Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How To Wish Upon A Star by Eli Easton - Blog Tour with Review and Giveaway

How to Wish Upon a Star 
(Howl at the Moon #3)
by Eli Easton


Dr. Jason Kunik is working on the most earth-shattering genetics project ever, DNA mapping of a new species, the quickened—dogs who can shift into human form.  The problem is, no one knows the quickened exist and Jason can’t betray them by publishing his studies. When he moves to Mad Creek to continue his research in a town full of quickened, all he wants is peace, quiet, and to be allowed to bury himself in his work.  Perhaps if he figures how out the mutation is activated, he can silence his own inner dog forever.

Milo is a hospice comfort dog who has bonded with, and lost, many beloved patients in his life. He intuitively understands sickness and pain on a spiritual level most can’t see. When he gains the ability to become a man, he thinks he finally has everything he ever wanted. But being a man isn’t the same thing as being loved, and taking shelter in Mad Creek isn’t the same thing as finding a home.

When a mysterious illness hits Mad Creek and threatens all the quickened in town, it’s up to the scientist and the comfort dog to figure out what it is and how to stop it. Along the way they might discover that true love is possible—if you wish upon a star.

This is the third book in the “Howl at the Moon” series, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

Available for purchase



Milo put a hand over the keyboard as if to break Jason’s never-ending focus.  “Why ask so many questions, Jason? What is the work to do?”
“Do you mean, what is my work for? What am I trying to accomplish?” Jason corrected.
Jason tried to at least hit CTRL-S to save his progress in Excel, but Milo threaded his hand through Jason’s. By now, Jason was so used to Milo’s touch, he didn’t think twice about it. He held Milo’s hand. Milo’s body temperature ran warm and touching him was like touching a man-shaped heater.
“Well, Milo, I’m glad you asked me that. It’s good for a man to be curious about what’s going on around him. And I’d like it if you took an interest in my work.”
Milo gave him a look of disbelief. “Jason, I answer every question.”
It was remarkable how adept Milo was at throwing shade, seemingly unconsciously. Jason couldn’t hold back a smile. “Yes. You’ve already shown an interest in my work. Quite right. Well, to answer your question, the point of all this is that I’m trying to determine how an ordinary dog, like you were, Milo, gains the ability to change into a man. What triggers that process.”
“Oh, that. I know that,” said Milo, very matter-of-factly.
Jason chuckled. “Well that would be nice, Milo. But I don’t think you really do know. Not the way I mean.”
“How do you mean?” Milo squeezed Jason’s hand as his feet started to kick under the table restlessly.
“I mean the actual scientific process, what happens inside the body.” Jason waved his free hand up and down to indicate Milo’s physique. “Inside the cells.”
Milo looked befuddled, as well he might. “Oh. I don’t know that. But I do know why it happens.
Jason was curious. “Why do you think it happens, Milo?”
Milo got a bashful look on his face and he leaned in to whisper, as if it were a great secret. “You make a wish on a star.”
Jason turned his face away and pretended to look out the window. Laughter bubbled inside him, and he had to swallow hard to keep it down. Milo was so serious. It was adorable. If you were the sort of person who found things adorable. Which Jason wasn’t. It really wouldn’t do to laugh in Milo’s face.
Milo continued, pointing towards the window. “You go outside at night and pick a good star. You look at it and make a wish. That’s how I became a man.”
Obviously, Milo was not educated enough to understand the difference between fantasy and reality, or cause and effect. Maybe he had made a wish and assumed it had come true. Still, it was odd. No dog, no matter how smart or sensitive, would think to look up in the night sky and ‘make a wish’. Did dogs even know what wishes were?
“This is important, Milo,” Jason said carefully. “You’re sure you looked up at a star, and made a wish, before you ever shifted into a man’s form, or before you even had any symptoms of it? The itching under the skin? The noticeable change in the ability to think or understand speech?”
Milo thought about it. “I could understand what people said sometimes. But I was just a dog.”
Jason hummed. “Who suggested such a thing? Did you hear one of the nurses talking about it? One of the patients?”
Milo’s lips somehow turned up and down at the same time, resulting in a sad little smile. “An angel told me to.”
“When she came for Parker. I was so, so, so sad.” His lower lip trembled and he blinked rapidly. He looked down and picked at a thread on his jeans. “She told me: ‘Oh little pup, don’t cry. Make a wish upon a star, and if you want something badly enough, it will happen.’ It came into my head what she meant. How to do it. So the next night, when Sally took me for a walk, I made a wish upon a star.”
Wow. That was…. Jason rubbed his forehead with his fingers. Sad. But also more than a little ridiculous. Where did he even start? “Milo… there are no such things as angels.”
Milo looked at Jason with his thousand yard stare. “But I saw them.”
“You saw them.”
“At the hospice. They come when people die.”
Jason felt a flash of annoyance. Probably some nurse at the hospice had talked about angels and heaven and all that rubbish, and Milo had bought it hook, line, and sinker. Of course he had. He was a dog. He would believe anything human’s said. “You, personally, saw angels? I suppose you can describe what they look like?”
Milo wrinkled his nose. His eyes looked past Jason as he tried to remember. “You don’t see them here.” He pointed to his eyes. “You see them here.” He tapped his belly.
“You saw angels with your stomach,” Jason said flatly.
Milo tilted his head and bit his lip. He looked at Jason from under his lashes, guiltily, as though he could tell he’d said something wrong, but he didn’t know what. 

“I want some cheese,” Milo said. He stood up and wandered off towards the kitchen.

4.5 out of 5 stars

How To Wish Upon A Star is the third book in the Howl at the Moon series but can be read as a stand-alone novel.  As this is a stand-alone the author does a good job in giving enough information about the world building that you will not be lost if you jump into the series with this book. Since that's exactly what I did, I can say that you will be able to thoroughly enjoy this story without having read the first two. Now they might enhance the experience since those characters are featured in this book. 

The book started of a bit slow for me, mostly because Jason is deeply mired in his research. It makes him very standoffish at first and tends to isolate him from others. Jason has moved back home to continue his research into why the quickened change from being a canine to being quickened. His research questions are off-putting to his intended subjects and most refuse to continue the interview or quickly move away from him. Jason isn't able to understand why they leave or won't help him because to him this is very important work. He doesn't see that his questions are making others uncomfortable or they simply can't answer them with their before quickened knowledge. 

The pace of the story quickly changes once Jason meets Milo at a Town meeting.  Jason sees how distressed Milo is in the midst of the meeting as the town debates where to put Milo. Jason gets offended for Milo and and he promptly offers to let him move into his cabin and whisks him out of the meeting. Now that doesn't mean Jason is becoming more personable or relaxing. He for some reason is struck by Milo's distress and wants to make things better for him, at least until they have another place for him to stay. 

From the moment Milo is introduced I fell in love with his character. He's the type of person that you want to wrap in your arms tightly and make everything better for him. He's sweet with an air of innocence, which could be because he's newly quickened. It also could be that even as a canine he was selfless in his need to help others before himself with the residents in the nursing home. His ability to comfort the residents translates even into his quickened form. He's able to lift those around him into a better frame of mind, giving them comfort and support that they don't necessarily know they need, including Jason. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the authors take on this paranormal world in this series. Even in just this one book, she provided a significant amount of world building wrapped into a very sweet love story. Milo's explanation of his change from canine to quickened was unique and captivating. It also adds to his air of innocence which is actually a major piece of the storyline, because even after changing Milo himself does not change who he is to adapt. He stays true to himself even while learning to be a quickened human. He also ends up bringing out the best in Jason, which allows Jason to grow and also accept his quickened side. 

I definitely need to go back and read the previous two books in the series as I really liked this story. I highly recommend this book and the rest of the series to readers that enjoy paranormal stories. I also recommend this to those that may not like paranormal but like something different in their stories.

The Howl at the Moon Series

About The Author

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.

You can find Eli at 



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