Prepper Book Festival 13: A Simple Man

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

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

  2. 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.

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