Author Name: Lexi Ander
Book Name: Dragon’s Eye
Series: Sumeria’s Sons
Book Number: 5
Series should be read in order.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6521302.Lexi_Ander
Publisher: LT3 Press - http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/
Cover Artist: London Burden
Release Date: October 7, 2015
In the wake of birth and betrayal, Ushna takes the God Ashur to Tristan in a last desperate bid to save Tristan's life—and is helpless to do anything but watch as Ashur instead buries him in a grave. Though he has no desire to go on living, having now lost Brian and Tristan, Ushna has no choice. Not only do their children need him, the mysterious Simurgh has come out of hiding and forces him to continue on—for there is much to do and little time to do it, especially with treachery and danger closing in on them from every side.
Pages or Words: 98,000 words
Categories: Fantasy, M/M Romance, Menage/Poly, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
The God Ashur followed behind me carrying Tristan, whose body was battered and broken. The cry of our newborn pups preceded me. Their birth was supposed to be a wondrous occasion, but through treachery and lies, that was stolen from us. Instead of enjoying the happy moment, I feared Tristan was dying.
There was so much blood. The damage to his body overwhelmed my senses. I was afraid if I didn't keep my eyes on him, if I turned my back for a second too long, his Flame would slip away. We ran through the cursed caverns that wouldn't allow me to touch my wolf or feel the song of the earth. Ashur's harsh commands to hurry spurred me on faster but I had to look behind me, I had to see with my own eyes that Tristan was still with us, still fighting.
The scars… I couldn't care less but Tristan might. I vowed I would spend the rest of my life showing him how beautiful he was to me—but first we had to get him out into the open.
I glanced back. "Hurry, Ashur."
The corridor seemed much longer than when we'd come in. Glancing over my shoulder again to ensure Ashur followed closely, my impatience caused a snarl to rumble in my throat. Tristan's skin was a gray-blue, stark and sickly against Ashur's rich mahogany tone. With every passing moment, we were losing him.
"Please." I don't know if I begged Ashur to go faster or if it was a plea to the Gods to spare Tristan's life.
When we entered the darkened corridor carved from the bedrock, I heard Tristan sigh. For months, he'd been teaching me how to listen to the Earth and I could practically feel her rush to him. I climbed the stairs, my foot slipping on the wet step in my hurry to get outside.
The open air had never smelled so good, filling my lungs with the scents of life. My wolf stirred, frantic for our mate. I reached to take Tristan from Ashur, but he dodged my grasp, moving off to the side. His low voice had a musical tone as he chanted in a language I didn't recognize and next to him, a hole formed in the ground.
"What are you doing? You said all we had to do was get him outside!" Why was Ashur not singing the song for healing? I reached again to take Tristan from Ashur's arms. Tristan was teaching me the complex chant, but Ashur was Tristan's tutelary. He knew what to ask the Earth for and how. Why was he not begging her to save Tristan's life? She wouldn't say no. She'd never say no to Tristan because she adored him.
It took a moment for the haze of my frantic thoughts to subside enough to realize Ashur was talking and then another for me to process the meaning of his words. What did he mean he couldn't restore Tristan's health?
With rising alarm, I said, "You've been teaching him how to sing to the Earth. Why can't you do that now?"
Ashur dodged me, laying Tristan in the hole atop the dark loamy soil. Something eased in me seeing Tristan in contact with the ground, although the Earth didn't rush up to him as I'd expected. She never missed an opportunity to touch him… until now. Instead, I felt power build until my bones ached and the snakes on my chest writhed in discomfort.
Staring down, I searched for the source of the energy, sure that at any moment, whatever it was would show itself. My gaze continued to return to Tristan with his ruined eyed, his torso ravaged and gaping. Never had I seen him so vulnerable, so small, the very sight calling to the caretaker within me.
Tearing my gaze away, I confronted Ashur who was pleading with me. "I teach him the songs but She doesn't respond to me."
An ancient sadness shone in Ashur's visage but I didn't care. I had trusted him to save Tristan. Never before had I been filled with such useless rage. I didn't understand what Ashur was saying. Who was he talking about? The Earth? He was the king's tutelary, so why wouldn't the Earth answer his call?
Desperation rose up and I barked, "Why the fuck not?"
"Because I took the wrong side in a war, now I'm forever separated from Her."
What did that have to do with the here and now? What did it matter he'd lost something or someone? My Tristan was dying and all he could do was talk. Ashur's pleading gaze held mine and I suddenly understood. I glanced back down at Tristan, lying in a bed of fresh dark soil.
"No! You cannot mean to do this. He's not dead!" I jumped into the hole; Tristan's single eye stared at me with clarity, despite the state of his body. His chest rose and fell with each labored breath. There was still time. I could save him.
With the strength of the God he was, Ashur wound his arms around my waist and easily hauled me away from Tristan.
I went mad.
I fought, screamed and begged. First Brian and now Tristan. How was I to stay behind? I pleaded with Ashur to allow me to go with Tristan. We'd travelled through the Earth together before, we could do it again. I could sing to the Earth and beg for Her help.
It wasn't too late.
Then Ashur chanted and the soil covered Tristan, taking him from my sight. I roared with fury, thrashing and clawing at Ashur's hands. I vowed vengeance for this act of betrayal. Silently, Ashur held me as I beat and wailed upon him, trying to free myself from his steely grasp. He whispered continuously, "I am sorry but this had to be done," in my ear. Tears of grief stained my cheeks and I hated him all the more because it didn't have to be like this. He had no right to take Tristan from me.
How was I to know I'd have only a few short months with him? Never once did I consider I would be left behind again. Who'd keep me grounded now? I was hollow, less than half of who I once was because two essential parts of me were missing, leaving me a mere shadow of who I used to be. What was left for me now? All I wanted was to follow Tristan.
I clenched the loamy soil between my fingers, startling at the harsh cry of a babe. One, then two, followed by a third wail of infant voices filled the silence. Each tiny bellow wrapped around me and I hung my head feeling wrung out and defeated. What would anchor me to this world, indeed?
Buy the book: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=116&products_id=973
Guest Post from author Lexi Ander
Guest Post from author Lexi Ander
Who is Tiamat and what are her children?
After Surrounded by Crimson was released a question popped up from a reader about the gods and goddesses. Who should they be rooting for? The Sumerian pantheon was hard to research and while writing the series I chose a few gods to interact with the characters, but I intentionally didn't red flag the good guys from the bad. Part of the reason was because in the older religions there was no black and white distinction. The term demon didn't mean the god was evil but often times meant they were a god who warded against malevolent forces/people. All gods, regardless of their niche responsibilities, deserved respect. And if you can't tell by now, Tiamat is in a the good camp
Tiamat is my favorite Sumerian deity, and not because her form is a dragon. When researching the pantheon and trying to get a handle on who was responsible for what, I ended up reading many, many speculations and personal opinions. The gods and goddesses changed and evolved with each new era as they were adopted and used by progressing civilizations. I knew of Tiamat because of Dungeons and Dragons (I'm ignoring the laughter) and I was excited to find more information on what I once thought of as a gaming character. Hers is a tragic story and when looking at the oldest accounts of Tiamat and comparing them to the more popular Enuma Elish, which is the Babylonian creation myth, I could sympathize with her motivations and actions when it came to the war between the gods. I knew that I had to have her in Sumeria's Sons because I wanted to tell her story how I saw it.
The story starts with, who was Tiamat.
Tiamat was the primordial creator goddess of the ocean, salt water. Her consort was Abzu, the god of fresh water, sweet water. Between the two of them, they created the cosmos and the elder gods. She has been depicted as a sea serpent or a dragon (although the dragon form has been disputed). Pre-Babylonian references depicted her as more peaceful and loving before she was vilified by Marduk and Babylon's Enuma Elish—that's a personal opinion. The earlier perception of Tiamat was the one that I used for the series.
In Surrounded by Crimson, the personage of the Goddess Tiamat was introduced, reduced in power (see the blog post on the Igigi War) and influence but still very much alive. She was mentioned several times throughout the series. First in Twin Flames because the God Shamash went to her for help to create the twin flame bond. In book four, readers got to see her in all her scaly glory. She chooses to reside in that place of stasis with the reminder of the Igigi War meticulously painted on one wall. The mural constantly reminded her of the children she created to fight the Igigi, and who ultimately ended up subjugated, and in later texts they were always depicted as slaves and servants. She also had a window into the primordial waters where her consort Abzu sleeps, not dead as she once believed, but in a deep sleep that keeps him from destroying everything.
Tiamat struck a bargain with Shamash, she would help him, and thereby the Lycans, but the payment would be the first born of the first three sons of Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Without consulting Gilgamesh and Enkidu, Shamash accepts and Tiamat fashions the Twin Flames for the Lycans. The three souls that belonged to Tiamat were supposed to be something other than Lycan. The time had some for her children taken captive in the Igigi War to be set free. The first three of the first three were to be the rulers who would to guild and protect them.
Who were the children of Tiamat? In some sources, it was believed that the original Babylonian Zodiac incorporated these gods. In the Babylonian creation myth, Tiamat did molded eleven gods, often called monsters, to go to war with the Igigi:
Basmu (“Venomous Snake”) – Appearance: a horned snake with two forelegs and wings, The constellation Hydra was known in Babylonian astronomical texts as Bashmu, "the Serpent".
Usumgallu (“Great Dragon”) – Described as a lion-dragon demon and Tiamat clothed the raging lion-dragons with fearsomeness. Later the name became a royal and divine epithet.
Musmaḫḫu (“Exalted Serpent”) – Appearance: a hybrid of serpent, lion and bird. Sometimes identified with the seven-headed serpent, with sharp teeth, merciless fangs, and instead of blood she filled their bodies with venom.
Musḫussu (“Furious Snake”) – The creature depicted on the reconstructed Ishtar Gate of the city of Babylon. A scaly dragon with hind legs resembling the talons of an eagle, feline forelegs, a long neck and tail, a horned head, a snake-like tongue, and a crest. Sometimes call the "splendor serpent" and was a sacred animal of Marduk. Back in 1902, there was serious consideration as to whether this was a real beast or not.
Laḫmu (the “Hairy One”) – one of the first born of Tiamat and Abzu. He is depicted as a bearded man with a red sash-usually with three strands and four to six curls on his head and they are also depicted as a monster, which each encompassed a specific constellation. In Sumerian times Laḫmu meant "the muddy one". Lahmu guarded the gates of the Abzu temple of Enki at Eridu. He and his sister Laḫamu are primordial deities in the Babylonian Epic of Creation Enuma Elis and it is believed Lahmu may be related to or identical with "Lahamu", one of Tiamat's creatures in that epic.
Ugallu (the “Big Weather-Beast”) – Appearance: a lion-headed storm-demon and had the feet of a bird. Featured on protective amulets and sometimes referred to as demon but the term wasn't meant for how the word is perceived of nowadays. The protective charms adorned the doors of palaces, private dwellings and bedrooms to ward off evil and disease. Ugallu first appears figuratively as a porter of the underworld, a servant of the God Nergal.
Uridimmu (“Mad Lion”) – Appearance: form of a human headed lion-man. He is pictured standing upright, wearing a horned tiara and holding a staff with a lunar crescent at the tip. Sometimes referred to as a rabid dog but in the Sumerian period dogs and felines were grouped together. He was an intercessor with Marduk for the sick in rituals.
Girtablullu (“Scorpion-Man") – Found in both the Babylonia creation myth and in the Epic of Gilgamesh, they were described to have the head, torso, and arms of a man and the body of a scorpion. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, they stand guard outside the gates of the sun god Shamash at the mountains of Mashu. They are depicted as tall, huge, their "terror is awesome" and their "glance is death". They open the doors for Gilgamesh to continue on his way to see Utanapishtim.
Umu dabrutu (“Violent Storms") – His form isn't known but it's expected that he is a composite of man and animal. He “bore cruel weapons, without fear of the fight.”
Kulullu (“Fish-Man") – Appearance: the head, arms and torso of a human and the lower body and tail of a fish. The figure was found in sculptures and mural in palaces. He was associated with prosperity and wealth, attracting divine benevolence. Depictions of Kulullu was also found throughout the temple Marduk shared with his consort.
Kusarikku (“Bull-Man”) – Appearance: a human head, arms, and torso, and bovine hindquarters. He walks upright and could be found guarding doorways. He was called a demon in some text because he guarded against evil spirits, protecting the inhabitants of the buildings he watched from malevolent intruders. He is also associated with the God Shamash along with the Scorpion-Man.
You know what I first thought when I stumbled across this list? "Oh, man, how much fun can I have with such different types of shifters." My second thought was, "How do you even say these names? I'm going to need to make up with new names because these are causing me to go cross-eyed." I sorta need to figure that out before I finish writing the last book of Sumeria's Sons. As it stands now, I've given them dorky code names and I think Tristan is the only one who thinks that's cool. ^_^
A huge thank you for allowing me to be a guest on the blog today! Throughout the blog tour for Dragon's Eye, I hope you enjoy the behind the scenes look at the gods and mythos, and how they play a part in Sumeria's Sons. For a visual representation, please visit my Pinterest page. (https://www.pinterest.com/lexiander1/sumeria-sons-inspirations/) During the tour I discuss the Sumerian pantheon, about who and what the Gods/Goddess are, and how I use them. Make sure you stop by the other blogs to get a complete look at the Gods and Goddess the Lycan's follow.
Also, Less Than Three Press is running a special sale on Sumeria's Sons from September 23rd through October 7th (dates inclusive).
Twin Flames is $0.99.
LT3 Press (http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=116&products_id=660)
25% off Songs of the Earth
LT3 Press (http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=116&products_id=815)
25% off Dreams of the Forgotten
LT3 Press http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=116&products_id=876
25% off Surrounded by Crimson
LT3 Press http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=116&products_id=922
Thank you for stopping by and reading!
Meet Lexi Ander:
Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.
Where to find Lexi Ander:
Web site: http://www.lexiander.com
Tour Dates & Stops:
30-Sep The Jena Wade
1. Prize offered: Prize offered: $20 Amazon Gift card, $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Dragon's Eye, swag (pens, bookmarks)
2. $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Dragon's Eye, swag (pens, bookmarks)
3. hard copy of Dragon's Eye, swag (pens, bookmarks)
4. e-book copy of Dragon's Eye
5. e-book copy of Dragon's Eye