A Death Struck Year author Makiia Lucier Guest Post


(Or so they thought)


No mask, no ride! (Source: National Archives)

When Spanish Influenza struck the U.S. in 1918, no one was prepared for it. Not only were its origins a mystery, but there was something different about this version of flu. For one thing, it did not target babies and the elderly, as was typical, but healthy young men and women in the prime of their lives. And it didn’t just force people into bed for a week before vanishing. Spanish Flu killed, very fast.

Scientists worked round the clock trying to develop a cure, but vaccines took time. In desperation, Americans tried these strategies for avoiding the dreaded Spanish Flu:

White gauze masks were a common sight during the pandemic. In some cities, it was illegal not to wear one in public. Still, thousands who wore them fell ill. In the PBS documentary, American Experience: Influenza 1918, one survivor said using a mask was like, “trying to keep the dust out with chicken wire.”

Some believed onions and garlic kept the flu away. Loved ones were fed onion omelets, onion salads, onion soups, and fried onions. Children were dosed with onion syrup and dragged into raw onion baths. And when they were allowed outside, they wore bags of garlic-scented gum around their necks.


Vick’s VapoRub (Source: Vicks.com)


Spit Spreads Death (Source: Unknown)

In 1918, Vick’s VapoRub was the most popular topical ointment in America. Sales skyrocketed from 900,000 to 2.9 million in just one year. Production plants had to be kept open night and day to meet demand.

Spittoons were a common sight in train stations and other public buildings. But in 1918, it was no longer acceptable to spit in public. Signs popped up warning that “Spit Spreads Death.” And newspaper advertisements even warned against kissing one’s sweetheart.

About the Book

A Death Struck Year author Makiia Lucier Guest Post

A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 2014-03-04
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Source: Tour Host

For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country--that's how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode--and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can't ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can't help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history. Readers will be captured by the suspenseful storytelling and the lingering questions of: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?   An afterword explains the Spanish flu phenomenon, placing it within the historical context of the early 20th century.


About the Author

About Makiia Lucier

Makiia Lucier grew up on the Pacific island of Guam. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and a master's in library studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She's had plenty of jobs, mostly in libraries, and currently lives in the small college town of Moscow, Idaho.

The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for a SIGNED COPY of A DEATH-STRUCK YEAR to one winner – US ONLY.
Giveaway ends on March 17th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

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Tour Schedule

Week One

Mar. 3rd – Reading Lark – Guest Post

Mar. 4th – Falling for YA – Review + Interview

Mar. 5th – Such a Novel Idea – Review

Mar. 6th – Parajunkee – Guest Post

Mar. 7th – Fantasy Book Addict – Guest Post

Week Two

Mar. 10th – Bookish – Interview

Mar. 11th – Amaterasu Reads – Review

Mar. 12th – Songs and Stories – Review + Guest Post

Mar. 13th – The Cover Contessa – Guest Post

Mar. 14th – Kindle and Me – Review