Blog Tour Giveaway & Excerpt: Yesterday by Mickie B. Ashling
I’d like to thank On Top Down Under Book Reviews for giving me the opportunity to share an exclusive excerpt of my latest release, Yesterday. This novel is a period piece set during the tumultuous last days of the Pahlavi dynasty. The time and place aren’t conducive to romance, especially between two men, but love and logic aren’t always compatible as Kamran and Grady soon find out. Can a chance meeting alter one’s destiny? The answers are revealed within the pages of Yesterday.
The striking cover was designed by multitalented author and cover artist Catt Ford. Aside from the giveaways, which are listed on the Rafflecopter widget, I bring an exclusive excerpt. I hope you enjoy a glimpse into the world of Prince Kamran Izadi and Grady Ormond.
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.
Kamran was in riding gear when he picked me up the next day. He was waiting for me in the lobby, looking ruggedly handsome in khaki jodhpurs and a maroon blazer over his unbuttoned beige polo shirt. He’d pulled his hair back into some sort of knot at the base of his neck, and it made him look older and less approachable. There were no traces of the thoughtful man I’d spent time with the previous day, and I was starting to realize that he could step into the different roles in his life quite seamlessly.
He was obviously great at compartmentalizing, something I’d always found difficult. The warmth in his eyes as he sized me up was reassuring, though, and when we were settled in the backseat of the car, my impressions regarding his orientation were solidified upon hearing him mention how my blue silk tie complemented my eyes. A regular bloke wouldn’t care, much less bring it up in a conversation.
The ever-present bodyguards were a deterrent to any sort of flirtatious comeback on my part, and although they were up front, serving dual roles as chauffeur and watchful companion, they’d hear our conversation, so I merely smiled.
“Have you been to a polo match before?” Kamran asked.
“I’ll join you as soon as the game ends, and we’ll have dinner at the club.”
“That sounds good. I’m sure I’ll find someone to chat with while I’m alone.”
“No doubt. You seem very relaxed with strangers.”
“It’s my nomadic upbringing,” I explained. “Being thrust into a new environment every few years will either turn you into a horrible recluse or a confident partygoer. Fortunately, I’m the latter. Meeting new people never bothers me.”
“I, on the other hand, shrink away from strangers.”
“You didn’t have any trouble befriending me the other night,” I reminded him.
“You’re right,” he agreed. “There was something about you that set me at ease almost immediately.”
“Why, thank you, my prince.” As soon as I realized I’d used the possessive pronoun, I wanted to take it back. Then again, why? I was reading too much into my conversations with Kamran and had to stop second-guessing myself. He smiled, which I took as a good sign.
“Would you care to give me some pointers so I can learn to relax in a crowd?”
“Here’s the way I see it,” I stated, turning sideways to look at him directly. “There’s nothing worse than being alone at a party. Single guests are so relieved to be approached they usually open up and tell me their life story. Most people hate to be ignored.”
“You’re very sociable, like your father. You should be a diplomat, Grady, not a cinematographer.”
“Why not?” Kamran asked in amusement. “Most boys want to grow up to be just like their fathers.”
“I would never make it as a diplomat,” I admitted. “I’m too inquisitive and can’t keep my opinions under wraps. I would die of verbal constipation.”
Kamran burst out laughing. “You probably would,” he said, pulling out a snowy handkerchief to dab his eyes.
Grinning, I added, “I’d rather stick my foot in my mouth than hold my tongue.”
“Feel free to speak your mind around me,” Kamran said.
“I almost got my lights punched out yesterday when I did.”
“My query about—boyfriends,” I whispered, looking warily at the goons in the front seat. I knew I shouldn’t have brought it up again, but the not knowing if he was or wasn’t was killing me.
Kamran shook his head imperceptibly. “Not now….”
I nodded. “Would you be terribly offended if I called you Kam?”
“No,” he said. “That’s what they called me back in the UK.”
“What does everyone call you in Iran?”
“It’s another word for prince in Persian, but it’s only used to indicate descent to the royal family in the second generation through the female line.”
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.
Mickie currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.
Connect with Mickie
Three winners will win an ebook copy of Yesterday, a signed print copy of Yesterday, or a Dreamspinner gift certificate. Contest open internationally. Must be 18 or older to enter.
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Jan. 20 – Hearts On Fire
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Jan. 25 – Charlie Cochet
Jan. 26 – On Top Down Under Book Reviews
Jan. 27 – Love Bytes
Jan. 28 – Prism Book Alliance
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Feb. 1 – Rainbow Gold Reviews
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