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Curiouser and Curiouser

The other day, my husband pointed out to me that when he came to my website on his phone, it still showed John Zebedee as the Work in Progress. Which is odd. Since I’m updating the website today, I took a look at it.

And discovered that according to my phone, my website hasn’t been updated since December. It’s not showing any recent blog posts or anything. Now I need to troubleshoot. WHEE!!!

Something got borked in an update, I guess. Now to find it and fix it.

Which was easier than I thought it would be. Fixed now! A plugin was broken.

Right, now that I’ve accomplished something on a Monday, I can go back to bed. Right?

Well, it was worth a shot.

 

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

23201 / 150000 (15.47%)

Work continues apace on Heir to the Firstborn, and edits are ongoing for Ashes and Light, which is Swords of Charlemagne, book 3.

Wait, what happened to book 2? Where’s The Lady and The Sword?

Right here:

Preorders are now available, and the book will release in May. I think this is my favorite of the covers. I think.

Preorders are also up for Wings of Air, and that one releases NEXT MONTH!

Wings will be available wide from day one, so you can get it at Amazon, Eden Books, Smashwords, or any other bookstore of your choosing.

What else is going on. Not too much — we’re still lying low. I’m signed up for vaccination, and hopefully I’ll have the chance for one before Nationals in July. Working on words, working on edits, working on super spiffy RWA project that you’ll hear about REAL SOON NOW! (I really can’t wait to tell you all about this. It’s going to be so amazingly awesome and I can’t wait!)

But, until it goes public, I can’t say anything. So we’ll all have to be patient.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Ashes and Light, except-for-when-it-is, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, presales, Release date, Swords of Charlemagne, The Lady and the Sword, when technology rebels, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

My, How Time Flies.

February 1st today. Time flies when you’re… well, are we having fun yet?

Time does fly when you’re busy. Last week was the book launch for Hidden Things. For the moment, it is only available on Kindle. It will, however, go wide on April 27 — that means that it will be available at all ebook sellers on that date. So if you’re Apple only, the book will be available on that date. There will be no preorder for through those other venues.

Things are looking good for the release of Wings of Air (Heir to the Firstborn 4) and The Lady and The Sword (Swords of Charlemagne, 2). The preorder for Wings of Air is up on Amazon, Eden Books, Smashwords, and everywhere else. The preorder for The Lady and the Sword will be going up later this week, with a cover reveal in the February newsletter, coming out this Friday. (Not subscribed to the newsletter? You can fix that!) 

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Work on Heir to the Firstborn is going well, if slowly. This is definitely looking like an end of the year release — this one will probably be the November release, with Table of Stone (Swords of Charlemagne 4) in September. But I may be wrong — depends on how long Heir runs, and how long it takes to edit.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, Book 5)
16878 / 150000 (11.25%)

 

And that super Spiffy project I’ve been working on? It’s still super spiffy, and I still can’t tell you what it is. Marketing was supposed to start today, but we want to deliver the best, the most spiffy project ever in the history of spiffy projects, so the launch date has been pushed back. You’ll have to live in antici…. pation, at least for a little while longer.

I’m going to leave you with this, the first review of Hidden Things, courtesy of the Paranormal Romance Guild.


Hidden Things begins during the time of Charlemagne in his early years as Charles, King of the Franks, and follows events in the life of Turpin, the main character. The story has some very interesting paranormal twists to events that occur during Charlemagne’s reign. Like so many other wonderful fantasy novels, a sword is a key element to the story, but this time the reader gets to follow the path of more than one sword in more than one timeline. One aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the manner in which the author incorporated two distinct timelines without creating any confusion or giving the reader a chance to get bored with one of the timelines.

This book has the elements of an epic fantasy tale full of adventure and romance. A few underlying lessons can also be found hidden in the pages. The variety of the characters and the settings offer interesting perspectives on subjects such as culture, religion, gender roles, sexuality, family, and history.

The setting for this story was elegantly crafted. I had just enough details about the culture and time period to paint a clear picture, but not so much that I was overwhelmed by details. The settings are compelling enough to inspire an interest in the recorded history of Charlemagne. Did he have an archbishop named Turpin traveling with his army? The characters and their relationships with one another are equally compelling. I really want to get to know Roland and Turpin better, and Margret’s strength is a pleasant surprise.

This book had so many of the elements I find in my favorite books, engaging characters , fantastic settings, a fascinating plot, and an end that leaves the reader hoping for more… soon… like tomorrow…

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, forthcoming works, heady praise, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, presales, Release date, Self-publishing, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, The Lady and the Sword, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Happy Book Day Eve!!!

It’s Book Day Eve!

(What? Liz, is that even a thing?)

Sure, it is! It’s the day before a book release! Tomorrow, Hidden Things goes live!!!

 

After all this time, it’s kind of hard to think that the day is finally almost here. One more sleep ’til Book Day!

How long? Last week, over on Facebook, I had a memory pop up.

That exchange is in chapter 4 of Hidden Things.  Written six years ago!

So what am I doing to celebrate Book Day? I’m leaving the house! (but only for a little while). I’ll be editing The Lady and the Sword (Swords of Charlemagne, Book 2), and writing Heir to the Firstborn. And working on my Super Spiffy RWA project.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, Book 5)

11742 / 150000 (7.83%)

Heir has been going slowly — last week was a month long,  I swear. And this week promises to be just as long — my son has been doing virtual high school, because of the obvious reasons. But he has to be on campus twice this week for testing — the PSAT is tomorrow. (That’s why I’m leaving the house.) There’s also another major test he needs to take on Thursday.

So of COURSE we get the email this morning that there was someone on campus last week who has since tested positive for COVID. Of course we did.

Not entirely a happy Mama here. But… well, Florida, where living goes to the highest bidder.

Wow. Enough of that. Book Day! Tomorrow is BOOK DAY!!!

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, forthcoming works, Happy Book Day, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, kvelling, new books, Release date, Swords of Charlemagne, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, writing, writing-mom, 0 comments

Better Late than Never?

It’s Monday evening. I’ve been BUSY today, and this is my first chance to sit and get to work on the blog. So this will be a very short update.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, Book 5)
7302 / 150000 (4.87%)

Usually, this past weekend would have been the Central Florida Highland Games, and I’d have been away from my keyboard all weekend. This year, the 44th annual games went virtual, so there was no sitting out listening to bagpipes and playing with babies that aren’t mine.  It was for the best, really, but it’s still disappointing.

Instead, this weekend was RWA meetings (the super spiffy project I’m leading, that I can’t tell you anything about yet except to say it’s super spiffy and exciting. Watch this space!), and gardening. And learning that if this whole writing this doesn’t pan out, I can be a barber — I gave 14-year-old J his first haircut in over a year. There was enough hair on the porch to make either a full wig, or three small tribbles.

I also set up the preorder for Wings of Air, which will be available March 23rd everywhere ebooks are sold.

Amazon

Eden Books

Everywhere Else

Hidden Things comes out a week from tomorrow, so you can still get the preorder in. This one is only on Amazon for the launch.

Amazon

Today has been a lot more work on Super Spiffy project, and not as much work on writing or editing. I’m editing The Lady and the Sword (Swords of Charlemagne, Book 2) and am seven chapters into it. It’s not scheduled to release until May, so I’m well on schedule. I’m also working on Heir to the Firstborn (Heir to the Firstborn, Book 5), and am currently on chapter 3, which is one I’ve been waiting to write. If you ever wondered anything about the rituals used to initiate a Smoke Dancer, this is the chapter for you!

And, I think, that’s about all! Busy, busy, busy!!!

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, presales, Swords of Charlemagne, The Lady and the Sword, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

Heck of a Start!

Boy, that was a heck of a start to the year, wasn’t it?  And we still have the rest of the year to go!

I would very much like some boring now. Anyone else with me?

Unfortunately, it’s likely to get more interesting before it gets boring. So I’m going to hole myself up in my writer cave and try to ignore the outside world. I have edits to work on, and a new book to write.

 

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, Book 5)
3083 / 150000 (2.06%)

 

Heir to the Firstborn is going to focus more on Del, Treesi and Aria (as much as the boys will allow. I need to wrestle the focus of the books back from Owyn and Aven. They keep trying to take over.) It’s been slow getting started, but I’ve also been working on edits. The edits on Wings of Air are done, and I’ll be getting the preorder up this week. I’ll be starting the edits on The Lady and The Sword today, but I’ll be taking those more slowly. The Lady and the Sword isn’t scheduled to come out until May. I have a little bit of time there.

Focus is… challenging at the moment. (for example, I’ve been staring at this blog post for over an hour, trying to find the next word.) There’s been doomscrolling, and stress eating, and rather a lot of yoga to try and offset the effects of doomscrolling and stress eating. I’m trying not to engage with conspiracy theorists online, for the good of my heart (remember, the block button is your friend!). If I didn’t have books coming out that need promotion, I might go on a social media hiatus… or, you know, not. Because let’s be real — all my friends live in my computer, and social media is how I talk to them.

How do you maintain focus when the world around you is chaos? I know this has been a real issue with a lot of other creative people. After ten months of quarantine, a lot of us have found workarounds. But now things are going even weirder and focus is gone.

I think the first thing is to be gentle with ourselves. Things are so far from normal that we can’t even see it from here. And honestly, there’s no way back to that normal. Nor should there be — normal is what got us here in the first place. We need to redefine normal, and we really can’t do that until the chaos factor eases up a bit and stops acting like someone mixed their Jumanji cards up with Cards Against Humanity.

So, here’s hoping that soon normal will be something other than a setting on our dryers.

Preorder now on Amazon!

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, I really want some dull, Swords of Charlemagne, The Lady and the Sword, this-is-why-we-can't-have-nice-things, upcoming books, upcoming work, Waiting-for-the-other-shoe, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

Jumanji!

Did anyone else go outside and yell Jumanji at midnight on December 31st? Because I totally went and yelled Jumanji out my front door when I went to kick let the old year out and let the new year in.

New Year. New beginnings.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, Book 5)
2015 / 150000 (1.34%)
***
John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland
62605 / 60000 (104.34%)

I finished John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland on December 23rd. Too late for my usual Draft by the Solstice, but I had Draft by Christmas Eve, so that was good.  Edits on that and on Wings of Air are in process, and Wings of Air looks like it will be out sometime in March (I’m projecting March 23rd, but it might be sooner.)

I have a busy publishing year planned. I’ve got SIX releases on my calendar — the last two Heir to the Firstborn books, and all four Swords of Charlemagne books will be 2021 releases. The calendar looks like this:

January 26th, 2021 — Hidden Things (Swords of Charlemagne 1) — Kindle Unlimited only
March 23rd, 2021 — Wings of Air (Heir to the Firstborn 4)
May 25th, 2021 — The Lady and the Sword (Swords of Charlemagne 2) –Kindle Unlimited only
July 20th, 2021 — Ashes and Light (Sword of Charlemagne 3) — Kindle Unlimited only
September 21st, 2021 — Heir to the Firstborn (Heir to the Firstborn 5)
November 30th, 2021 — Table of Stone (Swords of Charlemagne 4) — Kindle Unlimited only

The plan at the moment is to drop the each book of Swords of Charlemagne out of KU and go wide once the next book is live. We’ll see how that goes. And the last two books might switch — it depends on when I finish Heir to the Firstborn. That is the only book listed that hasn’t actually been written yet. All the others just need edits. Preorders are up for Hidden Things, and will be up for the rest of the books soon.

Now, these are just my self-published books. There are also multiple books out for consideration, and one under contract, and THOSE might appear this year, too. Right now, the ones out in an editors pile are:

Sapphires and Gold (Under contract with Circlet Press)
Bonds of Blood and Steel
 (Sequel to House of Sable Locks)
The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir (sequel to Princes of Air)
The Ice Raven
(side story set in the Princes of Air universe)
Blood Bound (Flesh and Blood 1)

There’s also the chance that my first ever publishing credit, the gaming manual Psionics for SkillSkape, will be reissued this year as well. I went through and proofed the new layout a few weeks ago, and the last I heard, the mechanics were in the process of being updated. Since math and I have a disfunctional relationship, I’m not involved in that.

There are also four in-person appearances scheduled at the moment. Now, given the way things are, these dates are all tentative. But they’re on the calendar.

RWA National Conference (Nashville, TN), July 14–17, 2021

Orlando Reads Books (Orlando, FL),  August 26 – 29, 2021

NecronomiCon (Tampa, FL), September 24 – 26th, 2021

Books at the Beach (Clearwater Beach, FL) October 21 – 24th, 2021

I imagine that Keiser SuperCon might slip into that list at some point, but I haven’t yet heard from them about what the new dates will be.

For the record, I’m saving the republishing of the Rebel Mage books until 2022. I’m not completely insane!)

Given all of the things going on this year, I’m going to be juggling slightly more chainsaws that usual. But it will be worth it!

Click the picture to preorder

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, appearances, Blood and Steel, Blood Bound, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, John Zebedee, Necronomicon, RWA, Sapphires and Gold, Swords of Charlemagne, The White Raven, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

Cookies and Contests and Words, Oh, My!

Let’s start with words.

John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland
 
54248 / 60000 (90.41%)
 

Draft by the Solstice isn’t happening this year, considering that it’s the Solstice TODAY (Happy Yule, y’all!) and I have two and a half chapters left to write. So I’m going for Draft by Christmas Eve. And if I can keep the pace I started yesterday, I’ll do it. I finished yesterday with a whopping 4011 words total.

I’m not sure if my wrists will be able to keep up that pace, to be honest. But two and a half chapters is roughly between 7500 and 9000 words. I can do that by Thursday night.

Now, for contests — the Booksweeps contest for 30 erotic romances and a brand new e-reader has been extended. There are two more days to enter. Go try and win some books that will give you ideas!

 

And now… cookies. I know you’ve all been waiting for these. Turned out to be six varieties of cookies and one batch of fudge. Because that is what passes for sedate in my head, apparently.

In order:

  • Three color
  • Cinnamon mocha fudge
  • Teff peanut butter
  • Lemon Thimble (using homemade lemon curd)
  • Molasses
  • Oatmeal carob chip
  • Chocolate Chip

Once the final words are written on John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen, I am done until January 4th, 2021. That’s when I sit down and start writing Heir to the Firstborn (Heir to the Firstborn, book 5). I have edits to work on with Wings of Air (Heir to the Firstborn, book 4), and more edits for The Lady and the Sword (Swords of Charlemagne, book 2). I have a very busy schedule for 2021 — six releases, starting in January with Hidden Things (Swords of Charlemagne, book 1) and going every two months until November. It’s incredibly ambitious, but I’m trusting myself and my ability to do this.

In 2020, I did something that a lot of my colleagues do. I chose a word for the year. My word for 2020 was Nurture. I think I’ve done that. Done a lot of that, really. Between my personal life and stepping up to the RWA Board, there’s been a lot of nurturing going on. Helping people and things get back on their feet. Encouraging. Rebuilding. Nurturing.

My word for 2021 was, I thought, Truth. Until I sat down to do my card. I picked up a pen and wrote…and what came out was not Truth, but Trust.

My subconscious knows what it wants, apparently.

So that’s my word for 2021. Trust. I will trust myself, and I will trust in my skills, and my abilities.

I may not get to the blog next week. If I don’t, let this be my wish to you for 2021. Have a happy, healthy new year. Stay safe.

Posted by EASchechter, 0 comments

I Smell Cookies!

John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland
43399 / 50000 (86.80%)

Okay, not yet, you don’t. But if you were close enough, or smells could come through the internet, you would later today!

Cookiepocalypse 2020 starts today! We’ll be starting with three color cookies, and I’ll be posting the pictures to Instagram. And in between batches, I’ll be working on finishing John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland, because school is out Friday, and the Solstice is next Monday. #DraftByTheSolstice

Last week, there wasn’t nearly as much writing as I’d have liked. There was a lot of editing — I’ve made my first pass at Wings of Air, and it’s been handed off to Darling Editor. There was also recording two Two Minute Tips (something that took me all day Sunday and part of Monday — there’s a reason I’m not a public speaker!) And I taught my first ever live class for the RWA. Complete with computer problems immediately before class because of COURSE the class had to be pre-disastered for our convenience.

The upside of computer problems right before going live? No time for stage fright!

The downside? Spending the rest of the afternoon with durn-near crippling Imposter Syndrome, because I hadn’t gotten it out of my system beforehand.

(There might have been rather a lot of stress eating that evening. Good thing I hadn’t made the cookies yet or they’d have all been gone!)

Things are better now. Spent yesterday in an RWA Board meeting (all….durn…day….) which meant that I got a lot of knitting done. There was work done, but there was also knitting because it’s the only way I can distract the toddler brain and stay focused enough to actually get any work done during the meeting. (When I write, I have music on. But if I’m in a meeting? I knit.) And now, I’m focused on getting this manuscript finished.

And cookies.

Right. Off to go make words and calories!

 

 

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, baking, Cookiepocalypse, Draft by the Solstice, From the Writer's Kitchen, John Zebedee, RWA, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Busy, busy, busy!

John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland
38005 / 50000 (76.01%)

 

And here I thought that I’d be able to start baking soon. Umm… not this week! This is a busy week for me!

Today starts the Erotic Romance contest over on Booksweeps. 30 books (including Chains of Light!) and the grand prize winner gets a brand-new ebook reader. No, I’m not sure which one. But hey, naughty books for the holidays! SOOO much better than coal! You can enter here.

This week, I’ll also be recording a couple of Two Minute Tips for the RWA University, and I’ll be teaching a class on using Zoom for RWA University. The class is free to RWA members.

Now, I did not realize when I agreed to record a Two Minute tip that it would take me most of a day to get a clean copy. Or that two minutes is REALLY SHORT. (The clean copy I finally recorded ended up being nearly 8 minutes long. I’ll be redoing that, and breaking it into two shorter videos.)

I have two writing group meetings this week (oddly enough, not through Zoom), and a social gathering (Zoom). I have a training to take (also Zoom!), and the winter RWA Board meeting is on Sunday the 13th (and if you’re a member, you can attend by registering here.)

I’m working on edits this week (initial edits on Wings of Air, and incorporating edits into John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town.) And I’m working on John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland. I’m slightly more than halfway through that, and the words are flowing nicely. But… I might be still writing when Cookiepocalypse starts.

I’m still working on having a draft by the Solstice, though.

Preorders are going well for Hidden Things, and I really can’t wait for it to launch.  One of my long-time readers (hi, Ian!) commented on an ad about how happy he was to see this finally coming to print. Me, too!

I’m going to a very ambitious 2021. I have six releases planned — one every two months.

Hidden Things (Swords of Charlemagne 1) – January.
Wings of Air (Heir to the Firstborn 4) – March
The Lady and the Sword (Swords of Charlemagne 2) – May
Ashes and Light (Swords of Charlemagne 3) – July
Heir to the Firstborn (Heir to the Firstborn 5) – September
Table of Stone (Swords of Charlemagne 4) – November.

The last two might switch, because Heir to the Firstborn is the only book of those six that hasn’t actually been written yet. (Before anyone asks, the John Zebedee series is slated for a 2022 box set. 2022 might also see the return of the Rebel Mage books.)

Don’t expect anything this ambitious in the future, now. This is me being EXTREMELY bullish.

So that’s the state of the Liz this week. Busy!!!!

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, 2021 plans, accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Draft by the Solstice, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, John Zebedee, new books, presales, publishing, Rebel Mage, Release date, Self-publishing, Swords of Charlemagne, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Sneaky Sneaky Sneaky POUNCE!

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

128417 / 150000 (85.61%)
***
John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland
29157 / 30000 (97.19%)
***
NaNoWriMo Words
50774 / 50000 (101.55%)

That’s about how I’m feeling at the moment. I just won NaNoWriMo (50K words in a month), AND the ending of Wings of Air just snuck up on me. So that number up there? That’s the total. It’s complete.

Here, have a cover to celebrate!

I honestly wasn’t expecting to finish this book today, nearly three weeks ahead of my schedule. Which is good, in a way. It give me that three weeks to finish John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland, which is going to be a much longer book than I thought.

So what happens now? Now, edits! In Patreon, Wings of Air will run until mid-February (I think) so that means we’re looking at late February or early March for a wide release. (I might hold out for March, just because I have Hidden Things coming out in January.) Now remember, if you don’t want to wait, you can always go join me over on Patreon and read Wings from the beginning.

Now, if you’ve been with me for a while, you know what’s coming. It’s December tomorrow.

Cookiepocalypse is coming!

This year, I’m being practically sedate in my baking. Virtuous, even! I’m only making… (looks at list) six different kinds!

But first, I need to finish John Zebedee.

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, cover art, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, NanoFiMo, Nanowrimo, Ta-da, the-end-is-near, thirty, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments