Author Guest Post: Apparent Power by Dacia M. Arnold

Happy Mother’s Day! I’m excited to have Dacia M. Arnold, author of Apparent Power, here today to discuss gift ideas for Dystopian Moms!

First, here’s a little bit about the book:

A dormant gene awakens in a quarter of the world’s population and the effects are apocalyptic. With an even rarer gene, the life of Valerie Russell turns into a shocking race against time.

When the human body begins to require more electricity than needed to keep a heart beating, cars lose power, phones no longer function, and planes fall from the sky.

Stranded in southern Colorado, a hundred miles from home—and from her two-year-old son— Valerie must find it within herself to trek the distance with the help of a questionable assembly of ex-military friends of the family.

But the awakening has a different effect on Valerie. While others absorb electricity, Valerie’s abilities are not as limited, making her the key to unlocking a worldwide genocide of those who were not affected.

As she evades the rising totalitarian government, Valerie is also faced with a moral choice: risk failure and attempt to save the masses from the regime’s deadly plot or run and preserve only the lives of her family.

How does a mother make such an impossible choice?


Without further adieu, I’ll turn it over to Dacia!


Happy (Dystopian) Mother’s Day! As an author of dystopian MOM fiction, I love reading/ watching (and writing) dystopian societies. In a world recovering from collapse, many struggle with a new semblance of normal. So on fun holidays like the one fast approaching, I wonder, “What would a mom in this dystopian world want for Mother’s Day?”

Follow along as I “shop” presents for some famous Dystopian Moms and suggest practical gifts you might find helpful, too.


1. Valerie Russell. You know her from Apparent Power By Dacia M Arnold

Who is she? Valerie is a working mom who finds herself stranded at work when disaster strikes. With electricity on the fritz, she has no way home from her 100 mile commute but to walk.

What would she love? A reliable babysitter without an expiration date. Just like other over worked moms, Valerie does not want to stress about what time her sitter has to be home. What if there is traffic? Her relief is late? Shit hits the fan? Or a dormant gene awakens in a quarter of the world’s population and causes apocalyptic devastation? Having a reliable babysitter and peace of mind goes lengths for this mama.

For the modern day mom: If you are looking to shower a hard working mom with this gift, consider getting her a baby sitter would can stay out late, into the early morning or even overnight. I promise, she is constantly worried about her children being a burden to others and hates the idea of being away too long. A stern reassurance to take her time will give her the best relief and encourage her to really enjoy herself with minimal guilt.

2. Malorie Hayes. You know her from Bird Box By Josh Malerman

Who is she? Malorie leaves her obstetrician’s office when a worldwide suicide epidemic strikes. Six years later, unable to open their eyes outside lest they fall victim of the same, Malorie blindly navigates two children away from the constant threat.

What would she love? A food delivery service. While keeping Malorie and her children safe in doors, a food delivery would save her the stress of having to forage neighboring abandoned homes for food. Also consider she would have more time on her hands to actually cook and enjoy the meal would make this gift is a slam dunk.

For the modern day mom: For moms who love to cook, Blue Apron and other meal prep companies provide fresh ingredients to cook whole meals taking the stress of shopping from your introverted mom friends. Do they hate to cook? Uber Eats will have any restaurant in the mama’s area delivered straight to their home. Short on cash? Cook the meal yourself!

3. Offred. You know her from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Who is she? Offred is a reproductive surrogate for a powerful figure and his resentful wife taken from her former home where she had a husband, daughter, and her own name.

What would she love? AN ESCAPE! On top of a reliable babysitter, I would pay for Offred to stay at a hotel where she could sit in silence and solitude away from the oppression of her predicament. I know Offred would never advocate for her own escape, as she is pretty complacent in her situation, leaving her without excuses to say no would be a gift from the heart.

For the modern day mom: While running away from your family is only temporary, I know few mamas who would not rush out the door to enjoy peace and quiet. A paid hotel for one night, and someone to watch the kids could be the mental R and R your mom friend needs to refresh and recharge to better handle the demands of motherhood.

4. Maggie Rhee. You know her from The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman

Who is she? Maggie is a long time character of The Walking Dead comics and graphic novels and serves as the leader of the Hilltop Community in a zombie ridden Virginia. She’s the widowed mother of two, Sophia whom she adopted and Hershel named after her late father. Governing a city and raising two little ones is hard work, but Maggie’s one tough cookie.

What would she love? Maggie would do just about anything for a solid cup of coffee. Surviving a zombie apocalypse is one thing, but rebuilding and keeping a society together takes long hours and never ending stress. Just one sip of real coffee could transport this leader to a place of pure bliss, even just a moment. Then no one would be more ready to tackle the issues at hand than this caffeinated matriarch.

For the modern day mom: Coffee is the love language of most women, but the sentiment is in the beverage itself. What’s her favorite drink? Coffee? Tea? Soda? Mimosa? The fact you know what it is and delivered it hot (or cold… you get it) tells her you pay attention. This may not be an extravagant gift, but ask me if I have ever turned down coffee.

5. Katniss Everdeen. You know her from Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Who is she? The Mocking Jay. The Girl On Fire. District 12’s Final Female Tribute. And by the end of book three (SPOILER ALERT) she becomes a mom.

What would she love? In all seriousness, I would hook this woman up with some therapy. After going through so much death and destruction, having an outlet to work through her issues could save her and family anymore undue heartache and help her process what she went through. I know it. You know it. Yes it’s fiction but let’s be real.

For the modern day mom: No one is perfect, but we all know someone who admits they need professional counseling but makes up excuses for not seeking out real help. TalkSpace is an app which connects you to a therapist via text message. While this is not a cheap gift, the service can be invaluable to those bogged down moms who just need to talk and gain perspective, or finally address the serious issues they have been avoiding.


Hope this was a helpful perspective going into Mother’s Day weekend in the real world. If nothing else, you might consider the characters you read a little differently. Remember, moms need hero(in)es too. Maybe this is the year you come through for a mom friend.


About the Author:
Dacia M. Arnold is an award-winning American novelist, Amazon Bestselling author, mother, and a ten-year Army Veteran. She is the author of Apparent Power, Reactance, Shifting Power (November 2019), and Brightest Firefly: A Collection of Short Works. As a freelance writer, Dacia contributes monthly to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s blog where she shares her short experience in the literary world.

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