Tag Archive | publications

How to Name a Superhero + Contest!

One of the hazards of writing superhero romances I would never have imagined ahead of time is the naming of superheroes. It is a pain in the neck trying to come up with superhero names, particularly for characters who don’t have a particular outstanding power or ability. And then when I do, I have to do a reasonably thorough web search to see if the name has already been used for a superhero, because the last thing I want to do is tread on somebody else’s intellectual property.

Also, it’s dull as dirt.

Superhero–or supervillain–names often start with the character’s powers. Dynama and Singularity were both named this way, “dynama” adapted from “dynamo” and “dynamic” because her powers have to do with motion, while a “singularity” exerts the gravitic pull at the center of a black hole. Other characters are named for striking characteristics, physical or otherwise. In the X-Men, a fuzzy blue character is known as Beast, while in the Batman animated series, Harlequin is so named because it’s the costume she wears. And sometimes, a character acquires a name based on a real name or actions they’ve become known for. Professor X of the X-Men teaches, and his last name is Xavier.

With all these different options, you wouldn’t think character naming could be so difficult. And yet, in the Superheroes Union novella in progress, I have a character without a good superhero name. On the plus side, this gives me in a fantastic excuse for a contest. *g*


Suggest a superhero/supervillain name for the character described below. Enter as many names as you like. The best entry–whether I use it in the story or not–will win a Superheroes Union T-shirt or tote bag, a copy of The Superheroes Union: Dynama, and a copy of the next Superheroes Union novella (as long as you remind me when it comes out. The memory isn’t what it used to be). Runners-up will also get a copy of Dynama or a small prize.

Character Description

A man in his early 20s. 5’7″, dark hair, brown eyes, Asian-American. No costume yet–he most often wears a long black coat. He is stronger and tougher than you’d expect for his size and musculature, but he doesn’t actually have what you’d think of as super strength. He’s trained in hand-to-hand combat. He spends a lot of time free-climbing buildings or observing from on top of them. He can leap extraordinary distances and survive spectacular falls. His balance is exceptional. He has a sense of impending danger that lets him react to harmful situations a split second before they happen.

And if I really have to leave him with the placeholder superhero name “the Hallelujah Kid,” he’s going to be really pissed. 😉

Leave your suggestions in the comments, and feel free to spread the word!


The Superheroes Union: Dynama – now available!

The Superheroes Union: Dynama The wait is over–The Superheroes Union: Dynama releases today! You can order it DRM-free direct from Carina Press or order through major online booksellers like Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

To celebrate the release, I’m giving away a couple of free copies and a Superheroes Union totebag or T-shirt. To enter, just leave me a comment below. Tell me what you love about superheroes or what kind of superpower you’d want, or ask me your questions about the writing of the story. 🙂

read: back cover blurb | excerpt


ETA 9/10/12: the swag contest is now closed

Now Available for Pre-Order: The Superheroes Union: Dynama

The Superheroes Union: Dynama The Superheroes Union: Dynama is now available for pre-order DRM-free, direct from Carina Press! You can also pre-order at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

The release date is August 20. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt:

“What’s wrong?” Annmarie asked.

TJ shivered visibly, despite her blue terrycloth bathrobe. “Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you. I just thought…maybe some tea…” She looked back at her saucepan, her face drawn. “I didn’t use the kettle so it wouldn’t whistle…”

“TJ, what’s wrong?” Annmarie swung her feet over the edge of the mattress. The gray pile carpet wasn’t bad beneath her feet, but the off-white tile of the kitchen floor was decidedly cool. “You’re not making any sense.”

“You’re wearing glasses.”

The water in the pot wasn’t bubbling yet. Annmarie took in the mug and the box of chamomile tea beside it on the counter. “I take my contacts out at night. They last longer.” She wondered if a blanket would stop TJ’s shivering. She set her hands on TJ’s shoulders. “TJ, what happened?”

“He called,” TJ whispered.

Annmarie didn’t have to ask who “he” was. She drew the other woman in, holding her close. “Oh, hon.”

“On my red phone. They must’ve gotten the number when they tossed the union offices. He just…called. Asked how the kids were.” She sounded scared, her voice thin and dull.

Annmarie stroked her back, for once thankful for Dad’s endless lectures on union benefits, back when he still thought he could convince her to become a superhero’s assistant. “None of those phones map to an address. He can’t know where you are.”

“I hung up. It couldn’t have been more than fifteen seconds, maybe twenty. Not long enough for a dowser to get our location even if the building wasn’t shielded. I turned off the phone. I haven’t turned my red phone off except on an airplane since I joined the union when I turned eighteen.”

So it wasn’t just about the threat to the kids and to herself. For TJ, it was an identity thing.

“It’s okay, TJ. Just leave it off for tonight—you aren’t on-call anyway. In the morning, you can talk to whoever handles the phones and get the number changed. Singularity can’t track you from it. Just sit down, I’ll make the tea. It’ll be okay.”

She’d suggest a shot of whisky in it, but having not only tasted but aspirated what TJ had in the house for whisky, she couldn’t help thinking that might result in a hangover on top of the wine.

If anything, TJ clung to her more tightly, resting her forehead on Annmarie’s shoulder. “I checked on the kids. It was stupid, but I had to see that they were okay…”

“It’s not stupid,” Annmarie said firmly. “It’s the middle of the night, and you’re worried, and they’re what you’re worried about. It’s not stupid at all.”

TJ’s gaze fastened on Annmarie’s like she was seeking truth there.

Bending her head, Annmarie kissed TJ’s lips. It was supposed to be reassurance, or that’s what she’d tell herself later, but the way TJ kissed back, fear sublimating itself beneath raw need, that thought didn’t last long.

Neither did any other, as the desire Annmarie had felt for the other woman from the moment TJ had first opened the door flared low in her belly and swept over her in a heated rush. Kiss followed kiss, each deeper and fiercer than the last, punctuated by little nibbles. Eventually Annmarie tore herself away long enough to turn off the stove, and when she looked back TJ was wearing a hesitant expression. Annmarie slipped her hands carefully around the other woman’s waist. “Is this okay?” She kept her voice low, mindful of the kids sleeping in the other room.

TJ’s giggle was almost hysterical. “Shouldn’t I be asking you that? I’m putting you in an awkward position—I’m kind of your boss.”

“I like this position, I started this, and you’re thinking too much.” Annmarie kissed her again, willing TJ to forget for a while. Forget who employed whom, Singularity and anything else beyond lips and touch and lust.

Annmarie wasn’t sure how they made it into the bedroom. She pushed TJ up against the door, getting it closed, and something went thunk. “Oh no, I didn’t hit your head on the door, did I?”

“Less talking, more kissing…”

Superheroes ARC Giveaway

The Superheroes Union: Dynama

What if your evil ex really was evil?

My debut romance novella, The Superheroes Union: Dynama, will be released on August 20 by Carina Press. It’s already available for pre-order on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, but you have a chance right now to win the e-book before the official publication date.

To enter, just leave me a comment below with your favorite superhero and whether you’d prefer a .pdf or an .epub if you win. The contest will run through midnight on Saturday, July 14, 2012. I will pick three winners at random from everybody who comments–and maybe give an extra copy to whoever named the most interesting superhero. *g*