Monday, October 13, 2014

Blog Tour: First Wave by JT Sawyer with guest post by author

First Wave
Travis Combs Thrillers
Volume 1
JT Sawyer

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, zombies

Publisher: JT Sawyer


Number of pages: 192
Word Count: 57666

Cover Artist: Melody Simmons

Book Description:

Special Forces veteran Travis Combs just wanted to forget his weary years of leading combat missions while taking an extended rafting trip through the Grand Canyon.

As he and his group complete a 22-day trip on the Colorado River, they find the world has unraveled from a deadly pandemic.

Now, he has to show his small band how to live off the land and cross the rugged Arizona desert, while evading blood-drinking zombies, gangs of cartel bikers, and a rogue government agency.

Available at Amazon

My Review:

Can you imagine going rafting or hiking, some long expedition where you are cut off from civilization for days on end, only to come out to a world that had changed drastically? What would you do? How would you survive? Now add in dead people rising to try to eat you, violent people trying to kill you, and people with you that you need to protect and you have First Wave. 

As with most books, there were things I liked and things I didn't with this book. The writing style felt a little stiff or awkward to me at times. I found myself pushed out of the story occasionally, wondering why the author used certain wording here or there. Then I would be drawn back into the story itself and enjoy it again. As with many self published books, there was the occasional typo or grammatical error, but not enough to ruin the story.

I would give the book a solid four stars. I liked the characters. I liked the story. I enjoyed the fact that the main character really knew how to take care of himself and others. If the story had flowed a little more smoothly for me and if the characters had had a little more depth to them, I would have given it a five star rating. I really enjoy this kind of book and would recommend this one to anyone else out there that enjoys a good zombie/end of the world as we know it/post-apocalyptic tale. I will be looking to read more by this author.

Guest Blog with My Tangled Skeins

Many readers email me about the survival skills in my First Wave Series under my pen name, JT Sawyer or in my non-fiction survival books. When I’m not behind the keyboard, I am a fulltime survival instructor in Flagstaff, Arizona. Being involved in educating others over the past 25 years, I thought I’d mention a few myths & misconceptions that have crept into the field of survival, some of which make their way into the First Wave books.
  1. Can you really get water from a cactus?
There’s a reason you don’t find cactus juice at the grocery store. It’s a noxious substance full of alkaloids that can push a heat-stressed individual into heat-stroke. The few times I’ve tried this method, to glean its supposed usefulness, has seen me nauseous. Carry water with you in the desert or hole up like a cowboy during the heat of the day until you can locate water. A person sitting in the shade in 90 degree F weather will expend six-quarts of water over 24 hours so there’s no substitute for being prepared in the wilds.

  1. If the world falls apart, I can just grab my rifle and bug-out-bag and retreat to the wilds for a few years until society re-establishes itself, right?

Living off the land in a solo fashion is brutal. There’s a reason our ancestors lived in tribes- it takes a lot of people on the land to provide sustenance. It is far better to have some supplies on hand at home and then augment your pantry with any wild game, fish, or edible plants that you might be versed in obtaining. Even better than that is to have a like-minded group of family and friends that you can work together with to ride out such a disaster. I wish life in the wilds were like the romanticism found in the movie Dances With Wolves but it’s more like the harsh reality of the film, The Snow Walker.

  1. I saw this reality-show where the guy was lost and rubbed two-sticks together to start a fire. Is that possible?
None of us would be here today if our ancestors hadn’t mastered the fine art of friction firemaking but this is a skill to practice on camping trips and backyard outings. Modern survival is about being prepared and carrying at least three firestarters (Stormproof matches, spark-rod, and lighter) with you at all times when in the backcountry. I teach primitive firemaking skills to show my students how to perform the method but find that, even under the best of conditions, it is a challenge and not reliable for most people. This is not the method I want to use if I am lost, injured, or stranded in the wilds with the sun going down!

  1. My buddy said that if you’re thirsty, you should put a pebble under your tongue and that will help you stay hydrated. Does that really work?
This simply stimulates the saliva glands which can help get rid of cottonmouth (which in turn helps briefly with your mental attitude) but you’re not actually adding water to your body, on redistributing existing fluids. In the intense heat of the Southwest, I sometimes consume 2-3 gallons of water per day so this is not a viable method for staying hydrated.

  1. I have a three-month supply of food, ammo, water, and supplies laid in, just in case there’s a disaster. Is this enough to weather out the crisis?

There are no cookie-cutter answers. It all depends on your region, time of year, weather, family size, budget, and other variables. Having supplies ahead of time is critical but, in the end, it’s people working together and the power of community that often saves the day. Look at present-day examples from around the country and you will see that it is human goodwill that makes life possible after a disaster in addition to well-thought out supplies. All this being said, the six key areas to plan for when preparing your home are: food, water (and water purification), medical supplies, security, hygiene, and alternative power.

Thanks for having me on your blog!

Tony Nester, aka JT Sawyer

About the Author:

JT Sawyer is the pen name for the author who makes his living teaching survival courses for the military special operations community, Department of Homeland Security, US Marshals, FAA, and other federal agencies throughout the US.

He has over 25 years of experience testing long-term survival skills in the desert, mountains, and forest.

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