Join Prism Book Alliance® as CJane Elliott goes Outside the Margins today.
This month I thought I’d share about my Wild and Precious Series. The stories, which are contemporary novellas, feature a band of lively characters taking a chance on themselves and their dreams. Creativity runs through their veins—they’re writers, poets, singers, guitarists, and even beautiful drag queens. Beyond their creativity is their discovery that living a wild and precious life means opening themselves to love. They risk their fears to get to their happy ending—and that is the most precious thing of all.
Wild and Precious is a story about taking chances. In Wild and Precious, Brent—a magazine writer who wants to become a poet—decides to answer a male seeking male ad, after giving up on finding happiness with a woman. He meets Cody, a bisexual musician, and their relationship propels Brent into a whole new world where he discovers the truth about his sexuality. But wait—there’s also Brent’s sexy boss Graham, the editor of an arts magazine, who is affecting Brent in more ways than one.
The title Wild and Precious comes from a line in the Mary Oliver poem of the same name: Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Brent confronts that he can either live life hiding who he really is or step out and go for what (and who) he really wants.
There You Are continues Cody’s story. I love Cody—he is such a chill and supportive guy. But he runs into his past fears when he meets and falls in love with Phineas after moving to Portland to join a funk band. Phinney is a lovely man—ten years older, a widower, and a drag queen. He’s also a tad neurotic, but Cody calms him down. Together they make a great pair. Cody helps Phineas parent his 18-year-old nephew Sandy who has run away from his homophobic home to live with Uncle Phinney.
The title There You Are is from the movie Buckaroo Banzai which has the line: No matter where you go, there you are. Cody flees when things get uncomfortable, moving to different states under the guise of being a “free spirit.” He finally realizes he can never outrun himself or his demons, and his love for Phineas gives him the courage to face them and stay put in Portland with his little family of Phineas and Sandy.
Sand-Man’s Family tells Sandy’s story, going back to the events that caused him to run away, and then taking him on a trip home to see his family for the first time since he left eight months earlier. Cody and Phineas accompany him and continue to provide protection and support. The story recounts Sandy’s relationship with Dare Tyler, which is referred to in There You Are, before zeroing in on a new love interest, Jade Byrne. He’s the guy Sandy had his first same-sex experience with back in high school, and he’s a fearless and fabulous musical theater kid (and absolutely great for Sandy).
But mostly the story is about family. The title Sand-Man’s Family refers to both Sandy’s original family in Illinois with his homophobic and abusive parents, and the new family Sandy has formed in Portland with Phineas and Cody and their friends. The last line of the blurb could be the story’s tagline: A chance for Sandy to learn what it means to have a family that hurts and to choose a family that heals.
Sand-Man’s Family is available for pre-order now and will be released on May 4, 2016.
Title: Sand-Man’s Family
Author: CJane Elliott
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: 05/04/2016
Cover Artist: AngstyG
When Sandy Nixon’s conservative Catholic parents discover he’s had sex before marriage, they are furious. But when he blurts out he’s bisexual, they go ballistic. After they threaten him with conversion therapy, Sandy does what many queer kids long to do—leaves his homophobic parents in the dust. He moves in with his Uncle Phineas and Phineas’s partner Cody in Portland, Oregon, and is finally safe to be himself. Sandy misses his siblings, though, and decides to visit his former home in Rockford for Thanksgiving. On the train, he runs into Jade Byrne.
As the only out gay kid in their Catholic high school, Jade had stared down homophobes while being fabulous in the school musicals. He’s crushed on Sandy for years. But he’s made sure never to show it, even after they had a one-time hookup, because Sandy’s the good Catholic kid, the altar boy, and the apparently straight athlete—all the things Jade isn’t. Traveling back to Rockford together sees the start of a month of adventures, a blossoming attraction, and a chance for Sandy to learn what it means to have a family that hurts and to choose a family that heals.
Sandy lay on the big hotel bed, his head on Uncle Phinney’s shoulder while Connor rested on Phinney’s other shoulder. Jade snuggled in against Sandy’s back. Cody had declined the puppy pile in favor of providing soft soothing music on his guitar.
“I love you both so much.” Uncle Phinney patted them tenderly. “I’m so proud of my nephews.”
“Thanks, Uncle Phinney.” Connor’s voice sounded muffled, like he’d stuck his face into Phinney’s armpit or something.
Sandy soothed the emotions swirling inside by concentrating on the safety of Uncle Phinney’s sturdy shoulder and the soft touch of Jade’s arm around him. He didn’t want to think about his parents or his former home or his brother and sisters stuck there. He wanted to be here, warm and loved, with Cody playing softly in the background.
Cody paused. “We can cut our trip short, you know. We can come home with you if you want, Sand-Man.”
“No. I’m cool.”
“You sure?” Uncle Phinney’s frown was full of concern. “It’s really okay. Cody and I already talked about it.”
“I’ll be fine, Uncle Phinney. I’ll be where I want to be, in Portland. Blaine and Gemma are around if I need anyone.”
“And I’m only a few hours up the road,” Jade said softly into Sandy’s ear.
Sandy grabbed his hand and squeezed. “I know.” Then he peered over at Connor.
“Connor’s the one we need to worry about.”
“I’ll be fine. I’m sticking around till I graduate, then I’m out of there. I don’t want to leave the girls until I have to.”
“Call us. Anytime, day or night.” Uncle Phinney made an anxious sound. “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I’m worried for you.”
Jade stirred and raised up on one elbow. “Papa’s aware of the situation. I sent him the video.”
When everyone looked at him funny, he added, “He’s a cop, remember? He’ll keep an eye out. Connor, he said for you to call him if things get hinky.”
They all flopped back down, and Sandy relaxed completely. He found himself stroking Jade’s hand and wishing they had a room to themselves. As if reading his thoughts, Jade leaned up and nibbled his earlobe. Now Sandy really needed for them to get a room.
“Come to my house tonight?” Jade whispered.
“Um, Uncle Phinney?”
“Is it cool for me to go over to Jade’s? He’s gotta go to the airport tomorrow too, so I can get a ride to the shuttle with them. You guys could drop Connor off and be on your way.”
He saw Uncle Phinney smile and glance over at Cody, who smiled back. “Sure. As long as Connor is okay with his brother ditching him his last night here.”
“Whatever, man.” Connor yawned. “I’ll be here, cockblocking Cody and Uncle Phinney.”
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.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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