Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday! 50% Off on Penance, My EPIC Ebook Award Finalist!

For today only, November 26, the Untreed Reads Bookstore is offering my chilling EPIC eBook Award Finalist, Penance at half-off. Grab a copy in the format of your choice and save big.

Here's what Penance is about:

Bound by misery. Marked by sin. Set free by death.

Barely into their teens, without homes, they dwell in neon shadows, the violent eddies of urban America. They trade their innocence for money, abuse their hopes, and then a monster comes...

A monster without fangs or claws, but more deadly. Because of them, he has lost everything: his wife, his family. And he vows to clean the streets of Chicago...for good.

One of the street kids and a man of the cloth form a desperate pact. Together, they will find the madman whose basement has become a chamber of horrors...

PENANCE was part of Dell Abyss' remarkable horror line, lauded by none other than Stephen King.

Visit the Untreed Reads Bookstore to read an excerpt and get your own copy of Penance.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

What I'm Thankful For

I love Thanksgiving. 

Not just because I'm a shameless foodie and it's the biggest food holiday of the year, but also because I simply love the concept of the day: to reflect on what we're grateful for and the good in our lives. We would do well to remember that every day, of course, but it's nice that someone somewhere some time thought it would be a good idea to set aside a special day just for that.

Here, in no particular order is what comes to mind when I think of what I truly value.

1. My husband--Yeah, I'm jumping the gun here, because we won't be able to make it legal here in Washington until December 9 (just a few days away, really), but Bruce has grown to be everything I would ever want in a life partner. I love that he's by my side to share all the joys and sorrows of life and the knowledge that I can rely on him for that. Not only is he my best friend, he's my family too. My heart still lights up every day when he comes home from work--even after over a decade together.
2. My sons--One is by blood and one is by law, but the two young men who live as a married couple in Montreal give me some of the most profound, abiding joy a father can experience. I hate that they are so far away in terms of distance, but they are always close in my hearts and thoughts.
3. My ex-wife and mother of my son--Ellen will always be the woman I love most and, even though what we had didn't work out, she will always occupy a place of honor in my heart.
4. My family of origin--My sisters and all the nieces and nephews back in Ohio have what no one else can claim: that crazy mix of genetics that make us who we are. For better or worse, we're each other's--always.
5. My family by marriage--Bruce's family has welcomed me with open arms and have truly made me feel one of their own. How cool is that?
6. My Mom and Dad--They may both be gone now, but I know they are not truly so. They will always be with me in my heart and memories and I am grateful that, again for better or worse, they made me who I am today.
7. My dog--Lily the Boston terrier has brought joy, frustration, laughter, contentment, and loyalty into our lives for the last nine years. She is truly family and she has to be given credit for the absolute excitement she displays every time I come home, whether I've been gone five minutes or five days.
8. My friends--I won't name anyone, because I would invariably forget someone, but my closest friends (who know who they are) go beyond that appellation. You are family to me and that's says everything.
9. My readers--You are who I am up for every morning at four, pouring out the endless stories that dwell in my heart and soul. You feed my passion and for that, I am truly grateful.
10. My publishers--Thank you for having the graciousness to take on my work and packaging it for the world to see. I couldn't do it without your partnership.
11. My home--I am a true cancer and home means a lot to me. I'm happy I've landed in a comfortable nest near the water that we crabs need to have.
12. My health--I've had a few scares the past few years and I am grateful that I still have the ability and energy to enjoy all of the above.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Monday, November 19, 2012

New Release: Beau & the Beast

We have a winner! Susan Laine wins the free copy of BEAU AND THE BEAST. Susan, I will be in touch with you via e-mail. And. if you didn't win, won't you consider buying a copy here

At the heart of the classic fairy tale, "Beauty and the Beast" is a classic love story, emotional and touching, about the redemptive and transformative power of love.

That's what made me want to do a modern-day gay version of the tale, set right here in my hometown of moody, rainy Seattle...and the windswept, snowy peaks of the Cascade Mountains nearby. I used the original story as a springboard and inspiration for my tale of two lost souls whom tragedy brings together and to demonstrate how love is possible, even against the most impossible of odds.

To celebrate the release of "Beau and the Beast" from Amber Allure, I will give away an e-copy to one lucky winner. Winning is as simple as 1, 2, 3:

1. Ask me a question about the story. Here's your chance to get the inside scoop on my process and more. Can't think of a question about the story, go ahead, ask me anything.
2. Leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.
3. Gain bonus points for posting about the contest on Twitter and/or Facebook (for example, you could simply cut and paste the following: Check out Rick R. Reed's modern-day, gay take on Beauty & the Beast, BEAU & THE BEAST and be entered to win a free copy. ) Winners will be announced on Wednesday.

That's it. Now, if you want to know more about the story--and how I made it my own, read the synopsis and excerpt below. And if you can't wait for the contest and want to buy your own copy at the bargain price of only $2.60 (a 35% savings--for release week only), go here.

Inspired by the timeless tale, “Beauty and the Beast,” by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, Rick R. Reed has crafted a new fairy tale for our times that manages to be ethereal, romantic and ripped-from-the-headlines realistic.

Beau is a down-on-his-luck street artist living on the streets of Seattle, drawing portraits of tourists to make enough money to live hand-to-mouth. He has a knack for capturing his subjects’ “very souls” on paper. One rainy night, he is accosted by a group of fag-bashing thugs, intent on robbing him of his art supplies and humiliating Beau for who he is. Beau is beaten into unconsciousness...

...And awakens in a beautiful bedroom, his head bandaged and with no memory of how he got there. Outside his window pine trees and mountain vistas beckon.

Beau’s tale grows even more mysterious when a large, muscular man begins bringing the injured Beau his food. The man says nothing—and wears a wolf mask. When he finally does speak, it’s only to tell Beau to call him “Beast.”

What secrets does the wolf mask hide? What do these two outsiders have in common? And will their odd circumstances bring them to the brink of love—or tear them apart? The answers lie in Rick R. Reed’s haunting love story that reveals that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

...“So you brought me here? Where is here, anyway? And why didn’t you just take me to a hospital?”

“One question at a time.” The man paused, as though he were pondering which question to answer first, prioritizing them. “I thought about taking you to a hospital, but I don’t like to have much contact with other people. It’s a long story, but let’s just say I don’t have healthy memories of my time among them. I did, however, examine you, right there in the street, checking to see how severe your cuts and bumps were. I was able to determine, best I could, that while you looked like hell, nothing had happened to you that couldn’t be fixed with time and care.”

The wolf’s face turned to Beau and he could feel the man’s gaze upon him. “I still don’t know if I made the right choice. Your admission that you don’t remember what happened to you concerns me; perhaps I need to reconsider.

“In any event, I checked you over and determined that you needed help, so I brought you here, to my home. We are in a remote area east of Seattle, in the foothills of the Cascades. I had this house built for me to meet my need for solitude. I did not bring you here to keep you against your will; let me make that clear. You are free to leave whenever you like.”

Beau looked around him. He had never, in his whole life, been ensconced in such comforting and comfortable surroundings. Still, this was weird. “My things? Where are my things?”

The man put a gentle hand on Beau’s knee. “You had nothing, just the clothes on your back and those were torn and bloody.” He paused. “I had to throw them away. We’ll see that you get some new ones when you want to go.”

The man said nothing for several moments, and then went on. “I think you should stay with me for a few more days. Get yourself more properly healed and then, when you’re ready, I will not only see that you are clothed, but that you have safe transport back to Seattle. And if you need, we can also get you to a doctor. I suspect, though, you’re still in a bit of shock and that’s affected your memory.”

“Why would you do this?” Beau wondered.

“Why wouldn’t I? What kind of beast would I be if I left you all alone, bleeding and hurt, in that alley? I only did what I would want someone to do for me if the tables were turned.”

“But all of this….” Beau gestured to the room with his hand. “All of this seems above and beyond the call.”

“Perhaps for some. I suppose I could have left you at an emergency room and washed my hands of you. But that’s not me. I hope you don’t mind that I took the liberty to bring you here.”

“I don’t know what to think. I wish I could remember what happened.” But Beau wasn’t so sure he wanted that wish granted. Already, shadowy images were swirling around in his memory, hooded figures, cold—and they filled him with dread.

“You will.” The man stood. “Now, I think you should eat before everything gets totally cold. There’s roast chicken there….” He took a few steps toward the door. “In the morning, I’ll bring you some clothes and we can go outside, if you feel up to it.”

The man was closing the door behind him.

“Wait!” Beau called after him. “Who are you? You haven’t told me who you are.”

The man turned slightly and gestured toward the mask. “Just call me Beast.” He chuckled, but the sound carried no mirth, only despair. “It’s what I am, anyway.”

Before Beau could say anything else, Beast had closed the door...


Remember, if if you can't wait for the contest and want to buy your own copy at the bargain price of only $2.60, go here.

"Beau and the Beast" is just one of five great m/m takes on classic fairy tales. Buy the whole set--ONCE UPON A FAIRY TALE--at a special price! Go here to check out the other titles in the collection.
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Sunday, November 18, 2012

RENT is a "Recommended Read" at TwoLips Reviews!

First official review of RENT, my male escort romantic suspense novel, is a rave and "recommended read!" TwoLips Reviews says, "the emotion and the connection just about jumps off the pages..."

Read the whole review here

On the worst day of his life, Wren Gallagher loses his wallet, his job, and his security. Can a stranger met in a bar deliver on his promises of wealth and meeting Mr. Right?

On a day he will never forget, 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.

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.

Read an excerpt.

In ebook
In paperback
All Romance Ebooks
Amazon Kindle version
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

New and Notable: Lily Sawyer's FROM THE DEPTHS

Lily Sawyer's new book sounds like quite an adventure. Read the synopsis and except and see if you aren't tempted to buy (buy link is at the end of the post). 

WIN A FREE COPY! Leave a comment with your e-mail below and Lily will pick a winner from the entrants for a free copy of From the Depths.

To the world, Harry Goldberg appears to be a ordinary, happy-go-lucky man. He has a great job working at Nosh Deli on Long Island. His co-workers and customers love him. But Harry has a secret--he suffers from depression. No one understands what it's like to live life on the edge and not to be able to let anyone know for fear of driving them away. That is how Harry has led his life, alone except for his faithful cat.

But things change when a new delivery man shows up at the deli; one that he finds himself attracted to. But there is no one who can love someone with so much emotional baggage like him--is there?


Harry had a wonderful job; he worked at a deli on Long Island. He loved to watch the looks customers gave him when he served them his special mile-high sandwich. Despite the huge piles of hot pastrami and corned beef on ryewith a pickle and coleslaw on the side, they somehow left a clean plate. The people around Harry told him that he was a likeable kind of guy with a great sense of humor. All his co-workers loved him. Truth was, he had them all fooled. When he left the deli at the end of the day he went home to an empty apartment; his only company, aside from assorted houseplants, was his cat. Tom was a grey and white shorthair Harry had rescued from the local pound. No one knew about Harry's lonely existence, just like they didn't know he suffered with depression. The only ones who knew, aside from his immediate family, were his counselor and a support group he went to from time to time. Most people thought it was just the blues; at least that was what his parents thought at first. His mom was the worst. When Harry was fifteen, he'd buried himself in his bed and wouldn't come out. She kept telling him stop being lazy, get his ass out of bed, and snap out of it. Unfortunately, they didn't understand what it was like to feel as he did. No one knew how much Harry wanted to be normal; he didn't want anyone's pity. No one could know the deep pain he felt. Some days it got so bad he just wanted to lie down, go to sleep, and never wake up.
 * * * *
Nicholas could never stand being cooped up inside some stuffy office building. Nope, that was never going to happen. So when his uncle offered Nicholas a job with his delivery company after he graduated high school, he jumped at the chance. That was almost ten years ago—driving a truck was in his blood now. Stern's trucking specialized in delivering kosher food to all the Jewish delis and kosher markets on Long Island and in the five boroughs of New York City. He checked the manifest; there was a new restaurant on the list. He'd been to Carle Place before but never to Nosh Deli. But a job was a job. He'd done so many deliveries he could do them in his sleep. He loaded up his truck in Queens Village and headed east to Long Island. He took the local roads, completely avoiding the Long Island Expressway.
 * * * *
Harry was handling the lunch-hour-rush crowd. He'd lost count of how many pastrami and corned beef sandwiches he'd made and how much homemade coleslaw and potato salad he'd scooped out onto the plates. "Can I have a chicken on whole wheat bread, please?" Harry stopped his automaton-like movements, taking notice of the customer behind the voice—a blonde woman who appeared to be in her thirties, dressed in business attire. "Bless you. Thanks for breaking the monotony." She laughed. "You must get tired of the same old orders every day." Harry was on the receiving end of that brilliant smile. The woman seemed to be flirting with him. He had to admit she was an attractive woman. He noticed there was no ring on her left hand. There was one problem, though—Harry was gay. He'd known that girls didn't do anything for him that way since he was fourteen. It was one more thing his mother had nagged him about—dating women—until he came out to his parents. He couldn't say they were thrilled, but at least they didn't throw him out of the house. They just didn't talk about it. Besides, Harry hardly ever went out. He had one experimental encounter with a buddy in high school. They had given each other a hand job and that was that. Harry's self-esteem was in the basement. Who in their right mind would want to date a guy who was a killjoy? Depression robbed Harry of being able to really enjoy life. He was glad no one at work was aware of the sad sack in their midst—and no one would find out if he could help it. He buried himself in work, fixing orders for people like the woman who stood before him—he wouldn't let anyone get too close.
* * * *
Nicholas was only too grateful to the person responsible for inventing GPS. That gizmo on his dashboard had just saved him from sitting in traffic for what would seem to be forever and he'd consequently managed to arrive early in the parking lot of the shopping center where Nosh Deli was located. He parked his vehicle, got the hand truck out, and started unloading the order. It would take more than one trip to restock the deli's fridge. He pulled the heavier items in first, only too glad when a customer held the door open for him. "Thanks," he told the man, with a sincere smile and a nod of his head. The number of diners at Nosh Deli had thinned out after the lunchtime rush. A lull had settled in—the perfect time for Nicholas to do his delivery and get back onto the road. He had one more delivery after this—to a deli in Lynbrook—and then back to Queens and home. He lowered the hand truck and looked at the order. Morris Klein was listed as the contact person. "Excuse me. Is there a Mister Morris Klein around?" "Hello." A dark-haired man approached Nicholas. Nicholas couldn't help but notice how handsome he was and he ignored how his cock twitched when he shook the man's hand. "I'm Harry Goldberg. Morris isn't here right now; he's at the hospital." "Oh, nothing serious I hope?" "No, just welcoming his first grandchild into the world. His daughter went into labor this morning and he rushed over to Long Island Jewish." "Mazel tov. Is it a boy or a girl?" "A boy. Morris was beaming from ear to ear before he left, which is probably why he forgot about the order delivery." "That's totally understandable. Where can I put the stuff?" "We have a storage room right next to the freezer—I'll show you." Nicholas couldn't help staring at Harry's ass as he followed him to the back. It had been too long since he'd been in a relationship. He had put his focus into work and was really beginning to feel lonely. Harry certainly had gotten his attention and Nicholas wondered if he should take a chance and make a move. Is he gay? Is he into guys like I am? But if he isn't, I could lose my job. He briefly weighed the pros and cons before he finally decided that life was too short. Nicholas figured he should go for it. He unloaded what he had and went back out to the truck for the rest. He was moving more slowly than usual, trying to figure out how he could make this visit last a little longer so he could find out if Harry was interested in getting together. As it turned out, Harry solved that problem for him. "Are you hungry? I could make you a sandwich." Harry smiled shyly at him when Nicholas gave him the receipt to sign. "Sure, I'd love some pastrami on whole wheat and a potato knish on the side," Nicholas told him. "I'm afraid it will have to be a to-go order, I have another delivery I have to make." "Oh, okay." Was that disappointment he heard in Harry's voice? He'd never been to Nosh Deli before but he was beginning to realize that this wouldn't be his last trip. In fact, this may be my new favorite stop.

Explore other Lily Sawyer titles.
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Saturday, November 10, 2012

My "Face of Gay"

For some time now, author Kage Alan has been collecting the stories of gay men and women and their allies in a blog series called "The Face of Gay."

I am honored to participate in this project and share my own--and deeply personal--face of gay.

My story begins:

The Many Different Faces of Gay—Photographs and Memories (Rick Reed)
This blog series, the Face of Gay, has demonstrated one thing to me very clearly—while there are common human threads that run through all of these thoughtful and often poignant posts, there is also a unique “face of gay” for each person who sits down to open their heart to readers.

For me, when I considered my own “face of gay” it was like looking through a box of old photos...

To read my story (and see lots of photographs from my past), go here. And while you're there, check out the sixteen other Faces of're sure to come away amused, thoughtful, and touched.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

We're Getting Married!

Yesterday was a historic day for four states in the US. Three states (our own Washington, Maryland, and Maine) approved marriage equality at the polls--a clean sweep and the first time in history same-sex marriage in the US has been approved by voters). And Minnesota, while not approving same-sex marriage, REJECTED the possibility of adding a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between only one man and one woman. Thank God that kindness, fairness, and compassion prevailed in the elections. I see the tide turning.

It was a historic day for my partner, Bruce, and me as well. Although we have been "married" in every sense of the word for the last decade, we have never been able to make it legal anywhere we lived. Now we can... and we're officially engaged--and thinking about wedding dates, rings, and stuff like that.

Honestly, it was a day I never imagined coming.

Behind every marriage is a terribly romantic story of how the couple got engaged, right? For those of you who want to know just how romantic our story was, I will share it with you. Get out the tissues and prepare to have your hearts warmed!

Here's how we got engaged yesterday: Bruce called me from his office. "I'm going to change my status on Facebook to "engaged", is that okay with you? I mean, I assume you'd say yes, but just wanted to be sure."

I came back with, "Of course. I'll do the same."

And we hung up. Kind of gives you chills, right?

But it was romantic--for us--because it was represented a watershed moment in the history of our love. We could finally, finally get engaged to be married and have it be legal. That's huge. And I think it took several hours after that phone call (and literally, and surprisingly, hundreds of congratulatory messages on Facebook, which tickled us to our toes and warmed our hearts completely) for the reality to sink in.

Bruce and I can get married. Legally. It is still hard to believe. See, when I came out, some two decades ago, I never even imagined gay marriage as a possibility. Even as recently as when my son came out to me (ten years ago), I thought I would never dance at his wedding (but I did! in Montreal, three years ago). I accepted the status quo--marriage was not for gay people. We had lovers, or boyfriends, or girlfriends, not husbands and wives.

But things began to change and people--myself included--began to see that everyone should have the civil right to marry the person whom they love. Why would anyone be against that? Love is love.

And I love my Bruce. And I am happy-to-tears that one day soon, I will call him, in every sense of the word, husband.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Blog Tour for My Male Escort Romance, RENT

I don't usually do this, but I thought I would try out this newfangled method of book promotion: the blog tour. Most of the time when I go on a tour, I get the benefit of seeing new places, meeting new people, or perhaps lying on a new (or nude) beach.

This time, dear reader, the benefit is all yours.

See, at each stop along the tour, I will be revealing a lot about myself, as well as my new book. There will be interviews galore and even some guest blogs.

Best of all, at each stop along the tour, I will be giving away a free ebook copy of RENT. Here's what RENT is about:

On the worst day of his life, Wren Gallagher loses his wallet, his job, and his security. Can a stranger met in a bar deliver on his promises of wealth and meeting Mr. Right?

On a day he will never forget, 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.

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.

Read an excerpt.

Literary Nymphs 11/1
Book Wenches 11/4
RomFan Reviews 11/6
Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess 11/8
Romance Reviews Today 11/12
You Gotta Read Reviews 11/13
Romance Crush Junkies 11/13
Mantastic 11/14

Come on along on the blog tour with me! Don't want to wait for the tour? Want to buy your own copy? See below.

In ebook
In paperback
All Romance Ebooks
Amazon Kindle version
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