Saturday, November 12, 2016

In the Spotlight with Bayou Book Junkie: Author Eli Easton (Review)

In the Spotlight with Bayou Book Junkie: Author Eli Easton (Review)

Hi Eli Easton and welcome to Bayou Book Junkie! Eli’s the author of 24 tales, some of which have appeared in anthologies. She’s been writing since YYYY and her latest tale, which yours truly have had the pleasure of reading, Falling Down, came out on 9 November 2016.  It’s a tale that will break your heart and then mend it and it ends with our kind of HEA, a whole year into the leads’ lives - yay!!! Now, seeing as we’ve invited Eli over, it’s only polite to let her get a word or few in, so let’s hear from her. 🙂

BBJ: Hi Eli and welcome. Please tell BBJ readers all about yourself and the many, many furries that we know you have. We love furry creatures. Can we have pics, please?

Eli:  Sure! I’ve attached a photo of my three bulldogs and my husband on a morning walk on our farm. We also have 2 cows and a pot belly pig that somehow wandered onto our farm and never left.

BBJ: You write contemp, historical and shifter – do you have a particular favourite type, and if so, why?

Eli: I do like to write all kinds of things, and I like to mix it up. I would love to write more historicals like “The Lion and the Crow”, but I try to mainly focus on contemporary since those do the best in the market. On the other hand, I’ve had SOOO much fun with the Howl at the Moon series, which has done pretty well (it’s shifter/humor). I guess I can’t say I have a favorite unless it’s the m/m genre in general.  I do enjoy humor a lot, though sometimes it’s nice to get more serious and deeper with a book like “Falling Down”.

BBJ: Tell us the top 5 things on your bucket list.

Eli: Waking the Camino in Spain, having one of my stories made into a film, living in the UK for a while, having lots of animals (always), and enjoying my 100th birthday. 🙂

BBJ: What’s the hardest part of writing for you? And the easiest? And which is your fave?

Eli:  I find the beginning and end of a book much easier than the middle. It’s that “and then time passes and they’re happy” part of the story that I find hard to push myself through! Also, sex scenes are usually hard (though not always, if I just happen to get a unique idea for one).

BBJ: Your last release was a shifter tale, and your latest, Falling Down, is a contemp. Can you tell us how you’re able to immerse yourself in these different ‘worlds/settings’?

Eli:  I don’t know. I get an idea in my head for a story, and if there’s some kind of spark there, something I can really get excited about—a tone or  a visual or a message – then it snowballs from there. It’s less about the genre or setting than it is about getting that significant idea that makes the book worth writing.

BBJ: Could you tell us what inspired this story and Mark and Josh? And, given its Thanksgiving-ish timing, what do you hope readers will take from it? Is/are there a message/messages in it?

Eli: I love fall and I wanted to write a fall-themed story. One of the things fall has always made me  think about is how nature is going to sleep for the winter, in a sense dying, and yet it’s very beautiful and peaceful. It’s as if nature is saying ‘look how peaceful and beautiful it can be to rest’. And that was the spark of the idea for this book, that Josh has that idea and wants to ‘rest’. And yet, of course, that’s only a starting place for his character and the story. I needed to show him why life is important and always worth living.  That’s the message of the book, that it’s always worth living.

BBJ: What did you enjoy most about your recent trip to the UK to attend the Southampton UK LGBT meet? Would you come back again? Did you get to try our famous fish and chips?

Eli: I planned a vacation around the UK Meet and my husband and I did a long permanent trail around the Cotswolds. So that was fantastic! I loved meeting a number of UK authors that I’d never gotten a chance to meet before. And just hanging out with that community is always a wonderful time.
I have had fish and chips on previous UK trips, but I’m vegan now so I didn’t eat any this time.

BBJ: Will you be attending any similar conferences in 2017?

Eli:  I don’t have any conferences planned for 2017, mainly due to money. I’m writing full-time right now so I need the income from the books and don’t have a lot of extra gravy to spread around like I did when I had a day job.

BBJ: In the UK, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving (though Black Friday has made it over the pond in recent years. Not sure whether to love or loathe it!), but we do go bonkers for Christmas. What do you do on each of these holidays, and do both have the same importance to you?

Eli:  Usually on Thanksgiving there’s a get-together with family and a big meal. And I guess Christmas is the same but with gifts and ornaments! 🙂  I like to hang out at home on those days, maybe with a long walk outside and/or a trip to see a movie.

BBJ: On a scale of 1-100, how much of a romantic are you and why? And the hubs?

Eli:  Ha. Well, I’m exceedingly romantic in my fiction but in life, not so much. We’re pretty relaxed around each other and don’t get too ambitious about nights out and such. But we have a nice life. We’re both avid pet parents.

BBJ: Can you give us a hint of your 2017 writing schedule, Eli? How long does it take you to write a tale on average?

Eli:  I’m trying to do 5 books a year, which is a lot. I spend around 6-8 weeks on a book, depending on how long it is and how well it flows.

BBJ: Finally, picture this - you have a private yacht and jet at your disposal – which would you use, where would you go and who would you take with you? 

Eli: Hmm. I prefer boats to planes. I’d do some coastal hopping around Europe and see Greece, maybe Israel which has always been a dream. I’d take my husband and my (birth) family and step-daughter.

BBJ: And now, the quick-fire round: 

A night out on the town or a night cuddling in front of the TV?  TV

What’s your favourite song? Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

The thing you’re proudest of is…….? The books and games I’ve published

Finally, Joe Manganiello or Matt Bomer? (Er, you’re allowed extra time to ogle, drool…research and compare, perhaps even watch Magic Mike 1&2, in the interests of fairness and accuracy, of course 🙂). Joe Manganiello!

BBJ: Thanks for popping in, Eli. We hope you had fun!

Eli: Thanks for having me!

Buy it at Amazon


Josh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves were done and the harsh winter came, Josh would find a place to curl up and let go. It would be a relief to finally stop fighting.

Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now an ex-Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.

Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expected that he’d be the one to fall.

The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries fall?

5* A lovely tale that had me clueless about where/how it would end, but which had me engrossed. 

This is an incredibly well-written tale that had me racing through it, blurb unread - the name EE was enough to make me want it and I jumped at the chance of an ARC.

It's a tale of an 18yo guy who's seemingly drifting, some might think aimlessly, but he has a plan, though a kind of plan that made me sad that someone so young could be thinking it. At times, I wasn't sure about his sanity, but as I read on, I began to see his...foibles? conversations? in a different light, a healing one, a sustaining one and towards the end, a rallying one. 

Mark, on the face of it seemed rather unremarkable, another kind of drifter, but one in situ in a quiet little town, minding his own business, earning enough to be able to rent a place and live away from his family, but having no particular aim in life since he left the military. He's happy enough with what he's got, his existence - because that's what he's doing, not living. He's not out to his family and he has no real friends or lover, other than an occasion fwb, but at the same time, he's not unhappy. 

The guys meet in a believable way, with the scene set well, with realism and there's a reason they end up spending time together, getting to know each other and finding and fulfilling a need in each other, that's more than just physical. I loved how natural and believable EE made their growing relationship seem, and though they didn't get together til late-ish in the tale, that didn't spoil it in the slightest and made what they did have all the more relevant to them both, all the more meaningful and connecting. 

The tale ends in a little petulance from one, when the other's fear and insecurities make him deny the former, and could have ended disastrously, but there's a silver lining as the latter finds support and ends up finding acceptance and unconditional love. There's an epilogue a year later, with happy families and contentment, but not in a corny or faux way, just in an 'everyday, guys next door' way. I loved this tale and my review can in no way do it justice, but it had all the right elements for this time of giving that made it a 5* read. 

ARC courtesy of the author and SignalBoostPR for my reading pleasure.

No comments:

Post a Comment