Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday Treat with Heidi Cullinan

On the Spectrum: Derek Paravicini

In Carry the Ocean, Emmet introduces Jeremey to an artist named Derek Paravicini. He’s a real person.


He was born prematurely, and the oxygen therapy to save his life cost him his sight and some of his development. However, Derek had many gifts which made these setbacks little more than an annoyance. By the age of four, he’d taught himself to play piano. Eventually he paired up with his teacher, Adam Ockleford, who perfected his technique and helped him nurture his talent.

Derek can improvise with a skill few can match, and he can play any music once he’s heard it once.

You can view a TED talk “In the Key of Genius” online and see Derek play for yourself.

Emmet can’t play piano the way Derek can, but like many people with autism, he has some special skills of his own.

He’d learned more about my roommate in ten minutes than I’d learned in a day. “How could you read what he said with his hands without looking at him? And the same for him with you?”

“We both have camera eyes. It’s easy.”

“You have what?”

“Camera eyes. A lot of autistic people can see things like camera pictures. We use our peripheral vision to see things, and we can remember what we see. It’s why sometimes we get overwhelmed in busy places. We take too many pictures.”

This potentially explained so much about Emmet. “Are you telling me right now, though you’re not looking at me, you’re looking at me? I mean, even though your eyes aren’t focused on me, for you they are?” Every time I said it, the words didn’t make sense.

Emmet smiled, understanding anyway. “Yes. I can show you. We’ll play a game. Hold up a number with your fingers and I’ll tell you. You can try to hide it a little to make it challenging.”

I did try, and he never, not once, failed to know exactly how many fingers I held up. I went into the house and got a book to hold up, and as soon as I held it close enough, he could read it from the side as well as he could in the front. In fact, it wasn’t as close as I’d have had to have the book reading it the usual way.

“That’s amazing.” I put the book down and shook my head. “You’re Superman or something.”

He smiled, but it was a subtle smile. “I am. Super Emmet.”

And that’s just one of Emmet’s superpowers. Read Carry the Ocean to find out what his others are. 


The Roosevelt, Book 1
Normal is just a setting on the dryer.
High school graduate Jeremey Samson is looking forward to burying his head under the covers and sleeping until it’s time to leave for college. Then a tornado named Emmet Washington enters his life. The double major in math and computer science is handsome, forward, wicked smart, interested in dating Jeremey—and he’s autistic.
But Jeremey doesn’t judge him for that. He’s too busy judging himself, as are his parents, who don’t believe in things like clinical depression. When his untreated illness reaches a critical breaking point, Emmet is the white knight who rescues him and brings him along as a roommate to The Roosevelt, a quirky new assisted living facility nearby.
As Jeremey finds his feet at The Roosevelt, Emmet slowly begins to believe he can be loved for the man he is behind the autism. But before he can trust enough to fall head over heels, he must trust his own conviction that friendship is a healing force, and love can overcome any obstacle.
Warning: Contains characters obsessed with trains and counting, positive representations of autism and mental illness, a very dark moment, and Elwood Blues.

Carry the Ocean is available from these fine retailers:

Samhain          All Romance Ebooks          Amazon US

Amazon UK          Amazon Canada          Barnes & Noble

Google Play          iTunes          Kobo

The Giveaways!

To celebrate the release of Carry the Ocean, Heidi has generously provided us with a digital copy for one lucky commenter.  You know how it works!  Leave your name and email addy in a comment below to be entered into the random drawing.  


Follow along with the Carry the Ocean blog tour and be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!


  1. I can't even express how excited I am for this book!

    debdeege (at) optonline (dot) net

  2. I love reading books where the MCs do not fit the standard definition of perfect!


  3. I got carried away following the links and listening to the Ted talk, which was amazing, and preordered Carry The Ocean, forgetting there was a giveaway. ha. Really looking forward to this Heidi!


  4. Looking forward to reading this book. Loved that it gave insight to autism in a positive light. That is rarely shown. I have a brother who is autistic and not high functioning. So this touched me when I read the synopsis. Can't wait to read.


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  6. I can't wait to read this it sounds like a very good story
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  7. I'm so excited for this book! Thanks for the chance to win! amaquilante(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. Aloha. This sounds really interesting. Great subject matter. It has definitely caught my attention. I'm going to put it on my TBR. I can't cope with the raffle copter thing. Lol. But this book sounds fascinating.

    Thanks and aloha Meg. :-)

  9. The blurb sounds so interesting; can't wait to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!

    qbeeqt @ yahoo.com

  10. I love that these characters are so real. Amazing subject matter.

    Waxapplelover (at) gmail (dot) com

  11. This new book sounds really good! Looking forward to reading it! Thanks for the chance to win!

  12. I love the cover on this Heidi!
    Littlesuze at hotmail.com

  13. This sounds great and I've added it to my TBR pile. I'm not much for raffle-copter, but can't wait to read the book.

  14. I loved the post and the excerpt. I can't wait to read this one.

  15. This sounds amazing


  16. So looking forward to this book!

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. I have it in my priority purchase list. :D

  19. I am really looking forward to reading this book! Have read some awesome reviews of it.

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

  20. This blog post as well as elsewhere on this tour (https://rainbowgoldreviews.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/carry-the-ocean-by-heidicullinan-blogtour-giveaway-excerptteaser/ where Heidi spoke of the changes she made re: anxiety after having her manuscript read by a therapist) makes me so happy because it shows how much time she has dedicated to GETTING IT RIGHT!

    It's the difference between half-assing it from 'common knowledge' or 'love heals all your problems' and showing respect for people who are neuroatypical or afflicted by mental illness - by treating it right. By saying 'yeah, it can suck because it's never gonna go away - but you can learn to manage it better, actually have a good life - and even find something positive.'

    I'm not surprised that she researches the heck out of her subject since I HAVE read some of her previous books ;) but this - this is special.

    Thank you, Heidi