Happy Release Day to Mickie B. Ashling!
Please join us in welcoming Mickie B. Ashling to Sinfully as she celebrates the release of The Sixth Chukker, book #3 in the Polo Series.
The Sixth Chukker, which releases today from Dreamspinner Press, is the third book in the 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. 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.
Once again, I’d like to thank the wonderful people who run Sinfully for giving me an opportunity to appear on their 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.
The Sixth Chukker
Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 8th April 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/m 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.
Ned graciously poured drinks, and everyone settled on the assorted leather furnishings in front of the inviting fireplace. Although it was early March and spring was just around the corner, it was still chilly, and the crackling fire provided the warmth and atmosphere they needed in the cavernous room. Konrad asked Bandi why the sudden change of heart.
“I’m not good enough to be on the team,” he admitted.
“All you need is some practice,” Konrad said.
“Papa, come on. I’m nowhere close to being ready and will only hold you guys back.”
“Pres and I haven’t played professionally in years either,” he said encouragingly. “We can all get in shape together.”
“No,” Paloma interjected. “As much as I want Bandi on our team, he’s right to question his ability to catch up. The delay could keep us out of the major tournaments this year.”
“What’s the rush?” Konrad asked.
She gave him a look that was so reminiscent of Preston’s it was uncanny—the knitted eyebrows, set jaw, and gimlet stare—a combination of disappointment for being questioned and pity because he was too lame to see the big picture.
“I’m not getting any younger, Uncle Konrad, and neither are you or Papi. The longer we delay the more difficult it will be.”
“How will this impact your offer?” Konrad asked. He didn’t want to say the word surrogacy in front of Sergio, a stranger for all intents and purposes, but he had to know what Paloma was thinking. If Bandi was backing out from playing, wouldn’t it stand to reason that her offer would be withdrawn?
“Nothing will change,” Paloma assured him. “I hope to be pregnant by Christmas.”
Bandi beamed from his side of the room, Preston nodded approvingly, Ned looked uncomfortable, but the surprising reaction came from Sergio. He turned to Paloma with a look that spoke volumes.
“¿Embarazada? Pero no tienes un marido.”
“English!” everyone said as one.
Paloma glared at her family. “Everybody chill, okay? I haven’t had a chance to talk to Sergio about this other thing, and he’s just wondering what’s going on.”
“It’s really none of his business,” Ned said stiffly. “This is a private affair between families.”
“Excuse me,” Sergio interrupted. “If I’m going to be on the team with Paloma, then it is also my business. It’s not possible to compete and be pregnant at the same time.”
“That goes without saying,” Preston snapped. “And besides, who are you again? Her lover? No. You’re the groom who wants to step up in the world.”
“Jesus, Flea. You can be such an ass sometimes,” Konrad exclaimed.
“Sometimes?” Ned said, looking horrified by Preston’s breach of manners. “I’d like to put a muzzle on him.”
“Will y’all relax? I don’t have time to mind my p’s and q’s around this guy. We don’t even know if he’ll work out or not,” Preston grumbled. “And there’s another problem that’s surfaced, which we need to discuss.”
“My God,” Ned said, reaching for Bandi’s hand. “This is going completely pear-shaped.”
Leaning forward, Bandi asked. “What’s the problem?”
“Carlisle refuses to give me medical clearance.”
“Why?” Bandi and Ned asked simultaneously.
Preston huffed in disgust. “It’s complicated.”
“There’s nothing complicated about it,” Konrad said with a sneer. “Pres rejected him years ago, and now he’s playing mind games.”
“Oh dear,” Ned said softly. “I wondered when that would surface.”
“Who is this Carlisle?” Paloma asked.
“He’s a doctor—the trauma specialist who took care of me when I had my accident shortly before I retired.”
“And what? He fell in love with you?” Paloma asked, going straight for the jugular as usual.
Her verbal filters were on par with her father’s, Konrad thought disparagingly.
“I wouldn’t call it love,” Preston hedged.
“He wanted in his pants,” Konrad said candidly. TMI was very much in play tonight, so he decided to follow their lead. “Apparently he’s been holding a grudge for the last five years, and he’s using that to try and….” His words trailed off. He just couldn’t bring himself to say it in front of family.
“Fuck him?” Paloma asked, scrunching up her face and looking from her father to Konrad in shock. “But you guys are so old.”
Meet Mickie B. Ashling
Mickie B. Ashling is the alter-ego of a multifaceted woman raised by a single mother who preferred reading over other forms of entertainment. She found a kindred spirit in her oldest child and encouraged her with a steady supply of dog-eared paperbacks. Romance was the preferred genre, and historical romances topped her favorites list.
By the time Mickie discovered her own talent for writing, real life had intruded, and the business of earning a living and raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing and the inevitable emptying nest, dreams were resurrected, and the storyteller was reborn.
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 loves to travel and has lived in the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East but currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.
Four lucky blog tour participants will win a $15 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate OR one ecopy of The Sixth Chukker, Ride-Off, or Fire Horse. Contest open internationally. Must be 18 or older to enter.
FOLLOW THE TOUR
April 4 - On Top Down Under Book Reviews
April 5 - Diverse Reader
April 6 - The Novel Approach
April 7 - MM Good Book Reviews
April 8 - Sinfully
April 11 - 3 Chicks After Dark
April 12 - Love Bytes
April 13 - Book Reviews & More by Kathy
April 14 - Words of Wisdom....from The Scarf Princess
April 15 - Prism Book Alliance