She’s Bad News
What would you do if you woke up with super powers?

For Bella Brown, life hasn't gone according to plan. She's almost thirty, still living in her uneventful hometown, and her dreams of becoming an investigative reporter have fallen by the wayside.

That is, until she wakes up one morning to find she's been gifted with some amazing new abilities. What’s a girl to do with heightened senses, super speed and the ability to lift a truck one-handed? Bella quickly discovers that her new powers can easily help her land front-page leads at local newspaper The Hartleybourne Gazette.

Soon Bella's out every night chasing down local criminals for stories, while keeping her powers a secret from everyone besides flatmate Chloe. But when a burglary-gone-wrong accidentally turns her into the mysterious Hartleybourne Heroine, Bella finds herself on the front page for the wrong reasons. Her secret becomes harder to keep as she tries to track down the source of her powers, and especially when crime reporter Matt Gilmore is intent on unmasking the town's new vigilante...

Suddenly, having an extraordinary life is far more dangerous than she ever imagined.

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She's Bad News follows Bella Brown, an aspiring journalist in a small town who thinks that luck is against her – that is, until she wakes up with super powers.

In this extract, Bella has just bought a disguise to help conceal her identity when she's out at night using her new-found abilities, much to the amusement of best friend Chloe. Not only is Bella using her 'P-word' for stories, but she's also trying to track down the source of the powers...

“You bought what, Bel? Are you for real?”
            Chloe looked down at the discreet little black tote from The Cage and snatched it from my grasp. “I have to see this,” she said, delving in and pulling out my PVC mask. She brought it to her face, tying the strips of fabric around her head before dancing round the kitchen, gyrating to the CD she had playing in the background. It was a funny sight. “You? In this? What are you gonna look like, babe? Hmm, actually, I quite like it. It's kinky. But why?”
            “I decided to buy a disguise.”
            Chloe untied the mask and put it down on the counter. I put the kettle on.
            “I can see that,” she said. “You know you could have bought that online, right? Along with your spandex and cape.”
            “My leggings and bum-bag combo is costume enough, thank you,” I laughed, thinking of how absurd I’d look trawling the streets dressed like Lady Justice. “And I bought it because I need it. For tonight.”
            “Tonight? Bel, it’s cold and dark outside. More importantly, it’s Saturday night. Chill time. You haven’t been sleeping properly lately. I can tell.”
            “I’ll catch up. It’s hard to sleep with sirens blaring and boy-racers blasting music down the street anyway.”
            “Chill time, babe! What’s all this about? Does it have anything to do with your stories by any chance?”
            Chloe raised a stern eyebrow. Of course, she knew. Concealing anything from her was impossible.
            “Okay, yes. It does. Getting those exclusives gave me a good feeling. If I carry on, maybe the Gazette will take me seriously. But before I do that, I need to get more stories. Get info that Matt Gilmore and Tom and the others won’t. And I can do that. All I have to do is make sure I get there first. I just can’t risk giving away my identity. The Daring Dauber already saw me. Hence, the mask. I’ll only put it on when I really need to.”
            “If you’re sure, babe.”
            “There’s a crime spree in Hartleybourne,” I said. “Thefts, burglaries, anti-social behaviour…not only would I be doing myself a favour, I’d also be helping out the police. Have you seen the recent stats on how understaffed our town’s police force is? It’s a win-win. Plus, if I do well at the Gazette, with some front-page leads in my portfolio there’s a better chance of me getting a proper reporting role.”
            “Out of Hartleybourne, you mean?”
            I nodded, noticing the strictness fade from her face. In its place was the slightest hint of disappointment. “It’s what I’ve always wanted,” I said. “I’ve lived here forever.”
            “Well,” said Chloe, getting two mugs from the cupboard and passing them to me. A tea-making team. “If you want it, you need to go get it! Just don’t go putting yourself in danger, okay? If you need me, just call. I can drive Delilah!”
            “Don’t panic, Chlo. I’ll be fine. In the meantime, I’ll find out where my powers came from. Even if it means digging deeper into SegPharma. There’s definitely something dodgy about that place.”
            I stirred the tea into the mugs. Round and round. Then Chloe shrieked excitedly, startling me, sending the spoon clattering to the floor. “Chlo! My ears, remember?”
            “Oh god, yeah! So sorry. But I totally forgot to tell you. NARCIS sent me an email yesterday. Said they had some special offers, would you like to come down for another visit to Hitchin? And that they’re really excited about that article in Entice. Um, could you please not give out my email address to people, especially if they’re dodgy and you’re pretending to be someone you're not?”
            So NARCIS had replied after all. And they wanted to see me. Strangely, as much as I wanted to find out more, as much as I needed to get my arse back down to that so-called dream factory and find out what who or what was behind the P-word, I didn’t feel comfortable about it. Not one bit.
            “Sorry about that. It was a spur of the moment thing.” I grabbed the mask from the counter and stuffed it into my satchel. “Right. See you later, Chlo. I have work to do!”

Author Bio – Elle Spellman is a writer and comic book geek living in Bristol, UK. She's been writing since a very young age, spending her childhood afternoons penning stories about fictional adventures, and illustrating them too.

Now, Elle tends to write contemporary fiction with kick-ass heroines and a little bit of magic. She's Bad News is her debut novel, and she's just finished working on her second. Her other interests include running, wine, red lipstick, the paranormal, and all things Batman.

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