And now for something completely different. I invited Lex by to talk about her newest venture, and boy, was I caught off guard!
I confess, I have mixed feelings about reading this book. I trust Lex Chase implicitly to deliver a great read, but I'm not so sure this particular book would bring me the relaxed sanctuary I usually crave when I read. I think that's more a confession about me being a total lightweight than it is censure against the book. And I have to say, when I discussed the themes with hr, Lex was, as always, enthusiastic, kind and understanding, as well as 100% staunchly behind her work. I admire that in any writer.
Also important to note is that presales of this book go to a very worthy cause:
100% of the presale royalties of this book will go to Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center's Domestic Violence Service.
In truth, I'm extremely intrigued by the concept she's delved into, but it makes me uncomfortable. And that, totally, is about me, not the book. So here is her post, and now, you make up your own mind:
Hello Internet! I'm Lex Chase and I want to thank Jamie Samms for having me here for the Chasing Sunrise Blog Tour!
Guys. Guys. Guys. Let's cut to the chase. Stephenie Meyer pretty much ruined vampires for everyone. Some disagree and hail how fantastically brilliant she is. Others groan at her take on the genre and has pretty much soured everyone to vampires until the end of time.
I am of the opinion of screw Sparklepires! That's why with Chasing Sunrise and The Darkmore Saga I'm trying to bring sexy back at what makes vampires not only alluring, but the ultimate unrepentant predator.
Dear readers, meet the aisa.
The aisa are my take on the vampire mythos, and I have a great deal of fun with these guys. Sure, yeah, yeah. They're pretty. They're sexy. They're exotic (which take that as you will.) But make no mistake. The aisa eat people.
Read that again. Eat people. In fact, they keep humans as livestock. The fun part about the aisa is we as mortal beings are all eeewww gross they're monsters! Consider this, we have no issue when we eat a hamburger, or a steak, or McNuggets. It's the same deal. The aisa are not a malicious people, they don't get a thrill from killing humans. That's just what they eat. When they can very well subsist on other types of animals to a point.
They're replacement eaters. And what does that mean exactly? They have to eat the entire body. You know what I'm talking about. Not just the blood, but the muscle, organs—a yup brain too, the bones, and even the skin. I'd like to remind everyone at this point this is a romance novel. Sorry not sorry. ;D
But there are certain things that their own bodies don't need or use. Aisa have no need for a stomach, and therefore they don't have any digestion tract. Those organs still exist in their bodies, but they're like vestigial organs they way a tailbone is. They also don't need to breathe, but still have some lung function. Because no matter what you do, you still breathe to talk. Or you move air to make a sound. Their lungs only hold a quarter capacity of what we do. Their idea of a deep breath for them is a very shallow one for us. The tissue is still there. But it's like a half deflated balloon.
And they don't freaking sparkle.
As an aside, I really think I need to make a hashtag of #BTWROMANCENOVEL at this point.
In Chasing Sunrise we learn that the term aisa is a catchall name for the various aisa breeds. And there are just as many aisa breeds on this planet as there are just as many different nationalities over our green earth. While there's a baseline of similar feeding habits and weaknesses, some have extreme variants. While we never meet them, there's an African race that feeds exclusively on the milk of nursing mothers. No blood at all!
However, in our first glimpse into the world of the aisa nations, we meet the chasseurs by way of the most horrible example of them with the villainous Dominic Ravensgrove. However, it is a bit of a treat to find out what they're like. They worship insects for a reason.
We also learn of Sevon's heritage as a verkolai. His breed is considered the ruling class and not only that but godhood. I like to think of it as being appointed a pharaoh in the manner that people believe god speaks through them. But there's a catch to being born the most powerful aisa breed and it's a pretty shitty one. Being a verkolai is seriously a lot more trouble than it's worth! You'll have to read on to find out!
Remember! Meat is murder!
.......................Tasty, tasty murder.
Genre: Vampires, Werewolves/Shapeshifters, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy Series: The Darkmore Saga: Book One Length: Novel Published: July 25, 2014 Publisher: Dreamspinner Press ISBN: 978-1-62798-776-9 Pre-order: Paperback or eBook
Blurb: Chasing Sunrise 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.
100% of the presale royalties of this book will go to Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center's Domestic Violence Service.
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.
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7/25 - Chasing Sunrise Release Day!