Hi guys! We have Eli Easton stopping by for a visit today with her new release Five Dares, Eli shares with us who she’d cast if Five Dares became a movie, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so guys, check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~
Andy Tyler has been the class daredevil since middle school. Over the years, he’s convinced his best friend, Jake Masterson, to perform some dangerous-looking stunts with him. But the dare they attempt on the night of their college graduation goes sideways. The firecrackers explode too soon and both of them end up with badly burned palms.
But hey, nothing gets the “terrible two-o” down for long, and they recuperate in style at Andy’s family cottage in Cape Cod. As the weeks go by, both Andy and Jake grow frustrated over the inability to use their hands for all sorts of daily activities—including getting off. So Andy begins a new series of dares that don’t just cross the friendship line, they obliterate it.
But what might be mere sexual relief to Andy is serious business to Jake, who only recently got over years of secret pining for his straight best friend. Inevitably, the burns heal, summer ends, and hearts are broken. To fix things, Andy will have to face the greatest dare of all.
Eli Easton Dream Cast!
I’m excited to finally be able to talk about “Five Dares”, a college-age romance I wrote this past winter. This story has a simple but inescapable slide from best friends to lovers for Andy and Jake, two life-long best buds who are both daredevils and adrenaline junkies.
The night after their college graduation, Jake and Andy are scheduled to go their separate ways—Jake to a tech job in California and Andy to Harvard law school. But when Andy talks Jake into a dare involving firecrackers, their hands are badly burned and they end up at a cottage for the summer recuperating. That’s when the REAL trouble (and fun) begins.
I was asked this question: If this book was made into a movie, who would be my dream cast?
It’s an interesting question, because Jake and Andy were originally inspired by gay teen couple in the TV show “Eyewitness”. If you haven’t watched it, I definitely recommend it! You can find it on Amazon.
The TV show stars Tyler Young (Phillip) and James Paxton (Lucas) as two boys who attend high school together. They are very attracted to one another and begin messing around even though Lucas is firmly in the closet and is terrified of being gay. The show’s main plotline involves a very dark murder mystery and conspiracy that the boys get mixed up in after becoming accidental eyewitnesses to a crime.
I loved the angsty love story in “Eyewitness”, and it gave me the urge to pick up my metaphorical pen and write two young characters again. Lately, I’ve been focused on characters in their 30’s and even older. In “Five Dares” Jake and Andy are both 21.
While the characters in “Five Dares” have entirely different backgrounds and personalities to Lucas and Philip in “Eyewitness”, physically I could see James Paxton playing the blond Andy and Tyler Young playing the dark-haired Jake. So I would cast those two in the leads.
Another major character in the story is Andy’s father. He’s a very handsome but buttoned-up and serious financial planner, and Andy supposedly looks exactly like him. So I think Alexander Skarsgård could work as James Paxton’s dad. Of course, Alexander Skarsgård could work for just about anything, so there’s that. 😊
At the cottage, Andy and Jake are cared for by a conservative older male nurse, Walter, and a younger housekeeper named Emily.
For Walter, I would cast Richard Jenkins. He has that competent, strict look.
Emily is in her thirties, married, with a baby on the way. She manages properties on Cape Cod and she’s a no-fuss, casual beauty. I’d cast Mandy Moore.
That’s it for my dream cast. I hope you enjoy reading “Five Dares”. Drop me a line and let me know who you’d cast!
“. . . two . . . three . . . four . . .” Andy’s count was infuriatingly slow. The lit firecrackers we held sparked and sizzled. A mix of exhilaration and dread made goose bumps break out all over my body.
We stood next to a swimming pool at a private party in Brooklyn. It was the night of our college graduation, and maybe that made everyone crazier than usual. Andy was definitely in peak crazy zone tonight. He and I stood facing one other, a brown-wrapped firecracker the size and shape of a hotdog lying across each of our four palms. The base of my spine tingled and my heart pumped ba-bum ba-bum ba-bum, like the strokes on a drum on a slave ship in some old movie.
God, I never felt more alive than when Andy and I were performing a stunt!
This particular trick had started with Andy showing up by the pool, holding aloft four candle bombs. “Where’s my man Jake?” he’d called out.
I’d been in position near the pool, pretending to listen to a group conversation. At Andy’s prompt, I stepped forward. “What are you doing, bro?”
He brandished the firecrackers. “You and me, Jakey. We light these puppies and hold on to them for the count of ten. You in?”
The crowd reaction washed over us in an electric rush. There were hoots of encouragement from the guys, and some girls lost their shit, especially Andy’s girlfriend, Amber. God, it was great. Andy was a show-off, and I was always willing to get swept along in his wild wake. His eyes stayed locked on me, but I knew he was soaking in every mote of the attention as everyone at the party gathered around the pool to see what would happen.
Andy drew attention naturally. He was so damn good-looking and charismatic with his bleached-blond hair, huge blue eyes, and wide smile. When he wasn’t being all serious, when he was playful and wild and free and reckless like he was tonight, no one could resist him.
Certainly not me. Never me. Though I pretended otherwise.
“It’s too dangerous,” I said with a pfft of dismissal. “You’ve lost your mind.”
“Only the good die young, man. Come on.”
“No way.” I shook my head, my voice firm. “We’ll blow our hands off. You’re crazy.”
“I dare ya, Jake Masterson. I. Dare. You.” He continued to hold out the firecrackers.
“Stop it!” Amber insisted. “Andy, please.”
There were hoots in the crowd. More people came out of the house to watch.
With a dramatic roll of my eyes, and a loud grumble about death wishes and how dangerous it was, I slowly reached out and took two of the firecrackers, acting all reluctant. Andy loved to fuck with people’s heads, and he said I was the best wingman ever. I certainly did my best to help freak people out.
He held up the two brown-wrapped candle bombs he still had left. “Right, then! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, or however you define your innies and outties, I give you . . . the last great dare of NYU class of 2017!”
There were smatterings of applause and more rumbles of worry and fear. Yeah. We had them hooked.
“We’ll need four volunteers with lighters or matches.” I held out my open hands, rolling each firecracker so it was positioned partially off the side of my palm, wick facing out.
He did the same as four guys came up, lighters in hand. Andy eyed my palms to make sure I’d positioned the firecrackers just so.
“Drop them, you guys! I swear to God!” That was Amber. Her voice sounded both tearful and angry. “This isn’t funny!”
“No shit. Dudes! You’re going to get yourselves killed!” some random guy called out.
But Andy’s blue eyes had danced with life, brighter than the lit fuses, the way they only did when he was putting himself, and usually me too, in imminent danger, when he was willfully breaking every damn rule. His eyes had stayed locked on mine while a naughty grin beamed on his face. That grin said: You and me, Jakey. You and me.
“. . . seven . . . eight . . .”
I inched my hands higher, prepared to toss the firecrackers into the pool the second he got to—
“. . . nine . . .”
That’s when the world exploded.
* * * * * * *
I could blame that infamous firecracker dare on the two beers I’d had at the party, but that would be a lie. The truth was, I’d been itching for trouble before we’d even arrived.
I had to pick up Amber, so Jake took the train with a few other students to the party. The graduation bash was being hosted by some guy whose parents were out of town. It sounded like a nice change from the usual frat parties, a chance to get off campus, and there was supposed to be a pool. So everyone we knew said they were going. When I got to the house, I started walking around with Amber holding on to a back loop of my jeans. I was looking for a) beer and b) Jake.
I found the beer keg first. I poured a glass for Amber and me, and drank mine fast. Refilled my glass. Amber started to talk to some girl she knew, and I went looking for Jake. I finally spotted him talking to a brunette off in a corner of the living room. She was his type—bookish but cute, petite, part Asian, and wearing librarian glasses. She laughed at something he said, totally focused on him. And why wouldn’t she be? Jake had clearly made an effort for the party. He had on a purple, long-sleeve, button-down shirt that made his pale skin and dark hair look paler and darker than usual. The shirt was fitted, and his jeans too. He wasn’t a huge guy, but he had a great face and big brown eyes. He looked good. He also seemed to like the girl he was chatting up. Only someone who knew him well, the way I did, would see he was nervous talking to her. His throat had light-pink blotches, and he licked his lips more often than usual.
Watching them, I felt a rush of jealousy. For a moment, I couldn’t breathe. It was ridiculous, and I knew it. It wasn’t that I was jealous about the girl. Whatever. No, but this was our last night out together before Jake left for California. The “terrible two-o,” as Jake jokingly called us, was breaking up. He’d landed a real job with a software company and I, I was headed to Harvard Law. Jake insisted we’d still be in touch and all that, but it wouldn’t be the same. Jake was going off to his adult life, and I’d be on the other side of the country. For tonight, at least, I wanted to spend time with my best friend. I wanted Jake’s attention on me.
Instead of interrupting him, I headed outside to poke around, get the lay of the land. That reckless itch was building inside me, pushing me to act. I needed something, something dangerous, something exciting. I just didn’t know what it was going to be. I contemplated the pool for a moment, but there were too many people already in it, and I couldn’t come up with any brilliant stunt to do in a pool.
The garage door was open and the lights were on. There was an extra keg in there, waiting to be summoned. I looked around on the shelves, bypassing tools and cans of oil, various balls and sporting gear. That’s when I found the box of firecrackers.
* * * * * * *
“It’ll be awesome!” I put my hand on Jake’s arm. I kept my voice low and looked around to make sure we were alone in the garage. “I just tested one. I counted to fifteen before it went off. I’ll make the dare for ten and we’ll have five seconds to spare. We’ll stand by the pool and toss them in the minute I reach the count.”
Jake crossed his arms and looked at me with that mix of I-want-to-but-I-don’t on his face. “What if it goes off early? We could get seriously fucked up.”
“Won’t happen. And even if it does, we’ll be fine. Watch.” I placed the firecracker across my open palm so that the wick and a good inch of the cardboard tube was hanging off the side.
“A firecracker is an explosion. When it goes off, it’s going to expand and it’ll use the path of least resistance. With our hands open, all the energy would go up into the air. Whoosh.” I mimicked the explosion with the outspread fingers of my other hand. “Our palms would barely be scratched. Now this—” I closed my fist around the firecracker and gripped it tight in a fist. “This would be stupid. The energy of the explosion would have nowhere to go, so it’d rip up skin and bones, but like this . . .” I went back to the open palm. “It’s harmless. Trust me. But, fuck, it’ll look dangerous, won’t it? People will lose their shit.” I grinned at him.
I could tell I’d hooked Jake. He might deny it, but he got off on our stunts as much as I did. He pursed his lips as if trying not to smile, then he did anyway, unable to contain it. “You’re the best bullshitter I ever met. Like, if bullshitting were an Olympic sport, you’d be Michael Phelps. You know that, right?”
I felt a glow of pleasure at his words. “It’s called showmanship, my friend. So wanna do it? This is the last time. Our last dare. We’ll go out legends.”
He snorted. “Hopefully the ‘going out’ part will be figurative and not literal.”
Yeah, he was totally caving. I gave him puppy-dog eyes to seal the deal. I was manipulating him a little, but Jake knew me well enough to be on to me. And the sucky thing was, it actually was the last time. The last time for the Andy and Jake Show, for the “two guys who’ll do anything.” I knew it, and I hated it. Despite my excitement over the stunt, a nasty pang twisted in my gut.
“One last dare, Jake. You up for it?” I pushed, more to assuage the pang than because I really doubted he’d agree. I held out my fist.
He nodded slowly and bumped my hand. “Let’s do this, then. The last show.”
“The last show,” I agreed.
In the end, it turned out the information I’d quickly read on a blog about firework explosions wasn’t entirely accurate.
Read more at: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/five-dares (just click the excerpt tab)
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, an author of paranormal thrillers, a fan-fiction writer, an organic farmer, and a profound sleeper, Eli Easton is happy these days writing love stories.
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 Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with her husband, three bulldogs, two cows, a cat, and a potbellied pig. She enjoys reading in all genres and, when she can be pried away from her iPad, hiking and biking.
Eli Easton has published 24 books in m/m romance since 2013. She won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary Romance in 2014 (The Mating of Michael) and in 2016 (A Second Harvest). Her Howl at the Moon series of humorous dog shifter romances have become fan favorites and placed in the Rainbow Awards and the Goodreads M/M Group Reader’s Choice awards. She is best known for romances with humor and a lot of heart.
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