Adrienne isn’t from any one location, but she currently resides in sunny California. She’s lived in roughly half of the states in the Southern USA (East and West) and has seen some of the world, but not nearly enough. Travel is hard with a menagerie of one dog, three cats, and a snake, though, so she and her husband have to choose wisely.
Writing is a new endeavor, but exciting, and she’s currently working on Book 4 of the Nasaru of Earth series, Forgiven.
When you’re protecting a whole planet, it helps to be organized.
Eyes on the prize, and all that.
So, when I find myself awake for the final reincarnation of my Becoming, I figure I better get started cleaning house. I’ve been gone for over five millennia, so there’s plenty to do.
First things first, though. Our growing connection with Shamash is freaking out my host, Natalie, and I need to get this skittish college student laid.
I’ve got to ‘level up’ Shamash – my Judge, my advisor, my lover – to keep him by my side. I need to hunt down my wayward partner, aptly nicknamed the Betrayer, and straighten him out. And now I’ve got a secret society that’s out to kill me.
But I’m up to the challenge.
I better be…I’ve got a To Do list a mile long before our age-old enemy shows up to annihilate the planet, and there’s no time to waste if I want to keep eating these delicious pastries.
I’m Inanna, Earth’s Guardian, and I’m about to set this planet straight.
Inanna’s been gone for more than five millennia – the slog through time like wet sand in an hourglass.
But then – a connection.
A link to a Prime – a human – that I never expected.
It’s Inanna, but also not, and all I can do is burn, her human form hesitant, cautious – so different from the Goddess I knew.
And I wonder, who will Inanna be when she Becomes?
Who will I be when she Becomes?
Space opens around us as the tourists suddenly notice the Chosen in their midst. Midnight wings edged in platinum rise around me as his dark eyes take in the crowd in a sweep. I follow his gaze, noting the faltering flight of the blue-winged Chosen over the monument, his trajectory heading toward the Potomac. Pulling me into his arms, Shamash lifts off in a powerful movement, cries of awe following us into the air, rain rushing off his wings with each downward sweep.
His arms are tight around me, the heat of his bare chest soaking through my wet clothes so I have trouble catching my breath, but he won’t meet my eyes. I’m stiff with tension as we fly — we’re flying!! — the short distance to the trees at the side of the monument. Waves of fear and anger roll off Shamash as he lands softly in the wet grass. His feelings are not helping to calm me.
He drops his hands from my waist as we touch down but doesn’t step back. Looming over me, he’s just…huge, bigger than the three Chosen I met last night. I’m not even eye-level with his sternum and his enormous wings, still flared from our landing, stretch what must be twenty feet across.
Normally one Nasaru is the Guardian and the other is Judge, the pair of them bonded to the world they guard, but after Ashur’s betrayal (no, I haven’t figured out all the details — yet), Inanna assigned the task of Judge to Shamash instead. I don’t know that whole story, and Inanna isn’t forthcoming. But the task marked him, the changes to his body taking place slowly during Inanna’s Becoming.
Now, he bears only a passing resemblance to the lean Chosen from my dreams — from Inanna’s memories. He’s taller, broader. His power is palpable as he stands before us, edged in lightning. Still, he’s deeply familiar as I look at him, Inanna avidly cataloging the changes wrought over the millennia.
Then she’s rising, the agonizing power that’s tearing me apart throbbing through me and my mind hazes as she pushes my consciousness to the background.
She does something and I can feel a space open around us, the shouts in the distance hushed — Inanna doesn’t want an audience, apparently.
“Who was it?” She’s only halfway paying attention, all our focus on the Chosen before us, our eyes wandering over every inch of him as she continues to take him in. I watch from the background as, at the sound of her voice, he drops to his knees, head bowed, wings still arched around me.
“He is Ashur’s Chosen, Koa. I will find him,” he starts, fists tight, his tone frigid. Despite his words, his voice is a physical touch, and my breath rushes out at the sound, warmth tightening my core.
“No. They will both be Judged in their time.” Her voice is a naked command and his head jerks at the sound, but he doesn’t raise his eyes to look at her.
At me. Us.
She lays my hand on his shoulder softly, “Rise, Shamash, and greet me.”
The urge to stroke the thick muscle under our hand stretches like smoke curling from a flame, his form so familiar my whole body clenches in recognition.
“Greet you now, Goddess?” His voice is flat, and I wince. He’s pissed; he knows I left to avoid him last night and now this afternoon he’s pulled me from a rainstorm and a near kidnapping.
“Now,” Inanna tells him quietly, the plea in her voice hidden behind a thread of steel and I’m shocked that she seems surprised by his response.
It was a dick move, I groan softly from the background. My dick move, because I’ve been so chickenshit about the whole thing. Inanna pauses at my guilt — I can’t tell if she thinks I shouldn’t feel guilty, or that it wasn’t shitty of me to leave.
He has a right to be upset — it was super shitty of me to run away when we could have met last night. And now he’s been forced to save us from…whatever that was! My voice echoes through our shared mind, and I’m confused by the negation emanating from Inanna at the thought.
I’m confused. Just… I thought Shamash was your lover?
Inanna stills before gliding a fingertip across the breadth of his shoulder. Shamash shivers as our fingers sweep slowly up his neck and behind one ear before she pushes our hand into his wet hair, sliding like silk against our skin.
“Mine,” Inanna says in my voice. The word falls with the force of a hammer between us as our hand clenches in his hair. Shamash remains kneeling, still tensed to rise, but all movement halted as Inanna tugs his head back, moving closer as she whispers in his ear, “You are mine.”
He settles again to his knees, a shiver chasing along his body under my hand as I watch, uncomfortably fascinated even as heat pools low.
What. The fuck. Is happening?
“Always.” His rough response is whispered, his dark eyes finally meeting mine as Inanna holds his head canted to the side. I feel her triumph at the word.
And Shamash’s pleasure.
Before I can fully comprehend what the fuck, Inanna jerks me from the background of our mind and merges with me, memories assailing me as a door opens to a hidden history from ages past. The present fades, giving way to an image of Shamash as he had been long ago, a fierce human warrior standing before her. First, a human Inanna had Chosen, and then a Chosen she claimed as her own.
I had thought Shamash’s connection to Inanna was clear — I knew they’d been lovers, anyway — but now Inanna is showing me everything I didn’t know. Their connection started even before the day of his Choosing, deeper and much more complicated than I’d thought, and I watch in fascination as Inanna’s memories of Shamash flash through my mind.
A warlord among humans, Shamash kneels before her, his dark head bowed. I recoil at Inanna’s fierce satisfaction at the memory, her feral greed at the sight of him conquered at her feet, uncomfortable with her savage glee, but she shows me more.
I see Shamash…yielding. Every time.
Kneeling before us now, he overwhelms even from the ground, his wings curled forward, gleaming primaries resting in the wet grass. On his knees, his dark eyes are nearly level with mine as I stand in the vee of his thighs, his body tense, shoulders heavy with muscle pulled taut as Inanna holds his head tilted with the lightest pressure of our hand.
I’m married with one kid, although he’s not a kid anymore. I’ve traveled a lot: growing up in a military household, and then joining the military myself, and after I got out, I’ve moved several times for my career. I’ve seen a lot of the US, and some of the world, but not enough.
I became a writer because… because I got tired of all the “cool” FMCs being 20-something girls, just learning about life. I wanted to read a story where the kick-ass FMC already knows who she is, and what she wants, and she’s smart and capable enough to get it.
Maybe she’ll make mistakes, maybe life’s going to throw her a curveball she didn’t expect, but she’s got this, and the relationships in her life are equal partners and attentive lovers.
I get up at 4AM and write until 6:30 – 7AM. Then I go to work. On the weekends, I write from 4AM – 9AM. It’s a small window of free time, so I have to be organized.
I know the story I want to tell, though, so I outline to a chapter level with plot notes, and then just… fill in the rest. Sometimes my characters will go off script, like the surprise threesome in Becoming, or the burnt barbeque in Chosen, but I know they’ll get there, so I just roll with it.
Most of the time I’m working.
But I like to read, and my husband and I like to check out new vegan places in SoCal.
I… don’t really? I’m happy it’s done, but I’m usually looking ahead, planning out the next one.
I’m usually frantically finishing the book right before the release, so the two are very mixed in my mind. But I don’t really celebrate, except maybe to rehash the story with my betas (my sisters) and it’s exciting listening to them be so interested in what comes next.
I wanted to write about people with wings. Which sounds silly considering the books I ended up with, which are a little… complicated.
And I also wanted a story that’s very female-forward.
The Inanna mythology is one of the oldest and MOST female-forward mythos out there. She was a badass! And mixing that with an ‘ancient aliens’ aesthetic gave me SO many things to explore.
History, science, the origins of civilization, genetics, space exploration. It’s literally all the things, and while I don’t get into all of that in this series, it’s there for later.
Except… the women I’m writing are similar to my friends and family – and me; they’re confident, they’re sure of their place in the world and in their relationship. They know they’re going to be able to handle whatever comes, and that they can rely on their husband to support them. They might get mad at their significant other, but they also know they’re going to be able to work through it.
Getting it done.
This was my first book and it was really hard learning the industry and how to self-pub, and book covers and formatting and finding an editor and beta readers and the ARC process. Newsletters, websites, Facebook pages and Instagram stories… it was a LOT of new things for me.
And during that time we had COVID and the world was all messed up.
I love the interactions of the characters; I love their dynamics.
Oh, wow… I’m not sure. There are authors I read – SO many authors – but I never looked at their books and said, “I can do that.”
I never thought I would be a writer. It never really occurred to me that I’d could write a story and publish it. I don’t see myself as super creative; I was never the girl that journaled or wrote stories and poems, or put together plays for my family.
I think my writing took the people that know me by surprise just as much as it surprised me.
So many people talk about finding their passion later in life, and I think this is mine… I love my job, it’s challenging and fulfilling, but for the first time in my life, there’s something I’d rather be doing to make money.
That’s never happened before.
And even though writing right now is just an expensive hobby – and a great tax write-off – I hope I’ll find my people soon, and my story will help a whole bunch of smart, confident women (and men) relax and enjoy a good story. With lots of sex in it.
I love when Inanna and Shamash are watching the sun rise over D.C., together after so long apart. They start to realize their relationship has changed – they’ve changed – and navigating this new dynamic is going to be their biggest challenge.
Inanna and Shamash have a second chance, and their relationship now can be whatever they want it to. Once they figure out what that is, they have to change themselves; Inanna can dominate in the bedroom all she wants, but if she wants Shamash to be an equal partner outside the bedroom, she’s got to open up, she’s got to ask for his input and then respect it.
I would have to say Shamash… for all he’s got a starring role, there’s a lot more of him to uncover. I’d ask him how he decided Inanna should be his.