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ANNOUNCEMENT: Balance of Power, by Damien Benoit-Ledoux

Balance of Power

QSFer Damien Benoit-Ledoux has a new queer superhero book out, the final book in the Guardians pentology: Balance of Power.

As The Order’s decimated leadership cowers and licks its wounds after Blake’s brutal blitz against the Archimandrion Council and the successful capture of the Seavey Island facility by U.S. Marines, the maniacal Victor Kraze seizes control of the organization’s resources and strikes back at teenage superhero Quinn McAlester.

Dumbfounded by Victor’s sudden and zealous propensity for destruction and revenge, Quinn enlists the help of the enigmatic and reluctant tutor Ana Maria Garcia to stop the super villain from enacting his master plan of unleashing an army of sinister superhumans determined to to destroy anything that gets in his way.

Faced with growing odds, a sinister plan, unexpected loss, and no time to grieve the loss of his best friend, Quinn and his small team of dedicated individuals risk everything to protect the people they love and keep the world safe until they can restore balance to the awesome power Quinn wields.

Enjoy the exciting and satisfying conclusion to The Guardians pentalogy, a tale of unexpected teenage superheroes and villains.

BALANCE OF POWER is the exciting, super-powered conclusion of the GUARDIANS pentalogy, a tale of unexpected teenage superheroes and villains. Guardians is a fun superhero/urban fantasy novel series based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. With lovable characters, exciting action, memorable moments, and unexpected twists, Guardians is sure to delight all fans of the genre.

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Excerpt

Quinn finished a set of chest presses in the family’s basement workout area. Even though he had super strength, lifting weights in winter when he couldn’t run outside helped clear his mind when he needed to think. In order to get a semblance of a work out, he simply grabbed the heaviest weights and did as many reps as he could until his muscles pseudo-fatigued. He paused when his super hearing detected the sound of the special ringtone he had assigned to Agent Hartman and Lieutenant Doral.

He grabbed his towel, wiped off his sweaty torso and the weight bench, then jogged upstairs to his bedroom where his cell phone vibrated on his desk. Though he had missed the first call, the cell phone immediately rang again and he answered it.

“What’s up, Agent Hartman?” he asked.

“Blue Spekter, we need you to go to the shipyard immediately. We just got word that Victor is back in town and he’s pissed.”

“Yikes, what is he doing?”

“He is currently extricating the USS Thunderchild from the water docks in front of the shipyard.”

“Uh, what is a Thunderchild?”

“It is one of the newest classes of nuclear fast-attack submarines. It’s in the shipyard this month for routine maintenance.”

Someone shouted something unintelligible in the background.

“What?” Agent Hartman yelled. “Are you kidding me?”

“No,” the unknown voice responded.

“So, apparently it’s on fire as well. It’s a nuclear submarine, Blue Spekter. I don’t think I need to tell you how bad that could be for the entire seacoast area.”

“I’m on it,” Quinn answered. “Call Ana Maria while you’re at it.”

“We’ve already left her voice messages. Please be sure to put your ear-comm in because we may need to relay instructions or communicate with you.

“No problem,” Quinn said glancing at the silver box on his bureau. They had given him a number of state-of-the-art micro communication devices designed especially for him to use in the field. Even though he didn’t initially trust the ear-comms, he decided to accept and use the devices. Quinn dashed into his closet and grabbed one of his super suits. Although he was sweaty and gross from his workout, he skipped a shower and quickly dressed. He texted his parents about the attack and then tucked his phone into the protective pocket of the blue pants. Then, he slipped out the back door and rocketed into the sky.

Blue Spekter flew across Portsmouth through the blinding nor’easter snowstorm that descended on New England to the naval shipyard, blue light streaking behind him as he nearly broke the sound barrier. When he arrived, his mouth fell open with surprise at the sight of the submarine’s bow rising out of the water. The top of the boat burned with hot fire.

Usually, the submarines were hard to spot in the harbor unless you knew what to look for. Only the conning tower, its antennas, and occasionally the rear fin over the propeller—depending on the class of submarine—stuck out of the water when it was surfaced in the dock. The Navy took great care to protect the submarine from photographers in Prescott Park and enemy spy satellites. Today however, everyone would get an unprecedented view of the massive boat if Blue Spekter didn’t stop Tasmanian.

As Blue Spekter approached, he immediately sensed Tasmanian and spotted him perched on one of the giant yellow utility cranes. When he flew into Victor’s proximity sensing range, he saw the black-clad super villain jerk with surprise and grab the side of his head. The submarine briefly groaned and creaked in protest as Tasmanian’s concentration faltered for a moment. Men were scrambling out of the submarine’s top hatches and jumping through the flames to the icy water below to escape whatever Tasmanian was up to.

Good, you still haven’t gotten used to sensing others yet, but that could be bad if you drop the submarine.

Blue Spekter flew close enough to yell at Tasmanian, then hovered in the air and yelled at him. “Victor, I’m only going to ask you this once. Stop what you’re doing and put that submarine back in the water where it belongs.”

Victor ignored him and continued elevating the submarine. Now, the bow was completely out of the water, and it was only a matter of minutes until the propellers were out of the river as well.

Dammit, this is when I wish I had telekinesis. I have to work with Ana Maria and learn how to do that.

“What are you doing?” Blue Spekter shouted.

Victor glanced at him briefly. “Making sure you and your little team of make-believe heroes never threaten me again.”

What? How?

Blue Spekter looked to his right and gasped.

Oh my gosh, he’s going to hurl the submarine at the Naval prison and destroy it.


Author Bio

Damien’s mind is a magical and nerdy place where fantastic heroes defend amazing worlds from dangerous villains who run amuck in an epic struggle to take over the universe. Recently, the brightest and best from this colorful cast of characters have made their way into notes, plots, stories, and novels for you to read and enjoy.

Damien strongly believes the real world we live in should be a place where LGBTQA equality and acceptance are second nature and never questioned. When he’s not working or spending time with his husband and their dog, Damien weaves this philosophy into the exciting lives of his characters and the fantastic space battles and romances they endure so they’ll stop taking over his dreams at night.

And finally, he wants you to remember a very important thing: No matter how bad your day is at work, it’s always important to be grateful that you don’t work for a Sith Lord.

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