A few years ago I had the opportunity to attend a conference and ask readers what appealed to them about certain genres. One answer was because the characters were real and the plots contained elements that most contemporaries novels don’t, her example was disabilities. Talk about food for thought.
We’re not talking about characters who are flawed you know the ones, have trust, commitment or some other type of issue. I mean characters who suffer from depression, are in wheelchairs, use walkers, hearing aids or canes, but don’t let their physical challenges deter them from finding love.
One such story was created The Baker’s Touch. Penelope is a blind bakery owner who doesn’t let the fact she can’t see stop her from achieving what she wants in life and what she wants now is love. This story was also a chance to show readers a little of my world, what it’s like to be visually impaired in a seeing world.
The Baker’s Touch Blurb
Valentine’s is always a busy time of year for PB and J Bakery. With love fueling the need for sweet confections, there’s always room for romance. Even the anonymous gifts left for Penelope, by a secret admirer, are a welcome distraction from the chaos of chocolate and spongecake.
Penelope Bishop has an idea who’s sending the gifts, or at least she hopes it’s her sexy mystery man who stole a kiss on New Year’s Eve. The trouble is, she’s never seen him. Her only clues are dancing skills, a great pair of lips, and a sensual voice that haunts her dreams and every waking fantasy. All that pales when her assistant, Avery, inspires those same lustful thoughts.
Avery has loved Penelope from afar, but with her recent breakup, he doubts she’ll view him beyond the current role he has in her life…seeing eye person. He has one chance to woo a woman who defines her world through touch, scent, sound, and taste–think outside the dating box. When an old flame comes courting and makes Penelope an offer she just may accept, Avery has one last opportunity to make her his Valentine…he’ll have to bare all.
Penelope spun on her heel, stepped forward and met a solid wall of muscle. Heat burned her cheeks. On top of everything else, she couldn’t even storm out of the ball room without running into someone.
“Ready for that champagne?” her mystery man said close to her ear.
She swallowed. “You saw everything?”
He lifted her hand and placed her palm on his cheek. His head bobbed up and down, but there was more. His jaw was tight and a corner of his mouth drooped. Was he upset on her behalf? The thought pricked her feminine pride, but at the same time he’d witnessed a moment of humiliation.
She lowered her head.
“No, don’t do that. Keep your head up.”
Excitement buzzed around them and cheers rose. The crowd began counting down.
“He is absolutely not worth your time and he didn’t appreciate you.”
A tear slipped beneath her lashes.
“I want you to know one thing, Penelope.”
“Not fair. I don’t even know your name.”
He hooked an arm around her waist and drew her against his solid frame. “All you need to know is this.” And as the crowd screamed “one” his mouth met hers.
She stood frozen, lost in a kiss that melted her soul, stirred her desire and mended her heart. He coaxed her lips apart, his tongue darting along the seam. She curled her fingers in the lapels of his jacket as she opened for him, their tongues dueled for supremacy until she finally submitted.
Time stood still, the chorus of voices singing Auld Lang Syne faded as he cinched her tighter. His mouth never stopped moving on hers, becoming the very air she breathed. To stay in this stranger’s embrace would be just what she needed, but a dance and a kiss did not a relationship make. Still, she wanted the passion and acceptance he offered.
“Happy New Year,” he muttered against her lips.
“Same to you. What’s your name?”
He kissed her again. “I’m sorry. I have to go.”
Before she could protest, she was alone in the crowd. She touched her lips. If she didn’t do anything this year, she would at least find out who she just kissed.