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Acheron & Styxx: House of Didymos

Created by Sherrilyn McQueen

Acheron & Styxx took the world by storm. Now, fifteen years later, the immortal twins are united for the first time into a single set.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Adjusting Pledges
about 2 years ago – Fri, May 13, 2022 at 04:51:17 AM

First, let us DEEPLY apologize. We didn't realize how difficult it was going to be to adjust pledges and we are so sorry for the stress that has caused anyone.


Let us assure you that no tier has "gone away." The only tiers that are no longer available were simply the duplicates we had for "signed" books. Since Sherri said that she would personally sign EVERY copy of every book we ship, we simply retired those tiers because they were duplicates. All the original tiers are still available and you can still pledge whichever one you signed up for originally or that you want.


If you have a tier and you want to adjust what you have to include the fifth volume, then what you need to do are these steps:


Click the button that will have "manage my pledge" or some similar sounding verbiage (we learned that different browsers will have different buttons and language). But all browsers have a means to adjust your pledge. If you can't find it or have trouble making it work, please contact Kickstarter for tech support as that's on their end and sadly, we can't fix any technical issues on their site.


Once you are in the "manage pledge" area that allows you to add on other items, you will have to reconfirm your original pledge tier or it will erase it. We don't know why, but you will have to reconfirm your pledge and then "add-on" the additional volume and other items you wish. We're so sorry for this, but again it's how the Kickstarter platform works.


Again, we are so sorry for any stress or upset this has caused anyone.


Some have asked about combining ebooks with the fifth volume. We didn't want to start cluttering the tiers. So we left them as separate add-ons. 


The reason we didn't do a combined set with the fifth volume was again, we were trying to keep from having so many tiers for fans to scroll through. We know how confusing it can get when you're trying to figure out which one you wanted. Also, we knew that some fans would only want volume 5 and we thought that this was the best way to accomplish that for everyone. 


We've had a couple of people ask about the slipcovers being add-ons if we don't meet that stretch goal. Because these are not books, we can do a survey at the end of the campaign and see how many of you want them. If we have enough people wanting them, then those can be produced as a separate item and made available. Sherri will be doing a video later today to explain the ins and outs of this. Please stay-tuned this evening.


Again, this is our first Kickstarter campaign and we're learning along with you. Thank you so much for your patience. You can always reach us at [email protected]  if you have questions.


Thanks!

The Fifth Volume
about 2 years ago – Thu, May 12, 2022 at 02:12:30 AM

Book Excerpt
about 2 years ago – Sat, May 07, 2022 at 05:18:50 AM

For those who have never read any of Sherrilyn's books or any of Acheron/Styxx, here is an excerpt from the book:


February 19, 9527 BC

Acheron waited until the palace was completely silent. In less than an hour the sun would rise . . .  And both he and Styxx would be dead.

The mere thought of it brought more joy to him than anything else he could imagine.

More than eager for it, he held the dagger tight in his hand as he snuck past the guards and crept through the door of Styxx’s room. He shut it with only a whisper of a noise.

Like a shadow, he made his way across the floor to the large feather-stuffed bed where his brother slept. Heavy curtains hung to shield the heir from a stray breeze. But they couldn’t shield him from Acheron.

His gaze dark, Acheron pulled the curtains back. Naked except for his royal emblem necklace, Styxx was sleeping on his side, completely vulnerable.

All the years of abuse, of Styxx mocking him, went through his mind, as well as the memory of the way his brother had been willing to see him punished for the treason Styxx had committed.

Acheron lifted the dagger.

One slash . . . one cut . . .

Peace. Do it!

He started the downward motion, then stopped before he made contact with the prince’s throat.

Silently, he cursed as he realized a horrible truth about himself.

He couldn’t do this. Not in cold blood. Not this mercilessly.

Disgusted, he stepped back as he realized he was a coward.

No, not a coward. No matter what had happened in their past, they were brothers. Twins.

He couldn’t kill his own brother. Even if the bastard deserved it.

Your pain won’t stop until you do this.

He wouldn’t show such mercy to you.

It was true. Styxx had been willing to see him beaten, gelded and even killed if his father had been able to do it.

Styxx had no mercy for him, no pity or even compassion, and if he allowed the man to live, Acheron’s abuse would continue with no end in sight. It would most likely worsen once Styxx killed their father. And once their father was gone, Styxx would hurt Ryssa, too. He’d already made those threats.

Repeatedly.

Styxx could kill her with impunity.

Acheron’s blood ran cold with the reality of it. If not for himself, he had to protect his sister and her child.

Styxx had to die.

“Forgive me, brother,” he whispered an instant before he stabbed Styxx straight through the heart.

Styxx gasped as he awoke to a fierce, stinging pain. Gasping, he opened his eyes to see a shadow staggering away from his bed as something warm gushed from his chest. Blood.

Someone had stabbed him while he slept. . . .

Rage consumed him.

Fucking coward! No one kills me and lives!

Determined to mark his killer, Styxx jerked the dagger from his chest and shot across the bed after him. But the pain was so severe, he could barely breathe for it. Blood poured over him as he staggered from the bed. He went to throw the dagger, but his legs buckled.

He hit the floor hard. Over and over, he relived that moment when the Stygian Omada had returned from Atlantis, and had been ambushed by Thracians. . . .

I’m dying. He knew it. Which meant Acheron must be dying, too.

The wound had gone straight through his heart and ruptured an artery. It was the only explanation for this amount of rapid blood loss. He fought Thanatos as hard as he could. But in the end, against all effort, he expelled one final breath and everything went dark.

Acheron stayed in the shadows where he’d retreated, waiting for death to take him.

Nothing happened. And with every additional breath, panic began to set in. He felt the same as ever. How could that be?

Maybe Styxx wasn’t dead.

Terrified he’d only wounded his brother, he went to him and pressed his hand to his neck. There was no pulse at all. No movement or any other sign of life.

Rolling Styxx over, he saw that his skin and lips were already turning blue, his eyes were open and glazed.

Styxx was dead. Yet Acheron lived.

Horrified, he ran for the door and then past the dozing guards, down the hall and back to his own room.

No! The word echoed through his mind over and over as he tried to make sense of this.

If he died, Styxx died.

If Styxx died . . . Nothing happened to him.

How could this be? Why would the gods have done that? It didn’t make any sense.

You’ve killed your own brother. Your twin.

Acheron leaned against his closed door as absolute horror filled him. They would kill him if they ever found out the truth. His father wouldn’t forgive this. They would tear him apart . . .

Styxx came awake again with a sharp, painful groan. Completely disoriented, he scowled at the amount of blood on the floor and on his body.

Grimacing, he touched the wound that was directly over his heart. Blood still seeped, but it was light compared to earlier. His assassin was going to be shocked when he learned he’d failed. The coward must have checked his pulse, since he was now on his back, and he’d fallen on his stomach.

At least now he knew Acheron wasn’t dead.

Unsure of how much time had passed since his attack, Styxx feared for the rest of his family. The attacker could have gone after his father, sister, or Apollodorus. He had to make sure they were protected.

Ignoring the pain in his chest, he pushed himself up and grabbed the red cloak Gaius and his men had given him. He took his sword, then headed for his father’s bedroom. He bypassed the snoozing guards in the hallway and threw open the doors.

“Father?”

Groggy, the king pushed himself away from the naked young slave woman in his bed and glared at him. “What is the meaning of this?”

Styxx pulled the cloak aside to show him the blood. “Someone tried to kill me while I was sleeping. I wanted to make sure they hadn’t come for you.”

His father paled at the sight. “You live?”

Obviously.

Somehow, he managed to bite back that sarcasm before he responded. “Yes.” Styxx stepped away from the bed and turned on the guards who’d finally awakened and joined him in the king’s bedchambers.

“You,” he said to the one on the right, “stand fast and protect your king. You, rouse the others for a search. Lock down the palace until we’ve looked everywhere for my attacker.”

As they went to follow his commands, Styxx headed straight for Ryssa’s rooms. He checked Apollodorus first. The babe was asleep with his nurse.

Styxx left two guards with them as an alarm was sounded for the others, then he entered Ryssa’s bedroom. She lay so still and pale that panic gripped him. Was she dead?

Gently, he touched her arm.

She came awake with a fierce screech.

Styxx breathed in relief, until she slapped him twice for waking her so rudely. “What are you doing here at this hour? How dare you barge into my room uninvited! Who do you think you are? Are you trying to scare me to death?”

He ground his teeth as his cheek stung. “No, sweet sister. I wasn’t trying to kill you. I was stabbed in my sleep and wanted to verify that you weren’t attacked, too.”

Her eyes widened as she saw the blood on him. “Acheron!” She bolted from the bed and grabbed a red wrap. She was so worried about Acheron that she didn’t even bother to close the door.

“Follow the princess,” Styxx ordered the guard nearest him. “Don’t let her out of your sight.”

She didn’t even ask if I was all right. Even though he was covered in blood. Nor did she apologize for slapping him when all he’d done was come to ensure her safety. . . .

The pain of that stung deep as he quickly searched her room to make sure it was clear. He left a guard posted in it, then moved to check his brother.

Although he was rather certain Acheron was unharmed, since Styxx felt no pain and lived.

“What do you mean?”

Styxx paused as he heard Acheron’s question. He glanced at his two siblings, and the concern on Ryssa’s face for his brother while his own cheeks still stung from her slaps. There was no telling how red they were. Not that she cared. She’d never given him a single kind thought.

Acheron met his gaze over the top of Ryssa’s head. The panic in those silver eyes felt like a kick to his groin.

He probably fears that I’ll blame him for this.

But Styxx wasn’t Ryssa. Having been on the receiving end of many false allegations, he tried not to jump to conclusions without hard evidence.

As the defender of Didymos, it was his responsibility to keep his family safe.

“Find my attacker,” he ordered the new group of guards, rushing toward them. “I want him now. Do you hear me? Search every corner until we have him.”

“Have you seen anyone?” Ryssa asked Acheron.

He shook his head. “I was in my room.”

Styxx started away, then paused as a new threat occurred to him.

He tended to forget that Acheron wasn’t battle trained. Anyone could kill his brother. . . .

“Guards!” he called out to another group that entered the hallway. He gestured to his brother, who stepped back in fear as if he thought Styxx might arrest him without cause . . . like their father had.

That fear made his heart clench.

I would never willingly hurt you, Acheron. Damn you, Ryssa, for the lies you tell against me.

Heartsick, he pointed to Acheron. “Guard him. I want someone at his back at all times.”

Knowing his siblings didn’t want him disturbing them, Styxx went to help search the rest of the palace.

As soon as he reached the stairs, he saw Galen bursting through the main doors as if Cerberus was on his heels.

Relief spread across his grizzled features the minute he saw Styxx on the landing. Galen took the steps two at a time until he was in front of him. Placing his hands on Styxx’s shoulders, he scanned his body with a stern frown. “Good gods, son! You shouldn’t be up. Where were you struck? Where is the physician for you?”

Tears choked him at Galen’s concern. Out of a palace full of people, only Galen had bothered to ask after his welfare. He lowered the neck of his cloak to show the wound. “I’ve had worse.”

Galen snorted. “Yes and no. That needs stitching.” He grabbed a young guard who was coming up the stairs. “Fetch the physician and send him to Prince Styxx’s room. Fast, damn you, fast!” Then he took Styxx’s arm and pulled him back down the hallway.

“I was searching for my assailant.”

“Did you see him?” Galen asked.

“No. Not really.”

“Then you’re no good in a search, are you?”

“Yes, but—”

“No buts.” Galen forced him into his room. “Your Bethany would have both our arses if she saw you searching with a wound like that. And you’re covered in blood. Let’s get you cleaned up.”

Styxx had no choice as Galen hauled him to the bathing pool and helped him to wash the wound. “Where’s your father?”

“I left him in his rooms with his guards.” Galen glanced about the empty chamber. “Who’s guarding you?”

Styxx held his sword up from where it rested on the floor beside Galen. “Me.”

Galen scoffed as he glared at the wound and took the sword from Styxx’s scarred hand. “And you’re doing a mighty fine job of it, I must say. Why wasn’t there a guard at your door?”

Styxx hissed as the warm water burned the injury. “You know I don’t like people around me.”

Galen arched a brow at that. “And yet you tolerate my sorry ass.”

“You’re entertaining.”

“Keep insulting me and I’ll stitch your wound myself. I know how much you enjoy that.”

Styxx snorted as he remembered all the times he’d cursed Galen as the old man stitched his wounds after battle. “What can I say? Your delicate touch stings me.”

Galen’s gruff smile melted into a stern glower as he helped Styxx out of the water and to bed. “I don’t want you to sleep again without at least two men on your door. I will be doing random checks and if I find your door unguarded again, I’m going to start standing at the foot of your bed at night. All night long.”

Galen was right. After this, he couldn’t afford to be stupid. “Yes, sir.”

Hours later, after Styxx, against Galen’s dire threats, had rejoined the search for his attacker, it was obvious the culprit had escaped. Damn. It’d happened so fast and unexpectedly that he hadn’t seen even the smallest detail as to who it’d been.

On his way back to his chambers, Styxx paused as he saw Acheron returning to his own room.

Alone.

Fully dressed and wearing a cloak and shoes, Acheron had obviously been outside the palace.

“Where have you been?”

Acheron glared at him. “You don’t own me. I owe you nothing.”

Styxx held his temper back. “No, you don’t. But you should be careful. My attacker might come for you.”

Thank the gods you didn’t see me.

That unexpected thought in his brother’s head slapped him harder than Ryssa had. “I’ll take care it doesn’t happen to me,” Acheron mumbled as he headed for the stairs.

“Acheron?”

He paused to look back at him.

Styxx wasn’t sure what to say. He wanted to ask if Acheron had killed him. If his brother had discovered the truth about them that Styxx had learned that afternoon when he’d first met Bethany. If Acheron knew, he gave nothing away while he waited for Styxx to speak. “Sleep well.”

Acheron scowled at him before he turned and continued on his way without responding.

Patches
about 2 years ago – Sat, May 07, 2022 at 04:25:50 AM

Just got the sample patch in and it is GORGEOUS! This is the gold and black anniversary edition patch that will be sent to the first 4500 backers (of $40 and up tiers) for free!

I love it. The colors really pop! Hope you guys like it as much as we do! These are "peel & stick" so you can place them and then sew them on, or use them as stickers.


Free patches
about 2 years ago – Fri, May 06, 2022 at 10:08:43 PM

We and Sherri wanted to let everyone know exactly how much we appreciate all the support you've shown her and the Kickstarter for Acheron & Styxx. As a way to say thank you, we are going to be sending out a FREE special anniversary edition Ash & Styxx Didymos patch to the first 4500 backers who pledge any ebook and above tier, even if they pick the ebook without a swag option. This is our special gift to you to say thank you so much for everything.


The patch will look like the one attached, except it will be black & gold to match the anniversary edition and these are peel and stick. So they're patches and stickers, and they will be sent out in November in time for the holiday season.


If you've already pledged, don't worry. There's nothing more for you to do. It will be sent to you automatically at the end of the year.


Again, we and Sherri so appreciate all of you!  https://www.kickstarter.com/.../acheron-and-styxx-house...



Thank you SO much!