Happy Release Day to me! Against the Game is here!


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Book Trailer:


Eric Teague is moments away from making history. Thanks to him, the world of gaming is about to experience technology like it has never seen before. When his new establishment, Against the Game, opens, playing video games will be a thing of the past.

At Against the Game, players experience the game as if it is real in a virtual reality. There is no TV, no console with wires and controllers. The game feels absolutely real. Kids get so much more than puppeteering cartoonish characters through a game of basketball. No matter the person’s health or physical ability, they will be the characters in a world without limits and they will experience what it is really like to compete as a pro ball player.

During test trials, kids called Against the Game “amazing,” “fantastic,” and “miraculous.” One kid declared it was the best experience of his life. Indeed, everyone knew it was going to be something big enough to alter the whole gaming industry. For Eric, it meant a long awaited dream come true.

But, all too soon, reality breaks into Eric’s moment when something goes terribly wrong. He and his best friend Lacey get trapped in the virtual reality of the supercomputer behind his establishment. It is definitely no longer just a game. The danger is real. The consequences are real. And, Eric and Lacey’s fight for survival is more than real.

To live, they must win, and to win, they must overcome the biggest challenge of all: to trust and to love.


There were more than a couple snakes, more than ten, upwards of even hundreds. There had to be thousands of them. The dirt of the tunnel was hardly visible beneath the reptiles. Indeed, the floor looked as if it moved.

It would be impossible to walk through them without getting bit. Would he have time to hit the button before he died in the game? He had to get out before the venom killed him. That was the only way he would survive.

He looked down at his bare feet and cringed. No matter, he had to do this! There was no other way out of there. He had to get to that red exit button so he could save Lacey and Paula. Nothing else mattered.

Why wouldn’t his damn feet move?

Taking a deep breath, he strived for courage. He pictured Lacey in his mind, reminding himself what he was doing this for. She needed him and he would not let her down.

After one more breath, he took one hesitant step forward, burrowing his foot slowly down between the snakes, feeling for the floor. He had to use his toes to ease in between them, even scoot a few out of his way. If he could manage not to hurt them, maybe he could avoid a bite. Maybe.

He had to force himself not to jerk away from the feel of the snakes sliding against his bare foot. This was absolute torture. It was hell.

Finally, he placed his foot to the floor and moved forward with the next foot. One step was down and he wasn’t bitten. He tried to move as little as possible, but he was helpless against the trembling that violently shook him.

Eric didn’t consider himself a coward. Only an idiot wouldn’t have been scared. He was smart enough to know he was probably one step closer to his death.

His foot hit the floor again, so he attempted step number three. He held his breath through the next few steps when he felt some very large snakes in the mix. It had to have been a python. At least that kind of snake wasn’t poisonous. The bite wouldn’t kill him. It would just cause a lot of pain.

Eric winced when he felt a sharp pain just above his left ankle. It was a snake bite. He tried hard not to jerk away, afraid that would cause more bites. It hurt so badly. This snake didn’t give a quick bite and recoil. No, it bit and started chewing.

Without any other choice, he ignored the pain and kept going, dragging the snake along. His next step was wobbly and he stepped down on a snake. It bit, a quick attack this time, not clinging to him like the other one. Then, he felt another bite. Maybe it was a different snake or maybe it was a second bite from the same one.

It was time to get moving. Going slow wasn’t working anymore.

He quit worrying about where his feet went and started moving faster. Leaping over the snakes and landing softly became the new strategy. He had to get to that exit sign as quickly as possible.

The snakes continued to bite him with just about every step he took. He kept close to the wall and used one hand for balance so he didn’t fall. If he went down, he wouldn’t get back up.

He started feeling nauseous. His head started swimming and he had to lean on the wall more and more as he went. Who knew what kind of snake venom he had in his blood stream by now? He knew one thing was for sure. He didn’t have much time or he was not going to make it to that button.

The distance seemed more and more impossible to him even though he was now three quarters of the way there. He didn’t think he would make it before he passed out. He hated damn snakes. He did not want to die this way!

His feet grew slick beneath him and Eric knew the moisture was blood, his blood. His hands began to tingle and he realized he had bites there as well. Were these stupid snakes jumping now?

Three more steps and he went down. He couldn’t help it. His legs just gave out. He had no choice but to start crawling.

The reptiles went into a biting frenzy, attacking him everywhere at once, and he let out a scream. Many of them stayed attached, flopping against him. The pain was everywhere now. He couldn’t distinguish one bite from the next. He hurt all over.

This was a terrifyingly for-real horror movie scene. He couldn’t think of a more horrific way to go out of this world, but he didn’t stop. He couldn’t. He had to keep moving!

It was definitely a miracle that he made it to the end of the hall, but he did. The exit button sat above his head, ready for him to push it, but he couldn’t get up. He tried. The tingling that was in his hands had spread everywhere. He was numb, whether from a side effect of venom or from a state of shock, he couldn’t be sure.

“Come on!” he growled at himself.

He tried again, digging his fingers into the wall to pull himself up. Again, he thought of Lacey. He couldn’t let her die because of his creation. That was unacceptable to him.

He shook violently, but his body did rise. He used his very last burst of energy to slam his fist into the exit button. Then, he let himself fall into unconsciousness.


Readers, would you like to win a copy? There will be a giveaway today! Leave me a comment for a chance to win! 🙂

Happy Release Day to Author Matt Melillo! Let’s Give Him a Shout Out!

castons_revenge_front-143x225Please give a warm welcome to Debut Author Matthew Melillo! Matt, I’m so excited to have you here to talk about your release Caston’s Revenge. This book is out today! Happy Release Day!

I am truly honored to be here and have this opportunity.

This is your first book published, true? How exciting! What does this accomplishment mean to you?

Yes, this is my first book. It is a dream come true to finally be here after many years of trying to find an avenue to pursue my dreams of being a writer. And now, I not only have one book coming out, but two more as well. It is surreal.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

It took me, on and off, four years to complete my first book. I was constantly going back and forth, reading it, and changing it. It was painful for years, receiving letters stating that this was not the type of book they were wanting to publish. My family stood behind me and kept encouraging me to continue writing. While shopping that book around, I did continue writing and completed two other books.

What would you say has surprised you most about the publishing business?

How difficult it is to get published. Once you find a place, it’s a whirlwind of what to do next. It has also been an incredible learning experience working with the editors who taught me so much more about writing and to help me grow.

What is your book about? What inspired this story?

Caston’s Revenge is a unique story about revenge. The main character, Max Caston, returns home from war after being wounded. When he returns, he finds out his wife is legally pursuing a high-profile crime boss. Just before going to trial, there is a home invasion where Max and his family are left for dead. With the help of two close friends from the Army, Max begins to rebuild his life until he sees one of the home invaders at a televised press conference for the man his wife was trying to put behind bars. This sets Max on a path for justice. And the deeper he goes to find out who is behind it, the worse it turns out to be.

What inspired the story was several things. Of course, I took small aspects of my life and incorporated them into the story. But the biggest inspiration was I wanted to write something that, if I was reading, I could picture like watching a movie in a dark movie theater. I wanted it to be something I would want to see. And I hope that comes across to all the readers.

Matt, I couldn’t find much about you online. I would love to know a little more about you. What is a typical day like in your life?

I am married to my beautiful wife, Genny, for 13 years now. We have two boys, Dom and Cody, and my wife is currently pregnant with our third child, poetically, we decided to name Max. My typical day is usually spent at work where I am a finance manager for a large car dealership where I spend anywhere from 8 to 14 hours at work 5 to 7 days a week. When I get home, I try to spend a little time with the boys and my wife and try to squeeze in some writing. But, long-term, I would love to just focus on my writing.

Congratulations on your wife’s pregnancy! What would it surprise your readers to know about you?

Readers may be surprised to know, especially after reading the answer to the last question, that I was a history teacher for several years when I graduated college.

That sure surprises me. Are you working on anything new that you would like to tell us about?

I am currently working on two more books that are in rewrite and editing stages. The first is The Unknown, which is a horror/thriller. The second, which is closest to my heart, is a historical drama The Last Order of the Templars. I am hoping to have them released by the end of this year. Once they are done, I am going to focus my attention on the sequel to Caston’s Revenge, which I plan as a trilogy. I will also work on the second book in the series for The Last Order of the Templars. But, as many readers know, minds are always busy, and, in between, I have a couple of other stories I would love to put to paper as well.

Do you have any links you would like to share so readers can find you online?

On Facebook, this is the link to my page: https://www.facebook.com/matthewmmelillo

And my website, which should be up soon: http://www.mattmelillo.com/

Caston’s Revenge is now available on Amazon.com. Here is a direct link:


Here is a blurb:

Max Caston is a soldier wounded in Iraq. After he returns home, he learns his wife, an assistant district attorney, is attempting to bring down a major crime boss. Unfortunately, a home invasion leaves Max for dead, and his family lost.

When the police fail to bring the true criminals to justice, Max, with the help of two of his closest friends, decides to take matters into his own hands. But as he draws closer to his target, he discovers his target is only the beginning.

Do you have a message you would like to share with readers?

I hope when you read Caston’s Revenge you get the same feeling I got when writing it. It is a whirlwind action book that, even though you may think you know what will happen, still surprises you. When reading, I hope you get that feeling as if all you are missing is some popcorn and a coke while you enjoy the movie you imagine.

I would love to encourage anyone that reads my books to please feel free to shoot me an email, post a message or a question on my Facebook about anything, and I promise I will respond to each one. And I encourage anyone that has a goal, no matter how many times you hear no, don’t listen and keep pursuing your dreams. My dream is only beginning, and I am hoping I can continue to produce books that the readers out there will enjoy.

Published in: on June 12, 2015 at 5:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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