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. There are characters you pray they will make it out, hopefully not mangled too badly, there are ones that will make you wish swift and immediate death upon them. And then there are characters you can only run from, and if you can’t, you call on all that is holy you will survive when you likely won’t.
That character? She isn’t a character at all in a sentient humanoid sense, but she is the wind itself. In the prologue, the kingdom of Darkmore is forever changed when Category 5 Hurricane Gert makes landfall just off the coast. Darkmore is not only all but leveled in the storm, but it sets into motion our plot of betrayal and revenge.
It is a writing sin to open on descriptions of weather. Why? Because it typically is interesting as toast is tasty.
“It was a bright, sunny day…”
“It was a dark and stormy night…”
How about: “And the wind was raging.” Oh hey, that’s cool. And there’s something insanely intriguing on using a conjunction right at the start.
I’ve lived on the Florida Gulf Coast since I was a small child, I’ve seen my share of nasty storms, floods, and hurricanes. Upon the first week of moving here all those years ago, I discovered lightning. And I said I wanted to go home back to California. Lightning in the distance is interesting to watch. But when it strikes right in your yard and fries your cable modem? That’s not so interesting. It’s terrifying. The crackle, the white-violet flash, the scent of ozone, your skin tingling with static. Now, talking about it? That’s interesting.
I’ve been through Hurricane Ivan. My town “dodged a bullet” as we say with Hurricane Katrina when she turned at the last possible second. We would have survived Katrina. It’s a tragedy what became of New Orleans, and years later much of it still isn’t rebuilt, and some homes haven’t even been entered since.
As for a flood? Well! We just went though this one very recently!
Part what I jokingly call my “Hollywood Blockbuster” writing style, is I want to engage the reader’s senses. Three of the senses that I really work on punching up is smell, taste, and sound. You can’t hear a book.
When I set out writing about Hurricane Gert, I wanted readers to hear her grinding roars of churning clouds. I want readers to hear her clawed fingers scratch and scrabble against the Darkmore palace walls. Hear the shiver in the limestone as the palace trembles. The groaning creak as roof timbers bend and then the sharp snap of breaking.
I wanted readers to cower in the face of Gert’s monstrous ways. They should understand, like any storm, people often underestimate how bad it will be, only to be caught off guard that they had tragically underestimated themselves. That by claiming we can conquer even nature we find ourselves victims of hubris. Trying to cast the image that while tragic plot based things are going on and we learn the bad guys from the good guys, it’s the true evil that is bearing down on them.
So when people tell you, “Oh, for the love of god don’t open on weather!” Screw that! Just skip the clichés. Dig deeper. Make it a plot element.
“I will always remember my charred blisters when the second sun ignited the sky in Hiroshima.”
“The snowflakes refused to fall, frozen in time. He wouldn’t dare show his soldiers his deep purple fingers of frostbite. They had a new world to conquer.”
How will your characters survive the elements? As James Taylor croons, “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain…” What can you bend that into? An elementary school burning to the ground? A tsunami swallowing an unsuspecting village?
And there…. There is where the story begins.
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 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
The United States of America called Hurricane Gert an act of a cruel and terrible God.
The Kingdom of Darkmore called the storm divine retribution for the sins of their ancestors.
The subjects of Darkmore had consulted the broadcasts of American humans.
The humans made preparations against the angry hurricane aiming for the Texas coast. They muttered to themselves in their common tongue that it was a shame about Port Isabel—the coastal city wouldn’t stand a chance.
A shame about Port Isabel? The declaration angered the Darkmore citizens. The furious wind and rain crippled their own capital city.
At least the storm would hit in the daylight, the humans explained in their grating voices.
Daylight was the worst possible time for Darkmore. When the citizens hunkered in their cellars and basements, any shaft of light that stabbed through the cracks would destroy them. The wind, hail, or rain wouldn’t eradicate them, but the sun waited behind the churning clouds for its moment to bleach Darkmore’s subjects from existence and out of America’s shadows. Deep in their bones, the citizens of Darkmore feared the sun from the moment they awakened into their new lives as aisa.
“A shame about Port Isabel,” the humans croaked like bullfrogs.
Anna Maria seethed. What about us, she wanted to snarl into the sweating fleshbag’s face. What about us!
The answer crushed her. Humans didn’t know they existed.
A shame about Port Isabel.
A travesty about Darkmore. The capital city would be gutted like a rabbit and the entrails plucked by her enemies.
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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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