Pawn Takes Rook: Conventional Love Blog Tour

Hello, hello people of the internet! I’m Lex Chase and thank you for joining me for stop #10 on the Pawn Takes Rook: Conventional Love blog tour. Conventional Love brings Checkmate trilogy to a close where Rook and Garth have one last grand adventure. Their relationship will be tested and both will walk away forever changed. For this tour, I’ve decided to make it a retrospective of the series. I’m sharing behind the scenes goodies, inspirations, and the crazy adventure of my first year as an author. And like all things in fabulous superhero collectables, I’m giving out trading cards drawn by yours truly. Make sure you check them all out in the tour!

Okay, I’m going to be totally nerdy for a minute and dish about superheroes. Because dur. ;D Because the Checkmate trilogy is a big ol’ tasty stew of superhero tropes, I’m giving you my top 5 superdudes that inspired Rook and Garth.

Memphis Rook

Thor of The Avengers

Thor of The Avengers


Rook is frequently compared to looking like a certain brawny blond Viking. Add in to the slight quirk for arrogance and stubbornness, and you got it.

Wolverine of The X-Men

Wolverine of The X-Men


As everyone knows, Wolverine has a certain not a team player/doesn’t play nicely with others attitude. It’s hinted at in Rook’s history that he’s very much a solo player and prefers it that way. But also like Wolverine, Rook is intensely sentimental, and until Garth came into his life, searching for the direction he had lost.

Midnighter of The Authority

Midnighter of The Authority


Omg. I have so much love for Midnighter. For one thing, he’s one of the first openly gay superheroes in a mainstream comic. The second openly gay character in a mainstream comic is his husband Apollo. While that’s rad, Midnighter is a badass. Like knows all about how to take someone apart in reverse alphabetical order, and does it all in the name of the greater good.

He’s quite snarky, with awesome one-liners, which is where Rook gets his. He also inspires Rook’s joy of the fight, and while he doesn’t kill, he flourishes in the dance of violence. Oh yeah. And in case you missed Garth’s constant loathing about it, Rook’s perpetual wardrobe of a fuckton of expensive leather.

Hogarth Dawson

Jimmy Olsen of Superman

Jimmy Olsen of Superman

Jimmy Olsen – Daily Planet Photographer

Pretty much Jimmy’s build, red spiky hair, and insecure attitude is straight up Garth. But over time, Garth gains confidence and real life superhero skills. He gets a little darker, a little edgier, but that’s what you get when your boyfriend is a 7 foot tall death machine. And while Jimmy likewise gains confidence, Garth also doesn’t lose his intense optimism for the world around him.

Jack Hawksmoor of The Authority

Jack Hawksmoor of The Authority

Jack Hawksmoor

Jack Hawksmoor pretty much has the best name ever. He also has the best power ever which in turn inspired Garth’s super-secret ultimate power which we learn all about in Conventional Love. I could babble aaaaalllll about it, but I don’t want to risk OMG SPOILURZ. But off to Wikipedia you go. LOL

They call Jack Hawksmoor “God of Cities.”

That’s like… Not a hint or nothin’.

But Jack has super rad treads on his feet.

ConventionalLove300Genre: M/M Urban Fantasy, Superheroes, Sci-Fi, Humor
Series: Checkmate, Book #3
Length: Novella 41,000
Published: Jan 1, 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781627984218

Sequel to Cashing the Reality Check
Checkmate: Book Three

Three years ago, superhero Memphis Rook saved Hogarth Dawson’s life, and now the two can’t imagine being apart. Sort of.

By day, they’re a loving couple. By night, they’re the superhero duo Checkmate. Since that’s too much time in each other’s personal space, Rook and Garth decide they need friends outside of each other. Garth finds friendship with a D&D group comprised of the social misfits Chad—who has crammed himself so far in the closet he might never find the door again, Jackson—who’s so mysophobic he’s afraid of his own germs, and El Jefe—who has all the social grace of a brick.

With an epic dose of peer pressure, the group urges Garth to go to Tolkicon, the biggest comic convention in Axis City. When the supervillain league the Coalition of Calamity appears and takes the convention hostage, as the only real superheroes around, it’s up to Garth and Rook to save the day. With Rook as one of the hostages, Garth knows it’s time to nut up or shut up about being a hero.

Pawn Takes Rook Trading Card!

Time for Card #9!

(Miss a card? See the previous ones at: Gay List Book Reviews | Lily Velden’s blog | Release Party at the Dreamspinner Press Facebook Page | Tali Spencer’s blog | House Millar | Tricia Kristufek | Tempeste O’ Riley | Epically Romantic | The Novel Approach | Charlie Cochet | Tara Lain)

Garth - Plotting World Domination. Like A Boss. - Lex Chase

Garth – Plotting World Domination. Like A Boss. – Lex Chase

Pawn Takes Rook: Conventional Love Excerpt

I feel like I know all there is to know about him… but everything I know about him, I Googled. I spied on my own boyfriend. I Internet-stalked him. He’s never told me a thing about himself. Like his supposed long line of conquests. His—how did Chad put it?—love ’em and leave ’em string of lovers. Rook doesn’t even have a little black book. When we met, he had the clothes on his back—and those were tattered rags. Where’s his harem now, if he couldn’t even go to them when the Power Alliance booted him out? Yeah. I’m kind of not buying this story of Rook the Lothario.

As if right on cue, my phone buzzed on the dressing table and I shambled to get to it at a reasonable pace. I unlocked the screen and found a text from Chad.

I know money is tight for you, so my girlfriend sprang for tickets for you and Rook. She really can’t wait to see you guys! it read.

I smacked my forehead. “The con. Tolkicon. I forgot.” I pressed the corner of the phone between my eyes and willed the text to the screen.

You can stop pretending it’s a girl. Thanks for the tix. Can’t wait to meat grind.

My phone buzzed a second later.

Meat grind! Chad texted. Whoa, Hogarth! One step at a time!

I gawked at my phone, squinting at my previous message. Oh. My. God. I pressed the phone between my eyes again.

Sorry! I texted. Not thinking clear enough for txts. Rook and I had a long night.

The phone immediately buzzed and I grumbled. Why can’t anyone just call these days? Oh my stars and garters!

Man, H! Chad texted, a little too excited from what I could tell. You’re a effin’ stud!

I rolled the phone over in my wrist, casually reading the message. I snorted. “Yeah-huh.”

And there it was. I was a bitter old bottom who just wanted these new up-and-coming man-loving punks off my lawn.

My phone buzzed again.

“Oh my God, what!” I growled and checked the text messages from Chad.

Will forward you the email confirmation for the tix, the con gets going at 4. Meet us at the Spire.
I blinked. Wait. The world is telling me I have to go somewhere? Now? In the next—I checked my phone—three hours. How did I sleep until one? I never sleep until one. Did I hit my head and get a concussion during our naked shenanigans?

I willed the text onto the screen.

Fine. Be there soon. What’s the lucky not-a-girl’s name?

The phone buzzed Chad’s reply.

Darren! He says he’s good friends with u guys!

My heart stopped when I read the secret identity of Captain Chivalry.

My ex-boyfriend. Rook’s former leader in the Power Alliance.

Not to mention the man who tried to kill me.

And he bought Rook and I tickets to Tolkicon.

Ever get the feeling something is so horribly wrong that you just blindly look the other way because the truth is so completely preposterous? Yeah. Story of my life right there! But there’s no looking the other way where Captain Chivalry’s concerned. You want to believe the best about people. You want to see superheroes are above the influence. That they are the people every man, woman, and child aspires to be. You want to believe with every fiber of your being he’s the optimal role model for the next generation and is appropriate for every possible product placement from singing toothbrushes to Chia pets. Chivalry is none of those things. He’s not even chivalrous anymore. If anyone taught me anything about love and respect, that’s Rook, and right now we’re feeling each other out and each other up with deadly Checkmate sex.

It can’t be so bad. It can’t possibly be so bad. It’s only Chivalry. Among a crowd of thousands. There’s security. There would be no way he’d pull something. No way!

I texted Chad in reply.

Can’t wait to meet him.

Available from:

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Giveaway Prompt:

Who are your Top 5 characters in comics, books, movies, or shows? Share and share alike!

About the Author:

Lex Chase

Lex Chase

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.

You can find her on those Facebook and Twitter things at:

Find her blog at or drop her an e-mail at [email protected].


1 winner will receive eBook copies of the full Checkmate trilogy

(Pawn Takes Rook, Cashing the Reality Check, and Conventional Love)

2 winners will receive an eBook copy of Conventional Love

Drawing is open to US and International readers.

Facebook Chat will have it’s own prizes!

Such as:

All 20 Checkmate printed trading cards! Including the 4 special mystery cards! Free books! Or a 25 USD Visa Gift Card!

To Enter

Just leave a comment on any of the blog posts along the tour, along with a contact email address. If you would still like to enter the contest but don’t wish to leave your email address in the comment, you can also enter by emailing [email protected].

Winners will be chosen at random and posted on Lex’s blog at Lex Chase on Wednesday, February 5th, and on Lex’s Facebook page. Winners will then be notified via email.

Contest ends

Tuesday, February 4th at midnight, Eastern Time.

Pawn Takes Rook: Conventional Love Tour stops:

1/1 – Gay List Book Reviews[Collect Mystery Card #1]

1/3 – Lily Velden [Collect Trading Card #1]

1/5 – Release Party at the Dreamspinner Press Facebook Page [Collect Trading Card #2 and Win Bonus Goodies]

1/7 – Tali Spencer [Collect Trading Card #3]

1/8 – House Millar [Collect Trading Card #4]

1/9 – Tricia Kristufek [Collect Mystery Card #2]

1/10 – Tempeste O’ Riley [Collect Trading Card #5]

1/12 – Epically Romantic [Collect Trading Card #6]

1/15 – The Novel Approach [Collect Trading Card #7]

1/16 – Charlie Cochet [Collect Trading Card #8]

1/17 – Tara Lain [Collect Trading Card #9]

1/18 – CJ Elliott [Collect Trading Card #10]

1/20 – Jaime Samms [Collect Trading Card #11]

1/22 – Mrs. Condit Reads Books [Collect Mystery Card #3]

1/24 – Anne Barwell [Collect Trading Card #12]

1/26 – Dawn K. Johnson [Collect Trading Card #13]

1/28 – Chris T. Kat [Collect Trading Card #14]

1/30 – Skylar M. Cates [Collect Trading Card #15]

1/31 – Cate Ashwood [Collect Trading Card #16]

2/3 – Joyfully Jay [Collect Mystery Card #4]

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