Thank you, Kathy, for inviting me to stop by today as part of the Nudging Fate blog tour! 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.
In this excerpt, Andy gets thrown under the bus by his best friend. 🙂
With one last self-satisfied smirk, Johan swaggered back into the hallway. “Maybe you should try a little of that elixir too. You pathetic aitchers may not need it, but far better to be vomiting on your shoes than admit you’re incapable of… of….” Johan’s eyes widened and his face turned as green as Brooke’s.
“Neptune’s balls,” Brooke muttered. “He’s going to—”
And he did. All over his own boots. His pants. His shirt. And a large swath of the marble tiles.
Brooke wrinkled her nose at the stench. “Lucky he missed the carpet.”
“Luck had nothing to do with it,” Andy muttered. A little emergency nudge from him and the fate of the carpet—not a person—was to remain pristine forever.
Johan’s chest heaved again. He grabbed a vase off the hall table and upended it, adding lilies, roses, and water to the mess on the tiles—although it stopped an inch from the carpet’s edge of course. Holding the vase in front of him, he bolted down the hall, retching all the way.
Andy sighed. “The poor vases are certainly getting a workout tonight. Forrest may never forgive me.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well—” An ominous clanking approached from the corridor. Andy shared a panic-stricken look with Brooke. “Is that—”
“Yes. Talus.” She gulped. “He’s kinda scary.”
“Argh!” Andy fisted his hands in his hair. “He’s here to escort the candidate to the prince, and we don’t have a freaking candidate to spare.”
Brooke turned to him, a light in her silver eyes that never boded well. “I’ve got an idea. If we—”
Before she could finish, Talus, the legendary Iron Knight, clanked into view.
Andy blinked. If he hadn’t known Talus was made of metal, he could swear the faint sheen to his skin and his rather angular features were the marks of any one of the supernatural races with native body shields. Astraea, goddess of justice, had certainly known what she was doing when she’d fashioned him all those centuries ago.
“Greetings.” Talus placed his fist on his chest with a faint thunk and bowed.
“Um… hi.” Wow. Way to be articulate. But Talus was a legend.
Talus glanced at the mess on the floor. Andy instinctively reached for his earpiece to call for cleanup, but Brooke caught his wrist and smiled brightly.
“I’m so sorry for the mess, Sir Talus. I’ve called for someone to clear it away immediately.”
“It is I who must apologize to you, Lady Brooke. When I heard that miscreant boast of his deed, I visited punishment upon him, as is my duty.”
Andy shared a sidelong glance with Brooke. “You mean you made him toss his cookies?”
Talus’s forehead wrinkled, making a sound like crumpled tinfoil. “I did not perceive him flinging any foodstuffs. I merely visited the same malady on him that he had wished upon you.”
“That was….” Andy shared a wide-eyed glance with Brooke. “Very… um… chivalrous of you. But maybe a little extreme?”
“In the days of Arthur, when I quested with Sir Artegall, I would have beheaded him.”
Okay, now that would have been extreme. But without Johan, they truly had zero candidates on deck. Andy cleared his throat, ready to take responsibility and whatever retribution Talus decided was warranted for breaking the Enchanted Occasions contract.
He was half norn, after all. He was used to taking the blame.
Before he could get a word out, though, Brooke gripped his biceps and squeezed. Hard.
“Sir Talus, may I present the first candidate for Prince Reyner’s hand—Anders Skuldsson.”
Andy’s mouth dropped open, but he was unable to force anything out other than, “Unnggh?”
She angled herself, so her back was toward Talus. “Stop that,” she whispered. “You look like a codfish.”
He snapped his mouth shut because seriously? Speech was pretty much beyond him anyway.
“Please convey Enchanted Occasions’ apologies to His Highness for Mr. Skuldsson’s attire—unfortunately, his luggage was destroyed in a freak… uh… salamander conflagration.”
“Ah,” Talus said. “Most unfortunate indeed.”
“Yes,” Andy said with a fulminating glance at his soon-to-be-erstwhile assistant. “Wasn’t it?”
By pretending to smooth Andy’s hair, Brooke palmed his earpiece. “You needn’t worry… uh…. Sir Anders. We’ll have replacement garments for you shortly.”
Talus gestured down the hallway. “The prince awaits, Sir Anders.”
“Andy, please. Just Andy.”
“Very well. Allow me to escort you.” Talus bowed in a creak of metal. “Lady Brooke, your servant.”
Andy grabbed Brooke’s elbow. “You and I need to speak. Immediately.”
“I’ll be at your service, of course, Sir Anders, after your dinner with His Highness. Please enjoy your meal. Chef has planned something truly spectacular for you.” She pulled out of his grasp and disappeared into the antechamber just as a team of brownies in resort housekeeping uniforms appeared. By the time Andy followed Talus down the hall, the tiles were sparkling again, as if no disaster had occurred.
He should put them on retainer, because dinner with the prince, Mr. Mercurial? It was bound to be an epic catastrophe, and somebody would need to clear away the aftermath.
Oh, stop with the drama. He straightened his shoulders and lengthened his stride. I’m a senior Enchanted Occasions event coordinator, the personal choice of the Faerie Queen. I’ll face this challenge—and either return with my shield… or on it.
Title: Nudging Fate by E.J. Russell
Enchanted Occasions Series Book One
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Imprint: Dreamspun Beyond
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Gay, Romance
Length: 224 pages/Word Count: 54,015
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.
Add to Goodreads.
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press * Amazon * iTunes * Google Play * !ndigo * Angus & Robertsons * Mondadori
E.J. Russell—certified geek, mother of three, recovering actor—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 (as one does). She’s recently abandoned data wrangling, however, and spends her days wrestling words.
E.J. is married to Curmudgeonly Husband, a man who cares even less about sports than she does. Luckily, C.H. 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.
Sign up for E.J.’s newsletter at ejrussell.com/newsletter or find her online at ejrussell.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/E.J.Russell.author, on Twitter at twitter.com/ej_russell.
Author Links: Website * Newsletter * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Amazon * BookBub
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. Don’t forget to leave your contact info so Ms. Russell can contact you if you are the lucky winner!!
16 Responses to Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: Nudging Fate by E.J. Russell
I’m intrigued with the blurb, plus it’s a start of a new series! So adding this to my tbr queueing. 🙂
puspitorinid AT yahoo DOT com
congrats on the new release
Thank you, Lee!
I enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to reading the book.
sstrode at scrtc dot com
So happy you enjoyed it, Sherry!
This sounds awesome. brichardson0056(at)yahoo(dot)com
Already got my copy!
jlshannon74 at gmail.com
Yay! Thanks, Jennifer! I hope you enjoy it!
Congrats on your new book release! Thank you for the excerpt =)
humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com
Thank you, Kathy, for hosting me today! And thanks to everyone who stopped by for a little taste of Nudging Fate!
Ah yes, guys always seem to like making their buddies squirm!
But all in a good cause. 🙂
Congrats, and thanks for the post. This sounds like a great start for the series. – Purple Reader,
TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com