Musings

Thoughts about books, publishing and writing

Infection: Sympatico Syndrome (Book One)

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InfectionFinalKindle

Infection: Sympatico Syndrome is now live! I’m super excited about this one and hope readers enjoy it. It’s the first book in a planned trilogy.

 

Here’s an excerpt:

 

Cole turned onto his street and slammed on the brakes. 

 

Yellow barricades like police used when trying to hold back mobs of demonstrators blocked off the street. Three men with guns manned the roadblock. Cole tensed as one of the men approached his vehicle.

 

Sean was right behind him with the truck and Jenna and the kids following Sean. He hoped his brother wouldn’t jump out and start waving his handgun around. He was grateful for Sean’s forethought to bring the weapon, but it was three against one, and now Jenna and the kids were around.

 

Cole rolled his window down a crack, squinting at the man who was backlit by the sun and wearing a baseball cap pulled low. “What’s going on? I live on this street and need to get home.”

 

“Do you have proof of residence?”

 

Cole glared. “Since when do I need proof that I live in my house? My key is proof, now get those barricades out of the street and let me through.” He had his license, of course, but that wasn’t the point. He jabbed his thumb over his shoulder. “The two vehicles behind me are family. Let them in, too.”

 

“Cole, is that you?”

 

He blinked up at the face. “Who wants to know?”

 

The man pulled off his cap. “It’s me. Jerry Keeling.”

 

“Doctor Keeling? The dentist?” He’d taken Hunter to the guy a few times after their regular dentist had retired.  He’d also spoken to him at the annual block party, but he’d never had the impression the man would become militant in a situation like this.

 

“Yeah. We’ve had outsiders trying to seek shelter in the neighborhood. They think because we’re upscale here, that we’re safe.”

 

Cole bit back a retort. Their neighborhood, while nice enough, was hardly upscale. “Look, Jerry, I just need to get home. It’s only going to be for a few hours, then we’re leaving.” Crap. He probably shouldn’t have said that.

 

Jerry scratched his cheek, his gaze wandering to the other two men as if seeking permission. “Okay, I guess I can let you pass, but the truck and the other car will have to stay out. Only residents allowed.” He smiled as if he was doing Cole a favor.

 

Cole fixed Jerry with a hard stare. “Listen, Jerry, that’s my brother in the truck and his family in the red Ford. Now, unless you’re going to shoot me, they’re coming, too.”

 

Jerry glanced back, his grip shifting on the hunting rifle. He cast a nervous look at the other two men still on the other side of the barricade. “I don’t know. We’re only supposed to let residents through—”

 

Cole had had enough of this. He put the car in park and opened his door. He looked at the other two men, their rifles pulled closer to their bodies as if they were ready to aim them. He spread his arms, palms out. “Listen, I live here. Right over there, in fact.” He pointed to his house. “We’re coming through here, getting my belongings and then leaving. We’re not stealing anyone’s stuff, and we want to keep all contact to a minimum. I don’t even want to be this close to any of you. I’d recommend that you keep back from anyone trying to approach the barricade and get yourselves some good masks.”

 

“Who the hell are you to tell us what to do?” One of the men circled the barricade. He was taller and heavier than the short, slim dentist, and he shouldered Jerry out of the way. “We say who comes and who goes.”

 

Cole narrowed his eyes and straightened his shoulders. “As it happens, I know a thing or two about diseases since I’m an epidemiologist. I worked with the CDC for many years and even went to Africa to help manage the Ebola outbreak. Do you have better credentials?”

 

Infection–Catch it August 19th!

| | 0 Comments

InfectionPrint2Bwith subtitleInfection: Book One (Sympatico Syndrome) has begun the countdown to publication. It’s available for pre-order right now. Order now and you can wake up to find it on your Kindle waiting for you.

I am so excited for this book. Yeah, I’m excited about every book, but I have wanted to write a post-apocalyptic novel for so long.  So far, feedback on Infection has been very positive. In fact, I’ve begun writing the second book already.

So, what’s it all about? Here’s the description:

What started as a “flu” outbreak on a military base proves deadlier than Ebola and more contagious than the Spanish Flu. Sympatico Syndrome is unlike anything the world has ever seen. Victims’ behavior is… changing to accommodate the rapid spread of the virus.

Former Navy epidemiologist Cole Evans is well aware of the rare, infectious diseases the military studies. He also knows, first-hand, the government’s stance on sharing information with the public, so if the media has already learned about the disease, then it’s far too late to contain the outbreak.
Cole’s only chance to save his family is to establish a safe haven. Isolated, hard to reach, and with enough space for his brother’s family as well, he has the perfect location–if only they can all reach it before they’re infected…

Excerpt:


Cole kept vigil by the front window while Sean watched the back of the house. Elliot had been true to his word about a party brewing as loud music blasted throughout the neighborhood, the beat emphasized periodically by gunfire. It set Cole’s nerves on edge and several times, he had to fire warning rounds at people trying to venture close to the house.

He rose and peered over the edge of the window frame, his blinds bent all to hell to allow him a narrow gap to look through while still providing some cover. His last warning round had been just a minute or so before, and he wasn’t even sure anyone noticed it. Three women, several children, and nearly a dozen men ran around in the street, playing some kind of game. It looked like tag, except that nobody seemed to be ‘it’.

Either they were all drunk off their rockers, or they were very ill. Maybe it was a combination. As he watched, a woman staggered and fell. He waited for her to get up laughing. It wasn’t the first time she’d fallen. All of the partiers had hit the ground at least once but always staggered back to their feet. This time, the woman stayed down. She moved briefly, in a spasmodic way, then became still.

Cole stood and pushed the blind out of the way. Was she struck by the last round? He’d been confident he’d aimed high enough to avoid hitting anyone, but maybe he hadn’t? What if he’d killed her?

 

 

Bloodline-the Netflix Psychological Thriller

| | 0 Comments

 

bloodline-season-2

So if you’re here because you’ve read some of my books, you probably know I go for psychological thrillers. Last year, Netflix debuted Bloodline, starring Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Sissy Spacek, Norbert Leo Butz, Owen Teague and Enrique Murciano.

With a cast like that, you can’t go wrong and Bloodline doesn’t. Season one reminded me a bit of Breaking Bad. Kind of hard to explain without giving away spoilers, but both series started with a flashback that intrigued. Events build slowly in both first seasons but then escalate towards the end.

 

Scene from season two. (NSFW-swearing)

 

But, I’m not here to compare the shows or even to talk about the first season of Bloodline. I just wrapped up a three-day mini binge of Season Two of Bloodline.

No spoilers, but here are some things I felt as I watched. My heart was pounding practically the whole way through. I think maybe they should issue a warning about that. You know, like they do for roller coasters? “If you have a history of heart problems…” 😉

 

Whereas last season was a slow burn through the first 8 episodes or so, this one burst out of the gate at a flat out sprint and never let up. Relentless and riveting,  it was akin to watching a trainwreck in slow motion. You want to cover your eyes but can’t help peeking out between your fingers. There is no possible way things can end well, and yet…you keep hoping for a miracle.

 

Every single actor nailed their parts. I think they should just fling Emmys at all of them and be done with it this year, but special mention, and I’m not just saying this because I’m a huge fan, but Kyle Chandler just…wow. I don’t want to give spoilers, but there’s a scene in episode seven between his character, John, and his wife, Diana. I think he says one word in the entire scene, and it wasn’t even anything major.  But he didn’t have to say anything. Looking at him, I’d say he was feeling dread, guilt, nausea, and incredible fear. Fear for his relationship, his children, his family and himself. I think he felt those things because that is what I felt watching the scene.

 

Whew. This show had better return for a third season. You hear me, Netflix? Or I may have to go all Rayburn on you….;)


Spreading My Wings

| | 0 Comments

 

InfectionFinal200x300
Pre-order your copy today!

I have always loved reading survival and/or post-apocalyptic fiction. I didn’t always know that was what it was called, but way back in 4th grade, I read My Side of the Mountain, and to this day, it’s one of my favorite books. When you think about it, even the book that hooked me on reading in 3rd grade, The Boxcar Children, was survival fiction. The poor kids had to scrounge around in the dump to get a broken tea cup and cracked plates.

 

I’ve been too chicken to actually try to write it before, although I purposefully incorporated a little bit of it into No Good Deed when Mark loses everything. I loved writing that part of the book and honestly, would have liked to make that section even longer. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t. I’m kind of proud of my restraint. haha.

 

The reason I never wrote it before was because I am not a prepper by any stretch of the imagination. If there is ever a true apocalypse, I would be in the first round of casualties for sure. However, knowing what to do, and actually doing it are two different things, and in my mind, I always think I’d do this, or I’d do that. So, I began some research, but of course, the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know, so I still hesitated. Can I really do this? Can I write a post-apocalyptic novel?

 

Well, I guess you, the readers, will have to be the judge.

 

Infection is the first book in a planned trilogy called the Sympatico Syndrome Series.

 

 

 

Broke my site, but fixing it.

| | 0 Comments

I’m hoping it will be a blessing in disguise as I incorporate some of the fancy plugins I purchased last fall, but was too afraid to use. Stay tuned for more news on upcoming books and special deals.

Infection: Sympatico Syndrome (Book One)

| | 0 Comments

InfectionFinalKindle

Infection: Sympatico Syndrome is now live! I’m super excited about this one and hope readers enjoy it. It’s the first book in a planned trilogy.

 

Here’s an excerpt:

 

Cole turned onto his street and slammed on the brakes. 

 

Yellow barricades like police used when trying to hold back mobs of demonstrators blocked off the street. Three men with guns manned the roadblock. Cole tensed as one of the men approached his vehicle.

 

Sean was right behind him with the truck and Jenna and the kids following Sean. He hoped his brother wouldn’t jump out and start waving his handgun around. He was grateful for Sean’s forethought to bring the weapon, but it was three against one, and now Jenna and the kids were around.

 

Cole rolled his window down a crack, squinting at the man who was backlit by the sun and wearing a baseball cap pulled low. “What’s going on? I live on this street and need to get home.”

 

“Do you have proof of residence?”

 

Cole glared. “Since when do I need proof that I live in my house? My key is proof, now get those barricades out of the street and let me through.” He had his license, of course, but that wasn’t the point. He jabbed his thumb over his shoulder. “The two vehicles behind me are family. Let them in, too.”

 

“Cole, is that you?”

 

He blinked up at the face. “Who wants to know?”

 

The man pulled off his cap. “It’s me. Jerry Keeling.”

 

“Doctor Keeling? The dentist?” He’d taken Hunter to the guy a few times after their regular dentist had retired.  He’d also spoken to him at the annual block party, but he’d never had the impression the man would become militant in a situation like this.

 

“Yeah. We’ve had outsiders trying to seek shelter in the neighborhood. They think because we’re upscale here, that we’re safe.”

 

Cole bit back a retort. Their neighborhood, while nice enough, was hardly upscale. “Look, Jerry, I just need to get home. It’s only going to be for a few hours, then we’re leaving.” Crap. He probably shouldn’t have said that.

 

Jerry scratched his cheek, his gaze wandering to the other two men as if seeking permission. “Okay, I guess I can let you pass, but the truck and the other car will have to stay out. Only residents allowed.” He smiled as if he was doing Cole a favor.

 

Cole fixed Jerry with a hard stare. “Listen, Jerry, that’s my brother in the truck and his family in the red Ford. Now, unless you’re going to shoot me, they’re coming, too.”

 

Jerry glanced back, his grip shifting on the hunting rifle. He cast a nervous look at the other two men still on the other side of the barricade. “I don’t know. We’re only supposed to let residents through—”

 

Cole had had enough of this. He put the car in park and opened his door. He looked at the other two men, their rifles pulled closer to their bodies as if they were ready to aim them. He spread his arms, palms out. “Listen, I live here. Right over there, in fact.” He pointed to his house. “We’re coming through here, getting my belongings and then leaving. We’re not stealing anyone’s stuff, and we want to keep all contact to a minimum. I don’t even want to be this close to any of you. I’d recommend that you keep back from anyone trying to approach the barricade and get yourselves some good masks.”

 

“Who the hell are you to tell us what to do?” One of the men circled the barricade. He was taller and heavier than the short, slim dentist, and he shouldered Jerry out of the way. “We say who comes and who goes.”

 

Cole narrowed his eyes and straightened his shoulders. “As it happens, I know a thing or two about diseases since I’m an epidemiologist. I worked with the CDC for many years and even went to Africa to help manage the Ebola outbreak. Do you have better credentials?”

 

Infection–Catch it August 19th!

| | 0 Comments

InfectionPrint2Bwith subtitleInfection: Book One (Sympatico Syndrome) has begun the countdown to publication. It’s available for pre-order right now. Order now and you can wake up to find it on your Kindle waiting for you.

I am so excited for this book. Yeah, I’m excited about every book, but I have wanted to write a post-apocalyptic novel for so long.  So far, feedback on Infection has been very positive. In fact, I’ve begun writing the second book already.

So, what’s it all about? Here’s the description:

What started as a “flu” outbreak on a military base proves deadlier than Ebola and more contagious than the Spanish Flu. Sympatico Syndrome is unlike anything the world has ever seen. Victims’ behavior is… changing to accommodate the rapid spread of the virus.

Former Navy epidemiologist Cole Evans is well aware of the rare, infectious diseases the military studies. He also knows, first-hand, the government’s stance on sharing information with the public, so if the media has already learned about the disease, then it’s far too late to contain the outbreak.
Cole’s only chance to save his family is to establish a safe haven. Isolated, hard to reach, and with enough space for his brother’s family as well, he has the perfect location–if only they can all reach it before they’re infected…

Excerpt:


Cole kept vigil by the front window while Sean watched the back of the house. Elliot had been true to his word about a party brewing as loud music blasted throughout the neighborhood, the beat emphasized periodically by gunfire. It set Cole’s nerves on edge and several times, he had to fire warning rounds at people trying to venture close to the house.

He rose and peered over the edge of the window frame, his blinds bent all to hell to allow him a narrow gap to look through while still providing some cover. His last warning round had been just a minute or so before, and he wasn’t even sure anyone noticed it. Three women, several children, and nearly a dozen men ran around in the street, playing some kind of game. It looked like tag, except that nobody seemed to be ‘it’.

Either they were all drunk off their rockers, or they were very ill. Maybe it was a combination. As he watched, a woman staggered and fell. He waited for her to get up laughing. It wasn’t the first time she’d fallen. All of the partiers had hit the ground at least once but always staggered back to their feet. This time, the woman stayed down. She moved briefly, in a spasmodic way, then became still.

Cole stood and pushed the blind out of the way. Was she struck by the last round? He’d been confident he’d aimed high enough to avoid hitting anyone, but maybe he hadn’t? What if he’d killed her?

 

 

Bloodline-the Netflix Psychological Thriller

| | 0 Comments

 

bloodline-season-2

So if you’re here because you’ve read some of my books, you probably know I go for psychological thrillers. Last year, Netflix debuted Bloodline, starring Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Sissy Spacek, Norbert Leo Butz, Owen Teague and Enrique Murciano.

With a cast like that, you can’t go wrong and Bloodline doesn’t. Season one reminded me a bit of Breaking Bad. Kind of hard to explain without giving away spoilers, but both series started with a flashback that intrigued. Events build slowly in both first seasons but then escalate towards the end.

 

Scene from season two. (NSFW-swearing)

 

But, I’m not here to compare the shows or even to talk about the first season of Bloodline. I just wrapped up a three-day mini binge of Season Two of Bloodline.

No spoilers, but here are some things I felt as I watched. My heart was pounding practically the whole way through. I think maybe they should issue a warning about that. You know, like they do for roller coasters? “If you have a history of heart problems…” 😉

 

Whereas last season was a slow burn through the first 8 episodes or so, this one burst out of the gate at a flat out sprint and never let up. Relentless and riveting,  it was akin to watching a trainwreck in slow motion. You want to cover your eyes but can’t help peeking out between your fingers. There is no possible way things can end well, and yet…you keep hoping for a miracle.

 

Every single actor nailed their parts. I think they should just fling Emmys at all of them and be done with it this year, but special mention, and I’m not just saying this because I’m a huge fan, but Kyle Chandler just…wow. I don’t want to give spoilers, but there’s a scene in episode seven between his character, John, and his wife, Diana. I think he says one word in the entire scene, and it wasn’t even anything major.  But he didn’t have to say anything. Looking at him, I’d say he was feeling dread, guilt, nausea, and incredible fear. Fear for his relationship, his children, his family and himself. I think he felt those things because that is what I felt watching the scene.

 

Whew. This show had better return for a third season. You hear me, Netflix? Or I may have to go all Rayburn on you….;)


Spreading My Wings

| | 0 Comments

 

InfectionFinal200x300
Pre-order your copy today!

I have always loved reading survival and/or post-apocalyptic fiction. I didn’t always know that was what it was called, but way back in 4th grade, I read My Side of the Mountain, and to this day, it’s one of my favorite books. When you think about it, even the book that hooked me on reading in 3rd grade, The Boxcar Children, was survival fiction. The poor kids had to scrounge around in the dump to get a broken tea cup and cracked plates.

 

I’ve been too chicken to actually try to write it before, although I purposefully incorporated a little bit of it into No Good Deed when Mark loses everything. I loved writing that part of the book and honestly, would have liked to make that section even longer. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t. I’m kind of proud of my restraint. haha.

 

The reason I never wrote it before was because I am not a prepper by any stretch of the imagination. If there is ever a true apocalypse, I would be in the first round of casualties for sure. However, knowing what to do, and actually doing it are two different things, and in my mind, I always think I’d do this, or I’d do that. So, I began some research, but of course, the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know, so I still hesitated. Can I really do this? Can I write a post-apocalyptic novel?

 

Well, I guess you, the readers, will have to be the judge.

 

Infection is the first book in a planned trilogy called the Sympatico Syndrome Series.

 

 

 

Broke my site, but fixing it.

| | 0 Comments

I’m hoping it will be a blessing in disguise as I incorporate some of the fancy plugins I purchased last fall, but was too afraid to use. Stay tuned for more news on upcoming books and special deals.