Boosting the signal

Caffeine and Weirdness

Caffeine and Weirdness

It’s the Monday after ICFA, and all that’s keeping me going at the moment is caffeine and weirdness. Which lets you know it was an amazing conference! But now I’m ready to fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Anybody’s hat. Anywhere in the state of Florida.

Plop. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……

In previous years, I attended ICFA for the panels and papers, to volunteer (because I enjoy that), and to see people (which is why I volunteer at registration. I see EVERYONE!) This year, I was an attending creative for the first time ever, which meant that I had a panel to moderate, a reading of my own, and a signing, and I could have books for sale in the book room. The panel that I moderated was a reading, and I was supposed to start by introducing each author. However, the programs didn’t arrive on time, so I didn’t have any bios! So, given that the theme of the conference this years was Whimsy, the authors suggested I make things up — a challenge to my improv skills! It was great fun!

Friday night was the Lord Ruthven Assembly meeting, which is a group of scholars and creatives who focus on the depiction of Vampires in pop culture, literature and in non-fiction. It’s a fantastic group, and because of the work I’ve been doing for them over the past year, I was elected Vampire Queen President of the Assembly. Which means it’s my responsibility to administer the Lord Ruthven Awards. So if you have a book (fiction or non-fiction, or even graphic novels or games!) coming out in 2024 that involves vampires, I want to know!

At some point, I’ll have a book out involving vampires. Not sure when, but it’ll happen.

I have one more major thing going on before I go offline to focus on family for May and June, and that will be the Indie Book Bazaar on April 27th, hosted by Spellbound Bookstore. I’ll be there from 2:00PM to 3:45 PM, so locals can come and see me for my last outing until September and Necronomicon.

In the meantime, there’s not enough caffeine and weirdness in the WORLD to keep me going today. I think I just heard another hat fall….

Giveaways!

For the month of March, you can download a copy of my dark fantasy romance Counsel of the Wicked FREE through the On Fire Romance promotion. (Content warning — this book is the darkest thing that I have ever written, and includes on the page explicit sexual violence. Go carefully.)

Image of a flame. Text reads "On Fire. Free Spicy Romance Ebooks. March 1-31"
Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, appearances, awards, BDSM Vampires, Boosting the signal, happy-happy- joy- joy, ICFA, Necronomicon, Writer on the Go!, 0 comments
Changes in Altitude

Changes in Altitude

This week’s blog is being written in my family room instead of my second floor office, which is why the title today is changes in altitude. I didn’t say they were BIG changes.

I’m downstairs because I’m monitoring the pumpkin crisp that I’m making for Thursday and Thanksgiving. (And I wish you could smell it. It’s AMAZING. Hrm… I know what recipe I’ll be putting in the next newsletter!) I’m on the last few bits of prep. All the shopping is done, the turkey is in the fridge and (I think) defrosted. Tomorrow I’m making apple pie bars and apple muffins for breakfast while we watch the parade, and I’ll take the sides I made and froze last week out of the freezer. Wednesday I’ll be putting the turkey into the brine and making stuffing. On the day, the turkey will get roasted, and the sides will all be heated up (the only one that’s actually going to be cooked on the day are the roasted green beans.)

Surprisingly, the writing has been going well, even in and around shopping and cooking and cleaning and way too many other things. And given where I am in the story, I’m projecting maybe another four chapters before I bring Valley of Shadows and Heir to the Firstborn to a close.

Wait… Valley of Shadows?

Yes. The Patrons have spoken, and the new title of Balance of Power is Valley of Shadows. The Patreon will still say Balance of Power, because I’m not going back to change all the previous chapters or the tags, but it’s all good. When the book comes out, it’ll be Valley of Shadows. And since it may very well be done before the end of the year, I’m going to rethink that March/April release date and move it up to something closer to the end of January/beginning of February. We’ll see how the editing goes, especially since I may be juggling Cookiepocalypse, edits for Valley of Shadows AND edits for Morrigan’s Heir!

Speaking of the Patreon, last week I got the sad news that one of my original Patrons passed away after a sudden illness. They had been a friend for years, even before I started Heir to the Firstborn, and they were part of the Patreon since I started the entire thing and it was still all called “The Elemental Project.” Valley of Shadows will be dedicated to them.

The final bit of news this week is that copies of Written in Water are back in Spellbound Bookstore in Sanford, FL. They’ve just reopened in a larger space, closer to the historic district. If you’re doing holiday shopping in the Sanford area, shop small and local, and check out Spellbound!

Works in Progress

Valley of Shadows
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

59057 / 90000 (65.62%)

New Release!

Wait, a new book on a MONDAY? I thought books dropped on Tuesdays!

Usually? They do. Because I can’t read a calendar, you get a new book a day early!

Snowbound — because brown paper packages aren’t the only things getting tied up…

Preorders are live wherever you buy books

Promotions!

First in Series Friday is THIS WEEK! Friday, November 24th (Black Friday in the US), the first books in Heir to the Firstborn, Rebel Mage, and Swords of Charlemagne will be on sale everywhere for 99 cents.

Then, on Cyber Monday, the sale continues! The Cavalcade of Authors will be holding a huge Cyber Monday sale, and for that sale, I’ll be adding in Forged in Fire AND Bones of Earth! To know when the link goes live for this one, you need to sign up for my newsletter. There will be one blast email on the morning of the 27th, letting you know the link is live.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, accountability, Balance of Power, Bones of Earth, Boosting the signal, Cavalcade of Authors, consignment, Counsel of the Wicked, Draft by the Solstice, Elemental Project, Forged in Fire, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, promotions, The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, Valley of Shadows, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

The Narratress Indie Sale!

I found out yesterday that Hidden Things will be included in the next Narratress Indie Book sale, which will be happening THIS WEEKEND! So from August 26 – 28th, Hidden Things will be 99 cents on all platforms.

Posted by EASchechter in Boosting the signal, Hidden Things, promotions, 0 comments

All the Promos!

This is going to be one busy week for me! I have two Facebook takeovers, a promotion that starts tomorrow, and another one that starts on Thursday. So let’s get that out of the way first.

The Facebook Takeovers are on Friday and Saturday:

Friday, August 4th, 1PM Eastern — Laverne’s News

Saturday, August 5th, 1PM Eastern — One-Click Book Addicts.

They’re only 15 minutes each, so blink and you’ll miss them.

The first promotion, which starts tomorrow and runs all month, is the Brave New Worlds promo through BookCave. Sign up for author newsletters to download over 40 Fantasy and Science Fiction books, and enter for a chance to win a $20 giftcard to the bookstore of your choice.

If you don’t want to sign up for newsletters, then we have the BIG Tribe Called Success promotion, which will be this weekend ONLY. SO MANY BOOKS! All genres, and all free.

Neither of those links are live yet — Brave New Worlds goes live tomorrow, and the Tribe link goes to a sign up for a reminder email.

We’re also getting ready for school this week — Senior Year starts next week. We get the schedule THIS week, and I’m not ready to be the mom of a high school senior. I’m not. He was just five a minute ago.

Once school starts, work starts back in on The Sea Prince, and on Balance of Power (which I have admittedly been poking at since I finally knew the title.)

The Sea Prince
The Coral Throne
, Book 1

43823 / 120000 (36.52%)

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn
, book 7

4202 / 90000 (4.67%)

Chapter one of Balance of Power will go live on my Patreon next week. Joining me on Patreon also allows you to go back to the beginning of Heir to the Firstborn and see how it has evolved since I first started this project in 2018, and tiers start at $1 a month.

I started something new last week — I put signed copies of Written in Water into a local bookstore on consignment! Spellbound Bookstore is an absolutely adorable little bookstore right at the edge of historic Sanford, Florida. (If you’re local? It’s across 17-92 from the Firestone on 1st Street, on the corner facing the Burger King. Parking and the entrance are in the back.) Three copies will be there for at least 40 days, so go check it out and support a local bookstore!

(Okay, two copies are left. I know one has already been sold.)

I also entered a consignment agreement with This Bookstore Kills Fascists, which isn’t open yet but it coming to the Tampa Bay area. They will have the entire Heir to the Firstborn series available once they’re open. Those won’t be signed, but I have signed bookplates if you want an aftermarket autograph — just message me!

I’m going to have a chat with a third bookstore next week, so I’ll let you know how that goes.

Now, you can already get my books in paperback at your local bookstore but they have to order them for you. Or you can get signed copies directly from me.

Catch you next week, with hopefully more news!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Boosting the signal, consignment, Newsletter, Patreon, promotions, The Sea Prince, Updatey things, WIP, wordcount, writing-mom, Written in Water, 1 comment

Prep and Promo and Sales and Wheee!!!

Nominally, we’re on vacation this week.

Notice that I said nominally. In reality, I’m prepping for a Facebook takeover tomorrow, and more next week. I may have blog interviews coming up, and the big Cavalcade of Authors book giveaway is coming up the weekend of August 4th (click the picture to sign up for updates!)

My takeover schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, July 25th, 1PM Eastern — Tribe Called Success Literary Cafe

Friday, August 4th, 1PM Eastern — Laverne’s News

Saturday, August 5th, 1PM Eastern — One-Click Book Addicts.

There may be other events, so keep an eye on my socials!

There’s another giveaway for the month of August — the Brave New Worlds giveaway, which starts August 1st and comes with a chance to win a $20 gift card

As far as I know, Written in Water is still in the running for SPFBO9. I know the blogger who was assigned my book has read it, but I haven’t yet seen the results being posted anywhere — they apparently come through slowly, as each blog posts their reviews and which books are being cut and which are being named semi-finalists. It’s a little nerve-wracking, to be honest. But the Discord where the entrants hang out is a good place, and there’s congratulations and commiserations in equal measure where appropriate. (I’m hoping for congratulations when it’s my turn, but we shall see!)

While waiting for the shoe to drop for book 1 of Heir to the Firstborn, I’ve been working on book 7.

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn
, Book 7

3401 / 90000 (3.78%)

And I have two new favorite characters — Tiras and Gannet. Tiras is Aeris’ Fire, and Gannet is her Water. The pair of them… well, take a look:

“Her Air and her Fire were a study in opposites — Gannet was both unusually pale and unusually big for an Airborn — his long hair was almost white, as were his feathers, and he was nearly as large as Aeris’ uncle Othi. His wingspan was twice Aeris’ own, and she didn’t think he was finished growing. Tiras, on the other hand, was outwither — presenting as neither male nor female — and they could only be described as delicate. At eighteen, they were the youngest of Aeris’ Companions, and as dark as Gannet was pale. They were stunningly pretty, and so slightly built that it seemed as though they would blow away in a strong wind. But looks were deceptive — Tiras knew more about fighting than the rest of them put together, and had proved it by breaking Gannet’s nose less than a week after the Heir’s Progress had returned to the Palace.”

A word on the above — Tiras is described as outwither. Outwither is a word that was created by Josie Giles, based on existing dialect and etymological patterns of word development in Scottish, and it means non-binary. There’s also a Scottish pronoun that I attempted to use for Tiras, but I could not get my brain around it and remembering the usage was slowing me down. I may go back in and change it, but that will be on the editing pass (the pronoun is thon, and usage dates back to the 1850s. Neo-pronoun? Not hardly!) For more information on outwither, check out this Tiktok, by a Scottish poet who is teaching and spreading the Scottish language as far and wide as she can.

This isn’t the first time I’ve used Scottish in Heir to the Firstborn — in Wings of Air, I use the word mirligoes, which is also Scottish.)

I know I said I was done with this universe, but it’s nice to see some old friends. And once this is done, then the series is DONE.

Stop laughing.

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, Adavar, appearances, Balance of Power, Boosting the signal, contest, facebook, giveaway, Heir to the Firstborn, promotions, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

I Like Big Books…

This is the theme of a big promotion that I and a bunch of other authors will be participating in the first weekend of August. 200 books in a variety of genres, and I’m not even sure anymore how many authors.

If you’re interested in getting in on this giveaway, click the graphic and it will take you to signup page. My book in the lot is Written in Water.

The second graphic just makes me giggle. I love this theme.

Written in Water is also going to be free in the Brave New Worlds promotion in August. The page for that is not live yet — I’ll share it once we get closer to the date.

The final Written in Water news is something I keep forgetting to post. Written in Water is one of the three hundred books included in the 9th annual Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, a contest created to increase visibility for self-published fantasy. No news on anything yet, but we’ll see

I’m realizing as I get closer to the end of Broken Feathers that there might be another book in there. I need to let it percolate, but now there’s now a plot bunny hopping around my subconscious mind. But Broken Feathers will be done… maybe this week? If they cooperate? Then I’ll make some notes for this other book, and put my attention fully onto the reread and revamp of The Sea Prince with my original coauthor.

Yes, coauthor.

The Sea Prince and another project were originally written with my friend Danielle, who started WAY back in the misty vastness of time with me in The Night Court. (that play-by-email role playing game I’ve mentioned?) She had an attack of life, and I shelved the projects. I reached out to her two weeks ago to ask her how I should proceed with The Sea Prince, and if she wanted to jump back in. She said yes, so we’ve been going over what I’ve written already, and we’re going to jump into new chapters once school starts. Thank goodness for Google Docs and Discord!

Once school rolls around (one month from today!), I’ll also be turning my attention to the Still-doesn’t-have-a-title Book 7 of Heir to the Firstborn. Something to do with balance…

(No, I’m not taking suggestions.)

And that’s the state of the writer at this stage of the game.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, Boosting the signal, contest, giveaway, Heir to the Firstborn, promotions, summer, The Sea Prince, Written in Water, 0 comments

Who Let It Be Monday Again?

I’m seriously not ready for Monday, y’all. It’s taken me until past 2:00 PM to even come up with that much.

Focus? There’s no focus today. There is only coffee. Well, there was coffee. I finished the coffee. Now there is only tea. (Chocolate Mint “Like-the-Cookie” Oolong, from Plum Deluxe.)

And… well, I’ve bee thinking about writing. But not actually doing it. I have to get these words down before I get those words down. Right?

So here are these words about those words. Those words from last week — of which I had a fantastic word week. Sitting in the car dealership for two hours appears to be my word place — there were twelve pages handwritten in my notebook. Which was fun when it came time to transcribe because my handwriting is… creative. There was a bit of “What the heck does that say?” But it came out to just over two thousand words written in just about two hours.

Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 6)

101619 / 150000 (67.75%)
Too bad I only have to take the car in for regular service twice a year. Imagine how fast I’d finish a book if I had to bring it in more often!
I have heard the first sample of the Hidden Things audiobook and I am so excited over this! There were a few little tweaks that needed to be made (Roland sounded too young, for example), so Mark is making adjustments. Once I get the redone sample, I’ll see if I can share it. Reminder –the Kickstarter is still ongoing, and needs to really get up and go if it hopes to fund! So if you’d like to get all four audiobooks read by the incredibly talented Mark Oosterveen, then share and maybe throw something into the hat!

Next week, I’ll be appearing on the These Mums Write podcast, a podcast about supporting mothers in achieving their writing dreams and goals. My interview with show host Jackie Amsden I talk about the Kickstarter, share my experience pushing through fear and breaking boundaries as a sex-positive story-teller and as an introvert navigating the extrovert world of author marketing.

You can find this show on Apple or Spotify.

 

Today is also the last day to grab books at the Red Hot book giveaway. The last day to grab Hidden Things for free by signing up for my newsletter. The newsletter comes out once a month, on the first Friday.

I feel like there’s something else I’m missing, but I honestly can’t think of it. One of those Mondays, right?

More tea!

Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, accountability, Audible, author chat, Boosting the signal, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Kickstarter, promotions, public displays of geekery, publishing, Swords of Charlemagne, Updatey things, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

That was Quick

Tomorrow is February.

How did THAT happen?

Part of it was that last week was a blur — I was sick for a few days of it, and then it was over.  It wasn’t anything major, and I’m fine. But time and words both ceased to exist.

Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 6)

87541 / 150000 (58.36%)

Not quite as many words as I’d have liked, but there was some forward movement. That’s a plus.

Tomorrow, the Swords of Charlemagne box set drops. There’s still time to preorder.

 

Also tomorrow, the Red Hot giveaway begins — you can sign up for my newsletter, and get a copy of Hidden Things absolutely free! The promotion runs the entire month of February.

 

And on Wednesday, voting begins for the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers Choice Awards. I’m nominated in two categories. The Lady and the Sword is nominated for Best LGBT Fantasy Romance, and Swords of Charlemagne is nominated for Best LGBT Fantasy Romance Series.

The Kickstarter is ongoing, and is slowly moving in the upwards direction. The project is 5% funded, with 47 days left, and has been picked up as a Project We Love by Kickstarter itself. I’m updating regularly over there, with things specific to the books, and that I have never shared anywhere else. So check it out, and maybe throw something in the hat!

And finally, preorders are now open for the Counsel of the Wicked re-release, which happens on March 8th. The ebook will be available as part of Kindle Unlimited, which means it will NOT be for sale anywhere but Amazon. The paperback, however, will be available everywhere.

 

And I think that’s all the news I’ve got this week! Busy, busy, busy!

 

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, Boosting the signal, contest, Counsel of the Wicked, forthcoming works, giveaway, Happy Book Day, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Kickstarter, new books, promotions, publishing, Rebel Mage, Release date, Swords of Charlemagne, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Well, that was a non-event…

That, of course, being Isaias. I know it’s not going to be a non-event further up the East Coast, but usually it’s Florida that gets all the hurricanes. This time… well, I did say I wanted some dull. We got it. And this morning, after yoga, I swept the porch, moved all the plants back into place, and put the porch furniture back out.

But really, it was an “I shaved my legs cleaned the gutters for this?” kind of storm.

This year, it’s been interesting in a odd fashion. Storm season has been an afterthought for me. Usually, when storm season starts in June, I get all our storm supplies laid in so that we’re ready. I have a spreadsheet with expiration dates, and I rotate the supplies as needed.

This year, I was in the natural market on Friday, and I thought “I really should get a couple of loaves of shelf stable gluten free bread. And the emergency ice cream.”

That was the extent of my storm prep for the season. (And before you ask, emergency ice cream is a thing in our house. If the power goes out, eat the emergency ice cream FIRST.)

In talking with other area moms about storm prep (and the lack thereof — I’m not alone in this), I said the following: “My crisis management brain is currently occupied. All other crisises need to wait in line.”

From the reactions, this is apparently a deeply profound statement. But it’s true. I’m so focused on the pandemic and the crisis response to it (and Florida’s distinct LACK of crisis response to the pandemic) that the news that there was a Cat 1 hurricane heading for Florida? Please, don’t bother me with trivials! Oh, it weakened, and now it’s just a tropical storm? Turn off the sprinklers, we don’t need to water the lawn this weekend. Better barbecue tonight, it’s going to rain tomorrow.

Now, there was writing and writing prep this weekend.

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

56448 / 120000 (47.04%)
***
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
0 / 30000 (0.00%)

Wait a minute, Liz! That wordcounter says zero! Yes, it does. That was the writing prep. I have the writing plan all ready, and I’m starting the synopsis for John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland.

The plan is to have EVERYTHING done by December. Which will make this the busiest writing year of my career — I’m hoping to finish 2020 by completing three novels, three novellas and one short story.

Last week was the busiest release week of my career — four releases in one day!

Under the Cape includes my short story Time for No Mercy.

Fools Rush In, Her Captive, and To Market are all reprints, and are all enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.  We’ll see how that works for the next 90 days. Then maybe I’ll go wide with them.

Not much else is going on here. We’re getting ready for school to start (we took the full remote option — refer to previous statement about Florida’s lack of crisis response.) And part of getting ready for school is a deep clean of Teen Boy’s room, something that we’re taking in small bites so as not to overwhelm him (or me!) Yesterday was the bookcase, today was the desk. Tomorrow is under the desk, and under the bed, and getting the menagerie of stuffies under some semblance of control. Curtains and bedding will be washed later this week, and everything vacuumed. At that point, I think it will be easier for him to manage, and to find things (there were several instances of “Oh, THERE that is! I was WONDERING where that went!” over the past two days.)

Hope things are boring your neck of the woods. In a good way, anyway.

Stay safe.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, Boosting the signal, deep thoughts, Happy Book Day, Heir to the Firstborn, Hurricane, I really want some dull, John Zebedee, new books, progress, publishing, Under the Cape, 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