Hello everyone. Today I’m thrilled to have Romance Author Lex Chase stop by. She’s sharing a little from her hot, superhero story, Rook Takes Pawn, and some great music. Don’t forget to leave her a little love below!
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Lex Chase is a journalist by day and a writer by night. Either way you slice it, she makes things up for a living. Her style of storytelling is action, adventure, and a dollop of steamy romance. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes it’s never a party until something explodes in a magnificent fashion, be it a rolling fireball of a car or two guys screaming out their love for one another in the freezing rain.
Lex is a pop culture diva, an urbanite trapped in a country bumpkin’s body, and wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse. She has learned that when all else fails, hug the cat.
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 have a sweatshirt on because she’s freezing.
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Hello, hello, turn your radio on! This is Lex Chase coming to you live from Tempe O’Riley’s blog. Major shout out for Tempe having me here today. I’m the author and brainchild behind the superhero romantic comedy Pawn Takes Rook, the first installment of the Checkmate series for Dreamspinner Press. I’m one of those writers that is constantly listening to music, buying new music, and seeking out new sounds and lyrics that represent the feel of the story and the motivations of the characters.
When I wrote Pawn Takes Rook, I wrote it in such a blinding flash (over four days. True Story!) I never took the time to make a proper playlist. I alwaysmake a playlist for my projects. And with as much music as I have chilling out on my laptop, these playlists are usually hundreds if not a few thousand songs long. My playlists often have a few things that cross over (Like everything Hans Zimmer ever composed) but there’s some bits that are distinctly all their own. For Pawn Takes Rook, I listened to a playlist for a different project that had a similar light and fluffy feel. The odd thing, while it was specific to the other project, the playlist pretty much had Bon Jovi for days. So I had a lot of Jon Bon for a while running though my head all the time.
The playlist I offer here is by no means definitive, but it is the general feel of the book. Some things are a wink and a nudge to the absurdity of the superhero tropes—such as “Ultimate Showdown of the Ultimate Destiny” by Lemon Demon, and “Cartoon Heroes” by Aqua. Some things are specific to the characters such as Hans Zimmer’s glorious “A Watchful Guardian” from The Dark Knight is very Rook, and “Still Alive” by Jonathan Coulton from the videogame Portal is a bit of a smirk about the events in the story. There’s sprinkles of Hogarth throughout the playlist, “Catch My Disease” by Ben Lee is my perky Hogarth song, as well as “Pure Morning” by Placebo when he thinks he’s being a badass or just ‘model-walking’ through his shoebox apartment in his Nyan Cat jammies. For my go to whoopass scene music there was Hans Zimmer with “Bombs over Ibiza” from Dark Knight Rises and it is pretty much ridiculous how many times I’ve listened to it on loop. I’ll just say it’s a number over a hundred. Another song that makes me want to WRITE ALL THE SCENES of saving the day is Lacuna Coil’s cover of “Enjoy the Silence.”
Now it begs the question, “Lex! What the hell is up with ‘One Night in Bangkok?’ Bangkok isn’t even in the story!” Two reasons!
One: Rook is a dork for the ‘80s. Hence the other ‘80s songs as well.
Two: It’s from the movie Chess.
The book is called Pawn Takes Rook.
The series is called Checkmate.
Well… I thought it was funny. And you know “One Night in Bangkok” is not at all about the city right? Right?
Anyway. Give a listen. I hope you enjoy. 😀
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Pawn Takes Rook: Blurb
The first time Hogarth Dawson sees superhero Memphis Rook, he comes to Hogarth’s rescue by cracking the heads of two thugs like eggs into a skillet. Hogarth is utterly smitten, but he soon discovers the superhero Power Alliance has ejected Rook for failing to protect a civilian.
Hogarth devises a plan that will reinstate Rook and might even earn Hogarth a place in Power Alliance roster. But what he expects to be a simple few missions rescuing kittens and helping little old ladies cross the street turns into a shocking reality of citywide chases, foiling robberies, and facing his ex. Then Hogarth discovers the beating Rook saved him from wasn’t a chance attack. It’s possible Hogarth is just a pawn in Rook’s game….
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When I first saw Rook, he was cracking the skulls of two goons like eggs into a skillet. I sat there like a freaked out choir boy on my butt between the trash cans lining the alley behind Ted’s TV Tabernacle, gazing in awe and wonder. Rook had hands that could mold steel like Dollar General Play-Doh. He did just that by wadding up Random Thug Number One’s Louisville Slugger into a sadistic snowball and beaned the guy right in the ear. Getting snow in your ear has to be the most excruciating sensation in existence. I can’t imagine getting
I don’t remember if I screamed. I likely did. Totally did.
Random Thug Number Two went flying past me in an expert over-the-shoulder throw, his open mouth smacking wetly into the bricks. Broken teeth bounced over the sidewalk. Random Thug Number Three ducked behind the trash cans opposite me. He popped up once in a while, hidden behind the mound of bags and cans. His alligator eyes inched over the unfolding scene from the safe vantage point of the trash bag swamp.
Rook surveyed the alley, making sure he had gotten them all. He snorted a puff of steam with menacing satisfaction at seeing one guy out cold and another on the fast track for full dentures before sixty. Then he came to me. Now, when I say he was smoldering, that’s totally what he was doing. Smoke rose off his tattered trench coat in ethereal coils. Rook’s smoking frame could have been caused by the chill of the oncoming winter and the steam of sweat, but it definitely added to the sexy first impression.
His eyes, oh my Christ on a cracker…. They were not quite blue, not quite green, but like that girl on the National Geographic cover. Those haunting Afghan eyes.
“Are you okay?” Rook rumbled in a perfect antiheroic growl while reaching for my hand. His fingers, broad, callused, and strong, hung there long enough to cue the musical montage in my head. I couldn’t believe it. The one and only Memphis Rook had swaggered into my mugging, ready to bust heads. It was like he planned it, really. Or our universes collided in some awesome poetic way that I can’t think straight at the moment because holy crap, those hands are huge!
That’s when Random Thug Number Three opposite me decided to ruin the amazing moment,popping up like a spring-loaded Halloween skeleton and launched at Rook.
Rook turned in a smooth whoosh of muscle and fabric, and I shrieked as the knife skewered into his gut. He latched onto his killer’s knife hand in surprise.
“Oh God, oh God, oh God!” I screamed. I knew in that infinitesimally dark moment, I was going to die alongside the guy who fought in vain to save my life.
Confused, the thug glared at him, then to his captured wrist, and back again. “W-what are you?” he stammered as courage ran down his pants leg.
Rook released him. The thug held up the knife with the blade crumpled onto itself like a bullet impacting a Kevlar plate. The thug backpedaled, falling backward over a black plastic trash can after slipping on a greasy Five Guys burger wrapper. He screeched, twisting in an about face, and ran like a kid who had spilled orange juice on his dad’s vintage Playboys.
Then Rook turned those Afghan eyes on me, and the musical montage returned. The sleepy, sultry lyrics to “Dream Weaver” crooned in my head along with the accompanying halo of sparkles. His hand, those powerful, thick fingers, reached for mine….
And then he flat fuck fell over in my lap like a Buick dropped from low earth orbit. Steam rose from his body in the not so sexy eau de parfum of burned rubber and gasoline. He lay there, crushing my pancreas while out cold.
And that’s how Memphis Rook fucked up my life.
By coming into it.