Barb, A Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton~ audiobook narrated by Matthew Shaw


Rating: 5 stars out of 5audiobook clipart bw

How To Howl At the Moon Audio CoverAn absolutely wonderful audiobook, this one kept me riveted to my iPhone until I finished. The story, the humor, the angst, the voice of the narrator—all combined to make this one A+ in my book.

Sheriff Lance Beaufort is the principal law enforcement officer in the small town of Mad Creek, California, a sleepy little town that also happens to be predominately populated by dog shifters. These “quickened” dogs have gained the ability to become human, some in this generation, but others are born that way, the children and grandchildren of dogs who’ve been quickened. Descended from quickened Border collies on both sides of his family line, Lance is the best guardian the town could have as he takes his job very seriously and never lets personal issues interfere with his mission.

So it’s no surprise that he’s suspicious when a young man shows up who seems to be without resources and smelling of marijuana. Tim Weston is there to grow a new hybrid rose for a woman who owns a property on the edge of town. In exchange for Tim’s skills as a horticulturist, Tim can live there rent-free for six months. While he’s trying to get the hybrid roses to grow, he’s also planting a variety of vegetables that he plans to sell at farmer’s markets in the summer, an endeavor which he hopes will generate enough money to support himself and to begin to pay rent on the property when the six months is up.

But Sheriff Lance doesn’t take his word for the fact that he’s renting the property. Suspicious should be his middle name, so he shifts into his Border collie persona and goes to check out the grounds for himself. Unfortunately, as he’s leaving, Tim’s pickup truck hits him, and he’s forced to go along with the charade of being a dog under Tim’s care for a while. He then finds that Tim isn’t quite what he thought he was. He’s not a pot-smoking loser trying to get rich by planting marijuana in the fields, instead, he’s a sweet young man, who is only trying to make ends meet, and he seems to be very much in need of someone to snuggle. Lance decides he’ll be that man—um, dog—at least until he can get to the bottom of things.

Tim thought he was getting away from all his troubles when he came to Mad Creek. His former boss had taken out patents on the vegetable and flower hybrids that Tim generated, keeping everything in his own name and pocketing all the profits. And as if that’s not bad enough, his father was physically abusive when he was a child so Tim has no home at all. Of course he welcomes the dog into his life, a dog he names Chance.

Naturally, nothing goes according to plan for either man. When Tim’s greenhouse is destroyed by someone who thinks he’s in competition with their own pot-growing operation, and the true story of Lance’s deception comes out, Tim feels totally abandoned and betrayed all over again. Will Lance be able to overcome his foolish mistakes to make Tim believe that they are mates and that Lance loves him with all his heart? Or will the troublemakers lurking in Tim’s past revisit his life and cause even more havoc than before?

Ack! I loved this story! I have been a devout fan of Eli Easton ever since I first read The Lion and the Crow, a story she created for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group in 2012. There is nothing that she’s written that I don’t like, but this one really touched my heart. The canine element, with their big blue soulful eyes, and the humor throughout the story sold me on this one. There were times I laughed out loud as I was listening to the audiobook. Narrator Matthew Shaw did an outstanding job. His narration was fast-paced, and the timing of the humorous parts of the story was spot-on, yet the narrative for the sadder, lonelier times was equally compelling. When he emulated the hopeless, soulful howl which Lance let out when he thought he had lost Tim for good, it brought tears to my eyes.

I can’t recommend this story highly enough, and I’m excited beyond measure to find out that this is the beginning of a series. The next story is a must buy for me. Bring it on, Eli Easton—I want more of these quickened dogs and their human sides, as soon as possible, please. If you like shifter stories and sweet romance, this is the book for you. And don’t hesitate to pick up the audiobook version. It’s bound to add more to the story than you would get from reading it alone.

The bright and cheerful cover art depicts a beautiful black border collie, leashed, and sitting next to his master as they pause to pose. It’s exactly as I’d imagine Chance would look, and though Tim’s face isn’t shown in the picture, it’s evident by his posture that the dog is sitting next to his owner.

Sales Links:  Audible |  Amazon | Buy It Here

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, 6 pages
Published March 19th 2015 by Pinkerton Road (first published February 28th 2015)
original titleHowl at the Moon
edition languageEnglish
seriesHowl at the Moon #1
charactersLance Beaufort, Tim West

A STRW Exclusive: Author Eli Easton Interviews Matthew Shaw, Narrator of Easton’s How To Howl At the Moon (giveaway and interview)


How To Howl At the Moon Audio Cover

As more and more audiobooks are released, we thought it would be interesting to see how an author looks at their books when narrated and get the perspective from the narrator as well. Two sides of the same story!

Here is Eli Easton and the narrator of her novel, How To Howl At the Moon, Matthew Shaw!  And don’t forget to enter the contest for a audiobook of your own, How To Howl At the Moon by Eli Easton.

Interview with Matthew Shaw, narrator of “How To Howl At the Moon” Audiobook!
Interviewed by Eli Eastonaudiobook clipart bw

“How to Howl at the Moon” is the first audio book I’ve self-published. To narrate the book, I turned to an amazingly talented actor I’ve worked with before on other projects, Matthew Shaw.

You can listen to a sample of his narration here.

I loved hearing Matthew read my story. Such an amazing treat. I decided to interview Matthew to see what his side of the experience was like.

Eli: Is this your first time narrating and audio book?  What other types of voce-over work have you done?

Matthew: Yes!  It’s my first one.  I’ve done some commercials and intros for family projects.

Eli: Who are some of your heroes when it comes to audio book narrators?

Matthew: Jim Dale is amazing!  He narrated the entire Harry Potter series, keeping each character consistent and his performance was spot on.  He felt the characters he was reading, so it helped create the world and make it real.  Even characters that had two lines in the entire 7 book series were consistent.  He received two Grammy awards for his performance.

That’s really the challenge:  taking a book you’re just reading aloud and turning it into a performance.

Eli: Was “How to Howl at the Moon” your first time reading a m/m romance? What would you tell other newbies who asked what it’s like?

Matthew:  ​Yes, it was!  In fact, it was my first romance novel I read ever.  I didn’t know what to expect, and Eli helped talk me through what are some of the common story arcs in romance novels to help build the context.  It’s actually quite a fun genre.  I really felt for the characters, either wanting them to succeed, or the bad guys to get their comeuppance.  It’s a great book and I really would recommend it to anyone interested in the romance genre.

​​When people asked what it was like, I would tell them , that the characters were very three dimensional, and the story takes you on a journey of understanding and getting to know them better as the main characters get to know themselves, as well.  ​

The fact that this story was a dog shape-shifter tale (or tail?) Made the story super fun to read, too.

Eli: What was your favorite part of the story?

Matthew: I liked the humor so much because it was unexpected!  There was so much more fun than I anticipated.  ​Any time lance and his mom were talking together, I was grinning from ear to ear, and there is a chapter involving a shape shifting undercover sheriff getting an unwanted bath that made me chuckle a few times and had to redo the recording.

​Without giving too much of the story away, there was some real action and romance that were equally entertaining.  A shootout in particular had me on the edge of my seat.  I recorded more than was on my schedule that night, simply because I wanted to know what was going to happen next!

Eli: What was the biggest challenge in doing the narration?

Matthew: ​I think the hardest challenge was a technical one:  if I got tongue tied on a particular line, I would just keep making the same mistake!  I sometimes had to record past it and come back just to get the wrong way out of my head.

​Also, some of the characters with smaller parts were a challenge to voice.  You try to give them a unique character voice so it doesn’t just sound like you’re talking to yourself.  If they don’t have a lot of lines, it’s tough to keep it consistent.  Again… Makes you appreciate Jim Dale!

Eli: Was it difficult to read the sex scenes?

Matthew: ​Surprisingly, no!  Before reading the book, I thought that would be the hardest part.  I guess I, as a reader want these scenes to happen because it’s what the story is building toward, so maybe it was just a type of relief.  Plus, it helped me the way he story was written to get to get into the heads of the characters before these scenes.  When you know where they are coming from, it’s easier to put yourself in their shoes in the context of the story.  Eli gives you a lot to work with!

Eli: Will you be doing more m/m romance audio books?  Other types of books?

Matthew: ​I’d love to, especially books in this series and other books by Eli Easton.  I’m open to others in the m/m genre, as well.  It’s rewarding to find the voice of each character and help paint a picture with tone and performance.

Thanks to Matthew for being so gracious to interview. I hope you’ll enjoy the “How to Howl At The Moon” audio as much as I did!            –  Eli Easton


About How To Howl At The Moon by Eli Easton

5 hrs 52 mins – narrated by Matthew Shaw (a ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords 5 star audio book)

Sheriff Lance Beaufort is not going to let trouble into his town, no sir. Tucked away in the California mountains, Mad Creek has secrets to keep, like the fact that half the town consists of “quickened”—dogs who have gained the ability to become human. Descended on both sides from Border Collies, Lance is as alert a guardian as they come.How To Howl At the Moon Audio Cover

Tim Weston is looking for a safe haven. After learning that his boss patented all of Tim’s work on vegetable hybrids in his own name, Tim quit his old job. A client offers him use of her cabin in Mad Creek, and Tim sees a chance for a new start. But the shy gardener has a way of fumbling and sounding like a liar around strangers, particularly gorgeous alpha men like Sheriff Beaufort.

Lance’s hackles are definitely raised by the lanky young stranger. He’s concerned about marijuana growers moving into Mad Creek, and he’s not satisfied with the boy’s story. Lance decides a bit of undercover work is called for. When Tim hits a beautiful black collie with his car and adopts the dog, its love at first sight for both Tim and Lance’s inner dog. Pretending to be a pet is about to get Sheriff Beaufort in very hot water.


Eli Easton is giving away one audiobook of “How To Howl At The Moon”.  Must be 18 years  of age or older to enter.  Leave a comment with your email address  where you can be reached if chosen.

Eli Easton pic

About the Author

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a game designer, an organic farmer, an avid hiker, and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an addicted 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.

Her website in
Twitter:  EliEaston
Goodreads Author Page
You can email her at

In the Book Spotlight: Empty Nests (Nested Hearts #1) by Ada Maria Soto



Empty Nests (Nested Hearts #1) by Ada Maria Soto
Release Date: June 12, 2015

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond


Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook and Paperback


STRW Author BookSynopsis

Neither James nor Gabe has ever had a real relationship. They might make a connection if they can get past their differences—and their fears.

At age fourteen, James Maron decided to prove he wasn’t gay despite vast evidence to the contrary. Now at thirty-two, he’s getting ready to send his son to college and wondering what he’s supposed to do next. Outside his son, his life consists of an IT job he hates and watching telenovelas with the women in his apartment building.

Gabriel Juarez is the CFO of a technology giant. He has looks, charm, fantastic wealth, a workaholic personality, and a string of boyfriends who only stick around because he’s too busy to tell them to leave.

A bad laptop/projector interface causes James and Gabe’s paths to cross. Friends, family, and coworkers jump to match Gabe with a nice guy, and James with anyone. But are they too different? Everyone will have to tread very carefully to keep things from ending before they start.

Pages or Words: 68,835 words

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

“So,” Dylan started as he scraped the last of the noodles from his plate. “Remember that conversation we were having about the new AP English teacher?”

“If you pull a piece of paper out of your pocket right now, I will never forgive you.”

Dylan grinned and pulled a tightly folded piece of paper from his pocket. “Saturday after next, if you want, you have a date.”

James was pretty sure teenagers were not supposed to be as hung-up on their father’s love life as Dylan was. “No. No, I do not.”

Dylan pushed over a printout from his school’s faculty webpage. There was a phone number handwritten at the bottom. “Thirty-five, no kids. He likes music.” Dylan had highlighted that line. “You like music, he likes music. He said he’d love to take you to see a band he likes.”

“Goddammit, Dylan! I do not need you setting me up with strangers.”

“He’s not a stranger, he’s the school’s AP English teacher, and I wouldn’t have to if you’d get out of the house once in a while. Seriously, Dad, I’m out of here in less than a year. I don’t want you moping around this place alone. I worry about you turning into a crazy old cat lady.”

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Ada Maria Soto is a born and raised Californian, Mexican-American/WASP, currently living as an expat in New Zealand. She got her Bachelor’s degree in Theater Directing at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, which she attended in a fit of stubbornness. She got a Master’s degree in Film and TV Producing from the University of Auckland in New Zealand which she applied to on a manic whim. Nine years later she’s still in Auckland with a partner, kid, and mortgage.

She has dysgraphia and phonological dyslexia which can lead to some interesting typos.

She is a sports fan dedicated to the Oakland A’s, San Jose Sharks, Auckland Blues, USA Eagles, New Zealand All Blacks, New Zealand Black Caps, and the Chennai Super Kings.
Where to find the author:

Official Website:
Facebook Author Page:
Twitter: @adamariasoto
DSP Author Arcade:

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Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Both books of the series (one will not be out for a few months). Link and prizes to be provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Tour Dates & Stops:
Carly’s Book Reviews

Prism Book Alliance
My Fiction Nook

Bike Book Reviews
Love Bytes

Hearts on Fire

Amanda C. Stone
MM Good Book Reviews

3 Chicks After Dark
Mikky’s World of Books
Inked Rainbow Reads

Happily Ever Chapter
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
Rainbow Gold Reviews
BFD Book Blog

Bayou Book Junkie
TTC Books and More
Molly Lolly
Multitasking Mommas


In the Book Spotlight: Andrew’s Prayer by Ashavan Doyon (excerpt and giveaway)



Book Name: Andrew’s Prayer by Ashavan Doyon
Release Date: July 8, 2015

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Brandon Clay


Sales Links:   Torquere Books

STRW Author BookSynopsis

For Andrew Tuttleman, sex is a means to an end. With a mother too sick to pay the bills on her own and college bills to pay, Drew has spent years resorting to sex with strangers to keep a roof over his mother’s head and keep himself at school, far away from the hell where he grew up. This summer, his usual tricks are still paying the bills. But there’s a new one, Grant, who never got the memo that a trick is a no-strings deal. Convinced that Drew is the answer to a hopeless prayer, Grant seems ready to pursue Drew to the ends of the earth.

Drew, on the other hand, isn’t so convinced. Grant comes with trouble in the form of a wife and three kids, not to mention a single and unwavering requirement: that Drew give up his livelihood. Grant’s kiss makes Drew ache for more, a romance that he never dreamed possible. He finds himself unexpectedly willing to try. Can Drew weather Grant’s angry father, wife, and a daughter determined to kick him in the shins so hard that he’ll leave Grant’s life forever? It all relies on Grant’s faith in an impossible prayer.

Pages or Words: 76,300 words

Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Andrew Richard Tuttleman approached the ramshackle cinderblock house cautiously. There was another car parked in front, off the side of the road, and his mom didn’t drive. The voices inside were loud, and not in any sort of good way. Drew’s car was parked in the driveway, filled with suitcases and a few boxes that he’d left there. He’d stored more back at the University, but he wasn’t certain just what sort of reception he’d get. Not now that his mom knew.

Coming home hadn’t been a difficult choice. Sure, it was over a thousand miles. Sure, it was going to be hot, sticky, and miserable. It was still home. His mom was the only person in his life who’d said “I love you” that he had believed. She’d even said it after she found out. She’d been in tears, she’d screamed. But she’d still said “I love you,” and Drew never doubted for a moment that she’d meant it.

The screaming in the house got worse. It took only moments for Drew to reach the house and fling open the door. Any other time it would be kept locked in a self-delusional attempt to pretend safety, but the three chains that helped secure the door hung limply from the wall. A towering white man with a bushy black beard and a shaved head stood threateningly over Drew’s mom. He was in jeans and leather vest — no shirt.

“I done gave you your extra week. Now where’s my fucking money, b–“

“Don’t you dare finish that,” Drew said. He felt his leg for the comforting distension the knife he always carried made in his pants.

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Ashavan Doyon spends his days working with students as part of the student affairs staff at a liberal arts college. During lunch, evenings, and when he can escape the grasp of his husband on weekends, he writes, pounding out words day after day in hopes that his ancient typewriter-trained fingers won’t break the glass on his tablet computer. Ashavan is an avid science fiction and fantasy fan and prefers to write while listening to music that fits the mood of his current story. He has no children, having opted instead for the companionship of two beautiful and thoroughly spoiled pugs. A Texan by birth, he currently lives in New England, and frequently complains of the weather.

Ashavan went to school at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, getting his degree in Russian and East European Studies, with a focus in language and literature. He has two incomplete manuscripts from college that he goes back compulsively to fiddle with every so often, but is still not happy with either of them.

He still loves fantasy and science fiction and reads constantly in the moments between writing stories. 

Ashavan loves to hear from readers and can be reached at

Where to find the author:

Facebook Author Page:
Twitter: @ashavandoyon


Tour Dates & Stops: July 3, 2015

Parker Williams, Molly Lolly, Full Moon Dreaming, My Fiction Nook, Andrew Q. Gordon, Happily Ever Chapter, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Love Bytes, BFD Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Mikky’s World of Books, MM Good Book Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Inked Rainbow Reads, Jessie G. Books, It’s Raining Men, Michael Mandrake, Velvet Panic

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Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Andrew’s Prayer’.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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