“Ugh. I loved it so hard.” Review of The River Leith #gay #romance

“5 STARS. WOW. Just wow. I totally read this book in 1 sitting. It was just. Ugh. I loved it so hard.”

via Goodreads | Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews~Lover of all things MM~Sarcasm Junkie n Kissing SLut~ (Toronto, On, Canada)’s review of The River Leith.

The River Leith is available now at:

AMAZON

Memory is everything.  After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date. Unmoored and struggling to face his new reality, Leith must cope anew with painful revelations about his family. His brother is there to support him, but it’s the unfamiliar face of Zach, a man introduced as his best friend, that provides the calm he craves. Until Zach’s presence begins to stir up feelings Leith can’t explain.  For Zach, being forgotten by his lover is excruciating. He carefully hides the truth from Leith to protect them both from additional pain. His bottled-up turmoil finds release through vlogging, where he confesses his fears and grief to the faceless Internet. But after Leith begins to open up to him, Zach's choices may come back to haunt him.  Ultimately, Leith must ask his heart the questions memory can no longer answer.

Memory is everything.
After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date. Unmoored and struggling to face his new reality, Leith must cope anew with painful revelations about his family. His brother is there to support him, but it’s the unfamiliar face of Zach, a man introduced as his best friend, that provides the calm he craves. Until Zach’s presence begins to stir up feelings Leith can’t explain.
For Zach, being forgotten by his lover is excruciating. He carefully hides the truth from Leith to protect them both from additional pain. His bottled-up turmoil finds release through vlogging, where he confesses his fears and grief to the faceless Internet. But after Leith begins to open up to him, Zach’s choices may come back to haunt him.
Ultimately, Leith must ask his heart the questions memory can no longer answer.

“Solid contemporary romance with fun sexy times thrown in.” Smexy Reviews: Smoky Mountain Dreams by Leta Blake

“What I really appreciated about this story is the way the author takes her time telling it. So many times these days, we get category length romance stories that can be fun, but don’t always allow us to really understand the characters and their motivations. In this book, you can sit back and relax.

Recommend this one.”

via Review: Smoky Mountain Dreams by Leta Blake.

Sometimes holding on means letting go Christopher Ryder and Jesse Birch are two men hanging on to the past. While Christopher has let go of his failure as a country singer in Nashville, he's still trying to please his narrow-minded, non-accepting family. His beloved Gran loves him the way he is, but Christopher feels painfully invisible to everyone else. He’s happy enough performing at the Smoky Mountain Dreams theme park in Tennessee, but even when Christopher is center stage he aches for someone to see the real him. There's more than meets the eye when it comes to bisexual Jesse. He's raising two kids and fighting with family after a tragic accident took his children’s mother. There's no room in his life for dating, his kids are his priority, and he doesn't want more than an occasional hook-up. He sure as hell doesn't want to fall hard for his favorite local singer, but when Christopher walks into his jewelry studio, Jesse hears a new song in his heart.

Sometimes holding on means letting go
Christopher Ryder and Jesse Birch are two men hanging on to the past. While Christopher has let go of his failure as a country singer in Nashville, he’s still trying to please his narrow-minded, non-accepting family. His beloved Gran loves him the way he is, but Christopher feels painfully invisible to everyone else. He’s happy enough performing at the Smoky Mountain Dreams theme park in Tennessee, but even when Christopher is center stage he aches for someone to see the real him.
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to bisexual Jesse. He’s raising two kids and fighting with family after a tragic accident took his children’s mother. There’s no room in his life for dating, his kids are his priority, and he doesn’t want more than an occasional hook-up. He sure as hell doesn’t want to fall hard for his favorite local singer, but when Christopher walks into his jewelry studio, Jesse hears a new song in his heart.

Smoky Mountain Dreams is available now at:

AMAZON
B&N
SMASHWORDS
iTUNES
SCRIBD
OYSTER

And now at KOBO.

Writing Tools – Measuring Worth #economics #writingtips

“In the event that it might be useful to another writer or curious person, the site Measuring Worth is a great resource for helping understand the historical value of commodities–such as slaves–and more. There’s an interesting article about the economics of historical slavery here at the site. It was, of course, curiosity about the costs of slaves in modern dollars that led me to Measuring Worth in the first place.”

Find out more via Darrah Glass | curious writer / reader.

 

This picture has NOTHING to do with this post, but just…look at it. It needed shared.

My KU Experiment: Week 1, Sales vs Borrows, Etc. #gayromance #update

So, I put The River Leith in KU last week and so far it seems to have been a worthy experiment. I chose this book for two reasons:

1) The book is normally priced at 3.99. This is important because had the book been priced higher than this, then the number of borrows to “break even” goes up by quite a lot, and the number of borrows to make some money goes up by even more.

2) The book seemed past the “backlist bump” provided by the successful release of Smoky Mountain Dreams. It had dwindled to the point where it was selling between 2 and 7 books a day. This meant that the number of borrows I’d need to obtain to make this experiment worth it were a lot less than had the book still been selling 20 copies a day like it did right after Smoky Mountain Dreams went to #1 on the Gay Romance chart.

The assumptions I made going in were based on an assumed KU per-borrow payout of $1.22. Obviously, the number could be higher or lower than that, but I thought it seemed a good middle ground for assumptions. I decided that I was selling on average 4 copies of TRL a day, and, in that case, I’d need to have around 850 borrows by the end of the 90 days in order for this experiment to not lose money.

At one week in, I can’t predict how the book will continue to perform, but here are my numbers:

KU Borrows: 132

Regular Sales: 59

As you can see, my regular sales have gone up from the average of 4 a day that it had plateaued at for the three weeks before I started this experiment. I think the increase is due to the borrows landing The River Leith back on the Top 100 charts and possibly getting back into the also-bought algorithms.

Hello, Chart! Long time, no see! :D

Hello, Chart! Long time, no see! :D

The borrows have resulted in an approximate $161 income, and the sales have brought in $164 in income. I suspect that sales will drop off and borrows will drop off, but I think those values can show you the difference in how many borrows a person has to get to make up their full-price royalties. In this case, I generally believe that the KU borrowers are a different crowd, made up of readers I wouldn’t otherwise reach.

And, yes, just as all the posts I’d read about KU predicted, my other books have stayed pretty flat. There has been no bump at all in the sales there and I don’t expect there will be. That seems pretty clear based on everyone’s experience: KU does not generally bring readers to the rest of your books.

Conclusions thus far:

1) I wouldn’t put a book in KU that is priced higher than 3.99, unless that book is truly getting zero traction outside of KU. Then maybe as a desperate effort to get some eyeballs on the book, sure. I truly think 3.99 is an upper limit for the most part.

2) I don’t think I’d put a book in KU before it had “run its course” in traditional sales. I’ll have to think on this conclusion a bit more, but it seems like the sales I’ve made at other outlets like B&N and iTunes at full price would probably make up the KU borrows. But it’s hard to say. I imagine that a book that’s #1 on the relevant chart is going to get a ton more borrows and a ton more traditional sales.

I’ll keep you in the loop as I go.

While this experiment runs, The River Leith is only available at Amazon.

Smoky Mountain Dreams Among The Best Books of 2014 – Im With Geek

Smoky Mountain Dreams came right at the end of 2014, following up Leta Blake’s early-year release The River Leith, and this Christmas-set romance was the perfect book to end the year on. Set around a Dollywood-esque Tennessee theme park that gives the novel its name, Smoky Mountain Dreams is a touching, sometimes upsetting romance that covers such diverse themes as failed stardom, religion, family, homosexuality, and even a debate on the right to die. What results is a complex drama, full of angst and romance, but also at times heartwarming and quite funny.

More than anything, Smoky Mountain Dreams reveals Blake as a talented author, capable of twisting between devastating tragedy, erotic romance scenes and introspective examinations of identity without missing a beat. With so many things up in the air, it is the seamless flow of the narrative that is most impressive, coupled with a flawless use of description to create a realistic and yet beautiful atmosphere in every scene. The only disappointment of Smoky Mountain Dreams is simply that it ended.”

via The Best Books of 2014 – Im With Geek.

Sometimes holding on means letting go Christopher Ryder and Jesse Birch are two men hanging on to the past. While Christopher has let go of his failure as a country singer in Nashville, he's still trying to please his narrow-minded, non-accepting family. His beloved Gran loves him the way he is, but Christopher feels painfully invisible to everyone else. He’s happy enough performing at the Smoky Mountain Dreams theme park in Tennessee, but even when Christopher is center stage he aches for someone to see the real him. There's more than meets the eye when it comes to bisexual Jesse. He's raising two kids and fighting with family after a tragic accident took his children’s mother. There's no room in his life for dating, his kids are his priority, and he doesn't want more than an occasional hook-up. He sure as hell doesn't want to fall hard for his favorite local singer, but when Christopher walks into his jewelry studio, Jesse hears a new song in his heart.

Sometimes holding on means letting go
Christopher Ryder and Jesse Birch are two men hanging on to the past. While Christopher has let go of his failure as a country singer in Nashville, he’s still trying to please his narrow-minded, non-accepting family. His beloved Gran loves him the way he is, but Christopher feels painfully invisible to everyone else. He’s happy enough performing at the Smoky Mountain Dreams theme park in Tennessee, but even when Christopher is center stage he aches for someone to see the real him.
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to bisexual Jesse. He’s raising two kids and fighting with family after a tragic accident took his children’s mother. There’s no room in his life for dating, his kids are his priority, and he doesn’t want more than an occasional hook-up. He sure as hell doesn’t want to fall hard for his favorite local singer, but when Christopher walks into his jewelry studio, Jesse hears a new song in his heart.

Smoky Mountain Dreams is available now at:

AMAZON
B&N
SMASHWORDS
iTUNES
SCRIBD
OYSTER

And now at KOBO.

NA Review: Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins |#gay #romance

“Amy Jo Cousins is my new favorite writer: she whips up light-hearted romance like Five Dates and then sucker punches you with a heavy-hitting, quick-witted, sexual identity questioning read like Off Campus. Girlfriend has got IT and knows how to play me like a fiddle. And all I want is a whole lot more…”

via NA Review: Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins |.

 

Looks like a good read! :) Check it out at Amazon!

Amnesia Doesn’t Work Like That #research

Another blog post from the abandoned draft vault! I believe I started this one, got distracted, and then some reviews came out that would make this seem like a possible response to those reviewers, so I shelved it. At this point in time, meh, this isn’t about the reviewers. It’s just what it was originally–my research and my writing choices explained. :)

*
Let’s talk about memory and amnesia and how it works. Actually, let’s discuss first misconceptions about amnesia.

1) Unlike what we see on television, many amnesiacs do not get their memories back.
2) Studies show that being told of their past, having memories recounted for them does absolutely nothing to help the amnesiac remember.

The only benefit of telling an amnesiac about their past is to help them navigate a world that hasn’t forgotten what they did and who they were before. It doesn’t really give them a place in time or a way to understand their life going forward. It only provides them with a narrative that allows them to understand other people’s experiences of them and just how, specifically, they came to be at their current place in life.

Most amnesiacs, being hungry for a sense of self, will be curious about their past but often find the actual facts of it to be upsetting, guilt-inducing, and confusing. For that reason, it is not unheard of for such details to be given to them on a “need to know” basis, especially as they first begin to cope with their new situation.

It was this understanding after doing extensive research that informed my choices with regards to Leith’s situation in The River Leith. Since Leith didn’t know what questions to ask and Zach, being the frightened bunny he is, didn’t want to tell him, the truth of their past together wasn’t immediately revealed. Thus it was fun to write scenes where Leith’s heart knew things his mind didn’t quite know yet. *happy sigh* To be honest, those are my favorite parts of the book.

The River Leith is available now at:

AMAZON

Memory is everything.  After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date. Unmoored and struggling to face his new reality, Leith must cope anew with painful revelations about his family. His brother is there to support him, but it’s the unfamiliar face of Zach, a man introduced as his best friend, that provides the calm he craves. Until Zach’s presence begins to stir up feelings Leith can’t explain.  For Zach, being forgotten by his lover is excruciating. He carefully hides the truth from Leith to protect them both from additional pain. His bottled-up turmoil finds release through vlogging, where he confesses his fears and grief to the faceless Internet. But after Leith begins to open up to him, Zach's choices may come back to haunt him.  Ultimately, Leith must ask his heart the questions memory can no longer answer.

Memory is everything.
After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date. Unmoored and struggling to face his new reality, Leith must cope anew with painful revelations about his family. His brother is there to support him, but it’s the unfamiliar face of Zach, a man introduced as his best friend, that provides the calm he craves. Until Zach’s presence begins to stir up feelings Leith can’t explain.
For Zach, being forgotten by his lover is excruciating. He carefully hides the truth from Leith to protect them both from additional pain. His bottled-up turmoil finds release through vlogging, where he confesses his fears and grief to the faceless Internet. But after Leith begins to open up to him, Zach’s choices may come back to haunt him.
Ultimately, Leith must ask his heart the questions memory can no longer answer.

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