4.5 Stars, Ally Blue, Reviewed by Kim, Samhain Publishing, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Myth Adventures by Ally Blue

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: Myth Adventures (Mojo Mysteries: Book Three)

Author: Ally Blue

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 192 Pages

At a Glance: Ally Blue knows how to throw in just the right amount of spooky angst to keep me motivated to turn pages.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: Something evil is going down in Atlanta…

Adrian Broussard and Greg Woodhall are attending OutlantaCon, Atlanta’s annual gay geek conference, and are looking forward to a weekend of cosplay and general nerdy fun. As they mingle with other conference goers, though, Adrian feels a strange, cold energy emanating from a man dressed as a satyr.

Encounters with storybook creatures roaming the streets only increase the chilly tendrils teasing Adrian’s sixth sense—strong enough to cause disturbing visions of Greg’s existence being erased.

When a girl at the conference goes missing, then turns up dead, clues literally drop in their laps as Adrian begins to fear the cold, alien energy is engulfing the whole city. And in danger of swallowing up his lover.

To Adrian’s horror, his worst nightmare is realized. Now both he and Greg must call on reserves of strength and resourcefulness they never knew they possessed to save Atlanta, and each other.

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Review: Ally Blue is one of the first M/M authors I ever read, and she lured me into the world of M/M romance. She knows how to throw in just the right amount of spooky angst to keep me motivated to turn pages and see what’s going to happen next in her stories. And, ever since I read Oleander House, I’ve been hooked on the Bay City Paranormal Investigation series. Now its spinoff, the Mojo Mysteries series, has me hooked too, and so far, I think Myth Adventures is the best of the Mojo books.

I was immediately drawn into the storyline when Adrian saw the satyr and sensed that something was off. When Greg disappeared, like their friends, it especially piqued my interest—to the point I had to restrain myself from rushing through the pages. The portals have returned with a vengeance! And I like the fact that Adrian and Greg’s relationship is so solid throughout the story.

My only problem with Myth Adventures was that I was left guessing what happened to a couple of the characters, though I can kind of guess, but still, I wanted to know! Maybe I’ll find out for sure what happened to them in the next adventure.

TNA_Signature_Kim

 

 

 

You can buy Myth Adventures here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

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4.5 Stars, Anthology, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Angel, Wilde City Press

Review: Butt Riders on the Range – An Anthology From Wilde City Press

Title: Butt Riders on the Range

Authors: Kage Alan, JP Barnaby, Ally Blue, TC Blue, Shae Conner, Jevocas Green, Kieran Kelly, and Eden Winters

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 448 Pages

At a Glance: An enjoyable and eclectic mix of cowboy stories from the mundane to the fantastic.

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: 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!

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Review: Wait! Don’t let the title drive you away! LOL! I can imagine your first thought seeing it, because I am certain it was similar to my own. However, after a bit of searching I found out this anthology is one in a series of unconnected stories—except for the authors. These fabulous people gathered at a convention and came up with the idea of an anthology. They have since added to their numbers, as this is the fourth one in a not quite series for different takes on a genre. Did they ever deliver, especially with this anthology! I, for one, hope these talented authors continue their good work of providing us with awesome stories.

Short stories aren’t for everyone, but I can say this about them, they introduce you to new authors and give old favorites a chance to entice you again. That’s exactly what I have found here in this anthology. Here’s a short summary and review of each of the stories.

Hung Like A Horse by JP Barnaby: JP Barnaby is a new author for me, and I enjoyed my introduction to her work. My summary won’t do this short shifter story justice, but here goes. Riley Harper is a young man with a problem. He’s on the run and has decided to hide on a ranch where he’ll never be found. Not as a hand, though, as a horse. John North is a horse shifter who owns a ranch which houses abused horses. He knows his newest acquisition isn’t all he seems, so he is just biding his time until the day comes when he can confront the shifter hiding on his ranch.

Shifters aren’t out. In fact, if the government does find one, they are taken and imprisoned to be experimented on. It is one of these facilities that Riley has escaped from, and he isn’t willing to go back. He trusts no one, and after running himself to the limit, he’s forced back into his human form. North knows, and has known, that Riley was a shifter as he himself is a shifter. It’s been a long time since North has been around another shifter, and what he feels for the skittish young man isn’t something he’s felt in a long time, but it is going to take a gentle hand to settle Riley and rebuild his trust.

Barnaby has taken the tropes of shifters and turned it on its side. I loved the different take on this troupe and how distrustful Riley was. That John stood up for the young man and showed him there were still good people out there, people who would protect him regardless of his status, makes this story all the more intriguing. There is a background story on both North and Harper that the author barely touches on, and it caught my attention more so than the sexy scenes. I would love for the author to expand on this -verse if she ever decides to return to it.

Chinchilla Chimichangas by Kage Alan: Chris is an author, traveling on a bus, and he’s on a mission. He not only has to finish his next novel, but he’s making an homage trip with his father’s ashes. He’s having a bit of trouble doing both because the weather is wreaking havoc with his trip and the final destination. After a storm washes out the road, he’s stuck in a podunk little town. Here he meets Cameron, who offers him a little southern hospitality.

Alan is another new author for me, and I liked this story. I loved that Chris’s characters were real to him, enough so that he speaks to them in his head and also out loud. This was a hilarious take on how a writer lives with the voices in their head. Cameron is a down to earth guy just working his family farm. The relationship between the two characters seems a bit rushed as they try to cram all their life stories into a few select days before the roads are cleared. Both men have issues and while it isn’t exactly accepted to be gay in the little town, they make the promise to try to have a real relationship once Chris’s trip is over. The epilogue was bittersweet, in one way, but gave us the hope of a happily ever after.

Squatting with Spurs On by Kieran Kelly: Dooley McCallister finds himself the sudden owner of a ranch in Montana, bequeathed to him by an unknown man. Or, so he thinks. Once he arrives and takes possession of the ranch, he finds that it is rundown and in desperate need of repair, and that he has no way to unload the property. He also founds out that the place is haunted.

Kelly is a new author to me and while I enjoyed the writing style, I really don’t know what to say about this one without giving away the entire plot line, except to say I laughed some and cried a bit. It made me so sad in one way, but also there is a running theme of eternity and forever love throughout the story.

Faux Cowboy by Shae Conner: Jackson James is dressed to the nines in his cowboy regalia and has an image to uphold. Douglas Shaw is on vacation and visiting the Big Apple for the first time.

Shae Conner is another first time author for me, and I liked this one. It was a short, sweet and sexy romp. First time impressions can be deceiving, and this little story makes good use of that ideal. Jackson is hiding that he isn’t a real cowboy, and neither is Doug, for that matter. Not really, but they did enjoy one another.

Hooves and Horns by Eden Winters: Another shifter story with a bull shifter and a horse shifter, and the two classes just don’t mix. They are also rodeo men, and were building a life together until Armando’s family stepped in and Kerry felt betrayed. Each are the other’s nemesis on the circuit now too, and the chemistry between them is spark-worthy. I loved how Kerry, the horse shifter, and Armando, the bull shifter, traded out the dominance in their volatile relationship, both in and out of the rodeo ring. They had only ever allowed the other to ‘win’ against one another as their shifter selves while out on the circuit, so their final coming together and settling with one another was excellent after the disaster of their past.

The Boy from Battalion Bluff by Jevocas Greene: Unfortunately, this was my least favorite story in the book. I like sci-fi but this one was almost too much sci-fi for my taste, with an outer space succubus/incubus going at it almost in public, and a local boy getting caught up in the middle. The town waited with bated breath to see who was going to be chosen to experience Dr. Feel-Good’s wiles, but I just couldn’t connect with the story. The writing was easy to read, though I don’t think I’ll read more by this author.

The Five Hells War by Ally Blue: Ally Blue is new to me and I loved this story. It was a sci-fi tale of big corporation hustling the little guy on a backwater planet that has hidden resources. The BC lawyer is supposed to be a shark, but when he finds out what exactly is going on at the Five Hells Ranch, he puts aside his job and works to help out the very man he was sent to persuade to give up his ranch.

Rocky owns the Five Hells and came by it through his family. It was passed down and he owns the land fair and square, and he is not leaving without a fight. The romance that ensues between the two men was fun, and I liked seeing how the uncouth Rocky could unseat Balthazar, so much so that when they do win their suit, Balthazar decides to stay with Rocky on his farm.

And The Horse He Rode In On by TC Blue: I really liked this story, but it was so busy, and I think would have been better suited to a novella or longer version. Tyler is a horse shifter who runs a sheep farm, and something is killing his lambs. Turns out the something is a leopard shifter named Jason. Tyler takes Jason in after almost killing him while they were both in their alternate forms, and a romance begins. Personally, I loved Jason calling Ty the “attack pony,” and I laughed out loud when Tyler dumped a bunch of creamer packets and cat toys into Jason’s bed.

There is also an entire back-story going on at the same time as the romance, where we discover that predatory shifters usually don’t mix with prey shifters, and that there are severe consequences if it does happen. Jason was basically turned against this will, is without a Pard, and Tyler is a bit of a loner when it comes to his pack—or whatever it is you call a group of horses. He seems to have a good relationship with his sister Ari and her husband Blake, who is the horse shifters’ vet.

So, yes, I think I would have enjoyed this more if it were longer, but it does tell the tale well enough at its current length.

A huge thank you to all the authors for an enjoyable read!

TNA_Signature_Angel







 

You can buy Butt Riders on the Range here:

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5 Stars, Ally Blue, Horror, Reviewed by Jennifer, Riptide Publishing, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Down by Ally Blue

Title: Down

Author: Ally Blue

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 380 Pages

At a Glance: Not for the faint of heart but a thoroughly enjoyable novel, with horror, suspense, and the deep.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: Seven thousand meters below the ocean’s surface, the crew of the BathyTech 3 mineral mining facility has found something remarkable: a rock-like sphere of unknown material and origin.

For Mo Rees, the discovery calls to his inner explorer and adds color to his dull miner’s life. Even better than the promise of new knowledge is the unexpected connection he forges with Dr. Armin Savage-Hall, leader of the team brought down to study the thing.

For Armin, the object is the find of a lifetime. It could prove his controversial theories and secure his scientific reputation. And Mo is a fascinating bonus.

Then crew members start behaving strangely. Worse, they start to change: their eyes glow purple, their teeth sharpen. Then the violence begins, the brutal deaths. As BathyTech descends deeper into chaos, the surviving crew works desperately to find the cause of the horrors around them. What they uncover could annihilate the human race. And they can’t stop it.

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Review: Ally Blue is one of my favorite authors, so when I saw that she was releasing a horror novel, I was thrilled. Until I found out where it takes place.

The bottom of the ocean.

So therein lies my dilemma. I love Ally Blue so much I purchase her ebooks, read them, love them, and then as soon as that book is available in paperback, I buy the paperback. I own every single book she has written in ebook, and every one that has been released as a paperback sits on the top shelf of one of my bookcases. She writes romance and horror very well. I was a huge fan of her book Oleander House when I discovered it, and devoured the entire Bay City Paranormal Investigations series and its spinoffs. She builds creepy creatures and worlds, and I just love it.

But I’m terrified of deep water. And that’s where this book takes place. In the deepest waters you can find on our planet. I took a chance, and while I was scared out of my wits reading half of her descriptions, I enjoyed every moment of the story.

The novel is set in the fairly near future. Things have happened to the earth, and while some of it is mentioned, not all the details are given. We do know that there have been disasters and power outages that caused chaos around the world. There’s also technology that allows miners to mine the ocean floor, walking out into the crushing pressure seven thousand feet below sea level, and still live. Together the miners live side-by-side with scientists who study the surrounding area. When a mysterious object that simultaneously exists and does not exist is found, Mo and Armin are thrown into each other’s paths, and their fates are irrevocably entwined.

First and foremost, this book is a horror novel. So while yes, there is a romance between Mo and Armin, that is not the focus of the story. Most of the sex happens off page after a fade to black and time skips. There is only one explicit scene between them, and it’s much later in the book. So if that’s all you want out of a book, then this isn’t for you. But you’ll be missing out on a great novel.

I’m not the biggest fan of horror. I mean, there are some movies I like, but I haven’t always read horror novels. I just never got into them, as most do nothing for me. This one, however, terrified me because of the setting. Ally Blue portrays this incredibly complex world at the bottom of the ocean, and I couldn’t help but think of all the things that could go so horribly wrong down there. I mean…honestly. So much can, and there’s not much you can do about it.

The onset of the horror is pretty slow at first. The suspense builds as readers follow Mo and Armin as strange things start to occur. First there are the bizarre shadows. Then the little squiggles at the corner of Mo’s vision. Headaches. Irritability. Full out psychosis.

I wondered how the novel could possibly end well, given all that was happening, but Blue makes it work. I cried at the end—her books tend to make me emotional—but it was such a great ending. The last lines were perfect and really went with the characters. Mo and Armin grow throughout the novel in so many ways, but despite all those changes, they are at heart the same men from the beginning of the book.

The secondary characters in this novel are also fully developed. All of the doctors from Armin’s group to the crew of BathyTech3 have their own personalities that make them people I wish I knew. Even DAISY. I don’t know how Blue managed to make me like a TARANTULA but she did. I hate spiders. They are my second greatest fear after deep water, but somehow this author made me like her character—and yes, it’s possible for a spider to be a fully realized character. But I guess if any author was going to do it, it would be this one.

Whether you’re a fan of horror or not, I highly recommend you checking this book out. If I can manage to do it even with all of my fears, so can you! I just might have hid under the covers more than the typical person…and, maybe I got nervous every time a shadow twitched from the car lights outside, but whatever. I can always sleep next week or something.

TNA_Signature_Jennifer






You can buy Down here:

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Ally Blue, Giveaways, Riptide Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Down Blog Tour With Ally Blue

Down_TourBanner

A big welcome to author Ally Blue on the Down blog tour. Ally talks about how the book came to be, and she’s also brought a giveaway with her from Riptide Publishing. Just leave a comment right here by Midnight Eastern time on Saturday, April 25, 2015 for the chance to win a $15 Riptide Gift Card. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your email so we can contact you if you win!

Good luck!

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Hello, all you lovely readers! My name is Ally Blue, and I’m here at The Novel Approach today to talk about my first full-length horror novel, Down, which releases TODAY from Riptide Publishing. I’m super excited about it. I cut my reader teeth on horror, and I’m thrilled to have the chance to stretch my creative legs by writing it. Thank you to Riptide for believing in me and my work!

Big thanks as well to The Novel Approach for letting me come here today to tell y’all how my latest book came to be. Like the origin stories for most of my books, it’s kind of an odd, sideways tale. A while back—a couple of years ago, maybe more—I was watching a case study on TV about a woman with a Krukenberg tumor. Briefly, a Krukenberg tumor is a particular type of metastatic ovarian cancer in which the primary site is in the gastrointestinal tract. In this particular case study, I remember quite vividly the narrator saying that the woman’s ovary was “completely replaced” by the tumor cells.

Replaced. Completely.

Just think about that for a minute. It’s pretty horrifying, isn’t it? Having a part of your body totally taken over and replaced by an invader. That idea got into my head and started the wheels turning. I thought to myself, what if something got into people’s minds and replaced them? Not physically, but mentally, personality wise? What if these “mind weeds” (as I called them to myself) could replace even your thoughts with something alien? What if you couldn’t trust anything you saw, or heard, or experienced? What if you had no idea what was real? Which thoughts or feeling were your own, or belonged to something else?

Yeah, it was a very strange idea. As per usual, that idea morphed and changed and became pretty different in the end. But that’s where the first seeds of Down were planted. From a case study on a specific ovarian tumor. Inspiration is a funny thing.

If you read Down, I’d love to hear what you think of it! You can contact me via my website, allyblue.com, on the About Ally page. Thanks for listening, everyone, and happy reading!

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Down_200x300Blurb:  Seven thousand meters below the ocean’s surface, the crew of the BathyTech 3 mineral mining facility has found something remarkable: a rock-like sphere of unknown material and origin.

For Mo Rees, the discovery calls to his inner explorer and adds color to his dull miner’s life. Even better than the promise of new knowledge is the unexpected connection he forges with Dr. Armin Savage-Hall, leader of the team brought down to study the thing.

For Armin, the object is the find of a lifetime. It could prove his controversial theories and secure his scientific reputation. And Mo is a fascinating bonus.

Then crew members start behaving strangely. Worse, they start to change: their eyes glow purple, their teeth sharpen. Then the violence begins, the brutal deaths. As BathyTech descends deeper into chaos, the surviving crew works desperately to find the cause of the horrors around them. What they uncover could annihilate the human race. And they can’t stop it.

Buy Link: Riptide Publishing

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Ally BlueAbout the Author: Ally Blue is acknowledged by the world at large (or at least by her heroes, who tend to suffer a lot) as the Popess of Gay Angst.

She has a great big suggestively-shaped hat and rides in a bullet-proof Plexiglas bubble in Christmas parades. Her harem of manwhores does double duty as bodyguards and inspirational entertainment. Her favorite band is Radiohead, her favorite color is lime green and her favorite way to waste a perfectly good Saturday is to watch all three extended version LOTR movies in a row.
Her ultimate dream is to one day ditch the evil day job and support the family on manlove alone. She is not a hippie or a brain surgeon, no matter what her kids’ friends say.

Connect with Ally:Website | •Twitter: @PopessAllyBlue | •Tumblr | •Facebook fan page | •Facebook profile page | •Group blog | •Goodreads

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s A Sneak Peek at the Coming Week!

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone, I hope you’re all having an outstanding weekend! Welcome back for a peek at who we have coming up for you in the week ahead. There’ll be more great guest posts, as well as some awesome giveaways and, of course, reviews each day, guaranteed.

Here’s what’s in store:

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Monday – We’ve got two great guests to kick off the week, the first—Ally Blue, who stops by on the Down blog tour

We’ll also be hosting Sue Brown today on the In-Decision blog tour

TuesdayCarole Cummings joins us today to talk symbolism on the Wolf’s-own: Ghost blog tour

We’ll also have Alina Propescu with us today on her Craving Stains blog tour

Wednesday – Getting us to the midpoint of the week, EE Montgomery stops in today on the Just the Way You Are tour

Vanessa Sims is also with us on her Freeing His Mercenary blog tour

ThursdayCharlie Cochrane is our guest today on her Lessons for Suspicious Minds tour

Author JR Gray is also with us today to talk about his book Visible Scars

FridayRJ Scott joins us today on her Guarding Morgan book blast tour

Saturday – And closing out our week, we have Kate McMurray joining us on her tour for The Windup

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That does it for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

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5 Stars, Ally Blue, Reviewed by Taz, Samhain Publishing, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Hell on Earth by Ally Blue

Title: Hell on Earth (Hellscape: Book Two)

Author: Ally Blue

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 262 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Two prisoners. One forgotten planet. A secret that twists justice beyond all recognition.

All Sandman wants is to get away from his violent past on Hell’s End, but trouble follows him, leaving him with more blood on his hands and a one-way ticket aboard a crewless prison transport on a pre-set course for Deimos. Continue reading

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