Friday, August 30, 2013

The Hobbes Family by Dan O'Brien Book Tour

Welcome to the fifth day of the Hobbes Family blog tour. It will run until September 2nd and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

The world had ended abruptly and without warning. How will a family navigate a world that seems bent on destroying them? Follow them in this exciting new serial adventure.

A few questions for the author:

If today’s the end of the world, what’d you do?

Sit back and relax. What the hell am I supposed to do?

How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?

I fell in love over a period of time. When I met my wife, we were just friends and I didn't even think of her in that way. It took some time and changing my perspective to see what a wonderful, loving person she was.

What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard?

It all comes very easy now. In the beginning, I was emotionally insensitive. It is something that I worked on.

Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:

It would be several days before Susanna could look Michael in the eyes. Thinking about the frightening look upon her husband’s face proved a startling reminder that humans were not far removed from a more primal ancestor. The television did not fade into static as was so often portrayed in apocalyptic moves, but instead progressively haggard-looking folks repeated what was more gossip than news. The infected––no one wanted to call them what they were––were steadily increasing. 

Hospitals could not contain the overflow.

Stories of people being attacked in the streets and cannibalism were rampant. Civilization broke not from the undead, but when the power and water stopped flowing. Two days after the faucets and showers no longer worked, people began to panic. Panic became hysteria; hysteria gave way to violence in the streets.

Northern California was not particularly large.

The Sacramento Valley could boast a million bodies if the capitol was lumped in with the small cities nestled behind mangroves and almond groves. San Francisco to the west was the first to disappear from the world; Sacramento did not fare much better. Smaller communities just to the north like Yuba City and Marysville were soon overrun with infected folks who were no more human than the world was flat.

Cities like Chico and Redding walked the fine line between being overrun and acting as potential safe havens. The Hobbes family had lived a quiet life a few miles east on highway 32 toward a little piece of Podunk called Chester. There, just before the bluffs and the Sierra Nevadas, their home had been a part of a tiny development.

Fall was still very much in bloom.

Pastel colors dashed trees.

The beauty of a place like Chico was that the man who had founded the town, Bidwell, had gathered trees from all over the country and lined the streets with them. This gave the small city a sense of wonder at any time of year. You might see palm trees and blue oaks growing across the street from one another––one blooming when the other was fading.

Long before the world was broken down into groaners and the Children, television anchors and “experts” blathered about the possible root cause of the infection. Some cited deregulation of packaged goods, genetic modifications to crops, and even the drinking water.

The cause was not what frightened people.

It was the process.

The slow degeneration of person to groaner began with an irregular fever and moved into cluster migraines that often caused blindness. The skin would lose its elasticity and moisture, and soon what had once been human was a snarling scarecrow bent on viciousness and mauling.

Michael loaded a few more items into a large duffel bag as Clara sat cross-legged in front of the television. If Susanna had been quiet and distant, his daughter might as well have been on the moon.

The man delivering the news had once been the weatherman, though the dark beard and bloodshot eyes hid the glamor of a previous time. There was talk that the news studio had fortified itself from the outside world. Iron gates and heavy doors had been knocked on and screamed at to no avail.

The newscaster rasped in an uneven tone: “Residents are being warned against journeying out on to the highways. 99 and 32 are backed up and the Skyway has been blocked off by overturned vehicles.”

Michael paused as he placed a heavy coat and a machete into the brown duffel bag. “Are you packed, baby girl?” he asked.

Clara nodded, but did not take her eyes off the screen.

The grating voice continued: “Martial law has been declared, but this has not stopped residents from fleeing the cities, seeking refuge in the bluffs and the mountains beyond.”

Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here:

All of his books are only 99 cents on Kindle right now!

Download Hobbes Family for free on Kindle from 8/28 until 9/1!

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