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Friday, 20 November 2015

☀ Before The Dawn: The Ending [4] - Lindsey Fairleigh & Lindsey Pogue

Thank you for joining for the Release Day Party for Before The Dawn, a New Adult Post-Apocalyptic Romance by (, L2 Books, 427 pages).

This is the fourth and last book in The Ending series.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below, as well as the promotional Q&A with the authors. Read the Prologue and the first four chapters with Amazon Look Inside.

Author Lindsey Fairleigh &amp Lindsey Pogue will be awarding one (1) ebook copy of After The Ending & Into The Fire (Books 1 & 2) to our readers, and eBook copies of books 1-3 (INTL), or Audiobooks of books 1-3 (US/CAN) to randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.


Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaways

Synopsis

A year ago, the Virus killed off most people in the world.

A year ago, strange things started happening to those who survived. Some of them transformed into something dark and sinister, while others evolved, becoming something more, something beyond human.

A year ago, Dani and Zoe were lost. They traversed the country to find one another, losing some of the people dearest to them along the way. They fought for their right to simply live, uncovered long-buried secrets, and discovered irreversible truths. And after everything Dani and Zoe have been through--even with the battle wounds that they bear--they're still not safe.

It's time for the struggle to end, for survivors to take back their lives, their families, their safety. It's time to really begin to live, and to do that, they must wait for the first rays of dawn.

*contains some mature content and language*

Teaser: Excerpt

     I pulled back just enough that I could see Jason’s face. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make us both so grumpy.”
     I couldn’t remember the last time we’d been off the farm, just the two of us, and I just had to go and drag us down the nearest doom-and-gloom rabbit hole. So much for our peaceful, relaxing alone time.
     Jason pressed a gentle kiss against my forehead. “Tell me about these death caps.”
     I relaxed against him, resting my cheek on his heavy raincoat. It was the first period of no rain in weeks that had lasted longer than a day, and we’d jumped at the opportunity to spend the morning together, foraging in the mile-long stretch of woods atop the hills to the east of our valley. But we also weren’t about to risk being caught in a surprise downpour unprotected.
     “Well, death caps look like normal mushrooms, I guess. They’re not ugly or anything.” I glanced down at the aforementioned mushrooms. “They’re kind of nice-looking, actually, don’t you think? I mean, as far as mushrooms go…”
     Jason held me tight against him with his left arm around my shoulders while his right ventured under my coat, his hand tracing slow, soothing patterns on my lower back. “Sure…”
     Smiling, I shivered, just a little. I loved when his voice took on that distracted quality, but only when I was the distraction. “They tend to grow at the base of oaks,” I continued, “especially live oaks, and their caps have a brownish-green or yellow tinge…and there’s a bulbous bulge at the base that makes them look a bit like, well…a bit phallic.”
     Jason grunted a laugh. “Somehow I doubt Daniel mentioned that.”
     I shrugged as best as I could in his hold. “That might’ve been a personal observation.”
     With another laugh, this one low and throaty, Jason brought his lips to my ear. “Gutter-brain.”
     I grinned against his jacket. “Takes one to know one.” Thunder rolled in the distance, and I hoped it wasn’t an omen of impending rain.
     “That it does, Red.” Without warning, Jason picked me up and turned in a half circle, earning a surprised squeak from me and sending chanterelles and oyster mushrooms flying out of my basket, and pressed my back against the oak’s rough trunk. Beneath our boots, death caps littered the forest floor, scattered and crushed. “That it does.” He leaned in, his hand cradling the back of my skull, and I relaxed my arm, letting the basket fall to the ground.
     “Wait!” I hissed. Two blips had just appeared on my telepathic radar. I hadn’t noticed them until it became obvious that they were moving toward us. “Someone’s coming.”
     A hairsbreadth from my lips, Jason whispered, “Someone we know?”
     “I—” Brow furrowed, I shook my head. “There’s two of ’em, and there’s something familiar about one mind—maybe someone we’ve crossed paths with in New Bodega?”
     “Hmmm…” Jason didn’t sound pleased. I couldn’t blame him. I didn’t feel very pleased, either. In fact, I felt decidedly displeased. Gaze scanning my face, lingering here and there, Jason tucked a few flyaway curls back into my braid before stepping away and releasing his handgun from his thigh holster. I did the same.
     Squinting, I focused more on my telepathic radar than on the pistol in my hand and, once again, shook my head. “Must just be a couple New Bodega people.” At least, I hoped that was the case.
     “What direction?” Jason asked, scanning the spaces between the mossy trees and gnarled, leafless branches.
     I pointed to the southwest. “They’re close. Should be able to hear them soon.”
     “I know you’re out there,” Jason called, his focus on the woods intent. “Either identify yourselves or start moving in another direction. The choice is yours, but you’d better make it now.” He glanced at me, his eyes filled with questions.
     I could only answer one. I shook my head. “They’re still coming.” I did a quick scan of the animal minds lingering nearby. There wasn’t much in the way of predators, but I requested that the few hawks in the area and the murder of crows looting a patch of overgrown and rotting pumpkins head our way, just in case.
     Jason raised his gun, his eyes never straying from the gloomy trees. “Remember, Red—shoot first, feel—”
     “Feel bad about it later,” I murmured. “I know.” Of course, the last time I’d stuck to that survival philosophy, I’d shot a little girl dead. Sure, she’d been a Crazy who just happened to be lunging at Zoe at the time, and sure, I’d been fairly certain that she was the cannibalistic variety of the post-apocalypse’s less-than-sane brand of survivors, but still, she’d also been a little girl. And I’d killed her without hesitating. The blood blossoming across her chest…her body landing on the forest floor…Zoe’s aghast reaction…that single moment was forever etched into my memory.
     “Hello?” a man called ahead. “Who’s there? Can you tell us where we are? We seem to be a little lost.”
     I split my attention between watching the woods for the intruders and studying Jason’s face. The skin around his eyes tightened, and his nostrils flared. The man’s words hadn’t put him at ease in the slightest. If anything, they’d only fanned his apprehension.
     A man came into view between one of the few pines in the forest and a robust oak tree, a woman a few paces behind him. The man was tall and slender, with silver hair that nearly reached his chin and a closely trimmed beard, while the woman, younger—in her mid-thirties, I thought—was brunette and broad-shouldered, looking like she could put up one hell of a fight.
     When the man caught sight of us, he raised his hands defensively. “Whoa, whoa, friends…no need for guns. We’re simply lost and, well, you see, we were looking for mushrooms to trade in town, and—”
     “You’re a trader,” I blurted. “I’ve seen you before.” I tapped the muzzle of my gun against my thigh. “You traded my friend and me a bottle of antidepressants for—”
     “Tincture of white willow bark.” The man’s face lit up, and he continued walking toward us, though the woman hung back, lounging against a tall pine tree. “Yes, yes, I remember. You were with that pleasant young doctor.” The trader smiled broadly. “Quite effective, that tincture. I’ve had very happy customers. You’ll have to give me the recipe.” He tilted his head to the side, just a little. “Tell me, how did the Sertraline work on the poor dear? A girl, yes—a teenage girl, if I remember correctly?”
     “That’s close enough,” Jason said, his gun lowered but still drawn.
     I holstered my own gun, then waved my hand at him. “It’s fine, Jason.” I looked at the trader. “Unfortunately, the pills didn’t seem to make any difference for Vanessa. On to the next, I guess.”
     It had been Harper’s theory to try Vanessa on the same medications that had worked so well to equalize the brain chemistry of people before the Virus. Chris had been skeptical—which was quickly turning into smugness—saying that something was broken inside Vanessa’s mind, and it was something that made her brain function so differently from the rest of ours that she doubted anything but a time machine would fix the teenage Crazy. Not that Chris’s pessimism stopped her from spending every spare moment studying Vanessa, looking for a way to return her to a state of normalcy. She loved Carlos like he was her own son, and she was bound and determined to give him his sister back. And a determined Chris was a sight to behold.
     “Hmmm…well, I have a few other drugs you could try,” the trader said. “I’ll take whatever’s left of the Sertraline back.” Not more than a couple dozen feet away, he reached behind himself. “Exchange it for the same amount of—”
     In the blink of an eye, a small, black pistol was in his hand, and it was pointed directly at me.

Before The Dawn
Available NOW!

UK: purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads
US: purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US

The Series: The Ending

The Ending Beginnings Omnibus Edition (1-6) | After The Ending | Into The Fire | Out Of The Ashes |

An emotionally charged post-apocalyptic series.

*Contains some mature content and language* Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book on Amazon and read an excerpt.

The Ending Beginnings Omnibus Edition (1-6) [0.5]

All six THE ENDING SERIES prequel novellas in one volume!

The virus changed everything. This is how it began.

I - CARLOS
High school. Dealing drugs. A secret girlfriend. Carlos thought his life was hard enough...but then the virus spread.

II - MANDY
22 years ago, Mandy struggled to find her purpose in life. Purpose, however unexpected, found her. Now, the arrival of a deathly ill young man stirs painful memories of the past. Who is he, and why does he look so familiar?

III - VANESSA
One week. That's how long it took for Vanessa's world to fall apart, for the outbreak to kill billions of people, and for the survivors to divide into two groups--the sane, and the insane. One week is how long it took for Vanessa to start hearing the voices. Things, she's learning, can always get worse.

IV - JAKE
When Jake's world is ripped away, he's left with nothing but the sting of betrayal before he's lost to a devastating illness. Waking up days later, he finds that everything has changed--even he has changed--and the world is in complete chaos. Though he's surrounded by danger, his guilt and need for vengeance are his greatest enemies.

V - CLARA
Clara's childhood was less than ideal, but thanks to her beloved fairy tales, she managed to survive. She also managed to hold onto the hope that, with a little hard work and determination, she would one day find her Prince Charming...her happily ever after. And for a little while, she thinks she has. But just as everything seems to be falling into place, a ghost from the past returns to haunt her.

VI - JAKE & CLARA
After his sister's death, Jake is determined to seek revenge against his best-friend-turned-enemy. However, after meeting Clara, who's as convincing as she is unnerving, his plans change completely.

Clara has all but given up on finding her Prince Charming, but the moment Jake walks into the hospital, her future becomes much brighter, despite the world-ravaging virus that's turned everything upside down.

But traveling across the country together proves more difficult than either of them expects, and just when they both think the world couldn't get any worse, it does.

[Published 25 July 2014, 370 pages]

After The Ending [1]

**FREE download**

The Virus spread. Billions died. The Ending began. We may have survived the apocalypse, but the Virus changed us.

When people started getting sick, "they" thought it was just the flu. My roommate, my boyfriend, my family...they're all gone now. I got sick too. I should have died with them--with the rest of the world--but I didn't. I thought witnessing the human population almost disappear off the face of the earth was the craziest thing I'd ever experience. I was so wrong. My name is Dani O'Connor, I'm twenty-six-years-old, and I survived The Ending.

The Virus changed everything. The world I knew is gone, and life is backwards. We've all had to start over. I've been stripped of my home, my dreams...all that is me. I'm someone else now--broken and changed. Other survivors' memories and emotions haunt me. They invade my mind until I can no longer separate them from my own. I won't let them consume me. I can't. My name is Zoe Cartwright, I'm twenty-six-years-old, and I survived The Ending.

We've been inseparable for most of our lives, and now our friendship is all we have left. The aftermath of the Virus has stranded us on opposite sides of the United States. Trusting strangers, making sacrifices, killing--we'll do anything to reach one another. Fear and pain may be unavoidable, but we're strong...we're survivors. But to continue surviving in this unfamiliar world plagued by Crazies and strange new abilities, we have to adapt. We have to evolve.

And more than anything, we have to find each other.

[Published 23 November 2013, 426 pages]

Into The Fire [2]

**ONLY .99**

The Virus changed them, but that was only the beginning...
...death...mutation...insanity...corruption...terror...
...all that remains is hope.


In the wake of destruction left behind by the Virus, it took Dani and Zoe months to find each other. But their reunion was short-lived. Dani has been taken, and though little distance separates them, they might as well be worlds apart.

From the moment she hears Dani's scream, Zoe's only goal is to save her best friend. She and her companions scramble to come up with a rescue plan, but when a ghost from Jake's past reappears, lines are blurred, decisions become harder, and secrets are revealed...and some secrets are best left buried. To keep heartache and fear from consuming her, Zoe must cling to her determination. She WILL see Dani again.

Dani awakens inside the final hold-out of civilization: the Colony. Remnants of the former world surround her--electricity, safety, social order--but all is not what it seems. As she faces her most manipulative adversary yet, she loses sight of who she is and who she can trust. Friends become enemies, enemies become allies, and allies will betray her. Dani will have to decide what she's willing to do and whose lives she's willing to risk if she is to have any chance of breaking free.

[Published 23 November 2013, 362 pages]

Out Of The Ashes [3]

Hope brought them together, but it's now fear that drives them...and threatens to tear them apart.

Zoe and her companions succeeded in rescuing Dani from the Colony. But not without sacrifice. Beaten and broken, they head west, determined to leave behind the torment and horrors they experienced in Colorado.

As Dani and Zoe make the perilous trek home to Bodega Bay, they learn that danger can take many forms--other survivors, their friends, even themselves--and that things are rarely what they seem. Zoe is desperate to become the woman she sees in others' memories, while Dani struggles to conceal damaging secrets, risking losing herself--her humanity--completely. Together, they must rediscover the true meaning of friendship, love, and trust, and learn just how hard they're willing to fight for what remains of their shattered world.

As relationships are put to the test, second chances are given, and new life emerges, death lurks in the most unlikely of places. To survive, Dani and Zoe must accept that sometimes hope alone isn't enough.

Out Of The Ashes is the third installment in the bestselling post-apocalyptic sci-fi series, The Ending, and features gut-wrenching struggles, more secrets revealed, the test of true friendship, all with a touch of romance. Follow the third saga of Dani and Zoe's epic adventure today!

[Published 21 August 2014, 436 pages]

Author Q&A

What inspired The Ending series?
"LP (Lindsey Pogue): We were both working at a bookstore a few years ago, and we were on our way home from a tradeshow in Oakland. I think we were high from the smell of new books or something because we were giddy and started chatting about writing and stories and it bloomed from there. We started brainstorming characters and story arcs, and before we knew it, we had Zoe and Dani outlined and a title for our project.

LF (Lindsey Fairleigh): Yeah, we had the entire premise set up by the time we parted ways that evening."
How much of the series is realistic?
"LP: Although our book is fiction, we tried to make it as realistic as possible. We did as much research as we could before taking our own creative licenses and adding things into our post-apocalyptic world that might not have been there otherwise. Overall, we try to keep the reader engaged and constantly thinking “what if”.

LF: There were a few “real world” things that we tweaked for the sake of the storyline, possibly the most obvious being that the internet stays up for a few weeks after almost everyone is dead, but we stuck with it because of the way the project originated. In the beginning, the entire thing was epistolary--it was all written in the form of emails between Dani and Zoe. We changed that, thankfully, but felt the need to retain the email communications because they were the original heart of the story--everything else formed around them."
How would you describe Dani?
"LF: Dani is definitely someone who proves that first impressions can be misleading. She’s a tiny redhead with a feisty personality to match her fiery hair, and if you don’t spend much time getting to know her, she seems silly and a little flighty. But, as we learn throughout After The Ending and Into The Fire, this is simply a disguise she’s been wearing since childhood. She fears that if people get to know the real her—the intelligent, thoughtful, independent, and deeply caring person she really is—they’ll reject her. Of course, she doesn’t wear this emotional mask around her best bud, Zoe…and therefore not around Zoe’s older brother, Jason, either…making them some of the few people who know the real Dani."
How would you describe Zoe?
"LP: Zoe is…complicated. She’s in her own head a lot, stands in her own way, and is loyal to a fault when it comes to Dani—the one consistent person she’s ever had in her life—so she clings to their friendship above all else. But on the flipside, she’s also extremely passionate and determined, which in the end, will help her rediscover herself in the new world of The Ending. We see her growing a bit stronger in book two, Into The Fire, but it’s book three where the readers will really get to know Zoe Cartwright."
What is one thing you hope readers will take away from this series?
"LP: I’d like the readers to consider this our interpretation of the humanistic side of things. I think we provide a pretty realistic picture of what life would be like after The Ending (maybe minus all the hot guys running around). Yes, Zoe and Dani are in their twenties, but that’s young and they’re alone, and the world as they know it is ripped out from under them. There is so much for them to process, and they are scared and grasping for any sense of normalcy they can find. For them, sometimes that means crying too much, distracting themselves with men, and making poor or rash decisions. Are they acting immature? Maybe, but unrealistic would be having them pick up a rifle and start blasting people without a second thought. Our heroines have a lot of maturing to do throughout the series, so partially I think we wanted to show Dani and Zoe as they were prior to The Ending, and as the series progresses, how they grow.

LF: Hmmm...maybe that the apocalypse doesn’t have to be entirely about death and sadness. That’s not to say that those things aren’t present throughout the books--I think Dani and Zoe have emotional and mental breakdowns nearly every other chapter--but we really wanted to highlight the undeniable power of hope, love, and friendship. For Dani and Zoe, a life without those things would have been only a half-life."
When will The Ending Series be made into a movie?
"LP: I think I speak on behalf of both of us when I say that as much as we would LOVE to have The Ending Series turned into a movie or show, it's not something that's necessarily up to us. It's been our experience that producers approach authors, not the other way around. And we aren't out there pitching a screenplay to anyone at this point in time. Plus there's always the fear that once the rights to your work are sold to someone, you have no control over what they will do with those rights. Many books get picked up by movie studios but nothing ever comes of it, so you've sold the rights to your book that you can't get back for years, if you can ever get them back again. BUT, even with all of that being said, we would love the see the world of The Ending on the screen, to see it more developed and explored and our characters in action. The idea of having the series turned into an AMC or HBO series would be our dream come true. We wouldn't scoff at a movie, either, but there's just so much that can be done with the story, a TV or mini series would be able to dive in more and would be our ideal choice. We shall see what happens...

LF: What she said! All of it is dead on, which makes sense because this is something we talk about with each other A LOT. I mean, how could we not? What author wouldn't love to see their creation come to life? I'd be ecstatic to have the chance to see how someone else interprets our world and characters, but...I'd also be scared. Because, you know, what if it's all wrong?! That being said, I'd be way more ecstatic and excited than I would be scared, so, yeah. :)"
What projects, if any, are you both going to work on together? Will they be in the world of The Ending?
"LF: LP and I have three Ending projects planned down the pipeline - two that are much more immediate and one that's definitely a several years out project, as we'd like to develop our other, separate projects and grow individually as writers and creators. The two more immediate projects are titled The Ending Series: World Before and The Ending Series: World After, and both are story collections featuring our favorite Ending Series characters, but not focused solely on Dani and Zoe.

LP: The stories in World Before will take place prior to the Virus outbreak--five, ten, maybe even twenty years before in some cases. The stories in World After will be continuation stories that take place after The Ending Series book four. Depending on the characters we choose to write about, their stories could take place months or maybe even years after Before The Dawn. As for the third project, that will be a ways out, as LF mentioned, but we've left the world of The Ending open for many possibilies. :)"
Your characters feel like real people to me, are any of them based on people you know?
"LP: Ha! Not really, though there are aspects of people I know that are sprinkled throughout Zoe and “her” characters. There are some aspects of my fiance in Jake, mostly because his characteristics felt natural to write having known him for over 10 years, and Harper is the best guy friend I always wanted--Morgan from Criminal Minds. I can’t think of any others....

LF: Nope! Just people I know in my head..."
Where did you come up with the idea for each "disease"?
"LP: I’ll let LF take this one. She was the brains behind this. There was a day-long note and study session at the library that helped us move things along, but the Virus lives inside her head. I’m still fact-checking with her to make sure certain things work and make sense.

LF: Oh my gosh, this part was hard! I guess you could say we reverse engineered the virus. We decided on the “rules” - that some people would be affected differently than others (Abilities vs “Crazies”). I created some psuedo-science and mixed it together with modern genetics and came up with a type of gene therapy delivered to the patient/victim via a flu virus. It makes sense, you see. Because science. Sort of..."

About the Author

Lindsey Fairleigh lives her life with one foot in a book—as long as that book transports her to a magical world or bends the rules of science. Her novels, from post-apocalyptic to time travel and historical fantasy, always offer up a hearty dose of unreality, along with plenty of adventure and romance.

When she’s not working on her next novel, Lindsey spends her time reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her two very confused cats.

Follow Lindsey Fairleigh:

Visit the author's blog Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on Google+ Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads Visit the author on Pinterest Visit the author on Wattpad
Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, wrote her first YA manuscript in high school, and as an adult, expresses herself through writing. Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her—whether she’s traveling, people watching, or hiking.

When not plotting her next storyline or dreaming up new, brooding characters, Lindsey’s wrapped in blankets watching her favorite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man.

Follow Lindsey Pogue:

Visit the author's blog Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on Google+ Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads Visit the author on Instagram Visit the author on Pinterest Visit the author on Wattpad

Giveaways

Enter to win one (1) ebook copy of After The Ending & Into The Fire (Books 1 & 2). Open internationally.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Enter to win eBook copies of books 1-3 (INTL), or Audiobooks of books 1-3 (US/CAN)
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