May 10, 2015

The Doomsday Kids Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Doomsday Kids series! Today I have a wonderful guest post by the author to share with you - and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

The Doomsday Kids Series
Author: Karyn Langhorne Nolan
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopia

Liam's Promise (Doomsday Kids #1) 
Release Date: May 1, 2014


Separated from their parents, eight kids must survive a nuclear blast that destroys their city. They couldn't be more different: Liam Harper and his sister Lilly, who has Down's Syndrome, are outsiders who are new to public schools. Mysterious Amaranth Jones doesn't have parents; she lives in a group home. Nate and Nester Bartlett are half-brothers who don't like each other much. Rod Wasserman is a prankster and bully who has made Liam's life as a new kid miserable. His girlfriend, Amy Yamamoto, is popular cheerleader who doesn't seem to care for much beyond her hair and her makeup. And Elise Gomez is only seven and barely speaks English.

Tumbling into a bomb shelter called "The Hole" beneath Liam's house, the group face injury, deprivation and their dislike for each other. When the food runs out, they have no choice but to emerge, facing the devastation of the world above. In order to escape the fallout, they must put aside their differences and walk 200 miles to a mountain cabin, where they hope they will be safe.

This is the first book of The Doomsday Kids series.
Nester's Mistake (The Doomsday Kids #2)Nester's Mistake (Doomsday Kids #2)
Release Date: September 1, 2014

It’s a “shoot first, ask questions later” world after the apocalypse. 
After a perilous escape from the wreckage of their Washington, DC suburb in book one, Liam’s Promise, the surviving kids reach their destination, a mountain safe house, only to find their troubles have just begun. There are no adults and the kids are still all alone. Fifteen-year- old Nester, whose good grades and smarts had him on the fast-track to success in the world before the bombs, has no skills for his new life: tending animals, maintaining fires and defending their mountain cabin against intruders. Threats bombard them: from the weather, from escaped prisoners from a nearby correctional facility and from their own grief over their losses. Inexperienced with firearms and conflicted about killing people, Nester struggles with whether there’s a place for compassion in a world without laws or authority. Then, as nuclear winter sweeps over their mountain home killing crops and animals, a medical emergency threatens one of their number. Nester must make a desperate choice that shatters their little community and irrevocably alters their chances for survival.
Nester’s Mistake is book two of six in The Doomsday Kids series. A summary of Book 1, Liam’s Promise is included as a Foreword.
Amaranth's Return (Doomsday Kids #3) 
Release Date: December 1, 2014

Rod Wasserman is dying of radiation poisoning. His last wish: to return to the Wasteland of Washington DC to see if there's any hope that his mother has survived the nuclear blast.

Amaranth Jones has a wish, too: for the chance to redeem herself. To do that, she must leave Liam Harper and her friends at the Mountain Place and never return. When she discovers Rod packing to leave, she insists on joining him, whether he wants her company or not.

As they make their way back to ground zero, the two teens confront the horrors of their post-apocalyptic world. Food and water are scarce; nuclear winter has killed both plants and animals. Human life has little meaning and some desperate survivors have surrendered to the ultimate inhumanity: cannibalism. Threatened by weather, other survivors and their own demons, Amaranth and Rod must learn to trust each other if they have any hope of making it through hell and back. As Rod grows weaker, Amaranth is forced to make difficult choices to ensure their survival. How far will she go to help Rod achieve his last wish? And if they find Rod's mother, can the three of them make it back to the Mountain Place alive?

What gave you the idea for The Doomsday Kids?
By Karyn Langhorne Folan

I often speak to groups of middle and high school students about some of the books I’ve written, and they sometimes ask: Did this story happen to you?

So let me say definitely, NO, THIS BOOK DID NOT HAPPEN TO ME! Of course not: thankfully, there hasn’t been a nuclear apocalypse on planet Earth…


I’m not wishing for one. But I do love a good disaster movie. Seeing cities destroyed in CGI makes me happy. When San Andreas comes out later this week, I’ll be there!

A good story, set against the backdrop of a life-or-death situation is something I have loved since I saw the original Poseidon Adventure, Towering Inferno, Airport, Airport 75—and Airport ‘77 and 79. I even love the cheesy SyFy channel rip-off versions!  Sharknado anyone? (The last 15 minutes of Sharknado I make it one of the best bad movies ever!)

I’ll admit my love of disaster movies was one inspiration for The Doomsday Kids, but another inspiration was much more personal.

On September 11, 2001, I was working in New York City, near Union Square.  About 8:50 am, on that morning, I came out of the subway station and found people standing in the street, staring south.  I turned around in time to see the second jet strike the second tower of the World Trade Center.

That day was awful. From the safety of the building I worked in, my co-workers and I saw people jumping to escape the flames, then saw the towers fall and felt the ground shake.  We were safe and not in danger, but paralyzed by the magnitude of the disaster. The subways weren’t running, phone service was non-existent. Everyone in my office was told to go home— if they could get back there.  I had a five-year-old daughter in Kindergarten school in the North Bronx. I knew I had to get back home— and I had no choice but to walk… about 200 blocks…in heels, because back then I used to like to dress cute.   So I was wearing impractical, sexy sandals, like these:

I started walking at 10 am.  By noon I was walking barefoot.  When I finally reached my daughter at 4 pm, I was tired, foot sore, thirsty, starving, emotional and just happy to be home. I was also intensely sad for the many people who had perished, a sadness that stays with me to this day.

That experience changed my life in so many ways. I quit doing a job I hated and started writing full time (even though I was dead broke and had a child to support). Kind people stepped in to help me make ends meet— and to nurture my writing.  At the end of a year, though, my first book, A Personal Matter was accepted for publication with Harper Collins and writing became my career. There were a bunch of other changes, too: I moved away from the city, married an ex-military man and stopped wearing heels! These days, my shoes look like this:
Not sexy, I know.  But not quite orthopedic shoes, I hope.  And I could run if I had to— and walk for quite a while.
I carry a huge handbag (like Mrs. Standish in The Doomsday Kids) now. What’s in it? Twenty-four to forty-eight hours of basic survival: a couple of bottles of water, some ready to eat food like granola bars. A small first aid kit. Lightweight rain gear. A Swiss army knife. Everything but a weapon— and that’s because I am the weapon.  I study karate.  I can’t stop a bullet—but I can kick you a%$ if you want to mess with me!
And then, my husband and I found that show Doomsday Preppers on the National Geographic Channel.  I know I’m a little weird about being ready for things…but those folks take it to another level.  I was intrigued and sometimes horrified.  I mean, sometimes the people featured seemed excited by the prospect of catastrophe—instead of terrified by it, like I am.
The final inspiration for The Doomsday Kids came when everyone was going crazy about the Mayan calendar ending on 12/21/12. Remember there was even a movie (which wasn’t that great, but I saw it. A few times.)?

Well, there was this piece in The New York Times about this family that had sold everything because they really believed the end was near.  Or at least the parents did.  They had two teenaged children and when the reporter asked the kids how they felt about their parents doomsday fixation, the kids replied, “It’s embarrassing” and “They’re crazy.”
All that started to mix together in my brain. I thought, “What would it be like to be the child of a prepper? What if you didn’t believe there was any reason to prepare… and then disaster happened?  How would you feel if your parents were right?”
And with that Liam was born. And Lilly. And Nester. And Amaranth. And the rest.
I love writing about this unique, diverse bunch of young people and I hope you will enjoy getting to know them, too!

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your inspiration behind The Doomsday Kidz series with us Karyn!
Karyn Langhorne Folan graduated from Harvard Law School and after practicing and teaching law for several years, decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She is the author of twenty-one books and counting, including three young adult titles for the popular Bluford High series, four romance novels, several works of nonfiction. She has also been the ghostwriter for personalities in the entertainment and music industries. She is married and has two daughters. 
Author Links:
Giveaway: Paperback copies of Liam's Promise, Nester's Mistake, Amaranth's Return + a SIGNED copy of Amy's Promise + a Doomsday Kids “The End is Near” survival bottle - Open to US only!
Survival bottle includes:
32-oz  BPA-free bottle
1 carabiner
1 multi-function tool
1 whistle/compass tool
1 flashlight with two batteries
1 survival blanket
2 hand warmers
1 candle
1 box of waterproof matches
1 emergency poncho
20 piece first aid kit
1 plastic baggie (perfect for wet clothes or keeping valuables dry)


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