Howling on Hold by E.J. Russell

Today we are celebrating the release of HOWLING on HOLD by EJ Russell!  We have a GIVEAWAY along with a REVIEW and a GUEST POST where EJ talks about *Bookstore Nostalgia*!! 

Welcome to the blog …..


In Howling on Hold, new adult werewolves (aka, weres in the 18 to 21 age range) embark on their three-year Howling to learn how to navigate the human world outside their pack’s home compound. Their hapless RA is in charge of taking them on various “field trips” so they can practice assimilating.

One of the trips the guys in Howling Residence Seven (aka, the Doghouse) take in the book is to an iconic Portland destination: Powell’s City of Books. Powell’s is an independent bookstore with several locations, but the City of Books is the main downtown store, and it’s huge. Multiple floors, many rooms, one long staircase just going up and another even longer going down.

No, wait, that’s something else entirely.

But anyway, when I was thinking about places for the guys to go, I knew I had to send them to a bookstore, because I have a deep and abiding love for bookstores born out of my deep and abiding love for books. Of course I’d need to share it with my fictional characters!

When I was a pre-teen, one of the first enclosed malls opened up not too far from where we lived in Southern California (yes, malls were a new thing back then, although they had to be careful not to place them in any dinosaur’s migratory path…). South Coast Plaza had several things that fascinated me: a carousel, a very strange fountain—and Pickwick Books. At that time, Pickwick was an independent store with two locations—one in Hollywood and the other there at South Coast Plaza. My father used to spend long evenings browsing the shelves and he often took me with him. He bought me my first hardcover non-Nancy Drew book there one evening—A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle. (I still have that book, although its cover hasn’t weathered the years very well.)

About ten years later, I got a job at that same Pickwick Books right after it was acquired by B. Dalton. I worked there for four years, as we gradually segued from answering the phones “B. Dalton/Pickwick” to just “B. Dalton.” Of course, about ten years after that, B. Dalton disappeared into Barnes & Noble, which is having its own difficulties holding on to its bricks and mortar stores these days in the face of online shopping convenience.

But oh—how sad that kids nowadays might miss out on the adventure of wandering through the aisles and happening on a book that sparks their excitement enough to ease it reverently from its place on the shelf and approach their parent, as I did, with a hesitant, “Please?”

Powell’s City of Books is a place where that magic can still happen.

Do you have a favorite bookstore memory? I’d love to hear about your experience!


Howling on Hold

by E.J. Russell

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Publication Date: January 13, 2020

Genre: Paranormal / MM Romance


About Howling on Hold

Sometimes it’s harder to teach a young dog new tricks.

That’s why werewolves embark on a Howling: a three-year rite of passage in which they’re sent to a group residence to wrestle with their wolfy instincts and assimilate into the Wider World. But Tanner Araya’s Howling is almost over, and he could be called back to his remote pack at any moment. His twenty-first birthday might be his last chance to act on his strongest instinct and finally kiss Chase Denney.

Chase is RA at the Howling residence affectionately dubbed “the Doghouse,” and he takes his job seriously. So seriously that when he realized he was developing feelings for a resident, he forced himself to keep Tanner at a distance. But now that Tanner’s twenty-one, he’s not Chase’s charge any longer. They could be friends or—if Chase is lucky—something more. At least until they both return to their home packs for good, as tradition demands.

It would take a miracle for them to get together—especially when the other Doghouse werewolves insist on “helping.”


Warning: Many Frisbees are harmed in this story, forgiveness is not always easier than permission, and the five-second rule does not apply.

Now available from Riptide Publishing!
And these retailers:


Howling on Hold by E.J. Russell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tanner, a werewolf, has spent his last three years in what amounts to finishing school for young weres. They learn to get by in the human world without revealing themselves to humans. His twenty-first birthday means he will returning to his pack soon. He is in love with Chase the RA, (basically mother, father, and deportment coach) to to a group of (almost) out of control weres. When he finally gets the courage to make his feelings known, he is shot down. Starting an adventure he doesn’t really want to be on.

I love that this book put a different spin on werewolf lore. This was a very sweet story about young, unsure, “boys”, learning to survive a world that is not their friend. It was a little slow in places but not enough to really impact the story. The romance was not necessarily the heart of the book. The lessons they learned were hilarious in places. Jordan deserves a book all his own, as a secondary character he pretty much steals every scene he’s in. So many great personalities in this story. I enjoyed it.

I received an arc of this book from Netgalley.

View all my reviews


About the Mythmatched Universe

Wait . . . Is that . . . No, it couldn’t be. Could it? A fae at the florist? A demon at the deli? A werewolf at the Y?

Humans will never know. They can’t know, or the lives of every supernatural creature on this world—or under it—would be at risk.

So the supes of every nation, culture, and pantheon joined together in uneasy alliance, vowing to keep their society secret in order to survive among humans.

But when you spend every moment hiding your true nature, how can you ever find true love?

Check out the Mythmatched universe today!


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.:



To celebrate this release, one lucky person will win a $25 gift card to Riptide and their pick of an ebook from E.J.’s backlist. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 17, 2020. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. For more chances to enter, follow the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!



One Thought to “Howling on Hold by E.J. Russell”

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me! <3

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