DSP Dreamspun Promo E.J. Russell on Nudging Fate (Enchanted Occasions #1) by E.J. Russell


Nudging Fate (Enchanted Occasions #1) by E.J. Russell
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art:  Aaron Anderson

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have E.J. Russell here today on her blog tour for Nudging Fate. Welcome, E.J.!



Thanks so much to the lovely folks at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for inviting me over as part of the Nudging Fate blog tour, and giving me a few interview questions! Nudging Fate is my first full-length novel with Dreamspinner, and it’s another of my “paranormal romantic comedies.” To celebrate the release, at the end of the tour I’ll be giving away a $20 Amazon gift card and an ebook copy of Cutie and the Beast (another paranormal romantic comedy) to one lucky commenter.

Let’s get started!

How much of yourself goes into a character?

There’s always going to be something of myself in all of my main characters, even if it’s just a tiny reaction to some object or event—primarily because my own feelings and experiences are most familiar to me and therefore available to draw on.

For instance, Andy in Nudging Fate is a wizard when it comes to organization and logistics. I don’t claim to be quite as good at it as he is, but I’ve had my moments. My twin sons are professional dancers now, but when they were still in school, they studied at a local dance studio. When I say “local,” I’m speaking relatively: we live in the middle of nowhere and it takes us an hour to get anywhere.

At one point, before the boys could drive, they had class seven days a week. I had a full-time day job (although I was lucky enough to work remotely), so I’d work at home until it was almost time to pick them up from school. Then I’d throw as much snack food as I could find into a bag, pack up my computer, and go collect them. They’d consume all the food during our commute to the studio. After I dropped them off, I’d take my computer and hang out at the library or (after a Starbucks opened next to the studio) at the coffee shop and work until their classes ended and we could drag ourselves home again.

And it wasn’t only time I had to manage. My sons (especially DS B) were impossible when it came to keeping track of their possessions. I don’t think DS B ever kept a new jacket past the first month of the new school year. I can’t count the number of times we got back from a dance competition or convention missing at least one dance shoe (although that was better than showing up at the competition without the shoe—which also happened.) I recall one competition where each of them was performing in seven different routines—that meant seven costumes. Each. By the magic of addition, we know that makes fourteen costumes I had to inventory. Plus props. And hats. In hat boxes.

But on the plus side, unlike Andy, I never had to manage a goblin berserker (although if the food supplies weren’t up to the boys’ standards or requirements, it could be difficult to tell the difference!).

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

Absolutely! When I was about eight or nine, while staying with my paternal grandparents in a small town in rural Illinois, I read a book called Horace by Elizabeth Urquhart. It was the first British children’s book I’d read, and the first urban fantasy. Yes, it really was an urban fantasy! On the way to the greengrocer to buy mushrooms, a girl meets a baby dragon standing on the side of a bridge. She helps him get home and he invites her to tea. Adventures ensue.

I was enchanted.

I’ve written about that experience before (check it out here, if you’re interested: http://ejrussell.com/the-life-changing-book/), because reading it really did change my life. Can I admit that I’ve lived in breathless anticipation of being invited to tea by a dragon ever since?

And you want to know the coolest thing? Several years after I wrote that post, Elizabeth Urquhart herself (although her name is now a lot easier to spell) actually commented on it!

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I can deal with either one, but any book I read must have one or the other! I won’t read or watch anything these days that I can tell won’t end well. I need that guarantee. For instance, my Curmudgeonly Husband tried to get me to watch Breaking Bad, but I steadfastly said, “Nope. No way will that ever end well.”

That being said, I can only be completely satisfied with HFN (particularly if it’s a series with the same main characters over multiple books) if I know that HEA will show up eventually.

One of my favorite examples of total HEA crack is in Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me. She includes an epilogue that basically tells the future of all the main characters! It’s an HEA dream come true!

What’s next for you as an author?

I’ve got a contemporary novella called Mystic Man, part of the Dreamspinner States of Love collection, releasing next month. The state in question is Connecticut, where my Curmudgeonly Husband was born and raised and where I went to graduate school. I had a great time writing it, because it let me revisit so many of my memories of discovering Connecticut back in the day.

I’ve contracted the second book in the Enchanted Occasions series with Dreamspinner. It’s called Devouring Flame, and features Smith, the EO tech demon, and maybe someone else you’ll meet in Nudging Fate! It’s scheduled for release in December or January.

I’m working on another trilogy in the same universe as my Fae Out of Water series. It’s centered around a supe matchmaking agency called Supernatural Selection, and the first book (Single White Incubus) is currently in line edits and scheduled for October release.

I’ll also be self-publishing the novella, featuring an asexual magician and a genderqueer cyborg, that was part of the now out-of-print Magic and Mayhem anthology benefiting Gay Romance Northwest/Read with Pride Northwest. It was originally titled simply Sun, Moon, and Stars, but I’m planning another three novellas in the same universe, so this one is now called Partnership. Look for it in September—once I figure out how this self-publishing thing works!




Nudging Fate

An Enchanted Occasions Story

Not exactly a match made in Valhalla.

Half-norn event planner Anders Skuldsson is under strict orders from Asgard not to meddle with Fate. But with Enchanted Occasions’ latest booking—a competition for the hand of Faerie’s one true prince—crashing around his ears, it’s really difficult to toe that particular line. But if Andy pretends to be a contender for the prince…. It’s only temporary, so Odin can’t blame him. Right?

Conall of Odstone’s half-brother, Prince Reyner, was supposed to choose a mate before being crowned and wed. But the idiot left Con to impersonate him. Again.

When Con meets Andy, his anger turns to desire… and despair. Even if Andy forgives him for his imposture, how could someone eligible for a prince’s hand settle for the court outcast? And the double-deception isn’t their only obstacle. Unless Andy makes the right choice, their fates could be sealed by…well… Fate.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://mybook.to/nudging-fate

Universal: http://books2read.com/nudging-fate

Dreamspinner: http://bit.ly/ds-nudging-fate

About the Author

E.J. Russell–grace, mother of three, recovering actor–writes romance in a rainbow of flavors. Count on high snark, low angst and happy endings. 

Reality? Eh, not so much.

She’s married to Curmudgeonly Husband, a man who cares even less about sports than she does. Luckily, C.H. also loves to cook, or all three of their children (Lovely Daughter and Darling Sons A and B) would have survived on nothing but Cheerios, beef jerky, and Satsuma mandarins (the extent of E.J.’s culinary skill set).

E.J. lives in rural Oregon, enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Website: http://ejrussell.com

Newsletter: http://ejrussell.com/newsletter

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ej_russell

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ej_russell_author/

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/ej_russell

Bookbub author page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/e-j-russell

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ej_russell

A Caryn Release Day Review: Nudging Fate (Enchanted Occasions #1) by E.J. Russell


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

We all nudge Fate every day, with every choice we make.

I just love this author when she’s being playful!  Those who loved Cutie and the Beast will also love this book.  It is not explicitly in the same universe, but still involves beings from various mythologies (the MC in this one is Norse) who are interacting with the morally ambiguous and manipulative world of the Fae, as well as mundane Earth.  This book is set primarily in the Interstices, “the pockets in reality where … magic from all supernatural realms could coexist”.  In addition to the Fae, this book has an eclectic mix of supernatural beings from just about every folklore and tradition that I can think of, cleverly integrated into a cohesive whole.  It was only as I was writing this review that I realized how very clever the author was in taking such complexity and making it seem effortless!

I will save you the trouble of looking up the norn (which I just had to do because I didn’t want to wait for the author’s specific explanation).  In Norse mythology there are three divine female beings who influence the destinies of gods and men (roughly corresponding to the Greek Fates), Norns with a capital N, and then there are other norns of lesser strength and influence.  Anders Skuldsson is one of these – half human son of one of the big three, which makes him outcast for being a half-breed, but also mistrusted because when you are around him, how to you know that he didn’t just make things happen according to his will?  Despite his questionable status, he’s a good guy just trying to do the right thing and earn a little respect.  He’s the Senior Event Coordinator of Enchanted Occasions Event Planning, and has been chosen by no less than the Fae Queen herself to be in charge of her son Prince Reynard’s ceremony to choose and bond with a consort.  This job is not only his greatest challenge so far, it is also a make or break event for Enchanted Occasions and his employees – all of whom are half-human and looked down on by most of the Pure bloods of the other supernatural races.  Anders has a lot to prove with this gig.

Prince Reynard, on the other hand, has no desire to participate in this Faerie version of “The Bachelor” and get hooked permanently to some suitable consort chosen by his mother.  He’s all about a life of freedom and promiscuity.  His half brother Conall of Odstone – bastard result of the Faerie Queen’s own consort’s infidelity centuries ago – has been blessed/cursed with the gift of responsibility:  he does what’s right, even when it’s difficult or inconvenient.  Rey is used to exploiting this trait, and Con has ended up impersonating Rey multiple times over the years for any events that Rey finds boring, or onerous, and Con once again found himself uncomfortably forced into a predicament that unfortunately has much higher stakes than he’s ever faced before.

Through a comedy of errors and missteps, these two unlikely men end up thrust together – while each impersonating someone else – and find that they really like each other, and their chemistry is off the charts.  But they are both basically men of truth and integrity, both responsible for others and wanting to do the best by them, and how can anything real and true come from such deception?

I laughed out loud at the antics of the MC’s, and at the ridiculous situations they ended up in despite the best of intentions.  The secondary characters – Talus, man of iron, arbiter and dispenser of justice for Faerie, and solid supporter of Con; Brooke and Smith, the other half-breeds who work with Andy who are brilliant at creating the perfect worlds in the Interstices; the other characters that are pure comic relief like the goblin chef who creates the most incredible and delicate food but goes into a rage when people don’t appreciate it – were just pure genius.  The Interstices themselves were an incredible and subtle weave of magic from different worlds combined with the best of Earth.  And the plot, while superficially a romp of increasingly ridiculous circumstances, was really a story of integrity and kindness overcoming manipulation and selfishness.  It’s a romantic comedy with a moral, in the style of a fairy tale, but so much more fun.  I can’t wait for the next book, and there were definitely some clues dropped about who might star in the next one…

Cover art by Aaron Anderson actually detracts from the book.  The story is otherwordly, beautiful, and magic, and this cover is downright boring…

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 224 pages
Expected publication: May 15th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesEnchanted Occasions #1