“This book was filled with so much detail and emotion! I love this, the author, and the story. You should definitely read this.”
My book Training Season was listed as one of the books to give Brandilyn of Prism Book Alliance a book hangover! Is there better praise in the world? 😀
Read more about book hang overs and see others on Brandilyn’s list: Book Hangovers ~ Sunday Spotlight by Brandilyn with Giveaway | Prism Book Alliance™.
No foolin’ this time! It’s the real deal!
I got that whole back cover thing fixed right up, so go forth and pick up your copy!
(Though, hey, nothing’s perfect, and apparently it might take a few days for the change to reflect on the Amazon site itself, but any books sold will have the correct blurb!)
AND I’m giving away two signed copies to two folks who comment here on my blog. I’ll use the random number generator thingy from the interwebs to choose from the comments and contact you. Oh, and the end date for signing up for this little drawing will be on February 3rd!
If you’d like to be considered for this giveaway, please leave a comment below!
Thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed and loved on Training Season! You guys, I never imagined this book would be so well loved! THANK YOU! And thank you again! And again! AND AGAIN!
“Does Training Season by Leta Blake live up to all it’s crazy hype? IT SO DOES!”
— Breann, at Boy Meets Boy Reviews
Read more of her glowing review at: Boy Meets Boy Reviews: Review: Training Season by Leta Blake.
As you might have guessed, I don’t own a small cattle ranch in Northwestern Montana. So, when it came down to making Rob’s rancherly duties more realistic, I needed to do some research. Luckily, as usual, the internet doth provide! All praise the internet!
I’m not sure if you guys know about WikiHow, but it is a really awesome and fascinating website that has pages on how to do just about anything in the world. How to tie your shoelaces. How to castrate bulls. How to open a bakery.
And…dun, dun, dun…how to run a cattle ranch!
Reading over that page gave me some general ideas about what activities Rob and his ranch hands would be getting into on the ranch, and gave me a few talking points, too. Such as, did you know:
Be aware that for most North American (especially those in Canada and northern USA) and European ranches winter feeding is the biggest source of financial loss in a ranch operation. It is often what makes or breaks the ranch as a business, so requires very careful management with an eye to absolutely no waste
This is especially true in Northwestern Montana where the winters can be brutal and a small cattle ranch is tough to keep up. There was another site that was helpful to me, also, when developing ideas on what Rob might do with his day on a ranch, how he would talk about his activities, what terms he’d use, etc. I’ll post about that on another day.
In the meantime, if you want to know about how to run a cattle ranch, click on the above link!
So excited to say that another preliminary review has come in on Training Season! Again, I’m so happy that the book has struck a chord with the folks who have received ARCs so far.
(Full disclosure, I received this book as an ARC.)
Normally this isn’t a book I would pick up. I mean I’m all for gay romance, but ice skating isn’t really my thing (I lean more toward like Regency romance and science fiction). However Blake skillfully writes such realistic, complete, compelling characters that it’s impossible not to get sucked into this story.
The characters here really engage the reader. I’m charmed and delighted by Matty, no small feat because he could clearly be annoying or too over the top campy, but Blake finds just the right middle ground with him, keeps him likable and self reflective even while he’s diva-ish and spectacular. Rob is incredibly delightful, but more impressively Blake masterfully does a true reveal on him, as we discover him entirely through Matty’s eyes. She presents him so well that it’s impossible not to fall in love with him even as we slowly learn all his flaws.
The sex was intensely emotional, delicious and scorchingly hot. Pretty much exactly what I’d hope for in a book like this, but which isn’t found or written this well nearly often enough. It’s really, really explicit and it’s BDSM, though I’d say heavy on the D/s with a little B&D and no SM. I don’t think you need to be into those things to enjoy this, but be warned that it isn’t vanilla at all.
I laughed joyfully at the humor in this book. Much of it was subtle but it really hit the right notes with me. I’m tempted to quote some good bits but I don’t want spoil any of it for anyone. While it was funny it was very emotionally intense. Perhaps because the characters were so well drawn and engrossing, but I felt emotionally wrung out as I went through their trials with them. I should be clear, this is not an easy book, you will love the characters enough to hurt when they hurt and it won’t be easy on either of you. But it is so worth it to have characters so real you want to be down in it with them.
I entirely loved this book, despite my initial misgivings. And I feel like I learned a lot about competitive ice skating, in case I ever need that knowledge (you never know!).
If you like books with fully realized characters and explicit sex then this book is probably for you, even if you think you don’t want to read about ranchers or ice skaters. This isn’t your typical romance, this is a real story about realistic people who have a whole lot of sex and fall in love in very real ways, while they grow and change as people.
I’m excited to reveal the cover for my upcoming book, Training Season. The cover was completed by Dar Albert of Wicked Smart Designs and I’m wickedly pleased with it.
The release date will be announced soon, just as soon as I have all my ducks in a row. But, psst, rumor has it that it will be December 7. Keep an eye out for that.
My upcoming novel, Training Season, is a romance featuring a male figure skater and a rancher. The story has existed in various stages and forms for a few years now, but it has only come into its own in my latest sweep of edits and additions. It is turning into something that I feel rather pleased with, if I do say so myself, and I look forward to sharing more information on it soon, including a lovely cover designed by the always wonderful Dar Albert. Expect that cover reveal soon.
In the meantime, I wanted to talk a bit about the initial moment of inspiration for this novel. The spark originated from watching the following video. It is a fanvideo, a montage of Johnny Weir’s performances over some of his earlier years, set to the absolute perfect song. It was the combination, and the impeccable editing, that really engaged my mind and made me start to ask some really important questions. Such as, what does it look like when you work hard at something with no guarantee that the outcome of years and years of work will pay off? (Hello, I am a writer, I think I understand this quite well, actually.) Or what does it look like when someone keeps screwing themselves over because they just don’t believe, deep down, that they deserve it? What happens when they meet someone from outside of their world who gets them, sees them, and loves them anyway?
Other questions came up, too, but those were the very first ones, and they were all due to this little fanvid right here. Oh, Johnny Weir, you are a divine mess at times, aren’t you? And, yes, he is, in part, along with some other skaters and some people I know in my day-to-day life, the inspiration for the character of Matty Marcus–God’s gift to figure skating, and victim of his own worst impulses.
Enjoy the video. The way it makes you feel is pretty much what this book is about. The emotional base of it stemmed from this video.
The above picture represents my mind right now. I’m in the midst of completing the final touches on this draft (and there’s sure to be another draft!) of Training Season, a m/m romance about a figure skater and a rancher. Yes, really. You did read that right.
As I push through to the end, adding the necessary pieces to make this mountain fly (see above), I find that other responsibilities in my life are falling through the cracks. Emails to friends, reading I’m supposed to do for a fellow author, careful review of my child’s homework (oops, I might suck), and even my 20 year High School Reunion. Yep, it’s true. I skipped it to work on this novel.
So this is me apologizing to you–whoever you are, all of you, any of you–because of how I’ve let you down. I know that I have in some way or another. Hopefully, before too long, I will be in a place where the novel is in my editor’s hands and I get some room to breathe. For my child’s sake, at least, I hope this is soon.
This song is also fairly representative of how I feel right now. Listen and enjoy!
You see, when I’ve touched the sky
The earth’s gravity has pulled me down
But now I’ve reconciled that in this world
Birds and angels get the wings to fly
If you can believe in this heart of mine
If you can give it a try
Then I’ll reach inside and find and give you
All the sweetness that I have
At this point in my life