The Storm Before the Calm by Cate Ashwood Blog Tour

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Charlie has one passion in life: dancing. It’s his salvation when it feels like the world is swallowing him whole. When his mom secretly secures him a spot in the summer intensive at the Free Rein Dance Company in New York, he is thrilled. He knows that once the summer ends, he’ll have to return to Beacon to get a job and help support his family, but for those two months, he can spread his wings.

In New York he meets Max, a junior instructor who is everything Charlie wishes he could be. Bold and self-assured, Max radiates pride in who he is. As they spend time together, Max shows Charlie what life can be like past the walls of his closed-minded home town. But Charlie doesn’t know if he’s ready to show the world who he truly is when standing in the spotlight is the last thing he wants.


Author Name: Cate Ashwood

Book Name: The Storm Before The Calm

Release Date: June 5, 2015

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Categories: Contemporary, Gay fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Pages or Words: 62,000 words

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My fingers tugged at the edge of the cardboard cozy wrapped around the cup as I waited for him to speak. The silence between us felt heavy, and the awkwardness settled in around me as he stared at me, his mouth quirked in a playful expression.

“What?” I asked finally.

“Nothing,” he replied, smiling. “So I guess we should get started.”


“I think maybe just one, two songs at most. The festival isn’t until the end of the summer, so we have lots of time.”

“What festival is it again?” I asked.

“OutShine,” he responded.

“What kind of festival is that?” I asked.

“It’s a big arts festival that takes place throughout the city, mostly in parks. There are exhibits and performances, and a huge celebration at the end. It was started a few years ago to raise awareness and money for gay rights.”

“Oh. Are you… I mean….”

“Gay?” Max supplied.


“Yes. Are you?”

“I… no, uh I…,” I stuttered. I was stunned by how nonchalant and completely unapologetic he’d been about his sexuality, as though admitting to me he was gay was the most ordinary thing in the whole world. A part of me wished I could do that. I could nod and say the words like it was as natural as telling him I was blond or I liked chocolate ice cream.

“It’s okay, Charlie. No big deal. You don’t have to be gay to participate. Originally, all the artists were gay, but it has grown and evolved now to include everyone, which is how it should be,” Max said, shooting me an understanding look.

I should have corrected him. I should have told him, but I’d never said the words out loud. Hell, it was hard enough for me to form that three-word sentence in my head. Even as I sat there, my brain rebelled, doing its own version of sticking its fingers in its ears and humming. So instead of being honest with him about who I was, I let him assume I was something else.


What inspired you to start writing?

I have always loved reading (like most writers) and I spent my recesses at school inside with a book rather than I was devouring two books a day, and sometimes I found myself getting frustrated with how the book would end, or things the characters would do. So I thought, “do you really think you could do it any better?” So I gave it a shot. I’m sure there are readers who are equally as frustrated with some of the decisions I’ve made for my characters, but I’m happy with it, and that’s really all you can do. I write for me, and hope other people enjoy it. 🙂

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

I do. It seems to come in waves, usually after I’ve submitted a book or I’ve had a book release. I’m not sure why it happens, but the most recent one, I started two very different books (one is about a forensic pathologist and a paramedic and the other is about an underwear model living in LA) and I swapped back and forth on them, sometimes as quickly as every ten minutes or so. It got me back into the flow of things.  

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Most importantly, the writer has to feel something for the story. If the sole reason you’re writing a story is because you think it will sell well or you think that’s what readers what to read about, the characters and their chemistry is going to fall flat. There has to be that excitement there to get it all down on the page. 

Equally as important, is a good editor who isn’t afraid to kick your ass a little bit, and not just on the grammar stuff. I have been so very lucky, and will be forever grateful, to have been paired up with some amazing editors, and my group of beta readers is pretty fabulous, too. 

Really, I think with passion, and a good editor, any story can really shine. 

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell us about?

How much time do you have? 😉

I have a co-written book called Brick by Brick that I wrote with L.J. LaBarthe, as well as the second book in the Newport Boys series (Colt’s book) coming out this summer, and then I have a new novel called Tasting Notes that should be coming out from DSP sometime in October or November. 

In my current WIP pile, I have a 4 book series that follows emergency service personnel (who doesn’t love a man in uniform?), the book about the underwear model in LA, and two collaborations, one with L.J., and the other with Skylar M. Cates. I think they’re both going to be great! 

What is the hardest part about writing for you?

Scheduling it all. Now that Nugget is mobile, I’m constantly running after him because his favourite toys are the stuff around the house that will kill him. All that baby-herding takes a toll on my writing time, and although I wouldn’t change it for the world, I get a lot less done in the day. Writing happens in snippets and little slices of time, so it’s slower going than it used to be, but I still manage. We’ll see what happens when I go back to the EDJ next month! 😉



Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, her brand new little boy, and her two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.

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Tour Dates & Stops:


Rainbow Gold Reviews

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews


Chris McHart

Hearts on Fire

Boys on the Brink Reviews


Cathy Brockman Romances

Divine Magazine


3 Chicks After Dark

Bike Book Reviews


The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words


Amanda C. Stone

Love Bytes


Molly Lolly

BFD Book Blog


MM Good Book Reviews

Bayou Book Junkie


Prism Book Alliance

My Fiction Nook


Inked Rainbow Reads

The Hat Party




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