Monday, February 28, 2011

NEW RELEASE How I Met My & Man WIN A FREE COPY!

For one week only, Amber Allure is offering my latest release, How I Met My Man, at a 35% discount (that's only $3.25). The ebook is available in all popular formats, including Kindle-ready (Mobi/prc). Get your copy of How I Met My Man here.

Or...you can win a free copy in the e-book format of your choice (including Kindle compatible). Simply follow the steps below. I will announce a winner on Tuesday morning.

AND WE HAVE A WINNER! Edward Kendrick is the winner of a free copy of How I Met My Man. Congrats, Edward. I'll be sending you your copy today.

1. Leave a comment below.
2. Be sure to leave an e-mail address so I can get in touch if you're a winner.
3. Bonus points for reposting news of this contest/release on your Facebook, Twitter, group, blog, or other social network. Even more bonus points if you click on the link at the right to subscribe by e-mail to this blog.

This story blends my passion for marrying dark suspense with romance...

How I Met My Man
ISBN-13: 978-1-61124-070-2
Genres: Gay / Contemporary / Suspense / Thriller
Heat Level: 2
Length: Novella (18k words)
New Release 35% Discount (One Week Only)

BLURB
 How a guy meets his man can happen in a dozen different ways: online, at a bar, through friends, at a masquerade party...or even at the scene of a murder...

The road to love is seldom straight, and for Stephen Embert, that road couldn't possibly be more crooked. First, he arrives home to find an anonymous card in his mailbox that says, "I've been inside your house," then comes the midnight home invasion. But Stephen forgets these disturbing occurrences a month later when he attends a masquerade party and hopes to finally meet Mr. Right.

But who is the stranger in black with the disturbing emotionless mask following him? And why does the stranger always get in the way of Stephen hooking up with Jeffrey, the angelic and nearly naked leather hunk, who wants nothing more than to get Stephen alone for some romance? Appearances are not always what they seem, and discovering true love can sometimes be a matter of life and death.

EXCERPT
...The sexual tension in the room was palpable. In one corner, a pair of guys was making out, staying just shy of actual penetration, but their mouths were locked onto each other like they were ready to eat other’s faces. Their bodies, clothed in little more than denim and latex, were grinding into one another as if they were desperate to merge into one human being. I saw many flirtatious glances that I knew, before the night was over, could erupt into something akin to the guys in the corner, or maybe even full-on sex. Remember, Tabby had a scrupulously maintained playroom and, at some point, most of the revelers would wander into it.

I also saw a lot of guys simply having a good time, blowing off steam, dancing, talking to each other, laughing. Tabby had set up Night of the Living Dead to play on his huge plasma screen and several guys watched it absent-mindedly. Even I thought it was interesting how the film and the techno music went together in an eerie way.

I was sort of drifting off into my own little world, mesmerized by the zombies on the screen, when my easy buzz got interrupted. No, it got crushed, slammed to the floor, stomped into little pieces.

All because a new guest had joined the party.

You know that bartender? The one that I thought was just about the most gorgeous hunk of masculinity upon which I had ever laid eyes? Forget him. This new guy made him looked like someone on a par with, I don’t know, Andy Dick, maybe?

When I saw him come into the party and remove his coat, I truly think my adrenalin surged. I felt faint. And let me tell you, honey, I thought that feeling faint at the sight of a hunky man was the exclusive device of writers of bad romances.

But it really did happen. It happened to me.

Apparently, it happened to several other people—maybe most of them—at the party as well. A hush fell over the party and a multitude of heads tried to discreetly swivel toward the newcomer. It almost seemed like an invisible hand turned down the volume on the music, too.

He was glorious. Perfect. An unrivaled specimen of masculinity almost too beautiful to live. He stood about six two and his body was lean, tightly defined, and covered with satiny olive flesh that begged to be touched, if only you could find yourself worthy. His muscles spoke of quiet strength; they were there, visible, but had none of the pumped-up overkill of a gym rat who spent far too much time working on his body (and perhaps far too much money on steroids). He had a thick shock of black hair sticking up from the top of his head, while the sides and back of his head were shaved close. A silver hoop dangled from one ear. Surveying the party, he revealed eyes so dark the pupils were lost within the irises. I felt as though if I were to tumble into those eyes, I could die happy. His lashes—the only feminine thing about him—were long and thick. His lips full and kissable. His face was chiseled, with a very fetching cleft in the middle of his chin. That touchable skin? It was almost hairless, save for thick, coarse dark hair on his forearms and calves.

And, of course, there was a lovely treasure trail leading down, across his flat stomach, and into the black leather briefs he wore as part of his costume.

His costume was simple and inspired. He wore three things: the black leather bikini briefs, a pair of combat boots, and a plain leather harness to the back of which were attached two small wings—jet black and crafted from feathers.

He looked like an angel—but one that would quickly lead you to Hell. You would not protest.

My heart beat a little faster...

Get your copy of How I Met My Man here.


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Sunday, February 27, 2011

My WORST review ever!

I'm still reeling from the 2.5 star review DIGNITY TAKES A HOLIDAY I got at Jessewave Reviews (and from some of the readers at Goodreads). Now, I fully expected people not to "get" the humor and am not surprised at the reaction. However, it still stings. When publisher Elizabeth North accepted the book, she said something along the lines of it being, in essence, a love story, and that it "pushed the envelope." She said she liked stories that pushed the envelope. I love her for making that statement, maybe even more now.

I do not believe it's ever an artist's place to explain or be defensive about his or her creative work. It either flies or it doesn't. Obviously, DIGNITY did not and will not "fly" for some readers. I do, however, scratch my head, at anyone who sets themselves up as a reviewer to not be familiar with a literary concept known as FARCE.

farce (färs)n.
1.
a. A light dramatic work in which highly improbable plot situations, exaggerated characters, and often slapstick elements are used for humorous effect.
b. The branch of literature constituting such works.
c. The broad or spirited humor characteristic of such works.

This type of humor has been around for a long time. And beneath it is usually a very simple message. And there's a very simple message at the heart of DIGNITY: it's about loving oneself when the world is telling you you're not worthy and about believing that love is out there for you regardless of, again, the world telling you you're not worthy.

DIGNITY was a very different book for me to write. I never wrote anything like it before and doubt that I ever will again. I don't know if I have it in me--it's ALL show and NO tell.

Anyway, I know that opinions are just that, but I did need to vent a bit about a review that cut to the quick.

P.S.  At about 3 o'clock this afternoon, reviewer Carey Parrish weighed in on DIGNITY on his blog The Outer View, giving it 5 stars out of 5 and saying, "A great read, and highly recommended, Dignity Takes A Holiday is Rick R. Reed at his best..."
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sample 60 Saturday: Dead End Street

Every Saturday, until I run out of books--or decide to go to page 70--I will present an excerpt, page 60, from one of my books. No matter what it says--funny, filthy, scary, dumb, or tantalizing--you'll get it here.

And I'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below and let me know if this made you want to read more.

Let's continue the chronological tour with my young adult horror story, Dead End Street.

Synopsis
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...

Page 60
“Gasping, he ran in the direction of the field, praying he would soon feel the soft warmth of the newly plowed soil. But all he felt after running for nearly twenty minutes was the same eerie solidness beneath his feet.

“There were no fields.

“Simon dashed back to his truck, slammed the door behind him, and locked it. He revved the engine a couple of times, put the pickup in drive, and floored it, roaring off to a black horizon at 90 miles per hour.

“After a while, Simon laughed with relief. The sky was lightening. The wheat fields flanked him. Up ahead, a billboard advertised Skol. A farmer on his John Deere tractor, ready to start the day, waved a bright red bandana at him in greeting.
 ***
“Simon Gregg drove on, confident he was headed home.

“The wreckage of the Chevy pickup rose before the State Highway Patrol car. The truck’s front end had collapsed in, grim evidence of how hard the truck had smashed into a big maple near the road. As the trooper pulled onto the berm, he was certain the driver couldn’t have survived the crash.

“When he reached the truck, he saw the boy inside, noticed the shock of red hair, and recognized him as Simon Gregg. The patrolman’s and Simon’s fathers had grown up together. The trooper did not look forward to telling the elder Gregg that his boy was dead.

“He threw the beam of his flashlight on the skid marks, letting the light follow their course, then noticed a dark spot on the left front bumper that looked liked blood.

“He said aloud, ‘The poor kid probably swerved to avoid hitting something.’ What a shame.

“Saturday night was just beginning. It was going to be a long shift.

“As he got into the patrol car, the trooper noticed a flash of white in the rearview mirror, a barely perceptible movement, quick. He turned in his seat.

“Nothing there.

“He shook his head and picked up his radio to call for assistance.”
* * *
Erin was the first to speak. “I don’t know about anyone else, but I think I know the story I’ll vote for.” Her admiring brown eyes fell upon Roy. From his grin and the way the reddish hue moved up his neck to engulf his face, everyone in the group knew that he needed no further praise.

BUY Dead End Street.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NEW Cover for Homecoming, Coming from Dreamspinner Press in March

One of the most exciting things about this business is when you get to see, for the first time, the cover of one of your own works of fiction. You've put your "baby" in the hands of an artist/graphic designer and entrusted him or her to put the most compelling and marketable "face" on your story.

Artist Paul Richmond pleased me beyond measure with the cover for Homecoming (releases March 17, Dreamspinner Press). His depiction of the two main characters and the Chicago el platform setting perfectly conveny the theme and mood of the story without giving too much away.

I hope you like the cover as much as I do. Give me some feedback below, if you'd like.

Here's a little taste of what Homecoming is about:
After losing his partner Toby, Chase faces a long, painful road back to life and love. At first, he doesn’t see how he can go on, but then Chase and Toby’s old friend Mike cajoles him into returning to Chicago for the annual International Mr. Leather Competition. There Chase revisits a world of hot, casual sex that he had forgotten existed, meets a friend who cares more for him than he ever realized, and discovers the possibility that he might yet find his way home.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Total E-Bound Actively Looking for New Submissions

Total-E-Bound Publishing is actively seeking submissions of outstanding MF, MFM, MMF and FF erotic romance fiction.

Manuscripts from 10k to 100k+ are welcome in the following subgenres: action/ adventure, bondage/ BDSM, comedy/ humour, contemporary, Cowboys/ Western, fantasy/ fairytales, futuristic/ SciFi, historical/ rubenesque, menage à trois/ multiple partners, multicultural, older woman/younger man, paranormal/ timetravel, thrillers/ Crime, shapeshifters/ morphers, and Vampire/ werewolf.

Please send the first three and last chapter of your manuscript, along with a brief synopsis, to submissions@totalebound.com. Be sure to put ‘Attn Stacey’ and the story title in the subject line to ensure an accelerated evaluation.

Any questions? Contact Stacey@totalebound.com. Thank you!
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rave Review for SPEED DEMON at JesseWave Reviews

Woke up this morning to a 4.5 star review for my little revenge tale, SPEED DEMON, by guest reviewer, Cole. In part, he said:

"I really loved this story. Like all of Rick Reed’s works there always seems to be a haunting hum in the background of the storytelling. And that is exactly what this was — storytelling. With the rolling gait of the words and the story’s moral of the downfall of jealousy, this story came across like those in the oral tradition. It is a cautionary tale about what one man will do to secure the affections of the man he thinks he loves..."

BLURB:

Jealousy can be such an ugly emotion, but can it drive one to kill?

Jake is in love with Cayce, an older, best-selling author who thinks of him only as a friend. Cayce is enthralled—as is everyone else—with Garland, a gorgeous waif of a boy, famous for his eccentric clothes and an unparalleled desire to be at the center of attention. Constantly.

Jake’s discovery of something as mundane as a few over-the-counter sleeping pills pulls "Speed Demon" into a story of thwarted love, of a twisted triangle, and just maybe, a tale of crime and revenge from beyond the grave..

Read the whole review here.

Buy SPEED DEMON
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sample 60 Saturday: BASHED

Every Saturday, until I run out of books--or decide to go to page 70--I will present an excerpt, page 60, from one of my books. No matter what it says--funny, filthy, scary, dumb, or tantalizing--you'll get it here.

And I'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below and let me know if this made you want to read more.

Let's continue the chronological tour with my ghostly hate-crime love story, Bashed. Bashed recently got a great review from Gerry B's Book Reviews. The reviewer said: "...character development is one of the very strong points of this novel; standing side-by-side with a cleverly constructed plot that keeps the reader involved from start to finish. “Masterful” is a term that comes to mind, again and again." But enough about the review, let's get to the sample...

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

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

Page 60:
“But that’s all, just a look. I’m not promising anything here.” And Mark had smiled and Donald knew why: Mark understood that if he could get Donald in the same room with the puppies, he would not be able to refuse him when he asked to bring one home.

He was right.

Donald remembered that today was the day they had scheduled to go look at the litter, now eight weeks old. He imagined them in the Prius, headed west on Golf Road, toward a litter of puppies, with thoughts of expanding their family on his mind. He saw how restless Mark would be, practically unable to sit back in his seat with anticipation. He saw and understood how it was he, Donald, who would really get the pleasure from this trip, giving Mark this wondrous gift of new life.

Finally, finally, Donald staggered back to the couch, collapsed on it, covered his face, and wept.

BUY Bashed.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

The Blue Moon Cafe Wins for Best Paranormal in 2010 Rainbow Awards for Excellence

I'm pleased to announce that my werewolf thriller, The Blue Moon Cafe, has taken first place in the paranormal category in the 2010 Rainbow Awards for Excellence.

Here's the full list of categories and winners.

Here's what The Blue Moon Cafe is about:
Someone—or something—is killing Seattle’s gay men.

A creature moves through the darkest night, lit only by the full moon, taking them, one by one, from the rain city’s gay gathering areas.

Someone—or something—is falling in love with Thad Matthews.

Against a backdrop of horror and fear, young Thad finds his first true love in the most unlikely of places—a new Italian restaurant called The Blue Moon Cafe. Sam is everything Thad has ever dreamed of in a man: compassionate, giving, handsome, and with brown eyes Thad feels he could sink into. And Sam can cook! But as the pair’s love begins to grow, so do the questions and uncertainties, the main one being, why do Sam’s unexplained disappearances always coincide with the full moon?

Prepare yourself for a unique blend of dark suspense and erotic romance with The Blue Moon Cafe, written by the author Unzipped magazine called, “the Stephen King of gay horror.” You’re guaranteed an unforgettable reading experience, one that skillfully blends the hottest romance with the most chilling terror...

And here's a little taste:
Sam and Thad lay on their backs, breathless. Thad spoke first, but only after several minutes had passed, long enough for him to process what had just happened and to allow his respiration to return to a somewhat normal pace. “That was amazing. I’m no Mary Poppins, but I can honestly say I don’t know when it’s been that good for me.” Thad let out a long, quivering breath. “You’re right; you are an animal.”

Sam laughed and the sound was comforting, here in the pale, silvery light from a waning moon outside. Thad snuggled into the crook between Sam’s chest and arm, resting his head on the fur that blanketed Sam’s chest. This, he thought, surprising himself, is just about as good as the sex.

“I just go with my instincts.” Sam stroked Thad’s hair gently. “If that makes me an animal, then I’m guilty as charged.” He moved slightly away from Thad. “Don’t kill me, but do you mind if I have a cigarette? I can go outside if you want.”

Thad shook his head, grinning. “A smoke after sex. That’s so cliché. But go ahead. Normally, I wouldn’t allow it, but I’ll make an exception for you…Sam.” Thad liked how the name felt on his tongue.

“Grazie.” Sam turned to sit up and grope in his pants pocket, bringing out a pack of Marlboro Reds and a lighter. He leaned back against the headboard and lit up. The room filled with the acrid stench of burning tobacco and paper and instead of being repelled as he normally would be, Thad moved close to Sam again, taking up his newly claimed spot on the man’s chest. He stared up at him, watching him smoke. Lazily, he traced circles in the hairy mat covering Sam’s chest. His fingers stopped when he caught sight of a design on Sam’s left pectoral, something he had hadn’t noticed in the dim light or perhaps because it was all but hidden by the forest of hair. Thad got up on one elbow.

“You have a tattoo?”

In the dark, Sam nodded. “I’ve had it for years, way before tattoos were all the rage like they are these days.”

“Especially here in Seattle.” Thad often wondered if there was some requirement that all citizens of Seattle must have at least one tattoo. “What’s it of?” Thad strained to make out the design’s contours in the dim light and couldn’t.

Sam leaned forward to switch on the bedside lamp. Thad squinted at the sudden light source, then directed his gaze down at the muscled chest before him. “What is it?” Thad traced the design with his fingers, lowering his head to peer more closely at it. He nipped at Sam’s nipple and Sam laughed.

“It’s Lupa, the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus, the twins who founded Rome in mythology. Cool, no?” Sam flexed his chest so the wolf seemed to move. Two cherubic twin boys below the figure suckled at her teats.

“It’s kind of weird. But it suits you.” Thad reached over Sam to turn off the light again. “What brought you to America?”

Did Thad detect a slight stiffening when he asked the question?...

And here's where you can get a copy (either paperback or digital).
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You Tell 'Em, Nora! Nora Roberts Speaks Out Against E-Book Piracy

I had to share this letter from Nora Roberts regarding e-book piracy. For the Romance Writers of America, she eloquently states the case for not robbing authors and other creators of the value of their work.

In part, she says:

"In discussions with people who feel piracy is simply the cost of doing business, or worse, that it's their right as a consumer, I've been told I should be flattered so many people want to read my work--for free--that they probably wouldn't have bought the book anyway, so it's not really a lost sale, that there's nothing I can do about it, so why fight it. They tell me they can't afford to actually buy the book, but they want to read it. When I suggest the library as an alternative, I'm told the library's too far away or the wait for the book from a library too long.


I'm told not to call it stealing or those who engage in the practice thieves because it annoys them.


It annoys them.


I say, respectfully, it annoys me when what we, as writers, have created out of our individual minds, hearts, guts is taken without compensation. When it's taken without our consent. We do not consent to piracy. We do not consent to being devalued out of existence."

You can read her entire letter here: http://www.rwa.org/cs/Nora_Roberts_Letter_Bill3804
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Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentine to You: A FREE Signed Copy of ON THE EDGE

And the winner is: Missy Welsh. Congrats, Missy! I'll be in touch.

My collection, On the Edge from Amber Allure (the LGBT imprint of Amber Quill Press) is perfect for Valentine's Day...and I want to give you a copy! On the Edge is all about romance, love, and, of course, lust. This book is especially for you if you're one of those people who just doesn't cotton to the idea of an e-book and prefers the look, smell, and experience of a real print book. On the Edge collects eight of my stories that were previously only available in electronic format before into a lovely paperback. Check out the descriptions of each story below (titles are hyperlinked so you can go to their original publisher page, where you can read excerpts, see reviews, and a more detailed synopsis).

To win a FREE, autographed copy of On the Edge, all you need to do is the following:

1. Leave a comment below, say something Valentine-related, if you feel so inspired.
2. Be sure to leave an e-mail address so I can get in touch if you're a winner.
3. Bonus points for reposting news of this contest/release on your Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace, group, blog, or other social network. Even more bonus points if you click on the link at the right to subscribe by e-mail to this blog.

I'll announce the winner by end of day, February 15.

That's it. Good luck! And if you can't wait to see if you've won, you can get your copy of On the Edge from Amazon here.

Synopsis
In Rick R. Reed’s haunting, mesmerizing, suspenseful, and romantic world, his gay male characters live on the edge, often literally as well as figuratively. In this new collection, you’ll take a wild ride with some of literature’s most unforgettable characters. Along the way, you’ll be moved—to tears, to laughter, to uneasiness, and sometimes, to arousal. As Bette Davis once said, “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

Previously available only in electronic format, these eight stories of Gay Erotica and Romance have now been combined for a paperback edition! Included are the tales...


Superstar 
A story about promises made, promises broken, and dreams unfulfilled. Yet ultimately, it’s about realizing that love can come along when one least expects it—and in the unlikeliest of places.

Through The Closet Door 
A tale that brings to painful life the consequences of coming out of the closet when you’re married. Gregory’s mask is slipping, pulled down by the allure of a handsome neighbor and the demands of a desire that only gets louder the more he tries to quiet it.

Riding The El At Midnight 
When the gorgeous and twisted Mark boards a northbound el train, he is looking for love in all the wrong places. Finding Julio aboard that same train, Mark thinks, is the answer to his dreams. But are his dreams nightmares?

Fugue 
Slip into the dungeon playroom of a master and his boy. But in the boy’s mind, a dream state takes him places the master could not imagine...places where the established order turns upside down.

Incubus 
Two men, one predator, and a violent crime equal a journey into hellish nightmare territory. This tale merges horror with a tragic love story and the result is...chilling.

Man-Amorphosis 
I awoke one morning from uneasy dreams to find my penis had transformed itself into a vagina... Thus begins the story of a very unusual day...

No Place Like Home 
Trannies and Psychos and Bears...oh my! Burl discovers—in a hilariously bizarre quest—that there really is no place like home.

Pottery Peter 
One long hot summer. Three gorgeous men. And a burning triangle set down in the middle of a factory filled with sweaty men with bulging biceps.



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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pole Dancer Reminds Reader of Character from TRICKS

A reader recently sent me the link to the video below and said it reminded her of Arliss, my main character in TRICKS. Arliss is an exotic dancer in a gay bar in Chicago and there are some similarities. I only regret I didn't have this video around for inspiration when I was writing the book.


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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

FREE For Your Kindle: Admit One: My Life in Film

From time to time, I make note here of great books that are available for a limited time in the Kindle store for FREE. This one really caught my eye because I too was a little boy fascinated by film...although the course of my life did not go quite the same as Emmett James did. Click here or on the image at left to purchase.

Synopsis
Set in Croydon, South London, in the 1980s, Admit One details how self-deprecating writer Emmett James escaped from the pains of adolescence by going to the cinema. Through wry wit and observation, the writer reflects, obsesses, and rages about film and its correlation to our pasts. Life soon imitates art, and the narrator finds that his true calling is in transcendence from one side of the screen to the other. He decides to leave England for the only place where he can realize his dream of becoming an actor--Hollywood.

We follow the narrator on his numerous adventures: as he jumps from forgery to pornography to crashing the Academy Awards under the alias of a nominated writer. All the while, the films that inspired each tale contextualize this humorous collection of stories. The narrator ultimately provides a unique insight into the fascinating industry of film, eventually himself stumbling into the biggest box-office grossing film of all time.
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Notable New Release: MY SEXY VALENTINE By Ike Rose and others

Thanks for letting me visit your Blog, Rick, to talk a bit about my first real release as an author in the new Anthology, My Sexy Valentine, released in e-book version last week by Sizzler Editions.

My story, "My Valentine Prince", an m/m erotic historic Romance set in 1975-1977 appears with another m/m Romance by Michael Mandrake featuring a rock star with Ausperger's Syndrome ; Em Petrova's mixed ménage romance with five horny Frenchmen helping a dumped bride forget her ex-fiance; and Daisy Harris's hilarious comedic straight romance featuring our old friend Cupid as a jaded modern punk with a quota to fill. All the stories center around that "special day" for love.

I've begun chronicling my adventures of "transitioning" from a talented amateur writer with a fan base of around 90 on the NIFTY archives to a paid writer on my own Blog at http://ikerose.blogspot.com/, so I won't go into that part of my life, except to say that it's been an adventure.

I suspect that all writers get asked the same question that I keep getting asked by my fans, and now by a few Bloggers who have asked me to be a guest: "Where do you get your ideas from?"

Well, they told us in school: "Write about what you know…"

So I do.

Fans of my NIFTY stories have noticed that almost all of my stories take place between 1965 and 1985, the period of my own slow coming out process and early gay sexual adventures. As a product of a working-class family, I tend to focus on blue-collar men struggling with coming out during that period. I'm basically writing abut my life, or how I wish it'd been.

"My Valentine Prince" falls into that category: the story if a working-class biker-hunk with a college education who struggles with his internal homophobia to come out, and then with class prejudice to raise in his chosen career. He is searching for "Prince Charming", and thinks he found him until Valentine's Day, when he finds himself having to choose between two men he loves; he one he thought he'd never see again, and the one he'd been dating for a year.

I won't tell you which one he picks. You'll have to buy the book to find out, but you can read an excerpt and a bonus cut scene on my website.

I stay in that time period because I've been in a monogamous relationship for twenty-nine years, and since we're both homebodies, I really have no clear picture of the contemporary gay scene. However, I find that young gay men today have very little idea of what it was like back then, so I find myself an historical romance writer by inclination.

Thanks again for having me as a guest, Rick.

(My stories on the Nifty Archives, a free erotica story website, can be found under my accidental pen-name there, Oldtimer25 at http://www.nifty.org/nifty/frauthors.html)
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Monday, February 7, 2011

A Message from a Reader

Really, kids, notes like this truly make what I do worthwhile. It's not about the recognition or the royalties or even the pleasure of holding a printed book in your hands with your name on the cover, it's really all about making this kind of one-on-one connection with the heart and mind of a reader.

Melissa Bradley, a wonderful author in her own right (see her links below), took the time to send me this message after she read my e-book Moving Toward the Light.

Hi Rick,

I wanted to take some time and let you know what I thought about your story, Moving Toward The Light.

Words cannot begin to express how much this story invaded my mind. I was overwhelmed by the raw brutality, the tremendous grief and the harsh realism. You took me to a place that was shocking, that made me angry and sad all at once, but I could not stop reading. So many times I wanted to click the document closed and say that was it. I felt like a coward, but deep down I knew if you could write this, then I could certainly be brave enough to follow you on this dark journey. Jimmy made it all better, though, the angel who slew the beasts. How I wanted to kill those men right along with him. I loved how you made their deaths sufficiently horrifying and gruesome, appropriate for their crime. At the end I wanted to take Miranda home with me. This is one of the most powerful, provocative and unforgettable stories I have ever read.

You have an astounding gift for creating the most unique, complex characters that reside within the reader's mind and heart long after we've finished the tale. And you take us to seamy worlds that we choose to ignore because they make us uncomfortable. You make your readers think and that's the mark of a truly excellent writer. It's no wonder you have your own keeper folder on my computer.

Hope you are having a great week,
Melissa

Melissa Bradley
Blog
MAXIE BRISCOE:WEREWOLF 

Buy Moving Toward the Light for Kindle; other e-book formats.
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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thumbs Up for TRICKS from Joyfully Reviewed

This review for my stripper-bar-set romance, TRICKS, from Joyfully Reviewed, made me smile.

The reviewer, Cassie, said, in part:

"Rick Reed can always be counted on to provide an unusual, suspenseful twist to his romances, and Tricks is definitely no exception. By turns gritty, sweet, and suspenseful, Tricks is a real page-turner..."

Read the whole review here.

Pick up your copy here.
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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sample 60 Saturday: ORIENTATION

Every Saturday, until I run out of books--or decide to go to page 70--I will present an excerpt, page 60, from one of my books. No matter what it says--funny, filthy, scary, dumb, or tantalizing--you'll get it here.

And I'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below and let me know if this made you want to read more.

Let's continue the chronological tour with my reincarnation love story, Orientation. This is the book that took home the award for best GLBT Novel of 2008 from the EPIC Awards and is about a unique relationship between a gay man and the lesbian he saves from suicide (who may or may not be his reincarnated lover, who died from AIDS during the early 1980s).

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

Christmas, 2007: Robert ventures out late Christmas night and finds a young girl about to fling herself into the unforgiving waters of Lake Michigan. He rescues her, and the two form a bond forged from an odd feeling they share of familiarity, and even love. Neither understands it, since Jess is a lesbian and Robert has never been attracted to women. But there’s more...Jess begins having strange dreams, reliving key moments she couldn’t know about in Keith and Robert’s life and courtship. Robert and Jess begin to wonder if their inexplicable feelings might be rooted in something much more mystical than a savior/victim relationship.

As the two move toward and pull away from each other, Ethan, Robert’s younger lover, plots the unthinkable. His crystal meth-addled mind becomes convinced there’s only one way to save himself, and that is through Robert’s destruction. Christmas 2007 spirals downward to a shattering climax in which both love and lives hang in the balance.

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

And a new love is born.

Page 60:
And if he could just get there, he could get back in touch with himself again, maybe even write about his experiences and become another Augusten Burroughs. Wouldn’t that be ironic? Robert seemed to attract the literary types! And Ethan had always wanted to write.

But he knew that once he finished rehab (if he even could), he would not come back to Robert. He would not even come back to Chicago. Too much temptation here. He would be back on the phone with Tony within days, maybe hours. He knew himself that well. To resist temptation, he needed to remove himself completely from it.

He stood and realized he needed to money and lots of it. Suddenly, the answer to all of his problems surfaced in the image of dollar signs. He wondered how much longer Robert would be gone.

Ethan hurried to the front door and pulled the chain lock across it. This way, he would at least have some warning should Robert come home before he was done looking around in his office. He was sure Robert kept financial statements and stuff like that in his desk file drawer, lower left-hand side. He had never been interested enough to look before, never caring about Robert’s net worth, as long as he paid Ethan’s American Express bill at the end of each month and doled out hundred dollar bills whenever Ethan asked.

Ethan didn’t know anything about Robert’s assets, or how liquid they could be. He didn’t know yet what he would need to do to lay his hand on a sizable chunk of money without Robert knowing, at least not until he was gone and hidden away in a rehab facility. But once he knew how much could be withdrawn at once, he could begin to formulate a plan.

Did he hate to do this to Robert? He was too exhausted to feel remorse. He told himself, over and over, the old saw: desperate times call for desperate measures. It was rationalization enough to go into the den off the living room and stoop to the file drawer of Robert’s desk. It was locked, but that was easy enough to remedy: three or four minutes of fiddling around with a bent paper clip and the lock sprung open.

And as the drawer opened, Ethan saw before him the keys to his redemption. Robert’s financial records, including holdings, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, tax reports, and more were all neatly cataloged in hanging green folders, labeled with dates and account numbers. This was going to be a cinch! At least finding the information would not pose a major problem. Armed with information, he could figure out a way to get to the funds he needed.

He was just beginning to rifle through the files when two folders near the back caught his eye. One was labeled “Last Will and Testament” and the other, simply, “Insurance.”

Ethan pulled both folders out and sat down on the floor with them.

BUY Orientation.

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