It’s my FIRST Sinful Saturday and I’m excited to welcome author, Ashlynn Monroe. Please read on about her amazing new book about a superhero romance!
First off, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a working mom. I have two kids my daughter turns twelve today on July 12! My son is eight. I’ll be turning 35 in August. In October, I’ll celebrate my 15th wedding anniversary. It’s a busy year!
It seems that you have been writing for a while and I want to know, amongst the 50 or so books that you have written which one is your favorite and why?
That’s a tough question. Every new release feels like my favorite. Reality Hero and Given are my all time favorites. I wrote Reality Hero in 2009 and it’s been rewritten, expanded, and improved. This is one of my longest novels and I love the characters.
Can you give me a brief description of your writing process?
Chaotic. I have characters and snippets of stories that run through my brain all the time, sort of like channel surfing, and when one takes hold of my muse, I write it.
How did you come up with the unique concept for Reality Hero?
I wrote this book to cheer myself up when I was done. I think that’s what gives the book such a unique flavor of humor mixed with darkness. The first scenes popped into my head when I saw my first reality show. The idea bounced around in my head for about a decade before I actually wrote the story.
If you were granted one super power, what would it be and how would you intend to use it?
I’d want the power to travel back in time and talk to people. I’d tell myself what mistakes not to make and save people.
Can you tell us what you have planned for this series? How many books do you plan on writing? When we can expect the next one?
I am going to write Ella and Caspian’s story. If my readers want more after that, I’ll write Bridget’s story too. I’m not sure when this will be available. That will depend on Beachwalk Press’s release schedule.
Blurb: Can reality TV handle a reluctant superhero bachelor, ten attention-seeking women, and one evil villain?
Dina Dell’s career as a television producer has hit bottom. Desperate to save her job, she comes up with the idea for a reality show called I Want to Date a Superhero. But the only superhero bachelor she knows is the only man she’s ever loved—Zane Blair.
Zane was once a normal human, but a traumatic childhood incident mutated him, along with Dina’s sister and their friends. Dina was the only one who escaped without any superhero abilities. And while she might be the “normal” one, that only left her feeling like more of an outcast.
Her lack of powers put Zane in danger. Knowing that it was only a matter of time before someone used her to get to him, she left, breaking both their hearts in the process. After all the pain she caused him, will he be willing to help her now?
Then an old enemy emerges, putting Dina’s plans on hold. When her superhero friends are the ones who need help, Dina just might learn that sometimes little Miss Average can be a hero too.
Content Warning: graphic sexual content
Ashlynn also provided us with an excerpt! Here it is:
Dina Dell sat in the conference room waiting anxiously. A huge lump began forming in her throat. She knew things weren’t going to go well, yet she held hope old Ervin might be feeling generous. Her past hip and innovative programming ideas had once made her his most valued employee. Now she was hanging onto her job by a thread. That’s how the television business is: unforgiving. She was the mastermind behind top rated shows such as Kid Exchange and Please, Someone Marry my Mother.
Unfortunately, the wellspring of creativity had run dry. For the last year, every show she’d produced had been ratings disasters, if her productions had even been lucky enough to air at all. Dina saw the writing on the wall, and with the network making major cuts to combat the economic slump, she knew the axe was coming down…on her head.
Watching the wily old codger walk toward the room through the opaque glass, even without seeing his face, she knew he was on the warpath. His body language said it all. His fists were clenched and his shoulders were tight. He lumbered down the hall as if he were preparing for murder—the murder of her career. Ervin threw open the door with dramatic flair.
“My Cat is in Charge? Really? Really and truly? Dear God, Dina. You honestly thought this was going to make good television? Who’d ever watch this? What happened to that brilliant brain of yours? Did you have a head injury? Did you have a stroke? Did someone hit me in the head, and this is all some coma-induced nightmare? What could possibly keep me from canning your sweet little ass right now?”
“Well, the sexual harassment lawsuit over your ‘sweet ass’ comment for one, and two, I have an idea that’ll blow your mind. I swear it. This one will put the network on top again. When the big boys hear the premise, neither of us will ever have to worry about our jobs again.” She paused and took a deep breath. Sweat ran down her face, but she resisted the urge to swipe at it, just in case he didn’t notice. Oh God, can he see that I’m lying? “That whole cat thing was just to get your attention for this. I swear the network will be kissing your ass after this airs.” Dina was lying through her teeth. She had nothing that she could produce. Her only idea was one she could never actually use without destroying people she cared about. The cat thing was the most creative idea she’d had in months. Plenty of people loved cats. Someone would want to watch a show about families letting their furry feline make major life decisions. Oh fuck, that is awful. Crap. Hold it together, girl. The old man can smell fear. She gulped in another lungful of air.
He cocked a bushy, gray eyebrow and crossed his arms over his chest. Waiting. She took a breath. Folding her hands, she put them in her lap so he wouldn’t notice them shaking. Closing her eyes, she exhaled slowly. It was time to pull out the dramatics. She’d been around enough TV personalities to have picked up a thing or two about acting. Okay, maybe if I lie well, he won’t send me to spend the rest of my life living on the street and rambling incoherently about my glory days working in television. The desperate thoughts sent her heart racing. She opened her eyes and regretted it. Ervin was staring at her. He still hadn’t said a word, but she could see curiosity in his expression. Good. He’d taken the bait, too bad she had nothing to reel him in with.
“I respect you, Ervin, but I’ll take this idea to another network if you don’t want to hear it.”
His eyebrow rose. “Okay?”
He was giving her one last chance. She opened her mouth to condemn the one person who really mattered to her. Her mouth went dry and she shut it. Biting her lip, she closed her eyes. There was no more waiting, she had to do it, even if this idea cost her what was left of her soul. She looked up at her mentor.
“What if I told you I had a superhero who was willing to star in a new show? Would you want me to run with that?”
His watery eyes bulged, then he recovered and a scowl replaced his shock. “You’ve made this network some serious money, but that’s in the past. For the last year, you’ve been a harbinger of series death. Whatever you’ve touched around here has turned to steaming piles of…crap. Your ideas stink. Once upon a time, I called you the Queen of Reality TV. What happened to my amazing, rising star? Why are you pushing terrible, idiotic, horrible programming? Everything you’ve done lately makes me want to stick sharp pencils in both my eyes so I can’t see them, and scratch off my ears so I can’t hear them. Then I’d rip the hair out of my head so the pain can distract me from the memory.” His face was turning from red to purple. She cringed. This graphic assessment of her talent left her queasy. He glared at her before opening his mouth, as if to speak, then closing it again. The old man ran a hand through what was left of his straggly gray hair and pinned her with a less than friendly look. She tried to stand her ground, but under the weight of her mentor’s ire, she crumbled. Her shoulders slumped, and she couldn’t meet his eyes.
“If I didn’t respect you so much, and love you like the daughter I’m glad I never had, I’d have put you out of here six months ago. I put my sweet ass on the line for yours this morning with the network, so don’t screw me. I swear this cat thing made me want to stick a firecracker up my nose and blow my head off.”
She winced, Ervin was never one to spare feelings, but ouch…harsh. His dramatic criticism felt completely deserved. He was right. She did suck. The old coot’s face was still red from his tantrum.
“If this thing works out, I’ll be the queen again. So cool off before my only supporter has a massive heart attack and dies. Just think about your wife, and how much she’d like to spend your life insurance money.” The words seemed to calm him down, but not much.
“You’re giving your only supporter the heart problems, so last chance, kid. Turn the dung into gold or you’re fired.” He whirled around, leaving the same way he came in: abruptly. She could almost see him wiping her self-respect off his shoes as he marched away. If she screwed up this time, her career was finished. Dina genuinely worried about his health. For all his bark, he wasn’t a bad guy. He’d given her a good start in the industry. She’d been the one to screw it all up.
Dina sat quietly looking at the blank, smooth tabletop. She nibbled her lip and fought back tears. She had the perfect idea, but it was going to be a hard sell. Oh, it’d be easy to get the network interested, they’d love it. Old Ervin would respect her again. Masses of television viewers would praise her. Yet she’d hate herself…probably until she died. The only person who could star in this thing was the one person she loved the most. He was the only person she’d ever intentionally hurt. The person who could save her was the one who’d given Diamond City almost everything, and now she was going to ask for one last thing—his heart.
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