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CHINABook I: The China Pandemic

Author: A.R. Shaw

Paperback: 278 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 4, 2013)

ISBN-10: 1494368552

Kindle: ASIN: B00H06NGFS

Apocalyptic scenarios come in all shapes and sizes and a variety of dynamics.

The story of The China Pandemic opens with Hyun-Ok searching for a guardian for her five-year-old son, Bang. Hyun-Ok has already lost the rest of her family to a strain of the H5N1 virus accidentally unleashed by the Chinese. She herself is dying from the virus and must find someone to care for her son.

She chooses Graham who seems the most stable of those left in town.

But Graham has also lost his family, most notably his wife Nelly and their unborn child. When Hyun-Ok approaches him, he has just lost the final member of his family; his father. But he reluctantly agrees to care for the young boy.

Only about two percent of the world’s population survives. Those survivors are now carriers of the deadly virus. As survivors, Graham and Bang are carriers of the virus.

As the dangers in the town where he lives continue to grow, Graham feels it would be safest to reach his family cabin on the Skagit River.

He and the boy – named Bang – are off to a rocky start. They pick up twins Macy and Marcy, and a German Shepherd police dog names Sheriff, along the way. When they reach the cabin they find it already inhabited by Tala, a Native American woman suffering a miscarriage, and an old black man named Ennis.

I will leave the premise there so as not to divulge too much.

If you think this is like Stephen King’s The Stand, think again. The Stand has a degree of mysticism: people compelled to meet an old black woman in the middle of nowhere for no reason any of them could fathom.

There is no mysticism here. But there is plenty of stark reality.

On the upside (if there is one) of a pandemic is all the electricity, water and cars still work. Until a human is required to flip any switches to keep the electricity and water running.

Shaw depicts reality with compassion while still gripping the reader with fear. In any post-apocalyptic situation, crazies run amuck and Shaw doesn’t pull any punches with the dangers lying in wait for those unprepared.

Her characters are vivid; most people could relate to them as they each recover from their losses and go about building a new family. Achieving a degree of normalcy after such an event is a day-by-day trial and error experience. They work and learn together how to survive.

If you read closely, you could learn what is needed to survive just about any apocalypse.

There are errors, but the story is compelling and well-written. This book is a good read and well worth it.

Visit A.R. Shaw’s website 

Purchase The China Pandemic here 

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info 

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A.W. Daniels may not have set out to be one of the 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading, but it’s a goal he may just accomplish. awdanielsbooks

“Apparently, I’ve been able to strike a nerve with a certain type of reader,” says Daniels. “I can only hope it’s for the good.”

Apparently, it was for the good as Daniels is a finalist in The Authors Show (www.theauthorsshow.com) annual competition.

The author of The Bethlehem Project series – Genetically Privileged, Genetically Conflicted and the forthcoming Genetically Rejected – has always been interested in the natural sciences. An article about designer babies he read while on a business trip to Canada sparked his imagination.

“I began speculating about the possibilities, ethics and the product of such an endeavor,” Daniels says.

What would those individuals created from such technology think of the world that spawned them? Would they see their creators as inferiors? were only a few of the questions he contemplated regarding the subject of genetic engineering.

The idea for the series developed for almost a year before Daniels began putting words to paper. Once started, it took only a month to complete the first draft.

“It literally spewed onto the pages after I began writing,” Daniels says. “This means there was quite a bit of editing involved.”

Growing up in conventional middle-class America, Daniels feels technology has changed almost every facet of daily life, for better and otherwise. On that, Daniels states, “I’ve always felt that change must occur and it is up to the individual to use the new tools available to improve our personal and societal environment.”

The author’s reading tastes run the gamut from medical and science journals to Cervantes, Machiavelli and Stephen Colbert to a dash of science fiction from Kurt Vonnegut.

His eclectic reading choices reflect his desire to encourage non-conventional thought. “I strive for my children to explore any topic, be it religion, politics or any facet of society and question the status quo,” Daniels explains. “I want them to ask themselves ‘what can I do to make it better?’ I’ve seen conventional thought quell the inquiring mind in school and everyday life.”

In an interview on The Authors Show, Daniels was asked about the Biblical references of his book Genetically Privileged.

While not attempting to create a religious book, Daniels says, “Religion and science have always struggled.” By using names and situations, “I wanted that thread running through the series. It’s indicative of the struggle between science and religion, how they grow apart then come back together in certain situations. I believe in the end we’re going to find that religion and science are more closely related than we think currently.”

The science of the book goes beyond cloning. Most of the science in the book may sound realistic but Daniels assures he was making up a good deal of it. “There is legislation against some of the aspects of this book in most of the industrialized nations,” he states in the same interview.

Given the opportunity, Daniels would love to speak with Dostoyevsky on nihilism, Dante on theology, Twain on politics and life (which would make a very interesting conversation) and Steinbeck on society. “Each would have such insight into the segment of life for which they are known.”

It would also make fascinating dinner conversation.

For more information, including purchasing Genetically Privileged and Genetically Conflicted, visit www.awdaniels.net

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info 

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 longroad

Start Prepping Now

Book Review

The Long Road

Michael Hopf

344 pages

Publisher: Plume

Sold by: Penguin Group

Post-apocalyptic scenarios fascinate me. I find the indomitability of human survival against overwhelming odds oddly hopeful.

Michael Hopf gets into the action in The Long Road pretty quick.

Even without the advantage of having read the first entry in the series – The End – I had no difficulty catching up and understanding what had happened and what was going on. Mr. Hopf deftly wove the backstory of the first book into the second, thus enabling the reader to follow the story without lengthy explanations or the absolute necessity to read the first book.

The characters are rich and vivid. I had no trouble empathizing with the good guys and despising the bad guys. And the bad guys are truly detestable.

It is a race against time for survival as what was once America continues to break down into a primitive, apathetic, lawless and frightening world in which to live. And with three sanctions vying for power in this post-apocalyptic land, it’s anyone’s guess what the country will look like once the dust has settled.

The intensity of the action and drama had me glued to my seat: I actually read the entire book in one sitting, reluctant to take a break to even refresh my cup of tea. It is rare that I am so compelled to read a book that I don’t want to break away from it to refresh my tea!

Yes, the book could use some editing, but that can be said about the books of Dean Koontz, James Rollins and countless other tomes coming out of traditional publishing houses these days. I have developed a degree of tolerance for errors because that isn’t going to change anytime soon. The errors in the book are few so it doesn’t interfere so much with the reading experience.

The only drawback, of course, is that now I need to acquire the third book to find out what happens next. Several cliffhangers were included (no spoilers!) and inquiring minds must know. The fourth installment isn’t due out until 2015, so I have a little time to catch up.

The scenarios painted in The Long Road are grim but very realistic. It’s easy to visualize those events actually occurring should our nation be attacked on the level depicted in the book. With the current state of the world and people being people, I am surprised something like this has not already occurred.

Although when I view the 6:00 news, I wonder just how far off those events truly are.

With those words, I’m going to start prepping now.

If you’re interested, check out G. Michael Hopf’s Amazon Author Page where each novel in the series is listed. http://amzn.to/1vWDEiA

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and ebook formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle is a fictitious account of an EMP attack. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 Follow her on Twitter @penspen, visit her website at http://www.penspen.info or follow her blog www.mytuppence.weebly.com Contact her at mytuppenceblog at yahoo.com to inquire about proofreading, editing and formatting services.

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For anyone who cannot access the review:

Review by J.

I received the Sword of Tilk trilogy from a Goodreads Giveaway. The set came with a sword…bonus!!!

The book summary does a good job of giving you an overview of the book so I’d like to say here the things that I really liked about it and what made it a good book to me.

I was expecting a fantasy book. I got that but more. I could relate to the characters and I cared about them. I liked that Pen used fantastical creatures but not the typical ones you see in books all the time. They were imaginative and I loved getting to know the Grifflestump. The author struck the perfect balance of being descriptive enough to set the scene but leaving enough so that my own imagination could fill in. It was also great to witness Barbara’s growth from a struggling single mother with little self confidence to a strong woman.

I’m looking forward to the next book!

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https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/777785232?book_show_action=true&page=1

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