Tentative Release Date Set for Blood of the Enemy

Blood of the Enemy


Target Release Date: February 2023

The tentative release date for Book III: Blood of the Enemy is February 8, 2023.

Why is this date tentative?

I’ve already submitted the files to IngramSpark, received and approved the electronic proof, and ordered proof copies. At this point in the process, the timing of everything is largely dependent on the distributor now—how long they take to print the proof copies, then how long it takes those books to be shipped and delivered so some of my beta readers and I can review the proofs to check for errors, typos, formatting issues, etc.

If those steps happen relatively quickly, I’ll be in good shape to meet the deadline. If there are delays printing/shipping the books… there’s not really anything I can do.

Why did I choose February 8th?

If you’ve read the first two books, you might have noticed that the numbers seven and eight are important. They’re part of the prophecy that appears throughout the series, not to mention Cato is A7 and there are eight Alpha ghosts in total.

That’s why A Fallen Hero was published on August 7th (8/7) and Phantom’s Mask on July 8th (7/8).

February 8th will be 2/8/23.

2+8+2+3 = 15

7+8 = 15

Why Didn’t Book III Makes Its 2022 Goal?

I discussed this topic a bit in my last post when reflecting on the past year. The short answer? Life got hectic and expensive. The long answer… 2022 was a perfect storm of delays on multiple fronts.

At this time last year, I was working a day job as a freelance writer for an agency. I didn’t think I was ready to turn my writing and art into a full-time career… but when that lifeline was cut, I had two options. Start the tedious process of skimming job listings and filling out applications, or take a chance on myself and go all in on my own business.

I realized that I really, really didn’t want to work for yet another boss. I’ve never loved any of my jobs, nor have I aspired to work my way up any corporate ladders and turn a day job into a full-time career. They’ve always just been paychecks so I can pursue my real passions. I was tired of spending so much of my time working to make a boss’s vision come true instead of my own. I decided to take the risk and go with option #2.

But, as I learned, running my LLC as a full-time business meant a lot more time and responsibilities. It meant packing a full schedule of events so I had enough income, keeping up with vendor deadlines, managing budgets, and maintaining records. All of that was on top of all the responsibilities that already fall on an indie author—marketing, posting on social media, creating Patreon content, keeping my blog active, drafting the monthly newsletter, writing/editing the next book, etc.

Book III went through multiple rounds of editing in 2022—first my own edits, then beta reader notes, then the tedious process of the line edit. I created my own cover, took my own author photo, did the interior layout myself, and drew multiple maps to be printed in this novel.

Basically, time was not my friend last year. I had too much to do and not enough time to manage it all with the busy event schedule.

Then, factor in the audiobook release. If everything had gone according to plan, Phantom’s Mask would have been released in 2020 (which it was), the audiobook for A Fallen Hero would have launched in 2021, and Blood of the Enemy in 2022. But COVID delayed the On-Ramp program, which partially funded the audiobook project, by a full year. That, in turn, delayed the audiobook so it landed right on top of Book III’s target 2022 publication, taking even more time away from me while I focused on the audiobook launch and virtual tour. I had to prioritize the audiobook first because it was funded in part by a state grant that had a strict deadline. BOTE had to take a back seat.

Then, add in the financial burden. Self-publishing is expensive (but, as I learned, audiobook production is even MORE expensive). Unfortunately, the audiobook went over the estimated budget, which was already high to begin with. I simply didn’t have the financial means to cover Book III’s publication costs at the same time as the audiobook, all while trying to lift my business off the ground and make it a sustainable source of income. Gotta pay the bills first, right?

Time. Capacity. Financial resources. None of those factors were in my favor. I had a hard time admitting it, but I was stretched too thin.

I’d hoped to have Book III out before the holidays, but then COVID finally caught up with me for the first time. After about a week, I’d shaken off the worst of the illness, but the fatigue stayed with me for a while.

As much as I hated pushing Blood of the Enemy back in the schedule, it had to be done. If you know me, you know that I’m a perfectionist. I didn’t want to sacrifice the quality of the book by trying to rush through the publication just to get it out.

Ghost Realm candle by Old Soul Artisan

Special Request from the Author

My home base is northwest Indiana, specifically La Porte and Michigan City. For local fans, it would help me out a lot if readers purchased Book III directly from me or stopped into the Co-Op Shoppes on State Street in La Porte to pick up a copy.

Amazon is convenient, but it’s probably no surprise to hear that they take a big cut out of an author’s royalties. The more I can sell locally, the better. (Not to mention they’d be autographed, which you can’t get from Amazon!)

I spoke with the owner of the Co-Op Shoppes at the end of last year. She hosted the first signing for both A Fallen Hero and Phantom’s Mask when they were each released, and she’s ready to host another local signing for Blood of the Enemy once I receive copies. I will also be leaving signed copies there.

For BOTE, I’m trying something new that I haven’t done before. I’ll be accepting preorders for autographed hardcovers. If you would like to preorder and secure a copy from the very first print run, please contact me (email, social media dm, etc.). I can accept PayPal, Venmo, or Square payments, or cash if you’re local. No checks unless I know you personally.

I don’t know how quickly the first batch will sell out, so preordering is the only way to guarantee a copy as soon as the shipment arrives, plus having that list will give me a better idea about demand so I can plan how many to order.

New Pages on the Chronicles of Avilésor Website

The CoA website has gone red!

The green eye on the homepage has been updated for the BOTE launch. Speaking of Book III, you’ll now find that Blood of the Enemy has its own About page on the website. It includes the book blurb, links to related content, and videos. This page will see updates over the next few weeks after the cover reveal. Links will be added to shop online once the book is released, and reviews will be added over time.

(In the meantime, check out the first review from Literary Titan!)

Blood of the Enemy isn’t the only new page on the official CoA site! Under Art in the top menu, you’ll now find a section dedicated to the maps that will be published in BOTE.

Explore the Ghost Realm, Phantom Heights, and Saros Manor. Patreon subscribers have already gotten sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes videos of these graphics while they were being created, and now the final versions are on the website for fans to see.

Patreon Posts Unlocked for Public Access

I’ve been releasing a lot of patron-exclusive content about what’s happening behind the scenes as I prepare for Book III’s publication. With the upcoming publication date so close, I decided to unlock some of these posts for public access. Even if you’re not a member of my Patreon community, you can now access these images, videos, and articles:

Early Access: Sneak Peek at Book III’s Interior Spread
Preparing the Map of Avilésor for Publication
Book III’s Author Photo Reveal (+ Behind the Scenes of Past Photoshoots)
Book III Detail: The Third Crow
Fun Fact: The Original Titles of Books II & III
Book III Update & Chapter List
5 Worldbuilding Facts About Avilésor

This is, of course, only a small sample of the content you’ll find if you become a Patreon subscriber. Related Blood of the Enemy posts that are still exclusive for patrons include:

Book III: Blood of the Enemy (Prologue + 3 Chapters)
Saros Manor (Part 1: Timelapse)
Behind the Scenes: Landscape Design for Saros Manor
Map of Phantom Heights (Part 1: Timelapse)
Map of Phantom Heights (Part 2: City Planning)
Timelapse: Avilésor Map
Behind the Scenes: BOTE Line Edit
Vote for Book III Character Name (This poll is closed, but Alpha subscribers got the chance to vote on a name for a character in Blood of the Enemy)
Sneak Peek #1: Scene from Book III
Sneak Peek #2: Scene from Book III
Cover Design Concepts for the Original Trilogy
Formatting Book III + Publishing Updates
Book III Cover Update & Sneak Peek
Author Q&A: What Are You Most Excited About for Book III?

Over the next few weeks (while I wait for the proof copies of Book III to arrive), I’ll continue to work on the series of patron-exclusive posts that explore the planning, design, and creation of Phantom Heights and Saros Manor. If you’re a fan of the series and interested in mapmaking and worldbuilding, it’s a great time to join the community and access this content!

For more information about Patreon and how the subscriptions help to directly support my art/publishing career, check out the FAQ page. Patrons at different levels also get some fun perks such as free merch, exclusive discounts, and even a place or minor character named after them in a future book!

Patreon membership tiers for Sara A. Noe
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I'm an award-winning fantasy author, artist, and photographer from La Porte, Indiana. My poetry, short fiction, and memoir works have been featured in various anthologies and journals since 2005, and several of my poems are available in the Indiana Poetry Archives. The first three novels in my Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series have received awards from Literary Titan.

After some time working as a freelance writer, I was shocked by how many website articles are actually written by paid "ghost writers" but published under the byline of a different author. It was a jolt seeing my articles presented as if they were written by a high-profile CEO or an industry expert with decades of experience. I'll be honest; it felt slimy and dishonest. I had none of the credentials readers assumed the author of the article actually had. Ghost writing is a perfectly legal, astonishingly common practice, and now, AI has entered the playing field to further muddy the waters. It's hard to trust who (or what) actually wrote the content you'll read online these days.

That's not the case here at On The Cobblestone Road. I do not and never will pay a ghost writer, then slap my name on their work as if I'd written it. This website is 100% authentic. No outsourcing. No ghost writing. No AI-generated content. It's just me... as it should be.

If you would like to support my work, check out the Support The Creator page for more information. Thank you for finding my website! 🖤