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.
Ashur’s been lying low for more than five thousand years, after his failed coup attempt against his cohort, Inanna. An utterly boring existence until about five hundred years ago, when one of the Chosen discovered a chilling secret: The Etu Daku are here, now, infesting the Earth in an inscrutable tactic the Nasaru have never faced before. Ashur is about to break the mystery wide open… he just needs a little more time. Time he’s demanded from Inanna, taking her newest Chosen as his hostage.
But Cassandra is more than Ashur bargained for.
Stabbed to death and now abducted, Cassandra’s had a rough week, but she won’t let that keep her down. Determined to keep her wits about her as she figures out her new place in the world, she’s not about to let some (blazingly hot) ancient immortal hold her back.
Chosen by Inanna, Cassandra’s just gotten the world’s biggest upgrade, and if Ashur thinks she’s going to sit in the background and look pretty, he’s in for a surprise.
Flames ignite as these two collide, but the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Will they be able to work together to solve the Etu Daku’s mysterious infestation?
Even carried loosely, Ashur’s wings command at least a six-foot radius behind him and my hand flexes at the thought of touching them again before I shake my head. Remembering my own suddenly, I reach behind my back, shivering as my fingers find a wing, the whisper of feathers against my fingertips contrasting with the sensation shooting through my body — like a shot of adrenaline straight to my clit, from just a touch.
Shuddering, I let go, jumping at Ashur’s sudden laugh. “They will not always be so sensitive, Chosen. It’s partly because they are new to this world that the sensations are so… overwhelming.”
“Cassandra,” I correct testily. He just said it. I watch him instead of checking out this amazing room as I start down the stairs into the living room. “That’s too bad. I’ll have to take advantage of the sensitivity while it lasts.”
He scowls at that, raising his brow in what must be a regular expression for him. I grin in response as I sit in front of him on a plush ottoman of deep violet, flexing my wings experimentally. They arch behind me, and I slowly pull one forward, the muscles and tendons moving with the echo of memory, as if I’ve always had them… as if they’re a missing part of me that I’ve finally recovered. I blink when they come into view. Ashur was right. The long feathers of my primaries are flamboyant — the rose gold shimmers with a metallic sheen although they’re as soft (and sensitive, holy fuck) as the rest of my… feathers. I have feathers! Only my primaries have the metallic shine, though, abruptly transitioning to the “moody blue” color that makes up the rest of the huge expanse of my wing. They’re a dark periwinkle, and I inspect them closely, realizing most are tipped with gray at the very ends, lending to the storm-cloud color Ashur referenced before. I pull them both forward fully, marveling at their weight, each one big enough to drape over me like a heavy blanket — I’m going to sleep so great with these things.
I glance up, but Ashur is waiting for me to complete my inspection — if not patiently, at least quietly. I relax them and smile when they swing backward before settling comfortably behind me. Turning my attention back to Ashur, who still hasn’t sat, I raise an eyebrow of my own as he watches me from his towering height. He’s slow about it, and I can feel his tension mount through our link as he starts to sit. Adopting an innocent expression, I smile when his eyes narrow before getting distracted by the play of muscle across his chest and abdomen as he finally settles across from me.
A shiver runs through me when he leans forward to brace his elbows against his thighs, those midnight wings swinging forward until he’s shadowed by them. He’s intimidating. Moderately threatening, even. If I had underwear on, they would be soaked. As it is, I’m concerned about this beautiful dress. I know he can feel my arousal through our link. I watch as his wings arch higher, and his eyes start to… burn. There’s no other word as those dark wisps — his power, manifest physically — rise between us. His eyes are glowing, like embers in a flame. It’s erotically terrifying, a reaction that makes me want to lay back on this ottoman and offer myself to him, while at the same time it calls to something wild in me.
I don’t want to lay back and take it… I want to launch myself onto him and take him. I stifle a moan, shifting on the ottoman.
“Some ground rules, then,” he starts with a growl that prowls right over the best parts of me.
I shimmy on the ottoman again with a breathless hum, “Yes. Ground rules.” My own words are husky, and I clear my throat, “First, I decide where and who I sleep with—” I stop with a squeak when he shoots to his feet with a growl, and actual fire lights up on the crest of his wings. Flames — across his wings — which apparently aren’t affected by the fire as they arch behind him. I guess we’re ignoring that for now, though.
“No.” His voice rolls through the room like thunder, his power coiling, and I feel it building, dimming the overhead lights until he’s limned in shadow. It’s dark in here now… the wisps of power I noticed before are shadowing the room, and I jump when a tendril wraps around me. The touch of it is a sliding burn, prickling my skin like being in the sun too long. I watch with startled apprehension as the flames on his wings drip down to his primaries.
Okay, that is amazing. I wonder if my Choosing broke something inside me, because I am panting at this point.
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’ve also become addicted to this color-by-number app on my phone.
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 started. I was so burnt out from writing Becoming, Book 1 of the series, and then I had to dive into this one, and my head just… ‘asplode’, as my niece puts it. That said, another big challenge was the timeline, which I’m noticing is a huge part of the entire series. I find it a little hilarious that I’m writing about immortals, but also tracking the days and times like the office clock-watcher as I write the books.
Cassandra’s relationship with Ashur is a lot of fun. She’s been through real trauma and taken her therapy to heart, so seeing her handle this enormous change and then take on this ancient immortal grump while trying to keep it together was fun. Ashur is constantly dancing around her boundaries, pushing and pushing because HE knows he’s finally found what he’s been looking for.
My writing buddy, Sabrina Day, helped push me to get started, to stay on track, to go with my instincts. She’s amazing and I love her and her books are also amazing – check them out!
My favorite scene is when Ashur, Cassandra, Koa and Michael are searching the house in Miami. I love the interactions before that, after that, and during the investigation itself. Those chapters were really fun to write.
I think in this book it would be Michael. Just to get his take on all the shenanigans. Michael and Koa get a fair amount of face time with Cassandra in this book, but the reader doesn’t get much insight into what they’re thinking.