Author Name: CJane Elliott
Book Name: There You Are
Series: Wild and Precious
Series should be read in order to best appreciate this book
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27919852-there-you-are
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Release Date: December 23, 2015
Bisexual musician Cody Bellstrom is a free spirit, easygoing and unattached. On a cross-country trip, Cody befriends young Sandy Nixon and gets him safely to Portland and his uncle, Phineas MacDonald. Beautiful Phineas turns Cody’s life upside down, and Cody learns he's not as unattached as he aspires to be. With the hard-won knowledge of what lies underneath his need to be free, Cody wins a chance at real freedom and true love.
Ever since his longtime lover Allen died, Phineas MacDonald has lived a circumscribed life. He stopped performing as fierce drag queen Phanny Hill and works part-time in a bookstore. Phineas never expected to find love again. But when sexy and caring Cody Bellstrom turns up, Phineas feels his orderly life slipping out of his control. Cody brings him alive again, but now Phineas must find the courage to let go of his grief over Allen and give love a second chance.
Pages or Words: 33,000 words
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
“YOU SURE about this?” Bette’s pointed glance packed a world of meaning as she maneuvered the car through the DC traffic and Union Station came into view.
Cody shifted, touching the door handle to ready his escape. “Yes, I’m sure. Didn’t we go over this?” In excruciating detail, he added silently but didn’t dare say aloud. Not with the mood Bette was in.
“I’m giving you one more chance to come to your senses.” Bette pulled up outside the train station, frowning, and turned off the engine.
She looked so unhappy, Cody wanted to change his mind. I can’t, he thought.
Won’t, you mean, said the Bette in his head. He reached over and laid his hand on top of hers. “You’ll get along fine without me.”
“That’s not the point.” She nailed him with a baleful scowl. “We don’t want to get along without you. Dang you, Cody Bellstrom, you have no idea who you are to us.” At his puzzled expression, she turned away and stared stonily through the windshield.
“Well… I guess this is it.” Cody waited, but she didn’t respond. “I love you, girl, you know that, right? You and Aurora.” He meant it. He, Bette, and Aurora had been friends since they were college freshmen ten and a half years ago. Cody sometimes found it hard to believe that he’d known them since before Bette and Aurora had become a couple. It seemed like they’d been together forever.
A barely perceptible nod.
“Come on, Bette, don’t be mad. I’ll be back. I swear.”
“Sure you will.” She sighed and turned a softer face toward him. “Goddammit, you better. We love you. If you gotta do this, of course we can’t stop you. All we want is for you to be happy.”
A car honked behind them, and a uniformed officer motioned them to get moving.
“Shoot,” Bette muttered. “All right, babe. Get outta here.”
Cody leaned over and planted a kiss on her cheek. “I’ll text. And call. And Skype.”
“Okay. Send us a postcard from every stop, and take a picture of yourself in Powell’s Books when you get to Portland.”
Cody opened the door and unfurled himself from the passenger seat, then hauled out his luggage, such as it was. He traveled light; always had. A knapsack, one rolling suitcase, and his guitar, and he was good to go.
He stood on the curb and waved as Bette pulled away, then strode into the station, his spirits lifting, while Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again” played on a loop in his mind.
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Also in the series:
Wild and Precious
Aspiring writer Brent Granger has good friends and a great job at an arts magazine in DC, but he’s batting zero in the arena of love. Brent begins to get a clue why things aren’t working with women from his strong attraction to his gorgeous, gay, and already attached boss, Graham Stoneford. When he sees a personal ad from a man that quotes his favorite poet, Brent decides to do something wild and answer.
Enter Cody Bellstrom, easygoing bisexual musician, who is happy to initiate Brent in the ways of gay sex. Brent now has a new problem: he realizes he’s gay and no one in his life knows it. Cody tires of hiding their relationship, but Brent finds it challenging to come out to family, friends, and especially to Graham. In the end, Brent must confront the truth of where – and with whom – his heart lies.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing CJane Elliott, author of There You Are.
Hi CJane, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hi there! Thank you for having me on the blog today to share about my new novella, There You Are, which is the second book in the Wild and Precious series. There You Are picks up the story of Cody Bellstrom where we left him in Wild and Precious. He moves to
to join a funk band and meets the man
who is to become the love of his life, Phineas MacDonald. But they both have
issues to work through before they can get to their happy ending. Portland, Oregon
By the way, a third story in the series, Sand-Man’s Family, will be released by Dreamspinner in the spring. It’s the story of Phineas’s nephew, Sandy Nixon—his coming out and running away from home, and what happens to him after the events of There You Are.
1) How do you develop your plots and characters?
My most productive way of developing plots is by discussing my ideas with other people – my beta readers, fellow writers, or friends and family. I remember getting one of my best ideas by talking to my son, who was then 19. There’s something about getting out of my own head and into communication with others that helps spur good ideas.
For characters, I use a few tools to build their back story. One is a sheet that asks stuff like fears, strengths, past relationships, where they grew up, etc. And I also do a process on their emotional landscape that I learned in a workshop.
2) Who doesn’t love a good hero? Tell us about your protagonist. Was there a real life inspiration behind them?
Cody Bellstrom was not based on anyone in particular in real life, but he’s a particular type – the easygoing free spirit who doesn’t want to be tied down. Cody’s an appealing guy, supportive and warm. But he only stays a few years in one place before he moves on. He doesn’t see the problem in this, until he falls deeply in love with Phineas MacDonald, and suddenly his need to keep moving (and not get tied down) is warring with his growing attachment to Phineas. Even worse for Cody, he discovers that where Phineas is concerned, Cody is anything but easygoing. He’s dismayed to find out that he has a jealous streak a mile wide lurking under that chill surface. But he’s in love, so now he has a problem. As Cody struggles to resolve these tensions, he finally has to confront the wisdom in the saying: No matter where you go, there you are.
3) What real-life inspirations do you use when world building?
One of my inspirations is the writer Anne Tyler. She has written so many brilliant novels about ordinary people living ordinary lives. But she has a way of drawing the reader in and making us care for her characters.
4) Did you learn anything from this book and what was it?
I learned that I enjoy writing more mature characters, although I still haven’t had an MC over 40. Most of my MCs have ranged in age from 18 to 30. But Phineas is the advanced old age of 38 and he’s gone through a lot, what with his first partner of 12 years dying of cancer. It made him interesting to write, because he didn’t have the same set of concerns as a 20 year old has.
5) It’s your last meal on earth. What do you choose?
Pasta. And then chocolate. With red wine. The three major food groups!
Meet the author:
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.
In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.
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Rafflecopter Prize: Any book from CJane’s backlist