I am really excited about this post today! I am welcoming Casper Pearl to my blog today as he shares a Guest Post with us and it is a corker. When he contacted me on Twitter about reading his book and I took a look at the cover and read the blurb I knew this was a book I wanted to read. Reading the blurb gave me the nostalgic feeling of the badass action films of the 90s and at the same time tackling a lot of diverse and some controversial topics and I love the book cover! Also, how could I refuse to have someone on my blog who shares a passion for Arnie and action films as much as me!!
So what is this book I am getting excited about….all about??Chuck Steak by Casper Pearl
Published by Something Something LLC on November 12, 2018
Amazon UK, Amazon US
Death once had a near-Chuck experience.
Meet Chuck Steak. His insides are well done. He’s a cop, but not just any. He’s the best. Hasn’t been one like him since the ‘90s. Won’t work with partners and disregards the collateral damage his boss is always screaming about.
Chuck Steak is USDA Prime badass, so having a bomb planted inside Mia, his secret, longtime girlfriend who’s been dreaming of marriage for almost a decade, should be just another day at the office. The problem is, an elusive villain challenges Chuck to deliver Mia’s dream wedding within a week’s time, or she’ll blow.
Overwhelmed with “girly tasks”, Chuck’s forced out of his action-heavy comfort zone and into scenarios which require words instead of bullets. One results in the loss of his right hand, and when it’s replaced with a black hand, this white cop (now .65% black) encounters a new kind of villain: racism.
With time against him, Chuck will have to find a non-violent way to convince the love of his life and her disapproving family that this isn’t another publicity stunt—that after all of these years, it’s finally time to ditch the legacy he’s been slaving over in favor of the family she’s always dreamed of. All while overcoming unexpected hurdles like his own department and their trigger-happy mentality toward minorities, backstories, a feminist gang, incredibly friendly Muslims, dementia, depression, gender equality, and trying to maintain action-orientated roots in an increasingly politically correct world.
CHUCK STEAK is a violent, brutally honest satire of our very diverse, yet segregated society. It attempts to seamlessly blend themes of love and hate while examining the reasoning behind people’s sometimes idiotic actions. All while turning tropes on their heads and obliterating stereotypes with explosions.
The other thing to mention from 21st December until 23rd December on Amazon is completely FREE, so you know maybe you might like to go and check it out? #justsaying
Goodreads reviewer says
This is book 1 of a trilogy. It is wildly original in its characters. The plot is quite complex. It has action, loss, love, revenge, serial killer, bad cops, a demented, gender confused villain. The end came as a told surprise, I did not expect that character to be the “who” in the “who dunit”.
So, if your looking an unusual, orginal, thriller with action, twists and turns, plus and ending your not expecting….you really need to meet Chuck.
You sold yet???? If not check out this fantastic Guest Post by Mr Pearl, and step into his world for a few minutes.
I’d like to thank Zoe for being awesome and getting back to me regarding my debut novel, Chuck Steak. She’s graciously invited me to host a guest post on the topic of my choosing.
I guess I’ll start with honesty: Casper Pearl is my pen name due to a recent career switch into real estate. I’ve abandoned progress under my real name (one successfully kickstarted anthology from 2012 and a dozen published short stories) in favor of anonymity. I’ve basically started over, and in a weird way, it’s been super refreshing, because writing feels like a hobby again, a way for me to escape at times.
Oh, this is important—I don’t read books. Whoa, hold up, did this “author” say they don’t freaking read? I’m sorry, I really can’t. I’ve tried, trust me. I was the kid in middle school who read the first chapter, then skimmed the rest to fake the book report and get the pizza. Even now, as an adult, I pick up books when my family goes to the library intent on reading them but always fall asleep (no lie) about 20-pages in. Don’t get me wrong, there have been books likeFahrenheit 451 and The Giver which hooked me enough to push through the heavy eyelids and skipping thoughts, and books like Choke, Invisible Monsters, And Then There Were None, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man which shaped my writing and helped me find my voice, but I’ve probably read less than 20 fictional books end-to-end in my lifetime.
Let’s go back real quick. I was always hyperactive as a kid. I was diagnosed with A.D.D. in elementary school, and my mom never put me on Ritalin like the doctors suggested. I was super active and developed a passion for movies, especially action flicks. Looking back, I think they helped settle my brain. And to date, I’ve seen too many movies to count (I collected ticket stubs and have over 700). I’m from a small coal town where there was nothing to do besides drink, do drugs or go to the movies, so I went to the movies…a lot, sometimes multiple times per day. So if you’re wondering how an author who writes can write when they don’t read, I have to explain that movies made me the writer I am today. That’s where I draw all of my inspiration from.
So in response to the agent who replied to one of my queries, “You seem to be writing a movie script-instruction tome, not a book,” here’s a list of movies which helped me write my dark, satiric, action-thriller debut novel, Chuck Steak:
Last Action Hero
Growing up, I loved Arnold Schwarzenegger. Two of my all-time favorite movies are True Lies and Terminator 2. And how can anyone forget the ultimate manly movie Predator? When I think of Chuck Steak, the fictional character, I can’t help but see Arnold back in his prime. In today’s age, Chuck would be played by John Cena (I like his charisma?, plus the guy’s jacked). But back to Arnold—there’s a superfan in my book who before becoming obsessed with Chuck was obsessed with Arnold—and if I had to compare my book to any other book out there, I’d have to say none and point at this movie instead.
Last Action Hero is as underrated as underrated gets, which is a shame, because it’s basically the Scream of horror movies. Last Action Hero took moviegoers’ expectations of action movies and toyed with them in a very meta and satiric way. I mean, it’s about a kid who falls into the middle of an actual film with unkillable action hero protagonist Arnold, the plot moves forward with Arnold following the script but not knowing he’s in a movie and pulling off all of these ridiculous stunts, the kid provides commentary on it all, trying to prove to Arnold that they’re inside a movie, then they enter the real world where nothing Arnold does works, and he goes from being unbeatable to almost laughable. It’s brilliant. And this is basically what I did with my character. I wanted to take a ‘90s-inspired action hero cop and see how he’d fair in today’s increasingly politically correct society.
I LOVE THIS!! (Just wanted to include my input here! Arnie is my idol always will be…anyway move along)
This one was a given. I started writing my book back in 2009, then ditched it, then rewrote it in 2015, and while revising, Deadpool came out, and it really inspired me to see something through. As an artist, I’ve found the hardest thing to do is finish a project, and not because I’m feeling lazy, but because when I say something is done, that’s it—there’s no going back and making modifications. And that scares me, because I know nothing is ever perfect no matter how much I want it to be. But Deadpool was exactly what we action hero lovers needed to see. It brought back R-rated movies in a big way and paved the way for studios to put more money behind edgier/riskier movies/shows. I think Ryan Reynolds really killed it, and while the final showdown wasn’t anything to write home about, the lead-up was fun, sometimes hilarious, the action was gory, creative and unpredictable, and the supporting characters were uniquely identifiable and helped bring balance to the plot.
My book actually began as a short story which paid homage to this movie. And then that short story became one of the last chapters in Chuck Steak. It’s hard to think of a plot device which drives the narrative forward better than this one—there’s a bomb on the bus, and if it falls below 50mph, the bomb blows. So simple, yet there’s always the tension of knowing how hard maintaining 50mph and above for a bus is, especially inside city limits. I haven’t watched this movie in years, and I know the scene with the bus jumping the unfinished bridge is ridiculous to view with my adult eyes, but I swear the rest of the movie is pure gold?
I “saw” this one on a whim, with little-to-no idea what the movie was about outside of two guys were handcuffed by their ankles to opposite ends of a room, and they were probably going to have to “saw” their feet off if they wanted to get out alive. But boy, I wasn’t ready for everything else this movie offered. I’ll always remember Saw for having one of my favorite twists in cinema, up there with Seven, The Prestige, Momento (basically anything Christopher Nolan), and Scream. The twist is literally right in front of your face the entire movie, and Saw does such a good job of playing into viewers’ expectations, that it totally didn’t occur to me until it was revealed in that “oh shit” moment, which allowed the twist to have such a bigger impact on my simple mind. It’s because of movies like Saw centered around twists that I literally don’t start developing an idea until I come up with the twist first. Then I structure everything else around it. And I don’t care, because I love twists and think every story should have one!
I love this movie, because at the time, it was hip and cool and had such an attitude problem. Scream lets you know what you’re in for right away when who you presume to be the main character (Drew Barrymore), since it was marketed that way, gets the axe in a since iconic scene. I mean this movie is so meta that one of the characters literally warns everyone what not to do based on him being a horror buff and having seen a million horror movie tropes. And again, I never saw the twist ending coming.
This flick was basically my action-hero Bible growing up. I owned the VHS version, ha ha, right? And I must have watched this movie a thousand times. I probably rewound the last 30 minutes a million times, because it was pure action gold, John Travolta vs Nick Cage in a church, on boats, on a beach, with guns, doves and a harpoon. How much more over-the-top can you get while still trying to pass your movie off as completely serious? I also thought the premise of swapping faces (and bodies) made the plot super interesting and entertaining. Looking back, this one is definitely a guilty pleasure, especially because I was a teenager who probably shouldn’t have been watching it.
Another guilty pleasure of mine growing up, this movie had a ton of actors in it. And a ton of action. Basically someone thinks it’s a good idea to transport the weirdest, most dangerous assortment of bad guys in the world to a new prison in an armored plane, and there’s Nick Cage, a decent man who’s basically being released from prison but hitching a ride to freedom, and then the cons take over the plane, and he has to save the day but act like he’s one of the criminals so he doesn’t get killed. This movie has some of the coolest, most creative action scenes (and deaths) I’ve ever seen. In Chuck Steak, even though it’s based off of my love for action movies, there aren’t many action scenes—the plot gets bogged down by 2018 B.S. And that’s kind of the point. But when I reference Chuck’s past heroics, I modeled them after my favorite bro films like Con-Air, Face/Off, Speed, and everything Arnold.
One of my favorite movies of all time, True Lies combines a ton of great storytelling elements: thrilling action, suspense, comedy, drama, really, really bad guys who pose a serious threat (not like every Marvel movie villain ever), a charming hero, hilarious sidekicks, a heroine who transforms from seemingly bumbling housewife into a badass spy, and one of the coolest villain deaths ever. This movie is a perfect example of how to juggle a handful of plots seamlessly, and how several genres can coexist together rather than being split apart and filed away in separate, neat drawers.
V for Vendetta
Another one of my favorite movies of all time, definitely my top pick for best revenge flick. V for Vendetta is an incredible story that taught me the importance of instilling emotion into a plot, even when that plot involves a futuristic, dystopian society where a masked vigilante plots to take all those down who wronged him, then he bumps into Natalie Portman and slowly falls in love. In college, I took several classes on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, because I found that time in history fascinating, just for the simple fact that so many people allowed Hitler to rise to power, it all seems so implausible, but V for Vendetta has a very powerful plot that revolves around a concentration camp, and it’s so well done and feels very realistic, I’m not ashamed to say it makes me cry every single time.
My boy Keanu is back—he’s really been in some awesome movies, most notably The Matrix and more recently John Wick. But I always thought this movie was a wild ride. Keanu infiltrates a Patrick-Swayze-led, extreme-sports gang who also happen to rob banks on the side. The bank-robbing is what Keanu attempts to get to the bottom of, but when he becomes buddy-buddy with Swayze and his crew, especially a female, the line between right and wrong is blurred. The movie plays out like The Fast and the Furious only with surfing and skydiving instead of cars. I think pulling the hero to the dark-side, if only for a little bit, spices up a plot with inner struggle and shows how human even the best of us are.
I could probably go on and on, but that’s all for now. I’ve been watching a lot of horror lately, so I can’t wait to see how Chuck Steak 2 shapes up, which I’ll start writing soon and release next year. Hereditary left me feeling uneasy, and The Haunting of Hill House was just an amazing ride. I’d like to tap into the darkness and take on mental illness to some extent.
Until then, thanks again to Zoe for hosting me as this was a much-needed prompt to get my juices flowing!
I love this post!! I have loved reading this, and being taken back to my early teens with some of these films! Anything with Arnie metnioned is sure to get you on my blog straightaway! Thank you so much Casper! It has been such a blast! My review will follow in the new year!
Until next time xx