About the Book:
Author: J.D. May
Genre: Suspense, Science Fiction, Romance, Medical Thriller
Publisher: Palmetto Publishing
Synopsis: Dr. Sam Hawkins’s friend and mentor, Dr. William Roberts, has been struck down by an unknown and hideous disease. Roberts’s dying words are cryptic, and Sam is soon confronted by a massive cover up of his friend’s death. He reluctantly partners with Dr. Rainee Arienzo, an Italian infectious disease specialist, and together they uncover the terrifying truth about Factor-7, a bio-weapon with a 98 percent mortality rate.
Roberts’s journal tips them off that a clandestine plot for using the virus is about to be unleashed by a secret society, the Keepers Collegium. The Collegium, an international group of rogue intelligence agents, ex-military, and government officials, has a demonic plan to use the pathogen to destroy anyone who threatens their twisted ideology. Sam and Rainee soon realize that public exposure of the evil plot would be as dangerous to the world’s security as the bio-weapon itself—the fallout could lead to World War III. Therefore, they must not only shut down the plans of the Collegium, but also keep the top- secret information away from the media. But as they work to stop the plot, Sam and Rainee are kidnapped by the drug cartel. The kingpin, who financed much of the Collegium’s plot, wants them to hand over Roberts’s journal because it lists the names of the major players in the Collegium who had double-crossed him. He plans to carry out his own revenge. In order to survive, Sam and Rainee have no choice—they must play with one of two devils or be burned by both.
Interview with Dr. Sam Hawkins and Dr. Rainee Arienzo
by J.D. May
Dr. Hawkins, what made you settle in Galveston for your medical career?
I went to UT Medical School Branch here in Galveston and then got my residency at St. Peter’s Hospital, which is now St. Peter’s Memorial Medical Center. It’s grown over the past many years. When they got their Level One Trauma unit, I was asked to head that department, and the rest is history. Of course, now, Rainee and I are doing other things, but that hospital will always be a big part of my life. I lost my best friend there, as you know, and it led me to all the nightmares that Rainee and I experienced afterwards.
You and Dr. John Albright had some difficult times. What happened?
John and I were roommates a short while at University of Texas in Austin, while we both were in pre-med. He and I were like oil and water from the beginning. John seemed to enjoy aggravating me and one day, he took my biology notes and burned them. The exam was the next day and I didn’t do as well as I would have had I been able to study my notes. He denied it, but after all we have been through with him and the FACTOR-7, I am certain he was the culprit. He’s evil to the core and I hope he really did not survive, but I still wonder about that. If he is still out there, well–let’s just say–the world is not a safe place with him in it.
Dr. Arienzo, do you have any recourse with the Italian authorities regarding your father’s death and the laboratory fire? I mean now that so much truth has come out about all of that.
We know the truth, but there is no way of proving anything. We had some evidence with Dr. Roberts’s journal, but since we don’t have that anymore, those Italian state police will just go on lying or covering the truth for someone.
Dr. Arienzo, it must have been terrifying when you were at the drug lord’s hideaway. Can you tell me about that and that man?
It was horrifying until we actually met him. He always held fear over us, don’t get me wrong. He was a sick, pathetic man. I hated what he did for money, but somehow, I couldn’t help but feel very sorry for him. I think he is the epitome of the term, out of options. He felt he had no choice and that drove him. Sam and I learned what that felt like as well, as we fought between the two devils that had holds on us. I always feared him, but I learned to understand him too.
Sam, you had a bad experience at the last meeting with your best friend’s wife. Can you explain?
Ana was a bit like the drug lord, in that she was a sad and pitiful woman. She had lost everything, but she knew why and couldn’t handle the guilt. She had been like a second mother to me. Dr. Roberts was as close to me as any man other than my father. Both of them made poor choices until they could no longer make choices of their own. Bill’s death broke my heart and changed my life. Ana broke my heart and scarred my sense of trust for a very long time. Both of them betrayed me. Rainee however saved me from the doom of becoming a cynic or misanthropist.
This question is for both of you. Rainee, you didn’t like Sam at first and Sam, you didn’t trust Rainee. When did you realize that changed?
Well, Sam was a real ass at first and I was insulted and angered by him, but all the while, he had something that I liked. He was honest and maybe to a fault. He was so good, perhaps even idealistic–definitely to a fault. He sometimes was naïve, because he just couldn’t see that people could be as evil as we unfortunately discovered. But Sam is strong and a fighter. When the going got really bad, Sam was there and even though he joked to remain sane at times, he led us out of the quagmire. I would not have survived without him. He is my hero for sure.
Well, Rainee didn’t make me out to be a caped avenger, did she? But she’s right, I have lived kinda in a bubble, but these past few years have certainly changed that part of me. I think I knew I loved Rainee even when I couldn’t stomach what she had to tell me. It was incredible, you know? I mean, FACTOR-7–a bioweapon? And we were the only ones to handle the situation? It was preposterous for sure. But I knew I absolutely loved her when we were in San Miguel and she disappeared for a short while. I remember screaming at the man with the goat’s carcass. He thought I was insane. Well, it turned out all right, but I will never eat Cabrito again–that’s for sure.
So where are you two going from here?
There’s always stories ahead and Rainee and I have gotten married since our ordeal. We’ll see where our destiny takes us.
Sam and I want children, and we want peace. I fear, however, that the people we were up against have not yet given up. You see Sam and I know too much. So, we will lay low as advised and not welcome trouble, but if we are handed it again, we will be ready and we have the promise of help from our new friends
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