Friday, September 10, 2021

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: If the Light Escapes by Brenda Marie Smith @bsmithnovelist @GoddessFish

If The Light Escapes

by Brenda Marie Smith

GENRE: Sci-fi (post-apocalyptic)


A standalone sequel to IF DARKNESS TAKES US

A solar electromagnetic pulse fried the U.S. grid fourteen months ago. Everything’s gone: power, cars, running water, communications, all governing control and help—gone. Now northern lights have started in Texas—3,000 miles farther south than where they belong. The universe won’t stop screwing with eighteen-year-old Keno Simms.

All that’s left for Keno, his family and neighbors is farming their Austin subdivision, trying to eke out a living on poor soil in the scorching heat. Keno’s still reeling from the the death of his pregnant sister. His beloved Nana is ill, Grandpa’s always brandishing weapons, and water is far too scarce. Desperate thieves are hemming them in, yet he can’t convince his uncle and other adults to take action against the threat.

Keno’s one solace is his love for Alma, who has her own secret sorrows. When he gets her pregnant, he vows to keep her alive no matter what. Yet armed marauders and nature itself collude against him at every turn, forcing him to make choices that rip at his conscience. If he can’t protect Alma and their unborn child, it will be the end of Keno’s world.

IF THE LIGHT ESCAPES is post-apocalyptic science fiction set in a near-future reality, a coming-of-age story told in the voice of a heroic teen who’s forced into manhood too soon.



Bright green lights stream and pulse across the northern sky all night now, growing from thin and wispy to bold and fat, expanding, contracting, sending out bands of yellow streamers like they’re partying on ecstasy at some cosmic rave. The lights are pretty, and they’re hypnotic, and they creep me out to the core.

Northern lights every night for two solid weeks in Texas. Halfway to the equator from where they belong. They’re supposed to be a phenomenon tied to the magnetic poles—it’s a scientific fact.

Nothing is right about this. The only explanation I can think of is that the north and south poles are shifting. I don’t know what that means for the planet and the future of its creatures. We don’t have TVs or talking-head scientists to tell us...

The universe just won’t stop f**king with us.

Today, I’m hoeing corn in our front yard, sweat stinging my eyes. It’s blistering hot out here—early December in what used to be high-tech Austin, until the … sun zapped us with an electromagnetic pulse and took our power, our cars, the damned running water. It stopped pretty much everything—everything modern, that is.

It’s been fourteen months, and all the front yards in our subdivision are mini-cornfields now. We grow beans and veggies in the backyards. It’s a desperate attempt to keep us alive when our food stockpiles run out. Don’t know if it will work, but I’m doing my damnedest to make sure it does.

Interview with Brenda Marie Smith

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

Telepathy. I have a tiny bit of it already. I’ve had dreams that were definitely telepathic, though it’s been quite a while since I had one. I’m forever thinking of a friend or a family member, and then they suddenly call or message me. I don’t want to know what other people are thinking—that would drive me nuts. But I would like to feel important things coming, especially if it allows me to protect my loved ones or avoid danger.

What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

I wrote the first book in this series, If Darkness Takes Us, an apocalypse that leaves people isolated without power, cars, phones, or running water, right? The book came out in October 2019, and within months we were in the middle of an isolating pandemic. That was creepy. Then, in this standalone sequel, If the Light Escapes, the inverter for the solar power gets broken. Days after I sent the book to the publisher, my own solar inverter broke. Getting eerier. Not long after that, we had the Texas Snowpocalypse, where we had no power or heat during single-digit temperatures for days, then we had no water for more days. I thought, “I’m a jinx! I have to stop writing for the good of the world!” After more thought, though, I’ve concluded that I’m not a conjurer of gloom and doom, but I may be telepathic with it.

When writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with?

Sometimes, it’s the eyes, because they can be so expressive. Other times, it’s facial expressions, body shape and size, and hair. I write a lot about hair, lol.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Up to now, I’ve been a total pantser. I have to feel my way through a story and the character reactions to events. I usually have a few events and an ending in mind, and I write my way there. I am trying to force myself to do a little more advance plotting, though, because I think being a pantser results in me having to do far too many revisions. We’ll see how well I do with that.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so, what?

Oh gosh, so much! I hardly know where to begin. I learned not to write the white space, that I don’t need to set up a scene and also sum it up. I just need to write the scene. I learned that sometimes you have to throw out half your book and rewrite the whole thing in nine weeks, and that I’m capable of doing that. I already knew that editors are critical, but I now believe that I’m nothing without good editors. And I am very fortunate to have a whole team of them.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.

Social Media:

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook 

Instagram ~ YouTube ~ Goodreads

Buy links:

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book People


$50 Amazon or B/N GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Groovy Girl said...

Thank you so much for hosting me and my book today. I'm very happy to be back on your blog. I'm looking forward to chatting with you and your readers. For some reason, I'm unable to sign in as myself, but I am here with an old handle, Groovy Girl.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Groovy Girl said...

Thank you, Rita. I appreciate it.

Sherry said...

This sounds like a great book and I'm really looking forward to reading it!

Daniel M said...

sounds like a fun one

Groovy Girl said...

Thanks, Daniel. It's fun and also intense, full of action and strong emotions.