Leta Blake Recommends Kit Brisby’s ROGUE MAGIC! Check it out! #gay #romance


I’m thrilled to welcome Kit Brisby today to talk about her excellent book Rogue Magic! It was one of my favorite books I beta read last year and I highly recommend it!

Let’s get started:

1. Rogue Magic is deeply romantic, but more than that it’s a wonderful but never heavy-handed allegory for persecution based on religion, race, or any other human quality that might go against the values of the established culture. Was this intentional on your part?


Persecution based on religion, race, and countless other identities has existed for centuries. It’s a common theme in stories, and I don’t think I was doing anything revolutionary here! When I wrote this book, the political climate in the United States hadn’t quite reached its current fever pitch. I’ll be honest – I hoped that by the time the book was released, our nation might be entering a time of healing under the leadership of the first female president.

But that’s another story entirely.

Ultimately, I believe #ownvoices is incredibly important, and while ROGUE MAGIC might be read as an allegory about what marginalized people face today, I urge readers to seek stories written by members of those populations. I’m a queer white woman with anxiety. I can speak to those experiences, but I can’t begin to speak to the lived experiences of people of color, Muslims, and other marginalized people. I’m touched that readers have drawn parallels but a direct parallel was not my intention.


2. Do you remember the first moment this story came alive in your mind? The point of inspiration? Can you tell us a bit about it and how it made you feel inside?


The opening scene was always the foundation of this book. The act of sacrifice and the immediate consequences. The mix of confusion and fear and empathy. I get a little squiggly feeling in my stomach over that scene, and it’s that kind of excitement/inspiration that fuels me as a writer as the story unfolds.

3. Was there a point with this story when you felt like it was too much, or that you’d never be able to complete it satisfactorily? What got you through that time and led you to persevere?
I’m always very excited for the first 15,000 words of a new draft. Then I enter the “despair and whining” phase until I’ve got about 15% left. I stick to a fairly stern drafting schedule that gets me through the agony of the “I’ll never finish this garbage” doldrums. Revisions and line edits can be rough, but in this case I had amazing guidance. That always makes the hard work more gratifying.


4. Many authors write with music playing or use songs to drive inspiration and channel emotion. Is there a particular song (or songs) that will forever be attached to Rogue Magic or its characters for you?


I listen to moody Google Play Radio stations when I’m writing. I also listen to short, curated playlists that help me get into characters’ headspaces. The Shins played a large part in ROGUE MAGIC’s playlist, along with a little Belle and Sebastian. I have a feeling that was more Levi’s influence than Byron’s.


5. You have an annual star chart you use to track your writing and edits. I found it deeply inspiring and started doing a similar one for myself. Do you want to briefly explain it?


I’m deeply inspired by author V.E. Schwab. She popularized the “star chart” method and uses monthly calendars. Her productivity is amazing, and she’s very transparent with her fans about the amount of labor that goes into producing a book. Using a star chart to tracking drafting is particularly motivating, but I’ve found a lot of value in visualizing revisions, which aren’t nearly as sexy as cranking out brand new words. (But they’re so much more important!) I use a year calendar from NeuYear.net to track my book-related work.


6. What is the one thing you hope readers take away from Rogue Magic and what is the one thing you are most proud of when it comes to the book?


I hope readers enjoy themselves as the story unfolds. I’ve found great comfort and escape in books throughout my life, and it’s truly the greatest honor to offer that to others.


Thank you, Kit! Congratulations on the release of Rogue Magic! 

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

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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!.

224 authors giving away books for the LGBTQ Push Back Giveaway! #bethechange #pushback

giveaway poster

“224 authors, review bloggers, and publishers have got together to offer something wonderful: a reward for people who do a little bit to give back to charity. Instead of spending $5 on a book in the next two weeks, give that $5 to an LGBT charity of your choice, tell us about it in the comments, and go into the draw to win a book from one of our participating donors. And because it’s not all about money, if you can’t make a donation then please take a moment to share a charity’s links and tell us about that instead.

Three fundraisers have been set up to counter the hateful effects of Indiana’s SB 101. #Pizza4Equality is aiming to match the money raised by *that* pizza parlor, with all donations going to Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund. Another fundraiser is aiming to raise $100,000 for Indiana Youth Group. Finally, Planting Peace is trying to raise $100,000 to provide beds for homeless LGBT people.

Please consider giving to one of these deserving fundraisers, or any other LGBT charity anywhere in the world. We’re not telling you where you should donate your time and money, only asking that you do. The smallest things can make the biggest difference, and together, we can do something incredible.”

Find out more at Diverse Reader! You can register to win! So many authors! So many books! Let’s do something together for change!


LGBT Month: Interview with Leta Blake – Im With Geek #books #amreading

LGBT Month: Interview with Leta Blake – I’m With Geek.

Click above to read my interview for I’m With Geek. Hayley asked some wonderful, thoughtful questions that I really enjoyed answering. Go have a peek! Also, check out their whole site! It’s very interesting and well-done!

Training Season can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, ARe, and Smashwords. And also on iBooks.
Unquestionably talented figure skater Matty Marcus is willing to sacrifice everything for his Olympic dream, but his lack of discipline cost him the gold once before. Now the pressure’s on. He needs a coach who can keep him in line, but top coaches don’t come cheap, and Matty can’t afford to stay in the game no matter how badly he wants to win.
When a lucrative house-sitting gig brings him to rural Montana, Matty does his best to maintain his training regimen. Local residents turn out to be surprisingly tolerant of his flamboyant style, especially handsome young rancher Rob Lovely, who proves to be much more than a cowboy stereotype. Just as Matty requires a firm hand to perform his best on the ice, Rob shows him how strong he can be when he relinquishes control in the bedroom. With new-found self-assurance, he drives himself harder to go straight to the top.
But competition has a timetable, and to achieve his Olympic dream, Matty will have to join his new coach in New York City, leaving Rob behind. Now he must face the ultimate test. Has he truly learned how to win—on and off the ice—during his training season?

I Swear I’m Not A Creeper But This Might Be Kinda Creepy #twitter #instagram #gaydads

So, I sort of follow the twitter of these gay dads that I’ve never met and will likely never meet. (And probably shouldn’t meet because I feel weird about the fact that I follow their twitter and they have no clue I exist.) I look at their twitter feed daily to see what’s up with their twins and if they’ve posted any new pics or videos. Their kids are seriously adorable and when they smile or laugh, it’s like the world becomes a better place in an instant.

This is not Matt and Josh, but I felt like it would be way creepy to put their family pictures on my blog. Like that would feel creepier to me than following them daily on Twitter, which I already feel creepy about anyway.

Now, my bff will tell you that guys and babies are my kryptonite and it’s true. Men? Babies? I’m in. So maybe that explains it. But, thinking about it today, I believe it’s a little more than that. These kids are so damn happy and so obviously loved that it brings me joy just looking at their pictures. How could anyone be against this? These fathers worked very hard to have these children. They jumped through a ton of very interesting (and possibly controversial) loops to get their son and daughter. You can read all about that journey here on their blog.

I realized something else today about Matt and Josh’s twitter/blog while reading a comment from another man I follow. He admitted that he’d realized yet again how lucky he was to be alive. As a gay man, he’d struggled through his adolescence with self-loathing and suicidal thoughts because he didn’t see the possibility of a future that looked anything like the life he has now–a legally recognized husband, home, happiness. So, I realized, yeah, it might be weird that I look at pics of this family, but it hit me that if I’m looking at them, there are other people who find them, too. And some of those people might be adolescents who maybe haven’t ever seen or imagined Matt and Josh’s reality. And maybe some of those people are the parents or grandparents of a kid who has just come out and who need to see that, hey, their kid can find love and have whatever kind of life they’ve dreamed of, even if it includes a husband and kids.

(By the way, I believe there is absolutely value to be found in a life that doesn’t involve anything as ‘heteronormative’ in appearance as a wedding and a family, so don’t take this to mean I value this above all life choices. But, hey, can we really call two married, gay men raising children ‘heteronormative’ at all? I would challenge that assumption. But moving along.)

So, I guess I wanted to take a moment to thank Josh and Matt for sharing their life online for people to see and learn what is capable of happening in this world. If we need to see it to believe and achieve it, then Josh and Matt are showing a lot of folks that it can be done.

Sexy Fairytales for Christmas! #Free Bundle of #Gay Fairy Tales! #mmromance #mmerotica


Keira and I are giving away ALL THREE of our fairy tales over at Long and Short Reviews as part of their Winter Blogfest! So, hop on over there for your chance to win the three hot, sexy, magical tales below! And, like the banner says, there’s going to be a prize on every post until December 27, so click around at the Long and Short Reviews site to see what all you might have a chance to win!

There’s no greater mystery in the kingdom than how Prince Mateo’s sisters wear out their shoes each night while locked away in their chambers. Using old magic, Mateo discovers their secret and follows them through a portal to an enchanted world of fairies and lusty delights.
Fairy Prince Ópalo has waited years for his male human mate, and he knows Mateo is his destiny. But convincing Mateo of that is another story altogether.
Mateo soon succumbs to the pleasures of the flesh, but as their two very different worlds collide, Ópalo has to risk everything to win his man forever. Inspired by The Twelve Dancing Princesses.
Earthly Desires Cover
Cursed as an infant with a lack of physical and emotional gravity, Prince Efrosin can’t keep his feet on the ground or his head out of the clouds. Laughing his way through life, he’s never been weighed down by love and lust.
Then one fateful day, his tenuous tie to the earth is severed and he blows away on the wind. He’s rescued by Dmitri, a handsome young woodsman who suffers from a mysterious curse of his own, and the two strangers are irresistibly drawn together. Experiencing sex and love for the first time, they dive into a delightfully sensual and passionate affair.
But the evil witch who cursed them is planning her ultimate revenge. Efrosin and Dmitri must fight to find their fairy tale ending and live happily ever after.
Inspired by The Light Princess.
Rumors of treasure have long sent fortune hunters clambering up a magic beanstalk to a mysterious castle in the clouds. Survivors told of an evil giant who guards the gold with savage strength. No sane man would dare risk the climb—but Jack has nothing left to lose. Shunned for his evil red hair and abandoned by his cruel lover, he’s desperate to escape his life.
Rion isn’t a giant—only a man bearing the burden of protecting his family’s legacy. It’s a lonely existence, but he’s duty bound. Then Jack appears, and Rion’s world changes. After a blazing confrontation, an undeniable lust sparks. Isolated in the clouds, Jack and Rion give in to their lust and growing connection. Soon they must protect the treasure—and each other—from a new threat. And they have everything to lose. Inspired by Jack & the Beanstalk.

winter blogfest 200 copy (1)

Recommendations for Donating to Help LGBT Russians #russia #gay

I’m looking for some suggestions and recommendations for donations to benefit the LGBT of Russia during this time of extreme and government sanctioned persecution. I’ve attempted to find something via Google but have had little luck. If you have any recommendations, please leave the names and links, if you have them, below.

In the next few months, I will be publishing a new book and I’d like a portion of the profits to go to an organization benefiting the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people of Russia.

I will make a post about the organizations I’m alerted to and also some detailed information will be posted about the organization to which I’ll ultimately choose to give a portion of profits.

Thank you for your help!

Suck it, Putin.

Cultural Discussion of Lack of LGBT Romantic Portrayal and What Can You Do? #gay #lgbt #photography

Braden Summers is asking the question why there isn’t more portrayal of romance in LGBT portraits and is determined to do something about it.

“ALL LOVE IS EQUAL is a photography campaign that illustrates one perspective on what love and romance within the gay community could look like in a future, more accepting time. The images focus on culturally diverse couples and locations to emphasize the dream; the aspiration of finding acceptance for gay and lesbian couples globally. From the perspective of the media and high-end advertising, it might appear that the western world is largely pushing for gay marriage equality while other countries fight to prevent couples from ending up in jail after a public exchange of affection. This campaign goes beyond the current fundamental differences of what gay rights look like in different cultures and attempts to normalize the presence of gay and lesbian couples everywhere.  There is a lack of hopeful, romantic, dreamy visuals to communicate the love that exists in this community. The photographs will be relatable to the general public by being images of exaggerated beauty first, and illustrations of gay and lesbian couples second; work you won’t want to look away from.”

Read more and watch a video of him explaining the cultural issues involved and what’s at stake HERE. Then help fund his way to make more beautiful pictures like these! I gave generously and hope it is used well!


Pat & Billy are GETTING MARRIED! #vlog #gay #marriage

A friend of mine suggested to me that I watch Pat & Billy vlogs on YouTube awhile back when I was having a bad day. She guaranteed that these videos would cheer me up and bring me joy. Oh my gosh, you guys, seriously, these vids have become my absolute go-to videos for feeling good.

So, let me walk you through some highlights so you can also fall in love with them and start to follow them on YouTube (and Twitter and Instagram) like I have. *cough*

1. How they met which is a charming, wonderful, sweet, and awwww-my-heart story. (Though please ignore the one moment of ableism which they at least seemed to catch and cut off quickly.)

2. How they got engaged. Loved it because it was realistic and not some over-the-top story of full-on dance numbers and hot air balloon rides.

3. Their discussion of PDA and if they do PDA and why or why not.

4. Will they take each other’s last name? This one isn’t so much darling as just really interesting. As a woman, I had so many of these same issues when I got married. I liked seeing dudes struggle with this.

5. And they answer with charm and hilarious adorableness the really annoying question of “Who is the bride?”

6. Pat and Billy react to the many outraged reactions to their announcement that they were not going to have a traditional tiered wedding cake. Hilarious! Adorable! Too cute!

Now, admit it! You love them, too! Go forth and follow them on social media far and wide! Do not follow them in person, though, because that’s creepy.