We’re so pleased to have author Mickie B. Ashling joining us with an exclusive excerpt from her latest novel, Third Son, from NineStar Press. There’s also a giveaway, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget for entry details.
From the Author
Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to share an exclusive excerpt from my latest release, Third Son. The idea for this novel appeared out of the blue like all my other stories, and I jumped on the chance to explore the mind of a character whose outward appearance and psyche are completely at odds. Having grown up in a country where I was a minority—the Philippines—it was easy to relate to Niall. Although he speaks the language, and understands the prevailing mindset, a blue-eyed ginger in China sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. This story is a departure from most of the romances I’ve written in the past, and I’m happy it found a home at NineStar Press.
About the Book
Title: Third Son
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: October 2, 2017
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre/Categories: Contemporary, LGBT, mystery, action, family-drama, gay, crime, suspense, explicit, criminals, bodyguard
Purchase Links: NineStar Press || Amazon || Smashwords || Barnes & Noble || Kobo
Blurb: American Niall Monroe returns to Hong Kong—a city he calls home—after being away for eight years. He hopes to finally find happiness with Peter Wei, his closeted lover of fourteen years, but is disappointed to find Peter has been put in an untenable position. He must marry and produce the long-awaited grandchild or get cut off by his millionaire father.
Gerard Sun, a talented artist, bursts back into Niall’s life after a one-night stand in Las Vegas. Circumstances force the men to deal with their attraction, especially when Niall’s firm considers Gerard to help promote tourism in the People’s Republic of China.
James, Peter’s younger brother, has been Niall’s best friend since they were schoolmates. He encourages Niall to ditch his brother and move on. He encourages Niall to ditch his brother until he finds out Niall is thinking of dating Gerard Sun, a talented artist.
Coming home seemed like a great idea until it wasn’t. Niall finds himself a stranger in a familiar landscape, slammed on multiple fronts by broken promises, jealousy, intrigue, unimaginable deceit, and undercurrents of evil. As his dreams quickly turn into nightmares, Niall reaches out to new allies for support.
Niall gives some background on his relationship with Peter and Gerard is understandably upset.
From the outside, Gerard’s building looked much like the neighboring structures, timeworn and inconsequential, but the inside had been gutted and modernized. His spacious apartment was on the top floor, a two-story unit with vaulted ceilings and a spiral staircase connecting both levels. He informed me his bedroom and en suite bathroom were upstairs. On the first floor, there were several large windows covered with vertical blinds. I could only assume that natural lighting factored into his decision to stay in this part of town, which wasn’t exactly upscale by Hong Kong standards.
“This is beautiful,” I said as I took in my surroundings.
“Thanks. You were probably expecting a dump.”
“Never judge a book….”
“Have you lived here very long?”
“About two years,” Gerard said. “Would you like a drink?”
“That sounds good,” I murmured. “Anything to settle my nerves.”
“Choose your poison. I have beer, wine, or scotch.”
“A glass of wine will work.”
“Coming right up,” he said, heading for the kitchen, separated from the living room by an L-shaped counter. There were four barstools on one side, in lieu of a dining room table, where one could eat or chat with the cook as he worked. The rest of the area was sparsely decorated with a leather sectional, matching side tables, and a flat-screen TV mounted on the wall. Three easels covered with white drop cloths were closest to the windows, and long narrow tables littered with painting paraphernalia were pushed up against a free wall.
I perched on a barstool, and Gerard silently handed me a stemless wineglass filled halfway with a deep red. I took a sip and sighed in appreciation.
Noticing my reaction, Gerard pointed out the Dominique Laurent label. “I try not to skimp on wine. The cheaper stuff gives me headaches.”
“It’s the tannin level in wines that affects some people poorly. Headaches, runny noses, hives are some of the side effects.”
“Yeah. I’m an amateur wine connoisseur and have done a lot of research.”
“I’ll take you with me the next time I hit the cheese and wine shop.”
I smiled. “Don’t expect much. My grading system is far from accurate, but I can tell the difference between mediocre, good, great, and fantastic. This particular vintage is definitely one I’d buy without hesitation.”
My hand shook slightly as I brought the glass up for another sip. Gerard must have noticed, and he scooted over to my side of the counter and put his hand on my leg.
“Are you okay?”
“Sorry,” I said, lowering the glass. “I’m still recovering from the shock.”
“What prompted the stalking?”
“Peter and I broke up last night. He showed up at my office this morning, hoping I’d reconsider, but I didn’t cave. He was pissed when he left.”
“Has he ever done something like this before?”
“Sent his bodyguard after me?”
“Is that who he was?”
“Yeah, Shun is his go-to person for just about everything. And to answer your question, no. This has never happened before.”
“How long have you been with Peter?”
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to expose myself this way, but talking about it might help me formulate a plan. I knew I had to do something to get Peter off my back. “It’s a long story, Gerard, and it’s late. Are you sure you want to hear this?”
“Yes, but only if you’re willing,” he said gently. “I’m not here to judge, Niall, only to lend my support.”
“I doubt I’ll sleep a wink so I might as well tell you the story.”
“You can crash here if you want. I’ll sleep on the sofa if you’re uncomfortable sharing my bed.”
Gerard took my hand and led me toward the sectional. After we got comfortable, I gave him an abridged version of my relationship. I chose my words carefully as I didn’t want this to come out as a melodramatic tale of child abuse. Technically, though, I had been underage when Peter made his first move, and he should have known better, being six years my senior. Looking at it from an outsider’s perspective, I could see how I’d been led astray by my insecurities and Peter’s poor choices. A large part of the attraction had to do with my own self-hatred and a need to prove I was worthy of attracting such a desirable man. I ignored the difference in our ages and the way James viewed me with horror in his eyes whenever Peter and I locked ourselves away in a room. A more decent man would have let me down gently, asking me to wait until I was older, instead of turning a gullible fifteen-year-old into his personal slave. At least he waited until I was sixteen to penetrate me.
Gerard’s countenance didn’t improve as I got deeper into our history, but he withheld his comments until I got to the fucking.
“Jesus Christ,” he exploded. “Where were your parents throughout this nightmare?”
“They had no idea,” I explained. “As far as they could tell, I was having sleepovers with my best friend, James. The Weis are above reproach, and it never would have occurred to them that I was being molested. Technically, it was consensual.”
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.
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