Advanced Review by Gillian: Bad Reputation, by Ajax Bell

Ajax Bell is a one-click, must-buy author for me! Loved this advance review! Can’t wait for Bad Reputation!

Just Love: Queer Book Reviews

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Bad Reputation, by Ajax Bell
Series: Queen City Boys, Book 2
Publisher: Jugum Press
Release Date: July 1, 2016

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Steem -A Fascinating New Social Media Opportunity

Hey, everyone! I’m really excited to say that I’m checking out Steem, a new “blockchain-based social media platform where anyone can earn rewards.” You can find me there as leta-blake.

I’m pretty excited to see where this new platform goes. It looks like it could be a really cool conduit to talk about LGBTQ issues and have productive discussions that won’t feel like pouring time and energy into something without any rewards. I’m not sure how much of a queer crowd is hanging out there now, but it looks like a cool opportunity to build one!

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll have more to say as I begin to really use it. If you’re using Steem, let me know and hook me up with a link to your profile. Also I’d love to hear your thoughts about the platform and to know about any experiences-good or bad-you might have had there.



“One of the best slow burns I’ve read.” Wake Up Married serial by Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths #gay #romance

“The sexual tension is smoking hot. I know they have feelings for each other but they are both fighting it and it’s driving me crazy! This is one of the best slow burns I’ve read. Everyone has to read this!” — Stacy Jo, Goodreads reader review.

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Bad Reputation: A Queen City Boys Book by Ajax Bell COMING SOON!

Does Seattle give a damn about his past reputation?

After being caught in a backseat tryst with the mayor’s son, twenty-one-year-old Shane Fontaine is exiled from his small hometown. Now, alone in the city, he seeks solace in punk show mosh pits and bathhouse saunas.

But the music scene and gay community in 1982 recession-era Seattle aren’t always safe. Rescued from a brutal beating by a Russian engineering student, Shane forms a friendship that launches a confounding set of traumatic and ecstatic encounters.

Shane’s quest for human connection sends him down dark, dangerous streets. To survive, he must become the man who chooses to persist, to do the right thing and stand up for others.

This close-up portrait of pre-AIDS Seattle illuminates dark corners, where homeless kids cluster for safety near the revitalized Pike Place Market. Bad Reputation contrasts the deeply personal need for friendship with the universal dilemma: people aren’t always what they seem.

Source: Queen City Boys

Giving Myself Permission to Play



I’ve set myself up with a lot of really difficult goals for this year and I’ve just completed one of them: finishing up the Wake Up Married serial. I have to finalize the pre-sale of the Episodes 1-6 bundle, but, otherwise, that project is in the can. My business plan tells me that the next thing on my plate is another huge project (know as the ’90s Coming of Age series) and I do want to work on that.

However, today I was hit by two incredibly fun plot bunnies. After spending several hours forcing myself to ignore them and work on what was on my “to do” list for my big project, I realized that I was dragging my feet and being less productive that I might otherwise be. Eventually, I said, “Screw it. I’ll just make a few notes about these book ideas.” Next thing I knew, entire scenes were showing up, and I was scrambling to get words down. I wrote 3,000 words today on a project that isn’t what I’m supposed to be working on.

At first, I was castigating myself. “You’re wasting time, Leta. You’re supposed to be focusing on the next big thing on the plan.” But suddenly I had a glimpse of myself as a friend would see me and I realized, “Hold up. You’ve been working your ass off for a really long time. You deserve a play break.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had a great time writing the Wake Up Married serial, and before that Vespertine, and before that Training Complex, and before that Smoky Mountain Dreams. But the thing is, ever since Smoky Mountain Dreams, I’ve been working on something I’m supposed to be working on instead of something that has just appeared in my mind like a gift from the gods. As I put it to a friend, “There is a big difference between that thrilling sensation of creating something while in the throes of inspiration and writing something and thinking, ‘Good thing this is fun, because it’s also really hard work.'”


So, yes, I decided that for two weeks I’m going to allow myself to play. I can write whatever I want. Two weeks will not matter in the scheme of the big project I’m doing this fall. Not even a whit. But if I remain as excited and eager to work on these two new ideas, I could make a large dent in them over two weeks. It’s unlikely I’d finish anything, but getting something started means there’s something to come back to finish up later.

Anyway, yeah. Permission to play. I’m granting it to myself.

Flipping Gender Changes Meaning — Examples

Remembering the days when I used to write actual blog posts.

Leta Blake

Photo by Michel Dierickx

A question I get a lot is “Why m/m? Why do you write so many books with gay main characters?” I’ve got a lot of reasons behind that, some of them incredibly deep and involved, based in feminism and gay rights and freeing the mind. But let’s leave all that behind for now, and focus on how things change meaning when you change the sex/gender of any particular person within a certain expected dynamic.

I feel like the easiest way to illustrate this is with music, so let’s start there.

Everyone knows Adele’s song “Someone Like You”. What happens to the meaning and to your understanding of the song when a man sings it without changing any lyrics.

Jay Brannan also did a cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games”. When he performed it live, he said, “My favorite thing about this song is knowing that…

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Walk a Mile in Someone’s Shoes

“All you are doing is segregating a group of people, who honestly, would protect your child if they saw something wrong going on. I would beat a MAN that would be going after a child in the women’s room and I know my trans brothers would do the same in the men’s room. I have nieces and nephews that I would die for and I would protect your child too. Putting me in a men’s restroom does not protect you BUT it does hurt us. Please get your head out of the clouds in thinking that these disgraceful laws are going to protect your child. That is a weak excuse to allow bigotry to keep on going. If you want to keep you children away from child molesters and perverts then you might as well put them in a bubble at home because these laws are not going to do it. ”

A fantastic and very real post. Thank you to Xena and to Margaret for sharing it.

Margaret Ellis

This is a photograph I had the pleasure of taking of the very beautiful Xena Wilson, a trans woman. I know that many people have never known (or never known that they actually know) a transgender person. I like to share things like this so that people can hopefully understand this situation and that good people can have an more educated viewpoint. My post today is actually something I just saw on Xena’s FaceBook post. So, I am sharing. I think it makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks, Xena.

“Ok so I just got a phone call from New Talk Radio at 98.7 in Knoxville to do a radio interview this Friday at 10.Last night I did an interview for a group of college students the subject “The Bathroom Ordeal”. I have kept pretty quiet about it because I don’t like to put my issues on this platform. I…

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Will & Patrick MEET THE MOB–Review & Giveaway!

Loved V’s thoughts on the latest installment of the Wake Up Married serial! 😀 Click through to read more!

V's Reads...

Will & Patrick Meet the Mob BannerHi there! I’m so excited to share a review for the fifth book in the Will and Patrick series by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths. MEET THE MOB is yet another big step for these two men who married while drunk in Vegas and are now, semi-reluctantly, building a life together. You’ll need to read the previous episodes, (WAKE UP MARRIED, MEET THE FAMILY, DO THE HOLIDAYS, and FIGHT THEIR FEELINGS) first, for this one to make any sense, however. It’s certainly worth your time; I’ve enjoyed them all!

Catch the excerpt, my review and enter to win a copy of any of the Wil and Patrick episodes below.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00075]About the book:

Patrick has finally accepted that he’s in love with Will, but his newfound determination to do something about that runs up against his father-in-law’s mobster plans. Though just what those plans are have…

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Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn: emotional, gripping, beautiful


So excited for my co-writer Indra Vaughn’s latest release, Patchwork Paradise!

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Oliver and Samuel’s relationship is fairy-tale perfect. They share a gorgeous house in Antwerp, go out with their friends every weekend, and count down the days to their dream wedding. But their happy ending is shattered one late night, and just like that, Ollie is left bereft and alone.

The months that follow are long and dark, but slowly Ollie emerges from his grief. He even braves the waters of online dating, though deep down he doesn’t believe he can find that connection again. He doesn’t think to look for love right in front of him: his bisexual friend Thomas, the gentle giant with a kind heart and sad eyes who’s wanted him all along.

When Thomas suddenly discovers he has a son who needs him, he’s ill prepared. Ollie opens up his house — Sam’s house — and lets them in. Ollie doesn’t know what scares him more: the responsibility of caring for a baby, or the way Thomas is steadily winning his heart. It will take all the courage he has to discover whether or not fairy tales can happen for real.

Word count: 73,300; page count: 262