Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Thousand Word Ficlet From Cari Z

Cari Z, whose wonderful Panopolis books have me completely absorbed, found a picture that inspired her.


“Dance with me.”

I shake my head at Greg, who’s on his third glass of champagne tonight. I can’t blame him; his sister just got married. Everyone else is well into their cups at this point too―there’s something to be said for a southern wedding, namely that the food is better and the alcohol is freer than at any other event I’ve ever attended. The company, however? That definitely leaves something to be desired. We’ve gotten more dark looks for our matching suits than I can count, although that could be in part because Leila’s colors are purple and gold. Purple’s not a good look on me.

Still, it doesn’t make sense to rock the boat now. We’ll be gone in less than an hour, and I sincerely hope to never be the center of this much awkward attention again.

“Dance with meee,” Greg insists, leaning his head forward on his hands. He’s shorter than I am, very cute, and debilitatingly adorable when he wants to be. Like now. “C’mon, we practiced and everything!”

“Watching Dancing With The Stars doesn’t count as practice,” I say.

“It does, though! Rory, c’mon.” He grins at me. “You don’t have to dip me or throw me in the air. We just have to move together.”



I gesture around us. “What about them?”

“What about them?” he persists. “It’s Leila’s wedding, they’re not going to say anything. If they do, she’ll shut them down before we can even open our mouths. Rory.” His grin turns into a smile, soft and private. “Please, dance with me. Just one song.”

That’s the reason we’re wearing coordinated suits. I have a hard time saying no to him. “One song,” I agree, and stand up. The lights are dim, but I still feel like everyone is watching me. I’ve been in too many arguments, too many fights, to want to take that scrutiny in silence, but then Greg is in front of me, stepping close. He puts his right hand in mine, and I tuck my free hand in the small of his back. He feels warm even through the layers of suit, and when he brushes up against me, his eyes are locked on mine.

“Now we move,” he tells me, a bit breathless.

“Yes,” I say softly, and lead him into the first step of the dance.


Mmm, yes, Cari Z knows how to get the guys to cuddle up. Or punch noses, or survive zombies, or... Cari's guys do a lot of things.

Love superheroes? You'll love them even more Panopolis style, with adventure, angst, and a couple of tropes stood on their heads.

Her latest, Where There's a Will, gets reviewed next week, but it's not a spoiler to say I LOVED IT.

Being a Hero in Panopolis means living the high life: parties, money, influence, even reality television. And I’m one of the most powerful Heroes in the city. I have plenty of fans, a manager who looks out for me (after himself), and a job that pays the bills. I should be enjoying myself.
Unfortunately, the downside of my superpower means I can’t touch anyone, which tends to put a damper on things. I probably don’t deserve all those perks anyway, since I’m working in secret with two of Panopolis’s biggest Villains to undermine GenCorp—my main sponsor and the company that controls what gets through my force field.
I obviously don’t trust my corporate overseers, but they’ve hired a new scientist who actually seems interested in helping me. Dr. Mansourian might have the answers to all my questions—not to mention a starring role in most of my dreams—but he’s hiding something big. If I let him have what he wants, I might not live to regret it.  
Then again, the way things are going in Panopolis these days, I might not live either way.
Preorder at Riptide, read May 2.


  1. Hot ficlet and I can't wait to read this book! Cari is one of my auto-buys. Congrats on the new book!


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