Blog Tour Kickoff – Just to Hear ‘I Love You’ Video Excerpt – GIVEAWAY!!!

BlogTour-JTHILY-1 copy

I am super excited – are you? I have had a huge number of pre-orders for this book, so I hope that means you are! Now here we are on release day and to kick off our Just to Hear ‘I Love You’ blog tour I have a fun video with an excerpt reading from the book, provided by the lovely Sophie from Laughing with Lizzie, on her new youtube channel. (Check it out and subscribe – she has some wonderful piano videos!)

Now y’all know I love giveaways, so of course I have some scheduled for this upcoming month. Keep your eye out for them! (I will post on here, or you can follow me on FB and Twitter).

To be entered in the giveaway for this blog post, here is what you must do:

Share this video or blog post on your facebook or twitter, and tag me so I know about it. (I will contact you when I am online next, so if you don’t hear from me, please contact me). I will keep a running list of everyone who shares this video from the dates of 29 September through 4 October (Saturday) at midnight, then I will announce the winner on Sunday, 5 October. One person will win their choice of this or any one of my other books in ebook format.

 

 

Good luck and happy sharing!

Link to purchase Just to Hear ‘I Love You’

 

Deaf Men Dancing

Anyone who has read my latest book would know that the hearing impaired world is very close to my heart. This started when I was young and had the opportunity to learn sign language to teach a class at our church in which a deaf girl was one of the kids. I learned everything I could, from songs to stories, and eventually moved up in the age group with that same class for four years until that little lady was transferred to the older classes. It was an experience that gave me a good foundation for later in life.

Then eight years ago I got sick. My body could not fight off the illness, so instead it did the best it could in killing whatever virus was attacking my nerves by killing the nerves themselves. This is more commonly known as Bell’s Palsy. For three months I had absolutely no movement on the right side of my face and neck. Nothing. I could not even twitch my eyebrow. After that, and until the twelfth month, the body tries to regenerate the nerves that were affected. Most with Bells Palsy do not return fully to what they were before, and there is a higher risk of having it again in your life. In my case, the surface muscles were mostly able to come back – 80% they say. However the deeper muscles – tongue, muscles in my throat, as well as those that control my eye and my are in my ear – were not so lucky. That is where I still have trouble today. I cannot taste, feel, see, or hear properly on my right side.

Coming from a perfectly normal person to this, I can tell you it is quite strange. There is a lot you have to change. I learned to read lips, because in a crowd or with people who do not enunciate properly when they speak (ie – my hubby) are very difficult for me to understand.

It is because of my personal experiences that when I read of my dearest author, Jane Austen, having a brother with whom she used sign language to speak, it became an instant muse to write a story about a deaf character. Even for someone who lives a life of being hearing impaired it was difficult at times to find ways to communicate in the story what was needed.The result however was a story that touches the soul in a way my others did not.

My editor, Anita, sent me this article about a men’s troupe of dancers who are all deaf, and of course it caught my attention. Ho wonderful! Some of the things they describe are very familiar.

“I ran over to the piano and put my hand on it to feel the vibrations of the music,” remembers Mark Smith. Diagnosed as deaf at four years old, his first encounter with rhythm and dance was at his sister’s ballet class.

Smith couldn’t hear the music but was able to establish a rhythm from what he could feel. He says: “I began to copy the movements and the teacher encouraged me to join.”He went on to study dance at degree level and has worked as a choreographer for the past 20 years. Now Smith uses those early experiences to teach other deaf people how to dance.

I remember sitting on top of my dads huge speakers (he was a television and radio engineer, so believe me, they were HUGE!) when I was little and feeling the rhythm through them. Did you do that? Or did you ever enter an establishment and feel the rhythm through the floorboards? Well it seems that is the exact method this dance troupe uses.

In the absence of a piano, Smith encourages his students to place their hand on a speaker to experience the pulses from the audio. “The vibrations move through their arms and into their bodies,” he says. And when the students move away from direct contact with the sound, they maintain contact with the rhythm via the vibrations in the wooden floor. “That’s why we always dance barefoot,” he adds.

He says deaf people are constantly alert to visual cues throughout the day and so his dancers are naturally tuned to what the others are doing, rather than taking cues directly from the music. He believes that this ability makes deaf dancers better at communicating with each other on stage than hearing dancers.

I am not a dancer – really I have trouble with anything but the ground being directly below my feet, so no roller skates, ice skates, or any other devices under my feet. I am truly a klutz. However, I remember being a little girl and dancing around to music being played on the other side of the house on the piano.

Having more connections with the language, he observes that deaf dancers tend to perform his routines with lots of emotion whereas hearing dancers are strong at the more technical side.

The show also plunders Smith’s childhood memories. His first hearing aid was a big box which attaches to the chest with a harness. Dancers wear these during the performance, which he says is a very visible badge of deafness and “gives them a bit of a superhero look”.

The music in Hear! Hear! is encoded with sounds and patterns which aren’t usually known to people with typical hearing. The first act includes noises that people with tinitus commonly hear from Deaf boy One, a singer and guitar player who is hard of hearing. The score for the second act, by Michael England, is a piece of electronic classical music based on Smith’s own hearing test charts – he struggles to hear high frequency sounds like birdsong, dripping taps and rustling leaves. The second time the melody is played the higher frequencies are taken away, giving the audience a sense of how he hears music.

Does this fascinate more than just me? I would love to see these guys perform. I guess Youtube is my only wany to do so, so for now:

Exciting News!

I have some very exciting news for y’all – the print edition of my newest book, Just to Hear ‘I Love You’, is now available on Amazon. I know the price is set kind of high, but the length of it required that I do that – this story is over 122,000 words long. As with my others, if you purchase the print edition, you will also have an opportunity to get the ebook for free thanks to the Matchbook program, so really you get two editions for that price! I would love to hear your feedback! (Click the picture to go to Amazon).

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Leaving Bennet Behind – Book #2: The Journey Begins

I know a lot of you will be happy to know that I can now move on to getting LBB #2 started! WOOHOOO I can hear the cheers now!

Though this one has not yet been named, I do have the covers made, so here is a sneak peek for you:

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That lady just has an elegance about her that I picture as being in Jane – isn’t she pretty? The minute I saw her I knew I had to use her on this book. As for the color – well, anyone that knows me knows pink is my least favorite color, but sometimes it just calls for pink. This cover definitely did just that. I tried some other colors, but they did not work as well as the pink, so pink it is!

Now about the story – my reworking of the story line from the original into this series means I have yet to introduce our villains into the plot (other than a brief look at Mrs Philips). So book #2 will introduce the others. It will also tell the story focusing on the time period in which Jane and Mr Bingley build their relationship and eventually marry. For anyone who has read the long story, part of this book will also detail the struggles of Mr and Mrs Hurst, and what I hope is a good turn for them and their lives. Unfortunately Caroline has to show up as well, but I will try to keep her part to a minimum as much as possible.

Are you excited? Ok – off to open my files and get started!

Exciting News!

Today is an exciting day on many levels, one of which is – my brother just sent my ebook files to me! YAY!! So I am currently uploading them to the Kindle Direct Publishing site, and then we are all set for the release of the ebook – Just to Hear ‘I Love You’ – on my birthday in a few weeks – September 29th. The print book should be available in a few days!

Cover Reveal! (Just to Hear ‘I Love You’)

Well, it was inevitable – I knew eventually I would need to get my own site, and that time has come. I have moved all my blog posts over to my wordpress site and will continue to update over there. I will also be changing my signature links to there, so some may never see this post in my blogger blog. 

I am also in the final days of editing for my newest story – Just to Hear I Love You. It is on pre-order right now as my team finishes spiffying it up, and will make its debut on my birthday – September 29th. What better birthday gift than to get a new book out on that day! So keep your eye out for this story in the coming weeks!

And now for a cover reveal. Drumroll please……… Here is the new book cover in all its glory!

http://smile.amazon.com/Just-Hear-Love-You-Alternate-ebook/dp/B00MWC9370/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409767483&sr=8-1&keywords=just+to+hear+i+love+you 
CLICK HERE to pre-order and save! 
Just to Hear ‘I Love You’
An Alternate tale of Jane Austen’s ‘Pride & Prejudice’

Mary Bennet’s life forever changes when a childhood accident leaves her isolated in a silent world. Her sister Elizabeth emerges as her fiercest champion and unstinting protector. When further tragedy befalls Longbourn, Aunt and Uncle Gardiner embrace their orphaned nieces into their London household.

Mary and Elizabeth must face the disapprobation of London society as they endure a Season of intense scrutiny. Will Mary’s own dearest wish— just to hear ‘I love you’ —ever come to be, or will being deaf forever consign her to life apart? The sisters must face their past and Mary’s worst critic when another family’s tragedy lands directly on their doorstep. Will they have the strength to endure for the sake of another?