Nicholas C. Rossis – an update on a new book for children

Nicholas C. Rossis was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in October 2014 and is back now to tell us about a new illustrated children’s book for which he has written the text.


text by Nicholas C. Rossis
illustrations by Demitris Fousekis

Purchase copies here

Let’s Face the Music and . . . Conduct

A group of animals has evolved into musical instruments. Or is it the other way around? Whichever the case, they have now formed their own little village: Musiville. And bands. Lots and lots of bands. When everyone starts playing their own tune, buildings get torn down by an invader. Can Musiville be saved from this unexpected threat?

Here is Musiville, in all its glory. I think you’ll agree that Dimitris Fousekis did a amazing job with the illustrations, and Alexios Saskalidis a great job with DTP. I hope you enjoy it! This is the perfect opportunity to step into the world of Niditales – my award-winning children’s books series.

Musiville is the second children’s book of Nicholas C. Rossis. Until the year’s end, you can read it in its entirety for free on Nicholas’ blog. The first book, Runaway Smile: An unshared smile is a wasted smile is also available. You can check it out on Runaway Smile’s page.

Demetra Angelis Foustanellas Recommends Rosemary Nixon

Are-You-Ready-to-Be-Lucky-CoverAre You Ready to be Lucky?
by Rosemary Nixon
Publisher: Freehand Books, Calgary

Literary fiction

Quick description:
Are You Ready to Be Lucky? If so, meet Roslyn, a spirited divorcée eager for new beginnings. Meet Duncan, a British conman with a penchant for collecting ex-wives. Meet Floyd, a hard-living contractor who can fix anyone’s house but his own. Irritating, vulnerable, hopeful, they ricochet off one another, trailing a mess of family and friends, all of them trying to beat the odds and find happiness. With razor-sharp wit, Rosemary Nixon takes on the chaos and absurdity of friendship, marriage, divorce, and betrayal—and the heart-pounding, breathtaking, always astonishing complexities of luck and love. Read an excerpt.


Why I recommend this book:
Rosemary is an accomplished author and inspiring teacher. I found her novel Are You Ready to Be Lucky? witty, charming and delightfully entertaining. The characters were incredibly realistic as were the settings, a story one can relate to.

More reviews for Rosemary’s writing:
“Hilarious, charging, gorgeous. There is so much to admire in a Rosemary Nixon story it’s hard to know where to begin.”- Lisa Moore, author of Caught and February
“The characters of Are You Ready to Be Lucky? fumble hopelessly toward what they think they want. They get hurt, and hurt again. But deftly, tenderly, Nixon makes pileups of disappointments shine like broken glass in sand.” – National Post

“Rosemary Nixon says exactly what needs to be said… Are You Ready to Be Lucky? is a novel that looks like a short story collection and tastes like a volume of haiku.” – Telegraph-Journal

Praise for Rosemary Nixon
“Nixon’s style is fiercely observant, and her stories work together to convince us that the world is a crystal, held up to the light be a relentless storyteller.” – University of Toronto Quarterly

“Reader, be humble. You are about to read greatness. You are about to read a story that lifts our mortal lives into lamentation and wisdom and rapture and love.” – Robert Kroetsch

Links for people to buy it:
Freehand Books
Bookstores across Canada

Join Rosemary Nixon’s Writing Away Workshop on Samos Island, Greece!

Workshop dates July 2-16, 2015

A Fantastic Opportunity: A 14 Day Writing Adventure on the Greek Island of Samos.

Are travel and writing your passions? Writing Away is a small-group adventure-workshop for writers and aspiring writers held on the Greek Island of Samos, one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, a verdant landscape with lovely villages and footpaths for nature lovers.

Five consecutive days of invigorating morning classes before taking two days for travel, reflection, writing, and/or rest — singly or in groups — whatever people wish — before resuming classes for another 5 days. This 14 day get-away includes accommodation in a quaint, sea-side hotel – the Anema By-the-Sea Guest House (hotel apartments) in Karlovasi
– 3 hour morning writing instruction, indoor or out (we can even choose to hold some classes in the country garden in the village of Leka, transportation provided) with discussions, exercises, critiquing, and feedback from a professional writer, followed by ample free time afternoons and evenings for reflective writing (quiet spots available in your room, around the pool, etc), individual and group exploration of Samos where informal writing discussions can, if we wish, continue. Optional day excursions are available weekends, for example, to the island of Patmos, to Kusadasi, Turkey along with the ancient site of Biblical Ephesos. We will take the last day off to breathe in this lovely island and say goodbye to Greece.

Rosemary is a highly-respected freelance editor, and has edited the stories, poetry, non-fiction, and novels of many Canadian writers, working closely with writers on style, language, and form. She has worked for years as a freelance consultant for the Calgary Board of Education, teaching teachers how to teach writing creatively to their students, then worked extensively in their classrooms. She has taught classes for years at the University of Calgary, Chinook College, as well as three summers at Sage Hill Writing Experience in Saskatchewan. Rosemary also teaches private classes, fine-tuning each to the particular group’s needs. She delights in ensuring that each participant, no matter what his/her level, is a better writer by the session’s end. Combine this level of expertise with the beauty of the Island of Samos, Greece, and you have a splendid match.

This is Rosemary’s third workshop in Greece. For more details, view Rosemary’s website.

toula 3 Guest reviewer’s latest title
Secrets in a Jewellery Box, by Demetra Angelis Foustanellas, portrays the life of Elly, a single mother of Greek extraction, born and raised in a small Canadian town. It is a story about family, relationships, friendship and traditions. The story begins and ends in Elly’s adulthood but travels back to her adolescence and short-lived teen marriage to a Greek immigrant. Customs and values observed in Hellenic, minority communities outside of Greece are woven into the story embracing the often clashing perceptions between native and expatriate Greeks.

Demetra Foustanellas was born in Ottawa, Canada, to Greek immigrant parents in 1957. At the age of thirty-one, she relocated to her ancestral home of Greece with her husband and two children. Foustanellas spent the following years observing and researching her own heritage, as well as that of her familial country. Her insight and research are documented within her debut novel, Secrets in a Jewellery Box, a project inspired by experiences extracted from both worlds: the diaspora and Greece. Demetra was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in August, 2014.

MM Jaye

MM Jaye offers an interesting concept to her Aegean Lovers series of romance novels … All eBooks will be published in “Clean” and “Spicy” versions.

MM JayeMM Jaye Maria Messini, but I pen under MM Jaye

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Fate Accompli is the first book in the Aegean Lovers Series, a contemporary romance in a Greek island setting.

Quick description: Fate Accompli is a character-driven story of how, even though two people are clearly meant to be together, a faulty self-image on the heroine’s part and deeply ingrained yet warped perceptions on the hero’s part drive them apart. But Fate has other plans. Monica and Alex share a passionate relationship, but as the storyline is a lot stronger than their intimate moments, I created both a Clean version (without the bedroom scenes) and a Spicy one to appeal to all types of romance readers.


Brief biography:
MM Jaye is the pen name of Maria Messini, a bilingual Greek native. She is a certified translator and has been teaching the art of translation for over fifteen years. Writing was Maria’s idea of therapy when, back in 2009, her spirits had temporarily nosedived. Fate Accompli is her debut contemporary romance, the first book in the Aegean Lovers Series, available in two heat versions: Clean & Spicy. She lives in Athens, Greece with her husband, daughter and Kindle.

Links to buy MM Jaye’s book:
Amazon Purchase links:
Fate Accompli (Clean Romance)
Fate Accompli (Spicy Romance)

MM Jaye’s promo links:
I love social media and I’m almost everywhere.
MM Jaye also very graciously hosted me in an interview on her site, MMJaye Writes.

What are you working on now?
Fate Captured. This is a prequel to Fate Accompli, and it will be a novella. Again, I’ll create a Clean and a Spicy version, although Trish and Markos have turned out to be too naughty! Hopefully, it will be out early summer 2015.

MM Jaye’s reading recommendation:
It so happens that I’ve just finished reading Nicholas Rossis’ children’s book entitled Runaway Smile. I tried it out of curiosity. How can an epic fantasy author deal with material addressed to children? Apparently this author can. The book is heartwarming and its sweet message (an unshared smile is a wasted smile) conveyed masterfully. You can read Runaway Smile for free here. (Nicholas has also been featured on Reading Recommendations and recently recommended the writing of another author.

Nicholas C. Rossis Recommends Charles E. Yallowitz

Hero Cover Final

Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero by Charles E. Yallowitz

Genre: Fantasy/YA

Quick description:
Luke Callindor was born into Windemere’s most decorated family of adventurers. Since his birth, he has been treated with the greatest amount of respect and awe. Now, with a lifetime of training and the reckless cockiness of youth, Luke sets out to prove that he deserves the admiration that comes from being a Callindor.

Soon, he finds himself in over his head and constantly in trouble, until he realizes that the only things he has on his side are some new friends and his unwavering courage.

Charles author photo B&W
Why I recommend this book:
Yallowitz weaves an intricate plot that begins with Beginning of a Hero and already spans half a dozen books. He has plans for publishing a total of 15 books! His world is richly detailed, but it’s the characterization that makes his books an exciting read. More than anything, his characters are three dimensional. They bleed, laugh, suffer and make mistakes. In a sense, the major plot of story is not as important as the subplots that force the characters to mature along their path. These focuses make his books relatively quick reads and help them appeal to a wide audience. For more information about Charles, visit his website, The Legends of Windemere.

Links to purchase Charles’s book:

book photo NR_500


Guest reviewer’s latest title or project:
Nicholas Rossis lives in Greece, is the author of an epic fantasy series, Pearseus, has also published The Power of Six, a collection of short sci-fi stories, and was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Oct. 2014.

Runaway Smile: An unshared smile is a wasted smile is his most recent publication. It’s an illustrated children’s book you may currently read free online.


Demetra Angelis Foustanellas

toula 3Demetra Angelis Foustanellas

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Secrets in a Jewellery Box, historical fiction, romance, contemporary women’s

Quick description: Born in Canada to Greek immigrant parents, Elly has dedicated her life to raising her daughter, Nena. As she reaches her teenage years, however, Nena’s desire to reconnect with her father intensifies and she desperately begs Elly to let her visit him in Greece. Nena has never understood her parents’ separation and simply cannot fathom her mother’s less than enthusiastic attitude toward a father/daughter reconciliation.

Nena’s need to see the father she barely knew forces Elly to confront her painful, and often complicated, past. Growing up in a tight-knit – but often suffocating – Greek immigrant community, the adolescent Elly often clashed with her intensely conservative parents. The customs and moral values of the Greek minority lifestyle that her parents forced her to observe left Elly feeling trapped in an identity she could never truly call her own.

Then she meets Perry, a handsome Greek immigrant with whom she is instantly smitten. As a teenage bride, Elly welcomes the chance to escape her parents’ rigid household. However, as Perry’s patriotism and obligations come to light, Elly quickly discovers that she has simply traded one form of frustration for another.

Her marriage to Perry rapidly dissolves, leaving Elly a single mother and more resentful than ever of her Greek heritage. But will her daughter’s desire to reconnect with her father lure Elly back to Greece?

Enjoy this heartwarming tale of Elly’s struggle to find her place in the world.

book cover final (big final)

Brief biography:
Demetra Foustanellas was born in Ottawa, Canada to Greek immigrant parents in 1957. At the age of thirty-one, she relocated to her ancestral home of Greece with her husband and two children. Foustanellas spent the following years observing and researching her own heritage, as well as that of her familial country. Her insight and research are documented within her debut novel, Secrets in a Jewellery Box, a project inspired by experiences extracted from both worlds: the diaspora and Greece.

Foustanellas currently lives with her husband, Diamantis, on the Greek island of Samos with plans on spending half their time in Ottawa, where their children have now returned.

Links to buy Demetra’s book:
Amazon – eBook and paperback
Chapters/Indigo – Kobo eBook
Overdrive – for libraries

Demetra’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
Taking a break from writing for the moment to promote my (debut) novel, Secrets in a Jewellery Box.

Demetra’s reading recommendation:
Rosemary Nixon – Are You Ready To Be Lucky?