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Published by: Bell Bridge Books
Release Date: July 11, 2016
ISBN13: 978-1-61194-679-6



Along the coast of the Pacific Northwest lurks a fault known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone. For years, scientists believed the fault to be seismically quiet and no threat to ignite a major earthquake. Only recently have they discovered they were wrong. Cascadia, they now know, has triggered massive quakes and deadly tsunamis in the past, and will do so again. In fact, the next event will be the worst natural disaster in U. S. history, something Northwesterners and the nation are ill-prepared for.

Dr. Rob Elwood, a respected geologist, has studied the Cascadia Subduction Zone for years. Now he’s having repeated nightmares that the subduction zone is about to rupture, that a cataclysm is imminent. Knowing he’s placing his reputation and career at risk, he goes public with his premonitions.

His warnings are met with derision and ridicule, and Rob fears he’s lost all. In a stunning turnabout, however, it’s not his career he must struggle to save, but his life and the lives of those around him.

Rob’s story becomes intertwined with others–a retired fighter pilot attempting to make amends with a woman he jilted twenty-five years earlier and a quixotic retiree searching for legendary buried treasure in the rugged coastal mountains of Oregon.

All are about to live Rob’s nightmare.

The result is a heart-pounding, heart-rending drama set in the Great Northwest.

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“In Buzz Bernard’s heart pounding, gut-wrenching Cascadia something wicked this way comes. Problem is what’s coming is literally earth shattering and there’s no stopping it.” —Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times Bestselling author of Where It Hurts

Cascadia is riveting, scary, and entirely believable . . . a compelling, page-turning thriller with the ring of truth.” —Jerry Thompson, author of Cascadia's Fault

“Cascadia's easy flowing prose took me not only into the worlds of geology and history and discretely educated me, but the storytelling led me into the lives of well-done, three-dimensional players thrown into catastrophes both man-made and natural. And the ride is so much fun.” —C. Hope Clark, author of the award-winning Carolina Slade Mysteries and the Edisto Island Mysteries

“Bernard packs a powerful story into a quick read . . . .”–Sincerely Stacie Book Reviews

“This book is an action packed and engaging mix of realistic fiction and suspense and reads like a train.”–It’s All About Books (ARC review)

“As I was reading Cascadia, I kept saying to myself, ‘This could make a perfect movie script without any changes at all.’ I could picture all my favorite stars in the main roles, and even as some of the minor comic relief characters. This would be a lot of fun. I hope it actually does happen, because this disaster could happen at any time, and the general population should know about the potential danger.

“Overall, a perfect summer beach book.”–Bill’s Book Reviews

“This book is very exciting and is everything you could want in a disaster movie, er, book. Widespread devastation, high stakes, narrow escapes, ordinary people turned heroes, it’s all here.”–Shannon Fox’s Isle of Books

“Suspense ebbs and flows like the tides. There are also threads of magic realism that tie the action to the history of natural disasters all over the world. It’s a nice touch.

” . . . it’s a rousing read that is hard to put down once everything gains momentum. Bernard gets his facts right and knows the tsunami inundation maps well. He gets the history right and his portrayal of the destruction is solid. He also illuminates the need for disaster preparedness, not just in western Oregon, but everywhere.”–Portland Book Review

Behind the Scenes

I grew up in western Oregon. It seemed, at least in terms of natural threats, a bucolic place in which to spend my youth. For example, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes there were about as common as the Northern Lights in Georgia. Hurricanes were nonexistent. Such storms are born over warm oceans. If you’ve ever dipped a toe into the Pacific along the Oregon coast, you know it’s water in which Polar Bear Plungers could train even in August.

There were occasional big winter storms, but they certainly didn’t share the DNA common to the meteorological monsters that stalk other parts of the nation. I did, incidentally, experience the Northwest’s “Big Blow” in 1962 that hurled winds over 100 mph into Portland. Scary, but hardly Cat-5 hurricane stuff.

Earthquakes? I recall a decent little shake in the late ‘40s, but Northwesterners didn’t dwell on such things. After all, we didn’t live on the San Andreas Fault. Like I said, western Oregon seemed to me Nature’s Camelot.

No, we didn’t live on the San Andreas. It turned out, scientists discovered not too long ago, something much more threatening lurked beneath us: the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

After I graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle, life’s vagaries carried me away from the great Northwest. I ended up, not by design, spending my adult years on the East Coast in areas ranging from New England to the Southeast. Still, I frequently journeyed back to the Motherland.

On one of my trips to the Oregon coast a few years ago, I noticed some signs similar to those prevalent along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts that proclaim HURRICANE EVACUATION ROUTE. The signs in the Beaver State, however, said TSUNAMI EVACUATION ROUTE. Really? My interest was piqued. Not quite to the extent I thought about doing a novel, but I certainly was curious and began asking questions.

A short time after that, my brother Rick, who lives part time in the coastal town of Manzanita, put me in touch with a digital news article headlined “Massive earthquake threatens Pacific Northwest.” I read and reread the article, stunned by its dire implications.

The material I’d studied about Ebola in doing research for my novel PLAGUE was scary. But this stuff about the Cascadia Subduction Zone was even more frightening because it involved something that will happen–a huge quake and tsunami à la Japan in 2011–not something that might happen, or something that happens only in the mind of a novelist.

At any rate, Cascadia (the fault) ignited my imagination and launched me on the journey that lead to CASCADIA (the novel).