Christmas, 1983: A young man, Robert, tends to his soul mate, Keith, who is dying from AIDS. Robert tries valiantly to make this a special Christmas for his lover, but loses the fight late Christmas night.
Christmas, 2007: Robert ventures out late Christmas night and finds a young girl about to fling herself into the unforgiving waters of Lake Michigan. He rescues her, and the two form a bond forged from an odd feeling they share of familiarity, and even love. Neither understands it, since Jess is a lesbian and Robert has never been attracted to women. But there’s more….
Jess begins having strange dreams, reliving key moments she couldn’t know about in Keith and Robert’s life and courtship. Robert and Jess begin to wonder if their inexplicable feelings might be rooted in something much more mystical than a savior/victim relationship.
As the two move toward and pull away from each other, Ethan, Robert’s younger lover, plots the unthinkable. His crystal meth-addled mind becomes convinced there’s only one way to save himself, and that is through Robert’s destruction. Christmas 2007 spirals downward to a shattering climax in which both love and lives hang in the balance. There’s a murder attempt…salvation…
ORIENTATION is available from Amazon.
“Filled with extraordinary characters that keep pages turning and emotions churning, Orientation blends heartbreak and hope into a potent literary brew. With a sure and descriptive touch, Rick R. Reed sets grief against the false glitter of Chicago Christmases, ultimately demonstrating that the power of love can heal, no matter what the form. Keep the hankies ready and be prepared: this book will stay with you long after the last page.”–Amy Wolff Sorter, author of Soul Obsession
“Rick R. Reed has a knack for creating compelling characters with intriguing histories. His storytelling style is fresh and his plots are innovative. Well-known for his dark fantasy, horror, and suspense, Reed has branched out recently to add mystery and dramatic novels to his résumé. The resulting books, such as Orientation, are terrific, must-read novels.”–Lori L. Lake, author of Snow Moon Rising
“Orientation is a romance, but, as one would expect from the celebrated author of suspense and mystery, it is not just your run-of-the-mill romance. There’s a murderous subplot and plenty of agonizing over the rights and wrongs of one’s actions, and some of the best writing Reed has done yet–but what he really serves up here is a beautiful Christmas present of a love story, all wrapped up in lavender ribbons, and with a splendid surprise in store for the reader when the last wrappings are peeled away. Forget the gay/straight labels. If you savor Miracle on 34th Street and sniffle throughIt’s a Wonderful Life, put this at the very top of your Christmas list.”–Victor J. Banis, author of Longhorns
“5 Stars!…The reader’s heartstrings will be more than tugged with this one; few readers will finish without shedding tears for both Robert and the dying Keith…The strengths of the novel…lie in the depths of Robert and Keith’s love, and in the unveiling of the new emotions between Robert and Jess, with the suggestions that Jess is not ‘only’ Jess, but carries another soul as well. From the grief of the initial chapters and the pain of the center core of the story comes the hope and joy of the final chapters, an encouragement to readers of all persuasions to hope for a miraculous ‘second chance.’”–Frost’s Fancy, Rainbow Reviews
“…Reed crafts a tale this reviewer would deem more of a paranormal romance, though it does have horrific moments. Reed’s descriptions of the Keith’s loss and Ethan’s downward spiraling addiction may add enough of a psychological horror element to give fans of Reed’s more traditional horror stories a reason to consider taking the plunge into a sub-genre that they might not otherwise be inclined to try.”–Martel Sardina, Dark Scribe Magazine
Rick R. Reed is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a two-time EPIC eBook Award winner. His work has caught the attention of Unzipped magazine, “The Stephen King of gay horror,”; Lambda Literary, “A writer that doesn’t disappoint,”; and Dark Scribe magazine, “an established brand—perhaps the most reliable contemporary author for thrillers that cross over between the gay fiction market and speculative fiction.” He lives in Seattle.