PROJECT UPDATE – IF WE HAD KNOWN


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edited by Mike McPhail

Beyond the Cradle of mankind, the universe is vast, unknown,
dangerous to the unwary…or those caught in the path of intrepid explorers proceeding without forethought.

Thirteen authors explore what it is to pioneer the future with tales fraught with danger and remorse, tempered with hope, luck, and serendipity. We face the monsters. We face the truth. We face ourselves.

Whether the frontier is that of science or space, there is no doubt that at some point one must ask …If we had known, would we have followed this course?


Contents

The Necessary Enemy by Ian Randal Strock

The Steady Drone of Silence by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

The Last Man on Earth by Jody Lynn Nye

Chasing the Ball by Peter Prellwitz

The Janus Choice by Jeff Young

Between Scylla and Charybdis by Patrick Thomas

The Star Gazers by James Chambers

Giraffe Children by Robert E. Waters

Good Advice by John L. French

Egg by Christopher M. Hiles

Youth by Judi Fleming

Meeting the Other by Nancy Jane Moore

The Third Heaven by Robert Greenberger

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COVER REVEAL – IF WE HAD KNOWN


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Edited by Mike McPhail, with stories by Jody Lynn Nye, Nancy Jane Moore, James Chambers, Jeff Young, Peter Prellwitz, Patrick Thomas, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Judi Fleming, John L. French, Christopher M. Hiles, and Robert E. Waters.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – PATRICK THOMAS


eSpec Books interviews Patrick Thomas, contributor to The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, currently funding on Kickstarter as a part of the #Make100 campaign.

eSB: What is your idea of a bad-ass faerie?

Patrick Thomas: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, the godmother of the series, would certainly seem to qualify as the archetype of a bad-ass faerie. And a bad-ass editor too.

eSB: Can you tell us a little about your story, Looking a Gift Horse, that was selected for The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries?

baf-itselemental_lgPatrick Thomas: It takes Terrorbelle – who was in the original Bad-Ass Faeries in a story set in modern day New York City – back to her days in Faerie.  She’s just a kid and yet not the accomplished soldier she grows up to be. She has to depend more on her wits than her brawn to survive the attentions of a killer soldier and a deadly augskyAughisky, a breed of water horse.

eSB: What would your fae character’s signature drink be and why?

Patrick Thomas: She likes beer, but she might enjoy a Pink Lady as it would match her hair.

eSB: What do you like most about The Bad-Ass Faeries series, and why?

Patrick Thomas: The variety of the characters and the settings of the stories is amazing. So many authors contributing so many different yet enjoyable tales.

eSB: What kind of challenges did you find writing for this series?

Patrick Thomas: Right before the events in Looking a Gift Horse, Terrorbelle had suffered a traumatic and life changing event and is seeking revenge, but is only 11 years old. It was a challenge to try to coincide with the rawness and youth of the story with her older more confident self.

eSB: What is your first recollection of faeries growing up?

Patrick Thomas: Well, probably Tinkerbelle in Peter Pan- I saw the show on Broadway when I was a kid. And stories of leprechauns, which in an Irish family isn’t that unusual.

eSB: What interested you in writing for this series?  

Patrick Thomas: Danielle Ackley-Mcphail and I were in the Dark Furies anthology and she asked me if I’d be interested in writing a Terrorbelle story for the first Bad-Ass Faeries. I jumped at the chance.

eSB: Tell us something about yourself that is bad-ass.

Patrick Thomas: I could tell you, but then… Naw.

eSB: Do you have any plans to expand your story…or write in the same universe? If so, what more can your readers expect?

patrick-thomas-fairywithagunPatrick Thomas: Terrorbelle has two books of her own – Fairy With A Gun (a collection of short stories that was once optioned by Laurence Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Productions for film and TV) and Fairy Rides The Lightning (a murder mystery in Valhalla that is not solved in time could lead to Ragnorak). Stories of Terrorbelle’s younger years in Faerie will be collected soon with a cover by the legendary Daniel Horne and her adventures take place in the Murphy’s Lore universe.

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

Patrick Thomas: The Murphy’s Lore and Startenders series, paranormal mysteries Lore & Dysorder (starring Hell’s Detective), Dead To Rites and Rites of Passage (starring Agent Karver of The Department of Mystic Affairs), the steampunk As The Gears Turn and the many Dear Cthulhu advice books.

eSB: What projects of your own do you have coming up?

Patrick Thomas:  A new Dear Cthulhu collection, a collection and novel featuring Hex and a Soul For Hire collection.

eSB: How can readers find out more about you? 

  www.patthomas.net


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Patrick Thomas has had stories published in over three dozen magazines and more than fifty anthologies. He’s written 30+ books including the fantasy humor series Murphy’s Lore, urban fantasy spin offs Fairy With A Gun, Fairy Rides The Lightning, Dead To Rites, Rites of Passage, Lore & Dysorder and two more in the Startenders series. He co-writes the Mystic Investigatorsparanormal mystery series and The Assassins’ Ball, a traditional mystery, co-authored with John L. French. His darkly humorous advice column Dear Cthulhu includes the collections Have A Dark Day, Good Advice For Bad People, and Cthulhu Knows Best. His latest collection is the Steampunk themed As The Gears Turn. A number of his books were part of the props department of the CSI television show and one was even thrown at a suspect. Fairy With A Gun was optioned by Laurence Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Productions. Act of Contrition, a story featuring his Soul For Hire hitman is in development as a short film by Top Men Productions. Drop by www.patthomas.net to learn more.

SOCIAL MEDIA USER IDs

Facebook –facebook.com/PatrickThomasAuthor

Twitter – I_PatrickThomas

Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/PatrickThomas

Amazon Author Page – amazon.com/author/patrickthomas

NEW KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN – THE BEST OF BAD-ASS FAERIES


Currently, Kickstarter is running a promotional campaign Make/100. As a part of that campaign, creators launch a project that includes a limited edition, 100-Backer reward.

eSpec is taking this opportunity to launch a project that is near and dear to my heart, a Best of Bad-Ass Faeries anthology commemorating a decade of this award-winning anthology series that has shocked and delighted readers through four epic volumes. The series is out of print, but we will bring you the highlights of its glory. <grin>

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The stories selected for inclusion, based on fan and reviewer response, are as follows:

Bad-Ass Faeries  

  • Brian Koscienski & Chris Pisano – The Ballad of the Seven-Up Sprite  
  • Keith R.A. DeCandido – House Arrest
  • Adam P. Knave – Futuristic Cybernetic Faerie Assassin Hassballah  
  • Jesse Harris – Hidden in the Folds  

Just Plain Bad  

  • James Chambers – Way of the Bone  
  • CJ Henderson – Do You Believe?  
  • Danielle Ackley-McPhail – Within the Guardian Bell  
  • John Passarella – Twilight Crossing  
  • Jeffrey Lyman- Grimm Necessity  
  • Bernie Mojzes – Moonshine

In All Their Glory  

  • L. Jagi Lamplighter – A Not-So-Silent Night  
  • John L. French – So Many Deaths  
  • James Daniel Ross – The Natural-Born Spy  
  • Robert E. Waters – At The Grasshopper’s Hill  
  • Kelly A. Harmon – Selkskin Deep  

It’s Elemental  

  • DL Thurston – The Face of the Serpent  
  • Patrick Thomas – Looking a Gift Horse  
  • Jody Lynn Nye – Fifteen Percent  
  • Lee C. Hillman – Bad Blood  
  • NR Brown – Melia’s Best Wave

We hope you will help us celebrate these great authors!

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER – 2016 RECAP


This has been an interesting year for us at eSpec Books, in every connotation of the word.

We have held three successful Kickstarters, funding a total of seven books, we have released ten titles in print and/or ebook this year, and we have become self-employeed…but not salaried. 

Our Best Sellers for the year were:

Print

  1. The Weird Wild West
  2. Gaslight & Grimm
  3. Best of Defending the Future
  4. POST
  5. Dogs of War – Reissued / In the Lamplight (tie)

eBook

  1. The Weird Wild West
  2. Gaslight & Grimm
  3. Best of Defending the Future
  4. Dogs of War – Reissue
  5. In the Lamplight

We have signed books with award-winning, bestselling authors  Jack Campbell, Brenda Cooper, Bud Sparhawk, and David Sherman, and have brought on some exciting newcomers in our anthology projects.

At Balticon we connected with old friends, had a fire alarm, and held a pretty amazing launch party where we got to meet quite a few of our authors for the first time in person, as well as gave away loads of prizes and sold lots of book. We also had enough goodies left over that we provided food for the party after us, and they still had leftovers to send to the con suite when they were done.

 


We have also started a new reprint line of books, Paper Phoenix Press and released our first title under that imprint.

All in all, this has been an amazing year of growth for us, if also one of readjustment.

Thank you all for joining us on this journey. We hope you’ll continue to follow along in the new year.

Be nice, be happy, be safe this holiday season!

Danielle McPhail, Mike McPhail, and Greg Schauer

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY – MAN AND MACHINE


It’s that time again, where you get a chance to win a free copy of one of our books. This time Man and Machine (Defending the Future book 7) edited by Mike McPhail.


mam-proof-finalThe plan had been to un-man the battlespace; replacing flesh and blood with steel and carbon fiber. Machines, both remote-guided and autonomous, would fight and be destroyed in the name of freedom, sparing the troops. However, as with all arms races, the opposing side’s technology eventually catches ups to yours, resulting in the need to put lives back on the frontline to deal with the unknown.

Gear up! This fight is far from over in 14 new stories of the struggle to survive, the new machines of war.

With stories by Bud Sparhawk, Jennifer Brozek, Ronald Garner, Aaron Rosenberg, Brenda Cooper, James Chambers, Nancy Jane Moore, Patrick Thomas, Jeff Young, Eric Hardenbrook, Robert E. Waters, Anton Kukal, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.

COVER REVEAL – MAN AND MACHINE


We are excited to present to you the cover of Man and Machine, Defending the Future Volume 7. After a three-year hiatus, editor Mike McPhail has given us another great volume for your reading enjoyment, featuring series veterans Brenda Cooper, Bud Sparhawk, Jennifer Brozek, James Chambers, Patrick Thomas, Jeff Young, Robert E. Waters, Eric Hardenbrook, Nancy Jane Moore, Judi Fleming, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail, plus our newest recruits: Ronald T. Garner, Aaron Rosenberg, and Anton Kukal.

In addition, the collection contains a final farewell from CJ Henderson, written just before his passing, about his participation in the Defending the Future Series.


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Back Cover Copy

The plan had been to un-man the battlespace, replacing flesh and blood with steel and carbon fiber. Machines, both remote-controlled and autonomous A.I.s, would fight and be destroyed in the name of freedom; sparing the troops at the cost of the nation’s treasure.

However, as with any arms race, the opposing side’s technology eventually catches ups to yours, resulting in the need to put lives back in harm’s way on the frontline; to deal with, and adapt to the unknown, as only humans can.