want nothing more than to find a peaceful and secure space to be, a
place that fulfills their needs and gives them the freedom to be
themselves. But the world is a harsh place for anyone who is
ways, single and surviving, channeling her emotions into her work and
her love of Bri.
plus her Aunt Deb who adores her.
these four women find love against the odds?
Siera kicked a stone as she shuffled along the gravel path. With her head bent, she didn’t see the other young woman sitting on the bench, at first. The sun was shining bright, but her mood did not match the weather.
She’d had a horrible day at Walmart. When the group of teenagers walked into the store and snickered as Siera greeted them, she knew that at least one of them would say something mean. Teenagers were especially cruel. High school hadn’t been easy for her, but she had flown under the radar for the most part and had finally graduated. It had been a long, lonely existence.
“I heard Walmart hires all the retards in town. It’s stupid to have greeters, but I guess they figure hiring the handicapped makes them some kind of civic giant. I sure wouldn’t want to greet people at Walmart all day long. How boring,” a young woman said.
“Oh, that’s Siera. I heard her mom made such a huge fuss at the school and threatened to sue if they didn’t allow her precious daughter to attend the regular classes. She never said much in class. It’s sad really. Her parents should have let her go to the special school where she could be with her kind.”
Siera knew that most people assumed she wouldn’t understand when someone was saying something derogatory about her, but she always knew. Her mom had to fight with the school to keep her in the regular classroom. It didn’t matter that she’d proven she could do the work just like everyone else. Each year the new teacher would take one look at her almond-shaped eyes and make the same assumption that every other teacher before them had. When Siera would answer the teachers during roll call, she would notice the slight head nod indicating a verification of their assumptions. No matter how much speech therapy Siera had, there was still a slight slur to her words. Siera hated her thick tongue that she knew was the culprit. Her mother had patiently explained that low muscle tone was a big contributor. That was a frustrating fact that added to her dumpy appearance.
Finally, in her last year of school, a guidance counselor who didn’t have any preconceived notions about Siera’s abilities had encouraged her to apply to Big Bend Community College. Siera loved Miss Moore for that. Besides her mom and aunt, Miss Moore was the first person who ever believed in her.
Siera heard the honking of the geese and looked up to see a frantically waving hand. She turned her head, thinking that the young woman sitting on the bench was waving at someone behind her. She wasn’t. Siera was alone on the gravel path along the lake.
As Siera took a few tentative steps toward the young woman, she noticed her crooked smile and couldn’t help the grin that seized her mouth and made her lips turn up in joy. The young woman looked like her, with almond-shaped eyes and small ears just like Siera’s.
Siera hadn’t been around others like her. Her mom had never acceded to the authorities when they’d wanted to relegate her to the special schools for children with Down syndrome.
Siera knew she had Down syndrome; her mother had explained everything to her when she was a young girl but made sure Siera knew that she shouldn’t let having Down syndrome define who she was or what she could accomplish in life. What her mom didn’t realize was that mainstreaming, while helping to push Siera to reach her potential, had left her isolated and alone in a very scary world.
“Hi,” the young girl called out.
“Hello,” Siera tentatively responded.
“Do you want to feed the geese?”
Siera squinted her eyes and noticed the thick, golden-blonde hair pulled loosely in a ponytail. It was beautiful. She had an urge to touch the soft strands. Siera had always been a tactile child, wanting to touch everything soft and shiny. This young woman’s hair glinted in the sunshine.
“You have beautiful hair,” Siera blurted out.
Publications, who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her
wife and their five furry kids. With ten published novels and one
Goldie Award for her fourth novel, Locked Inside, she finally feels
like a real author. Annette is as much a reader as a writer and
always looking for the next lesfic novel to cue up. She came up with
the One Fan at a Time tagline because it rolled off the tongue much
better than One Reader at a Time. After pondering who she was at her
core, it was all about connecting to each reader on a personal level.
She would be the first to admit she doesn’t do well with the masses.
If someone picks up her book and it touches them she believes she has
achieved what she wants with her writing by reaching each reader. It
is who she is at her core.
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