Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Albrecht Durer
Nuremberg, Germany
May 21, 1471 to April 6, 1528

    Albrecht Durer was a German painter, engraver, printmaker, and mathematician.  He is viewed by some as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance.  He is responsible for many religious artworks, altar pieces, and portraits, but he also famous for his watercolors of the European country landscapes.
   He is most famous for his woodcuts and copper engravings and is well-known to art students for his exquisite line drawings.

    Albrecht was the third child of eighteen children.  Albrecht's father, Albrecht, the Elder, was a goldsmith who moved to Nuremberg from Hungary.  Albrecht, the Elder, was apprenticed to a printer named Masrer Hopler and married his daughter in 1467 when he became a master himself.
   Young Albrecht's godfather, Anton Koberger was the most successful publisher in Germany and owned over twenty-four printing presses. Albrecht worked with his godfather for a time doing woodcut illustrations. Although his father wanted young Albrecht to follow in his father's footsteps and be a goldsmith, the young Albrecht showed such talent in art that his father ultimately agreed on his desire to work in the arts.  While he was working on an apprenticeship in the Netherlands, his family betrothed him to Agnes Frey, the daughter of a wealthy brass master and harpist.

 Albrecht married Agnes on July 7, 1494, but he wasn't too happy about the union.  Three months after the wedding, Durer took off for Italy alone, telling Agnes he was afraid to stay in Nuremberg because of the oncoming plague. There were no children born to this couple.  He toured the Italian countryside doing watercolors of the beautiful landscape.  While in Venice, he met Jacopo de Barbari, who taught him much about perspective, anatomy, and proportions.
   Durer returned to Nuremberg in 1495 and opened his own studio. and in 1500 de Barbari came and stayed with Albrecht and Agnes for about a year so the men could continue their work together.


    In 1505, Durer  left for Italy once more.  The studio stayed
open, with Agnes in charge of selling Durer's artwork, which
was becoming very popular in Germany at the time.
    In Italy Durer created a series of religious paintings using tempera on linen and a new method he devised for authentic looking fleshtones.
    In 1508, Durer made a simple pen and ink drawing that is
used by art students to this day.  It's called "Praying Hands."
He works illustrating Emperor Maximilian's personal prayer book. Maximilian gave him an imperial pension to continue his work.  By 1519 when Maximilian passed away, Durer was losing his sight and developing what they now think was arthritis in his hands.
    It s then that the great painter/engraver became a writer.  He
wrote four books on mathematics, especially Geometry, and four books on human proportions in both the male and female
forms.  He had theories on the ideal beauty of the human form
 in art.

   In July of 1521, Durer caught an undetermined illness, probably malaria, and his health continued to decline until his death in Nuremberg at the age of 56, leaving Agnes substantially wealthy and able to live in their home/studio until her death in 1539.  Today it is a museum.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

WALK WITH ME Kaitlyn Stone Book Tour

Banner Walk with Me by Kaitlyn Stone photo WalkwithMeBanner_zps98596b44.jpg
Walk with Me by Kaitlyn Stone photo ks-walkwithme257kb1_zps685f7b2a.jpg
Title: Walk with Me (The Thin Blue Thread)
Author:  Kaitlyn Stone
Genre: Contemporary New Adult
Publish Date: July 22nd, 2014
Publisher: BookStrand
Oraganized by Literati Author Services

After escaping her abusive parents, nineteen-year-old Kenna Sloane is determined to create an independent life, free of emotional distraction. The last thing this focused college student wants is a relationship, especially with a hot rookie cop popular with the badge bunnies.
When Kenna reluctantly agrees to a double date with Santa Monica cop Donovan Alexander, she’s launched on an exciting and dangerous journey. With time, she discovers some souls are instinctively drawn together to quiet the pain of their traumatic pasts. But even after the revelation of Donovan’s own secret burden, Kenna continues to battle the fear she may be too broken for her modern day knight in blue.
Can Kenna open her heart to the healing light of true love before peril strikes?
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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookStrand 

About the Author

Since childhood, Kaitlyn Stone has gravitated toward fairy tales and happily- ever-after’s, forever chasing the first love dragon. She is a self-professed adventure junkie, constantly talking her husband and family into some new life adventure, where they’ve learned to just buckle up for the exciting ride. When they do stay home, it’s in sunny Southern California located along the Pacific Ocean.

Connect with the Author

Website | Facebook | TwitterGoodreads 


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Monday, July 21, 2014

SHADOW IN GLASS by J. Rose Alexander

Good morning, Gentle Readers,
    This morning the talented J. Rose Alexander shares with us the beautiful cover of her new book, SHADOW OF GLASS, and an excerpt for your reading pleasure.  Tell us what you think!


“Mind if I tailed along?”
“Of course not.” Carrie was actually secretly thrilled that she wanted to tag along. Maryann was still too much of an enigma.
“Cool.”  She popped back into the kitchen.
Sierra cleared her throat. “I guess if we’re going to go, we should at least get dressed in something other than pajamas and sweats.”
“You’re right.” Carrie tossed the book she was reading on the table. They rolled themselves off the couches to change into something a little more public viewing friendly. Emma was already half dressed and hogging the bathroom in her and Sierra’s room. Throwing on some jeans and a nice shirt, with a cute pair of flats, she hoped she never had a reason to break into her closet full of designer clothes. The outfit she’d picked for tonight was way too expensive as it was, but she had to remember that was the old Carrie thinking like that. However, she’d considered downgrading some of her wardrobe, but hadn’t really found the time to do that yet.
Sierra popped her head in. “Can I use your bathroom? My roommate has decided to use ours for the next hour.”
Carrie motioned her in, then grabbed her hair brush and pulled her hair up into a pony tail. Putting on just little lipstick and blush and brushing her hair out, Sierra was in and done and gone in less than five minutes. Maryann followed a minute later, rustling through her wardrobe, then abruptly slammed it closed.
“Never mind, I’m not going.” She started to walk out.
“You can borrow something of mine,” Carrie offered in a rush. She wasn’t going to let this chance get away from them. “I think we wear about the same size.”
Maryann looked at her, taken back. “You’re serious?”
“Nah, I figured I’d let you look and then make you give it all back before we walked out the door,” Carrie answered with a straight face. “Wear a cute bra.”
Maryann snickered, then nodded. “Okay, fine. I’ll borrow something of yours. God knows you three will be eaten alive by the man whores at this thing.”
Carrie opened the wardrobe and realized she was inviting her roommates in to see the clothing labels she’d hoped to keep a secret. Murphy’s Law, of course. Sierra and Maryann stuck their heads in to start considering what would look good.
Sierra pulled out the first suggestion. “With your dark coloring, you should go with something bright.” She offered a bright red shirt.
“Oh, hell no.” Maryann shook her head and backed away. “Red attracts too much attention.” She pulled out something in black.
“No, no.” Sierra grabbed it and put it back. “Too dark.”
“Here.” Carrie selected a soft blue cashmere sweater. “Colorful, but not stand-out-ish.”
Maryann took the sweater and considered it. “A little low cut for me.”
“If you wear something that goes up to your neck,” Sierra pointed out, “they notice that just as quickly as something red.”
“Good point.” Maryann nodded. “Fine. I’ll try this. It’s a really nice…holy shit.” She stared at the tag, then looked at Carried wide-eyed. “Carrie, this is a BCBG Maxazaria.”
“Yeah, I know. Just go with it.”
“This is worth more than my car,” she stuttered.
“A tank of gas is worth more than your car,” Sierra stated. “For the love of God, just put it on. She offered it up. Just put it on.” Maryann shrugged and pulled the sweater on. It was a perfect fit. Carrie pulled the bathroom door open to let her use the mirror in there. Maryann took up the offer and Carrie and Sierra peered around the edge of the doorway.
Carrie saw Maryann really liked it by her half smirk in the mirror. “I think it looks great on you. Just the right style for you. You can keep it.”
“Keep it?” Maryann seemed horrified by the idea.
“Yes, please.” Carrie pointed to her wardrobe. “I’ve got more stuff in there than I’ll wear in my whole college career. So, please. Take it. Wear it. Enjoy it.” Before Maryann could start to protest, Carrie headed down the stairs. Sierra was right behind her. They assumed the same positions on the couch until they heard the other two coming down the stairs. Maryann was first down, with her hair neat and pulled back with a cloth headband. She seemed to be wearing a light layer of foundation and some blush and Carrie tried to hide her smile. Her roommate wasn’t half so much a hard-ass as she tried to be.
Just a moment behind her, Emma came stomping down the stairs. She was all done up with a ton of makeup, a distractingly sparkly shirt and black pants. She was wearing heels and carrying some kind of clutch purse. Maryann rolled her eyes.
“Who’s shadowing us tonight?” Emma looked at the car waiting at the curb after Sierra locked the door.
“Gonzales is our night tail,” Sierra said.
“Oh, good,” Emma said, the relief clear in her voice. “He’ll look like he belongs there.”
“That’s why it’s Gonzales.” Carrie winked.
“Why do you have a tail,” Maryann asked as they reached the bus stop at the corner.
“It’s common for the members of the royal family to have a security detail,” Sierra explained. “They are here to make sure someone doesn’t pull a gun and try to kill us or kidnap us for some ridiculous random demand, like releasing the leader of an SRR cell in exchange for our lives.”
Carrie was again glad her cousin was there to take the spotlight off her. She wouldn’t have been able to explain it so easily and Maryann seemed satisfied with her explanation.
The student center was hive of activity, with dozens different sororities and fraternities set up in the cafeteria. In the hallway were all the other student activities, attempting to catch the run off from the cafeteria crowd. Emma headed straight for the sororities. Carrie and Sierra started perusing the other clubs. Maryann headed for the tables giving out free stuff.
They went through nearly all the activities and non-dues clubs, and got out the other end with fists full of paraphernalia about what they did, what their objectives were and when they met. Maryann had tucked herself in a corner with a pile of giveaways in a bag, reading a book and sipping a soda.
“How long do you think she’s gonna be in there?” she asked, without looking up.
“How’d you get that book in here without us seeing it?” Sierra asked.
“Borrowed it from the guy at the Art Club table,” she said. “He’s in my class.”
Carrie looked over. “Hey, that’s Jason.”
“You know him?” Maryann asked.
“He’s in our poli sci class.” Carrie nodded, looking at Sierra, who was staring at him intently and smiling while she stared. Sierra probably had a crush on him, and Carrie couldn’t blame her. “He was the one who told us about the lounge near the greenhouses today before chemistry. Sweet lounge, too.”
“He’s a late sophomore too,” Maryann said. “Environmental science, I think.”
Sierra sat on the arm of the chair, ripping her eyes away from Jason. “Hey, Carrie, you got someone interested.”
“Interested?” Carrie asked, looking around.
“Yeah he’s been staring at you for like half an hour now,” Maryann informed her. “He’s over at the Omicron Mu Nu table. He’s part of the frat, as far as I can tell. Cute too. Blond hair, looks like green eyes. Nice butt.”
“How are you doing that?” Sierra asked.
“Doing what?” Maryann asked, turning the page in the book.
“Reading a book, giving us the run down on the guy staring at Carrie, and carrying on a conversation?” Sierra was really impressed.
Maryann glanced up. “Pure talent.”
Sierra started laughing. Carrie turned all the way around to see who they were talking about, and found herself face to face with the very guy they had mentioned. She was startled, and stepped back with a yelp. Once she realized she yelped, she turned and saw Gonzales walking over. She held up her hand to indicate that she was fine, just startled. Gonzales backed off and blended back into the wall a moment later.
“Hi.” He was blond haired, green eyed, and was nicely tan. 
“Hi,” Carrie answered.
“I’m Anthony.” He had a nice voice, and Carrie found his nose adorable, and his ears just a little too big, which was endearing. 
 “I saw you in the Greenhouse lounge earlier today, but I didn’t have the time to introduce myself. I’m glad you’re here. If you don’t mind me being a little forward, I was wondering if you’d like to go out some night.”
Carrie smiled at him. “I think I’d like that.” 
“Cool. Friday, eight?”


Friday, July 18, 2014

MY ENEMY'S TEARS by Karen Vorbeck Willims


Dear Gentle Readers,
This morning I have a very unusual book for your consideration.  This is the story of the Witch of Northampton, but it is based on the true life person, Mary Bliss Parsons.  If you are looking for something different, this is it.

My Enemy’s Tears: 
The Witch of Northampton by Karen Vorbeck Williams

It all started at her grandmother's knee. Karen Vorbeck Williams grew up hearing stories about her ancestor Mary Bliss Parsons who was accused of witchcraft in 17th century New England. She lived in the first settlement at Northampton, Massachusetts and was indicted, imprisoned, and stood trial for witchcraft in 1675, 17 years before the Salem witch trials. The intelligent, beautiful and observant Mary grew up in the harsh environment of Puritan New England. Throughout her life, from sleepwalking child to serving girl to wealthy wife, Mary was confronted with her neighbor’s jealousies and superstitions. She was accused more than once of witchcraft. The story follows Mary and her enemy, Sarah Lyman Bridgeman, from childhood all the way to Mary's imprisonment and trial in Boston.
Book website:
Author’s personal website:

Have a great day.  Go read a book.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

ITALIAN SUMMER by Maria Grazia Swan

Book Description:
When they say, “you can’t go home again,” they’re talking about Mina Calvi, twenty-something Italian transplant to California. Still, nursing a broken heart, desperate to discover her place in the world, Mina arrives in the town of her birth in Veneto, Italy. In the decade she’s been gone, the village nestled at the foot of the Dolomites has changed much, yet remained oddly the same. Friends have moved on, family members passed away. Mina feels even more alone in her motherland than in America, and there seem to be too many bizarre deaths for such a tiny, serene village. Then a fresh chance at true love and a welcome bonding with a dear new friend give her hope. But the deadly secrets moldering in the centuries-old cemetery could rip it all from her and leave Mina emptier than before. Will she find herself or lose her heart again? Can Mina survive her Italian Summer?                

5.0 out of 5 stars A Charming and Suspenseful ReadJune 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)

This review is from: Italian Summer (Mina's Adventures Book 3) (Kindle Edition)

Italian Summer is a charming story of a woman returning to her native country for a quiet, introspective vacation, still mourning for her deceased lover. Bringing flowers to her grandmother's grave sparks a series of seemingly unconnected events into a tight, suspenseful tale of crimes and coverups. Beautiful Italy! Great characters! Romance! What else could you want? I highly recommend Italian Summer to anyone looking for a charming, suspenseful, quick read.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Work of M.C. Escher

I was fortunate to attend an M.C. Escher Exhibit a few years back at the Akron Art Museum, (One South High St., Akron, OH) and thoroughly enjoyed it. The exhibit was fascinating in an artistic/mathematical mixed-up ball of perception, perspective, and shading.  Having loved his work since my college days, I was totally unaware they weren’t drawings, but intricate woodcuts. I decided I needed to do a little research on the man behind the tessellations.

Maurits Cornelis Escher was born in Leeuwarden, Friesland in the Netherlands on June 17, 1898.  He was the youngest child of a prominent civil engineer, George Escher, and his second wife, Sara.  As a child, M.C. was sickly and had a chronic skin infection.  He failed second grade and was put in a special school.  He did not do well in this new school, but liked to play the piano. His father wanted him to follow in his engineering footsteps, and although M.C. tried, he much preferred and was more suited to the graphic arts.


In 1922, making a living as a graphic artist, he traveled through Italy and Spain and was captivated by the intricate, detailed Mediterranean designs based on geometrical symmetries with interlocking repetitive patterns. While in Italy, M.C. met Jetta Umiker, and they were married in 1924.  They lived in Rome and had three sons. In 1935, M.C. found the political climate under Mussolini to be stiflingly oppressive, so he moved his family to Switzerland, then to Brussels, and then the Netherlands, but M.C. always said he missed beautiful Italy.

The cold, rainy weather allowed M.C. to stay inside and work on his art. He is especially known for his mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs,  and mezzotints. for someone who did so poorly in school and had no formal mathematical training, M.C. was a technical virtuoso in the field of optical illusions.  He was awarded the Knighthood of the Order of the Orange Nassau in 1955.  M.C. passed away on March 27, 1972 in a retirement home for artists.  He was 73.

All information and photos are from: - Official website
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