40% Off For Leta Blake’s 40th Birthday! Get The River Leith and Training Season Now! #mmromance #gay

Leta is turning 40! In celebration, she’s offering 40% off her books The River Leith and Training Season over at Smashwords! Find the coupon codes below.


COUPON CODE AT SMASHWORDS! SG45C (not case-sensitive)
COUPON CODE AT SMASHWORDS! SG45C (not case-sensitive)

The coupon code for THE RIVER LEITH at Smashwords is SG45C (not case-sensitive).

The coupon code for Training Season at Smashwords is WR24Y (not case-sensitive).
COUPON CODE AT SMASHWORDS! WR24Y (not case-sensitive).

The coupon code for TRAINING SEASON at Smashwords is WR24Y (not case-sensitive).

Christmas Savings! Coupon Code! 64% Off Bestseller Training Season! Expires Jan 2nd! #mmromance #gay #discount

That’s right! I’m offering Training Season, my latest buzzing, bestselling m/m romance, at 64% off the regular price! Happy, happy holidays! *throws confetti*

Head on over to Smashwords, where you can purchase nearly every file type for any device, and use the following Coupon Code to get your happy, festive, holiday-love-filled discount!

Coupon Code: RV45B

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’s Kindle Fresh! Treat Yo’Self! Training Season on Amazon! #mmromance #gayathlete #figureskating

The official launch date for Training Season is supposed to be Saturday the 7th, but, let’s face it, the horse is out of the stable! When I decided to upload the book on Monday to ARe in order to allow readers to take advantage of their amazing Cyber Monday sale, there really wasn’t a good reason to continue holding off on uploading the book to Amazon as well.


Click to buy at Amazon!
Click to buy at Amazon!

I’m still waiting for Smashwords to decide if my book can be distributed to Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, etc, but I’ll be sure to let you know when they decide it can be! In the meantime, the book is available now at Smashwords, Amazon, and ARe.

Reviews continue to be super positive so far! Picture me grinning my face off! I can’t stop smiling!

Fill This Hole


I was thinking about this thing with Amazon and their attempt to de-smut their company. Is there any independent site out there set up for people to sell their smutty books without hoops to jump through? I know that Smashwords allows the sale of all kinds of smutty smut, even the stuff Amazon won’t allow, but the buyer has to opt into the Adult Filter in order to see said books. I’m curious if there is a site out there similar to Smashwords or Bandcamp for independent music where the author/publisher can upload their trashy smut and not have to worry about censorship of searches? And if not, then that seems a niche that needs filled, guys.

Someone please provide me a link to such a resource? Or someone please go make this store a reality? I think you’ll make some money for sure. Oh, indeed.

ETA: Apparently, rumor has it, one very excellent and well-known erotica writer is going to make this a reality! Whoot!

PayPal and Censorship… AGAIN

PayPal and Censorship… AGAIN.

Apparently, PayPal is deeming erotic book covers that don’t even show any actual parts, if you know what I mean,  as indecent and terminating the  or suspending the accounts of the sellers. This has impacted at least one book cover artist that we know of, and probably more. Check out the link to see what’s going on.

Writer Wednesday: Amelia C. Gormley

About Writer Wednesday: a couple of Wednesdays per month I hope to feature another writer and their work. Any writer of any genre is welcome to request participation by sending an email to leta.blake.author@gmail.com with the subject title WRITER WEDNESDAY COUNT ME IN! and I will get back to you about the details of participation.

Today we’re talking with Amelia Gormley!


1. Inertia is your first published book. What is your writing background?

I’ve been writing stories since the sixth grade and novels since the eight grade. Sometime not long after I discovered reading, I realized that I could do that, too. I could tell stories, and that I had stories to tell. I got sidetracked for about 25 years diving headfirst into fandom. Original material kinda got drowned out in my head in favor of the omni-present question of “what happened then?” or “what if?” that I would so often ask when I submerged myself in another world and invested myself in someone else’s characters, be it a TV show or video game or whatever. But it came full circle, in a way, and now I’m back to original characters and worlds.

2. What led you to go the self-publishing route? Has it been a satisfying experience so far?

Honestly, I had never considered getting published until last November. I was unaware of the indie publishing market, and I didn’t know about all the small niche presses that have cropped up. I assumed trying to get published meant finding an agent and trying to get in with the Big 6. While I knew I was a good writer and that my writing in fandom circles had been very well received, I also knew I wasn’t of the calibre that would require and I had doubts about my ability to package myself and my writing in such a way that would catch the attention of an agent or editor.

Then a friend of mine, who was a big supporter of my fanfiction, told me I should self-publish e-book erotica over at Amazon. She told me it was becoming a big thing and that she was purchasing a lot of it, and that what I wrote was better than a great deal of what she was finding there. That led me to discover SmashWords as well, and I decided with these two outlets, though I might never see huge commercial success, I could get my name out there, start building a brand for myself, and maybe just prove to myself that I could write something without the lure of fandom connections hooking readers into it, without that ready-made audience writing in fandom provides, and people would read it and respond to it.

And so far that has worked. One huge way in which it turned out to be a boon was in the decision to hire a professional freelance editor to do a developmental edit. It was expensive, and it required my husband and I making some sacrifices to find room in our household budget to do it, but he believed in me and invested in me and it paid off (well, in terms of experience and knowledge acquired; monetarily it’s going to take a few months, I think.) The book is much stronger both in terms of story and characterization, and I learned a great deal from the process that I will carry forward with me into future projects. Danielle Poiesz is top-notch and I’m looking forward to working with her on Book Two.

The other advantage was the control over the cover art, which leads me very neatly to your next question. 😀

3. Kerry Chin is the illustrator of your book cover. What was the process of coming up with the cover like?

I knew Kerry Chin through fandom going in to the process of writing, and consider her to be a good friend. She’s amazing. Because we’re friends, I was able to share the story with her as I was writing it, and so she got to witness the development of the characters and establish a relationship with Derrick and Gavin herself. She’s been with them since the very beginning and knows them intimately, and I think that was a huge boon in her ability to come up with the cover art. We were able to bounce ideas off each other of moments in the story which seemed particularly worthy of translation to art and what the mood of the piece needed to be. I think she did a fantastic job, particularly with the attitude evident in their facial expressions. Derrick’s long-suppressed need and Gavin’s fear and sadness.

4. What was the inspiration for Inertia?

Derrick and Gavin are loosely based on original characters a friend and I created for a roleplay we were doing. It was my friend’s idea to take those characters out of the roleplay setting and put them in a modern context, and when we did that, they evolved into characters who were different even from the ones we originally created. It was there that the story was originally born.

5. How do you juggle motherhood and writing?

It’s tricky sometimes. I eek out my writing time mostly in the evenings and weekends when my husband is home to take over parenting duty. During the daytime, I try to squeeze in moments of concentration between meals and cleaning and reading and playing games and singing songs and outdoor activities. It can be very difficult, and I’m looking forward to him being in kindergarten in the near future so that I can devote more time to writing. I have a year until he’s in the first grade to figure out whether I can do well enough at this to continue to do it as a full-time job.

I’ve been extraordinarily blessed in that I have a husband who is very supportive and who wants to see me succeed in this. He has been helping with parenting obligations and trying to make sure I have time to write, as well as, like I said, investing in having the first novel edited.

6. You’ve mentioned to me that there are some specific issues within the book that you had concerns would not play well to your audience, such as HIV and a history of abusive relationships. Has there been any pushback on that front, or has the audience seemed generally receptive to your portrayal?

My fear was that I would be accused to portraying gay relationships in a negative light, by showing that a gay relationship can be abusive, or that I’d be accused of stereotyping by featuring a gay relationship where HIV concerns are explicitly addressed. I think supporters of the gay rights movement want to get away–and rightfully so–from the persistent assumption that HIV/AIDS is a “gay disease.” It’s not, of course, and anyone who is well-informed understands that, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still an issue.

I know a lot of m/m novels feature condom usage and are diligent about it, but to my knowledge (and I could be wrong about this) very few actually feature the spectre of HIV infection as a central point in the plot. As for the abusive relationship, we as writers and supporters of the gay community want to portray gay relationships in a very positive and healthy light, to normalize them and present them as a good thing. But abuse can happen within gay relationships as well as heterosexual relationships, and to ignore that fact, I think, is to heteronormalize abuse and make it harder for victims of abuse in gay relationships to seek help. Equality means that the same things that happen in heterosexual relationships can happen in gay relationships, good and, unfortunately, bad.

So far I have been very lucky in that readers have felt that my handling of these topics has been respectful and I think they’ve understood my intent with it, so I’m very encouraged by that.

7. Inertia is the first book in a series. How many books are to come? And what else can we expect from you in the future?

Impulse is a trilogy. Inertia was about these two men, each of whom are afraid and wounded for their own individual reasons, finding the courage to reach out to each other, for Gavin to begin accepting that he’s not damaged goods, for Derrick rediscover his passion and let himself begin to connect again with all the urges he’s been denying.

The second book chronicles Derrick and Gavin as they settle into this new relationship they’ve decided upon. It’s about sexual exploration, as Derrick is a character whose sexual development just sort of came to an abrupt standstill right as he entered adulthood. It’s about Gavin learning to trust in areas where he’s developed a sort of hypersensitivity to problems for fear of falling back into unhealthy and abusive patterns. It’s about Derrick learning to open up and lean on someone after so many years of self-sufficiency.

The third book deals with the end of the arc with the HIV question and Gavin’s ex still attempting to control him, and with Derrick learning that there’s a difference between living as an out bisexual man and quietly passing, which he’d been doing in the past because he’d been both celibate and deeply private, so no one had ever realized he was bisexual. He’d never had to deal with intolerance before and that will become an issue for him, complicating that last span of time leading up to the moment of truth for them.

Future projects include a short story set in the Scottish Highlands, which I actually began writing a couple days ago. It might lead to a series, I’m not sure yet. And in the conceptualizing stages, I had what may become a series of contemporary shorts which are less romance and more erotica, particularly very kinky erotica.

And after that? Who knows!


Amelia C. Gormley has been writing romance novels since junior high, and erotic romance novels since high school (she makes no promises that the early, high-school era ones were actually any good.) But it’s in writing m/m erotic romance that she’s finally found her home. She is thrilled to have recently published her first book.

When she’s not writing, she’s taking care of her husband and five-year-old son.

Inertia at SmashWords
Inertia at Amazon

An Object At Rest

By the age of 21, down-to-earth Detroit handyman Derrick Chance had lost everyone he’d ever loved. Too worn-out and wounded to play the dating game, he wrote off the possibility of relationships, or even just sex. Living alone in the old house his grandparents had left him, with only his dog and a few close friends for companionship, he refused to consider himself lonely, or let himself wonder what he might be missing. He knew who he was and where he was headed. His life was comfortable, organized, predictable, and best of all, risk-free. He was content.

Until the day he installed some shelves for accountant Gavin Hayes. A contradictory combination of confidence and uncertainty, Gavin’s shameless flirtations drew him in with an intensity Derrick had never known he longed for. As undeniable as the force of gravity, he abandoned ten years of self-imposed solitude and found himself falling rapidly for Gavin in defiance of all his usual slow and methodical ways.

But Gavin carried wounds of his own. Fresh from an emotionally abusive relationship that ended with a potentially dangerous betrayal, his future was far from certain. Derrick would have to decide if his rediscovered passion was worth taking the chance of another loss.

You can find Amelia at:
@ACGormley on Twitter
Her author page at GoodReads
Her profile at Facebook. You can also LIKE her fan page at Facebook to receive current announcements and updates on her work.

Writer Wednesday: Amber Skyze and Katalina Leon

About Writer Wednesday: a couple of Wednesdays per month I hope to feature another writer and their work. Any writer of any genre is welcome to request participation by sending an email to leta.blake.author@gmail.com with the subject title WRITER WEDNESDAY COUNT ME IN! and I will get back to you about the details of participation.


1. Can you tell us a little about The Strix? What should readers know that makes it a compelling and different read?
Katalina: Writing this book was a very special experience for me and resulted in quite a few surprises and firsts. This was my first NANOWRIMO project. This was my first time co-authoring a book series. This was my first book partially channeled by a dead friend and this is my first book with Loose Id Publishing.
The Bag Of Tricks book series was the first time I truly collaborated with another author. The series was Amber’s idea based on her annual trips to Salem Massachusetts and the fun of visiting a Wiccan shop with girlfriends and having fortunes told. The wish bag filled with magical stones was her idea. When I was a young and single I would have found the idea of seeking out a little magical guidance to see if I was going to be lucky in love pretty irresistible. Amber came up with idea of four girlfriends in their early thirties who were close in college, reuniting for a Halloween weekend in Salem. Each heroine chooses a wish stone from the bag and has her fortune told. What the girls don’t know is the moment they make a wish they fall under some heavy enchantment and their lives become rocket ship rides of unexpected adventure. Of course every story is also populated with gorgeous supernatural men.
In The Strix Arcona enters a parallel world. She’s an innocent historical researcher in her current lifetime but she once was a strong spirited and desperate Celtic captive of Rome in 78 AD, who practiced dark witchcraft. She comes face to face with that lifetime and a man she should have loved but instead abused. Tyr was a condemned gladiator who loved Arcona and wanted to buy her freedom but ended up being turned into an immortal flesh and blood weapon with a badly damaged soul. After two thousand years of heartless misery as a Slayer dedicated to the gods of war Tyr has had enough and wants it all to end. Meeting the reincarnation of the original Arcona in Salem is Tyr’s sole opportunity to be free of the Slayer’s curse. He kidnaps Arcona intent on breaking the curse and dragging Arcona into death with him, but they’re hard start quickly turns into something more complex and tender as old memories and motivations rush forward. For the first time in two thousand years Tyr begins to feel love again and his plans change drastically.
2. You co-wrote the book. Is this your first time co-writing? How was that experience different from writing alone?
Amber: Yes, this book was the first time co-authoring. I love Kat as an author and a person, so it was very easy to write these books.
Katalina: I actually wrote The Strix. Amber was so supportive and pro-active about showing my partial to a new-to-me publisher that I was very grateful for her help and patient ear. The next book in the series Claimed By Dragons is a true collaboration that both of us wrote together.
3. How did you go about the world-building in your novel? Did you work it all out before hand with a computer or in a notebook?
Katalina: I emailed Amber about fifty times a day to run ideas past her as we worked together to create the details of this world.
4. You have written many books over the years. Is there any book in particular that is very close to your heart? Do you have a book that you wish others loved as much as you do?
Amber: Splashing Good Time…it’s a quickie from Ellora’s Cave. I love the characters in that book, the setting, especially Nathan the hero.
5. What about Katalina’s books–is there a particular favorite of yours amongst her back catalogue?
Amber: I love all her books, but my all-time favorite, aside from The Strix is Owned By Rome.
6. Where can people find you and Katalina (and your books) online?
You can find The Strix at Loose Id LLCAll Romance eBooks, and Amazon. You can find Katalina’s work at  Ellora’s Cave Publishing,
Sony, Smashwords, Kobo, Fictionwise, Diesel and many more.
Amber around the web: www.amberskyze.com and http://amberskyze.blogspot.com

Kickstarter, Publishing, and the Fans Kicking In A Buck

Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman from a photo shoot by Kyle Cassidy

So, I was reading In Defense of Expensive Things by Kyle Cassidy, in which he clarifies a few things about his involvement in Amanda Palmer’s Kickstarter Project for her new album. I thought it was a great post, and it was posted either on the same day, or near to the same day as a Facebook post from Independent Musician Casey Stratton in which he said, “My new single EP is still holding as the #2 seller on Bandcamp! It is a really great feeling. Thanks so much to everyone who has purchased it. Like a version of a Kickstarter – you can buy the music for $5 or add extra to help me with the new album fund. “The Calling of the Crows” will be released on May 16.” (Casey Stratton’s EP, When the Fates Came)


The two posts in close succession led me to start thinking about pricing in the e-book market, and suddenly I wondered if there might be some benefit to giving the customer the option to pay more. I know that sounds odd, but the truth is, if I’m buying anything from Bandcamp, I almost always toss in an extra dollar over the requested price (sometimes more if I really like the artist or I know them a bit like I know Casey), simply because it doesn’t cost me that much to feel extra good about myself for giving back a bit more to the artist.

So, I started thinking, I wonder if e-book publishers could feasibly consider doing that? I mean, yeah, maybe 90% of buyers won’t use the option, but if 10% do that’s just found money basically, right? And perhaps the author gets a higher percentage of that money than they do for the regular price of the book since the assumption could reasonably be made that the reason someone is willing to chip in more is due to liking the author’s previous work or due to the author’s reputation.


Another thing I started thinking — is there something like Bandcamp for authors? Like a place where someone can sell their own book but also allow the possibility for someone paying more for it? Is that what Smashwords is like? A fast google tells me that, yes, Smashwords does seem to do that: https://www.smashwords.com/ But I think a problem with Smashwords might be that it’s too broad. They have everything there.

As a tangential but related thought, the thing with Kickstarter is that it’s all about trust. If you fail your supporters then it’s no good, but I think that it’s a game changer in the world for a lot of reasons. Like, for example, the Husbands folks have basically funded their entire 2nd season through Kickstarter? And, of course, there’s the Amanda Palmer example. But if you can get enough of a following to by-pass the industries? Wow, you know? That’s amazing. Of course, Amanda Palmer (and Husbands folks) couldn’t have gotten that following without the help of the industry and where that’s gotten them. Amanda Palmer was on labels, etc, for a long time to get her loyal fanbase. Cheeks (Brad Bell) from Husbands gained fame the hard way, via YouTube, etc, and basically made nothing from that for a long time, but Husbands has Jane Espensen behind it which gives it credibility, and she was involved with Buffy, etc, and now is on Once Upon a Time, so everyone knows she’s legit, and I think that’s why they were willing to give over some bucks to the project.

Jane Espensen on the set of Husbands: The Series

I hope Tori Amos is eying this Amanda Palmer thing closely — she should be! She’s having so much trouble with the studios lately, but she has loyal and rabid fans. She could probably fund her next tour via Kickstarter, or at least part of it. Lord knows I’d kick in some bucks!
By the way,  just a reminder that my new book with Keira Andrews can be purchased at both Ellora’s Cave and at amazon.com,