Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway: Mickie B. Ashling, Chyna Doll
Many thanks to On Top Down Under Book Reviews for hosting my Chyna Doll blog tour visit. Although this is the fourth novel in the Horizons series, it can be read as a stand-alone. We’ve moved ahead several years and Grier’s son, Luca, who was seven when the series started, is now almost fifteen. Clark and Jody are stepping in as surrogate dads while Lil and Grier are in Italy for a month trying to re-capture Lil’s joie de vivre which seems to have disappeared. In the exclusive excerpt I’m sharing, Chyna, Luca’s love interest, is trying out for a modeling career.
To celebrate the release of my new novel, I’ve brought along some goodies to give away, so stay tuned to see what you can win.
Check out Cindi’s 5 star review of Chyna Doll here.
“Get naked so I can see what I’m working with.”
“I’m not comfortable with… nudity,” Chyna said haltingly.
Melinda rolled her eyes and pushed her toward a door that led to a tiny bathroom. “Change in there for now, but you’re going to have to get past this hang-up, or you’ll never make it in this business.”
Chyna breathed a grateful sigh. “Thank you.”
The door shut, and she clutched the dressing gown against her chest. How on earth was she going to get through this without giving herself away? Then she remembered that Dan already knew she was flat chested. His experienced eye had picked it up in a second, so it shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Melinda if she wore a Wonder Bra. Taking off the compression panties was out of the question, though, and if they forced her, she’d walk out.
Chyna removed her jeans and T-shirt and put on the light robe. Melinda took her clothes when she walked out of the bathroom and silently hung the items in a closet alongside a bunch of colorful outfits. She pointed toward the chair in front of a large mirrored station cluttered with jars, bottles, cans of hair spray, flat and curling irons, hair dryer, foam curlers, brushes in different sizes, and clear acrylic containers jammed with makeup.
She stood behind Chyna and massaged her shoulders gently. In the mirror, Chyna could see Melinda smiling. Straight square teeth gleamed behind the plum-colored pillows. “Are you okay, hon?”
“I’m fine,” Chyna answered woodenly.
“Don’t be nervous,” she said, grabbing Chyna’s hair with both hands and twisting it expertly into a knot atop her head. “You have beautiful hair,” Melinda noted while she pulled a few tendrils loose on either side of her ears. She twirled them around the curling iron and continued to chat as they “baked.” When she released the wand, the hair fell in soft curls around Chyna’s face.
“So do you,” Chyna reciprocated.
Melinda nodded. “My hair is one of my better features,” she admitted, “but black is common, unlike your lovely red-gold. Is this really natural?”
“Do your parents have red hair?”
“My father.” Chyna realized Melinda was asking questions to put her at ease, and she was grateful.
“Have kids given you a nickname?”
“Most redheads are called something. Ginger if you’re hot, carrot top if you’re not.”
She shook her head. “If they do, I’m not aware of it. People call me by my given name.”
“Chyna is unusual as well; it suits you.”
“I like it.”
“As you should,” Melinda said. She spun the chair around and lifted Chyna’s chin to inspect her face. “Your pores are practically nonexistent, and where are the freckles? When Dan told me he was trying out a ginger, I figured I’d need a jar of concealer.”
“Just lucky, I guess.”
“I’ll say,” Melinda said, studying her with interest. “Do you pluck your eyebrows?”
“Just the few stray hairs underneath the arch,” Chyna replied.
“Did anyone teach you?”
“I read an article once in SELF magazine,” Chyna said.
“Most girls tend to overpluck and then you have to draw on the brows, which can get tricky. Thank goodness you didn’t mess with yours.”
“In all honesty, I couldn’t be bothered,” Chyna admitted. “I’ve got enough to worry about.”
“Like your lack of boobs?” Chyna’s head snapped up, and she realized Melinda was teasing. “Don’t get salty on me, sweetheart; I’ve been there.”
Her dramatic eyes rounded in amazement, and she took handfuls of her own breasts. “You think these girls are real?” Unbuttoning her blouse, Melinda revealed a set of perfectly proportioned globes. She wasn’t even wearing a bra to hold them up.
“Wow,” Chyna said reverently.
“They’d better be amazing for what I paid.”
“I want a pair like that.”
“Cooperate with me, and I’ll make you look so gorgeous they’ll be begging you to sign a contract.”
Lil Lampert’s forty-fifth birthday turns the effervescent architect into a brooding mess, and his partner, Grier Dilorio, takes him to Italy to help him regain his zest for life. The timing is bad—almost-fifteen-year-old Luca has just started high school, and his mother and stepfather are also traveling. Luca is left in the care of Chicago Bear, Clark Stevens, and his partner, Dr. Jody Williams.
Growing up with two dads and two gay uncles has given Luca a unique perspective on gender roles, but not all the answers. He’s had a secret crush on his straight best friend, Chip, for years. Suddenly, Luca finds himself attracted to Chyna, Chip’s twin sister. Now he’s wondering if this means he’s bisexual.
Born with a sexual development disorder, Chyna should have been raised as a male, but due to an epic parenting fail, is being raised as female. Hiding the truth becomes more difficult when Chyna hits puberty, and crushing over Luca adds another element to Chyna’s struggle to fit in.
Is Luca’s moral compass strong enough to guide him successfully through this period of discovery or will he succumb to peer pressure and shatter Chyna’s dreams for happiness?
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.
Connect with Mickie
Using Rafflecopter below, enter to win one of these prizes (contest open internationally): a $20 Dreamspinner gift certificate, one of five ecopies of Chyna Doll, any two ebooks from Mickie’s backlist, or a signed paperback of Chyna Doll. Must be 18 or older to enter.
March 2 – The Novel Approach
March 3 – Cup o’ Porn
March 4 – Hearts On Fire
March 5 – WoW…from The Scarf Princess
March 6 – MM Good Book Reviews
March 7 – Book Reviews & More by Kathy
March 9 – Prism Book Alliance
March 10 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
March 11 – On Top Down Under Book Reviews
March 12 – Sinfully…Addicted to All Male Romance
Tour and materials organized by PAS Promotions