We’re so pleased to welcome author Mickie B. Ashling back to TNA today, on the tour for her latest novel, Open Seating. Enjoy this little tease from the book, and then be sure to check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below where you can enter for the chance to win a $10 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate, an audio code for a Mickie Ashling audiobook, or an ecopy of one of Mickie’s backlist titles.
I’d like to thank The Novel Approach for giving me the opportunity to share an exclusive excerpt from Open Seating, the first book in a planned trilogy. Those of you who follow me know I love to travel, and my favorite way to see the world is on a cruise ship. A story with a luxury liner as a backdrop was bound to come out of my muse eventually; I’m just surprised that it took this long.
As the blurb mentions, my main characters are nothing alike and have been thrown together on this voyage under the worst of circumstances. Fate has presented their itinerary, and now it’s up to them to make it work. Or not.
I bring some fun giveaways and several opportunities to win a freebie by following along on the tour. Before I close, I’d like to mention and thank my publicist J for her excellent work in organizing my blog tours and anything else I might need in terms of promotion.
About the Book
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Series: Open Trilogy #1
Release Date: June 10, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Length: 204 Pages
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Blurb: Seth Wilder lost his partner of twenty years to suicide two weeks before a long-anticipated cruise. Cancellation insurance was never purchased, and Seth can’t get a refund. Bryce McFarland, his late partner’s gym buddy, appreciates his predicament, and when asked, agrees to accompany him on the trip. This way, Seth recoups the money and doesn’t have to cancel his plans. The gesture is unexpected but accepted gratefully.
The two men have nothing in common. Seth is a reclusive romance writer, and Bryce is a hard-core Grindr user with major commitment issues. Out of necessity and despite the seemingly insurmountable differences in personality, they develop a tentative rapport. As they begin their journey through the UK, Bryce helps Seth come to terms with his partner’s sudden death while Seth, in turn, discovers the root cause of Bryce’s phobia.
Shipboard romances rarely work. Sensible men resist, sexual tension notwithstanding. But a full moon and late summer breezes lend itself to the impossible situation, barriers are crossed, and a love affair is kindled.
After a good dinner of roast chicken and mashed potatoes, accompanied by two glasses of merlot, Bryce put on his sleeping mask and reclined his seat, hoping to catch a few z’s before landing at Heathrow. The last week had been mentally and physically exhausting, and his body was finally feeling the strain. Seth’s surprising request regarding the cruise he and Mark had planned for the last five years set off a chain of events culminating in Bryce’s decision to put his life on hold for three weeks to help out.
He had no illusions that it would be an enjoyable trip, but he also felt he owed it to Mark to make sure his partner didn’t go off the deep end, literally. Seth had been in a fog of despair since he woke up to the sight of his dead partner. Personally, Bryce thought it was a shitty thing to do to someone you loved, but after reading the suicide note and researching ALS, he was a bit more forgiving. Bryce would never know how many tortured hours Mark had spent contemplating his decision, nor did he ever want to be in that position, but in the end, Mark had decided to bail on his terms rather than wasting what little savings they had on a lost cause.
In retrospect, Bryce should have sensed there was a problem. The normally jovial guy who spent over an hour at the gym at least three times a week had been fading in front of his eyes, and he’d been too caught up in his own shit to even notice. What he did remember were a few questions out of left field that made him scratch his head.
“Do you think Seth is hot?” Mark had asked. “Would you date him if he were single? How does Grindr work?”
Bryce had smacked Mark on the ass with a wet towel by the time he was done with the last question. “Dude, what the fuck is wrong with you?” he’d asked, looking at his friend with distaste. “I might be a manwhore, but I’d never poach.”
“Just curious, Bryce. Do you honestly think I’d let you get within five feet of my man given your history?”
Now Bryce wondered if Mark had been planting a seed all along. Did he want Bryce to make a move on Seth to make sure the guy got back into the world of the living? Surely not.
Bryce and Seth were as compatible as ice cream and soy sauce, Felix and Oscar, Anderson Cooper and Kirk Cameron… sheesh, he could go on and on. There was no way he’d consider dating the guy, let alone touch him, though he was attractive in an understated way. Seth still had a full head of burnished blond hair and big brown eyes that reminded Bryce of a poodle he’d had as a kid. They were sweet and trusting with long curly lashes, but Seth wasn’t a goddamn dog! He was an opinionated gay man
God… what was he thinking? He didn’t even babysit his sister’s kids and now he was saddled with a guy who was clueless and would require more attention than Bryce could possibly deliver. Compassion was one thing, but living in close quarters with someone who was used to getting his way, thanks to Mark’s indulging, would be a challenge. He wondered if that occurred to Seth when he begged Bryce to go on the cruise.
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
June 9 – The Novel Approach
June 10 – MM Good Book Reviews
June 11 – Mickie Ashling’s Blog
June 14 – Sinfully
June 16 – Prism Book Alliance
June 20 – Diverse Reader
June 22 – Love Bytes
June 24 – On Top Down Under Book Reviews
June 28 – Bayou Book Junkie
June 29 – Multitaskingmommas