Thanks so much to the QRM team for inviting me to participate in this project. I’ll confess that when I got the email from KJ Charles, I was more than a little intimidated to write alongside one of the most gifted wordsmiths in our genre. Plus, I’m a horrible blogger. But then I saw the topics the team suggested for those of us who need a lot of blogging help, and one jumped out at me: Why you wrote a particular book.
I like to write happy, sweet, uplifting stories because I want to give people hope in a world that can sometimes be harsh and cruel. Sometimes the hopeful stories have an obtainable realism. And other times, there’s the magic of fiction. In Another Life was inspired by my fantasy of turning a pain-filled time so many people experience into a happy ending.
For many of us, our teenage years had some amount of stress, pain, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy. They call it teenage angst for a reason, right? I haven’t been a teenager in a long time, but I still remember those feelings. And I remember how hard it was to truly understand that they wouldn’t last forever, that someday in the not-too-distant future, I’d get to make my own choices about who I spent time with, where I lived, how I ran my life.
We joke sometimes about how being an adult is overrated, about how much easier things are for kids – no job, no mortgage, no responsibilities. But I’d rather be where I am now, especially in today’s world of social media and camera phones. I am thankful, SO thankful, that my stupidest moments during those years weren’t caught on camera and posted on the internet where they’ll live forever and I ache for the teenagers of today who aren’t so lucky.
Being a teenager is hard. It is. I remember. It’s hard because of hormones. It’s hard because we don’t have as much control over our lives as we think we should have and want to have. It’s hard because we’re getting to know who we are and we’re not sure we like that person yet. It’s hard because of other teenagers. But most of all, it’s hard because teenagers, no matter how mature, lack the one thing only time can give us – perspective.
The first time we experience heartache, whatever the cause, it feels like the abyss, like we’ll never be able to climb out, like we’ll never get over it, like nothing will ever be right again. But then we do climb out and we do move on and we do experience wonderful things again. So the next time we fall, well, it still hurts, but getting past it is a smidge easier because at least we know that we can. And with every failure, we get better at that, better at knowing we can not only move past our sorrows, but maybe even grow from them, learn from them, become better because of them. That is perspective.
But to gain that perspective, we have to survive that first wave of sadness, insecurity, and heartache. We have to find the strength within ourselves to hang on long enough to come out on the other side and see that we made it. It sucked, but we made it.
Every time I read about a teenager who has ended life too early, I hurt for the future that might have been if only that person could have had the thing that helps all of us old(er) folks get through the day – perspective. And so, I was inspired to write a story. A short little story. It’s about romance. It’s about love. But mostly, it’s about perspective.
Cardeno C’s Queer Romance Recommendations
Frog by Mary Calmes – The characters in this book are the embodiments of people I love in real life. It touched me deeply.
The Magpie Lord series by KJ Charles – I don’t read historicals or mysteries and yet, I adored this book. What KJ can do with words is awe inspiring.
The Blinding Light by Renae Kaye – Renae is a new writer who wowed right from the gate. I enjoyed the warm, fuzzy feelings evoked by both of her novels.
About Cardeno C
Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.
Cardeno’s Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, “You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day.”
- Website: www.cardenoc.com
- Blog: http://caferisque.blogspot.com/
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About Cardenco C
A Book in the Family Series
Short-tempered, arrogant heart surgeon Jason Garcia grew up wanting a close-knit family, but believes he ruined those dreams when he broke up his marriage. The benefit of divorce is having as much random sex as he wants, and it’s a benefit Jason is exploiting when he meets a sweet, shy man at a bar and convinces him to go home for a no-strings-attached night of fun.
Eight years living in Las Vegas hasn’t dimmed Abe Green’s optimism, earnestness, or desire to find the one. When a sexy man with lonely eyes propositions him, Abe decides to give himself a birthday present—one night of spontaneous fun with no thoughts of the future. But one night turns into two and then three, and Abe realizes his heart is involved.
For the first time, Abe feels safe enough with someone he respects and adores to let go of his inhibitions in the bedroom. If Jason can get past his own inhibitions and open his heart and his life to Abe, he might finally find the family he craves.