Wednesday, October 3, 2012

RENT is Due!

And we have a winner! Drumroll please... Through a random selection process involving my Boston Terrier, Lily, the following winner of a signed, print copy of RENT has been chosen. Congratulations, Sherry S. I'll be in touch, Sherry, via e-mail, about your copy.

Rent is now officially on sale at MLR Press, Amazon, All Romance Ebooks, and everywhere good books are sold. Rent successfully combines my passion for love stories and tales with dark underpinnings. Ultimately, it's a slice-of-life that demonstrates how true love can triumph over even the worst adversity, including murder.

Readers of Tricks will find the world of Rent very familiar. Watch for cameo appearances of Sean and Arliss!

The novel is available in both paperback and ebook editions. Read on to see how you can win a FREE, signed copy delivered to your door by me--wearing a gas mask and a ribbon of green tulle and wielding my big sword. Well, maybe that last part was a bit of harmless kidding. Maybe not (see photo below--and yes, that's really me). I will send the winner's copy out first-class mail, though. Details on how to enter are below.

On the worst day of his life, Wren Gallagher wants oblivion when he steps into Tricks for a drink. He's lost not only his job, but his wallet as well. When a mysterious stranger steps up to pay his tab, he also offers Wren the key to fulfilling his dreams of prosperity and true love. But appearances are not always what they seem....

His savior is the owner of the escort agency, A Louer---and he wants the young and handsome Wren to work for him. So down on his luck, Wren figures---why not? He can use the money. When he joins, though, he hadn't counted on meeting Rufus, another escort with whom he quickly falls hopelessly in love.

Photo by St. Sukie de la Croix. All rights reserved
But their love story will have to overcome the obstacles of not only trading love for money, but A Louer's dark---and deadly---secrets.


It always amazed Wren that Tricks could be so busy, no matter what time of day he stopped in. Today, for example, it was three in the afternoon, a Friday, yes, but still, three in the afternoon. And yet the stripper bar was crowded, mostly with older guys, but some like Wren, too. Younger—wearing snarky ‘what am I doing here?’ expressions on their faces even as they cast furtive glances up at the two buff guys dancing in G-strings to the latest Lady Gaga anthem.
Outside, Chicago in summer was in full swing, but once you entered Tricks, you forgot all about the city and the season. The traffic sounds at the intersection of Belmont and Broadway, the rumble of the el a few blocks west, and the voices of many pedestrians mingling on the street, disappeared. Tricks was a world unto itself, a universe where nearly naked men, alcohol fumes, colored lights, dirty floors, the clinking of ice in glasses, the husky music of men propositioning men, and mirrored walls all conspired together, creating something that was one part sleaze, one part gay, and one part home (at least for many of the men who frequented Tricks).
Tricks was all about escapism. Its dancers allowed you to free yourself from the shackles of your own body issues. Too skinny? Too fat? In-between but nowhere near remarkably ripped? It was okay at Tricks because the dancers were beautiful and one could imagine they got their ripped and muscular physiques effortlessly, from hanging out in bars, consuming copious amounts of alcohol, and tricking athletically with a parade of handsome strangers. The magic might work for you one day, too.
Or at least that was the fantasy they were selling at Tricks.
And…if your self-esteem tank was running a little low, a wink or a smile from one of the dancers was enough to kick it up a notch. The hunky bartender calling you ‘Gorgeous’ or ‘Stud’ didn’t hurt either when he asked what he could get you. This kind of behavior from those who worked at Tricks was hard to swallow, yet easy to cling to, making you believe, if only for a second, you were hot. You were wanted.
It was all part of the make-believe. And sometimes, it was enough.
Wren Gallagher, all of twenty-three years old, today needed some of the escapism Tricks offered. Yes, he required it even at three in the afternoon. As the crowd jostled him, Wren kept his eye on the one open stool at the bar in front of him. It was like some sort of prize, an alcoholic holy grail, a place where he could park his skinny ass and maybe, just maybe, forget for a few hours what a crappy day he’d had.
Just as he elbowed his way through the laughing and chattering crowd of mostly middle-aged men and had managed to get within inches of the vacant stool, a heavy-set guy with a bottle of beer in one thick paw materialized out of nowhere to claim it. He was focused intently on the blond Adonis gyrating on the bar, so he did not see that there was a competition for the stool.
Wren stopped and regarded the man with his brown eyes, hoping his telepathy was in good enough working order that the man would feel the force of his gaze. At least one thing would go right on this shitty day, Wren thought, and that one thing—all I ask—is that this character makes eye contact with me.
Lo and behold, he did. Wren smiled prettily, trying to buoy up the older, balding man’s ego with the combined force of his slightly gap-toothed, turned-up-at-one-corner grin and his shock of red hair, his slender hips encased in denim, and the geek allure vibe he knew he gave off. He knew because he had been told he was a sexy nerd on more than one occasion.
The guy did a bit of a double take when he saw Wren trying to make eye contact, smiling. He looked up at the dancer and back at Wren, as if he had to decide between one or the other. As if he had a choice…
Wren winked.
That was all it took. The older man stepped back, away from the stool, and gestured with his hands, the perfect gentleman, that Wren should take it.

Win a free, signed copy (sorry, prizewinners must live in the US) by leaving your name, comment, and e-mail below. Winners will be announced on Monday, October 8. Good luck! And if you don't want to wait to see if you're a winner, purchase details are below.

BUY from MLR Press
In ebook
In paperback
All Romance Ebooks
Amazon Kindle version

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  1. Rent is Due!!! <<== Love It!!

    Thanks for the chance to win a signed copy, Rick.

    Cy Price

  2. Cy is right, it is a snappy blog title...very punny (yes, that is a 'p'). I haven't had a book-book in my hands in a while. I wonder if it will be weird reading it if I win!

    Alisha Jordan

  3. Hmmm... another Rick Reed book to add to my to-read list and eventually my collection. I look forward ot it and seeing you again at GRL in 2 weeks.

  4. Sounds like another winner. Thank you for the chance Rick.

    Shirley Frances

  5. Congratulations, Rick! Sounds like another winner. My hat's off to your steady production of great stories.

  6. Well, if I wore a hat... will a tug of a receding forelock do instead?

  7. Congratulations on your new book. Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    Sherry S.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  8. I definitely look forward to reading this book. Thanks for giving me the chance to win it. :)

    Jyl22075 at gmail dot com

  9. Thanks for the chance to win my Rent for this month!

    brendurbanist AT gmail DOT com

  10. Please count me in. Thanks!


  11. ooh~ It sounds great! I'm looking forward to it! Must have for sure. ;) lol...
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy!!!