Yesterday by Mickie B. Ashling Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

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I’d like to thank MM Good Book Reviews for hosting my blog tour visit. Yesterday is a period piece, a stand-alone novel, set during the final months 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 the sneak peek.

~Mickie~

Mickie B. Ashling - Yesterday Cover

Yesterday

by

Mickie B. Ashling

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.

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Excerpt

We were on an unlit highway, so I couldn’t see his face except for a brief glimpse when a car or bus would pass by on the opposite side. I could sense his presence, though, and when his warm fingers wrapped around my left wrist, I was surprised and elated.

Stifling the urge to lean closer, I asked, “Is it common for menfolk around here to be so openly affectionate?”

“Why do you ask?”

“I thought your religion frowned on any sort of contact between men.”

“Any kind of erotic contact,” he corrected. “Both sexes can be excessively tender toward same-sex friends without it being misconstrued. Kissing, hugging, and hand-holding between male friends is not uncommon.”

“It’s okay?” I asked, confused.

“The emotional roles of Iranian men and women are different from those in the Western world. Men can be artistically engaged and esthetically acute without being seen as unmanly, and women, by contrast, can be unemotional and detached without losing their femininity. Open weeping is not unusual for either sex.”

“Didn’t you tell me your father disapproved of your passion for poetry and animals?”

“My father is a military man. There’s no room in his world for a son who’s nothing like him. He’s only happy when I’m engaged in traditionally manly pursuits.”

“Like today.”

“Yes.”

“What about relationships with women? How do you meet them if they’re so heavily chaperoned?”

“Through intermediaries.”

“Sorry?”

“Physical contact between members of the opposite sex is avoided at all costs, except with relatives.”

“What about courtship?” I asked. None of his answers made sense with regards to women. “Don’t you get a chance to talk and exchange ideas before embarking on the serious business of joining for life?”

“As I mentioned before, most marriages are arranged, and it’s usually the mother who does the brokering between families. Once she finds a suitable candidate, and the path is cleared by letting her counterpart in the other family know that a union would be welcome, the husbands get involved. If they approve, they issue the formal proposal. It’s important that the groundwork is handled properly, because once a marriage has taken place, the families are forever intertwined.”

“What about divorce?”

“Divorce is less common in Islam because it is extremely difficult to disentangle the close network of relationships between the two families. Couples would rather stay together than go through the harrowing process of dividing up assets. Furthermore, children are the property of the father.”

“What do you mean by property?” I asked, horrified.

“The husband assumes custody of boys over three years of age and girls over seven.”

“What about the mother?”

“Women have been known to renounce their alimony payments in favor of full custody.”

“That’s unjust,” I said automatically. “And cruel.”

He nodded. “It’s our way.”

“How do you stay married if you’re absolutely miserable?”

“Iran is an Islamic nation, and polygyny is allowed if one promises to treat both wives in exactly the same way, which to my mind is impossible,” Kamran said with a derisive snort. “This is probably why only one percent of the population practices it.”

“Wait—did you just say polygyny? Two wives?”

“Yes.”

“Holy crap… and your religious have the nerve to call Westerners a bunch of perverts.”

“It’s a small pocket of Islam that feels that way, Grady. The majority of us have no issues with Western society, and as I said, only one percent of our population have more than one wife at a time.”

“Thank Christ. I can’t imagine you with one wife, let alone two.”

“Why is that?” he asked in a low voice.

I leaned my head against the seat and groaned. God… I did it again. Open mouth, insert fucking foot. I turned my head toward his voice, and even though it might cost me a friend and his bodyguards might beat me up and throw me out of the car, I had to follow through. My wrist was still trapped within Kamran’s hand, and I laid my other hand on top of his, giving it a small squeeze.

“Color me stupid, Kam, but for one crazy minute I thought we might have a connection.”

He didn’t respond verbally, more than likely afraid of what his goons might report back to his father, but his thumb began caressing my wrist in slow circles. Just like he’d done on the polo field.

“Love and doubt have never been on speaking terms,” he whispered. “I would never use the word stupid to describe you.”

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About Mickie

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

Email | Facebook | Twitter | Website | Blog | Goodreads & Ask the Author

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Giveaway!

Three winners will win an ebook copy of Yesterday, a signed print copy of Yesterday, or a $25 Dreamspinner gift certificate.

(Just click the link below. Contest open internationally. Must be 18 or older to enter.)

Mickie B. Ashling Rafflecopter giveaway!

(Ends 3rd February 2016)

Review

YesterdayLGTitle: Yesterday

Author: Mickie B. Ashling

Genre: Historical Romance/ New Adult

Length: 200 Pages

ISBN: 978-1-63476-679-1

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 22, 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Lisa

Blurb: 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.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7256

Review: This is the first time I have read a story by this author so I was not sure what to expect. Usually I avoid them but I have heard good things about her so I knew I had to at least see. Then the second problem came when I realized it was a historical romance. I have never been a fan of them only because they come off so dry and boring. However I actually found myself enjoying this story.

I have read a few things on the Middle East, so I knew what would happen if they were found out. So I pretty much was on the edge of my seat just waiting to see what was going to happen next. This story actually did a pretty good job of keeping it straight, so to speak.

Grady is the son of a diplomat and is about to go to Pakistan with his family. He was warned to never let anyone know that he is gay over there. He is told to keep it quiet because the punishment would be harsh if anyone ever knew. Then Grady meets the Prince at a party held by his father and he is in deep trouble. It would seem Kamran feels the same way and also knows what will happen if it is ever found out.

Kamran is from Iran and knows full well of the dangers if anyone found out that he was gay. He is trying to spend what freedom he has left having a bit of fun. Then he is being forced in to an arranged marriage. To be gay is a death sentence so the two must hide what they feel or they will both die.

Now my main problem was the fact that Grady flirted with Kamran, and I felt like slapping him silly. He definitely comes off as a teenager.
He was warned over and over not to flirt, and he said he understood it. However he kept on doing it, which would have gotten them killed if this had not been a romance story. He was well written as was Kamran. They were fully developed and had a lot of depth to them both. It felt like I was right there with them. Still wanted to smack the shit out of Grady though.

The story was very well written and definitely sparked my interest. It felt like I was right there with them, going to the markets and seeing all those people. Although I think I would rather stay in America that is for sure. Over all I must say that Grady was an idiot throughout the whole story and it definitely was fun to read about him. I still say that historicals will never be a story that I would want to read.

My attention was not as captivated as it should have been but only because it was not my favorite type of story. I like my guys a bit older, a bit wiser and a bit more sex. Also I am one for more modern type of stuff that this story did not have. I have to say that I never really thought 1970s would be historical but it was fun to hear it. I did enjoy this story to a point, but it was not for me.

However it is definitely worth reading and I would recommend it.

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Check out the other blogs on the blog tour

Jan. 20 – Hearts On Fire
Jan. 21 – The Novel Approach
Jan. 22 – Diverse Reader
Jan. 22 – Multitaskingmommas
Jan. 25 – Charlie Cochet
Jan. 27 – Love Bytes
Jan. 28 – Prism Book Alliance
Feb. 2 – Sinfully
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12 thoughts on “Yesterday by Mickie B. Ashling Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

  1. I’ve been following this blog tour, because in contrary to the reviewer here, I love historical set romances and there are not too many of them in the M/M sub genre. That this is set in the late 70’s is a ‘pull’ factor for me. I wish more historical romance was set in the 1900’s after the first world war.

  2. Great excerpt! I liked the part about how men are allowed to show affection to each other without censure. Although the part about marriage/divorce was horrible to me.

  3. I really enjoyed the excerpt. I am a fan of Mickie’s books and everything I have read has been well written. It was a surprise to hear that a story written about the 70’s was historical after all I lived through them. I guess I just forget that I’m so old!

  4. I like the idea that men and women can show affection and emotion or none at all, and it not be viewed negatively. Thanks for the chance and the review!

  5. I love reading about cultures I’m not that familiar with – it’s always great finding out something new…Thanks for the giveaway!

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