E.J. Russell on Fashion, Characters and her new release, Demon on the Down-Low (Supernatural Selection #3) (author guest blog and giveaway)

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Demon on the Down-Low (Supernatural Selection #3) by E.J. Russell

Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: L.C . Chase

Published February 25th 2019

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have E.J. Russell here today talking about fashion, choices, characters, and her new story,Demon on the Down-Low. Welcome, E.J.

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Fashion impaired

by E.J. Russell

I am not a fashion-forward kind of person. In fact, “fashion” is probably a word that could never be paired with me, unless “victim” were also part of the sentence. Since I’ve worked from home for over fifteen years—first at my left-brain tech day job and then in my writer cave—I’ve definitely embraced the “comfort over style” paradigm.

This hasn’t always set well with my children, particularly when they were teenagers and had ideas about how their parents’ appearance reflected on them. LD once told me flat out: “Mommy, you dress badly.” She was, I think, in sixth grade at the time, and I was wearing sweat pants (because of course I was). She had embraced her own sense of style quite early, as I recall. My Curmudgeonly Husband and I had decided before she was born that we wouldn’t go for the “girls::pink, boys::blue” model, so we bought pants and shirts for her in bright colors (the late, lamented Mervyn’s department store had great toddler clothes!), and if there was any any pink in the lot, it was dark fuchsia rather than pastel. Then, when she was about two and a half, she suddenly refused to wear anything but dresses. Pink dresses. Pastel pink dresses. (Although CH and I had shunned the frilly and overly feminine, my mother was not on board, and her gifts infiltrated LD’s wardrobe.) 

With DS A and B, CH and I pretty much said, “Screw it,” because if we wanted anybody to be able to tell the boys apart (especially from a distance), we needed a color code. DS A’s outfits were predominantly red; DS B was the blue guy. Not only did it assist in people outside the family being able to identify them, but it was a huge help in sorting laundry.

The twins weren’t quite so dismissive of sweatpants either. Until they were in seventh grade, their entire fall-to-spring pants wardrobe consisted of Target sweatpants in red (DS A), navy (DS B), or black (both of them, dang it, and I had to buy a handful of laundry markers). Since Target  put their boys’ sweats on sale at regular intervals, back-to-school clothes shopping for the twins was a snap—even more so because, unlike LD, they didn’t want to have anything to do with choosing their own outfits. I bought ‘em; they wore ‘em. Easy peasy.

Who would have believed that those same boys would one day become absolute clothing snobs—especially DS B. Moving to Manhattan for college (and then remaining there to work as professional dancers after graduation) might have had something to do with their evolving sense of style. DS B, for instance, has worked in at least three different higher-end mens’ clothing stores, and usually smoked the other clerks in sales.

Because I’m not particularly interested in fashion, most of my characters dress pretty plainly. But in Demon on the Down-Low, I had a secondary character—Olli, Hamish’s first date—who needed to be fashionable. I knew just who to contact for advice, and had this text conversation with DS B:

As it happens, Olli is Finnish, not Swedish, but I hadn’t figured that part out yet. DS B pointed me to several websites, and I was able to dress Olli from the Paul Smith site.

In case you’re wondering about the coat, here it is (with DS B inside it). He designed the coat and had a friend of his make it.

It’s hard to tell from the picture, but it’s got two different fabrics, plus a lining, all of them super soft.

Lucky for me (when it comes to character wardrobe research), he’s come a long way from navy Target sweatpants!

 

 

Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining me on blog tour for Demon on the Down-Low, the third (and final) book in the Supernatural Selection trilogy! Follow along with the tour and comment for a chance to win the tour grand prize, a $25 Riptide gift card and your choice of either Single White Incubus or Bad Boy’s Bard. Winner chosen randomly at the end of the tour from comments across all tour stops.

 

About Demon on the Down-Low

After decades of unrequited love, this kangaroo will jump at the chance for a date. Any date.

Lovelorn kangaroo shifter Hamish Mulherne, drummer for the mega-hit rock band Hunter’s Moon, waited years for the band’s jaguar shifter bassist to notice him. Instead, she’s just gotten married and is in a thriving poly relationship. How is Hamish supposed to compete with that? But with everyone else in the band mated and revoltingly happy, he needs somebody. Since he can’t expect true love to strike twice, he signs up with Supernatural Selection. Because what the hell.

When Zeke Oz was placed at Supernatural Selection through the Sheol work-release program, he thought he was the luckiest demon alive. But when he seems responsible for several massive matchmaking errors, he’s put on notice: find the perfect match for Hamish, or get booted back to Sheol for good. The only catch? He has to do it without the agency’s matchmaking spells, and Hamish simply will not engage.

But Zeke starts to believe that the reason all of Hamish’s dates fizzle is because nobody in the database is good enough for him. And Hamish realizes that his perfect match might be the cute demon who’s trying so hard to make him happy.

Now available from Riptide Publishing!

 

About Supernatural Selection

Are you a shifter who’s lost faith in fated mates? A vampire seeking a Second Life companion? Or perhaps you’re a demon yearning to claim a soul (mate)?

Congratulations! Your search is over!

Welcome to Supernatural Selection, where our foolproof spells guarantee your perfect match.

Until they don’t.

Check out Supernatural Selection today.

 

About E.J. Russell

E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Connect with E.J.:

Website: ejrussell.com

Blog: ejrussell.com/bloggery/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/E.J.Russell.author

Twitter: twitter.com/ej_russell

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ejrussell/

 

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Demon on the Down-Low one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card and an ecopy of either Single White Incubus (first in the Supernatural Selection series) or Bad Boy’s Bard (the book from the Fae Out of Water series that influences this one). Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 2, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A Caryn Release Day Review: Devouring Flame by E.J. Russell

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I have been looking forward to this book since Smith was introduced in Nudging Fate, the first of the Enchanted Occasions series.  This book is not a stand alone, although the MC’s from the first book do not show up outside of brief remembrances in this one.  Smith was one of the most intriguing of the talented group of outcasts running the event planning business, and after his one night stand with the ifrit, I knew we would see him again.

The setting is a year after the faerie wedding in the first book, and Enchanted Occasions has survived, and even thrived a little bit.  But not so much that they can afford to turn down a request from the North American sector vampires to manage their Centennial Feast.  Unfortunately, the Centennial Feast can only be hosted in the Las Vegas Interstices, a place of continuous twilight and ambiguous morals.  Vegas has terrible memories for Smith, who had languished there for decades before he was hired by Enchanted Occasions.  But there was another reason Smith was apprehensive about Vegas…

Hashim is the ifrit who appeared at the Faerie Prince’s coronation with the dastardly plot cooked up by the Faerie Queen, which was foiled by the employees of Enchanted Occasions.  Instead of seducing and capturing the prince, Hashim ended up spending a glorious night with Smith, where they connected so completely that Smith told Hashim his true name – and for Smith, as a fire demon, the owner of his true name has incredible power over him.  Hashim left without giving his true name in return, which Smith could only regard as betrayal of the worst sort.  When Smith passed through Vegas and saw Hashim performing in a circus sideshow, all of the anger, sadness, and dread came back.  Hashim was the last person he wanted to see, and being forced to interact with him to arrange the Centennial Feast was agonizing.  In part because despite what he felt was Hashim’s treachery, Smith still wanted him, as the only other being he ever felt so complete with.

Hashim felt much the same about Smith, but his circumstances were much more dire than he was willing to admit.  His very nature was something Smith had never considered – remember that classic line from Disney’s Aladdin?  “PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER!  Itty bitty living space…”  Hashim had almost no control over his life, and his master, Ringmaster, was cruel and corrupt.  When Smith finally understood the situation, he decided to fix it, because he was the guy that got shit done.

There was definitely a darker twist to this book than there was to the first one, with themes of slavery and exploitation, and the victim’s response to them, probed from both sides.  It is always difficult for someone on the outside to understand how an abuse victim could ever think that their abuse is deserved, and both Hashim’s rationale and Smith’s response to it were well done.  And there was of course the usual humor and banter, provided primarily by the incredible case of secondary characters.  The goblin-berserker Chef was especially good, as were the vampires and all the jokes about them in this post-Twilight era.  And for those who wondered how Rion could possibly be so sweet and innocent, the answer was both surprising and absolutely adorbs.  That was one of my favorite parts of the book!  The search for and discovery of Hashim’s true name was disappointing though, and the primary reason I didn’t give the book 5 stars.  Still, I hope there will be more to come in this universe in the future!

Cover art by Aaron Anderson shows a great model for Smith, but I would have loved to see Hashim in there as well.

Sales Links:

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon: http://ejr.pub/devouring-flame-amz

Other: http://ejr.pub/devouring-flame-b2r

Publisher: http://ejr.pub/fb-devouring-flame

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Expected publication: January 8th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07JZ5WPR8

 

An Alisa Release Day Review: Mystic Man by E.J. Russell

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

When a series of personal crises prompt risk-averse research librarian Aaron Templeton to apply for a job on the other side of the country, nobody is more surprised than he is. He nearly runs home before the final interview except for one little problem: he has no home anymore. He put his condo on the market before he left California and it’s already sold. Only an encounter with free-spirited Connecticut native Cody Brown at the Mystic Seaport Museum staves off Aaron’s incipient panic attack.

Cody loves nothing better than introducing newcomers to the great features of his beloved home state, and when the newbie in question is a rumpled professorial type with the saddest blue eyes on the planet? Score! The attraction between the two men deepens as they explore Cody’s favorite spots, but when difficulties arise and Aaron’s insecurities threaten to overwhelm him, will Cody’s love be enough to keep him in Mystic?

This was a cute story.  Aaron has stepped so far outside of his comfort zone with his rash decision and Cody helps to take his mind off it.  Cody loves with his whole self and jumps in with his both feet but why does Aaron make him doubt he wants to travel again.

I could feel Aaron’s fear when he would think about the situation he is in and how Cody’s ease seemed to seep into him and help him relax and take his mind off his worries but when it overwhelms him he hurts Cody and himself.  Cody loves his home but has been a bit of a wanderer and hasn’t ever doubted how he feels until he meets Aaron and it make him want to change his plans.  These two help to balance each other out and even hope that they can have a future together.  I loved seeing them navigate their feelings and work everything out.

The cover art by Brooke Albrecht is great and gives a nice view of Cody.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 100 pages

Published: June 22, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-639-9

Edition Language: English