Cate Ashwood on The Storm Before The Calm ~ Blog Tour, Excerpt, Guest Blog, Rafflecopter Giveaway

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Cate Ashwood for stopping by today.


Title: The Storm Before The Calm

Author: Cate Ashwood

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance


Charlie has one passion in life: dancing. It’s his salvation when it feels like the world is swallowing him whole. When his mom secretly secures him a spot in the summer intensive at the Free Rein Dance Company in New York, he is thrilled. He knows that once the summer ends, he’ll have to return to Beacon to get a job and help support his family, but for those two months, he can spread his wings.

In New York he meets Max, a junior instructor who is everything Charlie wishes he could be. Bold and self-assured, Max radiates pride in who he is. As they spend time together, Max shows Charlie what life can be like past the walls of his closed-minded home town. But Charlie doesn’t know if he’s ready to show the world who he truly is when standing in the spotlight is the last thing he wants.

If you could only eat 10 dishes for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?

  1. Sandwiches from Il Vecchios. This is a tiny little deli in the town where I grew up and these sandwiches are the most amazing thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Every time I go, I get at least one. It’s hidden away, and only locals know about it. Cash only, and a lineup out the door at lunchtime. SO good. I’m hungry now, just thinking about it.
  2.  My husband’s beef dip. It took a while, but he’s perfected the most amazing recipe for roast beef (seared and baked with rosemary and thyme) and then sliced thin and layered on bread with garlic butter and sharp cheddar. Amazing.
  3.  My mom’s lasagna. I love lasagna, but my mom’s is the best.
  4.  Dole Whip from Disneyland. Have you ever had this stuff? Seriously. I dream about it.
  5.  The BC burger from White Spot (with onion rings instead of fries). It’s a Canadian staple, and although eventually it’ll give you heart disease, it just might be worth it.
  6.  Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie. You can find the recipe here: It’s just so goddamn good.
  7.  Fries from Jeffer’s. This is a food truck in my home town that has been around since before food trucks were a thing. I don’t know what he does to make his fries taste so good, but they’re magical.
  8. The potato, gruyère, and leek omelet from Sarabeth’s in NY. This is the best. Omelet. Ever. And the homemade jam that goes with the toast is amazing.
  9. The burger from Cool Cat Burger in Maui (again with onion rings). This burger is SO good, although the location of the restaurant might have something to do with the appeal.
  10.  Fish & Chips from Moby Dicks. This little hole-in-the-wall is walking distance from where we live and there is consistently a lineup out the door.
Looking at this list… if this is all I ate for the rest of my life, I don’t think my life would be that long. Not particularly healthy food. But so so so good!



My fingers tugged at the edge of the cardboard cozy wrapped around the cup as I waited for him to speak. The silence between us felt heavy, and the awkwardness settled in around me as he stared at me, his mouth quirked in a playful expression.

“What?” I asked finally.

“Nothing,” he replied, smiling. “So I guess we should get started.”


“I think maybe just one, two songs at most. The festival isn’t until the end of the summer, so we have lots of time.”

“What festival is it again?” I asked.

“OutShine,” he responded.

“What kind of festival is that?” I asked.

“It’s a big arts festival that takes place throughout the city, mostly in parks. There are exhibits and performances, and a huge celebration at the end. It was started a few years ago to raise awareness and money for gay rights.”

“Oh. Are you… I mean….”

“Gay?” Max supplied.


“Yes. Are you?”

“I… no, uh I…,” I stuttered. I was stunned by how nonchalant and completely unapologetic he’d been about his sexuality, as though admitting to me he was gay was the most ordinary thing in the whole world. A part of me wished I could do that. I could nod and say the words like it was as natural as telling him I was blond or I liked chocolate ice cream.

“It’s okay, Charlie. No big deal. You don’t have to be gay to participate. Originally, all the artists were gay, but it has grown and evolved now to include everyone, which is how it should be,” Max said, shooting me an understanding look.

I should have corrected him. I should have told him, but I’d never said the words out loud. Hell, it was hard enough for me to form that three-word sentence in my head. Even as I sat there, my brain rebelled, doing its own version of sticking its fingers in its ears and humming. So instead of being honest with him about who I was, I let him assume I was something else.

About the Author

Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, her brand new little boy, and her two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.

Where to find the author:


Facebook Author Page:





The Storm Before The Calm on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
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Farewell Giveaway
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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