eSpec Books Author Reading Series

At the microphone

In my post last month about Buboni-Virtual Con 2020, I shared a reading from my story “The Sun Worshiper” which was part of the eSpec Books Author Reading Series. This has been a cool service offered by eSpec Books, giving authors an opportunity to showcase their works during the COVID-19 pandemic when we can’t get out and about. The excerpt I shared in the earlier post was from a story in an anthology published by eSpec Books called AfterPunk. The story features steampunk stories in the afterlife. My story in the anthology tells about a Victorian mummy unwrapping party gone wrong. Reading the story was a lot of fun. Several years ago, I’d created audio book editions of my Space Pirates’ Legacy series. Unfortunately, those audiobooks are no longer available, but I dusted off the equipment for this reading. I had so much fun, I hoped for a chance to do some more reading.

As it turns out, eSpec Books hasn’t limited readings to books they’ve published. They invited me to read some of my other material as well. In this video, I read an excerpt from my novel Firebrandt’s Legacy.

In the novel, Ellison Firebrandt fights the good fight for Earth. Under a letter of marque, he raids the ships of Earth’s opponents, slowing down their progress and ability to compete with the home system. On the planet Epsilon Indi 2, he rescues a woman named Suki Mori from a drug lord, only to find she isn’t so happy about living a pirate’s life. However, when the captain finds a new engine that will make him the most successful pirate of all, Suki is the only one who can make it work. Now Firebrandt must find a way to keep his crew fed and his ship supplied while relying on a woman who barely trusts him and while every government in the galaxy hunts him to get the engine back! You can learn more about the novel at:

I also share an excerpt from Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order Vampires.

The excerpt I read is actually the very first scene I wrote for the novel, though it actually appears between parts one and two.

This novel tells the story of three vampires. Three lives. Three stories intertwined.

Bearing the guilt of destroying the holiest of books after becoming a vampire, the Dragon, Lord Desmond searches the world for lost knowledge, but instead, discovers truth in love.

Born a slave in Ancient Greece, Alexandra craves freedom above all else, until a vampire sets her free, and then, she must pay the highest price of all … her human soul.

An assassin who lives in the shadows, Roquelaure is cloaked even from himself, until he discovers the power of friendship and loyalty.

Three vampires, traveling the world by moonlight—one woman and two men who forge a bond made in love and blood. Together they form a band of mercenaries called the Scarlet Order, and recruit others who are like them. Their mission is to protect kings and emperors against marauders, invaders, and rogue vampires as the world descends into the chaos of the Dark Ages. Learn more about Dragon’s Fall at:

Hopefully this has just whetted your appetite for more readings. You can find many more reading by visiting the eSpec Books blog at: They have lots of good books as well and several of their authors have appeared in books and magazines I’ve edited. You can find my stories in Gaslight and Grimm as well as AfterPunk.

Book Trailers

Although the books have been out for a little while, I spent some time this past week working on book trailers for my novels Owl Dance and Lightning Wolves. I’ve wanted to create trailers for these books for a while, but my visions have typically been grander than my time or budget allowed. That said, people often compliment me on the covers of the books. Of course, those compliments really belong to the artist, Laura Givens, but the covers almost tell a story in their own own right and I realized I could use that idea to create teasers that give the reader an idea of where each book begins. Here’s the trailer for Owl Dance:

In this case, it helps that Laura was willing to let me work with the layered Photoshop files, which allowed me to isolate each of the elements on the cover. The painting used in the first frame is a public domain painting by Léon Trousset, a French painter who painted numerous scenes from around the Southwest. What’s especially exciting about this one is that it depicts one of the locations from the novel’s opening chapter.

The music comes from the generous Kevin MacLeod, who allows people to use his music through a Creative Commons license. You can find his music at

In the trailer for Lightning Wolves, I went for a slightly more subdued tone, trying to capture the mystery and suspense of the novel.

The photograph at the start of this video is one I took and shows one of the washes near Tombstone. It’s very much the terrain that the characters encounter in the novel and I think the scraggly branches tie into those Laura had in the background of the cover very well.

Follow these links to learn more about the novels: