Welcome to our Grand Finale celebrations for the amazingly talented
Our final post is all about Sex In Seattle, with excerpts from all three books published so far, our Q&A with Eli, and of course one more chance to win!!
First up in the series, The Trouble With Tony
As part of the investigation into the murder of a young woman, Seattle P.I. Tony DeMarco poses as a patient of Dr. Jack Halloran, the therapist who treated the victim at a Seattle sex clinic. This isn’t the first time Tony has gone undercover, but it’s the first time he’s wanted to go under cover with one of his suspects. He can’t help it—Jack Halloran is just the kind of steely-eyed hero Tony goes for. But he’ll have to prove Halloran’s innocence and keep the doctor from finding out about his ruse before he can play Romeo.
Dr. Halloran has his own issues, including a damaged right arm sustained in the line of duty as a combat surgeon in Iraq and the PTSD that followed. He’s confused to find himself attracted to a new patient, the big, funny Italian with the puppy-dog eyes, and Tony’s humor slips right past Jack’s defenses, making him feel things he thought long buried. But can the doctor and the P.I. find a path to romance despite the secrets between them?
Tony gave him what might well be his first genuine expression so far—a puzzled, disturbed look. His mouth snapped shut, then open, then shut again. He looked like a guppy. “Okay, I, uh, I admit it. I got nervous and made that up.”
“Really?” Jack said dryly.
“Yeah. That’s not really my problem.” Tony’s eyes dropped into his lap. He seemed to wage some kind of internal debate. Whatever it was, it was intense. A stain began to appear, a reddening first on Tony’s neck that climbed up his jaw like a Virginia creeper. When it reached his ears they went bright pink, a really spectacular shade of fuchsia.
This was interesting.
“I’m listening,” Jack said, more gently.
“Tony, you can tell me anything. I promise you it won’t leave this room.”
Jack put a hand to his forehead and rubbed gently. The big Italian was starting to give him a headache. “If you’re not ready to talk about it, we can schedule for a later time when—”
“I have a picky dick,” Tony mumbled under his breath.
Jack blinked and barely refrained from checking his ears for wax. “What was that?”
“I said I have a picky dick!” Tony said, loud now. He raised his eyes and met Jack’s challengingly. His face was crimson with embarrassment, but he braced his hands on the arms of the chair and glared at Jack as if to say, Well go on, Genius. Fix it! Jack managed to keep a straight face as he said, “I see. Can you define what you mean by a ‘picky dick’?”
“Yeah,” Tony said with a disgusted huff. “Like Kate Moss at a burger joint picky. It plays hard to get. If it decides it likes someone, it’s raring to go from sunup to sundown. But if it decides it doesn’t want to play ball, then it ain’t playin’ ball, no matter how much I want it to, or what the other person does. Know what I mean?”
“You mean you can’t always get an erection when you want one?” Jack suggested in his best doctor voice.
“Not a fuckin’ twitch,” Tony agreed bitterly.
“And how often does this problem occur?”
Tony rubbed his eyes with both hands. “Let’s just say there have been plenty of times when people showed up for the party and the keg was dry.”
“To the point where I just don’t bother sending out the invites, if you know what I mean.”
“You’re afraid to date because you’re worried that you might get into a sexual situation and not be able to get an erection?”
Tony glared at him. “There’s a reason they invented euphemisms, you know.”
Jack allowed himself a small chuckle. “If I’m going to treat you, I need to understand the situation clearly, and I only took two semesters of euphemisms in college.”
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Next up, The Enlightenment Of Daniel
Business tycoon Daniel Derenzo lives for his work until his dying father reminds him life is short. When Daniel starts to reevaluate his world he experiences a startling revelation—he’s attracted to his business partner and best friend, Nick, even though Daniel always believed himself to be straight. In typical type-A fashion, Daniel dissects his newfound desires with the help of the experts at the Expanded Horizons sex clinic. He goes after Nick with the fierce determination that’s won him many a business deal.
Nick Ross was in love with Daniel years ago, when they were roommates in college. But Daniel was straight and Nick patched his broken heart by marrying Marcia. Two kids and fourteen years later, they go through the motions of their marriage like ships passing in the night. But Nick’s kids mean the world to him, and he’s afraid he’ll never get joint custody if they divorced. If he can trust his heart to an awakening Daniel, they all might find their way to a happily ever after.
Daniel turned to look at Nick. The prostitute had her arm around his shoulders. One pert breast pressed against his arm, and she was leaning in so her lips almost touched his ear. “Would you like to buy me a drink?” she purred coquettishly.
Daniel almost laughed aloud. He hadn’t seen that look on Nick’s face since the time they went to a Mexican dive in college and Nick dumped a lot of what looked like ketchup on his burrito only to realize it was hot sauce. He was bright red with a glazed look of panic in his eyes.
“Uh… n-no. No thank you,” Nick stammered.
Pouting with disappointment, the lady moved away.
Daniel chuckled. “Hey, Nick. If you’re into that, don’t say no on my account.”
He was teasing, but Nick didn’t laugh. He licked his lips nervously and slid his jacket off the stool next to him and onto his lap. But just before he did, Daniel glanced down and saw it—Nick had an erection. No, Nick had the Mount Everest of erections poking up in his impeccable gray suit slacks.
Daniel was hit by a wave of some emotion he couldn’t identify—embarrassment? His mouth went dry as all the moisture in his body mysteriously evaporated.
Nick’s eyes met his. Daniel lifted an eyebrow. Nick’s blush deepened.
“God, I… I’m way overdue,” Nick said, with a self-deprecating little laugh. He took a sip of his sake.
Daniel took a drink, trying to get his tongue working again. “How overdue, Nick?” he asked quietly.
Nick wouldn’t meet his eyes. “Marcia hasn’t let me touch her for three years.”
“Goddamn, Nick. You need to leave Marcia. That’s not right.” There were a dozen reasons why Daniel thought Nick needed to leave Marcia, and there had been for years. But this….
He thought about encouraging Nick, more seriously this time, to take up the opportunity sitting across the bar in a black silk dress. For real. He could say something witty like What happens in Hong Kong stays in Hong Kong. Or something actually witty instead of a hackneyed cliché.
But Daniel didn’t say anything about the prostitute because that was when it happened. There was a strong wave of heat and nausea in his stomach and for a moment he wondered if he’d accidently gotten some shrimp in something—shrimp always made him hurl. And then he recognized the feeling was emotional. It was… jealousy. He didn’t want that woman on Nick, touching him, kissing him.
He looked at Nick sharply. Time seemed to slow down and Daniel was hyperaware of the feeling of the smooth bar under his hand, the exact quality of the dim light in the room. He stared at his best friend, trying to get a handle on what was going on in his body. Nick looked so… appealing, so… sexy? And then it slammed into him like a high-speed train: he wanted Nick. He didn’t want the prostitute touching Nick because he wanted to do it. He wanted to take Nick by the hand, right now. He wanted to lead him up to his room, push him gently back on the bed, undo his belt, and… and take that erection into his mouth, and suck him off. He wanted to be close to Nick, as close as possible. Make him feel good. Make them both feel good.
Oh my fucking God.
An involuntary muscle spasm of Daniel’s hand sent his sake cup flying through the air. It shattered on the back of the bar.
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And so far the last book in the series, The Mating Of Michael
Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it's cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his spare time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.
James Gallway’s life is slowly but inexorably sliding downhill. He wrote a best-selling science fiction novel at the tender age of eighteen, while bedridden with complications of polio. But by twenty-eight, he's lost his inspiration and his will to live. His sales from his J.C. Guise books have been in decline for years. Wheelchair bound, James has isolated himself, convinced he is unlovable. When he is forced to do a book signing and meets Michael Lamont, he can’t believe a guy who looks like Michael could be interested in a man like him.
Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations.
He could hear Michael shift around. James turned his head. His eyes had adjusted to the dark somewhat, and he could see the outline of Michael, lying on his side and facing James, though he couldn’t really see his expression.
“I’m really glad that we’re friends,” Michael said.
James’s heart stuttered in his chest. “Friends? I thought you were my sycophant, Dieter.”
Michael chuckled. “I wish.”
James swallowed—it was audible in the quiet room.
“Seriously, though. I mean… I’m glad I’m getting to know you as a friend right now.”
“Good to know.”
“But….” Michael’s voice was a bit rough. “I hope one day we can be more.”
Shit. A slow, hot burn of nervousness and intense longing fired in James’s stomach. He gasped and covered it quickly with a cough. “You okay?” Michael said worriedly. His dark-form half sat up.
“Yeah.” James’s voice sounded deep. He cleared his throat. “I don’t think—”
“Would it be okay if I kissed you good night?” Michael broke in.
Damn, the little shit could be pushy. Damn, James wanted him so goddamn bad. He wanted it even though it terrified him.
Where had his immutable defenses gone? His shields had been damaged, it seemed, and he hadn’t even been aware that it was happening. He made himself think about it, hoping the act of using his little gray cells would distract him from the purely physical need raging down below. And he realized that at some point, Michael had stopped being a frighteningly beautiful boy who couldn’t possibly want anything to do with James. He’d become a real person. Today, James had seen glimpses of someone who was compassionate, who didn’t flinch at hugging a ninety-year-old and kissing them on the cheek, someone who had made a career out of helping people who weren’t perfect. A guy like that would know what he was getting into, surely—what James’s legs would look like, what it would be like. A guy like that wouldn’t gag in disgust. Or laugh. Or leave.
And… it was dark.
“Okay.” It was the weirdest thing. The word came out of James’s mouth while he was still debating it in his mind, as if his tongue and voice box had staged a coup. He froze, even as Michael, without a moment’s hesitation, slipped out of his bed and came over to sit next to James.
Why did I agree? No, don’t freak. It’s just a good night kiss. It’s not a big deal. You’ve been kissed before.
He started to say something, try to joke the moment off, but Michael didn’t give him a chance. He put a soft hand on his jaw as if locating him in the dark and leaned in.
Michael’s mouth touched his, closed and pressing sweetly. His lips were warm and so plump and full. It didn’t feel anything like the quick, chaste kisses James had gotten at the group home or like the rather sloppy and obligatory kisses from Chris. Those kisses didn’t make his body run hot and cold in alternating chemical surges or make the entire universe feel as if it had narrowed down to a singularity at the point where their mouths met.
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And because we're nosy like that, we asked Eli some questions...
1. What inspires you? What gets you writing?
Reading other books that I love. I’m always inspired to write more and better by great writing.
2. What's your writing process? Seat of your pants, lots of sticky notes, complex spreadsheets?
I’m a pantsy plotter – I work on a general outline, but I can only get so far ahead, and then I need to just write. I would love to have a detailed, fully flushed out outline before I begin, but I can’t. I go back and forth between planning and writing.
3. Which character from your books is your favorite, and why?
Geez, that’s impossible! I love a lot of them. I guess at the top of the list is Jordy from “Superhero” because he’s just so creative and honest and funny, and Fielding from “Blame it on the Mistletoe” because he’s a genius geek and was so much fun to write. He’s just an amazing person.
4. Which character is your least favorite, and why?
Even my ‘worst’ characters I tend to redeem and/or they have complicated motives. I have ‘least significant’ characters but not really ‘least favorite’. One of my ‘favorite villains’ is Henry Atkins from “A Prairie Dog Love Song” who will, I hope, have a romance story of his own at some point.
5. If you could go back into one of your books and change one thing, what would that be? And why?
There are a few novellas I would have made longer if I could. “Puzzle Me This” was written for submission to an anthology originally, so I wrote it to max length for that. Then it ended up being published as a stand alone. Similarly, I love my short story “Before I Wake”, which was written for an 8K max anthology. It’s a story with great characters that could have been longer.
6. What's next for you? What amazing book are you working on?
I’m working on a novel for Dreamspinner. It’s set in Clyde’s Corner, Montana, where my novella “A Prairie Dog’s Love Song” is set, so it’s part of a series I guess, but it’s a standalone story too.
The plot is that a woman with two sons, Eric (25) and Jeremy (20), has long coveted a ranch in the area. She wants Eric to court and marry the young widow who owns the ranch, and Jeremy is supposed to seduce away the woman’s current boyfriend, whom the mother thinks is gay. It’s a fairly complicated plot because there’s 3 couples in the story (the main one is m/m, Jeremy and Chris), plus the old cast from “Prairie Dog”, and lots of shenanigans. I hope it turns out as much fun as I think it can be! This book should be out in December 2015.
7. Anything else you'd like to share with your readers?
As of January, I am now writing books full-time. I’m incredibly excited-amazed-nervous to be stepping onto this small raft, but also relieved that I can now give it 100%. I’d like to thank unceasingly those who have bought my books and encouraged me to their ratings, reviews, emails, comments on social media, etc. If my m/m books had not done very well, I wouldn’t have dared this. So thank you!
More about Eli Easton:
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a game designer, an organic farmer, an avid hiker, and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.
As an addicted reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.
Find out even more on Eli's website.
Thanks so much for joining us this month to celebrate Eli Easton. We hope you found some new favorites and enjoyed finding out more about this wonderful author.
Until next time, happy reading!!