Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Brenda Marie Smith and her sci-fi post-apocalyptic novel, If The Light Escapes.
A standalone sequel to If Darkness Takes Us
A solar electromagnetic pulse fried the U.S. grid fourteen months ago. Everything’s gone: power, cars, running water, communications, all governing control and help—gone. Now northern lights have started in Texas—3,000 miles farther south than where they belong. The universe won’t stop screwing with eighteen-year-old Keno Simms.
All that’s left for Keno, his family and neighbors is farming their Austin subdivision, trying to eke out a living on poor soil in the scorching heat. Keno’s still reeling from the the death of his pregnant sister. His beloved Nana is ill, Grandpa’s always brandishing weapons, and water is far too scarce. Desperate thieves are hemming them in, yet he can’t convince his uncle and other adults to take action against the threat.
Keno’s one solace is his love for Alma, who has her own secret sorrows. When he gets her pregnant, he vows to keep her alive no matter what. Yet armed marauders and nature itself collude against him at every turn, forcing him to make choices that rip at his conscience. If he can’t protect Alma and their unborn child, it will be the end of Keno’s world.
If The Light Escapes is post-apocalyptic science fiction set in a near-future reality, a coming-of-age story told in the voice of a heroic teen who’s forced into manhood too soon.
The Author’s Story
Brenda Marie Smith lived off the grid for many years in a farming collective where her sons were delivered by midwives. She’s been a community activist, managed student housing co-ops, produced concerts to raise money for causes, done massive quantities of bookkeeping, and raised a small herd of teenage boys.
Brenda is attracted to stories where everyday characters transcend their own limitations to find their inner heroism. She and her husband reside in a grid-connected, solar-powered home in South Austin, Texas. They have more grown kids and grandkids than they can count.
Her first novel, Something Radiates, is a paranormal romantic thriller; If Darkness Takes Us and its sequel, If the Light Escapes, are post-apocalyptic science fiction.
Find the Author
Buy the Book
Yes, there is a giveaway
The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.
My Favorite Excerpt
FROM CHAPTER 5:
“These northern lights bug the crap out of me,” I tell Alma. “What are they doing here? They’re supposed to be tied to magnetic poles. I saw this show a couple years ago that said the north pole was drifting north, not south. So how did they end up here? The poles can’t drift around randomly. That’s impossible.”
“I don’t know, baby. They worry me, too, but we need to be quiet.”
“They make me feel like something bad is gonna happen. What do you call that? Fore-something.”
“That’s it. I’ll be quiet, now, and just stew in my foreboding.”
“Silly.” Alma reaches up and ruffles my hair.
When we patrol and we can’t cuddle on account of guns, Alma and I could talk all night. It’s not a good idea for us to talk much when we’re patrolling, though. We get all involved and forget to listen for anyone who might be sneaking around, hunting for food or water, or worse: getting ready to kill us for it.
We walk along with our rifles in the night. It’s cool out here, but not cold…
Alma stops and raises her gun.
“Hear that?” she whispers.
“No, what?” I’ve got my gun up, too, and I’m pivoting around, searching. I want to hide Alma, but she would never let me.
“Over there.” She points at the corner by the park. And I hear a jangly noise, like car keys. No one drives cars now, though…
Brenda Marie Smith — we appreciate your sharing your book If The Light Escapes with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.
Thank you for hosting me and my book today on your blog. I hope to get a chance to chat with you and your readers today. Very kind of you to host me.
It’s my pleasure to have you here. This series of yours looks very interesting!
Thanks for hosting!
If the Light Escapes sounds like an interesting read. Ms. Smith, what inspired you to write this dystopian story? Have you always been interested in dystopian storylines?
Thank you, Sherrie, for your kind words. And thanks also, Elizabeth, for your question. I was inspired to write the series by what is happening in the world around us. I fear an environmental and/or societal collapse and I wanted to show a different way of potentially handling it than your standard apocalyptic tales do. And, yes, I’ve always been interested in apocalyptic stories. I’ve watched every apocalyptic movie or series I can find. When I was in high school, I wrote an apocalyptic short story that was runner-up in a national contest. Protecting our environment is always on my mind.
The book sound very interesting.
Thank you Sherry. I hope you get a chance to read it.