Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Book Blast and Giveaway - Critical Hit: A Gaming Mystery by W.M. Akers

Welcome to my stop on the book blast for Critical Hit: A Gaming Mystery by W. M. Akers. This book blast was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the book blast for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Critical Hit: A Gaming Mystery
Author: W.M. Akers
Publisher: What Happens Next
Publication Date: June 25th 2021
Print Length: 312 pages
Genre: Mystery Adventure
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How do you win a game that’s trying to kill you?

A twenty-nine year-old clerk at a games store in the Appalachian hamlet of Jett Creek, Tennessee, Callie Myles lives for the weekly RPG sessions run by her beloved brother and gamesmaster, LB. Under his watchful eye, she and her friends wage war, harness magic, and battle evil. When the dice are rolling, they are heroes, and all of Callie’s anxieties slip away. The fun stops the night LB burns to death in a bizarre fire.

Asked by her friends to keep the weekly game alive, Callie does her best to set her grief aside. She puts on the monocle LB wore during sessions and finds herself sucked into a life-sized recreation of her brother’s game. Inhabiting the body of her beloved character, the legendary Arabeth, she thinks she has found the ultimate escape. Her paradise is spoiled when she discovers that something inside the game killed LB—and one of her fellow players was in on it.

To save herself, to avenge her brother, Callie Myles must pull on her armor and beat LB’s game from the inside out. If she gets killed along the way, well, at least she’s having a great time.

A fast-paced hybrid of mystery and adventure, CRITICAL HIT captures the breakneck joy of tabletop gaming, where life and death depend on the whims of a plastic die. It will be on Kickstarter from May 25 to June 25, and available on DriveThruFiction and Amazon after that.

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EXCERPT:
Somewhere far from Blackbriar Keep, a barricade of empty beer cans and crumpled chip bags ringed a plastic castle. On the white grid that represented its muddy courtyard, four one-inch miniature Heroes were locked in deadly combat with the dozen figurines that represented a Horde of thousands. They were beautiful little figurines, but all eyes were on the other end of the table. Nothing mattered but Arabeth.

She had one leg raised, her bowstring drawn taut, and a look of extreme do-not-fuck-with-me on her face. I’d spent twenty-two hours painting her, deploying all my tricks to bring her plastic to life. From her forest green boots to the curls of her rich brown hair, every millimeter was perfect. Tonight, perfect was what it would take.

It was April 2003, when tops were cropped and pants were cargo, when fedoras and trucker hats still seemed like good ideas, when America was already getting bored with its new war. More importantly, it was a Thursday, which meant the back room at Critical Hit was ours. Stale beer and smoke polluted the air. Imitation wood paneling peeled from a drop ceiling that was nearly as stained as the pea green carpet. The walls were close, or I guess the table was too big, because you couldn’t shift your seat without banging into one or the other. Absolutely no breeze drifted through the little window on the far wall. Grimy lace curtains hid us from the rest of the games shop. It was a pit, but it had to be the happiest pit on earth.

The man who brought magic into that little room sat at the head of the table. One hand rested on his gut; the other twisted a beard flicked with red ale. His eyes—one bare, the other behind that ridiculous monocle—were slits. A playful smile drifted across his face as he tried to figure out what might happen next. He looked like a big, gentle grizzly bear. A stranger might have mistaken him for just another geek. They’d never have guessed that my big brother was the greatest gamemaster in the world.

“You sure you want to do this?” he asked.

“I think I already have.”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
W.M. Akers is a novelist, playwright, and game designer. He is the author of the mystery novels Westside and Westside Lights; the creator of the bestselling games Deadball: Baseball With Dice and Comrades: A Revolutionary RPG; and the curator of the history newsletter Strange Times
 
Born in Nashville, he spent a lucky thirteen years in New York before moving to Philadelphia in 2019. 

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GIVEAWAY:
W.M. Akers will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different blog participating in the book blast each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

71 comments:

  1. Hey! W.M. Akers, the author, here. Thank you so much for hosting! If anybody has any questions about Critical Hit or writing generally, post them and I’ll reply!

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  2. This sounds great. I love SAO and Excell World so I'm sure I would love this!

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    1. Oh yeah, this will definitely be up your alley. Check out the Kickstarter for a look at the book and the gorgeous maps at the start of it:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  3. How long was the writing process?

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    1. I started outlining the book in 2017, but didn't actually begin writing until 2019. So depending on how you track it, either 4 years (off and on) or 2. If you're interested in that kind of thing, I did a series of updates at the Kickstarter talking about the making of the book:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery/posts/3214267

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  4. Replies
    1. I'm slightly biased, but I think it is! Check out the Kickstarter for more about why I wrote it and for a longer excerpt from the first chapter.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  5. Sounds like a great read. Cool cover. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. Thank you! I'm very fond of the cover--I designed it myself. Check out the Kickstarter for a look at an alternate cover, which I'm using for a limited edition hardback this summer.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  6. thanks this sounds like a very interesting book

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    1. Thank you for the kind words! Check out the Kickstarter if you want to learn a whole lot more:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  7. Replies
    1. I'm slightly biased, but I think it reads great! Check out the Kickstarter for a longer excerpt from the first chapter. If you back the project, you'll get a preview of the entire book immediately.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  8. Mystery Adventure - I so like this!
    And what an interesting cover.
    Thank you for sharing this review.

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    1. That's awesome! Mystery/adventure is very much my zone. And I'm glad you like the cover--I designed it myself and I'm super proud of it! Take a look at the Kickstarter to see an alternate version that I'm using for a limited edition hardback on sale this summer.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  9. David HollingsworthJune 22, 2021 at 12:10 PM

    Sounds like a really fun read!

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    1. It is! I'm all about keeping the reader entertained and I think Critical Hit keeps it up from the first page to the last. Check out the Kickstarter for a longer excerpt if you'd like to learn more.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  10. Congratulations on the book release. Sounds like an exciting book.

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    1. Thank you! It was a ton of work to get it to this point but I'm extremely proud of how it turned out. Check out the Kickstarter to see what it looks like in print.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  11. This looks like a great read. Thank you

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    1. Thank you! I'm extremely proud of the book. If you want to learn more or see a longer excerpt, check out the Kickstarter:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

      Delete
  12. This sounds like a very good book.

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    1. At the risk of sounding biased, it is! Check out the Kickstarter to learn more--I've got a ton of info on there about the making of the book, as well as some cool rewards.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  13. Gamers fascinate me...Have to read this mystery.

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    1. Ooooh, you're going to love it, then. I'm a gamer myself (obviously) and I wrote this with massive affection for the many types of people you'll meet around a table. Oh, and a $25 pledge also comes with a free RPG! Check out the Kickstarter to learn more:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  14. Sounds like a good book. I like the cover and the excerpt.

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    1. That's extremely flattering, thank you! I did the cover design myself and I'm really proud of it. Check out the Kickstarter campaign to see an alternate version, which is going to be available as a limited edition hardback this summer.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  15. This sounds like an interesting and engaging book.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. I think it is! Check out the Kickstarter if you'd like to see a longer excerpt. I think just a few hundred words will get you hooked.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  16. Replies
    1. It is! Check out the Kickstarter if you want to read more, or hear about the process of writing the book. Lots of good info on there.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  17. Replies
    1. Thank you so much for saying so! It's truly been a labor of love. Check out the Kickstarter to learn how you can get your copy.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  18. I am excited to read this book~

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    1. You don't have to wait! Pledge any amount at the Kickstarter and you can start reading a full preview of the book right now. And the final version will be ready in just a couple of weeks.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  19. Nice book cover and the book sounds interesting

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    1. I'm so glad you like the cover! I did all the design myself and I'm really proud of it. To learn more about the making of the book, and find out how you can get your copy, check out the Kickstarter:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  20. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

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    1. My pleasure! Check out the Kickstarter to learn more about the making of the book, and to make sure you get your copy:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  21. This sounds like a great book.

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    1. Thank you! I'm extremely proud of it, and I think you'll really love it. To get your copy, check out the Kickstarter before it closes on Friday:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  22. Replies
    1. I intend to! And you have a wonderful day, too!

      Oh, and while you're here, make sure you check out the Kickstarter to get your copy of the book.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  23. What a fun mystery. Good work,

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    1. Thank you so much! Just a reminder -- the Kickstarter wraps up tomorrow, so make sure you get your pledge in today.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  24. Nothing like a good book to help me relax!

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    1. I feel the same way! I think Critical Hit is not only a great mystery, but a great adventure. The Kickstarter cloes tomorrow, so make sure you get your pledge in today!

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  25. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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    1. Thank you for reading! Make sure you check out the Kickstarter today before it closes!

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  26. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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    1. My pleasure! Check out the Kickstarter for a longer excerpt, and make sure you get your pledge in today--the campaign closes tomorrow!

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  27. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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    1. That warms my heart! I put a lot of love into the cover and I'm glad it comes through. Make sure you check out the Kickstarter today and get your pledge in, as the campaign wraps tomorrow!

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  28. I'm amazed that in addition to being able to write, you can craft the cover! It does sound cool and very with it!!

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    1. I'm extremely proud of the cover and I'm glad you like it! Thank you! Check out the Kickstarter today and get your pledge in, as the campaign closes tomorrow.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

      Delete
  29. Looking forward to reading this book

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    1. Thank you! I think you're going to love it! Make sure you check out the Kickstarter today and get your pledge in, as the campaign closes tomorrow.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  30. I was given Westside and Westside Saints. I'll be reading them this weekend.

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    1. Oh wow! That's incredible! If you're not afraid of getting overloaded, grab a copy of Critical Hit and complete the set!

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery?ref=3sayp2

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  31. sounds like a fun one

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  32. Creative people such as yourself always inspire me to try harder to achieve my dreams. Thank you!

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  33. Where is your favorite place to write?

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  34. David HollingsworthJune 24, 2021 at 11:45 PM

    Hope your day is going well.

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  35. I enjoy reading all reviews.
    This helps me to find books I will enjoy.

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  36. Sounds like a great book. I like the cover and excerpt.

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  37. The sounds great and love the cover

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  38. Sounds like a fascinating read.

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  39. The story sounds really thrilling—can’t wait to read!

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