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Audio Blitz: The Man From Milwaukee by Rick R. Reed & Narrated by Donald Davenport

The Man from Milwaukee | Rick R. Reed

Man from Milwaukee Audio Banner

Narrator: Donald Davenport

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: July 20, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins

Buy Link: Audible

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Blurb

It’s the summer of 1991 and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer has been arrested. His monstrous crimes inspire dread around the globe. But not so much for Emory Hughes, a closeted young man in Chicago who sees in the cannibal killer a kindred spirit, someone who fights against the dark side of his own nature, as Emory does. He reaches out to Dahmer in prison via letters.

The letters become an escape—from Emory’s mother dying from AIDS, from his uncaring sister, from his dead-end job in downtown Chicago, but most of all, from his own self-hatred.

Dahmer isn’t Emory’s only lifeline as he begins a tentative relationship with Tyler Kay. He falls for him and, just like Dahmer, wonders how he can get Tyler to stay. Emory’s desire for love leads him to confront his own grip on reality. For Tyler, the threat of the mild-mannered Emory seems inconsequential, but not taking the threat seriously is at his own peril.

Can Emory discover the roots of his own madness before it’s too late and he finds himself following in the footsteps of the man from Milwaukee?

Excerpt

The Man from Milwaukee
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Headlines

Dahmer appeared before you in a five o’clock edition, stubbled dumb countenance surrounded by the crispness of a white shirt with pale-blue stripes. His handsome face, multiplied by the presses, swept down upon Chicago and all of America, to the depths of the most out-of-the-way villages, in castles and cabins, revealing to the mirthless bourgeois that their daily lives are grazed by enchanting murderers, cunningly elevated to their sleep, which they will cross by some back stairway that has abetted them by not creaking. Beneath his picture burst the dawn of his crimes: details too horrific to be credible in a novel of horror: tales of cannibalism, sexual perversity, and agonizing death, all bespeaking his secret history and preparing his future glory.

Emory Hughes stared at the picture of Jeffrey Dahmer on the front page of the Chicago Tribune, the man in Milwaukee who had confessed to “drugging and strangling his victims, then dismembering them.” The picture was grainy, showing a young man who looked timid and tired. Not someone you’d expect to be a serial killer.

Emory took in the details as the L swung around a bend: lank pale hair, looking dirty and as if someone had taken a comb to it just before the photograph was snapped, heavy eyelids, the smirk, as if Dahmer had no understanding of what was happening to him, blinded suddenly by notoriety, the stubble, at least three days old, growing on his face. Emory even noticed the way a small curl topped his shirt’s white collar. The L twisted, suddenly a ride from Six Flags, and Emory almost dropped the newspaper, clutching for the metal pole to keep from falling. The train’s dizzying pace, taking the curves too fast, made Emory’s stomach churn.

Or was it the details of the story that were making the nausea in him grow and blossom? Details like how Dahmer had boiled some of his victim’s skulls to preserve them…

Milwaukee Medical Examiner Jeffrey Jentzen said authorities had recovered five full skeletons from Dahmer’s apartment and partial remains of six others. They’d discovered four severed heads in his kitchen. Emory read that the killer had also admitted to cannibalism.

“Sick, huh?” Emory jumped at a voice behind him. A pudgy man, face florid with sweat and heat, pressed close. The bulge of the man’s stomach nudged against the small of Emory’s back.

Emory hugged the newspaper to his chest, wishing there was somewhere else he could go. But the L at rush hour was crowded with commuters, moist from the heat, wearing identical expressions of boredom.

“Hard to believe some of the things that guy did.” The man continued, undaunted by Emory’s refusal to meet his eyes. “He’s a queer. They all want to give the queers special privileges and act like there’s nothing wrong with them. And then look what happens.” The guy snorted. “Nothing wrong with them…right.”

Emory wished the man would move away. The sour odor of the man’s sweat mingled with cheap cologne, something like Old Spice.

Hadn’t his father worn Old Spice?

Emory gripped the pole until his knuckles whitened, staring down at the newspaper he had found abandoned on a seat at the Belmont stop. Maybe if he sees I’m reading, he’ll shut up. Every time the man spoke, his accent broad and twangy, his voice nasal, Emory felt like someone was raking a metal-toothed comb across the soft pink surface of his brain.

Neighbors had complained off and on for more than a year about a putrid stench from Dahmer’s apartment. He told them his refrigerator was broken and meat in it had spoiled. Others reported hearing hand and power saws buzzing in the apartment at odd hours.

“Yeah, this guy Dahmer… You hear what he did to some of these guys?”

Emory turned at last. He was trembling, and the muscles in his jaw clenched and unclenched. He knew his voice was coming out high, and that because of this, the man might think he was queer, but he had to make him stop.

“Listen, sir, I really have no use for your opinions. I ask you now, very sincerely, to let me be so that I might finish reading my newspaper.”

The guy sucked in some air. “Yeah, sure,” he mumbled.

Emory looked down once more at the picture of Dahmer, trying to delve into the dots that made up the serial killer’s eyes. Perhaps somewhere in the dark orbs, he could find evidence of madness. Perhaps the pixels would coalesce to explain the atrocities this bland-looking young man had perpetrated, the pain and suffering he’d caused.

To what end?

“Granville next. Granville will be the next stop.” The voice, garbled and cloaked in static, alerted Emory that his stop was coming up.

As the train slowed, Emory let the newspaper, never really his own, slip from his fingers. The train stopped with a lurch, and Emory looked out at the familiar green sign reading Granville. With the back of his hand, he wiped the sweat from his brow and prepared to step off the train.

Then an image assailed him: Dahmer’s face, lying on the brown, grimy floor of the L, being trampled.

Emory turned back, bumping into commuters who were trying to get off the train, and stooped to snatch the newspaper up from the gritty floor.

Tenderly, he brushed dirt from Dahmer’s picture and stuck the newspaper under his arm.

*

Kenmore Avenue sagged under the weight of the humidity as Emory trudged home, white cotton shirt sticking to his back, face moist. At the end of the block, a Loyola University building stood sentinel—gray and solid against a wilted sky devoid of color, sucking in July’s heat and moisture like a sponge.

Emory fitted his key into the lock of the redbrick high-rise he shared with his mother and sister, Mary Helen. Behind him, a car grumbled by, muffler dragging, transmission moaning. A group of four children, Hispanic complexions darkened even more by the sun, quarreled as one of them held a huge red ball under his arm protectively.

As always, the vestibule smelled of garlic and cooking cabbage, and as always, Emory wondered from which apartment these smells, grown stale over the years he and his family had lived in the building, had originally emanated.

In the mailbox was a booklet of coupons from Jewel, a Commonwealth Edison bill, and a newsletter from Test Positive Aware. Emory shoved the mail under his arm and headed up the creaking stairs to the third floor.

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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…”

Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

About the Narrator

Donald Davenport. I am a screenwriter, author, educator and podcaster. I am also a film producer and director.

donalddavenport.com

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Absolutely glorious festive romance with a delicious hint of spice

55932311._SY475_Merry Cherry Christmas by Keira Andrews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Keira Andrews knows how to write a festive romance which has just enough spice to ensure the sweet never overpowers.

For this, she goes to college with a jock and a nerd who fulfil all the necessary trope requirements while still managing to bring fresh enjoyment to their romance.

It also happens over a relatively short time period, but it’s completely missing any feeling of insta love.

Instead, it seems like Jeremy and Max have been friends forever, the attraction between them is palpable from the off and I loved the dynamics of their relationship.

Max is very much the nurturing type, he was captain of his team and he just wants to take care of Jeremy.

And the gorgeous redheaded anxiety full science nerd is an utterly delightful bundle of innocence.

I loved the interplay between them, I also loved that Max’s sporty mates were all cool dudes and there was no angsting about him being gay.

Instead, the tensions came from Jeremy’s parents being cool with him and from Max’s fears over failing in his promise to his dead mum.

Max’s family were also awesome and I very much loved the guest appearances from Nick and Hunter (Santa Daddy) at their Christmas tree farm.

As is often the case with Keira, there’s a delicious frisson of light kink which prevents the book becoming overly Schmaltzy and I totally appreciated that!

I also appreciated the interracial relationship and that Max’s family were originally from Goa. It added an extra element to his determination to live up to his mother’s legacy and the experience she’d been given by her family in turn making sacrifices as immigrant settlers in Canada.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my reviews

A visit to Whisper Farm always makes my heart happy

55138252._SY475_The Sex Coach by Garrett Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Garrett Leigh’s writing just feeds my heart and my mind with happiness.

There’s something brutally honest with every book she pens, whether it’s the struggles with drug addiction or, like here, where it’s more to do with the anxieties of a new job, burgeoning attractions and new fatherhood.

We’re back in my second favourite series location – Whisper Farm – with Joe, Harry and the rest of the Skins crew.

But it’s five years post Joe and Harry’s wedding and it’s young Toby, now a strapping 24-year-old, who holds the narrative focus.

His main distraction is new dad Cole, who’s moved to the farm to help take some of the classes at Harry’s clinic.

Straight away I was in love with this pair. They’re both so hesitant around each other, both have their own internal fears and hesitancy that they’re fighting alongside their attraction to the other.

This book is way less angsty than some of Garrett’s other books, but it’s not lacking in any of the emotion she’s so good at invoking.

As the story meanders along, Cole and Toby enter into a half friends/half sexual induction relationship which is seriously sweet, seriously hot and hilariously obvious to everyone else – full of feelings 😁

The dramatic tension is driven completely through the fears and anxieties of both men, nothing manufactured or mis-communicated.

With loads of guest appearances from nearly all the rest of the Skins gang, this book is a joyous experience.

The Epilogue is beyond awesome too and just firmly anchors this pair’s happy ending.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my reviews

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