March 3rd, 2014
In a desperate attempt to escape execution, Sunny O’Donnell and Jack Kenner find a way out of the Pit and into a world still believed to be toxic with radiation. Under the brilliant sun for the first time in their lives, they not only discover that the earth has healed from nuclear war, but there are people outside the Dome.
In Worlds Collide, the second book of the Sunset Rising trilogy, Sunny and Jack must continue a life of subterfuge in order to stay alive and find a way to free the Pit. But in their attempt to save the urchins, they uncover the horrifying truth about President Holt and the evil he could unleash on the world.
Excerpt from “Worlds Collide” (Book 2 “Sunset Rising” series) by S.M. McEachern
The drops soon gathered speed and turned into a downpour, as if someone had turned on a showerhead. It made a drumming noise against the hard-packed earth, which came as a surprise. I had no idea rain made a sound.
Everyone on the training field carried on as though there wasn’t a storm in progress. Dena continued with her tour. It wasn’t until a flash of light lit up the sky that Dena said it was time to go inside. The unexpected flash was blinding, but it was the booming noise that followed that sent me careening into Jack’s side. For just an instant I wondered if it was an attack.
Jack’s shoulders shook with barely concealed laughter. I shot him a look. “As if you’ve ever been in a storm,” I said.
The trek back up to the courtyard was a little trickier on wet ground. As we went, the lightning became brighter and the thunder louder. Jack’s sunglasses weren’t much protection. I never thought I’d be relieved to go back inside a mountain again, but I was.
Pausing inside the entranceway to shake the water off, I took in the big empty room—what was once the lobby of the hotel. The grotto was made entirely of stone tile with high arched ceilings. The ghostly outlines of bygone furniture hinted that the hotel was once quite grand, but now crumbling tiles and dark stains ground into the stone had robbed it of its beauty. I rubbed the toe of my boot against one of the dark spots, wondering what it was.
“Human misery is a stubborn stain,” Dena said. “A lot of skeletons were found here, the floor darkened by their decay.”
A shiver went down my spine when her meaning registered. How many people had sought refuge here after the war, only to die a slow horrible death? Were they from the valley? Were they the same people who had been turned away from the Dome by the bourge? The stains of decay were everywhere. For a moment I closed my eyes against the mental image of what they must have had to clear out of here in order to reclaim this building.
Behind me the door opened and a few people entered the lobby. They glanced in our direction and continued to the far side of the room.
“The entire hotel is built inside the mountain, hidden to the outside world,” Dena said.
I watched the small group open the bags they carried and spread out blankets on the floor.
Jack pointed to the artificial lighting. “You’ve made your own light?”
Dena smiled. “It’s not nuclear science. It’s just a filament.”
Jack looked a little embarrassed by his question. I had thought the same thing until Jin-Sook had corrected me. As much as I professed that these people weren’t heathens, I still made assumptions about them, as though they wouldn’t be as smart as we were. But as we walked through the reclaimed ruins, I was reminded of the ingenuity of the human spirit. As someone who came from the Pit, this was not something I should’ve forgotten.
Author Interview: S.M. McEachern (“Sunset Rising” series)
2014 has been a big year for your writing career. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Yes, it has been big a year for me. For one thing, I published the second book of the “Sunset Rising” series, entitled “Worlds Collide”, last March. I was happily surprised when it rocketed up the Amazon ranking chart and maintained a spot in the top ten Amazon action and adventure romance bestseller list for months. That in turn attracted new hybrid-publisher Vook to ask me about acquiring the Sunset Rising series. After a few phone calls, many emails, and a lot of deliberation, I signed with Vook. I’m very happy I did.
I’m also working on the third book of my series, tentatively titled “New World Order”, which I plan to release in January 2015.
In the past, you’ve blogged about enjoying being an indie author, but you signed with Vook?
I have to admit, I do like having control over my books. When I want to do a promotion, or put the books on sale, or give the books away if I want to, I don’t have to ask permission from a publisher. I can just do it. So yes, when Vook first approached me I was hesitant to sign with them. However, Vook is a different kind of publisher; they are a “hybrid publisher.” They provide an enhanced publishing platform with ongoing marketing support via proprietary software that tracks ebook sales so authors can make better and more informed marketing decisions, and authors retain all copyrights and control over their books.
I officially joined them in July and I have received so much more than they promised. Vook is a dynamic, enthusiastic team of individuals that have partnered with me to bring my series to readers through all ebook retailers at affordable prices. Good for authors and good for readers! And as a company, they’re growing and constantly investing in themselves and their authors. For instance, they recently acquired their first publishing imprint, Byliner. I’m really excited to be a part of Vook, because I truly believe they are the future of publishing.
Your third book of the “Sunset Rising” series, tentatively titled “New World Order”, will be released in January?
That’s the plan. I’m madly writing everyday and no longer take weekends off! Not that I mind. Writing a book is like reading a good book; I don’t want to put it down. And this third book has a LOT going on. It’s definitely the most action-packed of the series, with minor characters from the first two books sharing Sunny’s spotlight.
You do a lot of world-building in the series. What’s your process for creating a post apocalyptic world?
In a nutshell, research and imagination. I love research because not only does it give me a good, solid foundation to begin my stories, but it also ignites my imagination. It’s kind of like taking what is and projecting what can or could be. So I read a lot of non-fiction articles and I also reach out to experts, most of whom have been really happy to help me. Dr. Bergren of the National Institute of Nanotechnology and Chris Kratt of the Wild Kratts have been two super helpful resources. I’ll be doing an interview with Chris this weekend, talking about what a post apocalyptic creature world might look like, and will have it up on my blog by September 18th if you’re interested in checking it out.
Is your third book the last one of the “Sunset Rising” series?
The series was named for the heroine, Sunset O’Donnell (Sunny), and the first three books are told from her point of view (spoiler alert: there’s another person sharing the story in book 3!). But as I said above, I’ve gone to great lengths to create a new world. I can definitely see more books told from other characters points of view as they reinvent their civilization and explore a post nuclear earth. And with recruiters, scorchlanders, and northerners out there, who knows what they’ll find…
Note from author:
Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog and giving me the opportunity to talk about all the exciting things happening with the “Sunset Rising” series. For anyone who hasn’t read the series, the first book “Sunset Rising” is on sale everywhere for just 99 cents from September 16-24, 2014. I also have seven satellite stories (short stories based on the series) posted on my blog you can check out here: http://smmceachern.com/category/satellite-stories/ The first six stories were written in between books one and two; the seventh story is more recent and picks up between books two and three. I always love to hear from readers, so if you do check out the series, please feel free to get in touch and let me know what you think!
Cheers – Susan (aka S.M. McEachern)