Many thanks to The Novel Approach for hosting my blog tour visit. I bring an exclusive excerpt and some goodies you can win by throwing your name into the Rafflecopter.
Excerpt: “What’s the guy’s name?” Irina asked. She was two years younger than Nik and had taken to Western society like a duck to water. Hooked on social media, she was never far from her iPad. “Let’s google the creep.”
Nikolai snorted. Irina considered Wikipedia and Google the sources of all information, and if she couldn’t find her answer with a few keystrokes, it didn’t exist. She whistled in astonishment after she typed in Emory Lowe and hundreds of links popped up. Images of the saucy young man in every costume imaginable filled her screen, and everyone looked over her shoulders to see what was so shocking. There were photos of Emory caught leaping in the air, frozen in time as the camera captured him performing one intricate move after another. When Irina looked him up on YouTube, they watched him perform his short program at Nationals, and the room hushed as the sound of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet filled the room. Nikolai couldn’t take his eyes off the tiny screen, mesmerized by the graceful movements.
The gangly youth was artistic on the ice, a fluid nymph who appeared oblivious to the huge crowd staring down at him. He owned the performance, one minute soft and tender, the next fiercely determined to win his prize, executing the complicated number with a series of jumps, including a quad, and ending the program with an I-spin that seemed to go on forever. The applause when he stopped and posed without wavering was loud and heartfelt, and that funny grin Emory seemed to have mastered appeared through the heavy makeup. Nikolai felt something twist deep down in the pit of his stomach. Christ, the figure skater wasn’t just bragging—he was dead serious. The guy was fantastic, and Nikolai felt like a lumbering oaf comparing his skills to Emory’s immense talent.
He looked up from the handheld device sheepishly. “I guess he wasn’t lying.”
“Bah!” Igor said loudly. “He’s a poofter!”
“Don’t discount the talent because of the outfit,” Nikolai said. For some reason he felt the need to defend Emory.
“Figure skating is nothing compared to hockey.”
“No,” Nikolai retorted, recalling Emory’s words. “It’s much harder.”
Blurb: Olympic figure skater Emory Lowe falls in lust the moment he lays eyes on his new neighbor, hockey player Nikolai (Nik) Vetrov. On the surface, Nik is a typical badass enforcer, intimidating and dangerous, on and off the ice. The only son of Ukrainian immigrants, Nik has been groomed from childhood to fulfill his father’s dreams of seeing him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Igor guides his son toward that goal with a controlling—and abusive—hand, steering him clear of anyone who might ruin his chances.
Although Emory is the US National Figure Skating champion, he’s in-your-face gay, and his audacious persona rubs Nik and his family the wrong way. Raised by supportive and loving parents, Emory is Nik’s polar opposite in every way but one—his desire to succeed. Underneath the fluff and glitter beats the heart of a fierce competitor, and this side of Emory’s personality begins to close the distance between the two athletes.
While the attraction was one-sided in the beginning, Nik finds himself responding to Emory’s flirting. Before the incongruous pair have a chance at any sort of relationship, they must survive the pressures of career, separation, and most importantly, Igor’s ruthless homophobia.
Bio: 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.
Giveaway: Using the Rafflecopter widget below, enter to win one of these prizes (contest open internationally): a $20 Dreamspinner gift certificate, one of five ecopies of Enforcing Emory, or an audio copy of Fire Horse. Must be 18 or older to enter.
May 25 – The Novel Approach
May 25 – Garrett Leigh
May 26 – Charlie Cochet
May 27 – Emotion in Motion
May 28 – BA Tortuga
May 29 – On Top Down Under Book Reviews
May 31 – Diverse Reader
June 1 – Prism Book Alliance
June 2 – Book Reviews & More by Kathy
June 2 – Cup o’ Porn
June 3 – WoW…from The Scarf Princess
June 4 – Love Bytes
June 5 – Divine Magazine
June 8 – MM Good Book Reviews
June 10 – Hearts On Fire
Tour and materials organized by PAS Promotions