E.J. Russell on Stumptown Spirits ~ Guest Blog

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank E.J. Russell for stopping by today.


Title: Stumptown Spirits
Author: E.J. Russell
Publisher: Riptide
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Release Date: 05/16/2016


What price would you pay to rescue a friend from hell?

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.


There were three fourth grade classrooms at my elementary school, and while we spent most of the time with our assigned teacher, we were assigned to different groups for reading and math. In the reading teacher’s classroom, she kept a small library of books in a closet. The students could check out a book to read and report on (ah, the dreaded book reports! Can I confess I liked them? It’s when they wanted us to add artwork that I had issues.)

She had one book on Greek mythology. I remember the cover—it was sky blue and had a white Pegasus on the cover. I coveted that book. From the first week, I wanted to read it, but students were allowed up to the library closet in alphabetical order. Since my last name starts with R, I was in a very late group, and some other vile fourth-grader always snatched that book before I had my turn. It took weeks (possibly months) before I finally got my hands on it.

It was just as good as I’d hoped it would be.

I was captivated by the stories—I still remember the illustration of Daphne, being chased by Apollo, transforming into a laurel tree, her legs rooting in the ground, her arms covered in bark, her fingers sprouting leaves, but her terrified face still visible.

You know something, though? Even as a grade-schooler, and as fascinating as those Greek myths were, I was outraged by how freaking unfair the stories could be to the victims.

I mean, just because Apollo gets Eros’s toga in a twist, mocking the use of arrows for love not war, Eros sets up Apollo for a fall. Does Eros ever consider the consequences of his little prank to Daphne? No, he does not. He turns Apollo into a chip off Zeus’s serial-ravisher block (although since I was nine, the details of what that involved were murky). He even fixes the race, to give Apollo the advantage so he can prove the power of love darts.

Who gets punished—by her father, no less? The victim. I doubt Daphne, while sitting around with her fellow nymphs, ever once said, “Hey, guys. Know what I want to be when I grow up? A tree.”

Even when she transformed, she couldn’t escape Apollo. He moped around her trunk, plunking on his lyre, and used her leaves as his symbol. Did he get her permission? No, of course not.


And what about Persephone? Or Eurydice? Don’t get me started. Someone else makes or breaks the rules, and they paid the price. I actually gave some of these opinions to Riley, my Stumptown Spirits folklorist, because even this many years later, “mythtimization” still pisses me off.


Stumptown Spirits on Goodreads
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA


To celebrate the release of Stumptown Spirits, EJ is giving away $25 in Riptide credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 21, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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.

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12 thoughts on “E.J. Russell on Stumptown Spirits ~ Guest Blog

  1. I love Greek mythology as well, and I agree, it is unfair so many times. But those Gods were to human to care about victims…
    Congratulations on the new release, E.J. It sounds really good. I’ve added it to my TBR list

  2. I was exactly the same way about book reports – loved doing them but not drawing (still can’t draw at all). 🙂

    You are right on about the victims in mythology.


  3. It’s funny…I first read about Persephone when I was younger, but something didn’t ring true. It took me years to realize that she WANTED to eat some of those seeds…


  4. Thanks for the post. Yeah, I get what you mean, the Greek gods were totally asshats. Completely selfish in their pursuits.

  5. I absolutely agree – about the myths and about book reports, except when I had to present them to the class. I’ve always hated speaking in front of people! Thanks for the post! violet817(at)aol(dot)com

  6. Thank you for sharing. Greek myth weren’t really stories teachers went into when i was in school. I think they might have spent one or two class periods to talk about them but that was it. Kind of sad when you think about it.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

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