Niki Cluff lives in Northern Arizona with her husband, three children, and Great Dane who also doubles as a pony. For the last four years, she has worked as a literary intern sorting through queries while writing her own books. When she isn’t writing or watching BIGBANG and EXO videos, she’s sketching, playing video games (Legend of Zelda is her favorite), crocheting, and cooking. Copycat recipes are her specialty. She’s also a massive anime fan (Sailor Moon forever!) and hopes to visit Tokyo some day.
Allyson has been in a coma for the last nine months. What’s worse, she can hear everything the doctors say. She knows they’re keeping her in a coma and that she’s at the mercy of the hospital’s First-in-Human trial—a VR system implanted in her brain for a second chance at life.
Attached to the VR, Ally discovers worlds unlike home. She can do whatever she wants, but she misses her parents. With help from Harrison, a rabbit-eared boy, they work together to free themselves from Aishwarya, the mad queen of the world.
But when Harrison wakes up and doesn’t come for Ally, she’ll split her soul to the brink of death to save herself.
“He’s gone. I know you visited his parents. I know they were coming for him,” she says. She swings the sword down and I duck, my arms raised above my head as though they could offer some sort of protection. I squeeze my eyes anticipating the coming pain.
Nothing happens. No searing pain or fire burning my skin the way I imagine the bite of a sword might feel. Gasps rise from the crowd. Is this like a video game? Do I get more lives?
“Not again, Aishwarya,” Chester says through clenched teeth. I open my eyes to see him standing above me. He’s clutching the blade of the sword in one hand. Aishwarya’s arm in the other. Lines of blood drips from his palm to the ground in puddles that almost disappear on the dark flooring. “How many deaths will be enough?”