Eric Teague is moments away from making history. Thanks to
him, the world of gaming is about to experience technology like it
has never seen before. When his new establishment, Against
the Game opens, playing video games will be a thing of the past.

Players experience the game as if it is real in a virtual reality.
There is no TV, no console with wires and controllers. The game
feels absolutely real.  No matter the person’s health or physical
ability, they will be the characters in a world without limits.

But, all too soon, reality breaks into Eric’s moment when
something goes terribly wrong. He and his best friend Lacey get
trapped in the virtual reality of the supercomputer behind his
establishment. It is definitely no longer just a game. The danger
is real. The consequences are real. And, Eric and Lacey’s fight
for survival is more than real.

To live, they must win, and to win, they must overcome the
biggest challenge of all: to trust and to love.
One minute Lacey was stepping out of Eric's office, and in the next, she was...
somewhere else.

The air grew cold and damp, her breath escaping in a surprised puff of smoke.
The walls were different—some kind of stone. Torches lined a long tunnel, spaced
evenly, illuminating everything in a warm glow.

Lacey froze in confusion. The ground also felt different. It was no longer the tile
from Against the Game. Instead, it was a loose and gritty substance, like sand. The
smell of fresh dirt filled her nostrils and she was certain that was exactly what she
was stepping on.

What's going on? Am I dreaming?

Indecision kept her standing still, blinking at her surroundings. She didn't
remember going to sleep. For that matter, she didn't remember anything after
leaving Eric's office. Or, wait, did she leave?

Maybe she somehow got hurt, and this really was some kind of dream. She would
probably wake up any minute, lying in a hospital bed. But, she didn't really believe

Everything felt real.

Finally coming out of her daze, Lacey hesitantly called out. "Hello? Eric? Can
anyone hear me?"

The sound of her own voice filled the tunnel much louder than she'd anticipated,
and she flinched as if scared of the noise. She was afraid. She didn't understand
what was going on. What was this place and how did she get here?
Where did Eric go?

Suddenly, a blur came out of nowhere and blew right by her. Lacey jumped back,
letting a squeal of surprise escape her, but she quickly bit the sound off. The blur
was the man of the hour himself.

Eric stopped running just beyond her, placed his hands on his hips, and stared
around him with a look of shock. When his eyes found her, they narrowed. "Are
you okay? What's going on? Where are we?"

She tried to remember how she'd gotten here. She and Eric were in his office. He
gave her the game...the game! It was no longer in her hand. Was that a real
memory? Or, maybe none of this was real. Again, she had to wonder if she was
dreaming all this.

Suddenly, Eric's eyes shifted to her left and widened, looking at something behind
her. The hair on the back of her neck stood up. She saw him stiffen, and her fear
was instantaneous. What did he see? Did she dare turn and look?
His eyes stayed locked on whatever was there. "Lacey, I need you to do something
for me. Very slowly start walking towards me. No sudden movements and don't turn

She knew there was something terrible and dangerous behind her. Her first
thought was a snake. A full body shiver threatened, and she fought to stay still,
terrified of feeling fangs at any second.

She gulped hard and took a step forward, then another. Nothing struck her from
behind. Eric's eyes never wavered, and that terrified her more than anything. What
had him so scared that he wouldn't take his eyes off it?

After one more step, she was almost to him. Unable to resist any longer, she

...and screamed.

It wasn't a snake. It was something much, much worse. The first thing she noticed
were eyes—huge, multiple, shiny, black eyes. It had hair all over its body and
many pairs of legs. It was enormous in size, taller than she or Eric.
Holy...mother...of...God. What was that thing?

She didn't even realize she was moving, walking backwards, until she bumped into
Eric’s hard body. He never once looked away from the creature while he guided
her behind him, putting himself between her and it.

"Wh-What is that?" Lacey stammered.

"I think it's a spider," he said softly.

They both spoke low as if afraid any sound might make the creature move. In
unison, they began moving backwards together, Lacey clinging onto him.
Somewhere between fear and panic, she let her heels fall off her feet so she was
ready if she needed to run like a mad woman.

Suddenly, the creature reared up on its back legs, showing off two huge fangs,
and sprang at them.
Against the Game
Destiny Booze
Book Reviews
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Available in Print & e-book
August 2015

$11.95 / $3.99

ISBN-13: 978-1-
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