Series: Sunset Rising #1
Published by Clownfish Publishing Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
February 2024: Desperate to find refuge from the nuclear storm, a group of civilians discover a secret government bio-dome. Greeted by a hail of bullets and told to turn back, the frantic refugees stand their ground and are grudgingly permitted entry. But the price of admission is high.
283 years later… Sunny O'Donnell is a seventeen-year-old slave who has never seen the sun. She was born in the Pit, a subterranean extension of the bio-dome. Though life had never been easy, lately it had become a nightmare. Her mom was killed in the annual Cull, and her dad thought it was a good time to give up on life. Reyes Crowe, her long-time boyfriend, was pressuring her to get married, even though it would mean abandoning her father.
She didn't think things could get any worse until she was forced upstairs to the Dome to be a servant-girl at a bachelor party. That's where she met Leisel Holt, the president's daughter, and her fiancé, Jack Kenner.
Now Sunny is wanted for treason. If they catch her, she'll be executed.
She thought Leisel's betrayal was the end. But it was just the beginning.
Sunset Rising is Book One of a series.
In the (un)Likely Event of an Apocalypse
By S.M. McEachern
The Apocalypse. The end of civilization as we know it. Maybe even the complete annihilation of the Earth.
The thought is terrifying and has fascinated generations for decades. There have been thousands of predictions on how, why and when the world as we know it will come to an abrupt end. It’s the stuff that blockbuster films and best selling novels are made of (mine included!). But could an apocalypse actually happen? What are the odds? And more importantly, can the human race survive the end of the world? As the author of a post-apocalyptic series, I’ve actually done some research on apocalyptic scenarios and here are a few of my thoughts:
Nuclear War: Anyone who has read my novel, “Sunset Rising”, knows nuclear war is my apocalypse of choice (I say tongue in cheek). Consider the domino effect of just one nuclear explosion set off above a city: a) buildings and dwellings leveled and set on fire; b) the instantaneous death of anyone inhabiting the city; c) as the city is engulfed in flames, oil and gas stores (in vehicles and tanks) explode; e) the cloud from the firestorm rises into the atmosphere, blocking out the suns rays—the beginning of a nuclear winter; f) radiation fall-out. One nuclear warhead exploding over one city has the capability to wipe out millions of people.
There are more than 17,000 known nuclear weapons in the world, many of which are more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
In the (un)likely event of a global nuclear war, you might want to be digging out a bunker in your backyard and stocking it with canned food and clean water… In the meantime, you can join campaigns and groups dedicated to abolishing nuclear weapons globally.
Earth hit by an asteroid: How big does an asteroid need to be to cause global destruction? NASA says anywhere from 1 to 2 km in diameter and up will likely end civilization. Regional damage at the collision site would cause the most immediate destruction, but it’s the resulting “impact winter” possibly followed by an “ultraviolet spring” that would end life as we know it. For comparison, the asteroid responsible for the mass extinction of the dinosaurs was approximately 10 kilometers (6 miles) in diameter.
So what are the odds of Earth suffering a meteorite impact? Pretty good, actually. Asteroids have collided with our planet in the past so there’s every reason to expect it will be hit again. In fact, on March 5, 2014, a meteor approximately 98 feet in diameter—big enough to cause regional damage—passed between the Earth and Moon.
In the (un)likely event of a meteorite impact, those people who already have a bunker dug-out to survive the nuclear war have the best chance for survival. Although, if you live in a coastal area subject to tsunamis from the event, forget the bunker and head to high ground. If you’d like a heads-up before the big bang, check in with the “Near Earth Object Program” here: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/risk/
Zombies: Can a zombie apocalypse actually happen?! The movie, “I am Legend” made it somewhat believable since people were turned into zombies via a rabies-type virus. And here’s the other thing that makes “I am Legend” mind-blowingly scary—the zombies could run fast! Biologists keep warning us we’re overdue for a pandemic. Could the zombie flu be the next one?
In the (un)likely event of a zombie apocalypse, you’ll need to be in good physical shape, know how to use a rifle, and make sure you’re a fast runner…or at least faster than your mate 😉
Well, those are just a few ways our civilization could suffer an apocalypse. Are you prepared?
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“Oh, Summer. If you weren’t so picky, you could have been married by now. But whenever a boy is interested in you, you’re suddenly not interested in him. I think you like flirting more than actually having a boyfriend.”
“That’s not true. I just haven’t met the right one yet.”
“Though you do bring up a good point. You’re running out of time.”
Summer could have had her pick of any boy in the Pit. A full head shorter than me, her small stature and delicate limbs gave her an elegant, feminine quality. I always felt large and clumsy next to her.
“You know, we’re always talking about me,” Summer said. “How are you? How’s your dad?”
She might regret asking that question, but I gave her an honest answer. “Dad lost his job yesterday because he didn’t show up for work.”
“Oh, Sunny. What are you going to do?”
I heard sympathy in her voice, and exasperation, too. My father had always been a little self-destructive. My mother had done a fairly good job of protecting me from it, but without her, I was on my own with him. “I told Reyes last night I couldn’t marry him until after the next Cull.”
“You’re postponing? Again?” she asked. “That’s a bit drastic. I’m sure your father can get another job. He’s had a lot of experience in the mines.”
“He’s barely been eating since Mom left, and now he’s too weak to get out of bed.”
“But you’ve put your marriage on hold once before, and I can’t imagine Reyes is happy with postponing again. And you’re not getting any younger, Sunny. You’re almost eighteen. Aren’t you afraid Reyes is going to get fed up with waiting and move on to someone else?”
I had never thought about Reyes being with someone else. We had been together forever. And at our age, it was getting kind of late to go looking for a new partner. Of course he would wait for me. If I gave him enough time, he would eventually understand that my father needed me right now, and I couldn’t leave him.
But there was wisdom in her words. At seventeen, I was middle-aged, and that didn’t bode well for getting approval to have a child. Population control in the Pit was getting stricter all the time. Reyes really wanted a child, but if I was being honest with myself, I didn’t. I guessed that was why I didn’t feel an urgent need to get married right away.