This has been a busy month for us, so I am late in posting this, but we are excited to announce that  Hell’s Well by Sean Patrick Hazlett (a tale of the Lone Pine Mountain Devil) released on November 21. This volume was featured as an exclusive bundle in the November Cryptid Crate. Copies can also be ordered via the eSpec Books online store.

SP - Hell's WellThere are creatures lurking in our world. Obscure creatures long relegated to myth and legend. They have been sighted by a lucky—or unlucky—few, some have even been photographed, but their existence remains unproven and unrecognized by the scientific community.

These creatures, long thought gone, have somehow survived; creatures from our nightmares haunting the dark places. They swim in our lakes and bays, they soar the night skies, they hunt in the woods. Some are from our past, and some from other worlds, and others have always been with us—watching us, fearing us, hunting us.

These are the cryptids, and Systema Paradoxa tells their tales.


Astrophysicist Dr. Kate Gavin Weaver’s life was hard enough fighting for tenure at Caltech while raising a four-year-old daughter as a single mother. It was even harder living under the shadow of her estranged father, Mack Gavin, the host of the wildly popular television series, The Cryptid Hunter.

But when Mack disappears while researching the subject of his next episode in a secluded wilderness town in California, Kate decides to leave the relative safety of Pasadena to find her father.

What she uncovers there shakes the very foundation of her reality and forces her to grapple with an adversary she could’ve never imagined.

Sean Patrick Hazlett is a technologist, finance professional, and science fiction, fantasy, horror, and non-fiction author and editor working in Silicon Valley. He is a winner of the Writers of the Future Contest, and over forty of his short stories have appeared in publications such as The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror, Terraform, Galaxy’s Edge, Writers of the Future, Grimdark Magazine, Vastarien, and Abyss & Apex, among others. He is also the editor of the Weird World War III and Weird World War IV anthologies. He is also an active member of the Horror Writers Association.

In graduate school, Sean assisted future Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter at the Harvard-Stanford Preventive Defense Project where he developed strategic options for confronting Iran’s nuclear program. For this analysis, he won the 2006 Policy Analysis Exercise Award at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Sean also worked as an intelligence analyst focusing on strategic war games and simulations for the Pentagon, where he drew on his experience training the US military as a cavalry officer in the US Army during the Iraq and Afghan wars.

Sean holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and bachelor’s degrees in History and Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.



This has been a busy month for us for releases, we couldn’t announce this next book as it was featured in the quarterly exclusive Cryptid Crate subscription box. But, as they revealed the contents of the July Crate today, we are free to post that The Play of Light by Danielle Ackley-McPhail (a tale of the Shadow People) releases on July 21. Autographed copies can also be ordered via the eSpec Books online store. The book and the author will appear next weekend at Shore Leave, along with other NeoParadoxa/ Systema Paradoxa authors and titles.

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There are creatures lurking in our world. Obscure creatures long relegated to myth and legend. They have been sighted by a lucky—or unlucky—few, some have even been photographed, but their existence remains unproven and unrecognized by the scientific community.

These creatures, long thought gone, have somehow survived; creatures from our nightmares haunting the dark places. They swim in our lakes and bays, they soar the night skies, they hunt in the woods. Some are from our past, and some from other worlds, and others have always been with us—watching us, fearing us, hunting us.

These are the cryptids, and Systema Paradoxa tells their tales.


Life and Death and Family Secrets…

Sheridan Cascaden faces more than memories when she receives a call in the darkest hours summoning her home.

Sent away five years prior to safeguard her from the evil that claimed her mother, Sheridan hasn’t been back since. She returns to find her childhood home in a disturbing state and her father straddling the Veil, with nothing to explain what happened. Now not only must she deal with her own demons, but she will have to delve into his if she is to unlock the mystery and save Papa’s life.

But wherein lies the line between truth and madness? Sheridan must find out before it’s too late… for both of them…

 About the Author

Award-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 Mike McPhail and Greg Schauer to form eSpec Books (

Her published works include eight novels, Yesterday’s Dreams, Tomorrow’s Memories, Today’s Promise, The Halfling’s Court, The Redcaps’ Queen, Daire’s Devils, The Play of Light, 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, More Tips from the Handyman, and LH: 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, and Footprints in the Stars. 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 Custom Costume Horns, 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 four extremely spoiled cats.


It has been a while. I’m sure I’ve missed a few titles with the chaos life has been. I will try to keep up to date going forward. We have a few titles releasing this month. Two of them are through our NeoParadoxa imprint, and one is under our main eSpec Books imprint. We hope you’ll check them out!

Click the titles below to order.

Low Res

Even in the Grave

edited by James Chambers
and Carol Gyzander

“In death – no! even in the grave all is not lost.”
                          –Edgar Allan Poe

Wandering souls! Restless spirits! The vengeful dead! Those who die with unfinished business haunt the living and make their presence known from the world beyond: 

  • A scientist’s invention opens a window onto a terrible afterlife.
  • A New York City apartment holds the secrets of the dead.
  • A grandmother sends text messages from the grave.
  • A samurai returns to his devastated home for a final showdown with his past.
  • A forgotten TV game show haunts a man with a dark secret.
  • A tapping from behind classroom walls leads to a horrible discovery.
  • The specter of a prehistoric beast returns to a modern-day ranch.
    And the one seeing eye knows all—including what you did.

Haunted from the other side, these stories roam from modern cities to the shadowed moors to feudal Japan to the jungles of Central America, each providing a spine-chilling glimpse into the shadows not even death can restrain. 

Do you dare open these pages and peer into the darkness they reveal?

Stories by Marc L. Abbott, Meghan Arcuri, Oliver Baer, Alp Beck, Allan Burd, John P. Collins, Randee Dawn, Trevor Firetog, Caroline Flarity, Patrick Freivald, Teel James Glenn, Amy Grech, April Grey, Jonathan Lees, Gordon Linzner, Robert Masterson, Robert P. Ottone, Rick Poldark, Lou Rera, and Steven Van Patten.

VA - When Clouds Die 2 x 3

Vox Astra: When Clouds Die

James Chambers

The Stars Will Sing Our Songs Long After We Are Gone…

…but who will remain to listen? Who will hear the stories they tell of the wisdom of species dying to protect worlds against a cosmic threat, to witness the crisis of warriors faced with unconscionable acts and soldiers determined to cling to hope amidst violence and despair?

Open your ears to these tales of heroes both fantastic and ordinary, who travel among the planets or dwell deep in the canyons of city streets. Hear the voices of the stars as they speak of lost loves, long-slumbering guardians, brutal conflicts, wars beyond time, and the powerful ties that hold people together in the face of violence. Though humanity may one day vanish, the stars forget nothing. We can only hope they will be kind when they tell our stories.


Cover Master TemplateApril has turned into a pretty busy month for us here at eSpec and Systema Paradoxa. We have a whole lot of titles coming out all at once due to some shuffling of the SP titles in the Cryptid Crate Boxes. Our congratulations to all the authors and our thanks for their talent and patience, and our thanks to Box Mountain and Cryptid Crate for inspiring this series.

All of the below titles will officially release on April 21st but are currently available for pre-order.

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Alone in the Muck, as accounted by Anton Kukal

After what felt like a lifetime in the sewers, Inspector Max Dalton would have thought he’d seen everything. He would have been wrong. When his trainees discover something inexplicable in the muck, life changes radically for all of them, including Max’s granddaughter, Gwen.

News of their discovery gets out and bounty hunters invade the tunnels beneath the city, forcing Max’s cooperation in their search. With life and love and liberty in the balance, Gwen will need help from an unexpected source to evade those looking to capture her new friend.

 About the Author

Anton Kukal is an author, actor, and adventurer. After serving in the United States Army as an armor officer, he graduated from law school and enjoyed a highly successful legal practice, then he decided to embrace his creativity. Anton is now a full-time writer. His fiction appears in the award-winning Defending the Future anthology series. His website is

SP - Chessie At Bay 2 x 3

Chessie at Bay, as accounted by John L. French

Same ol’ Syn, all new mischief…

Just when Theodore Syn starts thinking about sinking roots, the military comes calling, needing a man with his… unique qualifications to deal with a need-to-know problem that’s cropped up in the Chesapeake Bay.

Something is out there, frightening fish and fishermen alike.

But that’s not the real problem. Someone is masquerading as a military official on American soil, and with war on the horizon, steps need to be taken to safeguard the East Coast, before the Axis Powers drive a U-boat—or something more unexpected—right up the mouth of the Bay.

About the Author

JOHN L. FRENCH is a retired crime scene supervisor with forty years experience. He has seen more than his share of murders, shootings, and serious assaults. As a break from the realities of his job, he started writing science fiction, pulp, horror, fantasy, and, of course, crime fiction.

John’s first story “Past Sins” was published in Hardboiled Magazine and was cited as one of the best Hardboiled stories of 1993. More crime fiction followed, appearing in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, the Fading Shadows magazines, and in collections by Barnes and Noble. Association with writers like James Chambers and the late, great C.J. Henderson led him to try horror fiction and to a still-growing fascination with zombies and other undead things. His first horror story “The Right Solution” appeared in Marietta Publishing’s Lin Carter’s Anton Zarnak. Other horror stories followed in anthologies such as The Dead Walk and Dark Furies, both published by Die Monster Die Books. It was in Dark Furies that his character Bianca Jones made her literary debut in “21 Doors,” a story based on an old Baltimore legend and a creepy game his daughter used to play with her friends.

John’s first book was The Devil of Harbor City, a novel done in the old pulp style. Past Sins and Here There Be Monsters followed. John was also consulting editor for Chelsea House’s Criminal Investigation series. His other books include The Assassins’ Ball (written with Patrick Thomas), Souls on Fire, The Nightmare Strikes, Monsters Among Us, The Last Redhead, the Magic of Simon Tombs, and The Santa Heist (written with Patrick Thomas). John is the editor of To Hell in a Fast Car, Mermaids 13, C. J. Henderson’s Challenge of the Unknown, Camelot 13 (with Patrick Thomas), and (with Greg Schauer) With Great Power

 You can find John on Facebook or you can email him at

SP - Eyes of the Wolf 2 x 3

Eyes of the Wolf, as accounted by Robert E. Waters

When a sudden trail of death and desolation sweeps through south and central Texas, elements of the case trigger an alert with a division of the FBI that tracks possible supernatural influence.

Agent Chimalis Burton, a specialist in cryptids of the Americas, has a history of vanquishing such monstrous creatures. When she is assigned the case, she scrambles to find answers before the situation worsens.

Evidence begins to suggest an evil that has festered for centuries; an evil that now rises to reclaim its power.

An evil that rests in the soulful eyes of a wolf.

About the Author

Robert E Waters is a technical writer by trade but has been a science fiction/fantasy fan all his life. He’s worked in the computer and board gaming industry since 1994 as a designer, producer, and writer. In the late ’90s, he tried his hand at writing fiction, and since 2003, has sold over 7 novels and 80 stories to various online and print magazines and anthologies, including the Grantville Gazette, Eric Flint’s online magazine dedicated to publishing stories set in the 1632/Ring of Fire Alternate History series.

Robert’s first 1632/Ring of Fire novel, 1636: Calabar’s War, (co-authored with Charles E Gannon), was recently published by Baen Books. Robert has also co-written several 1632 stories, including the Persistence of Dreams (Ring of Fire Press), with Meriah L Crawford, and The Monster Society, with Eric S Brown.

Robert is the author of The Mask Cycle, a Baroque fantasy series that includes the novels The Masks of Mirada and The Thief of Cragsport (Ring of Fire Press).

For e-Spec Books, Robert has written several stories which have appeared in the widely popular military science fiction anthology series, Defending the Future. All seven of his stories that appeared in the series were recently collected into one volume titled Devil Dancers.

Robert currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife Beth, their son Jason, and their two precocious little cats, Snow and Ashe.

SP - Forget Me Not 2 x 3

Forget Me Not, as accounted by Carol Gyzander

What is legend? What is truth?

 A monster is said to lurk beneath the waters of Lake Erie. Jane and her twin brother Rob are haunted by just that. As children, they lost half their family to a terrible boating accident. They haven’t left dry land since. Only, at the age of sixteen, they allow friends to lure them onto the lake.

But should they have held their ground?

When something nearly swamps their boat, years of secrecy are swept away and the children’s father shares their family history with the supposed Monster of Lake Erie.

Will the tale bring closure or just more tragedy?

About the Author

Carol Gyzander read classic science fiction and Agatha Christie mysteries non-stop as a child. Now that her own kids have flown the coop, she writes and edits horror, suspense, dark fiction, and sci-fi stories from the outskirts of New York City. Twisted tales that touch your heart!

Her story, “The Yellow Crown,” was nominated for the HWA Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a Short Story. It can be found in the Stoker-nominated anthology, Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign from Hippocampus Press.

Carol has stories in over a dozen other anthologies, including Stories We Tell After Midnight from Crone Girls Press; Across the Universe: Tales of Alternate Beatles from Fantastic Books (amidst stories by Cat Rambo, Spider Robinson, and David Gerrold); Cat Ladies of the Apocalypse from Camden Park Press; and The Lost Librarian’s Grave: Tales of Madness, Horror, and Adventure from Redwood Press.

As editor-in-chief and one of the founders of Writerpunk Press, she’s edited four anthologies of punk stories inspired by classic tales, including Merely This and Nothing More: Edgar Allan Poe Goes Punk and Hideous Progeny: Classic Horror Goes Punk. She co-edited the Even in the Grave anthology of ghost stories, with James Chambers, from the NeoParadoxa line of eSpec Books.

She works with James Chambers as Co-Coordinator of the Horror Writers Association New York Chapter and as co-host of the HWA-NY Galactic Terrors online reading series (on the second Thursday of every month—see for details). She is also one of the overall Chapter Program Managers for HWA.

Carol’s a member of Horror Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Broad Universe, and Historical Novel Society. Find her at or on Twitter and Instagram @CarolGyzander.

SP - Found Footage 2 x 3

Found Footage, as accounted by Mary Fan

The camera doesn’t lie… but it has been known to hold a secret or two.

High-school student Jenny Chen captures a glimpse of an unbelievable creature when filming a student movie in the woods near Princeton, New Jersey. Despite her proof, only her best friend believes her.

Determined to reveal the truth about the strange creature, Jenny returns to search the woods, only to end up in a terrifying game of hunt and chase. Someone wants her discovery silenced…but who?

About the Author

Mary Fan is a sci-fi/fantasy writer hailing from Jersey City, NJ. She is the author of the Jane Colt sci-fi series (Red Adept Publishing), the Flynn Nightsider YA dark fantasy series (Crazy 8 Press), the Starswept YA sci-fi series (Snowy Wings Publishing), and Stronger Than A Bronze Dragon, a YA steampunk fantasy (Page Street Publishing).

She is also the co-editor of the Brave New Girls YA sci-fi anthology series about girls in STEM (proceeds are donated to the Society of Women Engineers scholarship fund). In addition, she has had numerous short stories published in collections including MINE!: A celebration of liberty and freedom for all benefitting Planned Parenthood (ComicMix), Magic at Midnight (Snowy Wings Publishing), Tales of the Crimson Keep (Crazy 8 Press), and Thrilling Adventure Yarns (Crazy 8 Press).

In her spare time, when she has any, she can usually be found in choir rehearsal, at the kickboxing gym, or tangled up in aerial silks.


Just the other day we posted the NetGalley Listings for these titles, which happens to include all the same information we would normally include here, so we won’t hit you with all of that again, but in the last week all these titles also went live and we wanted to recognize that and congratulate the authors for their amazing work being released into the world, instead of just teasing the fans!

For those interested in these books, the following links will take you to the Amazon listing.

Written in Light by Jeff Young

DemonTech: The Last Campaigns by David Sherman

Devil in the Green (Systema Paradoxa Volume 5) by James Chambers


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.


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 or

DayDay Al-Mohamed is an award-winning filmmaker, author, and disability policy executive. She is a host on Idobi Radio’s 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 ( 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:

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 and @DayAlMohamed.



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.



“I Am the Lightning Flashing and Streaking!”

Beneath the stars or flying up among them, the Ga’an dance a deadly dance. Apache Devil Dancers take to the skies to defeat the ruthless Gulo, an alien race bent on the destruction of humanity. Led by Captain Victorio “Tomorrow’s Wind” Nantan, the 3rd Sol fighter Wing follows a long tradition, adapting the dance to make them an ace squadron, but will it be enough?

It is hard to hold faith in the face of a never-ending foe, when life and limb are sacrificed with no end anyone wants to see in sight. But Captain Victory comes from a long line of fierce warriors and he is more than ready to take the fight to the enemy.

Join us for seven action-packed tales of Robert E. Waters’ Devil Dancers.

On NetGalley until 11/5.

Enjoy an exclusive interview with Robert here.

Dead Bear Witness-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.

Sentenced to life after a bank robbery gone bad, Cornell thought his worst nightmare had come true—and that he deserved it. After a stint in solitary, though, he learned his nightmare had only started: While Cornell rotted in isolation, all around the world the dead had returned to life.

Inside the prison walls, Cornell should’ve been well protected.

He didn’t reckon on the stone-cold killer who demanded his help breaking out, nor the fanatic warden who forced him to help “save the souls” of other prisoners. He didn’t count on being snared in a web of lies, violence, and betrayal. He didn’t expect his survival to depend on fighting his way back to freedom before the eyes of the watchful dead. Now as nooses sway over the prison yard, Cornell can almost feel one tightening around his neck, and freedom seems so far away….

On NetGalley until 11/5.

Enjoy an exclusive interview with James here. 


What woman doesn’t dream of a young, handsome stranger sweeping her off her feet?


She gave up on such nonsense long ago.

Old, homeless, and unwanted by society, such faerie tales seemed beyond impossible for her. So when a young, handsome stranger, more child than man, asks her to come home with him, she knew he could only mean her harm, but who cared? She was tired of living anyway.

But instead of finding her death, Margaret learns that nothing in her savior’s world is what it seems, including herself.

Why would someone young enough to be her grandson be interested in her? And when would he drop his pleasant façade to reveal the darkness she expected beneath?

New hope struggles with old suspicion as demons from Margaret’s past come to call.

After all, was it really possible to get a second chance at life?

Now on NetGalley through November.

Enjoy an exclusive interview with Megan here.



It has been a busy few weeks here at eSpec Books. Here are the new additions to our lists.


The Sister Paradox
by Jack Campbell

Liam Doesn’t Have A Sister. And She’s Weird.

Liam is his parents’ only child, and that’s just fine with him.

Until the day the sister-he-never-had shows up at school.

Just to make it worse, the sword-wielding Kari tells him they have an important quest to complete.

And that’s how Liam finds himself dragged into another world, facing basilisks and unicorns, cursed objects, elves, and even a dragon, all magical and dangerous, but none more so than the sister he didn’t have until that morning. A sister who turns out to be quite good with her sword, and ready to use it when faced with things like a dragon as long as her brother is at her side.

Liam begins to realize two things: it’s going to be a very long day, and having a sister can be weird.

But most unsettling of all, he’s not sure he minds…

*   *   *

“Jack Campbell has penned a fun, engaging, fantasy story that’s brought to life by depth and authenticity of its young characters. A major win!” – Ty Drago, Author of the Undertakers 

es-iid-final-proofIssue in Doubt
by David Sherman

We are not alone!

In exploring and colonizing the galaxy, humanity discovers evidence of eighteen sentient species. Seventeen of them had not developed interstellar travel. Those were destroyed by the species that did reach the stars. That space-faring eighteenth decimated the human colony on the Semi-Autonomous World Troy.

A Marine Force Recon platoon sent to investigate is wiped out almost to the last man. In reaction, the North American Union assembles the largest army seen since the major wars of the 20th Century.

A Marine Corps Combat Force is sent to “Kick in the door,” backed up by a four-divison Army corps to take the planet back. The initial landing is unopposed. It isn’t until the fleet carrying the Army corps is approaching Troy that the enemy strikes, with devastating effect.

*   *   *

“David Sherman writes about Marines with the razor-sharp realism of one of their own.”
Jack Campbell, Best-Selling Author, Lost Fleet Series

consigned-to-the-sea-2x3Consigned to the Sea
by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

’Tis Said We All Return to Whence We Began…

Is it any wonder then why so many are drawn to the sea? Throughout the history of Man the crash of the waves has been a siren song…a promise…a curse. Above the waves is a challenge that makes or breaks many a man or woman. Below is another world both magical and menacing.

In Consigned to the Sea you will find the vast spectrum of what the oceans have to offer. The wonder of a mermaid yearning to reach the sky… The wrath of the selkie protecting its own… A dragon waging war against pirates…

Whether you root for the sailor or the sea, here is a collection you can treasure.

*   *   *

“Dripping with tension, Consigned to the Sea is a powerful tale with interesting twists toward the end and a strong lead. Recommended.”—Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Rise Reviews

A Legacy of Stars
by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Look to the Stars and be Amazed…

With one small step, mankind embarked on a journey fraught with potential and danger in equal measure. In A Legacy of Stars, Danielle Ackley-McPhail delves into those same depths as humanity ventures out into the complexity of space.

New worlds…dangers…marvels… Unearthly landscapes and beings that transcend alien. The conflicts of man versus, well… everything, including man. The bittersweet triumph of survival out among the stars.

Explore the harsh realities and boundless possibilities of mankind let loose on the greater universe. Pirates and gypsies, elite armed forces and scientific pioneers, all faced with the horror, wonder, and unexpected challenges that life in space has to offer. Pitch battles, political intrigues, military conquest, wondrous discoveries… glimpse what it is to be human, or not, in the technological age, beyond the bounds of humanity’s cradle.

*   *   *

Danielle makes the reader into an embedded (and unfortunately unarmed) observer on a rapid-moving ride-along. —Jody Lynn Nye, Author of Robert Asprin’s Myth-Fits, on  “The Devil You Don’t”

Both chilling and gripping…— Michael Z. Williamson, Author of Freehold, on “In the Dying Light”


eSpec Books and editor Mike McPhail are proud to announce the reissue of Dogs of War, volume 6 in the award-winning Defending the Future Anthology series. While this is the only existing book in the series that will be reissued, there will be a Best Of collection highlighting stories from the previous five volumes, and future volumes are in the works, including DTF 7: Man and Machine, which will be launching via Kickstarter later this month.



Animals have fought for us for centuries, not because of the ideals of service to King and Country, but out of unwavering loyalty and devotion to their human Masters.

The future, it would seem, is no better than the past, as some animals become expendable weapons or augmented semi-machines, while others receive the honor and dignity of being treated as fellow soldiers.

In tribute, we bring you seventeen stories of our animal comrades-in-arms.

Includes stories by Brenda Cooper, David Sherman, Bud Sparhawk, Eric V. Hardenbrook, James Chambers, Peter Prellwitz, Janine K. Spendlove, Judi Fleming, Tony Ruggiero, Edward J. McFadden III, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Patrick Thomas, Jeff Young, CJ Henderson, Robert E. Waters, Christopher M. Hiles, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.

The Kindle edition is currently available on Amazon, with the print book soon to follow.


by Rachel Fernandez

STRATFORD, NJ (December 2015) ― eSpec Books and editors Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret S. McGraw are proud to announce their newest release, The Weird Wild West, a triumphant collection of riveting tales that will instantly transport you to the western battleground of frontier land. This title is available on NetGalley for review through January 31.

The ebook is now available on Amazon and the print book will be available by the end of December.

TW3-COVER-REVAMPThis speculative collection includes a multitude of thrilling stories by both best-selling and award-winning authors such as Jonathan Maberry, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, John G. Hartness, R.S. Belcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Misty Massey, James R. Tuck, Robert E. Waters, David Sherman, Tonia Brown, Liz Colter, Scott C. Hungerfold, Frances Rowat, Ken Schrader, Bryan C.P. Steele, Wendy N. Wagner, and a bonus story by New York Times bestselling-author, Faith Hunter.

Artist Jason Whitley returns with nine stunning illustrations.

“[In The Weird Wild West] eSpec Books has pulled together a fine collection of tales with just enough weirdness, fandom is bound to enjoy every page.” Ricky L. Brown, Amazing

The west is a place where gallant trailblazers either ride off into the sunset or crumble beneath the hardships they face. In the fine tradition of media frontiersmen such as Bret Maverick, Cat Ballou, Kwai Chang Caine, and James West the characters in The Weird Wild West take on the unknown and encounter unconventional challenges that test their strength and character.


 by Rachel Fernandez

lg-book-flip-SoGEWe are proud to announce the release of the highly anticipated flipbook anthology The Side of Good / The Side of Evil. Sure, heroes get remembered, but sometimes the tales and legends of even the darkest villains will never die.

Whether rooting for the courageous superhero or secretly siding with a malicious scoundrel, this epic journey captivates and excites as it delves deep into the perspectives of two classic yet diverging tales of both good and evil, extenuating on the best and worst that über-mankind is capable of.

The collection features original stories by comic book legends and literary masters: James M. Ward, Bryan J.L. Glass, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Aaron Rosenberg, Robert Greenberger, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, Janine K. Spendlove, James Chambers, Walt Ciechanowski, Drew Bittner, John L. French, and Kathleen David. This flipbook also includes in an exclusive, never-before-published Furious short story!

Inspiration for this mythological American classic came easily to co-editor and award-winning author and editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail. “I am an idea person, I love to develop themed projects and find all the intricate ways to play to the theme. When someone suggested a collection of superhero fiction the idea for The Side of Good / The Side of Evil immediately came to mind and there was no question that it had to be a flipbook anthology, similar to the classic Ace Doubles from the ’80s. It took me three years to make it happen but the end result is even better than I’d envisioned.”

Now available on Amazon.

NOTE: To get this book in ebook look for the individual ebooks The Side of Good (B016Z5GEF8) and The Side of Evil (B016X95RC2)


Everyone loves a hero…but sometimes we can’t help but root for the villain…

Indulge both impulses with this nostalgic flipbook anthology—The Side of Good / The Side of Evil. After all, everyone is the hero of their own story and sometimes a change in perspective can make a world of difference. 

Superheroes inspire us to be more than we can be, and on the flip side, Supervillains are reminders of the potential for darkness within us all. The Side of Good / The Side of Evil looks at the best and worst that über-mankind is capable of.

With stories by comic book and literary masters: James M. Ward, Bryan J.L. Glass, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Aaron Rosenberg, Robert Greenberger, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, Janine K. Spendlove, James Chambers, Walt Ciechanowski, Drew Bittner, John L. French, and Kathleen David this collection is guaranteed to be super…no matter which side you pledge your allegiance to.

Featuring a never-before-published Furious(TM) short story! 


We are proud to announce the release of James Daniel Ross’s eShort, A Different Kind of Courage. This is the fifth story in the Radiation Angels: The Mission Files series.


Captain Todd Rook is called to meet with a revolutionary leader to foment open rebellion. It is a just cause, an honest cause, a righteous cause. It is simply one he does not believe can win. He must meet in the rebel camp and tell them the truth. And hopefully, teach these slaves that there is more than one kind of uprising, a different sort of rebellion, more than one kind of courage in the face of oppression.

Now available on Amazon.

Radiation Angels Series:

Lightyears of distance begin as humble feet of space, and the rise of one of the legendary mercenaries is no different. These stories are collected from many sources to bring you a more complete picture of Todd Rook, a man who would one day risk everything on a gambit, and defend two planets from the damnation of Damocles.



We are proud to announce the release of Jeffrey Lyman’s eShort, Lord of Fire, Lord of Wind, a tale of faith and courage.


A monarchy deposed. A city besieged. It is whispered in the streets that the salvation of the people lies in the chosen one…in royal blood. They lay their hope on Rhex, their warrior prince, returned from exile wielding the power of a FireLord. But how brightly does his flame burn? Even as he retakes the city, the winds of war howl at his heels.

In the shadow of her brother’s glorious return, Juliana, the crowned princess, gathers her tattered dignity around her and climbs from the mews where she has been trapped in servitude. Humble, but determined to regain her honor, she resumes her place at her brother’s side. Through adversity she found her inner fire, but will she—and her city—rise from the pyre or learn what it truly means to burn?

Now available on Amazon.

About the Author

Jeffrey Lyman is an engineer in the New York City area. His work has appeared in the anthologies Sails and Sorcery from Fantasist Enterprises, New Blood from Padwolf Publishing, and Breach the Hull, So It Begins, By Other Means, Best Laid Plans, and Dragon’s Lure from Dark Quest Books. He was co-editor of No Longer Dreams and all four volumes of the award-winning Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series. He is a 2004 graduate of the Odyssey Writing School, and won 2nd place in the fourth quarter of the 27th Annual Writers of the Future Award.