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Works in Progress: Table of Stone and Forged in Fire

Table of Stone
Swords of Charlemagne, Book 4

Forged in Fire
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 2

Had a busy week this week, both in terms of writing and in terms of promotions. I posted about playing with memes, although I didn’t post the last of the set.

This quote is the source of the title of Written in Water. We’ll come back to that theme in later books.

There was also a bit of research into Victorian cartomancy this week. I wasn’t planning on having a character do any sort of card reading, but the words flowed out of my fingers. So I stopped and started researching, only to find that someone reading cards in Victorian England might very well be reading regular playing cards, not tarot. So I went with it, and found a reference on what the cards would mean, and how to do a reading.  So we’ll have an excerpt of that tonight.

Cameron is the butler in Margaret and Douglas’ household, and is first introduced at the very end of book 2.

***

Cameron looked momentarily nervous. “You know I practice, correct?”

“I know that everyone in this house practices, and that Mister Mystere taught most of you,” Margaret answered. He nodded

“My practice is a bit on the eclectic side. We have a coven, and I do some divination work. So I’d like to draw cards, if I may,” he said.

“Draw cards?” Margaret looked at the box. “Oh! You practice cartomancy?”

His brows rose. “You know of it?”

“I’ve read a little, but I’ve never seen a tarot deck before.”

Cameron smiled. “I don’t use a tarot deck. I use a regular deck. It’s harder to be charged with vagrancy if you might very well be playing Snap.” He opened the box and took out a deck of normal seeming cards. “These are my cards. You may look, if you like.”

Margaret took the cards from him, and felt an odd, fleeting tingle in her palms as the cardstock touched her fingers. She spread out the cards, then frowned. “They aren’t all here.”

Cameron picked up the deck and drew one card, then shuffled the rest together. “That’s because for divination, I only need the cards from seven to ten, and the royal cards.” He laid the deck down, then set the single card face up on the table. The King of Clubs.

“That’s Doctor Keith’s card,” he said. “It means an honest, liberal man, one who is loyal to his friends and his family.”

Margaret smiled. “That’s my Broc,” she murmured. “What would my card be?”

Cameron studied her for a moment. “The Queen of Clubs,” he answered. “A loving woman, but fierce in her temper, especially when her family is concerned.”

Margaret laughed. “That does sound like me. Now what do we do? Will you explain as you go?”

Mister Cameron shuffled the remaining cards, then laid them out face down in three columns — three cards to the left of Douglas’ card, one above his, one below his, and three cards to the right. Cameron laid the rest of the cards aside.

“This is a very simple reading,” he said. He tapped the left column. “The past.” He touched the middle column. “The present.” He touched the last column. “And the future.” He turned over the card at the top of the first column. “The Nine of Diamonds. Roving in other lands.” The next card revealed the Ace of Diamonds. He smiled. “This means a wedding. With regards to the journey, I would presume to say that they combine to mean the journey to Germany, where the Doctor and the Master met you. And a better journey they’ve never taken, nor are likely to take again.”

“You’re a flatterer, Mister Cameron. Do go on,” Margaret teased. She leaned forward as best she could, watching as Cameron turned over the card at the base of the column. He frowned.

“The King of Spades. An enemy to be feared was also discovered on that journey.”

Margaret nodded. “Caedda.”

Mister Cameron took a deep breath. “Now, for the present.” He turned over the topmost card, then gasped, “Good Lord!”

“Mister Cameron?” Margaret asked slowly. “Why does your deck have two Kings of Spades?”

“It doesn’t,” Cameron answered. “My lady—”

***

And I’ll leave that there!

On other fronts, this week I was invited back to Necronomicon to be a guest again. This will be in Tampa in October. So that give me three chances this year to be out and about and meeting people!

One week and two days before Written in Water releases! There have been some lovely reviews on the ARC over on Goodreads, and I’m really on pins and needles waiting for the book to drop. I posted the picture of the paperback last night, and I eventually do need someone to tell me how much is TOO much for an author to pet their new book.

Not yet, though.

Posted by EASchechter in 2019 plans, accountability, Adavar, appearances, conventions, Elemental Project, excerpt, Forged in Fire, Heir to the Firstborn, Necronomicon, promotions, public displays of geekery, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

Proof copy!

This pretty thing showed up in today’s mail.

The print copies are now available for presale on Amazon. I need to check Barnes and Noble.

What tickles me most about this cover? That’s not stock photography. I took that picture, just before dawn on the Disney Fantasy, as we were coming in to port at Castaway Cay.

So I’m pretty proud of this cover.

Posted by EASchechter, 0 comments

Memage!

All three of the character memes I made.

Posted by EASchechter in promotions, public displays of geekery, Written in Water, 0 comments

Playing with making memes

I figured I’d try it and see what the reception was like for making memes of quotes from my books. This one went out last night. I’ve got more for Written in Water, and if it goes well, I’ll start pulling from the backlist.

What do you think?

Posted by EASchechter in promotions, public displays of geekery, Ta-da, Written in Water, 0 comments

Works in Progress: Table of Stone and Forged in Fire

Table of Stone
Swords of Charlemagne, Book 4

Forged in Fire
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 2

I realized yesterday (I think) that I never updated the blog last week. I’m going to have to start doing it some other day than Sunday. Sunday is family day, and I don’t always get onto the computer.

Words proceed apace on both Table of Stone and Forged in Fire.  Table of Stone got a slow start, mostly because I was busy with everything to do with getting Written in Water ready for publication, and the Highland Games, and the OCLS Writers conference that I attended last week. (Which was amazing, and if you’re in the Orlando area next January, I highly recommend it.) Once things calmed down, the words started flowing again.

Speaking of Written in Water, the first review on an ARC hit Goodreads this afternoon. I’m very pleased — first reviews are always nerve-wracking! We’re now just over two weeks from publication, and I just hit the approve button on the paperback proofs. So yes, there will be dead tree versions of the book! Once the sales links are up for those, I’ll post them.

Now, an excerpt from Forged in Fire. Writing this made me giggle, so I’m figuring it’s a good thing.

***

“He’ll be starving when he wakes up,” she added. “I’m not sure what we left for him will be enough.”

“It’ll have to be,” Owyn answered. “We won’t have anything else until we get to that village. Unless we hunt…” he frowned. “Or fish. You lived on the canoe with him. Do you know how to fish?”

“Not the way they do it,” Aria answered. “They used nets and spears underwater. I’m not sure about how to do it from land. I know how to open oysters. But I don’t know how to tell where to find them.”

Owyn nodded slowly. Then he perked up. “How about crabs? Aven said there were crabs in… in where we found that poor bastard. You can eat crabs, can’t you?”

“Me?” Aria asked. “Or us?”

“Us.” Owyn moved Trinket to his shirt pocket. Then he got to his feet and brushed the sand off his trousers. “I’m pretty sure we can eat them. Come on. Let’s go see if we can find some.”

Aria got up and followed him down the beach and around the rocks. It seemed like a good idea. She just hoped that Memfis knew what to do to prepare crabs — it didn’t seem fair to make Aven prepare his own meal, even if he didn’t have to catch it. By the time she caught up with Owyn, they were around the rocks and into the sheltered cavern where Owyn and Aven had found the body. Owyn was standing near the edge of the pool of water, frowning.

“Now what?” he asked as she came closer.

“It was your idea,” she pointed out. “Do you not know how to do it?”

Owyn grimaced. “I was kinda hoping you did. You hunt. Aven hunts. I’ve never hunted before, and where I’m from, catching crabs has a whole ‘nother meaning.”

Aria blinked. “What does it mean?”

He blinked. “You don’t know? Right.. well, it’s not a good thing. That’s all I’m going to say. So what do we do?”

 

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, Adavar, Dead Tree, easily amused writer, Elemental Project, Forged in Fire, heady praise, heeheeheehee, Heir to the Firstborn, progress, promotions, reviews, Self-publishing, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

Just a little distracted

This past weekend was the Central Florida Highland Games. Which means that I haven’t so much as looked at my laptop since Thursday. However, a good time was had by all, WAY too much coquito poundcake was eaten, and I was told I looked like a Renaissance Jedi.

True to costumer form, I finished that coat Friday night to wear Saturday morning.

(And yes, that is a photo of the elusive Schechter-spouse)

This week will now be catch-up.

Table of Stone
Swords of Charlemagne, Book 4

Forged in Fire
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 2

In other news, I am confirmed as a guest at Oasis 30, to be held May 31st to June 2nd at the Sheraton Orlando North in Maitland, Florida. The GOH is Adam-Troy Castro.

And in other OTHER news, this past week I found out that No Safewords 2 was out. I have two stories in this anthology, including the vampire story that inspired Layover.

To conclude, instead of an excerpt, I’m sharing a recipe today. My husband accused me of attempting to seduce strange men with this cake. It’s a very sexy cake.

Coquito Poundcake
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Kerrygold unsalted Irish butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tsps gluten free vanilla
  • 3 cups Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour (the blue package)
  • 2 tsps gluten free baking powder
  • 1 cup coquito (recipe to follow)
 
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bundt pan and LIBERALLY coat with cinnamon sugar
  2. Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine sugar and melted butter in mixer. Beat a medium speed until creamy, scraping bowl often. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, beat until well combined.
  4. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, alternating with coquito. Beat until well mixed.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan.
Coquito:
Ingredients:
  • ½ cup water
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Bacardi rum
  • 27 oz Coconut milk (2 13.5 oz cans)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
 
  1. Put water, sweetened condensed milk, rum and vanilla into a blender. Add coconut milk to the 6 cup mark. (You’ll have coconut milk left.)
  2. Blend. Chill for up to six hours. Blend again before serving (or using in cake).
Posted by EASchechter in 2019 plans, Adavar, appearances, baking, Elemental Project, Forged in Fire, forthcoming works, Gluten-free, Heir to the Firstborn, kvelling, No Safewords, Oasis, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

New Year, who dis?

I realized that I really do have to get back to updating the blog more frequently. I fell out of the habit over the holidays. Bad writer. No biscuit!

Work has started on both new novels. If you’re following along, that’s Table of Stone (Swords of Charlemagne 4) and Forged in Fire (Heir to the Firstborn 2)

Table of Stone
Swords of Charlemagne, Book 4

Forged in Fire
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 2

 (Forged in Fire is further along because I stated it on January 1st. Table of Stone is a week behind)

Written in Water is in the pre-order stage of publishing — you can find it anywhere you find ebooks, and it will drop on Tuesday, February 19th. The proof for the paperback is sitting in m inbox, waiting for approval, but I’m waiting on my beta readers to check in with me and let me know if I screwed anything up. There have already been typos that have slipped through the editing process. Those are now fixed.

Forged in Fire should start showing up on Patreon on February 1st. Remember, these are the largely unedited chapters, so if you want to see the sausage being made, come join the party!

No data yet on when Swords of Charlemagne will start showing up in places. Nor any data on anything else that’s out in traditional publishing land. Once I know, you’ll know.

And that’s where we are. I’m busy getting ready for the weekend because I’ll be volunteering at The Central Florida Highland Games.  This means that if anyone is in Central Florida, you can find me in an unofficial capacity (well, unofficial writer capacity) working at the Bairn Care tents on Saturday and Sunday. This means I’ll be offline most of the weekend, and writing will begin in full earnest on Tuesday of next week.

See you there! Unless you’re not there, in which case, I won’t see you there.

Posted by EASchechter in 2019 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, Adavar, Elemental Project, Forged in Fire, Heir to the Firstborn, Patreon, Release date, Self-publishing, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, Written in Water, 0 comments

Presales!

Presales are up for Written in Water!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MMBDQ5K

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/written-in-water/id1448657160?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/written-in-water-elizabeth-schechter/1130069146?ean=2940156232574

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/written-in-water-4

There will be a paperback, too. That link will be along soon.

Posted by EASchechter in Elemental Project, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, new books, presales, promotions, publishing, Self-publishing, upcoming books, Written in Water, 0 comments

Busy, Busy!!!!

Busy, busy morning!

Ebooks are set up for presale

Print book is uploaded for layout and processing.

ARCS are off to readers

Written in Water is coming February 19th!

Posted by EASchechter in 2019 plans, Adavar, Eek!, Elemental Project, Heir to the Firstborn, Patreon, promotions, publishing, Release date, Self-publishing, SQUEEE, upcoming books, Written in Water, 0 comments