Guest posting and commentary policy

So, here goes another one of those announcements that, in anything like an ideal world, one should never have to publish… but which, given all the sleazeball cyber-criminals and fast-buck-artists who infest the Web, is sadly necessary.

As you may have noticed if you have tried to add a guest post to The Angel Brings Fire blog, all such comments are “moderated”; that is, before the posting will actually appear, it must be reviewed and approved by myself.


Well, rest assured that this has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not I agree with your point of view, or if I like what you’re saying about me (go ahead, I have the proverbial thick skin), or if your comments are — up to a point — even particularly relevant to the core purpose of the blog (which is, obviously, about The Angel Brings Fire series of science fiction novels).

The reason why I (as well as 99% of other, “responsible” bloggers) have to impose this policy is because of the fact that about 99% of the “comments” that are presented for my approval, are sent in by spammers, cyber-criminals and malware purveyors, who are, I suppose, figuring that I’ll slip up and let them infest my blog with this kind of garbage, which not only would clutter the blog with all sorts of completely off-topic junk, but which would also represent a risk to the safety of my legitimate readers and posters.

Typically, these types of spam postings involve URLs (hyperlinks) that connect to “discount pharmaceutical” and “male performance enhancement” scams, but, more seriously, many of these sites also serve up what in the IT security community, we term “drive-by download” malware… that is, a virus that infects your PC, if you even visit such a site. Unfortunately, the Web is crawling with criminals who leverage this tactic, in the hope of planting a virus on a victim’s computer, and then using this malicious software to do things like stealing the victim’s credit card or banking information, launching denial-of-service attacks or using the PC as a launching pad for “hacking” elsewhere on the Internet (and when the intrusion gets detected, guess whose IP address gets flagged and raided by the police… right, the victim’s, not the criminal’s… cute little trick, eh?).

I refuse to become a passive accomplice in criminal activities of this type… hence, why I review each and every third party message that is proposed for inclusion in The Angel Brings Fire blog.

And thus, I have a special message for the next bunch of cyber-criminals, thieves and other similar a**holes who figure it would be a good idea to “enlist” my blog, into their little get-rich-quick fraud-and-malware empires :

It won’t work, so don’t waste your time.

Marcus Shields

Author, The Angel Brings Fire

Angel and The Empire is available!

I’m pleased to announce that The Angel Brings Fire, Book #3, a.k.a. Angel and The Empire, has now been published in all formats… including “conventional paperback” which typically takes the longest.

The URL for the paperback version, on Amazon, is :

The URL for Angel and The Empire, on the main Angel Brings Fire Website, is :

This go-around in the publishing process (compared to what was encountered in the first two books) has been unusually challenging, due partly to the last-minute discovery of many minor “typos”, but mainly because of problems encountered with the printed Createspace proof; to make a long story short, despite the fact that exactly the same OpenOffice template was used to format all three books, when the proof for Angel and The Empire was received, to our dismay, what was supposed to have been 10 point font looked like it had been mysteriously reduced to 8!

Subsequent research (and frantic complaints to Createspace…) confirmed (at least this is what I think it means), that printed copies of the “real”, “final” version will be in the larger, appropriate typeface… just another example of what one deals with, in the world of PODspace…

For those of you who are already familiar with The Angel Brings Fire series of novels, you’ll notice two things that are different about this book, compared to Angel of MailĂ nkh and Doubt Me Not : (a) the cover art is significantly better than had previously been the case (although… it is due to be “improved” for the earlier two books as well, in subsequent editions); and, plot-wise, (b) our heroine, is, well… let’s just say that she’s in a really bad mood about what’s recently befallen her, and, unlike the situation in Doubt Me Not, she’s now in a position to do something about it!

Incidentally, there is a political narrative embedded in all of this, that should be apparent to anyone who is familiar with current events. I’d be curious to see how many of you can correctly guess what it is.

Finally, I hope that you all like the book! Whether or not you do, comments and critiques are always welcome, so if you have something to say, please don’t hesitate to do so, by entering a guest post on this blog.

Marcus Shields

Author, The Angel Brings Fire