Good morning, my lovelies!

We’ve posted a few videos, so it is time for an update on our two reading series.  Below are links to the recent offerings. Now that the channel has been built up a bit we are spreading out the posts every three days, instead of every two days. We hope you enjoy them. If you are interested in the books, we have provided purchase link with each video. 

If you are an author and would like to participate in one of these series, please visit the eSpec Books Author Reading Series Facebook page for details.

The eSpec Books Author Reading Series

Featuring eSpec authors reading works published by eSpec Books.

Keith R.A. DeCandido reading an excerpt from his novel Mermaid Precinct.

Brenda Cooper reading Chapter One from her near-future dystopian novel POST. 

Gail Z. Martin reading her story “Ruin Creek” (co-written with Larry N. Martin) from The Weird Wild West, edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret S. McGraw.

The eSpec Books Guest Author Reading Series

Featuring eSpec and outside authors reading works published by other publishers.

CJ Henderson reading his short story “Seller’s Market” from But Seriously, Folks. (Posted with the permission of the Henderson estate.)

All purchase links in these posts are Amazon Associate links
and we do receive a token commission if you should purchase via these links.

I love you, $3000! ARACHNE’S EXILE is a go!

A succinct update on the current Kickstarter by eSpec author Christopher L. Bennett.

Christopher L. Bennett: Written Worlds

Well, this is astonishing. For the past few days, the eSpec Books Kickstarter for Arachne’s Crime, Arachne’s Exile, and other fiction was in the inevitable mid-campaign lull, only inching slowly upward. We’d crested the $2700 stretch goal to unlock Keith DeCandido’s “Alien Invasion of Earth!” and had gained our 100th backer to unlock bonus copies of Keith’s Without a License collection, but I’d resigned myself to a slow climb toward Arachne’s Exile over the week or two ahead.

Yet within the last few hours, thanks to one incredibly generous backer and a couple of others, we’ve suddenly jumped ahead nearly $450 in a couple of hours, easily pushing us over the top! Arachne’s Exile is funded! The whole duology is now guaranteed to be published, probably close together. Plus Exile has been added to some of the pledge-tier and add-on bonuses as a new option (and if you took…

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eSpec Books interviews best-selling science fiction author Christopher L. Bennett, author of Arachne’s Crime (currently funding on Kickstarter), Only Superhuman, Among the Wild Cybers, and a wide array of media tie-in novels.

eS: Hi, Christopher. Thank you for joining us today. Arachne’s Crime has some pretty detailed tech. How much of the tech is extrapolation and how much is technobabble? Please tell us something about the science of your universe.

CB: I’ve always striven to make the science in the Arachne/Troubleshooter Universe (as I’ve finally settled on calling it) as authentic as I can. I allow for a little poetic license with things like faster-than-light travel, but I ground them in real theory with a minimum of fudging. The novelette that Arachne’s Crime is expanded from — “Aggravated Vehicular Genocide,” my first professional sale back in 1998 — was a concept that came out of the science, when I worked out the asteroid defenses an interstellar colony ship would need and wondered what would happen if an alien ship crossed its path.

However, when I wrote the original story, I didn’t know that the science I based it on was outmoded in some respects. For the novel version, I updated the colony ship Arachne from a Bussard ramjet (which would have too much drag against the interstellar medium) to a magnetic sail craft using a system proposed by Jordan Kare and explained by Paul Gilster in his book and namesake website Centauri Dreams. (The original version of “Aggravated Vehicular Genocide” is reprinted in Among the Wild Cybers, albeit with some tweaks to ameliorate the credibility problems.) I also got some invaluable science help from my fellow posters on the ExIsle BBS, including Paul Woodmansee of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in working out the nature and technical details of the disaster that opens the story.

eS: Where did you come up with the idea for the duology?

CB: When “Aggravated Vehicular Genocide” was published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact 21 years ago, it generated some lively reader response, in part because it didn’t have the kind of John W. Campbell-style ending (a clear-cut human victory over aliens) that many Analog readers may have been prone to expect. A couple of readers’ assumptions about what might happen after the novelette were so far off from what I had in mind that it got me thinking I should tell the tale of what really did happen next. It took a long time to get there, though.

For quite a while, this was a single long novel that I could never entirely get right. Eventually, when I started thinking about submitting it to smaller publishers, the need to limit the word count made me consider splitting it into two books, and I finally realized it had been two distinct stories crammed together all along, which was probably why various agents and editors had found it lacking in clear focus. Splitting it at the logical breaking point left the first part too short, which gave me the opportunity to flesh out some important parts I’d rushed through before, deepening my exploration of the alien culture featured in Arachne’s Crime before moving on to the larger-scale, more cosmic adventure of Arachne’s Exile.

eS: How does this series interlock with Only Superhuman? Are they a part of the same over-arching reality or separate unto themselves?

CB: The Arachne books, Only Superhuman, the stories in Among the Wild Cybers (excepting “No Dominion”), and the other two Troubleshooter stories (“The Stuff that Dreams Are Made Of” from Footprints in the Stars and “Conventional Powers” in Analog) are all part of the same continuity. It’s always been the default continuity where I put everything that I don’t have a reason to put elsewhere, so it hasn’t really had a clear defining theme, though it’s now largely coalesced around the Troubleshooter sequence (basically everything taking place in the Sol system before the mid-22nd century) and the interstellar-era stories that all connect at least tenuously to the Arachne duology, which is why I’ve decided to name it the Arachne/Troubleshooter Universe. However, there are some Troubleshooter connections in Arachne due to shared worldbuilding; a few of the novel’s characters come from the Strider (asteroid dweller) civilization of the Troubleshooter stories, and one supporting character is the granddaughter of a lead character from Only Superhuman. There are also some themes and ideas introduced in one of the Troubleshooter stories that come into play in Arachne’s Exile.

Basically, this duology is the linchpin that connects to everything else published in my primary universe to date and thereby gives it the unifying element it lacked before, as well as painting a larger picture of the galaxy that puts the rest in context and gives me a foundation for future storytelling. There are some stories I’ve wanted to write for years but didn’t feel I could move forward until I’d gotten Arachne published to lay the foundations.

eS: Though you are known for your media tie-in work, you have quite a few works of your own creation. Can you tell us about some of your other works?

CB: The Troubleshooter series beginning with Only Superhuman is a hard science fiction superhero series set in the Asteroid Belt in the late 21st and early 22nd century, the wild and woolly frontier era where the lack of unified government and law enforcement creates a void filled by the Troubleshooter Corps, a non-governmental group of transhuman peacekeepers who embrace the trappings of superheroes to earn the trust of the highly nationalist Striders in a way that a more conventional paramilitary force could not. My fellow author Glenn Hauman describes it as “The Expanse with superheroes,” which is a good elevator pitch, though the concept predates The Expanse. I’ve also done three Troubleshooter short stories, including two prequels and one sequel to the novel, and I’m working on a couple of other projects in the series as time permits.

The other stories in Among the Wild Cybers are in a mix of settings from the interplanetary era to the age of FTL expansion across the galaxy. If there’s a unifying theme, it’s the exploration of a basically optimistic future where seemingly intractable problems still arise even when everyone involved is trying to do the right thing, and improvement is won through hard work and hard choices.

Beyond the Arachne/Troubleshooter Universe, my other ongoing original creation is the “Hub” series of comedy SF stories published in Analog over the past decade and collected in two books from Mystique Press, Hub Space: Tales from the Greater Galaxy and Crimes of the Hub.

eS: What authors do you like to read for your own personal enjoyment? And why?

CB: These days I tend to read a lot of comic book collections from the library. I’m particularly fond of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, written by Ryan North, and Ms. Marvel, written by G. Willow Wilson. In prose, I’ve enjoyed the Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan, the memoirs of a naturalist investigating the biology of dragons in an alternate world paralleling the 19th-century age of British exploration.

eS: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

CB: It’s a cliché to say “don’t quit your day job,” but it’s true. I’ve managed to squeak by as a full-time writer thanks to my Star Trek work, but only with a modest lifestyle and little in the way of savings, and it’s become harder in recent years as that work has become less regular. If you aspire to authorship for material reasons rather than the love of the craft, then you’re in the wrong line of work. Only a very few authors get a lot of money out of it.

But if you love writing, then keep at it. Don’t be disheartened by rejection, because it’s a learning opportunity, an incentive to raise your game. It took me five years of submitting stories before I improved enough to make my first sale. And that’s the other thing: Never assume your work is perfect or the criticisms of it are unfair. There’s always room to improve and learn from others. So listen to the critiques you get. Assume they’re meant to help you do better, because they are.

eS: What upcoming projects would you like to tell us about?

CB: All I really have lined up in prose at the moment, besides the Arachne duology, is Star Trek: The Original Series — The Higher Frontier, which is due out in March 2020. It’s the first time in many years that I’ve gotten to return to the post-Star Trek: The Motion Picture time frame I previously explored in Ex Machina, Mere Anarchy: The Darkness Drops Again, and portions of Department of Temporal Investigations: Forgotten History.

Beyond that, I have an ongoing gig writing game campaigns for the Star Trek Adventures role-playing game. All my campaigns to date have been published, but I have several more in the outline stage.

eS: What do you do for fun?

CB: Mainly what I’ve been doing for recreation the past year or so is watching a lot of Japanese tokusatsu (live-action superhero/monster) shows, mainly Super Sentai (the franchise Power Rangers is adapted from) and its sister series Kamen Rider. For all their silly, toy-based monsters and weapons and formulaic fight scenes, they often have strikingly sophisticated writing, rich characters, impressive production values and cinematography, and terrific music, and I quite enjoy them.

Christopher L. Bennett

Christopher L. Bennett is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, with a B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in History from the University of Cincinnati. A fan of science and science fiction since age five, he has spent the past two decades selling original short fiction to magazines such as Analog Science Fiction and Fact (home of his “Hub” series of comedy adventures), BuzzyMag, and Galaxy’s Edge. Since 2003, he has been one of Pocket Books’ most prolific and popular authors of Star Trek tie-in fiction, including the epic Next Generation prequel The Buried Age, the Enterprise — Rise of the Federation series, and the Original Series prequel The Captain’s Oath. He has also written two Marvel Comics novels, X-Men: Watchers on the Walls and Spider-Man: Drowned in Thunder. His original novel Only Superhuman, perhaps the first hard science fiction superhero novel, was voted Library Journal‘s SF/Fantasy Debut of the Month for October 2012. He has three collections reprinting his original short fiction, Among the Wild Cybers: Tales Beyond the Superhuman from eSpec Books (containing an original Only Superhuman prequel novelette) and Hub Space: Tales from the Greater Galaxy and Crimes of the Hub from Mystique Press. 


As we get the reading series up and running the posts are going to be rather close together at first so we can populate the playlists, so we are going to be sharing these links in groups of three or so for the time being. Here is the next batch!

Danielle Ackley-McPhail reading her short story Turtles All the Way Down from The Die is Cast, edited by Greg Schauer.

Christopher L. Bennett reading from his novel, Arachne’s Crime, which is currently funding on Kickstarter. (We about to fund the second book in the duology, Arachne’s Exile!)

James Chambers reading his short story The Last Great Monologue of Evil Intent from The Side of Good / The Side of Evil, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Greg Schauer.



eSpec Books interviews best-selling author Keith R.A. DeCandido, co-author of To Hell and Regroup, (co-written with David Sherman and currently funding on Kickstarter) as well as author of The Precinct Series and a wide array of media tie-in novels.

eS: Hi, Keith. Thank you for joining us today. To Hell and Regroup is very decidedly military science fiction. What challenges did you face helping to write it, being of a non-military background?

KRAD: Well, being of a non-military background, mostly. I’ve known enough to fake my way through fictional militaries in the past, in the worlds of places like Star Trek and Farscape and such, but to do a novel that’s almost 100% from the POV of military personnel was on a whole ‘nother level. But I enjoyed that challenge, as it forced me to really up my game. I’ve learned a lot, honestly.

eS: While you have extensive experience with media tie-in work, 18th Race has the added complications of being the third and final book in the series, as well as being co-written with the originator of that series. What was the experience like? How did it differ from your usual types of projects?

KRAD: It’s actually very much like writing a media tie-in, because it’s a world created by someone else, and my responsibility as an author is to write a story that fits in the mode of that universe. So it doesn’t really differ from my tie-in work—or my other work in shared universes like V-Wars and Scattered Earth—hardly at all. I’ve written in forty different universes that other people created, so plugging myself into someone else’s vision is pretty much second nature after 25 years of this…

eS: How much creative input did you have in shaping the storyline? Please tell us a bit about it.

KRAD: David plotted the storyline out and wrote many of the chapters. My main job was to finish the story, and also come up with some of the specific details of the climax beyond the general outline I got from David. All this was done, of course, in consultation with and collaboration with, not just David, but also editor Mike McPhail at eSpec. Both David and Mike are ex-military, unlike my civilian self, so both were very useful at backstopping my screwups.

eS: Though you are known for your media tie-in work, you have quite a few works of your own creation. Can you tell us about some of your other works?

KRAD: I’ve got several original universes I’m working in right now. The biggest is one I’m doing for eSpec, the “Precinct” series of fantasy police procedurals. These books are about two detectives in the Cliff’s End Castle Guard who maintain law and order in the city-state. It’s an epic fantasy setting, but the plots are straight-up mysteries, albeit with fantasy elements. It’s fun to mix the fantasy chocolate with mystery peanut butter. I’ve done five novels so far (the latest is Mermaid Precinct) and a short-story collection, with at least two more novels and another short-story collection due over the next several years.

In addition, I kicked off a new urban fantasy series in 2019, the Bram Gold Adventures, about a guy from the Bronx who hunts monsters for a living. Book 1, A Furnace Sealed, came out in early 2019 from WordFire Press, and I’m working away at Book 2, which doesn’t have a title yet.

I’ve got another fantastical police procedure series, the Super City Cops, which takes place in a modern city that is full of superheroes and super-villains. I’ve got four new novellas in that series coming out soon from Falstaff Books.

Finally, I’m doing a cycle of urban fantasy stories set in Key West, Florida about a woman named Cassie Zukav, who’s a bit of a weirdness magnet. The stories involve scuba diving, rock and roll music, Norse gods, folklore, and beer drinking. The first batch of stories were collected into a book in 2013 from Plus One Press called Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, and once I’ve got enough stories for a second collection, Plus One will release that, as well, which will be called Ragnarok and a Hard Place.

eS: What authors do you like to read for your own personal enjoyment? And why?

KRAD: I’m addicted by Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell books. I also love the novels of Carl Hiaasen and George Pelecanos, and also books about baseball.

eS: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

KRAD: Finish what you start. It’s much easier to revise and improve a finished story than it is a fragment. And yes, it’s hard—if it was easy, everyone would do it. This is work—treat it like work, and you’ll have more success.

eS: What upcoming projects would you like to tell us about?

KRAD: Well, the big ones next are Phoenix Precinct and the second Bram Gold book. Beyond that, nothing I can talk about in any detail quite yet…

eS: What do you do for fun?

KRAD: Cook. Watch baseball. Take karate classes at the dojo. Go to museums and zoos and botanical gardens (of which we have many of all three here in New York). Travel.


Keith R.A. DeCandido is a writer and editor of more than three decades’ standing (though he usually does them sitting down). He is the author of more than 50 novels, more than 100 short stories, around 75 comic books, and more nonfiction than he is really willing to count. Included in those credits is fiction in the worlds of Star Trek, Alien, Farscape, Doctor Who, Andromeda, BattleTech, and many other science fiction milieus, as well as in universes of his own creation (such as the “Precinct” series of fantasy police procedurals, also published by the fine folks at eSpec). As an editor, he has worked with dozens of authors, among them Mike W. Barr, Alfred Bester, Margaret Wander Bonanno, Adam-Troy Castro, Peter David, Diane Duane, Harlan Ellison, Tony Isabella, Stan Lee, Tanith Lee, David Mack, David Michelinie, Andre Norton, Robert Silverberg, Dean Wesley Smith, S.P. Somtow, Harry Turtledove, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and Roger Zelazny. Having edited David Sherman’s first two 18th Race books, Issue in Doubt and In All Directions, he is honored to assist him in finishing the trilogy by coauthoring To Hell and Regroup with him. Keith is also a martial artist (he got his third-degree black belt in karate in 2017), a musician (currently with the parody band Boogie Knights), and a baseball fan (having avidly followed the New York Yankees since 1976). Find out less about Keith as his cheerfully retro web site at


We are getting up to speed on the author reading series. Here are three more postings, with quite a few more to come. 

Danielle Ackley-McPhail reading an excerpt from Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn: A Steampunk Faerie Tale, co-written with Day Al-Mohamed.

Danielle Ackley-McPhail reading The Heart of the Sun, from her collection Flash In the Can.

Keith R.A. DeCandido reading from To Hell and Regroup, the final volume in David Sherman’s 18th Race trilogy, co-written with David Sherman.

In Other News…

In conjunction with this series (which is specific to authors published by eSpec reading from books published by eSpec), we are also going to host a guest author reading series for anything that doesn’t fall into the first series. More on that later.


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:


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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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.


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.


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


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.



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.


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

“…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.

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