TITLE: Lost And Found
AUTHOR: Rick R. Reed
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
LENGTH: 200 Pages
RELEASE DATE: December 5, 2016
BLURB: On a bright autumn day, Flynn Marlowe lost his best friend, a beagle named Barley, while out on a hike in Seattle’s Discovery Park.
On a cold winter day, Mac Bowersox found his best friend, a lost, scared, and emaciated beagle, on the streets of Seattle.
Two men. One dog. When Flynn and Mac meet by chance in a park later that summer, there’s a problem: who does Barley really belong to? Flynn wants him back, but he can see that Mac rescued him and loves him just as much as he does. Mac wants to keep the dog, and he can imagine how heartbreaking losing him would be—but that’s just what Flynn experienced.
A “shared custody” compromise might be just the way to work things out. But will the arrangement be successful? Mac and Flynn are willing to try it—and along the way, they just might fall in love.
WHEN IT’S HARD: AN EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT FROM LOST AND FOUND
A Guest Post by Rick R. Reed
What would a romance be without a little complication? Here’s a scene from Lost and Found that could just make a reader give up hope—if he or she didn’t know better (smile). You need to read the book to see how I turn the complication around….
They walked in silence for a while. Flynn noticed they were walking in the general direction of Mac’s house. He hoped he’d be asked in for iced tea again. Maybe more….
Down, boy. You just met the guy. Flynn’s thoughts were rational, but thinking them didn’t minimize them. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so powerfully attracted to another guy. Flynn’s thoughts went to a dark place as he considered the last relationship he’d had—the only real long-term one he’d experienced at the ripe old age of twenty-six—and how that had gone. He and Clive had seemed to have a lot in common, but there had never been a spark, no matter how hard Flynn tried to kindle one.
With Mac he felt there was already something combustible.
But he didn’t know if Mac felt the same. Slow down. Don’t rush things. It’s early. Let’s see where things go, Flynn told himself. But he wondered if he could listen to his own good advice. Patience had never been one of his virtues.
They chatted some more as they walked to what Flynn was now sure was their destination—Mac’s house. They didn’t bring up their mutual gayness again. Why would they? Most of their conversation revolved around Mac’s current read—Mr. Mercedes—and how many miles Flynn ran in a typical week—twenty-five to thirty.
At last they ended up in front of the lovely old gray, white, and black Craftsman Mac shared with the old lady, as Flynn thought of her. What was her name again? Dee?
It hurt Flynn a little when he saw Barley about pull Mac’s arm off to run up the steps to the porch and the front door. Mac looked a little abashed at Flynn.
“Sorry. He thinks he’s home.”
Mac pulled him back down toward the sidewalk, but the dog continued to stare at the front door, panting and—Flynn thought—longing. Mac squatted.
“You need to go home with your other daddy,” Mac explained. He rubbed the dog’s muzzle with the back of his hand and smiled sadly. He looked up. “We probably shouldn’t draw this out, for his sake.” Mac stood and handed the leash to Flynn. “And mine.”
Flynn was stunned to see there were tears standing in Mac’s eyes.
So much for coming in for iced tea, maybe more. Flynn tried to plaster on a nice accommodating smile that hid his disappointment. “Yeah, you’re probably right. Get this boy home and he’ll probably sack out the rest of the afternoon.” Flynn knew he should maybe make some words of farewell and head off, but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. There lingered in him the hope Mac would change his mind and ask him in. He suggested they exchange numbers, and they brought out their phones for inputting.
Mac put a close to their afternoon. “I should get inside. I promised Dee I’d spray-paint the retro aluminum chairs she has out on the back patio. When it was raining earlier, I didn’t think the day was right for it.” He looked up at the sky, then at Flynn, and smiled. “Now it is.”
“Yes,” Flynn was forced to agree. Flynn started back down toward the sidewalk but paused when he got to the bottom and called up, “So when should we do our next visitation with our little guy?” He gave what he hoped was a cheerful and seductive grin.
But Mac didn’t return his smile. Pain was naked on his face, as plain as the constellation of freckles across the bridge of his nose and upper cheeks. “I don’t know,” Mac said softly. He glanced down at Barley, who was straining on the end of his leash to, very obviously, get back to Mac. “It’s hard.”
Flynn felt the smile vanish from his face by degrees. Although he knew exactly what Mac was referring to, he asked, “What do you mean?”
Mac forced his gaze away from the dog and back to Flynn. “I thought it would be wonderful to see him, to have some contact with him, and it was and is. But—” Mac stopped himself.
“But what?” Flynn asked, feeling a kind of guilty sickness in the pit of his gut, as though he’d stolen something.
“But it’s hard,” Mac repeated.
If it weren’t for the tension in the air, Flynn’s mind might have gone other places when Mac kept insisting that it was “hard.” Instead he just felt defeated and sad. “I get it,” Flynn said, barely above a whisper. He tried to inject some brightness into things when he said, “I could make it so you see him more often. Maybe, like, I don’t know, every other day? How do you think that would be?” Already Flynn was wondering how something like that would work, what with his busy schedule at his job. But if it meant seeing Mac again…. Oh, why do things have to be so complicated? Why couldn’t he have just met Mac on a run around Green Lake, and the two of them simply locked eyes and fell in lust? That’s the way gay relationships were supposed to work for guys their age, wasn’t it?
Mac shook his head. “I don’t know, Flynn. I never thought I’d say this, and it truly breaks my heart, but I’m wondering if things might not be easier if I just let Barley go to be with his rightful owner. In time I’ll get over it.” He sighed. “Ah! I don’t know what to think! As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I was accusing myself of being a self-harming idiot.” Mac turned toward the front door and said over his shoulder, “Listen. I need to think about this arrangement. Think about what’s best for the dog. For you. For my own heart, if that doesn’t sound too corny.”
“Well, whatever you decide,” Flynn blurted, “maybe you and I can go out? For beers or dinner or something?”
Mac made no comment. He simply gave Flynn a small hard-to-read smile and went inside.
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 also email Rick at – email@example.com
Winner’s Prize: Legally Wed ebook.
Runner Up Prize: Husband Hunters eBook.
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December 6: The Novel Approach
December 7: Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews
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