Friday, January 22, 2021

BOOK: January Black Ice, A Cat Collier Short Story Mystery by Carol Ann Kauffman


 January Black Ice

A strong-willed, sharp-minded woman, Mary Catherine Collier, is a journalist and obituary writer for a local newspaper. When the city’s rich and most influential lawyer, Detrick Bittmor, summons her to his penthouse apartment, she can’t say no. Cat, as she’s better known, has a soft spot for the old lawyer with a nasty reputation. There’s something about this man she finds charming. 
Detrick entrusts her with a puzzling personal matter. He wants her to find out who the mysterious young man is who sits on a park bench every day at noon and stares up at his apartment windows. The man resembles a young version of himself, and Detrick suspects that he could be his son from an affair he had many years ago.

He wants to find out the truth because this man could be his only heir.

Somewhat reluctantly, Cat takes on the challenge. She befriends the young man, but will it be love at first sight or will she stumble upon a secret that could put both their lives in danger?



This is the first in the series of Cat Collier books that follow the young woman from small-town newspaper journalist to big-city detective and beyond. 
January Black Ice
February White Lies
March Blues
April Yellow Moon
Lavender Mist of May
June Green Leaves of Deceit
July Fireworks Sky

January through July are out now in ebook kindle format, and I am working on August Red Dawn.
January through March are also available in paperback.
And we are working on the January Black Ice audiobook.

All available on Amazon.







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Thursday, January 21, 2021

ENTERTAINMENT: Foyle’s War (ACORN)




Foyle's War was one of the best series I ever watched. Outstanding writing coupled with terrific acting make this series a definite DO NOT MISS!



This guy here, Michael Kitchen, is one of those wonderful actors who can convey so much with a facial expression or gesture without the perfect delivery of his lines. It adds layers and layers to what is happening. He plays DCS Foyle. 


And this is the delightful lady is Honeysuckle Weeks, who plays DCS Foyle's driver Samantha Stewart.  




 This World War II drama can be seen on ACORN or Amazon Prime Video. Excellent! 






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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

INTERVIEW:Poet and Paranormal Author A.G. Porter


 Amanda Porter, 

but I write under A.G. Porter

Alabama, USA


 

Good morning, Amanda, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the site for Art and Authors and the people who love them. What have you written? In 2012, I self-published my first YA Paranormal novel, The Shadow, the first in The Darkness Trilogy. The Forsaken and The Redeemed followed after that. Also, I have published two poetry collections, Pieces of My Heart and Pieces of My Soul.   


                                                  

 

What is your favorite genre to write? So far, I really enjoy Paranormal. I love all of the supernatural and spiritual aspects of the genre. I mainly focus on the YA subgenre. I don’t know if I’ll ever venture into Adult. I would love to write Fantasy one day. I have a Fantasy story that I have been working on for over 10 years!

 

Favorite food. 

Mexican Food! I am of Mexican descent so I love homemade tacos and tamales! 

 

Tea or coffee? 

Tea. I’m from the Southern part of the United States so sweet tea is a staple for most of my meals and anytime I just want something to drink. I should drink more water, but TEA!


 

Pizza or Ice Cream?

Ice Cream, cookie dough ice cream.


 

Wine or beer? 

Wine. I like the cheap fruity stuff. I could never be a wine connoisseur, I’m sure. I’m not that fancy. 


 

Where would you like to visit? 

Ireland. It has always held this magical place in my heart. Surely, even if you live in Ireland, you have to think that, right? It’s just so beautiful there is no way it wasn’t made with a little magic. 


 

Favorite musical artist. 

The Killers! They are Indie Rock and I have loved them since I was 17-years-old. I am so thankful they still make music!   

 


Do you listen to music when you write?

Oh, yes, it’s a must!  

What? 

It really depends on what I’m writing. I have a Spotify playlist and it has The Killers, Taylor Swift, Three Days Grace, Boyce Avenue, and just random songs that speak to me. 


 

What makes you laugh? 

My kids, my husband, even on days they drive me crazy, they always find a way to bring a smile to my face. 

 

This is an Art AND Author site, so I am obligated to ask:

Favorite work of art or sculpture. 

Oh, wow, I’m not sure about this one. Probably something by Monet. I like how from far away his pieces look so put together and then close up, it’s kind of all over the place.                            

 

 

How old were you when you started writing? 

I think I kind of always was writing something as soon as I could hold a pencil, but it was around 9th grade that I wanted to be taken seriously. 






 Do you plan out your book with outlines and notecards? Or just write? It really depends. Sometimes I start out a story in a journal or a notebook and sometimes I start one out on my laptop. I have become more of a plotter the longer I have been writing. 

 


Describe your perfect evening.

Really, just one with no plans and no obligations. 

 


Where do you get your inspiration? 

Mostly music, that’s why I listen to songs while I write. 


 


What do you do when you get a writer's block? 

Read or watch a movie. I want to step away from my own story and focus on another one. 

 

Who is your favorite author? 

There are so many. I have favorite authors in different genres. I love Dean Koontz as a Horror Author. Leigh Bardugo is an amazon YA Fantasy Author. Agatha Christie is my favorite Mystery Author. J.R.R. Tolkein is my favorite Fantasy Author.  

 


Best book you ever read.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee


 

Last book you read. 

The Warrior’s Call: Dragon Riders of Osnen Book 3 by Richard Fierce


 

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer

I basically do it now. I make shirts, car decals, and other personalized vinyl collectables. It helps pay the bills since I am a stay-at-home Mom. 


 

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?

My parents. They have sacrificed so much for my family and still 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?

They say don’t meet your heroes, but I’d really like to talk to Tolkien.



 



What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer? 

Write what you love

 




Do you have some links for us to follow you?


Faceback Page: https://www.facebook.com/TDTAGP

Facebook Group: 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1421756684770187

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/A-G-Porter/e/B00IQL0P2S/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1439314592&sr=8-1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/agporterbooks/

Website: https://agporterbooks.wixsite.com/author?fbclid=IwAR0DRD6qcvzTfIeuv2zDkrbnA9DKZSQb0dVSAGj51lGghy1rmrqK0IpEUVg












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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: Death’s Disciple, A Detective Frank Miller Story, by James Whitworth



Death’s Discipline by James Whitworth is the ideal book to get your mind off what’s happening in the world right now. Detective Inspector Frank  Miller is called to the home of a wealthy old family to investigate the murder of the family matriarch - on her 70th birthday. The book reminded me of those wonderful old British police procedural murder mysteries you can get lost it. Twists. Turns. Dracula. Some gore. And an interesting ending. James Whitworth is my new favorite.






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Monday, January 18, 2021

ART: Woven Basket by Native American Weaver Juana Basilia Sitmelelene


This gorgeous handwoven basket was woven by Native American Weaver Juana Basilia Sitmelelene.
 
It is estimated to have between 325 and 350 stitches per square inch. I took a quilting class in the 70's and we struggled to make it up to 10 stitches per square inch, so I can't even fathom 325!
 
It was woven with the three-rod coil method. It is a sample of the Chumash women’s outstanding artistry and innovation in basket making. 

Made out of hand-harvested juncos stalks, also called basket rush, there are tiny images corn, stars, and Spanish colonial coins.

Juana was born in 1782 and passed on in 1832 in Mission San Buenaventura, California.

Read more about this remarkable woman in "Art of Native America: the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection  at met.org/ArtofNativeAmerica .





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i

 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

SCHEDULE: January 18-22, 2021


 Mon., Jan. 18 - ART:
Woven Basket 
by Native American Weaver
Juana Basilia Sitmelelene
Tues., Jan. 19 - BOOK REVIEW:
Death's Discipline,
A Detective Frank Miller Story
by James Whitworth
Wed., Jan. 20 - INTERVIEW:
Poet and Paranormal Author,
A. G. Porter
Thurs., Jan. 21 - ENTERTAINMENT:
Foyle's War
(Acorn)
Fri., Jan. 22 - BOOK:
January Black Ice,
A Cat Collier Short Story Mystery
by Carol Ann Kauffman 






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Friday, January 15, 2021

BOOK: Dark Return, the Sequel to Belterra by Carol Ann Kauffman


 

Dark Return is the much-requested sequel to my bestselling sci-fi/fantasy romantic adventure set in post apocalyptic times.


Dark Return is the sequel to Belterra, Time After Time, and takes place about ten years afterwards. When Belterra was populated long ago by a select group of humans sent here by the ancients in the hope of saving the human race, the indigenous race of bat-like creatures called the Batrach were forced into the ocean and underground sea caves by a giant force field. The force field has now weakened. The Batrach have emerged from their watery prison and they want their planet back.


Excerpt:

“Neeka,” called Lira at her door. “I hate to wake you when you get so little sleep as it is, but you are needed.”

“What is it, Lira?” she asked, putting on her robe.

“Your father. He is ill. I can do nothing with him. Will you come and see what you can do?”

“Of course. I’ll be right there. Call Ana and Fen.”

“They are already with him.”

Neeka dressed quickly and made her way to her father’s bedchamber. She opened the door to find a very ashy gray looking Lord Mica. She edged toward the bed.

“Father, I hear you aren’t feeling so well. What exactly is bothering you?” she asked, noticing his breathing was shallow and rapid. His coloring was off, greyish, pale. She touched his hand and head. No fever, that was good.

“I am sick.”

“Yes, we got that part. Sick from…?”

“Sick from war, sick from death. Sick from looking into the face of the certain demise of our entire species. Sick from my inability to rectify this situation. My heart aches. My people look to me for leadership and guidance; they expect me to figure out a way to save us. I am the Warrior Lord, but I’m no good at this war stuff. We have lived in peace all of my life. I am no strategist. I can hold my own against any human adversary, but not these reptilian monsters. I am, my daughter, a blatant failure.”

“Ana, Fen, come here,” Neeka asked. “Help me.” She put her hand on his chest. Ana and Fen did the same. They closed their eyes and breathed deeply, sending their vibrations into his body. Soon Lord Mica was breathing easier and his coloring had returned to normal.

“May I speak with my father alone please?” Ana, Fen, and Lira left the room.

“Ashamed of me, Neeka?”

She sat down across from him and stared at him. This war had certainly aged him. 

“Of course not. You are the Lord of the Warrior Clan, a man of healing and finesse. You know the ways of natural healing, of crystals, and light therapy. You know the natural cycles of the sun and the moon. You know the paths of the stars in the sky. You can predict the weather. And you can sense danger by sniffing the air. You know how to communicate with the plants and animals of our kingdom. You can handle any human problem that comes our way.”

“However, the problem facing us right now is non-human and I cannot understand or communicated with these damn bat creatures.”

“What does Lord Jamit say?”

“He’s praying. He’s cloistered himself away in prayer. He’s been praying for three days now.”

“How about Lord Milo?”

“Ineffective little punk. He never was leadership material. He takes orders well, but there’s not an original thought anywhere in his head. And Braedon? He’s the only one among us all who is a true leader and a strong fighter. He’s out there on the front line from dawn to dusk, doing battle with these beasts day in and day out. When I do see him, he looks so tired, so exhausted. Your husband needs rest. And maybe some loving attention from his wife. Your man needs time to replenish himself. Where is he?”

“He wasn’t home when I got back from the hospital. I really don’t know where he is.”

“Well, I do, daughter. He’s out there. If he’s not fighting, he’s carrying back the wounded before they can be eaten. He cannot go on like this. Insist that your husband rest. Take him by his ear and put him to bed.”

“Yes, Father, I will, just as soon as I find him. Now, back to you. Let’s see if I have this right. You’re having premonitions of impending doom.”

“Yes”

“You feel there is no way out of this.”

“Yes”

“You feel as our leader you have let whatever’s left of the human race down.”

“Yes”

“You feel we’re all going to end up dead.”

“Yes,” he shouted.

“And you’re making yourself sick over this.”

“Yes,” he whispered.

“Oh, Father, you are anything but a disappointment, to any of us. Yes, we have our problems. I, too, have had nightmares and premonitions that these beasts are gaining strength and have the definite edge over us in this fight. But, I know you’re going to find a way to pull us out of this. And you are not alone. You have your wonderful sons, the love boys, Lars and Omer and Vin and Emil by my stepmother, Lady Tela. You have your own personal fire-breathing dragon, my daughter, your granddaughter, Ana. You have Fen, My I’m-not-sure-what, but I know I’ve loved that young man since I first laid eyes on him as a sickly, lost, orphan child in Northford, and he grows more mature and intelligent and wise with every single passing day. You have Lira, the third woman you’ve bowled over with your kind, gentle, and loving ways. She is the absolute epitome of patience and devotion to you. And you have Braedon, my fantastic War Lord husband, and me, your wild, impetuous daughter. You aren’t carrying this burden by yourself.”

There was a knock at the door.

“I brought you some tea, My Lord,” Lira came in with a tray. “It will calm your nerves.” She poured and handed him the cup. He drank it down quickly. Lira stroked his head and smiled at him.

“Rest now, Father. Things will look better when you awaken.”

He nodded.

“Sleep, now, My Lord,” said Lira.

“I can’t sleep. I wish I could sleep, but I can’t, I’m so…”

“Of course you can, My Darling," said Lira. "I drugged your tea."








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Thursday, January 14, 2021

ENTERTAINMENT : Watership Down on NETFLIX

 



I read this book a long time ago. It was a tender and yet scary story of society and survival told through the eyes of rabbits. I was afraid they would screw it up turning it into a movie. But they did not. And Peter Capaldi as Kehaar as the not so sensitive, but dependable in the end seagull is great comic relief. 

I owned a bunny after I reading this story so long ago. She was a purple lop-eared beauty. My friend Lynn and I got sibling bunnies. Lynn's bunny, Eddit Rabbit, remained a small, sweet handful of fur and warmth. My bunny, Lavendoe, gave me nothing but deep arm scratches. And she stretched across the driveway at fifteen+  pounds.

Now I know Italian girls like to feed people. And animals. It is one of my faults. But I swear to you, this was not my fault. She got rabbit food, lettuce, and a carrot on Sunday. Whatever else she was devouring was without my knowledge. 

I used to take her outside on a cat lease when we walked the dog.  She sat there. The dog would lick her and use her as a pillow, all without any reaction.

Lavendoe ended up on a farm in Cortland, where my friend Denise renamed her Smoky. She lived with other rabbits in the country and seemed to be much happier than living the city life with me.












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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

INTERVIEW: British Historical and Fashion Fiction Author Grahame Peace


Grahame Peace
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire 
England, UK



Good morning, Grahame, and welcome back to Vision and Verse, the site for art and books and the people who love them. Can you tell us a little about the Ghost from Molly-House Mystery Collection?

It’s 1850 and Christmas is fast approaching in Victorian London. Miss Desdemona Ward has recently inherited a vast fortune including a beautiful house in London’s exclusive Belgravia Square from 
Lady Agnes Maudsley, a relative
she didn't know existed.

Since moving into the house, Desdemona has heard strange noises and seen the ghost of a little girl who is asking for help. Feeling haunted by what she has seen and heard, she calls in a psychic investigator, Jasper Claxton, not knowing he’s a time-travelling ghost.

Jasper brings one of his associates from the famous Pluckley Psychic Historical Society, Jocasta Bradman, a noted spiritual medium, back in time to 1850 to help him, and together, as the clock starts ticking, they begin their investigation. 

An investigation which takes them to the many slums of London and the Covent Garden Workhouse. Could a well-known story about Christmas also help them on their journey to solve this touching ghostly mystery?
Meet Jasper a time-travelling super-ghost with a sense of humour, in these eerie, historic, amusing, paranormal stories. The Ghost from the Molly-House is a collection of historical mysteries, which will appeal to fans of antiquity, period detective novels, tales of haunted houses, cosy mysteries, fantasy, and all things that go bump in the night. Although this is the seventh book in the series, the novel can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story in its own right.


Please note this book is written in British English.

Read all the books in The Ghost from the Molly-House Series and meet the entire paranormal investigation team.
The Ghost from the Molly House
The Jasper Claxton Mysteries
The Pluckley Psychic Historical Society
The Psychic Agency
The Mystery at Winterburn Manor
The Sirens’ Call



What is your favorite genre to write?
I would say I enjoy writing anything which contains humor; I also like history and fashion.



Favorite food.
Most things apart from seafood, I’m not a great shellfish lover. If I had to choose a cuisine, I would say Italian food; I love it.



Tea or coffee?
Both, but I’m a terrible coffee snob; it has to be freshly ground, and preferably from Italian Coffee Beans.



Pizza or ice cream?
Both and lots of it! I love them both.


Wine or beer?
White wine, a nice chilled new world Chardonnay.





Where would you like to visit?
Oh, now that’s a hard one to answer, because there are so many places I’d love to visit, but I’ll say Australia.


May I suggest Venice? It is fabulous. It's like another planet! Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music 
when you write?
Oh, yes, all the time, I love all kinds of music, I love 
classic artists like Barbara Streisand, Frank Sinatra, 
Ella Fitzgerald, to modern artists like Suede, I love electronic sounds from people like the British bands 
The Pet Shop Boys, The Human League, and the 
German band Kraftwerk.

                                                                             
What makes you laugh?
Well, I’m from the UK, and I think I have a very British sense of humor, I like all the British ‘Carry On’ films, and British comedians, people like the late Joyce Grenfell, Dame Margaret Rutherford, and Victoria Wood, I loved her, also people like Dawn French and the actress Julie Walters.

This is an art and author site, so I am obligated to ask: Favorite work of art or sculpture.
I love the artwork of the late Swiss artist Paul Klee, 
not that I could ever afford to buy an original!



I love his work, too. How old were you when you started writing?
In terms of writing seriously, I was 55 years of age.



Do you plan out your book with outlines and notecards? Or just write?
I do some planning, I would describe my style as research-based; I do a lot of historical research for my books, but it’s also improvisational.



Describe your perfect evening.
Enjoying a good film with my partner, with a nice glass of chilled chardonnay, at our lovely home.




Where do you get your inspiration?
Good question! I think it comes from my historical research. One thing tends to lead to another. If I’m writing about fashion, well, that just flows out of me, it’s a great passion of mine, it finds its way into all my books. 

Sometimes as I’m writing one book, it gives me an idea for another. I’m just about to start on my eighth book, which is about a social media and reality TV star called Patrina Fletcher, she made several appearances in my book ‘The Psychic Agency’. I enjoyed writing her character so much; I’m going to do a book about her crazy life, she’s great fun.
Sounds fantastic! What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Pick up a book and read; it usually works for me. Failing that, I put some words on a page, it could be anything, and I find that starts me writing. It might be something as simple as, ‘Once upon a time’.



Who is your favorite author?
In all honesty, I don’t think I have one; I try to read so many different genres, the only thing I will say is I don’t like books with a lot of social problems, violence, sex, and bad language.



Best book you ever read.
A book I really like is a book called ‘Camberwell Beauty’ by Jenny Éclair, it’s a laugh out loud story, but it’s also quite dark, somehow, everyone you know is in the book. Of course, there are many others.



Last book you read.
The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, the original 1890 version, I loved it.



What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
In fantasy land, I would love to have been a fashion designer for a top haute couture house like Chanel or Dior. One can dream!



Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My partner helped me to believe in myself, we’ve been together 22 years and it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.



If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Without a doubt, the late Spanish haute couturier Cristobal Balenciaga described as the most celebrated fashion designer of all time. I would want to know all about his life and creative process.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Do it for the love of writing, not to become rich and famous, and don’t expect to be an overnight success.




Do you have some links for us to follow you?
My social media links are:










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