Dec 9, 2013

Blog Tour: Dead Land

Title:  Bad Land
Author: J. E. Byrne
Publisher: Take Two Publishing
Publish Date:  27 November 2013
Pages: 228
ISBN: 978-0989653336
Genre:  YA, Dystopian
Series:  None

Caught up in the rave of the ultimate high school party, eighteen-year-old Sarah Cain finds herself outside at 3:10am with her high school crush. Together they witness a violent explosion that tears through the sky. Knocked unconscious, Sarah awakens to a world she no longer recognizes. The sun does not rise, there is no moon or stars, and black rain falls heavily on her shoulders. Forced into survival, Sarah is frequented with strange words and dreams that mystically draw her toward a mountain promising life, even amidst her dying world. Setting out on foot to follow this vision, Sarah meets up with other survivors and discovers that some of them have shared her same dream. Together the group sets off to find The Mountain. Tempted by good and evil at every turn, survivors must decide which path to take.

Romeo, away, be gone! 
The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain. 
Stand not amazed: the prince will doom thee death, 
If thou art taken: hence, be gone, away!

O, I am fortune's fool!

Why dost thou stay?

           Exit Romeo.

            What would a great story be without the triumphs and tragedies of love? In one of my favorite romantic stories, Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet, Romeo has secretly wed Juliet, whose parents have already secretly arranged in marriage to the noble Paris. If not yet enough conflict, Romeo later kills Juliet’s cousin Tybalt in revenge for Tybalt’s slaying of Romeo’s friend Mercutio. As Romeo realizes his doomed fate, he cries out, “O, I am fortune’s fool! Sadly, we all know how this tragic love triangle ends.

            In Dead Land, protagonist Sarah Cain loves two men, and seemingly two men love her. One may prove her savior, while the other may lead her toward a path of doom.  One will have her understanding what real love can be, while at the same time leaving her with the realization that she, too, is fortune’s fool. Who will she choose? How will their story end? The following are some of my favorite relationship-themed lines, woven into the web of  a Dead Land.

I could not bear to lose him; not this way, not yet. Everyone looked at me and awaited a signal, but it was one that I did not want to give. Finally Claire couldn’t take it anymore. She glared at me. I could see the message in her eyes. She was going after David, even if it meant dying with him. I met her stare and did not back down. If this was how our tragic love triangle was going to play out, then so be it. I was not going to intervene with fate. I, too, was fortune’s fool, I thought. I turned away as she took off down the path after him.

He sounded so confident, his voice soft yet strong. I again looked up at his face, into his eyes. He looked back, deeply into mine. His arms were still around me, secure and warm in their embrace. For minutes we didn’t say anything. We just searched each other’s souls in the depths of our gaze. I have to confess that it was at this moment when I first realized that I loved him. I loved his strength, I loved his depth, and most of all I loved his goodness. I felt it so deeply that I wanted nothing more than to let it consume me.

But instead of grabbing the cup, he grabbed me. Lance leaned into me and pressed his lips onto mine. I pulled his body against me, craving his warmth. He wrapped his arms around me and tilted his head. We fit. We fit perfectly. I forgot there was no coffee. I forgot there was no food. I forgot the world had ended. All I knew was how I felt at that moment.

I fell into the early stages of sleep. I could feel his breath at my ear.
“Sarah,” he whispered. “I love you.”
I opened my eyes. He had turned away before I could even respond. He was checking on Leah. He laid a blanket on her as she breathed softly in her sleep. I pretended that I was asleep and that I hadn’t heard him, but of course I had.

Romeo and Juliet’s youthful passion and impulse eventually leads them to their grave destinations. As Dead Land progresses, Sarah develops into a person of strength and character, but will it be enough to save her from such impulse?

 O God, I have an ill-divining soul! 
Methinks I see thee, now thou art below, 
As one dead in the bottom of a tomb. 
Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale.

And trust me, love, in my eye so do you: 
Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu!

SARAH from Dead Land…

As I followed my fated path, I walked with a symphony of lament on my imaginary iPod. It told me that there were certain things in life that I could not change. I wished that {he} could hear the music. Then he would know the helplessness I felt as I entered my time in the wilderness. I was the lost sheep. I wondered if he would ever come looking for me. I hoped not; in a strange way, I wanted to be lost. I wanted to be left alone. I wanted him to feel my absence.

As an undergraduate Journalism student at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Jodi took the advice of one of her professors and changed her major to English, specifically focusing on the art of writing. This decision laid the foundation for a career in technical writing, teaching, and eventually fiction writer. Her debut novel, Dead Land, is set to be released by Take Two Publishing on December 3, 2013.

Dead Land follows the life of eighteen year-old Sarah Cain as she struggles to survive the pressures and temptations of high school, relationships, self-discovery…and the end of the world. The novel combines Jodi’s love of fiction, appreciation for young adults and the many challenges they face, and a passion for the spiritual components in life.

A free sample chapter is available for download from Byrne's website.


  1. Wonderful! Thanks very much! So many of these look interesting.

    Young Adult Mag

  2. I appreciate this book review. I am really excite for read this mysterious story.
    young adult books


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