I can’t believe release week is here! Hard to image that a year ago I had no clue this was coming my way. Writing can be a draining career at times. It’s filled with lows and highs and stress. But it’s also filled with amazing moments.
Like this week.
I’ve been asked what this experience has been liked for me, and the only way to explain it properly is with gifs.
It’s a lot of this:
With spurts of this:
Then right back to this:
And mostly, this:
All those crazy emotions have been more than worth it, resulting in this swoon worthy cover:
Many of you have held my hand and cheered me on. Writing may be a solo activity, but it’s strengthened and cherished from the community. To thank you all for your support, here’s a little preview:
The minute the professor opened his mouth, I knew it would be a long semester. The muffled sound struck a vein deep inside my skull, vibrating tension destined to trigger one of my frequent headaches. I slid my hand under my long brown hair, scratched my cheek as a decoy, and then ran my finger over the microphone of one hearing aid. Static rang loud and clear, confirming my suspicions. My hearing aids were fine.
The professor was the problem.
His booming voice ricocheted an accent off the walls of the small classroom. An accent I identified as . . . not from around here. Dr. Ashen’s bushy mustache covered his top lip. Students shifted. Pages turned. Pens moved.
I flicked my pen against a random page of my thick book. Words spilled from his bottom lip, and I couldn’t understand one fucking sound. Survival skill 101 of having a hearing loss: blend in. I’d grown skilled at blending, almost mastering the task of invisibility. No cloak required. Take that, Harry Potter.
I always, always, always heard my teachers. Until now.
Big Fuck-Off Mustache + My Ears = Not Happening.
Dr. Ashen glared my way. He tapped his textbook and went right on speaking.
I couldn’t see his book; tapping it didn’t help. Moron. I rolled my eyes and landed on my neighbor’s book. I scanned the words, hoping something, anything, would match. Nothing did. What a waste of a class. I shoved my book and slouched in my seat. No way could I keep up. No chance in hell.
With a sigh, I focused on two women standing by the dry-erase board, both dressed in black, heads close as they chatted. They looked much too old to be students, but considering this was an undergrad/grad class, anything was possible. Perhaps they were assistants to Dr. Ashen. They looked to be following him about as much as I was, but that didn’t mean they weren’t his assistants. They could’ve heard his spiel one too many times before. I wished I’d heard him at least once.
One of the women wore the coolest glasses with tiny gemstones in the corners. If I ever needed glasses, I wanted those. Chic Glasses Lady glanced at the clock and said something to the other, who had long brown hair in perfect ringlets. If my hair had curls . . . I shouldn’t be shopping for fashion styles in my linguistics class. They moved to get their bags as the door opened.
You know those corny movies where the love interest walks in and a halo of light flashes behind ? Yeah, that happened. Not because this guy was hot, which he was, but because the faulty hall light had been flickering since before I walked into the room. His chestnut hair—the kind that flopped over his forehead and covered his strong jaw in two to three weeks’ worth of growth—complemented his rich brown eyes and dark olive skin, which was either a tan or damn good genetics.
Not that I paid much attention. I was just bored.
And warm. Was it warm in here? I repositioned my hair, thankful it not only covered my aids but also the sudden burning of my ears.