Autism Awareness Blog Hop 2020
I’d like to thank RJ Scott for inviting me to participate in her Autism Awareness Month Blog Hop! It’s an honour to be able to partake in spreading some awareness in our wonderful community! The theme this year is food, and it’s so appropriate this year because we’re all in lockdown, or isolating during this global pandemic, and food is a current and constant thing we’re all facing. Cleaning and baking have proven to be therapeutic in helping folks feel productive. And yes, I’ve been baking!
I love all sweet foods, and so far I’ve baked banana bread and orange cake. Which is great, but then I eat it ALL so I’ll be the size of a house by the time this is all over LOL The recipe I use for the orange cake is below!
Autism is a developmental disability. It’s a difference in how your brain works. Autistic people can have good mental health, or experience mental health problems, just like anyone else.
You can find the recipe at BEST RECIPES
I’m not sponsored by or affiliated with the Best Recipes site, I just like some of their recipes and thought you might too!
125g unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour sifted
1 tbs orange zest, finely grated
1/3 cup butter softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar sifted
2 tbs orange juice *to taste
1/2 tsp orange zest, finely grated
- Combine all cake ingredients and beat thoroughly for 3 minutes.
- Pour mixture into a greased 20cm x 10cm loaf or 20cm ring tin.
- Bake in the centre of a 180C oven for 30-40 minutes.
- Turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool.
- Mix orange icing ingredients together in a bowl, then ice cake.
Please follow the blog hop for more awesome posts and all things about food!!
RJ Scott’s master post is http://rjscott.co.uk/autismbloghop2020
The Sense of Sight – RJ Scott’s Autism Awareness Blog Hop & a Free Book!
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?
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!
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 <3
M/M Veterans Day Scavenger Hunt
Welcome to the MM Veterans Day Scavenger Hunt
Today I am hosting 2 Bibliophiles Guide
Welcome to Jenn and Lynde from 2 Bibliophiles Guide on my blog. Aussies don’t have Veterans Day so the first question I asked when we were discussing the blog – what is Veterans Day?
Over to Jenn and Lynde.
Veterans Day is a public holiday held on the anniversary of the end of World War I (November 11) to honor US veterans and victims of all wars.
When we decided to explain what Veterans Day meant to each of us, I was kinda stumped. I realize the two blogs being from different countries had completely different versions so I was excited to find out. I asked some blogger friends on Facebook what Veterans Day meant to them. I got the same response with little variation. It’s a day to Thank a Veteran. If you know American history you know we didn’t always treat our soldier with the respect they earned and the love they needed.We have come a long way and I think each Veterans Day is a way for each of us to atone for the sins of the past. Our schools hold assemblies and Veterans are invited to attend. Its a small way to show respect. A lot of cities host arades, concerts and other events.
Overall the theme is THANKING a Veteran and never letting them forget we know what they sacrificed for each of us.Everyone I questioned agreed on one thing. Veterans Day should be an event 365 days of the year.
Rapid Fire Q&AJenn
- Chocolate/Vanilla Chocolate Milk or White mmmm mmm
- Coke/Pepsi I will suffer through a Pepsi but love Coke
- Morning/Night Night
- Coffee/Tea Coffee all day/night
- Summer/Winter Um.. I live in Florida, we have one long summer lol
- Chocolate/Vanilla Chocolate
- Coke/Pepsi Pepsi
- Morning/Night Night
- Coffee/Tea Coffee
- Summer/Winter Summer
Follow the Scavenger Hunt for more chances to win!
11/11 – Jessie G Books, N.R. Walker, Talon P.S. & Princess S.O., Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy
11/12 – Ki Brightly, Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews, Sloan Johnson, Wickedly Innocent Promotions
11/13 – Aria Grace, Chris McHart, Sassy Girl Books, Gay Book Reviews
11/14 – Carly’s Book Reviews, Kai Tyler
11/15 – Lissa Kassey, Prism Book Alliance
11/16 – KathyMac Reviews, Stephen del Mar
11/17 – 2 Bibliophiles Guide, M.A. Church
11/18 – Charlie Cochet, Lexi Ander
11/19 – J.K. Hogan, Book Lovers 4Ever
11/20 – BFD Book Blog, Bike Book Reviews
11/21 – T. Strange, Book Lovers 4Ever
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Halloween Facebook Hop & Giveaways!!!
I’m taking part of a Facebook page Halloween Hop! There are over 100 authors participating, and over $1200 in prizes to be won!! I’m giving away a $5 Amazon gift card!
The contest only runs for the 24 hours of Halloween, EDT timezone.
HOW TO ENTER:
Go to my Facebook Page. Read the instructions in the pinned post (they’re very simple!) and hop along to the next authors page (a link to the next author is in the post) and enter on their page as well!! You can enter on EVERY participating author’s page for a chance to win! That’s over 100 chances!!
I don’t want to put the instructions in this blog post, because I don’t want to confuse people and have them enter on my blog, because it’s a Facebook-only contest. So, Hop over to Facebook, and get Trick or Treating! And good luck!! <3
LGBTQ Push Back Giveaway!
I am a part of the fantastic fundraising efforts of our bloody awesome m/m community. The LGBTQ Push Back Charity Giveaway is raising money and awareness, in retaliation to recent (and very public) anti-gay money raising schemes. So let’s show them that we can do better!
But first some serious stuff.
I have used this next segment from The Diverse Reader post (links below) but I thought they were important to share:
We might work in a world of fiction, but here are some facts. LGBT people make up less than 10% of the overall population, yet 40% of homeless kids in the U.S. identify as LGBT. Of them, 68% cited family rejection for the reason they were on the streets. Studies have repeatedly shown that homeless LGBT kids are more at risk of being attacked, robbed, and raped than their heterosexual counterparts, more likely to engage in prostitution or survival sex, more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol, and more likely to attempt or commit suicide. Despite this, less than 25% of homeless shelters cater for or specifically target LGBT kids, leaving them at the mercy of individual organizations who can pick and choose who they help and who they abandon on the streets. Laws such as Indiana’s SB 101 enshrine the legality of refusing service—including such basic assistance as food and shelter—to people specifically because they’re LGBT.
This isn’t about pizza. This is about creating a climate in which LGBT individuals feel isolated from and rejected by the rest of society. It’s about creating a climate in which parents feel justified for kicking their kids out on the street. It’s about cutting off any and all support networks which might otherwise be available to prevent kids from ending up on life’s scrapheap because of how they were born.
Want to read a happier ending?
Changing laws and attitudes takes time, and right now there are LGBT people in need who can’t afford to wait. The sooner we can help them, the better, and the more resources we have, the more help we can offer.
That’s why 224 authors, review bloggers, and publishers have got together to offer something wonderful: a reward for people who do a little bit to give back to charity. Instead of spending $5 on a book in the next two weeks, give that $5 to an LGBT charity of your choice, tell us about it in the comments, and go into the draw to win a book from one of our participating donors. And because it’s not all about money, if you can’t make a donation then please take a moment to share a charity’s links and tell us about that instead.
Three fundraisers have been set up to counter the hateful effects of Indiana’s SB 101. #Pizza4Equality is aiming to match the money raised by *that* pizza parlor, with all donations going to Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund. Another fundraiser is aiming to raise $100,000 for Indiana Youth Group. Finally, Planting Peace is trying to raise $100,000 to provide beds for homeless LGBT people.
Please consider giving to one of these deserving fundraisers, or any other LGBT charity anywhere in the world. We’re not telling you where you should donate your time and money, only asking that you do. The smallest things can make the biggest difference, and together, we can do something incredible.
Meet the 224 authors, bloggers, and publishers in this awesome YT video…
To enter the giveaway:
Please check out the post on Diverse Reader HERE. Comment on THAT post, NOT THIS ONE. To simply the giveaway, given so many sites are contributing, there is a rafflecopter on the Diverse Reader post in which you can enter.
The link in full is
The Charity Giveaway will run from the 18th of April until the 1st of May. You will be contacted by your paired up author/giver. Remember to PLEASE check your spam. Due to the high volume of donations it can take a few days to hear. Please be patient. Thank you ALL for giving. Thank you to all the 224 Givers in this charity giveaway.
It feels good to push back!
Down Under Authors Showcase and Giveaway!
It’s perfect timing that Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review blog is running a Down Under month to showcase Aussie and NZ authors with Red Dirt Heart 4 being released!
I have answered some FUN questions today! Which you can find HERE! There is also a word-hunt giveaway! Including an e-copy of Red Dirt Heart 4!
And you can check out the full list of AWESOME AUTHOR names at this link, and read some fabulous interviews, and of course there are giveaways…
Thank you Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for running such a FAB month-long showcase! The amount of time and effort you’ve put into this is staggering, so a HUGE thank you to you!
Can you see discrimination?April 2nd is World Austism Awareness DayFact 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…BlurbStarting 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 EyesBlurbSix 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!
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