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Sneak Peek Wednesday: Virtual Reality Bites by Ava Wixx

Virtual Reality Bites
by Ava Wixx
Publisher: Wicked Wixx Press
Publication date: April 19, 2022
Genre: Romance

What happens when a romance author agrees to test romance tropes in virtual reality?

Following divorce number two, Zoe Woods is jaded, bitter, and unable to write her latest novel. For an author whose brand is all about finding true love, that’s kind of a problem.

Desperate to revive her romantic optimism, Zoe accepts an offer from an unlikely place to beta test virtual reality romance tropes. Unfortunately, Zoe jumps in too fast, and instead of a fun romp in virtual Romancelandia to rekindle her creativity, she finds one debacle after another.

Regretting her choices, Zoe realizes nothing is ever what it seems when it comes to love and romance and fantasy vs real world. The only thing she does know for sure is that virtual reality definitely bites.

 

 

 Excerpt

“Xander?” I called. “Do I get any kind of directions or do I just go …” The rest of my sentence was swallowed as a man on a horse galloped up a nearby hill, heading straight for me. He wasn’t close enough that I could make out his expression yet, but I could see that he had long, dark hair that swept away from his face … and he was massive. Like Conan the Barbarian massive.
I gulped, my first instinct to run. As the horse’s hooves thundered closer, I could no longer sublimate my flight response, despite knowing I was in a fantasy world. Spinning on my heels, I took off at a dead sprint in the opposite direction. I made it only about a few yards when my feet tangled in my annoyingly cumbersome skirt, and I fell to my hands and knees.
“Shit,” I muttered, glancing frantically over my shoulder at my pursuer.
“Clara, lass, why are you runnin’ from me?” The man’s deep voice, dipped in a delightful Scottish brogue, washed over me as he pulled the horse to a halt, bewilderment playing across his chiseled features.
“Do I know you?” Hmmm … interesting. I also sound Scottish.
The man’s full lips turned down into a scowl as he dismounted and made his way to me. Before I could utter another word, he’d lifted me to my feet, resting his warm hands on my shoulders. “Are you all right, Clara? Did you hit your head?”
Nice touch. He sounded Scottish but not ridiculously so. It wasn’t historically accurate, but who needs perfection when it comes to fantasy? Besides, I hated when other authors wrote too much of an accent into their books, making it almost as difficult to decipher on the page as it would be out loud. Of course, I often got criticized for doing the opposite. To each their own, I supposed … Although, I probably should mention to Xander that it might be a good idea to let the client choose that particular detail. It isn’t one size fits all when it comes to fantasies. Or, maybe it already is a choice and this is just mine? Yeah, it would have been really helpful if I had more information going into this. Thanks a lot, Xander.
“Clara? Tell me what’s goin’ on with you, lass. You have me worried.”
I wasn’t exactly sure how to play this one. “Umm … maybe I hit my head? I can’t be sure.”
The man blinked a few times as if processing my response. “What do you mean by you can’t be sure? Do you not remember?”
I nibbled on my bottom lip. “No?” Now that I was no longer being motivated by fear, all I could do was stare at the perfection of man-candy being offered up to me. Where had the image for him come from? My mind? Algorithms? Bah. Guess it doesn’t matter. He’s here, and he’s beautiful.
Scooping me up in his arms, the man hopped back onto his horse with no effort, as if I weighed less than nothing. “I told you not to go wanderin’ off by yourself. Now you’ve gone and hit yer head, knocking Lord knows what out of it. What am I goona do with you, Clara? You’re the most stubborn woman I’ve ever laid eyes on.”
“What’s your name?”
“Och, I have a full day of training, but I can see yer goona be needin’ a doctor immediately.” He swept some of my hair off my forehead, gazing down at me tenderly as he cradled me closer. “Don’t worry, Clara, I’ll take care of you.”
Butterflies divebombed my stomach. “Okay,” I managed on a breathy sigh, much to my horror. Oh, get a hold of yourself. This guy doesn’t actually exist. He’s made up of pixels and … other techy stuff. Whatever.

 

 

Meet Ava Wixx

Ava Wixx escaped into books at a young age and decided to stay there. It was only a matter of time before she was driven to create her own fantasy worlds from fear of running out of places to explore. Reader, writer, dreamer … Ava only toils in reality when absolutely necessary. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, and spoiled mini-poodle.

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