Fellow Castaways, this week I am going to take a break from the latest fol-de-rol of outspoken me-ness and shift the focus to another fellow author. Partly, because I've spent the entire week flat on my back from flu and therefore have nothing witty or deep to say about the world at large, and partly because of the merits of a certain author's body of work.
I met her on line at our common critique site, where we proceeded to chew each other's work with enthusiastic glee, and she's helped me polish at least two of my novels to an awesome sheen. One thing that surprised me was her fluid (and fluent) command of English, it being not her first, nor even second, language. To my knowledge, she operates, reads, writes, and translates between Greek, Spanish, English, and German, with probably a couple others thrown in for good measure, and my hope is that she stops by to tell us all exactly how many languages she does command.
But the biggest and most pleasant surprise of combing through Chrys' work was the worlds she creates and in which she moves her characters. Ladies and gentlemen (you, too, Randall), I give you Chystalla Thoma, author of two novellas available through MuseItUp Publishing and several independent projects.
I will state here that this personal review is entirely unsolicited by Mrs. Thoma, who resides in Cypus with her husband. But in every one of her works that I read, she never fails to take me away to another world where no one is truly human, or where the ancient gods rise and struggle to once again claim sovereignty over humanity.
If you haven't read her Chronicles of Elei trilogy or her twin novellas Dioscuri and The Minotaur, let me just shine a little light on them.
Rex Rising is Chrys' first independent novel, and it's definitely a "buy it NOW!" option. It's available in all formats (I buy mine from Smashwords) electronically, as well as in print, and begins the story of a young teen caught in a delicate balance between two powerful parasites, each of which could easily kill him, kept in check by the other. Elei's world is The Seven Islands, which could either be a natural chain or relics of a long-extinct, high-tech floating community. In either case, we are left to guess the origins of the world, but Chrystalla takes us on a ride through the scenery with chases, symbiotic relationships, cruel tyrranies, and one kid who can bring it all down with one shot, and I don't mean in any way you could possibly guess until just before it actually happens. That's what's so cool about this one. It's other-worldly in a way that would make Andre Norton sit up and say, "'Ay, 'oo's dis Thoma chick, anyway?" in a horrid Jersey accent.
The series is played out in two sequential novels and a novella/prequel. I must confess I haven't finished these yet, because I'm still working on her twin works set in an alternative future based on the ancient Greek pantheon (of which I'm sure, as a Greek Cypriot, Chrys is somewhat an expert).
Dioscuri and The Minotaur are both available at just about any online retailer, but they originate (like my own work) through MuseItUp Publishing. I first read Dioscuri when I was critiquing it for Chrys, and I was amazed at the way she tells the story of Castor and Pollux in such a new light. It seems the Old Gods haven't really gone away. They've just been asleep, and now that they're awake, they're less than pleased with how mankind has cast them aside. How many ways can I say these stories rock? Anyone with even an inkling of interest in the ancient stories will certainly not regret having these in their libraries.
Anyway, I'm off to let Chrys know I've posted this (I think she'll be surprised--she's one of the most humble people I know) so feel free to ask her whatever REASONABLE questions you may (behave yourselves!), and enjoy reading her stuff. She has a lot more out there than what I've highlighted here.
Be blessed this week, guys, and I'll be back next week.