Friday, April 20, 2018

Book Blitz: Forsaken Norse Wind by Ciara Lake


“It’s going to be ugly if they get here. I may have to kill some of them. I’d prefer not to, at least this day. But they may leave me no choice.” He shrugged. “So, let’s go to avoid this problem. I didn’t come here to make war on these humans. I came to fetch my mate.” He stepped closer to the porch. “Trust me, Breanna. Let your heart guide you. If you listen to it, you will know what to do.”
“My mother’s in her room sleeping. I need help with her. She’s ill, and she can be difficult.”
“Let me inside, I’ll talk to her.”
“Okay.” She stood aside. “I’m your mate?”
“Yes, you’re my mate.” In a few quick steps, he stood inside the house. He had to duck as he entered, and once inside he hunched not to hit the ceiling. “Gather what you would like to take with us. Get the coat I gave you.”
Breanna picked up the coat to put it on. She took him to her mother.
“Mother, this is Axel. We need to leave with him. Hugh’s upset with us. He’s coming back to… hurt us. We have to go.” Breanna tapped her mother’s arm. “Mother, please wake up.”
Fiona rolled over to look at Breanna. Her eyes were crazed. “What is it, child?” Her voice sounded weak. “I was dreaming of Hema taking me to his realm.”
“We need to leave. This is Axel.” Breanna pointed at him. “Umm, he’s a friend of mine. We need to go with him, now.”
“No.” Her mother sat up in the bed, shaking her head. Her hair looked wild all over her head. “I must wait for Hema to return. If I’m gone he may not find me.”
“Mother, we have to go. Hugh’s not happy, and he’s bringing others to start trouble.”
“You leave, I’m staying here. I’m not worried about Hugh.” She lay back down, rolling to the other side. “I cannot leave. Hema may come to get me.”
Axel patted Breanna on her shoulder. “They’re almost here. Stand back with me. Lay the coat down then give me your hand. We’ll watch to make sure your mother’s safe.”
He reached for her hand, and Breanna allowed him to hold it.
“No one can see us now. It takes less power if you hold my hand to make you invisible with me. We’ll wait and watch. They cannot hear us either.”
Breanna followed Axel out into the front room of the house. They stood to the right of the fireplace out of the way. The front door burst open, and Breanna jumped.
“It’s okay. They don’t see or hear us. You’ll be safe.” He gently squeezed her hand. “Relax.”
Hugh, along with two other men, entered the house. The door banged against the wall, and they pushed the chairs to the floor as they stomped inside. Others were outside the house calling loudly for her.
“Where’s the bastard? The damn girl’s in league with him.

About the Book:
A troll, a mortal, and a love hot enough to melt ice.

Trapped in a vicious life, Breanna Devion survives only by the strength of her heart. Determined to have more than what her abusive stepfather has planned for her, she's willing to risk everything to be free.

Axel Venrick is a troll who has spent centuries alone, isolated in his castle in Iceland. At the insistence of others, Axel crafts the ultimate tool to find his soul mate. He creates a beautiful ring which is bespelled, blessed by a god, and sent forth to locate Axel's other half.

The ring finds Breanna just in time to prevent her stepfather's disastrous plan from taking place. But angry gods, vengeful parents, and an evil lurking in the immortal world all conspire to destroy the love of the jaded troll and his innocent mortal. Can their love free them or will the evil spreading from the bowels of the earth destroy them first?

Content Warning: graphic sex, some violence

About the Author
Welcome to Ciara Lake's World. Meet Gorgeous Werewolves, Vampires, Dragons, Mermaids, Wizards, Witches, Mythological Gods and Goddesses, Mere Mortals And More! Fiction has always been a passion of mine. Creating worlds and developing characters is a great way for me to relieve the stress and strain of my everyday world. In fantasy (paranormal) and sci-fi stories, the author has the unique ability to invent wonderfully exotic places and people. I do that in my books. These fantastic genres provide a limitless ability to be creative and inventive. My stories provide an escape into a special world filled with unique and otherworldly things. And there is always a happy ending.

Website * Twitter * Goodreads

Thursday, April 19, 2018

ENCORE: Guitar by Parker Kaufman

Dear Gentle Readers.

What a treat I have for you today! Our own Parker Kaufman, Texas paper collage artist and co-founder of Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors, has graciously agreed to share his latest creation with us.

This beauty, entitled "Guitar" is a 15' x 20" work composed of 12 hand-cut poster board pieces affixed to a foam board base. Parker claims he had no special inspiration for this piece. He says  it was just something floating around in the "ideas" section of his brain for several months. Parker completes this art piece on December 30, 2016.

This photo does not do justice to the mesmerizing quality of Parker's work. It's crisp and dimensional, the colors playing off each other to showcase the shape and beauty of the object.

I hope you enjoy today's post as much as I do. For more information on prices and availability of Parker's work or any questions for him, just drop him a line here at Vision and Verse in the comments section and I will be sure to see he gets it. 

Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

ENCORE: I Love the Art of Beryl Cook

Girls in a Taxi

Dear Gentle Readers,
   While checking by Facebook Author Page for activity, I came across a post from my friend and fellow art enthusiast, Elizabeth Monroe, and at first, I was a little taken by surprise.  Was there a photographer following my female family members and me around town?  Do we have the dreaded...(gasp)...paparazzi?
After I decided this wasn't really us, I found these prints to be delightful and lighthearted.  And fun.  I hope you will enjoy these "Ruebens with a sense of humor," "Botticellis with a big-bunned sense of humor," "Bouchers On Carbos", "Montaubans Wearing Clothes," I could go on and on...and on. 
Carol                                                                                The Art Studio

Directly from Wikipedia:
                                                                                          "Beryl Cook,(10 September 1926 – 28 May 2008) was an English artist best known for her original and instantly recognisable paintings of people enjoying themselves in pubs, girls shopping or out on a hen night, drag shows or a family picnicking by the seaside or abroad – tangoing in Buenos Aires or gambling in Las Vegas. She had no formal training and did not take up painting until middle age. She went to Kendrick Grammar School located in Reading, Berkshire, England.
Cook was a shy and private person, often depicting the flamboyant and extrovert characters she would like to be. She had an almost photographic memory.
Cook started painting when living in Southern Rhodesia with her husband and young son, and     continued to paint on returning to England during the 60’s, but only began to sell her work in the mid 70’s
She found new material for her work while travelling. Early local scenes expanded those depicting Buenos Aires, New York, Cuba, Paris and Barcelona.

                          The Park
Cook admired the work of the English visionary artist Stanley Spencer, his influence evident in her compositions and bold bulky figures, as well as several of her pictures depicting a similarly religious aspect; e.g. Noah, The Virgin and Jonah & The Whale. Another influence was Edward Burra, who painted sleazy cafes, nightclubs, gay bars, sailors and prostitutes, although, unlike Burra, she did not paint the sinister aspects of scenes. She was described by Victoria Wood as "Rubens with jokes". Beryl Cook's work can be seen in context with the British tradition of social realist painters and could be described as a twentieth century Hogarth or Gilray, although she had a more sympathetic view of the human race. She was, like them above all a social observer. In 1979 a film was made about Beryl Cook for LWT's South Bank Show. The TV company Tiger Aspect made two half-hour award winning animated films of Beryl Cook's irrepressible women who meet at Plymouth'sDolphin Pub. Entitled 'Bosom Pals' had an all star cast of voices with Dawn FrenchRosemary LeachAlison Steadman andTimothy Spall. They were screened on BBC1 in February 2004.
                                                                                                                          The Red Umbrella
Beryl Cook was made an O.B.E. in 1995. In 2005 Channel 4 News presented a short film of Beryl and her work, she was also the featured artist in The Culture Show in 2006. Beryl Cook's paintings have been acquired by Glasgow Museum of Modern Art, Bristol City Art Gallery, Plymouth Art Gallery and Durham Museum. The Baltic, Gateshead had a major Beryl Cook Exhibition in 2007, and a full retrospect exhibition was put on by Plymouth University after her death in November and December 2008. In 2010 several of Beryl Cook's paintings were loaned to Tate Britain for their exhibition 'Rude Britannia – British Comic Art', Bristol City Art Gallery and Museum held a retrospective exhibition in 2011.

                    Cha Cha Cha              
Publications : 'The Works' ( John Murray 1978   ) 'Private View' ( John Murray 1980 ) 'Seven Years and a Day' ( Collins 1980 ) 'One Man Show' ( John Murray 1981 ) 'Bertie and the Big Red Ball' ( John Murray 1982 ) 'My Granny was a frightful bore' ( Chrysalis Books 1983 ) 'Beryl Cook's New York' ( John Murray 1985 ) 'Beryl Cook's London ( John Murray 1988 ) 'Bouncers' ( Gollancz 1992 )'Happy Days' ( Gollancz 1995 ) 'Cruising' (Gollancz 2000 ) 'Beryl Cook: ' The Bumper Edition ' ( Gollancz 2000 )'The World of Beryl Cook' by Jess Wilder & Jerome Sans ( Prestel 2007 ) revised by Jess Wilder in 2008 ( Prestel ) 'Rude Britannia- British Comic Art, Catalogue Tate Britain 2010.

None of these photos or background articles are mine; nothing is my own work except for the first paragraph.  All information is from:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Red Sarah by Carol Ann Kauffman

Dear Gentle Readers,

In 2016, my publishing company Books To Go Now decides to publish an anthology of stories containing the color RED and donate all author proceeds to the Children's Cancer Research Hospital for one year. The anthology, entitled CODE REDHEAD was a big success. At the end of the year, when the rights were returned to me, I decided to release it on it's own.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Vision and Verse, I will be giving away 5 eBook copies of Red Sarah. All you need to do to be eligible is comment below. Winners will be notified on Sunday, April 22, 2018, here and on my Facebook Author Page at

Sarah is a beautiful redhead who works for a special agency that fixes broken timelines and rescues historically significant people who are in trouble. She has a special set of skills that allow her to 'tap' someone out of a dangerous situation. Her present assignment is to find and rescue a prince whose unborn son will one day eliminate hunger and disease on his island nation.

“Save the Prince; save the King; and save the Reds. In doing so, Red Sarah may just save herself, who knows, but what might be the cost? Moving from modern day wisecrackery to a time of romance long ago, Carol Ann Kauffman’s tale is filled with majesty and bravery. This time travel story is a gift for all.” - Amazon Review

“Sarah has one job and that is to rescue Crown Prince Lucas of Mist from captivity in a dungeon. Yet everything is not as it seems and will Sarah be able to stop an upcoming war?

This was an interesting book about time travel and trying not to disrupt the time continuum. I liked Sarah and it was interesting on where her and Lucas ended up.”
-Amazon Review

Monday, April 16, 2018

Happy 5th Anniversary, Vision and Verse!

Today is Vision and Verse's Fifth Anniversary! I can't believe it's been that long. It has been a pleasure bringing you, our readers, the best and most exciting new artists and authors out there, as well as the older, established ones.And we always love to revisit the classics.

When Texas collage artist Parker Kaufman and I started this blog five years old, we were told the second-worst subject for a blog was authors. The worst was art. But we didn't let that deter us. We had an image of what we wanted V&V to be. A no-frills, plain, simple column about creativity. Seeing it. Interesting it. Awakening it in ourselves.  

One of my favorite sections is the Wednesday Interview.  Learning what makes these remarkable authors and artists tick, what they eat, drink, read, and what makes them laugh gives us insight into their  creative processes and how, maybe, we might learn a thing or two about our own journey to creativity.  And I've met some fascinating people along the way!

Thank you for showing up every day to see what's happening here.

Here's a post from my first day five years ago:
April 15, 2013

      Hi!  I am the Verse side of VISION &VERSE.  My name is Carol Ann Kauffman. I’m an e-book author whose work is available on for the kindle. My novels have been classified as romance, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, super-natural, mature romance, and adventure.  I prefer to think of my work as    stories of life, love, loss, and that bit of lunacy that tugs and pulls at our heartstrings, making sense out of nonsense, and vice versa.  They are stories of true love. 
     My first series, TIME AFTER TIME, follows a pair of quintessential lovers, Richard and Nicole, through their lives together, in different places, in different times, 
with different names, and sometimes on different planets.  This follows the alternative theory that the relationships we forge in this lifetime, both the good and the bad, are continued into the future, and are rooted in our past. Whatever we do, whomever we love, and the good and evil deeds we do today follow us into the future. Unsettled 
issues will present themselves again and again, until they are ultimately resolved. Those people who have had a profound effect on us in this lifetime will find us again 
in the future.
     Although the novels are numbered, they can be read in any order.  But if you begin with “BLUE LAKE, Book One,” I think you’ll get a better feel for the two main 


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Schedule for April 16 -20, 2018

Mon., April 16 - Happy 5th Anniversary,
Vision and Verse
Tues., April 17 - Red Sarah by Carol Ann Kauffman
Win a free eBook by commenting
Wed., April 18 -  I Love the Art of Beryl Cook
Thurs., April 19 - The Guitar 
by Parker Kaufman
Fri., April 20 - BOOK BLITZ The Brotherhood
of Merlin by Rory D. Nelson 

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Cat Collier Mystery Short Story Series by Carol Ann Kauffman

Dear Gentle Readers,
Now might be a good time to get caught up on the Cat Collier Mystery Short Story Series if you haven't already, because the next installment, The Lavender Mists of May, is scheduled for release on May 1st and is available to pre-order now at:

What? You say you want some hints?      
Well, okay...
Cat's mother continues to cause turmoil in her daughter's life. Someone is located who didn't want to be found.Somebody gets a BIG makeover. Dale Collier falls in love. Someone show up in Heaton Valley looking for her husband.And more.Is that enough to hold you until next month?Hugs,C

Amazon Buy Link:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Heartless by Alena Des


Kings Series Book 3: Heartless by Alena Des was a great read. Demons. Humans. Vampires. Angels. And more! Riley is a handsome, heartless, reckless angel with the power of deception. That said, actually he’s not too bad of a guy and he grows on you as the story progresses. He’s drawn to the stunning Oriana. He knows she’s not human, but that’s about all he knows. Together Riley and Oriana face insurmountable odds and impossible situations, making this book one wild ride. I recommend this series to anyone who loves fantasy worlds, paranormal creatures, a tight plot, lovable characters, and loads of action.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

An Interview with My Favorite Live French Artist, Raphael Seygnovert

Raphael Seygnovert
French Artist

Dear Gentle Readers,

What a treat I have for you today! The wonderful French painter Raphael Seygnovert has taken time away from his easel to be with us this morning and I am thrilled to bits.

Good morning, Raphael and welcome to Vision and Verse, the place for Art and Authors. It is my pleasure to have you here with us. Tell us a little about your work.
When I realize a work, I try more to express a feeling than to follow strictly speaking a figurative approach with as a theme the landscape. I use an archaic graphic language impregnated with all my experience, all my musical and pictorial artistic influences. It is as if I were trying to express a distant memory that would not have root in our present life. As a vision the eyelids closed.

What is your favorite medium?
I love all the pictorial techniques. It is a real pleasure to apply and work the pastel with the fingers, I also like acrylic but I use it recently; I have a preference for oil, it is a very complete technique.

So what does our favorite Frenchman like to eat?
I appreciate French cuisine but as I am a vegetarian it is a bit complicated; I also love Asian, Indian and Japanese cuisine. Vegetables, cheeses ... And I love cooking too.

Coffee or tea?
I drink tea and coffee, but more coffee; In the north of France we drink a lot of coffee.

Pizza or ice cream?
The both!  Pizza "Sicilian" and Lemon ice cream.

Where would you like to visit? 
What piques your interest?
I love everything about ancient cultures, ancient civilizations, mysteries ...

Favorite kind of music?
I love acoustic guitar, folk music, mystical music, relaxation music, traditional music and Celtic music. I listen to many different things, I would hardly say my favorite artist.

What makes Raphael Seygnovert laugh?
I laugh easily, I like to laugh with my friends. The imitators make me laugh, the hidden cameras too.

This is my very favorite of all your works. You call them bluebells, but in my part of the world, we have tiny pale violet clusters called bluettes, or Quaker Ladies, that only bloom in the wet, wet spring, only in the woods or parks. They are my favorite flower. You cannot buy them in a store. You must clomp through the wet woods and get all muddy to find them.

How old were you when you began creating art?
I started to paint very young, then being an adult I stopped for a long time to resume after.But painting, art, is not a craft strictly speaking, it is a way of life. It's not a choice one day makes saying "it's an interesting job", or "I can make a lot of money like that!" Or "I will be famous." This is necessary to us, for we need to create, to express ourselves in this way, because it is part of us. I need, as an autotherapeutic way, to paint, it is my medicine ... which heals my soul. I think the important thing is to be in agreement with ourselves.

We all like to draw, paint, glue rocks together, snap photos, etc., but we are well aware we couldn’t make a living doing it.  
When did you know you made the right decision?
I am comforted in my choice by all positive feedback from the people I meet.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Nature is a constant source of inspiration, walking in the middle of the trees has always done me good, it is resource, we should try to preserve as many natural spaces as possible. My spirituality is also a source of inspiration.

What do you do when you get an artist block?
The artistic blockages I see more like moments of reflection that allow to take a new beginning, to have a new eye. We are all the time, internally, dying and reborn to evolve, to grow. Like the crysalid and the butterfly.

Favorite artist?
I like many different artists, I like the Impressionists, Monet, Van Gogh, Cross, Corot and also Modigliani ...

If you were not an artist, what would you do for a living?
If I was not a painter, I would have liked to be a professional guitarist, a singer, or a social job.

Who has influenced you most in your life?
The person who has influenced me most is hard to say; I have a thought for my father .. he was a great person ... courageous and much more, my mother too.. but I do not forget the others, all those people who cross your path and illuminate it even for a short time. I think we are all like sponges, every interaction, every encounter, changes our life in its own way.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be an artist?I will tell him to paint more and more, it is by forging that one becomes a blacksmith.I would tell him to expose ever more, meetings and criticisms are always very useful to evolve.To have his own opinion about his work and that of others.And getting to know one self, is the best way to be authentic.

Links to follow our favorite Frenchman:
twitter: @seygnovert

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us today. We at Vision and Verse wish you continued success in all your endeavors. Come back and see us again!