“The Shifting Sands” free starting tonight – plus: “Redeemer” update!

As I said in yesterday’s post, I have completed uploading the revised edition of “The Shifting Sands” complete with new cover and the first ever print edition of the book. To celebrate this, the Kindle edition of “The Shifting Sands” will be available free on Amazon for the next two days, starting at midnight tonight.

After that, starting Monday, the Kindle edition of “Firedancer” will be free, and then “Snake Charmer”.

The sci-fi short “The Duel” will also be free this weekend along with “The Shifting Sands” because why not?

Now, onto some progress reports on the final installation of “The Serpent’s Song” series:

While I’m loathe to give exacts, I would say “Redeemer” is roughly 25% complete at twelve chapters done. To put that in perspective, “Snake Charmer” was 36 chapters, completed. That means, if I maintain at my current pace, “Redeemer” will be the longest book in the series, clocking in between 500-600 pages and ~127,000 words.

However, I fear it may end up being longer.

So, that is the story. Follow the links to “The Shifting Sands” to get it free, starting tonight at midnight. Don’t worry, I will have updates on this when it goes live.

And, if you are so inclined, below is another small excerpt from “Redeemer”:

Amoud fell into his bed. It had been an exhausting two days. After meeting with the King’s Asipu, the Galkin of the Igibarra, and Galkin Sargon of the Royal Guard, the Prince felt it prudent all those from Nun-Ki be in the same inn. Amoud and his men were forced to move to a new inn, and were required to sleep four to a room. Amoud once again received his own private room, in spite of his objections. The move was made in haste, as they also needed to prepare for the meeting with the women in the temple.

That whole situation left young Amoud at a loss. While he didn’t quite understand the Daughters of the Serpent – Dumusmah – he did somewhat understand why they were feared and, up until the last few days, worshiped in secret. Erishkigal was universally known as the malignant Goddess of Death and Irkalla, the underworld. She obtained her position through guile and outright warfare with the other gods and goddesses, and her vile temper was mitigated only by the love of Nergal.

At least, that was what was taught by temple priests. The Asipu Bes, however, had a different story. He said the truth was Erishkigal was imprisoned by the other gods for atrocities committed against the souls she was sworn to rule over and protect. In a pitched battle between supernatural armies at the very gates of the Fortress of Ker in Irkalla, the gods took advantage of Erishkigal’s moment of weakness as she gazed into the eyes of her lover, Nergal, and attacked with renewed vigor. According to Bes, they then imprisoned her, sealed away for all eternity.

Amoud questioned why the Asipu’s tale was different from the one told by the priests and priestesses, but not openly. Such things were not his business either way. Amoud worshiped Shamash and Annanitu, like most citizens of Nun-Ki, and kept his faith as was required. Anything beyond that was beyond his realm, as far as he was concerned.

Either way, Erishkigal was almost universally considered a bad goddess. It seemed foolhardy to worship her, yet the revelation of the existence of the Dumusmah proved some did. Even more alarming was nobody knew how many Dumusmah there were. A dozen or more, at least, in the Temple of Inanna in Adummatu. But, Amoud thought, if the High Priestess of Inanna in Adummatu could be Dumusmah it suggested there was a much larger network out there. That they chose to reveal themselves with an act of such violence, albeit deserved, only reinforced Amoud’s belief they were trouble.

After their frustrating meeting with the representative of the Dumusmah, a displaced woman from Mudder’s Canal, the day became even more stressful and frustrating for the young Galkin. Bes, Mel’k, and Haseen spent hours interrogating Amoud and Prince Urukh on The Mualan.

Amoud sighed and tossed in the bed. He didn’t know much about the frightening one-eyed man they traveled with. The man spoke little, and that suited Amoud just fine. His companion was the Ebru Ambassador to Nun-Ki, Samil. Rumor had it Samil fathered Lilith, the daughter of High Priestess Mailit of the Brides of Shamash. From what Amoud knew of the Ebru and their strict ways, that couldn’t have endeared him with his people back home.

Bes and Mel’k came to a decision after hours of asking Amoud the same questions in a dozen different ways. They were to go home, leaving at first light in the morning. The previous quest would be abandoned in favor of a new, and more urgent, one. The Mualan’s involvement in the theft, and his friendship to the Ebru Ambassador, raised questions and concerns for the safety of Nun-Ki. Especially since the thief was certain Sinya Pherar, a merchant in Nun-Ki, hired him to steal Erishkigal’s Gage. The Mualan wanted the Gage, Sinya hired Nusiki to steal the Gage, which suggested the two were working together. And now Sinya had the King’s ear.

No, even Amoud, inexperienced as he was, could see there may be something worse brewing. Far worse than a teen girl converting to a new religion – no matter how dangerous that religion may be.


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