Haven’s Fall

This Is Getting to Be a Habit

I used to post this blog early on Monday. Maybe one of these weeks, I’ll get back to doing that again.

This is not that week. Today has been a very Monday-ish Monday, and about midday, I hit the “No spoons, ONLY KNIVES!!!” point.  I’m a little less frazzled now, but I still have this blog post to write and two more chapters  of Children of Dreams to rewrite.

Speaking of that, I’m about halfway complete with the rewrite on Children of Dreams. I still think it will be ready for the November sale date. but I’m not setting up the preorder until I hand the book off to Darling Editor. Which I hope will be sometime next week.

The new edition of Forged in Fire went up for sale this week, and the ebooks look like they’re available almost everywhere.  Paperbacks appear to be rolling out, too — Barnes and Noble says they have the new paperbacks, and Amazon has the new cover but the old book blurb. If you order and get a copy with the old cover, that’s the old content, too. Same with Written in Water.


I should have Bones of Earth ready to go sometime late this week or early next.

I love these covers, but you won’t get to see my FAVORITE until we hit book 5. Which I’m not showing you yet.

John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town is starting to wind down — there are two chapters left to go in this middle part of The Chronicles of John Zebedee. Then we hit the final portion — John Zebedee Meets the Witch-Queen of the Elvenlands, which will take us through to the end of the year. And at some point I have to give all of these images to a cover designer for the collected Chronicles of John Zebedee. Which may include bonus material, but I haven’t decided yet. I’d have to write it, and writing brain is still not entirely functional.

Proof that I’m LOUSY at marketing is that I’ve been completely forgetting to promote the collected Rebel Mage ebook, which will be coming out on October 4th!  This will be Amazon only, and includes Counsel of the Wicked, Haven’s Fall and Where Home Lies.

There are still eleven days to go grab the updated Written in Water for FREE through the Fantasy Frenzy. Click the image and grab a pile of free books. Did I mention they’re free?

Back to the revision grindstone. Catch you all next week, with hopefully some new news to share!

Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, 2023 plans, accountability, Bones of Earth, Children of Dreams, Counsel of the Wicked, Forged in Fire, forthcoming works, Haven's Fall, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, presales, progress, promotions, Rebel Mage, Revisions, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, Where Home Lies, Written in Water, 0 comments

And Here We Go!

First, tomorrow is the re-release of Haven’s Fall!

There’s still time to preorder it, so you’ll have it tonight. Or you can start reading it tomorrow in KU if you’ve already read Counsel of the Wicked.

I sat down Saturday and figured out how much more there is to finish in Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home. The answer? Six chapters. About 18K words. I’m calling is 20K to be on the safe side.

I have ten days, roughly, in which to write that.

Since I figured that out, I have written 2818 words.

Roughly 17,182 words to go.

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

151798 / 170000 (89.29%)
I’m almost done with one chapter, which will leave five more to finish. In ten days.
This is doable. I might have brains of tapioca in eleven days, but it’s doable.
And then Heir to the Firstborn will be finished. Which will be VERY strange. Well, not finished finished. There are still edits. And the series itself has been picked up by a co-op publisher, so there will be even more edits and new covers coming (there’s already a new blurb on Written in Water. It doesn’t take up the entire back of the book.) But that’s the end of the series. That’s it. There’s no more.
Well… I don’t think there’s anymore.
Edits may not happen until fall. I want to spend the summer working on business planning and marketing, and doing research for my Imaginative Anthropology project. Maybe planning out some other writing.
But definitely taking a break.
Ten more days.
Okay, words. Let’s go.
Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Adavar, Counsel of the Wicked, forthcoming works, Haven's Fall, Heir to the Firstborn, progress, promotions, Rebel Mage, summer, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, writing, Written in Water, 0 comments

Race to the Finish Line!

Here we are, with two and a half weeks left of school, and… probably about ten chapters to go in Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home. That’s roughly 30K words.

In two and a half weeks.

Ummm… this is going to be a really short blog post! I have to go make all the words!!!

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

140730 / 170000 (82.78%)

I can’t believe this series is almost done. It’s really kind of wild — this is the longest I’ve ever spent on any single project, ever. And the amount of work and worldbuilding that went on behind the scenes — well, I knew it was ambitious to write a serial in real time. I just didn’t know just how ambitious!

And at the same time, I’m really ready for this series to be done. I’ve done just about everything I can do with the characters — including some things that should have been permanent but weren’t (trying to avoid book 3 spoilers…). There might be a short story for some side characters that came into it near the end of The Way Home, but… maybe not.

Once it’s done, I’ll be taking the summer off. Well, as off as I ever get — there will be edits, and I need to finish the last part of my business plan. I have research to do for the imaginative anthropology project I want to put together, and I have so much reading to catch up on!

But first… moar words!!!

Before I forget! Counsel of the Wicked is on Kindle Countdown deal this week, because Haven’s Fall comes out NEXT week.

Now, back to making words.

Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, Counsel of the Wicked, Haven's Fall, Heir to the Firstborn, promotions, research is fun, the-end-is-near, upcoming books, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, writing, 0 comments

A World of Blurry Dilation…

Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of blurry dilation…

I’m typing this while still dilated from an eye doctor appointment three hours ago. Which means I’m touch typing. This is… challenging. And if any typos creep through, that’s why.

Announcements first —

The Wild West Paranormal project that I was working on has been cancelled, and I have these three novellas all finished and polished and ready to go. So I’m going to get them out into the world, and give Kindle Vella a try. The first three episodes of  John Zebedee and the Heir of the Elvenlands will go live on May 30th, with a new episode dropping every Monday. Link as soon as I have one, and I am really kinda digging the cover graphic I came up with for this.

There are two more graphics for Monstrous Town and for Witch Queen, and I’ll show those off later. And the collected Chronicles of John Zebedee will be my first release for 2023.

Another announcement — I have recently gotten the nod to join Book View Cafe, which is a cooperative publisher. As part of this, and for my first releases from BVC, I will be getting all new covers for the Heir to the Firstborn series, and they will be re-edited and re-released starting later this year. I’m really excited for this, and I can’t wait to show you all the shiny new covers.

I announced the cancellation of the audiobook project last week. I did talk to Mark after, and he’s still incredibly upset (honestly, we all are.) So once the Heir books are republished, I’m going to send a set to him and see if he’s interested and has the time to take them on, and we’ll go from there.

Haven’s Fall drops two weeks from tomorrow, on Kindle Unlimited, and paperback wherever paperbacks are sold. ARCS are currently closed for Haven’s Fall and for Where Home Lies, but I may open them up again because they closed too soon.

I’ve set The Sea Prince aside for the moment. Again. Not because I’m stuck, but because my brain wants to play in the new, shiny world more than it does in The Way Home (what, this old thing?) I’ll pick up The Sea Prince in the fall, and hopefully have that done by the end of the year. And I’m hoping to have The Way Home done by the end of the month.

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

136347 / 170000 (80.20%)

I just need to stop having these characters throw new plotlines at me that I then have to nip in the bud. I mean, really, this is the last book. I do NOT need to add in a new plot thread with all new characters who are NOT IN THE OUTLINE in chapter FORTY!

So those new characters have been squared away, and today is the day I start writing the last, long slide down to resolution. I think. Maybe. Once I can see straight.



Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, 2023 plans, accountability, annoying-muse-is-annoying, audiobooks, Haven's Fall, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, new books, promotions, publishing, Rebel Mage, Release date, The Sea Prince, the-end-is-near, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, writing-mom, 0 comments

So Busy!!!

This past week feels like I’ve been running from pillar to post all week, and yet I’m not sure I have much to show for it. Strange.

I didn’t get as many words down as I’d have liked, but I did get to write some interesting scenes that revealed once again that my characters keep secrets from me, and only tell me when it’s the right time. If you’ve seen “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” you probably remember the scene where Roger slips the handcuffs? And Eddie demands to know why he couldn’t do it before, only to have Roger reply that he couldn’t do it before. He could only do it when it was funny.

My characters only reveal things when it’s going to complicate the plot. However, I like this complication, so it stays.

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

94275 / 150000 (62.85%)

Then again, I usually like the complications, and they usually stay. My characters have more of a direct line to my subconscious, which is where these stories start. I figure they know what they’re talking about.

The Kickstarter has another month to go, and I really hope it picks up. If you want to see audiobooks produced for the Swords of Charlemagne books, please share the graphic and the Kickstarter link?

Another thing that’s still running is the Red Hot giveaway! You have until the end of the month to grab your free books!

The last thing that I’ve been working on is the revisions on the Rebel Mage books. Counsel of the Wicked and Haven’s Fall are ready, and I’m putting the final polish on Where Home Lies. All of the books will be out this year, with Counsel coming next month, on March 8th! You can preorder now on Amazon — these ebooks will be Amazon exclusives for purchase or for reading through Kindle Unlimited.

I was also interviewed for the These Mums Write podcast, which was an enormous amount of fun. As soon as I know the date that the episode will air, I’ll let everyone know. I think it’s in early March.

Okay, so maybe I did get a lot done last week. And I have even more to get done this week, including attending Boskone virtually this upcoming weekend, and finding out the results of the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers Choice Awards!

Wish me luck!


Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, audiobooks, Boskone, contest, conventions, Counsel of the Wicked, forthcoming works, Haven's Fall, Heir to the Firstborn, Kickstarter, new books, product endorsement, progress, promotions, Rebel Mage, Release date, Swords of Charlemagne, upcoming books, upcoming work, Where Home Lies, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Toss A Coin To Your Writer…

And on this gray and rainy Monday, I’m having a slow start. Sort of like my Kickstarter…

You did know about the Kickstarter, right?  To fund all four audiobooks for Swords of Charlemagne, so that we can have the same narrator for all the books?

The Kickstarter has a little over a month left to go, and hasn’t broken 10%. Not going to lie, I’m starting to worry here…

If we don’t make it, there will still be an audiobook for Hidden Things — I’ve already contracted that, and Mark (the narrator) is working on it now. But I’ll be paying him out of pocket for that, which means that I won’t be able to get The Lady and the Sword into production until later this year, which means gambling on Mark’s availability.

So… if having an audiobook series change narrators halfway through annoys you as much as it annoys me? Share the Kickstarter, and maybe throw something into the hat. And if nothing else, go read the updates — I’ve been posting about the visual inspirations for the main characters. So far, I’ve done Turpin/Yael, Roland and Olivier. Margaret is next.

Which I’m on the subject of Swords of Charlemagne, voting is open for the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards. The Lady and the Sword is up for best LGBT Fantasy, and Swords of Charlemagne is up for best LGBT Fantasy Series. Voting is open until February 12th.

I’m now twenty-seven chapters into Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home. I think I’ll be pulling this one off as the last book. We’re about to hit a point where I can move them along more quickly, so I think we’re almost to the top of the big hill on the plot roller coaster. I’m debating adding a scene not in the outline (because that never happens. Ever.) I’ll see if it actually fits when I get to that spot.

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

91442 / 150000 (60.96%)
Preorders are up for the re-released of  the Rebel Mage series, and the first two books have been finalized. I’m going to get started on the reread and revision of Where Home Lies today. I’ve already made a note of something that came up in one of the earlier books that I never addressed or resolved, and I’ve caught a few places where people leave the same room twice, or say they’re going to go get something, never leave, and then magically have the thing they never went to go get.
It’s interesting, going back and rereading something that I wrote with an eye on republishing it. There are some things that I did then that I wouldn’t do now, or would do differently now. If changing them wouldn’t break the story, I made changes. But for the most part, there’s very little that I’m changing other than editorial goofs that were missed the first time around.
And finally — FREE BOOKS!
Yes, really. The Red Hot book giveaway is ongoing for this entire month. Nineteen books either free to download entirely, or as a sample. Go check it out!
And that’s where things are in this neck of the woods. Plugging along until next week!
Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Audible, audiobooks, contest, Counsel of the Wicked, except-for-when-it-is, giveaway, Haven's Fall, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, promotions, Rebel Mage, Self-publishing, Swords of Charlemagne, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, Where Home Lies, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Drive the Cold Winter Away.

Those of you who know me, and who know I live in Florida, are probably laughing right now, and looking at me funny, because cold winter and Florida do not usually go together. And while it did snow in Florida recently, it’s nothing like what they have in our former stomping grounds of the Baltimore/DC Corridor.  So cold winter, Liz? Really?

For the record? It’s a song lyric from a Tudor era song that may have been written by Henry VIII (or it may not have. Provenance hazy, ask again later.)

It’s chilly in the mornings, here, but not enough to need more than a sweatshirt when we leave to head out to school at way-too-early-for-a-teenager. But this morning, I noticed that it was lighter out when we left. Dawn is coming earlier, which I like — I hate driving to school in pitch blackness.

I had a busy week last week — I went through all three Rebel Mage books, tweaked them, fixed the formatting, and uploaded them for presale! Now, these will be working a little different — Rebel Mage will be staying in KU. You won’t find these ebooks on any other platform. There will be paperbacks, but the ebooks will be KU only, at least while dark romance remains a hot item in KU page reads. Counsel drops in March, Haven’s Fall in May, and Where Home Lies in July.

Last week I also got some marketing done for Swords of Charlemagne: The Complete series — the box set is on preorder for a February 1st drop, and I started ads running to promote that on Friday. The box set will be wide — available everywhere you find ebooks.  (that link will show all the bookstores, once they all finish loading. I just this moment realized that I never hit PUBLISH on the wide version when Table of Stone came out of KU. Umm… oops.)

Focusing on marketing and on the Rebel Mage books means that I didn’t get as much work done on The Way Home as I wanted. But there was some forward progress, so I’ll take it.

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

77002 / 150000 (51.33%)
I’m thinking that I’m still on track for a November release on this book, with a possibility of moving it up. We’ll see how the chapters play out over on the Patreon — the book will not release to the public until after the last chapter is live on Patreon, whenever that might be.
I’m still dithering over what the next Patreon project will be. I have three potentials, but two of them are books that I started and that stalled out. I need to see if I can figure out where those broke and fix them before I commit either of them to Patreon.
And I’m working on the synopsis/outline for Tales from the Arena: Dead Man’s Hand, because Teren is FINALLY talking to me and wanting his story told. We’ll see when that one actually gets written, though. Depends on… well, a lot of things. It’ll get written. At some point.
And that’s about all from this particular locale.



Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, accountability, Counsel of the Wicked, cover art, forthcoming works, Haven's Fall, Heir to the Firstborn, progress, promotions, Rebel Mage, Release date, Swords of Charlemagne, Tales from the Arena, upcoming books, upcoming work, Where Home Lies, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, 0 comments

Writing the Other

In my initial outlines for Counsel of the Wicked, Matthias, the main character, was gay in a world of religious repression and rampant homophobia. Now, my characters have this habit of telling me things about themselves as I’m writing. It’s how I know I’ve written a good character, when one has taken on a life of his or her own. This tendency took an interesting turn in Counsel, when Matthias took the bit in his teeth in the middle of a chapter, and revealed that he wasn’t gay at all. He was asexual, and I had a problem. Every other time something like this has happened and I try to force the story back to where I thought it should be (no, the outline says you do THIS!), I’ve broken the story, so I’ve learned to go with it. But I had never written an ace character before; I had no idea how to write an asexual character without making them either a caricature or a stereotype. Which led to the question: What do I do now?

Well, like any good writer faced with a lack of knowledge, I started with research. I knew nothing at all about asexuality. Surprisingly, I found that Tumblr is actually a very good source of references for writers on alternative sexualities, with many links to websites that answered most of my questions and allowed me to finish the manuscript. Then I went looking for special beta readers—I sent out a request to my usual communities for readers who could tell me if I’d written Matthias properly. To my delight, I had eight people who identified as asexual come to me and volunteer. And to my dismay, four of them backed out when I gave them the trigger warnings for the manuscript. However, the other four read through the manuscript, and I was told that I’d written a good portrayal of a demi-romantic asexual character. I’d written a believable character who existed outside my personal identity.

I’d written “The Other.”

One of the biggest lies that creative writing students are taught is that they should write what they know. Really. I’m not sure how creative that actually is, but that’s what the book says. Write what you know. So, if I was writing what I know, I’d be writing books about an overweight, 40-something, Puerto-Rican/Italian, gluten-intolerant, bisexual, homeschooling, stay-at-home mom who’s been married for twenty years, and who is currently living in Central Florida. That’s a lot of adjectives, isn’t it? Well, if I’m writing what I know, that’s me, in a verbose nutshell. Now, tell me honestly, how many books do you think that would sell? One, maybe.

Needless to say, I’m not a big fan of “write what you know.”

I am, however, a huge proponent of the Rikki-Tikki-Tavi School of Creative Writing. When you don’t know something, run and find out. Odds are pretty good that you’re writing on a computer of some flavor, which means that there’s a wealth of information at your fingertips. Google is your very best friend, and there are always going to be people who will be willing to read what you’ve written, if only because it is important that all people be able to accurately see themselves in the mirror that is published fiction. Because all the stories can’t be about the overly-muscled white dude who saves the world, or the model with the lower back tattoo beating up on vampires or demons or whatever the monster of the week is in publishing at the moment. Sometimes, the stories need to be about the overweight, 40-something, Puerto-Rican/Italian, gluten-intolerant, bisexual, homeschooling, stay-at-home moms. Or the demi-ace boys.

A couple of months after Counsel of the Wicked came out, while I was hard at work on Haven’s Fall, I was invited to a dinner that had absolutely nothing to do with writing. It was a product demonstration, for a tester that you can use to see if there is gluten present in your food. It’s a fascinating little thing, a real boon to someone who can’t have gluten in any form, but who does have to travel and is at the mercy of restaurants more than is comfortable for someone to whom regular food can be poison. You know, like me.

Anyhow, I’m at this very nice dinner attended by all these big name bloggers and writers in the gluten-free industry, as well as others in the food industry. I spent most of my evening sitting next to the Head of Special Diets for Walt Disney World; that was pretty awesome! I’ll admit that by the time the salad showed up (the device said don’t eat the dressing!) I was wondering what the heck I was doing there. Then the organizer came over to talk with me.

“I wanted to thank you,” she said. “Your book is the first one I’ve ever seen with an asexual main character. My daughter is asexual.”

That is the why of writing outside your identity. Of turning your back on writing what you know and instead doing the work so that you can competently and respectfully write beyond your limits. Because it matters.


Haven’s Fall is now available in print and ebook forms.

Posted by EASchechter in Blog Tour, ex-cathedra from my navel, Haven's Fall, Rebel Mage, Release date, The School, 0 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