Category Archive: Before the Darkness

Jul 05 2013

Refuge Inc. Giveaway! #MM #PostApcalyptic #Audio #Ebook

I’m so excited that the first two books of the MM, Post-Apocalyptic Refuge Inc. series is available in print, audio and eBook, and that the final installment is nearly complete. I’m holding a Rafflecopter giveaway and 3 people will win!

Prizes:

Important!

UPDATE: Added Amid the Darkness (Book #2) audiobook to the prizes!

1 audio set to giveaway – and – 2 e-book sets to give away.

LLS_Before_audiosmall1ST PLACE WINNER:  will choose their prize: Either an e-book copy of Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #1) AND Amid the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #2) OR a free code to download the audiobook version of Before the Darkness AND Amid the Darkness.

2ND PLACE WINNER:   will win either an e-book copy of Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #1) AND Amid the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #2) OR a free code to download the audiobook version of Before the Darkness AND Amid the Darkness.

3RD PLACE WINNER:  same as second place winner.

Book descriptions, word count, buy links, etc. HERE!

LLS_Amid_audioRules/How to Enter:

Enter the contest by following directions on the Rafflecopter giveaway below.The more options you complete, the more entry points you earn. The more points you earn, the higher your chances of winning!     

Contest specifics:

  • Contest ends Saturday July 21st 2013 at 12am MT.
  • Winners must be 18 years or older to enter. Good luck!

 

 

 

                 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 16 2013

Homophobia in Fiction & Giveaway: Hop Against Homophobia & Transphobia 2013

Welcome to my home on the web!

In honor of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (May 17th) and Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia (#HAHAT), which is a day to bring awareness to homophobia and transgender-phobia, I want to discuss homophobia in fiction.

HAHAT

 

 

 

Homophobia in Fiction

One of the frequent themes we see tackled in GBLT fiction is homophobia. It exists in stories because it exists in real life. Every day another person is discriminated against because of their sexual orientation which means nothing other than … they’re hated because of who they’re attracted to.

Pretty ridiculous, isn’t it?

Now I might be preaching to the choir, but homophobia usually exists in fiction for a couple of reasons.

1. To bring awareness. And actions to stop it

2. To allow characters and/or readers a way to deal and cope

3. To create believable and relatable characters

4. For entertainment value. To create internal and external conflict

No doubt all of those reasons impact us when we’re immersed in a book with a homophobia theme. Those tales can haunt us the way the horrific details of Matthew Shepard or Brandon Teena’s stories haunts us to this day. Yet, as horrific as those events were (and still are to some degree) those stories, too, have a purpose for retelling them: to bring awareness and proactive action, a way to deal and cope, to prove that we’re all human and can relate to each other’s internal and external conflicts. And to hopefully create better futures.

Maybe one day homophobia in fiction wouldn’t be as popular, maybe one day we won’t need to tell the tales of homosexual suffering. But then again, when that time comes, maybe we shouldn’t forget those who’ve suffered and slowly helped us progress through the hate.

Maybe homophobia in fiction would always have a place in popular reads, especially if the gold is blatant at the end of the rainbow.

 

Important!

Give-Away Info Below!

Before the DarknessIn honor of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia, I am also giving away the first two books of my gay, post-apocalyptic, dystopian trilogy (Before the Darkness and Amid the Darkness) to one commenter who also subscribes to my newsletter/mailing list!

 

How to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post
  2. Enter your name and email in the correct fields
  3. Check the appropriate box (below the comment area) to subscribe
  4. Check your email to confirm your subscription

 

 

  • Amid the DarknessWinner will be announced May 28th in a separate post. (Subscribing will automatically send the winner announcement post to your email via RSS feed)

 

  • Winner will be randomly selected
  • Winner will be notified by email
  • Winner chooses e-book format (PDF, HTML, LIT, EPUB, MOBI)

 

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

Visit the other #HAHAT participants at the link directly below.

Jan 22 2013

Refuge Inc. Series Blog Barrage & Give-Away!

Follow these blogs and enter for a chance to win BOTH books, Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #1) and Amid the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #2)!
Ends Jan 28th.

January 22, 2013


January 23, 2013

Sep 17 2012

Amid the Darkness (Refuge Inc., Book 2) Coming Soon!

Amid the Darkness (Refuge Inc., #2)
COMING SOON!

Weeks after an asteroid strikes Earth, hurling Elliot and Adam into a fight for their survival, the two take shelter in an underground compound known as Refuge Inc. Shaking their past seems impossible as it comes back to haunt them, weakening the foundation of their relationship. Elliot, hung up on guilt over his former actions, tries to right his wrongs which leads him face-to-face with the troubling secrets of the compound. Adam’s run-in with the alleged prophet makes him question Refuge Inc. and the survivors’ future.


Working together to uncover the mysteries of Refuge Inc. not only reveals much about the sunless world beyond the compound walls, but exposes the truth about the compound’s occupants … including themselves.

If their haunting pasts continue to dominate, it will steer them directly into a miserable future and their companionship will forever suffer.  Either way, they are forced to prepare for the ultimate fight for survival. Can they fight together and make it out on top? 

OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE: TBA

 

Aug 15 2012

Progress on Amid the Darkness (Refuge Inc. Book Two)

Refuge Inc. Series

I’m making progress on the second book in the Refuge Inc. series but it has been a bit slow. I think the issue is my unwillingness to let go of Before the Darkness and move on. My decision to indie-publish Before the Darkness made my task of marketing the book almost a full-time job and it has taken away some precious time needed to continue writing book two.


BUT BOOK TWO IS IN THE MAKING AND WILL BE COMPLETED!

With the day job, three kids, and a husband who’s away busting his butt most of the time, I still find a way to write the second book in a series I am absolutely proud of. Progress is slow, but steady.

Before the Darkness has been getting mixed reviews. One thing that stands out to some readers in book one is the readers’ inability to connect with the characters fully. If I have to explain to readers why the characters are the way they are, then I didn’t do a good enough job explaining it within the book. I NEED readers to look deeper. However, I’m currently writing book two to introduce more character development between the main characters, answer nearly all questions that book one left unanswered, and hopefully bring the readers to better understand the characters’ reasons for doing the things they do, act the way they act and be the way they are.

For those  of you who enjoyed book one and are looking forward to book two, you guys keep my motivation high and I can’t wait to share Amid the Darkness with you.

THE STORY IS NOT OVER! By all means, it’s only just begun.

I intentionally set up book one to be more character driven, and as realistic as possible in regards to the irrational choices a couple of regular guys might make in the midst of a worldwide catastrophe. The characters relationship, struggles, background, fears and motives are the main focus in book one. In book two I aim to introduce more interesting characters, bring more twists and surprises to the table and take you further into the mysteries of Refuge Inc. The characters’ relationship to one another AND others is the focus of book two.

There’s a lot of surprising events I have in store for book two. So make sure you come back for the latest news on the Refuge Inc. series.

Jul 12 2012

Before the Darkness Virtual Book Tour

Before the Darkness has a 14 stop virtual book tour scheduled for July through the 16th and the 30th! Here’s what is scheduled.

VBT SCHEDULE:
Jul 16: Reading Diva’s Blog (Review)
Jul 17:
House Millar (Interview)
Jul 18:
Have Novel, Will Edit (Interview)
Jul 20:
Delighted Reader (Guest Post)
Jul 21:
Literary Writings (Guest Post)
Jul 22:
Sapphyria’s Steamy Book Reviews (Book Feature)
Jul 23:
Nette’s Bookshelf Reviews (Guest Post)
Jul 24:
Reading with Holly (Interview)
Jul 25:
Redheads Review it Better (Guest Post/Review)
Jul 26:
Coffee Beans & Love Scenes (Interview)
Jul 27:
Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess (Guest Post)
Jul 28:
Ramblings From This Chick (Guest Post)
Jul 29:
Black Hippie Chick’s Take on Books & The World (Guest Post/Review)
Jul 30:
Reviews By Molly (Review)

Hope you’ll join me on this tour. I’ll see you there!

BLURB:

After an asteroid strikes Earth, a series of violent earthquakes destroy secluded Phoenix and leave survivor Elliot struggling to stay focused in the bleak aftermath. And then he meets fellow survivor Adam. Together, the two search for reliable shelter and other survivors while distant murky clouds fast approach. Their hunt for shelter leads them down an alternate path when they find spray painted symbols directing them to a mysterious place: Refuge Inc.

As ominous clouds slowly shut off all light to their devastated world, they are forced to come to terms with their pasts and their growing attraction for each other.

Neither thought their pasts and personal crises would affect their ability to endure the horrors they’re forced to live through. Neither thought they would be drawn so close to one another in the aftermath of an unimaginable catastrophe. By working together, can they continue to survive? Or will the mystery of Refuge Inc. cause diverse expectations and lead them to decisions that further threaten their lives?

Jun 27 2012

Before the Darkness Print Book Giveaway


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Before the Darkness by Leslie Lee Sanders

Before the Darkness

by Leslie Lee Sanders

Giveaway ends July 26, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Enter to win one of TWO print copies of my MM post-apocalyptic erotic romance, Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc., Book One) on Goodreads.

KINDLE version mow available: Here.

PRINT version available NOW at Createspace: Buy Now!

PRINT version available at Amazon: Here.
Pre-order an e-book copy on All Romance eBooks for 20% off the cover price: All Romance eBooks

BLURB:

After an asteroid strikes Earth, a series of violent earthquakes destroy secluded Phoenix and leave survivor Elliot struggling to stay focused in the bleak aftermath. And then he meets fellow survivor Adam. Together, the two search for reliable shelter and other survivors while distant murky clouds fast approach. Their hunt for shelter leads them down an alternate path when they find spray painted symbols directing them to a mysterious place: Refuge Inc.

As ominous clouds slowly shut off all light to their devastated world, they are forced to come to terms with their pasts and their growing attraction for each other.

Neither thought their pasts and personal crises would affect their ability to endure the horrors they’re forced to live through. Neither thought they would be drawn so close to one another in the aftermath of an unimaginable catastrophe. By working together, can they continue to survive? Or will the mystery of Refuge Inc. cause diverse expectations and lead them to decisions that further threaten their lives?

Jun 20 2012

Pre-Order Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc., Book One)

It’s available! For Pre-order that is. Pre-order your copy at All Romance eBooks and save 20% off the cover price!

Available in Print July 1st! Available to download July 8th!

Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc., Book One)
by Leslie Lee Sanders

PRE-ORDER NOW!

Tags: Post-apocalyptic, erotic romance, erotic, gay, romantic elements, explicit, MM, GBLT, dark fiction, suspense, mystery.

Blurb:

After an asteroid strikes Earth, a series of violent earthquakes destroy secluded Phoenix and leave survivor Elliot struggling to stay focused in the bleak aftermath. And then he meets fellow survivor Adam. Together, the two search for reliable shelter and other survivors while distant murky clouds fast approach. Their hunt for shelter leads them down an alternate path when they find spray painted symbols directing them to a mysterious place: Refuge Inc.

As ominous clouds slowly shut off all light to their devastated world, they are forced to come to terms with their pasts and their growing attraction for each other.

Neither thought their pasts and personal crises would affect their ability to endure the horrors they’re forced to live through. Neither thought they would be drawn so close to one another in the aftermath of an unimaginable catastrophe. By working together, can they continue to survive? Or will the mystery of Refuge Inc. cause diverse expectations and lead them to decisions that further threaten their lives?

Excerpt:

Print version available July 1st!

“See that dark color on the horizon?” Adam pointed to the east, suddenly looking somber. “That’s a wall of smoke, ash, dust and who knows what else, and it’s coming our way.”

“What? What do you mean?” A bit of panic began to stir in Elliot’s stomach like a bowl of his mother’s spicy and overly greasy chili. He’d thought the worst was over.

“Ever heard of impact winter?” Adam’s green eyes pierced his and neither moved. “What’s headed for us isn’t good. We’re gonna have to take shelter somewhere and fast before it blocks out all light and it gets so dark we won’t be able to tell which way is up. Can’t run from it either,” he added, as if predicting Elliot’s next question. “Been watching it for a couple hours now and it’s moving pretty fast.”

“What do you mean it’s going to get dark?” He knew he looked like a wide-eyed idiot, but he didn’t care much about his appearance at the moment.

“Let me put it this way. Once the sun sets we’re not gonna see it rise for quite some time. That wall of soot headed our way is so thick it will block out the sun. It will take months, maybe years, for all the crap to fall down.”

“Are you sure?” He dipped his eyebrows suspiciously. “How do you know all this?”

“When those assholes finally told us that an asteroid might hit, I went looking for info about anything to do with asteroids hitting Earth and that’s what I found out. We need to find some shelter.”

Elliot looked at the dark grey horizon. Indeed, the cloud of unnerving darkness grew bigger, wider, closer. His heart dropped, it sank in the pit of his stomach like a ton of concrete rubble. “We’re not going to make it, huh?” He gulped, suddenly feeling defeated. Panic. “What’s the point in finding shelter when we’re not gonna live to see the sun again?”

Adam grabbed his hand, gave it a gentle squeeze and let it loose before Elliot realized it had happened. The friendly squeeze hadn’t been part of his imagination. A look of sincerity and concern painted Adam’s handsome face. “I was beginning to think the same thing and then I saw you. Like I said, two heads are better than one.”

Jun 15 2012

What’s Next for my Post-Apocalyptic Series?

In light of a recent epiphany, I’ve decided to keep complete control of Before the Darkness (my MM post-apocalyptic erotic romance) and the other books of the Refuge Inc. series. In other words, I’m taking the indie-publishing route yet again.

I’ve indie-published many books with results I’m proud of. And I’m ready to dive in again with my highly anticipated dark series. All the advantages of indie-publishing outweighed the disadvantages in my decision making process.

I enjoy the benefits of:

  • Choosing my cover and cover artist

  • Choosing the release date

  • Choosing the book formats (including print)

  • Choosing the interior layout

  • Choosing what bookstores will offer my book
  • Choosing the book’s price

  • Choosing when and if I want to offer discounts or free books

  • Holding all the rights to my book and the series
  • Having instant knowledge and access to sales stats


Yes, I’m a bit anxious and I know I have a lot of work ahead of me but I’m ready.  Soon, we all will witness the introduction of the Refuge Inc. series!
Keep an eye out for some exciting updates.

Jun 04 2012

Analyzing My Rejection: "Before the Darkness" not a Romance?

I had submitted my MM, post-apocalyptic erotic romance, Before the Darkness, (the first book of the Refuge Inc. series) to a couple of romance e-publishers. Unfortunately, they both passed. However, I did get a “revise & resubmit” offer from one of the publishers who had a lot of good things to say about the story in spite of the rejection.


(Publisher kept unidentified for privacy)
First the positives:

  • “The story is imaginative and detailed…”

  • “Your story has some really good parts, and we feel the post-apocalyptic aspects are believable, the creepy parts are creepy, and there’s an overall dark feel to the whole piece that came through.”

Now the negatives:

  • “We do feel it has strong potential, however the characters need some work to make them more likable. Elliott seems to fall too fast for Adam, a man he’s just met in a ruined landscape where survival ought to be the first thing on his mind. And the badgering and belittling about the former relationship with a woman throughout the book wears somewhat thin by the end.”

Non romance issues:

  • “We feel it is more of a post-disaster story with romantic elements than a true romance.”

  • “The romance needs to be ramped up quite a bit to make it more of a focus of the story.” Something required in romances.

  • “Additionally, the ending is not quite a “happily ever after” (HEA) nor quite a “happy for now” (HFN).” Something required in romances.

  • “There is also an issue of unsafe sex, i.e. no condom use …” Something required in romances.

After receiving this wonderfully personal and useful bit of feedback from the editor (which I appreciate tremendously because authors rarely get personal feedback from publishers, if at all), I realized . . . the story is NOT a romance! It is exactly what they described it as . . . a post-disaster story with romantic elements!

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I was invited to revise the story and submit it again for reconsideration; however, I’m not sure I want to make it into something it’s not. It’s not a romance, so maybe I shouldn’t make it into one. Maybe I shouldn’t push it to romance publishers, or ramp up the romance. Maybe romance shouldn’t be the focus of the story.

Maybe, after tweaking the charcters’ inner conflict, the story will be good enough to engage and entertain the way it is.

Maybe.


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