Leta Blake, Self-Published

It’s Officially “Training Season”, And Leta Blake Wants To Give Away A Book!


TNA: Hi, Leta, welcome to The Novel Approach. We’re thrilled to have you here with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself: hobbies, interests, things that make you, you.

Leta: Thanks for having me, Lisa!

As for what makes me, me, I think the motto I have on my website sums me up well: author, human, and working hard to become stellar at life. I’m a mother, a wife, and I work a day job in addition to writing books. I try to do my best at all of my endeavors, but, as my motto says, I’m only a human being, so I fail and triumph and fail again. The last part of my motto—working hard to become stellar at life—is where the beauty’s at for me. It’s in the effort and the striving. I want to be a better writer, a better friend, a better mother, and a better person altogether. That’s me at the core, I think. Of course, I fail at that a lot, but it’s all about working for it, right?

As for hobbies, I’m a fannish person and become obsessed with characters from books or tv shows quite easily. In the past I’ve hosted Fanwork Friday on my blog where I celebrate something about fandom. I’ll get back to that eventually when things settle down with regards to Training Season.  I’m also passionate about music—the listening to it, not the making of it.

TNA: Have you always written M/M fiction? What compelled you to begin writing gay romance?

Leta: No, I haven’t. When I was a child, I wrote books a la L.M. Montgomery, then as a teen I indulged in that rite of passage known as emo poetry, and then as a young adult I gave up writing altogether, considering it a hopeless pursuit.

I started writing again about fourteen years ago due to stumbling onto slash fandom online. I think my books still retain certain notes that mark them as having graduated from the playground of slash fandom. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Personally, I think it can sometimes be a good thing because there’s generally something universal in the way romances are explored in fandoms.

I’ve given a great deal of thought as to why I write gay romance and my answers are pretty complicated and not nearly as simple as some media likes to paint the issue. It’s definitely not just because two guys are hotter than one, and it’s absolutely not because I think women are icky, and it’s not because I fetishize gay men. I think the full answer could make up a PhD thesis, but I do think my motivation has to do with writing stories that feel compelling and interesting to me, and which stories also tap into parts of my own psyche or our social constructs that beg to be explored. Not to mention, these are the characters who appear to me. I can’t bring myself to say to them, “Please go away and come back as a straight girl, okay?” LOL! I think they’d just never return!

TNA: What was your first published M/M title?

Leta: I co-wrote a short series of re-imagined fairy tales with Keira Andrews. The first was Earthly Desires, a m/m take on The Light Princess by George McDonald.

TNA: If you could go back in time to the moment you sat down to begin writing that book, what’s one piece of advice you’d give yourself now that you have the benefit of hindsight and experience?

Leta: I’d tell myself, “You don’t have to make it a novella, even though that was the plan. It can be as long as it needs to be.” I did learn that lesson with Love’s Nest, though, the last of the series. It is twice as long, nearly, as the first two books, and I think it needed to be.

I’d also tell myself to use the words “light, charming, whimsical” on the cover request page so that the cover might actually fit with the tone of the book. Alas, we put the word “warm” on the cover request sheet and that changed everything. The book cover looks very brutal but the book itself is light-hearted for the most part. This is what I would most go back in time and tell myself, actually. Though it is a lovely cover if the book had a different vibe, as it is, the cover haunts me.

TNA: Let’s talk a little bit about your latest novel Training Season. Do you remember the moment you came up with the idea for the book and what inspired it?

Leta: I do. I was watching this Johnny Weir fanvideo. It was fairly soon after the last Winter Olympics and I was following a great deal of figure skating talk via the usual fannish outlets. The story of Johnny Weir’s rise and fall from figure skating grace was being rehashed quite a lot in those circles. Watching the video, I found myself asking all kind of questions about what drives athletes to compete, what leads them to self-sabotage, and what can turn a person prone to that kind of behavior around. The character in Training Season was born in the moment of the fall at 1:41 in this video. I believe the lyrics definitely impacted the character’s birth, as well, especially. The questions asked by the song and the line “in any other world you could let it all unfurl” definitely made me wonder what kind of world would allow a person to overcome a tendency toward self-sabotage?

Now, Rob Lovely came along later when I was listening to some country music with my grandmother when she was still alive. The song “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” came on and I was still obsessing over the figure skating character. Suddenly, I was like, “What if the ‘any other world’ was actually somewhere in the country, like, say, Oklahoma or Idaho, and the romantic interest was a rancher?”

Music inspires me a lot, often in weird ways!

The choice to set the book in Montana, though, was not immediate. I originally set it elsewhere and wrote the entire first draft that way. I did a ton of research on the location, adding in references to scenery and area landmarks. It was only in the second round of hard edits that it became clear that there was no way I could possibly have the book set in the original location. It would entail changing the entire timeline of the book or scrapping about one third of the scenes. So, I started hunting again, and when I found Whitefish, I knew. It was a perfect match. And also lead to me writing about 20,000 more words that wouldn’t have been in the book at all.

TNA: How much research did you do to make sure you got the world of competitive skating and all the technical terms just right?

Leta: Well, I’d always loved figure skating, but I’d been a mostly casual fan until 2010. It’s amazing how educational fandom be! I spent about six months during the writing of the first draft reading/watching/following all that fandom had to offer on the subject and I keep that up to an extent even today. I have new favorites (like Denis Ten and Adam Rippon) and new not-favorites (like Max Aaron, though he seems like a lovely person). All of that definitely helped in writing the book.

In addition, Keira Andrews, my sometime co-writer and all-the-time friend, is a massive, huge, wildly big figure skating fan, and as the editor of my book, she helped to make sure the timing of competitions were correct, as well as the judging system, and to nail down the little ins and outs of the sport. There’s basically nothing the woman doesn’t know about figure skating!

TNA: Matty Marcus and Rob Lovely are the MCs of the book. If you were to give readers a thumbnail sketch of who they are, what are some things you’d tell us about each of them that would best reveal their characters?

Leta: Matty – dedicated, flawed, loving, loyal, competitive, self-sabotaging, stubborn, kinky

Rob – loyal, lost, stuck-in-a-rut, loving, generous, patient, supportive, insightful, kinky

TNA: Or, if I asked Matty and Rob, what are some things you think they might say about each other?

Leta: I think they’d probably say the same things! Though they’d probably both add words like: amazing, smart, funny, beautiful, sexy, frustrating, and lovable. Those words are possibly all true, too, depending on your view of the characters! :)

TNA: Rob and Matty explore dominance and submission in a variety of ways in the telling of their story. What prompted you to explore that component of their sexual relationship, and how was it important to the overall development of their romance and of them as characters?

Leta: Well, it all came down to the character of Matty for the most part. He was so self-sabotaging that I started asking myself, “What does he really need? What would a partner have to bring to the table in order to give Matty the courage he needs to succeed—or fail—on the ice?” Then Rob stepped up and said, “I’ve got this.” So, I let him do what he wanted and saw that, yes, Matty did respond well to the various lessons implicit in dominance and submission, such as giving up control and facing fear.

TNA: Which character, Matty or Rob, was most difficult to write and why?

Leta: Rob, definitely. Because the book was in Matty’s POV, he didn’t always know what was going on with Rob. The final scenes with the confrontation and resolution were especially hard. Rob was fairly resistant to revealing his feelings and motivations to me. I’d say it was only on draft twelve or so that Rob finally, finally gave me what we needed for the scenes to really work. Also, he didn’t come to me fully formed the way Matty mostly did. I had to go back in through multiple drafts and strengthen his motivations so that there were hurdles for him to overcome and a nice growth arc for him, too.

TNA: There are some pretty great supporting characters in this novel. Do you foresee a scenario in which you might consider writing a spin-off or two of Training Season?

Leta: Aw, thank you! I’ve heard from a number of people that they’d like to see Angus and Bill’s story, and I’d love to write that. It is absolutely on my radar and I’d really like to have it by next winter, but I have my doubts given my other ambitions for 2014.

I’ve also heard that some people would like to see Kevin’s story, and I’ve even had a bid for Elliot’s story. (Though no one has asked for Julien’s story. Poor Julien! He’s really an okay guy. For real!) I’m less sure about writing Kevin or Elliot (or Julien), but perhaps. If I suddenly find myself inspired, I’ll go for it.

Strangely, the spin-off book that keeps harassing me to the point that I’ve already jotted down a very rough bit of a scene from it is Ben’s future story. Thing is, Ben’s straight, so I’m not sure how many people will care to read about him. I want to make his story one of two romances in the book, with the other being Ben’s gay best friend’s romance with a hockey player. Ben, on the other hand, is in love with Cardew’s older sister who thinks that Ben is Cardew’s closeted boyfriend. Oh, the ridiculous drama! ;)

*********

“Ben, is this your way of coming out?”

He smiled widely at the asshole with the microphone pointed at his face. He hoped Cardew was enjoying this press conference, because he sure as hell was having plenty of fun screwing with the reporters.

“I am out.”

“You are?” The buzz from the media grew louder.

“Yes, I’m out as a straight man who has no fear that his masculinity will be threatened by skating pairs at the Gay Games with the prettiest, most artistic, and most brilliant male skater on the ice today.”

Cardew gave a dainty wave. “That’s me.”

No one seemed to give a damn about Cardew, though, which irritated Ben. This was supposed to be Cardew’s big moment not his. He’d had plenty of his own. That was the entire reason he was doing this. He wanted to help his best friend have his time to shine.

“Did your step-father put you up to this?”

“Matty?” Ben laughed. “I’m my own man. Matty may do some choreography work for Cardew and me, but otherwise he sticks to the applause portion of the program when it comes to my skating career.”

*********

And that’s all she wrote on that front! Who knows? Maybe I’ll go there with this idea, but the Angus and Bill story is definitely on my radar. I just need a dozen more hours in a week and to only require two hours of sleep a night. Then we’d be good to go! That’s doable, right?

TNA: If you were to choose a favorite scene from the book, what would that scene be and why?

Leta: I’m pretty fond of this one—

“And Elliot is going to be in New York City, and I swore I’d never miss a New Year’s Eve in New York,” Matty whined, stretched out across Rob on the sofa.

Rob held the agricultural journal he was reading a bit higher, trying to see it over Matty’s body. “I’m devastated on your behalf.”

Matty narrowed his eyes. “I thought you liked my family.”

“I do. I’m sorry they can’t come for Christmas. I was ridiculing your vow to always be in New York for New Year’s Eve.”

“You’re heartless.”

“Uh-huh.” Rob flipped a page and yawned widely.

The day before Rob had helped Terry, Dino, and Bing wrangle some cattle that had trampled a fence and gotten into the woods near the national park. It’d been exhausting since three of the cows had decided they were not going to budge from the apparently delicious patch of dry, brown winter grass they’d discovered under a tree. To make it worse, once they’d driven the adventurers back onto Rob’s land, a bunch of snow had dumped on them as they’d mended the fence.

Rob had dawdled over breakfast, and was lazing around with Matty. He’d mentioned something about getting caught up on the books, but he hadn’t moved from the sofa yet, and it was verging on nine o’clock. Matty shifted on Rob’s body and made himself more comfortable.

“I’m trying to read about the possible advantages of adding a milk goat operation to the ranch, sweetheart. You’re kind of in my way.”

“The advantages of a milk goat operation. Did I truly just hear those words?”

“Goat milk soap is all Bing talks about.”

“I feel like I’m in some kind of insane alternate universe where if I look out the window I’ll find Amish buggies. I will, won’t I?”

“If you’re lucky. Otherwise it means you’re stuck in Montana getting fucked by some crazy sadist rancher.”

“God, that sounds like a really bad sex book you’d pick up to read on an airplane.” Matty scooted a bit on Rob’s body, making him grunt. Matty spread out his hands to demonstrate the title of the book, knocking the journal away. “‘Big Sky of Desire’ by M. O. Lester. The story of young, lithe figure skater, Bobby Barker, trapped for the winter in a small Montana town and robbed of his innocence by the lecherous attentions of his sadistic neighbor, Mark Beauty. Tied down against his will and struck with leather horse whips, Bobby realizes his own inner strength and love for rough sex — ”

“I have leather horse whips, actually,” Rob said.

“You do?” Matty sat up, nearly smacking his forehead against Rob’s chin.

“Of course. Have you seen my ranch?”

“Oh my God, go get them!”

Rob laughed, pushed Matty off, and stood up slowly, stretching. “Actually, I was thinking we should head into Missoula to do some shopping. Most of the shops stay open late this time of year. I have some things I need to get for Ben. Last I checked, you need to pick up a few things for your folks.”

Matty blinked. “You’re passing up whips for shopping?”

“You’re bitching about shopping?” Rob countered.

“I feel so torn!” Matty pulled at his hair. “Oh my God. You suck.”

“Go on, take care of the horses and get ready. I’ll pick you up in an hour.”

“Two. I have to look my best if we’re going into the city. Someone might actually see me in the city.”

“People see you here.”

“Yeah, but they don’t even look twice now. My fashion goes to waste. It’s like I’ve become boring to them or something.”

Rob kissed him and rubbed his thumb over Matty’s lower lip. “Never. Impossible. And I’ll pick you up in one hour.”

“If I say yes, can I have whips later?” Matty asked a little breathlessly.

Rob frowned. “I’ll think about it. I don’t like the idea of marking your skin.”

“Don’t turn into a prude on me now,” Matty whined.

Rob kissed him again. “Don’t push me. Or you might find there’s a price.”

Matty clasped his hands together over his heart and called out as Rob left the room, “Would that price be leather horse whips?”

“Go home!” Rob yelled back.

Matty flopped on Rob’s sofa and stared up at the ceiling. “Oh my God, horse whips,” he whispered to himself, trying to figure out how he was going to lose his erection.

TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from Training Season with us?

Leta: Certainly!

A week later, Matty opened the six boxes of his belongings his mother had mailed, trying to find where she’d packed the fur coats, his make-up, and his underwear. It was as though she’d run from one corner of his room to another, randomly adding things to the boxes, with little rhyme or reason. They’d all been marked Matty’s room as though that described the contents in any helpful way.

He found his make-up in a small cardboard box beneath his gym socks and a gold, sequined vest he’d worn for a competition when he was fifteen. He had no idea why his mother had included it, but he put it on, because, aside from Flathead Lake and the glint of the sun on the mountains, it was the sparkliest thing he’d seen since arriving in Montana. It lifted his spirits in an unexpected and very necessary way.

Matty sighed as he took his make-up into the bathroom and began organizing it on the vanity. Looking through the products, he opened one of the small jars of blue, glittery eye shadow, and applied a little to his eyelids absentmindedly. He thought about how he was going to survive the next six months, and wondered if he’d be able to train himself enough to lure in a renowned coach.

His heart was set on Valentina Chapayeva from the Ukraine, and he swallowed hard and sent up a small prayer that by April he’d have what it took to gain her interest and join her rink in New York. Even though he was a national champion, he was afraid he’d been out of sight so long that he’d be out of mind in the skating world.

He sorted through the body glitter, lipsticks, and rouge, finding a few things that he’d nearly forgotten about. He looked in the mirror, puckered his lips, and ran his hands through his hair.

Music. Yes, he needed some music — something fast to get his body moving. He fiddled with the stereo in the living room and figured out how to dock his iPod.

Eight songs later, he had glitter body paint smeared on his chest, his eyes done up in brilliant blues and greens, and bright, cotton-candy pink lipstick on his lips. Wearing only his track pants and the gold sequined vest, he was far from fierce, but still shiny, and that made him feel almost as good. He danced across the room, easily keeping the rhythm with no one’s judging gaze to throw him off. He gave his body over to it, and spun around madly, jumping, kicking, and leaping.

He paused in the middle of the room, feeling a little flushed, but not winded. He was glad his workouts back home had increased his stamina. His current plan was to get up every day, have a small breakfast, get the horses settled and then work out, either in a gym, on the ice, or both.

Matty recognized how bratty it was to complain about the ranch house. After all, it had amazing amenities. Margaret’s exercise room beside his bedroom had a treadmill and Bowflex. He supposed on days he couldn’t get into Kalispell for a proper workout in the Athletic Club (something else arranged for him by Margaret) it would do to help keep him strong. He also had a plan for skating when he couldn’t get into Whitefish’s rink.

He’d discovered his plan B when George had walked him around the ranch, pointing out various areas that the horses sometimes lingered. As they’d walked, Matty had noticed two men on horses, riding among the cattle on the hill below.

“Rob’s ranch hands,” George explained. “He’s got four employees over there now. Rob’s expanding his operation. He’s finally making a bit of a profit, I reckon. First time since his old man died, I think.”

Matty nodded absently, his eyes fixed on something else entirely. To the left of where George pointed, there was a very large, seemingly shallow, mostly circular pond. It was situated in the shadow of the mountain on one side and sheltered on the other by a large, fat pine. Though the temperature had climbed to almost forty that morning, Matty could see the glitter of ice over the shaded top of the pond.

He’d studied it carefully as George talked on and on about horses and the neighbor’s cattle, and ranch hands and profits, finally interrupting him to ask, “Does that ever freeze over?”

“Sure. It’s halfway to frozen over now. Give it two more days of temperatures like this and it’ll be frozen half through.”

“How deep is it?”

“Not that deep.” George had smirked like he was amused by something private. “That’s Margaret’s little personal Flathead Pond. Built it for her when I bought the place from Rob. She wasn’t too happy because she wanted land on the lake. I couldn’t pass up the good deal Rob offered me, so I told her I’d build her a damn lake.” George chuckled, a sound Matty hadn’t heard him make before. “Oh yes, she was fit to be tied over this here pond. First she was mad and then she laughed until she cried.” He grinned. “Yep, Rob’s ranch manager, Bing Lozar, dug this out for her and had it lined.”

“Has anyone ever skated on it?” Matty had asked.

“The boys do it all the time. Used to pretend to be Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier out there.”

Matty had smiled, thinking that George might not have liked it if his grandsons had pretended to be Matty Marcus out there. “Mind if I skate on it, sir?”

“Fine by me. Just don’t bust your head.” George had pointed his finger at him. “If you do, don’t even think about suing me.”

With that in mind, Matty had gone out to the pond already that morning and found it was definitely frozen several inches down. It wasn’t the best surface, but in an emergency it would do.

Another song came on, and Matty ran a hand through his hair. He twirled a bit more, the room flashing by, and he allowed himself to sink into the spin, the dizzy familiar feeling of the world going into a precarious balance.

A loud crash brought him front and center.

He stood panting, listening for something more. A rolling crunch rattled through the room. Clutching his chest, he jumped. The noise seemed to come from the front porch.

Matty grabbed a coat from the box next to him — his mink from his last trip to Russia — and slipped it on. His heart raced as he tiptoed toward the living room window.

Was it a bear? Did bears live in Montana? And why had he never thought to investigate that possibility before now? What if it was an elk? Were they dangerous? Maybe it was a coyote, or a wolf, or just a really big, scary person.

He peered out the front window. He squinted into the sun and saw nothing but pine trees and cows like always. The knock on the door, a heavy, hard thudding, made his heart race like he was sitting in the Kiss and Cry waiting for scores to come in.

Matty glanced in the mirror by the front door, smoothed his hair, wiped a stray bit of eyeliner away, and threw his chest out and his chin up. Matty Marcus was rocking the glittery glory on a ranch in Montana. Never let it be said that rural locales took any shine away from this bitch. He opened the door.

The man on the front porch, with his hand raised to knock again, was blond, and he might as well have been Montana personified — tall, strong, and heart-stoppingly handsome. He was also probably not a day over thirty.

“Uh…” The man cleared his throat and flung his thumb over his shoulder toward the hill. “Hi. I’m the neighbor. Thought I’d bring some… ah…”

He didn’t seem to know where to look. His eyes slid down to Matty’s bare chest peeking out from the fur coat and gold sequined vest, and then down over Matty’s track pants to his bare feet. The man swallowed and looked away. He kept talking, though.

“I brought some firewood up from the barn. Thought you might need it…or want it. It’s supposed to get pretty cold tonight. I figured you didn’t have any close to the house yet. George doesn’t bring it up unless he needs it. So I brought some. Up. For you.”

Matty felt his practiced “now we’re talking to the media” smile settle on his face. He stuck out his hand. “Thank you. That’s very kind of you. I appreciate you thinking of me.”

The man shook firmly. “Rob Lovely,” he said. “I live over the hill and a few acres over.”

The name was definitely fitting, Matty thought.

He supposed since he was dressed up in glitter and blue eye shadow, he should be glad the guy wasn’t running away to alert any local homophobic hicks with baseball bats that the Pages had a flamer living in their house for the winter.

Matty pulled his coat around himself a little tighter when Rob released his hand. “Matty Marcus. Nice to meet you.”

“So, are you from Missoula?” Rob said, his face revealed how much he doubted that.

“What makes you think I’m not from Polebridge?” Matty asked a little coyly, bringing up a town Margaret had mentioned was located almost due north of Whitefish and had less than 30 residents.

He waited for the guy to stammer through an answer that could be summed up as Matty failing the good ol’, pussy-loving, ranch-raised country boy looks test.

“Margaret said she was bringing in a friend’s kid from the city,” Rob said, rubbing his hands together, and keeping his eyes focused out toward the pastures.

“Oh,” Matty said, amazed at how sweetly the guy had side-stepped an awkward moment. He even felt a little guilty for trying to set him up to begin with. “Well, I think by ‘the city’, she actually meant The City, as in New York. She seems to think I’ve lived there, even though I haven’t. I’d like to, though. I will one day.” His nipples ached from the cold, so he pulled the fur completely around his torso.

“I’ve never been, but I’m sure it’s exciting,” Rob said, his eyes moving to where Matty had covered up his exposed skin. “Is that a mink?”

“As a matter of fact, it is,” Matty said, running a hand down its softness.

“My ex-wife’s mother had one of a similar style, but it didn’t look nearly so…” Rob flushed. “I mean…uh, it looks better on you. Well, um, I mean…”

“Thank you,” Matty said, putting him out of his misery.

“You’re welcome.” Rob said, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his coat. “It’s been a strangely cold October. Probably not the best of weather. Have you been able to get out and explore at all?”

“I’m still settling in,” Matty said.

“Right.” There was a silence as Rob swallowed hard and rubbed a hand over his forehead like he had a sudden headache. “Well, I piled the logs over there.” He nodded toward the side of the porch. “I, uh, should let you get back to…” He smiled and used his head to indicate Matty’s state of dress and state of being. “That. Or whatever.”

“Thank you. I’d invite you in, but I’m sort of in the middle of this, so…” Matty paused and Rob flushed again, looked away and cleared his throat.

Matty retreated into the house, closing the door partway as he spoke. “Thanks again for the firewood. It was very thoughtful of you.”

“Anytime,” Rob said, backing away a few steps. “Just give me a call if you need anything. Help with the horses. Or whatever you need help with.” He looked embarrassed for a moment, but then he offered Matty a fantastic smile. His teeth were white and straight and his eyes glowed. Matty noticed that they were green and very kind.

“I might take you up on that,” Matty said, putting one bare foot on top of the other.

The movement seemed to catch Rob’s eye. He looked at Matty’s feet again before clearing his throat again. “Please do. I’m the neighborly sort and I’m happy to help.”

Rob lifted his eyes again and a small wave of attraction washed over Matty. God, he needed to get laid if he was getting turned on by stammering Montana ranchers.

Rob nodded and lifted his hand and let it drop. Then he turned and trudged back through the front yard. Matty watched him walk, noting the sure, easy swing of his step as he crossed the lawn and then mounted the foot of the hill.

When Rob was a dark smudge against the sky, Matty shut the door and leaned against it. He glanced at himself again in the mirror and imagined being Rob Lovely from Montana. What had it been like to find this fabulous creature on the other side of a neighbor’s door? It must have been like stumbling across The Man Who Fell to Montana. He laughed softly at the thought, threw off his coat, and sashayed to the kitchen for a mid-morning cup of piping hot water with bitters to trick his still-hungry stomach.

TNA: Do you have any works-in-progress you’d like to talk a little bit about?

Leta: I have far too many works in progress! I need an intervention!

Let’s see, I currently have two novellas submitted to different presses. I have a trans* novella that I’d like to complete this year. Marie Sexton and I have bandied about an idea for a fun short novel. I definitely have to finish at least the first full-length novel in the Stalker Series. I started it for the LHNB event at Goodreads, but realized when the book topped 40,000 words and wasn’t even halfway complete that there was no way I’d be able to finish it before the deadline, so I had to do a fast short story set in the same universe to fulfill that obligation. I feel guilty that I haven’t been able to get the reader’s requested full-length book out yet, though, so that’s definitely on the top of my to-do list. Not to mention, I love the characters and think it will be a fun book for readers!

In addition, I’m working on a m/m coming of age novel that I hope to release as a serial. I’m not sure how that will play out and I reserve the right to change my mind, of course, LOL, but I’m leaning that direction right now. It would be an eight part serial featuring plenty of sex, hooray, and some angst, and drama.

I’m modeling it a bit after soap operas, though my best friend says that’s an unfair description, since there are no evil twins, no characters that are declared dead and come back to life, and no storylines that depend on major misunderstandings. I suppose it might be more accurate to say I’m inspired by the WIP phenomenon in fandom. I like the idea of writing something that people will follow along because they love the characters and want to see where they end up, but it wouldn’t be a work in progress, because I have no intention to release any part of it until the entire work is finished.

There are more. I’ll stop there. ;)

TNA: Where can readers find you on the internet?

Leta:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Blog

Training Season Buy Links:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks
Smashwords

The Blurb:

Figure skater Matty Marcus is willing to sacrifice everything for his Olympic dream. Despite his unquestionable talent, Matty’s lack of discipline cost him Olympic gold once before. Now the pressure’s on to do whatever it takes to make the team again. Still recovering from an injury that nearly ended his career, he needs a coach who can keep him in line, but top coaches don’t come cheap. Without the backing of his federation, Matty can’t afford to stay in the game no matter how badly he wants to win.

When a wealthy fan’s whim brings him to rural Montana for a lucrative house-sitting gig over the winter, Matty does his best to maintain an elite-level training regimen. Despite fears that his flamboyant style might not be well-received in these rugged surroundings, the residents turn out to be surprisingly tolerant and welcoming. Even more surprising, Rob Lovely, the handsome young rancher next door, 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. Taking his new-found courage back into the rink, Matty drives himself harder to find the inner fire he needs to go for gold.

But a powerful new love and the best sex Matty has ever had aren’t going to win him a medal. Competition has a timetable, and to achieve his Olympic dream, he’ll have to join his new coach in New York City, leaving Rob and his life in Montana behind. As he faces the ultimate test of his spirit, has Matty truly learned how to win—on and off the ice—during his training season?

*********

TNA: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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40 thoughts on “It’s Officially “Training Season”, And Leta Blake Wants To Give Away A Book!

  1. Lisa says:

    Enjoyed the interview and the excerpts. I have heard great things about this book. Would love to read it. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

    Like

  2. Jelle says:

    Having followed men’s, women’s and pairs figure skating since I was very little, this is definitely one of the top books on my wishlist! I would love it. Thank you for the chance.

    Like

  3. Jbst says:

    Figure skating and ice dancing are the sports that I really enjoy watching most in the Winter Olympics. I’ve never read a story with a competitive figure skater, and this one sounds interesting.

    Like

  4. Edith says:

    I would love to read a series modeled like a soap opera! haha. Soap opera’s are my guilty pleasure. The book sounds fantastic and the interview was great. (:

    Like

  5. Beth B. says:

    Wow all kind of juicy tidbits in here; great interview! :-) I’ve already DEVOURED this book so no need to enter me in this contest, but for all y’all that have NOT read it – what are you waiting for. This book will take your breath away. Absolutely amazing. Seriously. I don’t kid about things like this.

    Like

  6. Many thanks to Leta Blake for being our guest, and more thanks to all of you who stopped in to say hello and enter Leta’s giveaway of Training Season. The contest is now closed, and the winner has been selected. An E-copy of the book is coming your way…

    Traci B

    Congratulations, Traci! I’m emailing Leta right now with your contact information, so expect to hear from her soon. :)

    Like

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