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Random WIP Snippets

Random WIP Snippets

IDK you guys. While my current project (a standalone paranormal i’ve nicknamed Oly!Necro!Prof if you follow me on twitter 😉 ) eats my brain and grows far beyond its planned length or scope, here’s a random snippet of an epic, sprawling scifi story i desperately want to write but am too afraid to write (it’s got human augmentation/disability, f/m/m, thieves, artists, insurance investigators, and references to Donna Tartt)

From the unwritten TRIPTYCH

Agent Carmine felt the distinctive tug as the cross-planetary sweep drew to its final destination. Near-instantaneous sweep travel had its uses, but she could never quite grow accustomed the feeling that came with it, like being sucked through a straw by the force of a mach wind tunnel.

She blinked into the blinding metropolitan sun and then down at her feet, just to make sure that they were both there, planted shoulder width apart on the white plastine Arrivals platform.

“Good morning. Are you the police detective?”

Carmine looked up at the docent standing next to the platform. Hidden behind a pair of bug-eyed dark glasses, her augmented eyes swept him from prematurely balding head to the dusty toes of his shoes. In the face, he did not appear more than twenty-five.

Her stomach flipped over as she slouched down the ramp, left hand clenched tightly around the handle of her slim silver briefcase.

“No,” she said. She flicked back the edge of her jacket to reveal a holographic badge pinned to the under lapel; it displayed her picture, name, and employee IDENT mark. “I’m with the insurance company.”

The docent swallowed. “They sent me out here to meet the detective.”

“Then you’d better wait for them.”

The weather over the city burned too hot to be comfortable in a dark purple suit, and Carmine regretted the lack of foresight which had led her to dress that morning—after The Call, as the blood rushed loud in her ears from anticipation—without first checking the forecast. She shook out her arm as she walked up to the post-post-post High Modern Institute for the Arts, and shoved both tight velvet sleeves up into the crook of her elbows.

This high above ground level, all of the cloud scrapers were faced in light reflective materials that did a good job of fending off the planet’s heat, but the glare they cast cut through the darkest glasses to leave one’s eyes watering. The High Modern Institute was the same, shaped in soft, sweeping curves made to look like white adobe, but were, no doubt, composed of some recycled plastine hauled out of the ocean on the back of a fishing trawler after there were no fish left to trawl. The architects and city planners made a good show of things though, composing this sprawling slice of Old Earth against a backdrop of washed out blue vaseline sky and wispy white clouds.

Carmine stepped through the automatic doors and showed her badge to the security attendant at the turnstile. They were closed that morning, but her company’s name was enough to gain attendance to the inner lobby—even if they hadn’t seen fit to send someone outside to wait for her. From there it was a matter of presenting herself to the Customer Service desk and waiting until a managing docent could be fetched.

She slouched against the chest high counter, one sneakered foot pressed flat against the smooth surface, and her fingers clenched still tighter around her briefcase. Her dark glasses remained on while she waited so as to facilitate her examination of the Institute’s employees. The building may have been closed to the public, but it appeared that no one had seen fit to give the exhibit guides day off, and now they clustered around the lobby in little cliques, whispering and staring towards the East Wing.

“You didn’t waste any time,” a man’s voice grumbled from her left.

 <—— and some random protagonist brainstorming art cuz never say i can’t procrastinate

IDK, I just find writing scifi really scary. Anyone else feel that way?

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 1

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 1

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participantHappy NaNoWriMo 2016!

Well, you guys, it’s that time of year again, when every author in your life starts busting out the wordcount widgets. Here’s mine:

I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo for more than a decade to varying degrees. I first learned about the event from my girlfriend–I was 14 at the time and the longest thing I’d ever written was a couple thousand words of Angel fanfiction. It wasn’t until i was 16 that I really sat down and tried to seriously write a novel for the event and even then, I only managed 16,000 words before time ran out.

Some of you may not know that The Duality Paradigm began life as a Camp NaNoWriMo novel back in the summer of 2012. That was the first time I’d ever completed the 50k word challenge and at the time I was motivated to win it so that I could get a 50% off coupon for scrivener.

That summer and that camp nano really launched me as a writer. I’d dabbled here and there, writing bits and pieces of things, writing flash fanfic and fannish shorts, but until that summer I’d never written a completed novel (of course, at the time I wasn’t FINISHED with it, but I wrote the other 35k of Duality over the rest of the summer).

Even now that I write full time, the event still holds a special place in my heart, and I still love to participate in it, even if some years I stretch the limits of the rules.

What I’ll Be Up To This Month

Technically, you’re supposed to write a *novel* for NaNoWriMo, but after writing 61k words of The Profane Series Book 2: Vaper Trail in October, I won’t lie, I’m looking to break things up this November working on 2 longer novels as well as a couple of short stories.

NaNoWriMo Day 1 Check-In

2957 words on Vaper Trail, bread baked for the month, cookies baked for Week 1 writing fuel, and now I’m going to reward myself by reading a little more HP3.

Palouse County Series Announcement

cold-press-palouse-country-1About 2 years ago I wrote a little short story called Cold Press set in rural, small town Eastern Washington. If you haven’t read it and you’re looking for something cute and fuzzy perfect for a blustery day of reading, I suggest you check it out, it’s only 99cents on Amazon and free on KindleUnlimited!

I always intended to write more stories set in this small town, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to do it. But then, lightning strikes as it likes to do at the oddest times. Going forward, the Palouse County series will feature short stories about the quirky residents of Belleville in and around the holidays!

So, keep your eyes peeled this December for #2

Blood & Bone Series Newsbb-3d-box-set-redesign

Did you notice the subtle title change there? The Blood & Bone Trilogy is officially no longer a trilogy! Starting near the end of November I should be breaking ground on a new follow-up novel to the original trilogy! I’ve mentioned this book a couple times off hand over the last year, but I’m finally in a position to say with certainty that it WILL be coming winter 2017, sometime after I release The Profane Series Book 2: Vaper Trail.

The working title for this book is The Sanguine Solution and it picks up a couple of months after the end of The Symbiotic Law. While I ended Symbiotic where I always intended to end it, I found that there was still a lot the characters had to say and work through, especially Ethan. And there is quite a lot in their world left to explore, so I’m really excited to be opening up that series again.

You can expect more news and excerpts from book 4 in December and January so stay tuned 😉

And I think that’s all for Day 1! I’ll be checking back in later in the week and I might even have a new vid up on youtube soon about what I’ve been reading this season…

Lia’s WIP Corner

Lia’s WIP Corner

The Kingdom of Pacchia Book 3 & The Profane Series Book 2

Indy's_whipHappy early weekend my lovelies, I just wanted to drop in real quick and post some updates about whats going on in my little corner of the writing world. It’s been a busy two months since Medium Rare went live. In that time I’ve started work on three–that’s right–THREE WIPs, all of which are moving along at a decent pace.

First off I’ve got Vaper Trail underway, which will be the follow-up to Medium Rare and the second book in The Profane Series. This book picks up shortly after the end of Medium Rare and focuses on Lachlan Graham’s continuing decent into the supernatural world while Vector struggles to understand his new assignment in the FBI. Hopefully this book should be coming out around September or October of this year. I’ll be posting chapters for you to read as we get closer to the deadline.

Secondly, I started writing Book 4 in The Kingdom of Pacchia series. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned before but I have plans for SIX books to come out in this series total and my goal is to have it wrapped up before December of this year. This series is one of my guilty pleasures and I really love writing it, but it’s been floating around in the world since August 2014 and I think it’s time I put the peddle to the meddle and finish it up for all of you super patient readers 😀Pacchia4

Book 4: The Line of Allora returns the story to King Aubrey’s POV and opens with his long anticipated marriage to Lord Riven. As new challenges crop up in their domestic lives, the political situation in Pacchia unravels and comes to a head, forcing Aubrey to make some very big decisions as High King of Pacchia.
Hopefully Book 4 should be out in the next week or two. I’ll be posting a first chapter here before it goes live so keep your eyes peeled for that! In the meantime take a gander at the cover

—>

New Projects, New Penname

My third WIP is something a little different and I was hesitant at first to announce it here but as a really widely interested reader personally I figure there are going to be other people like me out there. Basically, in between working on on my ongoing series mentioned above, I’ve started working on a new series that will be published under the pen name Anne Cooper.

Why publish under a pen name? For a couple reasons, in this case my goal is to separate genres that might not interest all of my readers. As Lia Cooper I publish M/M fiction and I don’t want to muddle that.

But while I love writing M/M and consider it my primary genre, as a lady, I like to read about ladies too. So I’ve started this sideproject under the name Anne Cooper of what I like to term my lady-centric series.

The first in this series is about a small town witch who finds herself in an alternate reality close but not quite identical to the one she knows. The series is called THE ALT MERIDIAN, and the first book is titled Beyond Death. If like me you enjoy the occasional lady-centric paranormal action/drama, I’ll be posting Beyond Death in its entirety on Wattpad as I write it.

So, that’s whats going on in this neck of the woods. Stay tuned for previews of Pacchia 4 and have and awesome weekend! Now I’m off to take a break and start building my new computer 😉

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

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!

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’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!