CJane Elliott on Writing, HEA, and her latest release, The Wild and Precious Collection (author interview)

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The Wild and Precious Collection by CJane Elliott
Dreamspinner Press
Cover art by Angsty G

Publication Date: February 2, 2018

Buy links:   Dreamspinner Press | Amazon 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host CJane Elliott here today on tour with her  Wild and Precious Collection!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with CJane Elliott

  • How much of yourself goes into a character? 

It varies. I’d say my New Adult novels had a lot of me in some of the characters. They’re set at the university I attended and I used some of my experiences – parents getting divorced, being hit on by a professor, as well as the general tone of that particular university (hard-partying, traditional) – to inform the plots.

  • Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

I always liked contemporary stories, which is probably why I’ve never strayed far from contemporary as a genre.

  • Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

I have found it hard to write certain stories, such as Aidan’s Journey which deals with abuse and depression. It took a long time to write, continues to be the longest of my books, and I was never happier to get to the happy ending.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I prefer HEA to HFN. That’s what romance is all about! After I put my characters through hell or at least profound stupidity about what’s keeping them from love, I want them to be able to savor their hard-won happy ending!

  • How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

My publisher (Dreamspinner Press) has an Art Department. When the book is contracted, they send me a questionnaire about the story, the characters, and cover style preferences. Once the artist has come up with a first draft cover, we go back and forth until I’m happy with it.

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

Wild and Precious, the first novella in the Wild and Precious Collection, has always been one of my favorite stories. I love the characters, the Washington, D.C. area setting, the changing of the seasons, the way the MC Brent has to go after what he really wants. I absolutely have a huge crush on Graham, Brent’s glamorous but kind-hearted boss. And I love Cody so much he got to be in all three of the Wild and Precious novellas.

THE WILD AND PRECIOUS COLLECTION

A Wild and Precious Anthology

If you knew you had one wild and precious life, would you jump in and live it fully?

This band of lively characters isn’t afraid to take a chance on themselves or their dreams. Creativity runs through their veins—they’re writers, poets, singers, guitarists, and even beautiful drag queens. Some are young and just beginning to find themselves. Others have lived through tragedies. Each one discovers that living a wild and precious life means opening up to love and taking a risk to find their happy ending.

Wild and Precious Series – read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words reviews~ links to the titles.  We highly recommend the series!

Wild and Precious

There You Are

Sand-Man’s Family

About 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.

CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards.

E-mail: cjaneelliott@gmail.com

Website: http://www.cjaneelliott.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CJaneElliott

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cjane.elliott

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/CJane-Elliott/e/B00LPIJDM2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/authors/cjane-elliott-124

A MelanieM Review: There You Are (Wild and Precious #2) by CJane Elliott

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

There You AreBisexual 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.

“And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” –  Buckaroo Banzai, (and possibly Confucius)

A story whose author has one of my favorite quotes worked into her story’s tapestry has already won me over. Of course it doesn’t hurt that I thought highly of this story’s precursor too.  That would be Wild and Precious where we first met  Cody Bellstrom in Washington, DC, where things didn’t quite work out for him.  Now, he’s looking for a new start and he thinks he’s found it on the opposite coast…Portland to be exact.

In Wild and Precious, it was Mary Oliver’s poem,  ‘The Summer Day’, that wound through that story like a ribbon pulling it all together. In There You Are, its this quote that becomes not just the narrative device that moves through the story but a revelatory element for Cody as well at the end.  Its this special literary touch that really works for me in these two stories that helps elevate them as well.

This is also a story of multiple relationships and of letting go, that painful fact of life we’ve all dealt with.  Phineas must deal with his grief over his loss of Allen (something he hasn’t done), there is the blossoming new relationship with Cody which can’t move forward just yet, a new (fatherly) relationship with with his nephew Sandy and he must learn enough, become alive enough to bring back ‘Phanny Hill’, who has her own fierce inner voice here.  And if that ‘s not enough there is Cody, who has his own issues with the past that he has never looked at and will need to if he isn’t going to start running again and lose what he has always wanted.

I thought CJane Elliot did a remarkable job in getting the family dynamics right, the harsh as well as the tender.  I loved the confusion and support that flowed from Phineas, when the call came that would shake up his life as well as the wonderfully descriptive train ride that Cody and Sandy took west to Portland.

If I had anything I wish I could change, it would be to expand some sections of the story.  This is a huge tale and yet the author crammed it into 101 pages.  The section where Cody talked to the actor?  We needed more of a revelation.  So did the subsequent events.  Still, this is such a wonderful story, that it quite stands on its own.  You don’t need to read the first book to understand Cody and his history.  It serves only as a nice addendum to this story and lovely way to meet the strong lesbian couple who shows up here as Cody’s continued support and sounding board.

Looking for a story with a huge  heart and depth?  This book has enough for one double the length.  There You Are will intelligent, warm hearted and very well written. I highly recommend it.

Cover Artist: AngstyG.  I love the cover.  That one model especially works for Cody.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 122 pages
Published December 23rd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634767039 (ISBN13: 9781634767033)
Edition Language English

A Wild Heart Gets A Chance at Love with CJane Elliott’s ‘There You Are’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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ThereYouAreFS

There You Are (Wild and Precious #2) by CJane Elliott
Release Date: December 23, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

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, 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.

  • Tell us something no one else knows about your characters.

Phineas sucked his thumb until he was five. Cody doesn’t mind Phineas’s oral fixation.

Cody started his music career with clarinet lessons at age six because his father was a jazz drummer who loved classic jazz music and wanted Cody to be the next Benny Goodman. Cody quit clarinet after his dad left them.

  • Have you ever written something that made you cry?

Many times! I tend toward writing angst so there’s a vein of melancholy running through most of my writing, even though my characters get to their happy ending. I don’t want to make it too easy on them, though!

  • Have you ever co-written with someone before?

No. It appeals to me from the standpoint of having someone else be involved in the writing. But that’s also why I’m leery of it, because what if we proved incompatible? What I’d really like to do is team up with some fellow writers and do an anthology of some kind.

  • What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

It’s different things at different times. These last few months the most difficult part has been continuing to write at all while working almost fulltime, preparing for the holidays, and preparing for this book release. Usually the most difficult part is starting something new, although I’ve been using outlines and other tools to create plot and characters ahead of time and that makes it easier.

  • Name your four most important food groups.

Pasta, chocolate, red wine, and coffee.

Thank you, CJane, that was perfect. Now more  about There You Are (Wild and Precious #2) by CJane Elliott

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Blurb

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
Series should be read in order to best appreciate this book
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt:

“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.”

“Will do.”

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.

WildAndPrecious_postcard_front_DSP

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.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon

Buy the book:

Dreamspinner |  ARe |  Amazon |  Apple |  Kobo |  Barne&Noble |  Google Play

 

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:

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Tour Dates & Stops:

23-Dec

Book Lovers 4Ever, Louise Lyons, Joyfully Jay, The Hat Party

30-Dec

Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Love Bytes

6-Jan

Unquietly Me, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, A.M. Leibowitz

13-Jan

Havan Fellows, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Divine Magazine, Jessie G. Books

20-Jan

Happily Ever Chapter, Bonkers About Books, My Fiction Nook, Prism Book Alliance

27-Jan

The Novel Approach, Alpha Book Club, Bayou Book Junkie

3-Feb

Molly Lolly, MM Good Book Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

10-Feb

BFD Book Blog, TTC Books and More, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Up All Night, Read All Day

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Any book from CJane’s backlist.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize   provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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