Thursday, April 28, 2011

Erotic Romance Author Judy Mays "Outed" at School Where She Has Taught for 25 Years

Have you heard the news that Ellora's Cave and Changeling Press author Judy Mays is being vilified for being an erotic romance author? Read the full story here.

I have yet to read a book by Ms. Mays, but am thinking of buying one of her works just to show my support to the narrow-minded people in her school district her want to ruin the reputation of a woman who has been a dedicated high-school teacher for 25 years. What does what someone does in her spare time (and under a pen name) have to do with one's day job? It wasn't like she was engaged in something illegal; she was a published author, for heaven's sake, a credential I would think would make her more attractive as an English teacher.

The entire reader community is now rallying behind her. It seems as if the very genre that generates so much money to the publishing business over any other genre continues to get disrespected. Shame on all involved in this debacle. Ignorance is the real sin here.

Raise your voice and please show your support of Judy Mays in any of the following ways:

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Monday, April 18, 2011

4 out of 5 Stars for How I Met My Man

Somehow, I missed this very positive review of my short romantic/suspense story HOW I MET MY MAN when it appeared on Reviews by Jessewave on April 7.

If you are as clueless as I was, perhaps you might care to check the 4 out of 5 star review for the story, in which Feliz said, in part,

"...a pretty good suspense story, laced with a trace of creepiness which was mostly created through the characterizations. None of the cast is what they seem to be...All in all, this was a solid, skillfully written piece of entertainment of the darker, eerier sort which I really enjoyed."

Read the whole review here.

BUY the book.


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...

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

THE BLUE MOON CAFE Named Book of the Year!

I am so honored! Congratulations to winners in all the major categories.

The following is a full list of the category winners and runners-up of the 2010 Rainbow Awards For Excellence.

Blue Moon Cafe by Rick R. Reed
Publisher Amber Allure,  ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-802-8

2010 RAE Category Contest Winners!


First Place (tie)
Side Order Of Love By Tracey Richardson
Publisher Bella Books, ISBN:978-1-59493-143-7

Breaking The Ice By Kim Baldwin
Publisher Bold Strokes Books, ISBN: 978-1-60282-087-6

Second Place
Yours For The Asking By Kenna White
Publisher Bella Books, ISBN:978-1-59493-163-5

Third Place
The Janitor By Jan Irving
Publisher Loose Id, ISBN: 978-1-59632-938-6


First Place
Kicker’s Journey By Lois Cloarec Hart
Publisher, PD Publishing, ISBN: 9781933720616

Second Place
The Clash Between The Minds By Nann Dunn
Publisher Intaglio Publications, Inc, ISBN: 978-1-935216-10-0

Third Place
Pure Folly By Madelynne Ellis
Publisher Total-E-Bound, ISBN: 978-1-906811-78-5


First Place
Josef Jaeger By Jere’ M. Fishback
Publisher, Prizm (YA division of Torquere Press), ISBN: 978-1-60370-685-8

Second Place
My Invented Life By Lauren Bjorkman
Publisher Henry Holt and Company, ISBN: 978-0-8050-8950-9

Third Place
All Lost Things By Josh Aterovis
Publisher PD Publishing, ISBN: 9781933720708


First Place
Conflict Of Interest By Jae
Publisher, L-Book, ISBN: 978-1-934889-24-4

Second Place
Mexican Heat By Laura Baumbach and Josh Lanyon
Publisher Samhain, ISBN: 978-1-60504-380-7

Third Place
Next Of Kin By Jae
Publisher L-Book, ISBN: 978-1-934889-42-8


First Place
The Blue Moon Cafe By Rick R. Reed
Publisher, Amber Quill Press, ISBN: 978-1-60272-802-8

Second Place
Hero By Heidi Cullinan
Publisher Dreamspinner Press, ISBN: 978161581287

Third Place
My Heart Is Within You By Marguerite Labbe
Publisher Dreamspinner Press, ISBN: 978-1-935192-70-1


First Place
Magebound By Katica Locke
Publisher, PD Publishing, ISBN: 9781933720654

Second Place
Sexual Energy By Afton Locke
Publisher Ellora’s Cave, ISBN: 978-14199-22244

Third Place
Second Nature By Jae
Publisher L-Book, ISBN: 978-1-934889-44-2


First Place
Romantic Interludes 2: Secrets By Radclyffe (edited by Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman)
Publisher, Bold Strokes Books, ISBN: 9781602821163

Second Place
Best Lesbian Romance 2010 By Radclyffe , eds
Publisher CLEIS Press, ISBN: 9781573443760

Third Place
A Good Neighbor By Clare London
Publisher Amber Quill Press, ISBN: 978-1-60272-574-4
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sample 60 Saturday: Dignity Takes a Holiday

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. Or it it simply made you shake your head in dismay...

Let's continue the chronological tour with my twisted romantic comedy, Dignity Takes a Holiday, which some have compared to the work of that great American filmmaker, John Waters. And I couldn't be more honored!

BUY Dignity Takes a Holiday.

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.

Page 60
“Oh Mother, it’s not funny.” Pete grabbed another bowl from the cupboard and scooped the stroganoff into it. He returned to the table and apologized to Larry. He began dishing up the stroganoff. At least it hadn’t landed on the floor.

Helen elbowed Larry. “This better be good or no….” She hummed “Here Comes the Bride.”

“Oh Mother, would you just stop it?” Pete paused to put his hand to his forehead, where a fierce headache was beginning.

“Whatsa matter? Got a headache? What? Brain tumor?”

“I’m fine.” Pete tried to smile, but tears glistened in his eyes. He handed Larry his plate. “Help yourself to carrots and salad, Larry.”

“This looks great,” Larry said.

“Yeah… but looks aren’t everything.”

“Thank you very much, Mother.”

“Mm-hm.” Helen passed her plate. “I’m just having carrots and a roll.”


“I said, I’m just having—”

“I know, but why?”

“Just not in the mood for red meat. Makes my poop stink.”

Pete sighed. He dished up a helping of glazed carrots and put a roll on his mother’s plate. Finally, he served himself and raised his wine glass.

“A toast.” Pete waited for Mother and Larry to raise their glasses. When they did, he said, “To new friends and to old ones… coming home.”

They clinked their glasses, in spite of Helen mumbling, “Isn’t this idiotic?”

BUY Dignity Takes a Holiday.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cracking the WIP

Usually, I'm very quiet about my works-in-progress (WIPS). I hold them close to the vest, seldom talking to anyone about them, even my partner. It's part of the creative process for me and I fear if I give away too much too soon I will spoil the joy of the writing journey for myself. It's sort of like a premature ejaculation…and nobody appreciates those.

This time around, however, I feel it's safe to go ahead and talk about my work-in-progress, a novel set in the early 1990s called CAREGIVER. It's okay because this time around, I am writing something that's probably more autobiographical than anything I've ever written. Writing CAREGIVER every day now takes me back to the early 1990s, when I was young and living in Tampa with my first real boyfriend, and when the AIDS crisis was also pretty young too. It was a specter in the gay community then, claiming lives left and right.

There's a fictionalized love story in CAREGIVER, about two people who loved the same dying man and their attraction for each other in the midst of their loss, but there's also a lot of truth in the book, based on my remarkable--and ultimately tragic--relationship with a man named Jim.

My story with Jim is recounted in the piece below, which originally appeared on a True Crime blog, but also ended up in my collection
Tales from the Sexual Underground.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you the piece (and the relationship) that inspired what I'm working on now.

My Perfect Date with an AIDS-afflicted Felon

I’m driving north on Florida State Route 75. It’s August and the flat land stretching out on either side of the highway looks baked. The slash pines, palms, and cypress trees stand like stalwart sentinels against the blistering sun: brave.

The car hums along, the whirr of the air conditioning compressor keeping me company. I’m too jazzed to listen to music.

I’m on my way to a date with Jim. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him, since he moved from the Tampa Bay area up north to Raiford, which is a good three hours away. I can’t blame Jim for the move (it wasn’t his choice), but it’s been hard not being able to see him the past month. Oh sure, we’ve written and Jim’s a great one for letters, especially since he can draw hilarious caricatures of the people he’s meeting in his new home

But there’s a disturbing edge to his letters, too, and I know some of these people have been less than kind to Jim. The name-calling, for one thing, breaks my heart. But thank God Jim has a sense of humor, otherwise I don’t know how he’d get through each day

I know he’s been hanging on for this date, which we’ve had planned for a while

Finally, an afternoon with Jim. I didn’t know, four months ago, that I would grow to love him so quickly

I drive on, the broad expanses of rough grass and hearty trees being replaced every so often by strip malls and towns with names like Ocala. The pavement shimmers before me in the heat. My tires hum. An armadillo hurries alongside the road. A mosquito splats against the windshield, leaving a swath of blood.


I remember the first time I met Jim. It was another blistering summer day (funny how in my memories of the two years I lived in Florida, it’s always summer, even when the memory took place in December or February). Jim and I had been set up and these kinds of dates always put me on edge: they never worked out.

When Jim answered the door, I was sure that this set-up date would work out like all the others: completely inappropriate. Other people never seemed to have the capacity to pick someone out for myself that I would choose on my own.

And this guy who opened the door immediately put me on my guard. I mean, I enjoy a good drag show at the local bar as much as the next guy, but here in Brandon, Florida (a suburb of Tampa, full of kids, trimmed lawns, and swimming pools), a smart little black dress and pearls just seemed out of place, especially on a very handsome blond man with great blue eyes and a nice, tight build.

But there was Jim, all smiles and beckoning me to come inside. I went into the little bungalow he lived in with a roommate (who was at work). The place was typical Florida, one-story, stucco, with a schefflera bush in the front yard, and that peculiar, tougher-than-nails, fire-ant infested grass on the front lawn. Inside, pastel walls and beige furniture completed the picture. The Golden Girls could have used the place for a set.

And there was Jim, smiling at me in his sensible matron’s outfit and just putting the finish creases on a little ironing he was doing just before I rang the bell. The whole scene made me think of a cross between June Cleaver and RuPaul.

I wasn’t sure what to say. But that really didn’t matter, because Jim was more than ready to take over (once he’d made certain I had a fruity cocktail in my hand, even though it wasn’t yet noon), telling me all about his recent move down here from Chicago (I had the same story to tell, but I wasn’t to learn until much later how very different our respective moves to the sunshine state were), his love for Barbra (need I add a last name here?), and how his health was improving under the abundant Florida sun.

I learned fast that day that clothes don’t always make the man and that Jim would turn out to be one of the bravest men I’d ever met.


It’s been a long drive and I’m glad to finally be pulling up in front of Jim’s new home. Raiford, Florida is north central Florida…typical of the state, but not the kind of look one usually associates with Florida (white sand beaches, aqua-marine waters, palm trees swaying in the salty breeze): Raiford is kind of grim and parched looking, especially the wide open spaces where Jim’s new home sits. It’s surrounded by dry brown grass…stretching infinitely to a blazing blue sky, where the sun beats down, relentless.

A tall fence surrounds Jim’s new home, with no nod to adornment (Jim, with his graphic design background and his love for the visual arts, I’m sure, did not approve). This fence was made of foreboding chain link and twice the height of a good-sized man, topped with razor-sharp circles of barbed wire. The only thing that looks halfway decent is the curving arch over the entrance drive and the stone monument just beside it. The arch tells visitors, in curving steel, that this is the Florida State Prison. The stone monument spells it out further: Department of Corrections, Florida State Prison.

This is where they send the big boys: the felons.

I can’t imagine Jim inside. He’s been hanging on for our date.

I can’t wait to see him.


When Jim and I went on our first date (after our getting-acquainted morning cocktail hour at his house) we went to Ft. DeSoto beach, a beautiful stretch of white sand just off of St. Petersburg Beach. Because it’s in a state park, the beach is backed up not by high-rises with balconies overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, but with a view that nature intended. Instead of bricks and mortar (and the attendant Florida tourists), Ft. DeSoto beach has only sand dunes, sea grass, and mangroves as a backdrop. It’s another blazing hot day and I’ve brought lunch for Jim and me (with a thermos full of mai tais…Jim’s favorite) and we spend the entire afternoon listening to the waves roll in and watching a matronly pair wade along the shoreline, net bags in hand, collecting starfish and shells.

Jim tells me about the last job he had before he went on this extended period of unemployment and how he worked as a graphic designer. He tells me about what led to his dismissal: picking up a stranger one night and bringing him back to his workplace. Out of lube, and always imaginative, Jim went into his supervisor’s cube and found some very creative use for the waxy (and slippery) substance those in the cosmetology trade call lipstick. The couple made quite a mess, not the least of which was Jim’s being fired the next day.

Jim was like that: a little imp, unable to play by the rules.

Life has a way of getting the attention of those who go against its conventions by biting them in the ass.


Getting into the Florida State Prison is a lot easier than getting out, but there are some obstacles. In order to arrange for my date with Jim, I had to go through the chaplain, who put me on the very short list of visitors who could come and visit him (not that there was a long list of admirers waiting to be put on that list; only Jim’s parents so far had come to check him out in his new digs—and they had made the trip all the way from Downer’s Grove, Illinois). Once inside the prison, I had to go through an anteroom, where I had to sign in and then subject myself to being frisked, right down to removing my boots to ensure I wasn’t securing a file in the heel or something. I understood the precautions, silly as they were. Yet Jim was in no shape to escape, even if I had somehow managed to smuggle in everything he would need to slip through Raiford’s well-guarded walls.

Security wasn’t as tight for my last couple of dates with Jim, which had taken place at the Hillsborough County Jail. There, things weren’t as grim, or as lonely. I would line up with a whole room full of chattering visitors, get checked in, and then be off to converse with Jim through a wall of Plexiglas, under the admiring eyes of some of the other inmates. Jealousy is such a petty thing, and particularly annoying when you’re trying to have an intimate moment with your date, while those behind him wonder what it would take to make you their bitch.

But that was before Jim’s case was adjudicated and they sent him north, to the state prison. That was before Jim began to get really sick.


Now, a guard down a colorless hallway leads me to the prison infirmary. I know this will be my last date with Jim and it’s hard not to recall all the laughs we shared before he was caught (he had violated his parole in Illinois, where he had been convicted of grand theft auto) at various beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, in Cuban restaurants, just listening to music at my apartment.

It’s also hard not to remember the additional details that brought him here: how, in a fit of depression, he had set fire to his roommate’s house. What did he have to be depressed about, anyway? He was only dying from AIDS (this was in the early 1990s and the drug cocktails that would keep many of his brethren living full lives were still on the horizon), isolated, and on the run from the law. Why be sad when he could number his only friends (me) at the number one? Why be sad when my friendship was not borne out of a common love for the arts and sarcastic observations about life, but instead courtesy of the Tampa Aids Network, where I had volunteered to be an AIDS buddy and was assigned to Jim?

I wasn’t sure I wanted to see Jim. He had written me, before he was confined to the infirmary, about how the other inmates taunted him and called him Spot, because of the Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions that covered him from head to toe (and continued, even now, to eat his fragile body and soul alive). I didn’t know what to expect. The last time I had seen him, he was still vibrant, still Jim: a little blond man with a quick smile and bottomless kindness.

I knew he had deteriorated…and I knew it was going to be bad.


Jim was alone in the room of the infirmary where they had done, I suppose, what they could to ensure his comfort. Other beds awaited other inmates, with maladies less deadly, I hoped, than Jim’s.

And there he was. Asleep. He looked frail and vulnerable, not at all what you’d imagine if you thought of the terms “convicted felon” or “state pen inmate.” His face, once tanned and vibrant, was covered with purple sores. My Jim had turned into a monster in the short time that had elapsed since we last saw one another.

He turned to me and opened his eyes. At least his eyes, blue as those waters we once sat beside, had stayed the same. It took him a minute or two to recognize me, but when he did, he smiled. I moved close to the bed and took his hand. With my other hand, I touched his forehead, where a fever raced around inside, hot as the air outside these prison walls.

I don’t remember what we talked about on our last date. Probably not much; Jim drifted in and out of sleep while I stood beside him, sometimes even in the middle of a sentence: mine or even his own. He did manage to tell me about his parents’ visit the day before, how his mother had collapsed in grief the moment she saw him.

I wanted this last time of ours together to be meaningful. But what, really, is there to say, at life’s end? I leaned in close and kissed him, my cheek brushing up against one of the lesions. It felt crusty.

The only thing left to say, really, at the end of life, or even the end of a perfect date are three words: “I love you.” Jim whispered back, “I love you, too,” and then he fell asleep.

I crept away.

Jim died the next day. The chaplain very kindly told me, when he called, that he thought Jim had hung on long enough to see me. I hung up the phone and slipped outside to my patio and looked across the surface of the pond just steps away. A wind rippled across the deep green water, making the grass at the water’s edge sway. A white ibis pecked at something along the shore.

I thought of a silly drawing Jim had sent me a couple months ago. It was a colored pencil caricature of a fat middle-aged woman I had written about; she was naked and riding a surfboard. Jim had called it “Amelia’s Hawaiian Adventure.”

The picture made me laugh when all I really wanted to do was cry. But my eyes were dry. Maybe it was just Jim’s influence as he looked down, trying to replace grief with hilarity. I laughed until I was almost breathless and had to sit down, cross-legged, on the concrete.

Finally my laughs turned to sobs and I faced away from the pond and toward the sliding glass doors. The glass was bright with sun and I swore I could see Jim reflected there. He mouthed some words and I strained to read them through my tears. “Glad you could drop by.” I swallowed, containing myself and think: me too, Jim. Someone else might think our last date was kind of sucky, but for me it was perfect.

After all, a perfect date is marked by a timeless connection and an intimacy borne of true love. Maybe I didn’t get the chance to bring you flowers or candy, but this date we had…well, it will be the one that will always stand out in my mind as my best, because I like to think that I sent you off, free, with the words “I love you,” lingering in your mind.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Power of Words

Words can make a difference...
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sample 60 Saturday: TRICKS

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 love-story-set-in-a-stripper-bar, Tricks. When it reviewed Tricks, the Bookwenches said, in part: "...Most of us have come to associate author Rick R. Reed with stories of horror and suspense that keep us on edge, shock and enthrall us. In his novel Tricks, Mr. Reed gives his readers something a little different from what we've come to expect: a story whose main focus is romance. This is a novel about the nature of love, the meaning of home, and the choices that men make. But while this is unquestionably foremost a romance, it also contains elements of suspense that lend an almost tangible sense of urgency to the story..."

BUY Tricks.

Tricks can mean many things: sex partners, deceptions, even magic. In Rick R. Reed searing love story, it means all three.

Arliss is a gorgeous young dancer at Tricks, the hottest club in Chicago's Boystown. Sean is the classic nerd, out of place in Tricks, but nursing his wounds from a recent break-up. When the two spy each other, magic blooms.

But this opposites-attract tale does not run smooth. What happens when Arliss is approached by one of the biggest porn producers in the business? Can he make his dreams of stardom come true without throwing away the only real love he's ever known? And will this question even matter if the mysterious producers realize their dark intentions?

PAGE 60:
“Yeah. I think I might have caught that bug that was going around. Hopefully, it’s just a 24-hour thing and I’ll be in tomorrow. Thanks, Don.” Sean hung up the phone, feeling guilty. He hardly ever missed work and when he did, he never lied about it. In the past he had only called in sick when he had actually been sick (which was rare). He used to scoff at those who laughingly said they took “mental health” days, thinking they were slackers.

Now he knew what they were talking about. If there was ever a time when he needed a mental health day, this hot, muggy Monday morning was it.

He had made himself some coffee and toast and took it out to the balcony. There was no breeze and the air stank of car exhaust. It seemed like the whole world—everyone but him—had either gone to work or was on their way there. He stared out at the street, watching the cars and foot traffic go by, wondering just what the hell he had done.

Let’s examine the evidence. First, he had sent away a perfectly nice guy—no, more than that, a really sweet, hotter than hell guy—and probably made him feel like shit in the process, adding insult to injury by requesting that he leave by the back door so he wouldn’t cross paths with his ex. Nice.

Sean wouldn’t be surprised if he never saw Arliss again. He couldn’t blame him. What he had done was akin to using the guy and casting him aside, making him feel he was at best second on Sean’s priority list when it came to men. When that list amounted to only two, that left poor Arliss dead last. Arliss probably rethought his opinion of Sean on the way home, labeling him a first class jerk, or a flake, neither of which, Sean was sure, would rank high on Arliss’ list of dating likes.

He blew on the coffee and thought of the second stupid thing he had done. He had sent Jerome away, telling him pretty emphatically that there would be no second chances, that they were truly over and done…for good...

BUY Tricks.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sample 60 Saturday: ON THE EDGE

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 gay romance collection, On the Edge. The book is a collection of eight of my most romantic stories, previously available only in ebook format, in a trade paperback edition.

Go here for more info and to get your copy.

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...

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?

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.

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.

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.

Page 60 happens to fall in the middle of "Through the Closet Door"

“Sh-h. Listen, it’s okay.” Jake whispers and leans close to Gregory, his chest pressed against Gregory’s back.

Impulsively, Gregory turns and hugs him. He is more surprised by his action than he imagines Jake is. The intense brown of Jake’s eyes is apparent, even in the dark. Gregory feels he could lose himself in the brown, letting it swallow him up like a cold spot in the lake. The feel of Jake’s body so close, the strong arms wrapped around him are like a blessing, a relief after so much denial.

Then Jake is leaning close, and Gregory feels the soft pressure of his lips on his own. Gregory closes his eyes, shutting everything out save for the soft cool of Jake’s mouth on his. He lets his head go back, parts his lips to admit Jake’s tongue and, almost of its own accord, his hand comes up, grabbing Jake at the nape of his neck and pulling him closer. The feel of his beard against his smooth skin is electric and Gregory finds himself out of control, lost, as he mashes his mouth against the other man’s, his tongue dueling, the taste of beer and cigarettes and something indefinable and sweet filling his mouth.

An image of Rosemary intrudes, that same image of her standing near the window, watching for return, wondering what he’s doing. And what is he doing?

Just as suddenly as the kiss begins, it stops as Gregory stiffens, leaning back. Jake pulls away, regarding him out of the corner of his eye, back against the porch swing. Jake is breathless. He lets out a small laugh, husky.

Gregory forces himself to scoot down on the bench a couple of inches, so that their contact disappears. He doesn’t want this to end, yet at the same time, sees no other road open to him. He can’t live split in two. Weakly, he mumbles, “I have to get up early tomorrow.”

“Sure,” Jake whispers, reaching for another cigarette. The flare of the lighter illuminates his face for a moment and Gregory is certain he can see frustration and disappointment in the other man’s craggy features. He exhales smoke and looks out toward the lake. “I understand. You run along now. Be a good little boy.”

“Jake, I—”

And Jake puts a finger to Gregory’s lips, the lips he’s just kissed. “Hey, don’t worry about it, man. Believe it or not, I was married once too, even have a couple of kids, so I know. I know.”

Gregory is off the porch and swallowed up by the darkness before Jake has a chance to say another word. He stomps through the night, his footfalls hard, firm, and rapid as he heads back toward his own home…and Rosemary. He doesn’t question why his breath is catching and why his face is covered with salty tears.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

FREE for your Kindle: Some Vampire Goodness--IMMORTAL

Simply click the Amazon link at left to get your free book. But hurry--these titles often do not stay free for long!

Product Description

For centuries, the Kahill vampire clan has lived quietly among locals and tourists in the tranquil beachfront village of Clare Point. In Immortal, V.K. Forrest weaves the unforgettable tale of Fin, a Kahill clan leader who discovers that the woman he loves may harbor a secret too dark to comprehend. . .
Magnetic, fearless Fin Kahill has dedicated his life to ridding the world of its most vicious serial killers. Fin is used to roaming the earth freely--not getting stuck in sleepy Clare Point. But when the clan needs him close by, Fin agrees to take a summer job on the town's tiny police force. He expects little excitement--until he meets Elena, an ethereal Italian beauty.

As Fin struggles against his feelings for Elena, the peace in Clare Point is shattered by the inexplicable murder of a tourist. The young man's throat has been cut, his body eerily posed. When the killer strikes again, Fin wonders if a member of his own clan is responsible. The only one he can turn to is Elena, but he knows that falling in love with a human can be a deadly mistake. Yet just as Fin edges closer to solving the murders, he discovers Elena may not be exactly who, or what, she appears. . .