Monday, July 24, 2017

HIGH RISK and the Anti-Heroine


High Risk is one of my oddest books because it features an anti-heroine, a damaged woman who's a sex addict. You could reasonably say she brought 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 root for.

Yet 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.

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.

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

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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Thursday, June 29, 2017

DEAD END STREET


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...

BUY
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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Friday, June 23, 2017

FIRST LINES FRIDAYS: Obsessed

First lines Friday: On the long drive from Seattle to Palm Springs, I heard Duran Duran's song "Hungry Like the Wolf" on the radio. It reminded me of a lot of things, but most of all, it made me think of my first novel, OBSESSED, published in 1991 by Dell and reissued by Untreed Reads in its current ebook format. These first lines explain why Duran Duran and OBSESSED, a book about a serial killer terrorizing Chicago, mash up:

Joe MacAree had just murdered a woman, and all the things he felt when he killed the other four he was feeling right now. How would he describe it? In his journal, he might call his feelings an “elevation of the senses” or “an ethereal quality bringing the world into sharp focus.”

After each killing the reaction was the same. There was a moment of sharp pain right behind his left eye, an instant where the pain was so intense as to block out the act he had just committed, the blood and the ripped flesh…then a moment where brilliant flecks of silver light swam before him, and he could not keep his eyes from rolling, trying to follow the patterns the stars made.

And then the clarity.

As he guided his light blue Honda Accord along Harlem Avenue just south of Chicago, everything seemed more alive, as if to contrast the death he had just brought about. He noticed things he never noticed: the shifting red, amber, and turquoise of the reflections the stoplights made on the rain-slicked pavement. He noticed how the color spread, muted, over the slick black roadway. Even his radio, usually sounding tinny tuned to WLS, seemed more vibrant. He heard the different instruments in “Hungry Like the Wolf” as if Duran Duran were in the car with him, playing.

BLURB
I kill, therefore I am…

Voices slam through the corridor of his wounded mind. The words of his dead sister cry out. His parents' taunts fill the silent room where he sits and waits--waits for the murderous rage, filling him with strength, driving him to kill, to touch the cold flesh, taste the warm blood--to feel alive again… A witness has seen him, but his killing only turns her on and now she wants to protect him. His wife suspects him, but the private detective she hired cannot stop him. Joe MacAree fears nothing--except that he may no longer be human. The thirst that drives him is relentless, moving deeper and deeper into his own shattering, private realm, where each murder is a delicious new gift of life, where revulsion is beauty, and the obsession will never let him go.

"A harrowing ride through cutting-edge psychological horror, this one's got a vicious bite. Rick R. Reed's Obsessed is a twisted nightmare." - Douglas Clegg, bestselling author

Buy OBSESSED (for only $2.51!) here.

Listen to Duran Duran singing "Hungry Like the Wolf" here.