We Are Moved!

Friends,

I hope this post finds you as excited about something in your own life as I am excited about the move into our new house! This post is brief but great in quality, so let’s get to it…

The Move

Sarah and I are pleased that all of our “stuff” has been moved from our old house and into the new one, with much help from others beside ourselves. Family and friends joined together to help us transition into this new stage of our lives, and we couldn’t be more gracious to them for it. We spent our first night in the new house on Friday night and man, did it feel good to sleep after a busy day! We slowly got things into the new house and fixed up how we want (little things that add up in the end), so this week should see us do more putting away and tidying up than laborious work to make practical things a reality. We bought paint today, which we’ll use in the living room, and we looked ahead at some paint chips that we could potentially use in the guest rooms. There’s so much change that happens, it’ll be crazy to see what the house looks like in a week!

Faces of the War Collection

With the big move this past weekend and classes resuming last week after Spring Break, I was left with little time to devote toward writing. However, I plan on getting back into the swing of writing every week (and every day, even a little bit if I can help it) within the next 1-2 weeks. State testing is going on right now, so I’m busy with that, as well as in-office meetings and training days. But it’s given me a good break from my brain being in writing mode, which will allow for me to bounce back into it. I’ve thought about the story throughout the days of the past few weeks, so my mind is rearing to get those ideas fleshed out.

That’s about it for this week. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support, and be sure to come back next week for more details on the house. I’ll try to get some pictures included to liven up the screen.

Until next time,

-Eli

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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

New Short Stories Released!

Friends,

I know I’ve said this before, but the autumn season is wonderful! So many beautiful scenes to be seen and smells to be smelled, all before the backdrop of everyday life! Time flies by, whether we realize it or not, and soon it will be a new year. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s get into this week’s post…

The Short Story Collection

After much time of fiddling with different ideas and developing nascent stories, I’ve finally arrived to the point of releasing a new volume of short stories! I originally wanted to publish this ebook shortly after Unguarded came out earlier this year, but I opted to focus my writing efforts on Imminent. At that point I thought, “I’ll get the new volume out by summer.” That didn’t happen. “Early fall, perhaps.” That didn’t happen either. My goal, then, was to release it by my birthday in February.

However, my writing muse intervened and urged me to finish the work and finalize the stories, one of which was already completed. I sent the other two off to a friend for some feedback, which I quickly got back and implemented. After a final read-through, I submitted the ebook to be released through Amazon, and it was done very quickly. I submitted it Thursday night and it went live within a few hours, having the official release date of October 15. You can check it out and purchase it on this sales page!

Cover of Volume 2 in “The Short Story Collection”

Like my first volume, the stories in Volume 2 vary from my larger projects with regard to different aspects, such as scope and story premise. That’s been the whole goal all along: to produce new content that is different and that allows me to experiment with my writing. So I encourage you to pick up a copy on your Kindle (or through your Kindle reading app) and let me know what you think about my new work. I hope you enjoy it!

The Faces of the War Collection

Progress is being made with the edits for Imminent, with everything still on track for an early December release. This story is really coming together as I’m going back through and addressing changes or additions from my editor. The idea is that she’ll complete her work by November (thus allowing her to do NaNoWriMo), which then will give me a month to go through and do my final read-throughs. My goal is to submit the final manuscript to Amazon by November 30 so that it can be available for purchase by December 11. Details regarding pre-order for Kindle and the costs for both formats (print and Kindle) will be given when the cover is released – sometime in the next few weeks. Barring any major impediments, you’ll have another WWII historical fiction book by Christmas!

Indie Writing Advice

Due to Volume 2 being released, I had to take care of the book’s details in Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). There’s a YouTube video that covers this on my channel, so feel free to check it out. I’ll say that it would be good to explore the ins and outs of Amazon KDP before you are ready to upload your book. This way, you are familiar enough with how it works and what all needs done in order to complete the uploading process for publication. That is, if you’re wanting to sell your work on the Kindle platform. Personally, I only sell through Amazon. Everyone has their own reasons for choosing what platform(s) they sell their work through, and each certainly has its own draw. So if you’re in a position where you have a manuscript nearly ready for publication – and you want to sell it on the Kindle – I suggest you log into KDP and get acquainted!

That’s it for this week, but there’ll be more in the coming weeks! Thank you so much for reading this post, and for your support and encouragement of my work. If you haven’t yet done so, I encourage you to join my mailing list (you can email me with a brief “Hey, how are ya? I wanna join the mailing list!” at elikale.author@gmail.com) to get the most detailed and behind-the-scenes information regarding my projects, especially Imminent!

Until next time,

-Eli

New Project Title Reveal

Friends,

It is a new week and a good one so far, at that! Why? Because I have some news for you, as well as some other things. So let’s get started…

The Faces of the War Collection

I am pleased to inform you that things have been moving along well enough with my current WIP (work in progress, if you didn’t know), that I am ready to officially reveal the project’s title. As you know, my current book is the third in my WWII historical fiction project, where the Second World War is viewed through the perspectives of different individuals. I have mentioned before that this third story will be told from the German perspective, and that the character is male. I’ll reveal now that the character is in the German army and that the story line revolving around that fact will be more condensed that the stories of the previous two books in the collection.

The title of this book is “Imminent”. This story has taken me on a different sort of path in terms of how it’s been written and what I’ve had to do to get the story onto the page. Like I’ve said in past blog posts and YouTube vlogs, I am excited to see where this story takes me, because every writing experience has been different for me thus far. It is very interesting to get to experience writing in different ways!

Even though this project title, along with the titles of the other books in the collection, is already revealed at the end of the book, I like to dedicate a post to new titles that I’m working toward publishing, because it gives attention to the fact that I’m producing another story. Getting to see how my creativity manifests itself in a tangible book is amazing, as well as encouraging, and it makes me want to continue writing and networking with fellow writers. It’s a wonderful circle of cause and effect!

Now, you may be wondering: Eli, you’ve done title reveals for your first two books, and usually you include the book cover with the title reveal…where is the cover for this one? Great question! I chose to do the title and cover reveals separately for this book because the writing process is a little more drawn out than with the previous two books. I didn’t want to wait to do both reveals later down the road, nor did I want to reveal them both too early and then force you to wait to get your hands on the book. So this is the middle road – I am hoping to get the manuscript finished and published in the autumn, so you can probably expect a cover reveal around mid-August to early-September. That is the hope, at least.

All in all, I think everything is going well with this book, despite not writing as often as I’d like on a weekly basis. But that’s the nature of writing, especially writing as a secondary or tertiary job: you can’t always write as much as you’d like. But you just have to try to make it work, and that’s what I’m going to do. Like I’ve said before – I’d rather not sacrifice potentially good writing in order to get a book on the shelf. That’s not what writing should be about. It’s about being creative and making it something you can enjoy!

Other News

That’s about it for right now, aside from the regular stuff: YouTube vlogs come out every Friday (you can find them on my channel) and I’m working on side projects behind the scenes, which will be discussed later. For anything else you’d like to know about me and my work, you can find it on my website. Most of all, I’d love to connect with you through my newsletter, which comes out every couple of weeks. Either way, I’d love to connect with my readers. So please, shoot me an email or tweet me!

Until next time,

-Eli

“This Is Sparta!”

Friends,

Welcome to yet another week – another opportunity – to achieve greatness. In the words of Leonidas, “Prepare for glory!” Let’s get into today’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

Toward the end of last week, I came across some things I had jotted down while doing the skeleton planning for Book Three, and it got me thinking. After some careful consideration of historical facts and other things I had discovered in my research, I decided that it was best to revamp some of the planning I had done and change up the story outline just a bit. Now that that is done, I can move forward with more confidence that what I’ll be writing will be more realistic in appeal and closer along the lines of what actually could’ve happened.

That’s part of the trick with writing historical fiction: everything little event that occurred in the past doesn’t have a personal account to go with it. That’s just a fact historical writers must deal with. So when writing, the gaps in what could have happened are filled with the writer’s creativity fueled by contextual knowledge. In other words, the writer creates an event in the story that contains people, actions, and so on that could have existed at the time.

That’s what I do with my stories when there isn’t much substance to certain things I want to put into my story. With Resistant and Unguarded, my first two books, this method of writing was executed fairly well I think. In my third book, I am currently expanding and experimenting with this method in the second half of the manuscript, and I must say that it’s a fun thing to do. And I think that’s part of what writing should be about – experimenting and trying new things to see how far you can take yourself in your work. I should add that the developments in the story with which I’m experimenting are rather bold, mostly because the events that are taking place very well could have happened and it’s very hard to tell either way.

The word count is approaching 25K in Book Three and I’m about to send the word to my cover designer to get things rolling. As of now, I’m resetting the tentative release date for mid- to late-September. I’ll be writing as much as I can throughout the rest of the summer, and hopefully I’ll be able to produce a quality book to add to the first two.

YouTube

If you haven’t seen my videos on my writing process, you can easily find them on my channel. Since finishing my writing process videos, I’ve switched gears and am now doing weekly vlogs by recording footage throughout the week and posting a video on Friday.

Please subscribe to my channel and join me on my journey through both my personal and writing lives. And if you have family or friends who might be interested in me and my work, please pass the word along. I enjoy getting to meet new people!

And if you want to go a step further and get more out of the content I produce, you can join my mailing list by clicking this link and filling in the information. I send out a newsletter vie email every couple of weeks, and it includes details about my projects, fun facts, Q&A posts, and much more. It’s easy to do and fun to be a part of!

Other News

I have hinted before that there are other projects on my plate behind the scenes, but I haven’t really elaborated on that point. I’m not going to right now, either (sorry), but I will tell you that a pretty cool thing is in the works and in the coming weeks I’ll share with you about it.

That’s just about all I have for right now in terms of news. Thank you for your interest in my work and for following my blog. I truly appreciate it!

Until next time,

-Eli