Guest Author Eli Easton – Har Dee Hot Har: Humor in Romance

TroubleWithTony[The]LGSo I have this thing for humor—I love it.  But I don’t read ‘humor books’ per se.  You know, those super clever non-fiction books by people like David Sedaris or Jenny Lawson.  I would probably love them if I actually gave them a try, but I don’t because I hoard my reading time like the gollum clutches the ring.  I spent those precious hours almost exclusively on romance.  Yes I, Eli Easton, am a romance-aholic.  I admit it.  I am proud and unashamed.

My particular sweet spot as a reader is romance with humor.  And I don’t just appreciate it like you might appreciate, say, a nice sunset or a good slice of apple pie.  No, I turn into a weepy, ‘I love you so much, please take my firstborn’ kind of fan girl over it.

The Trouble with Tony” is my first attempt at actually writing a humorous romance story.  So in celebration of its recent release, I thought I’d share some fun quotes from a few of my favorite humorous romance writers.  Sorry it starts out in het land because I read a lot of that for years!  But there is m-m in here too (I swear):

Eloisa James

“You might have to fight a duel, Cornelius.  I supposed you have pistols somewhere in this house, don’t you?  Didn’t you threaten to fight one with Lord Billetsford years ago?”

“After finding him in bed with Rosalyn,” Linnet’s father said.  He didn’t sound mournful, just matter-of-fact.  “New bed; we’d had it only a week or two.”

“My sister had many passions,” Zenobia said fondly.

“I thought you just said she was white as snow!” the viscount snapped back.

“None of them touched her soul!  She died in a state of grace.”

From “When Beauty Tamed the Beast”

 

“My father did inform you that I’m planning to live a normal life span, didn’t he?” Marchant said, his voice liquid with distaste.

“He didn’t mention it,” she managed, grateful to hear her voice unshaken.  “Sometimes plans change,” she added.  “One can only hope.”

From “When Beauty Tamed the Beast”

 

They reached the stairs leading down to the main floor.   “If you want to keep holding onto me, you’ll have to move to my left side,” Marchant said. “Though, of course, there’s always the possibility that you could descend the stairs all by yourself.”

Linnet moved to his left side, just to irritate him.

From “When Beauty Tamed the Beast”

 

Loretta Chase

“That is what I like about you, Mr. Dashwood,” she said.  “You are so decisive. It saves me the bother of thinking for myself.”

“That is what I like about you, Mrs. Dashwood,” he said.  “You are so sarcastic.  It saves me the trouble of trying to be tactful and charming.”

From “Lord Perfect”

 

“Just because I squeezed my gigantic bottom into men’s trousers, you needn’t assume my brains have shrunk to masculine size.”

From “Last Night’s Scandal”

 

“We’ve been wed more than a month.  Since it appears you mean to stay, I might as well give you leave to call me by my Christian name.  It is preferable, at any rate, to ‘clodpole’.

From “Lord of Scoundrels”

 

I’ve immersed myself in m-m romance for about a year.  There are some wonderful clever writers in the genre.  Here are a few of my favorite:

 J.L. Merrow

 

“Do—” I cleared my throat.  “Do you think you might…?”

Empires rose and fell.  Stars burst onto the night sky, then fizzled out to nothing.  A whole season of X Factor came and went, the winner rocketing from obscurity to number one, gabbling excitedly about living the dream, then disappearing to stack shelves in Tesco.

Finally, Matt nodded.  “Yeah.  I mean, I do.”

From “Hard Tail”

 

So he follows my gaze to where the cute guy’s still hovering on the corner.  “Jesus, Vinnie!  You’re afta that?  Why dontcha just fuck a girl?”

“I’ll go fuck your mother if you want, Paulie!” I flip him the bird as I cross the street, but we’re both grinning; we know it don’t mean nothin’.  Like, I call his boyfriend a fucking gorilla and he calls me Baldilocks, but it’s kinda affectionate-like.  I’m not bald, anyhow; I just got tired of figuring out where to stop when I shave.

From “Epiphany”

 

I soon realized trying to go for smart casual would be a disaster.  Had Russell not actually bought any clothes at all since his mum had stopped doing his shopping?  Had his mum stopped doing his shopping?  I picked through sad-looking checked shirts hanging limply on wire hangers, trying their best to distance themselves from the poly-cotton slacks.

From “Pricks and Pragmatism”

 

Amy Lane

The kid was a smart-ass. Of all the wide variety of asses—feminine and soft, male and hard, open and begging, reluctant and tight, Whiskey’s most favorite, very bestest type of ass was this type right here.  The snark-at-the-world smart-ass.

From “Clear Water”

 

Whiskey and Fly Bait raised their eyebrows at each other, because normally they would have let the mac and cheese sit and eaten it out of the pot until it didn’t taste good anymore, then waited until the cheese sauce cracked off the Teflon surface of the pot before they dry-washed it. In the same way that doctors and nurses smoked cigarettes, Whisky and Fly Bait were that breed of biologist who believed that salmonella happened to other people, and so far they’d been right.

From “Clear Water”

 

She cut her graying hair and didn’t wear make-up and didn’t do battle with time so much as just turn her back on the bitch and go about her business.

From “A Knitter in His Natural Habitat”

 

John Inman

He lifted my foot and placed a kiss on the tip of my big toe.  That toe had never been kissed in its life.  I wondered if it was smart enough to know what had just happened.  Would it lord it over the other toes now that it had been singled out and kissed by Frank Wels, or was it just a fucking toe and didn’t know what the hell was going on? Like me.

From “Shy”

 

I gasped when his hand came to rest on my closed fly and he gave it a little squeeze.  Lordy, I wanted that thing open.  I could almost hear Tom Junior dragging a tin cup up and down the inside of my zipper, screaming for his freedom.

From “Shy”

 

T.J. Klune

He’s all class, that one.  Even when he’s reaching to tape his balls to his taint.

“I don’t know why I watch every time you do that,” I said to him.  “You look like you’re trying to fist yourself and it’s not going too well.”

He gave a little huff.  “It’s the most unladylike thing about becoming a lady,” he said, giving his wrist a little twist.

“It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again,” I intoned.

From “Tell Me It’s Real”

 

“Hope,” Helena Handbasket said.  “You could ask for some hope.”

Ew. Gross.

I rolled my eyes.  “You just after-school-specialed all over my face.”

From “Tell Me It’s Real”

 

Tad came in to the supply closet at some point midmorning, claiming he needed paper clips.  I glared at him the whole time, wishing silently that he’d get herpes on his face, right on his perfectly plump lips.  I wondered briefly if that was very wrong of me to think, but then he gave me thus knowing little smirk and said, “Oh, heyyyy, Vince,” really loudly when he left the closet, so I didn’t feel so bad about it.  As a matter of fact, I also included in my wishes for him to have a burning sensation when he peed.  And to get eaten by a shark while being set on fire on the surface of the sun”

From “Tell Me It’s Real”

 

Below are some quotes from “The Trouble With Tony”.  I don’t pretend to be in the above illustrious company, but what the heck:

 

Mark shook his head, his face grim.  “Maybe it happened that way.  But you’ve got a better chance of nailing Megan Fox than you do of proving it.”

Tony huffed.  “Especially since I have no interest in nailing Megan Fox.”

“Jesus Christ, you’re gay, not a eunuch.  I mean, fuck, I’d do George Clooney.”

Tony rolled his eyes.  “TM-capital-I.  What, you want to take an inventory of what I had for breakfast?”

Mark snorted.  “Oh, like the idea of any guy having sex with George Clooney wouldn’t ring your bell.  Ding fucking dong.”

From “The Trouble With Tony”

 

Tony couldn’t believe he was doing this.  He was actually telling Halloran his dirty little secret, something he’d never confided to anyone before, something he could sworn he’d be too mortified to mention, even to the Pope or Richard Simmons.  Hell, even to God.

From “The Trouble With Tony”

 

“Speaking of nice girls who are twenty-seven, are you dating anyone?”

Tony groaned inwardly.  His mother could turn any conversation to the girls he should be dating in two consecutive turns or less.  It was like that whole degrees of separation thing. Bowel movements?  Genital area, women.  NASA shuttle?  Deep space, the future of the species, women.  Vampires?  Neck sucking, women.  It was a genetic gift.

From “The Trouble With Tony”

 

“So the last time you were able to successfully have sex with a partner was with Aaron, and that was two years ago?” Halloran asked.

“Sad, isn’t it? I’ve already ordered the tombstone for my penis at Everlasting Hills,” Tony agreed morosely.

“What about masturbation?”

Tony groaned.  “Doc!  You’re killed me.  Can you call it something else?  Like ‘tenderizing the steak’?  I’d feel better.”

Jack grinned.  His entire face changed when he smiled.  He went from this overly serious, cold adult to a cheeky little kid.  It was… nice.  It gave Tony a warm feeling.

“You do realize this is a sex clinic,” Jack said.  “We use big boy language here.”

“And I had an Italian mother.  You say those things, I want to slap your face and then wash your mouth out,” Tony complained.

From “The Trouble With Tony”

 

I hope some of these quotes made you smile!  Thanks to Charlie Cochet for having me on her blog.

Eli

 

About Eli Easton

Eli Easton is a new nom de plume for an author who has primarily published mystery thrillers in the past.  As an addict of m/m romance novels, she decided to tip her size-nine toe in the water and write in the genre herself.  She has various other m/m titles out or soon releasing from Dreamspinner Press.  She lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows, and six chickens.  You can get news about her books at the links below:

Eli on goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7020231.Eli_Easton

Eli’s blog:  www. elieaston.com

Eli’s Tumblr:   http://elieaston.tumblr.com/

Eli’s Twitter:  EliEaston

 

“The Trouble with Tony” links:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EORVJL4/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4110

On Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18247525-the-trouble-with-tony

Eli Easton’s website:  www.elieaston.com

 

Author Lex Chase – Books, Movies, and Games: Bridging the Platform Gap

CashingtheRealityCheckLG

Hello everyone! I’m Lex Chase and Charlie has been very gracious in letting me have a sit and chat at the Tea House today. Thank you, Charlie!

A little bit about me is I am the creator of the Checkmate series for Dreamspinner Press. The three books in the series, Pawn Takes Rook, Cashing the Reality Check, and Conventional Love coming in 2014 is a tale of gay superheroes Memphis Rook and Hogarth Dawson as they take on the world, kick a bunch of butt, and have a little time to smooch in the process.

I’m also having a giveaway of some awesome swag on every stop of this tour! One lucky winner will receive a set of Series 1 and Series 2 Checkmate buttons, a Lex Chase.com pen, and both Checkmate covers! August winners to be announced August 31st!

Today, I’m discussing a topic I brought up in my Facebook Chat on the Dreamspinner Facebook Page back on the 17th. The topic in question is that I’m planning a Pawn Takes Rook PC Game. It’s a tough sell for some, it’s a sign I sold out for others, and for a few it’s met with excitement. It’s all about bridging the platform gap to bring the most enjoyment to all audiences.

Haven’t you always heard the comment about a movie “The book was better,” or “That wasn’t in the book,” or “AUGH! They got all the scenes wrong!” Yeah. We all have and we’ve even made them.

I have two points to make about this: I love The Three Musketeers. I’ve even gone as far as to read Ten Years Later and Twenty Years After. Alexandre Dumas is quite the inspirational author.

Three_Musketeers

The movies? The ones they make again and again about variations on the characters? They’re never ever the same as the books, but I love them anyway, and I watch them all anyway. Why? Because it bridges the gap for people that would have never otherwise, if I’m being honest, touched a really dense book.

Second point? Harry Potter. I’m going to confess, no matter the crapstorm that comes my way but I never read the books. I admit it. And I’m good with that. My Dad is the Potterhead in our family. I have memories of him walking our dog, in the rain, holding his leash and umbrella in one hand, and Deathly Hallows in the other. I have nothing against JK Rowling, and I may not know her personally, what I read of her and see of her in interviews leads me to think she is a fantastic human being.

Hogwarts

But I saw the movies. All of them. And I loved them. I love them enough that it’s on my bucket list to finally read where it all began. The Harry Potter films, I think, have been so instrumental in bridging such a gap between readers and movie goers there would have never been a theme park at Universal Studios.

The list goes on…. The Sookie Stackhouse novels and True Blood, A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones, even Superman vs. Smallville, Green Arrow vs. Arrow, Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Walking Dead, and recently Under the Dome. (Y’all should be watching Under the Dome. For reals. I live tweet about it @Lex_Chase. It’s rather funny how I fall over myself.)

What does this have to do with me? And what does this have to do with the Checkmate Series? A game design company called Steam (of Portal fame) released a PC game called Shadowrun Returns, which you can see here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/234650/

Shiny isn’t it? The super shiny part? You can fully modify the game, your own characters, your own story, your own levels, and on and on. With a superhero series like Checkmate it’s perfect for bridging the gap of readers and not-readers and maybe luring them into being readers.

Why is this important? Is this about my bottom line? Maybe. That would be rather nice. But there’s a much bigger picture. The bigger picture is the LGBT community is as varied as the colors of the rainbow flag. A lot of them are gamers. Or gaymers as they call themselves. And honestly? There aren’t a lot of video games (read practically none) aimed at the LGBT community. There’s been this push for years to have characters that look like this demographic or that demographic, but it seems there’s never been a push in mainstream pop-culture to have LGBT characters as main characters. Not only that? Have them be heroes. Not villains. And not stereotypes.

I’ve always been about characters that happen to be gay and not gay characters. There is a difference. A big one. It lies in the fact that with the first, the character is much more than whom he chooses to love. The second is that the character’s sexuality is the character, and it doesn’t go much beyond that if at all.

This is what I’m hoping to accomplish with the Checkmate modification to Shadowrun Returns. That gaymers can play in a world alongside straight gamers and play characters that kick ass, and what they do behind closed doors is their business. That their sexuality is not their only defining trait. That they too can be heroes.

That it’s about bridging a gap with a silly series about gay superheroes that another audience may have not noticed if someone didn’t take the step and reach out.

PTR_Welcome_Screen_Inks

 

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Pawn Takes Rook: Cashing the Reality Check Blurb 

Even after eleven months of keeping the mean streets of Axis City safe, superduo Checkmate—Hogarth Dawson—and his boyfriend, Memphis Rook, still receive the cold shoulder from the Power Alliance. Undeterred, Hogarth brings his intense focus to bear on Rook, and after Hogarth makes an accidental marriage proposal, it becomes all too clear Rook isn’t quite at the same place. But before life gets awkward, duty calls.

Booted-off female contestants of the romantic reality show Single and Super are being found in comas, and Checkmate needs to get to the bottom of it. As part of Rook’s plan, he cleans up his bad boy image and goes undercover as a bachelor looking for love among twenty-five frenzied women. Against Rook’s wishes, Hogarth sneaks onto the set as a cameraman to investigate the case on his own. With questions unanswered between them, emotions run high, distracting them and feeding a trap of their own making.

 

Where To Buy:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4100

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18243210-cashing-the-reality-check

Catch up on Checkmate #1, Pawn Takes Rook:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3643
 

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Pawn Takes Rook: Cashing the Reality Check Excerpt 

“Move it, Garth!” Rook screamed and hopped down from the counter. He ducked as a smoking sea-green tentacle lashed forward through the kitchen window. The long, slimy appendage flailed blindly through the tiny kitchen and flopped over the scattered pots and pans. They clattered around the floor and bounced against the cabinets in head-splitting bongs and gongs. I thanked God Mr. Caruthers in the apartment below was now deaf as a post.

I scrambled backward to the doorway of bedroom, and Rook followed, holding the Cheez Whiz and Aim-N-Flame at the ready.

“Go, go, go,” he ordered, and I scurried as fast as the Nyan Cat through the vastness of space.

“What the hell are you doing with the Cheez Whiz?” I yelled over the roar of the horrible elder god watching us through the windows.

The creature’s shark-black eye peered through the window, and Rook took action as he spritzed Cheez Whiz toward the new target. I gasped when the cheesy not-really-a-dairy-product ignited like napalm. Rook, if anything, was stupidly resourceful.

The putrid green creature teetered away from the window, clawing at his face, his great wings flapping and kicking up cyclones through the tightly packed apartment buildings. He swayed, left, right, forward, back, and I danced back through the door into my bedroom.

“Rook, you might want to get down,” I helpfully suggested as he stood in the living room between me and the kitchen.

Rook braced himself and planted his feet. He lifted the Cheez Whiz and Aim-N-Flame, ready to spritz the cheesy napalm of death.

The elder god swayed toward my kitchen. You know when something is going to totally not work the way it’s supposed to? Yeah. This was one of those moments. I could see it play out in slow motion, like one of those car crashes they cinematically shoot at three hundred frames-per-second so you can see every agonizing, bone-breaking, glass-shattering moment. And then overlay it with a soundtrack like—I don’t know—some Limp Bizkit song that sounds like an angry cat in a blender that makes no sense with the artful scene of carnage.

I craned my neck and peeked around Rook’s elbow. Brick by brick, and tile by tile, the creature crashed into my kitchen. Knocked out and drooling on my Nana’s shredded gingham wallpaper. Rook stood there like it was another day at the office, his long blond hair fluttering with each breath of the sleeping elder god.

“Whoa…,” I said, blinking through the dust on my glasses. The monster sighed and the tentacles around his mouth flopped in the most unfortunate sounding snore. I glanced up at Rook. “The typical giant monster never took out half the apartment before…”

Rook kept his grip on the Cheez Whiz and Aim-N-Flame, ready to strike again. “Think the landlord will notice?”

I frowned and gestured to the creature. “How will the landlord not notice?” I asked. “Half the apartment’s gone. Look!” I said and nudged a splintered timber with my toe. “This is not as easy as just ignoring it and hoping it’ll magically go away.”

Rook smirked and stooped to get a closer inspection of the monster. “You’re cute when you’re angry.”

I stamped my foot and grunted. “Don’t you dare start that with me, Tiberius.” I growled.

Rook perked up and pursed his lips. “Who told you my middle name is Tiberius?”

I tossed a hand back toward the bedroom in hopes to indicate my Macbook somewhere in there. “Wikipedia,” I growled. “You should check it out. The Captain Chivalry fans have done a pretty good job of defacing it.”

Rook waved a dismissive hand before poking the monster with the Aim-N-Flame. “And how’s he doing up on Ganymede Lunar Prison? I’m sure Rainbow Honeysuckle Jones is calling him a pretty-mouthed midget right now.”

I crossed my arms and stared at the crater left by Rook’s frame in the wall. I counted to ten. And when I still didn’t feel better, I counted again. Nope. Still didn’t feel any better. I glared at Rook. “The fact remains there is a KO’ed elder god in the kitchen. The kitchen!”

“It’ll be okay,” Rook said and offered one of those smiles that he knew would charm my pants off. And said smiles have indeed charmed my pants off a time or twenty. “We’ll fix it.”

I tossed up my hands and frustration flooded through me. “With what fictional Monopoly money? We can’t afford something like this.”

Rook frowned, and his brows drew upward seeming to indicate concern. “Are we arguing? Because it seems like we’re arguing.”

With such a simple question, my wrath melted away when it dawned on me Rook took on the demeanor of a swatted Doberman. I sighed. “It’s okay. It’s okay,” I said, then smiled. “We’ll figure out something.”

 

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Bio:

Lex Chase is a journalist by day and a writer by night. Either way you slice it, she makes things up for a living. Her style of storytelling is action, adventure, and a dollop of steamy romance. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes it’s never a party until something explodes in a magnificent fashion, be it a rolling fireball of a car or two guys screaming out their love for one another in the freezing rain.

Lex is a pop culture diva, an urbanite trapped in a country bumpkin’s body, and wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse. She has learned that when all else fails, hug the cat.

She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine residing in the ‘burbs of Northwest Florida where it could be 80F and she’d have a sweatshirt on because she’s freezing.
You can find her on those Facebook and Twitter things at:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LXChase
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lex_Chase
And her blog at http://lexchase.com.