Welcome to our 2nd week of celebrations for the amazingly talented
Today's post is all about Superhero, Heaven Can't Wait, and Puzzle Me This, plus five little known facts about Eli, and a chance to win an audiobook of How To Howl At The Moon!!
Puzzle Me This
Luke Schumaker designs computer games, working from his home. Every day he walks his dog in the woods nearby, never suspecting that someone who is completely smitten is watching.
The watcher is Alex Shaw, and he too works from home, designing logic and crossword puzzles. Alex’s options are limited: he’s too shy to approach Luke and his wheelchair won’t let him follow into the woods. His solution? Secret messages for Luke in the crosswords he writes for the local paper.
When Luke decodes them, romance begins, but then they face greater puzzles, like Alex’s interfering sister and what commitment to a man in a wheelchair really takes. And, most puzzling of all, how do you know if love is real?
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Liked a lot: _ _ _ _ _ !!! It was a
Bunny's fur: _ _ _ _ _ _
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with two boys who meet when one of them creates cross word puzzles with clues for the other one.
Alex Shaw, confined to a wheel chair due to Spina Bifida, has been watching Luke Schumaker, a computer game creator, who lives in the same complex, for a while, when he decides to use his job of creating daily puzzles for various newspapers to leave clues for Luke to find him.
It takes Luke a bit of time, intrigued as he is, to figure out who's sending those clues, with a serious misstep included, but then the two meet and it's fireworks from the start. Even though their relationship starts out as friends, the two fall in love (and lust) quickly, until Luke has a bit of a brain fart, that almost puts a stop to their budding love story.
Never fear, though, because Eli Easton, with humor and subtle poignancy, delivers a beautiful HFN that appealed to my inner geek. It's a cute, quick read, uplifting and sweet, and totally worth checking out. I really liked that the author explored the challenges that come with loving someone who's not fully able-bodied, but also pointed out the many wonderful things that make up for it. The writing style was mostly humorous, but also included some very quiet moments for both Alex and Luke that really made this novella shine.
I received a free ARC from the publisher. A positive review was not promised in return.
Heaven Can't Wait
When Brian Matheson dies at nineteen, his soul is in limbo. He has one chance to redeem himself before he’s thrown into a nasty pit. All Brian has to do is save the life of Kevin Anderson, a boy he and his friends tormented for being gay.
Kevin thought he’d finally escaped bullying. But his college roommate, Chuck, and his homophobic pals, prove him wrong. Now he can only wait for another room to open up—and try to keep his eyes off sexy, uber-straight Chuck.
Chuck is struggling to keep up the tough-guy façade everyone expects, but being trapped in a dorm room with the prettiest twink he’s ever seen isn’t helping him keep his feelings hidden.
If Brian can untangle this mess, he’ll deserve his wings.
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A novella from the MENDED anthology published by Dreamspinner Press in June 2014.
This was utterly adorable. The narrator, Brian Matheson, 19 and rather dead after a car accident, is in limbo and has two weeks to help someone before it's decided whether he goes to heaven or hell.
Kevin Anderson, a gay young man, had hopes to escape the bullying when going to college, but his roommate Chuck's friends lob slurs at him whenever they're present. Brian is/was one of the friends.
Brian is told that he has to prevent a suicide and assumes that this pertains to Kevin. Of course, rules apply.
The novella is told with humor and snark, organic dialogue and great pacing, but also delves deeper into the inner workings of Brian's mind, his homophobia and the lessons he still has to learn, as he sets out to fulfill his assignment.
And learn he does; despite making wrong assumptions and stupid mistakes - he learns. And he succeeds, despite being a bumbling fool, which provided me with many giggles throughout.
The author cleverly ends this novella with a HFN for Kevin, and with Brian having to make a choice. It was wonderfully done.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I hope you will too!
** I received a free copy of this novella from the publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **
It’s not easy for a young gay artist like Jordan Carson to grow up in Jefferson, Wisconsin, where all anyone seems to care about in middle school and high school are the sports teams. But Jordan was lucky. He met Owen Nelson in the second grade, and they’ve been BFFs ever since. Owen is a big, beautiful blond and their school’s champion wrestler. No one messes with Owen, or with anyone close to him, and he bucks popular opinion by keeping Jordan as his wingman even after Jordan comes out at school.
Their friendship survives, but Jordan’s worst enemy may be himself: he can’t seem to help the fact that he is head-over-heels in love with a hopeless case—his straight friend, Owen. Owen won’t let anything take Jordan’s friendship away, but he never counted on Jordan running off to find a life of his own. Owen will have to face the nature of their relationship if he’s to win Jordan back.
“They are too! They’re both in the DC Universe. ’Member that Sandman issue where Wanda dreams about Bizarros—Superman fights them in his comic. If a Sandman character can dream about a villain that Superman fights, they’re in the same universe.”
I knew I had him, and I could see by his face that he knew it, too. In my moment of triumph, I hit the volleyball too hard and sent it sailing to the left, out of bounds of the pool. “Oops,” I said.
“Penalty!” Owen shouted, just before he plowed into me.
Owen is not a dumb jock. In fact, he’s pretty smart. But when backed into a corner in an argument he often resorted to the physical. That was nothing new.
That day, however, when he pinned me up against the tile wall of the pool, all wet and slippery, with just his swim trunks and mine between us—pinned me there knee to shoulder and held me, with his head tucked into my neck—well, something inside me snapped. I raised the flag so fast my head spun, and I grabbed him around his waist before I even realized what I was doing. Seriously, I claim complete disassociation from my actions on that day. My mind was not driving the car. If you doubt me, try being a twelve-year-old boy with your biggest sexual fantasy pinning you against a wall mostly naked in a pool, and then tell me I’m lying.
I think I moaned, or made some kind of scary sexual sound, and then I grabbed his neck with one hand, pulled his head up and kissed him. This was my first kiss ever, but the primitive brain is a powerful thing. It didn’t matter that I had no clue what I was doing. I had my mouth on his and my tongue thrust deep with no conscious thought whatsoever.
For one brief, shining moment, I kissed Owen and Owen kissed me back. He kept pressing me against that wall and he even got hard. But then, he was twelve years old, too. His mouth under mine was so hot and sweet and sexy I could barely stand it. I thrust my tongue against his. My legs wrapped around him like I was a freaking monkey. I pressed into him as if he was an invisible barrier and I was trying to go through it. They ground together, his stiffy and mine, and I starting rocking my hips against him. It was incredible. It felt like soaring, like that scene in Superman Returns where Brandon Routh shoots straight up into the stratosphere like a bullet. I probably would have come like that in about another twenty seconds, right there in the pool.
But after our dicks made contact, something in Owen woke up. He thrust me off him, really hard, and held me at arm’s length, his elbows locked.
For a long minute we just looked at each other. I had my head in the clouds until the look of shock on his face finally got through the freaking cupids and singing birds and stuff. My stomach dropped like a stone. I clapped a hand over my mouth as if I could take back what it had just done.
“Oh God,” I said, through my fingers. “I am. I’m gay.”
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Five Little Known Facts about Eli Easton
1. I started my writing career over 20 years ago as a video game designer under the name Jane Jensen. My best known game series is called “Gabriel Knight.” I also designed a number of hidden object games.
2. I live on a 20 acre farm in Pennsylvania with my husband, 3 bulldogs, 1 rescued cat, 3 cows, and 5 laying hens.
3. My father was a conservative Church of God minister.
4. I attended a Christian college, Anderson University in Indiana, where I got a B.A. in Computer Science -- because I figured it wasn’t “practical” to be a writer.
5. Past jobs have included waitressing, dish washer, English tutor, programmer, and Avon lady.
More about Eli:
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.
Join us again next week, for more about Eli's books, plus a personal story she's chosen to share, and another chance to win one of her books!
Until then, happy reading!!