By not relying on anyone except himself, Salvatore Rossi escaped a dead-end existence and reached the height of corporate success. But just when he has everything he always wanted, fate throws Salvatore a challenge he can’t solve alone and a young wolf shifter comes to his rescue.
Since childhood, Yoram Smith’s family was certain he would grow to become Alpha and save their beloved pack from its slow demise. When the time comes for a new leader, Yoram is forced to juggle his duty to care for a splintering pack with his duty to care for an absent mate, and his own strength suffers.
Being turned into a vampire didn’t alter Salvatore’s life philosophy: if you don’t rely on anyone, nobody can let you down. But when the boy who saved his life becomes a man who needs his help, the icy vampire must find his humanity.
Now when we first meet Yoram, he is just a young boy, and he is out with his Uncles – Miquel and Ethan. Yoram sees someone who he calls his friend, even though they have never met before. His new friend is Salvatore Rossi, and he is someone who comes across as a cold hearted arrogant man, but I think a lot of this is due to his upbringing, and when he first meets the young boy Yoram, he really doesn’t know what to think, if anything I think he is more scared of Yoram than Ethan or Miquel.
Over the years, we see Yoram grow up to be the Alpha of his pack, though not quite how he wanted to take over, but he is also hiding a big secret. He has a mate, but this mate has been absent for many years, and now this absence seems to be hurting Yoram in a big way.
Salvatore is Yorams true mate, and although he is now a vampire, he really isn’t embracing the vampire way of life, or even realising what he is doing to Yoram. Actually, it has seems to have made Salvatore more of a recluse. It takes someone from Yorams family brave enough to approach the vampire to try and make him see what he is doing to Yoram – but will the vampire listen at all??
CC: I love writing both contemporary and paranormal romances. I try to alternate my books between those genres. That keeps things interesting for me and it allows me to provide options for my readers. As far as another genre, if it’s a subgenre of romance, I’d be open to it but I can’t think of another subgenre that has caught my interest just yet.
Q: Would love to know where CC gets her inspiration from
CC: I get my inspiration all over! There are many small things – funny lines, background stories – that come from my life and I work into my books.
And sometimes it isn’t something specific but more of a feeling. For example, there’s a scene in He Completes Me where the main character, who is a self-described slut, overhears friends of his new lover talking about him in a disparaging way. That scene was based on a real-life event and it was the inspiration for the character and the book. Sometimes it seems that people expect others to act just as they would in a situation or to have the same needs or lead the same lives. But the beauty of existence, to me, is that we’re all different. When I wrote He Completes Me, I wanted to show a person who had his share of issues, who wasn’t perfect, but who liked himself regardless. Zach is self-confident and strong and he doesn’t apologize for who he is, regardless of what people think of him. And Aaron loves him for it.
I’m also inspired by people and events. For example, for Strange Bedfellows, I was inspired by the ever-broadening divide between political parties. Sometimes it seems like the days of having a thoughtful, honest debate about differences in philosophies has changed into angry arguments that question “the other side’s” very humanity. As I read the umpteenth social media post that seemed part gleeful attack and part righteous indignation, I wondered about the person behind the “bad act”. None of us are all good or all evil and I like to believe that at our core, human beings have more in common than not. So I was inspired to write about two families who live, as it were, on opposite sides of the political aisle and whose marriages, families, and lives operate in contrasting ways and to explore the areas where these people who spend their days arguing and disagreeing are more alike than they are different. My hope is that in Strange Bedfellows, we see that love and family come in packages that look different but are actually very much the same. I need to believe in that hope right now.
Q: If you weren't an author, what career would you have chosen ? (Please don't stop writing!)
CC: Writing is my dream job! I actually have a day job too, which is one reason why I can’t get books out as quickly as I’d like. But writing is the only job I’d do if money wasn’t an object.
Q: I have several of your books but haven't had a chance to enjoy them yet. I'm finally getting some free time where I can read whatever I want. What series or book do you suggest I start with? (I like all the types of stuff you write so any genre is fine) Or maybe a better question is do you have a book/couple that owns your heart more than any other even if only a little bit more?
CC: I don’t think I’m allowed to pick favorites, am I? On my website, I have a document suggesting to readers where to start with my books depending on what they like: http://www.cardenoc.com/en/where-to-start.
Q: If one of your characters could come to life, which one would you choose? Why?
CC: Oh, wow. That’s a tough call because I love all of my characters – I have to in order to be in their heads long enough to write about them. That answer would change depending on when you catch me, but if I had to choose one character right now, it’d be Abe from the Half of Us. He’s a homebody like me, he’s kind so I think he’d be a good friend, and we share a love of chai lattes.
Q: With regards to your audio books, how do you choose a narrator? I can only assume that this is quite a lengthy process to ensure you get just the right person.
CC: Choosing a narrator is a very important and sometimes difficult process and it’s not one I do by myself. I have two audio-listeners who guide me – Jason Mitchell and Belen Tornabell. We listen to auditions and discuss voices and affectations and I complain about long pauses. Eventually, we find a person who we believe will work well for the story. J
Cardeno's Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads 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."
You can learn more about Cardeno's writing at www.cardenoc.com.