Dream Books with Lex Chase

January 21, 2016

Dream_Books

Howdy, everyone! Lex Chase here for the first edition of #Dreamer for the new year! I hope everyone’s had an awesome new year and is looking forward what 2016 has in store. (Besides writing 2015 until June. Oi, oi.)

This year for me has started off with a bang of pre-order mania! Bru Baker and I co-wrote a book called Some Assembly Required. It’s about two dead guys that meet in the afterlife in CASA—an affordable Italian minimalistic furnishing superstore—that happens to be purgatory. Yes. Really. You can check it out here! 

And that’s not all! Over at DSP Publications, the shiny new 2nd edition of my horror high fantasy novel, Chasing Sunrise is now up and ready to go! Heavily re-edited with humongous chunks rewritten, and yup, you heard right, a completely different ending.

All of that aside, I’m talking about Dream Books! I’m presenting my top five favorites that have definitely had an effect on me as a writer and as a reader. And some of them may surprise you! So presenting in no particular order.

Child of God by Cormac McCarthy

Child of God by Cormac McCarthy

I have a love/hate/love-to-hate/hate-to-love thing with Cormac McCarthy. I discovered him via a college class where we studied his works for the entire semester. Child of God remains a favorite. McCarthy breaks every damned rule he possibly can that are non-negotiables for book publishing and completely gets away with it. Not a single dialog quote, topics that are never, ever okay, dialect for days, and you can’t read his books without a dictionary in one hand and a map in the other. It’s one of the most challenging books I read just for the effort I had to make to understand it. But also the most rewarding. I find myself slipping tiny homages to McCarthy in my books all the time.

By the way, the “hero” and I use that term loosely is a guy named Lester Ballard. He is a horrid human being, but you also understand him deeply that he just wants to live his life in peace. His life? That of a necrophiliac. Yeah. Did I mention McMarthy’s work is whoa what nooooo.

Infected: Prey by Andrea Speed

Infected: Prey by Andrea Speed

Back when I was first trying to get published with Dreamspinner in 2009/2010, I was working with developing the world of Chasing Sunrise as well as another project. At the time, M/M was considered erotica, despite not having any erotic content. But of course in the realm of “the rules” of erotica, basically you needed a crapton of sex, and you didn’t need a happy ending. Because erotica didn’t count as romance and M/M slipped right through this loophole.

I picked up the first Infected book to actually get a feel for M/M. First, Infected isn’t erotica. Not even close. Sure there’s romance in it. A little. But it’s mostly Roan being the most broken anti-hero he can possibly be. He lives in a world that hates him just on the principle of the thing, and he just does his best with what he has, while he deals with the absolute worse in humanity.

Here is the ultimate kicker, I actually didn’t like Infected when I first read it. I didn’t even finish it. But in the years since, and since the Infected series has continued, and Andy has taught us a very valuable lesson. She showed us what M/M could be.

Thick as Thieves by Tali Spencer

Thick as Thieves by Tali Spencer

Can we just talk about that opening line to the blurb.

“After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief.”

I was like “…………alrighty.” *buys with one-click.*

I read it while I was laid up with the flu. Because I am a terrible patient and I get mad when I want to get stuff done and my body said “Hahahah…silly you.”

So while I wasn’t coherent enough for a single thing, I dived in to the world of Gurgh and went on grand adventures with Vorgell and Madd. It was the most entertaining read I had had in a long time, and I am so, so hype about the sequel Thick as Ice. Thick as Thieves was a book that you knew going in the cheese was on purpose, and if you tried to rationalize any of it, you’d ruin it. The kingdom is called Gurgh, people. Like that’s kind of a clue.

Vorgell and Madd are a great mismatched couple. Vorgell can come off like a doof, but really he’s a guy of very simple desires and sees the world in a very pure way. Madd sees only the complications and has to run through every possibility before choosing one that sucks less. And then there’s Petal. The tiny baby basilisk that I can’t cope with she’s so adorable and full of sass.

Art of Death by Ana Bosch

Art of Death by Ana Bosch

I’ve known Ana for years. We met back when she was developing her now wildly popular webcomic Demon of the Underground. She’s multi-talented, and her ideas of how she connects the A to B are mindboggling. I had the pleasure of beta reading Art of Death, and the sequel Bonds of Death. Both of us hailing from art school backgrounds, she captured the feel of being back there with all it’s quirk, weirdness, and snarky professors.

We were also introduced to the undead and their secret society. They never really had an exact name, but Ana and I discussed they were basically revenants.

We also met Westwood. *dreamy siiiiiigh* Reviews of Westwood had been mixed, but I have such feelings for him. He is the most anti of anti-heroes. He makes no apologies, takes no shit, and just doesn’t care. He’s not a perfect person, in fact he’s a terrible person, but he never stops being an effective person. He gets results under any means necessary even if that means putting his love interest directly in the line of fire. He is definitely a guy that will have no issues shooting the hostage and shrug.

Ana had hinted one day of writing Westwood’s origin story. Whether or not it’ll really happen, I can only dream.

The Authority by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch

The Authority: Relentless by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch

I will always and forever be in love with comics. The Authority was a revelation. The birth of the “widescreen cinematic comic” and amazing writing and comics were never the same again. With Bryan Hitch’s beautiful art, and Warren Ellis’s brilliant writing, I was chomping at the bit for each issue.

It featured the first gay couple in a mainstream comic book, and they were superheroes who happened to be gay, and not gay superheroes. There’s a difference. Every character was flawed, and every character had their own thing going. They were not above sacrificing the many for the good of the few. They were the sledge hammer of justice upon the world.

Warren Ellis gave us concepts like their mode of transportation being the size of a large city was powered by a caged baby universe. To save the day, one of the heroes used his powers to hold Italy stationary while the Earth rotated around it. Hell yeah!

Warren Ellis not only writes comics, but everything else. Novels, articles, screenplays, and one of his quotes “whatever I can steal money for.” His writing is gritty, subversive, and can be downright filthy not at all in the erotica sense but in the complete horrific things he can come up with. Stuff that sticks with you and haunts your nightmares and makes me think dammit why didn’t I think of that!


So question time! What’s a book that’s stuck with you? One that remains a tried and true favorite? For an even bigger challenge pick one that isn’t M/M! One lucky commenter will walk away with a 5 dollar DSP Gift Certificate!


Lex Chase brings readers on dangerous adventures alongside heroes facing impossible odds from saving the world from a nefarious villain, to saving dinner from igniting like a roman candle. Lex believes that even in lush fantasy worlds or grim and gritty sci-fi, there is a timeless human quality. Marching to the beat of a different drum, Lex knows we’re all going to die someday, but she’s on a mission to make the ride interesting through action, adventure, and true love.

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9 Responses to “Dream Books with Lex Chase”

  1. Susan says:

    Oh, too easy! LOTR of course.

  2. kira delaney says:

    Almost anything by Warren Ellis is a good read, but The Authority is epic.

    One of the books that have stuck with me, well it’s really three books! The Hank Thompson trilogy by Charlie Huston. Hank is a serious slacker that gets caught up in the absolute worst circumstances. It doesn’t end well & will make you cry & rage. The series is utterly brilliant & every single person I’ve recommended it to has had their mind blown.

  3. H.B. says:

    The Giver by Lois Dowry
    Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn
    Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn
    Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card

  4. Lex Chase says:

    @Susan Good one! Funny enough for me I am a TERRIBLE fantasy person an LOTR never grabbed me. The writing was so dense when I was younger. Now that I’m older, I’d probably give it another go! Who’s your favorite character?

    @Kira Have you read FreakAngels? I introduced a friend to it years ago and she binge read the webcomic start to finish in three days. I still haven’t picked up Gun Machine or Crooked Little Vein yet. I think it’s Dead Pig Collector is his new one. Man I loved the flash fics he did on his old LiveJournal. That was some downright genius.

  5. Kira Delaney says:

    @Lex Of course I’ve read Freak Angels! I even have the t-shirt. My copy of Crooked Little Vein was signed by the man himself (it’s not his best work).

  6. Laetitia says:

    I have to say Harry Potter. This saga was the révélation for me. I was eleven year old went it was release and i grew up with her characters and her world of magic. Even at 25 i reread them with pleasure.

  7. Sara says:

    “Bullheaded” by Catt Ford is the one that has stayed with me the best, and the one I have re-read most times when M/M is concerned; I lie it for one of its less than instantly likable main characters, and that it features an established couple on the verge of a change.

    As for other genres, my number one all time favorite is “Jane Eyre”. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve re-read it. It has a little bit of everything and a plain heroine who doesn’t let herself be easily persuaded into things (such as becoming a married man’s mistress or another man’s wife of convenience). It shows a woman knowing her worth in a time when that was no easy task.

    By the way I remember reading “Thick as Thieves” and loving it. Is there really a sequel on its way? Or has it already come out?

  8. Trix says:

    Dave Bidini’s TROPIC OF HOCKEY is fun even if you’re not into hockey–the travelogue is fascinating, and you really see how personal interests slowly but surely shape your entire life’s trajectory…

  9. Lex Chase says:

    @H.B. Anything about those particular titles that have stuck with you? :D I’m curious!

    @Kira You are soooo my people, Kira. I’m afraid if I ever met Ellis in person I’d faint on the spot. Even writers are total fans of other writers! And he’s one of them in my pantheon of omfg awesome!

    @Laetitia I have so many friends younger than me that grew up during the age of Harry Potter. It’s amazing seeing how it affected them as they grew into adulthood. Harry Potter started when I was already in my 20′s and I looked at the Sorcerer Stone in Walden Books (remember those places!) and I was like “What’s so special about this thing?” No one could have any idea what happened next.

    @Sara I LOVE reading about established couples. (I kind of write them. LOL) Sure I also love the first inklings of love and the spark of the relationship, but I love the stories of now that they’re committed to one another NOW what? It can’t be all unicorns and rainbows. There has to be some issue. No love is ever truly perfect. I believe in Love at First Sight, But With Strings Attached.

    And the rumors are true Sara! There IS a Thick as Thieves sequel! Tali’s a good friend and she had a major health scare a couple years back that put the book on hold. But it’s happening! <3 <3

    @Trix Interesting! I LOVE reading Memoir. Even on topics and lives that I know nothing about, but if the person interests me. Or I know a little about them and it piques my curiosity. Of all the strange things I really loved (read so elitist highbrow like omg) was Art of War by Sun Tzu. I had the audio version. Quite inspiring!

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