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About the book:

The post-apocalyptic world isn’t that bad. Sure, there are mutants. But, for the people of New Hope, daily life isn’t so much a struggle of finding food or medicine as it is trying to find a new shortstop for their kickball team. This makes it difficult for a post-apocalyptic warrior to find work.

Thankfully, an army full of killers is making its way to the peaceful town and plans to raze it to the ground. Only a fully trained post-apocalyptic-nomadic warrior can stop them. Two have offered their services. One is invited to help. The other is sent to roam the wasteland. Did the townspeople make the right decision? Will they be saved? Did they find a shortstop? What’s with all the bears?

Find out in the best-selling Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors, a fast-paced action and adventure novel set in a horrific future that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

In this scene:

Our hero comes across the razed town of Vita Nova and encounters its only remaining resident.

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At first he was surprised that he came to at all. Soot covered him. His eyes were caked with the dried ash. Groaning as he rose, he pulled a handkerchief from his rear pocket and brushed the gray crust from his eyes. Once he could see, he realized that he had fallen inches short of the bulletproof safety of the brick wall.

“Your dog is a jerk,” she said. Her voice was close.

Pain shot through his head as he turned to face her for the first time.

She sat close, a few feet away; her legs were drawn up in front of her. Chewy sat across from the girl; the hunting rifle was locked in the dog’s mouth.

Fuzziness dominated his thoughts as he responded. “Yeah, but she’s man’s best jerk. Wait, that didn’t sound right.”

“Pervert.”

“That’s not what I meant. I was trying to say that …” He leaned against the wall to clear his head. The brick structure he had sought for protection collapsed under his weight. He fought to maintain his balance. His arms pinwheeled. He thrust his hips with a rhythm that betrayed his dance talents as somewhere between “pathetic” and “high potential for injury.”

It was a fierce but brief struggle against gravity; he lost by a slight margin. He stood back up and tried to act as though nothing had happened.

She rolled her eyes.

Take away the dirt, the soot-gray tear-stained cheeks, and ashen clothes, and there would be no denying the young woman’s beauty. Fierce eyes blazed through the dirt and dust to reveal a sharpness that could see beyond the immediate, the misleading, and drill to the truth in any person.

He sighed and forced a smile that would put her at ease. The pain made it difficult, but he managed. “Can me and my jerk help you?”

“Me? You’re the one who’s bleeding.”

Feeling the top of his head, he discovered a paste of ash and blood beneath his hair. Grinding the mixture between his fingers, he looked at her. “Did you shoot me?”

She huffed and gestured to the dog with the gun in its mouth. “You jumped into the wall, dumb ass.”

“Dumb ass? That’s hardly fair.”

“I told you to stay still.”

“So you could shoot me!”

She crossed her arms and pouted.

“Who are you?”

She pouted more.

“Please?”

She went into hyper-pout. He had seen it in children, but he was unaware that an adult was capable.

“Chewy. Give her the gun.”

The mastiff growled.

“Give it to her!”

The giant dog obeyed and dropped the gun at the young woman’s feet.

The lone survivor of Vita Nova looked at the ash-covered nomad. She cocked her head and half squinted at the man as he sat patting the dust from his jacket and jeans. Her confusion grew as he turned his back to her.

She reached for the gun.

Chewy put her paw on the weapon.

She looked at the dog then back to the nomad. “Erica. My name is Erica.”

The nomad nodded and Chewy removed her paw. “It’s just a pleasure to meet you, Erica.”

Erica picked up the rifle. “Ewww, it’s all drooly.”

“Erica, meet Chewy.”

The large dog woofed at the young woman and kept a wary eye on the gun as she wiped it clean. Erica made no move to arm the rifle.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“You can call me whatever you want. I’m a post …”

“Dick.”

“Wait, I wasn’t …”

“Whatever I want, Dick.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

Jerry had never been married, but she gave him a look that he recognized as one a wife gave a husband when he had overstepped his bounds at a party. He relented and changed the subject. “What happened here?”

She began to tremble. Her voice came in spurts as she tried to explain while holding back tears. “A truck. A black truck. They crashed through our gates … it was over in minutes.”

“A black truck?”

Erica lost her composure and broke down in complete tears. “Everybody. Everyone is gone. My friends. My little sister. They’re all gone.”

Running caused his head to ache every time his heel struck the ground, but he rushed to her side. He put a sooty arm around her. She shook.

Chewy worked her head under the crying girl’s hand.

Erica threw her arms around the dog and let the tears loose into the dog’s brindle fur.

Jerry stood and placed his hands on his hips. Chewy had stolen more than a few things off his plate in the years they had traveled together, but she had never been the first to console a crying woman.

Erica cried long and hard. She tried to speak, but only hysterical gibberish escaped her lips. It was almost fifteen minutes before intelligible words were spoken. “What am I supposed to do now? Where do I go?”

Jerry had been considering the situation since she started crying. Since she had gone on for so long, he had considered many options for her that covered everything from sitting there to discovering a method of time travel.

But the most practical was the best solution.

“There’s a town a day or so down the road. It seemed nice. I can take you there.”

She didn’t say anything. She just nodded.

He offered his hand, but she refused. She stood on her own.

The ruins of her home surrounded her. Staying was not an option. Wind blew the ash into the air and stung at her eyes. Without a word she walked toward the red tricycle. Graceful and composed, she bent over and grabbed the handlebars. Setting the toy up on its wheels, she turned and walked silently past the two friends.

He watched her walk away. She was strong. He admired that. She would survive. No mutant, marauder, or black truck would be able to shake this woman now. She had lost everything she had known and everyone she had loved and stood tall and immovable. She would be fine.

“Erica. The truck is the other way.”

She fell to her knees and began to cry.

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