Cover Reveal and Release Date

Not long now before you all have PHANTASIA, A BAD DAY ON OLYMPUS in your hands… the release date is scheduled for the 30th of July, 2019.

Pre-order links will follow soon, both here on my website and on all social media platforms. 

And a big drum roll please for my new book baby cover art…

 

I am really looking forward to sharing this story with you all. I had a lot of fun writing it. A little on the crazy side but fun. 

Cover reveal - coming soon

I have new cover art for Book 2 – PHANTASIA, A PHI ATHANATOI NOVEL. Yay!!!!

I will be sharing it soon and will also share release date news and pre-order news with the coming cover reveal.

More to follow in my newsletter but for now just a little tease…

Can’t wait to share this book baby with you all.   

A short PHI scene in celebration of Greek Easter.

Hello Readers,

In celebration of Greek Orthodox Easter this weekend, I am posting up a short story with Xen, Carissa, yiayia and aunt Paula. Yiayia and aunt Paula get a fair bit of space in Book 2 and this is just a little teaser of what you might expect from these two women in PHANTASIA, for release later this year. 

MIDNIGHT MASS

“Get a look at Stella and her fur coat.” Paula said to yiayia. “Who wears a winter coat to midnight mass?”

“Obviously, Stella does.” Yiayia’s dry tone told Paula that she didn’t give two hoots.

Paula didn’t like the woman. She gossiped about everyone. “Doesn’t she watch T.V. Animal rights and all that?”

“It could be fake.”

“Ha, that would be so up Stella’s alley, everything is fake. Especially her words.” They were once good friends but when Stella married a second time it was for money and that’s when her true colours came out. Paula crossed her arms over her chest, a wave of terrible thoughts cascaded through her mind. Stella chose money over friendship.

Paula’s scalp tingled, something wasn’t right tonight. They were standing outside the church for the Greek Orthodox midnight mass. The Parish couldn’t accommodate the volume of people inside. Everyone stood wherever a spot was available. “Well, we best not get too close to her, I don’t think I could do the fake kissing thing. What is that anyway. Kisses in the air, since when do Greeks do that?”

Yiayia looked over at her and raised a finger. “You’re letting her get to you again.”

“Well, I can’t help it. Do you remember that year that her hair went up in smoke and wasn’t it only last year her fury bag caught fire. Honestly, I reckon that woman wants attention.”

“Paula, if you look at statistics someone’s hair or something catches fire every year. Now where is Carissa? She said she’d be here.” Yiayia looked vexed but Paula knew she changed the topic to get her mind off the hoity-toity Stella. 

No sooner had yiayia uttered the words when Xen’s deep greeting danced in Paula’s ears, “Kalispera.”

“Good evening yiayia and thitsa.” Carissa kissed yiayia and then Paula. 

“What took you so long?” Yiayia asked.

“We had a few loose ends to tie up.” Carissa answered as she straightened from greeting them.  

Paula raised an eyebrow. “What loose ends?”

Xen’s lips turned up. “The type that require swords.”

A wave of nausea rose in her throat. She knew exactly what they were implying. “They…they wouldn’t come here would they?” She had a close shave with demons, the episode remained fresh in her mind.

“I have a Taser gun.” Yiayia rummaged through her bag. Xen leaned over and stayed her actions. “No need yiayia, the Phi are stationed at every church. Watching and protecting.”

Xen’s tone comforted Paula but the thought still sent shivers down her spine. Paula relaxed her shoulders. Then it hit. “Wait a minute, are you telling me that we’re their all they can eat buffet?”

Carissa nodded her head. “A smorgasbord, so to speak.”

This Paula didn’t really need to hear. She was nobodies sandwich, especially not some crazy looking demon’s. 

“Paula look it’s time.” Yiayia’s tight fingers on her arm and voice bought her back to the present moment.

In a few seconds all the lights in the church would go out and the bell would ring. Then the holy light would be passed around and the words Chistos anesti and alithos anesti would be uttered from the giver of the light and receiver, signifying the death and resurrection of Christ. This was safe. This she understood. This made sense. She opened her mouth to question how Xen and Carissa fitted into that ideology.

“Now is not the time for the discussion on religion.” Xen’s voice was low. 

“He tells me the same thing thitsa, Every. Single. Time.” Carissa threw in. 

“Xen’s right. Look, here is our light.” Yiayia said as she lit her candle from the fellow who had accepted it before her.

Paula looked at Carissa and they both rolled their eyes.  Looked like yiayia had sided with the vampire.

“But…”

“No buts.” Yiayia said. 

Paula lit her candle but as she took a step to the right and back she hit something furry. Her foot twisted and her arms flailed. The candle in her hand became air born. In seconds her bottom crashed to the concrete. The horrible smell of something burning hit Paula’s nostrils. Flames licked up Stella’s coat. Everything happened so fast. Within seconds Xen had removed the blazing coat and thrown it to the ground. Carissa helped Paula to her feet while yiayia hit the coat with her walking stick. Others soon joined in in, stamping out the flames.

“Stella…” Paula’s words died on her lips.

“Paula. How could you be such an imbecile.”

“Well if you weren’t parked right up my ass I wouldn’t have fallen over.”

Stella’s fake lips thinned into a line. She reminded Paula of one of those circus clowns. Her eyebrows were too arched and pencilled in, her hair a ball of red with curls and the make-up heavily overdone.

Carissa stepped between them. In a low voice a litany of words passed from her lips. “It was an accident. You will light your candle and leave. Forget you had a coat. It went missing.” Like a robot Stella did as Carissa had bid.

“Oh my.” Paula said.

“That’s my girl.” Yiayia raised a fist in triumph.

“What was that?” Paula asked.

“That is the power of anagke – compulsion.” Xen beamed.

“She can do that?”

Xen’s face lit up with pride. “And whole lot more.”

“Light your candle thitsa.” Carissa handed her aunt the now extinguished candle that caused the commotion.

“Who are you and what have you done with my niece?”

Carissa winked. “I’m the daughter of a god.”

2018 (copyright) Efthalia

 

Greek Gods and the Olympics: From Myth to Reality

When we explore the birth of the Olympic games we come across several foundational legends that are embedded in myth, naturally Zeus sits in the epicenter of it all, but on the outer rims we are introduced to the heroes that contributed to the Olympic spirit and formation. Having said all this we cannot however, form one general assumption on the mythological beginning and history of the games, because evidence stems from more than one stratum. It is wise to commence with the early myths and work our way forward in order to establish how the Gods might have contributed to the very fundamentals that constituted the onset of the Olympic games. Bear in mind that the Greek myths were a shifting paradigm, one that moved fluidly with the ideologies of the Ancient Greeks.  

GREECE – CIRCA 1960: A stamp printed in Greece from the “Olympic Games, Rome” issue shows sprinting, circa 1960. (Image purchased from Shutterstock)

In the 13th Century BCE on the hill of Kronus, the early immigrants made sacrifices at the altar of Gaia and preformed rituals in honour of the goddess. Festivals were held in honor of the fertility goddess because the people believed that land its self was connected to the gods and goddesses and everything around them arose directly from the gods.

In the 12th Century BCE, the Achaeans arrived from the north and laid claim to the area then the worship of the goddesses disappeared and in their place the great Olympian father, Zeus was instituted. One myth tells the story of how Zeus cast a thunderbolt and it landed at Olympia, and there where the bolt scorched the earth, a temple was erected to honor him.

The Ancient authors that have gifted us with their literary works wrote their accounts many centuries after the commencement of the Olympic games.  One of the Western Canonical poets Pindar, attributes the foundation of the games to the legend of Hercules. The myth goes a little something like this; one of Heracles labors was to clean the stables of Augeas which where never cleaned and several feet deep in animal dung.  So Hercules bargained with Augeas that if he should clean the stables in a day he would receive a tenth of Augeas cattle. Augeas agreed, believing that it would be unmanageable. Hercules accomplished his task by diverting a near by river through the stables. Augeas refused to pay Hercules, so he killed Augeas and his sons and took all the spoils to Pisa. There he carved a sacred precedent in honour of his father Zeus. The best items from the picking were offered as dedications to Zeus and hence the birth of the Olympic games commenced. Whilst this is not the only version of a foundational myth, it does claim more popularity than some of the more gruesome myths. 

Athletics were an integral part of Greek society and all that it encompassed because it was an act of worship, by participating the athletes were honoring the gods. Religion was the focus of the games and the most important part was the sacrifice, which took place on day three of the festival.  A procession would walk through Olympia and to the temple of Zeus where a multitude of oxen would be sacrificed. In the evening they would burn the oxen as offerings to the god Zeus, this was followed by a banquet for all the attendees. The games ran for five days and included; boxing, wrestling, discuss and running.  These games were a competition of greatness. There was no second or third status, only the position of one victor. To succeed meant that brutality was a given in the process but not without structure and rules. Winning was everything because the victor received more than the olive wreath upon his head. The winner would be seen as a demi-god. The victor’s home city would bestow on the winner honours fit for a king, a life time pension, olive oil supplies, seats at the theater and many other privileges including that of a priesthood if the victor desired it.

The olive wreath also known as kotinos was the prize for the winner at the ancient Olympic Games. (Image purchased from Shutterstock)

To illuminate how the Ancient Greeks saw and participated in the Olympic games we must understand that they were an extremely competitive society, who were driven by excellence and there was no room for second best. The Olympic games were one of the oldest Greek festivals, people travelled from every corner of the Ancient world to participate in a five-day event that showcased sporting brilliance.

The modern day Olympics also brings together Athletes and people from all over the globe. For the duration of the games people cheer each other on in good spirit and support. The Ancient and modern athlete share one thing in common; they are both worshiped as something divine, with the distinction being the ancient athlete was given a wreath and material provisions and the modern is awarded with a gold medal and sponsorship. There is an un-doubtable echo that the victors today are also seen as sporting demi-gods.

Goodreads Giveaway - Phantasma

Big hello readers, 

Some good news for those wanting to get a copy of Phantasma in their hands. A big giveaway is OPEN RIGHT NOW on Goodreads! For a chance to win, just click below or head on over to https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29156299-phantasma

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Phantasma by Efthalia

Phantasma

by Efthalia

Giveaway ends March 21, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

 

Enter Giveaway

 
Good luck!!

Smiles, Efthalia

The Writer's Journey - My Story - Part 2

There are a multitude of thoughts that run through an author’s head during the plotting, writing, editing, polishing, re-writing, and repeat over stage. Light the barbecue was and endless reel that ran in intricate and complex stream over and over in my mind. It consumed me in that, I became sick of my own story and it is terribly dangerous when you fall in that pit. Climbing out of this bottomless pit is harder than running a marathon. 

 I had fallen out of love with my story

After my ‘rejection’ moment.  I went back to the proverbial drawing board. A dear friend offered to work with me. I learnt a great deal from her but I had fallen out of love with my story. At the time I did not understand why I felt that way. My conscious mind was screaming that my muse had left the building and she wouldn’t be back anytime soon. I persevered and made changes and then made the decision to pitch my book at conference for the second time. I got two requests and followed through. Remember that was 2012. I have given up on waiting for a rejection. 

all the little lights in my brain went bling, bling, bling. Times square’s lights had nothing on what was going on inside my brain.  

In 2013 I decided that I would pitch at the US conference. Again two requests one from an Agent and from a Publisher. Waiting – nah – I am a veteran in ‘non response.’ The best thing that happened at the 2013 conference, that shone the stadium lights on everything, was a twenty five page critique with an awesome and amazing author, who read my drivel and gave me solid feedback. When she explained, all the little lights in my brain went bling, bling, bling. Times square’s lights had nothing on what was going on inside my brain.  

On the flight home from Atlanta to Australia I tore the manuscript to pieces. It was a love hate relationship.

From: http://i.giphy.com/rIIsuUflbjvX2.gif

In 2014 I asked another dear friend if she would edit me. “Yes,” she said. But that same year I decided that I needed to feed the academic beast that had reared its head and would not subside. So that process was thrown on the back burner as I struggled with pressure of full-time study. My book would have to wait for a little longer.  No harm in that right?

WRONG!

The guilt I felt for not progressing cut deeply into my muse and opened a gigantic fissure of doubt that I feared I would not ever return from. I bleed for a long time. I was annoyed mostly with myself for not giving it my 110%. Out of my anger I turned to the inner self for answers and that is when I remembered. I wrote this in 2010 about the writerly-self,

Writerly – Self-evaluation –  the reflection process and learning that happens whilst writing. 

Self-confidence –  belief that allows the writer to master challenges and obstacles in order to accomplish and execute what they ventured out to do.

Self-awareness – recognition of strengths and weaknesses within the writing.

Self-fulfilment – reaching and attaining the goal of a finished novel/work which brings happiness and satisfaction to the writer.

Self-enlightenment – the knowledge of the divine connection of the writing to the self.

Believably, these are all sides of self that a writer will consider and which will evoke a deeper thought in methodologies and approach in the expedition of writing. This depth fuses the understanding of the developing writerly-self.

Soul searching is a way of tapping into our inner strengths.  By understanding ourselves completely we begin to understand how we can bring our inner understanding to our writing thus be able to project our strength onto the blank page that can be the ever daunting stumbling block or thorn in our side.”

I understood why I was struggling at every twist and turn – I had been trying to sever myself completely from the writing. To detach my psyche from my body. To disjoin that which was me from the text. I had spent too much time listening to what and how I should be doing things rather than taking the path that was specifically tuned to me and to me only. This was my baby and it needed nurturing from me and me alone. 

Next week the final piece of this condensed journey –

What a fresh pair of eyes from an editor can do.   

Till then big smiles everyone, Efthalia

 

Welcome to My New Blog and Website

Welcome everyone! Good to see you all here! Firstly some news. It’s been a long time in the making (since 2011) but I can firmly say that Phantasma – A Phi Athanatoi Novel is just around the corner from publication. It has been held up for some last minute edits that were a necessary evil. Just  because we choose to self-publish doesn’t mean we should deter from giving our work the time it needs. I truly hope I have done a good enough job for my first publication.  Phantasma by Efthalia

I’ve also decided to do a big market push and that takes time and planning because nobody really knows who I am. To me it was imperative to consider that as a self-published author I need to introduce myself to readers and industry based professionals.  

In the coming weeks  I’ll be sharing a little of my journey with you all(one will be posted right after this post). Yes the preverbal if I knew then what I know now and the common trials and tribulations of the writing process. Warning: Crazy rambling will occur. 

Now for the fun stuff, I will be running a MAMMOTH GIVEAWAY, which will be open internationally. So look out for it. 

To finish, I should have some concrete news for you all in the next few weeks, about Phantasma….watch this space.

Big smiles, Efthalia     

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