Hello everyone! Today I have an extra special guest 🙂 I have some very fun things to show you, along with some goodies, and a great giveaway! So, let’s all just jump right on in!
Book Blurb: Werewolf. Bar bouncer. Dad. Standard traits for any self-respecting, reformed criminal, living under the radar in Demos City. For Leon Gray, normal is what he wants — for himself and his not-yet-changed teenage daughter.
Playing bodyguard to crusading reporter David Hastings would totally ruin Leon’s peace, especially since Hastings has hired killers on his trail, pros who know how he takes his espresso in the morning, and where Leon lives.
The payoff, though, would fill up Shauna’s empty college fund, and in a battle between opportunity and ordinary, money wins. He just has to keep Hastings alive long enough to cash the check.
If only he didn’t have to save his daughter, too.
As a budding wolf, she’s piqued the interest of a local pack Alpha — one Leon knows will steal Shauna right out from under him the first chance he gets.
Leon isn’t about to give up on his daughter or Hastings, and will fight for both longer than it took Demos City to see werewolves as equals to humans.
He can only hope it doesn’t take a thousand years.
Breaking a beer bottle over someone’s head rarely knocks them unconscious. Oh, it’s going to hurt like hell, probably make a good-sized gash in the scalp but hardly ever just a quick dose of shut-eye. What they’ll end up with is a wound that looks a lot worse than it actually is. The best an opponent can hope for is the element of surprise and the moments of disorientation that the hit causes. If the bastard is serious about it, he can use the jagged edges of broken glass to do some real damage. A shame this isn’t a Western. When a beer bottle connects with a cowboy’s head in one of those old movies, he hits the floor in a few seconds.
I’m not a cowboy. I’m something else.
“Gray! Watch out!” Jenny shouts from behind the bar, but I already know Frank is coming. Guy lost his job last week—ten years as a call center supervisor. He’s been in here every night since. Now he’s drunk enough to think I’m the reason his company shipped his job off to the Philippines.
It’s taking him forever to swing that damn bottle at me; I’m getting bored.
He’s harmless on most nights, talks a lot about how he’d like to blow up his old work, but ends up passing out in his car. People in front of me are pointing and shouting over the din of music and bar talk, obviously trying to warn me. It’s the whiskey’s fault Frank is coming after me. That doesn’t mean I can make an exception. Everyone in here knows the rules, knows what’s coming.
The bottle connects with the back of my head and shatters. I don’t move. Broken glass sticks in my hair, even draws some blood. I let the pain run down my back along with the cheap beer and hold my breath until the shouting sting fades to a grumbling throb.
Yep—hurts like hell.
“Fuck you, Leon!” Frank shouts. His breath is acrid and brimming with rye as it washes over my neck. Its scent tells me how much alcohol is in his blood. In all the movies Frank has ever probably seen, it’s only supposed to take one hit, so I know he’s is waiting for me to fall down. In fact, he’s probably praying I fall because no way he’s got a next move planned.
A bar that was roaring with life a moment ago is all spectators, front-row seat types. Most everyone in here knows me, knows what I am. Frank does, too; it’s why he needs to quit the whiskey. The pool tables are quiet. No one’s playing darts, not even bringing glasses to their lips. There are no footsteps on the hardwood floors. The customers are all a mixture of bloodlust and pity, waiting to see what my first move is going to look like. The bell sounds in my head as I turn around.
This is the fun part of my job.
Let me start with saying, a while back, I read book TWO as part of a blog tour. yes, I know I have this terrible habit of getting book two before book one. I totally loved book two, so I KNEW going into book one, it was gunna be love, BUT I wasn’t expecting to be given so much. I learned so much about the characters of this series, and exactly how things came to be. Yes, I love me some werewolves, so I of course had to read it, but this one is being re-released with the big ole J Taylor Publishing behind him. I love it. And it’s a wonderful story that is gritty, and real, AND he has a KID, which, let’s face it, most HERO’s don’t have children. AND he’s also caring and worried about his kid. He’s wants to make sure his kid goes to college, and has everything he didn’t. So, now that we’ve gotten this part out, let’s talk some goodies.
Leon Gray is a werewolf, a father, a bar bouncer, and even though he’s flawed and has some questionable past actions, he’s a damn good guy. He’s a very well developed character. He’s lovable, even though he is a typical male sometimes. He talks about woman sometimes with the lower end instead of the upper, he has an attitude that is all male, and sometimes, he says some down right rude things. BUT then, he’s gunna play softball with his daughter, and he’s gunna help out the crazy stranger who’s thrown into jail with him. He’s always worried about everything that most people don’t. He’s also raised his daughter without her mother.
There’s a lot going on in this book. There’s dirty cops who are doing some terrible things. There’s a reporter who wants to show the world what these dirty cops are doing. There’s a major softball playoff game that is a must make. There’s some crazy bad guys trying to kill said reporter because of said dirty cops, and all the while, these crazy people and movements all surround Leon. He is so wrapped up in this crazy that I think it’s time Christmas came so someone can unwrap the mess. LOL Yes, me and my terrible analogies. BUT it’s true. Leon doesn’t just give you that perfect Urban Fantasy hero, he gives you something of everything. He’s still broken from his wife leaving him with a baby, he’s pissed at how the world treats werewolves just because they are. He’s devoted, as he will do anything to give Shauna (his daughter) whatever she needs to have a great life. He’s somehow loyal, to a crazy reporter he doesn’t know, yet is willing to step in front of bullets, and knives, and fists, and flying objects, for said reporter, because innocents shouldn’t die. AND to top it off, his MIA wife’s pack is here to claim Shauna.
I loved this book. I loved book two as well. LOL I look forward to so much more from this author and this series. A GRITTY, UNIQUE, WELL ROUNDED, UNEXPECTED 5 PAWS!
WELCOME! First, tell me a little about your book and why you wanted to write this particular story….
Crossroads: a Demos City Novel tells the story of Leon Gray, an ex-con trying to raise his teenage daughter Shauna and deal with a troubled past he just can’t shake. Leon and Shauna are werewolves existing in a world where their kind has been out in the open since the dawn of time. I’ve reshaped laws, history, major world events – you name it, really – to include the supernatural as commonplace, almost like a race or ethnicity. It creates interesting perspectives to craft a narrative around oppression and what is to be a family while still including action and suspense. Very proud of this story on so many levels.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
I think I always had an interest in telling stories, or at least getting some kind of emotion out of people from the tales I’d craft. Even as a kid, creative writing assignments were how I passed English class. Couldn’t tell an adverb from a gerund phrase! Let’s not even talk about diagramming sentences. Reliving that trauma would probably force me to lie down for the rest of the day.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Using real life experiences as methods of informing characters and stories is tough. I’d never due them justice. I will just say that the events in Crossroads are based on my interpretation of events – opinions on them is probably more accurate. Characters end up taking on some shade of my psyche, and while I try to imbue them forces outside of it, my snarky demeanor always manages to peak out from the curtains.
How do you chose when/which characters die in your books?
It’s got to mean something, have some emotional significance for the other characters and the reader. Just killing someone off for the fun of it is a little sadistic isn’t it? I am not a vengeful god while I’m wielding the pen, just a purpose driven one.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
There’s a part of me that always wants to tinker with a sentence here or alter a description there, but as a whole I’m beyond happy with the work. It’s the story as it was meant to be told from the beginning. The characters shine through indelibly and I think the narratives hangs together well without too much squeak and bubble.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I give the reader a lot of authority in creating the image of Demos City in their minds. Layering concepts of race, segregation and familial bonds on top of an urban fantasy setting, I hope, challenges the reader to see the genre as much more than just hack and slash tropes. Crossroads isn’t literary fiction by any stretch, but it can be rewarding for someone who’s looking for a deeper tale.
What book are you reading now? Or what genre? My followers love author’s opinions!
The Hum and The Shiver by Alex Bledsoe. Go get this book right now.
Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
The good folks at my publisher, J Taylor Publishing, are responsible for the cover. I did provide my input and they just ran with the concept. Looks great in my humble opinion.
Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
Those who do not edit are doomed to find terrible typos in the places they least expect it. My favorite? “We gotta warm the cops!” As if the poor officers of the law were cold and needed some hot chocolate.
Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?
The Black Company novels by Glen Cook. All of them. It’s a sweeping tale that brings high fantasy down to the common man , the soldier.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks so much for sticking with me and really investing in these characters. Leon, Shauna, and Hastings really appreciate it, and so do I. The rest of the story is coming, so be ready.
THANK YOU!! I CAN’T WAIT for so so much more! 🙂
Jonathan Lister is a full-time writer with work appearing in outlets of USA Today, The Houston Chronicle and many others. A graduate of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, he’s waited an unspeakable amount of tables en route to having the career he wants, and the ability to the tell stories he loves. Crossroads: a Demos City Novel is Jonathan’s first book-length work of fiction. He currently lives in the Philadelphia area and continues to drink too much coffee.
Author Social Links: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Welcome-to-Demos/210152159060755
Twitter: @realjonlister Blog: ijonathanlister.wordpress.com
This is an original SIGNED manuscript with bookmarks…. YEP, dude, if I weren’t part of this blog tour, I would be the first one trying to win this! THIS IS AWESOME! How cool to have the actual manuscript of the book. Anyways, YOU SHOULD GO HERE TO ENTER!!
I sure do hope you guys check this book out and I hope you guys enjoyed today. I wish you ALL good luck to win! THANK YOU big time to Mr. Lister for being so awesome for this tour. Happy reading everyone and later gators!
PS… A HUGE BIG OLE HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY 96 YEAR OLD GREAT GRANDMA TODAY!!! 🙂 Yep, you read that correctly. My great grandma, who lives next door to me, turns 96 years of age today, AND she still rakes the damn yard! We live in SOUTH LOUISIANA, so there’s ALWAYS something to rake *giggle* We got her 96 roses of every color possible to signify every colorful year of her life. And she loves her flowers. She really is one of those AMAZING, loving women who are just too sweet. AND she still cooks AWESOME! May you have a blessed family like I do- though I want to kill some of them sometimes- I really do have an amazing family 🙂