HEARTFELT Just released! The story that began in Heartsight, on a North Carolina beach with a blind marine, a divorced mother, and a child with Down syndrome continues as the young family struggles to adapt to a new addition. Now eight months pregnant, Trish worries about her baby, her daughter, and her husband. But maybe she should be more concerned with herself. Dan struggles to prove himself at work in the face of what others consider his disability. As he wrestles with his job, he is also concerned with life at home and the impending birth of his son. How will he connect with a son when he’ll never even be able to play a game of catch with him?
How about a little excerpt?
“Susan’s mommy had a — baby, and they don’t — go anywhere now.”
Ah, there it was. The inevitable kid conferences and situation comparisons. “You know, that’s probably because Susan’s dad is away right now.”
“He’s de-de…poid.” Bella slowed her steps and bent, probably to pick up one of her seashell treasures.
“Right, he’s deployed. Like Uncle Nick was last fall.” Dan sighed, hoping Sergeant Vance wasn’t in as much danger as Nick had been during his stint in the Middle East. Dan forced his thoughts back to Bella. “You know, taking care of a baby is really hard for one person to do.”
And Trish would be pretty much on her own with their baby at first, thought Dan for the millionth time. Not only did he not know much about babies, but the smallest task could turn complicated.
Jack gave a little woof and nudged Dan around some obstacle in their pathway. As far as Dan was concerned, the action merely drove home his point.
Just carrying the baby could prove problematic. Without Jack, Dan was on his own, with just the red and white cane. And he stumbled plenty. If he stumbled while carrying his child…
“So will he, Daddy?”
With a start, Dan realized Bella had asked him a question and he’d been so absorbed in his own musings, he hadn’t noticed.
“I don’t know,” he answered, wary of holding distracted conversations with his daughter. He’d once responded with what he thought was a noncommittal “sure” and found himself speaking to her class about military service.
She huffed an exasperated sigh.
“Will the — baby like — me?”
“Of course he’ll like you. The baby’ll love you.” Dan slowed his steps as the beach became more uneven.
She kicked up some sand. “But will he be like me?”
Be like her? “Sweetie, the baby’s a boy… we told you this, right? That you’re having a baby brother, not a baby sister?”
“I know it’s a — boy, but — will he be a — retard like me?” The word rolled easily across her lips and hung in the humid air.
Dan’s knees threatened to buckle and he staggered. Jack whined, and Dan touched his head to tell the dog he was okay, though he was far from it. He took a moment to recover his thoughts before speaking. Just breathe.
“Where did you hear that word?” he asked softly. He was treading emotional water now, well over his head and barely keeping from going under. Reason told him nothing had changed, but the distant laughter of the family playing in the waves took on a mocking tone.
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To celebrate, the Kindle version of Heartsight is on sale for only 99 cents.
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