A Closer Look at Chyna Doll by Mickie B. Ashling (excerpt and contest)

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magnifying glass and book                               Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Takes

                       A Closer Look at….

 

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Chyna Doll by Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist Anne Cain

Thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting my Chyna Doll blog tour visit. Although this is the fourth novel in the Horizons series, it can be read as a stand-alone. We’ve moved ahead several years and Grier’s son, Luca, who was seven when the series started, is now almost fifteen. I’ve brought an excerpt to share, as well as some goodies to give away, so stay tuned to see what you can win!

Blurb

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?

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Excerpt

LIL GROANED when he opened his eyes and shut them instantly. Lancing pain behind his right eyeball was an unwelcome reminder of last night’s overindulgence. He could practically see his arteries clogging up and exploding thanks to the appetizing array of decadent finger food he’d popped into his mouth at regular intervals without a second thought. He’d washed down the high-calorie goodies with one champagne flute after another, and he moaned in dismay when it dawned on him that he might have overdone it.

“Are you all right?” Grier asked sleepily.

Lil sat up and clutched at his head like it was about to fall off. “Please tell me I didn’t make a fool of myself,” he lamented, envisioning wild scenes in a swimming pool with a handful of nubile young studs.

Grier snorted. “I saved you from that fate.”

“Thank God,” Lil said, sinking back down on his pillow. “There’s no fool like an old fool.”

“Don’t start….”

“Can I get a blanket dispensation for anything stupid I did last night?” Lil asked. “I don’t remember much after that fifth round of champagne.”

“I’m starting to wonder if they slipped you a roofie.”

“What? Why would you say that?”

“You were insatiable,” Grier explained.

“Truly?”

“We fucked three ways from Sunday and then did it all over again. I can’t recall the last time I had so much fun.”

“Are you being sarcastic?” Lil asked defensively.

Grier got up on an elbow, scrubbed his thick morning growth, and smiled down at Lil indulgently. “You wore me out.”

Lil grinned. “I hope I was fabulous.”

“Don’t you remember any of it?”

Lil’s eyes widened. “Do you think I’m getting Alzheimer’s?”

“Now I’m sure you were drugged by those assholes up the hill.”

“Could be,” Lil said, “or I was just shitfaced.” He wiggled his butt around and moaned. “I’m sore, lovey. What unspeakable thing did you shove up my ass?”

Grier laughed. “Other than my dick?”

“It feels like half the town was down there paying me a visit.”

“You may have asked for a toy or two before we got down to business.”

“Oh? Did you fist me?”

“You seem to have that on your mind lately, but no, I didn’t.”

“It’s been a while—” Lil broke off.

“Is that a request?”

Lil smiled shyly. “You know I’d never turn that down.”

“It’s not something we’ve done on the spur of the moment.”

“It won’t take me long to get ready.”

“Why don’t we plan to revisit in a few days.” Lil nodded. “In the meantime, I’ll pave the way, so to speak.”

“How can anyone so amazingly abandoned in the sack be so uptight about everything else?”

“Good question,” Lil said. “Perhaps my sensible side keeps warring with my inner child on principle.”

“I’m the Gemini, not you.”

“And yet you’re far less mercurial.”

“I like it when your Mercury shows up.”

“He is rather fun, isn’t he?”

“A blast from the past,” Grier said, nuzzling Lil’s neck. “What say you junk cautious-Lil for the rest of the trip and let the boy back in?”

“Are we negotiating here?” “You were intrigued by the offer of an orgy last night. Was that the booze talking, or are you in the mood for some group sex?”

“Would you be shocked if I said yes?”

 

More About Mickie B. Ashling…

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.

Connect with Mickie

Email | Facebook | Website | Blog | Goodreads and Ask the Author

Purchase Links

Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

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Giveaway

Using Rafflecopter below, enter to win one of these prizes (contest open internationally): a $20 Dreamspinner gift certificate, one of five ecopies of Chyna Doll, any two ebooks from Mickie’s backlist, or a signed paperback of Chyna Doll. Must be 18 or older to enter.

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Tour Schedule

March 2 – The Novel Approach

March 3 – Cup o’ Porn

March 4 – Hearts On Fire

March 5 – WoW…from The Scarf Princess

March 6 – MM Good Book Reviews

March 7 – Book Reviews & More by Kathy

March 9 – Prism Book Alliance

March 10 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

March 11 – On Top Down Under Book Reviews

March 12 – Sinfully…Addicted to All Male Romance

Tour and materials organized by PAS Promotions

On Tour with Jason Lloyd’s Salty Aftertaste!

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Salty Aftertaste Banner

ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords welcomes Jason Lloyd here to talk about the anniversary edition of Salty Aftertaste, Jason’s first novel, published last year.  We have an excerpt and author’s foreword as well as a contest to enter.

Jason Lloyd calls his style of writing “creative non-fiction”, a manner of weaving autobiographical details into stories. Are they daydreams?  Perhaps flights of fancy, both sexy and humorous?  Take a closer look and decide for yourself…

Salty Aftertaste Blurb:

Salty Aftertaste CoverBoys, beaches and bad decisions…

In this nonfiction tale, Jason and his hilarious and crude motley cast of friends leave their mundane suburban jungles and flock to the mecca that is Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for vacation. They are in search of a little rest and relaxation; aka beach, bars and boys, lots of hot boys.

Jason is just looking for a little attention. He just wants to feel wanted, and a little summer passion would not hurt either. Jason is the self-proclaimed hopeless romantic of the group. Will he find his summer love or is romance really scarce?

Kevin is the complete opposite of Jason. He feels that romance is only alive in stories. Kevin’s love for a teenage drama goes too far, and his obsession turns into more than he expected. Did Kevin finally stumble upon some romance or does his fascination finally get the better of him?

Bobby is looking for a connection. Any kind of connection. He meets a new guy every night and shares his bed with him. What is really going on behind Bobby’s bedroom door? Will he ever be able to fill this insatiable void for closeness?

Benjamin sneaks out every night. He disappears into the night and reemerges the next morning as if nothing had happened. He is quiet about his extracurricular activities. Where does Benjamin go? What is he doing?

In this beach oasis, where there is an endless sea of sexy men with perfect bodies, will Jason and his friends actually find love or just one night stands? One thing is for certain, it is an epic vacation that none of them will forget.

Creepy Benji – A Look into Salty Aftertaste

Salty Aftertaste is my story about a vacation I took with my friends. Four gay guys and three straight girls live together in a small beach house for a week. It was like the gayer version of MTVs The Real World. When you have that many personalities under one roof, many memorable things will happen. The funny and dramatic moments from that vacation feel like they just happened yesterday.

This vacation was the first time we were all together for an extended period of time. I got to see everyone’s quirks and how everyone handled their liquor differently. One of my favorite scenes was the first night we were in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and we watched our friend go from quiet and laid back to creeper in 2.5 seconds.

A Salty Aftertaste Excerpt

Benjamin started to become increasingly drunk after we got to Aqua. I had not actually noticed until he put his arm around me.

“Jason you’re my favorite right now,” Benjamin said with hazy eyes and slurred speech as he clung to me. I could tell he was using my body to keep his body steady.

Benjamin started to dance with me, with random people, and with the shadows on the wall. He flailed his arms up and down and swayed from side to side trying to keep up with the rhythm of the song. He failed miserably.

“Um, exactly how much has Benji had to drink?” I asked Haley.

“I’m not exactly sure, a few beers at the house and I think he’s drinking vodka now, why?” Haley inquired back.

“Because he’s staring down that shirtless guy with the blonde afro other there. He looks ready to pounce,” I nodded in Benjamin’s direction. He was a few feet in front of us. Haley glanced over.

“Oh my God! What on earth is he doing?” she asked.

“I have no idea. Maybe it’s some sort of a British mating dance.”

Benjamin thrashed his arms around. He looked like a puppet, and his master was pulling on the strings. I walked up to him, and he turned and smiled at me. He looked dopey but happy.

“Sweetheart, what are you doing?” I asked.

“Jason! JJJJAAAASSSSOOOOOOOOON!” Benjamin responded. He placed his hands on my shoulders and looked me in the eyes. “I want him! I WANT HIM!” Benjamin yelled as he pointed at the shirtless guy with the blonde afro.

“Okay, I believe you, but how bout you come back over to the group and admire him from afar?” I insisted and pulled on his arm so he would follow me.

I had expected him to put up a fuss, but Benjamin just smiled and said, “Okay!”

When I reached the group and turned back around Benjamin was gone again.

“Now where the fuck did he go?” I asked Haley.

“He’s over there.” Kevin pointed to the entrance.

We all turned to look. Benjamin was standing right in front of the door by the trash can. He stood in the doorway bobbing up and down. He was making it hard for people to pass him. With eyes partly open, he smiled and pointed at people that walked by. He gave a thumbs up to the guys he thought were cute.

“Yeah, that’s not creepy at all,” Haley said while staring at Benjamin and laughing.

“Creepy Benji! What the hell is he doing?” Kevin asked.

“Creepy Benji is right,” Bobby said as he took a sip of his margarita.

“He is on a mission to find a guy. All he needs now is a white van with a ‘Free Candy’ sign on the side of it,” I said.

“More like a ‘Free Blow Job’ sign,” Kevin stated.

Contest:  Want to win an ebook copy of Salty Aftertaste? Use Rafflecopter below to enter. Five winners will be randomly selected. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the link provided for the entry form and for additional contest details.

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I’d like to give a special shout out to my talented publicist, Joleen, from Parenthetical Author Services. She set up this cover reveal/anniversary blog tour. If you’re an author and need help promoting your work, email her at PAS Promotions.

Anniversary Edition tour hosts: 3 Chicks After Dark, Attention Is Arbitrary, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Boys On the Brink, Decadent Delights, Gay Media Reviews, GGR-Review.com, Hearts On Fire, Joyfully Jay, Love Bytes, MM Good Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, The Novel Approach, On Top Down Under Book Reviews, Prism Book Alliance, The Purple Fantasy Den, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, Sinfully Sexy, and Smoocher’s Voice

 Meet Jason Lloyd!

 

Author picJason Lloyd is the author of hilarious m/m romance featuring an array of interesting characters. Salty Aftertaste (Ginge Publishing, 2013) was his first creative non-fiction novel. It reached Smashwords Top Best Seller list in Gay & Lesbian Fiction and was the #5 best seller in the New Adult genre on All Romance eBooks (ARe).

His second book, Queer Dirty Laundry (Ginge Publishing, 2014), is a creative non-fiction novella and is based on his popular blog by the same name. In 2011, QueerDirtyLaundry.com was nominated for The Best of Gay Philadelphia under Best Gay Website/Blog. Jason’s blog was also in the top ten numerous times on Best Male Blogs.

Jason is currently working on an m/m romance and mystery/suspense fictional novelette series called Filthy Fibbers. Filthy Fibbers is centered on five friends and the scandalous secrets they keep. The book takes place in a small Pennsylvania town called New Hope.

Jason grew up in a small town in Bucks County, Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia. A majority of his writing takes place in Eastern Pennsylvania including Philadelphia. He currently resides in a small town in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Social Contacts

Email | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads and Ask the Author | Website

Buy Links for Salty Aftertaste:

Amazon | ARe | B&N | Google Play | iBooks | Smashwords

In the Author Spotlight: Mickie B. Ashling on her Polo Series, the Forget Me Not Tour! (contest)

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Mickie B. Ashling has stopped by ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords today as part of her Forget Me Not Book Tour and happily stayed to answer a few, ok more than a few questions.

In addition, Mickie is giving away a digital copy of either Fire Horse or Ride-Off to one lucky commenter; winner gets to choose book and format.  To enter to win leave a comment below with an email address where you can be reached if chosen.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Contest ends  July 30th at midnight EDT.  

Here is our interview!

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Thank you for giving me this opportunity to appear on your blog to talk about the novels that make up my Polo Series: Fire Horse, and the sequel, Ride-Off.

STRW:  Both Fire Horse and Ride-Off are centered in the world of Polo.  Why this sport?

Mickie:
I grew up in the Philippines where the sport was, and continues to be, popular amongst a small segment of society. Brothers and cousins of classmates played the game, and I became involved through association. I wore the fancy outfits, attended the victory parties, and listened to the gossip accompanying each win. High goal players from all over the world flew in for the tournaments, and it was my good fortune to be in the vicinity for some memorable matches. A lot of the famous folk I mentioned in Fire Horse (i.e. Sultan of Brunei) were regular visitors. Like my character Flea (Preston), I became enthralled with the sport and the men who played it.

STRW:  A love of horses is apparent in both stories.  Where did that come from?

Mickie:

Horses have always fascinated me. Unfortunately, my mother had an irrational fear of horseback riding, and horses in general, and she was positively convinced I would have an accident and be crippled for life if I ever sat on one. Fortunately for me, my first husband didn’t share her opinion, and he encouraged me to take riding lessons early in our marriage. I soon realized that some of my mother’s anxieties had rubbed off, and I wasn’t confident on horseback, but my love for the animals never wavered.

STRW:  There are intergenerational love stories here.  How did that come about?  Why was that important to the series?

Mickie:

Polo players start young, but the majority of high goal players, who travel the world to compete, are usually more mature. They’ve earned their rankings through years of sacrifice, and I wanted to write about such a man—someone who’d jumped through hoops to get to the top of his game. Like any sport, it takes perseverance, dedication, and practice, but, unlike other sports, maintaining a string of ponies, and the accompanying lifestyle, is impossible without a solid financial base. It wouldn’t have been realistic to have a penniless twenty-something year-old become the main character. That being said, I wanted my MCs to be weathered and carry the scars of their journey to the top; a love story spanning decades.

STRW:  There are many locations abroad used in these stories.  How much research went into your novels?  Did you visit those places?

Mickie:

I’ve been to many of the cities I included in these two novels, but I didn’t grow up in Texas and have yet to visit Hungary. There was a lot of research involved in trying to make these novels as realistic as possible, but I consider that a part of my job as a writer. Weaving my own life experience with research is what makes the literary journey so exciting—I can go anywhere and be whoever I want—if I query the right people and dig through the proper archives.

STRW:  How many novels are planned for this series or is it open ended?

Mickie:

I have one more novel planned, but in truth, I never say never. There are many story arcs to be explored. Sasha and Jeremy, Ned and Bandy, Paloma and God only knows at this point. Pres and Kon continue to be the favorites, and I’ve been asked why they didn’t have more on-page time in Ride-Off, but after their excruciating journey to happiness in Fire Horse, I wanted to show them in a reasonably happy place.
STRW:  Do you have favorite characters in this series?

Mickie:

Preston is my favorite character, and Jeremy, from Ride-Off is a close second.

STRW:  Hero or antihero?  Which do you find more interesting?

Mickie:

Definitely antihero. I’ve always enjoyed writing broken characters. A hot mess is far preferable to a perfectly good boy, because the payoff at the end is much more rewarding and a heck of a lot more fun.

STRW:  How long have you been writing M/M romance?

Mickie:

Like many other writers in this genre, I got my start in fan fiction. My first online stories appeared in 2007. Horizons was my first published novel and that released in 2009. Since then, I’m proud to say I have published fifteen full-length novels, and that doesn’t include the foreign translations of Taste and Daddio.

STRW:  Why this contemporary fiction as opposed to other genres?

Mickie:

M/M inspires me like nothing else, and to paraphrase so many female authors who write in this genre, why not? As Anne Rice has proven over and over, you don’t have to be a vampire to write a memorable bloodsucker. I may wake up tomorrow and decide to write an M/F novel (highly unlikely) or YA (improbable). My sons keep on hoping I’ll be respectable one day and write a bestseller like Fifty Shades of Grey. The first time I heard that suggestion from son #3 I laughed till I cried. I told him to pick up my BDSM novel Impacted if he had a thing for whips and chains. After seeing the cover of that particular book you can understand the look of horror I received. It was priceless.

I’d like to thank my publicist, Joleen, from Parenthetical Author Services for making my beautiful banner and setting up my blog tour. Self-promotion is a necessary evil that is time consuming and a little daunting to those of us who rarely stick their noses out of the writing cave. Joleen makes my life a lot easier, and for anyone out there who suffers from my affliction, I’d recommend a publicist to spare you time and anxiety. It’s been a joy to have her in my corner. You can contact her here:  joleen@parentheticalauthorservices.com.

Thank you, Mickie, for that great interview.  For your information, I have listed the blurbs and info from Fire Horse and Ride Off, the preceding novels in this series, after the author bio below.

Author 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.

Contact/follow Mickie B. Ashling at:

Buy Links     Dreamspinner Press     Kobobooks  Barnes and Noble   All Romance Ebooks  Amazon

 

 

Fire Horse                   Ride Off

 

Fire Horse coverFire Horse (Polo #1):

PoloBook One

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?

 

 

Ride-Off coverRide Off (Polo #2):

Polo: Book Two – Sequel to Fire Horse

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.