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

Cover Reveal!

If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you saw these on Friday. (If you’re not… well, you could be. There’s a sign-up widget either to the right, or down below this post, depending on if you’re using an laptop or a mobile device.)

Anyway… Patreon patrons saw these first, newsletter subscribers got them Monday, and now here’s the big, wide reveal of the final two covers of the Heir to the Firstborn series!

I think Visions in Smoke is my new favorite of my covers. Preorders for both books are open now on Amazon, and will be coming shortly everywhere else. Click the covers to be taken to the preorder.

The other big announcement that went out on Friday was that Riverdale Avenue Books has acquired The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir! Okay, blog readers knew that two weeks ago — sometimes, there is a benefit to following both the blog and the newsletter, since the blog is weekly and the newsletter is once a month.

As usual with me and writing historical fantasy, I have to look things up. A lot. So this week, my topics have been Roman medicine, surgical techniques (including the use of fibulae to close wounds!) and what would Cretic wine have tasted like (Cretic wine being wine laced with opium.) And I’m not even done with chapter one!

(Yeah, I’m not done with chapter one after two weeks. The writing has been slow.)

The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath

2859 / 90000 (3.18%)

The Sea Prince
(The Sea Prince, book 1)

39655 / 120000 (33.05%)
In other news, the final part of the Chronicles of John Zebedee went live on Kindle Vella this morning. John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of the Elvenlands is a long one, and will run until the end of January. Amazon is currently running a promotion where you can read 100 episodes a day for free. It ends tomorrow, so if you want to read the first two parts of John Zebedee, you can find Heir to the Elvenlands here, and Monstrous Town here.
Oh, me, will you look at the time? It’s right at this moment 1:30 PM and I have to leave in twenty minutes. That’s all for this week. Stay safe, everyone.
Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, accountability, cover art, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Newsletter, slow-writer-is-slow., The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, Visions in Smoke, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

In The Blink of an Eye…

Everything can change.

And in other news, this past weekend was a hell of a long year.

Shit happened. Shit happened that I am not at liberty to talk about, but the ripple effect is in play.

Now, I am fine. Darling Editor and Teen Boy are FINE. But there are extended family things that I must focus on, and priorities that must come first.

To that end, I will not be making any in person appearances for the remainder of 2022.

Children of Dreams (formerly titled Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home) is now tentatively scheduled for sometime in 2023. No date yet. When I know, you’ll know.

As of right this moment, I’m not sure what’s going to be happening with writing in the fall. I will probably spend the fall focusing on editing, so that I can have Children of Dreams ready for you in 2023. I was poking at The Sea Prince, so I have a word update, but it may have to wait until things calm down for me to focus on writing.

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, book 1)

34014 / 120000 (28.34%)

As things settle, this might shift and adjust. We will see.

John Zebedeee and the Heir to the Elvenlands is wrapping up — two episodes left after the one that dropped today. John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town will start August 1st. (Vella doesn’t give you a link until the first episode goes live, so once I have that, you’ll have it.)

Where Home Lies releases tomorrow, to wrap up the reissue of the Rebel Mage series. Which means that my last release for the year will be The Rebel Mage box set in October.

So… that’s where we are right now. If I miss a week on the blog, or miss a newsletter, please be patient with me. I’ll be back when I can.

In the meantime, if you can put some good thoughts out into the universe, I’d appreciate it.

Thank you all.



Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, 2023 plans, appearances, John Zebedee, Rebel Mage, slow-writer-is-slow., The Sea Prince, Where Home Lies, why-the-writing-is-slow, writing-mom, 0 comments

Boom! Christmas Everywhere!

It’s November 1st! You know what that means, right?

Christmas everywhere!!! Never mind Thanksgiving, it’s the official start of the Christmas season!

Which… yeah, hold your horses there. I like Thanksgiving. And I’m of an age where the Christmas season doesn’t start until the Macy’s parade is over (and until the Hallelujah Chorus is sung at Darkover/Chessiecon… but that’s geeky me, not New Yorker me.)

But the Christmas season has been getting closer and closer to summer every year, and today I had my first “November 1st… Christmas EVERYWHERE!” experience outside of retail.

School starts here at 7:25AM. So we leave just before 7AM, and head out (in the dark!) for school drop-off. It’s before dawn November 1st…

And there’s a Santa inflatable outside one of the houses down the street.

Wait… that was NOT there yesterday! And trick or treating here goes until 8PM.  So someone went out last night, when it was dark as the bottom of a barrel and Florida cold, and started decorating for Christmas.

(For the record? Our tree goes up after Thanksgiving, and stays up until Twelfth Night/Epiphany/Three Kings Day/Little Christmas.)

Today is also the first day of NaNoWriMo, and I’m not doing it this year.I have page proofs for Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads to finish, and those words don’t count towards Nano. Preorders for Crossroads are up, and the book goes on sale November 30th (so I really need to finish these page proofs! Then I have to get my presentation ready for RWA Nationals. So I’m kinda booked this month. Good luck to all of you who are writing your fingers off this month! I wish you no typos and ample supplies of the beverage of your choice!

I am writing, though. Just not putting in the words that would win Nano for me. (see above, page proofs).

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

32418 / 150000 (21.61%)

Just finished and queued up Chapter 5, and in tonight’s writing sprints, I’ll dive into Chapter 6. Someone is in trouble, and for a change it’s not Owyn!

Not much else going on, and it’s time for me to run off to get in car line for school pickup. I wonder if there will be more Christmas on the way back?


Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Nanowrimo, presales, publishing, slow-writer-is-slow., upcoming books, upcoming work, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

Back to Work!

Home from vacation! And what a wet vacation it was! There were only two days that we did not get rained on — the first day and the last one! Every other day featured a deluge of Florida proportions — I’m told there is video footage of kids swimming in the flooded pathways at Magic Kingdom. (ewwICK!)

It was fun, though. Our first time back in the parks for a vacation (as opposed to a day) in nearly 8 years, and our first vacation in 4 years. Introduced to Feather Bowling (or, as we called it, drunk curling), and Pandora (the planet, not the jewelry or the streaming service. James Cameron is an insane genius, the immersive technology in Pandora is AMAZING, and I want to have a talk with him about evolutionary tracks and his rationale for having his planet have hexapedal fauna while the dominant species is bipedal with a prehensile tail. Either that, or I actually have to see the movie. Maybe it’s explained in there?)

Enjoyed a couple of things at Food and Wine, and saw the neat little exhibit on Kawaii culture in Japan (and had fun after both Spaceship Earth and The American Adventure — turn to Teen Boy and ask “So, what did they get wrong?”)  And we spent half a day in Black Spires Outpost on Batuu, had blue milk and a spherical Coke, and built a lightsaber (which is not cheap, but SO WORTH IT!!!)

It says Coca-Cola in Aurebesh — the written language of Star Wars.
We found the FUN Photopass spot — the photographer provided the sabers.
Protection and Defense — one of the four hilt options offered at Savi’s Workshop. I opted for a purple kyber crystal.
Not lighting it up because it is LOUD!

I forgot to get pictures of the blue milk — it’s a rice and coconut milk base, with pineapple and dragonfruit, and colored blue with spirulina. And it would make a killer pina coloda — they actually do offer it with rum! There’s also a green milk option, which I’ll have to try the next time I go. Whenever that happens.

Got home in time for the Vivian Awards, which meant dressing up to sitting my office.

I didn’t win, but I’m okay with that. Just being nominated in the most diverse contest class in RWA history is enough, especially when it’s with the book that I pulled from RITA consideration in protest of the board shenanigans in 2019.

Now I’m back on Earth, though, and back to creating my own worlds. I did carry a notebook with me all week… and I think I opened it once.

Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)
126114 / 150000 (84.08%)

I have an idea where this is going to wrap, though. And I’m shooting to have a draft complete by the end of the month, or by Orlando Reads Books, so I can dive into the revisions that it’s going to need since it’s not the last book. The book will drop quite a bit in wordcount when I finally call it a draft — there are three chapters, the epilogue and some bonus material already written that will be moved to the last book.

I’m also thinking on a new thing — working title is The Iron Virgin, and I’m blaming the Gaylord Opryland for it. Why? Because there was a Pirate and Princess event running when we were there, and I came home with a Pirate Princess in my head who wants her story told now, thank you very much. The worldbuilding is being interesting — it went from a steampunk setting with airships to a fantasy setting with living ships (which… I’m not sure why the ships are alive yet. They haven’t told me. There is more worldbuilding to be done.)

That’s a song cue right there — “The ships are alive, and I don’t know why yet…” (ttto The Sound of Music.)

If I want words on the page, I need to go get to writing them. Catch you all next week.

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, fickle-muse-is-fickle, Heir to the Firstborn, Orlando Reads Books, slow-writer-is-slow., summer, thinking thinky thoughts, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, Writer on the Go!, Written in Water, yippee, 0 comments

Work in Progress: Bones of Earth

Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

85870 / 95000 (90.39%)

Today is day one of self-isolation. Which you might think means “Yay, more writing done!”

Umm… no. Because today was to have been day two of Spring Break (day one was last Friday), and I now have three children at loose ends. (Yes, I said three. No, you’re not misremembering. I only gave birth to one of them. Long story.)

School might resume on the 30th. Maybe. Or maybe not. We’ll see.

So right now, I’m stealing some writing time thanks to the collective power of Minecraft and Roblox.

It’s also taken me about an hour to type just this ^^^^.

Needless to say, the writing may be a little slower than usual over the next two weeks, or at least until I get a handle on juggling this new chainsaw.  And it doesn’t help that the pollen is through the roof here in Florida, so… umm…yeah. Sniffles, coughing, and headaches abound!

Keiser Supercon has been postponed, with a tentative date of sometime in June. We’ll see what happens there, too.

So, for the duration, we’re home. We’re all healthy. And we’re all keeping on keeping on.

Wishing you all the best.

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Bones of Earth, Keiser SuperCon, slow-writer-is-slow., Waiting-for-the-other-shoe, why-the-writing-is-slow, Wings of Air, writing-mom, 0 comments

Works in Progress, Week 5: Blood Bound and Bones of Earth

Blood Bound
Flesh and Blood, Book 1

25254 / 95000 (26.58%)


Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

14790 / 95000 (15.57%)

Slow work week this week. Again. I’m going to get into the swing of things soon, I swear! But not this week, I don’t think. Final edits are back on Forged in Fire, so I’ll be getting that ready to upload for presales. And I’m also trying to convince my body that it hasn’t caught a cold…

Part of my slow week was my non-writing life. Scholastic Book Fair volunteer on Thursday, personal eek on Friday, Keiser Supercon on Saturday and a 5K Sunday morning. I was hitting my wordcounts until Thursday!

Keiser Supercon was an awesome little convention, and I enjoyed myself greatly! For a first year convention, they really outdid themselves — one of their media guests was George Lowe, the voice of Space Ghost from Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. And, in an very unusual turn of events, I was the “name” fiction writer. I’m not used to being one of the headliners on the guest list.

One of the other comic guests was someone VERY impressive — Athena Finger, granddaughter of Bill Finger, co-creator of Batman. She was the one who finally beat DC and forced them to recognize her grandfather’s work, after he was shafted by Bob Kane. She did a panel on the history of Batman in the media, which I have to say made the convention for both my husband and my son!

It was a good convention, and I hope we have a second one next year!

On to an excerpt. They’re all from Blood Bound, because anything I post from Bones of Earth is going to have spoilers in it. So those will have to wait until after Forged in Fire comes out.


“Daniel, you told me that your college major required a language,” Hiro said as he took his seat and picked up his mug. “You didn’t tell me what your major was.”

“Political Science,” Daniel answered. “With an emphasis on human-vampire relations.”

Hiro stared at him for a moment, then started laughing. “And you are not a bond why?”

Daniel shook his head. “I didn’t finish college. And I told you I didn’t have the money for the prep school. I have no degree, no certificate, and no family connections, which means that I don’t qualify for the lottery.”

Hiro shook his head. “That is not the only way to become a bond.”

“It’s not?” Daniel asked.

“No. It is the most common, but it is not the only way.” Hiro took another sip from his mug. “A vampire can choose their own bond, independent of the lottery. It is then their responsibility to provide their bond with anything that they lack.”

“I didn’t know that,” Daniel murmured. A sudden suspicion dawned, and he looked across the table. “Hiro—?”

Hiro smiled. “Eventually. It would please me a great deal,” he answered. “But I will not press you. Not so soon. You must be comfortable with me, with us. Just know that I am interested.” His smile broadened.
“Very interested.”

Daniel felt his face grow warmer. “I… I really don’t understand why.”

“Because you are not seeing yourself the way I see you,” Hiro answered. He picked up his mug and drained it, then leaned back in his chair. His smile slowly transformed into a leer. “Finish your tea, Daniel.”

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, Adavar, appearances, BDSM Vampires, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Blood Bound, Bones of Earth, conventions, edits, Forged in Fire, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Keiser SuperCon, Necronomicon, public displays of geekery, run-writer-run!, slow-writer-is-slow., upcoming books, upcoming work, why-the-writing-is-slow, 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

Work in Progress: The Lady and the Sword, week 2.

Busy, busy, busy! There’s been a lot of running, a lot of research, and not nearly enough writing this week. But I had a fantastic time at Coastal Magic this past weekend. If you need an excuse to come to Florida in February, this would be it.

Now, as to writing, I started the book on the 15th, as planned, and immediately bogged down. I finally figured out that I had started in the wrong place — I had initially started the book with a scene in 1898. Nope, Roland was not having that. So I went back and started over (yes, I did save what I’d already done), and I’m now in the middle of chapter 2. I’m thinking this book will follow the same pattern as Hidden Things — two or three chapters set in the past, then the “present” and the main storyline. So I’ll have one more chapter in 774, then go back to 1898 and get that ball rolling.

The Lady and the Sword
Swords of Charlemagne, Book 2

By the way, I learned my lesson. If you want to know anything about anything? Ask a homeschooler! I posted on my Twitter about researching the location of the entrance to the Louvre museum in 1898. My Twitter posts crossposts to my personal Facebook. Where, after hours of my beating my head against a wall,  a friend of mine chimed in with “Oh, the original entrance was here. But then this happened, and they moved the entrance over there. And after that, they moved the entrance over to that spot there.”

Funny part? The entrance I finally decided on using, because I was tired of researching and not writing, and it was the closest door to where I wanted to be? Was the actual entrance after the wing that closed the palace courtyard was burned down during the French Revolution.

So, tomorrow, I get my nose to the grindstone and really get this book into gear!

After coffee.


Posted by EASchechter in Best laid plans, Best planned lays, forthcoming works, Hidden Things, Homeschool, progress, slow-writer-is-slow., Swords of Charlemagne, The Lady and the Sword, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Work in Progress: The White Raven, week 13

Another week, more fight scenes. I’m starting to wonder why I set a book in Imperial Rome…

It’s been a long weekend. I spent the weekend at the Central Florida Highland Games, where I foolishly thought I’d be able to get some writing done.

I can hear you laughing, you know.

Luckily for me, I’d gotten enough done earlier in the week that not making my word count three days in a row didn’t hurt me at all. I’m still ahead of where I should be in total words, although I’m starting to wonder if I can bring this book in for a landing in 100K words. I’m at 68K, and I still haven’t gotten Lorcan out of Rome.

Umm… I wasn’t planning on having this be another trilogy, I swear.

The White Raven
Week Thirteen Total Wordcount

In other news, I’ve got a release date for the novella that was once called From Dusk ’til Dawn. The new title is Chains of Light, and it will be released by Forbidden Fiction on February 13th. I even have a pretty new cover!

I like this cover even more than the original!

Also, chapter 2 of Fools Rush In is now live on the Forbidden Fiction website. (log in required, but free!) Go read!

Posted by EASchechter in Chains of Light, cover art, forthcoming works, From Dusk 'til Dawn, Good news, new books, Princes of Air, promotions, Release date, slow-writer-is-slow., The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments