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:

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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.

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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 – Some Assembly Required by Lex Chase and Bru Baker

 

Hi, Charlie, thanks for having me here today! Lex Chase and I are promoting our new release, Some Assembly Required, the paranormal purgatory meet-cute in a chain home goods store you never knew you needed in your life until now.

Benji’s favorite store is CASA, but he never imagined it would be where he would spend his afterlife. But it’s where he’ll be stuck, surrounded by particle board furniture and affordable kitchenware, until he figures out a way to move on. Purgatory is a bit like the laminated particle board dresser you bought because it was an unbelievable deal, but then found out it had roughly 500 pieces and instructions that offer about as much guidance as a Rorschach blot. It’s not an impossible task, but it’s a daunting one.

I’ve had to turn to my kids for help assembling bookshelves and other cheap furniture here in the Baker household, since I’m not a visual thinker. Instructions that are entirely pictorial don’t do me a lot of good. Luckily, both The Boy and The Girl get a kick out of allen wrenches and cam bolts, and for the low, low price of my dignity as they mock me for my ineptitude I can outsource the work to them. A lifetime of LEGO addiction has to be good for something, right? Especially since more often than not whatever I’m trying to assemble is for the express purpose of storing said LEGOs.

 

The Girl Reading Instructions

I’d say I felt shame asking my 5-year-old to decipher these bench assembly instructions, but that would be a lie.

 

The Girl Assembling Bench

Tiny allen wrenches meant for tight spaces are practically forcing you to outsource to child labor. #justsaying

Benji doesn’t have any help when he assembles his CASA-furnished living room to replace the furniture his ex took with him when he moved out. He’s inordinately proud of all of the bookcases and other pieces he’s lovingly built in it. Of course, it’s one of those bookcases that lands him in CASA purgatory.

Anyone who dies because of a CASA product—either because it was faulty or because they were just unlucky—finds themselves haunting the humongous home goods store until they can save someone else from dying in the same way. But Benji’s in no hurry to move on, since CASA is kind of his idea of heaven on Earth.

I do have to agree with him on that. Stores like CASA reel you in with aisle after aisle of gleaming surfaces and displays that make you actually believe that the path to enlightenment involves pendant lamps gently illuminating slickly laminated bookcases, minimalist sofas with storage ottomans, and plastic Eames knock-off chairs that manage to be both hipster-chic and reminiscent of elementary school.

And then you get home, unload the car, and realize you’ve just condemned yourself to the hell of hours of furniture assembly.

That’s life, though. Some Assembly Required.

Have you ever done a DIY? Or assembled something yourself? Tell us your story!

And don’t forget to record your entry in the giveaway widget!



Genre:
 Contemporary Paranormal Comedy
Length: Novel
Published: February 8, 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63476-810-8
Buy: DSPAReAmazonBarnes and Noble

Blurb:

Everyone wishes they were dead when wandering the purgatory of a home furnishings store, but these guys actually are.

Benji Goss is the quintessential good guy. When his boyfriend dumps him and moves out, Benji obligingly keeps the cat—even though he’s allergic—because his ex’s new place doesn’t accept pets. He’s always joked the cat would be the death of him, but not in a way he expects when a feline mishap crushes him under a DEL TORO bookcase.

Snarky loner Patrick Bryant is in such a rut he barely remembers the life he used to lead. The last thing he recalls is being decapitated by a DEL TORO bookcase in a freak accident. As a spiritual CASA resident, he haunts the aisles of affordable Italian furniture, assisting fellow spirits in moving on to their final destinations.

When Benji appears in the CASA café, Patrick considers the naïve spirit just the man to cure his boredom. Benji’s relentless optimism chips away at Patrick’s sarcasm, making him question if there’s something beyond what he can see. But the heart is like CASA furniture—there’s always some assembly required.


About the Authors:

madison_parker_MG_4269-WEB

Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” Now she’s on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.

Weaving tales of sweeping cinematic adventure—depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. Her pride is in telling stories of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. If you’re going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva, her DVR is constantly backlogged, and she unapologetically loved the ending of Lost. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.

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Lexchase.com


Bru Baker got her first taste of life as a writer at the tender age of four when she started publishing a weekly newspaper for her family. What they called nosiness she called a nose for news, and no one was surprised when she ended up with degrees in journalism and political science and started a career in journalism.

Bru spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now works in reference and readers’ advisory in a Midwestern library, though she still finds it hard to believe someone’s willing to pay her to talk about books all day. Most evenings you can find her curled up with a mug of tea, some fuzzy socks, and a book or her laptop. Whether it’s creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.

www.bru-baker.com
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We’re giving away two $25 USD Amazon Gift Cards to two lucky winners! Will it be you? Click on the graphic to enter!

Have you ever done a DIY? Or assembled something yourself? Tell us your story!


Blog Tour Stops:

2/8 – The Novel Approach and Release Day!

2/9 – Gay List Book Reviews

2/9 – My Fiction Nook

2/10 – Love Bytes Reviews

2/10 – Divine Magazine

2/11 – Charlie Cochet’s Purple Rose Tea House

2/11 – Open Skye Book Reviews

2/11 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

2/14 – Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews

2/17 – Joyfully Jay

Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway – Whippersnapper by Michael Rupured

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AboutTheBook

Whippersnapper-final (1)TITLE: Whippersnapper

AUTHOR: Michael Rupured

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

COVER ARTIST: Maria Fanning

LENGTH: 220 Pages

GENRE: Contemporary

RELEASE DATE: January 29, 2016

BLURB: Tellumo Magnamater is a fresh-out-of-college, first-year English teacher at Salt Lick County High School in Kentucky. He rides the bus to and from work, and every day he walks to the gym behind his small efficiency apartment to exercise. Perhaps because of being raised by two lesbians, Tellumo is attracted to older men. He sets his sights on fifty-something available bachelor Oliver Crumbly. But Tellumo isn’t the only resident interested in Oliver.

Peggy Tucker, a widow approaching her sixtieth birthday, is determined to marry again, and she thinks Oliver is her perfect match. Despite Tellumo and Peggy striking up a friendship at the gym, neither realizes they are interested in the same man. But the joke might be on both of them. Oliver, a retired history teacher, is the original crotchety old man who hates everything and everybody—especially young people.

Excerpt

Where are they? Tellumo Magnamater checked his smartphone for the twentieth time in as many minutes and peeked out between the blinds again. Ice and snow melted from car hoods and rooftops in a cacophony of splashes and trickling water. Sooty ridges of snow the same shade of gray as the late morning sky edged the glistening asphalt.

He hadn’t seen his mothers since August, when they’d helped him move to Fallisville for his first teaching job, three days before the first day of school. He’d planned to visit Cincinnati for Christmas until Snowmageddon—thirty inches of snow in a week’s time—had brought Northern Kentucky to a standstill, putting the kibosh on his holiday plans. Everyone else’s too. Churches canceled Christmas services, and bars remained closed on New Year’s Eve. Until yesterday’s warm front had pushed the temperature into the lower fifties, the mercury hadn’t climbed more than a degree or two above freezing since before Christmas, when the flurries had begun.

As Tellumo checked his smartphone for messages again, a white panel truck with Amazon Home Repair on the side in bright blue letters came into view—sporting noticeably more bumper stickers than the last time he’d seen it. He returned the device to his pocket and glanced around his efficiency apartment once more. Everything looked ready for company.

He ran out to greet his guests. Before the truck had come to a complete stop, the passenger side door opened and Trish bounded toward him, her camel coat unbuttoned to reveal the red-and-green plaid pants and gaudy Santa sweater she’d worn on Christmas for as long as he could remember.

“I’ve missed you so much!” She flung her arms around his neck, kissed his cheek, and held him tight.

He hugged her back, surprised by the tears in his eyes. “I’ve missed you too.” He kissed her cheek, released her, and then turned to Jules, waiting beside them.

“Sorry we’re late.” Jules squeezed him hard. “Roads haven’t been this clear since before Christmas. Everyone and her sister was out.” She let go of him and folded her arms across her chest. The creases in her khaki pants and the long sleeves of the oxford cloth shirt she wore were sharp enough to cut hair. “We made good time once we got out of Cincinnati.”

“I was starting to worry—you’re never late.” Tellumo kissed her cheek. “Need me to help you carry anything in?”

“Nah.” Jules shook her head. “Sorry to disappoint you, but there’s not much to carry.” She gave him a grin and a wink. “I’ll unload the car. You guys go on inside and catch up.”

“If you insist.” Trish grabbed Tellumo by the hand and pulled him toward his apartment. “Give her a few minutes to calm down,” she whispered. “We’ve been arguing since we got off of I-75.”

“About what?” Jules hadn’t seemed the least bit agitated or annoyed. Tellumo hung Trish’s coat on a hook on the back of his front door, leaving it ajar so Jules could get in with her hands full. “The car thing again?”

Trish nodded, plopped onto the sofa, and pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose. “We’ve argued about it for weeks. She wanted your Christmas present from us to be the money for a down payment.” She patted the sofa cushion and motioned for him to sit. “Don’t get me wrong. I’ve missed you too, and having a car would make visits home easier, but if you don’t want the responsibility….”

“I don’t.” He sat down beside her and smiled. Though he still sometimes wondered, he’d long ago stopped trying to figure out which woman was his biological mother. Trish and Jules weren’t telling and looked enough alike to make guessing difficult. Knowing when he’d been younger might have made a difference, but after all these years was unlikely to alter his feelings for either parent. “I thought about getting a car, but I really don’t want the added expense.”

“Makes sense to me.” Trish ran her fingers through her curly brown hair and looked around. “This place can’t cost much. What do you do with your money?”

“Save it—like you’ve drilled into me since I could walk.” The furnished apartment had come with everything but dishes and linens. His additional needs were few—a smartphone, a laptop, Internet access with Wi-Fi, and a decent video gaming system. He lived on a fraction of his income and banked the rest. “Do we need to have a family meeting about the car thing… again?”

“No.” She shrugged. “Your mind is made up, and I’m not changing my vote.” She looped her arm over his shoulder and pulled him close. “Voting again would be pointless.”

“Thanks, Trish.” He kissed her cheek. His mothers had almost always presented a united front—especially in family meetings. On the rare occasion when they disagreed, his had been the deciding vote.

BuyLinks

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Amazon US

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AuthorBio

AuthorPic

Michael Rupured loves to write. Before learning the alphabet, he filled page after page with rows of tiny circles he now believes were his first novels, and has been writing ever since. He lives in Athens, Georgia, grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, came out as a gay man at the age of twenty-one in the late 1970s, and considers surviving his wild and reckless twenties to have been a miracle. To find out what Michael’s up to now, visit his blog (rupured.com), follow him on Twitter (@crotchetyman) or send an e-mail message to mrupured@gmail.com.

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January 27: Prism Book Alliance

January 28: Drops of Ink

January 29: The Purple Rose Tea House

February 1: Kathy Mac Reviews

February 2: Cathy Writes Romance

February 3: Diverse Reader

February 4: Divine Magazine

February 5: The Novel Approach

February 8: Elisa – My reviews and Ramblings

February 9: Loving Without Limits

February 10: MM Good Book Reviews

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February 12: Unquietly Me

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February 18: Alpha Book Club

February 19: My Fiction Nook