27 December 2011

Guest Blog: How Cleanse Fire came to be by Anastasia V. Pergakis

Please welcome author Anastasia V. Pergakis who has agreed to share with us how her debut novel, Cleanse Fire, came to be.
Welcome, Anastasia. The floor is yours.
Thank you Su for having me on your blog to talk about my debut novel, Cleanse Fire.
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?
~ * ~ * ~
Su asked me to tell you how the story, how Cleanse Fire came to be. I've talked about this before, but it's one of my favorite stories to tell. My intention with this book is to honor soldiers and the sacrifice they make serving their country.

I'm sure you're wondering what a fantasy author - or a fantasy book - has to do with honoring soldiers. Simply put, I'm a proud Army Brat. My Dad served 20 years, 1982 - 2002, in the U.S. Army, retiring with the rank of Sergeant First Class. He was as a Drill Sergeant for a few years, training fellow infantrymen where he earned the nickname "The Hurricane." His service took him around the world to places like Korea, Panama, Egypt, Israel, Germany, and more. I asked him once what he felt like serving and he told me "privileged."

"Who shall we send for us?" … "Here I am. Send me." -- Airborne quote

Now, the thing about my Dad, as you can see in the picture here, he looks very serious - and almost scary really. But the thing is, he would get down on the floor with me and my sister when we were little girls, and play Barbies with us! I'm definitely a Daddy's girl and I wanted to honor him with my writing.

Even though I'm a fantasy writer, I had the idea a few years ago to write a story about his career and his life. He was great and answered all the questions I had, even though I'm sure some of them were hard to answer. I began writing the story and got about a page into it when I realized there was no way I could do it. I didn't think I could capture the feelings, the emotions, he felt during that time in an accurate way. I would hate to write a story to honor him - and all soldiers - but only end up ruining it completely.

So, I put the story down for a few years. When NaNoWriMo came around in 2009, the story resurfaced in my brain again and the urge to write a story to honor soldiers was still strong. But this time, the story came to me in a different way - as a fantasy novel.

The story as it exists now, is completely fictional. The characters in the book are soldiers, granted they're elves, but soldiers just the same. And they are dedicated to their country, just as soldiers in our world are dedicated to theirs.

I want to honor my Dad - and all soldiers. Because of that, I'm donating a portion of the royalties from Cleanse Fire, and the books to follow in the series, to the Wounded Warrior Project. This organization helps wounded soldiers and their families heal after they return home. You can learn more about them and read stories from soldiers they helped at their website, www.WoundedWarriorProject.org. It is an American organization, but it is my hope that my book honors soldiers across the sea as well. The Wounded Warrior Project is merely the beginning!

This is just my way of saying thank you to the sacrifice and dedication our armed forces give for our freedoms. I was lucky that my Dad was not killed during his service (and he still lives to this day). But there are so many that come home severely wounded, or not at all. I want my book, even though it its fantasy, to tell soldiers that their sacrifice means something, that we know how important it is, and that we are eternally grateful.

"The true soldier fights not because he hates what's in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." -- G. K. Chesterton
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 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!

 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**
 ~ * ~ * ~

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.


  1. Thats a beautiful story, Anastasia --honoring your dad and his service to our country that way. I would love to read this one so please do enter me in the contest. God Bless your dad and all our service men and women!

    Warm hugs, Kari Thomas, www.authorkari.com

  2. Kari,
    I agree, Anastasia's approach is unique and heartwarming.
    Thanks for stopping by and good luck with the contest.

  3. You are definitely entered Kari! It is an privelage for me to honor the troops with my writing for sure. I've met so many wonderful people who share my feelings and soldiers thanking ME for my support. It's amazing - especially when this is all to thank THEM, not me! Thanks so much for commenting Kari! Good luck with the contest.

    And Su, thanks so much for having me on your blog. :)

  4. The Wounded Warrior Project is a wonderful organization to support. I have worked a couple places that raise money for them and it was always nice to be a part of it.

  5. They sure are Scott. They weren't around when my Dad served. He retired in 2002 and the organization came around in 2003. My Dad was never physically wounded during his service, but I think some things would have been easier for him if they had been around back then. So, I hope my little contributions will help soldiers now, when they really need it.

  6. The winners are announced! Kari Thomas has won an e-copy of the book! Alex, send me an email at thekinirelite[at]gmail.com with what format you'd like your book and I'll send it along to you! Congratulations!

    And, for those that didn't win, just so you know, Cleanse Fire is on sale until Feb 6th for only .99 cents at Amazon and B&N.com!

    Thanks again Su for having me as a guest for my tour!


  7. You're welcome, Anastasia. Congratulations, Kari :-)


    hugs, Kari


    Hugs, Kari