Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Rick R Reed for taking the time to talk with us today. There is also a Giveaway, so don’t miss that.
Prism recently reviewed Husband Hunters. You can find the review here.
Title: Husband Hunters
Author: Rick R Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
A Letter to My Former Self
Remember when you used to write horror? Gruesome stuff that made people, when they met you, wonder how someone so soft-spoken and mild-mannered could come up with such awful stuff?
Yeah, you remember. Some magazine even dubbed you the Stephen King of gay horror.
Yet now, most of your writing focuses on love stories. You have Rick bright and dark. And I wonder why you changed.
I don’t wonder much, to be honest. The truth is your life changed and your writing reflected that. See, for a time the one thing you wanted from life was to find love, to find a family to call your very own.
And you worked at it. God knows you did. A marriage to a woman. A series of boyfriends, three of them live-in, that never lasted more than a couple of years. All of these left you feeling unsatisfied. They all started out pretty, like a birthday cake, and then ended up like a birthday cake dropped on the floor, still traces of sweet, but with dirt, grit, disappointment and heartache mixed in with buttercream frosting.
Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. And you know how that relates to writing horror. You understand that the heartbreak and fear of loneliness and being alone drove you to create troubled characters, people who were out of control, people who were desperate and who feared that the worst could—and sometimes did—happen.
People like you. And your love life that never worked out. In retrospect, it made sense that you wrote horror.
But then, about twelve years ago, something changed. You answered an ad online and, contrary to most of those tenuous web-based connections, there was something there when you started e-mailing this one guy. He made you laugh. He got you. You talked. It was enough to make you want to meet in person after a couple of weeks.
You did. And you remember that first sighting of this guy when you went to pick him up, sitting on the steps waiting for you. He was wearing jeans and a blue pinstriped T-shirt. And with just one look, you fell in love.
It was scary. Even though things were good right from the start, you had too many scars to believe that, maybe this time, you’d be lucky. Maybe this time, he’d stay. So you resisted and clung desperately to what you told him you needed—your independence.
That lasted for all of three or four months.
You couldn’t help it. It was too true. You were in love, real love this time and it felt like more than just the heat of passion, it felt like the beating heart of family, in the truest and best sense of the word.
So you went on and nested and, unlike all the other relationships that had crashed and burned, you never once questioned your decision to be with this man. You still don’t. And now you’re legally married and looking forward to growing old with this person you never thought would cross the threshold into your life.
And to my younger Rick, I would say, embrace both your dark and light, in both your writing and your life. But be thankful to fate, god, whatever force brought you to this man you call husband, soul mate, family…because he made it possible to be a romance writer.
“You ever heard of a TV show called Husband Hunters?” Matt asked.
Cody let a short bark of a laugh escape. “Dude. It’s House Hunters. On HGTV, like, a thousand times a day.”
“No, no. There’s really a show called Husband Hunters. It’s on the gay channel. Haven’t you even heard of it? It’s the new gay show, even more popular than Drag Race. Where have you been?”
“Husband hunting?” Cody asked.
“Exactly. And how’s that working out for you?”
Cody paced his studio apartment and thought his friend Matt wasn’t as clueless as he had assumed about Cody’s romantic situation. “So far, my wish to be desired by many, won by few has gotten twisted around so it’s ass backwards.”
Matt obviously had to think about that for a moment. When he put it all together, he laughed. Not for the first time Cody thought of how his friend’s laughter too strongly resembled a donkey’s bray.
“Anyway,” Matt went on. “This show is kind of like your House Hunters in that it showcases someone looking for something and gives us three scenarios to watch and help them decide. Except instead of houses, it’s husbands!” Matt shrieked this last with something like delight—or lunacy.
“You’re kidding.” Cody rolled his eyes. He walked over to his kitchenette and began pulling out the makings for his breakfast: a couple of eggs, a loaf of Dave’s Spelt bread. “Is there a reason you brought this up? I can’t imagine anything more horrible. They actually get people to go on this show?” Cody sighed. “Whatever happened to romance?”
“The Internet,” Matt replied without missing a beat. “It’s a new day, as Miss Nina Simone once sang. Men get their manmeat digitally now. Soon Amazon will have drones delivering studs to your front door.”
“Whatever.” Cody was getting tired of the conversation. “You want to go out tonight or what?”
“Cody!” Matt complained. “You didn’t let me tell you the best part! Husband Hunters is right here in Seattle… today! They’re doing a talent search for some Pacific Northwest episodes.”
“And this affects me how?” Cody filled a pan with water, threw in some white vinegar and a little kosher salt, and set it on the stove to come to a simmer for his poached eggs.
“We can try out. Are you dense?” Matt went on, a little breathless with excitement. “What with the snow, there won’t even be as much competition. With your hotness and my wit, we’ll both be shoo-ins.”
Cody laughed. “You’re kidding me, right? What about the school?”
“You think they’d mind? Have you noticed that our principal is a legally wed leather daddy?”
Cody chuckled. “Only in Seattle….” He set two pieces of bread in the toaster and checked the water again for signs of boiling. A watched pot…. “You feel free to trot on down to the auditions, but this is nothing I want any part in. It’s gross.” Cody scratched the top of his head. “What do you have to do to audition, anyway? Kiss guys?”
Matt laughed. “One can hope. Come on, Cody. It’ll be fun. And you never know. It could change your life.”
“So could a car accident.”
Matt blew out a big sigh. “Don’t be a spoilsport. You know you can’t resist my charms. The casting call is being held at the Westin downtown. What time should I pick you up? My four-wheel drive will plow right through this shit.”
“I’m not going. It’s undignified.” Cody cracked the two eggs into separate ramekins.
“Dignity is overrated. What time should I pick you up?” Matt repeated.
“Didn’t you hear me? I’m not doing it!” Cody pushed the bread down in the toaster.
“Look. You may not think I’ve noticed, but I know you want to find that special someone, that soul mate character. I’ve seen how you moon over Pete at school.”
Pete was a biology teacher who bore an amazing resemblance to Colin Farrell. He had just married his sweetheart of eleven years, Johan. The couple was seldom apart. It was sickening. Except it wasn’t. It was sweet and gave Cody a glimmer of hope that somehow, somewhere, someday there was a man out there for him. Cody’s heart gave a little lurch. He knew it was true. He wanted what Pete and Johan had.
Matt went on, “So why not just try this? The truth is neither of us will probably make the cut. But it’ll be fun to go to the tryouts, see who else turns up. And who knows? The man of your dreams may be twitchin’ down at the Westin, looking for the same thing you are.”
Cody had to begrudgingly admit Matt had a point. “Okay,” he said, defeated. “But after? We go to Terra Plata for appetizers and lots of Bloody Marys. And you’re buying.”
“Deal. If it’ll get you there.”
“Is that it, then?”
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll pick you up at one. The casting call starts at two.”
“Okay, good-bye. My water’s boiling.”
“Your water broke?”
“Oh, shut up!” Cody was about to hang up when Matt shouted into the phone.
You never know where the love of your life might turn up.
When Matt Connelly suggests to his best buddy Cody Mook that they head to downtown Seattle to audition for the gay reality TV show Husband Hunters, both agree the experience might be a lark and a chance to grab their fifteen minutes of fame. What they don’t know is that the show, modeled after HGTV’s House Hunters, will open doors of longing neither expected. For Matt, the secret love he has long harbored for Cody might be thrust into the spotlight. Cody might realize his search for his perfect-forever-man extends no farther than the man who’s always been at his side.
Husband Hunters promises laughter, tears, and, just maybe, a happy ever after. Will Cody and Matt’s story be one of best-friends-to-lovers—or an outright disaster?
About the Author:
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 ). Raining Men and Caregiver have both won the Rainbow Award for gay fiction. 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.”
9/8: Joyfully Jay
9/11: A.J. Llewellyn
9/15: Rainbow Gold Reviews
9/18: Fallen Angel Reviews
9/22: Prism Book Alliance
9/25: 3 Chicks After Dark
9/29: On Top Down Under
10/2: The Blogger Girls
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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