We are always delighted when Eli Easton pops in for a visit. Today she’s here celebrating the release of her latest book Snowblind. Go check it out!
WRITING ALPHA MALES –
My quest for badass heroes for “Snowblind”
By Eli Easton
I’ve read a lot of romances featuring alpha males, but rarely have I written one. Those who have read my books know that I have a true love for underdog heroes and hurt-comfort stories. I’ve written a number of books with disabled heroes, but even when my hero is not disabled, he is often nerdy, terribly shy, mentally “broken”, virginal, or otherwise imperfect . My heroes are usually far from the romance cover heroic ideal ala Fabio.
However, the idea I had for “Snowblind” was a trapped-in-the-snow story which turns into an action story. And that story required a whole heap of testosterone -- not one alpha male but two.
Hutch Loran lives in an isolated little town in Alaska where he works for the ski patrol. He’s a tough, ex-military guy who has a whole arsenal of weapons and guards his cabin like it’s about to be invaded by an alien horde. He’s fond of trip wires, silent alarms, and M41 rocket launchers. He’s a “take no prisoners” type of guy.
That’s unfortunate for Jude Devereaux, who walks out on a domineering lover in the middle of Alaska and realizes it’s further to town than he thought. He nearly freezes to death, but when he spots the little cabin, Jude thinks he’s saved. His welcome is less than enthusiastic.
Except the intruder wasn’t a raccoon. When Hutch could finally get a good look at the front yard, bracketed by cabin, shed, and carport, he saw a lone human figure in a black ski jacket, hood raised, torso doubled over. The figure took one staggering step closer to the cabin’s porch, shambling like something out of a seventies horror movie.
Or a war.
Adrenaline flooded Hutch’s system. He was instantly on high alert, sleep or no sleep, cold or no cold. He scanned the trees and the dark driveway but couldn’t see much beyond the security light. There was no sound from the darkness. He moved silently into the trees and circled the property, looking for his unwanted guest’s entourage. But there was nothing there, only the lone man’s tracks from the road imprinted in the fresh snow.
Five minutes later, when he was reasonably certain the man was alone, Hutch approached the porch. The man was now lying at the cabin’s front door. He’d probably even knocked.
Hutch stood over the man and aimed his rifle at the man’s face, still hidden in the shadows of his hood. “Who are you?” His voice was loud and deep in the hush of the Alaskan wilderness.
The man made pleading gestures with his hands and sat up stiffly, half-frozen. “Please.” The voice was deep but weak.
Hutch didn’t lower the rifle. “Who are you?” he repeated, louder.
“J-J-Jude. Devereaux. Please don’t shoot me. I was only looking for sh-sh-shelter.”
“Hands up. All the way.”
Jude, however, is not a man who is easily dissuaded. He may be pretty enough to work as a model, but scratch the surface and he’s alpha all the way. Jude has a sharp wit, nasty tongue, and a confident expectation that the world will conform to what he wants sooner or later. Hutch reluctantly takes Jude in—because Jude would otherwise die.
I had a lot of fun writing these two tough guys. In their dialog they constantly challenge and push each other, the tension between them ratcheting up unbearably.
Jude huffed. “Do I sleep with men? Yes. Do I do it for money? No. Sorry if that disappoints you, but I’m sure you can find something to spend your little coffee-can savings on.”
Hutch smirked. He liked the guy’s smartass attitude. “I think I’ll get over it.”
“What about you? Since we’re having a heart-to-heart about our sexuality.”
Hutch narrowed his eyes, frowned, and got up to refill his coffee cup. The silence felt loaded.
“Sorry,” Jude said, his tone light. “That’s none of my business. And here you are, being so generous as to provide me shelter. You did, you know, save my life.”
“Anyone up here would have done the same. In Alaska, people watch out for each other.”
“Especially strangers, because they’re too stupid to look after themselves.”
Jude chuckled. “Guilty as charged. Then again, I’m a fucking god on the I-110 expressway.”
It doesn’t take long for the friction and chest thumping between Hutch and Jude to turn physical. I swear, this is the first time I’ve written sex scenes where I laughed out loud at how ridiculously macho my guys were acting. And I also made myself blush.
No. He wasn’t going to think about his baggage right now. He was only going to think about having the best-looking guy he’d ever seen pressed up against his wall, begging for it. He was going to think about sinking home. No way, though, was he going all the way to the bedroom for lube. Not when he was within arm’s reach of a kitchen cabinet where he kept his spices and cooking oil.
He continued to caress the irresistible softness of Jude’s crack while opening the cabinet with the other hand. An array of bottles came into view.
“Olive oil,” Jude panted. “But only if it’s organic.”
Hutch couldn’t stop a dark chuckle. “Smart ass. I’m going to fucking rail you.”
“I’m counting on it.”
Jude and Hutch are barricaded in the cabin by a snowstorm for three days. The way they play off each other while trapped is, shall we say, interesting. That could have been the whole story, but it isn’t. By the time the snow breaks there’s a whole lot of trouble waiting for our heroes. It’s time for Hutch to show what he can do with his paranoid security system and all those weapons he has stashed. And Jude has to use his own very different skillset. There’s a lot of action in the story too—another first for me, at least in a romance novel.
Was I successful writing alpha males? I hope you’ll let me know on goodreads , amazon, or by dropping by my facebook or twitter.
Snowblind is a quick read at 50K words, and the plot moves fast. Go into it with no preconceptions and no spoilers if you can!
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 1st March 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Snow, steam, and secrets.
The latest snowstorm carries something unexpected to the doorstep of Hutch’s secluded Alaskan cabin: a stranger named Jude, the most beautiful man Hutch has ever seen. Jude says he’s in the area for a ski trip and that he fled a domineering lover, thinking he could make it into town. But Hutch is a suspicious SOB and treats his unwanted guest warily. The problem is Jude isn’t just gorgeous, he’s funny and smart and flirtatious.
Two gay men snowed in for three days—things happen. Really good things. By the time the storm clears, Hutch finds himself a little too attached to Jude Devereaux, San Francisco-based male model. But is Jude what he claims to be? Or is he entangled in the secrets Hutch moved to Alaska to escape?
::: LISA’S REVIEW :::
Meet Eli Easton
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.