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Synopsis

Almost six years sincKids at Ware an unknown event plunged the world into darkness, humanity continues to crumble. Times have worsened as the remaining fuel and valuable resources – fresh food and water – are long gone. Chances of recovery have all but disappeared; chances of survival seem grim.

In a plan so backward, so unlikely to have any success, the militia of the Milwaukee area take a young nun, five teens, and a set of five “special packages” into the barren farmland of south-central Wisconsin. There, with little more than themselves for support, they are to live, to grow, and perhaps even prosper. Or maybe the militia has just removed a problem they chose not to deal with.

With the help of new – yet strange – friends, their journey begins. But trouble finds them, even against their greatest hopes and fervent prayers. Worse, the militia has purchased help from a drunken recluse who may prove to be their greatest trouble of all.

The second book of our greatest war, our battle for survival, begins: WWIV – Kids at War.

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 EXCERPT

The five teens, clutching five babies, stood nervously in the far end of the front bedroom. Theresa eyed them cautiously. “We need to keep the babies as quiet as possible for the next little bit,” she said. “Hopefully this danger will pass quickly and we can get on with our day.”

The girls snuck peeks at one another as Theresa went amongst them with words of encouragement. Reaching Sarah, Theresa whispered in her ear. “Is the back door still locked?”

Sarah’s eyes instantly filled with tears as she gave a small shake of her head. “I unlocked it to get some wood for the fire in the dining room. I’m so sorry, Sister.”

Theresa stroked her arm gently. “It’s okay Sara. All will be fine.”

Theresa listened carefully for what seemed to be an hour, but likely was only a minute or two. From the far lower end of the house they heard the back door creak loudly as it opened. Raising a single finger to her lips, she reminded the girls to keep quiet.

“Hello?” boomed a male voice from the first level. “We know you’re all here somewhere. We saw the lot of you yesterday.” Most of the teens’ eyes filled with tears hearing the baritone voice. Theresa remained strong and gave the group a reassuring nod.

“All we want is some food and company. Really,” the same voice sang out once more. Theresa listened carefully for any other conversation, hoping to stay a step ahead of the pair.

The group waited as they heard doors being opened, drawers pulled out, and loud plodding footsteps from the men below. For once, only by God’s grace in Theresa’s mind, all of the babies laid quietly next to their mothers. Theresa’s quaking right hand covered her mouth as she tried to steady her breathing. She prayed fervently the men would not come upstairs.

Only another slow moment passed before she heard the door of the stairway open. Turning to her group, she again pressed the same finger to her lips. Several heads nodded their agreement. Emily sat on one of the beds, face pointed down, clutching and rocking Cal. Theresa softly touched her shoulder hoping to calm the young girl.

“We know you’re up here somewhere. Pretty sure you didn’t all just disappear on us,” the same man called again with a noticeable laugh in his tone. “We just want some food, darlings.” The creaking of the old white painted stairs caused Theresa to flinch. She needed a plan, badly, but none came to mind as she scanned the room for a weapon.

The sound of Karen’s door being torn open caused Sheila, and then Sara, to scream. Theresa glanced back at the frightened pair, both in tears. Flashing a quick stern look, she turned as footsteps came closer. After a brief moment of silence, she drew a sharp breath as the door handle spun.

 

Throwing the door open, the first man stepped inside grinning. Tall and heavy, he eyed the group with great anticipation. Theresa was about to say something when the second man entered behind the first. This man was tall as well, but thinner than the first man. Much thinner.

After mustering all the courage she could find, Theresa stepped forward to stop the men’s advance. The leader eyed her lewdly. Still in her nightshirt and sweat pants, Theresa crossed her arms to cover her chest. The man’s eye finally came back to hers.

“Well hello there, darling,” he said in an almost sweet tone. “Why’d you make it so hard for me and Johnny to find you all?”

Theresa stared down at the blade in his hand.

Noticing her eyes, he held the knife up for everyone’s inspection. “This is just to make sure no one does anything stupid. Right Johnny?” he said to his partner.

Johnny’s smirk made Theresa wince. His dry lips and dull gray teeth displayed his months and years of life on the road. “That’s right, Randy,” he replied, holding his larger knife up as well.

Theresa took another smaller step forward. “I’m going to have to ask you men to leave,” she said as forcefully as possible. “We have babies here that are being taken care of by my group. There’s no room or time for this. Please, be decent and just leave.”

The nasty pair smirked at her words.

“Really, I am Sister Theresa of the order of …”

The leader raised his hand, cutting off her words. “I don’t care who you are lady. What we want is food,” he demanded. Licking his chapped lips he gazed past Theresa at the younger girls. “And a couple of you to keep us company while we get that food. You…” He pointed at Theresa then at Karen. “…and you. Come downstairs and make us some breakfast. The rest of you stay up here. We have, ah…” He winked at his partner. “…adult things to discuss. It doesn’t pertain to a bunch of little girls. Just these two.” He waggled his knife between Theresa and Karen emphasizing his point.

Theresa slowly raised her folded hands toward the man. “I beg of you, please. This isn’t what you want. We can give you food and then you can be on your way. Please, don’t harm any of my girls.”

The leader leered deep into Theresa’s pleading eyes and drew a long deep breath. “Sister, it appears you need to understand the situation a little better. We want food and some adult entertainment. We have knives, you…well, you see what you’re up against. Don’t make us hurt one of those babies to convince you what you need to do otherwise.”

Tears filling her eyes, Theresa approached dangerously close to the man. “Please sir, please,” she begged. “Just take me then. Leave the others alone. I’ll give you food and whatever else you want. Just don’t harm any of the others.”

The man’s eyes steeled as his face drew tight. “Sister,” he began in a quiet ominous tone. “We make the rules. We have the knives.” The knife’s sharp edge drew near to her face. She tried to speak again but nothing came out. Trying to make a quick decision, her thoughts left her as another voice came from the hallway.

“And I’m the guy with the gun.” A lone man stepped forward with a barrel trained on the pair of road ruffians. “And I think she said she wanted you to leave.” The man’s dead eyes bore into the knife-wielding pair. No emotion crossed his face as he remained fixed on the two.

 

The Author

EA’s Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter
I write dystopian. It’s dark, yet fun to play with.Lake Photo New

WWIV – In The Beginning is my debut novel.

Trying to get this junk in my head, down on pages. Those pages become chapters. The chapters become a manuscript. The manuscript becomes a novel. Sounds easy enough.

I am an author and my pen name is e a lake. The e and the a mean nothing. So please just call me lake.

Not everything in dystopian writing has to be dark and dreary. I try to create post -apocalyptic situations that will challenge the reader to really believe that the events in my novels could happen.

The best part of my genre? Who needs antagonists when the landscape surrounding my protagonist is so bad. You just have to love this stuff.

My favorites are the usual list of suspects. Orwell, Bradbury, Stephen King, Vince Flynn, and James Patterson.

I’m not all that scary. Father to three, grandfather to two (three in April 2014). Just a regular guy.

 

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Lindsey and Lindsey Headshot OFFICIAL!!!

Would you call yourself a born writer? 

LP: I’d definitely call myself a born writer, but that doesn’t mean I’m great at it. I just know that I yearn for it and it makes me happy, so I know I’m meant to do it some way, shape, or form.

LF: I’d call myself a born imaginer, not a born writer. I kept diaries and journals growing up, but I was never very good about writing consistently. But, I’ve always had extremely vivid and outlandish dreams, and I’ve always been an avid reader of fantastical fiction. It wasn’t until about four years ago that I started writing my imaginings down. After that, I couldn’t stop. It just feels right.

What was your inspiration for After The Ending?

LF: I’m not really sure. LP and I were driving home from a book conference–this was while we still worked at Copperfield’s Books together–and we started talking about a story idea. I’d been thinking about writing something entirely epistolary that chronicled an adult woman’s post-apocalyptic experience. During the two-hour drive we toyed with the premise, tossing ideas back and forth, and by the time we arrived at LP’s house, we had characters, a rough backstory, and a very general outline.

LP: An interesting fact about this project is that we actually started this as a blog. It was still about two friends who survived the apocalypse, but their story was solely conveyed through emails. As we wrote, we realized the characters and their stories were too one-dimensional. We wanted to give ourselves the space to explore our characters, to show the audience who they were outside of their quirky and oftentimes melodramatic emails. We wanted more, and it turned into the nearly 500 page book with first person narrative and a few straggling emails.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

LF: Hmmm…for The Ending series, we really tried to focus on the idea that the apocalypse doesn’t have to be entirely about death and sadness. That’s not to say that those things aren’t present in After The Ending–I think Dani and Zoe have emotional and mental breakdowns nearly every other chapter–but we really wanted to highlight the undeniable power of hope, love, and friendship. For Dani and Zoe, a life without those things would have been only a half-life.

LP: In After The Ending we explored humanity in general. What would happen if the world ended? How would regular people react? Who would survive? Realistically, I can’t see Zoe and Dani picking up shotguns and blowing Crazies to smithereens without a second thought or without some sort of transformation along the way. They are young (mid-twenties), and there’s an emotional process behind learning how to survive. That’s one theme we focused on. After the Ending cover art

How long did it take you to complete the novel? 

LF: From conception to publication, I think it took about a year and a half, which is pretty good considering the massive indie publishing learning curve. Book two, Into The Fire, will have a shorter turn-around time, about a year. Speed definitely comes with confidence and know-how, but we’d never rush the process for the sake of publishing faster. Writing the rough manuscript really only takes us a few months. It’s the revising and editing that eats up most of the time, and those things can’t be rushed if we want to put out a good quality story.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

LP: Disciplined? When I have time to write, yes. Aside from writing, I work part time and also write for the local historical society. That being said, I rarely have days I can just sit and dedicate to my chapters or other writing projects. However, in a perfect world where I have the entire day to be inspired and conjure up the next hurdle poor Zoe has to overcome, I would: wake up, read a little from whatever book I can’t put down to get my gears turning, sit down to write for a few hours, breaking for some exercise, food and ice tea, move outside to work in the sunshine and to be serenaded by the sound of the waterfall in my backyard before it’s time to meander back inside to make dinner and spend time with my man. Until I have the space and opportunity to work that way, I write down all my ideas and observations in notebooks to access later on when I’m in the mood or have the time to sit down and write.

LF: I’ve been lucky enough to work on writing full-time (thanks to my wonderful husband!), so I would say my typical writing day–which is pretty much everyday–looks like this: I wake up and make tea, check email, book sales, and reviews, read or watch a show for about an hour while I wait for my brain to catch up with the fact that it’s awake, and then I start writing. I usually write a chapter from start to finish (generally between 3,000 and 5,000 words), then get off my butt and work in the garden or go for a walk or a bike ride while I listen to an audio book, make dinner, still listening to the audio book, then have a glass of wine while I do something relaxing. Sprinkle a generous amount of hanging out with my crazy cats, and your looking at my typical day.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

LP: Remembering I have my own writing style and to stay true to it. I think keeping a unique voice gets tricky when two writers are working so closely together, especially after hours of editing each other’s chapters. It’s only going to get more difficult as all of our characters become more integrated and LF’s characters are in my chapters and mine are in hers. Sometimes the lines get blurred and I really want to be conscious and prevent that.

LF: Learning which feedback to incorporate into revisions and which to throw out. One thing I really battle with in my writing is remembering what the “Average Joe/Jane” knows and what might be unfamiliar to them. For example, when setting a scene, I have to remind myself that just because I can see it in my head doesn’t mean readers can see it. During revisions I have to read, visualizing only what the written words tell me, and then add a hefty amount of description to flesh out the setting and characters.

What do you love most about being an author?

LP: I definitely think that developing characters and writing a storyline that so many people love and appreciate as much as we do is truly the most gratifying feeling. It validates all that we’ve worked so hard for, and it’s truly an indescribable feeling.

LF: When I hear from a reader or read a review that mentions an emotional connection to the world and characters we’ve created, it puts an uncontainable smile on my face. Knowing that my words have made someone laugh, cry, or stay up late to find out what happens, is one of the greatest feeling in the whole world.

Where can we find you on the web?

We can be found on facebook (www.facebook.com/AfterTheEnding), Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/book/show/16075905-after-the-ending), and twitter (@TheEndingSeries).

Website:www.TheEndingSeries.com

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I am a new author with two published books to my credit. The Last Degree (DIP Publishing) was released last month. The book was inspired by my obsession with conspiracy theory. I am a Christian who believes in doomsday prophecy. I also believe there is a shadowy government that is running the world behind the proverbial curtain. The prime suspects are the Bilderbergs, Freemasons, Illuminati, Bohemian Club, and/or Club of Rome. Conspiracy theorists hold that the elite will reveal themselves once they organize the world under one government. This theory is called New World Order, and my novel links it to biblical prophecy. Crazy, right? I’m not alone. Some are much more serious about this line of thinking, going as far as constructing underground living quarters, preparing for the end.

My second book, Halo of the Damned, will be released on February 7th. Once again religion inspired me. This book isn’t as serious, but research still plays into the plot. I stumbled upon an article about the Yezidi religion many years ago. Part of their religion is about angel worshipping, particularly Malak Tawas, the peacock. This angel is known as Satan in the West. I mixed the obscure religion with my own cynical views of the advertising industry and turned it into a novel.

About the books:

The Last Degree: Secret societies plan for the first phase of New World Order. The novel is dedicated to all Birthers, Truthers, 2012ers, Tribulationists, and/or conspiracy advocates that question the inner circle of the elite.

Halo of the Damned: A fallen angel uses the advertising industry to gather souls for Satan.

Author’s Bio:

Dina Rae is a new author that is here to stay. As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work. Her research on the Yezidi religion and love of art inspired her story telling for Halo of the Damned.

Her other novel, The Last Degree, is a fictionalized account of the Freemason’s role in the New World Order. Dina’s grandfather was the Most Worshipful of his lodge. The subject has always held a personal interest.

Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago. She is an avid reader, tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on conspiracy theories.

Link to author’s website or blog: dinarae.co
Twitter: @HalooftheDamned
Link to excerpt: dinarae.co
Link to purchase page: EternalPress.biz for Halo of the Damned and http://www.amazon.com/Last-Degree-Dina-Rae/dp/1937182053/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328143707&sr=8-1, dippub.com, Barnesandnoble.com for The Last Degree

Watch the trailer for Halo of the Damned

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