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.
Inanna and Ashur are Nasaru, ancient beings sent to Earth to fight off the Etu Daku, a swarm of planet-destroying aliens. Fighting with them are the Chosen: humans who have been transformed into winged immortals, powerful… but still, all too human.
After a shocking betrayal by Ashur, Inanna left to Become, a process of seemingly endless reincarnations that will give her the strength necessary to fight the approaching Etu Daku swarm. In the meantime, Inanna’s Chosen, Shamash, has been waiting for Inanna’s return for over five thousand years. His Goddess, the only woman he’s ever loved. The only woman to bring him to his knees.
Inanna’s Becoming is nearly complete, her final form that of Natalie, a young human. A human whose frail body cannot contain the power that Inanna now commands. So Inanna pushes Natalie to meet with Shamash to transfer the rising power, allowing Inanna’s consciousness to subside once more, until she can rise in her true form as Earth’s Guardian at Natalie’s death.
Natalie is only now realizing just who she’s been sharing her head with for this past year – Inanna, the immortal Goddess. A being so powerful she could tear the world in half.
A being that hasn’t touched her lover in more than five thousand years, and it shows.
Reluctantly, Natalie agrees to meet with Shamash, a decision that will trigger a whirlwind of changes.
For Inanna and Shamash.
And for the rest of the world.
“Goddess.” Space opens around us, cries of amazement filling the air 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 Koa’s faltering flight over the Monument, his trajectory heading toward the Potomac. Before I can ask what’s happening, Shamash pulls me into his arms, lifting off in a powerful movement. Shouts from the crowd follow 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. I’m stiff with tension as we fly — we’re flying!! — the short distance to the trees at the side of the Monument. I can’t catch my breath, and he won’t meet my eyes. Waves of fear and anger roll off Shamash as he lands softly in the wet grass, clear as day through our connection. It’s 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, way bigger than the three Chosen I met last night. I’m not even eye-level with his sternum and his wings, still flared from our landing, stretch what must be twenty feet across.
The oldest accounts say one Nasaru is the Guardian and the other is Judge, the pair of them bonded to the world they guard. But something happened between Inanna and Ashur, and she assigned the task of Judge to Shamash instead. No, I haven’t figured out all the details — yet. Inanna isn’t exactly forthcoming. But the task has left its mark on Shamash.
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, but not like before. The agonizing power tearing me apart throbs 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 to his answer, focused on the Chosen before us. Our eyes wander over every inch of him as she continues to take him in.
I’m silent in 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.” His fists are tight, his tone frigid, but despite that, 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 when 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 meeting with him. Inanna pauses at my guilt, but 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, I tell her, It was super shitty of me to run away 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 my words.
I’m confused. Just… I thought Shamash was your lover?
Inanna stills and Shamash freezes as she lifts a hand, shivering when she glides a fingertip across the breadth of his shoulder. He remains frozen 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, 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, tension chasing along his body under my hand as I stare, 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. Inanna’s triumph at the word reverberates through us.
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 assail me as the present fades, a door opening to a hidden history from ages past. In it, an image of Shamash as he had been long ago, a fierce human warrior standing before her. A human Inanna had Chosen, and then a Chosen she claimed as her own.
I thought Shamash’s connection to Inanna was clear — I knew they’d been lovers — 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’m fascinated 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 me 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 remains tense, shoulders heavy with muscle pulled taut as Inanna holds his head tilted with the lightest pressure of our hand.
Yes, Inanna’s voice weaves like smoke through my mind. I shudder as heat streams through me. Inanna relaxes our hand — so, so slowly — pulling it away and motioning Shamash to stand with an elegant flip of our wrist. How does she move like that? He stands in a single smooth movement, thick muscles bunching as he rises, powerful thighs encased in dark canvas pants, his feet bare. Inanna pulls back slightly as my eyes lift along Shamash’s body, wandering across the wide expanse of his chest, up to his surprisingly youthful face. But Shamash was Chosen young — not as young as Inti, but probably around my own age now. His mouth is surprisingly lush, the lower lip fuller than the top, glistening with rain. His hair is wet, black as pitch and plastered to his skull from the weather. He runs a hand through it, ruffling the longer strands on top so they fall to the side and my breath catches. He’s beautiful, all long limbs and thick muscles, dark and hot, wet male. I squirm as heat flashes straight to my core at the look in his eyes.
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 travel and explore new places.
I… don’t really? I’m happy it’s done, but I’m usually looking ahead, planning out the next one. But I don’t really celebrate, except maybe to rehash the story with my betas (my sisters) and it’s exciting to hear how interested they are in what comes next.
I get really burnt out after I finish writing and publishing a book, so I try to take it easy on myself for a couple weeks. I catch up on my reading (or as I like to call it, my ‘research’).
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.
Not really. 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 didn’t take a lot of the advice I was given back then (I am stubborn) and this updated version fixes that mistake.
I love the interactions of the characters; I love their dynamics. And it’s different for me to think of myself as a “creator” or “artistic” but here I am, a writer! So that’s a whole new feeling and I sometimes think I short-changed myself by thinking for all these years that I didn’t have any talent in those areas.
Oh, wow… I’m not sure. There’s 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 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.