A Caryn Advent Release Day Review: The Probability of Mistletoe (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by E.J. Russell

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this cute holiday story about second chances, and of course I was thrilled to review another of E.J. Russell’s books after reviewing the Fae Out of Water series here on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words earlier this year.  I enjoy her characters, who have just the right combination of snarky and sweet…

Keith and Parker were best friends in high school, despite significant differences in personality – Parker was popular, involved in everything, friends with everyone, and Keith was an introverted geek and computer genius who really only had Parker.  At the winter formal senior year, Keith attempted to kiss Parker under the mistletoe, but Parker freaked out and ran.  He later rationalized his actions, thinking that he would have held Keith back from becoming the success that Parker knew he could be.  After graduation, Keith left for Stanford, Parker stayed in Oregon, and though he thought of Keith often and regretted his actions, he allowed lingering embarrassment to keep him from staying in contact, and they drifted apart .

Ten years later, Parker is organizing the class reunion.  He was surprised to get a text from Keith, but happy, and he starts thinking he might be able to make up for that missed opportunity 10 years ago.  Keith also wants Parker, for business as well as personal reasons, but since he never knew the reason behind the missed kiss so long ago, he is very unsure about what will happen.

What follows is a comedy of errors, accidents, and misunderstandings that almost sabotages their reunion.  But when the probability of mistletoe is high, anything can happen…

Very enjoyable Christmas read!

Cover art by Paul Richmond is humorous, cheery, and brands the stocking stuffers for  2017.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 43 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640802988
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers

 

A Caryn Review: Bad Boy’s Bard (Fae Out of Water, #3) by E.J. Russell

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Reading this book reminded me a little of my progression reading through J.R.R. Tolkein – The Hobbit’s simple characters give way to The Lord of the Rings darker tone and complex world, and The Silmarillion’s vast scope is tragic, and so detailed and interconnected that it was very hard to read.  For me, that was the end of reading Tolkein!  And of course I am not comparing the Fae Out of Water series to Tolkein, but moving from the romantic comedy of Cutie and the Beast through The Druid Next Door to Bad Boys Bard was also a journey with increasingly complex world building and darker, more tragic characters.  There is nothing of comedy in this book, and the denouement is the fate not just of Faerie, but of all creation.

Gareth is the youngest of the Kendrick brothers, and he is the last true bard.  Where his brothers have been raised to fight with body and sword, Gareth was trained to use the powerful magic of his voice to influence and change people’s behavior.  Gareth’s training came at a much greater price than his brothers’ though – he was apprenticed to an amoral ghost, locked away from Faerie and subjected to the voices of the dead, and when he finished his apprenticeship he came back changed – aloof and unable to connect emotionally to anyone. 

Niall was the one person who was able to get through Gareth’s armor, and awoke passion and happiness in him.  He is human, and though Gareth always believed the races should not mix, he was swept away by his love and desire for Niall.  When Niall was taken by the Unseelie – and killed – Gareth was broken, bitter, and his hatred for anything Unseelie was limitless.  He removed himself completely from Faerie, cut most ties with his brothers, and never felt passion or romantic love for anyone again.

All is not as it seems though, and Niall is not dead.  And not human.  When he is released from hell to attend the Convergence between the Seelie and Unseelie realms, he finds he will have to face Gareth again.  And though he still loves Gareth, coming clean about who he really is, not to mention all of the lies he told, and all of the suffering their affair caused, seems to be an insurmountable task.

I enjoyed the tragic parts of the story, as well as the way both Gareth and Niall were imperfect and had some serious flaws that they had to recognize and address before they could save the world.  My problem with this book, however, was that the world building got so complex that it was incomplete.  Celtic mythology isn’t exactly common knowledge, and in the previous books everything that was introduced was at least explained – I wondered if there originally was more exposition, that was edited out to keep the book at a certain length.  If so, the editing could definitely have been better.  Fortunately this didn’t detract from the story too much, but I had to drop at least one star for it.

Cover art by Lou Harper fits in with the rest of the series, and with this story.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 264 pages
Published September 18th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleBad Boy’s Bard
ISBN139781626496231
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Fae Out of Water:

In Our Fantasy Spotlight: Bad Boy’s Bard (Fae Out of Water #3) by E.J. Russell (tour and giveaway)

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Bad Boy’s Bard (Fae Out of Water #3) by E.J. Russell
Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: Lou Harper

Read an Excerpt/Buy it here at Riptide Publishing

 

About Bad Boy’s Bard

As far as rock star Gareth Kendrick, the last true bard in Faerie, is concerned, the only good Unseelie is . . . well . . . there’s no such thing. Two centuries ago, an Unseelie lord abducted Gareth’s human lover, Niall, and Gareth has neither forgotten nor forgiven.

Niall O’Tierney, half-human son of the Unseelie King, had never lost a wager until the day he swore to rid the Seelie court of its bard. That bet cost him everything: his freedom, his family—and his heart. When he’s suddenly face-to-face with Gareth at the ceremony to join the Seelie and Unseelie realms, Niall does the only thing inhumanly possible: he fakes amnesia. Not his finest hour, perhaps, but he never revealed his Unseelie heritage, and to tell the truth now would be to risk Gareth’s revulsion—far harder to bear than two hundred years of imprisonment.

Then a new threat to Gareth’s life arises, and he and Niall stage a mad escape into the Outer World, only to discover the fate of all fae resting on their shoulders. But before they can save the realm, they have to tackle something really tough: mending their own broken relationship.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/bad-boys-bard

About the Fae Out of Water Series

Once upon a time, there were three brothers, nobles of the Seelie Court of Faerie, who set out to seek their fortunes. The eldest—

Scratch that. Rrrrrewind.

Nowadays, when tales are told in 140 character bursts on tiny LED screens, rather than spun out by the glow of a midnight campfire, even Faerie’s elite have to get with the program.

The Kendrick brothers have traded longbow for briefcase, battle steed for Harley, and enchanted harp for electric guitar.  But while they’re finding their feet in the modern world, instead of finding their fortunes, they stumble straight into love.

#faeoutofwater

Check out Fae Out of Water! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/fae-out-water

 

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 all three books in the Fae Out of Water series, one lucky winner across all three tours will receive a GRAND PRIZE of a $50 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the Bad Boy’s Bard tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A Caryn Review: The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) by EJ Russell

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Book one, Cutie and the Beast, in this series was a romantic comedy (which I adored!), and so I admit I was expecting the same here.  These characters, however, are more serious, the tone darker, the danger greater, in this enemies-to-lovers novel.  And this book is absolutely not stand-alone – all of the world building happened in book one, and this book just expands on the Fae world and it’s denizens.

Mal – Lord Maldwyn Kendrick – was cursed at the end of book one.  He saved his brother Alun’s life by cutting off the villain’s hand, and in punishment, he was cast out of Faerie and his own right hand became useless.  The Seelie queen, who cast the curse, told him the curse could be lifted if he could “make whole what you cost us this night”, and Mal has no idea what that even means.  Give Rodric his hand back?  Even if he wanted to after all the evil Rodric committed, how could he possibly do that?  His entire existence was being a warrior, protecting the Seelie Court, and in one moment he lost that purpose, and even the ability to be a warrior.  He was fairly lighthearted in book one, but he’s now angry, bitter, and completely directionless.

Because Mal was homeless, his brother-in-law David bought him a very nice little house with zero carbon footprint in a wetland conservation area.  Mal couldn’t have cared less.  Worse, when he found Unseelie creatures in the swamp and drove them off, he came to the attention of his neighbor Bryce MacLeod, professor and deeply devoted environmentalist who was shocked and appalled at Mal’s lack of care for the wetlands.  Mal recognized him as a druid – a fact Bryce himself was completely unaware of – and Mal had never trusted druids as far as he could throw them.  Things went from bad to worse when the local arch druid bound the two men together in order to foster Bryce’s training, without consent from either of them.

Mal just wants to get his hand and his old life back, while Bryce wants to find out what is causing the poisoning of the wetlands and fix it.  But since the men are literally tied together, they have to find a way to work with each other to reach these goals.  But there are manipulative supernatural forces in play, pushing them into the middle of a conflict that endangers not only their lives, but (once again) the fate of the world.

The set-up seems awkward and ridiculous when I try to condense it, but I didn’t feel that while I was reading.  Every character acted in accordance with their nature and personality (as introduced in book one) and in accordance with the rules of the outer world and world of faerie.  The progression from irritation, to grudging respect, to true appreciation of each other from Mal and Bryce was extremely fluid.  The supernatural powers of druids and the hereditary interaction between druid and sidhe kept Mal and Bryce continually wondering what parts of their attraction was real, and what was biology, or spell.  The inner conflict of trying to untangle that played out in the conflict they had with each other, but I felt both men learned to look past their initial rigid beliefs about the world, themselves, and each other, and they grew into better men as they became more flexible and accepted new truths about themselves.  The eventual defeat of evil was typical of a fantasy novel, but the happy ever after was more like the typical contemporary romance.  I thought it fit together extremely well!

Gareth, the youngest of the Kendrick brothers, shows up only briefly in this book, but a painful history of betrayal and loss were introduced to set the foundation of the final book.  Which I expect will be darker than this one, and I’m eagerly looking forward to it!

Cover art by Lou Harper has a great model for Bryce’s sexy professor look, and the interdimensional doorway fits with the story.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 328 pages
Published August 21st 2017 by Riptide Publishing (first published August 19th 2017)
Original TitleThe Druid Next Door
ISBN139781626496217
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesFae Out of Water #2

In the Fantasy Spotlight: The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) by EJ Russell (giveaway)

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The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) by E.J. Russell
Riptide Publishing
Cover by: Lou Harper

Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here at Riptide Publishing

 

About The Druid Next Door

Professor Bryce MacLeod has devoted his entire life to environmentalism. But how effective can he be in saving the planet when he can’t even get his surly neighbor to separate his recycling?

Former Queen’s Enforcer Mal Kendrick doesn’t think his life could get any worse: he’s been exiled from Faerie with a cursed and useless right hand. When he’s not dodging random fae assassins in the Outer World, he’s going toe-to-toe with his tree-hugging neighbor. And when he discovers that the tree hugger is really a druid, he’s certain the gods have it in for him—after all, there’s always a catch with druids. Then he’s magically shackled to the man and expected to instruct him in Supernatural 101.

All right, now things couldn’t possibly get worse.

Until a mysterious stranger offers a drunken Mal the chance to gain back all he’s lost—for a price. After Mal accepts, he discovers the real catch: an ancient secret that will change his and Bryce’s life forever.

Ah, what the hells. Odds are they won’t survive the week anyway.

Available now from Riptide Publishing

About the Fae Out of Water Series

Once upon a time, there were three brothers, nobles of the Seelie Court of Faerie, who set out to seek their fortunes. The eldest—

Scratch that. Rrrrrewind.

Nowadays, when tales are told in 140 character bursts on tiny LED screens, rather than spun out by the glow of a midnight campfire, even Faerie’s elite have to get with the program.

The Kendrick brothers have traded longbow for briefcase, battle steed for Harley, and enchanted harp for electric guitar.  But while they’re finding their feet in the modern world, instead of finding their fortunes, they stumble straight into love.

#faeoutofwater

Check out Fae Out of Water

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 all three books in the Fae Out of Water series, one lucky winner across all three tours will receive a GRAND PRIZE of a $50 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the Druid Next Door tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

In Our Fantasy Spotlight: Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water #1) by E.J. Russell (giveaway)

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Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water #1) by E.J. Russell
Riptide Publishing

Cover by: Lou Harper
R
ead an Excerpt/Buy it here at Riptide Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host E.J. Russell here today on the Cutie and the Beast Tour.  Check it out and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

♦︎

 

Welcome to the Fae Out of Water blog tour, phase one–Cutie and the Beast! I’m so looking forward to introducing you all to the Kendrick brothers and their guys, starting this month with Alun and David. As you follow along on the tours—phase two, The Druid Next Door, in August, and phase three, Bad Boy’s Bard, in September—please leave a comment and your contact information for a chance at a $50 Riptide gift card. The drawing will take place after the last Bad Boy’s Bard blog stop. Thank you so much for stopping by!

About Cutie and the Beast

Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.

Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.

But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.

Available now from Riptide Publishing.

About the Fae Out of Water Series

Once upon a time, there were three brothers, nobles of the Seelie Court of Faerie, who set out to seek their fortunes. The eldest—

Scratch that. Rrrrrewind.

Nowadays, when tales are told in 140 character bursts on tiny LED screens, rather than spun out by the glow of a midnight campfire, even Faerie’s elite have to get with the program.

The Kendrick brothers have traded longbow for briefcase, battle steed for Harley, and enchanted harp for electric guitar.  But while they’re finding their feet in the modern world, instead of finding their fortunes, they stumble straight into love.

#faeoutofwater

Check out the Fae Out of Water series! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/fae-out-water

 

About EJ 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 all three books in the Fae Out of Water series, one lucky winner across all three tours will receive a GRAND PRIZE of a $50 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the Cutie and the Beast tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Riptide Tour & Giveaway: For A Good Time, Call… (Bluewater Bay #17) by Anne Tenino and E.J. Russell

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For A Good Time, Call… (Bluewater Bay #17)
by Anne Tenino and E.J. Russell
Riptide Publishing

Cover Art by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here at Riptide Publishing

 

Welcome to the For a Good Time, Call Blog Tour! We’re delighted to have you stop by, so please, make yourself comfortable. Can we offer you a virtual beverage?

As part of this blog tour, Anne and E.J. are giving away a $50 Riptide Publishing Gift Certificate to one lucky winner! *confetti* To enter the giveaway, please comment on any official tour post with your name and contact info before midnight (EDT), April 15th. Good luck, and enjoy the tour!

About For a Good Time, Call…

Thirty-seven-year-old Nate Albano’s second relationship ever ended three years ago, and since he’s grace—gray asexual—he doesn’t anticipate beating the odds to find a third. Still, he’s got his dog, his hobbies, and his job as a special effects technician on Wolf’s Landing, so he can’t complain—much.

Seth Larson, umpteenth generation Bluewater Bay, is the quintessential good-time guy, content with tending bar and being his grandmother’s handyman. The night they meet, Seth’s looking for some recreational sex to escape family drama. But for Nate, romantic attraction comes before sexual attraction, so while Seth thinks they’re hooking up, Nate just wants to talk . . . genealogy?

Dude. Seriously?

So they declare a “just friends” truce. Then Seth asks for Nate’s help investigating a sinister Larson family secret, and their feelings start edging way beyond platonic. But Nate may want more than Seth can give him, and Seth may not be able to leave his good-time image behind. Unless they can find a way to merge carefree with commitment, they could miss out on true love—the best time of all.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/for-a-good-time-call

About Bluewater Bay

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. WittL.B. GreggZ.A. Maxfield,  Heidi BelleauRachel HaimowitzAnne TeninoAmy LaneSE JakesG.B. GordonJaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landingmedia empire. 

Check out Bluewater Bay! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/bluewater-bay

About Anne Tenino

Catalyzed by her discovery of LGBTQ romance, Anne Tenino left the lucrative fields of art history, non-profit fundraising, and domestic engineering to follow her dream of become a starving romance author. For good or ill, her snarky, silly, quasi-British sense of humor came along for the ride.

Anne applies her particular blend of romance, comedy and gay protagonists to contemporary, scifi and paranormal tales. Her works have won awards, she’s been featured in RT Book Reviews, and has achieved bestseller status on Amazon’s gay romance list.

Born and raised in Oregon, Anne lives in Portland with her husband and two kids, who have all taken a sacred oath to never read her books. She can usually be found at her computer, procrastinating.

Connect with Anne:

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.:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of For a Good Time, Call…, one lucky winner will receive a $50 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 15, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

E.J. Russell on Characters and their release ‘Clickbait’ by E.J. Russell (guest post and giveaway)

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Clickbait by E.J. Russell
R
iptide Publishing
Cover art by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here

~

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have E.J. Russell here today talking about Gideon, one of the characters in Clickbait and the Geeklandia series.  Welcome, E.J.!

~

Gideon: A Peek Before Clickbait

Clickbait is actually the second book in my Geeklandia series about a group of friends in Portland—roommates Charlie, Gideon, and Lindsay, their sidecar friend Toshiko—and their search for romance, wherein geeks pair with non-geeks, much to everyone’s astonishment. Gideon, one of the co-heroes of Clickbait, made his grand entrance in the first book, Lost in Geeklandia, where he helps his BFF Charlie overcome her gawkitude and land her man. (Charlie appears in Clickbait as well, as do Toshiko and Lindsay—who’s the sister of Gideon’s co-hero, Alex.)

This is a deleted scene from Lost in Geeklandia, where Gideon (in his Noel Coward-inspired red brocade dressing gown) tries to prep Charlie for her next interaction with her childhood friend and later nemesis, Daniel (whom Gideon refers to as He-man). She has thirty days to turn Daniel into her boyfriend or lose the chance at her dream job—and the clock is ticking.

Gideon tapped his fork on the empty Tupperware bowl. “Attention, please. Back to He-man. Tell me you at least managed a good-night kiss.”

Charlie’s cheeks heated as if she’d dry-roasted them along with the peanuts in the snack smorgasbord. “Of course I didn’t. We’re talking about Daniel Shawn. It would be easier for me to manage a good-night kiss from Chris Pine.”

“Charles, Charles, Charles. Whatever am I going to do with you? Stop thinking of him as a threat and think of him as an opportunity.” He popped off the barstool. “Let’s SWOT this.”

Lindsay stopped mashing avocado and wiped her forehead with the back of one wrist, her expression troubled. “I know you’re trying to help, Gideon, but do you really think it’s okay for Charlie to hit Daniel?”

He patted her cheek. “S-W-O-T, darling, not S-W-A-T. Strength, weakness, opportunity, threat. Standard management exercise, as Charles would know if she’d taken any business classes amid all the technobabble.”

“It’s hard to take you seriously as a management consultant when you’re dressed like Raul Julia as Gomez Addams,” Charlie grumbled.

“Gomez wore a smoking jacket, not a dressing gown. Stop focusing on inconsequentials.”

Gideon plucked the magnetized dry erase marker off the refrigerator and slashed a grid on the whiteboard they used for their grocery list. In giant letters, he scrawled an S and a W across the top row. “This represents your internal organization. Whatever you perceive as your own.” He added an O and a T down the left side. “This represents the Other. The outer world. Things you don’t control.”

“I’m not sure I control anything.”

“Stop it. See.” He pointed to each letter with the marker. “Strength. Weakness. Opportunity. Threat. Your weakness is this unaccountable need you have to hide your talents under a virtual bushel. Your strengths are legion, but when it comes to Daniel, you forget that you are a smart woman and act like a freaking moron.”

Charlie glared at him. “Don’t you have a hot date to get to?”

Gideon’s gaze flew to the clock above the sink. “God. I’m late. Only concern about your sex life could distract me from my own.” He smacked the marker back on the refrigerator. “Think about it. There’ll be a test later.”

He disappeared down the hall in a billow of red satin.

About Clickbait

After the disastrous ending of his first serious relationship, Gideon Wallace cultivated a protective—but fabulously shiny—outer shell to shield himself from Heartbreak 2.0. Besides, romance is so not a priority for him right now. All his web design prospects have inexplicably evaporated, and to save his fledgling business, he’s been compelled to take a hands-on hardware project—as in, his hands on screwdrivers, soldering irons, and needle-nosed pliers. God. Failure could actually be an option.

Journeyman electrician Alex Henning is ready to leave Gideon twisting in the wind after their run-ins both on and off the construction site. Except, like a fool, he takes pity on the guy and offers to help. Never mind that between coping with his dad’s dementia and clocking all the overtime he can finagle, he has zero room in his life for more complications.

Apparently, an office build-out can lay the foundation for a new relationship. Who knew? But before Alex can trust Gideon with the truth about his fragile family, he has to believe that Gideon’s capable of caring about more than appearances. And Gideon must learn that when it comes to the heart, it’s content—not presentation—that matters.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/clickbait

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/

clickbait-tourbanner

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Clickbait, one lucky winner will receive $25 in Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 10, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Let’s Go Legend Tripping with Wolf’s Clothing by E.J. Russell (giveaway and release tour)

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Wolf’s Clothing (Legend Tripping) by E.J. Russell
R
iptide Publishing
Cover art by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

About Wolf’s Clothing

What do you do when you finally prove the existence of the otherworld, but the ghosts kick your ass?

For Trent Pielmeyer, the answer is run like hell—away from his hostile family, away from the disbelieving cops, and far, far, far away from anything that smacks of the supernatural. After seven years’ captivity in a whacked-out alternate dimension, he is so over legend tripping.

When Christophe Clavret spots Trent in a Portland bar, he detects a kindred spirit—another man attempting to outrun the darkness of his own soul. But despite their sizzling chemistry, Trent’s hatred of the uncanny makes Christophe hesitant to confide the truth: he’s a werewolf, one of a dwindling line, the victim of a genetic curse extending back to feudal Europe.

But dark forces are at work, threatening more than their growing love. If Christophe can’t win Trent’s trust, and if Trent can’t overcome his fear of the paranormal, the cost could be Trent’s freedom and Christophe’s humanity. Or it might be both their lives.

Available from Riptide Publishing: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/wolfs-clothing-legend-tripping-novel

About EJ 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/

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Wolf’s Clothing, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 15, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

E.J. Russell On Characters, Inspiration, and ‘Stumptown Spirits’ (guest blog and giveaway)

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Stumptown Spirits by E.J. Russell
R
iptide Publishing
Cover Artist L.C. Chase

Read An Excerpt/Buy It Here

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have E.J. Russell here this morning to talk about her novel, Stumptown Spirits, and the inspiration behind her characters.  Welcome, E.J.!

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Maybe because I was an actor for years, or maybe because I’m an introvert and all my best conversations occur in my head, my first drafts are always dialogue-heavy. In fact, some **cough**most**cough** scenes might be dialogue only on that first pass. I have to force myself to write description. Consequently, to make that process as easy as possible . . .

I cheat.

It’s a method I use all the time in my day job — copy and paste.

Okay, with descriptions it’s a little more effort than that — I still have to write the words. But if I find pictures of major story elements, I can look at them and just, you know, describe them.

So before I start the actual first draft of any book, I have to find pictures of my main characters. For Stumptown Spirits, I happened on a picture of Dylan O’Brien and Tyler Hoechlin cuddled together on a boat, Dylan’s arm around Tyler’s shoulders, Tyler’s finger on Dylan’s lips.

Hello.

Then I found a picture of Dylan O’Brien in glasses and that was it. Game over.

That’s right—I was totally shipping Sterek—Stiles and Derek from Teen Wolf.

Since this particular ship is extremely popular in Teen Wolf fandom—and the two actors obviously get a huge kick out of teasing the fans along—locating other images wasn’t too difficult. My Pinterest inspiration board got littered with all kinds of fabulous pins. Things like Tyler kissing a smiling Dylan on the cheek. The two of them lying in bed, Dylan’s hand on Tyler’s shoulder and Tyler gripping Dylan’s wrist (with the bonus of the very nice definition in Dylan’s upper arm, courtesy of a rucked-up T-shirt sleeve). Oh, yeah. And that fan art illustration of a shirtless Derek pinning Stiles against the wall, obviously one breath away from a pretty steamy kiss? Unfortunately, I didn’t find that one until after I wrote the book.

But what the heck. I’m always game for another Sterek shot.

Here’s the board, if you’d like to take a look. https://www.pinterest.com/ejrussell/stumptown-spirits/

And that first picture? Dylan and Tyler on the boat (shipping themselves, the sly devils)? The description of that picture makes a cameo appearance in Stumptown Spirits—as the wallpaper on Riley’s laptop.

About Stumptown Spirits

What price would you pay to rescue a friend from hell?

For Logan Conner, the answer is almost anything. Guilt-ridden over trapping his college roommate in a ghost war rooted in Portland’s pioneer past, Logan has spent years searching for a solution. Then his new boyfriend, folklorist Riley Morrel, inadvertently gives him the key. Determined to pay his debt—and keep Riley safe—Logan abandons Riley and returns to Portland, prepared to give up his freedom and his future to make things right.

Crushed by Logan’s betrayal, Riley drops out of school and takes a job on a lackluster paranormal investigation show. When the crew arrives in Portland to film an episode about a local legend of feuding ghosts, he stumbles across Logan working at a local bar, and learns the truth about Logan’s plan.

Their destinies once more intertwined, the two men attempt to reforge their relationship while dodging a narcissistic TV personality, a craven ex-ghost, and a curmudgeonly bar owner with a hidden agenda. But Logan’s date with destiny is looming, and his life might not be the only one at stake.

About EJ 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.:

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Stumptown Spirits, EJ is giving away $25 in Riptide credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 21, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Legend Tripping

The ghost that walks at midnight . . . The man who transforms into a beast . . . The sinister figure lurking in the shadow of dreams . . .

The door between our world and . . . something other.

There’s a reason why such legends persist in every country, every region, every town.

They’re real.

For most, they’re the stuff of nightmares, terrors to be avoided. But for others, they’re an irresistible challenge—a chance to raise the ghost, stalk the beast, open that inter-dimensional door, and say “It’s all true, and I’ve lived to tell the tale.”

These legend trippers are in it for the thrill, the adventure—and sometimes, when they least expect it, for love.