Amazing sci-fi shorts by Nicholas C. Rossis #free!

Nicholas C. Rossis is an amazing sci-fi, fantasy and children’s books author and a very giving blogger and person. I’ve read his entire body of work, including his two short-story volumes free and on sale till Monday, September 21. Read on for the book details and my 5-star reviews, and don’t miss out!

Infinite Waters: 9+1 Speculative Fiction Short Stories FREE!

by Nicholas C. Rossis
Publication Date: June 28, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Pages: 124
Purchase Link: Amazon

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Ten speculative fiction short stories and flash fiction. The anthology includes the following stories:
  • Infinite Waters“: A woman seeks her future at a carnival. She discovers more than she expected.
  • The Things We Do for Lust“: Beware of time travelers bearing gifts.
  • James’ Life“: A man with nothing to look forward to but oblivion, discovers it’s not that easy to escape his life.
  • Two’s a Crowd“: Blood runs thicker than water. Especially when you spill it.
  • What’s in a Name?“: A trip to the tropics has an unexpected ending.
  • The Lucky Bastard“: How far will the luckiest man alive go to escape his luck?
  • A Twist of the Tail“: A confused woman meanders through a sleepy town. But not all is as it seems.
  • Is There a Doctor in the House?“: A high school student just loves to experiment.
  • Sex and Dinner“: A timeless combination. Or is it?
  • Would You Like Flies With That?“: Nothing’s scarier than a supermarket.
  • The Hand of God“: Nothing has prepared a grizzly veteran for this meeting *.
    (* first published in The Power of Six)

My Review

Uplifting or dark. these stories make for an easy yet rich and satisfying read. I enjoyed Nicholas Rossis’ first short-story collection, The Power of Six, and had to try this second installment. Nicely tied together through one story that unfolds throughout the book, and seemingly diverse (which adds to the reading pleasure) the 9+1 shorts are rife with questions about the nature of reality and perception. Well-written, fast-paced, clever and thought-provoking. A great collection!

The Power of Six 6+1 Science Fiction Short Stories for 0.99!

by Nicholas C. Rossis
Publication Date: May 4, 2014
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 138
Purchase Link: Amazon

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Six science fiction short stories written by the award-winning author of Pearseus and Runaway Smile. This edition includes one extra story, written by Amos M. Carpenter, and “What’s in a Name,” published in Infinite Waters: 9+1 Speculative Fiction Short Stories. 

The anthology includes the following stories: 

  • “Simulation Over”: How far can we trust our senses?
  • “For the Last Time”: The law of unintended consequences meets Merphy’s law during a man’s unexpected time travel.
  • “The Hand of God”: Nothing has prepared a grizzly veteran for this meeting.
  • “I Come in Peace”: an award-winning short story that poses the question: how far would man go to alleviate his loneliness?
  • “A Fresh Start”: If we were free to go anywhere in time and space, where would we choose to go?
  • “The Sentry”: What is a Sentry to do when the monster that steals away his family’s most precious possessions reappears?
  • “Big Bang”: A friendly game turns into much more in this short story written by Amos M. Carpenter.
  • “What’s in a Name”: A trip to the Tropics takes an unexpected turn. *
(* first published in Infinite Waters)
Humorous and poignant, these short stories are exciting, intriguing and imaginative

My Review

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Nicholas C. Rossis’ bestselling Pearseus series, I picked up this anthology, knowing that the short story format would make the book even more readable. I was right. I read the stories in one sitting (Simulation Over I had already read on Wattpad).

An all-powerful computer, an Adam Sandler-esque remote that enables time traveling, a real life/video game mesh, a willing host to an alien form of life, a haunted house/portal to the multiverse and a David-Goliath metaphor are Nicholas’ vehicles to portray his version of the Cartesian doubt: the fallibility of sensory perception. His main themes—ambition, greed, the need for human contact—all lead to questioning pure knowledge. What we see and feel is not necessarily the truth.

But if this concept sounds profound and philosophical, its delivery is anything but. The stories are very well written with surprising twists, rich detail (where needed) and a general light feel that makes moving from one to the next smooth and easy. What I particularly appreciated was that the main concept interconnected the stories, making this a seamless read. The writer’s choice not to bog the reader down with dozens of names for his stories’ characters also helped. All in all, I found this anthology a fascinating read, and I highly recommend it.

About the Author

Nicholas Rossis 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 two silly cats, one of whom claims his lap as home. His children’s book, Runaway Smile, earned a finalist slot in the 2015 International Book Awards.

Nicholas lives in a forest outside Athens with his lovely wife Electra, beautiful dog and two remarkably silly cats.

Author Links

Bloghttp://nicholasrossis.me
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nicholas_Rossis
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NicholasCRossis
Site: http://www.nicholasrossis.com
Pearseus Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Pearseus
LinkedIn: http://gr.linkedin.com/pub/nicholas-rossis/0/b7b/122/ 
Google+ http://google.com/+NicholasRossis

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Blurb Thursday #1 (What’s hot and what’s not)

A new blog category! As you probably know, I’ve been hosting for three book tour companies through my promo blog, MM Jaye presents. I get to read literally hundreds of blurbs each month, and some are strikingly good while others (in my opinion) don’t work too well.

So this is where I’ll present and talk about new blurbs, showcasing what’s hot (and what’s not) about them.

This week:

Wish for Me (The Djinn Order #1)

by A. Star

Publication Date: April 27, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Steampunk

Official Synopsis

When the snarky Glory St. Pierre discovers the gold mechanical vase in her deceased grandmother’s basement, she has no idea that she has uncovered a priceless treasure: a genie lamp. With a real genie inside. A very sexy genie with a not-so-sexy grudge against the entire human race.

Irving Amir hates being called a genie. He’s a Djinn, and he is none too happy to be in the service of Glory, who is as intolerable, and beautiful, as humans come. Now he owes her his gratitude for freeing him and three wishes. Damn his luck.

But an arrow through the shoulder alerts Irving to the fact that he is being hunted, and after a truce dinner with Glory ends with them both almost being killed, hating each other goes right out the window.

As feelings change and love starts to develop, they must dig through the secrets and lies to find the truth…a truth neither of them will ever see coming.

WARNING: Not suitable for ages 18 and under. A significant source of bad language, sexy times, and dirty jokes. If you suffer from a lack of a sense of humor, take with plenty of wine. If the symptom persists, see a doctor.

My take

First off, the cover is beautiful. Mysterious and inviting. The winding mechanisms brand it as a steampunk novel, and while the romance aspect is not obvious, the title helps. My only objection is with the author’s name. In thumbnail size, it’s barely discernible.

As for the blurb? I loved it! In fact, I’ve picked it up for reviewing (through Xpresso Book Tours). Let’s break this down:

Blurb post 1

blurb2

Blurb3

blurb4As for the Warning at the end, I found it ingenious. Witty, no-nonsense, it proves this will be a fun read.

If your interest is piqued, here is its purchase link: Amazon

You can also add it on Goodreads.

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What’s your take on this blurb? Does it do what it’s supposed to do?

Flamingcrystal: WIP Interview

My author photoThis week’s guest is a wonderfully giving lady who, although sharing my time zone, lives and writes in the opposite hemisphere—South Africa.

Hi Marlaine!

Hello Maria, thank you for inviting me to your blog, and doing this interview with me. Greatly appreciated. I am Marlaine Lloyd writing under my fantasy pen name Flamingcrystal. I am the author of Dejavu, Destiny, Fatal Fantasy, Ghost Portal, Geeste Portaal, Die Minnaar and Dejavu & Destiny : Book 1 and book 2 of the Dejavu Series.

Before we talk about your work process, why don’t you tell us a few things about yourself aside of your writing credentials.  

I am a widow and have 2 beautiful daughters. We are currently living in a very small town, Pongola in Kwazulu Natal in South-Africa. I’ve studied Retail Marketing at Unisa many moons ago (pssst whispers, a woman should always be mysterious about her age – I would love to have a magic wand that could keep me in my mid thirties, although I’m past that age already…) I have a day job working in the retail fashion sector, as senior Store Manager. I recently sustained a serious spinal injury at work, resulting in 2 spinal operations within 3 months of each other, but the bright side of this is that it gave me ample time to write and get my books published, in the time that I’ve being at home. If everything goes as planned I would be returning to work by December 28th, 2014. Writing, sketching, cooking, and  chatting on Twitter and Face Book are my most beloved hobbies.

ECOVER DejavuDestinyYou sure know how to make delicious homemade lemon juice out of the lemons that piled on your doorstep! What are you working on right now?

I am currently working on book 3 of the Dejavu Series, but this time the POV will be that of the 16 year old, supernaturally gifted twins that are on a mission to create havoc.

Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

I aim at 2000 + words a day or at least to write every 1st draft within 70 days, and done that with all my previous books…but with my current WIP it will be much longer than that, as the first two weeks after the spinal operations I’m sleeping way too much…

You’d better listen closely to what your body needs… Plotter, pantser or both?

Pantser mostly…. I don’t have the patience to plot out every single detail of my story. Once started, the story sometimes takes on a life of its own, but I never lose sight of my initial outline and the goals each of my characters need to achieve, to keep the readers on the edges of their seats… and where I want to create ‘peak’ stages in the story.

That’s exactly my M.O.! What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?

I have to admit, I just love Twitter and Face Book, but it is such a delightful distraction.  

Is there a particular place you find inspiring for writing?

The tree was the inspiration for Ghost Portal
The tree was the inspiration for Ghost Portal

I love to look at the view outside my window or to think about the view on my folks farm, the latter always inspires me to write. (Picture attached – the view at my folks farm.)

Now this image is pinned on my Featured Writers’ Workspace board on Pinterest! Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

I find this cover creator website very handy http://www.ebookcover.pro/

How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

I intend to celebrate with my daughters and their boyfriends at a restaurant that serves the biggest platters of seafood.  

Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?

Gary is such a sweetheart, he is always promoting authors on his website at http://look4books.co.uk/bestindieauthor

I also love author alliance

http://www.authoralliance.net/category/promote-your-book

Clive Eaton has a list of websites that authors could use for free book promotions

http://www.cliveeaton.com/freebookpromotions.html

Authors also could tweet their free or bargain book with link & include RT @WordSatSpangalo  

 

Thank you for the awesome tips! Are Mythology, Paranormal, & Contemporary Romance the genres you will stick to or do you see yourself branching out in the future?

Dejavu is my only mythology/romance with 50 Shades of Blushing Pink *just teasing*  honestly it only has 3 really -oehhh aahhh – very romantic scenes. I love mythology and always getting goosebumps while writing about anything supernatural. I’ve recently published my first Young Adult supernatural book and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment writing that…so I think I’m now hooked on YA!  

Fun stuff now: Let’s do a rapid fire round.

  • Flavored sorbet or ice cream? Chocolate mint ice cream.
  • Pizza or sushi? Spare-rib pizza. Whaaaa?! Not only I’ve never had one (and God knows I’ve had all kinds of pizza, but I can’t even picture this! J)
  • Twilight or The Hunger Games? Both but *whistle/howl* Jacob from Twilight is sexy, if I was younger…*sigh*
  • Ryan Gosling or Benedict Cumberbatch? Benedict Cumberbatch.   
  • Trek in the Andes or snorkeling in Tahiti? Snorkeling
  • Ugg boots or red-soled designer stilettos? I love both, but stilettos are dangerous in more ways than one *wink-wink*

Finally, please share with us links where we can find you and your work.

My webpage is http://www.flamingcrystal.com

I am on Twitter @FlamingCrystal1

My Author page is at Amazon Author Central  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HMJYX8M

Thank you, Marlaine, and best of luck with your future projects!

Thank you for featuring me here Maria, and best of luck with all your books too! I am looking forward to reading your romance ‘Fate Accompli’, with its Greece setting and Greek gods.