Eli Easton

Author of m/m romance books and stories

Welcome to Eli Easton!

“Stitch” is now available for pre-order!

April 2

StitchFS FINAL FROM PAUL

“Stitch” is coming out Apr 21st and is now on the Dreamspinner Coming Soon page and available for pre-order.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4907

This anthology has FOUR gothic m/m romance novellas, all with a Frankenstein theme. The authors are myself, Sue Brown, Kim Fielding, and Jamie Fessenden.

And here it is on goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20705898-stitch?from_search=true

Eli

 

 

What I’m Working on: Kingdom Come

March 15

I haven’t posted for a bit, so I thought I should give you an update.  I have a few things coming up and a new novel in the works.

COMING UP:

APRIL:  an anthology of 4 novellas called “Stitch” is coming out from Dreamspinner Press.  The anthology includes novellas by myself, Jamie Fessenden, Kim Fielding, and Sue Brown.  All the novellas have a Frankenstein/created man theme.  I’m excited about this and hope it does well.  Here’s the cover.

StitchFS FINAL FROM PAUL

JUNE:  I’ll have a story in this year’s Dreamspinner’s Daily Dose, a novella called “Heaven Can’t Wait”.  Also in June or July, “The Mating of Michael” comes out. It’s my first full-length m/m novel (73K words) and is the 3rd in the Sex in Seattle series.  It stars Michael Lamont, a sex therapist, and I hope you all love it as much as I do!

IN PROGRESS:

I’m working on a novella for the next gothika anthology that’s a m/m romance and gothic Voodoo-themed story. It’s tenatively called “The Bird”.

“Kingdom Come” — I’m also currently writing a novel that’s a bit different for me. It’s a murder mystery with a m/m romance.  I have written and published mysteries before, in my ‘past life’, but I haven’t done one in a few years, and never with a m/m romance element to it.  The book is set in contemporary Lancaster County, PA, where I currently reside. The plot involves the Amish culture.  One MC is a homicide detective and the other is a young Amish widower.  The mystery is quite heavy and dark.  I hope to see it published in 2014.  Here’s a little taste of a visual I have been using to inspire myself.  (NOTE:  This is not a book cover, just a little wallpaper I made for myself.)  Click for a closer view.

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That’s all the news for now.  Enjoy the early spring and I’ll post more about “Stitch” soon!

Eli

Recommended: “The Reluctant Berserker” by Alex Beecroft

February 27

 

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Amazing. This book will be in my ‘year’s best’ for sure.

First, I want to say that as a writer I admire good writing, especially as I read so heavily in m/m romance where the writing is often just serviceable (and not exactly the point). That’s not to denigrate any author, because my own work doesn’t always soar like the eagles, only to say that when I find a book where the writing is as good as any book I’ve ever read, I’m very impressed.

I love this author’s way with prose and there are so many wonderful and original analogies in this book. Here are just a few of the dozens I highlighted:

For when he looked up, he saw that all the clouds had drawn apart. The night was on them full, and acres and acres of sharp stars were poised to fall on him with killing cold.

This disappointment was strange and ungrateful in him, he thought, tasting at the back of his throat like blood from a nosebleed.

In his frustration, Wulfstan’s sodden maze of pleasure-drunken thoughts turned into a sack full of snakes.

I could go on, but that gives you an idea. I am wary of books (and I have seen some reviewed lately) where the author’s voice becomes so over-wrought and egotistically poetic that the story is lost in a vomit of flowers, but that is certainly not the case here. The story and plot are always driving forward with the strong prose supporting it but never detracting from it.

As for the story/plot itself. I don’t read a ton of historical fiction, but when I do, I like it to feel authentic and take me to a time and place I know little about and make me feel like I’m there. This book achieves that. The attitudes towards homosexuality, the touches of witchcraft and religion, the characters of the scobs or musicians, all felt very true to the time and I enjoyed the texture a great deal. There was action and angst and miscommunication in the plot, but thankfully the miscommunication was not overly done and neither MC was overly weak or fearful of saying what they wanted. The plot was rich and fast-paced enough that it kept me reading til the end.

Like many contemporary m/m romances, the ultimate theme is a common one–accepting who you are. Nothing really new there, yet the journey to it was unique enough that I was happy. The romance was quite good too — both MCs were beautiful and appealing and I loved the twist of their contrary natures and how beautifully they fit together.

“Your father–”
“If he has any wisdom, would accept that our wyrd is woven for us in our very nature, and all our choices only tend to that end. Better to accept fate joyfully than to fight it, for it will win no matter what we do.”

I would give this book more than 5 stars for the great writing and research, the fast-paced plot and taking me to another time, but I do have one nit. After 380 pages of waiting of our MCs to finally consummate their relationship, not giving us another paragraph or two of description (at least) felt a bit stingy on the author’s part. The sex is basically fade to black. I don’t need pages of detailed erotica, but wanted at least to be inside Wulfstan’s head as he finally got his wish and experience his joy and pleasure.

Also, I will say, it is confusing the attitude portrayed about homosexuality in the book. In this story, it was acceptable for a Lord or warrior, or any older man, to keep and use a ‘boy’ for sex, quite openly, but somehow incredibly shameful for any ‘man’ to take it up the ass. So any boy or slave who was or had been so used was reviled as womanly and weak, the ultimate insult, and would never be free of such a reputation even once grown. This may or may not be completely historically accurate in the culture portrayed in this book–which was ancient Saxony. But if accurate, the attitude is confusing as hell. I can understand the idea that a man allowing another man to f*ck him would be considered weak and shameful to a warrior society, but the easy acceptance and common occurance of a Lord having a homosexual relationship with a boy lover for years (when women were freely available in the hall) is less believable. In my research into medieval England, though men did use boys thus, it was not open and was typically in a situation like travel or battle where women were not available as an alternative. But whether or not it was 100% historically accurate for ancient Saxony, it worked for this plot and anyway, there were touches of fantasy in this (as with the witchcraft), so I can accept it in that light. It just left me curious!

Thanks for a great read, Alex Beecroft. I need to go get False Colors now.

Eli

“Heaven Can’t Wait” novella to be in Dreamspinner’s “Daily Dose” June 2014

February 19

I just got the news that my novella “Heaven Can’t Wait” will appear in Dreamspinner’s Daily Dose this year.  If you’re not familiar with Daily Dose, it goes like this.  You can subscribe to the whole Daily Dose package and receive a new short story or novella in the mail every day in June.  ”Heaven Can’t Wait” will also be available for individual sale after June 1st, 2014.

Here’s the image I used for inspiration for my two MCs Chuck and Kevin.  (This picture is Ty Roderick and Max Carter from CockyBoys):

MyGayUS_CockyBoys_TyRoderick_MaxCarter_0005

And here’s the *temporary* blurb I submitted along with the manuscript.

Brian Matheson died at the ripe age of nineteen.  In heaven he’s informed that his soul is in a limbo state.  He’ll have one last chance to redeem himself before he’s thrown into a very nasty pit. All Brian has to do is return to earth and save a life. The trick is, it’s the life of Kevin, his friend Chuck’s roommate. See Kevin is gay, and Brian and all his pals picked on him, making his life a misery.  Still, Brian can see the error of his old ways now.  And he can succeed at this challenge, turn Kevin’s life around, and avoid going to hell.  Easy peasy.  Right?

Kevin thought he’d left bullying behind in high school.  But then his college roommate, Chuck, showed up and turned out to be friends with a bunch of gay-baiters.  They loved to come over and give Kevin a hard time, so he spent as many hours as he could in the coffee shop.  He was lonely and shy and he was depressed, but he had to hang in there until another room opened up.  That and keep his eyes off his drop-dead sexy, uber-straight roommate.

Everyone thought Chuck was a tough guy. He looked the part so he acted the part. But what none of his friends knew is that Chuck, on the inside, was nothing at all like the exterior.  He tried to be like all the other guys, but being stuck in a dorm room with the prettiest, gayest twink he’d ever seen was so not helping. 

If Brian can untangle this mess, he’ll deserve his wings.  Good frickin’ luck.

As you can probably tell, it’s got some humor, some paranormal, and some sexy UST.  The novella is 17.4K words long.

Eli

 

Trailer for “Stitch” anthology

February 14

Jamie Fessenden made a cool trailer for our upcoming anthology, “Stitch”, which will have 4 gothic m/m romance novellas by Jamie, Kim Fielding, Sue Brown and myself.  Watch it here!  Stitch is due out Apr 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVCZ8S7uYZA

StitchFS FINAL FROM PAUL

 

“The Mating of Michael” gets a contract

January 28

Yay!  Today I got a contract for “The Mating of Michael”. This is my first full length novel with Dreamspinner Press at 73K words. It is the 3rd in the Sex in Seattle series and features sex surrogate Michael Lamont.  Pub date is Jun-Jul 2014.

I’ll post more about it later. For now, here’s a picture I used for inspiration for Michael (this is L.A. model Isaiah Garnica).

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Eli

Just Finished: Heaven Can’t Wait novella

January 27

heavens-gate1

 

I just finished writing/editing a 17.5K work novella called “Heaven Can’t Wait”.  It’s a humorous, bit sexy, m/m romance. I have submitted it to an anthology.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Here’s my (temp) blurb for the story:

Brian Matheson died at the ripe age of nineteen.  In heaven he’s informed that his soul is in a limbo state.  He’ll have one last chance to redeem himself before he’s thrown into a very nasty pit. All Brian has to do is return to earth and save a life. The trick is, it’s the life of Kevin, his friend Chuck’s roommate. See Kevin is gay, and Brian and all his pals picked on him, making his life a misery.  Still, Brian can see the error of his ways now.  And he can succeed at this challenge, turn Kevin’s life around, and avoid going to hell.  Easy peasy.  Right?

Kevin thought he’d left bullying behind in high school.  But then his college roommate, Chuck, showed up and turned out to be friends with a bunch of gay-baiters.  They loved to come over and give Kevin a hard time, so he spent as many hours as he could in the coffee shop.  He was lonely and shy and he was depressed, but he had to hang in there until another room opened up.  That and keep his eyes off his drop-dead sexy, uber-straight roommate.

Everyone thought Chuck was a tough guy. He looked the part so he acted the part. But what none of his friends knew is that Chuck, on the inside, was nothing at all like the exterior.  He tried to be like all the other guys, but being stuck in a dorm room with the prettiest, gayest twink he’d ever seen was so not helping. 

If Brian can untangle this mess, he’ll deserve his wings.  Good frickin’ luck.

Hopefully the story will come out in the summer 2014.

Eli

Book Rec: Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson

January 24

 

knownotwhy

 

I *adored* this book so much. It’s definitely going to be in my best reads of the year list. I’ve been in the mood for a good, solid, straight-up, slow build contemporary–no shifters or magic in sight–and this was exactly what I needed. There are so many things I loved about it.

First, the first person POV narrative voice was so witty and funny. It reminds me of a kinder, gentler “Tell Me It’s Real”. It took me a chapter or two to get into it, but then I just floated all the way through, often laughing outloud. I highlighted favorite passages like a wild person.

Second, I love gfy-coming of age stories and this one was ideal. The main MC, Howie, is 22 but he’s been living at home helping out his mom after his father’s death and he is still a virgin. He thinks he likes girls–until he meets Arthur. At first there’s a lot of antagonism between the two, but Hannah places lots of hints that Howie’s feelings are mixed, to say the least.

There’s a slow-burn romance, which I love, and some lovely UST. Howie and Arthur are very cute together and crazy (obnoxious, funny) Howie helps stiff Arthur come out of his shell.

I loved the setting of the yarn shop and all the secondary characters were fully-fleshed and lovable. Kristy was hilarious and I loved the Mitch/Amber subplot. Lots of sweet, adorable feels and snarkiness. It doesn’t get any better than that!

If there was one thing I would have liked more of, it was the sexy times. Other than a few kisses, all of it was off-page. Which, you know, it doesn’t need to be endlessly explicit, but when it’s an MC’s first time, and first time with a guy, I at least would like to be present for it, even if it’s described in a high-level way, because it is rather transformative. But compared to the joy this book gave me, that’s a minor nit.

I hope Hannah Johnson writes more. I’ll be first in line to buy it. Some of my favorite quotes:


My mind turns back on gradually, clunkily, the way lights go on in a warehouse, row after row, click-buzzz – click-buzzzz – click-buzzzz.

Every piece of me — every nerve, every hair, every damn cell — sings out one matching song in perfect harmony, and that song is FUUUUUUUCK.

…all of a sudden it’s like, here he is, in the flesh, he’s still a flesh-type creature that exists, and it’s flesh that’s been in contact with my flesh, I wish I would stop thinking the word ‘flesh,’ you know what’s a gross, creepy, weird word? ‘Flesh.’ I think my brain is melting. I think I’ve having a stroke. Or a coronary. Or porphyria. I KNEW HE WOULD GIVE ME PORPHYRIA.

“Um,” Arthur says. He’s looking at me dead-on, like he’s forcing himself to do it. God, I wish he would knock it off. I also wish he’d lose his eyelashes in a freak eyelash fire incident. And his lips, too, because all of a sudden I’m looking at them, what is that?”

I miss Lindsay, and we have, like negative chemistry. Innocent bystanders cringed when they saw us within five feet of each other.

“Come in,” Arthur says brusquely in response to my knock — the softest, reluctantest, unknockiest knock in the history of that long, complicated relationship betwixt doors and knuckles.

Well, I could quote this book all day. If you like humor and romance at all you should read this book. I wish I could send it a zillion readers.

Eli

Cover reveal: Stitch

January 22

 

StitchFS FINAL FROM PAUL

 

We have a cover for Stitch!  Stitch is the first volume of a new series called Gothika.  I personally love dark, gothic-romantic stories, and I love m/m.  I was a bit disappointed last year when there didn’t seem to be many new things out in m/m for Halloween that were, well, Halloween-y.  So Jamie Fessenden and I started talking about doing an anthology together. And we had so many ideas that turned into a series of anthologies.  We were fortunate enough to get Sue Brown and Kim Fielding to agree to participate.  Et voila.

Each volume of Gothika has a theme and includes four novellas.  The theme of Stitch is Frankenstein/Pygmalion/Robot type creatures. In other words, one of the MCs is a man-made man.  I have always loved stories like this and there aren’t many in the m/m category.

The stories in this volume include:

Made For Aaron — by Sue Brown

Reparation — by Eli Easton

The Watchwork Man — by Jamie Fessenden

The Golem of Mala Lubovnya — by Kim Fielding

I’ll be posting more about this anthology later.  It is slated for April 2014 publication.  We’ll have a second volume of Gothika out for Halloween 2014.

Eli

Where Do Stories Come From: Guest Post by BG Thomas

January 21

“Where Do Stories Come From?”  or  “It All Started With This Really Cute Guy at Church”

HoundDogandBeanFS

In all honesty, my new novel “Hound Dog & Bean” really didn’t start with a guy. But he certainly was the water that started the seeds to germinating!

Ever heard of the author Connie Willis? I hope so. She is amazing, and if I’m correct, she still holds the record for being the most awarded writer ever. She’s won eleven Hugo Awards and seven Nebula Awards.

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Several years ago I was extremely fortunate to be her liaison when she was Guest of Honor at ConQuest, Kansas City’s big SF&F convention. That meant I got to spend a ton of quality time with my idol over those three days and I will never be the same. I owe so much to Ms Willis. She not only encouraged me to pursue writing, but she gave me tons of advice that helped shape me into the writer I have become. She used to teach the Clarion Workshop, so believe you me, I received extraordinary guidance! And I didn’t even have to take the six week class!

One thing she taught me was that sometimes a writer will get an idea for a story and then discover it’s just not quite idea enough to be a story. But then sometimes they are lucky enough to have two such ideas that can be married together to create a truly great story.

Such was the happenstance with her multi-award winning novella, “The Last of the Winnebagos.”

Ms Willis is a Colorado resident and that can mean mountainous roads. And if you’re driving in the mountains and you get trapped behind a motorhome, it’s a frustrating situation indeed. You might be in a rush, but believe me, you’re not going anywhere fast with that thing lumbering in front of you. You’ll be lucky if you’re going thirty-five miles an hour.

So she got an idea for story about a not too distant future where such slow-moving gas-guzzling vehicles have been made all but illegal. Sadly though, it wasn’t enough to be its own story.

Sometime later with an idea about another near-distant future where all the dogs in the world had died and the laws against hurting an animal are frighteningly severe. Don’t even get caught hitting at animal if it runs out in front of your car or who knows what the punishment might be.

And suddenly she saw that both ideas went perfectly together and thus was born “The Last of the Winnebagos.” I won’t tell you how the two ideas fit together or I’ll ruin it the story. So read it. Just read it. You’ll be glad you did.

It is Ms Willis’ advice that brought “Hound Dog & Bean,” my new novel, into existence.

Sarah Jane

My husband and I adopted a sweet little dog from the Great Plains SPCA. We named her Sarah Jane and she has become the light of my life. As I began to talk to the people who work and volunteer their time for no-kill animal shelters, I came to realize I wanted to write a book about these heroes.

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I also fell in love with coffee. I used to hate it. Then I got an education from coffee connoisseurs and discovered that Maxwell House and Folgers are hardly what coffee lovers would ever call coffee in the first place. I learned about the difference between Arabica beans and Robusta beans. About the First Wave, Second Wave and Finally the Third Wave of coffee. The small cafés that often roast their own coffee in small batches and purchase their beans from tiny farms are a part of the “Third Wave.”  They pay the farmers a good earning wage to grow high quality beans and get them to harvest over days instead of all at once to insure more of the crop is ripe.

People who really love coffee will pay more for a cup because they know what has gone into the process of bringing them the best drinking experience possible. I have gotten to know Gregory Kolsto, the man who owns Oddly Correct in Kansas City and he fell head over heels in love with coffee and I soon knew that it was something I wanted to write about.

Since in the MM Romance field we obviously need to have two men to fall in love with each other, I suddenly realized that I had an opportunity to take the advice of Ms Willis. My new novel would be about both a man who runs a no-kill animal shelter and a man who owns a coffee roasterie and café.

And here’s the blurb!:

There’s been little love in H.D. “Hound Dog” Fisher’s life since the death of his beloved mom when he was a boy. Bounced around the foster care system, he ran away as soon as he could… and took the foster dog with him. As far as he’s concerned, only dogs have no ulterior motive, never hold a grudge, and offer unconditional love. Now he helps run a no-kill shelter and leaves relationships where they belong: in the back room.

  “Bean” Alexander settled in Kansas City to open his coffee shop after years of traveling. He never expected to open his heart too. When a man with a grudge takes a swing at H.D. while in line at Bean’s shop, Bean jumps to intervene.

  So taking a hit for H.D. gets Bean noticed, and H.D. feels obligated to pay a debt. But then the unexpected happens. A series of misadventures causes H.D. to open up—but falling in love makes him turn tail and run. Trust is a tough road to travel. Will good friends, a dog named Sarah Jane, and a bit of folk magic be enough to bring Hound Dog and Bean a happy ending?

I hope I have done justice to both the wondrous people who run no-kill animal shelters and to fine coffee.

Oh. Gregory, who owns the café Oddly Correct, is heterosexual. Sad for us gay guys. Good news for all the straight ladies! He really does make what is known in the trade as “God in a cup.” His beans are extraordinary. You must try his coffee if you can. I am even going to give you the opportunity—for free!

But lastly I should probably tell you about the cute guy I began this whole thing with, right?

So there I was at church when—Cowabunga! I saw the sexiest and cutest guy I’d seen in a long time. What’s funny is that he wasn’t my usual type, which is bearded and broad and hairy-chested. No. This guy was actually shorter than me (!), slight, and had blond dreadlocks. I’d never thought the hairstyle was particularly sexy, but on this guy? WOOF!

I quite suddenly knew he was my Hound Dog! So over the next several weeks I built up the courage to ask him if he would consider posing for the cover of the book. I am learning the art of photography and dreamed of having one of my photographs serving as a cover for one of my books. What’s more, with this dude, I could have him hold my own sweet dog—Sarah Jane—and she would be on the cover too!

I asked…and he agreed!

And then weirdly vanished. Into thin air. It’s been months and months and months and I have never seen him again.

Luckily the incomparable Paul Richmond came to the rescue and created a cover and a Hound Dog that out-hound-dogged the original inspiration! Needless to say I am a very happy camper even if I never got to drool…I mean, photograph that cute guy.

Okay!  That’s it folks. I hope you will buy my new book. I think you will love it, I really do, and not just because I wrote it. Find it right here!:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Hound+Dog+%26+Bean&osCsid=bfqvecgkr8opvdmaerpdv7s4f6&x=0&y=0

And here’s the promotions!  There will be three—count them—three prizes…

One, an ecopy of Hound Dog & Bean. Comment to qualify.

And Two!—a bag of premium roasted coffee beans donated by Oddly Correct! This is from Finca Sinai – Alfredo Boas. It is a “Best of Huila Winner,” with bright raspberry & lime tones, along with savory cocoa and herb character and a silkier “mouthfeel.” It is not flavored. The description is coffee-language, and you will be amazed at the taste!

For this one you must email me at BGThomaswriter@aol.com, and sorry—you must be in the continental United States for this one. I don’t want to have to take out a second mortgage on my house to pay for mailing this outside the country!

Thank you for taking the time to read me today, Thank you so much to Eli Easton for having me as a guest.

Please (!) check out Oddly Correct’s website! You’ll be glad that you did.  http://oddlycorrect.com/index.html

And finally!! Please—if you are thinking about getting a dog or cat, please consider adoption. They make the best pets and companions. They really do know somehow that you rescued them. I didn’t believe it until I got my own Sarah Jane.

Love and Light to you All.

And Remember!  Leap and the Net Will Appear!

BG Thomas

About BG Thomas

B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. He has gone to literature conventions his entire adult life where he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He has made up stories since he was child; it is where he finds his joy.

In the nineties, he wrote for gay magazines but stopped because the editors wanted all sex without plot. “The sex is never as important as the characters,” he says. “Who cares what they are doing if we don’t care about them?” Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he began writing again. Gay men are what he knows best, after all—since he grew out of being a “practicing” homosexual long ago. He submitted a story and was thrilled when it was accepted in four days.

“Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message to all. “It is never too late,” he states. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”

Visit his website and blog at http://bthomaswriter.wordpress.com/ or contact him directly at bgthomaswriter@aol.com.

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