Hi lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Brandon Zenner and his new book, “The After War”! For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above.
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The After War
by Brandon Zenner
Two years have passed since mankind faced extinction. Brian Rhodes and his cousin, Steven, are leaving the protection of their underground bunker for the first time, after a cataclysmic war and unrelenting disease ravaged the earth.
On the other side of the North American continent, young Simon Kalispell is leaving the safety and seclusion of his cabin deep in the woods, traveling with his aging canine companion, Winston.
For individual reasons, these men are traveling east, where the fragmented lives of a small number of survivors will soon be decided by the choices of a corrupt few.
Simon Kalispell and Brian Rhodes are not yet aware, but the strength that resides inside them will soon be tested, and destiny will call for their fates to be forever intertwined.
Brian looked down the entry chute to Steven at the bottom. He knew that five minutes ago, the only thought going through Steven’s mind had been the complete and utter fear of facing whatever unknown nature of humanity might remain outside that bunker door. Now his cousin looked panicked as the filtered light reflected the sheen of sweat on his forehead, his body tensed, as if the all-encompassing blackness in that room was squeezing him toward the exit. Steven’s eyes darted over his shoulder in the direction of the one piece of equipment they had not shut down entirely—the walk-in freezer. The red, glowing light from the switch illuminated the far wall. Steven seemed frozen, transfixed.
Not the time to be thinking about what’s in there, Brian thought.
Top Ten Survival Items
If a doomsday event was imminent, whether by war or disease, the end result would be the same: the majority of the population would be wiped out, whole nations eradicated, and depending on the type of apocalyptic scenario, rivers, oceans, and large landmasses may be intolerable to life. So, on that happy note, if you were survive the apocalypse, what are the top-ten items that you would bring to keep you alive? Below, I compiled a list, making a few items a bit broader to encompass categories rather than specific components.
10) A large, weatherproof backpack
Even if you escape the apocalypse by car, and are fortunate enough that the roadways are clear to drive over, eventually you’ll have to traverse the land by foot. Gasoline will spoil in time. Even with stabilizers, fuel will go bad in anywhere from a couple of months to a year or two, when stored correctly. So, make sure you have a backpack large enough to hold all of your supplies when the time comes—because you’ll need it.
9) A compass
Let’s face it, we’re all now accustomed to hearing a pleasant sounding robot voice direct us to our destination, right from our cell phones. We even get updates when a bit of traffic will delay our commute by five minutes. But do you think our electronics will warn us when a roving pack of cannibals are causing a delay around the next bend? Certainly not. In a doomsday scenario, learning how to use a compass correctly will get you to that lake on the map rather than the mountainous edge of a cliff.
8) Spare clothing
Not only will your shoes wear thin much faster than you’d anticipate from the countless days of walking, your shirts and sweaters will get contaminated over time by a mixture of dripped food and body fluids. And don’t get me started on those nasty septic socks you’ve been wearing for days. Have spare clothing, and keep what you’re not wearing as clean as possible. Hygiene will be tough to keep up with, but an infection from a cut, or even a slight cold, can turn deadly fast.
An axe and a shovel are the most important. Not only will they help protect you when all else fails, and the zombies are overrunning your ability to reload your gun, they will be used for chopping wood, digging fire pits, and breaking down locked doors to storerooms full of supplies. You need good, heavy-duty tools.
6) Medical supplies
Remember when I said a slight cold could turn deadly? Well, here’s your solution. Get bandages, burn creams, ointments, and pills. If you can, stock antibiotics, IV drips, hypodermic needles, and painkillers. Get everything and everything that you can, because you don’t want to run out of Imodium AD when a case of explosive diarrhea comes about. The microscopic world of bacteria is far more deadly than the burnt shell of the earth you’re traversing.
What do you do when a violent, infected man turns his sights on you? When he comes running, mouth foaming, dark eyes bursting with disease—what are you going to do? Simply shoot him in the head and go about your business. This item can easily be moved higher up the list, especially with the case of having a good knife. Something big and strong, like a Ka-Bar or a fixed-blade Buck knife. But you’re going to want guns too, if you can get your hands on them, and plenty of ammo. A hunting rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol would be a good combo. But if you can get an assault rifle, preferably one that can support a scope and be used for long range hunting, that’s all the better.
A quick, lightweight pop-up tent can be a lifesaver when the nights dip below freezing, and the winds come a-howling. But let’s face it, eventually the skin on a tent will rip, wear down, and let in the elements. As will a tarp. So when that time comes, and you’re all alone in the heart of the woods with the bogyman stumbling about, you’re going to want to be in a shelter. That’s why I want to broaden this category to learning how to make fast and easy shelters in the wild. A quick lean-to, a leaf hut, or an igloo will save your life. Google them now, before the cyber storm shuts off your computer permanently.
Another category that can easily be moved to number one. Fire. It will be needed for warmth, boiling water, sharpening spears, and keeping away the wolves and the undead. Bring lighters, weatherproof matches, and a good flint or magnesium fire starter. And just to be safe, pack a magnifying glass.
Again, I want to broaden this category beyond the MRE’s, dehydrated meals, and the simple high calorie survival bars, that look and taste like wood. You need to eat; it’s as simple as that. Before you die of starvation, your brain will get cloudy and your body will be lethargic, making it all the more easy for that grizzly bear to finish you off. Learning a few basics about hunting can turn your rehydrated slop dinner into a lovely roasted venison loin. And even more important—learn how to forage. There are plants everywhere that can keep you fed. Seriously, they are all around. How do you think those expensive bags of greens wind up at the supermarket? Heck, I have those same plants growing in my backyard. If you don’t have time to learn from a professional survivalist how to identify plants, get a few books on the subject and pack them along. I recommend Tom Brown Jr.. His knowledge of wild plants is extensive, and he explains how to turn them into medicines and remedies.
Are you surprised this in number one? Probably not. You will die if you don’t drink water, faster than it takes for the zombie virus to turn you undead. You have to drink. But carrying water is not enough. Pack a filter, iodine tablets, and a pot to boil the water in. Also, bring a length of plastic sheeting to make a solar still; it’s easy to do, and you can extract the water from any ground—even dessert sand. To make it, dig a hole and place a cup in the bottom. Cover with the plastic sheeting, use rocks to secure the edges, and then place another light rock on the center, above the cup. Moisture will form on the tarp through condensation, collect and drip into the cup. This can also be used to purify tainted water, even urine. Delicious, right? And if you want to be fancy, bring a length of plastic tubing to be used as a straw, so you won’t have to dismantle the still to get at the water.
That about sums it up. There are countless items you may want to add to your doomsday bag, but you will never know what they are if you don’t learn and prepare. When it’s time to hit the road and fend off the cannibal hoards, I hope you’ll be ready.
Brandon Zenner is an American fiction writer and an Amazon best selling author. His short fiction has been published in both print and online publications, the first being submitted when he was 19 years old. THE EXPERIMENT OF DREAMS, his debut eBook thriller, has reached Amazon's best seller list many times. His second novel, WHISKEY DEVILS, was released in early 2016. THE AFTER WAR, a dystopian thriller, is available now as a pre-order, at 80% off the final sale price. You can follow the author on his Amazon page, or through his email list on his website. All email subscribers will receive his futuristic short story, HELIX ILLUMINATED, for free as a thank you. His genres of choice are thrillers, crime, dystopian, and science fiction.
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**The After War will be on sale for $0.99 during the tour.**
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