Author Archives: Charleighwrites

Flaca by Leslie DJ Book Blitz + Review.

Flaca banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Flaca by Leslie DJ. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 20 April till 3 May. See the tour schedule here.

FlacaFlaca: an honest account of a Latina with an eating disorder
By Leslie DJ
Genre: Non-fiction/ memoir
Release Date: 20 February 2020

Blurb:
After an intervention during the summer of 2018 Leslie finds herself in a treatment center for an eating disorder she was unaware she had. In her own words, Leslie DJ, author of That Girl and Luz digs deep into her own struggles and battle with anorexia and bipolar II disorder in a brave and sometimes comical account of her life.

You can find Flaca on Goodreads

You can buy Flaca here on Amazon


My thought on the book

In Flaca, the author talks about her journey with an eating disorder and bipolar disorder. Raw and honest are two words I’d use to describe this book. Leslie tells her story with unflinching honesty, highlighting her battle with mental illness. She also talks about her childhood and her obsession with pro-anorexia sites.
The book was easy to follow – even with the heavy subject matter. Nice, short journal-like entries that give readers an insight into what it’s like to suffer from an eating disorder. I appreciated the epilogue – how it showed that just because someone may have recovered, there is always the chance for relapse. I look forward to seeing what the author writes next.

Leslie DJAbout the Author:
Leslie DJ was born to write, photographs of her holding pen to paper can be found within the confines of this book. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School of New York and is an on-air talent at 94.3 FM WBMB Baruch College radio. She is the host of two podcasts including Sinister Girlz a female-centric music podcast that promotes local talents in music and could be found on Stitcher and Apple Podcast. She is a native New York and resides with her pet Chihuahua, Joey and precocious parrots Perry and Cocoa.

You can find and contact Leslie DJ here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

Giveaway
There is a tour-wide giveaway for the book blitz of Flaca. One winner will win a signed copy of both “That Girl” and “Luz” by Leslie DJ (US and Canada only).

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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The Fallout Blog Tour + Review.

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The Fallout by Rebecca Thornton. 

Publisher – HarperFiction.

Release date – 2nd April 2020. 

You can purchase this book on Amazon here. 

The Fallout Cover

Synopsis

At the school gates, there’s no such thing as yesterday’s news . . .

When Liza’s little boy has an accident at the local health club, it’s all anyone can talk about.

Was nobody watching him? Where was his mother? Who’s to blame?

The rumours, the finger-pointing, the whispers – they’re everywhere. And Liza’s best friend, Sarah, desperately needs it to stop.

Because Sarah was there when it happened. It was all her fault. And if she’s caught out on the lie, everything will fall apart.


My thought on the book3 star book review

The Fallout was different from what I was expecting, but it was still worth a read. It started off interesting and gripping, and I was excited to know what happened. The suspense was great at the beginning, however; the story dragged, and I felt it would have been better being shorter. 

I didn’t particularly like any of the characters. Although they felt believable, I struggled to connect with them. However, I presume that’s because their world is so far from mine, rather than it being a problem with the characters. 

Overall, this book had great potential but parts weren’t to my liking. It gripped me near the beginning but as the story went on; I become bored and my concentration waned. However, still, a great read for anyone who likes books filled with drama and secrets and I’d still like to check out other books by this author.


About the author              

Rebecca Thornton is an alumna of the Faber Academy Writing A Novel course, where she was tutored by Esther Freud and Tim Lott. Her writing has been published in The Guardian, You Magazine, Daily Mail, Prospect Magazine and The Sunday People amongst others. She has reported from the Middle East, Kosovo and the UK. She now lives in West London with her husband and two children. The Fallout is her third novel.

For more information, interviews and features, please contact Jennifer Harlow onjennifer.harlow@harpercollins.co.uk / @jenrharlow



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The Forever House Blog Tour + Review

The Forever House BT Poster -1

The Forever House by Tim Waggoner. 

Publisher – Flame Tree Press.

Release date – 26th March 2020.

You can purchase this book on Amazon here. 

The Forever House Cover

Synopsis

Bram Stoker Award-winner Tim Waggoner consistently delivers the goods when it comes to hard-hitting horror fiction, with compelling characters and dangerous horrors at every turn. This is Horror

In Rockridge, Ohio, a sinister family moves into a sleepy cul de sac. The Eldreds feed on the negative emotions of humans, creating nightmarish realms within their house to entrap their prey. Neighbors are lured into the Eldreds home and faced with challenges designed to heighten their darkest emotions so their inhuman captors can feed and feed well. If the humans are to have any hope of survival, they ll have to learn to overcome their prejudices and resentments toward one another and work together. But which will prove more deadly in the end, the Eldreds . . . or each other?


My thought on the book

The Forever House centres around a new family who move into a quiet neighbourhood. Little do their neighbours know that they are actually demons who feed on the negative emotions of humans, and they plan to lure them into their house to feed on them.

The human characters in this book all have very complex lives and things going on that the Eldred’s love to feed on. The tension was spot on during this book and it was hard to put down once I got into it. It took me a while to become interested, but once I did, I couldn’t stop reading.

This was such a unique horror story. It was creepy, gory, and mind-bending. There were some scenes in this book that were hard to read in terms of their content, so I don’t recommend this for the faint of heart.


About the author

Tim Waggoner’s first novel came out in 2001, and since then he’s published over forty novels and five collections of short stories. He writes original dark fantasy and horror, as well as media tie-ins. His novels include Like Death, considered a modern classic in the genre, and the popular

Nekropolis series of urban fantasy novels. He’s written tie-in fiction for Supernatural, Grimm, the X-Files, Doctor Who, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Alien, and Transformers, among others, and he’s written novelizations for films such as Kingsman: the Golden Circle and Resident Evil: the Final Chapter. His articles on writing have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Journal, Writer’s Workshop of Horror, and Where Nightmares Come From.

In 2017 he received the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction, and he’s been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Scribe Award. His fiction has received numerous Honorable Mentions in volumes of Best Horror of the Year, and in 2016, the Horror Writers Association honored him with the Mentor of the Year Award. In addition to writing, he’s also a full-time tenured professor who teaches creative writing and composition at Sinclair College.

 


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Tales Of Unexplained Mystery Blog Tour + Book Review

Tales of Unexplained Mystery BT Poster -1

Tales of Unexplained Mystery by Steph Young.

Paperback: 247 pages

Publisher: Independently published (2 Dec. 2019)

Publication Date: 2nd December 2019.

Language: English

ISBN-10:1670675947

ISBN-13:978-1670675941

You can purchase this book on Amazon here. 

Tales of Unexplained Mystery Front Cover

Synopsis

Tales of Mystery Unexplained….What happened to Elisa Lam, found dead in a water tower atop a hotel roof? Who were the two men who came to see her & what was in the mystery box they gave her? Why did the location of her gravestone match the zip code of a Bookstore, miles away?

Why was a man found in the same spot he disappeared, but 4 years later, with a hole in his head that no surgeons could explain? And what did this have to do with a séance, doppelgangers & the assassination of Abraham Lincoln? Why did a man write the Fibonacci sequence as a clue & tell a stranger he was “Looking for the Beast,” before he disappeared in the barren plains of a desert? Plus many more Tales of Mystery Unexplained.

Steph Young has appeared on national radio shows & podcasts including the UK’s The Unexplained, and Coast to Coast Am, talking about many of these mysteries.

You can also hear some of these Unexplained Mysteries on her podcast on iTunes ‘Tales of Mystery Unexplained.’


My thought on the book

I’ve always been a fan of strange, unexplained mysteries and so this book didn’t disappoint me. Some of these tales I’d heard of but most I hadn’t. There was a couple I wasn’t a fan of but most of the stories gave me food for thought and got my brain working.

I was worried I would become irritated with this book because of my need to know how things work and how they end. However, that didn’t happen and instead, I found myself interested and attempting to put the clues together to try and figure out what happened.

The authors writing style was engaging and kept me reading. Some of the information was repetitive but I only found that a small problem. You could tell the author had done her research, allowing us to follow deeply thought out and well put together cases.

The only thing I didn’t like was some of the stories dragged on. A couple were only a few pages, whilst others seemed to go on forever. This is my own opinion though and it might not bother other people.

I will be checking out Steph Young’s other books as this book piqued my interest, and I’m excited to delve more into unexplained mysteries.


About the Author.

Steph Young Author Picture

Steph Young has been a guest on National Radio shows including ‘Coast to Coast AM,’ as well as many more…

Steph’s Podcast on iTunes; “Tales of Mystery Unexplained” discussing Creepy Mysteries of the Unexplained.

Website: Stephyoungauthor.com

Twitter @StephYoungAuth

Instagram @authorstephyoung

 


 

The Diseased Ones Blog Tour + Book Review.

The Diseased Ones
Danielle Harrington
(The Hollis Timewire Series, #1)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: February 8th 2020
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

On the morning of her 16th birthday, Hollis Timewire receives the worst possible news. She can’t become a citizen of the world. She’s a Diseased One.

Born with a biomarker that bestows dangerous, brain-altering powers, Hollis is forced to hide underground with other Diseased Ones, who believe that the government falsified history to cover up their genocide.

Now Hollis must discover the truth, and is willing to risk anything, including her powers, to go back home.

Goodreads / Amazon


My thought on the bookHollis’s world seemed terrifying – the way the government have so much control over people’s minds. I couldn’t imagine living in a world where I was supposed to suppress every emotion.

I loved Hollis as a character – tough, spirited, but also had this sense of vulnerability. It was so interesting to watch her finding her feet, so beautiful to see her go from a brainwashed, emotionless robot to flourishing into herself. I admired her quality of searching for the truth, of being brave enough to seek out answers even after everything she was taught to believe.

The relationships and friendships that developed over the book made this story shine. The way that none of them gave up on her, even when she was still convinced the government were the good guys. I loved Jonah – an incredible teacher and the drive of never giving up on anyone. Keith – who I wished we got to read more about, and hopefully we’ll get to see more of him in the following books. Tiffany – who was such a little sweetheart. I didn’t like Ashton – he struck me as a big bully and was horrible to pretty much everyone, but I got the impression he wasn’t supposed to be likeable!

The writing was incredible. Engaging, unique and I could feel the author’s voice coming through. It kept me reading right until the very end and I couldn’t stop.

I’m excited to see where this series goes. The author is so talented and has such a gift for storytelling. There’s a cliffhanger of an ending and I’m desperate to know how this story continues as I have so many burning questions.


Author Bio:

Danielle Harrington is a high school chemistry teacher with a passion for the pen and a knack for storytelling. She got her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Biola University, and although she’s a hardcore science nerd, she’s always been a lover of the arts.

She grew up acting and singing and has turned her love for drama into writing. Danielle lives vicariously through her characters and considers it great fun because she “gets to play all the parts”.

Danielle lives in LA with her husband, Steven, and her two cats, Moose and Turtle. She is working on a four book young adult dystopian fiction series, and she’s beyond thrilled to be launching her debut novel, THE DISEASED ONES, through Acorn Publishing.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

GIVEAWAY!

Also, here is a tour-wide giveaway (US only) for 2 winners to win a paperback copy of the book along with bookmarks and stickers. You can enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway.


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You Too? Blog Tour + Book Review

You Too bannerThis is my stop during the blog tour for You Too? by Janet Gurtler. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 6 till 24 January. See the tour schedule here.

You Too?

Edited by Janet Gurtler.

Genre: Non-fiction.

Age category: Young Adult, New Adult

Release Date: January 7, 2020

You Too

Blurb: A timely and heartfelt collection of essays inspired by the #MeToo movement, edited by acclaimed young adult and middle-grade author Janet Gurtler. Featuring Beth Revis, Mackenzi Lee, Ellen Hopkins, Saundra Mitchell, Jennifer Brown, Cheryl Rainfield and many more.When #MeToo went viral, Janet Gurtler was among the millions of people who began to reflect on her past experiences. Things she had reluctantly accepted—male classmates groping her at recess, harassment at work—came back to her in startling clarity. She needed teens to know what she had not: that no young person should be subject to sexual assault, or made to feel unsafe, less than or degraded.You Too? was born out of that need. By turns thoughtful and explosive, these personal stories encompass a wide range of experiences and will resonate with every reader who has wondered, “Why is this happening to me?” or secretly felt that their own mistreatment or abuse is somehow their fault—it’s not. Candid and empowering, You Too? is written for teens, but also an essential resource for the adults in their lives—an urgent, compassionate call to listen and create change.

You can find You Too? on Goodreads.

You can buy You Too? here:- Amazon ebookAmazon hardcopyBarnes & NobleKoboIndieboundIndigo.


My thought on the book

“But we need to keep talking about the hard stuff. And we need to listen. We need to hear from survivors. We need to work toward making this world a place where other people will be able to say with confidence “NOT ME”. It never happened to me.”

This book is important – so, so important. It highlights issues you don’t want to think about, including – sexual assault, abuse, and harassment. Although, this book is aimed at teenagers, I think adults can also learn a lot from this book. It doesn’t brush anything under the carpet – in fact it bravely fought for attention, letting everyone know that this isn’t ok. It covers the challenges we face in today’s (and in past) societies. It shows how harassment and ‘harmless fun’ is anything but and needs to be shouted about from the rooftops, to let everyone know that it shouldn’t be happening. I think this book will make people who’ve experienced these issues feel heard and less alone. And just because someone may not be physically harmed, it can still live with them for a long time. I also think it will make teens aware that their actions have consequences, and can still damage someone for many years after the original event.

It was painful, but also empowering and inspiring. Everyone who contributed to this book is amazing and brave. The raw honesty in which they told their stories was something I cannot describe.

The beauty of sharing, of people coming together to share their experiences – their raw, personal and painful experiences were inspiring, and I think it will help people who’ve been through these things.

Although aimed at teens, I would recommend this to everyone who has the chance to read it. I have never read a book like it and I hope that it will be read for many years to come.


About the author

Janet Gurtler is a Rita finalist whose young adult books have been chosen for the JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION and as BEST BOOKS FOR TEENS from the Canadian Children’s Book Center. Janet lives in Calgary Alberta, Canada with her husband, son, a chubby black Chihuahua named Bruce and a Golden Retriever named Betty White.

You can find and contact Janet Gurtler here:- WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsAmazon

ARC Book Review | Little White Lies by Philippa East.

little white lies

little white lies book cover

Title – Little White Lies.

Author – Philippa East.

Expected date published – 4th February 2020.

Publisher – HQ.

Series status – Standalone.

Add to Goodreads. 


Synopsis

She only looked away for a second…

Anne White only looked away for a second, but that’s all it took to lose sight of her young daughter.

But seven years later, Abigail is found.

And as Anne struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, she begins to question how much Abigail remembers about the day she disappeared…


My thought on the book

*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book*

An intense web of secrets, a mysterious lie hanging over them. Little White Lies was a riveting read showing how complex trauma is, and how it destroys not only the victim but also their families.

The two different perspectives worked well and the voices were distinct. I found Jess naive and somewhat childlike and I felt sorry for her. I didn’t connect well with Anne but only because I knew she was hiding something and I couldn’t trust her.

It was intriguing to see what could happen when a missing child is returned after so many years. How it can tear families apart and change not only the kidnapped child but also the ones closest to them.

I quickly realised that all was not as it seemed and some of the characters were hiding things. Anne’s reaction to her daughter coming home was somewhat strange and angered me at points. I couldn’t understand why she reacted the way she did, however, it all becomes clear at the end.

Overall, this book was riveting, exciting and kept me engaged. I had so many questions and I couldn’t stop reading because I needed to know the whole truth. A great debut novel and I’m so excited for the author’s future books!


Have you read Little White Lies? If so, what did you think?

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2019 Goal Wrap Up and New Goals For 2020

goals 2020

I love setting goals and looking back on them at the end of the year. Whenever I set goals I keep them small, or if they’re bigger ones I break them down into manageable chunks. The last thing you need is to set goals that overwhelm you and you don’t end up achieving them. In today’s post, I’m going to be looking back at my 2019 goals to see if I achieved them, and also set some new ones for 2020.


2019 Goal Update.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

This didn’t exactly go to plan. I started off well but it went downhill pretty fast. I did give a rating to every book I read so that’s at least something. I will be trying this one again because I really do want to make the effort.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

Again, I didn’t achieve this. Due to personal reasons, I took a very long break from blogging. I’m still planning on going self-hosted, I’m just not sure when.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

I achieved this! I am currently at 52 and I’ll definitely be adding more to that total before the year is out.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

I have been trying so hard to engage with more writers on Twitter and I think I’ve done pretty well overall. I’m a massive introvert and I have anxiety so it’s really hard for me to engage consistently. Sometimes I can’t face even opening my notifications, however, overall, I think I’ve done okay with this one.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

I achieved this! I haven’t started editing yet as I want to let it sit for a while before I go back to it. I made the mistake of not outlining it very well (pantsing doesn’t work well for me), so I need to have a long think about what direction I want the story to go in.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

I’ve actually nearly finished this draft which I’m so proud of. I’m hoping to get it done by the end of the year. Fingers crossed!

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

I’ll admit, I did not write one short story this year, in fact, I didn’t even try. For some reason, short stories intimidate me. I’m so used to writing longer novels so I find them challenging. Hopefully, in the new year, I can get past that and get writing some.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

Nope, didn’t achieve this one either, unless you count the Goodreads challenge which I did achieve.


Overall, there are many goals I didn’t achieve. However, the most important one was to finish the first draft of The Mariah Kingdom (this is actually the first draft I’ve ever completed). And to also have nearly completed Project Enigma too is a huge achievement for me. I spent so long letting my perfectionism and fear of failure stop me from finishing projects, so to have gotten past that in my writing is massive for me.


2020 goals.

bullet journal

  • Read 60 books.
  • Start editing Project Enigma.
  • Begin the first draft of The Brentbrook Girls (YA Mystery Thriller).
  • Put together my first poetry collection.
  • Submit more poems to literacy journals/magazines etc.
  • Blog consistently.
  • Review every book I read.

What are your goals for 2020?

2020 goals Pinterest

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10 Ideas On How To Give Back This Christmas

10 Ideas On How To Give Back This Christmas

In the midst of all the celebrations and stresses, it can be easy to forget about the wider community. If you’re wanting to help out, it can be hard to know what you can do, so today’s post is focused on giving you some ideas. Not all of these things cost money, as I know not everyone is in a financial position where that’s possible. Some are cheap or free ideas you can give back to the community.


Donate to a cause close to your heart.

10 Ideas On How To Give Back This Christmas | Charleigh Writes

Is there a cause near to your heart? Perhaps you have personal experience of mental illness or a loved one who suffers/suffered from cancer. Donating a small (or larger amount) is an easy way to give back. Most donations can be done online and you can give as little or as much as you want.


Volunteer in a soup kitchen.

soup kitchen

Are there any churches or community centres near you that are hosting Christmas dinner? If you have time, volunteering is a way to give back that doesn’t cost any money. So many people use these resources over the festive period and I’m sure they’d be grateful to see a friendly face on what might be a very lonely day for them.


Give out care packages to the homeless.

homeless

Plenty of places organise giving out packs to the homeless. If you don’t have the time to go out yourself, you can also donate items (such as toiletries, blankets etc). For more information, you can visit this site here. 


Donate to a food bank.

10 Ideas On How To Give Back This Christmas | Charleigh Writes

One thing we try to do every year is clear out our cupboards and donate any food we don’t want to a food bank. In the past, I’ve had to use one and I will be forever grateful for the work they do. If you have the funds there are also often food bank donation points in supermarkets.


Donate presents to children.

tree presents

Often, donation stories popping up in the run-up to Christmas. I know our town did one this year where they collected together toys and gifts for children in need. They the donated them so they at least have something to open on Christmas morning. For more information, The Salvation Army is a great place to start.


Keep the smaller, cheaper gifts from Santa.

santa workshop

This is something so simple but can have a huge impact. Instead of having the more expensive gifts from Santa have him bring a smaller, cheaper gift instead. Hopefully, it could be your child that might make another less fortunate child feel less alone.


Buy charity Christmas cards.

christmas cards with polar bear and northern lights with gold tinsel

Every year when I buy a pack of Christmas cards I try to buy a pack where some of the profits go to charity. It’s a small way to give back and something you’ll probably do anyway.


Shop with small businesses.

happy pills, little jar of courage with hanging decorations 'you matter' and 'hope'

This is another easy way to give back. I always try to buy my stocking fillers from sellers on Etsy. Also, if there are any independent shops where you live it’s worth looking in them too. The items are normally good quality and you’d be supporting a small business.


Thank the emergency services.

police car

Whilst people are enjoying their Christmas Day, many people who work in emergency services will be keeping us safe and healthy this Christmas. Just a simple thank you is a free way to give back. You can also drop in cards or chocolate if you want to go that extra step.


Visit a lonely neighbour.

Elderly man's hands resting on a walking stick

So many people will be spending Christmas alone and just popping in on someone can make all the difference. If you’d like more ideas on how to help someone who’s lonely you can check out my post here.


What other ways could someone give back this Christmas?

pintrest

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20 Post-Apocalyptic Prompts to Inspire You Next Novel

post apocalyptic prompts

I’m back today with more writing prompts! This time I’m giving you some post-apocalyptic prompts. If you would like to check out my other writing prompt posts I will leave the links down below –


apocalypse

1. The electric goes out and everyone’s disappeared.

2. Write a story from the perspective of a zombie.

3. You were born the year the apocalypse happens. Tell your story.

4. You need food so you break into an abandoned supermarket. That’s when you hear the music box start playing and you realise you aren’t alone.

5. You’re the leader of the baddest, most ruthless gang in the wasteland. Write about what happens when someone threatens your leadership.

apocalypse

6. A character uses the apocalypse to forge a new identity and start a new life. Why?

7. The unthinkable happens and now you’re stuck in your dad’s bunker.

8. Multiple volcanoes erupt at the same time, destroying much of the world. You only survive because you were playing up in the mountains with your friends. What happens next?

9. Your family have been ready for months. Except when the bombs finally arrive you’re trapped inside the bunker and your dad is nowhere to be found.

10. You thought you were alone in this new world until you meet up with an escaped convict.

apocalypse

11. A strange howling is heard across the world then everything erupts into chaos.

12. The oceans rise and the world is flooded. How do you survive?

13. You’ve always hated Friday the 13th. That’s why you weren’t surprised when the apocalypse happened on that very day.

14. You’ve spent the last 2 years in your bunker and now it’s time to resurface. Write about what you find.

15. The only reason you survived the apocalypse is because you agreed to go into a special bunker to be experimented on. Now, a group of you have decided to break out. Write about what happens.

apocalypse

16. You are searching for supplies when you find a 10-year-old girl huddled in a supermarket. You decide to take her with you.

17. How you would you celebrate Christmas in the wasteland?

18. You agreed to be cryogenically frozen whilst the apocalypse took place. What everyone thought would happen, turned out to be wrong. Everything is so much worse.

19. A riot breaks out in your bunker and the only way to get away from it is to leave the safety of the underground, but you don’t know what’s out there.

20. A spat of dangerous weather breaks out all over the world. Hundreds of thousands of people die. You are left to take care of your 2 small siblings. What happens?


Let me know if you use any of these prompts, I’d love to see what you come up with. 

post apocalyptic prompts

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