Thursday, September 18, 2014

"Worlds Collide" by S. M. McEachern

Worlds Collide
(Sunset Rising Book 2)
by S. M. McEachern

Worlds Collide is the second book in the Sunset Rising series. Also available: Sunset Rising (ON SALE for $0.99 to 24 September).

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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 series, 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.

With a start I woke, sensing something different. Disoriented, I looked around the room. It was dimly lit in a foreign way—as if someone turned half a light on. In the Pit, the lights were either on or off. There was no in-between. A sliver of yellow filtered through the slit in the curtains and fell across the bed. I put my hand into the stream of light. It was warm.
After a night spent clinging to the side of the mattress, my muscles were stiff. Slowly I stretched out my limbs and felt Jack beside me. At least I had stayed on my side.
Quietly, I rolled off the bed and padded to the window to look outside. The top of the sun was barely visible above the mountains, but already its fingers were reaching out and stealing the darkness from night. It was already too bright to tolerate and I reached for my sunglasses on the bedside table. Jack was awake, his blue eyes quietly regarding me. 
“Want to see your first sunrise?” I asked.
He left the bed and came to stand behind me and I pulled the curtains open wider. In the backyard a bird was singing, heralding the arrival of a new day. I searched the trees for the creature but couldn’t see it. Then it flew to another tree, flashing its red wings. Another bird joined it and together they chirped, their throats pulsating.
Jack’s arms circled my waist. “Amazing,” he whispered against my ear.
I relaxed into him, resting my head against the side of his. As the rising sun caressed my face, the warmth of his bare chest gently pressed against me. It probably wasn’t a good idea considering our no-romance agreement. But it was the single most beautiful moment of my entire existence and I was loath to give it up. I put my hands over his, holding him there.
I’m not sure how long we stood together at the window, but our fragile bond was broken when a guard stood up and stretched. We hadn’t noticed him leaning against the back of the house. Jack dropped his arms and stepped away from me. I shivered from the cool air that rushed in to take the place of his body heat.

Featured Review
S.M McEachern knows how to keep the story going. Worlds Collide is a gripping tale that glues you to your seat.
What a sequel! Worlds Collide picks up where Sunset Rising ends. I was expecting the new earth to be different. I was wrong and how great it feels to be wrong. The corrupt world the Dome lives in is right outside the wall of the mountain and Sunny is not too pleased with the role she starts out in.
I loved that so much was going on and characters were reunited. There was lots of mystery and adventure to keep our two leads busy. The new earth shakes up the trust that has grown between the two as the past creeps up on Jack. Sunny is more quick to make a move even if it causes trouble for her and the other people. Sunny became surer with herself but was running with tunnel vision for freeing the people of the pit. I felt Jack grew more in this installment. I felt he stepped into a role that he was a bit hesitant to step into before due to the different environment.
There are many new characters being introduced in this novel. There were not only new characters but new surroundings, homes and places. So much character growth and a wonderful new world is introduced. This book is really the best of both worlds. A few tears of happiness escaped my eyes. The worlds collide well with each other.

Interview With the Author
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 every day 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 18 September 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 $0.99 from 16-24 September. I also have seven satellite stories (short stories based on the series) posted on my blog you can check out. 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)

About the Author
S. M. McEachern was born in Nova Scotia, Canada. She attended Dalhousie University in the 1990s where she earned an Honours Degree in International Development Studies. She worked in the field of International Development for several years, specializing in ocean development.
Sunset Rising is S. M. McEachern's first novel. She says the idea for the story first came to her in the 1990s when she researched a Bio-Dome experiment in Arizona for an academic paper. The thought that the world might one day need a Bio-Dome to escape a global catastrophe set her imagination into overdrive. And the ethics behind such an idea formed the backdrop for the Sunset Rising series.
Her goal in writing the novel is to entertain the reader with an interesting plot and colorful characters.

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