Eli Easton

Author of m/m romance books and stories

Welcome to Eli Easton!

Dream Vacation: Walking the UK

March 12

Dreamspinner’s blog theme this month is ‘dream vacation’, so I thought I’d blog about the best trip I ever took.

Two things you may not know about me: 1) I’m an Anglophile and 2) For many years I was into long distance walking. I was president of a volkswalking club in Seattle for a few years, and I’ve done a 10K in all 50 US states (except Alaska, which I haven’t gotten to yet).

In 2009, I did a walking trip in England with a friend of mine. We did about a hundred and twenty miles on the Southwest Coast Path and half the Coast to Coast trail. We booked our trip with a company called contours. They reserve all your B&Bs and also pick up your luggage in the morning and drop it off at your next destination. So all you need to carry is a day pack and you walk from B&B to B&B. It’s perfect.

I adore the long distance walking trails in the UK. The Southwest Coast Trail, as the name implies, hugs the southern coastline of England. The Coast to Coast trail cuts straight across England close to its narrowest point. Both are spectacular trails.

Here’re some pics!

Southwest Coast Path — St. Ives to Pendeen

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My friend Marcia and I ready to head out from St. Ives. Click on any of these pics for a close-up.

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Southwest Coast Path — Pendeen to Porthcurno

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Getting absolutely drenched at Land’s End, the furthest SW point in the UK.

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Southwest Coast Path — Porthcurno to Penzance

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Southwest Coast Path — Penzance to Porthleven

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Southwest Coast Path — Porthleven to The Lizard

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Southwest Coast Path — The Lizard to Coverack

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Southwest Coast Path — Coverack to Falmouth

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Coast to Coast Path

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Marcia took the photo above of me in rain gear with my camera. I was really into photography at the time! And yes, I lugged that beast every step. And it was worth it.

So that’s my dream vacation. I hope to go again to the UK to walk the Cotswolds Way with my husband.

What’s your idea of the best trip on earth?

Eli

 

 

 

Guest Post: “My Favorite Shifters” on The Novel Approach

March 1

Today I’m a guest on The Novel Approach blog and I’m writing about a few of my favorite shifter romances.  This is part of the blog tour for “How to Howl at the Moon”! (P.S. there’s also a giveaway).

Check it out here!

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Blog Tour: “The Dog Shifters of Mad Creek” on Sinfully Sexy

February 28

Read about the inspiration behind the dog shifters of Mad Creek (in the new release “How to Howl at the Moon“). You can enter to win a free copy of the audiobook version of this novel, which is coming out as soon as Audible approves the uploaded audio file (1-2 weeks).

http://sinfullysexybooks.blogspot.nl/2015/02/how-to-howl-at-moon-by-eli-easton.html#more

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Desktop: How to Howl at the Moon

February 28

It’s release day for “How to Howl at the Moon”, the first book in a new m/m romantic comedy series about dog shifters.  I had a blast writing this book, and I’m so excited that it’s now out there available to the public.  Fly little bird, fly!  Or maybe, run, little dog, run!

It’s my tradition to share some of my photo inspiration on release day. So without further ado, here are some images that I found to use as mind candy while working on this story.

NOTE: These are all images I googled. I don’t own the rights to them and they are not used in the actual book.

TIM WESTON

Tim is our shy gardener, a full-blooded human who moves to Mad Creek by chance and has no idea that dog shifters exist (or any other shifters for that matter).  Tim is tall, lanky, and a bit gawky. I looked for a long time to find the right ‘mind model’ for Tim physically, and I fell in love with the photo below. Love those bangs!  (so does Lance)

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SHERIFF LANCE BEAUFORT

The other MC is Lance, a border collie shifter who is the sheriff of Mad Creek, and a determined protector of the town. I didn’t find the perfect photo of Lance. He had black hair and brilliant blue eyes, he’s compact and muscular, and intense with a capital I! But here are some images that come close….

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lanceglasses (THE TUDE!)

CHANCE (aka Lance in dog form)

Lance is a shifter descended from border collies. In dog form, he’s all black with just a touch of white on his chest and a dot on one ear, and he has brilliant blue eyes. He’s very intelligent looking. This is the dog photo I used for Lance. He actually looks quite a lot like the dog that ended up on the cover, no?

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MAD CREEK

For my setting, I wanted a small town, someplace remote and someplace that felt a bit interesting or exotic. My husband suggested the California mountains.  We lived in Oakhurst, California for about five years, a small town in the mountains up the hill from Fresno but before you get to Yosemite.  Mad Creek is technically further up into the mountains than that, but I based Mad Creek on Oakhurst. Here are some photos.

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RENFIELD (aka “Renny”)

Renfield is a puppy that Lance gives to Tim. He’s a 100% dog (not a shifter) and he’s mostly Bernese Mountain Dog.

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LILY (Lance’s mother)

Lance’s mother is also a border collie shifter with black hair and blue eyes. She’s wiry, energetic, and basically a whirlwind of manipulation and buttinski-ness.  Julie Louis-Dreyfus is a great comic model for her.

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MISC STORY STUFF

Some reference images for rose hips, a Sheiff’s badge and the DEA uniform.

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That’s it for this release! I hope you enjoy the book.

P.S. The audiobook is done and is ‘in processing’ at Amazon. It should be live in the next week or two!

Eli

“How to Howl At the Moon” — cover & excerpt!

February 1

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 Release date: Feb 28, 2015

I’m super, super excited about this book!  “How to Howl at the Moon” is the first book of a new m/m romantic comedy series featuring dog shifters and a little town in the California mountains called Mad Creek.

I wrote the first draft of this novel during NaNoWriMo in 2014, and I had so much fun writing it. I fell in love with Molly Harper’s “Naked Werewolf” series and it inspired me to want to write a humorous shifter series of my own, only in m/m.  My husband likes to say he gives me all my best ideas, and I’m afraid there’s some truth in that. When I said “romantic comedy with shifters?” He said “dogs!”. He was right.

We have three bulldogs of our own and it was a blast to write dog shifter characters and give them dog mannerisms and personality traits. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Lance, his mother Lily (as Lance says, Jewish mothers have nothing on the relentless herding instinct of a mother descended from border collies on both sides), Gus, Roman, and the other residents of Mad Creek. And of course, Tim, our  clueless hero.

You can read an excerpt here. And the book is available on Amazon right now for pre-order.

The cover is awesome, no?  Cover by AngstyG. (Click for close-up)

Also, I am working on an audio book version of this right now!  I hope to have it out around the same time as the ebook.

Eli

“The Trouble with Tony” now out on audio!

January 29

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Like audiobooks?  “The Trouble with Tony” is newly released on audio. You can find it here!

Eli

 

M/M Romance Group 2014 Book Awards

January 11

The M/M Romance group on Goodreads is a fun and large group (the 3rd largest group on goodreads I think), and if you like m/m romance, you should definitely check it out.

They just had their annual awards to determine the group’s reader’s favorites for 2014.  Two of my books won in several categories.  Given all the books that I personally read and loved that were nominated this year, and all the very talented authors, I feel super honored.

YOU CAN SEE ALL THE WINNERS HERE.

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The Mating of Michael

Best Sex Industry — #1

Best Medical/Rescue Works Prof — #2  (#1 – The Backup Boyfriend by River Jaymes, #3 – Collide by Riley Hart)

Best Hurt/Comfort — #1 (#2 – Beneath the Stain by Amy Lane, #3 – While All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry)

 

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Blame it on the Mistletoe

Best Gay/Out for You — #3  (#1 – Try by Ella James, #2 – The Backup Boyfriend by River Jaymes)

Best Coming of Age — #3  (#1 – The Art of Breathing by TJ Klune, #2 – The Family We Make by Kaje Harper)

Best Friends to Lovers — #3   (#1 – All Kinds of Tied Down by Mary Calmes, #2 – Collide by Riley Hart)

Best Humorous — #2   (#1 – #3 – Loving Jay by Renae Kaye, #1 The Art of Breathing by TJ Klune)

 

Thank you so much to those who voted!

Eli

New Edition of “Before I Wake”!

January 10

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My very first m/m story published was “Before I Wake”, which came out from Torquere Press in April 2013. They only had a year contract, so the story has been out of print since Apr 2014. I finally got my ass in gear and have self-published a new edition.

The original story was written for a fairy tale anthology with a strict 8000 word count. Of course, self-pubbing I was able to expand it a bit, adding a new 3K epilogue.

You can find it here:

AMAZON — http://www.amazon.com/Before-I-Wake-Eli-Easton-ebook/dp/B00S35AHDE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420930684&sr=8-1&keywords=before+I+wake+eli+easton

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS — https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-beforeiwake-1721954-145.html

BARNES & NOBLE –  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/before-i-wake-eli-easton/1121024294?ean=2940150207943&itm=1&usri=2940150207943

Hope you like the new version,

Eli

Second half of “Fielding’s Fa La La” posted!

December 23

I’ve finished my little Christmas freebie, “Fielding’s Fa La La”.  You can now find the entire story here!  http://elieaston.com/fieldings-fa-la-la/

This Christmas story features Mick and Fielding from “Blame it on the Mistletoe”.

Merry Christmas!

Eli

Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Eli Easton 2014 to 2015

December 14

 

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I published my first Eli Easton m/m romance in April 2013, so 2014 was a “year two” for me. That’s the year when newbie enthusiasm faces the realities of the market and the daily work flow, and you either flunk out entirely, settle into a dabblers casual ‘tude, or decide you’re in it for the serious long haul.

As of Dec 2014 I can say that it’s option c—my butt is firmly planted on this piece o’ earth.

In 2014 I published 5 m/m romance books, making 13 total. I had less publications in 2014 than in 2013, but I released my first full-length novel (“The Mating of Michael”).

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Many readers of m/m romance also write it, so you will know what I’m talking about when I say there are things an author must consider when deciding whether or not to invest more time in a genre. First: Am I objectively any good at writing it?  Second: Do I really like the genre enough to dedicate a large chunk of my time to building a career in it? Third: Can I continue to come up with fresh ideas and fresh work in this area story after story?

The answer to those questions for me is ‘yes’. I still feel I have something to offer the genre, I still really enjoy writing it, and I’ve gotten some lovely encouragement which makes me feel like my efforts are not in vain.

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The m/m romance genre is an interesting beast. If being a ‘romance author’ is not taken very seriously by the general population and/or literary world, writing m/m romance is regarded with even more confusion/embarrassment/disdain. It seems to be the equivalent of saying ‘I write porn’. Now, I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with writing porn, but that’s not the way I consider my Eli Easton books.

Granted, I am probably in tune with point-oh-one percent of the population in this, but I really don’t see a lot of difference in regular (m/f) romance and gay (m/m) romance. At the heart, a romance is a romance.  Love is a mystery. Why do two people fit together? And how do they figure it out? To me, a romance is about two people discovering their perfect partner—from first meeting, to getting to know one another, to overcoming obstacles, to realizing they want to be together for life. It’s about the dynamics of their personalities and daily lives and how they fit together. It’s about realizing that love is more important than anything else. It’s family and psychology, personal flaws and strengths. It’s chemistry and heat.  In the end, very few things in life impact us the way our choice of life partner does. So what could be a more important subject to write about?

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How I landed in the m/m genre is a bit of luck and a bit of good casting. My first exposure to m/m was Anne Rice’s “Cry to Heaven”, which I read in high school and found compellingly unusual and sensual. Later on, there was fan fiction (johnlock and sterek mostly). As a writer, I’ve always been more comfortable with male characters. Never a girly girl, I am sometimes irritated by romance heroines. Bottom line: I find men more interesting creatures and far sexier. So being able to write two male leads works for me on many levels. I also find the social and personal dynamics of being gay interesting. Let’s face it, unless you want to write regency romance, there’s not a lot left in our modern society to keep men and women from doing whatever they damn well please. There are more hoops to jump through, and thus more opportunity for denial, obstacle, and conflict, in a gay relationship. I also like the idea of contributing, however obliquely, to normalizing gay relationships. I am absolutely in favor of gay rights.

As for stigma or literary snobbery, I am old enough to have given up on expecting to rule the world—or the NY Times bestseller list. The fact is, whatever people think of romance, more people read it, and buy it, than any other genre of book. People read it because they enjoy it—it’s an escape, a comfort, entertainment, and a solace. It’s fantasy and an outlet for the love and desire that is often lacking in our ‘real lives’. I am honored to provide that for readers.

On to the old and new!

2014: Looking Back

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Publications:

“Stitch” (gothika anthology, my story “Reparation”), Apr 2014
“The Mating of Michael” (Sex in Seattle #3), Jun 2014
“Heaven Can’t Wait” (in Dreamspinner’s Daily Dose), Jul 2014
“Bones” (gothika anthology, my story “The Bird”), Oct 2014
“Unwrapping Hank” (Christmas novella), Nov 2014

Cons Attended:

Dreamspinner’s author con

Milestones:

“Blame it on the Mistletoe” gets over 2000 rankings on Goodreads

“Unwrapping Hank” hits #1 on Amazon’s gay romance list (briefly, but it was there!)

“The Mating of Michael” wins #1 place in the William Neale Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance category, 2014 Rainbow Awards and #2 place in “Best Gay Book” overall.

3 audio books published in 2014: “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “A Prairie Dog’s Love Song”, and “Superhero”.

‘Came out’ as Eli Easton under my writing/game design nom de plume of Jane Jensen

 

2015: Looking Ahead

I plan to spend more time writing in 2015 since I’ve recently finished a huge work project.

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Publications Anticipated:

“The Lion and the Crow” (expanded edition), Dreamspinner, Jan 2015
“How to Howl at the Moon” (new paranormal dog shifter series), Love Lane Books, Feb 2015
“Claw” (gothika anthology, my story “The Black Dog”), Apr 2015
A novel for Dreamspinner (TBD– probably Sex in Seattle #4 or Prairie Dog #2), Aug 2015
“gothika #4” (anthology), Oct 2015
Christmas novella 2015 (Micah Springfield’s story), Nov 2015
“Kingdom Come” (murder mystery set in Amish country from Berkeley’s Prime Crime line),- sometime in 2015

Writing in 2015: Kingdom Come #2, Howl at the Moon #2

Cons Attending:

Dreamspinner’s author con
Rainbow Con
Romantic Times

Goals:

* continue to build name recognition and reader base

* do a better job updating my blog!

* would be lovely to have a #1 on amazon for longer than one day!

;-)

 

That’s it for this year’s round-up. Please let me know your suggestions and if there’s anything you are dying for me to write in 2015!

 

Eli

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