There You Are Release Party #3 – Baggage (emotional, that is)

December 24, 2015


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Both of the MCs in There You Are have baggage, i.e., unresolved issues from the past that are clouding their ability to make a fresh start with love.

Phineas has been widowed for four years and still hasn’t gotten over his long-time partner, Allen. In his grief, Phineas has retreated from the world, quit his job, and stopped performing as his drag queen persona Phanny Hill. He’s living a quiet life now, working part-time at a bookstore and hanging out with his close friends, Blaine and Gemma.

Cody Bellstrom appearing on the scene rocks Phineas’s world. Phineas can’t exactly ignore the sexy musician who is ten years younger than he. Not only is Cody now the guitarist in Blaine’s funk band, but he’s befriended Phineas’s nephew Sandy and made sure he got to Portland safely. And he’s the first man to attract Phineas since Allen died.

Phineas struggles with letting Allen go enough to make room for Cody. Part of the baggage Phineas is carrying is the fact that all his memories of Allen are so beautiful that the Allen in his mind is nearing sainthood. No living man, even one as caring and sexy as Cody, could ever measure up. Phineas finally recognizes how unfair he’s being to Cody and is able to let his Allen memories rest in a special place, but not be the place he goes to hide whenever things get difficult with Cody.

no matter quote


At first blush, Cody doesn’t seem to have as much baggage as Phineas. He doesn’t have problems getting involved with people, men or women, and he quickly becomes a part of Phineas’s life. He helps Phineas figure things out about his nephew Sandy, he cooks them meals, and he finds himself more and more fascinated with Phineas. Cody is a nurturer and he likes to help people, so helping Phineas get over his grief and get back into life is right up Cody’s alley.

Cody’s problems start when he falls in love with Phineas. Cody has been in love once before – with a woman. And after they got engaged he got cold feet and ran. Ever since, Cody has kept on the move, never letting himself put down roots in one place or with one person for too long. The more Cody falls for Phinney, the more freaked out he gets. He has an escape plan – a Seattle band has invited him to move there and go on tour with them. He knows that what his friend Bette tells him is true: no matter where you go, there you are. But he sees no alternative until a chance encounter late in the book finally opens his eyes to why he’s run away from people all his life.

And now let’s go with a deeper question, because y’all know I like to go there!

Question:  Have you ever noticed that past experiences sometimes keep you from risking something new? What’s one piece of baggage that you can see you have? 

GIVEAWAY: Make sure you comment because three people who comment during the There You Are  Release Party today will win a CJane Elliott ebook of their choice. You can leave a comment any time. I’ll be checking throughout the day!

I’ll go first: I didn’t get married for a loooong time because my parents got divorced when I was 18 and it sucked. That instilled a fear in me of committing myself. I had to let go of that fear before I let my wonderful husband Michael come into my life.

8 Responses to “There You Are Release Party #3 – Baggage (emotional, that is)”

  1. H.B. says:

    I have a lot of baggage that is really prominent is that I don’t like venturing outdoors. I don’t want to leave the house at all and if it wasn’t for work or family I wouldn’t. I make myself leave the house every so often though so it doesn’t become a habit. I’m pretty sure it all stems from childhood when my parents told me I had to stay home ans house sit and being checked up on when out with friends.

  2. CJane Elliott says:

    Hey H.B.! Thanks for sharing some baggage! It’s hard to let go of those childhood patterns. I like being a homebody too, especially during the winter.

  3. Kylia says:

    Your past definitely informs who you are, so if you haven’t dealt with stuff, it’s going to to crop up, even if you have no idea it’s there, or if you think you have put the issues to rest. Memory is a funny thing.

  4. CJane Elliott says:

    So true, Kylia! It’s that stuff that you have no idea is there that can really mess with us. Cody has some of that and it isn’t until he deals with it that he can settle down and let love in.

  5. Yvonne says:

    My baggage is that I’m pretty insecure which hasn’t really stopped me from doing things I wanted but has gotten me to make some bad/stupid decisions in my life.

  6. CJane Elliott says:

    I’m glad you haven’t been stopped, Yvonne. As far as the making bad decisions, I think everyone’s made at least a few of those in their life! It’s how you handle it afterwards that counts. *taking off therapist’s hat now*

  7. Angela says:

    My baggage is that i’m a shy person by nature, and i have trouble standing up for myself.

    After having my (oldest)son who was born premature and as a result is multipled disabled i learned to speak my mind and i don’t have any trouble standing up for him or my other children. But when it comes to standing up for myself i still act shy.

  8. CJane Elliott says:

    How interesting that it’s easier for us to stand up for others than it is to stand up for ourselves, Angela. As a mother, I’m right there with you. I’m a fierce mama bear when it comes to my son. Your son is lucky to have you!

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