By D.S. AUFFENORDE
Exclusive to the Kensington City Examiner
Twice I’ve tailed that elusive, hunky, and handsome Sigfred Sawyer, butler, valet, chauffeur, and all around protector of heiress Alexa Manchester, who is under fire because her power plants keep failing and plunging the major cities of the world into darkness. Confidential sources tell me that Sawyer might have a pipeline to Electromancer, the superwoman flying around the planet in a platinum suit, restoring power, and putting out fires merely with electricity that shoots from her fingers. While many butlers are aged and doddering, this young and strapping Sawyer fellow has the agile moves of a trained assassin (Hmm … hot stuff!). It’s as though the man can elude you by walking through walls. In any event, I needed to catch up with him for professional reasons. Yes, professional reasons. So this reporter decided to go undercover and in disguise—as a man (I know, hard to believe anyone would confuse this reporter with a male, but it’s amazing what wardrobe and makeup can do these days.) So, on this day, I bribed the starter at the Kensington City Country Club, who allowed me to work as a caddy in a twosome that included the betrothed couple Alexa Manchester and Mayor Bobby Baumgartner, with Sigfred Sawyer as Manchester’s caddy. Which meant I was caddying for The Mayor. While I was dressed in a golf shirt, slacks, and a Ben Hogan cap, Sigfred Sawyer was wearing a necktie tied with an elegant Eldridge knot, a hand-knit cotton dress shirt, khaki slacks, and perfectly polished black loafers with soft spikes. The man looked as if he were dressed for a yacht party. The outfit couldn’t hide his bulging biceps, however. Between shots, I used the opportunity to pump him for information on Electromancer [using my best Cockney accent, of course]. Sawyer was taciturn until The Mayor hit a drive on the second hole right down the middle, pumped his fist in triumph, and gloated at Alexa Manchester.
DA: [To Sigfred.] The Mayor doesn’t seem to be a very good winner?
SS: [Glancing at Alexa] In more ways than one.
DA: What is it that you do, Mr. Sawyer? I mean when you’re not traipsing around fetching balls. Servicing the heiress. [Wink.]
SS: I beg your pardon.
DA: Hey, loosen your collar there, Sawyer. I saw the way Manchester looked at you.
SS: [The macho butler glared at me with his beautiful azure eyes.]
DA: Say, I heard in the caddy shack that you have a relationship with Electromancer. What a hot chick she is—that platinum hair and platinum suit and those big—”
SS: I am a proper man who respects women. And I do not like your tone. You’re a perfect caddy for that male chauvinist, that so-called mayor, Baumgartner.
DA: You don’t like him?
SS: I don’t like the way he treats Ms. Manchester. She’s an independent, philanthropic, brave woman, the head of a corporation that does only good for the world. And Baumgartner is a snake-oil salesman. A sexist one at that.
DA: Sounds like you’re a bit jealous of The Mayor. Have you let your employer know how you feel about her?
SS: [Sawyer sighed]. Ah, I’m afraid that can never be. I worked for her father as his valet, and when Mr. Manchester disappeared in the course of his experiments with that magical meteorite we call Electromite, I became Ms. Manchester’s servant. She’s wealthy and aristocratic, and I’m just a humble servant. Never the twain shall meet.
DA: Come on, Siggy. This is the present day Britannia. No one thinks that way anymore. Alexa has hit her ball into the woods, there. Now’s your chance.
SS: She’s engaged to be married. It wouldn’t be right. Besides, three’s a crowd.
DA: Oh, I don’t know. Love triangles make for great romance novels. You, Alexa, and The Mayor. You, Electromancer, and Blue Arrow. What a great story that would be.
SS: I don’t read romance novels.
DA: You don’t know what you’re missing. Especially romance novels about superheroes. Nothing’s better. And I can recommend a great one.
Sawyer gave me a look of disgust, but then Alexa Manchester called for his help. He followed after her and they disappeared into the woods. At that moment, I envied Alexa Manchester, but being an objective journalist who has her standards, I did not follow them. I am no paparazzo. Meanwhile, I thought The Mayor would be suspicious of his fiancée disappearing into the forest with one of the best-looking men I’ve ever seen, but he was too busy crowing over his wedge shot, which had stopped four feet from the pin. It was a good day of golf but only a so-so day for investigative reporting. This intrepid reporter will take a pain reliever and soak her aching back from carrying clubs, then find a meaningful conclusion to this story.
You can learn more about Electromancer and others in the romantic, thrilling, superhero novel, 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.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/5GE2uOWM_3M
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.