ASL in Signs of Desire by Tempeste O’RIley

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Good morning, Charlie and readers (waves)

aslposterOne of the most interesting things I’ve gotten to do while writing—at least lately—is figure out how to write out Sign Language. Adrian Key’s, one of the main characters in Signs of Desire is Deaf, and while he can speak English, that is not his “first” or native language. American Sign Language (ASL) is not just signed English either (that is a separate thing, though it does use the same signs in a different way). The structure of the sentence is different. How many words are actually signed is different. The speed and way things are said is often different. Heck, ASL often uses the whole body for emphasis. The way you change your body or face can change the meaning completely, the same as how a Hearing person does with tone and facial changes.

Then you add in trying to show that on paper… and showing when it’s signed only versus spoken quoted speech and yeah, it got interesting at times. I’m sure I drove my editors nuts, lol. (Especially since I also like to use italics for internal thoughts and for emphasis)

What I ended up doing was mixing the two, so “ASL is like this.” Both quoted and in italics. So, would you like to see what some of the signs mentioned in the book look like? Well, the two sites Simon looks up signs on are real. My favorite—and the one my ASL 1 and 3 professor (who was Deaf and I totally had a crush on, btw)—is http://www.aslpro.com/cgi-bin/aslpro/aslpro.cgi You can watch real people doing signs. They are broken down by letter, for babies, biblical, conversational phrases, and more there. It even has an area where you can quiz yourself! And yes, I used to use it before a big test to get my speed and accuracy up.

But enough about my insane attempts to write a non-spoken language, lol, instead, enjoy the story and see how Simon and Adrian learn to trust and love in each other and in love itself, together. Thank you for having me!

Signs of Desire
by Tempeste O’Riley
Desires Entwined, #4
M/M Erotic Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Release Date: November 30, 2014 (ebook/print)
Length: Novel / 200 pages

Order:

Dreamspinner Press All Romance Amazon

Add to: Goodreads

Description:

Simon Tyler knows his job as a gay romance author makes his lack of faith in love more than a little ironic, but he’s tired of being used for his wallet. When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme orchestrated by his best friends—though he’s not the target—Simon’s not thrilled, but since he’s sworn off happily-ever-after anyway, he goes along with it… until he meets the object of their efforts, Adrian, and finds perhaps he hasn’t given up on love after all.

Professor Adrian Keys has tried to date hearing men before, but being deaf himself, he’s never had any success at making a connection. After his friends con him into going out and Adrian realizes it’s all an elaborate plan to set him up, he braces for yet another failure, only to discover there is a spark—except it’s not with the man his friends had in mind, but with Simon Tyler instead.

Not all their friends have found a way past their romantic failures, but Simon and Adrian might be on the path to happily-ever-after.

Excerpt:

When his cell beeped, alerting him of a text, he pulled his thoughts back to the present and checked to see who was texting him. Chase. It was only then that he realized he’d been standing in the open doorway to his office for a half hour. Forcing himself to focus, Simon stuffed the last of his bagel into his mouth as he stepped over to his desk, setting his coffee mug—the huge one that kept the drink hot for hours (a gift from James that he loved)—down before he read the text and turned on his computer. He snorted at the words, glad he wasn’t drinking his hot coffee right then. Yeah, of course Chase wanted to know how last night had gone. Ugh!

»Adrian drove me home. He was very nice but quiet. That’s it. «

He set the cell down beside his laptop, shaking his head. Sometimes he wondered how he and not Chase was the romance author. The man was a hopeless romantic, though only his close friends knew that. Simon settled on the ball, then opened Microsoft Word, knowing he had to work through his latest round of edits. The story was angstier than his usual, the characters’ journey a little rougher than his normal style. He knew the tone had changed thanks to his own love life being dead. Still, he thought it a good story, if a little painful before the characters got their happily ever after. Even in his current mood, he couldn’t make himself write a romance with a sad or painful ending. He knew authors who wrote that way, many he even loved, but it just wasn’t in him to do that to his characters—they deserved love too, dammit, even if he didn’t seem to.

By the time he had the current manuscript open to where he’d left off, Chase had already texted him again, twice, demanding more details. Why Chase thought anything had happened between him and Adrian was beyond him. Simon used to love to dance and party as much as Chase, but just like Chase, he was a long-term kind of guy. Unlike Dale. Now he’d probably gotten some the night before—from Grayson if he got his way, or from some other cutie at the club—but that had never been Simon’s thing. Dancing with all the sexy boys, oh yes! Taking them to the back rooms or home, no.

»I have work to do. So do you, ya nosy brat! *kisses*«

»Be that way. HUFF«

»Love you too. Now be good! TTFN«

After hitting Send again, Simon set the phone to the side and dove into the world of his characters and the list of comments and edits scribbled across his digital pages.

Three more chapters in, Simon’s cell rang, pulling him out of his work and the world he’d created. He blinked hard, trying to get his eyes to focus on something other than the text on the page, as he scooped up his phone. He hit the Answer button before checking the display, but as soon as the voice of his caller came through, he groaned.

“Simon!” The yell did nothing for his headache, but he resigned himself to another painful chat.

“Yes, Zoey?”

“Don’t you ‘yes, Zoey’ me, Simon.” He loved his sister, really, but since he came out shortly after graduation, he’d rarely spoken to her—she’d sided with his parents, claiming he was only playing gay to hurt them. A concept that never had made any sense to him. “Mom and Dad’s anniversary is coming up soon, and I want you there. It’s in the ballroom at The Pfister. It’s time you stop all this nonsense and come back to your family! They need you.”

“You know full well I can’t go to their party, Zoey. I’m not welcome there.”

“You would be if you’d do the right thing and act like a normal person instead of continuing this gay nonsense.” Her tone dripped disgust, though that was normal for her as well as his parents, on the odd occasion they all spoke. The last time he’d spoken with his mother, she’d tried to set him up on a date with a girl and told him his father would help him get a nice, normal job with good people at the construction site he owned. God, he hated the word normal!

“I’m not acting gay, Sissy. I am gay. I like being who I am. And I do not need their approval to live my life. So thanks for the reminder, but I’ll have to pass on the party. I will send them a present, though, as I do every year.” Simon always sent his parents a gift card for Red Lobster—even though many of their friends thought Red Lobster too common, he knew how much his mother loved their food—flowers for his mom, and a gift certificate for the pro shop at his father’s country club. He wasn’t even certain they used the cards, such things probably being beneath them. He never received the same in return, but that never stopped him from trying.

The sigh she let out was as loud as it was annoying. “Fine! Don’t say we didn’t try to include you in the family.” With that said, she hung up.

Simon shook his head as he set the phone down again. Why do I bother answering her calls? He knew the answer but didn’t want to think about her, or them, any longer.

Resource Links:

Praise:

“I found it a beautiful tale of unhappiness changed to romance and then love with a happy ending.”

—Rainbow Book Reviews, on “Designs of Desire”

Designs of Desire is a tough realistic book that is touched by violence countered by the growing love between the two heroes.”

—Sensual Reads, on “Designs of Desire”

“It’s a great book to fall into and enjoy some really good characters.”

—Love Bytes, on “Desires’ Guardian”

“This is my favorite in this series so far. I love seeing how these characters are growing, all of them. As individuals, as couples, as friends, and as a family.”

—MM Good Book Reviews, on “Desires’ Guardian”

“The writer did an excellent job with the characters, they are likable and perfect. Not perfect in the way that they have no flaws, but in a way that they grab you and complement each other.”

—Love Bytes Reviews, on “Temptations of Desire”

Other Works by Author:Other Books

Designs of DesireSimple Desires*+ – Bound by Desire* – Desires’ GuardianTemptations of DesireMicah’s Medicine+ – Truth in Lace* – Caged Sanctuary

*shorts in series +shorts in anthologies

About the Author:

TO-logo-250-transparentTempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what they couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been their hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic that loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, they has done many things in their life, though writing has always drawn them back–no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts their friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, Rainbow Romance Writers, and WisRWA. Learn more about Tempeste and their writing at http://tempesteoriley.com.

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Blog Tour, Guest Post, and Giveaway – All That is Solid Melts into Air by Christopher Koehler

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Thanks for having me today. I appreciate the chance to talk about All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, which I’ll refer to as ATISMIA because the title’s kind of a mouthful. For those of you’ve been keeping up with this Blog Tour of the Damned, I’m a recovering from the flu and subsequent sinus infection enough to write blog posts instead of send off excerpts.

While the story is clearly over when the book ends, you’re just as clearly not through with Remy and Michael. What comes next for them?

So yes, you’re right. I have definite plans for Remy and Michael, including a third book. The question is, how much do I reveal of what happens between the end of ATISMIA and the beginning of Finding Solid Ground. Finding Solid Ground is the working title of Book 3 of the “Lives of Remy and Michael” series, by the way. I thought it resonated nicely with ATISMIA, which is part of why I chose such a long title for the middle book.

The story told in ATISMIA definitely ends when the novel does. I’ve left no loose ends, no ambiguous plot lines. Okay, so I’ve had some ideas about Craig McAvoy, Geoff Babcock’s roommate his freshman year at UC San Diego. If you’ve read ATISMIA, you’ll recall him. He’s the shy and skittish person Geoff tries to coax out of the closet and whom Remy forces the rest of the way out. This story, The Unnecessarily Complicated Life of Craig McAvoy, would start the summer after his freshman year. For some reason Craig seems like he’d like anime and manga and—gasp—yaoi. But seriously, don’t hold your breath about this one. This is not the droid you’re looking for.

As for what comes next with Remy and Michael, I have ideas. Cleary, by the end of FSG they will have earned their happily ever after, their HEA, if only because as much as I’ve put Remy and Michael through in Poz and ATISMIA, there’s plenty more torment where that came from. After all, stories without conflict, heartache, and pain are kind of boring.

I see FSG picking up when Remy and Michael are well and truly adult men, about ten years after the events of ATISMIA. They’re older, obviously, and life has worn the shiny off. Maybe one more than the other and best summed up as “I…I just never thought it’d be like this, you know?”

This decade will be ten years spent apart, so Remy and Michael will, in a very real way, have to become reacquainted. Will the men they are remember the boys they fell in love with? It’s an open question…. Okay, cut the crap, Christopher. This is Romancelandia and I’ve promised you an HEA. Of course they’ll eventually rediscover the boys they once were, but I never promised you it’d be easy, now did I?

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Title: All That is Solid Melts into Air

Series: The Lives of Remy and Michael: Book Two

Author: Christopher Koehler

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Publication Date: 22 Jan 2016

Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Genre:  Contemporary, Gay, New Adult

 

2015NewAbout the Book

The Lives of Remy and Michael: Book Two

A CalPac Crew Story

I thought life after high school would be easier. I’d go to California Pacific for a year while I got a handle on my HIV, then after Michael graduated from high school, we’d blast out of here for colleges—and life—on the East Coast. Then I visited Boston and everything changed. I realized I like CalPac. Turns out, Boston didn’t have anything for me beyond one of the biggest regattas in North America.

Life grew more complicated when I got home. I couldn’t find a way to tell Michael that I’d just blown our plan for our lives out of the water. Then my CalPac coaches dropped a bomb on me. Those rowing officials who’d been watching me? They were recruiters for the national team, and my coaches wanted me to try out. They’d even let Lodestone coach me. Now I have to choose, school or crew, CalPac or Michael, and I still haven’t told Michael I can’t transfer. Is there even a place for Michael in my life? Somehow we have to withstand training at the highest levels and having different goals. Will love hold us together… or tear us apart? 

Purchase Links

Dreamspinner eBook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7344&cPath=1314

Dreamspinner Print: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7345

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/That-Solid-Melts-Lives-Michael-ebook/dp/B01ADGT5YW/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/That-Solid-Melts-Lives-Michael-ebook/dp/B01ADGT5YW/

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-allthatissolidmeltsintoair-1959012-149.html

2015NewAbout the author

Christopher Koehler learned to read late (or so his teachers thought) but never looked back. It was not, however, until he was nearly done with grad school in the history of science that he realized that he needed to spend his life writing and not on the publish-or-perish treadmill. At risk of being thought frivolous, he found that academic writing sucked all the fun out of putting pen to paper.

Christopher is also something of a hothouse flower. Inside of almost unreal conditions he thrives to set the results of his imagination free, and for most of his life he has been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who encouraged both that tendency and the writing. Chief among them is his long-suffering husband of twenty-two years and counting.

When it comes to writing, Christopher follows Anne Lamott’s advice: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” So while he writes fiction, at times he ruthlessly mines his past for character traits and situations. Reality is far stranger than fiction.

Christopher loves many genres of fiction and nonfiction, but he’s especially fond of romances, because it is in them that human emotions and relations, at least most of the ones fit to be discussed publicly, are laid bare.

Writing is his passion and his life, but when Christopher is not doing that, he’s an at-home dad and oarsman with a slightly disturbing interest in manners and other ways people behave badly.

connectwiththeauthor

Visit him at http://christopherkoehler.net/blog or follow him on Twitter @christopherink.

 

2015NewTour Info

22 Jan – Dreamspinner Press Blog

23 Jan – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

26 Jan – BFD Book Blog

28 Jan – The Land of Make Believe

30 Jan – Prism Book Alliance

1 Feb – MM Good Book Reviews

3 Feb – JP Barnaby

6 Feb – The Novel Approach

9 Feb – The Purple Rose Teahouse

10 Feb – Diverse Reader

 

2015NewGiveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Guest Post and Exclusive Excerpt – The Autumn Lands by J. Scott Coatsworth

It’s Not Long Enough

It’s been about two years since I decided to get back into the writing game again.

I’d started writing young, when I was in fourth grade. Through junior high and high school, I’d written short stories, then part of a novel, and then another one. And then somehow it had drifted away from me on a tide of rejections and indifference from one publisher after another.

I went on with my life, every now and then taking a stab at the whole writing thing again. But every time I started up, I’d hit a road block:

—I wasn’t good enough.

—No one wanted what I was writing.

—My writing muscles had atrophied after so much time.

—I just… couldn’t.

Then something shifted. I had just gotten derailed once again and was complaining about it when my husband, Mark, gave me a serious dose of reality. If I wasn’t writing, he said, it was my own damned fault. I had no one to blame but myself. And the hell of it was, he was right.

So I started over again.

This time, I gave myself permission to be a failure.  I allowed myself to write whatever came out, and to not prejudge it. And I went back and looked at some of my earlier work.

A lot of it was crap. But some of it was pretty damned good.

So I worked on exercising my writing muscles again, starting with short stories and scanning the MM publisher sites for upcoming anthologies that were accepting submissions. I was rejected by three of them. But one of them sold.

Then another, and another.

I decided to go longer, and started writing novellas. The first one was rejected for an anthology, but the publisher came back to me and asked me to resubmit it as a stand-alone. I did, and a day later, they accepted it.

I became more comfortable in my own writing skin, and wrote and sold another novella, and then another. And then the reviews started to come in.

They were pretty unanimous. “I liked the story. But it should have been longer.” They wanted to see more development of the storyline and the characters. At first, I was depressed. Then my friends pointed out that they wanted more!

And so I went longer.

The Autumn Lands is my longest story yet, clocking in at 35k. And while I have a couple more novellas in the pipeline that I wrote in late 2014 and early 2015, my next two efforts will both be both novellas. One of them I wrote for NaNo, and the other I’ve been working on for quite a while. I’m starting to get comfortable writing in the longer forms

I hope that my latest efforts will satisfy all the fiction size queens out there. :)

After all, size does matter.

TheAutumnLands-Scott

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay
Length: 35k
Format: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: 1/27/16
Pairing: MM
Price: 3.99

2015NewAbout the Book

Jerrith is running. Kissed by an elf, he can’t remain in his hometown of Althos any more. Not that he wanted to stay.

Caspian still hasn’t figured out why he kissed Jerrith, but he’s running too. Since he was exiled from the Autumn Lands, his past has been hazy, and his future uncertain.

But when a stray memory brings things into focus, the two decide to run toward something together. What they uncover will change how they see the world, and themselves, forever.

2015NewExcerpt

Rough hands hauled Cas away from the Vandris youth and out into the lamp-lit square of the little ramshackle town. He struggled, twisting back and forth, and got in a good punch to one of the men’s pug-nosed faces before they pushed him down to the hard cobblestone street, knocking the wind out of him.

“Twisted little Nevris bastard,” one of the men snarled above him as he struggled to draw a breath. He backed up against a lamp pole, but there was no escaping the bastards. His mind raced. How had he let himself get so distracted by the Vandris boy? Even now, as Cas watched the youth run away into the darkness, he was more concerned with the other’s safety than his own.

A punch to his gut brought him back to his current predicament. If he’d had his knife out of his carry sack…

Instead, he retreated into himself. Physical pain isn’t real, Jorrim, his trainer, had told him more than once. It’s just a sensation. If you know how, you can turn it off.

Emotional pain was another matter altogether.

He shut down and found relief even as the brute townsmen beat him, kicking his legs and ribs and punching his face over and over.

He felt none of it, floating on a calm internal sea while the storm raged outside. He gave them no satisfaction for their efforts, and eventually they gave up.

He felt his body being dragged away. To the gallows, he supposed, but in his detached state he couldn’t bring himself to care.

They dumped his body onto another hard surface. Metal clanged against metal.

After that, he was aware of nothing else but his dreams.

The hills of the Autumn Lands stretched out before Cas as far as he could see, each one different from the others but blending in to make a harmonious whole, a tapestry of reds and golds and fire-orange. In the distance, the waters of the Marrowmere glistened in the afternoon sunlight. His ultimate destination.

He was eighteen, the age of majority in the Autumn Lands, and he’d been sent out of Seasuir to the lake to be shown his destiny, just like every child of the royal line was. Cas’s father and grandfather before him had done the same.

He pulled his bow off his shoulder and sighted a dove flying over the next hill. With deadly accuracy, he loosed an arrow and brought it down. Along with the rambleberries he’d collected during the day, he’d at least have something to eat tonight.

He slipped down the hill into the next valley to retrieve his kill.

Something brought Cas out of his dreams. His body ached all over, and his ribs were especially sore from the beating he’d taken in the street. He would heal—if he lived long enough—and faster than these Vandris.

Clink.

There it was again, the sound that had awakened him. He sat up in the dark room—a cell, he assumed—and winced at the pain that pierced his side. He reached up to touch his face in the darkness. There was dried blood there. He must look a fright.

He managed to get to his feet with some effort, ignoring the pain in his legs, and quietly paced his way around the cell. On one side there was a high window covered with metal bars, no more than two handlengths wide—the golden moon shone through, giving him enough light to see the rough edges of the small space. The cell was bounded on three sides by dark rock and mortar walls; with his hands, he could feel the cement that held the rough stones together.

The fourth side was a wall of metal bars. He followed them up and down with his hands; they were set firmly into the stone and there was no moving them. There was a heavy lock holding the door to his cell closed.

He was well and truly trapped.

Purchase Links

Mischief Corner Books (info only): http://www.bookstrand.com/the-autumn-lands

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Lands-J-Scott-Coatsworth-ebook/dp/B01APHN02W/

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-autumn-lands

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/the-autumn-lands

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-theautumnlands-1964243-148.html

iBooks: https://itun.es/us/OxBjab.l

 

2015NewAbout the author

j-scott-coatsworthScott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.

connectwiththeauthor

Website: http://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jscoatsworth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth