We’re so pleased to welcome author Eli Easton and the How to Save a Life blog tour to TNA today. Enjoy this exclusive scene from the book, and also don’t forget to check out the giveaway details below, where you can enter to win an e-book from Eli’s backlist.
About the Book
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 80,000 words
Cover Design: Reese Dante
Howl At The Moon Series
How To Howl At The Moon (Book #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK
How To Walk Like A Man (Book #2): Amazon US | Amazon UK
How To Wish Upon A Star (Book #3): Amazon US | Amazon UK
Blurb: 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?
Sammy especially liked watching Rav with the dogs. By the end of August, the shelter was at capacity with sixty dogs. They had lots of volunteers to help walk the dogs or play with them. But no matter how many people were around, Rav was always in charge. It wasn’t because he was mean or yelled, it was just the way he carried himself. When he was in the room, the dogs paid attention to him. They had respect for him and obeyed. But when he invited them to play, they loved that the best! Jules and Sampson, two boxers, loved to play Frisbee with Rav. And the little dogs like Tally were so happy when he picked them up. If Rav sat down in the common room, all the dogs wanted to be in his lap.
They all wanted to be touched by, petted, hugged by Rav. Usually he wore a shirt with no sleeves, and the blue tattoos would flex over his muscles, moving pictures. His hands were big and strong, but they looked so gentle when they scratched or rubbed. Rav’s face was happy, and his lips curved into a smile—the kind that came up from your heart. He didn’t look big or scary at all when he was petting a dog.
The more Sammy watched Rav with the dogs, the more new feelings stirred inside him. He wanted to play with Rav too. No, that wasn’t right. He wanted to be touched. He wanted to sit in Rav’s lap and feel his strength, feel safe. He wanted to be soothed by those hands. He craved it very much! He felt jealous of the dogs.
Feeling jealous was terrible. Sammy shouldn’t want that. Because he wasn’t a dog anymore. It was confusing.
Once, when Sammy first started working at the shelter, Rav invited him back to his apartment for dinner. I’m making spaghetti for dinner if you’re hungry. But Sammy had refused so strongly that Rav never asked again.
He’d been such a coward! Sammy now wished he hadn’t said no. He wanted Rav to ask again!
He tried to hide those want-y, jealous feelings. But he wasn’t very good at hiding things. One day Rav looked up from petting a dog and caught Sammy staring. Rav stared back, his face calm, but there was a light in those brown eyes that made Sammy’s heartbeat go crazy. Rav smiled.
Sammy turned away and grabbed the broom.
He swept a lot of floors that week!
One Tuesday night, after all the dogs were fed and put in their kennels for the night, Sammy was sweeping the kitchen floor, hard. He’d been feeling particularly wanty all day and was out of sorts about it. He swept and swept, so caught up in the whisk, whisk of the broom that he didn’t realize Rav had come into the kitchen until the broom hit a pair of heavy black boots.
Rav was leaning against the sink, arms folded over his chest, watching Sammy.
“Oh.” Sammy stopped sweeping. He looked at the wall and then at the light overhead, waiting for Rav to move. But he didn’t.
“Yeah?” Sammy made himself look Rav in the eyes, because that was what men did. He tried a smile on for size. It felt weird.
Rav looked over Sammy’s face, his eyes soft. “You look tired.”
“I do?” Sammy had been in the sun a lot with Best Boy that day. He was a little sleepy.
“Do you think….” Rav cleared his throat. “Do you think maybe you need a hug?”
Sammy froze. Rav knew. He knew Sammy wanted to be petted! Should he feel embarrassed about it? Maybe. But he was tired, and he was sick of feeling confused.
“Yes,” Sammy said. “I need a hug.”
Rav smiled in that lopsided way, like Sammy had said something funny. He held out his arms. “That’s lucky. Because I happen to be giving out free hugs today.”
The broom clattered to the floor. Sammy stepped into Rav’s arms and let himself be pulled in. His cheek rested on Rav’s shoulder and his arms were folded in against Rav’s chest and he was shaking. It felt like he’d just set down a thousand-pound weight. His whole body felt so heavy and so good inside. It was a little scary still, because it was new and he wanted it so much. But Rav’s arms were gentle and he felt comfortable and comforted.
He closed his eyes and took in deep breaths, drinking in Rav’s scent. It had been a long day, and Rav smelled like sweat, like disinfectant, and like dogs. But he also smelled like Rav—a scent that was as compelling as the scent of small furry things, as hot as sunshine, and salty in a way that made Sammy’s mouth water. The first time he’d smelled this, Sammy had been in a cage in Flagstaff, waiting to die. The memory caused his chest to tighten, and he burrowed deeper into Rav’s arms. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Would he ever be able to repay Rav? Would he ever stop feeling weak in the knees when he remembered what Rav had done for him?
Rav stroked his back for long time, cradling him so sweetly. Sammy sighed and settled in. He was so tired…..
“Sammy?” Rav’s voice was quiet.
“Just thinking maybe we could sit down for this. Wanna come over to my apartment? I can make dinner.”
Sammy smiled against the now-damp fabric of Rav’s shirt where he’d been drooling. “Okay.”
About the Author
Eli Easton has 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 long-distance walker. She began writing m/m romance in 2013 and has published 27 books since then. She hopes to write many more.
As an avid reader of such, she is tickled 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, two bulldogs, several cows, and a cat. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.
Follow the Tour
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