Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Mickie B. Ashling for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Cutting Out
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Genre/Sub-Genre: BDSM, Contemporary
Prism recently reviewed Cutting Out. You can find the review here.
Hours after stepping off the yacht where they had their mock wedding, real life intrudes, and arguments arise between Sloan Driscoll and Trent Hamilton. Seeking relief at his BDSM club, Trent bumps into an old army buddy who tells him things are different now that DADT has been repealed. Meanwhile, Sloan receives a frantic call from ex-lover, Cole Fujiwara, who tells him that his twins and ex-wife have been kidnapped. Cole asks Sloan for help but makes him promise not to include Trent in the rescue attempt.
Trent considers the opportunity to resume a career cut short, and despite Sloan’s threat to postpone the wedding, he leaves for the Middle East as an independent mercenary while Sloan rushes to aid Cole.
In Tokyo, disturbing revelations draw the former couple together, and old feelings are rekindled. Despite this new understanding, neither man makes a move. Sloan is focused on rescuing Cole’s family without jeopardizing his relationship with Trent, while Cole must prepare himself to survive disappointment if Sloan chooses to segue into married life as a military spouse.
Many thanks to Prism Book Alliance for hosting my Cutting Out blog tour. This is the fourth novel in the Cutting Cords series and a direct sequel to Cleave. I’m going to be sharing excerpts in a serial fashion. You can expect to read something different at each stop as I move forward in the novel. An e-book copy of Cutting Out will be offered to one lucky commenter as part of the deal so make sure to leave your contact information when you comment. Prism will pick the winner.
It would be a relief to discuss my concerns with someone who had a brain and knew me like a book. Then again, I wasn’t sure how impartial Cole could be; after all, Trent was his rival, no matter how this played out. Would he be able to give me a fair assessment of my current crisis without letting the past cloud his judgment? I supposed there was only one way to find out, so I drained my wine glass and began to talk.
He didn’t interrupt, and by the time I finished, he looked upset. Now it was his turn to pick up his goblet and swallow the contents in two gulps.
“You think it’s hopeless?” I prompted. “What are the odds he’ll turn down the offer from Uncle Sam?”
“I’ve only known him for three years, and certainly not intimately, so it’s hard to predict. I honestly thought you meant more to him than his career.”
“So did I.”
“The ugly side of me wants to remind you that I told you so, but it would be counterproductive and not entirely true. Trent has given you something I never could— awareness of your self-worth. It’s disturbing to see you in pain again. It’s not like I haven’t dragged you through hell enough.”
“This isn’t about you, Cole.”
“I know. Have you made your feelings crystal clear?”
“And you’re supposed to play the waiting game for six weeks? You were never good at that.”
“You got that right,” I said sardonically. “Patience has never been one of my strong suits, and even worse is being put in this position again.”
He raised an eyebrow quizzically. “What do you mean?”
“Playing second fiddle to something much bigger than me. With you it was the kids, and now it’s the army. How in fuck do I compete with that? There’s no goddamn way I can,” I said despairingly.
He reached for my hand and folded it in his. “Sloan, I’m sorry.”
It was either his tone, or his touch, but something hit a nerve. My tears were running down my cheeks, and I didn’t make any attempt to staunch them. Maybe I just needed a good cry, and Cole’s wide shoulders were as good as any.
“Why don’t we drown our sorrows in music,” he suggested.
“Let’s go see if there’s a piano bar or something equally good. A little rock and roll could go a long way tonight, and it’s better than sitting here feeling despondent and getting shit-faced.”
His solution was certainly the last thing I would have expected from Cole but it did make sense. I couldn’t change the outcome of this current crisis with Trent, booze notwithstanding, and flaying the skin off my thighs was a temporary fix. A slide back into the hell I’d left behind was unacceptable.
We lucked out and found a karaoke bar in the hotel. Not surprising since we were in the country that invented the enjoyable pastime that had swept the world and satisfied the hearts of a thousand wannabe singers. It was fairly crowded, but a kind waiter spotted us, glanced at Freddie, and when he realized Cole was blind, moved heaven and earth to rustle up a table close to the stage. Cole and I got comfortable, and Freddie put his head on his paws and resumed his nap.
There was no shortage of willing participants at the microphone, and they ran the gamut from mediocre to pretty damned good. I nursed a vodka tonic but stopped guzzling the drinks like a thirsty camel. Cole was right to suggest this venue and I felt myself relaxing. I noticed quite a few couples dancing and was shocked once again when Cole asked me if I might want to dance.
“Are you serious?”
“Don’t you think I’m capable?”
“We’ve never danced before.”
“There’s always a first time for everything.”
A special thank you to PAS Promotions for their expert handling of my blog tour.
About the Author:
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.
Mickie B. Ashling has kindly offered Mickie has kindly offered an e-book copy of Cutting Out to one lucky commenter.
Locally held contests will end 7 days from original posting date at 8pm CDT. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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