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text 2014-09-01 22:35

Happy Labor Day!

To celebrate I'm going to get to work on Eternal Wanderings! I'm 500 words in and I can already feel the spirit in the piece. This is going to be a fun ride.

Well, since I don't expect much of anything to go on today I’ll leave you with a couple of opportunities to learn more about me.

First is a guest post on author Lawrence M. Schoen’s blog as a part of his EATING AUTHORS feature:


The second promo coming up on 9/4, starting at 3pm EST. Bitten By Books is hosting a guest blog and author chat with myself and Day Al-Mohamed, my co-author on my most recent novel Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn. If you RSVP in advance with the following link you will have 25 extra chances to win a $40 Amazon gift card: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=80052. You must be present at the chat and mention your RSVP to get the 25 chances.


For those not familiar with it, Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn is a steampunk retelling of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. You can learn more about it here: Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn: A Steampunk Faerie Tale

And don’t forget our Eternal Wanderings kickstarter. We’ve already funded, which makes this a sure-thing, and the more people who get on board, the more goodies for everyone! 

Enjoy your day!

Danielle Ackley-McPhail

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review 2014-09-01 22:02
Book Review: Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn by Danielle Ackley-McPhail & Day Al-Mohamed
Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn: A Steampunk Faerie Tale - Danielle Ackley-McPhail,Day Al-Mohamed

Eighteen year old Ali bin-Massoud is visited by a mechanical falcon while in England apprenticing under Ustad Babbage. The falcon leaves him a gift, a puzzle box - something he's loved for years - inscribed in his home language with his name. This one is more special as it's crafted with clockwork and magic. Kassim, Ali's older brother, rudely is awaken in the night to find his fathers horse has returned, riderless and blood soaked. Ali had his own plans for his life, until he is called home by his brother to help with the home. Kassim has his own motives for calling his brother home, the greed for something he heard his father talk of with his younger brother. But the family's hidden secret and honor surfaces, following Ali and after the pieces that have surfaced. Ali has the mind for mechanics, and a profession from the family's past that needs nurtured to clear the dishonor in the family. Along with taking care of the family secret.

The culture and structure of living is strongly projected here in this story. The second son of a successful merchant, Ali would have to find his own way in life as his older brother inherits the business. We even see the prejudice that's present toward Ali and his difference in dress and skin tone in a different nation, bringing a feel of real to Ali.

The story twists magic and clockworks together, even some steampunk elements. There is talk of magic found in England along with that at the desert. But we see the magic more in the desert with the djinn. Clockworks become a magic of their own in this world too. Something wondrous to others not of the mechanical mind thinking.

The writing is artfully descriptive. The story of Ali and the forty thieves is one well know. Danielle and Day twist that tale with a bit of truth, magic, and mechanical for us to hear.

We get the story from Ali's and Kassim's point of view, even from another's later on. It makes sense why it's shift to the other character after you meet them. But it's the view of the whole world and happenings. It explains what is happening and why. I wonder if Ali realizes how lucky he is in avoiding the tortures and death on numerous occasions, thanks to his kind heart and friends he makes.

An old tale remastered to include magics of different kinds. Sit back and relax with this old tale. 

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text 2014-08-28 14:32
Shout out
Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn: A Steampunk Faerie Tale - Danielle Ackley-McPhail,Day Al-Mohamed

I just want to give a shout out for both the authors of this book.  My review was a three star one, and I used the term cliche in it.  However, both authors liked the review (and did not post comments at all).  I know much is made about BBAs.


Just wanted to give some Good Behaving Authors, a shout out.

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review 2014-08-09 19:26
1001 Steampunks
Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn: A Steampunk Faerie Tale - Danielle Ackley-McPhail,Day Al-Mohamed

Disclaimer: ARC read via Netgalley.


                Everyone should know the story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. It’s a wonderful story; largely because of the servant woman who saves her master though her intelligence. This short novel is a steampunk version of a tale, which means that Ali is an inventor who as the story opens is apprenticed to Charles Babbage.


                And there are airships.


                Which are cool because some of the scenes with Babbage and the pilot of an airship are quite good.


                The novel is good, enjoyable if not great. What stops it from being truly outstanding are the cliché types (or almost cliché types). Perhaps it is unfair to criticize a fairy tale retelling for the overuse theme of bad older brother, Kassim, picking on his saintly younger sibling, Ali but retellings should bring something more to the tale than just set it in a different setting. It is true that there is some redemptive feeling in the relationship between brothers, but having Kassim even strike his wife feels too much like a cliché. Kassim doesn’t truly have a redeeming feature, and though his character is given some shading Dirk Dastardly, strangely, is who springs to mind when picturing Kassim.


                The other issue is the relationship between Ali and Morgiana which is more complicated than a simple master/servant relationship. There is more a slave/master aspect so it makes the love story seem a bit, well, controlling. It is a problem that many retellings of such tales would have, many historical fiction works as well. If there is a master/slave relationship, how equal are the lovers to modern sensibilities. A master/servant relationship has more of a sense of, if not equality, of choice to it. In fairness, there is some adjustment of Morgiana’s character to adjust for this change in status. Morgiana is very much like her original in terms of intelligence, and like the original tale, is the more fascinating character than Ali Baba.


                The setting is wonderfully described and a sense of place is conveyed by the word choices, actually using correct technical words to describe Eastern dress and custom (with a glossary at the book if a reader needs it).

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text 2014-08-06 17:46


Contact: Danielle McPhail

PO Box 493

Stratford, NJ 08084





HOWELL, NJ – Authors Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Day Al-Mohamed are proud to announce that they have entered an agreement with international actress and voice talent Deepti Gupta for the production of the audiobook version of their new novel Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn. A preliminary excerpt of Ms. Gupta's reading can be heard at: 




Praised by The New York Times for her performance in the feature film ‘Walkaway’, Deepti also stars in ‘Record/Play’ (a sci-fi love story) which was an official selection at SUNDANCE 2013.  Fluent in Hindi, Urdu and English, her career spans across India, Singapore, Pakistan and the United States.  


With an MFA in Acting from the UT Austin, she’s lived in Delhi, Singapore, New York and now Los Angeles where she continues to build her career in acting and voice-overs.  In her six successful years in New York City she appeared in several plays including the Off-Broadway production of Chekhov’s ‘Ivanov’ produced by NAATCO and Mint Theatre for which she received glowing reviews.  


She also works as a diversity consultant for corporate firms and aspires to be an educator through her one-woman show, Bodylogue. In Los Angeles she runs a monthly screenplay reading series to help fellow actors, writers work on new material and network in an informal setting. Last year she wrote and directed her first short film, 'Happy and You Know It', about a woman's journey to celebrating her pregnancy. As a new mom herself, Deepti is in constant awe of the challenges and surprises of motherhood.  For more visit www.DeeptiGupta.com.


Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn is a steampunk retelling of the classic “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, from 1001 Arabian Nights. To learn more about the book, please visit:




The audiobook is scheduled for release in November.




If you'd like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Ms. Gupta or one of the authors, please contact Danielle McPhail at greenfirephoenix@aol.com.


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