What Inspired Yesterday by Mickie B. Ashling – Post + Giveaway

January 22, 2016

What Inspired Yesterday

Hi, everyone!

I’m here to celebrate the release of my latest novel, Yesterday, a period piece set in Karachi, Pakistan. You’re probably wondering how or why I chose this locale. A writer’s brain is a weird and unpredictable part of our anatomy (at least mine is). It can draw inspiration from memories buried so far back in our subconscious we don’t even realize they exist—until a prompt comes along. It can be anything from a song to a smell, but once it’s unleashed, there’s no stopping the ideas from flowing. This is the magical part of writing I love. In the case of Yesterday, my trigger was a photo I’d unearthed while cleaning out my closets in preparation for my latest move from one suburb to another.

Yesterday Front

Several decades ago, before the Middle East was a tinderbox, and the most dangerous thing about traveling to that region of the world was heatstroke, my stepfather was assigned to a business posting in Karachi, Pakistan. Much like my character, Grady Ormond, I wasn’t thrilled by the prospect. The thought of spending any amount of time (I was also on break between high school and college) in a desert climate with no friends, other than my sister, and very little understanding of the culture or language, wasn’t my idea of a good time. I’d left a boyfriend behind as well, and in those days, there was no social media to keep us in touch. We had to resort to letter writing, something I didn’t mind, but he wasn’t too keen on the idea. Separation was bad enough, but imagining worst-case scenarios (cheating etc.) was depressing. I was stuck trying to figure out positive ways to keep my overactive mind in check. There was always reading, but since romance was my favorite genre and every bodice-ripper had a jealousy arc, I ignored the paperbacks in favor of exploration.

At the time, I didn’t know Pakistan was a melting pot of faiths and cultures. Having been occupied at one time or another by different empires—India, Persia, Turkey, Arabia, Mongolia, and Great Britain—it’s ethnically and linguistically diverse. The religion is primarily Islam, but when I was there, it wasn’t uncommon to have Hindus and Christians living side by side. The political atmosphere was very different in those days and foreigners could walk the streets without worrying about suicide bombers or being kidnapped.

We played it safe the first week, joining other expats at the American Club, lazing in the sun, and sampling the different varieties of food. I ignored hot dogs and hamburgers and reached for the Chicken Tikka instead, falling in love with the new flavors from the very bland to the tongue-scorching vindaloo.

The next week our parents allowed us to explore the city (with a guide), and our first stop was the Empress Market. Hypnotized by the exotic, I tried on bangles, earrings, scarves, and necklaces. Shopkeepers showed me how to turn lovely gold-threaded fabric into a sari, and I insisted on wearing one over my shorts and T-shirt, adding to the fun by parading up and down the aisles in my new outfit. We bought hand-tooled slippers, admired the colorful pottery and metal work, tiptoed warily around the animal cages, praying none of the cobras would leap out of their baskets, and I ate more street food than was smart. It was a magical place and I tried to share some of my exploits through the voice of my character, Grady.

There was a French girl I befriended at the club. She was older than me and much more sophisticated. Her English was terrible and my French was atrocious, but we managed to communicate. She eloped with her Pakistani boyfriend while I was there, and they lived in a tiny apartment with hardly any furniture. His parents were against the marriage so they made do with very little. At the time, I thought it was romantic as hell to live on love and not much else. I was pretty clueless in those days. Her husband was tall and very good looking, made even more attractive by his Brit accent and his impeccable manners. He was always dressed in a long white tunic and flowing pants, the salwar kameez I describe in my novel. In truth, a lot of Prince Kamran’s physicality was modeled after this man who made quite an impression.

Through our new friends, we were introduced to other people our age. I went out on a few innocent lunch dates with an Iranian student who shared interesting facts about his country and culture. He was very nice and I would have probably given some serious thought to his tentative advances if not for the fact that I had a boyfriend back home. I thought of him often when Iran was going through its political turmoil.

We learned that Pakistani beaches were famous for green turtle migrations.   One such beach, Hawks Bay, was twenty kilometers from the city, and my sister and I were invited to observe this phenomenon firsthand. Here’s a short excerpt from the novel that describes Grady’s evening.

***

Excerpt:

The turtle experience was as fascinating as I’d hoped, except for the buzzing mosquitoes determined to eat me alive. What made it worse was that I was the only one who was sweet enough to be targeted by the bloodsuckers. After a certain point, I resigned myself to being a lumpy mess by the time we got back on the yacht. Hopefully one of my companions would produce some home remedy to get rid of the itch and red spots.

Gus stayed on the yacht, but Jon came along to navigate the dingy, which was parked on the sand where we could see it but not in the pathway of the turtles. It was quite a hike from sand to sea, and I could understand how a lot of the hatchlings would fall into the mouths of predators before reaching their goal. It looked like a marathon crawl from where we were hiding, but they’d been doing this for centuries, and when they started to move, they came out in droves. One minute the sand was smooth and bare and the next covered with moving amniotes raring to go home. The moon was doing its job that night, shining brightly on the water to guide the little critters to the deep. I was pretty stoked with the idea of capturing something like this on film. Kam watched for a while but got bored midway and fell asleep. It was past midnight, and we’d had a long and emotional day. Jon was beside me, though, handing me whatever I needed to make sure I got it all on film.

Several hours later, everything stopped. The sand looked like a blanket of silk again, and the whole experience felt like a dream. The moon was starting to wane, and soon the sun would be rising, which was probably what put everything to a grinding halt. We shook Kam awake and made it back to the yacht without any problems. Back on board, I stripped and stood under the shower for as long as possible, trying to find some relief. My arms and legs were covered in red splotches. My torso was fine, thank the Lord, but the rest of me looked like I had a bad case of hives or measles. I popped a couple of aspirin when I got out of the shower and went up to the galley hoping Gus could recommend something to make it go away.

He took one look at me, mumbled a few choice words in Italian, removed a big bottle of vinegar from the pantry, and poured it on my skin. I howled like a banshee, but after a few minutes the pain subsided and so did the itch.

***

As it turned out, my summer in Karachi gave me a new appreciation and awareness of a previously unknown section of the world. The knowledge I gained at that time has stayed with me through the years, and the savory cuisine from that part of the world remains on my list of favorites.

The world has changed a lot since then. Good people who fall into a certain demographic are automatically shunned or condemned because of the radicals in their faith whose sole purpose is to stir up hate and dissent. As a writer, I’ve never shied away from including characters and situations as diverse and interesting as the people I’ve met in my life.  I hope you have an opportunity to pick up a copy of Yesterday, a love story between two very different men who dare to take a chance.

Answer any of the questions I’ve posed in italics, and your name will go into the drawing for a $15.00 DSP Gift Certificate. The winner will be chosen in three days.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation totally out of your control?

Do you like food from the Middle East? What’s your favorite dish?

Ever see a live cobra outside of a cage?  

Have you ever been attracted to someone you can’t have?

Would you travel to an exotic locale if given a chance? If so, where?

Do you enjoy stories with diverse characters?

Blurb

In June of 1978 Grady Ormond, eighteen-year-old son of diplomat Peter Ormond, accompanies his father to his new posting as US Ambassador to Pakistan. Neighboring Iran is on the brink of a civil war, with the monarchy in danger of being overthrown.

Grady will be leaving for New York City in late August to study cinematography and has been warned to keep his homosexual orientation tightly under wraps while on vacation. Repercussions in the predominantly Islamic region could be severe.

On their first night in Karachi, his father hosts a cocktail party to meet the local dignitaries. Grady is introduced to His Highness Prince Kamran Izadi, nephew of the shah of Iran. Twenty-three-year-old Kamran has recently returned from the UK, where he spent eleven years, first as a student, and then as a financial analyst.

The attraction is immediate—unforeseen and dangerously powerful—but neither one dares to make a move. Odds are so stacked against them it’s futile to even entertain a friendship, but they do, and their world tilts precariously.

With his country in turmoil and Grady about to leave for college, Kamran makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

 

Bio

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.

Contact Info

E-MAIL: http://mickie.ashling@gmail.com

BLOG: http://mickiebashling.blogspot.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/mickie.ashling

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/MickieAshling

Get your copy of Yesterday now!

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New Releases: May 27th, 2015

May 27, 2015

Aiden’s Angel by Aundrea Singer

 

Cursed as a portal to bring an ancient evil to earth, Aiden must die to prevent tragedy. But his angel loves him too much to end his life.

Aiden Lobo is a graduate student in a world where magic, gods, and demons are part of everyday life. After a terrible betrayal, he is cursed with a Crack in his heart, turning him into a living doorway for an ancient demon of war to come to Earth and kill millions. Aiden is rescued by his guardian angel, who seals the Crack with his own Light. As a servant of the divine, the nameless angel was supposed to kill Aiden to prevent the growing cataclysm inside him. But he loves Aiden too much to end his life, even to save the world.

 

Aiden falls for his guardian and names him Eskandar, but then learns to his horror that because Eskandar was created for him, when Aiden dies Eskandar will too. Aiden will do anything to keep his beloved angel safe. But with no choice except to sacrifice himself to prevent the apocalypse, he only has one option: a terrible betrayal of his own.

 

Length: Novella (147p.) | Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Angels and Demons

Release Date: May 27, 2015

Buy as eBook ($5.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-983-9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enforcing Emory by Mickie B. Ashling

 

Former figure skater Emory and enforcer Nik face the pressures of career, separation, and Nik’s father’s ruthless homophobia.

Olympic figure skater Emory Lowe falls in lust the moment he lays eyes on his new neighbor, hockey player Nikolai 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 is one-sided in the beginning, Nik finds himself responding to Emory’s flirting. But 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.

 

Length: Novel (226p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: May 27, 2015

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-63476-084-3) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-63476-083-6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evac by Michael Murphy

 

Benji’s been a soldier so long he doesn’t know how to be a civilian, and he turns to self-destructive behavior. Will he find help in time?

While on a mission in northern Afghanistan, Benji’s helicopter is shot down. Benji went in with a band of brothers but comes out with a stack of body bags, including one for his partner, Blade.

 

After recovering physically in Germany, Benji is sent home to San Diego. He’s been a soldier so long he doesn’t know how to live as a civilian. The loss of his brothers and his partner weighs heavily on him. Benji’s body might be healed, but he is still a very broken man. Unable to find work, Benji turns to drinking, bar fights, risky sex with anonymous men, and striking out at everything. As he spirals out of control, he even tries volunteering in a BDSM club as a sub for demonstrations and private scenes.

 

Despair drives Benji to action, and he meets Nick, a young man in desperate need of hope. With his options and his money running out, the only question is if Benji will find his way in time.

 

Length: Novel (200p.) | Genre: Contemporary, BDSM | Release Date: May 27, 2015

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-898-6) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-897-9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Spell Bound by Jacob Z. Flores

 

If only Mason didn’t find himself inexplicably spellbound whenever he’s with Drake, they might find out what danger hides in the shadows.

The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge: Book One

 

Mason Blackmoor just can’t compete with his brothers, much less his father. They represent the epitome of black magic, strong, dark, and wicked, and though Mason tries to live up to his respected lineage, most of the spells he casts go awry. To make matters worse, his active power has yet to kick in. While his brothers wield lightning and harness the cold, Mason sits on the sidelines, waiting for the moment when he can finally enter the magical game.

 

When a dead body is discovered on the football field of his high school, Mason meets Drake Carpenter, the new kid in town. Drake’s confident demeanor and quick wit rub Mason the wrong way. Drake is far too self-assured for someone without an ounce of magical blood in his body, and Mason aims to teach him a lesson—like turn him into a roach. And if he’s lucky, maybe this time Mason won’t be the one turned into an insect.

 

Not surprisingly, the dislike is mutual, and Drake does nothing to dispel Mason’s suspicion that the sexy boy with a southern drawl is somehow connected to the murder.

 

If only Mason didn’t find himself inexplicably spell bound whenever they are together, they might actually find out what danger hides in the shadows.

 

Length: Novel (216p.) | Genre: Paranormal, Vampires, Urban Fantasy | Release Date: May 27, 2015

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-63476-124-6) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-63476-123-9)

New Releases: February 23rd, 2015

February 23, 2015

Chyna Doll by Mickie B. Ashling

 

Is Luca’s moral compass strong enough to guide him through his period of sexual discovery and attraction to intersex male Chyna?

Horizons Series: Book Four

 

Lil Lampert’s forty-fifth birthday turns the effervescent architect into a brooding mess, and his partner, Grier Dilorio, takes him to Italy to help him regain his zest for life. The timing is bad—almost-fifteen-year-old Luca has just started high school, and his mother and stepfather are also traveling. Luca is left in the care of Chicago Bear, Clark Stevens, and his partner, Dr. Jody Williams.

 

Growing up with two dads and two gay uncles has given Luca a unique perspective on gender roles, but not all the answers. He’s had a secret crush on his straight best friend, Chip, for years. Suddenly, Luca finds himself attracted to Chyna, Chip’s twin sister. Now he’s wondering if this means he’s bisexual.

 

Born with a sexual development disorder, Chyna should have been raised as a male, but due to an epic parenting fail, is being raised as female. Hiding the truth becomes more difficult when Chyna hits puberty, and crushing over Luca adds another element to Chyna’s struggle to fit in.

 

Is Luca’s moral compass strong enough to guide him successfully through this period of discovery or will he succumb to peer pressure and shatter Chyna’s dreams for happiness?

 

Length: Novel (320p.) | Genre: Contemporary, New Adult | Release Date: February 23, 2015

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-732-3) | Buy as Paperback ($17.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-731-6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soufflés at Sunrise by M.J. O’Shea and Anna Martin

 

Contestants on the cooking show Burned, Kai and Chase are enemies on camera and lovers behind the scenes.

“Welcome to a new season of Burned, where we find fresh new cooking talent… and a few culinary disasters! Every season we do something a little different, and this time it’s all about the sweet things in life. Get ready in week one as twenty pastry chef hopefuls and dessert connoisseurs compete for the thirteen coveted workspaces in our Burned kitchen. With stakes this big, we ask the one question on everyone’s mind: Do these chefs have what it takes to rise to the top? Or will they get Burned?”

 

Burned contestants Chase and Kai are attracted from the start and can’t wait to spend more time getting to know each other… until they see the first episode treatment and realize the producers intend to portray them as bitter enemies. At first it’s fun to pretend to bicker—enemies on film, lovers when the cameras stop rolling—but soon it’s hard not to take the faux rivalry seriously. It’s only when their choice is to band together and bake their way to the final or get burned that they find where their real loyalties lie.

 

Length: Novel (206p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: February 23, 2015

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-784-2) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-783-5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Be Loved by Pearl Love

 

Desperate to protect David both from the general—and himself—Tim struggles to complete his mission and save their love.

Sequel to To Be Human

 

Tim—designation TM 05637—thought he’d escaped his fate as a genetically engineered supersoldier when David Conley offered him a precious chance at a normal life. But General Woodard, Tim’s handler, captures them, crushing Tim’s short-lived dream. Thrilled at the return of his pet killing machine, Woodard plans to break Tim’s resistance by forcing him to virtually kill David.

 

Fortunately, Dr. Paul Anderson, the scientist who created Tim, offers them a chance at freedom. But a deadly weakness implanted in Tim’s DNA threatens his life. Without regular doses of a special medication, Tim faces debilitation and even death.  In search of a more permanent solution, Dr. Anderson enlists David’s help to infiltrate a base where a cure is kept. But David is unable to fully trust Tim, haunted by seeing Tim killing him in Woodard’s brutal training simulations.

 

Desperate to protect David, both from the general—and himself—Tim struggles to find the strength to leave the man he loves while completing the mission. With Dr. Anderson’s help, Tim and David try to stay a step ahead of the general, knowing they must reach the cure before mistrust tears them apart, Woodard catches up with them, or the clock runs out on Tim’s life.

 

Length: Novel (280p.) | Genre: Science Fiction | Release Date: February 23, 2015

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-305-9) | Buy as Paperback ($16.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-304-2)

New Releases: March 24th, 2014

March 24, 2014

Fractured by Mickie B. Ashling

 

Ro dreams of a better life and moves to San Francisco. When he ends up in Lance’s dental chair, neither man expects a connection.

Bay Area Professionals

 

Roque “Ro” Celdran dreams of a better life, far away from the hand-to-mouth existence of his migrant worker family. He moves to San Francisco to study Landscape Design but finds himself short of cash. Tony, Ro’s identical twin, comes up with a plan to help Ro make ends meet. The BDSM club Tony frequents is looking for gay men to act as submissives to the Dommes-in-training. Ro reluctantly takes the job and falls headfirst into a world he neither understands nor desires.

 

Lance Roberts is the new doctor at the dental practice started by Scott Gregory and Robin Kennedy. On the surface, he seems to have it all: the Mensa IQ, blond and blue-eyed good looks, and the determination to make it in his competitive field. Underneath lies a frustrated Dom in search of the perfect sub who can handle his obsessive behavior and debilitating need for control.

 

When Ro ends up in Lance’s dental chair, the last thing either one expects is a physical and mental connection. Ro’s attraction to “White Bread” never pans out, and Lance’s weakness for Latinos always leads to a dead end. Could this time be different? What happens between the two alphas leads to a lot of soul-searching and some surprising conclusions.

 

Length: Novel (216p.) | Genre: Contemporary, BDSM | Release Date: March 24, 2014

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-782-0) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-781-3)

 

 

The Terms of Release by BA Tortuga

 

After doing hard time for manslaughter, Sage heads home. Win figures Sage has paid his dues and needs a friend—maybe more than that.

They say a man can always come home. So after doing hard time, Sage Redding heads to his family’s northeast Texas ranch to help his ailing daddy with the cutting horses.

 

Adam (Win) Winchester is a county deputy and the cousin of one of the men killed in the incident that sent Sage to prison for almost a decade. While Win’s uncles, Jim and Teddy, are determined to make Sage and the entire Redding family pay for their loss, Win just figures Sage has paid his dues and maybe needs a friend. Maybe he needs more than a friend. In fact, Win’s counting on it.

 

No one’s denying Sage is an ex-con who went to prison for manslaughter. Regardless of the love he has for his father, he’s returned knowing things will likely go badly for him. Maybe a man can always come home, but he may not be able to stay.

 

Length: Novel (240p.) | Genre:  Western | Release Date: March 24, 2014

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-614-4) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-613-7)

Cappuccino Truffle

February 12, 2014

Cappuccino Truffle… a bit of bitter coffee to go along with the sweetness… For us, these are stories with uncertain endings. The characters are happy for now, but it’s anyone’s guess if it will stay that way.

 

1. Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

2. Cutting Cords by Mickie B. Ashling

3. In the Flesh by Ethan Stone

4. Maritime Men by Janey Chapel

5. My Heart is Within You by Marguerite Labbe

6. Infected series by Andrea Speed

7. Irreversible Error by Wolf Phoenix

8. Submerging Inferno by Brandon Witt

9. Loving Luki Vasquez by Lou Sylvre

10. Dirty Kiss by Rhys Ford

 

As much as we love our happily-ever-afters, let’s give the cappuccino truffles some love as well. Which ones aren’t on our list?

Dark ganache bliss

February 12, 2014

For us, Dark Ganache Bliss represents all that is so sinfully rich that one bite is all you can take, but that one bite is enough to hold you for days.

 

Some of our Dark Ganache Bliss stories of erotic romance are:

 

1. Ride the Wind by Anne Dudley

2. Apprenticed to Pleasure by Brandon Fox

3. Daddio by Mickie B. Ashling

4. Facade by Zahra Owens

6. All Bets Are Off by Marguerite Labbe

7. Learning to Love series by K.C. Wells

8. Coloring Outside the Lines by Diana DeRicci

9. Designs of Desire by Tempeste O’Riley

10. Raining Men by Rick R. Reed

 

Did we miss your favorite dark ganache bliss? Add it in the comments below!

New releases: October 18, 2013

October 18, 2013

The Choosing by Annabelle Jacobs

Jerath has his fangs and must soon perform the Choosing. But first he must flee for help to save his village and finds it in handsome Meren. The Choosing by Annabelle Jacobs, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Jerath is facing the biggest problem of his life. When boys in his shapeshifter village Eladir get their fangs, they must endure a coming-of-age rite called the Choosing, so they can take on their animal form. The rite is performed on the full moon, but the trouble is the Choosing involves having sex with a girl, and Jerath’s only interested in boys. Even if he manages to somehow get through the rite, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever find a mate in his village, where opposite-sex couples are the norm.

Even worse, he may miss the rite altogether after raiders attack his home and take several young men prisoner. Jerath will need the help of warriors if he’s to free the captive shapeshifters, so with his best friend, Serim, he flees south to find aid. Along the way, they meet Meren, a handsome warrior whose attraction to Jerath is instant and very much returned. But with the next full moon approaching and available time for the prisoners to undergo the Choosing running out, Jerath’s love life is far from his only worry.

Length: Novel (210p.) | Genre: Coming of Age, High Fantasy, Paranormal, Shapeshifter | Release Date: October 18, 2013 | Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-191-0) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-190-3)

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Ride-Off by Mickie B. Ashling

Preston and Konrad have reclaimed the life they once had. But family pressure and old secrets creat a storm they must weather. Ride-Off by Mickie B. Ashling, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Sequel to Fire Horse; Polo: Book Two

Finally reunited, Preston Fawkes and Konrad Schnell put family and obligations aside, preferring to remain in seclusion on Ned’s estate to get reacquainted. Unfortunately, reality can only be held off for so long, and they return to Texas to reclaim the life they put on pause. Trying to strike the right balance between business, family, and romance requires ongoing effort, and the challenges begin shortly after they arrive.

At the top of the list is Bandi, Konrad’s son, and his desire to play polo. A close second is Conrad “Sasha” Fawkes, Preston’s actor son who’s struggling to succeed on Broadway. And last, but certainly not least, is Paloma, the fiery Argentinean beauty Preston sired after a passionate tango.

Blending the interests and needs of three grown children is difficult at best and almost impossible when agendas collide and old secrets are unearthed. The situation comes to a head when the family gathers in San Antonio for Thanksgiving, throwing Preston and Konrad into a maelstrom they must weather as best they can, or they’ll face a major ride-off that could throw the game before it even starts.

Length: Novel (240p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: October 18, 2013 | Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-263-4) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-264-1)

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Saving Sonny James by Lou Sylvre

Sonny heads to Europe after trying to help Luki through depression. Harold has plans for Sonny and Luki must break free of PTSD to save him. Saving Sonny James by Lou Sylvre, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Sequel to Finding Jackie; Vasquez & James: Book Four

Luki Vasquez and his still newlywed husband are back home after pulling off a harrowing desert rescue of their teenage nephew Jackie. But the events of the last couple of years have begun to catch up with Luki—loving Sonny James and letting Sonny love him back has left gaps in his emotional armor. In the gunfight that secured Jackie’s rescue, Luki’s bullet killed a young guard, an innocent boy in Luki’s mind. In the grip of PTSD, memories, flashbacks, and nightmares consume him, and he falls into deep, almost vegetative depression.

Sonny devotes his days to helping Luki, putting his own career on hold, even passing up a European tour of galleries and schools—an opportunity that might never come again. But when Luki’s parasomnia turns his nightmares into real-world terror, it breaks the gridlock. Sonny realizes what he’s doing isn’t working, and he says yes to Europe. Enter Harold Breslin, a dangerously intelligent artist’s promoter and embezzler whose obsessive desire for Sonny is exceeded only by his narcissism. When Harold’s plan for Sonny turns poisonous, Luki must break free of PTSD and get to France fit and ready in time to save his husband’s life.

Length: Novel (216p.) | Genre: Mystery/Suspense | Release Date: October 18, 2013 | Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-249-8) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-250-4)

New releases: July 10, 2013

July 10, 2013

Horizons by Mickie B. Ashling

Clark’s competitive college football world is not gay-friendly, and he’s denied his sexuality for years. But then he meets Jody. Horizons by Mickie B. Ashling, available from Dreamspinner Press.

2nd Edition

Horizons Series: Book One

College football player Clark Stevens, a popular wide receiver with a potential NFL contract, has a few problems. He’s got a jealous girlfriend, a narrow-minded and controlling father, an attention problem, and an unexpected and powerful attraction to the trauma doctor—the male trauma doctor—who treats him for a broken bone.

Dr. Jody Williams is getting some really mixed signals. He can’t ignore how much he wants Clark, because it’s obvious Clark feels the same way. For the out and proud doctor, the solution seems very simple. For Clark, it’s not! His world is not gay-friendly, and the obstacles he’s faced have led him to deny his sexuality for years.

It’s the Super Bowl of disasters, no matter how you look at it. In the end, Clark has to decide if he’s going to stick with the only life he’s ever known or take a chance on a new one with Jody.

1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, April 2009.

Length: Novel (250p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: July 10, 2013 |Buy as eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62380-962-1) | Buy as Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62380-961-4)

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An Intoxicating Crush by EM Lynley

When Simon’s is sent to covertly scope out Kelvin Cellars, Simon falls hard for owner Austin. But is it only an intoxicating crush? An Intoxicating Crush by EM Lynley, available from Dreamspinner Press.

A Delectable Novel

Simon Ford’s success is hard-won. He grew up in Napa and resents the rich people who have moved into the valley, changing the culture by opening boutique wineries and pricing the locals out of the market.

Austin Kelvin runs an award-winning winery his father started after making a fortune on Wall Street. He lives the posh lifestyle Simon resents but secretly longs to attain. However, Austin’s world isn’t as luxurious and privileged as it seems: he didn’t inherit his father’s business savvy, and his winery is going under.

When Simon’s boss sends him to covertly scope out Kelvin Cellars for a possible takeover bid, Simon sees it as a step toward attaining his financial dreams. Until he falls hard for Austin. The feeling is mutual, but when Austin learns the real reason for Simon’s initial interest, he suspects Simon’s seduction is merely a means to procure the winery at a bargain price.  If there’s any hope of winning Austin’s heart, Simon will have to risk it all to prove Austin is more than just an intoxicating crush.

Like all Delectable novels, this book includes the recipes used in the story.

Length: Novel (234p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: July 10, 2013 | Buy as eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62380-873-0) | Buy as Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62380-872-3)

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Love, Like Water by Rowan Speedwell

Foreman Eli spends his life rehabilitating abused animals, and Joshua is just another lost soul until they forge a connection. Love, Like Water by Rowan Speedwell, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Three years undercover with one of the worst gangs in the country left FBI agent Joshua Chastain shattered. Battling nightmares and addiction, he leaves the concrete jungle for New Mexico horse country, hoping to start over on his uncle’s ranch.

Foreman Eli Kelly spends his life rehabilitating abused animals, and Joshua is just another lost soul. But as Joshua slowly begins to put his life back together, Eli realizes that Joshua is a lot more than his newest project.

Joshua’s plan seems to work—maybe a fresh start was just what he needed. Then, just when he has finally found a sense of peace, crime and hatred nearly destroy all his hard work, forcing him to reevaluate what he wants out his relationship with Eli and his own life.

Length: Novel (284p.) | Genre: Western | Release Date: July 10, 2013 |Buy as eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62380-787-0) | Buy as Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62380-786-3)

Author Annoucements: April 30, 2013

April 30, 2013

Some of the events our authors are doing this week.

Mickie B. Ashling has been interviewed at Long and Short Reviews.  There’s a free book involved if anyone stops by to comment.

http://www.longandshortreviews.com/interviews/interview-and-giveaway-mickie-b-ashling/

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Random Acts of Promotional Kindness by Brita Addams

Something occurred to me when I shared the link to Jacob Flores recent chat on Dreamspinner’s Facebook page. What if more people shared links to chats, reviews, blog posts, the buy page for an author’s book? Readers, bloggers, publishers, and authors alike, sharing that which is important.

From this thought, I launched Random Acts of Promotional Kindness. The concept is simple – just share, like, retweet, add, follow, comment on blog posts, and otherwise help out your fellow authors. Encourage your readers toward other authors they might enjoy. Share a sale the publisher is having or a giveaway that a fellow author is sponsoring. Send readers to the stops on a fellow author’s blog tour. Readers, send your friends.

How can you help? Offer up guest blog spots on your blog, then promo the appearances. If you read a good book, let your readers know. Readers, follow your favorite authors, talk about their work, spread the word about their reviews and new releases. Even their old releases!

RAPK has a Facebook page, where anyone can post promotional goodies, with the hope that others will pick it up and pass it on. But that’s only a start. Carry the kindness over to your own pages as well.

Writing is a solitary pursuit, but promotion doesn’t need to be. We all know how difficult it is. I hope that we can help each other out, and make it a little more pleasant.

New releases: April 12, 2013

April 12, 2013

Fire Horse by Mickie B. Ashling

Konrad and polo captivate Preston from a young age. But as he and Konrad mature, they deal with their love differently. Fire Horse by Mickie B. Ashling, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Preston Fawkes is ten the first time he meets fifteen-year-old Konrad Schnell at the San Antonio Polo Club. Captivated by the mystique surrounding the sport of kings, Pres vows to learn the game at the hands of his newly acquired friend and mentor. The hero worship soon grows into something deeper, but the friends are separated when Preston goes off to boarding school in England.

The relationship that follows is riddled with challenges―their age gap, physical distance, and parental pressure taking precedence over feelings yet to be explored. Although their bond goes deep, they deal with the reality of their situation differently: Preston is open and fearless while Konrad is reticent and all too aware of the social implications of making a public stand.

Their paths intersect and twine, binding them as tightly as a cowboy’s lasso, but fate may alter their plans. How will love overcome the divots in the turf as they gallop toward the future—one where obstacles no longer stand in their way?

Length: Novel (256p.) | Genre: Contemporary |Release Date: April 12, 2013 |Buy as eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62380-578-4) | Buy as Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62380-577-7)

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Loving Hector by John Inman

Dill’s new dog has a plan. Step one: Dill meets Hector. Step two: They fall in love. Step three: Hector is kidnapped by his evil ex. Oops. Loving Hector by John Inman, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Dillard Brown has a mother who’s determined he’s straight, a writing career that’s going nowhere, and at thirty, he’s never been in love in his life. But thanks to a ten-pound ball of fluff and energy named Chester, one of Dill’s circumstances is about to change. Maybe even all three.

Who would’ve thought one little stray dog could change Dill’s world—and not by accident either. The damn dog has it planned. If not for Chester wandering into Dill’s life and into his heart, Dill would never have met Hector Peña—and tumbled headlong into love at last!

But for all Chester’s efforts, happiness for Dill and Hector is still not assured. Hector’s evil ex, Valdemaro, is dead set on holding on—even if it means kidnapping Hector to keep him from Dill forever! Now Dill has to pull an army together to rescue Hector, and just where the hell is he supposed to find an army? Gads, if only Dill could write books this interesting!

Length: Novel (224p.) | Genre: Humor, Mystery/Suspense | Release Date: April 12, 2013 | Buy as eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62380-467-1) | Buy as Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62380-466-4)