Review: Devil’s Own (The Wheel Mysteries #2) by Susan Laine

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Devil's Own coverIt’s been almost 2 months since PI Niall Valentine and his occult shopkeeper boyfriend, Gus Goodwin, began their relationship over several mysteries and murders they solved together.  Now all they wish to do is find time to spend together and get used to being a couple.  Instead they find themselves once more pulled into magic, mystery, and murder.

Niall’s latest client, Angelina Talbot, is convinced that her new husband attempted to kill her. Florian Talbot appeared in their bedroom  half-naked and covered in blood. Scared out of her mind, Angelina hit him with a lamp and ran away, convinced she had killed him.  But his body never appeared and his family assumes he’s alive and well.  Is Florian dead?  And did she kill him?  Angelina Talbot wants to know and she wants Niall to uncover the truth about her husband.

The Talbot family is full of eccentrics, devil worshippers, and downright criminals. It’s the Satanists that draw Gus into the investigation.  No one and nothing is as it seems.  As more people disappear and the body count rises, Niall and Gus are sure only of one thing….their love for each other.  But will that be enough with a psychotic killer on the loose and kidnapping on the mind?

I fell in love with Gus Goodwin and Niall Valentine in the first The Wheel Mysteries story, Sparks & Drops (The Wheel Mysteries, #1).  It felt fresh and captivating.  And the element that really set it apart from other mysteries was the use of the Wiccan religion as a basis for the investigations  and the character of Gus Goodwin.  Susan Laine delves deep into the rituals, beliefs, and common misconceptions held about the Wiccan religion and uses that knowledge as story lines and the foundation for her series.

With her characters, Susan Laine offers the reader both sides of a familiar argument.  Is magic and witchcraft real?  Who are those people who not only believe in it but practice the Wiccan religion as others worship more recognized, commonly held religious beliefs such as Christianity and such? Coming down on the side of Wicca is Gus Goodwin, a practicing Wiccan.  He runs The Four Corners, a shop devoted to Wiccan accouterments, books and such.  How he gets to own that store happens in the first book.  Gus is a devout practitioner and the rituals he observes are relayed in one absorbing scene after another.

On the other side of the argument is PI Niall Valentine.  Thoughtful, open minded. Niall retains that acerbic, questioning attitude necessary for his profession and part of his persona.  Niall may research the topic of Wicca, and become knowledgeable but that certainly doesn’t make him a believer.  Together, they form a unified investigative front for the paranormal and supernatural mysteries that come their way.  They make a terrific duo, on equal level with each other and they know it.  How refreshing and adult.

Another thing I love about their relationship and storyline?  No instant love.  This is the second book and they are only a month and a half into figuring out their romance.  They live apart, see each other when they can, and haven’t said the L word because it is much too soon.  They are working on their emotions, and relationship dynamics.  They also haven’t had anal sex because they can’t seem to find the time to make the preparations necessary for that type of sex. That realism works to connect us to Niall and Gus on a basic level and their hurried, full lives make them relatable as well.

The mysteries here are good ones. Yes, more than one.  Once again, Gus and Niall bring in members from the local Wiccan society to help with their investigation which turns very dark early on.  There are murders and one particular practitioner of the occult seem to have a role to play in the books to come.  Sinister thy name is……nope, can’t give that one away.  And yes, their relationship takes several more serious steps forward.

Susan Laine gives the reader so many wonderful elements to enjoy in this story.  A romance just getting under way, several mysteries, a couple of murders, and a deeper insight into the Wiccan religion and its worshippers as a whole.  I can’t recommend this story and series enough.  It’s entertaining, sexy, and yes, fascinating too.   If you’ve read the first story, you will want to pick this up immediately.  But if this is a new series to you, start at Sparks & Drops to see how Niall and Gus meet and the romance starts.  The Wheel continues to turn and more  stories will come.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrech.  I thought this was a great cover. Visually interesting and perfect for the story.

Buy Links:   Dreamspinner Press eBook   All Romance eBook (ARe)          Amazon    Devil’s Own

Book Details:

ebook, 192 pages
Published July 2nd 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1627988033 (ISBN13: 9781627988032)
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Wheel Mysteries #2

Books in The Wheel Mysteries in the order they were written and should be read:

Sparks & Drops (The Wheel Mysteries #1)
Devil’s Own (The Wheel Mysteries #2)

 

Author Spotlight: Jason Lloyd on Queer Dirty Laundry, a Character Interview and More (contest)

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spotlight on booksQueer Dirty Laundry Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Lloyd is here today to talk about his latest release, Queer Dirty Laundry!  Jason is interviewing his favorite character/person in the book and brought along a contest for you all to enter.  Just leave a comment with your favorite quote or motto, along with an email address where you can be reached.  The person chosen will win an eBook copy of Queer Dirty Laundry.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Contest ends 8/22.

Jason Lloyd QDL Blog Tour Banner

Queer Dirty Laundry CoverQueer Dirty Laundry Blurb:

What would you do if everything changed in the blink of an eye? Life teaches us that everything happens for a reason. Every good or bad experience, every event, shapes us into the adults we become. We are our pasts and they shape our future.

In this nonfiction coming of age mini memoir, Kevin and Jason embark on an adventure to Philadelphia to visit friends and to get into their normal hijinks. Along their journey, they confide in each other the only way best friends can; through laughter, love and pain. They share stories of coming out, first time sexual experiences and dramatic events that changed their lives forever. This hilarious and heartfelt journey through the past can only strengthen their friendship in the present.

Your best friend knows all your little secrets. They know all your dirty laundry. Can you air it all out? How dirty is your laundry?

✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍

Interview with Knockers from Queer Dirty Laundry

Hello, I’m Jason Lloyd the author of Queer Dirty Laundry. A few weeks ago I asked fans of the book to submit questions they would like Louis Thomas Knock aka Knockers to answer. Knockers is one of my favorite characters in the book (and real life). He was delighted to take part in this. He is mentionedKnockers_20140728_164829000_iOS throughout Queer Dirty Laundry, but the audience doesn’t actually meet him until the last chapter. His chapter is a memorable one though.

You’re a character in Jason Lloyd’s new book Queer Dirty Laundry. What was your reaction when you found out you were going to be in his book? What’s it like to be written about?

I was honored to be included on such an exclusive list. I’ve been written about in the past, but that usually involved a deposition or police report. This time I didn’t need an attorney present.

In Queer Dirty Laundry, Kevin and Jason are on their way to Philadelphia and on their way they each share stories about their first time sexual experiences. What is your first time story?

My grandparents used to send me to a private summer camp growing up. When I was seven, I experimented together with this boy and girl pretty much that whole summer. That is as far as I’m going on that… ha-ha! I’ll never tell!

Jason and Kevin share some embarrassing stories in Queer Dirty Laundry. Can you tell us one about yourself?

I was fooling around with an ex in his car and the next thing we saw were those red and blue flashing lights, followed by a bright spotlight shining directly on us. We had to get dressed and get out of the car. The cops recognized my ex from his high-profile job, which made it even more embarrassing for the both of us. Lesson learned; don’t fool around in a park after dark!

Do you think people were accepting of your sexuality?

I’m very blessed to have a family that supported me and didn’t make me feel different.

How would you describe your friendship with Jason? What’s it like being friends with Jason?

Jason adds a unique dynamic to my social circle. He’s charismatic, funny, loyal and over the top! What first started out as a textual relationship turned into nights of missing underwear and a closet of four right shoes (Why am I always losing the left?). He’s famous for telling me, “Make good decisions.”

What do you most value in your friends?

What I most value in friendship is honesty, loyalty and support. (In that order.)

Do you have any hidden talents you would like to share?

I can move my eyes independently. Ha-ha, it makes me look crazy.

What’s your motto?

Life is a stage and you get only one performance. Make it a good one.

Last question, are you still missing those Burberry boxer briefs from the last chapter?

Ugh, that day! Too many Patron margaritas. I lost my underwear and dignity that day… only one returned.

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Here’s my favorite scene from Queer Dirty Laundry featuring Knockers.

***

Louis Thomas Knock looks amazing. His brown hair is perfectly styled, and he is wearing the latest collection from Burberry, a fitted gray button down shirt and tapered fit dark denim. I stare at him as brown eyes catch the sunlight shining through the restaurant window, making them almost look honey in color.

“Knockers!” I yell out.

“Hello darlings.” Knockers answers back. He gives us air kisses from where he is sitting at our table and when he gets to me, he blows me a kiss as well.

“You look handsome babe,” I say.

“Well, thank you J. You know, I have a taste for luxury and luxury has a taste for me.” Knock playfully winks at me.

“I know. You’re flawlessness is made up of silicone, saline and a perfectly bleached asshole.” I say.

Jelissa and Kevin both laugh.

“Do you actually bleach your asshole?” Kevin asks.

“No.” Knockers laughs. Our server appears and asks him if he wants to order anything. “Just a blood orange margarita, I’m on a liquid diet only this month. Better make it a pitcher.” The server disappears to fetch it.

“You’re gonna regret that in the morning,” I say.

“It’s okay. I’ll just sleep until noon. Look at me, I’m a problem solver,” Knockers confirms.

“Oh and Kev, he may not bleach his asshole, but I’m pretty sure little cartoon birds appear every morning and douche it for him.” I add.

“Just like Snow White! It’s good to have help,” Knockers says.

“I would have pegged him as the Evil Queen,” Kevin adds.

“Oh, that ratchet, dried up hag? Please, I’m the fairest of them all.” Knockers looks into his reflection on his phone screen and says, “My mirror tells me so.”

***Hey gang, what is your favorite quote or motto? Leave it in the comments for a chance to win an ebook copy of my new book Queer Dirty Laundry! One person will be randomly selected from the comments.

I would like to thank Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for allowing me to share this interview with you. I also would like to thank the fans for submitting the questions and my wonderful publicist Joleen from Parenthetical Author Services for setting up my blog tour. If you need help promoting your work, email Joleen at joleen@parentheticalauthorservices.com.

Jason Lloyd Bio:

Jason Lloyd author picJason Lloyd is the author of hilarious m/m romance featuring an array of interesting characters. Salty Aftertaste (Ginge Publishing, 2013) was his first creative non-fiction novel. It reached Smashwords Top Best Seller list in Gay & Lesbian Fiction and was the #5 best seller in the New Adult genre on All Romance eBooks (ARe).

His second book, Queer Dirty Laundry (Ginge Publishing, 2014), is a creative non-fiction novella and is based on his popular blog by the same name. In 2011, QueerDirtyLaundry.com was nominated for The Best of Gay Philadelphia under Best Gay Website/Blog. Jason’s blog was also in the top ten numerous times on Best Male Blogs.

Jason is currently working on an m/m romance and mystery/suspense fictional novelette series called Filthy Fibbers. Filthy Fibbers is centered on five friends and the scandalous secrets they keep. The book takes place in a small Pennsylvania town called New Hope.

Jason grew up in a small town in Bucks County, Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia. A majority of his writing takes place in Eastern Pennsylvania including Philadelphia. He currently resides in a small town in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Social Contacts:

Email | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads and Ask the Author | Website

Queer Dirty Laundry Buy Links:

Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes and Noble | Google Play | iBooks | Smashwords