Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My Erotic Thriller, HIGH RISK, is only .99 cents all this week at Amazon Kindle



High Risk is an Amazon Countdown Deal until Friday, February 24, reduced from $2.99 to only 99 cents! Get your thrill on for less than a buck!

High Risk is one of my oddest books because it features an anti-heroine, a damaged woman who's a sex addict and could be said to bring on the horror that befalls her in the pages of my book. Her journey is filled with terror, tension, and suspense, but even I will admit Beth Walsh isn't an easy character to like or to root for. But I hope that sympathetic and discerning readers will peel back the onion skin of Beth's personality and see her for who and what she is at her core--a damaged soul who's desperate for love, with no real knowledge of how to get it.

I encourage you to come along with Beth on her harrowing journey toward redemption in High Risk. I like to think you won't soon forget her...or her story.

BUY
Amazon Kindle (if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can read High Risk for free!)

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A secret sex life... 

A handsome, twisted stranger... 

And a journey into a nightmare. 

 Beth Walsh seemed like such a demure housewife. But while her attorney husband was away at work, she engaged in countless encounters with strangers...until she met the one stranger who would change everything--for the worst. Abbott Lowery was every woman's dream; but the monster lurking inside his handsome, chiseled exterior was terrifying. And Beth's behavior is about to unleash the rage and madness inside. High Risk is a story of secrets, tainted histories, murder, and kidnapping--with an ending so searing and brutal, readers will be left breathless.

EXCERPT
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.
Appropriate.
“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.”
“Abbott.”
“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…


BUY
Amazon Kindle (if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can read High Risk for free!)

ALSO AVAILABLE IN AUDIOBOOK!
Listen as narrator Miles Taylor brings you into the world of High Risk--and see if you aren't immediately hooked! BUY AUDIOBOOK

Monday, February 20, 2017

5 Stars for A FACE WITHOUT A HEART from Christina's Bookshelf!

Pleased to wake up to this awesome video review of my modern-day retelling of the Oscar Wilde classic, The Picture of Dorian Gray called A FACE WITHOUT A HEART.



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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.





Friday, February 17, 2017

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Raining Men

Today, I'm thinking about Raining Men, my heartfelt love story about a sexually-addicted man finding his way toward loving himself and, at last, that special one.

It's not an easy journey and it's one fraught with danger, missteps, and outright peril. But if you travel along with Bobby Nelson, you'll also discover hope, joy, and the transformative power of love.

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The character you loved to hate in Chaser becomes the character you will simply love in Raining Men.

It’s been raining men for most of Bobby Nelson’s adult life. Normally, he wouldn’t have it any other way, but lately something’s missing. Now, he wants the deluge to slow to a single special drop. But is it even possible for Bobby to find “the one” after endless years of hooking up?

When Bobby’s father passes away, Bobby finally examines his rocky relationship with the man and how it might have contributed to his inability to find the love he yearns for. Guided by a sexy therapist, a Sex Addicts Anonymous group, a well-endowed Chihuahua named Johnny Wadd, and Bobby’s own cache of memories, Bobby takes a spiritual, sexual, and emotional journey to discover that life’s most satisfactory love connections lie in quality, not quantity. And when he’s ready to love not only himself but someone else, sex and love fit, at last, into one perfect package.

REVIEWS
From LIVE YOUR LIFE, BUY THE BOOK
“Rick R. Reed makes the commitment to write about issues of interest in the gay community and he does so regularly. Sexual addiction is certainly one we hear about and it’s universal. I found myself pulled into this story as I realized what was going on with Bobby. I wanted Bobby to show the vulnerable aspects of himself he has buried over time to avoid hurt. I wanted him to be whole, to be happy and to find himself. This is not an easy journey, but a journey very worth taking.
Read the review.

From ON TOP DOWN UNDER BOOK REVIEWS
“...another amazing story...Never in a million years would I have thought that I would love Bobby. Only a truly talented author could turn a character like him around as he did.”
Read the review.

From SID LOVE M/M Reviews
“...definitely a keeper. I would recommend it to anyone…a real deal, with a believable storyline and some great writing by a very talented author.” 
Read the review.

From MM Good Book Reviews
“And while this is definitely a romance with a HEA I get to say that the achievement of that HEA has never felt more realistic and approachable...The entire book felt as if the author handpicked the characters straight from out on the streets, stripped them of their stories and wrote their lives for us to have a glimpse of…A very remarkable book that the forever-romantics would not want to miss.”

Read an excerpt

BUY 
from Dreamspinner Press in ebook or in paperback
Kindle version

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

BIG LOVE for Old High School Memories


Big Love is the first book I’ve written which I set in a small-town high school. In fact, my fictional high school is very much like the one I attended. Writing about the turbulent emotions of adolescence, first loves, and beginning to come to terms with who you are was a challenging and thought-provoking trip down memory lane.

I thought I’d share a couple pictures and memories of my alma mater, East Liverpool High School in East Liverpool, Ohio (the only high school in town). Like the characters in Big Love, my high school years were a time of struggle, sometimes joy, and often a lot about coming to grips about who that person was looking back at me from within the mirror.

Here’s the small, pottery town of East Liverpool where I grew up, taken from the Ohio River. The town rises up from the river’s banks.

And here is the high school that I mentally traveled back to in order to draw upon the memories and feelings that eventually went into Big Love. The school sits on one of the hills surrounding the town, so there was always a good view of everything. As a personal aside, my eldest niece and her husband still teach at the very same school.


And here are the pictures you may or may not have been waiting for: me as a much younger version of myself. One is my high school graduation photo and the other is from a time when I was just entering the confusing and awkward torture of adolescence. Oh, the innocence of that young man/boy! He had no idea what was in store for him. I suppose that’s true for all of us, right?


BLURB for Big Love
Teacher Dane Bernard is a gentle giant, loved by all at Summitville High School. He has a beautiful wife, two kids, and an easy rapport with staff and students alike. But Dane has a secret, one he expects to keep hidden for the rest of his life—he’s gay.

But when he loses his wife, Dane finally confronts his attraction to men. And a new teacher, Seth Wolcott, immediately catches his eye. Seth himself is starting over, licking his wounds from a breakup. The last thing Seth wants is another relationship—but when he spies Dane on his first day at Summitville High, his attraction is immediate and electric.

As the two men enter into a dance of discovery and new love, they’re called upon to come to the aid of bullied gay student Truman Reid. Truman is out and proud, which not everyone at his small-town high school approves of. As the two men work to help Truman ignore the bullies and love himself without reservation, they all learn life-changing lessons about coming out, coming to terms, acceptance, heartbreak, and falling in love.

BUY 
Dreamspinner Press ebook
Dreamspinner Press paperback
Amazon paperback (buy the hard copy and get the ebook for .99!)

Note: This post originally appeared on the wonderful blog, Joyfully Jay.


Monday, February 13, 2017

SUPERSTAR!

Just Re-released by JMS Books!


My rock star romance, based on the sad song, SUPERSTAR, is now available from JMS Books and at Amazon (FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited).

The story was inspired by the song "Superstar" made famous by both Karen Carpenter and the Divine Miss M, Bette Midler.

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When Leon first saw him singing in a dive bar, he was mesmerized. But he didn't know he'd be going home with the dangerously sexy lead singer that night. He couldn't have predicted he'd fall in love. But then, Leon never expected his love to be reciprocated ...

So, why, three years after that fateful night, is Leon perched at the edge of a bridge, ready to make a fatal leap? SUPERSTAR is the story of a groupie and the rock star he loves. It's the tale of a man on the edge, both literally and figuratively...and it's a timeless story of love found and lost, set to a driving beat. It’s a story about promises made, promises broken, and dreams unfulfilled. And, ultimately, it's about realizing that love can come along when one least expects it -- and in the unlikeliest of places ...

BUY
Amazon Kindle (FREE with Kindle Unlimited)
JMS Books


Friday, February 10, 2017

Horror and Romance: Why I Write Both



People always look at me funny when I tell them I write romance and horror. "But they're so different! They're complete opposites" they say.

Um, not so much.

I don’t really agree that horror and romance are polarizing.

Fear and love have a lot in common. Fear is a powerful emotion and I’m fascinated by how people react to terrifying situations, and what makes evil characters tick. Similarly, love is unpredictable and often terrifying. Good can turn bad very quickly. There’s a remarkable emotional vulnerability.

Readers of horror want to be scared; it’s terrifying and fun all at once. Readers of horror want a satisfying ending, that’s the safe part. Fiction is a created world where things can be put to right, unlike the real world, where atrocity doesn’t necessarily have rhyme or reason and may go unchecked.

Readers like romance because it’s also a controlled world. They can count on a happily-ever-after ending. Romance in fiction allows the reader to experience the thrill and conflict of love, in a safe way, because the reader knows it’s not real. I think that sense of emotional vulnerability applies to both romance and horror.

Vulnerability is universal and that’s why people enjoy reading about it.

Check out My Books for an overview of all the horror and romance I've written.



Monday, February 6, 2017

Escorting and A DANGEROUS GAME




ADangerousGame-400x600

It’s all fun and games in the escort business until someone gets hurt, or falls in love. Here’s what happened to one of the escorts in  A Dangerous Game.



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Sex can be a dangerous business. So can love.

On the worst day of his life, Wren Gallagher wants oblivion when he steps into Tricks for a drink. When a mysterious stranger steps up to pay his tab, he offers Wren the key to fulfilling his dreams of prosperity and true love.

But appearances are not always what they seem.

His savior owns the escort agency À Louer, and he wants the young and handsome Wren as part of his stable of men-for-hire. Down on his luck, Wren figures, why not? He needs the money. When he joins, though, he doesn’t count on meeting Rufus, another escort with whom he falls hopelessly in love.

But their love story will have to overcome the obstacles of not only trading love for money, but À Louer’s dark—and deadly—secrets.

1st Edition published as Rent by ManLove Romance Press, 2012.

EXCERPT

During this time together Evan realized he had done the unthinkable and crossed the line he had been told, not only by Dave but by other escorts, that he should never cross—he had fallen in love.

The words, as they lay side by side in Dan’s king-size bed, slipped out of him just before they drifted off into slumber. “I love you,” Evan whispered huskily into the darkness, wishing, as soon as the words had escaped his mouth, that he could take them back. In what world, Evan had wondered, was it appropriate for a prostitute to say such a thing to a client? He lay still, feeling heat rise to his face, waiting for Dan to tell him he’d better go, that he would call him a cab.

But that wasn’t what had happened. Dan had risen up on one arm to gaze down upon him in the wan light afforded by a crescent moon shining in through the window. Evan couldn’t bear to look at him, certain Dan’s face would reveal disappointment, ridicule, anger, disbelief.

He never imagined that Dan would be smiling—and not in a mocking way. When he allowed himself to look, Evan could have sworn his heart leaped into his throat, because even in the darkness he could see Dan was happy, yes, maybe even a little thrilled, with his admission.
Dan reached out to run a hand across the smooth expanse of Evan’s chest, then leaned down and kissed him, his lips a soft counterpoint to the rough stubble scratching against Evan’s smooth face.

Dan pulled away and, gently stroking Evan’s cheek, said, “I love you too. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but there it is. I wouldn’t have said anything if you hadn’t spoken first, but I do believe, Mr. Maple, I have felt this way from the very first moment I laid eyes on you.”

“Me too,” Evan whispered, hot tears of joy gathering at the corners of his eyes.

“You were not the first escort I hired, but I do believe you’ll be the last.”

Evan could see in his mind’s eye the enraged and disapproving glance of Davidson Chillingsworth as he let even more unwise words slip from his lips. “Oh, Dan, I could never charge you. Not again. Not with what we know.”

Evan, who was all of twenty-four, had yet to experience real love in his young life, and his mind flooded with fantasies about a future with Dan, leaving his escort days behind him, becoming a couple.

Now Evan took a sip from the latest drink the bartender set before him and shook his head, remembering how quickly Dan dashed those fantasies.

Dan had slowly made circles around each of Evan’s nipples with his forefinger, at last letting out a long sigh. He spoke. “Yes, you will charge me. Because what we have here is what fits.”

BUY