Sable Locks

Halfway through October

Here we are, halfway through October. Not bad so far. People who have been with me for a while know that October is not my favorite month. I’ve said before that the only thing October has going for it is that it ends in Halloween. My reason? Everything bad happens in October, and this year has not been an exception to that rule (thankfully, everyone involved is fine, but dammit, October!!!)

I’ve been largely focusing on writing Balance of Power, because I am barely keeping up with my chapter a week schedule for Patreon. I’ve currently just started chapter 13, and chapter 11 goes live tomorrow for upper tier Patrons, and Friday for everyone else. That’s not a great buffer, especially with the holidays coming up. I *think* this point is the midpoint, so we’re looking at about 26 to 30 chapters total. And this will be IT. The last book! I mean it this time!

Stop laughing.

Now, this does mean that The Sea Prince is on hiatus again, but it’ll be a short one, and I did already plan for it — edits are coming soon for Morrigan’s Heir, and I was already going to put The Sea Prince on the back burner so I could get the edits turned around and back out the door, then get the revision of Morrigan’s Wrath out to my editor by the end of the year. Then it’s a waiting game to see which edits come in first — Morrigan’s Wrath, or Bonds of Blood and Steel.

Wait… what?

Last week, when I announced the tenth anniversary House of Sable Locks, I kind of forgot to mention the bonus material included with the new edits… chapter one of Bonds of Blood and Steel. The sequel to House of Sable Locks will be coming from Riverdale Avenue Books sometime next year. The manuscript is already with my editor, which is why I say I’m not sure which edits will get to me first. More information as I have it!

And that’s where we are today. Not everything that happens in October is bad, I suppose.

Works in Progress

The Sea Prince
The Coral Throne, Book 1

63623 / 120000 (53.02%)

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

39128 / 90000 (43.48%)


My final promo for the year is on October 27th, hosted by Stephanie Freeman. You can find more information and sign up here. For that event, you can grab free copies of The Chronicles of John Zebedee!

Now, that being said, maybe I’ll do a First in Series personal sale for Black Friday. We shall see. (For anyone keeping score, that’s Written in Water, Hidden Things, Counsel of the Wicked, and maybe I’ll discount The Chronicles of John Zebedee because that’s technically a series-in-one.) Watch this space for announcements!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, Balance of Power, Blood and Steel, circlet, forthcoming works, happy-happy- joy- joy, promotions, publishing, Sable Locks, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

Tenth Anniversary!

I have to lead with this gorgeous thing — the tenth anniversary cover for House of Sable Locks

Isn’t he LOVELY???

This went live sometime over the weekend, and I missed it until this morning, when I received a spam email from a book promoter about my “new book” House of Sable Locks.

That’s very much William… which is funny because that particular model is also on the cover of Infernal Machine! Clearly, the art director and I have similar tastes in steampunk cover models.

The tenth anniversary cover is still going out to all the booksellers and isn’t yet up everywhere. If you want one now, you can get it directly from the publisher.

In other news, I got the news this week that Written in Water was cut from SPFBO, and will not be continuing on in the contest. The reviewer was incredibly positive about the book, and loved the series as well. Really, I can’t complain — the entire experience has been amazing from start to finish. You can read the review here.

In and around working on The Sea Prince and Balance of Power, I’m planning out what the next book will be. Part of that depends on one thing that is out of my control — which books that are out for consideration sell. If I don’t have an answer for that by the time I finish with either of the two books I’m working on now, then I think the next thing I will write will be either The Iron Virgin (aka Pirate Princess), or Tower of Light (aka gay steampunk retelling of Metropolis). I’m not sure which, because it all depends on which one yells at me the loudest.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this whole full-time writer thing over ten years now. What a trip this has been! I have to say, it’s not getting old — I love every minute of it!

Works in Progress

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

63523 / 120000 (52.94%)

Balance of Power
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 7)

34357 / 90000 (38.17%)


A new Cavalcade of Authors promo is coming this week, from October 13th through the 15th. Again, 200 books or more free for download. For this one, I’ve put both Written in Water AND Forged in Fire into the pot.

There’s also a single day event on October 27th, hosted by Stephanie Freeman. You can find more information on that and sign up here. For that event, you can grab free copies of The Chronicles of John Zebedee!

Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, Balance of Power, cover art, Forged in Fire, Iron and Silk, John Zebedee, kvelling, promotions, publishing, reviews, Sable Locks, The Iron Virgin, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, Tower of Light, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

Fourth and Goal

No, I don’t watch football. Well, not anymore. I used to, but the last time I watched football really was… well, yesterday, to be honest. But it was the Funday Football on Disney+, where they did real time animation of the football game from London (it was hilariously glitchy.) No, In this case, fourth and goal doesn’t mean how far you have to go in football. It’s how far we have to go in 2023. October 1st marks the beginning of the fourth quarter. I’ve done my fourth quarter planning and my goals are up on my kanban board. It’s time to look toward bringing this year to a close.

Kanban, research shelf and Ink.

My immediate goals? Finish Balance of Power. Keep working on The Sea Prince. Edits on Morrigan’s Heir will be in some time this month, so I’ll be turning those around to get the book out by the end of 2023. And then I have to revise Morrigan’s Wrath to get that in to the editor. The anniversary edition of House of Sable Locks will be coming out soon (how soon? I don’t know!) and there are things to be done for that. There’s research that I really should get back to doing, although that’s lower priority to closing out the year and revisiting my business plan for 2024. I’m also considering pulling some of my short stories and getting them up for sale, but that may be a 2024 goal and not a 2023 goal.

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

30416 / 90000 (33.80%)

The Sea Prince
The Coral Throne, Book 1

62124 / 120000 (51.77%)

Work on The Sea Prince has slowed down a little, and will slow down even more once the edits come in. Co-writing is much more of a juggling act than writing a book solo, because my interruptions rarely coincide with Danielle’s interruptions, which means that one of us is usually waiting on the other to look over things. We’ll eventually get the hang of this and get this book done.

The SPFBO judges have to announce their finalists by October 31st. This means that, at some point this month, I will find out if Written in Water will continue on in the contest. I’m surprisingly okay with either option. There are so many amazing books that have been cut already so if I am cut, I’ll be in fantastic company.

Keep an eye out for a special blog post/newsletter post in the next week or so — I’ll be able to show you the beautiful new cover of House of Sable Locks!


A new Cavalcade of Authors promo is coming this month, from October 13th through the 15th. Again, 200 books or more free for download. For this one, I’ve put Forged in Fire into the pot.

There’s also a single day event on October 27th, hosted by Stephanie Freeman. You can find more information on that and sign up here. For that event, you can grab free copies of The Chronicles of John Zebedee!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, accountability, Balance of Power, contest, cover art, edits, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, planner stuff, Planning, promotions, publishing, Revisions, Sable Locks, short story, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

Calendar Fall

On September 1st, I saw something on the news that said that September 1st was the first day of calendar fall. Which… if you live someplace where you don’t have actual fall, like Florida, then having a purely calendar fall makes sense. I guess. School started a month ago, and Spooky season started July 5th, but sure, it’s fall now.

(If you think I’m joking about spooky season starting July 5th? There was Halloween merchandise on sale in Joann’s Fabrics over a month ago, and the wholesale clubs have the Halloween themed candy out.)

In two weeks we’ll be at Necronomicon in Tampa. I’ll be on four panels (I think it’s four? Maybe five) and I’ll have a table in Writer’s Alley. I WILL have print copies of Princes of Air (for the first time EVER!), but I will not have the new covers on House of Sable Locks just yet. (I MAY have a cover reveal for Sable Locks in the newsletter this week. Do you get my newsletter? Would you like to?)

I’ve heard from my editor about Morrigan’s Heir, and I should have edits in hand next month. He tells me that the edits are minimal, so there’s still a good chance that we’ll have this book out in 2023! More as soon as I know more!

In terms of current writing, things are moving slowly with The Sea Prince, as the characters reveal things that I hadn’t realized where there. And I am just about to finish chapter 6 of Balance of Power, racing to keep ahead of my Patreon! There’s a new myth in this book, which I’m currently working into the narrative, and which may show up as a short at some point later.

The Sea Prince
The Coral Throne, Book 1

49934 / 120000 (41.61%)

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

18966 / 90000 (21.07%)

Two projects that I thought were hibernating have started to stir, one of which led me to reread Heart’s Master for the first time in an age. All I can say is that when I finally get around to writing Holy Orders (and yes, that’s the title of the next Drum Mage book), it’s going to be very obvious that there were a bunch of years and a lot of growth as a writer between the two books. Maybe I can talk to my editor about a re-edit at some point?

The other thing that started to make waking-up noises is the short/novella/what-is-this-going-to-be that will tie The Chronicles of John Zebedee into Swords of Charlemagne, and lead the way into Children of the Swords. The astute reader may have noticed the throwaway line in the first part of John Zebedee that told you it was the same universe. Did you catch it? Children of the Swords is still a few years down the line, because I know nothing of Gilded Age England, or about England in WWI, and I suppose I could just watch Downton Abbey, but that feels like cheating. I have to do research.

Written in Water is still in the running over in SPFBO, with just over a month left in the first round. The suspense is getting real over here!

And today… I applied to be part of the creative track at ICFA.

And that’s about where I am in my area. Planning for edits, writing words, creating worlds, and trying to keep ahead of my readers on Patreon. Busy, busy, busy!

Back to work!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, accountability, Balance of Power, Children of the Sword, contest, edits, forthcoming works, Heart's Master, Heir to the Firstborn, ICFA, John Zebedee, Necronomicon, Patreon, Princes of Air, publishing, Sable Locks, Swords of Charlemagne, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

Here Comes the Rain Again…

Here comes the rain again. And the wind. And the pressure changes. Hurricane season in Florida is a pain in the sinuses. Right now, Idalia is a Tropical Storm, but by the time it makes landfall on Wednesday morning (I think that was the last projection), it will be a Cat 3 hurricane.

Now, this isn’t our first rodeo. We have our supplies. We have water, batteries and charcoal for the grill in case we have to cook outside. The porch is cleared, and all that’s left are a few things that need to be moved to the garage tonight after dinner. And we’re well inland and, like Obi Wan, we have the high ground. We’ll be good.

However, now that all the prep is done, the waiting starts…

In writing news, today is the last day of the Narratess August Indie Sale. Hidden Things is currently 99 cents, and there are over 300 other books to choose from.

There’s still also the Brave New Worlds giveaway, which ends Thursday, and where you can win a $20 gift card to the bookstore of your choice.

Writing is going slowly at the moment, mostly because my sinuses are yelling, “Danger, Will Robinson!” (I can’t remember starting to feel hurricane pressure two days before the actual storm before…)

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

49416 / 120000 (41.18%)

Balance of Power
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 7)

15803 / 90000 (17.56%)

I still haven’t gotten permission to show the new House of Sable Locks cover, but I do have a tentative schedule for edits for The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir, so the end of my year is going to be PACKED. Touch wood everything goes well with that and we’ll be able to keep to the 2023 release date.

That’s about all for me. Now, it’s just the waiting.

Catch you all next week!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, Balance of Power, forthcoming works, Hidden Things, Hurricane, progress, Sable Locks, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

Back to Work!

Today is the first day of college classes, which means that I am now seriously back to work. Even though I’ve sort of been back to work for two weeks now. Now I’m serious! I mean it!

Yeah… it’s past 2PM and I haven’t written a word yet. So maybe not quite?

I’m learning more about the characters in Balance of Power as I write. One of Aeris’ Companions has hayfever. In the books, they say that they’re flower sick. But it led to this delightful little scene:

“How long have you been awake?”

“Who says I’ve been asleep?” Tiras opened their eyes and sat up.

“You drooling on my sleeve says you were asleep.”

“And snoring,” Aeris added. “You were snoring.”

“I was not!” Tiras protested. “I don’t snore!” They looked up at Gannet. “Do I?”

“Not much,” Gannet admitted. “Except when there’s Maiden’s Lace blooming. Then you get all red and blotchy, and you snore at night.”

“And Maiden’s Lace is in season now. There must be some growing along the road.” Dyna set down her stitching and held out her hand. “Let me see.”

“I hate Maiden’s Lace,” Tiras grumbled. “My head gets all foggy and my visions get weird. Owyn says he’s never heard of a Smoke Dancer whose visions are controlled by their nose before.”

Aeris frowned. “But Smoke Dancers used to train in the vents of the Smoking Mountain, and they were breathing in the smoke. Owyn was one of the last trained that way. So why is smoke different from the scent of flowers?”

Gannet looked thoughtful, then shrugged. “Because Smoke Dancer sounds more impressive than Perfume Dancer?”

I have to admit, the whole idea of Perfume Dancers makes me smile. According to Gannet, they use fans. And… well, I’m not sure if it’ll come up again later in the book, but it’s fun when something like this comes out of my fingers, because it amuses me.

Work on The Sea Prince continues, and we’ve moved into writing new content instead of fixing the content that already existed. There were a lot of changes to the existing files, which adds up to changes for the direction of the story, and I think I like where this is going a lot more the original. It means that we may not get to use one scene I’d planned for, but maybe we will. We shall see.

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

49406 / 120000 (41.17%)

Balance of Power
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 7)

11990 / 90000 (13.32%)

In other news of the writer world, Written in Water is still available as part of the Brave New Worlds giveaway. You can enter for a $20 giftcard to your bookstore of choice while you browse the books — over 50 of them!

Image of deep space, superimposed with a woman looking down and away. Text reads "Brave new Worlds. Free Sci-Fi and Fantasy Ebooks. August 1-31. Win $20."

And I’m starting to get ready for Necronomicon next month. I got my shipment of copies of Princes of Air over the weekend… and discovered the formatting error. So the copies that I have on hand will be discounted at Necro while my publisher gets that corrected. I’m hoping to have the anniversary copies of House of Sable Locks, but I’m not sure where we are with the new cover, so while I have my fingers crossed, I’m not holding my breath.

It is, however, a very pretty cover and I will get to share it with you very soon.

Maybe… next week?

Tune in to find out!

Posted by EASchechter, 0 comments

Back to School… Sort Of

I decided that even though someone doesn’t start classes for another week, I’m getting back to work on the actual school schedule. So when the high school went back to school, I went back to work. Balance of Power and The Sea Prince are both underway. Chapter one of Balance of Power went live on the Patreon last week, I’m currently finishing up chapter three, and Danielle (my co-author) and I are underway with The Sea Prince.

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

48284 / 120000 (40.24%)

Balance of Power
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 7)

9027 / 90000 (10.03%)

As a reminder, Brave New Worlds is still ongoing for another two weeks, which means that you can still grab up to 50 Science Fiction and Fantasy novels and enter for a $20 gift card. You can grab a copy of Written in Water there, just for signing up for my newsletter.

I realized (at the urging of a colleague, that I really needed to get around to updating the cover for Worlds Begin, the Heir to the Firstborn creation myth, so that it matches the rest of the series.

I got the new cover the other day, and It. Is. GORGEOUS!

Cover for Worlds Begin. A wreath of green leaves and flowers, surrounding the title Worlds Begin in gol

(Reminder — Worlds Begin is a freebie everywhere EXCEPT Amazon, who refuses to set books permanently free. If you want it on Amazon, please price match. Or download from Smashwords and use Send to Kindle.)

I’ve also seen and approved the 10th anniversary cover for House of Sable Locks, but I haven’t yet been given permission to share it. Yes, my “modern erotic classic you’ve never heard of” (according to the now-defunct Cliterati website), is now ten years old. I can’t believe it either. (At some point, you all will see the sequel. It’s written. I promise. And there will be another, but that one is a title and a vague idea.)

There isn’t much else happening at the moment. Waiting on edits to come in, waiting on new books to arrive for Necronomicon in September — I will have copies of Princes of Air on the table! But for now? Time to go make some more words!

Catch you next week, hopefully with a new cover to show you!

Posted by EASchechter in Balance of Power, conventions, cover art, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Necronomicon, Patreon, Princes of Air, Sable Locks, The Sea Prince, WIP, wordcount, Worlds Begin, writer on writing, Written in Water, 0 comments


I went to a conference that had confirmed COVID cases, and came home to catch a cold.

It is just a cold — I tested at home, then went to urgent care for a flu test this morning and they also ran a COVID test. Both came back negative, so it’s just a cold. And I’m sure that I caught it at home because both my husband and son got sick last week and shared it with me. We have no idea where they caught it.

I haven’t been this sick in nearly two years (we all got Disney crud when we went right before the Delta wave hit in 2021). I’ve forgotten what it was like!

Now, this means that my brains are soup, and my focus is nonexistent. But I have two-thirds of a manuscript and more words to write, so here we are.

The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath
(The White Raven duology, Book 2)

59593 / 90000 (66.21%)

I have just over a month and a half, and I’m fairly confident that I’ll have this done on time. Assuming that my brains stop feeling like soup.

I realized something the other day. June will be the tenth anniversary of the publication of my modern erotic classic* House of Sable Locks. I went and talked to the publisher, and there might be a little something in the works for the anniversary. More as I know more. But ten year anniversary of what may arguably be the best book I have ever written is something I hadn’t expected to get away from me.

It’s a little daunting, to think that your best book ever was your second book, and that every book since then has been trying to reach those heights. I think I came really close with Written in Water. But I’m also the worst person in the world to rank my own books. I love them all! Same with characters (although Owyn will always be my absolute favorite.)

Speaking of Owyn, I got bonked by a plot bunny last week, and there’s more than likely going to be a seventh book set in the same world as Heir to the Firstborn. One of the main characters waltzed out of my subconscious and wants his own book, thank you very much. He’s going to be as much of a brat as Owyn. I can tell already. No title yet, but once I know, and once I get started writing, those will go up on Patreon in the same way that Heir to the Firstborn did.

It’s getting late, and there’s dinner than needs to be made. I discovered a vegan Tikka Masala sauce, and I haven’t had Tikka Masala in a year and a half. Time to go see if I like it! (I hope I do. I bought four jars!)

*House of Sable Locks was named a modern erotic classic by the now-defunct Cliterati magazine, and I found out while on a field trip to Legoland with a bunch of fourth graders!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, deep thoughts, Heir to the Firstborn, Sable Locks, slow-writer-is-slow., The White Raven, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

New Server, Who DNS?

Remember how I said I was moving the website? It’s officially moved! My website is now hosted by Greekgeeks, and I’m already loving the change.

They said the migration could take up to 48 hours. It was done in under 12.

They said that the DNS change would take a couple of hours. FIVE MINUTES.

SSL certificate? Push a button and POOF!

Makes my geeky heart happy. If you’re at all interested in checking them out, click here. (affiliate link)

I’m in the middle of the 5 Day Author Ad Profit Challenge (taught by Bryan Cohen), so there haven’t been as many words as there might usually have been during a week. And I’m seeing that Sea Prince is going to need quite a lot of tweaking to bring the older chapters up to date and in line with where my writing is now, as well as making sure the characters voices are consistent. But I can do THAT once I have a draft. Right now, the words are flowing, and I’m not stopping! Write first, edit later!

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

126161 / 170000 (74.21%)

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, book 1)

28452 / 120000 (23.71%)

I keep forgetting to put this out there. If you’re interested in reading my work before the general public, I have an ARC page on Booksprout. In exchange for your review of the book, you can get advance copies of any of my upcoming work! Right now, I have Haven’s Fall and Where Home Lies available, and as soon as I have a copy of The Way Home available, that will go up there as well.

Likewise, if you’re interested in any of my books, but can’t afford them? Drop me a note. I know that not all of my books can be gotten through the public library, so I’m happy to send review copies out. It helps me, and it protects my readers from pirate sites that are loaded with malware.

In audiobook news, there have been some delays with recording (mostly covid related). If all goes well, recording will start this Thursday, and may be done shortly thereafter. I’ve been invited to (virtually) hang out in the booth and listen in, because Mark (my narrator) and James (his engineer) want my real-time input on voice characterizations. I’m very excited about being involved in the project, which I know is unusual (and honestly, if I’d been able to be this involved in the recording of House of Sable Locks, the chapter Gunner’s Daughter would have had a VERY DIFFERENT SOUND!!!!)

Not much else to add. I’m working on business planning, and collecting resources to do research on the non-fiction project over the summer. Working on finishing The Way Home before the end of May, which is a big push because I’m thinking I have maybe ten chapters left? That’s 30K words, roughly. Which means… go write all the words, Liz!

Catch you next week!



Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, accountability, audiobooks, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, Eek!, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Rebel Mage, reviews, Sable Locks, Stop Piracy, Swords of Charlemagne, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, writing, 0 comments


This past weekend, I did something that I haven’t done in a while. I sat down and reread one of my older works. Not because I was researching anything, or checking details for a sequel. Just… read it.

I re-read House of Sable Locks.

It’s a daunting thing to go back and read the second book you ever wrote, and realize that it’s possibly the best work you’ve ever done. That you’ve written twenty-four books since that one, and that none of them have reached the benchmark that led one outlet to call House of Sable Locks a modern erotic classic. (that outlet no longer exists — it was Cliterati, for the curious.)

Now, that’s not saying that the rest of my work is crap. It definitely isn’t! (House of Sable Locks isn’t my only award winner, after all.) But I think that they all are a step below that level. Well, maybe Hidden Things is closest. Or Written in Water.  Or maybe not — House of Sable Locks was something truly special.

And it was my second book. That’s really kind of mind-blowing. You’re not supposed to front-load your writing career!

While I’m pondering this, I’m also working on book 26:

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

105627 / 150000 (70.42%)
(If anyone just happens to be looking at my Goodreads or Amazon book list and thinking — hey, there aren’t 25 books here? The Rebel Mage books are being reissued this year — see below. I have one under contract with Circlet/Riverdale, three in the Circlet/Riverdale queue, and three set up for another project.)
Counsel of the Wicked drops tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to having these books back out in the world. Yes, the Rebel Mage books are dark. No, I’m never going that dark again. But I did it once, and I did it well.
Written in Water is free in a couple of places this week. Smashwords is having their Read an Ebook promotion this week.  And I have a Book Cave giveaway for this entire month — sign up for newsletters, get free books!
And the Kickstarter is… well… going backwards. I have to say, it’s very disheartening. I’m trying to put my mind to how to turn this around and go forwards again, and not coming up with much. But there’s still time. And hopefully, my appearance today on the These Mums Write podcast will help!
Not much else to report in. Time for me to go back to trying to exceed my early brilliance and write a new modern erotic classic.
Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, accountability, appearances, audiobooks, award-winning, Counsel of the Wicked, deep thoughts, giveaway, Happy Book Day, Heir to the Firstborn, Kickstarter, promotions, public displays of geekery, publishing, Sable Locks, Self-publishing, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments