Thursday 26 November 2015

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - The Dead Circle by Keith Varney

The Dead Circle
Keith Varney

Book Description:
Something is terribly wrong in Detroit.

When Chris and Sarah bought an abandoned library to renovate and live in, they expected to be on the ground floor of the revival of Detroit. But unbeknownst to them, the city is about to fall. The devastation begins with a single woman who mysteriously tears off her clothing and starts walking the perimeter of an empty lot. Within minutes, hundreds of disparate people inexplicably form a giant human circle that slowly revolves like a hurricane of flesh. They twitch and spasm, contorting their naked bodies in a primordial death dance. They’re oblivious to everything, even the unfortunate souls who fall beneath their feet.

Bewildered citizens and authorities are desperate to know what’s causing the bizarre event… at least until it starts to rain.

Chris and Sarah abruptly find themselves trapped in a forsaken city. To survive, they must evade the horrifying illness, find food and shelter in a suddenly primitive world… and have a battle plan for when the circle stops spinning…

Buy Links:


Through the night, the circle of exposed bodies has grown immensely. Ten thousand became a hundred thousand, expanding every minute as more and more of the population of Detroit is exposed, transformed, and called by some primitive instinct to join the horde.

The crowd is so large and dense that it’s hard to distinguish individual people. The lot has taken on the appearance of an enormous flesh-colored storm system rotating like a hurricane. And like a hurricane, there is an eye in the center where the ground is still exposed, creating a single perfectly round spot of untouched earth. In this circle of patchy grass and pavement, a single red sneaker sits undisturbed and ignored.

There is a strange order to the human storm. The circle rotates at an almost mathematically consistent pace around a single axis. Its sheer size creates a hypnotic, dizzying motion, as if the entire city was on a turn-table. It looks like the people of Detroit have created a second small planet slowly revolving in opposition to the earth.

The sense of symmetry created by the steady rotation of the perfect circle is shattered by the chaos of the individuals within. Each naked figure’s intermittently spasming limbs constantly hit, shove or trip one another. It looks like a riot, teeming with angry elbows, fists and feet. Yet the fighting is slow-motion and the individuals are not responding to each other. One person hitting another does not cause a retaliation, or a reaction of any kind.

There is no cause and effect—the people are merely taking random actions. Chris would say they look like video game characters controlled by someone who was just mashing random buttons—like a mom trying to play Mortal Combat.

All the unclothed people might appear sexy from afar—so much naked flesh—it’s an unbridled bacchanalia of skin. There are no rules, just a massive collection of people devoid of modesty, boundaries or inhibitions on a scale unrivaled by even the greatest of Roman orgies. But the titillation breaks down on closer inspection. There is no passion or enjoyment on their faces. Just blank, lifeless expressions and empty white eyes. They are merely bodies in motion, moving flesh. It is not sex, it is horror.

And the bodies are already beginning to break down. People, who had been mostly sedentary for their human lives, begin to show their fragility. Feet unaccustomed to walking over anything other than grass or carpeting are being damaged by the unforgiving pavement. Without the protection of shoes, they are becoming raw and beginning to blister. Corns wear down to soft skin and the soft skin bruises and cracks. Then they start to bleed.

Shirley’s body has been walking barefoot for nine hours. The soles of her feet are cut in multiple places and are being slowly eroded by the asphalt, glass, dirt and trash. The toenail of her left big toe was torn back when she stepped on the edge of a curb. Her pinkie toe shattered when it was stomped on by another nameless foot. No longer able to hold its shape, it flops lazily like a deflated balloon every time she takes a step. Shirley would be in excruciating agony if she still felt pain. She should be hobbled and exhausted. But she is still upright.

Many in the horde have not been as lucky. Hundreds of the weaker bodies—the elderly, the children—lost their footing and have been trampled. Endless rows of feet mash the fallen into pieces. The pieces mix with dirt and debris to form slippery patches of a horrible paste.

About the Author
Originally from small town Vermont, Keith Varney is an award-winning musical theater writer and actor. He has written Book, Music and Lyrics in various combinations for I GOT FIRED (Best American Musical – DIMF), ELWAY: THE MUSICAL, THE OTHER SEX, JOSHUA: THE MUSICAL, PIE EATER & SCOOBY DOOSICAL. He has also written songs for Submissions Only, Hot Mess in Manhattan, See You Lighter, My Mother is a Sex Therapist & Dystopia Gardens. As an actor he has performed professionally in musicals including Les Miserables, The Producers, The Full Monty, Titanic and I Got Fired(Best Actor in a Musical – DIMF). He has a degree in classical voice from the Eastman School of Music. He now lives in Astoria NY with his wife Jillian, who is a Broadway actress. “The Dead Circle” is his debut novel. For more information, please visit

Author Links:


Blog Tour Organised by:


  1. Sounds like a creepy (in a good way!) read. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. This sounds like a book I should really check out!

  3. How scary to witness seemingly normal people suddenly becoming un-human and wondering if you're next!

  4. Thanks so much for hosting a tour stop!

  5. Maria Theresa Santos29 November 2015 at 08:11

    thanks for the chance