Thursday, March 31, 2011

HOMECOMING Cover in a Contest! Vote for a Chance to Win a Limited Edition Print!

Enter to vote on which of four Paul Richmond covers (my Homecoming is one of them) becomes a poster. If Homecoming takes first place, you could win the print, suitable for framing. See the other covers, and get all the details here.
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sample 60 Saturday: A DEMON INSIDE

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 haunted house story, A Demon Inside. Bookwenches Reviews said, "...A Demon Inside does not lead you gently into the wading pool; it shoves you into the deep end of horror...I plan to read it again, if only to remind myself what constitutes a satisfying scare..."

BUY A Demon Inside

Hunter Beaumont doesn't understand his grandmother's deathbed wish: "Destroy Beaumont House." He'd never even heard of the place. But after his grandmother passes and his first love betrays him, the family house in the Wisconsin woods looks like a tempting refuge. Going against his grandmother's wishes, Hunter flees to Beaumont House.

But will the house be the sanctuary he had hoped for? Soon after moving in, Hunter realizes he may not be alone. And with whom--or what--he shares the house may plunge him into a nightmare from which he may never escape. Sparks fly when he meets his handsome neighbor, a caretaker for the estate next door, but is the man his salvation...or is he the source of Hunter's terror?

Nana lies propped once more on the pillows, her eyes engaging and imploring him. “Destroy Beaumont House.” His grandmother makes the command over and over again, a litany, her voice dead and toneless. Soon, other voices join in, people hidden in shadows in corners of the room. The chorus rises in volume until it hurts his ears.
And then it stops. Hunter moves toward his grandmother, but before his eyes, she morphs into something else, something scaly, with yellow feral eyes.

Hunter awakened all at once. There was no swimming upward out of a haze of sleep. He shivered and looked over to see he had left the window open to cool himself after his bath, but now the room was freezing, the pale curtains billowing inward. They made Hunter think of ghosts. He got out of bed, hearing the soft hiss of rain outside. He pulled the windows closed and hurried to get back beneath his comforter, pulling it up to his chin. He didn’t know if he would get back to sleep tonight, at least not with the imagery from his nightmare still so fresh in his mind.

What did it mean? Was it some sort of omen? Or just psychological residue, his mind processing the odd and frightening day he had had?

Either way, the dream still clung to him, like something sticky and wet, disturbing him when he knew it shouldn’t. If it was something paranormal, like an omen, shouldn’t he listen? After all, what were omens anyway, other than warnings? And more logically, if it was his own psyche’s wake up call to him, then maybe he should stop and consider these thoughts he was having of taking up residence in rural Wisconsin.

And finally, he thought of Nana. Beyond the dream images, beyond her final pathetic entreaty about the house, Nana stayed alive in his heart for all the good she did. She had taken him, as a shell-shocked little boy, and raised him. Protected him. Nurtured him. And yes, spoiled him, giving him practically whatever it was he wanted (riding lessons, a piano, a car on his sixteenth birthday), taking him to China, Italy, France, England, Egypt, and Argentina. The old woman could never say no to him, but she always had a bottomless well of love for her grandson and always put his best interests first.

BUY A Demon Inside

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The 9th Circuit just ruled on Prop 8. What can you do?

The 9th Circuit just decided to NOT lift the stay on Judge Walker's ruling that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional. That's a death sentence for at least some couples.

The poignant video testimony of two Courage Campaign members (above), Ed and Derence of Palm Springs, a couple that has been together for 40 years, demonstrates that lives are in the balance. Ed suffers from advancing Alzheimer's. The California Supreme Court and now the 9th Circuit have decided to make Ed and Derence wait at least 9 more months before they might enjoy the fundamental right to marry.

By then, it might not matter anymore.

Together, we have to work to assure there won’t be more Ed and Derences. So here are 3 things you can do right now (from the Courage Campaign):

1. You can click here to contribute $9 – one dollar for each month it’s expected to take until the CA Supreme Court rules on the “standing” issue. Courage Campaign will use your tax-deductible contribution to make sure no more courts ignore couples like Ed and Derence through advertising, events, and on-the-ground organizing.
2. You can click here to join the 48,958 people who signed up for the Courage Campaign's effort with Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Nadler to repeal DOMA, so that for couples who are married in California, and can marry elsewhere, they can get the 1,100+ federal rights they deserve, no matter where they live.
3. You can click here to tell the 9th Circuit: You Can't Stay Our Love. Take a photo of you and your loved one holding a homemade sign that says "Can't Stay Our Love". Then, if you’re straight, tell your story of how you’d feel if you had to sit in a waiting room to get married with no end in sight. If you’re LGBT, tell why you can’t wait. Ed and Derence sent in their story the last time Courage Campaign asked, and it went viral on The Washington Post, The Advocate, and dozens of blogs. Yours could be the next.

Courage will increase public awareness so that future rulings do not confuse dry, legal prose with life itself. We will never stop fighting. Please keep fighting by taking one, or all, of the actions above.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

A Dignified Review of an Undignified Book: DIGNITY TAKES A HOLIDAY

I woke up this morning to a wonderful review of my "very different" "offbeat" romance, Dignity Takes a Holiday. Writing the book and submitting it, I knew that Dignity was something very unusual for me, a book that readers would either "get" or not...and I was prepared for the possibility that it was the kind of effort that would either be loved or hated, with very little in between.

And that is being borne out now in the reviews its getting and comments from readers. Jerry Wheeler, at Out in Print Reviews, gets that too. I like that he understood I took a chance and "stretched" to write a book that, even for me, is very far from what I would usually write (it's been compared more than once to John Waters, and I think that's apt).

Anyway, Mr. Wheeler says, in part: "Reed goes far out on a limb here, writing slapstick farce instead of his usual taut suspense and horror thrillers. Writers who take themselves into unfamiliar territory are to be applauded. The chances they take, whether successful or not, bespeak a willingness to grow beyond what their audience expects of them and that experience is usually reflected in a deepening—a re-dimensioning (I love making jargon up)—of whatever genre they’re better known for when they return to it.

"But that’s not what you want to hear, is it? You want to know if it’s any good. 

The answer is a qualified ‘yes.’ Qualified because Dignity Takes a Holiday is purposefully over the top and that alone may put some readers off. The abuse Helen dishes out is so severe and the situations Peter finds himself in are so outrageous that you may find yourself reading with a grimace instead of a grin. Funny, yes—hysterical at times. But painfully so. 

"However, this is all set-up for the ending, which (and this is typically Reed) puts the preceding events into context and reveals the heartfelt relationship underlying the farce..."
Read the whole review here.

Pete Thickwhistle doesn't live what one might call a charmed life. At age forty-seven, he's a flamboyant gay man who believes no one knows he's gay, still living at home with his harpy of a mother. Worse, he's still a virgin, longing to find just the right man to make his life complete. Pete's an upbeat kind of guy, yet he's never learned that the answer to his motto "What could possibly go wrong?" is always: "Everything."

Pete's road to love and happiness is full of potholes, yet he never tires of searching, despite job losses, weight battles, clothing faux pas, and disastrous vacations, parties, and dating debacles. Pete is the ultimate underdog living a television situation comedy, one named Dignity Takes a Holiday.

Buy Dignity Takes a Holiday from Dreamspinner Press here.

Buy Dignity Takes a Holiday from Dreamspinner Press from the Amazon Kindle store here.
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sample 60 Saturday: Tales from the Sexual Underground

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 collection of erotic stories, essays, and, er, anecdotes, Tales from the Sexual Underground. When the book appeared in March of 2010, Rainbow Reviews said, "Aside from the fact that he is a solidly good writer and I enjoy his versatility in genre writing, whether in the realm of horror, the suspense thriller, erotica or romance, what attracts me to his stories most is that they are highly imaginative, they push boundaries and they challenge me as a reader. Tales From The Sexual Underground accomplishes all of this and more. And while a handful of the stories in this collection took me outside of my comfort zone leaving me wide-eyed and breathless, the thrill and anticipation of what was to come as I continued to turn the page was like an aphrodisiac."

BUY Tales from the Sexual Underground

I wanted to write about people who were not just out, but out there, people who lived their sexual lives in ways most of us could only imagine...and for whom the flavor vanilla had absolutely no appeal. I interviewed porn stars, prostitutes, self-proclaimed sex pigs, and delved into bizarre sexual practices. It was eye-opening, arousing, and a lot of fun (but never, never good clean fun). I also include here my favorite dirty stories. They all explore a side of life that exists not in the twilight zone, but in my favorite destination...the sexual underground.

Page 60:
Neg. UB2. That’s common internet parlance for “negative—you be too,” and it irks many poz people. Maybe it irks them because:

Negative. UB2.

It’s late and the leather bar I’m sitting in is at the prescient moment just before the bartender shouts, “Last call!” Just before the lights come up to change the dark, smoky, sexually-charged universe that the few remaining men in the bar inhabit. There is the smell of desperation in the air, as these few look around for someone with whom to spend an hour, the night, their lives. Should we go next door to the baths?

An acquaintance sits next to me. I’ve seen him before, maybe even done him once in the backroom. We chat off and on, as our predatory gazes scan the room. We know nothing about each other, really. That’s about to change.

“So what are you gonna do?” I ask.

He fingers the chain and leather harness across his broad chest, glistening with sweat and a matte of dark, going-to-gray chest hair.

e takes a drag off his cigar. Contemplation. “Dunno. Guess I’ll go home and cruise the net.”

“That works for you?”

“Shit, yes. It’s like ordering a pizza.”

I recall when we exchanged our HIV statuses at one point; not tonight. He’s poz. Makes me wonder: “So, do you tell these guys about yourself?”

“What do you mean? Top? Bottom? Stats?”

“No. You tell ‘em you’re poz?”

“Hell no.”

The bar’s hot. Blue smoke hovers near the ceiling. I feel a chill. “Why not?”

BUY Tales from the Sexual Underground

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Friday, March 18, 2011

A Taste of my 2011 EPIC eBook Award Winner

Here's a little taste of my 2011 EPIC eBook Award Winner, THE BLUE MOON CAFE (best Horror Erotic Romance).

Buy link:

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...
(Gay / Dark Fantasy / Shapeshifter / Werewolf / Suspense / Thriller)

In his imagination, Thad pictured the two of them coming in his front door and Sam throwing him roughly up against the door, covering his face and neck with kisses while his hands roamed, tweaking a nipple there, fondling his balls here. In the pregnant darkness, the man would work Thad into a frenzy of carnal desire so great he didn’t know if they would make it to the bedroom or if they would consummate their passion right on the living room floor. He saw their muscles, slicked with sweat, working in unison like a machine to bring each other to dizzying heights of pleasure.

He hadn’t pictured Edith greeting them at the door and the poor little Chihuahua manically jumping up and down on him, whining to be taken outside—immediately. So, with reluctance, Thad flipped on the overhead light so he could find her leash. He looked back at Sam, who waited outside in the shadows. “You can just go on in and have a seat on the couch. She won’t take me more than a minute.”

“It’s okay. I can wait out here.” Sam groped in his pocket and brought out a pack of cigarettes. He extracted one, lit it, and exhaled a plume of blue gray smoke into the night air. Thad was both repelled and attracted by the site of Sam lighting up.

Ugh. A smoker. Something I will have to work on changing. He then couldn’t deny the “bad boy” thrill the site of the man smoking gave him. Or maybe not.

Thad ducked back in and stooped to affix harness and leash to Edith, who was all but hopping up and down with impatience. She whimpered and stared desperately up at him.

“I know, I know,” Thad soothed. “Small bladder.”

The two stepped outside and Edith froze when she saw Sam. Her eyes widened and the hackles along her neck and back went up. She immediately began a furious yapping, baring her teeth, and lunging toward Sam, her tiny frame testing the endurance of the leather leash. Thad was surprised the old girl had so much fury and strength within her seven pound frame. He sent a weak smile Sam’s way to apologize for her behavior. “I don’t know what’s up with her. She’s usually not like this.”

“Maybe it’s the dark. I’ll walk over here.” Sam hurried back down the walkway until he stood near the street, the orange tip of his cigarette glowing in the dark.

Thad squatted down to comfort the little dog, shaking with fury and what seemed like terror. He had acquired Edith as a puppy and had made sure she was well socialized from about eight weeks old on, taking her everywhere with him and exposing her, over the years to all sorts of people, other dogs, and even cats. He had never seen her behave like this. Great! I finally find a man I think I could be nuts about and my dog doesn’t like him. Something I’ll have to work on. Thad walked Edith in the opposite direction from Sam and she calmed down enough to re-establish her original goal and to take care of it.

“I’ll put her in the bathroom,” Thad called to Sam as he headed back to the apartment. “Give me just a sec. I’ll leave the door open and then you can come in.”

Thad hurried to make a bed of towels for Edith in one corner, then rushed into the kitchen to put some peanut butter in her little Kong toy. He presented it to her. “Here, now I’ve been nice to you. Now you be nice to me. No more trouble from you.” He took one last glance back at the dog, busy with getting peanut butter out of her toy, before closing the bathroom door.

Sam leaned against his front door, smiling. He didn’t look tired in the least, even though it was near two in the morning and he had worked all evening. The color in his cheeks was high, his lips full and slightly parted, and the way he stared at Thad was all invitation. Thad simply wanted to get lost in that big, furry body.

But he was still a little flustered. “Sorry about that. She isn’t usually so unfriendly. I don’t know what got into her.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’m not much of a dog person—maybe she knew that. And maybe you don’t know what’s gotten into her, but I have an inkling you have a very good idea what’s going to be getting into you.” Sam winked and then laughed.

“You dog!” Thad crossed the room, flicked off the lights, and pressed his body against Sam. The kisses, against the door, just as he had imagined, commenced. Thad was, for once, grateful he didn’t have a job to go to come Monday morning, because he knew his face would be red and chafed from the pressure of Sam’s beard. This way, he imagined he would smile with fond memories every time he looked in a mirror.

They kissed for what seemed like the next hour, until both of them panted and half their faces were wet with the other saliva. Without ever leaving the front door, shirts had been undone and pulled open, flies opened, and shoes kicked into corners.

Breathlessly, Thad forced himself away from Sam and said the three little words every man longs to hear: “To the bed.” He grabbed Sam and tugged him toward the bed that occupied one corner of his studio. They fell upon it, laughing and tearing at each other’s clothes...


...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 am 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 little 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? He had only meant to further their little post-coital conversation. “I don’t mean to put you on the spot,” he hurried to say, wondering if he had imagined the slight body language. “If it’s none of my business, just say so.”

Sam relaxed against the bunched up—and damp—pillows. “No. It’s okay. We came from a small village in Sicily. Lots of mountains, rocks, olive trees…not much else. You would probably think it’s pretty, but me, I was bored. We just decided one day to go, to come to America, to see if we could make a go of it here. We tried New York City first, but it was too crazy there. Too many people, too expensive. We wanted someplace where everything was not concrete, where there was some nature. Seattle was, how would you say? A natural choice.”

Now it was Thad’s turn to stiffen just a bit. What was with all the ‘we’ this and ‘we’ that? His feelings, briefly at an all-time high, sunk. Was Sam married? Did he have a lover? Was Thad just that night’s side dish? Sam’s olive cake with Marion berries? Would Sam soon be getting up to hurry home to someone who was sleeping with one eye open, waiting for the sound of his key in the door? Thad did not want to come off as suspicious, but he couldn’t resist his next question and thought he might as well get everything out in the open right from the start.

“You said ‘we’. Who’s ‘we’?” Thad tried to bite his lip to keep himself from saying it, but he couldn’t resist the impulse. “Wait. Don’t tell me. There’s a boyfriend—or a wife—right?” Thad held his breath, waiting for the bad news to be delivered. It wouldn’t surprise him, but it would certainly deflate him. And it would be just about right for how his life had been going lately.

Sam chuckled and took a last drag off his cigarette. He got up and went to the window to flick it outside. His ass, high and firm, glowed in the moonlight and Thad wondered if he would have to rethink his policy of not dating committed men. Hell, with that ass, I may have to rethink my policy of being a total bottom.

He’s not talking because he’s trying to think of the right way to tell me. Thad clutched a pillow to his chest, almost as if he was bracing himself for a blow, which he was.

Sam weighed down the bed as he slid back in beside him. “You silly boy. There’s no one else. I said ‘we’ because I have a son. He came with me.” Sam took Thad’s face in his hands and snatched him up in his dark-eyed gaze. “There’s no one else.” He let go and Thad immediately missed the contact. “I travel light. I usually like, um, no complications? But when I saw you, I couldn’t resist.”

It wasn’t until they were drifting off to sleep that the paranoid side of Thad caught up with him again, causing him to wonder if the fucking was a way to stave off further conversation. Who was this son? Did Sam really just come to America for a change? How many people actually do that…or can even afford to? Stop it, now. He’s here with you now…

And the men drifted off to sleep together...

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Win a FREE Copy of A Hundred Little Lies by Jon Wilson

To promote its newest release, Cheyenne Publishing is giving away a paperback copy of A Hundred Little Lies by Jon Wilson. To enter, simply send an email to
with A Hundred Little Lies Contest in the subject line and include your contact information in the body of the email. The winner will be notified on Wednesday March 16th.

Everyone knows Jack Tulle as a widower, a doting father, and an honest businessman. The problem is, it's all a lie.

For eight years Jack has enjoyed the quiet life in the sleepy little town of Bodey, Colorado where he owns and operates the General Store. He sits on the town council. He dotes upon his eight-year-old, headstrong daughter, Abigail. He is even being sized-up as a prospective new member of the family by the bank president. But when the local saloon announces plans to host a grand prize poker tournament, Jack realizes it could spell trouble. One of the many secrets he's been hiding is that he used to be a con man — mainly underhanded poker, but he wasn't above the odd swindle when the situation presented itself. And a contest like the one his town is planning is sure to draw some old business acquaintances — fellows Jack would really rather not admit to knowing.

Of course there's one man in particular Jack is worried about seeing — Tom Jude is the only person who knows the truth behind all his secrets. Tom wasn't just Jack's partner-in-crime, he was also the love of his life. And Tom knows things — like the fact that the little girl Jack is raising, really isn't his...

As Jack scrambles to maintain his deceptions by lying to friends and neighbors as well as the child he has grown to love, he discovers the real truth: when your world is built on A Hundred Little Lies, exposing a single one of them can bring the whole thing crashing down.

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Monday, March 14, 2011


Currently, Dreamspinner Press is offering my latest release, Homecoming, for only $3.99. The e-book is available in all popular formats, including Kindle-ready (Mobi/prc). Get your copy of Homecoming here. Or order directly from Amazon's Kindle store here. 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! Elisabeth Staab wins the free copy. I will be in touch with you soon, directly, Elisabeth.

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.

Homecoming is a poignant, yet hopeful story, about a man finding his way back to life and love after losing his partner. It's definitely a solid step in the romance direction for me...

ISBN-13: 978-1-61581-840-2
Genres: Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Cover art: Paul Richmond
Length: Novella (32k words)

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.

EVERYTHING was ready for the surprise party. Chase had decorated their Seattle condo with gold, purple, and white streamers and matching balloons, giving the place a Mardi Gras feel. A specially made banner hung above the dining room table with Toby’s high school graduation photo and the words, “Over the Hill? Happy 40th, Toby!” emblazoned across its slick white surface.

Their condo, in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, felt alive with the electricity of anticipation. Even what lay outside the windows, which overlooked the Space Needle and downtown Seattle, appeared to be lit up for a party this early spring evening.

Chase had gathered all of Toby’s friends for the bash, swearing them to secrecy and getting them in on the weeks-long planning for his partner’s milestone birthday. They were spread out now throughout the kitchen, dining, and living areas, clutching cocktails in their hands, chattering about Toby and how he looked too young to actually be forty, and how surprised he would be when he walked in the door. Chase himself relished the idea of Toby’s handsome face wide-eyed in surprise and delight. No one appreciated a party like Toby. Chase saw his man in his mind’s eye, even as he bustled around the condo, making sure the hors d’oeuvres were in place. The dining room table was laden with bowls of Pad Thai, pot stickers, chicken satay with peanut sauce, and prawns enveloped in wonton wrappers; Chase had dusted the tablecloth with purple glitter. He could just picture Toby’s face—the short blond hair, the wide-set blue eyes, the finely chiseled features—alive with total shock and pleasure at everything Chase had assembled to celebrate his special day.

The food and the local friends weren’t the only things Chase couldn’t wait for Toby to see. Diagonal to the dining room table, Chase had a bar set up, sparing no expense to have it stocked with top shelf liquor, wine, beer, and mixers. And the bartender was yet another in a long line of surprises Chase had arranged. The guy was pure eye candy—Latino with olive skin, buzzed black hair, the darkest eyes Chase had ever seen, and ripped and bulging muscles that should have put him on the cover of a fitness magazine rather than behind a bar. These were visible because his outfit consisted only of tight black pants and red suspenders. Best part was that the guy seemed truly affable and friendly. His excitement at Toby’s arrival did not seem in the least faked.

And the best surprise of all stood in the corner by the windows with the view they had bought the place for. Mike. Chase had been thrilled when Toby’s old best friend from Chicago had agreed to fly out for the party. Mike and Toby went back years, to their college days at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. When Chase and Toby lived in the windy city, he had to admit to himself that he would be lying if he said he wasn’t jealous of the two men’s closeness, but Mike had always seemed genuinely happy that Toby had found Chase, after years of searching for the one in and out of leather bars all over Chicago’s north side.

Although Toby had left the leather scene behind—and sold off his chaps, harness, and bar vest on Craigslist—Mike had never gotten away from it, which was evident even now. Mike was tall, verging on six-five, with buzzed salt and pepper hair, a matching beard, pale gray eyes, and a deep tan. In another life, Chase would have gone weak in the knees at the sight of this hunk. Now, he seemed more like a loving brother-in-law. But once he had arrived at their condo from Sea-Tac airport, earlier that day, in jeans and a Bears T-shirt, he had changed into full leather regalia for the party—tight black leather jeans, a clinging T-shirt that showed off his ripples and bulges to good advantage, leather vest, and combat boots. He looked like some sort of Tom of Finland fantasy.

Apparently, Chase was not the only one who thought so. Right now, Mike had a full entourage of new friends gathered around him, all Seattle men, dressed in their usual garb of sweat shirts, fleece, jeans, and, even in March, sandals (some with socks, but that was Seattle for you).

Chase hurried over to Mike and managed to pull him away from the crowd of fawning admirers that had gathered around him. The two men stood near the front door. Chase eyed Mike. “So are you excited?”

“Oh God, yes. It’s been how long since we’ve all gotten together? Seems like forever.” Mike asked.

Chase thought about it. The last time he and Toby had been back to Chicago must have been four years ago, when they returned to the city in August, in miserable heat, to visit Mike and go to the Halsted Market Days street festival. It had been a fun time, but both Toby and Chase were ready to return to Seattle’s cool temps and summer sunshine by the end of that week, a sure sign that Seattle had usurped Chicago as ‘home’. This trip was Mike’s first to Seattle. He had planned on staying a week. Chase brought himself back to the present and answered Mike, “I’m thinking four, maybe even five years ago.”

Mike shook his head. “That long, huh? We should never let that happen again.” He pulled Chase close in a bear hug. “You guys mean too much to me to see you so infrequently.”

Chase pulled away, a little breathless. The guy didn’t know his own strength; he’d almost squeezed him to death. Not that Chase minded—in fact, the truth was he was a little turned on by Mike’s closeness and brute force—but here he was, waiting for his lover to come home to the surprise party he had spent the last several weeks of his life planning. He looked over the room, which had gone a little hushed, with several people moving to the windows to peer outside.

He turned back to Mike, glancing down at his watch. It was a quarter ‘til seven. “I don’t know where that man is; he’s usually home by six fifteen at the latest.”

“He’ll be here,” Mike said, grinning. “Probably just got tied up at work.” His eyes went a little faraway. “I can just picture it.”

Chase punched his shoulder. “Cut it out! I know what you’re picturing.” Just then, he felt the vibration and then heard the ring tone he had set up just for Tony on his cell phone. He pulled the device out of his pocket, glancing at Mike and saying, “Speak of the devil.”

He pressed accept. “Hey honey. Get held up at work?” Toby worked at Microsoft as a technical writer and the days could often get really long—especially when one figured in the commute from the campus in suburban Redmond.

“Yeah. I won’t bore you with the details. Sorry I didn’t call you sooner. I just wanted to get out of there and then I fell asleep on the bus. I guess I really am forty! No energy!”

“Well, we’ll fix that when you get home.”

“What’s for dinner?”

“Leftovers. We still had chili left from Wednesday night.”

“Sounds good. And Chase?”


“I’m glad you’re respecting my wishes to not do anything special for my birthday. I really do just want a quiet evening at home with the man I love.”

Chase thought he’d get that later, when they were asleep and everyone had gone home. He looked around at the throng, grateful they had all gone quiet when his cell phone rang. Someone had even been thoughtful enough to pause the playlist of eighties dance music that was going. He felt a little twinge, hoping Toby would truly be thrilled—and not disappointed or angry with him—for planning this shindig.

After all, how many times does a guy turn forty?

“You know I love you, honey.” Chase looked at Mike, who had an expectant expression on his face. “So where are you? Close?”

“Better. I’m just stepping off the bus.” Chase heard the punctuation of the hiss of the pneumatic doors closing and the bass of the bus’s engine as it roared off. The drop off was just at the corner. Surprise party time was almost here!

Toby said, “I can stop and pick up some cornbread from that bakery on Olive if you want, it would go great with—“

Chase’s blood went cold at the sudden ceasing of Toby’s words. It wasn’t just silence he heard, but a sharp intake of breath, screeching brakes, a blaring horn, a bit of static and then…


Chase felt as though his heart had stopped. What had just happened? Surely, Toby had simply dropped his phone or something. His cell would ring again in a minute and Toby would pick up where he’d left off.

But the cell phone didn’t ring. And with a feeling like he was moving in slow motion, Chase began to move toward the window that overlooked their street. He had heard the screeching brakes and horn more than just through the phone, he thought with a nauseating sense of dread.

He barely heard Mike calling after him, “Chase? What’s the matter? You just went white as a ghost.”

Outside, he could hear the sirens in the distance. Outside, the traffic stopped in the street below them. Outside, a crumpled figure lay in the middle of the road, still. A woman stood nearby, her SUV door open, weeping.

That figure—the one lying twisted on the pavement—that wasn’t Toby, was it?

It couldn’t be. Chase peered through the darkness and knew that it was, but something inside him refused to believe it. No, that’s not my Toby. It couldn’t be. I’ve told him a dozen times, at least, to pay attention and look where he’s going when he’s outside on his cell.

Chase sat down suddenly, and hard, on the floor, staring numbly at the concerned faces of his friends as the sirens outside grew deafening.

Get your copy of Homecoming here. Or order directly from Amazon's Kindle store here.Get your copy of Homecoming here. Or order directly from Amazon's Kindle store here.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Once in a Blue Moon, You Win an Award

I'm very pleased to announce that my werewolf chiller/love story, The Blue Moon Cafe, won the 2011 EPIC e-Book Award last night in the best horror erotic romance category. Unfortunately, I was not on hand at the awards in Richmond, VA to accept the award, but I'm still really jazzed that the book was recognized.

The EPIC eBook Awards (formerly EPPIES) have been given annually since the first EPIC conference in 2000 to recognize outstanding achievement in e-publishing. EPIC eBook Awards entries are judged by volunteers, with the largest percentage of EPIC eBook Awards Judges being active EPIC Members. Guest judges, all of whom are either published authors or publishing professionals, may be used as alternate judges at the EPIC eBook Awards Committee discretion. After the first round of judging the works of the finalists are sent to second panel of judges and winners are selected.

Here's a little taste of what The Blue Moon Cafe is all 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...

To read an excerpt and make your own reservation at The Blue Moon Cafe, click here.
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sample 60 Saturday: MUTE WITNESS

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 child abduction thriller and love story, Mute Witness.

Sean and Austin's perfect world shatters when Sean's eight-year-old son, Jason, vanishes. When Jason turns up days later abused and unable to speak, small town fingers point to the boy's gay dad as the culprit. Meanwhile, the real villain is close by, intent on ensuring the boy's muteness is permanent.

Page 60:
How did they know he was in here? Had they seen him at a window? Junior wanted to cry. He didn’t know how to deal with these people. Why couldn’t they just leave him alone?

“Mr. Parsons, we’ll give you five seconds.”

Junior began to tremble under the bed, tremble harder as he heard something slamming into his only door. He shrieked when the lock broke free from the doorframe and the door crashed inward. He tried to flatten himself even more against the wall, watching the two men move into his home.

This wasn’t fair! It wasn’t fair. Junior was whimpering as he watched the black shoes and bottoms of navy blue uniform pants moving through his little house.

And then the quilt came up suddenly and a dark face with a mustache was peering at him, here in the shadows and the dust.

“Here he is, Pete.” The man’s brown eyes locked with Junior’s. “Come on out of there, now, you son of a bitch.”

And Junior scooted out, uncertain what fate awaited him outside the protection of his bed.

BUY a copy of Mute Witness in paperback or ebook format.

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sample 60 Saturday: M4M

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 combination of two e-books, VGL Male Seeks Same and NEG UB2 into the paperback collection, M4M.

Two great stories. One great love. Get between the covers with Ethan and Brian, the men whose hearts connected online and offline in the best-selling VGL Male Seeks Same. Follow them on their continuing journey in NEG UB2, where a shocking health diagnosis derails the couple’s blissful romance and teaches them both a lot about acceptance, forgiveness, and faith...especially when it comes to love.

Previously available only in electronic format, these twin novellas of gay erotic romance have now been combined for a paperback edition!

VGL Male Seeks Same
Poor Ethan Schwartz. It seems like he will never find that special someone. At age 42, he’s still alone, his bed still empty, and his 42-inch HDTV overworked. He’s tried the bars and other places where gay men are supposed to find one another, but for Ethan, it never works out. He wonders if it ever will. Should he get a cat? But all of that is about to change. At work, Ethan hears about a website that promises to deliver more than just the tawdry hook-ups associated with so many other sites. Ethan wants romance, and although he’s always been a little shy about the whole cyber-dating scene, he figures he has nothing to lose. Well, maybe he does have something to lose: his self-esteem. After he posts his profile, he gets zero responses. But Ethan realizes one thing about the cyberworld that isn’t true in the real one: Online, Ethan can be anyone he wants to be. And a new persona is born. The new Ethan is handsome (with someone else’s pic) and the sudden recipient of dozens of online come-ons. What Ethan doesn't count on, however, is finding—among the propositions and the flattery—his one true love. Not just a gorgeous man, but one who suits him in almost every way. How does Ethan turn his budding cyber love into a real one? And can he hang on to his mystery suitor without turning him off with his deception?

Poor Ethan Schwartz. He’s just had the most shocking news a gay man can get—he’s been diagnosed HIV positive. Up until today, he thought his life was on a perfect course. He had a job he loved and something else he thought he’d never have: Brian, a new man, one whom Ethan thought of as “the one.” The one who would complete him, who would take his life from a lonely existence to a place filled with laughter, hot sex, and romance. But along with the fateful diagnosis comes another shock—who is this new love? Had Ethan ever really known Brian? And did Brian infect him? As Ethan says, his love history had been more of a haiku than an epic and Brian seems the likely culprit in his newfound diagnosis. The course of true love never runs smoothly, right? And for Ethan and Brian, their new love, once so bright and shining, now appears tinged with darkness and deceit. Can they face this hurdle together with honesty and forgiveness? Or will this revelation tear them apart? Ethan turns to creating a blog, Off to See the Wizard of Poz, to help him deal with his diagnosis and love troubles, and what he finds there just may be more hope and support in the world than he once believed. And one of his blog readers just might have the key to Ethan’s happily ever after.

Page 60
Ethan held up a hand. “Stop. I can’t deal with this right now. You know? I need to process this.” And with no regard about being rude or a melodramatic queen, he stood and rushed from the doctor’s office, not looking back to what he could only imagine was a very stunned physician.

In fact, as he got the reception area door, he heard Frank Morris call from behind him. “Don’t rush off! I need to talk to you.”

Without looking back, Ethan said, “I’ll call you.” And he dashed out the door.

There were people waiting for the elevator in the corridor. What ailments were they suffering from? Common cold? Gingivitis (a dentist plied her trade at the opposite end of the corridor)? Mumps?
Suddenly, the whole world looked healthy to Ethan Schwartz. And just as suddenly, he felt completely alone. He bypassed the elevator and headed for the stairs, rushing heedlessly down them and almost twisting his ankle in the process.
* * *
Ethan sat in his Halsted Street studio as the wan light of an afternoon sunset filtered in. He recalled the nausea and near hysteria he felt as he charged through the revolving doors of his doctor’s office in the Loop, out into the sickeningly warm Indian Summer day. Wabash Avenue was all bustle and excitement: crowds, traffic, el trains rumbling by overhead. Again, Ethan felt surrounded by rosy-cheeked, hearty, robust specimens of human health and fitness. A young mother licked an ice cream cone while pushing a double baby stroller with adorable twins inside. Nearby a young college lad bit into an apple and read a book as he sat on a bench. Two joggers rushed by, vigorous and full of vim.

It was a world from which Ethan suddenly felt excluded. Worse, it was a world that didn’t know about and didn’t care about the horrible news he had just been given. How could he blame these pictures of health for being so craven, so blatantly disregarding their perfectly functioning systems? He even paused to examine some of the faces rushing by him, hoping to catch a sympathetic eye or an understanding smile, but they all hurried by him, getting on with the heady business of life.

It’s not like they know, Ethan, what do you expect? You don’t look like you’re HIV positive, and even if you did, why should these masses of strangers care about your diagnosis?

Buy a copy of M4M. 
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Meet Me in the French Quarter: Gay Rom Lit Retreat Registration Now Open

I'll be there...will you?

GayRomLit is a retreat for readers and writers of GLBT romance. A gathering place to hang out with people who read the same books you do. Get to know your favorite authors in a comfortable setting, ask all those burning questions about the books you love, and meet online friends at a one of a kind retreat.

We specifically chose the word retreat, which by definition is a place of safety - a refuge for those in attendance. Unlike your more traditional Lit-conferences the GayRomLit weekend will be centered on celebrating the fiction we all love and highlighting the authors and publishers who continue to support the genre.

The 2011 GayRomLit Retreat will be held in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Please join us October 13 - 16 for the first of what we hope to be an annual event.

More details and a list of participating authors and publishers can be found here.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

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