Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bulls & Blood by T.A. Chase Blog Tour

Breaking the rules has never been Wesley’s way…until he meets Mino.

Rule Number Two that the Thorn brothers live by is that employees of the ranch are off-limits. Wesley has always followed that rule, never stepping out of his comfort zone to do more than talk to one of the cowhands that help run his family’s ranch. Being a vampire makes it easier, since he doesn’t go out during the day.

Mino’s been interested in the youngest Thorn brother since he began working at The Blood & Thorn Ranch. It’s those stupid rules that hold him back from making the first move. Well, those and the fact that Wesley could kill him in a blink of his eye. Being human in a world of supernatural creatures makes living difficult, since he’s considered prey.

These two males, from different species and societies, must find a way to meet in the middle of their worlds if they have a chance at love.

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Book 1
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A Word from the Author

Hello everyone. Thank you for having me here today. My new book, Bulls & Blood, is out and it’s the first in a six-book series called The Blood & Thorn Ranch. It features Wesley, the youngest Thorn brother, and Mino, a human cowboy who works on the ranch.

I’m enjoying this series because I love the idea of vampires, but also I’m a huge fan of cowboys. When I was going up, I read almost all of Louis L’Amour’s westerns. He wrote about the Old West with lyrical prose and a deep understanding of the mentality of the men and women who settled the frontier.

L’Amour painted pictures of the desert and the mountains. He made the reader believe in the ultimate triumph of good men over bad. Ranch wars and claim jumping. Silver mining and cattle ranching. He was a man who lived his life to the fullest and it showed in the books he wrote.

Some of my favorite L’Amour books are about the Sacketts, a family that took care of each other. When one was in danger, all the others came to help. They were deadly and sure, even the women were capable of taking care of themselves.

It helped build my love of westerns and cowboys. The other thing was The Lone Ranger—the radio and television shows. I loved the idea of a man riding around the west, helping keep the people safe. The Lone Ranger rode with his friend, Tonto, and while Tonto was a stereotypical portrayal of Native Americans, still their friendship was amazingly written.

Cowboys and Old West lawmen are rugged and strong. They relied on their own strength and knowledge, though never turned down help from friends and family. Oh sure, it wasn’t nearly as romantic as movies, TV, and books have lead us to believe, but still even the ranchers and farmers of today are an independent lot.

I know it really doesn’t have much to do with Bulls & Blood, but I thought you might like to know where I got my love of cowboys from.

Thank you for having me here and I hope you get a chance to check Bulls and Blood out. Enjoy the excerpt.

“Rules suck,” Mino mumbled as he carried the first-aid kit to Oak, his friend and foreman. “Why do the Thorns have to be the one group of vampires who actually have morals and want to treat people right?”

“What’s got you all worked up?” Oak asked, as he took the box from Mino then narrowed his gaze to study him. “I told you Mr. Wesley isn’t going to give you the time of day. None of the brothers believe in messing with employees—or even with humans, for that matter. You’d have better luck if you were a supernatural and didn’t work here.”

“But I like working here,” Mino protested. “And why does it matter whether I work for him or not? It wouldn’t affect how I do my job if we hooked up.”

Oak snorted and Mino glanced at the cougar shifter. They’d been best friends since Oak had been brought in for a hunt that had ended when one of the hunters had tried to kill him. The Thorns had been so angry about the breach of etiquette that they had offered Oak a job working the cattle instead of sending him back wherever he came from.

It was one of those weird little quirks Mino had discovered happened on the Blood & Thorn Ranch. The Thorn brothers had six rules they told everyone who stepped foot on their land. Breaking any of those rules could be punishable by death, if they so chose.

“Those rules are stupid,” he muttered, fighting the urge to kick at the dirt like a five year old.

“You only say it because you’re frustrated, but trust me, those rules are what keep you alive every day there’s a hunt going on.” Oak shook his head. “If the bosses hadn’t thought them up and enforced them, you could find yourself as a meal for some asshole vampire.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

***3.5 stars***
Bulls & Blood is the first book in Ms. Chase’s new The Blood & Thorn Ranch series and while I enjoyed it, there was something missing for me but I’m not exactly sure of what. I realize that as the first book in the series, the author has to do a good amount of world building. In this aspect, I feel like she did an excellent job of this in the way she used an illegal shifter sale to reveal how the ranch operated and to introduce us to each of the brothers and some of the ranch hands. As Bulls & Blood is a novella, there’s only so much story that can be included and by revealing that Mino has been employed at the ranch for four years and has been attracted to Wesley the entire time, allows for their relationship to move forward a bit quicker than it would between two people who had just met. That Wesley is a vampire who sees the short time that Mino will be a part of his life due to the mortality versus immortality issue makes their speedy union even more acceptable. Even with the conflict regarding the shifter sale and the subsequent investigation as a way to add a bit of action and suspense to the storyline, I was left feeling as though the book was missing something. As I write this review and ponder what that something is, I can only surmise that I needed to see more of Mino and Wesley’s relationship. By this I don’t mean that it moved too quickly or felt rushed, but rather it feels as though the book ended too soon. Their connection was primarily sexual and while hot, it wasn’t quite enough for me to be fully satisfied. I can only hope that the next book in the series will show the continued development of the relationship between the Wesley and Mino even if its focus is primarily on one of the other brothers. I did enjoy the author’s writing and because it was more than just a good book but not quite meeting my personal definition of great, I have to give Bulls & Blood that rare half star making a 3.5 star read for me. I look forward to finding out what Ms. Chase has in store for The Blood & Thorn Ranch in the next book in the series.

There is beauty in every kind of love, so why not live a life without boundaries? Experiencing everything the world offers fascinates TA and writing about the things that make each of us unique is how she shares those insights. When not writing, TA's watching movies, reading and living life to the fullest.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Bulls & Blood (The Blood & Thorn Ranch #1) by T.A. Chase to read and review for this tour.

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