GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Guest Post:Swan Dallara from The Empty Cradle Series by Emmy Jackson + Giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Guest Post:Swan Dallara from The Empty Cradle Series by Emmy Jackson + Giveaway

Swan Dallara, from the Empty Cradle series

You want to hear the funniest thing I've heard in months? People actually take vacations here. Here! They got big comfy homes way across the ocean, and they leave 'em to come over to our side and just...look around, I guess. That's how the Travelmaster explains it, anyhow.

Don't get me wrong, North America's a big place and all, and I'm sure there's plenty to see, it's just that people tend to stay put for the most part. Don't mean that the dwellers don't ever move from city to city, but it doesn't happen a lot and when they do it's not for funsies, it's for some reason, like lookin' for a wife or needin' to kill someone...or needin' to avoid being killed. Stuff like that. The scavs and nomads and caravans that go from city to city move around I guess, but that's not for funsies either, that's just how they make their living.

Sorry, it makes me laugh. All those folks on the other side got the same problems we do, they got the Cradle keeping most of their women from havin' babies, and they got people trying to knock each others heads in like people do everywhere you go, and some of em still find time to spend the roundrocks—well, not roundrocks, they use different money than we do here—to schlep over across the ocean, and look around, and eat things, and buy things, and then go home. I don't get it. You want to go wandering that badly, why go back? I think I'd forget where I lived in the first place if I went wandering that far.

I have wandered a bit, me and Kroni. We've done a fair bit of that, moving from place to place looking for faces that need punching, things that need breaking, that sort of thing. Oh, okay, Kroni wants me to say that we protect people by riding shooter, and stuff like that too, but that's boring. If someone was coming from across the ocean to look at my life, I wouldn't take them babysitting, I'd drag 'em into a goddamn fistfight. That's how you get to know a place, by punching a few people and seeing what they say about it.

I could save 'em the time, those vacationers. You got the walled cities, the big ones. Detroit and Astoria and Dallas are the nicest. Dallas even has electricity most places. Detroit does too, but it's only for residents. You got Nawlins, which is where the spooky things live, and you got Savannah, which likes to pretend it's where the spooky things live. You got Geowa, that city on the old bridge that's a good place to go if you like to find work hitting things, and you got Winnipeg, which is too damn cold most of the time and Bigmouth which is too damn hot most of the time. Oh, and you got Little Rock too, but you don't want to go there, those assholes will steal your fertile women and shoot you in the face just as soon as look at you. Then you got the smaller cities without walls, like Nashville and Roanoke and Rolla and Minnie and such, and then the towns get smaller and smaller till they're just little villages, sometimes just a few houses huddlin' together, all that's left since the Fall a hundred, hundred-fifty years ago or so. I can't remember exactly how long.

Oh, Kroni says that those travelers might come here to see shifters, because they don't have hardly any over there. You'd think that he should know, being a deer-shifter and all, but I think that's stupid since the reason they don't have any shifters on the other side of the ocean's because they killed 'em all, Kroni knows that, so what would the point be of coming here to gawk at more of 'em?

So anyway, I've been all around this place, and that's what there is to see. I like it well enough, but don't know why anyone else would want to come umpteen thousand miles across a damn ocean to look at it. Guess that's why most of 'em stay in Strip City. Now that place is a hoot! You know they up and moved that whole city, what was it called, Lost Vegas? They took it apart and moved it out toward the coast and that's where most of the people on vacation go. Apparently it looks a lot like where they came from, all electric lights and noise and buildings with glass walls, and that's where they come. You get that? They travel all that way, to stay someplace that looks like where they started, and then pretend they got to see North America!

Well, if they really wanted to see, they'd get out of Strip City, and come roll with me and Kroni and Ivy. We call Ivy the Travelmaster, she's a scav who knows the roads all over like the back of her hand and keeps her little rig running with stubbornness and ingenuity. She doesn't like to talk much, but don't let that make you think she's dumb. We've been all over with her: fought biters in Memphis and gleaners in Nashville, spent a few days at a biblethump outside of Cincy while I was laid up with the Cradle, joined a caravan to make it across a desert full of pirate crazies to get to Strip City, and even hooked up with a circus for a while! That's where we met Shiloh, who's travelin' with us now, too. No idea why an acrobat cat-shifter who's never worked a day in her life wants to roll with us so bad. Maybe it's because we saved her when the queen of the felids kidnapped her out of her trailer a few months back. Maybe it's just because we're turning into a right cheerful little family—but don't you go trying to get me to admit that out loud, I'll get all squooshy inside.

Anyway, if you want to see what North America's really like, don't bother with a fake tour like those other folks want. Come roll with us. Guarantee you won't be disappointed, if you survive.

Oh, shut up, Kroni, that was so funny. See, they're laughing.

Empty Cradle: The Untimely Death of Corey Sanderson
Ivy Aniram can’t afford to make stupid mistakes. A scavenger in a post-apocalyptic America where long-distance travel can be deadly to the few who attempt it, Ivy is a rare commodity--fertile woman untouched by the epidemic “Empty Cradle.” When she’s ambushed and nearly killed thanks to an offer of trust she shouldn’t have extended, the villagers who save her demand a hefty price in return–a baby born of her womb. She may have tumbled out of the frying pan and into the fire. 

Empty Cradle #2: Shiloh in the Circle
Shiloh is a star, a headlining performer with Gallamore's Traveling Extravaganza. She's afforded luxuries that aren't often seen in the communities and walled cities that pepper what was once North America, and as such she's largely isolated from the dangers of life "out in the dirt." Embroiled in circus politics and in denial of her shapeshifter heritage, Shiloh's about to discover that the enigmatic queen of the felids wants an audience with her--and it's not a request. Soon she finds that a scavenger named Ivy and a persistent shifter named Kissel may be all that stands between her and a diva's worst fear--disappearing without a trace.

The Highly Improbable Adventures of Buzz Driver
available at Forgefire Press.

About the Author:
Emmy Jackson is a novelist and self-syndicated freelance automotive writer, an avid reader with interests in multiple genres and a long-time player of tabletop RPGs. The second book in his "Empty Cradle" post-apocalyptic urban-fantasy series, Shiloh in the Circle expands the world readers were introduced to in The Untimely Death of Corey Sanderson. During the fifteen years he spent building the world of Empty Cradle, he often lived like one of the scavengers from his stories, rescuing and repurposing forgotten items. He even spent three years living a nomadic life in an RV. Emmy lives outside of Detroit, Michigan, with a dumb but adorable cat and frequently annoys his neighbors by dragging home misguided automotive projects. His next appearance will be at The Twisted World in Valley Forge, PA, March 28-30. Come and get a book signed! 

Winner gets their choice of one pair! 
We are giving away a pair of overalls, similar to the ones that the scavs in Empty Cradle wear. These overalls have been upcycled, Detroit-style, with contrasting-color cuffs from the knees down. The green pair is a size M, the cream are an S

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. These are awesome. I would love to win a pair. I haven't worn overalls in at least 15 years. Not b/c I do not like but b/c my daughter does not like.

  3. I don't think I have ever worn overalls, but they look awesome. I am really intrigued by the synopsis of these books and am going to put it out there that while my reading preference is on my Kindle, the cover art for the paperbacks rocks. Thanks for sharing with us, have definitely added these to my wishlist :)

  4. Very cool overalls -- and so glad the giveaway is open to Canada! :)

  5. Oops...forgot to mention that it's been *ahem* many, many years since I last wore overalls. :D

  6. Very cool. I wore a pair of overalls (shorts) last year and will be wearing them again this year. lol

  7. I've never worn a pair but looking forward to the experience!

  8. I last wore overalls when I was in high school, I think.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. The overalls are pretty cool, definite upcycled Detroit flair. As for the books, I've read them..then i read them again. And again. The characters are so well-written that I feel as though I know them personally. I could hear Swan's voice when I read the above post. Besides the superb writing, I love that these books are made in America and the artwork is local to Detroit. Can't wait for number 3!

  11. The overalls are pretty cool, definite upcycled Detroit flair. As for the books, I've read them..then i read them again. And again. The characters are so well-written that I feel as though I know them personally. I could hear Swan's voice when I read the above post. Besides the superb writing, I love that these books are made in America and the artwork is local to Detroit. Can't wait for number 3!

  12. Wow you actually made me read the excerpt, and I liked it. I never read excerpts. This sounds really nice.

  13. Book sounds interesting. I wore coverall shorts outfits when I was a young adult as was the style then. Not into coveralls much anymore, but the book sounds good.

  14. The book sounds really good. I don't think I've worn overalls since I was 10 years old.

  15. it has been 20 years since I have warn overalls. I loved them but they wore out and for some reason I didn't replace them. It would be fun having a pair to ware again.

  16. I wore overalls when I worked on my little farm in northern Canada. They're very utilitarian, and I like practical things. Love a good post-apocalyptic tale too, and I REALLY like the excerpt. I've put both books on my want-to-read list on Goodreads. Just picked up Empty Cradle: The Untimely Death of Corey Sanderson from Amazon and looking forward to wandering in its world.

    1. be sure to let us know over in the FB group what you think!