Book Blitz – Playing Dead by Bronson Palmer

Playing Dead
Bronson Palmer
Publication date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

In the halls of Andrew Jackson High School, Jenaiya is a nobody. Less than a nobody. She’s practically invisible. An awkward, shy freshman, she very rarely gets any attention at all, unless she’s being harassed by the school’s multitude of bullies. In short, she’s not anyone’s idea of a hero.

But in ‘Age of Z,’ a post-apocalyptic multiplayer zombie game, she’s a gun-wielding, fast-talking GOD. She’s one of the top ten players in the online dystopia, and she doesn’t suffer fools lightly. It’s just the way she plays, and she likes it that way. She can become the person she wishes herself to be in the real world.

However, when the game gets overrun by trolls and n00bs who threaten to destroy the game by turning it into yet another online shooter, Jenaiya cannot sit still and let that happen. The very existence of the game is on the line, as people leave in droves, and she gathers a rag-tag group of players to fight back against this new kind of ‘brainless’ horde. They have wildly different personalities but one goal: rid the game of the real monsters.

Jenaiya will have to outsmart her enemies, outplay the bullies, and return ‘Age of Z’ to its former glory. Otherwise, it’s game over, and she’ll have to confront the real world that awaits her on the other side of the computer screen.

Goodreads / Amazon

Meet Jenaiya. She’s a survivor.

By Bronson Palmer

Meet Jenaiya. She’s the tough, flawed, sometimes misguided protagonist of ‘Playing Dead.’ A meek freshman at a particularly rough high school, Jenaiya spends most of the book trying to negotiate all the different areas of her life, from her online identity to her relationship with her family and her sexual identity. She’s not a simple character, and this is not an easy story to tell. It would be easy to make her an empty vessel for the events inside ‘Age of Z,’ but it was my goal to provide the audience with a believable, real character to identify with so each victory and defeat felt that much more credible.

When the novel begins, Jenaiya leads a fairly ordinary but unenviable life in Nashville. She hates school, because the school she attends is a haven for miscreants of all types. It seems as though everyone around her is a villain of some kind, and she is a constant target of their attacks. Her only refuge happens to be her favorite video game, ‘Age of Z,’ where she’s able to unleash her adolescent rage on an unsuspecting public. It provides insight into how Jenaiya feels the world really should run. She values fairness and fair play, loyalty, and integrity.

However, in the real world, beyond the confines of a digital asylum, rather than doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, she also gets caught up in the idea that “the ends justify the means,” which lands her in a whole heap of trouble. When it comes to bullies, especially teenage ones, it’s oh so tempting to fight fire with fire, but that usually ends up making things worse, as it does in ‘Playing Dead.’ Jenaiya wants to level the playing field for everyone, from the jocks to the dreamers and the jokers to the drama queens, but that’s not entirely how the world works, so the fuse she lights early in the novel eventually explodes right in her face.

Her digital world is rocked when her favorite game — really, the only game she plays — is trounced by new players who treat ‘Age of Z’ like your everyday, run-of-the-mill, cookie cutter first-person shooter. To Jenaiya, ‘AoZ’ is so much more than that. It’s a post-apocalyptic game, sure, but the world is built around relationships. See, in ‘Age of Z,’ players wander a vast wasteland in search of supplies. They can be found in buildings, abandoned cars, but the best place, by far, to hit the item jackpot is another player.

Only, players are tough to kill, and it’s much easier to work cooperatively with that person or negotiate peacefully to trade supplies. Think ‘FallOut’ without all the headshots. The game is loosely based on the experiential ‘sandbox’ games which have become popular over the past few years. Games like ‘Minecraft,’ ‘H1Z1,’ and ‘DayZ’ inform the gameplay, so if you’ve played those titles, you understand that the strategy lies not in quick-twitch mouse-and-keyboard murder sessions but in how you interact with the world and the other players.

What Jenaiya understands inherently, the new players do not, and it frustrates her. Being an African-American loner, Jenaiya feels yet another thing she loves get co-opted by society at-large, and rather than allow it to happen, she decides to fight back. She’s willing to befriend all of the different warring factions within ‘Age of Z’ to make that happen, if she has to. But she refuses — absolutely refuses — to give up on this game until she’s dead and gone.

That’s where the portmanteau character MICHONNEN_KNIFE comes in. I make a few sly references to ‘Fight Club’ throughout the book, and though the tone of ‘Playing Dead’ is nowhere near a Palahniuk novel, MICHONNEN_KNIFE is the Tyler Durden to Jenaiya’s normal Jack character. Where Jenaiya is meek and accommodating, MICHONNEN_KNIFE is uncompromising, and Jenaiya basks in every opportunity to live in that digital construction’s skin.

As a bonus, I decided to get a faux-D&D player card designed to show the audience just what MICHONNEN_KNIFE (+1 if you can guess both references embedded in the name) has to offer Jenaiya. Hope you enjoy perusing it, and if you’ve dug this blog post, you can get lots more obscure references throughout the whole of ‘Playing Dead.’

 

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Mystery Blogger Award 4

Happy Saturday everyone! You lovelies are all so amazing and wonderful! Thank you to everyone who has followed, read, commented, nominated and tagged me. Love you all so much!!

Here I am back for another Mystery Blogger Award! This is my 4th and I’m just so incredibly grateful. This time, I was nominated by my good blogger friend Michelle from @FirstBookLove. Thank you so much hun! Be sure to check out her lovely blog and give her some love! She writes great reviews and always have some fun content!


What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

The ‘Mystery Blogger’ award, originally created by Okoto Enigma, is named after the meaning of this award’s creator’s name. In his words, ‘there are so many blogs that are still a mystery to us; when we get to know them, it’s divine and we find friends where we least expect’.

mysterybloggeraward3


How Does It Work

  • Feature the award logo/image on your post
  • List the rules
  • Thank the blogger that nominated you
  • Tell the readers 3 things about yourself
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Answer the questions provided
  • Nominate 10-20 bloggers  as many bloggers as you want
  • Ask the nominees 5 questions of my choice with one weird/funny question (specify)
  • Share and link to your best post(s)

Three Things About Myself

I’m seriously running out of facts/things to say about myself, so I may have already mentioned these.

  • I fell off a moving vehicle when I was about 6 years old while I was living in the Philippines. No broken bones and just a few scratches.
  • I’m a Disneyland Annual Pass Member
  • I was a teacher for one year (I taught 4th grade and only had 14 students) and my experience was pretty horrible that I never want to be one ever again.

My Best Posts

The Netgalley Tag

Review – Above the Sky

Get to Know me Tag

 


Michelle’s Questions

1. Which author’s books would you buy even without reading the synopsis? I’d buy anything written by Marie Lu, Marissa Meyer, Kasie West, Nicola Yoon, and Tahereh Mafi just to name a few.

2.Have you bought a book based on the cover? Which one was it? So many. I’d probably have to list half of my collection. But if there is one book/series I bought based on the cover that would be the Doon series by Lorie Langdon and Carey Corp. I was browsing on Bookoutlet when I saw this book. I haven’t heard anything about it, but the cover’s stunning. I didn’t read the series until I had all the books and now it’s one of my favorites!

3.Best book you’ve read in 2017? You’re killing me here. It’s already so difficult to pick my top 10 let alone A BOOK… There are so many books I loved this year — some were fun, others were heartbreaking but beautiful, while plenty were so swoony and delicious. It hurts to pick just one but… I think that the No Ordinary Star series is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING – it’s enthralling, well-written, and just a wonderful story that will make you feel so many different emotions. It’s written in 3 parts with about 200 pages each so you can definitely binge the entire thing in one weekend. I guarantee you, once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop.

4.The most anticipated book for 2018? Gosh where do I even begin… Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi is way up on that list. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West, From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon, and Always Never Yours by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley. I could definitely list more though! Maybe like 50 or more.

5.Candles or flowers? Definitely candles.


My Nominations

@phanniethegingerbookworm

@earlybookishbirds

@thehufflepuffnerdette

@writingwolves

@lifeofaliterarynerd

@lilbooklovers

@bionicbookwormblog

@coffeelovingbookoholic

@darquedreamerreads

@birdiebookwormblog

If you’ve been nominated before and opt out of doing this, that’s totally fine with me. I’d still totally love you.


My Questions

Who is your favorite book hero/heroine and why?

Name 3 books you read in 2017 that gave you the FEELS?

You just won the lotto. What is the first thing you’ll buy with your money?

Favorite dessert of all time?

If you could go on vacation with your favorite author in a bookish destination, who would you pick and where would you go?


Thanks so much again Michelle for nominating me. Had so much fun answering your questions. I hope you all enjoyed reading this post! Let me know some of your favorite desserts. Can’t wait to read your answers! As always take care and happy reading.

Sincerely Karen Jo

First Lines Fridays

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FIRST LINES FRIDAYS IS A WEEKLY FEATURE FOR BOOK LOVERS HOSTED BY WANDERING WORDS. WHAT IF INSTEAD OF JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER, ITS AUTHOR OR ITS PRESTIGE, WE JUDGED IT BY ITS OPENING LINES?
  • PICK A BOOK OFF YOUR SHELF (IT COULD BE YOUR CURRENT READ OR ON YOUR TBR) AND OPEN TO THE FIRST PAGE
  • COPY THE FIRST FEW LINES, BUT DON’T GIVE ANYTHING ELSE ABOUT THE BOOK AWAY JUST YET – YOU NEED TO HOOK THE READER FIRST
  • FINALLY… REVEAL THE BOOK!
COPY AND PASTE THE TEXT AND BANNER (OR MAKE YOUR OWN!) ABOVE FOR YOUR OWN FIRST LINES FRIDAYS POSTS.  MAKE SURE TO COMMENT YOUR FIRST LINES BELOW SO THAT OTHER PEOPLE CAN CHECK THEM OUT!

Okay here goes!

 

The procession stretched down the cobblestone road, a serpent made of men in red and gold, the Emperor’s colors. They marched forward, ignoring the slack-jawed townspeople gaping at the banner they carried: a dragon with a forest curled with its talon, the emblem of the royal house. A palanquin draped in scarlet silk appeared, resting on the shoulders of four men. People craned their necks to see the occupant, but caught only a tantalizing glimpse through the swaying curtain: blood-red lips, golden blossoms in shining hair, and robes that cost more than any of them would see in a lifetime.

 

Now scroll down…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not quite yet, so keep going…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost there….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a little more…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forest of a Thousand Lanters

(Rise of the Empress #1)

Julie C. Dao

forestofathousandlanterns

 

Published October 10th 2017 by Philomel Books

An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

This has been on my  Goodreads TBR for the longest time, so I’m really excited to get to it. When will that be? Who knows, but I’m really hoping I can read it before the year ends.


Have you read this book yet? What did you think? Leave your comments down below. I’d love to hear from you!

As always, thank you for stopping by and reading. Hope you have a funtastic weekend!

Sincerely Karen Jo