Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Mickie B. Ashling for stopping by today.
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Genre: M/M Romance
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.
I’d like to thank Prism Book Alliance for giving me the opportunity to present the striking cover for my upcoming release, Yesterday, created by multitalented author and cover artist, Catt Ford. In filling out my cover art request, I had asked for something different to showcase this story, which is set during the last months of the Pahlavi dynasty. I confess that we spent more time on this creation than any of my previous covers. Catt delivered in a big way, and I want to thank her for her patience and artistry.
The exclusive excerpt I’m sharing will give you a sneak peek on why I chose a pigeon for my cover. It’s as much a character as Kamran and Grady, and I hope this snippet will whet your appetite. The novel releases on January 22, and the pre-order links are already up and running.
The daily wash had ended hours ago, and the clothes hanging on the lines were mostly dry. Soon they would be taken down and moved on to the second phase—folding and ironing. For the moment the area was quiet, and Kamran and I were alone as we approached the coop, which was basically stacked wooden boxes with rounded holes for the birds to slip in and out. The whole lot was enclosed in a tight iron mesh cage, large enough for us to stand. The wire was meant to keep out the predators, such as snakes and rats, Kamran informed me, rather than prevent the birds from flying off. Homing pigeons were homebodies, thus the name. They liked hanging around their cages where they were warm, safe, food was plentiful, and they could breed from dawn to dusk during certain times of the year.
“How on earth did you get into this?” I asked, observing the big white birds billing and cooing contentedly.
“Do you remember I told you I was raised in my uncle’s palace for the first five years of my life?”
“I had no friends, so I’d spend a lot of time looking out the window.”
Emotion swelled up in my throat as I imagined a lonely little boy with big brown eyes staring out a window, longing for playmates. “Go on,” I prompted.
“One day I was eating a plum and a pigeon landed on the ledge. He didn’t peck or make any loud noises, which would have frightened me, but just waited, hoping I’d give him a little bit of my fruit. So I did, and the next day he was back, and the day after that, and one morning he showed up with a companion. Soon it became part of my daily ritual to feed the pair. Leyla would bring me cut-up fruit and corn kernels in a little bowl, and I’d feed them while I had my own breakfast. After a while, they’d let me pet and carry them. It was the best part of my day.”
“That’s horrible!” I exclaimed in sympathy. “Didn’t the shah let you play with his daughters?”
Kamran shook his head. “Girls and boys don’t mix, but you shouldn’t feel bad for me, Grady. My time at the palace wasn’t as bleak as it sounds. When I was sent back home, they allowed me to bring the pigeons along. They were both males, so no babies to worry about, but when I grew older, I began researching the species, and I bought a couple of females at first opportunity so they could mate. Did you know that carrier pigeons have been around since the days of Genghis Khan?”
“I had no idea.”
“They were used a lot during battles throughout the centuries.”
“It makes sense since phones weren’t an option,” I mused. “Were you enamored with their history, or do you have a handful of girlfriends who get a rolled-up poem from you each day?”
Kamran looked shocked. “I don’t send messages to anyone but my pigeon keeper back home. We do it every other day so the birds continue to hone their skills.”
“How does it work?”
“A pigeon can only go back to a point they’ve mentally marked as home. These birds will fly back to Tehran because that’s where they belong.”
“Don’t they consider this coop their home while they’re here?”
“No,” Kamran said. “They’re just as much on holiday as I am.”
“So the only way you and I could get messages to each other is if I bought my own bird, got it settled in my house, and when you go back to Iran, you take it with you. If and when you want to send me a message, the bird will know to fly to my house here in Karachi.”
“And vice versa,” Kamran replied.
Mickie is offering one lucky reader an ecopy of Yesterday once it releases. Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author
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
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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