Welcome to our Grand Finale celebrations for the amazing
In our final post, we'll take a look at the Fae Out Of Water series, and Single White Incubus, the first book in the brand-new Supernatural Selection series. We also have our author interview and one more chance to win one of EJ's books.
First up, 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.
David remained rooted in his chair for two minutes while he waited for the virtual steam to stop shooting out his ears. Of all the arrogant, self-righteous, pigheaded . . . Gah!
This was a psychology practice, right? Well, time to stage a little intervention of his own.
He marched into the inner sanctum (without knocking— ha!) and planted himself in front of Dr. Kendrick’s desk, hands clenched at his sides so he wouldn’t pick up the nearest ten-pound textbook and wing it at the doctor’s plus-sized skull.
“You make it sound as if you don’t think I can handle the job.”
Dr. Kendrick opened a copy of the Portland Business Journal, holding it up so it blocked David’s view of his face. “You can’t.”
“I’ll have you know I’ve taken many”—one—“classes on clinic office management. I’ve completed most”—about a third—“of the coursework for my RN degree, and I have extensive experience in”—getting fired from—“medical and dental practices of all types and sizes.”
Dr. Kendrick lowered the journal, and David flinched. He couldn’t help it. When he’d only heard The Voice, he’d fit his vision of a matching fantasy man to it. The sight of that tortured face—overlaid by the odious attitude—was a shock. Unfortunately, the doctor caught his reaction, and the perpetual frown deepened.
“Yet despite your impressive credentials, you’ve chosen to temp for a one-man psychology practice. On sabbatical from your stellar career?”
David sniffed and tried his best to look confident. “I’m considering my options. Of which there are many, before you ask.”
“Doing me a favor, are you?”
“Yes. I mean no. I’m here to do the best job possible. It’s to both our benefits if we can put together a workable professional relationship.”
Dr. Kendrick grunted and raised the journal again. “No point. I’ve already logged the request for your replacement.”
Was that so? In that case, Dr. Smug was in for a surprise. In the meantime, David would simply pretend that the doctor was a reasonable human being. At least one of them could be professional.
“Here’s your schedule. The charts are cued up on your laptop.” He slapped the agenda printout and a handful of take-out menus on the desk. “IM me with your food choice by four and I’ll have your meal here in time for your dinner break at six.” He bared his teeth in a dare-me smile. “Have a nice day.”
He pivoted smartly on the toe of his perfectly polished loafers, lifted his chin, and put an extra slug of confidence into his walk out of the room. With each step, he repeated pretend, pretend, pretend in his head, waiting until he’d closed the door before the breath whooshed out of his lungs and his chest deflated.
Sheesh, usually altercations occurred around David. This was the first time that he might not only have been part of the melee, but the direct instigator. If anything was likely to put an end to his hope of landing a permanent gig, this was it. Attacking your boss with a blunt instrument? A sure way to get fired.
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Book 2, 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.
The coyote crouched down, belly brushing the grass. Its eyes, even in the shadow under the wide eaves of Mal’s house, glowed yellow, and its black pupils looked almost vertical, like a cat’s. That can’t be normal—does it have issues other than starvation?
It crept backward. Bryce frowned. He didn’t know canines could do that, but then he was an environmentalist, not an animal behaviorist. He kept still, waiting for the beast to make its next move.
It continued its retreat. When it moved through a shaft of sunlight reflected off Bryce’s study window, a trick of refraction wildly distorted its shadow on Mal’s garage wall, making it look more like a squat, misshapen child than a cowering canine.
The crash of a door being thrown open startled the animal to its feet.
“Oi!” At Mal’s bellow, the coyote took off, racing within inches of Bryce, and disappeared into the woods at the foot of the hill.
Mal barreled around the corner of the house, skidding to a stop when he saw Bryce.
“Oh. It’s you.”
“No projectile weapons this time? I doubt the animal was any real danger to either of us.”
“That’s what you think,” Mal muttered. He nodded at the bat in Bryce’s hand. “Looks like you thought it necessary to take up arms against it as well though.”
“This old thing? This is for you.” He swung the bat to his shoulder and grinned. “Think of it as anti-Malware.”
Mal’s eyes narrowed. “Is that supposed to be a joke?”
“Trust me, it would get a huge laugh in the IT bullpen at the college.”
“So this is . . . what? A bit of persuasion to make sure I follow your instructions?”
“More like a precaution. I wanted to make sure you were okay, but didn’t want to take the chance you’d try to throttle me again.”
“Seriously, you shouldn’t be racing around in this heat, chasing inoffensive woodland creatures. You need to be resting or, ideally, on your way to the ER.”
Mal scowled. “Do you always spend this much energy enforcing your agenda on your neighbors?”
“It depends on whether or not I think they’re a danger to themselves or others. So how about it? Do you have a way to get to the hospital? I can give you a ride if you—”
“Save it. I called my brother-in-law, the nurse. He’s coming over.”
Bryce hesitated. He wasn’t sure Mal was telling the truth—about his brother-in-law’s arrival or his profession— but it wasn’t as if he could wrestle Mal into the LEAF without being accused of attempted kidnapping. “All right, then. But remember, I’ll expect to see a medical release.” Bryce raised a hand in farewell. “Later.”
Mal was clearly about to tell him to fuck off—Bryce could practically see the words forming in the tightening of his jaw, the inhale through flared nostrils. He braced himself for another onslaught of blistering profanity, but instead, Mal lifted a hand to his temple and clenched his eyes shut. Listed to one side.
Bryce tossed the bat to the ground and lurched forward, catching Mal before he could collapse into the mixed recycling.
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And book 3, 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.
“Niall. It’s all right. You don’t have to run. It’s me.”
Niall sucked in a breath. After all this time, to be this close to Gareth, yet know he was everything Gareth hated. “I—” He glanced around wildly.
Gareth’s face crumpled. “Don’t you . . . don’t you remember me?”
Niall froze. Was this the answer? Another lie, but if it kept the big one a secret, if it kept Gareth away from him until he could figure out how to tell him the truth, he’d take it. “I’m sorry. I have to—”
“Damn them. They took you away from me, but they took me away from you too.”
“I don’t know what you mean. I must get back to the Keep. I have duties—”
“You don’t.” Gareth swiped a hand under his eyes, his mouth firming into a grim line. “Not anymore. You never belonged here and they were wrong to kidnap you. Besides, this gods-bedamned spell will kill you if you stay.”
I still appear human. He doesn’t know. “I can’t go. Eamon—”
“Don’t mention his name,” Gareth snarled. “He’s the cause of this. He’s the one who should die, not you.”
“No!” Niall staggered back until he ran into the trunk of the oak. “Never say that. He’s—”
“He’s Unseelie. I know you never wanted to hear those songs, those tales, of the evil the Unseelie hordes wrought in Faerie, in your world too. They’re the cause of every despicable thing in this world or yours. The reason so few of us are left.”
Niall shook his head. The anger infusing Gareth’s voice was enough to set his own pulse pounding, to make the surrounding lesser fae shift and mutter uneasily. As a bard, Gareth had to be careful that his own emotions didn’t bleed out from his voice to the audience.
He wasn’t being careful now. If Niall didn’t get him out of here, Gareth’s anger could infect the whole crowd, and the ceremony would go tits up before Eamon was ever officially crowned. And with the old King waiting in the wings— literally—to take advantage of the opportunity?
No. He couldn’t let that happen. Their people—even the surliest and most isolationist—deserved a better king than Tiarnach had ever been. He had to keep Gareth calm.
“I— You’re the bard, aren’t you? The Seelie bard.”
“Yes.” Gareth nodded, eager hope replacing the anger. “That’s right. Do you remember seeing me perform?”
Niall shook his head. “No. But I’ve heard tales.”
“I used to sing to you.” This time, his voice was sad, and more than one of the lesser fae whimpered. “Don’t you remember?”
“No. I’m sorry. I—” Over Gareth’s shoulder, Niall met Tiarnach’s malevolent gaze. The bastard grinned and motioned to one of the trows, who unstrapped its crossbow. The huge guard lifted the weapon to its shoulder, aiming directly at Gareth. “No!”
Niall pulled Gareth further into the trees, out of the guard’s sightlines. “You’re right. I want to go. Take me out of here. Take me home.”
“Your home won’t be there. Time has passed—”
“I don’t care. Take me with you. Now.”
Gareth blinked, joy infusing his expression. “I’ve wanted nothing more for over two hundred years. This way.”
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And from the spinoff series Supernatural Selection, we have
Single White Incubus
Does a bear shift in the woods?
Well, partially. That was what got grizzly shifter Ted Farnsworth into trouble. He wasn’t trying to break the Secrecy Pact. He just wants people to see the real him. So he signs up with the mate-matching service Supernatural Selection — which guarantees marriage to a perfect partner. Not only will Ted never be lonely again, but once his new beaver shifter husband arrives, they’ll build Ted’s dream wilderness retreat together. Win-win.
Quentin Bertrand-Harrington, scion of an incubus dynasty, has abstained from sex since nearly killing his last lover. When his family declares it’s time for him to marry, Quentin decides the only way not to murder his partner is to pick someone who’s already dead. Supernatural Selection finds him the ideal vampire, and Quentin signs the marriage agreement sight unseen.
But a mix-up at Supernatural Selection contracts Quentin with Ted. What’s Ted supposed to do with an art historian who knows more about salad forks than screwdrivers? And how can Quentin resist Ted’s mouthwatering life force? Yet as they work together to untangle their inconvenient union, they begin to wonder if their unexpected match might be perfect after all.
For a second, Ted thought the guy peeking around the corner was Matt—or maybe Larry, the mechanic from Dewton who doubled as the delivery guy for the lumberyard. Then he wiped the water out of his eyes and realized the guy was way too small and frail to be either one. Matt was taller and Larry was stockier—and neither one of them had black hair and a goatee and looked like the least breeze would blow them off the mountain.
A stranger. And I’m naked. Whoops. Good thing he wasn’t here ten minutes ago when I shifted. Because shifting in front of a human? Yeah, that was a sure way to bring the council down on his ass, especially after what Dr. Kendrick had told him this morning.
Ordinarily, Ted would have shifted back to his bear form and shaken the water off to get dry—he’d only stopped out here to shower because he’d run afoul of an illegal dump site when he was lumbering back up the mountain after Matt had dropped him off in town. So he didn’t have a towel. Or clothes.
Well, it was his place, damn it. Wasn’t he entitle to privacy here? He wasn’t expecting anyone until Rusty arrived next week, so he should have been able to parade around as naked as a mole rat if he wanted, with no one the wiser.
And even though shifter blood ran hotter than human, and he’d already started to put on the padding around his middle in the run-up to winter hibernation season, it was still damn cold in the wind off the lake.
“Sorry. I—” he gestured to his body “—wasn’t expecting company.” If he could just get the guy to go around to the front of the lodge, Ted could shift and dry off. Wouldn’t help the no-clothes situation, but he had a stash in the lodge, and a cache inside the tree line for emergencies—or when he was running the Bigfoot scam. He sighed. Can’t do that anymore either.
But the guy just kept staring at Ted, his eyes behind those rectangular hipster glasses getting bigger and bigger. Which had the unfortunate effect of—what did Dr. Kendrick call it? Sympathetic reaction? Because Ted’s dick started to keep pace.
I’m a married man now. I need to keep it in my pants. When I have pants. He turned his back. “Could you, you know, go back to your car until I get dressed?”
“I don’t have a car.” The guy’s voice sounded like he was trying to get the words out past someone’s fist.
“You too? Yeah, my truck’s in the shop, so—” Ted slapped himself on the forehead. Not relevant. “If you’d just go around to the porch, I’ll be there in a minute and you can let me know what you need.”
The guy let out a noise that sounded like “Awp!” But since that wasn’t a word, it couldn’t have been what he’d said. Ted took it for a yes because when he checked over his shoulder, the guy was gone.
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1. What inspires you? What gets you writing?
My ninth grade English teacher, Mrs. Sleeper, taught me to write a “well-written, unified essay” on a particular topic within the fifty-five minute class period. That knee-jerk response to an assignment hasn’t faded with time, so many of my books started out from submission calls (a call for haunted house stories resulted in The Artist’s Touch; Mystic Man is a Dreamspinner States of Love novella set in Connecticut; The Probability of Mistletoe and the upcoming An Everyday Hero were Dreamspinner Advent Calendar submissions; calls for trope-driven paranormal romance brought me to the Fae Out of Water and Enchanted Occasions series).
I’m a reactive writer—I like to riff off of concepts, fragments of a dream, dialogue snippets, twists in song lyrics or titles. Sometimes, I even riff off myself! The upcoming Supernatural Selection series is a spinoff from Fae Out of Water, with each book relating to its parallel in the first series.
Since my day job ended last year when my employer of nineteen years closed its doors, writing is my full time job. Nothing like that kind of paradigm shift to get my butt in the chair and my hands on the keyboard!
2. What's your writing process? Seat of your pants, lots of sticky notes, complex spreadsheets?
I am an insane plotter. I use a plot development process I learned from Suzanne Johnson’s Quilting 101: Patchworking the Perfect Plot; then organize and expand it using techniques from Todd Klick’s screenwriting book, Something Startling Happens: The 120 Story Beats Every Writer Needs to Know. By the time I sit down to fast-draft, I’ve got the story all laid out in my Scrivener project. Of course that doesn’t mean I might not make changes as I go along! ☺
3. Which character from your books is your favorite, and why?
As far as main characters go, I have a very soft spot in my heart for Gideon from Clickbait. He’s built a fortress around his emotions because he’s afraid of being hurt and abandoned again. He needs Alex to help him tear down those walls and realize how he needs to change. To a certain extent , he’s modeled on some of my more flamboyant gay friends from my college days—they weren’t always kind, and were sometimes self-absorbed, but they were always, always entertaining. They faced so much antagonism and rejection, though, who could blame them for finding their best way to survive and thrive?
In terms of secondary characters, Chef, the temperamental goblin berserker from the Enchanted Occasions series, is my current fave. He’s so much fun to write!
4. Which character is your least favorite, and why?
Rodric Luchullain from the Fae Out of Water series. Ugh. Self-righteous narcissistic sociopaths are the worst!
5. If you could go back into one of your books and change one thing, what would that be? And why?
I’m actually in the process of doing this right now! I wrote a novelette featuring a mage and a cyborg, “Sun, Moon, and Stars,” that was part of Magic and Mayhem: Fiction and Essays Celebrating LGBTQA Romance, a charity anthology (now out of print) benefitting Read With Pride Northwest (formerly Gay Romance Northwest). The story had to be under twenty thousand words, so I wasn’t able to include more “road trip” scenes to allow Zal and Torian’s relationship to deepen. I’m planning to add those scenes—plus write three additional novellas, with more adventures for Zal and Torian. L.C. Chase is doing the covers for me, and they’re awesome! Now I have to finish the other stories and figure this self-publishing thing out!
6. What's next for you? What amazing book are you working on?
I’m in early development on a four-book contemporary rom-com series set in a fictional Vermont town. I may be starting to draft my historical (set in silent-film era Hollywood) soon. I’ve got other ideas in the hopper: another Fae Out of Water spinoff featuring Mal and Niall in their fae PI business; another paranormal rom-com that combines theater with multiple mythologies; additional books in the Art Medium, Legend Tripping, and Enchanted Occasions series.
7. Anything else you'd like to share with your readers?
You may have noticed the release of Single White Incubus, the first in the Supernatural Selection series, on October 22nd. The next two books are on the way—Vampire With Benefits on November 26th and Demon on the Down-Low on February 25th. I’ve got a Dreamspinner Advent Calendar novella, An Everyday Hero, releasing in December; Devouring Flame, the second Enchanted Occasions story releases in January.
BTW, I was working on Vampire With Benefits and Devouring Flame at the same time. Both books feature vampires, but with very different takes. ☺ Can’t wait for you to see them!
Thank you for joining us today, and all October long, as we celebrated this fabulous author. We hope you found a few more books to add to your TBR.
Until next time, happy reading!