I’d like to thank Dani at Love Bytes 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 all my blog tours and anything else I might need in terms of promotion.
ABOUT OPEN SEATING
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
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.
BUY THE BOOK
“A suit? Why in hell would I wear a suit to stuff my face?”
Exasperated, Seth pronounced, “Because it’s Captain’s Night.”
“It’s a cruise thing,” Seth said. “One of three formal nights is named after the captain. I’m not sure why.”
“I’ve got a suit.”
“I can see that. Black on black,” Seth pointed out. “Do you have to look like a Sicilian mobster, or do you have a colored shirt to break up the monotony?”
“Hey, be happy that I’m dressing up. What do you care what I look like?”
“I don’t want people to think I’m dating an assassin or, worse yet, an undertaker.”
Bryce glared. “We’re not dating, Seth.”
Seth stepped back, brought up short by the unwelcome reminder. “Right, I forgot. Wear anything you want.”
“Can I ditch the suit?”
“That stays, unless you want to eat at another time.”
“No,” Bryce said definitively. “I promised.”
“Do you always keep your promises?”
“The only time I’ve broken a promise was out of my control.”
“Care to share?” Seth prompted.
“Nah… not that important. Come on, Seth. Hop in the shower.”
“The robe looks good on you,” Seth said, stalling for some reason. “You know we can buy a brand-new one and even get it monogrammed.”
“Shall I order two?”
“Sure,” Bryce agreed.
“Do you want your initials or your name on the front?”
Bryce rolled his eyes. “Does it really matter, Seth?”
“Of course it does,” Seth noted. “If you have this embroidered back home, it’ll cost you. Take advantage of the service while you can.”
“Who the fuck’s going to see my robe?”
Seth faked a smile. “The hookups who pass through your revolving door.”
“Right. Okay, have them put HMFIC in block letters.”
“What does that mean?” Seth had no idea and he was pretty well versed on acronyms.
“Come on, you’re a writer. Aren’t you up on urban speak?”
“I’m afraid that’s not in my vocabulary,” Seth replied stiffly.
Bryce smirked. “It means head motherfucker in charge.”
“Shut your mouth, Seth, or I’ll stick something in it that’ll put us both in a better mood.”
“Get in the shower.”
“Going,” Seth said sullenly. He wanted to slap Bryce for being such a pig, but he’d be lying if the dirty talk didn’t make his knees weak and give him a semi. In the shower he scrubbed his hair savagely, and his other body parts, ignoring his cock, which had plumped up, seeking attention even more. Looking down at himself, he frowned in disgust. Fuck you, you traitorous bastard. He was becoming a slave to his hormones. This was so far outside his comfort zone he felt like he’d been body snatched by a Martian.
This was not the first time he’d compared his change in outlook to being invaded by someone from outer space. Perhaps he should try his hand at science fiction next time. He certainly had enough material for a short story at least. Maybe by the end of the trip, he could actually pen an entire novel about some innocent dork who fell in love with an alien. Not much of a stretch considering he was already halfway there. Head motherfucker in charge. I’ll say….
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.
CONNECT WITH MICKIE
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. Three winners! Contest open internationally. Must be 18 or older to enter.
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