Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: Wounded Air by Rick R. Reed

Rick and Ernie found the perfect apartment on Chicago’s West Side. Before they’re settled, Rick begins having all-too-real disturbing “dreams.” Each time, an emaciated young man with sad brown eyes appears, terrifying and obsessing him.

From their next-door neighbor, Paula, Rick learns about Karl and Tommy, who lived there before them. Tommy’s mysterious disappearance pains her. When she shares a photo of her with Tommy and Karl, Rick is shocked and troubled. Tommy is the man who appears to him in his dreams.

The ghostly visitations compel Rick to uncover the truth about Tommy’s disappearance. It’s a quest that will lead him to Karl, Tommy’s lover, who may know more about Tommy’s disappearance than he’s telling, and a confrontation with a restless spirit who wants only to—finally—rest in peace.

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In this excerpt, we meet the sister of our “ghost” and his boyfriend. At this point, they’re only aware he’d disappeared. But it looks very suspicious… “It’s been six months, man. You know something—come on.” Amanda faced Karl, the unhappiness and suspicion plain on her features that so resembled her brother’s. She’d dropped by, unannounced, at his new apartment only a couple of miles from where he and Tommy had once lived. She’d taken a long, hard look at Karl’s new home and it made her sad. The place was soulless—little more than a furnished room. The oddest thing about it, Amanda thought, was that there were no mementos from life with her brother. Shouldn’t there be something? A framed photo, maybe? A souvenir from one of the trips they’d taken before they’d gotten involved with the drugs? Once upon a time, when the couple had lived together, they had photographs of themselves everywhere: in frames, loose, spilling across a table, hung on walls, standing upright on a desk or side table. Now, it was as though her brother had never existed. Anyone at all could be the inhabitant of this room. It had zero personality. It made her want to cry. It also made her anger rise. What was Karl not telling her? Amanda had known him long enough not to suspect foul play, but still, wouldn’t he have some clue as to where Tommy was? “We’ve been over this a thousand times, Amanda.” Karl’s lower lip trembled. His eyes were glassy with unshed tears. He drew in a deep breath in a barely successful attempt to calm himself. He nearly shrieked, “I don’t know! I don’t know where he is.” “Calm down,” Amanda said, picking at her cuticles, staring straight ahead. “I’m not accusing you of anything, for Christ’s sake. So there’s no reason to be so defensive.” Amanda knew there was a lot she wasn’t saying. She was actually accusing Karl, she supposed. She did suspect him of knowing more than he let on. Whether there was something evil, something nefarious about it, she doubted, but he knew something. He had to. At least that’s what she told herself. Otherwise, she’d have no hope at all that her brother would ever be found—dead or alive. If Karl did know something, then this torture of not knowing could at least draw to a close. She’d lost count of how many nights she’d lain awake, wondering where Tommy could be. Or she’d dream of him and wake, breathless, grateful for even that ephemeral connection. She saw him all over town. In a café, bar, or restaurant. Walking along the lakefront trail. Shopping at Jewel. Her hope would rise, her heart would beat a little faster. It was never him, of course. On those darkest of nights, she’d lay there, waiting for the room to lighten in shades of gray and think, for a moment, that she’d never see her Tommy again. There was no other rational explanation, and she knew it. But knowing a thing and accepting it are different.  She stood and crossed the room to peer out the window. Below, traffic moved north and south on Damen Avenue. The sky was steel gray, threatening rain. The whole world felt listless. Hopeless.

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About the Author:

Real Men. True Love. Rick R. Reed is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction. He is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Entertainment Weekly has described his work as “heartrending and sensitive.” Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” Find him at Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

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