Friday, July 21, 2017

Classical British Painter Arthur Hacker

 The beautiful paintings of classical British painter Arthur Hacker are experiencing a new rush of interest. Mostly known for his earlier religious images, these lovely fire paintings are getting much attention lately. 

Each painting tells a story. This refined lady walking through the woods alone seems pensive. What is she thinking of? 

This slice of life home scene shows a sweet, old  
a grandmother and her granddaughter at the table.
His use of drabber colors here 
sets the somber tone of a poor family.  

This white-veiled beauty is supposed to be a nun, a member of the religious order.  In earlier times you became a member at a very early age. Notice the angelic figure behind her, guiding her into a religious lifestyle. This depiction is very common for this time period. 

Notice the difference in the use of vibrant color in this painting. The rich colors denote the subject of this painting was of great wealth and importance. Also the fur and jewelry are another giveaway.

An Italian landscape shows a  serene walk in the countryside. Nothing here is mine. I claim nothing. All information was found online.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer Peony by Caroline Ashwood

Dear Gentle Readers,

This gorgeous painting, called Summer Peony is a 48" x 48" deep-textured acrylic by Caroline Ashwood, done in bright color washes and glazes with metallic highlights.

The following is from Caroline's website at  Please check it out.

"I work as a full time artist from a yorkshire art studio (Soar Works) where I get physical with the paint and canvas. My work is visceral and spontaneous. When I paint, I rely entirely on my instincts. Using my hands to work the paint washes around the surface, I continually move the artwork back and forth to keep the colours flowing. Eventually I reach a point where I allow the paint to take the control so that I can revel in the prospect of the paint surprising me yet again
Through my work, I am constantly exploring the relationship between colour, light and form. Even though it was drilled into me in my earliest formal art studies that drawing and draughtsmanship are of critical importance to serious artistic endeavour, it was only when I ventured away from literal points of reference that I began to discover the visceral impact to be enjoyed in the luminance, shapes and hues of glorious nature."

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Interview with Horror Author Suzi Albracht

Suzi Albracht
I live in Maryland, mid-way between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. All of my books take place in the Annapolis, Baltimore and D.C. area.

Good morning, Suzi, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. Can you tell us a little about what you've written? 
I have written The Devil’s Due Collection which consists of three books – Death Most Wicked, The Devil’s Lieutenant, and Scorn Kills. 

I also have written a non-fiction book to help people gain Twitter Followers - The Super Easy Newbies Twitter Guide
Cracking the Secret to Getting & Keeping Followers. 

I am working on 3 books at present. One book is another part of The Devil’s Due Collection – The Making of a Soul Collector. The second book is a standalone ghost story – the title is still moving but tentatively it is called The Promise Keeper. And the third is a crime fiction novel – called Betrayal in the First Degree.

What is your favorite genre to write? 
I think I made up my own genre – Supernatural Horror Crime Fiction. I love horror but I feel like my horror has a supernatural thread through it. And all my books have law enforcement as major characters.

 My kind of horror does not involve guts spilling all over the floor every ten minutes. Instead, I much prefer psychological terror. I won’t say there is not blood-letting in my books but I do it in a unique way. I like to use every day characters who find themselves in terrifying situations based on their own human failures. 

I make it my goal to get my readers to deeply care what happens to my characters and my stories in The Devil’s Due Collection intertwine so you get to see them in different stages of their lives. And, as much as I love them, my characters do and say things that are shocking. I encourage them to be as truthful as possible.

Who is your favorite author? 
Early Stephen King. I’m finding that I don’t like him as much now. His books aren’t as interesting as when he wrote Pet Cemetery or It. 

Best book you ever read. 
I am still in love with Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. It was the first book I read that made me realize I could write one as well. In fact, my writing style is similar to the early King novels. Reading King and Dean Koontz influenced me to a great extent.

Favorite food.
I love filet mignon but now that I live in Maryland, I have become addicted to steamed crabs in Old Bay seasoning with melted butter. They are only available from the late spring to early fall months so every year, we stuff ourselves as much as we can and then dream of crabs until the next season.

Tea or coffee? 
Neither, I am a Pepsi girl. I blame my mother. She put Pepsi in my baby bottles. Now I practically mainline it. But I don’t smoke, drink or gamble so I consider it a very minor thing.

Pizza or ice cream? 
Neither really but I do like ice cream on hot summer days from this old store in Annapolis. It’s nice to get a waffle cone and sit on the dock, watching the Naval cadets milling about.

Wine or beer? 
Neither. Give me Pepsi every time.

Where would you like to visit? 
I’d love to go back to Key West again. It’s very different there from every beach town I’ve been to. Eclectic, quirky, fun. And the food? To-die-for. 

Yes, I love Key West! Where else?
I also love Sedona, AZ. If you have never been, you should go. Beautiful red mountains. Not hot at all. And you are close enough to visit Tombstone and the Grand Canyon.

How old were you when you started writing? 
I’m thinking somewhere between seven and nine. I wrote on little scraps of paper that I hid under my bed. Oddly enough, I wrote Sci-Fi stories and things about outer space and aliens. I can still envision the little green men who populated my stories. Whenever my mother found my stories, she’d toss them out in the trash. But the next day, I’d be back at it. As time went on, I found better hiding places but she always found them. To this day, I wish I had some of those stories.

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What? 
No favorite artist. I love music but it’s not really my thing. I listen to the ID channel while I write so I guess you could say, I listen to people getting murdered as I murder people. Every now and then, some story will come on that fascinates me so I’ll stop what I’m doing and actually watch. To me, those true crimes are far more horrifying than any horror story I could write.

What makes you laugh? 
Odd things mostly. Things that come out of nowhere when you are least expecting them. I love to watch Mom (TV program) and the Big Bang Theory. Ironic things get me rolling on the floor.

This is an Author AND Art Blog, so I am obliged to ask: Favorite work of art or sculpture. 
I like Monet paintings. They make me feel soothed.

Where do you get your inspiration? 
I observe. The ID channel, the news, fights on Facebook, whatever. I like to take bits and pieces of things and twist them inside out. But what inspires me to write supernatural horror comes from my childhood. My mother loved horror movies but she had all these kids so money was tight. But we could afford the drive-in a few times every summer. I saw my first horror movie when I was two. Those movies never scared me, just fascinated the crap out of me. I never watched cartoons or romance, just horror. There was one movie that I still think about to this day. I don’t remember the entire story but it was about a village that lived near a large number of massive hills, not exactly mountains but almost. Something bad was happening and as it turned out, giants were buried in those mounds of rock and dirt. To this day, every time I see a hill or small mountain, I think there is a giant buried there, waiting for his time to return to life.

Describe your perfect evening. 
Of course, my significant other, Tim would be included. It would start earlier in the day. We would take a long, leisurely ride through the country in his 1970 Cranberry Red Camaro. Tim takes a lot of pride in that car. It is pristine clean and looks brand new. As sundown approached, we’d begin to think about dinner and where we’d like to go. If it was summer, we would choose seafood cusine and head for a restaurant on the water where we would dine on steamed crabs with hot butter, onion rings, and corn on the cob. Oh, I mentioned crabs before, didn’t I? I told you I was addicted. Anyway, after dinner, we’d go home where we would cuddle in bed and watch a movie. 

My second favorite would be on a play-off weekend. Tim and I play pool on three teams. In my scenario, we’d both get a chance to shoot pool. One of us would play the deciding game and kick major butt, propelling our team to the next round. After that, of course, we’d drive down for hot steamed crabs drenched in Old Bay. Guess where we’re going this weekend?

What do you do when you get a writer's block? 
I seldom get it but the one time I did, I simply interviewed my characters and got their point of view about their fellow characters and they story they are involved in. That was one of the most interesting things I ever did. It wasn’t like those character sheets people talk about. It was like chatting with someone you just met. And some of those chats were scary because remember, I write horror.

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer? 
I was a technical writer for a long time. It was very satisfying. It also gave me the structure and feel for detail that helps me today. But that doesn’t really answer your question, does it? I think I would like to have been a criminal profiler or a crime scene analyst. It would allow me to help people and at the same time be interesting.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why? 
I had a very dark and lonely childhood. But there was one shining star, an angel on earth, really. I had a step-grandmother who treated me like I was a blood relative. When everyone else was telling me I wasn’t really family, she stepped in and made sure I was a part of whatever activity was going on. She always spoke kindly to me and gave me plenty of hugs. Because of her, I never hardened the way I might have. Because of her, I had hope. When I lost her, I put all my memories of her in my heart so that I would always have that shining star with me. She was truly a good soul.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? 
My father. My mother kept me from him so I never met him but I always wondered what kind of father he would have been to me.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer? Always tell your book’s truth. Don’t sell out and change things because somebody doesn’t like your truth. Not everyone has your best interest at heart and they will try to undermine you in a passive, aggressive way but if you remain true to yourself, you will learn to gravitate toward the good people in our world and not dwell with the nay-sayers.

 I would like to take a few minutes to talk about my business Wickedly Awesome Designs. At Wicked, I offer over 200 pre-designed covers. Whether you have a brand new book or you want a fresh look for a book already published, Wickedly Awesome Designs might just have what you are looking for. We all know that it is important to grab the first great impression, my covers grab the eyes of readers and emote emotions. My covers are unique, one-of-a-kind beauties that are affordable while still being artistically enticing. You can also purchase social media photo cards to market your book at I love creating these covers and photo card. Plus, I get the satisfaction of making someone else happy at the same time. I want you to be as excited about your new cover as I was when I created it.
I know I just love the cover you made for my new book, Suzi. I love your work. We at Vision and Verse wish you continued success in all your writing endeavors. Hugs.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Where the Night Ends by Melissa Toppen

Good morning, Gentle Readers,
Today Melissa Toppen's 
       Where the Night Ends
                  is live!


 (¯`v´¯) When the Night Ends.`•.¸.•´ 
Melissa Toppen¸.•´.•´¨) ¸.•¨)
Release Blitz(¸.•´(¸.•´ (¸.•¨¯`* I


Where the Night Ends

It only takes one night—one moment, one small snippet of time—to change everything. At sixteen-years-old, Sebastian Baxter taught me that. He taught me a lot of things.
He never had to work for my heart. In some unexplainable way I think it had always belonged to him anyway.

We spent years loving each other, hurting each other, trying to forget each other, but no matter how hard I tried, I could never erase the memory of him. His eyes, his smile, his touch—these are all things that are embedded in my brain, tattooed on my skin, and etched into my heart.

Some might think our love story is over, but deep down I know it’s only just beginning.
Because it’s not about where the night begins, it’s about where it ends…
Where the Night Ends is a standalone, coming of age, romance.

Buy Now

Universal Buy Link-

Author Bio

Melissa Toppen is a Reader's Choice Award Winning and Bestselling Romance Author of New Adult, Contemporary, Erotic and Romantic Suspense. She is a lover of books and enjoys nothing more than losing herself in a good novel. She has a soft spot for Romance and focuses her writing in that direction; writing what she loves to read.

Melissa was born and raised in a small town in Ohio and now resides in Cincinnati with her husband and two children, where she writes full time.

In addition to spending time with family and friends, Melissa loves going to concerts and is obsessed with the T.V. shows Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time and Outlander.

Author Links

Hosted by: Saints & Sinners Book Promotions

Monday, July 17, 2017

Echo of Heartbreak, A Recipe for Life by Carol Ann Kauffman

"Echo of Heartbreak, A Recipe for Life" is a short story written in the form of a letter from a very ill mother to her unborn daughter, telling her the incidents surrounding her birth, giving her advice on life, and leaving her the best of her family recipes. It has been on the Amazon Best Seller's List a number of times, in categories  Contemporary Fiction, Parenting, and Recipes. The gorgeous cover is by wonderful Beth Maddox of Cover It Up Designs.


Wow! What an wonderful, thoughtful book. It has inspired me to do a similar creation solely for my granddaughter so she can know what a wonderful person her mother was.

Melina has a life-threatening heart condition and is pregnant. The doctor has told her to continue the pregnancy will probably kill her. Melina chooses to give the baby life. She knows her unborn daughter and will never give up the hope of having her. Being realistic, she also knows she may never know the sweet girl she is carrying. Therefore she writes a journal to her. Family recipes are interspersed with facts of life. She makes sure her love will be known by her daughter.

Great read, tears flow freely in many places. Wonderful family dynamics! Well written, thank you for this touching book.
                                         -Cindy Smith

Amazon Buy Link:

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Schedule for July 17-21, 2017

Schedule for July 17 - 21, 2017

Mon., July 17 - Echo of Heartbreak, A Recipe for Life
by Carol Ann Kauffman
Tues., July 18 - Where the Night Ends 
by Melissa Toppen - Release Blitz
Wed., July 19 - Interview with Horror Author and 
Cover Artist Suzi Albracht
Thurs., July 20 - Summer Peony by
Artist Caroline Ashwood
Fri., July 21 -  Classical British Painter
Arthur Hacker 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Lord of Blakeley Book Reviews

Top customer reviews

on May 23, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 3, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 9, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 26, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 18, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 8, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
If you have been reading the Time After Time series like I have, you don't want to miss this one, Lord of Blakeley. Carol Ann Kauffman went a whole different direction with this one then the rest. I have to say, this one will stay with me the most.
Carol Ann takes you on a time travel journey to other planets and earth. There is space travel, paranormal and the usual special love between to very special people, "Nicole and Richard". I love how she has Aleese and Andrew remember parts of the other books, but don't know why they do. Andrew keeps saying that he has loved Aleese from the beginning of time and it sure looks like it.
Andrew is just a farm boy on the planet Nord. Nobody special, not the smartest of the bunch and definitely not the bravest. One day he see's this most beautiful girl in the whole world and falls in love at first sight, without even meeting her. He followed her and tried to get close, but the guards wouldn't let him. He would dream of her for the rest of his life.
Aleese, Lady Aleese is being raised by Lord Havenhill and his family. It's time for her to take a mate and he wants his son Grant to be the one. Aleese has different ideas and neither Havenhill men are happy with that. Aleese knows her mate is at Blakeley and after going to all the different "towns", she hasn't found the right mate yet. Being pushed for time, she has to find him her or be forced to marry Grant.
Aleese and Andrew Wed and Grant keeps steeling her and placing her on different planets. Andrew goes out searching for her every time. They are traveling be transport with a bracelet. He finds her on a rock planet and other strange places. Grant even sent them to earth to be low scumbag workers. It backfired to some degree.
I love how Carol Ann started each new place with the location of where they are so you don't get confused. As much jumping around Aleese and Andrew did, you really need that to keep track of where you were.
There is so much I could tell you about this book, but I feel it would be giving away all the good parts and there are a lot of them. This book isn't a slow pace boring love story, No it's another part of Nicole and Richard as Aleese and Andrew. The pure love and devotion is still there and the adventure just turned out better. I really hope Carol Ann has more of Nicole and Richard coming in the future, this is a fun read and I love her style of writing.