Hi, all! Thanks for stopping by to help me celebrate the release of Open Case, the final novel in the Open Series. I’m excited to share an exclusive excerpt and give you a chance to win a few giveaways. Those of you who haven’t read the first two books, Open Seating and Open House, will want to catch up before you start this one.
Since the status change from friends to lovers, Seth Wilder and Bryce McFarland have had more challenges than the average couple. Through it all, they’ve been united, communicating without reservation in their quest for a happy ending. Now that it’s within reach, Bryce’s ex-lover, sociopath Owen Lightfoot, materializes in a spectacular fashion, hellbent on destroying it all.
As always, I’d like to thank Love Bytes for hosting and my wonderful publicist J for her excellent help in organizing my blog tour.
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Series: Open Trilogy #3
Release Date: February 3, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Length: 200 pages
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Seth Wilder and Bryce McFarland deal with the aftermath of Owen Lightfoot’s destructive rampage. Once again, the insurance company denies the life insurance benefit despite the compelling evidence regarding the underlying cause of Mark’s death. However, they acknowledge their former employee’s complicity in the multiple crimes that have blindsided Seth and Bryce. They settle to keep their names out of the news, offering the couple a million dollars apiece, which they accept.
Owen learns of the big payoff and is determined to get his cut. Just when Seth and Bryce think it is all over, Owen reappears, and what follows tests the very limit of their endurance. Through the help of friends and relatives, Seth and Bryce find the strength to keep their relationship intact while seeking out the best way to stop Owen once and for all.
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Seth used the days leading up to Thanksgiving to try to do some writing. His schedule had suffered tremendously since the fire, and he forced himself to get back into some sort of rhythm. The problem was inspiration. He didn’t have any, which was a shock in and of itself. Throughout his years with Mark, he’d never lacked for ideas, and he supposed it had something to do with the fact that back then his life had revolved around his craft. Now writing had taken a backseat to his relationship. No doubt the lack of inspiration was temporary, a minor setback easily remedied the moment life returned to normal. It was hard to concentrate on a story with workmen traipsing in and out of the apartment in a rush to complete the remodeling of the master bedroom—and panic room—by the start of the New Year. Bryce and Grier had promised him that it was doable so long as the furniture suppliers met their deadlines.
He shut his laptop with a frustrated sigh the minute the hammering got underway. It would be another wasted day if he didn’t find a more peaceful venue, and find one soon! He’d heard of writers sitting for hours at a local coffee shop to get the job done and wondered if he could possibly create in a busy environment like Starbucks. Determined to give it a try, he gathered up his notes and shoved everything into his laptop carrier. Standing at the threshold of the master bedroom—currently a war zone—he let the foreman know he was leaving the apartment. If anything needed attending, he or Bryce would be available by phone.
Before heading out, he shrugged on the heavy peacoat he’d purchased at Nordstrom, an exact replica of the one destroyed in the fire. He and Bryce had chosen the same style only in different colors. Black for him—a must-have color for blonds, per the saleslady—and navy blue for Bryce, to bring out the same deep shade in his eyes. Snow was in the forecast, and Michigan Avenue and the adjacent streets would turn into wind tunnels, always a challenge but more so at this time of the year. Nonetheless, a pair of fleece gloves and a colorful scarf wrapped high enough to cover his ears, nose, and mouth would protect him from the cold as he traveled the short distance to the coffee shop. He had no desire to do this daily, but getting out of the apartment today seemed imperative.
Bracing himself for the shock, he stepped out the lobby doors and paused for a second, acclimating himself to the sudden drop in temperature. If asked, Seth would be hard-pressed to come up with a good reason—other than money—against becoming a “snowbird,” one of the lucky ones who deserted the city during the winter months for the warmer havens of Arizona, California, or Florida. He wondered if Bryce would be interested in exploring that option. They’d never talked about it because it hadn’t come up yet, but right then, standing on the corner of East Chestnut and Michigan Avenue, trying to stay upright while the wind buffeted him from both directions, he was all for it. By the time Seth walked into Starbucks, he was more than ready for an extra-hot, double-shot latte with a slice of pumpkin bread.
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 $20 Dreamspinner Press gift card, an ecopy of Open Seating, or an ecopy of Open House. Three winners! Contest open internationally. Must be 18 or older to enter.
Feb. 3 – Sinfully
Feb. 6 – Love Bytes
Feb. 8 – Bayou Book Junkie
Feb. 10 – Diverse Reader
Feb. 13 – Molly Lolly
Feb. 14 – The Novel Approach
Feb. 16 – Prism Book Alliance
Feb. 20 – Two Chicks Obsessed
Feb. 23 – Just Love