A Day In The Life Of Hogarth Dawson
Hello Internet! I’m Lex Chase and Lily has kindly let me invade her space. Thanks Lily! Today we’re chewing the fat with the release of Pawn Takes Rook: Cashing the Reality Check, the second book in the Checkmate Series from Dreamspinner Press. It’s a story about the dizzying highs, the terrifying lows, and the creamy middle of disgraced superhero Memphis Rook and his rise to redemption alongside his sidekick/boyfriend Hogarth Dawson. If you haven’t given the Checkmate series a try yet, it’s not too late to catch up! With the release of Cashing the Reality Check on August 7th, Dreamspinner is having a sale on Checkmate #1, Pawn Takes Rook to the 12th! So don’t delay!
So, it must be hard when you’re the sidekick of the baddest of badass mofos to watch over the streets of Axis City. Hogarth has popped in today to give a rundown of his day and what it is to live with the broody Memphis Rook. Here we go!
Hogarth wanders in guzzling a Red Bull. He blinks the sleep from his eyes. “Oh heya, sorry didn’t get much sleep last night and totally not for the super steamy reasons like you’d might think. Lex wants to know what I’ve done with the last twenty four hours.” He slumps into a comfy chair like a gelatinous blob of young man. “Okay. Here we go.”
“First, I didn’t sleep from the night before of kicking ass and busting heads. Rook and I were dealing with some low level thugs for knocking over the Gabby’s Gas and Grub, again. They must be after the burritos. That place has the best burritos,” he said and fidgeted with the fringe of his houndstooth scarf. “Got in about oooh, three a-yem-ish. Rook decided he needed a shower, I decided I needed a shower. We Rock-Paper-Scissored for it. Both came up with paper. So into my tiny stand up shower we went. Stuff might have happened. That’s all I’m saying.”
Hogarth paused, looking off into the distance grinning like a dope. He then realizes where he is. “Um. Anywho. By that time it’s five-ish in the morning—shut up, okay? Moving on! So, to chill out for a bit, I looked up LOLCats on my MacBook. The one with the tuxedo in the cereal box cracks my shit up.”
Hogarth leans forward and points a finger thusly. “And then it was about eight, the sun had long arisen, and I heard the pitiful sound of a mewling kitten for help. Rook meanwhile, was wolfing down a stack of waffles while lounging in is Pac-Man jammie bottoms and parading around the apartment like a Viking god. Jesus. Has he no decency.”
Hogarth drifts off for a moment, then comes back into clarity. “But the kitten keeps crying, and Rook keeps nomming waffles, and so with a long suffering siiiiiiiiiigh I give up and check it out. Wandering around my walkup apartment, I find Twinklemuffin had gotten his fluffy butt up a tree. No really, the kitten’s name is totally Twinklemuffin.”
Hogarth takes another swig of his Red Bull. “So, after I shimmy up the tree, and let’s just say I am not particularly good at shimmying up trees, but I don’t break my neck so we’re good to go. Save the part cute and adorable Twinklemuffin turned into a Cuisinart and tried to shred my face off. Little bastard can stay up the tree next time. But as I climbed down with the tree, I got face to face with this guy…”
“It was well… awkward,” Hogarth says. “Because if Big Blue shows up, you know your part of town is going to be trashed in three seconds as he battles some horrible planetary threat. And indeed he did. And I’m not going to get into the details, but my MacBook got toasted in the carnage. I was so, so pissed! And then Rook says to me, ‘Well, you could take it over and have Wayne look at it…’ And I held in the immediate reaction to lose my crap.”
Hogarth glances down to his shoes and slaps a hand over his blushing face. “Okay, okay! So, maybe I applied to be his Boy Wonder once. But he was sooooo not interested in that kind of relationship. Damn sexy recluse. And with the fate of my beloved torrented episodes of Sons of Anarchy in the balance we went. Once we walked in the door, Wayne had this face.”
Hogarth held is index and thumb an inch apart. “I felt about this small. Wayne proceeds to ask if we had something useful to do. Like go save kittens from trees. Goddamn douchebag. But he agreed to look at my MacBook. Seeing as it was getting to be time for the nightly patrol, Rook and I took to the streets.”
“The night went well!” Hogarth chirps. “Nothing we couldn’t handle. Even stopped by the Gabby’s Gas and Grub for their ever so delicious greasy burritos. When we returned to Chez Dawson, I hosed myself off in the shower, hoping to wake my ass up. My MacBook was waiting for me on my bed, because Wayne is a goddamn creep like that. He left a note, ‘See you again Boy Wonder.’ And a bill. Motherfudger. I found Rook was already planted in front of the TV. Watching Pretty In Pink.”
Hogarth flops further into the chair. “And I just wanted to die. But I sat down next to him and zoned out in the glow of one of the finest John Hughes films of all time. Or so Rook says. He’s such a hardcore ‘80s addict. Bless his heart. Can I have another Red Bull?”
What did you think of Garth’s tale of woe? Let me know in the comments below! I’m also having a giveaway of some awesome swag on every stop! One lucky winner will receive a set of Series 1 and Series 2 Checkmate buttons, a Lex Chase.com pen, and both Checkmate covers! August winners to be announced August 31st!
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Pawn Takes Rook: Cashing the Reality Check Blurb
Even after eleven months of keeping the mean streets of Axis City safe, superduo Checkmate—Hogarth Dawson—and his boyfriend, Memphis Rook, still receive the cold shoulder from the Power Alliance. Undeterred, Hogarth brings his intense focus to bear on Rook, and after Hogarth makes an accidental marriage proposal, it becomes all too clear Rook isn’t quite at the same place. But before life gets awkward, duty calls.
Booted-off female contestants of the romantic reality show Single and Super are being found in comas, and Checkmate needs to get to the bottom of it. As part of Rook’s plan, he cleans up his bad boy image and goes undercover as a bachelor looking for love among twenty-five frenzied women. Against Rook’s wishes, Hogarth sneaks onto the set as a cameraman to investigate the case on his own. With questions unanswered between them, emotions run high, distracting them and feeding a trap of their own making.
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Pawn Takes Rook: Cashing the Reality Check Excerpt
“Move it, Garth!” Rook screamed and hopped down from the counter. He ducked as a smoking sea-green tentacle lashed forward through the kitchen window. The long, slimy appendage flailed blindly through the tiny kitchen and flopped over the scattered pots and pans. They clattered around the floor and bounced against the cabinets in head-splitting bongs and gongs. I thanked God Mr. Caruthers in the apartment below was now deaf as a post.
I scrambled backward to the doorway of bedroom, and Rook followed, holding the Cheez Whiz and Aim-N-Flame at the ready.
“Go, go, go,” he ordered, and I scurried as fast as the Nyan Cat through the vastness of space.
“What the hell are you doing with the Cheez Whiz?” I yelled over the roar of the horrible elder god watching us through the windows.
The creature’s shark-black eye peered through the window, and Rook took action as he spritzed Cheez Whiz toward the new target. I gasped when the cheesy not-really-a-dairy-product ignited like napalm. Rook, if anything, was stupidly resourceful.
The putrid green creature teetered away from the window, clawing at his face, his great wings flapping and kicking up cyclones through the tightly packed apartment buildings. He swayed, left, right, forward, back, and I danced back through the door into my bedroom.
“Rook, you might want to get down,” I helpfully suggested as he stood in the living room between me and the kitchen.
Rook braced himself and planted his feet. He lifted the Cheez Whiz and Aim-N-Flame, ready to spritz the cheesy napalm of death.
The elder god swayed toward my kitchen. You know when something is going to totally not work the way it’s supposed to? Yeah. This was one of those moments. I could see it play out in slow motion, like one of those car crashes they cinematically shoot at three hundred frames-per-second so you can see every agonizing, bone-breaking, glass-shattering moment. And then overlay it with a soundtrack like—I don’t know—some Limp Bizkit song that sounds like an angry cat in a blender that makes no sense with the artful scene of carnage.
I craned my neck and peeked around Rook’s elbow. Brick by brick, and tile by tile, the creature crashed into my kitchen. Knocked out and drooling on my Nana’s shredded gingham wallpaper. Rook stood there like it was another day at the office, his long blond hair fluttering with each breath of the sleeping elder god.
“Whoa…,” I said, blinking through the dust on my glasses. The monster sighed and the tentacles around his mouth flopped in the most unfortunate sounding snore. I glanced up at Rook. “The typical giant monster never took out half the apartment before…”
Rook kept his grip on the Cheez Whiz and Aim-N-Flame, ready to strike again. “Think the landlord will notice?”
I frowned and gestured to the creature. “How will the landlord not notice?” I asked. “Half the apartment’s gone. Look!” I said and nudged a splintered timber with my toe. “This is not as easy as just ignoring it and hoping it’ll magically go away.”
Rook smirked and stooped to get a closer inspection of the monster. “You’re cute when you’re angry.”
I stamped my foot and grunted. “Don’t you dare start that with me, Tiberius.” I growled.
Rook perked up and pursed his lips. “Who told you my middle name is Tiberius?”
I tossed a hand back toward the bedroom in hopes to indicate my Macbook somewhere in there. “Wikipedia,” I growled. “You should check it out. The Captain Chivalry fans have done a pretty good job of defacing it.”
Rook waved a dismissive hand before poking the monster with the Aim-N-Flame. “And how’s he doing up on Ganymede Lunar Prison? I’m sure Rainbow Honeysuckle Jones is calling him a pretty-mouthed midget right now.”
I crossed my arms and stared at the crater left by Rook’s frame in the wall. I counted to ten. And when I still didn’t feel better, I counted again. Nope. Still didn’t feel any better. I glared at Rook. “The fact remains there is a KO’ed elder god in the kitchen. The kitchen!”
“It’ll be okay,” Rook said and offered one of those smiles that he knew would charm my pants off. And said smiles have indeed charmed my pants off a time or twenty. “We’ll fix it.”
I tossed up my hands and frustration flooded through me. “With what fictional Monopoly money? We can’t afford something like this.”
Rook frowned, and his brows drew upward seeming to indicate concern. “Are we arguing? Because it seems like we’re arguing.”
With such a simple question, my wrath melted away when it dawned on me Rook took on the demeanor of a swatted Doberman. I sighed. “It’s okay. It’s okay,” I said, then smiled. “We’ll figure out something.”
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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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