GayRomLit 2017 Blog Tour Welcomes Author CJane Elliott
I’m looking forward to being with old friends and making new ones at GayRomLit2017. I’ve been at GRL twice now, once as a Supporting Author in San Diego and once as a Featured Author in Kansas City. Of the two, I enjoyed last year’s GRL in Kansas City the best. I wasn’t suffering from “ohmigod what do I do?” nerves and I had one of my best friends, Kathleen, with me. Kathleen is a funny gal. She maintains she has no talents, usually after she tells me what a talented writer I am, and I just laugh. Because Kathleen’s talent is for making friends wherever she goes (in person and on Facebook). I know she made friends with several of you GRL types last year. Here she is with fellow Dreamspinner author Ben Brock.
I also enjoyed the Author Lounges last year. I met so many readers and bloggers, and loved being able to talk with you. And of course, because I’m quite a ham, I loved the Author Reading I got to do. Too bad they didn’t give me more time! (I see Amy DiMartino right now, pointing at her watch, and me being “What, already? I was just getting started!”)
And I can’t forget the dancing! I live for the GRL dance nights, especially when I can rope K-Lee Klein into hitting the dance floor with me. Here we are as naughty witches last year, probably catching our breath before dancing for another hour or two.
This year, I have a new novella called In Over Our Heads, to be published by Dreamspinner Press in mid-October. It’s a second-chance story that takes place after the events in my cruise ship story, All the Way to Shore, and features Anthony Vallen from that book. I set it in Key West, which is one of the most romantic places I’ve ever been. Here’s a picture from my recent vacation there, taken on a walk. There are vistas like this around every corner in Key West.
I’m planning to read from the story during my Author Spotlight at GRL. Until then, here’s an excerpt. Walter is the guy who broke Anthony’s heart in high school and who just happens to own the dive shop Anthony and his friends are using in Key West:
Miles led us onto the boat and murmured to me as we were getting settled, “You guys are getting the special treatment. Walter doesn’t usually sail the cruise excursions any more. I’m kind of surprised he’s doing it.”
“Miles.” Walter frowned at him, jerking his head back in a come here gesture.
“Oops. Duty calls.” Miles gave me a wink and went to help Walter with the jibs or sails or lines or whatever.
I tried to relax and get into vacation mode. What had I told Jonathan mere hours before? I wasn’t going to give Walter Elkins one more thought! It was hard to keep that vow, though, with Walter right there, his hunky body on display, muscles bunching then lengthening as he knelt and reached and got things ready with his usual fierce concentration. Though I knew fuck all about sailing, I was willing to bet that Walter’s preparations were being done rigorously, completely, and perfectly. Even Miles had grown serious and attentive, watching Walter, responding to his terse directions like it was a military operation.
Meanwhile, I became aware of something happening in my body. It was the oddest thing. I’m usually a bundle of nerves and on the manic end of the energy scale. But as I watched Walter, my muscles began to loosen, like they were letting down their guard. A memory darted in of Walter at the end of high school chemistry class, restoring everything to order in his methodical way, me chattering nonstop as I watched him, and all being right with the world. It had felt safe being around Walter. Like he would take care of everything—slowly and patiently. I could be my fluttery self—a butterfly flitting all over—because I knew Walter would be there when I needed to land.
Suddenly Walter lifted his eyes and gazed right at me. To my horror, I found myself smiling fondly at him, still in the glow of that long-ago time. I was probably making stupid goo-goo eyes too. He went red and dropped something on the deck with a clang.
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.
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.