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Sneak Peak: The Profane Series Book 1: Chapter 1b

Sneak Peak: The Profane Series Book 1: Chapter 1b

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The Profane Series Book 1: Medium Rare: Chapter 1b

July 2009 – Queen Anne Hill

The doctors had told him to take it easy and maybe this didn’t count as taking it easy—he couldn’t drive with the busted up foot or his arm in a sling so he’d had to resort to public transportation—but he had to see Vector. Had to look him in the face and ask:

“Where the hell have you been?” Lachlan demanded before the front door had even swung open. He blinked and snapped his mouth shut on a surprised noise when he looked up into the eyes not of his absentee partner but some stranger. “Who are you?”

The other man squinted those eyes—pale blue and wildly different from Vector’s—at Lachlan, nostrils flaring. Was he—Lachlan stumbled over the thought but there was no mistaking the way the other man was sniffing him.

“What do you want?” the man growled.

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Sneak Peak: The Profane Series Book 1: Medium Rare – Chapter 1a

Sneak Peak: The Profane Series Book 1: Medium Rare – Chapter 1a

Writing is coming along at a good clip this month, and I’m planning on releasing Book 1 in the Profane Series: Medium Rare during the first week of February… Sort of like a 2 year anniversary celebration.

In the meantime, I thought I’d post the first couple of chapters for you guys to take a sneak peak at. These are still rough, mostly unedited, and subject to tweaking before they go to Amazon, but I hope you enjoy them!

I think you can expect 1-2 updates a week until February.

Chapter 1a: May 2012 – Capitol Hill – Lachlan

Last night a girl had died. He only knew this because, as he had left his own apartment the following day for his morning—emphasis in this case being absolutely necessary—coffee run, he had encountered the girl’s grandmother crying just outside her door one floor below him.

“Oh, it’s you, Lachlan. I’m sorry, dear, let me just get out of your way.”

“Good morning, Amelia.” Lachlan Graham paused, one foot on the next step, one foot in the hallway, torn between comforting a neighbor in distress and the amount of energy it would require to deal with her. “Something wrong?” he asked.

Her sigh shivered through her whole body, her hands shaking as she blotted at the tears gathered in the corners of her eyes. It didn’t look as though she’d had the time to apply her face that morning before the instigating emotional event, because despite the presence of water flowing down her face, there were no dark mascara stains on her cheeks.

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Cover Reveal: The Kingdom of Pacchia Book 3!

Cover Reveal: The Kingdom of Pacchia Book 3!

Well guys, I’m in the homestretch working on THE HONORABLE BETA, Book 3 in The Kingdom of Pacchia series. I’ve been a little side tracked with a super fun head cold but I think it’s starting to clear up so I can get back to my regular work schedule.

I had originally planned on releasing The Honorable Beta early next month but I’m the worst at sitting on finished projects so it looks like the release date is going to be bumped either to this weekend or early next week as a special Xmas gift to all of you guys!

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak of the cover…the hon beta

Artwork © Lia Cooper 2015

With the court on the edge of chaos, Sir Riven and the Honorable Winston Dupuis find themselves caught between lust and duty as they play chaperone to Aubrey and Lord Riven’s continuing courtship. But social mores are against them, and the two must decide what is worth fighting for and what is worth letting ago as winter settles over the Kingdom of Pacchia. Contains A/B/O dynamics, including female alphas with penises and a relationship between a male beta (human biological normal male) and a female alpha (externally appears female but reproductively male).

Book One available here: TOP mock 250x400

Book Two available here: Pacchia 2 400x640

Latest Updates from Lia’s WIP Corner

Latest Updates from Lia’s WIP Corner

Long Time No Blog-y

Indy's_whipOh, man guys, have I been terrible about blogging or what? Life is so crazy and I feel like I never have enough writing related news to warrant a whole post here. But I also feel it’s important to reassure you that I’m not dead and that I am writing.

First, the thing that’s been keeping me up at night: my sister and I are opening a tea room/lunch cafe! It’s so crazy and we’ve been so busy–I’ve found 2 new grey hairs! It’s exciting though. We’re leasing a little kiosk with a beautiful atrium in a restored historic building in Downtown Olympia. We’re not quite ready to open, we had some set backs with the health department requiring us to update pretty much every single piece of equipment in the kiosk and we still need to submit out Food Business application but we’re in the homestretch it feels like. In December, we’re going to be selling English Tea and gifts for the holidays since we can’t actually serve food yet. It’s very exciting! We’re going to make up some gift mugs and such as soon as the christmas crackers I ordered come in.

I can’t say how thankful I am to have all you lovely readers reading my books, buying/borrowing my novels, and supporting me! My sister and I have long dreamed of opening a tea shop or cafe and it never would have happened without my books finding an audience with you all.

If you follow me on twitter you’ve probably seen some of my baked goods as I’m in the process of testing all our recipes for the shop.

Book News

But enough about the tea room, let’s talk about books. The Source and the Wire by Lia CooperIn case you missed it, I released a contemporary (with a dash of magical realism and soulbonding) novella at the end of september called The Source and the Wire. This novella was one of the first things I began writing while I lived in Pullman, very shortly after deciding I wanted to write for a living and is still one of the stories very dear to my heart–it even has a happy ending! So be sure and check that story out if you haven’t.

Blood & Bone Book 3: The Symbiotic Law

I’m roughly 3/4 finished writing the final book in the Blood & Bone Trilogy and lmty, it’s a doozy. This book is wildly different from both previous novels, charting an adventure literally around the world, and I’m so excited to share it with you all. I know this trilogy has been a rocky emotional ride, full of lots of frustration, so I hope book 3 will be just the welcome relief you’ve all been patiently waiting for. My current goal is to publish book 3 before Christmas. I’ll be giving away a free copy as we get closer to launch for people subscribed to my mailing list:

Sign Up To Lia’s Mailing List For A Chance To Win BLOOD & BONE 3!

Forthcoming Projects Winter 2014-Early 2015

  • Secret Christmas romance (Title/Cover reveal Dec 1!) between a small town coffee shop owner and a new in town novelist trying to connect with his dead father
  • Substitutions for Lemons, a f/f novel involving a down-on-her luck baker and a French mail-order-bride
  • The Kingdom of Pacchia Book 2: Courted by the Alpha, political tensions run high as the disfavored Lord Riven begins a tentative courtship of the Crown Prince Aubrey, set against a back-drop of betrayal and strained loyalties.

Understanding Your Own Romantic Tastes

Understanding Your Own Romantic Tastes

I’ve struggled writing book 3 in the Blood & Bone Trilogy and I thought it was just because I struggle with romance in general (I know–a romance writer who struggles with romance???). I ask myself why I write romance and I do it for a couple reasons:

  • I love reading romance
  • It seemed the easiest place to dip my feet into self-publishing
  • I REALLY love reading romance
  • I have the most experience with what could be classified as romantic stories (from, again, a reading perspective and I feel it’s pretty sound advice to write in a genre you’re familiar with)

But like on a personal level I am about the least romantic person I know. I don’t get real life romance. I feel like a computer going DOES NOT COMPUTE. So, I’ll read a story where two people falling in love is the central theme and just goggle over how amazing it is, sitting down to WRITE the gritty details of how that works has been…difficult. Overwhelming. Like staring up at a clifface knowing I’m supposed to climb it and being frozen with fear because guys–i HATE rock climbing, legit hate it.

Falling-in-love vs Realizing-you’re-in-love

Embed from Getty Images

But in the last month, while I tried to wrangle what it was about Book 3 I was stuck on specifically I realized something both about the book and about my own reading tastes:

I almost always read stories where the characters are basically already in love and either a) pining or b) oblivious to their own feelings. But the point is, the “in-love” stuff already exists.

Book 3….well…Pat and Ethan aren’t pining OR oblivious to their own feelings. Like, they legit are not in love with one another. The thing that was tripping me up is how do two people FALL in love? This is a conundrum that is not readily answered in the sorts of stuff I like to read AS A READER. It’s pretty uncharted territory.

I keep wondering, if I just lock them in the starboard broom closet and mash their faces together will they eventually fall in love?

(also searching Getty Images for “two men in love” returns srsly hetero results, what’s up with that getty images?)

Book 2: The Convergence Theory Book News

Book 2: The Convergence Theory Book News

convergence rightside up small
Available on Amazon $2.99
So I made a DAY-Of post about the release of my new book here and on twitter but I’m a big believer in NOT SPAMMING my list so after that first day I kind of stayed quiet. But you know, we all have busy lives and don’t always stay up-to-the-minute on our blogroll or RSS feeds. I figure it’s time to make another little post saying Hey, lookit, I published the sequel!

You can read chapter 1 here on my blog.

Blurb:

Walking away from your soulmate is not for the faint of heart…

Following the Matilde Walker murder, Detective Ethan Ellison is back working misdemeanors and minor crimes, but he’s only just begun to realize how much the experience has changed his life.

Meanwhile, Detective Patrick Clanahan would give anything to get the memory of Ethan out of his head. If he can’t have him, and every sign suggests that he can’t, he sure has hell wishes everything at the station didn’t remind him of the other man.

Murder, UST, pining, and emotional turmoil lurk right around the corner for both men as Seattle hurtles to the hottest summer on record and their fates bring them back together in THE CONVERGENCE THEORY, Book Two in the Blood & Bone Trilogy.

This is the tense sequel to THE DUALITY PARADIGM.

Contains explicit M/M and minor M/F content.

Review Copies

As with THE DUALITY PARADIGM, I will be offering review copies for people who are interested. I only ask that you write an HONEST review, state that you received a review copy somewhere in your review, and post your review on the web and link me (Amazon, Goodreads, personal blog etc). If you’re interested in reviewing Book 2 send me an email: liacooperromance AT gmail DOT com.

Book 3 News

So what’s in store next? I’ve got ~33% of the final book in the trilogy written and I’ll be working on that over the next couple of months. Originally i’d hoped to have to ready to be published very soon after book 2 but it looks like early Winter is going to be more accurate. I’ll be posting a sneak peak of the cover and Chapter 1 as we get closet to the release date, so stay tuned!

I’ve also started a tumblr based WIP called The Omega Prince. TOP began life as an exercise in having fun with my writing. I just wanted to write a sweet fantasy AU, not of our world, that examined Alpha/Beta/Omega dynamics in a non oppressive culture. IDK about you but I get sick and tired of fantasy AUs that are just our world, with all of its prejudices and misogyny, and the serial numbers scrubbed off.

Here’s the first snippet for you reading pleasure:

He was Lord Riven now, the only son of the late Lord Riven.

A middle child, considered spoilt and indolent in his youth through very little fault of his own. It was the prerogative of the peerage to keep their children in the comfortable style to which they themselves were raised. And so the youngest Lord Riven was instructed by tutors in the manor castle, taught to ride and mock fight, and left to enjoy the pleasanter pastimes in life such as hunting every day except Sundurn, which was reserved for feasting.

The son, known to his sisters and closest companions as Dierik, was little seen at the High Court of the King of Lyle, and there was much talk bandied amongst the other houses when his fourteenth birthday came and went without his joining the King’s Guard as was the want of most noble sons looking to distinguish themselves.

No acts of valor, scholarship, or might were thus put forward to advance the young Dierik, and his name was predominantly forgotten until his twenty-fourth year when news reached the High Court that Lord Riven and his household, excepting the son and the youngest daughter, had been murdered in their beds and the manor castle burned to its foundations.

After that, the name Riven was explicably attached to gratuitous rumors ofpatricide and plot though no evidence ever surfaced that the son was in fact the root cause of his family’s fall. The damage was already done. The more greedy and tenacious corners of the court, smelling blood, were quick to circle the floundering house. Within a month expeditionary forces began to make their presence felt all along the Lord Riven’s boarders and shortly after, the son gathered his knights and loyal vassals and marched to his defenses.

That was eight years ago.

You can read along with the rest of it as I write it here: http://lia-cooper-writes.tumblr.com/ and the tag #the omega prince.

Lia’s WIP Corner: Pre-Camp Edition 2014, Where To Find Lia In April!

Lia’s WIP Corner: Pre-Camp Edition 2014, Where To Find Lia In April!

Indy's_whipThis will be my last post in the Countdown to Camp NaNoWriMo (we’ll be ~3 days out when this post goes live). April 1st you can follow my twitter for daily writing updates, word count progress, snippets from The Convergence Theory (which I’ll be editing during April while I’m writing Book 3), and TCT’s cover reveal!

For this last planning post I’m going to talk a little bit more about my Camp goals and prep.

Camp NaNoWriMo Goals 2014

  1. Write 85k draft of the Blood & Bone Trilogy Book 3
  2. Edit/revise Book 2: The Convergence Theory

Pretty simple goals, right?

Book 3: Is it too soon to announce the title?

As I head into writing Book 3, I’ve already had several brainstorming conversations with my writing partner. I’ve been thinking about what this book would be about for about 8 months–almost as long as I’ve been working on Book 2, tbh–though it’s only in the last month or so I’ve made concrete decisions about what the plot will look like.

I can tell you that Book 3 will be more of an adventure novel rather than a procedural mystery, and it will feature a LOT of Ethan & Patrick, which I think you guys will enjoy. Basically, after the first two books I figure you guys all deserve a little tooth decay WITH your badass werewolf/mage duo ;D

I like going into Camp with a general idea of what my Beginning, Middle, and End and in the last couple days of this month I will be drawing more detailed plot outlines for the book. I’ve won NaNoWriMo’s 50k challenge once before, back in 2012 and this April I’m going to try pushing myself a little further with an 85k word goal. I have a habit of writing ⅓ or ⅔’s of a book and stalling out on it, letting it sit for six or eight months before getting around to finishing it. So I think this one book from start to finish goal will be good for my process.

Get Involved!

I’m still accepting Beta Readers for Book 2. If you’re interested sign-up over here. A revised copy of the draft will be going out to beta’s in early April. Chapter 1 will be available April 1st for everyone signed up to my Mailing List as a thank you for following.

Also, stay tuned for The Convergence Theory’s COVER REVEAL which will be coming at the end of Camp. And guys, let me tell you, I’m super excited to show it to you 😀

Kind of a short post this week but I figure you’re probably sick of hearing about camp and it hasn’t even started yet, woops. I’m just excited and I want to share that excitement with everyone who reads my blog.

Cya next month!

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

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!

World building as an author

World building as an author

Spent most of this afternoon talking world building with a friend and fellow writer. It started as a discussion about how cities themselves are often central characters of urban fantasy and sort of spun out from there. My friend (J from here on out) has read more extensively in the Urban fantasy genre and had a lot to say re: examples in pubished fiction (and also managed to add about half a dozen new books to my “To Read” list) and it was a little humbling.
Our discussion really brought to light that world building is probably my biggest weakness as a writer. I’ve spent a lot of time writing in other people’s playgrounds, and my own personal tastes tend to find world building exposition dumps extremely boring, so I tend to avoid them in my stories. This can be good and bad, on the one had I dont tend to have long dragging places full of exposition, on the other hand it makes me wonder if I’m cheating my readers out of a fully realized experience.
I’m working on a list of things I want to go back and look at before I start the first re-write of Mages , so far that list looks something like this
  • Day trip to Seattle to physically scout the main locations mentioned in the book
  • map out werewolf pack hierarchies and territories in the city
  • finalize a mental headcanon about how magic works for mages vs witches vs gypsies and hammer out an internal logic
  • map out headcanon for how magic being public knowledge has influenced the development of the 20/21st centuries
It’s a little disheartening to see all the places the book needs to be worked on but at the same time I feel that if I take my own shortcomings seriously and work on making them less of shortcomings, I might actually come out of second draft with (overall) a much stronger story.
There’s that old saying, “Write what you know” and I tend not to buy into it much but I think there’s something to the idea “write what you like”. For me, it’s all about characters and their relationships, preferably driven by a good well thought out plot. When I approach a new story, I start with the characters. It makes sense that world building and plot are going to take some extra specific attention for me to get them right.
What attracts you to a story? Characters? Setting? Plot? The mystery?