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Call For Beta Readers, The Convergence Theory

Call For Beta Readers, The Convergence Theory

So, peddle to the medal, I’ve been pushing myself to finish writing Blood & Bone Book Two: The Convergence Theory (the sequel to my debut novel The Duality Paradigm).

When I was writing TDP I had a hard time finding beta readers because very few of my irl friends read M/M fiction–scratch that, NONE of them read it :(((( But it occurs to me that there might be a few of you who read this blog who, you know, DO like M/M fiction and may be here because you read TDP and enjoyed it?? maybe?

So, I’m going to put out an open call for beta readers for Book Two, to read during April/May, and offer feedback/concrit, chat with me about the book, and write reviews if you felt so inclined.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in participating in, fill out the form below and I will get back to you 🙂

Lia’s WIP Corner: A First Look At “The Convergence Theory”

Lia’s WIP Corner: A First Look At “The Convergence Theory”

If you follow this blog you might have noticed my (many) posts about The Duality Paradigm, a book I published at the beginning of February (my debut novel!!). Duality is the first book in the BLOOD & BONE Trilogy, which is my focus this week in Lia’s WIP corner.

Wolf_Canis_lupus_laying_in_grassThe Blood & Bone Trilogy takes place in a not-too-dissimilar Seattle where magic and the supernatural rub elbows with the mundane. The protagonists, Detectives Ethan Ellison and Patrick Clanahan, could not be anymore opposite. One is a magician, one is a werewolf—one is an unapologetic slut, the other is waiting to find his soulmate. But a human murder in disputed werewolf territory means that the two have to work together to find the killer before the story leaks to the general population and all manner of hell breaks loose. It isn’t long before sparks fly between the two and nothing in their lives will ever be simple again.

You can read the first chapter of The Duality Paradigm here on my blog.

First Look: Blood & Bone Book Two

The second book in the BLOOD & BONE Trilogy—The Convergence Theory—follows Ethan and Patrick as they try to deal with the emotional fallout from Duality while investigating a series of break-ins, grave desecrations, and murders. The full chapter will be posted to this blog on April 1st so check back for that. In the meantime, I’m going to give you a sneak peak:

A wizard is a self-contained unit. These pagans will try to fill your head full of balance and nature and threads. They’ll try to tie you down with their tree hugging morality. Don’t let them. Your magic is here, between your eyes, and in the strength in your hands and under your tongue. It is inside you, not in anyone else.

~ Alexandre Pelletier to his son Ethan, age 5

#

Branches snapped, bones crunched and then were ground underfoot. Blood, which is a very precise science, sprayed out like water from a garden hose. And it was difficult to tell, as the mud churned beneath their feet, where one furry body turned into another. Where he should grip and aim and kill. He was terrified to get it wrong.

Panic: a helium filled balloon that rose up in his throat and choked him.

Yelps, barks, and snarls rang out but he was frozen in indecision.

Power surged through him and fizzled when he cut it off, held it back. He screamed in his own head at his own indecision, but he didn’t act.

He didn’t act.

And the wolf’s back broke.

But that’s not how it happened.

##

For people who have read The Duality Paradigm, you know that I promised the sequel by Fall 2014. This is a very conservative release estimate. My hope is actually to have it ready for publication this summer with a mid-summer release of the third book. I know I left you with a cruel cliff hanger so I’m working hard to get the rest of the series written. If you have any questions about Duality, please feel free to ask them (here on my blog, through goodreads or amazon) or email me.

Lia’s Upcoming Book Projects

My novella The Source & The Wire is temporarily on hold while I focus on the Blood & Bone Trilogy but I’ll be getting back to that story hopefully by the end of the summer.

Burne-Jones-le-VampireI also have a series of connected novellas I’m going to be working on this fall. The collection is tentatively titled A Date With The Night and will feature 3 stories about complex relationships between humans and the supernatural, D/s kink, and seduction. The first story will follow a series of one night stands between Henrik—a vampire hunter—and Isabella the vampire queen as they struggle against their mutual attraction and their instincts to take one another out.

2014’s Publishing Schedule–More Details To Come!

  • Blood & Bone Book Two – June 1st

  • Blood & Bone Book Three – August 1st

  • The Source & The Wire – September 1st

  • A Date With The Night #1 – October 10th

  • A Date With The Night #2 – October 30th

  • A Date With The Night #3 – November 15th

  • ADWTN Omnibus – Early December

Quick Reminder

My short story Ava, Sublime is FREE on kindle today and tomorrow! So, if you’re looking for something short, tense and hot to read over the weekend, check it out 😉

Lia Cooper’s 10 Reasons To Love Scrivener

Lia Cooper’s 10 Reasons To Love Scrivener

Scrivener is a program created by the folks at Literature & Latte for and with writers in mind. Let’s look at the Top 10 Reasons I love Scrivener and why you may love it too.

*click on any of these images to see a larger version

  1. Scene Construction—Scrivener rethinks how we create written documents. You’re probably familiar with how Microsoft Word (and just about every common writing program) formats documents: linearly. If you write books or short stories, you know that they are generally not one continuous scene, they’re composed of many scenes which are perhaps grouped together by chapters and further grouped by parts. Scrivener embraces this structure by turning scenes and chapters into discreet units all within the same document. Click on a scene and Scriv opens just that scene in the main view window, click on a chapter and view every scene in that chapter in a continuous scroll. This allows you to navigate through your story much more easily and quickly than you can through a Word document and lets you rearrange scenes or chapters as simply as dragging and dropping them into order.Scrivener Binder Scrivener Binder
  2. The Binder—This feature (generally the default column on the left when you start up Scrivener) lets you organize your manuscript, characters and research. The manuscript folder is generally listed first, this is your main writing folder in the project. Underneath it you’ll find other folders for Characters, Settings, and Research notes, which allows you to easily navigate around your manuscript and between the main story and your notes.Scrivener Scenes and Chapters
  3. Project Targets (Project >> Show Project Target)—I’m a visual person and I love Project Targets in Scriv. Set the project total, give yourself a deadline (Example: November 30 if you’re doing NaNoWriMo), and set your daily word count goal. There’s nothing quite like watching that progress bar turn green to motivate you to meet your daily goal!Scrivener Project Targets
  4. Active Statistics Bar—This word count and page bar found at the bottom of the main view screen adjust depending on what you have opened in the main screen. So if you’ve selected the entire manuscript it will show you your total word count and then if you click on a single scene it will adjusts to show you the pages/words for just that portion of the book. As someone who often likes to regulate the ebb and flow of my word count across chapters and scene for pacing this feature saves me having to highlight portions of the story to check word counts.stats bar
  5. Revision Mode (Format>>Revision Mode)—I just started using this feature a couple months ago when I began working on a second draft of The Source & The Wire, which requires several extensive rewrites and a lot of tense corrections. Click the revision (my screencap shows revision in red for First Revision) and then start editing your document. Everything you change or add to the document will now show up in red so you can see and track the changes you’re making. You can also assign different revisions different colors. Once you’re satisfied with all of your revisions click Remove Revisions and everything will turn black.Scrivener Revision Mode
  6. Corkboard—There are 3 primary ways to view your Scriv document: Scrivenings (this is a composite view of all the text files), Corkboard and Outliner.viewtypes

    The Corkboard view breaks down the parts of your story into notecards which you can arrange visually and write summaries for. This is a great feature if you are used to outlining by hand in real life.

    Scrivener Corkboard

  7. Outliner—Outliner is another way of getting an overview of your story. You can click a drop down menu (see screencap) to pick which pieces of information you need for each chapter/scene. I usually just pick Word Count Total so that I can monitor how many words are in each chapter and in each scene within the chapters.Scrivener Outliner Mode
  8. Page/Layout View—One of the things I hate about Google Docs is how it’s one continuous document and doesn’t split things up into pages visually. I have a hard time typing into a continuous white space that fills an entire screen. Toggling page view (found in the Default Menu Buttons at the top on startup) lets me switch the main view screen to breakup my document visually into how it would look on a printed page. If this kind of view doesn’t work for you, you can leave it on its default setting.Scrivener Page Layout View
  9. Split View—Have you ever needed to write a scene while referencing a different scene or conversation that appeared earlier or later in the document? In Word it’s a pain in the butt to scroll between two different portions of a document. In Scrivener you can split your screen (View >> Layout) horizontally or vertically and set each window to a different part of the manuscript (or your research) and type into either window.Scrivener Split View
  10. Compile—Last, but not least, Scrivener comes with a basic built-in compile feature that lets you export your Scriv file in a number of formats. It also gives you many many options for how you what that export to look. You can use Compile to turn your document into epubs and mobi files with working table of contents, front matter, basic meta data and even covers. This is great if you want to self-publish.Scrivener Compile

These are just a few of the features in Scrivener—there are hundreds more. But I can tell you I use just about every single one of these features every single day when I’m writing or editing. Scrivener was designed with novel writing in mind and I think if you give it a shot, really embrace its scene and binder structure, you’ll realize just how powerful and intuitive it is. I would never go back to using Word or a similar program to write.

Do you use Scrivener? If so, what’s your favorite feature?

Interested in trying Scriv? Check out the free 30 day trial and let me know what you think of it!

Disclaimer: I’m not getting paid to say any of this or rec Scrivener; everything in this post is just my opinion.

Free Book 1 Day Only (Contemporary erotica)

Free Book 1 Day Only (Contemporary erotica)

Quick announcement to let you all know that my new novellette Ava, Sublime is available for free on Kindle February 14th (and February 14th only!).

Free book by Lia CooperAva, Sublime is a complex short that navigates a critical moment between the heroine, Ava, and the two men she is sleeping with.

Blurb:

It isn’t always easy to know what you want and what you need.

Ava Novak thought she had her comfortable life figured out. She had a job roasting coffee that she loved and a simple sexual arrangement with Brenden and Patrick. What more could a woman want? But a change in their dynamic sends Ava down a path of serious soul searching while she tries to come to terms with how much of herself she’s willing to give.

Get it FREE!

Excerpt from Ava, Sublime (New Short Contemporary Romance by Lia Cooper)

Excerpt from Ava, Sublime (New Short Contemporary Romance by Lia Cooper)

Read an excerpt from my new romantic short story Ava, Sublime.

It isn’t always easy to know what you want and what you need.

penrose tiles
Penrose tiles are constructed from shapes related to the pentagon and hence to the golden ratio.

Ava Novak pulled the first aid kit off the wall and opened it. Mismatched bandaids fell out across the counter, some of them getting wet from the puddle of water there. She extracted the can of burn spray, shook it, and pointed the nozzle at the lobster red webbing between the thumb and forefinger of her left hand. She flapped her hand to make it dry faster and put away the kit. It smelled like aloe and chemicals. She squinched up her nose at it.

“Oh, excuse me.” Angela lay both of her hands against Ava’s back and waist and slid past her, into the drive through where they kept the Oasis machine.

“Everything okay?” she threw back over her shoulder to the sound of shaved ice falling into the blender.

“Yeah,” Ava mumbled. “It’s fine.” And she dropped her hand to her side.

Read More Read More

New Release! AVA, SUBLIME (short contemporary romance)

New Release! AVA, SUBLIME (short contemporary romance)

Ava Sublime by Lia Cooper

Short story description:

It isn’t always easy to know what you want and what you need.

Ava Novak thought she had her comfortable life figured out. She had a job roasting coffee that she loved and a simple sexual arrangement with Brenden and Patrick. What more could a woman want? But a change in their dynamic sends Ava down a path of serious soul searching while she tries to come to terms with how much of herself she’s willing to give.

DISCLAIMER This work contains language and sexual content that may not be suitable for readers under 18. This work contains EXPLICIT FEMALE/MALE/MALE CONTENT. Not your cup of tea? Don’t read it. Otherwise, please enjoy.

Genre: Contemporary romance, f/m/m menage, short story

Purchase: $0.99 on Amazon

Review Copies Of The Duality Paradigm

Review Copies Of The Duality Paradigm

Do you read/review ebooks?

Do you enjoy m/m paranormal mysteries?

Are you looking for a free book?

Here’s The Deal:

The Duality Paradigm by Lia CooperI am offering 5  2 free copies of my new release The Duality Paradigm to anyone interested in reading and revieving it. You’ll get a copy of the book and all I ask in exchange is that you write an honest review* (on Amazon, on Smashwords, on your blog, on Goodreads, it’s up to you!).

The Duality Paradigm is an m/m paranormal-mystery-romance. It’s got some sex, gore, violence, UST, and men who have difficulty expressing their feelings 🙂 If this sounds like your cup of tea fill out the contact form below!

*I’m not looking to buy reviews. Whether you loved the book or hated it, the key here is genuine reviews 🙂

Breaking News! Book Launch: The Duality Principle

Breaking News! Book Launch: The Duality Principle

I decided to bite the bullet over the weekend and release my debut novel into the wilds of Kindle.

Description:

Lia CooperEveryone knows magic users and werewolves are intrinsically diametrically opposed…

Seattle Police Detective Ethan Ellison, born into a long line of Quebecois magicians, leads a fairly unassuming life working Theft and consulting on magical misdemeanors. He’s spent eight years building a life for himself in Seattle, far from his father’s shadow. He works hard, lives under the radar, and fucks whoever catches his eye.

Detective Patrick Clanahan, beta-heir to Pack McClanahan, is a tightly wired bundle of rage and guilt, still trying to come to terms with the murder of his last partner.

When a human woman is murdered in werewolf territory under suspicious circumstances, Ethan is reassigned to worked the case with Clanahan in the hopes that he’ll be able to balance out the wolf’s rougher edges.

Too bad they mostly just rub each other the wrong way.

This is the first of three books in the BLOOD & BONE TRILOGY.

Genre:

M/M romance, urban fantasy

The Duality Principle (Blood & Bone Book One) available for $4.99 on Amazon and B&N Nook

Lia’s WIP Corner

Lia’s WIP Corner

Indy's_whip by Edward LundGosh, the title for this blog sounds kinky. I kind of like it though. Let’s start with the word “WIP”; it’s a term bandied about fanfic circles but maybe you’ve never heard it before. WIP stands for work-in-progress, and in this recurring feature of the blog here at The Speculative Romantic, I’ll be taking the opportunity to talk a little bit about what I am working on at the moment.

I have several works in progress right now. I’m waiting for a beta reader to get back to me on The Duality Paradigm so I can start on the third draft. Writing on the sequel The Convergence Theory is temporarily on hold while I a) wait to hear back from beta on the first book, b) work on other projects and c) while I figure out what happens next. In other words, I’m suffering some real Convergence writer’s block that I’m treating by backburnering.

Thieves Who Are Bad At Feelings

Toronto by paul bicaI’m also editing a soulbonding heist novel called The Source and the Wire—of which the draft was written back in 2011 but I’ve only just gotten around to editing. I’m roughly 50% through the first round of edits though there are already a dozen places I’ve marked for rewrites.

The bulk of the story takes place in Portland and Toronto, which makes this the second major story I’ve written with scenes in Toronto and a Quebecois character. I think a writer’s vacation to Toronto will be in my future as soon as I can afford it.

I’m tentatively scheduling Source&Wire for a February publication on kindle and nook. The story is very intense and relationship-heavy for me. It tells the story of how Simon accidentally soulbonds to longtime colleague and one-time lover Luc Allard on a fraud job gone tits-up. Simon, unwilling to reveal his own dependence on Luc, tries to seduce the other man under the pretext of “letting off steam,” unaware of Luc’s own feelings for him. I’ve always thought of Source&Wire as a story about two people like trains that keep missing each other in the night. I’ll post an excerpt next month after I’ve finished editing it.

Writing Outside Lia’s Comfort Zone: Exploring Narrative Through Short Stories

On a different track, about three weeks ago a friend from Evergreen approached me to write a short story for a collection she’s putting together. The theme for this short story collection will be the exploration of relationship narratives that are not commonly portrayed in media: eg queer, trans, intersex, ace, poly, functional and non-functional. I wrote the first draft of a short story (tentatively titled Ava, sublime.) for that collection and sent it off to my beta. Ava is a very narrow exploration of a polyamorous relationship between two men and an aromantic woman, with very minor D/s elements. I have the feeling that it will need quite a bit of revising before I’m done with it but for the most part I’m quite pleased with how it shaped up and initial reaction from my alpha reader was positive. Here’s a short excerpt, feel free to drop a quick word and let me know what you think!

On Sundays she stayed late to get the bulk of the week’s roasting finished up, so during the week she could leave early. It was a Tuesday, unremarkable but for the fact that Patrick was out to dinner with some friends from college, leaving Ava and Brenden alone for the evening.

Brenden cooked, which was not out of the ordinary, something with meat balls made up ahead of time and defrosted, and a fancy sauce that involved white wine and fresh garlic and linguine—also fresh though Ava wouldn’t swear that he had made it himself.

There’s a baguette next to you.”

Hey, look at that, you’re right.” Ava grabbed the slender loaf of bread wrapped up in brown butcher paper, purchased from the french patisserie across the street from Brenden’s work.

Slice it.”

Got a knife?”

In the block, to your left. You know that.”

Forgot,” she said.

Brenden flicked one end of a hand towel at her bum.

Hey!” Ava pointed one stern finger in his face and scowled, “None of that for me, sir.” He grinned back at her, all shiny white teeth and crisp dress shirt, tucked into expensive slacks. He even had his dress shoes on still. It felt a little like being scolded by her prep school principal.

And that’s the highlights—tune back in next week where I talk about writing Dialogue!