A MelanieM Review: Ammo and Enchiladas (Border Crossing #2) by B.A. Tortuga


Rating:: 4 stars out of 5

A Border Crossing Novel

After a night at the movies in Albuquerque, NM, Brantley’s best friend, Matt, is shot right in front him during a robbery. Stunned and devastated, Brant tries to help Matt’s husband, Travis, deal with the funeral details even as he struggles with his own grief and Travis’s blame. When Travis’s best friend arrives, Brant is both annoyed and grateful, because he is so darn tired and can use the help.

Lex Espana is ashamed to admit he hasn’t seen his childhood best friend since Travis’s wedding. He’s even more amazed that he barely remembers Brant from that wedding, because he’s sure interested now. While it’s weird to fall for someone at a funeral, his feelings for Brant are real and make him long for a life he didn’t realize he was missing.

Neither Lex nor Brant knows how to be part of an us, though, and they both have a lot to work through before they can settle in. To become a real couple, Brant and Lex will have to dig deep to get past the roadblocks in their relationship.

Lex Espana, a police officer, played a major part in the first novel in the Border Crossing series. However, he was without a romantic partner and alone, even with friends after the traumatic events of Bombs and Guacamole.  Now in Ammo and Enchiladas, Lex is called back to his hometown when his childhood friend’s husband is killed in a gas station robbery done bad.  Travis is falling apart and needs Lex to handle things.  Also on the scene is Brant, the husband’s best friend. Brant was also with Matt at the time of the robbery and is dealing with not only his own grief at losing his best friend but guilt at surviving when Matt is dead.

What follows is a story of loss, stress, and the men who even under the worst conditions happen to find out they are perfect for each other.

Many things pop up about this story.   BA Tortuga is no stranger to writing about men with issues. Here it’s PTSD, grief, survivor’s guilt, recovery, and stress.  Brant is a vet wounded in service and dealing with the fact that he survived in a situation he was trained to deal with and his best friend didn’t.  Lex is dealing with PTSD from the bombing and the attacks in the hospital.  And now a random robbery and crazy gunman killed a man that shifted their world.    And the author is able to show us that in their actions, conversations and thoughts.

I was also unaware of the high crime reputation of Albuquerque …mostly because the state is on the lower income bracket.  We get a real flavor of what it feels to live their , all the wonderful reasons and not so great, about the ‘Burque.  It gives the story a very authentic flavor and that lends itself towards the characters too.

The romance between Brant and Lex is hesitant, complex, and wonderful.  I enjoyed it and the input from their families as well.  Poor Travis, however deep in mourning and grief doesn’t come off so well.  I would wish better for him.  By the time the story is over, the relationship is solid, they are moving forward  with a joined future, and we are looking at the next story in the series.

All that with a smile on our faces!  Now to see what is next!  I definitely recommend this story and the series if you enjoy contemporary romance, especially with a regional touch and some great food to boot!

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza.I like these simple covers.  They work to brand the series yet contain elements about the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 213 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title Ammo and Enchiladas
Edition Language English

Series Border Crossing #2

Border Crossing Series

Bombs and Guacamole

Ammo and Enchiladas

In the Spotlight and Giveaway: The Doctor Takes a Detour by Bren Christopher


The Doctor Takes a Detour by Bren Christopher

Riptide Publishing

Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Bren Christopher here today on tour for the new release The Doctor Takes a Detour. Welcome, Bren!



Hello everyone. I’m Bren Christopher and I’m excited to be here today to talk about my new release, The Doctor Takes a Detour. Thank you so much for joining me. During this blog tour, we’ll be chatting about the origin of the book, the research needed when writing a medical, and of course, all about the setting: my crazy home state of Florida. Please follow along as I go on this tour and comment for a chance to win the grand prize, a $25 Riptide gift card! The winner will be chosen randomly from comments across all tour stops.


About The Doctor Takes a Detour

An unexpected detour sets two men on the path to love and healing.

After being attacked by a drug addict, Dr. Josh Parker fled New York, his career as an ER doctor, and a failed relationship. Determined to start fresh, he takes a job as a concierge doctor to the wealthy older population of sunny Naples, Florida. Nothing to fear there. No trauma. No stress.

It’s a good idea that doesn’t last long. Traveling to his new home, he discovers a car accident and is forced to make a detour to render aid. There he meets sexy paramedic Ian Manolas.

Since Ian returned from the Army, every day has been a struggle to atone for past mistakes. The Glades Free Clinic is his chosen path to redemption. The people Ian helps are a world away from Josh’s wealthy clients though. Addicts, prostitutes, gang members: they all come to Ian’s clinic for help, not judgment. He’ll do almost anything to keep the clinic going, including roping in one reluctant—and hot—ex-ER doctor.

The attraction is immediate, but Josh wants nothing to do with Ian’s clinic. For them to have a future, both men must work together to find a path to love, while helping those who need them most.

Now available from Riptide Publishing!

About Bren Christopher

Bren Christopher is a multipublished romance author who currently resides in Florida. Although Bren has always been an avid reader in every genre, it wasn’t until she discovered gay romance that the characters who had been content to reside in her imagination started insisting they needed a wider audience. She has a lot of fun helping her folks come to life, and hopes the reader has just as much fun getting to know them.

Bren loves to hear from readers, so stop by her web page at brenchristopher.com or keep in touch via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bren.christopher.1.



To celebrate the release of The Doctor Takes a Detour one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 13, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave a way to reach you!

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Magic Runs Deep by Alex Whitehall and Adam R Watson (Narrator)


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I really enjoyed this story. An unusual shifter tale, in this one Veier (rhymes with bear) has been chained to a king’s throne and kept in his bear shifter form for five years. He’s freed when the kingdom is overthrown, but the new king wants him executed and it’s his brother, Elrid, who saves Veier’s life. Elrid is a powerful mage and he rightly points out that the chain indicates Veier was not necessarily loyal to the previous rulers.

But it takes patience and trial and error before Veier is trusted enough to be let outside the room where Elrid works and sleeps with him as the two begin to build trust. He has brief moments of freedom but always seems to be in the wrong place when trouble occurs. He and Elrid become close as he slowly starts to trust that this human may really not wish him harm.

When Elrid is severely injured in an attack by the previous king’s followers, it’s Veier who risks not only his freedom, but his life, to go to Elrid and use his own life force to help Elrid recover and regain his strength. 

I liked the way the author created Veier’s character as a very rough, gruff, hard to get to know man, yet one who we definitely want to get to know and cheer for as he slowly grows from the bear who reacts before thinking to the man who feels all levels of emotion.  Elrid was the strong, silent type—the kind of man with enough patience to wait out Veier’s slow buildup of trust. 

The narrator did a good job with unique vocalizations for each man. If I had one peeve it would be that the MC’s name, Veier, rhymed with bear and he’s a bear shifter. Perhaps the narrator mispronounced it. Or perhaps the author never read the book out loud.  In either event, it caused confusion on several occasions when I was listening as I wasn’t quite sure which word was being used. And at some points in the story, when it was important to know Veier was in bear or in human form, it was frustrating.

Other than that, this is a definite recommendation to my fellow MM romance readers.  Most definitely not insta-love, this is a slow burn, enemies to friends to lovers story with a unique shifter slant. 

The cover by Shayne Leighton features a close-up of a bearded man, hand under chin, and a bear paw print with the title of the story superimposed over it. Very nicely done.

Sales LInks:  Riptide Publishing | Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audio Book Details:

Published October 24th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published April 9th 2018)
Original Title Magic Runs Deep
Edition Language English