A warm welcome to author E.J Russell joining us today to talk about their new release “Clickbait”.
Check out E.J. fascinating Guestpost and don’t forget to enter the Riptide giveaway!
Welcome E.J. 🙂
My birthday is six days before Christmas—not an auspicious time if you want anyone to take notice amidst the holiday frenzy. In my early childhood—silly me—I did. Other kids had birthday parties in the school classroom, where all the kids would get a cupcake and one of those cardboard containers of vanilla ice cream. However, since my birthday always fell during the winter break, I never got that particular recognition. (My brother, whose birthday is in July, had a similar issue, I imagine—although in at least one of my grade school classes, there was a mass observation of all summer birthdays.)
On top of that, my mother had had an unpleasant childhood incident involving her own birthday, thanks to my rather strict and joyless grandmother, which put her off birthday parties altogether.
Consequently, the unfortunate harmonic convergence of holidays, the school calendar, my mother’s bad birthday experience, and my own shyness, made me pretend that I didn’t care about not having a party, or being told to “just open one of your Christmas presents.” I pretended so well that by the time I turned eighteen, I really believed it.
Of course that was the year my mother, my best friend, and my boyfriend decided to throw me a surprise birthday party.
Here’s a tip: throwing a surprise party for an introvert is never a good idea. By the end of the evening—which involved having to be the center of attention as I opened gifts at my boyfriend’s house, then enduring dessert at a local ice cream parlor famous for making a huge and noisy fuss about birthdays—I was in tears.
What made it worse was listening to my mother telling my boyfriend’s mother how “she wanted to do something special” for this birthday. So in addition to being overwhelmed by the whole experience, I also felt guilty for being overwhelmed, because my mother really thought she was giving me a long-overdue treat.
This was the beginning of a string of years where things happened on my birthday that I did not like. I decided the only way to avoid the notice of the vengeful cosmos was to pretend that the day did not exist, and thereby dodge the birthday bullet.
I’ve given this attitude to Gideon, the co-hero of Clickbait, about Thanksgiving, although since Gideon usually overreacts to pretty much everything, he’s taken the entire month of November in aversion (and refuses to hear the word “Thanksgiving” spoken at all). He’s even relocated his November 4th birthday to October 30th—Gideon actually loves his birthday and being the center of attention, so he doesn’t want it to get contaminated by proximity to the Holiday Which Must Not Be Named and his diameleagrisphobia (“fear of the day of the turkey”).
Of course, as an evil author who doesn’t want to make things too easy for her characters, all I can say is, “Good luck with your avoidance techniques, Gideon. You’ll need it.”
After the disastrous ending of his first serious relationship, Gideon Wallace cultivated a protective—but fabulously shiny—outer shell to shield himself from Heartbreak 2.0. Besides, romance is so not a priority for him right now. All his web design prospects have inexplicably evaporated, and to save his fledgling business, he’s been compelled to take a hands-on hardware project—as in, his hands on screwdrivers, soldering irons, and needle-nosed pliers. God. Failure could actually be an option.
Journeyman electrician Alex Henning is ready to leave Gideon twisting in the wind after their run-ins both on and off the construction site. Except, like a fool, he takes pity on the guy and offers to help. Never mind that between coping with his dad’s dementia and clocking all the overtime he can finagle, he has zero room in his life for more complications.
Apparently, an office build-out can lay the foundation for a new relationship. Who knew? But before Alex can trust Gideon with the truth about his fragile family, he has to believe that Gideon’s capable of caring about more than appearances. And Gideon must learn that when it comes to the heart, it’s content—not presentation—that matters.
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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.
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To celebrate the release of Clickbait, one lucky winner will receive $25 in Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 10, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!