The Sense of Sight – RJ Scott’s Autism Awareness Blog Hop & a Free Book!

autism

I’m honoured to be part of RJ’s Blog Tour for Autism Awareness,  highlighting the Five Senses.

An interesting fact you may not know about autism is:  People with an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) who are hyposensitive to smell may have no sense of smell at all, and fail to notice extreme odours (this can include their own body odour). Some people may lick things to get a better sense of what they are.

When I found out this blog tour would revolve around the five senses, my first thoughts went to Isaac Brannigan from Blind Faith. He was one of my first characters I ever wrote. A very stubborn, impatient, and wonderful man, who just happens to be blind. Writing a character with vision impairment wasn’t easy, and I learned a lot in my research when I decided the character in my head had a story to tell.

Sight is a fundamental sense that a lot of people take for granted. Having it taken away is a life changing event, and one Isaac Brannigan had to overcome. To write his story, I researched a LOT, I spoke to people with vision impairments, I joined forums, I read and read, and I learned.

People who are vision impaired live full and rewarding lives and I was, and still am, in complete awe of how these people live their day-to-day lives without missing a beat. Careers, children, public transport, shopping, reading, sports, arts, everything full-vision people do every day, and take for granted, every single day. They adapt to their environments, make adjustments and push forward. It’s incredibly inspiring!

Do me a little favour, and imagine this:  a normal morning routine for some…

Wake up at 6:30 a.m.  Shower, dress for work, including hair and make-up, or shave your face (whichever is your normal morning routine).  Wake the kids up, get them breakfast, pack school lunches, get them dressed, do their hair. Get them on the school bus, while praying for good weather. Rain makes everything more difficult…  Catch your bus, pay your fare, and hope there’s a seat. Maybe you could take a cab. It’s easier but more expensive to do on a daily basis. Get to work, manage the revolving doors, then the stairs, or elevator, find your desk, log in to your computer and check emails…

All this and it’s not even 8:30 a.m.

Sounds like a normal, but hectic, morning, right?

Now imagine doing it blind.

Imagine doing every one of these steps without using your sight.  Does your shirt match your pants? Are you wearing two different coloured shoes? Who else was watching your kids get on that bus? Who else was watching you walk off alone, unassisted?  Did you catch the right bus? Did you pay the right amount? Did the bus driver short change you $10? How would you know?  Did you get off at the right bus stop?  Are you even in the right suburb?  HOW WOULD YOU KNOW?

Scary, huh?

Downright frightening, if you ask me, yet people with vision impairments do it every day.

A lot people disliked Isaac Brannigan. Said he was too brattish, too short-tempered and one lovely reviewer said he was “too blind.”  Yep, not even kidding.  I also had two separate people contact me, who have/had blind spouses, and said I absolutely nailed the characterisations, the frustrations, the outbursts, the longing for independence but fear of it at the same time.  And that, that acknowledgment to my research and dedication to character, has been a highlight of my writing career.

I will admit without shame, that I love Isaac. I love his faults, and I love his strengths. And what I’m doing is making Blind Faith FREE on Amazon for four days. Starting today (April 7th) until April 10th, you can download Blind Faith and meet Isaac, Carter, and of course Brady the wonder dog.  🙂

The universal link for Blind Faith is HERE!  Go forth, click and read!

Blind Faith

Thank you for taking part of RJ Scott’s annual autism awareness blog hop!  You can check out all the other awesome authors taking part HERE

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Retro Read: Blind Faith

The Blind Faith series has three books; Blind Faith, Through These Eyes and Blindside.  The first in the series, Blind Faith, introduces us to Isaac Brannigan and Carter Reece, and Brady, of course.

BlindFaithNRWalker300

BUY LINKS: Amazon

Blind Faith Series is now only available on Amazon and is part of the Kindle Unlimited program. 

Blurb:

Starting a new job in a new town, veterinarian Carter Reece, makes a house call to a very special client.

Arrogant, moody and totally gorgeous, Isaac Brannigan has been blind since he was eight. After the death of his guide dog and best friend, Rosie, his partnership with his new guide dog, Brady, isn’t going well.

Carter tries to help both man and canine through this initiation phase, but just who is leading who?

Excerpt:

I always thought a person’s car was reflective of its owner, and as I opened the passenger door of the late ’80s Ford Taurus and got in, I smiled to myself. Like its owner, Dr Fields, it was gray in color and in impeccable condition. Not a scratch, not a dent, not a thing out of place. Polished, tidy, and clean. Family oriented, safety first. Just like its owner.

And although it still ran well, although it was still reliable, it was getting on in miles, years. Just like its owner.

Was my car reflective of me? As much as I wished otherwise—yeah, it was. A sturdy Jeep 4×4, a few dents and scratches. Not too old, and certainly not showroom-pretty by any means. More rugged, well-worn, sometimes fun, always practical. That’s me. Practical for my work as a vet, practical for me on days off to harness my dog in the backseat and head out of town. Nothing about my car strictly screamed “gay man” but nothing about me did either.

Unless you counted the small star decal on the rear bumper.

My best friend Mark had stuck it there before I’d left Hartford, Connecticut to start my new job in Boston. He’d known I’d bury myself in my work like I always did, limiting my chances of meeting anyone new. He had told me by having a star stuck on my rear bumper, it might increase the chances of some guy seeing the one tattooed on my hip. He’d said the star was more discreet than the “I’m gay. Wanna fuck?” decal he was going to put on my car. He thought it was hilarious. Mark always thought he was hilarious.

“What’s got you smiling?” Dr Fields asked.

I looked at the older man behind the steering wheel. “Oh, nothing,” I said dismissively. But I looked at him and smiled.

He smiled back at me. Then the older man asked, “How are you settling in? You enjoying it here?”

“Yes,” I answered him honestly. “Very much. I mean, it’s only been a week, but I love what I’ve seen so far.” And I did. My new job at East Weymouth Animal Hospital was quite the step up for me.

He smiled again, seemingly pleased with his decision to hire me.

He concentrated on driving for a moment, then he asked, “Did you do house calls in Hartford?”

I laughed. “Uh, no. I thought house calls were something doctors and vets did in small country towns for large animals.” Or in television shows, I thought errantly, but kept that to myself.

This time it was Dr Fields who laughed. “Well, there’s not many house calls left on my books these days. Just the families who’ve been coming to see me for years.”

And that’s where we were on our way to now. The animal hospital was in a nice part of town, and all house calls were close by. Our first visit was to a Mrs Yeo and her seventeen year old cat, Mr Whiskers. When we got there, I wasn’t surprised Mrs Yeo preferred house calls. She must have been near a hundred years old, all of four feet tall, with gray, wiry hair and skin like wrinkled paper.

“Don’t let her appearance fool you,” Dr Fields had warned me in the car. “She’s as sharp as a tack.”

So she was, but poor old Mr Whiskers wasn’t doing so well. He was slow and not too responsive as Dr Fields gently checked him over. He gave Mr Whiskers some more arthritis medication, but even Mrs Yeo had given a sad nod, acknowledging she knew the poor tabby’s days were numbered.

Against our insistence, Mrs Yeo had walked us out. Dr Fields had given her a reassuring pat on the arm, telling her if she needed anything to give him a call. As we got back into his car, Dr Fields sighed. “I don’t think poor Mr Whiskers will see the end of summer,” he said sadly. “Not sure how Mrs Yeo will cope without him. She got that cat for company after her husband died…” The older man’s words trailed away. He didn’t need to say any more. I understood.

It was easy to tell the older man loved his job. I’d only worked with him a week, but he knew every patient and owner by name, and he took his time with each of them. He knew their personal histories. He had an old-school work ethic, and I wondered how his pending retirement would fare on him.

I assumed he’d miss it as much as the hospital would miss him, and from my first week on the job, one thing was very clear—I had very big shoes to fill.

We drove in silence for a short while, and I watched the slow passing of houses through the passenger side window. The animal hospital was in Weymouth, South Boston, which was a nice neighborhood already, but the houses we were driving past were getting even nicer, the gardens and lawns well-tended.

Wanting to keep conversation going between us, I prompted the old man, “Next stop is the Brannigans.”

Dr Fields nodded. “Isaac Brannigan…” he said quietly with a shake of his head. “Sad story, but not really mine to tell. Hannah will be there. She’s his official caregiver,” he said rather cryptically.

I wondered what he meant by that when we pulled into a circular drive. The large, single story house sat proudly in the midst of manicured gardens. It spoke money.

Dr Fields pulled up at the front door, but before he got out of the car, he said, “Isaac’s having some adjustment issues with his new dog, Brady. He’s a little…” he searched for the right word, “…insistent, but I guess he’s got his reasons.”

Before I could ask if he was referring to the dog or its owner, the older man got out of the car. I followed suit, grabbed the bag off the backseat and followed him to the front door.

A woman answered the door and smiled warmly as soon as she saw Dr Fields, standing aside to welcome us in. She looked around thirty years old—just a few years older than me—and had brown, curly hair, pale skin, and a wide, kind smile.

“Hannah,” Dr Fields introduced us, “this is Dr Carter Reece. Carter, this is Hannah Brannigan.”

I extended my hand, which she shook. “Very nice to meet you.”

She was still smiling. “Does Max have you doing the rounds with him?”

She called him by his given name, so I quickly deduced she knew him well. Before I could answer, Dr Fields answered for me. “Dr Carter will be taking my place at the hospital.”

“Oh,” she said quietly, looking from me to the old man. “You’re retiring?” she asked, and Dr Fields nodded. “Isaac never mentioned it…”

“He doesn’t know,” Dr Fields told her quietly. “I was going to tell him today.”

Just then, a man no older than me walked into the foyer. He was dressed as though he’d just stepped off a yacht. Khaki shorts, white polo t-shirt, expensive leather boat shoes and small, dark, designer sunglasses worth what I earned in a month. He was fit looking, matched my five foot ten height and had short, spiky dark brown hair and pale skin. He was gorgeous.

He smiled. “Tell me what?”

French Translation of Blindside ~ Confiance Aveuglé – Tome 3

For my wonderful French readers, I have the best news!  The translation of Blindside is now available! And it still has the gorgeous Mark on the cover ❤

BLURB:

Mark Gattison a évité l’amour et l’engagement durant toute sa vie d’adulte. Pas intéressé par quelque chose de plus qu’un coup d’un soir ou une brève rencontre dans une arrière-salle, il est l’incarnation du bon vivant. Will Parkinson est l’homme qui le défend, l’homme qui le comprend, l’homme que Mark appelle son meilleur ami. Quand Will devient perturbé et un peu distant, Mark décide de lui trouver un petit ami. Peu familier avec le concept lui-même, Mark pense que Will a besoin de quelqu’un qui le rende heureux. Ce que Mark ne sait pas, c’est qu’il est sur le point d’être surpris. Il est sur le point de se faire renverser par la seule chose qui se tenait juste sous son nez depuis le début.

BUYLINKS:

Smashwords

Amazon

And I will post links to Apple and B&N when they become available.

Blindside Free for One More Day

Blindside is free on Kindle Unlimited until 14th October.

BlindsideMark Gattison has avoided love and commitment his entire adult life. Not interested in more than a one night stand or a brief encounter in a bathroom stall, he is the epitome of a good time.

Will Parkinson is the guy who defends him, the guy who puts up with him, the guy Mark calls his best friend.

When Will becomes unsettled and a little distant, Mark takes it upon himself to find Will a boyfriend. Not familiar with the concept himself, Mark thinks Will needs someone to make him happy.

What Mark doesn’t know, is that he’s about to get blindsided. He’s about to get knocked off his feet by the one thing that’s been right in front of him the entire time.

Blind Faith is on Kindle Unlimited

If you haven’t read my Blind Faith series, it will be free for a  short period through Kindle Unlimited.

Blind Faith will be free 30th September to 4th October

Blind Faith

Starting a new job in a new town, veterinarian Carter Reece, makes a house call to a very special client.

Arrogant, moody and totally gorgeous, Isaac Brannigan has been blind since he was eight. After the death of his guide dog and best friend, Rosie, his partnership with his new guide dog, Brady, isn’t going well.

Carter tries to help both man and canine through this initiation phase, but just who is leading who?

Through These Eyes will be free 5th October to 9 October

Through these Eyes

Six months after we last met Carter Reece and Isaac Brannigan, they’re still very much in love. Moving in together, moving forward, life for these two is great until some life changing events occur. Isaac has a frightening setback and Carter’s world starts to unravel. Things become even more complicated and start to change for both men when Isaac’s new colleague enters the picture.

As Isaac struggles for what he really wants, it might just cost him what he needs the most.

Blindside will be free 10th October to 14th October

BlindsideMark Gattison has avoided love and commitment his entire adult life. Not interested in more than a one night stand or a brief encounter in a bathroom stall, he is the epitome of a good time.

Will Parkinson is the guy who defends him, the guy who puts up with him, the guy Mark calls his best friend.

When Will becomes unsettled and a little distant, Mark takes it upon himself to find Will a boyfriend. Not familiar with the concept himself, Mark thinks Will needs someone to make him happy.

What Mark doesn’t know, is that he’s about to get blindsided. He’s about to get knocked off his feet by the one thing that’s been right in front of him the entire time.

 

To Will Parkinson… Twelfth of Never – Blind Faith 3.5

Over the last year, Will Parkinson (the man, not the character from Blindside) has pestered hounded harassed encouraged me to write a little more of the Blind Faith series. And while it might not be a full novel, I have done a very short (as in only 8500 words) FREE Christmas story instead to shut him up make him happy. 🙂

Will has demanded requested demanded Mark and Will (the characters, not the men) become parents. But we all know Mark doesn’t have a clue paternal side, and truthfully I just didn’t see Mark filling that role. He is, after all, a child himself.

So what we have, is this…

Christmastime coffee

 

The very beautiful cover was made my the VERY talented and awesome Sara York. I am so blessed to have her skills representing my books.  

BLURB:

Will Parkinson has been with Mark Gattison for five years and, in his words, there has never been a dull moment. Will has always been the serious one, the responsible one. Mark is the irresponsible man-child who loves nothing more than to make people smile.

But Will has an ache for something Mark won’t give him.

Until he does.

Join Will, Mark, Carter, Isaac and Brady, Hannah and her family (and some other special guests for Christmas) and have yourself a Merry Twelfth of Never.

Now, what’s with the title you ask?

Well, Will bloody Parkinson has asked me so many times when the next Blind Faith book was coming out, that I eventually gave him an expected release date of, yes you guessed it, the Twelfth of Never.  Which, for those who don’t know, means IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, WILL, SO STFU ALREADY  it’s not likely to happen.

But it did happen.

And I hope you love this little insight into the Blind Faith family’s future.

Oh, and there’s a guest appearance in this book from another couple of mine who some people have been dying to see more of. It’s only very brief, but we see how happy they are, and I must extend a very warm thank you to Totally Bound for allowing these characters to turn up in another book.

Disclaimer: This book has NOT been professionally edited. My very awesome writing buddies looked it over for me and fixed it, but any and all remaining errors and typos are mine. This little story is also free. So if you do find a typo or a continuity error, just smile and wave, k?

Another disclaimer: This is it, Will. There is no more. Their story is done. Kaput. Fin. Just because I like you doesn’t mean I won’t inflict bodily harm. 

tumblr_lix7i3ulyZ1qd76iqo1_500

 

This book will be available from All Romance eBooks  HERE  from December 12th.

It will not be on Amazon, because I don’t want anyone to have to buy it before Amazon will reduce the price to zero.  I will also be adding it here to by blog after December 12th. Check the pages menu under Books > Blind Faith.

Much, much love ❤ ❤  And please, have yourself a very safe and merry Twelfth of Never.

Blindside is available now!


Blindside – Mark’s story is live!!



You can buy it at  

Blindside at ARe

Blindside at Smashwords

Blindside at Amazon 

Blindside is the third installment in the Blind Faith series. We met Mark in Blind Faith and Through These Eyes. Best friend to Carter; loyal, funny and commitment-phobe, he’s about to be blindsided by love. 

The poor guy won’t know what’s hit him. 

I’m really excited about this book. Hope you all love Mark and Will like I do ❤ 

I need to thank some people for making it happen. Sara York for the amazing cover, Erika Orrick for the fabulous job she did editing (I exposed her to my bloody comma addiction) and of course, Will Parkinson for encouraging (read: pestering) me to give Mark a story. 

Blindside – Mark’s Story: Blind Faith 3


I’ve been a bit of a blog fail, sorry. Real life has kind of buried me of late. 

I have a beautiful cover for Blindside!!!  Made by the oh-so talented Sara York. 

 



I’m hoping it will be released in the next few days. It is still with my editor at the moment, but as soon as I have it back, I’ll be uploading it to Amazon.

Mark is a great character. He was fun to write. His mother is hilarious and possibly one of my favourite supporting characters I’ve written. 

Mark’s mother, Susan


Mark’s relationship with Will is a little complicated. They’re best friends, and Mark learnt with Carter, that staying platonic with friends keeps the friendship in tact.  He never thought of Will as anything more than a friend because he valued his friendship too much. 

Will Parkinson


But things for Will are about to change.  He becomes unsettled and unhappy, and Mark remembers Carter being the same way before he moved to Boston. Scared of losing Will to the same fate, Mark takes it upon himself to find Will a reason to stay.

A boyfriend.

What Mark doesn’t realize, is that the wheels he sets in motion will change things forever.

Mark gets knocked off his feet, blindsided, and everything he thought about love and life, is about to come crashing down.

Mark’s song is Out on The Town by FUN.  The lyrics, posted below, sum him up perfectly.


 

Lyrics to ‘Out on the town’ …
I set all my regrets on fire
Cause I know I’ll never take the time
To unpack my missteps and call all of my friends,
I figure they would take your side.
I make the bed, just not that well.
Your name comes up a lot when I talk to my mom,
Oh I think she can tell…

I was out on the town so I came to your window last night.
I tried not to throw stones, but I wanted to come inside.
Now I’m causing a scene thinking you need a reason to smile.
Oh, no. What have I done?
There’s no one to keep me warm.

So maybe I should put out the fire,
I’ll call them back and borrow a box knife
So I could learn to live with all the stupid shit I’ve been doing since ’99
And I know I could be more clever,
And I know I could be more strong.
But I’m waiting for the day to come back and say,
Hey, maybe I should change my mind.
I drink a lot, I’m not sure if that’s new.
But these days when I wake up from a night I forgot,
I just wish that it never came true

I was out on the town so I came to your window last night.
I tried not to throw stones, but I wanted to come inside.
Now I’m causing a scene thinking you need a reason to smile.
Oh, no. What have I done?
There’s no one to keep me warm.
I could be more clever,
And I know I could be more strong,
And I know I could be more clever,
And I know I could be more clever

I knew there’d come a day,
When all was said and done,
And everything I want is everything but gone
All my big mistakes are bouncing off your wall.
The bottles never break, the sun will never come
So come on let me in.
I will be the sun.
I will wake you up.
I’ll move slow.
Just open up your heart, open up your heart, open up your heart.
I was out on the town so I came to your window last night.
I tried not to throw stones, but I wanted to come inside.
Now I’m causing a scene thinking you need a reason to smile.
Oh, no. What have I done?
There’s no one to keep me warm.

 

I’ll post some more news on the release of Blindside when I know more.  As for now, I’m starting to write Starting Point (Point of No Return 3) and I can’t wait to give these boys the proper HEA they deserve. 



Can you see discrimination?



April 2nd is World Austism Awareness Day

Fact on Austism: People with autism may demonstrate above average levels of concentration, reliability and accuracy.

~~~~~~

So I’m taking part in RJ Scott’s April Blog Hop, aimed at discrimination and prejudice.  When thinking about what form of discrimination I could write about, it seemed only fair that with my two recent releases, Blind Faith and Through These Eyes, that I approached the discrimination that blind people in our communities face on a daily basis.

As a member of any community in the developed world, whether able sighted or not, we are entitled to basic human rights.  So what are the rights of blind people? It is tempting to reply, no different from those of the sighted. We want a happy childhood; a good education; a satisfying job; a fulfilling family life; enjoyable leisure and social activities, and the chance to take a full part in public life. We want respect; esteem; affection; but above all recognition that we are citizens with full civil and human rights.

More often than not, it’s not the perception of the blind person that they can’t do or perform certain tasks, but the opinions of able sighted people who think blind people aren’t capable.

Many things able sighted people take for granted, are not a sure thing for those who are vision impaired.  Things such as:

Paid employment – probably the most trying. Some statistics I’ve read doing research for this blog post suggest anywhere between 80% – 95% of employers wouldn’t hire a blind person.  Blind people have appropriate qualifications because they go to universities and colleges like anyone else, so why would a potential employer think their abilities to be any different?  Is the fear of the unknown? Do they believe there will be extra needs? Extra cost?

The answer to these questions is generally no.

There are no other requirements or leniencies for blind people as there are for able sighted people, with one exception, which leads me to my next point.

Technology – I think it’s safe to assume there are some jobs, for safety reasons for all involved, that blind people couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t do.  Like being a driving instructor, or a pilot, or a brain surgeon.  But most other jobs, are perfectly suitable.  Office administrator, teacher, accountants, lawyers, social workers, counselors, academics… the list is long.

The most critical component in making these professions vision-impaired-friendly, is technology.
The aid of different technologies has progressed the ease and proficiency in which blind people can do almost anything.  Such as screen readers, text-to-voice, audio text, computer integrated reading software and Braille note takers.
  
So do employers have to provide such technologies for employees?  Yes, they do. Not all are too expensive and many governments have funding to encourage such employments under the various Discrimination Acts.

But there are still employers who won’t make the concession. Though in many instances, if the employer has less than a certain amount of staff and deemed a “small-business owner”, s/he is exempt from this legal obligation.  This makes it difficult for blind people living in smaller towns.

Renting an apartment – Many blind people have reported discrimination in this regard, particularly if they have a guide dog. There was one instance where a ‘control caller’ phoned some 100 real estate agents and asked about availability of apartments. Then the same agents were phoned again, citing the applicant had a guide-dog, and the differences were alarming.

Two landlords said guide dogs weren’t allowed at all. Three said only little dogs were allowed. (Ever seen a Chihuahua seeing eye dog?) Six said there was an extra fee for tenants with a guide dog. Two said guide dogs were allowed, but only in ground-floor units.

 
Using public transport – This is a big one, and one encountered frequently.  Thankfully, times and perceptions are changing. In the 1960’s blind people – even professional, self-sufficient adults – weren’t allowed to travel unaccompanied, insinuating they were child-like and not mentally capable. 

But still, there are issues and regarding safety and accessibility that still exist today. Whether using a cane, or a guide dog, blind people encounter issues pertaining to ignorance and discrimination on a daily basis.

In my two books, Blind Faith and Through These Eyes, the public transport issue is something Isaac encounters.  He works at a school for the blind, so his employment is strictly catered to his needs and there are very limited discrimination issues there.

Throughout the course of the two books, Carter realizes just how much discrimination Isaac, as a blind man, encounters.  Issues with taking a guide dog in public, into restaurants, onto public transport, even shopping. When Isaac needs a new laptop, the sales assistant first ignores Isaac, and then speaks to him slowly and loudly, like he was mentally inept or deaf.

As ridiculous as this sounds, this is something the blind community encounters often.  If you see or encounter a blind person, on the street or in a shopping center who looks a little lost or unsure, introduce yourself politely and ask if you can help. They are, above everything else, just a person.

If, god forbid, you see a blind person who is encountering a form of discrimination, again introduce yourself politely and ask if you can help. Because it’s our right as human beings to speak up for those who are being discriminated against.

So, enough with the serious, and on to the fun stuff.
I’m giving away a copy of BLIND FAITH and THROUGH THESE EYES.  Yep, two books!!

First, we have Blind Faith


Blurb

Starting a new job in a new town, veterinarian Carter Reece, makes a house call to a very special client.
Arrogant, moody and totally gorgeous, Isaac Brannigan has been blind since he was eight. After the death of his guide dog and best friend, Rosie, his partnership with his new guide dog, Brady, isn’t going well.
Carter tries to help both man and canine through this initiation phase, but just who is leading whom?
Then Through These Eyes


Blurb

Six months after we last met Carter Reece and Isaac Brannigan, they’re still very much in love. Moving in together, moving forward, life for these two is great until some life changing events occur. Isaac has a frightening setback and Carter’s world starts to unravel. Things become even more complicated and start to change for both men when Isaac’s new colleague enters the picture.

As Isaac struggles for what he really wants, it might just cost him what he needs the most.

~~~~~~ 

Now, something on a little more personal note from me…

I’ve received a fair amount of harsh criticism for Isaac. Apparently many readers think he’s too obnoxious, too bratty, too rude and too cold. Apparently Carter deserves someone who’s nicer and deserves someone who’s capable of love, because apparently Isaac is not. I believe the term “most despised character ever written” has been used a few times.

I don’t mind criticism (if it’s constructive and fair) and to be honest, if someone says they hate the character then that’s more of a compliment than an insult because the reader felt something. Making a reader feel something, in any form of emotional response, is the aim of every writer – it means I’ve done my job. 

But to outweigh that, I’ve also had two reviews and an email, from people who have lived with, loved, married someone who lost their sight, and said the descriptions of Isaac’s anger, resentment and frustrations, and his defensive walls, were spot on. Absolutely 100% correct.

It’s reviews from people who have lived through what Isaac and Carter were living through, and applauded the not-so-pleasant reality that I created, that makes me love Isaac that little bit more.



For your chance to win a copy of Blind Faith and Through These Eyes, please leave a comment stating if you had to lose one of your senses, which would you choose, and why?  I’ll be choosing a winner at the end of April (yep, the contest will be up for all of April). 
The link back to RJ’s site, and so you can continue the blog hop, is RJ’s April Blog Hop!

Through These Eyes and Other News

I have news!!  

First of all, I have Through These Eyes cover art!!



By the amazing Sara York!  Isn’t it just beautiful?

And to celebrate the soon-to-be-released sequel to Blind Faith, I thought I’d post an excerpt straight from how the story starts.


CHAPTER 1

“Carter, for God’s sake, would you hurry up?”

I smiled into the bathroom mirror as I pulled on one of his shirts. “Keep your pants on.”

“If you don’t hurry the fuck up, I’ll be keeping them on,” Isaac called back to me from down the hall. “Permanently.”

I snorted. “Well, if I had my own clothes here…” I trailed off, waiting for him to bite back, knowing this conversation – one we’d had many times – annoyed him.

“I’ll go start the car,” I heard him mumble, and I laughed.  Then the front door closed.

Shit.

“Isaac!” I stumbled out of the bathroom door, hopping on one foot, trying to put on my shoe, trying to stop him from getting in behind the steering wheel and starting my car. I almost fell down the hall, with my shoe half on and my jeans undone, to find Isaac still standing inside at the front door.

Looking gorgeous in his pricey jeans, expensive shirt and tight-fitted, designer sunglasses, the self-righteous bastard smiled.  “Thought that might get your attention.”

Standing up straight, wedging my foot into my shoe and doing up the fly on my jeans, I looked at my boyfriend.  My blind boyfriend.  Then I looked at the golden Labradorat his feet, his guide dog.  “Well, Brady,” I said to the dog. “It seems Isaac thinks he’s funny.”

Isaac grinned, smugly. “Are you finally ready?” he asked, again. He held out my wallet and keys. “You know my sister doesn’t have a baby every day, Carter. I’d like to get to the hospital some time before my niece starts middle school.”

Instead of taking my wallet and keys, I took his face in my hands and kissed him. “Shut up and get in the car.”

By the time we had Brady harnessed into the backseat and were on our way to Carney Hospital, he was still complaining. “Seriously, Carter. How long should it take?”

“I was at work,” I said, again. “I had to get changed! I could hardly turn up in my work clothes.” Spending my days as a vet, tending to an array of animals, didn’t make for clean work clothes.  I changed gears and weaved through some traffic, looking from the cars in front of me to Isaac. “You know, if I had my own clothes at your place, it wouldn’t take so long. I wouldn’t have to go through your wardrobe to find clothes that fit me.”

Isaac sighed dramatically. “Haven’t we had this conversation?”

Yes. Yes, we had. But he didn’t want me to move in with him. At all.  It had stung when he’d first told me he didn’t want me to live with him. I’d brought it up, considering we’d been together for a year, thinking it was the next step for us, thinking it was what he’d want. But he didn’t. He liked his independence, he’d said. He liked things just the way they were.  He didn’t want us to be in each other’s pockets, he’d said.  It hurt to know he didn’t want me to move in, but since then, the subject had now become a bit of a joke between us.

Usually, I’d make a joke of it and he’d sigh or change the subject. Or tickle me. Or throw something at me.
“Yes, we have had this conversation before.”

“And how long are we going to continue to have it?”

“Until you agree for me to move in.”

“So a long while, then?”

I chuckled and shook my head. “Apparently.” I reached over the console and took his hand.  “What time did you get the call about Hannah?”

“Carlos phoned me at work this morning to say she’d gone into labor, but not to hurry, because they thought it’d be hours,” he said.  “But then he called me again after lunch to tell me it was all over.”

I looked at the clock on the dash, and like he could see what I’d just done, he added, “That was over an hour ago.”

I knew he was anxious. His sister meant the world to him, and the new addition to the Brannigan clan was the best news they’d had in a long time.  I lifted our joined hands and kissed his knuckles.

“I did leave work four hours early. I got to your place as fast as I could.”

He sighed again, and squeezed my hand.  “It’s okay. The bus took forever anyway.”

“Why won’t you let me drive you to work?”

“Because you don’t need to be driving out of your way for me, when you live five minutes from your work,” he said. “And I’m a big boy. I can catch the bus to work if I want to.”

I looked at the man in the passenger seat beside me, at his dark brown hair, his chiseled jaw and trademark Armani sunglasses. The beautiful, stubborn, completely infuriating man.  “It’s hardly out of my way.  It’d take me twenty minutes tops,” I started, but he cut me off.

“Carter,” he said sternly, in that I-can’t-believe-I-have-to-say-this-out-loud tone he gets when he thinks he’s stating the obvious. “Brady and I are just fine on the bus, thank you.”

I held in a sigh and bit back the exasperated comment that threatened to snap at him.  You’d think after being together for over twelve months I’d be used to it by now.  But no, I wasn’t really. I wasn’t often offended by his snide comments anymore, but the frustration still weighed in.

Dropping any conversation pertaining to how independent he was, I asked, “So did Carlos tell you what they called the baby?”

“No,” he shook his head and smiled softly.  “Just that mother and daughter were doing well.”

When I pulled the car over and to a stop, Isaac turned his face toward to me. “Why did we stop?  We haven’t been driving for long enough to be at the hospital. Carter, what the hell are you doing? We’re late enough!”

I waited for his little tirade to be over. “I’m aware of that, Isaac,” I said slowly. “I stopped at a florist so we could bring Hannah some flowers. Is that okay?”

Isaac sighed. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because I just saw it and decided it was a good idea.”

He sighed. “Just don’t take long.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it.” I rolled my eyes dramatically, though that silent trait was lost on him.  Two minutes later, I opened the passenger door of the Jeep and handed Isaac the ridiculously overpriced teddy bear and bouquet of pink flowers with matching balloon.  He pulled his face back in surprise, so I kissed his cheek. “Now you can’t say I’ve never given you flowers.”

I got back in behind the wheel and Isaac was smelling the flowers. After I’d pulled the Jeep out into traffic and we were nearly at the hospital, he said, “You haven’t, you know.”

“I haven’t what?”

“Given me flowers.”

I looked from him to the traffic in front of us, back to him, trying to decide if he was serious… I mean, no, I’d never brought him flowers, but I was trying to decide if he cared.  “Would you like me to? Bring you flowers?”

“Not if I have to ask you for them.”

“Then I shall bring you flowers.” I chuckled, and shook my head.  “When you don’t expect it.”

“Well now you’ve mentioned it, I’ll be expecting it.”

I sighed out a laugh. “Will I ever win an argument?”

Isaac smiled. “Not if I’m the one you’re arguing with.”

I laughed as I drove my Jeep into the parking lot of the hospital.  Pulling into a spot, I turned the ignition off.  “Well, come on. Let’s go meet the newest Brannigan.”

****


In other news, Total e-Bound has said they’d love to have my other books!!!!  



Yes!!  So that means Taxes and TARDIS, Three’s Company and Point of No Return will have a new home soon!!

AND

Breaking Point (Point of No Return 2) and Starting Point (Point of No Return 3) as well!!!!

I will be adding about another 10K to PoNR 1, so the new release will be a little longer, but essentially not different. 

I’ve been waiting for months for this very good news, so I’m very excited to share it with you all!!  

I can’t wait to move forward and start my writing career over with a new (to me), exciting publisher such as TEB. 

Thanks for all staying with me, and I hope to have some more news on release dates soon.

Oh, and speaking of which, Through These Eyes (Blind Faith 2) should be up in a few days!!  

THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!