Cardeno C’s In Your Eyes

Posted in: Blog Tour

I am bouncing off the walls with excitement y’all. I have the pleasure of interviewing Cardeno C on my blog today. His latest release, In Your Eyes, is out now and is part of the Mates series. If you have not read anything by Cardeno C yet, you need to. He truly has a book for everyone. After the interview you can read all the details about the book, and an excerpt that would surprise me if it didn’t make you go buy the book right now.

Amanda C. Stone: Ok, I’m just going to have a little fangirl moment for a second here. Don’t mind me. *squeeeeeeeeee*
Alright, I’m good now. So, questions, ok. This series is a paranormal series. But you also have wonderful contemporary books out as well. Do you prefer to write paranormal, or do you like writing contemporary better?
Cardeno C: I like writing both contemporary and paranormal. One thing I enjoy about paranormal books is that because the characters are not only human but also part animal (as in shifters) or vampires, they can endure more than humans and I’m able to write situations that I wouldn’t write with human characters. Another neat aspect of paranormal is being able to use the newly created world to make certain points about the actual world we live in, without hitting anyone over the head about it or climbing too high on a soap box. The pretend world allows for some very real topics to be addressed but subtly. I was able to utilize both of those aspects of a paranormal world in In Your Eyes.
ACS: You deal with those topics very well in your Mates series books. You almost don’t realize those issues are being dealt with until the end and you have that “Huh…” moment. In all of the Mates books, the couples deal with how other people perceive their relationships SHOULD be. How do you keep that theme throughout but still have each couple deal with their own issues?
CC: I think that question can in many ways apply to all romance books. The basic concept is the same, right? Boy meets boy. Boys fall in love and live happily ever after. One way or another, our entire genre is built on that premise. It’s the details that change and, for my stories, those details are predominantly in the characters.
ACS: True, but the Mates series deals with it more heavily than your other books.
CC: While my Mates books are more plot heavy than my contemporary books, everything I write is predominantly character based with the growth of the characters being the focus of the books. Because the characters are the true focus and because each book is about different main characters, the books themselves are different. Every character reacts to their world and situation and the assumptions put on them in a different way, even if the situations themselves have overlap. My hope is that those differences are also noticeable in the tones of the books. I endeavor to make each Mates book “sound” different because the stories are being told by different men.

One example of that is the difference in how the strong, educated, powerful Alphas (both in In Your Eyes and in Wake Me Up Inside and if we can have a vampire Alpha, then in Until Forever Comes) react to their unexpected mates as compared to the only non-Alpha main character in the series – fragile, sickly, loner Ethan from Until Forever Comes. Sometimes the people with the most power and overt strength have the hardest time stepping outside the box and rules and structure to see, really see, what’s happening right in front of them. Whereas the person who has never really fit, who has nothing to lose, is already accustomed to being different and to life not playing out according the supposed rules, so he can see most clearly.
ACS: I have to say that Ethan is, thus far, my favorite character in the Mates series. I think because of the reasons you mentioned, him being the strongest emotionally and weakest physically, that he rings true with me. Ok, fun question time! If you were a paranormal creature, what would you be?
CC: Shifter. For sure. I’d love to be able to change into a different form and experience the world from a different angle.
ACS: What kind of shifter?
CC: I’d love to be a shifter who can choose forms and vary them whenever.
ACS: What is your favorite paranormal movie or TV show?
CC: I rarely have time for TV or any more but I was a *huge* Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. I watched all the seasons and probably have most of the episodes memorized. And I had a long –standing crush on Oz.
ACS: Oh how I miss Buffy. I was very sad when the show ended. But yeah, Oz with his curly ginger hair. I’m with you on the crush there. If you could appear in an episode of “Supernatural” (or pick a different paranormal TV show you like better), what kind of creature would you play? Would you be a good guy or a bad guy?
CC: Well, given my issue above with not enough TV time, I’ll have to go with Buffy. And what kind of creature? Hmmm. How about a werewolf friend for Oz, but a good one. 😉
ACS: I’m finding more and more people that haven’t seen Supernatural. Makes me feel better that I haven’t! Though I do like your idea of a werewolf friend for Oz. Thank you so much for joining me today CC! Now read all about the book.

Raised to become Alpha of the Yafenack pack, Samuel Goodwin dedicates his life to studying shifter laws, strengthening his body, and learning from his father. Taking control comes easily to Samuel, but relating to people, including those he’s supposed to lead, is a constant challenge.

When Samuel meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack’s Alpha, he reacts with emotion instead of intellect for the first time in his life. Resenting the other shifter for putting him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then tries to avoid him. What he can’t do is forget Korban’s warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.

When a battle between their fathers results in tragedy, Samuel and Korban are thrown together. With his world crashing down around him, Samuel must save his pack and show them he can lead. But first, Korban needs to save Samuel by inspiring him to feel. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past the rules they’ve been taught to realize they are destined to fit together.

Some questions sound simple, but they’re hard to answer. I had always prided myself on my strength, knowing it would be valuable for my role as Alpha of my pack. And I was quick to get defensive if I felt that strength was questioned, including by Korban. But with him standing naked in front of me, firm muscles on display, power rolling off him, I couldn’t deny his strength. I even admired it. Was I stronger than him? Did I want to be?

“You look like you’re about to fall over,” he said. He sounded concerned, not like he was mocking or judging me, so I didn’t argue. “You haven’t slept in days, have you?”

I shook my head and focused on keeping myself upright.

“Well, that explains why all that tightly held control finally snapped.”

Wincing at the reminder of what I’d done to him when I lost my control, I lowered my gaze and started stepping away so I wouldn’t crowd him.

“No.” He grasped my shoulder and then eased his hand onto my back. “That wasn’t a complaint.” He sighed. “We need to talk, but first we need to get you operating on all cylinders, which means sleep. Where’s your room?”

Pride should have kept me from letting him decide what I needed and when. Instinct should have prevented me from leading him to the place where I slept and was most vulnerable. Self-respect should have stopped me from giving in to my exhaustion by slumping my shoulders and shuffling my feet as I neared the bedroom. And yet I did all of those things without a second thought or a hint of hesitation.

When we got to the bed, he dropped his hand from my back and waited for me to get in. I shivered, suddenly cold in my core. I looked at him, not sure what I wanted, but certain he could provide it.

“I’m filthy,” he said, gesturing to his blood- and dirt-covered body. “You lie down and I’ll go wash up.”

He was right. I could only imagine how he felt, coated in filth and grime. “I’m sorry. I should have thought to… I shouldn’t have put you… I—”

“Shhh.” He cupped the back of my head and massaged my scalp. “You need sleep. You can’t complete a thought or think straight.” He tilted his chin toward the door at the end of my room. “That’s the bathroom, right?”

I nodded.

“Take your clothes off and get in bed. I’ll be right back.”

It wasn’t until my shoes and pants were pooled around my ankles and I was stripping my shirt off that I realized what I was doing. Why on earth was I listening to what he said? Why was I putting myself in an exposed and vulnerable position? Why was I letting him bathe in my shower when I normally couldn’t stand anyone in my personal space?

“You know why, Samuel.”

I darted my gaze up and saw Korban standing in the bathroom doorway, looking at me.

“Did I say that out loud?” I asked. “No.” He shook his head.

“Then how did you—”

He smiled at me, his expression soft. “Sleep, Samuel. You know all of this in here.” He tapped his hand against his chest. “You just need to let go of the things you’ve learned in here”—he tapped the side of his head—“to realize it.”

Book Links:
CC’s Webpage:

About Cardeno:
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.

Heartwarming Stories. Strong Relationships. Forever Love.
Blog (Shared Blog):
Facebook Profile:
Facebook Author Page:
Twitter: @CardenoC

Buy Links:
Dreamspinner Press E-Book:
Dreamspinner Press Paperback:


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