Friday, August 21, 2020

*Book Tour & Giveaway* Bad-ass Faerie Tales by Danielle Ackley-McPhail-GUEST POST

The Halfling's Court
A Bad-Ass Faerie Tale Book 1
by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
Genre: Urban Fantasy 

Get Your Bad-Ass On!

The rumble of a Harley...
The gleam of black leather...
The shine of polished chrome...
The freedom of the open road....

Motorcycles meet magic and mayhem as Lance Cosain, the halfling leader of The Wild Hunt MC, protects his turf and his people from attacks ordered by Dair na Scath, the high king of the fae.

Holding his own against rogue fae, redcaps, and pissed-off road gremlins, all Lance wants to do is settle down with his lady. Instead he goes toe-to-toe with the high king's champion over an ancient dagger and his claim to the throne.

Who will triumph? The king of the road or the king of the realm? Either way, the Hunt is on!

**On Sale for only $1.99!!**

The Redcaps' Queen
A Bad-Ass Faerie Tale Book 2 

The Hunt is On!
When strength becomes weakness...
And hope becomes doubt...
As the past collides with the future...hard...
Can Suzanne—Wild Hunt biker chick and one-time member of the fae High Court—stand strong as her world falls apart? She survived an assault by redcaps, an all-out battle with the High King’s armies, and her first encounter with roller derby... but how will she fare against her inner demons? Caught in the midst of a transformation she scarcely realizes and does not understand, her hard-won convictions are tested as never before.
Suzanne is left with only one question—what if they’re wrong?
The truth could mean the difference between saving her sanity and losing her soul...
**On Sale for only $1.99!!**

Award-winning author and editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail has worked both sides of the publishing industry for longer than she cares to admit. In 2014 she joined forces with husband Mike McPhail and friend Greg Schauer to form her own publishing house, eSpec Books (

Her published works include six novels, Yesterday's Dreams, Tomorrow's Memories, Today's Promise, The Halfling's Court, The Redcaps' Queen, 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, Between Darkness and Light, and the non-fiction writers' guide, The Literary Handyman, and is the senior editor of the Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series, Gaslight & Grimm, Side of Good/Side of Evil, After Punk, and In an Iron Cage. Her short stories are included in numerous other anthologies and collections.

In addition to her literary acclaim, she crafts and sells original costume horns under the moniker The Hornie Lady, 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 three extremely spoiled cats.


What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?

Oh, fine. Make me think. I can’t tell you book titles…I read too much to hold on to them all (but I can tell you, as a young girl, I read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton 21 times in a row…) For authors, Anne McCaffrey, Patricia Briggs, Mercedes Lackey, PC Hodgell, Robin McKinley, Susan Cooper, Terry Pratchett, Brenda Cooper, James Chambers, CJ Henderson…all of the rich and distinct, versatile voices. Masters at storytelling. For books, what I can say is that there were books I read as a young girl that I tracked down as an adult just because I wanted them in my library: Freckles, Ride Like an Indian, Cages of Glass, Flowers of Time.

What book do you think everyone should read?

Nope. No answer for this. I don’t care what they read, as long as they read. It exercises your brain and your ability to visualize and conceptualize. Many books also encourage understanding, compassion, and empathy, and the need for personal accountability. Aside from that, what I find enjoyable or poignant isn’t necessarily going to speak the same thing to someone else. The reader brings half of the story with them, no matter the book, because everything is filtered through their understanding and the experiences that informs that understanding. The book I recommend will not necessarily be the one you read, even if you pick up the same title.

How long have you been writing?

It feels like I have been writing forever, though professionally I have only been published for nineteen years. It has been quite the journey. I started out published by a press so small even their authors barely knew they existed, then I worked for (and was published by) a press that climbed high and crashed gloriously, and now I am a publisher in my own right, wise as only those can be who witness others’ mistakes up close and personal and vow never to do the same.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write? Writing is a journey, some characters start that journey with me, others show up along the way. I am a non-linear pantser, there is no way I know everyone’s coming to the party when it’s a surprise party ;)

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

Depends on the book and the genre. I might get a flash of inspiration or just an oddball phrase that pops into my head and an idea just sprints up in how to use it. If I am writing science fiction, I will do a google search on the phrase and see what pops up that might apply and how to adapt that to give plausibility to my technobabble. Or, if I have a basic idea of my storyline, but need historic or cultural or myth, legend, or lore to help provide a framework, I search that. Mostly the research happens as I write, rarely before. I take the story as far as I can until I need some kind of detail and then dive in.

Do you see writing as a career?

I have and always will consider it a dedicated hobby and encourage all beginning writers to do the same. Not because you or I aren’t good enough to make a career out of it, but because it is a gamble and no amount of talent, effort, or planning can make up for that spark of luck or coincidence of opportunity that propels some authors perpetually to the Best Sellers list, while everyone else fights just to be remembered until their next book comes out. If you consider writing a dedicated hobby, you are pleasantly surprised when that changes for the better, but not morale bereft and growing more cynical or doubtful each time it doesn’t.

What do you think about the current publishing market?

Publishing, as with most other creative endeavors, is experiencing a time of change and turmoil. Some of that is socio-political driven, some of it economic. Previous business models aren’t as relevant anymore, publishing with a large publisher does not guarantee success and it does not ensure you get better terms or attention that you would with a small press. The only things large houses guarantee you is a certain limited amount of time on major bookstore shelves and greater distribution. Everything else is subject to change. Yes, you get an advance, but that advance could work against you and if you don’t meet the publisher’s expectations in terms of sales, your success could be short lived. There aren’t as many perks with small press, but assuming you go with someone with a proven track record and understanding of the industry and business in general, there is more of a chance of longevity giving you more opportunity to work those promotional skills until something takes off. Self-publishing gives you more of the profit, but also more of the responsibility financially and or in terms of doing the work that needs to be done, which eats away at your writing time. On the plus side, you are not at the mercy of a publisher who makes decisions more based on market trends and accounting’s assessment of feasibility, and you do have control over your creative property. Of course, this is not always a good thing, if you don’t know what you are doing.

Given all of that, we are definitely in transition, POD technology and the availability of freelance talent has increased those choosing to self-publish or those electing to start their own small press to give homes to excellent titles that for one reason or another doesn’t fit the business model of the traditional houses.

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

Are you kidding? Reading is what got me into this mess. I have and always will be a reader. Unfortunately, I don’t read as voraciously as I used to. Life and responsibility get in the way. Still, there will always be several dozen books on my phone for whatever opportunity presents itself. I love anything speculative, but mostly I end up reading romance or paranormal. To be honest, because most of the time I don’t have to concentrate on them too hard, they are generally always a happy ending, and if life keeps me from getting back to the book for an extended period, I haven’t lost half of the relevant details I would with a book that requires more attention to detail.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

I can write in silence and mostly have to these days because I share creative space with my husband, but I do like music in the background when it is an option, particularly if I am writing to a specific theme. If there is music, though, it has to be either instrumental, or something sung in another language so that the words don’t distract me.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

This is situational. Mostly, it is just one thing at a time, but I have several manuscripts that are languishing because I lost the threads…or didn’t have a clear idea where they were going to begin with (one of the hazards of pantsing.) I have been known to work on several projects at once when I have deadlines, though. I will bounce from one to the other depending on which one inspires me or if I hit a difficult patch that will take figuring out.

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

Sorry, my brain isn’t wired that way. I am not and never have been concerned with what the other guy is doing. I’m having too much fun in my own head. Unless I’m reading for enjoyment, I don’t pay attention to what the others are doing.

Pen or type writer or computer?

Again, situational. My go-to is a computer, but I have been known to type passages into my phone, scribble on scrap paper as I’m walking, or even leave myself a voicemail or send myself a text. Whatever is handy when inspiration hits.

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?

Now see… this is where language trips us up. I have always written and told stories, whether to others or just to myself. There is no choice made there. It happens, then you go to school and it becomes a requirement, and either you enjoy it and do it by choice, or take up pottery or something else instead and never look back. In most cases, writers just happen. Sometimes they consciously aspire, but mostly they just write because they can’t help but do anything else. Now being an author…that is a choice. For me, an opportunity slapped me in the face. I never really had ambition to submit my work anywhere because I frankly suck at waiting, and I’m not a fan of rejection. Why invite it? But opportunity? When that arises, I say what the heck, give it a try. I have been very fortunate that life has provided me with opportunities. My first publisher wasn’t the greatest, but it opened my eyes to opportunity and creativity swept me away. And no matter how bad that first book is…let me rephrase that…no matter how much that first book reflects a lack of knowledge and/or experience, it shows you there is possibility, and it brands you as a new creature, an author, and if you put yourself out there and network and promote, usually other opportunities pop up and you learn to intercept them before they actually hit you in the face. In my experience, you either fall in love with what you are doing or you decide it’s not worth the effort needed just to hold your place and hope you gain credibility. The only way to know if it is worth it is to take a close look at what enjoyment or positivity you get out of the situation.

For me, definitely worth it. I haven’t hit it big, but I have built that credibility I was talking about, and I have expanded from just writing books, to also making them happen for other people. That is a rush. I love the creative process in all its forms and I would not change the path I’ve taken even knowing the hard work and disappointment that often come with it. You can’t succeed by giving up.

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