AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – BRENDA COOPER


This is posted via the Speculative Chic website, where eSpec author Brenda Cooper wrote a guest post for their My Favorite Things weekly feature. Enjoy!

Brenda has contributed to the anthologies Dogs of War, The Best of Defending the Future,  Man and Machine, and In Harm’s Way. (All of her eSpec works can be purchased via these Amazon Associate links.)

Brenda’s titles with us include:

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STATE OF THE ‘SPEC – APOCALYPSE EDITION


Well, folks, like everyone else we are hunkered down and riding out the tidal wave caused by this sh*t storm.

We are working steadily on the books we would have launched at Balticon, normally our biggest convention of the year. It is so surreal…this is the first time in seventeen years we will not be at Balticon, which we consider our home show. It will be the first time in fifteen years we haven’t had our annual launch party there. I can honestly say that one event has become the focal point of my year, prepping the books, making the food. And sadly, this isn’t the only event lost this year. If I had the time, I would be feeling adrift right now. 

Of course, I don’t, as I work in healthcare. But we aren’t going to go there.

I wanted you all to know that life goes on despite the chaos and the uncertainty. Here are some things we’ve already accomplished this year:

We have re-released books 2 and 3 in James Chambers’s Corpse Fauna Series: Tears of Blood and The Dead in Their Masses. The fourth and final book in the series, Eyes of the Dead, is due out in October of this year. Here is a guest post he wrote for Speculative Chic.


We have re-released Megan Mackie’s books Saint Code: The Lost and The Finder of the Lucky Devil. We have one more book to re-release, The Saint of Liars, then we are free to focus on her two new titles, The Devil’s Day and Saint Code: Constable. All of these books take place in an alternate, futuristic Chicago we’ve coined cyber-magical Chicago. If you aren’t familiar with Megan, here is a guest post she wrote for Speculative Chic.)

 


We released Michelle D. Sonnier’s novella, Death’s Embrace, which is a prequel to her debut novel, The Clockwork Witch. (Don’t worry, Michelle is nearly done with the sequel, An Unceasing Hunger.)


Our next re-release is Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn: A Steampunk Faerie Tale, written by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Day Al-Mohamed. This is a steampunk retelling of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Here is a guest post that Danielle wrote for Speculative Chic.

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What We Are Working On Now

Despite how everything has gone topsy-turvy, we are still hard at work on some pretty amazing books. 

First and foremost, we have a nearly complete manuscript for David Sherman’s military science fiction novel To Hell and Regroup, the long-awaited conclusion to his 18th Race trilogy, which also includes Issue In Doubt and In All Directions. Due to health concerns, the final volume is being co-written with Keith R.A. DeCandido.

In conjunction with the above release, we are also working on a new novel by Christopher L. Bennett, Arachne’s Crime, the first book in a brand-new duology, to be followed by Arachne’s Exile.

Danielle Ackley-McPhail is hard at work on Build-A-Book Workshop, a new volume in the Literary Handyman series. This book focuses on the elements that go into professional book design, not how to use book-design software or artistically design a book. She is also working on her first science fiction novel: Daire’s Devils.

And finally, editors Danielle Ackley-McPhail and John L. French are currently working on the upcoming anthology Horns and Halos, tales of devils and angels.

Please stay tuned for more information, and possibly check out some of the above links for great fiction from our authors. Given the need for social distancing and sheltering at home, we have put all of our ebooks on sale for only $0.99 for both eSpec Books titles and Paper Phoenix Press titles.

Not sure if our books are for you? You can still help us out! All of these links are Amazon Associate links, so we receive a portion of your sale no matter what you buy, with absolutely no additional cost to you.

Not a fan of Amazon? We have a link for that! You can order copies of all of our books via our eSpec Books Square Store and we will ship direct as long as the post office is active.

Author Spotlight: Megan Mackie


Here is a lovely Author Spotlight with eSpec author Megan Mackie.

Morgan Hazelwood: Writer In Progress

  • a playwright and author of urban fantasy with a dash of cyberpunk

Readers! Let’s give a good hearty welcome toMegan Mackie

I am a warrior princess from the lost civilization of the Amazons. I am a space captain on a mission to further humankind’s understanding of the final frontier. I am a badass paranormal slayer of monsters protecting my friends and community from things that go bump in the night. Occasionally I write books in Chicago instead of watching TV or being a mom/wife/shameless self-promoter.

Megan, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

Phoenix. I relate to this majestic creature who lives life to the fullest and takes risks and when it…

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NEW RELEASE – BABA ALI AND THE CLOCKWORK DJINN


Well… not quite released yet, but coming real soon! Releasing in April through eSpec Books’ reprint imprint Paper Phoenix Press, Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Day Al-Mohamed. There is a pre-order link available, and the book is currently available on audiobook.

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Come, Best Beloved, and sit you by my feet. I shall tell you a tale such as sister Scheherazade could have scarce imagined…

In the Nejd there is nothing at all…except secrets. A band of thieves wishes such secrets to remain hidden.

In England, far from his desert home, Ali bin-Massoud serves as apprentice to the famed Charles Babbage. One night a mysterious box is delivered by a clockwork falcon and Ali’s world is never the same again. Heartache, danger, and thieves mark his journey as Ali is summoned home at the death of his father.

It will take faith, knowledge, and yes, love to realize his destiny, and more than a little skill with steam-driven technology. Can he unravel the mystery of the puzzle box and the clockwork djinn before it is too late? An ancient legacy and Ali’s very life depend on his success.

Hear you the tale of Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn.

“Rich with steampunk, magic, and an enchanting setting, this story casts a spell and won’t let go until the very last page!” —Maria V. Snyder, New York Times Bestselling Author

“Readers of steampunk and Middle Eastern-inspired fantasy alike will adore this lush foray into a world seldom explored by the genre. Buckle up for a wild ride across the deserts of your imagination!” —Tiffany Trent, award-winning author of The Unnaturalists

 “A charming retelling of the famous classic […] Whether you are a fan of Steampunk, of exotic fairytales, or just of good writing, this story should delight.” —L. Jagi Lamplighter, award-winning author

“Beautifully evocative of the fairy tale tradition in parts that the modern, steampunk nature of the tale is completely encapsulated in a wonderful adventure.” —Luke’s Reviews


Kickstarter DMcPhailAward-winning author, editor, and publisher Danielle Ackley-McPhail has worked both sides of the publishing industry for longer than she cares to admit. In 2014 she joined forces with husband Mike McPhail and friend Greg Schauer to form her own publishing house, eSpec Books.

Her published works include six novels, Yesterday’s Dreams, Tomorrow’s Memories, Today’s Promise, The Halfling’s Court, The Redcaps’ Queen, and Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, written with Day Al-Mohamed. She is also the author of the solo collections Eternal Wanderings, A Legacy of Stars, Consigned to the Sea, Flash in the Can, Transcendence, Between Darkness and Light, and the non-fiction writers’ guides, The Literary Handyman and The Literary Handyman: Build-A-Book Workshop

She is the senior editor of the Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series, Gaslight & Grimm, Side of Good/Side of Evil, After Punk, Footprints in the Stars, In an Iron Cage, as well as many others. Her short stories are included in numerous other anthologies and collections.

In addition to her literary acclaim, she crafts and sells original costume horns under the moniker The Hornie Lady, and homemade flavor-infused candied ginger under the brand of Ginger KICK! at literary conventions, on commission, and wholesale.

Danielle lives in New Jersey with husband and fellow writer, Mike McPhail and three extremely spoiled cats.

To learn more about her work, visit www.sidhenadaire.com or www.especbooks.com.

DayDay Al-Mohamed is an award-winning filmmaker, author, and disability policy executive. She is a host on Idobi Radio’s Geek Girl Riot (https://idobi.com/show/geek-girl-riot/) with an audience of more than 80,000 listeners, and her most recent novella, The Labyrinth’s Archivist, was published July 2019. Her recent publications are available in Daily Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, and GrayHaven Comics’ anti-bullying issue “You Are Not Alone.”

She is an active member of Women in Film and Video and a graduate of the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop.  Her most recent film is screening both nationally and internationally: The Invalid Corps (https://invalidcorpsfilm.com). However, she is most proud of being invited to teach a workshop on storytelling at the White House in February 2016.

Day is a disability policy executive with more than fifteen years of experience in both the public and private sector. She is currently a Senior Policy Advisor with the Federal government. She has also worked as a lobbyist and political analyst. For more information on work in disability policy, please check out: www.DayinWashington.com.

Day presents often on the representation of disability in media, most recently at the American Bar Association, SXSW, and New York ComiCon. A proud member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, she lives in Washington DC with her wife, N.R. Brown and guide dog, Gamma. She can be found online at www.DayAlMohamed.com and @DayAlMohamed.

NETGALLEY LISTINGS


Are you a librarian, bookseller, or reviewer? Do you have a NetGalley account? The following eSpec titles are available for request in the month of March.


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Now available on NetGalley

Michelle D. Sonnier’s Death’s Embrace

There is no aspect of life that magic does not touch, including death.

Raised to follow in her mother’s footsteps, groomed to be a proper hedgewitch, Macaria longs to blossom and bloom both into womanhood and her magic. But deep inside, doubts have begun to take root.

During a springtime ritual meant to ensure a fruitful growing season, fate conspires to redirect Macaria’s path. Falling victim to ill omen after ill omen, she returns home bloody and bruised to meet her destiny.

With the dawn, and an unfortunate sacrifice, her magic unfurls and her new vocation as a death witch is revealed.

Can Macaria learn to see the beauty in Death? Or will the Council of Witches force her into its final embrace?

A prequel novella in the universe of The Clockwork Witch


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Now available on NetGalley

Megan Mackie’s The Finder of the Lucky Devil

The only thing more dangerous than using your magic to help a cybernetic spy find a missing criminal is being the criminal he’s looking for…

When Rune Leveau is approached by a charmingly dangerous, cybernetically-altered, corporate spy, St. Benedict, his request seemed simple: use her magical Talent to help him find an elusive criminal named Anna Masterson. But Rune has a dangerous secret: She IS Anna Masterson.

Over the past six years, St. Benedict has searched for the Masterson Files, a computer program rumored to do the impossible—cast magic spells. The technology could reshape the world. His last hope is this Finder of the Lucky Devil, but the Finder is proving difficult… and St. Benedict isn’t going to take no for an answer.

Set in an alternate Chicago, where technology and magic are in competition with each other, this fast-paced cat-and-mouse chase makes The Finder of the Lucky Devil a welcome addition to your urban fantasy/cyberpunk library.

NEW RELEASE – THE FINDER OF THE LUCKY DEVIL by MEGAN MACKIE


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Book One of The Lucky Devil series

The only thing more dangerous than using your magic to help a cybernetic spy find a missing criminal is being the criminal he’s looking for…

When Rune Leveau is approached by a charmingly dangerous, cybernetically-altered, corporate spy, St. Benedict, his request seemed simple: use her magical Talent to help him find an elusive criminal named Anna Masterson. But Rune has a dangerous secret: She IS Anna Masterson.

Over the past six years, St. Benedict has searched for the Masterson Files, a computer program rumored to do the impossible—cast magic spells. The technology could reshape the world. His last hope is this Finder of the Lucky Devil, but the Finder is proving difficult… and St. Benedict isn’t going to take no for an answer.

Set in an alternate Chicago, where technology and magic are in competition with each other, this fast-paced cat-and-mouse chase makes The Finder of the Lucky Devil a welcome addition to your urban fantasy/cyberpunk library.

Now available.


IMG_0450Megan Mackie is a writer, actor, and playwright. She started her writing career as an indie author and had such smashing success in her first year with her inaugural book The Finder of the Lucky Devil, that she made the transition to traditional publishing. She has become a personality at many cons, recognizable by her iconic leather hat and engaging smile. She has recently joined Bard’s Tower, a mobile con bookstore, and has sold her books next to great authors such as Peter David, Melinda Snodgrass, Dan Wells, Claudia Gray, John Jackson Miller, and Jim Butcher, to name a few.

She has written four novels including: The Finder of the Lucky Devil, The Saint of Liars, Death and the Crone, and Saint Code: Lost all of which will be re-releasing through eSpec Books. She is also a contributing writer in the role-playing game Legendlore soon to be published by Onyx Path Publishing.

Outside of writing, she likes to play games: board games, RPGs, and video games. She has a regular Pathfinder group who is working their way through Rapanthuk. She lives in Chicago with her husband and children, dog, three cats, and her mother in the apartment upstairs.

COVER REVEAL – THE DEAD IN THEIR MASSES


A bit different from our normal fare, here is the cover for James Chambers’s The Dead in Their Masses, volume 3 in his Corpse Fauna series. The book has gone to press and should release within the next week. (The last book in the series, The Eyes of the Dead, is scheduled to release in October.)

Dead in Their Masses-6x9

A chronicle of survival in a world of the living dead.
There is no Heaven or Hell; there is only blood and the dust of flesh.

The Dead in Their Masses

Cornell, Delia, and Mason broke out of a prison overrun by hardened criminals, religious fanatics, and the walking dead. But what kind of world did they escape to?

Seeking refuge in a forgotten corner of the Everglades where they hope to live out their lives away from the hordes of animated corpses, the trio faces a long, lethal road, where the dangers of the living pose as much a threat as those of the dead. An out-of-the-way community offers what appears to be safe haven until its dark secrets come to light… and open the way to the even more shocking secrets of what has brought the lifeless back from the grave.

Soon the dead gather in their masses and the mysterious Red Man arrives to exert a strange influence over them. Cornell, Delia, and a scientist named Burke, must face a horrifying new chapter in this bleak new world, if only they live long enough to make sense of it….

Praise for Corpse Fauna Series and the work of James Chambers:

 “James Chambers breathes new life into the zombie genre with the riveting The Dead Bear Witness! Weird, heartbreaking, funny, and exciting! Two decaying thumbs up!”

—Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of Patient Zero and Rot & Ruin

“…chillingly evocative writing…” Publisher’s Weekly

 “James Chambers writes stories that are paced fast enough to friction burn a reader’s eyeballs.” —Horror Reader.com

“…evoke[s] the sense of terror that has kept zombie lore a staple of the horror industry for years… disturbing not only for the gore and gristle therein, but for the psychological implications…” Vampirella Magazine


Other books in the series


James Chambers is an award-winning author of horror, crime, fantasy, and science fiction. He wrote the Bram Stoker Award®-winning graphic novel, Kolchak the Night Stalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe and was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for his story, “A Song Left Behind in the Aztakea Hills.” Publisher’s Weekly gave his collection of four Lovecraftian-inspired novellas, The Engines of Sacrifice, a starred review and described it as “…chillingly evocative.”

He is the author of the short story collections On the Night Border and Resurrection House and several novellas, including The Dead Bear Witness, Tears of Blood, and The Dead in Their Masses, in the Corpse Fauna novella series, and the dark urban fantasy, Three Chords of Chaos.

His short stories have been published in numerous anthologies, including After Punk: Steampowered Tales of the Afterlife, The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, The Best of Defending the Future, Chiral Mad 2, Chiral Mad 4, Deep Cuts, Dragon’s Lure, Fantastic Futures 13, Footprints in the Stars, Gaslight and Grimm, The Green Hornet Chronicles, Hardboiled Cthulhu, Heroes of the Realm, In An Iron Cage, In Harm’s Way, Kolchak the Night Stalker: Passages of the Macabre, The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias, Qualia Nous, Shadows Over Main Street (1 and 2), The Spider: Extreme Prejudice, To Hell in a Fast Car, Truth or Dare, TV Gods, Walrus Tales, Weird Trails; the chapbook Mooncat Jack; and the magazines Bare BoneCthulhu Sex, and Allen K’s Inhuman.

He co-edited the anthology, A New York State of Fright: Horror Stories from the Empire State, which received a Bram Stoker Award nomination.

He has also written and edited numerous comic books including Leonard Nimoy’s Primortals, the critically acclaimed “The Revenant” in Shadow House, and The Midnight Hour with Jason Whitley.

He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and recipient of the 2012 Richard Laymon Award and the 2016 Silver Hammer Award.

He lives in New York.

Visit his website: www.jameschambersonline.com.