A computer game, AutiSim, was released in 2013, after a team of developers in Vancouver, Canada, recreated what it feels like to be autistic. The player navigates through a playground as an autistic child with auditory hypersensitivity. (The Independent, March 2013)
I’ve never dealt with autism, but I see the daily struggles of people who have to, and my heart goes out to them. This is the second year I participate in RJ’s blog tour, because I want to help however I can, even if it’s something small like writing a blog post.
I’m giving away one $5 Amazon OR ARe gift card, and two copies of any books I have out at the moment, including Adan, that came out April 1st. To enter, tell me about your history with autism? Is someone close to you affected? Yourself? I’ll contact the three winners at the beginning of May. Hopefully this blog tour will help spread awareness of autism, and other mental health issues that are often silent.
The excerpt is from Adan, my latest release.
Adan watched the wind blow outside his window. Winter was coming to an end, and Adan knew it‘d been a year since he arrived in Whitedell. He knew that should make him feel something, but he couldn’t allow himself to feel. Bad things happened when he did.
The door to his room opened, but Adan didn’t turn to look.
“Hello, Adan. How are you feeling this morning?” Jared asked. Adan didn’t answer, but that didn’t stop Jared from chatting as he came closer and started taking Adan’s vitals. It was more a habit than because Jared really needed to, because physically Adan was fine, and Jared knew it. “We have another meeting scheduled for you today, and I hope this one will be the right one. We’ve already seen most of Gillham’s single men, so if we don’t find your mate in the ones that remain, we’ll have to start looking elsewhere.”
Adan knew he should be interested in finding his mate. He just couldn’t bring himself to do so. He kept his eyes focused on the trees outside his window as Jared busied himself. He let Jared move him however he wanted to, and when he had to look away from the window, he stared at a spot on the wall. By now, he knew all the walls and the ceiling by heart. He stared at a crack in the plaster but looked away when the crack reminded him of another one, in another room, a room full of pain.
Jared touched his hand and Adan curled his fingers away. Jared held his hands up. “Right, sorry. I won’t touch you again.”
Adan wanted to tell him it wasn’t his fault, but he couldn’t bring himself to do that, so he just looked down at his legs. He was thin, thinner than he’d ever been, but he didn’t care.
It was weird. Adan saw and understood everything, but his mind was strangely muted, like he was there but not quite. He’d been the one to do that, to want it that way after what had happened.
“You’re as fine as ever,” Jared said.
Adan looked at him. He didn’t like the sad smile on Jared’s lips, but trying to make it disappear was outside of what he could let himself do.
“I’m going to go back to my office. Call me if you need anything.”
Jared always said that, as if he expected Adan to take him on his words and call him. Adan never had, but it didn’t stop Jared from insisting.
Jared left and Adan turned back to the window. A flash of memory, of glass reflecting Adan’s body, made Adan close his eyes. He didn’t want to see it, didn’t want to feel what he’d felt back then.
He swallowed once, twice, and tried to go back to his unfeeling state of mind. It was safe. The memories weren’t, not for him, not for anyone else.
Adan didn’t know how much time had passed when the door opened again. It wasn’t only Jared this time, and Adan remembered Jared telling him another man would come to see if they were mates. He didn’t look away from the wall, not even when someone sat next to him on the bed.
The man leaned toward him and the nicest scent Adan had ever smelled hit him like a punch in the gut. He looked at the man who was already stirring feelings Adan had fought so hard to keep buried.
Things are not always what they look like.
Adan has been in a catatonic state ever since the pride rescued him from one of Glass’ labs—or at least that’s what everyone thinks, even the doctors. Jared has tried to find a solution for a year, but Adan isn’t getting better. Jared’s last resource is finding Adan’s mate, and when he finally does, things start changing.
Yanis has been asked to check if he’s Adan’s mate, and when he finds out he is, he’s scared. He wants his mate to be better, but he has no idea how to help. Adan seems to be breaking down, though, so Yanis spends time with him, until something happens.
Adan has locked himself in his own mind, scared of what he’d do if he didn’t. He already hurt two men, and the last thing he wants is a repeat of that, but his mate’s presence by his side is making staying in his mind hard. Still, Adan has every intention of doing just that, but the power he’s been trying to suppress flares out, and Yanis is hit.
When Adan finally comes out of his self-imposed isolation, he’s immediately put to work. Time is running out to find the mole, and Adan helps as well as he can, but will it be enough?