A Lila Audiobook Review: Cowboy in the Crosshairs (Turquoise, New Mexico) by BA Tortuga and Narrator: Dorian Bane

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Once upon a time, a prince lived in a magical kingdom called Turquoise, New Mexico.

Well, really, TJ is a small-town police chief. Every Friday he holds court in the diner with the local holy roller, the art colonists, and the horsey people. But the Benes, who own the rodeo company, keep to themselves. TJ knows, because he was once hot and heavy with the oldest Bene son.

When Wacey Bene gets trampled by a remuda and comes home to heal, he’s none too happy to run into TJ, or his two little boys and their momma. The story might end there—if it wasn’t for some pesky bastard trying to kill Wacey.

The law steps in, and the townsfolk are cross about somebody messing with one of their own.

But once the bad guy is put away, can TJ and Wacey make their place in this wild and eccentric town a permanent one?

Cowboy in the Crosshairs is a western comedy with a second chance love story at its center. Everything from Wacey’s name, and those of his siblings, to his mishaps with TJ, added to the comedic style the author often uses. If you are looking for drama, this book is not it.

What it really is… an escape from a traditional cowboy romance. It’s about rodeo, family legacy, and missed opportunities. It’s easy to cheer for Wacey and TJ, and the whole cast added to the out of the ordinary story. I enjoyed their families and their crazy neighbors.

The author did an excellent job bringing the story full circle from the moment the main characters saw each other again, to the hints of their life together after their HEA. The easy love between Wacey and TJ was refreshing and how much they enjoyed each other kept the reader engaged.

This is a good start to a new series. A bit out of the ordinary, but good enough for an easy read day.

I’m not a big fan of Dorian Bane and this narration didn’t help the cause. Yes, it was western, but it took away from the characters. Some of them were too much of a stereotype. I felt like I was listening to The Dukes of Hazzards’ narrator; it worked in some areas, but others were ridiculous.

The cover by Bree Archer fits the story and the series. I’m not sure if the cowboy is Wacey or TJ, though.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Dorian Bane
Length: 6 hours 23 minutes
Published: August 16, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B07GJ3VGS2
Edition Language: English

Series: Turquoise, New Mexico
Book #1: Cowboy in the Crosshairs

BA Tortuga With a Special Excerpt from her release Latigo (Latigo #1)

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Latigo (Latigo #1) by B.A. Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have BA Tortuga here today talking about a book we read years ago and still love today, Latigo.  Welcome, BA.

Hey y’all. I’m BA Tortuga – writer of rednecks and cowboys and down home folks that manage to fall in love. It’s my thing. Latigo is a rerelease from years ago and it’s still the story that is home for me.

***

Latigo Excerpt

 

 

Will laughed. “My pop used to take me all the way up to Ruidoso or Elephant Butte to go fishing. He had a thing for trout. Now me? I like a nice bass. They fight like crazy.” He grinned over at Dean, struggling against the sudden, strong urge to invite himself along.

“Shit, yeah. But I tell you what, some butter and lemon and cook it over the fire… sheer heaven.” Dean gave him a sideways look. “You got something set up in Tulsa already, Ace? ’Cause Gypsy’s needing a rider, and God knows another pair of hands on the steering wheel for a piece wouldn’t hurt.”

“Yeah? Because Tulsa’s nice and all, but I wasn’t hankering to stay there.” Wow. Maybe his damned luck was on the way to changing.

“It’s the same six dollars a day whether there’s one or ten, and fishing’s better with someone to jaw with.” Dean nodded, then winked. “Besides, Oklahoma’s no damned place to be stranded, Ace. I mean, to be so close to heaven and just miss it by one state?”

He had to laugh at that. “Yeah. Oklahoma’s, well… there’s a reason the South, the West, and the Midwest all refuse to claim it. That’s really decent of you, Dean.” It was, and he meant it, and he’d do whatever he could to earn it.

“No problem. You a roper by trade?”

“Yeah. I did team roping right out of the gate, but my partner decided to go back and go to college. Then I did calf roping a bit. Now I just do the bareback competitions.” He laughed ruefully, thinking it was no wonder he never made any prize money anymore. Bronc riding wasn’t his strongest event.

“Bareback’s a hard row to hoe. Good money in it if you win, but the competition’s rougher than hell.” Dean finished his Coke and shook his head, tongue swiping the drops of soda off the salt-and-pepper mustache. “Calf roping is my main thing now. The only thing I won’t do anymore is the bulls. That’ll kill a man, sure as shit.”

Oh yeah. He knew that one. “Damned good money there. But I’m lucky. I’m really too damned tall to ride them. Else I’d probably be fool enough to try.” He laughed, sucking down his own Coke.

“Yeah. I got six months in traction that tells about being all kinds of fool.” The George Strait CD stopped, and Alan Jackson came on. “It’s fixin’ to be time to eat, and Sadie needs her walk. You reckon you can drive after? We could bunk down in Enid. There’s a KOA there.”

“Sure. Sounds good, and I was just about to need some roadside relief myself.” Maybe his luck really was changing. Just maybe.

They headed down the road, then stopped at a little rest stop. Dean pulled a loaf of bread and some bologna and cheese out for a quick sandwich before they headed straight on through Tulsa, the Dodge purring down the highway.

He was damned lucky he stumbled on the man, and he figured Dean looked like the salt-of-the-earth type. Because bass fishing with a fine man like that was a heck of a lot better than grease and wood chips. Yeah. Definitely looking up.

***

Much love, y’all.

BA Tortuga

Latigo

Official blurb:

Being a hard-core rodeo cowboy means getting by with little money and less of a future. But for two hardscrabble rodeo riders, that might change….

Dean’s been around the rodeo circuit long enough to know when a new kid is down on his luck. Giving young Will a ride to the next event is just the neighborly thing to do, passing on some of the kindness strangers have shown him over the years. Who’d expect Will to be such good company? So good in fact, that Dean figures he might just keep Will around—especially since Will feels the same.

Traveling from rodeo to rodeo, enjoying all the fringe benefits they can, is a dream come true for Dean and Will. Troubles with Dean’s family and Will’s stubborn pride separate them for a while, but they always come back together when the chips are down. These two cowboys are a match made in heaven—now they just need to convince everyone else to let them live the life they love and find their future together.

 

Latigo first published by Torquere Press, July, 2005.

Bits of Leather first published by Torquere Press, July 2007.

Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/latigo-by-ba-tortuga-9589-b

About the Author

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

You can find BA at:

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Lickety Split by Damon Suede

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is one of the strangest love stories I ever read. On the one hand, it felt as if two guys were just getting together for some rough sex mixed in with a lot of down-home talkin’ and good earthy slogans, but under the surface level, when we scratch deep enough, it was really a love story between a 40+ old cowboy/farmer/rodeo rider and a 20+ NYC deejay who comes home to good ol’ Hixville,Texas, after his parents are killed in an accident.

Even blindfolded, I’d know Damon Suede wrote this due to his inimitable way of spitting out rough, tough, rapid-fire dialogue. Add to that the deep Texas accent of the older MC, and the often back-to-his-roots twang of the younger MC, and at times I found the dialogue and narrative difficult to follow.

The story in a nutshell: Patrick “Patch” Hastle, New York City-based international “circuit” deejay, is notified that his estranged parents left their farm to him when they were killed as his dad tried to beat a train through a crossing. Heading back to Hixsville, Texas, is the last thing he wants, but he needs the money from the sale of the farm to invest in a new club that he and his BF are planning to open.

Once there, he runs into good ol’ Tucker Biggs, his father’s BF and his one-time crush. In fact, that crush is still happening and may explain why his one-night stands in the city are always based on his fantasies about Tucker. Long story short, after being caught eavesdropping on a masturbating Tucker, the two fall into a fuck-buddies relationship that takes a turn for the better—or worse, depending on your viewpoint—when Patch realizes he loves the old guy and then later realizes the feeling might be mutual. But too many years of denying any feelings and too many years spent running (for Patch) and going too slow (for Tucker) make for a major communication gap.

Can the two find their way to much-needed communication? Can Patch possibly make a living down in Texas when his deejay work takes him all over the world? And can Tucker finally acknowledge his own needs, fears, and feelings? That’s what makes this story tick and what left this reader feeling very close to two very unlikely lovers. So despite sometimes being lost and not being a fan of the good ol’ boy twang in the dialogue, I still felt connected with the characters and I can’t seem to ferget ’em as the day goes on—a sure sign that this one needs to be at least a 4 star book.

~~~

The cover by Reese Dante is quite attractive, featuring a close-up of an older cowpoke on a brightly colored background.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook, 286 pages
Expected publication: March 13th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635335736
Edition LanguageEnglish

In the Spotlight: Cowboys Don’t Come Out by Tara Lain (excerpt and giveaway)

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Cowboys Don’t Come Out
by Tara Lain
 
Blurb:
Rand McIntyre settles for good enough. He loves his small California ranch, raising horses, and teaching riding to the kids he adores—but having kids of his own and someone to love means coming out, and that would jeopardize everything he’s built. Then, despite his terror of flying, he goes on a holiday to Hana, Hawaii with his parents and meets the dark and mysterious Kai Kealoha, a genuine Hawaiian cowboy. Rand takes to Kai’s kid brother and sister as much as he drools over Kai, but the guy sports more prickles than a horned toad, and more secrets than the exotic land he comes from.
Kai’s earned his privacy and lives to protect his “kids.” He ought to stay away from the big, handsome cowboy for everyone’s sake—but since the guy’s just a haole on a short vacation, how much damage can he do? When all of Kai’s worst fears and Rand’s darkest nightmares come true at once, there’s not much chance for two cowboys who can’t—or won’t—come out.
Available for purchase at
            

 

Also available in paperback
Excerpt

 

He stopped and tried to hear over the rushing of the surf out beyond the reef if anyone else hid in the dark. No sounds. Fortunately, no big water hit this beach, so he didn’t have to worry about getting swamped. Actually, between the lapping waves and the brilliant moonlight, the scene resembled some fairy-tale romance. Fuck that.

Right where the dry sand verged on the wet, he flopped on his butt. What she’d said—that he settled for a good-enough life. That he wasn’t happy. Don’t I get to decide that?

He leaned back on his elbows. Yeah, but she’s right. I created a whole life—as if I was somebody else. Most people find “the one” and build a future so it suits them both. I imagined a cowboy and slid into his boots—Rand McIntyre. Say that with a drawl, son. Just one problem. I’m gay—always have been—and cowboys don’t come out. Where does that leave me? A-fucking-lone, pardner. Always will be.

You’re not the only gay cowboy.

Have you seen Brokeback Mountain? Shit.

Phosphorescence sparkled on the tops of the waves farther out. Pretty. Guess there could be all kinds of weird man-eating shit in that water.

Do you think more sharks and barracudas swim at night than during the day?

Yeah, right.

He sprang up, stripped his Hawaiian shirt off and tossed it on the sand, then pulled off the shorts his mom had given him. Commando. What would it feel like to have fishes nibbling at his balls? Not like anybody else was doing any nibbling. He strode into the water. Whoa! Not cold, just startling.

When he waded out past his thighs, his penis and balls started to float. He chuckled. Kind of like being a kid in the bathtub. Endless hours of fun playing with your own built-in toys. A few more steps, and he submerged to his shoulders. He gave a tiny shiver. Weird being sunk in inky blackness. Still, the water felt good. He kicked off and swam a few yards out, turned, and stroked back towards shore. He wasn’t a good enough swimmer to push his luck alone at night.

After treading water a couple of minutes, he pulled himself back into the shallows and sat on the hard wet beach. He glanced down. Some shrinkage, but his balls still lay on the sand. Remember to rinse them off or you’ll itch. Slowly he released his breath. What was he going to do? Answer? Same as always. Nothing. He couldn’t risk all the great shit he’d made to try to make it better.

 

About the Author

 

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

 

You can find Tara at Lain

               

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Series Spotlight: Crooked Tree Ranch Recap by RJ Scott (excerpt and giveaway)

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Series Recap Tour 

Crooked Tree Ranch (Montana #1)

 RJ Scott

Author: RJ Scott
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Length: 67,000 words
 
 
Series
 
Blurb
 
When a cowboy, meets the guy from the city, he can’t know how much things will change.

On the spur of the moment, with his life collapsing around him, Jay Sullivan answers an ad for a business manager with an expertise in marketing, on a dude ranch in Montana.

With his sister, Ashley, niece, Kirsten and nephew, Josh, in tow, he moves lock stock and barrel from New York to Montana to start a new life on Crooked Tree Ranch.

Foreman and part owner of the ranch, ex rodeo star Nathaniel ‘Nate’ Todd has been running the dude ranch, for five years ever since his mentor Marcus Allen became ill.

His brothers convince him that he needs to get an expert in to help the business grow. He knows things have to change and but when the new guy turns up, with a troubled family in tow – he just isn’t prepared for how much.

NB: This is a previously released title. It includes a new chapter and is re-edited with new cover art.

Author Bio:

RJ Scott is the bestselling gay romance author of over ninety MM romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing. 

 
RJ also writes MF romance under the name Rozenn Scott.
 
The last time she had a weekís break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldnít defeat.
 

Giveaway

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: A Cowboy’s Home (Montana #3) by R.J. Scott

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Rating: 3 stars out of  5

a-cowboys-home-by-rj-scottOne burned and broken man finds his way home. Can he find peace in the arms of a man easy to love?

Justin made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, battling domestic terrorism, never the man he really was, using hate to avenge the death of his best friend. The friend he’d killed.

What he doesn’t count on is getting shot, and if he’s going to die he wants it to be on Crooked Tree soil. Home.

Sam is as much a part of Crooked Tree as any of the families, and the offer to buy into the ranch is a dream come true. But falling for a hidden, secretive, injured man isn’t the way to keep his head in the game.
I’m thrilled that I was given the opportunity to read book three in this series for review. I loved book two so much I went back and read book one so I was more than ready for book three. I had high hopes that this would be even better than book two, which was full of action, danger, and intrigue. And though this book had action, most of it was in the telling of past events, and the potential intrigue and danger of Justin’s return home after a twelve-year absence was easily resolved and not suspenseful at all.

On the down side, there was quite a bit of time devoted to Justin’s inability to make up his mind about what he would do next, where he wanted to live, what he could safely share with others, and how unfit he was to share his life with another man, particularly Ben. And though they grew close while Justin was injured, once he left and later returned, he avoided Ben for reasons that were shaky at best, boring at worst.

I did have to suspend disbelief to get past how the mystery was cleared up, and I was so done with Ethan and Adam and their behaviors long before the big reveal. And that’s upsetting because I really like both men in book two. They were so strong and together, but in this one, Adam walked around like a zombie with Ethan as his protective mama. Justin’s father, Marcus, was totally cluelessness and had his head so far in the clouds (or in his own you know what!) that I could barely tolerate him. I just found that there was way too much time spent worrying and doubting and spinning in circles without accomplishing anything at all for much too much of the story.

So, sadly, this wasn’t on a par with the others, and certainly not as good as book two. I liked it, mostly because I was already invested in this group of people, but I really can’t see giving this one more than three stars.

Cover art by Meredith Russell depicts both good-looking MCs against an outdoors Montana background. The soft colors and artwork tie it to the others in the series.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook
Published July 8th 2016 by Love Lane Books Limited
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://rjscottauthor.blogspot.com/2016/03/a-cowboys-home.html
SeriesMontana #3

Its Hot Men in the Texas Heat with Buttermilk Ranch by Patricia Logan (author interview,excerpt and giveaway)

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Buttermilk Ranch

Buttermilk Ranch by Patricia Logan
Release Date: August 29, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Westburg Publishing
Cover Artist: AJ Corza

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Buy the book:  Amazon

 Author Interview with Patricia Logan!

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Patricia Logan author of Buttermilk Ranch.  Hi Patricia, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
• Where do you find your inspiration?

From TV series, movies, photos from models.

• When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I finished my first full length novel.

• Do your characters become like real people to you?

Yes. Sometimes I’m in a grocery store or a restaurant and I think, Zack Teak is such a good cook. I wonder what he would do with this anise root or I wonder whether Dmitri Hernandez’s vegetable soup would taste this good.

• If you weren’t a writer, what else would you like to have done?

I would have loved to have been an artist

• What do you want your tombstone to say?

Her words brought joy to so many people

Blurb

Wendell Blackowl has spent all his life in the working cow horse show ring where toiling with sweaty cowboys all day is the fodder for wet dreams. Though privately he’s come to terms with his sexuality, publicly Dell’s had to build a façade. When his beloved horse Buttermilk dies, Dell finds himself at loose ends so he decides to pick himself up by his boot straps and do what he’s always wanted to do… open an environmentally friendly organic vegetarian café.

Pace Avila, well known music critic, has been drawn to Austin by the live music scene. When friends invite him to check out a fresh new dinner experience, Pace reluctantly agrees to push the deadline on his national column. He isn’t interested in vegetarian food or a restaurant with the cheesy name of Buttermilk Ranch Café, but the moment Pace lays eyes on the stunning cowboy chef, things begin looking up.

When openly gay Pace walks into his cafe and his life, Dell realizes he’s tired of living a lie and tired of being alone. When Mother Nature throws an unprecedented storm at Austin, the muddy waters threaten to wipe out everything Dell’s worked so hard to build. He soon realizes that with a man like Pace by his side, love really can conquer all.

Pages or Words: 62,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance, Western/Cowboy

Excerpt

“Yoo Hoo! Dell, ya up there, ya sidewinder! Get outa bed or I’m gonna drag that lazy ass out!”
“What?” Pace said, startled awake as he lifted his head from Dell’s chest where he’d fallen asleep in the wee hours of the morning. He wiped his face of drool and stared across the muscled chest he loved, finding Dell’s face. He had one eye peeled open and he didn’t look all too happy by what sounded like Branch’s bellowing from downstairs.
“Fuckin’ ass poor timin’,” Dell grumbled as they both sat upright in bed. Pace knew it would be pretty awful if Branch came bursting into the room with them, lying buck naked in bed. “Guess I’d better find out just what the hell he’s doin’ here.” Pace watched as Dell threw his legs over the side of the bed. He watched his ass from behind, noting the muscled expanse of his back and the thick thighs he loved so much, as the man stood.
“What the hell is he doing here? He and the boys had a show,” Pace grumbled.

“Ya rattlesnake! Ya need me to come up there and put my boot up yer ass?” Branch howled. Pace couldn’t help but chuckle. He loved his brother but he loved the disgusted look on Dell’s face more. Dell walked to the doorway and stuck his head out.

“I’ll be down in a minute, ya jackass… unless ya want to see me in all my nekkid glory!” Dell yelled back.

Pace heard a chuckle coming from downstairs. “Hell naw! Get some clothes on there, scarecrow! Yer movin’ slower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.”

“Oh for Christ’s sake, here we go,” Dell said, glancing over at him. Pace just buried his face in the pillow and laughed.

Meet the Author

Patricia Logan resides in Los Angeles, California along with her husband, four children, her grandchild and ever increasing number of cats. When not being stage mom, baking cookies, or scooping kitty litter, she writes steamy, award winning, gay erotic romance and tries to lead her readers on a journey of discovery with more than a little angst.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ploganauthor
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorpatricialogan?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatriciaLogan1
Other: author website: http://authorpatricialogan.com/

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Buttermilk Ranch’ by Patricia Logan.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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Tour Dates & Stops:
29-Aug Three Books Over The Rainbow, Happily Ever Chapter, Because Two Men Are Better Than One,

Inked Rainbow Reads, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy

31-Aug Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Jena Wade, Divine Magazine, Cathy Brockman Romances

1-Sep LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Ogitchida Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog

2-Sep Bayou Book Junkie, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, 3 Chicks After Dark, Books A to Z, Love Bytes, Emotion in Motion

3-Sep Molly Lolly, Bike Book Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Mikky’s World of Books, Up All Night, Read All Day

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In the Book Spotlight: Spurred On by Jon Keys (excerpt and giveaway)

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Spurred On-highres

Spurred On by Jon Keys
Goodreads Link
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Cover Artist: Tibbs Designs

Sales Links:  Amazon | All Romance (ARe)

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About Spurred On:

Kegan’s new stepfather and stepbrothers are out to make his life miserable. Between the bullying and being overworked, he’s nearly at his wit’s end. When his mother leaves on an annual cattle buying trip for the ranch, he’s determined to suffer through. He must, if he expects to protect her like he promised his dying father.

When the family of a young man he’s been infatuated with holds a rodeo, Kegan can’t see a way he can compete. Not until a mystical medicine hat stallion walks into his life. It’s not long before they are the talk, and mystery, of the rodeo.

The only thing more daunting than keeping his identity secret is how Kegan is going to balance all this with his draw to the man of his dreams. Will Cole end up being his magical prince, or is Kegan going to find himself left in the dust?

Pages or Words: 29,490

Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, M/M Romance, New Adult, Western/Cowboy

Excerpt:

An hour or so later, Kegan stood in the driveway watching Alec drive away in the final rays of sunshine. Alec had offered to give him a ride to the rodeo, but he’d turned him down. Once the pickup disappeared from sight, he walked into the house and worked his way to the dark back room he called his bedroom. He flipped on the light and clenched his jaw at what he found.
His clothes were strewn across the room. Some were ripped, but all of them looked and smelled like they’d been stomped on by someone who’d just walked through the holding pens after they’d worked cattle. They were smeared with mud and cow shit.
“Dammit to fucking hell! The assholes!”
He stomped through the room, kicking piles of clothes out of his way in a blaze of fury. Everything he touched needed to be patched, washed or, more often, both. This settled it. Brent and Seth were out to make his life miserable. The question had become, what was he going to do about it? They seem to have done a good job of taking away his choices.
He began to straighten the tiny basement bedroom. A few minutes later, the job became so discouraging he dropped to the bed and sighed. Kegan lost track of time as he thought through the last months. The sound of a horse nearby shook him from his desolation.
He forced himself from the bedroom, tired of being the one who was crapped on around there. He stomped through the empty house, his anger as fierce as ever. Another nicker drifted to him, and his focus shifted to the present. He opened the door to find a horse standing beside the porch. A beautiful Paint stallion with classic medicine hat markings.
Kegan eased down the steps and held one hand toward the horse, watching him closely. The animal leaned forward, sniffed him, and then snorted.
“Hey, big guy. Where did you come from? If a medicine hat had appeared in any of the BLM herds around here, we’d have known.”
The horse tossed its head, the black and white markings shimmering in the sun. He didn’t shy as Kegan moved closer. The horse’s only reaction was the rippling of thick muscles as it shifted its weight.
“Easy, boy. You’re awfully tame.”
The horse froze in place, studying Kegan as he moved closer. He reached out, resting his hand against the stud’s silky skin. It nickered at the touch but didn’t move. As he ran his hands over the animal, he marveled at how calm the stallion was. This was one of the steadiest horses he’d ever come across.
“Fella, you must belong to someone. Where’d you come from? I know if I was missing a horse like you I’d be having a fit.”
He turned to go into the house and put out the word he had a mystery horse. When he did, the horse stepped in front of him.
“Hey, guy. I gotta let people know you’re okay.”
Kegan tried to step around him again, but the horse’s hooves shot out and stopped him. After a third attempt earned him the same results, he threw his hands up in surrender. “Okay, so you don’t want me to go into the house. What are we going to do?”
The stallion stuck his muzzle in Kegan’s face and snorted. He turned and started down the driveway toward the river. The river had become Kegan’s favorite place to escape his problems, especially after his dad died, and they scattered his ashes there. He had spent a lot of time watching the snowmelt flow past. In the past couple of months, he’d stopped going to the river. But the mysterious horse headed directly toward a large boulder marking his favorite spot.
The stallion threaded its way through aspen thickets that looked tight for a goat, but he slipped into them without disturbing a leaf. The sound of the river grew as they passed through the mix of evergreen, aspen, and willow. He cleared the final clump of trees to find the horse standing among boulders larger than he remembered.
Kegan took a step and froze in mid-stride. A neatly folded set of clothes was perched on the nearest flat rock. He stepped closer and touched them. The deep-blue jeans and the heavily pressed white shirt were obviously new, not some freak occurrence. He glanced around, wondering what was happening.
“Horse, did your rider fall in or something? You don’t seem concerned about finding anyone though.”
He searched up and down the riverbank to see if someone was trying to swim, or in trouble. He checked for a good distance in each direction and found nothing to indicate the source of either the horse or the clothing. He made his way to the boulder holding the pile of clothes and ran his hand over them.
The Paint stepped close and pushed them toward Kegan. He flared his nostrils and snorted again. With the horse fixed squarely in his sight, he pulled the jeans from the boulder and held them in front of him.
“They’re my size. How the hell….”
The horse struck his hoof across the rock and the wind gusted, sounding like the low note of a Cheyenne flute. The tone drifted away, but not before leaving Kegan with a lingering sense of peace. He looked again to find a cowboy hat, hand-tooled belt, and a pair of boots in the mix with everything else. Each of them appeared custom made. He studied the stallion again.
“You know, I never put much store by the whole medicine-hat-horse-having-magic thing, but I’m starting to change my mind.” He paused for a minute to consider. “Does that mean you’re going to let me ride you, too? I need a horse to do the rodeo thing.”
The stallion slipped beside him, pressed his nose under Kegan’s backside, and shoved him forward. His nudge was enough to send Kegan stumbling across the rocks.
“Okay, got it. I’ll change already.”
He stripped quickly, splashing the crystal-clear water over himself to wash off the day’s dust and sweat. As he slipped into the clothes, he found he’d been right. Each piece was a custom fit. The boots came to just below his knees and stitched across the uppers were patterns of horses and aspen leaves. The jeans hugged his butt, emphasizing his ass until even he had to admit it was toned and muscular. By the time he fastened the silver buckle and situated the hat, he was transformed. The ugly duckling feeling he always had, evaporated. With a final brush of his hands, he fixed his gaze on the horse.
“All right. It’s time to see if this is going to work out. We need to get to the stable and find a saddle to fit you. The big question is, are you going to let me ride you? I guess now’s as good a time to find out as any.”

Author Bio and Contacts

About the author:

Jon Keys’s earliest memories revolve around books. Either read to him or making up stories based on the illustrations, these were places his active mind occupied. As he got older the selection expanded beyond Mother Goose and Dr. Suess to the world of westerns, science fiction and fantasy. His world filled with dragon riders, mind speaking horses and comic book heroes in hot uniforms.

A voracious reader for half a century, Jon recently began creating his own creations of fiction. The first writing was his attempt at showing rural characters in a more sympathetic light. Now he has moved into some of the writing he lost himself in for so many years…fantasy. Jon has worked as a ranch hand, teacher, computer tech, roughneck, designer, retail clerk, welder, artist, and, yes, pool boy; with interests ranging from kayaking and hunting to drawing and cooking, he uses this range of life experiences to create written works that draw the reader in and wrap them in a good story.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jon.keys.773
Twitter: @Jon4Keys
Other: http://jonkeys.com/

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Tour Dates & Stops:
Parker Williams, Prism Book Alliance, Divine Magazine, Havan Fellows, Molly Lolly, Full Moon Dreaming, Happily Ever Chapter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Mikky’s World of Books, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Inked Rainbow Reads, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Multitasking Mommas, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Hearts on Fire, MM Good Book Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook,
Velvet Panic, Michael Mandrake

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Razor – a novella published through Decadent Publishing. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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A MelanieM Review: Roughstock: Blind Ride – Season One by B.A. Tortuga

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Blind Ride cover 2Jason Scott is at the top of the field in his career, that of professional bull riding.  Jason, along with his traveling partner and best friend, Andy Baxter, are riding the circuit, both hoping to finish at the top of the boards and win enough money to see each of them set for life.  Jason and Bax have been dancing around the fact that they are crazy about each other.  Each is afraid of losing his best friend if they admit how much they actually love each other. It will take something huge to make a change in their relationship.

Being a professional bullrider is a dangerous game and in one horrible instant everything changes for both Jason and Bax.  When a ride on one of the top bulls goes wrong, an injury to Jason’s head causes him to go blind. Reeling, Jason and Bax retreat to Jason’s family ranch to recover and wonder what’s next for them both.  For Jason, it appears his life is over and he has nothing to live  for.  Bax is determined to prove him wrong, both personally and professionally.

Bax thinks Jason can ride the bulls even blind.  But it will take Bax, his love and their small circle of friends to prove to Jason that even blind bullriders have their life and love ahead of them.

I have a huge fondness for both the Roughstock series and its author, BA Tortuga.  So it pains me when I have to report that this story, while having so many of the great qualities I have come to expect from this series, is guaranteed to frustrate the reader to the point that it is hard to recommend it. First let’s look at the merits of this story.

The characters are wonderful.  Jason “Mini” Scott and Andy “Bax” Baxter are typical of the cowboys you will find in the stories of B.A. Tortuga.  Their personalities are so authentic to the bull riding circuit and the locale that I would also expect to run into them at any PBR event.  They become so real that they feel like a part of your family.  And it is this intimacy that connects the reader to them and their futures.  You feel the dust that coats them as they pick themselves up off the arena floor and the pain their profession inflicts upon their bodies.  They are just so realistic that you hurt for them.  And Tortuga is one of the best authors around when it comes to dialog.  The words that issue out of the mouths of her cowboys ring with authentic local flavor and colloquialisms.  And it does so without being hokey or off sounding.  Here they are heading down the road to get supper:

Bax threw his duffel back, too, sliding into the driver’s side. “So, where to? I figure that one little place where you circle your order will be closed.” “There’s that one place by the highway — about twenty minutes out. It’s nothing but old ranchers taking their women out. Nice T-bones.” And he always got tickled by those tables with the ads printed on them. Reminded him of going to auction with Pa-paw.

“That works.” The big dualie slid right into traffic like an elephant into a herd of zebras, Bax muscling them right in.

They scooted down 35, radio blaring. He found a pack of smokes in the console and lit one for Bax, then got himself one. Three days of rest, then Tulsa.

“You think we ought to try and hit home ‘fore Tulsa?” It was kinda eerie sometimes, the way Bax read his mind. Then again, they’d been on the road together for nigh on six years.

“We can. Momma’d like to see us. ‘Course, we could go on to the city. Goof off. Depends on how much you want Momma’s pineapple upside down cake.”

“Oh, I’d rather go see your momma.” That man did have a sweet tooth. Pineapple upside down was Bax’s very favorite.

“Cool. I’ll call her. Let her know we’ll be in.” He took a deep drag, grinned. Lord, lord. “I hope your knee’s up to riding fence.”

“Shit, you know it. Just don’t ask me to walk fence.” Wheeling around a little Honda, Bax started humming with George on the radio, off tune as anything. “Nah. You wouldn’t be worth shit in Tulsa, then.”

They both hooted, and Jason leaned back, easy in his bones. Man, event win number three. Check in his pocket. Him and Bax heading for steak.

Life, she was good.

Of course, we know it’s all going to change and soon.  But in that short exchange we see the ease and contentment of Jason and Bax’s relationship.  It sings of a friendship long established and perhaps much more.

And once they fess up and go for a full romantic relationship, it is still in keeping with their cowboy ways and personalities.  No flowers here.

 It was like a good ride, all motion and want and spinning. He tried to warn Bax, tried to let the man know he was gonna be way quick off the mark, but it wasn’t happening. And it didn’t seem to matter one bit. Bax was pushing him on, making these amazing noises, just as hot for him as the Fourth of July.

Their relationship is hot, sexy, and emotionally deep.  How we fall for them.

Pretty much everything works here for much of the story.  The narrative suffers a bit from almost too much sex.  We want more of Jason coming to grips with his blindness.  And we want to see exactly how Jason, with Bax and Coke’s help, will learn to ride again.  At one point, even Bax remarks that he and Jason have sex instead of talking.  OK, but as a reader, while I love the hot sex, I want more of the relationship that produces it.

After all I have been through with Jason and Bax, feeling side by side with them on their emotional rollercoaster, I want and deserve to have the emotional payoff I expect at the end of the story.  And that is exactly what’s missing.  No “aha” moment, no ending.  Nothing.  It just stops prior to Jason ever getting back up on a bull, even one on his friend’s ranch.  The emotional reward, the moment everything has been building up to never happens. Frustrating? You betcha.  And totally unexpected from this seasoned author.  And it is this aspect that dragged the rating down to a 3 star rating.

So who should read this book?  Well, hard core fans of B.A. Tortuga for one as well as fans of the Roughstock series.  Coke, AJ, Bax and Jason are the core characters of the Roughstock series so its good to have this part of the story.  But that lack of ending just makes me want to grab a beer and go watch some PBR instead of continuing to bemoan what could have been an outstanding book.

Cover art by Posh Gosh.  I like this cover, it feels more representative of the story and characters.  Terrific job.

Sales Links:  Pride Publications |  Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, Pride Publications (a LGBT imprint of Totally Bound, now Totally Entwined)
Published July 7th 2015 by Totally Bound Publishing (first published January 1st 2007)
original titleRoughstock: Blind Ride – Season One
ISBN139781784306397
edition languageEnglish
seriesRoughstock #1
charactersJason Scott, Andy Baxter settingUnited States

Books in the Roughstock series:

Roughstock: Blind Ride — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Give it Time: the Seven of Wands – Novella, m/m
Roughstock: And a Smile — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Doce — A Roughstock Story – Novella, m/m
Amorzinhos — A Roughstock Story – Novela, m/m, threesome
Roughstock: File Gumbo — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Roughstock: And a Smile — Coke’s Clown – Novela, m/m,
Shutter Speed, A Roughstock Story: the Seven of Pentacles – Novella, m/m
Roughstock: City/Country – Novel, m/f
Roughstock: Picking Roses – Novel, m/f
Needing To: A Roughstock Story – Novella, m/m

Upcoming Roughstock Novels
Roughstock: What She Wants – Novel, m/m/f
Roughstock: Tag Team – Season Two – Novel, m/m
Roughstock: Terremoto – Season Two- Novel, m/m

Roughstock Shorts:
Cowboy Christmas (Coke and Dillon)
Barbed Wire and Bootheels (Sam and Beau)
Some Good Doctoring (CB and Jonesy) – Free Read

 

Heat Up with Never Too Early: Finding Their Way by Chris Owen and Tory Temple (excerpt and contest)

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Combine Cowboys and Firefighters and what do you get? Finding Their Way (Never Too Early #2)

by Chris Owen and Tory Temple!

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Finding Their Way (Never Too Early#2) by Chris Owen and Tory Temple
Should not be read as a standalone
Release Date: April 15, 2015

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Chris Owen has been a favorite of mine since Owen’s Bareback books introduced us to Tor and Jake. And Tory Temple’s Firefighters have been heating up things for 6 novels.  The combination in Never Too Early: The Beginning, it was explosive.  Now both Tor and Jake and Chance and Tucker are back in a book you won’t want to miss!  Check it out below and don’t forget to enter the contest too.

Never Too Early: Finding Their Way (Never Too Early#2) by Chris Owen and Tory Temple

STRW Author BookSynopsis

When Jake Taggart fell from the roof of his barn, Tor had only one thought — to reach out to Chance Shanahan and Tucker McBride for support. In this follow-up to Never Too Early: The Beginning, the first book in the Cowboy/Firefighter series, the two couples are reunited in their mutual concern for Jake. But how far will that concern go?

A strong friendship begins to explore the boundaries of something else; something all four men never looked for or expected. Emotions and attraction are difficult to deny, try as they might, but giving in has the potential to destroy everything both couples have worked so hard for. How will they handle something that none of them set out to find?

Pages or Words: 54,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Menage/Poly, Cowboy, Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Jake reached out and touched the back of Chance’s hand. “Thank you for coming all this way to be with me. Thank you for coming to sit next to me, and for helping Tor. Thank you for everything you and Tucker have done around here, but mostly thank you for being someone I can count on.” Jake nodded firmly and looked up into Chance’s face, studying his eyes. “Thanks for caring so much.”

Chance’s gaze was steady and direct. “I didn’t mean to,” he said quietly. “I thought you were a good guy, that’s all. I thought you were nice and funny and smart and easy to talk to. I didn’t mean for there to be more than that.”

Jake nodded. “I know. We all know. But there is, and I’m okay with that. Thankful for it, really. And so is Tor. And Tucker sent me upstairs to talk to you, and said not to let you overthink it.” He smiled, trying not to shake with nerves. “So sit down here next to me and stop thinking.”

RC
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BSClay

Sales Links:   Torquere Books

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

About the authors:

Chris Owen: I live and write in eastern Canada. I went to a bunch of schools, learned a lot of things, and now make stuff up because not to do so is unthinkable. I’m fond of fountain pens, Levenger’s Circa system, and Steampunk fashions. Lately I’ve been watching a lot of Discovery channel. I’ve seen every episode of CSI Las Vegas and New York, but I’m not terribly keen on CSI Miami. It might be due to weather envy. I have a crush on the whole cast of Criminal Minds, and fondness for wool. The two are not related. Hoarders keeps me honest. I’m inspired by the day to day minutia of life, and find beauty in the way words go together. I like texture and richness of experience. I’m not shy. I’m happy, I’m learning, I’m living.

Tory Temple: Tory lives and works in southern California, where she spends a lot of time around firemen. She visits the beach frequently and wears flip flops even in the winter. Tory likes television, salted pistachios in the shell, and chenille socks. She dislikes cauliflower, not being able to find the right shoes in the morning, and not having enough free time. She shares her space with numerous pets, including but not limited to cats, dogs, and tortoises.

Where to find the authors:

Websites: http://www.chrisowen.net   http://www.torytemple.com
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chris-Owen/362850963876393
https://www.facebook.com/torytemple
Twitter:
Chris Owen:  https://twitter.com/chris_owen
Tory Temple:  https://twitter.com/ToryTemple

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Tour Dates & Stops: April 9, 2015

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Molly Lolly, Inked Rainbow Reads, Cate Ashwood, Bayou Book Junkie, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, BFD Book Blog, Love Bytes, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, Chris McHart, 3 Chicks After Dark,

Multitasking Mommas, Divine Magazine, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, MM Good Book Reviews, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Velvet Panic, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, The Blogger Girls

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Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of the story. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and Prizes provided by the authors and Pride Promotions.

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