November 15

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Published by Pinkerton Road, Nov 22, 2017

Blog Posts & Reviews:

Eli Interview & Giveaway on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Desperately Seeking Santa’s “Meet Cute” – the first time Gabe sees Mack. Guest post on Diverse Reader.

Eli’s Top Five Sports Romances – The Novel Approach

Gabe & Mack’s First Kiss — Guest post on Alpha Book Club

5 star review – Blogger Girls –– “We get lots to love with this holiday story. We get a geek/jock pairing. Awesome! We get college guys wrestling. Awesome! We get a pretty angst-free holiday story. Awesome! And we get some pretty sweet feels mixed with a bit of hot smexy times. Awesome!”

4.5  star review – Sinfully MM Book Reviews — “This is a wonderfully executed holiday romance by Ms. Easton. It’s is not bogged down with unnecessary over-the-top angst and drama. What you get is a sweet, fun and light-hearted love story that will leave you happily sighing and clutching your heart. My only complaint is that I wanted more.”

4 star reivew – OMG Reads — “I lurve Eli Easton and especially her holiday stories. She hits the sweet and angst-free nail on the head every time. Desperately Seeking Santa is no exception.”

4.5 star review on Bayous Book Junkie – “This was a really sweet holiday read with lovable characters you could really root for and a swoon-worthy epilogue. Very recommendable!”

4 star review on The Geekery Book Review – “I feel like I can count on Eli Easton to deliver a holiday story that will totally get me in the spirit and just warm my heart and she has done it again this year! I really enjoyed this sweet, fun read from start to finish!”

4 star review on Kimmer’s Erotic Book Blog – “Author Eli Easton sure knows how to write a holiday read. Her novella Desperately Seeking Santa has all the delicious ingredients of a heartwarming Christmas romance.”

Blurb:

DESPERATELY SEEKING SANTA – by Eli Easton

Journalism student Gabe Martin gets his first professional assignment—to write about a Christmas charity dinner that benefits a children’s home. It sounds like a total snooze-fest until Gabe learns that the event’s Santa is a mystery man. He shows up in costume and no one has a clue who he is. Uncovering Santa’s identity sounds like the perfect angle to turn a fluff piece into serious journalism.

Mack “The Mountain” McDonall, at 6’10”, is University of Wisconsin-Madison’s enormous star wrestler. When Gabe first claps eyes on him at a wrestling match, it’s lust at first sight. Gabe’s friend, Jordan, sets up the pair on a date. But when Gabe chatters on about his plans for outing Santa, Mack goes cold, and their first meeting becomes an epic fail.

As Gabe researches the children’s home, he learns that Mack has secrets a guy famous for being a brute wouldn’t want the world to know. Can Gabe find his holiday spirit, write a killer article, win the heart of a surly giant, and give everyone a very merry Christmas?

NOTE: This 50,000 word short novel features a new couple but includes Jordan and Owen, from the author’s book “Superhero”. It can be read as a stand-alone.

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Nov 28, 2017

Madison, Wisconsin

“You want me to write a story about what?”

Visions of cutesy reindeer automatons, paper snowflakes, and cheesy mall Santas danced in my head as I stared in horror at my editor.

Randall glared at me from around the papers on his desk. His whole office looked like it should be on a reality show called Hoarders at Work. There were stacks of newspapers and magazines, enough coffee cups to supply a Mormon family reunion, his commuter biking clothes, and even a small fake Christmas tree resting on a cardboard box. The Christmas tree was not a sign of the impending holidays. It had been there since I started as an intern in August.

“The Elks Christmas Charity Dinner,” Randall said slowly, as if I were hard of hearing. “It’s a city tradition.”

“So is roto-rootering the toilets at the YMCA. But we don’t write about that,” I pointed out.

Randall glared harder. “You’ve been bugging me for weeks to give you a story. I finally give you one, and all you do is complain. What? You got something against Christmas?”

I squirmed inside. He was right. I’d been working at the Wisconsin State Journal for only three months. So far, my part-time internship had been spent editing other people’s work or doing basic cut-and-paste columns like the weather and stocks. I’d begged Randall for a chance to do an original piece and knew I should say “yes, sir, thank you, sir.” But I couldn’t help my disappointment.

“Hey, I love the holidays. It’s a break from classes,” I said cheerfully. “But if I have to write a story about Christmas—”

“Your employment was ‘at will’ last time I checked,” Randall retorted dryly.

“—how about something interesting? Like an exposé about how the bell ringer at the East Towne Mall spent his take on booze? Or black market scams for the most-wanted Christmas toys? Something that can draw more than regional interest?” I added a hopeful and deliberately cheesy smile.

“Oh for fuck’s sake.” Randall wiped his face with his hand. He was in his fifties and had been at this newspaper since his first toddling steps as a journalist. I respected his editing skills and his instincts, not to mention the fact that he still had all his hair and was in pretty good shape for an ancient person, being a big bike rider and all. However, in my humble opinion, he’d lost his hunger. Fortunately, I had plenty of my own.

“Gabe,” he said patiently. “I need a nice, cheerful piece for the holidays. Something feel-good. We’re not the Washington Post and you’re not Bernstein.”

“Who?” I frowned. Honestly, my first association was the Berenstain Bears. Then my history class clicked in. “Oh. You mean, like, Watergate?”

Randall rolled his eyes. “Anderson Cooper then. You’re not Anderson Cooper.”

I made a face.

He sighed. “Okay, then who? Who’s your idol, Gabe? Seriously?”

“Is this a ‘understanding millennials’ sort of question?”

“Yeah, let’s call it that.” He folded his hands on what looked like a stack of invoices on top of a Chipotle wrapper.

I shrugged. “I dunno. Will Ripley. Errol Barnett.” They were two of my favorite international CNN correspondents. In the trenches. Reporting from war zones. Standing firm against hurricanes. That was my future.

Randall’s dry expression said I was naive. “Okay. Well, right now, you’re not Will Ripley. Right now, you’re an intern for a little Wisconsin print newspaper. So we’re not going to do a thing on black-market crimes during the holidays.” He glowered. “Cutesy. Christmassy. Heart-warming. That’s what I want. You have to start somewhere, kid. Christ, I wrote recipes as Mama Llewellyn for three years before I got a break.”

I snorted. “Mama Llewellyn? Seriously?”

He gave me a lopsided grin. “She was a widow from the U.P. Hey, I got fan mail! Even a marriage proposal from a farmer once. Don’t knock it.”

I had a good chuckle over that one before remembering my own predicament. “But… an Elks charity dinner?” I gave him one last pleading look. “Will anyone read about the Elks? Aren’t they all, like, over eighty years old? I’m asking for business reasons. Surely you have subscription quotas to fill.”

Randall jabbed a finger at the door. “The dinner is Saturday, December 16th. So you have two weeks to dig up some background. You’ll attend the dinner and your piece will run the following Monday. If you’ve got that much fire in your belly, Gabe, take this story and make something out of it.”

I walked to the doorway and turned around. “Oh I’ll make something out of it!” I insisted, in a tone that promised I’d show him and his little dog too.

But later, as I slumped at my desk, I despaired. I had no idea how I’d make something out of a bunch of seniors sitting around in some crusty old dining hall eating mashed potatoes and turkey.

Mierda.