NOW AVAILABLE! Pictures of You by Leta Blake (90’s Coming of Age, Book 1)

“Go ahead and start getting excited about this.” Katie, Back Porch Reader
“An amazing story that I couldn’t put down!” Jaime, Alpha Book Club
Five freakin’ awesome stars. Wow, Leta, you have outdone yourself.” Jewel, My Fiction Nook
“I couldn’t put this book down. I absolutely loved it.” Tracy, Bayou Book Junkie
What a book! It consumed me from start to finish.” Amy, Goodreads Librarian/Reader

Growing 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 book of this four-part coming of age series as he struggles to love and be loved, and grow into a gay man worthy of his own respect.

This new series by Leta Blake is gay fiction with romantic elements.

Book 1 of 4.

These books contain aspects of: New Adult fiction, ‘90s gay life, small city homosexual experiences, Southern biases, sexual exploration, romance, homophobia, bisexuality, and twisted-up young love. Oh, and a guaranteed happy ending for the main character by the end of Book 4.



Crossposted to Steemit.

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

Golden glitter


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.



  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*


  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!



Leta Blake Will Be Attending RainbowCon|July 16-19, 2015 – Celebrating Artistic Diversity!

Screenshot 2015-06-22 at 4.02.37 PM

I’m going to be attending Rainbow Con this July! If you’re in the Tampa area, come out and see me!

I’ll be sitting and speaking on the following panels:

Collaborations in Writing, Thursday, July 16, 2pm
Taboos in Fiction and Fandom, Friday, July 17, 11am
Tropes: Subverting, Averting, and Inverting, Friday, July 17, 4pm
Author Signing, Saturday, July 18, 10am
#ItsGonnaBeFun #BeThere #LoveIt

Take a walk on the wild side!

The Second Annual Rainbow Conference (RainbowCon) is coming up this July at the Holiday Inn Westshore by Tampa International Airport in Florida. It’s an exciting event centered around QUILTBAG (Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Trans*, Bisexual, Asexual, and Gay/Genderqueer) multimedia. This includes fiction, fanfiction, non-fiction, television, movies, stage, music, comics, fan art, and anything else involving QUILTBAG media. For 2015 and 2016, we’re being hosted by the lovely Holiday Inn Westshore in Tampa, Florida!”

via RainbowCon – Celebrating Artistic Diversity!.

Paperback Cover Reveal! Training Complex by Leta Blake #paperback #mmromance






I’m absolutely thrilled with the wrap cover for the paperback of Training Complex. It will be available soon after the ebook is released. Thanks to Dar Albert at Wicked Smart Designs for her amazing cover skills! The new book is coming soon, but in the meantime feel free to add it at Goodreads.

Price Confusion on Amazon UK- VAT issues or just effed up? #problems #pricing

So I decided to make sure that the new VAT laws weren’t causing any problems with my titles at the various Amazon stores. I admit, I’ve rarely paid attention to the prices in other countries, so I have no idea if these discrepancies are new or not. But, honestly, they are maddening and I’ve yet to hear back from the Amazon peeps. (Though I admit I only just emailed them last night and so I’m being rather impatient.)

Anyway, check this out. As you can see below, Training Season and Smoky Mountain Dreams are both $5.99 at all US outlets.

Amazon US


All Romance Ebooks


Barnes & Noble US (I only have The River Leith at Nook UK)


Smashwords (SMD gets a bit cut off, but you can see that it is $5.99)

Which brings us to the pricing at Amazon UK:





So, what’s the deal there? Am I paying the 20% VAT from my royalties these prices? I believe I am, right? So I should want both of them to be more like the Smoky Mountain Dreams price…though that seems a bit steep. Math isn’t my best subject, but I’m pretty sure that price difference is more than 20%? And the Training Season price doesn’t even cover the 20% VAT, I’m pretty sure? So I’m losing money on one and making a bit than I should on the other? And where did they even get these prices? My understanding was that they would be automatically increasing the UK prices to add in the tax. And yet these two books, which are the same price everywhere else, even at, are pretty differently priced at What’s up, dudes?

Another weird example is Keira’s and my book via Ellora’s Cave, Love’s Nest. Now, in my opinion, that book is overpriced in the US, but the difference between the US prices and the UK prices make zero sense, to be honest. Check this out.




WTF, dudes, this is the UK price.


Even if we claim price-matching is happening, that doesn’t make sense because the UK price doesn’t come anywhere close to even the lowest US price. No makey-sensey. Or does it and I’m just not seeing it?

Help? Anyone dealt with this before? Is it a VAT glitch or something else entirely?

ALSO? Argh. I don’t want to waste my time on this kind of thing. Very annoying.

Casting Smoky Mountain Dreams #bonusmaterial #gayromance

I don’t always cast my books, though sometimes it does help me to get a handle on a character if I have a very clear view of what they look like. While I absolutely love and am entirely satisfied with the cover of Smoky Mountain Dreams, the guys don’t fit the image I had in my head for Christopher or Jesse, nor do they fit the almost-good-enough attempts I made at casting them with photographs. I thought it might be fun to show readers the closest, but not quite right, approximations I’ve got for a few of the characters in the book.

First, let’s talk about Christopher. The inspiration for Christopher was originally a real human being that I saw performing at Dollywood. He was handsome enough, but not stunning, thin enough but not cut, cute but not amazing, and his singing talent was well beyond my own but he’d never be famous. I have no idea what his name was, but I decided then and there to write a book about him. Well, eventually, I wanted to describe Christopher in more detail and I set about trying to find a photo that captured what I’d found so compelling about this performer at Dollywood. I finally settled on this picture of Jesse Spencer. Though I feel compelled to say that not every picture of Jesse Spencer works for Christopher, in fact, this may be the only one. But I returned to this one time and again to try to capture the feeling the character of Christopher gave to me.


Now, Jesse was a lot harder. I had a couple of pictures I referred to for him, actually. One that mainly just captured the body confidence I thought Jesse had. But this one is probably the closest in terms of the face. Only, uh, without that full, messy beard .Jesse just had scruff, and the hair is shorter by a bit, and his eyes are tired here because of the burdens of his life (and maybe the sex he had with Christopher all night long), but, yes, this was the closest I could find…probably. It’s still not just right, but whatcha gonna do? 😀


More pictures of that model (Maximilio Pantane) that I used as references for Jesse:


Both of these were my references for Young Jesse:
Maximiliano_Patane youngjesse


Now, Gareth. Yes, he was pretty easy. I saw this picture one day and was like, “Holy crap, what is Gareth doing on Pinterest??” So, yes, this is what I think Gareth looks like.


Every reader obviously has their own idea of what the characters look like and I hope seeing my thoughts doesn’t taint your own. I also hope it was fun to see these! 😀 If you’ve got ideas of what Christopher and Jesse look like and pics to go along with that, please to be sharing in comments below!


Smoky Mountain Dreams is available now at:


And now at KOBO.

ETA: I just saw this yesterday and he would make an acceptable Jesse too, I think.

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews and teenage girl readers.

“Like Blume’s Forever…—the other novel girls passed around in the 1980s, due to its semi-titillating-and-very-informative content about safe sex—the books we were supposed to be reading to help us cope with our various adolescent challenges delivered many reassurances that things would eventually be OK. By contrast, Flowers in the Attic indulged our fear that things were so deeply fucked up that they might never be OK.”

via Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews and teenage girl readers..

The Promise & At This Point In My Life: Training Season Extras! #tracychapman #music

I almost always write with a soundtrack. Either music is playing as I write, or I have certain songs in my mind that capture the vibe of what I’m going for with a certain section of the book. Sometimes it’s the lyrics that speak to me and other times it’s the music. In this case, it was definitely both.

The last third of Training Season was stamped with these two songs. I had them on repeat as I worked out the end of the book. I wanted the tenderness and growth to be all over those words.

The words at 4:19 through the end of the song are what I wanted Matty to be expressing during that part of the book.

Oh, this song. Is there anyone on earth who doesn’t have the feelings in them that this song expresses? Matty definitely had them and I wanted there to be that kind of longing and tenderness in the book. I hope I succeeded.

Matty and Elliot’s High Heels – Training Season Extras! #bbrianatwood #saks #shoes

During an important scene in Training Season, Matty and his best friend, Elliot, are trying on high heels. I thought you might enjoy seeing the shoes they ended up buying. They both looked very glamorous and beautiful. Definitely.

Matty’s shoes. B Brian Atwood Marseille Artistic Metallic Leather & Snakeskin Sandals. Click to purchase.
Elliot’s shoes. B Brian Atwood
Lindford Iridescent Canvas & Suede Peep-Toe Ankle Boots. Click to purchase.
Training Season can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ARe, and Smashwords. Coming soon to Kobo and iBooks.