Future Implications

One thing that is a known fact is that our social media landscape is constantly changing.  Why is that?  Well basically it’s because technology is constantly evolving which means that anything reliant on it must do the same or die out.  People either love or hate social media but the fact is, it’s a resource that every day people use, and brands must follow suit or fall behind.  Though there are those who may hate social media there are presently 3.80 billion people using social media worldwide since the beginning of 2020.  I’m sure that with COVID-19 those numbers have continued to climb because of the quarantine and a lot of people staying home or working from home.  5.19 billion people use mobile phones globally with user numbers up by 124 million (2.4%) since the beginning of the year in 2019. The numbers below don’t lie, social media is here to stay.

I feel that the changes are due mainly to changes in human behavior but also because as I stated above technology is constantly changing and growing.  The changes in human behavior come in the form of people wanting brands to be health conscious (fast food industry) … fast food brands are launching new products and drafting health-related communications strategies. Then there are the those who want brands to be socially conscious such as Ben & Jerry’s stand on racial justice.  There are of course a myriad of issues that consumers wish brands to follow these two are just the tip of the iceberg.

There are a few trends that I feel will be up and coming in the future with social media (although there are many more, I’m sure these or the ones that I’ve focused on):

Photo courtesy of https://www.information-age.com/augmented-reality-transforming-e-commerce-123465096/

Continual growth of social media and its platforms.

Heightened privacy and security (huge boost in data management).

AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality).  AR takes the real world and projects virtual, computer-generated augmentations to enhance the user’s experiences.  VR a 3D dimensional computer-generated reality that users can explore as if they are in the real world.

Video’s will be used across most platforms (Cisco stated that by 2020, 75% of the mobile traffic will be video).

Courtesy of YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOKJDCqvvMk

I think the future is definitely bright and fun with the addition of Augmented Reality along with Virtual reality being added into the mix because it will add to the consumer experience.  Mixed and augmented reality, in particular, are proving effective in allowing consumers to engage with brands and interact with products like never before.

Photo courtesy of https://blog.appvirality.com/how-to-use-social-media-mobile-app-promotions/

The question that companies need to be asking themselves according to TTEC, With these numbers continually growing, the question isn’t whether to embrace social media; it’s “How can I effectively leverage social networks to enhance the customer experience and gain valuable insight?”  Indeed, that is the one thing that small and large businesses need to look at social media.  How can they make it better for their consumers and how can I use the information gathered for the company’s benefit? Two questions I will leave you with is:

What trends do you see for social media as technology expands with consumers and businesses having to explore with it?

What brands do you follow on social media?

Photo courtesy of https://openviewpartners.com/blog/social-media-branding-10-tips-to-build-your-brand/#.X7ghCWhKhPY

Viral Marketing Initiatives

https://techbriefly.com/2020/09/11/what-is-viral-marketing-and-how-to-get-most-out-of-it/

Let’s face it.  Social Media has made it easier than before to become famous by going viral.  Or at the very least to have your 15 seconds of fame as it were (or more if you’re lucky).  When it comes to businesses wanting their brand to be seen by as many people as possible the quest for the keys to the magic kingdom. Viral marketing …is currently considered “holy grail” of digital marketing.

For me some of the most memorable campaigns out there were the ones that promoted LGBTQ lifestyles with the unifying hashtag of #LoveWins when it was made possible in 2015 for . I happen to find that as a romance author that I tend to agree that love is love and it doesn’t matter if a person is of another race or another gender. We love who we love and it is great to see campaigns with that kind of sentiment going viral. A lot of the big brands celebrated the fact that now in all fifty states same sex marriages are now legal. Which is how it should always have been but that is besides the point.

Mentos – Two of the same is beautiful. Mentos Twitter 2015

What are some of the characteristics of going viral, you ask? there are five that I’m going to mention and break them down.

Purposeful: Not just a random tweet or post that isn’t consistent with the brands history or message. Posting with purpose and intent and not just jumping on the bandwagon).

Shareable: so others can like, love, retweet, repost, and even share through word of mouth (organic reach).

Creative: Doing something no one else has done or if they have doing it in a way that it looks shiny and new.

Current: Up to date and with content that is modern and not old news. The #LoveWins content was an extremely exciting time for those in the community and well for most everyone. It was the hot topic and is still a hot topic.

Relevant: The content must be designed for your target audience if it isn’t you’ll miss the mark and we all know that bad publicity can also go viral and could be detrimental to a brand. Ask any brand that has been hurt by negative feedback from posting/tweeting something that wasn’t relevant or sensitive to the times. Such as the 2013 Hyundai ad trying to get people to buy their cars by having a guy doing self harm…hmmm…and how could they possibly think that would work?

Gap – Equality is always in style. Twitter 2015

What better way to tell your target audience that you care about them in more ways than just their dollars? You show them by promoting what matters to them. You’re creative like the Gap ad with play on words of being into equality because it is always in style. Which keeps you current and relevant all at the same time you’re posting for a purpose and that is to unify just as the mentos add did and all with beautiful images and a unifying hashtag of #lovewins. If you can get people to talk about your brand in a positive light you can most likely get them to share it and perhaps share it over and over again to go viral. I do happen to think that going viral is a luck of the draw kind of scenario but following steps that others have to do so can put you on a better path to doing so rather than just hoping and praying it will happen. And as far as that hashtag #LoveWins? It is still out there telling its truth…(I love a good hashtag as they cost nothing and can easily be used on social media platforms and is very shareable!

So tell me what is one of your favorite campaigns out in the wild that had a purpose, relevancy, was shareable, creative, and current? Hit me in the comments I for one love to see a positive campaign that is meant to help people and may even make them laugh, smile, or just feel warm inside. Hey in this time of COVID when the world feels a little crazy…we need lots of love to let the world know that #LoveisLove and love should always win.

Summer Romance Reading Giveaway! African American, Interracial and/or Multiracial Romance!

Featuring African American, Interracial, and/or Multicultural Romance novels available on Apple Books, Kobo, & Nook. Plus enter to win an Amazon Gift Card. http://www.blacklovebooks.com/summer-reading-2020 #blacklovebooks #summerreading #diverseromance #wideromance TWITTER READY POST SUMMER ROMANCE READING for every device. #Giveaway featuring African American, Interracial, and Multicultural romance novels. http://www.blacklovebooks.com/summer-reading-2020 @blacklovebooks #IARTG #pdf1 #bookdeals #booklovers #aaromance #irromance #multicultural #diversebooks #kindle #ibooks #kobo #nook

Coming May 22, 2018 Down and Dirty Boxset!

Coming May 22, 2018, in the Down and Dirty boxset! Blurred Lines

Meet Phaedra Sims and Rocco De Angelis. Their attraction to each other has come to a boiling point. The issue is, is that they shouldn’t even be on each other’s radar.

Sgt. De Angelis and his assigned help need to find a way to get the job done without crossing the line. But how easy it would be to blur the lines and take what each of them needs and want to let the healing begin.

Phaedra Sims had taken the job at the prison to block out the memories in her head as she helps to heal others. Memories of a love that died too soon. Sergeant Rocco De Angelis is a man who has proven his dedication to his job over himself. Phaedra can’t deny the chemistry between them. Rocco plans to make sure she doesn’t. Healing the heart and soothing the soul will definitely be blurring the lines.

Available for preorder for just 99¢!
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B3X69KL/

Love is Definitely Complicated!

I can’t believe that the first book in my Undeniable series is here!  It’s Complicated featuring Keiko Jarrett and Ashton Locke!  Friends turned lovers! I’m so excited to share with you an excerpt of their love story.  

Blurb:

Ashton Locke has had a thing for Keiko Jarrett since college. So when she proposes adding friends with benefits to the mix, he’s intrigued, but wary. Sure, he’s always wanted her, and is definitely not ready to settle down with anyone, but what happens if one of them crosses the line?

Keiko is ready to take her flirty friendship with Ashton to the next level of hot. But she never bargained for feelings to intrude and cause complications. She laughed at Ashton’s hesitation and promised she’d remain heart-whole.

Some promises are meant to be broken and as Keiko and Ashton’s benefits bleed in all aspects of their lives, Keiko needs to convince Ashton that love is worth the risk.

EXCERPT: 

“Repeat that again?” Ashton was sure he hadn’t heard what Keiko had said to him.

He looked at the dark-haired beauty with the stunning mocha-colored skin, who was also his friend, and wondered if she was daft.

She’d taken him from the group and asked him to go inside to help her with the hors d’oeuvres and, while he was arranging the veggies and fruit onto a tray she’d given him, she’d dropped this bombshell on him. He’d almost let go of the grapes but managed to catch them when he turned to look at her.

“I want us to take our relationship to a different level. I want to be your fuck buddy.”

“Okay, who are you and where have you taken Keiko?”

She giggled softly as she continued to fix the tray with cheese, meat, and crackers as if she hadn’t just told him she wanted them to fuck. Not that the thought of fucking her hadn’t passed through his mind a time or two since knowing her. But this was Keiko, his friend and not some random girl.

“Hear me out, Ashton, before you say no, please?” She stopped messing with the tray and looked into his eyes.

Leaning back against the counter in the cozy kitchen, he waved his hand for her to continue. God, he hoped he wasn’t going to regret letting her continue. He probably should have stopped her and walked away. “Go ahead Kei.”

“Well, I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I’m tired of the games that dating brings. So, I thought what better way to still have the benefits of a relationship and none of the drama than to date my best male friend. That best friend being you. Besides, you want me, you’ve said so yourself.”

She had hit the nail squarely on the head with the comment about him wanting her and having stated it before. He wasn’t about to deny that, but to actually have sex with her and keep their friendship intact? How would they manage that? It didn’t seem to be possible to have sex with her and not have it run into the emotional issues.

“How in the world do you expect us to have sex and remain friends, Kei?” They had a strong friendship. If this turned into anything but lust there would be problems. His parents proved that to him repeatedly. He saw a wicked glint hit her eyes and he was in for it. She put down the cucumber she’d been cutting, wiped her hands, and came around the counter to stand directly in front of him.

She pressed her lush body to his and wrapped her arms around his neck as she looked up at him with her beautiful chocolate-brown-colored doe eyes.

“Easy. I’ll show you. Kiss me, Ash. You and I’ve been doing this dance way too long.”

Buy Links:

Published by: Tule Publishing 
LINKS:
AMAZON US ~  AMAZON UK  ~ AMAZON CA AMAZON AU
iBooks  ~ BARNES&NOBLE KOBO ~ SMASHWORDS

 

New Release: Arctic Spirt by Elena Kinkaid

Blurb

Charlotte Austen has been in love with her two best friends, Chris and Drew Malcom, since high school, but choosing between them was never an option. The day she said goodbye to them was a painful one, especially since she thought she would never see them again. Ten years and one visit later changes everything.

Alaskan tiger shifters, Chris and Drew, have never gotten over Charlotte. The fact that they were both in love with her was never the problem … being destined for a mate, however, was. They reach out to her, hoping to find a way to resume their friendship. The three of them get an unsuspected surprise when they see each other again.

The trio’s happy discovery does not come without a price. Jealousy and prejudice threaten to destroy the budding romance. Will Chris and Drew be able to stop the threat before they lose the love of their lives forever?

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079P45XYW

Evernight: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/arctic-spirit-by-elena-kincaid/

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/arctic-spirit-mfm

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arctic-spirit-elena-kincaid/1127923731

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/arctic-spirit

Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079P45XYW

Amazon Fr: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B079P45XYW

Excerpt

Drew pulled her to him and kissed her fiercely. She heard a low growl coming from the back of his throat and that only turned her on more. She had heard growls emanating from them before and quite a bit in the past two days, confusing them for simple male grunting sounds, but now she knew that the sound was a far more primal one. Soon after, his kiss turned playful, as he first licked the top of her lip and then nipped it. She moaned at the sensation and felt her nipples harden against his chest and her belly contracted with excitement, all modesty forgotten.

She had thought about what her first kiss would feel like with them, but her thoughts had paled in comparison with this reality. She moaned again, louder this time, when Drew pulled back slightly and cupped her breasts. Chris moved in closer from behind and began to gift her with kisses to the nape of her neck, gliding his hands up and down her sides.

Drew ended their kiss with another playful bite, but to her bottom lip this time. He exhaled loudly, while she tried to catch her breath. “You should get some more rest,” he said with regret.

“I have done nothing but sleep for the last two days.” Rest was the last thing she wanted right now. “Please don’t stop.”

“Mmm … I can smell her desire,” Chris said right before he tugged on her earlobe with his teeth.

Drew closed his eyes as he inhaled. “You smell delicious.”

“You can—” Charlotte did not have a chance to finish her sentence. Chris tilted her head to deliver another breath-stealing kiss, leaving his hand splayed right under her neck. Charlotte threw her arms up and over behind Chris’s neck.

Drew wasted no time in taking advantage of her inviting position. He cupped her breasts again before bringing them closer together and sucked hard on her nipples in turn. “You have such beautiful breasts,” he murmured against as he continued to lavish his attention on them.

Chris let loose another sexy growl as she tugged on his hair. He used his free hand to glide down her belly, moving the covers away from her body. She nearly convulsed when his fingers made contact with her soaking-wet pussy. She wanted his fingers inside her, but he only toyed with her at first, rubbing her lips, parting them, and then rubbing the wet flesh between. “I want a taste,” he said, cupping her firmly.

She let out an incoherent sound of agreement.

“Lay down, baby,” Drew said, releasing her breasts.

She complied, positioning herself on her back and then she boldly spread her legs in invitation. Chris moved between them. He massaged her breasts and then ran his hands down the length of her torso to her thighs as if his hands were memorizing her body. “You’re so fucking beautiful, Char.”

Drew lay down beside her. “Chris and I are going to acquaint ourselves with every beautiful inch of you, and then when you are ready, we are going to claim you, permanently.”

About Elena Kincaid

Elena Kincaid is an award-winning and Amazon best-selling author. She writes Paranormal and Contemporary Romances. She developed a passion for reading and writing at an early age, and loves to write what she loves to read, usually romance with a paranormal twist. Her desk is constantly cluttered with journals, sticky notes, and torn-out pieces of paper full of ideas.
She was born in Ukraine and raised in New York, where she currently lives with her daughter. She graduated college with a BFA in creative writing, and in addition to writing, she also started a graphic design business a few years after graduating. When not working, Elena loves to spend time with her family, travel the globe, curl up with a good book, and catch up on her soaps.

 

Blog: http://elenakincaid.blogspot.com/

Website: http://www.elenakincaid.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/elenakincaid1

FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/elenakincaidthree

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Elena-Kincaid/e/B011IOY3KE

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7060236.Elena_Kincaid

Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SMEstreetteam/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elenakincaid/

Sandman (Forbidden Love Series II Book 5) by Danielle James

He’s the demigod of her dreams and she’s got a lineage that she can’t hide from. Will a nightmare demon steal it all away, or will these two souls find their destiny together?

Blurb:

Somnus spent his time walking in the dreams of others. He ghosted in and out of their lives, unseen, giving them the magic they needed to dream. Nightmares were unusually high, so he slipped into one of his favorite charge’s dream. That’s when she saw him. Really saw him. Against all odds and against all the rules, Rachel could see him.

Rachel has something special about her, a lineage that she is unaware of, that not only draws Somnus’ attention, but the nightmare demon as well. Somnus must protect her, even from herself.

Get ready for a wild ride as Rachel and Somnus come to terms with her heritage, the demon, and their shared destiny.

Excerpt:

Somnus stared at the child sleeping before him. He was a five-year-old with blond hair and blue eyes. The little guy had tossed and turned for an hour before he finally calmed down enough to allow sleep to claim his little body.

Somnus held out his hand and willed his magic to flow from himself to the child. It moved along the air like a cloud of golden glitter, settling on the child’s blond head. The child’s eyes began to move under their lids and a small smile lit the boy’s face. Somnus took a quick peek and saw that the boy was laughing in his dream. He was playing on a playground with other kids, running and climbing like a young boy should be. Somnus had visited the boy enough times to know that the bruises on his delicate skin were not caused by a playground accident. He took some measure of comfort knowing that if only for a short time, he could relieve the boy’s angst from his real life in a dream.

Satisfied with himself, Somnus ghosted to the next person on his list for the night. He liked his job. Giving people the ability to dream was nothing short of a necessary miracle and he did it well. Dreams allowed the mind to make sense of what happened during their waking hours. Long term memories are formed in sleep and sometimes dreams served as a means of relief from the stress of living. Like in the case of the young boy who was beaten daily by his father. Somnus would have throttled that man if he could, but as a demigod, it was forbidden for him to interfere like that. Hell, it was forbidden for him to interfere whatsoever. He could only give the person the ability to dream. Somnus could start the dream in a good place, but ultimately it was up to the dreamer as to where the dream went from where he started it. If he wasn’t aware that it would drive the father insane, he would deny him the ability to dream.  Humans, of all races, needed to dream in order to sort out their thoughts and feelings. To deny one the ability to dream long term would deny their minds the time to regroup. There would be no getting over a bad day. There would be no letting painful emotions go. After a time, the mind would short circuit and the person would go crazy. However, that wouldn’t be helpful to the boy either.

It was pushing three a.m. when Somnus arrived at the home of his most interesting charge. He liked to pretend that he didn’t wait anxiously for the tiny little signal in his brain that told him she had fallen asleep. Her name was Rachel, and every night she took the dream magic he gave her and twisted it into something terrifying. It was no wonder she barely slept, he thought to himself. He wouldn’t either if he saw the things she did in dreams.

He stood over her, nothing more than a ghost in his form, watching her breathe. Her short, dark hair spiked up around her face and head in stark contrast to the white pillow case beneath her. She had long black lashes that cast the slightest shadow across her high cheekbones. His gaze followed the lines of her face down her nose to her full red lips. It wasn’t bad that he knew that was the natural color of her lips at all. He pretended that he didn’t feel a tug of longing in his gut as he looked at her. Somnus wanted all his charges to have good dreams, but this woman was special. Maybe it was because she had so much trouble in that area that he felt the need to help her more than the others. Maybe it was because her ability to conjure some really scary shit in her sleep intrigued him. Or maybe it was because he was a man and she was beautiful. No matter how he tried to dress it up, she was his favorite and he was a little obsessed with her. Okay, he was a lot obsessed with her.

Shaking his head, Somnus allowed his magic to flow. As the golden dream dust settled over her head, Rachel began to dream. I’ll just take a quick peek, he thought, before walking into her dream.

Rachel was dancing in a rose garden, surrounded by beauty and wonder. Her eyes shined brightly; the cobalt blue reflecting the light and seeming to shimmer in the sunlight. This was what he wanted for her, Somnus thought. To be happy in her dreams, to have a little bit of peace. He watched from the edge of her subconscious, feeling better about the amount of magic he used on her with each passing minute. When she laughed aloud, the sound was like music to his ears. He had done well.

Just as he turned to leave her, Rachel’s dream began to change. Dark storm clouds moved in and cluttered the sky, lightning flashed and Somnus could almost smell the ozone in the air. The entire mood of the dream changed instantly. Rachel looked confused for a moment, but then she changed as well. It was as if she had been expecting this. That was impossible, though. Humans did not have any control in their dreams. Somnus knew he should leave, but he couldn’t. He was completely mesmerized by the way Rachel prepared herself for what she knew was to come. She pulled in a deep breath as if to steel her courage, fisted her hands at her sides, and turned around to face whatever danger had come for her.

The dream did not disappoint. From the dark clouds, a form took shape. It was blurry at first, but as the clouds moved and swirled, a large figure became clear. It stood on two legs and had two arms, but that was where the resemblance to any human ended. On top of its head were two huge curved horns that curled around its head behind its pointed ears. Its skin was the color of hot coals, its eyes black and emotionless. It ran in Rachel’s direction and she screamed.

The thing looked like a demon. It ran after Rachel, snarling and slashing at her with its sharpened claws. Rachel was fast though, and kept just enough ahead of it. The scenery changed from a garden to the inner city, and Somnus watched as Rachel maneuvered through the empty streets. He knew he shouldn’t still be there, but he couldn’t help but watch. His heart pounded in his chest, waiting to see that Rachel made it out of the dream safely.

She rounded the corner of a building and came to an immediate stop right in front of Somnus. “You!” she accused. Somnus looked around to see who she was talking to. “Stop that!” she shrieked. “You know I’m talking to you. You’re always here!”

“What?” Somnus barked out. Surely he was the one dreaming. She couldn’t see him, could she?

Thunderous footsteps followed her and became louder. “We don’t have time for this,” Rachel informed him, grabbing his hand. “We have to run.”

“I don’t think so,” Somnus replied. How the hell was she touching him?

“Whatever,” Rachel told him. “It’s your funeral.” And then, she was gone. Awakened from her dream. Somnus watched as the dream world dissipated, and he was once again standing in Rachel’s bedroom. That was by far the strangest thing he had ever witnessed in the dream world.

“Why are you in my house?” Rachel demanded, sitting up and looking right at him. “You have some explaining to do. Start talking before I call the cops.”

Somnus didn’t know what to think. He was good and properly gobsmacked. This was unprecedented and he was at a complete loss. He was ghosted, but yet, she could see him. That wasn’t supposed to be possible, and yet here she was, staring him down, demanding answers. He had no clue what to say to her, but he had to start somewhere. “Why don’t we start with how the hell you can see me?”

Author Links:

Sandman Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079C6LXGK

Danielle’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/DanielleJamesAuthor/

Danielle’s NL sign up form: https://www.facebook.com/DanielleJamesAuthor/app/100265896690345/

Danielle’s amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Danielle-James/e/B00G964FMS/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5342351.Danielle_James

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ddjames1976

Rafflecopter Giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f3c2e8081/

 

2017 Book Buyer’s Best Contest

The Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America is proud to announce that the Book Buyer’s Best Contest for 2017 is now open. 

 

We are looking for entrants as well as preliminary round judges.  If you wish to judge please contact the contest coordinators at:  bbbcontest@occrwa.org.

This award will showcase the shining excellence of published authors in novella and novel length romance fiction and mainstream fiction with a central romance.  The entry deadline is April 15, 2017.

The categories are:

  • Contemporary Series Romance
  • Contemporary Single Title Romance (Over 70,000 Words)
  • Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance
  • Historical & Regency (Both Series and Single Title)
  • Romantic Suspense & Mystery with romantic elements(Over 70,000 Words)
  • Paranormal/Time Travel/Fantasy/Futuristic Romance (Both Series and Single Title)
  • Young Adult
  • Inspirational
  • Erotic Romance
  • Novella (Specify Category)(Over 15,000 to 40,000)

 

GLBT entries: Authors are to place their entries in the appropriate category

Judging

The preliminary round will be judged by booksellers, librarians, and romance readers.  First, second, and third place will be awarded in each category.  Highest score in each category will advance to the final round to be judge by the Top Pick Judge (TBA).

 

For a complete list of the rules and the official entry form, please visit: http://occrwa.org/contests/book-buyers-best/

 

If you need to contact the contest coordinators, Nikki Prince and/or Sabrina Sol please email:  bbbcontest@occrwa.org

 

Signs of Desire by Tempest O’Riley

When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme, they thought communication would be their biggest challenge to their happily ever after….

 

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
PreOrder:

Dreamspinner Press

Add to: Goodreads

 

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.

The darkness of the parking lot stretched out in front of Adrian Keys, and the door to the Mexican restaurant spilled light onto the pavement every time someone opened it to exit or enter. Stupid. He regretted letting his friend talk him into going out with “the guys.” By the time he reached the door, he had almost talked himself out of going in, but no such luck. A gentle tap to his shoulder broke him out of his paralysis. When he turned, he was face-to-face with Chase, his one-time date turned friend.

Distracted by his concerns, he barely noticed Chase was dressed in a light blue button-down shirt that conformed to his lean and lithe chest. He wore low-rise black jeans that were faded on the thighs, chunky biker boots, and a platinum wrist cuff on one wrist—Adrian knew the cuff was new. When they’d met, Chase had worn a double-buckle black leather one instead. The thing that caught his attention, as it always did, was Chase’s eyes. They were one part amber, one part blue, and another part green, with the most beautiful flecks of gold in them.

Shaking off his inappropriate distraction, he tried to smile, and said and signed, “Hi.”

“Hi, Adrian. You’re not leaving already, are you?” Chase signed. Adrian loved how hard Chase worked to improve his ASL and how he always used it with him now. Even though he could read lips quite well, communicating  in  his  native  language  and  style  was  more  fluid  and comfortable for him.

“No.” Adrian bit his bottom lip, looking away from Chase. He glanced at the restaurant a moment, not sure his worries would make sense to anyone Hearing before returning his gaze to his friend. “I’m worried your friends will be uncomfortable with me or that I won’t be able to keep up with the conversation.”

The grin that spread across Chase’s face was both endearing and unnerving. “There’s only a few of us, and it’s really good food. Promise.” He winked. “Tonight is a night for fun!” Before Adrian realized what was happening, Chase draped his arm around Adrian’s shoulders and pulled him in for a hug.

Adrian allowed Chase to drag him inside, and before he knew it, he sat at a long, curved booth with six others, including Chase. Warmth blanketed him on all sides thanks both to the warm bodies and the heater that valiantly fought off the frigid temperatures outside. Milwaukee in the early spring was cold, icy, and just plain miserable to be out in, though he would take cold over heat any day of the week—you can always put more on, after all.

“Adrian, you know Rhys, and these guys are Dale, Simon, Jamie, and Grayson,” Chase explained, signing as he spoke, making sure to gesture to each man in turn. “We’re only missing Vaughn, but he’s still overseas doing his teacher-swap thing. Boys, this is Adrian.”

He worked hard to smile and waved. “Hello.”

They all replied with heys and his as he looked between the men.

 

   

 

 

“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”

 

 

Designs of DesireSimple Desires*+Bound by Desire*Desires’ GuardianTemptations of DesireTruth in Lace*Desires’ Pride*

Micah’s Medicine+Caged SanctuaryWhiskers of a Chance

*shorts in series +shorts in anthologies

 

Tempeste 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 who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, they has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her 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®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visit http://tempesteoriley.com.

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