I am delighted to host GGR-PromoGroup’s book blog tour for Sarah York’s new M/M romance, AFTER THE END. We’ll have an excerpt from the book, a review, plus a chance to win one of the following prizes (scroll down to the Rafflecopter link to enter):
After the End is a post-apocalyptic tale of survival, friendship and love that seems ripped from today’s headlines. Two teens, ill-prepared for the horrors and chaos they face, have only their wits and their tentative bond to face an ordeal that changes the course of history.
AFTER THE END Blurb:
With international flights crisscrossing the skies on an hourly basis, are we ever really safe?
When a strain of the Ebola virus mutates; it spreads quickly leaving the medical community shattered. People are dropping in the streets and life, as most know it, comes to an end. Two city dweller survivors, Dean and William, are forced to flee the city and live in the wilderness—where dangers lurk behind every tree and in every valley. Not everyone alive after the end is good, and William and Dean are faced with challenges that would bring many to their knees.
Growing up in the hood of Atlanta, Dean knows how to overcome trials, but he knows nothing of love. Can he sustain a relationship with William, or will his doubts end them before they even have a chance?
From birth William has had a silver spoon in his mouth and two in each hand, but the end brings him face to face with reality where he has to take responsibility for his life. After the end, money has no meaning, and life is lived on the edge.
Join William and Dean after the end and find out how close to the edge they come.
BUY LINKS FOR AFTER THE END
Here’s an EXCERPT from AFTER THE END:
After he finished, both of them satisfied, William pulled him up and brushed his lips over Dean’s. The kiss was charged with sensuality and caring. At first Dean stilled, wondering what the hell had gotten into William. They’d kissed before, but not like this. Not with William’s hands caressing his neck and face, and certainly not with the passion he felt flowing from the guy. He was a booty call to William, nothing more. The kiss spoke of love and caring, not hooking up and getting off.
Surprised, Dean tried to process the sensations and stop his feelings from running over his good senses. This wasn’t real. They’d changed a little since those first few times, but he wouldn’t acknowledge the difference. Speaking about the changes would mean they’d have to confront the truth, and no matter how many times they got off together, William would never really be his.
“I’ve left you some money under my pillow,” William whispered.
Pain lanced Dean’s heart. No matter how gentle William was with his kisses, he’d never really respect him. Dean shook his head, and tried like hell to hang onto his anger. “I can’t accept your money.”
“Take it. It’s not for sex. Okay, I…hell, I know about your parents and your house. I can’t….”
Heat filled Dean, his whole body burning like never before. “What the hell have you done?”
“Get real, I’m not going to ask you to be my…mistress isn’t the right word, but I want you around, you know, living close to where I do. I can’t offer more than that right now, but dammit, we’re good together.”
Dean stepped away from William and scowled. “I’m not some whore you can buy.”
“I didn’t say that. I know you’re smart. Hell, everyone at Blackwell knows you’re the smartest guy in school. But I want you.”
He shook his head violently, the food sitting in his stomach threatened to come up. “I can’t take your money.”
“Dean, please. I want you to be able to eat this week.”
Anger flashed. “My God, you don’t get it, do you?”
“No, I sure as hell don’t. Just take the fucking money. My parents give me a thousand dollars a week and I don’t have to pay for anything. I have cash and it’s disgusting. I don’t want it all, but I want you in my life.”
Dean started pulling on his pants. As he tugged them over his thighs he realized he’d forgotten his underwear. He almost left them in his haste to get away, but William was right. He was fucking poor. If he left the underwear here, he’d only have three pair that didn’t have holes in them.
William grabbed his shoulders as he stood from retrieving his underwear. He was pressed up against the wall and held there. Dean wouldn’t meet William’s gaze.
“Please, don’t be this way. Don’t end it like this,” William begged.
Dean stilled, his heart thudding. “You know it’s going to end soon.”
“We can work something out,” William pled. His brows bunched together and his eyes were full of desperation. The man looked adorable and heartbreakingly bad for him all at the same time. Dean would lose himself, his self-worth, and his future if he stayed.
MY REVIEW OF AFTER THE END:
In a Dystopian future, when a variant Ebola virus wipes out most of the world’s population, survival depends on more than being safe. For William, raised in entitlement and wanting for nothing, and Sean, a kid from the mean streets who lucked out with a scholarship to a better life, their lives are about to be turned upside down in ways they can barely fathom.
As the crisis deepens, these two teens from an Atlanta prep school flee the city, keeping to the outskirts of civilization and learning to survive in an alien environment. The author does a very credible job describing what that scenario might be like: how civil society disintegrates, what it means to live off the land, how to deal with danger and unwelcome surprises.
When the young men become separated, Sean learns a harsh lesson in how dysfunctional a system can become when the lines blur and people are left to recreate a society. William fares better, finding refuge with a caring family, but he is still driven to find Sean at all costs.
Much of the story is devoted to William and Sean’s relationship, one that had been established in school—a relationship based on elements of selfishness, fear and the inability to come to grips with their feelings.
Since this is written for the teen and young adult market, the dialogue is of the fraught variety with considerable stressing and vocalizing over “does he love me,” “do I love him,” “I don’t know what love is.” It is, in its own way, reminiscent of Bella in the Twilight series with plenty of angst and the self-absorption of the not-quite adult.
The categorization of the two families who each give Sean and William shelter in their time of need is broadly drawn, emphasizing the polar opposite nature of how families by blood and by happenstance can form during post-apocalyptic times. This dichotomy of how differing family units respond to the ultimate crisis serves to sharply focus Sean’s and William’s priorities and their feelings for each other. For William especially, his experiences are an epiphany that influence his choices going forward.
The denouement is upbeat, if a little bit of a surprise. The ending seems a tad rushed, like an extended prologue tying up loose ends.
After the End might be more appropriate for the new adult reader since it contains frequent sexual encounters in fairly graphic detail. Adults might find After the End an interesting addition to their dystopian fiction library. Older teens will definitely identify with the two young men, each coming from wildly dissimilar backgrounds, who learn to love and respect the other.
After the End is a solid 4 Star read filled with angst, nail-biting scenes of terror, and the exploration of what it means to accept responsibility, to learn trust, and to redefine a relationship when the world you know shatters.
Grand Prize: $150 Gift card to Amazon, iBooks, B&N or ARe (Winners Choice) and a print copy of After The End
2nd Prize: Print copy of After The End
3rd Prize: ebook of a Sara York backlist book.
***** Click the link to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway *****
Writing is Sara York’s life. The stories fight to get out, often leaving her working on four or five books at once. She can’t help but write. Along with her writing addiction she has a coffee addiction. Some nights, the only reason she stops writing and goes to sleep is for the fresh brewed coffee in the morning.
Sara enjoys writing twisted tales of passion, anger, and love with a good healthy dose of lust thrown in for fun.