Category Archives: Best Male Led Urban Fantasy

Why Spirit Cooking isn’t done yet.

Perhaps the most frequent question I get from my own readers – and even Silver Empire fans – right now is, “When is Spirit Cooking coming?” For those who are new, Spirit Cooking is the sequel to my debut novel War Demons.

I know, it’s been ages.

Currently, Spirit Cooking is very close to half done. It should be further along than that. So what’s happened?

The short answer is that I’ve been way too busy selling other people’s books.

The longer answer: Silver Empire grew 15x in 2018. Not 15%. Not 1.5x. Fifteen fold. That’s borderline on catastrophic growth. And, honestly, it could’ve been catastrophic growth if we hadn’t put a lot of effort into keeping it from becoming that.

2019 growth has been a lot slower than that, so far. Although with that said, the year isn’t out yet. We have 31 books out now. And we’ve got roughly 40 or so left on the docket for 2019. Odds are good we won’t quite get them all out by December 31, although we’re pushing hard for that.

In other words, we won’t get 15x growth this year… but we will still see pretty crazy growth.

The other thing about that growth is that we focused all of our energy internally on infrastructure above and beyond anything else. It was painful in the short term, but will be well worth it in the long term. The result is that although growth in the first half of 2019 has been relatively slow, we’re now positioned to take more and more advantage over new opportunities.

In the past twelve months, we’ve done the following:

  • Switched to a new printer that offers better services, better long-term pricing, and hardcovers!
  • Heavily streamlined internal processes that are helping us to get books out faster.
  • Built out our new online store, which is a pretty solid success. (Don’t miss our 4th of July flash sale on Heroes Unleashed books today only!)
  • We’re building out one last project which will go live soon.

And that’s just the stuff I’m ready to talk about publicly. We’ve got several even bigger projects in the works that aren’t ready for announcement yet. Oh, and we put some books out, too.

But with all of that said, I think I’m finally at a spot where I can devote the time to finish up Spirit Cooking, and it’s moved way up on my priority list. It’s a high priority of mine to finish it by the end of the year at least. I’d prefer to have it finished by DragonCon, but we’ll just have to see.

On the plus side… I also have about a quarter of Unholy Matrimony written. The first book in Peter’s spin-off novel series, it actually takes place between War Demons and Spirit Cooking. It won’t be released, however, until after this trilogy (War Demons, Spirit Cooking, and Sacrifices) is complete.

But rest assured, the book is coming. It’s just been slow.

New from Silver Empire: COME, SEELING NIGHT by Daniel Humphreys

True story: this one time I went to bed at about two in the morning and I didn’t know if I was alive or if I was dead!

I guess I should probably explain that.

Have you read Daniel Humphreys’ Paxton Locke books? If you like The Dresden Files, they’re probably right up your alley. The first time I read Fade, my honest reaction was, “That’s more Dresden than Dresden.” Fantastic books. So I was naturally pretty excited to get the opportunity to publish the books – and even more excited when Dan decided to write me in to the story with book two, Night’s Black Agents.

He asked for permission first, and I thought it was going to be a really tiny part. And it generally was… until I got the early manuscript of Book 3 – Come, Seeling Night. Somehow my character turned out to actually have a pretty decent sized role.

Because Murphy’s Law is always in operation, Dan sent me the pre-release manuscript while I was finalizing my end-of-year accounting for Silver Empire. I made myself wait to read it, and gave myself the reward.

So after waiting almost two weeks to continue one of my absolute favorite series, here I am, roughly halfway through the boook… and my character is caught up in a giant explosion. I finish the chapter, and check the clock…

And it’s 2 AM. And I have to work in the morning (my actual day job, which has real hours and everything). Somehow I summoned the will to put the book down…

BUT I DIDN’T KNOW IF I WAS ALIVE OR DEAD!

I kept sneaking in moments to read – over my lunch break, between classes at the dojo, etc. And finally, I learned that…

Well, that would be spoiling. 😉

If you want to know whether I ultimately lived or died, you’ll have to read the book for yourself – and now you can! Come, Seeling Night is available in ebook, paperback, and hardcover now from Amazon.com. Buy it today or read it FREE with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.


Paxton Locke’s been in some pretty tight spaces before. This one might be the worst.

Come, Seeling Night
by Daniel Humphreys

Drugged and shipped to who-knows-where on an airplane, he’s locked up by men who seem to be Feds. But they haven’t given him his phone call, and Pax isn’t sure if his cell mates are even human.

This is one cell he can’t get out of, but he’s got to find a way to escape. Mother has his girlfriend, and she wants a redo of the night she killed Paxton’s father. But this time she won’t be interrupted. Paxton’s got to find Cassie, and he’s got to stop his mother.

Or the world might end.

Apocalyptic visions from Mother’s grimoire have haunted him for years. Now she’s close to making it happen. And all Paxton can do is wait in his cell for someone to realize he’s not the bad guy.

Can Paxton escape his magical prison and stop Mother? Or will he be too late, and lose Cassie just like he lost his dad?

The third installment of the Paxton Locke series delves deeper into the meaning of love and forgiveness, while providing plenty of action, magic, and Humphreys’ signature subtle horror.

Will Mother bring about a world on fire, or a dead Earth? Can Paxton defeat her? Find out and read Come Seeling Night today!

New from Silver Empire – HONOR AT STAKE

New from Silver Empire today is the re-release of Declan Finn’s Dragon Award nominated horror/urban fantasy/paranormal romance novel, Honor at Stake. Bringing you Finn’s signature over-the-top action combined with theology and Catholic vampires, this isn’t your typical paranormal romance. But don’t take my word for it.

  • “To be honest, there have been too many bad vampire novels written and I was filled with apprehension about starting this one. However, my mind quickly shifted to Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot – and I found myself enthralled with the characters and storyline in Honor at Stake.” – Book Czar, 5-star Amazon review.
  • “Second Only To Dracula, IMHO.” – Stuart, 5-star Amazon review.
  • I saw an add for this book read the description and did not have high hopes but I’m willing to give anything a try. It was pretty good starting off but then just got better and better. I loved that both main characters Marco and Amanda, were strong both in personality and physically and they did not spend the whole book babying each other which sometimes happens when reading a vampire human combo. The book took many turns and I was continually surprised and I hope in future books the supernatural world is expanded on in creatures and I info.” – Cannon mw, 5-star Amazon review.
  • I definitely appreciate writers who weave stories that challenge what we expect. – A. Holden, 5-star Amazon review.

Honor at Stake is $0.99 on Kindle today only or free on Kindle Unlimited. As of this writing, it carries a 4.4 star rating on Amazon with 86 reviews. Don’t wait – get your copy now!


One is a heartless, bloodthirsty killer. The other is a vampire.

College freshman, Amanda Colt knows few people and wants to know fewer still. She enjoys fencing and prefers facing a challenge every once in a while. She is beautiful, smart, and possibly the most interesting person on campus.

Then she finds tall, intense Marco Catalano in her fencing class. With a mind like a computer and manners of a medieval knight, he scares most people – but not Amanda.They both have secrets, for they are both monsters.

As they draw closer, they must find the line between how much they can trust each other, and how much they can care for each other. Each carries a secret that can destroy the other. But they must come to grips with their personal drama soon, because a darkness rises around them. Bodies keep turning up all over New York, and an army of vampires closes in on all sides.

They have only one hope – each other.

Happy Frogs 2018 Dragon Award Recommendations

The excitable amphibians that compose the Happy Frogs crack book recommendation team have been hard at work this year putting together their suggestions for the 2018 Dragon Awards! There are a ton of great recommendations this time around, and I heartily suggest that you check them all out for yourselves.

Robert Kroese’s Dream of the Iron Dragon takes their fantasy recommendation – and really, how can you go wrong with Vikings in space? Trick question – you can’t, so don’t even try to answer. They also suggest a masterpiece in alternate history: A Rambling Wreck by my friend Hans Schantz. Imagine a world in which Al Gore won the 2000 election and a secret conspiracy tries to rewrite the very nature of science. It’s awesome, even if it is about Georgia Tech (#GoDawgs!). And what can I say about The Orville? If you haven’t been watching it, drop everything and start now. It’s that good.

I’m also humbled to find that my own supernatural thriller War Demons has made the list for best horror novel. It’s an honor to be in this kind of company! The full list is below, or you can find it on the official Happy Frogs site.

Remember: the best part about the Dragon Awards is that you get to nominate and vote! Don’t forget to make sure your voice is heard – nominate for the 2018 Dragon Awards today!

  • Best Science Fiction Novel
  • Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)
  • Best Military SF Novel
  • Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel
  • Best Alternate History Novel
  • Best Media Tie-In Novel
  • Best Horror Novel
  • Best Comic Book  & Best Graphic Novel
    • Timothy Lim – My Hero MAGAdemia #1
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series, TV or Internet
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
    • Bright
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game
    • Doki Doki Literature Club
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game
    • Middle Earth: Shadow of War
  • Best Board Game Best Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game
    • Star Wars: Destiny – Fantasy Flight Games

[Cross posted to Urban-Fantasy.com.]

Silver Empire signs Dragon Award nominee Daniel Humphreys

Guess what I got to read this weekend that you have to wait for? Night’s Black Agents by Dragon Award nominee Daniel Humphreys. Agents is the sequel to his first urban fantasy / supernatural thriller novel, Fade. Long time readers of the blog will recall that I read Fade some time ago and absolutely loved it.

Humphreys is, in my opinion, one of the best up and coming authors out there at the moment. Which is why I bought not just Fade but the rest of the series – and by bought, I don’t just mean I purchased the ebooks. Mr. Humphreys has signed with Silver Empire for us to re-release Fade and to release the new books as they come out.

And that’s how I got to read Night’s Black Agents so early. If you’ve read Fade, I can promise that you won’t be disappointed. The sequel is phenomenal. If you haven’t yet read Fade, I suggest you hurry. Mr. Humphreys will be taking it off Amazon soon in preparation for our relaunch.

But don’t fret too much if you miss it – we’re going to have it, and Night’s Black Agents, back on Amazon very quickly. The draft I read this weekend is in very, very good shape. And hopefully we’ll have the finale, Come, Seeling Night, up within a year or so.

Excited? So ware we. But stay tuned, because we have even more amazing news on the urban fantasy front coming soon.

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 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

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

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

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.

Cursed City – BOOK REVIEW

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.]