Wednesday, October 30

Interview & Giveaway: Two Can Play by Dawn Atkins

Two Can Play

Two Can Play
Dawn Atkins

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing – ignite imprint

Date of Publication: October 28, 2013

Number of pages: 261

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     ARe

Live. Breath. And Believe—to Rena Novo there’s nothing better than being a part of the most popular virtual-reality game—EverLife…until she’s given a Quest to evict her best friend from the society she’s come to love. If she completes the job—she’ll rise to the top, but a sexy recruit is stirring a different kind of passion within her and making her question everything that makes her life complete.

Hunting for his missing sister, investigative reporter Gage Stone goes undercover in the gaming cult that’s taken over his sister’s life. But his biggest obstacle is the sizzling attraction between he and Rena, the extremely hot gamer assigned as his trainer. As their attraction builds, Gage realizes his sister isn’t the only one he can’t leave without. Now he must convince Rena the rhetoric the company’s pushing is just a plot that will culminate in the deaths of hundreds… before she turns him in and gets them all killed.
“What’s not to like?” He caught her gaze and got a full-on punch of heat. The two of them naked on all that bed sounded pretty damn good to him. The spark in her lake-blue eyes said she agreed. When she held out her hand, he almost yanked her close for a taste of those soft lips of hers.

“Your jacket?” she said, tilting her head.

He shrugged it off. She watched him, her blue eyes flaring hot, like the pilot light to her sex drive. Should he go for it or take a pass?

He wanted her–he was a man with a pulse, for God’s sake, of course he wanted her–but he had to do what was smart.

He dragged his gaze away, cleared his throat and looked around. “You’ve got some pricey stuff in here. God help him, he found himself staring at the bed again.

“I go after what I want,” she said, low and sexy, her eyes glowing hotter than ever. She smelled sweet…edible. Was it coconut? Maybe just a taste.

“And what is it you want?” he asked, telling her he wanted it, too with a tone that registered in her eyes like the flick of a gauge needle.

She hesitated, stepped back, on guard. “It’s more important what you want, Gage. Why are you here? In Lounge Life?”

His answer counted big, he knew. “I’m a gamer. I needed a job.” What would a true believer say? “I like what’s here. It’s like a family.”

“You don’t have one already?” Her eyes glittered with suspicion.

“Not really.” His sister Beth was all he had and she was missing. That was his real reason to be here.

“Lifers are my family,” Rena said, emotions rippling beneath her words, like muscles under an animal’s pelt.

Their gazes locked and the connection went abruptly personal. He saw a lonely little girl behind her eyes and she, no doubt, caught a flicker of the grim kid he’d been.

The past reeked, but it was gone.

An electric thread sizzled between them. “What I want is right here.” He looked her up and down, wanting in, letting her see that. He liked the spark in her eye, the challenge in her half-smile, not to mention that tight, strong body of hers—everything in the right place and then some. He was pretty sure it was her hair that smelled of coconut. “How about you?”

She moved grabbed his belt and tugged, telling him all he needed to know.

Today, we welcome Dawn Atkins to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give her a big Geeky welcome!

I have some questions for you that are writer specific as well as some fun stuff so that we can really get to know the real you. *grin* Plus we will finish things off with round of Think Fast. Ready to begin?

Writing Specific
1. Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.
I wrote my first novel--a romance--in 1983 and it came back with a form rejection on a rainy night. I sat on the couch with my then boyfriend (now husband) while water dripped into a sauce pan from the leak in our roof and decided I didn’t have the talent to be published. I didn’t try again for 13, count ‘em 13, years.
2. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Plants vs. Zombies 2 anyone?
I love movies, books, Zumba, spending time with friends, and, yes, casual computer games like PvZ2
3. How did you choose the genres you write in?
I’ve always loved romantic comedy and I adore suspense with a clever mystery, so these are the kinds of stories I gravitated toward when I began writing.
4. Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you or your writing?
Annie LaMott’s Bird by Bird has so many poignant ideas about why we write and what reading means to me that I think she gave me the courage to plow ahead even when the words didn’t come and when they did, they seemed lame.
5. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I wouldn’t call it the “toughest” criticism…maybe the most demoralizing is that the person didn’t care about the characters. By definition a story is “character under pressure,” so if the characters I love and expose to reader scrutiny don’t seem real or worthy of a story, then I’ve totally failed as a writer…at least for that reader.
The best compliment is when readers say they found my characters true to life and believable. The best of all is when someone says my book got them through a difficult time or gave them hope for something better in their lives.
Fun Stuff
6. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
There are so many famous people in both fiction and history that I would have a tough time choosing one. So I would choose someone far more personal…my mother, who died in 1986 at age 52 of breast cancer. There were so many things we didn’t talk about because she was so ill, that I would love a relaxed conversation to talk about everything.
7. You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
That depends on what you declare a “luxury.” I consider a pillow-top bed, an iPad, Netflix and fine chocolates to be necessities…but, okay, if you insist, I’ll go with a massage therapist, a personal chef and a soaking tub.
9. What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Vegetable bins full of wilting vegetables, diet cherry Coke Zero, leftover beef souvlaki from My Big Fat Greek restaurant
10. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Meanwhile, I keep dancing
Think Fast
Summer or Winter? Summer…if you live in Arizona, you’d better love the heat!
Coffee or Tea? Coffee…bold, freshly ground with real cream and Splenda
Cake or Pie? Cake, of course. Every bite’s delicious. Pie has too much fruit you have to work around to get to the buttery pastry and drizzled caramel sauce
Car or Truck? Car, preferably red and fast
Print or Electronic? I have to choose?

Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?

Maybe just an observation a movie character made: “If only you knew it was the best time of my life when you’re living it.” That’s what I try to do every day….Meanwhile, I keep dancing.


One $15 Kindle Gift Card

Book Tour Info: 
Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Book Tour:

October 28:
Authors’ Cafe - Author Interview

October 29:
Paranormal Dimensions - Guest Post
Deal Sharing Aunt - Guest Post

October 30:
Musings and Ramblings - Author Interview
Paranormal Realms - Guest Post

October 31:
Margo Hoornstra – Writing Inside & Out - Guest Post

November 1:
Loralee Lillibridge – Blogging Across the Back Fence - Guest Post

November 4:
For Whom the Books Toll - Guest Post
Romance Me - Guest Post

November 5:
Nancy Jardine Features - Guest Post

November 6:
Amberkatze’s Book Blog - Guest Post
Pretty Girls Read Books - Guest Post

November 7:
What Readers Want - Guest Post

November 8:
Talk Supe - Guest Post

Author Bio:

I always wanted to be a writer–from the moment I put fat pencil to brown-lined paper in second grade to write an elaborate story using all the spelling words on our list. Though I always wanted to be a professional writer, I wasn’t sure I had the stuff, so I graduated from college with a teaching degree and taught elementary school–second and third grades (the best)–and then began freelance feature writing for newspapers and magazines, local and national.

I left teaching to work in public relations–skills I use today in my job as a writer/editor for the Arizona Education Association.

I met my husband, David Weiss, my very own hero, in 1980, on an airplane. We made the “love thang” permanent in 1985, when we married taking our Hobie sailboat to San Diego for our honeymoon. Then in 1990, we welcomed a son into our lives. He continues to be the light of our life together.

My first romance credits were two stories in True Love magazine. I went on to write a sexy romance in 1983, which was rejected–sniff.

Years later–1996–I got serious about getting published. Though I endured some rejections as I honed my craft, in 1998, I sold the first of two short romantic comedies to Kensington Publishing–Getting Zack Back, published in December. In July 2000, Baby Makes Three was released. After coming in second among published authors in a Harlequin Duets contest, I sold to Harlequin in 2001, quickly selling another comedy. In addition to Duets, I write for Temptation, Blaze and, the new comedy line Flipside.

Most of my hobbies–sailing, scuba-diving, playing the piano (badly)–have gone by the wayside as I devote all my non-family spare time to writing. I live in the Phoenix area with my husband and son, who proudly brings my books to his teachers and swears he doesn’t read them–except for the funny parts.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. Great interview and excerpt - Lovely site design - Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. So happy to be here and hope readers enjoy this taste of TWO CAN PLAY...

  3. That sounds like a lot of fun. I've been enjoying time travels the last couple of years. There are just so many funny moments for the transplanted one that can pop up.

  4. I love the honesty and humor in Dawn's interview - not only do I want to know the characters, I'd like to be her neighbor!

  5. Great pick. I enjoyed the first few books and really need to catch up. :)

  6. Nice! Th e first book kiscked butt & I like Gin. Great pick!

  7. This is a totally interesting concept. I wonder how the author handles dealing with the two realities.
    Thanks for the giveaway, too!

  8. 10th book! I've never read a series with so many books in it. Hope you enjoy this!

    Chel @ The Procrastinator's Corner

  9. Thanks for stopping by Dawn! As a gamer myself, this looks like a interesting take on the subject. I hope to get a chance to read it eventually, lol!

  10. This was a great interview. Glad you enjoyed it.

  11. I hope you get a chance to find out!

  12. Judy-ree: I hope you enjoy it. I think the book appeals to gamers and non-gamers alike. My son, gamer extraordinaire, is urging his friends to read, so that's a good sign!

  13. great excerpt and liked the interview! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  14. Great! Thanks for stopping by Daniel. :)


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