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. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-druid-next-door
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.
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.:
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!
A jar of pickles.
A fecking jar of fecking pickles, gods damn it to all the hells.
Mal Kendrick stood in the middle of his kitchen, the victorious pickle jar jammed in the crook of his right elbow, his thrice-blasted useless right hand flapping in the air. Foil a coup to topple the Queen from her throne and this is my reward?
Sod it, he was a bloody legend on both sides of the Faerie threshold: the never-defeated Enforcer of the Seelie Court, the designated muscle for every supe council from vampire to dragon shifter, the undisputed lord of Outer World bar hookups, who’d never failed to pull the hottest man in the place for his shag-du-jour.
Yet he was helpless against a jar of fecking pickles.
“It’s not fair.”
“Talking to yourself is a sign of mental instability, Mal.” His brother-in-law swept into the kitchen, a grocery bag in one arm and a cardboard box tucked under the other.
At least David hadn’t brought his infernal physical therapy machine this time.
“Don’t you ever knock?” Mal set the pickles on the counter next to the bloody energy-efficient refrigerator.
“Why bother? You never answer.”
“I could have been banging some guy over the counter for all you know,” Mal grumbled, relieving David of the grocery bag with his left hand.
“In that case, I’d have discreetly withdrawn and done a happy dance all the way down the sidewalk.”
“Spare the neighbors that sight—they hate me enough already.”
David pouted, which was far more adorable than should be allowed. “Alun loves my dancing. He told me so just last night.”
“He’s your husband. He has to say shite like that. Besides, maybe he needed a good laugh.” He peered into the bag. Beer. Thank the Goddess. He was running dangerously low. “The sight of you dancing would be enough for the covenant committee to fine me for violation of the eyesore ban. They might ask me to vacate the premises.” He stopped, one six-pack of microbrews in his hand. “Although that might be a good thing. Go ahead, boyo. Dance away.”
“I don’t know why you don’t like this place.” David set the box on the fecking recycled glass countertop. “We thought you’d like it because you’ve got the whole wetlands preserve practically in your backyard.”
Mal shrugged. “It tries too hard. Solar panels. Geothermal energy. Drought-resistant ground coverings. Feh. Besides, I never asked you to buy me a fragging house.”
David’s gray-blue eyes turned serious and so kind that Mal wanted to punch the refrigerator in its energy-efficient gut. “If you hadn’t stopped Rodric’s sword strike, Alun would be dead. I’d buy you fifty houses, a hundred, the whole freaking subdivision, and it still wouldn’t be payment enough. Besides,” he flipped open the box, “I’m the one with the dragon treasure. I can afford it, and we’re family now, so you can just shut up and deal.”
Although David’s chin lifted with the stubborn pride that kept Mal’s perfect big brother totally dick-whipped, he still looked like an apprentice brownie who’d spent hours on a feast for his master, only to have the bastard throw the beautifully prepared meal on the floor.
Ah, shite. I can be such a bloody arse sometimes. Most times, actually, but he used to be able to cover it up with something resembling charm. Seems he’d lost that ability along with his hand, his job, and his place in Faerie.
He pulled one bottle out of the six-pack and pried the cap off with the opener Alun had mounted on the underside of the counter. Shite, he wouldn’t have been able to open his own damn beer without help from his brother. “Yes. Sure, Dafydd bach. It’s great.”
David smiled crookedly and turned away to poke about in the box, but not before Mal caught the hurt his lake-storm eyes. “You know, I’m still not used to your face without the scruff.”
Mal rubbed his perfectly smooth chin. None of the highborn fae sported facial hair, although when he’d still commanded his fae powers, he’d manufactured a little magical stubble to make the club boys swoon. “What can I say? No connection to the One Tree—no glamourie. No glamourie—no scruff.”
“Oh. Right. Well, um, I brought you some things.”
“You brought me beer, so you’ve already qualified for sainthood.”
“You don’t believe in saints.”
“Just because the fae don’t have any doesn’t mean I can’t adapt to my new home.” His permanent home. Away from Faerie. Away from the Seelie Court and everything he’d ever known. Away from the only work that gave him any satisfaction. He chugged half his beer. “Not like I have much choice.”
“Mal, you can’t lose hope. Alun says there’s always a way to reverse a curse, that the end is always contained in the beginning.” He took Mal’s unresponsive right hand. “That night, the Queen said—”
“I have to make whole what I cost her. Not a chance.” Mal pulled away and strode to the French doors that opened onto his patio—paved with recycled concrete, for shite’s sake—and stared at the greensward that sloped to the edge of the wetlands. “Even if I could put that bastard Rodric’s hand back on his arm, I wouldn’t. That piece of shite deserved what he got and more.”
David’s footsteps whispered on the cork floor. “Believe me, no one is more on board with that than I am. I’m the one he planned to sacrifice, remember? You didn’t only save Alun that night. You saved me. You saved the Queen. You saved every single Seelie fae from suffering under Rodric’s rule. Trust me—I don’t blame you. But there has to be a way to lift the curse. We just have to find out how.”
“Can you . . .” Mal swallowed around a sudden lump in his throat. “Isn’t there anything you can do?”
He immediately wished he could take back the words. David had recently discovered he was achubydd, the last known member of a meta-magical race who could heal with a touch, whose essence had the power to reverse catastrophic harm or effect extraordinary physical change. But the bigger the change, the higher the toll on the achubydd. Until now, Mal had resisted begging for help because—well, for one thing, he never begged. Why the hells should a jar of fecking pickles push him over the edge?