Stella: Hi Nico, welcome to Ex Libris! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself, and more specifically what is your relationship with superheroes? How did it all start?
Nico: Hi Stella, thanks so much for having me! I’m a writer who worked in a few different forms and genres until I found the romance genre through my wife, Zoë Archer. My love for superheroes started at a very early age, where I picked up comic books from my brother’s floor. From there I started buying them for myself, and diving into the history of the characters in reprints of old comics.
Stella: Your latest story Ironheart was one of the four novellas released in the new Entangled superhero anthology: Holding Out For a Hero, congratulations! Can you tell readers what they can expect of Ironheart?
Nico: In Ironheart, I wanted to capture the fun of the early comics I read. You’ll find gritty action and tough heroes, as well as a very human story of love lost and a desire for a second chance. Here’s a little teaser from Chapter Two:
Now that he was in her arms again, she remembered how deeply he shook her. All the rules of her life, the teachings of the Changali and the laws of society, seemed like brittle glass with Vince near her. His body. His power. His conviction. The two of them had lit some fires in the past, and she wanted that heat all over again. Watching him fight those GearHeads made her ache for his touch.
That reckless need could cost her more than she’d anticipated.
“I dreamed of this,” she said over the rush of wind. Not only did the other-worldly power in her create the energy cells, but it augmented her strength enough to carry his massive form. And when their bodies had clashed during earth-shaking sex, she’d had the force to keep up with him. “Flying with you.”
“Some nights, it took a lot of whiskey so I wouldn’t have this dream.”
Pain and anger spiked his words. She had earned it, and was thankful they hadn’t battled after all. But there were a lot of hours before daylight.
Stella: Could you introduce Vince and Kara, the hero and heroine of Ironheart?
Taken from Vince’s team member profile for OmniForce (filed under “Former Members”)
Height: 5’10” (more or less, wouldn’t stand still long enough to be measured)
Weight: (see note on height)
Special Abilities: Skin and body are extremely durable, while still looking like a normal human. Can withstand kinetic attacks such as bullets and artillery. Energy attacks are unknown. Because of body density, his strength is augmented to Class 30 (with a human world class athlete being Class 10)
Weapons: Prefers to use his hands.
Vulnerabilities: When facing weapons containing large proportions of iron, his Special Abilities are negated. His fighting ability is not affected.
Psychological Profile: Determined fighter. Good sense of justice. Lacks regard for authority (see note on height).
Taken from Kara’s profile as written by OmniForce when they teamed up with the WildFlowers. (Filed under “Ally Teams – WildFlowers”)
Team Affiliation: WildFlowers
Height: Unknown (5’8”?)
Special Abilities: Like the rest of the WildFlowers, she has been imbued with cosmic energy, and can shape it into power cells that resemble plate armor or flower petals. These cells can be used as protection, weapons, or can be organized into wings, giving her the ability to fly. The cosmic energy also seems to have increased her strength (at one time, she lifted The Anvil and threw him into a coming asteroid, their combined force breaking it and rendering the remains harmless).
Weapons: As stated above, she can use the energy cells to create weapons such as armored fists and elbows.
Vulnerabilities: Unknown. Perhaps energy attacks.
Psychological Profile: Unknown. Like the other WildFlowers, she is young (college aged?) and untested beyond the initial battles summarized in the attached documents on The Paradox. Several surreptitious glances were noted between her and the Anvil – this is something we should keep an eye on.
Stella: Could you please summarize Ironheart in Twitter-style (in 140 characters or less)?
Nico: Superheroes Vince & Kara can stop bullets, but can they stop the reawakened flame of their past fling from burning down their world?
Stella: Do you still remember what inspired Ironheart? Was there a specific moment/event that sparked the idea for the story?
Nico: The first motivation came because of a call put out for superhero romance stories. After that I drew on my past of reading comics and tried to created scenarios I’d like to see. Truthfully, one of the main inspirations was the idea of two superheroes making love so passionately they wrecked the building around them.
Stella: If you were a superhero, what would be your name and superpower?
Nico: I asked my wife for this one and she suggested, The Forge. I can take small details from life and inspirations and hammer them together under the heat of imagination to create a completely new story.
Stella: Oh that is cool, and especially handy for an author ;-) Can you share with us some little secret trivia connected to the writing of Ironheart (a scene/character that did not end up in the final version, a real person inspiring a character, scene, etc.)?
Stella: Are you planning on writing any more stories in the Ironheart universe? What shall we expect from you, what is next on your schedule?
Nico: I’d love to work on more stories in the world I created for Ironheart. Not only are there the stories of the other WildFlowers to learn, but there are plenty of other heroes and villains out there. It all depends on demand from readers.
Next on the schedule is a three book paranormal romance series I’m working on for Carina Press. No dates yet, but I can say these pieces are raw, romantic, and raunchy.
|A travelling trunk|
Nico: When I’m not structuring books, I really enjoy planning and structuring carpentry projects for around the apartment. I’ve designed and built many bookshelves (mostly to contain Zoë’s collection) as well as other tables and consoles. Currently, I’m plotting a liquor cabinet that will look like a traveling trunk on its side.
Scarlett 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 derailed when 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 superhu¬man 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 black¬mail 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 Fire¬ball, 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 count¬less crimes to build his father’s inhuman empire.
Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford--antisocial graduate research¬er, quiet underachiever, and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve.
One kiss leads to an entanglement that challenges ev¬erything 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 hu¬mans 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?
To be entered just leave a comment and tell us: if you were a superhero what would be your name and superpower?