ARC Review: Pictures of You, by Leta Blake

“Leta Blake has become an author whose books I pounce on. Most of the time the payoff is an incredible reading experience.

This time?

DEFINITELY”

Back Porch Reader

Advance Review Copy generously provided by the author
via IndiGo Marketing in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb:

cover-letablake-picturesofyouGrowing up gay isn’t easy. Growing up gay in Knoxville, Tennessee is even harder. 

Eighteen-year-old Peter Mandel, a private school senior—class of 1991—is passionate about photography. Peter doesn’t have many friends, preferring to shoot pictures from behind the scenes to keep his homosexuality secret.

Enter Adam Algedi, a charming, worldly new guy who doesn’t do labels, but does want to do Peter. Hardly able to believe gorgeous Adam would want geeky, skinny him of all people, Peter’s swept away on a journey of first love and sexual discovery. But as their mutual web of lies spins tighter and tighter, can Peter find the confidence he needs to make the right choices? And will his crush on Daniel, a college acquaintance, open a new path?

Join Peter in the first of this four-part…

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“Love this series!” Wake Up Married by Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths #amreading

“Love this series!

These authors do a terrific job of keeping the reader’s interest, maintaining romantic tension, and accomplishing all this seamlessly. It’s a pleasure to read such skillful and talented stories.” — Nancy Ward’s review on Goodreads

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S’up with Leta Blake? Let’s Catch Up! Part Two!

What do I have planned for the upcoming twelve months? Let’s start with the next thing on my plate!

  1. In September, I’ll be releasing Pictures of You, Book One of my four part ’90s Coming of Age series. My current plan is to release it into KU and only put it out at the other retailers once all the parts are out. I have a cover for it already (and for every book in the series!) but I’m not going to share until closer to release dates. A girl has to have some mystery!

    The Sunsphere. Icon of Knoxville, the setting of the '90s Coming of Age series.
    The Sunsphere. Icon of Knoxville, the setting of the ’90s Coming of Age series.

 

2.  TRANSLATION NEWS! For those of you who would like to read my books in German, French, or Italian, more translations will be coming out soon! In September, <strong><em>Vespertine</em></strong> will be released in French and the first three books of the <strong><em>Wake Up Married</em></strong> serial will be released in German, and December sees the release of <strong><em>The River Leith</em></strong> in Italian! Currently available translations are:

French: Saison d’entraînement, Le Retour de Leith, and À l’ombre de Smoky Mountain.

Italian: Training Season: La stagione dell’allenamento

Spanish: Sueños en las Montañas Humeantes

3. Wake Up Married universe news. Healing, South Dakota will definitely see more releases. I have ideas for three books in this universe within the next year or so. I won’t say much more except to say that, yes, we’ll see one new book with Will & Patrick as the leads (though probably not the first to be released!) and two books with side characters from the first serial getting their own stories. For those of you worried about Hartley, hold tight. For those of you curious about Varun, it’s coming. For those of you who want to see Uncle Kevin get his happy ending, that might happen, too.

 

Thank you to all the readers out there! You are my joy and inspiration!

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crossposted to STEEMIT

S’up with Leta Blake? Let’s Catch Up! Part One – #KU #newrelease #wakeupmarried

I’ve had a pretty dang busy year in 2016 and it looks like it’s going to continue to be a doozy!

First, in Part 1, let’s talk about what’s been happening, and then, in Part 2, coming soon, I’ll share a little about what is going to happen over the rest of the year!

  1. Let’s lead with my latest release!

    Angel Undone is a short novella that was originally penned for an angel-themed anthology that the publisher canceled before releasing. I always loved the story, though, and after sitting on it for a few years, I decided it was finally time that it saw the light of day. It’s funny, irreverent, and the opposite of “inspirational fiction”. I discussed the inspiration for the story at Joyfully Jay Reviews and you can read about that HERE.

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    “Once again, as she often does so eloquently, Leta Blake poked me right in the feels, and I’m not even sorry about it.” Lisa Horan, The Novel Approach

    “Recommended mainly because it’s Leta. But also, because it’s entertaining, blasphemously sexy, and thought provoking.” – Back Porch Reader

    “Five-plus stars. ♥ “ – Dog-Eared Daydreams

    Currently available at Amazon, Kobo, B&N, iTunes, and Smashwords.

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  2. What books do I currently have available in Kindle Unlimited?

    I have a few books available in Kindle Unlimited right now. Most recently, I’ve added The River Leith for a spin! You can see all the books I have in KU below:


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  3. What’s the latest on the Wake Up Married serial?

    Everyone loves Will & Patrick and I get a lot of messages asking me what’s next with them. I’ll cover that more in Part 2, but for now, I’m happy to say that the Wake Up Married serial is currently available at multiple retailers.

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    There are deal bundles available to make it more affordable!


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    That about covers the current situation with me and my books. I’ll let you know in Part 2 what to expect from me this upcoming year! Thanks for your readership and support! I am grateful for every last one of you!

crossposted to Steemit

Release Day Blitz & ARC Review: Angel Undone, by Leta Blake

Welp! This sure made me happy today! ❤

"Recommended…mainly because it’s Leta. But also, because it’s entertaining, blasphemously sexy, and thought provoking."

Back Porch Reader

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Blurb:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00050]The Archangel Michael is tired. He fought wars and shoved his brother Lucifer out of heaven all before the Dark Ages rolled around. His role as protector of Israel now encompasses all of humanity, and while he performs his job perfectly, there’s little personal joy in it.

Until one night in a bar when he meets Asher.

Michael isn’t sure what it is about the vulnerable, self-deprecating Asher that calls to him, but something about the restrained depths of Asher, his gentle smiles and encyclopedic knowledge of flowers, tugs at Michael in a way that can’t be denied. Too bad romance isn’t part of his mission.

Facing an eternity of perfect submission to God’s authority, rebellion stirs in Michael. Questions of free will, angelic vocation, and the role of love and lust demand answers that just might cost Michael his place in heaven.


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True Love For An ANGEL UNDONE–Excerpt and Review

Lovely review of my upcoming release, Angel Undone, out Monday, July 18!

V's Reads...

Angel Undone BannerHi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new supernatural M/M romance from Leta Blake. ANGEL UNDONE features a disenchanted archangel who unexpectedly falls for a closeted Jew.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00050]About the book:
The Archangel Michael is tired. He fought wars and shoved his brother Lucifer out of heaven all before the Dark Ages rolled around. His role as protector of Israel now encompasses all of humanity, and while he performs his job perfectly, there’s little personal joy in it.

Until one night in a bar when he meets Asher.

Michael isn’t sure what it is about the vulnerable, self-deprecating Asher that calls to him, but something about the restrained depths of Asher, his gentle smiles and encyclopedic knowledge of flowers, tugs at Michael in a way that can’t be denied. Too bad romance isn’t part of his mission.

Facing an eternity of perfect submission to God’s authority, rebellion stirs in…

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Review: This Charming Man, by Ajax Bell

I love this book and am loving the second book in the series, too! ❤

Back Porch Reader

Blurb:

cover-ajaxbell-thischarmingmanWill Seattle Make a Man of Him Yet?

On a night out in Seattle’s gay club scene, a chance encounter with an intriguing older man inspires Steven Frazier with visions of a more rewarding life. But when Steven abandons drugs and one-night stands, his loyal-but-venomous best friend won’t set him free without a fight. Must Steven sacrifice friendship—and forsake an unrequited love—to follow his dreams? As Steven’s horizons expand, his friends now include eclectic new arrivals, helping to keep his quest on track. Working to reinvent himself, Steven seeks to prove his worth, driven by exquisite longing for a charming man just out of his reach.

Both reflective and intensely sexy, This Charming Man is a novel about friendship, hope, and personal growth. This story captures the drama of coming into one’s own as an adult and creates a vibrant snapshot of Seattle in the early 1990s.


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“5 Stars for the whole series.” Wake Up Married by Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths #gay #romance

“5 Stars for the whole series so far.

They are all that fucking good and I love them and if it were possible I’d have these authors’ babies and each night I’d massage their feet and fingers (so they could write more, longer) and make them breakfast in bed every morning and do their laundry and give them baths and bake them every delicious dessert I know how to whip up (and that is hyoooge number of sweet concoctions).” — Michaelle’s review on Goodreads.

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One World Trade Center – The Freedom Tower – Photos and a Brief Review of Our Experience

A couple of weeks ago while visiting New York City, I went to the top of the new One World Trade tower, also known as the Freedom Tower. Having been to the top of both the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center over the last several visits to New York, I’d been skeptical of my need to go to the top of yet another high building. My New Yorker friend insisted I go, though, telling me that the elevator ride up made it all worth it and that, yes, there was a very nice view at the top.

As a claustrophobe, I wasn’t sure how the elevator ride could be awesome in any way, shape, or form, but my friend made me promise to at least try to keep my eyes open for the surprise. SPOILER ALERT! I am now going to tell you the cool thing about the elevator at One World Trade, so if you don’t want to know, don’t read more! Ahem, okay, so. I got on the elevator and when they crammed a bunch more folks in behind me, my heart started to race, but I kept my eyes open. As the elevator began to rise I realized that the walls were all LED screens and we popped out of the basement of the building and onto a view of what the city looked like in 1524 when it was discovered. Hint: lots of grassy fields and lots of water! Then as we rose into the air, the date changed and the city literally grew up around us through the decades. I would have happily ridden that elevator about ten more times! Alas, you only get to ride it once.

Word to the wise! Don’t get suckered into renting the iPads at the top. Basically, they are iPads that you can hold up at any window and it will tell you what buildings you’re looking at. They seem like a fun and cool idea until you’re lugging it around. They’re heavy and annoying and after a few minutes you’ll realize that you will enjoy yourself a thousand-fold more if you just stand back and enjoy the view. Basically, they were $15 bucks down the drain. Also it was harder than I thought it would be to get rid of them so I could enjoy the view unencumbered.

The view was phenomenal. The entire city was in view from all sides. It was, as you can see, not that easy to get a great shot with just my iPhone, so I eventually gave up on that, too.

There are two possibilities for meals at the top of One World Trade. The first is where most of the tourists seemed to go: a little stand-up sort of cafe with pizza, hot dogs, and the usual tourist fare. The other was a sit down restaurant that was mainly peopled with men and women in business suits conducting meetings. The prices were steep (like really steep!) but I wasn’t in the mood for some terrible greasy food. I wanted something delicious. So I paid for the nice restaurant and what a view we had! These pictures go left to right and speak to the fantastic view in the restaurant.

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My food was absolutely delicious and served very elegantly. I felt like the experience was worth the money, but I understand entirely if others might balk at the food prices on the restaurant menu.

All in all, I found the experience enjoyable and recommend it. Though, if I had to say which of the highest buildings is my favorite experience, I’ll have to stick with the good ol’ Empire State Building. The elevator ride up is terrifying but there’s just something about the place. It feels like New York to me and One World Trade felt like a very pretty experience. There’s a difference.

911 Memorial – Photos & a Brief Overview of Our Visit #travel

 


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The day was warm, brilliant, and blue during our visit to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. My daughter, age ten, wasn’t alive yet when the planes flew into the towers kicking off a chain of terrible events we’re still dealing with today and will continue to deal with for the foreseeable future. She knows what happened, but I think it’s hard to fully grasp the enormity of how life changed for Americans after that event if you didn’t live through it.

I’d been to the site of the former World Trade Towers back in 2002, when there were only two massive gaping holes in the ground, surrounded by dirt and cordoned off by huge fences. I remember pausing by a huge sign by the site which listed all the names of those who’d died and shaking my head before continuing on down to the Battery for a view of the Statue of Liberty.

I’d been warned by my New York pals that people had mixed opinions about the memorial. My friends love it, personally, but they said many people found it unappealing. I found it interesting that there were are apparently mixed feelings about the memorial site of two buildings which also provoked mixed feelings in New Yorkers. The Trade Towers had been considered by many to be a blemish on the skyline for years until they were gone and then they were missed terribly. I overheard a New Yorker at the memorial telling their tourist friend that they can’t look at old pictures of the skyline with the Twin Towers in it without crying. He said, “I wish I’d admired them more when they were still here.”

The fountains proved to be hard to photograph, especially with just an iPhone. I’m sure a professional photographer could have done a better job, but these were the best I could achieve. The photos don’t do the fountains justice, though. The water rushing down the sides sparkles like diamonds in the sun and the sight of the water rushing into the darkness, an endless pit as far as the eye can see, like millions of tears falling into the never-ending sadness of grief, is poignant. And yet in photos it looks like water rushing into a square black hole. In person, it feels like so much more.

Above is my attempt to capture the diamond sparkle of the water cascading down the sides.

Around the edges of each fountain are the names of every person who died in the terrorist attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001. They are inscribed in bronze around the twin memorial pools. Many names held roses and I wondered if loved ones left them daily or just on special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries.

The memorials were beautiful and thought provoking. I encourage all visitors to New York City to stop by and view them.