This is posted via the Speculative Chic website, where eSpec author Brenda Cooper wrote a guest post for their My Favorite Things weekly feature. Enjoy!

Brenda has contributed to the anthologies Dogs of War, The Best of Defending the Future,  Man and Machine, and In Harm’s Way. (All of her eSpec works can be purchased via these Amazon Associate links.)

Brenda’s titles with us include:




eSpec Books is proud to announce that the following books are finalists for the 2018 EPIC Award:

The Sister Paradox by Jack Campbell (YA)

POST by Brenda Cooper (Science Fiction)

Yesterday’s Dreams by Danielle Ackley-McPhail (Fantasy)

For a complete list of finalists visit the EPIC website.


We are also proud to announce two finalists for the 2018 Ariana Award:

The Sister Paradox, art by Richard Clark

Yesterday’s Dreams, art by L.W. Perkins and Christina Yoder

For a complete list of finalists visit the EPIC website.




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


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:


  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)


  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



We are doing something different this year. Instead of trying to grab everyone’s attention during this gift-giving season, we are having a sale AFTER the holiday.  From January 1 through January 7, all ebooks will be a mere 99 cents. So, if you’ve gotten some e-gift cards, or are just looking to treat yourself, here is your chance to score our amazing books for a steal! 

You can access the titles on Amazon by clicking on the below images. We’ll repost this when the sale goes live.


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Solo Collections

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Short Stories

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NotOneWord Proof-Restavek TheOath DifferentCourage TheNatureOfMercy




Do you love great speculative fiction? Are you a reviewer? Would you like to be?

eSpec Books offers all of our new titles on NetGalley for review. Reviews can be posted on Amazon, GoodReads, or a personal or professional blog site. Currently available are our two newest novels. You must have a NetGalley account to request the books for review, but anyone can create an account. To request these titles click on the below titles.


by Brenda Cooper

The world, for some, has crumbled.

Disease and natural disasters have brought on social collapse in the Pacific Northwest.

For Sage, born and raised in the safe haven of the Oregon Botanical Gardens, that has never been more than academic.

What more could she ask for than to be safe and fed?

But life in the Garden is static.

Sage longs to experience the world beyond the Garden walls as society climbs from the chaos. Her reckless exploration forces her elders to give her a choice: Stay here, hidden in safety, or go and never return.

Sage chooses to leave.

Will she learn soon enough on her journey that the world outside the Garden follows no law? That there is no predator more dangerous than man?

Will she learn soon enough that to rebuild the world one must be ready to fight for it?

She will need to if she chooses to live.

Brenda Cooper’s novel, Edge of Dark, just won the Endeavour Award

proof-front-sisterThe Sister Paradox 

by Jack Campbell

Liam Doesn’t Have A Sister. And She’s Weird.

Liam is his parents’ only child,
and that’s just fine with him.

Until the day the sister-he-never-had
shows up at school.

Just to make it worse, the sword-wielding Kari tells him they have an important quest to complete.

And that’s how Liam finds himself dragged into another world, facing basilisks and unicorns, cursed objects, elves, and even a dragon, all magical and dangerous, but none more so than the sister he didn’t have until that morning. A sister who turns out to be quite good with her sword, and ready to use it when faced with things like a dragon as long as her brother is at her side.

Liam begins to realize two things: it’s going to be a very long day, and having a sister can be weird.

But most unsettling of all, he’s not sure he minds…

“Jack Campbell has penned a fun, engaging, fantasy story that’s brought to life by depth and authenticity of its young characters. A major  win!”

– Ty Drago, Author of the Undertakers and Publisher of ALLEGORY



Jack Campbell

Just a head’s up that we will be holding a live interview with Jack Campbell, author of The Sister Paradox, as well as The Lost Stars, Lost Fleet, and Pillars of Reality series. The event is tonight at 8pm EST on Facebook:

If you would like to be there but can’t for some reason, please do send me your questions and I will make sure they are asked, that way you can visit the page later see Jack’s responses.

Also, we posted another excerpt from Brenda Cooper’s POST today, if anyone wants another sneak peek:

Finally, just one week to go and we have some choice bonuses to unlock. Just 21 more backers unlocks a bonus book by Brenda Cooper. (Make that 71 more backers and a bonus book by Jack Campbell is also added to everyone’s rewards.) And with another $161 in pledges, we will unlock a bonus short story by Brenda.

So…one week to go, let’s see how much loot we can score!

Here’s the link if you or a friend might be interested:

Thank you,