Interview with SJD Peterson

April 4, 2011

Recently, fellow writer SJD Peterson did an interview after reading and reviewing Loving Edits. It was the first time anyone has interviewed me in-depth so I thought I’d share. Click on the link:

http://sjdpeterson.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-03-02T05%3A16%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=3

Taste Excerpt #2

April 4, 2011

“Lil, I’m afraid I can’t make it.”

“Why not?”

“I’m babysitting for a friend,” Grier explained. “I’m really sorry.”

“Is it that kid I saw you with the other night?”

“Yeah, Luca.”

“Bring him along.”

“Are you serious?”

“Is he well-behaved?”

“Very.”

“Then bring him. What the hell, I’m not child-phobic.”

“That’s good to know.”

“See you in about an hour?”

“Okay.”

Grier disconnected and stepped back into his room, where he’d left Luca happily watching The Penguins of Madagascar on the Nickelodeon channel. He was sitting cross-legged on the floor with a Pop-Tart in hand.

“Pick up your crumbs, okay, kiddo?”

“’Kay,” Luca nodded as he chewed loudly.

“And close your mouth while you’re chewing.”

Luca shut his mouth instantly and proceeded to chew his food like a cow masticating grass, moving his jaw slowly from side to side.”

“You don’t need to exaggerate, buddy. You’ll end up with TMJ problems.”

“Huh?”

Grier laughed and ruffled Luca’s dark fringe. “You need a haircut.”

Luca agreed with a nod. “Tito A said I look like a girl.”

“When did he say that?” Grier frowned. Since when did Ali have a say in anything involving Luca? A girl? What the fuck!

“I don’t remember…the other day.”

“At the Taste?”

“No, at home. He came to have dinner with Mommy and me.”

Grier froze. “Does he come around a lot?”

“Not tho much,” Luca said, slipping on the S word.

“How many times, Luca?” Grier raised his hand and spread his fingers. “This much?”

Luca folded down two of Grier’s fingers leaving three standing. “That much.”

What the hell? How come nobody told him about this new development? “Finish up your breakfast, buddy, we’ve got to get going.”

By the time the cab made its way to Bucktown, it was close to ten thirty in the morning. Lil was already waiting at the door, looking very summery in khakis and a Tommy Bahama shirt. He’d left his hair product-free, choosing to have it flop naturally, rather than dealing with a sticky mess that resulted from the high levels of humidity. The end result was more youthful, with the soft hair falling over his forehead. Grier couldn’t help admiring the blond who’d captured his interest so acutely. He would have greeted him with a kiss but held back due to Luca’s presence. “Hey.”

“Hey, yourself,” Lil smiled broadly. “And who is this young man?”

“I’m Luca.” The boy stared at Lil with frank curiosity. “What’s your name?”

Lil was charmed. “My name is Lil.”

“Do I have to call him Tito Lil?” Luca turned toward Grier.

“That would be best,” Grier replied.

Tito?” Lil inquired.

“It means ‘Uncle’ in Filipino.”

“But I’m not his uncle.”

“And neither am I, but we’re adults, and in his culture it would be disrespectful if he addressed us without a formal salutation.”

“I see.”

“Everyone buckle up and let’s get this show on the road,” Grier said, helping Luca into the cab and adjusting his seat belt. They headed toward the Loop, not very far distance-wise, but with the perennial gridlock, they inched their way across town. Finally, a few blocks away from Willis Tower, they asked the taxi driver to stop. Walking would be far more enjoyable than sitting in a stuffy cab. Lil paid and they exited onto the sidewalk.

“Wow,” Luca said, craning his neck when they finally arrived in front of Willis Tower. “I can’t see the top of the building.”

“It’s certainly impressive,” Lil seconded. “This should prove very interesting.”

“Why’s that?” Grier replied, noting the tiny bit of apprehension in Lil’s voice. “I thought you wanted to do this?”

“I’m not comfortable with heights,” Lil confessed. “They make me queasy, and I always have this urge to throw myself over the edge.”

“I’ll hold your hand, Tito Lil,” Luca said solemnly. “Don’t be afraid.”

“Thank you, Luca. I need all the help I can get.” Lil looked at Grier and mouthed. He’s so fucking cute!

Grier smiled. “He is.”

Taste by Mickie B. Ashling

April 4, 2011

Will Lil and Grier build a life and a family together? Taste (m/m) by Mickie B. Ashling, available from Dreamspinner Press.

What should have been a brief interlude turns into something deeper when Lil Lampert meets Grier Dilorio at the Taste of Chicago. Lil is in town visiting good friends Jody Williams and Clark Stevens, and he didn’t plan to hook up with a younger man and discover a mutual love for architecture, interior design, and a unique sexual kink that keeps Lil coming back for more.

By all appearances, Grier is the quintessential bad boy who loves speed, tattoos, and leather, but Lil slowly uncovers another side: selfless, responsible, and tender, especially for Luca, the son he’s had to deny. With Lil’s love and support, Grier will make a decision key to opening the door to a possible future together, one that includes fatherhood, something Lil has dreamed of but has never dared to explore.

Buy in eBook
Buy in print
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel

Taste Excerpt #1

April 4, 2011

The sun was beating down on Lil’s shoulders as they stood in line to get on the boat. It was another scorcher of a day, with high humidity levels, but there was a slight breeze which made it somewhat tolerable. He wasn’t used to this kind of weather, being from San Francisco, but he’d remembered the sunscreen and had applied the non-greasy SP 45 lotion liberally on his arms, the back of his neck, and his legs. Jody had loaned him one of Clark’s baseball caps to protect his face and head.

Grier had shown up in another wife beater, a black one this time, with the words Vinita Ice Cream scrawled in neon green. It had big circles in vivid primary colors simulating ice cream scoops splotched throughout.

“Your T-shirt is very attractive.”

“I designed it,” Grier said proudly. “You like it?”

“As I said yesterday, what’s not to like?”

“I meant the T-shirt.”

“I know,” Lil smiled. He couldn’t see Grier’s eyes behind the Oakleys, but the seductive tone of his voice was a pleasant indication that nothing had changed since yesterdays meet and greet. “I thought you moved furniture?”

“Among other things.”

“I like a man of many talents,” Lil flirted.

“That’s me. I’m a veritable jack-of-all-trades.”

The line started moving again, and when they got on the boat they were given a choice of sitting below, in the cabin, or up on top, exposed to the elements. “Do you have a preference?” Grier asked.

“Even though the sun is deadly and will surely age me overnight, I’d rather sit up on the deck.”

“Good choice.” Grier steadied Lil with a hand on his lower back, guiding him up the narrow iron steps onto the open deck. Their seats were toward the rear of the boat, and they conversed while they waited for the rest of the passengers to be seated.

“Tell me about Vinita Ice Cream,” Lil asked. “Does it belong to the group of people you were with last night?”

“Yes. The Garcias are friends, as well as neighbors, and my family helps them each year with the booth.”

“Who does the little boy belong to?”

“Luca is Jillian’s son. She’s Jake’s twin.”

“Jake?”

“My best friend.”

“Oh, right.”

“I’ve known that family since I was four years old.”

“How old are you, if you don’t mind my asking?”

“I just turned twenty-five.”

“When’s your birthday?”

“June eighteenth.”

“A Gemini!”

“Is that a problem?”

“No, it’s a treat. Geminis are wonderfully complex.”

“And here I thought I was just bipolar.”

Lil laughed out loud. “A little duality, perhaps?”

“Something like that,” Grier said, smiling. “What’s your sign?”

“Pisces.”

“I don’t know anything about astrology,” Grier admitted.

“They say that Pisces are the best lovers.”

“Is it truth or hype?”

“I’ve never had any complaints,” Lil stated frankly.

“I like men with experience,” Grier said.

“Do you?” Lil took off Grier’s sunglasses for a minute so he could look into the dark eyes that were appraising him frankly. “Then you’ve just won the jackpot. It’s one of the few advantages of being over thirty.”

“Are you thirty-one?”

Lil handed back the sunglasses but not before he traced Grier’s scruff with gentle fingers and brushed his lips against the luscious mouth in a soft kiss. The brunet leaned into his touch, and Lil was pleased to see the spark of desire in the obsidian eyes before he hid them again behind the smoked glass.

“I’m thirty-seven and holding,” Lil whispered.

“Impossible.”

“Flattery will get you everywhere.”

“It’s the truth,” Grier insisted. “You don’t look your age.”

“I certainly hope not,” Lil said. “Nonetheless, time marches on, and plastic surgeons get more affordable each day.”

“You’re not a candidate yet.”

“You’re sweet,” Lil said, basking in the compliment.

“Tell me about Lyndon Lyle Lampert,” Grier asked. “Do you have a partner?”

“Heavens no.”

“Don’t you believe in love?”

“I do, but I haven’t met the right guy yet, and I won’t settle.”

“Does he have to walk on water?”

Lil laughed. “Not necessarily, but he’s got to make my heart flutter, my breath catch in my throat, my cock surge with interest, and not always in that order. Two out of the three ingredients are a requirement.”

“I suppose I could always glamour you.”

True Blood fan?”

Vampire Diaries,” Grier admitted. “My heart jumps around whenever the bad vamp shows up on the screen.”

“Damon is rather hot, isn’t he? Makes you want to bare your neck willingly.”

“And other parts as well.”

“Slutty boy,” Lil teased. “Do you have anyone special?”

“If I did I wouldn’t be here, would I?”

“Oh, you’re one of those good boys who believes in monogamy.”

“Don’t you?”

“I’ve never found anyone who’d make me even consider it.”

“That’s hard to understand.”

“We can’t all be Clark and Jody.”

“I wish I had a little bit of Clark in me.”

“Hon, you’re just as gorgeous, except he’s got the whole Viking God thing going, whereas you’re more Italian bad boy.”

“Shit,” Grier mumbled. “I’m nothing like Clark.”

“In what sense?”

“He’s out and proud.”

“And you’re not?” Lil was very surprised considering Grier had no problem kissing him in public.

“I take that back,” Grier clarified. “I’m out with everyone except my father.”

“And his approval means the most?”

“Yes.”

“What about your mother?”

“She passed away last year.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I miss her a lot.” Grier looked out toward the horizon, and Lil could feel the melancholy that swamped the young man as memories surfaced. “Her biggest regret in dying so young was leaving me unsettled.”

Lil put his arm around Grier and drew him close. “She was your friend.”

Grier nodded.

“Don’t think that Clark’s journey wasn’t difficult, Grier. His father is a homophobic megalomaniac. I can’t imagine your father being half as bad.”

“I read about Clark’s dad…he’s a little controlling.”

“A little is an understatement.”

“My dad is a good person, Lil. He loves me, and my brother, and has worked very hard to provide a future for us. Unfortunately, he doesn’t understand that my sexual orientation is nothing like his. Mom and I were trying to figure out how to convince Dad to let me finish my schooling, but then she got sick.”

“You’re not done with college yet?”

“Two years of general ed courses is all I’ve accomplished so far. When I asked to transfer to the Illinois Institute of Art, he had a fit.”

“Why?”

“Only queers go for design.”

“Give me a fucking break. Hasn’t he heard of Frank Lloyd Wright? He was one of the greatest architects who ever lived, and he was from the Midwest, for Pete’s sake, and from everything I’ve read about him, an absolute hound with women.”

“Lil, even if he’d heard of him, it wouldn’t make a difference. All he wants is someone to take over Dilorio Trucking, but even Ali won’t touch it.”

“Who’s Ali?”

“My brother, Alissio.”

“You boys certainly have unusual names.”

“Lil isn’t that commonplace either.”

“Touché.”

“Why do they call you Lil? I think I prefer Lyndon.”

“Oh, please, Lyndon makes me sound like an old fart. When I was younger, and utterly outrageous, my friends started calling me Lillian. It got shortened through the years.”

“Lillian,” Grier frowned slightly. “I don’t see it at all.”

“Enough talk about me, okay?” Lil said, embarrassed about bringing up ancient history. Grier was only eight years old when Lil was prowling The Castro and earning that nickname. He leaned into Grier and said, “Let’s postpone this conversation until after the tour, alright?” The boat had finally filled up and was slowly moving away from the dock.

What Inspires a Story

April 4, 2011

Last July I had a craving. Don’t some of the best things in life start out that way? I had ice cream on my mind, never suspecting that a brief stop at my favorite store, Oberweis, would be the spark to ignite my muse. The guy who attended to me was all smiles and quite gorgeous. Being an m/m writer, I’m not ashamed to admit I’m always checking out faces and bodies and transferring them to my writing. There was something about this man that spoke to me. I suppose if I were a guy, certain body parts would have twitched. In any case, he served up my Heath Bar Frostbite with a smile and told me to come back any time. I left with five hundred calories in my hand and the seeds of a story planted firmly in my brain.

The next day, I attended the Taste of Chicago, and my idea for this novel started running rampant in my head. How I was inspired while sweat rolled down my back, is beyond me, but I was. Instead of letting the heat and discomfort bring out my internal bitch, I imagined I was Lil and took in the sights through his perspective. I’d been meaning to give this much loved character from my novel Horizons his own story, and after two years I would finally have an opportunity to do it.

That night I went home and poked my head into the wonderful m/m group over at Goodreads. Their erotic picture threads have been a source of inspiration in the past, and I clicked on the link that said “Ink”. I have this thing for tattoos. I saw a photo that blew my mind, and my character Grier was born. There were several other photos that caught my attention, and fired up the muse, but I won’t embellish as it would be a major spoiler. I wrote this novel in about five weeks. I was inspired. Wouldn’t you be looking at this guy? I still have him up as my screensaver!

This is how Taste was born. Stay for a while and read a couple of excerpts and an interview I did recently over at SJD Peterson’s blog. Anyone who comments on this post will be in the drawing for a signed paperback with a free bookmark. I’m celebrating my second year anniversary with Dreamspinner and handing out bookmarks to anyone who buys one of my paperbacks in the month of April. It’s my small way of saying Thank You to all my wonderful readers.

Contest!

March 26, 2011

 
What should have been a brief interlude turns into something deeper when Lil Lampert meets Grier Dilorio at the Taste of Chicago. Lil is in town visiting good friends Jody Williams and Clark Stevens, and he didn’t plan to hook up with a younger man and discover a mutual love for architecture, interior design, and a unique sexual kink that keeps Lil coming back for more.

By all appearances, Grier is the quintessential bad boy who loves speed, tattoos, and leather, but Lil slowly uncovers another side: selfless, responsible, and tender, especially for Luca, the son he’s had to deny. With Lil’s love and support, Grier will make a decision key to opening the door to a possible future together, one that includes fatherhood, something Lil has dreamed of but has never dared to explore.

Here’s an opportunity to win a free copy of Taste in e-book format.

Comment on this post over the next week and you’ll be automatically entered. Winner will be announced on Monday, April 4.

Enjoy the book trailer of Taste created by the amazingly talented qafmaniac aka Marita Deters.

Tono by Mickie B. Ashling

January 14, 2011

Tono by Mickie B. Ashling is now available in paperback and eBook.

Sequel to Loving Edits

In the aftermath of Mick Henley’s death, his two lovers, Paul Alcott and Tono Garat, find themselves at odds. Tono has rejected Paul on the pretext that the public will find out about their love affair, thus tarnishing Mick’s memory; the reality is that Tono fears Paul will lose interest in him because they’re not intellectual equals. Tono’s fear is compounded when Mick’s final novel, Momentos, is presented to Paul posthumously with a request to start a trust from the proceeds to aid artists and writers suffering from ALS. Mick’s only stipulation is that Tono spearhead the organization.

Paul is energized by Mick’s request, but Tono is angry and conflicted about the challenge. After a five-month separation, they reunite, rekindling their strong physical attraction—and illuminating their many differences. As always, Mick’s presence lingers, intruding at unexpected times. Are their memories preventing Paul and Tono from finding true happiness as a couple? Can there be a life for two vibrant alphas without the gentle Mick to buffer the discord?

Genre: M/M/M or more
Length: Novel

Loving Edits giveaway

July 27, 2010

Loving Edits is featured over at Chris’ blog, Stumbling Over Chaos. Comment on this post and get a chance to win a free eBook.

Loving Edits by Mickie B. Ashling

June 14, 2010

Loving Edits by Mickie B. Ashling is now available in paperback and eBook.

When bestselling novelist Mick Henley contacts his editor and former lover, Paul Alcott, after a seven-year absence, hearing Mick’s voice reinforces what Paul has known all along―he still loves Mick. The possible reunion entices Paul into considering a dinner invitation, but his hopes are dashed when he learns Mick is in a loving relationship with Spanish Jai alai player Tono Garat.

Paul still accepts the invitation, and Mick asks Paul to help Tono through the final revision of a love story he’s written, inspired by his affair with Mick. When Paul refuses, Mick reveals he’s been diagnosed with a fatal disease, and the novel is Tono’s only means of coping with the eventual outcome.

Paul and Tono resent each other, but they can’t deny the strong sexual attraction between them. Can the past blend with the present to ease the way for Mick’s inevitable future? Will they overcome their differences to provide the loving support necessary to sustain the man they love or will their collision destroy Mick’s final days?

Seven Question Interview with Mickie B. Ashling

June 13, 2010

To celebrate the release of my latest novel Loving Edits I was recently interviewed by Shae Connor.  You can read it here:  Seven questions with Mickie B. Ashling