Today I am so pleased to welcome CJane Elliott to Joyfully Jay. CJane is here as part of the GRL Blog Tour to talk to us about her release, There You Are. She has also brought along a backlist book to give away. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thank you to Joyfully Jay for hosting me today for the GRL Blog Tour. I can’t believe it’s less than a month to GRL! I’m looking forward to seeing you all in Kansas City.
As I write this, I’m on the Amtrak train to Seattle, en route to the Gay Romance Northwest Meet. This is Bisexual Awareness Week and I’ll be participating in a panel about bisexuality in LGBTQ romance. Called “Erased No More,” the panel will be talking about the general issues faced by bisexuals and those that crop up in the LGBTQ romance genre.
The common myths about bisexuals are many:
- They’re greedy and unable to commit
- They’re really gay/lesbian but haven’t been willing to admit it
- There is no such thing as a bisexual. They’re unicorns!
- They are more one thing than the other (i.e. more straight than gay, or vice versa)
And the list goes on and on.
In m/m romance especially, we have characters who start off “straight” (i.e. they’ve only ever been in m/f relationships) and end up “gay” (the infamous “gay for you” trope). Meanwhile the word bisexual is never even mentioned.
My Wild and Precious series has bisexual MCs in all three books. Cody, who comes into each story, is bisexual and quite matter of fact about it. It’s no big deal. He was in love with and engaged to a woman and after that didn’t work out he becomes involved with ultimately ends up with a man. And he’s still bisexual.
I have an excerpt to share with you from There You Are, the second book in the Wild and Precious series. Sandy, the nephew of the man Cody falls in love with meets Cody on a train. Sandy is 18 and just coming to terms with his sexuality. Cody gives him some wise words.
“So why do your friends think you’re running away?”
Oy. This kid was too smart by half.
Giving Sandy an easy smile, Cody opened his mouth to make up some lie, then shut it, looking past him as he thought. The world beyond the train window was slipping toward evening. He had a sudden memory of Brent, his face gorgeous and animated during a twilight walk through Dupont Circle. Still watching the scene through the window, Cody said, “I’m a free spirit. I don’t like being tied down. Too long in one place and I start getting restless.”
“Also,” he added, impelled by their quiet moving cocoon to make confessions, “there was a guy.”
“Ohhh.” Sandy lowered his voice. “You’re gay?”
“Bi.” He was about to add more, but Sandy’s face lit up. “Is that good?”
“Yeah! Sorry, I’m getting excited because that’s what I think I am! Like, I like girls and all, but… but then I… you know, did it with a guy and… wow. But like, I’m still attracted to girls too, so I don’t know.”
Cody smiled. “Yeah, it can be confusing, for sure. I wouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to define yourself as one way or another. It’s hard because the world wants to put people in a box, and being bi kind of blows people’s preconceptions out of the water.”
“Right.” Sandy twisted the cap off his water bottle and took a drink. “So tell me about the guy.”
“I will. But first, will you tell me about why you ran away?”
“Okay.” Sandy shifted, his face getting red.
“Do you live in Chicago?” Cody asked to give him some time.
“Rockford. It’s an hour and a half north of Chicago.”
“Oh. How big is it?”
Sandy shrugged. “Dunno. Seems like a small town. I mean, compared to Chicago.” He took another drink of water. “So, I ran away because my parents are driving me crazy.”
“Um-hmm. That’s a good reason.”
“Yeah. They, like, grounded me for life and then threatened to send me away to a small religious college. After I got into The University of Chicago!” He slumped down in his seat, scowling.
“So I decided, screw that. I’m through living my life to please them.”
Cody slumped down so his head was level with Sandy’s. “I hear ya. What happened that brought all this punishment on?”
Sandy’s cheeks pinked again. “My parents found out, um, that I was interested in sex.”
That made Cody snort with amusement. “Earth to parents: your teenagers are interested in sex. Duh.”
“Yeah. They thought I was a virgin. Oops, guess I misplaced that purity ring.” He and Cody grinned at each other. “So when my mom snooped around and found some incriminating e-mails from a girl I was dating, they grilled me and I told the truth. Because why lie, right?”
“Lying always ends up biting you in the ass, for sure.”
“Yeah!” Sandy gave a vigorous nod. “But then they grounded me for, like, the rest of my earthly existence. And that was before they found out about the gay thing.”
“They… how did they find that out?”
“I left a magazine in my room. I figured if Mom wanted to spy on me, might as well let her find out about everything. They went ballistic. When they took away U of C and started talking about conversion therapy, that’s when I knew I had to get out.”
“When you say ‘went ballistic,’ what do you mean?”
“Yelling, screaming. My dad hit me across the face.”
Cody felt his lips compress into a grim line before he said, “I’m glad you got out.”
“Yeah. Me too.” Sandy’s mouth trembled and he cleared his throat. “I miss my sisters and brother, though.”
“It’s hard to do what you gotta do sometimes.” Bette and Aurora’s sad faces came to Cody’s mind.
They fell silent, watching the sunset as the train continued westward across Minnesota.
“So, will you tell me about the guy now?” Sandy asked after a few minutes’ contemplation.
“Sure.” Cody stretched his legs out and got comfortable. “His name is Brent. Actually, I need to start before Brent. I said there was a guy. But before that, there was a girl.”
Sandy sighed with contentment. “Bisexual.”
Cody laughed. “You’re funny. I’m glad my bisexuality makes you happy.”
Buy link for Wild and Precious series at Dreamspinner Press.
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.
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.
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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
CJane has brought a backlist book to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Wednesday, September 28th at 11:59 pm EST.
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