Release Blitz + Giveaway: Blue Umbrella Sky by Rick R. Reed

Celebrate the release of Blue Umbrella Sky with author Rick R. Reed & IndiGo Promotions. Find out more about this second chance romance, read an excerpt & enter in the giveaway for a $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway too! Good luck!

Title: Blue Umbrella Sky
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: March 23, 2020
Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 63200
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, MM romance, grief, Alzheimer’s Disease, alcoholism recovery, over 40, age gap, Southern California, second chances

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Milt Grabaur has left his life, home,
and teaching career in Ohio to start anew. The Summer Winds trailer park in
Palm Springs, butted up against the San Jacinto mountain range, seems the
perfect place to forget the pain of nursing his beloved husband through
Alzheimer’s and seeing him off on his final passage.

Billy Blue is a sexy California surfer
type who once dreamed of being a singer but now works at Trader Joe’s and lives
in his own trailer at Summer Winds. He’s focused on recovery from the alcoholism
that put his dreams on hold.

When his new neighbor moves in, Billy
falls for the gray-eyed man. His sadness and loneliness awaken something
Billy’s never felt before—real love.

When a summer storm and flash flood
jeopardize Milt’s home, Billy comes to the rescue, hoping the two men might get
better acquainted…and maybe begin a new romance.

But Milt’s devotion to his late husband
is strong, and he worries that acting on his attraction will be a betrayal.


Blue Umbrella Sky
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Milt Grabaur stared out the window of
his trailer, wondering how much worse it could get.

The deluge poured down, gray, almost
obscuring his neighbors’ homes and the barren desert landscape beyond. The rain
hammered on his metal roof, sounding like automatic gunfire. Milt shivered a
little, thinking of that old song, “It Never Rains in Southern California.”

He leaned closer to the picture window,
pressing his hand against the glass and whispering to himself, “But it pours.”

That window had given him his daily view
for the last six months, ever since he’d packed up a life’s worth of belongings
and made his way south and west to Palm Springs and the Summer Winds Mobile
Home Community. This same picture window, almost every single day, had shown
him only endless blue skies and sunshine. An errant cloud or a jet contrail
would occasionally break up the field of electric blue, but other than that, it
was azure perfection. Milt reveled in it. He’d begun to think these expanses of
blue, lit up by golden illumination, would never cease.

Until today.

At about three o’clock, that blue sky,
for the first time, was overcome with gray, a foreboding mass of bruised
clouds. Milt wondered, because of his experience in the desert so far, if the clouds
would be only that—foreboding. The magical gods of the Coachella Valley would,
of course, sweep away those frowning and depressing masses of imminent
precipitation with a wave of their enchanted hands.


But the sky continued to darken, seemingly
unaware of Milt’s fanciful imagining and yearnings. At last the once-blue dome
above him became almost like night in midafternoon and the first heavy
drops—fat beads of water—began to fall, first a slow sprinkle, where Milt could
count the seconds between drops, then faster and faster, until the raindrops
combined into one single and, Milt had to admit, terrifying roar.

And then an unfamiliar sound—the
drumroll and cymbal crash of thunder. The sky, moments after, lit up with
brilliant white light.

The rain fell in earnest. Torrents of
the stuff.

The other trailers, his neighbors,
nearly vanished in the relentless gray downpour. The wind howled, sending the
rain capriciously sideways every few seconds. The palm trees in his front yard
swayed and bent with the ruthless gusts, testimony to their strength, despite
their appearance of being stalklike and weak. The wind tore dry husks of bark
from them.

At first Milt was unconcerned, thinking
the rain could only do good. It would bless the parched succulents, cacti, and
palms that dotted the rocky, sandy landscape of the park, maybe even bring them
to colorful life, forcing a brilliant desert flower, here and there, to bloom.
His decade-old Honda Civic, parked next to the trailer, would get a wash, the
thick layer of sand and dust chased away, almost pressure-cleaned.

For the half a year he’d been here, Milt
had been amazed at how clean everything could look when, in actuality, anything
outdoors was quickly covered in a veneer of fine sand, almost like gritty dust.
Milt was forever wiping off his patio furniture, cleaning the glass surfaces of
his car. But this minor inconvenience was more than outweighed by the stunning
and almost surreal appearance of the Coachella Valley and the desert, a wild
beauty which far surpassed anything even an optimistic Milt had dreamed of when
he had made up his mind, somewhat suddenly, to shed his old life in Ohio and
move out to Southern California.

He stared out at the gusts of wind, the
flashes of lightning, and the almost-blinding downpour and realized he had no
idea it could be like this. The trailer park was smack up against the San
Jacinto mountain range, and Milt realized with horror that not only would the
little park suffer from the copious water falling from the sky, but it would
also be the beneficiary, like it or not, of runoff as it came hurtling down the
mountain face.

As if to confirm his notion, Milt gasped
as he noticed the street in front of his trailer.

It was no longer a street.

Not really.

No, now it was a creek. A creek notable
for its rushing rapids. Water was speeding by at an unprecedented pace. Milt
sucked in some air as he saw a lawn chair go by, buoyed up by the current. Then
a plastic end table. An inflatable pool toy—a swan—that Milt supposed was in
the right place at the right time. But the damp throw pillows whizzing by, like
soggy oyster crackers in soup, were not.


NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet 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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