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

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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.

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

Review: The River Leith – I’m With Geek “Ultimately, The River Leith is a delight: devastating, hopeful, sexy, romantic, and true.” #gay #amreading

“The River Leith is a short book. It could be completed in a day, and it is engrossing enough to do so. As with her previous book, Training Season, Blake showcases her skill for writing unique, involved and developed relationships. Her sex scenes are also wonderfully written, realistic and free of purple prose while still being romantic (but I’m With Geek will be sure to discuss them in more detail in a later Between the Sheets article.)

Ultimately, The River Leith is a delight: devastating, hopeful, sexy, romantic, and true.”

via Review: The River Leith – I’m With Geek.

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.

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“I loved this book SO much. It was just beautiful.” | Review of Vespertine by Leta Blake & Indra Vaughn

“I loved this book SO much. It was just beautiful. There are so many things I want to talk about it but I think it would be pointless, I think everyone should just read it. Nicky and Jasper’s deep friendship, deep love, kindness and affection for each other made me feel so much love for them and their story. I loved the little things, like how much they joked around with each other even though emotions were to the point of painful for them at times. I played the song ‘With or Without you’ by U2 while I was reading and it gave me even more feels, I was overloaded. I loved it.”

Source: Goodreads | Pam (Sydney, 02, Australia)’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.

Now Available! The Winter Spirit by Indra Vaughn #christmas #gay #romance

Absolutely heartwarming holiday story, perfect for the season, and one of my personal favorite holiday books in the genre.

Can a Christmas miracle bring Nathaniel a happy ending?
Can a Christmas miracle bring Nathaniel a happy ending?

 

Nathaniel O’Donnelly likes his life quiet, his guests happy, and his ghosts well-behaved.

Although a boyfriend wouldn’t go amiss. Someone to share his beautiful B&B with, even if it is in the middle of nowhere and he’s long past the wrong side of thirty. Problem is, Nathaniel’s living with a ghost who thinks he’s cupid, and whose arrows fly a little too straight.

Gabriel Wickfield had the unfortunate luck of dying before his time, and now he’s stuck trying to make romance happen to earn his right to move along. Not that he’s bored in the meantime—Nathaniel is just too easy to tease. And also a little bit scrumptious…

With the curse reaching its expiration date, Gabriel needs to make a final match this Christmas. Without it, nothing but darkness awaits.

Love can conquer all, but can it beat death?

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These actors want to take their #mm #romance offscreen!

These actors want to take their #mm #romance offscreen! (via http://www.keiraandrews.com)

Meet Ryan and Cary, the Hollywood stars of my upcoming Christmas romance Where the Lovelight Gleams.  This Christmas, actor Ryan Drake is pining. He may get to kiss gorgeous Cary Holloway on the set of their hit TV show, Space Academy, but he knows…

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