Hi guys, we have Kim Fielding and Venona Keyes popping in today with the tour for their upcoming release Running Blind, we have a fantastic guest post from Kim, a great excerpt and there’s three awesome giveaways! So check out the post and then click the links to enter the giveaways! <3 ~Pixie~
Kim Fielding & Venona Keyes
Kyle Green is on top of the world. He and Matt have been together for ten years, and—as the voice of Ecos, the wildly popular anime character—Kyle is treated like a rock star in anime circles. But in an instant, a stroke leaves him blind. When photographer Matt gets the opportunity of a lifetime, Kyle reexamines their relationship, discovers it has been a safety net rather than a true romance, and sets Matt free to pursue his dream. Kyle’s life and career as he knew them are gone, and he must now find the courage and creativity to draft a new plan.
After being away for fifteen years, Seth Caplan comes home to Chicago to care for his mother and to partner with a small start-up tech company. He and Kyle meet after Kyle’s collision with a child’s sidewalk toy, and they hit it off. Kyle wants to get back into running, and Seth becomes his guide. As they get to know each other, they start seeing each other beyond their three-times-a-week runs. But Seth’s revelation of the dark reason why he left his career in California sends the relationship into a tailspin and leaves both men running blind.
I’m Kim Fielding, and among my personal theme songs is this twist on a classic:
I taught the law and the law won
That’s because my day job for the past 2 decades has been criminal justice professor. And part of my preparation for this career was getting a law degree. So it was with particular joy that I contributed to the creation of Seth Caplan, one of the characters in Running Blind. Seth, you see, is a lawyer, although now he’s mostly in recovery from that as he works for a small high-tech form.
See? I love lawyer jokes. How could you not? I remember when one of my law profs gave a lecture while dressed in a cape, face paint, and fangs; the gist of the lecture was that lawyers are vampires.
But the truth is—and this is a difficult admission—I loved law school. It was a ton of work an oddly competitive, but the classes were challenging and interesting. Plus I had a knack for it. I impressed the con law prof who made students cry. I got an award for the highest grade in y wills & trusts class (which still amuses me). I made the Order of the Coif, which has affected my life not one bit, but I can see with complete honesty that I belong to the same honorary society to which Richard Nixon belonged. Yay. My favorite class in law school was, unexpectedly, antitrust law. Nothing more exciting than the oligopolies, merging, tying, and vertical restraints! *fans self*
While I was a student, I did some legal work. I clerked for a large (by Nebraska standards) law firm, where I made decent summer wages while doing research on COBRA and Federal Evidence Rule 804(b)(3). I also worked for an agency that served as legal guardians for kids who’d ended up in the social services system. I enjoyed both of these jobs.
When I graduated, I took the bar exam and passed. Which mean I’ve been paying bar dues ever since.
But I didn’t really want to practice law. And that’s not unusual for people who get law degrees. Some use their degrees in creative ways, such as my brother, who’s the assistant director of a state administrative agency. Other people practice for a while but eventually want to move on to other things. Like Seth, who’s left a law firm in California to return to Chicago, where he almost literally runs into Kyle Green.
Want to tell a lawyer joke? Now’s your chance, in the comments, and you could be a lucky winner of one of the giveaways listed below.
KYLE AWOKE from his nightmare and sat up suddenly. He waited for his eyes to adjust. Why was it so dark? He should’ve been able to see the lights from the blasted beeping hospital machines or even lights under the door. He should at least have been able to see the television where a newscaster droned at low volume.
“Kyle? Are you awake?”
Matthew Labrecque, Kyle’s partner of ten years, was trying to soothe him by rubbing circles on his back. Kyle loved the touch.
“Matt? What’s going on? Why can’t I see?”
Matt took in a big breath and let it go, as he did when the news wasn’t good. “Kyle, you had a stroke during your rest time at the studio.”
Didn’t strokes leave people unable to talk or move? Kyle frantically worked his legs, hands, feet. They all felt fine. “I had a stroke?”
“Kyle, calm down. The only thing not working seems to be your eyesight, babe.”
The words didn’t even make sense at first, as if Matt had spoken another language. Even once Kyle translated them into something that made sense, he couldn’t apply them to himself. Strokes were for other people. Old people, sick people. And Jesus—his eyes!
“What’s wrong with my eyes?” It was hard to get the words past his tight throat.
“Your eyes are fine. But the stroke…. The doctors aren’t sure yet what’s going on.”
Not sure. That meant there was hope. Some small mistake, maybe. They’d give him some pills and he’d see again. But now the darkness was so heavy. When Kyle tried to speak again, nothing came out but a distressed moan.
Metal slid over metal as Matt lowered the bed railing. The linens crinkled and the bed dipped as he sat on the mattress and hugged Kyle tightly. Kyle sobbed into his partner’s shoulder and, a while later, slipped back into sleep.
“MATT?” SOMETHING had awakened him. Footsteps, maybe.
“Nope. You got me, Kyebye.” His sister’s familiar voice sounded more hushed than usual.
“Lily? Why are you here?”
“I’m here because I sent your partner home to take a shower and get a decent night’s sleep in his own bed. He’s been camped out with you for five weeks.”
His breath caught slightly. “Five weeks? Shit!”
“Yes, baby bro, five weeks. You’ve been a resident of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago for the last two of them. I’ve been here. Matt, Mom, and Dad too. Paul is still deployed, and Evan is in baby-watch mode. We’ve been keeping vigil.”
“Your travel adventure to Belize has passed. Sorry, sweetie. I know how much you and Matt wanted to go.”
Fuck! I’ve lost time. This must be a nightmare.
“You don’t understand.” If he spoke calmly, the disaster wouldn’t be real, right? “It was Matt’s assignment to do National Geographic photography. The deadline was really tight.”
Lily rubbed his arm and sighed. “I know, Kyebye. He called his editors and told them the situation. They sent out someone else.”
Before he could process that disaster, the next one hit him. “Wait—I have gigs for dubbing. What day is it?”
“Kye, I had to reassign your books and your immediate VOs. The ones that are a few months out are still on your calendar, depending on whether you get your sight back.” Her voice faltered.
Kyle didn’t know what to do. If he couldn’t see, he couldn’t read books for audio, or match his voice to the animation screen or the movie he was supposed to dub. If this was permanent, he’d lost his livelihood. It meant the one thing he loved doing was now out of reach.
“Kye, I don’t know what to say. The docs don’t know if this is temporary or permanent. You have to be awake enough for them to do an EEG. They did an MRI, but that was inconclusive. You need to be awake for the tests to see what’s what.”
Kyle’s chest was too tight, his stomach tied in knots. He was lost.
“Kye, oh Kye. Come here.”
And there he was, once again sobbing.
About Kim & Venona
Kim Fielding is very pleased every time someone calls her eclectic. Her books have won Rainbow Awards and span a variety of genres. She has migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States and currently lives in California, where she long ago ran out of bookshelf space. She’s a university professor who dreams of being able to travel and write full time. She also dreams of having two perfectly behaved children, a husband who isn’t obsessed with football, and a house that cleans itself. Some dreams are more easily obtained than others.
Venona Keyes is a modern woman who believes in doing it all; if doing it all is only in her head. She amazes people that she can be wholly unorganized yet pack a perfect carry on suitcase for a ten day trip to Paris. Ms. Keyes is a believer in the just in time theory, and can be seen sprinting in airports to the gate before the plane door closes.
Venona has experienced love and loss at the deepest level, and is thankful for writing and daydreaming, for it kept, and still keeps her sane. Writing also introduced her to some of the most supportive and wonderful people, to which she will always be grateful.
Venona is a voracious reader, loves her feline boys, volunteers at an animal shelter, attempts to cook everything in her CSA boxes, is an accomplished speaker, is a seasoned triathlete, and enjoys swimming, biking, hiking, skipping, dancing, and her beloved overgrown garden.
You can reach Venona at: