Oh, No. It’s Almost October.

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

88415 / 150000 (58.94%)
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
23714 / 30000 (79.05%)

October. Why did it have to be October?

Yes, I know. It comes every year at this time, right after September.

I am not a fan. The only thing October has going for it is Halloween, and you have to get all the way through October to get there! (And who know if it’s actually going to happen this year? Which sucks, because Saturday+full moon+extra hour = epicly epic Halloween).

Okay. Enough complaining.

Today I am just off my last virtual convention for the year. (At least, I think it’s my last. I may be wrong — there are still virtual conventions happening, and I may see about getting involved.) Necronomicon/NecroNOTacon was a lot of fun — it was held on Discord and Zoom, and it was very well attended. I’m liking the virtual conventions — it opens access to people who can’t travel for whatever reason. The only thing missing is the hugging.

I miss the hugging.

Now, I do have one more convention on my schedule, but it’s not virtual. KeiserSupercon is supposed to be in person. I have no idea what’s going to happen with that one.

Since I was virtually at a convention all weekend, there wasn’t a lot of writing done. Which is par for the course with me — I can do one writing related thing at a time. Two, maybe. But actively writing at the same time I’m being Public-Writer-Lady? Not happening.

I think I’m still on target to have both Wings of Air and John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town finished by December, though. And possibly be a good way in to John Zebedee Meets The Witch-Queen of Elfland. 

December is coming. Cookiepocalypse is coming!

But first we have to get through October.

Right. Stop that, Liz.

Here, have an excerpt from Monstrous Town:

“Then give me your right hand.” She held her hand out, and John put his hand into hers. He looked at his palm and frowned. “Mister Zebedee, how did you manage to misplace your lifeline?”

John coughed. “What?”

She tapped his palm with one finger. “It should be here,” she said. Then she held her right hand out, showing him a line on her palm. “It shows how long of a life you’ll have.”

John chuckled. “My hand isn’t big enough,” he answered. “I’m immortal. But you’ve noticed that.”

“How old are you?” she asked.

“Over eighteen hundred years old,” John answered. “Prudence, I was one of Joshua’s apostles.”

Her eyes widened. “No wonder there’s no lifeline,” she said with a laugh. “All right. Just stay there. I need to get something.” She stood up and walked away, going through an inner door. She came back a moment later with a small box. She took a seat again, and took a deck of cards out of the box, handing them to John. “Shuffle these.”

“Are we playing poker?” he asked, starting to shuffle the cards. “I’m terrible at it.”

“Cartomancy,” she answered. “Telling the future.”

“You can do that?”

She smiled and took the cards from him. She shuffled them again, then took the topmost card from the deck. She looked at it and smiled, laying it on the table. “The King of Clubs,” she said. “A man of dark complexion. He is upright and true to the bone. This is your card, John Zebedee.” She dealt more cards — a column of three to the left of John’s card, one above and below, and a column of three to the right. She set the rest of the cards aside. “The past,” she said, touching the left-most column. “The present, and the future.” She touched the center and the right column in turn. Then she turned over the card at the top of the left column. “The Nine of Diamonds. Traveling. You never did settle, did you?”

“When people notice you don’t age, things get complicated.”

She smiled and turned over the next card down. “The Ten of Spades. Imprisonment.” She looked up again.

John swallowed and nodded. “I was a prisoner of war. At Camp Sumter.”

She gasped, but said nothing more, turning over the last card in the column. “The Two of Diamonds. A secret engagement.”

John smiled. “It has to be secret. It’s illegal. But if I could openly propose marriage, I would. In a heartbeat.”

She nodded and turned over the topmost card of the middle column. “Eight of Spades. Danger from imprudence.”

John considered it, and nodded. “I wasn’t as careful as I should have been. I can agree with this. This is fascinating.”

“Thank you,” she said, and turned over the base card of the column. “Five of Clubs. Danger from a capricious temper.” She met his eyes, and they both spoke as one. “Wraith.” She nodded, and turned over the top card of the last column. “The Eight of Diamonds. A happy marriage.”

John smiled. “In his world, men can marry. I can wait.”

She turned over the last two cards, and her brow furrowed. She touched the middle card. “The Nine of Spades is a horrible card for your future. It means ruin and death. Which makes no sense with this last card.” She touched the final card. “The Ten of Hearts. Health and happiness, and children.” She looked up. “Death and ruin, and they all lived happily ever after?”


Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, appearances, Cookiepocalypse, Elemental Project, excerpt, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Keiser SuperCon, Necronomicon, progress, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Romance Writer’s Weekly: Teaser Tuesday.

Welcome, welcome! Nice to see you! If you’re coming in from A.S Fenichel’s blog, then you know that today is Teaser Tuesday. And if you’re new here? Well, today is Teaser Tuesday! You get to come in and have a taste of something new.

Now, my only issue is what new thing to serve? Should it be my newest finished manuscript? Blood Bound is an erotic paranormal romance where vampires and humans live side by side, set in a modern New York City.  It’s still in edits, so things might be a little raw. Or perhaps I should serve up some of Bones of Earth, my ongoing new adult fantasy serial.  Chance of spoilers on that one, though. It’s book three of a four book series.


Well, why not both?

Here’s a slice of Blood Bound: (A completely SFW excerpt)

Daniel laughed and hung up, then took his cup of coffee out into the living room. “Hiro!” he called. “Clara is here early! She’s on her way up.”

Hiro appeared in the bedroom door. “Is she?” he asked, coming out into the living room. He was mostly dressed in a gray suit, but he had his coat thrown over his arm, and a tie was dangling from one hand. He held it up. “Do you know how to tie this, Daniel?”

“A tie?” Daniel asked. He nodded. “Yeah, I can do that. Need help?”

Hiro laid his coat on the back of the couch and handed the tie to Daniel. “If you would?” he asked.
Daniel smiled and ran the silk through his fingers. He moved over to the couch and perched on the arm, then gestured Hiro closer. Hiro came to stand in front of Daniel, and Daniel draped the tie over his own shoulder before reaching up to fasten the topmost button of Hiro’s shirt. “Do you want fancy, or functional?”

“Functional will do,” Hiro answered. “I will have you show fancy to me later.”

“Sure,” Daniel said as he raised Hiro’s collar and picked up the tie. It was dark blue, with a pattern in silver that made Daniel think of fancy marble tiles. He slid the tie around Hiro’s neck and positioned it, hearing a soft chime. A moment later, Clara’s voice rang out.

“Good morning! I brought bagels and babka. And I brought hot chocolate, Hiro.”

“Just a minute, Clara,” Daniel called back. He checked the lengths of the ends of the tie, then started working, wrapping and tucking, then wrapping and tucking again, winding the silk around itself, then up and tugging the end down through a loop to form a perfect knot. He adjusted it, then smoothed Hiro’s collar. “There you are. All put together.”

Hiro smiled. “You did that well,” he said. “What is it?”

“Full Windsor.”

Hiro nodded. “And what would have the fancy been?”

“Either an Eldredge or a Trinity. I like them both. But they’re better with a solid tie. For a pattern like this, a Full Windsor is better. Or a Victoria.” Daniel grinned at the look on Hiro’s face. “I checked a book out of the library. All sorts of fancy knots for ties. I picked it up when I thought I’d be going in to the prep school. Thought it would be useful.”

“It is extremely useful,” Hiro agreed. His smile softened, and he raised his hands to rest on either side of Daniel’s neck. “I repeat. The rest of the vampires in New York are blind. And I am very lucky.”

“I think I’m the lucky one,” Daniel replied. He reached out and tugged on Hiro’s tie. “I’m going to enjoy taking care of you.”

Hiro leaned down and kissed him, and time seemed to stop. Daniel slid his hands down Hiro’s chest, letting them come to rest on his waist for a moment before hooking his fingers into the belt loops on Hiro’s pants and tugging him closer.

“I have an idea for tomorrow,” he murmured when Hiro let him breathe again.

“You’re thinking,” Hiro grumbled. “I’m doing something wrong.”

“Well, I have clothes on,” Daniel pointed out. “That’s an automatic penalty on the kicker.”


Want to know what the idea was? Well, you’re going to have to be patient. This one is going off to Circlet.

Now, for Bones of Earth, I’m going back to the beginning. So here, have some fantasy new adult poly romance.

There was a definite taste of spring in the air, for all that the wind off the ocean was still brittle-cold. Owyn stepped down off the front stoop and shoved his hands into his coat pockets, heading toward the center of Terraces and the healing complex. He needed gloves, he reminded himself. He should really stop by the dispensary. He made a mental note, and then promptly forgot again as he started to review his running mental checklist.

Finish the assessment of which houses had been too badly damaged by the winter storms to be immediately habitable. That he should be finished with today.

Determine which of those houses could be repaired, and which needed to be demolished. He’d told Jehan that he could have that report ready within a week of finishing the assessment. So far, he expected to be on time.

Arrange repairs on those houses that could be finished first. He needed to work with Marik on that — he had a better idea of who could do what in Terraces.

Seal off the houses that were going to be demolished. See what could be salvaged from them. That needed to wait for spring and warmer weather, he thought. So did the repairs. But having a list of which to do first would be a good thing.

Convince Aria that she was wrong. An ongoing project, and one with no end in sight.

Find Aven. Another ongoing project.

Overthrow Mannon and see Aria on the throne as Firstborn. Tabled until he finished the last two.

He sighed and hunched down into his coat as a cold wind trailed down the back of his neck. It had never gotten this cold in Forge. He’d never seen seen snow like he’d seen this past winter. Or storms, for that matter — one right after the other, with no respite to repair damage or bring in supplies. There were still a lot of people living in the shelter caverns beneath the healing complex, because their homes weren’t safe. And they’d stay there until he finished his job. Which meant that he needed to go to work.

If you want to know more about Owyn and his world, you can catch up by checking out the first two Heir to the Firstborn books, or by joining me over on Patreon, where I put up one chapter of the serial every Friday night

Now, our next stop on today’s tasting menu is over with Caro Kinkead. I have no idea what she’s serving today, but I’m sure it’ll be fun!

Posted by EASchechter in Blood Bound, Bones of Earth, excerpt, 0 comments

Work in Progress: Bones of Earth

Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

65915 / 95000 (69.38%)

Things are starting to move again. The words are flowing. I’m gaining momentum. And the RWA is spiraling. So we’ll see what finishes first — my book, or my professional (ha!) organization.

If it does die a horrific death, it won’t be because a group of us didn’t fight like hell to save it. I’ve made some friends over the past month — fantastic people who I might not have known otherwise.  So there’s my silver lining from this shitstorm.

On to Bones of Earth. I have one chapter queued, one waiting for a read-through, and I’m working as fast as I can (with interruptions — ugh).  I’ve promised myself that once I have three chapters queued, I’ll write the synopsis for Wings of Air, because I’m looking at this and thinking that I’m not going to have a heck of a lot of lead time between getting the last chapter of Bones up in the queue and starting Wings. But I need a buffer before I can  start working on that synopsis.

Based on where I am in the story, I’m hoping that we’ll be done with Bones by March or April. But I’m going to call it May or June. Which means I might bring the series to a close by the end of 2020. (And I have John Zebedee due at the end of 2020, so who’s going to be busy in the fall? This writer!)

And we’re not going to even talk about the tentative plans for bringing out Swords of Charlemagne — I might save those to 2021 at this rate.

Busy writer. Busy distracted writer. Which means busy, non-as-productive-as-I’d-like writer.

Which means this is going to be a really short blog post. Here. Have a short excerpt. No spoilers:

Owyn shook his head. “I don’t know. If you want a good tool, you have to start with good ore. But sometimes, all you have is pot metal, and you have to make the best of it….So, did the Mother pick us because we were good ore, or because we were all she had to work with?” He ran his nails over his chin, feeling the scratch of whiskers. “I forgot to shave.”

“You’re not pot metal, Wyn,” Alanar said. “Even when you’re scratchy. The Mother chose you because you were what she needed.” He poked Owyn in the ribs. “Do you really think that the Mother is willing to settle for pot metal? She had the entire Fire tribe to choose from. She chose you. Because you were the right person.”

Owyn took a deep breath. He let it out. “Sometimes, it doesn’t feel that way,” he grumbled. “It doesn’t feel like I’m doing any good at all. I mean, really, who am I to be chosen by the Mother to stand for the whole tribe? Anyone else would have been better! I mean, literally anyone else!”

Alanar chuckled, leaned close, and kissed him on the cheek. “That’s how we know you’re the right person,” he murmured.

Owyn snorted. “You know that don’t make any sense?” he asked.

“It does,” Alanar insisted. “Consider what happened when someone decided that they deserved the throne, no matter what the Mother said.”

Owyn frowned, then turned and looked toward the door. “Oh,” he said. “So because I don’t think I’m right for this—”

“It makes you perfect,” Alanar finished.

Owyn thought about it, then shook his head. “Nope. Still don’t make any sense,” he said, laughing. “I told you. I can’t tell from inside.”


Alanar hugged Owyn tightly. “We’ll be fine. Tomorrow, you’ll check the records and I’ll see to the servants. Maybe I’ll learn something. And we’ll decide if we’re going north or south. For now… I think I want to explore the bed.”

Owyn turned and looked at him. “Explore the bed?”

Alanar smiled. “Let’s go find all the places where the bed squeaks.” His smile broadened. “Or all the places in the bed where I can make you squeak.”

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Bones of Earth, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, Elemental Project, excerpt, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Swords of Charlemagne, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Works in Progress: Week Thirteen. Blood Bound and Bones of Earth

Blood Bound
Flesh and Blood, Book 1

64415 / 95000 (67.81%)


Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

42867 / 95000 (45.12%)

A good, productive week this past week. The words are flowing well in both cases, and I’m pretty pleased with my progress.  Blood Bound is on track to be done by mid-December, I think.  I’ve started running it through the ERWA Storytime list, and the crits have been awesome so far. Bones of Earth is running on the Patreon, and comments there have been fun.

Tomorrow, I get to do my favorite volunteer activity of the school year — I get to go in and talk to the middle school about being a writer.  Last year, I had a lot of fun and lost my voice. This year, we’ll see how I do! (You’re allowed to open book on what period my voice drops out — last year it was fifth or sixth.)


I’m starting to think around the edges about Cookiepocalypse 2019. It’s just around the corner!  (Oh, boy. It is, isn’t it? Thanksgiving is in two weeks!)


There’s not much else going on around these parts.  It’s been quiet, and I hope it stays boring. It might not — I’ll find out shortly if my boring will be short-lived. Yes, that’s a vague-book. I’ll be more specific when I know more.


A very brief excerpt. I really dig the art of kintsugi. I love the idea of finding beauty in the flaws. So I got to speak a little through Hiro in this bit:

“That is not true,” Hiro said. “You are not a mistake. You are Daniel. You are mine. You are perfect to me.”

“I’m not—”

“You are,” Hiro insisted. “Your flaws only make you more perfect.” He chuckled. “Wait.” He shifted, and Daniel sat up so that Hiro could leave the room. He came back a moment later carrying a pottery bowl that Daniel had seen on a shelf in the living room. The bowl was blue, and there were veins of gold that ran through it in crazed, zig-zag patterns.

Hiro sat down facing Daniel and held the bowl between his hands. “When Usagi saved my life, when she brought me back to her court, I told her that I wished only to die. She took this bowl and she shattered it. And she told me that I was not allowed to make such decisions in my pain. That I needed to wait, and heal.” He turned the bowl over in his hands. “On the day that she put her collar around my neck, she gave this to me.”

“It’s the same bowl?” Daniel asked. He bent at the waist, looking closer. “How’d they fix it?”

“Lacquer infused with gold,” Hiro said. “It will never be what it was before it was shattered. But it is beautiful nonetheless. More beautiful, perhaps.” He met Daniel’s eyes. “Do you understand what I am saying?”

Daniel nodded. “I’m not sure I believe it, though. Not really.”

“I have the patience to wait until you do. Because I love you, and you are worth the waiting.” He kissed Daniel’s forehead. “I need no grand gestures, my Daniel. I do not need your pain to prove that you love me. Nor do I require you to punish yourself for your flaws.” He turned the bowl again. “Your flaws, my flaws, they contribute to make us the men we are. They make us beautiful. Your flaws are part of you, and they make you Daniel. And Daniel is beautiful.” He smiled. “And Daniel is mine.”



Posted by EASchechter in accountability, Adavar, BDSM Vampires, Blood Bound, Bones of Earth, excerpt, Flesh and Blood, Heir to the Firstborn, I really want some dull, Teach-in, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

Works in Progress, Week Twelve, Blood Bound and Bones of Earth.

Blood Bound
Flesh and Blood, Book 1

59930 / 95000 (63.08%)


Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

37896 / 95000 (39.89%)

Good writing week all around, even if I did have some writing in reverse with Blood Bound.  (I cut something along the lines of four hundred words from chapter one, after running it through the Erotica Readers and Writers Association crit group. They’ve never steered me wrong, and I love them for it.)

Bones of Earth took off this week —  over seven thousand words written, and a major reveal that I’d been waiting to include. So anything from this point on in the story will be a spoiler… which means no more excerpts unless I have something short that won’t spoil anything.

So, remember how I said last week that once I finished Blood Bound, I wasn’t going to work on anything else other than Heir to the Firstborn until it was done? Yeah, I kinda forgot that I committed to a shared world project, and my synopsis is due by March, with the book due by December. I will be writing up that synopsis once I finish Blood Bound.  Working title on this one is John Zebedee and the Elf-King’s Son, and it’s going to be a new thing for me — a Wild West Paranormal.

Other irons in the fire — anyone else remember Web-rings? I’m participating in something very similar this week through the Romance Writer’s Weekly. On Tuesday, we’ll be writing all about how we use music in our writing, and to help us write. So when that post goes up, check out the other authors in the loop (if it works the way it’s supposed to, eventually, you’ll end up back here!)

So, excerpt time. A longer one from Blood Bound, to make up for the lack of one from Bones of Earth.   And this is me having a little fun — Daniel is having breakfast with Clara, who is a bond-slave to another vampire. What they’re having for breakfast is one of my favorite breakfasts from Proper and Wild, the little place in Winter Park, Florida, that Clara mentions. Yes, the black rice grits are that good. No, they won’t give me the recipe.

“What is that?” he asked as he entered the kitchen. “It smells wonderful.”

“Tempeh bacon, and it is,” Clara answered. “Hiro said you were vegetarian, but not what kind, so I went for vegan options. Chickpea scramble, tempeh bacon, black rice grits—”

“You’re Southern, aren’t you?” Daniel interrupted.

“Winter Park, Florida,” she answered with a grin. “And toast. Oh, and coffee.” Daniel sat down at the table and watched as she loaded a plate and handed it to him.

“For the record, I eat eggs and some dairy,” Daniel answered. He scooped up some of the black rice grits, which were purple. He took a bite, then he looked down at them. “And these. I will eat these. What’s in this?”

“I have no idea,” Clara admitted. “There’s a little place at home that makes them, and they won’t share the recipe. So my mother buys it by the quart and freezes it to ship to me. Grig likes the smell of it, but I can’t eat it too often, because of how rich it is. So I have a couple of quarts in the freezer at home.”

Daniel smiled and took another bite. “Thank you, for sharing. It’s wonderful.”

“Try the bacon,” Clara said as she filled a plate for herself.

Daniel did, and it was almost as good as the grits. Clara asked him questions while they ate, about his yoga practice and tending bar. When he told her that he’d been a performer at The Blood Bank before he started tending bar there, she laughed.

“That’s where I know you from!” she said. “I knew you were familiar. But… ah… wow, I’ve never actually said this before, but—”

“You didn’t recognize me with my clothes on?” Daniel finished, and she burst into giggles.

“Yes!” she agreed. “The night Grig and I were there, you were wearing… well, not a heck of a lot. Bike shorts, I think. Really little ones. And there was a gorgeous girl who tied you to the pole.”

“Her name is Daphne,” Daniel said. “I can introduce you, but she’s married.”

Clara wrinkled her nose. “Figures. Just my luck.” She laughed and refilled her coffee. “More grits?” she asked.

Daniel shook his head. “I’m stuffed, thanks. But more coffee would be good.” He let her fill his cup again, and took a sip. “So what’s it like, being a bond?”

She looked thoughtful. “I… may be biased. My family have basically been retainers for Grigori for five generations. Grigori seems to have a preferences for bonds from the Trella bloodine. So we kids grew up knowing that when my great-uncle stepped down or passed away, it would be one of us.” She shrugged. “Us being me, my sister, my brothers, and all of my cousins.”

“Big family?” Daniel asked.

“Huge,” Clara answered with a laugh. “Mom was one of six, Dad was one of nine, and I don’t think any of them can spell zero population growth. Family gatherings take all weekend. I’ve been with Grig six years now, and I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s hard work, but that’s mostly because vampires are stubborn breed, and sometimes you have to force them to take care of themselves.” She pointed at Daniel. “Hiro’s perfectly awful at it. He starves himself. I’m constantly shocked he doesn’t go blood mad.”

“What?” Daniel asked. “Clara, I’m on the outside looking in. There’s a lot I don’t know, and a lot that I’ve heard but don’t know if it’s true. Start at the beginning. I’m signing the contract. What does that mean?”

Clara nodded. “You have no training at all?” she asked.

“None. I didn’t finish college, and I couldn’t afford the prep school.”

“Oh, I see. You’re starting from the ground up. Okay. No wonder Hiro asked me to talk to you. To begin with, a vampire can live on poured blood for three to four days. After that, they have to drink living blood. They never take too much — usually it’s less than if you’re donating blood. But it’s every three days, usually. Any longer, and their judgment starts to go. Longer than five days, and they go wild. Which is why they have bond-slaves. Oh, and how they take living blood is a little different for each vampire. It depends on their preferences.” She paused to sip her coffee. “Vampires are apex predators. More so than humans are. So they need the hunt—”

“I know this part,” Daniel said. “It’s why they’re all into bondage, and I have a job.”

“It’s why most of them are into bondage,” Clara corrected. “For the illusion of captured prey. But for some, they’re more interested in the chase.” She grinned. “I think Grig picked me because I ran varsity track in college. Now, Hiro isn’t interested in the chase. He wants the fight. He wants the captured prey. He’s inventive, too. And considerate to a fault. You’re going to love him. He will drive you nuts, though. If there’s a religious site anywhere within walking distance, he wants to see it. I have no idea why, but he’s something of a spiritual tourist.”

And that’s where I’ll leave you. See you on Tuesday with my playlists!

Posted by EASchechter in 2019 plans, 2020 plans, accountability, BDSM Vampires, Blood Bound, Bones of Earth, excerpt, Heir to the Firstborn, Playlist, progress, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Works in Progress, Week Eleven, Blood Bound and Bones of Earth

Blood Bound
Flesh and Blood, Book 1

57165 / 95000 (60.17%)


Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

30842 / 95000 (32.47%)

Progress! (Yes, even if it isn’t a lot of progress. The number lines moving upwards is progress.) At this rate, I’ll be finishing up Blood Bound by Christmas, as is my usual writing schedule. Bones of Earth will continue until morale improves/everyone learns to swim  it’s finished. And I’m not going to START anything else until both Bones of Earth and Wings of Air are finished. I think I’ve proven that working on two projects at a time is not the best use of my time. So hopefully, once I finish Blood Bound, the only thing that I will have to distract me from Heir to the Firstborn will be edits for things I have out in various slush piles.

Forged in Fire is out now, and doing well. There’s a five star review over on Goodreads (yay!)  Just a request to the audio radiance that writers love reviews. (hinthinthint)

I think I’m finally over the slump in Bones of Earth, too. The writing seems to be moving at a faster pace, which makes sense now that things have happened in the story, and someone has shook off their holding pattern and started moving forward.

That’s nice and vague now, isn’t it? Good. No spoilers.

I did have a pretty big surprise while working on Bones just before we went to Necronomicon. If you follow me on Twitter, you saw my “I did NOT see that coming” post. I’ve decided to share…

We meet Alanar in Forged in Fire. He is a blind Healer, and he and Owyn have become very close. Very close, as we see here. They’re about to leave on a journey, because reasons.

“I’m not going to lie to myself and say everything is going to be fine and wonderful. I know I’m walking out of the only safe place left in the world. And I know there’s something out there that would make me change my mind and not go, if I knew what it was. That’s why the Mother won’t let me see what’s coming. So I know I have to go, but I’m going to take every precaution I can. Like leaving behind things that make me stand out too much.”

“And I won’t?” Alanar asked.

“Nope,” Owyn answered. “Because we’re going to tell people who get nosy that you’re my husband, that we just got married, and that we’re going north to visit your family in the Solstice village and bring them the news.”

Alanar looked startled. “When did you think of that?” he asked.

“Last night,” Owyn answered.

Alanar coughed. “Last night. Really,” he repeated. “Then I clearly was doing something wrong.”

Marik burst into laughter. “More information than we needed, Alanar!”

Owyn reached over and took Alanar’s hand. “I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep,” he explained. “I didn’t want to wake you up, so I thought about ways to cover what we were doing to anyone outside the Water villages. Any objections? I mean, if you don’t want to be married to me—”

Alanar shook his head. “Stop that. You’re a perfectly fine husband, even if I only get to borrow you for a while.” He smiled, raising Owyn’s hand to kiss his knuckles. “Maybe I can ask Aria if it can be more than a while.”

Everything stopped. The entire world stopped. Owyn’s breathing stopped. His heart stopped. Everything just… froze. Then it all lurched into motion again, like it had been kicked by a mule. “I… what? What?”

Alanar’s smile faltered. “I… I’m sorry. Was that… too… I don’t know. Owyn?”

“No, no, no,” Owyn sputtered. “Stop. Just… stop.” He swallowed. “You… just asked me to marry you. Did you mean to do that?”

“Yes, I did, Owyn.”

“But wait!” I heard you cry. “Owyn is supposed to be with Aria and Aven!”

I know. I know! This was not in the outline!

But there’s also no reason why it can’t be. As we find out shortly after this scene, Companions can, indeed, marry, so long as their spouses (spice?) understand that they are entering a group marriage. So we’re going with it.

Because reasons.  And because when stuff like this flows out of my fingers without stopping for me to think about it, that means it’s usually the right choice for the story.

Meanwhile, over in vampire land, I’ve dropped several mountains on Daniel, and wrote a science fiction plot point into my story bible that later that same day turned into science fact. No, I did not know that was on the horizon. At least, I don’t think I knew.

I also just yesterday wrote a scene I’ve had in my head for ages, ever since I made Daniel have a day job as a yoga instructor.

The only thing you really need to know for this scene is that Hiro is much shorter than Daniel — Daniel is 6’2. Hiro is 5’5

He made his way back out into the living room, sipping his tea as he went to the window and looked out over the dark expanse of Central Park. Streetlights flickered and shone through windblown tree branches, and he could see the reflections of light in water. This window must look out over The Lake. It was a nice view. Must be pretty in the winter, when it snowed. It would be nice to watch the snow fall from this vantage. He took a deep breath. He was still tired. Overtired, maybe, and sore. He needed to go back to sleep. Maybe he could flow, and relax that way. It was worth a try. He put down his cup and moved in front of the window. He closed his eyes, shifting to stand in mountain pose, slowing his breathing, silently examining himself, looking for pain. He ached, but he didn’t hurt, so he started, sweeping upward into the salute. The sun salutations felt good, strong, and he flowed through them three times before he started seeking balance. High tree pose, raising his arms like branches over his head, then reaching down, catching his raised right foot with his right hand and reaching back into Dancer. He extended his right arm toward the window, and saw movement reflected in the glass.

“Well, that is a handsome pose,” Hiro said from behind him. “I could bind you like that, but then I’d have to stand on a box to do anything with you once I had.”

For this week, my main goals are to get really moving on Bones of Earth — there’s a good bit coming, and I can hit it maybe this weekend if I keep my words up.

Oh, and for the record, I am not doing Nanowrimo this year. I’d have to focus on one project to the detriment of the other. I’ll do Camp Nano in April.

Posted by EASchechter in 2019 plans, accountability, Adavar, BDSM Vampires, Blood Bound, Bones of Earth, Elemental Project, excerpt, Forged in Fire, Heir to the Firstborn, new books, progress, research is fun, Ta-da, to-dos, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, writing, 0 comments

Works in Progress: Week Nine, Blood Bound and Bones of Earth

Blood Bound
Flesh and Blood, Book 1

48251 / 95000 (50.79%)


Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

26509 / 95000 (27.90%)

I think I have resigned myself to the fact that Bones of Earth is a poky book, and I will not be getting as many words out as I am for Blood Bound. And that’s okay — there’s no deadline as long as I get my chapters up once a week. The fact is, I’m my own worst taskmaster.

Now, if you look at the wordcounts this week and compare them to last week, you might thing that I went completely all in on Blood Bound. I mean… over 10K words in a week?

Not exactly. Remember last week, when I said I’d put the first ten chapters up in a private crit group for people to see my worldbuilding? I managed to bork Scriveners on-board wordcounter when I did it, and didn’t realize that until the 11th, when the wordcounter said I’d only apparently written 333 words in over a week. I figured out the problem and fixed it. So really, that 10K is since October 2nd.

Words this week are probably going to be light — I am again fighting a cold (or something), and trying to get rid of it before Necronomicon this weekend. Thankfully, I have a light schedule this year. I’m on two panels on Friday, and one on Saturday. The rest of the weekend you’ll find me at my dealers table.

The panels this weekend are:

Friday 7 pm:  The Many Faces of Holmes & Watson

Friday 11 pm: Slash Fiction

Saturday 1 pm: The Religion of Diets

That Saturday panel intrigues me, to the point that I asked to be added to it when I saw it on the schedule. I mean, if anyone knows anything about the religion of diets, it would be Liz coming-up-on-ten-years-of-WW Schechter.

A rare,  mostly non-spoilery excerpt from Bones of Earth this week. There are two characters here you’ll meet in Forged in Fire (on sale next week! Presales available now!) Marik is Earth and Water, and has recently lost his left eye because reasons. Alanar is a Healer, and he is Earth and Air. He is also blind — in Forged in Fire, we learn that Airborn have an innate ability to know where they are in space, and use it very much like bats use echolocation.  Being blind, Alanar uses that ability in interesting ways.

“Are you ready for this?”

“I should see if I still remember how,” Alanar answered. He hefted the staff and walked out onto the field. Owyn stayed by the gate and watched as Alanar picked the staff up. He didn’t hold it the way that Owyn had seen other staff fighters do — instead of holding the staff in the middle, Alanar held it near one end, angled down across his body. He stood still for a moment. Then, with no warning, he lunged, stabbing the staff forward the way someone would use a polearm. Owyn caught his breath — a lunge for someone as tall as Alanar, and with a staff that was equally as tall, meant that he could strike someone at a greater distance than Owyn could reach with his whip chain. Alanar recovered, twisting slightly, the staff moving in front of him. Blocking, Owyn realized. Holding the staff that way meant that all Alanar needed to do was move slightly, and he could block a blow from any height.

“Oh, he’s practicing?” Marik said from behind Owyn. “Oh… he hasn’t forgotten much.”

“I’ve never seen anyone use a staff like that,” Owyn said without turning. He couldn’t look away — Alanar was just too interesting to watch. “I’m used to people holding it in the middle. This is a lot more flexible.”

“I’ve seen people fight your way,” Marik said. “Most of them learned it from someone Fire, or lived in one of the Fire and Earth villages in the eastern mountains. Further east, they fight that way, too. But this is how we learn it here. It might have some Air influence. I don’t know.”

Owyn finally made himself look over his shoulder at Marik. Marik was holding a staff in his right hand, and had a crossbow in his left. He set the crossbow down to lean against the fence, and stepped through the gate. “Alanar?”

“I thought I heard you,” Alanar called. He stopped, leaning on his staff. He wasn’t even breathing hard.

“I thought you said you were out of practice!” Owyn called. Alanar laughed.

“I’m alone in here,” he said. “Against an opponent?”

“You’re going to leave me all over the sand,” Marik said. He moved to the middle of the ring and picked up his staff. Then he frowned. “This is going to be interesting.”

“Why… oh.” Alanar nodded. “You’re right handed. So you’ll be putting your left side forward.”

“And that’s the side I can’t see on,” Marik agreed. “Take it easy on me, will you?”

Alanar nodded. “Of course. I’m not going to make more work for myself.”

“Oh, fuck you!” Marik laughed.

“Promises, promises.” Alanar raised his staff. “Any time you’re ready. I’ll defend.”


Posted by EASchechter in accountability, Adavar, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Blood Bound, Bones of Earth, conventions, excerpt, Forged in Fire, Heir to the Firstborn, Necronomicon, new books, presales, public displays of geekery, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, 0 comments

Works in Progress, Week Two: Bones of Earth and Blood Bound

Blood Bound

10227 / 95000 (10.77%)

Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

3179 / 95000 (3.35%)

Things are a little slow here — there have been lots of back to school related things that have kept me away from my desk. Here’s hoping things calm down a little so I can focus.

Blood Bound is moving quite well, for all that I keep having to stop and do the worldbuilding that I didn’t really get done over the summer. You’d think that with as long as this has been on the back burner, I’d have done some of it. Umm… nope!

Part of the problem, which isn’t REALLY a problem, is that Daniel, the main character, is a bartender at night, but during the day he teaches yoga and pole dancing. Now, I know from yoga. I’ve been doing yga for years. Pole dancing is entirely a new thing for me. So I’m watching lots of YouTube videos on male pole dancing. For research. Really.

With Bones of Earth, I have a good idea where things are going to go. It’s just sitting down and getting them there. Once I get into the swing of things again, we should be good. And in the meantime, I’ve finished my initial editing pass on Forged in Fire, and handed them off for another set of eyes. I’m still thinking that we’re looking at an October publication date and new books on the table at Necronomicon.

Since I can’t give an excerpt from Bones of Earth without spoilers for Forged in Fire, let’s meet Itami Hiro, our vampire love-interest from Blood Bound.


It was still early, so it wouldn’t be busy for hours yet. Especially since the performers didn’t start until eight. Right now, it was a couple of the regulars, mostly humans, who called out greetings and went to claim their usual spaces. Several of them called out drink orders, and Daniel was busy enough with them that, while he noticed the man take a seat at the bar, he didn’t really see him until Sarah had taken the drinks away. Then he turned with a smile, wiping his hands on a bar towel, and tried not to stare. He immediately recognized the man as a vampire — he’d gotten good at that over the years. But he’d never seen this man before. He’d remember those looks, and that hair — pure white, straight and hanging loose over the shoulders of his perfectly tailored suit. Definitely not a bleach job. He wore dark glasses, and Daniel wondered if it was an affectation, or medical. He was betting medical.

“Welcome to The Blood Bank,” Daniel said as he walked over. “First time?”

“You can tell?” The vampire took off his glasses, revealing not red irises as Daniel had expected, but pale purple. Daniel nodded.

“I’ve never seen you here before, and I’m always behind the bar. What can I get for you, sir?” He watched the man as he took a snifter from the warmer. He was Asian. Albino Asian vampire. Not familiar. From somewhere other than New York, Daniel decided. Who was he? And he was alone. Where was his bond-slave? “We’ve got lamb, veal, venison and ostrich on tap. The ostrich is new and small batch.”

“Ostrich?” The vampire sniffed. “Is there someone who drinks that?”

“Between you, me and the bar? I really doubt it,” Daniel said, and the vampire laughed. Daniel wiped his hand again on the bar towel, then held his hand out. “Daniel Remington.” The vampire took the offered hand and shook it, but didn’t offer his own name. “What can I get you, sir?” Daniel repeated.

The vampire looked at him for a moment, studying him. He was squinting slightly, and Daniel reached out and turned off the task light closest to him, cutting the glare off on that portion of the bar. The vampire looked surprised. Then he smiled.

“A drink,” he said. “Not blood.” He looked Daniel up and down, almost appraisingly. “Surprise me.”

“Surprise you,” Daniel repeated. “Okay.” He nodded, thinking. He was starting to suspect that he was talking with the new owner. Which meant he needed to impress. Flash. He grinned. “Sweet or savory?”

“Surprise me,” the vampire repeated. Daniel nodded.

“Sure. Give me a minute.” He turned, studied the bar for a moment, then decided and started picking things up. Vodka and coconut water, cranberry juice, blue curacao, and simple syrup. He could feel Trace watching him as he filled a rocks glass with ice, then filled the Boston shaker with ice, and measured his ingredients. He changed the proportions just a bit, just enough, and shook the drink up. Then he carried the glass and the shaker over to the vampire, set the glass down, then broke the shaker open and deftly poured the contents into the glass. The drink, which would normally be a pale blue, was instead a light shade of purple.

“There you go,” he said. “On the house. Welcome to The Blood Bank.”

“On the house?”

“First timers get welcomed in. And besides, it matches your eyes.” Daniel grinned and winked at the vampire, who looked stunned for a moment, then laughed out loud.

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, BDSM Vampires, Blood Bound, Bones of Earth, excerpt, Forged in Fire, Heir to the Firstborn, Necronomicon, progress, publishing, Self-publishing, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Getting started.

School started last week, which means I started, too. Last Monday was day one of Blood Bound, and today is day one of Bones of Earth.

Blood Bound

5089 / 95000 (5.36%)

Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

0 / 95000 (0.00%)

Yes, the wordcounter has no words in it yet. Don’t worry! They’re coming.

Blood Bound is already being fun. Have a bit (our set up is that Daniel, our main character, is the bartender in a club that caters to vampires and humans. So they offered what’s called poured blood, as opposed to living blood. Living blood is taken right from the source.)


“What have we got for poured blood tonight?” Daniel asked, checking the snifters in the warmer. Fully stocked. Good. “And how fresh?”

“Lamb, veal, venison, and ostrich.”

Daniel looked up. “Ostrich?”

“It’s trendy.” Trace shrugged. “Or so I’m told. I’m sure I don’t know. Anton ordered it, and it was all delivered this morning. Went straight into the warmer.”

Daniel looked around and saw Anton across the club. “Anton! Ostrich? Really?”

“It is the new big thing,” Anton called back. “It will sell like… flapjacks?”

Daniel laughed. “Hotcakes. And whoever told you that is full of shit. It’s not mammalian. It won’t sell. ”

Anton waved one hand. “It will sell!”

“It won’t,” Daniel insisted. “It’s going to be exactly like the alligator disaster last March!”

Anton scowled at him, but he was smiling. “I manage. You tend the bar. I buy the blood. You sell the blood. So sell the blood.” He shook his head. “We bought a small batch,” he admitted. “I will not lose a week of sales on an assurance of the next big thing. Trust me so much, hm?”


I started Bones of Earth in my walking around notebook this morning while waiting for class to start at the gym. I’m not sure how many words I have down yet, but we’ll see in a bit. I need to set up the Scrivener file for it. And I have… just about an hour and a half before I have to leave for carline.

Ready… set… word!

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, BDSM Vampires, Blood Bound, Bones of Earth, excerpt, Heir to the Firstborn, 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