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14 Jan 2013

Indie book blast, Plague by Buzz Bernard

Hello book people
A treat today.
Have a little read about Buzz Bernards latest book Plague.
Check out the rest of the tour here http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2012/12/08/pump-up-your-book-presents-plague-virtual-book-publicity-tour/
Happy reading

About the Book:
Deep in the secret recesses of a Cold War lab, the Russians created tons of deadly bio-weapons.  Now, decades later, a protege of that Russian research is about to release weaponized Ebola into the heart of the South's most iconic city: Atlanta, where the symbols of American "decadence" range from a happily diverse population to the Coca-Cola museum and CNN headquarters.
A preliminary test of the horrifying virus demonstrates the unspeakable suffering of its victims--and alerts the Centers for Disease Control that a terrible pandemic is in the making.  CDC Virologist Dr. Dwight Butler begins a frantic effort to track down the source of the virus before it's too late.
For new BioDawn CEO Richard Wainwright, it quickly becomes clear that the "accidental" plane crash that killed the pharmaceutical company's entire executive hierarchy may have some connection to the evolving threat.  Suddenly, Richard is being stalked by a hit woman.  He and Butler join forces to find the lone terrorist at the center of a plan that could unleash the Black Plague of the 21st century.

Guest Post:
The Story Behind Plague
By H.W. “Buzz” Bernard

The inspiration for Plague sprang from, ironically, a nonfiction book: Richard Preston’s 1994 spine-tingling best seller about the Ebola virus, The Hot Zone.  As I read Preston’s book I became fascinated by Ebola and, quite frankly, scared to death by the thought there might be an airborne version of it.  Thriller writers, naturally, love things that scare folks.  So, I began thinking about how I could craft my fright into a terrifying novel. 

But that didn’t didn’t happen immediately.  I didn’t really embark on becoming a novelist until 2000.  It took another three years after that before I began crafting Plague.  Even then, I set it aside for awhile to work on what  eventually became my first published novel, Eyewall, and didn’t get back to Plague until 2010.  The final version of the novel is the product of about five rewrites, both major and minor.

Now, let me tell you a few cool things--think of it as insider information--about Plague.

There probably should be a warning label on the book.  The opening scene is pretty darn graphic, as are parts of chapters 15 and 27 describing death by Ebola.  They’re paragraphs you wouldn’t want to read just before, during, or after eating.  Why so graphic?  I want the reader to realize just how high the stakes are for my protagonist . . . and society in general.

My editor described the ending as “kick ass.” That pleases me.  But here’s a point to ponder: How does a writer create a “kick-ass” ending with a female Methodist minister involved?

There’s a zinger in the epilogue. I thought that was kind of neat.  It’s not something you see often.  Usually epilogues merely wrap up what happened to the main characters in the wake of the drama.  (Hey, no peeking at the ending and epilogue before you read the book.)

The original title of the novel was The Koltsovo Legacy.  (The reason will become obvious as you read the book.)  The name derives from the Koltsovo Institute of Molecular Biology, a real place in Siberia.  But I didn’t want people to think the novel was set in Russia. It’s not.  The stage is Atlanta. Besides, my publisher, BelleBooks, wanted a one-word title, following along the lines of Eyewall and my work-in-progress, Supercell.

So, if you happen to have read and enjoyed Eyewall, I think I can offer you an equally as thrilling, but different, ride in Plague.

Just remember my caution about the rather graphic scenes of death by Ebola.

Book Excerpt:
David Gullison stared into the bathroom mirror, terrified by what he saw. Someone he didn’t know, someone he’d never known. There was something almost demonic about his image. His eyes swam in crimson. Dead rubies. His face, flushed and splotched with tiny scarlet blooms, gave the appearance of Edelweiss gone bad. He looked the caricature of an aged, hard-drinking Irishman. But he knew it wasn’t age or booze. It was much worse than that.
The pain came again, squeezing his gut, wrapping around his chest. It had started suddenly a couple of days ago. At first it was just his back. “Too much golf,” his wife said.
“No maybe. I warned you. Take it easy. You’re retired now.”
Then the fever had come, boiling up inside him like a pyroclastic flow. His throat felt as though a cheese grater had been dragged through it.
“The flu,” his wife said. “Go lie down for a while. I’ll get some aspirin.”
“Yes,” he said. He’d flopped down on his bed and didn’t move for twelve hours. It was unlike any flu he’d ever had. He felt as if he were on fire, burning up from the inside out. He struggled to take deep breaths; his lungs suffused with fluid. He coughed, deep hacking wheezes that expelled fine sprays of mucus tinged in pink.
The pain spread, invading his stomach and bowels, locking them in vise grips of agony. Vomiting and diarrhea followed. Nonstop.
Now the cramping hit again, sharp, wrenching. He leaned over the sink and vomited once more, long after there shouldn’t have been anything left to bring up. A tarry mixture, black and red, flooded into the basin. It was as if his insides were liquefying, turning to jelly. He gripped the edge of the sink, but had no strength left. The room spun in a dizzying spiral.
He knew he’d waited too long; knew he needed to get to an emergency room. He tried to call for his wife, but before he could, the searing effluent rose in his throat again. He sank to his knees and crawled toward the toilet, but failed to make it in time. A rush of burbling flatulence shot from his bowels. A vile, malodorous slime of blood and dark, stringy tissue ran down his thighs and splattered onto the floor. It oozed over the bathroom tile, staining it with a harbinger of something far worse to come.
He lost consciousness and collapsed into the repulsive emulsion.

About the Author:
H. W. “Buzz” Bernard is a writer and retired meteorologist. His debut novel, Eyewall, which one reviewer called a “perfect summer read,” was released in May 2011 and went on to become a best-seller in Amazon’s Kindle Store.
His second novel, Plague, came out in September 2012.
He’s currently at work on his third novel, Supercell.
Before retiring, Buzz worked at The Weather Channel in Atlanta, Georgia, as a senior meteorologist for 13 years. Prior to that, he served as a weather officer in the U.S. Air Force for over three decades. He attained the rank of colonel and received, among other awards, the Legion of Merit.
His “airborne” experiences include a mission with the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters, air drops over the Arctic Ocean and Turkey, and a stint as a weather officer aboard a Tactical Air Command airborne command post (C-135).
In the past, he’s provided field support to forest fire fighting operations in the Pacific Northwest, spent a summer working on Alaska’s arctic slope, and served two tours in Vietnam. Various other jobs, both civilian and military, have taken him to Germany, Saudi Arabia and Panama.
He’s a native Oregonian and attended the University of Washington in Seattle where he earned a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science; he also studied creative writing.
Buzz currently is vice president of the Southeastern Writers Association.  He’s a member of International Thriller Writers, the Atlanta Writers Club and Willamette Writers.
He and his wife Christina live in Roswell, Georgia, along with their fuzzy and sometimes overactive Shih-Tzu, Stormy.

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