Sometimes life gets too tough and you want to give up. Last week I participated in my first ever CrossFit completion. It was freaking tough. Not only was it very difficult, it was almost physically impossible. I kept chipping away at the workout, moving when I didn’t want to and pushing when I only wanted to lie down on the floor.
Pushing ourselves doesn’t always come naturally. I’ve enjoyed learning how to go beyond what I thought I could do. Dedication to pushing beyond where I think I can go has bled over to writing. Thought After The End isn’t my normal type of book, the decision to write the story came easily. I wanted to push my writing to a place I hadn’t gone before. Taking the easy way and writing what the reader expects may make more money, but I never want to get lazy in writing. This book pushed me more and forced me to improve in ways I didn’t even know I needed to.
In After The End, William and Dean are faced with having to do the impossible. Neither one of them is prepared to live alone or off the land. They could have easily given up, but they keep going, pressing forward, trying to survive. They both become inventive, finding food wherever they can.
I love disaster stories because it pushes the characters to step outside their box to survive. I wanted William to be forced to grow up and become more mature. Dean grew up poor and already was mature in areas where William wasn’t. Both characters have growth, but William more so than Dean.
What has been your favorite disaster story of all time?
Blurb: With international flights crisscrossing the skies on an hourly basis, are we ever really safe?
When a strain of the Ebola virus mutates; it spreads quickly leaving the medical community shattered. People are dropping in the streets and life, as most know it, comes to an end. Two city dweller survivors, Dean and William, are forced to flee the city and live in the wilderness—where dangers lurk behind every tree and in every valley. Not everyone alive after the end is good, and William and Dean are faced with challenges that would bring many to their knees.
Growing up in the hood of Atlanta, Dean knows how to overcome trials, but he knows nothing of love. Can he sustain a relationship with William, or will his doubts end them before they even have a chance?
From birth William has had a silver spoon in his mouth and two in each hand, but the end brings him face to face with reality where he has to take responsibility for his life. After the end, money has no meaning, and life is lived on the edge.
Join William and Dean after the end and find out how close to the edge they come.
Excerpt: Hunger clawed at William’s belly, and he wasn’t sure how long he could continue walking. They needed food. He slowed and Dean got ahead of him. William glanced around, hating that they’d moved so little. They were still in the city and had been walking for about an hour since their last failed stop. As they walked past a few houses he saw a curtain twitch like someone was hidden away inside. He had no idea if the people were well or sick, just as they didn’t know if he and Dean were well or not.
“Dean,” William called out.
“Yeah, what’s up?”
“We need to find food.”
“What are we going to do?”
Dean stopped walking and glanced around at the houses. “It’s a crap shoot. I have no idea if people are ill or not. This sucks.”
“Maybe we could find a car.”
“It would be risky.”
“I know, but we need to move faster.”
Dean nodded and held out his hand. “Come on. We’ll figure something out.”
William stared at Dean’s hand. Prior to all of this, there was no way he would have held another guy’s hand in public, but what did it matter now? He took Dean’s hand and leaned in close to kiss him.
“I trust you,” William said, and he did. He really trusted Dean with his life and his heart.
They walked another mile, and he really thought he was going to drop from thirst and hunger. Dean tapped him on the arm and pointed at a convenience store with gas pumps outside.
“What is that?” William asked.
“I don’t know if anyone is there, but they have drinks out front and it looks like they have some food right in the door. There are no cars in the parking lot. Let’s give it a try.”
William nodded and followed Dean to the store. It was crazy to even attempt to go into a place where other people could be, but they needed food. He wasn’t going to make it long if they didn’t get something to eat.
Dean paused at the corner of the store and held his hand up. “Do you see any movement inside?”
“No, but I’m starving and not able to really make good decisions.”
Dean glanced at him, and his lips turned up a little, warming William’s heart. He leaned close, resting his forehead against Dean’s. It felt good being together. Why had he waited so long to tell Dean how he felt?
“Okay, let’s go in.” Dean moved to the door and tugged it open. A loud ding sounded, freezing them both in place. The seconds ticked by as they waited for someone to come out of the back or to say something.
“I don’t think anyone is here,” Dean whispered.
William leaned in close, his lips by Dean’s ear. “Go in. I’m right behind you.”
“Did you really just say that? It sounds like a line from a shitty horror flick.”
“Yeah, but I really am right behind you. I swear I’ve got your back.” William kissed the back of Dean’s head and smiled. It was a stupid line, and he should have volunteered to go in first, but they were working well as a team, and he trusted Dean to be strong and take care of them.
Dean stepped inside the store and William followed. At first they moved slowly, not touching anything. Dean went to the counter and glanced over. William leaned over the counter too, looking for someone on the floor. No one was there. They glanced at each other and shrugged. Then William saw a banana in a bowl beside the register. He grabbed the fruit and twisted the stem, smiling when it gave a satisfying snap. Dean smiled at him and grabbed a banana too. The first bite sent a shiver through him as the creamy and tart flavor spread over his tongue. A wave of dizziness struck him and he grabbed onto the counter as he swallowed. His stomach grumbled, but he took another bite, chewing each morsel. It was heaven to be eating. He’d never tasted anything as delicious as this banana. Before he finished the piece of fruit, he headed to the back of the store, waving Dean to follow.
“What are you doing?” Dean asked.
“I need water.”
Dean laughed and caught up to him. “Good call.”
He grabbed a bottle of water and tried to twist open the cap but the banana was in the way. After placing the banana on a shelf, he opened the water and drank half of it. It felt so good going down that tears formed in his eyes. Dean was right there with him, drinking deeply out of another bottle. They both finished the first bottle and reached for a second, but Dean stilled, his gaze serious.
“We need a plan.”
The Giveaway: Grand Prize: A $150 Gift Card for Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, or ARe, as well as a print copy of After the End, 2nd Prize: Print copy of After The End, 3rd Prize: ebook of a Sara York backlist title
Author Bio: Writing is Sara York’s life. The stories fight to get out, often leaving her working on four or five books at once. She can’t help but write. Along with her writing addiction she has a coffee addiction. Some nights, the only reason she stops writing and goes to sleep is for the fresh brewed coffee in the morning.
Sara enjoys writing twisted tales of passion, anger, and love with a good healthy dose of lust thrown in for fun.