THE eSPEC BOOKS AUTHOR READING SERIES – 6/28/20


This week’s offering is three videos of classic science fiction and fantasy reads. We hope you’ll enjoy them all. If you are interested in the books, they can be purchased via the links provided.

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

Lisanne Norman reading an excerpt from her short story “Hope’s Children” from In Harm’s Way (DTF8) edited by Mike McPhail.

The eSpec Guest Author Reading Series

Danielle Ackley-McPhail reading an excerpt from her short story “Mama Bear” from the upcoming anthology Bad Ass Moms, edited by Mary Fan and published by Crazy8 Press.

Gordon Linzner reading his story Masquerade, published in issue #1 of JEET fanzine way back in the day!


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

THE eSPEC BOOKS AUTHOR READING SERIES – 6/19/20


Welcome to your almost weekend! Time to recap the author reading series once more. We have four videos straddling multiple genres. We hope you’ll enjoy them all. If you are interested in the books, they can be purchased via the links provided.

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

Megan Mackie reading an excerpt from her novel Saint Code: The Lost, an intriguing tale of the perilous intersection of cyberpunk and magic.

Gordon Linzner reading an excerpt from his short story “Astral Odds” from Footprints in the Stars, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, an interesting take on science fiction noir exploring humanities reaction to proof aliens exist.

Danielle Ackley-McPhail reading her short story “Ruby Red” from her ebook collection Flash in the Can. An evocative microfiction that will take you on a sensory journey.

Jeff Young reading his short story “Beyond the Familiar” from his single-author collection Spirit Seeker, steampunk tales following a covert operative who happens to talk to ghosts.


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

eSPEC BOOKS AUTHOR READING SERIES – 6/6/20


We’ve posted a wide variety of work on YouTube over the last week or so, steampunk, paranormal fantasy, science fiction. We hope you’ll find something you enjoy!

Please remember to Like and Subscribe and hit the little bell icon to receive notification of these videos as they go live.

And, as always, if you are an author looking to participate, you can contact us through the Series fan page on Facebook.

The eSpec Books Author Reading Series

Danielle Ackley-McPhail reading her short story “On the Wings of an Angel” originally from In An Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk, and rereleased in Flash in the Can: Speculative Microfiction by Danielle Ackley-McPhail.

Keith R.A. DeCandido reading an excerpt from his novel Supernatural: Bone Key

Robert E. Waters reading his short story “Giraffe Children” from If We Had Known, edited by Mike McPhail

The eSpec Guest Author Reading Series

Michael A. Ventrella reading an excerpt from his steampunk novel, Big Stick, from Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire Press.


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

eSPEC BOOKS AUTHOR READING SERIES – 5/15/20


Happy Friday! This is our recap of our two Author Reading series The eSpec Books Author Reading Series, which features eSpec authors reading eSpec content; and The eSpec Guest Author Series featuring authors reading works from outside publishers. We hope you enjoy! If you do, please remember to Like and Subscribe. Thank you.

If you are interested in participating in either series, please leave a message in the comments below (terms apply.)

eSpec Books Author Reading Series

Danielle Ackley-McPhail reading chapter one of her novel Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, co-written by Day Al-Mohamed.

 

A reposting of Danielle Ackley-McPhail reading her short story “Brothers” from Dogs of War (Defending the Future Book Six). (remastered for sound quality.)

 

Robert E. Waters reads his short story “Child of the Water” from his solo science fiction collection Devil Dancers

 

Danielle Ackley-McPhail reading her short story “Dawns a New Day” from Footprints in the Stars (Beyond the Cradle Book 2).

eSpec Guest Author Reading Series

Carol Gyzander reading her short story “The Clockwork Raven” from Merely This and Nothing More, published by WriterPunk Press. The story is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven.

THE eSPEC BOOKS AUTHOR READING SERIES – 5/5/20


Somehow I missed a week. My apologies. Today’s offerings actually combine two different series, The eSpec Books Author Reading Series, which features eSpec authors reading eSpec publications; and The eSpec Guest Author Reading Series, which features eSpec or outside authors reading works not published by eSpec Books. We hope you enjoy this week’s videos. If you are an author interested in participating leave a comment below.

The eSpec Books Author Reading Series

 

Megan Mackie reading from her novel, The Finder of the Lucky Devil.

 

Jeff Young reading his story Finder,
from The Society for the Preservation of CJ Henderson.

 

Danielle Ackley-McPhail reading from her
nautical fantasy collection Consigned to the Sea.

The eSpec Guest Author Reading Series

 

Alma Alexander reading from her upcoming science fiction novel The Second Star,
which releases in July from Crossroads Press.

 

Teel James Glenn reading from his fantasy novel The Bareknuckle Barbarian.

COVER REVEAL – BUILD-A-BOOK WORKSHOP


We are excited to share with you the newest cover design by Mike McPhail and McPDigital Graphics for our newest release in the Literary Handyman series, Build-A-Book Workshop by Danielle Ackley-McPhail. The book is a guide to the elements of professional book design.

In keeping with the theme, it has been constructed to reflect a blueprint for a book and the designer did an amazing job of capturing what we were looking for!

The image from the original Literary Handyman cover was created by artist Bryan Prindiville and was adapted with his permission to continue the brand.

Cover Spread

Are you starting a new venture as an independent publisher?

Or are you already running a small press and you want to up your game?

Maybe you are an author planning to go it on your own
for whatever reason inspires you.

If any of those apply to you, this book is a good starting point for doing the job.
The Literary Handyman: Build-A-Book Workshop takes decades of experience in book design and layout and parses it into an easy-to-understand blueprint for constructing a book that will only stand out for the best reasons.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

Please note, this is a guide to understanding the basic elements of
professional book layout, not a step-by-step tutorial on how to use publishing
or art programs or how to artistically design a book.


Other Books in the series:

cover


Kickstarter DMcPhail

Award-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 Eternal Wanderings, A Legacy of Stars, Consigned to the Sea, Flash in the Can, Transcendence, Between Darkness and Light, and the non-fiction writers’ guide, The Literary Handyman, and 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 two extremely spoiled cats.

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

THE eSPEC BOOKS AUTHOR READING SERIES – 4/25/20


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.

 

THE eSPEC BOOKS AUTHOR READING SERIES – 4/20/20


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.

FROM THE PUBLISHER – THE eSPEC BOOKS AUTHOR READING SERIES


Hello,

We are proud to announce that eSpec Books has launched a brand-new YouTube series featuring our authors reading from their works. A number of videos have already been posted and more are to come. Here is a list of what is already up:

cover

Danielle Ackley-McPhail reading Brothers (from Dogs of War, Defending the Future Volume 6)


proof-final-legacy

Danielle Ackley-McPhail reading A Legacy of Stars (from A Legacy of Stars, a stand-alone collection)


Jeff Young reading Bucket Brigade (from In Harm’s Way, Defending the Future Volume 8)


Please like and subscribe to be notified of new videos as they are posted.

 

STATE OF THE ‘SPEC – APOCALYPSE EDITION


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

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

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

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

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


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

 


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


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

Proof-BabaAli

What We Are Working On Now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEW RELEASE – BABA ALI AND THE CLOCKWORK DJINN


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

Proof-BabaAli

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEW RELEASES


We’ve been bringing out some backlist titles, both our own, and for our authors. The following are our recent releases.


Saint Code The Lost 2 proof

The Lost (Saint Code Book 1)

Megan Mackie

The cybernetic revolution was inevitable. Nothing else changed.

For St. Augustina, a cyber-spy for hire, life has been a series of endless nights in the heart of the Data Bowl, the cybernetic city of corporate markets and submarkets. She wasn’t expecting a typical job from the mysterious Orange Lady to be any different.

She was wrong.

From fighting Neo-ninjas to singing in a lounge act, the job turns out to be anything but typical. But as she comes closer and closer to her goals, the attacks grow more personal…and deadly. Caught in a web of betrayals both new and old, St Augustina fights to untangle the facts and discover who’s after her.

Will she lose her life or gain her freedom?

Related books: Death and the Crone


Tomorrow's Memories 6x9

Tomorrow’s Memories (Eternal Cycle Book 2)

Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Havoc…Destruction…Revenge…

With triumph heavy on their hearts, Kara O’Keefe and the survivors from the battle atop Yesterday’s Dreams rush to Ireland and Tír na nÓg, carrying with them a weapon feared by gods and men. There they seek solace and healing for their warriors, and a miracle for Patrick, Kara’s father, mortally wounded in the battle.

What they find is a siege of ancient enemies. Carmán’s children have returned, united with a foe from the very dawn of the Tuatha de Danaan. Their combined forces threaten to be more than the immortal Sidhe and their human allies can combat.

Still coming to grips with her magical heritage, Kara must once m

ore face ultimate evil and help to save the immortal bloodline from which she is descended.


Today's Promise 6x9

Today’s Promise (Eternal Cycle Book 3)

Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Love…Life…Liberty…

Never before had Kara O’Keefe had cause to doubt in any of these, and yet she was now called to defend all three or lose them for all time.

Though the Battle of the Knock was counted a victory, the war–as they say–was not won. Carman’s Children have resurfaced after millennia and have reunited against their common foe once more. These adversaries from the ancient history of the Tuatha de Danaan have one goal: dominate all. Kara and the Sidhe Fianna must find a way to end this threat forever or find themselves and all humanity shackled to the will of evil demigods.

As this journey of self-discovery comes to an end, will Kara find herself and retain her freedom, or will all be lost for eternity?

Related books: Yesterday’s Dreams (Eternal Cycle Book 1), Eternal Wandering (Eternal Wanderings Book 1)

AUTHOR NEWS – TANGENT ONLINE RECOMMENDED READING LIST


We are thrilled to announce that several of our authors were recognized in Tangent’s annual Recommended Reading List among some very prestigious company.

To give you the highlights relevant to eSpec Books:


From Footprints in the Stars,
edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

“The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of” by Christopher L. Bennett (Footprints in the Stars, 7/19) SF (VS)

“The Black Box” by James Chambers (Footprints in the Stars, 7/19) SF (VS)

“The Sound of Distant Stars” by Judi Fleming (Footprints in the Stars, 7/19) SF (VS)


From (DTF8) In Harm’s Way, edited by Mike McPhail

“Slingshot” by Aaron Rosenberg (In Harm’s Way, 10/19) SF (TG)

“Medicine Man” by Robert E. Waters (In Harm’s Way, 10/19) SF (TG)

“Sympathetic” by Eric V. Hardenbrook (In Harm’s Way, 10/19) SF (TG)


Heroes of the RealmFrom Heroes of the Realm, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail (Published by RealmMakers)

“Hard’s Watcher” by Kerry Nietz (Heroes of the Realm, 7/19) SF (KPH)

“The Brick” by Jeffrey Lyman (Heroes of the Realm, 7/19) SF* (KPH) – One-Star Recommendation