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Works in Progress: Table of Stone and Forged in Fire, week ten

Spring break ends today, so tomorrow writing begins once more in earnest.

Table of Stone
Swords of Charlemagne, Book 4

Forged in Fire
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 2

I’m in an interesting place. See, the Forged in Fire wordcount says that I’m just past halfway through.

Yeah, I’m so not halfway through yet.  So this is going to be a LONG book, and I’m starting to wonder if I’ll have it ready to go for Indie Bookfest in August. See, I’m scheduled out chapters until the beginning of May — Chapter 14 just went into the queue. And I’m not halfway done yet.

The serialization of book 2 might not be done before the convention!

I have to decide how I feel about that.

Table of Stone is coming along in an interesting manner. The series is erotic romance, and we’re into chapter 12 there… and there’s been no sex yet. There’s been some sexual tension, but these characters seem to be resisting the whole jumping into bed part. I think they missed the memo that said “EROTIC romance,” but shoehorning a sex scene in where it didn’t grow organically is my biggest complaint in erotic romance. I’m not about to do it in one of my books. So I’ll keep on keeping on, and we’ll see what happens and when.

And I’ve hit the point where there are absolutely no excerpts I can post without spoiling something, so I’ll keep this short. Spring break is over, after all, and I need to get up early tomorrow.

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2019 plans, accountability, Adavar, Elemental Project, Forged in Fire, Heir to the Firstborn, Indie Bookfest, progress, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Short story: Myths and Secrets

This popped into my head this morning and wouldn’t get out. If you’ve read my work before, you’ll recognize Daniel and Itami (from Layover, and from their AU versions in Blood, Lust in No Safewords, 2). They’ll have their own book, once I’m done with Swords of Charlemagne.

***

There was traffic on the George Washington Bridge. It wasn’t a surprise, and Daniel had planned for it. They would still make their meeting in Fort Lee in plenty of time. But for now, they were at a dead stop in the middle of the span. He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel, glanced out the window at the river below them, sparkling in the sunlight, then looked the other way at the man sitting in the passenger seat. He knew that Hiro Itami’s eyes were closed behind his sunglasses – it was daylight, and the bright light hurt his eyes even through glasses so dark that Daniel could barely see through them. But that had nothing to do with his being a vampire and everything to do with his being an albino. The whole ‘vampires can’t bear the light of the sun’ myth that Daniel had grown up hearing was, in fact, nonsense. So, apparently, was the inability to cross running water. Daniel looked down at the Hudson River again; polluted or not, it was definitely running water. Which led to the question…

Tono?”

“Yes?”

“May I ask a question?”

“You did just,” Itami answered. “What is it, koibito?”

Daniel grinned. “Well, there are a bunch of stories about vampires, about how to keep them from biting you–”

“You wish me to not bite you?” Itami interrupted. “It’s a bit late for that, my slave.”

Daniel laughed. “No! No, I like you biting me just fine. I just wanted to know how many of the stories are fake. I never had anyone I could ask before.”

“Ah,” Itami murmured. “Intellectual curiosity. All right. Ask. It will pass the time.”

The traffic inched forward a bit, then stopped again. Daniel waited until they were stopped again before speaking. “Religious symbols? Specifically, a crucifix.”

“Have I introduced you to Rabbi Isaac ben Miriam?” Itami asked in response. Daniel glanced at him.

“He’s the Viceroy in Brooklyn, I think?” he asked, trying to remember the local hierarchy. When Itami nodded, Daniel relaxed. “I think so. I think you introduced me to him at the last meeting. Why… oh. Oh, I see. A crucifix isn’t a religious symbol with any meaning to anyone who isn’t Christian.” He grinned. “You’d need to be wearing a whole occult jewelry shop if that one was true.”

Itami chuckled. “Very good. What else have you heard?”

“Well, I know that sunlight won’t kill vampires. You don’t like it, but that’s different,” Daniel said. “And crossing running water isn’t an issue–”

“I could wish it was. Then we would not have to sit in traffic and pay ridiculous tolls,” Itami said.

“Ah… you can’t enter a place without invitation?” Daniel asked.

“Since when are manners only the purview of vampires?” Itami countered. “That one is ridiculous. Go on. What else?”

The traffic started moving again as whatever clog righted itself, and Daniel turned his focus to driving. He’d learned to drive as part of his duties as Itami’s blood slave, but it had only been a few months, and he was still getting used to driving into New Jersey for meetings, and to the handling on Itami’s little sportscar. Learning to drive on a Kia hadn’t really prepared him for driving a Jaguar. So he didn’t ask the next question until he’d pulled into the parking space in the garage underneath the office building where Itami would be meeting his colleagues. Daniel cut the engine, looked at Itami, and asked, “What about garlic?”

Itami turned toward him and took off his sunglasses. He smiled, and Daniel could just make out the barely protruding fangs in the dim, garage lighting. He knew he’d see more of them later tonight, when it was time for Itami to feed. The thought made him shiver with anticipation.

“Garlic,” Itami murmured. “That one… is true, and not true.”

Daniel frowned. “How so?”

“Well, the truth is that it was a rumor started by my kind. No matter what you humans believe, garlic doesn’t repel vampires at all.”

“Then why start the rumor?” Daniel asked. Itami laughed.

“Because do you know how disappointing it is to be presented with a gourmet feast, and have it be under-seasoned?”

Daniel burst out laughing. “Is that why there’s always pizza for the slaves at these meetings?”

Itami smiled. He opened the car door and got out, and Daniel scrambled to follow him. They walked toward the elevators, with Daniel a measured two steps behind Itami. They got into the elevator, and Daniel punched the button for their floor while Itami put his sunglasses back on.

“Daniel?” Itami murmured as the doors slid closed.

“Yes, Tono?”

“Have the garlic knots.”

Posted by EASchechter in BDSM Vampires, inspiration-strikes-OW, plot bunnies, short story, silly, 0 comments

Works in Progress: Table of Stone and Forged in Fire, Week Nine

Pretty decent week this week.

Table of Stone
Swords of Charlemagne, Book 4

Forged in Fire
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 2

Of course, now that I say that, I have to admit that I’m looking at the upcoming week as one where I’ll be lucky to get that many words in. It’s Spring Break here in the Schechter house, which means that we’ll be out and doing all week. I have my notebook already loaded into my bag.

It’s been nice here this week. I’ve written several days on my back porch, with the new plants and the windchimes and the bird feeder that’s supposed to defeat squirrels. However, I apparently have Wile E. Coyote Squirrel, SOOOPER-GENIUS living in the palm tree behind my house. So far, he and his cohort/minion haven’t blown the silly thing up or dropped a ten ton weight on it, but they have figured out that if they shake the feeder, the seeds fall out. Then they hang out in the lawn and feast

(Memo to me — get more birdseed.)

No excerpt this week. Spoilers.

 

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, Adavar, Elemental Project, Forged in Fire, Heir to the Firstborn, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, why-the-writing-is-slow, wildlife, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Works in Progress: Table of Stone and Forged in Fire, Week Eight (and a little)

I’m a bit late this week, I know. It’s been busy, and I spent most of last weekend out of the house. No house, no laptop. No laptop, not much writing.

If not much = zero, that is. I got no writing done this past weekend.

Planting, though. That I did get done. We went down to the annual plant sale at the local botanical gardens, and I kinda shopped. A lot. Which meant I did some gardening. There are pictures on my Instagram.

As for writing,  I focused a bit more on Table of Stone this past week. Still not quite where I want it to be, but I’ll get there. It’s not a race, although there is a deadline. It needs to be done before Oasis at the end of May.

Table of Stone
Swords of Charlemagne, Book 4

Forged in Fire
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 2

 I posted part of this on social media this past week, because every so often, I write something that just can’t wait for publication to be read. Here’s the scene, which I don’t think is spoilery. Much.

***

“There’s a king under the mountain myth about Charlemagne,” Margaret repeated. “And there’s only one. All the others, there’s some debate over which mountain. But when it’s the myth about Charlemagne, it’s only ever one place. Untersberg. It’s between Bavaria and Salzburg.”

Mystere frowned. “Tell me this story. I assume you know it?”

“Of course,” Margaret answered. “I’ve no expertise in mythology, but I know the legends and lore about Charlemagne, thanks to my father. Charlemagne sleeps under the mountain, waking every hundred years. If the ravens are still flying over the mountain, then he goes back to sleep.”

“What do the ravens mean?” Mystere asked. “What happens if they’re not flying?”

“According to the legends, if the ravens fly away, it signals the end of the world, and Charlemagne will rise to fight in the final battle.” Margaret looked down at her skirts, pleating them between her fingers. “When I was researching with my father, we looked for other variations on the myth. There are almost always regional variations. Except for this one. This one is the same where ever it’s told.”

Mystere nodded slowly. He cocked his head to one side. “Salzburg, you said. That’s… what? Five, six hundred miles?” He whistled. “Is there a train?”

“It’s a myth!” Margaret protested. “Yael, you’re not suggesting that we go haring off across the continent, are you?”

He looked at her and smiled. “I did promise that if I went haring, I would be taking you with me. And we don’t necessarily have to hare. We could traipse. We might have to traipse, depending on the weather and on if there’s a train.”

***

Now, of course, I need to find out if there is a train!

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, excerpt, Forged in Fire, Heir to the Firstborn, research is fun, slacking, slow-writer-is-slow., Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Regarding book piracy

Regarding book piracy, and an article I read this morning that quoted one pirate saying that people can no longer afford to read.

If readers can’t afford my books, contact me.  There’s a form on the website. I’ll hook you up in exchange for reviews.

The difference is that I choose to give my books away. No one else has that right.

Posted by EASchechter in Stop Piracy, 0 comments

Works in Progress: Table of Stone and Forged in Fire, Week 7.

It occurred to me just now that every other time that I’ve done a WIP accountability post before this one, I’ve numbered them by what week it was.  So I went back and counted. This is week seven.

Table of Stone
Swords of Charlemagne, Book 4

Forged in Fire
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 2

I’m going to need to do some catching up on Table of Stone, it looks like.

Had a good writing week. The big reveal in Table of Stone happened (no spoilers, but it’s a scene I’ve been waiting to write since book ONE.) We have a new Companion in Forged in Fire (no spoilers there, either. If you want to know before August, you can come join me on Patreon, where we’re up to chapter five.)

Initial reviews on Written in Water have been excellent, and sales are going well. I will have copies with me at Oasis in May, now that I’ve gotten the cover issues straightened out.

Now, it’s already getting harder to find an unspoilery excerpt. Have a bit from Table of Stone, one that had me scrambling because this reading was also not in my outline.

***

“Cameron!”

The door opened, and Mister Cameron entered, his face pale. He’d changed back into his livery, although given the late hour, he’d left off the ascot. “Master.”

“Fetch your second deck. I want a three card reading,” Mystere said. Cameron came into the room, and reached into his coat pocket, taking out a bundle.

“I thought you might be asking, Master.” He handed the bundle to Mystere. “If you would, sir?”

“You didn’t have me shuffle the cards,” Margaret said as she watched Mystere toss the cards from hand to hand.

“I thought it best to keep your magic out of it entirely, my lady,” Cameron replied. “For your safety. I was correct in that, I think.” He took the shuffled cards back from Mystere and laid out three cards, all face down. Mystere reached across the table and turned the first card over to reveal the King of Clubs. He nodded, then turned over a second card. He frowned.

“The Knave of Hearts. Fletcher?”

“An unselfish relative, or a good friend,” Cameron answered.

“That… leaves me with more questions than it answers,” Mystere muttered. He turned over the last card, and both brows rose.

The card was blank.

“Fletcher, this is like before,” Margaret said. “The other deck had two Kings of Spades.”

“And this one…Fletcher, what card should this have been?”

Cameron counted out the rest of the cards, the cardstock snapping as he laid them on the table. Margaret counted along with him, then watched as he sorted them into suits. He frowned, and so did Mystere.

“There are no cards missing,” Cameron said. “The rest of my deck is intact. That card… shouldn’t be here.”

“And yet it is,” Mystere murmured. He sat back, holding the card up and studying it for a moment. “Quickly, what does a blank card mean?”

“Possibilities,” Cameron answered, while at the same time Margaret said, “Beginnings.”

Mystere nodded, still studying the card. All at once, his face went blank. His mouth hung lax for a moment, as a swell of magic like harpstrings rang through the room.

Begin at the beginning.

***

Posted by EASchechter in excerpt, Forged in Fire, Heir to the Firstborn, Oasis, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

SNAFU!

If you ordered a print copy of Written in Water, there will be a delay in delivery while I get the cover straightened out. I apologize! I used the numbers from the template to create the cover, and was still somehow off by a quarter of an inch!

 

Posted by EASchechter, 0 comments

Works in Progress: Forged in Fire and Table of Stone

It’s been both a busy week and not nearly a busy enough week, if that makes any sense. I did a lot of things, and not nearly enough of them were writing. Although I did have the interesting experience of writing while in a salt room — no electronics allowed, so my notebook and pen were both covered with a fine coating of salt by the end of the forty-five minutes.

Table of Stone
Swords of Charlemagne, Book 4

Forged in Fire
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 2

In Table of Stone, I’ve hit THE BIG REVEAL that I’ve been building toward through other three books, and I really hope it’s as big a reveal as I think it is. I don’t think I’ve telegraphed it too much, but there are some scenes in book one that I’m hoping will have readers of book four going “Is THAT what that meant???”

Playing the long game, that’s me.

And in Heir to the Firstborn news, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Written in Water released this past Tuesday, to some reasonably good sales and very nice reviews. (And if you didn’t notice, that means that I failed my social media game miserably!) Forged in Fire is coming along nicely — I’ve just queued up chapter nine, and we’re learning that there’s more to Owyn than even he expected. But if you want those details, you have to join me on Patreon, or wait until July or August. But honestly, now that you’ve started reading book one, do you really want to wait that long? Instant gratification can be yours…

Here, have a hint of what’s coming:

Owyn crouched over Freckle’s neck, feeling the horse’s mane whipping at his face. He could hear Cloud, see Aven just behind him and to the right. And behind them, the guards were following, close enough that Owyn could see them clearly, even though the moon was still behind the mountains, but not close enough to catch their quarry. Which didn’t make sense — didn’t the guards want to catch them?

Unless…

“Aven, they’re herding us!” he shouted over his shoulder. “We’re heading into a trap!”

He heard Aven swear, and fought the urge to giggle — had Aven even known those words before, or was Owyn a bad influence?

“The trap is south,” Aven shouted back. “Possibly east, too. We can’t go west. How many are behind us?”
Owyn glanced back, counting fast. “Six,” he called. “I think six. They’re spread out.”

Aven responded by slowing Cloud to a walk. Owyn reined in Freckles, stopping as Aven did, watching as Aven turned to count, then looked at the sky. Suddenly, Owyn knew what Aven was going to propose. What they were going to do.

“You’re going to get us both killed,” he warned.

“This isn’t your place to die,” Aven reminded him without looking at him. “They’ve stopped. Probably wondering what we’re up to.”

“Oh, you mean like I’m wondering what we’re up to? Aven, this is insane!” Owyn protested. “And… and I don’t have any other ideas.”

This time, Aven grinned. “Here’s to insanity,” he said. “There’s nothing like an insane idea. No one ever expects them.” Without another word, he turned Cloud toward the north and charged at their pursuers.

Posted by EASchechter in Forged in Fire, Happy Book Day, Heir to the Firstborn, new books, Patreon, promotions, publishing, Self-publishing, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

It’s Book Day!!!

Written in Water is live EVERYWHERE!!!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Written-Water-Heir-Firstborn-Book-ebook/dp/B07MMBDQ5K
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130069146
Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/written-in-water/id1448657160?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/written-in-water-4

Angus and Robertson (Australia): https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/ebooks/written-in-water-elizabeth-schechter/p/9781386721512

Indigo (Canada): https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/written-in-water-heir-to/9781386721512-item.html?ref=isbn-search

Posted by EASchechter in Happy Book Day, Heir to the Firstborn, KermitArms, kvelling, new books, promotions, SQUEEE, Written in Water, yippee, 0 comments

WIP: Forged in Fire and Table of Stone

It’s book week!!!! EEE!!!!!

So, can you tell I’m excited? Written in Water releases officially on Tuesday! So if you’ve preordered, you’ll have it in your hands on Tuesday. And if you haven’t preordered… there’s still time. Pick your favorite retailer — I’m likely to be there.

On a writing front,  the past couple of days have been… umm… slow is not the word. Non-existent. That’s the word. I normally don’t have much of a wordcount on Sundays, but this week I also didn’t have a wordcount on Saturday — evening pediatric urgent care visits tend to derail most everything else. (Thankfully, it was nothing much. Given the speed at which this whatever it was hit, I was worried that my kiddo might have picked up either strep or the flu at school. It’s neither.)

I did have a decent week before this weekend, which makes up for it in words, but not in writer impatience. I’m jut about to start big scenes in each of the books, and I want to write them NOW!!!!

Table of Stone
Swords of Charlemagne, Book 4

Forged in Fire
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 2

And because I’m at a pair of big scenes, and because anything I post from this point on in either Forged in Fire or Table of Stone will be spoiler, there’s no excerpt today. I’ll try to have something good next week, though.

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, Adavar, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, children, Elemental Project, Forged in Fire, forthcoming works, Happy Book Day, Heir to the Firstborn, kvelling, new books, presales, Release date, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments