Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sword of the Gods: The Chosen One


At the dawn of time, two ancient adversaries battled for control of Earth. One man rose to stand at humanity's side. A soldier whose name we still remember today...

A tiny Mesopotamian village becomes ground-zero for this fantasy fiction retelling of mankind's most epic story about the battle between good and evil … the clash of empires and ideologies … and the greatest superhero to ever walk the Earth. The Archangel Mikhail.

"A creative alternative to the history of what we call angels. It feels like...Star Trek meets creation mythos." --Reader review 

Epic Fantasy / Space Opera / A Bit of Romance

*FREE* most places or *$.99 cents usd where asterisked

Amazon Kindle (FREE or *$.99 usd)
Australia*     Brazil     Canada*     France*     Germany*     Italy*     India     Mexico*    Netherlands*     Japan*     Spain*     United Kingdom     United States

*I ask them to price-match it for FREE, but sometimes they don't. You can always download a Kindle-compatible .mobi file for FREE at Smashwords

Apple iBooks (iTunes)
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ASUS Mobile / Page Foundry
Inktera        Versant

(.epub download)

KOBO (FREE or $.99* usd)
KOBO INTERNATIONAL       Angus& Robertson/Australia*     BookWorld/Australia*      FNAC     LivrariaCultura/Brazil        ChaptersIndigo/Canada     Greenlight Bookstore NYC         LaFeltrinelli/Italy     Mondadori/Italy      RakutenKobo/Japan      NationalBookstore/Philippines

*Most KOBO distributors are free, but a few charge $.99 cents. You can always download a KOBO-compatible .epub file for FREE at Smashwords

(via subscription)

(via subscription)

Argentina     Australia     Austria     Belgium     Canada     Chile     Columbia     Denmark     France     Germany      Hungary     INTERNATIONAL     Ireland     Italy     Mexico     Netherlands     New Zealand     Peru     Poland     South Africa     Spain     Switzerland    United States     United Kingdom

*If a local bookstore wishes to charge you, you can ALWAYS download a Kindle-compatible .mobi file or Kobo-compatible .epub file for *FREE* at Smashwords and side-load it onto your e-reader.


Why are you giving away a free ebook?  The Chosen One is the first book in a 5-book epic fantasy / space opera / romantic book series.  It is a complete, 450-page novel with no rude cliffhanger at the end.  It is my hope you will fall in love with my re-imagined tale of the myth of fallen angels and continue on with the series.  This book is *NOT* religious fiction! 

PLEASE NOTE: a few distributors display the cover from the paperback edition on the ebook version as well. This is the same book.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Historical Importance of Time with Family

Depiction of a Babylonian Feast, circa 2,500 B.C.

Most people know me as a writer of fantasy that skirts that fine line between religious truth and religious blasphemy.  When one studies the ancient scripts as much as I have, and I'm not just talking the Koran, the Bible, and the Torah, but the Apocryphia, ancient legends, religious mythologies, archeological digs of real-life sites stretching back far into the dawn of history, and even the various translations of the hieroglyphics, Sumerian clay tablets, cave paintings, and ancient papyrus, you begin to develop a good bullcrap-o-meter for ancient political propaganda disguised as religion, but something else also happens… 

Cave Painting of a Feast
You begin to see that, since before humans had even learned to harvest grain, there were certain TRUTHS which have survived since before the Neanderthals.

One of those great truths is the human need to gather together to give thanks and share the blessings which have accrued amongst the group. We have found evidence of this in cave paintings in the Levant, carved fetishes in Asia, amongst the mysterious ruins of the Olmec civilization, and the Akitu ceremonies of ancient Sumeria. These events were considered sacred, of immutable importance, but they have something in common with our Thanksgiving festivals today.
People need a day off from work to celebrate. And they need to do it together, as a society and a family, on a REGULAR basis, because if they don't, that society begins to fall apart.

Wolve's Social Structure Ensures Survival of the Pack
Humans are social creatures. It's what differentiates us from less intelligent species and is responsible for our ascent to the top of the food chain even though, evolutionarily speaking, human physiology is actually quite weak. The higher up the food chain you get, the more time animals need to spend with one another, eating, grooming, caring for their young, and celebrating their accomplishments, or that 'pack' or 'group' breaks down and is supplanted by an even more socially successful group.

Until recently, Western society protected this truth with biblical admonitions to honor the Sabbath and, once that began to break down,  Puritinical 'blue laws' that guaranteed, at least one day a week, all people would have an opportunity to spend a day together.
Feast depicted from a church

Growing up, Sunday was the day we all met at my Grandmother's house and, after an ungodly filling meal, the men and boys would go outside for a game of football if the weather was good, or if it was cold, they'd retreat into the back room to watch the Red Sox. 
Ancient Sumerian 'Akitu' Feast
The women and girls would remain in the kitchen and chatter about things like how one cousin was doing in school, how another aunt had heard that so-and-so's health had deteriorated, or that one of the uncles had just been notified their company was about to go through another round of layoffs. Because the family got together every week, family members felt comfortable talking about their worries, and those family members who could help always did.

Now not everybody could always come for the full celebration of the guaranteed Sunday dinner or seasonal Feast.  Both of my Grandfathers were firefighters.  All seven of my great-uncles served in the U.S. Navy. My Uncle Rick served in the U.S. Army, and my Uncle Raymond came back a wounded veteran from Vietnam.  My brother served six years in the U.S. Marines. My own daughter served four years in the U.S. Army Reserves.  My other Uncle was the Chief of Police for a major small city, my Cousin the Major in charge of an entire state's police, another cousin is the Chief for a large town, and three members of my family are nurses, including a stint that I, myself did when I was younger as a Nursing Assistant before I went back to college.  In each case, someone had to work crappy hours and miss part of the celebration because the public good depends upon nurses to tend the injured, police to keep the piece, soldiers to fend off evil, and firefighters to respond to a fire.

Soldiers calling home
My brother, who was stationed overseas, would call every Sunday over to my grandmother's, just to get a feeling he still belonged to our family, to remind himself he served something bigger, and to hear the cacophony of well wishes, cheerful chaos, and clinking silverware that reminded him he served to keep us safe. My policemen and firefighter relatives would also swing by with whoever they were with on duty and grab a quick bite to eat. If it was Sunday or a Holiday, the family would be at Grandmothers and anybody was welcome to drop by.  Family. Friends. And a few orphaned buddies we picked over the years who became like family members because every week they were there.

We don't do that anymore. With the abolition of blue laws, one by one the younger cousins began to have to work on Sundays at their retail jobs, their parents had to run them around to their jobs, crimping the time they could come by on Sunday, and the siren's call of 24:7 commercialism began to undermine the very impetus for the family to get together.  It lingered longer with the high holidays, but after a while, the same thing happened with those gatherings. People stopped coming. People stopped coming because they became too busy to get together, there was no longer a 'set' day, and people forgot to remind themselves they belonged to something bigger. 

The biggest cause of divorce is lack of commonality. 

And what is the cost of this?  My 'day job' is family law attorney.  50% of all marriages these days end in divorce.  Families are falling apart at an alarming rate. But do you know what's most alarming. When a family teeters at the brink of financial ruin, and when I ask them, 'can't your family help you out with X,' I discover we have raised a WHOLE GENERATION of young people who have no connection to anybody. Not even corporeal (non-Facebook) friends. Many of them say they never see their family, don't like their family, barely know them, and what good is family anyways because it's not like they ever get together.

Chinese depiction of a feast
What happened? I will round out this rant by bringing it back to the beginning.  All societies, from our ancestors Homo Neanderthalis to modern man, until recently had admonitions that, at least one day a week, everybody had to have set days to get together and honor a 'sabbath' of some sort, a day that a society agrees that every single member should spend with each other instead of off pursing their  petty interests or careers. We have lost something precious by giving up that agreement. It is not a 'religious' one, I believe, but an ancient recognition that society can't function unless all of its members get together periodically and remember they belong to something bigger than themselves.
Ancient Sumerians hold a feast in honor of Ishtar

When I hear people RIDICULE those people who are now raising their voices and asking, is it really necessary to give up our holidays, especially Thanksgiving, to get a cheap widgets made in China, I remind you of this.  That convenience comes at a cost. Broken families. Failed marriages.  Children with emotional and mental health issues.  Increased taxpayer burdens to provide an artificial safety net to replace the one once filled by family. And senior citizens whose family is unaware they're struggling. My brother, who served combat duty, said the only thing which kept him same was the fact he would get three minutes each week to make a phone call and, however brief, he could reconnect with his entire family.

So when people RIDICULE minimum wage retail workers and screech, 'so what,' remember this. It is your own sense of family and society you have just destroyed. It's not religion. It's evolution. From an evolutionary standpoint, any family, society or social group which has no sense of commonality always fails. And when you screech that callousness to the world, it only diminishes you, as a human being, amongst the silent majority who respect you to much to publicly shame you by calling you out and calling you heartless.

End rant. 

Here's a list of the stores I'm aware of who will be CLOSED on Thanksgiving. I hope the good, conscionable people of this country who CARE where we are going as a society will raise their voices, and vote with their dollars:

Academy Sports + Outdoors
A.C. Moore
American Girl
Barnes & Noble
Bed, Bath & Beyond
Burlington Coat Factory
Christopher & Banks
Crate & Barrel
Hobby Lobby
Home Depot
Home Goods
Men’s Wearhouse
Neiman Marcus
P.C. Richard
Saks Fifth Avenue
Sam’s Club
T.J. Maxx
Von Maur

Also, let’s not overlook all of the small businesses that wouldn’t even consider opening up for shopping on Thanksgiving.

"Man can't serve both god and Mammon, Mammon being money..."  --Clint Eastwood, Pale Rider

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sword I - free download links for Australia and New Zealand

*FREE* epic fantasy/space opera by Anna Erishkigal

"A creative alternative to the history of what we call angels. It feels like...Star Trek meets creation mythos." (reader review) 

Available for *FREE* in Australia and New Zealand at the following vendors:

Amazon.AU    iTunes.AU     iTunes.NZ     Smashwords     Kobo*    Goodreads     GoogleBooks**

Book Depositry (paperback) USD $17.99 (incl. shipping)

At the dawn of time, two ancient adversaries battled for control of Earth. One man rose to stand at humanity's side. A soldier whose name we still remember today...

"This series connects mythic fantasy and futuristic sci-fi into a well written ride of your life." (reader review)

"Erishkigal excels at painting complex characters, with believable flaws and lovable quirks." (reader review)

"This book leaves me without words. For three days I read a story so unbelievably beautiful it stole the very breath from my lungs. If there is a true fantasy book in existence, it is this." (reader review)

"Much better than 90% of current science fiction ....would be epic as a cable series or movie trilogy." (reader review)

Rated:  4.8 on Smashwords
              4.5 on LibraryThing
              4.3 on Amazon
              4.3 on iTunes
              4.1 on Goodreads

Why are you giving away a free ebook?  The Chosen One is the first book in a 5-book epic fantasy / space opera / romantic book series.  It is a complete, 450-page novel with no rude cliffhanger at the end.  It is my hope you will fall in love with my re-imagined tale of the myth of fallen angels and continue on with the series.  This book is *NOT* religious fiction!

*A note about KOBO e-readers: if you purchased a Kobo e-reader from a local bookstore and set it up to default to that bookstore, the Kobo link will bring you there instead of Kobo International where they charge $1.24 to cover their local bookstore costs.  I have no control over this. You can download the *FREE* .epub at or and then use the instructions HERE to transfer it over to your Kobo reader.

Local Kobo Booksellers - costs $1.24 AUD/NZD:  Angus & Robertson     BookWorld     Collins Booksellers    PaperPlus

**GoogleBooks: to download a free .pdf for your desktop, click the little 'gear' at the top-right hand side of the page.

WattPad: to accommodate people who read on their SmartPhone, I have uploaded it to Wattpad. WattPad has some oddball formatting issues that sometimes make it look like two words are scrunched together.  The e-book and print editions do not do this.

Don't know how to manually side-load an .epub onto your e-reader?  Check out this step-by-step tutorial HERE:

Other questions?  Why not leave a comment or PM me on Google+?  I love hearing from people.

Be epic!
Anna Erishkigal

* * * * *
Cover art 'Michael' (c) 2013 Caelicorn

Not from Australia or New Zealand?  I'll be posting links to other countries soon, but just leave a comment (or on my G+ page feed) and I'll get the book to you in whatever form that takes.  It's free pretty much everywhere in the world or as cheap as they'll let me get away with :-) 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Come join me at ARISIA!

Come join me at ARISIA!

Come join me and about 5,000 totally cool science fiction and fantasy fans at the ARISIA / Boston conference to be held on Martin Luther King weekend, Janary 17-20, 2014 at the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel and conference center.  Come in costume if you have one, or come mundane for the round-the-clock festivities.

Here's the official conference website:

This year, I'll be participating in the following events and panels:

Friday 1/17 - I have minion duty!!! ARISIA is a 100% fan-run conference. Come volunteer with us and get free admission! I'll be the one running around in a superheroine costume :-) 

Saturday 1/18 - 2:30pm - Bullfinch - KILLING CHARACTERS (writing panel) - [*Mwah-hah-hah-haaaah!!!*] - How do you go about killing your characters? What's the difference between a cheap, unearned death and a meaningful one? Some authors kill off characters by the dozens, or thousands from one page to the next. Does body count matter in the context of the narrative? Does a horror writer get a free pass to kill as much as they want due to genre expectations? How do you make the death of a character matter to the reader? - [*I have no idea why they put me on this panel.  Moi?  Kill characters.  Twirls hair and whistles nonchalantly...*]. 

Saturday 1/18 - 5:30pm - Adams - AVENGERS ASSEMBLE (comic-verse/movie-verse fan interest panel) - Marvel's Mightiest Heroes are experiencing a renaissance in the wake of the mega-blockbuster movie of the same name. Since 1963 they've faced numerous challenges from fearsome foes to shocking line-up changes and continue to endure well into the modern age. Who's your favorite? What's your favorite story arc or creative team? Join our panelists as we talk about what makes the Avengers so mighty!  (And yes ... I'll go in costume THIS year as well.  Last year I went dressed as Black Widow?  Who will I go dressed as THIS year?  Sif?  Scarlett Witch?  So many superheroines ... so little time to make costumes!).

Yeah, yeah ... that's Catwoman ... but replace the ears with a gun and it's also my Black Widow costume.  Me and my awesome Plot Bunnies friend, Sian.

Saturday 1/18 - 7:00pm - Douglas - FLIRT LIKE A PRO! (this is a COMEDY panel). - Flirting, like any skill, can be learned and gets better with practice. Our panel of experts are here to help! They will discuss and maybe even demonstrate ways to flirt like a pro, and what never to do under any circumstances!

Sunday 1/19 - 1:00pm - Galleria - AUTOGRAPH SESSION - now's your chance to get your books autographed or snag a paper copy!  Last year I went dressed as She-who-is.  Hmmm... Who will I go dressed as this year?  Maybe Supreme Commander-General Jophiel?

Do these wings make my butt look fat?

Monday 1/20 - 10:00am - Hale - LIVE READING - Authors Anna Erishkigal, Greer Gilman,and Richard A. Silva will read selections from their works.  Last time I read Lucifer's rousing speech which fractured heaven.  This time ... hmmm ... what could I read from Agents of Ki?

Monday 1/20 - 2:30pm - Executive Board Room - ARE MAGIC AND VAMPIRES GOOD FOR SCIENCE? - Does science education suffer from the popularity of entertainment involving magic, mythology, and the supernatural? When Syfy has ghost reality shows and science channels feature more "fringe" topics, one must wonder if Carl Sagan was right that pseudoscience gets in the way by pressing our awe buttons with easy answers. Or perhaps some magic can be inspirational for understanding the real possibilities. Can Harry Potter inspire a new generation of scientists the way Star Trek did?

Come to ARISIA!  

And come in costume if you have one! Events run around the clock and so will I, so if I have dark circles under my eyes and can't seem to remember my name or what character I'm supposed to be that day, don't hold it against me.  They don't let me out of Arkham very much!  :-)