Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air your Reviews – Allison D. Reid and Nicholas C. Rossis

Welcome to the first review post of the week and I am starting things off with a review for  Journey to Aviad ( Wind Chronicles Book 1) by Allison D. Reid by Terri Webster Schrandt on her blog last week.

About the book

Threatening clouds and fierce storms besiege the city of Tyroc. More frequent and powerful than ordinary storms, young Elowyn, a weaver’s daughter living in the outskirts of the city, senses something disturbing and unnatural about them. She soon realizes that the storms are but a warning sign of much more frightening things yet to come. Terrifying wolf-like creatures emerge from the depths of the wilderness at the bidding of a dark master.

His name found only among the crumbling pages of ancient texts, the re-appearance of Alazoth and his Hounds is a dark omen for the people of Tyroc and beyond. Only legends remain of the heroes and prophets whose blood was shed ages ago to banish him into the abyss, which should have remained his prison for all time. How he has been released is a mystery, but all the old stories agree that death and destruction are sure to follow. With the Hounds inching closer each day, the city of Tyroc caught up in religious and political turmoil, and her home life no less turbulent, Elowyn has nothing left to rely on but her meager courage and a budding faith in Aviad, the Creator.

She and her sister, Morganne, set out on a remarkable journey that challenges everything they have ever known about themselves, the world, and the path that Aviad has laid out for them.

Terri’s 5 Star review:

If you have ever read Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, you will enjoy Reid’s fantasy tale of two sisters who embark on a journey of survival and spirituality. This is an allegorical tale set in what may be medieval times. Whether it is in our Earth’s ancient past or far future isn’t clear, but the world and setting Reid builds is consistent and believable.

Reid’s writing is eloquent and riveting—I was drawn in to the mystery after the first few sentences. Her female main characters are interesting and multi-dimensional, with the capacity to grow and learn as the story unfolds.

Reid deftly weaves in scriptural themes and concept such as— “you must drink from my cup, for it is filled with living water, and you shall never thirst again”—without alienating the reader’s existing faith or lack thereof. She introduces the “Ancients” much later in the story as the counterparts to the Biblical Jesus, Satan and the Holy Spirit. Of course, Aviad is God, the Creator. You will begin to see the parallels as you read deeper into the story.

I recommend this book and series to young adults and those of us adults who have been around the block once or twice.

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Also by Allison D. Reid

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Apart from being a prolific and award winning author of fantasy and children’s books, Nicholas C. Rossis has also released a non-fiction book for authors – Emotional Beats: How to convert your writing into palpable feelings.

About Emotional Beats.

Do You Want To Show, Not Tell, Emotions?

Because of the way our brains are wired, readers empathize more strongly if you don’t name the emotion you are trying to describe. As soon as you name an emotion, readers go into thinking mode. And when they think about an emotion, they distance themselves from feeling it.

A great way to show anger, fear, indifference, and the whole range of emotions that characterize the human experience, is through beats. These action snippets that pepper dialogue can help describe a wide range of emotions while avoiding lazy writing. The power of beats lies in their innate ability to create richer, more immediate, deeper writing.

This emotional thesaurus includes hundreds of examples that you can use for your inspiration, so that you, too, can harness this technique to easily convert your writing into palpable feelings. Use it as a feeling thesaurus and watch your writing take off!

Emotional Beats was an award-winning Finalist in the IPA 2017 Awards.

Two of the latest reviews on Goodreads

Janice Spina rated it it was amazing
Wonderful resource for writers!

Emotional Beats is chock full of helpful suggestions about all phases of writing. If you are looking for ways to improve your writing you need to read this book and keep it close for reference.

This book covers all the senses, feelings, descriptive passages, antonyms, synonyms and examples of how to put emotion into your writing. I found it quite enlightening and well done.

The author also included a section of suggestions to improve your writing that are offered by other authors. I plan to use this book as a reference from now on as I write

Angelique Bochnak rated it it was amazing
Great writer’s reference book

This is one of the more helpful how to books I’ve read in a while. This one will be going on my reference book shelf and used often. It’s full of great examples to help even the most seasoned writers overcome dull writing. Thanks to the author for putting this book out there!

Read more reviews on Amazon and buy the book:

A selection of other books by Nicholas C. Rossis

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Thanks for dropping by and if you have received recent reviews in the last couple of months for your books then please do not keep them to yourselves.. send me the link:

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Christmas Update – Angie Dokos, Alyssa Drake and Nicholas C. Rossis


Welcome to the latest update from Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore. Throughout the year over 120 authors have been promoted weekly on the blog and their books now reside in the virtual bookstore along with their buy links and websites. In the run up to Christmas I will be visiting all the authors in the store and checking for updates and new reviews on their most recent books. If you are in the bookstore and have recently published a new book, received a rave review then please let me know..

My first book was promoted  in the Autumn Reading series and here is one of the latest reviews for Mackenzie’s Distraction by Angie Dokos.


About the book

Mackenzie’s Distraction is a New Adult Romance about a young lady with a rough past and a promising future. Just when her career is within reach, tragedy strikes. A terrible accident and a family secret turn Mackenzie’s world upside down. She’s sure her life can’t become any more complicated, then she meets Trevor. Will he be just what she needs or the distraction that pushes her over the edge?

The latest review for the book.

Family . . . . Death . . . Tragedy . . . . Secrets . . . . Challenges . . . . Survival . . . . Growth . . . . Love . . . . Romance . . . . Marriage . . . . Happiness

According to the author, this is the art of a fictional story. But while reading those pages, it felt as though I was walking alongside a journey of true-to-life characters. That is how crafted this author’s writing style was. And what an amazing skill, as a first-time author!
I won’t go into details of this story and what it’s all about since others have ALREADY done so. But I will say . . .

Truly, I was highly impressed with how this author initially drew out the colorization of characters and scenes. In my life, I’ve read a many fictional tales which weaken the style of creativity and development. And when that does happen, one’s story becomes less moving and limits its connection to characterization and scenery. But that was not the case, here, for the works of “Mackenzie’s Distraction.”

Yes indeed, quite a bit was happening in the life of Mackenzie. So, one could readily see how easy it was to become distracted. This title was definitely a great fit for the story. And the cover design . . . well, it made an even better mix. And as an author, (knowingly) those two elements go hand-in-hand in pumping out a great product. There was no doubt this author knew the literary formula for what it took . . . in giving readers a measurable creation.

I must confess, though, there were some areas where the storytelling tended to shift to those “tell me” moments, rather than continuing with “show me” ones. It is those types of moments (the show me ones) that beautifies the characters’ emotions and polishes the scenery (and places its readers in the moment). But then again, this was classified as a fictional tale and not a non-fictional one. Seemingly, its weight didn’t take from the overall structured development. Now, should this author create for us (readers) a non-fictional tale, I’d hope those show me moments jump off the page and stand out at ya.

This book is at less worthy of no less than a 4 ½ star rating, but no indications for such a rating. In that case, I plugged in a “five-star” rating simply for the deep thought processes, those points at the “show me moments” (that I read), points of colorization of its characters/scenes, and its overall development of such a storyline. And notwithstanding the fact, it kept my interest. Truly, with the depth of pages, it had to take (the writer/author) a great deal of thinking to lay it out, plot it out, and bring it out to closure.

Really, I suggest readers make their own judgment . . . not just ‘cause I found it an interesting read. Having such a product under her wings, I’m looking forward to the author’s next work of art. Kudos, to you (Angie) for this creation!

Read the reviews and BUY the book:
Paperback :


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The next book in the update is an historical romance set in the Victorian era and released in May this year.  A Perfect Plan (Book 1) by Alyssa Drake is enjoying terrific reviews.

51njcouprl-_uy250_About the book

Samantha Hastings lived a quiet, peaceful life on her family’s country estate. With no man to order her around and no stifling society rules to follow, she considered herself blessed. However, when her brother’s ship sinks during a short trip to France, Samantha receives a request from her sister-in-law to return to town and manage the late Earl’s finances. Suddenly thrust into society, Samantha faces an unfamiliar world and a pair of very familiar green eyes.

Lord Benjamin Westwood never intended on following through with his rash promise to his best friend. Now, with Edward’s death, Benjamin becomes the unwilling guardian to Edward’s bratty little sister, who has grown up considerably since the last time they met. His intention to marry her off to the first available suitor is thwarted when he finds himself falling for Samantha’s unique demeanor. He lights upon the perfect plan; a marriage of convenience, giving him the opportunity to romance Samantha without distraction.

However, when they discover Edward’s disappearance was due to foul play, Benjamin’s perfect plan begins to quickly unravel. Now, Samantha is in more danger than either of them realized and Benjamin is running out of time.

One of the latest reviews for the book

Amazing debut! By louvejita on November 20, 2016

Samantha Hastings is not your typical debutante. Orphaned at a young age, growing up in the country isolated from society and the unladylike teachings of her older brother, have made her into a fierce, independent and totally inappropriate young woman, who’d rather walk barefoot in the park than having tea and trumpets in a countess’ sitting room.

After her brother’s sudden passing, she’s required by her sister-in-law to come to town and help tend to the accounts and she then finds herself being dragged to society functions in Lady Hastings’ hope of finding a proper suitor to get her married.

Lord Benjamin Westwood was charged with the delicate task of acting guardian for Samantha in the absence of her brother, but when he finally catches a glimpse of grown up “little Sam”, he realizes the task at hand is going to be more difficult than expected when his attraction to her proves an obstacle to marrying her off.

When a book starts with a murder, at least for me, it’s bound to be good. If you add to that a smart mouth heroine and a no nonsense rakish hero, it’s right up my alley and this book had it all!

I thoroughly enjoyed this story from beginning to end. It’s fun, fast paced, well written, the characters are nicely developed and properly related and the mystery surrounding the Hastings family makes for a great read. I also liked the secondary characters and the buildup the author created for the following stories in the series.

There are some minor things to be worked on, but this is a great start for a debut author.

Read all the reviews and BUY the book:


Connect to Alyssa through her website:


The final book in today’s update is the brand new release from Nicholas C. Rossis. Pearseus: End Game (book 4 of the Pearseus epic fantasy series) was released on December 1st.


Cyrus will risk everything to gain back his throne. But new enemies are waiting for him; enemies that will stop at nothing to destroy humanity once and for all. With the Capital invading Anthea and the north in turmoil, every step of the journey is fraught with peril. In a world falling apart, can Cyrus and his friends prevent humanity’s extinction?

“A creative and unforgettable series that will one day become a gem among sci-fi fantasy books.”  ~ Janice Spina

About the Series

Loosely based on the 5th BC Persian Wars, Pearseus mixes science fiction with epic fantasy and paranormal elements. From a grieving father who faces his darkest choice between revenge and honoring his vows, to a terrified boy struggling to find his way home, our heroes must overcome politics, murder, and betrayal as they become ever more embroiled in a war against an ancient enemy. A war that threatens to destroy the whole of humanity.

Other books in the Pearseus Series and the Prequel Schism

51lgjotvs3l-_uy250_51uesghpqul-_uy250_51opxj9hubl-_uy250_61xi95ogtul-_uy250_The series has received outstanding reviews and here is a small selection.

It’s New Year’s Eve, the year of 2099, but the distinguished guests aboard the Pearseus won’t get to countdown seconds; soon they’ll be counting bodies and survivors after the spaceship’s crash landing on another planet. The good news? The planet is seemingly hospitable both in resources and in terms of the natives’ attitude towards earthlings. The bad news? They might have come on this planet bare of possessions, but what they haven’t been able to shed are the shortcomings of their human nature. Will that be the sole threat to a unified future, or is the new land and its first inhabitants not as innocent as they look?

This is a fantastic (literally and figuratively) prequel that lays the groundwork for what looks like an exciting sci-fi/fantasy series. If my instinct is right (and the other excellent reviews confirm it) apart from an adventure, Nicholas C. Rossis will weave a story where philosophical and historical issues will be raised, raising the bar for both the reader and the genre as a whole. I’m really glad I bought and read this thoroughly enjoyable book because now I already know my next read: Pearseus, the Rise of the Prince, the first full-length novel of the series.

Pearseus: Rise of the Prince by Nicholas Rossis is the second book of a unique and well-written Epic Fantasy series, with elements of Sci-Fi and Mythology, and just a touch of Horror thrown in the mix.

The plot of the book is both well-paced and completely absorbing, with many exciting twists and turns along the way.
I enjoyed the characters, good and evil alike, who were realistic and believeable. I found the character, Styx, to be particularly genuine and intriguing. In spite of her ruthless and evil ruler ship, she truly believes that her methods are not only necessary, but for the greater good, and therefore, completely justified.

I very much enjoyed Pearseus: Rise of the Prince, and do recommend it to all who love an exceptional Epic Fantasy tale.

The Epic Continues By Catherine Mackay on February 27, 2015

I received a copy of Vigil from the author because of the review which I gave the Pearseus bundle. This is an awesome continuation of the series – the action just doesn’t stop. The author carries the different threads of the story seamlessly – Rossis skips from character to character as he progresses each character’s story and the overall plot-lines.

In this book you have a sense of the world slowly, but surely falling into the abyss as Teo turns his attention on Anthea while others are content to wait and watch before deciding to support Anthea or the Capital. Meanwhile we learn more about Pratin and what motivates him even while he hides in the background supporting Teo’s desire for power, but of course not for reasons that Teo might think. Manipulation, power and greed are the name of the game through each of the Pearseus series – the Iota, Orbs, Whispers, First, and Newcomers all have their own agenda.

Will any of the races on Pearseus find unity together? Or will the whole of Pearseus turn to madness . What I love about this book are the well developed characters – even the bad guys – as well as the strong, developed plot lines, the Pearseus universe is a fusion of Greek and Eastern influences – all of which makes for a very unique, exciting and epic story. Totally looking forward to the next book. Highly recommend this book and the other Pearseus books which I rate highly along with such books as Dune and Game of Thrones, and Lord of the Rings and Saga of the Seven Suns.

Read all the reviews and BUY the books:

A small selection of other books by Nicholas C. Rossis.

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Connect to Nicholas via his website:


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope it has given you some ideas for gifts for the book lovers in your life.. including yourselves.  Please spread the news.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Open House – Author Nicholas C. Rossis

smorgasbord open house twoMy guest this morning is Nicholas C. Rossis, an author and blogger with a wide ranging audience who appreciate his posts on writing and publishing as well as advice on marketing our books. He is the author of the epic fantasy series ‘Pearseus’ and a science fiction short story collection, the ‘Power of Six’, both of which are consistently at #1 on Amazon. He is also a prolific writer of children’s stories and ‘Runaway Smile’, his first book for younger readers and is an Award-Winning Finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards and has won the Gellett Burgess Children’s Book Award.

51hFV5V7McL._UY250_Nicholas lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, walks his dog, and enjoys the antics of his baby daughter and two silly cats, all of whom claim his lap as home.

What readers are saying about Nick’s fantasies:

“Most avid readers still have books from their childhood which they read over and over again. ‘Runaway Smile’ has joined the list.”

“From the very first sentence I realized I was not reading a book, I was going on an adventure.”

About his latest book Honest Fibs: A Collection of Science Fiction Short Stories (Short SSF Stories) (Volume 3)


A mermaid turns out to be the perfect bait. A young man in the Badlands discovers the price of business. And a man desperate to escape his life finds out he’s not the only one. These are just a few of the stories in Honest Fibs, a collection of speculative and science fiction short stories that explore our perception of the world around us. Is there more to the world than we can see? How far can we trust our senses? And in a digital society, can any of us tell what’s real?

One of the early reviews.

Entertaining short stories each with something of a twist By Catherine Mackay on April 5, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition

*Note: I was given a free copy by the author in exchange for a review. If you have read any of Nicholas’ stories in the past, you will know he has a propensity to put a twist into a lot of his short stories, that more often than not you, the reader, are not going to see coming. Honest Fibs is no exception. This collection of stories starts off with two guys indulging in a bit of leisurely fishing. At some point, to fill in the time, they decide to tell each other tall stories or as they like to put it: ‘honest fibs’. The remainder of the book is taken up by alternating stories from each, but don’t get too distracted by them and forget about the guys fishing, because at the end there is a real twist which had me gob-smacked and wondering how the heck I didn’t pick up on it. Each story teases the reader’s imagination with its twists and turns and vivid portrayal of the unexpected – kinda reminds me a little bit of the Twilight Zone. I found Honest Fibs to be just pure enjoyment and a great way to pass the time.


Pearseus is a dark epic fantasy series, with sci-fi overtones, that has repeatedly reached #1 on various genres on Amazon.

300 years and countless lightyears away, Earth’s survivors discover the real cause of humanity’s troubles; the inability to divorce or escape their own human frailty, vanity and capacity to despise the other.

Book One of the series – Rise of the Prince is currently on offer for 99c on Amazon.


“Pearseus does for ancient Greece what Game of Thrones did for Medieval England.

Three hundred years after humans crash land on Pearseus, Styx, the Capital’s cruel ruler, learns of a dark prophecy: Cyrus, a young boy, will one day slay her. She imprisons him, but days before his execution he escapes with the help of the First, the planet’s native inhabitants. On their way to safety, nightmarish monsters attack. Cyrus flees, scared and alone, until a pair of First warriors rescue him and spirit him away to the mysterious Old Woman.

All Cyrus wants is to reunite with his family. But the Old Woman insists Cyrus is the foretold instrument in the First’s ancient war against a shadowy enemy who will stop at nothing to prevent him from fulfilling his destiny. Heart and mind war within Cyrus as he must choose between rejoining his family and preventing humanity’s extinction.


Other books in the series.


In fact you can buy all of the four full-length fantasy novels plus 23 short science fiction stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat in one amazingly great value package for under $10.

boxset cover IW Po6To buy view and buy all of Nicholas’s books and boxed sets please go to his Amazon Author Page:

Nicholas the Blogger.

Nicholas shares his extensive knowledge of marketing and social media via his blog on his website and covers topics such as Book marketing, Deciphering Amazon’s terms and conditioning and How to use social media to your best advantage. 

Here is an example of a recent post on book marketing using travel destinations as an analogy.

Now it is time to hand over to Nicholas to find out which of the questions he has chosen to answer….including the fact that he is descended from the Gods…Now we know where all his knowledge of the ancient world comes from!  Welcome Nicholas.

If you have looked into your family history have your found any surprises that you can talk about?

Oh, absolutely. It would appear that my family has more than its share of tall tales, as they claim to be related to none other than Zeus himself.

A little bit of explaining is, perhaps, in order.

I recently came across a Greek book published in 1976 by Estia, written by Dionisios Romas, and titled Periplous (1570-1870). Among other historical facts, it has a number of notes on genealogy, and you can imagine my surprise when I found my very own ancestors among the names mentioned. You see, my mother’s maiden name is Komianou; a Corfiot corruption of Komnenou. Related to imperial families like the Angelos, Doukas and Paleologos, all of whom ruled the Byzantine empire at some point, the Komnenoi as a rule seemed to enjoy, well, ruling.

They ruled the Byzantine empire from ca. 1081 to ca. 1185; the Empire of Trebizond from 1204 to 1461; the Despotate of Epirus (1204-1479) and even, for a few years, Cyprus (1184-1191).


Constantine the Great

That much I knew, though. What I had failed to realise is that their claim to the throne was based on their relation to Constantine the Great, 57th Emperor of the Roman Empire and venerated as a saint by the Church. So, I’m suddenly related to the Great man himself.

Now, let’s see how far back I can trace this. Constantine’s full name was Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus. The first name here, Flavius, is a reference to the Flavian dynasty, a Roman Imperial Dynasty which ruled the Roman Empire between AD 69 and AD 96.


Titus Flavius

As the Gens Flavia was not related to the Julio-Claudian dynasty, their main claim to the throne was the fact that their soldiers had defeated the other three contenders’ armies, following Nero’s suicide. So, they had to come up with a better story to support their imperial aspirations. They found it in Aeneas, claiming the progenitor of Romans was, in fact, their ancestor. Obviously, that’s a bit like saying that since we all come from Adam, I’m related to Einstein, but that’s a tale for another time.

Anyway, for those unfamiliar with Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas was a Trojan hero, son of the prince Anchises and goddess Venus(Aphrodite), Zeus’ daughter. His father was the second cousin of King Priam of Troy, mentioned in Homer’s Iliad, and Aeneas receives full treatment in Roman mythology as the legendary founder of what would become Ancient Rome, most extensively in Virgil’s Aeneid.

bacchus-4Dionysus (Bacchus). Obviously, the resemblance is uncanny.

So, there you have it. Through my rather impressive reasoning, I’m actually related to none other than the daddy of all gods himself, Zeus. Sadly, the only divine quality I have been able to locate so far, is my ability to effortlessly expand the afore-mentioned waistline. If only I had a little less Dionysus/Bacchus and a little more Apollo in me…

Tell us about your blog and your main features. With a link to what you consider best sums you up as a blogger.

I blog about anything that tickles my fancy from the world of books. A lot of my posts concern book marketing. This is because I’ve found out the hard way just how much work promoting one’s book is, and I wanted to share with others what I find out, in order to save them some of the trouble.

My favorite post on the subject is My Book Marketing Secret, where I explain, well, my book marketing secret (hint: it involves building a brand that readers can trust).

Other than that, I enjoy odd and unusual books like a 400-year-old book made entirely of feathers – – and sharing fascinating titbits about the origins of words and expressions, like the names of groupings of animals or some creative Elizabethan-era insults.

What do think will be the next big development in the publishing industry?

In the near future, I expect Print-On-Demand (POD) facilities to expand into bookstores. That way, you’ll be able to walk into any bookstore and order a book, which will be printed out and handed over to you within minutes. This is already happening; the first European POD bookstore opened in Paris in March, using Xerox technology.

However, the technology is still in its infancy, in the sense that the books produced look more like company reports than literature. To make them look and feel like a ‘real’ book, you have to do a few extra steps by hand—for example, to treat the cover so that it won’t deform with humidity.

Also, one can only order copyright-free books right now.

Still, there are powerful market forces that will make such a move inevitable, for example the high cost of stocking up on books that no one may ever buy, or the fact that today’s best-seller may be obsolete within a week.

Do you have a favourite quote? What does it means to you as an individual?

Judging by how much effort you put in helping others, I suspect that my favorite quote is one of yours, too. It is, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want,” by Zig Ziglar. My whole philosophy is built around that, and that’s why my blog is so heavily focused on helping and entertaining others. Much like yours, then!

(Thanks for the compliment Nicholas..and I agree wholeheartedly with the quote in business and also in our personal lives)

Tell us about your work in progress, plans for your blog in the next year any special events that are coming up that are very special to you.

I usually work on 3-4 books at the same time. Right now, I’m working on Pearseus: Endgame—the fifth, and last, book in the series; on Emotional Beats—a non-fiction writers’ help book explaining how to use beats; on my fourth, as yet unnamed, short stories collection; and on Valiant Smile—my third children’s book.

Connect to Nicholas on Social media

Twitter –
Google+ – and

Thanks very much to Nicholas for such a thoughtful response to the questions and I personally look forward to promoting his new books when they are available.

As I will have mentioned a few times in the last week.. I am offline as we wait for our Internet to be connected in our new house.  However, Nicholas will be in and out to respond to your comments and I will be checking in from time to time.

We would obviously be very grateful if you could share on your own networks and pass the word along about Nicholas as an author, blogger and great supporter of those he comes into contact with.  Thanks Sally