Today I would like to welcome, Robert Wacaster. He’s here to talk about his new book. Please leave a comment as I know he’d love to hear your thoughts.
Sergeant Robert Vekesser is blinded by a mortar blast on Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. After arriving at a small rehab hospital in Germany, registered nurse Lieutenant Holly Winters is drawn to him. Dealing with Robert’s new handicap isn’t easy, and both Holly and Robert take an emotional journey as they learn to deal with his loss of sight and the nightmares he begins to have. Sharing a hospital room with two other wounded men, Robert learns to cope as best he can with Holly at his side. When the inevitable transfer comes through for Robert to be sent stateside, will he and Holly be able to let each other go after falling in love? Only time will tell.
Robert’s post on Kiss the Darkness
War sucks. Even when you aren’t involved in direct combat, war can really suck. Sometimes when you’re in the military, you never know what’s going to happen to you. If you aren’t in a direct combat roll, sometimes you think to yourself “I won’t get hurt. That only happens to other guys.” The guys who go out into actual combat don’t plan on getting hurt either. If they did, who would want to go out and fight?
Staff Sergeant Robert Vekesser never thought he would get hurt. He worked in an office at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. How could he get wounded in an office? Walking to work one day though, the base is shelled and Robert is hit and loses his sight. Now there is nothing but darkness.
Meet Second Lieutenant Holly Winters. She’s a nurse in a small rehab hospital in German. Wounded military members are brought to the hospital until they can be stabilized and then they’re usually sent back home to better facilities. Holly loves her job, and does everything she can to help the wounded who pass through her ward. And then in comes Robert. Holly feels drawn towards this Staff Sergeant for some reason and wants to be by his bedside from the time he arrives at the hospital. She holds his hand and stays with him, trying to help him through the nightmares he begins to have. And little by little, she finds herself falling in love with the man.
I can’t imagine being blind. And to just have your sight taken away the way Robert does really would be a nightmare. Finding Holly by his side, Robert does sometimes lash out at her. Not really at her, but at his situation, I think. He’s in the dark and frightened out of his wits. As Holly falls in love with him, Robert also falls for her. She becomes his hero and sunshine in a world of darkness.
Holly wants to do everything she can for Robert. And after finding out he’s having extreme nightmares, she decides to visit the hospital psychologist to see if he can maybe help Robert. Earlier in the story, Holly had had kissed Robert. She had heard him singing a song about kissing and had just taken a chance and kissed him. While not quite yet admitting to herself that she may be falling in love, she does have feelings for Robert. So in this short excerpt, we find Holly going to see the psychologist.
Holly had eaten and slept a few hours, and was now sitting in an outer office. A clerk behind a small desk answered a phone and then looked up at her.
“Captain Goss will see you now, lieutenant.”
“Thank you.” Holly got up from her seat and walked into a nearby office. She stopped in front of the large desk and saluted the man behind it.
“Good morning, lieutenant. What brings you here today?”
“May I sit down, sir? I wanted to talk to you about a patient I’m dealing with right now.”
Captain Goss pointed towards a nearby chair. “Of course. Let’s see, when you called about coming in, you gave the patient’s name to my clerk and I had her find his file. A Sergeant Vekesser, correct?”
Holly nodded. “Yes sir.”
“I guess he’s having some problems adapting to his loss of sight?”
“Well, sir,” Holly sighed. “He’s having nightmares. Extreme ones. He told me he’s afraid to sleep.”
“That’s not unusual. Men in the combat ward where you’re working usually end up with nightmares, problems, there is a lot of post traumatic stress disorder connected with these men.”
“I…I know. But this morning he had a nightmare about me getting wounded. Usually these men have nightmares where they relive what happened to them in the field, don’t they? Why would he dream about me getting hurt?”
“Have you spent any time with this man?”
Holly looked down at her lap. “Yes. Yes, I’ve spent a lot of time with him. I moved myself to night shift because I wanted to be near him and watch over him while he slept. So I could be there when he went to sleep, and maybe when he woke up.”
Captain Goss cocked his head to the side curiously. “Did you know him before he was wounded?”
“No sir…but…I’ve spent a lot of time with him since he’s come in. I hold his hand and try to be there if he needs me. I’m not sure why, but I’m drawn to him.”
Captain Goss sighed. “Lieutenant, you know why we usually only use our rank and last name with patients, don’t you?”
Holly held her hands up in front of her. “Sir, yes. I know all about Florence Nightingale Syndrome, and why we’re supposed to maintain our distance. And I know that sometimes after a patient recovers, the feelings fade, I know all of that. But this is different.”
“How is it different?”
Holly struggled to find the words. “Sir…it’s just different, okay? I…I don’t know why. Have you ever been around someone who just…they need you so much, and in a way, you really need them, too?”
“Is this about you, or Vekesser?”
“It’s about him. You’re right, we’re getting off track. I know you usually only schedule rounds once a week, but can you maybe come and talk to him?”
Goss rubbed his chin. “You say you’ve spent a lot of time with him? And he reacts well to you when you’re together?”
“Yes, sir.” Holly nodded.
“Then I think you should be the one to talk to him. If he’s already accepted you, if you’ve spent a lot of time with him, he’ll probably open up to you a lot easier than he would to a psychologist he doesn’t know.”
“Open up to me? Yes sir, he does talk to me and tell me how scared he is, and things like that. But I’m not really trained in that much psychology.”
“All you have to do is talk with him. See if you can get him to tell you about his dreams, and fears. Psychology isn’t a bunch of mental tricks, it’s mostly just talking with people. Just letting them vent their feelings.”
Holly sighed. “So you think all he needs is to just talk to someone about what he’s feeling and then things will be all right?”
“No, lieutenant…you aren’t understanding. Things may never be all right for this man. He may never get over the nightmares. He may never adapt to being blind. But talking to him may help him through some things. I can’t tell you how his life will turn out, where he’ll be several months from now. But if you’re telling me he’s having nightmares, I think he may just need to talk about them.”
Holly got up from the chair. “Thank you, sir. I’ll try talking to him. To be honest, I thought you might be able to offer a little more. I mean, he’s lost everything and all you can suggest is for me to talk to him.”
Captain Goss stood up from behind his desk. “Holly, I do wish I could do more, but sometimes I’m limited in what I can do. You know that.” Goss paused deeply in thought for a moment. “How far has it gone?”
“The nightmares are extreme. He wakes up screaming.”
“I meant how far have things gone between you two.”
Holly paused at the door and thought for a few seconds. “I kissed him, Ted. He was singing this song about kissing just after he got here, and I don’t know why, but I did. I kissed him. And for one brief moment, when he was kissing me back, I think he was okay.”
Captain Goss let out a long sigh. “Okay, I’ll swing by and see him when I can. Be careful though, okay? Both you and he could get hurt real easy.”
Holly turned to leave. “He’s already hurt. Thanks, Ted.”
So there you have it. Not much help from the psychologist. That’s not the last of him in the story, though! Oh no, things can sometimes get complicated when love is involved. So if you’re in the mood for a tear jerker, take a look at Kiss the Darkness. It’s a love story with a bit of a military twist. I’d really like to thank Sam for allowing me to give you this look at my book! Feel free to check it out here:
Secret Cravings Publishing
Amazon for the Kindle
Amazon UK for the Kindle
Barnes & Noble for the Nook