Prism Book Alliance would like to thank SA McAuley for taking the time to talk with us today. There is also a Giveaway, so don’t miss that.
Title: Damaged Package
Author: SA McAuley
Publisher: Self Published
Deacon and Trav’s Detroit
One of my favorite parts about showing people Detroit for the first time is their surprise at how many beautiful and thriving places there are in the city. Detroit’s reputation precedes itself, and for good reason. Yes, there are the burned out and abandoned buildings. Yes, there’s violence and corruption.
But those are fading realities. Detroit is an urban center in the midst of active growth. It’s fueled by the hope of residents, new and lifelong, who want to see an outpouring of their city pride brushed on the facades and landscapes. They want everyone else to see the most powerful part of this revitalization—Detroit is a city that refused to give up.
The world of Deacon and Trav—the Detroit they know and love in Damaged Package—is only hints of all the good that exists in the city today.
Let me take you on a tour of just three of those places.
Honest John’s (the only dive bar worth going to) – Take a drive down Cass Avenue from downtown, hang a left on Selden, pass the fenced in parking lots and abandoned overgrown parcels, and you’ll chance across the best bar in Detroit. The real life Honest ? John’s is a mishmash of a killer breakfast (they start serving at 6am), a business lunch crowd packed into high wooden booths, and an even more packed dinner and drinks crew of locals and hipsters imbibing Detroit microbrews. Combine all of that with a jukebox pumping out Motown, neon signs extolling such wisdom as “Men Lie” and “Sobriety Sucks,” and graffiti laden bathroom walls (that are of themselves worth the trip—make sure to bring a Sharpie!) in a relaxed, everyone-is-welcome atmosphere and I’m with Deacon—if you’re going to be a regular at a dive bar, this is the one.
Photo credit: Tiffany Blake
The Park Shelton (Trav’s apartment) – This luxury apartment and condominium highrise in Midtown Detroit was one of the first revamped residential buildings to open when the revitalization of Detroit started to take hold in 2004. It’s across the street from the Detroit Institute of Art, The Historical Museum and the Detroit Public Library and on the edges of Wayne State University’s campus. The lower level is home to a kickass Korean and Japanese restaurant, cupcake shop and gourmet pizza joint.
I picked this particular building for Trav’s apartment because of its location in the city, but also because I could imagine some of the hovels Trav had likely lived in across the world. And that if given a great deal on a sublet, since he knew he would be gone soon anyway, this was exactly the type of place he would’ve jumped at: a chance to live in comfort for the first time in his whole life.
Photo credit: The Park Shelton
Canfield and Second (Deacon’s home) – This two block enclave is an actual neighborhood in the Midtown area of the city that I fictionalized as Deacon’s home territory. Just around the corner from the real life Honest ? John’s, this neighborhood has an historic designation and the homeowners pride themselves in maintaining the homes built in the late 1800’s.
It’s likely that Deacon would have been able to buy a four-bedroom house in this neighborhood for somewhere around $150k and kept him within walking distance of one of Detroit’s most vibrant neighborhood centers. Plus, there’s a kickass bakeshop around the corner and it’s just down the road from where the North American International Auto Show is held each year. What else could a guy ask for?
Photo credit: Andrew Kopietz
Stop by my Damaged Package board on Pinterest to see photos for more of the places that inspired this story! And if you’re ever in town, send me a message so I can give you a complete list of the “Can’t Miss” spots in the Motor City!
Forced into early retirement from his career as a SWAT officer for the city of Detroit, James Deacon knew that when he failed it would be a fall of epic proportions. He’s been living life by the tips of his fingers for over twenty years, and his new gig organizing a group of misfit military types into a functioning team—including his reluctant ex-fiancée—won’t return him to stable ground anytime soon.
Trevor Barrow has been on the move for the last seven years—hitting the road when relationships became too real or too much work. He’s home now, working in the hazardous world of bike messengers in the Motor City, and the only one of his eight siblings who knows he’s returned is his sister Cat. It’s not as if reconnecting with them matters anyway, because it’s likely he’ll be gone again soon.
Both men are lugging some heavy baggage, but when they chance upon each other in a dive bar it’s hard to deny their flaws are more like symbiotic quirks. Trevor’s backpedaling instincts and Deacon’s dance-dance party past may just be intersecting at a time when things are about to get explosive in Detroit.
About the Author:
I sleep little, read a lot. Happiest in a foreign country. Twitchy when not mentally in motion. My name is Sam, not Sammy, definitely not Samantha. I’m a pretty dark/cynical/jaded person, but I hide that darkness well behind my obsession(s) for shiny objects. I’m the macabre wrapped in irresistible bubble wrap and a glittery pink bow, I suppose.
I have a never-ending-abyss-like secret love for poetry. Especially Rumi, Hafiz, and Neruda. You can predict (as well as change) my moods and my writing schedule by my playlists.
Insomnia is my greatest ally and my nemesis. I like cheese and bourbon, not necessarily in that order, but I’m flexible.
If you’re in any fandom, then I’m probably already in love with you. I’m not joking.
I like my tv shows marathoned and I have to use internet blocking software to be productive. I have software called Producteev that I loaded onto my laptop and proceeded to fill out in detail and now I haven’t touched it in a year.
I enjoy normalized chaos.
Hit me up! I love to hear from readers. xx
SA McAuley has kindly offered 1 Lucky commenter an eCopy of Tread Marks & Trademarks
Contest will end 5 days from original posting date (or as stated on the Rafflecopter) at 8pm CDT. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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