Today we’re so pleased to welcome author Mickie B. Ashling on the tour for her latest novel The Sixth Chukker, releasing tomorrow from Dreamspinner Press. Enjoy this excerpt from the book, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $15 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate OR one ecopy of The Sixth Chukker, Ride-Off, or Fire Horse. Contest open internationally. Must be 18 or older to enter.
About the Book
Retired polo players Preston Fawkes and Konrad Schnell have finally found the happiness that eluded them for years. Their stud farm is a big success, and their marriage couldn’t be healthier. Unfortunately, this idyllic life is disrupted by several unexpected sources.
Paloma, Preston’s twenty-one-year-old daughter, is determined to be a 10 goal player before she turns thirty. Bandi, Konrad’s son, dreams of starting a family with his partner, Ned Temple. Paloma offers to surrogate if her father and stepfather come out of retirement and team up with her for one season.
Preston and Konrad would do anything to make their children happy, but they’re confronted with a stumbling block. Trauma specialist Dr. Rayne Carlisle refuses to sign off on the necessary paperwork unless Preston agrees to be his submissive for one week.
Caught between the proverbial rock and hard place, Preston and Konrad deal with disgruntled lovers, demanding children, and old enemies in this sequel to Ride-Off.
Excerpt: “Who was on the phone?” Konrad asked as Preston thumbed off the connection.
“Paloma,” Preston replied. “Did you know that…?”
The words trailed off when he turned toward Konrad and saw him standing in the bathroom doorway. Fresh from his shower with nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist, Konrad was a mouthwatering sight, even in his midfifties. He’d dried his hair, but beads of water still dotted his shoulders, slowly making their way down his defined pecs and sliding into the indents that made up the ridges of his tight abs. A thin trail of dark blond disappeared beneath the white terry cloth, and Preston zeroed in on the impressive package he couldn’t wait to unwrap.
The burn scars on one side of Konrad’s torso had faded to silver, hardly noticeable unless one knew where to look, and Preston had stopped seeing those years ago. Just like the ones that marred one side of Konrad’s face. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on the man, thanks to long hours spent doing what he loved best—tending to his beloved horses. Except for the scarring, Konrad was a seasoned version of the young man Preston had fallen in love with years ago. His state of mind, however, had been irrevocably changed by the life he’d led while living in Hungary. He was far less trusting and jealous to an extreme of anyone who might have had a relationship with Preston while he’d been trying to fill the void in his heart created by Konrad’s disappearance.
Preston’s reputation as a bed hopper had been well-earned, but to Konrad, they were merely fairy tales until something or someone from the past turned up to remind him that the tiny kid who became the boy he’d fallen in love with had a history rivaling any debauched rock star. Preston had lived for the moment, careless of other people’s feelings, and resorted to sex, booze, and dangerous maneuvers on the polo field to get through each day without the love of his life. Preston had been faithful since they’d reunited but understood why the very thought of Carlisle touching him turned Konrad into a seething mass of conflicting emotions.
“Is she in town?”
Preston nodded. “She’ll meet us tonight in Surrey.”
“I’m not looking forward to telling her and Bandi we’re not going to be on the team,” Konrad said bitterly, making no move to get dressed.
They’d been arguing on and off since Carlisle’s surprising ultimatum, and nothing had been resolved. An unwanted chill, however, had settled over them like an early winter warning. In the past, they’d always been able to discuss their differences and come to an amicable solution, but not this time. Preston was determined to go ahead with Paloma’s plan no matter the cost, and Konrad had dug his heels in, not budging.
“It ain’t over till it’s over,” Preston said.
He got off the bed where he’d been reclining and walked toward Konrad. Standing inches away, he stared into stormy blue eyes. “How long are you going to keep this up?” he asked impatiently.
“As long as it takes,” Konrad snapped.
“You’re cutting me off until then?”
Konrad’s nostrils flared, his chest swelled, and he hesitated for a second before he blurted, “Not by choice.”
Preston cupped Konrad’s cheek and began thumbing his mouth roughly. “Why you gotta make this so hard, Kon?”
He ghosted his mouth over the same lips he manhandled, enjoying the feel of Konrad’s arousal against him. He tried inserting a leg to add more friction, but the stubborn fool refused to give.
About the Author
Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multifaceted woman who is a product of her upbringing in multiple cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West. A little bit of this and a lot of that have brought a unique touch to her literary voice she could never learn from textbooks.
By the time Mickie discovered her talent for writing, real life got in the way, and the business of raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing—and the inevitable emptying nest—dreams of becoming a published writer were resurrected and she’s never looked back.
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 currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.
Follow the Tour
April 4 – On Top Down Under Book Reviews
April 5 – Diverse Reader
April 7 – The Novel Approach
April 7 – MM Good Book Reviews
April 8 – Sinfully
April 11 – 3 Chicks After Dark
April 12 – Love Bytes
April 13 – Book Reviews & More by Kathy
April 14 – Words of Wisdom….from The Scarf Princess
April 15 – Prism Book Alliance