Today I am so pleased to welcome CJane Elliott to Joyfully Jay. CJane has come to talk to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, The Dancer’s Dilemma. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Hi, All. Thank you to Joyfully Jay for having me here today to share my newest book, The Dancer’s Dilemma, Book 3 in the Campus Connections series.
I have mostly been re-releasing my stories as an independent publisher, so The Dancer’s Dilemma is my first completely new work to come out this year. Getting into self-publishing after so many years with a publishing house has been quite a learning experience. I am more aware than ever that it takes a village to get any book out into the world. I’m so thankful for the generosity of my fellow authors for all their advice, of blogs like Joyfully Jay’s for their support, of my family and friends who’ve become part of the CJane Elliott publishing team, and most of all for you readers.
Speaking of villages, one of the joys of writing Tyrone’s story was being able to include his family, the Johnsons. Readers heard a bit about them in the earlier stories but in The Dancer’s Dilemma they get to meet them. Their generous, fun-loving spirit makes Tyrone who he is and adds poignancy to the other MC Nat having been kicked out by his parents when he told them he was bisexual.
Here is an excerpt that captures the spirit of Ty’s family. They are having a cookout in the back yard at which Nat is seeing them again for the first time in many years.
“Nathaniel Jennings!” Mama’s voice brought Tyrone back to the here and now. “Where in God’s creation have you been? You come right here and give me a hug.”
She all but accosted Nat, who wore a sheepish grin. “Hey, Mrs. Johnson. Good to see you.”
“I’m so happy to see you, you don’t even know. Ty said y’all are working on a house for gay kids at the University.”
Something that seemed like fear shadowed Nat’s face for a moment. Why he should be afraid of Mama’s opinion was beyond Tyrone. She’d always been completely accepting. But it was high school when Tyrone had come out to his family and found to his relief that they supported him. Nat hadn’t been around for that.
“Yes, ma’am. He and his friends have been helping out a lot.”
Mama smiled over at the corner of the yard. Eric held Will on his lap while they talked and laughed with Arlo and Jerry, who stood with their arms around each other. Emerson appeared to be introducing them to the Ambroses and Jed. Cara and Lane had found Elissa’s batons and were twirling them while Alia rocked a large hula hoop gracefully around her hips.
“I love those kids. Ty’s always had a good group of friends.”
“Yeah.” Nat’s face appeared wistful.
Mama patted him on the shoulder. “So don’t be a stranger no more. You’re welcome here any time.”
Elissa ran up and threw her arms around Nat. “Nat. Nat. Nat! I missed you.”
“Give him some space to breathe, child. Nat, I’m gonna save you a piece of Tess’s pie before it’s all gone.” Mama bustled away.
Dads chuckled from where he stood behind the grill. “So. Nat Jennings, huh?”
All Tyrone could do was nod over the stupid lump in his throat.
“Good to see him. That boy seems to have turned out okay. I worried about him with that father of his coming down on him so hard all the time. Glad to see you two back to bein’ friends.”
“Did you know his dad threw him out?”
Dads frowned. “No. Why would he do that?”
“Because he’s gay. Bisexual, I mean.”
Dads sighed and shook his head, his eyes on Nat and Elissa. “We’re all God’s children. Some of the brothers forget that. Colonel Jennings needs some sense knocked into him.”
“You got that right.”
Elissa was still hanging on to Nat, chattering a mile a minute, while he smiled down at her patiently.
“You’d best be getting him away from Lissie, though, or he’ll be listening to her all night.”
“You need me helping you with the ribs?”
“I’ve got ’em. Go ahead now.”
Tyrone abandoned his tongs and snagged a few beers out of a cooler before ambling over to his sister and Nat. He offered him a can.
“PBR?” Nat brandished the can. “’Member stealing these out your fridge in middle school? We thought we was so tough.”
Tyrone smiled at the memory. Elissa stared up at Nat, all ears. “Not something for you to do, kiddo,” he told her sternly.
“Jeez, sorry, I forgot Lissie’s in middle school now.” Nat leaned down and said solemnly, “No drinking, okay? You don’t need that stuff messin’ with your mind.”
Elissa’s huge eyes hung on Nat’s face. “Okay.”
Aunt Tess approached, awesome as always in her African headwear and huge earrings. “Nat, honey, nice of you to stop by. Where you been?”
“Around. You know.”
“No, I do not know. Come get some ribs and Bernice’s mac n cheese and tell me all about yourself.”
“That’s Aunt Tess to you.” She pointed to Nat’s Campus Pride tee. “What’s all this I hear about doing somethin’ for the queer youth?” She glanced to Tyrone and then back to Nat. “I need deets.”
“Okay, I’ll tell you all. Also we have an invitation for you and your story-telling talents.”
“I’m always up for some story-telling.” As Aunt Tess bore him away, Nat winked over his shoulder at Tyrone.
Tyrone gave him a thumbs up, battling with conflicting feelings of gladness and a weird guilt. His family loved Nat. Maybe it was his fault Nat stopped coming around. But that was ridiculous.
When love comes knocking, check who’s there before you open the door.
Tyrone Johnson is looking for The One. But what if the two applicants are his straight ex-best friend and the man who messed with Tyrone’s teenaged heart?
His best friend Nat was always there for him, until he dropped Tyrone in high school to run with the jocks and date the prom queen. Now he’s back and wants Tyrone’s forgiveness—and his heart.
Arnaud, the French choreographer who swept eighteen-year-old Tyrone off his feet, is also back. He’s eager to reignite their hot affair after leaving it in the dust four years ago.
Which one can Tyrone trust not to abandon him again? And can he trust himself to make the right choice?
If you like second chance stories and sexy dancing, you’ll love The Dancer’s Dilemma.
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, award-winning author CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane writes sexy, passionate LGBTQ romances that 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 bisexual and an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her family supports 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. Her contemporary novel All The Way To Shore was runner up for best bisexual fiction in the 2017 Rainbow Awards.