~Release Blitz~ Kiss me, Daddy (Club 83 Book #1) by Quinn Ward

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 70,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

Andy’s a recent college graduate with a mountain of debt and a load of regret over earning a degree he’ll never use. When he takes a job at a local gay bar, he doesn’t expect the first person to catch his eye to be the man he’s been dreaming about since a chance encounter.



Joshua’s comfortable in his life. He has an amazing son who’s wise beyond his years, an ex-wife who’s one of his best friends, and a great job. Now, if only those closest to him would quit hounding him to start dating again after the divorce.



Joshua finds what’s been missing with the other people he’s tried dating the first time Andy slips up and calls him Daddy. What starts as a slip of the tongue could lead to what both men really need and want.

Quinn writes LGBTQ romance with a kick. Their stories center around the relationship building between the characters, but also shows how compatible they are in the bedroom (or wherever else the urge strikes).



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Email Quinn at: quinn(at)quinnwardwrites(dot)com

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~Book Blast~ The Handyman’s History by Nick Poff

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: The Handyman’s History (The Handyman series, book 4)

Author: Nick Poff

Publisher: Old Spruce Productions/Self-Published

Genre/s: Contemporary gay fiction/romance

Trope/s: Gay couple building a relationship in a small town

Themes: Facing the past to create a better future

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 336 pages

Release Date, February 6, 2019

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Tagline

Handyman Ed Stephens is back, exploring the past to build a future with his partner Rick in THE HANDYMAN’S HISTORY.

Blurb

“Sometimes I feel like it’s their world, and we’re allowed to live in it.”

–Gordy Smith in The Handyman’s History

The year since the death of their beloved benefactress Hilda Penfield has been a busy and sometimes stressful one for Handyman Ed Stephens and his partner, Rick Benton. They hope some peace and quiet will return to Penfield Manor after they host the wedding of Rick’s sister Claire to Matt Croasdale. Instead, Ed and Rick both find themselves involved in new activities.

As Rick’s boss, Realtor Vince Cummings, becomes aware of the opportunities available in the sudden expansion of Porterfield, he and Rick become the guiding forces for a major redevelopment project. Meanwhile, Ed’s innocent suggestions regarding the revival of a local festival leads to him becoming a member of the Porterfield Days Association, and the acceptance of additional responsibilities.

It’s Rick’s discovery of a tombstone in a disused town cemetery that sparks Ed’s curiosity about the background of his father’s family. Ed begins to question the relationship he had with his deceased father, and hopes learning some of the Stephens family secrets will enable him to make peace with his unresolved feelings.

The usual cast of suspects is back to both enrich and complicate Ed’s life: His sharp-tongued but supportive mother Norma, his sister Laurie, and housekeeper Effie Maude, who maintains her position at Penfield Manor, and provides amusement for Ed and Rick with her observations and pronouncements. Their best bud Gordy is on the scene as well, struggling to build a relationship in the early years of AIDS. Even Ed gets a taste of the hostility becoming more common as fear of the disease spreads. As Ed deals with the realities of being a gay man in a small town in 1985, he unexpectedly finds support from two unlikely sources, a visually impaired client, and a clergyman new to the town.

The Handyman’s History, with its soundtrack of classic oldies, will take its readers both forward and backward in the continuing saga of Ed and Rick, as their relationship strengthens, matures, and endures.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt

Ed looked at him, not really seeing him, thinking back to those Saturday nights spent in the bleachers of the Porterfield gym, hooting and hollering for those perennial losers, the Bobcats. There he was – shy, skinny Ed Stephens, along with Fat Ted, Science Nerd Greg, and Four Eyes Steve, all pretending to be part of the crowd, but knowing the minute they left the Bobcat cheer block they’d be ignored by the cool kids, as usual.

Ed remembered what Gordy had said last weekend: Sometimes I feel as though it’s their world and we’re allowed to live in it.

He had certainly felt that way in high school. He wondered if his friends back then felt the same way. Perhaps they did, but Ed was sure it was harder on him because he was toting a secret burden that the others didn’t have. He was trying his best to pretend he wasn’t a homosexual.

“I lied,” he said abruptly. “About those nights at Chef’s Inn; they weren’t a blast. They sucked.”

Rick looked at him seriously. “Oh?”

“Yeah. I never felt comfortable. Not really. I guess I just want to remember them as being a blast, you know?”

“High school,” Rick sighed. “Baby, you’re preaching to the choir, remember? I was so alone back then, so miserable. I don’t even want to think how many times I contemplated suicide. I’m just grateful it’s over with.”

“But don’t you sometimes wish,” Ed persisted, “that it was a blast? We had the best music ever, the cars were cool, and so were the movies and TV shows. It seems like it should have been fun.”

“The music was great,” Rick admitted. “The people at Broad Ripple High, however, were not. I hated it, and I don’t think that makes you or me any different from all those other guys like us. In fact, if there is a homosexual out there who was really happy in high school I hope I never met him, ‘cause I’d probably have to kill him.”

Ed chuckled.

“And about the music, well, we’ve got it. I mean, you’ve still got all your records, and we listen to them all the time because we still love those songs so much. It belongs to us. It’s one thing we were able to salvage from those years. And I think music kind of helps to wash away some of the sadness, you know; kind of like putting rose colored glass on the memories to make them prettier.”

Ed thought about Rick’s words. “That’s pretty good,” he said in admiration.

Rick grinned. “Yeah, it is, isn’t it? Anyway,” he said dropping the newspaper and picking up the book he was currently reading, “I guess that’s how I can compromise the whole thing in my head and not go crazy.”

Ed stood up and stretched, feeling restless. Arnie came into the room, looking for him. Ed picked up the cat and headed for the stairs.

“I thought you’d be going to the den to drool over the guy Solid Gold dancers,” Rick said.

“Eeh. I’m not in the mood for drooling. I think I’ll go upstairs and find something to read.

“Besides,” he said with a leer at Rick. “If I’m patient I still get to have you all to myself tomorrow night.”

Rick’s smile for him was as warm and tender as it ever had been. “It’s a date, baby. Count on it.”

Ed slowly walked upstairs, cradling the cat more for his own comfort than Arnie’s. He was suddenly very tired, but also incredibly grateful that Rick was in his life.

About the Author

Nick Poff lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Handyman’s History is his fourth novel. Learn more about his work at www.nickpoffauthor.com , on Facebook at “Nick Poff Author,” and on Amazon’s Author Central. You can also find him at www.patreon.com/nickpoff. His short story, Lucky, is available on Amazon Kindle.

 

 

Author Links

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Facebook

Twitter: @NickPoff

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~Cover Reveal~ Love is a Walk in the Park by V.L. Locey & Stephanie Locey

 

Release Date: April 24 2019
 
Pre-Order Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Length: 50,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

Sullivan Haines knows exactly what he wants out of life. Fame as a Broadway dancer and to find the man of his dreams. Sadly, his love life is a dismal mess, his roommate is PMS personified, and working at a dingy dance studio teaching old people how to tango and foxtrot is not exactly the bright lights. Actually, life in the Big Apple is pretty rotten, until he and his dog run into tall, dark, and oh-so-handsome Duane Hart in the park. Their pooches hit it right off, but can the two men find romance along the park’s winding paths?



Duane Hart hasn’t had a lot go right in his life. His girlfriend recently broke up with him, taking everything that wasn’t nailed down or in his roommate’s name. Well, everything except the Yorkshire terrier that he didn’t want to get in the first place, and that she now refuses to take back. However, when he meets a handsome stranger and his pit bull in the dog park, will the blooming heat in his chest be able to convince him to start dating again? Or will fate prove love isn’t a walk in the park, after all?

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.



V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.



When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.


 

Stephanie Locey loves video games, bad jokes, and kind people. She works full-time at a low-paying job and strives to not do that anymore. When not writing or working, she can be found playing fantasy RPGs, petting cats, and planning for adventures.

 

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~Release Blitz~ Cameron & Rylan (A chance meeting novel book one) by Valerie Ullmer

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Cameron & Rylan (A Chance Meeting Novel Book One)

Author: Valerie Ullmer

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Valerie Ullmer

Genre/s: Contemporary Gay Romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 66 000 words

Release Date: March 26, 2019

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

 

Blurb

Cameron Hayes believed himself to be a dedicated friend and a good son but destined to be alone. Because in his twenty-one years, he’d never fallen for anyone. Dating never appealed to him when he would rather spend a night at home. Despite his friend’s best intentions for Cameron to find a hookup for the night, he stayed at the bar as he nursed a beer. And that’s when Cameron spotted him and everything he knew evaporated with one look.

Rylan Ellis wanted one night out without complications. To forget about his overwhelming responsibilities and stress at home. He loved to lose himself in the music and ignore everyone around him. But when he happened a glance at the bar and spotted the tall, broad, and sexy-as-sin man, he felt drawn to him.

Soon, Cameron and Rylan learn about each other and establish their lives together. They also have to deal with a group of well-meaning friends, loving parents, and unexpected friendships. But most of all, a dangerous threat that could tear their lives apart.

Will a chance meeting turn into something more?

 

This novel contains heavy attraction at first sight and first-time gay sex between two men. There is no cheating or cliffhangers and ends with a happily ever after.

*Contains a brief mention of a prior sexual assault and violence in later scenes.

 

Excerpt

#1

This wasn’t his scene. Along with the loud music came the dancing bodies, sharp and piercing howls of laughter, but most of all the flirting. He’d known what the night held when his friends insisted on going out and despite his hesitation, Cameron had agreed.

He wouldn’t say he was lonely since he was the one who quit the football team the year before and secluded himself using any excuse he thought of to avoid social interactions. But from time to time, he missed his friends.

The music blared from the various speakers around the crowded club, but it had a good beat as it blended from one track to another. He nodded toward the bartender as he handed him a new beer before he turned toward the crowd, scanning the dance floor.

Cameron didn’t hold in a laugh as he spotted Tim, one of his best friends, dance up to a girl with a huge smile on his face. When she rolled her eyes, he reversed the other way with a friendly a wave. That was Tim. He let nothing get to him, even such an obvious rejection.

Unlike his friends, Cameron had no interest in finding a date for the night. But he watched his friends as they maneuvered around the bar amongst the gyrating bodies having a great time.

As his gaze landed on Aaron, who had a blonde wrapped around him as they swayed back and forth, a small hand landed on his chest before a compact body pressed up to his side. Cameron blinked down at the beautiful woman who smiled at him. Her eyes traveled over him, down and back up again, unable to keep her predatory gaze from his body.

Cameron sighed. She wasn’t the first person who thought he was available for a good time, but she was the first to touch him without permission.

Attraction was fleeting. At this point in his life, Cameron had no desire to pursue a physical relationship with anyone. Temporary attachments made his skin crawl for a reason he never understood, and he knew as she spoke she wouldn’t be more than that.

“Wanna head to my place? It’s quiet and we can talk.”

“No, thanks.”

He supposed people thought he was a typical jock, looking to score around every corner. Although he’d been told he was attractive, he knew attraction was subjective. His six foot three height, wide shoulders, and lean muscles resulted from years of conditioning and training. His parents gifted him with great genes, his light brown hair, and hazel eyes completed the package. But for him, he wanted something substantial.

#2

“Would you like to dance, Cameron?”

He couldn’t help his pause at the question. “I would love to, but I’ve never had a lot of rhythm and I’ll trample you.”

Rylan laughed and Cameron liked the scratchy, tinkling sound. He gifted him with something precious and rare because Cameron smiled as he realized Rylan’s laugh matched his soft, masculine voice.

“Don’t worry. I’ve got you.” Rylan slid his hand into Cameron’s bigger one and he allowed Rylan to pull him onto the dance floor.

As the other man led the way, Cameron’s gaze roamed over Rylan’s form. He loved how his hair, even when damp from the exertion of dancing, looked soft. He wanted to run his hands through it to see if it was as downy as it looked. The blond of Rylan’s hair was a little darker than his own, but it brought out the color in his eyes.

Rylan’s skin shimmered under the lights and Cameron had the strong urge to lean down and lick a swath along his delectable neck, tasting him. Because of his thoughts, he flushed when Rylan turned back to him and moved his hands to Cameron’s hips.

“Close your eyes.”

Cameron, trusting this man he’d met, he complied with his request. Cut off from one of his senses, sensations thrummed through him when Rylan tapped out a beat with his fingers against his waist. He’d somehow burrowed his hand underneath his tee and Cameron could the pads of his fingers on his bare skin.

“Are you paying attention?” Rylan laughed when Cameron’s head jerked up and caught his gaze.

 

 

About the Author

Valerie writes romances.

Contemporary, Paranormal, Erotic, and Gay.

She lives in Denver, Colorado with her wonderfully supportive husband and their funny and wise black lab, Maddie. Valerie is addicted to coffee, crime shows, and reading and writing character-driven romances.

As a voracious reader, she’s believes that all writers are rock stars, and she hopes that people enjoy her stories as much as she loves the romance novels she’s devoured over the years!

 

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Twitter

Pinterest

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~Release Blitz Spotlight~ Off the Ice by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn

Off the Ice 2

Out now: Off the Ice by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

Release date: March 25, 2019

Publisher: Carina Press

Universal link: https://books2read.com/offtheice

Blurb:

Previously published; newly refreshed by the authors

Off the Ice Banner 3

He’s hot for teacher

NHL star Tristan Holt may be at the top of his game, but he’s already thinking one play ahead. Hitting the books in the off-season means he’ll have a business degree to fall back on when it’s time to hang up his hockey skates.

But his straightforward plan is complicated by his undeniable attraction to his sexy sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.

Impressed by Tristan’s brain as well as his brawn, Sebastian can’t help lusting after the gorgeous jock. With tenure on the line, Sebastian won’t break the rules by becoming involved with one of his students—at least, not until the end of term. Once final grades are posted, though, their naughty mutual fantasies can become reality.

Tristan’s not sure he’s up for being the poster boy for openly gay hockey players, but Sebastian’s never been the type of man to keep his sexuality—or his relationships—in the closet. For Tristan, being with Sebastian might mean risking more than just his heart.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Check out this excerpt of Off the Ice:

Tristan pulled the cap off as heat gathered in his face. He tossed it atop his book bag and combed his fingers through his hair. No doubt it looked a mess after being damp and crushed under his hat for the past hour. “Sorry, sir.”

Professor Cruz ignored him and kept talking. Or rather, ranting. Tristan groaned inwardly. Great. Another hard-ass who ran his classroom like some kind of drill sergeant. Tristan hated the type, but whatever. He’d survived coaches who would make Sebastian Cruz resemble a cuddly little lamb. Tristan couldn’t be intimidated easily, even if, yeah, it embarrassed him to be scolded like a high schooler in front of his peers.

Eh, you win some, you lose some in the professor roulette. If there was one thing hockey had taught Tristan, it was self-discipline. He enjoyed sociology and thought the classes would be beneficial to him as a potential businessman. Tristan could cope with Mr. Don’t-Expect-Me-to-Be-Your-Buddy for seven weeks.

“So power and inequality,” Professor Cruz was saying, “let’s talk about how that relates to blue-blooded Manhattanites and me, growing up as a Puerto Rican welfare kid in the Bronx.”

Well, he didn’t waste any time, did he?

Tristan flipped open his MacBook and started taking notes as Professor Cruz lectured. Warm and fuzzy the guy was not, but he certainly didn’t lack in passion for the subject matter. Soon, Tristan was fascinated. Professor Cruz absolutely came alive as he spoke. True, he suffered from a bad case of Resting Asshole Face, and Tristan wouldn’t go so far as to call him handsome, not exactly. Still, there was something compelling. Professor Cruz—tall and whipcord lean with warm golden-brown skin and wavy raven-black hair—definitely qualified as eye candy.

Off the Ice Banner 6

About the Authors:

Avon Gale:

Avon Gale lives in a liberal Midwestern college town, where she spends her days getting heavily invested in everything from craft projects to video games. She likes road trips by car, rock concerts, thunderstorms, IPAs, Kentucky bourbon and tattoos. As a queer author, Avon is committed to providing happy endings for all and loves to tell stories that focus on found families, strong and open communication, and friendship. She loves writing about quirky people who might not be perfect, but always find a place where they belong. In her former life, Avon wrote fanfiction at her desk while ostensibly doing work in non-profit fundraising for public radio and women’s liberal arts education, and worked on her books in between haircuts and highlights as a stylist. Now she’s a full-time writer, delighted to be able to tell stories for a living.

Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.

***

Piper Vaughn:

Piper Vaughn is a queer Latinx author and longtime romance reader. Since writing their first love story at age eleven, they’ve known writing in some form was exactly what they wanted to do. A reader to the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book.

Piper grew up in a diverse neighborhood in Chicago and loves putting faces and characters of every ethnicity in their stories, making their fictional worlds as colorful as the real one. Above all, Piper believes there’s no one way to have an HEA, and every person deserves to see themselves reflected on the page.

Connect with Piper:

Website: pipervaughn.com

Facebook: facebook.com/pipervaughn

Twitter: twitter.com/pipervaughn

Instagram: instagram.com/piper.vaughn

 

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~Review Tour~ Blue Umbrella Sky by Rick R. Reed

 
Length: 60,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Reese Dante
 
Blurb
 

Milt Grabaur has left his life, home, and teaching career in Ohio to start anew. The Summer Winds trailer park in Palm Springs, butted up against the San Jacinto mountain range, seems the perfect place to forget the pain of nursing his beloved husband through Alzheimer’s and seeing him off on his final passage.



Billy Blue is a sexy California surfer type who once dreamed of being a singer but now works at Trader Joe’s and lives in his own trailer at Summer Winds. He’s focused on recovery from the alcoholism that put his dreams on hold.



When his new neighbor moves in, Billy falls for the gray-eyed man. His sadness and loneliness awaken something Billy’s never felt before—real love.



When a summer storm and flash flood jeopardize Milt’s home, Billy comes to the rescue, hoping the two men might get better acquainted… and maybe begin a new romance.



But Milt’s devotion to his late husband is strong, and he worries that acting on his attraction will be a betrayal.



Can they lay down their baggage and find out how redemptive love can be?

 

 

 

Blue Umbrella Sky is about starting over in a new place. And sometimes, making that change can mean throwing caution to the wind and just doing it—like my main character Milt Grabaur does here, at the luncheon following the funeral of his beloved husband, Corky.

EXCERPT: A Sudden Decision
“Palm Springs has three hundred and fifty days of sunshine a year,” Milt blurted out.

Dane followed Milt’s gaze to the window—the snow falling fast, the edges of the glass etched with frost. “Sounds wonderful.” He ate a few bites of pasta, then said, “Wait. You’re thinking of moving out there? To Southern California?”

Truth be told, Milt hadn’t seriously considered it until right this very moment. In the last months of Corky’s decline, when autumn was morphing into winter, with its sleety gray skies and bare, leafless trees, he’d imagined, in a vague way, a place that was sunny and always warm. Maybe oceanfront on the Gulf coast of Florida. Naples was nice. Or maybe he could become an expat and get himself down to Mexico and the Yucatán peninsula. He and Corky had had one of their best vacations ever there, renting a beach house in the little village of Puerto Morelos. All they did was lie by the pool, drink margaritas, make love, walk hand in hand on the beach, and read a book a day. Heaven.

In the lobby of the nursing home, just before Corky passed, Milt had picked up an old issue of Travel and Leisure magazine, drawn by its cover—a field of Joshua trees with a range of rusty mountains, rocky and austere, rising up majestically behind them to meet the electric blue sky. Milt thought the trees looked like something out of Dr. Seuss. The magazine had contained a story about Palm Springs and the desert—the beauty of the area and the abundant sunshine, its spiritual presence. There were dazzling photos of sun-drenched mountain ranges, cacti, vibrant desert blooms, and blue skies, nothing but blue skies….

He’d set the magazine down when an aide came to tell him Corky was awake and would he like to see him?

He hadn’t thought anything more of Palm Springs until this very moment. But the thought had stayed with him, tucked away in his subconscious until today, when he realized, in his grief, that despite being devastated by a crushing loss, he was also free.

And now, seeing that article seemed very much like fate.

“Yeah,” he said, his voice becoming more confident and convinced as he went on. “Yeah, I am. If I can make the finances work, I just might move out to Palm Springs.” Another notion seized him. “Maybe take an extended sabbatical and write that novel I’ve always considered doing.”

A vision rose up in Milt’s mind’s eye—a dusty, rock-strewn trail, the earth beneath his feet sun-washed, ochre, heading upward, the side of a blue-gray mountain. A relentless sun beat down, making each step both effort and joy, making his heart pound in his chest, reminding him he was alive.

His vision stopped when Dane’s husband, Seth, with his curly-haired handsomeness and winsome smile, interrupted. He sat down at the table with a paper plate loaded with chicken breasts and pasta, and Milt hated him for just a moment—to be able to eat like that and maintain what was obviously a thirty-inch waist.

He smiled at Milt and gave Dane a little wink. “What are you two talking about?”

Dane spoke before Milt had the chance. “Milt here is moving to Palm Springs.”

Seth laughed. “What?”

They were quiet for a moment, and Milt was certain that Seth thought his husband was kidding around. Nothing much ever changed in Summitville. And teachers certainly didn’t leave Summitville High midterm to hightail it off to Southern California.

When no one picked up the conversational thread, Seth wiped his mouth with a paper napkin and caught Milt’s eye. “He’s fucking with me, right?”

And for just a moment, the idea did seem absurd, a flight of fancy, something one would think of in the midst of emotional trauma, but with the passage of time would come to seem like a silly notion.

Maybe when it was time to retire he could move out there, get himself a little casita with a pool.

Milt shook his head. No. The idea wasn’t the passing notion of a bereaved man. It had force. And even though Milt had yet to work out the logistics of what he knew everyone would view as a rash move, he felt deep in his gut: I’m gonna do this.

Real Men. True Love.



Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at www.rickrreed.com or www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix.



Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RickReedWRITER

Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/

Website: www.rickrreed.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rick-r-reed

Email: rickrreedbooks@gmail.com

 
 

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Blue Umbrella SkyBlue Umbrella Sky by Rick R. Reed

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Intriguing characters, vivid scenery and robust vocabulary all combine to tell a beautiful tale of overcoming loss, accepting our faults and learning to let go and love again. I’ll admit, the blurb on this made me think this was going to be an ugly cry book and even though I love a good ugly cry, that’s not what this was. Was it sad? Yes. But the focus was more on what comes next and that was refreshing and beautiful. My first read by this author will definitely not be my last.

View all my reviews

~Release Blitz~ Blue Umbrella Sky by Rick R. Reed

 

 
Length: 60,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Reese Dante
 
Blurb
 

Milt Grabaur has left his life, home, and teaching career in Ohio to start anew. The Summer Winds trailer park in Palm Springs, butted up against the San Jacinto mountain range, seems the perfect place to forget the pain of nursing his beloved husband through Alzheimer’s and seeing him off on his final passage.



Billy Blue is a sexy California surfer type who once dreamed of being a singer but now works at Trader Joe’s and lives in his own trailer at Summer Winds. He’s focused on recovery from the alcoholism that put his dreams on hold.



When his new neighbor moves in, Billy falls for the gray-eyed man. His sadness and loneliness awaken something Billy’s never felt before—real love.



When a summer storm and flash flood jeopardize Milt’s home, Billy comes to the rescue, hoping the two men might get better acquainted… and maybe begin a new romance.



But Milt’s devotion to his late husband is strong, and he worries that acting on his attraction will be a betrayal.



Can they lay down their baggage and find out how redemptive love can be?

 
Blue Umbrella Sky is my first novel set in my new home of Palm Springs, California. The old song is true—it never rains in southern California, but when it does, it pours. A flash flood plays an unlikely Cupid in bringing our two main characters together, as you’ll see in the excerpt below.EXCERPT: Boy Meets Boy

Worst of all, Milt watched the water hover just outside the sliding glass doors, waiting, perhaps, for an invitation to come inside.

Ah, the hell with it, the water seemed to say, why wait for an invitation? This party needs crashing!

And it began to seep in…. A little at first, and then faster and faster, until his entire floor was covered.

Milt involuntarily cried out, voice high-pitched and terrified, nothing like the butch forty-two-year-old he thought himself. “Help! Flood! Somebody, please!” The cry was pure panic. Logically, he knew no one would hear.

What that helper would do, Milt had no idea, but he simply wanted someone to be with him in his predicament. The thought flitted across his consciousness that he’d been here six months, and it wasn’t until today and the advent of a rainstorm of biblical proportions that he realized he didn’t want to be alone. He swore as warm water covered his bare feet at the exact moment his power went out, plunging his little sanctuary into murky dark.

And at this very unnerving moment, Milt realized—gratefully—someone just might have heard his pleas for help. There was a pounding at the back door, rattling the glass jalousie panes. He turned, confused for a moment—he’d cast himself as a sole survivor, a man against nature, alone.

The pounding continued. A voice. “Hey! You okay in there?”

Milt crossed the living room and the small galley kitchen to get to the back door. But when he opened it, there was no one there. The wind pushed at him, mocking, and the rain sent a drenching spray against him. Despite getting soaked, Milt leaned out, gripping the door’s frame with both hands for balance, and looked around.

Even though the covering of storm clouds had made it seem as though a dusky twilight had fallen, he could see that there was no one there.

He wondered if he’d imagined the knocking and the voice. He really didn’t know his neighbors, having kept to himself since he’d moved out here because he just wasn’t ready to connect with others again. He’d given so much to his Corky during those final tortured months…. Sometimes Milt felt he had nothing left to give anyone again ever.

And a dog, cowering and bashful as she might be, had been company enough.

His little reverie was shattered by a second round of knocking, this time at the sliding glass doors in his living room. “Okay, so I’m not hearing things.” Milt turned away from the back door and headed to the sliders.

Outside, a young man stood, drenched from head to toe, in a pair of neon-pink board shorts and, well, nothing else. Maybe there’s flip-flops. Milt couldn’t see the guy’s feet. His jaw dropped as he hurried to open the door. In spite of all that was going on—the storm, the flood, the risk of his home being destroyed—he couldn’t help his thoughts, notions he’d decided long ago died within him.

I am looking at an angel; that’s all there is to it. He’s going to sweep me away in those muscular arms, lifting me right up to heaven and setting me down gently next to my Corky.
Milt shook his head. A short burst of laughter escaped him, almost as if someone else were chuckling in his living room with him.

The guy was handsome, a tanned and buff dreamboat. Corky would have loved him, saying, once upon a time, that looks like this boy’s should be illegal, or at least sinful. Milt smiled.

Even though his hair was plastered to his head, Milt could tell it was thick and luxurious—right now the color of dark wheat, but Milt was certain that in dryer moments, it was as gold as the pure, unfiltered sunshine Milt had grown accustomed to being greeted by every morning. He had a body that made Milt, if only for a moment, forget the storm and the fact that he was a widower, still grieving nearly a year after losing his man. Muscles, smooth bronze skin, and a six-pack had the power of oblivion, of taking precedence over everything else.

Stop, he mentally chastised himself. He flung open the slider, noticing the rain had—at last—slowed to a patter and the winds had died down almost completely. Milt, though, couldn’t seem to put lips and tongue together to form a greeting or ask a question or to even say anything at all. His eyebrows came together like two caterpillars possessed of their own will.

“Hey there, man. I heard you calling out for help.” He jerked a thumb over his shoulder. “I live in the unit behind you.” He smiled, revealing electric-white teeth that made Milt’s thoughts go even more blank or even more lascivious, he wasn’t sure which. He shivered.

Real Men. True Love.



Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at www.rickrreed.com or www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix.



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