CONTEST and guest blog with Nara Malone!!!
Nara’s taken over my blog today to talk about face blindness (fascinating topic) and her awesome release Blind Heat. She’s also offering a contest. More on that later.
For now, here’s Nara!!
Knowing by Heart
I was meeting a friend at a bookstore. When I arrived at the store, there was only the cashier and one other customer inside. I was certain that customer was not my friend.
I’m face blind. I’m accustomed to being wrong about identity, but this time nothing about the image in my memory fit this customer. I was looking for someone taller, younger, and skinnier. She had wild, waist-length hair. Thinking I’d gotten the location wrong, I dialed my friend’s cell number and watched stunned as the woman browsing a shelf of books on the other side of the room dipped her hand into her purse to retrieve a phone and answer my call.
People change, right? But they don’t change that much, not in the week since I’d seen her. The fact that my friend had put her hair up in a tight little bun on top of her head, rather than wear it long and loose, completely changed how she looked to me. This is face blindness, and this is my life.
As you can imagine, not being able to recognize people causes social conflict. When I fail to recognize someone, they believe it is because they don’t matter enough to me to be remembered. Most people have never heard of face blindness and can’t imagine how someone can see their child’s face, or their lover’s face, or a picture of their own face and not know who it is. That’s why I created a face blind character for my newest novel, Blind Heat, the second book in the Pantherian Passions Series.
I have the genetic form of the disorder. While I rely on voice recognition, hairstyle, and body shape to help me recognize people, there is one aspect of the condition researchers have uncovered that particularly intrigued me. Even when there isn’t a mental awareness of recognizing someone, skin conductance (a measure of emotional response) changes in face blind subjects when they look at a picture of someone they know.
I may not recognize someone with my head, but there are people I know by heart. And that, given there is no cure, is where I place my hope. That is where I placed hope for my character, Allie.
Marcus, a Pantherian shape shifter, believes Allie’s face blindness is the result of humans relying too much on the sense of sight and he sets out to teach Allie to “see” with her other senses. But he doesn’t figure in the heart factor. And when overachieving Allie moves beyond seeing with her senses to seeing Marcus with her heart, she can’t help but notice he’s more than your average man.
A woman who can’t remember. A shifter who refuses to be forgotten.
Allie is determined to build an ordinary life. To survive, she needs to be the sort of woman no one notices. She has a generic job, lives in a generic apartment, and thinks maybe one day she’ll find an ordinary Joe who wants an average Jane sort of woman.
Marcus is anything but an ordinary Joe. Even if humans don’t know he’s a shifter and millennial being, he’s the sort of man women notice. A night of passion spent with Marcus is a night any female, human or Pantherian, won’t forget.
But Allie does forget. She repeatedly fails to recognize him even after an intense sexual encounter. Marcus discovers the source of her problem—face blindness, a genetic disorder with no cure. And he decides to use erotic rituals to teach her to see with more than her eyes. What he doesn’t count on is Allie seeing past the man—and recognizing the beast within.
He stood just a few feet away, sheltered by a gnarled oak, right where the bridge crossed the creek and led to a picnic area. He appeared to be waiting just for her. But it had to be a mistake. There was no one, had never been anyone, who was just for her. This silver-eyed, dark-haired stranger held himself like an exotic prince, waiting for a princess maybe—definitely not for Allie the ad writer.
He smiled and it was like a sunrise breaking through her gloom. His gaze traveled her body, reigniting the fire she’d been trying to drown. The journey stopped right at her bellybutton where it peeked between the edge of her shorts and the top of the tee that didn’t quite cover her there.
Her eyes fixed on his shirt again. She could feel its heat beckoning like hot coals in a fire, inviting her to warm her hands. She could taste that color, a burn like Red Hots melting on her tongue. She swallowed. The sensation in her head rose to a humming, nudging her to go to him, to lose herself in that bold stare. She put her fingertips to the spot again, wondering if she might be having some sort of breakdown. His eyes sparked with pleasure at the reaction, but his tone was serious when he spoke.
“You have two choices, sweetheart, you can turn around and run back the way you came and I won’t try to stop you. Or you can come to me, reach for the mystery, have what you are aching for.”
If he had struck a match to her, he couldn’t have lit her any faster.
“But if you come to me, I’m not going to stop at a kiss. I’m not going to stop at all until it pleases me.”
This was not a morning to face down temptation. If only he felt like a stranger, then she might have a chance, but he felt so familiar, like coming home. Common sense told her to run. Security lay in the other direction, returning to flatline dull days lining up one after the other. What price would she pay to feel alive, live dangerously for a few minutes? There was no one here to take him from her. No one to stop her from exploring the forbidden, not this time. One taste and she’d drop back into her role as a polite, conservative wallflower. It was a dangerous choice. All the more reason.
Buy link: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-10117-blind-heat.aspx
If you’re curious about face blindness or if this sounds like someone you know, you can learn more here. http://www.faceblind.org/
You can take the Famous Faces test or a variety of other fun tests of visual perception and memory here http://www.testmybrain.org/
*** CONTEST ALERT *** CONTEST ALERT *** CONTEST ALERT ***
Tell me about your experiences in the comments. I’ll select one lucky commenter to win a copy of The Tiger’s Tale, the first book in the Pantherian Passions series.
Nara’s Personal Blog: Naramalone.com
Therianverse Blog: Therianverse.com Visit the Pantherian worlds and learn about the Pantherian and paranormal shifters Nara writes about in the Pantherian Passions Series
Follow Nara on twitter: @nara_malone
Or Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/naramalone/
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