I’m delighted to have Lex Chase here. Please stop by my blog and read all about Pawn Takes Rook. It’s Lex’s birthday too. Give a comment and show Lex some love!
Hello, and howdy doo! I’m Lex Chase and I’m happy to be on Skylar’s blog today. So, thanks Skylar! I’m the author of Pawn Takes Rook, the first installment of the Checkmate series. Pawn Takes Rook is a fun romp through the absurd world of superheroes. However, PTR has some hard-hitting subject matter such as death and disgrace. How on earth can you make something like death funny? Unless you’re Monty Python, you can’t really. But in the case of Pawn Takes Rook? I can soften it a bit.
Pawn Takes Rook is the story of Memphis Rook, a disgraced superhero. He’s brooding, he’s angry, and on an extremely short fuse. He sounds like a fun-loving guy right? Of course not. That’s why there’s his sidekick Hogarth Dawson. Through Hogarth’s hyperactive, over-excitable, too-much-caffeine-too-little-sleep ways, he is our guy telling Rook’s angst-ridden story. The way I describe it is imagine watching Dark Knight Rises narrated by a chipmunk. Funny, right?
While I love tear-jerking movies as much as the next guy, there’s just a lot of that in the world. There’s too much bad news and not enough good news. I should know, I’m a journalist as my day job. We need to laugh, and laughter is truly the best cure for what ails us.
Think of the saddest movie ever made, besides every Disney movie in existence. (After the complete emotional destruction of Wall-E, I never saw Up. I just can’t do it to myself.) The saddest movie I’m talking about is Titanic. Where you go in knowing the boat is going to sink, and everyone is going to die, and the band is going to go down playing and at that moment you are done.
Now. Picture Titanic starring balloon animals. Imagine that sex scene where Rose overdramatically throws her hand against the foggy glass. Now imagine the squeaking and whistling of two balloon animals getting it on.
It’s fucking funny, am I right? There. I have cured you from crying at Titanic ever again. I’m sorry I have no cure for Celine Dion.
So why comedy? Isn’t it obvious? Because we can walk through our lives in complete despair, or we can get a giggle at Grumpy Cat’s cantankerous antics.
I chose comedy for Pawn Takes Rook specifically, because Rook’s story? Who honestly hasn’t heard it before the same freaking way six thousand times? It gets dull every time you see a rugged brooding hero in the darkened corner of a bar nursing his bottle of Jack, puffing on a cigarette and trying to be as incognito as possible. But we can’t help but stare at this guy because he’s our awesome brooding hero. Who hasn’t been there, done that? Now insert your new main character meeting the brooding guy in the bar and he’s dressed as a box of Valentine chocolates and gives a singing telegram court subpoena to broody guy. Now, you want to keep reading right?
A wise man once said: Life is like a box of chocolates, and you always pick the nasty nougat ones first because the universe is laughing at you. Laugh with it.
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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….
Where To Buy:
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Pawn Takes Rook: Excerpt
I jogged up the steps, then cracked open my squeaky door, only to be greeted with the esteemed sight of Rook, clad in Pac-Man pajama bottoms that were definitely not mine and little else. I watched as he polished off my gallon jug of milk, tossed it aside, and moved on to the OJ, fresh from the fridge. If you could have seen the utter horror on my face at watching my hard-earned groceries disappear with shocking efficiency, you’d agree with me. One thing was for certain, he didn’t eat double-decker buses, but he pretty much ate everything else! I had to step in before he slurped up the remains of the pickle juice straight from the jar.
I snatched the jar out of his hand, and he looked at me like a swatted puppy. I was onto his game, and he wouldn’t sucker me for sympathy.
“Hey….” he groaned like a five year old denied ice cream.
I squinted at him and frowned. “Do you want to make yourself sick again? I saw you puke your brains out. I’d like it if you’d refrain from decorating my apartment with an explosion of Baskin-Robbins!”
Rook went silent. His lips pursed, his wild eyes narrowed—I should add he had some crazy long lashes. Like that guy in that show about the crazy mysterious island with the smoke monster. Yeah! Guyliner dude!
Anyway, he was about to say something. I could see the train of thought coming to the station. He took a breath, and then broke into a bright superhero grin, blaze of gleaming white against tawny skin.
“You’re sweet, Garth,” he said.
My ears felt hot. I flushed like a freak. At that moment, my feet became really interesting. He stepped past me, rummaged in the pantry for the Golden Grahams, and then poured them straight down his gullet. I spun around and ripped the box from his hand. Tiny squares of tasty goodness showered the floor.
“Hey!” he growled.
“Don’t ‘hey!’ me, bucko!” I snapped at him. “You don’t get to say sweet things to me, show your junk to me, or other sundry flirty things to get your way. You do not get to use my credit card in return for giving me a peep show. You do not get to raid my fridge just because you pay me a compliment. You do not get to waltz into my life and not explain a Goddamned thing to me! Why did you puke, then pass out? Why did you pass out when you saved me? More to the point, why do you goddamn flat fuck fall over all the time?”
Rook crossed his arms and pressed his lips into a thin line. “Will there be anything else you’d like to file with the Complaint Department?” He grinned. “Press one for ‘sit and spin’, and press two for ‘cry me a fucking river’.”
God, this man was absolutely incorrigible. If you can’t beat ’em….
I shook the box of Golden Grahams as a temptation. “Answer my questions, and I’ll show you where I hide the pretzel M&M’s.”
Rook gently took the box from me and shoved his hand into the crinkling plastic. He popped a handful of cereal in his mouth and crunched obnoxiously. “I freaking love the pretzel ones,” he mumbled.
I sat on the counter and watched him scarf down my beloved Golden Grahams. “Why did you puke?”
“That’s appetizing….” he said and scanned the fridge, choosing a bag of shredded cheese.
I pointed a finger and watched him pour the Colby-Jack from the bag into his mouth. “Are you like a gremlin? Can I not feed you after midnight?”
“And you don’t know what DeLoreans are,” he chided, then slurped caramel sauce from the jar.
“Hey. One ’80s reference at a time!” I scolded him. “Answer the question.”
Rook smirked as he popped the tab on a Sprite. “You know how every superhero has some ultimate super-secret power?”
“Yeah?” I said, leaning in eagerly.
“That’s mine,” he said and chugged the soda.
I didn’t get it. “…Puking?”
Rook coughed, and his hand clasped over his nose. Let it go down in the history books the moment I made Memphis Rook snarf on Sprite.
“No!” he gurgled, then coughed wetly. He snorted carbonation up his nose. “Raising the dead….” he said softly.
“Say what, now?” I blurted out. Not the smoothest of things to say at the moment. “But… you’re a fighter.”
His crazy eyes met mine. “You could say I’m a giver too.”
Man, my shoes were seriously interesting at that moment. Wow, never noticed that peculiar dapple of puce paint on the toe. The more I tried to make myself stop blushing like a freak, the worse I made it.
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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.
And her blog at http://lexchase.com.