Fantasy Archives - Russell Newquist

Category Archives for Fantasy

Author Philip Ligon joins Silver Empire

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Today I’m pleased to announce the addition of another upcoming author – Philip Ligon – to the ever expanding Silver Empire stable. Mr Ligon is the author of the steampunk novesl of The Engine series – This Strange Engine and This Mysterious Engine. Look for Silver Empire reprints of these in the very near future, as well as two all new novels: The King’s Regret, a young adult steampunk novel, and the upcoming third volume of The Engine series.

I met Mr. Ligon some time back at a local book exposition, and we’ve greatly enjoyed his work. My wife Morgon thinks it’s the best stuff we’ve ever published – and given some of what we have for offer, that’s strong praise.

Silver Empire Opens Submissions On Urban Fantasy Novels

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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 submissions@silverempire.org
  • 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.

Love At First Bite

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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!.

There’s A Dragon In The Church

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After modern day paladin Peter Bishop and his friend Michael defeated the dragon over the skies of Athens, Georgia, it fled to Europe – with Peter’s girlfriend Faith in tow. Well, she’s a girl. And she’s his friend. And her stunning beauty doesn’t hurt.

Now Peter and his friends have tracked the dragon to France, where it’s living under a church and terrorizing the village. Can they slay the dragon, save the village, and rescue the girl before dawn?

Or will a wayward priest destroy everything they’ve fought for?

The Dresden Files’ Michael Carpenter collides with Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International in this supernatural high-octane thrill ride!


I’m pleased to announce that Vigil, the latest installment in the Urban Fantasy world of Peter Bishop, is now available – and so far it’s been quite well received. But don’t take my word for it. Read for yourself what others have said:

  • Imagine if the 80’s cult classic Big Trouble in Little China was actually Big Trouble under an ancient French Cathedral, and based off of Christianity rather than Chinese Buddhism. Then stop imagining it and pick up this book because it is exactly as hilarious as it sounds. Catholic Reads
  • Vigil is one part action flick, one part horror, one part fantasy, and all-parts fun. Alex
  • The pace doesn’t let up once the action begins, and the splitting of the scenes works very well. The romance and relationships are well crafted. Love the dragon and the gargoyles as well. Alfred
  • Non-stop action and surprises throughout. Jan
  • I read a LOT of sci-fi and fantasy. It takes a really good story to grab my attention and to hold it. I could. not. put. this. down. It engaged from the beginning and kept me there wondering what was next. This is only the second Newquist book I have read so far but there will be lots more. Shugharz

I’m particularly pleased that Catholic Reads picked up on the Big Trouble in Little China similarities, as I literally had that movie in mind while writing the story. If you have half as much fun reading it as I had writing it, then you’re in for a great time.

Vigil is only $0.99 on Amazon through this Saturday, so you’ll want to pick it up now. It’s also free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. If you missed the last installment, War Demons is also only $0.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited through Thursday.

Recommended reading order:

Obsidian Son – BOOK REVIEW

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I’m angry at Shayne Silvers over Obsidian Son, book one of The Temple Chronicles. I’m angry because I spent last night reading this book when I should have been working. I have too much of my own writing to do to go down this rabbit hole. Fear not, though, fair readers! The second draft of Vigil is 50% done, and I should have it finished by this weekend (consider joining the Order of the Sword for details on how to get a free advance review copy). That book will still be out on time in mid December. Still, I greatly enjoyed Obsidian Son.

First of all, Nate Temple is a great character. Unlike so many of the men in current Urban Fantasy, he’s not whiny or emo. I do have to admit that at the very beginning of the book I worried that he would turn into a hipster douche. And he does, in fact, carry shades of that. But only shades, and Silvers takes the character to a far greater depth. But it’s not just Temple himself. The supporting cast really breathes life into the story. Gunnar the werewolf and Indie the “Regular” stood out to me, in particular.

One thing I find particularly fascinating is the way in which Silvers incorporates several themes that I also hit upon in War Demons, while still writing a book that’s vastly different than what I wrote. It’s always fun to see similar subjects approached in new ways, and I really enjoyed Silvers’ touch on the topic.

The plot didn’t carry many surprises, but that never bothered me. At every turn I enjoyed the ride well enough that I didn’t mind a predictable destination. And one particular plot twist that I half-expected from the first quarter of the book never happened – thankfully. I might have taken off a full star if it had gone down that way. Sometimes the paths an author doesn’t take matter as much as the ones he does.

This is easily a five out of five star book. If you love urban fantasy – especially the kind with solid, masculine leads, Obsidian Son book is for you. Personally, I can’t wait to dive into the rest of the series.

Paragons – An Anthology of Superheroes

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Look – up in the sky!

They awe us. They fill us with wonder. But most of all, they inspire us – to be stronger, faster, and smarter. Superheroes teach us how to aspire to the best versions of ourselves. Enjoy this master collection of collection of 13 tales of all-new, all-original superheroes from today’s up and coming science fiction and fantasy masters!

When the police fail to take down the super powered mobs a rogue vigilante steps up to the plate in Nightstick by Kai Wai Cheah. Peek in on a superhero marriage proposal via Blackout by Morgon Newquist. When a young nuclear engineer gains superpowers, the Soviet government wants to control her for the sake of the motherland in Stalina by Sam Kepfield.

Enjoy these tales and more by Alt-Hero novelist Jon Del Arroz, Dragon Award and Hugo Award nominee Kai Wai Cheah, Dragon Award nominee Declan Finn, and others

Paragons – An Anthology of Superheroes will be available for only $0.99 through Saturday, November 3rd – so get yours now on Amazon.com!

Lyonesse Volume 1

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Psychics, time travel, gods, and sci-fi battle angels.

A woman with the power to raise the dead. A man stranded on another world, fighting all alone for a lost cause. Zombies invading New York. Alien artifacts. Sci-Fi battle angels. Samurais fighting demons. Interplanetary detectives and lost unicorns.

Read all these and more in this amazing first volume, collecting works from the paradigm shifting short fiction service Lyonesse.

Featuring Dragon Award nominees Declan Finn, Kai Wai Cheah, and L. Jagi Lamplighter

Includes the following 16 short stories:

    • Four Weddings and a Funeral by L. Jagi Lamplighter
    • The Dreaming Wounds by Anya Ow
    • The Dragon’s Teeth by David Hallquist
    • Zombie Jamboree by Declan Finn
    • The Artifact by Dean Abbott
    • We Bury Our Own by Kai Wai Cheah
    • Number 43 by Jonathan Ward
    • The Last Winter by A.R. Aston
    • Shini Tai by C.L. Werner
    • The Case of the Unicorn by Nora M. Mulligan
    • The Harsh Mistress by Mike Murphy
    • St. Lucian’s Star by Dawn Witzke
    • A Day Without the Horned Goddess by Kieran McKiel
    • In Another Life by Morgon Newquist
    • Moonset by S.D. McPhail
    • Mile High Murder by Declan Finn

Get Lyonesse Volume 1 today or tomorrow for only $0.99, before it jumps to full price. Or subscribe to Lyonesse directly and get access to our entire back catalog (including these stories and more), plus an entire year’s worth of new stories (1 each week!) for only $6.99!

A Place Called Hope – BOOK REVIEW

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I absolutely loved A Place Outside The Wild, Daniel Humphreys‘ Dragon Award nominated debut novel, even though I don’t normally go for zombies. So when Mr. Humphreys offered me an early preview copy of the sequel, A Place Called Hope, I absolutely jumped at the chance.

This story picks up very closely where the first book left off, and it hits the ground running. The primary story concerns Pete, the amputee Marine, and Charlie as they set off on a new mission to bring some real Hope into their world. The stakes are high and compelling, and the characters are just as fun as ever.

The story focuses more heavily on the Marines this time out. On the one hand, that was really fun. On the other, it leads to my two actual complaints about the book. First, the title is excellent and a wonderful followup given the ending of the first book. But despite the title, very little of the book actually takes place in Hope. Second, I really missed Miles.

I strongly suspect the sequel will deal with both of those issues, however – especially given some of the revelations at the end of this book. And boy, are there some doozies!

If you loved the first book, this worthy sequel won’t let you down. I give it five out of five stars, and I can’t wait to see what Humphreys has coming next!

Cursed City – BOOK REVIEW

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As I prepared to publish and market my latest novel, War Demons, I set out in search of other, similar novels. Cursed City by William Massa quickly rose quickly to the top of my list. It turns out that male leads represent an endangered species in urban fantasy novels. Many of the books sold in the genre should actually sit in the paranormal romance category. I hold nothing against that, but War Demons doesn’t fit with that crowd at all.

Neither does Cursed City. Book one of Massa’s Shadow Detective series, this book packed in the fun. It’s pulp as hell, and I mean that in the best possible way. Mike Raven, the hero, provides a welcome breath of masculinity in an estrogen dominated genre. Furthermore, he lives up to the primary duty of a protagonist: he’s interesting.

The writing is simple and straightforward. At first, that worried me. But a few chapters in it became clear that the simple writing is intentional, in the tradition of the old school pulp writers. This kind of deliberate simple writing is actually a challenge to accomplish, and it makes the book very accessible. And if I hadn’t already overcome that objection, the twists in the final act more than compensated.

A quick, thrilling read, this book started in the middle of the action and only paused for a few breaths along the way. I give it four stars out of five, and I look forward to finishing the rest of the series. I highly recommend it to fans of male led urban fantasy. It’s available right now on Amazon for only $0.99, or you can pick it up for free on Kindle Unlimited like I did.

[Cross posted on PulpRev.com.]

Fade – BOOK REVIEW

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Longtime readers will already know that I’m a fan of Daniel Humphreys work. They’ll also know the caveat that I have to provide: Dan and I “attended” the same online writing class from Larry Correia, and we’ve participated in the same closed Facebook group that resulted from that class. He’s also provided an excellent blurb for my new novel, War Demons. With that said, these are my honest opinions on his first urban fantasy novel, Fade.

Fade is book one of the Paxton Locke series. Paxton Locke, unsurprisingly the series’ protagonist, suffered a rather unfortunate childhood. I can’t go into that too much without spoiling the book. Suffice to say, he also developed a bit of magical power. As the book begins, he’s using that power to help rid unfortunate people of the traumatized ghosts that haunt their homes. But then one of those ghosts gives him a message from beyond the grave. Everything hits the fan from there and the plot explodes.

I don’t actually want to say a lot more than that, because this book has a ton going for it in the plot department. Paxton Locke manages to out-Dresden Harry Dresden. Read it for yourself and enjoy it.

I loved Humphreys’ A Place Outside the Wild enough to give it five stars even though I’m not a fan of the zombie genre. I am, however, a fan of the urban fantasy genre. When you add Humphreys’ fantastic writing to a genre I love, the result is truly amazing. I blew through this book faster than I could blink, and my only complaint is that Dan is busy writing the sequel to his zombie book instead of this one. Thankfully, he’s nearly finished with that book, so we should be getting the sequel to Fade sooner rather than later.

If you liked War Demons, you should definitely check out Fade while you’re waiting for the sequel. It won’t disappoint you. This is one of the easiest five star reviews I’ve ever given.

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