Welcome to author CB Lee and the Not Your Villain virtual blog tour! Not Your Villain is book two in the acclaimed Young Adult series Sidekick Squad from Duet/Interlude Press, and we’re so pleased to share not only an exclusive excerpt from the book with you but a giveaway as well, so be sure to check out the entry details below.
About the Book
Series Title: Sidekick Squad, Book Two
Pub Date: October 5, 2017
Pages: 320 (79,500 words)
Publisher: Duet, the Young Adult imprint of Interlude Press
Cover Design: CB Messer
Blurb: Bells Broussard thought he had it made when his superpowers manifested early. Being a shapeshifter is awesome. He can change his hair whenever he wants, and if putting on a binder for the day is too much, he’s got it covered. But that was before he became the country’s most wanted villain.
After discovering a massive cover-up by the Heroes’ League of Heroes, Bells and his friends Jess, Emma, and Abby set off on a secret mission to find the Resistance. Meanwhile, power-hungry former hero Captain Orion is on the loose with a dangerous serum that renders meta-humans powerless, and a new militarized robotic threat emerges.
Sometimes, to do a hero’s job, you need to be a villain.
“Hi, I’m Carlos,” he says. He dimples when he smiles. “I brought sandwiches for everyone and snacks!”
Up close, he looks like a classic holostar, as if he could have walked right off a movie set. He’s adorable and thoughtful. Bells wants to hate him.
After a chorus of hellos and introductions, Bells joins in with a half-hearted, “Hey.”
It unfolds like a movie, a coming-of-age teen drama in which Bells is a spectator, watching life happen. Carlos is a generous listener and a fantastic bowler. And if Bells had to rate all of the people Emma’s dated, he has to admit Carlos is the best. He cheers when Emma scores; he talks animatedly with Abby about her captaincy on the volleyball team. He gets into a long discussion with Jess about vintage superhero comics and even draws Christine into a conversation about current fashion trends.
He’s nice and smart and gorgeous and there’s really no competition here at all.
The conversation turns to sports, and Abby and Emma talk about volleyball and Carlos listens intently. Jess gives Bells a look, and he shrugs as if to say, I don’t have anything to add, why bother? Jess raises her eyebrows. He settles for throwing the bowling ball. Carlos is winning, of course, but no one has paid attention to the game in a while. His ball rolls into the gutter.
Christine surprises him by kissing him wetly on the cheek and then whispering in his ear, “Laugh. Not too loudly, just pretend I told you something really hilarious, but we’re the only ones who get it.”
Bells laughs and then pulls back and grins at her.
“Aww, you guys are so cute,” Emma says, but her smile doesn’t quite reach her eyes.
“You said you lived in Vegas?” Carlos asks with friendly interest. “How’d you meet Bells?”
“It was art camp in Aerial City, right Bells?” Emma says, fixing him with a smile. Bells can tell there’s an unspoken question. “It was so beautiful in Bells’ photos.”
Christine gives Bells the briefest of looks. “Oh, it was so lovely, all that green and rustling of the trees. And the walkways, so romantic, you’re so high up…”
Emma raises her eyebrows and laughs. “I bet a lot of your time was cut short because of how skittish Bells gets around heights.”
“Yeah, we hung out a lot at the school, not so much the walkways,” Bells says hastily. “We did meet on one, and she saved me from having to walk alone.”
Christine picks up the story and then engages them all with colorful anecdotes about Vegas and how she and Bells decided to keep in touch. All in all, it’s not a bad time, Bells decides, taking a bite of his sandwich. It’s delicious, of course.
As they turn off their lanes, Carlos walks over to Bells. “So, I hear you’re a great artist! Love to see your work sometime.”
“Ah, that’s kind of private,” Bells hedges.
Emma snorts and playfully nudges Bells with her shoulder. “Bells barely lets us see what he’s working on; maybe if he’s finished something and feels happy with it, but yeah, tough luck there.”
Bells wants to hate Carlos so badly, but he can’t. The guy is just too nice. Bells almost wants to date him.
About the Author
C.B. Lee is a bisexual writer based in California. She is a first-generation Asian American and holds a BA in sociology and environmental science, which occasionally comes in handy in her chosen career, but not usually. Lee enjoys reading, hiking, rock climbing and other outdoor pursuits.
Not Your Sidekick (2016) was named a finalist for both the Lambda Literary Awards and the Bisexual Book Awards. Lee’s first novel, Seven Tears at High Tide (2015), was also a Bisexual Book Awards finalist. She is a Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fellow.
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Not Your Villain // Five winners receive the multi-format eBook