Thursday, February 4, 2016

FREE Today! Sea Witch by Carol Ann Kauffman

Dear Gentle Readers,

I'm pleased to announce my sci-fi/fantasy love story, Sea Witch is FREE today at   

It has nine great reviews, but for me to get it promoted on a national level, it needs ten reviews. If you're going to download a copy of Sea Witch, please consider leaving an honest review.

Reviews do not need to be long or fancy. Reviews are important to all authors, but terribly important to us little indie authors. 

Thank you.


Dr. Laura Martin, Chief Extraterrestrial Life Scientist at The Touchstone Institute of Oceanographic Research, noticed troubling but subtle changes in the Atlantic Ocean. Before she could make sense of it all, her longtime assistant abruptly walked out. Laura hired young, handsome Scott Conner to be her personal assistant. Mayhem ensued, mainly because of Zara, the mermaid/siren/monster in the basement of the Touchstone Institute, who eyed on Scott as her possible mate in a plot for total domination of planet Earth. 

“The Touchstone Institute of Oceanographic Research is the most fantastic, exhilarating place on the planet to work. It is high energy, exciting, sometimes maddening, often frightening, heart pounding work. It’s not a job. It’s a lifetime commitment. It gets in your blood. It grabs you by the throat and possesses you, body and soul. And it is work. If you’re not prepared to work your ass off day in and day out, weekends, holidays, your birthday, and your mamma’s birthday, leave now.” 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Art of Stephen Morath

 I had never heard of Stephen Morath before coming across his work online, but I was taken
by his vivid use of color and his beautiful southwestern themes. Here is his biographical material in his own words:

"For over thirty years I have painted scenes from all over the Southwest. My pictures rarely represent an actual place, but rather a place as I think it should be. They are often nostalgic, sometimes “cartoony”, sometimes quite naturalistic. Mainly I paint northern New Mexico and southern Arizona; but the extremes of my interest range from the frosty peaks of Colorado to the shores of the desert sea in Baja California, and all the wide open spaces in between. I am drawn not only to the beauties but also the oddities of the Southwest – the outrageous topography, the tourist traps, the honky-tonk strips, the old motel signs, the clash of cultures, the places where Indian America meets the science fiction of the ‘Fifties; as well as the pueblos, the sparkling deserts, the blue ranges, the birds in the morning…I prefer the rural countryside to the unpopulated wilderness, and rarely paint a landscape without some kind of human activity or artifact in it. Indeed, some of my paintings are crowded with non-landscape elements. Often, my paintings exhibit a touch of humor; others I paint to evoke cosmic feelings; still others are complex displays of fruit and vegetables. I like to paint figures, which so far have not featured prominently in my paintings; but I see my work moving in the direction of more figures and more realism. I am especially fond of small towns, back roads, and blue highways, where old trucks, lowriders, and airstream trailers can be found; and life goes on in a timeless way.

I am a third-generation native of Colorado, married, and the father of four. I studied and spent some time back East in my early days; otherwise, I have been a lifelong resident of Colorado, although a frequent visitor to, and lover of, New Mexico and Arizona. I and my wife, and formerly our now grown-up children, live in a ramshackle Victorian at the foot of Pikes Peak, surrounded by gardens and fruit trees. Besides painting, my main interests are high-country hiking, contra dancing, the performance of choral music, and trips to Europe and Mexico.

Exhibition history: I have exhibited paintings continuously in Scottsdale, Arizona since 1984.  During that time I have also shown at various galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico and in Colorado; but Scottsdale has remained my major retail focus. The Colorado Springs Fine Art center owns one of my paintings.So does the Albuquerque Museum of Art." -Stephen Morath

Note: Nothing here is mine. I claim nothing. All images and information was found online in a Safari search of Stephen Morath.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Interview with Author Jane Firebaugh

Jane FirebaughGlen, New Hampshire

Good morning, Jane, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. Tell us what you've written?
Antiques & Avarice, Book One of the White Mountains Romantic Mysteries series, and I’m just over 2/3 done with Book Two in this series.

I love your cover! What is your favorite genre to write?
Cozy Romantic Mystery

Favorite food.
Cheese Pizza & Chocolate, though not necessarily in that order.

Tea or coffee?

Pizza or ice cream?

Me, too, Jane. Ice cream gives me heartburn. 

Where would you like to visit?

Do you listen to music when you write?
No, I hum

Hmm? What?
Whichever song happens to be stuck in my head at the moment.

What makes you laugh?
Animals and kids. They are so cute and funny.

Favorite work of art or sculpture.
I love Starry Night by Van Gogh, but also there is a soapstone carving of a dancing bear that I have by an Inuit artist that is so beautiful and feels amazing to touch as well.

How old were you when you started writing?
I started writing little stories and poems when I was around nine.

Describe your perfect evening.
I would be sitting at my little desk writing with the wood stove going and snow falling outside the window, dogs curled up on the couch.

Where do you get your inspiration?
From life and sometimes I think I get it from my characters.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I walk around and look at scenery, except at night, then I try to moon gaze. It clears my mind of the chaos.

Favorite musical artist or group?
Peter, Paul, and Mary

Who is your favorite author?
Right now, JK Rowling, but there are so many that I love.

Best book you ever read.
Oh my, that’s way too hard. I loved The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. All the Harry Potter books, many of the Classics.

Last book you read.
The Witching Hour by Julie Sarff

I haven't read that one, but someone else mentioned it to me. I'll add it to my list, along with Antiques & Avarice. What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
Design and make jewelry, which I also do now.

You'll have to come back and share some of your pieces with us. We at Vision and Verse love artists as well as authors. Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My adopted mother. She was my biological grandmother, and she had a huge influence on my life, because she was in her fifties when I was born, yet she took on a one year old baby (me) and was a wonderful mom even though she was at the age where she should have been done with all that and enjoying life. She taught me that you can always do more than you think you can do.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Severus Snape from the Harry Potter books. To tell him how much I admire his love and loyalty—his fierce courage, self discipline and determination.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Write. Write and if you enjoy it and feel that it’s good work, ask people to read it and critique it for you. Don’t give up. Find a writer’s support group either in your town or online, wherever you can find one. 

Do you have any links for us to follow you? 
My links are:

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Line of His People by C. J. Adrien

Dear Gentle Readers.

If you've never read any of C.J. Adrien's books and you like reading about the Viking era, then you're in for a treat!. Christophe brings Viking and historical fiction to life like no other. His attention to detail, knowledge of history and his ability to tell a warm, exciting tale makes his books come alive.


This is from The Line of His People:

France, 799 A.D. 

Northmen sacked the monastery at dawn before anyone had awakened. They burned the village and slaughtered all who stood in their path. The relics of Saint Philbert were lost and the island was abandoned by those who once dwelled there. 

Sixteen years later, a monk named Abriel who had survived the attack as a boy is sent to recover the relics to help restore the reputation and legitimacy of Saint Philbert. What he discovers on his journey changes his life forever. 

Northmen had colonized the island in the absence of the monks. They hold the key to finding the relics, but they have greater plans for Abriel, plans that will take him to the North to find his destiny. 

The Line of His People is a Viking Age Historical Fiction novel written for Young Adults.

Buy Link:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A New Cover for BELTERRA

Dear Gentle Readers,

My first full-length sci-fi romantic novel, BELTERRA, was in need of a facelift. The original photo I used on the cover was one I had taken on a trip to Tuscany in 2006. It was wine country in the Italian countryside. I was standing in the vineyards looking down into a lush, verdant valley below.

The original title of this book was Terra Nova, Italian for new land. At that same time, a new sci-fi series debuted called Terra Nova, so we changed the title to Belterra, short for Bella Terra, Italian for beautiful land. And the photo really seemed to work with that beautiful land concept.

However, the story does take a dark turn or two, and when I was looking for a new cover, I asked for something a little different.

And this is what we got...a beautiful cover, but a little dark, and a little bit scary. I hope you like the new cover as much as I do.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Interview with Artist David Sywalski

Oh, what a treat I have for you this morning, Vision and Verse Readers!  The very talented and ever-elusive stone sculptor David Sywalski is with us this morning.  For those of you living under a rock, (stone sculptor humor here), David Sywalski is an outstanding American stone sculptor. I first found his work on the internet, browsing the art sites as I often do. His work is widely recognized in the New England area, where he calls home. But his popularity is increasing and his work has received worldwide attention.

 Hello, David!

Hi Carol. I hope all is well with you....things have finally settled down here a bit.  We almost had snow last night.   

Thanks for the weather report.  David, I love your work. Can you tell us when you decided to become an artist?
It was in my high school years during the 1980's, I was sitting at a long desk that I had made with my dad, out of an old antique upright piano it had a very luminescent lacquered surface. I was studying music and art at the same time. 
For some reason I mulled this question over and over in my mindMusic/Art.....    Music/Art..... and this went on for a while. Somehow the art won out. I have been on that path ever since. I have worked for many other sculptors and artists over the years and learned a great deal from them. For now I do my own work and pass on all of my knowledge to aspiring sculptors....and I give away tools sometime too. I believe that you are what you do every day, and you become what you do, and for me that means sculptor.

I'm thinking on auctioning off a small sculpture carved in Basalt about eight inches. What do you think about that ?? 

I think that's smashing! (Get it?  A little more stone sculptor humor?) 

A busy man of few words, he is gone already. I will attempt to get him back at a later date for a little more of the amazing David Sywalski.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Leger's Birthday by Lacey Dearie

With Billy Johnston arrested for his recent crime, Leger and the clowder assumed he would be behind bars and they could all move on with their lives. However, it was not to be and after being released he becomes the victim of a revenge attack. Naturally, Nicole is at the top of the list of suspects but Leger knows she is innocent and sets out to find the real attacker in the hope that this will divert everyone's attention away from Nicole. What he finds out however, may bring him face to face with an old enemy he had hoped to never see again. Meanwhile, in need of a distraction from her recent troubles, Nicole decides to plan a birthday party for Leger. He doesn't want any fuss until it looks like the attacker might show face at the party. Then he welcomes the opportunity to meet this young man once again.

From Lacey's Amazon Author Page:

Lacey Dearie


Lacey Dearie is the creator of the best-selling Leger - Cat Sleuth Mysteries Series about a talking Glaswegian cat detective. She loves observing cats and their idiosyncrasies and has a particular fondness for black cats with amber eyes or pretty calicos. She would own a house full of pets if her allergies allowed.
After being educated autonomously from the age of 15, she spent a decade working on a portfolio of freelance articles which were published in various British women's magazines, as well as running a successful blog from 2005 onwards. She took a break to study and start a family, then decided on her return to writing to focus on fiction.

She is the author of chick-lit novel and Amazon UK Top 100 best-seller, The Tangled Web (currently available only in paperback from Createspace), chick-lit fairytale Cherry Lips, two nonsensical short stories about amorous foods and the soon to be released Candlelight Lane Mysteries which blend culinary cozies and magical realism. She is fiercely proud of her status as an "independent author", is a very vocal advocate of indie media and has, in the past, been a contributor to Canadian indie publication, The Silo.

In her spare time she loves to travel and is a regular visitor to Cyprus - a place that has influenced almost every story she writes as much as her home country, Scotland. She has a personal blog dedicated to lingerie and fragrances, studies perfumery and is mildly obsessed with ska.

Lacey loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted on Twitter as @laceydearie or on her Facebook page