Monday, October 24, 2011

Anastasia V.Pergakis talks about Cleanse Fire and the Wounded Warrior Project

Karen: Today, I have with me Anastasia V. Pergakis. Anastasia and I are both members of Savvy Authors. We share a common interest in world-building.  Harley is visiting us to talk about Cleanse Fire, the first book in her Kinir Elite Chronicles.

So, Anastasia tell us a little about the Kinir and the world they live in.

Anastasia: Karen, thank you so much for having me today. It is an honor to be a guest here. Even though Karen writes Urban Fantasy and I write Fantasy of a different sort, both genres have an element of world building. So today, I would like to share a little background and inside info about the world of the Kinir Elite, my special forces team of elves in my book Cleanse Fire.

The Kinir Elite are a "black ops" team with mostly top secret missions. They are still a very "public" group, unlike most black ops teams which are kept away from general knowledge. They are seen as the "super heroes" to young elves and are often the source of many bedtime stories. The majority of their missions are secret but when it's a hostage rescue situation, the news is spread around. Their country is rather small and limited in technology (compared to ours), so they don't have things like helicopters, cars, guns, etc. They use bladed weapons and bows, making for a more personal style battle/fight scenes. They use covered wagons, carriages, horses, and even dragons as their "vehicles".

They do work closely with their southern neighbours, the Tinally Elite, who are faeries. The faeries use magic and spells, unlike the physical weapons of the elves.  But the Tinally are limited in what they can do depending on location (can't use magic or survive long without sunlight or moonlight) and strength (if they use too much of their magic, it can drain them and they will need to rest to rebuild their power again). This is why the two groups work closely together. When there is a situation underground, the Kinir Elite will step in to help as the Tinally faeries cannot operate, even minimally, in such conditions. It is the same when the Kinir elves have a situation that requires flight and/or magic of some sort.

Female elves (elfas) only recently were allowed to join the Kinir Elite, while the Tinally Elite allow only male faeries. The members of both teams (6 on each) are chosen by the Captains and Commanders of the teams; members can not apply or request to join. In order to be "in the running", an elf or faerie must serve at least ten years in the Army and five years in the Kinir Rangers/Tinally Airborne. If they are chosen - and accept the invite - they pledge to serve another twenty five years. (They live for a very long time, being elves and faeries...)

Karen:  I’m intrigued to learn more about the Kinir and Tinally. Now let's talk about Cleanse Fire, shall we? What are the key elements of the story that every reader should know?

Anastasia: Without giving away too, there are three things we can talk about. The rest is for the reader to discover and enjoy.

Complete the mission, no matter what…
Captain Derac Vidor has served Kinir for nearly twenty years. It’s his life, his blood, his soul.  When his Commander betrays everything Derac holds dear, he must focus on his own life and his team instead of saving the citizens of Kinir.

Treason is only the beginning…
Fueled by rage, the team chases the source to their Commander’s betrayal – a powerful wizard bent on revenge. The wizard seeks to destroy the Kinir Elite, in both mind and body. No place is safe, even among their allies.

The past holds the key…
Derac’s tragic past may be the key to saving the team. But can he face the gruesome nightmare in time?

Cleanse Fire is a fantasy adventure novel, with edge-of-your-seat action. Epic battles, suspense, and a bit of romance too!

Karen: Well you’ve piqued my interest. But one more question: I understand that, beyond the incredible world you are building in this series and the heart-stopping stories, this project has a personal and special meaning to you. Will you share that with us?

Anastasia: Given the strong military theme in my book, I want to honor real life soldiers with my writing. Portions of my royalties from this book, and the upcoming books in the series, will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. This organization helps wounded soldiers and their families heal when they return home. You can learn more about them and read true accounts of soldiers they've helped at their website,  

Karen: As the daughter of a veteran and friend to those whose lives have been touched, I want to thank you for your generosity.

Anastasia has been gracious enough to share an excerpt from Cleanse Fire with us.  At the end you can find links to her websites and how you can get your copy of Cleanse Fire.

Excerpt from Chapter 8.

A groan escaped him as he unbuttoned his shredded tunic. His hand brushed over the crest of Kinir embroidered on the front. Two lions reared up on their hind legs, one of each side of a crown atop a letter ‘K’. Silver and green threads woven together to create a metallic green look. His fingertips felt each thread, each rise in the design. How could Palto betray us?

A ragged sigh left his lips and he tossed the uniform to the floor. He wiped the dirt and grime off his skin with a soft cloth. The water turned brown. Dried blood flaked off him and landed to float on the surface of the murky water. He couldn’t take his eyes away from the bowl. The liquid swirled, making his stomach churn.

Derac’s knees collapsed from under him and he landed hard on the floor. He dragged the cloth down his face in an attempt to wash the mines and everything from his memory. Nothing helped. When he closed his eyes he saw the tortured and starved faeries and Kie panicking in the dark.

He scrambled to his feet and dumped the murky water out the window. Full of clean water again, Derac plunged his face into it. Using the pitcher, he poured more water over his head. The dirt, he had to be rid of it. All of it.

Derac straightened and squeezed the excess water from his hair. Dried blood, chunks of dirt, and who knew what else turned the water to a thick mud. He threw the contents out the window again and wiped the bowl clean.

He yanked his brush from his pack and raked it through his black tresses. Tears stung his eyes. He told himself it was the tangles in his hair but it was a lie. How many faeries had died before the team could rescue them? How many lost their innocence at the hands of a dwarf?

Derac fell to his knees and bowed his head toward the open window. Moonlight poured in, but it did little to dispel the chill he felt in his bones.

Kie willingly entered the place of her childhood nightmares. How did she muster the courage? Why wasn’t she a wreck like him? He pulled on her strength and forced himself back to his feet. Breaking down was not going to help anyone.

Thank you again, Karen, for having me here today. I really appreciate the visit to your blog.

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In honor of Veterans Day coming up, I’m giving away an e-copy of Cleanse Fire! Leave a comment on this post to enter into the random drawing by 11:59 pm November 13 (Eastern Standard Time). You MUST leave your email address IN the comment so I can contact you when you win!

All commenters will also be added to the drawing for a chance to win a signed hard cover version of the book when it releases December 21.

I'm having more giveaways throughout the months of November and December! "Like" the series' facebook page to keep up to date on all the events!