Shifting Sands by Jet Mykles, Willa Okati, Ally Blue, J.L. Langley, Kimberly Gardner, and Brenda Bryce

Shifting sandsShifting Sands by Jet Mykles, Willa Okati, Ally Blue, J.L. Langley, Kimberly Gardner, and Brenda Bryce
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  MLR Press
Novel:  100,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  3

Witches, shifters and ancient curses, such is life on the Shifting Sands.

A woman’s wrath is bad, but a witch’s wrath is hell on earth. No one knows this better than the six men of Shifting Sands Ranch. When the owner’s Chinese witch of a wife abandons him and the ranch, she takes one of the cowboys and leaves behind a curse that dooms the remaining inhabitants to a life that is anything but normal. Now, every month when the moon comes full, each man takes on the form of an animal. Witches, shifters and ancient curses, such is life on the Shifting Sands.


Unlike most anthologies I have read this one begins with a story that will tie all the others together.  The men on Shifting Sands Ranch in Texas have been cursed by their boss’s wife because they are gay.  She is a witch and so the curse comes true.  Each cowboy turns into an animal from the Chinese zodiac.  Daniel, the boss, is the only mythical creature, a dragon.

“Snake Charmer” by Kimberly Gardner

Cy turns into a snake.  Bobby Lee is his lover and love.  Problem, Bobby Lee is afraid of snakes.  Cy knows he needs to tell his Bobby but is so afraid.  This is such a short story segment that it is hard to get a real “feel” for the characters.  I thought the writing was good but the story just didn’t quite catch me.

Roses:  2

“All the Moon Long” by Ally Blue

Judson turns into a rat.  He has had a crush on Woody for a long time.  Woody is difficult to figure out.  He loves animals and collects injured ones.  Judson is usually a fairly level headed guy but just can’t help himself around Woody.  Well written but just like the first one I couldn’t connect to the story or the characters.  It is sweet and cute but missing something.

Roses:  2

“Cock of the Wall” by Willa Okati

Michael turns into a rooster.  Zan is an excitable little guy.  They meet at a dance and Zan won’t give up on have Michael.  Michael fights hard.  I liked Zan’s character, he was a fun guy.  This one was a little better than the first two.  I was laughing and having a good time.  Yes, the story is still shallow but it is well written and the characters are fun.

Roses:  3

“Hare of the Bull” by Brenda Bryce

Gordy turns into an ox.  Tristan is a new addition to the ranch.  He cleans the house and bunkhouse.  He has been abused by his last boyfriend and is scared of all the large men on the ranch.  Gordy can’t help liking the man and of course that means he goes after him.  Like the other stories in this anthology it’s shallow and not real detailed.  I loved the characters.  The writing was well done too but still too short.

Roses:  3

“Lost and Found” by J.L. Langley

Ben turns into a horse.  Shay is a witch.  Shay has been discovered by the cowboys he works with of being a witch and they have decided to do something with him.  Shay escaped but is injured and falls into a stock pond at Shifting Sands Ranch.  Ben and Gordy save him from drowning.  I thought this particular story was very good.  Well written and entertaining.  It was interesting to see if Ben could handle being with a witch.  In my opinion this would have made an excellent longer story.

Roses:  4

“Pulling the Dragon’s Tail” by Jet Mykles

Daniel turns into a dragon.  Russell is the cowboy who betrayed the ranch by sleeping and leaving with Daniel’s wife, the one that cursed them all.  Russell didn’t though, he was spelled into it.  This was a cute story.  Once again not much depth but good overall writing and characterizations.  I loved the little detail about the dragon, like the vision and how Daniel learned how to control his size.

Roses:  3

The ending of the book is a wrapping up of loose ties for the whole of the story.  It’s a cute little anthology but due to the lengths of each individual story very shallow.  I think it would have made a nice series but a so-so for a book.



About bluesmokey

I'm a plain Jane who longs to put her imagination to work. I'm not a writer but I like to read.

Posted on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013, in Anthology, Book Review, Contemporary, Fantasy, M/M Romance, Novel: 150 pages and above, Three Roses, TJ and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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