My Top Seven M/M Reads for 2015! #gay #amreading

The rules for this list were simple: books I read in 2015, loved like whoa, and didn’t beta read.

Without further ado, posted in the order I read them! Click on the book cover to purchase! 

The blurb doesn’t do this book justice. It’s full of yummy tropes and hot scenes. It’s a good length too, justifying the price tag. I think about parts of it months later and felt sort of bummed when it was over. Always a good indication that I loved the world/characters! I totally recommend this book.

 

I’m just going to flat out state that I disliked the first book in this series (The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters). Like, I seriously, very much did not like it. (The reasons were: under-developed, super-rushed, basically love at first sight, didn’t really feel the couple, etc.) After reading the first one, I was baffled as to why this was such a popular series. I actually read Book 1 in 2014 and didn’t plan to read any more. But, for some reason, in early 2015 I decided to read Book 2. Maybe it was “free” on Scribd and I thought I’d just give it a go? I’m not sure why I chose to look past how much I really disliked the first book and go on to the second, all that I know is that I did. AND I LOVED EVERY OTHER BOOK IN THE SERIES SO MUCH OMG. Like the rest of the series pushed every last button I have and I was a pile of goo. I’m not sure you have to read the first one to enjoy the others. To be honest, I might skip it. But if you go in with lower expectations than I had for the first book, maybe you’ll like it more than I did. Regardless, the rest of the series is all gooey, feel-good magic.

This book is only $1.99 right now! Again, I’m going to be flat out honest with you and tell you there are some editing issues with this book. It was put out by Kensington, a respectable house, so I don’t know what their deal was, but that’s on the publisher, not the author. The book concept is really fun: reality tv show competition that gets super-duper hot. There are some incredibly sexy scenes, too, some of the dirtiest/hottest I read this year. The relationship isn’t all about the sex, though. There’s sweetness and personal growth, too. The psychological exploration of the more conservative main character and the family expectations that bind him are so well done. I’ve thought about this book a lot since reading it and am looking forward to the next installment in this series (Love Me Tenor) coming soon. I also enjoyed Status Update by Ms. Albert, and it was better edited (put out by Carina, by the way), but I loved Treble Maker and these characters just a little bit more.

 

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I am a huge Ginn Hale fan, so it’s no surprise that I loved the continuation of the Cadeleonian series. I love thick, lush world-building and characters that make me love them from the moment they appear on page. These books can probably be read alone, but there’s no doubt they would be more enjoyable if you’ve read the other Cadeleonian books (Lord of the White Hell Books 1 & 2) first.

 

Absolutely adorable fluff fantasy with lots of tropes and laughs. Highly recommended. I’ll probably buy this one in paperback. In fact, maybe I already pre-ordered that? I can’t remember. Regardless, super duper adorable, fun, charming, laugh-inducing, and just an all-around fantastic read.

Absolutely the most unusual book I’ve read in a long time. I will just c/p my Goodreads review here. “I wish they would make this into a mini series. One of my favorite reads this year.” I feel like I should give a heads up that there is some anachronistic modern language tossed in at times that would momentarily me jerk me out of the story, but for the most part I was able to get immersed in this and visualize every scene like something on a movie/tv screen. The descriptions were perfection. Another thing I enjoyed about this book was how many questions it raised for me: what was William Shakespeare truly like, was this a portrayal that I could buy into (for the purposes of this book, yes), and so much more. Highly recommend, but I can tell you now that it’s not your typical m/m read, not even your typical historical. Imagine a gay BBC Merlin-esque Shakespeare story and go with that.

Highly recommended! Megan Derr has expanded on a freebie novella and turned it into a long, satisfactory read. I absolutely loved it and have thought about it nearly every day since finishing it. My only wish is for even more of this universe and more of this couple. Unf. Loved it so much.

I’m excited to see what books I read and love in 2016! I’ll let you know next year! 😀 LOL! Happy New Year’s Eve! May this year bring us all some good reading!

2015 – You were a year! And I did some things in you! #2015 #yearinreview

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So tonight is the winter solstice. The longest night of the year. The true turn of the year. From this point until Summer Solstice, the days will slowly get longer and longer. Earlier tonight, a friend pointed out an article from a fellow writer suggesting that we stop beating ourselves up for all the things we didn’t get done this year and instead celebrate the things we did do. I thought that sounded like a stress-busting idea, so why not? I’ll divide my 2015 accomplishments into professional and personal.

 

Professional:

  1. Amazon USI don’t think it’s terrible to say that this one kicked my ass while writing it. Every release has challenges, but this one had extra challenges. The fact that I wrangled this into a book-shaped finished product is kinda amazing. No matter what, I give myself a high five for accomplishing it. (Let’s set aside whether or not I should have accomplished it, because the fact is that I did.) It was Rainbow Award runner-up in Erotic Romance.
  2. Amazon USIndra Vaughn and I co-wrote this book. We started in, hm, March, I think? And we had a finished product out in September. I think Indra deserves a lot more credit than I do because she wrote her parts while undergoing serious life-upheaval that might have undone anyone else. I’m incredibly proud of her and I’m proud of what we accomplished together. I think this is one of the most romantic books I’ve had the honor to write. In fact, I know I shouldn’t say this, but it might be my favorite book that I’ve had a hand in making. It wasn’t without difficulties. Co-writing–no, writing–never is, but, hey, look-it. It’s there. It’s just out there in the world being all romantic and lovely and I love it so much.
  3. www.GIFCreator.me_uJ2MqQYeah, that’s right. Three novella-length installments of a new serial, co-written with Alice Griffiths. Our goal is for each installment to be “worth it”, so each of them is at least 30,000 words, but most are closer to 35,000 words. I honestly have no idea what that translates into with pages. As a writer, I think in terms of words, but I know that it’s not easy to wrangle words into behaving, and I feel like the pacing and beats of the first three episodes of this serial are fun, funny, and ultimately romantic. I’m having a wonderful time with them. Also, look at Dar’s gorgeous covers! I am proud of what we’ve accomplished, but this one is harder for me, since there is still work to be done, and my main stress in life right now revolves around accomplishing miracles with the timing of the next three releases. BUT THIS IS ABOUT HOW AWESOME 2015 HAS BEEN SO…YAY WILL & PATRICK!
  4. Previously released as Love's Nest in 2013.  There’s no greater mystery in the kingdom than where Prince Mateo’s sisters disappear to each night. The king is determined to discover where they go and issues a challenge to all the nobles to help him learn their secret. Hoping to protect them, Mateo hides beneath a magic cloak and follows his sisters to an enchanted world of fairies and lusty delights.  Ópalo has waited years to finally meet his human lover. Fairies are bound by fate, and Ópalo is eager to embrace his, and plans a future with Mateo. But while Mateo soon succumbs to the pleasures of the flesh, he refuses to surrender his heart so easily.  As their worlds collide, Ópalo has to risk everything to win his man forever.Previously released in 2012 as Earthly Desires.I was able to re-release Levity (originally Earthly Desires) and Flight (originally Love’s Nest). Keira re-released Rise (originally Ascending Hearts). I didn’t really have to do much. I considered adding and expanding, but decided that the past is better left in the past, and it was better to move onward. So, these books are out with new covers and the names we’d originally planned.
  5. Le Retour de LeithI worked with Juno Publications to release a French translation of The River Leith (Le Retour de Leith).
  6. I worked with Monica Rivero to release a Spanish translation of Smoky Mountain Dreams.\
  7. 10649056_637038253093061_8696039872764541650_oI attended the Rainbow Book Fair in New York City and had an amazing time meeting readers and re-connecting with other authors and bloggers. It was a wonderful experience and I wish I was going to attend again in 2016, but I’ve got some intense writing goals for the year, so I’ll have to pass.
  8. 1496511_675580195905533_3921520308550706892_oI attended Rainbow Con in Tampa, Florida. Here I am with Eli Easton. I had an absolutely fantastic time with other authors and with the readers who showed up for the event. There’s nothing like bonding with other authors!
  9. beta-reader-superheroI beta read a bunch of books. Like a lot of them. And I think I did a good job at it. At least, I hope I did. I was, if nothing else, honest as hell. And sometimes that might feel like hell. But, hey, yay, I told you before the readers did, so WIN!!
  10. newsletter_1446671813I set up a newsletter! And I’ve sent out a message a month! I’ve enjoyed cultivating recommendations and letting readers know when I have a new release.
  11. I’m sure I accomplished other things, too. But this is good for now. I feel like less of an abject failure, at least. *high fives self*

Personal:

  1. I learned how to cook this year. More than that, I learned to enjoy it. That is huge, utterly massively huge. It’s something I’d never have expected and yet I managed it.
  2. I learned that parsnips are AMAZING and that my life was incomplete without them. Yes, this is related to #1, but PARSNIPS.
  3. My daughter is thriving.
  4. My husband is doing well. Though, honestly, I feel like I should set a goal for 2016 to improve the time we spend together.
  5. I got Christmas accomplished! Well, kind of. I mean, it’s not over yet and it’s possible I forgot something. We’ll see.
  6. I tried very hard not to suck as a friend. I guess my success at that should be determined by my actual friends’ opinion, but I did try not to suck. I feel like I failed sometimes and not because of my efforts, but because of life.
  7. Hmm, maybe I need to do better with personal goals. Like, say, exercise. And being present. And not obsessing about getting books out.

All in all, 2015 was a good year for me. There were some personal struggles because so many people I love dearly are going through hard times, but as far as my day-to-day life goes, it was pretty darn good. So here’s to 2015. You were kinda cool. I loved a lot about you. I wish that you’d been kinder to some of my pals, but I can’t control that. (Boundaries! That’s another thing I’m getting better at as I age, and 2015 was pretty good with boundaries. Most of the time.)

Thank you to all the readers out there! Being a writer wouldn’t be half as much fun without you!

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Rainbow Award Runner-Up for Best Bisexual Romance & Best Bisexual Book! Smoky Mountain Dreams by Leta Blake #amreading #yay

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I’m so honored and excited to announce that my book, the #1 bestselling Smoky Mountain Dreams, was a runner-up for Best Bisexual Romance and Best Bisexual Book in the 2015 Rainbow Awards hosted by the amazing Elisa Rolle. This judged annual awards competition not only help to promote LGBT books across all genres, but help to raise funds for LGBT charitable organizations. In 2015 the Rainbow Awards raised over $17,000, going to a variety of LGBT charities worldwide. I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with these awards and to have had Smoky Mountain Dreams do so well overall.

Thank you, Elisa and judges, for your efforts in the LGBT literary community!

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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.

NOW AVAILABLE EN ESPAÑOL!

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Algunas veces, aferrarse a algo significa dejarlo ir Después de renunciar a su carrera como cantante de música country en Nashville, Christopher Ryder es feliz actuando en el parque temático Sueños en las Montañas Humeantes de Tennessee. Pero mientras que su querida Nana lo quiere tal y como es, Christopher se siente dolorosamente invisible para el resto del mundo. Incluso cuando está en el centro del escenario, anhela que alguien vea quién realmente es. El joven bisexual Jesse Birch no tiene tiempo en su vida para salir con nadie. Centrado en la educación de dos niños y peleando constantemente con la familia después de que un trágico accidente le arrebatara a la madre de sus hijos, no siente interés por nada más allá de un polvo ocasional. Entre sus planes no se encuentra de ningún modo enamorarse de su cantante local favorito, pero cuando Christopher entra en su taller de joyería, Jesse escucha una nueva canción en su corazón.
Algunas veces, aferrarse a algo significa dejarlo ir
Después de renunciar a su carrera como cantante de música country en Nashville, Christopher Ryder es feliz actuando en el parque temático Sueños en las Montañas Humeantes de Tennessee. Pero mientras que su querida Nana lo quiere tal y como es, Christopher se siente dolorosamente invisible para el resto del mundo. Incluso cuando está en el centro del escenario, anhela que alguien vea quién realmente es.
El joven bisexual Jesse Birch no tiene tiempo en su vida para salir con nadie. Centrado en la educación de dos niños y peleando constantemente con la familia después de que un trágico accidente le arrebatara a la madre de sus hijos, no siente interés por nada más allá de un polvo ocasional. Entre sus planes no se encuentra de ningún modo enamorarse de su cantante local favorito, pero cuando Christopher entra en su taller de joyería, Jesse escucha una nueva canción en su corazón.