Guest Post

“Happiness is in the Heart of the Beholder” by Cassandra Chandler

Lingering Touch Cassandra Chandler

I love books. I think everybody reading this probably does. One of my favorite things about reading is how intimately we can share in another person’s experiences, even if those people are fictional. It helps me relate to others—the real people I encounter in my life.

And of course, I love romances. Life is uncertain enough. I want to be assured that at least some of the characters in the stories I immerse myself in will have a “happily ever after”, no matter what shape it takes.

When I set out to write the first three Summer Park Psychics books, I wanted to reflect different choices that people can make that lead them to happiness—especially in love. Most of the books I’ve read—and written—take a kind of traditional approach, and these endings are often great and satisfying. There’s a vast array of options, though, and no one path will be right for everyone.

Maybe one couple would be happiest having a big wedding and tons of children, living out in the country with a bunch of pets. Another might like a smaller ceremony to recognize their commitment, choosing to elope or go to a Justice of the Peace. They might want plenty of children, too, but prefer to live in the city. Some people only want one child, or two, or none at all. Some want a legal union, others might be more comfortable with a spoken commitment just between them. I want to show this variety as often as possible in my stories.

Jazz and Finn of Lingering Touch are one of the couples who follow their own paths to happiness. They both have thought long and hard about who they are and what they want from their lives. They’ve taken action to build the futures they want for themselves and with each other—fought for it when needed. They continue to fight for what they need to be happy throughout their story, knowing that they won’t really get their “happy ever after” if it reflects someone else’s desires and hopes. And in the end, the bond they’ve forged and the life they’re building together is uniquely them.

Finding someone who has the same aspirations is an important element in the “happy ever after”—sharing the same needs for space, intimacy, family, and commitment. If the couple wants vastly different things, they’re not likely to actually be happy together.

Sometimes, characters (and people) can be surprised by what makes them happy, and even more surprised to find their own needs—their own heart—reflected in another. It’s important to show them thinking about their choices and figuring out what they need for happiness as they find the course to their best destiny. Whatever form the “happily ever after” takes, it’s those kinds of stories that I find most satisfying.


About Lingering Touch

The memory of his touch has never left her heart. . .or her body.

The Summer Park Psychics, Book 3

Finn Connelly can see the past by touching objects, even read people’s thoughts. This power allows him to be the best private investigator in Summer Park. Until his abilities spiral out of control, leaving his thoughts and emotions inextricably entangled with those of others.

The only one who can help him regain control is the last person he trusts. Jazz Zhou, the woman who broke his heart.

Jazz is still reeling from nearly losing her closest friends to a serial killer-a man she brought into their lives. When she learns Finn is psychically bound to the ghost of one of the killer’s victims, she grabs the chance to atone for past mistakes.

As their investigation takes them to the killer’s hometown, they realize the threat to Jazz’s friends isn’t over-and neither is their relationship. But the more Finn uses his powers, the more he loses himself. And soon even Jazz’s touch might not be enough to help him claw his way out of a murderer’s memories.

Warning: Contains a heroine with a take-no-prisoners attitude and a hunky private eye with a touch that will leave you begging for more. And alligators. Lots of alligators.


Cassandra ChandlerCassandra Chandler has studied folklore and mythology for her entire life and been accused of taking fairy tales a bit too seriously. Raised in a household where tarot readings and viewing auras were considered mundane, she spends her time writing and trying to appear normal. At least the writing is working out.

Her romances range from sweet to scorching, set in extraordinary worlds and driven by characters searching for a deep and lasting love. She has always seen the starry sky as a destination rather than a matte painting, though her primary residence is on earth.

You can follow her thoughts on writing, life, and mostly writing at Cassandra-Chandler.com (updates every Wednesday!) or see her real-time ramblings on Twitter. She loves to hear from readers through email!

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