y by David Estes plus an ebook bundle giveaway. Although I haven’t read the
, it’s got some great ratings on Goodreads and Amazon. We’ll start with the cover and blurb of
The Country Saga (a Dwellers Saga sister series) by David Estes
(Book 1) Description:
In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer’s even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.
Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.
Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with.
As the desert sands run out on her life’s hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.
Noteworthy Praise for Fire Country:
“Exciting Post-Apocalyptic Tale…world building is rich, detailed, and believable. Readers who enjoyed Blood Red Road by Moira Young will absolutely love this book!”- Mike Mullin, bestselling author of ASHFALL
“Fire Country is a fast, fierce read. You will root for the protagonist, Siena, and her story will rake you across the coals. I will be keeping an eye on David Estes. You should too!” -Emmy Laybourne, bestselling author of MONUMENT 14
“Strong world building and vivid characters make Fire Country stand out from other post-apocalyptic YA novels. Young Siena is spunky and believable, and readers will pull for her to escape the clutches of her father and the dystopian society in which she lives.”- Rysa Walker, bestselling author of TIMEBOUND
Character Interview with Siena from
(A special thanks to Jeann at Happy Indulgence Books for coming up with such AWESOME questions!)
1. You are such an admirable, brave, strong woman Siena and I’m glad to have you on the blog today! What was it like growing up in Fire Country?
I ’ppreciate ya havin’ me on yer blog-thingy today. Just one question, is a blog kinda like one of those muddy swamps they have ’round the edges of Storm Country? No matter, was just curious.
Livin’ in Fire Country is like havin’ the Sun Goddess as your next door neighbor. It’s hot when you wake up, hot when you go to Learning, and hot when you eat yer ’zard stew at night ’fore bed. In the summer you just hope that the brushfires don’t choose yer house for lunch!
As a girl, life in Fire Country was searin’ tough. It was scary always knowin’ that when I turned sixteen I’d be assigned a Call and be forced to bear a child. I mean, what if I didn’t like my Call? And what if my child didn’t like me? I had all these questions and more as I was growin’ up. But you’ll have to read Fire Country by David Estes to find out how everythin’ turned out for me.
2. Have any of the other girls in the village ever told you how they felt about the Call? Did they feel against it like you did, but were too scared to question it?
Oh my, I never knew that I wasn’t the only one scared of the Call. All t’other girls (’cept for Lara, who we all know is as wooloo as they come) acted as if they were excited for it, even lookin’ forward to it! As it turns out, most of ’em were every bit as freaked as me. But everyone knew that speakin’ out would be a sure-fire way to get yerself thrown in Confinement. So they went along with it, like good little girls.
Without givin’ anythin’ away, let’s just say that since the changes
have been made to the Law, more’n more girls are opening up ’bout how they really felt.
3. Your friend Perry has become quite the popular little prickler these days. People across the Countries are wooloo about him! What do you think about this and are you happy he’s finally found some new friends?
You just had to bring that up, didn’t you? First off, despite me gettin’ a lot of attention these days, it’s not all positive attention. Folks still think I’m a hundred percent wooloo for bein’ friends with a cactus, which we in Fire Country call pricklers. They see pricklers as nothin’ more than a source of juice and prickler salad. But I don’t see it that way. Pricklers have a lot to offer us in companionship—I don’t know how I woulda gotten through my time in Confinement without Perry—laughter, and clever conversation. My friend Perry the Prickler (the baggard!) even helped me fight off a pack of cotees one day. You can read the whole short story HERE.
He even got a smoky new girlfriend out of it.
I think it’s awesome that Perry has found new friends, although I beg you all to not make his head any bigger’n it already is. He thinks that just ’cause he’s done a few interviews
and written some guest posts that he’s the “real” star of Fire Country. For the last time, you’re only in like THREE scenes, Perry!
4. Confinement must have been the scariest place, yet you accepted the consequence really well. What was it like in Confinement and what helped you cope with the starvation and heat?
Confinement wasn’t so bad. Well, other’n the searin’ sun with no shade, lack of food and water, and overall monotony. But at least I met Perry, as well as made one other friend. I can’t really hate my time in Confinement ’cause it really helped shape me into the woman I needed to become. It was only in Confinement that I began to realize I was a smart strong woman, and not just some skinny nobody with a tendency to trip over her own two feet.
Confinement gave me plenty of time to think, and to realize the world I was livin’ in wasn’t exactly as it seemed. All that starin’ at the durt made me realize that findin’ the truth was more important’n everythin’, includin’ survivin’.
5. How did you feel when you realised that Skye was alive? Were you close to your sister when growing up?
By the time I got to that point in my adventure, there was a gaping pit in my chest where my heart was s’posed to be. I’d suffered so many—too many—losses by then, so findin’ her was like a miracle. It was like the Sun Goddess shoutin’ down from the heavens, sayin’ “Ya ain’t dead yet, Siena!” It changed everythin’ for me—gave me hope when I had none. Gave me someone to look up to again, until I was able to stand on my own two wobbly feet.
Skye and I were always close. She was my best friend and warm blanket. She was my strength when I was weak. She was the one person—’sides Circ—who thought I was better’n I appeared on the outside.
But the Skye I found was so different. Changed. Rougher ’round the edges with a mouth like a ruffian, but stronger’n more determined. A leader. Without her, things might not have turned out the way they did at the end of The Earth Dwellers.
6. Circ is really smokey isn’t he? When did you realise that your feelings for him were real?
Understatement of the century! Circ is the smokiest guy in Fire Country—maybe in the world—so it always seems weird that he should choose me. But it’s not what’s on the outside—although I ain’t sayin’ I ain’t lookin’!—that makes me love him. It’s the size of his heart, which is surely made of pure gold. He’d sacrifice his life for his friends and family. He’d charge in front of a tug stampede in order to save a Totter. He’d give me up if he thought it would save my life.
It wasn’t until I was in Confinement and I burnin’ (pardon my cursing, it’s a nasty habit I’ve picked up from Skye) missed him so much that I realized he was more’n a friend to me. I wanted HIM to be my Call. I wanted him and only him, and I wanted to be his one and only, something that was impossible in our world.
Now I can’t help but feel like I’m dreamin’ when he kisses me when we’re lying side by side in our tent. Everythin’ we do t’gether is new for the both of us, but it’s not scary when it’s with him—the way it woulda been with some random Call.
7. What do you see in the future of the village and in your future?
Ya know, it’s hard to say. I feel as if there’ll always be bad people ’round, but maybe they won’t feel so untouchable anymore. After all, we’re not so alone these days. We’ve got friends, and I don’t just mean people in Fire Country.
And people have choices they never had ’fore. Who you wanna share your bed with. When you want to Bear children. I’d say we’re headin’ in the right direction.
We have a real future, even if it’s a short one because of the bad air we breathe in every day.
And I for one am gonna ’ppreciate every moment I got left.
Thank you for the chat Siena!
Thank YOU! I feel weird talkin’ to people that’ve never been to Fire Country (other’n through my stories), but it feels good at the same time. If you ever get away from your Blog, come visit me in Fire Country. I’ll introduce you to Circ and Skye and Jade and the whole bunch! We can sip fire juice and munch on fried ’zard ’til the Moon Goddess chases the Sun Goddess ’cross the star-speckled sky!
Fire Country Purchase Links:
(Also available on Kobo, iBooks, Sony, Smashwords, and most other ebook sites)
Author of popular YA dystopian series, the Dwellers Saga and the Country Saga. Voted books to read if you enjoyed the Hunger Games on Buzzfeed and Listopia.
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David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. They now live together in their dream location, Hawaii. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children’s and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David’s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.
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