Book Title: Code Black
Name: Sheri Velarde
A disease that can destroy the entire fabric of society, how can one face down such odds?
Sara lives on Key Largo, a place she knows she should have left after the last hurricane, but she can’t quite walk away from it. When warning sirens go off, she fears for the safety of her home more than anything else. That is, until she realizes that something much more than severe weather is heading her way.
When her own government blows up the only escape to the mainland and her neighbors begin to attack one another, Sara learns she can only depend on herself. With the aid of her uncle and Cameron, a National Guard soldier helping her along the way, she is on the run for her life. Harsh realities she never thought she would have to face are now part of her life. Can she do what it takes to survive, or will she always be on the run and wondering what might have been?
“What the hell do you mean ‘the bridge is closed’? Something odd is going on here. We’ve never had the National Guard here for an evacuation, and you are telling me that you just expect us to wait it out here on the island and not ask questions? I heard the warning sirens. We are supposed to be evacuating! Let us through!” Sara demanded, trying to push past the mass of muscle in a National Guard uniform blocking her way.
“I’m sorry, ma’am. We have orders that no one is to cross the bridge. No one is allowed to enter Miami,” the officer said, not budging an inch.
“I just told you that the evacuation sounded, e-v-a-c-u-a-t-i-o-n, and you’re telling me that we can’t leave? It’s probably a late hurricane, and you expect us all just to hope we make it through that here in the Keys? We need to get to the mainland!” Sara threw up her hands in frustration. The memory of the last hurricane which destroyed her family home remained clear in her mind. She should have moved after her family had lost almost everything, but something held her in Key Largo.
“It is not a hurricane warning, ma’am. Please go back to your home and you will be fine.”
Just then, the officer’s walkie-talkie went off. “Miami has been lost. Move everyone away from the bridge. We must prevent the spread and contamination. This is a Code Black. Repeat, this is a Code Black. All civilians must be moved a safe distance from the bridge. You have five minutes.”
Code Black is a departure for me in my writing. Until recently I wrote only romance of some shape or form, some spicier than others. My previous release this past summer, Summer Interrupted started me down the path to horror, which I have now fully realized in Code Black. While there is a hint of a ‘could have been’ romance in this short, it is most definitely not a romance. This is me dipping my toe into the horror genre. I tried to not make it too gory or graphic, save that for when I am more comfortable in horror, but I did try to make you cry and squirm. I grew up reading Stephen King and other horror masters, always wanting to write something spooky but not sure if I had it in me. That means I really had to gather up my courage and just jump in to the unknown for Code Black. Sure, I have been published before, but entering a new genre is scary. I have no idea how my readers will receive this piece, but I am hoping they enjoy a new direction and get a little scared in the process.
Sheri Velarde, lives in New Mexico with her fiancé and their two dogs.
Being an avid reader since an early age, she has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to actually try to pursue her dream of writing for a living. She specializes in all things paranormal and that go bump in the night. Her heart truly lies in exploring unknown worlds or adding the supernatural to our world. If it goes bump in the night or has magical connotations, Sheri writes about it.
She is constantly putting out new material with various publishers, so it is best to keep up with her on her website http://www.sherivelarde.weebly.com.
In her spare time Sheri is an artist, jewelry designer, independent comic writer/artist and freelance non-fiction writer. Hiking in the mountains, going to live concerts, art openings, museums, and hosting intimate dinner parties.