Gaining Visibility

By: Pamela Hearon

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Although writing this book has been an extremely personal journey for me, there have been far too many companions along the way for me to ever feel alone. I’d like to recognize a few.

First and foremost, the Pink Warriors—those who have fought the battle against breast cancer, those who are currently fighting, and those who have been touched by the disease through someone they care for. Be strong. Stay courageous. Keep the faith, and never give up hope. A cure is out there.

My fabulous agent, Jennifer Weltz of the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, whose keen vision recognized the potential for this book, even in its earliest stages. Thanks for making me stretch on tiptoe until I could see it, too.

My amazing editor, Esi Sogah, who knew exactly what the story needed and set me on the correct path to find it. I couldn’t have found my way without your guidance.

Kensington Publishing, a publishing house that feels like family. Thanks for the warm welcome and the wonderful support.

My longtime critique partner and friend, Kimberly Lang, who has seen this book through more rewrites than she could’ve ever imagined—and somehow loved them all.

My critique partners at WriteRomance: Sandra Jones, Angela Campbell, and Maggie Van Well. You all have extraordinary, yet different, critiquing skills—and I get the benefit of them all.

My precious, loving, and supportive husband, Dick, who stood valiantly beside me through every second of the battle . . . and who never makes me feel invisible.





CHAPTER 1

She was invisible.

She’d first noticed that she was fading from view four years ago, about the same time she’d noticed the first gray hairs. The signs were subtle. No heads turning as she walked through the gym. No catcalls or whistles at construction sites. No compliments from then-husband Frank when they got gussied up for some formal affair. Alarms should probably have gone off more frantically in her head, but the changes were so gradual they remained inconspicuous and certainly nonthreatening.

And the gray was easily covered.

But the phenomenon had increased exponentially in an equation of Einsteinian proportion two years ago. E = mc2 plus total loss of breasts equaled total loss of visibility.

Scientific equations could prove how the laws of nature literally make the world go round; no equation could show why her world had been thrown into a tailspin she was still trying to gain control of.

Looking back, it seemed more like a combination of science and magic than science alone. Five hours of surgery and—poof! She’d vanished . . . at least to the male half of the world’s population.

Which is why it came as no surprise to Julia Berkwith that, at that exact moment, it wasn’t one of the male doctors working on her but rather a female nurse who asked the question.

“You doing okay?”

“Fine,” Julia answered, although she wasn’t. The next item on her self-improvement list was to quit saying she was fine when she wasn’t.

Lying flat on her back with her arms stretched out as wide as possible gave the doctors behind the white curtain of sheets plenty of room to work, but they seemed to have forgotten there was a beating heart and strained muscles below the mounds of silicone sacs.

During preparation, when they’d asked if she wanted her arms restrained, she’d promised she could keep them still without the bands. That had been over an hour ago when the surgery was ahead of her and exciting. Now, retaliating because of their awkward position, both arms were snoozing but sending telepathic messages to the muscles in her back and shoulders, demanding they redouble their efforts to bring pain in memory of their sleeping comrades. Adding to her discomfort, the temperature in the OR had been set to morgue, which worried her more than a little.

A white sheet draped from the overhead rod fell to below her chin, blocking off her view and allowing her no audience participation to her own procedure. The sheet started to sag, and now folds gathered in her mouth and nose region. In a normal setting, she would push them out of the way with a flick of the fingers, but she’d promised not to move her arms, so she blew puffs of air at them when suffocation seemed imminent.

An angel of mercy appeared at her head and gave the sheet a quick flick, sending the material away. The ensuing gust of cold air filled Julia’s nostrils with the antiseptic scent she’d grown used to over the past two years.

▶ Also By Pamela Hearon

▶ Hot Read

▶ Last Updated

▶ Recommend

Top Books