My guest today is fantasy/scifi writer, Chrystalla Thoma. For those of you who haven’t had an opportunity to read any of her Rex Rising series, you’ve been missing out. I’ve read the first in the series, and I’m looking forward to more!
Now I’m going to let Chrystalla tell you a little about herself:
I have been a reader of fantasy since my early teens when my father introduced me to the Lord of the Rings. Since then, I’ve read tons of fantasy, epic and urban, as well as science fiction and dystopian. I am a bookworm; I devour books.
What I noticed during my literary forays and feasting is that there seems to be a certain repetition of themes in fantasy. No wonder, if you think that most modern fantasy has its roots in Tolkien’s work, and that he had drawn heavily on northern mythology, hence an abundance of elves, trolls and pointy hat wizards.
That’s the case of epic fantasy, in fact. Urban fantasy is a different dish altogether. The creatures found in this genre draw more on folklore such as shifters and vampires and sometimes witches. Which is a nice change from epic fantasy.
Only it’s all been done to death, and I hate gnawing on old bones.
I’m not saying I don’t like vampires and werewolves, or the old epic staples like castles and battles between orcs and men. I do. I just need big toothpicks to take out the armor pieces from my teeth.
But I crave something new. I mean, I like salmon sushi like the next person, don’t get me wrong, but give it to me every day and I might just decide I’d rather have miso soup for a change.
Changes are good. If not anything else, they stop your brain from fossilizing, or so I’ve heard.
What does this have to do with my book? Am I just blathering about my literary fancies?
Tempted to say yes, but no. I wanted an urban setting for my story which revolves around an investigator of paranormal occurrences. But I wanted to have more of the creatures found in epic fantasy. I wanted elves, and dragons, and trolls and goblins. I wanted the grittiness of urban fantasy, and the guns and tech. But I also wanted the magic and – yeah, let me say it again – the elves.
I like elves. I believe they are underrepresented in urban fantasy. Their pointed ears are cute, their powers breathtaking, and their history murky. Who were they? What does the nordic mythology say about them? Did they really come from one of the nine worlds hanging on the world tree Uggdrasil, and why did they leave again? Will they come back? And in the centuries that passed since the norse epics were recorded in the middle ages until today, wouldn’t they have evolved and developed technology, like us?
I mean, they weren’t portrayed as stupid, so why do we think we’d produce planes and microwaves and rockets but they wouldn’t? And if they found their way here once, why wouldn’t they return?
So this is the premise of Boreal and John Grey:
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 between worlds once more and the elves are back. They’re not coming back to go for drinks and exchange ideas, but to conquer and enslave us. They are, after all, the stronger race.
What can we, humans do to stop them?
Thanks for joining me today Chrystalla. This has been a real treat!
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 goblin crouched down and drew its huge fist back. Time slowed. She saw it coming at her like a dark wave, about to smash her face.
The fist stopped an inch from her face. The goblin groaned. Its yellow eyes widened, the lumbering body shuddered and pitched sideways.
Ella blinked up at the scaffolds and beams, then sat up slowly, her head spinning. Her knife lay a few feet away. She reached for it, her other hand going to her gun, still in its hip holster.
The kobolds advanced over the half-built wall, clawed hands extended, and she cocked the gun, taking aim.
Something pale streaked her vision and she blinked. Hallucinations? She must have hit her head harder than she thought. Because a man was there, blades flashing in the moonlight. He fell on the kobolds, twirling and delivering heavy blows, his blond hair flying under a green bandana. Like a hurricane, he pivoted and kicked, then cut and stabbed, until the Shades fell back, raising spindly hands to cover their faces.
Okay, what the hell?
The man didn’t stop. He spun closer to the kobolds, hacking at them with his blades — bowie knives, long and wicked, covered in symbols — marking one on the arm. The kobold shrieked and flickered in and out of existence. The other one cowered and whimpered. Ella narrowed her eyes. Why did they fear his knives but not hers? The blades were dark. Iron?
A bellow from the left reminded her the goblin was still present. Crap. Her hand felt too heavy, her head too light, filled with sharp pebbles that bounced inside her skull. The goblin pushed itself upright and turned to her.
“Oh no, you don’t,” she whispered and took aim. She fired one, two, three bullets into its chest. The goblin staggered back but didn’t fall. Cursing, she reversed her grip on the knife and threw it at the creature’s head. It hit it smack in the forehead.
The goblin fell and fizzled, its limbs melting away, its torso and head going last, a grizzly Cheshire cat grin on its face — finally returning to the place behind the Veil.
Ella blinked at the empty spot the goblin had occupied, then turned to see the man dispatch the last kobold. Suddenly there was ringing quiet, punctuated by the guy’s hissing breaths. He looked up.
“Are you okay?” he asked. He had a strange accent, a way of drawing out the vowels. Russian, perhaps. He was handsome in a lean and austere sort of way — thin face, high cheekbones, a small mouth, and hooded ice-blue eyes. His chest rose and fell, stretching the black material of his dirty white t-shirt. He wore a green bandana under which his ash-blond hair fluttered down to his shoulders. “Hey, can you hear me?”
“Yeah, sorry. I’m fine.” To prove it, she clicked the safety of her gun on and stood, wobbling only a little. “Thank you. You’re…?”
“You should get out of here. More Vaettir may arrive.”
“Vaettir? You mean Shades?” That had sounded Nordic. Maybe not Russian then.
He nodded, eyes darting around the place, knives held loosely at his sides, ichor dripping steadily to the floor. Silvery designs flashed on his bare forearms — tattoos? Or paint?
“Yes, Shades.” He walked to the half-finished wall and checked behind it, every movement graceful like a panther’s.
Ella shook her head dazedly. What was wrong with her? “I’m Ella, working for the Investigations Bureau.” She didn’t normally recruit people, but he saw Shades, and the way he fought … “Finding someone with your abilities is rare and we could really use another… Wait!” He was backing away and she didn’t even know his name. She took a step toward him as the police sirens sounded in the distance. “Don’t go!”
Where to find the complete season 1:
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Boreal-John-Grey-Season-ebook/dp/B00DC7R39O
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Boreal-John-Grey-Season-ebook/dp/B00DC7R39O
The first episode in the series is free so you can sample it – here:
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Encounter-Boreal-John-Grey-ebook/dp/B00AVVDFGO
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Encounter-Boreal-John-Grey-ebook/dp/B00AVVDFGO
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: http://tinyurl.com/buth6k6