Monday, July 28, 2014

Christmas in July

Dear Gentle Readers,
   You may remember me telling you i submitted my Christmas short story, Madison's Christmas, to a publishing company to be included in a Christmas anthology.  Well, I have heard nothing back from them, so I am moving forward with Createspace to have paperbacks made available on Amazon. The cover has to be different, because I made the original cover by myself and it doesn't transfer well to their guidelines.  I would offer you, my readers, a sale to celebrate Christmas in July, but the kindle version (eBook) of Madison's Christmas is only $.99 and all proceeds go to St. Jude Children's Hospital, not just during the holiday season, but all year long.
   Below are some reviews and the current cover.  Here is a link to
   Have a great day.

5.0 out of 5 stars Another warm story !February 4, 2014
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This review is from: Madison's Christmas (Kindle Edition)
Carol has a wonderful way of bringing love to the forefront. I have enjoyed several of her books,and am looking forward to reading more.You can feel that the characters all have a connection from book to book. Keep writing Carol .

5.0 out of 5 stars A Charming little story!January 24, 2014
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This review is from: Madison's Christmas (Kindle Edition)
I found Madison's Christmas to be an extremely easy going read. I laughed and had fun reading this story. Made me feel good when I finished. The author sure knows how to bring her characters to life!

5.0 out of 5 stars ReadingJanuary 15, 2014
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This review is from: Madison's Christmas (Kindle Edition)
I love the book and have recommended to members of my family. I would recommend this book to book lovers.

4.0 out of 5 stars Besides being a cute Christmas story...January 4, 2014
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This review is from: Madison's Christmas (Kindle Edition)
Besides being a cute Christmas story, this novella is an excellent exploration of the demand of career on modern women and how we can get locked into job and social expectations. Madison is known as the "Dragon Lady" for her tough expectations for her employees, an attitude that helps her run a high-profile security business. She's reeling from the loss of her father and a co-worker, so perhaps that's why she doesn't correct a new employee when he doesn't realize she's the boss lady and instead treats her like an attractive, desireable woman. Now can Madison admit to the deception and get the guy? It's Christmas, the time for miracles!

5.0 out of 5 stars The best Christmas read!December 21, 2013
This review is from: Madison's Christmas (Kindle Edition)
This is a lovely story I highly recommend. Carol's wonderful writing is a joy to read. You won't be disappointed.

5.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical Christmas reading...December 20, 2013
This review is from: Madison's Christmas (Kindle Edition)
Kauffman creates an interesting organization headed up by a protagonist with several layers--she's strong, successful, and almost Byronic in that she can help other women so easily yet has a hard time helping herself. I was curious what personal hardship caused Madison to found a woman's outreach program and how that factored into her difficulties with intimacy and supposed need for control, and I liked the idea that new love can heal old wounds without replacing the people for which we felt the hurt.
Telling the truth in fiction makes it believable. I felt like Kauffman presented a Christmas scenario that speaks to those millions who experience grief around the holiday season and gives them some hope that things can change for them--if they have a little faith.

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful little read...December 15, 2013
Sandra J. Capicotti (Jupiter, Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Madison's Christmas (Kindle Edition)
Refreshingly sweet and funny. A perfect love story for the holidays. This is not your typical boy meets girl plot.

5.0 out of 5 stars SweetDecember 13, 2013
This review is from: Madison's Christmas (Kindle Edition)
And short. Tight well done story that moves along nicely. I did enjoy it and will look for more by this author.

5.0 out of 5 stars Ooops you did it again...December 7, 2013
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This review is from: Madison's Christmas (Kindle Edition)
Thoroughly enjoyed this short story with the theme of Christmas in the background. It was fast paced and an easy quick read. The character's were well developed and identifiable. The pacing and action of the characters made me think that this would be an ideal Hallmark movie. Kudos to you Carol Kauffman; you've done it again!

4.0 out of 5 stars Madison's Christmas Is A Lot of Fun!!November 12, 2013
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This review is from: Madison's Christmas (Kindle Edition)
Madison's Christmas is a very funny, heartwarming story of love and loss at the happiest of holidays. It tells a sweet story of a woman who loses both her father and lover in a matter of a few months. Because of this, she doesn't want to celebrate the holidays and finds every reason to work, although she promises her sister she will be there to celebrate. An office mix-up causes a case of mistaken identity and shows Madison that we never know when love will enter our life again and the importance of never giving up. I enjoyed this short story very much and it is definitely a must read for Christmas lovers everywhere.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Interview with Author K. J. Rollinson

Kathy June Rollinson (K.J. Rollinson)
The Costa Blanca, Spain

Good morning, Kathy!  Welcome to Vision and Verse, The Place for Art and Authors. What have you written?
The Fallyn Trilogy. 'Fallyn and the Dragons,'  'Fallyn in the Forbidden Land,'
'Fallyn and the Sea Dragons'. A fantasy trilogy for anyone who likes fantasy books. Published on Amazon as soft books and kindle versions.
'The Rode to Justice', (John Rode, 1st grade detective, murder stories). Available from Amazon, only on Kindle. In one of the stories he quotes, 'This is a Court of Law, not a Court of Justice.'

What is your favourite genre to write? 
Although you may think that as I have written three fantasy books, and I am publishing 'A Twist of Fairy Tales' shortly, a modern twist of classic fairy tales, that fantasy is my favourite genre, but it is not. I enjoy writing in any genre, eg my crime book.  I am busy writing 'A Man Called Ian' at the moment a very adult book following the life of a young man, who goes to Africa.

Favorite food?  
Like my books, very difficult to categorise. I enjoy lots of things, depending on, as an example, the weather – here in Spain when it is very hot I tend to eat more salads.

Tea of coffee?
Weak tea, no sugar, but occasionally I like a coffee – weak and no sugar.

Pizza or ice cream. 
Again dependent on weather. Try to avoid both really.

Where would you like to visit?  
I used to think it was Australia but on 'Googling' about Africa for my new book 'A Man Called Ian,' particularly about Eritrea on the Red Sea, I would like to visit this part of the world. Especially as my favourite hobby was when I was younger was sub-aqua diving, and from my research I have learned this area is fantastic for diving. Going back to Australia I would want to dive on the great barrier reef. I just snorkel here in Spain.

Favorite musical artist.
I do not have one. Again, like my books and food, my music is varied. I like classical music, musicals and some pop, I line dance which keeps me in touch with the music scene. We recently learned dances to 'The Killers' and 'Lady Gaga' songs. 

Do you listen to music while you write
No I don't. I live on my own, so I have peace and quiet. Usually I get up at 5 am and after going through my emails I write for a few hours, leaving the rest of the day free for my other hobbies.

What makes you laugh?
  A humorous play, a book, a good joke. I don't like what I call slapstick humour, eg a programme on UK TV a few years ago 'Some Mothers Do Have Them' showed a young man doing everything wrong, and his patient wife, Betty, putting up with it – I'd have strangled him!

Favorite work of art or sculpture.
I am very fond of the paintings by Sherree Valentine Daines, a modern impressionist artist. Also I like classic impressionist artists such as Monet and Manet.

How old were you when you started writing?
I must have been about eight. I remember my first story was about a great big yacht, at least 20ft long!! I also remember writing my first poem called 'Pictures in the Fire' – that was when we used to have coal fires.

Describe your perfect evening.
That's easy living in Spain. A good open-air restaurant with a view of the sea.  Warm, relaxed company with friends, good conversation and lots of laughter.

Where do you get your inspiration?
A bit like the Martini advert really – anytime, anywhere. It can be a picture, a quotation, a book. I used to go to an art class and a friend painted a very proud dragon which inspired me to write a 500 story for her. From that it inspired me to write 'Fallyn and the Dragons.'  The second chapter in this book is more or less the story I wrote for my friend. From that it grew like Topsy and I went on to write the Fallyn trilogy.

What do you when you get writer's block?
I don't think I have experienced this. Usually I write every day. It can be 500 words, 5,000 words, depending on my mood or commitments. Quite often when I am swimming in the pool, or walking, my mind is thinking what the next chapter will be. I usually know the beginning and the end of the book. Once I start writing the characters seem to take over, and write their own story (with a little bit of guidance from me!).

What is your favourite author?
 Oh dear! Again, my answer must be like the answers I gave to food, music. I have no favourite author. All the books I read are usually by male authors, Wilbur Smith, Clive Cussler, James Patterson, Michael Crichton, Lee Child, etc. There are a few female writers I love, they include Tess Gerritsen, and Sharon Penman.

Best Book you have ever read. Again, sorry, I don't have a favourite. If you had asked me this question as a child I would have said without hesitation 'The Bondsman,' written by Hall Caine, a 19th century author, which my father had given to him as a Sunday School prize when he was a youngster. I have since re-read it, and I thought it old-fashioned and a bit maudlin, but at the time I thought it was so beautiful, it made me cry. Ah, the innocence of childhood. 

Last book you read. 
Another favourite author, Ken Follett,              
'The Hammer of Eden,' a suspense thriller.

What would you do for a living if you weren't a writer?  
I am retired. I used to work in administration, mostly in the NHS in the UK.  I suppose if you were to ask me what would I have preferred to do for a living I would say anything to do with animals. I don't mean a vet because I can't stand the sight of blood, but perhaps I could have worked for the RSPCA (Royal Society of  Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). I suppose in the end you choose a practical job - what will pay the mortgage and such.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?  
This a hard question to answer!  There have been many people consciously and unconsciously may have influenced my life, but one person sticks out in my mind. I don't know her name. She was a friend of my mother's and she wrote in an autograph book I had as a kid. She wrote, I quote below.

 Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever,
 Do noble things, not dream them all day long.

First two lines of the second stanza of a poem written by Charles Kingsley, 1819 – 1875.

These lines have influenced me a lot. Not that I have done noble things but because I am a dreamer. After all I get my inspiration for my books because I am a dreamer.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with one person, living or dead, real or fictional who would it be and why. 
Rupert Brookes, the poet, 1887 – 1915.  I love his poetry, and he was so handsome.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
You only have to read, as an example, Writing Magazine,which can sometimes give endless advice and how to write, ranging from where to write, when to write, what to write and read.

My advice would be practise, practise, practise. OK you must have a natural talent which has motivated you in the first place to write, but what works for one doesn't work for another. I write every day which may not appeal to everyone. When I first started writing seriously I used to put on paper whatever came to my mind. I didn't worry about editing until after I had written the piece. But, again, others may prefer to edit as they go along. Horses for courses I suppose.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Interview with Author Julia Mills

Julia Mills
Orlando, FL

Good morning, Julia!  Welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors.  Can you tell us what have you written?    
Dragon Guard Series – Her Dragon to Slay, Her Dragon’s Fire, Haunted by Her Dragon, For the Love of Her Dragon

What is your favorite genre to write?  
Paranormal Romance                        

Favorite food.  
Tex-Mex of any kind!

Tea or coffee? 

Pizza or ice cream? 
No Way! Cannot choose!

No one said you can't have both!  Where would you like to visit?
Greek Isles

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What? 
I do listen to music when I write. What I listen to varies. Some days it is Popular Country, or Boy Bands. I also need hard rock some days like Disturbed or Saliva and then there are days that I listen to the Jason Mraz channel on Pandora all day.

What makes you laugh?   
I love slap stick comedy, anything silly or goofy. I still watch Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movies on TMC or the old I Love Lucy or Dick Van Dyke shows.

Favorite work of art.  
One of my favorite works of art is a photo…Jeffry Pine by Ansel Adams. I also love landscapes in any medium. My grandmother was an artist and she and her painting group did so many beautiful pictures in acrylic, oil and watercolor.

How old were you when you started writing?
For as long as I can remember I have been writing, whether just journaling or a short story. I have always gravitated towards paranormal or fantasy. I think it is freeing to create a totally different place and all the characters in it.

Describe your perfect evening.
I am a super laid back person and my perfect night is hanging out with family or friends, good food, and great conversation.

Where do you get your inspiration?    
From the world around me. I love just people watching or hanging out in the park just soaking in whatever is happening. It is so cool when a butterfly flitting from flower to flower can become a mighty Dragon Guard warrior barrel-rolling through the sky after victory in battle.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Get up and leave it alone for a bit. Go do something totally unrelated to writing. Hangout with my kids, go see an action flick, anything that lets the write art of my brain take a break.

Who is your favorite author?
OH WOW!! I have so many! I am really in love with indie authors…Emma Edwards, JD Nelson, Darlene Kuncytes, OL Ramos, Linda Boulanger, Sandra Love, Kym Grosso, Kelley Grealis and so many, many more.

Best book you ever read.
Oh The Places You Will Go by Dr. Suess.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why? 
My dad. He was intelligent, witty, funny, and a straight-shooter with an incredible sense of family and integrity. He was always there for us and willing to do whatever it took for those he cared about. He never lost sight of what was important and was a true role model to everyone he met. He will always be my hero.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
  God. I want to know what inspired Him to create the world. What were and are His hopes and dreams for the human race. Is there anything He would do differently? And what would those things be? To actually get to speak to the Being responsible for everything around us, even the air we breathe would be incredible.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer? 
Follow your dream. Write as often as you can. Have fun with it. Remember your first draft is just that…a draft and some of it will end up in the recycle bin on your desktop. Write what you know or what you love. Do not go into thinking, “I’m gonna be rich and famous” or I’m gonna be on the New York Time Bestseller list”. Do it because it is something you love and something you are willing to do just for YOU. There will be SUPER GREAT reviews and there will be REALLY AWFUL ones but if you believe in what you wrote and are happy with it, then you have to let it all roll off your back.

My dad’s favorite saying used to be ‘Opinions are like a**holes, everybody has one.’ And it is so true, although very direct and very southern LOL but still true. Do not let others opinions color your view of YOU. Just do it. It will be one of the best, most rewarding things you ever do.