But you're not here for advertizing, because let's face it, if you're reading this you've already read my books.
Book one's editing is so close to finished that I can finally share with you the two significant additions. I put two points in the first book about why Penny and her friends weren't caught that were too subtle, and not many people picked up on. Given their crucial importance, I thought I'd better go back and make them a little more eye-catching! Here they are:
I stared. I was being treated to what should have been a close-up of Claire as she and Gabriel chatted, but it wasn’t. Who was this girl? Claire didn’t have a dimple. I’d been seeing Claire’s smile most of our lives, and she didn’t.
Or did she, with her power turned up high? What exactly did she look like then? All I could remember were eyes and a mouth, those oh-so-serious expressions she was giving Gabriel.
My stupid mouth acted on automatic. “She almost looks like Claire.”
Dad just chuckled. “She does, doesn't she? I think it was a half-hearted attempt to frame Claire. The name is deliberate, and the costume is a reference to her power. I say 'half-hearted', because if E-Claire were really trying she would hide her face. The first words out of your mother's mouth were 'Her cheekbones are wrong', and her body language was wrong in the first video. She can't even claim to be Claire in makeup.”
Claire Lutra, you little vixen. You knew all along your secret identity was completely safe. Your Mom must have known as well. And if E-Claire couldn't possibly be Claire, then her teammates couldn't be me and Ray. You devious shape-changing vixen, Claire. You'd covered us all.
“The Brain Auk does sound like a mixup waiting to happen,” I conceded, letting my grin at least peek out.
Dad's mouth twisted in momentary disgust. “So did the Dark Brain, Bad Brian, Sir Brian the Brave, and that guy with the mind control powers who just called himself 'Brian'. He was never caught. By the time we figured out what he was doing, he'd disappeared.” Woo, so much weight on those words. Dad really hadn't liked that guy. No wonder I'd never heard about him.
Dad was so eager to move on, he kept talking. “E-Claire is just the beginning of Claire's problems. When she gets older she'll have to deal with Clairevoyant, Clairion, and half a dozen others. Get used to people suspecting you're Penny Pincher, Penelope Peril, Penny For Your Thoughts, and probably Paranoiakk. I've always suspected we're related, and she's young and female.”
I giggled. It wasn't just funny. Safety from discovery felt pretty good. “Does this happen a lot?”
“Constantly. If you have a common name, there are hundreds of heroes and villains who share it. And they all love puns.”
Giving him my biggest, most impudent grin, I asked, “And the Brain Auk?”
My stratagem worked. He changed the subject.