ARC Review, Guest Blog & Giveaway – Clickbait by E.J. Russell

The cover was what initially attracted me to this book…but the words are what kept me intrigued!! ~ Rosalie, Guilty Pleasures 


Starting a Tradition

E.J. Russell

My Curmudgeonly Husband and I bought our first house together when he was still Curmudgeonly Boyfriend. We lived in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time (Richmond, to be precise), and both worked in theater. I was the business manager at Berkeley Repertory Theater and he was the technical director at the Eureka in San Francisco.

I remember how excited I was, driving home from work on Wednesday evening before our first Thanksgiving in the house. It wasn’t our first Thanksgiving together—in fact, it was our fourth. But not only was it our first in the new house, but it was the first one that we were spending alone.

Now I know for a lot of people, the holiday is all about sharing the day with as many friends and family as you can stuff into someone’s house. For most of my life, it had been that way for me too, and I’d usually enjoyed myself—as long as you don’t count the time my roommates (two men and one woman) and I prepared the meal for our families at our place, and after dinner my mother announced, “All the men can go in and watch TV while the women clean up.” I was not amused. But I digress…

As an introvert though, the idea of having nobody else around, nobody but ourselves to please for the entire day was simply thrilling. Then, the next morning as we were starting the preparations (I had already poured the pumpkin pie filling into the shell), I remembered how wonderful it had been, going out to a movie on our first Thanksgiving together in Washington, D.C. (which I talked about in another post on this tour). I said, “You know, Star Trek IV is playing at the the Hilltop. Let’s go see the first matinee.”

So I inverted a big metal bowl over the pie to keep the cat out of it, and off we went to the movie.

This started a tradition that we continued with our kids. Whenever we had no other guests (and the kids actually liked that as much as I did, although CH prefers the company), we’d do any necessary prep work in the morning—baking pies, mixing up the dough for the rolls, marinating the lamb, or whatever we’d chosen for the main course that year (we’re not turkey fans, although CH still has dreams of cooking a turducken someday). Then we’d head out to the first matinee.

Since many studios release their holiday blockbusters around Thanksgiving (and since one is usually suitable for families), we never had any trouble finding something suitable. Several of the Harry Potter movies were November releases. Toy Story and Toy Story 2. Monsters, Inc. The Incredibles (still one of my favorite movies).

Even though the kids are now grown and living across the country, I still chivvy CH out to a movie on Thanksgiving whenever possible. This year, it was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Next year, who knows? I depend on the studios to come up with something good!

clickbait-600x900About Clickbait

After the disastrous ending of his first serious relationship, Gideon Wallace cultivated a protective—but fabulously shiny—outer shell to shield himself from Heartbreak 2.0. Besides, romance is so not a priority for him right now. All his web design prospects have inexplicably evaporated, and to save his fledgling business, he’s been compelled to take a hands-on hardware project—as in, his hands on screwdrivers, soldering irons, and needle-nosed pliers. God. Failure could actually be an option.

Journeyman electrician Alex Henning is ready to leave Gideon twisting in the wind after their run-ins both on and off the construction site. Except, like a fool, he takes pity on the guy and offers to help. Never mind that between coping with his dad’s dementia and clocking all the overtime he can finagle, he has zero room in his life for more complications.

Apparently, an office build-out can lay the foundation for a new relationship. Who knew? But before Alex can trust Gideon with the truth about his fragile family, he has to believe that Gideon’s capable of caring about more than appearances. And Gideon must learn that when it comes to the heart, it’s content—not presentation—that matters.

ARC provided with no expectations

Rosalie-Belle-Avatar---BoxGideon Wallace is trying to make ends meet and survive. After a failed relationship and his business venture, he decides he might have to do something other than computer work to make money…like pick up a tool and make things. AS IF!!!??? Alex Henning goes above and beyond for his family. His father has dementia and doesn’t remember anyone or anything and he has had to step in and be the man in house. Needing help to survive, he works constantly in order just to help his family. At party, Alex spots Gideon, who is oblivious, and immediately is intrigued and wants to know more.

Of the two, I really fell in love with Alex and wanted what was best for him. He had a heart of gold and really seemed to go above and beyond for everyone. Gideon, however, sometimes I wanted to just slap him and wake him up. He was cocky and sassy, but I get that was how he was supposed to be portrayed. Both men are guarded for awhile in this story. Gideon has a rule about dating, 2 dates and done, but Alex finds a way to break that rule. Once they both realize that the inevitable is going to happen, and they are right for each other, the book really began to flow. Dual POV’s are my favorite, being you get to see how both characters feel and what is going on in their heads. I do wish they would have gotten past their hang ups sooner, but was certainly glad when it finally happened!


3.5 stars

Now available from Riptide Publishing.


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.

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To celebrate the release of Clickbait, one lucky winner will receive $25 in Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 10, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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9 thoughts on “ARC Review, Guest Blog & Giveaway – Clickbait by E.J. Russell

  1. It’s great to start a new tradition!! Thank you for the whole blog tour and the review here 🙂


  2. I am jealous that you lived in San Fran. It is my favorite city (grew up north of there). And I would prefer going to the movies to a house full of guests, too.


  3. This sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance!

    acamotherangel at yahoo dot com

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