“I stayed up all night reading, though. I needed to see how it ended!”
The River Leith is available now at:
And now at KOBO.
“I loved these characters. I loved this story. So well written even if it may not be medically completely accurate… I don’t care. I care about character development and there is plenty. I care about emotions and how the author weaves a tale that leaves me with the feels and I’m bursting with the feels. So good… I loved it and will read this book again, absolutely.”
The River Leith is available now at:
And now at KOBO.
So, after much reading and asking around to other authors about their experiences in Kindle Unlimited, I’ve decided to throw a book in and see what happens! So, if you’ve never taken a chance on one of my books before, and you’ve got a KU subscription, you can now check out The River Leith and see what you think!
I’m not expecting to keep the book in the KU system for more than 90 days, though, so get it while the gettings good! 🙂
I’m not terribly excellent at keeping up with my blogging. Oftentimes, I’ll make a draft of a blog post and never manage to get it scheduled. I now have twelve pages of never published drafts of posts. My aim over the next twelve months is to get those posts…well, posted. 🙂 So some of the material might be dated, but it is still relevant to the books available over to the right on this blog.
First up, a guest post/interview I did at Rainbow Gold Reviews for The River Leith! 😀 Yay!
“I’m so excited to have Leta Blake on the blog today, talking about what inspired her to write her latest book The River Leith. You can read my 9/10 pots of gold review of the book HERE.
During my research of amnesia and memory for the writing of The River Leith I read through a number of extraordinary cases and it became clear to me that no one amnesia case is exactly like another.
read more of my interview over at Rainbow Gold Reviews via Leta Blake on what inspired her to write The River Leith plus excerpt from the book | Rainbow Gold Reviews.
The River Leith is available now at:
And now at KOBO.
(a word from Zachariah Stevens, a character in The River Leith)
I’ve always thought that some people are fighters and some people are runners. Leith’s always been a fighter. He fought for his addict dad, he fought in the ring, and he fought hard when it came to figuring out his sexuality. But, see, being a fighter isn’t always good. Sometimes people get hurt that way. Leith knows that all too well.
The way I see it, the main difference between a fighter and a runner is in their instincts. A fighter attacks the problem, clings to it, rolls around and wrestles it into submission. This is one way Leith hasn’t changed since the injury: he’s still going to wrestle with his demons—and my demons—until he’s beaten the fight out of them, until he has them in his grip.
I admire that about him. But I’m not the same.
See, I’ve always been a runner. I remember the summer I was nine. My friend Jeremy’s mother caught us with our pants down and our hands on each other’s little dicks. I barely got my shorts up before I was running out the door, running, running, running down the sidewalk, running into my house, running up to my bedroom, running back out again with a bag of clothes, running down the street toward the park, running until I realized I had nowhere to run to because I was too little to escape the consequences of what I’d done. So I walked back home, terrified. I had to fight the urge to run again when I faced the belt my grandmother wielded with a fierceness my mother could never muster.
My first instinct is always to run.
When I was older, I ran the circumference of the earth more than once. The cruise ship I worked on was nothing but me in constant running mode. No place to call home, no relationship to call permanent, and no commitments or mistakes stayed with me for more than a few weeks’ time.
It was during my cruise ship years I started my vlog. It was perfect for a runner like me: a place to dump my emotions and record my experiences, and then just leave them there to run away into the ever-changing world. It was like a cyber-anchor of sorts, a place I could tell myself I’d dropped meaning, off-loaded a piece of me, and yet the consequences of that deposit were, once again, something that didn’t stick around and impact my daily life.
My cruise ship years were exciting and emotionally superficial, but ultimately unsatisfying. My sister called it growing up. I called it loneliness settling in. Even runners need someone to love.
In New York, I found that someone. His name was Leith and he identified as straight. It wasn’t easy. He’s a fighter and I’m a runner after all. When he realized his attraction for me, he fought it hard, and I desperately wanted to run away from him. But I’d put myself in a situation where I was committed to a job and to running a bar, so I couldn’t leave.
Even though Leith fought his affection and attraction, it was only a matter of time until he wrestled the meaning of his feelings for me into a heated and intense conversation that ended up with us naked on the floor of his bedroom. After that, he stopped fighting his feelings and started fighting for me. And I stopped wanting to run away, and instead ran to him.
Then the accident happened and he lost his memory. I admit, I did some stupid things. I struggled with my urge to run as far away from the pain as I possibly could. But even though it took me awhile, I’ve learned that you can’t run away from pain. It finds you and you’ll feel it. It’ll take you down and wrestle you until you submit to it. Pain’s a fighter. Like Leith. Pain will get its grip on you.
But I’ve also learned that pain isn’t merciless. It lets joy have its way, as well. And that’s what this book, The River Leith, is about. It’s about me, Zachariah Stevens, learning not to run. It’s about Leith and his beautiful, merciless desire to fight for what he can no longer understand or remember feeling. It’s about how a runner and a fighter wrestled their way to a beautiful new life after losing the one they’d already fought to win together. It’s about love and how it never forgets.
“I heard so many praises over The River Leith! I had it on my TBR list and was going to buy it when I WON IT! A signed copy from Leta Blake. I got it in the mail and devoured it! I couldn’t put it down. It was heartbreaking and glorious! All I kept think as I read this was, Love is felt more than it’s remembered. I don’t know what I’d do if I was Leith or Zach! But they figured it out. One knowing and remembering the other going strictly on his gut and his heart. Beautiful book! ”
“M/M romance fans won’t want to miss out on this one. Leith and Zach are two lovable heroes and their love story is one that I won’t forget any time soon.”
“This is a fantastically emotional tale that gives a wonderful portrait of a love story that has to flower once again after it is virtually destroyed. The intriguing insights provided by the video entries that Zach has made and the gradual revelation of pieces of Leith’s past makes this a compelling read and the yummy sensual scenes are nicely balanced by the intensely emotional interactions. This is the first story I have read by this author but I will definitely be looking for others.”
via Night Owl Reviews, The River Leith.
“A wonderfully written beautiful story of love, support and devotion that will have your heart sing.”
Read more, including several excerpts from the book, via Books are love | the river leith by leta blake blog tour review.
“I have no words for all the emotions I feel after reading this book! Simple and to the point it was heartbreaking yet beautiful! This was my second book by Leta Blake and it was just as good as the first!!”
The Running Zachariah Meets The River Leith
New York City was far enough from Louisville that Zach felt safe. He’d run far, far, far away from home years ago, traveling the world with his job on a cruise ship for years, and he never intended to go back. Now it was time to put down some roots, though. And if he didn’t like the roots he put down, he’d just tear them up and run off again. After all, running far away from places and things that hurt him was what he did best. But, in the meantime, he needed a place to crash.
Park Slope was baby-land from what he could tell by the number of strollers and actual children running, laughing, and hopscotching up and down 7th Street, but he didn’t mind. He liked kids. If life worked out the way he hoped, he might even have one someday. He’d enjoy showing a child the world, holding their hand by the Eiffel Tower, or throwing them in the air in the Riveria sun. He’d never, ever hit them or tell them they were shameful or make them want to run away from home forever.
Dismissing memories of his grandmother’s belt and his mother’s hateful words, he jogged across 5th Ave and hooked a right. He glanced down at the paper in his hand, double checking the address. Yes, he was on the right street now. He grinned at a little Asian girl on a tricycle, and nodded toward her German-looking nanny while hunting for the building number on the doors. The one he was hunting for was nice enough, with windows that jutted out toward the leafy green of a nice-sized tree.
He folded the paper carefully and squinted up at the apartments above the bar below. Then he looked around, taking in the prime location—close to the subway, the shops of 5th just down a block, and the shops of 7th Ave just a little further upslope. It was perfect. Now, he just needed to make them like him. He was good at that. He could be charming and sweet, loving and open, and they’d like him. Well, so long as they never saw the dark spots his family had left on his heart, anyway. He could hide his wounds. He was almost as good at that as he was at running when someone got close enough to spot them.
And, really, all that mattered was that they liked him for just long enough anyway. He could leave again. There was always Italy, or California, or Alaska. There was always somewhere to escape to and a way to forget if things here went bad.
The doorbell chimed and Zach sucked in his breath, stunned at the sight of the sweaty, flushed, goddamn-gorgeous man who answered: blond hair, hazel eyes, and a body to fall to his knees for. All displayed beautifully in a white sleeveless t-shirt and jogging shorts. “Hey, yeah. Can I help you?”
“Hello,” Zach said, sticking out his hand and telling himself to pretend he was vlogging. He could do anything and say anything if he was vlogging. He could be real without having to suffer for it. It was a good trick he’d learned over the last few years. “I’m Zachariah Stevens. I’m here for the extra room?”
“Oh. Right.” The guy took his hand and they stared into each other’s eyes. A handshake failed to form and the touch turned into an awkward almost-hand-holding clench that morphed into further weirdness, until the guy jerked his hand back. “I’m Leith.”
“Nice to meet you, Leith. Been out running?” Zach asked, gesturing at his sweaty state when Leith looked confused.
“Yeah. In training.”
“For a marathon?”
“No. I box.”
“Oh.” Well, that explained those muscles and his tough-guy look. Zach’s knees went a little weak.
“Uh, come in. The girls are upstairs.”
Zach followed him up the stairs to the apartment, his eyes on Leith’s firm, muscular ass, and he shivered. A hot, boxer roommate? Oh, hell, yes, this could be a good place to live for a while. How much fun could he have seducing the guy? And if by some miracle things actually got real between them? Well, that’d be awesome for as long as it lasted.
And if things turned bad? Well….
Leith looked over his shoulder at Zach, his hazel eyes confused, as though wrestling with something down deep inside. “The room’s kind of small.”
“That’s fine. I don’t have a lot of things. I travel a lot. I don’t keep much to hold me back.”
“You gonna travel a lot while you’re living here?” Leith turned and took the next flight up to the third floor.
“No. I’m sticking around for a while. Trying to build a real life for a change. It’s an experiment.”
Leith stopped on the landing and waited for Zach to join him. “You’ve got a job?”
Leith gazed at him and the air between them seemed to thicken. Zach nearly took a step forward into the space separating them, but held back. Get the room first. Then see what happens.
“A real job?”
“Do I look like a vagrant or something?” Zach laughed. He was wearing jeans, sure, but they were expensive jeans and he knew he looked nice.
“Uh, no. You look….” Leith swallowed. “Like you’ve got a job. But, you know how it is. You can’t be too careful. We’ll check your references.”
“Of course. And, to answer your question, yes, I have a real job.”
“Good. Well, come in and meet the girls.” Leith keyed open the door. “It’s up to them if you get the room, anyway.”
Zach followed him into the small but clean apartment. The sofa wasn’t new but it’d obviously been quite nice once. The throw on the loveseat matched nicely, and the tv was big, but there were a lot of books stacked around, too. Always a good sign.
Leith clapped him on the shoulder as he called out, “Marian! Ava! A guy’s here for the room.”
His hand was warm and stayed just a moment too long. Zach shivered. Yes, this could be nice and if things didn’t work out here, he could always go. He’d made a career out of leaving.
Leith smiled at him, his eyes crinkling at the edges. “Would you like some water while they grill you?”
“Sure.” Zach licked his lips. “Thanks.”
But maybe, if he was lucky, he might find a reason to stay.
The above is a prequel sort of flash fiction set three years before the start of my book The River Leith.
“Zach is offered an even tougher deal than Leith. He can’t tell Leith the truth, even if it hurts him more than he’s willing to admit to anyone. Zach was easily my favorite character. He seemed so hurt and lost, I just wanted to comfort him and tell him it would all be all right….
The River Leith is about much more than just romance. It’s about finding one’s true self, about overcoming tragedy, about finding love in unexpected places, about never giving up. It’s a well-written, heart wrecking novel that brought me close to tears at times. But for the romance fans, there’s plenty of that too.”
Click on through to see the other books listed and to find a link to Jay’s review of The River Leith!
June’s Favorite Books — Joyfully Jay.
“The River Leith is a FANTASTIC book. It will immediately grab you, and hold you, and you won’t want the ride to end. I’ve been looking for a long time for a book to recommend as a first time M/M read to one of my best friends, and I think I might have finally found it. I highly recommend this book, folks. And, I plan to rush out and get Leta’s other stories!!”
“I cannot even begin to explain how much I loved this story! The way Leta wrote this story was beyond amazing. I had sooo many feels with Leith & Zach. My heart went out to both of them. You do not want to pass this one up! I cannot wait to read more of Leta’s words!”
“It’s a Leta Blake book so caring deeply for the main protagonists is a given. Along with the excitement of love and the hardship of sustaining harmony. The River Leith is a poignant journey with Leith and Zach. Their difficult task to find the high ground as the banks of their lives are flowing over and carrying with it the potential to drown them.”
“Remembering is an unstable and profoundly unreliable process–it’s easy come, easy go as we learn how true memories can be obliterated, and false ones added. And Oliver Sacks joins us to tell the story of an amnesiac whose love for his wife and music transcend his 7-second memory.”
I did a lot of research for The River Leith. The above Radiolab episode was some of the most interesting and memorable. The section on Clive Wearing was touching, amazing, and very depressing all at once. I absolutely recommend this episode for anyone curious about memory and amnesia.
I return today from my week long writing vacation! Today is the last day to get a copy of The River Leith up for 60% off (aka $1.60!) at Smashwords with the following coupon.
COUPON CODE: FJ73R
(Coupon expires 6/22/14)
Direct link to the book on Smashwords: THE RIVER LEITH
Whoot-whoot! The River Leith made Joyfully Jay’s list of favorite amnesia stories! So awesome!!! 😀 Hooray! Click below to see her list and to discover other amnesia trope books!