Interviews, Reviews

Entangled’s Ever Afters: Gaming for Keeps by Selete de Laney – ARC Review/Author Interview

 

Gaming for Keeps

Pen Holloway’s done with men—in real life. Guys in game are so much less drama. But when her partner from Heroes of Fallen Gods invites her to the convention of the year, she panics. What if he’s another jerk? What if he’s not?
~~*~~
Cal Burrows is living his dream of being a spy. One of TRAIT’s misfit spies, but still a spy. It’s the perfect job… until an arms dealer with a taste for blood invades his not-so-secret geek haven. All Cal wanted from ConDamned was to meet his on-line girl. Now, with the threat of mass murder looming, he’s forced to choose between keeping his mission a secret and protecting the girl of his dreams.
~~*~~
Despite their attraction, Pen can’t help but suspect Cal’s hiding something. She also can’t shake the feeling he’s not as much of a stranger as he seems.
Selete answers some questions:
1.  Cotton or Silk?
Cotton or silk what? *panics* Sheets? Corsets? Panties? Which one I’d
rather harvest? *panics more* We’ll go with boxers! In that case, silk
for sure.
2.  Champagne/beer/wine?
Of those options, beer. Champagne is evil and wine is vile (which is
just evil rearranged, but that’s beside the point). Generally speaking,
I’m a flavored vodka girl, but I do enjoy a good beer.
3.  Plotter/pantser
Plotster? I actually call what I do road-mapping. It’s like taking a
cross-country trip by car. You know where you’re starting and you know
where you’re ending and then you have a bunch of key sites you want to
see on the way. What happens between or how long it takes to get from
one to the next is anyone’s guess.
4.  Describe your workspace
Right now? Barren. We just put our house on the market and I was
advised to keep my office very neat and orderly. I hate it. Normally, I
have my shelf of reference books very handy along with my
project/progress board (which helps to keep me working every day). I
also thrive on clutter, so I have candles and baskets of papers and
sticky notes all over my desk. As I write this though, I literally have
my laptop, a vase of flowers, and the Hunger Games trilogy on here
(apparently it’s popular enough to not be too “interesting”)
5.  Sports fan or just tolerate it?
Tolerate. I’m okay with college sports though.
6.  Who is your biggest influence on writing?
Kelley Armstrong was the author who really inspired me to start writing
again (after almost a two decade hiatus), and she’s been a major factor
in pushing me along since then. She’s an amazing writer and person—she’s
the type of person I aspire to be as an author.
7.  Favorite food –
Obviously I have to choose just one, so I’ll go with… ice cream. It’s
horrible for me, but I don’t care. It’s kind of like having a thing for
a bad boy. I love it too much to walk away without one more taste.
(Er…was that TMI?)  🙂
8.  When did you start writing?
(See above mention of the two decade hiatus.) I wrote a lot as a kid
and then was told to “get serious about my future.” The future came and
I realized being serious sucked. So I started writing again. That was
around 2007. It took a couple years before I wrote anything a publisher
deemed worth putting on the market.
9.  If money were no object, where would you like to live?
I have to say this is actually the hardest question on the interview. I
know a ton of places I’d like to visit and a few where I’d love to have
a vacation home, but…I actually like living in the Midwest. With that in
mind, maybe Chicago. I love the city and there is a ton to do there…and
it feels much safer than Detroit. (Sorry, Big D. I love you, but you
have some issues, man.)  Harlie here:  I grew up in Dallas but I would move to Chicago tomorrow if I could.  Love that town!
10.  What’s next for you?
I have the first book in my Brazen series, Seducing the Enemy, coming
from Entangled soon. And, Kiss of Life, the second book in my urban
fantasy series with Mundania should be out before the new year. There’s
hopefully more in the pipeline with the agents of TRAIT as well, but I
don’t have any details on that yet.
Thanks so much for having me here, and I’ll be around all day to answer
questions if anyone has any!
Peeps, you need to check out Selete’s blog.  OMG!  She is a nut, certifiable even.  Her steampunk pictures are great and damn, I wish I looked that good in a corset.  Just saying…
Review:
I’m a little nervous here.  This is my first ever Entangled blog tour with a review and I hope I don’t screw it up.  When I picked Gaming for Keeps to read, it was the spy angle that intrigued me.  Gaming, not so much.  For me, gaming is throwing a quarter into the old Tempset machine and hoping that I get a high score. Yes, I’m that old to remember going to the video arcade and spending my babysitting money.  Our house has a Playstation and a Wii but it’s completely lost on me.  Also, the whole online gaming thing…it reminds me of my younger brother and his friends playing Dungeons and Dragons.  Now that, I could watch for hours. 
When I started the book, I didn’t realize that I was reading a battle scene from an online game.  I really felt like I was reading a battle scene out of a fantasy movie.  Hooked me from the beginning and it never stopped.  As much as I don’t ‘game’, the references, game character names that are used in the book, I knew.  Woo Hoo!  OMG, Ms. de Laney asked the age-old question about Star Trek vs Star Wars.  I love both for completely different reasons.  Oh and there is a Firefly reference.  *sigh Nathan Fillion*  Shiny…  😉
Pen and Cal were perfect for each other.  One problem though, when their first meeting in person, they don’t realize who each other is.  Just that Pen needed a sorta rebound and Cal just wanted her.  Their dialogue was snappy and realistic.  The scene at the con when she dares him to read the code on her t-shirt was priceless.  ROTFL!  Pen and Cal were so intuned with each other intellectual and sexually.  Yes, the sex was hawt but also brought them closer than they ever thought. 
Again, I’m not a gamer but I never felt like I needed to be when I read the book.  Ms. de Laney was able to hook me from the first page and never let me go.  The suspense element in the book was good, too.  I love a good suspense element and she delivered.  Cal’s back story was interesting, too.  I hope that she writes more about the other spies that we were introduced too. 
When all is said and done, Gaming for Keeps is a cute story about two gamers that what to play for keeps.  The story will take hold of you early on and not let go.  Ms. de Laney has written a story that even a non-gamer can enjoy and appreciate the geekdom of it all.  Makes me want to ask my brother is he wants to play D&D again. 
Author info: 

Seleste started on her career path as a young child. Stories of talking animals soon gave way to a love of superheroes and science fiction. Her first foray into the world of romance came at age twelve when she envisioned a sweeping epic love story of two people thrust together and torn apart again and again by fate. As she recalls, the plan was for them to admit their love on his deathbed. But, as is often the case with pre-teen girls, a story of that depth gave way to other pursuits, and sadly it is completely lost other than vague memories.

After that, she occupied herself with short stories for a while, and then poetry until after she had earned a degree in chemistry, spent time as a high school teacher, and became a mother of two. Then she delved into writing fiction once more.

 

 

She never lost her love of the fantastic, and her stories now always reach into other realms. The worlds and people she creates occupy as much of her time as the real world, and she is most fortunate to have a family that understands her idiosyncrasies and loves her anyway.

 

Selete’s Blog Link

 

2 thoughts on “Entangled’s Ever Afters: Gaming for Keeps by Selete de Laney – ARC Review/Author Interview”

  1. Harlie! Why didn’t you tell me earlier about this book! This totally sounds like something I would like to read and i’m going to have to check out Seleste’s blog because I love Steampunk!

  2. Thanks so much for having me here. (And for the compliments! I so want to put the quote about being certifiable on the home page of my website <3) I'll be popping back in if any of your readers have questions 🙂

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