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

DECEMBER NETGALLEY


Good morning, my lovelies.

eSpec has two titles currently listed on NetGalley, available for request from anyone with a NetGalley account. They will only be available through the end of December, so don’t miss your chance.




CONVENTION UPDATE – PHILCON


This weekend is Philcon, for the first time in forever, our last convention of the year. We will again be having a launch party in the Con Suite so mark that in your calendars. We’ve been cooking since last month 🙂 Available schedules are below.

2019-11-05 14.03.55
Homemade Ginger KICK! Ginger Ale
2019-11-05 13.32.23
Some of our raffle prizes for the eSpec Books Launch Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Fri 8:00 PM in Plaza III – WILL MY PUBLISHER EXPECT ME TO GO ON TOUR?
We talk a lot about ways to sell your novel, but what happens after your novel sells? A discussion of debut author questions, issues, opportunities, and challenges

Sat 12:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Two – ASK A SMALL PUBLISHER

What do you want to know about getting into the world of publishing? Here’s a chance to ask the pros what they suggest

Sat 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM in Executive Suite 823 – ESPEC BOOKS LAUNCH PARTY
eSpec Books invites you to join us in the Con Suite to celebrate their 2019 releases. There will be food, fun, authors, and prizes

Sat 10:00 PM in Plaza II – MEET THE EDITORS!

Magazine and small press editors discuss what goes into creating their publications, from the economics of staying viable in the electronic age to getting appropriate submissions

Sun 1:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Two – BOOK LAYOUT AND DESIGN FOR BEGINNERS

Whether you’re working in the literary profession, creating a family history book, or putting together your own cookbook, you’ll have a much better result by learning the basics

Sun 2:00 PM in Executive Suite 623 – READINGS: KATRINA FOREST, ROBERT E. WATERS, DANIELLE ACKLEY-MCPHAIL

Katrina S. Forest (mod), Robert E. Waters, Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Mike McPhail

Sat 11:00 AM in Plaza III – HOW TO NOT SELL YOUR BOOK

Common (and not-so-common) mistakes to avoid while approaching publishers

Sat 2:00 PM in Plaza IV – ART AND ILLUSTRATION FOR PROFIT

Book covers? Magazine illustrations? Art shows? Commissions? Prints and posters? How does an artist make money in a genre art field

Sat 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM in Executive Suite 823 – ESPEC BOOKS LAUNCH PARTY

eSpec Books invites you to join us in the Con Suite to celebrate their 2019 releases. There will be food, fun, authors, and prizes

Sat 10:00 PM in Plaza II – MEET THE EDITORS!

Magazine and small press editors discuss what goes into creating their publications, from the economics of staying viable in the electronic age to getting appropriate submissions

Robert E. Waters

Sat 10:00 AM in Crystal Ballroom Three—My Favorite Books

Authors talk about their own literary influences and the works that inspired them to become writers.

Sat 11:00 AM in Executive Suite 923—Writing Branching Narratives for Game Play (3609)

What different considerations do you have to make when creating a story that needs to have multiple middles and possible endings?

Sun 12:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Two—How Far Can You Suspend Someone’s Disbelief? 

How much can you ask a reader to take on faith before they can’t take your story seriously anymore? Are there ways to get readers willing to accept more challenging changes and assumptions? What authors have succeeded at pushing the boundaries without pushing their readers out of the story?

Sun 2:00 PM in Executive Suite 623—Readings: Katrina Forest, Robert E. Waters, Danielle Ackley-McPhail 

Keith R.A. DeCandido

Schedule available on his blog.

 

Not going to Philcon? Megan Mackie will be at Grand Rapids ComiCon the same weekend!

 

COVER REVEAL – BABA ALI AND THE CLOCKWORK DJINN


Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn 6X9
The Clockwork Djinn (c) Danielle McPhail, McP Digital Graphics

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 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.

Day

Day Al-Mohamed is an author, filmmaker, and disability policy executive. She is co-author of the Young Adult novel, Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, 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 by Falstaff Books. Her recent publications are available in Daily Science Fiction, Apex, Crossed Genres anthology “Oomph – A Little Super Goes a Long Way,” and GrayHaven Comics’ anti-bullying issue “You Are Not Alone.”  

Her current documentary, “The Invalid Corps” is on the festival circuit. 

She is an active member of Women in Film and Video and a graduate of the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop.  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. She is currently a Senior Policy Advisor with the Federal government. She has also worked as a lobbyist and political analyst on issues relating to Health, Education, Employment, Technology, and International Development. For more information on work in disability policy, please check out: http://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 Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 24-01 (5th District Southern Region), she lives in Washington DC with her wife, N.R. Brown and guide dog, Gamma. She can be found online at http://www.DayAlMohamed.com and @DayAlMohamed.