Hello everyone! I’m Lex Chase and I want to give a big thank you to Charlie for hosting me today on the Chasing Sunrise Blog Tour!
Chasing Sunrise paranormal urban fantasy featuring people eating vampires that definitely don’t sparkle, Ancient Roman shifters, torture, war, genocide, and a love story that causes irrevocable consequences. It’s definitely not your standard fluffy paranormal. It’s dark, and leads readers to places that they never thought capable.
At the start of the tour, we started off with some pretty serious topics about the nature of the book. One of them being the core theme of domestic violence, and Sevon’s struggle to overcome. As the series progresses, Sevon will always be struggling. He will have his good days, and he’ll have his utterly shattered days. But as they say, get knocked down three times, get up the fourth.
And I’m warning you right now, it’s a high possibility this post is going to fuck you up emotionally.
I have said many times in many different venues, Chasing Sunrise and the Darkmore Saga as a whole is one gigantic metaphor for what I endured at the hands of my abusive girlfriend for ten years. In the end, I want to help people understand what it’s like, and for those that are trapped in domestic violence know there is hope.
In my own process of healing, which to be fair, has been going on for over a decade, it comes in fits and starts. Chasing Sunrise was my first big step in finally ripping it wide open and taking it head on. Still. Like Sevon, I have good days, and days where I’m utterly shattered. And I have been going through this process for a decade.
Recovery is not as easy as you think. And it will never be as easy as you think.
One of the things I discovered via mindlessly wandering Buzzfeed one morning was Lovers Shirts by the photography/writing duo Her Clay Heart. Divided into sections of Lovers and Ex-Lovers, I went through the Ex-Lovers section, thinking nothing of it, more or less a curiosity…
And then the memories hit.
And then less in the space of four photos, I lost it. Completely and utterly lost it. It was 7am. I had only been awake for 15 minutes. My brother was still asleep, and there I was, in my PJs on the couch, and scrolling though on my smartphone.
I couldn’t stop looking. And I couldn’t stop crying either.
And even after I had finished the slides, I sat there and cried for 20 minutes after. And then for the next few hours after I had gotten myself more or less together, I’d randomly burst into tears.
These are important moments in my life. As they say, these are teaching moments.
In Chasing Sunrise and the Darkmore Saga, while utter works of fiction with fantasy creatures and worlds, I find it immensely important to show Sevon’s teaching moments. To see his breakdowns, his various moments of catharsis, and Jack pulling him aside and very realistically talking him off a ledge as he’s crumbling.
In Chasing Sunrise specifically, while a few liberties have been taken in keeping with the fantasy creature context, Dominic’s abuse he inflicts on Sevon are all too real. As they’re my experiences. And while I never found my own Jack, he is the character that is my mental center as it were. He is the guiding light that Sevon needs, he is the stillness in all of the chaos.
Jack is the character that helps Sevon undress, stripping him down of all his anger and sadness, and redressing him in the warmth of love. Sevon may tear at his metaphorical clothes, he may stain them, or rip them, or ruin them, but Jack will sit for hours and stitch up the fabric of Sevon’s soul.If you want to see more of the Lover’s Shirts project, I urge you to check out Her Clay Heart. Perhaps you too will find your own catharsis and new clothes to wear.
Genre: Vampires, Werewolves/Shapeshifters, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy
Series: The Darkmore Saga: Book One
Published: July 25, 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy: Paperback or eBook
The Darkmore Saga: Book One
On the Coastal Bend of Texas, a hidden kingdom called Darkmore lies in ruins, and King Sevon Maraté is trapped. Using Sevon as a mouthpiece and a scapegoat, Lord Dominic rules from the shadows. Sevon copes with the unrelenting abuse by dressing in women’s finery and casting an image of graceful nobility. Born of royal verkolai blood and as beautiful as he is lethal, he possesses the ability to part the Veil separating his world from hundreds of others. His gift is his chance to escape, but Dominic refuses to relinquish his tool for power. Dominic forges an ambitious plan to invade the prosperous land of Priagust. Only a select few know the mythic kingdom of shifters exists. Sevon is out of options for his people’s survival, and cooperating with Dominic is his only chance.
On their foray into Priagust, Dominic’s men kidnap and interrogate a shifter named Jack. Even under torture, Jack’s loyalty to his kind never wavers. But as Jack’s knowledge about Darkmore’s king and its history unsettles Sevon, a curious bond begins to form. Despite Sevon’s mistrust, Jack is determined to tame Sevon’s wild heart and perhaps earn his freedom. As invasion looms, Sevon wonders if trusting Jack will lead him into another trap or if he should forget about chasing the sunrise and remain Dominic’s compliant prisoner.
Chasing Sunrise Excerpt
Sevon found a clothing box waiting on his bed. He paced around it, curious if he should touch it. The navy blue bow around the white box beckoned him forward. He picked up the card between two fingers and flipped it over. Sevon’s heart thumped against his ribs at the familiar flourished handwriting.
To Priagust. To the future.—D
Sevon’s knees quaked as he opened the box and ripped into the tissue paper. His heart fluttered at the gift. A luxurious navy brocade gown from one of the finest tailors in the kingdom. He pulled the garment from the box and pressed it against his nude frame. He turned to his full-length mirror to be sure of the size. Of course Dominic would know his size. He was observant, and Sevon was likewise aware that navy blue was Dominic’s favorite color.
Sevon hurried to ring for his maids to help him into the gown. He smiled and crushed the fabric in his fingers. “Things will be different now,” he said. Once dressed, Sevon hurried to the palace drive, where the carriage awaited. Dominic had planned for Sevon to make his decree at the stockyards. Sevon was uncertain about the turn of events in the wake of Mallory’s death. He knew Dominic was right: the stockyards had to be controlled by some party or there would be anarchy. Dominic had declared himself to be that man, and that was one of the things Sevon disagreed with him about. Sevon winced at the acute memory of the pain when Dominic had whipped him over it. He tried to push the memory down. Dominic gave him the dress. Clearly things were improving.
The rustling of Sevon’s gown announced his arrival to the palace drive.
“My liege,” the coachman greeted him.
“Good evening,” Sevon said with a kind smile as the coachman opened the carriage door for him.
Sevon stepped inside the white lacquered carriage and Dominic followed. It tilted under the weight of Dominic’s broad frame. Together, they settled onto cushioned seats opposite each other, and Sevon smoothed his skirts.
Dominic smiled at Sevon’s dainty actions. “I see you found my gift.”
Sevon’s eyes lit up at Dominic’s kindness.
“Do you like it? The tailor did such a wonderful job with the embroidery. I’m so happy that he doesn’t make a fuss over making a gown for a man.”
Dominic scratched at the corner of his eye. “I might have advised him about it.”
Sevon blushed and cast his gaze to his lap. “That really wasn’t necessary,” he muttered.
He knew very well what Dominic meant about advisement. Dominic’s sense of helpful advisement commonly involved intimidation and blatant threats that if others expressed disapproval of Sevon’s preference for men and his desire to dress in women’s finery, it would be met with outlandishly cruel punishment. It was always better that he pretended to ignore what was going on in Dominic’s mind. Sevon pasted a smile onto his face, trying to convince Dominic nothing was amiss. “It’s your favorite color,” he said sweetly.
“It is,” Dominic said, watching out the window and not paying Sevon any mind.
Sevon tried not to frown too much.
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Lex 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.” She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting.
Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure, epic love—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you’re going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.
Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. 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 incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending.
Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed “The Next Alan Moore” by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. 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 be a popsicle.
She is grateful and humbled for all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and welcomes feedback.
Chasing Sunrise Tour Stops:
7/25 – Chasing Sunrise Release Day!