by Aria Michaels
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 10/15/2014
When 17 year old Liv Larson and her brother are sent to separate foster homes, she dedicates her every breath to getting him back. After months of solitude and anti-social behavior, her best friend Riley ropes her into a Rooftop Solar Flare Party. Despite the fascinating lights in the sky, Liv finds herself drawn, instead, to Zander- the boy with the crooked smile.
For a few hours, Liv’s troubles finally feel a bit less overwhelming—that is until what should have been a small flare erupts into a massive solar storm forcing them all to seek shelter in the school’s basement. Cut off from the rest of the world and with no signs of rescue, fear and paranoia set in and battle lines are drawn, dividing their ranks. What is left the group must embark on a perilous journey to save one of their own and find their families…but, something sinister awaits them in the shadows and it’s undeniably connected to Liv.
Can Liv keep her promise to reunite with her brother? What are she and her friends willing to do to survive? Will their bravery and determination be enough to save them all from a rogue government, a terrifying virus, and the things that go bump in the night…Or was Icarus, indeed, The Killshot?
People were rushing in all directions, tripping and stumbling over one another. Small groups huddled together, emerging from clouds of smoke, only to disappear just as quickly. Adults and children crouched low to the ground, dodging stray bullets and confused soldiers at every turn. They zigzagged and scattered like a handful of bouncy balls tossed onto the sidewalk.
I caught movement from the corner of my eye and stopped short. I threw my arms wide to catch Riley and we narrowly avoided colliding with the young woman that had cut across our path. The woman was barefoot and wore only a hospital gown. The severed tubing from a hastily disconnected I.V. dangled from her forearm and nearly every inch of her was covered in blood and soot.
A boy not much older than my little brother filled the woman’s arms. His blond hair was matted against his head, caked with blood and grime. His body was limp and pale, his face slack and unresponsive. The woman stared up at me. For a brief second, our eyes met. Behind their sage green depths I saw nothing but emptiness, like her soul had been ripped from her body.
“Ma’am, are you okay?” Riley asked.
“Gerald?” The woman’s eyes widened, looking over Riley’s shoulder.
“No ma’am,” Zander said, stepping out from behind her. “I’m sorry, but there is no one in our group by that name.”
“Have you seen my husband?” She screeched at us, the boy’s head lolling from side to side as she struggled under his weight. “This just won’t do. We are going to miss our flight. I have to find my husband. Gerald?”
“There’s no time,” Riley said. “Please, come with us. We can get you somewhere safe.”
“We need to move,” I yelled. I pointed toward where I hoped the maintenance shed awaited. “Come on, lady, this way.”
“We can’t leave without Gerald,” the woman said, backing away. “When Jeremy wakes up, he will want to see his father. I have to find him.”
“Ma’am, please?” Riley stepped toward the woman with tears in her eyes.
“Have you seen my husband?” the woman asked again, tears slicing a line through the blood on her face as she frantically looked about. “I had to find our son. Gerald…he said he would wait for me. Have you seen him?”
“Ry, we have to go,” I said, pulling her away from the desperate woman. “We can’t help her.”
“Gerald? Gerald, honey,” the woman yelled into the distance. “Gerald, I found him! I found Jeremy.”
She shifted the boys limp body in her arms again and stumbled off, disappearing back into the thick veil of smoke. As much as my heart ached for their suffering, my mind was focused on survival. There would be time later to grieve and processes the horrors around us. We had done all that we could to help those people. We had given them a fighting chance and for the time being, that would have to be enough.
My footsteps against the ground echoed in my ears as I ran forward. Guns discharged on all sides of us, as we raced across the parking lot. A large group of civilians had just dodged past us when I felt a bullet whizz over my head. A swarm of soldiers ran past us, firing into the smoke. I leaned forward, dragging Riley behind me and ran until my legs and lungs burned.
I didn’t stop until my hands slammed into the rough surface at the corner of the maintenance building. When we reached the shed, we shuffled across the cracked pavement, hacking and coughing as I led them to the rear side of the building and away from the gunfire and flames.
“Everyone okay?” I gasped. I finally released Riley’s hand and was relieved to see all three sets of eyes staring back at me.
Killshot is also available in Audible.
Check out the free audio sample for a live-action, heart-stopping scene from the story that reviewers are calling,
“A non-stop dystopian thrill ride!”
About the Author:
Aria Michaels is the author of the Best-Selling young adult dystopian novel Killshot (Icarus Series, Book One) as well as its companion novella, Before the Sky Fell. In addition to her career as an author, Aria Michaels is an avid reader, die-hard zombie fan and enthusiastic lover of bonfires and red wine. When she is not glued to her computer pouring out the voices in her head, Aria can be found playing in the dirt with her boys, painting, or binge-watching The Walking Dead with her husband. Don’t let her mild-mannered smile fool you…this woman has lofty ambitions that include complete global domination. She is determined to live in a world where every pair of yoga pants comes with a free book, an iced caramel macchiatto and a magic force-field that repels the sound of screaming children (of which she has six). In the meantime, Aria is hard at work on the next installment of the Icarus Series, reveling in her role as instigator of literary mayhem and stealth assassin of fictional characters.
For more information about Aria Michaels and the Icarus Series, be sure to check out her website at http://www.ariamichaels.com
“You are never more than one choice away from a different future.” –Aria Michaels