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Review: A Wolf at the Door by K. A. Stewart


A Wolf at the Door
Author:  K. A. Stewart
Series:   Jesse James Dawson 3
Publisher:  Roc, August 7, 2012
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780451464637 (print)
Review Copy:  Reviewer's Own

Review: A Wolf at the Door by K. A. Stewart
STAR STRUCK

Jesse James Dawson was once an ordinary man until he discovered that demons were real, and fighting them meant putting his own soul on the line. His new case is a beauty: Gretchen Keene, a Hollywood starlet who’s become an unwitting catalyst in an all-out demon war. It’s not her soul Jesse needs to protect, but the two-hundred-and-seventy-six others she’s carting around—all the souls sold to spend just one night with the blonde bombshell. That’s a lot of baggage, although it might explain her meteoric rise to fame. And it’s all up for grabs by the demon world.

All Jesse has to do is keep her safe until New Year's. Sounds easy. But darkness is casting a nasty shadow in the California sun—a new unseen enemy is closing in and leaving Jesse to wonder: how do you fight something you can’t see coming?



Doreen’s Thoughts

I do not usually read books that are somewhere further in a series – I prefer to read from the beginning of a series. A Wolf at the Door is actually the third book in the Jesse James Dawson series, and I wonder how I never discovered the first book, A Shot in the Dark. I have to give K. A. Stewart credit – while she starts off in the middle of the story, I would never have known this was not the start of a new series. She gives more than enough background information to fill me in on the events of the prior novels during the flow of this one. Kudos to her for that!

Jesse James Dawson is a champion – someone who fights demons for the souls of others. Somehow during the other novels, he would up owing a favor to a demon – without knowing what the favor was going to be, a rather dangerous notion. So when the demon appears to cash in his favor, Jesse has no choice. Even with a potential pregnancy for his wife on the horizon, he must leave immediately after Christmas to go to Hollywood and protect an actress – one who already has bargained her own soul away and has been collecting others for years.

Jesse expects not to like Gretchen, envisioning her as a spoiled, demanding star, and Gretchen initially lives up to that expectation. Two other bodyguards, Tai and Bobby, live and attend functions with Gretchen and are initially skeptical about the idea that demons exist and can harm humans. In particular, I liked Tai as a character. He is an aboriginal Maori, and as such, he apparently has magic running through his veins and is more closely connected to the supernatural than other races, yet he has spent his whole life discounting the old stories. His enlightenment and introduction to his powers is fun to watch.

I also enjoyed several other minor characters – the demon Axel, Gretchen’s best friend Dante, and the crazed homeless person, Felix. Stewart drops little details about each that positively draw the character before the readers’ eyes.

There is a whole level of “snarkiness” to Jesse – he reminds me tremendously of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden. He has this whole attitude of “I’m here to save the world but I’m going to drop sarcastic comments every chance I can get.” I particularly like Stewart’s description about his choice of T-shirts – each one with a sarcastic quip on the front.

Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed A Wolf at the Door. After being in a reading slump for the past two months, it was a pleasure to rip through this as quickly as possible to reach the end. Now I have to go back and snatch up the first two to see what I missed!

Interview with K.A. Stewart and Giveaway - August 9, 2012

Please welcome K.A. Stewart to The Qwillery. K.A. writes the Jesse James Dawson series. A Wolf at the Door (Jesse James Dawson 3) was published on August 7, 2012.


Interview with K.A. Stewart and Giveaway - August 9, 2012


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

K.A.:  I have to do my hand writing or hard copy edits with pretty pens. Current preference is purple gel ink, but I’ve also been known to do deep red, or glitter, or… I have a pen problem.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

K.A.:  Mostly plotter. I like outlines, I try to map a book out chapter by chapter before I really start writing it. That’s not to say that my books don’t veer wildly away from my outlines. Especially when some of my outlines say “Stuff happens here.”


TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

K.A.:  Probably always the worry that what I’ve put on paper is not nearly as cool as what I see in my head. I worry a lot that I’ve failed the reader, by not adequately conveying what I intended to. It results in a LOT of revising, sometimes down to nitpicky things, and that’s the point where I know I have to let it go. Otherwise, I’d still be poking around with every stray comma for years on end.


TQ:  What inspired you to write the Jesse James Dawson series?

K.A.:  My husband. He wasn’t finding the kind of hero he wanted to read about in the current UF market, so I finally sat him down and said “Okay, tell me about the kind of guy you want to read about.” A couple hours later, we had Jesse James Dawson and his world.


TQ:  What sort of research do you do for novels?

K.A.:  ALL kinds. Especially the kind where you start researching one thing, and then you click a link, and another link, and another, and then you realize you’re on a website about the mating habits of the wild Tasmanian rutabaga.

In all seriousness, I try very hard to get things right, even if I know only one person in the world is ever going to know if I got that particular fact wrong. This includes having highly trained senseis demonstrate fighting moves on me, Google-Street-Mapping an entire driving route in an unfamiliar location, all kinds of things.


TQ:  Which character from the Jesse James Dawson series has surprised you the most?

K.A.:  Axel, actually. His first incarnation was comic relief, and then he pointed out to me rather forcefully that he was Way More Important than that. And I love him to death.


TQ:  Describe A Wolf at The Door (Jesse James Dawson 3) in 140 characters or less.

K.A.:  When Jesse goes to Hollywood to protect a starlet with a cache of sold souls, he must fight an enemy who could literally be anyone.

(Ha! Had 9 characters to spare!)


TQ:  Tell us something about A Wolf at The Door that is not in the book description.

K.A.:  In addition to his usual demon-slaying hijinks, Jesse is also facing a major potential change to his personal life. Way to divide a man’s focus!


TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in A Wolf at The Door?

K.A.:  Hard to pick a favorite, but one of the ones I’m pleased with was the night club scene with the waitress. Mostly because it is based on something that actually happened, and I shamelessly lifted it for my own purposes.


TQ:  The Jesse James Dawson series is Urban Fantasy. Are there any other genres or sub-genres in which you'd like to write?

K.A.:  I think I’ll always write fantasy or urban fantasy. That’s where my heart is. That’s not to say that I won’t expand to include more, if the inspiration strikes me, but I imagine I’ll always return home.


TQ:  What's next?

K.A.:  I don’t have any concrete news for the JJD series yet, but while I’m waiting, I’m working on several new projects that I’m really excited about, including a fantasy western and another UF series involving a supernatural fire fighter.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

K.A.:  Thanks for having me! I love hanging out here!



About Jesse James Dawson

A Wolf at the Door
Jess James Dawson 3
Roc, August 7, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with K.A. Stewart and Giveaway - August 9, 2012
STAR STRUCK

Jesse James Dawson was once an ordinary man until he discovered that demons were real, and fighting them meant putting his own soul on the line. His new case is a beauty: Gretchen Keene, a Hollywood starlet who’s become an unwitting catalyst in an all-out demon war. It’s not her soul Jesse needs to protect, but the two-hundred-and-seventy-six others she’s carting around—all the souls sold to spend just one night with the blonde bombshell. That’s a lot of baggage, although it might explain her meteoric rise to fame. And it’s all up for grabs by the demon world.

All Jesse has to do is keep her safe until New Year's. Sounds easy. But darkness is casting a nasty shadow in the California sun—a new unseen enemy is closing in and leaving Jesse to wonder: how do you fight something you can’t see coming?



A Shot in the Dark
Jesse James Dawson 2
Roc, July 5, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with K.A. Stewart and Giveaway - August 9, 2012
Jesse James Dawson's vacation is interrupted by a pack of hell-spawned creatures. To save friends, family and himself, Jesse will have to put his trust in his most dangerous enemy-his personal demon.



A Devil in the Details
Jesse James Dawson 1
Roc, July 6. 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with K.A. Stewart and Giveaway - August 9, 2012
When it comes to demons, always read the find print.

Jesse James Dawson was an ordinary guy (well, an ordinary guy with a black belt in karate) until one day he learned his brother had made a bargain with a demon, Jesse discovered there was only one way to save his brother: put up his own soul as collateral, and fight the demon to the death

Jesse lived to free his brother-and became part of a loose organization of Champions who put their own souls on the line to help those who get in over their heads with demons. But now experienced Champions are losing battles at a much higher rate than usual. Someone has changed the game. And if Jesse can't figure out the new rules, his next battle may be his last...





About K.A. Stewart

Interview with K.A. Stewart and Giveaway - August 9, 2012
K.A. Stewart has a BA in English with an emphasis in Literature from William Jewell College. She lives in Missouri with her husband, daughter, one cat, and one small furry demon that thinks it's a cat.






Website : Facebook : Twitter













The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of A Wolf at the Door (Jesse James Dawson 3) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment.

Please remember - if you don't leave a comment your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Winners! - July 30, 2011

Here are the winners of some recent giveaways.


Dead Iron: The Age of Steam by Devon Monk and 17 Jewels from Cemetery Cat Jewelry

Winners! - July 30, 2011

Winners! - July 30, 2011


pattepoilue who said

My favorite genre is Historical romance! I love UF and Steampunk too but I tend to read more historicals ;)



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Hunted by Others, Taken by Others, or Deceived by Others - winner's choice or 1 of these books

Winners! - July 30, 2011

marybelle who said

What does it say about me that my favorite video game right now is LEGO Harry Potter?



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A Shot in the Dark (Jesse James Dawson 2)

Winners! - July 30, 2011


Theresa @ Fade Into Fantasy who said

Oh my goodness, yes! I get sidetracked wayyyy too easily when searching the internet. LOL Thanks for the giveaway!



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A Taste of the Nightlife (Vampire Chef Mystery 1) by Sarah Zettel

Winners! - July 30, 2011

cyn209 who said...

my favorite snack or meal??? too many choices, by i would have to say favorite snack is CHIPS!! favorite meals???? spaghetti or pizza!!!!



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Vampire Babylon series by Chris Marie Green

Winners! - July 30, 2011

Gail who said

I love all westerns! Rio Bravo is one of my favs. John Wayne, Dean Martin & Ricky Nelson, it had it all :-) My current favorite postapocalytic book(s) are Faith Hunter's Rogue Mage series. I'm looking forward to reading Bloodlands!




The winners have been notified and have until Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 11:59PM US Eastern Time to claim their goodies or The Qwillery will very randomly choose a new winner or winners.

As usual... thank you to everyone who participated!

Guest Blog: The Dark Side of Research by K.A. Stewart and Giveaway - July 8, 2011

Please welcome K.A. Stewart to The Qwillery.


The Dark Side of Research

Everybody thinks that the great thing about writing fiction is that we can just make things up and it doesn’t matter if it’s real or not. So not true!

In order to make something fantastic truly believable, there must be a few grains of truth in there. The easiest way to suspend disbelief is to base it on something factual. And the easiest way to do that is to do research.

I don’t know a single author that doesn’t do a lot of research. Sometimes, the research is extensive. Historical authors are known for this. It takes a lot of work to make sure that everything in a historical novel is true to the time period. It can be something as small as figuring out just when the high heel was introduced into regular fashion, or something as large as knowing the exact geographical areas were covered by a key historical battle.

Sometimes, you do the research just for one sentence, one tiny factual thing that you want to have correct. Do Glocks have a safety? What is the melting temperature of silver? What plant is known to have magic-neutralizing properties? It may seem insignificant, but for a reader who knows the correct answer to any of those questions, getting it wrong can yank them right out of the story.

The internet makes research a breeze. Anything you can think of, you can type into a search engine and pull up a hundred different links to possible sources. However, there is a dark side of internet research, one that will suck a writer down into a black abyss from which they might never emerge.

And no, I’m not talking about typing that phrase into Google that you think sounds innocent, only to pull up sites that no amount of brain bleach can remedy. No, I’m talking about the hazard of too much research.

With a wealth of knowledge just a mouse click away, it is entirely too easy to become lost wandering the information highway. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to look up one tiny fact for one tiny sentence, only to find myself four hours later with more knowledge of the history of the yo-yo than is healthy and I haven’t written a single word!

Beware the black hole of internet research. You may set out aiming to look up how many bullets a certain magazine holds, but the next thing you know, you’re lost in the realm of low-sodium soup recipes, misspelled cat captions, and vintage clothing knock-offs. Time ceases to have meaning, and you may not realize you’ve forgotten to feed your pets until they start nibbling on your toes.

It is best, when researching, to use the buddy system. Let someone know that you’re going in, and arrange to have them check on you after a pre-determined time period. Often, even putting the research aside for a few moments to answer a Tweet or a text can free you from the hypnotic spell. Resist the urge to have your research buddy accompany you into the internet, as this usually only results in both of you becoming lost. Sadly, two people can become ensnared even easier than one.

If you don’t have a research buddy available, try setting an alarm for yourself, perhaps on your cell phone. Or, order a pizza shortly before you begin. When you have to leave the computer to pay the pizza guy, you stand a better chance of extracting yourself from the research fog.

Research is a fun and fascinating activity, but it should only practiced with all safety precautions taken. By following the few simple suggestions above, we will all live to write another day.


About K.A.'s Books

A Devil in the Details
Jesse James Dawson 1
(ROC, July 6. 2010)
Guest Blog:  The Dark Side of Research by K.A. Stewart and Giveaway - July 8, 2011
When it comes to demons, always read the find print.

Jesse James Dawson was an ordinary guy (well, an ordinary guy with a black belt in karate) until one day he learned his brother had made a bargain with a demon, Jesse discovered there was only one way to save his brother: put up his own soul as collateral, and fight the demon to the death

Jesse lived to free his brother-and became part of a loose organization of Champions who put their own souls on the line to help those who get in over their heads with demons. But now experienced Champions are losing battles at a much higher rate than usual. Someone has changed the game. And if Jesse can't figure out the new rules, his next battle may be his last...

Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders


A Shot in the Dark
Jesse James Dawson 2
(ROC, July 5, 2011)
Guest Blog:  The Dark Side of Research by K.A. Stewart and Giveaway - July 8, 2011
Jesse James Dawson's vacation is interrupted by a pack of hell-spawned creatures. To save friends, family and himself, Jesse will have to put his trust in his most dangerous enemy-his personal demon.


Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders
















About K.A. Stewart

Guest Blog:  The Dark Side of Research by K.A. Stewart and Giveaway - July 8, 2011
K.A. Stewart has a BA in English with an emphasis in Literature from William Jewell College. She lives in Missouri with her husband, daughter, one cat, and one small furry demon that thinks it's a cat.


K.A.'s Links:

Blogs:
On Literary Intent
The League of Reluctant Adults (group)

Twitter





The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of A Shot in the Dark (Jesse James Dawson 2) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Have you ever " become lost wandering the information highway?"

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, July 15, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Review: A Wolf at the Door by K. A. StewartInterview with K.A. Stewart and Giveaway - August 9, 2012Winners! - July 30, 2011Guest Blog:  The Dark Side of Research by K.A. Stewart and Giveaway - July 8, 2011

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