We’re so pleased to have author CJane Elliott joining us today on the tour for her new release, In Over Our Heads. Check out the exclusive excerpt we have for you, and also be sure to visit the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway.
I’m delighted to be here at The Novel Approach to share my newest release, In Over Our Heads. This is the second book in my Stories from the Shore series, although it can be read as a standalone. Anthony Vallen will be familiar to readers of the first story, All the Way to Shore, as a lively romantic who encouraged his cousin Jonathan to be bold and follow his heart (and his love for Marco). That worked out wonderfully and the current story begins when Anthony has accompanied Jonathan, Marco, and Marco’s sister Sophia on a scuba diving vacation in Key West. For reasons that will be revealed in the story, Anthony isn’t wild about learning to scuba dive himself, and even less so when the dive instructor is none other than his old high school boyfriend, Walter Elkins.
About the Book
Title: In Over Our Heads
Series: Stories from the Shore
Author: CJane Elliott
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 16, 2017
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre: Romance, Second Chances, Vacation
Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press || Amazon
Blurb: Anthony Vallen is the life of any party. Full of energy and fun, Anthony adores romance and enjoys playing matchmaker for his friends while dancing the night away with a series of Mr. Right Nows. But he’s given up on his own happy ending. A bad breakup years ago made him a secret cynic about love… until he runs into Walter Elkins—the boy who broke his teenaged heart—on a scuba-diving vacation in Key West. Suddenly, Anthony’s reasons for shunning romance no longer hold much water. Being with Walter again forces Anthony to get serious—about himself, his worth, and his heart’s desires.
Brilliant and self-contained, scientist Walter Elkins prefers deep thoughts to other people. He’s a good boss and a model citizen, but Walter doesn’t let anyone get close. After a tragedy drove him out of his science career, Walter landed in Key West and became owner of a dive shop and a bar. Things are fine until Anthony Vallen—the only person who ever penetrated his defenses—shows up, and Walter’s calm, controlled life capsizes. He and Anthony have a second chance for love, but Walter must confront the old fears that threaten to torpedo their happiness.
We gathered around Walter, who had our equipment laid out for us—wetsuits, masks, respirators, flippers, and tanks, which I learned didn’t hold oxygen at all but “air.” Fuck if I knew the difference. I stared at it all with a sinking feeling. Get it? Sinking? Okay, I’ll stop.
“Okay.” Walter gestured to the gear. “Today we’ll have you suit up and get familiar with putting on your equipment and learning to use the breathing apparatus. Then we’ll have you take some trial runs in the pool. I’ll be standing right next to you, so don’t worry.” He gave me a very worried gaze. How was I supposed to not worry when he appeared ready to hurl at the prospect of me getting underwater?
“Yes!” Marco pumped a fist into the air, then flung an arm around Jonny’s shoulders. “Get ready for the fun part, tesoro!”
Jonny seemed almost as doubtful as I felt, thank God. But he smiled his sweet smile at his prince, the man who’d saved him from a life of Vallen Industries drudgery. “Okay, sweetheart. If you say so.”
“That’s my Jonathan. You’re going to love it, pesciolino mio.”
Yeah, they kissed. Oh, and pesciolino meant “little fish” in Italian. Top-notch fairy-tale love bugs, these guys were. Moving on.
I pulled myself out of my trance and followed the others to the deck chairs. Struggling to pull up the dastardly wetsuit was the first ordeal. But no way was I going to not manage that much. I didn’t need Walter helping me put on my second skin—I totally drew the line at that! After much flailing, I got the tops and bottoms on, and pulled the hood over my unruly hair. So much for having a viable hairstyle this vacation—way too much sun, sand, salt, and now this ghastly hood mashing my locks. The others looked funny in their suits, so I took consolation in that, although I could have done without Jonathan convulsing into laughter as I waddled over to him with my flippers on.
“What? What’s so funny?” I glared at him.
“Oh, nothing. You look… that’s just classic. I never thought I’d see you in a wetsuit in this lifetime, cuz.”
I expelled a breath rather forcibly through my nose. “Now what?” I asked Walter, who stood with that almost-smile, no doubt cackling inside at my ridiculousness. If I sounded peevish, who could blame me?
“Now let’s get the masks on. Then I’ll help you all with the tank and regulator.”
We put on our masks and stood around while Walter rigged each of us up with a tank. I held out my arms as he threaded the straps over my shoulders, cinching the harness at my waist. Trying to ignore the flare of feeling that having his hands on me ignited, I stared at his thick thatch of hair and smelled a familiar Walter smell. God.
“Oof!” I wasn’t prepared for the weight of the tank. Oh, shit. My panic rose. I was definitely going to sink like a stone with that thing on.
“You okay?” Walter pulled away and examined my face, what little of it he could see behind all the scuba crap.
“It’s heavy!” My voice squeaked, and I bit down on my lip to keep from blurting out anything more histrionic, like “Save me!”
“It’ll be okay. I’m going to show you how to work the regulator. And remember, it’s not so heavy in water.”
“Great,” I muttered, trying not to wring my hands as Walter moved on to Sophia.
“Now.” Walter clapped for our attention after we’d devolved into chatter, mine markedly more nervous than the others. “Take the regulator that’s connected to the air tank and should be resting on your chest. Good. Insert that into your mouth.”
I grasped the circular thing and shoved it into my mouth, promptly gagging and spitting it back out. Walter walked over. “Need some help?”
“What—with getting things into my mouth?” I coughed. “I need no help in that arena. But I probably didn’t need to deep throat it, right?” I gave him a winsome smile and stuck the thing back in, then grinned at him around it. Have I mentioned that I revert to humor in times of stark terror?
Sophia yanked hers out and laughed. “TMI, Anthony!”
Walter shook his head, but the side of his mouth curved. Yes! The almost-smile was back! That made me feel marginally better, even though who gave a damn what Walter thought, right? Right.
Special Sale: All the Way to Shore
Celebrate the release of In Over Our Heads with a special sale: All the Way to Shore is on sale for .99₵ at Amazon through October 24 with that price matched at the Dreamspinner Press store October 16-24.
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.
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