Drum Mage

Show of Hands?

Who else thinks that 2020 needs to knock it the fuck off already?

Yeah, me too.

This past week has been emotionally exhausting. I’m doing what I can to support BLM. I’ve been amplifying posts and signing petitions and honestly, I was not expecting Pride this year to go quite that retro.

(If I need to explain to you that Pride started as a riot… well… look, you learned something today. Gold star!)

There’s been writing. I can’t not write, especially when there’s too much and I get overwhelmed. I’ve heard other writers say that they’ve been having trouble during the quarantine because how can you be creative now? I have the opposite problem. Under stress, I tend to dive into a manuscript, because I know everything will be all right in there. Perks of being a romance writer, I guess. You’re guaranteed a happy ending in romancelandia. In real life? Not so much.

So there’s been writing. I might finish Echoes of Light this month.  And Wings of Air is promising to be a beast of a book — I’m eight chapters in and we still haven’t made the big move to take us on the first step to the end.

Echoes of Light

25389 / 50000 (50.78%)

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

24898 / 95000 (26.21%)


So, where do I go from here? Once I’m done with Wings of Air, what am I going to do with the Patreon?

Well, I have two options. I have The Willow Sword, a YA idea that I started ages ago, and that sort of lost momentum. That would be two books — The Willow Sword and The Stone Mountain. And I have The Sea Prince, which is a sort of steampunky, Master and Commander kind of thing that I started years ago with a friend. That one also lost momentum. That one would be three books — The Sea Prince, The Coral Throne, and one that I can’t remember what title I was going to use. It’s been a while, and I don’t think I wrote it down.

Between those two series, I think I’m set for Patreon fodder for a while.

I also need to plan out the rest of the Flesh and Blood series (those are the BDSM Vampire books). Five in that series, counting the one that I finished already.

I need to write the second White Raven book.

I need to figure out the third Tales from the Arena book.

And I need to go back through the outline for the next Drum Mage book (Holy Orders, sequel to Heart’s Master) and figure out what I did wrong that made it stop short.

And then… and then….?

I forgot I had this running list (and I completely FORGOT about The Mentalist’s Cat. That would work for Patreon.)

To Write

      • Wings of Air
      • Echoes of Light
      • The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath
      • The Sea Prince (started, shelved)
      • The Willow Sword (started, shelved)

To Edit

To Outline

      • Flesh and Blood (five books)
      • The Mentalist’s Cat
      • Holy Orders (Sequel to Heart’s Master)
      • Coral Throne (sequel to Sea Prince)
      • Tales from the Arena: Dead Man’s Hand (Tales from the Arena 3)
      • Men of Mortal Seeming (An Artificer novel)
      • Towers of Light (Metropolis project)

To Sell

      • The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir
      • Bonds of Blood and Steel
      • Blood Bound
      • The Ice Raven

To Self-Publish

      • Swords of Charlemagne (4 books)

So I’ll be busy and out of trouble for a while, it looks like.

Stay safe, everyone.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, BDSM Vampires, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Blood Bound, Drum Mage, Echoes of Light, Flesh and Blood, forthcoming works, Heart's Master, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Planning, progress, publishing, Ta-da, Tales from the Arena, The White Raven, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

And the Prism goes to….

Someone else. Harper Jameson won with her very first book The Spirit. Congrats to her!!!

Heart’s Master tied for second. I’m still very pleased!

Posted by EASchechter in award-winning, contest, Drum Mage, Heart's Master, kvelling, SQUEEE, 1 comment

Release Day!!!

Today is the day! Today is the day that Heart’s Master comes out!!!!


Now, it’s early as I’m writing this, so when I say I’m doing handstands, I just want you to know it’s figuratively, okay?

But yes, definitely handstands. This book — it’s been a long, strange trip for this book. And it’s finally loose in the wild.


So, here. Have an excerpt:


I was just finishing another drink–my fourth or fifth–and I was feeling nicely squiffed when I saw the stranger coming towards us through the crowd. Tall, broad shoulders, long brown hair pulled back in a tail, early thirties at the most–this guy looked like he belonged on the cover of a romance novel. And he was heading towards us.

“Maureen, you shouldn’t have…” I murmured, leaning back and enjoying the view. She looked at me, then looked up, saw him and smiled.

“Nick!” she called out, waving. My jaw hit the floor.

“Nick?” I repeated. “That’s Nick? Your Nick?”

She grinned at me and stood up, hugging the stranger and kissing him lightly. “Nick, this is Steven Ahearn, the man of the evening. Steven, I’d like for you to meet Nicolai Vikentiyevich Rozhenko.”

I stood up and wiped my hand on my jeans before accepting his handshake, trying not to be dazzled by a pair of amazingly blue eyes. “It’s nice to meet you,” I said. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about you.”

“As have I,” he answered, and I heard a hint of an accent in his voice. Eastern European, Russian, something like that. Sexy as hell. “Maureen tells me that you’re leaving, though.”

I smiled broadly, “My big break. I still can’t believe it…”

“Who the hell let him in here?” Maureen murmured, her anger plain in her voice. I turned to look and cursed softly. Joey, all six-foot-one of him, shoving his way through the crowd and leaving an angry, muttering trail of actors and stage hands behind him. I heard Nick’s voice, speaking in French, and Maureen answering in the same language. Then Nick was in front of me, standing between me and Joey.

“What do you want?” he demanded.

Joey stopped and stared at him, then asked, “Who the hell are you? For your information, I was invited. And you’re standing between me and my boy, so get the hell out of my way.”

I felt my temper flaring. His boy? Since when? Even from where I was standing, I could smell the alcohol on Joey. I knew he was a mean drunk–it was the main reason that I refused to let him keep hard liquor in the house. I knew where my money had gone now, and I was not looking forward to telling him that I was leaving him. But I also wasn’t going to let anyone else get hurt because of me. “It’s okay, Nick,” I said, stepping out from behind my new defender.

Nick looked at me, his eyes narrowed. “Steven? You’re sure about this?”

“Yeah. I’m fine.” I met Nick’s eyes and nodded once, then tipped my head ever so slightly to the side, towards the side door that had been propped open in the hopes of getting a breath of cooler air into the too warm room. Hopefully, Nick would get the message that I wanted him to follow us. “C’mon, Joey. We need to talk.” I turned without waiting for Joey’s answer and headed for the door, and nearly jumped out of my skin when a hard hand closed around the back of my neck. I winced as Joey’s fingers dug in, but he held on tight and shoved me forward, out the door and into the alley.

“You’re very full of yourself tonight, slave,” Joey snarled at me as we walked out into the cold night air.

I stopped and twisted, breaking his hold and stopping just out of his reach, “Enough of that shit, Joey. I’m not your boy, I’m not your slave, and I’m not your whore. I’m done with your little power trip bondage games.”

Joey looked at me like I was talking in another language. “What?” he sputtered. “You just wait until I get you home…”

“I’m not going home with you, Joey,” I interrupted. “I’m moving out.”

“Out?” he echoed. “What are you talking about?”

“Out of the apartment. We’re done, Joey. You went too far this morning, and I’m not putting up with your shit anymore. Go find yourself someone else to abuse.” I decided that I didn’t want him to know about my good fortune, or where I was going, so I deliberately didn’t mention New York. Instead, I started to go past him, back inside to my party. I was expecting Joey to turn, to stalk off the way he always did when he was angry. I was not expecting him to grab me and slam me back against the wall, hard enough to knock the wind out of me and bounce my head off the bricks. Before I could recover, he pinned me in place, his hands locked around my upper arms, his chest hard against mine.

“Let me go!” I snarled through clenched teeth. He laughed, leaning in and kissing me roughly. I tried to push him back, but he was bigger and heavier than I was. He shifted, pressing harder against me, his thigh hard against my crotch.

“Who’s being abused now, slave?” he crooned as he pulled back, his breath hot and stinking in my face. Under the alcohol, I could smell something else, something harsh, and I could see now that his eyes were glazed. He must have taken something. Suddenly, I was afraid. Drugs. When had he started using drugs? How had I not noticed? Shit, what had he gotten in to? “Tell me you don’t like this…” he rubbed his hip hard against my crotch, then stopped and looked down, his eyes narrowing. “Wait a minute….” He shifted, catching me around the throat with one hand, holding me painfully tight and leaving me gasping for breath while he pawed at me with his other hand. “Where’s your collar, slave?” he asked, sounding annoyed. “I told you that was supposed to stay on. So where is it?”

His fingers around my throat grew tighter, and I heard him laugh again as I struggled to breath. “Oh, yeah. I like this. There’s your punishment, slave. I’m gonna choke you out and fuck you until you wake up. And that’s only the beginning…”

No, that was the end–I grabbed Joey’s wrist in both hands to try and keep him from killing me outright, braced myself, and slammed my knee up between his legs. Never, ever give a dancer a chance to kick you in the crotch; he went down like a dropped brick, gagging and puking. I left him rolling in the trash and staggered back towards the door, taking long, shaking breaths and feeling the ache of incipient bruises on my throat and my arms. I wasn’t surprised to see Nick standing in the doorway waiting for me. However, I was surprised to see the baseball bat in his right hand. Where had that come from?

“Are you all right?” Nick asked.

I nodded and grimaced. “You should see the other guy,” I quipped. Nick grinned.

“Where is he?”

“Trying to pry his nuts out of his sinuses, I think. Let’s get out of here.” I brushed past him and into the restaurant, only to find Maureen waiting for me just inside the door.


“He didn’t take the break-up well,” I said, slumping into a chair. I felt Maureen’s fingers on my chin as she tipped my head back.

“I can see that,” she murmured. “The bruises are already coming up. I think we should get your things tonight.”

“And call the police?” Nick asked.

“That will be tomorrow,” I said. “I’m not ready for that. And I need a drink before I do anything.”

I saw the two of them look at each other, then Nick took my arm and hauled me out of the chair. “Come on,” he said. “I know a place.” As we walked out through the crowd of people, I noticed that the bat was gone, and I wondered briefly what Nick had done with it.

The place turned out to be a vodka bar in Federal Hill. About half of the party moved with us, and for a while, I forgot about the break-up, about Joey and his violence, and about the fact that tomorrow I’d be talking to police about what he’d done to me. Nick decided that I needed to learn how to properly drink vodka, and I proceeded to get very, very drunk. I vaguely remembered Maureen telling me that we were going to go to my place to get some of my things, and then she and Nick were pouring me into the backseat of their car. After that, I didn’t remember anything until the truck hit us.


Heart’s Master is out of Circlet Press, and is available to order in all formats wherever you buy books.

Posted by EASchechter in circlet, Drum Mage, happy-happy- joy- joy, Heart's Master, kvelling, new books, Release date, SQUEEE, 2 comments

Interviews and cover art


Today starts the Blog Tour for Haven’s Fall, which comes out Tuesday (OMG!!!!) Today, you can see an interview that I did with Forbidden Fiction, over on their website.

Also, now that Circlet had debuted the cover art for Heart’s Master to the Patreon patrons, I can show the art to everyone else! Heart’s Master comes out on December 15th.

hearts-master-cover-final-750px(We’re still waiting to find out if Amazon is going to faint over that cover…)

Posted by EASchechter in Blessed, Blog Tour, circlet, cover art, Drum Mage, Haven's Fall, Heart's Master, promotions, publishing, Release date, Ta-da, upcoming books, 0 comments

Hiding in the Shadows…

Last night, I got the cover art for Heart’s Master.

It’s pretty. But this is all I can show you right now.


Want to be one of the first to see the real thing? You have two options. If you’ll be attending Chessiecon, then you can pay attention to my Twitter feed. Starting the first day of the convention (Friday), I’ll put out a code phrase on Twitter. Come find me, tell me the phrase, and I’ll show the art to you and ONLY you.

The other way you can see the real thing, if you’re not going to be at Chessiecon? Check out the Circlet Press Patreon. Become a supporter at $5 or more a month, and you’ll not only see the Heart’s Master cover art before anyone not at the convention, but you’ll get the ebook for Heart’s Master immediately when it goes live December 15th. You’ll also be supporting my wonderful publisher, as well as thumbing your nose at the incoming establishment that doesn’t want you to have access to such naughty things.

Posted by EASchechter in Boosting the signal, Chessiecon, circlet, cover art, Drum Mage, forthcoming works, freedom of speech, Heart's Master, politics, promotions, publishing, upcoming books, upcoming work, 0 comments

Shall we play a game?

No, not Global Thermonuclear War.

What we’ll be doing is more like a scavenger hunt.

Here’s the game: I’ll be at Chessiecon the weekend before the cover reveal blitz. I *will* have the cover art for Heart’s Master  by then.

So come find me. Tell me The Magic Words ™, and I’ll not only give you a special sneak preview of the cover, I’ll give you a code for a free book from the Circlet catalog!

What are The Magic Words?

For that, you have to be following me on Twitter.  I’ll post the Magic Words of the day every morning before I leave my room. Find me, whisper the words to me, and I’ll show you the cover art and give you your prize!

See you in a couple of weeks!

Posted by EASchechter in Chessiecon, circlet, cover art, Drum Mage, easily amused writer, giveaway, Heart's Master, promotions, public displays of geekery, silly, upcoming work, 0 comments

Do you want to see a cover?

(that totally scans to Do you want to build a snowman?, by the way. Which is, of course, why I did it.)

I actually have TWO books coming out this December. Haven’s Fall will be coming out December 6th from Forbidden Fiction.

Heart’s Master — the long awaited novel about my blind mage Steven and his lover Nick — will be out either the week before or the week after (so, either December 1st or the 15th).

(If you don’t remember Steven, check out The Hand You’re Dealt in Like a Sacred Desire, or Snowbound in Jingle Balls, or here for free. And hey, if you like it, go grab a copy of Jingle Balls. There’s a Laura Antoniou holiday story in there, too.)

Now, Circlet is doing something fun. The cover art for Heart’s Master is a big secret (seriously — I helped choose the images, but that’s it. I don’t even know what the final cover looks like!!!) That cover is going to be announced on November 29th.

And you can be part of the announcement.

If you want to help spread the fun, click here and fill out the form! (If you want to review Heart’s Master, you can fill out the same form.)

Then, on the 29th, everyone gets to blitz the cover image all at once! Neat, huh?

Go sign up!



Posted by EASchechter in Chessiecon, circlet, Drum Mage, Heart's Master, KermitArms, kvelling, new books, promotions, publishing, Release date, upcoming books, upcoming work, 0 comments

Post novel ennui

Last week, I sent the manuscript for Heart’s Master in to Circlet. That makes my third complete novel in just over a year and a half.

And now my brain is feeling it.

I have that whole laundry list of things to work on, and I cannot settle on ANY of them. I started to work on The Willow Sword, and that went exactly nowhere. So I went to work on the synopsis for Holy Orders, which will be the NEXT Drum Mage book. Got halfway and stalled out. Had a new idea pop into my head while putting together a short piece for an anthology call. But I don’t know what happens there yet, and the Muse is apparently on strike. The creative mind had dried up.

Now, I knew this could happen. I knew I was probably overdue for it. Elizabeth Bear talks about post novel ennui (which is actually a scientifically proven phenomenon!) But I’m not used to being idle — not after a year and a half!

So, I’m trying something new. I’m taking a few days to just be. I might do some research. I have reading to do for contest judging. I have a hat on the needle for a friend undergoing chemo. I’ve been wanting to hit the Morse Museum and see the Tiffany wing. And I have a lunch date for Thursday.

The one thing  I’m not going to Do? Force words — if I do, they will more than likely be crap. Time to be gentle to the writer.

Posted by EASchechter in 2012 plans, circlet, Drum Mage, Heart's Master, post novel ennui, Ta-da, 0 comments

An update is in order

Since I finished Heart’s Master, I need to update the to-do list. So here’s the queue, going in to 2012.

I’m bumping Tales from the Arena down to the outline list,  because I need to figure out where that story is coming from and where it is going. Which means that my first 2012 project will either be the YA romance The Willow Sword, or diving back into Sea Prince with Danielle (who I worked with on Nomad’s Moon).

And I might spend the holiday break doing the outline for Holy Orders, which will be the next in the Drum Mage series. Yep, another Nick and Steven novel. Since I have them on the brain, planning out the next one might not be the worlds worst idea (especially since Holy Palmer’s Kiss is ALSO a Nick and Steven story!)

To Revise:

  • Holy Palmer’s Kiss (due end of January)
  • Heart’s Master

To Write:

  • The Willow Sword
  • Sea Prince (To be written with Danielle Jones)
  • Wanderer’s Moon (next book in the Midnight Moon series. Not to be done until we sell Nomad’s Moon)

To Outline

  • Playing For Keeps (short story to launch Tales from the Arena)
  • Coral Throne (sequel to Sea Prince)
  • Hidden Things (Mystere Book 1)
  • The Lady and the Sword (Mystere Book 2)
  • Ashes and Light (Mystere Book 3)
  • Tablets of Stone (Mystere Book 4)
  • Rainbow Wars (the teach-in idea. Definitely a  YA. And it needs a better title)
  • Holy Orders ( Sequel to Heart’s Master)

To Sell

  • Nomad’s Moon
  • Exile’s Moon
  • Infernal Machine (reprint, sent to Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica)
Posted by EASchechter in 2012 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, Drum Mage, Heart's Master, Ta-da, to-dos, 0 comments

The Muse has spoken…

One persnickity Muse, in particular. Who has let me know in no uncertain terms that Drum Mage isn’t a good title anymore,  and that the title of this book is now Heart’s Master. Which I have to admit is more appropriate.

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, annoying-muse-is-annoying, Drum Mage, Heart's Master, WIP, 0 comments