Join Prism Book Alliance® as CJane Elliott goes Outside the Margins today.
I participated in Portland Pride this past weekend, one week after the horrific massacre of 49 LGBTQ people and straight allies at Pulse in Orlando. I have no real words for the sickness that I felt about this world when I woke up that Sunday and started reading the news on my Twitter.
I am writing this a few hours after the Republicans in the U.S. Congress once again voted down four separate gun control measures just one week and one day after the killing of these 49 innocent people who were gathered in a safe space to be together, celebrate, and dance.
Here is a link that shows what U.S. Congresspersons accept bribe money from the National Rifle Association. Every one of them voted against gun control. If you are from the U.S., please use the power of your votes in November to kick those below that are running for re-election out of Congress.
And let’s not rest until we have sane gun control laws in this country.
Back to Pride. I attended my first Pride event as a straight ally in 1983 in Washington, D.C. and have gone to many over the years. The one this weekend was particularly meaningful, not only because of it being a fearless expression of community after such horrible events, but because it was my first being there as an author of LGBTQ books. I participated with the Gay Romance Authors Northwest group and had the time of my life.
My excerpt this month is a scene from Sex, Love, and Videogames. That was the book that got the most interest and comments from people at Pride, mostly because of the catchy title. Twenty-somethings kept laughing and saying “That’s me!” A mom bought one for her gay teenage son because “he’s always wanting to see movies and read books about people like him.”
And Sex, Love, and Videogames happens to have scenes set at D.C. Pride and at a gay club where the characters go to dance after the parade. Jed gets his very first kiss and everyone is happy and joyful.
THEY WON’T DESTROY OUR JOY. KEEP ON DANCING.
Title: Sex, Love, and Videogames
Author: CJane Elliott
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: 08/21/2015
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Genre: New Adult
Shy guy Jed Carter has always felt invisible next to his charismatic older brother, Kent. Kent’s master plan for Jed is simple: University of Virginia, business, sports, and ladies’ man. None of it is Jed, except for playing on the rugby team, which he joins in defiance of soccer-loving Kent. Jed comes out in his sophomore year and starts seeing Pete, an attractive junior, who uses him for sex and videogames. Jed wants more—in life and in love—and starts making his own plans. First on the list: getting to know Charlie, the handsome guy working at the local videogame arcade.
Charlie Ambrose has always felt like an oddball, and not just for his tendency to stutter. Being gay sets him apart from his African-American community, and as a “townie,” he doesn’t fit in with the college crowd. Charlie’s inspiration is his cousin, Morocco, who’s transgender and doesn’t give a fig about fitting in. Art is Charlie’s passion, and when a local videogame designer discovers him, Charlie’s living a dream. The only thing he’s missing is love. But the last person Charlie expects to find it with is a cute, white U.Va. rugby player named Jed.
At the parade’s end, Myesha linked her arm in Jed’s. “That was fantastic. I feel like dancing.”
“When do you not feel like dancing?”
“Come on. I heard Dazzle is having a special Pride Day thing.”
Myesha made a face at him. “Only the best gay dance club in town. It’s right around the corner from the 9:30 Club.”
After a hike, they got to the club and showed their driver’s licenses to the doorman, who marked their hands with a black X for no alcohol. Inside they found a full-on celebration. The DJ was playing disco classics, and a mass of people danced to the pounding beat.
Myesha plunged into the thick of the crowd, pulling Jed with her, and in no time, they were cutting loose, getting their dance on. A couple of guys, one short and one tall, joined them and the four of them danced and laughed in a group for a few songs. Then the shorter of the two guys began dancing more with Jed than with the group. Myesha grinned and moved away to boogie with the taller guy, while Jed and his partner grooved and swayed.
The guy was dark-eyed and looked Latino. He had on a tank top that showcased his muscular arms and tattoos. He also had a killer smile and some great moves, which Jed promptly stole. Every so often the guy would jump up and down like he was on a pogo stick. Jed laughed and went along with the jumping while the guy sang, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” to Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel.”
When the song changed to Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” and the music slowed down, the guy stopped jumping and put his hands on Jed’s shoulders. Jed felt himself being pulled in and had just grasped the guy’s hard biceps when the guy kissed him. Jed froze, feeling his eyes get big and his face get hot. He wasn’t expecting his first kiss (not his first kiss ever—that was from Becky Hodges when they played Spin the Bottle in eighth grade—but his first kiss from a guy) to be with a random stranger in the middle of a crowded dance floor.
The music sped up, and the guy broke away and laughed. “You’re cute!”
“Uh, so are you.”
“Ha-ha, thanks, adorable! Oh, I’m Luis.” Luis jumped up and down again.
“Jed.” Jed jumped with him, his lips still tingling where Luis had kissed him, feeling like he had landed in a rainbow-colored fairy tale.
The fairy tale came to an abrupt end soon after when Luis’s companion pulled on his arm. “Hey, come on! We’ve gotta meet Marty and them.”
“Aw, shit. Okay. Bye, Jed.” Luis gave him another quick peck and danced off through the crowd with his friend.
As soon as they left, Myesha pounced. “Jed! My God, girl! He kissed you!” Jed stood in a daze, his fingers to his lips, and gave a slow nod. “Whoo, baby! Why’d he have to leave? Go after him!”
“Naw.” Jed started dancing again, seized with an unreasonable joy. “C’mon, let’s dance!”
About CJane Elliott
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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