It’s About The Book is happy to be hosting Lex Chase for her blog tour for Chasing Sunrise. It’s the first in a new trilogy which is very different from her previous works. Thank you, Lex, for stopping by!
Heya and howdy do! I’m Lex Chase and I want to give a big thank you to the ladies at It’s About the Book 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. Even Whit left this lovely review right here that sums it up.
One of the interesting thing about her review that tickled me, as the mention of the supporting cast of these female warriors and how she liked them. This was music to my ears! The women in question are King Sevon’s royal guard, a sisterhood known as the Armigers. They actually outnumber the male characters in the book, so it was a concern of how women in an M/M book would be received.
The captain of the Armigers, Bianca, and her second-in-command, Chaney, are a pair very dear to me. They’re a devoted lesbian couple that have a story just as epic as Sevon and Jack. In Chasing Sunrise we only get brief glimpses of their love for each other, but in those glimpses I wanted to express that they have a love extends beyond time itself. They have such a deep love for each other that Sevon can only dream of one day reaching with Jack.
But there’s a twist with Bianca and Chaney. We learn through the Darkmore Saga is there is a concept of a Chrono and an awakened. The easiest way to break this down is a Chrono is what we’d consider a “Maker” and the awakened is the “progeny” according to popular vampire tropes. A Chrono is a giver of time that makes an awakened immortal, or… have all the time in the world as it were.
Also another aspect of being awakened, harkens to the belief that one is not truly awake and aware of the truths to the world when they were once human. I’m a huge philosophy nerd, and I essentially try to put the concepts in plain enough English that readers aren’t left scratching their heads and running to Google for wtf did I say? I am absolutely and constantly slipping this stuff in left and right on the downlow. In the case of the awakened and seeing the “truth of reality” is a very teeny tiny subtle reference to German philosopher Immanuel Kant being inspired by philosopher David Hume with the line that Hume had “awoken him from his long dogmatic slumbers.”
Short version: It’s cool, kk? :D
In Chasing Sunrise we discover that for a Chrono and awakened to have a romantic relationship, it’s a punishable criminal offense. While centuries have passed, many are still quite close-minded to such a relationship. To earn Sevon’s trust, Bianca confesses to Sevon that Chaney is her Chrono and they are indeed lovers. Sevon, who is gay, at first finds this news absolutely scandalous and uncomfortable.
I enjoy the play of taking the “scandal” of a gay relationship, and twisting it into something else. Something else that readers of LGBT fiction would find familiar but unusual. We have read countless stories of gay relationships facing trials and dangers if they can truly remain together, and we’re aware it’s going to all be okay in the end.
But what about a trope where being gay isn’t the issue at all, but a certain social standing? Or a certain race of people? Or in the case of the Darkmore Saga certain species of werecritters, and immortals having relations with mortals (which is a whole other ball of wax.) It’s a trope that is interesting to explore beyond LGBT couples but straight ones as well. And it’s something where readers are not exactly truly sure if it’s going to work out for the best like they’re so comfortable in the standard LGBT relationship story.
Essentially, Bianca and Chaney serve as my own poster children for civil rights in the context of this series. And I hope M/M readers appreciate and want to learn more about their love story as well as Sevon and Jack. Because these ladies have weathered the storms of their relationship and they have become so diesel, they can and will rise to the occasion.
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 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 peoples 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 Jacks knowledge about Darkmores king and its history unsettles Sevon, a curious bond begins to form. Despite Sevons mistrust, Jack is determined to tame Sevons 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
A knock at the study doors startled Sevon, and the accompanying peal of thunder aggravated the situation. Enter, Sevon growled.
The door parted, and green eyes flickered through the dim lantern light. Sevon stiffened with the recognition that the emerald eyes belonged to Lady Bianca, the captain of the Armigers. Her skin was as white as paper and her makeup as black as calligraphy ink. Her lips were stained with obsidian glaze, her eyes rimmed in swooshes of kohl, and her jet-black Mohawk styled into a professional tail down the middle of her scalp. Biancas silver piercings, necklace chains, rings on every finger, and fashion sense were drawn from the human rock stars of the seventies. She was a punked-out rabble-rouser in the wrong decade.
Your Majesty, if I may have a word?
Sevon didnt know what to make of her and the fact she would reach out so soon. He squinted, and something tickled at his memory like the haze of a dream.
Do I know you? Sevon asked as he tried to put her face onto a point of reference.
Bianca bowed her head. Yes, Your Majesty. You were just a boy. My wife and I have very fond memories.
Sevon smiled; Bianca seemed respectful at least. He prodded for more information. Your wife? Is she here?
Bianca was a handsome woman in the way Sevon was a beautiful man. Her smile was one of confidence and fearlessness. Lady Chaney, Your Majesty. Shes my Chrono.
The term hit Sevon with a thump to the chest. Your Chrono? he asked convinced he misheard her. He didnt know what to say. He had never met another aisa that had such a taboo relationship.
Bianca smirked. She was testing him. It was impossible she could be lovers with her Chrono. One of the many crimes I have willingly committed in my lifetime, she said.
Sevon decided to hold this nugget of information in case the right opportunity presented itself. He nodded. And now you are here to atone for your wrongdoings.
And perhaps guide His Majesty out of his own, Bianca said.
He gauged her tone and noted the hint of compassion. Sevon was still suspicious. Dominic had insisted on letting the Armigers into the kingdom. Clearly, they were his allies.
Sevon didnt respond but changed the subject instead. You had something youd like to say?
Bianca stepped toward the window and held out a hand. I hope His Majesty is aware that the people of Darkmore cannot survive like this, she said in a low tone, as if she was warning a child. Ive caught up on the recent events of this kingdom. Just tonight, Ive uncovered issues of repossessing the stockyards. And then burning noble homes in disagreement with the Crown to cinders? Ill have you know Lord Unger was the ambassador of the king of Leiser Nachtwald, Darkmores connection to Eastern Europe. He has been our ally since before you were born. His king trusted Darkmore to have his best interests at heart. How do you think it appears to his king that Darkmore shows no mercy to Ungers court and Unger himself?
Sevons eyebrow quirked and his lips pressed into a thin line. He couldnt tell Bianca the truth. He didnt dare. Someone was listening somewhere, and the news would get back to Dominic. Dominic says Leiser Nachtwald has nothing to offer us anyway, Sevon expertly lied. He assumed an air of indifference and tried to throw Bianca off the trail.
Bianca straightened to her full height of six feet. She turned to face him, and there was no mistaking her doubt. Oh really now? How can Lord Ravensgrove be so certain?
Because he is, Sevon said, waving a hand. He glanced toward the window to keep from looking Bianca in the eye. If she could see him clearly, shed catch him in his lies. We have everything right where its supposed to be, he said, injecting confidence into his voice.
Bianca frowned. Have you even been listening? Rationing resources when its quite apparent the kingdom doesnt have enough to go around to begin with? Assassinating people for having an opinion?
Sevon stood and strode to the bookcase. Keeping his back to Bianca, he waved behind him. Yes, yes, whatever. Thats all very small in the scheme of things.
By the fangs of my ancestors! Bianca growled. What are you talking about?
Sevon scanned the bookcase, and his fingers flicked over the spines of the old tomes. He brightened when he found an antiquated atlas. He shouldered the gargantuan book off the shelf, then slammed it onto the desktop. Bianca danced back three steps as Sevon flipped to the proper page. He smiled in contentment at the continent spanning the two enormous sheaves of paper.
There. Our new home, Sevon purred in quiet reverence.
Bianca stepped toward the desk, examining the book. Saionavora? The shifters land? Its a fairy tale!
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Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, Were all going to die, Im 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 loveand depending on how she feels that dayLex 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 youre 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 wouldnt 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 shed be a popsicle.
She is grateful and humbled for all the readers. She knows very well she wouldnt be here if it wasnt for them and welcomes feedback.
Chasing Sunrise Tour Stops:
7/25 – Chasing Sunrise Release Day!