Friday, January 17, 2020

Blogtour: Howling on Hold by E.J. Russell

Please welcome E.J. Russell with

Howling On Hold


Sometimes it’s harder to teach a young dog new tricks.

That’s why werewolves embark on a Howling: a three-year rite of passage in which they’re sent to a group residence to wrestle with their wolfy instincts and assimilate into the Wider World. But Tanner Araya’s Howling is almost over, and he could be called back to his remote pack at any moment. His twenty-first birthday might be his last chance to act on his strongest instinct and finally kiss Chase Denney.

Chase is RA at the Howling residence affectionately dubbed “the Doghouse,” and he takes his job seriously. So seriously that when he realized he was developing feelings for a resident, he forced himself to keep Tanner at a distance. But now that Tanner’s twenty-one, he’s not Chase’s charge any longer. They could be friends or—if Chase is lucky—something more. At least until they both return to their home packs for good, as tradition demands.

It would take a miracle for them to get together—especially when the other Doghouse werewolves insist on “helping.”

Warning: Many Frisbees are harmed in this story, forgiveness is not always easier than permission, and the five-second rule does not apply.

Get the book:


Fish Stew
When my Curmudgeonly Husband and I first moved in together back in 1983 (when he was still my Curmudgeonly Boyfriend), the New York Times had a regular column, written by chef Pierre Franey, called the 60-Minute Gourmet. We were living in New Haven, Connecticut, at the time while I finished my last year of graduate school, and snagged the recipes out of the paper whenever we could. Later,  the recipes were collected into two cookbooks, which we purchased at about the time we moved into our first house in 1985.
We still have those same cookbooks today, although they’re slightly worse for wear (see picture!). They contain some our our favorite recipes, ones we still make over thirty years later. (Of course, when I say we, I mean CH, since even sixty minutes is too long for me to waste…er, spend…on cooking.) 
If you’ve read many of my books, you know that I frequently feature a scene where one character cooks for another, and when that happens, the recipes are often from one of these books. In fact, one recipe, Trout Grenobloise, has appeared twice—once in The Artist’s Touch and again in Demon on the Down-Low—although the second time, the dish was served in a restaurant rather than prepared in a character’s kitchen.
In Howling on Hold, Chase makes breakfast for Tanner while they’re guests in the cabin belonging to Ted Farnsworth (the bear shifter from Single White Incubus). But that’s not their first meal in the cabin—Ted offers them fish stew when they first arrive, and in my mind, the soup is Pierre Franey’s Soupe de Poisson.
I like to think Ted’s copy of 60-Minute Gourmet is just as well-worn—and well-loved—as ours is.
(BTW, a year ago, I ordered replacement copies for both books, but CH still uses the copies that are falling apart.)

Soupe de Poisson
from Pierre Franey’s 60-Minute Gourmet

3 Tbs olive oil 
¼ cup finely chopped onion 
1 tsp finely chopped garlic 
½ cup chopped green pepper 
½ cup chopped leeks, optional
½ cup finely chopped carrots 
1 hot red pepper, crumbled 
1 bay leaf 
 2 tsp fresh thyme sprigs or ½ tsp dried thyme 
1 cup dry white wine 
1 cup chopped fresh or canned tomatoes 
½ lb potatoes 
1 cup water 
1-¼ lb white-fleshed, non-oily fish such as cod, cut into large chunks 
½ pint bay scallops 
1 cup heavy cream (okay with milk) 
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley 
Salt and freshly ground pepper 

  1. Heat oil in a kettle and add onion, garlic, green pepper, leeks, and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are wilted. 
  2. Add the crumbled red pepper, bay leaf, thyme, wine, and tomatoes. Bring to boil. 
  3. Peel and dice potatoes. Drop into cold water briefly. Drain. Add potatoes to soup. 
  4. Cover closely and cook about 15 minutes. 
  5. Add water. Uncover and cook 5-10 minutes, until potatoes are tender. 
  6. Add the fish and scallops and simmer 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook or fish will fall apart. Add cream and bring just to the boil. The soup must be piping hot. 
  7. Gently stir in the parsley and add salt and pepper to taste.

Pierre Franey’s original recipe calls for serving the soup with croutons. I like oyster crackers with mine. CH (whose heritage is Arabic) likes to add a splash of arak (an anise-flavored liquor) to his.

About the Myth-matched universe:

Wait . . . Is that . . . No, it couldn’t be. Could it? A fae at the florist? A demon at the deli? A werewolf at the Y?
Humans will never know. They can’t know, or the lives of every supernatural creature on this world—or under it—would be at risk.
So the supes of every nation, culture, and pantheon joined together in uneasy alliance, vowing to keep their society secret in order to survive among humans.

But when you spend every moment hiding your true nature, how can you ever find true love?
Find out more here.

About the author:

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.:


To celebrate this release, one lucky person will win a $25 gift card to Riptide and their pick of an ebook from E.J.'s backlist. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 17, 2020. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. For more chances to enter, follow the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Promotional post. Materials provided by the publisher.


  1. Love these books!
    jlshannon74 at

  2. It is always nice to see familiar faces from the other series. Good luck with the new book!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you're happy to see the gang!

  3. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I'll have to give it a try. There's nothing wrong with using well loved items even if it's falling apart. I think tape or thread works wonders, lol.
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

    1. CH is a very firm believer in duct tape--and he may need to break it out for these cookbooks soon!

  4. Thank you so much for hosting me! And thanks to everyone who stopped by--I hope you enjoy the soup!


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