Today I am so pleased to welcome Rick R. Reed to Joyfully Jay. Rick R. Reed has come to share an excerpt from his latest release, Blink. He has also brought along a giveaway for one lucky reader on his tour.  Please join me in giving Rick a big welcome!

Excerpt

My new book, BLINK, is partly a book about memory…memory of a time when gay people were a lot less accepted than they are today (and what happens in the book was only about 30 years ago!). In the excerpt below, you see a scene between my two main characters, Andy and Carlos, as they spy one another on the Chicago L once more…and some of Andy’s reluctance to accept his own attraction to Carlos. And…it’s a turning point.

 

You know how you might read in poetry or hear in a song that someone took one’s breath away? The concept sounds silly and we may accept it as metaphor. But the fact is, it’s real. When I saw him standing there, leaning over a woman in a bright red suit so he could surreptitiously read the magazine open on her lap, I caught my breath. I could hear the blood begin to thud, a dull roar, in my ears.

And I had the old pushmi-pullyu reaction—the wanting to look away, the desire to eat him up with my eyes. He was looking no less hot this morning, in a plaid shirt, open enough to reveal the silkiness of his smooth brown chest, perhaps just a little of the cleave between his pecs. He wore a faded denim jacket that made him seem a bit of the bad boy. Pressed khakis and loafers contradicted this impression.

With my gaze still on him and probably communicating the million different thoughts racing through my head, he looked up.

I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t look away. I told you about those eyes, how they were like magnets. They caught and held me, helpless. I wanted to turn my gaze toward the window or anywhere but at him, but he compelled me not to with those damn dark eyes, so probing—and yes, so sexy.

He smiled and this time I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that his expression was not one of ridicule, but one of recognition. It said, “I’m happy to see you again.” My heart fluttered with relief, with a building current of desire. I hadn’t spoken even one word to him, but I felt like I had just reunited with a long lost love.

I smiled back.

What am I doing? The reasonable, wanna-be straight boy inside asked me. I fought so hard against my feelings, even feeling ashamed when I awakened one morning with the insides of my briefs damp from scattered images of hairy chests, erect cocks, come-spurting, deep tongue kisses pressed against faces that felt, even in dream, like sandpaper.

But I returned his grin and our gazes held for a record amount of time. I heard, vaguely, the conductor announce the stop for Racine was coming up. Our gaze broke as Carlos sidled between two people and began moving toward the doors. Racine. That was his stop.

What would I do? Would I sit and watch him vanish into the sunny day? Would I ride this same train again and again, perhaps never seeing him? Could I allow that to happen?

Forces pulled at me. Sensible ones told me to stay put, to resume reading whatever book I had in my lap that day. Was it some potboiler horror novel that I favored back in the day? Dean Koontz, maybe? Other forces, though, drew me irresistibly toward the broad back and the high ass of Carlos as he prepared to exit the train.

I got up, my heart pounding at what must have been three times its normal rate. I stood on shaky legs to take a few steps and stand behind him. I could see him turn his head slightly and regard me out of the corner of his eye.

And God help me, I followed him off the train. The air outside was sweet, despite the exhaust from cars rushing by on the Eisenhower. He stopped. I stopped. We waited for the rush of passengers heading for the station’s exit to thin.

And he smiled again, a big joyous grin that crinkled his eyes and lit up his face. I will never forget that expression.

It was joy.

And it was because of me.

He spoke first, “I’ve been hoping this would happen.”

Now, confronted with having to talk, I didn’t know what to say. Not only that, it was as though the power of speech had deserted me. I could only helplessly and, I was sure, stupidly grin at him.

“I wanted to meet you so much.” Carlos said.

His words were like a warm embrace. I wish I could recall what I finally said. But I can’t. I can only recall what my words led to—I invited him over that night. “Meet me at the South Boulevard L stop in Evanston at 7:00,” I said and walked away before I could change my mind.


Blurb

Blink by Rick R. ReedLife can change in the blink of an eye. That’s a truth Andy Slater learns as a young man in 1982, taking the Chicago ‘L’ to work every morning. Andy’s life is laid out before him: a good job, marriage to his female college sweetheart, and the white picket fence existence he believes in. But when he sees Carlos Castillo for the first time, Carlos’s dark eyes and Latin appeal mesmerize him. Fate continues to throw them together until the two finally agree to meet up. At Andy’s apartment, the pent-up passion of both young men is ignited, but is snuffed out by an inopportune and poorly-timed phone call.

Flash forward to present day. Andy is alone, having married, divorced, and become the father of a gay son. He’s comfortable but alone and has never forgotten the powerful pull of Carlos’s gaze on the ‘L’ train. He vows to find him once more, hoping for a second chance. If life can change in the blink of an eye, what will the passage of thirty years do? To find out, Andy begins a search that might lead to heartache and disappointment or a love that will last forever….


Bio

Rick R. ReedRick 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.”


Giveaway

Rick has brought an ebook copy of his book Dinner at Home to give away to one lucky reader. Just follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter. 

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