Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Surprise Guest!

Greetings, Fellow Castaways!

This week I am geeked and honored to have my first guest post.  Okay, maybe this doesn't qualify as a PURE guest post because I'm monopolizing the first section, but hey, it's my blog and I'll run it like I want. I'll turn the page over to my guest after I let you know who it is.

The first book I read from this author won me over instantly. I am into science fiction and Greek mythology anyway, and to see the two combined in such a unique and fresh way in her debut novella Dioscuri was refreshing to say the least.

I've read her Chronicles of Elei beginning with Rex Rising, and her other works as well, and I can tell you, this lady is going far. My first Blog-bomb was about her, and it's my honor to finally have her as a guest today. She has a new series out that she wants to highlight, and I'm sure it will be every bit as captivating as everything else she puts her hand to. Everyone say hello to Fantasy Author Chrystalla Thoma:

Chrystalla: HI dear Cyrus, thank you for hosting me on your blog today. :) 

Let me introduce myself:

I am Greek Cypriot (Cyprus is an island-country in the eastern Mediterranean close to Turkey, Israel, Lebanon and Egypt). I’ve lived in different countries (France, Germany, England and Costa Rica) and did a variety of jobs – from teaching linguistics at university to teaching languages, working as a tourist guide, as a translator and editor to being a cashier at KFC. It’s all been interesting. Although my native language is Greek, I studied English (I have a BA in English) and have been writing my stories in English for the past decade. 

I was asked to write about writing, and I decided to talk about why I write fantasy and science fiction. It is, after all, the question I’ve been asked the most in my life. Greeks and Greek Cypriots, in my experience, are for the most part not interested in such genres, considering them only fit for children. They are not “literary”. 

So why fantasy? Why not write my memoir (as suggested to me, for whatever reasons) or a drama set against the backdrop of the economic crisis, or even a deep philosophical book about the meaning of life, the world and everything? 

Because these are the genres explored by “serious” writers, at least around here. 

Therein lies the heart of the problem: I don’t write in order to prove myself to others as a writer. Therefore, I don’t write in genres that don’t express me, such as the above. I need to write from my heart, and my heart tends toward the magical and the unexplained. Magic is, after all, divine, mystery is a dancing ground for the soul. I write because I must, because I need to rework all that happens to me, all I wish and hope for, into stories to explain the inevitable and the terrible, transform the nightmare into a happy ending. 

Symbols, magic, the crossing between the worlds of the dead and the living and the mythical structure of the fairytale and legend, they form a background for the core of the tale. The people asking me why I write fantasy don’t seem to realize that the story is *not* about elves and dragons, but about those existential questions they want me to put into a drama or a memoir. Instead of writing out my views and my sorrows, instead of questioning the existing opinions out loud, I rephrase the questions (and the answers) into conflict and the original meaning of drama: (plot-moving) action. 

But there is more than that, more than a rephrasing of the important questions: Fantasy allows me to be free, to go beyond reality. Fantasy is ritual and transcendental. From ancient times, around the fires in the caves, we have been exploring the unknown through tales of magical power. The unknown remains. And we are still exploring.
Cyrus:  Awesome introduction, Chrystalla, and thanks for letting us see your world just a bit.
Like I said, Chrys is working on a new series, and it's my pleasure to present you with a little preview of  Boreal and John Grey. Stay tuned at the end for buy links and more places to find Chrystalla's work.
During the 13th century In Iceland, epic poems and tales called Edda spoke of the aelfar – the elves. Tall and pale – their name means ‘white’ – these trickster beings brought misfortune and illness, and exchanged healthy children with sickly changelings.
Now the Gates are opening once more between worlds and the elves are back.
Ella Benson, Paranormal Bureau agent, fights all that comes through the Veil – dangerous Shades crossing into our world. But increasingly dangerous creatures are slipping into her city, her work partner has just gone missing, and a mysterious – and, frankly, quite hot — guy saves her life. His name is Finn and, as it turns out, he’s a natural when it comes to fighting the Shades.
When after centuries of peace the Gates between the worlds start opening and our old enemies, the elves, make a comeback, Ella needs a new, temporary partner. Enlisting the mysterious Finn is a no-brainer, until she realizes he is guarding dangerous secrets of his own.
Together with Finn, and the fate of the world on her shoulders, what’s Ella to do but grab her weapons and figure it all out, one way or another.
Read the complete First Season of the series Boreal and John Grey, books 1-5 (The Encounter, The Gate, The Dragon, The Dream and The Truth) at a special price with an Author’s Note at the end.
This is urban fantasy verging on paranormal romance. A sexy love story set against a backdrop of dragons, trolls and magical portals, fast-paced action scenes and suspense.
The first episode in the series is free so you can sample it – here:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Finn’s attention had strayed to a counter covered in blades of all shapes and sizes. He reverently touched a katana. Then he lifted a throwing knife. He twirled it between his slender fingers and Ella wondered if he’d cut himself to shreds. But he didn’t.
Her new partner. She shook her head in disbelief. How had things changed so fast?
“Grab two of those,” Jeff told Finn who jerked back and almost dropped the knife. Jesus, talk about jumpy. “And throwing stars. Shuriken. Good for catching the Shades from a distance. Pure iron, special delivery, came in today.”
Finn hesitated, glanced from Jeff to Ella, then ran his hands over the knives and stars. His eyes fluttered closed, as if he were playing a musical instrument, fingers moving lightly over the shiny blades. Ella held her breath.
“Good weapons,” Jeff said, “all of them.”
That snapped Finn out of his trance. With a little sniff, as if to say he’d be the judge of that, he proceeded to pick up various knives and test their balance and grip, spinning and thrusting them through the air. So graceful. It reminded her of the first time she’d seen him fighting Shades, moving like a dancer through the night.
When Finn selected two knives and prepared to pass them through his belt, she turned to Jeff. “Sheaths?”
 “Sheaths, yeah.” Jeff, who’d been staring at Finn, blinked and pulled out several from a drawer. He threw them at Finn who snatched them out of the air without missing a beat.
Jeff whistled, brows rising into his hairline.
Finn lifted his shirt and took off his belt to attach the sheaths, and Ella had to drag her gaze away from his perfect abs. She resisted the urge to fan herself. Whoa, baby. How hadn’t she noticed the night before?
Oh, right. Finn, passed out in her car and then her couch, covered in blood. His abs hadn’t really been the first thing on her mind.
“That looks like a nasty wound.” Jeff nodded at the stained bandage on Finn’s side, and she made a mental note to check that too, later. Soon she’d need an organizer for all those mental lists.
Finn buckled the belt and sheathed his knives. He looked up and grinned. His smile was startlingly beautiful and she found herself gaping — again. God, get a hold on yourself, girl.
“Like a porcupine,” she muttered, her own lips lifting in a matching smile. It was nice to see Finn happy — or at least pleased with his weapons. “What about guns?”
“Here, Finn.” Jeff lifted a Heckler and Koch USP CT pistol for inspection, a calculating gleam in his eye. What was he going for? “Semi-automatic, lightweight and accurate. Give it a try.”
A concentrated look on his face, Finn stepped forward to receive it. She opened her mouth to ask if he knew how to use it, but she needn’t have worried. He checked the magazine, and when Jeff threw him a shoulder holster, he pulled it on, tugging on the black leather straps as if he’d been doing it all his life.
Jesus. Who was he anyway?
The straps pulled on the neckline of his t-shirt, exposing a swath of muscled chest and his left shoulder. Before he adjusted it, a mark drew her eye, sort of like a starburst. A birth-mark?
“Have you used one of these before?” Jeff beamed at Finn, obviously considering him a kindred spirit.
“Similar one,” Finn grunted. He sheathed the pistol in one of the two holsters hanging over his ribs and folded his arms. Armed to the teeth, legs spread, head bowed, he looked ready to take on a whole army of Shades.
Jeff winked at Ella. “Well, well, Elly. Where did you find him? Ex military, is he?”
That was a thought. Might also explain why Finn was so mum about his identity and past. “Thanks, Jefferson. Now we can go to the lab. Finn?”
Finn lifted his head, his gaze unfocused. “At your command,” he whispered, shoulders tensing, back straightening, and the funny thing was he didn’t seem to be pulling her leg at all.
Where to find the complete season 1:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
About the author:
Greek Cypriot with a penchant for dark myths, good food, and a tendency to settle down anywhere but at home, Chrystalla likes to write about fantastical creatures, crazy adventures, and family bonds. She lives in Cyprus with her husband and her vast herds of books. She writes mainly fantasy and science fiction. Her dystopian YA science fiction series “Elei’s Chronicles” (Rex Rising, Rex Cresting, Rex Equilibrium) is available on Kindle and in print. Shorter stories set in that world are also available, and a Companion to the series is also in the plans.
Where to find all Chrystalla’s books and series:
Other links:


  1. Thank you very much for having me, dear Cyrus, and for putting up with my raving about genres.

  2. Hi Chrystalla, I enjoyed your post. I read and write mostly romance, but I do like to read other genres too. Your fantasy seems like there might be a bit of romance in it. I'll definitely read the first one, thank you. It sounds like a good book.

  3. Hi Leona. There is definitely a lot of romance in this series - maybe not so much in episode 1 but more in the following parts. I hope you enjoy it! :)