Enforcing Emory, Mickie B. Ashling: Excerpt & Giveaway
Hi Cindi and Kazza! Thank you for hosting my blog tour visit. Enforcing Emory is a contemporary m/m romance set in the world of Olympic figure skating and ice hockey. It’s a brand new universe so there’s no need to catch up on anything. I’ve brought you an excerpt and some goodies to share. Enjoy!
Check out Cindi’s review of Enforcing Emory here.
“You want to see my short program?” Emory asked, hoping Nik would say yes. It wasn’t a question of showing off as much as a need to please, like some overeager puppy who couldn’t wait to show his owner every trick he’d learned.
“Is a quad part of the routine?”
“I’d love to see it live.”
“Do you mind if I listen to the music on my phone?”
“Go for it.”
Emory pulled his iPhone out of his pocket and handed it to Nik. He pushed the sound up to its loudest setting, found the music he needed, and hit Play. The melody wouldn’t carry while he was on the other end of the rink, but every time he passed Nik standing on the sideline, he’d pick up the tune. It was better than nothing and helped his focus.
As the strain of violins seeped through the tiny speaker, Emory put all thoughts of Nik aside and slipped into the role of Romeo. The classical piece wasn’t his choice, but he’d been talked into something more conservative by his coach, who was sick of hearing the words “flamboyant” and “outrageous” attached to her protégée’s name. People overlooked Emory’s extraordinary talent the moment he appeared on the ice in one of his colorful costumes and dramatic makeup. Critics had urged him to tone it down and put his gayness on hold while competing, but Emory had ignored them in the past. This time, however, he’d given in to Jane’s request because he was going to the Olympics and he wanted to prove a point.
The routine was precisely two minutes and fifty seconds long. Not one second over or under or he’d be penalized. There were seven required elements that had to be inserted into the choreography: a double or triple axel, a triple or quadruple jump immediately preceded by connecting steps, a jump combination, a flying spin, a camel or sit spin, a spin combination, and finally a one-step sequence in either a straight, circular, or serpentine line.
Emory had practiced this program a zillion times, it seemed, before he’d performed at Nationals a few days ago. His body was on autopilot, trained to move seamlessly from one complicated move to the next, hardly aware that it was happening. The quad was the most difficult jump, but his intricate footwork was just as important. Few skaters could combine the technical with the artistic, but Emory was naturally graceful and had spent many hours in the ballet studio making sure this part of his training wasn’t neglected. It was another reason why his coach had chosen Prokofiev. He was going to Russia, and their standards were exacting when it came to ice skating, but they considered ballet to be their own creation—even if it wasn’t so—and anyone who had eyes could see that Emory’s moves were flawless.
He’d competed in front of a live audience since he was six years old and was immune to the facial expressions of the people in the stands. His parents and other family members always watched him with pride, the judges looked for mistakes and observed his every move with keen interest, and fellow skaters were either envious or derisive, but the look of yearning on Nik’s face was a first. When he slid to a stop and approached the hockey player, the cool blue eyes were filled with emotion. Emory was taken aback.
Olympic figure skater Emory Lowe falls in lust the moment he lays eyes on his new neighbor, hockey player Nikolai (Nik) Vetrov. On the surface, Nik is a typical badass enforcer, intimidating and dangerous, on and off the ice. The only son of Ukrainian immigrants, Nik has been groomed from childhood to fulfill his father’s dreams of seeing him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Igor guides his son toward that goal with a controlling—and abusive—hand, steering him clear of anyone who might ruin his chances.
Although Emory is the US National Figure Skating champion, he’s in-your-face gay, and his audacious persona rubs Nik and his family the wrong way. Raised by supportive and loving parents, Emory is Nik’s polar opposite in every way but one—his desire to succeed. Underneath the fluff and glitter beats the heart of a fierce competitor, and this side of Emory’s personality begins to close the distance between the two athletes.
While the attraction was one-sided in the beginning, Nik finds himself responding to Emory’s flirting. Before the incongruous pair have a chance at any sort of relationship, they must survive the pressures of career, separation, and most importantly, Igor’s ruthless homophobia.
Purchase Links –
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 Enforcing Emory, or an audio copy of Fire Horse. Must be 18 or older to enter.
Tour Schedule –
May 25 – The Novel Approach
May 25 – Garrett Leigh
May 26 – Charlie Cochet
May 27 – Emotion in Motion
May 28 – BA Tortuga
May 29 – On Top Down Under Book Reviews
May 31 – Diverse Reader
June 1 – Prism Book Alliance
June 2 – Book Reviews & More by Kathy
June 2 – Cup o’ Porn
June 3 – WoW…from The Scarf Princess
June 4 – Love Bytes
June 5 – Divine Magazine
June 8 – MM Good Book Reviews
June 10 – Hearts On Fire
Tour and materials organized by PAS Promotions