Villainous News & Interview

Villainous has broken into the top 100 in Amazon’s superhero category. (It’s hanging out at #56 at the time of this writing.) Thank you everybody for helping it get there!

And the super cool Amberly Smith has an interview with me up on her website here. We talk about Hero Status, comic books, and sharks with laser vision! Check it out if you like any of those things.

Villainous Cover Reveal

I’ve kept you guys waiting for this one for a while, but here it is. The final cover for Villainous:

Villainous Cover

I’m scheduled to send the book off to my editor at the end of this month and should hopefully have it finished and up on Amazon by the end of September. This is a little later than I’d hoped to have it out, so thank you all for your patience! I’ll be posting a preview chapter soon, and in the meantime, here’s a rough blurb of the plot:

 

Valentina Belmonte isn’t evil anymore—honest. She’s hung up her supervillain costume, retired to Florida with her family, and hasn’t committed a crime in years. (Well, not a felony. What’s a misdemeanor here and there if you don’t get caught?) Val’s practically a model citizen these days; this time, it’s her goody-two-shoes former superhero of a husband who’s in trouble with the law. He saved her life two months ago—and committed a spectacular amount of property damage and assault along the way. The feds won’t press charges…as long as Val does something for them in exchange.

Apparently, an old friend of hers is importing a deadly drug that gives people temporary psychic powers. The feds want to send in Val with a wire to get evidence to bring him down. Sounds simple enough, so of course it blows up in her face. Her best lead dies mysteriously in custody, and Val nearly follows him to the grave. The feds are clueless as usual, but Val’s not used to being out-played at her own game. She’s worried she’s lost her touch since retirement, but if she doesn’t get the feds the evidence they need, her husband will end up rotting in one of the most hellish prisons in the country…

News and Links

Hero Status has been out for about two months now, and it’s still hanging in there on Amazon’s bestseller list for superhero fiction! This completely blows my mind and smashes my expectations for this book (granted, my expectations were very, very low, but still).

Hero Status has also gotten some great reviews, one from the Open Book Society here, and another at My Train of Thoughts here.

I’ve got an article up on Superhero Nation here about using sensory details to enrich your story. It’s a great website for writers in general and writers of superhero fiction in particular, so check it out.

And finally, Hero Status was the fantasy pick last month at SciFi Fantasy Freak, which is a handy resource for new, free, and discounted spec fic ebooks.

And that’s it for now! Time for me to get back to work on Villainous.

Current Projects

So Hero Status came out last week. (Hooray!) Maybe you’ve bought it, read it, and are currently asking, “What’s next?” The answer to that question is not one, but two different projects.

  1. As I mentioned at the end of Hero Status, book 2 in the series will be called Villainous. It’s due out in 2015, and is from Val’s point of view. (I plan to alternate between Dave and Val as narrators throughout the series.)
  2. I’m also working on a prequel from Dave and Val’s pre-retirement days. This is going to be a free online serial that will update on this website once or twice a week. The working title is Fight Crime! (A Love Story).

I’m super excited about both of these projects and hope to have more news about them soon. But for now, these are all the details I can give out, so keep an eye out here for more updates.

Welcome!

Hi. I’m speculative fiction author Kristen Brand. If you’re looking for a good book in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, then you’re in the right place. My novels all have fast-paced action, witty banter, and at least a hint of romance. I’m a huge nerd, which comes through in my writing, and I love reading and talking about books, comics, and short stories.

Check out my books page for a full list of all my novels. Or look at my web fiction for links to free stories you can read online.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hero Status, Chapter 1

Hero Status is almost ready to be uploaded to Amazon! (That sound you hear is my excited squeal.) While I’m working on the final steps, check out this sample chapter.

Chapter 1

People like to debate where superpowers come from. What genetic mutation causes special abilities beyond what seems naturally possible? Experts theorize how the traits are inherited and what part the environment plays in affecting if and how they develop. I don’t have much to add to the discussion. Just because I have superpowers doesn’t mean I know how they work. Sometimes, though? I think they’re fueled by caffeine.

Lack of coffee was definitely my problem this morning. When the cook burst into the dining room with a shout, I should have calmly assessed the situation before reacting. Instead, I jumped and hit the table, jolting the silverware and knocking over my full cup of café con leche. Coffee drenched my wife’s favorite—and very expensive—white tablecloth and splattered onto the imported wood flooring. I winced and grabbed a napkin to sop up the spill.

Our cook was a big, burly man who’d gone to seed with age, the apron stretched across his beer gut reading, “Charred and Dangerous.” He tried to untie it, but his hands were still covered by oven mitts.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Feds outside.”

Before I could ask anything else, he rushed down the hallway, muttering something about hiding his guns. But I doubted federal agents had come all this way just for our cook’s illegal firearms.

“It’s probably nothing to worry about.” The maid smiled at me, ignoring the spill as she snatched a steak knife off the table. “They like to come around and ask questions every now and then.”

“This happened a lot in the old days?” I asked.

She shrugged and hurried off in the same direction as the cook. I stared stupidly after them for a moment, coffee still dripping onto the floor, then picked up my cane from where it rested against my chair. Standing up always made my knee twinge, but I ignored it and walked slowly into the kitchen. The room was wide, its floors and granite countertops so clean they reflected the light. The cook had left an omelet sizzling on the stove, and it filled the air with a smell that made my mouth water. I walked past it to the big window over the sink, and sure enough, two black SUVs were coming down the palm tree-lined driveway.

The omelet hissed and crackled angrily. I flipped it over, but the fluffy yellow egg mix was already crusted with black. I turned off the burner with a sigh. If I was going to have to deal with a government raid first thing in the morning, I’d like to do it on a full stomach, at least. Continue reading Hero Status, Chapter 1