Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Butt Riders on the Range by Kage Alan, JP Barnaby, Ally Blue, TC Blue, Shae Connor, Jevocas Green, Kiernan Kelly, and Eden Winters

Standard

Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5:

Butt Riders on the Range coverThis is the third “Butt” anthology I’ve read, and I expected it to be the best because there’s nothing sexier than a cowboy, IMHO. However, I didn’t like it nearly as much as the other anthologies produced by these authors, and there were very few stories that I would rank as high as any of the authors’ previous works. In some cases, it felt as if the author was just putting words together to meet the loose outline of the anthology, then maybe throw in a cowboy here and there, mix ’em up and pop out an adequate story.

Hung Like a Horse by JP Barnaby
The first story in the anthology was a sweet story about a horse shifter, with a different twist— when he shifted, the ectoplasm exploded out of him. Theoretically, it makes sense that when he went from a large horse to a smaller man, there would be extra body mass so I liked that idea. Another interesting twist is that the change was forced when his protein levels reached deficiency, and let’s face it— horses aren’t carnivores so he couldn’t stay as a horse without shifting to meet that need. Riley, the shifter, was rescued by the ranch owner who is also a horse shifter and knew what Riley was. He was waiting for Riley to shift to a man so that he could help him. Fortunately, there was an attraction between the two, and the story ended with a promise for a hopeful future. 4 stars

Chinchilla Chimichangas by Kage Alan
I disliked this story. It’s told mostly from the POV of a wannabe author, Chris, who has constant voices in his head— voices of the characters Miss Tis and Miss Kiernan. I found it very annoying with the switches from Chris speaking or thinking, to having the voices in his head speak. The plot was quite juvenile as well. Chris is taking a bus trip to throw his dad’s ashes in the Pacific behind the Hotel del Coronado, the place he had always wanted to take Chris’s mother on their honeymoon. The bus is stranded in an Oklahoma town during a storm, and Chris ends up going home with a young man who reminds him of Dustin, the hero in the story he’s writing. They have sex, fall in love, and part with a promise to get together after Chris completes his mission. 2 stars

Squatting with Spurs On by Kiernan Kelly
This was a cute little ghost story about a young man who inherits a haunted house only to find out that the ghost was his lover before he died a hundred years ago. It was a nice twist on time travel and paranormal activity mixed with a healthy dose of romance and everlasting love. 3.5 stars

Faux Cowboy by Shae Connor
When Doug shows up at a western-style gay bar in New York City, he’s happy to see that there seems to be another cowboy just like him in the bar. When they get to know each other, they decide to go dancing and after one thing leads to another, they spend a hot night together. The next morning, truth comes calling and the guys find out that they weren’t quite honest with each other, but since they’re in the very early stages of a relationship, they decide to forgive and forget and move forward toward a possible future together. 3.5 stars

Hooves and Horns by Eden Winters
This was a cute and humorous shifter story about two rodeo cowboys, both of whom are shifters. One is the famous bull, Diablo, and the other is the famous bucking bronco, Greased Lightning. Lovers, then adversaries, the bronco, aka Kerry, is jealous because Diablo, aka Armando, was seen hanging with other bulls in the off-season, and Kelsey thought he had cheated. But once Armando can pin Kerry down and explain, all is finally well, and they have their HEA. 3 stars

The Boy from Battalion Bluff by Jevocas Green
I saw this one as little more than PWP. It’s the story of an irresistible guy in the Old West that locals call Dr. Feel-Good. He gets all over town on any given day to make people feel good by having sex with him. He overlooks young Toby the stable boy, but Toby wants him and goes after him just as they all find out that he’s not what he seems. He’s really an alien prince, and he never gets pleasure from sex unless it’s with his true mate. His betrothed, Tyler, shows up to take him home, and while Tyler’s trying to prove his worth by having sex with Johnen (Dr Feel-Good), Toby interrupts and Johnen invites him to participate. Lo and behold, Toby is his true mate. Once that’s settled, they all go back to the home planet and live happily ever after. 2 stars

The Five Hells War by Allly Blue
In this story, an attorney named Balthazar Shellenbarger comes to a remote planet, very reminiscent of an Old West town, to represent Cavendish Farms, a large company that wants to buy Five Hells Ranch from Salvador “Rocky” Flint. The ranch is the only piece of property that Cavendish hasn’t taken over in their plan to have a monopoly on boomer meat. Boomers are considered a delicacy and are a protected species on this planet that is the only place in the universe that supports their life form. This is the final offer— if Rocky doesn’t sell, they are going to get the place somehow. But what happens instead is a romance between “Balty” and Rocky and it’s one of the better stories in the book. Balty is so impressed with Rocky and his heritage and his love of the land that he decides to stay and help fight the conglomerate. Together they’ll defeat the bad guys and go on to live their HEA. 4 stars

And the Horse He Rode In On byTC Blue
This is a great story about a leopard shifter caught killing lambs on a sheep farm– a farm that happens to be owned by a horse shifter who catches him and kicks him in the head. The resulting shift back to his human form is a shock to both men and when the leopard, Jason, finds out that the “battle pony” who kicked him in the head is Tyler, the good-looking man who owns the ranch, he’s intrigued. He’s never been a part of a Pard, never even realized such a thing exists since the guy who Made him took off before telling Jason anything. When Jason’s shift occurred in a home he was house-sitting, and he trashed the place, he took off and has been in leopard form, running for his life, ever since then. As they begin to fall for each other, Tyler introduces him to the world of shifters and helps Jason come to terms with who he is. The two work for it and ultimately get their HEA. This was my favorite of the stories in the anthology. 4.5 stars

I’d recommend this to anyone who likes their M/M romance in very off-the-wall stories, non-wolf shifter stories, and alternate universe adventures.

The cover art by Wilde City Press depicts a cowboy, shirt open and head down. Bright and colorful, it also lists the names of the authors vertically down the opposite side. Very appealing.

Sales Links:  Wilde City Press    –   All Romance (ARe) –   Amazon    Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published April 29th 2015 by Wilde City Press
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.wildecity.com

 

Its all Butts and Cowboys with Kiernan Kelley and Butt Riders on the Range (guest post and giveaway)

Standard

 

Butt Riders Banner

Butt Riders On the Range is Here! Cowboys and lots of butts on the Butte! Don’t Miss out on Kiernan Kelly’s guest post “So Many Butts, So LIttle Time”. Check out the blurb and excerpt and don’t forget to enter to contest as well.cowboy hat and boots blkwhite

So Many Butts, So Little Time by Kiernan Kelly

One night long ago in a land far, far away — or it may have been last May in a Marriott hotel on the outskirts of Atlanta — eight authors sat at a table surrounded by rapidly deflating ninja themed balloons, plastic katana blades, oddly penis-shaped nunchucks, and fistfuls of throwing-star erasers, and decided two books did not a series make.

We were at OutlantaCon, the official birthplace of the Butthology books, where we — Kage Alan, T.c. Blue, Eden Winters, Ally Blue, Shae Connor, J.P. Barnaby, Jevocas Green, and myself — had just finished celebrating the release of Butt Ninjas From Hell.

It was the second book we’d written in what we hoped would be a series. The first, Butt Pirates in Space, was science fiction, and had released May 2013. Butt Ninjas from Hell was paranormal-themed. Both, of course, had a healthy helping of humor thrown in with a side of hot gay sex.

We sat there staring at one another, wondering what to do next. As butt book writers, we needed to feed our addiction. We couldn’t go too long with a fix. What to do, what to do?

The answer was obvious. Write more butts, of course.

We decided to author two more anthologies for the following year. The first was a holiday fantasy issue titled “Butt Babes in Boyland,” which released in time for the 2014 holidays, and the second, due out May 2015, we titled “Butt Riders on the Range.”

It’s a western-themed book, just in case you haven’t guessed, or skipped the first four paragraphs of this blog because your boss/kids/significant other/grandmother kept wandering close enough to read the screen.

What all this goes to prove is simply that there is no genre so sacred we will not Butt-ify it. My story for this go-round is titled, “Squatting with Spurs On.” It’s a fantasy-western crossover involving time travel and ghosts.

Writing a western time-travel gay romance involving a ghost wasn’t as difficult as you’d think. There was really only one thing that stymied me. It’s the same thing that trips me up every time I write a historical set in the old west.

The thing is, I find it decidedly difficult to write a sex scene set in that time period, not because of featherbeds, or condoms made from some sort of sheep intestine, or even the fact that homosexual relations in the time period were often a hanging offense.

It’s the lack of running water that throws me every damn time.

Picture this: Wyoming, 1880. There’s a ranch nestled in a beautiful green valley somewhere in the shadow of the Grand Tetons. Cattle graze placidly on the pastureland, while cowboys in checkered shirts and beaver-fur hats gather around a campfire for a dinner of beans and a night of manly camaraderie and farting.

Two men, let’s call them Zane and Louis, have remained alone back at the ranch house because I said so. There’s a chill in the night air, prompting Zane to kindle a fire in the parlor’s lovely fieldstone fireplace. He takes a seat on the floor, and stares at the flames because it’s the late 1880’s and Monday Night Football hasn’t been invented yet.

Louis, meanwhile, busies himself in the kitchen. He returns and takes a seat on the floor next to Zane, handing over a mug of fresh-brewed coffee.

Zane sniffs, it, and raises an eyebrow, probably because Louis is nothing if not predictable.

More than he dislikes being cold, Louis really, really wants to get laid, and he knows the quickest way to get Zane naked is to pour one or seven shots of rotgut whiskey down Zane’s throat.

Zane doesn’t seem inclined to complain. He drinks the contents in one long, burning gulp, and holds the cup out to Louis with a questioning look in his eyes.

Louis happily refills Zane’s mug. One down, six to go. After the third refill, he no longer makes the pretense of adding coffee to the cup.

The fire, firmly established, crackles musically, and casts dancing shadows across their faces. It’s getting very warm in the room. Too warm for a shirt. Too warm for boots. Or pants for that matter.

With less trouble than you might think, Louis convinces Zane that a dollop of lard smeared on his asshole would certainly cool down the rest of his body.

Having drunk seven or fifteen cups of Louis’s “coffee,” Zane thinks it’s a fine idea. He manages to raise himself onto his elbows and knees to make the cooling process easier for Louis.

Louis, faced with Zane’s bare butt and tight little hole, wasn’t feeling too cool, himself. In fact, his body was burning hotter than the chili Cook dished up on the last cattle drive. He was almost surprised the lard didn’t melt and sizzle when he slicked himself with it.

For his part, Zane was only slightly confused when he felt Louis’s dick slide inside him. He realized that, instead of cooling him down, parts of him were getting warmer. And harder.

It didn’t take long for both men to reach critical mass, each one howling as his orgasm ripped through him. In the process of coming, they made one helluva mess. Seems it’d been a while for both of them, and they’d been storing up their boy batter like Cook put up canned jars of homemade baked beans for winter. It coated their hands, Zane’s back, both their dicks, Louis’s stomach, the floor, and even dotted poor old Champ, Zane’s one-eyed, three-legged hound, who’d had the misfortune to pick the wrong time to wander closer to the fire.

All of which brings me to my problem:

Somebody has to go pump some damn water so they can clean up.

It’s not like Zane or Louis can run into the bathroom and rinse off. The “bathroom” is a wooden, coffin-sized shed set several yards behind the house, that’s probably home to a family of rattlesnakes, several species of poisonous spiders, a stink too powerful even to contemplate, and has no freaking water anyway.

No, if they want to wash that spunk off before anyone comes back and finds them, well…white-handed, somebody needs to go prime the kitchen pump. Unless Louis had the forethought to pour some of the water he’d earlier pumped for coffee into a washbasin for later, that is, which, of course, he hadn’t.

Sadly, Louis isn’t that smart. Handsome, muscled, and extremely well endowed, but about as clever as a stump.

Anyway, I suppose they could simply wipe all that ejaculate off on a towel, or on Zane’s shirt (although he hates when Louis does that – makes the shirt all stiff and scratchy), but they’re still going to be freaking sticky, not to mention smell like a mattress from Miss Bluebell’s Cathouse over in Jackson.

Do you see my problem?

The answer I came up with was to make my characters sixty-nine and swallow, or have sex out-of-doors, preferably near a stream or water trough, or make them smart enough to pump water ahead of time.

Still, it’s not easy. So why do I did I agree to do it?

Mostly, because I truly believe that sometimes, as writers, we take ourselves too damn seriously. We need the chance to let loose, to lighten up, to stretch our creative muscles, and the Butthology books give me that opportunity. I know I can speak for the rest of our group when I say we enjoy writing these stories. They’re freeing, and give us a chance to flex our writing muscles in a way our usual stories don’t. They let ignore most of the rules published stories are usually held to, and fly free.

In other words, they let us laugh at ourselves.

And besides, really, are there ever enough butts in romance?

Nope. Didn’t think so.

About Kiernan Kelly…

KiernanKelly_photo

Kiernan Kelly lives in the wilds of the alligator-infested U.S. Southeast, slathered in SPF 45, drinking colorful tropical, hi-octane concoctions served by thong-clad cabana boys.

All right, the truth is that she spends her time locked in the dark recesses of her office, writing gay erotic romance while chained to a temperamental laptop, drinking coffee, and dreaming of thong-clad cabana boys. 

Sigh.
To date, Kiernan has thirteen novels, two YA novels under her Dakota Chase pseudonym, a plethora of shorter works in print and ebook, and still no cabana boy of her own, although her husband may beg to differ.

ButtRidersOnTheRange_cvr_100dpi

Butt Riders On The Range

Authors:  Kage Alan, JP Barnaby, Ally Blue, TC Blue, Shae Connor , Jevocas Green,Kiernan Kelly , Eden Winters 

PUBLISHER: Wilde City Press
RELEASE DATE: April 29, 2015

About Butt Riders on the Range Anthology…

Do you imagine blazing gun battles, bandits, and saloons with watered-down drinks when you think of cowboys and the West? We don’t. Our minds go right to horse shifters, bull shifters, were-leopards, urban wannabes, an interrupted journey along Route 66, a man of mystery named Dr. Feel-Good, and high noon at the edge of the galaxy! The fourth time’s the charm as the Butt-Thology authors saddle up, ride their men hard, and put ‘em away wet.

Butt Riders on the Range…the bulls aren’t the only ones being grabbed by the horns!
Book Links: Wilde City Press

Book Details:

ebook
Published April 29th 2015 by Wilde City Press
edition languageEnglish

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

One ebook copy of any of the previous Butt-Thologies.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the authors and Indigo Marketing and Design.  

Contest Begins: April 29, 2015
Contest Ends: May 10, 2015

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Review of Concord Grape: Unexpected by TC Blue

Standard

Rating: 4.25 stars

Pauly Mitchell never thought a simple evening of bar hopping with friends would end being chased by a crazy person in a cab following him in a cab. Lucky for  him, his cab driver is quick thinking as well as being very cute and the night ends with the psycho in custody, the other cab driver only slightly wounded and a safe trip home. Then he meets up again with not only his cab driver but the 911 operator who coordinated their rescue. Both men are attractive in separate ways and both attracted to him.  What’s a guy with a bad romantic past to do?

Randy never thought that one wild night as a cab driver would turn his world upside down. When he runs into Pauly again after their wild ride in his cab, Randy asks him out and the date is going great.  Then the two of them run into James, the 911 Operator who coordinated their rescue the other  night and he joins them on the date.  When Randy finds himself drawn to both men, he is confused and overwhelmed by his feelings.  Never secure about his looks, why would he think either of them would like him back?

James has always kept himself commitment free.  Love them or more realistically have sex with them and let them go.  But lately that has gotten old and something seems to be missing from his life.  He has a circle of friends who are mostly paired up and he is feeling a little envious.  But his job as a 911 operator leaves him little time for relationships so no one is more surprised then he is when a chance meeting between two of the men involved in one of his calls starts turning into friendship, then something more.  James wants Pauly, and he wants Randy too.  He thinks they might feel the same.  Who is going to take the first step into making them a threesome?

This is the second book for me this week involving threesomes, not a relationship structure I normally read.  Both books make it work well within the context of their stories and make it totally believable which is key to making me understand a threesome or as Pauly calls it “a triad”.  Concord Grape is the sixth book in the Fruit Basket series by  TC Blue.  Each book is the story of a relationship between characters from a close knit group of friends.  I have read three from this series and can vouch for the wonderful characterization by TC Blue in each story.

I really like Concord Grape because I think TC Blue did a great job of giving us three diverse characters and then juggling the dynamics of their needs/insecurities/damaged pasts as they struggle towards understanding that they want a relationship that extends past the normal pairing into one that stretches to include all three men.  None of the men here have ever give thought to such a relationship until now which makes it easy for the reader to go along with them as they sort out their thoughts about such an unconventional partnership.  As they come to accept that it is possible, so does the reader.  Job well done!

Pauly is the most damaged of the three men and the first to capture your heart.  It takes time to unravel his story and understand the relationship between himself and his overprotective younger brother, Brendan.  As with Randy and James, each man fits into each others life like a puzzle piece finding its place and so it is for Pauly.  He needs the steadiness and reliability of Randy and the blunt sexy confidence that is James for all of his emotional needs to be met.  Randy is also easy to understand.  He doesn’t think of himself as attractive or anything very special but in fact he is the anchor that holds the others at safe harbor.  And finally there is James who appears so shallow to some of his friends that his nickname is “cheetos”, a quick snack that is never filling. Ouch.  But  while that hurts, James also understand where it comes from and upon meeting Pauly and Randy, James decides its time to change.  TC Blue takes the time with each character and their backstories so that it becomes very apparent why the men are drawn to each other.  I really enjoyed the way in which the author built the foundation for romantic love among all three protagonists.

But there are a few things to quibble about here.  One is the character of Brendan, Pauly’s younger brother.  I really liked that character but there were several explosive events here in which Brendan came apart emotionally that were never fully explained.  One especially inferred abusive past but was then dropped and never brought up again.  Brendan was seeing a psychiatrist but his background was only partially explained.  More problematic was Pauly’s attitude towards the last emotional “explosion”.  Instead of investigating and asking Brendan questions, Pauly lets his brother go off, and hide behind closed doors while he heads off with James and Randy.  That never made much sense to me as did other things about their relationship.  It remained an irritant throughout the story especially as I came to be invested in Brendan.

The other quibble is much smaller and that was the format.  It starts in the present as the group of friends are at a party.  Pauly tells the story of their relationship as a flashback.  When the story concludes, we are back at the party as Pauly finishes his tale.  I just found that a little cutsy and unnecessary as you already have a lovely story.  It didn’t need that embellishment. Other than those quibbles, this is a great addition to a lovely series.  You really can’t go wrong here but while they can be read as stand alone stories, it helps to read them in order to get a better idea of all the characters in the circle of friends.

Other books written by TC Blue in the Fruit Basket series include:

Lemon Yellow: Making Lemonade (Grey and Evan’s story) Book 1

Lime Green: Margarita Mondays (Jeremy and Troy) Book 2

Mandarin Orange: Sweet and Sour (Riley and Kelly) Book 3

Guava Red:Almost Paradise (Bastian and Chase) Book 4

Berry Blue: Lessons Learned (Peter Jamison and Dex’s story) Book 5

Concord Grape: Unexpected (Pauly, Randy, and James) m/m/m  Book 6

Cover:  I like the idea of the same type of cover for all the books, just changing out the background cover.  But since the unexpected is a threesome, shouldn’t the outline of three men be a little more clear? I almost missed the third as it is hidden behind the rainbow border.

The Week Ahead and A Must Recipe – Tarragon Chicken

Standard

Happy Father’s Day all.  It’s a beautiful day here in Maryland, and all is well.  Except for third best dog, Kirby.  Kirby is our Soft Coated Wheaton and a rescue.  A total joy and all around dim bulb who we love dearly.  But he is like a small boy, boundless energy and everything goes into his mouth, regardless of what it is.  So he got into something a couple of days ago and has a upset stomach for his efforts.  This is a typical day with Kirby. It starts either inside or outside.

Kirby comes up to me and sits, wagging his tail, waiting for me to notice him. (uh, right big dog with a Wilfred Brimley face at my elbow)

Me:  Kirby, whatcha doing?

Kirby:  Grins and shows me mouth full of crap (5 socks, robe, pillow case, 3 stuffed toys, who knows)

Me:  Oh, Kirby. (sigh).  OK, let me have it.

Kirby: Runs to top of hill, staircase, sits and grins with mouth full of crap.

Me:  Kirby, get your butt down here.

Kirby:  Grins, wags tail.

Me:  Kirbyyyyyyyyyyy!   Get up, goes to top of hill or staircase, at which point Kirby runs past me to stand at the bottom.

Kirby:  Sits and grins with mouth full of crap.

Repeat sequence until I finally empty his mouth.  Which he promptly fills up again. And when his mouth is empty, he is talking up a storm.  He  wants me to know that kids are on their bikes in front of the house, the UPS man has just driven down the street, you name it.  He is the house’s Town Cryer.  Siamese cats have nothing on him.  I wish I could do an audio recording of Kirby.  I would post it here, trust me you would be amazed.

So while I have a few moments this morning before we start our ritual, here is our review schedule for next week:

Monday:                                   Concord Grape: Unexpected by TC Blue

Tuesday:                                    Stone Rose (Lost Gods #3) by Megan Derr

Wednesday:                             Smooth Like Latte by Rawiya

Thursday:                                 Second Time Lucky by Ethan Day

Friday:                                      Emerald Fire by A. Catherine Noon and Rachel Wilder

Saturday:                                  Reviewers Surprise

 

After all that great reading, you will need some sustenance.  I just made this for the first time and it was wonderful.  I used chicken thighs which I lightly seasoned and put into a 420 oven for 15 mins.  Then I crisped the skin in the pan and put the chicken pieces aside.  Then start the recipe from there.  You will love it.  Pair it with the dry white wine you cooked with and a lovely light salad and you have a great summer meal. Enjoy!

Tarragon Chicken

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chicken (about 3 pounds, cut into 8 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup  dry white wine
1 shallot, minced
1 cup   creme fraiche
1/2 cup chopped fresh tarragon
Lemon juice

Directions:

Melt the butter with the oil in a large skillet over quite high heat. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and fry in batches until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Put all the chicken back in the pan, add the chicken stock and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm. Reduce any leftover juices until sticky. Add the wine and the shallots and reduce to a thickish sauce, about 5 minutes. Add the creme fraiche and half the tarragon. Boil down again to sauce consistency, 3 to 5 minutes.

Season the sauce with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Put back the chicken pieces, turning to coat, then transfer to a platter. Pour the sauce over, scatter over the remaining tarragon and serve.