Welcome to January’s Birthday Blog, with a post – or maybe more – a day for your entertainment and fun :).
Today’s guest is MICKIE B. ASHLING. Please show your appreciation for the post if you enjoy it, and all the author’s links are below for you to take forward. Watch every day for any Rafflecopter giveaways, and don’t forget there’s ALSO a Grand Prize Draw at the end of the month for ONE lucky commenter.
Many thanks for dropping in, and have a great January!
I’d like to thank Clare for reviving her month-long birthday celebration blog and inviting me to participate in the fun. January is usually a bleak month, especially if you live in a cold-weather climate like I do. It’s a good time to whittle down the TBR list or start writing your own novel, if you’re so inclined. Clare has given us another option—drop by her blog throughout the month, enjoy the varied posts from her friends, who happen to be some of the best writers in our genre, and win a prize or two. My gift is a $10.00 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate. Comment on my post and one lucky winner will be chosen at the end of the month. Be sure to leave contact information so we’ll know where to send the notice.
I’m here to share an excerpt of my novel, Yesterday, which released today. This novel is a period piece set in Karachi, Pakistan. Neighboring Iran is in crisis and the Pahlavi dynasty about to be overthrown. Prince Kamran Izadi, nephew to the Shah of Iran, meets Grady Ormond, son of the US ambassador. The attraction between them is immediate and powerful but also extremely dangerous. Can a chance encounter alter one’s destiny? Pick up a copy of my novel and find the answer.
Pakistan, June 1978
I was lying in bed, wondering if Kam would call the next day or the day after. Was I deluding myself into thinking there was anything romantic going on? Everything that had transpired over the last couple of days had been leading up to the moment in the car when he took my hand, and yet I wasn’t sure. The caress could have been innocent, but his Gibran quote clearly wasn’t. Was he simply showing friendship, or was this the start of something more meaningful?
If what he’d said about Iranian men was true, their ability to be openly demonstrative with the same sex was quite the revelation, and a little radical, truth be told. Even in Barcelona, a city teeming with gay men, public displays of affection were kept to a minimum and usually contained within clubs or intimate gatherings. From what Kamran intimated, Iranian men could walk hand in hand in the streets of Tehran without arousing suspicion. The religious were more on the lookout for perverts who wanted to defile their women than acknowledging that homosexuality even existed. In a way, this double standard of morality worked in our favor.
The bodyguards might be less inclined to think anything of that nature was developing between Kamran and me. As members of SAVAK, they were in place to watch out for radicals who might use Kamran as a bargaining tool against his father. Now that I was aware that the general was a modern-day Himmler, the need to protect his only son made absolute sense. I would be less critical of the creeps now that I knew their true purpose.
I’d barely drifted off when the phone beside my bed trilled annoyingly. I let it ring several times, hoping whoever was on the other end would give up, but they persisted, and I finally answered with an unpleasant grunt.
“Wake up, Grady. Your father wants you to join him for breakfast.”
“Tell him I’ll catch him at lunch. I got in late.”
“Come on, buddy. Hit the shower, and I’ll have room service bring up a pot of coffee to get you going.”
I dropped the phone on the floor and went back to sleep until the loud knocks jarred me awake. Staggering toward the door, I flung it open and scribbled my name on the receipt the room boy thrust under my nose, and headed to the bathroom. In the shower, I let the water run cold to knock out some of the cobwebs, but it was the pot of bold Arabica waiting for me that got me through the next steps necessary to look presentable. By the time I was sitting in front of Father, sipping yet another cup, I felt almost human.
“I’m sorry to get you out of bed so early, but I have to fly home for a few days.”
“Okay.” I was used to this reply, and I rarely questioned it anymore. “Where does that leave me?”
“You can come if you want or stick around here until I get back. Whichever you prefer, son.”
“Is Spencer going with you?”
“I think I’d rather stay.”
“Is it okay if I continue to explore the area?”
“Only if you have a companion. I don’t want you wandering the streets by yourself.”
“It’s not safe.”
“Maybe Kamran can lend me one of his bodyguards,” I joked.
“Speaking of which, how’d it go yesterday?”
“You won’t believe who I had dinner with.”
“The shah of bloody Iran and his henchman, Izadi.”
“Is that right?”
“They were in town to watch Kamran’s polo match.”
“Did they know who you were?”
“Not at first, but during dinner it all came out. The shah’s not a bad sort,” I said. “He invited me to do a documentary on him once I had the proper credentials.”
“If he’s still around.”
“Why are you being so pessimistic?”
“Realistic is more like it.”
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.
Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter. All Rafflecopters will be drawn on Jan 31.
Mickie B Ashling Rafflecopter giveaway
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.
Follow the month’s posts at your leisure:
Jan 01: RJ Scott on her inspiration for a new series in 2016.
Jan 01: Temple Dragon on giving for free during December.
Jan 02: Chrissy Munder on an author’s passion for paper planners.
Jan 03: Meredith Russell on inspirational cop series.
Jan 04: Becky Black on her five-year anniversary as an author.
Jan 05: Alexa Milne on characters stepping outside their comfort zone.
Jan 06: Sandra Lindsey on her dancing shoes challenge.
Jan 07: Anne Barwell on her WWII trilogy at Dreamspinner Press.
Jan 08: Elin Gregory on reviews – past, present and future.
Jan 09: Eli Easton on mature heroes and our life choices.
Jan 10: Julie Moffett on the geek in us all.
Jan 11: Jaime Samms and the rewards of an online life.
Jan 12: LC Chase on paying kindness forward.
Jan 12: EM Lynley on the recipes that add taste to her books.
Jan 13: Nicki J Markus on falling in love with her characters.
Jan 14: Vicktor Alexander on giving thanks to friends and fans.
Jan 16: Joanna Chambers on the spark of joy from reading and writing romance.
Jan 17: Jordan Castillo Price on esteem-building new year do-overs.
Jan 18: Lillian Francis on deciding on when to come to an end.
Jan 18: Hunter Frost on a Top Ten new anthology.
Jan 19: Lily Harlem on hot fiction and cool drinks.
Jan 19: Liam Livings on how writing is like ski-ing.
Jan 20: JL Merrow on being a boot-aholic.
Jan 21: Paul Alan Fahey on growing up gay in the 1950/60s.