Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick

A Novel of an Early Suffragist
Jane Kirkpatrick

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction 
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: September 1, 2020 
Number of Pages: 336

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Some things are worth doingeven when the cost is great. 

In 1853, Abigail Scott was a nineteen-year-old schoolteacher in Oregon Territory when she married Ben Duniway. Marriage meant giving up on teaching, but Abigail always believed she was meant to be more than a good wife and mother. When Abigail becomes the primary breadwinner for her growing family, what she sees as a working woman appalls her
and prompts her to devote her life to fighting for the rights of women, including the right to vote. 

Based on a true story, Something Worth Doing will resonate with modern women who still grapple with the pull between career and family, finding their place in the public sphere, and dealing with frustrations and prejudices when competing in male-dominated spaces.

"I have long admired Jane Kirkpatrick's rich historical fiction, and Something Worth Doing is well worth reading! Oregonian Abigail Duniway is a vibrant, fiercely passionate, and determined activist who fought for women's suffrage. Women of today have cause to respect and admire her—as well as the loving, patient, and supportive husband who encouraged her to continue 'the silent hunt.'" —Francine Rivers, author of Redeeming Love

"On the trail to Oregon, young Jenny Scott lost her beloved mother and little brother and learned that no matter what, she must persist until she reaches her goal. Remembering her mother's words—'a woman's life is so hard'—the young woman who became Abigail Scott Duniway came to understand through observation and experience that law and custom favored men. The author brings alive Abigail's struggles as frontier wife and mother turned newspaper publisher, prolific writer, and activist in her lifelong battle to win the vote and other rights for women in Oregon and beyond. Jane Kirkpatrick's story of this persistent, passionate, and bold Oregon icon is indeed Something Worth Doing!" —Susan G. Butruille, author of Women's Voices from the Oregon Trail, now in a 25th anniversary edition
Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author of more than thirty books, including One More River to Cross, Everything She Didn't Say, All Together in One Place, A Light in the Wilderness, The Memory Weaver, This Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. 

Her works have won the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and the 2016 Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award. Jane divides her time between Central Oregon and California with her husband, Jerry, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Caesar.

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One Winner: $25 Barnes & Noble gift card + Oregon map bag + a copy of Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick
Two Winners: $10 Barnes & Noble gift card + a copy of Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick
September 15-25, 2020
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Book Blitz and Giveaway - Intro: Laconic (Sidereal #1) by W.H. Rose

Title: Intro: Laconic
Series: Sidereal #1
Author: W.H. Rose
Publication Date: September 22nd 2020
Print Length: 367 pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Taein Kim, affectionately known as “Blondie”, is an incredibly talented young man and leader of the rookie K-Pop group Eclipse. Tae has his whole life and career in front of him, but it comes to a screeching halt when a standard meet and greet leads to him finding his soulmate, a foreign girl named after the goddess of love.

Venus Woods is the young heiress of the largest tech corporation in Southeastern America. Her life revolves around meaningless events and empty white walls, devoid of color and purpose. She never thought she would meet her favorite idol group, Eclipse, let alone form the incredibly rare soulmate bond with their leader. As if that’s not life-changing enough, her absent mother is determined to have the two married, using her daughter as a bargaining chip.

Separated by lifestyle, culture, and language, the teens have wall after wall between them. None of it stops the blossom of love that blooms in their hearts when they lock eyes under the cover of a thunderstorm.

I don’t know why but I feel a spark when our palms connect. Taein seems to feel it too because our eyes meet, his widening in disbelief. For a split second, everything but him disappears. My heart rate slows, then speeds so fast I think I’m going to have a heart attack. Taein’s hand tightens around mine to a near-bruising point and he opens his mouth to say something, but in the next moment, security is pulling me along, stopping me from holding up the line of several dozen people behind me. I spare one look over my shoulder and find that he’s staring right back at me, dazed and looking straight into my soul in a way that leaves me breathless and wanting more than just a few seconds in his presence. 
W. H. Rose is an emerging author who just released her debut novel, Mythomania, in January of 2020. Her life's passion is storytelling. Rose has always entertained those around her with her ability to create moving and impactful tales and is proud to share her first novel at the young age of eighteen. She lives in Georgia with her loving family and pet rabbit, Soba.

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Monday, September 21, 2020

Blurb Blitz and Giveaway - Canoodling Up North: Book One by Shawn M. Verdoni

Welcome to my stop on the blurb blitz for Canoodling Up North by Shawn M. Verdoni. This blitz was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt for you as well as the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card or a Kindle copy of the book. Be sure to check out the other stops on the blitz for more content. Enjoy!
Title: Canoodling Up North: Book One
Author: Shawn M. Verdoni
Publisher: The Unapologetic Voice House
Publication Date: September 1st 2020
Print Length: 328 pages
Genres: Contemporary Romance
At first glance, Damon MacGregor is living his best life as a bachelor and veterinarian in rural Wisconsin. That is until a wounded crane and an enchanted stranger bring his house-of-cards life crashing down. Not exactly where she expected to be at this time in her life, Catrina “Cat” Carneri has left her dreams in Montana to move back to her hometown where she is nursing a broken heart and working for an ungrateful boss.

A chance encounter at a wildlife rescue changes everything. Cat’s calm and organized demeanor impresses Damon. However, it is how her hair reminds him of autumn and is complimented by her curvaceous figure that beckons him to pull Cat into his arms, claiming her as his own. Damon’s compassion and gregarious personality intrigues Cat. Yet it is his cobalt blue eyes that first capture her heart; so infinite in their depth, she knows the moment he touches her, he takes a hold of her soul.

Soon after forging their passionate bond, a secret from Cat’s past has her facing a difficult decision. If she tells Damon the truth, he may leave or give her the chance to rebuild his trust. If she keeps the secret and Damon finds out, he will leave her forever.

Canoodling Up North is a love story about building fulfilling relationships; fostered in traditional values, confronted by modern complex challenges, while being nurtured by Wisconsin’s natural, cultural, and spiritual beauty.

Damon MacGregor was the kind of man people noticed. Towering at 6-feet 6-inches with a shock of red shaggy hair that melded into a closely trimmed beard and mustache, it was easy to see that he would stand out in a crowd. It also helped that his preference of clothing made him look like a lumberjack most of the time; jeans, brown work boots, and a plaid cotton shirt during spring and summer switched to flannel in the fall and winter. Damon took up space when he entered a room because of his broad shoulders and muscular thighs that showed through his jeans. He didn’t deliberately wear tight jeans; it was just that he always found it difficult to find jeans long and wide enough to fit his build, and he wasn’t about to spend an obscene amount of money on clothes that he could easily buy at a big box store.

As much as his appearance screamed, “Notice me!!!” he had other features that were just as intoxicating. Against his creamy white skin and shocking red hair, his ice-blue eyes were striking. A person could look at them and feel like they were looking out into an immense ocean, the color so crystal clear that you could see to the bottom. Just above his beard line lay another surprise. When Damon smiled or laughed, twin dimples appeared in his apple cheeks.

With her eyes still closed, Cat tried to clear her head. However, being a firstborn child, that was hard to do. Always trying to pay attention to the details, always trying to be the best, always trying to be perfect took a toll on her in more ways than one. At least she granted herself this moment to not do anything or be there for anyone else. This was her time and her time alone. She deserved it. She deserved to not do anything at all. Though she was no longer a kid, in Marshall’s eyes she would always be one, and therefore the one and only rule for Loon Lake, “kids rule,” was guaranteed to Cat if she came to the cabin to visit.

After her sun-kissed meditation, Cat squinted her eyes open and looked at the sky. If she had to guess, it was getting close to dinnertime. She felt something prickly on her leg and looked down. A pale-blue dragonfly with black wings had landed on her thigh. For such a beautiful creature, she was surprised at how coarse their legs felt on her skin. Cat smiled, noticing how the dragonfly’s coloring matched her swimsuit. She wondered if the suit attracted it to her. Since no one was around, Cat talked to the dragonfly as if it could understand her. “Hello, Mr. Dragonfly! I want to thank you for eating up the mosquitoes up here.
Shawn M. Verdoni is the author of Canoodling Up North: Book One, Canoodling Out West: Book Two, and is working on her third book. She attended UW Whitewater for her degree in secondary education and is currently attending MSOE to complete her Master’s in Business Administration. Her best days are spent with her husband, two children and two dogs just hanging out. She loves living in Wisconsin, especially in fall when you can find her in a pumpkin patch or an apple orchard collecting tart baking apples for her famous crumble crust apple pie.

Shawn M. Verdoni will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner and five (5) Kindle copies of Canoodling Up North via Rafflecopter after the blitz. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the blitz each day. Good luck!
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Book Blitz and Giveaway - Resistor: An Eerden Novel (Ellinor #1) by C.E. Clayton

Title: Resistor
Series: Ellinor #1
Author: C.E. Clayton
Publication Date: October 1st 2020
Print Length: 298 pages
Genre: New Adult Cyberpunk Fantasy
Ellinor Rask has wanted one thing for the past eight years: vengeance. But when Ellinor is captured, she finds herself dragged back into the world she walked away from, entangled once more with friends she would rather forget.

As if that weren’t humiliating enough, Ellinor learns first hand that her magic can be stripped away by a piece of bio-tech—and her ex-boss is happy to leash her with the technology in order to get what he wants. If Ellinor behaves, the device will be removed. All she has to do is deliver a package. One containing a creature created from raw magical energy and discarded technology. Simple, right?

But when her goals start getting people murdered, Ellinor has to decide if the year’s planning, her honor, and even her own magic, are worth the lives it’s costing. Dodging ruthless gangsters, she finds herself on the run with a creature of immeasurable magical abilities alongside her one-time friends. Now, Ellinor must relearn to trust the people she once abandoned. She must put her faith in technology, and her life in the hands of independent contractors, all while racing to deliver the package before it gets taken by force, or worse, the creature decides to make an appearance itself.


THIS WAS not the first time Ellinor Olysha Rask found herself bound and chained, and she very much doubted it would be her last. This was the longest she had ever been incarcerated, however.

Ellinor leaned back against the wall and closed her eyes, though it made no difference in the pitch black. She wiggled against the rough wall, never getting comfortable. The restraints clamped over her wrists chaffed at her skin. She lost count of the days she’d been locked in the rank cell, but she supposed it didn’t actually matter how long she’d been there, only how much longer she’d be staying.

She sighed loudly, her patience long gone. Not that she had been blessed with an abundance of composure to begin with, but her restraint had diminished considerably since Misho’s death.

Heaviness settled on her chest and shoulders as she imagined Misho’s disapproving tsk at her current predicament, and her chin started to quiver. Gritting her teeth, she knocked her head against the bumpy wall to focus her thoughts. She always lost control when she thought about Misho Shimizu, and she didn’t want to lose what little control she had left. She needed to conserve her energy.

For what? There’s no telling how long I’ve been here, or who took me. Time to stop waiting.

She hadn’t recognized who grabbed her, or how they had gotten the drop on her. She had been drinking, of course, but no more than usual. One minute, Ellinor was meeting with a contact who had information about the Ashlings she was hunting. Ashlings who needed to answer for what was done to Misho. The next? She couldn’t remember. The air—her own power!—had betrayed her. Everything went white and hazy, and a fog rolled over her memories.

She sat up straighter against the wall, breathing deeply, ignoring the aches and pains of her cramped muscles. Whatever had happened, poisoning or a knock over the head, had left her weak. Concentrating had been a chore, let alone summoning her magic. She knew she wasn’t at full strength, but better to do something than continue to wait around for whoever had nabbed her to remember they had her locked away.

Ellinor had heard of humani, beings like her, who were strong enough in air magic to blow apart buildings, and who had the skill to dismantle the most intricate of machines without destroying any of the delicate parts. Ellinor had never been that strong, nor that finessed with her talents. She had enough of the talent to make her someone most would shy away from, and it had been more than enough for her job. Using the air, she could turn otherwise fatal blows from knives or projectiles away, and coupled with her own abilities for creating mayhem, her magic had served her well, or well enough, until Misho died.

Then her power turned her into someone, something, most didn’t want to talk about. Someone the remainder of her family distanced themselves from. She lived only to avenge Misho.

The seersha, though . . . now they would have no trouble using wind to blow apart this cell, no matter how far underground they’d have to pull the air. They’d be able to use that same current to wrap themselves in an impenetrable force field then simply sail away like some cocky bird.

That didn’t mean she couldn’t cause some trouble, though.

C. E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area. After going the traditional career route and becoming restless, she went back to her first love--writing--and hasn't stopped. She is the author of young adult fantasy series, "The Monster of Selkirk", the creator of the cyberpunk Eerden Novels, and her horror short stories have appeared in anthologies across the country. When she's not writing you can find her treating her fur-babies like humans, constantly drinking tea, and trying to convince her husband to go to more concerts. And reading. She does read quite a bit. More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, social media presence, and newsletter, can be found on her website.

Two lucky winners will receive the complete character art pack for Resistor, which includes 5 exclusive pieces! The art pack includes a scene from the early chapters of the book done by Arz, a character bookmark by Dominique Wesson, and 3 character playing cards by Golden Rose. (US ONLY)
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Sunday, September 20, 2020

Book Blitz and Giveaway: After Siege (As the World Dies #4) by Rhiannon Frater

Title: After Siege
Series: As the World Dies #4
Author: Rhiannon Frater
Publication Date: August 11th 2020

Print Length: 248 pages
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction

This is the new world.

Not the old.

The dead walk, demand human flesh, and howl at the wall surrounding a Fort on a hill.

A group of Texans stands against the zombie hordes, fighting to create a new community in a dead world. Unknown to them, their legend is starting to spread far and wide.

Emma Valdez’s life was forever changed when the zombies destroyed the world. She spent all her time and energy systematically killing all the zombies in her town while searching for her missing son. After a yearlong search, she finally put him to rest and planned to take her own exit from the zombie infested world. But a dream about a mysterious woman with raven black hair wearing a red sweater compelled her to seek out a community of survivors in Ashley Oaks, Texas. Little did she realize this was the start of a new season in her life.

The Fort inhabitants, meanwhile, deal with the aftermath of the battle they fought against a massive horde of zombies and successfully redirected away from the town. Many mourn the loss of friends while helping repair and rebuild the Fort’s defenses. Danger still lurks on the outskirts of town as the horde continues its trek into the west. Emma arrives just in time for yet another harrowing battle outside the walls.

Guided by Juan De La Torre, who is nursing his own wounded heart, Emma finds her place among the Fort inhabitants and uses her excellent survival skills to help save others. It’s not easy being the newcomer among people who have formed a family since the rise of the zombies. She struggles with adjusting and is not always comfortable with the close proximity of so many other people. But the high walls promise safety and the friendly smiles are welcoming.

When a zombie of a former Fort inhabitant shows up outside the wall, Emma is part of a team that is sent out to investigate what happened to the group that abandoned the Fort before the big battle. What happened to them might alter the course of the Fort forever.

After Siege takes place in the days following the battle in Siege: As The World Dies, Book 3. Emma’s background story is featured in The Untold Tales: As The World Dies, Book 3.5.

“This isn’t an easy world to live in sometimes,” Juan muttered. “But you know that.”

“All survivors know that.” Needing a change of topic before she started to cry, Emma said, “So you said you used semi-trucks as a barrier first?”

“And the construction trucks. We also had chain-link panels as a barrier inside the truck line. Anything we could use to put a barrier between the zombies and us, we used. Added rebar spikes later on. The next section we built was this area we’re in now, so we could go in and out with our vehicles without risking zombies getting into the main area.”

“I like the double paddock.”

“That was my idea,” Juan said, puffing his chest a little. “We had to build fast and anticipate what might be coming our way.”

“What I said earlier about us saving ourselves, I can see clearly you did that. I like how you didn’t just wait around for someone to save you. You just kept building what you needed.”

Looking surprisingly bashful, Juan shrugged. “We couldn’t wait for the Army or FEMA or whoever to show up. The town survivors were all crammed inside the walls and ready to fight for their lives. Then the city folk started arriving and we needed more room. Taking over the hotel was one of our first victories.”

“You should be proud of what you accomplished here.”

“We are. I am. It’s just…we did what we had to.”

“I understand.”

“I know you do.”

They shared an awkward moment where neither one knew what to say next. It was Juan who pointed to the buildings across from the garage. Horses drank from a trough set near a stable while several teenagers put up some saddles. “We added that recently. When we found the horses, we needed to make them a stable. So we renovated those old abandoned buildings. It’s temporary until we can take another block and build them a proper stable.”

“Isn’t walling in more areas risky? More to defend.”

“Yeah, to a degree. We got the people to guard the walls. We also needed barriers between the main area and the zombies or banditos.”

“Fallback positions.”

“Yeah. It’s designed like an old medieval fortress for a reason.”

Staring at the map, Emma recognized the similarity. “Whose idea?”

“Me and Travis.’”

“The mayor, right?”

Juan nodded. “The new mayor. Architect in his old life. Leader in this one.”

“And you?”

“Construction worker in the old life. Same in this one,” he replied.

“I think you’re more than that here.”

“I just help get sh*t done.”

“And you’re the father of four adopted kids.”

His smile widening, Juan cocked an eyebrow at her. “That I am. And I’m good at it too. Which was surprising to me. What about you?”

“Mom and student in my old life. Fearless zombie killer in this one.”

“Sh*t, Em. I shouldn’t have asked.”

“It’s okay. We all got our burdens to carry.”

“I’m sorry about your kid.”

“Me too.”
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor) as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living. She also co-hosted the ZCast: a Z Nation Fan Podcast, interviewing the cast and crew of the SyFy show. Born and raised in Texas, she currently resides with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets) in South Texas. She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.

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- Why did you decide to continue the AS THE WORLD DIES series?
When I announced that I was going to write AFTER SIEGE, I had someone asked me the same question on my Facebook fan page. Before I could answer, someone else replied for me saying, “money.” I admit that that was one factor in my decision making because AS THE WORLD DIES is my most successful series other than THE LAST BASTION series. Both have garnered a lot of accolades and have pretty dedicated readerships. It makes sense as an author who writes for living that I should continue to write more books in my most successful series. But the main reason I returned to the world is because the fans really wanted it.

I had originally written AS THE WORLD DIES online between 2005 and 2007, revised and self-published the three books (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege) from 2008 to 2009, and then worked on revisions in 2010 at 2011 for Tor, the publishing house that picked it up. I’d also written quite a few short stories and novellas based in the same universe that plugged into the main story. Those I self-published to help promote the three novels. People can find all those stories in THE UNTOLD TALES (AS THE WORLD DIES, book 3.5). So, by the time Tor released the third novel, Siege, I was very burned out on that particular universe. I had written the story I wanted to tell and I just didn’t see a way forward.

Yet at the same time, one of my greatest regrets is that a character that had been in the online version’s epilogue never made it into the main story. Though I declared the epilogue non-canon, Emma was still was in my mind. I did write a novella for her called The Fearless Zombie Killer. Through the years Emma remained in my mind. At some point, she started whispering in my mind about what happened after she arrived at the Fort in Ashley Oaks, Texas. Emma was my doorway back into the universe of AS THE WORLD DIES and through her eyes everything in the Fort is new again.

Which I found very exciting as a writer.

- How did it feel returning to a series after being away from it for so long?
At first, it was very intimidating. I’d written so many books since AS THE WORLD DIES that I had to find my footing again. Something I was most worried about was capturing the spirit of the original series. There is a reason why people love the original books and the characters that inhabit them. I wanted to make sure that it felt like we were returning to the world that they knew so well. I admit to having a few panic attacks along the way, but in the end, I do feel that AFTER SIEGE is a very solid continuation of the series.

- Why did you self-publish this novel?
Tor only purchased the three books that I had written online and revised for publication. My editor at Tor and I discussed what sort of books she would want for me in the future and that’s why ended up writing DEAD SPOTS instead of a continuation of the AS WORLD DIES books. I have two different careers going on side-by-side. I have my traditional publishing career and I have my self-publishing career. So a lot of the books in my self-publishing career are novels that I want to write, but that traditional publishing may not necessarily see as something that will sell. It’s all about the numbers. What is popular one year may be out the next. And since it takes a really long time to go through traditional publishing process, acquisitions editors have to be almost clairvoyant in predicting what will be hot in a year or two.

I also like the idea of continuing AS THE WORLD DIES on my own, since its origins were in self-publishing.

- You have a new main protagonist, so can readers start with this book or will they have to have read the other books in the series?
One of the big challenges of revising AS THE WORLD DIES for Tor was making sure that each book could be read on its own while also telling a much larger story. I definitely felt this challenge when I rewrote FIGHTING TO SURVIVE with the help of my editor. I find it a huge compliment when people start reading book two and feel like they are not lost. So with AFTER SIEGE, my goal was to make sure that people who love the original series could pick it up and plug right back into the world and people who never read the original three novels in the series could read it and not be lost. So though I prefer people start with THE FIRST DAYS, they could start with AFTER SIEGE. My only warning is that there will be spoilers about what happens in the first three books.

- What can you tell us about your new character of Emma?
Emma has spent most of the zombie apocalypse alone. She suffers great loss right at the beginning of the outbreak when her little boy goes missing while visiting his dad for the weekend. Her sole purpose for that year on her own is to find him and put him to rest. She doesn’t believe he’s alive and she feels it’s her sacred duty to make sure he doesn’t remain a zombie. That story is in THE FEARLESS ZOMBIE KILLER, but is revisited briefly in the prologue of AFTER SIEGE in the form of a fairytale. She’s a younger woman who’s been through a lot in her life. Her parents let her down quite a bit growing up, but her grandparents were there for her. Emma’s definitely a pull yourself up by your bootstraps kind of person, but her bootstraps kept being cut off. So there’s been a lot of adversity in her life before the zombies ever show up.

Her grandfather, who was of Lipan Apache descent, taught Emma how to hunt and track, so she’s very adept at survival. When she arrives at the Fort, this definitely helps her find her place among the other survivors. Also, like many other survivors, she’s mourning personal losses along with the end of the civilized world. She’s a very compassionate person who wants to help others. It becomes her reason for living.

- Will we be seeing other characters from the original series in this book? Did you jump ahead in time?
Emma definitely plugs into the surviving cast of characters from the first three novels. We don’t get to see everyone from the novels, since she’s new to the Fort. Juan De La Torre is an important part of her arc, since he’s the first person she meets upon her arrival, and they have a spark between them that’s unsettling to both of them. When you suffer a lot a loss, the idea of moving on or giving even friendship a chance is a little scary. But when you feel a romantic attraction to someone almost from the get-go, that’s even more terrifying. So he’s definitely a part of her life at the Fort, but she’s not too sure how close she wants him to get. And he’s not too sure either.

Emma also interacts with fan favorites like Nerit and Katarina. And of course, Katie and Travis make an appearance in the story as well. AFTER SIEGE takes place immediately after the third novel, SIEGE, so there isn’t a time jump. Everyone is still dealing with the aftermath of the events in SIEGE.

- What sets your books apart from other zombie novels?
I’m not a very good judge on what sets my books apart, so I listen to my readership. A lot of them are diehard zombie fans. They consist of all genders, all ages, and all walks of life. What they tell me is that they feel connected to the characters. They see a resemblance to people that they know or they feel like they would be able to be friends with these characters and they generally feel invested in the story. I’ve had some readers tell me they go back and reread the series every year so they can feel like they’re revisiting their old friends.

There’s also action, zombie gore, and horrific scenes in my books, but I think the readers investment in the characters is what makes the story work. That’s my philosophy in writing. If you create characters that your readers will care about, they’ll worry about their survival. There’s a lot more tension in the story when you legitimately care whether a character lives or dies.

- Do you feel that the zombie genre is wearing out?
Ever since I started promoting AS THE WORLD DIES way back in 2008, I have been asked over and over again if I thought the zombie genre was wearing out or was going to just disappear altogether. I have definitely seen ups and downs in the genre. It seems to wane for a bit and then something else will come along to get people interested again. I wrote AS THE WORLD DIES because I loved the reboot of DAWN OF THE DEAD and 28 DAYS LATER. So every time there’s a big successful zombie film, or video game, or TV show, I definitely see an uptick in people seeking out books in the genre. And there are diehard fans that only read zombie books. So I think there’s always going to be a place for zombie novels.

- If the reader doesn’t like zombies, what would make them enjoy your novel?
I’ve had people tell me that they didn’t like anything zombie until they read AS THE WORLD DIES. What they liked about the books was the characters, the relationships that develop among them, and the sense of community. And there’s also a hopeful note to the books, because no matter how bad the situation gets, this is a group of people who is dedicated to the idea of rebuilding society in a dead world. They want to survive with their humanity intact. Now that doesn’t mean that there’s not bad guys in the mix, but the reader’s emotional investment is with the occupants of the Fort in Ashley Oaks, Texas. And I believe that remains the strong point of the series.

- What was your inspiration for the Fort?
I worked on disaster relief grants for my day job long ago and one of the things I heard over and over again when speaking to survivors of natural disasters is how the community pulls together. They are in awful circumstances, and yet they’re looking out for one another. I heard stories about people running into burning buildings to save the elderly or even pets, saving each other from rising floodwaters, and opening up their homes to people who lost everything. Looking at history I observed that humanity has always survived through community. Some of those communities weren’t that great and history judges them harshly, but it’s a human instinct to gather together and face the difficulties of life as a unit.

So I think in the end, at the heart of AS THE WORLD DIES, it’s about people trying to make it through all of life’s difficulties in the zombie infested world while also building something better for themselves and the future generations, and that appeals to a lot of people.

- Can we expect another novel in the AS THE WORLD DIES universe?
Most definitely. I’m starting to put together my writing schedule for 2021, and I have the next book slated to be written in the early part of the year. I sometimes have to move things around if I have contractual obligations, but I’m dedicated to the idea of there being another AS WORLD DIES book in 2021.
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