The Phoenix

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The Phoenix

The Story of a Love That Endured the Winds of World War II

On the lovely island of Lesbos, suffering brutal Nazi occupation, olive heiress Nina Cambas is torn between her religious calling to the convent and her love for Danny, a brave American serviceman whose missions include concentration camps. Will their love endure?

The Phoenix is a mythical bird, a fire spirit with a  colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet.  This bird collects cinnamon, spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds itself a nest on top of a palm tree.  As the time of its death approaches, the Phoenix breathes out its last breath amidst fragrant odors, singing its last song.  Years later, out of its ashes, it comes back to life.  The Phoenix’s ability to be reborn from its own ashes implies immortality.

Many countries, according to their emotional, physical and cultural needs, attaché different symbolic meanings to Phoenix.  But for the people of the Greek nation, the Phoenix is a symbol of rebirth.  On view of war, foreign invasions, local tragedies, civil war, deaths and natural catastrophes, always a rebirth occurs.  As this mythical bird rises from its ashes, so the people rise from the ruins of destruction and reconstruct their lives with faith, hope and love for their country.

Reviews and endorsements

From a prolific write of 10 psycho-spiritual self-help books comes “The Phoenix: A Story of Love That Endured the Winds of World War II,” a second captivating novel destine to be a motion picture.

Again but ageless, author Dr. Peter M. Kalellis a local psychotherapist and marriage counselor, faithfully continues his practice in Westfield, N.J.

In the last 40 years experience, he has addressed issues related to anxiety, boredom, conflicts, depression and loss of direction in life, low self-esteem and relationship difficulties. Besides helping his clients with utmost care and sensitivity, his personal passion is writing, and even his novels carry a therapeutic message.

"Writing is my personal therapy, claims Dr. Kalellis."

“The Phoenix: A Story of Love That Endured the Winds of World War II” is about the wealthy Greek-American widower, Costas Cambas, who leaves the United States, a country he loves, and returns with Nina, his young orphaned daughter, to the island of Lesbos in Greece, the land of his origin. There he finds his loving sister, a religious woman, who helps raise his daughter.

In her late teens, Nina dreams of becoming a nun and establishing a home for abandoned boys and girls – who have increased in number as of the invasion of Nazi Germany in 1941. On the island, Nina meets the handsome Danny Cohen, an American sailor who carries out a secret mission in occupied Greece. Thought to be a Jewish spy, Cohen was taken to a Nazi concentration camp where he witnessed cruelty against the Greek people.

Nina’s desire to become a nun and Danny’s sense of duty collide with a love and passion that is hard to control.

Reader of “The Phoenix” will encounter an emotional tapestry of love, passion greed, power, anger, faith and forgiveness. There may be a difficulty putting it down as the reader will be taken on an intriguing yet emotional roller-coaster ride that is to be thoroughly enjoyed and sad to see it end.

—The Westfield Leader

From his days as a child in Greece, fighting the Nazis who occupied his island, Kalellis has drawn lessons from experience. Now 88, he has been a psychotherapist to hundreds and author of many books, both psychological and spiritual. This remarkable man has drawn deep and eloquent lessons from long and varied experience. He stands today as a repository of wisdom about life, a treasure awaiting all who will read.
Frank J. Esposito, former President, Kean University, New Jersey


With insight of a psychologist and the grace of a spiritual leader, Kalellis describes events that he witnessed on his beloved island of Lesbos. Besides taking the reader on an exciting excursion to a Greek island where people defy adversity and enjoy life, this book both inspires and heals.
Demetria De Lia, Ph.D, Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis


From a prolific writer of psycho-spiritual self-help books comes a second captivating novel about a grieving father who leaves the United States, a country he loves, and returns with his young orphaned daughter to Greece, the land of his origin. Here he finds a loving and supportive sister who helps to raise his daughter. While the Nazi invasion paralyzes the nation, lovers of freedom patiently transcend the horror and cruelty, believing that life must be celebrated.
Ernie Anastos, TV Anchor, FOX News, NYC


If you ever aspired to visit a Greek island, reading The Phoenix gives you a unique opportunity with no airport delays, and no luggage to carry. There is something for everyone in this book...just jump in and swim in the pristine waters of the Aegean Sea, eat delicious meals at taverns bordering the sun-kissed beaches, and enjoy life on the extraordinary island of Lesbos.
Theodore Kalmoukos, The National Herald Reporter

Hardcover / 368 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9