The Black Plague is ancient history. It killed 100 million people nearly seven centuries ago, halfway around the world from the technologically advanced research center at Stanford University. Scientists there have recently begun examining samples of bone marrow from plague-infected corpses unearthed in Europe. All the necessary safeguards are in place. What could go wrong?
Alyssa and Jake are away with their class on a highly anticipated year-end trip to Broadway with their senior acting class when all hell breaks loose at home. Traveling back, and trying to find their families, they encounter deadly results. Riots are breaking out. People are being evacuated. And they have no idea what's happening to their families.
Horrific ordeals, heart-pounding tragedy, and chance encounters harden them for what lies ahead. Faced with tormenting decisions, they're forced to follow their instinct for survival at any cost - even when the cost is a heart-wrenching decision of life or death.
A harrowing adventure of frightening discoveries, horrifying confrontations and narrow escapes in Epidemic, the first installment of the Mad World series.
Find out what's got everyone so terrified.
Character interview: Alyssa
Hi Alyssa, thanks for being with us today. How are you doing?
I’m doing okay. Better than I was when we first got to California after our NYC Broadway trip was cut short.
What did you think when you first heard of what was happening back home in Fresno?
I was freaked out. I mean, what’s the chances of a national emergency happening right in your own backyard? I was so worried about my family my stomach hurt the whole way home. It was a very surreal moment. The first of many.
Did you draw on any inner strengths to survive the weeks after you returned home?
Omg, yes. I don’t think I’d have been able to survive without my friends, Jake, Caitlyn, Emily, Conner and DeAndre. They were my strength. I also stayed strong for my mother and brother and grandparents. I needed to find them. It kept me going. Also, the will to live is very strong in me and my friends. We counted on each other so much in those first weeks, and afterward too.
What’s this I hear about you and Jacob Hill?
*smiles* Jake’s the best. I flirted with him freshman and sophomore year. Junior year we had more classes together, so that was cool. We were together in Acting for two years. I actually did a scene with him junior year where we kissed! That was awesome, but I was so nervous. Then in senior year, we became closer friends. And when this plague emergency happened, it just threw us into survival mode. There’s something about knowing you could die any day that makes you want to let the other person know how you feel.
Do you think the crises you all went through damaged you? Had an adverse impact on your mental health or anything? Pushed you to the edge and over it?
No. I think what we went through made us better people. Hardened us for what lies ahead. We just did what we had to do. But the skills and experiences we went through will make it easier for us to continue to survive. I don’t think it warped any of us. I think it helped us grow up fast and mature, and now we are badass! But it was at a terrible price….
Tell us about that, Alyssa. How do you feel about what happened?
I never wanted anyone to get hurt. None of us did. It was awful that those things happened, but we had to survive. Sometimes you have to survive at all costs. But it’s not something I’m proud of. I wish it hadn’t had to happen that way. But it did. It is what it is.
Every now and then I think back to what we lost, about everything that happened. I get teary eyed. But life has to go on. We’re doing the best we can, believe me.
We know that. And we will follow your story to the end. We’re with you all the way. Thanks for talking with us today, Alyssa. And good luck with Jacob.
Samaire Provost lives in California with her husband and son.
Her love of paranormal stories, odd plots, and unique tales as well as the works of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Susan Cooper, Madeleine L'Engle and Stephen King has deeply influenced her writing.
Mad World : EPIDEMIC her first novel. The second in the series is entitled "Mad World: SANCTUARY"
One lucky reader will win one of four signed copies of EPIDEMIC. Open internationally.
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