RJ’s April Blog Hop for Autism Awareness
Mar 31, 2013 Filed under: contemporary, excerpts, m/m, web event
I’m thrilled to be part of this blog hop to raise awareness about autism and prejudice.
After reading, leave a comment for a chance to win your choice of any ebook from my backlist.
Autism Fact: Autism affects the way a person communicates with, and relates to, other people.
When my older daughter was three, she had a very small pre-school class and one of the girls in the class had autism. The little girl had a very limited vocabulary, she didn’t join in most class activities, and she left class for part of each day for speech or occupational therapy. At the beginning of the school year, I wasn’t sure how my daughter would react to this girl since my daughter was speaking with more complex sentences than most three-year-olds and was very observant and would wonder why the other girl left class with different teachers. But instead of being concerned by her differences, my daughter made sure the other girl knew she was welcome to join the class when they made crafts or had snack, and she talked to her just as she did the other children in the class even though the little girl didn’t answer back.
Whether it had to do with my daughter’s attitude towards her or something else about my daughter, the little girl started sitting beside her at snack, playing with toys beside her and generally attempting to make friends in her own way. Her mother and I became friends, and the girls played together outside of school. My daughter never saw a reason to treat her differently from her other friends.
No one at the pre-school talked about there being anything “wrong” with the autistic student and the teachers treated her the same way they treated the others students. I think my daughter saw that and modeled the behavior herself.
It wasn’t until several years later when her friend went to an elementary school with a special needs program that my daughter realized her friend had something society consider a disorder. As far as she was concerned, her friend just thought and communicated in her own special way. I was so glad that this was how my daughter formed her early impression of children with special needs. Rather than having a pre-conceived idea of someone with autism, she got to know her first and then found out why her brain worked differently. It would be great if we could all meet each new person we encounter without making any assumptions about them ahead of time.
Sadly, that’s not possible for most adults, but when I find myself judging someone I haven’t met, I remind myself of all the times my pre-conceived notions (or prejudices) have been wrong and the person I got to know was nothing like I would have expected.
My most recent release is Astronomical. In this story, Greg MacIntyre, an astronomy professor, defies most assumptions people make about geeky astro-physicists.
Astronomical by Silvia Violet
When sexy, kilt-wearing astronomy professor Greg MacIntyre moves in next door, Blake Theriot knows he’s in trouble. Blake is a research librarian, and he likes things orderly and controlled. But in his secret fantasies, he craves a big, powerful man like Greg to stir up his life.
Every time Blake tries to talk to his erudite neighbor, his brain shuts down and his vocabulary is reduced to one-word utterances, but when Blake’s niece challenges him to invite Greg to dinner, he does. A few shots of after-dinner whiskey loosen Blake’s inhibitions, and the two men share a hot kiss and the promise of more. Can Blake relax enough to give himself a chance with Greg, or will his fear of letting go ruin his hopes for love?
The front door banged open, making me jump. I muttered a curse as I looked at the spaghetti sauce I’d splattered on my shirt. I’d have to change before I headed to work.
“Blake, are you in the kitchen?”
My sister’s shoes made a swishing sound as she walked through the living room and into the kitchen. “It smells great.”
“Thanks,” I answered absently as I looked through the spice rack for cayenne.
“Have you been outside lately?”
I shook my head. Renee had a conspiratorial tone in her voice that told me trouble was coming. I focused on stirring. I would not fall prey to her scheme, whatever it was.
“You should come check out the view.”
“What?” I tasted the sauce and added more pepper. “Why?”
“When you told me your new neighbor was an astronomy professor, I imagined someone even geekier than you.”
Heat rose to my cheeks like it did every time I thought about Dr. Greg MacIntyre. No one had caused such a strong reaction in me in years. The man was truly devastating—tall and beefy with wavy red hair I longed to run my hands through, preferably while on my back throwing my legs over his shoulders. No need to choose between brains and brawn with him.
But during the few conversations we’d had, I’d babbled like a fool in response to his erudite remarks. If Greg was gay—and he’d given me no solid reason to believe he was—he wouldn’t want a drooling imbecile for a partner.
Renee started to say something else, but she was interrupted by her daughter, Haley, rushing into the kitchen. “Hey, Mom. I thought I heard you come in.”
Renee was raising Haley on her own. She worked as a nurse in pediatric intensive care and had arranged her schedule to work three night shifts in a row and then have four days off. Haley usually spent those nights with me and occasionally stuck around for a few hours after school on the first of Renee’s days off so her mom could catch up on sleep or run some errands.
Haley turned pleading eyes on me. “Dr. MacIntyre is outside. Can I go meet him now?”
My shirt was stained. I’d overslept and raced out the door without shaving or doing anything to tame my curly hair. I was rushing to get dinner made because I’d agreed to fill in for someone at the main campus library and had to go back to work.
But Haley had been anxious to meet Greg since he’d moved in a week ago. She loved astronomy and all the mind-boggling math it required. She’d seen Greg setting up a telescope in his backyard and hoped he’d let her take a look through it. I couldn’t deny her the chance to meet a real-life astrophysicist, especially one so well-respected that Louisiana State University had lured him away from Berkeley for their Advanced Gamma Ray Survey Mission. I wasn’t sure exactly what the program’s professors did, but their work sounded impressive and expensive.
I sighed. I’d already made an ass of myself with Greg, so what difference did it make how I looked?
“Sure. Just let me—” Before I finished my sentence, Haley shot out the door. I nearly busted my ass racing after her. Renee laughed as I stumbled down the porch steps.
When I reached the yard, my heart nearly stopped. Greg was indeed outside, up a ladder, fixing a broken gutter, wearing nothing but a utility kilt. A fucking kilt. Could he get any more perfect?
I stared, frozen to the spot. My mouth watered as I took in his muscular legs, his round ass, and the broad expanse of his back. He reached up to hook the gutter back in place, and I bit my lip to hold in a groan at the sight of his muscles flexing.
“Uncle Blake?” Haley snapped me out of my trance. “Are you okay?” she asked.
“Uh…yeah. I’m fine.”
Her lips turned up in a mischievous grin. “You like him, don’t you?”
She rolled her eyes. “Dr. MacIntyre.”
I prayed her loud whisper hadn’t carried across the yard. “He’s a nice man.”
Not a conversation I wanted to continue. “Come on. Let me introduce you.”
As we got closer, I had to resist the urge to look up Greg’s kilt. Sweat rolled down my temples as I wondered whether he was naked under there. At least in the Louisiana heat, everyone was sweaty.
“Hi, Greg,” I called.
He looked down and smiled. His green eyes sparkled, and my cock responded. I so didn’t need to be standing there with a hard-on.
“I know you’re busy, but I wanted to introduce you to Haley.”
“Hi, Haley.” He waved at her, and she blushed a deep red. Even nine-year-olds couldn’t resist him.
He started down the ladder, his kilt lifting with each step. I couldn’t stop myself from peeking. I nearly passed out when I caught a glimpse of his pale, hair-covered ass cheek. My cock hardened more, and I prayed he—or worse, Haley—wouldn’t notice.
When he reached the ground, Greg shook her hand. “Nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too. I was hoping you’d show me your telescope sometime. I’ve been reading Seeds’s Foundations of Astronomy, and I’ve got lots of questions.”
His smile widened. “Most likely you already know more than most of the freshmen I’ve taught. I’d love to answer your questions and do some stargazing together.”
Haley grinned. “Great!”
I nearly swooned. Greg was hot, brilliant, and apparently also good with kids.
“There are lots of cool things I can show you. How much math have you done? Any algebra yet?”
I barely heard his questions. My gaze was glued to his hand as he ran it casually up and down the handle of his hammer. I couldn’t stop imaging him touching my dick the same way.
“I’ve been working on algebra on my own,” Haley said. “My stupid school won’t let me move ahead, and my class is still adding fractions.”
He rolled his eyes. “I’ll help you with the math too.”
Haley lit up. I couldn’t recall ever seeing her so happy. “That’s awesome! Thanks!” She glanced at his kilt. “So are you, like, Scottish or what?”
He laughed. “On my father’s side, yes, but I wear kilts because I like them, especially this style. It’s got lots of useful pockets and straps.” He slid the hammer he’d been caressing through a loop on the side as a demonstration. “Pants get too confining.”
My knees threatened to give as I thought about what was under his kilt, unconfined.
“Hmm.” Haley considered his statement. “I like shorts better than skirts. You can do cartwheels in shorts without showing your underwear.” She demonstrated, flipping herself over on his lawn.
He laughed. “You’ve got a point there, but it’s been a very long time since I attempted a cartwheel.”
I wondered if I could convince him to attempt one after Haley left.
Renee motioned to Haley as she exited my house and walked to the car. “Come on. We’re going to be late for your piano lesson.”
“All right. I’m coming,” she yelled to her mom. “I’ll see you soon, Dr. MacIntyre.”
He smiled at her, and I got all wobbly again.
“Call me Greg,” he called as she ran off.
She turned back, grinning. “Awesome.”
“Haley, come on,” Renee called impatiently. She waved to Greg from her spot by the car. “I’m Renee. Sorry to be in such a rush, but I’m sure I’ll see you again soon.”
Greg smiled at her, but he gave no indication he was checking her out. Renee and I were twins, and, like me, she had thick, curly black hair and dark brown eyes. Where I was tall and lean, she was short and curvy, very curvy. Straight men did a lot of staring when she was around.
Maybe Greg is gay after all. Or am I just seeing what I want to see? As I considered my track record with relationships, I doubted I could be that lucky.
Greg waved to Haley as they drove off. “Your daughter’s great,” he said, looking at me.
“What?” The word flew out as my brain worked to comprehend what he’d said. I’d been observing the hard planes of his torso and marveling at the way his golden chest hair glinted in the sun.
“Haley? She’s not my daughter. She’s my…uh…my niece.” I wished I could melt into the ground. Why did he have this stupefying effect on me? “Renee’s my sister. I’m not… I mean, I don’t have any kids.”
Greg’s emerald eyes sparkled as his gaze drifted up and down my body, assessing me. “I see.”
Is he flirting with me?
He smiled as if he sensed he’d gotten me flustered. “Are you interested in seeing the stars too?”
Was I ever, but not in the way Greg meant. At least I didn’t think he meant it that way. My cock, on the other hand, was convinced it should be ready for action. “Well… I…”
“Because I’d love to show you my telescope.”
To my lust-crazed ear, his low voice was filled with sexual intent. My cock strained against my pants, and the dryness of my mouth rivaled the Sahara’s. I forced myself to swallow as I tried to remember how to speak. “That sounds…um…great. Yeah, great.” I grabbed my phone from my pocket and looked at the time. “Work. Late. I-I’m going to be late.” What a blubbering idiot.
Greg grinned, and heat flashed in his eyes. “Go. We’ll talk later.”