Friday, September 15, 2017

Blog Tour: How to Save a Life (Howl At the Moon #4) by Eli Easton. Includes Guest Post & Giveaway

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We are thrilled to welcome Eli Easton to Sinfully today as she celebrates the release of How to Save a Life, the fourth book in the Howl at the Moon series. Go check it out!

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“The Trouble with Tribbles -OR- Saving Mad Creek”

By Eli Easton

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I’ve never written a series in which each book built upon the last to the extent that the “Howl at the Moon” series does. Most of my series, such as “Sex in Seattle” or “Men of Lancaster County” feature separate couples in stand-alone books that just take place in the same universe.

“Howl at the Moon”, though, is truly a series that should be read in order. And the reason for that is Mad Creek.

The progress of this little town has been unexpected. I’d like to say that when I wrote the first book, “How to Howl at the Moon”, I knew how the town of Mad Creek would evolve, but I would be lying.

My original idea of Mad Creek was that it was a cute little town tucked away in the California mountains where a community of dog shifters lived. A basic “small town romance” setting only with dog shifters. I didn’t expect it to be anything more than a pleasant background. However, as the series went along, the logic of my dog shifters, aka “the quickened”, put pressure on the town to grow, both figuratively and literally.

The dog shifters in this series are dogs which were once ordinary pets. But when a dog has an intense love bond with their owner, and then loses that owner (usually due to death), the emotions of love, grief, longing, fear, etc. operate like a chemical cocktail inside the dog, activating DNA switches which “turn on” the dog’s ability to shift to human. (For more details, see “How to Wish Upon a Star”.) You could say the concept is a descendant of “Velveteen rabbit”, “Pinocchio”, and “Pygmalion/Galatea”.

From the start of the series, these newly quickened dogs, with no place to go because their owners were deceased, made their way to Mad Creek for help, mostly through word of mouth. And Mad Creek took them all in, clothed, fed, housed them, and did their best to educate them. But it became clear to me by book #3 that the number of these “newly quickened” making their way to Mad Creek was growing exponentially, and that eventually that was going to cause a problem.

As Lily says, “Our flock has grown and grown and grown, but we're still just the handful of shepherds we always were.”

Why are their numbers growing so fast? For a few reasons. More people today own dogs than perhaps ever before. Our culture celebrates and caters to dog owners. We’ve got dogs who have their own facebook pages or instagrams and couples who raise dogs almost as their kids. Thus, more people have a deep relationship with their dogs that could lead to quickening. Plus, as more “Mad Creek emissaries” go out to spread the word about Mad Creek, more of these dog shifters are finding their way to the town.

The characters in Mad Creek love the newly quickened, and they’re adorable, but… too many, and it begins to have the vibe of Star Trek’s tribbles—overwhelming amounts of a good thing.

This problem comes to a head in book #4, “How to Save a Life”. Imagine a small town inundated with thousands of stray dogs—only they’re dog shifters with no experience being human. They’re good-natured and sweet, but with no clue how to provide for themselves—no money, no education, and no job skills. That’s the conundrum Mad Creek faces in “How to Save a Life”.

Exacerbating the problem is the town’s need for secrecy. In this series, the universe is basically our world with its lack of supernatural shenanigans. Humans have no idea that dog shifters exist. And the town of Mad Creek wants to keep it that way, fearful that if the human race found out, dog shifters would be locked up, studied for science, or even wiped out.

Because of this need for secrecy, the town’s protectors, especially Sheriff Lance Beaufort, have resisted any efforts to bring new businesses or tourism into Mad Creek. Of course eventually these two pressures – 1) to take in and help any new dog shifter who comes to town, and 2) to resist new economic growth in order to stay off the radar, are bound to collide and spell disaster.

“How to Save a Life” is primarily a romance between Rav, a 100% human bad boy biker and dog rescuer, and Sammy, a newly quickened chocolate Lab who is afraid of men due to an abusive owner. But the secondary plotline is about saving Mad Creek, finding a way to ease this pressure and provide the town with jobs, money, and the ability to grow and thrive for years to come.

I hope you’ll enjoy this sub-plot in “How to Save a Life” and bite your nails along with me as a solution is found. What will it be? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

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How to Save a Life

(Howl At the Moon #4)

Eli Easton

how to save a lifePublished ~ 28th August 2017

Genre ~ Paranormal M/M Romance

Rating

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Synopsis

Rav Miller looked into the terrified, intelligent eyes of the chocolate Labrador on death row, and knew he’d do anything to save him. When the dog, Sammy, escapes and heads to Mad Creek, Rav follows. Mad Creek. The town had become legendary in Rav’s mind after he’d met that bizarre group last year. Rav dismissed his crazy suspicions back then, but when he arrives in Mad Creek, he knows it’s true. Dog shifters exist, and apparently they all live in the California mountains. It’s enough to blow a bad boy’s mind.

Sammy has something in common with Rav—neither one of them trusts people. After Sammy’s abuse as a dog, he particularly dislikes tough-looking men like Rav. But when Sammy gets a chance to work with rescued dogs at the new Mad Creek shelter, his deep compulsion to help others overcomes his fear. Rav and Sammy bond over saving strays. If they can each find the courage to let someone else in, they might find their way to love.

Sheriff Lance Beaufort doesn’t like humans moving into Mad Creek, especially not the tattooed and defiant Rav. When Rav starts a rescue shelter, the town thinks he’s wonderful! But Lance isn’t fooled. He doesn’t buy Rav’s innocent act for one second. How much does Rav know about the quickened? What is his game? And why did he have to show up now, when Lance and the other town leaders are overwhelmed by all the new quickened pouring in?

Rav knows how to save a life. But can he save an entire town? Can he rescue Mad Creek?

::: LISA’S REVIEW :::

Purchase Link

AMAZON GLOBAL LINK

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Howl at the Moon Series

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Book #1: How to Howl at the Moon

The town sheriff, Lance, is all work and no play. He’s got a border collie’s obsessive focus on his job—protecting the town of Mad Creek—and has no time for love or family. When a young human named Tim moves into the area and acts suspiciously, Lance suspects the boy is trouble. Lance pretends to be a regular dog to get closer to Tim and figure out what he’s up to. Tim LOVES his new doggie, though, and Lance’s inner dog bonds with a human for the first time in his life. As Lance gets more attached to Tim he has to figure out how to make Tim love his HUMAN side.

REVIEW | AMAZON

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Book #2: How to Walk Like a Man

Deputy Roman Charsguard survived Afghanistan where he lost his best friend—his K-9 handler James. Roman was a military dog until two years ago when he developed the ability to shift into a human. It’s not easy to learn how to be a man. He found a place to live in Mad Creek, a haven for the secret world of dog shifters. Finding a reason to live has been harder. That is, until a certain human walks into the Mad Creek Sheriff’s office and starts making trouble.
Matt Barclay has the worst luck. First he was shot in a SWAT drug raid, then he was sent as DEA investigator to Mad Creek, a little town in the California mountains. Matt’s job is to keep a lookout for illegal drug farms, but nobody in the town wants him there. And then there’s Roman, Matt’s erstwhile baby-sitter. He’s the hottest guy Matt’s ever seen, even if he is a bit peculiar. If the town doesn’t kill him, sexual frustration just might.
The town is counting on Roman to prevent Matt from learning about dog shifters, Matt’s counting on Roman to be his work partner and tell him the truth, and Roman’s trying to navigate love, sex, and a whole lot of messy human emotions. Who knew it was so complicated to walk like a man?

REVIEW | AMAZON

How-To-Wish-Upon-A-Star_thumb[1]Book #3: How to Wish Upon a Star

Dr. Jason Kunik is working on the most earth-shattering genetics project ever, DNA mapping of a new species, the quickened—dogs who can shift into human form. The problem is, no one knows the quickened exist and Jason can’t betray them by publishing his studies. When he moves to Mad Creek to continue his research in a town full of quickened, all he wants is peace, quiet, and to be allowed to bury himself in his work. Perhaps if he figures how out the mutation is activated, he can silence his own inner dog forever.

Milo is a hospice comfort dog who has bonded with, and lost, many beloved patients in his life. He intuitively understands sickness and pain on a spiritual level most can’t see. When he gains the ability to become a man, he thinks he finally has everything he ever wanted. But being a man isn’t the same thing as being loved, and taking shelter in Mad Creek isn’t the same thing as finding a home.

When a mysterious illness hits Mad Creek and threatens all the quickened in town, it’s up to the scientist and the comfort dog to figure out what it is and how to stop it. Along the way they might discover that true love is possible—if you wish upon a star.

This is the third book in the “Howl at the Moon” series, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

REVIEW | AMAZON

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Meet Eli Easton


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Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author. 

As an avid 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. You can email her ateli@elieaston.com

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a book from Eli Easton’s backlist.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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August 28 - Oh My Shelves, The Way She Reads, Gay Book Reviews, Dirty Books Obsession, Au Boudoir Ecarlate, Diverse Reader

August 30 - OMG Reads, RJ Scott

September 1 - Joyfully Jay, Bonkers About Books, My Fiction Nook, Urban Smoothie Read, Sinfully MM Romance, Nautical Star Books

September 4 - Hoards Jumble

September 6 - The Novel Approach, Hearts On Fire Reviews, Out Of My Head

September 8 - V's Reads

September 15 - Bayou Book Junkie, Padme's Library, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Xtreme Delusions, Wicked Faerie's Tales & Reviews, Sinfully MM Romance

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3 comments:

  1. I just started reading this series and I'm LOVING it!!! Totally different premise on the shifter trope. Thank you for these great books! Congratulations on your recent release!!!

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  2. Wow these sound like fun books to read thanks.

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  3. Loved this book so much! The whole series is just wonderful. I never thought I'd love the idea of dog-shifters so much, but the whole concept and Mad Creek is just the best. :D

    ReplyDelete