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ANNOUNCEMENT: The Druid Next Door, by E.J. Russell

The Druid Next Door

QSFer E.J. Russell has a new MM fantasy/paranormal book out:

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 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.


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A jar of pickles.

A fecking jar of fecking pickles, gods damn it to all the hells.

Mal Kendrick stood in the middle of his kitchen, the victorious pickle jar jammed in the crook of his right elbow, his thrice-blasted useless right hand flapping in the air. Foil a coup to topple the Queen from her throne and this is my reward?

Sod it, he was a bloody legend on both sides of the Faerie threshold: the never-defeated Enforcer of the Seelie Court, the designated muscle for every supe council from vampire to dragon shifter, the undisputed lord of Outer World bar hookups, who’d never failed to pull the hottest man in the place for his shag-du-jour.

Yet he was helpless against a jar of fecking pickles.

“It’s not fair.”

“Talking to yourself is a sign of mental instability, Mal.” His brother-in-law swept into the kitchen, a grocery bag in one arm and a cardboard box tucked under the other.

At least David hadn’t brought his infernal physical therapy machine this time.

“Don’t you ever knock?” Mal set the pickles on the counter next to the bloody energy-efficient refrigerator.

“Why bother? You never answer.”

“I could have been banging some guy over the counter for all you know,” Mal grumbled, relieving David of the grocery bag with his left hand.

“In that case, I’d have discreetly withdrawn and done a happy dance all the way down the sidewalk.”

“Spare the neighbors that sight—they hate me enough already.”

David pouted, which was far more adorable than should be allowed. “Alun loves my dancing. He told me so just last night.”

“He’s your husband. He has to say shite like that. Besides, maybe he needed a good laugh.” He peered into the bag. Beer. Thank the Goddess. He was running dangerously low. “The sight of you dancing would be enough for the covenant committee to fine me for violation of the eyesore ban. They might ask me to vacate the premises.” He stopped, one six-pack of microbrews in his hand. “Although that might be a good thing. Go ahead, boyo. Dance away.”

“I don’t know why you don’t like this place.” David set the box on the fecking recycled glass countertop. “We thought you’d like it because you’ve got the whole wetlands preserve practically in your backyard.”

Mal shrugged. “It tries too hard. Solar panels. Geothermal energy. Drought-resistant ground coverings. Feh. Besides, I never asked you to buy me a fragging house.”

David’s gray-blue eyes turned serious and so kind that Mal wanted to punch the refrigerator in its energy-efficient gut. “If you hadn’t stopped Rodric’s sword strike, Alun would be dead. I’d buy you fifty houses, a hundred, the whole freaking subdivision, and it still wouldn’t be payment enough. Besides,” he flipped open the box, “I’m the one with the dragon treasure. I can afford it, and we’re family now, so you can just shut up and deal.”

Although David’s chin lifted with the stubborn pride that kept Mal’s perfect big brother totally dick-whipped, he still looked like an apprentice brownie who’d spent hours on a feast for his master, only to have the bastard throw the beautifully prepared meal on the floor.

Ah, shite. I can be such a bloody arse sometimes. Most times, actually, but he used to be able to cover it up with something resembling charm. Seems he’d lost that ability along with his hand, his job, and his place in Faerie.

He pulled one bottle out of the six-pack and pried the cap off with the opener Alun had mounted on the underside of the counter. Shite, he wouldn’t have been able to open his own damn beer without help from his brother. “Yes. Sure, Dafydd bach. It’s great.”

David smiled crookedly and turned away to poke about in the box, but not before Mal caught the hurt his lake-storm eyes. “You know, I’m still not used to your face without the scruff.”

Mal rubbed his perfectly smooth chin. None of the highborn fae sported facial hair, although when he’d still commanded his fae powers, he’d manufactured a little magical stubble to make the club boys swoon. “What can I say? No connection to the One Tree—no glamourie. No glamourie—no scruff.”

“Oh. Right. Well, um, I brought you some things.”

“You brought me beer, so you’ve already qualified for sainthood.”

“You don’t believe in saints.”

“Just because the fae don’t have any doesn’t mean I can’t adapt to my new home.” His permanent home. Away from Faerie. Away from the Seelie Court and everything he’d ever known. Away from the only work that gave him any satisfaction. He chugged half his beer. “Not like I have much choice.”

Author Bio

E.J. Russell—certified geek, mother of three, recovering actor—lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

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