Posted in Adult Dystopian, Adult Fantasy, Adult Fiction, Cover design, Cover Reveal, Fantasy, New

The Outliers

Title: Outliers
Author: Kate L Mary
Genre: Adult Dystopian
Publisher: Twisted Press
Publication Date: Mar. 6th, 2018
Blurb:
In the dusty ruins of the world, three groups exist: the Sovereign, the Fortis, and the Outliers. Within their walled city, exclusive access to the only remaining technology gives the Sovereign an advantage that seems impossible to beat. In exchange for meager scraps and free reign outside the walls, they use the brawn of the Fortis to their advantage while the Outliers struggle to survive. Living on land that has not healed from the poison of the past, and surrounded by dangers too numerous to count, the Outliers have adapted – but to the Sovereign and the Fortis, they are nothing.
Indra is an Outlier. Each day she braves the wastelands, making the dangerous journey from the wilds where she lives to the City so she can serve the Sovereign in order to give her family a better life. Inside the walls, she has no rights and no freedom. Not only is she powerless to resist the Sovereign’s harsh rule, but she is also unable to do anything to save her people from the brutality of the Fortis. For centuries they have made their abuse of Outliers a sport, but when Asa comes to Indra’s rescue, she sees something different in him. Something that marks him as so much more than just a Fortis guard.
But as Indra’s world begins to unravel, even the quiet alliance she has formed with Asa cannot save her from the wrath of the Sovereign. In one life-altering moment, everything Indra has ever known is ripped away, forcing her to face a world even more harsh and unforgiving. Broken and scarred, Indra finds herself on a journey that will challenge everything she’s ever been taught, learning along the way that she’s stronger than she ever imagined. Maybe even strong enough to free her people forever.  
Kate L. Mary is an award-winning author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, ranging from Post-apocalyptic tales of the undead, to Speculative Fiction and Contemporary Romance. Her YA book, When We Were Human, was the 2015 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards Silver Medal Winner for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction, and the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner for Young Adult Science Fiction.
Author Links:
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“He is in love with you,” Mira finally said.
The statement warmed my cheeks even though I had already come to this conclusion. “I know.”
“And you?” She glanced my way, not turning her head completely when she did it, as if she thought it would make me more likely to answer her honestly. As if she thought I was hiding something from her. “Do you love him?”
“I know nothing about him, but the answer would be no either way. I love Bodhi. I would not have married him otherwise. Plus, no matter what Asa does to help me, an Outlier cannot be with a Fortis. It is impossible.”
“Why?” Mira asked.
I turned my body to face her, walking sideways so that my back was to the Lygan Cliffs even though I had been taught to never lose my focus in this way. “Because we are not the same.”
“Now you sound like one of the Sovereign.” Mira’s blue eyes rolled in their sockets, but her lips pulled up into a smile that helped to ease some of the sting her words had brought to me. “We are the same, Indra. We are all people. We have just been trained to believe that we are different.”
I opened my mouth to argue with her, but no words came out. She was right. Sovereign, Outlier, Fortis, we were all just people. The only thing that kept us apart were the walls that had been constructed years ago, both the physical ones and the ones that existed only in our minds. Those were built on oppression and prejudices so old that no one alive today had a clue why they even existed.
A click echoed off the rocks at my back, followed closely by a few more. In front of me, my friend’s body went rigid. I spun to face the cliffs, the knife in my hand up and ready as more clicking rang through the air. But there was nothing in sight. Not yet, anyway.
“Where is it?” Mira hissed.
At my side, she too had her knife up. This was a position we had been in before, and as long as there was only one of the creatures, we knew what to do to defend ourselves. The problem would come if they were hunting in a pack. One lygan was dangerous enough, but four or five? We would not be able to beat that many.
We remained still. The clicks grew closer together and louder, but with the way the sounds echoed off the rocks, it was impossible to tell how many there were until the creature—or creatures—decided to show themselves.
“Be ready,” I said for my benefit as much as for hers.
The hiss came first. It was a sound that was low and seemed to come from the deepest part of the animal’s belly, and it was followed only a beat later by the appearance of the lygan itself. The creature was bigger than average, its tail as long as my arm and its body only a little shorter. Its claws clicked across the rocks as it scurried forward, seeming to move at an impossibly fast speed considering its stunted legs. The red and purple scales shone even in the limited light of the evening as the lygan twisted between the sharp rocks that made up the cliffs. Now that it was closer, the click of its claws seemed twice as loud, and when it hissed a second time, the sharp points of its teeth were visible.
Readying myself for a fight, I planted my feet. I knew from experience that the creature would pounce without warning, that was how Mira had been injured before, and I was ready when it finally flew through the air, headed right for me.
I slashed my knife up and the blade hit home on the lygan’s stomach. It screeched just before its body slammed into mine, and when I flew back a cry retched from my body on impact. We went down together, my back slamming into the dry ground and the lygan landing on top of me. It was injured and my knife was still in its belly, but it had not given up yet. The animal wiggled and snapped its jaw, and his teeth came close enough to my nose that I felt its moist breath against my face. His yellow eyes were focused on me, the black pupils dilated to slits. The scales were smooth against my hand when I grabbed its neck in an attempt to hold him back, and his claws scratched at my body as he tried to get the advantage.
“Indra!”
Mira’s voice seemed far away, but I knew she was nearby and ready to help. Just as I had been with her the day she was attacked. Her face appeared above me. The setting sun shone down on her blond hair, making it glow, and in the brilliant light her passage markings seemed twice as dark against her pale skin.
The sun reflected off the metal when she raised her knife and I had to turn my head away. My hand was still on the lygan’s neck, holding the thing back as it snapped its teeth, but even before Mira had stabbed it I could feel its strength waning. Then she did, and when the knife entered the lygan’s body, the creature let out a shriek that left a ringing behind in my ears. The lygan jerked and its claws clamped down on my stomach, puncturing my dress and forcing a scream out of me. Mira pulled her knife from the creature and brought it down again, and this time the animal let out a drained wail that was preceded by its entire body going slack.
When that happened, its claws relaxed as well, freeing me from the piercing hold it had on my body. I shoved the animal off and it rolled to the ground at my side. Mira was panting, as was I, and for a beat neither one of us moved. She stayed frozen, standing over me while I remained on my back, staring up at her.
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Posted in Adult Dystopian, Contemporary, Dystopian, New, New Release, Romance

The Things We Cannot Change

Title: The Things We Cannot Change
Author: Kate L Mary
Genre: Adult Dystopian
Publisher: Twisted Press
Blurb:
Jade is smack dab in the middle of a personal crisis when a killer virus sweeps the country, only making matters worse. Before she even has a chance to wrap her brain around what’s happening, the world has vanished and everything she knew and loved is gone. Even worse, she’s starting to think she might be the only living person left in New York.
Which probably has a lot to do with how she reacts when she bumps into Trevor in Central Park. What can only be described as a celebration of life is followed by an awkward morning where she realizes she doesn’t even like the only other living person she’s seen in days. And she’s pretty sure he isn’t too thrilled with her either.
But when Jade and Trevor realize that this outbreak is much more than just a killer virus, they suddenly find themselves dependent on one another for survival, and it isn’t long before Jade is forced to forget the things from her past that she cannot change, and instead focus on the things she can change in the here and now.
Kate L. Mary is an award-winning author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, ranging from Post-apocalyptic tales of the undead, to Speculative Fiction and Contemporary Romance. Her YA book, When We Were Human, was the 2015 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards Silver Medal Winner for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction, and the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner for Young Adult Science Fiction.
Author Links:
Buy Links:
More Than Survival: http://amzn.to/2seGeZ6
Fighting for a Future: http://amzn.to/2FNPdCu
Playing the Odds: http://amzn.to/2GRU9re
The Key to Survival: http://amzn.to/2EKRw9O
The Things we cannot Change: http://amzn.to/2sdzTgx

Trevor moved down the sidewalk, keeping close to the buildings. I followed, but my gaze was on the people we passed. They were so obviously dead that it sent a shiver down my spine. Gray skin and blank, milky eyes. Arms that were slack at their sides and feet that dragged against the ground with every step they took. Only they were up and moving around when they shouldn’t have been, making me want to reach out and shake the nearest one and scream at the woman to wake up.
They didn’t seem to notice us, and we made it to the end of the block with no issue. My legs were shaking enough to make me wonder if they were going to give out, but in front of me Trevor looked oddly secure. The knife in his hand didn’t even shake.
The parking garage was in sight when I stumbled on a crack in the sidewalk. My feet tripped over each other as I barely stopped my body from plunging forward and slamming into the cement. The bottles clinked together and several of the zombies closest to us turned. Their eyes seemed to focus behind the milky glaze covering their irises, and they opened their mouths like they were chomping at the air.
“Shit,” Trevor said from behind me. “We have to move. Now. Run!”
His words were hushed, but his tone urgent. He didn’t wait for me before taking off, but I was right on his heels. We ran down the sidewalk as more and more of the zombies noticed our existence, each of them turning our way and several of them lunging at us with their mouths open. The sight of them sent fear shooting through me, but the adrenaline coursing through my veins made it easier to run with the bottles of booze weighing me down. They clanged against one another with every step I took, but it no longer mattered if we were quiet because the street was alive with the dead, and they all wanted us.
“There!” I called when we reached the entrance to the parking garage. “Third floor.”
Trevor dashed inside, and then slowed enough to allow me to get in front of him. I already had my keys out and ready, and as I ran for the stairs, I squeezed them until the metal dug into my palm. Behind me I could hear Trevor’s heavy breathing, letting me know that he was still with me, and as we dashed up the first flight of stairs and then the next, our footsteps echoed through the empty parking garage.
A moan bounced off the walls just as we made it to the third floor, but I couldn’t figure out if it was behind us or in front of us, so I kept moving. My car was at the end of the second row, a black BMW that Nathaniel had bought me when I finished my residency. I hit the unlock button on my key and the beep echoed through the garage in response, followed by yet another moan. It was closer this time, and for some insane reason I found myself stopping so I could look around instead of getting in the car.
I spotted the zombie only a few cars down just as Trevor ripped the keys out of my hand and yelled, “Get in!”
Posted in Dystopian, Dystopian Thriller, New, New Release, Young Adult

Type X

Title: Type X
Author: M.A. Phipps
Genre: YA Dystopian Thriller
Cover Designer: Nathalia Suellen
Editor: Catherine Stovall (CLS Editing)
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: 
No matter what I do, no matter what steps I take to avoid it,
I’m always playing right into somebody’s hand.
Playing the role I was destined for.
Two years have passed since her willing return to the DSD, and Wynter Reeves is no longer the timid girl who only wanted to blend in. Strong, confident, and in control of her once debilitating powers, the world trembles at her feet while news of what she’s capable of spreads like fire among the State’s enemies. As the death toll rises and Dr. Richter further warps her into a weapon of war, Wynter is forced to embrace the daunting reality of what she’s become. With the remnants of her humanity hanging on by a shoestring, she must choose between the one sacrifice that could lead to her salvation or the dark path of destruction from which there can be no return.
Torn between two sides of a war she never asked for, will Wynter find her freedom, or will she be doomed to remain a monster forever?
M. A. PHIPPS is an American author who resides near the ocean in picturesque Cornwall with her husband, daughter, and their Jack Russell, Milo. A lover of the written word, it has always been her dream to become a published author, and it is her hope to expand into multiple genres of fiction. When she isn’t writing, you can find her counting down the days until the new season of Game of Thrones.

Author Links:
Buy Links for Ultraxenopia:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uZ0fPJ
Posted in Boxed Set, Dystopian, Imaginary, Series, Young Adult

The Acceptance Series

Title: The Acceptance Series Box Set
Author: Sarah Negovetich
Genre: YA Dystopian
Blurb:
or the first time ever, get all three books of the Acceptance series in one complete boxset. Includes a free, exclusive novella HALF ACCEPTED.
Begin with Rite of Rejection which HEA USA Today called “A draw-you-in read…highly recommended for fans of dystopian and YA.”
RITE OF REJECTION… Straight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can’t wait for her Acceptance. A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she’s shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.
A life behind barbed wire fences with the world’s most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancé she’s almost certain she can learn to love.
But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.
A young adult dystopian adventure of crime, romance and survival. Perfect for fans of Hunger Games and The Divergent Series!
Sarah Negovetich knows you don’t know how to pronounce her name and she’s okay with that.
Her first love is Young Adult novels, because at seventeen the world is your oyster. Only oysters are slimy and more than a little salty; it’s accurate if not exactly motivational. We should come up with a better cliché.
Sarah divides her time between writing books that her husband won’t read and performing on stage at BE Theatre. Her goal in life is to never grow up.
Author Links:
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Posted in Dystopian, Dystopian Thriller, Thriller, Young Adult

Type X

Title: Type X
Author: M.A. Phipps
Genre: YA Dystopian Thriller
Cover Designer: Nathalia Suellen
Editor: Catherine Stovall (CLS Editing)
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: 
No matter what I do, no matter what steps I take to avoid it,
I’m always playing right into somebody’s hand.
Playing the role I was destined for.
Two years have passed since her willing return to the DSD, and Wynter Reeves is no longer the timid girl who only wanted to blend in. Strong, confident, and in control of her once debilitating powers, the world trembles at her feet while news of what she’s capable of spreads like fire among the State’s enemies. As the death toll rises and Dr. Richter further warps her into a weapon of war, Wynter is forced to embrace the daunting reality of what she’s become. With the remnants of her humanity hanging on by a shoestring, she must choose between the one sacrifice that could lead to her salvation or the dark path of destruction from which there can be no return.
Torn between two sides of a war she never asked for, will Wynter find her freedom, or will she be doomed to remain a monster forever?
M. A. PHIPPS is an American author who resides near the ocean in picturesque Cornwall with her husband, daughter, and their Jack Russell, Milo. A lover of the written word, it has always been her dream to become a published author, and it is her hope to expand into multiple genres of fiction. When she isn’t writing, you can find her counting down the days until the new season of Game of Thrones.

Author Links:
Buy Links for Ultraxenopia:Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uZ0fPJ
Posted in Dystopian, Fantasy, Re-Release, Sci Fi, Young Adult

The Watcher Series

Title: The Watcher Series
Author: AJ Eversley
Genre: YA Dystopian Sci-Fi
Editor: Q Books Editing
Cover Designer: Cover Art by Salome Totladze

Blurb:
“I knew I was not alone. They would never leave until every last one of us was gone.”
Sawyer Russo has sworn to protect humanity, and as a Watcher she’s done just that. But the Bots and Carbons that took her city are evolving, and they start picking the Watchers off one by one. One last rescue mission will change everything. When someone betrays them, the line between friend and foe is no longer easily drawn. Sawyer made a vow, and she will fulfill it, even if it means ending the person who deceived them, no matter who it might be.
It all comes down to one choice…
Who can she save?
And who does she have to let go?
Blurb:
Strangers become allies. Lovers become enemies. And a destiny formed before birth unfolds.
Sawyer spent most of her life hunting the very thing she has now become. No longer the Watcher she once was, Sawyer struggles to make sense of her new identity. Though she now has the powers of a Carbon, she is also tied to the control Coleman has over all of his creations.
Desperate for help and answers, Sawyer travels to the United Isles with Max in search of an ally. Not only must she learn to harness her new abilities, she must find a way to mend a broken heart…if her past doesn’t kill her first.
The epic journey continues, and the war for the human race draws ever closer. Join the resistance in the next chapter of the Watcher Series.
AJ Eversley is the author of the WATCHER series. A true north Canadian girl, AJ currently lives in Central Alberta with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching Harry Potter, quoting various movies in everyday conversation, and eating copious amounts of candy.
Author Links:
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Excerpt from Watcher:

I knew I wasn’t alone. They’d never leave until every last one of us disappeared.

From the edge of a rooftop high above the boulevards below, I breathed in the cool, damp air as my eyes monitored the near empty streets. Whispers of rain threatened to erupt from the melancholy sky above, as if to echo the sentiment of this place. The ruined city, once a place I called home, was nothing more than a pile of rubble thanks to the Bots and Carbons roaming the streets. Buildings had been torn to pieces, leaving gaping holes in those that still stood, uninhabited but for a few survivors. It wasn’t a livable place, not the refuge I’d known ten years ago, but it was my reality. And as my eyes scanned the dark metropolis before me, I clung to the feeling of freedom before the burden took over me. The silent promises I had made and had yet to fulfill.

Quiet and cold as it always was, the darkness hung like the night even at the peak of daytime. Smog and cloud lingered over the city, leaving us in a constant state of gloom with the threat of rain hanging over us. The only light that shone in this dark city was Sub 9, the enemy’s headquarters. The lone building lit up in the distance as I stood bathed in darkness, hidden in the shadows. Darkness was my friend, my confidant, my ever constant reminder of who I was and my purpose here.


Posted in Dystopian, New, Sci Fi

Handler

Title: Handler
Author: Tish Thawer
Genre: Sci-Fi Dystopian
Publisher: Amber Leaf Publishing
Cover Designer: Emma Michaels
Blurb:
Our world was perfect––until we broke the law: Don’t go out at night.
Utopian by day, dystopian by night; this is the world I recently discovered. I now struggle with the fact that our whole society has been based on a lie. There’s only one way to change it––conquer the darkness we’ve all been raised to fear.
Live the lie; fight to the death; become a Handler. It’s the only way.
A sci-fi/dystopian novel
Award Winning Author, Tish Thawer, writes paranormal romances for all ages. From her first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in her heart.
Tish is known for her detailed world-building and magic-laced stories. Her work has been compared to Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. She has received nominations for multiple RONE Awards (Reward of Novel Excellence), and Author of the Year (Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery), as well as nominations and wins for Best Cover, and a Reader’s Choice Award.
Tish has worked as a computer consultant, photographer, and graphic designer, and is a columnist for Gliterary Girl Media and has bylines in RT Magazine and Literary Lunes Magazine. She resides in Colorado with her husband and three wonderful children and is represented by Gandolfo, Helin, and Fountain Literary Management.
 
Author Links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TishThawer/ | @TishThawer
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2rp0q8A
Buy Links:
May 2069 … Blood coated bodies littered the ground as the mushroom cloud dissipated in the distance. Horror struck faces stared up at me, frozen forever with tears streaking down soot-covered cheeks. I swallowed hard as I stared into their dead eyes.
“Colizan, would you care to join us for a walk?” Father asked, pulling me from the image in my history book.
I slammed the cover shut and smiled. “Of course, it would be my pleasure.”
The warm sun glinted off the quartz sidewalk as my father, mother, and I strolled from our assigned dwinn in the Northern territory of Atal. Winding our way through the gardens which led to Common Park had always been their preferred route. Picture perfect displays of green grass, sparkling quartz, lush flowers, and elaborate water features dotted the landscape. Mother and Father chatted enthusiastically just ahead of me while I took in the scenery––the same scenery I’d enjoyed every day for eighteen years. I tilted my head back and appreciated the glass and quartz buildings that lined the sky. Some were tall and towering, others round and inviting; I loved them all. I sighed and quickened my pace as we approached my favorite part of the city––the museum. It reminded me of a picture I’d once seen of the Sydney Opera House in Australia, but instead of white and cream concrete, it was all glass. Ever since I was young, I always made it a point to stop and read the plaque outside, and today was no exception.
“ATAL. Est. 2027. Redesigned from the ashes of Atlanta.”
An image of a Genesis machine hovered over the war-struck city in the foreground, and in the background stood the utopian paradise left in its wake. The large spaceship-like device, with its metallic domed body and long tendrils of machinery hanging down, had always fascinated me.
Posted in Dystopian Thriller, Thriller, Young Adult

Type X

Title: Type X
Author: M.A. Phipps
Genre: YA Dystopian Thriller
Cover Designer: Nathalia Suellen
Editor: Catherine Stovall (CLS Editing)

 

Blurb:
No matter what I do, no matter what steps I take to avoid it,
I’m always playing right into somebody’s hand.
Playing the role I was destined for.
Two years have passed since her willing return to the DSD, and Wynter Reeves is no longer the timid girl who only wanted to blend in. Strong, confident, and in control of her once debilitating powers, the world trembles at her feet while news of what she’s capable of spreads like fire among the State’s enemies. As the death toll rises and Dr. Richter further warps her into a weapon of war, Wynter is forced to embrace the daunting reality of what she’s become. With the remnants of her humanity hanging on by a shoestring, she must choose between the one sacrifice that could lead to her salvation or the dark path of destruction from which there can be no return.
Torn between two sides of a war she never asked for, will Wynter find her freedom, or will she be doomed to remain a monster forever?
M. A. PHIPPS is an American author who resides near the ocean in picturesque Cornwall with her husband, daughter, and their Jack Russell, Milo. A lover of the written word, it has always been her dream to become a published author, and it is her hope to expand into multiple genres of fiction. When she isn’t writing, you can find her counting down the days until the new season of Game of Thrones.
 
Author Links:
Buy Links for Ultraxenopia:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uZ0fPJ
Posted in Dystopian, New, New Release, Young Adult

The Last Hour

Title: The Last Hour
Author: Tara Brown
Genre: YA Dystopian
From the trees, I can smell them—smell their fear.
They’re scared as they scurry like animals.
They look different now.
Clothes are ripped.
Hair is dirty.
It’s not them I’m watching for.
They don’t know it, but I’m watching over them.
They move silently, not making noise.
It’s a different world.
Everything is quiet.
The prey moves differently here.
The others listen—always listening.
Silence was survival.
But what are we all surviving for?
I believe growing up in a really small town gives a person a little advantage when it comes to the imagination. You need one or you go mad.
Needless to say, mine saved me. After it got me into trouble first, that is. That’s the problem with a vivid imagination, all the lies you tell.
I am happily married with two daughters.
I have two giant dogs, two savage cats, and a penchant for a glass of red.
Also, I drag my bread through the sauce. I can’t help myself, bread is life.
According to my age, I am meant to be a responsible adult, but it isn’t going well at all. I would still head off to Hogwarts tomorrow and I suspect there isn’t a single wardrobe I haven’t crept into, hoping to find the door to Narnia. And don’t even get me started on the King’s Road, I get lost.
Fortunately, I am an international bestseller so I have wormed my way into a quirky or eccentric category.
Thank God for that.
I am represented by Natalie Lakosil from the Bradford Literary Agency and am published traditionally with Montlake Romance.
Buy Links:
The Seventh Day: http://amzn.to/2BVUyFK
The Last Hour: http://amzn.to/2BEldLo
Posted in Dystopian, New, New Release, Suspense, Thriller

The Solitary Apocalypse

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The Solitary Apocalypse by Jeff Haws

standalone
Genre: suspense/dystopian/thriller
Release date: October 21st, 2017add-to-goodreads

The Solitary Apocalypse e-book (1).jpg

Synopsis

Surrounded by people, Michael is alone.

Along with the rest of a North Georgia town that survived a deadly worldwide plague, Michael’s forced to wear a steel ring around his waist wherever he goes. He’s seen cohabitation banned. Marriages dissolved. Families torn apart.

But he’s a good soldier, supporting the leader’s draconian policies — until he learns an explosive secret about her that threatens to destroy the delicate balance they’ve achieved between safety and order.

Now, Michael must enlist help to confront the awful truth about the town of Alessandra, and the fate of what may be the last human colony on Earth.

Sneak peek

Within two months of the virus taking hold, whole cities started going dark; within four months, federal and local governments had lost control of what populace was left. By the six-month mark from the first mentions of the plague in the media, that same media was mostly blacked out around the world; in Alessandra, they were either alone or forgotten by the rest of civilization.

It was at this point that Dr. Richard Giles told her he completed his research, and determined that the virus was spread via physical touch. He said he thought other doctors were missing this because they were probably too overwhelmed to study touch in a comprehensive manner. He also said his study determined there was reason to believe the virus could lay dormant for some period of time, so people could be asymptomatic but still contagious. Audrey hailed this as a major breakthrough but, by this time, they had no way to communicate with anyone else. Still, the information had the potential to save Alessandra. She determined that keeping people from touching each other might keep the town safe. With cities and towns throughout the world being decimated and abandoned, anything was worth a shot.

She found, though, that this was an impossible policy to enforce. How do you tell people they can’t touch the ones they love? Even if you tell them, what do you do to prevent it from happening? She knew almost immediately it would require a series of changes that would be received harshly by the citizens, and could crush whatever mandate to leadership she had. But she also knew it was absolutely necessary, and she could be a hero if she could sell them on that idea.

“I know this isn’t what you all want to hear,” she said from a podium in the town square one chilly January evening, as the plague’s progress brought it closer and closer to their isolated town. “But I’m tasked with maintaining order in this town and protecting its citizens from threats, and sometimes that means telling you difficult truths. The fact is we’re still here right now, and that’s more than most of the world can say as I stand before you today. Remaining here is going to be trying on even the strongest of us. It’s going to take collective sacrifice. It’s going to take cooperation and brotherhood. Determination and grit. You’re going to have to want a life more than you want this particular life, for the time being. You’re going to have to accept changes you never thought you’d have to accept, and be part of something greater than yourself, greater than your family, greater than everything you already know. That’s the price to be part of a rebirth. I want you all to follow me there.

“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. My friends, I believe that’s true, today more than ever. I stand before you today to bear witness that we can do this. We can live. We can fight another day, and come out the other side of this nightmare stronger, more together than ever before. Will you follow me? Will you be a part of this?”

Purchase it

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Make sure you join Jeff’s Launch Team so you don’t miss out on his week of celebrations!

Jeff Haws

Author bio

Jeff Haws is a long-time journalist who has turned his writing eye to fiction. This is his second published novel and fourth published book. His first novel, “Killing the Immortals,” was published in 2016, along with the novellas “Tomorrow’s News Today” and “The Slingshot.” Over the past 20 years, his writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Miami Herald, Arizona Republic, New Orleans Times-Picayune, and many other publications. He lives with his wife in Atlanta, Georgia.

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