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.

BUY
JMS Books ebook
JMS Books paperback
Amazon Kindle (FREE with Kindle Unlimited)
Amazon paperback

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.”

BUY
JMS Books ebook
JMS Books paperback
Amazon Kindle (FREE with Kindle Unlimited)
Amazon paperback

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)
Ebook
Paperback
Also available at Amazon, but full price

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.

BUY

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...

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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