Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gay High School Student's Coming Out Essay

I saw this post at HuffPost Gay Voices blog and just had to share it with you. It did several things for me: broke my heart, made me proud, made me sad that being gay has to be "a weight" carried around daily, and made me wish that I could go back in time and be as brave as this kid was when I was in high school.

Kudos to this young man for having so much courage to faith in himself to write the following:

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dare to Dream

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Video for CHASER, My Chubby Chaser Romance

Check out this cool book trailer for my "chubby chaser" love story, CHASER, put together by the incomparable Lex Valentine.

From OUT IN PRINT REVIEWS: "CHASER is a fine romance, full of good dialogue, interesting turns and sharp, focused writing from a prolific writer not afraid to take a chance or two."

Read the full review here.

If you want a copy of the book, check out the links below.


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Monday, January 21, 2013

My Husband

Over the weekend, I read this post in the New York Times, from a long-married Seattle woman, who talks about how the passage of marriage equality in Washington state has affected, profoundly, her views on the terms, husband and wife. In the article, she talks about how she watched gay couples begin to apply for licenses and marry in Seattle and says:

"My friends stayed up all night in a festival of appreciation for being allowed to inhabit roles I had spoken of with boredom and irony. I had never been one to cry at weddings, but on Dec. 6, and all through the weekend, I kept welling up — seeing the pictures and listening to the radio and witnessing all around me the exhilaration being kindled by marriage.

"Anthony and I went to our first legal gay wedding on Sunday, Dec. 9. The requisite three days after being licensed, the grooms said “husband” to each other, and it gave us all chills. For them to take a husband, for real and for true, in the eyes not just of God but of everybody, was indeed a gift. Days later, when my friend Kayleen referred to Cathy as “my wife,” there wasn’t an air quote for miles. She said it the same way she said “the love of my life." 

Read the rest of the article--it's pretty amazing--here.

The piece made me think about things at our house--we were one of those first couples to get married on December 9 and how I have to check myself now from saying, "my partner" and saying instead, "my husband." It's a good feeling, but one that I've found takes a little courage. Last Friday, I was out shopping and talking to a clerk in a store and wanted to tell her that I'd bring Bruce back the next day to see something I'd found. In my mind, I started to say, "my partner" but then I stopped myself, took a deep breath, and said, "my husband."

It was a bit of a monumental moment for me--the first time I had uttered the phrase in public to a stranger. The old part of me, the one who once lived in a closet, was fearful and wanted me to keep that term to myself because, in effect, I was outing myself to a stranger. There could be repercussions or laughter or at the very last, rolled eyes.

But I said I'd bring "my husband" back the next day, claiming the word, finally, as rightfully mine to say.

The clerk didn't bat an eye.
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Coming Out as a Romance Author

This morning begins my stint as a monthly columnist at Reviews By Jesswave. I envision my contribution to be a combination of the personal, opinions and lessons learned about writing, and positive reviews of books that may have been overlooked by the m/m romance community.

I wanted to call your attention to my debut column, "Coming Out as a Romance Author" in which I split personalities and my horror writer self interviews my romance writer self. As you might expect, there's some tension between the two, but I think you'll find it interesting how it all comes out.

Here's a little taste:

There are now two of me—one is the “Stephen King of gay horror” and that me writes books like IM, A Demon Inside, Blood Sacrifice, and Deadly Vision. This Stephen King character is grizzled, bearded, and grumpy. You don’t want to meet up with him in a dark alley.

The other me is much lighter, in terms of psyche. That me is a gay romance writer. This guy, who is clean-shaven, has a smile for everyone, and is generally in a good mood, writes love stories like Chaser, Tricks, Beau and the Beast, and Caregiver.

These two me’s have seldom been left alone in a room together and when they have, they have managed to produce books that are a hybrid of the two, books like The Blue Moon Café and Bashed. Those two books combine the sometimes-at-odds with the other combination of horror and romance.

For the first time ever, the two me’s sat down in a café in Seattle’s free-spirited Fremont neighborhood...

Continue reading here. Leave me a comment if you're so inclined.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

THE BLUE MOON CAFE is Headed to AudioBook!

I've recently signed a contract to have my homophobic werewolf love story, The Blue Moon Cafe, produced as an audio book. Narration will be recorded by DarkFire Productions some time this month and I hope to see the audiobook available very soon. The book won the EPIC eBook Award for best erotic horror and the Rainbow Awards for best paranormal and best overall book.

I owe Lex Valentine a really huge debt of gratitude for the amazing cover art that you see here.

This all got started when a visually-impaired reader wrote to me via Facebook, saying how much she'd love to "read" my work and did I have any in audiobook format. I was sorry to tell her no. The one she most wanted to read was THE BLUE MOON CAFE, so I'm very happy it's the first coming to market.

Here's what The Blue Moon Cafe is about:

Someone—or something—is killing Seattle’s gay men.

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

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

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

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

Buy the book from the publisher. Or your Kindle. Or your Nook.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

From the Backlist: HIGH RISK

Here’s a taste of my nasty little thriller, High Risk, from Amber Quill Press. In the short segment below, we get a glimpse of my main character, Beth Walsh, who is seemingly a demure housewife. But Beth has a secret life and hooks up with men for near-anonymous trysts while her attorney husband works. The sham can work for only so long…and Beth has just met the irresistibly gorgeous stranger who will change Beth’s life for the worst. Inside Abbott Lowery’s handsome exterior lurks a twisted monster…

I hope you’ll be able to feel the tension and dread as Beth’s doubts about what she is doing begin to mount and she realizes she may have gone down a path from which there is no turning back…

Heading up the outer drive, Beth was at odds. Her hands on the steering wheel were damp, her heart pounding with discomfort, making her breath quicken. Abbott sat next to her, watching her profile as she drove. Beth couldn’t deny that his focus on her was causing a wave of sensation: guilt, desire, nausea, euphoria. It wasn’t only her hands that were damp.
As she pictured pulling up to her graystone, she felt both dread and an overwhelming excitement. She imagined going through the front door with him, pushing him up against it, running her hands over that hard, defined body. And the thought made her stomach twist in a knot.
Why was she doing this?
It would be easy enough to take the next exit, give him some money for cab fare and just forget the whole thing. You really haven’t crossed the line yet, even though Mark wouldn’t be happy that you’ve come this far.
Beth pressed down harder on the accelerator. With a trembling hand, she reached into the compartment in the center console and took out an old CD: Dirty Vegas.
“What did you say your name was?” Beth adjusted the volume, turning the throbbing beats down just a bit.
“I didn’t.”
Why am I doing this?
“Names aren’t really all that important, are they?”
Beth glanced at him; he looked even bigger squeezed into the Kharmann Ghia’s bucket seat. He was what her mother would have called “strapping.” She took in his thighs, the denim straining to cover them, barely concealing the muscles tensed beneath.
As she signaled for the exit at Fullerton, she pictured the home she shared with Mark and completely unbidden came the memory of the first time she had seen it. It was shortly before they were married, on an autumn day much like this one. They had pulled up in front of the building, and Mark hadn’t said a word. The “For Sale” sign, with its “contract pending” addendum had said more than enough. The building’s rough stone, its leaded glass windows, and the sky’s impossible blue promise as a backdrop had said everything else.
They had hurried up the stone steps and once inside, the empty condo, with its gleaming floors of polished oak, its clean white walls, and the patterns the shadows made on the floor transported her.
“Home?” Mark had asked. “It’s not too late to turn back.”
“Home,” she had whispered and took his hand, leading him into what would be their bedroom, cool and dark from the ivy-shrouded windows, and pulled him down to her on the floor.
It’s not too late to turn back.
“So, what it is it? I want to know what to scream when I come.”
“Nice. I’m Beth.”
“Beth. That’s about right.”
She laughed, but felt a twinge: what did he mean? Was he mocking her?
Stop it. Beth glanced at him as they stopped for light at Clark Street. She’d had her share of handsome men, but this Abbott was a standout (even though a weird, high-pitched chorus sang a litany of warning in her mind). Looks like his were too much to resist. No one, Beth mused, in her little black “appointment” book could rival him.
Or was this the way she thought every other time? Were they all too beautiful to resist?
No. Abbott was different, a benchmark.
It would be worth violating her principles just this once. Wouldn’t it?
“Why so quiet?” Beth gunned the car across the intersection of Clark and Fullerton, and began the hunt for a parking space.
“Nothin’ to say.”
“A man of action.” She wished he would touch her thigh, her hair, whisper dirty nothings in her ear, do something. Usually, the guys couldn’t wait…and their desire impelled her, kept thoughts about her wrongdoing firmly in the back of her mind, where she could deal with them later. But Abbott simply stared out the window. At what? The neighborhood? Memorizing where she lived so he could come back, unannounced?
There was a brooding quality to his silence, and Beth tried to put it in a romantic light. She tried to fast forward: feeling the stubble against her check, their first kiss, his arms encircling her…

Click here to purchase from Amazon & here from the publisher.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beau & the Beast Now Available in Kindle Store

My modern-day, gay take on Beauty and the Beast has finally made its way from the publisher's website to the Amazon Kindle Store. Amazon has discounted the tale by 20% so it can be yours for a mere $3.20.


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.

Genres: Gay / Contemporary / Fantasy / Fairy Tale

Get your copy here.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Writers That Inspire Me

As a writer, I get asked the question about favorite authors a lot. And that's a somewhat easy question to answer, because I love to read and have many, many favorites. But the ones which inspire me, the ones who make me want to do better work? Four names come to mind immediately. These four are not only writers whom I've read almost every word they published--and hunger for more, they have truly made me want to be a better writer and that, for me, is what inspiration is all about. So the four writers are: Ruth Rendell, Patricia Highsmith, Flannery O'Connor, and Stephen King.

I admire them all for many of the same reasons, but each has a particular strength that inspires me. Ruth Rendell (aka Barbara Vine) is, in my estimation, not only the best mystery and psychological suspense author working in the genre today, she is simply a brilliant novelist. Period. Her prose is crystal clear and deceptively simple. Patricia Highsmith walks in the darkness with her writing and never settles for easy answers when it comes to human nature. Flannery O'Connor, too, has an almost poetic voice without ever being flashy. Her unique--and dark--southern worldview comes out clearly in how she brilliantly arranges words on a page. And Stephen King has been with me since I was young. From him, I learned a writer's best question--what would happen if?

All of these writers have a twisted, dark world view that I admire. Their characters are always flawed, living, breathing people that come to life and that I can always care about. They all taught me that character is key in any fiction.
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