Release Blitz and Review: The Case of the Boy in Blue by Amanda Meuwissen

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Case of the Boy in Blue

Author: Amanda Meuwissen

Publisher: Amanda Meuwissen Books

Cover Artist: Amanda Meuwissen

Release Date: February 14, 2021

Genre: Noir M/M Romance

Trope/s: Age gap, private investigator, noir, mystery & detective

Themes: Hidden agenda, revenge

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 33 pages

It is a standalone story.

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

This kid was going to be trouble, I just knew it.

“Have a seat, Mr. Valentine. What can I do for you?”

Blurb

Leonard Quill, private investigator, never expected a case to walk through his door quite like this one, complete with murder, a frame job, blackmail, and powerful players, especially coming from a man with bright blue eyes behind his glasses, a crooked bow tie, and an impossible smile.


Excerpt

Mr. Valentine—call me Westley—looks the part of bumbling fool, who’s too naïve to know he’s walked into the lion’s den even being near this neighborhood without packing some heat but turns out he has a few secrets even darker than mine. His old man is in the clink, doing time for killing his mother. Only Westley swears the real culprit is someone else and his father has been framed.

Maybe that’s true, wouldn’t put much past this city, but if Westley is right about who’s behind the frame job, this isn’t a case I can take lightly.

“Sorry, kid, but you think James Deckard is behind all this? He’s not the type of man you bring down legally.”

“I know that. That’s why I came to you. The cops laughed me out of the precinct.”

“I ain’t a hitman either,” I snarl, wondering if sweet and innocent was an act and this kid has it in him to get all murdery and scuffed up, so long as someone else does the killing.

But those blue eyes go wide, and I know that if there is a darker side to him, it’s buried much deeper than trying to pull one over on me. “I don’t want a hitman, Mr. Quill. But I need someone willing to go the extra mile the cops turn their noses at. Someone who’ll take the risk to get real evidence and finally put this monster away. Even the worst of the worst for all the crooked cops in this town can’t cover up Deckard’s deeds if we have proof.”

An optimist. Great.

Westley isn’t wholly off base though, with the right judge, the right amount of ammunition, but it would be life or death with my hide on the line to get it done. Usually, that’s par for the course, half the fun of the job is getting a little lost in the muck, but Deckard is the type to make you disappear real quiet like—to the outside world. You wouldn’t be gone right away; you’d stay breathing for weeks, screaming where no one could hear you.

“You tell my secretary all this?” I ask, already knowing the answer given Roxanne’s response to the kid.

“Of course. She was sure you’d agreed. Please, Mr. Quill, won’t you help me?”

Damn this kid, and damn Roxanne too. She knows the stakes involved, but she has it out for Deckard’s business partner, Jeffrey Yacobian, who she’s suspected for a long while had a hand in her sister’s murder. This opens another avenue to investigate the scum of our city with me as the point man.

Roxanne also knows I can’t say no. I promised her we’d catch Yacobian someday. Bringing down Deckard could pave the way for that and ease the potent grief of this kid in front of me who might be the last sunny disposition left in these dank streets.

“The risks involved ain’t gonna come cheap. How much is all this worth to you?”

Westley looks me square in the eyes, that blushing virgin routine set aside as he sits up taller—maybe all that light was a clever mask after all. “Everything I have, Mr. Quill.”

“Leonard. You’re either turning over your life savings when this is over or paying for my funeral if it flops, so call me Leonard.” Might as well be on a first name basis considering we’re both gonna end up on ice. “Now let’s start at the beginning, and you tell me everything you know.”

About the Author

Amanda Meuwissen is a bisexual author, with a primary focus on M/M romance. As author of the paranormal romance trilogy The Incubus Saga and several other titles with various publishers, Amanda regularly attends local comic conventions for fun and to meet with fans, where she will often be seen in costume as one of her favorite fictional characters. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband, John, and their cat, Helga.

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter

Instagram | Pinterest | Newsletter Sign-up

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Review

Rating: 4 stars

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

I really enjoyed reading this short mystery by Amanda Meuwissen. The atmosphere of the story had this gritty, dark feel to it which contrasted against Westley’s seemingly innocent characteristics. Leonard is a seasoned PI who finds himself not only drawn to the case but the man who brought it to him. The two of them have instant chemistry and work well together.

The case is full of intrigue and twists and turns that you won’t see coming. The ending wraps everything up nicely, but I hope that this is the start of a series.

If you like short, compelling mysteries then you’ll enjoy reading The Case of the Boy in Blue.

Review: The Boss (Under Red Sky #1) by J. Calamy

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The Boss

Nicholas Erickson is happy to be the smallest cog at the US Embassy in Singapore, a big step up from prison. Nick lives with a terrible secret: he killed a family of three in a traffic accident, for which he was imprisoned and became a pariah back home. The only threat to his second chance is the truth—and Nelson Graves.

Shipping Magnate Lord Nelson Graves is secretly the head of crime syndicate Red Sky, making him the biggest arms dealer and drug boss in Southeast Asia. Graves is tired, lonely, addicted to opium, and trying to get his imploding crime syndicate back to business. There is a traitor in his organization and an old enemy is back on his tail.

A romance builds between hot-headed, reckless Nick and unhappy, ruthless Graves. But nothing is that easy. Shoot-outs, bombings, and vindictive exes prove Nick’s past and Graves’s present may be a lethal combination.

Purchase: Amazon

Goodreads: The Boss (Under Red Sky #1) by J. Calamy


Review

Rating: 4 stars

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Nick Erickson tries to keep a low profile both in his job and his personal life. With mistakes from his past still haunting him and coupled with the fear of anyone finding out, he keeps himself somewhat closed off from those around him. Nick just wants to keep his life quiet. And that all changes when he meets Lord Nelson Graves. Graves is the owner of a shipping firm and also secretly the head of the crime syndicate Red Sky. Circumstances find the two drawn together and as Nick gets to know Graves he also begins to discover a lot about himself too.

I enjoyed reading this first installment of the Under Red Sky series. I liked the Singapore setting and being immersed in the location and culture. The Boss is gritty and unflinching in the descriptions of violence which really captures the genre and mood of the story well. Nick and Graves are both flawed, but human and each have likeable and not so likeable qualities. The two main characters go together well. Nick’s hot-headedness means he is unafraid to stand up to Graves’ more domineering and ruthless personality. The supporting cast are interesting and I hope to learn about them in later books in the series.

If you like a gritty, action-packed novel with a building romance between the two main characters you will certainly enjoy The Boss!

Review: Immortal Fears Anthology

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Immortal Fears

Twenty authors, twenty gods, twenty stories that will chill, thrill and kill you. The Gods of the Pantheon present their first anthology of Halloween stories, the time for Samhain draws near…

Olympus Confidential: the Deep Wild by CJ Landry
Hera has been kidnapped! For four terrified teenage Gods and Goddesses, it is a race against the clock to find their mother. But to get her back, they must face and conquer their greatest enemy – themselves. Can they accomplish their feats and find Hera in time, or will the Queen of the Gods be lost forever?

Reliving the Nightmare by Moxie Malone
Moxie, the forgotten goddess, defies her mothers to pursue her heart’s desire. Her single-minded stubbornness leads innocent lovers into danger when nightgoyles break free from Tartarus at the apex of Samhain. These vicious creatures, with an appetite for human flesh, are on the hunt and they are hungry.

Sacrifice to the Dark Elves by Jeanette Rose
Eros, God of Love and Sex, along with Dionysus, God of Wine, throw an epic rave in Olympus National Park for Halloween. A party to end all. Yet, nothing is as it seems. Samhain is a night steeped in mystery, the veil between worlds at its thinnest, and someone is reaching out.

Thanatos and the House at the End of the World by Marc Tizura
Thanatos, God of Death, has left the Pantheon. Broken after the second world war, he has taken to exploring alternate worlds. He comes across one of a barren landscape and a lone structure. The dead cry out to him from the depths of the decrepit Victorian house, their souls held hostage by a demon child.

A Soul for a Soul by Rashmi P. Menon
A dark shadow has descended on Artemis’ beloved Olympus National Park. When the sinister shadow starts reaping the souls of the mortals visiting the Park, Artemis sets out on a quest with her hunting partner, Orion, and the God of Death, Thanatos. Racing against time, Artemis must unravel the mystery of the dark shadow and retrieve the lost souls before it consumes them forever.

Darkness Falls by Jennifer Morton
Something from another dimension is using Samhain to try to slip through the veil. Can Medusa stop the rising darkness before it consumes her and swallows the light forever?

The Weaver by Alice Callisto
Clio, the Muse of History, working on an archaeological dig in Egypt, is alerted to the sudden and unexplained disappearances of some mortal employees, along with strange echoing voices with no apparent source. Clio investigates, determined to stop these occurrences, but finds herself face-to-face with a monster.

A Piece of Cake by Amber Albright
Atë, Goddess of Mischief and Ruin, doesn’t believe in warning signs. So, the sign on the ancient ruin declaring “Dangers Contained Within” doesn’t concern her. She’s on a mission to cheer up her sister by baking her a cake. What she doesn’t expect? A demon appearing determined to drag her off to hell.

Mermaid’s Tale By Nikki Crump-Hansted
Nike is having one of those days. “Working here is easy,” he said. “We’ve never had any problems.” Well, Uncle Poseidon lied. Tending his newly remodeled bar and grill at The Mermaid’s Tale was supposed to be a breeze – until it’s not. Follow Nike in her what else could possibly go wrong adventure.

Purchase: Amazon

Goodreads: Immortal Fears Anthology


Review

*I received a copy of this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

Immortal Fears comprises twenty short scary stories featuring the Greek Gods and Goddesses in the modern day. Each faces battles against monsters, demons, and perhaps the most terrifying of all themselves.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this anthology collection. Each tale was terrifying and unique with its own twists and turns which made for compelling reading. I love stories showcasing the Greek Gods and Goddesses and Immortal Fears did not disappoint. It also high-lighted some of the lesser known gods which I really liked. The stories were fast paced and drew me from the beginning and I kept turning the page to see what happened next. I recommend Immortal Fears to horror and mythology fans.

Review: When The Gods War (A Kingdom Divided #2) by S.C. Stokes

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Drought, desperation, deliverance.

Yaneera is the youngest Empress in the history of Andara. With her land in turmoil, she must use her wit and cunning just to stay alive. Severe drought has brought with it famine, starvation and death. As her people waver on the verge of open rebellion, Yaneera must deliver them or perish at their hand.

Andara’s struggles have not gone unnoticed. Neighbouring kingdoms stand ready to deliver the killing blow.

As chaos erupts across the land a stranger appears in the Empress’ court. Preaching the presence of a new God, Mythos, the newcomer promises deliverance for Yaneera and her people.

Mythos power is not without price, and Yaneera soon finds herself facing a crisis of conscience. . .

Will she sell her soul to save her people?

Purchase: Amazon

Goodreads: When the Gods War 


Review

*I received a copy of this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

Yaneera, the young Empress of Andara, faces a dilemma. With drought, starvation and death ravaging her Kingdom, she must choose between aligning herself with a stranger who brings promise of salvation or risk a rebellion of her own citizens. With neighbouring Kingdoms’ seeking to turn Andara’s crisis into their opportunity, no matter what Yaneera does war will be an inevitable outcome.

When The Gods War surprised me when I first started reading it. I expected it to pick up with the characters from book one but instead I was drawn into the struggles of Andara and its empress. The author’s world is incredibly in-depth and developed. A lot of time is taken to set each scene and explain the Kingdoms that have been created. I really felt for Yaneera and the crisis that she was facing. Her choices were impossible and all she really wanted was to do the best for her people.

As much as I enjoyed reading the second book from different perspectives, I was also happy to see more from Tristan, Syrion and Elaina. The latter two characters have their own storylines which unfold alongside the main theme of the novel. Both characters continue to develop and I look forward to reading more about them in future instalments of the series.

If you enjoy a rich, well-crafted fantasy novel with an interesting and complex array of characters then I recommend When the Gods War!

Blog Tour and Review: Their Dark Reflections by Amanda Meuwissen

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Their Dark Reflections

Author: Amanda Meuwissen

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Genre: Dark Paranormal M/M Romance

Trope/s: Friends to lovers, vampire/victim, boss/employee,

thief with a heart of gold, hidden agenda, kind but vicious vampire

Themes: Self-discovery, finding light in the darkness,

embracing one’s darkness, love against all odds

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 70 096 words/204 pages

It is a standalone book.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Everyone has a second face.

Blurb

Personal assistant Sam Coleman can do it all: housekeeping, groundskeeping, bookkeeping. The catch? It’s a con.

Ed Simon, his newest millionaire boss, doesn’t know Sam Goldman is a Robin Hood for hire who targets rich jerks. Sure, Sam keeps the money for himself, his crew, and his real employers, but at least they only steal from bad people.

Until sweet, fumbling Ed, who doesn’t seem to have a single vice. Too bad the people who hired Sam won’t let him back out. They want Ed’s money, and they’ll hurt Sam and his friends to get it.

For years Ed has kept people at arm’s length, but Sam’s charms wear down his defenses—just as he learns their budding relationship was an act. Sam isn’t who Ed thought he was, but Ed has a dark secret too: he’s a vampire. And someone is framing him for a series of bloody murders.

When the real villains force their hand, Sam and Ed must choose: work together, trust each other, and give in to the feelings growing between them… or let what might have been bleed out like the victims piling at their feet.

Continue reading

Review: The Demons Beneath (D.I. Graves #1) by W.D. Jackson-Smart

When a bloody corpse is discovered in a North London park, Detective Inspector Daniel Graves is the man tasked with finding the killer. With no clues and no suspects it seems like a dead end. Then another body turns up and this time it looks like it could be his fault. Has his investigation caused the murderer to strike again? Is he dealing with a serial killer?

As case one gets ever more complicated, a report comes in of another suspicious death but this is nothing like any other Graves has dealt with. All involved are convinced that something supernatural is to blame. A demon. Daniel is no believer but could he be wrong?

With two cases on his shoulders and the truth behind each beyond his grasp, Graves must race against time before both killers, human or otherwise, strike again.

Purchase: Amazon

Goodreads: The Demons Beneath (D.I. Graves #1) by W.D. Jackson-Smart


Review

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

D.I Daniel Graves is in the middle of investigating a series of murders that may or may not be the work of serial killer when he is called in on a very different kind of case. An exorcism of a demon that has gone wrong and claimed the life of a husband and father. Quickly Graves finds himself drawn into the supernatural world as he tries to keep a cool head and discover the truth. After all, demons aren’t real. Are they?

I really enjoyed reading the first novel in the D.I Graves series. Both investigations were very different from each other, running concurrently and contrasting nicely. There were plenty of twists to both cases and I couldn’t see the endings coming for either of them. I did prefer the supernatural investigation and I liked how Graves kept a level head throughout his investigations. His approach was calm and logical despite the evidence that he was presented with. As his investigations continued you also got some insight into his background, why he became a policeman and some information his personal life. He is a likeable main character with some insecurities and flaws which make him all the more interesting and I look forward to learning more about him throughout the series.

The novel itself was well-paced. Everything flowed well and there wasn’t any moment of lag. There was a good balance between routine investigation and action. This is a solid first instalment and I look forward to reading further books in the series.

Book Review: Caligation by Brhi Stokes

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A city of the bizarre and the unfamiliar, inhabited by monstrous beasts and people with unnatural gifts. A city of tall glass spires mingling with old gothic architecture, where wild animals roam alongside the populace.

This is where Ripley Mason finds himself.

University dropout, casual drinker, and newly fledged hitchhiker, Ripley is tired of the daily grind of study, drink, repeat. Only halfway done with a degree he never chose, Ripley heads north to see if life won’t throw him something less monotonous.

Early into his journey, Ripley suffers a brutal car accident and awakens in a rundown hospital. Nervous, he ventures into dark, unfamiliar streets and comes face to face with horrific beasts. Thrown into a world of supernatural fantasy, Ripley fights to discover where he is, how he came to be here and, most importantly, if he can even get home.

All he knows of this place is a single word: C A L I G A T I O N

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Caligation


Review

*I received a copy of this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

When university dropout Ripley hitches a ride, he is involved in a serious car accident. Upon waking in hospital he finds that he has somehow been transported to the city Caligation. A city filled with supernatural beings and a reality that Ripley does not believe can be real. As he navigates his new surroundings, Ripley finds himself reluctantly drawn into a world that he is trying to leave.

Caligation is an extremely imaginative and clever urban fantasy novel.  The author creates a dark and complex world full of shifters, vampires and other supernatural beings. The characters are paired with an animal that they can talk with telepathically and I very much enjoyed the banter that Ripley had with his owl, Athena. Each different supernatural species has their own politics and agendas, and Ripley finds himself put in the middle of all of this as he is trying to find his way home. I really liked the character of Ripley. He’s not a bad person, but he never set himself up to be a hero either. He does his best with the situations that he finds himself in.

The writing style is quite heavy and I had to read it in smaller chunks so not to miss what was happening. Whilst the style suited the novel and the tone perfectly, it was something that I did struggle with at times, but not enough that it detracted anything from my enjoyment of the novel.

I enjoyed reading Caligation, and whilst I had my ideas about what the place really was for Ripley, I never saw the end coming.

Book Review: Only Love is Deathless by Sita Bethel

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Sreka’s younger brother, Dobrina, is in love. The only problem is that the law forbids him from courting until Sreka is married. Sreka hires the local adventurer, Košmar, to marry him so Dobrina can wed his love.

Even if he has to sleep on the couch, instead of with the crown prince on their farce wedding bed, Košmar will get to live like a king for a year. And once Dobrina is married, Sreka will quietly divorce him and send him on his way with gold for his services.

Nothing says destined romance like a battle with a dragon, so Sreka and Košmar stage their first public encounter to fool the royal court. However, as fate would have it, the dragon that was supposed to be as fake as their love is real.

Pre-order Link: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Only Love is Deathless


Review

*I received an advance copy for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

Sreka’s younger brother is in love. The only trouble is that as heir to the throne, Sreka must marry first before Dobrina can wed. So Sreka hires Košmar, the son of a famed adventurer, to become his husband for a year. For Košmar it is a pretty good deal. He gets to live in luxury for a year and then paid handsomely at the end of it.  In order to stage the perfect meeting to fool the court and his family, Sreka decided to ‘rescue’ Košmar from a dragon. Unfortunately the ‘fake’ dragon turns out to be real.

I really enjoyed reading Only Love is Deathless. It’s a fun and imaginative fantasy adventure set against a different backdrop and meeting for the two heroes. When I first started reading it, I was expecting it to focus primarily on the growing attachment between Sreka and Košmar, and I was delighted that it evolved into much more too. The two of them not only realise that they are developing genuine feelings for each other, but they must embark on a mission to save the entire kingdom.

Only Love is Deathless is a really great fantasy story filled with mythical creatures, dark magic and romance!

Book Review: The Dreamer by Travis McBee

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Oak Grove, Georgia
It’s a tiny mountain town where nothing ever seemed to happen.

Until dreams began to come true. Dreams that could more aptly be called nightmares. Monsters, wild animals, nefarious traps, anything is possible. No one is safe. The only thing they have in common is a teenage girl, Natalie Mullin, who dreams about each new horror as they happen. But why does she dream of them? And can she stop them before she dreams of everyone she loves?

For when she lays her head to rest, it’s your life that’s put to the test.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Goodreads: The Dreamer


Review

*I received a copy for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

A series of strange incidents and unexplained deaths have a small town’s police department baffled. Unable to explain what is going on, they struggle to find a rational explanation or solve each case. The only thing that the events all have in common is that a teenage girl claims to have dreamed about them before they happened.  At first Natalie Mullin discounts her strange and disturbing dreams. However when she realises that they are a foreshadowing of events, she desperately searches for answers and a way to stop them before it’s too late for everyone whom she cares about.

The Dreamer is a really suspenseful and page-turning horror novel. Rather than focusing primarily on one character’s point of view, you see events through the eyes of victims and protagonists. The author took their time to develop each character and I really enjoyed the dark humour added in, which gave even more life to each personality.

I enjoyed how the events unfolded slowly with the right amount of building up to the finale. I thought I knew what direction it would take, but I was proved wrong in the last act. The ending caught me by surprise and left me with that feeling that I sometimes get in cinema after watching a really good horror film. Slightly shocked and unnerved, but in a good way.

I definitely recommend The Dreamer to horror fans.

Book Review: Stalked by the Zozo Demon: Real Life Paranormal Experiment by Celina Summers

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During the summer of 2017, LiveSciFi paranormal investigator Tim Wood and author Celina Summers conducted a real-life experiment where Wood contacted the demon known as Zozo every night for a month. Wood believed Zozo was a demon; Summers believed Zozo was a myth. The Zozo experiment was to be the first paranormal experiment live streamed to thousands of witnesses. Its purpose? To determine the validity of the Zozo entity once and for all.

But the experiment didn’t end. Demonic influence pursued both researchers through their subsequent investigations…and their daily lives. As the activity heated up, the questions grew more difficult to answer. Was there really an entity named Zozo? Or was Zozo a smokescreen for something more sinister? At the end of the day, they had to confront the most terrifying question of all: were they stalking the Zozo demon? Or was Zozo stalking them?

The Zozo experiment is not your normal paranormal.

Purchase Link: To be advised

Goodreads: Stalked by the Zozo Demon


Review

*I received a copy for free for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

I was drawn to this book because it is very different from the books that I normally read. I’ve always had a fascination with the paranormal and occult, so for me I was really interested to see how the experiment worked out and the conclusions that it would bring.

The style of writing is light considering the material, which is a good thing as if it was too heavy it would have struggled to keep my interest. It is told from the author’s point of view and through her you get a good idea of the personality of the investigator. The subject of the Zozo demon is controversial. From reading the book, and my own experiences and knowledge, I believe that they certainly summoned something of a sinister nature and that it enjoyed playing games with them.

The book slowly builds on tension. The presence of the demon increases as the experiment continues. Both the investigator and author begin to feel its impact even outside of the sessions. There was no conclusive conclusion as to what it was that they were communicating with, but this is not a criticism as due to the subject matter I believe there are things that we will never fully explain. Stalked by the Zozo Demon does do a great job of trying to shed some light on the entity and provides its own conclusions and theories. I think it would make an excellent film too!