Category Archives: Uncategorized

Oh yeah, I still have a blog, don’t I?

I have no excuses. Actually, I do. I rebuilt my computer a few months ago and in the process lost my password to log onto WordPress and I’ve been too lazy to go through the process of resetting it. That, and the holidays just sort of sucked out of me any desire to put myself out there socially in the slightest way so I’ve been pretty much a hermit since January. But now here I am.

First things first, Riptide has dropped the prices on, like a LOT of my books (and much of the rest of their back catalog as well!) So if you’ve been wanting to get caught up but haven’t had the money, you might want to check out the new pricing!

So, what’s new with me, you might ask?

First of all, I’ve got a new book coming out in a few weeks. If you follow me on Tumblr, Facebook, or Twitter, you probably already know that, I just haven’t posted about it here.

RiskAware_500x750

Tattoo artist Geoff Gilchrest is convinced his life is some sort of cosmic joke. Why else would a hemophiliac also be a masochist? He’s given himself more than one elbow bleed since puberty just doing what guys do when alone and bored, so forget about whips and chains. How many partners would contemplate playing with someone even a mild flogging could kill?

Gallery owner Robin Brady knows he can deliver what Geoff needs: to be taken to the edge of danger but never beyond. But Robin came to Saugatuck to get away from the leather scene and heal from a betrayal by his former sub, so he’s not sure he should get involved with Geoff. His ambivalence isn’t helped by the fact that Geoff’s unwillingness to communicate about his well-being hits Robin in some very raw places.

Geoff’s hemophilia isn’t the obstacle he thinks it is. Instead, a lack of trust—on both their parts—is what could end them before they have a chance to begin.

RISK AWARE is the story of Geoff and Robin, whom you first met as minor characters who were already an established couple in SAUGATUCK SUMMER.

Guys, it’s SOOPER KINKY, mmkay? Like whoa. I know, I know, big shocker coming from me, right? No, but seriously, even I was blushing as I wrote it.

What I loved about writing this book was the chance to explore some different and often neglected aspects of BDSM play, because I had a character who couldn’t go the route of the standard floggings and spankings and rope/cuff bondage. It required a HUGE amount of research, some of it in face-to-face (face-to-webcam?) chat with actual gay hemophiliacs who could give me insight into the clotting disorder–particularly as it regards sex–from the unique perspective of a gay man.

There’s a reason this book took over two years for me to write. Yep, that’s right. I started writing it a couple months after I finished Saugatuck Summer, in the late spring/early summer of 2013. I kept getting stuck and putting it on the shelf, then coming back to it because something just wasn’t falling into place, until finally it did. It’s probably the hardest I’ve worked on any of my books to date, so I really hope it finds an audience.

I’ve got a couple more projects in the hopper, one of which is the next book in the Player vs. Player series. I admit, it hasn’t been a terribly productive year for me so far, at least not since Risk Aware edits were completed. I went back down the gaming rabbit hole for a couple months, including trying my hand at making mods, which is something I’ve never done before.

Then I got into Shadowhunters and the Magnus/Alec relationship (Malec). That has pretty much consumed me for the past few weeks. I ever made my first-ever fanvidm, which again is something I never really imagined myself ever doing because God knows visual/video things and I are not really compatible.

So it’s been an…interesting spring for me so far, in which I’ve not done nearly as many of the things as I should have been doing and yet I’ve stretched myself and my limitations in a number of ways.

And now I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone things about Risk Aware!

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Get my titles at a great #discount during @riptidebooks end-of-year blowout sale!

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Now until the end of the year, Riptide is having an incredible blowout sale and you can grab all of my backlist titles for a terrific discount!

The Laird’s Forbidden Lover — $0.99
The Professor’s Rule – The Complete Collection — $3.99 (individual titles are also discounted if you’re just missing some of the series)
Player vs. Player — $2.99
Strain — $2.99
Bane — $3.99
Juggernaut — $4.99
Saugatuck Summer — $2.99

Be sure to grab anything you’re missing from your library from any of Riptide’s other great authors as well!

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For all you Saugatuck Summer readers who wanted Robin and Geoff’s backstory…

… RISK AWARE has been contracted with Riptide. Look for it in the coming year!

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“The brunet”, “the blond”, and “the younger man” are ruining your books! And here’s why! #epithets #makeitstop

There are few lessons I’ve learned as a writer that I’m more grateful for than when Leta here took me in hand when I first started writing slash and taught me the proper use (or rather lack thereof) of epithets.

I’ve tried to do my part; the subject was going around once on Tumblr and I passed the lesson on, and at least one of my mutuals commented that they found the explanation I provided made a lot of sense and clarified the issue for them for the first time.

Recently, I was reading a book from a popular series by an author is who quite well-known in the genre, and the POV character was using epithets to REFER TO HIMSELF. Like: “The tall man drew the short man in for a kiss…” where the POV character is “the short man.” I cringed so hard.

So yes, please take note and follow this advice!

Leta Blake

I DNFed two books this week because I couldn’t deal with the authors’ wild overuse of epithets. One was self-published and the other was published by a press, so this isn’t just a self-pub thing. Authors, beta readers, editors, please, for the love of all that is holy, understand that epithets are unnecessary about 99% of the time. Every single time you use one, ask yourself, “Is this necessary?” I promise that the answer is nearly always no.

I googled looking for an explanation so that I wouldn’t have to actually write up everything myself. I found one on Tumblr that I’ll share here. Yes, it’s about fan fiction, but, dudes, this applies to all writing. Published work is actually expected to be held to a higher standard than fanfic most of the time, am I right?

GO READ THE ENTIRE POST but I am going to just cut and paste in…

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Yet another author misrepresenting themselves kerfuffle

Everyone knows my name isn’t really Amelia C. Gormley, right?

Right.

There. Now you know everything anyone who reads my books or has any knowledge of me through the world of m/m romance will ever need to know about me. Probably way more than you need to know, actually, considering how much 100% legitimately personal and TMI stuff I share on my blog and Tumblr.

In the past few months, the m/m romance world has had at least two instances of cis-(het?) women being exposed as having presented themselves to readers and reviewers and other authors in the genre as gay men.

Obviously, this is a problem.

I don’t think it’s any mystery why authors choose pen names. First of all, it’s totally a marketing tool. Throughout history, authors–especially women authors–have needed to misrepresent their gender in order for their work to be published or taken seriously.

In this day and age, that is still unfortunately true. And in all honesty male/male romance DOES have a problem where the readers and movers and shakers within the genre tend to elevate male authors above female authors. They get signed more readily. Their books get priority for editing and marketing. They get moved to market quicker and are a priority for reviewing or purchase by readers for no other reason than it’s a male name on the cover. That’s an issue we really need to deal with.

But these incidences are something else entirely.

This isn’t a woman representing herself as a white cis-het male just to get a foot in the door with publishers. In that case, the woman is part of an oppressed group just trying to get the same opportunities that come automatically and without scrutiny to a privileged group.

That isn’t the same thing at all.

If this were a white author presenting themselves as being black, we would clearly see why this is a problem. The issue here is the appropriation of an oppressed/minority identity by a member of a privileged majority in order for that privileged person to profit off the representation of an inauthentic identity.

These authors aren’t just using a male name. They are actually creating a gay male persona and using it for the purpose of essentially catfishing the entire genre.

Doing it just for the money is bad enough. But in the process, that privileged person also makes people in the oppressed group think they’ve found one of their own, someone they can relate to because that person is like them. And then it turns out to be a lie.

If you don’t understand why that’s an issue, refresh your memory about the Rachel Dolezal.

It not only hurts the people who have been deceived, it also damages efforts on the part of that oppressed group to be taken seriously.

A pen name? Pfft, that’s nothing. That’s business as usual. In a world where people as insignificant as local tv news anchors and newspaper reporters and even fucking baristas can get stalkers who think they have some claim on that person because they have a public presence, putting some distance between one’s public persona and one’s private self seems to be not only a notion worthy of consideration, but the only possible sane choice.

Especially when one writes in a genre that is dedicated to exploring the relationships and promoting/normalizing the acceptance of a subset of the population whose very existence happens to make another subset of the population ACTUALLY MURDEROUSLY ANGRY.

So yeah, I use a pen name and I am pretty certain exactly 0% of the people who follow me as an author are surprised by that fact.

However–I have never misrepresented WHO I AM AS A PERSON. Nor will I ever do so. I have never made up a fictional backstory for myself. I have never created a fictional reality to sell to my followers. I have never solicited donations for various causes under that assumed identity.

I am the gender I say I am. I am the age I say I am. I am the birthsign I say I am.

I, for the most part, have the same personality you see in my online and convention presence. I say “for the most part” because of course I do try to publicly present myself in the best light; I can be far more of an asshole in reality. (And considering how much of an asshole I can be online already, that’s saying something.)

I can promise my readers I will never lead them to believe the books or the blog posts they enjoy or connect with on a personal level, and the things I share or publish that make them feel they aren’t alone in the world for one reason or another, come from someone other than who I truly am.

I can promise the people I meet and befriend along this zany journey through this genre that they will never someday stumble upon the realization that I’m not the person they thought they had become close to.

I can also promise that if I ever say that the proceeds of sales from my catalog of titles will go to a certain charity or cause, it will go there. If I ever solicit donations for a charity or cause, they will go where they were meant to go.

If I ever solicit donations to meet personal needs–well, I’m reasonably certain I’ll never solicit donations that will go to me personally. Except, perhaps–and by “perhaps” I mean I can’t envision ever actually doing it but never say never–if I need some funding to produce and self-publish a title that I can’t contract with a press. (*side-eyes Swatted*)

In other words, with me, what you see is what you get.

Except my real name. Most of you don’t get that. Whatevs.

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Misogyny and discomfort with women’s sexuality

Yesterday, an anonymous gay man made a post about the fetishization and objectification of gay men in the m/m romance genre.

I won’t say he didn’t have some good points. He absolutely did. The fact that people in the m/m romance genre objectify and fetishize gay men is not a new one; it has come up repeatedly since I published my first book. It does exist, and it should really stop.

I also won’t say he tarred all women with the same brush, either. He included the obligatory “not all women” disclaimer. And I think if any woman reads that post and her response is “Not All Women!” then she’s doing exactly what she shouldn’t be doing and missing the point.

However, even though he made a good point, and even though he took care not to generalize, there is some deep misogyny in the post. And that’s not a new thing, either. It’s no surprise that some gay men are not exempt from misogyny. We live in a culture that actively works to undermine women, and no one is free of that influence, even women who are trying to overcome it.

As I mentioned in a comment to AJ Rose on Facebook, a lot of the fetishization and objectification I’ve seen in the genre actually happens outside the books, in the behavior of some readers and writers. In the presence of purely sex and phallus-driven stuff so prevalent at LGBTQ reader/writer conventions. At go-go boys and images of penises and nearly nude men in a space where the subject is supposed to be books.

But then he takes aim at the books themselves, and that bothers me. Because he acts as though all these books are about is the sex scenes, and that’s not true.

He says author’s portray men as “sex-crazed pigs.” It’s true a lot of books in the genre have characters who fuck around a lot. Usually the point of the book is for them to realize that that fucking around isn’t fulfilling them and that being with one person with whom they have an emotional connection is much more fulfilling. So if anything, the point of those stories is that men are NOT “sex-crazed pigs” but that they sometimes act that way for a number of factors.

Gay men are not exempt from the effects of toxic masculinity, which INSISTS that men must have high, aggressive sex drives, either. Nor are gay men exempt from hookup culture, which has spread throughout western society since the sexual revolution of the 60s. To ignore that would be to paint incomplete portraits of things gay men experience and deal with in our society.

Portraying that reality is only fetishization or objectification if the only point of it is to titillate. To portray it as part of a character’s journey is something else entirely. Especially when that portrayal involves the characters in question moving beyond those influences into something they find more satisfying with a single partner.

Now, I’m gonna throw a wacky, far-out concept out here. It’s sort of a big word, and Anonymous might want to write it down. The word is “storytelling.” It’s sort of a thing with authors. We’re kinda known for doing it.

Anonymous also lambasts the fact that protags in the story have sex with each other frequently. Again, that is only fetishization or objectification if it exists only to titillate. If it happens within the context of a new relationship forming, where the sexual energy is high because hello, the relationship is NEW, then it’s not fetishization or objectification. It’s simply portraying the very realistic experience of a newly-minted couple. It happens with m/f romance as well. Hell, it happens in real life. When my relationships were all new, we fucked like bunnies. It’s just a thing people do when they’re new and discovering one another sexually.

Okay, you say, those are valid points that Anonymous got wrong, but they’re not misogyny.

Well, here’s where it becomes misogyny:

He only smacks around the female readers and writers for it. Apparently it’s okay for male readers and writers to portray and enjoy these things, but not women.

As far as I can tell, according to Anonymous’s rant, the problem isn’t that these things EXIST. It’s that WOMEN ARE ENJOYING THEM EXISTING. That’s what he says is wrong with it all.

And that’s because we, as a culture, are very uncomfortable with women as sexual beings. See the phenomenon where women who willingly share nude selfies are whores and sluts and the pictures are disgusting, but a huge number of men in our society have an insatiable appetite for selfies that are shared without the woman’s consent.

Because it’s okay to enjoy women’s nude selfies, as long as they’re not shared and enjoyed willingly by the woman in question.

Men are allowed to propagate and consume sexuality. Women are not. And that, my friends, is bullshit. And it’s hypocrisy, and Anonymous should be ashamed for his lack of self-awareness.

We are uncomfortable with women’s sexuality on a societal level. And I say we because women are not exempt from this. It’s a product of the patriarchy which tells us that men’s sexuality is good and healthy and women’s sexuality is shameful and needs to be buried and repressed.

OH NO! WOMEN ENJOY SEX-TYPE STUFF. THE WORLD IS ENDING. RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

Even I, as sex-positive as I am, still struggle with it. The sight of (cis) women’s genitalia makes me squirm and not in the good way. Yonic imagery makes me uncomfortable, phallic imagery does not. It’s entirely possible that the reason I have gravitated toward m/m romance is because I find it easier to deal with male characters in a sexual context than female characters. Maybe. Back in my fandom days I wrote PLENTY of m/f erotica and erotic romance, so maybe not. Maybe m/m is just where I landed because it works for me as a writer at this stage of my personal development. Possibly the pendulum will swing the other way someday. Certainly I’m not in m/m romance for the money; I’d make far more money writing m/f.

Every day, as I evolve as a human being, I try to be aware of this influence and overcome it. I challenge myself daily to be as comfortable with the sight of a vulva as I am the sight of a penis. I struggle daily to find the same aesthetic value in f/f pictures and porn videos as I do in m/m pictures and porn.

That’s because I’m a self-aware human being, and I know that I am still under the influence of internalized misogyny.

Anonymous could do with a healthy dose of self-awareness. Because the problem made apparent by his post is not the problem he was ranting about.

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Get the complete STRAIN series for only $13.99 during @RiptideBooks anniversary celebration! #postapocalyptic #mmromance

For Riptide’s 4th Anniversary, they’re offering Strain: The Complete Collection for only $13.99. Which basically means you’re getting a book completely free. Get it while you can!

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Spokes for 99 cents!

If you haven’t read PD Singer’s book about professional bicycle racing, now is a great time! It’s an awesome book!

P.D. Singer

spokesAt Chez Singer, we can’t get enough cycle racing. We’re in the last week of the Tour de France right now. MU mourns their rest days and (shhh, he’s reading for the race scenes) has a bookmark in Spokes. Bobke and Phil Liggett have to go off the air sometime, right?

In honor of the Tour, Spokes is on sale for 99 cents. Like any good stage race, there is a finish line, so get yours before the sale ends.

Available from Rocky Ridge Books, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and All Romance eBooks, as print and ebook (MOBI, EPUB, and PDF.) 99 cents everywhere, if Apple will just get with the program.

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Vespertine by Leta Blake & Indra Vaughn! Coming September 10! #mm #goodreads

OMG so excited for this, ever since Leta mentioned she was working on a “Rock Star and Priest” book!

BTW, I just finished Leta’s “Smoky Mountain Dreams” (it took me this long because even though I knew I would love it, I hadn’t been in the headspace for it, mostly because Leta’s characters always hit me hard emotionally, and I was having a hard time with my depression and couldn’t cope with that prospect.)

Anyway, let me just say, if you haven’t read it yet, DO IT. OMG it was just so brilliant and good.

Leta Blake

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Can a priest and a rockstar obey love’s call?

Seventeen years ago, Jasper Hendricks and Nicholas Blumfeld’s childhood friendship turned into a secret, blissful love affair. They spent several idyllic months together until Jasper’s calling to the Catholic priesthood became impossible to ignore. Left floundering, Nicky followed his own trajectory into rock stardom, but he never stopped looking back.

Today, Jasper pushes boundaries as an out, gay priest, working hard to help vulnerable LGBTQ youth. He’s determined to bring change to the church and the world. Respected, admired, and settled in his skin, Jasper has long ignored his loneliness.

As Nico Blue, guitarist and songwriter for the band Vespertine, Nicky owns the hearts of millions. He and his bandmates have toured the world, lighting their fans on fire with their music. Numbed by drugs and fueled by simmering anger, Nicky feels completely alone. When Vespertine is forced to get sober…

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BANE, the sequel to JUGGERNAUT and STRAIN, is available @NetGalley #postapocalyptic #mmromance @RiptideBooks

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BANE, the sequel to JUGGERNAUT and STRAIN, is now available for reviewers at NetGalley!

Also, if you have been wanting to get the paperbacks of any of my previous releases, the paperbacks for Strain, Saugatuck Summer, and Player vs. Player are all discounted this week at Riptide!

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Juggernaut is now available to reviewers on NetGalley! #postapocalyptic #mmromance @RiptideBooks

Juggernaut_500x750NetGalley. Juggernaut. That is all.

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I’ve been waiting to see them all in a row like this! #StrainSeries @RiptideBooks

As promised, I’m putting the Juggernaut and Bane covers up here today. But then I have also wanted to see the whole series laid out, chronologically. While it doesn’t matter which order you read Juggernaut and Strain in, this is how they fall:

Juggernaut_500x750They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

There is an excerpt available from Juggernaut at Riptide.

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In a world with little hope and no rules, the only thing they have to lose is themselves.

Rhys Cooper is a dead man. Cut off from the world since childhood, he’s finally exposed to the lethal virus that wiped out most of the human race. Now his only hope for survival is infection by another strain that might provide immunity. But it’s sexually transmitted, and the degradation he feels at submitting to the entire squad of soldiers that rescued him eclipses any potential for pleasure—except with Darius, the squadron’s respected, capable leader.

Sergeant Darius Murrell has seen too much death and too little humanity. He’s spent a decade putting plague victims out of their misery and escorting survivors to a safe haven he can never enjoy. He’d rather help Rhys live than put him down, so when Rhys can’t reconcile himself to doing what’s necessary to survive, Darius is forced to save Rhys in spite of himself.

But with each passing day, it looks less and less likely that Rhys can be saved. And that means that Darius might soon have to put a bullet in the head of the one person in years who reminds him of what it means to be human.

Strain is available now at Riptide.

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The weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation.

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?

People who have read the Juggernaut excerpt will recognize the name “Secretary Littlewood.” You can also read an excerpt of Bane over at Riptide.

The Bane blurb makes it apparent that, as of the end of Juggernaut, Nico and Zach haven’t gotten their happy ending. Sorry about that. The situation between the characters at the end of Juggernaut is an impasse which just can’t be resolved at that time. But never fear! Bane continues their story and brings a very satisfying level of closure to both their plot and Darius and Rhys’s, and also for your other faves from Delta Company in general.

Less than three months to go until Juggernaut!

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Oh! The Bane page @RiptideBooks has an excerpt already! With Darius and Rhys! #postapocalyptic #mmromance

Gosh, I was so excited about the Bane pre-order and everything that I didn’t even notice the excerpt was already up! (or maybe it wasn’t and they just sneaked it in there since it went live.)

Have you been missing Darius and Rhys from Strain? Well, catch up with them now!

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They’re here! Check out the covers for JUGGERNAUT and BANE @jayhjay432 #postapocalyptic #mmromance @RiptideBooks

I’ll post them here tomorrow, but for now, head over to JoyfullyJay and check out the gorgeous covers for Juggernaut and Bane!

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NEW RELEASE: Training Complex by Leta Blake! Buckle Up! Matty’s Back! #mmromance #gay

SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!

Leta Blake

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Almost a year ago, Matty Marcus showed up in my head again looking pretty and saying, “Hey, I have a really fun idea for a novella! Wanna write it for me? It’ll be easy, fast, hilarious and you’ll have no regrets! I promise!”

Matty Marcus? He’s a little bit of a liar, guys.

The book turned out to be pretty intense and it required a lot of work. Not to mention it’s 121,000 words long! Far from a novella! More like a longish novel! But the good news is that I persevered and I’m pleased to report that Matty Marcus got his book! Yep! It’s officially released into the world!

It’s a little big thing called TRAINING COMPLEX and you can buy it now!

Amazon
B&N
ARe
Smashwords

Coming soon to iTunes and other outlets.

brian-billick-quote-passion-emotion-and-intensity-are-good-but-theyve

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Coming this week: The JUGGERNAUT and BANE cover reveal!

Juggernaut_Teaser3DBane_Teaser3D

Finally, at long last, you’ll get your first look at the covers for my upcoming titles in the Strain series, Juggernaut and Bane (link for Bane is not yet active but will be soon)!

This coming Thursday, May 14, JoyfullyJay will be hosting the big cover reveal! Be sure not to miss it!

Juggernaut

They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

Bane

The unstoppable weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?

As you can see, Juggernaut is actually a prequel to Strain, though the two are stand-alone and can be read in any order. Bane is a sequel entwining storylines involving characters from both books. In order of release, the sequence will be Strain, Juggernaut, and Bane. In chronological order within the universe, the reading order will be Juggernaut, Strain, and Bane. Either way works.

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Fan Favorite Training Season by Leta Blake is 50% Off For May! #mmromance #gay

If you like cowboys, figure skaters, kinky m/m smut, and heartbreakingly sweet love stories and haven’t read Training Season yet, do it now!

Leta Blake

50% off for May! 50% off at Amazon for May! Click to purchase!

In advance of the release of Training Complex (Training Season #2), I’ve decided to put the first book up for 50% off! The sale price is available on Amazon or with the following code on Smashwords.

Training Season on Smashwords
SW25E

Training Season on Amazon

The story of figure skater Matty Marcus and rancher Rob Lovely has been a fan favorite for several years now.

  • “Does Training Season by Leta Blake live up to all it’s crazy hype? IT SO DOES!” – Breann, Boy Meets Boy Reviews
  • “A tale told with such flair and tenderness, and with such insight into the two main characters that I will read it over and over again.” – Susan Mac Nicol, The Romance Review Site
  • “If you are looking something real with passion that leaps off the pages, read this book. Now. You will…

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WIP-ish Wednesday: Zach’s Choice

Back before the release of Strain, I was posting regular snippets for writerly-type themed days like Seven-Sentence Sunday and whatnot, and I sort of got out of the habit of that. I thought I would try to get back into it.

Technically, Juggernaut isn’t a WIP, but I’m not going to restrict myself on those grounds. I’m just going to set Wednesday aside as a day to introduce people to characters and concepts from Juggernaut, Bane, and maybe some of my already released books they’re not familiar with.

For those of you who aren’t already aware, Juggernaut is a prequel, set roughly ten years before Strain, in which we see the events immediately preceding and following the apocalyptic pandemic from the perspective of two men who are tangentially involved in those events. For a nearly five chapter long excerpt please check out the Juggernaut product page at Riptide Publishing. (note: please read the warnings and additional details tabs and/or be advised that the excerpt may contain objectionable or triggering material.)

Juggernaut_Teaser3D

They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

In this scene, rentboy Nico Fernandez has been sheltering in a garden shed in Zach Houtman’s backyard. Zach’s has held his zealot of a father, Maurice, off from driving Nico away at gunpoint. Now Maurice has locked Zach in and is trying to drive Nico away, and Zach is faced with a choice: does he stay and weather the post-pandemic world with his abusive father and brother, or does he risk the safety of numbers and shelter to strike out with Nico?

You can see last week’s excerpt here.

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Earth Day rebate on all my titles over at All Romance Ebooks @allromance #books

Today, All Romance eBooks is having an Earth Day special, offering a 50% rebate on most of their titles, including all of mine.

This means you can get Impulse: The Complete Trilogy for $4.00 after rebate. Same goes for The Professor’s Rule: The Complete Collection.

The Laird’s Forbidden Lover is less than $1.00.

Player vs. Player and Strain are $3.50 after rebate. And Saugatuck Summer is only $2.27

(again, these prices are after rebate, not upon checkout. You can turn around and use your ebook bucks to buy more books!)

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224 LGBT romance authors and bloggers push back against legalized discrimination in Indiana and elsewhere!

In recent weeks, we’ve seen another devastating example of how horribly commonplace and accepted intolerance is in the US. Indiana’s so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” is one example, yes, but almost even worse was the way people responded to a certain pizza parlor. That gesture was made not by lawmakers, but by everyday people, with no other motivation than to reward bigots simply for being bigoted.

Imagine how much good that sort of money could do for a population that is truly vulnerable, such as homeless LGBT youth.

That’s why 224 authors, bloggers, and readers of LGBT romance and fiction have banded together to raise money for LGBT charities.

While Elijah’s story is fiction, here are some facts. LGBT people make up less than 10% of the overall population, yet 40% of homeless kids in the U.S. identify as LGBT. Of them, 68% cited family rejection for the reason they were on the streets. Studies have repeatedly shown that homeless LGBT kids are more at risk of being attacked, robbed, and raped than their heterosexual counterparts, more likely to engage in prostitution or survival sex, more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol, and more likely to attempt or commit suicide. Despite this, less than 25% of homeless shelters cater for or specifically target LGBT kids, leaving them at the mercy of individual organizations who can pick and choose who they help and who they abandon on the streets. Laws such as Indiana’s SB 101 enshrine the legality of refusing service—including such basic assistance as food and shelter—to people specifically because they’re LGBT.

This isn’t about pizza. This is about creating a climate in which LGBT individuals feel isolated from and rejected by the rest of society. It’s about creating a climate in which parents feel justified for kicking their kids out on the street. It’s about cutting off any and all support networks which might otherwise be available to prevent kids from ending up on life’s scrapheap because of how they were born.

Want to read a happier ending?

Changing laws and attitudes takes time, and right now there are LGBT people in need who can’t afford to wait. The sooner we can help them, the better, and the more resources we have, the more help we can offer.

That’s why 224 authors, review bloggers, and publishers have got together to offer something wonderful: a reward for people who do a little bit to give back to charity. Instead of spending $5 on a book in the next two weeks, give that $5 to an LGBT charity of your choice, tell us about it in the comments, and go into the draw to win a book from one of our participating donors. And because it’s not all about money, if you can’t make a donation then please take a moment to share a charity’s links and tell us about that instead.

Three fundraisers have been set up to counter the hateful effects of Indiana’s SB 101. #Pizza4Equality is aiming to match the money raised by *that* pizza parlor, with all donations going to Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund. Another fundraiser is aiming to raise $100,000 for Indiana Youth Group. Finally, Planting Peace is trying to raise $100,000 to provide beds for homeless LGBT people.

Please consider giving to one of these deserving fundraisers, or any other LGBT charity anywhere in the world. We’re not telling you where you should donate your time and money, only asking that you do. The smallest things can make the biggest difference, and together, we can do something incredible.

LGBTQBannerFBSee more at Diverse Reader!

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Check ebooks-tree for your fanworks! They might be there as PDF’s w/o your ok

I have also found two of my original novels, which I sell on Amazon and elsewhere, on this site. If you’re an author of any flavor, published or fandom, check it out.

The random musings of a 1973 Original

So there’s a site that is bot-scraping Archive of Our Own (AO3.org) for fics, uploading them as PDF’s and selling them (I could be wrong on that, someone feel free to correct me). They have a DMCA take down page which is BS, and has language to make it seem like you need legal assistance to get your works taken down.

Many folks over on tumblr have seen their works there, including yours truly. This post has great info on how to get your works taken down from the site, including sending a notice to their hosting company and their Info page instead of their BS DMCA page. 

AO3 is aware of the issue as well, as noted in this tweet reply to a user who pinged them.

So if you see your works, please contact them and request your fan works be removed from their page.

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Read the first FIVE chapters of Juggernaut @RiptideBooks! #mmromance #dystopian

Juggernaut_Teaser3D

The excerpt from Juggernaut is now available at Riptide! Go, go!

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Rise: A Gay Fairy Tale – Kindle edition by Keira Andrews, Leta Blake #mmromance #kindleunlimited

Oh, yay! I’m so glad Leta and Keira are re-releasing this. It was SO GOOD. Seriously, I know you don’t usually think “great sexy reading” when you think of Jack and the Beanstalk, but they absolutely pulled it off.

Leta Blake

What happens when Jack meets a sexy man atop that beanstalk?

rise

Rumors of treasure have long sent fortune hunters clambering up a magic beanstalk to a mysterious castle in the clouds. Survivors told of an evil giant who guards the gold and glittering jewels with savage strength. No sane man would dare risk the climb—but Jack has nothing left to lose. Shunned for his evil red hair and abandoned by his cruel lover, he’s desperate to escape his life.

Rion isn’t a giant, only a man bearing the burden of protecting his family’s legacy. It’s a lonely existence, but he’s duty bound. Then Jack appears, and Rion’s world is turned upside down. After a blazing confrontation, undeniable lust sparks. Isolated in the clouds, Jack and Rion give in to their desire and growing connection. But do they have the courage to let go of the past and follow their dreams?

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A New Man — Recommended Read at Prism Book Alliance

I was another beta reader for this book, and I agree with a lot of the comments Feliz made. Especially riveting was the parallel that was drawn between Chad and his father once Chad was well enough to begin to develop into the man his illness had kept him from becoming before.

P.D. Singer

PBA_Recommended_Read-300x300I’ve been neck-deep in a project and have gotten woefully behind in blogging, but I surfaced today to discover some wonderfully kind words.

Along with such other fabulous writers as Kaje Harper and Erica Pike, my book was listed as a Recommended Read for February. To quote:

These are chosen by us, the reviewers of Prism Book Alliance™.  It is a way to recognize those authors whose work sticks with us.  Those who go above and beyond.

Feliz said, in part: if you’re ready to sink into an artfully crafted story full of philosophical wisdom, permeated with heartfelt human kindness and imperturbable optimism, reach for this book, you can’t go wrong.

NewMan[A]FSI am touched beyond words. To read the full review, click here, and may Chad and Warren resonate with you as well as with Feliz and the other readers and reviews who have taken the time to comment.

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On the Coming Soon page at Dreamspinner–A New Man

Yay! So excited to see a release date for this! I beta-read it last year and loved it.

P.D. Singer

NewMan[A]FSSenior year of college is for studying, partying, and having fun before getting serious about life. Instead, Chad’s days are filled with headaches and exhaustion, and his fencing skills are getting worse with practice, not better. Then there’s his nonexistent love life, full of girls he’s shunted to the friend zone. Is he asexual? Gay?

Grad student Warren Douglas could be out clubbing, but his roommate is better company, even without kisses. He’s torn up watching Chad suffer, gobbling ibuprofen and coming home early on Friday nights. If Chad weren’t straight, Warren would keep him up past midnight. They’re great as friends. Benefits might answer Chad’s questions.

A brief encounter with lab rats reveals Chad’s illness—he needs surgery, STAT, and can’t rely on his dysfunctional parents for medical decisions. Warren’s both trustworthy and likely to get overruled—unless they’re married. “You can throw me back later,” Warren says, and he may…

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