The Family You Choose is Now Available!

The Family You Choose is Now Available!

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine sent a text to let me know he had finished reading The Bond Between Sisters – the fourth installment in the Eternity’s Empire series. He became interested in the series after reading Dreamers Do Lie and, to my elation, he tore through the whole thing. He said the end was a bit of a cliffhanger and asked when the next installment would be available.

This gave me a moment of pause. I didn’t exactly intend to end The Bond Between Sisters on a cliffhanger. It was my intention to wrap up the plot while offering the reader a peek at what might come next. Which, I guess, is kind of what a cliffhanger is.

In any case, I wanted to release The Family You Choose a week ago. But due to a fluke in how Kindle Unlimited renews, I decided to push it back one week.

Today, I’m pleased to announce that The Family You Choose is available as both an ebook and a paperback. Without the year long break between the last two books, as promised.

Mythological Cosmology

I like to fill these release announcements with fun little details about how the books were written. I hope that makes people as excited to read them as I was to write them. Eternity’s Empire is a research heavy series. Each new installment requires delving deeper into the featured mythologies to ensure I’m getting the details right.

For The Bond Between Sisters, I added two new mythological characters (Loki and Saraswati). The Family You Choose ads a few new faces to the cast, including one so obscure I’ll be surprised if anyone guesses her origins. But I don’t want to spoil anything, so we’ll talk about those characters another time.

The biggest portion of this book’s research was dedicated to mythological cosmology. I established early in the series that each of the mythologies mentioned in the tale corresponded to their own planetary system somewhere in the vast galaxy beyond Earth’s sky. The time has come, at last, to give each of those worlds a tangible form.

Which is a lot harder than it sounds.

Some mythologies dedicate a lot of time to their cosmic layouts. Norse mythology, for example, dedicates a significant amount of time to Yggdrasil, the world tree, and how the nine worlds it holds rest upon its roots and branches. You can even look up maps with mostly agree about each of the worlds’ placements.

Other mythologies are specific in less helpful ways. For example, Greek mythology places the home of the gods atop Mount Olympus. For my purposes, this means I have to figure out where, exactly Mount Olympus is located if it’s not on Earth. Do Aphrodite’s siblings live on a singular mountain? Or do they have a bit more space?

World Tree to Star Tree

This task was a lot less daunting for the mythologies I’m familiar with. For example, it was easy to decide that the Yggdrasil should serve as the star in Thora’s solar system. Each world mentioned in the mythology could receive its own planet or moon. These spheres could be placed throughout the system according to their described landscape.

Niflheim, for example, makes a great icy wanderer lurking at the very edge of Yggdrasil’s life-giving light. And Muspelheim, where the fire giants dwell, would do well in Mercury’s position, closest to the sun’s killing fire.

I had a lot of fun deciding which of the nine worlds should be planets or moons, and placing them in what felt like the proper order. Probably because I had some idea what I wanted to do for this system before I started the task, and it only required a little extra research. Probably the most interesting thing I discovered about Norse mythology during this research section is that the dark elves were actually probably dwarves.

Creating the Yggdrasil solar system set a heady precedent; I needed to make sure I gave each of my other featured mythologies the same glamorous treatment to ensure visiting each of their worlds would be equally exciting.

Unfortunately, the only other mythology I know a lot about is Greek. So it was easy to style a moon where Aphrodite and her siblings were likely to reside, I had absolutely no idea what to do with Amaterasu and Ganga.

At least, not at first.

Performing Due Diligence

I have a somewhat tangential understanding of Japanese mythology. I’ve seen enough translated movies, TV shows and video games to at least have some grasp of how they tend to depict certain mythological figures and tales. (And no, I did not base my handling of the mythology entirely on anime… That would have been irresponsible.) I can’t claim to be any kind of expert on Asian culture, but I’ve consumed enough media that presents their culture from their perspective to at least feel like I have a grounding in where to start.

It’s always easier to research something if you can at least confirm a few basic details in the sources you’re trying to use. Otherwise you just end up adrift in a sea of information with no real idea who is presenting you with actual facts.

So while I stumbled a bit with trying to figure out how to present Amaterasu’s home system, I managed to find even footing relatively quickly.

This was not the case when it came to creating a cosmology for Ganga’s precious loka. I’ve mentioned before that my knowledge of Hindu mythology was somewhat limited prior to starting this series. I chose to include Ganga in part to encourage myself to learn more about an unfamiliar mythology. But that also means I have to be extremely careful with my research and make sure I’m doing my due diligence.

Hindu mythology speaks of 14 loka – or planes of existence. There are 7 upper plains and 7 lower plains, the latter often called the Underworld.

Unlike many other mythologies, this Underworld is not considered hellish or undesirable. In fact, many of the lokas in the underworld are described as gardens, though they are sometimes inhabited by dangerous creatures, such as Naga.

The Worlds Took Shape

Once I had information about each of the lokas I wanted to include in the book, I spent a lot of time mulling over what to do with them. Balancing 9 different worlds was no easy feat. Balancing nearly twice that number felt impossible at first, especially if I didn’t want to do something that felt cheap, like make all the ‘upper heavens’ into moons or mountains.

Inspiration came upon me when I least expected it; during a game of Stellaris. For those that don’t know, Sellaris is a galactic empire world-building game by the developer Paradox. It’s kind of like Civilization, only it takes place in space and has a lot more customizable options that make it a tad difficult to learn. It’s extremely addiction once you get into it though.

But I digress. One of my favorite things about Stellaris is that it draws inspiration from just about every kind of science fiction novel, TV show or movie out there. Sometimes these manifest as planets or buildings. Sometimes they inspire event chains or just names. But I found it kind of amusing that the game also inspired me to add something to one of my sci-fi stories!

During one of their big updates awhile back, Stellaris added two and three star solar systems to the game. Sometimes this means the stars are in the center of the system with a single group of planets orbiting them. But sometimes the stars are separated and have different groups of planets circling them – the perfect grouping for Ganga’s system!

Of course, there was quite a bit more to putting this all together than I have room to mention here. But suffice to say, the work was extremely rewarding when it was finished.

The Family You Choose is Available Now!

worlds await

The Empire is a sham.
Its ruler is a monster.

Aeternitas would rather die than let harm come to Earth’s queen. When faced with an impossible choice between family or the love of her life, she chose the latter. She intends to uphold her oath to protect the Earth, even if it costs her life.

Now she and her guardians are on the run, hunted by the very empire they served mere hours ago.

Time is short. And with every powerful eye in the galaxy searching for them, there’s nowhere left to hide. Aeternitas needs powerful allies or her crusade against her mother is doomed to fail.

Once again, she turns to the trickster Loki for salvation.

There is a resistance. If Aeternitas can convince them to accept her, she might just have a hope in hell of victory. But the odds are stacked against her. She has to erase centuries of harm to prove her sincerity, and she might only have days to do it.

Can Aeternitas and her guardians rally enough worlds to their cause before the empire puts a swift end to their burgeoning rebellion?

Fans of Sailor Moon and Stargate will enjoy this clever mythological mashup. Grab your copy today!

To celebrate this release, The Light of Eternity will be FREE this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (August 28th – 30th). In addition, The Soul of the Earth will be on sale for just 99 cents! So please be sure to check back this weekend!

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