eSpec Books is an independent publishing house drawing on decades of experience in the industry to produce quality speculative fiction in both print and digital formats. It is our goal to bring to light new and original works from both established talents and bright new voices in the industry. 

Our list includes over one hundred titles under four imprints, representing a hundred authors.

All titles are available by special order through your local bookstore,
via third-party sales sites, or through the eSpec Books Store.

Logo-eSpec-Black Title Page

Our primary imprint under which we publish all titles that do not fit
under one of the below specialty imprints.


Our reprint imprint for older titles given new life.
Eventually, this will include special editions of public domain titles.

Black on White Logo-AGM

Our science fiction imprint that focuses on titles set in the Alliance Archives universe.

Logo-NeoParadoxa Title Page

Our Horror and Paranormal imprint, featuring our Systema Paradoxa cryptid series and similar titles.


eSpec Staff 2

From left to right: Greg Schauer, Ef Deal, Mike McPhail, John French, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.

Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Co-Founder, Publisher, Senior Editor, Designer

Award-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 Mike McPhail and Greg Schauer to form eSpec Books (www.especbooks.com).

Her published works include eight novels, Yesterday’s Dreams, Tomorrow’s Memories, Today’s Promise, The Halfling’s Court, The Redcaps’ Queen, Daire’s Devils, The Play of Light, 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, The Kindly Ones, Dawns a New Day, The Fox’s Fire, Between Darkness and Light, and the non-fiction writers’ guides The Literary Handyman, More Tips from the Handyman, and LH: 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, and Footprints in the Stars. Her short stories are included in numerous other anthologies and collections. She is a full member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association.

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 four extremely spoiled cats.

Mike McPhail

Co-Founder and Art Director

Mike McPhail’s love of the science fiction genre sparked a life-long interest in science, technology, and developing an understanding of the human condition—all of which played an important role in his writing, art, and game design. These, in turn, are built upon his background in Applied Science and training as an Aeronautical Engineer, all of which were aimed at becoming a NASA mission specialist.

As a professional author, he has been involved in numerous projects, but he is best known as the creator and series editor of the award-winning Defending the Future military science fiction anthologies—now in their second decade of publication. His body of work has been formally recognized with his acceptance into SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

As a graphic designer, he is the owner of McP Digital Graphics (founded in 2006), a company established to provide cover art, design, layout, and prepress services. This built upon not only his experience as a game designer, but primarily from his time as the Proofing Supervisor for Phoenix Color Corp doing cover work for the great publishing houses.

As a publisher, he is the co-owner of eSpec Books LLC (since 2014), where his graphics company has become the in-house design arm of production.

As Airman McPhail, he is a member of the Military Writers Society of America and is dedicated to helping his fellow service members (and those deserving civilians) in their efforts to become authors, editors, or artists, as well as supporting related organizations in their efforts to help those “who have given their all for us.”

Greg Schauer


Greg Schauer has been a bookseller for over thirty-three years as the owner of Between Books in Claymont, Delaware. He has also helped produce concerts by local and national bands at the Arden Gild Hall in Arden, Delaware, one of the country’s oldest continuously run secular utopian art colonies, for the past ten years. He has previously worked on Stories in Between: Between Books 30th-anniversary Anthology with W.H. Horner and Jeanne Benzel, Steampowered Tales of Awesomeness Vol 1 by Brian Thomas and Ray Witte, and With Great Power with John L. French.

John L. French


John L. French is a retired crime scene supervisor with forty years experience. He has seen more than his share of murders, shootings, and serious assaults. As a break from the realities of his job, he started writing science fiction, pulp, horror, fantasy, and, of course, crime fiction.

John’s first story, “Past Sins,” was published in Hardboiled Magazine and was cited as one of the best Hardboiled stories of 1993. More crime fiction followed, appearing in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, the Fading Shadows magazines, and in collections by Barnes and Noble. Association with writers like James Chambers and the late, great C.J. Henderson led him to try horror fiction and to a still growing fascination with zombies and other undead things. His first horror story, “The Right Solution,” appeared in Marietta Publishing’s Lin Carter’s Anton Zarnak. Other horror stories followed in anthologies such as The Dead Walk and Dark Furies, both published by Die Monster Die Books. It was in Dark Furies that his character Bianca Jones made her literary debut in “21 Doors,” a story based on an old Baltimore legend and a creepy game his daughter used to play with her friends.

John’s first book was The Devil of Harbor City, a novel done in the old pulp style. Past Sins and Here There Be Monsters followed. John was also consulting editor for Chelsea House’s Criminal Investigation series. His other books include The Assassins’ Ball (written with Patrick Thomas), Souls on Fire, The Nightmare Strikes, Monsters Among Us, The Last Redhead, the Magic of Simon Tombs, and The Santa Heist (written with Patrick Thomas). John is the editor of To Hell in a Fast Car, Mermaids 13, C. J. Henderson’s Challenge of the Unknown, Camelot 13 (with Patrick Thomas), and (with Greg Schauer) With Great Power…

Ef Deal


Ef Deal is a new voice in the genre of speculative steampunk with her debut novel, Esprit de Corpse, but she is not new to publishing. Her short fiction has appeared in various magazines and ezines over the years. Her short story “Czesko,” published in the March 2006 F&SF, was given honorable mention in Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, which gave both her and Gardner great delight. They laughed and laughed and sipped Scotch (not cognac, alas) over the last line.

Despite her preoccupation with old-school drum and bugle corps ~ playing, composing, arranging, and teaching ~ Ef Deal can usually be found at the keyboard of her computer rather than her piano. She is Assistant Fiction Editor at Abyss & Apex magazine and edits videos for the YouTube channel Strong Women ~ Strange Worlds Quick Reads.

Esprit de Corpse from eSpec Books is the first of a series featuring the brilliant 19th-century sisters, the Twins of Bellesfées Jacqueline and Angélique. Hard science blends with the paranormal as they challenge the supernatural invasion of France in 1843.

When she’s not lost in her imagination, Ef Deal can be found in historic Haddonfield, NJ, in a once-haunted Victorian with her husband and two chows. She is an associate member of SFWA and an affiliate member of HWA.

One thought on “ABOUT US

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s