Infection: Sympatico Syndrome (Book One)


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?”


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