Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Blog Tour: Open Seating at Multitaskingmomma's Book Reviews


Today is the final day of the Open Seating blog tour and I'm at Multitaskingmomma's Book Reviews. Check out the new excerpt and a great review of this unusual shipboard romance. Don't forget to throw your name in the hat for a giveaway! Thanks to those of you who have followed along on the tour and commented. Although I couldn't reply to each and every one I appreciate your participation.

http://www.multitaskingmommas.com/2016/06/exclusives-blog-tour-review-excerpt.html


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016

Blog Tour: Open Seating at On Top Down Under Book Reviews


Hi all! The next stop on the Open Seating blog tour is at On Top Down Under Book Reviews. Check out another exclusive excerpt of this opposites-attract shipboard romance.

http://ontopdownunderbookreviews.com/mickie-b-ashling-open-seating-exclusives-blog-tour-giveaway/

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Blog Tour: Open Seating at Love Bytes Reviews



I'm over at Love Bytes Reviews today. Check out the new exclusive excerpt and take advantage of another chance to click on the Rafflecopter for a freebie.

http://lovebytesreviews.com/2016/06/22/blog-tour-exclusive-excerpt-giveaway-mickie-b-ashling-open-seating/

You can also read their great review of Open Seating here:

http://lovebytesreviews.com/2016/06/10/release-day-review-open-seating-open-seating-trilogy-1-by-mickie-b-ashling/


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Blog Tour: Open Seating



Welcome to the second stop on my blog tour for Open Seating. Instead of sharing an exclusive excerpt of the book I thought I'd talk about my inspiration for this story. Traveling has always been a passion of mine, and I've had the good fortune of seeing many beautiful and exotic places in this interesting world of ours, but always by plane, bus, or car. Cruising was something I associated with rich or retired folk until I met someone who'd been on many cruises and she set me straight.  

I went on my first cruise when I was forty-five. I couldn't afford to go, but my birthday was coming up, and I needed to get away. Up until then, my life revolved around work, my husband, and four sons ranging in ages from five to seventeen. As you can imagine, life was hectic, and there wasn't much time or money for a luxury vacation. That being said, I was determined to spend my big birthday doing something for me. Hubby offered to stay home with the boys if I could figure out how to go on a trip without impacting the household budget. My mission was to find the "deal." I had two friends, also with limited funds, who wanted to come along, so we put our heads together and searched until we found something we could afford---a great deal on a seven-day Carnival Cruise to Mexico leaving out of Los Angeles.


I lived in the Bay Area at the time, so getting to LA to catch the boat wasn't difficult. To avoid airfare, we drove, taking turns during the eight-hour drive. At the time, I thought the most important thing was raising enough money to get on the damn ship. No one told me that alcohol wasn't included in the price, and, oh, by the way, you needed money for on-board purchases, and tips were not included but expected! If I had bothered to read the small print, before making the purchase, I would have known this but…details.  

Our tiny cabin was in the bowels of the ship, too close to the engines, with no windows of course, and a twin and bunk bed crammed into the tiny space. It was small!  And noisy! And a little claustrophobic, to be honest, but hey, we were cruising!



 
The first thing we did was go up to the top deck. There was a mariachi band playing the usual cheesy music and passengers who’d arrived early were already mostly drunk. Eager to join, I reached for an umbrella drink off the tray being passed around by cute cabana boys in short shorts, and my friends grabbed their own as well. My eyes bugged out when I signed the slip. The watered-down drinks in pretty glasses---yours to keep---were $6.50 each. Yikes.  At that rate we'd each have to sell a kidney before disembarking. 

The photo below is just for inspiration. These hotties weren't included in the price, and besides, do they look like they'd be remotely interested in three soccer moms?  Not a chance.   




My guardian angel must have been keeping a close watch on me, because the next day we wandered into a BINGO game in progress. After purchasing three cards apiece, we sat down to play. Would you believe I won the jackpot after only ten minutes! I’d never won anything in my life before that, and lo and behold, five hundred big ones! We ended up using the money to cover a lot of our shipboard expenses. 

                               

Since then, I’ve been on many cruises, but none of them were quite as memorable as my first. Writing a story about a shipboard romance took long enough, but I’ve learned not to dictate to my muse, and I let the stories come when the time is right.

Open Seating is the first book in a planned trilogy. My character Seth lost his partner of twenty years to suicide two weeks before embarking on a much anticipated vacation. Like most people who experience the sudden death of a loved one, Seth goes through different stages of grief: denial, anger, and depression. He finds solace in an unexpected source; his late partner's gym buddy. Bryce is his polar opposite in every way, including his no-nonsense approach to sex.. People cope with loss in different ways, and Seth soon discovers there are no fixed rules when it comes to grieving. Open Seating starts with tragedy but ends on a high note. Seth and Bryce's story continues in Open House, which will be available sometime in September. The third and final book has just been submitted and, if all goes well, should release at the end of the year or early January 2017. I hope you enjoy this new pairing.  They have a rocky start but, you’ll see…

Feel free to leave a comment/question about anything you'd like to share. I love hearing back from my readers. 

Before I close, I'd like to thank my publicist J for all her help in promoting my work.   

Don’t forget to leave your name in the Rafflecopter for a chance at a prize.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule
June 9 - The Novel Approach
June 10 - MM Good Book Reviews
June 11 - Mickie Ashling's Blog
June 14 - Sinfully
June 16 - Prism Book Alliance
June 20 - Diverse Reader
June 22 - Love Bytes
June 24 - On Top Down Under Book Reviews
June 28 - Bayou Book Junkie
June 29 - Multitaskingmommas

Buy Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Open-Seating-Mickie-B-Ashling-ebook/dp/B01FZITLO2?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/open-seating-by-mickie-b-ashling-7043-b

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-openseating-2043635-149.html

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Blog Tour: Open Seating



The blog tour for my new release, Open Seating, begins on Thursday, June 9.  Dates and sites are posted below. As always, there will be exclusive excerpts at each stop, and a chance to win a few goodies.


Tour Schedule
June 9 - The Novel Approach
June 10 - MM Good Book Reviews
June 11 - Mickie Ashling's Blog
June 14 - Sinfully
June 16 - Prism Book Alliance
June 20 - Diverse Reader
June 22 - Love Bytes
June 24 - On Top Down Under Book Reviews
June 28 - Bayou Book Junkie
June 29 - Multitaskingmommas

Here's a snippet...

“What do you mean we have to dress for dinner?” Bryce asked as Seth stopped him from joining the buffet line. “I’m hungry and want to eat right now.”
“We’ll have better food in the main dining room,” Seth explained. “We’re signed up for the first seating at six o’clock.”
“Every night?”
“Yes.”
“Who the fuck eats dinner at six?”
Seth stared at him with wide eyes.
“I’ll tell you who—old people!” Bryce said harshly. “What are my other choices?”
“There’s an eight o’clock seating,” Seth said, flustered. “But… it’s probably already filled. Then there’s open seating. You have freedom of choice and can eat whenever you want, only not at the same table each time, and you may have to wait a few minutes until a spot opens up.”
“But you’re not on anyone’s clock, and if you can’t stand the company, you have the advantage of seeing someone different the next night. Let’s do that,” Bryce said.


Blurb

Seth Wilder lost his partner of twenty years to suicide two weeks before a long-anticipated cruise. Cancellation insurance was never purchased, and Seth can’t get a refund. Bryce McFarland, his late partner’s gym buddy, appreciates his predicament, and when asked, agrees to accompany him on the trip. This way, Seth recoups the money and doesn’t have to cancel his plans. The gesture is unexpected but accepted gratefully.

The two men have nothing in common. Seth is a reclusive romance writer, and Bryce is a hard-core Grindr user with major commitment issues. Out of necessity and despite the seemingly insurmountable differences in personality, they develop a tentative rapport. As they begin their journey through the UK, Bryce helps Seth come to terms with his partner’s sudden death while Seth, in turn, discovers the root cause of Bryce’s phobia.

Shipboard romances rarely work. Sensible men resist, sexual tension notwithstanding. But a full moon and late summer breezes lend itself to the impossible situation, barriers are crossed, and a love affair is kindled.

Pre-order