Prepper Book Festival 13: A Simple Man

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: August 24, 2021
Prepper Book Festival 13: A Simple Man

With the US Presidential election coming up soon, foremost in the minds of most preppers is how the outcome will affect the lives of generations to come. Many are preparing for a time when our basic freedoms are eroded. Some fear that the government will take over control of property as well as monetary assets. I do not have a crystal ball and will be long gone by 2077, but still, I am concerned.

Imagine the year is 2077 and our world and our country has gone to heck. It is a dystopian world wrongly described by the Powers That Be as utopian. Welcome to the new America as portrayed in A Simple Man.

A Simple Man | Backdoor Survival

With that introduction, I present to you the next book in Prepper Book Festival #13, A Simple Man by Mark Bacci. Mark is an award winning writer, director, and producer, who has worked in both film and television. This is his fist novel and be forewarned; it describes a society where the citizens of the US become property of the US Government. Holy smokes, that is a scary thought.

In a break from tradition, instead of an interview, today I share a short excerpt from the book itself. In addition, my friends at Prepper Press have set aside three copies of Mark’s book for the giveaway. Enjoy the read then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.

An Excerpt from A SIMPLE MAN by Mark Bacci

Somewhere in Illinois – February 25, 2077

Sarah had never seen so much blood. She couldn’t believe that people could be so brutal, let alone her own husband. She refused to let tears flow as she ran through the oil refinery’s dirt parking lot. The distinct Chicago skyline was visible in front of her.

Everything had happened so fast. It took one moment, one quick glimpse to forever change her life. She could still see John’s face specked with blood and the rage in his eyes as she watched him smash another man’s skull with a hammer. The ear shattering echoes from the men and women cheering him on were still ringing in her ears. The crowd encouraged the brutality, as if what he was doing was noble.

Sarah’s shaky legs carried her to her old, beet-red Ford F-150 and she got in without looking back. She fumbled with the keys, stabbing wildly at the ignition.

“Come on, come on, come on,” she said in a panic. Sarah took a deep and deliberate breath, inserted the key and turned. The truck roared to life and the V8 rattled the rusted metal frame as she put the truck in reverse and backed up.

“Sarah, wait. Sarah! Sarah!” John screamed.

Dirt kicked up around John as he ran toward her. Sarah heard him scream for her, and in a panic, she slammed the gas and clipped the back end of another car. She quickly shifted the truck into drive. Gravel spit up from under the tires as she sped away.


It was too late. She watched John through her rearview mirror until he was just a speck on the horizon. She was safe and she was free. Now she could cry.

John Bradford stood in the parking lot, helpless and bloody. Dirt and gore covered his shirt. His knuckles were scraped raw, his left eye was swollen shut, and his nose was broken. His cheekbones were bruised and cut up from the beating he had just survived. There would be pain later, but his adrenaline prevented him from feeling anything for the moment.

There was no way he was going to be able to explain this to Sarah. She had known that he fought; he told her it was his way of blowing off steam. She just had no idea to what extent. He’d never once uttered a word about the Circuit to her. He figured it was better if she didn’t know about the underground world he had been a part of since he was a much younger man. She would never understand and she would never stop worrying. She surely would not approve. John knew how disappointed she’d be in him. He wasn’t proud of it himself.

The Circuit wasn’t new; many men had fought and many men had died in its long, grisly history. It had been woven into America’s fabric ever since the Irish came over and brought bare-knuckle boxing with them. John had kept his involvement in the gruesome fights a secret from everyone he knew. The only people who understood were the other Circuit fighters. Men like him; men who were fighting for survival in more ways than one.

This was supposed to be his last fight and then he was going to hang it up. He had too much to lose with two kids and a wife he loved, and he knew if he didn’t stop now, he’d only stop when he ended up dead, on the losing end of a battle. John had planned to walk away from it all and let the past die without ever saying a word about it. The Circuit’s fights were always to the death and dead men don’t talk, so John didn’t have to worry about any stories being told by his various opponents. There would be no way anyone would—or could—find out about it.

With seven gruesome victories under his belt, John had made enough money to take care of his family and give them a chance at a future different from the one he had as a young boy: poverty-stricken, hungry, and desperate. No Circuit fighter before him had won as many fights. If he were a bragging man, he could consider himself a legend and could let the victories swell his ego. There was no glory in this for him, however. He fought for money and that was it. Regardless of the reason, Sarah would never approve and he knew she was never going to look at him the same way again.

A low rumble filled the air, stealing John’s attention from the vacant spot where Sarah had parked the truck. He turned around, but saw only mountains through the haze of black soot billowing from the refineries’ smokestacks. The rumble grew louder, keeping John’s attention. Something was coming.

John looked to the crest of the road. A worry washed over him as the sound grew even louder. The earth below John’s feet started to vibrate, as the thunderous sound lifted dust and dirt off the ground. John turned back to the mountains to find a B-52 Stratosphere Bomber cut through the air, over the ridge. A few seconds later, a second plane followed. Then a third one invaded the sky.

“Sarah!” John’s screams were drowned out by the noise of a dozen B-52s filling the sky and coming toward him. John looked to the horizon again before breaking into a sprint and desperately running after his wife.

Sarah had the gas pedal pinned to the floor, putting distance between her and John. Violent images of what she just witnessed raced through her mind. It was impossible to make any sense of them. What am I going to tell the kids? Where am I going to go? How will we survive? Did I ever really even know him? Is he a monster? The most important one she would ask John. Why? She let out a painful, deep, and helpless scream. Tears followed, but Sarah was tough and found the strength to put an end to them before they overtook her entire being.

At that moment, an F-15 ripped through the air, startling her. She looked up as it split the sky in front of her and disappeared into clouds. A second F-15 tore past so low to the ground that it rattled the truck and she felt the need to duck. Sarah craned her neck to see where it was going, but lost sight of it. A low rumble was coming up behind her. It grabbed her attention and she looked in the rearview, catching a glimpse of a B-52, flanked by two drones. She turned around and saw planes blanketing the sky. A panic set in as she saw something fall from the B-52. She couldn’t make it out at first, but then she saw a second object fall, followed by a third. Bombs. The planes were dropping bombs.

Frightened and distracted, she had her head turned a little too long and forgot about the road in front of her. She spun around just as she was swerving off the road and wasn’t able to recover, losing control of the truck and crashing it into a mound of fescue and rock. Her head violently bounced off the steering wheel just as the first bomb hit the ground. A chorus of explosions followed, each bomb tearing a strip out of the earth and leaving nothing but rubble. Through the violent explosions and drowning sounds of the planes, a voice could be heard over a loudspeaker.

“Citizens of the United States, you and everything you own are now property of New America. Anyone unwilling to be tagged and surrender all property will be considered enemies of the state.” A soldier spoke as the bombs continued to fall. The soldier was perched on the side of a tank as it maneuvered toward Sarah. He was clad in all black, and wore a face mask that came down to the bottom of his mouth, completely hiding his face. The tank wasn’t alone. A convoy of army-issued trucks snaked along the road behind it. The words “Atwell Corporation” were painted on the sides. Gunners wearing the same black masks were perched on the tops of Humvees, manning .50 caliber machine guns, ready to fire at any moment.

“Citizens of the defeated United States, you are now property of New America,” the soldier repeated through the loudspeaker as the tank rolled past Sarah’s truck. She was slumped over the steering wheel, with rivulets of blood dripping down the side her face. Her eyes begged for help.


The Giveaway

Mark and his publisher, Prepper Press, have reserved three copies of A Simple Man in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.

A special word about the giveaway question/comment: Please read the question and respond accordingly, even it the answer is “I don’t know”. Today’s question is:

In your own mind, what is the worst case scenario you prepare for?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM MST Tuesday with the winners notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winners must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note: Due to customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to individuals with a mailing address in the United States.

The Final Word

It is unimaginable to think of myself as anyone’s property, let alone the property of the government. Couple that with RFID tagging (which, by the way, was discussed and considered by our politicians a few years back), and the ramifications are unconscionable.

All that being said, A Simple Man is about family and survival. It is different from other survival fiction titles that have crossed my desk, and has given me an whole new set of woes to think about as I learn from Sarah, John, and the rest of the characters that are so vividly defined.

Will this become the world of the future? And if so, how will we survive? These are questions we all need to ask and answer for ourselves.

For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival #13: Books to Help You Prepare.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Spotlight: A Simple Man

The year is 2078. The former United States of America is a bleak and fading memory for the few citizens of New America. Nearly five years after his wife was taken to a birthing camp by Secans, New America’s mercenaries, John Bradford is left to raise his two children alone in an increasingly dangerous and desolate world.

Tagged by nanotechnology, their every move is tracked, limiting their ability to do anything not permitted by the new regime. When his daughter is chosen, Secans arrive to take her to a birthing camp. John swears if he doesn’t let her go, they will all be killed. She reminds him of the promise he made to their mother, that he would do whatever it took to protect them.

Struggling between his promise and the real consequences of any action, the decision is made for John when his son brandishes a shotgun and kills one of the Secans. With no time to think, John grabs his children and goes on the run, but it is only a matter of time before the Secans find them and kill them. John has no choice but to return to his secret past, the only place where he knows he has a chance – The Circuit, an underground fight-to-the-death competition run by a ruthless mobster.

This is John’s fight, and it is one he cannot afford to lose.

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90 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival 13: A Simple Man”

  1. It may sound silly but a New Ice Age. I can’t help feeling that the years of ignoring what is happening to our planet will result in an ice age like the movie Day After Tomorrow with Dennis Quaid and Jake Jyllenhall. If you’ve never seen it, Quaid plays a Climatologist talking about global warming and the consequences of “business as usual” by the governments of the world.Lots of lip service but nothing actually gets done. Jake plays his son who gets stuck in NY when 3 super storms hit the Northern Hemisphere burying it under 100’s of feet of snow in the New York Public Library of all places with a working fireplace and tons of books to burn to keep warm. Quaid makes it his mission to rescue his son and as this IS Hollywood Son is rescued, Man who became President is apologetic, humbled etc. It may sound crazy to others but then I’ve never claimed to be sane anyways.LOL

  2. Thanks for including an excerpt – that’s a good way to see that quality of the writing. This book looks like a good read!

  3. I believe the worst think that could happen to this great land is for Crooked Hillary to win this election. No, no. That is not right. The worst thing that could happen is an EMP

  4. I believe the worst think that could happen to this great land is for Crooked Hillery to get elected. No, no. That is not right. I believe the worst would be an EMP. This would be much worst than the economy tanking, In a depression, there is still some commerce, food and electricity. In an EMP attack, over half of the population would be dead in less than a week.

  5. I just prep. I can’t claim to be smart enough or an expert in any field to truly know what may happen. I have hunches and predictions — what I personally feel is the most likely is an EMP (either caused by the sun or an enemy), extreme weather (already happening, just a matter of time), or a worldwide financial crisis.

    We are very much so beginning preppers. So our current end game is the small preps…1 week of supplies, then 1 month, and so on.

    • I agree. This is my family as well. We feel so new and almost panicky…. will we have enough – be prepared enough when the SHTF!?!?!?!?

  6. I don’t really prep for a certain event, I prep for the aftermath. No power, no food, rioting, nomadic raiders, no medical aid, etc. Surviving the event itself will be difficult, but the aftermath will be much more deadly.

  7. I prep mostly for shorter-term situations. I would have to seriously decide at the time whether or not survival is even wanted (widespread nuclear event, would I really want to become a toxic avenger?)

  8. I want to be self sufficient as I can be so I prepare for short term natural events – electricity cut off due to storm, water plant issues, etc. I also have prepared financially to cover those times when income is lowered. Have lived through and survived several times those things i mentioned. I don’t buy into the end of the world as we know it mind set, total financial collapse, or the country not surviving a Clinton presidency. She is not evil incarnate folks, despite what certain media outlets may tell you. Life will always throw us curve balls. Stay strong, stay positive, knowing you can fend for yourself in the short term, and together with others, weather longer, more difficult situations.

  9. Worst case scenario for me would be a massive hurricane that rips Florida from the Keys and up the west coast thru the Panhandle to New Orleans. Way too many people, too little prep, too many buildings on the coast – would be totally devastating. Hurricane Charley was a tiny storm and put us out of water and power for over a week. Imagine a huge storm.

  10. Without hesitation I prep for takeover by our own or any other government. Including the so-called UN. And the NWO – New World Order.

    Skills are more important than stuff. Stuff will be most important in the immediate aftermath while chaos actually protects us. Chaos gives us time to execute our plans, whatever they may be.

    Cacheing is more important than stashing. Government minions will go house to house and steal our preparedness stash.

    It is important to have several caches spread out across wilderness areas.

    The most important skill will be stealth. Running, hiding, again and again.

    Small, short Dakota-type fires. Just enough to boil water. Crossbows, compound bows, sling shots, knives, traps. We will be lucky if we can sear some meat while boiling water. Otherwise eat it raw. Foraging is critically important. It will become impossible to live in large groups. Too easy to be discovered. Small, fast groups are better.

    Survival will require devolution. Immune systems that can handle raw meat and dirty water. Those are the fittest who will survive. Our musculature will become more and more developed. Speech will lose importance.

    Has anyone followed the show called “Wayward Pines?” This is what I’m describing. The aberrant creatures from that show. That is what we will devolve into if we want survival badly enough. No one knows how many generations it will take.

    I do believe that North America has enough wild land to support and hide those utterly dedicated to survival.

    There will be those who submit to NWO for food, shelter and medical care. If one does not escape before or during the first round up, they may have no choice. The identification and tracking will not be so simple as a microchip that can be cut out.

    I WANT THIS BOOK. Simply reading the excerpt has fueled my fire to keep learning, practicing and preparing.

    Gayle, thank you for introducing this book and making the contest possible.

    • Karen: Wow – great insight. Thanks for sharing. I agree — fitness,stealth, small & fast groups — that is who will make it. Prepare now! Get outside. All the stuff won’t help if you can’t lift it, can’t carry it a mile, or can’t even walk more than a couple miles.
      I hear about cacheing, but I just wonder who will find it first, and am i just giving stuff away if I do that? I don’t own land, which is why I think this way. I need to investigate others’ thoughts on cacheing more.

  11. EMP. No warning and all encompassing. Most other threats would come with at least some warning and/or be of a cascading nature rather than instantaneously.

  12. Use to be total collapse and Obama declaring marshal law, everything we own & those young enough (in my mind, under 50 yrs old) being taken ‘for the greater good’, those older being rounded up & everyone being chipped. Anyone not ‘going along with’ will be killed. This senario paralyzed me thinking “Alright, why even prepare at all?”, so now my worst senario is the next power outage, which are frequent in my small town.

  13. I think EMP…. I’m so new. I almost feel panicky that I won’t have enough or have done enough when the SHTF. I wish financially I could do more. I’ll keep pushing on – little by little.

  14. All communication is down, people are searching for food and shelter. I have both, and if I don’t kill, I will die. I can trust no one! This scares the sh– out of me!

  15. Wow! There are at least 3 that scare the pants off me. I think EMP is the scariest because of the failure of communication and transportation that will lead to the cascading failure of all services.

  16. We prep because we are nearing retirement and have nothing to fall back on. 401k took such a beating and so we would have to depend on SS. It is scary getting this age and wondering if you will be able to survive. We have always had decent health insurance and now we are concerned about what we will do for that.

    • Nan; I hear ya. I was scared when I HAD to retireI I ended up using my savings to buy a small place on an Alaskan island that has no property tax and I had to take advantage of senior services here. I miss my kids and sometimes, CA but I am in a place where I can forage and have privacy and be more self sufficent ( compared to down south ) Retiring is scary these days… but if something catastrophic happens….that really scares me

  17. I’m thinking of voting Hitlery just so she’ll be the one on the hot seat when the collapse comes. I’ve been predicting her for the past 5 years. I have seen nothing yet to change my prediction. The elite want her, as they must feel they can’t directly control Donald.

  18. I have never heard a B-52 Stratofortress called a B-52 Stratosphere Bomber before although it can fly the stratosphere. I guess a 125 year old bomber can be called most anything. Boeing made a great plane but it’s hard to imagine a 1952 plane in large numbers in 2077. Otherwise it sounds like a fun read.

    • On the ground you dont hear them either. The only way you know they are there is when the earth starts shaking so bad that you think your in an earth quake.
      For the uninformed, a B-52 can carry enough conventional weapons to do the same devastation as a nuclear bomb.

  19. Hard to say, but since I live in NO CA I fear a catastrophic earthquake that would cut off all services. Second would be a governmental collapse with the ensuing societal collapse and only god knows what else might happen.

  20. I am prepping for the inevitable economic collapse we are facing (looking even more likely lately) coupled with the social unrest that will follow. The government will surely want to “help” us, which I hope to avoid at all costs.

  21. The things on my mind right now are supply line disruption (empty shelves and business closings) a;ong with social unrest/possible martial law.

  22. I prepare for natural disasters and an economic collapse. Also, I am worried about an EMP and martial law. Martial law is uppermost right now, especially with this election coming up.

  23. I think be attacked from within our own borders by our own people, gone rogue. That can handle anytime, anywhere. We’ve seen it in malls, schools, airports. You can’t stop what you can’t see, or don’t acknowledge.

  24. An EMP, along with all that would follow, worries me the most. I have 5 children plus assorted spouses, 14 grandchildren and a new great-grandson–I wanted so much more for them than what I fear we will have in the near future.
    The book sounds like a good, but scary, read.

  25. In my mind, the worst thing would be constant global wars combined with overpopulation and climate change. The goods we need become more and more expensive until they are simply no longer available at any price. Our young people drafted for senseless wars. Increased poverty and lack of attention to out internal needs creating more and more violence and unrest at home. A grim picture.

    of d

  26. Worst case scenario – results of election (regardless of who wins) and the actions taken by current administration, followed by EMP (which leads into a whole host of problems).

  27. There are so many things that could happen. I’ve very certain though that my time will be well spent preparing for when a big earthquake hits here in California. We are long overdue and I think about it, however briefly, nearly everyday. I know prepping, rather than worrying, will keep me a little more sane and help me in other situations, so I stick to my prep goals in that area for now, and hope to branch out to other prep areas.

  28. We live in an area where forest fires are not uncommon but we are fairly well prepared if we had to evacuate. Even if everything we didn’t carry out with us was destroyed we could pick up the pieces and go on.

    I’m not really sure what I fear most. Some kind of collapse whether from an EMP, or government action or inaction. I just know I need to be as self sufficient as possible. The daughter I live with is willing to go along with my prepping as it has been very useful during periods of unemployment and my son in law likes being on acreage.

  29. We live in an area where forest fires are not uncommon but we are fairly well prepared if we had to evacuate. Even if everything we didn’t carry out with us was destroyed we could pick up the pieces and go on.

    I’m not really sure what I fear most. Some kind of collapse whether from an EMP, or government action or inaction. I just know I need to be as self sufficient as possible. The daughter I live with is willing to go along with my prepping as it has been very useful during periods of unemployment and my son in law likes being on acreage.

  30. A lot depends on whether or not you believe what the Bible is telling us will happen. According to the Bible Satan WILL get his one world order and he will persecute and kill all who will not take his mark. IF you take his mark to survive you will lose your eternal life in God’s kingdom here on earth.

    Many people believe the Bible points to a third world war, but the natural disasters that are coming will be horrendous enough to kill billions. The Bible tells us that there will be no place to hide, but it also tells us that a number beyond count will be hid away from Satan’s face and many will escape all these things. I pray that I will be one of those people.

    If I fear anything, it’s not having God’s protection no matter what happens.

    • Paulette, my name is Karen. I believe everything you just said. Would you be interested in email?
      I welcome new friends who agree on end times, the value of life, and other big issues. Karen.

    • Hi Karen,

      My problem is that I have so many backed up emails I would probably miss yours if we started to email back and forth, but thanks for the thought.

      I think we are all looking for answers in these times and I found mine in the Bible. I understand why things are going in the direction they are and I know that “man” is not going to change it. We can prepare all we want, but the only “safe” place is in God’s hands. The Bible tells us to let God lead our every step, but life in this world gets in our way. The best I can tell you is to pray constantly for understanding and for God to lead you in the right direction. May God bless you in finding the right path to eternal life in His kingdom.

    • Karen. I. like you reached a point in my life where I felt that with all my prepping, it just wasn’t enough. I have all the “stuff” that all the “whiz kids” say to have but I didn’t feel like I was ready. Thats when I decided to start back going to church regularly. Now I am so happy. I have done all that the good Lord expects of me. I have my “stuff”, my knowledge, and I have the Lord on my side. What more do I need? Nothing.
      Gaye, I received much of my knowledge from your web site and I thank you.

  31. I totally agree with Jeff. It is the aftermath of any particular event that is in the back of my mind as I prep. The skills needed to begin again, just plain survive, etc.

  32. Bill of Rights being invalidated thru Executive orders and Congress allowing it to happen and the Courts upholding the Exec. Orders.
    Yes, I know the Bill of Rights is not subject to EOs, yet EOs, continue to erode the Bill of Rights, and our Congress allows it to happen.

  33. I think the worst case scenario is going to be an EMP, followed by economic collapse and government takeover. I’m not sure how to prepare for such a huge amount of catastrophe, but I’m doing my best…

  34. My biggest fear is the economic collapse that may come. I retired after working 42 years, often at 2 jobs, and having saved all that I could. Now, I have enough to get by, but worry that all the money I saved be being thrifty, cutting coupons, eating store-brand foods, driving my cars until the wheels almost fell off (the last one I kept 21 years), etc., etc., will be devalued to the point that I may have to burn it to keep warm some day. I have stocked my cupboards and kept everything as organized and ready as I can, but know that I am not as physically capable as I was years ago and think that one day when the governments so determines, I will be very expendable.

  35. EMP leading to the collapse of just about everything. No electric is no stores, money, food, water, gasoline….

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