Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Getting the Cover and Blurb Right: SKY FULL OF MYSTERIES

I just finished up blurb and cover forms for my upcoming novel, SKY FULL OF MYSTERIES, which is a gay romance with an alien abduction hook. Dreamspinner Press, my publisher, always does a beautiful job with both the cover and the blurb, but it's forever a chore to wrestle my thoughts down to make them coherent and useful for the blurb writer. Below is my suggested blurb for the book (which should be out next summer), and attached are some of the pictures I sent to inspire my cover artist.

TENTATIVE BLURB What if your first love is abducted, presumed dead, and then returns twenty years later?
For Cole Weston, that’s the dilemma he faces. Now happily married to Tommy D’Amico, he’s suddenly thrown into a sense of the surreal as his first love, Rory Schneidmiller, returns. Where has Rory been all this time? What happened to him the night, two decades ago, when a strange mass appeared in the night sky and he felt himself being sucked upward? Even Rory has no memory of those years. For him, it’s only as though a day or two has passed.
Rory still loves Cole with a passion unique to young first love. Cole has never forgotten Rory, yet Tommy has been his rock, with him since Rory disappeared so long ago.
Cole is forced to choose between an idealized and passionate first love and the comfort of a long-term marriage. How can he decide? Who faces this kind of quandary, anyway? The answers lie within the pages of SKY FULL OF MYSTERIES…and, perhaps, within the stars themselves.
Look for SKY FULL OF MYSTERIES, summer 2018.





Wednesday, July 12, 2017

When a Reviewer "Gets" You: M4M


I just love it when a reviewer "gets" a book. Such is the case with reviewer, Michael, at Diverse Reader on my latest, M4M: 

"Now, I’m going to let you in on a secret. This is, perhaps, the worst kept secret in all of human existence. Every man, woman, and child know it, but rarely, if ever, talks about it. As if discussing it will open Pandora’s Box and hasten its inevitable arrival.
That secret is this: We all get older.
Now, how each of us deals with this varies from person to person, culture to culture, community to community. Some cultures, like the Japanese, revere the generations that came before, while others would rather pretend they don’t exist.
Something happens within the gay community after your thirties that you never saw coming while you were in your twenties. Your priorities change. Life is no longer about saving money for bar nights or going out until the wee hours of the morning, getting up with three hours of sleep, and going into work. Nor is it about finding “The One”, or even “The One For The Night.” Life is about making the mortgage or rent payment, putting food on the table, and figuring out what to watch on television. Because of this shift, the friends you had in your twenties and thirties, the ones you thought you would have throughout your life, may disappear. Eventually, unless you’re partnered up, you can end up feeling alone. There’s a sense of irrelevance, and you look back at your life and wonder how you got here, what you could have done differently. It’s not something that happens on purpose, or even with your knowledge until you finally notice.

Now, As a newly single gay man in his forties, Ethan, the main protagonist, is feeling his irrelevance. He’s been alone for so long that that sense of loneliness has become a second skin that he would live to shed. But how do you meet someone when you don’t go to the bars anymore?" 

Read the rest of the review here: https://diversereader.blogspot.com/2017/07/release-day-review-m4m-by-rick-r-reed.html 

BLURB
Finding and keeping love can be a challenge in the modern world of blogging, social media, and online dating, as one man will learn in this trilogy.

VGL Male Seeks Same
Poor Ethan Schwartz. At forty-two, he’s alone, his bed is empty, and his HDTV is overworked. He’s tried bars and other places where gay men are supposed to find each other, but it never works out. Maybe he should get a cat?

But his life is about to change…

NEG UB2
Poor Ethan. He’s received the most shocking news a gay man can get—he’s HIV positive. Until today his life was perfect, with a job he loves and Brian, who could be “the one.” The one to complete him and fill his lonely life with laughter, hot sex, and romance.

But Ethan’s in for another shock. Could Brian have infected him?

STATUS UPDATES
Alone again, Ethan wonders if life is worth living, even with a cat. When an old nemesis sends a Facebook friend request, Ethan is suspicious but intrigued. It seems this old acquaintance has turned his life around, and the changes might hold the key to Ethan getting a new lease on life… and love.


BUY

Monday, July 10, 2017

It's Release Day and M4M is Now OUT!


So excited to announce that my romantic trilogy, M4M, is now available wherever books are sold. If you've read the original version of M4M, published by Amber Quill Press, please know that this version has not only been extensively revised, but also includes a whole new one-third of the book, "Status Updates" that completes the love and life journey of our romantic underdog, Ethan Schwartz. I hope you'll pick up a copy!

BLURB
Finding and keeping love can be a challenge in the modern world of blogging, social media, and online dating, as one man will learn in this trilogy.

VGL Male Seeks Same
Poor Ethan Schwartz. At forty-two, he’s alone, his bed is empty, and his HDTV is overworked. He’s tried bars and other places where gay men are supposed to find each other, but it never works out. Maybe he should get a cat?

But his life is about to change…

NEG UB2
Poor Ethan. He’s received the most shocking news a gay man can get—he’s HIV positive. Until today his life was perfect, with a job he loves and Brian, who could be “the one.” The one to complete him and fill his lonely life with laughter, hot sex, and romance.

But Ethan’s in for another shock. Could Brian have infected him?

STATUS UPDATES
Alone again, Ethan wonders if life is worth living, even with a cat. When an old nemesis sends a Facebook friend request, Ethan is suspicious but intrigued. It seems this old acquaintance has turned his life around, and the changes might hold the key to Ethan getting a new lease on life… and love.


BUY


Friday, July 7, 2017

Catfishing and M4M


Ever been tempted to be someone else online? It’s easy, all you need to do is make up an alluring profile, grab some pics off the Internet, and voila! You can be the person you always dreamed of being.

Or at least that’s what the hero of my latest book, M4M, thinks….

Read on for a sample of my latest, a romance told in the form of three separate-but-connected-stories that chronicle, over the years, the journey toward love and happiness of one man, Ethan Schwartz. Hopefully, your interest will be piqued as you read this passage from the first installment in the trilogy, VGL Male Seeks Same.

See how Ethan’s venture into online dating could land him either in the arms of a hunky stud…or in very hot water…in M4M.

BLURB
Finding and keeping love can be a challenge in the modern world of blogging, social media, and online dating, as one man will learn in this trilogy.

VGL Male Seeks Same
Poor Ethan Schwartz. At forty-two, he’s alone, his bed is empty, and his HDTV is overworked. He’s tried bars and other places where gay men are supposed to find each other, but it never works out. Maybe he should get a cat?

But his life is about to change…

NEG UB2
Poor Ethan. He’s received the most shocking news a gay man can get—he’s HIV positive. Until today his life was perfect, with a job he loves and Brian, who could be “the one.” The one to complete him and fill his lonely life with laughter, hot sex, and romance.

But Ethan’s in for another shock. Could Brian have infected him?

STATUS UPDATES

Alone again, Ethan wonders if life is worth living, even with a cat. When an old nemesis sends a Facebook friend request, Ethan is suspicious but intrigued. It seems this old acquaintance has turned his life around, and the changes might hold the key to Ethan getting a new lease on life… and love.

EXCERPT
Ah, but in cyber space one could do something that one could not in the real world…and that was to be someone else. Ethan glanced around his little studio apartment, almost as if someone was hiding and able to read his mind and to see what he was contemplating. Don’t go there, Ethan…

He glanced at the screen of Chicago men in front of him and their manly, athletic faces and bodies, and knew he could never compete. A little voice in the back of his mind, one that sounded suspiciously like his dear departed mother, told him, “Stop being so hard on yourself, boy. Your self-esteem is lower than a snake’s belly. Why, if no one is talking to you, you just have to get up some gumption and make the first move. Show some initiative!”

Ethan had never listened to his mother, even when she was alive, and saw no good reason to start now. What good would actually writing to some of these guys do him? If they answered at all, they probably would tell him, with varying degrees of politeness, to get lost. It was the same thing that had happened to him in the bars, over and over, if he’d ever had the audacity to try and strike up a conversation with a stranger.

The thought kept returning, nagging at him like a mischievous little boy. Why not? Why not just create a whole new persona? Have some fun! Be the man you always dreamed you could be…and then see who you reel in. Of course, you’ll never actually meet any of these people, but the responses might be amusing, at least more amusing than watching DVR-recorded episodes of Judge Judy or Who Wants to be a Millionaire. What would be the harm?

And just like that, Ethan put fingers to keyboard and conception, like a sperm penetrating the walls of an egg, began on Ethan’s new persona. He snickered to himself as he typed in the URL for Hot or Not, where he knew the face of his new persona was just waiting for him to come along, click on it, save it to his pictures file, and take the first step in becoming a whole new man.

This was going to be fun! And again, Ethan thought, what harm could possibly come from it?

BUY



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