Friday, March 17, 2017

Dinner at Jack's Named a Finalist in Foreword's INDIE Awards

2016 Foreword INDIES Finalists Announced and my DINNER AT JACK’s is a finalist in the #LGBT category!

Chosen from over 2,250 individual entries, Finalists for the Foreword INDIES represent some of the best books from non-Big 5 publishers.

Finalists move onto judging by librarians and booksellers, and winners will be announced June 24. See the full list of finalists.

Personal chef Beau St. Clair, recently divorced from his cheating husband, has returned to the small Ohio River town where he grew up to lick his wounds. Jack Rogers lives with his mother Maisie in that same small town, angry at and frightened of the world. Jack has a gap in his memory that hides something he dares not face, and he’s probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Maisie, seeking relief from her housebound and often surly son, hires Beau to cook for Jack, hoping the change might help bring Jack, once a handsome and vibrant attorney, back to his former self. But can a new face and comfort food compensate for the terror lurking in Jack’s past?

Slowly, the two men begin a dance of revelation and healing. Food and compassion build a bridge between Beau and Jack, a bridge that might lead to love.

But will Jack’s demons allow it? Jack’s history harbors secrets that could just as easily rip them apart as bring them together.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Rave Reviews for DINNER AT THE BLUE MOON CAFE Are Pouring In...

Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe has only been out for a couple of days, but already it's getting some very gratifying reviews.

Get yours at Amazon or Dreamspinner Press!

"I completely lost myself in this story. Rick R. Reed pulled me into a world that closely resembles mine but isn't quite the same. He created a wonderful and imaginative combination between horror and romance that worked like a charm even for me who doesn't really do 'horrific' stories."
--The Way She Reads
"If you like a clever murder mystery and a nontraditional romance in one, if you want to see a character really struggle with what he wants in life and who the right partner is for him, and if you're looking for a read that is intriguing, suspenseful, full of revelations, contains food descriptions to die for, and stars a brilliant dog who has figured it all out from the very beginning, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. I think it's brilliant and well worth a read."
--Rainbow Book Reviews
"I really enjoy the author's writing and how he sets up a story, I feel like I was a part of their world.  Like I could sit down and have a meal at Sam's restaurant. He has a way of taking one character that I really thought I would like and turning them into the enemy. You never know what is actually going on, the twists & turns made this book very enjoyable...I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a different paranormal, though I must tell you it is not for the faint of heart.  I also know that I will be trying the recipes at the end..."
--Rainbow Gold Reviews
"...not your typical werewolf or shifter story. Most I see out these days show the werewolf in a good light. That is definitely not the case with The Blue Moon Cafe. If you are familiar with this author's work then you know to expect the unexpected. If not, be prepared as this is no sweet and sappy romance. The killings are described and this book has a dark element that some might find disturbing. Me? I absolutely loved it."
--On Top Down Under Book Reviews
Five stars!  "...turn off all your lights, leave just a little lamp turned on, lock all your doors and prepare to get sucked into this book of very realistic wolves, teeth and fangs, some gory shit, but that's to be expected, and delve into Thad's world of fear, destitution, his fears and uncertainties about Sam. The man he believes he loves."
"This is a fantastic horror novel -- one that literally had me terrified for the characters on more than one occasion, which is rare for me. But I think it's important to point out this is a horror novel with a romantic thread running through it -- not the other way around."
--Author Jamie Fessenden

2nd Edition

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 Café. 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. Cover

Cover Art: Aaron Anderson

Genres Mystery/Suspense / Werewolves/Shapeshifters

Get yours at Amazon or Dreamspinner Press!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

NEW RELEASE: Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe!

It's new release day!


Get yours at Amazon or Dreamspinner Press!

2nd Edition

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 Café. 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. Cover

Cover Art: Aaron Anderson

Genres Mystery/Suspense / Werewolves/Shapeshifters

Get yours at Amazon or Dreamspinner Press!

Monday, March 13, 2017

My darkly funny story, SLUGGO SNARES A VAMPIRE, is now available for pre-order. And it's FREE!

When Sluggo cruises online chat rooms, he isn’t looking for a hook-up; he’s looking for love. But love has a way of being elusive, especially when you’re not being honest. Presenting himself as “Sir Raven,” Sluggo promises his chat room cohorts he’s the “master of the night.”

And then he meets someone who challenges him -- someone who claims the title “master of the night” as his own. TepesAllure’s enigmatic and flirtatious messages to Sluggo start out as fun banter, but quickly turn to eerie disquiet.

As the night unfolds, so do the advances of TepesAllure ... and even when Sluggo tries to escape, he finds that getting out is not nearly as easy as getting in.

JMS Books

NOTE: This story appears in the author’s gay horror collection, Unhinged, releasing on April 8.


Suddenly, Sluggo’s spine stiffened as another shiver washed over him. But this was no chill as the result of the temperature in the apartment lowering because of a thermostat. No, this one -- Sluggo could swear -- had the feel of icy fingers caressing, just barely grazing the raised bumps of his spine, like long fingernails moving down his back. He took a quick glance around the tiny office, wondering where the cold came from and then glanced up at his screen, where the instant message from seconds ago still remained. The cursor blinked at him, almost as if waiting for his next move. And then his heart almost stopped ...

The words “bespectacled piglet” jumped out, as if highlighted. The description, unflattering as it was, was true nevertheless. Suddenly, the lack of spit in his mouth impeded Sluggo’s attempt to swallow. A trickle of cold sweat ran down his spine. “Do I know you?” he typed, fingers beginning to tremble, causing him to have to key in the simple query three times before getting it right.

“We’ve spoken in your dreams.” The words, innocent enough on their own, hung suspended on the computer monitor. Somehow, when strung together, the words took on an eerie menace.

“Seriously,” Sluggo pleaded in his electronic voice, the one he thought of until this moment as throaty and seductive. The game had suddenly lost its allure, its humor, if it had had any to begin with. Now he realized his voice was wheedling, whining, a little too low pitched and dense to be heard distinctly. “You seem to have picked up certain of my physical characteristics and I wondered if you were just a good guesser or if you’re someone I know.” Sluggo racked his brain, trying to recall who at the bank he might have told about his after hours “social life.”

And came up blank.

“I told you. We’ve spoken in your dreams. For the last several months, I’ve visited you there, in that gossamer world, where I found the two of us to be highly compatible.” The fine hairs on Sluggo’s neck stood up.

“And why is that?”

“I can’t tell you.”

“What can you tell me?”

“I can tell you that I can see your worth.”

“Wonderful,” Sluggo keyed in, rolling his eyes.There’s no reason to be afraid. This is simply someone playing with you, someone intuitive, and they’re having a good time at your expense.

“Would you like to know more?”

“Knock yourself out.” Bed -- with its lack of Internet connection -- suddenly seemed like a more viable alternative to what he was doing.

“I don’t think you take me seriously.”

“Should I?”

“Dead serious.”

JMS Books

Monday, February 27, 2017

My YA Horror Novel, DEAD END STREET is Now Available Again!

I am extremely pleased to announce that Dead End Street, my young adult horror novel, is now back on the market and available in the Amazon Kindle store for only $2.99. It went missing for a while when its original publisher, Amber Quill Press, sadly went out of business.

The old house at the end of a dead-end street is more of a dead end than anyone realizes...

They are five misfit kids who have banded together in their small Ohio River town. Over the years, they had organized various clubs, and now they've formed the Halloween Horror Club. The premise is simple: each week, each teen spins a horrifying tale, and at the end of five weeks, the scariest story wins a prize. The twist: the stories have to be told in the infamous and abandoned Tuttle house, where, fifteen years earlier, nearly an entire family had been murdered in their beds.

The idea of the club seems like a good one, until the kids begin to realize they may not be alone in the Tuttle house, which backs up against the woods. There seems to be someone - or something - watching them. Is it Paul Tuttle, the son who, while still in his teens, disappeared the night his parents and sister were killed? Or is it someone even more sinister?

With each story (each a completed short, original horror tale that stands on its own), the tension mounts... and so does the anger of the house's mysterious inhabitant. He is enraged at having his space violated, and his rage could mean a real dead end for those who dare to invade his home...

Amazon Kindle (FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited)
Audible audiobook. Listen to a sample. (Just click on the button beneath the audiobook cover art).

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

RELEASING TODAY! Class Distinctions

I'm pleased to announce that today is release day for Class Distinctions. It's the story of a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, the rich boy he loves, and, of course, the complications. The course of true love never did run smooth!

Kyle and Jonathan were perfect for each other, the two halves that, once together, made a whole. And then one snowy night just before Parents’ Weekend on the campus of Hamilton University, Kyle drops a bomb: he’s breaking up with Jonathan.

Follow the couple through the stormy (in more ways than one) night that ensues. Why has Kyle suddenly decided to throw away something so precious and good?

The answers lie in their backgrounds, and will gradually come to light as a winter blizzard rages around the young couple.

Their tortured paths bring them to the covered bridge where their love had sprung to life on a hot summer day. But will the warmth of that memory and the heat of the love they once shared be enough to outclass the storm, and more importantly, bring them back together?

JMS Books
Amazon Kindle (FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited)

Jonathan got up, grinning, and crossed the room, ready to fling open his door and his arms to Kyle. He could picture his boyfriend in his mind’s eye: the short muscular build, the hazel eyes, the mop of curly sandy hair that blended so perfectly with the constellation of freckles across his nose. He thought of the little tragus piercing in Kyle’s ear that for some inexplicable reason, Jonathan adored and could always be counted upon to play with his tongue, which drove Kyle nuts. The knock sounded again, and Jonathan took exactly three seconds to check his image in the mirror above his dresser. His blond hair had been cut that morning and, with a little dab of gel, looked stylish and alluring, the classic combo to his pale blue eyes and dark lashes. He wore only a plain white T-shirt and a pair of plaid boxer shorts. He figured they’d be naked soon enough, so why bother with a complicated ensemble that would only slow them from getting to the main course?

Jonathan would swear his heart began to beat faster and he got a little breathless as he approached the door. He couldn’t stop the beaming smile that spread across his face as he reached for the knob.

But that smile vanished when he saw Kyle standing out in the hallway, staring down at the floor and radiating dejection. His shoulders slumped and there was about him an overall lack of energy. When he managed to tear his gaze away from the tile floor, he looked at Jonathan with sadness. Jonathan frowned too when he could discern no excitement, no joy to see him, in those hazel eyes.

This was not the picture he had been anticipating when he swung open the door.

“Good God, Kyle, what’s the matter? Is everything okay?”

Kyle’s gaze returned to the floor and Jonathan shook his head, reached out and forcibly pulled his boyfriend inside the room, closing the door behind him. Jonathan cocked his head, “What’s wrong, sweetheart?” He smelled cooking grease on Kyle, the after-effect of toiling in the Hamilton University student cafeteria. Normally, he would suggest the two of them slip down the hall and into a shower together -- a nice, sudsy, both clean and dirty beginning to their three-day weekend.

But the game plan seemed to have changed. Kyle’s bad mood, so rare and unexpected, cast a pall on the anticipation Jonathan had felt only moments ago.

Kyle didn’t answer.

Jonathan turned down the music, which was Moby’s “We Are All Made of Stars” and said, “Sit down, Kyle. Let’s talk. It’s obvious from your face, hell, from even the way you’re standing there that something is very wrong. What is it? Trouble in one of your classes? Is that Psych bitch giving you problems again?”

Kyle slumped down in one of the desk chairs, his long legs extended before him, the rest of his body sort of curled into itself. Jonathan wondered why Kyle didn’t take a seat on the bed, so they could at least sit side-by-side, but he let the move pass without comment.

“No. Everything is cool in my classes. In fact, I’m on track to make the dean’s list this quarter.” Not even a glimmer of a smile heralded this happy news. Kyle simply continued to appear distant and, yes, forlorn.

“So what then? Work? Trouble at home?”

Kyle snickered when Jonathan mentioned home -- and Jonathan had no idea why. One of the mysteries with Kyle was that he had never been too forthcoming about his home life, only that he was from a small town in eastern Ohio, on the Ohio River, and that he was an only child. Jonathan still had no idea what his parents did for a living or how he even felt about his old hometown. Kyle shook his head. “No. And no.”

Jonathan didn’t want to entertain what the other possibility could be. He sank down onto his bed, nausea rising in his gut as he pondered being told Kyle had cheated on him (he was, at least in Jonathan’s mind, about the most handsome hunk on the campus of Hamilton University), or that he “wanted to see other people” or that he “needed a break” or that “it’s not you, it’s me” and he needed to end things between them.

But none of those scenarios could possibly be true, could they?

JMS Books
Amazon Kindle (FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited)

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.

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

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.

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…

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

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