Wednesday, January 28, 2015


CASSIDY'S COWBOY, ebook edition, is on sale for $.99.  It's a combination romance and women's fiction novel.  Yes, there is a hero--a single dad with a little girl.  Both need the love of the right woman.  But this is a book about Cassidy--a heroine who has never learned to read.  She's overcome adversity but not that.  The question is--  Can a CEO, who is also a cowboy, love her the way she is?  Or will he want to change her?
 I wrote about a heroine in CASSIDY'S COWBOY who has dyslexia, a developmental reading disorder. I've researched the subject but I'm not an expert. However, as a former teacher, I've seen the effects of it. The inability to decipher the written word is a subject we don't discuss much.  But reading is such an essential part of life, I decided to explore the issue in this novel. As an author and a former teacher, it's important to me.

 I had most of my experience with dyslexia when I taught second grade. This disability concerns the part of the brain that decodes symbols. I believe teachers are more aware these days than even a dozen years ago and reading problems are caught sooner. Early intervention is essential to help children cope. But children have slipped through the cracks for many years. In my case as a teacher, the learning difficulty manifested in my students with behavioral problems. When a child feels he or she can't keep up with peers, when a child feels he or she is on the outside looking in, if this child feels unable to learn, behavior changes. Acting out is common. So is sullenness or withdrawal. A teacher working with parents tries to find the root of the problem. Now testing can aid in this cause.

     My heroine had a reading disability that was never diagnosed. Her history in foster care helped her slip through the cracks until teachers and caregivers just considered her a difficult child. Fortunately she found a mentor who took her under her wing. But instead of addressing the problem, she helped Cassidy learn to live with it. Was she an enabler or a loved one helping Cassidy cope? Because she finally had people around her who cared, Cassidy learned tricks to hide her reading disability from those outside her circle. She had a  great memory.  In the same way a child memorizes a favorite book, Cassidy used her memory to retain information and absorb it. She learned to duck situations that could reveal what she felt was a flaw. Imagine the vigilance necessary to remember everything--signs, instructions, the meaning of symbols.  Anxiety can become a huge by-product in fearing the secret of being unable to read will be identified. However, in the end, Cassidy has to reveal her secret to the person she cares about most--her hero.

     Unconditional love teamed with a dose of reality wins the day in Cassidy's story.  Because I hope that can be the result for all of our children.

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 87th novel will be released in 2015.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below.  


©2015 Karen Rose Smith

No comments: