Author Name: Lexi Ander
Book Name: Surrounded by Crimson
Series: Sumeria’s Sons
Series should be read in order for maximum enjoyment.
Release Date: July 1, 2015
Tristan has agreed to bond with Ushna but there is still much to do and returning to Tribe Enkidu puts everyone on edge. Tristan is being stalked like prey all the while fighting depression as he mourns the loss of Nikita and enduring a battle of wills with the Elder Council over his birthright. The pleading of his adoptive daughter only adds still more stress to the situation.
Stumbling onto a secret prison while searching for Ushna leads Tristan to risk everything to free a lost God. But breaking the tie to his Flame has more repercussions than Tristan knew and the assistance of a forgotten Goddess and a centuries old lover may not be enough to save him.
Pages or Words: 48,000 words
Categories: M/M Romance, Menage/Poly, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Ushna was out of the car and greeting his parents before I unbuckled the seatbelt. Hami wasn't as tall as his son but he was wide, very wide, barrel-chested with a set of deltoids on him the size of small children. His dark hair was cut above the ears and I'd never seen the man without at least three days growth of facial hair. It looked good on him. That kind of scruff made me resemble a bum.
Donya was tall and lean, one of those women who had a natural sway when she walked. Her blue-black hair fell to her waist in thick glossy waves. Her skin was a deep almond, darker than her husband's or son's, and her bright, emerald-green eyes were large and expressive.
They both greeted Ushna with festive exuberance, and why not? I'd kept him away from them for a very long time. I observed them for a moment over the hood of the SUV. Hami picked his son up in a bear hug, laughing loud and boisterous. Donya took his face between her palms as she gazed deeply into his bi-colored eyes—eyes that were forever changed by me. At that thought, I wondered how they truly perceived me. My stomach rolled with anxiety-induced queasiness.
With all the grace of someone my size, I made my way into the house, leaving Ushna to his family reunion. I had hoped we wouldn't see them until after the children were born. I'd entered the home stretch of my pregnancy. Even with the ring of illusion, I had a hard time hiding my condition. Early in my pregnancy, Gregori had fashioned a ring of magic, creating the illusion that hid my continually growing stomach and constructed a normal appearance.
A pregnant male wasn't something we wanted to explain to humans. With the looming threat of assassination, if my identity was discovered, we thought it best to continue to keep my birthright a secret until after the children were born. So I'd continue to wear the illusion even though the ring wasn't much help now. The giveaway was in the walk and the way I stood. People could see there was something different by how I held my body and it couldn't be helped. I was able to hurry, in spurts, and then I lumbered like an elephant—very National Geographic.
Neesie followed me into the kitchen. She was dressed differently than what I'd become accustomed to. Gone were the combat boots, black jeans, and white tees. She wore a pale blue silk blouse, a pinstriped pencil skirt, and knee-high black stiletto boots. She appeared fierce in a whole new way.
"Why didn't you wait and greet Ushna's parents?" she asked.
With a plate in hand, I inspected the cold cuts tray that sat on the kitchen counter. I was starved and wanted something quick to eat before everyone came in. When I didn't answer Neesie, she took the plate from me and started placing fresh vegetables on it.
"I thought I'd give them some time to catch up," I finally replied. It wasn't a complete lie. "They haven't had their son to themselves in quite some time. They don't need me hanging out in the background."
Neesie pinned me with her golden-brown gaze. "That is such bullshit and you know it. What's the real issue?"
I quirked a smile at her. "You know I love ya?"
"Yes, and you're the one who called me for dating advice because you suck at subtle. Your 'hey moron, get your hands off my sister' ranked right up there."
"I can't help it if Mr. Octopus Arms was oblivious to his audience."
"Go ahead and keep playing that song because I know you still refer to him as Lonnie Fucking-Fowler. Before you walked into the house, your face turned green and you practically sprinted in here."
"Ahh, stampede!" I gave mock crowd screams. Neesie was not impressed.
"Spill, jackass." She shoved a full plate into my hands and a chair under my ass. Neesie glared at me but her expression was filled with concern.
"Fine, you tyrant. I wanted to make a good impression. I wanted to be able to show them that I am a strong partner and worthy of their son's love and devotion. But right now I'm huge, and miserable, and swollen, and hungry. Why did you give me carrots? You know I hate carrots. You're trying to torture me, aren't you? I'm an elephant, not a rabbit. I get like peanuts or something, not Bugs Bunny hand-me-downs." I threw the carrot at my cackling sister. The woman was not remorseful.
I threw another carrot at Neesie before turning to see who called for me. I swallowed a curse as I faced Donya. She stood in the doorway, her large green eyes soft and liquid as she searched my expression.
"Ma'am?" Embarrassingly, my voice cracked like I was fourteen years old.
"How can we not be proud of you, son?" Donya crossed the room in a smooth glide and gently took me in her arms. "We've always been proud of you, Tristan, don't ever believe differently." Tentatively I embraced her in return and ignored Neesie's sniffles.
Sales Links: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=116&products_id=922
About the author:
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.
Where to find the author:
Web site: http://www.lexiander.com
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6521302.Lexi_Ander
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Cover Artist: Londen Burden
1. Prize offered: $20 Amazon Gift card, $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Surrounded by Crimson, swag (pens, bookmarks)
2. $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Surrounded by Crimson, swag (pens, bookmarks)
3. hard copy of Surrounded by Crimson, swag (pens, bookmarks)
4. e-book copy of Surrounded by Crimson
5. e-book copy of Surrounded by Crimson
And now for the interview!!!
*waves* Thank you for having me on the blog today!!
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
In my opinion, the most important element is knowing how to put heart into your story. You can have perfect writing mechanics but if you can't put into words the heart that draws the reader in, then it becomes a book that is easy to put down and forget to pick back up again. When I'm reading, if the author doesn't set that hook in me that drags me along after page ten, I'll get distracted. Nine times out of ten, I'll put the book down and look for something else to read. I remind myself of that every time I sit down to pen the beginning of any story. Plot holes, bad grammar, fixing a plot arch, missing or thin world building—most everything else can be fixed through beta reading and editing. The world can be engaging and different, but if the reader is disinterested in the welfare of my characters, then I've failed.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell us about?
Ruby Red Booty Shorts and a Louisville Slugger is what I'm working on now. It's slated to re-release in September but there are several changes that I'm making to the original manuscript. It had been written for a holiday Submission call with a word count limit. It didn't qualify for the call but was accept for general submission. It wasn't on the market long before it was pulled off (publisher issues). The feedback that I received from the new publisher and editor seriously helped. Ruby Red is being expanded and the order of events rearranged. I did a lot of telling in the story, which will be fixed, and the relationship elements between Diego and Beck are being addressed. Because seriously, readers were plopped right down in the middle of the story and then sped right on through without seeing the relationship growth between the two. I'm a bit nervous about the changes because I've read the story one way for so long that I'm second guessing all of the rearranging. ^_^
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
Sometimes I choose the title of the story before I start writing. That allows me to write incorporating the meaning of the title into the story. If I don't select the title before I begin, then usually I'll have it before I'm half way finished. That was what happened with Alpha Trine. But with Striker, I had the title before I wrote the story. That title was actually hinted at in Alpha Trine. Surrounded by Crimson was selected before I started writing the story because I knew what would happen to Tristan, but as I wrote I unintentionally wove it in to other elements of the story. The red tunics Tristan wears. What Tristan espied in the caldron. The one time I finished a story with having a title was Ruby Red Booty Shorts and a Louisville Slugger. That one my husband helped me with, taking two elements from the main character and shoving them together. But damn, it's a long title to write.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What did I not want to be? Imagine my disappointment when I discovered I couldn't really make a living riding horses. I wanted to be a history teacher, an archeologist, an author, a NASCAR driver, child psychologist, an author, a nurse, a football player, a choir teacher, a cartoonist, an author, beach volleyball player, a mom, and the list goes on. I hated that they said I had to choose just one occupations.
When writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with? Eyes, hair?
I just noticed this about myself. I start with the eyes, and I'm not sure why. Maybe because I pay attention to someone's eyes. They're so expressive.
If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?
Pick a different publisher to start with… LOL! Hindsight, I would have worked on my manuscript more, got a better handle on the mechanics, and completed the series before submitting the first book. Here lately, it feels like I'm always playing catch up on my own series because readers would like to have their story--now please. :D
Ebook or print? And why?
Both. Ebook because it's easy to store. Although I've been scared that I'll lose data and I'll have books that aren't recoverable. Some places like Amazon and All Romance have my bookshelf, but not all places are like that or they've gone out of business.
Print because I love getting author autographs. I don't care if I have the ebook, if I can get a signature I'll buy the book again. I also like print because I can easily get my friend addicted to my favorite stories just by handing them my copy. They can thank me later and hide from their spouse when they too become addicted to the author and then buy the back list.
If I really like the author or the book I will also buy the audiobook. No joke. I could have both ebook and print and still buy it to listen to. I'm a huge re-reader. So being able to have access to my favorite reads regardless of where I am is awesome. ^_^
Thank you for stopping by and reading. Good luck with the giveaway!