Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Mickie B. Ashling for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Title: Open House
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Gay Romance
Release Date: 10/24/2016
By the time Seth and Bryce return to Chicago, they’re halfway in love. They decide to move in together to see if their feelings can survive in the real world.
Seth receives word that a mandatory autopsy was performed on his late partner because his death was a suicide. The medical examiner’s findings are disturbing and leave some doubt as to the underlying cause of death.
Because of the suicide clause, life insurance benefits had been denied, but in light of these new findings, Seth’s lawyer advises him to appeal. The insurance investigator turns out to be the man who broke Bryce’s heart twenty-five years ago. The guy has fallen on hard times, and when he sees how successful Bryce has become—and how large Seth’s potential payout might be—he decides he wants a piece of the pie. Bryce and Seth’s new relationship is severely tested in this second novel in the Open Series.
Hi everyone! Thank you for stopping by to help me celebrate the release of Open House. I’m here to share an exclusive excerpt and give you a chance to win a few giveaways. Open House is the direct sequel to Open Seating. These books should be read in order to be fully enjoyed.
As always, I’d like to thank Prism Book Alliance for hosting today’s visit, and my wonderful publicist J for her excellent help in organizing my blog tour.
Bryce’s impulsive decision to accompany Seth on the cruise had turned out to be eye-opening for both of them. The squirrelly man who’d irritated Bryce at the onset of the trip turned out to be an endearing paradox, one minute brash and demanding, then innocently perplexed the next. Bryce watched in silent admiration as Seth morphed from the uptight clock-watcher into a more relaxed and confident man. Preconceived notions on both sides began to change with each passing day. Seth’s lapses into childish whining were easily shut down with a joke, earning Bryce’s respect and paving the way for a new understanding. Most surprising of all was the physical attraction between them that began simmering almost immediately. The sex, when it finally happened, went beyond anything Bryce had experienced in the past because of their growing feelings for each other. Seth had turned out to be an adventurous and insatiable lover once he got over his initial fears, and Bryce believed he had played a large part in the metamorphosis.
Falling in love had been an unforeseen complication. From the first, they’d agreed to keep it casual, a friends-with-benefits arrangement they could both deal with emotionally. Somewhere along the way things changed, and Bryce found himself in love for the second time in his life. Part of him was elated, however, his cynical side was taking a little longer to catch up and believe that the relationship was genuine and not some sex-driven fantasy. He was aware that Seth had been at his most vulnerable and might be clinging to Bryce because he was alone for the first time in years. On the other hand, Bryce wasn’t inexperienced. If Seth was putting on a show, he was one heck of an actor. And on the heels of that fucked-up thought came a shit-ton of remorse. Bryce felt like a traitor for thinking Seth had ulterior motives. He was the one who’d suggested that Seth move in, not the other way around. Using old hurts to justify his suspicious nature was a major cop-out. Granted, everything was happening too fast and it was natural to want to stomp on the brakes, but if something felt right, why question it?
A big stumbling block was Seth’s need for a verbal commitment. He certainly had more reason to doubt Bryce’s sincerity, considering his reputation as a serial dater. Had he truly crossed the threshold from player to serious lover, or was he also playing a role? It was an ego booster to be someone’s hero, to feel the admiration in Seth’s eyes whenever Seth glanced his way. Had Bryce been craving this all along, wanting to be someone’s everything? If so, he needed to man up and say the words lodged in his throat. Seth deserved some kind of reassurance that moving in with Bryce was a good idea and one he wouldn’t regret. Bryce hoped to show his sincerity through his conduct until the words could flow without strangling him.
Refurbishing Seth’s house would be a first step. Bryce had been in the construction business for a long time, and his side business buying and selling homes was a major source of income. He had a good imagination and was able to envision the finished product whenever he did his preliminary walk-through before deciding if a house was a sound investment. Location was key, and he’d purchased some of his most run-down homes in the best neighborhoods. Mark and Seth had bought their Lincoln Park residence almost twenty years ago. Even then, it had been an affluent area, and it remained a prime piece of real estate. Bryce had no doubt the house would sell the minute they placed it on the market, but he intended to get top dollar for Seth so he would have a hefty cushion to fall back on.
On the outside, the structure didn’t look bad. The yard was well maintained, and even if the windows and siding were dated, it was a relatively easy fix. The interior was a different story. The closed-off rooms gave the house a claustrophobic feeling. Knocking down a few nonstructural walls would create a more airy and sunlit environment. Fresh paint, new hardwood floors, and a totally remodeled kitchen would improve the interior tremendously and easily up the asking price.
With his trained eye he had zeroed in on some black spots in closet corners and close to the furnace, making him suspect a mold issue. If it was regular mold, a simple cure was available, but if it was black mold, they had a major problem. He wouldn’t mention it to Seth until he’d had a chance to get someone in the house to collect samples for testing. He was dying to ask why the place felt neglected. The rooms looked like they hadn’t seen a fresh coat of paint in a decade, and the bathrooms had chipped tiles, stained caulking, and moldy ceilings. The wear and tear wasn’t commensurate to their income or education. Bryce accepted that some homeowners were clueless when it came to home maintenance. People who weren’t handy around tools usually jobbed out projects, another lucrative side of Bryce’s business, and that was totally fine. Not everyone was one of the Property Brothers. So why hadn’t Mark or Seth picked up the phone?
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
Oct. 24 – The Novel Approach
Oct. 25 – Love Bytes
Oct. 28 – Bayou Book Junkie
Oct. 31 – Prism Book Alliance
Nov. 2 – Sinfully
Nov. 4 – Diverse Reader
Nov. 8 – Two Chicks Obsessed
Nov. 10 – On Top Down Under Book Reviews
Nov. 11 – MM Good Book Reviews
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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