Shaun J. McLaughlin


Shaun J. McLaughlin has published two history books on the Patriot War of 1838 and two historical fiction novels: the award-winning novel, Counter Currents and its sequel, Dark Southern Sun. All books are available as ebooks and paperbacks. Shaun maintains two history blogs: one on the Patriot War and other 19-century Canadian/American border clashes (Raiders and Rebels); and, one on William Johnston, the Thousand Islands legend (Pirate Bill Johnston). A researcher, journalist and technical writer for over thirty years, with a master’s degree in journalism, Shaun lives on a hobby farm in Eastern Ontario. Now a semiretired freelance writer, he focuses on fiction and nonfiction writing projects.

Where to find Shaun J. McLaughlin online

Where to buy in print


Society Agent
This series (5 books, with 2 pending), covers the adventures of Shane O'Ryan, an undercover agent for the Society for Protection of Intelligent Extraterrestrial Species. He and his secret fraternity investigate infractions of the colonization charter that protects vulnerable intelligent species and their planets. The Society upholds the rights of alien species as humans, with their inate attraction to greed and pleasure, expand through the Milky Way. Society agents risk their lives to make sure that the tragic aftermath of 1492 in the Americas never happens again anywhere humans go. Powerful forces want them stopped.

Final Exam

Price: Free!

Flawed Pearl

Price: $0.99 USD.

Turing Test Girlfriend

Price: $0.99 USD.
Ryan's Journey
Born in Ireland in the early 19th century, the fates cast Ryan adrift into a world and life of turmoil. While his heart’s desire is to settle and raise a family, that goal eludes him. His own principles, the currents of history and the will of others—people of both high ambition and men of malevolent intent—place detours, temptations and perils before him. War, rebellion, and assassination all threaten his life. Powerful friendships and fleeting glimpses of love make his life worth living and give him the strength to carry on.

Counter Currents

Price: $2.99 USD.

Dark Southern Sun

Price: $2.99 USD.


Turing Test Girlfriend
Series: Society Agent. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,930. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
For undercover agent Shane O’Ryan, relationships never came easily, until he met Ainsley. Beautiful, smart, loving and unique. Almost the perfect girlfriend and mission partner. Too bad, she’s not human.
Like Bedbugs, Only Much, Much Worse
Series: Society Agent. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,920. Language: English. Published: September 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Shane must solve a legal conundrum. Individual members of a low-level organism are dumb, but in groups, the bugs become a distributed computer network. Their collective intelligence is a square of their numbers. They have only one goal—eat anything that moves. How can Shane defeat the bugs without wiping out the species and do it before the government resorts to mundicide?
Flawed Pearl
Series: Society Agent. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,310. Language: English. Published: September 18, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
"Flawed Pearl," the third installment in the Society Agent series, takes undercover agent Shane O’Ryan to New Tahiti. Tourist ads describe it as a perfect pearl. Shane’s mission: expose its impure, gritty core. Every pearl has one. Can he return the planet to its lawful owners without becoming the next murder victim of the criminal gang that runs the colony?
Life and Death in the Stone Forest
Series: Society Agent. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,050. Language: English. Published: September 4, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
For his first assignment as an undercover agent, the Society sends Shane to a dusty planet deep in the M4 globular cluster. An ancient race of alien artists is dying out. The scientist sent to investigate has disappeared. His assignment: solve both mysteries and try not to get killed. Along the way, he befriends what may be the oldest advanced race in the Milky Way.
Final Exam
Series: Society Agent. Price: Free! Words: 10,590. Language: English. Published: September 4, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
(5.00 from 1 review)
Shane and his student partner visit a snowy vacation planet to solve a mystery—how could a sub-intelligent species leap 50,000 years in evolution in months to harness fire and develop a language. Their investigation leads them into deadly conflict with a sophisticated gang trying to gain control of the planet for its mineral riches. Can Shane alert the Society before the gang kills them?
Dark Southern Sun
Series: Ryan's Journey. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 101,870. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Australia & New Zealand, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Ryan washes up on the Australian coast near death in 1845. Over 10 years, he witnesses the ruin of the Aboriginal people, the chaos of the world’s largest gold rush and a bloody armed uprising. Two very different women tug at Ryan’s heart as he struggles from penury to prosperity. As he succeeds in business and rises in social esteem, Ryan creates two bitter enemies who set out to destroy him.
Ring Theory
Price: Free! Words: 2,070. Language: English. Published: September 8, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
One spring day, while hoeing a neglected country garden, a new-from-the-city hobby farmer finds an engagement ring encircling the green finger of an emerging asparagus shoot. This rural tale--at times whimsical, and at times poignant--presents some of the theories on how the ring got there, while tracing the evolution of family.
Counter Currents
Series: Ryan's Journey. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 102,200. Language: English. Published: January 9, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Historical » Canada
Ryan, 19, arrives alone in the New World looking for a fresh start. He blunders into the chaos of the 1838 Patriot War. Circumstances drive him into a web of piracy, secret societies and rebellion. He meets and falls for a smuggler's daughter, Kate. Tugged by the opposing currents of romance and war, Ryan struggles to reconcile his family history, his duty and his heart, while avoiding the noose.

Shaun J. McLaughlin's tag cloud

Smashwords book reviews by Shaun J. McLaughlin

  • Lily's Story on Aug. 26, 2013

    Lily’s Story follows the life of a pioneer woman from childhood to dotage. Born on a rough hewn farm in Southwest Ontario in 1840, she witnesses over her long life the end of the old-growth forest, the disappearance of the natives, escaped slaves arriving on the Underground Railroad, the coming of steam trains, the discovery of oil, the birth of Canada, economic prosperity and depression, and several wars that claim men in her family. Gutteridge has blended superbly researched history with lyrical literary fiction to create an intriguing tale of the sorrows, sacrifices and joys of Lily’s entangled life. Lily’s Story is part history and part fable, with historical personages and a bizarre gallery of local characters. It is one of the few historical fiction books that includes a bibliography—just so you know the history part is not made up. It is a long book at 287,950 words and not designed for anyone with a short attention span. It is a long read and worth every minute.
  • The Immortal American on July 18, 2014

    The Immortal American by J. B. Joramo is a love story set in the opening days of the American Revolution in Massachucetts. The writing is professional and the characters well-crafted. Violet is engaged to Mathew, someone she has known her entire life. Along comes Jacque, a captivating stranger with a dark secret. Violet suffers the internal thrill, shame and torment of someone in love with two men. Her simple and happy life is further roiled by the deaths of close family. About three-quarters of the way through the novel, Violet becomes immortal. This gift/curse is entirely unncessary to the story's success, other than to serve as fodder for a series built around Violet. For some reason, the Smashwords edition has a fixed column width and does not fill the screen of my Kobo. Because of that, I nearly discarded the novel until I read the first few paragraphs—and was hooked.
  • Hawk Banks - Founding Texas on April 10, 2015

    Hawk Bank is a western yarn that is easy to read and may teach you some history in the process. D. Allen Henry sets the story in Texas in the days prior to and during the revolt against Mexico. Like any good historical fiction, Henry has been faithful to the facts while spinning fiction. (He makes no mention that part of the impetus for war was that Mexico banned slavery and big Texan landowners wanted them.) The title character, Hawk Banks, is a burly Texas Ranger and adventurer instinctively lured to the impending war with Mexico. Along the way, he lures a naive and passive settler, Hank MacElrae, into the fight. Hank faces hostile Comanches and the give-no-quarter Mexican army as he reluctantly follows Hawk and somewhat grudgingly fights for Texas. The interplay between Hawk and Hank works well. The cast of supporting characters—Texan, Mexican and Comanche—gives the story depth. Don’t expect literary depth but do expect entertainment.