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Tuesday, August 22, 2023

King of the Mountain by Aiden Ainslie - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Aiden Ainslie and his new book, “King of the Mountain,” here on FAB!!  For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $25 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Aiden and to increase your chances of winning!!

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you all lots of good luck in this fabulous giveaway!!

King of the Mountain

Love at Lake Clyde Series

Book One

by Aiden Ainslie


GENRE:   M/M Romance




After years of hard work and training, I finally have the chance of fulfilling my lifelong dream of winning the Tour de France. Nothing can be allowed to distract me from this mission, especially not Gabe O’Reilly, the adorable art student from San Francisco.

But he looks so vulnerable – all alone in France.

I would be failing in my patriotic duty to a fellow American if I didn’t take care of him, wouldn’t I? And what possible harm could come from spending twenty-four hours with him on the shores of the Mediterranean? I deserve that little break, don’t I?


I have never seen a human specimen as perfect as Clifford Du Frey. During our fleeting encounter in Paris, I saw a man who was funny, caring, and tender – so very different from the way the media portray him. He is everything I could ever dream of in a boyfriend.

But in what universe will an international sports superstar pay any serious attention to me?

Do not get involved, my brain yells; you can only get hurt again. But my heart is thrumming to a different tune.




In my line of work as a professional cyclist, me-time was rationed like the tiny, individually wrapped squares of chocolate my mother would give me as a reward for good school results. Of course, once I had found her secret stash, I used to help myself and haughtily decline her miserly tokens of approval.

But there was no secret stash of time. I had to live with the given rations to deal with my anxieties. I knew what none of the team even suspected – this was do-or-die, my last attempt at finally pulling off the big win that had eluded me throughout my ten-year professional career. I knew that I would not be able to muster the hunger for another Tour – to withstand the hundreds of hours of training rides in extreme heat and the Alps' arctic altitude. This was it. But if my cycling career was at an end – then what? It was all I had ever done. My grueling schedule had not allowed me to attend college. At twenty-eight, I stared into the chasm of obscurity, a has-been, yesterday’s hero discarded with yesterday’s trash.

I nursed a coffee and was about to spiral into a pit of self-doubt and anxiety when I noticed a young man at the restaurant entrance. His indecision was palpable. He had a camera on a strap around his neck. Who still used cameras? Didn’t everyone have a smartphone? And he held a copy of the Lonely Planet in one hand. He wore cargo shorts, a UC San Francisco T-shirt, and leather sandals. There was something so open, innocent, and vulnerable about him that it tugged at my jaded heart. He might as well have had “American student – rip me off” tattooed on his forehead. Physically he was gorgeous – average height with sun-tanned skin and the perfect proportions that come from working on a farm or construction site. The soft curls of his dark hair shone in the midday sun and fell in unruly waves over his forehead. I had the fleeting, insane urge to push my fingers through that hair so that I could get a good look at his eyes. A few well-heeled ladies in the bistro were giving him the once-over, but he was utterly oblivious.

The man bit his lower lip as he studied the menu, and it was as though I could read his mind. The hand in his pocket was no doubt assessing how many euros he had and whether he could afford the expensive bistro which the Lonely Planet recommended as a “must-do.” Again, his eyes scanned the packed restaurant, and the waiters were too busy to notice his dilemma.

To this day, I do not know what made me do it. I, who had wanted anonymity, to get away from the oppressive togetherness of a competitive sports team in a foreign country. I, who desperately needed time to straighten out my head. I, who definitely did not need any distractions in my life. I rose from my seat and beckoned for the stranger to join me at the intimate table with its white tablecloth, the vase with lavender, and the table-setting for two.



World-building can be the most important element of your book.  What media outlets, role-models and real-life inspirations did you draw from while writing this book?

I have been to France a number of times and on every occasion I have been swept up by the charm, the history, and the romanticism of that country. Provence is my favorite region. One just cannot get enough of the quaint century-old, fortified villages perched on hilltops, the shops, boulangeries and the vine-covered mountainside. The city of Nice is one of my favorite places. It has beautiful architecture, warm, clear Mediterranean water, fantastic pastries, and centuries of history. I spent much time browsing the markets where they sell everything lavender – soap, lotions, potpourris, etc. So, invariably, the Nice market ended up being the backdrop for one very dramatic scene in King of the Mountain. One of the main characters upends a couple of market stalls to create a diversion, allowing his buddy to escape a paparazzi onslaught.

I also happen to be a keen cyclist and watch the Tour de France on TV every year. The television producers do a fantastic job of showcasing the French countryside's castles, mountains, and forests. These images helped inspire me to write a love story involving a competitive cyclist in France.

When I write, I always have Google open to allow for research and fact-checking so as to keep the story authentic. Imagine my surprise when I found that there has never been an openly gay rider in the Tour de France. Well, I simply had to create one. And so Clifford Du Frey, the Tour de France leader and King of the Mountain, started to take shape. Of course, he’s gorgeous. A composite of every man I’ve ever dreamed about.

To help me get the setting right, I surround myself with pictures. Many of the photographs are my own but I also research the settings. Then I allow myself some artistic license to make the setting fit my purpose – a restaurant in a market square, Nice harbor by moonlight, or an encounter near the ruin of a crumbling old brick tower.

One of the great joys of writing is that you can imbue your characters with your own passions, dreams and fears. And the best part is that they don’t all have to reside in one character. You can disperse them among the cast and shape them as you see fit.

I visited Paris for the first time right after high school and I was enthralled with the architecture, especially the old churches like Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur. Hence, it was easy to draw on that experience to make Gabe, the second MC, an authentic wide-eyed young student reveling in the history and foreignness of it all. By contrast, since I’ve been to France many times in the intervening years, I can also understand Clifford who has lost that sense of awe and wonder.

Here is a brief extract of an exchange between Clifford, the professional cyclist, and Gabe, the art student.

“So, you’re doing the student travel thing?” Clifford asked. “Good for you. Is it travel in the summer break or a semester abroad?”

“Four weeks of travel,” Gabe said. “I arrived two days ago; going to spend a few more days in Paris and then wind my way south to Nice and the Mediterranean.”

“I envy you,” Clifford said.

“How so?”

Clifford gave a lopsided smile, which made him look less perfect, more approachable. Then he said, “To see it all for the first time; to feel that awe. I have the advantage of it being familiar, but the price I pay is that France is…well, it’s just France. I’ve seen it all; known it my entire life.”

Gabe couldn’t help but shake his head, “No way! No way have you seen it all. Every nook, every cranny of this place is brimming with the most amazing art, history, architecture. The smell! The colors! You just need to unleash your senses, and you would still be…amazed. I could live here till I was eighty years old and still be awed every day.”

A smile played around Clifford's lips, and Gabe wondered whether he was being mocked. Then Clifford shrugged and said, “Maybe I have yet to find the right guide.”


Here are a few of the pictures that I took and kept looking at for inspiration while writing “King of the Mountain.”

Gordes, an ancient, fortified town in Provence

Wonderful linen shirts and skirts in a cool cave-like shop

View from Menerbes



Aiden Ainslie lives in the Diablo foothills, east of San Francisco. He grew up in various small towns and loves to draw on that small-town feel for his romances: the sense of community but also the petty grievances, intrigue and rivalries. “An author has to draw on personal experience to create authentic stories.

According to Aiden, setting and mood are critical parts of a romantic story, hence he is always taking pictures of romantic settings to be used in future novels. Check them out on his website www.aidenainslie.com.

When Aiden is not writing or listening to audiobooks, he likes to cycle and hike. During those solitary pursuits, he dreams up the characters and plots for his MM Romance novels. He also enjoys zipping around town on his motor scooter, drinking coffee at the local coffee shops, and watching people to get inspiration for his writing.









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Aiden will be awarding a $25 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble Gift Card (Winner’s Choice!!!) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those fabulous community outreach projects and awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Sounds like an incredible read.

  2. Thank you for hosting my book and thanks to those followers of the blog who made such kind comments. I am of course biased, but I do think you would greatly enjoy reading this story.

  3. Do you have a go to snack and beverage while writing?

  4. This sounds like a really good read.

  5. @traciem. What don't I snack on while writing :)? I actually take myself off to the local library to write so I cannot constantly have my hands in the cookie jar. I love coffee and shortbread biscuits.

    1. Sounds like the perfect space to do some writing with minimal distractions. I love shortbread as well!

  6. Do you have a favorite space to your writing?

  7. Have a wonderful and amazing week!

  8. I spend a lot of time cycling and hiking, hence I guess those qualify as hobbies. I am also a member of a choir that sings music from Broadway shows. (I'm not a great singer but I enjoy it). And I have transferred that love of Broadway music to one of my characters - Dr. Tyler Matthews. He appears briefly in books 1 and 2 and then ends up being a main character in "Ruler of the Waves" which is really yummy love story.

  9. Do you have a favorite part of the fall season?

  10. In this heartwarming tale, join Clifford as he navigates the challenges of his journey to win the Tour de France. Will he be able to resist the charm of Gabe O'Reilly and stay focused on his dream? Find out in this captivating story.

    1. Thanks for the shout-out, Edgar!

  11. What great hobbies, love how you incorporate them into your books.

  12. What does literary success look like to you?

  13. What's your favorite line or quote from a book?

  14. How do you select the names of your book characters?

  15. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

  16. Do you prefer sweet or salty snacks?

  17. What is your writing process like?

  18. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

  19. If you could invite any three people for dinner, whom would you invite?

  20. How do you get your creativity flowing?

  21. What kind of person do you want to be in the world?