I’m so happy to be a guest here to talk about my new romantic suspense TWO CAN PLAY. I thought it would be fun to give you an exclusive look at the Real Life Lounge, the gamer arcade where the book is set–and where Lounge employees work and live as one big happy gamer family–by taking you along as Rena Novo, the book’s heroine, takes Gage Stone, the hot new hire she’s supposed to mentor, on a tour of the highlights of The Life. Make a comment and you’ll be entered to win one of two $15 Amazon Kindle gift cards to be awarded at the end of the tour. For additional chances to win, follow the tour and comment on each tour stop.
At our first stop, Rena became suspicious that Gage wasn’t truly interested in joining The Life and she was testing him as they moved through the Lounge, judging him by his reactions and questions.
He was doing well until he didn’t have a clue that Blood Electric was the name of the Lounge bar, which made him seem like a rare visitor. Plus when they drank to The Life,” he seemed less than thrilled to be part of it. Not good at all. A few more black marks and Rena will have him escorted out.
STOP FOUR…THEY’RE OUT TO GET US
“One of your assignments will be to help out at the café,” she said, leading him to Soylent Green, the vegan restaurant. “When it’s busy, you bus tables, do dishes, handle trash.”
As they passed a table, Gage picked up a newspaper lying there. Rena was horrified to see it was the issue of New Day News with that awful story.
Gage studied the cover, a cartoon in slash-strokes of a gamer, face vacant, arms out like a zombie worshipping a monitor. Looking amused, he flipped to the story and began to skim it.
Rena watched him closely. His reaction would be a clue to his intentions here.
Rena had been shocked to see the photo of the smirking reporter who’d written the story. She’d met him, given him EverLife tips, not knowing he was undercover.
“So, do you know who this Angel is?” Gage asked, looking up from the page. Angel was the fake name of the Lifer who had revealed secret details about Lounge Life.
“No one does. It has to be a Lost Lifer–someone who didn’t belong, so they left.” Or got kicked out, like you might be if you keep acting suspicious. “Everyone is upset about it.”
“Including the owners? The Blackstones?”
“Of course. Wouldn’t you be?”
“Any publicity is good for business.”
“Not when it’s wrong. Not when it’s ugly and mean.”
Something flashed in his eyes, something that told her he knew more about this than he was saying. Her instincts were firing madly now. What the hell was Gage Stone up to here? Was he another reporter doing copycat coverage?
She pulled the newspaper away from him and tossed it in the trash can.
Her mind raced. Should she call over a Watcher and have him removed forever? If he was a reporter–or even a cop–he would think that meant there was something to hide and he would be even more curious. She wished Maya was on the floor. She was the Blackstones’ advisor, a shrink in the Dead World, and the person who’d recruited Rena. She would know how to read Gage for sure.
For now, Rena would stick with Gage, see what she could learn.
She introduced him to the café manager and the head cook, then checked the time on her phone. “I can show you Living Quarters before I’m due in the Battle Dome for a performance. Let’s go.”
“As you wish,” he said, bowing and gesturing her ahead of him. He sure as hell didn’t act guilty.
About Dawn Atkins