Sunday, May 5, 2019

Monster (Arca, Book 4) by Karen Diem

Release date: May 5, 2019
Subgenre: Urban Fantasy, Superheroes

About Monster:


Tax season. It's all forms and games until someone loses a murderer.

Authorities have abandoned the search for a sadistic serial killer with a grudge against Zita Garcia's family. Never one to sit still, the sometime superhero and reluctant tax preparer will do whatever it takes to find him.

With her loved ones at stake, she'll call in her best friends and questionable new allies to help. If finding her quarry means Zita has to fight literal monsters, wrangle glitter-obsessed vampires, or go to a nightclub, she'll do it. Even if the undead and line dances make her skin crawl. She needs to get her mask on and solve this fast—before things go from bad to hearse.

A shovel to get through the three feet of snow wouldn't hurt either.

Monster is the fourth book in the Arca superhero urban fantasy series and includes immoderate language, lame sexual innuendo, and comic book violence.




It’s stupid to wake a dragon. It’s suicidal to wake one by repeatedly poking it with a pointy stick.
From the looks of the scene on the television, someone had not only found Dragon, a murderous metahuman from the Seventies, but they had also found a stick long and pointy enough to wake him. The town of Al Jawf now burned as a consequence.
Zita Garcia—extreme sports enthusiast, tax preparer, and secret vigilante—blinked sleep out of her eyes as she watched her best friend’s television. “I hope they missed hitting him with those tactical nukes all those years ago because it’ll be pretty hard to take down a creature that survived direct hits.” As she spoke, she yanked on the purple Spandex-like sportswear she had to wear when using her powers. The special fabric disappeared when she shapeshifted to an animal form but reappeared when she claimed a human one. Any other clothing shredded, and people took her even less seriously when she was naked, much to her annoyance. Plus, sometimes she got cold or needed to carry snacks.
Wyn cinched the belt on her silky teal bathrobe, hazel eyes troubled. Despite the early hour, her hair still cascaded in perfect chestnut ringlets over her slim shoulders, and she appeared to have escaped a high-end pajama party photo shoot for a magazine. A minuscule cup of tea and an e-reader sat abandoned on a table nearby, next to a tidy pile of lavender fabric. Almost identical lilac-point Siamese cats sat on either side of her crimson sofa, like malevolent, glaring bookends. “They’re going to need our help there, regardless of what happened with the missiles in the Seventies. You didn’t get dressed before you came here? Or at least comb your hair?”
“You woke me from a sound sleep and said it was an emergency. I thought you were in trouble, so I grabbed my basic Arca gear and came. Snuck in and everything in case you were being held hostage and didn’t even stop to grab the new sweatshirt part of the costume. Was I supposed to hesitate?” In a concession to her friend, Zita paused to smooth down her short black hair, every strand of which seemed to be going in a different direction, save for the side she’d been sleeping on, which was flattened by her pillow. Her night clothes, a well-worn sleeveless white undershirt and fuzzy rainbow leopard print pants, lay in a heap at her bare brown feet.
Wyn sighed. “No, I suppose not. At least Andy’s not here to blush. Do you want your phone or shoes?”
Zita shook her head. “Phone wouldn’t work overseas anyway, and I have to go in flying, so might as well leave the shoes here… so they’re not wrecked when I shift. We’ll have to just use party line,” she replied, referencing the telepathic communication that Wyn could create between herself, Zita, and their friend Andy.
After sighing, Wyn inclined her head. Her eyes unfocused as she stared into the distance.
Warmth ran through Zita as Wyn connected to her mind. Thanks.
Distantly, Andy’s presence joined the connection, his thoughts groggy. Hi, guys. Z, you couldn’t have Wyn wake me with a phone call?


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About Karen Diem:


Karen Diem is an independent fantasy author who loves books (not really a surprise), RPGs, animals (especially big dogs and fat cats), music, and superheroes. She's married and lives tucked away with her family somewhere, where they subsist on peanut butter sandwiches far more often than may be healthy. In her previous life, Karen was a nonfiction author and a number of less interesting things.  

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