Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2nd Day of Christmas Author Spotlight: Rick R Reed


Author Bio:
Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love.

He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). His novel, Raining Men, won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary General Fiction. Lambda Literary Review has called him, "a writer that doesn't disappoint."

Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever "at work on another novel."


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The Couple Next Door
Summary:
With the couple next door, nothing is as it seems.

Jeremy Booth leads a simple life, scraping by in the gay neighborhood of Seattle, never letting his lack of material things get him down. But the one thing he really wants someone to love seems elusive. Until the couple next door moves in and Jeremy sees the man of his dreams, Shane McCallister, pushed down the stairs by a brute named Cole.

Jeremy would never go after another man s boyfriend, so he reaches out to Shane in friendship while suppressing his feelings of attraction. But the feeling of something being off only begins with Cole being a hard-fisted bully it ends with him seeming to be different people at different times. Some days, Cole is the mild-mannered John and then, one night in a bar, he s the sassy and vivacious drag queen Vera.

So how can Jeremy rescue the man of his dreams from a situation that seems to get crazier and more dangerous by the day? By getting close to the couple next door, Jeremy not only puts a potential love in jeopardy, but eventually his very life.

Third Eye
Summary:
Who knew that a summer thunderstorm and his lost little boy would conspire to change single dad Cayce D’Amico’s life in an instant? With Luke missing, Cayce ventures into the woods near their house to find his son, only to have lightning strike a tree near him, sending a branch down on his head. When he awakens the next day in the hospital, he discovers he has been blessed or cursed—he isn't sure which—with psychic ability. Along with unfathomable glimpses into the lives of those around him, he’s getting visions of a missing teenage girl. 

When a second girl disappears soon after the first, Cayce realizes his visions are leading him to their grisly fates. Cayce wants to help, but no one believes him. The police are suspicious. The press wants to exploit him. And the girls' parents have mixed feelings about the young man with the "third eye." 

Cayce turns to local reporter Dave Newton and, while searching for clues to the string of disappearances and possible murders, a spark ignites between the two. Little do they know that nearby, another couple—dark and murderous—are plotting more crimes and wondering how to silence the man who knows too much about them.

First Edition published as Deadly Vision by Quest by RCE, January 2008. 

A Face without Heart
Summary:
A modern-day and thought-provoking retelling of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray that esteemed horror magazine Fangoria called “…a book that is brutally honest with its reader and doesn’t flinch in the areas where Wilde had to look away…. A rarity: a really well-done update that’s as good as its source material.”

A beautiful young man bargains his soul away to remain young and handsome forever, while his holographic portrait mirrors his aging and decay and reflects every sin and each nightmarish step deeper into depravity… even cold-blooded murder. Prepare yourself for a compelling tour of the darkest sides of greed, lust, addiction, and violence.

A Demon Inside by Rick R Reed
Summary:
Hunter Beaumont doesn’t understand his grandmother’s deathbed wish: “Destroy Beaumont House.” He’s 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, Michael Burt, a caretaker for the estate next door. The man might be his salvation… or he could be the source of Hunter's terror.

Original Review October 2016:
First off, the fact that most of this story is set in Wisconsin was a real upside for me.  As a Wisconsinite, it's always a thrill to read stories set in my state, it's not one often used and on top of that, one of my college advisors has written many books about haunted Wisconsin, we even have one here in my hometown.  Now, back to A Demon Inside,  this is the first book by Rick R Reed that I have read and well, let's just say it won't be the last.  To say Hunter Beaumont's life will never be the same when he doesn't follow his grandmother's dying wish to destroy Beaumont House is an understatement.  A Demon Inside is creepy, weird, and just plain scary but there's also a little romance which may seem out of place in such a dark story but truthfully, it only heightens the freak out factor.  Along with the Wisconsin connection, I'm a bit of an introvert myself so I felt for Hunter immediately and understood so much of what his inner monologue was saying.  A great addition to my Halloween/paranormal shelf.

RATING: 

IM
Summary:
The Internet is the new meat market for gay men. Now a killer is turning the meat market into a meat wagon.

One by one, he’s killing them. Lurking in the digital underworld of Men4HookUpNow.com, he lures, seduces, and charms, reaching out through instant messages to the unwary. When the first body surfaces, openly gay Chicago Police Department detective Ed Comparetto is called in to investigate. At the scene, the young man who discovered the body tells him the story of how he found his friend. But did this witness play a bigger role in the murder than he’s letting on?

For Comparetto, this encounter is the beginning of a nightmare—because this witness did more than just show up at the scene of the crime; he set the scene.

Comparetto is on a journey to discover the truth—before he loses his career, his boyfriend, his sanity… his life. Because in this killer's world, IM doesn't stand for instant message… it stands for instant murder. 

Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe by Rick R Reed
Summary:
A monster moves through the night, hidden by the darkness, taking men, one by one, from Seattle’s gay gathering areas.

Amid an atmosphere of crippling fear, Thad Matthews finds his first true love working in an Italian restaurant called the Blue Moon Cafรฉ. Sam Lupino is everything Thad has ever hoped for in a man: virile, sexy as hell, kind, and… he can cook!

As their romance heats up, the questions pile up. Who is the killer preying on Seattle’s gay men? What secrets is Sam’s Sicilian family hiding? And more importantly, why do Sam’s unexplained disappearances always coincide with the full moon?

The strength of Thad and Sam’s love will face the ultimate test when horrific revelations come to light beneath the full moon.

First Edition published as The Blue Moon Cafe by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2010. 

Original Review October 2017:
I'm going to start by saying that immediate attraction bordering on insta-love is not for everyone and I understand that but when its done right than its amazing.  Well, for me Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe is done right.  I say "immediate attraction bordering on insta-love" because I think it's pretty instant on Sam's part and for Thad its nearly there but he's afraid to completely embrace it.

I loved seeing inside the mind of the killer in this story, its not something that always works, it can distract from the couple at the heart of the story, but Rick R Reed makes it work here.  I get why Sam is leary to reveal everything to Thad and I equally get why this makes Thad hesitant to completely open his heart to Sam but more than once I just wanted to bang their heads together and scream "Communicate!".  Throw in Thad's new friend Jared, which some might call an obstacle to the couple being happy but I call just plain awesome.  Jared is a fun character that gives Thad some much needed companionship but it also gives him reasons to guard his heart, to grow, and gives his protective side reason to show.

All in all, Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe is a brilliant read that ticked my paranormal, romance, mystery boxes and it also touched on my love of horror as well making this a perfect read for October.

RATING: 


The Couple Next Door
Third Eye

A Face without a Heart

A Demon Inside
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IM

Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe
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Release Day Blitz: Sin & Saint by JM Dabney

Title: Sin & Saint
Author: JM Dabney
Series: Executioners #4(Brawlers Spin-Off)
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: December 26, 2017
Cover Design: Winterheart Design
Summary:
Eric and Ellison Gant better known as Sin and Saint were opposite sides of the same coin. They epitomized the nicknames given to them by their friends in the band Executioners. One thing Sin and Saint did well was fight and being inseparable means they had a lot of disagreements, but one thing they agreed on was Sheriff Camden Pelter was theirs. The older, stoic man didn’t agree, yet they were determined to change his mind.

Camden Pelter had the daunting job of turning the Powers Sheriff Department around. The residents of the Georgia town didn’t have much faith or respect in the Deputies serving them. That’s where he came in and he was determined to do his job. That was easier said than done with two annoying brothers Sin and Saint who dogged his every step. No way in hell was he getting mixed up in the chaos that were the Gant Twins. Now if only if he could get them to listen and realize they didn’t have a chance of changing his mind.


“Sin and Saint, don’t they have real names?” Even though the names seemed perfect, he didn’t like them, and he wasn’t going to call his—nothing his was in this bar.

“Sin is Eric, and Ellison is Saint, but I don’t think they answer to them. Last I heard their mom started calling them Sin and Saint.”

“I won’t be calling them Sin and Saint.”

“Does that mean you’ll be calling them because they’re headed this way. Good luck.”

He nearly hollered for Twitch when the little man darted away. He was a grown ass man so he could handle two pretty boys. Their platinum blond hair tousled around their beautiful faces. Fuck, he caught sight of himself in the mirror behind the bar, and he looked old, well, ancient compared to them. The silver patch in his goatee stood out starkly and reminded him he wasn’t in his twenties or even thirties anymore.

Just don’t be an asshole, Camden, he ordered himself. His hand locked tight around the bottle as the most beautiful men he’d ever seen flanked him on either side. Their slim bodies pushing in beside him, and he instantly knew which one was Sin. The boy pressed in tight to his side, while Ellison, Saint, kept a bit of distance. In his peripheral, he noticed the innocent pink that stained Ellison’s cheeks and he wanted to reach for him. Chase the spreading color under the pads of his calloused fingers.

“Well, hello, sexy, you’re new.”

Eric’s soft fingertips stroked up his bare arm only being stopped by the rolled cuff of his dress shirt. His stomach tightened.

“Camden.”

“You’re Scary’s cousin.”

Ellison’s voice was softer, tinged with a hint of shyness that made him want to turn to him.

“Why don’t you come home with us, Camden?”

“Why don’t you go play with someone your own age, boy?”

He didn’t know where the brusque tone came from, but he didn’t want to be some notch for boys with Daddy issues. It was a rage in his abdomen. An emotion he’d never experienced before burned through his veins, and he couldn’t think beyond getting as far away from Eric and Ellison as he could. Part of he wanted to put them over his knee for propositioning some strange man in a bar. The other part of him, the one he needed to rein in, wanted to take them home.

“Twitch,” he called for the bartender and pulled enough from his pocket to cover his few beers, plus a generous tip.

“Goodnight, boys.”

Eric looked at him like he was insane to turn them down and maybe he was, but he was a grown ass man, and he knew what he wanted. Ellison avoided glancing at him and instead of embarrassment or shyness, the young man looked ashamed. He pushed back from the bar and started to walk away.
“Goodnight, Camden.”

Ellison’s sweet voice called to him, and he imagined what it would sound like when the boy screamed his name as he was buried balls deep. Angry with himself, he strode toward the door.

He knew what he wanted, something or someone only his, someone to care for and make happy. A quick fuck he wasn’t and twenty-one was too fucking young for what he had in mind. That didn’t keep his mind from wandering to the twin temptation he’d left back at Brawlers and it didn’t disappear even as he drove in the opposite direction of Powers, Georgia, and from the things he knew he couldn’t have.



Author Bio:
J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.


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Sin & Saints #4
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Promo Tour: Snow in July by Kim Iverson Headlee

Title: Snow in July
Author: Kim Iverson Headlee
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Release Date: June 20, 2014
Summary:
Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre has been granted what every man wants: a rich English estate in exchange for his valiant service at the Battle of Hastings. To claim this reward, the Norman knight must wed the estate's Saxon heiress. Most men would leap at such an opportunity, but for Alain, who broke his vow to his dying mother by failing to protect his youngest brother in battle, it means facing more easily broken vows. But when rumors of rampant thievery, dangerous beasts, and sorcery plaguing a neighboring estate reach his ears, nothing will make him shirk duty to king and country when people's lives stand at risk. He assumes the guise of a squire to scout the land, its problems, and its lady.

Lady Kendra of Edgarburh has been granted what no woman wants: a forced marriage to an enemy who may be kith or kin to the man who murdered her beloved brother. Compounding her anguish is her failure to awaken the miraculous healing gift bequeathed by their late mother in time to save his life. Although with his dying breath, he made her promise to seek happiness above all, Kendra vows that she shall find neither comfort nor love in the arms of a Norman…unless it snows in July.

Alain is smitten by Lady Kendra from the first moment of their meeting; Kendra feels the forbidden allure of the handsome and courtly Norman "squire." But a growing evil overshadows everyone, invoking dark forces and ensnaring Kendra in a plot to overthrow the king Alain is oath-bound to serve. Kendra and Alain face a battle unlike any other as their honor, their love, their lives, and even their very souls lie in the balance.


Alain’s friendship with Sir Ruaud, his polished manners and speech, fighting skills, and scars—it made less sense than ever that he could be a squire. “Who are you, really?” she whispered.

His back stiffened, and he released her hand to give her a curious look. Finally, he smiled. “A complete fool.”

She arched an eyebrow. “Hardly that, if you possessed the wit to locate me. I mean, you must be a knight. Don’t bother to deny it. There can be no other reasonable explanation.”

He regarded her for a long moment. “Yes. I am a knight.”

“But why the disguise?” She recoiled as an unpleasant thought returned. “Sir Robert didn’t send you to test my virtue, did he?”

“Mon Dieu, no! Never once did that cross his mind.”

She felt her brow wrinkle. “How can you be so certain?”

“I have known Sir Robert my entire life.” His smile turned enigmatic. “He would never resort to such a ploy.”

“But he would send you and Sir Ruaud ahead to look me over, is that it?” Her ire rose on the wings of indignation. “To determine whether I am a worthy match for his lordship?” His smile inverted to dread. “Hah. I am right.”

Denying him a chance to reply, she shot to her feet. Her instinct suggested escaping into the maze, but fear of becoming lost in the mist pushed her toward the tower’s door. The bolt’s heaviness prevented her from locking him out, so she concentrated on making best speed. Pounding footsteps warned her of Alain’s pursuit.

He caught her wrist while she was still on the stairs, but she yanked it free and continued up. On the landing outside the upper chamber, she had to pause for air. He joined her before she could escape.

“Please, my lady,” he said between breaths. “Let me explain.”

“What’s to explain? Sir Robert sent you to scout me out, and you agreed. You Normans are a despicable lot. Every last, stinking one of you! I thought I had met one who wasn’t.” She blinked hard to fight off the welling tears. “I was wrong.”



Author Bio:
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. She has been an award-winning novelist since 1999 (Dawnflight first edition, Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian Legends for nigh on half a century.

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