How to Wish Upon a Star by Eli Easton
Series: Howl at the Moon, Book Three
Release Date: May 12, 2016
Pages: 230 • Format: eARC
Published 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.
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.
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