Aya de Leon

author – activist – faculty – mom

BOOKS

the-boss_coverJustice Hustlers series from Kensington Books

Book #1 UPTOWN THIEF available now in mass market paperback and audiobook!

Book #2 THE BOSS out now! Available at the following outlets:

From IndieBound

From Barnes&Noble

From Amazon

About THE BOSS: Tyesha Couvillier seems to have escaped her disastrous past on Chicago’s South Side. She’s finished graduate school and stopped working as an escort. Now she’s director of a Manhattan women’s health clinic, and as the new boss, she’s called to lead in labor crisis. The dancers at the One-Eyed-King want to unionize, but the chain of strip clubs is controlled by Ukrainian mobsters with no regard for any laws, least of all labor codes. Meanwhile, Tyesha’s high drama relatives from Chicago have moved to Brooklyn, including Tyesha’s teenage niece who’s trying to break into the rap game. She begs Tyesha to rekindle her romance with a rap star she used to date. Tyesha initially encountered him as a rude client too drunk for sex. He became a promising suitor until he expected an easy lay because of her profession. According to his latest album he’s changed. But can she trust him? She needs a clear head to deal with her more dangerous relatives and the deadly anti-union thugs who threaten her, the strippers, and the clinic.

Praise for THE BOSS

“This  well-written and enjoyable installment in de León’s unique, feminist, urban crime fiction series, Justice  Hustlers, infuses satisfying power in both plot and character. Readers will embrace  this heist story with heart and its hero, Tyesha, a smart yet fallible professional and champion for  struggling women. [de] León, who is also a poet, social commentator, and head of the Poetry for the People  program at UC Berkeley, is a crime writer to watch.”

-Amy Alessio, Booklist

 

“Sexy. Scandalous. Suspenseful. Book two in de Leon’s Justice Hustlers series is an honest and authentic stand-alone read that quickly captures the reader’s attention. The street-smart heroine heroically takes on…mobsters, drug pins and bad boy rappers.”

– RT Book Reviews

 

“tackles the real issues of sex work in a criminalized society without ever coming across as preachy…The Boss is a particularly important, informative, and exciting read which will stimulate vital discussions of many black and sex worker-specific issues.”

-Jay St. James, Tits and Sass
“one third romance, one third heist caper, and one third Norma Rae for sex workers….Equal parts entertaining and thought-provoking, The Boss is definitely one for the keeper shelves of any feminist-minded romance reader.”

-Romance Novels For Feminists

 

“[these] strong, intelligent, and fearless women of color who steal in the name of justice…come to life immediately…a tightly-written, inventive plot makes the pages turn on their own….If you’re looking for a summer weekend read, this is a great one.”

Elizabeth Marro, Author, Casualties, A Novel

 

UPTOWN THIEF officialAbout UPTOWN THIEF: Marisol Rivera will do whatever it takes to protect her women’s health clinic––including bankrolling it with an escort service and a successful series of robberies that target corporate CEOs involved in a sex trafficking scandal. Because sometimes the best donor to a nonprofit is the unintentional donor. Her team includes three escorts: Tyesha, an African American public health graduate student by day; Kim, “the lock whisperer,” a petite Korean immigrant; and Kim’s girlfriend Jodie, a six-foot blonde dominatrix. But can they heist a security-obsessed billionaire? Especially when he doesn’t want any of the escorts on the team, he wants the madam. The lure of a big score that could save the clinic may be too much to resist. But the risks are equally high, especially when Marisol finds herself falling for an ex-cop involved in the case. Is he feeding her info to help her out or to set her up? As the secrets of her sexual past resurface, her perfect plan begins to unravel. Marisol must outwit the Central Robbery detectives and outrun the vicious pimp who firebombed her clinic. She will need all her Lower East Side street survival skills to save her clinic, her team and her own skin.

“UPTOWN THIEF is…a page-turner we can dive into for an escape from poverty, sexism and racism, but also a rallying cry to toss out those systems and rewrite the rules.” -Washington Post

Praise for UPTOWN THIEF

Trade Publications:

“Our lady with the heart of gold is bold…she knows what’s important and tells her staff, ‘But as long as the female [ass] outearns the female brain, there are gonna be sex workers who need our clinic.’ De León, who teaches poetry at the University of California, Berkley, has written a first novel loaded with heart. Marisol is totally dedicated to her cause, but the author is wise to not make Marisol a saint but rather deeply flawed….this new author’s hard-hitting tale is a welcome addition.”

Library Journal Reviews

…de León’s urban adventure combines sexiness with compassion. Marisol is an interesting Robin Hood, and her struggles to help her friends and family, as well as realistic stories of women in shelters seeking refuge from dangerous men, will resonate with readers. De Leon offers erotica with an engaging plot and emotional and social depth.

— Amy Alessio, Booklist advance review

“Marisol and her band of Merry Women are robbing from the rich to help the downtrodden women in her health clinic. Though she is living a life of crime, she has a heart of Gold. You find yourself cheering her on while biting your nails hoping she’ll win out in the end.”

– RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Reviews:

“Aya De Leon squares a seemingly un-squarable circle, melding romance novel with social critique.”

-Jean Yang, Jacobin Magazine

“Aya de Leon…delivers a fast-paced thriller.”

Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News

Uptown Thief “isn’t the sort of book I’d usually choose to read: it combines what should be an unbelievable heist plot alongside the stories of a range of sex workers and Marisol’s personal life. I agreed to read it because I’ve included Aya de León’s blog posts in my In the Media round-up and I think her pieces on feminism are interesting and thought-provoking. I’m glad I did; I was gripped throughout the whole book. This is a fast-paced tale, cinematic in style, with a clear vein of smart thinking with regards to women and sex – whether for work or pleasure.”

-The Writes of Woman

Author Reviews:

“Uptown Thief is a smart, sexy, sizzling good time of a novel–a daring and irresistible blend of high-voltage action and deeply human storytelling. The women in this book blaze so brightly, you could almost burn your fingers on the pages.”

-Carolina De Robertis, author of The Gods of Tango

“Uptown Thief is a lyrical riot…where corruption lurks in the most unlikely places….A harmonic heist drives our lovable, despicable heroine, Marisol through Manhattan’s upper crust as she discovers the true meaning of sisterhood among thieves.”

-Antonia Crane, author of Spent and co-author of the screenplay The Lusty

“Staking out space for women of color in the heist-fiction genre, Aya de Leon’s smart, sly writing is a knockout.”

-Andi Zeisler, Editorial/Creative Director, Bitch Magazine

“Aya de Leon is a feminist writer to watch.”

-Sarai Walker, author of Dietland

Uptown Thief is a revolutionary novel in disguise, a page turning, plot twisting adventure in feminist class warfare…Aya de León has crafted a story every bit as sneaky and flirtatious as its feisty protagonists. Uptown Thief carries its radical intentions like a switchblade in a rhinestone clutch. You’ll be so swept up, you won’t even notice the blade slide home til it touches your heart.”

-Dr. Aurora Levins-Morales, author of Remedios: Stories of Earth and Iron from the History of Puertorriquenas

“Uptown Thief takes you on a wild ride…a twisty, fun read with snappy dialogue and winning characters, but what really makes it stand out is what it has to say…about the sex trade in America….a refreshing take on the classic heist story, with a team of smart, beautiful women taking on the roles of George Clooney and his buddies in Ocean’s Eleven. Also: it has lots and lots of sex…”

-Heather Young, author of THE LOST GIRLS

“It’s the new OITNB. A story of women’s hustle, women’s relationships, women’s worldmaking. It cries out for a TV series….UPTOWN THIEF offers the realest breakdown of sex work economies I’ve ever encountered in literature, TV or film. [It’s also] the ultimate grown-up love story. From the soul-killing choices of children trapped in abuse and poverty, to the messy, dirty, complicated choices of adults struggling to hold together family and community in brutal economic times. ”

-Shailja Patel, Amazon bestselling author of MIGRITUDE

“This Robin Hood story of a feminist, independent madam (for lack of a better word) gave me a perspective on the sex industry that I’d never seen before. Marisol is a take-no-prisoners boss who respects her employees and allows them to have control over their bodies and their work, despite their position as sex workers. It gave me insight into how this profession could be….The story itself is fast-paced and titillating (the sex scenes are steamy!) as Marisol protects those she loves and takes revenge on those who treat women poorly (or worse). The action scenes are tense and exciting, and this is definitely the novel for those who want some excitement in their lives!”

-Jennifer Brown, author of MODERN GIRLS

“Marisol Rivera…the superhero the world needs now….go read the book! It’s a blast.”

-Andrea Dunlop, author of LOSING THE LIGHT

“Hot sex, suspense, safe-cracking, and social justice: Aya de Leon’s Uptown Thief  has all of this and more as Marisol, a super-thief, trick-turning Wonder Woman in indestructible  high heels, robs the evil rich to give her sister sex workers healthcare, safety, dignity, and  401K’s. De Leon has a sharp ear for dialogue, a penchant for sizzling descriptions, and a talent  for revealing the upside of an underworld where crime is not only a necessity; it’s the only  option if you want to survive.”

-Mary Mackey New York Times bestselling author of The Village of Bones

 Reader Reviews:

“Can not put down Aya de Leon’s UPTOWN THIEF. Get it if you’re into smart, complex, rule-breaking women. Or if you just read books.”

-Lorelei Lee, writer/porn performer

Pre-Order UPTOWN THIEF

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

puffy CS cover promo

CHILDREN’S LIT

puffy: people whose hair defies gravity

puffy is a children’s book of text and photographs featuring kids, teens, adults, and families with naturally puffy hair.  It is designed to provide children of African heritage and other puffy-haired kids with positive images.  The Project was started by writer/performer/educator Aya de Leon to share a book she had created for her own daughter with other families and children.

“This universal crowd-pleaser is a joyful celebration of natural black hair. Rhyming text accompanies photos of smiling adults and children who sport puffs, twists, knots, locks, curls, and cornrows. The sweet refrain “puffy here/puffy there,/yay! I love my puffy hair” will be fun for small children to repeat. It’s a perfect choice for one-on-one sharing or for storytime.”

School Library Journal

BUY NOW from CreateSpace

Upcoming Appearances

  • Brooklyn Book Fest September 17, 2017
  • LitQuake October 14, 2017 at 2:00 am – 5:00 am OPL main

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,233 other followers

%d bloggers like this: