*Foreword* Ethan McCormick is a special character for me. He's one I've been developing over many years. He started as an English project in High School and over time became one of my main characters as a writer. If you haven't met him yet, he's an ex-Miami Police Officer turned private detective. I thought it would be neat to start a series of blog posts which outline some of the cases he works on between novels.This will be the only time I issue a foreword for "his" blog posts from here on out. I hope you enjoy these mini stories. If you like them, let me know in the comments below or on my social media pages. If you haven't read Ethan's adventure yet, you can pick up To the Wolves and learn what pushes him to become a private detective. His new adventure will be out later this year! Without further delay, here is Ethan McCormick's case logs.
It's been a few months since I left the police department for certain reasons. If you've watched the news lately, you'll know why. If you haven't, go ahead and look it up. I won't outline it here. I'm starting this blog to keep a public record of the cases I take. Names will be changed in order to protect everyone's identity.
I received my first real case only a few days ago. It was a fairly straight forward one. I was contacted by the manager of a local restaurant. One of his employees had filed for worker's compensation. He wasn't so sure the claim was legit. Since he can't straight out call him a liar, he did the next best thing. He hired a private detective to prove he's faking. This was my first case since leaving the department, mind you. I've still got a lot to learn.
The first night, I set up shop outside the man's home. I had my camera, my thermos of coffee, and a pair of binoculars. Watching him practically all night, I fought off the urge to sleep. I guess I had seen too many movies because night was the worst decision ever. I needed to try and catch him out in the middle of the day, walking on two legs instead of one in a cast and on crutches.
So, the next day, I grabbed my camera and drove to his neighborhood. Parking a few houses down, I got out and went for a walk. After a few passes by his home, he finally came out to get the mail. He hobbled on one leg, fighting with the crutches. I immediately believed he was actually injured. The way he struggled with the crutches seemed realistic.
I took a few snapshots from down the street and set off towards my car. I stopped in my tracks when another vehicle pulled up in front of his house. It was a bright red Mustang with a convertible roof. Out climbed a stunning woman in a skin tight, black dress. I don't know what compelled me to stay, but I ended up snapping a couple photos of the two of them sharing a passionate kiss in the front yard. After, she helped him inside.
Shrugging off the encounter, I made it back to my own car and tossed the camera inside. From there, I drove straight to the restaurant with the evidence that his employee was telling the truth. Frank, the manager, was actually relieved. He liked his employee, Daniel. "He's a good kid," he said. "But I heard rumors he wasn't actually hurt. Gotta look into it, you know."
The most interesting thing happened when I decided, for reasons unknown, to share the last photo of the kid I had taken. "Yeah, he seems nice and he's got a hell of a girlfriend," I told him as I passed him the camera. I have never seen a human being turn the shade of red Frank did. His face was the same color as a firetruck. I thought he was going to literally explode.
Just as I was about to ask what was wrong, he yelled, "That's my wife. That little bastard!" Daniel had met Frank's wife at the restaurant one afternoon and bought her a drink. Frank was in the back doing paperwork and the two flirted lightly. One thing led to another, and Daniel started to sleep with Frank's wife. I guess it went on for quite some time. Worse, he really was faking the leg injury for the worker's comp money. It turned out, he and Jessica were planning a trip together and planned to "make Frank pay for it." It gave them more time to fool around while he was out of work for his "injury."
Needless to say, it was a funny one. It seemed open and shut and yet there were layers to it that I could not have fathomed. It never ceases to amaze me what some people will do. But, without those type of people I would be out of a job. So I guess, thank you Daniel and Jessica, in a sort of messed up way.
This year I will be reading as many independently published books as I possibly can. My Nook (yes I have a Nook and not a Kindle. Don't hate) is now filled with dozens of indie books and I've started one already. I will post my thoughts on several of my favorite ones throughout the year as well. My question for you is, do you have a favorite indie author that you would recommend? I would love to read them! Let me know in the comments below who your favorite indie author is and I might pick up their book and give them a read! I will be using #YearofIndieBooks on my social media. Feel free to post it alongside the indie books you read as well! Let's get some indie authors recognized this year! As always, thanks for reading!
I am extremely excited for this event. Can hardly wait until the 28th! Of course, I must thank my graphic artist once again for taking time out of his life to put this together for me. He has come through so many times. I can't thank him enough!
Help me everyone-Kenobi you're my only hope! But seriously, I could use your help! Things are starting to pick up a little speed, which is very exciting, but it also means that I have less time to get things situated. I currently have a few events I will be attending and a few in the works.
So, I'll cut right to it here. I have just been invited to another bookstore to sign copies of my book. This time I will be the only author there instead of in a group. This event will be on January 28th. I don't have much time to prepare for this one.
That's where you come in! I want to spread the word to as many people as I can. To do that, I was hoping to call on you. Please share this post with anyone you know that loves to read and meet authors. Head over to my Facebook page and share the event with your friends and family. Any little bit helps.
The book signing will be at New Journeys Books and More in Seffner, Florida. I hope to see many of you there! I must say, I'm really enjoying these author events. I get to meet great people and it's always such fun finding others who love books as much as I do. I'll put the details below and a link to my Facebook page in case you are so inclined to head over. Thanks for reading. You all are great!
Local Author, Evan Bond, book signing
Local author Evan Bond will be signing copies of his books
New Journeys Books and More
11911 East Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard
Seffner, FL 33584
Saturday, January 28th, 2017
1:00pm - 3:00pm
My last character interview was met with a pretty good reception so I thought I would give the main character time of his own. Ethan McCormick will feature in his next adventure later this year in Sins of the Mother. In the meantime, here is an interview with him.
First, what is your occupation?
I'm a private investigator now. I used to work for the Miami Police Department before that. Most of my time is given to corporations on worker's comp claims and the other half of my time is dedicated to cheating spouses.
Why did you leave your job as an officer?
It's a long story, really. The short version, there were things I didn't like about it all. Things I would have wanted handled a different way. I guess I lost faith in the system, somewhat.
Would you say your current job is exciting?
With the way it's portrayed in movies you would think so. Unfortunately, it's not all gun fights and car chases. I had more of that when I was a cop. But there is a certain type of thrill when you tail a target and they don't know you're there. I know, doesn't sound that glamorous does it?
What tools do you use on the job?
Well, I always carry a handgun with me, well most of the time that is. Old habit from my police days. Like I said, I don't use it very often. Other than than, I've always got my camera, a recorder, a pen and paper, a thermos of coffee, and my phone. Oh and I keep a lock pick in my shoe at all times. You never know when you'll need a lock pick and I like to keep it concealed. Maybe I miss the action a little too much, huh?
Have you had any high profile cases?
Not so far. Up until now, everything has been pretty lackluster. I'm still starting out and waiting for those big cases to fall into my lap. I have a feeling one is coming soon.
What sets you apart from other private investigators?
I have a lot of experience being a cop so I know where to start during investigations. Although, I'm not able to conduct investigations like a cop anymore. That took a lot of getting used to. Other than that, I've got a few friends within the department still who are always willing to lend a hand and provide favors. It gives me a head start on cases, sometimes.
What was your biggest failure?
About a year ago I let the woman of my dreams die. I was there, I should have done something about it. She was killed by a dirty cop trying to cover his tracks. I failed her.
I'm sorry to hear that. How have you moved past this?
I met another woman not too long ago. She is kind and understanding. She knows there will always be a special place in my heart for Sandra and doesn't try to take that away from me. Also, I try to live my life the way Sandra would want me to. I know she would approve of everything I've done.
Last question, do you have any siblings? If so, what are they like?
I have a sister and she's fantastic. We're pretty close. The two of us are always looking out for each other. Valerie has gotten me through some pretty tough times. I love my sister very much. Her husband, Pierce, is pretty great too!
Ethan McCormick has no idea what's ahead for him in Sins of the Mother. So far his new career has been pretty boring but all of that is about to change. Don't miss Ethan's next adventure later this year (release date coming soon). I hope you enjoyed the interview with one of my favorite characters I've created. If you haven't read his first adventure, To the Wolves, you should check it out! As always, thanks for reading.
Now that I've settled nicely into 2017, I thought I would take a look back at 2016 and think on some of the books I read last year, maybe talk about my favorites. I will admit, I didn't read nearly as many books as I should have last year. I set my goal on Goodreads to only 12, which I surpased by 1. I would like to do a lot more reading than that, of course. Any way, here are my favorite books from last year, in no particular order mind you.
1. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Remember, these are not in any particular order. Having said that, I would say this was the best non-fiction book I read last year. It was fun an entertaining with just enough factual information to make you feel as if you learned something at the end. If you're not familiar with the book, it's a man's journey across the Appalachain Trail, which is a trail leading from Georgia to Maine and over 2,000 miles long. It's quite the accomplishment to hike its entirety. Bryson is accompanied by his buddy Katz who is overweight and a recovering alcholic. Despite some of the set backs, the two have a great time and enjoy their time on the trail. It's a great book for nature lovers and a great book for anyone interested in non-fiction.
2. Last Call by Sean Costello
I discovered a new favorite author last year. Sean Costello doesn't always follow the convential genres and writes either thriller novels or supernatural stories. It's nice to see an author break the known molds and give us more than one genre in their writing. His book Last Call was fantastic. It was a close race between this and his other book Squall. This ended up winning becuase the memorable characters. The killer was a psychotic and disgusting man whom you hated from the very start. The main character grows on you very quickly and you like her well before she gets caught up in anything. All you can do is sit there and beg the author not to hurt her while he takes you on a thrilling journey with an action packed ending. It was amazing to say the least. A book I will probably read again in the future.
3. The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
One of my all time favorite authors is Stephen King. I've been reading him since I was a young kid. I've always wanted to start his Dark Tower series and decided that last year was as good a time as any. The first didn't spark my interest as much as I had hoped but the second I just couldn't put down. It introduced more characters with plenty of depth and showed real suspense. I posted a blog with a full review if you're interested to read it there.
4. Compendium: A Horror Novelette by Roxie Prince
I "met" Roxie Prince through social media and decided to pick up her horror novelette. It was a short book, as the name suggests, and the reviews promised it was good. Let me tell you, they were right on! I enjoyed every single page. Even though the stories were short, you felt like you got to know several of the characters in them. You actually felt for them, you actually liked them. It's not easy for an author to make you love their characters in such a short amount of time. Then there were the stories themselves. They were different from anything else I had ever read before. In an age where zombies are everywhere (and I'm not complaining about that, really. I'm a big Walking Dead fan) you would think the monsters in this book would be dull and boring, being zombie like themselves. But that's not the case. These monsters are something more and very interesting and terrifying. You know what, you should just go read it for yourself.
5. The Darkest Hour by Tony Schumacher
This book had such an interesting concept. Basically, what would it have been like if the Nazis had won WWII? The Darkest Hour follows a police officer named Rossett who now works for the SS in the newly appointed "office of Jewish affairs". His job is to relocate Jews from their homes and board them on the trains. Rossett fought against the Germans in the war but when the Nazis won, he fell back in line and took orders. Since they were in charge, he took orders from them without question. Everything changes when he meets a young Jewish boy who was hidden in one of the houses he raided. Against his better judgement, he decides to rescue the boy and try to get him out of the country. I couldn't put this book down. The setting was amazing and the story was fantastic. Rossett was a character you hated from the beginning, knowing he was doing evil work for the Nazis. But as you learn his story and follow his journey you understand him and grow to love him. It was an exciting story and such a great historical twist!
Those were my top picks from last year. Did you read any of them? Have any thoughts on them? Let me know in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading.
My next novel, releasing this year, will be book two in the Ethan McCormick series. That being said, there's a new character being introduced who is very crucial to the story. I thought it would be fun to introduce him to you in the form of an interview. So, without further delay, Meet Detective Winchester.
Detective Winchester, what exactly is it you do at the Miami Police Department?
I work in the Special Victims Unit for the Miami Police Department. As you've said, I'm a detective.
What is your ideal job?
A detective, nothing else. That's why I do what I do.
What is your biggest regret?
A case I worked a long time ago...it didn't go so well. I'd prefer not to talk about it.
Fair enough, what about on a personal level?
There was this woman who loved me. She was perfect, she was beautiful. But things started to fall apart and we had a falling out. Really all I'll say about it.
What do you like best about Ethan McCormick? What do you like least?
McCormick? The ex-cop turned private eye? There isn't much to say there. He was a cop but things got too tough for him and he gave up. I like least that he's a quitter. In my opinion, it's a good thing he's no longer a cop. The department doesn't need weak people.
What items do you carry on you at all times?
Well, being a detective, I've always got my gun on me. Otherwise, wallet and keys, I guess.
When were you the happiest?
Before that case a long time ago. Things were better then.
Do you consider yourself an optimistic or a pessimistic?
Neither, I consider myself a realist. I don't see the glass as half full or half empty. I see the piss it's filled with. Some people mistake that for pessimism. When you try to see the world in only a positive or negative light you end up missing the gray areas and sometimes they're the most important.
What are your religious views?
I was raised to believe in God. After taking this job, I've found it harder to keep that going. Some of the terrible things I've seen, some of the poor kids who were taken from the parents. It's hard to accept an all powerful God would allow these things to happen.
Under what circumstances do you find killing to be acceptable or not acceptable?
Well, being an officer, obviously murder is unnacceptable. Self defense is a justifiable reason to kill someone, however. Also, protecting the people you love most.
How do you deal with stress?
I do whatever I can to push past it. Instead of getting caught up on stress I focus on my job.
If your house were on fire, what would you want to save if you could only save one thing?
The liquor cabinet.
Last question, after you're gone, what would you want to be most remembered for?
For always doing what was right. I would want people to remember that I always tried to help, even at my worst. Even when I pushed people away from me, I would want them to remember it was to save others.
Detective Winchester and Ethan McCormick cross paths in my new novel Sins of the Mother. If you'd like to get even more inside info on my next book then consider signing up for my newsletter. I'll be sharing even more inside info with subscribers. My latest newsletter revealed the first chapter of my new novel. Want to read it? Subscribe today!
Well, here we are in 2017, a brand new year with new adventures in front of us all. I hope your New Year's Eve was filled with fun and celebration. Also, I hope this new year is kind to you and provides you all with much opportunity and success.
What are your new year's resolutions? I'd love to hear what everyone plans to do this year. Did you not make a resolution? Let me know why! I don't set personal resolutions for myself but I do for my writing. Last year I was a little short of my goals but this year will hopefully be different. I plan to stick to a regular writing schedule every week. I'm also planning, as I talked about in a previous post, to stick to a more structured blog and newsletter schedule. About two blogs a week and a monthly newsletter. The latter being issued on the second Wednesday of every month.
So those are my goals. I hope you stick to yours like I hope I stick to mine! Happy New Year everyone! Make it a great one and, as always, thanks for reading!
Evan Bond, author of To the Wolves and Death Can Wait, is a thriller/suspense author. When not writing, he can be found hiking or camping in the beautiful state of Florida.