Blog Tour, Guest Post, and Giveaway – Some Assembly Required by Lex Chase and Bru Baker

 

Hi, Charlie, thanks for having me here today! Lex Chase and I are promoting our new release, Some Assembly Required, the paranormal purgatory meet-cute in a chain home goods store you never knew you needed in your life until now.

Benji’s favorite store is CASA, but he never imagined it would be where he would spend his afterlife. But it’s where he’ll be stuck, surrounded by particle board furniture and affordable kitchenware, until he figures out a way to move on. Purgatory is a bit like the laminated particle board dresser you bought because it was an unbelievable deal, but then found out it had roughly 500 pieces and instructions that offer about as much guidance as a Rorschach blot. It’s not an impossible task, but it’s a daunting one.

I’ve had to turn to my kids for help assembling bookshelves and other cheap furniture here in the Baker household, since I’m not a visual thinker. Instructions that are entirely pictorial don’t do me a lot of good. Luckily, both The Boy and The Girl get a kick out of allen wrenches and cam bolts, and for the low, low price of my dignity as they mock me for my ineptitude I can outsource the work to them. A lifetime of LEGO addiction has to be good for something, right? Especially since more often than not whatever I’m trying to assemble is for the express purpose of storing said LEGOs.

 

The Girl Reading Instructions

I’d say I felt shame asking my 5-year-old to decipher these bench assembly instructions, but that would be a lie.

 

The Girl Assembling Bench

Tiny allen wrenches meant for tight spaces are practically forcing you to outsource to child labor. #justsaying

Benji doesn’t have any help when he assembles his CASA-furnished living room to replace the furniture his ex took with him when he moved out. He’s inordinately proud of all of the bookcases and other pieces he’s lovingly built in it. Of course, it’s one of those bookcases that lands him in CASA purgatory.

Anyone who dies because of a CASA product—either because it was faulty or because they were just unlucky—finds themselves haunting the humongous home goods store until they can save someone else from dying in the same way. But Benji’s in no hurry to move on, since CASA is kind of his idea of heaven on Earth.

I do have to agree with him on that. Stores like CASA reel you in with aisle after aisle of gleaming surfaces and displays that make you actually believe that the path to enlightenment involves pendant lamps gently illuminating slickly laminated bookcases, minimalist sofas with storage ottomans, and plastic Eames knock-off chairs that manage to be both hipster-chic and reminiscent of elementary school.

And then you get home, unload the car, and realize you’ve just condemned yourself to the hell of hours of furniture assembly.

That’s life, though. Some Assembly Required.

Have you ever done a DIY? Or assembled something yourself? Tell us your story!

And don’t forget to record your entry in the giveaway widget!



Genre:
 Contemporary Paranormal Comedy
Length: Novel
Published: February 8, 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63476-810-8
Buy: DSPAReAmazonBarnes and Noble

Blurb:

Everyone wishes they were dead when wandering the purgatory of a home furnishings store, but these guys actually are.

Benji Goss is the quintessential good guy. When his boyfriend dumps him and moves out, Benji obligingly keeps the cat—even though he’s allergic—because his ex’s new place doesn’t accept pets. He’s always joked the cat would be the death of him, but not in a way he expects when a feline mishap crushes him under a DEL TORO bookcase.

Snarky loner Patrick Bryant is in such a rut he barely remembers the life he used to lead. The last thing he recalls is being decapitated by a DEL TORO bookcase in a freak accident. As a spiritual CASA resident, he haunts the aisles of affordable Italian furniture, assisting fellow spirits in moving on to their final destinations.

When Benji appears in the CASA café, Patrick considers the naïve spirit just the man to cure his boredom. Benji’s relentless optimism chips away at Patrick’s sarcasm, making him question if there’s something beyond what he can see. But the heart is like CASA furniture—there’s always some assembly required.


About the Authors:

madison_parker_MG_4269-WEB

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.” Now she’s on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.

Weaving tales of sweeping cinematic adventure—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 she 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.

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Lexchase.com


Bru Baker got her first taste of life as a writer at the tender age of four when she started publishing a weekly newspaper for her family. What they called nosiness she called a nose for news, and no one was surprised when she ended up with degrees in journalism and political science and started a career in journalism.

Bru spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now works in reference and readers’ advisory in a Midwestern library, though she still finds it hard to believe someone’s willing to pay her to talk about books all day. Most evenings you can find her curled up with a mug of tea, some fuzzy socks, and a book or her laptop. Whether it’s creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.

www.bru-baker.com
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SAR_Giveaway_Banner

We’re giving away two $25 USD Amazon Gift Cards to two lucky winners! Will it be you? Click on the graphic to enter!

Have you ever done a DIY? Or assembled something yourself? Tell us your story!


Blog Tour Stops:

2/8 – The Novel Approach and Release Day!

2/9 – Gay List Book Reviews

2/9 – My Fiction Nook

2/10 – Love Bytes Reviews

2/10 – Divine Magazine

2/11 – Charlie Cochet’s Purple Rose Tea House

2/11 – Open Skye Book Reviews

2/11 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

2/14 – Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews

2/17 – Joyfully Jay

Exclusive Cover Reveal and Excerpt – Chasing Sunrise by Lex Chase

Thank you so much for joining us today for the exclusive cover reveal of Chasing Sunrise by Lex Chase. Absolutely stunning!

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Genre: Horror / High Fantasy
Series: The Darkmore Saga
Length: Novel
Published: April 5, 2016
Publisher: DSP Publications
ISBN: 978-1-63476-355-4
Pre-Order: DSP Publications

Blurb:

The once glorious aisa kingdom of Darkmore lies in ruins, and King Sevon Maraté 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 Sevon’s desperation for his people’s 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 Jack’s knowledge about Darkmore’s history unsettles Sevon, and a curious bond begins to form. Despite Sevon’s mistrust, Jack is determined to tame the beautiful king’s wild heart and perhaps earn his freedom.

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


Chapter One

“Farmer Mallory,” King Sevon Maraté called the writhing aisa’s name. “For your betrayal to the Crown of Darkmore, you and your kin have been sentenced to burn beyond the Veil.”

The leather-skinned farmer flailed upon the ground in his iron bonds. His heavily pregnant daughter jerked against the grasp of two guardsmen, clad in neck-to-toe black leather. The taller, brawnier of the pair chuckled at the girl’s distress and twisted her shoulder painfully in the joint.

“Let him go!” Mallory’s daughter shrieked, and her fangs gnashed with the futile threat of retaliation. “We’ve done nothing wrong!”

Mallory begged his child, “Patricia, please. Don’t make this worse.”

But it was true, and Sevon knew it—they had done nothing wrong. He glanced hesitantly at the Veil itself, the ethereal membrane that shrouded Darkmore from the human world. The humans called the land that lay beyond it “Texas,” and Lord Dominic Ravensgrove had talked Sevon into sending Mallory and his daughter out there to die. Dominic had made a strong case for their supposed betrayal to the Crown. When Sevon had found the fallacy in his logic, Dominic had beaten him soundly in the dungeon. Dominic was his lover, or so he had reminded Sevon over the years. Sevon didn’t care at all for Dominic’s sense of love. Dominic had left him there on the filthy dungeon floor, broken and bleeding, deep in his own loneliness as his skin mended and bones healed.

Sevon had seen it was more agreeable to go along with whatever Dominic decided about how Sevon should rule his kingdom. Better than suffering through a night, a week, a month, or more of beatings, deprivation, or torture. In the higher circles of Darkmore’s court, it was no secret that Sevon wore the crown but Dominic was the true tyrant king.

And now, as Mallory and his daughter lay at Sevon’s feet and begged for release, Dominic was teaching Sevon a lesson. For Sevon’s disobedience, not only would Mallory die, but so would his daughter and her unborn child. Sevon concentrated on the iridescent sheen.

Less than five feet in front of him, the glaring daylight of the humans’ Texas desert beckoned him forward. The horrific sprawl of debris piled hundreds of feet high, with shantytowns perched precariously on top, consumed the landscape behind him. And Sevon was trapped inside with the disaster. He narrowed his eyes, reaching his black-gloved fingers toward the light. What would the sun feel like on his flesh? How did daylight dance across the Rio Grande? He longed to be there, in the light. Anything would be better than a life in darkness and ruin.

Dominic clapped a hand on Sevon’s shoulder, and Sevon startled. In his ear, Dominic purred a warning. “You mustn’t fall for the temptation of the light, my sweet. Concentrate. We will be back in the palace soon.”

Sevon’s bones shivered at the timbre of Dominic’s voice. It had been a warning, not a note of concern. He pushed from his mind thoughts of what being back in the palace would entail.

Sevon pressed his glossed lips in a grim line, gathered his long blond curls, and twisted them into a tight bun. He watched the squirming farmer. “Perhaps, Mallory, I didn’t make myself clear the first time. You have a way of saving yourself.”

His brows quirked as the beginnings of a headache swelled behind his eyes. It was the guilt making itself known. He glanced at Dominic and fell silent for several seconds. Dominic’s eyes were cold, and the chilling shove to continue with this farce slammed into Sevon’s stomach.

“You will give us the livestock from your stockyards, and your tax debt with Lord Ravensgrove goes away.”

“Or your daughter meets the sun first,” Dominic growled, and Sevon watched him with bewilderment.

“Dominic…?” Sevon said softly.

Dominic’s hand snapped in a halting gesture, and Sevon froze.

Farmer Mallory jolted to attention at Dominic’s threat. Patricia screeched and squirmed in the grasp of her captors. “Please, Your Majesty,” Mallory begged Sevon directly. “We can be reasonable. If we give you the entire herd, there won’t be a way for my family to survive the oncoming winter.”

Before Sevon could speak, Dominic interjected for him. “So, betraying the Crown by doling out the humans to the less fortunate aisa hives is perfectly acceptable. I see.”

“Dominic,” Sevon repeated, this time with a hint of urgency.

“It would serve His Majesty well if he remains silent,” Dominic said.

Sevon knew that was the only warning he’d get.

Dominic stepped forward and loomed over Mallory. He had effectively cast Sevon aside. “I believe His Majesty is a fair and just king. If you want to see another star in the sky, His Majesty is of the opinion that you shouldn’t keep me from taking what’s rightfully mine.” Dominic tucked his helmet in the crook of his elbow. His tone remained casual. “Your stockyard is in my district. You are making it immensely difficult for His MajestyDominic spit the term in a way that made Sevon’s blood boil—“to make a proper decision, because you’re giving away my property. Do you see my point?”

Or at least, that’s how Dominic’s case went. Sevon’s belly quivered with the fact that this atrocity was unfolding in front of him moment by moment. It was not that he hadn’t done this before; Dominic had told him that participating in executions would make him a stronger king. Not only make him a stronger king, but kill the problematic sense of humanity he still held within his heart. Sevon refused to lose his empathy, but Dominic didn’t care for his flashes of compassion. Sevon had doubted Dominic’s motives since he was old enough to realize he wasn’t really the one ruling the kingdom. Dominic wanted him to be the ideal, compliant lover, and the king Darkmore needed to survive the bleak times. Sevon was all too aware that his people just needed a face to blame for their oppression.

Sevon glanced at the Veil again and the light beyond. Once, just once, he wished to know a life where he made his own decisions.

The anxiety permeating Mallory’s stained coveralls invaded the air with rotting putrescence. Sevon sniffed and wrinkled his nose, wishing the stench and the guilt away. This would all be over soon.

Mallory sputtered for an answer. “Please, Your Majesty,” the farmer cried. It turned Sevon’s stomach for Mallory to address him when really it was Dominic’s decision. “It’s not that simple to let Lord Ravensgrove manage the humans. My stockyards never recovered from Hurricane Gert twenty-two years ago. Herds live in abysmal conditions. They’re sickly and small. My family wants to spare the city the disgrace of eating such refuse. That’s why I give them away to the… the….” Mallory craned his neck upward at the disapproving glare of Lord Dominic Ravensgrove.

Dominic tapped four iron spikes into his waiting palm, and Mallory burst into tears.

“Please,” Mallory whimpered. “Please don’t do this….”

Dominic snorted a laugh. “You’ve had twenty-two years to recover from a meager hurricane. You are aisa! Nature bows to you. Are you a man, or are you a cockroach?”

Sevon startled. “Dominic, that’s enough!”

Dominic spun on his heel and roared in Sevon’s face. “I said be silent, boy!”

Sevon’s lip quivered, but something inside him urged him not to back down. “You’re putting them to death for no reason! What Mallory is saying is the truth. You’re doing this to punish me.” Sevon slipped back two steps. “Let them go and be done with it. I know what you want to do to me when we return to the palace. So what’ll it be? Licking filthy boots? Whippings? Trying to fuck me with your pathetic di—”

The crack across Sevon’s cheekbone sent him spinning and tumbling into one of Dominic’s guards. He blinked through the haze as the guard hooked him under the arms and held him upright against his chest.

“Hold him. We’ll need him,” Dominic commanded.

Sevon pulled away from the guard, but the man was much taller and stronger. “Dominic!” he cried. “Dominic, stop!”

Dominic turned away, ignoring him, and Sevon wilted.

“Let’s not mince words, Mallory,” Dominic said. “You have food. The aisa need food. I don’t give a damn if the livestock is inbred or has dementia. Blood and meat are blood and meat.”

“Your Majesty, I beg you,” Mallory whimpered, tears streaking his filthy cheeks. “My family is very loyal to the Crown of Darkmore. King Louis was very good to us.”

If anything made Sevon feel inadequate as a king, it was the mention of how good of a king his father had been. Dominic had repeated the stories constantly of how Louis was truly a coward and had left his kingdom to rot after the terrible hurricane two decades ago. Sevon had heard the stories enough times, even he believed them. But his gut churned when he encountered a subject who worshipped the man.

“His father is gone,” Dominic snarled, curling his fingers into angry claws. “You are loyal to Louis, but he is your king.” Dominic snapped a hand toward Sevon. “How dare you betray him?”

Mallory withered, and Patricia jumped to his defense. “Please, Your Majesty,” she said, again addressing Sevon. The dread tightened around his skull. Dominic was speaking for him, and these two were none the wiser. “We have been very faithful to you and your father.”

Dominic scoffed. “How dare you bring up such a weakling king?”

Patricia wailed, thrashing in the guards’ grasp. She cursed Sevon with fangs gnashing and yellow eyes blazing. “You are a tyrant, Sevon Maraté. You will never be as great a ruler as your father. Never!”

“It’s not me!” Sevon cried and jerked, trying to get free from the guard. “It’s not me. Dominic, let them go! Please. Please, let them go. This isn’t right!”

Dominic eased the full helmet onto his head, and his guards followed his lead. Sevon watched them tighten their gloves and secure their coats against the sun’s scalding light. “Cap him,” Dominic said under his visor. The guard who held Sevon roughly shoved Sevon’s helmet over his head, pulling on the bun in his hair.

Patricia went limp, overcome with tears. She sobbed an incoherent mixture of desperate questions and begged for deliverance from an unknown god.

“Got him?” Dominic asked Sevon’s captor, and the man flashed an upward thumb. “Bring him here.”

The guard trundled forward with Sevon thrashing in his grip. Sevon’s ankle-length black leather skirt rustled as it caught between the guard’s legs. The guard crushed the thick fabric into the scattered refuse dotting the sandy ground as he dragged Sevon closer to the membrane of the glowing Veil.

Sevon crossed his arms tightly around his chest, tucking his gloved hands into his armpits. “I won’t do this,” he growled.

Dominic didn’t answer and yanked one of Sevon’s hands free with a sharp snap. Sevon let out a cry of pain and indignation as Dominic forced Sevon’s arm upward and flattened his palm mere centimeters from the Veil. The globs of iridescence swirled and whirled, drawn to Sevon’s proximity.

Behind him, Mallory wailed, and tears of molten gold ruined Sevon’s smoky eye shadow.

Sevon wanted to see the light. Be in it. Touch it. Taste it. Smell it. The temptation oozed through his mind like a disease. But he didn’t want it like this. Not like this. He despised that Dominic would take the things he desired most and corrupt them into something horrific.

Dominic waved Sevon’s hand, and the sheer bubble of the Veil popped, creating a wavering portal in the protective barrier. Light stabbed into the darkness of Darkmore, and Sevon was the only one who didn’t flinch.

“Quickly, quickly!” Dominic barked and led the charge into the desert.

Two of the guards hefted Mallory into the daylight, and the other two dragged Patricia by the upper arms. Her bare toes dug desperate rents in the hard-baked earth. The five men whisked past Sevon, leaving him in the bear hug of the final guard. Sevon stared longingly into the sun from behind the safety of his helmet’s visor. There was never any doubt Dominic would always destroy something Sevon cherished.

Dominic slammed the screaming Mallory to the hot ground. The farmer flailed while his skin smoldered and flaked. His wispy hair ignited and his fangs emerged in a desperate reaction.

Sevon stared blankly and let his eyes go out of focus. It was much easier to watch someone burn when he couldn’t make out the details. He never forgot the screams, though. His own screaming never did anything. Tears rolled down his cheeks, and Sevon’s stomach plummeted with the knowledge of his helplessness.

Dominic pressed himself to Mallory, pinning one arm with his knee and driving the iron spike through Mallory’s wrist into the earth. Mallory thrashed, freeing his impaled wrist. He caught Dominic off guard by digging his clawed fingers into the meat of Dominic’s thigh. Dominic recoiled as his thick leather pants tore and the sun bit into his exposed skin. He winced, and his tawny flesh reddened with blisters. Dominic wouldn’t be deterred, however, and stabbed the second spike into Mallory’s other wrist.

Sevon snapped back into the moment and gasped in horror. “Dominic!” Sevon screeched. “Dominic, come back! You’ll burn! Dominic,” he pleaded.

“I need to finish this,” Dominic snarled in reply. “I need to make the point that this is what we do to traitors.” He limped toward Mallory’s feet. The sun had compromised his protective clothing, and its poisonous heat seeped into his skin, boiling his flesh and blood.

“Dominic!” Sevon shrieked through the open portal in the Veil. “Stop this!”

Dominic limped around Mallory’s smoking body as his own flesh sizzled. “Why don’t you get a closer look?” Dominic called. “Throw him here.”

“What?” Sevon managed to say before the guard threw him out of the portal and onto the hard sunbaked earth. Sevon’s head bounced against the ground, and his helmet popped loose from his head. His hair tumbled in spiraling waves and whipped about in the Texas wind. The sunlight blasted against his face instantly. His eyes snapped open from the searing pain, and his vision filled with blinding brightness. “Dominic!” Sevon croaked.

He pushed to his hands and knees, flailing for his helmet, which must be somewhere nearby. At least he hoped so. The sun stung at the back of his head through his white-gold hair. His head-to-toe blackout leather gown grew warm against his skin in the arid desert. He tried to stay calm as he felt around. His skin was hot to the touch, and he knew he was seconds from igniting. Sevon would die here. Right now. In the hideous way of Dominic’s latest punishment.

He counted to five, keeping calm. If he were to die now, Dominic couldn’t hurt him anymore. The idea of the ultimate escape appealed to him as the thoughts raced through his mind of his imminent release. The sun stroked him in comfort, welcomed him, and urged him onward. Away from Dominic’s reach and his wrath. The sun made Sevon feel free. It made him feel, for the briefest of moments, alive. Alive!

Sevon lay back, forgetting about the helmet, and turned his face to the sun. He welcomed the release.

“What the fuck, Sevon,” Dominic spat at him, and Sevon’s skin prickled with the ice of fear. “Take him!” Dominic roared to his other men.

The guards obeyed and scooped up the flailing Sevon. He screamed and kicked, as they returned to the safety of Darkmore’s forever night.

Mallory sizzled, his lips burning away and fangs glowing like white-hot coals. He snarled his final defiance of the sun and of the Darkmore crown. Not far behind him, Patricia’s burning body curled forward, failing to protect her unborn child.

Sevon could no longer hide his tears at the thoughtless murders.

Once safely within the confines of the Veil, it sealed behind them with a slurping suck of ether and air. The guards dropped Sevon onto the ground, and he landed hard on his elbow. If he still had a stomach, he would have vomited.

The cold air stabbed into his skin in contrast to the scalding air of the world outside the Veil. He was baffled that he hadn’t immediately ignited like most aisa. He made a mental note to find references about more verkolai traits later. He carefully wobbled to his feet while studying the swirling colors of the Veil and turned his back on Dominic and his men.

Sevon’s thoughts evaporated when Dominic’s palm cracked hard against his cheekbone, and then Dominic wrapped him in a crushing hug. Sevon stumbled in Dominic’s iron grip, trying to clear his vision and comprehend the gesture of affection.

“Don’t ever do that again,” Dominic croaked, sounding genuinely concerned. “I’d be lost without you. You matter too much to me.”

Sevon blinked back his tears. He tried wiping one away around the awkward grip of Dominic’s broad arm. “I’m… s-sorry…,” Sevon muttered. He tried to decode the meaning in Dominic’s words. Was there a hidden meaning? Or, when faced with the true threat that Sevon would rather end himself, did Dominic have a change of heart? Sevon’s mind roiled with confusion.

Dominic crushed him in a tighter hug and petted Sevon’s hair. He gripped a fistful of Sevon’s hair and kissed at the curls at his temple. “You matter too much,” Dominic said again.

Sevon shivered and questioned himself. Maybe, in this instant, things would be different for them. Maybe Dominic had the capacity to change. Maybe it would finally work out. Sevon knew the damning truth deep in his soul. Maybe not today or tomorrow or months from now, but there would be severe retribution for his insubordination. He tried not to think about the possibilities. He only focused on this moment and fought the urge to run.

He softly wrapped his arms around Dominic’s thick waist and forced himself to relax into him. “I’m sorry,” Sevon said, trying to make it not sound like a lie. “I’m sorry.”

“Come,” Dominic said in a firm order and released Sevon with a cold gesture. He limped away through the scattered trash. The burn on his leg bloomed into newborn skin. “You have to make your decree at the stockyards.”

Sevon solemnly watched Dominic walk away. Failure burned in his throat. Dominic had sternly raised him, claimed he loved him, and eagerly encouraged his love of fine frippery. Dominic encompassed the entirety of his world…. And nothing would ever change.

It was easier to pretend it would all be okay.


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

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!