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WIP and Book Birthdays and Stuff

Echoes of Light

19524 / 50000 (39.05%)

***
Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

15683 / 95000 (16.51%)

 

It’s amazing how much writing I can do when I don’t have to be anywhere else.

This week, I set myself a goal of focusing on Wings of Air, so that I have a buffer in case of summer vacation pulling me away from the keyboard. (I was so tempted to write AFK there — I’m being slowly indoctrinated into gamerspeak!)

Summer vacation? Wait a minute, Liz. It’s still May!

Yes, it is. And in Florida, schools get out for the summer right after Memorial Day. Wednesday, we’ll be heading out (!) to school, to participate in a Drive through Graduation ceremony as our son graduates from middle school. It’s going to be interesting. And school next year is going to be even more interesting. We’ll see what happens when August comes around (Yes, we go back to school in August around here.)

The cancellations are ongoing — this past week, the RWA cancelled their National Convention. Work is ongoing into a virtual conference.  Also this past week, KeiserSupercon announced the convention will be held the first weekend in December. Really! This time for sure!

(This is me, not getting my hopes up.)

And… tomorrow… this happens.

Bones of Earth goes live — if you’ve preordered it, it will be in your reader at midnight. (I think that’s how it works) There is still time to preorder — you can grab it from Amazon here, and from other booksellers here. 

(Note: I really, really hope it goes live at midnight — there have been a number of preorders pulled by an Amazon glitch over the past few weeks. So if you hear distraught screaming coming from the direction of Florida tomorrow morning? The presale was pulled last minute. As of two seconds ago, it was still good to go.)

I got the most interesting rejection letter this morning for Hidden Things. The publisher liked it, said it really raised interest, but couldn’t find a spot for it in their lineup so they gave it a pass. That’s a new one for me. I have one more iron in the fire, and if that one doesn’t pan out, then I’ll get going on self-publishing.

And that’s about all for me. Stay safe, everyone.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, appearances, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Bones of Earth, Echoes of Light, Elemental Project, forthcoming works, Happy Book Day, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, John Zebedee, Keiser SuperCon, new books, presales, Release date, RWA, Swords of Charlemagne, the-end-is-near, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, writing-mom, 0 comments

What Day Is It Anyway? Blursday?

Blursday? What day is that?

Well, it’s when you’re not sure what day it is. Actually, I do know it’s Monday. I’m blogging, therefore it’s Monday. Tomorrow, I’ll be doing a Circlet Press writing sprint, therefore it’s Tuesday (or Thursday — it might be Thuesday).

Days run together. Words don’t. The works in progress continue apace.

Echoes of Light

17706 / 50000 (35.41%)

***
Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

10634 / 95000 (11.19%)

Bones of Earth drops one week from tomorrow, and I’ve decided to run a sale this week so people can get caught up! You can download Written in Water here, and you can buy Forged in Fire here.

Until the 26th, Written in Water is FREE, and Forged in Fire is 20% off the usual $8.99 ebook price (down to $7.19) The sale is running wherever ebooks are sold, so if you see someplace where Written in Water is not free and Forged in Fire is not $7.19 (or the equivalant 20% off price in non-US markets), let me know so I can fix it!

In other news, edits have come in (and gone back out) on Time for No Mercy, the short story that I sold to Riverdale Avenue Books for their upcoming Sexy Superheroes anthology. No data yet on when it will be coming out. As soon as I know, I’ll let you all know.

There isn’t a lot else happening. We’re wrapping up the end of the school year. Drive through middle school graduation is next week. I’m doing a million things for the RWA. I’m exercising. I’m baking. I’m cooking. The house is spotless.

I’m tired of quarantine, but it really is the only way to stop this damn thing.

Stay in. Stay safe.

See you all virtually next week.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, Bones of Earth, Boosting the signal, Echoes of Light, Elemental Project, Forged in Fire, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, new books, progress, promotions, Release date, Ta-da, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

It’s alive!!!

Last night, I finally got an answer from KDP.

The answer, of course, was to tell me that they didn’t do anything wrong, that Forged in Fire is going to stay down, that I really should pay attention to customer feedback even though they won’t tell me what that feedback actually WAS…

And that I could resubmit the book as a new book.

So…

Forged in Fire is live!

Now, I’ve emailed KDP and asked them to link the new ebook to the paperback, and to add it back to the series page. I’ve set up a sale for Written in Water for next week, which will hopefully start sales back up again for Forged in Fire, and will help promote Bones of Earth, which drops on the 26th (and which you can preorder here!)

Now, if you have reviewed Forged in Fire in the past, could I ask you to please go and review it again? Since it’s a new book, all the reviews are gone. Thank you kindly!

 

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, Forged in Fire, I really want some dull, 0 comments

Works in Progress: Echoes of Light and Wings of Air.

 

Echoes of Light

 

 
15170 / 50000 (30.34%)

 

***
Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

 

 
5067 / 95000 (5.33%)

 



Now that I’ve fixed the issues with Echoes of Light, I find myself wanting to play with it more than Wings of Air. Which… nope. Can’t do that. Need to work on them both. So what I think I’m going to have to do is work on Wings of Air early, and save Echoes of Light as a reward.

It doesn’t help that Echoes of Light is being fun right now. John and Ethriel are just so damned cute together!

He heard movement, and turned back, seeing Ethriel trying to get out from under the blanket. “No,” he said. “You stay in bed.” He held his hand up, palm out, and Ethriel flinched. John immediately dropped his hands. “No,” he said softly. “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m not going to hit you.” He stepped closer, and pulled the blanket back up. Then he rested his hand on Ethriel’s chest and gently pushed him down. “Stay here.”

Ethriel frowned. “Stay… here,” he repeated. He pointed at the bed.

“Bed,” John supplied the word.

“Stay… bed?” Ethriel asked. Then he smiled. “Stay bed.” He laced his fingers together and rested them on his chest.

“Yes,” John said with a laugh. “You stay in bed.”

Ethriel nodded. “Stay bed,” he repeated. Then he looked thoughtful. “John… stay bed?” He smiled, his brows raised in a hopeful expression, and John was suddenly sure in his bones that there was more to that smile than just being friendly. That he’d known exactly what he’d meant when he’d tried to invite John to the bed the night before.

John felt warm. His throat felt tight. So did his trousers. It was tempting. So tempting. But Ethriel wasn’t hale. And John might not be understanding him properly. This could end badly.

But it was still tempting.


And in other news? I’m still screaming. There is still no resolution for Forged in Fire. And, because of the way they’ve locked down the book in KDP, I can’t get at any of the data to see if there is a major error that needs to be fixed. I don’t know if a reader reported the book, or if it’s a glitch (I’m suspecting glitch, to be honest.) There’s been no communication from KDP Quality Control. I’m in limbo, and I don’t like it. It’s costing me money.

So… since Amazon isn’t letting me make money, Forged in Fire is now ON SALE on Smashwords — use the code TN86U for 20% off  — good for the rest of the week!

Meanwhile, Bones of Earth is ready to drop on May 26th. I really hope Forged in Fire is back online on Amazon when that happens.

Over the weekend, I found out that No Safewords II won the Bronze in the IPPY awards. If you remember, I have two stories in that anthology. Blood, Lust was where I first introduced my BDSM vampire Itami Hiro and his beloved Daniel (or at least, their Marketplace alternate universe selves).  And there’s Domestic Tranquility, a second Thomas and Eugenia story (the first being Oh, Promise Me! from No Safewords 1).

Not much else is going on here. It’s pretty much just exercise in the morning (Zombies, Run! three days a week, yoga and/or something else twice — you can follow me on Instagram for workout updates, if you’re interested), followed by writing and random stuff around the house. I’m not going out if I can help it — so I leave the neighborhood maybe once a week. Things are opening up around us — restaurants and hair salons and the like, but I’m not willing to be a test subject in how long before the second wave? Especially since the second wave is likely to be worse than the first — we’ve all seen the 1918 Flu graph, right?

If you can, stay in. Stay safe.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, award-winning, Bones of Earth, Echoes of Light, Elemental Project, Forged in Fire, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, No Safewords, progress, promotions, Release date, run-writer-run!, Updatey things, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

I Need to Scream Now

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Um… nope, that didn’t make it better.

Two days ago, I got an email from Amazon. Your book is being taken off sale because of negative customer experience.

Which book?

Forged in Fire.

Wait, what? What negative customer experience? Have there been complaints? I  go into my KDP dashboard, and find, in big red letters, PREORDER BLOCKED.

What????

How does a book that’s been out since October have a PREORDER blocked?

I called KDP Customer support. Got a lovely young man by the name of Del. (Really!) Del pulled up my account and says “Okay. Let’s see. Preorder blocked. All right. And it comes out… wait a minute. That’s not right. What’s going on here? Okay, can I put you on hold? I need to get my supervisor.”

Half an hour later, and two very confused support techs later, it’s been escalated.

And I’ve had EXACTLY no word since. None. Forged in Fire is still blocked, and my sales on all my OTHER books have tanked.

Telling Amazon that they’re costing me money does exactly nothing. Emailing KDP Quality Control (to whom this was escalated) has done nothing. There’s no number to call with them. No one seems to be able to help me — or to be willing to help me.

So I’ve done just about the only thing I CAN do.

The entire Heir to the Firstborn series is now on sale in epub AND mobi at Smashwords. 

 

Posted by EASchechter in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?, 0 comments

Postponed and Cancelled Shows

Got the word this morning that Keiser Supercon is being postponed again. No dates announced yet.

 

And I got the word less than five minutes ago that Megacon Orlando is cancelled for 2020. There’s a limited attendance something been announced for Halloween weekend, but I have no idea if the panel on which I was supposed to be a guest will be happening. If it does go on the schedule, I’ll let you all know.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, I really want some dull, Keiser SuperCon, 0 comments

Works in Progress: Echoes of Light and Wings of Air

Echoes of Light

10585 / 30000 (35.28%)

***
Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

1207 / 95000 (1.27%)

 

Progress continues. Sort of. I started Wings of Air on May 1st, and it’s going… well, it’s going. It’s only been three days, though. That’s not a bad number for three days. And if you follow me on Twitter, you likely saw this tweet about Echoes of Light the other day.

 

I wound up writing backwards — ripping out most of a chapter and a half, and setting them aside. I can use some of it, so it’s not a total loss. But in a work of a projected 30,000 words, to be over a third of the way in and not have met the love interest? No, that’s too slow. The love interest now enters, dramatically, in chapter three.

Echoes is being another slow writing project, because I keep having to stop and do research. The setting is off the Arkansas River, just outside of Skullyville and Fort Coffee, in what was Arkansas after the Civil War. I keep having to stop and check maps, which is interesting because on the modern maps, the borders have moved so everything is now Oklahoma, Skullyville was a port town but has since moved inland, and Fort Coffee isn’t there anymore! (Now, granted, Fort Coffee was destroyed during the Civil War, but when the story is set, there were ruins. Now? There’s a sign.)  So I have to compare modern maps to period maps.

Once I get them moving, it’s to a fictional town, so I won’t have as much map-reading to do. But for now? I’m doing a lot of Googling.

In other news… there’s not a lot of other news. Necronomicon has cancelled for 2020. I’m still waiting to hear about Keiser SuperCon, Megacon and RWA Nationals.  I also need to decide what I’m doing if these events do happen. I mean, I’m asthmatic, which puts me in the higher risk group. I think that means that I really shouldn’t be doing conventions this year (unless I have no choice — with RWA Nationals, since I’ on the Board of Directors, I have to go to Nationals). Which means that if you want to see me in 2020… ummm… you probably won’t see me at a convention in 2020.

That being said, I just did my first ever online convention with FutonCon. It was run entirely on Discord, and it was interesting. There’s more panel interaction than when I did my live reading on Facebook, which is nice, but it’s still kind of hard to get past the feeling of “I’m talking to myself.”

I think I prefer in-person conventions, given my choice. And, you know, the option of not catching the never-get-overs.

That’s all from my neck of the woods. Stay safe. Stay in, if you can. And wash your hands.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, appearances, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Echoes of Light, Elemental Project, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Keiser SuperCon, Necronomicon, RWA, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Romance Writer’s Weekly: My Corner of the World

Hi, all! Welcome back on your RWW rounds. This week, the question was “where do you write?”

I like my office. It’s done up just the way I like, and all my stuff is here. My art (and my fountain pen ink) is on the walls. I can look out into the garden, and everything is just so.

Yes, that is Super Grover, as done by Alex Ross.  The pillows are because this is also the guest room, when we have guests. The picture in the middle is the Jody Lee cover for “Witch and Wombat” which is a silly book, and I’ll cosplay that cover someday.

My kanban board for Q2, and all of my fountain pen ink.

That pile of books there is part of my To Be Read pile. The box they’re sitting on is full of A5 notebooks. Yes, I do use them — there are a few on the floor there.

And the actual business area — laptop with a dual monitor set up. Reference books and toys. And more notebooks. Oh, and coffee, because that’s what makes the words go.

Now, I’m pretty flexible. If I can’t write in my office — say, we have a guest — then I have a smaller dressing table in my bedroom where I can put the laptop. Or I can write in the family room downstairs.  Or, if it’s nice out, I can visit the remote office, (aka my back porch.)

Next stop on the RWW bloghop is Clair Brett, who writes over here.  Her book Winn’s Fall is on sale. Check it out!

Have a happy! Stay safe and wash your hands.

Posted by EASchechter, 2 comments

Work in Progress: Echoes of Light

Echoes of Light

9368 / 30000 (31.23%)

And here I thought that the only thing that really slowed me down when I was writing were scenes that required blocking, like fight scenes and sex scenes.

Add scenes that require verification to that — as in, where exactly was Skullyville, OK during the Civil War (when it was Skullyville, AR. They moved the border later). Reason I’m asking? It’s NOT THERE now, it’s somewhere else! From the maps of the era, Skullyville used to be right on the Arksansas River, and was a regular stop for steamboats. Skullyville today? NOWHERE NEAR the river!

So yeah, there was a lot of looking at maps and comparing them and figuring things out this past week.

I’ve also been working on Wings of Air, or at least, figuring out where Wings of Air is going to go. I plan on finishing the outline this week, and starting the actual writing.

I’m doing something new this week, as well. I’ll be doing two readings this weekend (May 1-3, 2020) at FutonCon. Friday night I’ll be holding at 18+ reading from 9PM to 10PM EST, and on Saturday I’ll be reading from 5PM to 6PM EST, with an all ages reading. I’m figuring on something from Blood Bound for Friday, or maybe bring out an old favorite and read The Succubus. Or, you know, I have an hour. Maybe both?  For Saturday, I’ll be reading from Heir to the Firstborn. 

Still no word on the rest of my conventions scheduled for the year. We’ll see what happens with them.

Bones of Earth is ready to go with preorders on Amazon and everyplace else, and I’m experiencing something I never have before. I picked several stock images for my Facebook ad series — they commonality is that they all have birch trees, to echo the birch trees on the cover of Bones.  And apparently, I picked some very striking images, because people are sharing the ads and commenting on the pictures! That’s new and different.

Then again, everything is new and different these days. It’s all strange and more than a little weird. Some of it is a good weird. Some is not. But we’ll manage.

Stay safe, everyone. Wash your hands. Stay inside if you can. If you can’t, be careful.

Posted by EASchechter, 0 comments

Romance Writer’s Weekly: From the Writer’s Kitchen

Welcome to the Romance Writer’s Weekly readers! Nice to have you in.

I’m combining things this week. A couple of weeks ago, I started a “From the Writer’s Kitchen” thing here, starting with Sunday Gravy (pasta sauce, for those of you not raised in New York or by Italians). The theme is things you can make with pantry staples.

I did a savory last time. Let’s do a sweet.

Jelly Cakes.

These are almost like a cross between a danish and a biscotti — they’re a sweet cookie filled with whatever jelly you like, baked and then cut into bars. When my mother used to make these, she would occasionally put chocolate chips and coconut inside, instead of jelly. So they’re very versatile.

This is also one of those recipes where I suspect my mother left something out when she gave it to me. The dough always seems very wet when I make it, so I always end up using more flour than the recipe calls for. Just be flexible.

Jelly Cakes

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening (you can use butter)
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract (note: you can use all vanilla or all almond.)
3 cups flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill One-to-One gluten free flour)
2 tsp baking powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together your sugar and shortening/butter. Add eggs and extracts.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine salt, flour and baking powder. Add to butter mixture. Mix to combine. It should form a firm dough (like a bread dough). Add more flour if too wet.
  4. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a long oval about 1/4 inch thick.  I usually do this on floured parchment to make moving to a baking sheet easier.
  5. Use your favorite flavor of jelly, jam or preserves , fill the center third of the oval. Leave about an inch or two at the ends.
  6. Fold the sides over the jelly and press to seal. Fold the ends up and press to seal. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon sugar, coconut or chocolate sprinkles.
  7. (the tricky part). Move to a baking sheet.
  8. Bake about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Once you have the basic dough down, you can do just about anything with this. I’m planning on making these in the next couple of days, with almond paste and peach jam in the middle, topped with sliced almonds.

Next up in the RWW loop is Caro Kinkade, who has The Accidental Viscountess out, and who has an interesting Instant Pot recipe to share! Be sure to check them both out!

Posted by EASchechter in From the Writer's Kitchen, Romance Writer's Weekly, Webring, 0 comments