Early Coffee Sip and Book Break: BA Tortuga On How to Speak Cowboy and Blind Ride, a release from Pride Publications (contest)

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Blind Ride cover 2

Blind Ride (Roughstock) by BA Tortuga
Published by Pride Publishing (2nd edition)
Book One of the Roughstock Series

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing
Goodreads Link

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How to Speak Cowboy, the Bullriding Edition

Cowboys have a language of their own, which can be hard to understand if you’re not around them all the time. Bax and Jason speak Texas cowboy blended with bullriding, which might need some translation. I speak both fluently, so let me give y’all a little explanation.

Bullriding Terms:

Bullriding has a lot of terminology in common with rodeo, where bullriding is a common event to end the night. Still, the pro leagues will happily tell you this is not a rodeo, and there are some words you need to know.

Bullrope. This is the rope cowboys fasten around the bull’s torso which they hold for leverage during the ride.

Flank strap: This rope goes around the bull’s torso as well, back by the hind legs. No, it does not go around the bull’s testicles. You know any man who wouldn buck if you tied off his balls? Nope. Bulls are the same way. The flank strap does encourage a bull to buck, because it annoys him, but the bulls are predisposed to what they do.

The nod: A cowboy nods when he’s ready for the gate to open and the ride to start.

The long go and the short go: Bullriding has a long go around where all the cowboys compete. Then the short go around gets together the top ten or more scores and pits those cowboys against each other.

Safety man: This is the cowboy on horseback who ropes bulls out of the arena. Unlike in rodeo, he’s not a pick-up man because he doesn’t help cowboys off a bronc or such. He’s just there for rider and bull safety.

Now, for Bax and Jason’s Texanisms:

“Sat there with his teeth in his mouth.” I get yelled at all the time for this, y’all. All. The. Time. This just means he was so gobsmacked that he sat there with his mouth hanging open and his teeth showing. Yes, we say gobsmacked. While Texas has at least seven distinct dialects, they all more closely resemble British English than any other region in the US.

“You wanna?” This ought to be self explanatory. This is a mating call. One cowboy looks at another, jerks his head toward the door and says, “You wanna?”

“Like a goat looking at a new fence” Also self-explanatory. A goat who has never seen a fence in a certain place before will stare at it, dumbfounded and offended.

“Comin’ up a cloud “ Bad weather is moving in. It’s fxin’ to storm

Fixin’ to: About to. I’m fixin’ to go to the store. It cannot be changed out for fixing to. At least not where I’m from.

Hope that helps, y’all! (the plural of y’all is all y’all. Just sayin’.) Holler at me with any other questions about the way my boys talk!

Jason stood there with the big fake check for the event win, watching the crowd go one of two ways—up and out of the stands, or down to wait for the guys to make the autograph circuit. He fucking hated this part.

That little broad from the XSports channel was waiting with her bright orange hair and her too tight jeans. He knew how it’d go, too. Blah blah blah Jason Scott blah blah blah race for the finals blah blah blah new kids chasing his ass.

Goodie.

He managed to get through all the questions without being an asshole, but not before a huge stack of fans were hanging over the fence, waving programs and hats, hollering his name. He ducked under into the pens and headed toward the back. He just wasn’t good at that whole meet-and-greet thing.

“You’re gonna get a reputation as an asshole, man.” His best buddy, Andy Baxter, fell in beside him, boots clacking against the concrete walkway back to the locker room.

“Yeah, yeah. Better let them think I might be than know I am. ‘sides, I don’t see your happy ass out there, Bax.”

And shit, nine times out of ten Bax was out there glad-handing.

“It was a long night. My knee’s killin’ me.”

That slow Texas drawl always made him smile, because it made everyone think Bax was laid-back, maybe not so bright.

Jason knew better.

“Yeah?” He winced, shook his head. “You came down on it fucking hard. I swear that bull has it out for you.”

It was hell getting old.

“I did.” Bax shrugged, sticking his hands in the pockets of his old school Wranglers. “I ain’t the man of steel I used to be.”

“Bullshit.” There wasn’t any bastard on Earth tough as Bax. He knew it to the bone. “You want to go get a steak?”

“Hell, yes. Someplace not at the hotel.” They were staying at the sanctioned hotel because the sponsors had asked Jason to, but eating there was like sitting in a fishbowl.

“I got the truck here. We can go anywhere.” He nodded to Little Jack and Harvey who were still waiting outside sports medicine. DJ had taken one hell of a spill, just got caught up and dragged. “Y’all heard something?”

Jack shook his head. “They ain’t called the am’blance. That’s gotta be good, huh?”

“I guess.”

“Well, you call me, you hear something, yeah?” Bax said, nodding. “Come on, man. Food.”

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Blurb for Blind Ride:

Jason Scott has everything a bull rider wants—success, money and traveling partner Andy Baxter. When he loses his sight in an accident, he stands to lose it all.

Jason Scott is at the top of the bull riding game, on his way to a winning season. Along with his traveling partner, Andy Baxter, he’s riding hard on the circuit, working around the country with all of the other bull riders and bullfighters, living the good life. The only thing he wishes he had is Bax, but he’s afraid to take the step that would make them more than friends, worried that it will ruin everything.

When a terrible accident leaves Jason unable to see, his whole life goes south. Jason decides to chuck it all, determined to go home and hide at his momma’s ranch. Bax has other ideas. He wants to make sure his best friend doesn’t give up, and he hatches a plan that stuns Jason and makes their friends and family think he’s crazy.

With the help of the other bull riders and a very persistent bull fighter named Coke, Bax convinces Jason to give life one more try. With Jason cautiously learning to hope, and his relationship with Bax going to the next level, life gets pretty complicated. Everyone gets in on the project, from Jason’s strong-willed mother to an entire ranch full of children, all of them working to help Jason do what he loves.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released elsewhere. It has been re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

Like the sound of Blind Ride? Buy it here.

About BA Tortuga:BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, 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, her best friend, Sean, and coffee. Lots of good coffee.

You can check out BA’s website and blog or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Enter Pride Publishing’s August blog tour competition for the chance to win an eBook of your choice (not including box sets or anthologies). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Prizes provided by Pride Publishing. Competition open world wide.

Find our review of Blind Ride here!

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

 

September 2013 Summary of Reviews

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September and Fall

September 2013 Book Review Summary

What a wonderful month it was for books and reviews!  Most of the books I read fell into the 5 and 4 star category, a few into the  3 star and none below that.  Series predominated the ratings this time.  Most notably the series offerings from the Pulp Friction authors. There 3d-person-sit-pile-books-reading-book-26141531were new books in well established series such as Katey Hawthorne’s Superpowered Love series as well as followup stories and new series  from such talented authors such as Kendall McKenna (The Tameness of the Wolf series) and Aleksandr Voinov (Memory of Scorpions series).

Other new series includes Poppy Dennison’s Pack Partners , Cat Grant’s Bannon’s Gym) and Harper Kingsley’s Heroes and Villains series too.  My cup (and yours) runneth over with series, all promising more great stories featuring characters we have come to love. And believe it or not, October is starting the same way!  What a fall!

So grab a pen or notebook and jot down those books and authors you may have missed the first time around.  I have linked my review to each one listed.  Happy Reading!

5 Star Rating:

Crucify (Triple Threat #4) by L.E. Harner
Defiance (Triple Threat #3) by L.E. Harner
Re-entry Burn (Superpowered Love #5) by Katey Hawthorne (supernatural)
Retribution (Triple Threat #2) by L.E. Harner (contemporary)
Scorpion (Memory of Scorpions #1) by Aleksandr Voinov (fantasy)
Strength of the Wolf (The Tameness of the Wolf #2) by Kendall McKenna

4 to 4.75 Star Rating:

Accidental Alpha (Pack Partners #1) by Poppy Dennison (4.5 stars)(supernatural)
Black Dog (Bannon’s Gym #1) by Cat Grant (4.5 stars)(contemporary)
Blessed Curses by Madeleine Ribbon (4 stars) (fantasy)
City Knight (City Knight #1) by T.A. Webb (4 stars out of 5)(contemporary fiction)
Heroes and Villains (Heroes and Villains #1) by Harper Kingsley (4 stars)(supernatural)
Sonata by A.F. Henley (4.5 stars out of 5)(contemporary fiction)
Summer Lovin’ Anthology (4.75 stars out of 5) (contemporary)
The Crimson Outlaw by Alex Beecroft (4 stars)(historical)
Triple Threat (Triple Threat #1) by L.E. Harner (4.5 stars)(contemporary)

3 to 3.75 Star Rating:

Coliseum Square by Lynn Lorenz (3.75 stars)(historical)
Roughstock: Blind Ride, Season One by BA Tortuga (3 stars) (contemporary)

2 to 2.75 Star Rating: none

1 to 1.75 Star Rating: none