Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Mickie B. Ashling for stopping by today.
Title: The Sixth Chukker
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
Retired polo players Preston Fawkes and Konrad Schnell have finally found the happiness that eluded them for years. Their stud farm is a big success, and their marriage couldn’t be healthier. Unfortunately, this idyllic life is disrupted by several unexpected sources.
Paloma, Preston’s twenty-one-year-old daughter, is determined to be a 10 goal player before she turns thirty. Bandi, Konrad’s son, dreams of starting a family with his partner, Ned Temple. Paloma offers to surrogate if her father and stepfather come out of retirement and team up with her for one season.
Preston and Konrad would do anything to make their children happy, but they’re confronted with a stumbling block. Trauma specialist Dr. Rayne Carlisle refuses to sign off on the necessary paperwork unless Preston agrees to be his submissive for one week.
Caught between the proverbial rock and hard place, Preston and Konrad deal with disgruntled lovers, demanding children, and old enemies in this sequel to Ride-Off.
The Sixth Chukker is the third book in my Polo Series. It continues three years after Ride-Off and fans of the first two novels will be in for a treat as the entire cast of characters—plus one sexy new addition—reunite in this ongoing saga of the Fawkes-Schnell clan. Reading the first two novels, Fire Horse and Ride-Off, will give you a better appreciation of the family dynamics. I hope you’ll come along for the ride as retired polo players Preston and Konrad deal with former lovers, demanding children, and old enemies.
I’d like to thank Prism Book Alliance for giving me an opportunity to appear on this wonderful blog and share an exclusive excerpt of The Sixth Chukker. A special shout-out to my publicist J for her consistent good work in organizing all my blog tours. As usual, I bring a few giveaways, which you’ll find in the Rafflecopter widget.
Preston walked out of the office without glancing left or right. He was furious at himself for screwing up the meeting, but now that he knew what was driving Carlisle’s irrational behavior, he was more inclined to forgive. He felt a little sick actually. During the years he’d mourned the loss of Konrad, he’d turned into a callous serial dater, never giving one thought to the hearts he might have trampled along the way. He was too immersed in his own miserable existence to give a shit. When he and Carlisle started the flirtation after his injury, he hadn’t realized the extent of the man’s feelings or that the seasoned Dom would harbor a grudge once it ended. No. Bloody. Idea.
In retrospect, would that have changed his decision? Hardly. He would have never picked Carlisle over Konrad, but he would have been more thoughtful and left him out of the long and painful process of helping Konrad to find his footing. Instead, he’d called on his medical expertise to help them work out Konrad’s demons resulting from his PTSD. It must have been like rubbing salt on an open wound. For the first time in years, Preston felt truly remorseful for the way he’d mishandled the entire affair.
Rather than going back to Ned’s, he had the chauffeur drive him to London Bridge Hospital on Tooley Street. It was a private hospital, and all he needed to gain entry was the wherewithal to pay. He asked to speak to the doctor in charge of the emergency room and explained he needed X-rays to prove to his insurance that he was fit to play polo. The doctor informed him that his case wasn’t an emergency, and he needed to follow normal protocol by making an appointment with an orthopedic specialist who would then order the necessary tests. Frustrated, Preston took down the name of the referral and walked out no better off.
When he returned to Surrey, he veered toward the stables instead of going into the house to report back to Konrad. He didn’t have good news and decided to seek comfort in the familiar by taking one of Ned’s thoroughbreds out for a ride. There were sounds coming from the practice field, and he realized Sergio and Paloma were having a go at it. They were all smiles as they chased the ball up and down the long field, laughing it up while they hooked mallets and did their best to ride each other off while attempting to gain control of the ball.
Already, his dark mood was lifting as he watched his daughter besting her companion. She was damned good in the saddle, and it made him happy to see her so confident and fired up. He remembered how it was in the early days when he’d wanted nothing more than to excel at the sport and spend private time with Konrad. He sincerely hoped Paloma would have his level of success without the accompanying heartbreak.
She saw him and waved, motioning for Sergio to follow as she cantered toward the stables. As soon as she dismounted, she threw her arms around Preston’s neck and kissed him soundly on the cheek.
“You two look good out there,” Preston remarked, swept up in her enthusiasm.
“Sergio fits right in, Papi. He’ll be a great fourth.”
He smiled and decided not to ruin the mood with bad news. Why burst her bubble when he was still working on the solution? He was too stubborn to take no for an answer, and while there was still hope, he’d continue to cater to her dream.
Turning to Sergio, he suggested, “We should sit down and work out some sort of financial agreement.”
“Whenever you’re ready, sir.”
“Do you have any commitments that’ll prevent you from playing?”
“Only two jobs,” Sergio said with a chuckle, “but I can quit anytime.”
“I don’t suppose you have thousands stashed away somewhere?” Preston asked.
Preston glanced at Paloma, who looked so hopeful. She was obviously interested in keeping the guy around, and that meant he’d have one more mouth to feed, which he didn’t mind, so long as Sergio delivered.
“Let’s have a go at a preliminary contract, okay? It’ll be verbal until I get my medical clearance,” Preston reminded him. He followed it up with a cautionary “Don’t quit your other jobs yet.”
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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.
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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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