Thursday, February 7, 2013

Plague by H.W. "Buzz" Bernard: Excerpt and Review: PYUB Tour Stop


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.


Deep in the secret recesses of a Cold War lab, the Russians created tons of deadly bio-weapons.  Now, decades later, a protégé 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.




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.

This book captured my full attention very early on.  The tension and suspense never let up and there are several plot twists that surprised and entertained me.  The premise is horrifying and all too believable.  Richard Wainwright steps into a temporary position at a pharmaceutical company for what should be an easy opportunity for a change of scenery and fresh start.  Richard has a head for business and an eye for detail.  He barely hangs his coat up in his new corporate digs when he discovers a mysterious locked building and learns there is a reclusive, eccentric scientist in charge of a top secret program there.  Being the tenacious bull dog that he is, he picks at the puzzle.  When he is threatened, he becomes even more convinced that something is severely amiss. Instead of retreating, he ramps up his inquiries.
Flawlessly flowing prose and electrifying discourse kept the entertainment level high for me.  There are plenty of suspicious characters with unsavory motives and even a few unexpected allies.  Once I started reading this book I could not put it down because I became so involved in wanting to know what would happen next.  This story is well worth the read as pure entertainment, but it also reminds the reader to be vigilant against those forces in the world that wish only to bring death and destruction.  These zealots exist, and it is their desire to find and exploit weakness given any opportunity.
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.
Reviewed by Laurie-J

Join H.W. “Buzz” Bernard, author of the thriller, Plague, as he tours the blogosphere January 2 – February 28 2013 on his second virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!
Next Few Stops
Thursday, February 7
Friday, February 8
Interview at Book Marketing Buzz
Monday, February 11
Guest  Blogging & Book Giveaway at Beth Art From the Heart
Tuesday, February 12
Wednesday, February 13
Book Feature & Book Giveaway at Celtic Lady’s Reviews
Thursday, February 14
Guest Blogging at Beauty in Ruins
Friday, February 15

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a tour host of Pump Up Your Book Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Pump Up Your Book Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising*

1 comment:

Dorothy Thompson said...

Thanks for your wonderful review, Laurie!