Today I am so pleased to welcome Leta Blake to Joyfully Jay. Leta has come to talk to us about her latest release, My Skin Begs You Please. She has also brought along a giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

 

Hello! I’m Leta Blake, and I’ve been writing and publishing Queer Romance for over ten years now. Whether I’m writing angsty new adult coming-of-age, BDSM with heavy kink, contemporary rockstar romance, M/M omegaverse, a soapy rom-com, or fairy tale retellings, my books always “color outside the lines.”

What do I mean by that? Well, I’m not an author who picks a lane and stays in it. I love to explore the edges, push boundaries, and give my readers big feelings. There’s no doubt that my latest release, “My Skin Begs You Please”, will stir up big feelings. In fact, there’s a list of content warnings at the beginning of the book for those who feel their heart needs to take some extra care before beginning such an intense, emotional, fictional journey.

Fans of my books won’t be surprised to learn that this book is another intense read. While it is connected to the ‘90s Coming of Age series (“Pictures of You”, “You Are Not Me”, and “Only You”), “My Skin Begs You Please” can be read as a standalone. However, it’s possible you may enjoy it more if you read it in the context of those books first. That entire series–as well as “My Skin Begs You Please”–is available in Kindle Unlimited.

Now, on to the giveaway…

If you’ve read some of my books, I’d love to hear in the comments which ones gave you big feelings—good or bad—and, in return, you’ll be eligible for the giveaway I’m offering. If you haven’t read any of my books, tell me about someone else’s book that made you feel something big and intense. You too can be eligible for the giveaway.


Excerpt

I glanced over at him, watching him lick his ice cream cone, the light of the Bruster’s neon sign reflecting in his hair. We sat on the bench next to the open window, licking and talking about nothing much at all.

It was amazing. I’d never had anyone want this with me before. Well, not anyone who also wanted to have sex with me. I had friends—great friends—who cared about me and enjoyed spending time with me. But no guy I’d had sex with cared about me like Luke did, and no guy I’d ever crushed on had wanted to actually date me either. They’d been content with a few sucks or fucks at most. The others had never even been interested at all.

“I had the pistachio here once, and it wasn’t the best,” Luke said, ducking his head to lick a drip from his cone. “But there’s no beating the chocolate.”

I opened my mouth to say I preferred Baskin Robbins’s chocolate for flavor, but then shut it. I didn’t want to wreck this moment of ease between us.

“What?” he asked, pressing his leg against mine. “You were thinking something. I saw it flash over your face.”

I shrugged. “It doesn’t matter.”

“If your thoughts didn’t matter to me, we wouldn’t be on this date. We’d be back in my basement.”

I smiled at that. He was right, of course. He wanted to know me, the everyday me, not just the me that was submissive and compliant, or fighting back so that it felt good. Then why did it feel like I was risking everything just to admit a taste difference?

“Go on,” he said. “Whatever you say is fine. I can handle it.”

“All right.” I took a slow breath and let it out as I gusted, “I like Baskin Robbins’s chocolate better.”

He lifted his brows. “And that was what you were thinking?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay, and why didn’t you want to tell me? I’m a big boy. I don’t need someone to agree with everything I say.” He paused then, turning to me fully after glancing around to make sure that no one had come up behind us while we sat with our ice creams. “You don’t think that’s what I want, do you? A sycophantic submissive has never been my type. I want to hear your thoughts—here, now, like this, and back in the basement too. I like that you don’t agree with me, or that you fight me from time to time. It makes you real. Not some doll.”

“I didn’t want to ruin our date.”

“I’m not an asshole like that. I like that you’re different from me.”

I considered that and nodded. I had to trust that he meant what he said. If I didn’t, then I couldn’t trust him in the dungeon anymore either, and I trusted him implicitly there. “No dolls here, just a fairy prince at your service.”

Luke smiled, and then pointed out a drip on my cone. I hurried to suck it up before it fell from the end. I laughed, remembering a stunt I’d pulled earlier in the semester, in the Before Times. “Hey, do you want to hear about a performance art piece I did?”

“Performance art?” His eyes twinkled.

“Yeah. I’m an artist sometimes, you know.”

“I didn’t, actually. But I can see it. You’re creative in other ways.” He gestured at my clothes.

“Why, thank you.” I gave him a glimmer of my sweetest sparkle. “I do take pride in my clothes. This was a genius piece of art, though. It was great. I wish Peter had filmed it—”

“Peter?”

“A friend. He’s a photographer, and he just took pictures. I wonder if he’s developed them yet. Anyway, like I said, it was fantastic. I got an ice cream cone from the university canteen—vanilla, like this one, only without the chocolate sprinkles, and I took it outside.”

Luke bit into his cone, crunching and listening to me. I was tempted to lean over and lick a drop of chocolate off his chin, but who knew if someone might see us and give us crap about being queer. I was obvious enough with just the way I was dressed. I didn’t want to push my luck, so I indicated his napkin and then waved at my own chin. He took the hint and wiped the chocolate drop away.

“And then what?” he asked.

“I laid down on the sidewalk, kind of out of the way of the main path, but not where everyone passing by couldn’t see me. Being seen was important.”

“Mm-hmm?”

“Yeah, and, oh! I have to tell you about my outfit because it was key to the performance! Absolutely key. A skin-tight sleeveless T-shirt, and a pink tutu skirt over my best blue jeans.”

“Sounds cute, baby.”

“I was very cute!” I licked some more ice cream, the sweetness coating my tongue and sliding down my throat. “So, just picture it. Me, lying there with the cone above my head.” I lifted my cone up briefly to demonstrate. “Can you imagine it?”

“Absolutely.”

“And then I let it melt, dripping onto my face. It went everywhere, all over my neck and hair too. Next to me on the ground was a sign reading ‘Cream My Face’, which was the name of the art piece I was doing.”

He chuckled then, taking another bite of his cone.

“I waited until the entire ice cream had melted, and then I yelled, ‘Cream my face!’ and turned the cone upside down and dumped the rest onto myself. It was great! A real crowd pleaser.”

“I bet,” he said, laughing. “That’s…amazing.” He peered at me with a look of discovery in his eyes. “I had no idea.”

“No idea that I’m an artist as well as the sexiest femme-boy scientist in the world?”

“Yeah, exactly that. I’ve been clueless. Not about the sexy part, but the rest.”

I preened a little before devoting attention to finishing my ice cream cone.

“So, you’re interested in science, nature, trucks, martial arts, cowboy boots, performance art, tutus, makeup, women’s clothes…” He ticked the things off. “What else will I find out about you tonight?”

“Whatever you want to know.”

He glanced around quickly and then combed his fingers through my hair, pushing a strand behind my ear, and then leaning close to brush a kiss on my cheekbone. “I’d like to know everything. But, like I said earlier, that’ll take some time.”

“We don’t have a lot of that, do we? So we better fast-track it.” I ignored his grimace at the reminder of our HIV positive state. “What about you? What are your hobbies? What do you love to do?”

Luke popped the last of his cone in his mouth, chewed, and dusted off his hands. I had a feeling he was stalling for time. Eventually, he said, “Well, my biggest hobby used to be the Dom stuff. I started out in it just for fun. Eventually some problems came up in my life that made me need to do it for money. After that, it was still fun, but it was also a job. That changes things.”

“Yeah, if I got paid to do ‘Cream My Face,’ that’d sure change it. I mean, I did get paid. I left a tip jar out for the second performance and pulled a nice wad of cash. But if I had to do it like I depended on that to live? It would feel different.”

“It would, but I don’t know if it would have the same problems associated with it as turning my Dom hobby into my Dom job. There’s a lot of responsibility to being a Dom. It doesn’t end when a sub walks out the door. I have to be careful that what we do in a scene doesn’t impact them in a negative way in the outside world.”

“Yeah, of course.” I knew from experience that what he did to me in his dungeon affected me for hours and days after it was over.

“Given all that, I had to take a break from it after my diagnosis. I wasn’t in the right space mentally for a very long time. I’m getting by with my income from the shop right now, so long as I watch my expenses and only take my subs on cheap dates for ice cream.” He winked.

I smiled. “I love this date.”

“I’m glad.” He paused. “That responsibility, though…that’s part of why I was worried about us at first. What we do is on the edge. I worry sometimes that it’ll make things harder for you, instead of better.”

“Don’t worry,” I said, putting a hand on his arm. “I’m fine. I’m doing better than I have in a long time.”


Blurb

Mitchell “Minty” Arnold receives some devastating news, setting the light-hearted optimist on a dark and self-destructive path. Luke Montgomery has experience with pain and suffering. In fact, he’s a professional at it. With Minty’s behavior escalating dangerously, Luke takes it upon himself to help Minty indulge his self-destructive urges in a safe and sane way. But as Minty struggles to overcome his deepest pain, Luke must help him find power in his broken places and love himself unconditionally.

An intense, dark standalone, spinoff Romance novel set in Leta Blake’s ’90s Coming of Age universe with a guaranteed long-term happy ending for both men—together.

Please carefully consider the content warnings at the beginning of the book.


Bio

Author of the bestselling book “Smoky Mountain Dreams” and fan favorites “Training Season”, “Will & Patrick Wake Up Married”, and “Slow Heat”, Leta Blake has been captivating M/M Romance readers for over a decade. Whether writing contemporary romance or fantasy, she puts her psychology background to use creating complex characters and love stories that feel real. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her writing and her family life.


Giveaway

Leta has brought a copy of Pictures of You in ebook OR audiobook format to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, March 5th at 11:59 pm ET.


  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
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