Monday, September 24, 2012

Apocalypse Rising by Eric Swett

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Enter Below.

Apocalypse Rising
Eric Swett

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Haileybug Publishing

ISBN: 1477524533 
Smashwords:  9781476457451
ASIN:  B0085HB9C8

Number of pages:  178
Word Count: 58,042

Cover Artist:  Jan Marie Parupia

Book Description: 

Long ago, an Angel surrendered his memories and his power when he left Heaven behind, so that he could make a difference in the real world. A couple thousand years walking amongst the teaming masses of humanity has left him disillusioned, but he refuses to give up. He spends his time with the forgotten souls of an urban slum, making a difference wherever he can.

When Justin witnesses the brutal murder of a woman at the hands of a ruthless business tycoon, he must run before his eternal life is cut short. Justin must swallow his pride in order to save himself, and the one friend he has left. The journey back to the fold is filled with danger and discovery as he finds himself in a race towards the end of the world.

A Great Way To Start

For the last couple of years I have participated in Nation Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). My first attempt was a miserable failure. I was unprepared and struggled to keep up with the incredible daily output required to write a fifty-thousand-word novel in only thirty days. I was very disappointed in myself for a few months, but eventually I pulled myself out of the morass that was my low self-esteem and took a look at what I could do better.

The first thing I was missing was a plan. I went into NaNoWriMo unprepared. I spent all of a couple hours planning a rough sketch of an idea for my story, so when I started writing I found myself bumping into questions that I had to stop and take the time to answer. When the next year came around, I was prepared with a storyline and character sketches. The writing went much more smoothly.
The second thing was track your progress .During my first attempt, I knew how much I was supposed to write every day, but I did little to monitor my output. While this did not hinder my efforts, it certainly did not help me understand where I was in my march towards completion. During my second attempt, I kept a log of how much I had written and how far ahead or behind the curve I was. This helped me recognize when I needed to work harder and when it was okay to take a little break. Knowing where I was, made all the difference in the world when it came to self-motivation.

The third lesson was to never give up. During my first attempt, I recognized that I was not going to make it. I was not even going to be close. I gave up with two weeks still to go. When my second attempt was in full swing, I got to a point where I was uncertain whether or not I would be able to finish, but that time I decided to keep at it and just redoubled my efforts. I managed to finish with a day to spare. Never give up. You have a novel within you. Just keep pushing.


“What the hell…”
“Shut up! They’re already here,” I whisper as I clamp my hand over her mouth. “Damn it! I thought we’d have more time.” I look around, hoping to find something that might help out, but sometimes an alley is just an alley and it is filled with nothing but other people’s refuse. I pull my hand from Lilly’s mouth. “Get on my back. We need to get out of here.” I turn around and she climbs on board. ‘Thank God she’s small,’ I think to myself as we jog into the darkness away from my escape plan.
I turn the corner into another alley and hear two gunshots behind us. They are muffled, probably from within my apartment. Whoever had gone to find me had not been to my room before or they would not have shot the full-length mirror that hung on the wall opposite of my door. More than one visitor has been startled by seeing themselves upon entering. It does not surprise me that some thug would squeeze off a couple rounds after breaking down my door. It will not take long to figure out I am not there. They will start asking my neighbors and Charlene will tell them we were on the bus.
I would like to say that I have a backup plan, but my escape plan is my back up plan. I need some time to figure out what to do next. It takes time to stop and I know that they are too close and stopping means dying. My mind races for somewhere to go, someplace that Albert will not think of. I have been a local fixture for too long. Albert knows where to find me and probably knows where to find Lilly too. The only place we can go is nowhere we have been.
Downtown is the only place I can think of where we will not be found right away, but downtown is pretty far for us to walk and we have no other means of getting there. I could steal a car, but I do not want the police involved. Albert owns most of the local cops and most of the downtown ones as well. You do not get to be a big time player like him if you do not have the law on your side. It is times like this when I wish I could call for help.
Lilly’s muffled crying against my shoulder makes up my mind for me. If I am going to save us, I have to go back to my old life. It has been a long time since I left, but some lessons learned long ago become more instinct than memory. I know I am not as good as I once was, but the real question is whether I am good enough for right now. I have a few tricks up my sleeve, but we have to get downtown to stand a chance.
I say a little prayer as I run through the alley and take it as a good sign that my prayers are answered as we leave the alley. Sitting there on the little side street is a taxi with its “available” light lit. It is against all odds, but that is the beautiful thing about prayer. I walk over to the passenger side and knock on the window.
“Jesus!” The cabbie would have jumped out of his chair if not for the seat belt strapped across his lap.
“No, Justin, but I appreciate the compliment. Now can we get a ride?”
“You got money?” he asks.
“No, but wouldn’t you like to do something nice today and take us to downtown?” I am straining, trying to eke out as much goodwill and good fortune as I can.
 It has been a long time since I have tried to bring forth the power and I have to throw all of my concentration behind it to get the trickle I am starting to feel.
“Ha! You’re a funny guy you know that? Ha!” The man in the cab pulls out a cigarette and lights up. He looks at me over his thick fingers as he delicately holds the cigarette to his lips. “What’s wrong with the girl?”
“She had a bit too much to drink and I need to get her home.” I keep my eyes locked on his while I feed the flow. I push at his heart and soul, trying to get him to let me in, but I am too weak, too out of practice.
“You two don’t look old enough to be drinking,” he says after taking a long drag. His smoke stained fingers grip the filter tightly. “In fact, you don’t look like you’ve been drinking at all.” He eyes me suspiciously.
“I wasn’t. I was just along for the ride. Before I knew it she was falling all over the place and I thought I had better get her out of there.” Suddenly I can feel it, the crack I am looking for. I push my will into the crack, feeding as much positive energy into it as I can muster.
There is a change in the cab driver. It is almost imperceptible, not much more than a twinkle in the man's eyes, but it is there. “Look kid, I can’t take you all the way downtown, at least not for free, but I can take you about half way okay?”
“Bless you...”
“Bless you Carl.” I open the door, put Lilly in and climb in beside her.
“All right, let’s get going,” Carl says as he turns the car on and quietly drives off. I feel something pull at my consciousness so I look over my shoulder in time to see three men walk out of the alley. It may be my imagination or the exhaustion from reaching out to Carl, but I see a glint of red through the darkness. It is the light in Carl’s eyes in reverse, only it comes from the men behind us. What have I gotten myself into?

Author Bio: 

Eric Swett started writing a story at 100 words a day in the spring of 2011 as an exercise while he worked on his novel. One year later and that exercise turned into his first novel, "Apocalypse Rising."

He is the husband of Tracy and the father of Zachary and Connor. He works in the IT industry and is a recent transplant to North Carolina. He loves all things science fiction and fantasy and openly claims the title of geek.

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1 comment:

Mila Ramos said...

Eric,, I'm a little under the weather still but thank you for coming!