Monday, December 23, 2013

Note: This post originally appeared on author Andrew Q. Gordon's blog on December 22, 2013. 

One of the greatest joys of my life is my son, Nicholas. He’s far away now, living with his husband, Tarik, in Montreal, but I miss him every day. Around the holidays, I think a little more about Nick and the many happy Christmases we shared when we were all living much, much closer together in Chicago.

One Christmas, though, stands out. Because Nick’s mother and I divorced when he was six years old, we had to share him on the holidays. Usually, I got Nick on Christmas Eve and his mom would take him Christmas Day. One year when Nick was in high school, all the forces aligned to make it a very special Christmas Eve for just the two of us.

It’s seldom we can have the luxury of not sharing our children with others, especially on special occasions like Christmas. But this time, this Christmas Eve, it was just Nick and myself. I will always hold this memory close and dear to my heart, not only because it was just us two, but because of the magic of what we experienced.

We started off with a nice dinner in the Wicker Park neighborhood. But then we headed downtown to south Michigan Avenue to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) perform Tchaikovsky’s the Nutcracker Suite. That iconic music was so wondrous and evocative, transporting us both to a yuletide realm that harkened back to both of our childhoods. But then the CSO broke for intermission and did an even more amazing and interesting thing—a holiday twist if you will. When the curtain rose on the second part of the program, the CSO performed in conjunction with a jazz orchestra Duke Ellington’s own riff on the Nutcracker Suite, a vibrant and totally original take on the original.

It was an amazing night of music and togetherness. Nick and I returned to my apartment in the Ravenswood Manor neighborhood, where he stayed over, to be picked up by an uncle in the morning.

We exchanged gifts before going to bed. And Nick gave me one of the best gifts I have ever gotten—he picked his three favorite books and gave them to me. There was To the Lighthouse, All the King’s Men, and Light in August. The gift represented a common bond—a shared passion for reading and great writing. And it was simply a very thoughtful gift that I will always remember. And that Christmas, circa 1999, was one I will always treasure.




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Friday, December 20, 2013

Win a FREE Copy of CAREGIVER in Audiobook!

My award-winning love story set at the height of the AIDS crisis, Caregiver, is now available in audiobook. I have ten copies to give away to ten lucky listeners. Usually, I would just have you leave a comment below and I'd pick a winner at random from commenters. This time, though, I'm going to put you to a little test (no worries--it's not too hard).

To win your audiobook copy of Caregiver, follow the four steps below:

1. Go the Caregiver  audiobook page on Amazon and click on "play sample" below cover art to listen to the free preview.

Answer the following questions:
A. The counselor says that "GAY" stands for what?
B. How many times did Dan's HIV ELISA test come back positive?
C. When the counselor offers Dan a handful of condoms, what did they look like to him?

2. Send your answers to me at jimmyfels@gmail.com

3. Optional, but encouraged: Promise to write a fair and honest review on Amazon/Audible after you've listened to the book.

That's it!

I'll take the first ten entries I receive. In the meantime, here's what Caregiver is about and where you can get it.

BLURB
It's 1991, and Dan Calzolaio has just moved to Florida with his lover, Mark, having fled Chicago and Mark's addictions to begin a new life on the Gulf Coast. Volunteering for the Tampa AIDS Alliance is just one part of that new beginning, and that's how Dan meets his new buddy, Adam.

Adam Schmidt is not at all what Dan expected. The guy is an original - witty, wry, and sarcastic with a fondness for a smart black dress, Barbra Streisand, and a good mai tai. Adam doesn't let his imminent death get him down, even through a downward spiral that sees him thrown in jail.

Each step of Adam's journey teaches Dan new lessons about strength and resilience, but it's Adam's lover, Sullivan, to whom Dan feels an almost irresistible pull. Dan knows the attraction isn't right, even after he dumps his cheating, drug-abusing boyfriend. But then Adam passes away, and it leaves Sullivan and Dan both alone to see if they can turn their love for Adam into something whole and real for each other.

BUY
eBook
Amazon audiobook
Also available in paperback and from Audible.com.



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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Give eBooks as Holiday Gifts!

It's very simple and easy to give ebook gifts...and it's great for last-minute shopping (you can send a book to a treasured friend or family member at the very last moment; delivery is immediate. Below is a step-by-step guide for giving ebooks from various booksellers. Wouldn't a Rick R. Reed book be a treat this holiday season?

AMAZON Purchasing from Amazon means your recipient either has a Kindle or uses the Kindle app on their computer or device
1. Find the title on Amazon.
2. In the green box on the right of the title's detail page, you'll see a button marked "Give as Gift."
3. Log into your account (if you're not already) and enter the recipient information.
4. You're done! Celebrate with eggnog! A LOT of eggnog. If your in-laws are visiting, skip the eggnog and just drink the alcohol. If the in-laws are particularly bad, spike their eggnog with NyQuil.

BARNES AND NOBLE Purchases from B&N will NOT work on any Amazon devices or apps, but will work on every other device/computer.
1. Find the title on Barnesanoble.com.
2. On the title's detail page, directly to the right of the big orange "Buy Now" button is a small link that says "Buy As Gift." Click the link.
 3. Log into your account (if you're not already) and enter the recipient information.
 4. You're done! Eat an entire gingerbread house and blame it on the dog.

APPLE Purchases from Apple will not work on any Amazon devices or apps, but work perfectly on any Apple device or Apple computer.
1. Find the title in Apple's iBookstore or by searching the iTunes Store.
2. Underneath the cover image on the title's description page will be the price and a little drop-down arrow. Click the arrow and choose "Gift this Book."
3. Log into your account (if you're not already) and enter the recipient information.
4. You're done! Shake all the presents under the tree to figure out what you're getting/returning.

ALLROMANCEEBOOKS.com/OMNILIT.com The recipient gets to choose which format they'd like to receive: PDF, EPUB or Kindle.
1. Find the title on the site.
2. On the title's description page, in the block that lists the price of the book, choose the button with the present images that says "Gift."
3. Follow the checkout process and the instructions for notifying your recipient.
4. You're done! Sneak over to your neighbor's house and gently unscrew one bulb from their strand (but leave it in) and watch the lights go out. When they finally figure out which bulb isn't in all the way, you'll have had hours of enjoyment. That'll teach them for coming over with their nasty comments about your dog pooping in their yard.


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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mute Witness Garners a Rave Review!

It's always a pleasure when an older book gets some attention. Recently, Mrs. Condit & Friends Read Books gave a stellar review to my 2009 child abduction/gay love story, Mute Witness

The reviewer, Becky, had this to say:
"My heart is shredded after reading this book...There are a handful of writers who can pull this kind of tale off without alienating the reader, and Rick R. Reed is one of them..."

Read the whole review here.

Blurb
Sean and Austin have the perfect life. Their new relationship is only made more joyous by weekend visits from Sean’s eight-year-old son, Jason.

 And then their perfect world shatters.

Jason is missing.

When the boy turns up days later, he has been horribly abused and has lost the power to speak. Small town minds turn to the boy’s gay father and his lover as the likely culprits. Sean and Austin struggle to maintain their relationship amid the innuendo and the very real threat that Sean will, at the very least, lose the son he loves. Meanwhile, the real villain is much closer to home, intent on ensuring the boy’s muteness is permanent.

Buy
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback
MLR Press



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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Raining Men a Top Pick from OnTopDownUnder!


On Top Down Under has named my RAINING MEN one of its favorite books of the year!

Reviewer Cindi called it, "my biggest shocker of the year" and went on to say, "Only a truly talented author can take a character like Bobby and make him out to be a good guy in the end. Rick R. Reed did it brilliantly..."

The other books Cindi highlighted were:

  • The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men and Azrael and The Light Bringer Eric Arvin
  • Into this River I Drown TJ Klune 
  • After the End Alex Kidwell
  • Billy's Bones Jamie Fessenden
  • Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open (antho--multiple contributors)
  • Serenading Stanley John Inman
  • Pudding Jones DC Juris 
  • Lake Thirteen Greg Herren 
  • Bloodlines Robin Saxon & Alex Kidwell 
  • Zombie Boys (atholo--multiple contributors) 
  • Loving Hector John Inman 
  • A Wild Ride Andrew Grey 
  • Stalking You Now Jeff Strand 
  • A Casual Weekend Thing AJ Thomas 
  • Whiskey and Rye Rhys Ford 
  • Hell's Door Sandy DeLuca 
  • Tell Me It's Real TJ Klune 
  • Mountain Prey Lyn Gala 
  • Hunt & Pray Cindy Sutherland 
  • Small Miracles Ellen Holiday 
  • Thick as Thieves Tali Spencer 
  • The Haunting of Timber Manor F.E. Feeley, Jr.

Read the whole column here. I know my reading list has just expanded accordingly. Congratulations to my fellow authors who made her list.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2012: Our Wedding Day

December 9, 2012: Our Wedding Day

December 9, 2013 at 5:48am
Here's a blog I posted shortly after our wedding one year ago. I thought it bore repeating. Happy Anniversary, my love!

Legally Wed--Bruce and Rick Get Hitched
(c) 2012 by Rick R. Reed

On December 9, 2012, my now-husband, Bruce and I made history, both personal and on a much bigger stage. We shared our history-making day with many, many other couples in our state, all couples who were coming together for one reason—to commit themselves to one another in love and marriage.
Legal Marriage.
See, Bruce and I wed on the first day marriage became legal in Washington state. This alone is significant, what’s even more significant is the fact that this was the first time in US history that same-sex couples were able to do this because the ability to marry had been voted in by a majority, a popular vote, thwarting those who proposed a referendum that existed for division, prejudice, and discrimination.
Love does triumph.
But this little piece isn’t really about major societal changes or the tide turning toward what is now called “gay marriage,” and what I believe will one day simply be called “marriage.” No, it’s about waking up this morning and saying to Bruce, “I feel different today. Do you?”
And he agreed. Because our small wedding yesterday—and our entering into such a solemn and loving commitment—was a sea change in our lives. Even though we have been together for more than a decade and we have seen each other through good times and bad, sickness and health, and all the other assorted things we call life that committed couples endure and celebrate together, we could never call ourselves married. Not really, not without some modification, like “in our hearts” which is significant indeed, but it does not change the fact that, up until yesterday, saying we were married or calling each other husband seemed a bit like playacting.
But now we are married—for real, witnessed by dear friends, and celebrated, thanks to the wonder of social media, far and wide. And things now feel more contented, more settled, more real. Of course, I love Bruce with all my heart and have always done so, but maybe, just a little, I feel more like we are a family since we took that emotional step yesterday when we slid rings on our fingers, said our “I wills” and kissed as our friend, an ordained minister, pronounced us married in front of our fireplace with our Boston terrier, Lily sitting at our feet, and our friends nearby, alternately weeping and smiling. It was also special that the ceremony was performed by our dear friend, Bruce Harrington, an ordained minister in the UCC church.
It was a big moment and one that will take a while to fully process. But for now, let’s just say I can look at the future with a bit more hope, my heart a bit more grounded, my hands joined with a man who I know will be my best friend, my partner, my lover, my everything, for the rest of my days.
Married.
In lieu of vows, I found a poem by Roy Croft called “Love” that I believe so perfectly summed up what I felt and am feeling that I wanted to share it with Bruce over any traditional wedding vows.
In closing, I would like to leave you with that poem, and my sincere hope that you may find or have someone in your life to be able to think of when you hear these words. Because, that my friend, is all that really matters.

Love by Roy Croft
I love you
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.
I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find
I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple.
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.
I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good.
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Raining Men Wins the Rainbow Award for Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction!

So thrilled!

And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1 (tie) Amy Lane - Dex in Blue
I really enjoyed this book. It's fast paced and keeps you entertained and wanting to know more about each character. Amy writes in such way that you feel as you know or want to know her characters. The setting is wonderful and the plot phenomenal! Well done! (Zeoanne)
This is a different Amy Lane, but yet the same. She’s shown she can move me with devastation, fear, anger, hurt, love, grief. Now she’s shown me, reminded me, there are quiet joys in life again too. (T.A. Webb)
Well written, the setting is very detailed, the characters fully formed and the plot quite compelling. (Jane)



1 (tie) Rick R. Reed - Raining Men
Having read Chasers by the author, I found myself very taken with one of the secondary characters, Bobby. And when i saw that Bobby had his own story to share with us, I was elated. Chasers for me was an emotional ride and Raining Men out did that. Bobby IS as real as real gets and Rick Reed captures his emotions and his view like no one else could. (Michele)
Through Mr. Reed’s eyes/pen (keyboard) we get a feel of what goes on in Bobby's head, his cravings, the uncontrollable desires that drive him. This is a very enjoyable story with likeable characters. (Zeoanne)
Loved this story so I'm giving it a full score. Fleshed out characters, including secondary characters; a difficult and believable journey of overcoming addiction and healing; a setting I cared enough about (Chicago) that that had me visiting Google maps to see the locations the characters were frequenting; and I really liked the fact that there were several false starts before the MC found love. This was a really engrossing and engaging story. (Jane)



Runners Up:

2. Larry Benjamin - Damaged Angels
3. Brad Boney - The Return
4. George Seaton - Saving Skylar Hand
5. Jamie Fessenden - By That Sin Fell The Angels / S.A. McAuley - Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open
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Monday, November 18, 2013

NEW RELEASE! The Ghost in Number 9


BLURB
For Tony and Carter, room number 9 in the Galaxy Gold motel on Seattle's seedy Aurora Avenue is a refuge. There, the two young lovers have found a place to hide away from a world that would condemn them for their love. Within the darkened, summer-hot confines of room number 9, Carter and Tony can explore their love and lust for one another, free of the burdens of the outside world.

But room number 9 holds a terrible and tragic secret, one that dates back to the Galaxy Gold's opening back in 1962, when Seattle was hosting its World's Fair. There's a ghost in room number 9, and he has a message for Tony and Carter, a message about the consequences of shame and hiding love behind a closed motel room door.

Will Tony and Carter listen to the ghost's message and have the courage to bring their love out into the open? Or will this long-ago story, one eerily similar to Tony and Carter's, be ignored?

The answer awaits in room number 9... 


EXCERPT
Tony sat up. “I don’t know. I walk out of here, give you up, what would happen then? Would my heart shrivel up and die? Would I forget you?”

Carter thought the sad truth was, he probably would. Maybe not next week, next month, or even next year, but he eventually Carter knew the memory of his touch, how he felt, what his smile could do, would eventually fade away. And then where would Tony find himself? Carter looked away, staring up at hairline crack that ran across the ceiling, not wanting to hear the answer to that last question, which taunted him in his own mind. He’d be back in the park, more experienced now, looking for another Carter, another young man to lure away to the motel and this whole sad, yet blissful, scenario would play itself out once more. Perhaps it would happen many times, until Tony’s wife found out, or Tony brought the wrong guy back to the motel, or who knows?

Carter sat up. “The romantic me would love to say yes, your heart would shrivel up. You’d miss me so much it’d be like a physical ache. You would just not be able to go on. But the realist in me knows the truth—you’d go on.”

“And be a faithful and loving husband?”

Carter turned to face him. He shook his head. “You’re kidding yourself if you think that. You told me once your need for a man was like a living thing and it wouldn’t leave you alone. You told me that the harder you tried to suppress it, the stronger it would come back.”

Tony stared down at his thighs, at the dick coiled between his legs. He snatched the sheet up to cover himself.

Carter leaned toward him, touching his shoulder gently. “I’m sorry. But it’s true.”

“I know it. It’s a mess.”

Carter asked again, “Do you want to end it?” He was split right down the middle. One part wanted Tony to say yes, another despaired that he would.

“Of course not. I love you.” And Tony looked over at him, catching and holding Carter’s gaze. Carter didn’t need words to know that this was the bottom line—their love. Sure, the sex was mind-blowing, the best he’d ever had, and he suspected the same was true for Tony, but it wasn’t really about the sex. If it was, Tony could go on being married and have some secret encounters on the side, perhaps for years.

But Carter knew they both wanted more. But how to get it? How to get it and not hurt so much those around them? Carter was single, but it didn’t erase the complicity he would feel in the heartbreak of a woman’s heart if her man left her to be with him.

“I love you, too.”

Carter sat back, leaning against the headboard, his shoulders touching Tony’s. “So where do we go from here?”

“Why do we have to go anywhere?” Tony asked dully. Carter thought he was referring to leaving the motel room. But his next words clarified what Tony had met. “Can’t we just keep things like this?”

The words simply came out of Carter, without forethought. “Forever? Would you be happy with that? I wouldn’t. We love each other.” Carter looked away, a stream of images parading by in his head. “What we do here is flat-out wonderful. I mean it! But the words ‘I love you’ encompass so much more.” Carter stretched his arms open wide. “I want us to get out of this motel room. I want to have dinner with you at one of the restaurants in Pike Place Market or maybe you and me at the top of the Space Needle, spinning as the sun sets behind the Olympics. I want to ride a ferry with you from Anacortes to Friday Harbor. I want to get in the car and take a weekend road trip down to Portland and end up in some little B&B on the Oregon coast. I want you to come to my place and I’ll make my mom’s meatloaf for you. I want to open presents under a Christmas tree. I want watch you blow out the candles on your birthday cake.” 

Carter bit his lip, hating the big, painful ball that had formed in his throat, making it painful to swallow, as though a torrent of tears and a bunch of sobs were the only thing that could dissolve it. “I want to see your clothes hanging next to mine in the closet.”

Tony stared at him for a long time. Finally, he shook his head and rose up from the bed. He began to dress. 

“You’re not gonna say anything?” Carter wondered. It was weird how the room had gone from the heights of blissful passion to the depths of despair so damn fast. “I just poured my fuckin’ heart out to you, man. And you’re gonna give me back silence?”

Tony pulled up his pants and struggled to pull his T-shirt over his head, saying nothing. At last, he said, “If I had answers, I’d give ’em to you.”

He gathered up his tool belt and then kissed Carter on the forehead. Carter looked up at him. “Same time next week? Room 9?” Carter asked. The question seemed inane, after the dreams he had just confessed. He might as well have said, “I’ll take whatever crumb you give me.”

Tony shrugged. He moved to the door, opened it, and let in a blinding block of light. He was only a silhouette as he stood there in the brilliance, the sound of traffic suddenly loud behind him. Carter barely heard him say, “I have to think.”

And then he closed the door, plunging the room back into murky darkness. Carter was alone.

He slumped back on the bed, staring down at his feet. He moved them back and forth, trying not to think. Was this the end? It sure felt like it.

Curiously, the sobbing and tears that had threatened to erupt had seemed to have left along with Tony. Right now, there was only a curious numbness. He supposed his mind and his heart were both doing what they could to protect themselves from the pain he was certain lay in wait.

He got up, crossed the room, and lifted a blind to look outside. Tony’s truck was gone and the same river of traffic flowed by, relentless, leaving Carter feeling isolated, as if he were the only one in the world with such problems. The little boy he had seen earlier, the little red-headed imp, zipped by on his bike, laughing, on Aurora itself, and Carter wanted to open the door to tell the little idiot to get off the highway, use the sidewalk, where it was safer.

But the boy was in and out of his view before he even had a chance to move to take any action.

Carter let the blind drop back into place. He went into the sad little bathroom and showered, drying off after with a towel that was so thin and rough it barely absorbed anything.

When he returned to the bedroom, a man was sitting in one of the chairs opposite the bed. His legs were crossed and he made Carter think of the TV series, Mad Men. He had that perfect Don Draper look: dark hair neatly parted at the side, a crisp white shirt with the sleeves rolled up to reveal hairy forearms, a pair of gray slacks, creased, and a pair of black wingtips. The man was smoking a cigarette and blowing the smoke into the air in rings.

He looked over at Carter as though he had been expecting him. He smiled.

For Carter’s part, he didn’t know whether to scream, laugh, run, or question his sanity. “How did you get in here?”

The man sighed. “I’m always here. I was here when you and your boyfriend were fucking today and every time before.”

Carter cast his gaze around for an unnoticed closet where the man could have hidden himself, but there was only the freestanding wardrobe in the corner and Carter doubted he could secret himself there.

“Look, I don’t know who you are or what you want, but I’ll give you a minute to get out of here or else I’m calling the cops.” Carter edged a few steps closer, so that he could snatch his pants up from the floor. He felt in the pockets, relieved when he grasped the outlines of his wallet and phone. He struggled into the khakis, almost losing his balance. All kinds of creeps walked up and down Aurora, at all hours of the day or night and all Carter could think was that this one had gotten in when Tony left, forgetting to lock the door behind him.

Yet, didn’t the door lock automatically? And what did the man mean about always being in the room?

And while it was true there were prostitutes and thugs that regularly walked the lengthy north-south traverse of Aurora Avenue, none of them looked as neat (and neat was the best word) as this character. 

Carter shivered, even though the room had no air conditioning. He grabbed his shirt off the floor and put it on, buttoning it with trembling fingers.

“You know what? Forget it. I’ll just leave and I’ll let the guy at the front desk know you’re here.” Why not? Carter had all his important belongings now. He needed only to slip into his wingtips.

“Sit down.”

“What?”

“Grab a seat on the bed, bud. You know I’m not real.”

“Not real?” Carter neared the man. “You look real to me.” He reached out to place a hand on the guy’s chest and it was like his hand passed through a fog of cold air.

Carter jumped back, heart thundering.

“That’s right. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a ghost. I’d shake your hand, but you saw what happened when you tried to touch me. Damned ectoplasm. My name’s Bill Silver.”

Carter stood, simply staring. He realized his mouth hung open and he shut it.

“You gonna take a load off? I have some things to tell you.”

“Tell me? What?” Because Carter felt like if he didn’t sit down, his legs would give out, he reluctantly seated himself at the edge of the bed. You’re asleep, that’s all and this is just a dream. Play along. “So, uh, Bill, what it is you wanna tell me?”

Bill took a puff off his cigarette and snuffed it out in the ashtray. Carter wanted to giggle when he had the thought that ghosts didn’t have to worry about the health hazards of smoking. And what would a ghost cigarette taste like, anyway, menthol or regular? Carter couldn’t help it. He let out of a little titter.

“I’m glad you’re amused. Now, if I could begin.”

Carter gestured with his hand that the floor belonged to Bill. “I’m listening.”

“As I said, I’ve watched you and that colored guy have sex. Pretty racy. In my day, even here in Seattle, that kind of behavior could get a man in a lot of trouble. The queer stuff is bad enough, but throw in mixing of the races and even in the northwest here, you’ve got big trouble. Still, it looked very sexy, watching that colored dick go in that white ass.”

Carter started to get up. “Is this what you want? I’m not into it, dude.”

“Sit down, sit down. You know, because you touched me, I’m a ghost. And I was just setting the stage a bit, letting you know I know the score.

“What I really want to talk to you about is me. What happened to me right here in this room, just before the World’s Fair opened up back in 1962.

“I was twenty-nine years old, had a little Craftsman over in Wallingford, wife named Gloria and two kids, Bill Jr. and Sally. Worked as a CPA. Everyone that looked at me thought I was the perfect young man who had secured for himself the American dream. 

“And I had. 

“But what no one knew was what you and Tony understand—how good it feels to be with a man. See, I knew even before I had ever touched another fellow, knew because it was like a piece of me was missing. What could fill it up?” Bill grinned. “I think you know. But it’s more than that. Get your mind out of the gutter.”

“I needed a man to love me, even if I couldn’t admit it to myself, let alone anyone else. I kept thinking if I just stayed true in my marriage, concentrated on being a good dad to my two kids, worked hard, all those longings I felt in the middle of the night would eventually go away.”

Bill looked over at Carter and Carter thought the man seemed as real as Tony had, only an hour or so ago.

“But you know the end to that story, don’t you? Nothing went away. If anything, it got stronger the more I tried to hide it. I’d be out with the kids and Gloria, over at Green Lake and we’d be hanging out at the beach, and I’d see these young guys in their trunks and man—” The guy’s gaze drifted away and Carter knew he was seeing those almost-naked young men right now, robust, diving into the water, endless yards of tanned and muscled skin. Carter could see it himself in his own mind’s eye, but because of when he had been born and the life he had led, he felt no guilt at his appreciation and even arousal at the thought.


To read more, order your copy here: The Ghost in Number 9 by Rick R. Reed

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Friday, November 15, 2013

New and Notable: Blue Moon--Too Good to Be True by A.E. Via

I've heard amazing things about this one. Check it out!

Publisher: AMIRA PRESS
Genre: GAY MALE EROTICA
Release Date: NOVEMBER 08, 2013

BLURB
Angel DeLucca is one of the most sought after gay bachelors in Virginia Beach. He's smart successful, lethal, and more than anything he's drop dead gorgeous. Angel has his pick of the men that come to his popular Oceanfront night club, but lately the one night stands haven't been enough...Angel craves something deeper. When a one night hook-up goes terribly wrong, Angel comes into contact with the breathtaking Maximus (Max) Strong.

Max is a firefighter for the Virginia Beach Fire Department. Max is beautiful, charming, and also very straight. One meeting with the mysteriously, sexy Angel DeLucca and a whiff of that silky, jet black hair, Max finds himself questioning everything he's known to be true about himself. Max tries desperately to understand the new feelings he has for another man and turns to his gay, older brother...Ryker.

Ryker has always been Max's protector and his guide their entire lives, which has left him feeling uncared for and alone to handle his own life's problems. Ryker craves to be taken care of, he craves the attention and praise of a Master. No one knows the dark desires within him until Angel's Chief of Security, Sebastian 'Bass' Bagatelli, shatters that secret with their first intense encounter.

How will Angel win the heart of the straight firefighter that was tailor-made just for him? Will Max be able to continue denying his feelings for another man? Can Ryker and Bass get through their personal issues to take and receive what they both need from each other? Or will they each give up on a happiness that appears too good to be true?

These men's stories will unravel in a whirlwind of romance, bdsm, revelations, lots of action and very hot sex, co-starring very entertaining supporting characters.

LINKS 
Amazon
Author Website
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

LEGALLY WED Has A New Cover...and A New Blurb

The forces are aligning for the release of my next book, Legally Wed, in January of 2014 from Dreamspinner Press. The cover, by the talented and amazing Anne Cain, has been finalized. The blurb has also been polished and is ready to go. What do you think?

BLURB
Love comes along when you least expect it. That’s what Duncan Taylor’s sister, Scout, tells him. Scout has everything Duncan wants—a happy life with a wonderful husband. Now that Seattle has made gay marriage legal, Duncan knows he can have the same thing. But when he proposes to his boyfriend Tucker, he doesn’t get the answer he hoped for. Tucker’s refusal is another misstep in a long line of failed romances. Despairing, Duncan thinks of all the loving unions in his life—and how every one of them is straight. Maybe he could be happy, if not sexually compatible, with a woman. When zany, gay-man-loving Marilyn Samples waltzes into his life, he thinks he may have found his answer.

Determined to settle, Duncan forgets his sister’s wisdom about love and begins planning a wedding with Marilyn. But life throws Duncan a curveball. When he meets wedding planner Peter Dalrymple, unexpected sparks ignite. Neither man knows how long he can resist his powerful attraction to the other. For sure, there’s a wedding in the future. But whose?



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Monday, November 4, 2013

My review of DOCTOR SLEEP

Since almost as far back as I can remember, I have been a diehard fan of Mr. King. His latest book, Doctor Sleep a sequel (some 30 years later) to The Shining was not a disappointment. Here are my thoughts:

I know many people had very high expectations for this one. It is, after all, a sequel to one of King's masterworks, THE SHINING. However, I urge readers to come to DOCTOR SLEEP with no expectations. In the end, for me, the book is a masterful work, more about battling and triumphing over our personal demons as opposed to the horror kind. King gives us here a grown-up and very flawed Danny from THE SHINING and takes us on a fascinating journey of redemption. The way King writes about addiction and its torments rings very true. The horror aspect of the story, too, was handled very well and originally. It was a masterstroke of brilliance on King's part to create a whole new breed of monsters as he has done here. They are terrifying and real. I highly recommend this one, both as a sequel and as a moving and thought-provoking standalone novel.
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Friday, November 1, 2013

Queer Town Abbey



Check it out!

I am author of the month at Queer Town Abbey. Find out how I put the heat in my fiction AND my food (you won't regret trying my recipe for slow-cooker posole--it's perfect for a fall night)!

Here's a little sample from the interview:

Why did you become a writer? 
Like being gay, I didn’t really have a choice. Since I was able to hold a pen or a pencil, I have written. I think I wrote my first short story when I was six, my first play when I was eight or nine, and my first novella when I was ten. I had written a couple of novels by the time I finished high school. I have always been in love with stories—and I guess I just wanted to tell them myself.

Read the whole interview.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

RAINING MEN is A Finalist for a Rainbow Award!


Good news! RAINING MEN is a FINALIST in this year's Rainbow Awards in the Gay Contemporary General Fiction category. Here's a complete list of the other finalists in my category--congratulations to all. For a list of all the finalists in all categories, go here.

Jamie Fessenden - By That Sin Fell The Angels
George Seaton - Saving Skylar Hand
Elan Barnehama - Finding Bluefield
Red Haircrow - The agony of joy
Johnny Townsend - The Mormon Victorian Society
Patricia Logan - Silver Ties
Anel Viz - Alma's Will
Grigory Ryzhakov - Becoming Agie
Rick R. Reed - Raining Men
Sassafras Lowrey - Roving Pack
Catherine Ryan Hyde - Where We Belong
Kiki Archer - Binding Devotion
Ann McMan - Aftermath
S.A. McAuley - Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open
Caren J. Werlinger - In This Small Spot
Vincent Meis - Down in Cuba
Justine Saracen - Beloved Gomorrah
Larry Benjamin - Damaged Angels
Brad Boney - The Return
Amy Lane - Dex in Blue
R.E. Bradshaw - Out on the Panhandle
Geonn Cannon - The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary
Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko - WAAFRIKA

And here's what Raining Men is about...and where you can get a copy.

BLURB
The character you loved to hate in Chaser becomes the character you will simply love in Raining Men

It’s been raining men for most of Bobby Nelson’s adult life. Normally, he wouldn’t have it any other way, but lately something’s missing. Now, he wants the deluge to slow to a single special drop. But is it even possible for Bobby to find “the one” after endless years of hooking up?

When Bobby’s father passes away, Bobby finally examines his rocky relationship with the man and how it might have contributed to his inability to find the love he yearns for. Guided by a sexy therapist, a Sex Addicts Anonymous group, a well-endowed Chihuahua named Johnny Wadd, and Bobby’s own cache of memories, Bobby takes a spiritual, sexual, and emotional journey to discover that life’s most satisfactory love connections lie in quality, not quantity. And when he’s ready to love not only himself but someone else, sex and love fit, at last, into one perfect package. 

Buy Links for Raining Men
Amazon (Kindle) 
Amazon (paperback)
Dreamspinner (paperback)
Dreamspinner (ebook) 
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Win a FREE copy of BASHED in Audiobook!

My ghost/love story revolving around a gay hate crime, Bashed, is now available in audiobook. I have five copies to give away to five lucky listeners.

Usually, I would just have you leave a comment below and I'd pick a winner at random from commenters. This time, though, I'm going to put you to a little test (no worries--it's not too hard). To win your audiobook copy of Bashed, follow the four steps below:

1. Go the Bashed ebook page on Amazon and click on the cover art to open the free preview. Answer the following questions:



  • A. What was the name of the bar Mark and Donald were at?
  • B. What kind of car did Donald drive?
  • C. What famous Chicago cemetery did they park nearby?

2. Send your answers to me at jimmyfels@gmail.com
3. Optional: Promise to write a fair and honest review on Amazon/Audible after you've listened to the book.

That's it! I'll take the first five entries I receive.

In the meantime, here's what Bashed is about and where you can get it.

BLURB
Three haters. Two lovers. And a collision course with tragedy.

That October night, Donald and Mark had no idea their lives and love were about to be shattered by fag bashers, intent on pain, and armed with ridicule, fists, and an aluminum baseball bat. Bashed charts the course of a journey that encompasses suspense, horror, and--ultimately--romance.

BUY
eBook
Amazon audiobook

Also available in paperback and from Audible.com.
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Even After a Year, CHASER is Still Getting Rave Reviews!

Loved this new review of CHASER, my chubby-chaser love story, at Insight Out!. The reviewer says, "In a world of twink-orexia and the Muscle Mary Mafia, Rick R. Reed explores what happens when your preference lies on the side of the meatier man. And what a job he does!" Read the whole review here.

BLURB
Caden DeSarro is what they call a chubby chaser. He likes his guys with a few extra pounds on them. So when he meets Kevin Dodge in a bar bathroom, he can’t help but stare, even if he does make an ass of himself. As far as Caden is concerned, Kevin is physically perfect: a stocky bearded blond with a dick that’s just right. (They met in the bathroom—of course he looked!) But Caden gets tongue-tied and misses his chance.

When Caden runs into Kevin one night on the El train, he figures it’s fate offering him a second shot. Caden manages to get invited back to Kevin's place for a one-night stand that turns into the kind of relationship he’s dreamed about.

But the course of true love never did run smooth, and Kevin and Caden’s romance is no exception. When Caden returns from a few weeks away on business, Kevin surprises him with a new and “improved” body—one that fits Caden’s shallow friend Bobby’s ideal, not Caden’s. Caden doesn’t know what to do, and his hesitation is just the opportunity Bobby was looking for. This isn’t the same Kevin he fell in love with… is it?

Buy CHASER
ebook
paperback
Kindle
Nook

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Me. Reading from Hungry for Love.

I hope you enjoy this little excerpt from my latest release. Point of interest: I am reading at the same desk and in the same room, and on the same computer where I originally wrote Hungry for Love.

 

Blurb
Nate Tippie and Brandon Wilde are gay, single, and both hoping to meet that special man, even though fate has not yet delivered him to their doorstep. Nate’s sister, Hannah, and her kooky best friend, Marilyn, are about to help fate with that task by creating a profile on the gay dating site, OpenHeartOpenMind. The two women are only exploring, but when they need a face and body for the persona they create, they use Nate as the model.

When Brandon comes across the false profile, he falls for the guy he sees online. Keeping up the charade, Hannah begins corresponding with him, posing as Nate. Real complications begin when Brandon wants to meet Nate, but Nate doesn’t even know he’s being used in the online dating ruse. Hannah and Marilyn concoct another story and send Nate out to let the guy down gently. But when Nate and Brandon meet, the two men feel an instant and powerful pull toward each other. Cupid seems to have shot his bow, but how do Nate and Brandon climb out from under a mountain of deceit without letting go of their chance at love?

Buy from Dreamspinner Press in ebook or in paperback
Amazon Kindle

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