Please join us in welcoming author E.J. Russell today, on the virtual blog tour for her latest release from Riptide Publishing, The Druid Next Door. She’s here to chat a bit about Druids, and there’s also a giveaway, so be sure to check out those details below.
The Druid Next Door is about…well…druids. Sort of. It’s more an adventure in which druidry is both a discovery and a disadvantage. The thing about druidry, though, is that the original druids didn’t leave any written records. A lot of what we know—or think we know—about druids from pre-Roman Britain is from accounts of—you guessed it—the Romans: Romans who had a vested interested in portraying the Celts as savages.
Of course, Roman society wasn’t exactly a party, with its incestuous relationships among the ruling family, political assassinations, and all-round wretched excess, but they prided themselves on stopping short of ritual human sacrifice (we won’t talk about the Coliseum and death pageants for the entertainment of the masses.)
The point is, the information we have about ancient druids is extremely suspect. Consequently, when I started my druid world-building for the Fae Out of Water series, I started with some reference books on modern Celtic shamanism and then…well…I made stuff up. Kind of like Julius Caesar did, only lighter on the blood and gore.
BTW, while there are active, practicing Druids today, I purposely didn’t pull from their tenets, because I didn’t want to presume or disrespect their beliefs. The druids-with-a-lower-case-d in the Fae Out of Water series get their (invented) lore and magic from my interpretation of the pre-Roman rituals—which, as I mentioned, nobody really knows about.
My druids are concerned with the earth. They prefer natural fibers, colors found in nature, and are happiest when connected to the objects and materials that haven’t been altered from their original state.
One of their most basic tenets, though, and one they share with the fae, is balance. While a druid might provide a potion to keep a curse at bay, for instance, as Mal’s unnamed druid source does for Alun in Cutie and the Beast, there’s a price to pay to equalize the benefit.
In other words, for the Fae Out of Water druids, there’s no free lunch. Or as Mal is fond of saying: “Druids. There’s always a fecking catch.”
About the Book
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.
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 Druid Next Door tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!