April 27, 2013

Lex Chase: Pawn Takes Rook plus Lex's Top Five Inspirational Authors

Hello there! I’m Lex Chase, coming to you live from Chris T. Kat’s blog, so thanks Chris for letting
me take over for a day! I’m the author of the superhero romantic comedy Pawn Takes Rook, the first installment of the Checkmate series. When I was much younger, I didn’t start out planning to be a writer. But somehow, the universe was sending its Gamma rays into my head that this is what I wanted to be. So, I’m here to talk about who inspired me.

5. Anne Rice
Looking back, I can’t believe it pretty much all started with Anne Rice because she and I can’t be
any more different as writers. I devoured Interview with a Vampire, but sadly didn’t care for Vampire Lestat, and the final book in the Vampire Chronicles, Memnoch the Devil, was pretty much a trainwreck in my eyes. But her flowing, flowery prose is what got me. Some say it’s a bit too much these days, but her adjectives make me swoon. Her taking two pages to describe an aquarium (and she really did do it) makes me groan.

4. Christopher Pike
Christopher Pike is a Young Adult horror writer that is still going strong. I devoured his books
growing up, and it was pretty bizarre because I could find something so “grown up” in the kid’s section of a bookstore. Pike had it all, horrific violence, sexual situations, bloody vengeance, and gasp cussing! Cussing! In a book for 15 year olds! Gaaaasp! His way of describing the action had a way of sticking with you. One book, a girl took a shotgun at close range to a villain’s knee and it was described as “exploding into hamburger.” It was that very line that stuck with me all these years.

3. David Lynch
That dude behind the cult classic TV show Twin Peaks. Twin Peaks was my introduction into the diseased mind of David Lynch, and I was in the fifth grade—likely far too young and impressionable to be watching anything with Lynch’s name on it. Through Twin Peaks, I learned about the absurd such as The Log Lady and the Zen mastery of donuts neatly stacked in twos. I learned the twists and turns of a metaphysical mystery of who killed Laura Palmer, but who killed Laura Palmer turned out to be far more complicated than anyone imagined. I learned to love stories where nothing was as simple as black and white and everyone was varying shades of gray. There’s actually a Kickstarter campaign in the works to bring Twin Peaks back to TV. Please universe. Make this happen.

2. Warren Ellis
Warren Ellis is best known for writing comics such as Transmetropolitan, The Authority,
Freakangels, and oodles of titles for Marvel and DC alike. He has confessed on numerous occasions he will write anything he can steal money for. I want to be famous enough someday I can put that on my business cards. As a long time comic reader, there came a period where I wasn’t reading the comics for the awesome art (because there was a time it wasn’t so awesome) but I was reading for the smart writing. And here I found Ellis. Again, I was drawn to flawed characters that scrape off the rough edges, they had something small and redeeming about them. Sometimes the thing that was redeeming about them wasn’t an altogether good thing but it was something that made you keep reading. He gave us characters like Midnighter and Apollo of the Authority, the first openly gay couple in a mainstream comic. Two brawny badass superheroes that kicked ass as well as kissed.

  1. Anderson Cooper
Yes. The CNN journalist and Gloria Vanderbuilt’s son. A few years back he wrote a memoir called
Dispatches from the Edge and it’s one of the go to books I reread every year. I read actually more memoir than anything else because real people drama tends to fascinate me over fictional people drama. Also in reading various memoirs, I pick up how real people talk, describe things, and how they are genuinely affected by catastrophe. Cooper’s way with sentence structure and putting his thoughts together is nothing short than extraordinary. I can only hope to one day be as good of a writer as him. Have a sample from his book. It’s my favorite quote that I just roll all over every time:
As a boy looking at the globe, I grew up believing, as most people do, that the earth is round.  Smoothed like a stone by thousands of years of evolution and revolution.  Whittled by time.  Scraped by space.  I thought that all the nations and oceans, the rivers and valleys, were already mapped out, named, and explored.  But in truth, the world is constantly shifting: shape and size, location in space.  It’s got edges and chasms, too many to count.  They open up, close, reappear somewhere else.  Geologists may have mapped out the planet’s tectonic plates—hidden shelves of rock that grind, one against the other, forming mountains, creating continents—but they can’t plot the fault lines that run through our heads, divide our hearts.”—Dispatches from the Edge pg. 4-5
I know, right?


Pawn Takes Rook: Blurb

The first time Hogarth Dawson sees superhero Memphis Rook, he comes to Hogarth’s rescue by cracking the heads of two thugs like eggs into a skillet. Hogarth is utterly smitten, but he soon discovers the superhero Power Alliance has ejected Rook for failing to protect a civilian.

Hogarth devises a plan that will reinstate Rook and might even earn Hogarth a place in Power Alliance roster. But what he expects to be a simple few missions rescuing kittens and helping little old ladies cross the street turns into a shocking reality of citywide chases, foiling robberies, and facing his ex. Then Hogarth discovers the beating Rook saved him from wasn’t a chance attack. It’s possible Hogarth is just a pawn in Rook’s game….

Where To Buy:


Pawn Takes Rook: Excerpt

I jogged up the steps, then cracked open my squeaky door, only to be greeted with the esteemed sight of Rook, clad in Pac-Man pajama bottoms that were definitely not mine and little else. I watched as he polished off my gallon jug of milk, tossed it aside, and moved on to the OJ, fresh from the fridge. If you could have seen the utter horror on my face at watching my hard-earned groceries disappear with shocking efficiency, you’d agree with me. One thing was for certain, he didn’t eat double-decker buses, but he pretty much ate everything else! I had to step in before he slurped up the remains of the pickle juice straight from the jar.
I snatched the jar out of his hand, and he looked at me like a swatted puppy. I was onto his game, and he wouldn’t sucker me for sympathy.
Hey….” he groaned like a five year old denied ice cream.
I squinted at him and frowned. “Do you want to make yourself sick again? I saw you puke your brains out. I’d like it if you’d refrain from decorating my apartment with an explosion of Baskin-Robbins!”
Rook went silent. His lips pursed, his wild eyes narrowed—I should add he had some crazy long lashes. Like that guy in that show about the crazy mysterious island with the smoke monster. Yeah! Guyliner dude!
Anyway, he was about to say something. I could see the train of thought coming to the station. He took a breath, and then broke into a bright superhero grin, blaze of gleaming white against tawny skin.
You’re sweet, Garth,” he said.
My ears felt hot. I flushed like a freak. At that moment, my feet became really interesting. He stepped past me, rummaged in the pantry for the Golden Grahams, and then poured them straight down his gullet. I spun around and ripped the box from his hand. Tiny squares of tasty goodness showered the floor.
Hey!” he growled.
Don’t ‘hey!’ me, bucko!” I snapped at him. “You don’t get to say sweet things to me, show your junk to me, or other sundry flirty things to get your way. You do not get to use my credit card in return for giving me a peep show. You do not get to raid my fridge just because you pay me a compliment. You do not get to waltz into my life and not explain a Goddamned thing to me! Why did you puke, then pass out? Why did you pass out when you saved me? More to the point, why do you goddamn flat fuck fall over all the time?”
Rook crossed his arms and pressed his lips into a thin line. “Will there be anything else you’d like to file with the Complaint Department?” He grinned. “Press one for ‘sit and spin’, and press two for ‘cry me a fucking river’.”
God, this man was absolutely incorrigible. If you can’t beat em….
I shook the box of Golden Grahams as a temptation. “Answer my questions, and I’ll show you where I hide the pretzel M&M’s.”
Rook gently took the box from me and shoved his hand into the crinkling plastic. He popped a handful of cereal in his mouth and crunched obnoxiously. “I freaking love the pretzel ones,” he mumbled.
I sat on the counter and watched him scarf down my beloved Golden Grahams. “Why did you puke?”
That’s appetizing….” he said and scanned the fridge, choosing a bag of shredded cheese.
I pointed a finger and watched him pour the Colby-Jack from the bag into his mouth. “Are you like a gremlin? Can I not feed you after midnight?”
And you don’t know what DeLoreans are,” he chided, then slurped caramel sauce from the jar.
Hey. One ’80s reference at a time!” I scolded him. “Answer the question.”
Rook smirked as he popped the tab on a Sprite. “You know how every superhero has some ultimate super-secret power?”
Yeah?” I said, leaning in eagerly.
That’s mine,” he said and chugged the soda.
I didn’t get it. “…Puking?”
Rook coughed, and his hand clasped over his nose. Let it go down in the history books the moment I made Memphis Rook snarf on Sprite.
No!” he gurgled, then coughed wetly. He snorted carbonation up his nose. “Raising the dead….” he said softly.
Say what, now?” I blurted out. Not the smoothest of things to say at the moment. “But… you’re a fighter.
His crazy eyes met mine. “You could say I’m a giver too.”
Man, my shoes were seriously interesting at that moment. Wow, never noticed that peculiar dapple of puce paint on the toe. The more I tried to make myself stop blushing like a freak, the worse I made it.

Lex Chase is a journalist by day and a writer by night. Either way you slice it, she makes things up for a living. Her style of storytelling is action, adventure, and a dollop of steamy romance. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes it’s never a party until something explodes in a magnificent fashion, be it a rolling fireball of a car or two guys screaming out their love for one another in the freezing rain.

Lex is a pop culture diva, an urbanite trapped in a country bumpkin’s body, and wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse. She has learned that when all else fails, hug the cat.

She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine residing in the ‘burbs of Northwest Florida where it could be 80F and she’d have a sweatshirt on because she’s freezing.

You can find her on those Facebook and Twitter things at:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LXChase
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lex_Chase

And her blog at http://lexchase.com.

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