Eli Easton

Author of m/m romance books and stories

Welcome to Eli Easton!

Desktop: The Stolen Suitor

February 1

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Today, Feb 1 2016, is the release day for “The Stolen Suitor”, a contemporary romance novel in the Dreamspun Desires line. Dreamspun Desires is a line of unrelated short novels that are all category romance (think the old Harlequin labels) but done as m/m. Very tropey, fun, short romances!

“The Stolen Suitor” is set in the same universe as my Christmas novella “A Prairie Dog’s Love Song”.  Clyde’s Corner, Montana is small town USA with a Western/ranch/folksy feel.  The story is light-hearted, humorous, and, hopefully, hot!  Both Prairie Dog and Stolen Suitor were inspired by Pamela Morsi’s “Marrying Stone” series of folksy romance.

So what is “The Stolen Suitor” about?

The story begins when Mabeline Crassen (Mabe) makes a plan. Mabe and her two sons live in a trailer home on the wrong side of the tracks in Clyde’s Corner, Montana. They’ve been looked down upon ever since Mabe’s husband, Frank, landed himself in jail years ago. The name ‘Crassen’ has had a bad rap ever since. But Mabe is determined to help her two sons achieve better place in the world. We have….

Jeremy Crassen — Jeremy is a shy dreamer who works in the back of Nora’s diner as the short-order cook and spends the rest of his time scribbling store is in his notebooks. He grew up hiding behind his long auburn bangs. Pretty much everyone dismisses Jeremy if they notice him at all. (The photo below is stock. He’s a bit too ‘built’ for slender Jeremy, but his face and hair are perfect.)

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Eric Crassen — Whereas Jeremy turned inward after his father’s arrest, his older brother Eric decided that if he were to be labelled bad, he’d be as bad as they come. Known in three counties as a good-looking, womanizing, partying, n’ere-do-well, Eric never rouses himself to do much of anything useful until Mabe’s plan pushes him to. (The dimple-chinned photo below was as close to Eric as I can find. It’s Tom Brady of the New England Patriots).

New England Patriots' Tom Brady answers a question during media day for NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) ORG XMIT: NFL108

Mabe’s plan is simple:  The young widow, Trix Stubben, owns the best ranch in town. An ex-beauty queen, all around excellent horse-woman, hard-worker, and mother to young Janie, Trix is the ideal woman to set Eric on the path to domestic responsibility at last. (The below photo of ‘Trix’ is stock.) Mabe doesn’t even know that Eric and Trix were middle school sweethearts years ago, until Frank Crassen’s arrest drove Eric to embrace his inner devil.

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Mabe pushes Eric to go work for Trix’s ranch and win her heart. After all, he’s good-looking enough to turn Trixie’s head, and he can charm the skin off a snake. There’s just one small problem….

Chris Ramsey:  Unfortunately, Trix already has a beau, Chris. His dad owns the town’s mercantile and he’s therefore ‘rich’ and also went away to Denver for a few years and has a top notch education. He’s clearly a much better catch than Eric, but Mabe thinks there may be a crack in that rosy picture. Chris has always been known as the local dandy, being teased for his fussiness with fashion and his looks even in high school. Mabe is pretty sure Chris plays for the pink team, and his courtship of Trix has no more depth than a puddle. Chris was Trixie’s dead husband’s best friend. Could he be courting Trix out of a sense of duty? She sets her younger son, Jeremy, to lure Chris’s attention away from Trix so Eric can steal her away.

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If you think that sounds like a plan that’s bound to cause any number of misunderstandings and complications, you’d be right. (I’ll give you a hint–it works out in the end.)

Here are a few images of the setting, Clyde’s Corner, Montana (which is fictional).

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And here are a few key places in the story:

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Above: The river bank where Jeremy and Chris go fishing (among other things)

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Above: The bridge where the dramatic ending takes place

Joshua and Ben from “A Prairie Dog’s Love Song” are also in the book quite a bit because Chris, Jeremy, and Eric all end up taking riding lessons on their ranch. It was wonderful to write more scenes with these characters! I adore them.

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And finally, the theme of the story is that sometimes what we think we want in life is not what will truly make us happy. Inspired by the Joseph Campbell quote below.

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That’s it for this desktop. I hope you enjoy the story. You can read an excerpt and find purchase links on my page for The Stolen Suitor.

Eli

 

 

 

A 21st Century Take on Classic Romance: First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony

January 19

A 21st Century Take on Classic Romance:

First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony

Buylinks: Dreamspinner: Amazon: All Romance: Barnes & Noble

 Thank you Eli for hosting the First Comes Marriage book tour! For those readers who may not already know, First Comes Marriage is the second book in the brand new Dreamspun Desires line of gay category romances from Dreamspinner Press. Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for an excerpt from the book, as well as the Rafflecopter giveaway. You could win a dozen red roses for your sweetheart or yourself!

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What’s a “category” romance? I didn’t know the term myself until a few years ago, but I knew the books! These were the Harlequin, Silhouette, Boon & Mills books many of our mothers read. You remember, the ones that came four to a box and were shipped every month? The covers all looked the same, and many were numbered sequentially, like magazines. They were called category romances because they were all from the same category of feel-good stories, all of a certain length (shorter novel), and were very formulaic or, what I might call, tropey.

I loved these books. I also hated them. I loved how they made me feel all squishy inside with that aching, slow-burn that ended in a HEA. Why did I hate them? Because when I was reading them back in the ‘70s, the HEA was always the woman giving up her independence, career, you name it, and getting married. Don’t get me wrong: I’m married and happily so. But my idea of a happy ending with marriage didn’t come with Victorian sensibilities!

So when Dreamspinner Press created the new Dreamspun Desires line of books and was looking for authors to write them, I jumped at the chance. My book, First Comes Marriage, does follow much of the formula of the old category romances. But the gay part of it was a delicious twist on that tried and true recipe, and it gave me permission to write the kind of HEA I dreamed of reading all those years ago.

Sure, the HEA in First Comes Marriage is sweet and satisfying. But it’s also sexy and 21st Century. It may make you cry (in a good way!). There’s plenty of slow burn here, but unlike the Harlequins I read as a new adult, the sex scenes are explicit and fun. No fade to black. My favorite part? Turning some of the old-fashioned romance tropes on their head. But you’ll have to read the book for that part—I won’t spoil it here.

I loved the idea of the Dreamspun Desires line so much that I bought a subscription. I’m looking forward to reading Eli’s book and all the others, and I really enjoyed the first book in the line, MJ O’Shea’s The Millionaire Upstairs. You don’t have to buy the subscription to read the books, since each is available individually. Any way you buy them, they promise to leave you with a smile on your face and that warm, fuzzy, satisfied feeling in your heart. -Shira

 

Blurb:

Their marriage was supposed to be all business….

When struggling novelist Chris Valentine meets Jesse Donovan, he’s interested in a book contract, or possibly a date. The last thing Chris expects is a marriage proposal from New York City’s most eligible bachelor!

Jesse’s in a pinch. To keep control of his company, he has to marry. So he has valid reasons for offering Chris this business deal: in exchange for living in a gorgeous mansion for a year, playing the doting husband, Chris gets all the writing time he wants and walks away with a million-dollar payoff. Surely Chris can handle that. He can handle living with the most handsome and endearing man he’s ever met, a man he immediately knows he wants in the worst way and can’t have. Or can he?

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Excerpt from Chapter Six:

Now, standing in the conference room of Windview Enterprises’ corporate headquarters near South Ferry in Manhattan, one of the matching platinum bands Jesse had bought for them in his pants pocket, Chris wondered if he’d wake up from the dream. The floor-to-ceiling windows looked out over Wall Street and the East River through the forest of high-rise buildings.

“Do you, Jesse Chase Donovan, take Christopher James Valentine to be your husband, in love and in friendship, until you are parted by death?” the judge asked.

“I do.” As Jesse slipped the ring on Chris’s finger, he met Chris’s gaze with such intensity that for an instant, Chris could almost forget the entire ceremony was a ruse to ensure the future of Windview remained firmly in Jesse’s control. Damn the man for being so attractive. Damn him for being a nice guy, because that was the worst part of it. And the part that had you agreeing.

“And do you, Christopher James Valentine, take Jesse Chase Donovan to be your husband, in love and in friendship, until you are parted by death?”

Chris swallowed hard and prayed he didn’t look as incredibly nervous as he felt. “I do.” His hand shook as he took Jesse’s hand and put the ring on his finger.

“Congratulations, Chris and Jesse,” the judge said.

Chris caught Val’s eye for a split second, and he half expected her to urge him to kiss Jesse. But it was Jesse who took charge and blindsided Chris with a kiss.

It started sweetly enough, just Jesse’s lips against his, but instead of releasing Chris, Jesse pulled him tighter against him and pressed his tongue into his mouth. Jesse tasted fucking amazing. Chris didn’t hesitate—their tongues tangled and danced. This close, Jesse smelled good and felt even better. Chris was barely aware of slipping his hands around Jesse’s back before resting them on lean hips. He didn’t think twice as his body and Jesse’s responded in kind.

Someone giggled—Chris recognized Val’s voice—and Jesse pulled abruptly away. Their eyes met for a split second, and Chris thought he saw a mixture of desire and surprise in Jesse’s deep blue eyes. The next thing Chris knew, Val had thrown her arms around him and only his racing heart and tingling lips told him he hadn’t imagined the entire thing.

“Oh, Chris,” Val cooed. “You really did it!”

“Yeah” was the only response Chris could manage. He was still thinking about Jesse’s mouth.

“I guess I was wrong about him being straight,” she whispered mischievously.

Chris was thrilled when Terry grabbed him in a bear hug, because he had no idea how to respond to Val’s comment. He also wasn’t sure if he should be pissed off with Jesse for the show. He supposed if this was going to work, Jesse needed to make the marriage look real. Still, how difficult would it have been to warn Chris that he had that up his sleeve?

~~~~

All about Shira

Shira Anthony is a complete sucker for a happily-ever-after, and rarely reads or writes a story without one. Never a fan of instalove, Shira likes to write stories about real men with real issues making real relationships work.

In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “Pagliacci,” and “La Traviata,” among others. Her Blue Notes Series is loosely based upon her own experiences as a professional musician.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs and when she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.

Interested in hearing Shira sing? Here’s a link to a live performance of Shira singing an aria from Puccini’s “Tosca”: http://www.shiraanthony.com/wp-conten…

You can subscribe to Shira’s monthly newsletter for updates, free fiction, and subscriber-only contests here: http://www.shiraanthony.com/newsletter/

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Where you can find Shira

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shira.anthony
Goodreads: 
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4641776.Shira_Anthony
Twitter: @WriterShira
Website: 
http://www.shiraanthony.com
E-mail: 
shiraanthony@hotmail.com

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Giveaway:

First Comes Marriage is all above love and romance, and Shira’s grand prize is a dozen red roses for your sweetheart (or whoever you think deserves it!). First prize is a $10 Dreamspinner Gift Certificate.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

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Blog Tour Information

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“How to Howl at the Moon” wins in Goodreads m/m reader’s choice awards!

January 18

 

 

 

 

 

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“How to Howl at the Moon” won some lovely spots in the Goodreads m/m romance group’s member’s choice awards. It got 2nd Place for “Best Humorous” and 3rd place for “Best Paranormal”.

You can see all the winners here.

Thanks to those who voted for “How to Howl at the Moon”! You can read more about the book here.

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Eli

 

“The Stolen Suitor” on Amazon, ARE, etc

January 18

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“The Stolen Suitor” comes out Feb 1 and you can how pre-order on Amazon  and ARE.

Here’s the blurb:

His future was set until a thief stole his heart.

All of Clyde’s Corner, Montana, knows local dandy Chris Ramsey will marry Trix Stubben, young widow and heir to the richest ranch in the area. But one woman isn’t too keen on the idea. Mabe Crassen wants to get her hands on that ranch, so she sets her older son to court Trix, and her younger son, Jeremy, to distract Chris and lure him astray.

Jeremy Crassen thinks his mother’s scheme is crazy. But he wants desperately to go off to college, which Mabe will agree to—if he seduces Chris. How will shy, virginal, secretly gay Jeremy attract Chris, who seems determined to do the right thing and marry Trix? Jeremy can’t compete with a rich female widow. Or can he?

And an excerpt:

~ 2 ~

Chris was fixing a bulb in the twinkle lights above the coffee station when Jeremy Crassen strolled into the Merc.

The Merc, aka the Clyde’s Corner Mercantile, was the main source of groceries in town. They were small compared to the giant chain stores in the city, but big enough for Clyde’s Corner. Besides food, they carried beer, wine, liquor, and a small selection of the kinds of clothes a Montana working man or woman might need. And they were located plumb in the middle of Clyde Corner’s quaint, old town, Westerny Main Street. So the folks who worked in the store saw pretty much everyone in town on a regular basis and almost all the tourists too.

Except Jeremy Crassen. Chris gave him a second, appraising glance. He couldn’t recall seeing Jeremy in the Merc since he’d come in to buy penny candy or a pop when he was a kid. Still, Chris knew immediately who he was.

That thick, shiny, straight-as-sin, red-brown hair couldn’t belong to anybody but a Crassen. And Chris knew Eric Crassen fairly well. He came in often to buy beer and snacks. Eric was still as big, beautiful, and useless as he’d been in high school. Ergo, this had to be Jeremy, Eric’s younger brother. The last time Chris had seen him, Jeremy had been a ninth-grader—all elbows and knees and a huge mop of that red-brown hair. Chris remembered the long bangs that had covered Jeremy’s face like a shaggy dog, like the boy was hiding.

Well. Jeremy wasn’t hiding today. He wore that mahogany hair straight down, all one length, and well past his shoulders. The front was tucked neatly behind his ears, revealing a face that made Chris wonder why he’d ever hidden it in the first place. He had high, sharp cheekbones and large, even features. He was not as brutishly handsome as Eric. It took a longer appraisal to notice his looks. He was finer, more delicate, like china compared to earthenware.

Damn it. Chris had been looking at too many dinnerware catalogs lately. And that reminded him, he had to get those touristy mugs ordered for the store this week.

Jeremy glanced over at Chris, and Chris hurriedly looked down at the bulb and wire in his hands. He replaced two suspect bulbs before he dared look up again.

Jeremy was at the cold drink case, door open, perusing the contents.

He’d also grown into his limbs, Chris noted. He wore a beat-up leather jacket and jeans. He was tall, and his hips—visible as the jacket rose from him bracing an arm on the front case door—were narrow, yet with a tightly rounded—

Jeremy turned his head and looked right at Chris.

Chris choked on his spit, coughing like an idiot. He hurriedly went back to his bulbs and wire. Shit! Caught checking out Jeremy Crassen’s ass. Jeremy’d had an “aha!” look on his face too. Jerk-off. He was a Crassen, after all, and no doubt stupid and mean.

With a huff of self-disgust, Chris plugged in the twinkle lights and was unsurprised to see half the strand still wasn’t working. He’d deal with it later. He shoved the supplies under the coffee cupboard to get rid of them and walked toward the back room. He’d get Minola to come out and cover the register for Jeremy. He wasn’t—

“Hey.” A man’s voice, deep and smooth, spoke from close by, leaving no room to ignore it.

Chris turned and found Jeremy a mere few feet away. “Oh, hello. Can I help you?” Chris said it stiffly, and he frowned a little to let Jeremy know he wouldn’t put up with any bullshit.

Jeremy’s eyes were wide and innocent. “I was just looking for some cream, but, say, are you Chris? I heard you were back in town.” Jeremy smiled in a friendly manner.

“Oh, yeah, hey, um….”

“Jeremy Crassen.” Jeremy stuck out his hand, and Chris reluctantly took it. “I don’t blame you for not remembering me. I was a few years behind you in school.”

“Oh, right, I remember now.” Jeremy was being so nice, it seemed mean-spirited to continue to pretend he didn’t know who Jeremy was. “You’re Eric’s little brother. How are you?”

“Great,” Jeremy said, with another charming smile. “How about you? Are you back in town permanently? Going to take over the Merc from your old man?”

It was a fair question. It wasn’t Jeremy’s fault if Chris wasn’t quite ready for that commitment.

“Well, it’s what I’m doing for now anyway. My dad had knee surgery, so I’m helping my folks out. Say, let me show you where to find that cream.” Chris strode over to the milk case and opened the door, Jeremy trailing behind him. “We’ve got regular cream, organic whole cream, and half and, um, h-half….”

His tongue stumbled as he turned his head and fell headlong into Jeremy’s eyes.

Holy shit.

Eric was known for his blue eyes. The big stud had an honest-to-God dimpled chin and eyes the color of a deep blue sky, like some Disney hero. Women went nuts over those eyes. Eric had been a year ahead of Chris in school, and at the height of his teenaged hormones, Chris hadn’t been immune himself.

Jeremy’s eyes, however, were something else. They were a golden brown with a reddish cast, a few shades lighter than his hair and ten times as luminous in the light reflected from the cold case. Chris swallowed.

“Sure you don’t have any other kind of cream? In back, maybe?” Jeremy’s words were silky. His eyes dropped to Chris’s lips, then to his crotch.

Chris felt his face flame, and in the same instant, his cock start to swell. His goddamn blood was tag-teaming him.

Jeremy looked back up, his expression neutral, as if he hadn’t just…. Had he?

“Sorry, I was on my way to the back,” Chris said quickly. “For business. Have to take care of something. Excuse me. If you have any more questions, Minola can help you.” Chris jerked a nod of his head and fled.

 

 

New Year Post on RJ Scott’s blog – GIVEAWAY

January 5

Visit with me on RJ Scott’s blog. I’m sharing what my writing plans are for 2016 and there’s a giveaway!

http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/new-year-new-read-eli-easton.html?zx=7243a358c30e344f#

 

“The Stolen Suitor” now available for pre-order!

December 16

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Big news! My novel “The Stolen Suitor” is set for release Feb 1, 2016 and is now available on the Dreamspinner “Coming Soon” page for pre-order!

This 70K novel is set in Clyde’s Corner, Montana, where my Christmas novella “A Prairie Dog’s Love Song” took place. It’s part of the new Dreamspun Desires line from Dreamspinner. This new line features 2 new books a month, each with a traditional category romance trope respun for m/m. You can get a subscription or buy books separately. All books will be available in paperback. Cool, huh? Check it out here.

Here’s the blurb for “The Stolen Suitor”

All of Clyde’s Corner, Montana, knows local dandy Chris Ramsey will marry Trix Stubben, young widow and heir to the richest ranch in the area. But one woman isn’t too keen on the idea. Mabe Crassen wants to get her hands on that ranch, so she sets her older son to court Trix, and her younger son, Jeremy, to distract Chris and lure him astray.

Jeremy Crassen thinks his mother’s scheme is crazy. But he wants desperately to go off to college, which Mabe will agree to—if he seduces Chris. How will shy, virginal, secretly gay Jeremy attract Chris, who seems determined to do the right thing and marry Trix? Jeremy can’t compete with a rich female widow. Or can he?

Eli

Review and giveaway on Joanna Chamber’s site

December 5

Check out this new review of “Midwinter Night’s Dream” and enter the giveaway by leaving a comment with your favorite Shakespeare character.

Click here.

 

“Unwrapping Hank” now available on audiobook!

December 4

Yay! “Unwrapping Hank” is now live! The narrator is Tristan Wright, who read my “Superhero”. I love his snarkiness for Sloane and deep growl for Hank. Check it out!  Just in time for Christmas.

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Unwrapping-Hank-Audiobook/B018ULDPF2/ref=a_search_c4_1_9_srTtl?qid=1449263629&sr=1-9

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Interview with Micah on Gay Book Reviews

December 3

Today for the “Midwinter Night’s Dream” blog tour, Gay Book Review interviews Micah. Check it out!

http://gaybook.reviews/2015/12/03/a-midwinter-nights-dream-blog-tour/

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Eli

My Favorite Christmas Romances – Sinfully Sexy Guest Post

December 2

I’m on Sinfully Sexy today talking about my favorite Christmas gay romances for my “Midwinter Night’s Dream” blog tour. Lots of wonderful books and all highly recommended.

http://sinfullymmbookreviews.blogspot.de/2015/12/featured-guest-author-eli-easton-on-her.html

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