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.
Guest Post with Author EJ Russell...
From the time my twin sons learned to talk until their first years in grade school, they struggled with a couple of different speech difficulties. When they were in first grade, the school did an assessment and recommended speech therapy for them. They both had the sibilant S lisp, and in addition, L-Y replacement. (Yes, not only do they look alike, but they talked alike too.)
My brother had the same issue, and my sons’ speech therapist told me that specific kinds of speech disorders are actually hereditary, so the predisposition was present in their genes, poor guys.
This resulted in some very interesting conversations when the boys were four or five, such as when DS B told someone to “Get a yife.” Or when, in an argument with someone (about the availability of cake, as I recall), he stomped his foot and barked, “Read my yips!”
They managed to surmount the L-Y hurdle (as did my brother), but they weren’t particularly compliant with their speech homework, so they’ve both still got residual S sibilance. Both them have first names that end with S (although DS B has adopted a nickname that ends with K instead). Poor DS A has both a first and middle name ending in S—obvious poor planning on our part as parents.
Because of my experience with my sons, I gave Riley Morrel, my folklorist hero in Stumptown Spirits, mild rhotacism—the inability or difficulty in pronouncing the R sound. People familiar with Bugs Bunny cartoons sometimes refer to this as the “Elmer Fudd” syndrome, since that character had a similar speech disorder. Most of the time, Riley consciously tries to avoids words containing the letter R. He’s had years of speech therapy, but in times of stress (especially stress involving Logan!), his control lapses and he reverts to old speech patterns.
I have slight residual R-W trouble myself (which can be inconvenient, considering my last name begins with R). When my sons were in fifth grade, they were friends with another set of twins, whose names were Wyatt and Riley (disclaimer: I didn’t choose my character’s name because of him!). I was never able to say those boys’ names in one sentence without thinking about it really hard.
Luckily, typing “Riley Morrel” is much easier than saying it—which is great for me, but not so much for my Stumptown hero. **Sigh** Poor Riley, the hapless victim of nefarious planning on the part of his creator.
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!