Guest Post: Juggernaut by @ACGormley #Giveaway @RiptideBooks


Hi, and welcome to the Juggernaut blog tour!

Almost before I was done writing Strain, my mind began trying to fill in the blanks of the world we saw in Strain, trying to piece together what had led up to that point. I decided I wanted to write a story chronicling the apocalyptic pandemic, both the events leading up to it and the immediate aftermath. The result, of course, was Juggernaut.

On the Juggernaut blog tour, I’ll be sharing my thoughts about the world of Juggernaut/Strain/Bane, including several cut scenes from Juggernaut which I felt contained important world-building details that in the end just didn’t fit the flow of the story. I’ll also be sharing a couple sneak previews of the third book in the Strain universe, Bane (coming September 21 from Riptide Publishing) as well as giving away three e-copies of Bane before it hits the shelves!

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post including a way to contact you (email, Twitter, or Facebook.) Each stop along the blog tour that you visit offers you another chance to enter. Be sure to check the Riptide blog tour schedule for a complete list of other stops. The contest will close Saturday, August 15th, 2015 and the winner will be contacted no later than Monday, August 17th. Any entries made without a way to contact the winner will be invalidated, so please don’t forget to provide your email, or your Twitter or Facebook address. Contest is NOT limited to US entries.

Good luck, and enjoy the tour!

Guest Post

A significant chunk of the story in Juggernaut takes place in the quarantine pens outside a suburb near Cheyenne Mountain, which becomes known as the Colorado Springs Clean Zone. It’s in quarantine that Zach and Nico begin to see that safety in numbers . . . isn’t as safe as they would have assumed.

The people who survived the first wave of the pandemic, particularly those who were already EOTWAWKI (End of the World as We Know It) survivalists, would want to seek the most secure and isolated circumstances they could. Most doomsday preppers have a list of underground bunkers in which they can seek shelter. One of these lies within Cheyenne Mountain, in the form of a large underground military installment that once housed the North American Aerospace Defense Command, popularly known as NORAD.

The problem is, the martial law committee that has taken the reins of authority within Cheyenne Mountain isn’t letting anyone in, because of course if they allow an infected person into the bunker, it could kill all the remaining government and military high command personnel who managed to survive the pandemic. They establish the Clean Zone, or an area where they are setting up shelter for uninfected people, but before you can take your place with the uninfected population in the Clean Zone, you have to spend three months in quarantine.

Why so long? Well, the incubation period of the Bane virus is anywhere from three to eight weeks, which means a person can arrive completely asymptomatic and not show any signs of infection for almost two months. The military government establishes three months as the mandatory quarantine period to be extra certain that the surviving population is protected.

It’s a complicated system. They have to quarantine people not only from the Clean Zone population, but also from each other, which means housing them becomes a problem. They can’t use multi-unit housing such as apartment buildings or even, say, a prison, because people who arrive in quarantine uninfected might then become infected by proximity to another person in quarantine who has the virus. The pens have to be large enough to allow a tent for shelter for the detainees, as well as an outhouse/latrine. They also have to be far enough apart from one another to prevent the possibility of airborne contagion from other detainees (the “hot zone” is considered to be twenty feet, minimum.)

Right away, exposure is going to be a problem. There is no air conditioning or heating. The only water is pumped via windmill-pressurized pipes from the river and must be boiled. A poorly dug or improperly placed latrine could cause sanitation issues.

Then there is the matter of supplies. The first arrivals to the Colorado Springs Clean Zone survive on rations stockpiled within the bunker at Cheyenne Mountain, but those rations are going to quickly be depleted and the days of the mass production of food are gone. No one is stocking the grocery store shelves, obviously. Agriculture and animal husbandry will take time and people with skill in those areas to establish. Going out foraging for supplies in the surrounding areas is a risky proposition, because there is no way of knowing if the scavenging teams might run into victims of the Beta or Gamma strains of the virus.

Most of the world’s medical personnel died in the pandemic, trying to care for the victims of the virus. Which means medical treatment of any ailments within quarantine is going to be crudely administered field medicine attempted by poorly trained medics.

The military government isn’t going to want to waste supplies on people who might be dying anyway, so the detainees in quarantine will be on starvation rations for their three-month incarceration. This goes double for medical supplies. Drugs such as antibiotics will be at a premium, and again, the people in charge will be reluctant to use them on someone who might turn out to be infected.

Due to these scarcities, the military government is going to be heavy-handed in their application of euthanasia, particularly of people who have been exposed to the Bane virus. If one person within the quarantine pen turns out to be infected, all will be killed, regardless of whether or not they’re showing any symptoms yet. This means that if there are people who are immune (and there are, they’re just exceedingly rare) they’ll be euthanized before anyone has a chance to realize it.

Eventually corruption also becomes an issue. Being virtually untouchable is going to give the personnel within Cheyenne Mountain a great deal of freedom to skim from the top of the supply stores. If the guards and security officers policing the quarantine pens turn out to abuse their authority, the detainees will have almost no recourse, and it will be all too easy to falsely identify someone who is too vocal in their complaints as being infected and thus slated to be put down.

In short, following the first wave of the pandemic, it may turn out that the greatest danger humanity faces—is other humans.


Juggernaut_600x900blurbThey helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.


Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else.






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Leave a comment


  1. Ree Dee

     /  August 14, 2015

    The guest post describes the usual circle of frustration. Thank you for the post and the giveaway!


  2. Tiferet

     /  August 15, 2015

    I have to admit that Strain left a very deep impression on me after I first read it. I rec it to everyone but it is one of those books that induced quite a lot of anxiety in me along the way. Anyway, that means that I’ll probably wait for Bane to read them all together, I’m such a wimp 😀
    Thank you for all the worldbuilding descriptions and the books of course!
    (sikorska.anna at gmail)


  3. Hi there! I apologize for not commenting on this post sooner. My family life hit a few bumps in the road at the end of last week and we’re still recovering. But thank you so much to Cecile for having me along on my blog tour.

    Tiferet–I totally understand that choice. Luckily Bane is only a few more weeks away. I look forward to hearing how you like them!

    The contest has ended and the winners have been drawn. Congratulations to the people who won the early copy of Bane, and enjoy! See you next month for the Bane blog tour!



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