Saturday, August 16, 2014

I HEART YA 2014: Sneak Peek: The Fool (Virtual Arcana #0) by Karen Amanda Hooper

The Fool (Virtual Arcana Series, #0)

Check out on Goodreads!

Synopsis: In a faraway future, Kelsey Zellar is starting her senior year at yet another school thanks to her twin sister’s troublesome obsession with outlawed virtual reality games. 

Every school they’ve ever attended is pretty much the same: lunchroom drama, rich kids binging on enhancement candies, and classmates rallying for or against the government’s strict control over everything from entertainment privileges to caffeine consumption. 

Unlike her sister, Kelsey follows the rules and keeps her nose out of trouble and politics while sniffing out her next flavored latte and favorite novel. But when Kelsey meets a charming book connoisseur, and accepts his offering of a tarot card, she takes the first step toward two new addictions: the guy of her dreams, and his illegal dealing of virtual escapes into her beloved storybooks. 

Kelsey straddles the worlds of fiction and reality, but is she a fool for believing in her own happy ending?

**This series will be serial style with short episodes(15-25k) releasing frequently. 
For those who want to wait for a longer, more complete story, a collection of the first 7 episodes, VIRTUAL ARCANA, Season 1, will be available once episode 7 has released.**


0-The Fool

Level 0.1

Coffee was my drug of choice. Harmless and oh-so-delicious, it was required for me to stay awake during morning classes—especially on my first day at a new school. I inhaled the rich and minty aroma of my peppermint latte as I stepped out of the coffee shop. I was certain Caffeine Machine would be my second favorite place in our new town.

I squeezed between our piece-of-junk craft and the newer but modest model parked beside it. A steaming cup sat on the roof of the neighboring craft as the guy in the driver’s seat powered up and started to hover.

I knocked on the window and he turned. His questioning eyes met mine through the double panes of glass—his eyeglasses and his window.

I pointed to the cup on his roof. “Your coffee.”

“What?” he mouthed as his window lowered.

I reached up, grabbing his drink then handing it to him. “You forgot something.”

He bashfully grinned while taking the cup from me, but his fingers pressed over mine during the hand-off. A spark of excitement made me tingle. The guy smiling at me was totally my type. My type wasn’t the hot model or jock, but the much more hard to find subtle sort of attractive, radiating intelligence and confidence with no hint of ego. Blessed with a baby face that was expressive and honest, he’d probably befriend everyone from a band geek to the prom queen. The type who flew low on the drama radar like me.

“Thanks.” His voice was deeper than I expected, but almost as warm as the beverages we were both holding. “Losing my coffee would have started my day off horribly.”

I wriggled my fingers free from his and let go. “I wouldn’t wish that sort of tragedy on my worst enemy.”

“Kelsey!” My sister, Keekee, shouted from her driver’s seat. “Come on. We’ll be late!”
I offered a quick wave and turned to open our craft door, but Mr. Smooth-voice asked, “Are you new around here?”

“Just moved into town yesterday.” I grimaced as the passenger door squeaked open. Between the two of us you’d think Keekee and I could earn enough for a newer craft, or at least basic repairs, but instead we blew our funds on brand-name coffee and enhancement candies.

“On your way to Century High?” Coffee Forgetter nodded at the high-rise school nestled in the cityscape. The sun wasn’t up yet, so the skyline looked grey and ominous.

I raised my cup. “Indeed, I am. My first day swimming with the sharks. May the odds be ever in my favor.”

He laughed. “Based on your quote, I assume you enjoy reading the classics.”


“What’s your favorite novel?”

Cute and knew the way to a book nerd’s heart. “Shouldn’t you ask my name before you ask about my reading preferences?”

“Your name is Kelsey.” His chin jutted upward, motioning to my loudmouthed sister behind me. “Which is lovely, but only tells me that your parents, or at least one of them, preferred old-fashioned names. I’d much rather know the name of your favorite book because that will reveal volumes of information about you.”

A nervous but flattered chuckle caught in my throat. My first impression was correct—he was smart and perceptive. And growing more attractive with every word he spoke.

“I’ve never been able to choose a favorite,” I admitted. “I like variety.”

Behind his glasses, his eyes gleamed with mischief. He set his coffee in his cup holder, reached into his pocket, and handed me a shiny playing card. “I’ll see you around, Kelsey.”

I took the card from him and glanced at the colorful artwork. “What’s this?”

“That’s step zero.”

“Step zero?”

He lowered his voice. “Don’t let anyone see it, especially at school.”

His window raised, and he gripped his wheel.

“Wait.” I tapped on the glass. “I don’t know your name.”

I was sure he heard me, but he didn’t answer or glance in my direction as his craft rose into the air and glided out of the parking lot.


I was born and bred in Baltimore, frolicked and froze in Colorado for a couple of years, and I'm currently sunning and splashing around Florida with my two spoiled rescue dogs. I'm addicted to coffee, chocolate and complicated happily-ever-afters. 

Where to Stalk Amanda!

Win an ecopy of The Fool over on the I HEART YA 2014 Giveaways page!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing my sneak peek with the world! :)


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