Book Blitz (Day 3): Guest Post by Jordan Locke

Not Your Typical Love Story

My books tend to have intricate plots and a lot of complications. Oftentimes the characters are put in uncomfortable situations, such as being forced to relocate, grieving a loss or being pursued by the protagonist, which can make romance problematic. This may be their first real relationship, even their first kiss. Jumping full speed into a love scene makes little sense.
I’ll use The Hunger Games for example. The relationship between Katniss and Peeta is complicated, to say the least. They are fighting for their lives, and on camera to boot. It makes perfect sense that their kissing scene is awkward and their relationship strained.
In my novel The Only Boy, Tayloris hiding his identity. He’s lost his family and friends. He’s been thrown into an unfamiliar and potentially hostile environment. Add to this the fact that he’s never really had a girlfriend, and I’m sure you can see how new relationships would be difficult.
Mary, his love interest, is strong-willed. With only women living in her compound and with a constant fear of disease, interactions are discouraged, even forbidden. She has never even met a boy and is confused by her feelings for Taylor. This often leads to misunderstandings and, at times, distrust.
Mary and Taylor’s relationship is far from perfect. They have different upbringings and conflicting desires. They aren’t always nice to each other. Oftentimes, they act in ways that may come off as cold or even mean. In my opinion, this makes them more real.
If you’re looking for a breezy romance, where everything is flowers and fireworks from the start, The Only Boy may not be right for you. If you enjoy complicated stories, however, books in which the characters have to work through their problems and fight for their right to be together, maybe you should give The Only Boy a look.

Author links: AmazonGoodreadsWebsiteTwitter

The Only Boy by Jordan Locke 

Publication date: December 17th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules—the Matriarch’s senseless rules—prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out.

Taylor’s got a dangerous secret: he’s a boy. His compound’s been destroyed, and he’s been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he’ll be exiled. Maybe even executed.

Mary’s never seen a boy—the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks—and she doesn’t suspect Taylor’s secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him.

Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary—and braving the land beyond the compound’s boundaries.

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Book Blitz (Day 3): S.M. McEachern Guest Blog Post

In the (un)Likely Event of an Apocalypse
The Apocalypse. The end of civilization as we know it. Maybe even the complete annihilation of the Earth.  

The thought is terrifying and has fascinated generations for decades. There have been thousands of predictions on how, why and when the world as we know it will come to an abrupt end. It’s the stuff that blockbuster films and best selling novels are made of (mine included!). But could an apocalypse actually happen?  What are the odds? And more importantly, can the human race survive the end of the world? As the author of a post-apocalyptic series, I’ve actually done some research on apocalyptic scenarios and here are a few of my thoughts:

Nuclear War:  Anyone who has read my novel, “Sunset Rising”, knows nuclear war is my apocalypse of choice (I say tongue in cheek). Consider the domino effect of just one nuclear explosion set off above a city: a) buildings and dwellings leveled and set on fire; b) the instantaneous death of anyone inhabiting the city; c) as the city is engulfed in flames, oil and gas stores (in vehicles and tanks) explode; e) the cloud from the firestorm rises into the atmosphere, blocking out the suns rays—the beginning of a nuclear winter; f) radiation fall-out. One nuclear warhead exploding over one city has the capability to wipe out millions of people.

There are more than 17,000 known nuclear weapons in the world, many of which are more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.   

In the (un)likely event of a global nuclear war, you might want to be digging out a bunker in your backyard and stocking it with canned food and clean water… In the meantime, you can join campaigns and groups dedicated to abolishing nuclear weapons globally.

Earth hit by an asteroid:  How big does an asteroid need to be to cause global destruction? NASA says anywhere from 1 to 2 km in diameter and up will likely end civilization.  Regional damage at the collision site would cause the most immediate destruction, but it’s the resulting “impact winter” possibly followed by an “ultraviolet spring” that would end life as we know it. For comparison, the asteroid responsible for the mass extinction of the dinosaurs was approximately 10 kilometers (6 miles) in diameter.

So what are the odds of Earth suffering a meteorite impact? Pretty good, actually.  Asteroids have collided with our planet in the past so there’s every reason to expect it will be hit again.  In fact, on March 5, 2014, a meteor approximately 98 feet in diameter—big enough to cause regional damage—passed between the Earth and Moon. 

In the (un)likely event of a meteorite impact, those people who already have a bunker dug-out to survive the nuclear war have the best chance for survival. Although, if you live in a coastal area subject to tsunamis from the event, forget the bunker and head to high ground. If you’d like a heads-up before the big bang, check in with the “Near Earth Object Program” here:

Zombies:  Can a zombie apocalypse actually happen?! The movie, “I am Legend” made it somewhat believable since people were turned into zombies via a rabies-type virus.  And here’s the other thing that makes “I am Legend” mind-blowingly scary—the zombies could run fast!  Biologists keep warning us we’re overdue for a pandemic. Could the zombie flu be the next one? 

In the (un)likely event of a zombie apocalypse, you’ll need to be in good physical shape, know how to use a rifle, and make sure you’re a fast runner…or at least faster than your mate 😉

Well, those are just a few ways our civilization could suffer an apocalypse.  Are you prepared?  

The End

Author Links:

Purchase SUNSET RISING by S.M. McEachern on Amazon

February 2024: Desperate to find refuge from the nuclear storm, a group of civilians discover a secret government bio-dome. Greeted by a hail of bullets and told to turn back, the frantic refugees stand their ground and are grudgingly permitted entry. But the price of admission is high.

283 years later… Life as a slave in the Pit had never been easy, but for seventeen-year-old Sunny O’Donnell it was quickly careening out of control. Her mother was killed in the annual spring Cull, leaving her alone with a father who decided to give up on life.  It’s not that she blamed him for grieving, but if they didn’t earn enough credits to keep their place inside the Pit, they would be kicked out into a world still teeming with radiation. That left her to earn the credits for both of them.  It didn’t help that her boyfriend, Reyes Crowe, was pressuring her to get married and abandon her father.

Sunny didn’t think life could get any worse, until she was forced upstairs to the Dome to serve and entertain the elite at a bachelor party. That’s where she met Leisel Holt, the president’s daughter, and her fiancé, Jack Kenner. Now Sunny is wanted for treason. If they catch her, she’ll be executed.

She thought Leisel’s betrayal was the end for her…but it turns out it was just the beginning.

Sunset Rising is Book One of a series. 

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One Time I Almost Bled To Death. . .

Today I guested on the One Time Blog with a true post called: One time, I almost bled to death in the middle of the road, and nobody stopped to help 

Check it out here:  One Time Blog.  

If you like to write and have a captivating story to tell (funny, bizarre, tragic, or scary), consider submitting your own 200-700 word anecdote. Visit the blog home page for details. 

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Guest Post By Tim Fall

The #1 Fact Everyone Should Know About Taking The Road Less Traveled

The road less traveled wasn’t. Wasn’t less traveled, that is.

Everyone has heard a motivational speaker, a high school valedictorian, a preacher somewhere, who has used Robert Frost’s poem’s last lines as encouragement to be bold enough to take the road less traveled as that will make all the difference in the world in your life.

That’s not what the poem says, though.

Frost was much more cynical than that. Read The Road Not Takenfor yourself and see:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Every time Frost says one path looked different from the other, he then says they were actually “just as fair”, “about the same”, or they “equally lay”. What’s all this nonsense then about taking “the one less travelled by”?

It’s about ego and a not wanting to be bothered to retrace his steps. He knows that “ages hence” he’ll look back on his moment of decision and, as happens with the passing of time, convince himself with a sigh that he took the better path even though there was not one whit of practical difference between the two. But he’ll tell himself that he chose the one “less travelled” and that his life is the better for it. His poem suggests he might even believe it himself.

Frost has done us all a favor.

The Good Old Days

Nostalgia is an interesting lens. We may have fond memories of years gone by for good reason. Other times, our memories are faulty and we fill in gaps to cover over what actually were some not so good times.

Either way, we need to be careful of assigning over-importance to those memories.

Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions. (Ecclesiastes 7:10.)

It’s not that we are never to think of what has come before, of course. The Bible often talks of remembering. God remembers his people (for example, Exodus 2:24), and calls us to remember him (as in Exodus 7:18).

And yet God says there is a time not to remember.

Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.(Hebrews10:17.)

God promises in that verse that nothing we have done will be held against those who belong to him. How can this be? Because our sins and lawless acts  – acts which certainly deserve remembering, deserve punishment – have been taken care of by Jesus.

As John tells us, Jesus “loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.” (Revelation 1:5.) Did you notice that John used the past tense? That’s why God does not remember our sins, because they are no longer part of our lives.

So when you look back on your own life, whether you actually did take a road less travelled or not, remember that God looks on your life as free from sin and so should you.

 [Tim is a California native who changed his major three times, colleges four times, and took six years to get a Bachelor’s degree in a subject he’s never been called on to use professionally. Married for over 26 years with two kids (one in college, one graduated – woohoo!) his family is constant evidence of God’s abundant blessings in his life. He and his wife live in Northern California. He blogs, and is on Twitter and Facebook too.]
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