Fossend Publishing

Fossend Publishing

Sunday, 21 February 2016

The beautiful island of Zakynthos

Zante Town

Sitting in the Ionian sea off the west coast of the Greek mainland is the island of Zakynthos. It is a place that has captured the hearts of thousands of tourists over the years, many of whom return year on year to enjoy a few weeks of good food, beautiful scenery and turquoise, sea-lined beaches.

Porto Zoro Beach

I have visited the island, and it now holds a very special place in my heart, I have some great family and friends who live there, and I love it so much that I chose to set a book there. I wanted to show others what a special place it is and why people should visit, that is a wonderful island filled with great hospitality, history and culture.

Chrissie at Porto Limnioas

So, recent stories that describe Zakynthos as nothing more than a party island, or as a place is that is only geared towards the 18-30 crowd it's upsetting for all those who love the island, whether they be a resident or a tourist. Anyone who really knows Zakynthos, are aware that Laganas in the south is a draw for those who like to party. 
But Laganas is one resort. 
Zakynthos is not a party island. Zakynthos is so much more, it is a family oriented island, it is an island where couples choose to get married, it is an island where people choose to visit so that they can relax, take in the scenery, and enjoy the many highlights it has to offer.

View across the island towards Mt. Skopos

Zakynthos is renowned for its varied history. As well as having an interesting mythological history it has also been ruled by the Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, French and Russian-Turkish and British.
There are some interesting historical sites on the island that are definitely worth visiting including A Venetian  Castle at Bochali. The Argassi Bridge that dates to around 1800, and now sits half in the sea, half on the sand. A Venetian Tower at Exo Chora and a Venetian watchtower near Tsilivi. Sarakina House, in Mouzaki which is an old ruinous English residence of neo-classical style. And the Vrysakia Aqueduct near Argassi that is thought to be part of an old water system.
There are also many memorials on the island such at the Cross at Kampi and the Jewish Cemetery, as well as commemorative monuments to famous Zakynthos poets.

Venetian watchtower near Tsilivi

Zakynthos has around fifteen churches and monasteries scattered throughout the island. At the top of Mount Skopos is the Virgin Skopiotissa Monastery that dates to around the 15th Century. In Zante town is the Venetian church of St. Nicholas of the Mole that was one of only three buildings to survive the 1953 earthquake. At the north of the island is St. George Krimnon monastery that was destroyed ground by pirates in 1553, it also has a tower that was used to defend the monastery from attack. 

Bells in tree, St. George Krimnon monastery 

There are seven Museums on Zakynthos, ranging from Natural History, Byzantine History and Naval history. The museums cover many aspects of the long and chequered history of the island and each one gives a unique insight into a certain period of time on the island. There is also an Exhibition Centre that highlights the excellent work undertaken on the island that helps protect and preserve the endangered loggerhead turtles.

Zakynthian house and cart

Beaches are plentiful in Zakynthos, in fact there are so many that I don't have room to name them all! 
In the south there are fine sandy beaches and warm, clear sea. This area is also home to the endangered loggerhead turtles, so there are some restrictions at certain times. 
In the west/north there are many inlets with crystal blue waters just perfect for swimming in, and Navagio (shipwreck) beach that is only accessible by boat. The boat trip out there is worth the trip though, and I would also recommend a boat trip to the many caves dotted around the coastline.
The east coast of the island is filled with spacious, picture postcard beaches at some of the most popular resorts including Tsilivi, Alykanas and Alykes, that holidaymakers love, and flock to. 

Navagio (shipwreck) beach
Zakynthos is full of culture. Whether you are interested in Sculpture, Architecture, or Music, Theatre and Festivals, there is something for everyone. It's a great way to get involved and to immerse yourself into island life. 

View from Keri cliffs

So, contrary to recent reports of Zakynthos being nothing more than a party island, you can see that there is so much more to this jewel of a Greek island. So please, tell everyone, show everyone, what an amazing place it is. Let's keep Zakynthos in the hearts of people everywhere, and continue to encourage people to visit this very special place. 

View across the island

For more information about Zakynthos visit: Go Zakynthos or visit TripAdvisor.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Beautiful ancient Egypt

Pyramids - Giza Plateau, near Cairo

I have always had a passion for ancient history, I love reading about the Greeks, Romans and Nabataeans but my heart lies with Egypt. I love history so much, and it's something this been part of my life for a long time. History is important, it's how our ancestors shaped the world we live in today, and it's fascinating to look back at ancient life to see how people lived, worked and what they invented. We have a lot to thank the ancients for, and our lives would definitely be poorer without them.

Chrissie at Colossi Memnon, Luxor

For me Egypt is a place that not only fascinates me, but it also inspires me. So much so, that I have chosen to set my next book Wind Across the Nile there. I have been lucky to visit the country on a number of occasions, and those trips are in my top five of favourite places to visit. Leaving Egypt has always been hard for me, there is something about the country that gets under my skin, stays with me and makes me leave a small piece of my heart behind.

Karnak Temple, near Luxor

Many people ask me what my favourite thing about Egypt is, and it's a tough choice, there are so many amazing things to see, be it the pyramids, one of the many temples or the fantastic museums. If I had to choose, it would probably be a trip along the Nile on a felucca. It is wonderful being out on the water watching the many sights of Egyptian life pass by, but for me sunset is the most magical time to be out on a felucca, as day turns to night and the colours of the day bleed across the sky giving way to inky skies filled with stars, you feel like you are the only person on earth. 

A felucca on the Nile at sunset in Luxor

Chrissie on a felucca in Luxor 

I would definitely recommend visiting Egypt. Until you have stood on the Giza plateau awestruck at the sight of the pyramids, explored the Egyptian Museum learning more about the countries ancient rulers or walked through a temple complex marvelling at the incredible architecture, you can't even begin to comprehend what Egypt is like. It is without doubt, the most historically amazing place on earth. 

The Ramesseum, Luxor

Wind Across the Nile by Chrissie Parker will be released Autumn 2016. To get further updates on this book release join Chrissie's facebook group.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Diary of a Broken Father by Sylvia Stein

A message from author Sylvia Stein
Hello everyone I am so happy to be able to reveal the cover to my upcoming book, “The Diary of a Broken Father.” 

This is a prequel to my novella Closure which was published in July 31, 2014.    This details the story from Garrison James point of view and this story will deal with his struggles through AA and direct the story from his own eyes.  

The main reason I wanted to write his story is because I did have readers ask me about him and felt they wanted me to have expanded on him more.  This is his story and all the laments he has for what he is done.  

For now, I hope you enjoy the amazing cover designed by the awesome Natasha Brown. This novella will be out June of 2016. Be sure to check out my updates on the links below:

About Sylvia Stein

Sylvia Stein is a published author with several anthologies with her Writer’s group 750 on linked in. Stein obtained a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New 

Hampshire University this past July 2015. She is a mother of three beautiful children Paul 10, Michael 9 and Consuelo 6. She resides in the city of Fuquay Varina with her amazing husband Jeremy. Stein has also published two solo books one was her first novella Closure which she worked on while attending SNHU and published in July of 2014 and the other her first YA 

Chasing Clarity was published this past October 2015 and it was created during National Novel Month (Nano) in 2013. She is currently working on her prequel to Closure which is due out in April 2016. When she is not writing she enjoys time with her children and husband. Her latest work will be out this summer 2016.   A Prequel to Closure entitled, “ The Diary of a Broken Father.”