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Thursday, July 1, 2021

If Darkness Takes Us by Brenda Marie Smith - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hello, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Brenda Marie Smith and her new book, “If Darkness Takes Us,” here on FAB!!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Brenda and to increase your chances of winning!!

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you all lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!!

If Darkness Takes Us

by Brenda Marie Smith


GENRE:  Post-Apocalyptic Science-Fiction



In suburban Austin, Texas, Bea Crenshaw secretly prepares for apocalypse, but when a solar pulse destroys modern life, she’s left alone with four grandkids whose parents don’t return home. She must teach these kids to survive without power, cars, phones, running water, or doctors in a world fraught with increasing danger. And deciding whether or not to share food with her starving neighbors puts her morality to the test.

If Darkness Takes Us is realistic post-apocalyptic science-fiction that focuses on a family in peril, led by a no-nonsense grandmother who is at once funny, controlling, and heroic in her struggle to hold her family together with civility and heart.

The book is available now. It’s sequel, If the Light Escapes, is told in the voice of Bea’s eighteen-year-old grandson, Keno Simms, and will be released by SFK Press on August 24, 2021.



Check out what readers are saying about this exciting new book!!!

“Bea Crenshaw is one of the most unique characters in modern literature—a kick-ass Grandma who is at once tough and vulnerable, and well-prepared to shepherd her extended family through an EMP disaster, or so she thinks."

~ Laura Creedle, Award-winning Author of The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily


"There is real, identifiable humanity, subtle and sweet and sad, and events utterly shattering in their intensity."

~ Pinckney Benedict, Author of Dogs of God, Miracle Boy, and more



No matter how desperately a mother loves you, she can only put up with so much. And so, the day came when Mother Nature lashed out against us.

I understood where Nature was coming from. My family never listened to me either, which is why I didn’t tell them about the guns I’d bought.

The whole thing started with the train wreck.

On a Friday in early October, the young adults in my family went to the Oklahoma-Texas game up in Dallas—a big football rivalry around here. They dragged my husband, Hank the Crank, along with them, leaving me in South Austin with my grandchildren.

At the time, I was glad to see Hank go. He’d been making me crazy since he retired: hovering like a gnat; micromanaging my coffee-making; griping at me for reading instead of waiting attentively for him to spout something terse. Lord, I needed a break from that man. The three-day trip to Dallas seemed perfect.

I wasn’t a built-in-babysitter type of grandma, and I only saw my four grandkids together as a group on birthdays and holidays. For weeks I’d been excited about spending a long weekend alone with them.

A cruel trick sometimes, getting what you ask for.



Five Reasons You Should Read If Darkness Takes Us:

1.)  Where else can you find a train wreck and a solar electromagnetic pulse in the first few chapters of a book?

And there are four children at risk, ranging in age from six to seventeen, with no one but their grandmother to shepherd them to safety and keep them alive when the sun destroys much of modern life in a single instant.

2.)  Even with a grandmother as a protagonist, the book is far from boring.

Aside from the train wreck and the solar pulse, the story has an exploding house, a fist fight, a shoot-out, a hair-pulling argument between teen girls, and a car crash, along with teen pregnancy, adultery, divorce, illness, and even death. Laughter, love, and many tender moments are interspersed throughout the story as well. The book will take you on an emotional journey.

3.)  It’s an award-winning book with many five-star reviews.

If Darkness Takes Us won the Southern Fried Karma Novel Contest for 2018. It’s told in a contemporary Southern literary voice. People who like the book tend to love it. Here are some snippets of reviews:

"There is real, identifiable humanity, subtle and sweet and sad, and events utterly shattering in their intensity."

"If Darkness Takes Us is a riveting and powerful tale of perseverance in the aftermath of the unthinkable… a gritty but heartfelt literary novel that subverts the usual tropes of the apocalypse."

"Bea Crenshaw is one of the most unique characters in modern literature; a kick-ass Grandma who is at once tough and vulnerable, and well-prepared to shepherd her extended family through an EMP disaster, or so she thinks.”

“Post-apocalyptic fiction is popular because we all have a fear of societal breakdown… and we all want to experience how we, as regular folks, would genuinely handle it. If Darkness Takes Us will march you directly through that dark, self-reflective fantasy but never make you regret it.”

“Smith's characters are deeply three-dimensional, each with an agenda and a set of issues that are stories in themselves. They enable and carom off each other so effectively as the days pass and the plots thicken that when I had to close the book at the end, I felt like I had to be careful not to squish them. I miss them. They live in my head like the others I miss.”

4.)  The story presents a dire situation that could happen tomorrow, and the book will help you be prepared.

This may sound like hyperbole, but the novel was published in October 2019, and five months later we were plunged into a pandemic that isolated millions, just as my characters are isolated. Then, in February 2021, we had the Texas Snowpocalypse, where the grid and running water shut down statewide for days during single-digit temperatures, and I found myself using knowledge from the book to survive: heating a two-story house with a fireplace built to be decorative; scrounging firewood from broken tree limbs in the park; flushing toilets with melted snow; sleeping in layers of clothes; using candles for light, and so much more. I had an acquaintance tell me that, after reading the book, she bought a second house and stockpiled it with food and disaster supplies, just as my protagonist Bea did. With all the disasters we’ve experienced lately, it’s a good idea for all of us to brush up on our survival skills.

5.)  There is literally no other book like it.

A few other apocalyptic stories have old women as protagonists, but as far as I know, these books are set in the distant future, and the characters are not contemporary. Yet, Bea Crenshaw and her family could be people you know—your aunt and cousins, your mother and siblings, your next-door neighbors. If Darkness Takes Us turns the standard apocalyptic story on its head, and is much more likely to occur than a zombie invasion. It’s a character-driven story focused on one Austin, Texas neighborhood. I love all these other apocalyptic tales, too. I’m simply saying that If Darkness Takes Us is unique.

Thank you for the opportunity to brag on my book. It’s much appreciated.



Brenda Marie Smith lived off the grid for many years in a farming collective where her sons were delivered by midwives. She’s been a community activist, managed student housing co-ops, produced concerts to raise money for causes, done massive quantities of bookkeeping, and raised a small herd of teenage boys.

Brenda is attracted to stories where everyday characters transcend their own limitations to find their inner heroism. She and her husband reside in a grid-connected, solar-powered home in South Austin, Texas. They have more grown kids and grandkids than they can count.

Her first novel, Something Radiates, is a paranormal romantic thriller; If Darkness Takes Us and its sequel, If the Light Escapes, are post-apocalyptic science fiction.













Goodreads Author Page:


Goodreads Book Page:


Amazon Author Page:




Amazon Kindle eBook:


Amazon Paperback:


Barnes & Noble Paperback:


BookPeople Austin Paperback:




Brenda Marie Smith will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Brenda ~ Good morning! Welcome to FAB! It is so great to have you here! Congrats on your intriguing new book and good luck on the book tour! :)

    1. Thank you, Ally. I truly appreciate your kindness for hosting me. I love all your sweet words and good wishes. Thank you again and again.

  2. Thank you so much for hosting me and my book on your blog. I was once a fabulous brunette. Now, and for many years, I rely on hair color, lol. Love your blog and very happy to be here!

  3. Good luck on your book tour. Your book sounds very intriguing/interesting!

    1. Thank you for the kind words and good wishes. Good luck to you as well.

  4. I love the cover and the book sounds good.

  5. Thanks so much for the kind words, Sherry.

  6. Brenda Marie Smith is new to me, but I love meeting new authors. Thanks to this blog for the introduction.

    1. Nice to meet you, Audrey. I'm relatively new on the scene, but I have more books on the way.

  7. The book sounds fascinating. Love the cover!

    1. Thank you. Glad you like the cover. The artist is Olivia Hammerman (nee Croom). A spectacular client.

  8. Doh! I meant a spectacular talent, lol.