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Authors Seeking FREE Betas > 40,000 word Speculative Fiction Thriller

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 12, 2015 10:43AM) (new)

Hi, I'm looking for a beta reader, and I'm more than happy to critique swap. It's a first draft novella, shouldn't take you too long to read. If it sounds like something you'd like to check out, let me know! Here's a description:

"Burial" is a speculative fiction thriller. It’s the story of Madeline, a high desert con woman who dupes dim-witted targets in the small town of Victorville. She makes a few hundred dollars here and there, she burns bridges pretty much everywhere. Then she has a stroke of luck: she walks into a bank that’s being robbed and happens to recognize one of the robbers. It’s her chance to make real money.

The problem? She’s short in stature and short on friends. Bank robbers won’t just hand cash to a little girl with a gun. That’s when she remembers Ernesto.

Ernesto’s a mute ex-con and a dive bar bouncer. He’s perfect for the plan Madeline has in mind, with one exception: he’s dedicated himself to living peacefully after committing a crime that haunts his conscience. But she knows a mark when she sees one, and she convinces him that his only choices are to help her or watch her get hurt.

Together, Madeline and Ernesto tail the bank robbers on a bizarre trip through the desert's criminal underworld and Ernesto's past. Along the way, they find their relationship is changing - Madeline has met the first man she can really trust, Ernesto has met the first woman who can lift his burden of his guilt. When it becomes clear that her plan isn’t going to work, they have to decide how much their friendship is worth.

"Burial" is set in a surreal Southern California not too far in the future. Prize Chihuahuas have been bred to grow bat wings, artists have taken their works out of galleries and into the skies. It’s a place where everyone is in over their heads, even those who are standing on the shoulders of suckers. It’s inspired by goofy fun stories like "Point Break" and Carl Hiaasen’s "Native Tongue", as well as writers like J.G. Ballard and Jean-Patrick Manchette.

message 2: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 3 comments Hi Ted,
This sounds really interesting! I'd be interested in doing a swap.
I have a ~35,000 work dark literary fiction novella.
Here's a brief blurb.

After Bern Baylor’s mother begins dating a sex offender and kicks her out of the house, Bern must survive on her own in a town full of methamphetamine addiction, alcoholism, and lax law enforcement. Bern navigates life on her own by shacking up with Roxy, her mother’s best friend and Shooter, the town's infamous drug dealer. Though she tries to do the right thing, Bern’s hand is often forced by Shoot’s manipulation and by her own lack of support and resources.

In addition to Shoot’s power, Bern also struggles to escape the influence of her mother's promiscuous, drug addicted lifestyle. In an effort to distract herself from the stresses of life, Bern often finds herself exploring the one thing she seems to have some control over: her relationships with men.

Let me know if you'd be interested in a swap!
My email is

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