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Welcome 2019 Golden Heart Finalist Valen Cox!

I hope you’re all counting down to RWA like we are! And I hope you’re ready to welcome another of our Omega’s – the delightful Valen Cox.

Valen is a 2019 Golden Heart Finalist for Best Paranormal Romance with her book TOUCH 3.3.

Valen Cox is an Army Brat whose vagabond life took her from exotic locales in the Orient to the lush historical venues of Europe where she attended proms in ancient castles and graduated from high school in a medieval cathedral. When her husband, Terry, earned a direct commission into the military, she blissfully spent another 20 years exploring Buddhist temples, climbing through Roman ruins, and experiencing life in the walled city of Berlin as the wife of a US Army officer.

She holds a BS in English and American Literature from BYU, served as president/director over a dozen volunteer organizations supporting children, youth, and women, and has served as president of the RWA Desert Rose Chapter in Arizona as well as the group’s Desert Dreams Contest Chair, Programs Chair, and Vice-President. In the course of adopting her five children, she became an expert on the critical elements of touch.

Valen writes intense, provocative, driving futuristic suspense. Touch 3.3and its world explores the inevitable progression of the human race as it evolves into the telepathic, telekinetic beings they were always meant to be, and where touch is life and death.

Let’s learn a little more about TOUCH 3.3:

In the year 2176, Lenore Bennett is earth’s premier telepath and its fiercest champion, protecting and nurturing the swiftly emerging psychic talents of its inhabitants—even those who do not wish to be discovered.

Major Bryan Scott is just such a psychic, undocumented and subversively resistant to debriefing when he is found drifting in an escape pod in a near catatonic state. But when Lenore connects with the genetically engineered man through her remarkable power of touch, they are inexplicably linked. Telepathic and telekinetic, Scott’s unleashed powers surge to the forefront.

Now bound in might and mind, they fight to protect earth from ruthless alien marauders and to align the powerful psychic abilities of the human race to save their planet. 

OK – you had me at “bound!” I love a couple who HAS to be together, and the story unfolds from there.

Welcome Valen – we’re so glad you’re here with us today!

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A Novel Evolves

My 2019 Golden Heart manuscript, Touch 3.3,and its subsequent Touch World series were born of two things—my love of Anne McCaffrey whose novels broke open astonishing new worlds to me in my youth, and my passionate desire to bond with my adopted children as well as I might.

Touch became the answer to the one, and the heart of a story for another.

 Did you know that touch is the first of our five senses to develop? In utero, no less! It is our first language, and an elemental factor in how every other sense in our body functions.

Light particles touch millions of light-sensitive cells in our eyes. We see. Sound waves touch 12,000 sensory cells in our inner ear. We hear. Airborne molecules touch 12 million receptor cells in our nose. We smell. Chemical stimuli touch 10,000 taste buds upon our tongues. We taste. And electrochemical impulses touch our skin, body, hair, lips, fingertips, you name it—and we feel. But we do not only feel the physicality of that touch. We, amazingly, perceive, interpret, and receive its intended emotion.

Touch is a language of emotion. And we are inherently fluent in it.

In 2009, psychologist Matthew Hertenstein, a researcher at DePauw University conducted a series of studies. Subjects were blindfolded and volunteers attempted to communicate a list of emotions solely through touch. Results were startling with accuracy rates as high as 78 percent. Eight distinct emotions were consistently identified—fear, anger, gratitude, disgust, happiness, love, sympathy, and sadness. Further studies were conducted internationally, and it seems that across the globe we are most definitely wired to interpret the touch of our fellow humans.

What’s more, touch or sensory stimulation is essential to the growth and development of our minds and bodies. It is particularly critical to the newborn up until the age of two. In fact, touch enhances and facilitates the healthy and rapid growth of the neurons and synapses of the infant brain. Without it, early deprivation can initiate a failure to thrive syndrome and can set off a laundry list of documented disorders to include motor development, language, and cognitive function.

 Yes, the depth and breadth of the effects of touch are astonishing. Studies are ongoing and old beliefs that touch was simply a means of enhancing messages signaled through body language or speech are being rethought. From all his research, Hertenstein states “that touch is a much more nuanced, sophisticated, and precise way to communicate emotions.” And it is reciprocal in nature—you cannot touch without being touched in return. 

So, if one were to combine two non-verbal forms of communication such as touch and say, telepathy, what would that look like in a future world?

Enter Lenore Bennett, a telepath who possesses the ability to heal through a syncing of her powers with touch. Her drive to ease suffering is embedded within her very DNA. She can no more turn away the ill and afflicted than she can stop herself from breathing.

And, Bryan Scott, pilot—space explorer, astrobiologist, and military hero. A feat of genetic engineering, he is the perfect man. Or is he? Because Lenore isn’t buying it, especially when his deliberately concealed telepathic and telekinetic abilities come roaring to life when she invades his space to heal his wasting body. 

And thus, Touch 3.3 and its world were born.

 

Two final bits.

I am honored to be the first recipient of the Beverly Jenkins Diverse Voices Sponsorship awarded to me this spring by AVON BOOKS/HarperCollinsPublishers. They are to be commended for stepping out in the effort to bring awareness to such an important issue. The announcement can be found here with my accompanying essay application:

https://www.avonromance.com/congratulations-to-valen-cox/

And last, but not least, a heartfelt thank you to The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood who has featured so many of The Last & Final Class of Golden Heart Finalists. I am humbled to be among this amazing group of writers as we say farewell to a contest which inspired, motivated, and lifted the unpublished for many golden years within the RWA fold. It was a fabulous run, and we, the 2019 Golden Heart Finalists, the Omegas, willingly step forward to represent all that have come before us!

 

A question for all of you today:

Do you remember a significant touch moment? Was it a gentle caress? A congratulatory pat? A hard squeeze? Or a friendly shoulder bump? Please share and its impact on you.

 

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Connect with Valen Cox on social media:

 
 

144 responses to “Welcome 2019 Golden Heart Finalist Valen Cox!”

  1. A beautiful post. As a former nurse, I can say that it is spot on regarding touch. I hope your conference experience this year is amazing. You do us proud in Arizona! Congratulations, Valen!

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    • Addison Fox says:

      Tina

      Thanks for joining us today! I was fascinated by Valen’s post when she sent it to me – the sense we likely take the most for granted (in a good way!) has such an impact on our overall emotional well being.

      Addison

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    • Congrats are so deserved! To a fantastic friend and person. Yes, she has saved lives. So excited to someday read this! Hooray for you friend!

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      • Valen Cox says:

        Susan! Thanks for coming by, I have such wonderful memories of our friendship. You will always be a special “heart” friend to me! And one day, I hope Touch 3.3 will do some good for others.

        Hugs,
        Valen~~~

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    • Amy says:

      The power of touch was especially evident in my work with hospice patient’s. A simple hold of the hand could offer comfort. I’m looking forward to reading your book and especially enjoyed hearing what inspired you to write it!

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    • Deb Smedley says:

      This is so awesome Valen! I can’t wait!

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  2. Valen Cox says:

    Thank you, Tina! Touch is so much more than we ever thought it was! And yes, Lisa and I will do our best in New York! Exciting times coming up. Sure appreciate your kinds words!

    Hugs,
    Valen~~~

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  3. I’ve had several touchable moments, but none so precious as when I held my grandson over the last three days and each time he grips his little fingers around mine and looks up with such trust.

    Valen, from the first moment you welcomed a newbie writer into the fold, I knew you were destined for greatness. I am so proud of you and grateful for your friendship. Well done, my friend, on myriad levels.

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Donnell! What you shared about touch and your grandson’s fingers wrapped around yours with trust in his face is exactly what I’m talking about. Powerful. Compelling. Life-sustaining touch. And your kind words about me are sweet, but you are just the same! I have such wonderful memories of us sitting about your Mom’s dining room table. Precious times. Thank you for those!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  4. I don’t want to live in a world without touch … it connects us doesn’t it? Can’t believe I’ll see you in less than a week! The past few months have flown by and now we’re almost there. As far as a touch memory … this is a silly high school girl memory but it’s never left me. In high school, I had the biggest crush on this guy … he was quiet, smart, one of the smallest on the football team, but he was fast. We had math class together. He never spoke to me but he sent me notes on occasion that he typed in typing class. I was on the drill/dance team. At the end of the football games we’d make a tunnel for the players to run through on the way off the field. One night, when they ran through the briefly put his hand on the back of my neck as he passed. I’ve never forgotten that. A few years later, we dated in college, got engaged, but never made it to the altar. 🙂

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  5. Valen Cox says:

    Oh Sheri! I =love= your touch memory! Surely a sweet one from high school who sounds like an especially sweet guy! Thank you for sharing!

    Hugs,
    Valen~~~

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  6. Becke Turner says:

    This is an amazing post. Although a nurse, my sense of touch was heightened during horse training. A horse responds to stimuli in 1/10 the time of humans so you have to be on your game.

    However, the biggest impact was holding my dad’s hand before he died. He was restless and I slept in a bed beside his. I slipped my hand in his so he could sleep.

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    • Addison Fox says:

      Becke

      What a moving story about your dad. I’m sure you brought him great comfort in those moments.

      Thanks for joining us today!!
      Addison

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  7. Valen Cox says:

    Becke! Isn’t it amazing? The power of touch, and how all we creatures, big and small, respond? And a lovely, lovely memory about your father…you were a loving comfort, no doubt.

    Hugs,
    Valen~~~

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  8. I’m so thrilled for you and can’t wait for the GH awards. I’ll be there cheering you on. I’ve loved watching your writing journey these past few years and know this is just the beginning! Hugs.

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    • Addison Fox says:

      Cathy – we’re so glad Valen could join us on the blog today – thanks for coming to join in on the fun!

      Addison

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Cathy! You have always been one of the kindest and greatest supporters here it the Phoenix Valley! Thank you for the warm, wonderful support! See you in NYC!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  9. Valen, The touch research sounds amazing. And so does your book.

    Not only do humans like touch, but I’m seeing how important it is to our new puppy. He loves to be petted and cuddled. That’s his main form of bonding. But it is his mouth that is his major touch organ. It’s not just teething, he uses it for textual exploration and his licks and nibbles show love, delight, anger, and playfulness–though sometimes we have to teach him the nuances of that communication.

    I’m honored to be one of your Omega sisters. Can’t wait to meet you in NYC!

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Claire! Thank you for stopping by! I’m honored to be one of your Omega Sisters, too! Touch sure has an effect more far reaching than we can even imagine amongst all us living beings! I am very excited to explore the limitless possibilities in my futuristic suspense. You are going to be at nationals, right?

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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    • Addison Fox says:

      Claire – that is so true on the puppy. I’ve seen it with my beagle. He’s a rescue and an essential part of our early bonding was quiet time just cuddling and quietly petting him. He’s so funny now, 4 years later – all I have to say is “cuddles and snuggles” and he’s up on the couch falling into my lap. But in those early days it really helped him adjust and find his way in his new home.

      Addison

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  10. Valen!! Hello from your KOD/DR sister and huge congratulations on your GH final!

    Your story sounds so unique and I love that it centers on touch. I remember stories of orphans who hadn’t been held enough as infants, and how that impacted their ability to “attach” to others.

    As for my story of touch, on our first date, my husband-to-be gave me the greatest hug. My family wasn’t the hugging type, and I remember how profound that moment of hugging Tim impacted me. And then, when he took me home to meet his family months later, hugging his grandparents was the same way. I realized how much I’d been missing out on! 😀 Thank you for sharing your story, and for stirring up a really great memory for me.

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Ann Marie! What a wonderful “hugging” story! My family, being partly Hawaiian, is very demonstrative–always kissing and hugging hello AND goodbye! LOL! Those stories of orphans you mentioned are about the thousands of Romanian children housed in institutionlized daycare. I did some deep research on it, and some dear friends actually adopted two older children. The lingering effects of early deprivation have plagued the children to this day. SO, we must combat it–hug someone every day, eh? The world will def be a better place!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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    • Addison Fox says:

      AM – what a wonderful memory!!!! Hubs is such a keeper 🙂 (but you already knew that!!!)

      Addison

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  11. Oh my goodness, Valen, your book sounds like my catnip and then you had to go and mention Anne McCaffrey who was my first reading love! It’s like you’re trying to make me melt from happiness! Congratulations on your final and I cannot wait to be able to buy your book. And good luck in New York!

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Ohmigoodness, Vivi/Lizzie! Another Anne MacCaffrey fan! Thank you for stopping by, the well wishes and the kind words! Catnip, indeed!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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    • Addison Fox says:

      Vivi

      You’ve just hit on one of my most favorite part of the Omega posts … all the books I KNOW are waiting to be read by future me!!!

      Addison

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  12. The science behind touch and comfort is fascinating, and something that people who work with animals have unconsciously leveraged for decades.

    Some of our puppies go into therapy and service dog homes, and as useful as they are when it comes to performing tasks like opening doors, or picking up dropped items, half their impact comes from just being there, a shoulder bump in a crowded location to remind their partners that they aren’t alone, a nose in the palm to check in, or pressing close to offer comfort and ease anxiety.

    Also, your closing paragraph has me tearing up, dang it.

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Thank you, Janet! I know, right? We ARE the Last & Final Class, and it has been a fabulous run. My heart hurts just thinking about it, sigh…how ’bout we share a virtual hug to commiserate together? And yes, all the nuances and subtleties of touch are fascinating. It will be a lifelong study for me, and I will be exploring some interesting concepts in my Touch World Series!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  13. Congratulations, Valen! A “touching” post and I wish you and your sister Omegas all the best in NY.
    I didn’t grow up in a touchy home, so I do have to remind myself to hug my kids and grandkids, to rub their backs or shoulders, to caress their cheeks. Thank you for the reminder that it’s important!

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Carrie! Thank you for the well wishes for us Omegas! It’s a sad and glad time for us, being the Last & Final GH Class, but we will do her proud! And kudos to you–consciously touching all loved ones about you is so important! Go get it, Girl!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  14. Terry K Cox says:

    I remember you telling me with our adopted children to hug them, love them, read to them. You would often hand me a baby in the shower for me to bathe…what a great bonding experience. Touch is so important. Love you sweetheart.

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Backatcha, Honey! We did it together with our 5 munchkins, and it was an honor and a privilege. Couldn’t have had a better man at my side all through it. Thank you for stepping up, over and over again. As you know, I’ve always said that any man who’ll agree to adopting one child is pretty special. But five? Top of the top, the Bestest! Thank you!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  15. Janet Raye Stevens says:

    What a fascinating post, Valen. I come from a notoriously non-touchy background so I often forget how important it is (in writing too!). Your story sounds amazing and something I’m ready, willing, eager to read. Congrats again on the GH — so happy to have you as my Omega sister! See you in NYC.

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Janet! Thanks for sharing your experience with touch–it is indeed critical to each of us as well as in the stories we tell! With a single description of touch we can convey a host of emotion. Amazing, both the power of words and touch! Good luck to you, too, my Omega Sister! We are the Last and proud to be so, eh?

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  16. Ann Videan says:

    Connections are everything! Thank you for your insights, beautiful Valen.

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Ah, Ann. Connections =are= everything, aren’t they. Verbal and non-verbal, physical and non-physical, the way and how we connect can be so critical to our wellness, health and happiness. Thank you for coming by, Lovely Lady!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  17. Tracy Brody says:

    Congratulations, Valen. Your research show!

    I’m a hugger who believes in the value of touch. I’ve volunteered at the USO for over a decade and a moment that stands out for me was when I was on hand to welcome WW2 vets returning from an Honor Flight trip to DC. I gave hugs and kisses on the cheek to each of these older men. Some of them commented about how long it’d been since someone gave them a hug or a kiss. Of course that called for an encore and one gentleman wanted to take me home. 😉 It broke my heart how hungry they were for human touch and connection and made me more cognizant of giving a touch especially to the elderly or those overlooked in society.

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Tracy! I am, too, and so grateful for people like you who are not afraid to give of themselves in the way that you do. I am certain you have made many a military member feel the love, respect and appreciation they deserve. Kudos to you, My Friend! Thank you for =your= service!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  18. Sarah says:

    What an amazing concept! I am so intrigued by the premise of the book. Can’t wait to read it!

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Thanks Sarah! As we’ve all learned, “…there are no original story ideas, only original ways to tell them.” So, I like to think that I can put just a bit of an original twist on this idea that will intrigue and compel! Sure appreciate you stopping by!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  19. Theresa Carter says:

    Valen. I love the idea of the combination of the power of touch and science fiction! I remember an old, old Star Trek episode where an alien race was able to heal wounds through the power of touch. They had lost the ability to speak, and could only communicate through touch. Am very excited to see how you develop all these ideas in your book. And, as a very new grandmother, I know how important touch is to humans!

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Theresa! Thank you for coming by and sharing! I am a huge fan of the old Star Trek series, and would love to see that particular episode! Lost their language but converted to another–that of touch! As Hertenstein states “…touch is a much more nuanced, sophisticated, and precise way to communicate emotions.” And I am a total believer!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  20. Elisa Beatty says:

    What a cool post, Valen! And I love that your book centers on the power of touch!

    Thanks for joining the Rubies today!

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    • Valen Cox says:

      It’s been a privilege, Elisa! The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood has been such a great support to so many Golden Heart Finalists! You all just make the experience that much more golden! Thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  21. Judy Parker says:

    Touch is not easy for some people. In my profession as an aesthetician for 24 plus years I have experienced amazing results with the emotional side of clients. I have felt the negative energy’s and positive energy’s skin deep with in a persons soul. I have witnessed the power coming from a client who has had sickness or emotional trauma enter my body by touch. Sometimes I wonder if the touch of energy from my hands to the client is the reason why they really schedule to come back vs the skin care side of it. I believe in the power of emotional healing through touch because I have witnessed and cried with women. Val Cox you hold the energy and smile with in your soul. Congratulations your an amazing talented wonderful Lady!

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Judy! Amazing insights into your profession, one in which you MUST touch your clients in order to administer the services they want. I can only imagine what you’ve described, but I am sure you have helped many with your positive, beautiful spirit! So glad you dropped in!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  22. Aide says:

    This Is loving.

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Aide! Thank you, and love is what it’s all about, right! Can’t wait to see you and all you boys [the Big Boy, too!] this coming Sunday! Love you all!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  23. Ann Malley says:

    What a powerful premise, Valen. Congratulations! You’re a talent to watch for sure.

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Thank you so much for your very kind words, Ann! Touch is powerful and I hope to do this amazing sense justice in the Touch World Series! Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  24. Zachary Riffe says:

    WOW VALEN I LOVE THIS IT IS IN INSPIRING
    I CANT WAIT TO READ THE REST,YOUR A WONDERFUL WOMAN! THANKS FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE.

    ~LOVE
    ZACH

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Zach! Sure appreciate you dropping in, can’t wait to see you all later this year! Your support and enthusiasm for my book rocks!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  25. Fenley Grant says:

    Valen,

    Great post! You represent us Omegas, and in a more specific sense, the paranormal romance sector of the Omega class, in a wonderful way.

    I loved hearing you’re also an Army brat. Another thing in common. It’s an interesting way to grow up, isn’t it?

    When you discussed ‘touch’, the first thing I could think of was when I was pregnant with my son. I’m a Midwesterner at heart. We tend to be less touchy-feely than others and everyone wanted to touch my belly. In fact, they felt it their right to touch me. Very uncomfortable for this Ohio woman and I became quite protective of my personal space.

    The most mind-boggling touch sensation, however, was the feel of my son’s first kick. Like a gut punch from the inside, but in the best possible way. Indescribable.

    I’m so excited to meet you in person in a few days and so thankful to share this experience with you.

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Hey, Fellow Army Brat! So good to hear from you, no one knows the experience/lifestyle like a fellow brat! LOL! And thank you for sharing your experiences. It =is= so interesting how one’s pregnant belly seems to become a magnet and an open invitation to touch! So sweet, too, about feeling your son’s first kick! Ain’t touch grand, scary, exciting, compelling, amazing, terrifying, etc??? And YES! We will represent The Omegas! Let’s be sure to connect in NYC, you hear?

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  26. I need to read this book!

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  27. Shari Auna says:

    Congratulations sister! When a phenomenal writer combines brilliant ideas, concepts and storytelling, we the readers, are gifted access to a FANTASTIC adventure that touches our minds, hearts and imagination, creating a lasting memory. What a talent you have! This award is so well deserved. I know, because I have seen your years of diligent research in writing, your desire for perfection and exactness in storytelling, and your passion for literary excellence. My life is continually impacted by your amazing touch. Only you could write this story! I am so excited to watch the next phase of your journey. Here she comes New York…get ready!❤️

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Oh me, Sister! Wow! Such amazing and generous praise from an incredibly talented and multi-gifted woman herself! Thank you for coming by, thank you for being there in all ways for our diverse and complex family, and thank you for being you! Your light and life touches all us with grace and goodness!

      Hard Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  28. Gabbie says:

    I am proud of my mom of everything she has accomplished.

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Thank you, Gabbie! As our only daughter, you have always been special to Dad and me. Loved all the “touch” times we shared over the years! Can’t wait to see you later this year!

      Hugs,
      Mom~~~

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  29. Darynda Jones says:

    This sounds fantastic! What a heartwarming post. Congrats and good luck, Valen!

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Ms. Darynda Jones! I am honored that you’ve stopped by and read my blog! Your kinds words are very encouraging and uplifiting, and we are truly lucky to have you emceeing our GH Awards! You have blazed a trail for we Paranormal Types, so much thanks to you! And, btw, many moons ago, though I did not complete my studies in the field, I went into Deaf Education. You are to be admired and lauded for pursuing such a career, and I’m certain you are a wonderful champion for the cause!

      See you soon in NYC!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Ms. Darynda Jones! So honored you would stop by and drop a line on my blog! We are surely privileged to have you as the MC for the Last & Final Class of Golden Heart Finalists! Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. BTW, many moons ago, I too went into the field of deaf education. I didn’t complete my studies, what with the traveling as an army wife, but the classes I did get in held me in good stead with 5 children all of varying needs! Kudos to you for entering and completing the program AND for championing the cause. And thank you too for blazing the trail for we Paranormal Types! Cannot wait to meet you in NYC!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  30. Valen!!! At a time when technological advancements (many of which are incredible and helpful!) lead us to have less and less interaction with each other, I love the idea of a future where so much emphasis is put on touch and how it binds us together. I can’t to read your book!

    Having grown up in a touchy-feeling Italian family, I have tons of positive touch memories. To the point that I didn’t realize until I was in college that not everyone likes casual touching. Acknowledging that and approaching others with the level of contact they find comfortable has shown me a new way to make touch precious.

    Congratulations to you (and all the Omegas)! I can’t wait to see and cheer you on in NYC!

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Arianna! Thank you and I agree, today we do indeed have less and less interaction with one another. All the more reason to actively and consciously infuse our daily lives with touch.

      Sure get it about that touch-feely Italian family of yours, isn’t it wonderful? I had the same growing up in the Polynesian culture–everyone is hugging and kissing as they come and go, and if you don’t want to be kissed and hugged by ‘ole Auntie Leilani, than woe unto you, LOL!

      CANNOT wait to see you in NYC, YOU 2018 GH Winner, YOU! I’ll need some handholding and directions I’m sure from an experienced GH-er like you!

      Hard Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  31. Brittany Cox says:

    Congrats! Sounds amazing!

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Thank you, Brittany! I know that you experience the importance of touch every day in your field as a CNA. See you soon!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  32. Samantha Borack says:

    I remember learning about the importance of physical contact with infants in my early childhood development classes. It’s crazy how the “touch” we receive as a child can shape the person we are today. In my studies we observed cases in which people who did not receive that loving touch would sometimes struggle with relationships and/or emotions.
    My mother doted her love and affection on us kids because she never wanted us to feel like she did as a kid. Her parents were not the touchy type and therefore physical contact was seldom. Because of this, she was always searching for that physical love she didn’t feel from them; of course they loved her, but the didn’t show it with touch. So yes, I believe “touch” is so important!
    Congratulations, Valen! I’m so lucky to have such an inspiration in my life!

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Sammi, Sweetie! Thanks for stopping by! Your comments exactly reflect the point–touch is so critical to our health in mind, body, and emotion. In your field, I’m sure you’ve seen just how essential it is right from the beginning. And your Mom sounds wonderful. We will meet one day soon, I am sure!

      Huge Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  33. How exciting! Good luck, Valen! Also, I loved all of Anne Mccaffrey’s books.

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Wasn’t Ann McCaffrey the best? She broke open the field of scifi/paranormal/fantasy to women! So amazing, and continued to forge the way for years. You, btw, are a continuing inspiration to us all on your writing journey! Thank you for being so willing to share!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

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  34. Aeon says:

    Valen – Congrats on the Golden Heart nomination and the Avon win! Can’t wait to see this book in print! 🙂

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    • Valen Cox says:

      Thank you, Aeon! Such exciting things going on! Sure missing you! NYC will be crazy, but I am looking forward to it! Don’t be a stranger, eh?

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  35. Andrew Blair says:

    After reading this bio, I think an autobiography may be in order next!

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      LOL! My life surely has been a crazy one–can you believe that between my father and husband I have spent 40 of my 61 years connected to the military? Amazing, and an amazing journey, too! The military was also the vehicle through which we were able to adopt all our children. We are blessed. Thanks for stopping by!

      0
  36. Mary Cetti says:

    What a great post, Valen. Touch is the first thing that happens when we are born, and we live with it in our daily lives. Can’t wait to read it.

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Thanks, Mary! So sweet of you to drop in, and yes, from the get go touch is all invasive. We couldn’t survive without it! Be good to you, you hear! Hope we get to play PB together soon!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  37. Kathy Sagorsky says:

    Being a teacher for 40 years, the power of a hand on the shoulder, a high five, or a ruffle of hair on the head was many times all a student ever needed for affirmation that they were on the right track-especially in Math. The power of touch sends so many messages without saying a word! Thank you, Valen for reminding me why I’m still a hugger today!! ❤️ Best Wishes!!

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Sweet Warm & Wonderful Kathy! No one could impart positivity, encouragement, and “you are of value” any better than you–that is a fact. Wouldn’t surprise me a lick that you were everyone’s FAVORITE TEACHER every year! Thank you for stopping by, and don’t stop hugging, ever. I’m am in it with you!

      Hard Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  38. Angi Messick says:

    As an RN, I know all too well the importance of touch. Wonderful work Valen!! We are all so proud of you! Can’t wait to read the book!

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Angi, Nurses have had the care of so many of us and do it with a great deal of compassion and reassuring/comforting touch. Thank you to all nurses for with such care, you have alleviated the suffering, anxiety and stress of millions. Brava!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  39. Tammy Wood says:

    I believe in the power of touch and can’t wait to read your book. Congratulations Valen!

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      I do too, Tammy! It’s fascinated me for years and in particular when adopting my children. Thanks so much for coming by!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  40. Scott Wood says:

    I also believe in the power of touch. What an amazing life you have had.

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Thanks Scott, it’s been an interesting one, that’s for sure! A journey coming and going, lol! Sometimes it’s definitely wearying, but oh, the celebration of life I have seen everywhere I have gone. There IS goodness in this world and I choose to see it! Thanks for dropping in! Did Tammy tell you we had a great game in PB today? Love that Lady of Yours!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  41. Leslie Lamiell says:

    Dear, Dear Valen,

    Hearty congratulations on your book debut for the world of readers and thinkers. I delight in adding it to my list and look forward to settling into a reading cocoon in the near future.

    My most significant moments pertaining to touch were those when I connected to a child. When I strolled with the hand of one of my children in my own hand or when my grandchildren wrapped their arms around my neck, I sensed a connection between myself and the child. The touch attempted to dissolve the decades between us and bonded the humanness we shared. As I Facetime my children and grandchildren today, it is the lack of touch that leaves me with a longing to take the journey across the miles and again feel the warmth of their being.

    Best wishes to you as you enjoy the unveiling of your novel.

    Hugs,
    Leslie

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Ah, Leslie! Your remembrances are just lovely. And I agree. Visiting and talking long distance are great, but we miss the physical connection of touch quite longingly, eh? You are a tender soul, and I know it means a lot to you. Thank you for sharing!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  42. Andrea Rittschof says:

    I remember my first touch as folding into my aunt’s embrace. She raised me and those are my very first memories.

    I love this concept, Valen! It is intriguing and I can see the influence of Anne McCaffrey on it.

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Andrea! What a lovely, poignant memory of your Aunt, and that she raised you with such loving touch! Thank you for your kind words and yes, I am and have been influenced mightily by the great Anne McCaffrey! I won’t be back to DR till October, hope to see you then, My Friend!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  43. Cathy Dosch says:

    Valen,
    Congrats on your award and the premise of your book sounds very interesting. I was not comfortable with touch as a college freshman pledging a sorority. All these girls hugging was new to me. I quickly learned what it showed and how much it meant to have that connection with so many. I am definitely a hugger now and realize the importance of touch!

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Amazing, Cathy! What an interesting sority experience, and now you’re a hugger! Only thing I can say is that you were surely wanted–how could they resist you! Just as you are here! So glad to run in the same circles with you, you Kentucky Girl! Hurry back, you hear?

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  44. Deb Helmstetter says:

    Congrats Valen!! I love the spirit that you give to everything that you are involved with!! Touch in such an interesting subject esp, in today’s world where we seem to be creating more distance between people through technology! I love that we need to get back to the importance of touch and connection! Being touched by someone else is so powerful! Touch can produce so many emotions esp. when we interpret intention. Love your ideas!!

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Deb! Thank you for your kind, kind words! And yes, touch is a language that we humans can interpret, in particular the emotions intended behind the act. It’s a universal ability, across all groups of people. Amazing, eh? It’s implications are far reaching if we would just allow ourselves to pay attention! So glad you came by! Thank you!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      Congrats Valen!! I love the spirit that you give to everything that you are involved with!! Touch in such an interesting subject esp, in today’s world where we seem to be creating more distance between people through technology! I love that we need to get back to the importance of touch and connection! Being touched by someone else is so powerful! Touch can produce so many emotions esp. when we interpret intention. Love your ideas!!

      0
  45. Becky Lareau says:

    WOW…Congratulations Mrs. Valen!!
    So excited for you!
    This sounds like it is going to be a great book and I can’t wait to read it.
    You are an amazing woman and writer!
    Love you!
    Becky

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Becky! How lovely of you to come by, and backatcha! YOU are an amazing and accomplished woman with whom I am so grateful to know and love! Excited that JK & Sammi are coming to you at Thanksgiving! Be well, Sweet Lady!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  46. Deloris Nash says:

    So excited can not wait for the book to come out. Love the idea of touch.
    Lots of hugs.

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Deloris, our illustrious chapter President! So glad you came by and I, too, can’t wait to get this show on the road, LOL! Thank you for your support and for stepping up for our chapter!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  47. Deloris Nash says:

    Love the idea of Touch.

    Congrats

    0
    • Marka Locker says:

      For one who normally doesn’t read futuristic stories, I’m looking forward to this one!

      0
      • Valen Cox says:

        Thanks, Marka! It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s got some compelling stuff that might make you go “hmmm.” LoL! Thanks for stopping by!

        Hugs,
        Valen~~~

        0
  48. This is such great background information about touch! I can’t wait to read your story. Congratulations!

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Thank you, Rebecca! Isn’t touch just fascinating? Can’t wait to explore all its intricacies and science, too! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck to you!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  49. Pat Chernow says:

    Congratulations Valen,
    The book sounds very interesting. I know you have put a lot of work into it. It is such a good reminder to reach out and touch someone, to offer yourself to others in kindness and caring. It is needed today more than ever as we loose ourselves into computers and phones. Eye contact is a form of touch, looking into someone else’s eye to show attention and appreciation. I am looking forward to reading Touch 3.3.

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Pat! I =so= agree about eye contact, too! It’s not a thing we do much any more, but it certainly is a form of touch we often neglect. Thank you for reminding us about it! So happy you came by! See you out on the courts!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  50. John Cox says:

    I don’t have any specific touch moments that come to mind but hugs are such a good example of how touch can communicate emotion. As someone who isn’t great with expressing feelings verbally, I love that hugs can express so many of those different feelings such as love, sympathy/empathy, happiness, comfort, and more.
    I’m so happy for you and your achievement! I can’t wait to read your book and learn more about the world of Touch!

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      John! Great to hear from you and you have always been a great hugger! I especially remember your yellow “Free Hugs” t-shirt, LOL! Oh the power of a great big BEAR hug from YOU! Think Sammi would let you get another one? Everyone would want a free hug from you. LOVE YOU.

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  51. Jaime Vasche says:

    The premise of the story intrigues me and I want to read it. Very nice interview, thank you for sharing.

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Jaime! So happy you came by, and commenting! Hope your writing is going well, too, and that you keep pursuing the dream! With perseverance you can make it happen!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  52. Jane says:

    Great read Valen. Very interesting study. Keep up the writing. I really enjoy what you have to say.

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Thank you, Jane. You are always a calm, logical voice in the midst of a storm. Will always be indebted to you, and you know why!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  53. Sharon Hadley says:

    Reading the synopsis for Touch 3.3 I was immediately transported to my high school literature class when I read The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin.

    I’m excited to read this book to explore the new paradigms created by such powerful telepathy.

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Ursula K. Le Guin! Sharon Hadley, how cool! Love the women who stepped out into scifi/fantasy/paranormal! They broke ground and forged the way. Thank you for coming by, My Friend! Means a lot to me!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  54. Carrie McDonald says:

    Congratulations Valen! Your new book sounds so interesting! Your certainly deserve to be so proud of your accomplishment! My favorite touch moment came just last week as I cradled my new grandson. It’s amazing how touch can create such a bond between a baby and his grandma. I love seeing the way he responds each time I hold him. The power of touch is very underestimated!

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Ahhhh, Carrie! So sweet the first time holding your first grandchild–a moment to be cherished forever. NOTHING like the weight of that little bundle, that new infant smell, or the snuggle right in your arms that feels just right. Thank you for sharing and coming by!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  55. Fotini says:

    Congratulations, Valen! I wish you and your sister Omegas all the best in NY!

    I didn’t grow up in a “touchy” home. My parents were very loving and caring but physical touch only came in the form of a kiss on the cheek as a greeting of “hello” or “goodbye.” The last year of my mom’s life was very difficult (in and out of hospitals) but I am grateful for having had that time with her as that gave us the opportunity to get to know each other better. One day we got to talking about hugs and how come she didn’t show affection with us like that? She replied that that’s how she grew up with her parents too, so she never knew any different. But she vowed to make a change then and there and promised that she would hug us every time we saw each other from that day on. It was such a gift to me and my siblings. However, it showed to be an even greater gift to her as it helped her through the most difficult times of her last year!

    From the first day I met you, Val, you made me feel like I was always welcome! I especially enjoy your warm and sincere hugs!

    I’m so excited and looking forward to reading your book!

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Fotini! How wonderful of you to come by! So understand about your family, BUT how amazing that your Mom decided to change right then and there, to start hugging because she realized how much it meant to you all, and in the end it helped her, too. And because touch is “reciprocal in nature—you cannot touch without being touched in return.” Thank you for sharing!

      Hope to see you all at DR in October! In the meantime, missing you all LOTS!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  56. Reese Hass says:

    Touchable moments…two come to mind. Holding my mom’s hand as she went through cancer treatment. She’s fortunately with us still today ❤️
    The first time my husband held my hand. I love him more everyday 💕
    I’m excited to read the book 👍 You are a special lady Valen 🤗

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Reese…hands are the primary way we initiate touch, and the way we can perhaps convey the most compelling emotions. How precious that you could hold your Mom’s hand during such a difficult time. And, then to have your hand held for the first time by the man you were falling in love with. Amazing moments, rich with feeling and intensity. Thank you for sharing, Dear Friend.

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  57. Amy says:

    The power of touch was especially evident during my time with hospice patient’s. I recall many special moments where a simple handhold could offer such comfort and calm. I enjoyed reading about your inspiration for your book.

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Amy! I can so see you being such an amazing help with hospice patients. You have such a compassionate and empathetic spirit about you. I am certain you eased and comforted many while you were at their side. How lucky they were to have you. Thanks so much for coming by.

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  58. Lisa Heartman says:

    Valen, what a wonderful blog post! Thank you for sharing this fascinating info on touch, and your book blurb sounds amazing! I can’t recall a specific touch that stands out, but I know what you are referring to. Sometimes you just need a hug to make a difficult situation a little less terrible.

    Not only do I get to be a chapter mate with you, but a Golden Heart sister too. It’s awesome! I can’t wait to celebrate your GH final with you in NY.

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Lisa. It has been great to be on this journey with you. Chapter Mates & GH Finalists, whoa, it just makes it even more meaningful to me to do this with you. So cool, and thanks for your thoughts on touch. Yep, Sometimes you just need a hug to make a difficult situation a little less terrible or an exciting adventure even more exciting! I can’t wait to celebrate =our= GH final together in NYC!

      See YOU there!
      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  59. How cool to look at touch from a whole fresh perspective!

    I always feel special when, in the middle of a movie or church or someplace where we’re supposedly focused on something besides each other, my husband takes my hand. Such a simple thing, and yet it still says a lot.

    But early in a relationship, an unexpected touch is even MORE exciting…which is part of what makes your book so cool!

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Laurie! I love that too, the unexpected but very welcomed touch of a loved one, and in particular one’s spouse! We do indeed feel special and cared for and someone of worth and value when touched in such a way. Thank you for sharing and coming by!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  60. Valen, More congratulations in order for you. You are a very special person with great depth, a big heart & a valued friend. I am so excited to read your book and share the experience with friends & my book club. Keep giving time & energy to your writing passion.

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Diane!! Missing you, Girlfriend! Thank you for your very kind words and taking time out to drop in! I will indeed keep keeping on with this writing passions thingie! Sure appreciate your support and friendship! Can’t wait till your return!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  61. Amy Roderick says:

    This is amazing and so insightful Valen! I am a NICU nurse and use therapeutic touch with the tiny babies I care for every day. Providing “containment,” holding the babies hands and swaddling them can make a big difference in how they respond to their cares and environment. We swaddle them with their hands up by their faces so they can console themselves and find their cute little fingers! Babies need loving touches to thrive. ❤️

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Amy! Love Love Love your comments! From the moment of birth, touch is so critical to thriving and your experience as a NICU nurse and using therapeutic touch with the tiniest of humans just proves it! How many sweet ones have you helped to thrive and grow and graduate to the point of going home with their parents. What a service you do! Thank you. I know having you watch over such special little ones gives parents a great deal of hope and comfort.

      Hardest Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  62. Erin Quinn says:

    Valen—so happy for you. In answer to the question…I can recall the first touch, but I only remember the right one. I married him 31 years ago. 🙂 Looking forward to reading your debut. Best of luck in the GH. I will be cheering for you.

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Oh Erin! Thank you for dropping in! And to remember the most important touch of all–priceless and to be treasured! It’s all that matters. Thank you for your support and best wishes! A nerve-wracking yet exciting week coming up! We will survive!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  63. Valen–

    This was such an interesting read. I have two sons with sensory processing disorder (and autism) so I’m presented with the significance of touch on a daily (hourly?) basis. One of my sons is very sensory seeking. He loves big squeezes, firm back rubs, foot massages, snuggling, and he loves his compression blanket. He is non-verbal so touch is a huge way for him to send and receive communication.

    As for a significant touch moment for me…the last one was probably a year and a half ago. My sister passed away unexpectedly in June of 2017. It was very, very hard on me. My best friend’s mother came for a visit a few months later and the first thing she did when she saw me was give me a hug. Not just any hug, but a Mom Hug and it was a long Mom Hug. She didn’t say a word, just hugged me. And I actually started to cry from it.

    Looking forward to meeting you in just a few days!

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Sharon! My heart is with you with all you must do for your sons and their particular issues! You must be a remarkable woman, always on and meeting the needs of those you love. I am sure it is a 24-7 job. And, that sensational, knowing, and empathic hug from your best friend’s Mom and your response. Someone understood, someone cared, someone took the time…and you could do naught but respond. An incredibly memorable moment. Thank you for sharing.

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  64. Deena Remiel says:

    The touch I remember most is of my children’s hands caressing or holding my face when they were young. I was their world, and they are mine.

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Thanks for coming over, Deena! What a sweet memory and one to be cherished. They were centered on you and you on them. Again, touch is definitely reciprocal–when we touch, we are touched in return!

      Hugs,
      Valen~~~

      0
  65. Jen Sterr says:

    As a teacher of children with autism, touch is so important to connect with children who struggle to communicate any other way.. They often thrive on deep pressure and can usually be calmed and soothed by touch that can occur no other way..

    This book sounds incredible! I can’t wait to read it!

    0
    • Valen Cox says:

      Jennifer! I know you’ve spent years as a special needs teacher and I am sure you are one of the rare ones who made significant impacts with their students! Thank you Jennifer for coming by and sharing!

      Hugs!
      Valen~~~

      0
  66. Jonathan says:

    Congrats and good luck as you continue to strive toward your dreams.

    0
  67. What a powerful post! Have always believed that touch can be a true instrument of healing. Can’t wait to read your book. 🙂

    0

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