Monday, April 24, 2017

My Gay Horror Collection, UNHINGED, is OUT NOW!


Horror. Romance. The two seem at odds, yet in provocative author Rick R. Reed’s hands, the pair merge like a match made in heaven ... or hell.

Prepare for a dark journey into an unhinged world populated by ordinary and extraordinary monsters. Unhinged brings you sometimes chilling, sometimes romantic, sometimes hilarious, but always thought-provoking tales.

Among them you’ll find a chilling and redemptive ghost story, a most unusual and shocking first meeting for two lovers, a story revolving around one of the 20th Century’s most horrific serial killers, and a darkly comic take on the vampire mythos. This collection will make your heart race with passion ... in all its forms.

Contains the stories: Echoes, How I Met My Man, The Man from Milwaukee, Sluggo Snares a Vampire, The Ghost in #9, and Incubus.

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EXCERPT FROM "The Man in Milwaukee"

He learned only in bits and pieces of that wonderful blossoming of dark and lovely flowers: one was revealed to me by a scrap of newspaper…
Jean Genet, Our Lady of the Flowers

Headlines

Dahmer appeared before you in a five o’clock edition, stubbled dumb countenance surrounded by the crispness of a white shirt with pale blue stripes. His handsome face, multiplied by the presses, swept down upon Chicago and all of America, to the depths of the most out-of–the-way villages, in castles and cabins, revealing to the mirthless bourgeois that their daily lives are grazed by enchanting murderers, cunningly elevated to their sleep, which they will cross by some back stairway that has abetted them by not creaking. Beneath his picture burst the dawn of his crimes: details too horrific to be credible in a novel of horror: tales of cannibalism, sexual perversity, and agonizing death, all bespeaking his secret glory and preparing his future glory.

Emory Hughes stared at the picture of Jeffrey Dahmer on the front page of the Chicago Tribune, the man in Milwaukee who had confessed to “drugging and strangling his victims, then dismembering them.” The picture was grainy, showing a young man, who looked timid and tired. Not someone you’d expect to be a serial killer.

Emory took in the details as the el swung around a bend: lank pale hair, looking dirty and as if someone had taken a comb to it just before the photograph was snapped, heavy eyelids, the smirk, as if Dahmer had no understanding of what was happening to him, blinded suddenly by notoriety, the stubble, at least three days old, growing on his face. Emory even noticed the way a small curl topped his shirt’s white collar. The el twisted, suddenly a ride from Six Flags, and Emory almost dropped the newspaper clutching for the metal pole to keep himself from falling. The train’s dizzying pace, taking the curves too fast, made Emory’s stomach churn.

Or was it the details of the story that was making the nausea in him grow and blossom? Details like how Dahmer had boiled some of his victim’s skulls to preserve them…

Milwaukee Medical Examiner Jeffrey Jentzen said authorities had recovered five full skeletons from Dahmer’s apartment and partial remains of six others. Emory read that the killer had also admitted to cannibalism.

“Sick, huh?” Emory jumped at a voice behind him. A pudgy man, face florid with sweat and heat, pressed close. The bulge of the man’s stomach nudged against the small of Emory’s back.

Emory hugged the newspaper to his chest, wishing there was somewhere else he could go. But the el, at rush hour, was crowded with commuters, moist from the heat, wearing identical expressions of boredom.

“Hard to believe some of the things that guy did.” The man continued, undaunted by Emory’s refusal to meet his eyes. “He’s a queer. They all want to give the queers special privileges and act like there’s nothing wrong with them. And then look what happens.” The guy snorted. “Nothing wrong with them… right.”

Emory wished the man would move away. The sour odor of the man’s sweat mingled with cheap cologne, something like Old Spice.

Hadn’t his father worn Old Spice?

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Scene of Hungry Love from The Couple Next Door


Below is an excerpt from The Couple Next Door, and it’s a scene where two lost souls—Jeremy and Shane—at last unite, under very difficult circumstances. See, Shane has been physically and emotionally abused by the man with whom he lives. Jeremy has been witness to it and has tried to be a friend, to help, to perhaps even be a savior. He’s tried to keep a respectable distance.

But the pull between these two men, as you’ll read, is just too powerful….

EXCERPT
Does my knowing the truth make me an accomplice? Does Shane knowing the truth make him an accessory after the fact to murder?

What, I ask myself for the thousandth time, have I gotten myself into? The answer comes to me in an image: Shane, smiling, the delight clear in his icy blue eyes when he first sees me.

A man. It’s always a man. If I could learn to live without men, I’d be happy, I tell myself.

Good luck with that.

I go into the kitchen, grab some oranges and a couple of protein bars from a drawer. It’s a meager breakfast, but it’s the best I have to offer.

Knock, knock, knock and Shane opens the door. His eyes are rimmed in red. He looks as though he hasn’t slept—like me. He wears a torn and faded navy blue T-shirt and gray sweatpants. I can see the outline of his cock through the loose jersey fabric. My mind wanders away from danger, scaling other exhilarating heights.

He looks breathtaking. All I want to do is hold him, comfort him, and go from there—proceed directly to his bedroom, do not pass go. Why am I thinking of sex at such a horrible time, when he has shared with me the truth of his history? Now is the time for talk, not lovemaking. Yet the lust persists like an itch right in the center of my brain. There’s only one way to scratch it.

It’s like he’s read my mind. He takes the fruit and the protein bars from me and turns away to set them on the arm of a chair near the front door. Then he comes back to me and enfolds both of my hands in his own.

The moment is too charged with something, some kind of electric connection, for words. Talking would break the spell. The silence is delicious and weighted.

His hands are warm, verging on fiery, feverish. He tugs me toward him roughly, and before I know what’s happening, I’m in his arms. This is no friendly “hello” hug. This is an embrace born of hunger, of desperation, of an animal need for comfort. His mouth seeks mine, starving, and the merging of our lips and tongues is like some kind of communion. It’s more than passion. It’s the uniting of two lost souls.

And with the thought of lost souls, I realize why we both feel such a connection. In his famished kiss, I can feel not only his need for me but also mine for him.

We stop only long enough to turn, to head toward the bedroom. Shane never lets go of at least one of my hands. I can almost feel his need to cling, to ensure I don’t escape.

I welcome it.

He kicks the door closed, and then he’s on me like some kind of jungle cat, ripping the few clothes I wore off, scratching me in the process. I will not see the claw marks until later, until they appear red and scarlet on my flesh. I will rub them, treasuring the memory connected to them. Now, though, there is only animal want and the desire, deep-seated, for human comfort that only oblivion can provide.

We tumble on one of the two beds crammed into the room together, so hungry we can’t stop devouring the other. Not just cocks but nipples, armpits, the crooks behind knees, the tender, sensitive flesh of our thighs, the smalls of our backs. Fluid—saliva, come, tears, all flow, and we exchange them. Greedily.
He mounts me. I mount him. We are in such a haze we almost forget the condoms and the lube.

Almost.

Time stands still as we fuck. As we suck. As we wait, breathless, and do it again.

It’s not until I am lying in Shane’s arms later, when our respiration and heartbeats have returned to some semblance of normalcy, that we speak.

I mince no words. “Why did he do it?”

BLURB
With the couple next door, nothing is as it seems.

Jeremy Booth leads a simple life, scraping by in the gay neighborhood of Seattle, never letting his lack of material things get him down. But the one thing he really wants—someone to love—seems elusive. Until the couple next door moves in and Jeremy sees the man of his dreams, Shane McCallister, pushed down the stairs by a brute named Cole.

Jeremy would never go after another man’s boyfriend, so he reaches out to Shane in friendship while suppressing his feelings of attraction. But the feeling of something being off only begins with Cole being a hard-fisted bully—it ends with him seeming to be different people at different times. Some days, Cole is the mild-mannered John and then, one night in a bar, he’s the sassy and vivacious drag queen Vera.

So how can Jeremy rescue the man of his dreams from a situation that seems to get crazier and more dangerous by the day? By getting close to the couple next door, Jeremy not only puts a potential love in jeopardy, but eventually his very life.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dreamspinner Press Tax Relief Sale April 12-17


Dreamspinner Press just announced they're having a Tax Relief sale. Get 25% off all books (April 12-17), including pre-orders of my upcoming tale of how love triumphs over addiction, THE PERILS OF INTIMACY.  

BLURB
Jimmy and Mark make an adorable couple. Jimmy’s kindness and clean-cut cuteness radiate out of him like light. Mark, although a bit older, complements Jimmy with his humor and his openness to love.

But between them, a dark secret lurks, one with the power to destroy.

See, when Mark believes he’s meeting Jimmy for the first time in the diner where he works, he’s wrong.

Mark has no recollection of their original encounter because the wholesome Jimmy of today couldn’t be more different than he was two years ago. Back then, Jimmy sported multiple piercings, long bleached dreadlocks, and facial hair. He was painfully skinny—and a meth addict. The drug transformed him into a different person—a lying, conniving thief who robbed Mark blind during their one-night stand.

Mark doesn’t associate the memory of a hookup gone horribly wrong with this fresh-faced, smiling twentysomething… but Jimmy knows. As they begin a dance of love and attraction, will Jimmy be brave enough to reveal the truth? And if he does, will Mark be able to forgive him? Can he see Jimmy for the man he is now and not the addict he was? The answers will depend on whether true love holds enough light to shine through the darkness of past mistakes.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

The Kind of Review a Writer Only Dreams of Getting: FUGUE

Once in a while, I'm lucky enough to get a review that truly makes what I do (allowing the craziness in my head to escape onto the page) worthwhile.

Fugue, my only BDSM story and a rare, for me, detour into erotic writing, has always been a bit of an oddity for me. I don't write about hardcore sex, mainly because I think we all know what happens behind closed doors, and so I'm usually a fade-to-black kind of guy.

But Fugue breaks my own rule because the entire story is truly about sexuality, about how it functions not only in the physical realm, but also in the intellectual one (which may be even more important because sex isn't as much about what's between our legs as it is about what's between our ears).

And the blog Kimmers' Erotic Book Banter gets that.

In part, Kimmers' review said:

"Reed’s descriptions ensnare the full-on rapture of desire. Like a pinball bouncing around the bumpers, your thoughts ricochet from one erotic scene to the next, almost as breathless as the participants."

Read the full review here.

BLURB
Who is the master and who is the slave?

Fugue takes the brave reader into the dungeon playroom of a master and his boy. It's the kind of place where darkness skitters into corners, hiding in shadows where the walls disappear. A boy is chained to the pipes along the ceiling. Hooded, he can only experience the sensations his master delivers with his whips, fingers, tongue ...

But in the boy's mind, a dream state takes him places even the master can’t imagine, places where the established pecking order is flipped upside down. As he's being whipped, tantalized, and tortured, the boy takes a mental journey on a late-night train where his adventures are even more raw and erotic than what goes on in this very dungeon.

Come along for the Fugue and answer for yourself the question: who is the master and who is the slave?

Second Edition: Originally published with Amber Quill Press, 2008.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A New Review for my Dorian Gray Update, A FACE WITHOUT A HEART


Thrilled to wake up to this review of my Dorian Gray update, A FACE WITHOUT A HEART, from Boy Meets Boy Reviews.

"Overall I think this was a great story. It’s on the grey side of dark *wink* and enjoyable in an atypical way. Mr Reed always gets me with the interpersonal relationships and the creepy descriptives. Wonderful showing as always."

Read the whole 4-star review here.

BLURB
A modern-day and thought-provoking retelling of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray that esteemed horror magazine Fangoria called “…a book that is brutally honest with its reader and doesn’t flinch in the areas where Wilde had to look away…. A rarity: a really well-done update that’s as good as its source material.”

A beautiful young man bargains his soul away to remain young and handsome forever, while his holographic portrait mirrors his aging and decay and reflects every sin and each nightmarish step deeper into depravity… even cold-blooded murder. Prepare yourself for a compelling tour of the darkest sides of greed, lust, addiction, and violence.



Monday, April 3, 2017

Cover Reveal: THE PERILS OF INTIMACY

Covers are something I have a thing for. It’s the face of my book. It’s very important, so there’s a lot invested. There’s the old saw about not judging a book by its cover, but it’s not true—not with people and certainly not with books. People, myself included, judge books by their covers all the time. And why shouldn’t they? It’s the “face” of the book, it’s that all-important first impression. I know I’ve bought books based on the cover art alone.

And, being perfectly honest, I’d buy The Perils of Intimacy based on the amazingly talented artist Reese Dante’s cover. I’m very blessed, fortunate, lucky, whatever you want to call it, to be able to work with Reese almost exclusively on my Dreamspinner Press books.
I think Reese outdid herself with The Perils of Intimacy. Working with her on this one was a mind-meld between author and cover artist. She got the mood I was going for, she got the mystery, she got my main character, Jimmy, and, most of all, she created a cover that truly stands out in the genre. I think it’s beautiful, provocative, and definitely outside the box.
I hope it catches your eye. I hope it makes you want to read the blurb and—once you’ve read that—will decide you simply must read The Perils of Intimacy.
And the cover (by Reese Dante for Dreamspinner Press)...

BLURB
Jimmy and Mark make an adorable couple. Jimmy’s kindness (and clean-cut cuteness) radiates out of him like light. Mark, although a bit older, complements Jimmy with his humor and his openness to love.
But between them, a dark secret lurks, one that has the power to destroy.
See, when Mark believes he’s meeting Jimmy for the first time in the diner where he works, he’s wrong.
Mark has no recollection of their original encounter because the wholesome Jimmy of today couldn’t be more different than he was two years ago. Back then, Jimmy sported multiple piercings, had long bleached dreadlocks, facial hair, and was painfully skinny. And he was a meth addict. The drug transformed him into a different person—a lying, conniving thief who robbed Mark blind during their one-night stand.
Mark doesn’t associate the memory of a hookup gone horribly wrong with this fresh-faced, smiling twenty-something… but Jimmy knows. As they begin a dance of love and attraction, will Jimmy be brave enough to reveal the truth? And if he does, will Mark be able to forgive him? Can he see Jimmy for the man he is now and not the addict he was? The answers will depend on whether true love holds enough light to shine through the darkness of past mistakes.
Length: Approximately 63,000 words

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EXCERPTI watch from the corner of my eye as Cinnamon Roll, as I’ve dubbed him, downs his low-carb breakfast. How someone can eat poached eggs without any toast is beyond me, but it takes all kinds.
“You got a thing for him or what?” Matilda Blake, the other server on duty, whispers to me. She pauses just behind me with three plates balanced on two arms. I smell pancakes, bacon, and the sage aroma of sausage.
I turn a little to grin. “What?”
“Ah, don’t play innocent with me, Mister. I could see the lust in your eyes from fifty paces.”
I shrug. “Guilty. Maybe. A little.”
She laughs, and it’s a sound like a bell tinkling. Matilda doesn’t even reach five feet and probably doesn’t top ninety pounds, but she’s a workhorse like you wouldn’t believe. She has short, spiked blonde hair and numerous tattoos. On the weekends, she plays in an all-girl metal band called Two Spirit. And in my head, I call her Tinker Bell, because that’s who she looks like to me. She takes off to serve her customers, but not without prompting me to “Go over and talk to him.”
I busy myself filling ketchup bottles and the salt and pepper shakers I’ve removed from empty tables, but I keep an eye on Cinnamon Roll. His food is gone and the newspaper’s been abandoned and he’s staring off into space. I shudder because I wonder if he’s recognized me and is thinking about our last encounter, a little over two years ago, at his place on Dexter Avenue.
But no, that couldn’t be possible, could it? I’m a different person now, inside and out. Back then I was twenty, twenty-five pounds lighter than my current one hundred and sixty-five. I had a septum piercing like Ferdinand the Bull. My hair, which is now cut high and tight and is reddish brown, was long back then, bleached blond, dirty, and tangled up in dreadlocks that reached down almost to my waist. My skin had, I’m sure, a pasty and unhealthy pallor.
That person doesn’t even exist anymore, and even though it’s only been two years, I look completely different today. He’s probably just thinking about his day or something.
Right?
I walk over to his table, a little nervous that he’d come to and look at me with an accusing glare. There’d be a scene. And maybe I’d end up getting fired or something. Thinking back to what I did to him, I deserve it.
But when I approach his table, all he does is smile. And that smile melts my heart. It did back then too. Just not enough to keep me from my desperate and dark ways.
“You need anything else?”
He looks down at his paper and back up at me. A blush rises to his cheeks, and I gotta say it—there’s nothing more adorable than this face staring up at me right now.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

My Novel About "Reincarnation & Love" is Now Available!


A novel about reincarnation and love

Christmas, 1983: Robert is a young man tending to his soul mate Keith, who is dying from AIDS. Robert tries valiantly to make this a special Christmas, but loses the fight late Christmas night.

Christmas, 2007: Robert ventures out and finds a young girl about to fling herself into the waters of Lake Michigan. He rescues her, and the two form a bond forged from familiarity, and even love. Neither understands it, since Jess is a lesbian and Robert is gay. But there's more ...

Jess begins having strange dreams, reliving key moments she couldn't know about in Keith and Robert's life. They begin to wonder if their feelings might be rooted in something much more mystical than a savior/victim relationship.

As the two move toward each other, Robert's younger lover Ethan plots the unthinkable. His crystal meth-addled mind becomes convinced there's only one way to save himself: Robert's destruction.

There's a murder attempt ... salvation ... redemption ...

And a new love is born.

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EXCERPT

Robert hesitated outside the bedroom door. Inside, it was quiet, and he dreaded going in there and finding Keith on the bed asleep, a sheen of sweat clinging to his sunken cheeks, his breath phlegmy and labored. What if Keith’s call was just a momentary peek through the twin curtains of fever and consciousness? Or worse, the product of his own overly hopeful imagination?

What would be, would be (hadn’t some virginal blonde even once sung about it?). Robert steeled himself: deep, cleansing breath, let it out slowly. And entered the room.

Keith was awake. His face looked even more drawn and tired—the color of ash. Robert would have said it was impossible for him to look any sicker even this morning, but now he did. In the air, despite the cinnamon- and vanilla-scented candles in the room, was the smell of sickness and shit.

But oh, Lord! Keith was looking at him. Looking right at Robert. And he was seeing him! For the first time in forever, their gazes met and connected. Robert approached the bed warily, as if a sudden movement would send Keith plummeting back into unconsciousness.

“Honey? Can you hear me?” Robert stood, wringing his hands, heart fluttering, beating against his ribs.

“Of course.” Keith’s voice was a croak. Gone were the bass notes that had made him sound so sexy and assured. Keith reached a bruised hand out over the covers and patted the bed. “Would you sit next to me?”

“Oh, of course!” Robert took two steps and weighed down the bed, reaching out to brush a strand of hair off Keith’s forehead, biting his own lip at the heat radiating off Keith’s flesh. “I’m so happy you’re awake.”

Keith swallowed. The swallow took a long time and looked as if it took all of the sick man’s effort. He let out a weak sigh and turned his head. He looked up at Robert and managed a wan smile. Robert closed his eyes and gently laid his head atop Keith’s.

And then Keith began to talk, his old voice suddenly returned, strong and sure. “I have just a few things to say, Robert. And I need you to shut up and listen. No interruptions. The first thing I want to say is ‘Merry Christmas.’ I’m so sorry I couldn’t be a bigger part of things for this, our first Christmas together, but that decision was taken from me and it doesn’t look like Mr. Claus is seeing fit to give me a chance to make it up to you.

“The second thing I want to say is that I love you with all my heart. I searched forty-some-odd years for you, for what I’ve always dreamed of, and what I thought I couldn’t have when you dropped, like a gift, like an angel, into my life last winter. You were what I hunted for all my life: a family. You are my family. Don’t ever forget how precious that is.

“The third thing I want to say is that you’re an idiot, running around, burying your head in the sand, and trying to make a Christmas that neither of us has the capacity to enjoy. And last, I love you for that. I love you so much for trying ... for hoping against all odds that this moment would come and I would let you know how much I appreciate you. For hoping that we might share one final kiss before I have to go. And my love, I do have to go.

“But I couldn’t leave without you hearing these four words. You. Are. My. Family.”

Robert wanted to cry, but there was cold stillness inside, almost as if the frigid air outside had invaded and possessed him.

Robert lifted his head, stopping himself from recoiling at the memory of a feel of a crusty lesion on his cheek. He reached down and squeezed Keith’s hand, knowing with all his heart that Keith wanted to say all those things.

But the reality was that Keith had only enough breath left to whisper, “I need ...” A big hard swallow, tears welling up in Keith’s sallow eyes. “You.” Keith pushed out the word “you,” Robert thought, with all the breath he had left.

And that was all, really, Robert needed to hear.

Now, the eyes Robert stared down on were not only yellowed and red-rimmed, but vacant.

Keith was gone.

Robert patted his cheek. “I know,” he whispered. “I’ll always know.”

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Friday, March 24, 2017

My LGBT Horror Collection UNHINGED is 20% Off when you Pre-order from JMS Books!


Horror. Romance. The two seem at odds, yet in provocative author Rick R. Reed’s hands, the pair merge like a match made in heaven ... or hell.

Prepare for a dark journey into an unhinged world populated by ordinary and extraordinary monsters. Unhinged brings you sometimes chilling, sometimes romantic, sometimes hilarious, but always thought-provoking tales.

Among them you’ll find a chilling and redemptive ghost story, a most unusual and shocking first meeting for two lovers, a story revolving around one of the 20th Century’s most horrific serial killers, and a darkly comic take on the vampire mythos. This collection will make your heart race with passion ... in all its forms.

Contains the stories: Echoes, How I Met My Man, The Man from Milwaukee, Sluggo Snares a Vampire, The Ghost in #9, and Incubus.

PRE-ORDER & SAVE 20%! (Releases late April at full price)
Ebook
Paperback
Also available at Amazon, but full price

EXCERPT FROM "How I Met My Man"
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.

I worked my finger into a loose edge and tore open the top of the envelope. I was right -- there was a card inside. But it wasn’t a birthday card. At least I don’t think so. I pulled the card out and stared at it.

People always say, in books, things like “a chill ran up his spine” but I’ve always questioned that. While of course I have had occasion to experience fear and even terror in my thirty-two years, I have never actually felt a chill “creep” up my spine, let alone run its “icy fingers” up and down it.

Until today.

The front of the card was a simple black and white photograph of a long curving black feather on a dark background. Most likely, this was an ostrich plume. So why did something so innocuous give me the creeps? Why was my first thought that this was an image pulled from a nightmare? Maybe because it was just weird. There was nothing printed on the front and the photo -- so simple -- seemed somehow foreboding. If it didn’t sound melodramatic, I’d say it seemed like a warning.

Its starkness was eerie. I fought an urge to just drop the card on the floor and run upstairs, leaving it there for someone else to find. The feather -- pardon me for my flight of fancy -- did indeed look threatening. Don’t ask me why. I imagined that if I did leave it on the floor it would be waiting right outside my apartment next time I opened my door.

The color, the shadows ... I don’t know, they seemed to add up to death.

I know, I know. That sounds over-the-top, but did I mention that it wasn’t until I actually opened the card that I felt that shiver of fear run up my spine? The one that I had hitherto never experienced?

Written on the inside of the card, in the same, feminine hand that the envelope bore were five simple words:

I’ve been inside your house.

It was a simple sentence, almost homespun, but it struck a chord of terror deep within me. It made my heart race. It caused me to look behind me. My hands trembled, just a little bit. And a queasy nausea rose in my gut.

I stared down at the plain sentence. Like the feather, there was something ominous in its simplicity, a veiled threat. Why would someone go to the trouble of sending me a card simply to say they’d been inside my house?

I glanced down at the envelope again, just to make sure my eyes hadn’t deceived me, hoping against hope that this bizarre missive had been stuck in my mailbox by mistake, perhaps it had been intended for one of my many faceless neighbors, for whom a picture of a black feather would conjure up some rapturous memory -- or something like that.

But no. The card was for me. There was no getting around it.

Wearily, I started toward the stairs. Somehow, the odd card and its message had sapped the good mood I had begun my hours off work with, and I knew it would eat at me all evening. Who would send this to me?

Why?

PRE-ORDER & SAVE 20%! (Releases late April at full price)
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Friday, March 17, 2017

Dinner at Jack's Named a Finalist in Foreword's INDIE Awards


2016 Foreword INDIES Finalists Announced and my DINNER AT JACK’s is a finalist in the #LGBT category!

Chosen from over 2,250 individual entries, Finalists for the Foreword INDIES represent some of the best books from non-Big 5 publishers.

Finalists move onto judging by librarians and booksellers, and winners will be announced June 24. See the full list of finalists.

BLURB
Personal chef Beau St. Clair, recently divorced from his cheating husband, has returned to the small Ohio River town where he grew up to lick his wounds. Jack Rogers lives with his mother Maisie in that same small town, angry at and frightened of the world. Jack has a gap in his memory that hides something he dares not face, and he’s probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Maisie, seeking relief from her housebound and often surly son, hires Beau to cook for Jack, hoping the change might help bring Jack, once a handsome and vibrant attorney, back to his former self. But can a new face and comfort food compensate for the terror lurking in Jack’s past?

Slowly, the two men begin a dance of revelation and healing. Food and compassion build a bridge between Beau and Jack, a bridge that might lead to love.

But will Jack’s demons allow it? Jack’s history harbors secrets that could just as easily rip them apart as bring them together.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Rave Reviews for DINNER AT THE BLUE MOON CAFE Are Pouring In...


Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe has only been out for a couple of days, but already it's getting some very gratifying reviews.

Get yours at Amazon or Dreamspinner Press!

"I completely lost myself in this story. Rick R. Reed pulled me into a world that closely resembles mine but isn't quite the same. He created a wonderful and imaginative combination between horror and romance that worked like a charm even for me who doesn't really do 'horrific' stories."
--The Way She Reads
"If you like a clever murder mystery and a nontraditional romance in one, if you want to see a character really struggle with what he wants in life and who the right partner is for him, and if you're looking for a read that is intriguing, suspenseful, full of revelations, contains food descriptions to die for, and stars a brilliant dog who has figured it all out from the very beginning, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. I think it's brilliant and well worth a read."
--Rainbow Book Reviews
"I really enjoy the author's writing and how he sets up a story, I feel like I was a part of their world.  Like I could sit down and have a meal at Sam's restaurant. He has a way of taking one character that I really thought I would like and turning them into the enemy. You never know what is actually going on, the twists & turns made this book very enjoyable...I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a different paranormal, though I must tell you it is not for the faint of heart.  I also know that I will be trying the recipes at the end..."
--Rainbow Gold Reviews
"...not your typical werewolf or shifter story. Most I see out these days show the werewolf in a good light. That is definitely not the case with The Blue Moon Cafe. If you are familiar with this author's work then you know to expect the unexpected. If not, be prepared as this is no sweet and sappy romance. The killings are described and this book has a dark element that some might find disturbing. Me? I absolutely loved it."
--On Top Down Under Book Reviews
Five stars!  "...turn off all your lights, leave just a little lamp turned on, lock all your doors and prepare to get sucked into this book of very realistic wolves, teeth and fangs, some gory shit, but that's to be expected, and delve into Thad's world of fear, destitution, his fears and uncertainties about Sam. The man he believes he loves."
--Betryal
"This is a fantastic horror novel -- one that literally had me terrified for the characters on more than one occasion, which is rare for me. But I think it's important to point out this is a horror novel with a romantic thread running through it -- not the other way around."
--Author Jamie Fessenden

BLURB
2nd Edition

A monster moves through the night, hidden by the darkness, taking men, one by one, from Seattle’s gay gathering areas.

Amid an atmosphere of crippling fear, Thad Matthews finds his first true love working in an Italian restaurant called the Blue Moon Café. Sam Lupino is everything Thad has ever hoped for in a man: virile, sexy as hell, kind, and… he can cook!

As their romance heats up, the questions pile up. Who is the killer preying on Seattle’s gay men? What secrets is Sam’s Sicilian family hiding? And more importantly, why do Sam’s unexplained disappearances always coincide with the full moon?

The strength of Thad and Sam’s love will face the ultimate test when horrific revelations come to light beneath the full moon.

 First Edition published as The Blue Moon Cafe by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2010. Cover

Cover Art: Aaron Anderson

Genres Mystery/Suspense / Werewolves/Shapeshifters

Get yours at Amazon or Dreamspinner Press!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

NEW RELEASE: Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe!


It's new release day!

DINNER AT THE BLUE MOON CAFE is now out!

Get yours at Amazon or Dreamspinner Press!

BLURB
2nd Edition

A monster moves through the night, hidden by the darkness, taking men, one by one, from Seattle’s gay gathering areas.

Amid an atmosphere of crippling fear, Thad Matthews finds his first true love working in an Italian restaurant called the Blue Moon Café. Sam Lupino is everything Thad has ever hoped for in a man: virile, sexy as hell, kind, and… he can cook!

As their romance heats up, the questions pile up. Who is the killer preying on Seattle’s gay men? What secrets is Sam’s Sicilian family hiding? And more importantly, why do Sam’s unexplained disappearances always coincide with the full moon?

The strength of Thad and Sam’s love will face the ultimate test when horrific revelations come to light beneath the full moon.

 First Edition published as The Blue Moon Cafe by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2010. Cover

Cover Art: Aaron Anderson

Genres Mystery/Suspense / Werewolves/Shapeshifters

Get yours at Amazon or Dreamspinner Press!


Monday, March 13, 2017

My darkly funny story, SLUGGO SNARES A VAMPIRE, is now available for pre-order. And it's FREE!


BLURB
When Sluggo cruises online chat rooms, he isn’t looking for a hook-up; he’s looking for love. But love has a way of being elusive, especially when you’re not being honest. Presenting himself as “Sir Raven,” Sluggo promises his chat room cohorts he’s the “master of the night.”

And then he meets someone who challenges him -- someone who claims the title “master of the night” as his own. TepesAllure’s enigmatic and flirtatious messages to Sluggo start out as fun banter, but quickly turn to eerie disquiet.

As the night unfolds, so do the advances of TepesAllure ... and even when Sluggo tries to escape, he finds that getting out is not nearly as easy as getting in.

GET YOURS #FREE AT:
JMS Books
Amazon

NOTE: This story appears in the author’s gay horror collection, Unhinged, releasing on April 8.

EXCERPT:

Suddenly, Sluggo’s spine stiffened as another shiver washed over him. But this was no chill as the result of the temperature in the apartment lowering because of a thermostat. No, this one -- Sluggo could swear -- had the feel of icy fingers caressing, just barely grazing the raised bumps of his spine, like long fingernails moving down his back. He took a quick glance around the tiny office, wondering where the cold came from and then glanced up at his screen, where the instant message from seconds ago still remained. The cursor blinked at him, almost as if waiting for his next move. And then his heart almost stopped ...

The words “bespectacled piglet” jumped out, as if highlighted. The description, unflattering as it was, was true nevertheless. Suddenly, the lack of spit in his mouth impeded Sluggo’s attempt to swallow. A trickle of cold sweat ran down his spine. “Do I know you?” he typed, fingers beginning to tremble, causing him to have to key in the simple query three times before getting it right.

“We’ve spoken in your dreams.” The words, innocent enough on their own, hung suspended on the computer monitor. Somehow, when strung together, the words took on an eerie menace.

“Seriously,” Sluggo pleaded in his electronic voice, the one he thought of until this moment as throaty and seductive. The game had suddenly lost its allure, its humor, if it had had any to begin with. Now he realized his voice was wheedling, whining, a little too low pitched and dense to be heard distinctly. “You seem to have picked up certain of my physical characteristics and I wondered if you were just a good guesser or if you’re someone I know.” Sluggo racked his brain, trying to recall who at the bank he might have told about his after hours “social life.”

And came up blank.

“I told you. We’ve spoken in your dreams. For the last several months, I’ve visited you there, in that gossamer world, where I found the two of us to be highly compatible.” The fine hairs on Sluggo’s neck stood up.

“And why is that?”

“I can’t tell you.”

“What can you tell me?”

“I can tell you that I can see your worth.”

“Wonderful,” Sluggo keyed in, rolling his eyes.There’s no reason to be afraid. This is simply someone playing with you, someone intuitive, and they’re having a good time at your expense.

“Would you like to know more?”

“Knock yourself out.” Bed -- with its lack of Internet connection -- suddenly seemed like a more viable alternative to what he was doing.

“I don’t think you take me seriously.”

“Should I?”

“Dead serious.”

GET YOURS #FREE AT:
JMS Books
Amazon


Monday, February 27, 2017

My YA Horror Novel, DEAD END STREET is Now Available Again!


I am extremely pleased to announce that Dead End Street, my young adult horror novel, is now back on the market and available in the Amazon Kindle store for only $2.99. It went missing for a while when its original publisher, Amber Quill Press, sadly went out of business.

BLURB
The old house at the end of a dead-end street is more of a dead end than anyone realizes...

They are five misfit kids who have banded together in their small Ohio River town. Over the years, they had organized various clubs, and now they've formed the Halloween Horror Club. The premise is simple: each week, each teen spins a horrifying tale, and at the end of five weeks, the scariest story wins a prize. The twist: the stories have to be told in the infamous and abandoned Tuttle house, where, fifteen years earlier, nearly an entire family had been murdered in their beds.

The idea of the club seems like a good one, until the kids begin to realize they may not be alone in the Tuttle house, which backs up against the woods. There seems to be someone - or something - watching them. Is it Paul Tuttle, the son who, while still in his teens, disappeared the night his parents and sister were killed? Or is it someone even more sinister?

With each story (each a completed short, original horror tale that stands on its own), the tension mounts... and so does the anger of the house's mysterious inhabitant. He is enraged at having his space violated, and his rage could mean a real dead end for those who dare to invade his home...

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Amazon Kindle (FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited)
Audible audiobook. Listen to a sample. (Just click on the button beneath the audiobook cover art).




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Saturday, February 25, 2017

RELEASING TODAY! Class Distinctions


I'm pleased to announce that today is release day for Class Distinctions. It's the story of a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, the rich boy he loves, and, of course, the complications. The course of true love never did run smooth!

BLURB
Kyle and Jonathan were perfect for each other, the two halves that, once together, made a whole. And then one snowy night just before Parents’ Weekend on the campus of Hamilton University, Kyle drops a bomb: he’s breaking up with Jonathan.

Follow the couple through the stormy (in more ways than one) night that ensues. Why has Kyle suddenly decided to throw away something so precious and good?

The answers lie in their backgrounds, and will gradually come to light as a winter blizzard rages around the young couple.

Their tortured paths bring them to the covered bridge where their love had sprung to life on a hot summer day. But will the warmth of that memory and the heat of the love they once shared be enough to outclass the storm, and more importantly, bring them back together?

BUY
JMS Books
Amazon Kindle (FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited)

EXCERPT
Jonathan got up, grinning, and crossed the room, ready to fling open his door and his arms to Kyle. He could picture his boyfriend in his mind’s eye: the short muscular build, the hazel eyes, the mop of curly sandy hair that blended so perfectly with the constellation of freckles across his nose. He thought of the little tragus piercing in Kyle’s ear that for some inexplicable reason, Jonathan adored and could always be counted upon to play with his tongue, which drove Kyle nuts. The knock sounded again, and Jonathan took exactly three seconds to check his image in the mirror above his dresser. His blond hair had been cut that morning and, with a little dab of gel, looked stylish and alluring, the classic combo to his pale blue eyes and dark lashes. He wore only a plain white T-shirt and a pair of plaid boxer shorts. He figured they’d be naked soon enough, so why bother with a complicated ensemble that would only slow them from getting to the main course?

Jonathan would swear his heart began to beat faster and he got a little breathless as he approached the door. He couldn’t stop the beaming smile that spread across his face as he reached for the knob.

But that smile vanished when he saw Kyle standing out in the hallway, staring down at the floor and radiating dejection. His shoulders slumped and there was about him an overall lack of energy. When he managed to tear his gaze away from the tile floor, he looked at Jonathan with sadness. Jonathan frowned too when he could discern no excitement, no joy to see him, in those hazel eyes.

This was not the picture he had been anticipating when he swung open the door.

“Good God, Kyle, what’s the matter? Is everything okay?”

Kyle’s gaze returned to the floor and Jonathan shook his head, reached out and forcibly pulled his boyfriend inside the room, closing the door behind him. Jonathan cocked his head, “What’s wrong, sweetheart?” He smelled cooking grease on Kyle, the after-effect of toiling in the Hamilton University student cafeteria. Normally, he would suggest the two of them slip down the hall and into a shower together -- a nice, sudsy, both clean and dirty beginning to their three-day weekend.

But the game plan seemed to have changed. Kyle’s bad mood, so rare and unexpected, cast a pall on the anticipation Jonathan had felt only moments ago.

Kyle didn’t answer.

Jonathan turned down the music, which was Moby’s “We Are All Made of Stars” and said, “Sit down, Kyle. Let’s talk. It’s obvious from your face, hell, from even the way you’re standing there that something is very wrong. What is it? Trouble in one of your classes? Is that Psych bitch giving you problems again?”

Kyle slumped down in one of the desk chairs, his long legs extended before him, the rest of his body sort of curled into itself. Jonathan wondered why Kyle didn’t take a seat on the bed, so they could at least sit side-by-side, but he let the move pass without comment.

“No. Everything is cool in my classes. In fact, I’m on track to make the dean’s list this quarter.” Not even a glimmer of a smile heralded this happy news. Kyle simply continued to appear distant and, yes, forlorn.

“So what then? Work? Trouble at home?”

Kyle snickered when Jonathan mentioned home -- and Jonathan had no idea why. One of the mysteries with Kyle was that he had never been too forthcoming about his home life, only that he was from a small town in eastern Ohio, on the Ohio River, and that he was an only child. Jonathan still had no idea what his parents did for a living or how he even felt about his old hometown. Kyle shook his head. “No. And no.”

Jonathan didn’t want to entertain what the other possibility could be. He sank down onto his bed, nausea rising in his gut as he pondered being told Kyle had cheated on him (he was, at least in Jonathan’s mind, about the most handsome hunk on the campus of Hamilton University), or that he “wanted to see other people” or that he “needed a break” or that “it’s not you, it’s me” and he needed to end things between them.

But none of those scenarios could possibly be true, could they?

BUY
JMS Books
Amazon Kindle (FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My Erotic Thriller, HIGH RISK, is only .99 cents all this week at Amazon Kindle



High Risk is an Amazon Countdown Deal until Friday, February 24, reduced from $2.99 to only 99 cents! Get your thrill on for less than a buck!

High Risk is one of my oddest books because it features an anti-heroine, a damaged woman who's a sex addict and could be said to bring on the horror that befalls her in the pages of my book. Her journey is filled with terror, tension, and suspense, but even I will admit Beth Walsh isn't an easy character to like or to root for. But I hope that sympathetic and discerning readers will peel back the onion skin of Beth's personality and see her for who and what she is at her core--a damaged soul who's desperate for love, with no real knowledge of how to get it.

I encourage you to come along with Beth on her harrowing journey toward redemption in High Risk. I like to think you won't soon forget her...or her story.

BUY
Amazon Kindle (if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can read High Risk for free!)

BLURB
A secret sex life... 

A handsome, twisted stranger... 

And a journey into a nightmare. 

 Beth Walsh seemed like such a demure housewife. But while her attorney husband was away at work, she engaged in countless encounters with strangers...until she met the one stranger who would change everything--for the worst. Abbott Lowery was every woman's dream; but the monster lurking inside his handsome, chiseled exterior was terrifying. And Beth's behavior is about to unleash the rage and madness inside. High Risk is a story of secrets, tainted histories, murder, and kidnapping--with an ending so searing and brutal, readers will be left breathless.

EXCERPT
In the short segment below, we get a glimpse of my main character, Beth Walsh, who is seemingly a demure housewife. But Beth has a secret life and hooks up with men for near-anonymous trysts while her attorney husband works. The sham can work for only so long…and Beth has just met the irresistibly gorgeous stranger who will change Beth’s life for the worst. Inside Abbott Lowery’s handsome exterior lurks a twisted monster…

I hope you’ll be able to feel the tension and dread as Beth’s doubts about what she is doing begin to mount and she realizes she may have gone down a path from which there is no turning back…

Heading up the outer drive, Beth was at odds. Her hands on the steering wheel were damp, her heart pounding with discomfort, making her breath quicken. Abbott sat next to her, watching her profile as she drove. Beth couldn’t deny that his focus on her was causing a wave of sensation: guilt, desire, nausea, euphoria. It wasn’t only her hands that were damp.
As she pictured pulling up to her graystone, she felt both dread and an overwhelming excitement. She imagined going through the front door with him, pushing him up against it, running her hands over that hard, defined body. And the thought made her stomach twist in a knot.
Why was she doing this?
It would be easy enough to take the next exit, give him some money for cab fare and just forget the whole thing. You really haven’t crossed the line yet, even though Mark wouldn’t be happy that you’ve come this far.
Beth pressed down harder on the accelerator. With a trembling hand, she reached into the compartment in the center console and took out an old CD: Dirty Vegas.
Appropriate.
“What did you say your name was?” Beth adjusted the volume, turning the throbbing beats down just a bit.
“I didn’t.”
Why am I doing this?
“Names aren’t really all that important, are they?”
Beth glanced at him; he looked even bigger squeezed into the Kharmann Ghia’s bucket seat. He was what her mother would have called “strapping.” She took in his thighs, the denim straining to cover them, barely concealing the muscles tensed beneath.
As she signaled for the exit at Fullerton, she pictured the home she shared with Mark and completely unbidden came the memory of the first time she had seen it. It was shortly before they were married, on an autumn day much like this one. They had pulled up in front of the building, and Mark hadn’t said a word. The “For Sale” sign, with its “contract pending” addendum had said more than enough. The building’s rough stone, its leaded glass windows, and the sky’s impossible blue promise as a backdrop had said everything else.
They had hurried up the stone steps and once inside, the empty condo, with its gleaming floors of polished oak, its clean white walls, and the patterns the shadows made on the floor transported her.
“Home?” Mark had asked. “It’s not too late to turn back.”
“Home,” she had whispered and took his hand, leading him into what would be their bedroom, cool and dark from the ivy-shrouded windows, and pulled him down to her on the floor.
It’s not too late to turn back.
“So, what it is it? I want to know what to scream when I come.”
“Abbott.”
“Nice. I’m Beth.”
“Beth. That’s about right.”
She laughed, but felt a twinge: what did he mean? Was he mocking her?
Stop it. Beth glanced at him as they stopped for light at Clark Street. She’d had her share of handsome men, but this Abbott was a standout (even though a weird, high-pitched chorus sang a litany of warning in her mind). Looks like his were too much to resist. No one, Beth mused, in her little black “appointment” book could rival him.
Or was this the way she thought every other time? Were they all too beautiful to resist?
No. Abbott was different, a benchmark.
It would be worth violating her principles just this once. Wouldn’t it?
“Why so quiet?” Beth gunned the car across the intersection of Clark and Fullerton, and began the hunt for a parking space.
“Nothin’ to say.”
“A man of action.” She wished he would touch her thigh, her hair, whisper dirty nothings in her ear, do something. Usually, the guys couldn’t wait…and their desire impelled her, kept thoughts about her wrongdoing firmly in the back of her mind, where she could deal with them later. But Abbott simply stared out the window. At what? The neighborhood? Memorizing where she lived so he could come back, unannounced?
There was a brooding quality to his silence, and Beth tried to put it in a romantic light. She tried to fast forward: feeling the stubble against her check, their first kiss, his arms encircling her…


BUY
Amazon Kindle (if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can read High Risk for free!)

ALSO AVAILABLE IN AUDIOBOOK!
Listen as narrator Miles Taylor brings you into the world of High Risk--and see if you aren't immediately hooked! BUY AUDIOBOOK