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Author of the Allies and Enemies series.

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Audiobook Now Available Allies and Enemies: Exiles, Book 3

Download at Audible, iTunes and Amazon.

Exciting news! Allies and Enemies: Exiles (Vol 3) is now available from Audible, Amazon and iTunes in audiobook. Talented narrator, Erin Bateman, is back in the third installment of the Allies and Enemies series. The action picks up where Allies and Enemies: Rogues (Vol 2) left off.

Desperate to help Jon and Corsair rescue Erelah, Sela agrees to a bloodthirsty bargain– assassinate a corrupt Guild Imperator and escape capture. What could possibly go wrong?

Want a free download code from Audible for this book? Sign up here.

Allies and Enemies: Exiles, Book 3 was a Dragon Award Finalist for Best Military Science Fiction novel hosted by DragonCon 2017.

Audiobook Review: The Library of the Unwritten

The Library of the Unwritten
A Novel from Hell’s Library, Book 1
Unabridged Audiobook
Author: A. J. Hackwith
Narrator:  Lisa Flanagan
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Rating: [🚀🚀🚀] 3/5 rockets

It’s very rare for urban fantasy or contemporary fantasy (or whatever the cool kids are calling it these days) to catch my attention. No offense to the many fantasy authors out there, but I’ve always preferred space-ships over wizards. However, when The Library of the Unwritten was called out as a new release at DragonCon 2019 panel hosted by Penguin Publishing, I was intrigued. (Fun fact: At that same panel, I won a book with a dragon on the cover that I promptly gifted to a colleague that liked that sort of thing. Yes, I see the irony.)

I think it was the elevator pitch for Library of the Unwritten that appealed to me: “Characters from unwritten books come to life; hijinks ensue.

As an author, I imagined my own unwritten characters on the loose in the “real world”. (The idea is entertaining and horrifying– like watching a fight break out in a hockey game.)

Here’s the skinny: Unfinished books are kept in a neutral section of hell called the Library of the Unwritten which is overseen by a Librarian. If a character escapes their book, it’s up to the Librarian to hunt them down and get them back to their books.

Hackwith’s story follows Head Librarian Claire, and her assistant Brevity as they are joined by a teenage demon as they track down an escaped Hero. When they run afoul of an angel on the hunt for the Devil’s bible, they uncover a plot to upset the status quo between Heaven and Hell. Claire and her allies end up hunted by angles across different versions of the afterlife (Valhalla being one of them), looking for clues to thwart a demonic rebellion.

Hackwith’s writing uses some repetitive metaphors. (Who isn’t guilty of that?) Perhaps they stick out more during an audiobook experience than they might to a casual reader. Her world-building is detailed with seamless exposition. The characters are well-rounded and compelling.

Narration by Lisa Flanagan is nuanced and adds dimension. She does a great job with a pretty big cast of characters of different sexes, cultures and time periods.

If you’re a fan of The Good Place, Good Omens, Supernatural, Dr. Who, American Gods… you should check out The Library of the Unwritten.

Comedy4Cast At DragonCon

At DragonCon 2019, I had the pleasure of being a guest on Comedy4Cast, hosted by my good friend, Clinton. Follow the link below to hear the interview where I talk about writing, writing with ADHD and answer questions about Armageddon (sorta).

Recap: DragonCon 2019

My “mid-list author” cosplay

Dragon Con 2019 has come and gone. This is the third year I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited as an “Attending Professional” to this intimate little gathering of over 80K humans. It’s likely the largest fandom gathering I’ll ever participate in. (I’ve been to a few world cons– but I can’t be sure what the average attendance is at one of those shindigs.)

This year, I was on four panels and a guest on the podcast, Technorama, Comedy4cast & Friends – LIVE!

Panels can be intimidating things, especially if you know the crowds is very likely there to see everyone else on the panel but you. (Especially, if one of your co-panelists is a big name when it comes to military sci-fi.) This was the case for me on the first “official” day of DragonCon for the “Media Military Sci-Fi Panel”. I did my best and hopefully added the valuable insights of an author that’s done not too shabbily in the genre regardless of my lack of actual military experience. No one threw things, at least. 🙂

The remaining panels went by in a blur. We talked about “Handwavium” and its impact on the story, saluted the recent 20th anniversary of Farscape and reflected on the Dragon Awards. The awards are a different creature than in the first 2 years that I was a finalist. For instance, there’s now a reception for the finalists and winners. (I’m bummed that I missed out on this. In 2016 and 2017, when I was a finalist, there was no reception. Or, at least, not one I was invited to.) The competition is steeper and now a larger proportion of my indie cohorts seem to know about it.

Where I once attended DragonCon as a “private citizen”, a large portion of my time was dedicated to hitting panels in the “Writing” track in an effort to absorb helpful insights from industry pros. Every chance encounter with another writer may be an important connection. You never know what may come from it. Plus, I just enjoy helping out other writers and hearing about their journey.

I’m definitely looking forward to DragonCon 2020.

Dragon Con 2019

Congrats to all the 2019 Dragon Award finalists! May the odds be ever in your favor.

If you’re going to Dragon Con in steamy Atlanta this year, please be sure to check out my panels. Be sure to say “hi”. Here’s the skinny on my schedule of appearances:

  • Military Sci-Fi Writers & Creators – Media Edition

Description: A roundtable of Military Science Fiction writers & artists–whether in tie-ins or independent worlds–discuss the genre, trends, real-world accuracy, & working within the complex worlds of Military Sci-Fi.

Time: Fri 05:30 pm Location: Chastain DE – Westin

(Tentative Panelists: David Weber, Van Allen Plexico, Marc Alan Edelheit, Amy J. Murphy, Chris Kennedy)

  • Handwavium: How Much Is Too Much?

Description: Handwavium or technobabble sounds great but doesn’t always mean anything in real-world terms. Our panelists discuss what goes into good & not-so-good handwavium.

Time: Fri 07:00 pm Location: Embassy AB – Hyatt

(Tentative Panelists: Robert E. Hampson, Dr. Charles E. Gannon, Quincy J Allen, Amy J. Murphy)

  • Farscape Anniversary Fan Panel

Description: Farscape was a monumental show for its weaving together of intricate stories, compelling characters, practical effects in puppetry, and strong visual storytelling. Come aboard Moya as we look back on 20 years of this fan favorite.

Time: Sat 05:30 pm Location: Chastain DE – Westin

(Tentative Panelists: Amy J. Murphy, Michael Falkner)

Description: This is a great way to see not one, but two podcasts do their shows live. We also adapt the shows to involve the audience in many of our favorite segments. They become an integral part of the fun.

Time: Sun 02:30 pm Location: Galleria 6 – Hilton

(Tentative Panelists: Chuck Tomasi, Amy J. Murphy, Dr. Pamela L. Gay)

  • Meet the Dragon Awards

Description: We are going to have a mix of Award Winners & Finalists from this year & years past. So many good books, so many great authors!

Time: Sun 04:00 pm Location: Embassy EF – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

(Tentative Panelists: Amy J. Murphy, Russell Newquist, Christopher Woods, L. Jagi Lamplighter)

Dragon Award Nominations

Here’s your chance to help the Allies and Enemies series make a little bit of history by making it a three-time nominee for a Dragon Award.

Please consider nominating my book, Allies and Enemies: Legacy for “Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel” in the 2019 Dragon Awards. [It’s the 4th category down on the list. Click the image or link below to visit the nomination page.]

There’s no cost to you and you need not attend Dragon Con to participate in the nomination or voting process. The link to nominate is located here:

http://application.dragoncon.org/dc_fan_awards_nominations.php

Once you register and nominate only one or as many choices as you are comfortable with for the many categories that include comics, movies, games and tv shows. Be aware that you get only one nomination per category. The deadline for nominations is July 19th.

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Cover reveal: Allies and Enemies: Empire

Allies and Enemies: Empire (Book 5) is due out soon. Thanks to some diligent beta-readers, it looks like I’ll be able to publish well ahead of my original target deadline. Look for pre-order info by the end of this week (June 28th). I hate to leave things on a “cliff hanger” but book 5 should be well worth the wait.

In the meanwhile, I’m very pleased to share the beautiful cover art created by Laercio Messias. [Check out his other work here.]

Allies and Enemies: Empire (Book 5) – On pre order soon!

Allies and Enemies Trilogy

Own books 1-3 of this best selling space opera series at one low price. Includes exclusive content. Hurry! Promotion ends soon!

Buy today from Amazon, B&N, Kobo, GooglePlay, Smashwords and iTunes.

Allies and Enemies: Legacy (Book 4) Available Now!

Allies and Enemies: Legacy (Book 4)

The long-awaited fourth book to the series is now available from your favorite online bookseller. Download it today and join the action! [Amazon, Apple, GooglePlay, B&N, Kobo and Smashwords]

Six years have passed since the war between the three Guilds left its mark on the Reaches. Sela Tyron and partner, Jon Veradin, have forged new lives on a revitalized Hadelia, a planet once enslaved by the cybernetics-obsessed Poisoncry Guild. Haunted by her experience as a Poisoncry prisoner, Sela crusades to erase the dangerous legacy left behind by Poisoncry. When a deadly conspiracy reveals a heart-wrenching betrayal, the Fates offer Sela the revenge she craves. But there’s a cost…

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Released from her forced service as Defensor to the Ironvale Guild, Erelah Veradin Corsair only wants to raise her daughter on Narasmina in peace and safety. Too bad, the rest of the universe didn’t seem to get her memo. When an alien force threatens her world, Erelah must team up with a barely tolerated figure from her past to defend her family.

Pre Order Allies and Enemies: Legacy, Book 4 today from Amazon.

Cover update…

Have you seen the cover overhaul to the Allies and Enemies series? I partnered with a stellar designer to update the copy and taglines to the ebook covers. Check out the new artwork here:

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This is all in preparation for the upcoming release of Allies and Enemies: Legacy. The fourth book in the series (and very likely not the last.) Stay tuned.

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