Lex Chase is Here! Answering Questions and Talking About ‘Chasing Sunrise’ (author guest blog)

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Hello, Internet! I’m Lex Chase, and the super amazing Melanie was kind enough to let me drop by today to talk to you about my DSP Publications release Chasing Sunrise.

It’s about King Sevon Marate, ruler of the cannibalistic†aisa, as he struggles to escape domestic violence and save his crumbling kingdom. It’s a dark story, featuring torture, war, genocide, but also one of hope and escape is possible. But make no mistake it is a story of how far would you go to survive and how love makes monsters of us all.

Melanie has me in the hot seat today as she asks some burning questions! So here we go!

Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?† A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?

Chasing Sunrise is kind of drawn from all over the place. One of the toughest topics it deals with is domestic violence. I myself am a domestic violence survivor and I draw upon my own experiences for some of Sevon’s traits. Domestic violence is a complicated situation, and for those that have never experienced it have a tendency to be highly judgmental. From the victim’s POV we†believe we can “fix” our abuser and we†believe that if we’re obedient that our abuser will love us, or being†convinced the victim has nowhere to go, or how will they live. From an outsider’s perspective they often think the victim is “stupid” for staying or “deserve” what they get. Isn’t that terrible? We’re all taught to†say†something, yet pass judgement.

Sevon’s story with domestic violence is†far more complex because courtly politics is involved. If he doesn’t cooperate his entire kingdom will crumble and his people will surely die. And he can’t just†leave because he’s terrified of humans, and if they discover what he is, he’ll be killed. He†can’t seek asylum in another†aisa kingdom because they’re allies of his abuser. He’s completely convinced he can’t survive on his own, but he has to do†something.

That is… until an opportunity for escape presents itself in the form of the kindhearted shifter named Jack. But Sevon’s sense of trust has been so completely distorted that he wants to trust him but is conflicted if it’s another trap. It’s called hyper-vigilance, a very real symptom that comes with trauma and ptsd. While someone may show him kindness, any slight†sign that something might be amiss leads to panic. Even if there’s no such signal, and the kindness is genuine, you just never know and expect the other shoe to drop at†any moment.

Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And †why?

I’m a planner. A†super hardcore†planner. I’m a very scattered person mentally, and I write my outlines in a numbered list. My outlines run 10 to 15k a pop (like a short novella basically) where essentially it’s like I’m “pre-writing” the book. I call my outlines “The Directions” and as long as I follow them, it all works out. They sometimes include entire chunks of dialogue for a scene, or an entire chapter, or fight scene, or all the above. That way when I get to the scene I can just cut and paste into my doc and revise it to fit the story.

Also when I plan with as much detail as I do I actually†do have the ability to go ahead and write non-linear if I’m stuck on a scene and I can skip ahead. I actually don’t believe in the “oh! The characters do whatever they want to do!” That’s a sign of someone who’s a pantser. I’m in complete control of my characters. I acknowledge if I want to pursue tangents. I understand my ideas change. If something isn’t working. I come up with something different.

I listen to that voice inside of me, not†The Muse everyone talks about, but my†own voice, my gut, when I feel something is or isn’t right. If I kill one of my characters (and I’ve killed quite a few!) it’s a decision I consciously make. It’s even in my outline that this person dies, and how, and the fallout. I’m not GASP surprised or oh noes! I didn’t plan for that! Now do I sob hysterically while I do it?†Oh hell yes! I cry over my books all the damned time. And by the way, that’s not weird either no matter what people think.

Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?† Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?

Memoirs actually! I looooove memoirs! Reading about “Real People Drama” as I call it helps inspire “Fictional People Drama.” Also people telling their stories and certain turns of phrases they use, or sentence structures and vocabulary. One of my favorite memoirs I always come back to is Anderson Cooper’s Dispatches from the Edge where he narrates the audiobook version as well. Just wonderful word choice told by a fascinating person!

If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?

Ooooh. Tough one. I think it would have to be Memphis Rook from my first DSP Publications release†Checkmate Ever After.We never see his POV in the anthology, but in the first book, I had deliberately written him as the stereotypical comic book anti-hero. And while some readers adored him, I think he was missing a little more depth. In the first installment I feel he was a little cardboard and wooden. And while he gets a thousand times better as the anthology progresses.

Can a author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?

Yes! And I have so many for differing reasons. Among my favorites are Taylor and Corentin from the Screw-Up Princess and Skillful Huntsman series. Despite being fairy tale characters, they’re so†ordinary and they’re doing the best they can with what they have. They’re not exactly living high on the hog, but they’re just two totally normal guys who are kind of a pair of fuck-ups…and one happens to be a dude princess and the other a huntsman.

Also I love Jack and his brother Kaltag from Chasing Sunrise. Jack is probably the most genuine and†good character I’ve ever written. He’s patient, kind, and compassionate to a fault. Kaltag is brave, proud, pretty sassy, and stands up for what he believes in, and is a devoted father. And while it’s mentioned in passing, he and his wife Mirabelle are both bisexual.

If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?

Considering I visited LaGuardia all of once when visiting fellow DSP Publications author C.S. Poe, I’d want her novel The Mystery of Nevermore coming late this summer. It’s the first in her Snow & Winter series and I got to read the proof. Holy crap I have such feelings. C.S. makes me want to be a better writer, hands down. It’s about a completely colorblind antique dealer, Sebastian Snow and a hard as nails detective Calvin Winter as they try to solve a mystery involving the works of Edgar Allen Poe. I can’t stop telling people about this book. I’ve never felt this excited before. She’s been sending me bits of the sequel and I’m like nnnnngggghhhhh *grabby haaaannnnds!*

How early in your life did you begin writing?

Like… seriously as a career? Or telling stories in general? In general when I was about 11. I came up for the world of Chasing Sunrise when I was 13. Yes it’s that old. As a career, I’d say about seven years ago when I first seriously pursued publication. Chasing Sunrise was actually rejected 15 times until I completely revamped it and submitted to Dreamspinner Press and Sweet 16 was the lucky number.

Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?

In third grade, our teacher read to the class after lunch. Two of the stories that stuck with me were Eddie and Gardenia by Carolyn Haywoodand James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. There’s a nod to Eddie and Gardenia in Checkmate Ever After, and James and the Giant Peach gets a reference in the upcoming final Screw-Up Princess novel Urban Fairy Tale. While childhood memories are hazy, I very clearly recall my teacher hesitating with shock and tears at the end of Eddie and Gardenia because spoiler alert, things don’t end well for Gardenia. James and the Giant Peach was just total bananas. It made me want to live in a giant peach and fly away to New York City. When Tim Burton made the movie with stop-motion animation it was just….so delightfully odd.

What question would you ask yourself here?

Question: How can you†possibly†have loved the ending of Lost! It was such crap!

Answer:†Shut your face! It was beautiful. It was about the journey, not the destination. I will take you to the carpet.

If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?

Dr. Chase: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Learned To Love The Bombshell

Thank you for having me Melanie! And noooow a question for the crowd! Sorry Melanie, I have to crib it! If your life was a romance novel, what would the title be?

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Genre: Fantasy/Horror/Paranormal
Series: The Darkmore Saga: Book One
Length: Novel
Published: April 5, 2016
Publisher: DSP Publications
ISBN: 978-1-63476-355-4
Buy: DSP Publications†| Omnilit | Amazon |†Barnes and Noble

Blurb:

The once glorious aisa kingdom of Darkmore lies in ruins, and King Sevon MaratÈ is trapped. Sevon endures unrelenting abuse and is used as a scapegoat by Lord Dominic Ravensgrove, who rules Darkmore from the shadows. Coping by dressing in gowns and jewels, the effeminate king relishes the scraps of freedom he is given to be himself.

As a verkolai, Sevon possesses the ability to part the Veil separating his world from hundreds of others. His gift provides a chance for escape, but Dominic refuses to relinquish his tool for power. When Dominic forges an ambitious plan to invade the prosperous shifter land of Priagust, he manipulates Sevonís desperation for his peopleís survival. Out of options, Sevon has no choice but to cooperate.

On their foray into Priagust, Dominic’s men abduct a shifter named Jack. Despite being tortured for information, Jack’s loyalty to his kind never wavers. But Jackís knowledge about Darkmoreís history unsettles Sevon, and a curious bond begins to form. Despite Sevonís mistrust, Jack is determined to tame the beautiful kingís wild heart and perhaps earn his freedom.

As war looms, Sevon fears Jackís kindness is another trap. Conflicted, Sevon wonders if he should risk chasing the sunrise or remain Dominic’s compliant prisoner.

1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2014.


I’m giving away a super awesome $25 USD Amazon Gift Card! What do you have to do? Leave a comment down below and click the giveaway graphic to follow me on Twitter and Facebook or Share, Tweet, or Hashtag! So many ways to enter!

Totally cribbing off Melanie with much love! If your life was a romance novel, what would the title be?

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About the Author:

Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, ìWeíre all going to die, Iím just trying to make it a little more interesting.î Now, sheís on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventureóand depending on how she feels that dayóLex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. Her pride is in telling stories of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. If youíre going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva, her DVR is constantly backlogged, and unapologetically loved the ending of Lost. She wouldnít last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.

You can find in the Intarwebz here:

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An Aurora YA Review: Angel Radio by A.M. Blaushield

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Rating: 5 out of 5     .★★★★★

angel RadioIt is on the cusp of summer that strange angels of eyes and wings appear throughout the world, and a week later all of humanity is dead. Except one girl. Months later, Erika Cantor continues to wander her desolate hometown without purpose or answers—until a strange radio broadcast sends her into the dangerous world outside—a world past civilization, whose only inhabitants are monsters and demons.

There, Erika meets Midori, a naïve girl with a cryptic connection to the angels, and Gav, a boy who seems to have knowledge he refuses to share with Erika. The appearance of the mysterious Fex raises even more questions. Can he be trusted?

 As Erika travels across Vermont searching for some remnant of society, she learns that there’s a reason she survived—that the angels, horrid creatures that they are—have a plan for her.

The action in this book starts right off the bat, which is a good thing in some ways and a not-so-good thing in others. I was really intrigued by the concept of the book, and the things that did happen within the first chapter really interested me, so I was compelled to keep reading. However, the nature of the book is that it starts out pretty directly with our main character alone in the world, or thinking that she is, at least. This definitely bolsters the stakes and makes it interesting to find out what’s going to happen next. However, there is very limited character interaction because of it. While I did understand this, I would have liked to have seen some more interaction between Erika and her parents, or even with some of her friends at school who were panicking, before we got to at least a whole chapter where I didn’t get to see Erika interact with anyone but herself.

 
For me, I was interested in Erika, I was intrigued by the way she thought about things, and her narration was interesting enough that I wanted to read if only to see what would happen to her. This is master characterization on the part of the author, because it wasn’t too overt, Erika didn’t just tell the readers exactly what her personality was. There were little comments here and there, little shifts in attitude from what would have been perceived as normal, that hinted as to Erika’s eccentricities. And it was enough to keep me interested through her journey until she met up with some other characters. Really, the whole book contained really strong characters. No one seemed one dimensional, apart, perhaps, from the people who were introduced in the first chapter and dead before it was over. The characters who were still alive were interesting within a paragraph of being introduced, sometimes in as much as a sentence.
 
And the plot wasn’t lacking either. Once it got on its feet and got past the set up for the book, the angels coming, Erika leaving home, it was captivating until the end of the book. An original idea is good, but keeping the plot engaging beyond that initial idea can be challenging. This book didn’t struggle with that at all, and definitely kept me interested beyond just the tagline of ‘angels destroy humanity.’ 
 
This book wasn’t your typical YA dystopian novel. It flourished with engaging characters, a stellar plot throughout, and lots of imagery to help the movie in my head.
 
The cover for this book is so beautiful. It definitely caught my eye from the moment I saw it, and drew me to the book really effectively. Some people have problems with a main character being pictured on the cover, but I actually liked having that drawing to flip back to and put an already constructed face to the name. It is really well done and shows great artistic ability, as well as being paired up just perfectly with the tone and plot of the book. It looks like a cover the main character could have chosen for herself.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 250 pages
Published December 31st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634762800 (ISBN13: 9781634762809)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Paranormal Spotlight on Valerie Brundage ‘Another Creature’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Another Creature by Valerie Brundage
Release Date: October 7, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BSClay

Buy the book:  Torquere Books

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Blurb

Whispers in the dark and soft, wet touches in Luanne’s dreams suggest she is not as alone in her seaside cottage as she’d thought.

Who will win the key to Luanne’s broken heart: her on-again, off-again lover, Karen, or the tentacled creature haunting her dreams?

Pages or Words: 10,400 words
Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Lesbian Romance, Paranormal

Excerpt  (NSFW)

Instantly Karen suspected something was amiss. The heat and the beads of sweat around Luanne’s cheeks, the wet on her neck below her ears. All betrayed Luanne’s discomfiture.

Karen walked around. Looked around.

“Can I…?” She headed towards the kitchen. Luanne heard her stir the coffee, clink a cup on the counter.

“Coffee?” Sugar spoon. Fridge door. Luanne leaned over and glanced at Karen in time to see her finish pouring milk. Return to the fridge, clink, clink.

Every sound had texture. Luanne looked around, could not see.

A wisp, a black shadow. The trail of a memory like a dream receding even as she tried to grab onto it, make it tangible.

Karen returned to the room, her hand empty. Luanne felt drunk. She thought of asking, “Where’s your drink?” but decided the words would come out slurred and Karen would know, so she said nothing.

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Meet the Author

Valerie began writing three months after her divorce, realizing two surprising dreams within a few months. It was more than her imagination that was being held back, and she’s enjoying writing about those dark sexy urges as much as acting on them. She’s currently working on a book based loosely on her promiscuous years before she got married.

 

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, The Hat Party, Bayou Book Junkie, My Fiction Nook, Charley Descoteaux, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Inked Rainbow Reads, Happily Ever Chapter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Velvet Panic, Havan Fellows, Nephy Hart

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 Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Another Creature’ by Valerie Brundage.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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