Thursday, September 5, 2019

Blog Tour: Eve 2.0 by Winter Lawrence @WinterBLawrence #giveaway #blogtour #youngadult #yafantasy #yascifi #giveaway #interview @RABTBookTours


YA Action Adventure Fantasy | Science Fiction | LitRPG
Publisher: Fire & Ice Young Adult Books
Date Published: August 27, 2019

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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 of 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.



Interview

Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

Forgiveness. I come from a long line of grudge-holders, so I’ve learned that it’s better to go through life forgiving and forgetting. I’ll be the first to admit that forgiveness rarely comes easily and most times it takes a lot of continued effort because as much as we wish we could literally forget something, that isn’t how it works. The past has an awful way of creeping up and nagging us—it has a way of creating doubt and distrust, so there’s an art to forgiveness. In Eve 2.0, the protagonist, Gwen, begins to understand this after facing all the trials and tribulations the government simulator tosses her way.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Procrastination. When I finally do sit down to write, I usually get right into “the zone,” but sometimes it takes me a really long time to find those quiet, peaceful times to sit. As with many authors, I have a “day job,” and I’m also a wife, a mom (furbabies included!), a homeowner, and I have a bunch of other titles, so a lot of my procrastination moments stem from legitimate reasons. I have to work and cook and clean and shop and interact with my family, and when all of those other things are said and done, I’m usually spent (or braindead!), so there are lots of days when it’s really tough to drag myself up to my office to write. It’s a daily struggle and one that I’m still trying to find a healthy balance for.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

Under my real name, I self-published two books, which I’m still immensely proud of. In those infant days of writing, I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn’t understand the publishing industry at all. Back then, I was just writing for the love of writing. It was probably the most fun I’ve had as a writer (because I didn’t put so much pressure on myself). Under my pen name, I have a few short stories featured in several anthologies, I’ve published one novel (so far!), and I have two upcoming contracts scheduled, one for 2020 and one for 2021. As of now, each of these stories has a special place in my heart because they’re all so personal to me in different ways.


If you had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

Oh, this is a great question—because it’s a bit of a loaded one! In theory, Rachel Taylor is Gwen Nielson, but in the beginning, I couldn’t think of anyone to actually “cast” in her role because the protagonist is loosely based on my daughter! In fact, she also inspired the story! One day, when we were sitting on the couch playing a game of Call of Duty, she looked over at me and said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we were in the game?” That was it! From there on in, I was bound and determined to write a book about being in the game. Of course, I couldn’t base the book on my daughter (because admittedly—and gratefully—she has a pretty ordinary life), so it took me a really long time to come up with a plausible, fun, but extraordinary story about a gamer girl who finds herself trapped in a game. Of course, as a young adult novel, I had to toss in some drama and a love triangle—but these added elements were all purely fictional and they were a lot of fun to write!

When did you begin writing?

When I was a kid, my nose was always stuck in a book, so I’ve always had a passion for reading. Back then, I only ever wrote in journals and I didn’t have any aspirations to become an author. In fact, writing beyond school work never occurred to me until I got older and I was completely done with my first degree. Then, in my late thirties, a few quiet opportunities presented themselves to me, so I started dabbling in writing. At first, it was just a hobby, but over the years, I took a greater interest in learning all about the writing process and the publishing industry.

How long did it take to complete your first book?

I’m still writing it! LOL, I know that sounds incredible and impossible, but the very first “serious” story idea I came up with is still percolating. I joke with my daughter all the time and say that it will be my swan song—you know, that one twenty-year labor of love that will be my final and defining literary work!

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

I read a book once when I was a kid that I thought was the best, but to this day I can’t remember the name of the book or the author! I do recall that it was a young adult book about astral projection and it blew me away! I remember thinking if I ever wrote professionally; I wanted to write about cool stuff like that—but because I’ve read so many books over the years (and admittedly; I have a tricky memory), the author and title have completely escaped me! One day though, I’ll find it and I’ll thank that author for inspiring me to write very cool, very mysterious young adult paranormal novels.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I love, love, love finishing a story! There’s no feeling in the world like sitting back to read over my final draft, with all its twists and turns and complicated characters, because that universe wouldn’t exist if it hadn’t been for all my hard work and dedication. That’s why, as a teacher, I always tell new writers to proudly own everything they write, because that project they’ve spent weeks or months or years working on was all them! So regardless of its outcome, they should be proud of it, because it’s a testament to the love they have for their craft.

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Best gaming book ever!

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

I’m currently having lots of fun finishing up my YA Paranormal Mystery “The Message on the 13th Floor.” Here’s a sneak peek at the synopsis…

Maggie May Martin hasn’t always been the most reliable women in the world, and she isn’t the friendliest either, but she tries her hardest to be a good mom. Most days, she falls short on that too, but her three girls mean the world to her and she genuinely tries to do the best by them—so when she goes missing, they’re the first to notice, and the only ones who seem to care…

Meghan Marie Martin hates the small town she was born and raised in and she can’t wait until she ships off for the Air Force after graduation. Her only concern is leaving behind her irresponsible mother and her two little sisters. Meghan has practically raised them on her own and she only hopes that when she leaves for the military, her mother will finally pull it together.

The problem, of course, is that her mother likes to party, so when Maggie May goes missing, Meghan isn’t only stuck taking care of everything at home, she also has to search for her mother, because Maggie May has a bad habit of disappearing, so no one else is looking. That is until Meghan begins to receive mysterious messages, almost as if someone or something is guiding her to a haunted hotel in Manhattan, where she’ll hopefully discover the truth behind her mother’s disappearance, even if that means their lives will change forever.

“The Message on the 13th Floor” is currently scheduled for release with Dragon Soul Press in June 2021, which I’m totally psyched about! Before that though, the sequel for The Gamer Series, “Eve 2.0: Night Terrors,” is due to release in mid-to-late 2020, so be sure to keep tabs on my social media for updates on that!


Thanks so much for inviting me to My Reading Addiction. It’s been a blast getting to chat with you and your readers! Until next time, friends, be well and read on!

About the Author 

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.


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