COVER REVEAL – UNICORN PRECINCT


Proof-UnicornPrecinct

Humans and elves, dwarves and gnomes, wizards and warriors all live and do business in the thriving, overcrowded port city of Cliff’s End, to say nothing of the tourists and travelers who arrive by land and sea, passing through the metropolis on matters of business or pleasure-or on quests. The hard-working, under-appreciated officers of the Cliff’s End Castle Guard work day and night to maintain law and order as best they can.

Arra Cynnis is the youngest child in one of the most powerful families in the wealthy district of Unicorn Precinct. When she’s found murdered, with the culprit’s identity hidden from the magickal examiner’s spells, the Captain of the Guard sends his best investigators. Ex-soldier Torin ban Wyvald and half-elf Danthres Tresyllione have two viable suspects: Arra’s fiancé, who is the cousin of another member of the Castle Guard, or the unknown person with whom Arra was having a torrid affair.

Torin and Danthres must navigate the difficult political waters of Cliff’s End’s upper classes in an attempt to determine the girl’s killer. Complicating the case is the unexpected appearance of Torin’s estranged father, who has come to return the detective to his far-off homeland of Myverin, and he won’t take no for an answer . . . .

An all-new adventure of the Cliff’s End Castle Guard!


“A fascinating excursion in genre-bending; worth a try even for readers who usually take either their procedurals or their fantasies unadulterated.” Booklist

“Unicorn Precinct is a fantastical, funny twist on the traditional murder mystery, with many likable characters and enough twists and turns to keep things interesting.” —Sci-Fi Bulletin

“Reading Unicorn Precinct felt like meeting old friends … I felt immediately at home in Cliff’s End.” —Unreality SF


KEITH R.A. DeCANDIDO is a white male in his late forties, approximately 200 pounds. He was last seen in the wilds of the Bronx, New York, though he is often sighted in other locales. Usually he is armed with a laptop computer, which some have classified as a deadly weapon. Through use of this laptop, he has inflicted more than fifty novels, as well as an indeterminate number of short stories, comic books, nonfiction, novellas, and anthologies on an unsuspecting reading public. Many of these are set in the milieus of television shows, movies, games, and comic books, among them Star Trek, Cars, Doctor Who, Supernatural, World of Warcraft, Orphan Black, Alien, Marvel Comics, and many more. We have received information confirming that more stories involving Torin, Danthres, and the city-state of Cliff’s End can be found in the novels Unicorn Precinct, Goblin Precinct, Gryphon Precinct, and the forthcoming Mermaid Precinct, Phoenix Precinct, and Manticore Precinct, as well as the short-story collection Tales from Dragon Precinct. His other recent crimes against humanity include the urban fantasy novel A Furnace Sealed; the Orphan Black coffee-table book Classified Clone Report; the Alien novel Isolation; the Tales of Asgard trilogy of prose novels featuring Marvel’s Thor, Sif, and the Warriors Three; short stories in the anthologies Aliens: Bug Hunt, the two Baker Street Irregulars volumes, The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, The Best of Defending the Future, Joe Ledger: Unstoppable, Nights of the Living Dead, The X-Files: Trust No One, among others; and writing about pop culture for Tor.com and Patreon. If you see DeCandido, do not approach him, but call for back-up immediately. He is often seen in the company of a suspicious-looking woman who goes by the street name of “Wrenn,” as well as several as-yet-unidentified cats. A full dossier can be found at DeCandido.net.

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COVER REVEAL – KEITH R.A. DeCANDIDO’S DRAGON PRECINCT


eSpec is proud to present the re-release of Keith R.A. DeCandido’s fantasy police procedural Precinct series. The first book, Dragon Precinct, is set to go live tomorrow. The other titles in the series, Unicorn, Goblin, and Gryphon Precinct, will re-release over the next few months, along with the single short story collection, Tales from Dragon Precinct. Three new novels are planned in the series, plus another short story collection.

Proof-DragonPrecinct
(Cover redesign by Mike McPhail, McP Digital Graphics, based on the previous design by Jenn Reese.)

Humans and elves, dwarves and gnomes, wizards and warriors all live and do business in the thriving, overcrowded port city of Cliff’s End, to say nothing of the tourists and travellers who arrive by land and sea, passing through the metropolis on matters of business or pleasure—or on quests. The hard-working, under-appreciated officers of the Cliff’s End Castle Guard work day and night to maintain law and order as best they can.

Gan Brightblade is one of the world’s greatest heroes and a personal friend of the Lord and Lady of Cliff’s End. So when he’s brutally murdered in grubby lodgings in Dragon Precinct, on the eve of a great quest, the Captain of the Guard puts his two best investigators on the case. The half-elf Danthres Tresyllione and ex-soldier Torin ban Wyvald soon discover that the crime scene is empty of any forensic evidence—physical or magickal. They have no clues, and heat is on.

The Lord and Lady want their friend’s murder solved—now. The populace is mourning the loss of a great hero. The ever-unhelpful Brotherhood of Wizards could take over the case at any minute. And then another member of Brightblade’s party turns up dead….


REVIEWS

Dragon Precinct is The Sword of Shannara by way of JAG—and it works beautifully.”

Starlog

“All in all, this is a fascinating excursion in genre-bending; worth a try even for readers who usually take either their procedurals or their fantasies unadulterated.”

—Booklist

 “Dungeons and Dragnet… As a take-off of the standard crime drama, Dragon Precinct succeeds nicely. Dressed in sword-and-sorcery trappings, the clichés of the genre are given a fresh twist. I would like to see more stories in this same setting.

—The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary
Society Authors and Editors


KEITH R.A. DeCANDIDO is a white male in his late forties, approximately 200 pounds. He was last seen in the wilds of the Bronx, New York, though he is often sighted in other locales. Usually he is armed with a laptop computer, which some have classified as a deadly weapon. Through use of this laptop, he has inflicted more than fifty novels, as well as an indeterminate number of short stories, comic books, nonfiction, novellas, and anthologies on an unsuspecting reading public. Many of these are set in the milieus of television shows, movies, games, and comic books, among them Star Trek, Cars, Doctor Who, Supernatural, World of Warcraft, Orphan Black, Alien, Marvel Comics, and many more. We have received information confirming that more stories involving Torin, Danthres, and the city-state of Cliff’s End can be found in the novels Unicorn Precinct, Goblin Precinct, Gryphon Precinct, and the forthcoming Mermaid Precinct, Phoenix Precinct, and Manticore Precinct, as well as the short-story collection Tales from Dragon Precinct. His other recent crimes against humanity include the urban fantasy novel A Furnace Sealed; the Orphan Black coffee-table book Classified Clone Report; the Alien novel Isolation; the Tales of Asgard trilogy of prose novels featuring Marvel’s Thor, Sif, and the Warriors Three; short stories in the anthologies Aliens: Bug Hunt, the two Baker Street Irregulars volumes, The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, The Best of Defending the Future, Joe Ledger: Unstoppable, Nights of the Living Dead, The X-Files: Trust No One, among others; and writing about pop culture for Tor.com and Patreon. If you see DeCandido, do not approach him, but call for back-up immediately. He is often seen in the company of a suspicious-looking woman who goes by the street name of “Wrenn,” as well as several as-yet-unidentified cats. A full dossier can be found at DeCandido.net.

COVER REVEAL – AFTER PUNK


eSpec Books is delighted to present to you:

Web-AfterPunk
(cover design by Mike McPhail of McP Digital Graphics)

AFTER PUNK:
Steampowered Tales of the Afterlife

edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Greg Schauer

While mankind can scarce hope to pierce the Veil without crossing it, a few intrepid souls will ever bend their will against the aether, combining artifice and the arcane to uncover its secrets. 

From voodoo death cults to the Day of the Dead, mummy parties, the wheel of reincarnation, the practice of death portraits, and so much more, these tales leave no gravestone unturned. 

Be it heaven or hell or the limbo in between, the hereafter is about to get ‘Punked.

With stories by Jody Lynn Nye, David Sherman, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, James Chambers, Michelle D. Sonnier, Jeffrey Lyman, Bernie Mojzes, Travis I. Sivart, Jeff Young, David Lee Summers, L. Jagi Lamplighter, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.

COVER REVEAL – THE CLOCKWORK WITCH


Proof-4-5-Clockwork

THE CLOCKWORK WITCH

by Michelle D. Sonnier

The seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, Arabella is destined to disappoint, when she was expected to shine. Though she descends from a long line of gifted witches she has earned the moniker of a “brown bud” showing no sign of magical talent. 

When it truly seems her lot can grow no worse, she discovers an unnatural affinity for…of all things…technology. Not only are the mysteries of the mechanical world open to her, but her new-found ability allows her to manipulate them, making her the first ever clockwork witch and anathema to the nature of the witching world.

How will she come to grips with her new power when she must question if she will survive the judgement of her family and her peers?

Short Story Excerpt: Beyond the Familiar by Jeff Young – Afterpunk Anthology


A New Look On Books has featured an excerpt of Jeff Young’s story from the upcoming After Punk: Steampowered Tales of the Afterlife

A New Look On Books

JY Steam.jpgMeet Jeff Young.

Jeff Young is a bookseller first and a writer second – although he wouldn’t mind a reversal of fortune.

He is an award winning author who has contributed to the anthologies: Writers of the Future V.26, In an Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk, Clockwork Chaos, Gaslight andGrimm, By Any Means, Best Laid Plans, Dogs of War, Man and Machine, If We Had Known, Fantastic Futures 13, The Society for the Preservation of C.J. Henderson, TV Gods & TV Gods: Summer Programming. Jeff’s own fiction is collected in TOI Special Edition 2 – Diversiforms and the forthcoming Spirit Seeker. He also edited the Drunken Comic Book Monkey line, TV Gods and TV Gods –Summer Programming. He has led the Watch the Skies SF&F Discussion Group of Camp Hill and Harrisburg for seventeen years. Jeff is also the proprietor of Helm…

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – DANIELLE ACKLEY-MCPHAIL (AFTER PUNK)


eSpec Books interviews Danielle Ackley-McPhail, co-editor and contributor to After Punk: Steampowered Tales of the Afterlife, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Greg Schauer, funding now on Kickstarter.

eSB: What can you tell us about the story you have written (or plan to write) for After Punk?

DAM: Last year my best friend sent me a photograph of a bunch of statuettes he saw when on vacation with his family at Disney. There was a wide array of Disney characters, but there were also some random poses. One was a steampunk girl made out in sugar skull makeup with a crow on her shoulder. She had goggles on her head (of course 😉 and the crow had a mechanical collar and augmented eyes. Immediately my creative brain sat up and began pounding on my skull. Why? What is the story behind that figure? Ohh! We could have SO much fun telling that story… In that moment, the concept of After Punk: Steampowered Tales of the Afterlife was born and I knew I would be writing that crow-girl’s story. Eventually he sent me the statue as well 🙂

I don’t want to tell you too much. Let there be some surprises, but I will tell you that our steampunk girl’s name is Aleta Angelina Fabricio, the crow is Beltran and our tale has to do with the disappearance and assumed death of Aleta’s father, and her efforts to prove he is not dead. I’ll be playing with the connection of crows between life and afterlife and exploring the traditions surrounding Dios de la Muerte, or Day of the Dead.

eSB: Does you story introduce new characters, or are they old friends you revisit often…to torment mercilessly?

DAM: This is a brand new cast of characters for me. Currently I expect this to be a stand-alone story, but who know? My characters do have a habit of coming back…

eSB: What traditions or beliefs were you raised on regarding death or the afterlife? Did that influence your story at all?

DAM: Well, my life is a study in unconventional. I was raised by a Catholic mother, but I was sent to Protestant Sunday School…well, because they had a bus that came to pick me up. Ultimately I ended up a Methodist by choice. My mother, however, believes in astrology and reincarnation and such, so I grew up with a mixed bag of afterlife beliefs in my household. The most profound way this affected me was in making me open to possibilities and an exposure to different belief systems. I don’t necessarily believe in those things myself, but my muse believes in the potential of things to become story fodder.

eSB: Describe your ideal vision of the afterlife.

DAM: The absence of all things negative. No suffering, no hatred, no conflict. Oh…and no calories, but all the yummy things 😉 All that we love and infinite time for all the things we wanted to do that we could never get to here on earth.

eSB: The coffin or the pyre, which one for you and why?

DAM: Pyre. We’ve left enough junk on and in this planet without adding my empty husk to the pile. Besides…just in case zombies are a thing, no one wants me shambling around. Talk about scary!

eSB: What are some of your own works readers can look for?

DAM: I have quite an extensive list, but those currently available are my urban fantasy novel, Yesterday’s Dreams (Irish Elves in New York City fighting evil demigods) and my biker faerie novel, The Halfling’s Court (King of the Road versus the King of Underhill,) plus four short story collections: A Legacy of Stars (science fiction), Transcendence (urban fantasy), Consigned to the Sea (nautical fantasy), and Between Darkness and Light (mixed genre). I also have a shared anthology with Mike McPhail called The Die is Cast, a series of military science fiction stories set in the Alliance Archive universe.

eSB: How can readers find out more about you? 

DAM: My website is http://www.sidhenadaire.com.


Danielle Ackley-McPhailAward-winning author and editor 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 (www.especbooks.com).

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 A Legacy of Stars, Consigned to the Sea, Flash in the Can, and Transcendence, the non-fiction writers’ guide, The Literary Handyman, and is the senior editor of the Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series, Gaslight & Grimm, Dragon’s Lure, and In an Iron Cage. Her short stories are included in numerous other anthologies and collections.

She is a member of Broad Universe, a writer’s organization focusing on promoting the works of women authors in the speculative genres.

In addition to her literary acclaim, she crafts and sells original costume horns under the moniker The Hornie Lady, at literary conventions, on commission, and wholesale.

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

SOCIAL MEDIA USER IDs

Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/DMcPhail

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/danielle.ackleymcphail

Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Danielle-Ackley-McPhail/e/B002GZVZPQ/  

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/989939.Danielle_Ackley_McPhail

Blog: https://especbooks.wordpress.com/

WE FUNDED PRIZE PACK – TALES OF PARANORMAL STEAMPUNK


WE FUNDED PRIZE PACK

Tales of Paranormal Steampunk has funded with nine more days to go. That means we are all winners, particularly as we continue to unlock stretch goals–seven and counting, so far! But one lucky backer pledging $30 or more will be luckier than all the rest when they win the following prize pack at the end of the campaign.

courtesy of eSpec Books…

  • Dark Portals: The Chronicles of Vidocq (DVD)
  • The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box (Blu-ray)
  • Frankenstein’s Army (Blu-ray)
  • The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec (Blu-ray)

plus…

  • a handcrafted steampunk pendant (donated by Wastland Supply Company)
  • a handcrafted steampunk hat pin (donated by Wastland Supply Company)
  • Mystifying Mints (donated by Wastland Supply Company)
  • Sherlock Holmes mini journal (donated by RetroDaddio)
  • The Ablutions of Sherlock Holmes novelty soap (donated by RetroDaddio)

We hope you’ll join us on this expedition through the afterlife!