Hard to believe we have been at this for five years, come October. That is a lot of blood, sweat, and cuss words…let me tell you! We have learned a lot and we have grown. We are making a name for ourselves and doing what we love. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like we are making too much progress, but then we look back and think “Damn!”

I did that today. My entire day has been nothing but entering and calculating data to see exactly what it is we’ve accomplished, by the numbers. So! Here it goes…

  1. We’ve published nine titles in electronic format only.
  2. We’ve published 39 titles in both print and electronic format.
  3. We have eight titles currently under review or in production.
  4. We have originated three imprints: eSpec Books, Paper Phoenix Press, and AGM Publications.
  5. We have three staff members: Danielle McPhail (publisher), Mike McPhail (art director/graphic designer), Greg Schauer (editor).
  6. Eight times out of eight times, we have paid out royalties either early or on time.
  7. We have zero company debt.
  8. We have a positive balance in each of our company accounts.

Those last three fill us with the greatest sense of accomplishment.

All-Time Top Bestsellers

  1. The Clockwork Witch by Michelle D. Sonnier
  2. The Sister Paradox by Jack Campbell
  3. The Weird Wild West
      edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret S. McGraw
  4. Issue in Doubt by David Sherman
  5. In All Directions by David Sherman
  6. Gaslight and Grimm edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Diana Bastine
  7. Dragon Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  8. The Best of Defending the Future edited by Mike McPhail
  9. Goblin Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  10. Unicorn Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido


In All Directions 2 x 3G&GRed-Gold Leaf-150Proof-DragonPrecinctNew-Proof-DTF1b

Goblin Precinct 2x3Proof-UnicornPrecinctproof-iwhk-coverproof-tbobaf

All-Time Highest Grossing

  1. The Sister Paradox by Jack Campbell
  2. The Clockwork Witch by Michelle D. Sonnier
  3. The Weird Wild West 
        edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret S. McGraw
  4. Issue in Doubt by David Sherman
  5. In All Directions by David Sherman
  6. Gaslight and Grimm edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Diana Bastine
  7. Dragon Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  8. The Best of Defending the Future edited by Mike McPhail
  9. If We Had Known edited by Mike McPhail
  10. Best of Bad-Ass Faeries edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Highlights of the last five years:

  • One title made it to the Bram Stoker Recommended Reading List.
  • Four titles were finalists for awards.
  • Two of those titles won those awards.
  • We have funded twelve successful crowdfunding campaigns (including one that is running right now – Defending the Future: In Harm’s Way.)
  • We have had the honor of publishing Faith Hunter, Jack Campbell, Brenda Cooper, David Sherman, Jody Lynn Nye, Jonathan Maberry, Bud Sparhawk, James Chambers, Jack McDevitt, Robert Greenberger, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Jeff Young, Michelle D. Sonnier, Bernie Mojzes, Aaron Rosenberg, Peter David, John C. Wright, Eric V. Hardenbrook, Christopher M. Hiles, Patrick Thomas, CJ Henderson, Judi Fleming, John L. French, Christopher L. Bennett, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, Misty Massey, Mike McPhail, John G. Hartness, RS Belcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Misty Massey, James R. Tuck, Robert E. Waters, David Sherman, Tonia Brown, Liz Colter, Scott Hungerford, Frances Rowat, Ken Schrader, Bryan C.P. Steele, Wendy N. Wagner, Christine Norris, Danny Birt, Jean Marie Ward, Elaine Corvidae, David Lee Summers, Kelly A. Harmon, Jonah Knight, Diana Bastine, Brian Koscienski & Chris Pisano, Adam P. Knave, Jesse Harris, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, John Passarella, Jeffrey Lyman,  L. Jagi Lamplighter,  James Daniel Ross, DL Thurston, Lee C. Hillman, NR Brown, John A. Pitts, Jennifer Brozek, Ronald T. Garner, Nancy Jane Moore, Maria V. Snyder, Lawrence M. Schoen, Andy Remic, Charles E. Gannon, John G. Hemry, Ian Randal Strock, Peter Prellwitz, Drew Bittner, Ty Johnson, Torah Contrill, Walt Ciechanowski, Hal Greenberg and Kenneth Shannon III, Erik Scott de Bie, Ed Greenwood, Christopher J. Burke, Jim Knipp, Herika R Raymer, Anton Kukal, Marie Vibbert, CB Droege, David Bartell,  Rie Sheridan Rose, Jean Buie, David M. Hoenig, Jamie Gilman Kress, Jean Rabe, David Boop, Leona Wisoker Robert M. Price, Leona Wisoker, Edward J. McFadden III, Tony Ruggiero, Janine K. Spendlove, Bryan J.L. Glass, James M. Ward, Kathleen David, and Vonnie Winslow Crist
  • We have projects in the works by Robert E. Waters, Christopher L. Bennett, Michelle D. Sonnier, James Chambers, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.
  • We have anthologies in the works with stories by Gordon Linzner, Lisanne Norman, Dayton Ward, and  Russ Colchamiro.

If you’ve made it all the way to the end here, thank you. It’s a lot of content but we are covering five years 😉 We’ll be making periodic posts throughout the year up to the anniversary. Thanks for joining us on this adventure!


Just out of curiosity, we looked over our sales for the year and are delighted to share with you the following bestsellers to date for 2018. You can click on the image to check out the book.

eBook Best Sellers – from left to right


lg-book-wwwSister Paradox web















Print Book Best Sellers – from left to right


Goblin Precinct 2x3


















This one seems to be aimed at teens and older elementary (and grandfathers) and it was a fun read. – 5 Stars, F. David Porter, Amazon


Generally a very entertaining read, with several superlative stories – 4 Stars, ggibson, Amazon


Brenda Cooper is always a good bet for an entertaining and thought provoking read. – 5 Stars, Mickey Elam, Amazon


This collection does more than entertain. It enthralled me.

I don’t remember the last time I read a collection of stories, single author or otherwise, where I found each story to be so good. – 5 Stars, Frank Luke, Amazon


Happy Friday, everyone.

We didn’t get any reviews this week. Apparently everyone is too busy reading the books 🙂

So, this week we are giving you an event review.

Weird Wild West editors Margaret S. McGraw and Emily Lavin Leverett attended Ravencon last weekend and the convention was kind enough to host a launch party for them. Here is a write-up from Margaret:

The Authors
Left to Right: Emily Lavin Leveret, Gail Z. Martin, RS Belcher, and Margaret S. McGraw

RavenCon hosted a Weird Wild West book launch party in Williamsburg, VA, featuring editors Emily Lavin Leverett and Margaret S. McGraw, and contributing authors Gail Z. Martin and Rod “RS” Belcher. Attending guests included Darin Kennedy, Matthew Saunders, Jeanne Adams, Nancy Northcott, Jim Nettles, and several others.

The Guests

Gail Martin read from her short story “Ruin Creek” and shared wonderful stories about her parents, to whom the book is dedicated, and their experiences living with the Lakota tribe, as well as the unusual legacy they left behind.

LRZ_FTZ  in Native American Costume
Dr. L.R. Zehner (Choker 68, talon & bead 69, peace medal 67, breastplate 73, shirt 72, pants 63, mocc 70, pipe bag 64, pipe 61) and Frances Zehner (dress 6, belt 4, mocc 2) 

Photo credit: Frank Bennett Fiske, dated Oct 23, 1950.


by Rachel Fernandez

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

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

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

Artist Jason Whitley returns with nine stunning illustrations.

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

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


As we get ready to run off to our final convention of the year (DerpyCon) this has been a week of running around scrambling to get things done. In the midst of all of that reviews of our newest releases have started popping up.

We’d like to share with you some of our favorite blurbs. Click on the provided links to read the full reviews.

Congrats to all our authors for jobs clearly well-done!

TW3-COVER-REVAMP“[In The Weird Wild West] eSpec Books has pulled together a fine collection of tales with just enough weirdness, fandom is bound to enjoy every page.” Ricky L. Brown, Amazing Stories

“[The Weird Wild West] is a show of skill by the authors who wrote short stories with skill and flair.” Ailyn, Good Reads

“[The Weird Wild West] takes the grit and glory that epitomizes the old west and gives it many delightful speculative spins.” Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Good Reads


Good-Evil“[The Side of Good / The Side of Evil] is a very highly entertaining book and a very enjoyable read.” Sam Tomaino, SFRevu

“In The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, villains get their time in the sun and are also painted with more depth and humanity than usual.” Meredith, Good Reads

“[The Side of Good / The Side of Evil] is definitely a keeper, and worth making into a doujinshi/ comic.” Ailyn, Good Reads

Our thanks go out to all the reviewers not only for liking our books, but for taking the time to tell the world.


TW3-COVER-REVAMPAn excerpt from Redemption Song by John Hartness, from The Weird Wild West, edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret S. McGraw

Love is eternal, but being stuck in the heavenly beyond sometimes makes it hard to set wrongs to right again. Unless you can find just the right person to step up and lend a hand.  Or a gun.

Time stopped when the man first showed up in the Golden Grin Saloon. It was one of those between-the-raindrops moments, when everything fell silent for an instant, and everyone’s attention landed on the same spot. Big Bob, the piano player who took an Ohlone arrow to the knee that ended his trapping days, finished one Stephen Foster tune and began leafing through a tattered Dan Rice songbook for another song to play. The man stood in the doorway, hat pulled down low over his eyes and a long leather duster hanging well past his knees. He looked like a man who had been rode hard and put away wet—thin almost to the point of gauntness, and so pale one could see the veins in the back of his hands if they let their eyes linger long enough, something not many were inclined to do.

He stood motionless, nothing about him even twitching except his eyes. Those chips of flint flickered back and forth across the room, taking in Leila and her dancing girls on the tiny stage in one corner near Bob, JR sitting at his faro table flipping cards and stacking chips, and Smilin’ Bill behind the bar polishing a glass in his eternal battle against the grime of the street. The man held the gaze of every soul in the Grin for a long heartbeat, then he stepped forward, and with the jingle of his spur the spell was broken. Big Bob launched into an old minstrel tune that had the girls high-kicking, JR flipped over a Queen to top the bettor’s nine and take his last chip, and Smilin’ Bill set the glass down on the bar and poured a slug of whiskey into it.

The stranger put one foot onto the bar rail and leaned on the polished oak. Smiling’ Bill gave him one of his trademarked grins, gold tooth sparkling on his lower jaw, and slid the whiskey into his hand. “First one’s on the house, friend. You look thirsty,” Bill said. “I’m Bill Evans, owner and proprietor of the Golden Grin Saloon, the finest drinking establishment for at least a hundred feet in any direction!” Bill laughed at his own joke, and a couple of the regulars at the bar joined him out of either manners or a hope for a free drink of their own.

“Thanks,” the man said. He slammed back his whiskey and dropped a golden eagle to spin on the bar. “Another.” His voice was more a rasp than speech, like the sound of two sheets of paper scraping across each other in the wind.

Bill poured another and slid two quarters across the wood. The man made a gesture to him, and Bill nodded his thanks as he slipped the four bits into his apron pocket. “Where you from, stranger?”


“Well, son, we’re in San Francisco, ‘bout everything’s east of here!” Bill laughed, but not quite as loud as the first time. There was something a little off about this stranger. Something about the way he talked, or didn’t talk, or maybe it was just those eyes, the way they never stopped moving. Either way, this fellow wasn’t quite right somehow, and Bill hoped he wasn’t planning on staying long.

Audrey Reese hadn’t taken her eyes off the stranger since he appeared in the doorway. And that was the right word for it—appeared. No one heard his boot clomp up the steps. Not a hint of a spur jingling announced his coming. There was no creak of a swinging saloon door to herald his arrival. One minute the doorway was empty, the next he was standing there, alabaster skin looking like it was carved from marble, not flesh. His perfectly black pants and coat seemed to absorb all the light from around him, as if a young gunfighter like him could just step sideways into his own shadow and disappear.

Audrey shuddered on the lap of Rich Spence, her current beau and the man sitting behind the biggest pile of bills, coins and chips at the poker table in the far corner of the Double G, as the locals called it. Goose walked over my grave, Audrey thought as she tried to adjust her bustle so her movements wouldn’t distract Rich.

“You okay, darling?” Rich asked. His voice rumbled deep in his chest, like distant thunder. She liked to lay against him when he talked, feeling that thunder peal across her face as he talked aimlessly in his deep voice. But now that voice had an edge to it, and Audrey looked down at her man. He caught her gaze and jerked his chin at the stranger by the bar. “You know him?”

“No, baby. He just . . . looked like somebody I used to know for a minute. But I don’t know him at all.” Do I? He looks . . . But that can’t be . . .


The untamed frontier is a challenge, a test of character, a proving ground for the soul. It’s a place where pioneers rewrite their future, or end their days…for better or worse. In the spirit of Bret Maverick, Cat Ballou, Kwai Chang Caine, and James West, The Weird Wild West blends western grit with the magical and mysterious unknown that waits beyond the next horizon.

With thrilling stories by Gail Z. Martin, John Hartness, RS Belcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Misty Massey, James R. Tuck, Robert E. Waters, David Sherman, Tonia Brown and many more, you’ve hit the Mother Lode!