Virtual Book Tour Dates: 7/9/14 – 7/23/14
Genres: Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, SciFi
Series: Graham’s Resolution, Book 2
Tour Promo Price: $.99 Countdown Deal: 7/10/14 – 7/17/14
What the world dreads most has already happened. Now, there is only survival.
In her dystopian and post-apocalyptic bestselling novel, The China Pandemic, A. R. Shaw created a realistic world after a much too plausible pandemic event. Now, the remaining must not only survive but thrive or risk complete extinction. The story moves forward with…
The Cascade Preppers
Graham is back in book two of the Graham’s Resolution series. In the tiny town of Cascade, Washington, the members of Graham’s camp endure a severe winter season. Meanwhile, The Prepper community remains dedicated to isolation and maintains their benevolent relationship. Tensions rise when tragedy strikes. The human traits of community and compassion are pitted against instincts to survive. Will they be doomed by their own efforts to coexist? Read the ongoing saga of Graham’s Resolution, Book 2, The Cascade Preppers, for the startling revelation.
The early winter sky cast in vibrant lavender led to piercing blue north of the horizon. It was as cold as hell is hot, if you can imagine the heat of hell as freezing. Graham pulled in the weighted line, hand over hand. He wrapped the twine from hand to elbow while staring down the murky blue ice hole of the frozen lake. The brown trout came squirming its way up the ice tunnel towards him, till it met its last fate.
Sam reached out and grabbed the greedy guy that currently hung in midair. Tearing the hook from its mouth, he dropped the frigid fish into a pail with its brothers. They went for quantity over size when fishing in the shallow waters beneath the ice, but the chore of getting enough to feed them all had taken a little longer than usual this morning. The sky had already gone from deep plum with a moon encircled in a fine mist to daylight so intense, eye protection and extra layers of fur to contain the fleeting warmth were called for.
Once they’d caught enough for everyone’s breakfast, they silently gathered their gear to make their way back up the trail to camp. Like any two men who’d worked the same routine, they would perform their job without uttering a single word with regards to the task. “Get your nose out of there, Sheriff,” Graham gently warned the dog in a worn, low voice as he caught him peering into the bucket. “You’ll get your share.” He tousled the dog’s head and picked up their morning haul. Sam came up behind him with the other lines after he’d covered the ice holes with spare plywood to keep them from freezing over too much.
“Ready?” Sam asked.
They crunched along the reliable crust as their boots echoed in the vast open until they met the trail between the trees. Mark had recently finished clearing the paths from that night’s continuous onslaught of snow.
As they walked up into the clearing, Bang, dressed in his snow gear from head to toe, tossed scraps to the chickens as they scampered all around him eager for their meager delicacies. Sheriff ran up ahead to help out his young friend. Amused that the dog didn’t understand why they kept the birds caged, nor why he wasn’t allowed to visit with them inside the coop, Graham laughed. The hens often ran away and rudely, collectively, scurried to the other end of their enclosure when Sheriff came to greet them each morning.
Graham called out to Bang, “Make sure you give them fresh water.”
“I always do,” Bang replied looking put out by the unnecessary reminder, then his expression changed. “Mark told me to tell you, Ennis isn’t up yet.”
“All right, thanks. I’ll give him a hand.” The two men walked in silence past the front of the cabin. Sam seemed to be pondering something which wasn’t unusual for the man. After spending the entire day with him, other than a nod or an occasional word, he didn’t say much, but Graham always suspected Sam was either thinking ahead or mourning his daughter. Whether he’d ever let another in on his thoughts, was anyone’s guess, so it surprised Graham when he spoke up.
“You know, he won’t see another winter. You might want to be prepared for that, Graham.”
Graham spoke softly. “Yeah, I’ve pretty much figured that out.” “We’re losing him a little each day. He rarely talks, but when he does it’s always warnings. Like, he’s trying to give us as much as he can before he goes.” Graham stopped in mid-stride and scuffed his boot at the ice, sending crystals a few feet forward. “I’m thankful we had him for as long as we did.”
Sam clapped him on the back in understanding. He liked Ennis too. The old man had even shown Sam a thing or two about carving the little wooden figurines he made for Addy, the daughter he could see and hear, but never again touch. If a man taught you something useful in life, he was a keeper in Sam’s book.
I read and reviewed Book One of the Graham’s Resolution series, The China Pandemic, back in May. (You can check out the blurb, the excerpt, and my review of Book One here).
There’s a lot going on in Graham’s Resolution, Book Two: The Cascade Preppers. Pretty much anything that can go wrong for the Carriers and the Preppers, does. (Graham’s Resolution 2: Murphy’s Law?) I don’t want to give too much away, but the entire book is an almost never-ending stream of crises that the characters have to deal with in a post-apocalyptic world with limited resources.
Shaw’s storytelling and characterization are very good. There are quite a few characters, but they’re all written with a unique voice (even the twins, Marcy and Macy) so that the reader is easily able to differentiate them. Even the less-than-lovable characters are well crafted, and you’re likely to find yourself emotionally invested in what happens to Graham and his crew of survivors. The ending to this one, while it also has its sad points, is more uplifting and cheerful than the ending of the first book. However, as with the first book, this one could also use an editorial overhaul. There are issues like stilted dialogue, misplaced/missing commas, missing words, and so forth.
Overall, the storytelling is good and the plot is interesting, so despite the editing issues I’ll be looking for the next book in the series. The Cascade Preppers is an interesting (and frightening, in the sense that it’s realistic enough that the events are actually feasible) book that’s worth reading if you can get past the editorial issues.
About the Author:
A. R. Shaw, born in south Texas, moved to Washington State in the late eighties. Always writing quietly in what little spare time available while participating in the U.S. Air Force Reserves as a Radio Operator and business owner. Only now embracing a writing passion full time and finding a place in the author’s community, Shaw has found a following of avid readers along the way.