Friday, November 27, 2015

The Dead Circle by Keith Varney

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Welcome to my tour stopp for The Dead Circle by Keith Varney! This is an adult contemporary apocalyptic zombie thriller. This tour runs November 16-27 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.


The-Dead-Circle-Book-CoverAbout the Book:

Something is terribly wrong in Detroit.

When Chris and Sarah bought an abandoned library to renovate and live in, they expected to be on the ground floor of the revival of Detroit. But unbeknownst to them, the city is about to fall. The devastation begins with a single woman who mysteriously tears off her clothing and starts walking the perimeter of an empty lot. Within minutes, hundreds of disparate people inexplicably form a giant human circle that slowly revolves like a hurricane of flesh. They twitch and spasm, contorting their naked bodies in a primordial death dance. They’re oblivious to everything, even the unfortunate souls who fall beneath their feet.

Bewildered citizens and authorities are desperate to know what’s causing the bizarre event… at least until it starts to rain.

Chris and Sarah abruptly find themselves trapped in a forsaken city. To survive, they must evade the horrifying illness, find food and shelter in a suddenly primitive world… and have a battle plan for when the circle stops spinning…

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“Private! Do I sound like I’m fucking joking!?”
Lawrence hadn’t really believed that there even was such a thing as a ‘Code Orange’. It had been whispered about when he was enlisted, but it seemed like one of those rumors that got started to scare rookies. Code Orange was a complete, permanent quarantine to be maintained with lethal force. They were abandoning anything and everything within the hot zone. And tonight, the hot zone was the entire city of Detroit.
He heard a click behind his ear. It was the unmistakable sound of a pistol being cocked. He felt the cold barrel on the back of his neck. In front of him, a small crowd had gathered on the road. About twenty-five men, women and children stood looking back at him demanding to be let through. Some of them shouted curses at the soldiers, while a couple of others had tearfully fallen to their knees. They were begging to be let out. They were innocent civilians and they were pleading with them… with him. Lawrence tried to avoid eye contact with the desperate and—Jesus help me—innocent people on the other side of the line.
“You have until the count of three to open fire or I will fucking grease you and do it myself!”
Lawrence put his finger on the trigger of his rifle and put his sight on the largest, most aggressive-looking man in the crowd. He was wearing a denim jacket and a Detroit Tigers hat. He was shouting at the soldiers behind the barricade, foaming with rage. Spit rained out of his mouth and collected on his scrabbly beard as he demanded to be let through.
The barrel of the pistol felt alive with the promise of pain, like a hornet’s tiny feet crawling down his neck. It was a completely unnerving sensation—that it could sting him at any moment. If he tried to swat it away, he would definitely be stung, but there were no guarantees that remaining frozen would keep him safe either. And in this scenario, the sting would be fatal. Reluctantly, Lawrence took a deep breath.
In that instant of indecision, Lawrence thought of his family. Were they in the quarantine zone? They were a half hour drive out of the city center, but he didn’t know where the military considered ‘ground zero’ so he couldn’t be sure. Either way, he knew he couldn’t help them if he was dead.
He took a deep breath. Jesus forgive me. The man wearing the jean jacket—the man he was seconds from shooting—hesitated for a second and looked down. There was a little girl pulling on the pocket of his jeans. The man knelt down and hugged her. She was obviously his daughter and he was quietly comforting her. Lord, I can’t do this.
The last thing Lawrence heard was the gunshot that sent a bullet into the back of his spine. He didn’t feel pain, just surprise. He only realized that he had fallen to the pavement when he noticed that he was looking straight up at the sky as the first hint of dawn approached. He had never looked directly up as the sun rose or set. He had always just looked at the horizon. This new perspective was beautiful really. On one side of the sky, it was still fully night-time. Clouds were blocking the stars so it was pitch black. On the other side, the hint of light, the hint of color peeked into the periphery of his vision. Between horizons is an expansive slow gradation of dark to light that seemed to be increasing in intensity as if the day were an electric range slowing cycling up. The irony of watching the day powering up as he powered down made him grin for a moment. If he read this in one of his student’s creative writing assignments, he would have told him or her that the thought was a little ‘on the nose.’
Lawrence listened with dull, fading ears to gales of automatic gunfire as the other Guardsmen opened fire on the crowd. The last thing he thought was ‘is it starting to rain?’


Keith VarneyAbout the Author:

Originally from small town Vermont, Keith Varney is an award-winning musical theater writer and actor. He has written Book, Music and Lyrics in various combinations for I GOT FIRED (Best American Musical – DIMF), ELWAY: THE MUSICAL, THE OTHER SEX, JOSHUA: THE MUSICAL, PIE EATER & SCOOBY DOOSICAL. He has also written songs for Submissions Only, Hot Mess in Manhattan, See You Lighter, My Mother is a Sex Therapist & Dystopia Gardens. As an actor he has performed professionally in musicals including Les Miserables, The Producers, The Full Monty, Titanic and I Got Fired (Best Actor in a Musical - DIMF). He has a degree in classical voice from the Eastman School of Music. He now lives in Astoria NY with his wife Jillian, who is a Broadway actress. “The Dead Circle” is his debut novel. For more information, please visit



$50 Amazon Gift Card 
10 ebook copies of The Dead Circle
Open Worldwide
Ends Dec. 2nd
Prizing is provided by the author, hosts are not responsible. Must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 17. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win.

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.