NOW AVAILABLE! You Are Not Me (90’s Coming of Age, Bk 2) by Leta Blake

you-are-not-me-high-res

amazon-square-border1

Follow Peter into the summer following his senior year to face new beginnings, new friends, and old baggage.

After a tumultuous final year of high school, Peter Mandel needs a break. It’s the summer of 1991, and his secret relationship with his ‘best friend’ Adam Algedi is put on hold as Adam goes away to Italy for the summer. On the cusp of adulthood, Peter has a couple of months to explore who he is without Adam at his side.

Enter Daniel McPeak, a slightly older, out, responsible college guy with a posse of gay friends and an attraction for Peter. Drawn into the brave new world of the local gay club, Peter embarks on a whirlwind of experiences—good and bad—which culminate in a hotel room where he has to make the ultimate choice.

But Adam will come back eventually, and there are promises that have to be kept. As autumn draws near and college awaits, can Peter break free of the binds of twisted first love? And what exactly is Daniel’s role in his life – a brief temptation, or something more?

Join Peter in the second 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 2 of 4.
Length: 100,000 words, 328 pages

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.

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

pictures-of-you-promo-2
“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
***
pictures-of-you-high-res-3

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.

amazon-square-border1

 

Crossposted to Steemit.

What to expect from the ‘90s Coming of Age series by Leta Blake? Is this series for me? #comingsoon #gay

The Sunsphere! Icon of Knoxville!
The Sunsphere! Icon of Knoxville!

 

What to expect from the ‘90s Coming of Age series by Leta Blake? Is this series for me?

Hello, readers! I’m thrilled to announce a new four book series to be released beginning in September 2016 and ending in April 2017.

Set in Knoxville, TN, during 1990-1992 and focusing on the life and loves of one character, Peter Mandel, this series has lived in my heart and mind for the last fourteen years. It’s finally ready to be released into the world and, let me tell you, this character is near and dear to me. I’ve long called him the character of my heart and so he will be forever.

I wanted to provide some clarity, though, on what you as a reader can expect from this group of books. There are a few things these books are not and many things that they are.

First, these books are NOT ROMANCE GENRE BOOKS. While I adore romance books and plan to write many more in my life, and while there is quite a lot of sex and romance within the storyline of the ‘90s Coming of Age series, it does not qualify for the romance label for several reasons.

Most importantly, it doesn’t hit the anticipated romance storytelling beats. In any given romance book, an individual reader can be relatively sure of a few certainties in terms of the story. While I guarantee no main character death, many other ‘rules’ of romance are not held to and therefore I can’t guarantee a reader a romance genre reading experience.

So what kind of book series is it then, Leta?

It most fits a Coming of Age description, hence the series title. Peter is young, only eighteen when we meet him, and on a journey of self-discovery. He wants to love and be loved, he wants to be true to himself, and he doesn’t always make good choices. In fact, if a bad choice can be made? Peter’s right there making it. But usually with the best of intentions, even if sometimes those intentions are selfish ones.

What can I expect from this series, then?

You can expect to find:

  1. a cast of characters advance readers have called achingly real
  2. new adult levels of sexual interactions
  3. teenage angst and twisted love
  4. a portrayal of the Knoxville, TN I remember from my late teens and early twenties
  5. music references from the time period
  6. an exploration of how the best intentions can lead to painful situations
  7. so much more

I’m so excited (and slightly lightheaded) to finally be able to introduce you all to Peter. I’m hoping that this blog post will allow you to determine if these are books for you. I understand if they aren’t and I’m so grateful if they are.

It’s a journey. And Peter’s worth following on it (in my humble opinion) and I hope you come with us.

Thanks for your readership past, present, and into the future! You make this career possible and I can’t thank you enough.

 

pictures-of-you-high-res-3

 

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 1990—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 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. 

Warning! 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.

 

 

BIKE BOOK REVIEWS!!: THIS CHARMING MAN REVIEW! @flickerjax #gay #amreading

“I just love a book that grabs you from the start, and the way this book starts, holy crap, you can’t help but know it is gonna be a hell of a ride! My first impression of Steven was that he was more than the club scene, and more than his best friend Adrian made him out to be. It is an author with real talent that can make you know that about a man in just a few chapters!

You will love this book friends, it is a story of one man’s determination to be more and better to prove to the man he is enthralled with that he is worth it! Thanks Ajax, for giving us a book that proves we can be who we want with a little effort and love!”

read more via BIKE BOOK REVIEWS!!: THIS CHARMING MAN REVIEW!.

The Dream of the 90s Is Alive in THIS CHARMING MAN by AJAX BELL #seattle #GenX #gayfiction @flickerjax

This Charming Man (A Queen City Boys Book)This Charming Man by Ajax Bell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This charming book is chock full of interesting, lovable, and, at times, hate-able characters. First is Steven, the narrator and main protag, who has come to adulthood but hasn’t really found his footing as an adult. For the past five years he’s been happily lost in that place familiar to most readers–somewhere between dependant adolescence and independent adulthood. Sure, he’s not living at home with his parents, but he’s holding a retail job during the day and clubbing the night away with his fascinating-but-cruel best friend, Adrian, most nights. He’s a typical Gen-Xer in that way, delaying adulthood and responsibilities, and prolonging the time between. Which, huh, speaking of Gen-Xers, he is one, since this this story is set in 1991. And that realization has given me a whole new spin/outlook on Steven. Basically, if you’re familiar with that Portlandia song “The Dream of the 90’s is alive in Portland”? Well, that’s the dream of the Gen-Xers, man, and Steven’s living the dream. [reference: http://youtu.be/TZt-pOc3moc]

But somewhere beneath his shiny, glittering night club life, he’s tiring of it all and he’s growing up, wanting to find something meaningful in his life, something beyond coffee shops, bumps of coke, and his retail job at a fashionable clothing shop. He’s wanting a career, a life, a true love, a home. And yet his current situation keeps sucking him back. It’s easy to stay the same and hard to change–especially when his best friend, whom Steven is half in love with, seems very invested in keeping him stunted.

Speaking of Adrian, he is a scene-stealer in the best way. He’s horrible and yet so compelling. If any reader has made it to adulthood without knowing (and being compelled by) someone like Adrian then you’re a lucky dog. I’ve certainly known enough Adrians in my time to feel both drawn to his flame and an intense world-weary disgust with him. It’s easy to see how he’s manipulated Steven into being his emotional prop through the last five years, and how Steven has been his eager toy.

Enter Steven’s motivation to change. One John Pieters, a charming older man (think Baby Boomer to Steven’s Gen-X) who has life experience and drive. He’s suffered through the 1980s horror of AIDS and clings with tight loyalty to his friends, demonstrating the kind of connection with his self-made family that Steven yearns for and doesn’t get with Adrian. He’s an adult in a way that Steven finds inspiring, arousing, and intimidating. Steven knows that a charming, handsome, older man must look at him and just see a wasteful club kid with nothing going for him.

While Steven does keep John in his mind as a motivator for the life changes he makes in the wake of meeting the man, it’s clear that Steven’s metamorphosis, his true coming-of-age, comes from within. John is the carrot that drives him, like a fantasy or a dream, but something so unattainable at first that it’s only as Steven begins the process of changing the he realizes that maybe it’s not so unattainable after all. At first his metamorphosis is about wanting to be the kind of man John would notice, but it isn’t long before the satisfaction of change motivates him on its own.

I don’t want to spoil too much, and a lot of the wonderfulness of this story is in the details and the way that Steven’s character (and every character of the book) is so relatable and yet so identifiable as being tied to the time (1990s) and place (Seattle). You’ll love Steven and want better for him, like a mother hen ghost, silently following him as a reader and rooting for him to make better choices and then cheering when he finally does.

Speaking of Seattle, the city during the 1990s is beautifully captured here and comes alive in the reader’s mind. While I was not in Seattle in the 1990s, myself, I’ve been given to understand from other readers that the scenes and places discussed are real and recognizable to people who were there.

This Charming Man is a charming, lovely read. There are no difficult hoops to jump through to get into the book. The writing itself is sharp and straightforward. I’ve read it twice and loved it both times, and both times found a deeper connection to the story and the characters.

I think Gen-Xers will especially identify with this story but it’s a great read for all lovers of gay fiction.

View all my reviews