Taking Stock of My Year: 2016 Accomplishments & 2017 Goals

It’s time to take stock of what I’ve accomplished in the last year and what I’d like to do in the next one. I live in a perpetual state of feeling like I’ve never accomplished enough. So sometimes it’s healthy for me to take a minute to say, “Look, you did these things. There’s actual proof!”

In 2016, I published the following books:

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Will & Patrick Fight Their Feelings
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Will & Patrick Meet the Mob
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Will & Patrick’s Happy Ending

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Angel Undone

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Pictures of You
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You Are Not Me

In 2016, I had the following books released as translations:

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Vespéral
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Saison d’entrainement: Entrainement tome 1
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Centre d’entrainement: Entrainement Tome 2
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Überraschend … verheiratet!
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Training Season: La stagione dell’allenamento
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Un fiume in piena

The year has had its blessings and its troubles. I think the most surprising thing I’ve discovered is that I need to create two new pen names in order to work on non-Leta Blake brand ideas. In the end, I think it will serve me well to have three brands to allow my creativity to flow, but in the meantime it will bring on some lean times.

Which brings me to my 2017 Goals…

1) AUDIO: I’d like to explore audio and after much thought I’ve decided that Will & Patrick Wake Up Married is probably the way to go. The length of each installment is less than my usual book and so, hopefully, it would be more affordable to produce. I haven’t even begun to look into it, but intend to do so starting in January.

2) 90s COMING OF AGE BOOKS 3 & 4: I intend to finish the 90’s Coming of Age series in 2017. They are tentatively called We Can Be Good and We Make It Real.

3) M/F SERIAL: I want to start putting out the M/F serial I mentioned above. I have planned out twenty installments, but I’d like to get that down to ten, and put out three to five of them next year.

4) DARK EROTICA PEN NAME: Books published under this name won’t be “Leta Blake brand”. I intend to put out two (or possibly four) books under this name next year, depending on how things go.

5) A CHRISTMAS BOOK: I have three ideas and whichever one jumps me hardest will get my attention.

6) A LETA BLAKE BRAND BOOK: I’m waffling here. I’m torn between a Will & Patrick sequel, a heist book I’ve wanted to do forever, the Gareth/Lowell book from Smoky Mountain Dreams universe, and a book about Varun from Will & Patrick’s universe. But I’m already pushing the limits of my abilities with these goals, so I will just say that I’ve got to make a choice on this rather soon. It’s important to me that I get a stand alone Leta Blake brand book out this year.

It’s my belief that 2017 will be a building year for me. It will be a lot of work and expense with potentially little profit. It will probably feel a lot like the uphill part of the roller coaster, and I hope it only takes one year to get to the top of it. It’d be nice to experience a fun ride down before I start building again. Because that’s life, isn’t it? You go up that hill and then whoosh, it’s over in a flash, and you do more work to get up the next hill, and whoosh. There’s always hard work to earn the rush. I can promise there will be books to show for the work. I truly hope readers will enjoy them.

Let me take this opportunity to thank all the readers out there, all across the world, who’ve made my writing career thus far so wonderful. You’ve allowed me to write books that move me and I’ve loved hearing that they also moved you. Thank you for your trust. I know you invest money and time whenever you read one of my books. It’s an honor to be granted those precious hours of your life.

Thank you and blessings.

“Beautiful story told with sensitivity and grace.” Reviews: Smoky Mountain Dreams by Leta Blake

“Beautiful story told with sensitivity and grace. A difficult subject approached with truth and honesty while including lots of hot m/m romance. I can’t decide who I love best. Would love to see where their story goes from here.”

via Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Smoky Mountain Dreams.

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Sometimes holding on means letting go

After giving up on his career as a country singer in Nashville, Christopher Ryder is happy enough performing at the Smoky Mountain Dreams theme park in Tennessee. But while his beloved Gran loves him the way he is, Christopher feels painfully invisible to everyone else. Even when he’s center stage he aches for someone to see the real him.

Bisexual Jesse Birch has no room in his life for dating. Raising two kids and fighting with family after a tragic accident took his children’s mother, 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.

“Elegant story-telling. I couldn’t put this one down.” Review of The River Leith by Leta Blake

“Elegant story-telling. I couldn’t put this one down. As would be expected with a story about a man with amnesia, there’s a lot of introspection and revisits to the past, yet it never once felt like the story had stagnated. In fact, the pace was so right, measured. Loved every word.”

via Goodreads | Lane Swift’s review of The River Leith.

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Memory is everything. 

After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date. Unmoored and struggling to face his new reality, Leith must cope anew with painful revelations about his family. His brother is there to support him, but it’s the unfamiliar face of Zach, a man introduced as his best friend, that provides the calm he craves. Until Zach’s presence begins to stir up feelings Leith can’t explain.

For Zach, being forgotten by his lover is excruciating. He carefully hides the truth from Leith to protect them both from additional pain. His bottled-up turmoil finds release through vlogging, where he confesses his fears and grief to the faceless Internet. But after Leith begins to open up to him, Zach’s choices may come back to haunt him.

Ultimately, Leith must ask his heart the questions memory can no longer answer.

“So good I didn’t want it to end. Wonderful everything! Nicky and Jazz forever!” | Review of Vespertine

“This was so good I didn’t want it to end. Wonderful everything! Nicky and Jazz forever!”

Source: Goodreads | Rennie’s review of Vespertine

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Can a priest and a rock star obey love’s call? 

Seventeen years ago, Jasper Hendricks and Nicholas Blumfeld’s childhood friendship turned into a secret, blissful love affair. They spent several idyllic months together until Jasper’s calling to the Catholic priesthood became impossible to ignore. Left floundering, Nicky followed his own trajectory into rock stardom, but he never stopped looking back.

Today, Jasper pushes boundaries as an out, gay priest, working hard to help vulnerable LGBTQ youth. He’s determined to bring change to the church and the world. Respected, admired, and settled in his skin, Jasper has long ignored his loneliness.

As Nico Blue, guitarist and songwriter for the band Vespertine, Nicky owns the hearts of millions. He and his bandmates have toured the world, lighting their fans on fire with their music. Numbed by drugs and fueled by simmering anger, Nicky feels completely alone. When Vespertine is forced to get sober, Nicky returns home to where it all started.

Jasper and Nicky’s careers have ruled their lives since they parted as teens. When they come face to face again, they must choose between the past’s lingering ghosts or the promise of a new future.

“OMG this book was so good!” Review: Will & Patrick Wake Up Married by Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths

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“OMG this book was so good!
Okay Patrick and Will meet each other one night while both of them are drunk in Vegas. Well one thing leads to another and they wake up in the morning married and sore due to the massive amounts of sex they had. Can I just say I loved Patrick’s character so much. He was just so snarky, so many times the things he would say in this book had me laughing to the point I had tears in my eyes.
So due to reasons that are beyond Will’s control they have to stay married until they can figure a way out of their marriage. So many things happen in this book that I was either laughing or feeling sad for Will because of what Ryan does to him. I loved the way the authors wrote these characters and the whole pretense of this story. So I don’t want to give away any spoilers because this book you have got to read for yourself, it was just so good! I can not wait to read the next one to see what these two characters Patrick and Will are up to next.
So all together I loved this book!
I would definitely recommend this book!

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from Inked Rainbow Reads.”

via Kara’s review on Amazon.com

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“I feel like a better title for this book would be ‘Perfect Season’ .” Review of Training Season by Leta Blake

“I feel like a better title for this book would be “Perfect Season” because that is what it was all about to me. It’s what we want: perfection. It’s what we want to see in others: perfection. It’s where we want our lives to be – the place we want to live. It’s just not always the most realistic viewpoint to carry.

I’ll spare you the blurb, which actually describes this gem perfectly.

From the characters to the prose to the level of angst and love this one delivers a Gold Medal winning performance. I loved both characters – though sometimes I didn’t like them very much. It felt absolutely real. We all strive for the “Perfect Season” in our lives and so very rarely do we get it – until we look back on what we’ve done, seen, loved, and worked towards and realized that it really was all for a reason. Sometimes we get kicked down so hard that we think we’re so far underground we won’t see the light of day, well, ever – and yet we keep going. The drive, the motivation, to do something like Matty is doing seems foreign to many – but people who have it, who give like that, who commit like that, it’s overwhelming, painful, endorphin producing, rewarding, and downright costly. All at the same time.

What great fortune to also find a book that contains BDSM but is not about it. No fancy schmancy clubs here with paraded twinks naked with collars. No discussion or negotiation, no BDSM101 lecture, nada. No “Boy” this and “Sir” that protocol. Just honest need, want, and desire that gets expressed with a more D/s theme running through. I will definitely say that this one has two kinks that are neither common nor comfortable for a great amount of people: breath play and medical (enema). Yet I would challenge anyone to read this and not to understand what was going on, how these fit in to the story, and come away with the thought that it was those things that identified the book. Because they just so don’t. The scenes’s are memorable for how they express the characters relationship and growth and understanding. They are expressions – of something far greater and far more importance. Divine.

A top 5 pick of the year for me. I very rarely stay up until 4am to finish a book. I did here and didn’t regret it one bit and didn’t even wake up tired. I woke up with this feeling that I’d just left my Grandma’s house on Christmas day after all the food, festivities, and love and I so want to go back to that place again. For that moment, in that time, at that place – it was, for me, The Perfect Season.”

 

Amazon.com: AlexJouJou’s review of Training Season.

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"Does Training Season by Leta Blake live up to all it's crazy hype? IT SO DOES!" - Breann, Boy Meets Boy Reviews "A tale told with such flair and tenderness, and with such insight into the two main characters that I will read it over and over again." - Susan Mac Nicol, The Romance Review Site "If you are looking something real with passion that leaps off the pages, read this book. Now. You will NOT be disappointed." - Mama Kitty Reviews "I am stunned. I am shocked. What did I just read? A wonderful story? A gorgeous tale of love, hope, loss, acceptance, forgiveness? All of the above? You bet your sweet ass." - The Risque Redhead Reviews "I loved it in pretty much every way it's possible to love a book and its characters." - Lisa, The Novel Approach
“Does Training Season by Leta Blake live up to all it’s crazy hype? IT SO DOES!” – Breann, Boy Meets Boy Reviews
“A tale told with such flair and tenderness, and with such insight into the two main characters that I will read it over and over again.” – Susan Mac Nicol, The Romance Review Site
“If you are looking something real with passion that leaps off the pages, read this book. Now. You will NOT be disappointed.” – Mama Kitty Reviews
“I am stunned. I am shocked. What did I just read? A wonderful story? A gorgeous tale of love, hope, loss, acceptance, forgiveness? All of the above? You bet your sweet ass.” – The Risque Redhead Reviews
“I loved it in pretty much every way it’s possible to love a book and its characters.” – Lisa, The Novel Approach

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“These authors made magic with this story.” Review of Vespertine by Leta Blake & Indra Vaughn

“This book had me reeling basically from the beginning. I couldn’t put it down. The tension and true love between these men left me hurting and yearning for them. There pain and hurt but also peace and hope and love. I just loved this book so much. Like I said these authors made magic with this story. It’s an absolute must read!”

Source: Goodreads | Love Bytes Reviews (Oak Harbor, WA)’s review of Vespertine

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“I had to laugh!” Review: Will & Patrick Wake Up Married by Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths #gay

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“I really enjoyed getting to know Will and Patrick and had to laugh at the situation that they find themselves in. I absolutely fell in love with Patrick. He just has a way about expressing himself that comes across hilarious. This was a sweet story and can’t wait for the next in the series.”

via Lynette, Inked Rainbow Reads

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