Today I am so pleased to welcome Lexi Ander to Joyfully Jay. Lexi has come to talk to us about her latest release, Releasing Chaos. She has also brought along some great tourwide giveways. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thank you for having me on the blog today! Releasing Chaos is the final book in the Sumeria’s Sons series. For the final sendoff, I have put together a series of flash fiction pieces that happen near the end of Dragon’s Eye or in between Dragon’s Eye and Releasing Chaos. These are little scenes that happen on the side and don’t have an impact on the plot arc of Sumeria’s Sons so you won’t encounter any spoilers for the final book. Enjoy!
Ushna and Tristan slept soundly next to me. I didn’t know if it was because we were now part dragon or if Tiamat’s claiming changed something within us, but since Tristan and I returned from Stasis we didn’t need as much sleep as before. Some nights Tristan did sleep more than me but I suspected stress played a part in his weariness. Whatever the reason for my insomnia, some nights I didn’t sleep at all, even after enthusiastic love play.
Carefully, I extracted myself from Ushna’s arms. He mumbled before burying his nose in my pillow, making me smile. I wanted to run my fingers through his blue-black hair but refrained. Of all of us, he needed the most rest. Soon he’d partake of the ritual, consuming Tiamat’s blood to become a Demi-god like Tristan and me. Until then, he was mortal and still had limitations I didn’t.
Glancing at Tristan, his features were barely discernable in the shadows. He’d been pushing himself hard to ensure we were ready for what the Goddess Inanna and the God Marduk threw at us. Though I wanted to fall into oblivion with them, I simply couldn’t.
Throwing on a pair of sweats and a T-shirt, I crept out of the room. The house was quiet. I wasn’t surprised to see Corey’s door open and his bed vacant. After grabbing a bottle of water, I went to check on the pups.
Moonlight spilled into the nursery through the single window. I didn’t like that their room had the one weak point. Even though the Magi had erected obelisk around the perimeter of the property that kept people away and could only be crossed when accompanied by someone with a key, I was too experienced with traitors to completely let my guard down, even here in home.
At the thought of traitors, my whole body involuntarily tensed. Traitors. My worst fear was that once again I would lose Ushna or Tristan or both through deception. I’d lived through many incarnations where deception led to their deaths and I couldn’t shake the feeling we had a traitor in our midst. I hoped I was wrong but I couldn’t disregard my instincts or experience.
I stepped over Saéna who only watched as I peeked out the window to verify no threat lurked in the shadows. Satisfied, I turned to the crib. The enclosed baby bed was beautifully carved and large enough to hold all three pups. Ramsey, Little Brian, and Atar were all piled together in the center but they were not asleep as their silence suggested. When I met their gazed, it was as if I’d given them a signal. They scrambled on wobbly arms and legs, crawling to the rail where they pulled themselves up to stand. I tried to hide my grin but failed when the boys giggled with excitement.
Placing my hands on hips, pretending I would scold them only caused them to laugh louder. “What are you doing awake?” I asked with mock exasperation. My own smile gave away the ruse. “What am I supposed to do with you?”
Little Brian ran in place, his little legs giving out. He would have fallen on his butt if he hadn’t been holding onto the rail. Ramsey grabbed Little Brian’s shirt, attempting to help him gain his feet. Atar made noises, his small mouth forming an O and his “ah-woo” almost sounded like a howl.
“All right. Fine. You convinced me, but only for an hour.”
Quickly, I closed the door as not to disturb the household and flipped on a couple of lamps for a softer light than the overhead. My dragon pushed forward. He was always completely fascinated with the pups. They especially liked his rumbling purrs, kicking and waving as I checked diapers. Relief flooded me to find them clean. I would have changed them if needed, but it was a crapshoot if I could get a new diaper on correctly. Ushna and Tristan made it look so easy. Mine always fell off the boys and they usually peed on me, too. I was glad I wouldn’t have to deal with any of that tonight and I could get down to the business of playing with my children.
The idea never failed to fill me with amazement. Over many incarnations, I’d never considered being a father. We had never been reborn as shewolves. Once I thought about it, that was certainly odd. Perhaps because we were always supposed to be Tiamat’s. In contrast, the Lycan’s belonging to Shamash were reborn to different genders over the centuries… Anyway, as a male, I never thought about fathering children because my loves were always male. And no, the pups weren’t of my blood but they were of Ushna’s and Tristan’s. What was theirs was mine. It wasn’t a gift I would refuse just because my seed wasn’t involved in the process nor did it mean they were any less my children. My dragon agreed.
“Mine,” he rumbled, bidding me to make sure they carried our scent.
Atar wobbled on his hand and knees when he reached out to grab at Little Brian’s foot. He made other ‘ah-woo’ sound before he brought Little Brian’s heel to his mouth.
“Hey, now. No biting,” I said pulling the foot away from Atar. He only giggled and crawled away with surprising speed and agility.
Ramsey went after him and tackled Atar, biting at the back of Atar’s neck and pulling his shirt. Making a noise of reprimand, I caught Ramsey up and rolled on my back. After nuzzling him, I lifted him in the air, straightening my arms and making airplane noise. Ramsey kicked in excitement and I ignored his drool, trying to make sure it hit my shirt and not my face.
Little Brian squealed loudly, and crawled the short distance to me. When he grabbed my arm and pulled, I clucked my tongue to get his attention. “Wait your turn, little man.” He paused and stared at me as if he assessed my resolve on the matter before he sat on his butt and started talking. Not that I could understand what he said but I still talked back.
Atar crawled to my other side and carefully straddled my thigh. I tensed a couple of times when I thought he’d fall and squish my package but he caught himself and immediately began bouncing as if he rode a pony.
I didn’t know how long we played on the floor, the boys taking turns as I lifted them over me. Using a blanket to cover my head and torso, I crawled around with them. “Oh, no! I can’t see. Where did my boys go?” I followed the sound of their animated laughter until I caught one of them and covered them with the blanket. “I’m so hungry,” I said before blowing on their tummies. Usually the other two would flank me, their little ‘ah-woos’ drawing rumbles of pleasure from my dragon.
After a while, we ended up in the middle of the floor, the boys using me for a pillow. By then, even I was tired. I closed my eyes and pretended I didn’t hear Ramsey fart, hoping he didn’t mess in his diaper. I would check, in a minute. Listening as the pup’s breathing evened out, I realized they almost sounded like one person. Then while I wasn’t paying attention, sleep snuck up on me.
Carefully, I pushed the door to the nursery open, glad the hinges were well oiled. For several nights now, Brian escaped and spent time with our children, playing with them until they all fell asleep. I’d caught him more than once, his dragon’s rumbles louder than he realized. Something about the boys eased Brian. He always seemed on edge, a rubber band ready to snap but spending time in the nursery seemed to help, allowing Brian to relax.
Stepping softly, I turned off all but one of the lamps, taking the blanket from the floor and covered them. Brian lay on his back with Atar on his chest. Ramsey and Little Btrian were curled in his arms. Everyone looked peaceful and I watched them for a while before I took the easy chair in the corner. Saéna rested on the opposite side of the crib. She opened one eye to glare at me as if I made too much noise and I simply smiled as I stretched my legs out. Soon, Ushna would come looking and join us. But for now, I would watch over Brian and the pups, making sure they got the rest they needed.
Everything Tristan, Ushna, and Brian have fought for comes down to the moment they face Inanna and Marduk. Before then, Ushna must embrace his destiny and be transformed by Tiamat. But he returns with a fractured mind and will need the help of the new firebird or he’ll be lost to the insanity of a primordial God. If he’s lost, so is the balance Brian and Tristan sorely need.
Tristan has vowed to care for his ex-Flame, Theo Sullivan, who is doomed to forget more and more with each use of his new ability. When not dealing with his stubborn ex, Tristan must free the warriors stolen by the government and devise a trap for Inanna.
And that’s only the start of the challenges, and everything that can still go wrong.
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Find Sumeria’s Sons series on Goodreads
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.
Lexi has brought prizes to give away along her tour: 1) Signed Paperbacks of the series (6 books total) & a dragon mug 2) signed paperback of Releasing Chaos & a dragon mug 3) signed paperback of Releasing Chaos & dragon goblet 4) signed paperback of Releasing Chaos & dragon goblet 5) signed paperback of Releasing Chaos & dragon goblet
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