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
Over the last year, Will Parkinson (the man, not the character from Blindside) has
pestered hounded harassedencouraged 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 upmake him happy. 🙂
demanded requesteddemanded Mark and Will (the characters, not the men) become parents. But we all know Mark doesn’t have a cluepaternal 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…
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.
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 ALREADYit’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.
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 <3 <3 And please, have yourself a very safe and merry Twelfth of Never.
- 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.
“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!!
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!!!!
Here’s a little snippet of Blind Faith. I wrote this while I was at work, and it’s rough and completely un-edited.Without further adieu, I’d like you to meet Carter Reece and Isaac Brannigan.****I was still mad when I got to work the next day. His behaviour dumfounded me. We’d had the best afternoon, and the more time I spent with Isaac, the more I realized I liked him. Not just liked… I admired him.But his moods turned on a dime, and he had a sting in his temper.I had no doubt it was a defence mechanism of some sort, and I could understand that. But I had no idea what had changed, what I said, what I did, what triggered his tirade at me.I hardly slept a wink because I replayed the conversation over and over in my head, and by morning I was tired and cranky, and quite frankly, pissed off at him.I gave up on sleep and took Missy for an early morning walk with hopes of clearing my head, and I didn’t technically have to work being a Sunday, but figured I may as well get my head around the Animal Hospital now that Dr. Fields was gone. By mid-morning, I’d done near a whole day’s work and was feeling pretty good. Tired, but good.Until Rani put her head around my office door and interrupted me. “Dr. Reece?”“Yes, Rani?”
“Phone call, line two,” she said quietly, obviously not sure if I was officially on duty. “It’s Isaac Brannigan. I told him you weren’t the vet on call today, but he insisted.”Insisted. I bet he did.I gave Rani a smile. “Thanks. I’ll take it.”She left and I stared at the blinking button on the phone. I really had no idea what this phone call would entail, whether he was calling to make a complaint against me, tell me he’d like referrals to another not-gay vet, or apologize.With Isaac, I’d gather any of those three options were likely. I sighed when I realized it could very well be all three.I picked up the handset and pressed the flashing button. “Hello, Carter Reece speaking.”There was a fraction of silence. “Um, Carter, it’s Isaac. Isaac Brannigan.”His voice sounded sheepish, even a little sorry. I still played it professional until I knew which way the conversation would go. “Isaac, what can I do for you?”“I didn’t think you were working today,” he said. “I’ve been calling your cell phone, but it just goes to voice mail.”I pulled my phone out of my pocket. “Oh, it was switched to silent,” I said absently. There were three missed calls from him. One last night, two this morning. Then something dawned on me. “Is Brady okay?”Isaac cleared his throat. “Oh, he’s fine,” he replied softly. “That’s not why I wanted to speak to you.”I took a deep breath and asked the loaded question. “Why did you want to speak to me, Isaac?”He cleared his throat again and I thought I could hear him fidget, or shift in his seat. “I wanted to apologize.”I still couldn’t believe what he’d said. “Apologize?”“Yes,” he lamented. “I was rude to you, and I’m sorry.”“Isaac, it’s fine,” I told him, though I’m sure my tone said otherwise.“No, it’s not.”“Isaac,” I started, but he cut me off.“Could you come over?” he asked quickly. “I know it’s a lot to ask, all things considered, but I’ll make lunch. It’s the least I can do.”I rubbed my temples. “Um…”“Around one-ish?”“You don’t hear the word no very often, do you?”“Uh,” he stopped. “Not very often, no.”I smiled. “Fine. I should be done around one-thirty. See you then.” I was still smiling when I hung up on him. I could have been there at his specified one o’clock but figured I’d make him wait.