I hate to limit myself to only five reasons. That constraint squeezes my brain like a pair of spike-heeled pumps three sizes too small.
I struggle against my own limits! I want to be slim, fit, strong, smart—but I’m crazy about chocolate, and I’m afflicted with an overwhelming love of naps. And it’s so hard to figure out how to set the clock on my microwave. Fantasizing about people with fewer limitations gives me sweet relief from my own frustration with myself.
Enter, the fabulous fugitive super-soldier characters from the Obsidian Files stories. My tailor-made compensation. Here are the five top good things that came out of their awful sojourn with the sadistic Midland researchers back in the day. All that torment had to be good for something.
- Super strength. The convenience of it. Need to move a refrigerator? No problem. A grand piano needs to be taken down five flights of stairs? He won’t even break a sweat. Need to push a van? Uphill? He’s your guy. And he’ll never, ever throw his back out. That’s pure gold. A couple years ago, I read an online article about gene-splicing in mice for muscle strength, and it blew my mind. These things are real, and they’re happening right now. And who knows how far they’ve gone. I like to extrapolate … wildly! But I have a sneaking suspicion that my extrapolations don’t even begin to cover how far science may have actually gone. Which is scary, and yet it geeks me out no end.
- A steel-trap photographic memory. These dudes will never forget your birthday or anniversary, nor will they absentmindedly give you the same gift for the occasion twice. Hell, a guy like that would be able to remember the exact proportion of powdered sugar to lemon juice in your favorite cake glaze—forever. And he’ll retain any password, for any device, for any online account ever generated. Wait. Actually, that’s kind of creepy. Let’s not focus on that.
- Cybernetic implants that allow him to interface directly with computers and insta-hack any database. He can upload a language in the blink of an eye. He can drive a car remotely with his eyes closed. Or hack into a satellite and stare down through its eyes in real time. The possibilities are infinite. But don’t worry. He’s a good guy. He can handle the crushing responsibility of his omniscience.
- Sexual prowess. Not to put too fine a point on it … but in my imaginary world, all that sensory augmentation and brain stimulation translates into exquisite sensibility, control, technique and stamina. Add in a massive dose of the magic ingredient, true and passionate love, and all that power is put at the heroine’s service. Oh, yes, yes. And let’s not forget the gorgeous sculpted muscles and the intense, smoldering gaze. I definitely would rank this quality in the top five in terms of mutant boyfriend perks.
- Combat readiness: Let’s face it—the word is freaking scary these days. Bullets are flying in every direction, war and terrorism left and right, violent storms raging, wildfires blazing, earthquakes rumbling, volcanoes exploding. Having an indomitable berserker warrior super-soldier ready to kick ass for you if ever you needed it would be, well … comforting, to say the least.
Aside from all the science-fiction/bio-tech-freak stuff, the real issue is power. My heroes have so much of it, they have to hide their abilities so as not to terrify the world, to say nothing of revealing their identities to their archnemesis, Obsidian. Their power resides at that perfect balancing point between dark and light. Ass-kicking warrior aggression can be a dangerous and destructive force—unless it’s wielded by a true hero with unshakeable principles and absolute self-control.
I’m talking about a guy who could hold a butterfly in his fist, punch that fist through a cinderblock wall, and then let the unharmed butterfly flutter away. Power tempered by valor, heroism and love. Vast power, but in the service of life, and the future. What a fantasy.
Most of you probably saw that viral video that came from Paris recently, the young immigrant guy from Mali who scrambled four flights up the face of an apartment building in less than a minute to save a little kid dangling from a balcony. I watched that clip over and over because it thrilled and heartened me so much. Cruelty and indifference is all around us, but so is selfless valor and heroism. Even if it’s usually hidden from our sight.
It can’t hurt, to imagine vast power in the service of love and life. So let’s all dream bigger.
About Shannon McKenna
Shannon McKenna is the NYT bestselling author of seventeen action packed, turbocharged romantic thrillers, among which are the stories of the wildly popular McCloud series and the brand new romantic suspense series, The Obsidian Files. She loves tough and heroic alpha males, heroines with the brains and guts to match them, villains who challenge them to their utmost, adventure, scorching sensuality, and most of all, the redemptive power of true love. Since she was small she has loved abandoning herself to the magic of a good book, and her fond childhood fantasy was that writing would be just like that, but with the added benefit of being able to take credit for the story at the end. Alas, the alchemy of writing turned out to be messier than she’d ever dreamed. But what the hell, she loves it anyway, and hopes that readers enjoy the results of her alchemical experiments. She loves to hear from her readers.
Come back to me…
Luke remembers a few things. Just not his last name, or anyone he ever knew. He knows that he’s a supersoldier, genetically enhanced and loaded up with brain implants. He just escaped from a year-long hell of captivity, and to protect his family and friends from his tormentors, he blocked his memories. Now he needs those memories back, fast…or he and those he loves will die agonizing deaths.
Luke’s dangerous plan to reconnect with his past—and stay alive in the present—has drawn his enemies’ attention to the tough and sexy Dani LaSalle. He’s duty bound to protect the luscious beauty from the evil pursuing them, but he can’t control the scorching desire she awakens in him.
Dani’s strict routine has been trashed by Luke’s explosive arrival. This rock-hard slab of valiant, smoldering manhood appears out of nowhere, saves her life, spirits her away to his mountain lair and bewilders her with tales of sadistic researchers, enhanced assassins. Is this gorgeous, problematic sex god just plain crazy—or is she? But Luke can do things with his mind that are just as wild as what he can do with that body…and she can’t say no.
And there’s no time to wonder. As their passion burns hotter, Obsidian moves closer…and Luke and Dani must place their lives and their hearts on the line just to survive…
Romance Suspense [Author Self-Published, On Sale: June 19, 2018, e-Book, ISBN: 2940162072065 / eISBN: 9780997794151]