Lex Chase and The Necessity of Brutality
Hello everyone! I’m Lex Chase and I want to give a big thank you to the ladies of Gay List Book Reviews 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.
Now that Chasing Sunrise has been out for just about three weeks, I’d like to say over at Dreamspinner Press, it’s #1 in Urban Fantasy and #1 in Vampires! WOOHOO! I’m pretty excited!
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this tour. A lot. Now, let’s talk about something I’ve brought up in different ways through the tour. I make the joke of the hashtag #BTWROMANCENOVEL because Chasing Sunrise and the Darkmore Saga have quite a few trappings that aren’t standard romance novel faire. As in, things you’d never see in them at all.
One such element, is the level of sheer brutality. The domestic violence angle notwithstanding, and the aisa and their feeding habits, there is torture, war, and genocide. Like those aren’t just buzzwords.
And I think it’s necessary. I don’t put it in there for kicks. I don’t wring my hands in glee about it (Well. I do. Sorta.)
I always believed that the subject matter of the book dictates the voice of the book. My previous Checkmate series had a very different voice. And toward the end it was actually quite violent. It was also a story about superheroes. So you knew that’s what you signed up for.
The Darkmore Saga is about vampires, shifters, and a conflict that has spanned for millennia. Sevon and Jack’s part of the story is just one tiny blip on the timeline. But in the case of vampires, shifters, and war… how on earth do you go into a book and not know things are going to be pretty violent?
I’m drawing my line in the sand that safe, fluffy vampires are are about as interesting as toast is tasty. It’s so boring. And readers have grown complacent with that. It’s expected that always the mortal lover to the vampire gets turned in the end. And it’s expected there’s a mortal lover. With any supernatural character: vampire, demon, werewolf, what have you. Always there is a mortal, ordinary, likely human lover.
Just….Pardon me but fuck that. It’s boring. It’s cliche. And if you’re going to go down that road, do something interesting about it. Something no one’s seen.
How about, here’s an idea, show the vampires in particular aren’t all ooooh so daaaark and misunderstooood~
They are not misunderstood. They’ve lost anything that made them human, but they have not lost their humanity. There’s a difference. One’s physical, the other is mental. They still have a sense of right and wrong. They are not monsters. And they have a right to eat just as we do.
War on the other hand? Where do I start? War has never been fair, people do some pretty shitty things to win, people die, people get tortured. Bodies get bulldozed into mass graves and set alight. There’s a reason there’s a weapon called MOAB. And we’re not talking about the Biblical reference. It’s short for Mother of All Bombs. What happens when people get hungry with no rations? Well. Use your imagination.
With a series like The Darkmore Saga there is no glossing it over. There is no “Let’s sit around and hold hands.” It’s “They may kill me, but I’m not going to die on my knees.”
Do you go to an action movie expecting it to be about kittens? No. And you’d be disappointed if it was. Now a gun-toting kitten? Oh sign me up!
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 Marate 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
With a collection of purposeful strides down the center yellow line of the road, Dominic clapped his hands in wide arcs. He whooped and hollered to drive the livestock from their roosts. “Come out. Come out here and face me!” Dominic barked. “Surely one little whore hasn’t gotten the best of you!”
Finally, the herd arrived. Baggy, Redcap, Ten, and Sherise circled their cattle master cautiously, unsure of what to make of him.
“Where did y’come from?” Sherise mumbled.
Sevon kept his distance and peered through the bushes. He watched Dominic hold up his hands in a small, gentle gesture to halt the livestock. “Now gentlemen, let’s be rational,” he spoke precisely. Ten seemed nervous with the switchblade. “You.” Dominic nodded at Ten and his blade, then pointed to Redcap. “Slash his throat.”
“Fuck you,” Redcap snarled at Dominic’s brazenness. Ten shifted from foot to foot with the long blade. “He ain’t serious!”
In the space between breaths, Ten was on Redcap. He dragged the blade over his throat, cracking through bones and gashing arteries. Baggy and Sherise screamed, backpedaling from the fallen body. Sevon pressed his fingers to his lips as Ten seemed to glare directly at him with murder in his eyes. Sevon ducked lower into the bushes.
“You.” Dominic pointed to Baggy and gestured to Sherise. “Break his neck.”
“This bitch f’real” Sherise screeched, backing up from Baggy.
“Trip,” Dominic ordered, and Sherise landed on his fat rear in the middle of the street.
Baggy crouched before the other man, wrapped his thick fingers around Sherise’s neck, and crushed the life out of him. In his last seconds, Sherise gurgled, “Think of my son!”
Dominic visibly stiffened, obviously put off by the man’s final words.
Sevon frowned as Sherise’s life ended in a long sickly whistle as his neck crackled and crunched in Baggy’s deranged grip.
Baggy and Ten were left and awaited orders like loyal, unquestioning soldiers.
“Take his eyes,” Dominic ordered Baggy, and then commanded Ten, “Drive your blade into his brain.” Smoothly, Dominic stepped aside and met Sevon’s gaze. He nodded at Sevon, who understood the gesture to come forward and sup while things came to their gruesome conclusion.
Sevon trotted across the pavement toward Redcap’s body, and he hesitated. Should he eat? What would happen? Would taking a human’s soul into his body really spell disaster? What kind? He didn’t want to chance it, but he didn’t want Dominic to notice he wasn’t eating. Sevon really needed to eat something, and Jack haunted the edges of his mind.
Moments later, Ten and Baggy fell in dull, meaty thumps nearby. Ten’s eyes had now been reduced to gouged pits, and his knife had been driven into Baggy’s skull through the ear canal.
Dominic gestured to Sevon, indicating he should feed.
Sevon shook his head and took one step back from the crumpled bodies. “I…” Sevon hesitated. “You should eat. I’m not hungry,” he lied.
Dominic arched a brow. “We came all the way out here, and you’re not hungry?”
Sevon’s mind raced for excuses. “I just wanted to be with you,” he said with a convincing smile. “Experience the thrill of the hunt.”
Dominic frowned and plucked Ten’s gore-caked knife out of Baggy’s ear. He considered the meaty pulp on the blade. “We can’t let them go to waste,” Dominic said in contemplation of the knife.
Sevon took another step back. “We can dispose of the ones you don’t eat,” Sevon helpfully suggested.
So far, Dominic hadn’t made an issue of Sevon’s refusal to feed, but Dominic’s scent was off. Dominic didn’t believe him, and they both knew it. Sevon took another step away from Redcap’s corpse. “Dominic,” Sevon whispered timidly.
Dominic rose like smoke and scrutinized Sevon. “You’re half-starved. Is that what you want? To become a fury? To leave me with this mess?”
Aghast at the accusation, Sevon’s head snapped with a quick shake. “No. I didn’t mean it like that,” he squealed. “I’d just… rather have a lily….” he pleaded with a submissive slope of the shoulders. He averted his gaze to the street. Sevon prayed Dominic wouldn’t catch on.
“But you need meat, bone, offal….” Dominic took slow steps toward him.
“I’m just not hungry, okay?” Sevon said with his attention settled on the pavement. His skin tingled with nerves. Just believe me, Sevon thought. Please, just believe me. “Can I not be hungry?” he said and raised his attention to Dominic. “Go on. You can eat. I just want to be with you,” he lied with an expert smile. He wrapped his arms around Dominic’s middle and pressed his ear to Dominic’s silent heart. “I just want to be like this forever,” he murmured, and the image of Jack flashed in his mind.
Sevon realized his mistake in the embrace.
Dominic spun him around and forced Sevon to his knees over Redcap. Sevon stuttered a gasp as Dominic shoved Sevon’s face into Redcap’s bleeding corpse.
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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!
Posted on August 18, 2014, in Guest Blog Posts and tagged Ancient Roman Shifters, Awesome, Blog Tour, Brutality, Chasing Sunrise, Dark, Darkmore Saga, Genocide, Guest Blog Post, King, Kingdoms, Lex Chase, paranormal, Saga, Series, Shifters, Torture, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Violence, War. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.