We’re so pleased to welcome author Rick R. Reed to TNA today, on the tour for his newest novel Lost and Found. After you enjoy his guest post and excerpt, be sure to check out the Rafflecopter giveaway too.
What if? And the Origins of My Man’s Best Friend Love Story: Lost and Found
In my experience as a writer, I’ve found that nearly every story begins with a simple, open-ended, and two-word question:
In the case of Lost and Found, the “what if” questions that intrigued me enough to write a love story about how a lost dog could bring two “lost” men, lonely and looking for love, together, were:
- What if a single gay man lost his dog on a hike? In my story, the loss occurred at Seattle’s Discovery Park, which is enormous, with acres of woodland trails and a gorgeous Pacific Northwest beach with a lighthouse (you can see the lighthouse pictured on Reese Dante’s gorgeous cover).
- What if that same dog was found later, shaken and hungry, by a different single gay man? I know what I’d do: I’d take the dog in with the very good intention of finding its owner, but would immediately—and helplessly—fall in love with it. I’m a hopeless case, a sucker for any creature with soulful eyes and a need to be taken care of—whether it’s a dog or a man! My main character, Mac, shares these traits with me.
What if, down the road, after the dog was taken in—and loved—by the second gay man, the two men encounter one another in public? With the dog in question along? And there’s where the big conflict arises—two men and one dog, loved completely and helplessly by both? How do they work this out? And in the working out…will they fall in love?
About the Book
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.
The redhead yanked back on the rope leash. “Hamburger!” he barked. “Heel! Behave! Whatever!” He chuckled, and the dog stopped, turned, and looked back at the redhead and then down at the ground, as though abashed. Barley, or the one who could be his twin, plopped down on his hind legs, looking from one man to the other.
“Hamburger?” Flynn sputtered.
The redhead laughed. “Yeah, that’s his name.” He squatted down by the dog and scratched him behind the ears. “It’s his favorite food. Mine too.” He looked to Flynn, face all quizzical. “What were you calling him? Barley?” At the mention of the word barley, the dog again got to his feet and started straining at the leash, wanting, it seemed, to get near Flynn.
Flynn stood, tried to remember to be kind, to breathe. No good could come from being confrontational. “Barley. Yeah. That’s his name.”
The redhead smiled, though his green eyes shifted away from Flynn to gaze out at the lake, which this morning looked so still and blue it could have been a mirror. He looked back at Flynn. “Sorry, dude, but I think you’ve mistaken Hamburger here for somebody else.” He wrapped the leash tighter around his hand, shortening it so the dog couldn’t come any closer to Flynn.
Flynn didn’t want to argue, but this was Barley. It had to be. No other dog barked like that. No other dog looked like this one. Flynn shook his head. He’d heard the old saw about possession being nine-tenths of the law, so he knew he needed to go easy here, to try to be reasonable, nonaccusatory. It was a tall order, because everything in Flynn at this moment was telling him to give the redhead a good shove, snatch the leash from his hand, and just take off with the dog. He could get away too. Flynn was fast—he could do a 5K in under twenty minutes, no problem. And Barley, he knew, on the trail of a squirrel, was even faster.
But common sense, fear of the law, and the tiny—very tiny—lingering doubt in his mind prevented him from being so bold. Instead he asked the redhead, “When did you get him? And where?”
Again, the redhead shifted his gaze away to the left before he answered. “Um, what’s it to you?”
“What’s it to me? Well, um, I kind of think that’s my dog. He looks just like him. He sounds just like him.” Flynn sighed. “I lost him last fall in Discovery Park and never found him.” Flynn tried to stop his lower lip from quivering. He wanted so much to beg, to just say “Please give him back to me, sir. He’s mine. We both know it.” But something—propriety, the miniscule chance of being wrong—prevented him from lowering himself that much.
The redhead smiled, but Flynn could detect nervousness creeping into those handsome features—a little twitch at the corner of his lips, the way he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. Flynn swore he could see the wheels turning in the redhead’s mind.
At last the redhead spoke, smiling. “I’ve had Hamburger here since he was a pup. Eight weeks old. Got him from a breeder out in Monroe. So you see, man, this isn’t your Barley, or whatever you called him. Sorry about your loss, though.” The redhead looked out at the lake again. “Really.”
Flynn didn’t miss that the dog’s ear perked up when the redhead said “Barley,” but doubt was creeping in again. Doubt and desperation.
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). 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.”
Follow the Tour
December 5: Bike Book Reviews
December 6: The Novel Approach
December 7: Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews
December 8: The Blogger Girls
December 9: Love Bytes Reviews :: Diverse Reader :: Prism Book Alliance
December 12: The Purple Rose Tea House
December 13: MM Good Book Reviews
December 14: Bayou Book Junkie