Saturday, August 24, 2013

Crutches and Ring Splints? What's That Got to Do with Romance?

By Tempeste O'Riley (Guest Blogger)

Good Morning, everyone. I’m thrilled to be here at Lisabet’s blog. Today I’m going to talk a little about the ring splints you see on the books cover and the crutches from the blurb (see below, :c) ). You see, my knowledge of EDS, the genetic disorder James has, is not just from internet research. Nor is my knowledge of forearm crutch. I too have EDS, use crutches to walk, and honestly should have the splints on a couple of fingers—similar to what you see on the cover. Did I mention how much I love the cover Reese Dante created for my guys?

Anyway, the point is that I know what it’s like to be seen for your assistive aids instead of for whom you are and that is one of James’s biggest problems. He hates that people see his “sticks” instead of him. He’s given up on finding his prince and on love for himself in general.

Seth Burns however is not a man that cares about such trivialities. If he sees something in you he likes, then that’s it. Period. The catch is convincing James that he’s serious and that he’ll not turn into another monster... like his previous partners have.

So what do ring splints and forearm crutches have to do with romance? Everything! We all have hurts and fears, James’s are just a little more noticeable than most. Besides, why can’t this physically challenged but wonderful man get his HEA? In Designs of Desire you get to travel along with James as he learns that his disabilities are not what define him... his heart is.

I hope I’ve interested you in my first story with Dreamspinner Press. James and Seth can’t wait to share their story with you (warning, they love the readers to visit their bedroom too, lol)!

Designs of Desire  
by Tempeste O’Riley
M/M Erotic BDSM/Kink Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 29th 2013
Length: Novel / 200 pages


Add to: Goodreads

Artist James Bryant has forearm crutches in every color from rainbow for fun to sleek black for business. He even has a pair with more paint splatters than metal. After his family’s rejection and abuse from a man he thought loved him, James only just gets through the day by painting. He lives in constant fear that he’s not worthy of anything, let alone love.
As CEO of his company, Carrington Enterprises, Seth Burns is a take-charge kind of guy, and he is instantly smitten by the artist helping with his newest project. When he witnesses James suffer a panic attack, a protective instinct he never knew he had kicks in. He truly believes nothing is unobtainable—including James—if he’s willing to put in the time and effort.
James is shy and confused by Seth’s interest in him as a person. With Seth’s support, can he work through his fears to finally find the true love he deserves, or will someone finally land the crushing blow he won’t survive?


James gestured to the chair across the conference table and hoped Seth would sit. He hated to be stood over. Seth smiled and settled into the chair indicated. “Now, what can I do for you, sir?”

“We, Carrington Enterprises, are beginning a new venture and hope you can help with designs. Companies I can manage; design and draw, not so much.”

James nodded at Seth’s pause.

“Let me start by explaining the project you will brand. We’re opening a new hotel chain. This will be a little different than your usual hotel, though. Each site will be more like a large bed and breakfast, but they will cater to the GLBT community. It’s often an issue when a couple wants to vacation. They have to consider the area, the hotel, the other patrons even if they want to do something as simple as hold hands. That is, if they don’t want to be met with hate or possible violence.”

James wasn’t sure which impressed him more, the wonderful idea behind the hotel or the deep, commanding voice that instilled confidence in everything he said.

Obviously unaware of James’s internal dialog, Seth continued his spiel. “With our liberal policies and views, we have decided to make a place where judgment doesn’t exist. At least, that’s the theory.”

God, that voice! He shivered.

“Also, each site will have a club, bar, or restaurant attached. So, this will be an ongoing project, not a one-shot deal.” When finished with his little speech, Seth seemed inordinately pleased with the idea.

No wonder Brian gave me the account. He didn’t realize he had spoken aloud until Seth glowered at him.

“Excuse me?” Seth snapped. “I was assured you have no personal issues or biases that might hinder your ability to provide the needed work. Was I incorrectly informed?”

“No. No, sir. I apologize for my comment. It was out of line,” James said in a rush, trying to smooth over the obvious irritation his thoughtless words had caused.

“Are you able to do the branding or should I continue elsewhere?” Seth demanded.

“You misunderstand, Mr. Burns. I had wondered why I was given your account, considering I’m not one of the senior designers and your account would normally be reserved for one of them. Now that I hear what the project is, I understand why I was chosen.” He knew he was babbling but he couldn’t help it. “You see, I’m the only openly gay designer here and my family runs a small bed and breakfast. This project is perfect. In fact, once we have the branding set up, I’m sure I can point you in the right direction for some specialized marketing. Magazines, newspapers, websites, etcetera. We will help you with all of that, as well.” James tried to restrain the extent of his excitement over the project, but was unsure how successful he was. He didn’t want to seem flippant or inexperienced after admitting he was a junior designer with Skye Designs.

Seth raised an eyebrow and smiled. “Excited, are we? Carl said you were the man for the job. I guess he was right if enthusiasm counts. I have a full write-up of what we need and what we do and do not want to incorporate into the brand.” His smile fell and he became all business again. “This is an upscale getaway, not a high-priced bathhouse.”

“Understood, sir. I think the idea will work in areas with a large enough population of GLBT and open-minded people.” His hands itched to begin sketching and planning.

“Good. Once you’ve read over everything and start your designing, I want you to visit the site we chose for the first hotel. It’s here in Milwaukee, so it shouldn’t be too far for you. Would you be ready by Friday?” At James’s accord, Seth opened his briefcase and began pulling out folders and large manila envelopes and setting them in front of James. He paused, peered up at James, and blinked hard. “I should call someone to carry these things for you,” he mumbled, glancing at the items and toward James’s crutches. “You can’t fit all this in your bag.”

James pinched the bridge of his nose while counting to ten in his head. Why do they always see the sticks instead of me? “Mr. Burns.”

“Seth, please,” he interrupted, giving James a soft smile.

“Seth, Chase acts as my assistant when needed. He will tend to anything I can’t transfer up to my office personally. There is no need to be concerned.”

A strange look flashed across Seth’s face, but his expression quickly returned to his previous in-command smile. “Very good then.”

They chatted a bit about ideas and plans before Seth shifted his coat sleeve back to check his watch. With a slight frown, he said, “Well, I need to head back to the office. I will leave this all in your fine hands, James. Please call me here.” He pulled out his business card and wrote something on the back. “I look forward to our next meeting.”

Seth held out his hand. James flexed his fingers and clasped the offering. He knew this was for work, but somehow it felt different this time. Warm and strong, the grip shot tingles up his arm. Seth seemed to hold on a little longer than necessary for business needs. It had been so long since a man touched him, at least without violence or pain. James shook off the thought he might be interested. Beautiful men like Seth didn’t waste their time on guys like him. Besides, he wasn’t certain he wanted to go down such a painful road again.

James stood in the doorway, watching Seth saunter out the main doors, wishing for something, though not really sure what.


Tempeste is giving away several copies of Designs of Desire as part of her promo tour. Just use the Rafflecopter link below to enter.

About the Author:
Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud omnisexual / bi-woman whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.
Tempe is a hopeless romantic that loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life, though writing has always drawn her back–no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life. She lives in Wisconsin with her children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.
Tempe is also a proud member of Romance Writers of America® and Rainbow Romance Writers. Learn more about Tempeste and her writing at

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ELF said...

I was intrigued by this blurb when I first read it and it only seems to improve with additional exposure. Nice excerpt. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway and good luck with the release!

elewkf1 at yahoo dot com

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Tempeste,

I'm delighted to welcome you to Beyond Romance. Designs of Desire sounds intense, maybe even addictive. I admire your courage in writing about something that hits so close to home.

Thanks for being my guest, and best of luck with the tour and the series!

Lori R. said...

I applaud you for writing about a "less than perfect" character. I'm very interested in reading the book. My boyfriend has a degenerative disease that affects his muscles and joints and I have seen many times how people judge him by the way he looks and not the person that he is.


ShirleyAnn said...

It sounds like a wonderful story. I really enjoy reading about imperfect hero's who find love.

Suze said...

I look forward to reading about James and Seth - always like some extra barriers/mind sets to change. Good luck!

Littlesuze at

Tempe O said...

Thank you so much for having me over, Lisabet. This is a topic close to my heart as is James. So glad you enjoyed the post and excerpt. Good luck everyone!

Colleen C. said...

I love seeing everyone have their chance at happiness! Thanks for sharing with us today Tempeste. James and Seth's story sounds like one I would enjoy. Also thanks for the chance to win!
greenshamrock AT cox DOT net

felinewyvern said...

I have to use a walking stick when I take the dog out and for longer distances I use a mobility scooter. My husband uses a power wheelchair. We have only needed these aids for a decade or so and the change we noticed in people's attitude towards us gave us quite a shock. Luckily I am more blind than most when it comes to aids - they just don't matter to me and never have done. I personally see them in the same light as spectacles for reading or something. I am so glad that more authors are writing books that show that it's the person that counts and not the disability. Thank you for your contribution to this enlightenment and for the giveaway.

felinewyvern at googlemail dot com

The Scarf Princess said...

As a quadriplegic for 38 of my 42 years I'm thrilled to find more books featuring disabled characters, particularly when they're portrayed in realistic ways allowing them to have a HEA. With so many of us out in the world I would've hoped that people would be more comfortable when seeing us but I'm still frustrated by those few people who talk past me to the people I'm with thinking I'm unable to communicate. There was also the vile letter that hit the Internet earlier this week about the autistic child in Canada who was talked about by a mother in the neighborhood in horrendously negative terms. Getting us in the spotlight therefore can only be good for those of us with disabilities proving to people that we're just like them. Thanks for putting us in the spotlight. I'm putting this on my wish list now....

The Scarf Princess

The Scarf Princess said...

Ack.....forgot my contact info.... joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

It's been such an interesting and informative tour. Even though I love m/m, it definitely falls into the "physically perfect guys having sex" theme a lot of the time, which is boring and dangerous!

Trix, vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

Sal said...

What is perfection? I have nothing that you would consider in the realms of what is mentioned here but i do have problems. The minute you don't fit in with what people see as the norm you are branded as imperfect. It's interesting to see a story where there are such obvious manifestations of what may well be seen as his imperfections as most of the stories I read have people who have belmishes in their pasts or in things that have happened to them physically or mentally and have left scars of the soul. I cant wait to read this and to see how the author has written James.

erin said...

sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello again,

Thanks to all of you for sharing your own experiences. I've been lucky enough to be blessed with very good health, but about a year ago I tripped and broke my leg. I was on crutches or in a wheel chair for more than two months, and that really opened my eyes to the daily difficulties faced by people with limited mobility. The snippet in the excerpt above, where Seth realizes (belatedly) that someone using crutches can't carry very much... that's so real.

Something as simple as going to the bathroom or taking a shower becomes an ordeal.

I truly admire those of you who have to live a long-term disability. And I'm so glad to see authors like Tempeste writing stories about characters who aren't physically perfect.

Michelle said...

Great story...

Michelle B. aka koshkalady


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