There You Are
by CJane Elliott
Series: Wild and Precious (book #2)
Series should be read in order to best appreciate this book
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.
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 Portland, Oregon 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.
By the way, those who have read my novella, Mercury In Retrograde, will recognize a cameo appearance of one of the main characters, Alex Harrison, toward the end of the book. It’s a short but key scene which proves to be a turning point for Cody.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I want to continue to gain new readers who discover and enjoy my writing. I hope the words and ideas will continue to flow for years to come. And I’d like to continue to grow and learn as a writer so I can find ways to convey stories that are not only pleasing to me, but give pleasure to as many people as possible.
How many published books do you have? Can you tell us something about them?
I have three novels that comprise the Serpentine Series: Serpentine Walls, Aidan’s Journey, and Sex, Love, and Videogames. These are New Adult stories set in part at the University of Virginia. They have some recurring characters, but can be read as stand-alones.
Along with the two novellas in the Wild and Precious series, I have three other stand-alone novellas: Electricity Sparks Inside of Me, Mercury in Retrograde, and Stay Right Here. All of my novellas are contemporary and most feature artists, musicians, or actors.
I have two short stories: Stepping Through, which is my one foray into urban fantasy, and Home Is Where The Christmas Trees Are, which is included in this year’s Dreamspinner Sleigh Ride Holiday Anthology.
Your main character wants to cook something special for his love interest. What does he make?
Cody is a great cook and he enjoys making dinners for Phineas. One of the meals he makes in There You Are is grilled salmon and fresh grilled veggies. Phineas has never been interested in cooking. So if Phineas decided to cook for Cody, he’d probably panic and call his friends Blaine and Gemma to help him out.
What are you working on at the moment? What’s it about?
The third story in the Wild and Precious series, Sand-Man’s Family, due out next May. Here’s the unofficial blurb:
Sandy Nixon is a hero to his high school friends, having done what many of them wish they had the guts to do: run away from home and start a new life, away from his restrictive and homophobic parents. He’s made a new home in Portland, Oregon, with his Uncle Phineas and Phineas’s partner Cody, has gotten involved with a skater kid named Dare, and is beginning to own being bisexual. But he needs to come home to see his family and try to make amends to his siblings for leaving them in the lurch.
Jade Byrne was the only out gay kid in the Catholic high school in Rockford. He had a brief fling with Sandy Nixon before Sandy disappeared, leaving no trace. Jade had crushed on Sandy for years, making sure never to show it. Sandy was the good Catholic kid, the altar boy, the athlete – all the things Jade wasn’t. Jade has other things to worry about, like staring down homophobes and being fabulous in the school musicals. He’s thrilled to leave Rockford behind for a performing arts college in Seattle, planning only to go back for holidays.
It’s Thanksgiving week and when Sandy boards a train to Rockford, along with his uncle and Cody, he runs into Jade Byrne. They travel back to Rockford together and their long-term attraction blossoms once more. This is the start of a month of adventures and the beginning of new love. In the course of the story, Sandy will confront what it means to have a family that hurts and to choose a family that heals.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
No. I work almost fulltime and some days I don’t write at all, so a daily goal would just depress me! Most of my writing is done on my three-day weekends. I work better with a weekly goal and have used that effectively in the past. These last several months with the holidays, family occasions, and a new release, I haven’t been setting a word goal at all. I think I’ll get back to that in 2016.
“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.
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.
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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.
Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27919852-there-you-are
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
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