Title: Strength in Numbers (The Game Players #2)
Author Name: Brad Vance
Publication Date & Length: February 9, 2016 – 192 pgs
They’re back! In their first adventure, Marc Julian, software billionaire, and Jesse Winchester, hacker extraordinaire, survived the evil plans of the Krom brothers and Jesse’s first lover, Chip. But Jesse has old debts to pay to Russian gangster Leonid Ivanov. Now Leonid is calling in those debts, demanding that Jesse find a great treasure for him, and a new game is set in motion…
The mysterious “Satoshi,” creator of the cybercurrency Bitcoin, has been hiding $375 million worth of the currency for years. But now, he has chosen to start a quest for the keys to the Hoard, and he who controls the keys controls the fortune. And this will be a quest that will test the strength, the will, and the character of those who pursue it.
But Marc and Jesse aren’t the only ones on the hunt, as old enemies resurface to try and beat them to the treasure… And even if they reach it first, they must ask themselves – do they really want to give a Russian gangster $375 million to pursue his deadly enterprises? And what would be the consequences if they don’t?
The pursuit will take them from Andorra to Barcelona, through the museums of Tokyo, the streets of Buenos Aires, and the coast of Mexico, in a desperate and dangerous race to keep the fortune in digital gold from the hands of all their enemies…
Vance did not disappoint with this story. While there was far less BDSM in this story, the undertones were far reaching. You are once again thrust in to a story where Marc and Jesse are fighting for their lives. However, it is much more along the lines of a mystery treasure hunting experience than one of danger.
With the bad guys hot on their tails, it’s up to Jesse and Marc to figure out the clues to save the bitcoin empire.
There is still steamy scenes, a good connection and chemistry between Marc and Jesse, but with the added characters of Ryan and the bad guys, this story really took on a different depth. Vance was able to draw the story around and around, twisting, winding and plotting until the very end.
I really enjoyed this story and was happy that I got to see more about Marc’s past hurts – what drives him. I think that expanded my understanding of him that much more.
Overall a very fun treasure hunt!
1) What is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about your writing?
I wrote a novel, “A Little Too Broken,” and one the MCs was a veteran with PTSD. I did a lot of research, but, you never know if you’ve made it true to life when you go to press… Then I had a nurse who works with vets and people with PTSD write a review, and she said I got it exactly right. I also had a lady with PTSD say the same thing. It’s so difficult as a writer to get a mental state like that correct, when you haven’t lived it yourself. So it was a great compliment to hear I’d done it right.
2) Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that impact your writing?
I’m full time now, sort of. I’m taking on editing jobs to keep the boat afloat – Amazon’s constant reimbursement policy changes are making it harder and harder to make a living on writing unless you’re in the “top 1%” of your genre. I’m also branching into audiobooks of my back catalog – I’ve been told I have the voice for it, and I’ve done sound editing for former day jobs.
When I had a day job I only had a few “creative” hours a day, and those only if I got up at 4:00 am to get it in before work. Now I have all day! It’s definitely made a change in my style, since I no longer have a click ticking away my remaining writing minutes. I’ve been out of Cubicle City for a year now, but I’m still adjusting mentally – a lifetime of stress doesn’t go away in a day, and I still get up that early, just in case it all ends in tears and I have to go back. But now I’m able to do all these other things as well, so I think I’ll make it.
3) What interested you about the theme of this book?
I got really interested in Bitcoin, the digital currency, some time ago. But it was the idea of the “Satoshi Hoard” that really prompted the story. Satoshi, an anonymous person or persons who invented Bitcoin, is in possession of about 1,000,000 of them. When he “mined” or created them, they were virtually worthless, but now they’re worth $375,000,000. That’s right, millions. And “he’s” sold none of them, spent none of them. Why would someone sitting on such a huge fortune do that? What would be their motivation? And what would happen if that person decided to give them away, via a “quest”?
4) What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
The business end. Selling, promoting, advertising, mailing lists (I still don’t have one), market research… I really do “just want to write” but I don’t want to give up the total control I have as a self-publisher. If I ever have a big hit book (or sell one to the movies!), I’ll be hiring someone to “do all that.”
5) Name your four most important food groups.
Justin’s Maple Almond Butter, Del Monte Fruit Cups, Quest Peanut Butter Protein Powder, and Cheese (all).
Hi all, I’m Brad Vance, author of gay romance and erotica.