Blog Tour, Guest Post, & Giveaway – Checkmate Ever After by Lex Chase

Hello Internet! I’m Lex Chase and Charlie was awesome to have me today to kick off the Checkmate Ever After blog tour! Checkmate Ever After is an anthology collecting the first three novellas from the Checkmate series originally published with Dreamspinner Press. But the anthology also has an all new fourth novella exclusive to the new edition! For those of you that completely missed the boat the first time around, Checkmate is a superhero comedy featuring the disgraced superhero Memphis Rook and his rise back to redemption alongside his perky, way too hyperactive sidekick, Hogarth Dawson.

Checkmate is a celebration superhero tropes, all things geeky, and oodles of pop culture. And that’s what I’m taking about today, the Decade of Decadence known as the ‘80s.

Rook, despite all of his brooding badass ways, is an utter nerd for all things ‘80s. From the outside looking in, if you were born in 1990 or later? The ‘80s appear to be the decade we were into the most ridiculous things. I was born in 1979, I’m a Generation X’er, and I had the entire ‘80s experience. It wasn’t until later in life I could appreciate just wtf happened to me.

The 1980s gave us Depeche Mode, Erasure, Bauhaus, and The Cure. British synth pop was big. Michael Jackson hit gold with Thriller. My Little Pony was just getting started. GI Joe hit a renaissance. And every kid was completely heartbroken when Optimus Prime died the Transformers movie and as adults they still choke up at hearing Stan Bush’s “The Touch.”

The Cure

The 1980s despite its complete wtfery because even looking back on it, a lot of it was pretty dumb, it was a decade of infectious optimism. Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly took us Back to the Future. Bruce Springsteen gave Americans an anthem with “Born in the USA.”

In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. I remember being 10, sitting there in front of the evening news, barely paying attention because I was 10 dammit. And there it was. The news broke that people were taking pickaxes to the Berlin Wall. It would be a year later, 1990, that America went to war with Saddam Hussein the first time.

My father has a joke that if you remember the ‘60s, you weren’t there. But for me? If you remember the ‘80s? You remember just how weird, wondrous, and wild it was. We had Teddy Ruxpin, the hottest toy that all children were all terrified of. We had riots for Cabbage Patch dolls. I still actually have mine. We had My Buddy and Kid Sister. My Buddy would later inspire a horror movie icon of Chucky from Child’s Play fame.

Kids these days—and me at 36 and refusing to be a grownup I feel like a big ol’ hypocrite—but kids these days just don’t get it. They don’t get I’m older than the internet. They don’t get we had cellphones as big as your head that cost thousands. They can’t comprehend something as amazing as a floppy disk drive. They don’t understand what Weird Al is singing about when he references a Commodore 64 in one of his songs. My personal fave being his track “It’s All About the Pentiums.”

For Rook, relishing in the ‘80s nostalgia is about remembering what it’s like to happy. For me, it’s remembering my history, no matter how utterly bizarre it was. It was the decade that gave us the concept of Mom Jeans after all. I still can’t explain my way around Boy George.

But not matter your age, we all have one thing in common. Music. What’s the one song you loved as a kid that you always sang into your hairbrush? Drop your comment below and click the giveaway banner to enter for a chance to win a 25 USD Amazon Gift Card!


 

Genre: Sci-Fi Superhero Comedy
Length: Novel Anthology
Published: December 15, 2015
Publisher: DSP Publications
ISBN: 978-1-63476-462-9
Buy: Paperback (and get the eBook for free!) or only the eBook

Blurb:

2nd Edition (Books One – Three)

The day disgraced superhero Memphis Rook literally fell into Hogarth Dawson’s lap, you could say it was fate. But the brawny Rook did nearly crush Garth’s pancreas. What started as two ships passing in the night ended on the weirdest adventure of their lives. Together, Rook and Garth form Checkmate, a daring super duo that keeps Axis City safe from a rogue’s gallery of nefarious villains, dastardly masterminds, and a coalition of calamity. Fighting evil wherever it appears—from reality shows to comic book conventions—Checkmate serves up knuckle sandwiches of justice. But by day, they’re a couple of broke losers who can barely afford a burger and navigating a weird thing called a relationship. Ain’t true love grand? Rook and Garth may be in over their heads, and even super heroes fail sometimes, but they’re ready to take a stand when no one else will. Don’t hate the players, because Checkmate owns the game.

1st Edition of Pawn Takes Rook published by Dreamspinner Press, 2013.

1st Edition of Cashing the Reality Check published by Dreamspinner Press, 2013.

1st Edition of Conventional Love published by Dreamspinner Press, 2014.

And the all new fourth novella Miracle in Axis City and bonus short What The Water Gave Me, exclusive to the anthology!


 

About the Author:

madison_parker_MG_4269-WEBLex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” Now, she’s on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex 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 you’re 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 wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.

She is grateful for and humbled by all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and welcomes feedback.

You can find in the Intarwebz here:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LXChase
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lex_Chase
Tumblr: http://lexiconofkittens.tumblr.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/lexachase
Site: http://lexchase.com


One lucky winner will walk away with a $25 USD Amazon Gift Card!


 

Follow the Checkmate Ever After Tour!

12/1 – Charlie Cochet’s Purple Rose Tea House

12/3 – Tali Spencer

12/5 – Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews

12/5 – Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese

12/7 – Aidee Ladnier

12/9 – Genre Talk on The Novel Approach

12/12 – Gaylist Book Reviews

12/15 – Checkmate Ever After Release Day!

Blog Tour, Guest Post, & Giveaway – Skip Trace by Kelly Jensen & Jenn Burke

Skip Trace Blog Tour Banner

I’m not sure Jenn and I appreciated how messed up Felix would be by the time we got to Skip Trace, the third book in our Chaos Station series. Oh, how naïve of us.

In the first book, Chaos Station, we bring together two scarred and bruised souls. Childhood friends and former lovers, Zander and Felix have not seen each other in nearly nine years. Zed thinks Felix died in the war, and Felix thinks Zed has been swallowed by Black Ops, where he might as well be dead. To say seeing each other again is a shock would be an understatement. Messed up by his experimental training, Zed thinks Felix is a ghost. Felix…well, he’s lost so much to the war, the reality of Zed feels too good to be true.

Together, they work to save another of Zed’s teammates, and if you’ve read the book, you know how well that turns out. Their first fumblings toward restoring their relationship fare a little better. The physical side of things proves much easier than the mental side—maybe because they were friends first, lovers second. The order of priority changed just before the war, however, when they acknowledged feelings that had always been there and vowed to make it work—only to be torn apart by brutal events.

In the second book, Lonely Shore, we do terrible things to both of them. Really, writers are awful people. Sometimes I look at Felix’s character sheet and ask myself, “What were you thinking?” And then I go on to plot… Um, you’ll just have to wait for book four for that one. Anyway, if you’ve read Lonely Shore, you know we, er, let the “fatal effects” of Zed’s experimental training catch up with him. This isn’t as much a spoiler as you think, because the cover copy for Skip Trace begins:

“Zander Anatolius has been revived from the fatal effects of the super-soldier program…”

The important word there is revived. The important fact, however, is that he did die, and Felix suffered yet another loss, and this one… Oh, man.

See, Felix has loved Zed since he was eight years old. In addition to being his best friend, Zed is his hero. He is the man Felix first looked to for salvation. He is the man Felix will always look to for help. Add in the lovely backstory I cooked up for Felix—capture, torture, nearly four years as a prisoner of war, the loss of his home and family, some slightly serious (is that an oxymoron?) substance abuse issues and a slew of emotional problems—and you have a man who is not going to cope well with the death of his…everything. Because Zed is just that, his everything. So while we plotted the first two books as a recovery arc for Zed, we failed to take into account the downward spiral this would mean for Felix.

By the end of Lonely Shore the damage is evident. Felix functions, but only just. His armor—his defensive nature and snark—is brittle, and one tap is going to break him into a million pieces.

Because we’re (evil) writers, we deliver the blow with a hammer.

Skip Trace is the middle of a five chapter story. Necessarily, it’s dark. It’s the turning point, for both Zed and Felix. Zed is cured, but what does that mean? And our super soldier has his own issues—war is not kind, and being a denied asset can’t be fun. Felix is broken, and must struggle to pull the pieces of himself together in order to save Zed, again, so that Zed can turn around and save him.

Both our guys have battles to fight in this book and, for the most part, they go at it alone—and that’s another sad comment on their mental state. Zed and Felix both have been rejected by the institution that f’cked them up, the Allied Earth Forces. War has all but shredded their trust. The point of the story, though, is that they can only do it together, and when they realise that…well, it’s painful and beautiful at the same time.

Where will we go from here? When you’re at the bottom of a well, there really is only one place to go, and that’s up and out. I could rattle off some lovely clichés, but the important thing is that there are two books left in this series, and these guys have got places to go and people to see. We need them on deck and functional. The galaxy needs them, even if they’re not quite convinced of that fact yet.

That doesn’t mean we can’t continue to torture them just a little bit, though. 😉

Skip Trace cover LG

2015NewAbout the Book

Skip Trace

Book three of Chaos Station

Zander Anatolius has been revived from the fatal effects of the super-soldier program, but now he has to face his estranged family and tell a story few would believe. With his lover and the crew of the Chaos at his side, Zander returns home to a media frenzy, threats from the military and pressure to join the family business.

Felix Ingesson still struggles with the horror of believing Zander dead. And no matter how strong their emotional connection is, Felix feels out of place in the glittery world of Zander’s rich family. His lover would be better off without a broken, low-class ship’s engineer holding him back.

When the crew receives word that another of Zander’s former teammates needs rescue, Felix travels with the Chaos…setting Zander free. But when Zander is arrested for treason, the men realize they need each other as much as ever—not only to survive, but to make their lives worth living.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

 

2015NewAbout the author

Jenn and Kelly met in 2009 through a mutual infatuation with a man who wasn’t real. After all but crashing the video game’s forums with daily dissection of their obsession, they started writing together, discovered they really liked writing together and began plotting stories in worlds of their own creation.

The CHAOS STATION series aren’t the first books they’ve written together, and they’re pretty sure they won’t be the last. As long as their so-called smartphones keep making autocorrects that trigger brainstorming sessions, they’ll have enough character ideas and plots to keep them writing for years to come.

www.chaosstation.com

Connect with Jenn: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Connect with Kelly: Twitter | Facebook | Website

 

2015NewGiveaway

Prize: The first two books in the Chaos Station series, Chaos Station and Lonely Shore, and a $10 gift card to your favorite online bookseller.

Signing up for our newsletter gives access to our free Chaos Station story, “Graduation”.

Terms: Two prizes. Rafflecopter runs from 12:00 AM EST 10/05/2015 to 12:00 AM EST 10/09/2015. Giveaway is open internationally. Gift card value is US dollars. Winners will be contacted via email. If a winner already has one or both of the books, gift card value will be increased to $15 USD.

Rafflecopter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NDk4MTdhODkwOTNjYzdjN2IyNDQzZGE0NjdjYjI5OjE=/?

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2015NewTour Info

10/5     Purple Rose Teahouse

10/6     Joyfully Jay

10/7     Prism Book Alliance

10/8     Fresh Fiction

10/9     The Novel Approach

 

 

Release Day Tour – I Am Hope by Evelyn Shepherd

ReleaseDayTour

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Evelyn Shepherd’s next book in her THE METEORA TRILOGY series titled I AM HOPE is OUT today.

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ABOUT THE BOOK

ES_IAmHope450Publisher: Loose Id

Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs

Length: 70,000 words

Blurb: The undead were only the beginning.

Topher, Jesse, and Sawyer thought their greatest threat were the Infected and Mutated that roam the world. As they struggle to reach the camp in Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina, they soon discover that the monstrous mutations of the undead are the least of their problems. Something else, something far more intelligent and lethal, is hunting them.

Topher knows that the only way humanity will survive is to find a cure for the strange infection that’s ravaged the world. He’s on the brink of discovering it; but the further his research goes, the more he realizes that curing the world of the infection may mean losing Sawyer.

The three will fight to stay together, and Topher will have to make the ultimate choice: cure the world or save his lover?

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EXCERPT

I knuckled the sleep from my eyes and hurriedly dressed. Jesse was out the door by the time I pulled my shirt on. I followed him into the main compartment, Sawyer behind me. Rio sat on the couch next to Jaden, who was curled up with his blanket. On the table was a camping lamp, which filled the RV with yellow light.

“What’s going on?” I asked, straightening my shirt.

“Something is going down with Jane,” Rio said. “I heard it out in the truck.”

Nash pulled Chloe into his arms and drew her away from the window. Jesse walked over to the dinette table and looked outside, then let out a string of curses. I nudged him over and looked out myself.

“Sweet Jesus,” I whispered. The blood chilled in my veins, turning into ice fractals that splintered through my mind. I gripped the table as I watched the genocide going on outside.

People were being dragged from their tents and herded together like sheep for slaughter. It was hard to see how many people had been gathered. Clouds shrouded the moon, and the fires had smoldered out, leaving the camp a battlefield of shadows.

And you will burn in a lake of fire, unless you repent and purge the sinners from your life. We must show God that we are believers and his servants. It’s the only way to find the path to salvation.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Evelyn Shepherd lives in Columbus, Ohio with two fat cats. Her time is split between writing and running a book/writing blog. She’s the author of the Theo Bourne Series, the best-selling Last Canticle, and the award-winning Meteora Trilogy.

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Winner’s Prize: E-copies of I AM HERE (Book 1) and I AM ALIVE (Book 2)

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