(Sumeria’s Sons 01)
A Lycan descendant of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, Tristan is not as extraordinary as his ancestors. He is an average warrior, unremarkable throughout. But this fact does not trouble him because he has found his Twin Flame, the one person destined to be his, who will love him unconditionally, life after life.
Then his Flame betrays him, leaving him shattered and dying. Brokenhearted, Tristan dissolves the sacred bond and leaves. His best friend, Ushna, accompanies him, vowing to guard and protect him, and Tristan slowly comes to realize that love does not require a sacred bond.
But if he hopes to keep the love he chooses, they will first have to survive ancient secrets, lies, mythical creatures, and the return of absent gods…
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Lexi Ander talks Sumeria’s Sons
Before Twin Flames was a glimmer in my eye, I remember reading several articles of all the don’ts of writing. Don’t use prologues. Don’t write a story so complex that you need a glossary. Readers will lose interest. Don’t write polyamorous relationships because they don’t sell. Don’t write mpreg because that’s just wrong and unnatural.
*clears throat* You would think that I don’t like being told what to do. No, seriously, when I began to pen Twin Flames none of the above was on my radar. Even so, I ended up writing a series that incorporated a lot of don’ts. The “don’t” I took the most seriously was the one about the glossary. This series has one. I moved it from the front to the back for the re-release. Twin Flames utilizes a god/goddess pantheon that is over 6000 years old and spans four civilizations. I sometimes think that even the experts have no idea how to pronounce half of names/places themselves.
As a reader, I have to admit that sometimes a hard to say name/place does throw me out of a story until I figure out how to pronounce it or until I make up my own pronunciation. ^_^ Shoot, I completed the Lord of the Rings without being sure how to pronounce half the words Tolkien created. That is where audiobooks are a blessing. Another of my favorite authors, Robert Jordan, had his fair share of strange words and names. I read several books in the series before picking up the audio and having that ‘Eureka!’ moment on pronunciation.
The chances of Sumeria’s Sons going audio back when it was first released was slim to none. I had to be careful of what words I chose to use and that wasn’t easy. Not only was the pantheon very old but it spanned across four civilizations (Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and sometimes Assyrian) that adopted the pantheon but gave the gods slightly different names. The “experts” themselves seemed unsure.
Twin Flames Fact: Gugalanna, the Bull of Heaven, is known today as the constellation Taurus. Although, his appearance was much like that of a Minotaur and not a bull. In Sumerian myth, he was also the consort to the queen of the Realm of the Dead, the goddess Ereshkigal. When Inanna descended to the underworld to mourn with her sister, Ereshkigal trapped Inanna and chained Inanna to the wall behind her throne because she blames Inanna for the death of her consort. There Inanna remained until the king of the gods, Enlil, persuaded Enki to go rescue her.
Honestly, my plebian mind had a heck of a time sorting out which god names to use because the online data on their origin changed often. I wanted to stay as close as I could to Sumeria’s pantheon but at the same time I needed names that weren’t so hard to use. From my own experience, if they are too difficult the readers won’t connect which is the opposite of what I wanted. I like it when readers are so invested that they hiss at the book when the bad guy makes an appearance. 😀
There are some names I couldn’t change such as Gugalanna. That one seemed as constant throughout the various tellings as Tiamat’s. On the other hand, the goddess Ki who was introduced at the end of Twin Flames, her Sumerian name was Ninhursag. Even though it can be easily said I wasn’t connecting with it. If I had a problem then I believed the readers would as well.
One of the goddesses had a more recognizable name in a later historical period. Ishtar was the Babylonian version of Sumeria’s Inanna. I stayed with Inanna because I didn’t want the old movies and biblical references to predetermine the reader’s opinion of Inanna.
In another case, I had to move away from the Sumerian name because it would cause too much confusion having two gods with similar names—Utu (the sun god) and Uttu. I had already chosen Uttu, goddess of the web of life, to be a figure in the story and unfortunately I couldn’t find another name for her in Akkadian or Babylonian. Instead, Utu was changed to Akkadian’s name of the sun god Shamash.
The biggest issue I had with this pantheon was the online resources changed and reorganized data often. I would bookmark a page, making a few notes on what I wanted to use and when I returned, the three page article was suddenly five paragraphs.
All the problems aside, I loved learning the ins and outs of this pantheon and the ancient cultures. I drew inspiration from small details using them throughout Sumeria’s Sons. The use of copper and lapis lazuli. The color red for mourning. The shape of some of the warrior’s swords. Symbols, such as Shamash’s star on the new cover and his wings behind his statue. The ziggurat for the Hall of Shamash. These are only a few pieces I pulled from the past and put in the Lycan’s present.
As for the unfamiliarity of names, I think I did okay with choosing the ones to use. Plus there is a glossary in the back just in case you have a question.
Thank you for stopping by today! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway and identify today’s Twin Flames fun fact. Enjoy the excerpt and I’ll see you tomorrow!
This was new. I raised my hand to wave bye to Randy and the guys as Ushna jerked me out the door. The drive home was tense and quiet, but I waited to see where this would go. The closer we got to the house with nothing said, well, let me just say I was cussing up a storm in my head.As I got out of the truck, Ushna grabbed me by the arm, again. “What in the hell do you think you’re doing?”
He was angry, angrier than I ever remembered seeing him. His lips were pressed into a thin line, his eyes sparked with fire, and the tension came off his body in waves. Only a fool would miss the signs.
“What do you think I’m doing, Ushna?”
“The hell if I know anymore, Tristan. You’re walking around here practically naked, shaking your ass at anyone who will look. Getting groped all over the dance floor by those women―was there a woman who didn’t put her number in your pocket? I’ve never known you to act like a slut before.” Ushna said the last with so much disgust it stung.
And I thought I didn’t have any pride.
I stepped closer to him and looked up into the green eyes that I loved. “I wasn’t shaking my ass just for anyone, Ushna. I was shaking it for you, you fool.”
With both hands, I grabbed his hair, pulled his face down, and kissed him like I’d wanted to kiss him all this past week. I kissed him as if it was the only kiss I’d ever get from him, because I knew now, he didn’t want me, not like I wanted him, so this was the only kiss I was going to get. I made it good. I savored his lips, tasted him, and tried to memorize him.
When I pulled away, I glanced at his round, shocked eyes. I gave him my best crooked smile and a friendly pat on the shoulder, attempting to convey without words that I was sorry and everything would be all right. I didn’t think I could’ve spoken at that moment, so I turned around and sprinted up the steps into the house.
I didn’t go to my bedroom, because I didn’t want to be in the house, so I strode straight out the back door, shedding my clothes as I went. The screen slammed shut right before I submitted to the wolf.
Disappointment and sorrow overwhelmed me, and I needed to run off the emotion as much as I could before returning back to the ranch. I’d known there was a possibility Ushna didn’t see me as anything more than a friend. I’d hoped for more, I’d gambled on it and lost. As I chased stringy jack rabbits, I attempted to convince myself it was okay. I didn’t have to have Ushna in my bed to love him. I’d love him any way he’d let me. So I hunted rabbits and chased a coyote out of my territory. I rolled in the dirt, snagging a burr or two in my fur that took forever to scratch out before I headed home.
Ushna waited for me on the porch. He was leaning against the frame of the back door, his face in shadow, arms crossed over his chest. It was a good thing I’d brought a peace offering; I dropped the rabbit at his feet.
Padding to the door, I hoped he’d open it for me because I really didn’t want to talk to him right now. As far as I was concerned, breakfast was early enough for the discussion. But he didn’t move, making it plain that if I wanted to go in, then I’d have to change back.
Transforming into my human form, I opened my eyes, crouched naked on the porch. I’d never wanted to cover up my body more than I did in that moment. Feeling vulnerable and exposed, Ushna stared as I stood and went to the door. I was determined to get to the relative safety of my room.
“Tristan, I didn’t know… “
I interrupted him. I really, really didn’t want to have this discussion now, when the pain of his rejection was still so close to the surface. “It’s fine. We’re fine, it’s okay.” I reached for the door knob and Ushna grabbed my hand.
“Damn it, would you stop for a minute,” he growled.
All right then, we would have a chat now. I pulled in a breath and looked up at Ushna. “Okay.”
“I didn’t know you were trying to get my attention. You’ve always shied away from touching me, so I didn’t think you’d ever be interested, I thought there was something about me… “
“No, Ushna, it wasn’t you. Any touch hurt. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. You have to know I’d do anything for you.” My chest hurt, but I refused to reach up and rub it.
“Is that what this is, you doing something for me?” His voice was low, guttural, his eyes searching my face.
“Goddess, no,” I breathed, taking a step closer to him, my hand still in his as the other reached for his waist. “This is me wanting to love you.”
This time he kissed me. No, he didn’t simply kiss me. He devoured me, and Goddess help me, I let him.
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.
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Title: Twin Flames (2nd Edition)
Series: Sumeria’s Sons 01
Author: Lexi Ander
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Cowboys
Length: Novel (136pgs)
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (1st October 2014)
Heat: Low – Moderate
Heart: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: A Lycan descendant of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, Tristan is not as extraordinary as his ancestors. He is an average warrior, unremarkable throughout. But this fact does not trouble him because he has found his Twin Flame, the one person destined to be his, who will love him unconditionally, life after life. Then his Flame betrays him, leaving him shattered and dying.
Brokenhearted, Tristan dissolves the sacred bond and leaves. His best friend, Ushna, accompanies him, vowing to guard and protect him, and Tristan slowly comes to realize that love does not require a sacred bond. But if he hopes to keep the love he chooses, they will first have to survive ancient secrets, lies, mythical creatures, and the return of absent gods…
CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains a HFN ending.
Purchase Link: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=92&products_id=660
Review: This is the 2nd edition of Twin Flames and there have been some minor changes and editing cleanup. Tristan suffers from a terrible betrayal by his Twin Flame that leaves him broken and dying, he demands the breaking of their bond not caring that it could kill him, his best friend Ushna becomes his guardian and swears to look after and protect him. Events several years later make Tristan realise that he does want to live and he begins to feel again and he realises just how much he loves Ushna, but secrets emerge which shocks them both.
So some advice to you readers, this book is brilliant and a fantastic beginning to an awesome series which I am going to be glued to for its uniqueness. Tristan demands his bond is dissolved from his faithless Twin Flame, something that is very rarely done and because of the circumstances could kill him, Ushna swears to look after him and it will be a long road to recovery if Tristan survives the Breaking. Ushna and Tristan are best friends and it isn’t until several years later that Tristan begins to want to live and notice how he feels about Ushna, when they finally confront how they both feel, interference from the Council could ruin it all.
Well this story is quite easy to follow with its development, although we don’t get all the answers and many are left open ended (to be answered in later books?), we do get very good world building and history about the wolves. Tristan has pure heartbreak at the beginning of the book and it affects him for years to come, Ushna has always stood beside him and when they finally become a couple it is impressive how passionate they are. But the story doesn’t end there, in fact it seems like it has only just begun with the startling discovery of a secret that leaves Tristan questioning the actions of his family.
There is a whole new world to discover in the Sumeria’s Sons series, with various gifts for the wolves, myth’s coming to life and Goddess’s reappearing, as well as Council meddling and agendas. We also have a wolf who has been betrayed severely and takes years to recover, a best friend who has his own sad story and more mystery surrounding another friend. Tristan and Ushna are wonderful characters that pull you into the story, the wonderful way their story has been written keeps you reading, the storyline and plot holds your attention until the last page and you cry out ‘no keep going, I want more!’
I have to recommend this to anyone who loves shifters, paranormal, a hint at ancient God’s and Goddess’s, mystery, surviving the worst and coming out the other end, love, hot sex, a brilliant storyline… oh and did I mention Lupe’s?
6 thoughts on “Twin Flames by Lexi Ander (2nd Edition) Blog Tour, Guest Post, Review & Giveaway!”
I like this review site, partly because they give good honest and often fun reviews and only slightly because they have a nice new layout with a nice banner at the top (hmm nice).
thank you for an interesting & educational blog tour 🙂
I’m happy you enjoyed the article, Sula22! 🙂
Oh, my goddess! The end of that excerpt was so sensual! I’d love to read how these two get going on with their relationship, how they battle their obstacles, etc. The story sounds so, so good. I wish you tons of good fortune on your re-release, Lexi! And thanks for the giveaway!
^_^ That is one of my favorite scenes in the book. I’m tickled you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for your kind words!
Wow! Awesome! Love this and will need to read more. Congratulations on this release. I love the new cover. Not sure about the Twins Flames fact deal but i will take a stab at it. Is it Gugalanna, the Bull of Heaven and the fact it is called Taurus today? My best shot! Have fun on this blog tour. I have never done one before but happened to catch this one so I am thrilled. And thrilled for you! Your stories are amazing.
Thank you, Hurri! LOL, yeah, sorry about that. I went a little over the top on the fact, didn’t I? Yes. Gugalanna is today’s Taurus. I’m so glad you found the blog tour. I hope you enjoy it!
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