Monday, July 8, 2013

Cover Reveal - Color Blind

Color Blind by T. Hammond

     "It is actually more convenient to do the meeting today, as we were having some logistics challenges for tomorrow. My aide is making changes to our schedule so we are freed up until…” there was some muffled conversation on the line, “until twenty-one hundred tonight.”
     Okay, I thought to myself, twenty-one minus two is nineteen, minus ten means nine o’…
     “You’re subtracting in your head again, aren’t you?” Bas snarked in my ear. “Nine PM, Babe,” he added condescendingly.
     “Bas-hole,” I snipped back under my breath. But he was right, there was something about military time that always had me subtracting numbers in my brain. At least he hadn’t caught me counting on my fingers, I’d never live that down.
      Bas leaned over and pressed a soft kiss to the hair above my temple, “Love you too, Loser,” he teased, then scooted his chair away from the table and stood up.

     My face was cupped in two large hands and drawn upward to meet his lips in a warm, ravenous, sucking kiss that melted me into boneless mush. “I love you,” he said brushing another softer kiss over my mouth. He was gone before I could function enough to form a response. I was left standing in the dining room, with my lips half-parted and tingling. The taste of David and lust flavoring my mouth. Wow, the man had mad oral skills.
     "Earth to Teresa,” Red said as he brushed a shoulder against my leg. “Geez, the goofy look on your face is embarrassing. Snap out of it already, where’s your pride woman!”


       In one of the tests we had done for the police department, Gil put Red head-to-head with an experienced tracking K-9, Bruno. For most of the tests it was pretty even, Bruno even did better on many of the speed tests due to his experience, and Red’s tendency to get sidetracked by wanting to know details: Why are they using deer scent instead of rabbit or cow? Why should I scent-track when I can follow Gil’s big-ass, size fourteen shoe prints?


     “Falling in love with you is the easiest thing I’ve ever done, David. Waking up beside you every morning, makes me happier than I have ever been in my life. There are times I wake up in the middle of the night and simply enjoy the sound of your breathing.”
     He nuzzled my neck, and teased, “Next time, wake me up, then you can enjoy the sound of me breathing really, really heavily.”


     Bas snickered, “He acted like it was a great love affair.”
     Now it was my turn to snicker, “He was no one special in my life. Lighten up, guys, it’s not as if my heart was broken.”
     “What’s broken?” Ken asked as he walked through the room toward the kitchen, obviously having missed the whole conversation. “Shall I grab a roll of duct tape?”
     “Duct tape can’t fix stupid,” Bas growled.
     "Maybe not,” Red replied, “but it can hold it down and muffle the screams.”


     “Gil, do dogs see better than humans?” I asked.
     “I’ll have to give you one of my no, but yes, answers,” He chuckled. “First off, I’m sure you already know that dogs are color blind.”
     “They see in black and white?” Lt. Osborn asked.
     “No,” Gil corrected. “Dogs are color blind, like people are color blind. They can’t see in shades of red or green. Most of what they see is in muted shades of yellow and blue. If you were to look up color blind on the internet, you’d see dogs have a very limited color spectrum. Secondly, dogs don’t have the same visual acuity that humans have – maybe only thirty or thirty-five percent. I’d have to look it up to be sure.”
     “So, you’re saying, compared to people, dogs are near-sighted?” Bas asked.
     “Yep, pretty much. On the flip side, they have better eyesight than humans in dim light, so I would venture to say their night vision is a superior. They also detect movement better than people, so they would be faster to see something camouflaged than you or I would.”
     “I am a noble nocturnal hunter,” Red said with pride. “All the better to lay my trap for unwary cats.”


     “I’ll need a gown that’s appropriate for the ball. Something long and sparkly, I think. Christmasy and a little sexy.”
     Bas leaned over and placed a chaste kiss on the crown of my head. “You got it, Loser. Christmasy. Glittery.  Slit to the navel.”
     “Sexy, not slutty,” David corrected with a soft laugh. “You’ll have to be seen with her too, Bas. I’m sure you can imagine how she’d embarrass you if you tried to dress her like the Ho Ho Ho Hooker.”

EXCERPT: DAVID ADMITTING HE FELL IN LOVE WITH TERESA FOM A PHOTO (asterisks show different sections of the same scene, but paragraphs in book are not connected)

     “You were my metaphorical pin-up girl. In war zones, when things were bad, the soldiers pulled out pics of their wives, husbands, or children; Me? I pulled out a picture of you that Bas had printed off when we were still on board the ship. Sometimes it was just enough to touch the paper or hold it in my palm. Just knowing it held your image was comforting. But sometimes, I’d unfold it and run my fingers over your face, wondering about the texture of your skin.” His hand lifted, and he delicately traced the curve of my cheek.

     He drew away from my mouth, but his breath was still close enough to scorch my lips. “That same day we met, when I pinned you up against the car door and asked for a date? I shocked the hell out of myself. I’m never that forward. We had only really known each other for what? Three hours?” He didn’t wait for a reply to his, obviously rhetorical question. “I couldn’t wait to see you again- I had already waited years to meet you. I wanted to know everything about you that Bas hadn’t already told me. I wanted to just stare at your face and listen to the sound of your voice. Geez, Teresa; thirty-nine years old, and I was smitten.”

     “I won’t lose you, Love.” His voice became serious and filled with quiet certainty, “There is no place you could ever be that I couldn’t get to you. If you were lost, I would move heaven and hell to find you.”


     The Devil, formerly known as David, chuckled. “Are you ready, Lover? Your world is about to be rocked, rolled, ravished, and utterly ruined,” he promised. “Before I’m done, you will be hoarse from screaming my name, and boneless from orgasms.” He slowly lowered his naked weight over me until I was pressed into the bed. “And, if either of us can walk a straight line in the morning, no one will be more surprised than me, because I plan to be buried balls-deep in you for the rest of the night.”
Nice to know he respected me enough to assume he wouldn’t be able to walk either, I thought with some satisfaction.

     He reached over and pulled me fully on top of his chest, so he could see my face. His hands were gentle as he stroked the wisps of hair from my face, before he framed my jaw. His thumbs brushed softly over the contours of my mouth. “You may not have your eyesight, but I feel as if you see farther inside of me than anyone has ever tried to see before, Teresa. You don’t treat me like a pretty face, or a large bank balance - you have reached into my soul and you have burrowed into a space next to my heart… Damn, woman, there are times I think you’ve become my heart.”
     Tears threatened to flood my eyes and trail down my cheeks. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve this man, but I knew I would hold onto him with everything in me.
     He whispered into my ear, “I don’t just love you, I am hopelessly, and hopefully, in love with you.” His finger traced a tear trail (oops, I guess one got away) and by his movement, he lifted it to his lips to taste me. “You accept the good and the bad of me, no hesitation or assumptions.” Those beautiful, tender hands swept over my cheeks and speared into my hair to cradle my head. Two soft kisses, one to each blind eye, and a third to my forehead. “You make me feel valued; and in turn, you make me strive harder to be a better man, worthy of your respect and your love. You are the most important thing that has ever happened to me, and I want you to know that I will do anything and everything, to make sure I’m lying in this bed, next to you, fifty years from now.”

EXCERPT: SIGN LANGUAGE LESSON (Teresa, Janey, Ken and Red)
     “So, you’re telling me there are chickens in the library, and you checked out three of them?” Janey asked with a laugh. “If I was checking out anything at the library, it would be that hottie in the reference section. Damn, Teresa, librarians shouldn’t be built like the guy at the Help Desk.”
     “It should have been ‘three women gossiping,” Ken growled, with an exasperated sigh. “Although, there are similarities.”
     “I’m pretty sure that was the ASL sign for ‘chickens’,” Red mentioned to me, from his spot on the floor.
     “Oww,” Ken whined, at Janey, “that hurt. When did you learn to throw a punch?”
     “Well, duh. Big brother is a weight-lifting, ex-sailor, who teaches boxing and some karate thing…”
     “Ju-jitsu,” I interjected, helpfully.
     “Yeah, what she said… at the Y. You think Bas really wouldn’t have shown me how to defend myself?”
     “I’m pretty sure punching me in the arm is offense, not defense,” Ken protested. “But damn, woman, you’re all about the sexy when you’re all fist-fighty and in my face, like a cute little bantam hen.”
     “You’ll note,” I said, drolly to Red, whose head now rested on my knee, “that he’s managed to circle around to another chicken reference?”
     My German shepherd, just snorted. Some things were just not worth the effort mind-speak about.

Let me tell you, hearing the mental ramblings of a one year old German shepherd is like listening to the unfiltered opinions of a preteen.

“I feel like the leader in a parade of lemmings.”

About the Author

     T. Hammond lives in Spokane, WA with her goofy, neurotic, long-coat German shepherd, Dexter; he's noble and brave, until someone turns on the microwave, then she has 100lbs of quivering dog trying to hide behind her chair or bury his head under a pillow (Little known fact: a 100lb German Shepherd CAN fit under a coffee table).
     T. writes two concurrent versions of the Team Red series for both the Adult and New Adult audiences. Blind Seduction and Color Blind are part of the Blind series - featuring adult-themed erotic romance combined with a humorous paranormal storyline. The Red series featuring Red Rover and Red Zone (release date Aug 23rd) is a funny paranormal romance series with a lighter PG13 type storyline. While both series contain the same character names and a lot of shared dialogue, the Red series is stripped of sexual content and language.
     T feels that writing is not a calling so much as it is a compulsion. No one is more surprised than she is when characters take over the plot and dialog, and (re)direct stories in directions she had not (consciously) intended. She is fully convinced that the writer is the tool a story uses to tell its tale. Some tools, of course, are more appropriate for the job than others. Here's hoping, you feel she did her stories proud.
     T. has a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Management from Whitworth University, and a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and before becoming a writer she was a bookkeeper, technical/manual writer, Call Center Manager and the owner of a freshwater aquarium store, Guppy Tales.

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