Shadows Have Gone
Book 3 of End of All Things Series
by Lissa Bryan
Release Date: March 26 , 2015
Published by The Writers Coffee Shop
Genre: FICTION / Dystopian/ Romance / General ISBN e-book: 978-1-61213-375-1
Carly Daniels knows what it is to suffer loss. She knows what it is to sacrifice. In the two years since a pandemic virus—known only as the Infection—decimated humanity, she’s made choices she never could have imagined. She’s condoned violence in the name of peace and done the unthinkable in the name of mercy. But with Justin at her side, she’s also learned there’s nothing she can’t face and nothing she wouldn’t do to protect those she loves.
But now another threat has arrived in the form of a uniformed man driving an army truck, claiming to represent the remnant of the United States military. Someone has set their sights on their community . . . and on Justin. The struggle to defend their little homeland is far from over, and the visitors may have brought more danger with them than just their weapons.
The shadows are closing in. Carly has to find out whether she has the strength to stand on her own when all of her support has fallen away. What remains when the shadows have gone?
“Someone with the army?”
“There’s an army?”
“Whose army?” Pete’s voice rang above the excited babble.
“That’s the right question,” Justin said. “Whose army? He might have been wearing a uniform and claiming affiliation, but I have my doubts.”
“He claimed to be from the US Army?”
“Claimed,” Justin said, stressing the word hard. “And his claim had a few inconsistencies. I was in the Army, and I know. Whatever this guy is a part of, it’s not the army as we knew it.”
“What did he want?”
“Said he was out scouting and saw the smoke. He agreed to leave a message outside of Clayton if his people want to get in contact with us again. And I would imagine they will.”
“Last thing we need is another fight,” Grady said. He took off his hat and wiped the sweat from his forehead. “You think they know where we are?”
“General area. We wouldn’t be that hard to find if someone was really searching for us. If they’re really army, then yes, they know exactly where we are as we speak. But as I said, I have my doubts.”
“Think it will come to a fight?” Pete asked.
Justin scratched his chin. “I really can’t say. What I can say is that we always need to be prepared for it, prepared to defend what is ours.”
“What if they really are the army? Would we be America again?”
“Wait. When did we stop being America?”
“America is dead.” This came from David, his voice as blunt as a dropped stone. “We all saw it die two years ago. I don’t know what we are now, but the Constitution sure ain’t in effect anymore. There’s no government. There’s no social contract holding us together. That’s what America was, you know—a collective agreement of the people. Now we’re just—” He sliced a hand through the air.
“If the army is still active, that would mean there is a government, which would make this still America,” Grady said. “They’d be the government’s representatives, establishing order.”
Justin shook his head. “You’re thinking way too far ahead. Even if they are US Army—and that’s a very big if—they don’t have control of the whole country. There is no centralized government, no law enforcement. They’re not coming to rescue us.”
Writing a series is hard. What struggles have you faced and how have you overcome them?
There are some particular challenges that come with writing a series. This was my first, so I got to learn about them “on the job,” so to speak.
The End of All Things was never meant to be a series. I had envisioned it as one book. When I pitched it to my publisher, I was confident I could write the whole story in about 100,000 words. I had “written” the whole thing in my head over the years, and I was trying to estimate its length by comparing it to a few other stories I had written on the internet. Yeah, it feels about that size, I thought.
I was wrong.
I got to about 80,000 words and realized I was only about half way through the story. At that point, I had a moment of minor panic. I contacted my publisher and they suggested that instead of making it one mammoth-sized book, we’d shoot for two. I relaxed a bit and agreed. I wrote to what seemed like a good “stopping point.” In retrospect, I would have done a few things differently if I had planned it as a series from the beginning and realized that’s where I’d be ending the first book.
I probably should have plunged right into the second book, but I thought I’d take a mental vacation from the apocalypse and write a historical romance in the meantime. Which was a lot of fun — don’t get me wrong— but it ended up diverting my mind and causing issues later.
So, I started The Land of The Shadow, and as soon as it hit the editing process, I realized my mistake in taking that break, because I had a sharp-eyed editor and a lot of continuity errors. They weren’t issues that affected the storyline, but things like, “You said the bracelet was pink in the first book. Now it’s green, and you’re comparing it to the color of So-And-So’s eyes, so that whole paragraph has to be changed.”
And there was another issue… Once I got to the end of book two, I realized I wasn’t “done” with these characters. I wanted to continue with them for one more book. I know I could go on writing about their lives in the post-apocalyptic wasteland forever, but I wanted just a little bit more time with them to show how they’ve come full-circle and dealt with their challenges.
I think I’ve learned a lot from this experience, and there are certainly things I’d do differently now, but perhaps things happen the way they’re supposed to. At least, that’s what Carly would say.
~~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~~
Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot...though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.
She is the author of four other novels, Ghostwriter, The End of All Things, its sequel, The Land of the Shadows, and Under These Restless Skies.
~~CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR~~
Praise for Shadows Have Gone
"I laughed, I cried, I was gently amused, but what could I expect? Times are tough, no one is trustworthy and yet there is a sweet innocence about some characters that hit you right between the eyes; they are always so positive and wanting to see the best in others. Once again, Lissa Bryan has taken the handoff from a previous book and run with it at breakneck speeds with barely a misstep in sight!" - Dianne
~~OTHER TITLES IN THE SERIES~~
The End of All Things Book 1
After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly Daniels, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food. With her is Sam, a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. He becomes her companion and a reason to continue when giving up sometimes seems like the more attractive option. Still dazed with shock and grief, she hopes for the world to go back to normal soon.
She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier who is intent on making his way to Florida before the winter sets in. Justin coaxes her out of her hiding place and convinces her to join him on his journey, because a warmer climate will be their best chance against the extremes of Mother Nature.
Together, they begin a perilous journey through a nation laid to waste by the disaster. Challenges abound along the way. The weather, injury, and shortage of supplies all help to slow them down. In time, they discover that they aren’t the only survivors. Some are friendly but some have had their minds destroyed by the high fever. Then there are those who simply take what they want, leaving Carly and Justin with no choice but to defend what is theirs.
But their journey is not without joy and love. Together, they face every struggle, including an unplanned pregnancy. Despite the perils of bringing a child into a world of chaos, their baby is a new beginning for themselves and a symbol of hope for the other survivors they find along the way.
This is the story of their journey to find a place to begin a new life, and a home in each other.
L.A.'s mayor has declared quarantine to try to halt the spread of the Infection. Pearl sets off across the city to buy supplies, but already the world is changing. Something strange is in the air. The Horsemen are coming ...Veronica
When Veronica's mother doesn't come home from work and no one answers the phone when she calls for help, a nine-year-old girl is thrown into the chaos of a world coming to an end. Veronica decides it's up to her to find her family. "Veronica" is the story of a little girl's courage in the face of the end of all things."I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud"
They called her Shadowfax-- the mare Carly and Justin found on their travels. But before she was found by Carly, the retired dressage horse was known as Cloud. An unusual tale of the end, told through the eyes of a confused and lonely horse, left in her pasture.Birthday
(A previously-published bonus story.) Carly knows Justin has never celebrated his birthday, and after society crumbled, no one knows what date it is, anyway. But she wants to do something special for him. Celebrating the little things helps them keep hope alive, and as a blizzard rages outside, a small gesture of love warms their home.
Tales of courage, tales of survival... Tales from the End.
ΩThe Land of The Shadow Book 2
After surviving the Infection and a perilous journey through the wasteland that was once the United States, Carly and Justin have found a safe home in the isolated town of Colby.Even so, balancing the duties of survival and a growing family isn’t easy. As they emerge as leaders, they face difficult questions about justice in a lawless land, basic human rights, and freedom in a world where strength defines worth. More than ever, they have to rely on one another for strength and support during the darkest of times.
The Crisis is far from over. Their fences won’t keep the world out forever, and a new threat is emerging—a gang of predators who see the town as easy pickings. When danger looms over Colby, Carly must decide how far she’ll go to protect those she loves.
It’s a journey down the long and broken road through The Land of the Shadow.