Karen Cantwell

The Eyes Have It

brock string

In another life, before I took to writing full time, I had a different, very rewarding job – I was a vision therapist. I worked with children who had vision problems that affected their ability to learn. Many of these children (most, in fact) had 20/20 vision. But what most people don’t realize is that having 20/20 vision actually means very little in the grand scope of the visual system. When a person has 20/20 vision, that only means they can read those letters on a chart from a certain distance. It doesn’t speak to their ability to use their eyes for more difficult tasks like reading.

Um, okay, Karen, why are you telling us this? We came here to learn more about your books…

Yes, yes, my books! Well, when deciding to write the new Sophie Rhodes Ghostly Romance series, I wanted to give my male romantic hero a profession that was more specific than just, a lawyer, or a doctor, or a coffee shop barista. They say write what you know, and one thing I know very well, is vision therapy. My own husband is an optometrist in this specialized field, and the reason why I became a vision therapist, myself. Hence, the decision was made, Cal Callahan would be a developmental optometrist – an eye doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating patients (by and large, children) with Learning-related Vision Disorders. I hope it gives him some depth as a character and makes him likable to my readers.

Oh, and to make it fun, Cal is haunted by a ghost named Moonflower. Think that can’t be fun? Read Keep Me Ghosted when it comes out the end of this month!

As I always do for fans – Keep Me Ghosted will be released at .99 cents for a short period of time so you can snatch it up at a bargain. My way of saying thank you for your support. Additionally, with this book, because the subject of Learning-Related Vision Problems is so near and dear to my heart, I will be donating the first week’s royalties to Parents Active for Vision Education.

To learn more about the importance of vision in learning, you can go to the website for College of Optometrist in Vision Development. There you will find a wealth of information as well as a list of symptoms.


And now, for a little teaser – a short excerpt from Keep Me Ghosted:

Embarrassed by the attention, I shrugged my shoulders and tip-toed to the circle while flashing an apologetic smile to the lady in the sundress. Moonflower, who sat on his left, shot angry-dagger glances in my direction, so I was very thankful when Dr. Callahan placed the chairs on his right, asking the sweet little lady there to kindly move just enough to allow room for me and my sheer friend.

All eyes, human and spirit, were focused on Marmi and me until the chairs were in place and we were finally seated. I cleared my throat, very uncomfortable with the attention. “Please,” I said, “continue with your discussion. I’m so sorry to have interrupted.”

“Yes,” agreed Marmi. “Do go on with the chin wagging. Nothing like a good family tussle to entertain the dull and put a spark in the weary.”

“Marmi,” I chastised. “Don’t be rude. We’re guests here.”

“Rudeness was certainly not my intention. I am nothing but sincere when I say I find generational drama most captivating.” He turned to address the group moderator. “I so apologize if my comment was taken as cheeky.”

She did not respond.

“She probably doesn’t understand the word ‘cheeky'” I said.

“More apologies,” he said to her. “Rude. Disrespectful. Ill-mannered.”

Still, sundress lady did not respond, but did scribble on the notebook in her lap.

Marmaduke’s feathers were getting ruffled again as she continued to ignore him. “Does she understand any of those words? Is the woman completely illiterate?”

I shrugged.

The freckle-faced ghost piped up. “What’s chin wagging anyway?”

“Talking,” answered Marmi. “Chatting or gabbing as you Americans—”

Sundress lady had finally returned her attention to the group and plowed right over Marmaduke’s newest attempt at soliloquy.

“So, welcome to our group, and a special thanks to Dr. Callahan for inviting you. My name is Sandy. I’m the group counselor. Please, go ahead and introduce yourself. Tell us your name, your friend’s name, and what brought you here today.”

“Yes then, well, my name is Marmaduke Dodsworth, I once hailed from the town of Dartford in Kent, England. I made passage to America in the year of—”

The lady’s eyes were hooked on mine, however. I knew she wasn’t listening to a thing Marmaduke was saying, but was instead, waiting for me to answer.

“Marmi,” I whispered, “I think she was talking to me.”

He deflated. “What am I? Chopped liver?”