Spring 2014 Book Festival: Fury of the Fifth Angel

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Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the current Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 Book Festival.  Chris Hoffman, half of the father and son author team of the disaster thriller, Fury of the Fifth Angel, is joining us for an interview plus a book giveaway.

Between the two of them, Chris and Pat have sixty-five combined years working for electric and gas utility organizations. Their book is a natural disaster story about what else?  An EMP and the woes of the electric power grid.  Of course it is a lot more than that as the storyline focuses on both the  the very real possibility of the book scenario and the human survival aspect of the characters.

Fury of the Fifth Angel

Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

An Interview with Chris Hoffman

Tell me about your book, Fury of the Fifth Angel. What is it about?

Our book Fury of the Fifth Angel is a very realistic natural disaster story that uses informative facts from the world of astronomy, the energy industry, and the operations of electric power grid.

The book’s storyline is unlike a terrorist attack or a hurricane that would limit damage to an isolated area(s). This natural disaster has wide spread effects, and as such there is a much larger element of political decision making involved at the highest levels.

What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

My Dad and I are both considered subject matter experts when it comes to the electric power grid, so that part of the story came very easy to us. What we had to learn a great deal about was astronomy.

We reached out to several experts for advice; Dr. Caroline Smith from the Natural Museum of History in London was a great source for advice, as well as Dr. Edward Rhoades here in the United States. A trip out to the Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado was done decades ago by father, and much of the research for the Colorado area was done in that trip.

Everything else in the book from the religious aspect of the character Reverend Randy was researched to some degree by getting quotes from the bible. I prefer not to elaborate as to which one of us did the romantic research; those conversations with my Dad are awkward enough I don’t want to revisit them :).

How long did it take to write?

Believe it or not, about 25 years.  Let me explain.

My Dad started the project about 25 years ago, and never finished it. Some personal events like a stroke several years ago, made him reflect on things he wanted to accomplish before, well you know, before the end comes. He realized he wanted to fulfill his lifelong dream of being published. So he brought his 25 year old project a bit more than half finished out to me when he came for a visit.

I remember him standing in the driveway holding a small cardboard box filled with floppy disks, yes, floppy disks. He handed me the box and told me “see what you can do with this.” I laughed and told him whatever it was, it was gone. He told me to try and find someone to convert it to modern day flash drive and word processor.

I found someone a week later, and then discovered what he had written was very good. So I updated what he did with modern technology and wrote the rest of the novel with his advice and guidance along the way. It took about two years from the time he stood in my driveway until it was released. I sent him the first copy in the mail without him knowing, and he said when he received it, he and my mom cried for 45 minutes, knowing he had finally fulfilled his dream.

Gaye’s note:  I love stories like this!

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading Fury of the Fifth Angel?

We hope that the realistic fact-filled scenario in the book triggers people to think a bit more for preparation of the unknown. It is not just terrorism, earthquakes, or other natural disasters that can cause us as a society to be completely unprepared.

It can easily, believe it or not, be the result of correct political decisions to prepare for “something” combined with the fact that the failure of equipment and/or the element of human error can cause cascading events of mammoth proportions.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I am happily married for 22 years with 4 GREAT kids. I enjoy tennis, golf, and the great outdoors. My Dad is 76 years old, fully recovered from his stroke. He has been married for 56 years to my Mom. They both live in the Catskills of NY in the summer and Central Florida in the winter. Dad enjoys gardening, and chatting with his buddies in the trailer park.

As an author in the survival, prepping and/or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?

To be honest, my Dad and I are both lacking in the prepping category. Our knowledge of the electric power grid does cause us to prepare for extended outages from ice storms or other scenarios that would cause extended power outages. We could survive easily for a week without electricity. But beyond that, we are both embarrassed to tell you, we have not done more.

Do you have plans for another book?

Yes. We are taking a small break for now. I have a lot going on with my kids that prevents me from committing more time to the book project. But with that said, we are working on an outline to continue the story.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

My Dad and I are both honored and very grateful to be included in your Backdoor Survival Book Festival. We both think it is such a unique and fantastic idea that it is deserving to someday get some very big media attention.

The Book Giveaway

A copy of Fury of the Fifth Angel has been reserved for one lucky reader.  Today’s giveaway question is this:

How many days do you feel you could live comfortable without power?

To enter the giveaway, you need to answer this question by responding in the comments area at the end of this article. The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Thursday with the winner notified by email and announced in the Sunday Survival Buzz.  You will have 48 hours to claim the winning book.

Note: If you are reading this article in your email client, you must go to the Backdoor Survival website to enter this giveaway in the comments area at the bottom of the article.

The Final Word

When I first read the headline on the press release for this book I thought, humm, sounds like the subject for one of those low-budget disaster movies you see on TV these days.

“Nights skies reveal something is on its way that could affect the entire world, but nobody is talking about it.”

I quickly learned, however, that this was not your run-of-the-mill doomsday story. Not even close. I will not spoil things for you but will quote a review who said it was “An astonishing natural disaster story you simply can’t stop reading!”

I hope you will enter the giveaway to win your own copy of this Chris and Pat’s book!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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Spotlight Item:  Fury of the Fifth Angel

The president of the United States faces some extremely difficult decisions at the White House regarding the threat of a severe meteorite storm bombarding the earth. The information must be taken seriously, as it was confirmed by Ben Cohen, one of the most respected astronomers the world has ever known. To make the president and his Cabinet’s matters worse, the popular Reverend Randall P. Davis from Wheeling, West Virginia, follows his own heart simply because the reverend has always reported to a higher authority than President Jameson Coleridge.

In upstate New York, John Halloran, an electric power grid control operator knows something is going on; however, it takes some time for him to put all of the pieces together with his new “friend,” Devon Grant, from the office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Boulder, Colorado. John knows of the threats of electromagnetic pulses to the power grid, but he is sure this is not one. Whatever is happening is different, very different-this seems more real to him than the fictional EMP disaster novels he has read. All of John’s training, experience, and gut instincts send him the signals that something is wrong, but nobody is talking.

Bargain Bin:  Today is all about books.  Listed below are all of the books in the current Backdoor Survival Book Festival. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone.

If you covet an e-Book reader, consider the Kindle.  Prices start at $119 although a basic kindle is only $69.  And if not, at the very least pick up the free Kindle app so that you can read Kindle books on your PC or favorite electronic device.

Spring 2014 Book Festival #5 – Fiction
Brushfire Plague: Reckoning
Through Many Fires: Strengthen What Remains
Flight of the Bowyer
The Jakarta Pandemic
The Perseid Collapse
Leaving The Trees
Fury of the Fifth Angel
Fugitives from Northwoods
Phoenix Island: A Tale of Disaster, Survival, and Rebirth

Spring 2014 Book Festival #5 – Non-Fiction
The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness: Life-Saving Skills, Supplies, Tactics and Plans
Simply Canning: Survival Guide to Safe Home Canning
The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster
The Prepper’s Cookbook: 365 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals
Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure: A Prepper’s Book for Kids
The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months

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No list of books would be complete without my own e-book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.

The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage is a book about food: What to store, how to store it and best practices. It is a roadmap for showing ordinary citizens that long-term food storage is not something that will overwhelm or burden the family budget.   It is based on my own tried and true experience as someone who has learned to live the preparedness lifestyle by approaching emergency preparedness and planning in a systematic, step-by-step manner.

Whether you simply want to prepare for natural disasters or whether you believe the world is headed toward a major food crisis, this book is for you. It covers basic tips and techniques you can use to stock your food storage pantry so that you can be assured that your family will have food to eat, no matter what.




Comments

Spring 2014 Book Festival: Fury of the Fifth Angel — 72 Comments

  1. I have lived for a week without power and unable to get to town due to ice conditions. I think I could comfortably go for a month or a bit more without power. Of course, it’s always nice when power comes back on, but at the same time it’s a bit disappointing.

  2. I guess I have an unfair advantage here–I once lived in a backwoods cabin for six months with neither electricity or running water, so I feel I could live quite comfortably without them for at least 180 days.

  3. I found out in 2012 that if the temperature hovered above 90 I could stand it about three days without discomfort. The seven days we were without power was approaching the limit. Had temps been in the seventies, we were prepared to go for several weeks. There are too many variables to make a solid prediction.

  4. Comfortably is the operative word here of course. Without what I call major prepper planning with generator and stored fuel…comfortably wouldn’t happen for me…but I have not advanced to that point in my new prepping skills and planning

  5. We were without power for 5 days due to an ice storm and we got through that fairly easily. But that was maintaining a fairly normal day to day life of going to work and such. So I guess it would depend on the surrounding circumstances. If it is a situation like that, where it is just a select few people in an area without power and we are still expected to go to work everyday because the rest of the world is basically unaffected. Then I guess I would have to say a month maybe.

    But if it all hits the fan, and an EMP, or hackers or what ever, happens to take out the power grid and the whole country is effected. That makes for a different situation and instead of it being just a matter of inconvenience, it is now a situation of survival. The fact that I am without electricity will not be my biggest concern then. Surviving the breakdown of society, lack of food and clean water will rank a lot higher on the list then the lack of electricity. In that situation, I would hope it would be as long as it takes to get through it.

  6. How many days do you feel you could live comfortable without power? Is a great question. It would all depend on the time of year the power went out. In the spring and fall my family could live comfortably for a long time. The summer would be tolerable, though the high humidity and temperature in our region of the country would take it’s tool. Winter would be a different story altogether. With out heat, hot water, very low our door temperatures, and early sun sets, (around 5pm), would make life challenging to say the least. The loss of electrical power for an extended period of time would change our way of life over night. We would all instantly be transformed to the same living conditions of the 1800’s.

  7. How many days do you feel you could live comfortable without power? Is a great question. It would all depend on the time of year the power went out. In the spring and fall my family could live comfortably for a long time. The summer would be tolerable, though the high humidity and temperature in our region of the country would take it’s tool. Winter would be a different story altogether. With out heat, hot water, very low our door temperatures, and early sun sets, (around 5pm), would make life challenging to say the least. The loss of electrical power for an extended period of time would change our way of life over night.

  8. We could probably live comfortably for a few days. We could live indefinitely without power, but not so comfortably.

  9. To the end of my natural life span. I don’t feel that I need electricity to survive. It makes life A LOT easier, but do I really need it to survive?

  10. Comfortably??? How about until bed time. I sleep with a C-PAP machine. I need power. I would have to go out and get the battery out of the tractor, hook it up to my converter, and take it into the bedroom. I have solar panels to keep the battery charged, but I will be out of my comfort zone.

  11. I have enough water at a min 1 gallon per person per day for 48 days, 100 gallons of that water I’d have to boil though ( I keep my 2 rain barrels full with the hose). I also have enough food as well, but as being ” comfortable?” I wouldn’t b comfortable not being able to bathe & wash my hair regularly. I’d probably be comfortable for a few days, it all relates to water. And of course access to clean water boils down to electricity!

  12. Comfortably? A day…within the realm of liveable – depends on the climate. I hope I could do 3-4 weeks, but I’m realistic – the suck would start to kick in and I’d likely not be happy (alive – yes – but the question was comfortable:)…spring and fall, I’d be comfortable much longer:)…

  13. There are 4 adults and 3 children in our household. We have stored water and barrels that we could set up to catch rainwater. We’re on a septic system, so we can continue to flush. We have some ‘normal’ canned food stored, and some #10 cans of dehydrated and freeze-dried food. Since it’s June and we wouldn’t really have to worry about heat, we could probably last the summer in relative comfort.

  14. Comfortably? We could live without electricity for 6 months or more with the storage we have on hand. However, we are attached to the comforts offered by electrical power and probably wouldn’t be as comfortable as we’d like.

  15. The Lord has had me preparing to live “off-grid” for 30+ years. It wouldn’t be “comfortable” according to current day life styles. WHO wants to go there?! But. If I had to, I could. It wouldn’t be easy, but I could do it.

  16. There is no comfort in AZ in summer without electricity and air conditioning. We can live uncomfortably indefinitely.

  17. I feel like “comfortably” is a relative term. I think we are pretty much prepared though for a couple weeks or so.

  18. How long would I be Comfortable without electricity? None. Starting the moment I realize the electricity is off for good, I would not be comfortable again.

  19. When I lived in Africa that power would go out for days at a time. We had no problem living, so I think I would be able to survive for several months without electricity. However if you cut the water that would be a different story.

  20. In late spring through early fall, indefinitely. The climate is moderate, I have enough food, I could cook outside and I have portable solar lighting. From late fall through early spring, it would be a lot less comfortable as temps drop and stay in the 20;s & 30’s and there’s shorter periods of sun for recharging. But I could do 2 weeks using the ‘camp indoors’ method.

  21. I think we could last several months. But it would be hard on my in-laws without the air conditioning.

  22. I have what is needed to live with out power but I wouldn’t say that I would be comfortable for more than a day or so.

  23. I could live “comfortably” for a couple of days and uncomfortably for a long time. I do love the comforts having power brings, and I would be one happy lady if it was restored!

  24. I’m so glad to have read other comments that say they wouldn’t be comfortable after a few days, but they could live on uncomfortably as long as it took for the power to be restored. I think I would answer the same. For the first few days (maybe a week?) it would be a fun adventure. After that, then it moves on to surviving. 🙂 I also agree with the statement that spring and fall would be much more comfortable than summer or winter!

  25. In summer in South Central Texas, comfortably about 3 days. But to survive in any season, indefinitely.

  26. I believe that we could live comfortably forever. I say this because no matter the temps in summer we don’t have air conditioning, so losing it is no problem. We have plenty of blankets and heavy clothes so even in the cold of winter I believe we would be comfortable. Comfort to me is not how warm or cold I am. Comfort would be that my family was safe and with me no matter what.
    As long as my family was near I would be able to live in absolute comfort.

  27. If in my more northern rural location, at least a month. Here in this southern neighborhood, too close to a major city, 24 hours!

  28. I’ve gone two weeks while on a hunting trip but to include my wife in the mix we could probably only go about a month before she went nuts. I like to think I could go longer. I almost forgot. I worked in a fire tower one summer with only propane lights and stove for three weeks. I loved it. But then I was much younger and really enjoyed being in the boonies. I loved that the Forest Service paid me to run around in the woods. Great summer job.

  29. I was visiting my son when an ice storm took out the power for a week. He did not have any preps per say but did have wood for his fireplace and propane for his grill. Our biggest problem was boredom. It was dark by about 4pm and the candles we had didn’t give enough light to read by. Now I would be fine as long as the charge on my ebook lasts lol.

  30. Lets see. No power so no running water. Which means no toilets or showers. Sanitation is sketchy. Disease may begin soon. In a suburb I think it would get uncomfortable fast. Lights and electronics I can do without. No running water or sewer facilities are another matter.

  31. Right now, since it’s summer, I would say 2 weeks comfortably. If it was any other time of the year we could hold out at least a month. We are working towards building a solar system that would allow us to go without power for an indefinate period of time. My concern during any power outage would be for the elderly & those who need to run medical equipment to be able to survive.

  32. It depends on the time of the year, but living “comfortably” (by society’s standards) we could do probably 3-4 weeks, but indefinitely with some changes and adapting (electricity isn’t needed to live)

  33. I have gone for 4 hours without power and we did quite well. Although we really don’t need electricity anyway, as our ancestors didn’t have it. I would just use candle and hand operated devices.

    So to answer the question… I could live indefinitely without power and be comfortable as we really don’t need it.

    You would have to work harder making items by hand but you would get some exercise… 😀

  34. My family could go without power right now for about 1 week. I am new to the planning and just getting started. I would love to say that we do not need power period, but there are lots of things that I have to change and get ready in order to be at that point.

  35. About a year. Really who would be comfortable? You would just have to endure. As with most things, absence proves you can live without it. Since I sort of live electricity, I hope this luxury never leaves us for long!

  36. Comfortable. That’s the key word. My husband, our 18 mo. old and I were without power for about a 7-10 days after Hurricane Hugo in 1978. We managed in hot and humid condition. So, to me, physical comfort depends upon location and weather conditions. The mental comfort, of course, depends upon the person involved and their personality. I’m the “make do” or “this is what you have to do” sort of person…..so, 2 weeks for comfort and the rest is plowing onward.

  37. That would depend on the time of year. Possibly three months in the summer but not more than a week in the winter. Lack of heat would be the determining factor.

  38. I’m a small-time prepped married to a non-prepper – makes it difficult to prep for the unexpected. I could probably last a month or so without electricity, though I may be a bit optimistic. I’d do better in warm weather, but winter would reduce my estimate.

  39. Without electricity…..untill all the meat in the freezer thawed. We have gas that I can light with a match, we would be able to cook. I have not enough water, sooo maybe a week or two. If the gas was no more then we would be hurting.

  40. We could survive a long time. We have an RV with a generator and propane. I live in Alaska and our home although big is easy to section off. We have a fireplace in the front room and one in the adjoining den. We have gas stove, oven, and dryer. We have all non electric camping gear as well as 2 BBQs and a smoker. We have two freezers full of food in addition to our food supply. One could be run on the generator and the other is all fish that could be smoked or canned in a day or two if it is summer. In the winter coolers or predator safe containers can be stored outside. We have lots of winter gear and no need for heat or air conditioning in the fall. The RV contains a toilet that can be dumped in a deep hole if necessary and at several dump sites within 2 miles if available. I am sure there is that Black Swan that could trip us up, but we try to make family members aware of simple living methods and pleasures. (Cards, board games, reading, various puzzles-jigsaw, crossword, sudoku, etc)

  41. Oh my, we have been there and done that. If the power goes out in the hot steamy months of Houston, two days can be really bad. In the cooler months, your endurance will be much higher. So I am going to say by the third day, I will head to a cooler place if my preps do work in hot weather. The noise of our generator drives me nuts. We have yet to muffle it. Also, though the generator works, it does not run our air conditioner, only our fans. In cooler temps, 7 days could be comfortable with my preps, although it would not be fun.

  42. My household could survive without electricity for a long time spring thru summer. Winter months will require more firewood which we a working on obtaining. Plenty of card games, board games, puzzle books and regular books for reading will help pass the time. Have multiple ways of cooking outdoors just need the HERC Tea light oven for indoor cooking. As money permits we are finding ways to obtain items to try and help with surviving loss of electricity short and long term. All you can do is the best you can.

  43. It has been said already, but surviving comfortably would depend on the season. During the spring and fall, we could be comfortable for at least a month. Not quite so comfortably during the summer and the winter … comfort would end about the time you’d crawl out of a blanket-laden bed.

  44. Depending on the time of year, “comfortable” is the key. Spring, summer and fall, not a problem. Winter in Ohio is cold! But, you do what you have got to do, I would adapt and the meaning of comfortable would change. I have lots of winter clothes and blankets, and a way to cook. Sanitation could be a problem.

  45. I believe that 2-3 months is feasible with good weather. Winter season, with low temperatures like we had this year, would be much harder and significantly shorter.

  46. Water is the critical issue. We are on county water but a neighbor has a well so we could avoid a hike to the creek. At present I don’t have sufficient purification products for long-term. There are a lot of skills lacking that are absolutely necessary for the long haul. I need to get cracking. Two weeks in and I’d be hurting. Could survive but sure wouldn’t like it.

  47. Comfortable is the key word – we have no water without electricity so I am not comfortable when the power goes off but we can survive if the weather is not cold.

    Thank you very much for these contests & the authors who give away the books!

  48. I could survive ~10 days with my family, but largely dependent on weather conditions.
    Fury of the Fifth Angel got reviewed on SurvivalBlog.com as well. This book is getting a lot of press.

  49. My husband and I would say a week or two comfortably without power but my kids would say a day or two. Uncomfortably, we could go without power as long as we needed to.

  50. I believe we could “make do” as long as we need to because of the skills I have and the way I was raised and the wealth of info. I have collected in book form over the years. If it is winter time, though, it would be much harder and we would be very uncomfortable. Right now, our food would last for a couple of months, after that I would need to go hunting.

  51. It would be tough but I love to camp and do without electricity for the duration of my camping vacations – 1 to 2 weeks at a time. Do I love hot showers? you bet and that is probably what I would miss the most!! I think I could survive comfortably without electricity for several months as long as I have water, food and shelter.

  52. hot muggy NC summer? Where we have already hit mid 90s? not an hour comfortably. However I believe I am set up to last a very long time

  53. I think We would do just fine if I had a way to keep the sump pump working ie wind/solar power. Other wise my basement would flood cutting off valuable living space for my family. I am working on that issue now. Had a friend in Sandy Hook. They had a standby but when the gas was cut off they had to dig out their old portable gennie to keep their sump working. Good think they had several jerry cans of gas in their shed.

  54. As a young researcher, I lived with my wife in a remote part of the world about 6 miles from the outposts of western civilisation, and had no electricity and no vehicle and little access to the outside for 15 months. A wonderful and meaningful experience, and I know it can be done by having done it.

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