One woman’s journey through the chaotic new world.
Those left standing make the paths for the future generations.
Those the planet allowed to live still have to survive the trials of the virus. If you manage to come out of it alive you are left with some form of mutation that could give you an ability that could be harmless or lethal.
Bree Taylor is the last survivor of her family. With no other choice she sets off on her own to escape the clutches of the new government’s army—that does not place safety and security in their code of behavior only the highest bidder get their protection and loyalty.
The entire volume 1 will be released in January 2015.
First part of volume 2 (Kane's story) is TBR in November 2014
Excerpt for #4:
It felt like months, the hours dragged on. I’d listen carefully to the voices to try to figure out when the guards changed, but without ever seeing daylight or night I couldn’t be sure if it was three times a day or only twice. My hands no longer throbbed; in fact I couldn’t feel them at all.
I tried not to think about the woman I’d known only for that one day, I tried not to think about Kismet and Tremor and what was happening to them without me to keep them safe. I drifted in and out of sleep, or maybe I was just numb, not feeling or sleeping at all.
When I stopped feeling thirsty, I knew I’d reached some sort of bridge. A person should always feel thirst to some degree I imagined. My stomach, was insistently reminding me that I hadn’t had more than a few sips in the time I’d been here—I still didn’t try to identify what the taste had been. With each second I lay there in the dark, I felt myself starting to accept not getting out of here.
My teeth hurt from trying to chew the cord around my wrists to free my hands. Why they only tied my hands I didn’t know, was I a threat to the two men that were always outside the door? In my weakened state probably not much of one, unless they were afraid I’d flick dirt off the floor at them when they came in.
Excerpt Part 3
The sound of wings flapping had my undivided attention; I stopped and held my breath trying to locate the direction it was coming from. The moment I honed in on the area the bird had been I wished I hadn’t. Here I was half way to the middle of the clearing in snow up past my knees and coming out of the trees roughly thirty feet from me were two very rough, huge men. I had twenty seconds grace before they spotted me, just enough time to turn in the snow and take the first step in what would likely end up being the most difficult run of my life.
Running in snow this deep was like running through water. If your feet didn’t clear it you got nowhere. I hadn’t stopped long enough to measure the height of the men quickly gaining on me, but I was fairly certain their long legs would move through this snow faster than my own.
As I hit the tree line again, I hesitated long enough to pick a direction. Kismet and I had been through this area enough times I knew most of it without thinking now. Slipping in the snow I changed directions and headed towards the hill that led to the river bed. If I could out-maneuver them in the densest part of the trees I might just be able to put a big enough gap between us that they’d give up.
Chancing a glance over my shoulder I noted one thing. They were large enough it would take four of me to make this anywhere near equal. My heart was thrumming, pumping blood through my veins in a chaotic beat. A part of me knew I couldn’t outrun them, but I had to try. Turning, I bolted back towards a tight grouping of trees. I could hear the pounding of their feet hitting the ground behind me and had one second to regret the one time I didn’t let Kismet come with me. He would have evened the odds.
One of them was close enough I could hear his heavy breathing over my own as I dodged between two trees I knew he wouldn’t be able to go through. My coat was actually slowing me down, but it held the knife and gun and there was no way I was dropping either of those right now. I heard him curse behind me and knew I only had seconds before he would have me. Ducking left, I stopped and spun around at the same time. My knife was now in my hand held down against my side as I gasped to settle my breathing. He stood a foot away from me and looked really pissed with the fact that I had made him run after me.
I wanted to look around for the other one, but didn’t dare take my eyes off of him. A familiar flick sound brought my attention to his hand to see a blade slide smoothly from the handle it had been folded into. There was nothing I could say that was going to change this man’s plans. His eyes were wide and bored into mine with a look of craziness. A branch snapping behind me was the only warning I got before a big arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me back into a hard chest.
They spoke to each other and it wasn’t in any language I understood, then again I only knew English. The tone the man in front of me used and the sudden smirk on his face told me I was in deep shit. There was no way, no how this was happening to me. I refused to be a victim. The one behind me tightened his hold, making breathing hard. He rubbed his face against my neck making my skin crawl. The other one waved the knife in front of me a few times and then used it to push open my coat. He grinned and said something to the one that was breathing on my neck.
The adrenaline was pumping so fast through my body I didn’t know how I was able to not vibrate. Now or never! Lowering my head, I relaxed my body as much as I could. Taking a deep breath, I threw my head back and brought my hand with the knife up at the same time, aiming for the arm around me. The loud crack and sudden pain in my head told me I’d connected hard with the face behind me. He cursed and let me go just as the other one lunged towards me. I felt the sting across my cheek as I brought the knife down and across his chest.
Excerpt Part 2:
Claws dug into me as it climbed to my neck at the same moment ice cold water swallowed me. My breath left my body so quickly it felt like my lungs were going to burst. The intense pain from the incisions the animal was making across my chest brought me the strength to kick as hard as I could towards the surface. I wasn’t the strongest swimmer by far, but I had more than enough will to live to try for both of us.
In the brief glimpses I managed to keep my head above the water, I didn’t spot the shore once. We were being sucked into the middle. Through the white choppy water that blurred my vision I was only able to catch a quick look each time before we were dragged under again. I could feel the rocks rake over my back and hoped there would be enough flesh left to survive it.
The cat was practically wrapped around my neck and holding several layers of skin and flesh captive in its young claws as we swirled around again in a deep pit of rushing water. Each time we surfaced, I gulped as much air into my lungs as I could before water filled my mouth again. The undercurrent calmed just long enough for me to find the direction of shore and with every ounce of strength I could find I kicked and paddled with my arms trying to shove us in that direction. I could make out a tree that was floating near the bank just seconds before I was inhaling water again.
Hitting the bottom I shoved as hard as I could and tried to aim to the calmer water near the shore, not even knowing if I was going in the right direction until air hit my face once more. The tree was still in sight and I somehow knew if we didn’t reach it we wouldn’t be on land after that. Releasing my hold on the animal that was anchored to me so deeply that no way was it going to jump off and float away I swam towards the tree and prayed I’d reach the limbs lying in the water before we were dragged beyond them.
Excerpt Book 1:
The snapping and crunching of branches told me something was moving through the trees. Turning the flash light off, I hunched down to be as small and invisible as possible. I listened in the darkness for anything that would let me know where the noise had come from and what had made it. Voices were carried to me in the dark, a man and a woman. I moved slowly back towards my things and sat with my back against the tree straining to see in the dark.
Time stopped as I waited to see if the voices kept moving or came closer. I wasn’t sure what I’d do if they did come closer. I touched the handle of the knife inside my coat, hoping this wasn’t when I find out if I could use it. Leaves rustled from behind me. I held my breath and pushed back against the tree, waiting. When I heard a low growl coming from around the tree I think even my heart even paused.
I had strangers coming closer on one side of me and an animal voicing a warning behind me. Tremor shook his head and pranced a few times and the growling got louder. I sat there trying to gauge what was the most important and decided there was no way I was going to let something happen to my horse. Sliding up the tree as quietly as I could, while focusing on the voices, I tried to recall every skill instilled in me, drawing more blanks than anything useful.
Pulling the knife from the pocket, I prayed it was sharp enough to cut the rope I’d tied Tremor to. I guessed I had about fifteen seconds to cut it and get to the horse before whatever was growling took a bite off one of my legs or other body parts. Chewing my lip, I hoped I could still get on his back without the saddle. The plan was to ride like hell and come back later for my stuff—if we could find it again.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I don’t know if I always wanted to be one, but I have always been writing stories in notebooks as far back as I can remember.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
It dawned on me somewhere between my second and fourth book being published. lol
How long did it take to get your first book published?
I wrote From Beltane Magic in 2006 and didn’t even send it until 2009 – by then I had four in the series and several others under way. After submission it was accepted and then things started getting interesting as I learned all about this ‘being published’ thing.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
I actually just took a year off to recover a bit from not taking time off for four years. I was a manager before I left. Now I’m thinking I don’t want to go back to 17 hrs a day 7 days a week. I’ve discovered I like my bed and pillow after all and waking up after the sun does so I’m not sure if I am going back.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
After the Silence – Bree (volume 1)
If the earth is the enemy, there are no rules and all you can do is try to survive.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
First Realm Publishing. They’re a new small publisher.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
That depends on the book. IF the story is flying along without any hitchs and I have cooperative characters I can write one in a month. For longer books it can take up to six months to get it all on the page. After the Silence was one of the longer ones. lol
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I also just released my very first NA book (The Alterealm Series The Huntress by J. Risk) it’s paranormal fantasy. I’m writing Volume 2 of After the Silence but also have other Paranormal Romance books coming out : The Witch Within, The Solitary Witchling, Animal Scent – the list is always full.
What genre would you place your books into?
They are always some flavor of paranormal. Whether romantic, romantic suspense, shifter or post – apocalyptic there has to be that paranormal in there.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I think I like that there are no definite rules carved in stone with this genre. I get bend the worlds the way I want them to be.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I tried years ago when the kids were small and fewer but it was too crazy to keep up with at that point ( I had five in 11 years! ) It was 2006 before I sat down and wrote a whole book – it’s been a blur since then. I think the count is 23 releases in five years now.
I don’t know if it’s inspiration or not but the first book was actually me trying to get in the last word. Lol A friend was going away for a month and I asked her what I was supposed to do with all that time without her and she flippantly told me to write a book . So I did – to her surprise when she returned and I sent it to her. J
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I do. I think if someone has taken the time to read my book and write a review it’s the least I can do to read what they thought. I may not always like what they say, but they’re entitled to their opinion or translation of what I wrote.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
For the most part I always have a title just after the idea comes to me. That’s not saying I haven’t changed a few along the way, but it’s easier for me if I know what I’m working on and not just “project blank”.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I labor over the names more than anything else. Usually I know what the basics of a character and try to find a name that goes with it. Names are so important in my books. I like to believe that with a brief description of the character and the names helps give readers a picture of them completely.
I may just be dreaming there, but it works for me.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I know the basics when I start, I’ve usually seen a scene with them in it but I don’t know everything until its being written. Let me tell you there have been a few surprises doing it this way.
Your favorite food is?
Cheesecake – isn’t everyones?
Your favorite singer/group is?
I like almost any music and group ALMOST or at least one of their songs. I use music a lot with my writing so it’s good to have a wide variety to choose from.
Your favorite color is?
Jacqueline Paige lives in Ontario in a small town that’s part of the popular Georgian Triangle area. No one has ever heard of Stayner, so she usually tells people she lives “near Collingwood” and no, she doesn’t ski at Blue Mountain or at all, in fact she’s not even fond of snow.
She began her writing career in 2006 and since her first published works in 2009 she hasn’t stopped. Jacqueline describes her writing as “all things paranormal”, which she has proven is her niche with stories of witches, ghosts, physics and shifters now on the shelves.
When Jacqueline isn’t working at her ‘reality job’ or lost in her writing she spends time with her five children, most of whom are finally able to look after her instead of the other way around. Together they do random road trips, that usually end up with them lost, shopping trips where they push every button in the toy aisle, hiking when there’s enough time to escape and bizarre things like creating new daring recipes in the kitchen. She’s a grandmother to four (so far) and looks forward to corrupting many more in the years to come.