Today I am so pleased to welcome E.J. Russell to Joyfully Jay. E.J. has come to talk to us about her latest release, Vampire with Benefits (Supernatural Selection #2). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


A Vampire’s World – Part 1

When I was first brainstorming about a series to follow up the first Mythmatched trilogy (Fae Out of Water: Cutie and the Beast, The Druid Next Door, and Bad Boy’s Bard), I started with a comment my editor made to me. She said that we had a springboard for expanding the story universe beyond the fae, since two of the characters who’d gotten the most positive reader response were two of Alun’s clients from Cutie: Benjy, the little dragon shifter prince who hadn’t learned to hoard, and Kristof, the vampire who’d developed a blood aversion.

So I decided that the new series would explore the shifter and vampire worlds a bit more. I needed to come up with the basic underpinnings of the vampire world. I started with these:

  • The cradle of vampire origins is in Eastern Europe, specifically Transylvania (Vlad the Impaler and Dracula FTW!)
  • Eastern European vampires were very feudal and territorial—they stuck to (and defended) their turf.
  • Because they were so long-lived, they amassed great wealth and property (another reason they liked to stick to their turf—they had a lot of it!)
  • World War I fucked that all to hell.

The reality of the war as it was occurring would have been a problem for the vampire aristocracy to begin with. Romania opposed and then later was occupied by the Central Powers, with battles fought in Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains. The vampires, with their highly unmovable assets—castles, anyone?—would have been at a considerable disadvantage.

But it was after the war that things got really tricky, with borders redrawn and entire countries distributed essentially as spoils of war. As if that weren’t bad enough, the Spanish Flu epidemic and the subsequent typhus outbreak prompted the League of Nations to get up in the business of global health and disease prevention. There were mass examinations, de-lousing and bathing, quarantines. The vampires’ little empires would have been invaded by the worst sort of humans: reformers.

So in the Mythmatched story universe, the vampires, led by Kristof, brokered a deal with the fae to evacuate the vampires to America through Faerie. Unfortunately, vampires couldn’t pass the Faerie threshold without druid magic, and neither the fae nor the druids were willing to help without exacting a price.

In order for the vampires to survive, they had to agree to two rules:

  • A strict no-kill policy
  • No new vampires

Not all chose to comply, and perished in the aftermath of the war and the onset of the next one. So when Vampire With Benefits begins, the entire world vampire population (which isn’t large) is located in North America—and their numbers are dwindling.

Stay tuned to the blog tour for part 2 of A Vampire’s World at My Fiction Nook!


A match between a vampire and shifter could be deadly—but this broken beaver doesn’t give a dam.

Silent film actor Casimir Moreau had imagined that life as a vampire would be freewheeling and glamorous. Instead, he’s plunged into a restrictive society whose rules he runs afoul of at every turn. To “rehabilitate” him, the vampire council orders him mated to an incubus with impeccable breeding who’ll mold Cas into the upstanding vampire he ought to be. Or else.

As an inactive beaver shifter, construction engineer Rusty Johnson has fought—and overcome—bias and disrespect his entire life. But when his longtime boyfriend leaves him for political reasons, Rusty is ready to call it a day. Next stop? Supernatural Selection and his guaranteed perfect mate, a bear shifter living far away from Rusty’s disapproving clan.

But then a spell snafu at Supernatural Selection robs both men of their intended husbands. Rusty can’t face returning to his clan, and Cas needs somebody on his arm to keep the council happy, so they agree to pretend to be married. Nobody needs to know their relationship is fake—especially since it’s starting to feel suspiciously like the real thing.


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.:


To celebrate the release of Vampire With Benefits one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card and an ecopy of The Druid Next Door, the second title in the Fae Out of Water series, also from the Mythmatched universe! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 27, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post