Month: June 2018

Soul Swallowers Release Day!

Myths of the Mirror

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After a year of writing, rewriting, rewriting again, and editing until my eyeballs shriveled, Soul Swallowers is out and about on Kindle and in print. I’m doing a Happy Dance.

Soul Swallowers

When swallowed, some souls gift insights, wisdom, a path to understanding. Others unleash power, proficiency with a sword, and indifference to death. One soul assimilates with ease. But swallow a host of the dead and risk a descent into madness.

Estranged from his family over the murder of his wife, young Raze Anvrell wields his fists to vent his rage. Then a chance at a new life beckons, and he retreats to the foothills of the Ravenwood, the haunt of unbound ghosts. He and his mentor build a freehold, a life of physical labor and the satisfaction of realizing a dream. They raise horses and whittle by the fire until the old man dies, and Raze…

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What You Need To Know About E-commerce Blogging

Nicholas C. Rossis

Chad Rubin | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookI have often posted in the past tips on blogging. However, when Skubana recently contacted me with his idea for a guest post, I was intrigued. E-commerce blogging? What’s that all about? It turns out they were simply talking about using your blog to promote your online business — in our case, book sales.

Skubana was founded by Chad Rubin. Chad is not just any guest blogger. He builds e-commerce businesses and is a top 250 Amazon Seller. Fresh out of college and Wall Street, he took his family vacuum business online and built his own direct-to-consumer e-commerce business called Crucial Vacuum. He grew it from 0 a $20 million dollar valuation in just 7 years. He co-founded Skubana with DJ Kunovac as an all-in-one inventory management solution that unifies omnichannel operations after the checkout.

What You Need To Know About E-commerce Blogging

For some time now, both e-commerce and blogging —…

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Liebster Award for blogging

I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award


Why my blog? Well, it means that someone was impressed enough with my blog to nominate it. Thank you J. I. Rogers!

There are specific steps involved in the nomination process… Once the recipient has eleven inspirational bloggers total, they draft up eleven questions to ask everyone. Then they answer the eleven questions they’d been posed by the person who nominated them in the first place. Once that’s complete, they pass along the fun and notify their nominees – sort of like a chain-letter without the invariable negativity. Personally, I think it’s a great way to express appreciation for bloggers and the content they create.

Here are the rules in point form:

  • Acknowledge the blog who nominated you.

    J. I. Rogers is the person behind my nomination – Thank you so much. I hope you continue to enjoy my postings.

    You can find her here on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Answer the 11 questions your nominator asked.

    1) What do you feel is the best blog post you’ve written to date and why?

     Killing our Darlings: Writers on Death. This article was fun because I could address an issue important to authors and consult with other interesting authors.

  • 2) If you had to choose one of your current projects to tell a group of strangers about, what would it be?

    I am working on a series guidebook for my fictional stories set in the world of the Protected Books. This is our world after a Collapse which leaves people living without advanced technology. I hope this guidebook will inspire other authors to write in my shared world. I have a private Facebook group for authors and readers interested in this world:

    3) Who in your life (living or dead) provided you with the best inspiration?

    My spouse. C. Gibson has allowed me the space to create fiction and supports me and gives suggestions for my writing and editing. Sharing the love of a special person is the greatest inspiration in life.

    4) What book would you recommend that everyone read?

    The Hound of the Baskervilles by Conan Doyle. This book shows so many facets of a cultured class society that is unstable and dangerous. The story has threat, thrills, danger, and manners. There is risk of death and terror, while being almost cozy in outcome. Sherlock Holmes is not a simple tool for law-and-order, but also makes his own judgments about which people are justified in their actions. This read makes for a well rounded mystery that is rooted in our social order and relations.

    5) What is your favorite movie?

    The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) directed by Renny Harlin and starring Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson. This is a top form guilty pleasure action move. How can I not appreciate Geena Davis as a cold-hearted assassin who has to be the mama lion and protect her daughter.

    6) Hypothetical: You’re a well-paid guinea-pig being abandoned on a remote tropical island for an extended period (several years). You have ample food supplies, shelter (even indoor plumbing), electricity, and a decent computer… but the internet is nonexistent, and you will have no human contact. One of the scientists takes pity on you and will leave you an external drive with movies, TV/Netflix series, games, and books on it, but the catch is it can only be one genre. Which genre would you choose?

    This one is easy for me. I am a huge fan of Science Fiction. I have been reading Sci-Fi books since elementary school. I’m probably edging up to 10,000 books or shorts in my life. So Science Fiction would be my choice, hopefully mostly space opera, like Firefly type stories. This also should contribute to feeding, by accident, into my second love, science theory and tools. I have been known to read maths books or computer science books for pleasure.

    7) Cat, dog, or other?

    Dog, now. I had two cats in the past. We live with our dog, Cantinflas, who rules us.

    8) When you’re being creative, do you prefer quiet or some form of sound (music, audiobook…) in the background?

    I would say 60/40. I mostly write with with silence when I can. But sometimes my head is in a special writing state and I like instrumental or folksy music in the background. I like Regina Spektor and Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.

    9) What can move you more, images or words?

    Like most people, for me, a picture is worth a thousand words. But, I am willing to read thousands of words. So, both inspire me.

    10) If you could be assured of accomplishing one thing with your life, what would be your magnum opus?

    My most successful review of a book was my Goodreads review of Science and Sanity by Alfred Korzybski. I would like to write a sequel/followup to Korzybski’s book. The main point I took from the book is that the words we use don’t represent the world accurately. I want to carry the reasoning forward and advance the argument.

    11) What is your favorite color?

    Green. It represent nature, plants, food, and magic of life.

  • Nominate 11 other bloggers. I tried to choose from the few blogs I read and arrived at the following. cindy tomamichel Veronica Smith Ej Runyon

  • Ask them 11 questions.

    1. What do you feel is the best blog post you’ve written to date and why?

    2. If you had to choose one of your current projects to tell a group of strangers about, what would it be?

    3. Name is an individual that has inspired you?

    4. Name a book, you world recommend others read — that you didn’t write?

    5. What is your favorite movie or TV show?

    6. Hypothetical: If you were abandoned on a deserted island, what genre of books would you ask to be left with you.

    7. Cat, dog, or other?

    8. How easy is it for you to get into creative mode. Do you need to do something special to arrive at that?

    9. Where do you get ideas?

    10. Which creative endeavor or project would you like to be most remembered for?

    11. Is there a city or place you never tire of?

  • Let them know you have nominated them

    Please carry on!


S. A. Gibson

Prehistoric Britain Rituals

Nicholas C. Rossis

Nicole Lewis | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookThis is a guest post by Nicole Lewis, a freelance writer and professional blogger. Nicole is interested in academic research and writing.

Rituals in Prehistoric Britain

People have always wondered how their ancestors lived. With each passing day, new archeological findings paint a picture of ancient practices cutting across Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Pre-Roman times.  Each of these was marked with significant developments in the everyday life of the early man ranging from the tools they used to the foods they ate, and from their clothing to housing. This fascination is reflected in both our education systems and in the interest archeologists pay to fossils and historical clues.

However, while most of what has been documented dates back to late Roman Age, historians have been digging deeper to unearth more information on ritualistic practices that took place in the preceding ages.

This post is a historical walkthrough…

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Creating The Perfect Newsletter

Nicholas C. Rossis

This post was originally posted on the Azure Fire Publishing website.

Creating The Perfect Newsletter

For many authors, the Perfect Newsletter is like the alchemist’s philosophical stone: if we get it right, we can turn our books to gold! The newsletter is our way to reach our readers, create with them a long-standing relationship, make our books known, and even make some friends through the process. We authors love writing and connecting, and the newsletter combines both aspects in one. It should be considered one more hot trend to publishing!

So we spend time creating and putting together newsletters, and our hearts ache when someone unsubscribes. But just what is it that readers are looking for in a newsletter?

Jackie Weger of eNovel Authors At Work recently ran a survey looking for the answer to just that. She had hundreds of responses, and I had the opportunity to look…

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Interview with EJ Runyon


Today I’m happy to interview EJ Runyon who has a new book coming out. EJ has served as my development editor on many of my writing projects.

Questions for EJ

1. What’re the differences between editors and writers, and did you start out as a writer first?

Story Editors can sometimes also be writers of their own books. I am, I write literary fiction and writer’s guides, as well as coaching newbies, and running story edits for folks. Writers might find it hard to be their own story editors. Writers need two types of editors: Story editors and Copy editors. But editors only need one type of writer: someone with a manuscript they want to work on.

2. Tell us what drew you to want to be involved in editing.

Stories spark me. They light up my mind. Ironically, I’m a gifted know-it-all. It’s in my blood to show folks how to do things better, easier, more elegantly. Bad for a marriage partner or Mom, but great as a Story Editor. Combine that with what I notice about someone’s writing, and with every new story I come across I can see into the writer’s mind for their intentions, and that translates for me into…just wanting to help you with your vision. Who better to learn from than someone invested in what you want to create?

3. What’s your general approach (philosophy) of Story editing?

No one has a bad idea. I’ve been coaching one-on-one since 1997, and no one has ever shown me a bad idea for a story. I might advise the story start later or sooner, that the characters zig instead of zag in crucial story moments, or say things in stronger narrative, or with fewer words because storytelling doesn’t need so many words. But everyone’s idea is worth capturing, then writing out in stronger ways of storytelling. I’m all about your story. I want to midwife all your stories to let them come alive on the page. That’s my philosophy.

4. What’s one of your editing “pet peeves”? And did you used to do it before you started editing?

I used to think, way back when I was just finishing short stories, that story editors were there to clean up my work. It took me a while to realize they’re there to help craft a stronger story from my supposedly final draft. Once I learned to value the copy I turned over to the editor, I always made sure I had done all I could do to it first. I think I became a stronger writer. It taught me so many things I never realized I was doing, grammatically and with my line mechanics. Things I should have caught way sooner. So the pet peeve, is that level of pride we skip, thinking someone else will be the left side of our brain for us. It just doesn’t work that way.

5. Do you seek editing help for your own writing?

Not with the Development of story, since I’m doing alright with that, based on reviews. But I do have a copy editor. Definitely. I’m rather lysdexic. I need all the help I can get (plus there’s that problem with commas). Clean work means happier readers. I want my reviews to focus on the reader’s reaction to my story.

6. What do you consider most challenging aspect when editing other’s work?

One thing is how I talk to my editing clients about their story. It’s a personal, fragile thing they’ve created, so I take great pains to have my words heal, and not harm. Every new writer is risking showing their work to someone. I have to respect that risk they take, and advise accordingly. I allow questions. I ask opinions, I use words like consider, and I suggest. Because it’s their story. Not mine to decide on.

7. What do authors frequently overlook, or don’t consider when creating?

That the reader loses a chance to see things in their own heads, if you, authors, feed them every little detail. I call these the givens. Think of two folks in a scene, say two brothers, if you’re writing, “Get out of here,” Sean shouted to him.

That given is the ‘to him’ part of the line. If you’ve got straight narrative telling your reader, He held the book in his arms… well, in his arms is a bit of a given. He’s not holding it between his toes, or his knees, if you see what I mean.

8. What is a common struggle faced by most writers?

I think on my end of things I see most, as a coach and a story editor, it’s usually one of three state of things for a writer:

  • Not believing you need help

  • Agreeing you can afford help.

  • Thinking help has to be expensive or it’s not worthwhile.

Three hurtles.

Not everyone gets past the first one and their work remains at its beginner state of expertise.

And with the last one, folks can be taken, by unscrupulous services who want all that the traffic will bear from novices.

9. Is there ever a point where you need to stop editing a piece…. when is it “done”?

This is a gut thing I think. If you’re afraid, as the author, when you’re doing it. It’s time to back away and hand the work to your story/copy editors. Every new writer either does way too little revisions. Or not enough.

For me as a story editor, it comes down to: Did we get this to where we agreed you wanted it to be?

10. What one piece of advice you would give writers?

Every new writer needs help. If you haven’t taught yourself how to write, like I did by tearing down stories to see what made them work so well, try that. If you worry that won’t work for you, get help from someone like me.

I’m still teaching myself stronger ways of writing my fiction. There are books, not just mine. There are websites. There are folks like me teaching beginners, and not so new writers, how to write stronger. Find them. Use what they have to offer. It’s a sad thing, a story that could’ve been better, that goes unnoticed because of the writing. Especially when we’re out here willing to help.

Thank you so much for answering my questions. EJ’s new book releases this week with the intention of helping writers succeed in their dreams of impoving thier craft. Check it out..






Musiville: A Reader’s Tale and a Giveaway

Nicholas C. Rossis

I recently received a wonderful surprise from a reader friend, who is the work-at-home father of an 8-year-old. He wrote to me to share how much he and his son had enjoyed Musiville, asking me that I share his story on my blog as a guest post. I hope you enjoy his post as much as I did!

Since Father’s Day is just around the corner, he has inspired me to give away Musiville between the 13th and the 18th in the hope that more fathers can enjoy reading it with their little girls and boys. So, unless you prefer the print version, you may wish to wait for a couple of days and get it for free!

Musiville: A Reader’s Tale

Musiville eNovAaW giveaway | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books FREE on Amazon, June 13-18

Being a work-at-home dad has lots of perks. The best one for me is the time I spend with my 8-years-old son after…

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On Depression and Suicide

L. Davidson

I’m going to preface this with the disclaimer: This entire post are just my own thoughts. Mental Illness isn’t a “one size fits all” issue, and everything I express in this post has absolutely no basis of expertise aside from my own life experience.

You don’t have to listen to a single, solitary thing I have to say. I’m just one more twat on the internet with an opinion, but maybe, just maybe, I can help someone by sharing this.


I always find depression and suicide are difficult subjects to address, really. I know I have a great deal to say about both, but generally I steer clear of talking about my own experiences on the matter. That said, seeing my social media blow up after the deaths of both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, reading and hurting for other people coming forward with their own stories, and quietly…

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History of the Great Library of Alexandria

Nicholas C. Rossis

Emily Watts | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookThis is a guest post by writer and blogger Emily Watts. Emily is the author of multiple articles concerning mysterious and intriguing historical facts and theories. However, she also writes about problems of education, business, modern technology, personal relationships, and other topics.

History of the Great Library of Alexandria

Alexandria | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Today’s library of Alexandria. Photo: Flickr

World history is full of terrible losses. No, I’m not talking about people who fell in numerous wars and battles. This post is devoted to another sort of loss: a cultural one. Unfortunately, humanity has lost too many antiquities, and cultural heritage can be irreplaceable. One such tragedy is the burning of the library of Alexandria.

The great library of Alexandria is one of the most discussed historical buildings. The main reason why there are so many theories and debates concerning it is lack of evidence. We know very little about its history and the…

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Bookends:  Leyfarers and Wayfarers

Bookends: Leyfarers and Wayfarers

Planetary Defense Command

51YtShXBByL._SL250_Leyfarers and Wayfarers is a collection of 16 stories (in a variety of genres) by G L Francis. As usual for my bookends series of posts, I read the first and last stories, then made a decision whether to continue.

First Story: Tools of the Trade

In this steampunk tale, Russian water spirits are killing people in Kansas City, Missouri during the late 19th / early 20th century. A Russian immigrant family of inventors (and some elves) try to kill the spirits.

I enjoyed the historical fiction setting and many elements of the plot, but I felt the author was forcing a novel’s worth of work into a short story. I often read novels which I think should be cut down to something shorter; in this rare case, I’d recommend expansion. There are extensive character backgrounds, brief hints of romance, and other things that would flesh out a novel…

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