Mythology and ancient worlds converge with the present, in Phantasma, a thriller by Greek-Australian Author Efthalia.
Efthalia was born and raised in Australia. Her parents migrated from Missolonghi, Central Greece in the early 1960s. When she was younger, she was very active in the community, organizing social events for the Greek youth. Though as she grew older, life, work, and other commitments got in the way. She is very proud to be Greek but acknowledged that growing up Greek can have its challenges.
“I always wanted a career in journalism, but coming from a Greek family, it was like, ‘What’s that? What are you going to do with that?’ Then you’d get the sour look. Anyone who has told their family they’d like to pursue a ‘non-traditional’ vocation knows the one.”
She’s referring to many parents’ long-held ideal for their children: to pursue a field of study that will provide steady work and a good living.
“The ideology of our migrant parents was that you had to have a job and you had to work. This was important, no matter what the field, but it had to be in a field they understood. Have you seen Mel Brooks’ History of the World/Stand Up Philosopher? It reminds me of that. Wink! Wink!”
Her passion for writing was inspired by the stories her mother told her as a child. Through her life, she wasn’t able to shake the desire to create stories. Now grown up and charting her own course, Efthalia earned an MA in writing and is now a full-time writer. She’s also a part-time student studying the Classics and Archaeology at Sydney University. She calls this “Bliss!”
Inspired by her love of Greek mythology and the work of Homer, Efthalia created the worlds that come to life in Phantasma.
“I love the whole anger-and-revenge-cycle that runs through Homer. It creates dimension, interest. It drove me to write this story.”
Carissa Alkippes is a cop in Charleston, SC. She and her partner find themselves in a warehouse in a situation without backup. Her partner is injured. She’s shaken, and can’t recall what happened. Some rest is in order, so she goes to visit her beloved aunt in Virginia. The aunt takes Carissa to a charity ball and sets her up with a very handsome and irresistible man named Xen Lyson. They hadn’t met before, but there was something very familiar about him. Who is this mysterious man?
There is an attempt on Carissa’s life, and Xen takes her under his protection. He reveals the details: he is a vampire — leader of the Phi Athanatoi, a group sworn to protect the world from demons. Carissa learns that she’s no ordinary human; her father left when she was young to protect her. The secret is out, and her life is in danger.
As things heat up with Xen and Carissa, she is pulled into another realm of gods, demons, werewolves, and other supernatural beings. Xen and his men try to protect her, along with some unearthly help. When she’s kidnapped and whisked away to Greece, her destiny comes full circle. Can she survive?
Review of Phantasma
Though I love mythology, I’m not a fan of demons and vampire tales. Supernatural tales don’t usually grab my interest. Yet, what I found here was a most imaginative tale, bringing gods and goddesses together with those demons, and vampires, merging ancient myth and the underworld to create a mystical, magical realm. You’ll want to know what happens to Carissa, and you won’t be able to put it down. Efthalia’s world is so vividly depicted, you’ll be transported there. I’m looking forward to book two in the series.
Phantasma has been well-received.
“Readers are contacting me saying they can’t wait for book two. So I’m burning up the keyboard as we speak.”
Following book two will be a novella, though she hasn’t divulged the details.
“After that, I’d like to bring to life two ancient Greek historical figures. I can’t tell you who yet, but I’m sure you are going to love them.”
Her studies in Classics and Archaeology are no doubt providing great fodder for future stories. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more from Efthalia.
Pick up a copy of Phantasma: A Phi Anthanatoi Novel on Amazon.