January 4, 2012 in Dag

Cleanse Fire: Guest Post by Anastasia V. Pergakis

Welcome to Dag-Lit Central for 2012.

I’m really please to start the year off with a visit from Anastasia V. Pergakis who is popping in as part of her Cleanse Fire blog tour.

So without any further ado, over to Anastasia…

Jonathan has graciously allowed me to visit his blog today as one of the stops for my blog tour for my debut novel, Cleanse Fire: The Kinir Elite Chronicles. Thanks so much for having me Jonathan.

He told me the theme for his blog is “writing that stands out from the crowd.” Way to put on the pressure Jonathan! I thought to talk about how the idea of this story came to me, since it mentions my Dad and how proud I am of his 20 year military career. However, I promised myself I would not repeat posts during this tour, so I had to rethink. I decided to give some more behind the scenes information about the world I created for this book, specifically the language I made for my elves.
When I started writing this book, I didn’t have much to go on in concern to the world the characters lived in. Just a few notes here or there to get me started. As I wrote the story, more and more about the world came up either in the story or just as random information popping up in my head. When I was finished with the first draft, that is when I really sat down and filled in the blank spaces for my world.
The fun part when filling in the spaces was deciding on the language the elves, and other creatures, spoke. I thought at first to create an entirely brand new language, like Tolkien did, but that proved to be more complicated than I wanted! So, instead I turned to Latin. Why? Well, it has that ancient sort of feel that I wanted my elves to have. They live very long life spans and their world has a deep history to it. Having them speak Latin as their “Ancient Language” fit. After all, Latin is our “ancient language” too.
I’m sure that I fumbled up some of the Latin phrases in my book – as in they are most likely far from accurate. But, hey, it’s a fantasy book in a world other than Earth, so I can just say “It’s accurate for them.” Still, it was fun looking up translations and figuring out what words and phrases they would actually use with the ancient language.
My favorite “Elven phrase” I came up with is the Kinir Elite motto. Many military units in real life have such a motor or phrase that tells people who they are. So it was fitting that my unit have one too. “Primus. Semper. Ultimus.” Short and simple. Loosely translated it means “First. Always. Last.”
I also like the phrase they use when going into a mission, “Vivo Liber. Morior Bonum.” Translated directly it’s “Live Slow. Die Fast.” which basically means to live a long satisfying life but don’t suffer in death.
There are more words and phrases sprinkled throughout the book. And more will come to light as the series continues. It’s interesting to me to create new worlds, including languages. In Book 2 of the series, Blood Trade, I have a new race of creatures coming into light and I’m having fun creating a few phrases for their language as well.
What about you? Do you create your own languages for your stories? Why or why not? Do you just come up with a few phrases or an entire language?
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Cleanse Fire Blurb 

Complete the mission, no matter what…
Captain Derac Vidor has served Kinir for nearly twenty years. It’s his life, his blood, his soul. And then his Commander betrays everything Derac holds dear. Now he has to 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?
Purchase Cleanse Fire
Join the Kinir Brigade by signing up for our newsletter! Get exclusive deals, access to special giveaways, and inside information about the series! Join the Kinir Brigade now and receive the first five chapters in your email! And don’t forget to visit our Facebook Page and Website too!
Author Bio

Anastasia knew she always wanted to write. She began at a young age, writing those little stories about the apple tree in the yard. Though her love of stories stayed with her through her poetry stage in high school, she didn’t begin writing novels until she was almost an adult. That’s where she found her true passion.

Her characters visit her dreams – and sometimes during the day – to share their stories with her. Anastasia is merely the writer, but the characters are really the storytellers.
Anastasia lives in Columbus, Georgia with her husband and son. A stay at home Mom, she loves spending time with her son during the day, then writing furiously at night.
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GIVEAWAY
I’m giving away an e-copy of Cleanse Fire! Leave a comment on this post to enter into the random drawing. I’ll draw the names at the end of my tour, January 31, 2012. If you want more chances to win a copy, visit our website to follow our tour! The more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win!
All commenters will also be added to the drawing for a chance to win a signed hard cover. Drawing for the hardcover will be on January 31, 2012, the end of my tour.
You can also get more chances to win by tweeting or posting on facebook! Just leave a link to the tweet or post in a comment below!
**All Winners will be announced on the Kinir Elite Website on February 1st**
December 28, 2011 in Dag

A Daggy New Year to All

Well can you believe it? 2011 is almost over.

And what an amazing year it’s been. Hard to believe that this time last year:

  • I’d never self-published a book.
  • I didn’t even own a kindle.
  • I’d never been on Twitter or Facebook. I hadn’t even heard of Goodreads.
  • I certainly had no plans to start up a blog. 

And now, a year down the track, here’s what has happened:

  • Not only did I self-publish an ebook. I did it twice.
  • I read more books on my kindle than I do otherwise
  • I’ve met an amazing group of fellow writers and reviewers out in the world of social media
  • I’ve had my blog going for around seven months now. Even managed to pick up a few followers on the way.

On the way, I’ve had some amazing experiences. Seeing my books start to sell out in the big wide world has been amazing. Discovering readers out there who really enjoy my writing and seeing the great reviews for both Doodling and Flidderbugs out in the blogosphere and on my Amazon pages. And getting nominated for the Goodreads Choice awards, which certainly was a most unexpected pleasure. Seeing my book alongside those by people like Tina Fey and Ellen deGeneres was seriously exciting.

 
Now I’ve got even bigger plans for 2012. I’m hoping to have my first novel, Magnus Opum, released early in the new year. This will hopefully be followed by a sequel to Doodling, with the tentative title Scribbling (makes perfect sense). I’m well on the way to a completed first draft, but it’s going to need a bit of work to get it up to scratch.
 
But what I’m really looking forward to is my first blog tour. It’s tentatively scheduled for March so make sure you stay in touch. It should be a whole lot of daggy fun.
 
So, as the year winds down, I’d like to wish all my friends, readers and followers (I know you’re out there) a safe, joyful and completely daggy new year, and hope 2012 brings all that you wish it to.
December 20, 2011 in Dag

The Festival of the Books

Well, all the excitement from the Indie Book Blowout is now calming down. But that’s definitely not the end of the festivities. Because Christmas is not the only festival happening right now. It’s time for Hanukkah, and the Festival of the Books.

For me, it feels like a really good fit for Dag-Lit Central to be participating in a Hanukkah event. The theme of this blog is “Writing that stands out from the crowd.” After all, Hanukkah may be one of the most important events in the Jewish calendar, but growing up in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, it wasn’t exactly a well known cultural event. So celebrating Hanukkah instead of Christmas (well more like in addition to Christmas – we were kind of flexible in that way) was definitely something that stood out from the crowd. It was another way to feel a bit different, or special, however you wanted to look at it.

Nowadays, Hanukkah seems pretty mainstream. There are big events in the park every year, and even big Menorahs in the middle of the city. And at my kid’s school, they always sing a few special Hanukkah songs as well as the Christmas Carols. I think it’s great that events like these can become accepted as a major part of society.

So tonight, and every night as we light our candles and remember the events we’re commemorating, I’ll be thinking about what it is that makes us special, and also what it is that brings us all together.

And what better way to celebrate than with some books.

Which leads us to the best bit.

By participating in this event, you get the chance to win. On this blog alone, I have three prizes packs available, featuring both of my ebook novellas:

Doodling – the strange adventures of a man who’s fallen off the world (because it’s moving too fast). Douglas Adams meets Lewis Carroll. And it was a Goodreads Choice nominee in the humour category
Flidderbugs – a political satire/fable about a bunch of insects with some very odd obsessions. It’s also been getting fantastic reviews from readers

Just leave a comment below. Tell me something about what Hanukkah means to you. Tell me something about what books mean to you. Tell me something about being different or being special. Tell me anything you think of about this wonderful, festive time of the year and you’ll be in the running. Just make sure to leave your email, so I can contact you if you’re a winner. 

But wait – there’s even more prizes to be won 

Check out the blogs of the other participants listed below for more opportunities to win:

Stephanie Abbott writing as Emma Jameson, author of Ice Blue (a cozy mystery): Blog and Twitter. 
Danielle Blanchard, author of Death Wish (paranormal romance): Blog and Twitter.
Justin Dennis, author of Through The Portal (YA fantasy): Blog and Twitter.
Lisa Grace, author of Angel in the Shadows and Angel in the Storm (YA fantasy): Blog and Twitter.
Craig Hansen, author of SHADA (YA thriller): Blog and Twitter.
Larry Kahn, author of The Jinx (thriller) and King of Paine (suspense): Blog and Twitter.
Emily Ann Ward, author of Finding Fiona (YA Sci-Fi) and Passages (YA short stories): Blog and Twitter.

And don’t miss out on the Grand Prize Draw.

Have a very happy Hanukkah, whether it’s something you do every year or something you’ve never even heard about before.

December 14, 2011 in Dag

Indie Book Blowout – Twelve Days of Christmas

Well, we’re now into the final countdown till the arrival of Christmas and the end of the year. But before we get there, there’s one big event, and it’s happening right now.

The Indie Book Blowout – Twelve Days of Christmas is running from December 12 until 24th. Over 100 authors have gotten together to make their books just 99c for the duration of the event. So make sure to peruse the list – there’s sure to be something you’ll like. But that’s not all.

The Indie Book Blowout isn’t just an opportunity to find some terrific books. There are also heaps of chances to win fantastic prizes, including Amazon gift card and a new Kindle. Just check out the information in the site for details on how to enter.

But that’s still not all.

12 authors participating in the Indie Book Blowout are offering you an additional chance to win. Just go to our special prize page to see the books available and enter into the draw to win a Kindle Fire or a $200 Amazon Gift card.

So all the best for the approaching holiday season. Enjoy all of the books on offer, and good luck for the prize draws.

December 11, 2011 in Dag

Guest Post – Darlene Jones

Today I’m delighted to announce another visitor to Dag-Lit Central. Darlene Jones will be talking about her novel, Embattled, and how it stands out from the crowd. So take it away Darlene…

In part, Jonathan Gould defines Dag-Lit as something that: “is hard to fit into a box and likes to find its own space, is full of surprises, but always works out in the end, and is serious, but doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

It is in the spirit of Dag-Lit that I write the following about my first novel.

You’ve written a book and the first question everyone invariably asks is, “What’s it about?”

“Um… er… it’s…” Who knew defining your work would be harder than writing it? “Well, it’s not a thriller, or a mystery, or a bodice-ripping romance.”

“Adventure?”

“Sort of.”

“Historical?”

“No, no.”

“Vampires? Monsters? Paranormal stuff?”

“No.”

“Well, what’s it about?” You sense an edge of impatience creeping in.

You frown in thought. How to describe a cross-genre novel? It’s not easy. And where is it written that your creation has to fit some preconceived notion of a novel genre anyway? You take a deep breath and plunge in. “It’s the story of a woman whose life is taken over…” No, that’s not going to cut it.

You try again. “It’s an adventure slash love story with a bit of “soft” sci-fi magic, about a woman who is chosen to “fix” stuff in the world, and about the two men who love her.

Frowns tell you your inquisitive audience doesn’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about. You can’t fit your novel into a “genre” box. It’s a unique mix that works with serious aspects, but a touch of humor too.

Suddenly, inspiration hits. For the men, you say, “sci-fi adventure.” And for the women you say, “love story with a bit of magic.” Then you hope like heck they’ll be curious enough to buy it and hope like heck you’ve written it well enough that they’ll like it, want to buy the whole series, and will tell all their friends about it, word of mouth being an author’s best friend.

EMBATTLED by Darlene Jones
 
Em sits at her desk, her hands soaked in blood. No wounds, no pain, and no idea where the blood came from. The reds and greens swirling across her computer screen scream jungle battle. She’s certain she was there. Fighting through the jungle to stop a battle, storming into a courtroom to save the accused, facing a firing squad of armed ruffians…
Are her “three wishes” coming true?

And, Yves? He is there to arm her with special powers, to send her into battle, to watch over her. His first assignment as a supreme power is to clean up the mess on Earth without going down there himself. Meeting his superior’s expectations is a huge challenge. Falling in love with Em threatens to ruin everything.

Available from: 

Amazon
Smashwords

Bio
 
A long time ago, I lived in Mali. Every single day, I wished I could wave a magic wand to relieve the heart wrenching poverty. My experiences there led to the writing of this story. Some aspects of EMBATTLED reflect my desire to wave that wand and make the world a better place—if only wishes could come true. And of course, every novel needs its love story, so along with the sci-fi magic, I’ve added the requisite romance.

I now live on Vancouver Island, Canada and spend winters in Mexico. I write, read, and body board when I’m in Guayabitos. I love my granddaughter, the views of the ocean from my desk, and chocolate, which should be its own food group.

Contact Darlene at:

Her website – http://www.emandyves.com
Her blog – http://emandyves.wordpress.com
Twitter – @darlenejones47
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/#!/djones47