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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

Roger That. Receiving Loud and Clear.

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

122403 / 150000 (81.60%)
***
John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland
21147 / 30000 (70.49%)
***
NaNoWriMo Words
36754 / 50000 (73.51%)

The start of what would usually be a very busy week for me. If this was a normal Thanksgiving week, I’d have started cooking last Saturday, prepping for Thursday when my house would be full of people.

This year? We’re doing Zoomsgiving. Which will be fun, but it’s not the same. However, I’m grateful that we even have that much.

I suppose that makes sense to say. This is the week of giving thanks.

Now, I’m going to diverge from my usual just talking about my words today, and talk about someone else’s words. This morning, as I was drinking my coffee, I opened the newest issue of Real Simple magazine. I like this magazine — I like the recipes and the articles, and there’s usually something in each issue that I can use.

And today, there was something in the issue that resonated on a very deep level. It was a quote from Hoda Kalb’s book This Just Speaks to Me. She tells the story of a page at NBC, who responded to a compliment by saying “I received that.”

This blew my mind, and I had no idea why.  It took me most of the day to realize why this simple phrase struck a chord.  And I think it’s because I was raised Catholic. Giving and receiving are both a major part of ideal of the Sacraments. St. Augustine’s Prayer says, “May we become what we receive.”

We become what we receive. And what we receive, we can then share with others.

Okay, Liz. Where are you going with this?

Well, I’m thinking of everything I receive from you, my dear Reader.  The feedback, the reviews, the emails…. I am grateful for all of what you have gifted to me over the years. I am grateful to all of you.

I receive that.

Please accept this in return — thank you. I appreciate you, more than you could ever possibly know.

Have a safe and a happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, deep thoughts, Grateful writer is grateful, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments
Coming November 27th…

Coming November 27th…

The Cavalcade of Authors Black Friday to Cyber Monday event!

 

I’ll be doing a Zoom reading and AMA on Friday the 27th at 7PM.

Click the picture for tickets, or click here.

Posted by EASchechter in appearances, Reading, 0 comments

(Forgot the Title Again)

Day 16 of Nanowrimo. Day… something of Quarantine. Day Infinity plue something of 2020.

Has anyone else lost complete track of time? Like, you have no idea when in time you are anymore? I got a call last week to set up my next regular appointment for something, and the scheduler said “Let’s get the December appointment set!” And I said, “Wait, December?”

But it’s November 16th, which means we’re halfway through November, and halfway through NaNoWriMo. Now, I’m being a NaNo rebel. I’m working on two pieces at the same time. And as you can see below, it’s working surprisingly well!

NaNoWriMo Wordcount

25039 / 50000 (50.08%)
Now, I’m being a NaNo rebel. I’m working on two pieces  One of them (Witch Queen) was started for NaNo, so I’m doing NaNoWriMo and NaNoFiMo (National Novel FINISHING Month) at the same time. And as you can see below, it’s working surprisingly well!
Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

118745 / 150000 (79.16%)
***
John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland
13092 / 30000 (43.64%)

My goal on both of these is the usual goal at this time of year — Draft by the Solstice.  I might finish Witch Queen by the end of the month, but considering where I am wordwise and where I am story-wise? That goal might be really low. Like… really low.

On the other hand, Wings of Air is wrapping up. Maybe another two chapters? Maybe three, at the outside. But we’re almost there. Then comes the last book, and then… well, we’ll see that later.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me posting about Romancing the Runoff. This is a charity auction where Romancelandia is standing behind Stacey Abrams, and helping fund the Georgia runoff so we can flip the Senate Blue and actually get some stuff done for the next four years. The auction opens on the 18th of November, and there’s a LOT of good stuff in there (there are 16 pages of donations. And if you go through it, you’ll find that there’s a signed Heir to the Firstborn set in there.) Some of the offerings will be really valuable to the novice writer in your life, so maybe think holiday gifts? And some of them are awesomely fun — tea and poundcake with Tessa Dare and Courtney Milan? How cool is that?

There isn’t much else going on in my neck of the woods. Figured out the Thanksgiving menu (not turkey) and the Christmas menu (yes, turkey). Starting to think about Cookiepocalypse 2020, which will be a much smaller one this year, because I’m not sending cookies to the office (Husband is now fully remote) or the school (Son is also fully remote). And starting to plan out preorder ads and new release blitzes for Hidden Things. (which, as a preorder, is 605th in the primary category. Not bad!)

Now, off to make lunch, then make all the words! See you all next week!
Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, Cookiepocalypse, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, John Zebedee, NanoFiMo, Nanowrimo, politics, presales, promotions, Release date, Swords of Charlemagne, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

RWW: Holidaze

Welcome! If you’re here from Clair’s website, nice of you to pop on over.

I realized the other day that I might just be in trouble with the upcoming holidays. Mostly because I realized that the holidays are upcoming and I haven’t given them any thought at all. It’s not like they snuck up on me — Thanksgiving comes this time every year, after all. But they totally did sneak up on me. I realized just this past Sunday that it’s November, and that I really should start thinking about Thanksgiving.

Part of my problem is that we’re still in quarantine, and there’s no sign of that letting up any time soon. So it’s really easy for me to lose track of what month it is. As far as my brain is concerned, we’re on the two hundredth and something day of March. It’s not time to plan Thanksgiving, we havne’t evne had Easter yet! Or your birthday or…

Wait, we did have those. Remember? Easter Zoom breakfast with the family up north?

Right. But school hasn’t started!

<interrupts writing blog post to help with freshman history assignment>

Oh. Yeah. School not only started, we’re in second semester.

Well, we haven’t had Halloween… wait… we did that, too. And Election week. Did that.

Well, heck. Thanksgiving really is in… what… wait… what do you mean SEVENTEEN DAYS????

Ah… wow. Anyone else in this boat? The “I haven’t even thought about Thanksgiving and now I have to figure out what I’m cooking?”

I suppose the question now is why bother? It’ll just be us. It’s not safe to have the family over. Why do the whole blowout for three people?

There’s an answer to that — because the little things are what makes the big things more endurable. Because the celebrations give us something to look forward to. And even though we might not be able to share with our loved ones in person, we can look forward to the celebrations once we can be together again.

Until then… we have Zoom. Skype. Facetime.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make a shopping list. From here, you’ll be hopping on over to Jenna’s blog. 

 

Coming soon:

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, Romance Writer's Weekly, 0 comments

Focus? What’s that?

<deep breath>

HOLY CRAP! HE WON! HE WON! HE WON! HE WON!!!!

<deep breath>
<resume composure>

So… how was your weekend? Mine was fantastic but unfocused. There were exactly 369 words written on Saturday. The rest of the day was devoted to the polar opposite of doomscrolling — joyscrolling.

Spider Robinson wrote that shared pain is lessened, and shared joy is increased. There was an amazing amount of shared joy on Saturday! And tears. There were tears.

And now, I’m trying very hard to focus and get back to work. I’m behind on my Nano word count, but only by about 900 words. I can pick that up this week, no problem.

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

112629 / 150000 (75.09%)
***
John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland
6516 / 30000 (21.72%)

 

I’m starting to feeling that Wings of Air is wrapping up. I’m through the big reveal, and on the downhill slide to the end and starting Heir to the Firstborn. I’m not sure how many more chapters there will be in Wings — I need to see what loose ends need to be tied off here, and which can get woven in to the next book.

And John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland (I might shorten that to John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen) has gotten off to a good start. Had to make some changes in Monstrous Town because of reasons, but they weren’t major changes.  And, as usual, I keep having to stop and looking up details about the area. Did you know that Texas has records of all their land-grants going back to the 1800s? And you can pull them up and read them online? It’s very cool.

In other news, my last convention for the year cancelled this morning. Not surprising, since KeiserSupercon was a smaller event that would have been held in-person. It’s been a strange year, and I’m really glad we can see the end of it from here.

Now, I’ve been promising a cover reveal, haven’t I? The Hidden Things cover went out in the newsletter last Friday, so now it’s time to share it here.

In 773 AD, Roland, a young man of King Charles’ court, was gifted with the sword Durendal. That sword was one of four swords of rare power, three of which were held by Wardens, mages charged with protecting the sacred bloodline of the Merovingian kings. The last sword was held by their mentor, the mage known to history as Turpin. That same year, a Saxon priest seeking retribution against Charles enlists the aid of a mage who seeks the swords for his own purpose, setting into motion events that lead to the battle at the Pass of Roncevaux, and to Roland’s death.

A thousand years later, a research group doing excavations in part of Aachen Cathedral uncovers a collection of books and scrolls, a ring, and a sword. As they uncover the sword, they are attacked. Summoned to the site by the power of the magical attack, Yael Mystere and his apprentice, Warden-in-training Doctor Douglas Keith discover the sole survivor – Margaret Prentice, the daughter of the man leading the excavation. A second attempt on her life fails, sending Yael, Douglas and Margaret on a quest for the power behind the attacks ─ a power that has been waiting a thousand years to win the swords at all costs.

Hidden Things (Swords of Charlemagne, Book 1). Coming in 2021. Preorders going up soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, 2021 plans, accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, cover art, forthcoming works, happy-happy- joy- joy, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, John Zebedee, Keiser SuperCon, KermitArms, kvelling, Nanowrimo, politics, promotions, Swords of Charlemagne, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, yippee, 0 comments