Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Virtual Tour: Bad Boy’s Bard by E.J. Russell (Guest Post + Giveaway)

About Bad Boy’s Bard

As far as rock star Gareth Kendrick, the last true bard in Faerie, is concerned, the only good Unseelie is . . . well . . . there’s no such thing. Two centuries ago, an Unseelie lord abducted Gareth’s human lover, Niall, and Gareth has neither forgotten nor forgiven.

Niall O’Tierney, half-human son of the Unseelie King, had never lost a wager until the day he swore to rid the Seelie court of its bard. That bet cost him everything: his freedom, his family—and his heart. When he’s suddenly face-to-face with Gareth at the ceremony to join the Seelie and Unseelie realms, Niall does the only thing inhumanly possible: he fakes amnesia. Not his finest hour, perhaps, but he never revealed his Unseelie heritage, and to tell the truth now would be to risk Gareth’s revulsion—far harder to bear than two hundred years of imprisonment.

Then a new threat to Gareth’s life arises, and he and Niall stage a mad escape into the Outer World, only to discover the fate of all fae resting on their shoulders. But before they can save the realm, they have to tackle something really tough: mending their own broken relationship.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/bad-boys-bard

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.


Faerie Geography

I started working on the first draft of Cutie and the Beast back in the summer of 2014. By the time I’d revised it and submitted to to Riptide two years later (with a lot happening in between, including writing the two Legend Tripping books), I’d also drafted The Druid Next Door and was halfway through plotting Bad Boy’s Bard. But before I did any of that, I needed to pound out some basic rules about what my version of Celtic Faerie was like. These are my initial notes.

  • Faerie is a magical construct—a meta-world—created by the elder gods when they decided that allowing magical and mundane beings to mingle freely on the same plane was a bad idea.
  • Two spheres (because the elder gods couldn’t agree on whether the nature of either the magical or mundane was inherently good or not):
    • Seelie
    • Unseelie
  • Because Faerie depends on the parameters of its original creation spell, it’s inflexible, with its basic laws baked into its existence. Even the ruling classes can’t change the foundation laws because to do so would cause the realm to disintegrate, along with its denizens.
  • Within the Faerie realm, the two spheres only overlap in certain common areas – for instance a circle of standing stones containing an altar that is a sacred ritual site for both Courts.

  • The two Courts largely ignore each other within Faerie, but can clash in the Outer World (the human realm), where they’re not as constrained by the laws governing Faerie. In the past, they often fought over desired humans or human possessions.
  • The Seelie Queen is Scottish. The Unseelie King is, at present, Irish.
  • The highest ranking Seelie courtiers are the Daoine Sidhe (also Irish).
  • Faerie is a class and race-based society. Fae from one species are restricted in their roles and status by their type.
  • The Seelie Queen instigated the unification of the six branches of Celtic fae when she realized that the population of all branches was diminishing at an alarming rate because of changes in the Outer World. By the time the Queen had forged the Unification pact with the Daoine Sidhe, the Cornish fae were decimated, the Manx all but extinct, and the Bretons so reclusive that no one had seen one for decades. The highest orders of the Welsh Tylwyth Teg, of which the Kendricks are the last, theoretically have the same rank and status as the Sidhe, but the Irish fae still consider them inferior.
  • Annwn, the Welsh otherworld, is no longer accessible because Arawn, its ruler, decamped (moved on to Abred, the next plane) leaving the Welsh fae with no other option than Faerie.

Obviously I played with this a little bit—particularly the mutability of Faerie under the right circumstances—as the plots for the three books evolved. Take a look at the dorky Venn diagram I drew showing the overlap of the Faerie spheres. Imagine them as actual three dimensional balls, like soap bubbles. The Convergence, which is the central event in Bad Boy’s Bard, is intended to merge them into a single large bubble without losing any real estate from either.

Piece of cake, right? Heh heh heh. Not so fast…

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.

Connect with E.J.:
Website: ejrussell.com


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 Bad Boy’s Bard tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


  1. The world-building looks awesome!


  2. Thanks for the venn diagram image and going into details about faeries and geography.
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

    1. Can you believe I actually paid enough attention in algebra class (oh so many years ago) to be able to draw that?

  3. Interesting background info.
    jlshannon74 at gmail.com

  4. Such an interesting post and so much work has gone into the books just WOW!

    shirleyann2400(at) gmail (dot) com

    1. That's one of the fun things about being a writer--making stuff up!

  5. enjoyed the post today
    jmarinich33 at aol dot com

  6. Thanks for the post about faerie geography!
    legacylandlisa at gmail dot com

  7. Thanks for sharing your notes, it is really interesting.

  8. Thanks so much for hosting me today! Thank you, intrepid blog tourists, for stopping by to share my flailing about Faerie!

  9. Enjoyed todays post. colby69@verizon.net

  10. Having just learned about this series, this post is a keeper. Thank you! peachescon(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. One of the best thing about following blog tour are these interesting posts on stuff not wholy put on the books. Thanks for sharing, EJ.
    puspitorinid AT yahoo DOT com

  12. Thanks for outlining your basic rules, and congrats, E.J. I always like reading the behind the scenes of scenes, in this case, the rules of the world you built. It makes for an interesting peak at the process. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  13. Wow, this is really helpful! Thanks for the post and the explanation, I've always had trouble understanding the differences about faeries.