New Book Pre-Order Details

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and that you are eager to hear more about my new book that’s on it’s way to you right now! If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably have an idea of what’s going on. If you’re new, let me explain…

I am on the cusp of releasing my fourth book in a collection (not a series) of stories set during the Second World War. Each story is told from the perspective of someone different from the story preceding it, covering different events altogether. My first book, Resistant, was released in April of 2014; my second book, Unguarded, was released in January of 2015; my third book, Imminent, was released in January 2016; and this fourth book will have a Kindle pre-order release date of January 5, 2017. The print version of the book will release within a day or two after the Kindle version; there is a Kindle version and a print version for my previous books as well.

This story, entitled Needless, is told from the perspective of Ben – a young man working in the U.S. Consulate-General in Barcelona in 1942 – and follows his experience in the war from there. This book is admittedly different from its predecessors in some ways, yet familiar enough for returning readers to associate it with the other three books in the collection. It was written in bulk over this past summer, but received nothing less than the usual editing rundown since then. It came in at about 80 words shy of the word count in Imminent. I had fun researching and writing this story; if I had to rank it, this storytelling experience comes in behind (but pretty close to even with) Unguarded.

Here is the cover:

pratt_needless-final-front-cover-ebook

If you’d like to pre-order this story for your Amazon Kindle, you can do so here:

Needless Pre-Order on Amazon

If you’d like to see the first draft version of the story’s Prologue, you can find it here:

Needless Prologue (First Draft, February ’16)

I am very excited to bring this story to you, and I hope that you are just as excited to read it! Over the next two months, I’ll post updates on social media to remind about the pre-order. In the meantime, keep your eyes open for these deals on my others books in the lead-up to the Needless release:

Resistant – Only $0.99 on the Amazon Kindle

Unguarded – Free on the Amazon Kindle from December 22-26

Imminent – Amazon Countdown Deal from December 27 – January 2

As always, thank you for reading my post and for supporting me! To my family and close friends, I truly appreciate the love and support you all give me, inspiring me to do something I love and for which I have a passion.

Until next time,

-Eli

Whirlwind of a Summer

Friends,

This summer has been one full of change, things to do, and a lot of fun. I haven’t posted on this blog since May, when things in my life were so different, and so I’d like to fill you in on a few things.

Why there were no blog posts over the summer…

You may be wondering why I haven’t blogged over the summer. On some days, I wondered that myself. Part of it was that we spent the first many weeks of summer settling into our new home, which has been quite the experience in and of itself. But the main reason why I didn’t blog was because I didn’t feel the drive to do so. When it comes to writing, not having the drive to do certain things can negatively affect you if you try to push those feelings aside and do it anyway. In this case, it was blogging.

However, the flipside of that coin is a pretty good one: I did have the drive to write out of my mind, pumping out 30K words in roughly 8 weeks, which is something I’ve never done before. So I guess you could chalk up me not blogging to the fact that I was busy writing. I produced text at a crazy rate, which turned out to be the rough draft of my next book. The grand total for the word count currently sits at 46K for the second draft. I intend on keeping it around there as best as I can. Over the next few months, I’ll be getting the last chunks of feedback from my editor and making the appropriate changes around Halloween. Now here’s why…

Master’s coursework beginning in September

I made the decision to start my master’s coursework in September, taking the first two courses of the 15 I’ll need to obtain my MA in History with a Certificate in WWII Studies. These first two courses will last from September 5 until New Year’s Day, then I’ll be taking a break for a few months. I’m getting some tuition reimbursement through school, so that’s a big part of why I’m doing this now. Speaking of school…

My first year was great, and I’m about to start what will hopefully be another

I ended my first year of teaching in June, although classes ended in late May. We as a teaching staff had a lot of things to tend to in June in preparation for this upcoming year, as well as for a few things from the previous year. All in all, it was a great first year and one that I’ll never forget as part of my initial experiences.

With a new academic year ahead of me, I’m excited to be coming back and having the opportunity to teach the year from the beginning (I was hired partway through the fall semester last year). There is also going to be a change: I’m teaching financial literacy and US history this year, as opposed to World History as I did last year. Even though WH is my favorite, I’m looking forward to getting to work in this part of social studies. After all, it’ll help round me out as a teacher and will add to my experience.

There is, and will continue to be, some degree of stress with all of this going on because…

Sarah and I are expecting our first child in January!

Basically, everything that’s been happening since mid-May has revolved around where the subsequent nine months would take us. I made it my goal to finish the bulk of the work for Book Four before the start of the school year (*check) and to plan for knocking out my foundation courses in my MA program before the baby arrives (in the process). It’s a very exciting time for us and we couldn’t be happier that we get to start this next phase of our life together. There’s just a lot going on!

As for the baby, we are having a boy. From the handful of appointments we’ve had so far, the baby is healthy, as is Sarah. The due date is January 5, but you never know – we could have a New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve, or maybe even a Christmas baby! We’ll just have to see as things move along. But as long as it’s healthy, we don’t care when it arrives 🙂

We have ideas for names that we like, but I doubt we’ll be certain on the one we’ll choose until either the arrival gets closer or the baby actually comes. We’ll just have to see. We’ve started to get quite a bit done with the nursery and gathering things (diapers, toys, etc.) either on our own or from family and friends. I have the feeling that as the school year starts, things are going to go by so fast with all that I’m doing…the baby will be here before we know it!

So where does this leave us at the moment?

That’s a good question. Since I’ve been out of the habit of blogging every week like I was before May, I don’t know how I’ll do in these first weeks of school. With teaching and master’s courses taking a lot of my focus, and because I’m not writing anything new right now, I don’t know how often I’ll be blogging, at least about writing. I have thought about blogging about my education life since that will be more of what’s happening in life for the foreseeable future, but I haven’t decided for sure.

As the final phase of getting Book Four published goes on from now until Christmas (though Christmas isn’t the release date, keep in mind), I’ll give updates and details along the way. But I doubt there will be a blog every Monday. It’s just the way of things at this point. I would like to blog at least once a month, so please do check back periodically for that. The tentative (being 99.99%) release date for the book is January 5, and I plan on having a pre-order period occur before release. Again, I’ll give more details as the next couple of months go on.

That’s about it for this post. I sincerely thank you for reading all of what I had to say, because all of it is very important to me and explains things more clearly for anyone who didn’t already know. Your support and encouragement is greatly appreciated, and I hope that you can continue to follow my work and that I can impact your life somehow, whether through writing, giving writing and education advice, or whatever else presents itself.

Until next time,

-Eli

Out with the Old, In with the New

Friends,

Welcome to a new week, one that’s ushered in some beautiful weather if I say so myself, and to a new opportunity to accomplish your goals. If you’ve set a goal for yourself this week, this month, or whatever – but find things blocking your way or hindering your progress – take a step back and remember: you can find a way to achieve what you want, you just have to know where to look within yourself to find the will. I’ve been working on overcoming some of my own goals in the past month or so, and I feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter! Let’s get into this week’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

I’ve not written a word in about two weeks.

Acknowledging the struggle or problem is half the battle in achieving your goals. My goal: writing a new historical fiction novel. The obstacle in the way: the busy and tiresome process of moving into a new house. Never having done this before, I had no idea what to expect. I know now that since we’re completely out of our old house and into our new one, things are getting to the point of settling back down into a regular routine again. At this juncture, I foresee the first week of May being my target date for resuming my normal writing schedule. State testing will be over with by that point, or at least to the point of minimal involvement by me, so hopefully my weekends will be more open to crank out the types of word counts I did before moving began.

When I do resume, I’ll continue writing Part I, which is very exciting and fun to write thus far. I’m interested to see how my characters develop and where the plot goes from here! I’m still awaiting the final book cover files from the designer, but again – they’re not needed right now; I just wanted to get them designed and out of the way. Also, I’ve gotten information about my summer schedule for school, and I’m fairly pleased: I’ll have summer school to tend to, but it’s not any teaching, only live help in the virtual rooms. So the students work through the material on their own and come to me with any questions they have about the work. After June 18 (graduation), things die down until August. There were rumors going around that school might start the day after Labor Day this coming year, but it’s not confirmed. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! During that time after graduation, I’ll be writing a lot – I’m hoping for 1,000 words a day, if not more.

That’s about the main gist of what’s going on with writing right now. I wanted to tell you that so you knew I hadn’t given up or got into a rut…moving and off-site testing for school really take it out of me!

YouTube

I wanted to take a moment to talk about my absence from the YouTube community. Given everything crazy going on with my schedule in the past month or so, getting footage every day or even once or twice a week was very hard. I know that moving could have great vlog potential, but I think that since I’m not a daily vlogger and it’s not a solid habit I wasn’t already thinking “I need to vlog the move” before it actually happened. I’ve taken pictures of the new house and of things we’ve fixed up, and I’d like to include those in the first vlog back. I’m planning on resuming vlog the first week in May – coinciding with the continuance of writing as I mentioned above. At that point, I’ll have a lot to talk about and show, so it’ll be a good time to come back!

That’s all for this week. Please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already, so that you can receive next week’s blog post and all the posts to follow after. You can also check out my website (page links above) if you’re new to my work and are interested in historical fiction or short stories. As always, thanks to those who’ve followed and supported me for a long time. And to those of you who are new, welcome, and I hope you like what I have to say!

Until next time,

-Eli

The Book and The Move

Friends,

I hope this post finds you in a good place with your goals and passions, and that you’re well on your way to achieving all you’re setting out to do! A great deal has gone on since last week’s post, so why don’t I get right to it…

The Faces of the War Collection

Progress on the story is coming along, granted not as well as I’d like. I originally aimed to pump out at least a few thousand words last week, but sadly I only got about 1,000 typed. There was a stretch of time that was taken up by research and reading; there was also the move to our new house (and other errands) that occupied my time for most of the week. But it’s all good, because my lack of writing is due to something greater happening in my life at the moment. Once we’re settled and back into a normal routine, my writing will resume as usual. I anticipate receiving the final cover files for the book this week. It’s taken on a great look, and one that encapsulates the story.

If you’re new to my blog, or perhaps haven’t had the chance to check out my work, you can find my first three books Resistant, Unguarded, and Imminent on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats!

On the Move

It’s kind of surreal, moving out of our current house. I’ve moved before, but I didn’t leave the house empty – my parents still live there. But this time it’s different…we’re cleaning out all of our stuff and taking things away from where they’ve been for so long. The house is looking weird. But the end product is what’s important: we’ll have a house that’s our own, with a roof over our heads and a space to start making memories and building our family. It’s an exciting time and I can’t wait to see how things unfold heading into the summer!

That’s it for this week. I’ll try to take some pictures of the move this coming weekend and include them in next week’s post. Thank you for supporting my passion and for your continued encouragement along the way.

Until next time,

-Eli

Move-in Week!

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well, and that you’re striving toward your goals each and every day. There will be quite a bit going on this week for me, with writing being a good chunk of that, so let’s get on to the material for this post…

The Faces of the War Collection

As of last week’s post, the word count for my current WIP was around 5,000. With this week being my Spring Break for school, I plan on writing all day for the first four days of the week. Three of those days have errand appointments going on (an oil change, closing signatures for our new house, and meeting with the internet provider to get that set up).

Aside from that, my goal is to write at least 3,000 words this week, if not more. Given the rate at which I’ve produced words over the past few weeks, I really think I could get another 5,000 pumped out. It’s important to remember, though, that the story needs to tell itself and that I shouldn’t just write words to hit a word goal. That is something that forms the fabric of my writing process, and I stick to that on every project.

I am currently awaiting the final draft of the book cover for Book Four, and I’m excited to share it with you when the time comes. I’d like to try to get the fifth and final cover in this collection taken care of within the 3-4 months following the completion of this cover, but we’ll see.

Writing TipWhen brainstorming a story idea, it’s a good idea to write (or type) down what I call “detail bits” and form a pool from which to draw as you go further into the process. For example, I started out my detail pool with things like “explosion” and “missiles” and “agent” and “airplane” and “car chase” and…you get the idea. This can really help give you ideas/inspiration to fill in the gaps that inevitably come up during the creative process. 

Other News

As I’ve said, my wife and I are moving into our own house (our first purchased house) and are very excited as to what will come next in this new chapter of our lives. We close on Wednesday of this week and will start to move our things that day or on Thursday. We’ve been talking about things and planning what we’d like to do with the space. I’m very excited about our sitting room on the first floor – we’re giving it a travel theme! And then we’ll have an entertainment room in the basement, which I’ll hopefully be able to develop into an awesome space over time. Once we get into the house and somewhat settled, I’m sure things regarding our routines will go back to “normal” relatively quickly. I’ll continue teaching (as there is still about two months left in the school year) and writing throughout the week in addition to unpacking and getting things how we want them.

That’s about it for this week. I’ll keep you apprised of developments as we go throughout the next week or two, including what kind of word count I reach after this week’s writing sessions. Thank you for your support and encouragement, whether you’re new to my work or have been with me from the start. It means a great deal!

Until next time,

-Eli

Apologies

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and in good spirits! I also hope that you have not developed any negative thoughts regarding my absence from posting on this blog, in my monthly newsletter, or on YouTube. There is good reason for it, which I will discuss in this post and in the newsletter I’ll send out on Wednesday. But first, I’d like to give an update on book progress…

The Faces of the War Collection

The first draft of Book Four is coming along well, and I foresee a surge in writing approaching at the end of March (as I have a week off from school for Spring Break, during which time I plan to knock out a large chunk of the story). At present, I have almost 5,000 words written, which includes a full Prologue and the first section of the main body of the story itself. I have spent time here and there doing a little extra research and story planning, all with the hope that it would set me up for more productive writing during my Spring Break week. If sacrificing some word count now means to make up for it (and then some) later, I’ll do it. I also am in the final phase of the cover design, which has been one of the easiest covers in my experience. In terms of laying down my vision and the designer nearly creating that vision in one or two design attempts, this book is right up there with my cover experience for Unguarded. I obviously won’t share the cover with you anytime soon, as the story isn’t near its release, but it’s a step toward progress for the project as a whole, and is thus worth mentioning to you.

Writing Tip: When writing dialogue tags and beats, it’s good to not only use action tags to help the reader know what the character is doing, but it’s also a good opportunity to reveal what the character might be thinking or how he/she is perceiving the world around them during their dialogue exchange.

Now, I’d like to explain why things have been rather crazy and spotty in the previous few weeks, and to apologize for not being as present as I should be in my writing life. My wife and I are in the process of buying our first house, and subsequently moving out of our current renter house. We’ve been having phone calls, in-person meetings, and actually seeing our new house multiple times – all within the past month or so – and we’re still not done. We are waiting for the loan process to finalize and then receive the closing paperwork. At that point, we’ll give our final signatures and then, hopefully without any hitches, be given the house keys. This should be happening during the first week of April, which means we won’t be fully moved in for another week or so (however long it takes us to get settled).

With that being said, I’d like to tell you that it’s been my goal to stay on top of blogging, vlogging, and writing from week to week. But with my school schedule (especially state testing last week and more to come throughout the majority of April) keeping me rather busy in addition to house-related things, it’s been hard to stay dedicated. This is something I’m experiencing for the first time, and so by the end of the day I’m wiped out. Like I’ve said before, I don’t like writing tired or unmotivated, because I feel it will negatively impact the story.

And so, from this post onward, I will try my hardest to at least blog every week as usual, and try to get footage for my YouTube channel when and where I can. I’m also going to push the newsletter release from April up to this week, to sort of split the difference from the one that was supposed to release at the start of March and the one to come out in May. By then, things should be back to “normal” and my routine writing, blogging, and vlogging schedule will resume. Plus, I’ll have a good deal of news for you, so that will make it something to look forward to!

That’s about all I have for you in terms of news. Keep pushing and pushing to reach the goals you set for yourself, no matter how big or seemingly unattainable. I hope you’ll come back next week to catch more news about my writing and the move to our new house!

Until next time,

-Eli

Words All Around!

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and in good spirits, and that you are on the path to accomplishing your goals for the day, the week, or even the goals of your life. I encourage you to push on through the obstacles and trials you face, for the end result is worth the struggle. After a week’s hiatus, let me bring you up to speed on my work…

The Faces of the War Collection

In the past month or so, I’ve written and completed the first draft of the Prologue for Book Four. The word count came in at around 1,650 and looks pretty good to me at this point. Of course, I’ll go through it a few more times down the road, so more may be added, or maybe nothing will. Once the whole story is fleshed out and the scope is intact in raw form, I’ll have a better idea of what will constitute the Prologue in its entirety.

I also began writing the body of Part I (of III); it currently sits a little above 2,500 words. So hitting over 4,000 words in the first full month of writing is right where I want to be! I’ve gotten into the habit of writing on Sundays, or sometimes Saturdays, which is working very well for me. And I’ll have my Spring Break at the end of the month, so my goal is to knock out at least 1,000 words a day that week – that will really bump me forward in my writing schedule.

I’ve also gotten the ball rolling on the cover for Book Four, and so far the draft looks good. I sent back some revisions and am awaiting a second draft, but at this point I’m optimistic. It’s exciting to see it start come into being, just as it’s exciting to see this story start to take shape. If you’d like to get a preview of it and let me know what you think, you can check out the Prologue for free at this blog post link.

The Short Story Collection

I have whittled away at the next volume of short stories, but have put most of my focus on my WWII historical fiction. Fear not – I aim to release Volume 3 by the time fall arrives. I’ll keep you posted on progress as spring turns to summer.

YouTube

Just as I’ve taken a hiatus from blogging over the past two weeks, I took a break from vlogging on YouTube. There is a reason for this decision, but I can’t really touch on that just yet. You’ll understand in the coming weeks…I only ask for your patience.

New Blog Topics

In the coming weeks, I plan to release special topic blog posts that will not only vary the material I provide my readership, but it will also afford you an opportunity to better know who I am. Plus, it can be the start of some great discussions, especially with fellow readers and writers.

That’s about it for this week. Thank you again for your continued support and encouragement, and for taking an interest in my work. If you haven’t yet subscribed to my mailing list, you can do so here…that way you can get my monthly e-newsletter that has the inside scoop and behind-the-scenes details about my life and my work.

Until next time,

-Eli

Special Preview Blog: Book Four Prologue

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and in good spirits! I have something special for you today, and I think it’s something you will like. I recently finished the rough draft of the Prologue to the fourth book in my WWII historical fiction collection. Since I’m feeling good about my progress so far, and because I’d like to try something new and different, I’ve decided to make YOU a beta reader for the opening to my next book! So read ahead and leave a comment telling me your thoughts (both positive and constructive), and keep in mind that the formatting in this post is not the same as what it will be in the actual book…

Prologue

     “You’re sure he’s going to be here?” I quietly asked Benito. I tried to hide my anxiety over the matter.
     “According to my source, he’ll be here…patience, my friend,” Benito softly replied from the adjacent café table. His chair and my chair nearly touched backs; we sat at separate tables for a reason.
     I fidgeted in my seat. “Easier said than done,” I grabbed my water glass and swallowed a refreshing gulp. I looked out across the open circular thoroughfare. A beige, stone fountain was positioned in the middle, its water arcing into the air from the mouths of fish and angels. Five automobiles, all older Spanish or Swiss models, drove around the fountain, the drivers making their way to wherever they needed to go. Three young boys, conversing in Spanish and laughing wildly, walked past our table on the sidewalk. A modestly dressed woman carried a bag of groceries.
     “Your men are in position?” Benito asked, double-checking. He turned the page of the newspaper in his hands.
     I looked beyond the fountain to another café on the other side; Ezra, a tall, unimposing man with a mustache, leaned against a post. To my right on the east side of the thoroughfare sat a man on the fountain’s ledge; Mitchell was his name, and he was a more intimidating figure with his stocky build and booming voice. They both blended in beautifully with the pedestrians that meandered by, minding their own business on that sunny Thursday morning. “They’re in position,” I said nonchalantly, not looking directly at Benito. In our current business together, subtlety was a necessity. “And your men?”
     “They’re where they need to be. Everyone is where they need to be, Mr. Fisher,” Benito assured me.
     “You know, I’m still a little troubled that I have yet to meet your source,” I admitted. “I know we couldn’t meet out in the open like you and I are now, but still…something could have been arranged.” I glanced at Benito from the side of my eye.
     “Mr. Fisher, it would be very difficult to do that,” Benito reminded me, as he had done twice before when we planned this operation.
     Benito was a local businessman who had ties with underground movements against the Franco regime. He also had friends in the Maquis. I met him early on in my posting to Barcelona. Through my position as Cultural Attaché in the Consulate-General, I was introduced to and worked with many individuals of various backgrounds and experiences. But then again, Cultural Attaché was merely a title. A distraction. A cover.
     “I just want to be sure of the source of our information, that’s all,” I sipped my water again.
     Benito turned the next page of his newspaper, pretending to read the goings on of the world. “You are right to feel that way,” he voiced softly, his tone understanding.
     I looked down at the silver watch on my left wrist: 9:37. “Three minutes…” I spoke quietly.
     In three minutes from that moment, a car was expected to pull through the circular thoroughfare – a car transporting a German officer of the Abwehr division in Barcelona. The German intelligence organization had set up camp in this city of Spanish culture, as with other cities around the country, in order to glean intelligence regarding Allied operations and plans in the Mediterranean and North Africa. The German, a Captain Metzger, was the liaison officer for communication between Barcelona and headquarters in Berlin. The operational objective in play at the moment was simple: capture the German alive. The execution itself was nearly impossible.
     I ran over the operation in my head. ‘Car parks at the adjacent café at 9:40, Metzger and two guards get out to buy newspaper and coffee while driver remains in car at 9:41, vendor briefly talks to Metzger about nonsense until 9:42, the three are back in the car by 9:43. No more than three minutes to get the job done.’
     “There’s Diego, right on time,” Benito pointed out. One of his men, Diego’s task was to purchase a coffee at the café where Metzger would get his coffee, then sit outside to await the German when he exited the building. Diego was a strong man, hence his role as a handler in the apprehension of Metzger.
     I looked down the road to my left. Parked by the curb at the mouth of an alley was a black car with its engine off. It was another of Benito’s men, Julian. Once the apprehension took place, he would provide the primary getaway option for the handlers. Benito and I would simply act as unknowing pedestrians, leaving soon after the commotion would end. I glanced at my watch again: twenty seconds before 9:40. Mitchell rose from the fountain ledge and started walking toward the target café.
     A luxurious, black car emerged from between the buildings where the thoroughfare ran through, its engine heralding the coming of an important figure. ‘Here we go,’ I thought.
     “Metzger…” Benito mumbled, still feigning to read the paper.
     As the car circled around the fountain and slowed to the curb, Ezra began walking toward the café as well. Mitchell was already inside buying his coffee. The car’s dark windows kept me in suspense of glimpsing the man who was our target. I knew his face only from photographs taken by Benito’s men.
     I picked up my water glass, the small amount of condensation moistening my already sweaty palm. Looking on, I saw the car finally come to a complete stop; I heard the gear shift into park. ‘This is it,’ I told myself. Ezra and Diego were closest in proximity, and Mitchell was inside waiting to walk out at the right moment. From my seat nearly sixty feet away from Metzger’s car, I looked to my left at Julian waiting in the getaway car.
     Papapapa!
     Papapa!
     I spun around as gunshots rang out through the open space of the fountain thoroughfare. Before my eyes, three German soldiers with pistols shot Ezra, Diego, and Mitchell in their chests! The few locals in the vicinity cried out and fled; I discerned the words pistola and policía from their screams. The menacing Germans stood just a few feet from their car. In the flurry of motion I didn’t recognize any of them as Metzger.
     Benito slid out of his chair and tipped his café table on its side. I did the same and ducked down, frightened I’d take a bullet. Fear gripped me; my hands shook and my body quaked.
     No shots.
     I heard a car door shut, and then another, all followed by the revving of an engine and the receding acceleration of the German car. Still nervous and shaking, I mustered the courage to peek over the overturned table; Benito remained behind his table. His fearful and worrying eyes met mine. “Benjamin…” his broken voice said in a sorrowful tone.
     I stood up and looked ahead on the sidewalk. Three men squirming in pain. I ran to them as Benito rose from the dirty sidewalk. I quickly knelt down beside Diego, the first one I reached.
     “How bad is it?” he coughed, the breath in his lungs wheezing in and out of his mouth and the blood-soaked hole in his chest.
     I examined him, but I was no doctor. “Keep breathing, but slowly. Despacio,” I animated myself breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. I tapped his thigh to encourage him to hold on as I stood up to tend the others.
     “Benj- …Benjamin…” Ezra rasped from twelve feet away. A pool of blood had gathered under him.
     “I’m here,” I assured him as I knelt down. Seeing the blood under him meant that a bullet exited through his back.
     “Check on Mi…Mitchell,” he struggled to breathe and speak. His eyes were gray-blue with a hint of red, and he was sweating.
     I examined him a moment more, then spoke. “I’ll be right back.” I quickly stood up and turned toward Mitchell. Benito had since knelt down beside Diego, and Julian joined him after running from the car that was still parked by the alley. I walked a few steps and found Mitchell lying on his left side just in front of the door to the café.
     He lay very still.
     “No, no, no, no…!” Benito cried out louder and louder. He engaged in resuscitating Diego; Julian squatted nearby, helpless. Benito breathed air into Diego’s mouth, then pressed on his chest repeatedly again.
     I returned my focus to Mitchell. Kneeling down for a closer look, I saw that he also had an exit wound in his back. The red blood on his beige shirt showed it. There was also a small stream of blood that ran down his back, but didn’t gather in a pool like with Ezra.            “Mitchell…” I tried gently turning him onto his back.
     “Nooooo!” Benito cried out, tears starting to stream down his cheeks.
     Diego was dead.
     “Boss…?” I heard a voice whisper.
     I turned and saw Mitchell barely moving. “Mitchell!” I immediately helped him turn over and sit up. I could more clearly see where the bullet entered: it missed his lung and clavicle.
     “Huuaaghh,” Mitchell coughed but struggled with the pain.
     “Are you going to be okay?” I looked him in the eye.
     “I think so…just hurts bad. I’ve never been shot before…” he replied softly. He wiped a bit of saliva from his lips, then paused. After a moment our eyes met. “Boss…” he gazed at Ezra.
     I looked as well, only to find Ezra lying still.
     The sounds of wailing sirens approached the grisly scene. Benito’s sobs were the only audible sound in close proximity, and Julian’s state of shock was what my weary and unbelieving eyes rested on as we all knelt, sat, or lay on the dusty sidewalks of Barcelona, our mission far from salvaged and with many questions to answer for the authorities.

I hope you liked it, and also liked the different kind of blog for this week. Again, please leave me a comment with your thoughts so that I can consider my readers’ input in my edits of the story. Thank you for your support and encouragement, as always, and may you have a great week filled with success and accomplishment!

Until next time,

-Eli

And We’re Off!

Friends,

Welcome to a new week! My hope is that it will be a week filled with productivity and accomplished goals, for me as well as for you. Let’s get to this week’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

Since last week’s post, there have been a few developments regarding my WWII collection. First, the details for Book Four’s cover have been sent, and I’m essentially awaiting my designer’s confirmation that he received it, as well as a quote for the design service. Hopefully within a week or so, work will begin on the next cover. Second, I spent some time this weekend (as well as time today after I write this) chipping away at the Prologue of Book Four. I’m just over 250 words into it, and I’m hoping for another 1,000 by the end of the week. I was a little anxious that I wouldn’t be able to start off this story strong, but so far things are proving otherwise!

If you’re new to my work and are interested in my WWII historical fiction, you can check out my books Resistant, Unguarded, and Imminent on Amazon in print and on the Kindle.

The Short Story Collection

Minor progress is being made on this project, but progress nonetheless. I think we’re getting into that part of the writing on this project where I will only update every so often about it, considering that its progress won’t be as quick to come as with Faces. Fear not, for I will keep you informed of this project’s details, especially when release draws near!

If you’re new to my work and are interested in my short stories, you can check out Volume 1 and Volume 2 on the Kindle.

Writing Tip: If you encounter a rut in the road of writing, be open to considering courses of action your character(s) can take that surprise you – if it surprises you, maybe it’ll surprise your readers.

That’s all I have for this week. If you’re new, welcome to my post and my website. Please feel free to browse around and see what I’m up to, and don’t forget to subscribe to my mailing list (click the Contact tab) so you don’t miss the inside scoop on my work. Thank you for reading this post and for supporting me in my passion. It means a great deal!

Until next time,

-Eli

In Imminent’s Wake

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and ready for a new week ahead! There is very little this week in terms of writing news, but there are some other cool things going on, so let’s get to it…

The Faces of the War Collection

When I published Resistant, and then again with Unguarded, I downloaded the ebook to my Kindle app and read through the story. The purpose of this type of read-through was to make sure the formatting looked how I wanted it and also to find any typos or other errors of the kind. I did the same thing with Imminent since its release on January 8th, and I have to say there were a few more errors (both formatting and spelling/grammar/diction) than I would’ve liked to have upon release.

Even after a handful of read-throughs, which I normally do every time, there still managed to be some things that slipped through the cracks. It just goes to show that even when you think you’re careful as a writer, you can’t be too careful. But I’m not taking this as a negative; rather, it’s a positive thing that’s resulted from my devotion to the storytelling and desire to produce a sharp book. Could I have waited a few more weeks to release the book? Perhaps. But at your core, when do you really know for certain when your story is “ready” as opposed to when you think it is?

Currently sitting at around 60% of the way through the story, I can say that I should soon finish my post-publication read-through in the coming week or so. The good news for you, my readers, is that the ebook price will remain at $2.99 until that time comes. For when I finish the read-through and edit the manuscript file in order to re-upload it, that will be when I up the price to the normal $3.99 (which is the price of the other ebooks, except for Resistant which is $0.99).

Aside from the fact that this read-through seems mostly focused on finding errors, another reason I do it is for the sake of improving my craft. If you’ve watched some of my YouTube vlogs before, you’ve heard me talk about this and how important it is. I may not take copious notes during this read-through, but I do take stock of issues that I can try to amend through writing habit in projects yet to come. That’s part of why I enjoy writing, because it gives me something to work on, results to strive toward, something that’s more than a hobby to be passionate about.

In the meantime, I’m also working on the beginnings of my other two books in this collection. I’m honestly focusing more on the read-through of Imminent for the time being until it’s done, but I’m also going over my story notes and ideas to see what can be developed and how the story can go. This is another exciting aspect of the writing process!

Writing Tip: If you release an ebook (no matter the platform), it’s good to download a copy in order to check the formatting. Even when it looks good before you hit that Publish button, it might look differently when it comes down the pipe on an actual e-reader with the actual book file others will download. Plus if you purchase a copy, you get royalties. It’s a win-win!

Other News

As part of my teaching occupation, I recently was asked if I’d like to spend a day at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH for a school event that’s coming up. I’ll be just one of many staff members there who will not only help run a program for current students, but I’ll also be available to answer questions of prospective students and parents. If you’ve been with me since at least last April, you’ll know that I went to the same base after completing a book fair in Dayton the previous day. It was an awesome sight, to see planes and other pieces of history on display there. I didn’t get to see everything I wanted on that visit, so hopefully I’ll catch what I missed this time around.

That about does it for this post. Thank you so much for reading and following my work. If you’re new, please feel free to browse around my website to see what I’m up to. You can also join my mailing list so you can receive my monthly e-newsletter; it’s where I give more of an inside look at what I’m doing – more details than what you see in the blog posts, essentially. I hope you have a great week, and thanks again!

Until next time,

-Eli