Friday, June 16, 2023

Blog Tour: BLACKOUT TRAIL by Linda Naughton


Blackout Trail

by Linda Naughton




: Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Thriller





Doctor Anna Hastings is no stranger to disasters, having spent much of her career as an aid worker in conflict zones around the world. Yet when an electrical phenomenon known as an EMP brings down the power grid, Anna faces catastrophe on a scale she never imagined. She must learn what it means to be a doctor in a world deprived of almost all technology.


As the blackout causes planes to fall from the sky, Anna crosses paths with devoted father Mark Ryan in the chaos at the airport. Mark convinces Anna to travel with him and his seven-year-old daughter Lily to their family’s cabin in remote Maine. There Mark hopes to reunite with his wife, and find a safe refuge from a society on the brink of collapse.


Journeying across a thousand miles of backcountry trails, they will face a daily struggle against nature. Their biggest peril, though, may come from their fellow survivors. As Anna grows closer to Mark and Lily, she resolves to see them safely home. But can she hold onto her humanity in a world gone mad?




Excerpt One:

It wasn’t just our baggage carousel that had stopped; they all had. Both the overhead lights and the computer screens showing the baggage carousel assignments had gone dark too. The only light streamed in from the floor-to-ceiling windows lining the perimeter of the baggage claim area. Why hadn’t the emergency lights kicked on?


The automatic sliding doors had also stopped, confounding a gaggle of college kids trying to leave. Beyond the doors, an ominous stillness had replaced the constant bustle of parking shuttles, cars, and taxis creeping along the pickup lane. There should’ve been engine sounds. Horns. Something. Now there were just a bunch of confused and pissed-off people getting out of their vehicles.


Grumbling from the other passengers gave way to a stunned hush. Panic bubbled just beneath the surface. You couldn’t set foot in an American airport these days without being bombarded with reminders of terrorism. Everyone looked at each other, the same question written on our faces: Was this some kind of attack? What should we do? I expected some sort of alert or explanation over the loudspeaker, telling everyone to remain calm, but none came.


A thunderous crash from the opposite end of the terminal had me ducking and covering my head. Metal screeched on metal, accompanied by the tinkle of shattered glass and an ear-splitting grinding sound. A chorus of terrified cries erupted around me. I’ll admit it—I screamed too. I caught a glimpse of a plane fuselage crashing through the airport ceiling before plowing into the ground.



 Topic:  Please describe a pivotal scene in this story and how it affects the characters. 


Early in Blackout Trail, the main characters Anna and Mark realize the extent of the electromagnetic pulse and the impending collapse of society. Mark enlists Anna in his plan to take his young daughter, Lily, and hike to their family’s cabin in rural Maine. They’re going to need supplies for the journey.


The “getting geared up” scene is a hallmark of apocalyptic fiction, often reading like a laundry list of gear specs and survival tips. Here, though, the characters aren’t survivalists. Anna is a doctor, and Mark an engineer. Their inexperience shines through in this scene as they try to figure out what they’ll need.


Things get messy when a police officer catches them looting, pitting their sense of morality against the harsh reality of their situation.I particularly like this exchange as they come to terms with the laws they’ve broken:


Mark said, “The world we knew—its rules—its gone. Were just realizing it sooner than everyone else.”


I heaved a sigh. I just didnt think it would happen so quickly. Or that wed be the ones leading the charge into anarchy. I hope youre right about all of this EMP stuff.”


I dont.” When I shot him a confused look, Marks mouth pressed into a thin line. Anna, if I am right, millions of people are going to die. And I dont know what the world is going to look like after. I hope to God Im wrong.”


He had a point. The only thing more unsettling than the thought of facing a judge for all of this was the thought of not facing a judge, ever, because the world as we knew it was over. Yeah. Well. Compared to that, I guess sending postcards to each other from jail isnt such a bad alternative.”


He snorted softly, but the mirth was short-lived.


Neither of us believed he was wrong.


How far one can go to survive without losing their humanity is a recurring theme throughout the story, and it’s exemplified in this scene.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Linda Naughton has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. She is the author of several novels, children’s books, and the blog Self-Rescuing Princesses. A proud geek and gamer girl, she enjoys sci-fi, disaster movies, and role-playing games. She is a software engineer, paramedic, and mother of two.


Book Links:


Amazon (eBook/Paperback/KU):

Paperback (wide):  








Linda Naughton will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway