- Book Title: Stumptown Spirits
- Book Series: A Legend Tripping Novel
- Author: EJ Russell
- Publisher: Riptide Publishing (May 14, 2016)
- Book Length: 270 pages
- Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Urban/Paranormal
It is our pleasure to welcome EJ Russell to GGR today. EJ brings an Author Guest Post, Excerpt and a Giveaway in Celebration of the release of Stumptown Spirits.
I adore “keyhole” stories. These aren’t exactly the same as “doorway” stories, such as the Narnia series, or Alice in Wonderland, where the characters step through a portal to another realm entirely. In keyhole tales, the fantastical world, the world of magic, coexists alongside ours—sometimes inside ours. If we can only discover how to look for it—which keyhole to peek through—we can become part of it, right here in our daily lives.
This passion was born when I was about eight year old, because the first fantasy I consciously remember reading on my own was a British keyhole story: Horace, by Elizabeth Urquhart. In this lovely book, a little girl, on the way to the greengrocer to buy mushrooms, encounters a baby dragon weeping on the side of a bridge. Adventures ensue, including my first exposure to the concept of “tea” as a meal and not an iced drink served in mass quantities during the summer.
To someone who was stuck in the middle of rural Illinois with nothing but a frail grandfather, a passive-aggressive grandmother, and her own imagination, this book was life-changing. I needed that promise of magic, the potential for something other.
When I picked up my first Diana Wynne Jones books, Charmed Life and Power of Three, at the library in the mid-seventies, I didn’t at first realize I’d found the first of a treasure trove of keyhole stories. Charmed Life starts out like so:
Cat Chant admired his elder sister Gwendolen. She was a witch.
Sets the stage for a fantasy world, right? But then, after I was totally immersed in Ms. Jones’s alternate England, the perspective skewed ever so slightly and intersected with our own mundane world.
A keyhole! Yes!
Power of Three had the same effect—a fully realized fantasy world that’s revealed to be right under our noses—and once again, I got to experience the same thrill as a twenty-three-year-old as I had when I was eight.
This may be the reason that my paranormal stories always have that chink in the armor of reality. If you know where to look, the words to say, the conditions to match, you can turn the key and the chance for adventure—for good or ill—will tumble into your lap.
For Logan Conner, the answer is almost anything. Guilt-ridden over trapping his college roommate in a ghost war rooted in Portland’s pioneer past, Logan has spent years searching for a solution. Then his new boyfriend, folklorist Riley Morrel, inadvertently gives him the key. Determined to pay his debt—and keep Riley safe—Logan abandons Riley and returns to Portland, prepared to give up his freedom and his future to make things right.
Crushed by Logan’s betrayal, Riley drops out of school and takes a job on a lackluster paranormal investigation show. When the crew arrives in Portland to film an episode about a local legend of feuding ghosts, he stumbles across Logan working at a local bar, and learns the truth about Logan’s plan.
Their destinies once more intertwined, the two men attempt to reforge their relationship while dodging a narcissistic TV personality, a craven ex-ghost, and a curmudgeonly bar owner with a hidden agenda. But Logan’s date with destiny is looming, and his life might not be the only one at stake
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.
Go to the Author Page for EJ Russell for Book Listing and Social Media links
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