Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Interview with Author Shari Sakurai

Shari Sakurai
Barnham, West Sussex
United Kingdom

Good morning, Shari, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. What have you written?
I published my first novel, Demon's Blood, in 2014. Demon's Blood is a vampire novel set in the fictional city of Norfield in England. The protagonists are Japanse vampire Kokawa Yaku and his English lover Thane Bremen. After they were discovered by vampire hunters, they were forced to flee their Tokyo home and relocated to Norfield. However, both are battling their own inner demons. Thane is tormented by nightmares of what happened in Tokyo, but he is unaware that there are more to those events than Taku has let on to him. As a consequence of that night, Taku is battling against something much darker that could ultimately not only him, but all of the kind.

Perfect World is the first novel in a series of the same name. It is a science fiction novel set in twenty-second century England. The series'protaganist is a genetically engineered twenty-five year old superhero Eric Rawlins. Eric works for the London Security Agency (L.S.A.) which is also the organization that created him. The L.S.A. has given Eric the perfect life with his superhero abilities, longevity, celebrity status, and a beautiful girlfriend, but in reality they control him and use his popularity with the public to their advantage.

Adam is a companion novel to my Perfect World series focusing on Adam Larimore's past and the events that led to Perfect World. It also ties in some of the unanswered questions from Perfect World #1 as well as setting in motion events for later in the series.

What is your favorite genre to write?
My favorite genres are paranormal, science 
fiction, and fantasy. I have yet to complete a fantasy novel, 
but I do not have one in the works at the moment.

Favorite food.
Pizza and chips, my ultimate comfort food. :D

Tea or coffee?
Neither. i do not drink hot drinks apart from hot chocolate.

Pizza or ice cream?

Wine or beer?
Neither. I prefer cocktails. 

Where would you like to visit?
I went to Japan a couple of years ago but I stayed mostly in the Tokyo area so I'd love to return and see more of the country. I would also love to visit New York one day.

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
My favorite band is a Japanese group called L'Arc~en~Ciel. I always listen to music when I write, usually rock or metal.

What makes you laugh?
Anything, really. LOL I have a great sense of humor and always prefer to find a lighter side to life wherever I can.

Favorite work of art or sculpture.
I love Japanese wood-block prints, especially works by Hokusai.

How old were you when you started writing?
I was six years old when I started. Our class at school wrote about the teacher's pet rat and I enjoyed writing my chapter so much that I've been writing ever since.

Do you plan out your book with outlines and notecards? Or just write?
I just write. I very rarely plan out a novel. Sometimes I keep notes or sentences I want to incorporate on my phone, but that's about it really.

Describe your perfect evening.
I love the cinema so for me it's going to my local cinema and watching a film.

Where do you get your inspiration?
My love for Japan has greatly influenced much of my work. Also just have inspiration come to me out of the blue when I least expect it. Lately I have been walking around my local park and planning out ideas for future works in my head.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I always write at least two books at a time so when I get writer's block with one, I can switch to the other until it passes.

Who is your favorite author?
James Clemens. His Banned and the Banished series is amazing!

Best book you ever read.
That's a difficult one. I'd say Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. It's an incredible story, and the sentiments and message running throughout the novel is just so powerful/ It's a book that stays with you for a long time after you've finished it.

I loved Cloud Atlas! I never met anyone else who read it. Last book you read.
The Jakkattu Vector by P.K. Tyler.      

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
I really don't know. I can't imagine doing anything else. I do enjoy graphic design though, so perhaps I would have gone into that.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
When you start writing your first novel take your time and enjoy the process. Don't put yourself under stress to et it finished in a certain timeframe. Writing should always be fun and something that you enjoy doing.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Art of Hilary Eddy

Hilary Eddy was born in England and spent her childhood in Surrey, England, where her mother's love of colorful flowers and her father's broad appreciation of nature proved to have a profound influence on her artistic concerns and interests. 

She attended college in North Wales where she was awarded the Douglas Williams Memorial Prize for Excellence in Art. She then came to the United States where she pursued her career at Purdue University, gaining her Masters of Arts degree in Fine Art in 1974.

Hilary has held more than sixty solo exhibitions of her oil paintings nationally at museums, universities, and commercial art galleries. including the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. 

She has won over forty awards in national and regional exhibitions. including the Grand Prize and First Place Award in the experimental category in The Artist's Magazine, which had over 10,000 entries.

Her paintings have been featured in the major art publications like American Art Collector, International Artist. The Artist's Magazine, and Art Crowd Magazine.
I was captivated by her colored glass collection of oil paintings that you see here today. 

I stumbled upon Hilary's work while researching another art post. I was drawn in by a memory from my childhood that these beautiful pastel glass bottles and flowers evoked. It reminded me of my Aunt Rita's dressing table. Beautiful colored glass bottles of perfumes and cream and I don't know what else sat on an oval mirrored tray in the middle of her dressing table in their bedroom. It was a memory of classic beauty in a gentler time. 

I claim nothing here as my own. All information is from the website listed below. Check it out. Her work is fantastic!

Monday, November 20, 2017

I Need Christmas by Carol Ann Kauffman

After a depressing year of sadness, loneliness, and self-doubt, successful civil engineer and former All-American basketball star Elizabeth (Betsy) Curry returns home to Oakville, Ohio, for the Christmas holidays a depressed and broken women. Reeling from her bitter divorce from the handsome, charming, but morally decrepate Tommy DeMalio, her college sweetheart and first big love, who left her after two years of what she thought was a good marriage for a stripper he met at an office bachelor party for her co-worker, Betsy feels lost and empty. Not exactly anticipating the happy holiday with her family and their multitude of joyful Christmas customs and long-time storybook-like traditions, she knows she needs them in order to heal. 
Once comfortable at home and feeling somewhat better about herself, Tommy shows up and claims he wants a reconciliation, throwing her back into the self-destructive cycle of doubt, hostility, and suspision she is trying so hard to escape.
She discovers her father has set her up with his protégé at work, the tall, handsome, athletic red-haired Patrick, who, try as hard as she can, she can’t find a single thing she doesn’t like about him.
So, what’s the problem? Betsy feels it’s too soon for her to love again. How can she love anyone again when she doesn’t like herself or what she’s become since the break-up. Also, she fears she will hurt the sweet, gentle Patrick.
Will the love, joy, and goodwill of the holiday season coupled with the many long-time holiday customs and Curry family traditions help Betsy to find herself again? Will she be strong enough to lift herself out of her self-induced prison so that she can take another chance on love ? 

Dear Gentle Readers,
This story, I Need Christmas, is part of the Oakville Family Christmas series. It was so much fun to write! I have been part of anthologies before, but they were always sequential in order, like the Monday Mystery Society series, where the second book took place after the first book, and so on. But this series of Christmas stories all took place in the same two week period before Christmas. Each book focuses on an individual member of the Curry family. I hope you enjoy reading this tale of Christmas homecoming.

Amazon Buy Link:

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Schedule for November 20 -24, 2017

Mon., Nov. 20 - I Need Christmas
by Carol Ann Kauffman
Tues., Nov. 21 - The Art of
Hilary Eddy
Wed., Nov. 22 - Interview with Author
Shari Sakurai
Thurs., Nov. 23 - Happy Thanksgiving!
From Vision and Verse to You
Fri., Nov. 24 - The Baslicato
by Carol Ann Kauffman

Friday, November 17, 2017

Charming Deception by Carol Ann Kauffman

Samantha wakes up to a perfect life, with a handsome, attentive husband she doesn't remember. She has it all: a luxury vehicle, designer clothes, beautiful jewelry, and a condo on the beach. But this isn't the life she remembers. As time go by, Samantha discovers she is the object of an elaborate deception, one large enough to include, other worlds, body doubles, time travel, world-hopping, and a galaxy guardian as cold as ice. Is her charming husband in on this deception?


"This is a wonderfully twisted soap opera for the brain.  Samantha has me worried and Jakson, sweet as he appears to be, creeps me out.  Love the imagery.  I feel like I'm right there with these characters.  Them OMG... out of the blue, kidnapped, encoding, decoding.  Uh, just who is this Samantha Blake?  This was like driving carefree down a one-way street and suddenly making an abrupt left turn - where there is no road!  AWESOME!!!"        
                                                                                               - Preston K.

Amazon Buy Link:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Fabulous Dutch Artist Suzan Drummen

This gorgeous circular artwork is like giant floor jewelry.  I have never seen anything like the work of Dutch artist Suzan Drummen.

Suzan Drummen is a visual arts teacher in the Netherlands.  Some have called her work psychedelic.  The beads, stones, mirrors, etc. are placed loosely on the floor, making them ethereal and very vulnerable to destruction. 

 Side-view of Suzan's work look like giant sundaes with cherries on the top.  The must be viewed from above to get the full effect.

Directly from the Website
From this website you can view many multidisciplinary works in the media of painting, photography, installation and public art. The works are a playful investigation of space, illusion, optical effects and other visual phenomena as part of a broad exploration of visual perception and the limits of beauty. There is an ongoing inquiry into the limits of seduction and repulsion.
The installations for example, are made from crystal, chrome-plated metal, precious stones, mirrors and optical glass. From a distance they appear clear and orderly, yet upon closer inspection, the eyes become disoriented by the many details and visual stimuli. That moment, of being able to take it all in or not, is explored, time and time again. The visual perception is challenged, requisitioned and intensified.

This website features a selection of the work, in chronological order, with the most recent work at the top. 

Thanks to: family, friends, fellow artists, exhibition curators, art advisors, clients, commissioners, architects and those involved in the production and realisation of the works. 

Suzan Drummen

1990 – Present (23 years) Amsterdam
"As an artist I make multidisciplinary works in the media of painting, photography,installation, and public art.  The works are a playful investigation of the space, illusion, optical effects, and other phenomena as a part of a broad exploration of visual perception and the limits of beauty.  There is an ongoing inquiry into the limits of seduction and repulsion.

The installation is a series of  chrome-plated metal, precious stones, mirrors and optical glass. From a distance they appear clear and orderly, yet upon closer inspection, the eyes become disoriented by the many details and visual stimuli. That moment, of being able to take it all in or not is explored, time and time again. The visual perception is challenged, requisitioned and intensified.

"Developing my own visual work is the main thing I do, but many other activities such as teaching, being member of art committees and initiate new art projects are so interwoven that I can hardly make a distinction between my activities. It is a great a stream of actions, meetings and findings that fertilize each other immensely."        - Suzan

The fabulous Dutch Artist Suzan Drummen uses a very special canvas for her work.  She uses the floor!  She uses crystals, chromed metals, precious stones, mirrors, and faceted optical lens to make large scale murals using complex circular patterns, reminding me of Tibetian sand painting... and the circular written language of Gallifrey.d

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cover Reveal: You Came like Hope by Jyoti Arora

~ Cover Reveal ~

Title: You Came Like Hope
Author: Jyoti Arora
Word length: 53,000 words
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Contemporary Romance

“I heard them mourn my death. I lay in the next room. Motionless, silent, and staring at the ceiling.”
“When it comes to a broken person, some of them are expert at blinding you. Spend an entire evening with such a person, but you may still not know how he is crushing inside.”
“Who would say no to him? He is smart, intelligent, super handsome, rich, suave and sophisticated. He’s perfect!”
“Pooja gave no explanation. She asked no forgiveness. She just arrived in his home, resenting him for being her husband.”
“He had smiled as if nothing was wrong.
He had behaved as if he still had his dreams and hopes.
He had pretended as if it didn’t hurt.
But it did.”
Does Destiny hold the key to our happiness?
Is it always the feeble that is the victim?
Love can be the embrace of heaven. But what happens when it unleashes hellfire?
Lose yourself in the intense narrative of You Came Like Hope as it unleashes a rollercoaster of emotions, uncovers some bitter truths, challenges widespread prejudices, and forces you to reconsider your beliefs.

Releasing on 23rd November 2017!

About the Author:
Jyoti Arora is a novelist and blogger from Ghaziabad. You Came Like Hope is her third novel, coming after Dream’s Sake and Lemon Girl. She is Post Graduate in English Literature and Applied Psychology. Besides reading and writing novels, Jyoti enjoys checking out latest technological innovations, watching movies, and listening to old Bollywood songs.