Russell Newquist

All Posts by Russell Newquist

Stairs in the Woods


I first posted our call for submissions for Silver Empire’s “Stairs in the Woods” anthology nearly two years ago. Several events transpired behind the scenes that caused us to delay the initial release. And then something crazy happened…

The submission page went viral. That was kind of strange, but it happened. And we ended up with a ridiculous number of submissions – more submissions for this single anthology than for all other Silver Empire anthologies combined. For months now I’ve had to fend off the questions: “when is the stairs anthology coming?”

Well, we finally managed to comb through all of the submissions. We finalized our list and culled it down to “only” 34 stories. And now I’m thrilled to tell you all that not only is Secret Stairs – A Tribute to Urban Legend now available, but it’s also the #1 New Release in horror anthologies!

You can get the Kindle edition on Amazon for only $0.99 if you buy it by this Saturday. The paperback edition clocked in at $24.99 because this turned into a beast at 668 pages.

You mustn’t talk about the stairs.

There they stand, surrounded by nothing but forest, pristine as the day they were built. No sign remains of any other structure around them, no ruins of long forgotten buildings. They look… wrong. They feel wrong. Bad things happen if you get too close. Horrible things.

You must never, ever ever talk about them.

Thirty-four of today’s best up and coming writers provide wonderfully unique interpretations inspired by the urban legends of the Internet age. Tales range from science fiction to fantasy, horror to mystery, and one writer even penned a romance!

But you must never tell anyone about the stairs!

Containing the stories:

  • Nothing Ever Happens Here by Richard Paolinelli
  • Star Thistle by J. Comer
  • Let Him In by Josh Dygert
  • A New Trail Off Of Old King?s Highway by Michael Reyes
  • The Strange Stairs at the Aldebourne Estate by Kristen Brand
  • Exclusive Scoop by J. Trevor Robinson
  • The Flash-Back Stairs: A Story of Betrayal by Patrick T. Luce
  • The Peacock House by Matthew Pegg
  • Where The Wood Thrush Sings by NB Williams
  • The Refuge by Dawn Witzke
  • Upon The Stair by Daniel Humphreys
  • Grand Staircase to the Yellow Court by R.C. Mulhare
  • Another Dead Man?s Curve by Chris Ingram
  • Game Warden by Russell Newquist
  • Stepping Stones by Jarrett Mazza
  • Reap Dance by James G. Hancock
  • Descending Stairs, 1699 by Meghan Casey
  • Where Angels Fear to Tread by Michelle Mellon
  • Sobek’s Staircase by Jeremy Megargee
  • The Curses We Carry by Russell Mahon
  • Stranger?s Wood by J.S. Arroyo
  • Stairway Back to Jonathan?s Farm by Dan Allen
  • The Thirteenth Step by MJ Mars
  • Cajun Ray by S.D. McPhail
  • W/M by Isobel Horsburgh
  • The Sentinel by Richard W. Watts
  • Sleep, Child by A.G. Lopes
  • The Lost Ones by Karen Thrower
  • Ready For Seven More by Christopher Lansdown
  • Fire and Pine by Bethany C. Gotschall
  • Stairway to? Where? by William Lehman
  • The Dead Always by Darren Todd
  • Missing Persons by Jonathan Bronico
  • Cedar Road by Mocha Pennington

The Dean Died Over Winter Break


Dean Floden is dead!

Winter break is normally a peaceful time at the university, especially during a blizzard. So it shocked everyone when they found the dean murdered at his desk. Thanks to an empty campus, there are no witnesses and police have little to go on. With the police stymied, and hoping to wrap up the investigation before students return for the spring semester, the president of the university has turned to the Franciscan Brothers of Investigation for help.

Jovial and mild mannered Brother Francis arrived on the scene to find a jealous mistress, a clever drug dealer, a disappointed researcher, and a mortally insulted professor on his short list of suspects. Did one of them do the other three a huge favor? Or was it someone else entirely?

Perfect for fans of Ellis Peters and Dorothy L. Sayers!



The Dean Died Over Winter Break by Christopher Lansdown is the first mystery novel from Silver Empire. I think you’ll agree that Lansdown’s investigator-monks in this old-school cozy mystery hearken back to the likes of Brother Cadfael and Father Brown. Three time Dragon Award nominee Declan Finn calls it, “A cozy so old school, you expect Lord Peter Wimsey to walk into a scene, with behavioral analysis that would make Father Brown or Philo Vance happy.” But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what readers have to say:

  • “It was very difficult to put down the book and not read, read it until the last page!” – Keti
  • “If you’re a fan of Brother Cadfael, you’ll like this novel.” – Borderbumble
  • “It’s well worth a read for any mystery fan just for the unique detectives. I’d love to see a sequel.” – Nigel
  • “It is a quick and enjoyable read with interesting characters with whom I’d like to spend more time in the sequels.” – Alfred

The Dean Died Over Winter Break is available now on in eBook or paperback. The eBook is currently only $0.99 – but hurry, that price will only last through Saturday, March 3!

A Pius Stand


War in the Vatican!

Sean A.P. Ryan saved the pope from assassination and rescued him from a kidnapping attempt. But now fifteen thousand men are coming to assault the Vatican and end the church forever. Ryan and his team have raced to prepare the city for invasion, but will even that be enough when the Mafia gets involved?

The thrilling conclusion to the epic Pius Trilogy!

Mercenaries, spies, beautiful women, international intrigue and ancient secrets – The Pius Trilogy has it all!



A Pius Stand by Declan Finn concludes the story he began with A Pius Man and continued with A Pius Legacy. If you enjoyed the first two books, you won’t want to miss the thrilling conclusion!


Coming soon from Silver Empire: – your one stop source for all things urban fantasy!

We’re looking for a few good contributors to our new blog! Applicants must be able and willing to provide regular blog posts on the following topics, all related to Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Fiction, or Supernatural Thrillers:

  • Book reviews
  • Movie reviews
  • TV reviews
  • Theory, critique and discussion
  • Analysis

In return, will provide the following to contributors:

  • Complimentary Kindle Unlimited subscriptions at our expense.
  • Free Advance Review Copies of all Silver Empire urban fantasy novels.
  • Free Advance Review Copies from other urban fantasy authors, as we can get them (and we know a fair number of UF authors, so we can do this!)
  • Review copies at our expense of major releases in UF, when we can’t get you advance releases
  • A share of any ad revenue or Amazon Associates revenue generated by the site

Applicants should send a brief introduction of themselves including name, contact info, and what you love about the field, as well as a representative sample of your work, to russell at silver empire dot org.

A Pius Legacy


The Pope Has Been Kidnapped!

Giovanni Figlia, head of Vatican security, doesn’t have an easy job cleaning up the mess that Sean A.P. Ryan left after stopping an international plot to bring down the Vatican. He’s got to deal with the remnants of old Soviet spy rings, a beautiful defector, and foreign agents of all stripes.

Then someone kidnapped the Pope.

Mercenaries, spies, beautiful women, international intrigue and ancient secrets – The Pius Trilogy has it all!



A Pius Legacy by Declan Finn picks up the story where we left off with A Pius Man and ratchets the action up to eleven. If you enjoyed the first book, you won’t want to miss the explosive sequel. And if you haven’t started the series yet, now is a great time – for the next 24 hours only you can dig in to A Pius Man for just $0.99!

Silver Empire Opens Submissions On Urban Fantasy Novels


As I’ve mentioned before, Silver Empire will be cranking up the production pipelines hard in 2018. Earlier this week I announced that we’re bringing on author Christopher Lansdown. Back in December I announced that we’re republishing Declan Finn’s urban fantasy Love at First Bite series – and that we have another, entirely original, urban fantasy series in the work from Mr. Finn that’s already making rapid progress.

Today I’d like to announce that Silver Empire is opening submissions wide for Urban Fantasy novels. Our submission requirements are loose, but we do have some guidelines:

  • Minimum word count is 50,000 words. 60,000+ is preferable.
  • Maximum word count is 120,000 words but 90,000 or below is preferable.
  • While we will consider one-off novels, series with at least 5 books planned get a strong preference and will get priority. Bonus points if you’ve already written more than one book in the series. But please only send us the first book until/unless we ask for more.
  • Although we will consider books targeted at women and/or with female protagonists, we are primarily focused at the moment on series with male leads aimed at men.
  • “Supernatural thrillers” are perfectly acceptable.
  • While we do plan to expand into the genre in the future, we are NOT accepting submissions for Paranormal Romance at this time. The genres (and reader expectations) are distinct, and for now we want to stay firmly on the UF/ST side. If your book is on the borderline we might consider it, but only if it’s clearly on the UF/ST side of the line.
  • Manuscripts should be in Microsoft Word format (either DOC or DOCX is fine). We’re not overly worried about fonts, formatting, or a lot of “standard manuscript” BS. But make sure it’s legible. If we can’t read it, we won’t bother. Also, make sure the document has you’re name and contact info in it.
  • Submissions should be e-mailed to
  • It will probably be at least 30 days before you hear back from us, but please give us at least 90 before you ask us for status.

And if you’re excited about this development, stick around. We’ve got another major project in the works for 2018. I can’t talk about that one just yet… but maybe I can drop a tiny hint.

Author Christopher Lansdown Joins Silver Empire


Silver Empire is pleased to announce today that we’re expanding our author ranks and our 2018 book lineup by adding author Christopher Lansdown to our list. Christopher Lansdown is the author of the superhero novel Ordinary Superheroes and the sci-fi novel A Stitch In Space, both of which Silver Empire will be republishing later this year.

More immediately, however, we will be launching the first-run edition of his latest work, The Dean Died On Winter Break, in the very near future.This old-school mystery novel follows a pair of Franciscan monks, Brother Thomas and Brother Francis, who double as amateur detectives as they investigate the murder of Jack Floden, dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences of Yalevard University.

We found the tale to be delightful, and we hope our readers will, too. Look for it in the early part of February, and please join us in welcoming Chris to the Silver Empire stable!

2017 in Review


2017 was a good year here at the Newquist house. We accomplished quite a lot in many aspects of our lives.

On the publishing front:

  • I published my first novel to quite good success for a first novel from an indie author.
  • I also published the followup novella, also to good success.
  • My next novel is more than 40% complete.
  • Silver Empire tripled the number of novels we have in “print.”
  • Silver Empire’s book sales rose by a whopping 474%
  • Our page reads on Kindle Unlimited proved even more impressive, rising by a staggering 17,656%

In the world of the martial arts:

  • Two of my students earned the rank of Nidan (2nd degree black belt)
  • Eleven of my students earned the rank of Shodan (black belt)
  • Our fifth annual Extra Life charity event was our biggest and best ever

On the general front:

  • Blog traffic rose 105% despite rather light posting.
  • My Twitter followers are up by at least 50%, but I can’t get an accurate count because Twitter is fubarred

Of course, all was not perfect this year.

  • I lost a long time friend and martial arts mentor this year
  • Blog posting was far lighter than promised. However, that was a strategic decision and not an accident.
  • We’ve had one or two publishing projects from 2017 delayed

Still, it was a good year overall and 2018 promises to be even better. We’ve got some major Silver Empire announcements, the first coming tomorrow. We’ve got big things afoot at the dojo. And you ain’t seen nothing yet from the world of Peter Bishop!

Love At First Bite


I mentioned in a recent post that Silver Empire is getting into Urban Fantasy in a big, big way in 2018. Today I’m excited to share some details of our roadmap. I’m pleased to announce that we’ll be republishing Declan Finn‘s multiple Dragon Award nominated Love at First Bite series. For those of you who have already read the books, there won’t be much call to buy the new ones. We’re doing only the lightest of editing touches here. But we will be getting them all new covers and putting the marketing push behind them that these books deserve.

But wait, there’s more!

In addition to this excellent series, we’ve also commissioned Mr. Finn to create an entirely new Urban Fantasy series. We’re not ready to share the details on this just yet, except that I can say a few things. The book is set in New York, the city that Mr. Finn knows so well. It does have some of the religious elements his fans love so much. And it will proudly feature the insane action that we’ve all come to expect from Mr. Finn.

Also, the one-paragraph pitch that Mr. Finn gave me is the best book pitch I’ve ever heard. And the outline for book one more than lives up to that pitch. And… book one is already half done.

Expect this new series to go live right after we finish republishing Love At First Bite.

And remember… these are steps one and two of our foray into Urban Fantasy. Stay tuned. We’ll have more to come – some of it very soon!.

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