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Author Name: CJane Elliott
Book Name: There You Are
Series: Wild and Precious
Series should be read in order to best appreciate this book
Release Date: December 23, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Pages or Words: 33,000 words
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27919852-there-you-are
Buy the 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.
“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.
Review by Janice Birnie
Finding the right man changes everything.
There You Are is the second book in the Wild and Precious series by CJane Elliot. It begins immediately after Wild and Precious finishes but can be read as a stand alone. I think you’d miss out by not reading the first, however, as it provides important insights into Cody’s character and his motivations at the beginning of this story.
Cody Bellstrom is a 28-year-old musician still trying to find his place in the world. After his recent breakup with gorgeous Brent Granger, Cody does what he does best; he runs. Taking a job with a band in Portland means escaping Washington and the memories it holds. It also means leaving his close friends behind and they aren’t happy to see their friend cut and run, again. It is symptomatic of Cody’s life that when he gets close to people he leaves. It will take a long journey, and the love of a good man, for him to finally realize his actions are shaped by a crucial event in his childhood, causing him to leave before those he loves most can leave him.
Phineas McDonald is struggling from a loss of his own. His friends despair of him ever being happy again. He has retired his fabulous drag persona, Phanny Hill, and is living a quiet life working in one of Portland’s most amazing bookstores. A phone call from his estranged, bigoted sister, Darcy, turns his life upside down. Phineas’ 18-year-old nephew, Sandy, is missing and may be headed his way to escape the stifling Christian family who has rejected him. As a young bisexual man, turning to his gay uncle for help is Sandy’s only option. When Sandy arrives at the train station with the delectable Cody in tow, Phineas begins to realize his life is about to change in more ways than one. Frightened by the responsibility he feels for Sandy, and the temptation Cody represents, Phineas fears he isn’t ready for all the changes raining down on him.
There You Are is a beautiful story about two damaged men hiding from life and the possibility of real happiness. When these men come together, they have a chance to complete each other in ways they couldn’t have imagined before they met. Whether Cody can stop running, and Phineas can learn to trust Cody with his fragile heart, remains to be seen. CJane Elliot has written MC’s that I fell in love with from the moment they were introduced. Her characters felt all too real and left me willing them to an HEA.
I highly recommend this heartwarming 5-star read.
Today we’re 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 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.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I start with an idea of the time period and setting. I almost always write contemporary and every m/m romance involves two guys who end up together. I ask myself who the two main characters are – how different or alike are they to each other? I have a chart that helps me come up with their backgrounds, their fears, their skills, etc. I also use a process that I learned in a workshop to come up with their emotional landscape, i.e., what are the personality traits they present to the world, what about themselves are they hiding, and what feelings/emotions are hidden from THEM, that the conflict in the story will drive to the surface? As far as the plot, I generally throw some ideas around with my beta readers, because plot is more difficult for me than characters.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
As you can tell from my answer above, my stories tend to be character-driven, which is why I don’t write action/suspense or mysteries. The characters and their inner journeys are what interest me – what’s in the way of love and how do they overcome it? I start with the characters and then come up with the plot. I do like to have the plot figured out before I start writing, although it often changes in the course of the first draft. And secondary characters sometimes emerge as I’m writing, with the plot already figured out.
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Sandy Nixon, the nephew of main character Phineas, has his own story arc going throughout There You Are. After he reaches Portland and moves in with Uncle Phinney, Sandy jumps into Portland life and soon meets a skater kid named Dare Tyler. We get glimpses of Sandy and Dare’s relationship throughout the story but by the end they’re no longer together. We also see Sandy struggling with his parents not accepting that he’s queer.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell us about?
The full story of Sandy Nixon will be told in the third book in the series, Sand-Man’s Family, which is due to come out by June of this year. I have finished the book and it is in the editing stage at Dreamspinner Press. A wonderful new character, Jade Byrne, is featured who will become Sandy’s love interest, plus many scenes of Sandy and his parents back in the hometown of Rockford. Sandy’s relationship with Dare Tyler is revisited and told through Sandy’s point of view, and Dare makes an appearance later on in the story with unforeseen consequences.
I’m also working on a book for Dreamspinner’s Dreamspun Desires line, which will feature a poor little rich boy, hidden identity, and a cruise-ship romance.
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
I don’t generally have the title figured out until the book is written. Then I take some element from the story or, as in Wild and Precious and There You Are, a quotation that is used in the story, and make the title from that. Sometimes it’s straightforward, such as Aidan’s Journey, my novel about Aidan Emery from Serpentine Walls. The title for Serpentine Walls itself came from the actual serpentine walls that are an architectural feature of the University of Virginia, the setting for all the books in the Serpentine series. And sometimes I hit on such a winner, I make myself smile, which was the case when I came up with Sex, Love, and Videogames for the third novel in the Serpentine series. It’s obviously a play on the movie title, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, but it also hits on the issues that both Jed and Charlie will deal with in the course of the novel.
Wild and Precious: Book One
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.
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:
E-mail: [email protected]
Rafflecopter Prize: Any book from CJane’s backlist
Tour Dates & Stops: