Uncategorized

BLOG TOUR: Eve 2.0

Eve 2.0 Tour

Today on the blog, I am very excited to be a part of the blog tour for Eve 2.0 by Winter Lawrence. This combines two things I love: books and video games. A winning combination? Let’s take a look . . .

About the Book

Book Cover_Eve 2.0_The Ultimate Gaming ExperienceTitle: Eve 2.0

Author: Winter Lawrence

Genre: YA/Action/Adventure/Fantasy/Science-Fiction

Publisher: Fire & Ice Young Adult Books

Pub. Date: August 27, 2019

Find It: GoodReads, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords

Blurb: Gwen Nielson is a gamer and she’s damn proud of it. Her mother may be a former beauty queen and her kid sister may participate in every pageant the state of Colorado has to offer, but Gwen is content to stay at home and play on her Xbox. To her, life isn’t about fashion and make-up; it’s about making a difference and keeping a low profile. And while most of the girls at her high school hang out at the local country club vying for the popular boys’ attention, Gwen is cool with having a boyfriend she’s never met. Pete is a fellow online gamer who lives in California. He’s funny and sweet, and his father owns a gaming company, which is an added bonus because Gwen gets to test out new games before they’re released to the public.

When Pete mails a new game for her to beta test, Gwen patiently awaits its arrival, but the package is never delivered. To make matters worse, when she calls to let Pete know, she discovers that he’s at the hospital after succumbing to a mysterious illness. Hours later, an ambulance arrives next door because her neighbor’s youngest son, Ben, suddenly becomes ill too. His parents and doctors aren’t sure why he has slipped into a coma, but when Gwen finds her opened package in Ben’s bedroom, she begins to suspect that the game is responsible for both of the boys’ eerily similar conditions.

Even to Gwen, the idea of a game making people sick sounds absurd, so she decides to test her theory before going to her parents. Unfortunately, her neighbor’s older brother, Ryan, insists on checking out the game with her. That’s when they discover that the disc isn’t a game at all — it’s actually a portal to a high-tech government simulator named Eve 2.0 who’s programmed to trap players until they can complete all the timed objectives.

With her top-notched gaming skills, Gwen is a formidable opponent, but she quickly begins to realize that playing a game versus living it is a lot harder than she ever imagined. And as the objectives become more difficult and the four kids are forced to work as a team, Gwen concedes that she may not be as good as she needs to be, which just might end up costing her not only her own life, but Pete, Ryan, and Ben’s too.

Review: This was a fun read! I thought I knew what to expect, but I really didn’t have a clue. There were lots of twists and turns in this one that kept you guessing.

Once inside the Eve simulator, you can’t just get out. The doctors, the military — they chose to leave the kids inside and see how they did. I think everyone who plays video games has always dreamed about being able to enter the video game world. I play video games a fair amount, and although I can use a sword or a great axe or a crossbow when playing Lord of the Rings Online, I can guarantee you that I couldn’t do it for real! That’s just what Gwen has to adjust to.

It’s not just one game either. The first game they have to try and “play” through is very childlike and silly. Then they go into a first person shooter, more like Call of Duty. Then they’re in a zombie game. There’s no way of knowing where they’re going to wake up next or what obstacles they will have to face. Also, the zombie nuns that scream at you are just plain terrifying.

Gwen is a really spunky character. I love my fellow nerd girls! She is tough, but also very caring. She really wants to help Ben, despite really not liking his brother, Ryan. I didn’t like Ryan at first, probably because Gwen didn’t, but he really grew on me. As for Pete, Gwen needs to stay away from him! He couldn’t admit that he was wrong about anything, when a lot of this was all his fault. I also really liked that we got snippets from Gwen’s dad so that we knew at least a little of what was going on in the outside world while Gwen & Co. were trapped inside the game. Let me tell you, it wasn’t good. The U.S. Government was not happy about this situation at all.

Action-packed, exciting, and just plain fun. Definitely check this book out!

About the Author

Winter Lawrence_Official Picture

Winter lives in the moment and loves nothing more than being surrounded by her family, her fur-babies, and a ton of great reads! When she doesn’t have her nose stuck in a book, she’s usually thinking up far away, fantastical worlds or she’s cooking up a storm in the kitchen!

Because of her love for all things literary, Winter pursued a Master of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Professionally, she is a manuscript editor and, in her spare time, she enjoys hosting author spotlights, posting book reviews, and teaching creative writing workshops.

In her private time, she is an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal romances, and one day she hopes to inspire young readers in the same way her favorite authors continue to inspire her today.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | GoodReads | Pinterest | Instagram

Giveaway Time!

There is a giveaway going on for this tour where you can win either an ebook copy of Eve 2.0 or a signed physical copy. You can enter via this Rafflecopter giveaway link. Good luck!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – 9/18/19

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words. Three questions, three answers. Let’s go!

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished Eve 2.0 by Winter Lawrence for an upcoming blog tour. The stop for me is tomorrow, so be sure to check it out! I also am very happy to say that I finished Queen by Aimee Carter, which is the third and final book in the Blackcoat Rebellion trilogy and MY FOURTH SERIES FINISHED OFF MY “COMPLETE THE SERIES” LIST!!!! Seriously, you guys, I am so proud of myself!!

Also, I had one of those amazing book experiences where you pick up a book and almost cannot stop reading it until you finish the whole thing. I started The Grace Year by Kim Liggett yesterday morning . . . and finished it last night. Kinda blown away by this one, to be honest. Still in a little bit of shock.

What are you currently reading?

I am still reading Shantallow by Cara Martin, which is getting really spooky. I’m reading it for a blog tour which will be later this month. I’m also reading The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy, which is  NetGalley ARC I almost forgot about. I did start A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir, the second book in the An Ember in the Ashes series, but haven’t gotten too far into it yet. Also still plugging away at Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling for my Chapter-A-Long project.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Let me actually look over what reviews I have coming up instead of completely blanking on this one like I did last week lol (hello, The Memory Thief and The Grace Year, which I didn’t mention at all)! I have a few review ARCs coming up in the beginning of October, which I will be starting soon: The Vine Witch by Luanne G. SmithThe Athena Protocol by Shamim Sarif, and The Smallest Thing by Lisa Manterfield. All of these are new authors to me that I don’t know much about, so I’m excited to dig into them. Other than ARCs, I plan to read A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir, the third book in the An Ember in the Ashes series, as soon as I finish A Torch Against the Night.

So that’s what I have going on right now. Not gonna lie, I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed, especially since there were a few ARCs that I almost forgot about. That’s not like me – usually I stay pretty organized. In any case, I hope everyone else is having a great reading week and please leave your WWW in comments!

Teaser Tuesday · Top Ten Tuesdays

Teasers & Top Tens – 9/17/19

tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker. Here are the rules if you’d like to play along:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

This week’s teaser comes from The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy.

When I see the letter nailed to my door, I know something is terribly wrong. The envelope is covered in fancy handwriting and sealed with a wax stamp the color of dried blood. I don’t wonder who it’s from because only the Minders use red ink — and they never send good news.

This is the first paragraph of the book, a new ARC I got from NetGalley. I’m hooked!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

TTT-NEW

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic:

Top Ten Favorite Snacks to Eat While Reading

This is a funny one for this week! And not a particularly good topic for me since I have been trying to eat a bit better, so I’m only going to give you five this week. I’m trying to be good, but I still have my vices!

  1. Tortilla chips and salsa – my go-to snack food. It’s definitely my favorite.
  2. Buffalo chicken dip (and chips) – so cheesy and spicy and good!
  3. Popcorn – butter flavored is good, white cheddar is even better.
  4. Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream – yummy!
  5. Anything cookies & cream – whether in ice cream or just actual Oreo cookies.

That’s it for me! Please share your teasers and top tens (and recipes if you got ’em 🙂 ) in the comments!

Uncategorized

Life With No Plot – Episode 1

Hey guys! I’m really nervous and it’s really awkward, but I got the first episode of my podcast up! Still working out a few bugs, but here it is! It’s out into the world!

Life With No Plot Podcast

Hello everyone! First epsiodes of new podcasts are always a little awkward and this is no exception. Welcome to my awkward self! In this episode, I give a quick intro to myself and what I want to do with this podcast and then move into book talk.

Books mentioned on the show (all links go to GoodReads):

Current Reads

Teaser

Top Ten Books On My TBR That I’m Avoiding

  1. Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier
  2. Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty by Cameron Dokey
  3. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
  4. Tiger Lily by Jody Lynn Anderson
  5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  6. The Golem’s Eye by Jonathan Stroud
  7. Perdido Street Station by China…

View original post 118 more words

Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – Chapter 7

HPHBP Banner

Chapter 7 – The Slug Club

Chapter-A-Longs are back this week! Yay! I’ve missed them!

In the last chapter, we saw Draco Malfoy behaving very suspiciously in Knockturn Alley. Harry wants to know more, but to his unending frustration, Ron and Hermione aren’t really that interested. This really surprises me, especially since Ron always wants to be suspicious of Malfoy and Hermione really should be smarter than this. All they know is that Borgin is supposed to be keeping something, possibly a broken item, safe because Malfoy wants it. Harry is also considering the fact that Draco’s father is now in Azkaban and has been outed as a Death Eater, which could easily mean that Draco wants to get revenge. This train of thought leads Harry to figure out something that could be quite important.

“He’s a Death Eater,” said Harry slowly. “He’s replaced his father as a Death Eater!”

There was a silence; then Ron erupted in laughter. “Malfoy?  He’s sixteen, Harry! You think You-Know-Who would let Malfoy join?”

“It seems very unlikely, Harry,” said Hermione in a repressive sort of voice. “What makes you think –?”

“In Madam Malkin’s. She didn’t touch him, but he yelled and jerked his arm away from her when she went to roll up his sleeve. It was his left arm. He’s been branded with the Dark Mark.”

He also mentions that they had seen Draco showing Borgin something that instantly scared Borgin and made him treat Draco very seriously. Harry thinks that Draco showed Borgin the Dark Mark. Ron and Hermione still don’t think it’s likely that Voldy would start recruiting teenagers, but even the first time I read this, I strongly disagreed with that sentiment. Why wouldn’t he use teens? Especially when they can easily get into Hogwarts with no questions asked? I seriously doubt that Voldy’d be worried about them being too young to do his bidding.

Harry gets fed up trying to explain his point and heads downstairs, overhearing Mrs. Weasley getting really annoyed with Fleur going on and on about wedding plans. Mrs. Weasley wants to make sure that everything is set up for them to leave for Kings Cross the next day and everything goes perfectly according to plan for once. They have cars from the Ministry driving them again and extra security to make sure they get to the train. Once on the train, Ron and Hermione leave to go to the prefects’ car, but Harry takes the opportunity to talk to Mr. Weasley about what he saw Draco do in Knockturn Alley and his suspicions that Draco is a Death Eater now.

Mr. Weasley isn’t too sure about this, but at least he listens. He also tells Harry that when Lucius was arrested, they raided the Malfoy house and confiscated anything that could be dangerous. Harry says that they may have missed something. The train gets ready to depart, and Mrs. Weasley tells him that he will be coming back to them at Christmastime. Which makes me happy. Harry really needs a very Weasley Christmas.

Once on the train, Harry gets stared at, which he’s used to, but it’s definitely been kicked up a notch after all the “Chosen One” stuff from the papers over the summer. He doesn’t have Ron or Hermione to sit with, but catches up with Ginny briefly before she disappears to go find her boyfriend, Dean Thomas. Neville and Luna turn up and they and Harry find a compartment together. Neville is a bit surprised that he and Luna are being stared at too, not just because they are with Harry, but because they were also involved at the Ministry. They also talk about the upcoming school year.

“Are we still doing D.A. meetings this year, Harry?” asked Luna, who was detaching a pair of psychedelic spectacles from the middle of The Quibbler.

“No point now we’ve got rid of Umbridge, is there?” said Harry, sitting down. Neville bumped his head against the seat as he emerged from under it. He looked most disappointed.

“I liked the D.A.! I learned loads with you!”

“I enjoyed the meetings too,” said Luna serenely. “It was like having friends.”

Oh Luna! This makes me so sad!

They are interrupted by a group of girls, one of which who introduces herself as Romilda Vane. She invites Harry to sit with them, giving the impression that she and her friends don’t think much of Neville or Luna. Harry thinks very highly of them, though, and tells her that they are his friends. Romilda and her snotty attitude leave, and Luna tells Harry that people expect him to have cooler friends. Harry doesn’t care what people think anymore. Neville and Luna were there at the Ministry. They faced Death Eaters for him. They are plenty cool enough! Neville says that his grandmother speaks about Harry all the time, saying that he has “more backbone than the whole Ministry of Magic put together.” Which is very true, but also makes Harry feel a bit uncomfortable.

He feels very connected to Neville, knowing how close Neville came to having Harry’s fate. Voldemort and his followers took Neville’s parents away too, although in a different manner. And that prophecy . . . what would have happened if Voldemort had gone after the Longbottoms instead of the Potters that night? Harry’s life would have been very different, as would Neville’s, although he probably would have still been living with his grandmother. Harry would possibly have his parents, but that’s not entirely certain – plenty of people died during those early Voldemort years, and they were with the Order. They could have been killed another way.

It’s no use speculating on what might have been, but it’s really hard not to. Neville notices that Harry is acting a bit off. Luna blames it on something she calls a Wrackspurt, some sort of invisible creature that goes through your ears and makes your brain “go fuzzy.” Harry and Neville quickly change the subject.

Ron and Hermione arrive a few hours later. Ron mentions that Draco has decided to skip doing his prefect duties. This is highly unusual since he usually enjoys abusing his power over other students. Harry wonders if Draco is too preoccupied with his new Death Eater role, but before he can really talk much about it, a younger student shows up with messages for Harry and Neville.

Harry,

I would be delighted if you would join me for a bite of lunch in compartment C.

Sincerely,

Professor H.E.F. Slughorn

Neville is startled since he doesn’t even know who Slughorn is and has no idea why a teacher would want to invite him to lunch. Harry wants to try and sneak over to lunch under the Invisibility Cloak to see if he can catch a glimpse of Draco, but the corridors are way too crowded for that and way too many people are trying to look at Harry. Except for Cho Chang, who hid in her compartment when she saw Harry coming and started up a conversation with her friend, Marietta. Marietta, who sold out the D.A. and still has the pimples to prove it.

Harry and Neville are also not Slughorn’s only guests. He has also invited Blaise Zabini (a Slytherin in their year), two seventh years that Harry doesn’t know, and, oddly enough, Ginny. As they start lunch, Slughorn addresses one of the seventh years, Marcus Belby, and mentions that he knows his uncle, who is a very powerful wizard and who invented the Wolfsbane Potion. But Marcus doesn’t really talk much to his uncle, which makes Slughorn lose interest. He turns to the other seventh year, Cormac McLaggen, who apparently also has a well-connected uncle who is also friends with the new Minister of Magic.

Harry realizes that this is an example of Slughorn “collecting” students, like Dumbledore had warned him about. Zabini has a very rich and famous mother, which impresses Slughorn. Neville is interrogated next, which is a bit awkward since you really can’t talk about his famous parents without talking about what happened to them. Then it’s Harry’s turn. Slughorn is already impressed with him, as are most people given his “Chosen One” status, but Slughorn also thinks that Harry must have some sort of hidden powers to have survived all those years ago. A disapproving snort from Zabini draws snide comments from Ginny. Ginny wasn’t invited to lunch due to an influential family member, but because Slughorn saw her cast a very powerful Bat-Bogey Hex and was impressed. Harry really doesn’t want to talk much, but that doesn’t deter Slughorn in the slightest, especially when discussion turns to the events that happened at the Ministry last year.

“So modest, so modest, no wonder Dumbledore is so fond — you were there, then? But the rest of the stories — so sensational, of course, one doesn’t know quite what to believe — this fabled prophecy, for instance –”

“We never heard a prophecy,” said Neville, turning geranium pink as he said it.

“That’s right,” said Ginny staunchly. “Neville and I were both there too, and all this ‘Chosen One’ rubbish is just the Prophet making things up as usual.”

“You were both there too, were you?” said Slughorn with great interest, looking from Ginny to Neville, but both of them sat clamlike before his encouraging smile.

I know that deep down Slughorn is harmless, but he comes off as just being creepy sometimes! In any case, Slughorn continues name dropping for the rest of the trip, talking about all the famous and powerful wizards he had taught who had all joined what he called the “Slug Club” while they were at Hogwarts together. Clearly, he is starting that up again and looking for more students. After what seems like an eternity, Slughorn dismisses them to go and get ready to arrive at Hogwarts. Neville is particularly glad that it’s over. Ginny just thinks Slughorn is odd for not punishing her after hexing Zacharias Smith.

Harry is not paying much attention to them, but is instead watching Zabini heading back to the Slytherin compartment. He has an idea and immediately acts on it, slipping the Invisibility Cloak on, following after Zabini, and sneaking into the compartment with Draco and the Slytherins. In the process, Zabini gets knocked into Goyle, which makes it easy for Harry to get in and jump up into the luggage rack. Other than Goyle, the compartment holds Crabbe, Zabini, Draco and Pansy Parkinson. Also, Draco is laying across the seat with his head in Pansy’s lap while she strokes his hair, so I guess they’re dating now.

Draco asks about the summons to Slughorn’s car and isn’t too happy when Zabini tells him why he was sent for. Apparently Slughorn wasn’t interested in meeting with a Malfoy. He sneers about Belby, Neville and Ginny getting invited, but also mentions that he doesn’t care who Slughorn might be interested in since he may not even be at Hogwarts next year because he may have “moved on to bigger and better things.” Because if Voldemort takes over, he’s not going to care about Hogwarts grades. He’s going to want loyalty. And Draco has been given a job to do.

They start to get ready for Hogwarts and Harry gets smacked in the head by Goyle’s trunk, causing him to gasp a bit. Draco looks up briefly and Harry worries that he may have heard him. He also had looked vaguely in Harry’s direction when he had jumped up in the first place. As the Slytherins leave, Draco hangs back, telling them he needs to “check something.” Harry thinks that maybe Draco is trying to do something secretive, something that might have to do with the item he talked to Borgin about, but instead, Draco casts Petrificus Totalus right at him. He falls to the ground and Draco stomps on his face. Then Draco covers Harry up with the Invisibility Cloak so that he won’t be found and end up back in London.

Will Harry make it back to Hogwarts, or will he leave with the train? See you next time for Chapter 8!

 

 

 

Books I've Read

REVIEW: Captive

CaptiveTitle: Captive

Author: Aimee Carter

Genre: YA Dystopian/Science Fiction

Series: Blackcoat Rebellion #2

Blurb: For the past two months, Kitty Doe’s life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister’s niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever.

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she’s accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape.

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she’ll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?

Review: First off, please check out my review of Pawn, the first book in this series. We actually reviewed it back on the podcast I used to co-host, but I shared it here as well. I loved the first book and I loved this one too!

Kitty is in such a peculiar situation throughout these books. Imagine what it’s like to have been surgically altered to resemble someone else in order to take their place! It’s terrifying! I also like the fact that she is a strong female lead who isn’t perfect. She makes mistakes. She’s stubborn. She gets scared and wants to give up. It’s very relatable, especially given what she’s going through.

What’s even more terrifying in this book is that we finally get to see Elsewhere, the place where all the undesirable citizens go in this dystopian world. We get a brief glace at it in book #1, but now we get the nitty gritty details.

Another thing I love about this series as a whole, but particularly this book, is the ambiguity of the characters, especially Knox. I want to like Knox so bad! I want to believe he’s on Kitty’s side! And I still don’t know! I love when books can keep you guessing like that.

The rebellion is definitely heating up. It’s really hard to go into specifics without giving spoilers, but I will just say that the final book of this series has been set up so perfectly in this middle book of the trilogy. That’s no always the case, but this definitely leaves you wanting to know what happens next.

GoodReads rating: 5 stars all the way!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up – 9/13/19

Weekly Wrap-Up

Y’all.

Y’ALL!

It has been a week!

I’ll start off with the first thing that has been informing pretty much my entire week and everything I have been able to do: I was almost run over by a car. Don’t worry too much. It didn’t hit me and I’m mostly fine, but I did hurt myself. I woke up early on Saturday morning and felt inspired. I had just gotten my Fitbit (with the cute cat face watch) and decided I would get up and go for a walk in my neighborhood. It was a beautiful morning, a bit crisp, very pleasant. Our neighborhood is excellent for walking. A few gentle hills, nice wide streets. You almost always see people out getting exercise with their earbuds in, walking their dogs, pushing kids in strollers, etc. In short, seeing someone walking along the side of the road in my mellow suburban neighborhood is not a surprising occurrence.

I headed out, proud of myself for getting my steps in early, and got to about a half mile away from my house. Then, a giant white SUV turns a corner and pelts down the road towards me. It comes within inches of hitting me. I jump out of the way and my left foot hits the uneven ground right where the pavement transitions into grass. It twists out from under me, I fall to the ground, jam my knee into the pavement, and then roll/slide down into the slight ditch on the side of the road.

The SUV does not stop, doesn’t slow down, just continues barreling down the road and disappearing.

I lay on the side of the road and cry for a bit before getting up and hobbling back home. No one in my house was awake yet. Nothing was broken or majorly injured, but I twisted my left ankle pretty bad and my right knee looked like raw hamburger meat. Luckily I wasn’t wearing shorts – I was wearing lightweight sweatpants – or that would have been worse. And then the fibromyalgia flared up. I missed two and a half days at work trying to get all the pain under control.

I’m better today. My ankle is close to normal, although my knee still hurts. I’ll probably have an impressive scar by the time it all heals up. It’s been hard to sleep this week, so I’m also super tired on top of everything else. Good times. I was able to get some reading in, but not much. It’s why Chapter-A-Long was on hiatus this week. It also might push back the first episode of the podcast, but that will depend on how I’m feeling this weekend.

That said, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I’ll be around and will definitely update things if the podcast gets finished.