Category Archive: Uncategorized

Jan 10 2015

New Releases & Up-Coming Books by L.L. Sanders

Deviating a bit from romance and writing thriller under L.L. Sanders lately has been great for my creativity. Join me on my parallel writing venture while I go back to my roots and write the stuff that made me fall in love with writing in the first place.

I’m not one dimensional and I don’t assume you are, either. I may read and write romance, but I enjoy a good thriller too. The best thriller sub-genre is psychological thrillers, I believe. I truly love digging into the deep corners of my characters’ mind to reveal secrets, fears, and the true building blocks that form their personalities.
WDITD_coverI’ve done that exact thing in my latest release under L.L. Sanders, What’s Done in the Dark.
Imagine being trapped in a windowless room, with a door without a knob, a chair, and the unsettling feeling of being watched. Why are you there and how do you get out? This is the scenario my protagonist faces in this short psychological thriller.


What’s done in the dark will come to light … Those words are engraved on the door and offer the only clue as to why I’m trapped in this windowless room with the only other occupant: a chair. The old dining chair and the overwhelming sense of someone watching begins my upsetting journey to discover who’s responsible and why. Will revealing who’s behind my imprisonment be the key to my freedom?

Available at Amazon: US | UK | CA

FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers!

Keeping with the psychological thriller and suspense genre is an upcoming release I’m excited about, Passing the Torch by L.L. Sanders.
Mesa Kingston is a girl with secrets, and one of her secrets include murder. But as she questions, “How bad would the punishment be for being evil if your intentions were righteous? And how righteous could your intentions be if they were selfish?” she finds herself moving deeper into the dust storm of Hell all for the love of her parents.


Deep in the Arizona desert rests a house of secrets … a house of utter horror … a house that must burn to the ground.

Mesa has secrets. Twelve, twenty, fifty secrets. Over the years she’s learned to bury them, a collection of rotten seeds stowed away in the hidden parts of her, rooting deep down in that place where deception and sorrow are stored. Waiting, for that single ray of light to set them free.

And now those secrets are surfacing, as Mesa begins to question the life she’s so carefully cultivated. How far would you go for someone you love? How much pain would you endure to keep your family together? And what if the person you love was the source of your pain?


Early praise for Passing the Torch by L.L. Sanders

“I really enjoyed this one! I never know what to expect with new (to me) authors, so I was happy to see how much I liked this. At first I was thinking it reminded me of the film Frailty, but then it took its unexpected twist, which was done so well. I can’t wait to check out the rest of your work!” ~ editor

“Well done! I really liked the beginning, strong and edgy! It’s a well written story. …you’ve got a clear voice, a better than decent handle on grammar and just enough subtlety to keep your reader reading but not beating-their-heads-against-the-wall confused. … Great job.” ~ beta reader

“Leslie, damn, woman, you can write. I’ve never read another author who can get so far into a character’s psyche.” ~ beta reader


Dec 14 2014

3 Ways to Write Better Erotica by Sherri Goodman


Blog post by guest contributor Sherry Goodman


Every writer dreams of having their work acknowledged by the world, their name in headlines, thousands (if not millions) of readers searching for their book, and their own work on the lips of every talk show host. That is, of course, unless the piece is being put on blast because it’s unanimously been deemed as some of the worst work of the year…Sadly that’s just what happened to author Ben Okri.

Bad Sex in Erotic Fiction?

According to The Independent, his novel, The Age of Magic, was just given the 2014 Bad Sex in Fiction award, a title chosen annually by the Literary Review.

While it’s certainly not an award that every author covets, what’s particularly interesting about Okri is that he’s actually an award-winning writer—the good kind. In 1991, he was given the Man Booker award for The Famished Road. At just 32, he became the youngest recipient ever to take home the award, though he was later beat out by 28-year-old Eleanor Catton in 2013 for The Luminaries.

So how did a renowned author receive such a, um, special award? Well, it may be hard for some to admit, but just because you’re a talented writer doesn’t mean you’re good at writing about everything. Even the most prestigious authors have a few subjects in their repertoire that could use some touching up.

Even the most prestigious authors have a few subjects in their repertoire that could use some touching up.

You just have to be open to doing what’s necessary to fine-tune them.

Now, just because your erotic writing could use some help doesn’t mean anyone doubts your skills in the sack. I’m sure you’re very talented. I’m sure that thing you do with your leg and the bedpost should be studied by contortionists and that you’re ability to change positions while “never leaving your post” is nothing short of magic. But being able to describe the act on the page, in a way that makes readers feel as though they’re taking part in the act, is a whole different ball game. You could be a tiger in the bedroom, but readers will instantly recognize if you’re typing timidly.

In order to really write the hell out of an erotic story, you’re going to need to find out how to release that tiger from its bashful cage.

How to Write Better Erotica Scenes

There’s really only a few ways to break out of your shell and better your writing for these particular scenes.

  1. Read every erotic novel you can get your hands on. Go through every book and then read through them again. Take note of the equal portions of writing describing what’s going on and the characters’ responses.
  2. Reminisce. Think about the times you’ve had sex, and highlight some of the reasons why an experience was more memorable than others. What did your partner do that made being intimate resonate with you? Was there a certain way your partner touched you, something your partner said, or even just your partner’s enthusiasm in the heat of it all that made that moment unforgettable? Write every bit of it down in explicit detail. Afterwards, read what you wrote. Does your writing really reflect the heat of that night? If not, try to see where your description is lacking. Your goal is to recreate the emotions for your readers to experience. You want them to feel the same attachment to the sex scene that you feel.
  3. Watch an adult movie. Watch the videos and describe what’s happening in order to get comfortable with the wording. Utilize the 5 Ws of journalism and describe how the couple on screen interacts, the sounds they make, what each seems to be feeling—write it all down. Having a visual to utilize for inspiration can dramatically improve your dialogue and scene description skills when writing about similar acts.

Even if you love reading sexy stories and can’t help but grin when thinking about your own particularly hot liaisons, that doesn’t always mean you can translate a steamy sex scene onto the page. Get out of your comfort zone a bit and give some of these exercises a go. Think of it this way: even if your erotic writing needs improvement and potentially painstaking research, at least you know putting in the work will be fun!

I’d like to hear from you in the comments section. How do you tackle writing erotic scenes?


 Want to write a guest post for the blog? Contact Leslie Lee Sanders with your idea.

[Image credit: Alan Cleaver]

Aug 08 2013

Beyond the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #3) Available for Pre-Order

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00058]Beyond the Darkness Pre-Order on All Romance eBooks

Series: Refuge Inc. , Book 3
By: Leslie Lee Sanders | Other books by Leslie Lee Sanders
Published By: LLS Books
Published: Sep 1, 2013
Word Count: 40,000
Pre-Order Price: $1.99

Available in: Epub, HTML, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket (.mobi), Adobe Acrobat

Buy Now Add to Cart Add to wish list


Categories: Romance>GLBT>Gay Science FictionRomance>Sci-Fi



The Final installment of the thrilling Refuge Inc. series.

Phoenix—a dark, vast ruin, speckled with sporadic rays of light pushing its way through the dark, dense clouds. Adam and Elliot wander the collapsed city for days before taking shelter at the nearly-standing Arrowhead hospital. Their days are filled with hopes of rescue and a deep need for emotional and mental closeness, until a harsh reality take over their thoughts—their food and supplies are dwindling, and they are in desperate need of assistance and reprieve.

They’re forced to return to the devastation they narrowly escaped … the hellish compound, also known as Refuge Inc.

This time, armed with a handgun containing four bullets and a dangerous plan, they make their way across the devastated city and back to the compound. Adam’s determined to do whatever he must to survive, even allowing grief-stricken Elliot to take the lead and make some of the most life-changing decisions they would ever have to make.

Will they win their final fight for survival?

WARNING: Contains explicit male-male sexual practices, graphic language, violence and brief descriptions of the dead.

May 25 2013

Assisted Self-Publishing, Vanity or Subsidy Publishing’s Bad Rep


What is Vanity, Subsidy and Assisted Self-Publishing?

The first thing you hear people say when the topic of vanity publishing comes up is “You shouldn’t have to pay to be published.”

Simply put, that is the definition of Assisted, Vanity and Subsidy Publishing, and it goes by many other names (co-op, partner, joint-venture, equity publishing, etc.). When you pay an establishment to publish your book, that establishment is a vanity publisher. You pay them to format, design, edit and distribute your book either as an e-book and/or in print.

The quote above can be rather ambiguous because, technically, you pay to be published even if it’s vanity, traditionally or indie. There’s always a price. Not necessarily monetary. You’re still expected to do most of the marketing, promoting (you need a website, and a little swag to giveaway, etc.). No matter how you choose to publish, it all requires money at one point in the process. The goal is to make back what you put in.

You must invest if you want a return. You have to put money in if you want to get money out. That’s an unwritten rule, I’m sure.

So what’s the big deal?

The problem with vanity publishing isn’t paying to be published. I mean, we say that, but that’s not the core issue. I think the REAL problem is:

  1. Most of the time, vanity presses publish anything. No editing, no polishing, not even a good story is required. Not only will they publish anything, they still get a cut of your earnings while charging crazy fees.
  2. Some vanity presses are misleading and pretend to be traditional publishers.
  3. You don’t go through a slush pile. There’s rarely an editor to reject you, making publishing less selective.

Some of those issues apply to true self-publishing too, but the difference between Vanity Publishing and true Self-Publishing is with Vanity Publishing you pay the vanity publisher (sometimes thousands of dollars), expecting the “publisher’s credible name” to back you and your work, and expecting professional guidance. When what you usually get is; you tell them what you want, you pay, they provide, and hit publish. And off your book goes, out into the world, but not necessarily giving its best first impression and not without leaving you broke.

Sure, you can pay extra (up to thousands of dollars) for a series of edits and a smoking hot custom book cover, and it’s great if in your marketing plan, you estimate a return of your investment within a year or two. Great! Good for you. Really, I’m not knocking vanity published authors, especially if you went into the deal with all your questions answered and a clear head. (Unlike I did.)

However, a lot of writers are sucked in by vanity publishing and have no clue what a decent marketing plan is or even what they should expect to sell in the first year of being published, let alone who they’re aiming to sell to (their target audience). After vanity publishing my first book (many, many years ago), it sat on Amazon and sold an average of 4 e-books a month. Yeah, newbie. Why is this? Because vanity publishers mostly target newbies, amateurs, beginners, who just want to see their book published.

And like I said, there’s no harm if this is something you want to do. By all means, have at it. But there are some things other than “paying to be published” that gives vanity publishing a bad rep.

Why so negative?

Now I’ll state again, most vanity publishers operate a legitimate business, so I am not knocking those who choose this route of publishing. Hey, my first four books were published by a vanity press. Which is where my firsthand knowledge (and the sour taste in my mouth) come from. Still, here are some reasons vanity presses have a stigma attached to them.

  1. A lot of vanity presses disguise themselves as traditional publishers.
  2. Misleading about the deals they offer.
  3. High pressure, spammy emails, unsolicited phone calls, flyers and brochures sent to your physical mailbox, all trying to “sale” you on submitting your manuscript or to publish with them again.
  4. You pay for most of the expenses which are usually “extras” and not included in the main package, including edits, custom book cover design, formatting, addition of interior pictures, edits after a certain stage, (and even other random fees) and they still offer you a low percentage on your book’s earnings.
  5. Hidden fees. Ridiculous charges.
  6. Unfulfilled promises. Broken marketing promises, missing royalty checks, copies of books not received, etc.

Here’s a highly detailed and in-depth article from Science Fiction writers of America on vanity, subsidy, and self-publishing. If you’re looking for more information, check out that link.

Now, in all fairness, some good books, authors and careers have come from the vanity publishing mill. So, once again, this could be the perfect route for you. Just make sure you know all the details before signing by the X.

What’s on your mind? Leave a comment below and share it.


Image credit: Hash Milhan

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.





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.



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.

May 16 2013

Now in Audio! Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #1)

I’m so excited! My very first audio book, Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #1), is available now on and soon iTunes and Amazon.

Listen to a sample and download your very own audio version of the book at the link.



by Leslie Lee Sanders

Series: Refuge Inc. Book 1

Narrator: Guy Veryzer

Genre: MM, Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-Fi, GBLT, Erotic Romance

Audio formats available: Audible | iTunes | Amazon




To survive is a challenge. To survive for each other is more than they expected.

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?

WARNING: Contains explicit male-male sexual practices, graphic language, some violence and descriptions of death.



Apr 18 2013

My Top 5 Most Helpful Blog Posts for Writers

top 5Here are links to the top 5 most helpful blog posts on this site from 2012 or earlier. This list is especially targeted to writers, aspiring or established. Here’s your chance to view some of my earlier but most influential posts, chosen by me. Hope you find these posts helpful and inspiring.


  1. Embracing Rejection Instead of Fearing It – All writers experience publisher/editor/agent rejection at one point in their writing careers, but serious writers learn to embrace that rejection and use it to improve their writing. Here’s how.
  2. Why Writing Well Consistently is Crucial for an Author – Part of an author’s job is to market themselves and their work. We keep up with our online social networks, updating Facebook and Twitter and engaging with other authors, editors, agents and readers. We blog, we’re interviewed and participate in discussions on online forums and blogs. Whether we’re writing books or writing Facebook updates, our number one job as a writer is to write and write well.
  3. Read More to Write Better – Sure we read fiction to escape reality or to be entertained. We read nonfiction to learn or to be inspired. We read for various reasons. However, did you know to be a better writer you have to read? Not just read, but read analytically.
  4. Reasons Writing What You Love Works – The titles I like most are the ones with subjects I enjoy writing about. The stories with an underlying theme or issue that’s close to my heart. And I found I get thoughtful, more positive responses from readers when I write what I love. Below are some reasons why writing what you love can create better, more fulfilling writing.
  5. The Complicated Story Ending – The ending of your story should be just as engaging as the beginning hook. It should be emotionally satisfying, and tie up most if not all loose ends. If the book is part of a series, it still needs to stand on its own, and answer all major story questions.


Go ahead and click on the titles that you are most interested in. Leave a comment too (this blog uses CommentLuv so your most recent blog post will be displayed in the comments section when you leave a comment). So, please, share your thoughts.



Apr 01 2013

April 1st Excerpt of Beyond the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #3)

beyond the darknessBeyond the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #3)

by Leslie Lee Sanders

– April Fool’s excerpt –


“We gotta do what we gotta do, Elliot.” A frown briefly appeared on Adam’s face. “If we like it or not. We can’t keep living like this, waiting around for rescue that isn’t gonna come.”

“Exactly.” Elliot nodded. “Deep down you knew rescue wasn’t coming, huh?”

Adam shrugged. “I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe I was hoping more than actually thinking. Wishful thinking.”

A row of cars blocked the road ahead of them, Adam moved onward and squeezed between two of the cars, pushing one of the doors closed as he shimmied through. As soon as he rested his hand on the door a grotesque zombie quickly reached through the broken window and grabbed Adam’s hand, tearing through the flesh with its jagged and rotting teeth. Then out of the sky flew vampires cloaked in black capes and a werewolf or two howled in the distance. Hell had arrived in Phoenix. Where was the love?

“Nooooooo!” Elliot fell to his knees. “Why have you forsaken me!”

“April fool’s!” Leslie Lee Sanders shouted through shocked laughter and a few unspoken “What the F***s” from the reader. “Gotcha!”

Visit the Refuge Inc. page for links to buy Before the Darkness and Amid the Darkness. And have a great April Fool’s Day!

Mar 17 2012

Benefits of Sharing

Cara is unenthusiastic about her upcoming thirtieth birthday. Maybe her husband’s eighteen-year-old coworker Isaac could add some excitement.

Cara Matthews is about to turn thirty, and for her, it’s the death of her youth and the beginning of the dull years. Her husband, James, is aware of her sudden grief and surprises her with something that should take her mind off of aging: young Isaac.

Maybe Isaac can help Cara create her very own wild and crazy experience to share—in more ways than one—and help her transition smoothly from her twenties to her thirties.

Cara is all too eager to finally experience the excitement she’s been desperately craving, but she’s also a little skeptical. Exactly who is Isaac, and why is he so eager to please?

Available at for $1.99