We’re so pleased to have author Mickie B. Ashling back with us today on the virtual blog tour for her latest release from NineStar Press, Through My Own Lens, book five in the Horizons series. We’ve got an exclusive excerpt from the book to share with you, and there’s also a giveaway, so be sure to check out the details for that below.
Thank you for hosting my blog tour and giving me an opportunity to talk about my latest release. Through My Own Lens is the fifth book in the Horizons Series, but catching up isn’t necessary. This new story can be enjoyed as a standalone.
As the blurb mentions, my main characters, Luca Dilorio and Chyna Davidson, have just graduated high school and are headed east to start a new chapter in their lives. Being away from home for the first time can be exhilarating, but it also presents challenges neither one anticipates.
To celebrate the release of Through My Own Lens I bring two gifts to make your holiday season a little brighter. One lucky winner will receive a $25.00 NineStar Press Gift Certificate and the other will get to choose one e-book (excluding Through My Own Lens) from the NineStar Press catalog. Before I go, I’d like to thank Lori at IndiGo Marketing for her excellent work in organizing this book tour.
About the Book
Title: Through My Own Lens
Series: Horizons, Book Five
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 6, 2017
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre/Categories: Contemporary, intersex, gay, family drama, romance, addiction, coming of age, mental illness
Buy Links: NineStar Press || Amazon || Smashwords || Barnes & Noble || Kobo
Blurb: Luca Dilorio begins his freshman year at Cornell, while his boyfriend, Chyna Davidson, embarks on a modeling career based out of Manhattan, New York. Although Luca is only a five-hour drive away, he may as well be on another planet. Having watched Chyna’s back for years, Luca struggles with the separation. His new roommate, Zeb Araneda, lends an ear, and a solid friendship is born, but it doesn’t keep Luca from worrying.
Chyna learns to navigate the ups and downs of the modeling industry on his own. However, this proves difficult with Luca micromanaging everything, from Chyna’s diet to his choice in a roommate. After rejecting several candidates, Chyna and Luca decide on fellow model, Alex Boulet, who turns out to be perfect in more ways than one.
An unexpected appearance raises a multitude of concerns, and the entire family—Lil, Grier, Clark, Jody, and Chip—descend upon the young couple to offer their help. Will Luca and Chyna weather the storm or succumb to pressure from multiple fronts?
On Sunday afternoon, Luca sat in on my interview with potential roommate, Sarah Mitchell, a rangy brunette calling herself Xara. She was an LA transplant who’d been modeling a little longer than me. We’d had a preliminary conversation over the phone a few days before, and I was prepared to offer her the room until we shared a pizza. Xara disappeared after she’d inhaled two slices and Luca followed shortly after. When he returned, he was frowning.
“She’s a no,” he whispered. “I found her hugging the porcelain goddess. She’s obviously got body image issues, and you don’t need to be saddled with that kind of shit.”
“Are you sure? What if it’s food poisoning?”
“Do you feel sick?”
“No,” I admitted, “but I hate to dismiss her over one incident.”
“Do you want to deal with a bulimic on a daily basis?”
Uncertain, I suggested, “What if I came right out and asked? Isn’t that better than assuming the worse?”
Luca didn’t get a chance to answer my question before Xara returned.
“So what do you think?” she asked. “Can I start moving my stuff?”
I hesitated, reluctant to make an enemy so early in my career, but at the same time, I was inclined to follow Luca’s lead. He’d always been better than me when it came to first impressions. He must have sensed my conflict, and reached for my hand, squeezing it gently.
“Didn’t you say you had a couple more interviews scheduled for today?”
Grabbing Luca’s lifeline, I nodded and turned to Xara. “Can I let you know tomorrow?”
“I may not be interested tomorrow,” she said stiffly.
“I’ll have to take my chances.”
Xara’s gaze flicked between Luca and me, her eyes narrowing.
“You’d better grow some balls if you want to make it in this town. Last time we talked, this was a done deal,” she accused. “I guess your boyfriend doesn’t like me for whatever reason.”
“That’s not it,” I lied. “Deciding on a roommate without meeting in person is risky. I told you that over the phone. There were no guarantees on my end.”
“FYI,” Xara said as a parting shot, “I’m not some kind of lowlife.” She picked up her purse and slammed the door on her way out.
“Now I feel like the world’s biggest loser.”
“Don’t,” Luca said. “She puked before she even digested her pizza. Pretty sure you’d rather not deal with that on the daily.”
“How would it become my problem, though? She’s not going to expect me to clean up her mess.”
“You don’t know that,” Luca said. “There’s only one bathroom, and I can’t imagine you’ll want to use it after someone’s hurled. Plus, she may end up becoming a friend, and you’ll get dragged into her drama. Is that how you envision the next year?”
“Then trust me, Chyna. You can do better than her.”
“I’m not exactly low maintenance,” I reminded him.
“Maybe, but the way I see it, this is your apartment, so you can afford to be picky. You’ll have plenty of challenges trying to learn a new business, and it would be helpful to have a roommate who doesn’t add to your stress.”
“Do you think I’m better off with someone who isn’t in the modeling industry?”
Luca shrugged. “Honestly, I don’t know. Why don’t we wait and see who shows up next?”
The next person to apply was a guy who looked like he’d walked off the pages of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog. He was seriously hot, and I could feel the shift in Luca’s body language the minute he set eyes on the blond. In the four years we’d been together, I’d never given anyone a second glance, so Luca had no reason to fear the presence of another attractive male, but this current setup was turning him into a twitchy Rottweiler.
“What’s wrong with Aaron?”
“I don’t like him,” Luca said stubbornly.
“You don’t even know him,” I exclaimed as we huddled in the bedroom for a private consultation.
“Dude, he looks reckless.”
“Luca, get real.”
“I’m going with my gut instinct and Aaron’s a no.”
Tackling him onto the bed, I lay on his chest and pressed my forehead against his. “There’s no need to be jealous.”
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.
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