Many thanks to The Novel Approach for hosting my Cutting Out blog tour. This is the fourth novel in the Cutting Cords series and a direct sequel to Cleave. I’m going to be sharing excerpts in a serial fashion. You can expect to read something different at each stop as I move forward in the novel. An e-book copy of Cutting Out will be offered to one lucky commenter as part of the deal so make sure to leave your contact information when you comment.
THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED.
Hours after stepping off the yacht where they had their mock wedding, real life intrudes, and arguments arise between Sloan Driscoll and Trent Hamilton. Seeking relief at his BDSM club, Trent bumps into an old army buddy who tells him things are different now that DADT has been repealed. Meanwhile, Sloan receives a frantic call from ex-lover, Cole Fujiwara, who tells him that his twins and ex-wife have been kidnapped. Cole asks Sloan for help but makes him promise not to include Trent in the rescue attempt.
Trent considers the opportunity to resume a career cut short, and despite Sloan’s threat to postpone the wedding, he leaves for the Middle East as an independent mercenary while Sloan rushes to aid Cole.
In Tokyo, disturbing revelations draw the former couple together, and old feelings are rekindled. Despite this new understanding, neither man makes a move. Sloan is focused on rescuing Cole’s family without jeopardizing his relationship with Trent, while Cole must prepare himself to survive disappointment if Sloan chooses to segue into married life as a military spouse.
O’Hare Airport was as awful as I’d predicted. Cole protested when I pointed him toward the cart, but when the attendant told him how many actual miles we’d have to walk to our final destination, he reconsidered. We piled onto the tiny vehicle and when we got close to my exit, Cole handed me Freddie’s papers while I retrieved my passport and boarding pass from my leather satchel. With a quick hand signal, Freddie jumped off the cart, and I clipped on his leash while reassuring Cole. “I’ll meet you at the Admirals Club as soon as we’re done.”
Cole nodded and Freddie and I exited security, taking the elevator down to baggage claims. The pet relief area was clearly marked with a blue sign of a dog silhouetted within a white circle. If Freddie could have kissed me, he would have. The minute I opened the black wrought iron fence, he hurried over to a corner and lifted his leg. I muttered “good boy” and turned to look around. Things had certainly changed. I could remember frantically looking for any patch of grass a few years back. Now they had poop bag dispensers, a large trash can, and even a stone bench in case a traveler wanted a seat while their animal took care of business. I took advantage of this moment alone and took my phone off airline mode. There was an email from Trent, which made my heart skip a beat.
Hey. Arrived alive (smile, babe). Busy getting up to date on the new techno shit. Lots of good stuff that’s come down the pipe since I left. Can’t wait to test the gadgets. Passed my physicals without a problem (natch). Meeting the rest of my crew tomorrow, then we’ll be on our way to the sandbox. I’ll write when I get there. Give my favorite toy a tug. Luv u tons.
I sighed, imagining that grin and aura of excitement vibrating around him. There was no denying that my Trent was a danger junkie and loving every second of this new adventure. Once again, I wondered how on earth I could compete with that sort of rush. Deciding to reply when we arrived at our final destination, I switched my phone back to airplane mode. Right now, I had to get back to the Club before Cole had a meltdown. Freddie had already barked twice to get my attention. I got rid of his waste, clipped the leash back onto his collar, and moved toward the elevators. “Come on, boy.”
A special thank you to PAS Promotions for their expert handling of my blog tour.
Mickie B. Ashling is the alter-ego of a multifaceted woman raised by a single mother who preferred reading over other forms of entertainment. She found a kindred spirit in her oldest child and encouraged her with a steady supply of dog-eared paperbacks. Romance was the preferred genre, and historical romances topped her favorites list.
By the time Mickie discovered her own talent for writing, real life had intruded, and the business of earning a living and raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing and the inevitable emptying nest, dreams were resurrected, and the storyteller was reborn.
She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world. Her award-winning novels have been called “gut wrenching, daring, and thought provoking.” She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings.
Mickie loves to travel and has lived in the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East but currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.