Author Name: Lexi Ander
Book Name: Dragon’s Eye
Series: Sumeria’s Sons
Book Number: 5
Series should be read in order.
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.
Instead of asking questions, Mother followed me into the house. Corey’s finger’s lightly cupped my elbow, not breaking contact even as he spoke to others. From the foyer I could see the French doors in the living room had been thrown wide, the furniture pushed back against the walls. Neesie directed the warriors as they carefully lowered the wounded in the places prepared for them.
Gregori Borchetta, dressed in formal Magi robes, stood next to Nathan, both of them ready to attend the injured. Everyone glanced up when they realized I was watching. I couldn’t look away from their expressions of sorrow and pain. Especially Neesie and Nathan, who were like family to me. Neesie, her brown eyes so like Tristan’s, gave me a watery smile but Nathan glared. The condemnation in his expression told me where he placed the blame. I’d failed in his eyes and I couldn’t disagree with him.
Buy the book:
Keresaspa and the End of the World.
If you’ve read the blog post on the Simurgh, you know that I came across Keresaspa in the Myths of the World, the Illustrated Treasury of the World’s Greatest Stories. Keresaspa is a Persian mythology hero who is a monster slayer. In the Zoroastrian religious text of the Avesta, he is the slayer of many ferocious monsters, including the Gandareba and the Azi Sruvara. The one monster that interested me was Dahāg (also called Azhi Dahaka).
In the myth, Keresaspa was dashing and easy going, with pretty sidelocks and was hands down the best fighter of all the ages. But he wasn’t very pious which almost kept him from heaven. If he hadn’t been so well liked that other gods and heroes came forward to passionately plead his cause, he would’ve been barred by Ahura Mazda.
Dahag (Azhi Dahaka) was described as a three-headed monster whose body (internally) was made of lizards and scorpions. Some texts labeled him a dragon or snake with words that didn’t have sinister implications. Sometimes he was a monster with three mouths, six eyes, and three heads—meaning three heads with one mouth and two eyes each—he was cunning and strong and evil. But in other respects, Dahag had human qualities and a human body, and was never a mere animal. Dahag was interpreted as meaning “having ten (dah) sins” and was said to possess all possible sins and evil counsels. I could never figure out why there was a distinction made between the two. He was also accused of having an incestuous relationship with his mother but still ruled for one thousand years. He was able to do this by practicing sorcery and employing the aid of daevas (divs, demons).
There was little to be found about how Dahag was vanquished. The Avesta indicated Keresaspa revolted against the tyrannical reign. In battle, he hit Dahag with a club and snakes, insects and vermin burst forth. The god Ormazd counseled Keresaspa not to kill Dahag but instead imprison him. Dahag was chained to the mythical Mt. Damavand and then Keresaspa liberated a couple of pretty women and was endowed with the divine radiance (Khvarenah) of kings. He ruled for five hundred years and he was thought well of.
Legend said Dahag would break the shackles, and at the end of the world he would begin an era where he ravages civilization, eating one in three humans and livestock. Keresaspa would be reborn to kill Dahag.
To say that I took great liberties with Keresaspa’s and Dahag’s life stories and purpose is a slight understatement. I intertwined Keresaspa’s and Simurgh’s back story. Dahag is a noteworthy adversary but I found it hard to believe that he’d been chained to a mountainside for so long. I began to fiddle with alternate ideas until I came up with something that fit not only Simurgh and Keresaspa but the overall plot for Sumeria’s Sons. Because really, what is Inanna looking for in the King’s Tomb? What would a desperate goddess look for when she keeps failing to kill Sumeria’s Sons?
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.
25% off Songs of the Earth
25% off Dreams of the Forgotten
25% off Surrounded by Crimson
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
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6521302.Lexi_Ander
Publisher: LT3 Press – http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/
Cover Artist: London Burden
30-Sep The Jena Wade
- Prize offered: Prize offered: $20 Amazon Gift card, $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Dragon’s Eye, swag (pens, bookmarks)
- $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Dragon’s Eye, swag (pens, bookmarks)
- hard copy of Dragon’s Eye, swag (pens, bookmarks)
- e-book copy of Dragon’s Eye
- e-book copy of Dragon’s Eye