RJ’s Autism Awareness Blog Hop

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Every year RJ Scott does a monthly Autism Awareness blog hop. Part of that tour is to mention some autism facts. Mine was taken from the National Autism awareness Fact Sheet.

Autism Fact “Autism greatly varies from person to person (no two people with autism are alike)”

I’m happy to participate in this event because as some of you might be aware of my younger son is on the spectrum. The fact above couldn’t be more true. I have met many children with autism and their struggles are different for each child. Autism is considered a spectrum for its ability to manifest in many ways. Some have only minor learning disabilities while others can’t speak at all. My son is luckily highly functional but that doesn’t prevent him from having to struggle to get his ideas out. Often he has problems collecting his thoughts enough to convey what he wants to say.

After many years of effort by various teachers and at home my son has learned many valuable coping mechanisms and has made impressive improvements. We are very proud of him.

RJ told me that animals are the focus of this year. In our house we have three cats and a dog and although my son doesn’t do a lot of interacting with them other than to grumble when they take the spot he wanted on my office couch, I know he appreciates their innate companionship. I see him sliding his fingers through their fur when one of the cats plops down beside him and enjoying their fluffy texture.

CONTEST

Share your favorite pet or child story for a free copy of one of my ebooks and a $20.00 GC to Amazon or your favorite ebookstore.

Winners!!!

Wednesday is almost Monday right!!! Since it took me so long to pick a winner for hubby’s birthday contest I decided to pick 2!

 

The winners were randomly chosen and they are (drum roll)

Susana Perez

Veronique Cummings

email me at amberkellwrites@gmail.com to claim your prize!

 

Catnapped – Part 17

I know ! I did another one! *buffs nails*

*******

Jacques stared at the computer trying to understand what the instructor was asking. Holding back a groan he poked at the keyboard key.

“This is why I’m not taking computer science.” Jacques has never been computer friendly and taking his classes online hadn’t improved his skills any.

“You can always email your instructor with any questions.”

Jacques toppled out of his chair, his butt slamming into the floor. “Ouch.”

Nevio smirked. “I didn’t mean to startle you little lion.”

Jacques snarled. “I’m not little.” He stood with as much dignity as he could muster as he pulled himself to his feet.

“What appears to be the problem?” The vampire leaned over the computer chair to see the screen.

“I don’t like computers.” He offered an embarrassed smile. “I should’ve considered that before I agreed to distance learning.” To be honest it had been the last thing he had worried about. He had been more concerned about the blood sucking part of their arrangement. He stepped back until there were a few feet between them.

“I’m sure you’ll figure it out, you’re a smart fellow.” Nevio’s hot gaze slid across Jacques in a visual caress.

“D-did you need me for something?” Jacques forced his voice steady. He didn’t want to seem like an idiot.”

“Yes. It’s time for you to do your part of the agreement. I require blood.”

Jacques self-consciously rubbed his neck. “Of course. Yes. Um, where did you want to do this?”

Nevio’s smile re-defined predatory. “Normally I prefer a soft mattress and silken sheets but that might be too much for you the first time.”

Jacques nodded. “Maybe on the couch.” He pointed to the leather sofa set against the wall.

“That’ll do,” Nevio said after a long silence.

Eventually he had no doubt he would end up visiting those silk sheets but he wasn’t quite ready yet.

He allowed Nevio to take his hand and lead him to the couch. “You don’t need to be nervous. I do this all the time and no one has ever died from the blood loss.”

“I can’t tell you how reassuring that is.” Jacques tried for a dry tone but to his own ears he sounded more grateful than sarcastic.

“I can take blood from your wrist instead of your throat. As a shifter your inner animal may rebel at having a predator at your throat until we get to know each other better.”

“Thank you.” His lion had already begun growling.

Nevio cupped Jacques cheek in one cool hand. “I want you to be comfortable with me. I know it will take a while for you to get used to this arrangement but we will be together for a long time, my sweet cat, and I want you to enjoy our time together.

Jacques couldn’t deny Nevio’s sincerity. He settled back and offered his wrist. “Here you go.” He looked away not wanting to watch.

“Afraid of blood?” Nevio asked.

“Not particularly I just don’t want to see it. I do the same thing when they take my blood at the doctor’s office.” He never liked to see his blood leaving his body, his inner lion was protective of his body.

The prick of teeth against his skin had Jacques sucking in a breath before a languid heat poured through his body like a cozy blanket. Maybe he had read too many stories about vampires, he refused to call them romances, but they all involved overwhelming sexual sensations. Jacques felt none of that. Instead a rush of homecoming wrapped him in its embrace. He sighed, tilted back his head against the couch cushions and relaxed.

Nevio continued to suck at his wrist for a few more minutes before detaching his teeth and lathing the wound with his tongue in a motion sexier than anything Jacques had ever experienced.

“Wow.” Jacques whispered.

“I’m glad you enjoyed yourself.” Nevio leaned closer and kissed Jacques cheek. “I’ll have some orange juice brought to you and some cookies. Even with your shifter genes I took a lot. I’ll have to learn not to indulge myself so much in the future. You are a heady meal, my adorable one.

Jacques offered a sloppy smile as his head spun. His emotions spun in a wobbly circle. “Thank you.” At this moment he didn’t know if he was thanking Nevio for the juice or the head rush but the vampire just nodded before leaving again.

“I hope we both get used to this,” he muttered after Nevio left. If he became this overwhelmed with each session he wouldn’t be getting much else done. He rubbed his eyes and tried to remember what he was doing before Nevio came. A glance at the computer had him groaning. “Maybe it’s not to late to drop out of college.”

Catnapped – Part 16

I had my assistant repost the previous posts so that if you missed one it is easily found. There are some inconsistencies with the story but I am going to move forward and fix them in the final version. I’m going to pick this up again and try to be consistent. Life seems to be against me lately but I’m going to persevere!

****

Felix nodded toward the cursed items. “I want you to tell me what you can determine about each object.”

“I doubt it will be much.” Jacques stepped closer to examine the objects and clasped his hands behind his back to prevent any impulsive touching.

“Smart not to touch right away.”

A light tingling rippled across his skin when he leaned down. Sitting on top of a strip of red velvet fabric were a small silver box, a gold cross adorned with rubies and a black stone that resembled onyx.

Jacques sneezed.

“I can already tell you’re magical sensitive,” Felix said in an approving tone. “What can you tell me?”

“I can feel a tingling on my skin.”

“Hmm.” Felix hummed. “Interesting. You are extremely honed to magic. Your vampire didn’t tell me if you had any special abilities.”

“I’m a lion shifter but I can’t do magic or anything. I don’t know anyone who can,” Jacques confessed.

Felix’s eyes lit up like Christmas and his birthday had both arrived wrapped together in a shiny gold bow. “Fascinating. I’ve never met a shifter. I wonder if all of you have the same skill.”

Jacques shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“Well that is something to look into later.” Felix shook himself as if coming out of a trance. “Now I want you to pick each up one at a time. Don’t pick them up together.”

“Is it safe?”

“Safe? Well that is a relative term. They are cursed items after all.”

Jacques hesitated. “I don’t especially wish to be cursed.”

“I don’t wish you to be either. What are you doing to my mate, Mr. Underson? I’d hate to think I made a poor decision to let you tutor him.” Nevio’s deep voice sent chills down Jacques spine to join the tingling across his skin.

Felix paled and lost the smug confidence he showed seconds before. “No. Of course not. Nothing that will seriously hurt him.”

Nevio came to stand beside Jacques. “So you know how each item will react to a shifter then?”

“Um. I don’t think it will be different than anyone else,” Felix protested.

“You’d best hope not.” Nevio answered with a sharp-toothed grin.

“I’m sure he wouldn’t bring me anything too harmful.”

“They are simple curses. I would’ve removed them already if I thought they were dangerous.” The sincerity Felix’s face reassured Jacques.

He refused to admit he had a few reservations of his own. “Will you be here for each of my tutoring sessions?”

Nevio shook his head. “Of course not. I just want to make sure you are getting the knowledge that you need. Your online classes start next week don’t they?”

“Yes.”

“Your books should arrive today.” Nevio patted him on the shoulder. “Enjoy your session and tell me if you need anything else.”

“I will.” It took a few minutes for Jacques to get back into the right mindset. Nevio always scrambled his senses. Maybe one day he could be around the vampire without having to actively resist the pull.

Forcing his attention back to his tutoring session, Jacques picked up the silver box. His hand went from tingling to throbbing as if there were a hidden heartbeat in his palm. “What’s this one?”

“What do you feel?”

“It’s like I’m holding a heart in my hand.”

“Perfect. You’ll make a good curator. Inside that box in a voodoo doll. It has been given a shape and a target. What you are sensing is its connection its victim.”

Jacques quickly set it down. “Where did you get it?”

“I found it in an abandoned shack in Louisiana. As I don’t know who the victim is or the person who created the doll I don’t want to destroy it. I could inadvertently kill someone.”

Jacques quickly set the doll down. Creepy. “Do you run across many voodoo dolls?”

“I wouldn’t say it was common but it isn’t unusual to run across items that seek to control others. The trick is to understand when to leave them alone and when to investigate. I’ve run across some soul catchers in different cultures that were created for different things. It is never a good idea to paint all items with the same brush. The reason behind a curse is often just as important as the curse itself. After all a curse without meaning behind it doesn’t exist.”

Jacques thought about Felix’s statement and couldn’t find any fault in it. He nodded his agreement. “But what if the reason no longer exists.”

Felix grinned, a wide delighted smile. “That’s when you break it. Now pick up the cross.”

A quick glance at Felix’s face showed he wasn’t kidding. He set the silver box back where he found it then picked up the cross. “This won’t hurt Nevio will it?”

Laughter greeted his question. “That is a lie spread by worshipers to make them sleep better at night. There is little that will hurt vamps. You’re more likely to hurt Nevio by breaking his heart than injuring his flesh.”

The hard knot of worry dissolved as he blushed over his superstition. “My pack didn’t know much about vampires and I couldn’t find any dependable sources of information.”

“You could’ve asked any of the vampires around you.” Felix pointed out.

Jacques frowned. “I don’t know them well enough to know if they will tell me the truth. Besides how would you react if someone living with you asked what it took to injure you?”

Felix smirked. “You might have a point.”

The jewels on the cross glittered beneath the lights. “It’s pretty.”

Unlike with the box he didn’t feel anything from picking it up. “I don’t feel a curse.”

“Good. It’s the only one that doesn’t have anything wrong with it. I wanted to test your sensitivity.”

“Where did you find it?” He titled it back and forth but nothing stood out to let him determine if it had any other special properties.

“It’s my mothers’.” Felix held out his hand and Jacques gave it to him. “The only thing special about it is that she doesn’t know I swiped it yet.”

Jacques laughed.

“Pick up the stone.”

Forcing back his nerves Jacques picked up the black rock. “Is it onyx?” A spark of blue burst beneath his fingers. With a yelp he dropped it.

A soft thud followed its landing on the table.

“What can you tell me about onyx?” Felix prompted.

Jacques searched his memory about the properties of the stone. “I thought it was supposed to be a soothing stone.”

“Excellent,” Felix praised. “That’s why it’s cursed. It does the opposite. It sends feelings of fear and unease. Whoever created this curse wanted someone to be worried. I’m showing you this one so you can feel what a more subtle curse can do.”

“Huh.” Jacques kept a wary eye on the stone. “Good to know but do you think I’m going to need this knowledge as a curator? Won’t someone like you already remove any curses?”

“Maybe, or you might have an unscrupulous dealer. Best to be able to identify curses even if you can’t break them.”

With that bit of advice they spent the rest of the afternoon discussing curses.