TRAINING SEASON AUDIOBOOK! EXPERIENCE MATTY ALL OVER AGAIN! #gay #romance

Whooooo!!! NOW AVAILABLE! Training Season on AUDIOBOOK! Buy it Amazon & Audible. And now at iTunes!

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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

Michael Ferraiuolo, known for narrating the Five Borough books by Santino Hassell, did a fantastic job. Check out the sample! Absolutely thrilled with how the audiobook turned out!

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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?

This book contains BDSM elements.

“The D/s gave their relationship a beauty and intimacy that was perfect to the story.” | Review of Training Season by Leta Blake

“Rob was such a beautiful, inspiring character. He is the partner that most of us dream of having; caring, considerate, loyal, and steadfast. And although the story is based around Matty, Rob is the one I connected to. The kink and D/s was at a level I hadn’t expected, but very much appreciated. It was done very well, and I completely bought into the dynamic between Rob and Matty. The D/s gave their relationship a beauty and intimacy that was perfect to the story.”

via Amazon.com: BookAddict’s review of Training Season.

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training season

 

A Montanan rancher and a flamboyant figure skater find lust, then love, but can they find a life together?

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?

*This book contains BDSM elements

Montana Cowboy College, Or Everything I Know About Ranching #research #writing #extras

I would say the most helpful online resource when writing about Rob’s ranch in Training Season was the site Montana Cowboy College. It is full of fantastic information like Lessons in Ranching, which gives information on calving (needed for a scene that was deleted).

Another helpful page was the ranch hand job description. (Did your dirty mind read that the wrong way, too? No? Just me? Typical.) Which allowed me to figure out what would be some realistic activities for Rob and hands.

In addition, the Photo Gallery is full of amazing ranching and Montana pictures. Have a look to see some really cute pics of cows, some cool shots of ranchers, and some lovely scenery.

The absolute most helpful part, though, was the blog associated with the page, Millenium Cowboy . Basically, it helped with forming really realistic ideas of what a day of ranch work looked like, felt like, and, most especially, what terms were used in discussing the cattle or the work itself, because ranching, like all specialties, has it’s own little language.

Oh, and look at that, a new update on that blog shows there was knee deep snow on October 4th of this year! So, hooray, the snow in my book is possible! *gives self high five* I definitely made the right choice in changing the setting to Montana! *does a boogie*

Those of you looking into writing a book about ranching in Montana, definitely check out these links and buy his book! Extremely good stuff!

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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?

Butterfly Herbs – A Surprising Place (Training Season Extras) #coolplaces #coffee #missoula

The store where Matty and Rob buy Anja’s necklace, just before Matty’s bratty little fit on the sidewalks of Missoula, truly exists. It’s called Butterfly Herbs and my BFF insisted that I put the store into the book. She went to it years ago and declared it the best smelling store she’s ever been inside. It apparently had some unforgettable jewelry in it along with the most delicious tea she’s ever had.

According to some reviews on Yelp, the store has some really excellent items on the menu as well. Ann says:

I really love their chai ice cream float, made with Missoula’s own Big Dipper Cardamom ice cream.  In addition to being a great local coffee shop, this is an awesome store for gifts, carrying an assortment of soaps, herbs, teas, chocolates, and jewelry.

I loved this review of the shop by Bradley:

While some places in downtown Missoula are hipper, cooler, or more raw, BH is by far the cutest shop on Higgins. From the fancy and creative display windows to the old style pressed-tin ceiling to the wall of herbs and loose teas stored in glass jars, to the smaller items for sale in front and the bistro espresso bar in back: you’ll find yourself oooinhg and awwing a lot around here.

Not Hello Kitty cute, mind you: cute in an aromatherapy, herbes de provence, lapsang souchang sort of way. Cute in an urban hippie crossed with Montana home remedy kind of way. Many of the teas are from Montana Tea and Spice, including such awesome blends as Montana Gold, Wintermist, Wild West, Night on Glacier Bay, and Evening in Missoula. The green teas are excellent – organic hairpoint, for example – and there are some great things for do-it-yourself potpourri, if you are into that sort of thing.

All of which is a little weird, I realize.

But weird is what Missoula is all about.

Jennifer W says:

Wonderful and unique local business.  I love their range of teas, their delicious sandwiches, and the bulk herbs and spices.  Plus, what’s not to like about a place that smells fragrant and fantastic as soon as you walk in the door?  The decor is cool– an amazing ceiling and lots of old wood.  There is an eclectic feel to the place– local art on the wall (like a fuzzy sweater with a label made of masking tape that reads “Burr Sweater $$) and uber-stylish baristas who each possess a unique and colorful fashion sense.  This is a great place to come on a cold rainy day and warm up with a pot of tea– I like the rose-mint.

Needless to say, when I make it to Missoula, I’ll be stopping by this place for sure. Have any readers been? What’s your favorite thing about it? What’s the best thing on the menu?

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Training Season can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, ARe, and Smashwords. Coming soon to iBooks.

How to Write a Blurb! #writers #help #blurb

Get your best writer friends to do it for you! No, really. Um, that’s the best way.

Ha! But seriously, though, my friend, Jed, has worked out a cool method. First, we researched the average length of blurbs, and it turns out they are about 240 words in length. Another friend told me that her publisher tries to keep the blurbs to 200 words, so somewhere between those two seems to be what one should aim for.

Click on this to read a hilarious post about studying the art of blurbs and ending up buying a ton of books!

The examples I’m going to give you regarding what your blurb should contain are based on the work to get a working blurb on Training Season and a short novella (currently out for submission) called Everything Is Yes. (You can read more about Everything Is Yes HERE.)

Let’s start with Training Season! First, Jed said:

Basically, I think you need

  • a tagline?
  • a paragraph to set up who Matty is and his situation generally
  • a paragraph where the set-up for the book is laid out
  • a paragraph about the challenges and dilemmas
  • a paragraph that vaguely covers the resolution, just the general concepts
  • maybe reiterate the tagline in a new way?

I’m not sold on having a tagline just to have a tagline, though. It does seem to be a romance novel thing, but it’s not done with general books all that often, so maybe you can get away without one if you can’t think of anything, either. I think a bad or clunky one is worse than none at all.

In the end, that translated into the following blurb.

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?

It is sans a tag line, because neither I, nor any of my brilliant friends could think of one, and while I feel like it could be a tiny bit better if some blurb genius tweaked it, I’m really quite happy with how it turned out. It is decidedly better than before Jed worked out the above process and basically wrote the rough draft of the blurb for me. Let’s just say that my first attempt a blurb would either make you cry or laugh…or cry with laughter.

Next, with Everything is Yes, Jed worked out the following:

  • Tagline.

  • Second paragraph needs to establish who Alex is. Mentioning his age and that the Missed Connections is in a campus newspaper positions him as young; disappointed in love helps set him up as wanting change; and the description of what he wants is just that. Answering the ad establishes that he is going to meet someone new to satisfy his desire.

  • Third paragraph to set up situation and rules with this new “love.” Think it is good idea to work “everything is ‘yes'” in there, actually.

  • Fourth paragraph gives away that Smith is Hephaestus and a god, but I think you have to give that away. I don’t think you really need to explain a lot about Hephaestus, though. Thought all the questions about humans and gods fit well here without needing to be a separate paragraph.

Obviously, it’s not perfect, but maybe it gives you something to work with.

That rendered the following blurb:

Are you ever more alive than when you think you’re about to die?

Nineteen-year-old Alex, disappointed in love, wants the kind of fierce passion that will take him beyond the mundane world of safe, consensual sex into a realm of white-hot sensation and utter loss of control. When he recognizes himself in his campus newspaper’s Missed Connections, he takes a chance that this mystery man will be the one who will take him over the edge.

From their very first email, Alex is convinced Smith is the one who will push him beyond his limits, but Smith refuses to meet, warning Alex that there may be dire consequences to an in-person encounter. Alex persists, and so before Smith extends a weekend invitation to his remote cabin, he exacts a promise that Alex will obey him in all things once there. As long as he is with Smith, Alex agrees that everything is “yes.”

The sadistic god Hephaestus, also known as the Smith, chooses human lovers from among those who thrive on fear, pain and loss of control, and he knows that Alex is ideal for his purposes. But will Alex be able to keep his promise? Can a human love a god and come through unscathed? Can terror, combined with pleasure, result in transcendence? And, having once experienced such terrible bliss, what would a man risk to experience it once more?

Alex is about to find out.

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So, yes, the best way to get a blurb is to have your best friend write it for you. Ha! But, truthfully, what this taught me was how to break a blurb down into the various parts. I feel like I can move forward now with this guidance and write better blurbs for myself. I’m sure she’ll still need to touch them up, but I have really learned a lot from her help on the blurb front. I hope that reading about this process helps you, too!

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Training Season can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, ARe, and Smashwords. Coming soon to iBooks.

A Drive Through Beautiful, Rugged, Wonderful Whitefish, Montana! – Training Season Extras #whitefish #montana #internetismagic

First, thank you, Scutter Martin!

The other day, I talked about how, through the power of the internet, I was able to research in a very awesome and visual way what it would be like to go to Flathead Lake to skate.

Which brings me to this awesome video by Scutter Martin. He drove through Whitefish, Montana, and recorded the whole thing. This really helped me to get a feel for the town, much more so than reading descriptions or looking at still pictures.

Truly, the internet is magic! And people record the coolest and most unusual things! Life and human beings are amazing!

It was a joy researching Training Season, and I hope that people feel the internet-power of all my research when they read it.

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Driving to & Skating On Flathead Lake – Training Season Extras! #flatheadlake #montana #mmromance

I had to do quite a bit of research on Whitefish, MT and Flathead Lake to write Training Season. While I’m sure I got some things wrong, and I know I stretched some of the timing to work the way I needed it to work, the power of the internet has made learning details about an area so much easier.

For example, Matty goes skating on Flathead Lake. I couldn’t have him near the biggest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, where the bays sometimes freeze over, in the middle of winter, without making him skate on it, now could I? But I haven’t been to Flathead County, much less skated on the lake, so I had no idea what that might be like. I did a google search, and lo and behold! Someone had posted to YouTube with a video of them skating on Flathead Lake! For real! And the comments had some awesome information that I really needed to make sure the scene I was writing was feasible and correctly described!

Quotes from the comments:

Em Powers said: “What you can’t see because the I’m skating by it too fast, is that the cracks in the ice show that it is about a foot thick. There were lots of ice fisherman out that day too. It has to be pretty cold for a long amount of time (or really cold for awhile) and there can’t be wind which kicks up waves, or snow or sleet during the crucial time when the ice is forming. That makes bumps in the ice and then it’s impossible to skate on. If we get to skate on it every three years, we’re lucky. There might be some bays where it’s always smooth when it freezes, but I’m not familiar with them. It doesn’t always freeze over, but it is not uncommon. It’s pretty big (30 miles long by 16 miles wide) so sometimes it isn’t completely frozen. The year I took the video (2007), there was a lot of very cold weather and little wind, which makes for a nice smooth surface on which to skate.”

In addition, I found this great video of the drive to Flathead Lake, which allowed me to have a good idea of what it is like to drive around in that area of Montana. I’m pretty sure most people wouldn’t find this video all that fascinating, but, man, this was a lifesaver to me! Thank you, Pat, for posting this!

How did writers actually write before the internet? It beats me! Thank God for it!

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