The Day The World Sneezed

The Day The World Sneezed (Raleigh, NC: Dry Bones Publishing, 2020)

On the day the man from the Bureau of Land Management came to his farm, Elmer was in the privy out back of his house taking care of business. Elmer heard the phone ringing in the house, but felt no urge to hurry. He’d never found the need to get a phone you could carry, though his wife Ethel once bought one. She’d chat on it for hours to people Elmer didn’t know, which was fine by him, because if Ethel was talking on her phone she wasn’t talking to Elmer. Then Ethel died. Elmer buried the little phone with her.

Banging on the front door of Elmer’s home interrupted the phone’s ringing. For a man who lived alone and seldom received company, Elmer felt put upon by the sudden intrusions.

The privy was a safe distance away from the house. Elmer had made sure of it. In fact the Lord commanded it. Elmer’s preacher had said as much once in a sermon. “God walks about in the camp. So that he will not see among you anything indecent, brothers and sisters, take care of your business a good distance away from the house.”

Because the privy was set back a good ways, Elmer knew he’d never get to the phone or front door in time. He continued to read about a combine harvester that worked by remote control — a thing that fascinated Elmer.

Then came a knock on his privy door. Elmer finished, hitched up his overalls, and wiped his hands with two hand wipes from a box he kept in the privy for just such occasions.

Stepping out, Elmer eyed the man suspiciously. With the sun setting in the west behind him, Elmer got a good look at the fellow. Oily hair, skin the color of lard … a faint, brown stain of sweat along the inside of the collar of his white shirt. “Hep ya?”

“I’m Mr. Ricks with the Bureau of Land Management. Got a minute to talk?”

Elmer knew the man was lying. Elmer’s nephew, Malcolm, worked for the Bureau of Land Management. If someone were coming to see Elmer, Malcolm would’ve called. Then again, the phone had been ringing — and more than once.

” ‘Bout what?”

“I heard you’re stockpiling cleaning disinfectant. Thought we should talk about that.”

Elmer made a mental note of the date: March 12, 2020. It was a day and visit he would come to regret for the rest of his life.

Over the next few weeks Elmer would witness an unprecedented economic collapse, the shocking news that world leaders had fallen ill to the deadly coronavirus, the implosion of the billion dollar industry known as “amateur athletics,” professional sports teams sidelined and forgotten, (all but the Tampa Bay Rays who actually experienced an increase in attendance at Tropicana Field,)  and martial law enforced in major cities as neighbors fought over the basic needs for survival. Amidst the chaos and panic cleaning disinfectant would become the liquid gold that saves a nation.

And Elmer had warehouses full of cleaning disinfectant.

The Day The World Sneezed is Whimsical Almost-End-Times Satire

(Film rights offered to the first studio that commits to cast Danny DeVito as Elmer)

Rumor of a Werewolf (Illuminate YA, 2019)

September: Sleepy Hollow, New York, The Daily Crawler

Horrified law enforcement officials investigating the gruesome death of Candee Brenneman claim a wolf or some other large animal killed her. Brenneman, age 32, an avid jogger and fitness instructor, was found by an employee of RIP’s Restaurant under a bridge in Rockefeller State Park. Brenneman’s throat was savagely ripped apart. Large misshapen paw prints were found around the body. There were also bite marks on her hands, and arms. Some have suggested that her death, occurring during a full moon, indicates that a werewolf may be running loose in Sleepy Hollow. The investigation is on-going.

In Sleepy Hollow, New York Nick Caden uncovers the clues surrounding the murder of Candee Brenneman … and other deadly secrets! But as the last full moon of the month rises over Raven Rock, Nick is about to learn that monsters are real.

And the worst kind of monster is the one you never saw coming.

“Immediately his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. Let him live with the animals of the earth. Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal.” ~ the Bible “werewolf”


Dead Low Tide (Illuminate YA, 2019)

Hours before the start of Savannah’s Halloween night Zombie Crawl, Nick Caden uncovers the body of Heidi May Laveau … and other deadly secrets! Who knows what horrors will bubble up when the tide recedes?

Awards for the Caden Chronicles mystery series

  • Winner of the Selah award for tween / teen mysteries
  • INSPY Award nominee
  • Moonbeam Children’s Book Award nominee

Hours before the start of Savannah’s Halloween night Zombie Crawl, Nick Caden investigates the mystery surrounding Heidi May Laveau’s death.  Once more, Nick’s curiosity gets the better of him, only this time he brings along Wendy, his sister, to investigate the rumors that Laveau is one of the “walking-dead.”

Moments before the pair is set to leave the old fishing shack and return to their parent’s rented condo, a body floats up from the dark depths of the creek and snatches Wendy!

No one believes Nick when he claims Laveau’s “zombie” pulled his sister away in a canoe — even after Wendy proves impossible to find. But this kid-sister body-snatcher has a message for Nick from “beyond the grave.”

Now he faces the difficult task of sorting fact from fiction before his worst fears come true. It’s a race against the clock to find his sister and discover the truth about the “undead” — because the answer might be right under Nick’s nose.

“While some were burying a man they threw his body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.” “The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs and appeared to many people.” ~ Walking Dead in the Bible


Skull Creek (2018)

In Transylvania, North Carolina Nick Caden finds a murder victim with fangs, bite marks and a stake driven through its heart. There are no such things as vampires … are there?

Awards for the Caden Chronicles series

  • Winner of the Selah award for tween / teen mystery series
  • INSPY Award nominee
  • Moonbeam Children’s Book Award nominee

After solving the ghost story murder at Deadwood Canyon, Nick lands a job as a roving reporter for The Cool Ghoul Gazette, an app the covers paranormal events and supernatural disturbances. When the editor sends Nick to investigate a murder in Transylvania, North Carolina, the young super sleuth finds a corpse with fangs, bite marks and a stake driven through its heart. If Nick proves vampires are real, his job as an investigative journalist is set for life!

But once he begins to peel back the clues surrounding the murder Nick finds his new job is not only dangerous but could suck the life out of him.

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.” Jesus on living forever

Dead Man’s Hand (Harper Collins)

In an authentic old west ghost town, Nick Caden uncovers the body of Jesse James … and other deadly secrets!

Awards for the Caden Chronicles mystery series:

  • Winner of the Selah award for tween / teen mysteries
  • INSPY Award nominee (runner up)
  • Moonbeam Children’s Book Award nominee (runner up — tagged out at third 🙂

It’s all just for show…right? Nothing more than Hollywood theatrics? “This is an authentic old west ghost town,” the sheriff tells Nick. “Around these parts the dead don’t stay dead.”

But Nick Caden’s vacation becomes a living nightmare when this this “living” ghost town in Deadwood takes a deadly turn toward trouble. Soon Nick finds himself trapped in a livery stable with the infamous outlaw Jesse James. The shooter whirls, aims and… vanishes. Great theatrics, Nick thinks.

Except now he’s alone in the hayloft with the bullet-riddled body of Billy the Kid which (and this is where things really get crazy-scary) DISAPPEARS.

Soon Nick is caught in a deadly chase—from an abandoned gold mine, through forbidden buffalo hunting grounds, and across Rattlesnake Gulch. Around every turn he finds another suspect. Will Nick solve the murder before his family leaves Deadwood? Or will the town’s desperate need for tourist and income bury the haunting truth — that something evil lives in this Old West Ghost Town?In this new middle-grade murder mystery series, award-winning author Eddie Jones takes readers on a Wild, Wild, West ride.

“Samuel was dead and buried. The woman said, ‘I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth.’ Then Samuel asked, ‘Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?'” ~ ghosts in the Bible 

Praise for Dead Man’s Hand

This is teen fiction that’s not just for teens. I for one can’t wait for the next book in the series. For adventure, suspense and just plain laugh-out-loud fun, you can’t do better than Dead Man’s Hand. ~ Ann Tatlock, multiple Christy award winner

Dead Man’s Hand is an exciting ghost-story with lots of surprises. A great read for kids who love a good mystery. I highly recommend it!” Levi Holmes, son of best-selling author and two-time Christy Award nominee, Gina Holmes

Dead Man’s Hand was a perfect mixture of suspenseful and spooky. I loved all the detective stuff. It taught me how to find a murderer! ~ Abby Dellosso, daughter of author Mike Dellosso

With a plot that lassos you in, Dead Man’s Hand is a fantastical read! ~ Laura Tatlock

I am reading this book aloud to my seventh grade english class and they absolutely love it. It is really intriguing and gets the children’s’ attention. (And mine) It is so hard not to read ahead because I am so engrossed in the book too! ~ Goodreads

The author writes for boys because educators have noted that girls consistently outperform boys in reading skills. Research bears this out. Studies reveal that the literacy gap between male and female students is both longstanding and worldwide. Since the author is male and has two sons, he writes for boys.
But girls may also like the Caden Chronicles series.
The Caden Chronicles series contains no; sexual dialogue or situations, violence, or strong language. While this kids murder mystery series discusses things like ghosts, vampires, and zombies, it does so in a factual way. Enjoy the study questions at the end of books 1 and 2.

The End of Calico Jack (Raleigh, NC: Dry Bones Publishing, September 9, 2019)

In October 1720, Calico Jack, Anne Bonny, and Mary Read stole the William, a 12 ton sloop. With a nefarious crew, Calico Jack voided his pardon to the first Royal Governor of the Bahamas, Woodes Rogers, and went hunting for merchant ships.

I know. I was aboard the evening we stole the William.

The good news is, I found the ship’s log in a cave on Coffin Cay with the exact course and route and longitude and latitude of where the Nuestra Señora De Riqueza would be on October 16, 1720.

The bad news is, I’m now sailing around the Spanish Main with Calico Jack, Ann Bonny, and Scary Mary Read. If I make it off this ship alive, you’ll read how one of the largest pirate treasures ever taken wound up in a cave off the southwestern tip of Hispaniola.

You’re welcome to climb aboard and sail with us. We need lots of crew. The men of our crew keep getting stabbed or shot or hung. ~ Ricky Bradshaw

P.S. The End of Calico Jack is a fictional retelling of the life of Calico Jack, Ann Bonny, and Mary Read based on historical research. Some liberties have been taken in the telling of the story. (I was forced into piracy, after all, and taking things is what pirates do.) In the book I include a REAL PIRATE MAP of Calico Jack’s sailing routes and ports and stuff. ~ Ricky Bradshaw

Written for the General Market (G): Contains no sexual dialogue or strong language. May also contain some content of an inspirational/religious nature.

Dead Calm, Bone Dry

Dead Calm, Bone Dry (Dry Bones Publishing, 2017)

Locked in the rat-infested, stinking brig of a prisoner ship bound for Port Charles, Ricky makes friends with William Shakespeare, a portly seaman with owlish eyes and a propensity for quoting Hamlet. Though Ricky doubts William Shakespeare is the real William Shakespeare, Ricky is certain he will be tried and found guilty of piracy if he doesn’t act fast.

As the hangman’s noose dangles, over his head, Ricky must decide if he should fight or flee. Running seems like the smart move, so bolting from the gallows, he dives head-long into the sea. Now with the lives of misfit orphans in peril and the heart of the governor’s daughter on the line, Ricky faces a battle with pirates — both dead and alive — where the destiny of the living and those yet-to-be born hang in the balance.

Written for the General Market (G) (I): Contains no; sexual dialogue or strong language. May also contain some content of an inspirational/religious nature.

Directors’ Choice Finalist