Please welcme Rick R. Reed back to the blog today with an exclusive goodie from M4M.
Here’s a little taste of my latest, a romance told in the form of three separate-but-connected-stories that chronicle, over the years, the journey toward love and happiness of one man, Ethan Schwartz. Hopefully, you’ll get a laugh or two as you read a passage from the first installment in the trilogy, VGL Male Seeks Same. The excerpt gives you a glimpse into where all the trouble, excitement, and potential love begins.
Please read on for an appetizer portion of M4M.
Ethan was just finishing a victorious game of Spider Solitaire in his cubicle at LA Nicholes and Associates, the entertainment publicity firm where he toiled, when he overheard the office receptionist (a bleached blond waif of a boy no older than twenty) talking to the payroll clerk.
“Girl, if it worked for me, it can work for you!” The receptionist, even though he ostensibly possessed a penis and a supply of God-given testosterone had a voice that Ethan would swear was an octave above that of Miss Beverly Sills. “I have met, like, so many guys on this site. I have, like, a jillion dates lined up. I don’t know how I’m going to find time to come into work!”
The receptionist and the payroll clerk did what seemed to be a carefully choreographed giggling duet. Ethan stared at his screen, moving a queen onto a king, and listened as the receptionist waxed rhapsodic about an online dating site he had found. He had shrieked that it “wasn’t like all the others,” that it “was more than just for quick hook-ups, like so many of those sites, okay?” and that it was simply, “a lonely girl’s best friend.”
That was all Ethan needed to hear. Well, no, actually, that was not all. And even though Ethan could stand no more Spider Solitaire or Free Cell and was more than ready to call it an honest day’s work, he had to sit in his cubicles for twenty minutes more while “Bubbles” (as he secretly called the receptionist) prattled on about this wondrous—and apparently no-name—dating site. Finally, frustrated, and absolutely unable to endure one more hand of Hearts, Ethan stood and peered over the wall.
Almost immediately, the blond receptionist swiveled his head around to peer at Ethan. “Yes?” he hissed. The payroll clerk, a portly woman of Latina heritage, eyed him with suspicion. Together, they both seemed to be saying, “How dare you interrupt us?” with their eyes.
Ethan applied his most sheepish grin and began to stammer, “Sorry to interrupt but I couldn’t help but overhear what you were saying…you know, about that dating site. But I didn’t catch the name of it.”
The blond and the Latina exchanged knowing glances and Ethan, even though he would never claim psychic abilities, could read their minds quite well, thank you. They were telepathically saying:
“And who does Miss Mary over there think she is?” Bubbles asked.
Latina replied, “I don’t know, but if she thinks she’s going to have the same kind of success that you did just because she logs on, she better think again.”
“Hello?” Bubbles was staring at Ethan, head quizzically cocked, and Ethan grinned, realizing he had let his imagination run away with him. He may have just missed his only chance to learn the name of the dating site in question, the one that apparently had men lining up for the affections of a nelly nineteen-year-old who probably didn’t weigh more than a hundred pounds sopping wet and whose dubious intellect most likely rivaled that of a Chihuahua.
“Sorry? I missed that.” Ethan felt heat rising from his neck to his face.
Bubbles closed his eyes and held them shut for a beat to indicate his distaste for, and impatience with, his coworker. Speaking slowly, as if he were talking to someone hearing-impaired, Bubbles enunciated carefully, “The name of the site is bootycall.com.”
The Latina held a hand over her mouth to artlessly—and unsuccessfully—hide her giggles. Ethan noticed her nails were shellacked a lurid red, topped with dragon designs, and so long they were curving back at the top. And this woman managed to handle the challenges of a computer keyboard?
“Oh, okay,” Ethan said, staring down once more at his monitor, which had gone to a screensaver of Barbara Stanwyck movie posters. Sorry, Wrong Number seemed like an apt title to be up at the moment. Ethan may have not been possessed of a dazzling intellect, but even he knew when his leg was being unkindly pulled. He had just sat back down and was powering off when Bubbles’ voice fluttered over the beige partition. “It’s wing people dot com.”
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Authors: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 10, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 200
Finding and keeping love can be a challenge in the modern world of blogging, social media, and online dating, as one man will learn in this trilogy.
VGL Male Seeks Same
Poor Ethan Schwartz. At forty-two, he’s alone, his bed is empty, and his HDTV is overworked. He’s tried bars and other places where gay men are supposed to find each other, but it never works out. Maybe he should get a cat?
But his life is about to change…
Poor Ethan. He’s received the most shocking news a gay man can get—he’s HIV positive. Until today his life was perfect, with a job he loves and Brian, who could be “the one.” The one to complete him and fill his lonely life with laughter, hot sex, and romance.
But Ethan’s in for another shock. Could Brian have infected him?
Alone again, Ethan wonders if life is worth living, even with a cat. When an old nemesis sends a Facebook friend request, Ethan is suspicious but intrigued. It seems this old acquaintance has turned his life around, and the changes might hold the key to Ethan getting a new lease on life… and love.
First Edition published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2009.
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 Boston terrier.