How do you teach a shape shifter, a millennial being, a guy revered buy his people, that he’s not all that? Marcus is humble enough not to want the attention and reverences he’s inundated with in his homeland. He finds some relief from the adulation by living in the human controlled regions of the world. But being worshipped tends to create an aura of importance and a man as handsome as Marcus gets noticed. I figured he had to be just the tiniest bit arrogant with all that attention. So I had him fall for a woman who finds him so unimpressive that she doesn’t remember him from one encounter to the next.
That’s why I decided to make Allie, the heroine in Blind Heat, face blind. Having lived with the condition all my life, I know the real frustration of face blindness isn’t so much that I have to struggle to identify people. It’s the failures. Those times when I don’t recognize someone important to me and they are hurt by my failure. When I don’t remember someone they think it’s because they don’t matter enough to me to remember.
That’s what Marcus thinks when Allie fails to recognize him. Even after a hot sexual encounter that he’ll have branded in his memory for the next century or two, Allie can’t pick him out of a group. That ego he didn’t think he had was getting seriously stomped on.
Marcus did finally figure out that Allie was face blind, a condition so rare that Allie has never heard of it. Naturally, she’s a little skeptical when Marcus suggests he can cure her by using erotic rituals to help her see with more than her eyes.
I had some fun with these characters, but like Allie, for many years I didn’t know the source of my perception problems because I had never heard of anyone who wasn’t able to recognize people. I thought I just needed to work harder, pay better attention. I got lucky and I was pointed to the source of my problem and resources that could help me deal with the condition. Including face blind characters in Blind Heat, and the Pantherian Passions series, is my contribution to getting the word out about a problem researchers are discovering is more common than previously thought.
How does your facial perception measure up. Are you a super recognizer? Are you so good at coping that you don’t realize perception is an issue for you? You can take the fun famous faces and other tests of perception and memory here.
If it you think face blindness might be a problem for you or someone you know, you can learn more about the condition here.
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.
Like the heroine, Allie, in Blind Heat, Nara is face blind and lived with the condition not knowing there was a medical explanation for her inability to remember faces. It’s a rare and only recently publicized condition. She hopes Blind Heat will help get the word out about face blindness.
Nara lives on a small farm in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. When she’s not writing, she loves to run, hike, bike, and kayak. Every story she tells incorporates her love of animals, nature, and adventure.
www.NaraMalone.com – author blog
www.Therianverse.com–blog containing interactive content for her books from two series that include therian shapeshifters –Patherian Passions, and Passions Portal.
www.PassionsPortal.com– interactive website for Shadowling Manor , the setting for the multi-author paranormal series.
Nara_malone on Twitter
Nara.malone on Facebook
The interactive world Nara built for Blind Heat is here–http://therianverse.com/naras-worlds/
Book video for Blind Heat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-wpM6up41c
COMMENT TO WIN!
Nara will be awarding a digital copy of The Tiger’s Tale, first in the Pantherian Passions series, and a $10 Ellora’s Cave GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a GC to purchase a video game targeted for female gamers written by Nara Malone with Orchid Games, Spirit Walkers: Curse of the Cypress Witch to a second randomly drawn commenter.
Make sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/06/virtual-book-tour-blind-heat-by-nara.html