though she grew up in Northern Michigan, the setting for many of her stories, she followed her husband to Australia twice. While he made a penguin named Mumble dance, she earned her MA in Creative Writing in Sydney. When she’s not unpacking or repacking, she’s working on her next book or chatting with readers on Facebook.
Okay, who’s your favorite superhero? I loved watching the TV show, Heroes, and I think Hiro Nakamura, played by Masi Oka, was my favorite. Hiro was an unassuming nerd who could bend time and space, and a sweet guy into the bargain. But when it comes to sexy superheroes, no one beats Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.
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