Today we are thrilled to have Rick R. Reed with us at Sinfully as he shares with us why he writes and celebrates the release of his latest novel Dinner at Jack’s. Help us welcome him and while you’re here don’t forget to check out the exclusive excerpt and enter the giveaway!
Stepping Out of a Comfort Zone & Why I Write by Rick R. Reed
Someone asked me just the other day: why do you write?
I considered, and casted away, the most obvious responses:
I have bills to pay
It’s the only thing I’m good at!
To be rich
To be famous
But honestly, and after some very deep thought, I settled on: because I have to, because it brings me joy almost more than anything else. I write not to get to the end result, but because I need/love the journey getting there so much. Living for a while with my characters (who often reflect different aspects of myself—both good and bad), taking a journey toward finding true love in an often turbulent and troubled world is immensely satisfying.
And, again, creation brings me joy. The other things—money, reviews, entertaining people, communicating emotion and ideas, fame—they’re all worth mentioning. And to varying degrees also bring me joy. But the real joy is in the work, in creation.
Dinner at Jack’s is no exception. And this story of two wounded and damaged man discovering how food and, more importantly, love for the other can bring about healing and comfort brought me a lot of joy. I loved living with this cast of characters! Even Beau’s wise-cracking pug, Ruth.
Here’s a little taste of the book… Hope it whets your appetite to read more!
Dinner at Jack’s
Rick R. Reed
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 3rd October 2016
Cover Artist ~ Reese Dante
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
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.
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.
Jack couldn’t believe it himself. He was outside. There was wind on his face, a little drizzle in the air, a snap of cold underneath it all that made him shiver. He’d worn only his denim jacket, no scarf, no gloves, no hat. But the cold and the air felt both good… and terrifying.
It had been ages since he’d done more than stick his head out of the front door to grab the mail from the mailbox. And now here he was, walking along the River Road. To his right, the river moved slowly, a sluggish brownish-green current. As a boy, against his mother’s warnings, he’d played along its shore, finding treasures now and then that the water churned up.
Ever since he’d awakened from his dream, the image had stuck with him. Beau, with the snow swirling around him. He was like an angel, powerful, beautiful, and yet fear-inducing. Something prevented him from embracing the image. There was something there, although Jack couldn’t say what. But it created in him an irresistible urge to see the man. This need went so against everything he’d felt for the past several years that Jack himself was astounded by it.
But yet it was there. He couldn’t deny it, even though he’d tried to ignore it. He had overheard his mother and Beau talking and knew Beau lived not far from them. He’d rented a place on the River Road. All Jack had to do was walk a couple of blocks, and here was the road and the river. Tracking down Beau’s place would be easy. River Road was a pretty empty stretch. There was one small commercial pottery on the road and an old diner, boarded up. That was it, other than the wharf at the road’s end, near downtown…
Beau had to live in the green-aluminum-sided house. That much Jack could figure out. What he would say or do if he actually knocked on his door or came face to face with Beau was beyond him.
He slowed as the house came into view. It was a simple house, two story, with a wide front porch that ran around two sides of it, facing the river. On the porch was a swing and a couple of pots for plants, now fallow with winter’s chill.
He stopped, letting the rain, which had turned now to sleet, run down his face in rivulets. He was crazier, obviously, than everyone thought. He hadn’t the sense to come in out of the weather.
As he stood there, near a naked maple tree that provided scant shelter, a blue Prius pulled out of the driveway. He searched, with hope, for Beau’s face behind the wheel, even though he could see Beau’s yellow smart car parked next to the garage, which was separate from the house. Of course it wasn’t Beau. There was a dark-haired woman driving, and she was so intent on where she was going, she didn’t even see Jack standing there.
He was glad to be invisible. He thought that being permanently invisible would be a blessing.
As he stood there, a door opened above his range of sight. He might not have even noticed had he not heard Beau’s voice, calling out something like “Ruth!”
He looked up and could see Beau, finally, standing on a small porch above the garage. A little pug danced around his feet, and Beau was trying to contain it, to put on the leash and harness he held in his hands.
Jack stepped back and down the bank, closer to the river. There were shrubs there that would, he hoped, conceal him. Wordlessly, he watched as Beau leashed the little dog. and together the two of them navigated the stairs that must lead to a garage apartment.
Beau wore a dark blue rain slicker. Unlike Jack, he’d also donned a pair of gloves and a black knit stocking cap. Even from where Jack stood, he could see Beau’s face, ruddy from the wind and freezing rain.
He stayed as still as he could as he watched the man and the dog walk into the yard. The dog sniffed around and finally squatted, then looked up at her master as though to say “I’m done. Let’s get out of this rain.” The thought brought a smile to Jack’s face. The expression was so rare that he reached up to feel it with his fingers.
Well, he asked himself, you’ve come all this way. What now? And Jack honestly didn’t know. He supposed he’d had the idea he might gather up his courage and knock on Beau’s door, but what would he do then? What would he say? He was rusty when it came to talking to anyone other than his mother.
He knew he’d do nothing else today. This glimpse of Beau in his natural element was enough for him. He prayed that Beau, as he mounted the stairs, would not look over and see him standing there like an idiot, in the rain. He had no handy excuse for his presence. Besides, he was now so cold his teeth were chattering.
After Beau and his pup went inside, Jack turned to begin the trek back home. His mother, by now, was sure to have noticed him missing, and she’d be out of her mind with worry. For the thousandth time, he chastised himself for what he put her through, but he couldn’t help this today. He needed to get out, needed to see Beau.
There was something about the man, more than just the fact of his attractiveness and the lovely moss green of his eyes, that drew him.
Meet Rick R. Reed
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). He is also a Rainbow Award Winner for both Caregiver and Raining Men. 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."You can email Rick at - firstname.lastname@example.org