Sunday, February 26, 2012

Author Marva Dasef Joins Me today

Marva Dasef

Middle-grade, Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Marva covers are eye catching as are the stories between the covers. Read the excerpts below and you'll become a fan also.

BAD SPELLING – Book 1 of the Witches of Galdorheim

A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?

If you’re a witch living on a remote arctic island, and the entire island runs on magic, lacking magical skills is not just an inconvenience, it can be a matter of life and death–or, at least, a darn good reason to run away from home. 

Katrina’s spells don’t just fizzle; they backfire with spectacular results, oftentimes involving green goo.  A failure as a witch, Kat decides to run away and find her dead father’s non-magical family. But before she can, she stumbles onto why her magic is out of whack: a curse from a Siberian shaman.

The young witch, accompanied by her warlock brother, must travel to the Hall of the Mountain King and the farthest reaches of Siberia to regain her magic, dodging attacks by the shaman along the way. At the Troll Kingdom, a young troll, Andy, joins the siblings in their quest to find the shaman and kill the curse.

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MIDNIGHT OIL – Book 2 of the Witches of Galdorheim

Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?

Kat is a nervous wreck waiting for her boyfriend's first visit to her Arctic island home. He doesn't show up, so she's sure he’s given her the brushoff.

When she learns he’s disappeared, she sets out on a mission to find him. Things go wrong from the start. Kat is thrown overboard during a violent storm, while her brother and his girlfriend are captured by a mutant island tribe. The mutants hold the girlfriend hostage, demanding the teens recover the only thing that can make the mutants human again–the magical Midnight Oil.

Mustering every bit of her Wiccan magic, Kat rises to the challenge. She invokes her magical skills, learns to fly an ultralight, meets a legendary sea serpent, rescues her boyfriend, and helps a friendly air spirit win the battle against her spiteful sibling. On top of it all, she’s able to recover the Midnight Oil and help the hapless mutants in the nick of time.

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Twitter Handle: @Gurina

THE GIVEAWAY: One lucky commenter wins their choice of either book in any of the available formats: PDF, PRC, or EPUB. In addition, anybody who’d like to download the prequel short story, “Spellslinger” (included as a bonus with Bad Spelling), can just click the following link to download the story for free.


Many (most?) fantasy novels based on Euro-centric mythologies use runes in their plots, be it a tattooed rune on the hero’s chest, the discovery of a runic tablet that leads a worthy band of heros on a quest for dragon’s gold, or a villain who casts his dark spells in the ancient runic language. All very cool stuff.

In the Witches of Galdorheim books, I decided to use runes as the magic language. I call it Old Runish. Kat, in Bad Spelling, just can't get the pronunciation of the runes right. The results are often spectacularly wrong. In other words, she is a really bad speller.

I researched runes and found a few I could use to give some depth to the magical language of the witches. Runes are like hieroglyphics in that each run stands for a word or concept rather than a letter. I found a handy phrase chart and stole what I could. Elder Futhark is the oldest known runic alphabet. Each rune has a name. Each rune is a word of power. The Rune markings in the graphic match the interpreted Elder Futhark (the Runes in spoken form).

Following are excerpts from both books that show the use of the Old Runic language in the Witches of Galdorheim series.

Excerpt from Bad Spelling

(Kat’s aunt Thordis want to have a talk with Kat’s almost-dead father.)

Thordis lit the candle, rang the bell, and prepared herself to chant the spell to wake Boris. She’d never talked to him when he was alive, since he was a mundane, and any non-magical person was simply not worth her time. Now, she had to find out a few things. Specifically, why was her niece so powerful, yet so incompetent as a witch? If her spells just fizzled, she could believe the girl just wasn’t trying.

Instead, they failed spectacularly, and often messily, like her recent attempt to transform the rabbit. Perhaps she could get some answers out of Boris, even though she doubted he was intelligent enough to even realize he had them.

When she felt her magic to be at its peak, Thordis opened the book to the chapter titled Speaking to the Dead. The incantation woke the dead, so waking Boris should be a piece of cake. It also provided translation services. After all, why try to speak to the dead if they can’t understand what you’re saying?

“Þat kann ec iþ tolpta,

ef ec se a tre vppi

vafa virgilná:

sva ec rist oc i rvnom fác,

at sa gengr gvmi

oc melir viþ mic.”

But nothing happened. She slowed down and spoke the spell with precision, putting as much magical force as she could into it. Finally, she felt the spell break through the barrier.

“Boris, do you hear me?”


“Good. Your daughter is having…trouble becoming a proper witch. Of course, I believe it’s your fault; well, maybe fault is too strong a word. I suspect her poor performance has to do with having a mundane father, but now I feel…something more.”

Excerpt from Midnight Oil 

(Kat is getting a ride from her Orca friend, Salmon. She doesn’t want anybody to see her riding a whale

Kat kept a lookout for any boats between Salmon and the Norwegian shore. He’d have to carry her to land, instead of dropping her offshore as he had the last time they’d traveled to Norway. She was worried someone would spot a girl riding on a whale’s back and get a little too curious. 

She smacked the heel of her hand on her forehead. “Duh, Kat! I keep forgetting I can cast spells.” She mentally ran through the list of spells she knew. “Where is that invisibility spell?” she muttered.  Recalling the spells in Old Runic, the magical language, she still had to translate them to reveal the use of each. The spells neatly cataloged themselves in her memory for fast recall. Unfortunately, they alphabetized by the Old Runic characters, which she had a hard time remembering. Finding the ‘Invisibility’ section wasn’t that easy.

Kat finally found the spell cataloged under îsaz. “Ice? What does…? Oh, I get it. Ice is clear…invisibility…okay.” Retrieving the entire Old Runic spell, she cleared her throat and began:

“Ni’s sólu sótt ok ni îsaz stæin skorinn.

Ni læggi îsaz mannR nækðan, niþ rinnR,

Ni viltiR mænnR læggi ax îsaz.”

Lots of ice in that spell. Kat hoped she’d pronounced every word correctly and didn’t just doom herself and Salmon to a life as ice cubes. In a few seconds, the top of Salmon’s head faded. At first, she thought he was diving but didn’t feel any downward motion. The ultralight turned misty and then disappeared. Holding up her arm, her stomach fluttered with excitement. She couldn’t see it.


  1. Welcome, Marva. It's always exciting to have an author whose series captures the imagination of all age groups. Marian

  2. Hey, Marian! Thanks. I'll be out of town for a few days, but will drop in when I can. I hope you get lots of posts. I'd like some new names to put in for the free ebook.

  3. These look great. My daughter who loves to draw Manga loves your covers. And the stories look interesting too. Will give them a try.

  4. Once again I've been contacted by several readers who were unable to leave messages on the blog. Blogspot makes it so difficult. I am working on a new blog which will be user friendly. I want to thank everyone who dropped by. Marian

  5. Hi gals,

    I've read both books in the series plus the Rune extra. Such fun reading. I just may share them with my grandkids, not sure about that one yet. lol.

    These are truly a read for all ages. These would make a wonderful Easter gift for your tweens.

  6. What a great idea Lorrie, now instead of candy the nieces and nephews get books. Marian