AN INTERN WITH AN EYE ON PUBLISHING
At Black Spot Books, cultivating talent doesn't just begin and end with our in-house authors, but we strive to make an active, positive impact on the continuing development of everyone that contributes to our small press. With this commitment to talent development, we are excited to share that beginning Fall 2019 we have officially launched a new internship program that is designed to provide small business management and leadership experience to students pursuing business education, as well as to provide opportunities for budding young writers and artists to get behind the scenes of the daily life of a small press author and earn valuable industry connections and experiences. Who knows, maybe you'll even see one of our intern's books on a future bookshelf near you!
This year we are welcoming Danny Buell as the first ever Black Spot Books intern!
At Black Spot Books, Danny will work alongside publisher Lindy Ryan as a publishing assistant, where he will be actively involved in the day-to-day duties of a small press, including working hands-on in support roles with editors, designers, and authors. He'll also be lending a hand in Black Spot's social media, including our soon-t0-be launched YouTube channel and more.
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Black Spot Books Becomes a SBA-Certified Woman-Owned Small Business
(AUGUST 13, 2019) – Black Spot Books, an independent press specializing in speculative fiction, has just become certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business by the U.S. Small Business Association.
According to Forbes, women-owned businesses are ones at least 51% controlled by women who are U.S. citizens. A woman (or women) must manage the day-to-day operations and a woman must hold the highest officer position in the business and work at the business full-time.
The WOSB certification program helps women entrepreneurs launch new businesses and compete in their respective marketplaces. Through this program, women-owned small businesses can connect with training and funding opportunities specifically for women. Other support programs include business training, counseling, a dedicated selection of federal contract awards, as well as access to credit and capital, all of which are designed to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs.
“Being a fully woman-owned and operated publishing house is a core part of our business model, as is supporting emerging women authors historically underrepresented in genres like horror and fantasy,” says Black Spot Books Owner and Publisher, Lindy Ryan. “We aim to provide a support structure for women in speculative fiction on both sides of the publishing experience. This program is one of many we are pursuing to help us keep meeting that goal.”
As of 2019, Black Spot Books’ author roster is over sixty percent female, many of whom joined Black Spot’s list as debut authors. In 2020, Black Spot Books will release the press’ first audiobooks in collaboration with The Audio Flow, a fully women- and family-owned SAG-AFTRA production company. Titles currently in production for audio are female-driven stories by women authors, including Laura Morrison’s environmentally-conscious thriller COME BACK TO THE SWAMP (originally released August 2018) and Seven Jane’s bestselling historical fantasy THE ISLE OF GOLD (originally released October 2018). The press’ frontlist for 2020 includes four new titles from existing in-house and new debut female authors.
ABOUT BLACK SPOT BOOKS:
Black Spot Books is a traditional small-press publisher specializing in speculative fiction, including titles in dark humor, fantasy, paranormal and horror. Learn more about Black Spot Books at http://www.blackspotbooks.com.
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A Midnight Clear
SIX STORIES OF NOT-SO-MERRY YULETIDE WHIMSY
You'd better watch out...
Coming just in time for the holidays: the perfect stocking stuffer for the fantasy lover! These six stories of not-so-merry Yuletide whimsy contain enough winter chills and thrills to satisfy every lover of speculative fiction.
Black Spot Books’ first anthology, A Midnight Clear [November 5, 2019], features stories from the house’s leading and bestselling authors and includes tales by the in-house authors that write them the best, ranging from humorous dark fantasy (Hooker, Soul Remains) to a ghostly Christmastime murder (Windwalker, Preacher Sam), and new spins on old winter fables (Storm, The Hungry Ghost; Jane, The Isle of Gold).
A woman so cold she hardens to ice on a winter’s eve. Risen from his grave before his time, a winter god alters the balance between seasons. A wolf’s holiday season is interrupted by a strange curse. From a murder at the Stanley Hotel to demons of Christmas past, present, and future, and a mad elf and Santa’s Candy Court. In A Midnight Clear [Black Spot Books, November 5, 2019] the authors of Black Spot Books share their love for winter holidays in this collection of dark winter tales, destined to chill your bones and warm your heart for the Yuletide season.
"Winter is a time of darkness. The nights grow longer and colder, and all around us the world comes to a pause. For thousands of years people have waited through the season, keeping warm with family and friends and fire and anxiously awaiting the return of the light,” says publisher Lindy Ryan.
About the Authors
Sam Hooker writes darkly humorous fantasy novels about things like tyrannical despots and the masked scoundrels who tickle them without mercy. He knows all the best swear words, though he refuses to repeat them. Peril in the Old Country, The Winter Riddle, Soul Remains
Alcy Leyva is a Bronx-born writer, teacher, and pizza enthusiast. He graduated from Hunter College with a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) and an MFA in Fiction from The New School. And Then There Were Crows, And Then There Were Dragons
Laura Morrison lives in the Metro Detroit area. She has a B.S. in applied ecology and environmental science from Michigan Technological University. Before she was a writer and stay-at-home mom, she battled invasive species and researched turtles. Come Back to the Swamp
Cassondra Windwalker is a poet and novelist writing full time from the coast of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Her hobbies include hiking, photography, and having other people's demons over for tea. Bury the Lead, Preacher Sam
Dalena Storm has lived in India, Japan, Germany, and on both United States coasts. She currently resides in a converted general store in the woods of Western Massachusetts with a rare Burmese temple cat, a professor of magic, and an infant with an astonishing ability to resist sleep. The Hungry Ghost
Seven Jane is a bestselling author of dark fantasy and speculative fiction. She is a member of the Women's Fiction Writing Association. She is a contributor to The Nerd Daily and is represented by Gandolfo, Helin & Fountain. The Isle of Gold
A Midnight Clear will be available in paperback and e-book formats through all major retailers and distributors on November 5, 2019.
ISBN (print): 978-1-7335994-4-3
ISBN (EPUB): 978-1-7335995-5-0
ADVANCE REVIEW COPIES OF A MIDNIGHT CLEAR AVAILABLE ON NETGALLEY
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A DISGRACED FORMER PREACHER UNCOVERS THE TRUTH ABOUT THE MURDER OF ONE OF HIS PARISHIONERS
Confession is good for the soul.
Disgraced former preacher Sam Geisler may not be Broadripple, Indiana’s favorite son, but his peculiar gift for listening has earned him the moniker murder-whisperer, and the police need his help on what should be an open-and-shut case—again. A woman has killed her best friend in cold blood, but although Amanda’s confessed to the crime there’s no clear motive and the evidence doesn’t stack up. And, she’s not talking—not to the detectives, the victim’s family, or even her own attorney. There is one person the suspect will talk to, though: Preacher Sam.
No one is more qualified to understand the blackest hearts than a disgraced, porn-addicted former preacher who is still in love with his estranged wife. Floundering for direction and beset by the needs of his well-meaning but aggravating atheist sister and her seven-year-old son, Sam Geisler is trying to put his past behind him when the murder of one of his former parishioners by another drags him back into the world he thought he left behind. Proving Amanda’s innocence, and solving the crime of who really killed Amy Randolph, will mean confronting both the aftermath of Sam's own dark secret and figuring out how to survive someone else's.
In the first installment of Cassondra Windwalker’s new Sam Geisler, Murder Whisperer series, Preacher Sam [Black Spot Books, September 17, 2019] introduces readers to a flawed but loveable hero in Sam Geisler, a man trying to overcome his own darkness while looking for the good in everyone else.
Fighting for his marriage, fighting with his sister, and fighting against his own demons, in Preacher Sam, Sam may be the only one who hears what the real murderer is all but shouting—but will it be enough to drive back his own darkness?
"Sometimes Sam Geisler is the person we all wish we were—warm, funny, compassionate, loyal,” says Windwalker. “But sometimes he's who we're all afraid of becoming, and even he doesn't know which side is stronger. Do murderers trust him because he offers them grace, or because of something darker they recognize in him that breathes in themselves?"
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AND THEN THERE WERE DRAGONS
FANTASY, ADVENTURE, CRIPPLING SOCIAL ANXIETY, AND A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF WEIRD
Hell claimed Amanda Grey's soul. Someone should have checked the return policy.
For Amanda Grey, stopping the all-encompassing Apocalypse fated to plunge mankind’s entire existence into never-ending darkness ... just kind of sucked. Sure, she managed to capture every demon set loose on New York City. And yes, she ended up thwarting an evil angel’s plans to destroy humanity. But she also lost her sister, her apartment, and—oh yeah—Amanda Grey totally died and got her soul banished to Hell as a result.
Luckily, she’s not the type to take that kind of thing lying down.
In the second installment of Alcy Leyva’s Shades of Hell series, And Then There Were Dragons [Black Spot Books, July 30, 2019] thrusts Amanda Grey into a whole new world of weird as she ventures out into the fiery wastelands, decrepit cities, and Olive Gardens of the afterlife in search of her sister. As the penultimate entry in the Shades of Hell series, Amanda will come face-to-face with the truth behind the demon Shades, as well as a destiny she sure as hell didn't ask for.
Leyva’s And Then There Were Crows established Amanda Grey—a recluse with crippling social anxiety—as an unwilling hero during the End of Days. In her next adventure, Leyva brings the same twisted sense of adventure to And Then There Were Dragons, which sees Grey coming into her own. With a little hellfire—and some timely help from some unlikely characters from her past—Amanda Grey must fight off the violent hordes of Hell in order to save the soul of her sister, finding her own true potential—and the closest thing she can find to redemption—in the process. This new journey serves as both a stage for self-reflection and the basis for a new life through death, and sets the stage for what’s to come in Amanda’s next chapter.
“I really wanted to evolve Amanda Grey as a character in Dragons,” says Leyva. “I wanted to explore what happens when someone who has been bound by social anxiety sheds those chains and comes into her own. To me, this sequel is the next step in Amanda Grey's journey to rewrite her story and become stronger as she faces everything that’s thrown at her—from losing her family, to conquering her inner demons, to taking on the very powers of Hell itself.”