Does Golden Boy Mayor Bobby Baumgartner Really Have the Midas Touch?
By D.S. AUFFENORDE
Exclusive to the Kensington City Examiner
After having interviewed Alexa Manchester and the superhero Electromancer, I caught up with the mayor of Kensington City, Bobby Baumgartner, as he was exiting his gold Lamborghini on his way to a city council meeting. I was trying to get to the bottom of just who this mysterious Electromancer is, and have been stonewalled at every turn. As the frontrunner in the next election for prime minister of Britannia, if anyone has the inside scoop, it would have to be The Mayor.
DA: Mr. Mayor, I’d like to ask you a few questions about Electromancer.
BB: Ma’am, if you wouldn’t mind, please take your hand off the hood of my car. You’re leaving fingerprints everywhere and I just had my car detailed.
DA: [After I took my hand off, the mayor pulled out a monogrammed handkerchief and wiped down the exterior.] Now about Electromancer …
BB: Fiction, rubbish. A creation of you media types.
DA: Why, thank you for the plug.
BB: I beg your pardon?
DA: Never mind. What do you know about Electromancer?
BB: Never met anyone by that name. Is she a registered voter?
DA: Sir, she’s the superhero who flies around your city and puts out fires with electricity, so I hear.
BB: Balderdash. You’re not from around here, are you?
DA: Mr. Mayor, your critics say that you’re obsessed with power, fame, and gold. They call you King Midas of Britannia. How do you respond to that?
BB: I’m a public servant sworn to do the public good. I will say this—the real King Midas has gotten a bum rap. What’s so bad about the Midas touch? Everybody wants it.
DA: Tell me about your relationship with Alexa Manchester. You’re engaged, right?
BB: It was announced in black and white in the social column. I placed the notice myself, right after I made the announcement to all of the city.
DA: Did Ms. Manchester accept?
BB: That’s irrelevant. Next question.
DA: What is the police department and your administration doing to capture the criminal mastermind known as Momo?
BB: Momo. Balderdash. Doesn’t exist. A creation of media types like you.
DA: No disagreeing with that, sir. But that’s not what Electromancer and Ms. Manchester believe. How do you respond to that?
BB: Alexa has suffered a great shock recently with the explosion at her power plant The Mick.
DA: You mean because of that magical element they call Electromite?
BB: A harmless rock. I’ve never believed the claims of Alexa’s late father, Mickey Manchester, that Electromite would solve the world’s energy crisis. Balderdash.
DA: Mr. Mayor, there have been reports that outlying areas of Kensington City have been overrun by grasshoppers. Any truth to that?
BB: [At this point, The Mayor suddenly turned green, coughed, and expectorated in the street.]
Before I could ask The Mayor another question, a matronly woman who identified herself as Henrietta Hensinger approached The Mayor and accused him of violating two city ordinances prohibiting spitting on the streets and in flower gardens. Miss Hensinger then berated The Mayor for ten minutes over his plan to demolish the train station known fondly by Kensington City residents as the Sugar Express Train Depot. After Miss Hensinger left, I attempted to resume my interview with The Mayor, but he declined further comment, except to say that he had to look into this grasshopper report. Once again, I found myself stymied by the lack cooperation among the citizens of Kensington City. Fortunately, you won’t be stymied if you read the chronicle of events in the thrilling, superhero-romance Electromancer.
Follow my investigatory column to learn more about just-who-the-heck is Electromancer.
Genre: Romance, Fantasy,
Superhero, Paranormal, Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Date of Publication: 2-1-16
ISBN 10: 1-4405-9687-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-4405-9687-2
eISBN 10: 1-4405-9688-3
eISBN 13: 978-1-4405-9688-9
Number of pages: 234
Word Count: 70,000
Cover design by Fred Machuca,
Illustration by Ricky Ostendi
With a heart as pure as platinum and electricity at her fingertips!
She soars like a falcon and travels at the speed of light!
She’s … ELECTROMANCER!
When arch villain Momo threatens to destroy the world with The Big Zapper—a weapon of mass destruction the likes of which has never been seen before—it’s up to Alexa Manchester and her new electricity-harnessing superpowers to stop him.
With a little help from her sexy chauffeur, Sigfred Sawyer, and some exciting encounters with the mysterious and handsome Blue Arrow, soon Alexa’s love life is charged up, too. And to defeat the seemingly invincible Momo, it might just take the naturally super power of love to save the day.
Offering all the Kabam! Pow! Zap! of beloved comic book sagas with the beating heart of a love story, this over-the-top, genre-blending send-up is sure to delight superhero fans and romance readers alike.
Readers of both comic book sagas and romance novels will find the sparks that fly between Alexa and Sigfred very electrifying indeed.
~ Colleen Sargent Library Journal
Excerpt from Chapter 6
Sigfred couldn’t be sure whether the mayor’s proposal pleased or displeased her, but it wasn’t his place to ask. He could do one thing—help her get that blasted ring off her finger. He went to the pantry and retrieved a bottle of olive oil—cold pressed extra virgin, of course, because this was Yurdlemon’s kitchen.
“Let me help you get that off,” he said.
“No, I’ll do it myself.” She paused suddenly, staring at the big green stone as if transfixed. “Maybe I’m not sure I want it off.” She shook her head. “But I do, I do. Oh, I don’t know what I want.” She sighed. “Wait! Yes, I do. I want to talk about last night.”
“Of course, if you wish.” He waited for her to speak, but she seemed stumped.
Then she said, “What did you think about last night?”
He cleared his throat and said, “Yes, right. It was quite—”
“Sigfred!” She slapped her hands down on the sink and looked back at him. “It was nothing like quite, it was more like Oh-My-God in the highest order. No offense.”
“Don’t keep saying quite! You could say yes, shocking or even jiminy crickets or holy ‘expletive omitted,’ but there was nothing quite about last night. I mean you were there, you saw everything.”
He couldn’t think of an appropriate response—at least, not one that he could articulate to his employer.
“Am I right, you did see everything?” she asked.
“Yes,” he said. “It was unintentional, of course, Ms. Manchester. I found you lying on the floor next to The Magpie.”
Her eyes widened, and her eyebrows arched upward in disapproval. “I didn’t mean that, Sigfred. I’m talking about my hands shooting those bolts of lightning from my fingertips—pure electricity!”
He cleared his throat again. “Ah, yes. And there was that.”
“It’s ridiculous. Absurd. People don’t emit electricity. Gladys says I should see a doctor. That I must have been exposed to the Electromite. Am I cursed?”
“It doesn’t seem to be life-threatening. On the contrary, you’ve become stronger by it, or so it seems. If I’m not mistaken, you saved the child from drowning because of it. Perhaps it’s not a curse, but a gift.”
She seemed to consider this, absentmindedly pulling at the mayor’s ring.
“Just a moment,” he said. “I think I can assist you with that little problem you’re having.” He opened the bottle of olive oil and drizzled some over her ring finger. Then, very gently, he began working the ring back and forth. He thrilled when he touched her, but she didn’t seem to react.
“I can fly, you know,” she said, her tone surprisingly casual.
“Yes, madame. I suspected that’s how you saved the boy.”
“What happens if I try to fly, and then these magical abilities suddenly vanish?”
“Perhaps they won’t ever vanish.”
“Yes, perhaps you’re right,” she said in a quiet, serious voice. “And that would mean I haven’t been infected at all. Instead, I’ve been inalterably changed. It would mean that there’s no cure. It means my body and spirit have been transformed into something … alien. It means I’m not Alexa anymore.”
“You’ll always be Alexa,” he said, reaching up and tipping her chin toward him with slippery fingers. His eyes locked on hers, and he spoke with hushed solemnity. “Nothing can ever change that.” He wanted to call her lovely Alexa, kind Alexa, beautiful Alexa, but of course, that was impossible.
“When I was inside The Magpie, I heard my father’s voice. Is that crazy?”
“Not at all, Ms. Manchester.”
She studied his face. “You don’t think I’m crazy?”
“Not at all.” And he meant it. Things went silent as they looked into each other’s eyes. Sigfred had just swayed imperceptibly closer to her when a sudden dull thunk interrupted them. The ring had finally fallen off, clattering into the sink. The moment was lost. He realized, with some awkwardness, that he was still touching her face and dropped his hand.
She colored and looked away, speaking a bit brusquely. “My father called me Electromancer. I get the ‘electro’ part of it, but what’s a ‘mancer’? Have you any clue?”
“You’ve got me there, madame.”
“Mancer? It must mean something.”
“Almost like Romancer.”
Her jaw dropped. “Oh, Sigfred. Not you, too.”
He stiffened. He wasn’t about to explore his feelings with her or to take the liberty of allowing his romantic thoughts about Alexa to go unrestrained. It was his utmost duty to remain her servant and protector, always physically near but emotionally distant. But when she’d transformed into this Electromancer, he had to admit to himself that she was absolutely and without a doubt the sexiest woman alive. Any red-blooded male would be hard pressed to deny that fact.
“What are you going to do about the mayor’s proposal?” he blurted out. So much for knowing his place. “He’s not worthy of you.”
“Bobby Baumgartner is the mayor of Kensington City. He might be prime minister one day.”
“I don’t care if he’s prime minister, king, and president of the Americanas combined. He’s beneath you.”
“And just who are you to talk about rank?”
Her words stung, the pain more intense than the damage those thugs had inflicted the previous night. “Quite right, madame,” he said. “My station is lowly. But I’m one thing the mayor isn’t. I’m a man of integrity.”
“I saw the way you looked at me last night. I may have been Electromancer, but I know when a man is gawking at me.”
“I wasn’t gawking. I was appreciating the qualities of … You’re a beautiful woman, madame.”
“You mean, Electromancer is beautiful.”
“No, madame. I mean you. Alexa Manchester.”
She looked at him in surprise.
“What’s the meaning of this?” Chef Yurdlemon bellowed from across the room. “Who is invading my kitchen? You are trespassers.” He pointed at Sigfred. “Especially you, Sigfred Sawyer.”
Sigfred nodded slowly. He was trespassing, though not in the way Yurdlemon meant.
“This mess with the olive oil is all my fault,” Alexa said. “I was using it to try to get this ring off. It was stuck on my finger. Sigfred was just trying to help me.”
“You used my cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil to remove a ring?” Yurdlemon cried. “Such olive oil is not for ring removal. Such olive oil is to make a divine dinner as only I can make it. The olives for that oil come from a small orchard in Sicily that produces only two hundred cases a year! Do you know what that costs? More than a Chateau Latour Bordeaux. More than a fine Sauternes. I need it for my dinner preparations. Oh, everything is ruined now. Each and every minute of preparation is accounted for. There won’t be time enough left in the day, not now. Not when I’m forced to return to the market, where I can only get inferior olive oil.” Chef Yurdlemon grabbed the sides of his head and looked as if he were about to sob. It wouldn’t have been the first time.
About the Author:
Daco is an award-winning author of the espionage-thriller series featuring CIA operative Jordan Jakes. Her debut novel, The Libra Affair, was a 2013 #1 best seller. Of The Libra Affair, Publishers Weekly said, “The keenly sharp intelligent female characters soar in this edge-of-your-seat adventure…”
Her short story The Pisces Affair was a 2015 Global Ebook Awards double gold medalist (Best Thriller Fiction and Best Science Fiction), a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable 100, a 2015 Royal Palm Literary Award winner, and a Publishers Weekly “PW Pick”.” In its review of The Pisces Affair, Publishers Weekly wrote, “Jakes is a lively and witty narrator with the wits and skills of James Bond, and readers will savor her fresh perspective on being a woman in the male-dominated spy world.”
Her story The Virgo Affair is part of Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded (Diversion Press, October 2015), an anthology, including numerous best-selling authors.
Electromancer (F+W Media, Inc./Crimson Romance, February 2016), is her first superhero novel, featuring Electromancer and Blue Arrow.
Upcoming works include The Scorpio Affair, a Jordan Jakes novel, and The Ophiuchus Affair, another Jordan Jakes short story.
Daco holds a B.A. and M.A.S. from The University of Alabama in Huntsville and a J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Authors Guild, Alabama Writers Forum, Florida Writers, and Alabama State Bar.
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