Monday, January 31, 2022

Now On Tour Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding by Cynthia Fridsma #Horror #UrbanFantasy

January 31 Midnight Musings with Bertena 

February 1 Gail’s Gory Details
February 2 A Bewitching Guide to Halloween

February 3 Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
February 4 The Book Junkie Reads
February 7 Books+Coffee=Happiness

February 8 The Avid Reader (Review)

February 9 I Smell Sheep (Guest Blog)

February 10 Supernatural Central (Interview)

February 11 Serena Synn (Interview)

February 14 Buffy's Ramblings (Guest Blog)

February 15 Lisa’s World of Books
February 15 Booklikes

February 16 Fang-tastic Books 

February 17 Paranormalists (Guest Blog)

February 18 Roxanne’s Realm 
February 21The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom (Guest Blog)

February 22 Jazzy Book Reviews
February 23 Saph's Books

February 24 JB's Bookworms with Brandy Mulder (Interview)
February 25 Bewitching Book Tours

February 28 Westveil Publishing 

Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding
Cynthia Fridsma

Genre: horror/thriller/urban fantasy
Publisher: CynhiaFridsma.COM
Date of Publication: November 24, 2021
ISBN Paperback: 979-8773139225
ISBN Hardcover: 979-8779427166 
ISBN Audiobook: 978-1669614173
Number of pages: 280
Word Count: 67,415
Cover Artist: Cynthia Fridsma

Tagline: Since the pandemic, she stayed home. Then they kidnapped her friend.

Book Description:

Since the pandemic, Sybil Crewes hasn’t left home. She stopped her duties as an ATU agent (Anti-Terrorism Unit). But then, she got a disturbing phone call. Her friend, Harry Brown, has been kidnapped, and this forces Sybil out of her house.

While doing so, she uncovers an illegal lab where they created a deadly COVID-19 variant that turns its victims into skinned zombies. She contacts the ATU to resume her duties as an ATU agent to stop the new threat and save the world from its undoing.

Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding is a fast-paced modern horror/thriller novel, and partly based on true events.

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Exclusive Excerpt: Silence Will Fall

Sean Hayes lit a cigarette as he watched a crane lowering the first Humvee into the shaft of the almost ten-mile-long sewer tunnel. This was the last stage before the tunnel would carry wastewater from the sewer plant on Deer Island into the Atlantic waters of Massachusetts Bay. His wife, Mary, wanted him to quit smoking and sure, she was right. He should quit. But old habits die hard.

Within a few minutes, he would go down into the pitch-black tunnel to drive in the first Humvee, doing something no one had done before. It was just as dangerous as working in space. Working in an airless, hostile, almost alien environment. Driving a Humvee with an experimental air supply system developed by engineer Bob Keefe into a hostile world beyond any imagination. But they wouldn’t visit an alien world. This was on Earth. Deep under the Atlantic Ocean. It’s like being the first man on the moon…although Sean’s father always claimed they staged the moon landing on July 20, 1969.

Sean inhaled some smoke. He was nothing like his father; despite that he joined the army in 1990—like his father did in the 1960s. Sean did one tour in Iraq—Operation Desert Storm on August 2, 1990. His father referred to it as a vacation. But being there under the scorching desert sun, hot like an oven, wasn’t a vacation. Not to mention all that sand . . .

Again, he inhaled some smoke. His father often told heroic stories about the Vietnam War. He was stationed in Vietnam in 1968 during the Tet Offensive, fighting against the enemy, who owned the night. Hiding in tunnels, waiting to shoot you down or slit your throat.

Sometimes a farmer with an ax, to slash you into pieces if you didn’t shoot him first. “You had to wipe them out like weeds. Burn down hostile villages that hid weapons for the Viet Cong, our enemy. You had to turn off your emotions; otherwise, you’d go insane. It was nothing like the pussies you faced in the Middle East!” his father said many times after Sean came back from his tour in Iraq.

Sean shook his head at the thought. The Tet Offensive was one of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War. It started on January 30, 1968, and lasted until September 23, 1968. His father returned home as a bitter man after losing one of his legs in battle. Anti-war protesters blamed him, and all other surviving soldiers, for all that was wrong about the war in Vietnam.

Most of the time, his father was a drunken bastard, using his belt to “beat some sense” into Sean, like his dad used to say when he believed Sean’s grades dropped to a dangerously low level at high school. In contrast, his dad never even graduated.

Sean exhaled deeply before he inhaled more smoke. When his father passed away last month, he didn’t shed a tear. But when his mother died four years ago, he was heartbroken from the inside. His mother was always so good to him. Sean didn’t show his tears during her funeral because his dad always said that crying was for the weak.

“It’s time,” Mike Doherty said.

Sean nodded and threw his cigarette away after they lowered the second Humvee into the tunnel shaft. “We go down into an alien world.”

“To make the world a better place,” Aaron O’Shea added. Everyone looked up at Aaron.

“It’s true, when you think about it. Boston Harbor is the dirtiest harbor in America.”

“Not anymore. After we remove all fifty-five safety plugs, they will use the Deer Island Outfall Tunnel,” their youngest crewmember, Liam McKenna, said.

“But first we have to crawl up like moles through a thirty-inch-wide pipe to remove a sixty-five-pound safety plug, with no ventilation in the tunnel,” Rory McNeil noted. “Airless, cold, and hostile.”

“Like Bob said,” Sean added, “it’s part of a dry penetration job nearly ten miles into the sewer tunnel before it will be filled with treated wastewater.”

The five men stepped into the metal cage—a tubular metal basket attached to the same crane that lowered the two Humvee earlier on. The cage swayed as it lowered down into the shaft about forty stories deep. Clad casually in jeans and white T-shirts, and wearing gray hard hats with their own battery-powered light supply, they stood in the metal cage. The cage was the same one they’d used to film sharks for a documentary on television last year.

Daylight above their heads dimmed as the metal cage lowered them deeper into the shaft. The sound of his breathing and the metallic squeaking of chains were the only noises Sean heard until they hit bottom.

It was damp and cold down there, and the tunnel smelled like a wet towel. Three-inch-deep water soaked the floor of the tunnel. Nothing to worry about. Sean was the first to set foot in the tunnel. As promised by the management, in the first part of the tunnel, the lights attached on both sides of the tunnel were on and the soft whoosh of the ventilation fans could be heard as the air moved slightly around them.

But deep down there in the tunnel, darkness awaited ahead of them. If there’s a hell, this is it.

“It’s almost like stepping into a Jules Verne story,” Liam quipped as they all turned on the lights from the hard hats. “A journey to the center of the Earth,” Liam added, and whistled softly between his teeth.

“Knock it off,” Aaron warned.

Sean glanced at the tunnel and nodded to his crew. “Come on, ladies, let’s get to work. We’re not here for sightseeing.” Before they stepped into the Humvee, Sean inspected the cylinders on the roof- top—it would supply their breathing air by mixing the vapors of liquid oxygen with liquid nitrogen. It seemed OK. Just to make sure, Sean taped extra duct tape around the connections of the cylinders and hoses. Then he inspected the steel cable that would tow the second Humvee, facing in the opposite direction, which they would use for the drive back, because after nine miles, the tunnel became too narrow to drive farther. There was no room to turn the Humvee around. Then he took a seat behind the wheel and pulled a picture of his wife and son from his wallet. He’d promised his son he’d put his picture on the dashboard. His twelve-year-old son was obsessed with science, and he was eager to know every detail of the mission Sean and his crew were about to begin. A faint smile played on his lips as he stuck the picture on the dashboard with a piece of gum.

“Ah, the family,” Aaron said. “Your lovely wife, Mary, and your son, Carl. How come you didn’t call him Aaron? Now that’s a classy name,” Aaron chuckled.

“Nah. Mary likes the name Carl more. He’s named after Carl Sagan, you know. It’s a good thing too, because Carl is all into science,” Sean said proudly.

“That’s too bad. The only things in life that matter are women, booze, and the motherfucking ocean,” Aaron laughed.

“Amen!” Mike and Rory exclaimed.

Sean grinned. “Now you know why I didn’t name my son after you.” He cast a glance in the rear-view mirror. “That reminds me. Mary asked if you all would like to come to Carl’s birthday next week.”

“A party? Count me in,” Aaron said.

“And what about you guys in the back?” Sean asked.

“If there are tasty hamburgers, fried chicken, and beer, then we will come,” Mike said, and burped loudly. Everyone busted out in laughter. “Awesome.” Sean grinned and drove off. He played some music from the cassette player—always the same music from the 1960s— as he drove the Humvee slowly through the twenty-four-foot-wide
tunnel. The headlights cut through the darkness.

Sean glanced at the picture of his family and suppressed a grin. Carl would have loved this. But it was too dangerous. This had never been done before, and he knew the risks. They all did. And the system that would supply them with air was held together with duct tape.

It would have been better if the powers that be left the ventilation in the tunnel running to provide them with oxygen. After all, it had been working for years when construction workers were down here working on the tunnel. Sean didn’t understand management’s decision to turn off the ventilation. Perhaps it was cheaper, but not safer. In the long years he’d been working for the company as a diver, the first rule was always safety first. But now they had to work with com- pressed air and a dozen hoses connected to the cylinders on top of the car. The setting to provide them with air, by itself, was genius, and it worked. After all, they could breathe as they drove deeper into the tunnel. After nine miles into the tunnel, it became too narrow to drive farther.

“Well, gentlemen, this is where we go our separate ways,” Sean said. “I mean, Liam, Mike, and Rory have to go on foot to the end of the tunnel to collect the safety plugs. Aaron and I will stay here, watching over you until you come back. Then we drive back in the second Humvee.”

“We will think of you,” Aaron chuckled, “while we wait and listen to
Gladys Knight and the Pips. Wait, can I trade places with Liam?” “Why? Don’t you like ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’?” Sean asked.

“It’s a great song, but you always play the same music,” Aaron complained.

“Yeah, that’s right,” Liam said. “I’d love to hear Prince.”

“You gotta love the classics,” Sean said, and chuckled. “Think of it as part of your education, Liam.”

After that, Mike, Liam, and Rory stepped out of the car. With the lights on their heads and wearing oxygen masks, they headed down the tunnel into the darkness.

About the Author:

As far back as she can remember, Cynthia Fridsma has been listening to exciting stories told by her mother. She grew up reading books by Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, and Philip K. Dick, among others. It was Cynthia’s mother who inspired her to start telling—and writing—her own stories.
Ms. Fridsma’s writing career started after a handicap in 2014—she has a tremor in her right hand, numbness in the fingers, and pain in her wrist. She had to give up her other creative outlets, such as photography, computer programming, and gave up on juggling, so focused on what she could do rather than what she couldn’t do. Besides writing, she sometimes plays guitar—in Jimi Hendrix style.

Cynthia lives with her husband and pet bunny, Max, in Amsterdam.

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