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
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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About Wild and Precious (Book 1)
As this book is a sequel, she thought it might be useful to provide some information about the first book. I’m adding that here if you can put it somewhere on the post.
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.
There You Are by CJane Elliott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As I started reading this book, I was drawn in by the emotions and backstory of both characters. I just knew it would be a 5 star read from the beginning. However, as the book progressed the pacing of the rest of the story didn’t match the beginning – it felt rushed and big chunks of story were missing. Even the angst near the end felt a little rushed. The story was still good, I just felt like it was on fast forward through half of it – it would have been one of my favorites of the year if the second half had been more developed. If you don’t mind the rushed pace, you will love this story. There are a few heavy issues to deal with – familial, loss of a partner, sexual identity and discovery.
Phineas is mourning the loss of his longtime partner and basically not living – he’s kind of stuck in the past. Providing a refuge for Sandy brings him back to the living. Phineas at first appears to be kind of an old man – too serious, a little bit of a homebody and somewhat emotional. He’s very sweet, good to his friends and awesome with Sandy. But when we meet his alter ego – Phanny Hill – we realize he can be fierce and unstoppable. He seems to need Cody’s calmness and easy going personality to cam and balance him.
Cody claims to be a bit of a free spirit – he never stays in one place for too long which is how he ends up in Portland. He’s had a bad run with relationships and is a bit afraid of commitment. He wears his heart on his sleeve a bit and rushes into relationships. He’s immediately drawn to both Cody and Sandy and is a good complement to that family.
I liked all of the characters and will definitely read the next book in the series should there be one.
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 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, Wild and Precious just released in audiobook, narrated by the fantastic K.C. Kelly. Here’s the link if you want to check it out: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7519
Q: Talk to us about your characters in this book. What makes them unique?
A: I love the two main characters in There You Are. Cody Bellstrom, who was a key character in Wild and Precious, is bisexual, a musician, and a chill guy who takes life as it comes. He doesn’t like to be tied down—to locations, jobs, or relationships. He’s warm and nurturing and loves to cook. Cody is pretty much a sweetheart, with one enormous blind spot that’s kept him from being able to commit to anyone.
Phineas MacDonald is a departure from my usual MCs, who tend to be in their late teens or twenties. He’s 38 years old and is mourning the death of his partner. Phineas is an introvert but also a drag queen named Phanny Hill who loves to come out and play. He’s sensitive and tends to be a worrier. He and Cody complement each other very well.
Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in getting your book from start to publish?
A: I’ve published a number of books now and I’m always surprised by how long and arduous the editing process can be. Maybe it’s like giving birth—women forget what labor is like, otherwise they’d never go through it a second time.
Q: Have you ever gone to a convention? If so, how was it? If not, do you think it’s something you’d like to do in the future?
A: Although I’ve been to the Gay Romance NW meet in Seattle twice and really enjoyed it, I’d never been to a big convention until I went to GRL in San Diego this past October. I stressed about swag and the book signings, but ended up having a great time.
Q: Would you like to be a full-time writer?
a: It would be nice but I think I operate best when there’s some structure to my life. I work as a social worker 32 hours a week and love my job, although it cuts into my writing time. But it’s good to be out in the world among people, not just in my imaginary worlds.
Q: Design the ultimate pizza.
A: A restaurant in my old hometown used to serve pasta on top of pizza shells. Linguine with white clam sauce pizza, anyone?
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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