BLOG TOUR: Secondhand Origin Stories

Book Information Secondhand Origin Stories cover

Title: Secondhand Origin Stories

Author: Lee Blauersouth

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing

Publication date: 15 March 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction


Opal has been planning to go to Chicago and join the Midwest’s superhero team, the Sentinels, since she was a little kid. That dream took on a more urgent tone when her superpowered dad was unjustly arrested for protecting a neighbor from an abusive situation. Now, she wants to be a superhero not only to protect people, but to get a platform to tell the world about the injustices of the Altered Persons Bureau, the government agency for everything relating to superpowers.

But just after Opal’s high school graduation, a supervillain with a jet and unclear motives attacks the downtown home of the Sentinels, and when Opal arrives, she finds a family on the brink of breaking apart. She meets a boy who’s been developing secret (and illegal) brain-altering nanites right under the Sentinel’s

noses, another teenage superhero-hopeful who looks suspiciously like a long-dead supervillain, and the completely un-superpowered daughter of the Sentinels’ leader. Can four teens on the fringes of the superhero world handle the corruption, danger, and family secrets they’ve unearthed?

Book links

Goodreads —


Lee Blauersouth.jpg

After about a decade of drawing comics independently or with small presses, Lee started writing prose out of a combination of peer pressure and spite, then continued out of attachment to their favorite made-up people. They live in Minnesota even though it is clearly not a habitat humans were ever meant to endure, with their lovely wife/editor, the world’s most perfect baby, and books in every room of the house.

If you like categories, they’re an ENFJ Slytherin Leo. If you’re looking for demographics they’re an agender bisexual with a couple of disabilities. If you’re into lists of likes: Lee loves comics, classical art, round animals, tattoos, opera, ogling the shiner sciences, and queer stuff.

Author links

Author website —

Goodreads —

Pinterest —

Twitter —


Unfortunately I did not manage to finish the book in time so my review will be delayed but till then enjoy this excerpt that will leave you craving more!

Yael handled the subject change. “Do you have siblings?”

Opal grinned, digging out her phone. “I have a little sister.” She pulled up a picture, holding it out for them to see. “Shani’s 12. She’s deaf, and super-fast with her signing. She got Daddy’s upper-speed.” Opal laughed. “Even Auntie has trouble keeping up with her sometimes.”

Jamie sounded curious. “A deaf altered?”

“Sure. Just like my daddy. … Dad. She’s got luminescence, and speed, but no super-strength or anything She wants to be an EMT when she grows up, too. Just like him.” It was the perfect opening to ask, so she turned to Yael. “What about you? I mean, I saw… uhm… your powers…” Oval petered out.

All seven feet of Yael had gone rigid. Opal had overstepped. Not that Opal could blame her – if Opal had inherited the superpowers of Ezekiel of the Heavenly Rule Line, she might not want strangers commenting on it, either. The APB guards weren’t surprised, though, so it wasn’t exactly a secret.

More like a conspiracy.

Backtracking was impossible, so Opal forged ahead gamely. “The silver stuff looked pretty cool. Like CGI, almost. More like movie superpowers than anybody I know.”

Yael blinked, studying Opal silently. She looked confused. Jamie regarded them both from within the pod of her chair.

“Can you make ice out of thin air?” Opal blurted. She wanted to signal that she knew what it was without being weird about it. She’d call that a half-win.

“… Yes.” Yael answered slowly. “But not very much.”

“And heat resistance too, right? I thought I read that. That’d be really handy with cooking. No oven mitts, no grease burns – way more useful than live-in Christmas lights,” she finished, gesturing at her own blinking, nervous hands. Just ignore the awkward and maybe it’ll go away.

Yael opened her mouth, then closed it. “I never tried it.” Jamie was smiling, so Opal’s flailing reassurance had sort of come across, at least. Yael’s broad shoulders slowly dropped back to a posture of relaxation, re-engaging. “You know, they weren’t supposed to be lights. They were supposed to deliver electrical shocks. Like Papa’s. Er – like Helix.”

Opal blinked, tilting her head to the side. “Where did you hear that?”

Yael shrugged. “Jenna told me, I think. They used to give her and Melissa notes from altering events, so she was one of the people who figured out what was going on.”

This was the APB all over. Opal wasn’t allowed complete access to her own medical records. Even her mom, who was a nurse, wasn’t allowed to see them. But it was idle gossip for the people the APB was cozy with. “Huh,” was all she said.

Jamie gripped the ropes of her low chair, leaning forward, voice low. “Yael, show her the other one.”

Yael chewed her lip, looking at Opal, hoping but hesitant. Opal leaned forward as well. A second power? So – two altered parents, from different lines?

Yael stood, and looked over her shoulder, as if checking to see if anyone was around. Then looked back at Opal, then the floor, as if focusing. The shift was accompanied by a tiny noise that distracted Opal at first. Like a crinkling, but wet. It was barely on the edge of Opal’s hearing. The change was subtle, but the end effect was clear. “Oh! That’s why I thought you were a huge dude when I first met you! You were!”

Yael seemed a little bashful about the attention. “It’s helpful sometimes. It makes some people easier to deal with.”

Opal nodded. She tried to imagine flipping from girl to boy like that, and couldn’t.

Shape changing. So that meant – Oh. Sure. Miriam. The other half of the South Dakota Uprising. Geez, what a family tree.

“Maybe we could learn the sign for ‘xe’?” Jamie suggested with a lean.

“Xe? Oh! Oh, that makes sense, huh? A pronoun that covers all your options. ASL doesn’t have gendered pronouns, though, so you’re all set.”

Yael’s smile was hesitant, almost shy, and was interrupted by the nearest door opening.


23 April (Monday)

24 April (Tuesday)

25 April (Wednesday)

26 April (Thursday)

27 April (Friday)


25 thoughts on “BLOG TOUR: Secondhand Origin Stories

  1. alexandrareads says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fanna says:

    I love the excerpt you chose to mention! It was definitely great to come across a gender fluid character and this scene made me happy because all the characters were genuinely trying to use the correct pronoun and actually learn stuff. That’s what’s needed! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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