Wednesday, July 31, 2013


In the 8th century, glass makers on an island off the coast of Venice, Italy, began creating a uniquely exquisite glass.  Such was the birth of Murano Glass, named after it's island origins.  Glass makers make it elsewhere using "murano" techniques, but connoisseurs of this treasure insist that authentic Murano glass is only made on the island.

Venice was a major port of trading at the time and it brought Asian and Muslim influence into Murano.  By the 14th century glass makers there enjoyed  a prominence among the citizenry; allowed to wear swords, given immunity to prosecution by the Venetian state, and finding their female off-spring married into the affluent families of the day.  However, the price for this prominence was the requirement that they never leave the Republic.

Entering the 17th century, nearly half of Murano's population participated in some way in the glass making industry.  They enjoyed a monopoly on quality glass making for centuries and developed and refined glass making techniques like crystalline glass, enamelled glass, multi-colored glass, milk glass, and glass containing gold threads.  These techniques are still used today in making art glass, glass figurines, and Murano glass chandeliers.  There are still many glass factories in Murano today creating all kinds of glass from stemware to sculptures.

The making of Murano Glass is a complex process, most of it employing the "lampworking" technique.  Lampworking is a method of melting and shaping solid glass in the flame of a tabletop torch.  Glass is made of silica, which when heated to very high temperatures becomes liquid.  The interval  where the glass is soft prior to solidifying is where the glass artist shapes the material.

There are raw materials used in the process, called "flux" or "melting agents".  These soften at lower temperatures.  The higher the sodium oxide content in the glass, the more time it takes to solidify.  This allows more time for glass makers to shape the material.  Artisans add other raw materials to the glass such as sodium which makes for an opaque surface and nitrate and arsenic, which eliminates bubbles.

Coloring materials vary according to the look that the artist is trying to achieve.  For example, aquamarine is achieved by combining copper and cobalt compounds, while ruby red is achieved using a gold solution as coloring agent.

There are many well-known historic glass factories still producing today.  Among them, Gabbiani, Venini, Berengo Studio, Simone Cenedese, and the oldest being Antica Vetreria Fratelli Toso, which was established in 1854.  Only a few use the Artistic Glass Murano trademark which certifies those glass products are made on the island of Murano.

Pictured above; vase and bowl in blown crystal, decorated with gold peacocks and vitreous enamel in relief, by  Creazioni Ghisetti Murano.

An Interview with Actor Mario Temes

Mario Temes
Hialeah, FL

Okay, Mario,what made you want to become an actor?

 I always had a love for the arts, I grew up playing different instruments as well as watching my father on Spanish TV as an actor and my sister in various dance teams and in musical theater plays. In my last years of middle school my sister recommended I’d join the schools musical teather department and see if it was something I’d enjoy doing, to my surprise it definitely was! After growing such a deep passion for the arts I decided to get more into the film/TV side of the business.

What is the hardest part of being an actor? 

Definitely getting your mind out of a role, it’s pretty intense and scary at how a role can consume your mind for such a long period of time.
What is your favorite food? Don’t exactly have a favorite food, but I do have a favorite “type” of food! I’d definitely say any Chinese or Italian food would be on my favorites list.
Where would you like to visit? As many places as possible! Why leave the world without knowing what’s beyond what you’ve only seen.

What are your performance skills?

 Besides acting, I also play drums, guitar, bass, sing and rap!

What makes you laugh? 

Naturally funny people! Don’t really find it funny when someone “tries” to be funny, if the comedic side to you is a natural thing you’ll definitely have me laughing the whole time I’m with you.

How old were you when you started acting? 

I believe I was about 13 years old when I began taking acting seriously. I did act at around the age of 7 for a Spanish TV show that never aired but I wasn’t very serious about it at the time.

You’ve done theater work, too. So you sing and dance?

 Yes I do!

Are you a tenor?


Oooh, I LIKE tenors!  Favorite dance? 

Salsa, growing up in a Cuban household kind of automatically means you will learn how to dance salsa, haha!

Favorite sport?


Favorite musical artist?

Too many too name but I’m a huge fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

I hear you’re a musician as well. Do you play an instrument?

 Drums, various percussion instruments, guitar and bass!

As an actor, you have to be able to do a good, believable foreign accent. Do you have one? 

Yes, I can do vairous accents. It’s not too hard if you study the accents and people with the accent, everything takes patience.

What is your favorite work of art or sculpture? 

I’m a huge fan of abstract art or very dark art, don’t exactly have a favorite anything that basically catches my minds attention and makes me really think about it is an A+ on my list.

Who is your favorite author?

Huge fan of the Lord Of The Rings series, that says enough hah!

Have you been in any films yet? 

My latest film was “Sub Rosa” which I played the lead role of “Alan”, I also just directed my own film “I Am Sane” and I’m currently on a TV show  “Clarissa’s World” as “Charlie”.

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

Can’t choose one, basically everyone grows up how they’re raised in there household until a certain point in life where you choose the start making your own decisions.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? 

I’d really like to sit down with Tom Hardy because it seems as if he’s gone through the same steps I have in my earlier life.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be an actor, besides “marry well”? 

Never quit on your dreams, anything is possible you just can’t give up no matter how old you are and ALWAYS do it for the love of the craft never for the fame and money! If you do it for the fame and money or let that start consuming your mind as you get more recognition then it will definitely show in the work you do.

Do you have any links you'd like to share with us?

Vimeo (Films) –

Thank you, Mario.  And good luck to you, Young Man.  I know we will hearing a lot about you in the future!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Author Interview with Blakely Bennett

Welcome to Vision and Verse, Blakely. 
Hello Carol! Thank you so much for participating in the My Body Trilogy Virtual Book Tour.
I’m Blakely Bennett and I currently reside in Seattle, Washington. I grew up in Southeast Florida and don’t miss the hot summers at all. I do, however, miss the warm beach waters.

What have you written?
The third book of my trilogy, My Body-Mine was just recently released which completed the trilogy. Here are the three books with short blurbs:
My Body-His:
The trilogy begins one night at a party, when Jane meets an intense and compelling stranger named Luke. The fateful encounter prompts her predictable life path to veer into uncharted waters, sweeping her on a frightening erotic journey into bondage, domination and submission. How far down this dark, descending path is she willing to go? 
My Body-His (Marcello):
Jane Stiles has embarked on an intense odyssey into the world of domination and submission. Her lover, Luke, encouraged her to quit her job and give up her possessions, so her life now revolves around him, his friends and clients. Hovering in the background is Luke’s best friend, Marcello, whose ego is as towering as his stature. Marcello has set his sights on Jane. 
My Body-Mine:
Jane’s marriage to Luke, who drew her in to the dark side of BDSM, is over. She has taken refuge with Marcello, who insists that she submit to his demands or move on. When she meets Chase, a confident and flirtatious man outside of the lifestyle, she resists their intense chemistry. Can she find the kink she has come to desire without the full-time submission? 

What is your favorite genre to write?
So far it has been erotic suspense but I’m pretty sure my next series will fall more in the erotic romance category but we will have to wait and see. ;)

Favorite food?
My favorite types of food are Thai and Japanese. My favorite food of all … chocolate!

Where would you like to visit?
All over Europe and any place with a beach.

Favorite musical artist?
This is a hard one for me. I love, love, love music, and am listening to some right now as I type. It really depends on my mood. My daughter tells me I like “emo” music but truly I have very eclectic tastes. My favorite genre is hard alternative.

How old were you when you started writing?
I wish my memory was that good. I would journal a lot as a kid and young adult. I would start stories often but never finished a full-length novel until I was thirty.

Where do you get your inspiration?
That’s a mystery I have yet to solve. Writing for me is an altered state and I just follow the flow.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Writer’s block hasn’t been much of an issue for me. I sit and eventually the words come.

Who is your favorite author?
That’s another “at the moment” thing. It has changed over the years. Right now I’m really loving two unpublished authors who have let me help with editing. Watch out for Heidi Stewart, author of Twisted (about a serial killer and a novelist) and Pepper Winters, author of Tears of Tess (about a woman getting abducted in Mexico – think intense AND sexy).

Best book you ever read?
      I have four all-time favorites, all of which I have read more than once:
1.     Siddhartha by Herman Hesse – Each time I read it, I learn something new.
2.     Replay by Ken Grimwood – I love the character arc in this story.
3.     Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – I wish I had written this one. It’s a masterpiece.
4.     Killing Me Softly by Nicci French – This book inspired me to bring suspense and erotica together.

Who is the one person who has influence your personal life the most and why?
This is an easy one to answer … my husband. We have been together over eighteen years and fall deeper in love all the time. He is the biggest fan of my writing and the person I am. There is nothing better in life than having your own personal cheerleader. He lifts me up, challenges me, and makes me feel special every day.

 If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
From a professional standpoint, Oprah or Ellen for the exposure it would bring to my novels. From a curiosity standpoint, Bill Clinton (I wouldn’t mind if Hillary tagged along either). Bill would be an interesting person to create a character based on. He reached the pinnacle in politics and became his own undoing.

 What advice would you give someone who aspires to be a writer?
Good writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Make sure to use test readers and a professional editor. If Stephen King still uses them after all the books he has published, we mere peons should as well.

My Body-Mine
My Body Trilogy, Book three
Blakely Bennett

Genre: Erotic Suspense
Publisher: Fanny Press
Date of Publication: July 15th
ISBN: 978-1-60381-534-5
Number of pages: 324
Word Count: 87,000
Cover Artist: Sabrina Sun

Book Description:

Jane has accepted that her relationship with her husband Luke, who drew her into the darker side of BDSM, is over. She has taken refuge at the home of Luke’s powerful friend Marcello and his submissive, Janice. With Marcello’s patience exhausted, Jane must either submit to his demands or move on from his household and his support. Ultimately, she signs a six month contract of sexual servitude but, as Marcello and Jane grow closer, Janice feels neglected and jealous, creating tension in their normally easy daily rhythm.

In an effort to help Jane, her best friend Parker introduces her to Chase, a confident and flirtatious man who lacks the arrogance of either Luke or Marcello. Jane’s rapport with Chase is lighthearted and subtle, allowing her to gain a new perspective on men. She is intensely attracted to Chase but does not feel free to consider him as more than a friend.

Once Jane gets a real picture of Marcello’s extremes, she knows what she must do. Her feelings about Luke and Marcello and her own sexuality must be resolved before she can find true love with a man who appreciates everything she has to offer. Can she possibly find the kink she has come to desire without the full-time submission?

My Body-Mine is the final book in the My Body Trilogy.

My Body-His (Marcello)
My BodyTrilogy, Book 2
Blakely Bennett

Genre: Erotic Suspense
Publisher: Fanny Press
ISBN: 978-1-60381-525-3
Number of pages: 264
Word Count: 76,000
Cover Artist: Sabrina Sun
Amazon              BN

Book Description:

Jane Stiles has embarked on an intense odyssey into the world of domination and submission. She no longer recognizes herself. She has quit her job, surrendered her possessions and agreed to a wedding where she is the only one naked, all for the sake of the elusive Luke—a man so compelling, she can deny him nothing.

Now there is no going back. Her new life will revolve around Luke, his friends and clients. Hovering in the background is Luke’s best friend Marcello, whose ego is as towering as his stature. Marcello has set his sights on Jane. She is drawn to his power, his masculinity, and the challenge he represents, even though she fears and dislikes him. After Luke discovers that Jane has breached one of his many “rules,” he sends her to Marcello for punishment and lessons in Dom/sub culture. What happens there will change her forever.

Jane and Luke reconcile, and even find a rhythm that includes not only bondage and punishment but genuine love-making. Just when Jane is convinced that the happiness and devotion she has always craved is within reach, Luke pushes her beyond endurance, and she rebels in a way her harsh husband cannot forgive. From there, her life spins out of control. But Jane has a strong spirit, and she will prevail. My Body-His (Marcello) is Book 2 in the My Body Trilogy.
My Body-His
My BodyTrilogy, Book 1
Blakely Bennett

Genre: Erotic Suspense
Publisher: Fanny Press
ISBN: 978-1-60381-523-9
Number of pages: 246
Word Count: 74,000
Cover Artist: Sabrina Sun
Amazon   BN

Book Description:

Jane Stiles is successful in business but bored with her socially mundane existence. One night at a party, she meets an intense and compelling stranger named Luke. This fateful encounter prompts her predictable life path to veer into uncharted territory, sweeping her along on a frightening erotic journey into the world of bondage, domination and submission.

Jane had never experienced genuine desire, and now passion consumes her life, robbing her of free will. Her new lifestyle creates an emotional chasm between her and her old friends. Will they understand why she has abandoned her high ideals and long-term plans for a traditional wedding? What society considers right or wrong no longer matters.

Prepared to surrender everything to Luke, she wonders if her everything will be enough. She now needs his discipline as much as she craves his love and approval. How far down this dark path is she willing to go? Jane’s pilgrimage into domination and discipline has created a war between her mind and her body, and her body is claiming victory.
About the Author:

Blakely Bennett grew up in Southeast Florida and has been residing in the great Northwest for over eight years. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a degree in psychology, which accounts for her particular interest in crafting the personalities, struggles, and motivations of her characters. She is an avid reader of many genres of fiction, but especially erotica and romance. Writing has always been her bliss. She is attracted to stories of self-struggle and ultimate recovery.

Blakely is married to a wonderful, loving and supportive husband, also a writer, who helps to keep her grounded. She is a mother, a communitarian, a lover of music (always on while she is writing—thank you, Pandora), and a good friend. An advocate of love and female empowerment, she is a facilitator for a women’s group. She loves to walk and hike for exercise and finds that, since moving to Seattle, WA, she is now one of those “crazy” people who walk in the rain.

Twitter @BlakelyBennett

Blakely’s Facebook

Here are the links to find me online:

My books are available on:

Also available on Amazon Canada, UK, France, German, Spain, Italy, and Japan

Monday, July 29, 2013

Author Interview with Sheryl Seal

Sheryl Seal
Coulterville, California
Gateway to the Beautiful Yosemite National Park

What have you written?
Beyond Bridalveil Fall (Dwellers of Ahwahnee).  Right now I’m editing Beyond Oria Falls, coming out today, July 29th.   I’m also writing a ghost story about the many ghost in my home town.

What is your favorite genre to write? 

Favorite food.
I love a good bar-be-que.

Where would you like to visit? 
Greece and Ireland

Favorite musical artist.
 I have many I like, country and blues mostly, but hands down Elvis Presley.

How old were you when you started writing?
I wrote when I was younger but hadn't really picked it up again until my six children were grown. I still have two at home 13 and 18. They really liked my books and I think they were surprised their mama could be so creative.

What makes you laugh?
Mostly my husband, He is a very funny man who has kept me laughing for over 30 years.

Where do you get your inspiration?
My children and grandchildren are my inspiration. They have all been superheroes, dragons, fairies, and all things magical.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I try to power through it and when that doesn't work. I leave it alone for a few days and I ask God to help me be more creative.

Who is your favorite author? 
Diana Gabaldon.

Best book you ever read. 
Outlander series, I re-read them.

Who is the one person who has influence your personal life the most and why?
There have been many.  My mother, she has won her battle with lung cancer and is now a survivor. My grandbabies, one has had three heart surgeries and died three times and was supposed to be brain dead. She is now six and one of the smartest children I know. Not to take anything away from any of my grandbabies, who of course are all awesome.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Elvis Presley.  He was inspirational in every way period.

What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
It's never too late to write, just set your mind to it and write a little every day until you have something you like. That’s what I did and then I had all my children read it for feedback. They are the ones who pushed me to publish.

Do you a cover to share with us?
Yes, I have two.

Do you have any links to share with us? ebook/dp/B00CKR63F2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital- text&ie=UTF8&qid=1369093467&sr=1-1&keywords=beyond+bridalveil+fall
Face book author page: Twitter:
Author page on Amazon: seal/e/B00CNBNK3S/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Sunday, July 28, 2013

This Week on Vision and Verse

WOW!  We have another week that is full of amazingly talented people.  I just love each and every one of these people, and I think you will, too.

Monday,  July 29             Interview with Author Sherry Seal
Tuesday, July 30              Interview with Author Blakely Bennett
Wednesday, July 31         Interview with Actor Mario Temes
Thursday, August 1          Cover Reveal of C.J. Adrien's New Book
Friday, August 2              Interview with Author Llerxt the 13th

Saturday, July 27, 2013


"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint'  then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced"  ---Vincent Van Gogh

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary".  ---Pablo Picasso

"I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust, is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos.  The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead.  Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life.  That is the perfect work of art".
---W Somerset Maugham

"Painting is the silence of thought and the music of sight".  ---Orhan Pamuk

"If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint".  ---Edward Hopper

"Without atmosphere a painting is nothing".  ---Rembrandt Van Rijn

"All real works of art look as though they were done in joy".  ---Robert Henri

"All you need to paint is a few tools, a little instruction, and a vision in your mind".
---Bob Ross

"Like the sundial, my paint box counts no hours but the sunny ones".  ---Arthur Rackham

"I say that good painters imitated nature, but the bad ones vomited it". 
---Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

"Painting reflects.  It kills you in a colorful shower of emptiness.  Flatness.  Roundness.  And  beauty.  Yes, it is the most pure beauty I have ever felt in my life".  ---Nigel Tomm

"Your mind is a canvas, your experiences are the paint colors and your actions are the brushes that show the art in you".  ---Louise Philippe Dulay

"Painting is so poetic, while sculpture is more logical and scientific and makes you worry about gravity".  ---Paul Auster

"A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy.  When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people".  ---Edgar Degas

"I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams". 
---Zdzislaw Beksinski

Photo above "Bus Stop Squirrel"  by Parker Kaufman.