Please help us welcome author E.J. Russell to TNA today on the tour for her latest release, Cutie and the Beast, book one in the Fae Out of Water series. She’s here to talk about some special ladies in the story, and there’s also a fantastic giveaway, so be sure to check out those details below.
In the first scene of Cutie and the Beast, David mentions his six honorary aunts, his Aunt Cassie’s closest friends. These are my extremely brief character notes for the women (and I have to admit that I spent an inordinate amount of time picking out names for them and searching for images online to “cast” them).
Elinor: Jeweler—she made David’s earring. She’s also a metalworker. Precise.
Peggy: Baker/confectioner/herbalist—she makes David’s soap and shampoo. Also special candies. Flighty and jolly. Sister Mary Patrick. (Random Sister Act reference here.)
Brigid: Glassblower—she made the candy dish for David that he takes to work. Careful. Doesn’t talk much (uses her breath for other things).
Lorraine: Weaver—she made the set of coasters that David takes to work. Methodical and organized. She keeps the other women on schedule and doesn’t let them go off on tangents. Tangled in her web.
Nola: Woodcarver—she made Cassie’s cane. Forthright.
Regan: Potter—she made David’s coffee cup. Absentminded when she’s in the throes or her muse. A peacemaker.
As it turns out, only Peggy has much on-page time, but here’s a partial scene, cut before the final draft, that originally followed David’s first day at work:
The next morning, David’s burn was virtually non-existent, thanks to Aunt Cassie’s miraculous salve. Really, if she marketed that stuff, she’d be rich.
David swallowed against a lump in his throat the size of his heart. But she still wouldn’t be well.
By the time he’d showered, shaved, and dressed, all six of the “girls” had arrived. Five of them were gathered around Aunt Cassie’s chair in the sun room, passing around slices of one of Peggy’s amazing raspberry cream coffee cakes.
David intercepted Cassie’s slice. “None for you, little missy. You know you’re not allowed.”
“But, Davey,” Peggy said, accepting the purloined plate in her plump hands, “I made it without dairy.” He dipped his chin and raised a skeptical eyebrow at her. “Well, not much anyway.”
“Relax, David.” Nola, woodcarver extraordinaire, sat in the far corner where her current project wouldn’t contaminate the breakfast table, one of Lorraine’s lap rugs spread over her knees to catch the shavings. “You know we’ll take care of her. Regan’s in the kitchen mixing up one of your aunt’s foul smoothies.”
“They’re not foul,” Cassie said mildly. “They’re perfectly lovely, if you’d give them a chance.”
Nola held up the chunk of wood in her hand, squinting at it with one eye. “I’ll drink them when I must, and not before. Does this look like a bear to you?”
“No, dear.” David detoured around the table to pat Nola on the shoulder. “It looks like a tree stump.”
“That’s what I thought,” she grumbled. “Last time I buy stock from a—”
“Nola.” Cassie’s voice was sharp, with the echo of her old verve. “Weren’t you asking about Davey’s new job.”
David retrieved Cassie’s coffee cake and took a huge bite. If he was about to endure the third degree from his aunt’s craft circle, he needed sustenance. “Just a job.” He managed not to spew crumbs over his suddenly attentive audience.
“Regan,” Nola bellowed. “Get in here. David’s about to spill the beans.”
About the Book
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.
About the Fae Out of Water Series
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.
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.
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 Cutie and the Beast tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!