Once again, I’d like to thank Sinfully for giving me the opportunity to present the striking cover created by Catt Ford for my upcoming release, Open Case. This is the third and final book in the Open Series. Those of you who have read the first two books (Open Seating and Open House) know that Seth and Bryce have been through a lot in a short time. With their happy ending within reach, life throws them one more challenge—a crazed ex-lover determined to destroy it all.
I’ve brought an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win one e-copy of the book when it releases.
Mickie B. Ashling
Release Date: February 3, 2017
Series: Open Trilogy #3
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Word Count: 60,320
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Seth Wilder and Bryce McFarland deal with the aftermath of Owen Lightfoot’s destructive rampage. Once again, the insurance company denies the life insurance benefit despite the compelling evidence regarding the underlying cause of Mark’s death. However, they acknowledge their former employee’s complicity in the multiple crimes that have blindsided Seth and Bryce. They settle to keep their names out of the news, offering the couple a million dollars apiece, which they accept.
Owen learns of the big payoff and is determined to get his cut. Just when Seth and Bryce think it is all over, Owen reappears, and what follows tests the very limit of their endurance. Through the help of friends and relatives, Seth and Bryce find the strength to keep their relationship intact while seeking out the best way to stop Owen once and for all.
“I think we should both apply for a license to carry a concealed weapon.”
“Are you insane?” Seth screeched. “What part of the previous sentence didn’t you understand? Having a gun means you’ll use it if need be.”
“Exactly,” Bryce said. “Do you honestly believe we’ve heard the last from that bastard?”
It would have helped his cause if Bryce had shown Seth Owen’s final text, but at the time, he didn’t want to worry Seth further. The cops were on Owen’s trail, and Bryce had been certain they’d have him behind bars in a few days, but that had proven wrong. The fucking weasel had disappeared, swallowed up in the underbelly of society without a trace. Which made Bryce’s suggestion even more compelling. The next time the bastard showed up, they’d be ready.
“I don’t know how to hold a gun, let alone use it,” Seth protested.
Bryce noticed the tears welling in Seth’s chocolate-brown eyes, and his stomach clenched with remorse. “Babe, if you don’t want to carry a gun, you don’t have to. I’m out at construction sites all day, and it wouldn’t take much to corner me if Owen sets his mind to it. You, on the other hand, are safer in the apartment, and now that the police have been keeping an eye on the place 24/7, I’m a lot more confident Owen won’t try that dumb move again.”
Seth ducked his head, but not before Bryce saw that the tears had escaped down his cheeks. Thankfully, they’d reached the apartment building, and he pulled into the underground parking.
“Come here,” Bryce said, helping Seth onto his lap. It took some finagling with the gear shift in the way, but he eventually crossed the divide and Seth broke down against Bryce’s neck.
“Babe, come on. This is only a precaution,” Bryce assured him. “No one will get hurt.”
“Tell it to the hundreds who’ve died in stupid gun-related accidents,” Seth muttered between sniffles. “You’re not listening to a word I’ve said. Pointing a gun at someone takes away options for a peaceful resolution. I’m not mentally prepared to shoot anyone and live with the consequences of my decision. ”
“I hear you but I don’t agree,” Bryce said stubbornly. “Protecting ourselves against future attacks is the smart thing to do. Things might be back to normal and you can go on pretending life is a buttercream cupcake, but somewhere out there, Owen is pissed off as hell and plotting his revenge. It’s my duty to see that he doesn’t hurt you again.”
“It’s not your job,” Seth said, beating weakly on Bryce’s chest with a clenched fist.
“Yes, it is. According to the boyfriend handbook—”
“Shut up, Bryce! Gunslinging is not included in the role.”
“I’ll never forgive myself if Owen shows up and I’m caught by surprise,” Bryce said. “Next time I’ll be ready.”
Meet Mickie B. Ashling
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.
Win an ecopy of Open Case and receive it on release day.
Don’t miss the Open Case Exclusives Tour with more giveaways, coming next month!