Friday, December 19, 2014

Special Offer on The Accused and the Damned begins tomorrow

Do you like paranormal thrillers?

Do you like legal thrillers?

The Accused and the Damned is BOTH, a paranormal legal thriller. I'm pretty sure it's the first of its kind. (But hey, if I'm wrong, leave a comment and point me to another book like it--I want to read it!)

And starting tomorrow, you can get TAATD for the ridiculously low price of $0.99.

This is a special, limited-time offer that runs through 12/24.

And if you read and enjoy TAATD, leave me a review and let me know. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Almost Effective Immediately: You Can Purchase Effective Immediately

Effective Immediately

This is the second short story in (what will hopefully be) my Close of Business trilogy. If you enjoyed Morale Was Down, there is a 35% to 80% likelihood you’ll also like this one.
The Vice President needs your help with not one, but two mysteries. Neither of which you are qualified in any way to solve. You think this is going to be another hurry-the-hell-up-clock Friday, but you’re wrong.
Today you actually have your work cut out for you.
Effective Immediately is a ~17,000 word short story that further, redundantly, and repetitively, explores the utter absurdity of office life.

Amazon link will be available tomorrow

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

In The Blood #3 Is Available Now

This is the longest of the bunch yet clocking in at 29,000 words which I believe makes it a novella as opposed to a short story. But I'll leave that (un)important distinction to the scholars and professors who would probably scoff at this story as lowbrow anyway and get on with the synopsis.

WARNING: In The Blood #3 is NOT your typical zombie story.
The infected have zero page time in this short story.

 The feds have cancelled Echo Camp’s orders with no warning. No more cure will be delivered for the foreseeable future.

But with tens of thousands of lives hanging in the balance, Teague has to do something.

Racing against time, Teague must work quickly to gather vital information from disparate, sometimes opposed, groups at Echo to write a report that will convince the feds to reverse the cancellation. If he succeeds, the feds will restock their rapidly dwindling supply of cure.

If he fails, thousands could die.

And that’s not the only problem.

People have started to disappear from Echo. The walls are good at keeping infected out, but not so good at keeping uninfected in. As Teague investigates, the mystery deepens and it’s unclear if they’ve left of their own accord or if something else—something much more sinister—is happening.

Hooked yet? If yes, read on and find out.

I repeat, this is NOT your typical zombie story.

There are no action sequences; gory, violent killings; or plots involving our heroes getting trapped in small spaces and being surrounded by a horde of the undead.

This is a cerebral thriller that explores how organizations work—and don’t work—to accomplish their goals.
This ~29,000 word short story expands the In The Blood universe. Filled with complex, intriguing characters, In The Blood #3 continues to explore what it means to be human.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

First review of E is up!

Big thank you to Joshua Gerber for posting the first review of E!

E is a short story prequel to the upcoming fantasy serial I'm working on, Kwahlah. The first season of Kwahlah will be out early next year.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

What is E? Who is E?

No, we're not talking about that cable channel with the bad reality shows and nauseating red carpet specials. We're talking about my latest short story, E.

I know I always say this, but this story is a little different. (That will be the epitaph on my tombstone, for sure.)

E is a short story prequel to a fantasy serial entitled Kwahlah. I plan to release Kwahlah in weekly installments next year. If I was pitching it to Hollywood, I would call it Harry Potter meets Ender's Game, as written by Friedrich Nietzsche.

See? I told you this one was a little different.

Right now it's available on Amazon for $0.99. Check it out and let me know what you think.

*** Please ignore the random HTML in the Product Description on Amazon. I don't know why that's showing up but I'm trying to get it removed. Changes to product pages on Amazon can take anywhere from a few minutes to a day to be processed, so please bear with me. Thanks ***

Here's an excerpt from E:




The Teacher was looking for volunteers.


The Teacher started up and down each aisle, stopping to look at each student. Everyone avoided her gaze.

Everyone except E.

E wasn’t really her name. It was just the letter they’d assigned her when she’d been enrolled in this school. She didn’t remember her name anymore—wasn’t allowed to remember her name as a matter of fact. They’d burned it from her memory somehow. They could do things like that.

E waited. The Teacher was still walking down the next row, looking at each student individually. Finally, when the Teacher passed by, E met her stare.

E had learned about reverse psychology and hoped by doing the opposite of everyone else, by projecting confidence (which she didn’t feel), the Teacher would select someone else.

E wanted—had—to avoid getting called on today.

E was terrified of being in front of the class under normal circumstances. She always got lightheaded, dizzy, and her knees went weak. And that was under normal circumstances, when she just had to stand up there and summarize some topic or do something she was okay at. But today was different.

Today the Teacher wanted someone to create.

She wasn’t good at that.

No, she was worse than not good. She was bad. The worst in the class.

The Teacher smiled at her and continued down the row and went on to the next one, looking at each student as she went by. E hoped it had worked and the Teacher would call on someone else.

“Anyone?” the Teacher said again.

Creation was really hard. The Teacher hadn’t given them any instruction on how to do it. One day she’d simply called B to the front of the room and told him create a piece of paper using just his mind. At first E thought the Teacher had been making a joke. But then she’d looked around the room to see if the other kids had had the same reaction to the Teacher’s request.

They didn’t. They just watched B like they expected him to be able to do it.

It was on that day that E realized the other kids were much more powerful than her. They could do things she didn’t even know were possible.

That night she’d gone to her room and practiced, though she had no idea what she was doing. She couldn’t ask anybody for help. That would just be more ammunition for them to make fun of her. Every night for a month she tried to create something in her room.

And couldn’t.

But then she’d gotten lucky.

In a rare occurrence, the Teacher had permitted the class ten minutes of free time. They could study, or talk, or practice, or do homework. Everybody used it as down time.

But not E.

She had begun to develop a friendship with C, a boy her age. He was tall and socially awkward, like her. He’d offered her advice the day before on telekinesis so she walked over and asked for his help on how to create. After giving her a few pointers, E tried different things. They used up the whole ten minutes of free time and at the end she’d only been able to create an inferior replica of the paper airplane C had created just as an example for her. He’d done it in less than two seconds. One moment there was nothing, the next there was a paper airplane in his hand.

Her airplane took her a minute to create. A full minute! And hers couldn’t even fly, while C’s glided easily all the way across the classroom, pulled a 180 degree turn, and flew back to him. C had used the opportunity to show off his telekinetic powers, which admittedly were impressive.

She had appreciated his help but the exercise had been humiliating. She hadn’t been able to create one of her own ideas and the copy of C’s plane hadn’t even worked.

C had been encouraging, like always. But the other kids had tormented her. Because her paper airplane sucked, because she couldn’t throw her voice, because she couldn’t even move a pencil with her mind…because a lot of things. They constantly ridiculed her, both in and out of the classroom.

E was good at one thing. But she couldn’t tell anybody. Her hidden talent was her One Big Secret and she’d never share it. Not with C. Not even with Mom and Dad.

If only the other kids knew what she was capable of…they wouldn’t make fun of her at all. Not even K.

K was the worst. She was a couple years older than E and everybody feared her. She was powerful and always knew exactly the worst thing to say. Just last week, K had called her a talentless, ugly moron.

E had gotten so mad, she was ready to punch K in the face. But all the other kids were there, laughing at her. E’s overactive anxiety had kicked in and she’d passed out before she’d gotten a chance to even throw a punch.

E had woken up to face the added humiliation of fainting, with all the other kids calling her weak, or a coward, or other awful things she hoped she was not. Complaining to the Teacher only invited more torment as the Teacher would not intervene and as news of her tattling would inevitably get out.

The Teacher knew all of this. Knew of E’s fears and must have known E was far, far behind everybody else. Knew E had failed at the last two things. There was no way she’d call on E. She couldn’t.

The Teacher finished walking up and down the aisles and returned to her desk at the front of the room.


Again, everyone kept their eyes down. Everyone except E. She looked right at the Teacher.

“E, you’re looking eager,” the Teacher said.

Reverse psychology hadn’t worked.

E felt her heart kick into second gear. And her mental display confirmed it. Her heart had gone from an already-nervous 100 beats per minute to 115.

She started sweating.

“E, everything okay?”

Not really. She was wondering what would happen to her if she failed at demonstration. The school had very few rules in place, but one of them was the Rule of Three. She shuddered at the thought of it.

“Ye-ye-yes, Teacher.”

Everyone snickered. The Teacher smiled at E innocently, as if this were all a game and everyone in the room was friends.

But E had no friends, except for C.

She didn’t know why the other kids tormented her. Perhaps because she was a soft target, a concept they’d learned about in Warfare. But she’d never teased or taunted or bullied or talked behind anybody’s back.

But it went beyond torment. Deep down, E knew she was hated. Not by everybody, but by most. She didn’t know why, but assumed they hated her because she was different. She was never on the inside of any jokes, never the first to know some gossip, never privy to what the other kids planned on doing at recess or after school before Principal sent everyone to their rooms for more studying and the usual five hours of sleep.

“Come on up, then,” the Teacher said.

E pushed her chair away from her desk and stood. She was self-conscious of how she looked. She’d hit a growth spurt and now her uniform was two inches too short. The other girls, especially K, looked good in their uniforms. The Teacher kept all of them in great shape, but still, some girls looked better than others. It all came down to genetics and what you were born with. E wasn’t as pretty as the others and her uniform just didn’t fit right. Short in the legs, long in the arms, wide in the hips.

Everyone else had been through braces but E’s teeth were bad so she still had hers. And the worst part? She had to wear glasses. Visual improvement surgery worked for 99% of the population, but of course E fell into that other 1%. That was how her classmates saw her. That was how she saw herself.

As an other.

The Teacher waited patiently while all eyes tracked E as she headed to the front of the class. K stuck her foot out nonchalantly, but E saw the trip coming a mile away. Normally she’d just step around it, but today she was in no mood.

She stepped hard on K’s toes and pretended it had been an accident.

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t see your foot there,” E said.

K called her a dirty word, but of course the Teacher did nothing. The kids got away with anything, up to and including murder. There was no punishment, like in the regular school she used to go to. E spent her time at recess with her back on a wall, or looking over her shoulder.

E hated using dirty words so instead she made a face.

K just smiled. “Rule of Three.”

E pretended like she hadn’t heard K, but her words were like a knife twisting in E’s stomach.

E had never seen the Rule of Three enforced. But the Teacher had referenced it on a number of occasions. And the thought of it terrified her.

Fail at three consecutive tasks, and you’ll disappear.

Most people thought the disappeared were just expelled, but E wasn’t so sure. She got the feeling this school was top-secret. The kids weren’t allowed off the grounds and weren’t allowed to communicate with the outside world, the rare exception coming when Mom and Dad visited or called her through the internet.

She didn’t know exactly what happened to the disappeared. But whatever it was, it couldn’t be good.

And E was one step away from violating the Rule of Three. She had failed at the last two consecutive tasks. The first, remote viewing. No matter what she tried, she couldn’t see into the adjacent classroom. The second, pyrokinesis. She hated fire. It scared her. One of her earliest memories was of the fire in her house growing up. She’d been trapped in her room. She’d always thought she’d accidentally started it by thinking about fire. The fireman had rescued her through her window though, and Mom and Dad had never spoken of it again. But deep down, she knew. She’d started it.

E reached the front of the classroom. Her heart was pumping 120 times per minute like she’d done hill sprints in gym class. The walls of her vision seemed a little narrower. She could feel it happening. She was going to pass out unless she calmed herself.

Deep breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth.

She couldn’t fail.

E knew from C that creation was easiest when you came up with your own, clear idea of what you wanted to make. It was better to form a detailed image in your mind, rather than relying on some vague thought to generate a new thing.

Also, smaller was easier. So E kept the idea simple. She pictured a pen. She was always losing her pens so it’d be useful to make more. Useful was also good. It gave you a reason to make something. What was that saying?

Necessity was the mother of invention.

That was the general idea. Easier to make something you needed than to imagine some new kind of unicorn. That was all the other girls always made, magical creatures, robots, jewelry (which they couldn’t wear, anyway).

“Okay, E. Stand right here and face your classmates.”

E did. Another deep breath.

Her classmates were all smiling wickedly, waiting for her to fail. She kept picturing the pen in her mind, giving it more and more detail. She picked a color. Blue. Then she further refined the color. Sky blue, midnight blue…she settled on teal. She could do this. She could make this pen. She just had to talk herself into it.

Heart beats per minute was now 130. Her vision got a little narrower. K was on the edge of her seat, just waiting for E to mess up. E wanted to smack that evil smirk off K’s face.

But E wasn’t going to mess up. She was determined to create a working pen with just her mind. Something out of nothing. That would show everybody she could do it.

“Thank you, E. Now, class, let’s think of something for E to create.”

Oh no. No. Not that. She was ready to make a pen. She had an idea already. It was always easier to create your own idea rather than somebody else’s. This was bad.

She had always failed at telepathy, but she tried it now anyway with C. 

Say a pen. Say a pen. Say a pen.


Amazingly, C was the first to raise his hand. Had her telepathy worked? That would be a first.

The Teacher called on C.

C said, “How about a plate?”

Okay, so the telepathy hadn’t worked. But at least C was trying to help. A plate was an easy thing to visualize and theoretically an easy thing to create.

“That’s good but pretty straightforward. Any other ideas?” the Teacher said.

K raised her hand.

Beats per minute: 140.

K said, “A hairy tarantula.”

“Ohhh, creepy. I like that,” the Teacher said. “Anyone else?”

K’s best friend, M, raised his hand. “A hairy tarantula with lots of eyes!”

“Good!” the Teacher said. “Vivid. Anybody else?”

K shot everybody else a look that said, No more ideas, let’s force her to make a tarantula.

E shuddered at the thought. She hated bugs. She knew spiders weren’t technically bugs but that was a minor, unimportant detail. They’d studied tarantulas and poisonous spiders in science class, up close and personal. They were usually hairy. They all had fangs.

They totally grossed E out. She could barely look at the things inside the terrarium. And then K had picked one up and stuck it in her face. Its legs wiggled and she swore she heard it hiss. K went to put it down E’s uniform but thankfully, for once, she passed out before that could happen and the Teacher had intervened (for once also).

The Teacher said, “Okay, E. Hairy tarantula it is.”

K couldn’t hide her smile. Neither could the rest of the class. C watched in horror, the skin around his eyes crinkled.

E said, “Okay.”

There was no way to create something without visualizing it. Without studying it in your mind first. She pictured all those eyes watching her. The mandibles. The seemingly hundreds of tiny moving parts. The eight legs. All of them jointed. All of them hairy. There were 900 species of tarantula, all of them disgusting. Female tarantulas could live up to forty years, some of them surviving on water alone for two years.

She formed the image in her mind. This tarantula was black and orange and had a big round abdomen.

“Come on, E, you can do this,” the Teacher said.

E squeezed her eyes shut and felt the cold sweat on her back and brow. She tried to ignore her vitals, but the mental display made that impossible. Her beats per minute were up to 155. She felt like her head was going to explode.

Then K started the chant.

“Rule of Three! Rule of Three! Rule of Three!

The other kids jumped in.

E tried to block out the noise, but she couldn’t. All she could hear was their chanting, their laughing, and now the insults too.






The Teacher didn’t stop them.

E could feel her pulse throbbing in her head. Her beats per minute spiked to 170. Her chest heaved. If she kept this up any longer, her head might explode. She focused every ounce of her being on the spider forming in her mind. It was just an image, still flat like she’d drawn it, and immobile. It wasn’t real until it moved. She had to get it to move.

“You can do it!” C shouted.

Brave boy. She was grateful for the encouragement, but then she heard K.

“He’s got a crush on her!”

And everyone was laughing at C now. And her. Both of them. They sang that ridiculous song about two kids sitting in a tree together. The Teacher did nothing.

E got mad. She got mad as hell. Madder than the last time K had picked on her. E had never hated anybody in her life.

Until now.

She despised K. She wished she could use her power to hurt K instead of creating a spider. It felt like a waste of energy when she had such a better use for it.

As her anger rose, the tarantula took shape. It flexed its legs and then molted. It popped out of its skin and grew in size. It had impossibly many eyes. Those eyes watched her. It made her skin crawl. It was huge, it had ten legs instead of the usual eight and its mandibles were chewing on something. It was big. Bigger than any normal tarantula. And she heard K laughing. Always laughing. Always.

E couldn’t take this.

Heart beats per minute: 75.

How was that possible? Dropping by 100 beats per minute?       

The walls of her vision closed and the world went black...

Friday, November 28, 2014



When I wrote In The Blood, my intention was to tell a simple, standalone story about a family driven apart by a viral outbreak and the difficult decisions they were forced to make to survive while trying to retain their humanity. I had a blast writing it as I got the chance to tell some of it from a zombie’s perspective. To me the story wasn’t about whether the Robinsons reunited as a family. What was more important was exploring the decisions they made along the way, so that at the end of the story the reader could fill in the blanks and come up with what they thought happened next.
Lo and behold, readers enjoyed the story enough that they started asking me for a sequel. In my mind that was an interesting hypothetical—I’d never intended there to be one. But the demand was there, so I sat down and started thinking about where I could take the story and characters and the larger world next.
And I came up with a few ideas...
So enough with me burying the lead, what I'm really here to say is THERE WILL BE MORE SHORT STORIES SET IN THIS UNIVERSE.
Two of which will be out in December.
I have to thank the readers, because without your urging, these stories might never have existed.
Pretty cool, huh?
All of this has got me jazzed to write a bunch of connected short stories that, when all is said and done, will hopefully form a big sweeping story that spans years and dozens of characters.
At least, that's the plan anyway ;-)
But I can only do that if there’s interest, and the best way to let me know there’s an interest is to leave me a review HERE.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Free on Amazon today and tomorrow, here's what early reviewers have to say about Morale Was Down:

"This is, without a doubt, the most profane and utterly hilarious short story I've read in a very long time."

"And you read it again. And again. Because "Morale Is Down" is so funny. And so realistic, like your own office. And that writing style of Ronan's is so fast paced and breezy and tongue in cheek that it even gets the Amazon reviewer to write a review in that exact same style."

"This is a quick, fun read while traveling on the Metro heading to your office. You'll open the office doors, step in, and resolve to improve the morale by telling a story ... this story."

"Oh hey, looking for gifts for your cubicle friends? Need something for the office white elephant exchange? Have friends who still talk about the movie, The Office? They will get a chuckle out of "Morale Was Down.""

"We get to follow a hapless middle manager turned sleuth as he tries to use techniques he learned from TV crime shows to grill suspect coworkers. Will he solve this crime wave before COB? You will certainly enjoy a few laughs as he blunders along."

"I have to say that it was the funniest book that I have read!"

"Hilarious short story that reminded me a bit of the movies Office Space and Clockwatchers. Nice spoof of an investigation, with all the ridiculous office politics and corporate banalities mixed in. Quick read!"

"I defy anyone to sit thru a reading of this story without soiling themselves laughing."

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thanks to Sandy at SweetMysteryBooks!

A big thanks to Sandy for the great review and plug at SweetMysteryBooks. If you enjoyed The Unearthed or any of its sequels, I encourage you to check out Sandy's website, which is geared specifically toward paranormal and supernatural mysteries and thrillers. You can be sure to find some great books in this genre there.


THEN HERE'S A SPECIAL, LIMITED-TIME OFFER RIGHT NOW: Leave an honest review of The Lost on Amazon, email me at with the link to your review, and I'll send you a complimentary copy of The Accused and the Damned.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Great Reviews of In The Blood

"This book is different than other zombie books. the struggles that the characters go through were interesting.
This book gives you a zombies perspective. That in and of itself was worth the read."

"Highly recommended if you are ready for a different take on the zombie apocalypse."

"Keep writing Evan, I'll keep reading! Readers, be brave, take a peek at this story and read it all the way!"

"While this is a typical setting for a zombie story, the thing that made this book fresh and appealing were the unique devices the author offered in using the Internet Forum Chat Room as a way to relate information and advance the story. Also, the twist he introduced regarding the zombies themselves was something I had never seen used before and provided a whole new angle I had never considered. Overall, the writing is clear and the dialogue realistic. The horror of the situation is also palpable as the characters are placed in very undesirable positions and forced to make choices one should never have to imagine."

"I really enjoyed this book. This book is a very short read and I didn’t want this book to end because I wanted…scratch that I needed more. I didn’t want this story to end, why you ask? Well because Evan Ronan sucked me into this world of infected people, Jimmy, and Sally."

"Definitely makes you think about what you might be capable of, if your survival was threatened, and your actions were no longer restricted by the rules of society. Grim and forbidding."


Pick up your free copy of In The Blood today. Tomorrow it'll be back to $0.99.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Limited time offer:

Grab In The Blood for free on Friday and Saturday HERE.

Here's the blurb:

The virus has spread. A father becomes infected and his daughter must go on alone. After parting ways both struggle to hold onto that most important thing: their humanity.

Told from the perspective of the father--now a zombie--and a daughter--now forced to be a savage--In The Blood is a violent, moving short story about what it means to be human.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Going to check out Interstellar Friday morning in IMAX. I've been a big Christopher Nolan fan since Memento. Totally STOKED for this one!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Readers Like It...So I'm Going To Release A Sequel

Thanks for all the great reviews of Morale Was Down so far. I wrote it for a pretty wide audience--anyone that's ever worked in an office. I've really enjoyed swapping work "horror" stories with early readers, so please keep those coming, either to my email ( or here, on this blog.

So, without further ado, I'd like to announce that the sequel, Effective Immediately, will be out soon. Hopefully this month, or next month, or early next year, or maybe later next year. Right after I get done some work.

But seriously, I hope to have the sequel out before the end of the year. Stay tuned and happy reading.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Who's With Daryl?

Looking forward to tonight's The Walking Dead. I have no idea who Daryl has with him.

If after tonight's episode you didn't get enough zombies, check out In The Blood. It's a quick read.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

In The Blood - A Zombie Short Story

Love zombies? If yes, click here.

Love zombies, but tired of reading the same old zombie story? If yes, click here.

Interested in reading a story partly told from a zombie's point of view? If yes, click here.

Were you an English major and have you been waiting for someone to write the 21st century equivalent of an epistolary story? If yes, click here.

Don't have enough time to read a full-length zombie novel but need to get your zombie fix? If yes, click here.


IN THE BLOOD: The virus has spread. A father becomes infected and his daughter must go on alone. After parting ways both struggle to hold onto that most important thing: their humanity. Told from the perspective of the father--now a zombie--and the daughter--now forced to be a savage--In The Blood is a moving, violent tale of what it means to be human.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Accused and the Damned - Available Tomorrow

First, a big thank you to everyone that has pre-ordered The Accused and the Damned!

Second, just as big a thank you to everyone that has taken the time to review my Eddie McCloskey books on Amazon and Goodreads. The reviews (see here and here) have been very thoughtful and detailed, so I know they'll help potential readers make an informed decision.

Third, I thought I'd give you a little background on the series and TAATD because it's out tomorrow.


When it comes to fictional characters, some slowly evolve over the course of a series (Travis McGee) while others remain the same (Jack Reacher). Each approach has its benefits--the McGee and Reacher series include some of my favorite books of all time--but for Eddie McCloskey I wanted to develop a character that significantly changed over time so that each story presented a new personal challenge
for him. In this way, readers get the opportunity to see him grow or even grow along with him.

In The Unearthed, you could argue that Tim is the main character in the story, or even that the story is more an ensemble piece (and I could see both points). When I finished the book and considered where to go next, I thought Eddie had the most interesting backstory and the most room to grow out of all the characters. So I made the decision to shift the focus of the series to Eddie.

In The Lost, I made things as difficult as possible for Eddie from a personal standpoint. He's forced into the biggest investigation of his life, without anyone from his old team, without any equipment, with one rookie assistant who wants to find something, and his every step is being watched by the entire town, including the man who hired him. To further complicate matters, Eddie uncovers evidence that points in both directions: that the phenomena are paranormal in nature or that they could have rational explanations. So he's forced to peel back layer-after-layer of fact and deceit to get to the truth. Along the way, the story also becomes a murder mystery. To top it all off, an old enemy is coming to take his revenge on Eddie.

In The Accused and the Damned, Eddie is at a professional crossroads. He's started his own business but the bills are piling up and things are not looking good. At the same time, his conscience forces him to take a charity (and career-threatening) case for an old friend. Already faced with an impossible task--to prove a ghost killed someone--Eddie then must square off against a TV personality with a national following in the strangest murder trial the state has ever seen. Want to know where I got the idea for this story? CHECK THIS OUT.


Please keep the reviews coming. I take feedback very seriously and use it to continuously improve my writing.

Thanks and happy reading!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hilarious Review of Morale Was Down

Normally I'll pull one or two quotes out of a review when posting here or on Facebook to give readers a general sense of the reviewer's thoughts. But last night I read one of the funniest and most creative reviews I've ever encountered.

Big thank you to Steve from Silver Screen Videos for taking the time to craft this postmodern (!) review-within-a-short story written in the second person. Steve is an expert on all things cinema, so if you're a movie buff make sure to check out his website as well. (We had a brief chat over email, for example, during which he pointed me to an early noir film shot entirely from a first person POV!)

Here is Steve's unabridged review of Morale Was Down:

"NOTE: The author graciously provided me with a copy of this book and requested that I write a review.

You're at work one day wondering how to kill the hour you have left until you go to lunch. You could start work on that big project the boss gave you but you realize you won't be able to figure out what's going on until lunch time anyway so you might as well not start. You've checked your e-mail and your Twitter account and your Facebook page and your e-mail again and there's nothing new. And you've gone past your boss's office for coffee three times already this morning and you don't want to give him any ideas that you're spending time at the coffee machine instead of working on that project you've told him is well under way even though you won't even look at it until after lunch. Then you remember that story called "Morale Was Down" by Evan Ronan that you bought on Amazon primarily because some guy wrote a review in the second person that he claimed was just like the style of the story and he said it was about an office just like the lousy one you work at and it's about a boss who's just like your lousy boss.

Anyway, you remember that according to the review, one of the employees brought in a Stromboli for lunch and then said someone stole it. So the big boss at the company orders the jerk of a middle manager boss who's just like the lousy middle manager boss you work for to find the Stromboli because it will help morale at the office, which had been down lately. And, according to the review, the boss spends most of the day looking for the Stromboli except when he gets distracted, which happens a lot just like you get distracted a lot when you're at work. So, you say, what the heck, you might as well spend that hour reading "Morale Was Down" and then saying you were doing research on improving your leadership skills.

And you start to read and you start to think this guy Evan Ronan really knows what it's like to work in an office. And his descriptions of all the different types of employees sound just like the ones you work with, only funnier. And that story. Wow, that boss is even lazier and knows more ways to waste time than you do (of course, you take notes in case you ever have to use some of these tricks). The boss in the story also takes notes but they're not very good notes, and, in fact, most of what he does to figure out what happened to the Stromboli doesn't work out too well either.

So you start to grin. Then you giggle. Then you giggle some more. Then you burst out laughing when that guy Ronan writes about the fake Amber Alert reporting the missing Stromboli that someone posts on the refrigerator door. And that's when you decide this guy Ronan really knows what it's like to work in an office, and his description of office politics is quite astute and hilariously funny to boot. If fact, it's funnier than the cat video you watched six times on YouTube this morning.

And before you realize what's happening, you've finished the story and you look around and everyone's gone off to lunch except for that one guy who's staring at you wondering just which cat video you're looking at that's so funny. So you put your Kindle away and decide that since you've spent all that time doing research, you'll take your full lunch hour anyway. And you also decide you need to do some more research so you decide you'll read "Morale Is Down" again this afternoon instead of working on that project that's not going anywhere anyway.

And you read it again. And again. Because "Morale Is Down" is so funny. And so realistic, like your own office. And that writing style of Ronan's is so fast paced and breezy and tongue in cheek that it even gets the Amazon reviewer to write a review in that exact same style. And you realize it's just so easy to just sit back and enjoy Ronan's clever dialogue and enticing style. And that writing style will stay with you a long time because you're going to remember this story and the missing Stromboli for a long, enjoyably long time. And no matter what happens to the lousy boss in the story, you know that your morale is up, way up, and it's going to stay way up even when something really lousy happens in your real life office. Because that's just the way the story is."

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Character Evolution

When I write thrillers, my main goal is to create a plot that moves at light speed. Readers that can't stop turning the pages are satisfied, and there's nothing more loyal than a satisfied reader.

Beyond that, though, I try to make my characters three-dimensional and give them a wider purpose, something that is happening to them in addition to the main events of the story. That's why Eddie McCloskey, protagonist in The Unearthed series, faces different personal challenges in each book.


In The Unearthed, Eddie shows promise as a paranormal investigator but everyone can see where he's headed: nowhere good, and nowhere fast.

In The Lost, Eddie is a drifter trying to live a quiet existence and piece his life back together. During the course of his paranormal investigation, he is forced to take a long look in the mirror and find his greater purpose.

In The Accused and the Damned, Eddie's paranormal investigation business is struggling and the bills are piling up. He gets the opportunity to go head-to-head with a big-time talk show personality. If he succeeds, his business will thrive. If he doesn't, he has to find a new line of work.

The Hysteria poses a new challenge for Eddie: working with a team again. Except this time it's not his team and the job takes Eddie way outside his comfort zone.

BONUS OFFER: For the next month, anyone that leaves an honest review (good, bad, indifferent, doesn't matter) on Amazon of any of the Eddie McCloskey books is entitled to a free copy of my comedic short story about the absurdity of office life, Morale Was Down.

Here's what two reviewers said about Morale Was Down:

"This is, without a doubt, the most profane and utterly hilarious short story I've read in a very long time."

"Hilarious short story that reminded me a bit of the movies Office Space and Clockwatchers. Nice spoof of an investigation, with all the ridiculous office politics and corporate banalities mixed in. Quick read!"

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Thanks, folks, for grabbing so many free copies of The Unearthed. The book is seriously trending on Amazon right now!

The Lost is also discounted right now through Halloween.

ADDED BONUS: If you leave an honest review of The Unearthed (or its sequels) on Amazon over the next month, I'll send you a free copy of my comedic short story, Morale Was Down.

FREE Today and Tomorrow - The Unearthed

Today and tomorrow you can pick up a free copy of The Unearthed. It's a fast-moving, suspenseful read that's perfect for this time of year leading up to Halloween. In its short time on the electronic shelf, it's already gotten a lot of good reviews, including seven 5-star ones. Here's what readers are saying:

"The haunting in the book was very well done. It is also brutal, which is to be expected, considering the history of the home. There are a few twists and an unusual (but not weird or unbelievable) ending. I pretty much inhaled the book and have already started on the next one. Which, I suppose, is about the highest compliment you can give to an author."

"Ronan's characters are beautifully realized and the dialogue always rings true. The banter between the brothers Tim and Eddie is especially effective. This is Book I of an Eddie McCloskey trilogy. I look forward to reading Books II and III. Evan Ronan is a welcome new voice in the paranormal genre. I can unreservedly recommend this book."

"Part mystery, part ghost story, part thriller. This story takes you on a wild ride into the unknown. The relationship between the two brothers, Tim and Eddie, was so complex and realistic it made a great backdrop for the investigation to unfold. Fast-paced and full of action, I was riveted until the end. Great story!"

"I read The Unearthed in one day...couldn't put it down (except to feed the dogs)! I have already ordered The Lost and am almost afraid to start it during the week; I probably wouldn't get any work done!"

"What a great read! I gulped this down in one night. The plot builds fast and was so intense I couldn't put it down. Fortunately, as soon as I thought I had it figured out there was a hair pin turn. And they kept coming! Nary a boring moment."

"Wow, great story with an ending no one will see coming."

"UNEARTHED is not just a frightening Supernatural, it's also a character study, and oddly, this aspect is probably what I enjoyed most."


ADDED BONUS: For the next month, I'm going to offer my humorous short story, Morale Was Down, for free to anyone that leaves me an honest review of The Unearthed or any of its sequels on Amazon.