Monday, September 30, 2013

Charming Deception
Carol Ann Kauffman
September 2, 2012

Episode One   Confusion

    Okay, where the hell am I?  She opened her eyes and didn't recognize her dimly lit surroundings.  She looked out the window.
It was still dark outside, very cloudy, not a star in the sky.  She was lying in bed.  Naked.  And judging from the smell of the lavender scent on the perfectly ironed, high thread-count sheets and pillowcases, she was either in a very high-end luxury hotel or in one of Martha Stewart's guest rooms.  A snore interrupted her thoughts.  She glanced over at the noisy lump lying beside her.  Nope.  Didn't recognize him.
    There's a very strong possibility, she said to herself, that I've been teleported back to the free-loving sixties.  She got up to go to the bathroom.  A glint of gold caught her eye from the ring finger of her left hand.  I'm married?  Oh, shit!  When did THIS happen?  This isn't the sixties!  This must be Vegas, Baby!  She crept quietly into the bathroom, closed the door, and snapped on the light.  Definitely a hotel.  Antiseptic.  Martha Stewart's guest bathroom would have scented candles and a sense of style, hospitality, and luxury.  And not so much white.  White walls, white floor, white towels, white shower curtain.  A rather bizarre-looking attachment on the faucet, and another one on the showerhead.  She looked in the mirror.
    Yikes!  Well, I give that bony lump sleeping beside me credit for marrying me when I look so bad!  Good Grief!  HE must be a total loser!  She examined her dull, spotty complexion, wild Einstein hair, and the bags under her eyes.  She rehearsed her speech to Bony Lump.
    "Hey! Bozo! Whatever happened between us, it was just some bizarre mistake.  Gather your things and get the hell out of here!  I'll contact my lawyer to annul this fiasco as soon as I get home.  Now go!"  Then she would point to the door for dramatic effect.
    As soon as I get home.  Home?  Where was home?  She couldn't remember.  She looked back at her reflection in the mirror.  She couldn't remember where she lived, or how she got here. She couldn't remember where she worked, or what she drove.  
    Hmmm. did Bony Lump drug me?  Did he drug me, take advantage of me, and then, MARRY me?  No, no, why would he do that?  That makes absolutely no sense.  She wiggled the gold ring with a very decent-sized brilliant cut diamond in the center.  Weighty.  Expensive.  Good fit.  And… slightly familiar.  She thought it was very beautiful.  Oh, look, a tan line!  Now, how can that be?  This has to be a dream.  She snapped off the light and crept silently back into bed and sighed.  The sooner I go back to sleep, the sooner I’ll wake up, and this bad dream will be over.  Bony Lump rolled over and pulled her to him gently, hugging her, patting her shoulder.
    "It was just a nightmare, Love.  I'm right here.  You're safe," he whispered sweetly in a sleepy voice.  "Go back to sleep.  I’ll protect you.  Always."  He kissed her head gently.  He had a wonderful voice.  British accent.  Kind.  Reassuring.  Gentle. Very touching.  And so she did.  She fell asleep in his arms, with her hand on his chest.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

This Week on Vision and Verse, Sept. 30 - Oct. 5

Monday, Sept. 30              Cover Reveal for Tasha Gwartney's BEAUTIFUL NOISE

Tuesday, Oct. 1                 Interview with Author Rosemary Johns

Wednesday, Oct. 2            Interview with Author Allison Butler

Thursday, Oct. 3               Interview with Author Stacy Shofner

Friday, Oct. 4                    Interview with Author Jake Bonsignore

Sat., Oct. 5                        Excerpt from BLUE LAKE by Carol Ann Kauffman      

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Excerpt from BLUE LAKE by Carol Ann Kauffman

Dear Happy Readers,

BLUE LAKE was my very first novel.  It has been available on since  Jan. 2012.  I am in the process of reformatting it and updating the cover.  I have the first eight chapters completed.  Here is an excerpt.  

In this scene, Nicole takes Richard to see the house she wants to buy.

Nicole drove.  It was the perfect time of day.  The sky was awash with peaches and lavenders.  They walked around the outside, marveling at the scenic beauty and the big, breathtaking sky.  Nicole explained that most of the furniture and the larger artwork would be staying.  Richard was very quiet as she led him through the house, excitedly babbling on about bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, dining room opening onto the stone terrace, Great Room, home office.  They came to rest on the sofa in the Great Room facing a wall of windows and the fabulous setting sun.
“Well, what do you think?”
“Just perfect!” said Richard, smiling at her, moving a little closer.
“It IS really special, isn’t it?”
“Oh, yes,” he whispered.  Closer.  
He kissed her softly, gently, again, and again, pulling her closer.  He kissed her again, but this time with an electricity she had never felt before.  His kisses matched the intensity and persistence of the sun, slowly marching across that great big sky on its inevitable journey to the horizon.  His words were soft and poetic, his voice warm and compelling, his rhythmic movements slow and deliberate. And those hands!  
For Nicole, everything else blurred except this man, those eyes, those hands.  She was lost in him.  He touched her deeply with his tenderness and desire for her like no other.  She felt his need for her, and her alone.  She felt she had been waiting for him.  It was an emotional and spiritual blending of two old souls, soothing and swirling and replenishing, deep and meaningful, gentle but so intense.  She felt she knew him, loved him before.  It was a joyous reunion.
He felt he had come alive.  He felt new and shiny.  Up until now, sex had been just about him.  But with her, he felt a true emotional connection, a bond so deep, so pure, so exhilarating.  He felt that with this woman by his side, he could do anything, be anything.  Richard wiped the tears from his eyes shyly, hoping she didn’t notice.
“The house is really great, too” joked Richard.
“I’m glad the sofa is staying.  ‘ said Nicole. “This is one happy couch!”

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review of "Lynne & Hope" by Joey Paul

5.0 out of 5 stars A Sisters' Tale With a Modern Twist September 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I was given a copy of this book for an honest review.

This is a story of two sisters born ten years apart, with little in common except a great deal of animosity and resentment. Add the younger sister's disability to this mix for full-blown story of dysfunctional family dynamics. Examining this family's actions and reactions could have filled a whole book. And just when you think you know where the story is going, workaholic older sister Lynne becomes embroiled in an investigation at the DNA lab where she works and soon finds herself in a position where she can trust no one, except her younger sister. But she is unwilling to put her life in her younger sister's hands until she has no other choice.
This was a good read. After setting the scene and giving us indepth character background, this story moves quickly and concisely, taking the reader on an exciting ride of modern-day crime investigation and family loyalty.
I was drawn to this book as soon as I heard about it because my only sister is ten years older than I am and even now at our ages, we still have issues!
I highly recommend this book.

Available at and

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Interview with author Mindy Haig

Mindy Haig

Good morning and welcome to Vision and Verse.  I love your work.  You have a gentle way of writing about  some heavy subjects.  I thoroughly enjoyed "The Messenger" and I am presently reading "The Wishing Place".  I love trains, by the way.  Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is:  Mindy Haig  I am originally from Saddle Brook, New Jersey.  After college I moved to Delray Beach, Florida, and married my husband of nearly 22 years, then a job change sent us to Austin Texas where we have lived since 1994.
The Photo above is me with my lovely daughter, Delaney at the Roman Baths in Bath, England.  Delaney is a Graphic Arts student and has done the cover art for The Messenger and Glory, also the composite art for Cybilla, my short story in Fusion: a collection of short stories by the Breakwater Harbor Books Authors.

What have you written?
My first self-published book was The Wishing Place.  I drafted this story while on a weekend getaway to Chicago with my husband.  We were on the train from the airport to where we were meeting a dear friend at the Brown Line Irving Street Platform and as I was watching the people exiting the train the story just began to unfold in my head.  Luckily, I had my trusty notebook!  It's a story about a little girl named Valerie who's granny told her a secret before she passed away.  That secret was The Wishing Place, where you can do anything, it will give you anything you ask for and sometimes you can even see the future.  As Valerie's life spirals out of control, she asks The Wishing Place to show her something special, something really important.  She's grasping for some sort of hope.  But instead of a vision, The Wishing Place brings Nickolas to her dream and the journey begins.  Valerie has to decide if he is real or just an imaginary friend, and as that friendship grows into love, what she is willing to do to find him in the 'awake' world.  The story is told from both Valerie's and Nick's points of view.  The train is an important element in the story because for me, as the writer, the story started there.  I am very thankful to the CTA for allowing me to use their image for my cover!  They were very kind, easy to work with and vey supportive.

My other 2 books are a related story.
I have always been a great lover of Mythology, all mythology, Egyptian, Norse, Greek, Mayan, I just love it!  One thing all great Myths have is a character who is discord.  There can't be good without evil, right?  But it's more that just Mythology, even religion and history, current affairs there is always a character who is discord.  I got to thinking, what if it was always the same person?  What if one immortal being had been banished from Heaven and left to wander this Earth until the judgment day?  Obviously, he would always be striving to find a way to make that day happen.

I did a lot of reading and research, and the Angel Sammael fit my premise quite nicely.  He is often mistaken for the devil, but he's not.  He's and angel that is made differently, given a will of his own and the ability to question.  He has all the virtues of the angels except the ability to love, and is also given vices.  So he is both good and evil.  He hates his Father and longs to return to him at the same time.  His inability to follow blindly like the other angels causes him to be cast out, and so he sets out to destroy what his Father has made both out of spite and out of desire to go home.
He started with Eden, and it is the bitter rivalry between Sammael and Adam that is the heart of Glory.

I wrote the story that became The Messenger after Glory was completed, when I began working on Forsaken, the sequel to Glory.  It was supposed to be a flashback used in the book, but in developing the story, it really became too involved to just be a flashback, it would have lost too much of the emotional nature of the time if it were scaled back enough to be a flashback.  So I decided to leave it whole and publish it as a prequel to Glory.  It takes place in Georgia during the Civil Rights Movement, when a Reverend was preaching a message this angel had heard before.  It's a story about relationships and loss and how circumstances change not only our views, but who we are.
The Messenger will be free for as long as Amazon will allow it!  You can find it here:

And here is the ling to Glory:

I hope to have Forsaken out in the spring of 2014!

Please come back then and bring us the cover of Forsaken.

Okay, I will.  I also did a short story called Cybilla for the Fusion Anthology.  Cybilla is about a musician who has set out upon his quest to claim his muse from the immortal world.  This one has a lot to do with Roman Mythology!  It's a story about knowing your heart, and knowing what it is you are willing to give up to have that one thing you desire.

Fusion is free on Smashwords, and will be free on Amazon at some point, but is currently just $0.99. There are a lot of great upcoming authors in this book!  Truly something for everyone, and free is a great way to let readers take a look!

What is your favorite genre to write? 
This is a really tough question!  I write things that I would like to read!  I would say they are all love stories at their hearts, but I like to add the notion of things being meant to be in some way.  I like stories that make me think, 'wow, that could happen!'  or 'what if that was real?'  I like when the ending makes the reader gasp and say, 'I did not see that coming!' even when they are getting the ending they wanted all along!

The Messenger and Glory are tagged as Christian fiction, Romance, but really, other than the fact that they are based on this Angel, they aren't about religion, they're about love and mercy, about being damaged and still having the capacity for good.  The main thing I hear about Glory is that as much as you want to hate him, you wind up grudgingly liking, even pitying Sammael because he is like us.

Favorite food.
I am not a vegetarian, but I love vegetables!  All vegetables!  Roasted root veggies, stuffed mushrooms, (anything with mushrooms really!) Broccoil souffl√©...
Unfortunately, My daughter does not eat anything green, but my son will try anything!

Where would you like to visit?
We already went to the #1 place on my list which was Greece!  I loved it, it was fantastic!  I stood at the Parthenon and cried!
This summer we spent 3 days in London then toured England and Wales which was absolutely incredible!  London is an amazing city, I wish we could have stayed longer!

I would love to tour Italy, and I think the next place we will have a grand adventure will be Germany and Austria.  I love to travel and we wanted to give our children some experiences in the world outside our community!

Favorite musical artist. Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
I was a DJ when I was in college.  It was a small campus radio station, but it was a great experience!  I listen to all kinds of music, the funny thing about this question is that all of my books seem to have a song attached to them.  It's not necessarily a song that is in the book, but sometimes it is.  The very first book I wrote (called Kiss Her in The Moonlight, not published) had a whole soundtrack!  It was a story about a girl who was named after a song, and through her rough childhood, loved the voice of the man who sang her name.  At age 21 she was faced with the opportunity to go back in time to when he wrote the song and spend 3 days in 1974 with him before he became famous.  It's sort of a Cinderella story, would 3 days be enough for him to find her again in the present?  Would the glass slipper still fit?  Could there be happily ever after 22 years later?

The Wishing Place has a song that is very much part of the core of the story, but the actual title is never mentioned.

Hidden in the Pages which will be released this fall has the dreamy old 78 rpm version of the Platters singing Heaven on Earth, though Twilight Time played in my mind just as often!

What makes you laugh?
Mainly my kids!  I have awesome kids!
I love watching cartoons too!

How old were you when you started writing?
I had some poetry published in a school publication in High School.  I have always wanted to write a book, but real life got in the way for a long time.  I decided to give a go in 2008-2009 and I haven't stopped, though I haven't published some of those early ones!

Where do you get your inspiration?  What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I think for me these 2 questions have the same answer:  Music!  I listen to music more than I ever watch television, and it is stimulating!  Sometimes it is the lyrics, but sometimes it is just the tone of the music, the beat, it just gives a certain feeling.  Wen I can't quite find the words I am looking for, I go to music to find the feeling.

Who is your favorite author?
I love Christopher Moore, his books make me laugh.

Best book you ever read.
The Last Days of Summer by Stephen Kluger.
My favorite book of all time is The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I have probably read it twenty times!

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
I would have to say my maternal grandfather.  His name was Tom Crowley.  He was brilliant and funny.  He was a charmer for sure, and surely had touched the Blarney Stone at some point, because he could talk!  We had a falling out when I was about to go off to college, he didn't like my decision.  But the thing I loved most about him was that he never forgot what he said to me and when I graduated, he apologized for his words.  He probably gave me the will to stick with it even though it was hard because I am stubborn and I was not going to let what he said be true.  But his acknowledgment was as important as that diploma.  That was my success.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Just one?  I think the writer in me would like to talk to Edgar Allen Poe.  He wrote everything from broken heart romance to comedy to horror.  Such scope for one artist!  While I love the Tell Tale Heart, I think his most hilarious piece is Never Bet the Devil Your Head.  I cannot even think about it without giggling.  I would love to know what went on in his mind that he could write a story like Eleanor and something as funny as Never Bet.  He is actually the writer I loosely based Quentin Gallagher on in Cybilla, my short story.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
 By all means, Write!  If you love to do it, it is a fantastic way to keep your mind active and your imagination busily working!  If you want to make a living at it, you have to get out in the world.  Talk to everyone!  Meet people, be interested in people, even the ones you don't necessarily take to can be inspiring in some way.  (Particularly if you write books that require victims!)  Write things you know or are interested in, it gives the work much greater depth.  And do your homework.  If you are writing about a journalist in 1996, know what topics were in the news in 1996.  Even if you are writing a sci-fi fantasy that does not have any ties to earth or whatnot, if you are building a laser, or flying a space ship, you ought to know what is actually involved, know the terminology or the reader will know you skimped.

My Next Release will be Hidden In The Pages coming in November of 2013!

When his mother unexpectedly died just before Christmas, Jantzen Burke’s world began to crumble.  His father hid away to avoid his grief and the cold grandfather he never knew came to stay.  Lonely and afraid, he looked to his grandfather for comfort, but instead of sympathy he was given an old journal with a mystical power - the power to find the writer’s perfect match.

A decade later, Jantzen’s life is in status-quo.  His time is spent running the company his father signed over, finishing his education and maintaing an empty house.  His only companion is the stranger who writes back to him in the journal, the person he’s promised his heart even though he’s never seen her face.

But one day an accidental meeting changes all he thought life had planned for him.  Suddenly comfort wasn’t enough.  A decision had to be made.  Would he break the promise he made and take a chance on love or was his fate tied to his words in the journal?

 Do you have any links to share with us today, Mindy?

Mindy Haig Author:
Twitter:  @mindyh101

The Messenger Links:

Glory Links:

The Wishing Place Links:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


El Greco  (1541-1614) was a well known Spanish Renaissance painter, sculptor, and architect.  He was an art who's style could not be categorized because of it's uniqueness.  His dramatic expressionistic flair confused his contemporaries but found great acceptance in the 20th century.

El Greco's signature became the extremely figure and brilliant pigmentation.  He was very unpopular with the generation of artists that came after his death.  They felt his work disrespected the principles of the baroque style that had come into vogue at the beginning of the 17th century.  His work was branded incomprehensible.  In the late 17th to early 18th centuries, his work garnered praise but was still criticized for it's unnatural style.

Scholarly writings about El Greco's aesthetics are interpreted mainly from notes found in the margins of books in his library.  He dismissed components of painting like measure and perspective.  To him, grace was the ultimate goal in art, but he felt it could not be achieved until the more complex aspects had been easily solved.

Color was the most significant and uncontrollable element of painting, according to El Greco.  Color took precedence over drawing.

As an architect and sculptor, El Greco took the task of decorating the chapel at the Hospital de la Caridad  with a wooden alter and sculptures.  Most important of his architectural projects was Santo Domingo el Antiguo  church and monastery.  For this endeavor he also created sculptures and paintings.  He cleverly incorporated architecture into his paintings and also created the frames for his works.

The dramatic approach of his painting and the heavy spiritual emotion is directly transferred to the viewer.  The less-than-well executed appearance of his work was a direct result of his efforts at creating a freedom of style.

The execution of elongated figures in his compositions, especially the sculptures he created for church altars, defined them as divine or otherworldly.  Another major innovation in El Greco's later works was an interweaving of form and space which served to unify the painting surface.  This technique would resurface centuries later in the works of Cezanne and Picasso.

Still another significant aspect of his work was his use of light.  Figures appeared to carry their own inward light or reflect the light coming from a source outside the painting.  "The Vision of Saint John" and the "Fifth Seal of the Apocalypse" are excellent examples of El Greco's powerful use of light, giving these works a mystical characteristic.

He also proved to be an accomplished portrait artist, by not only portraying his subject's features but by also capturing their character.  Many scholars agree that El Greco ranks high among portraitists along side the likes of Rembrandt and Tirian.

Image above titled "Pentacostes" by El Greco.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dear Happy Readers,

I was interviewed today on "A Thousand Lives" Blog.  Outside of getting my name wrong, it is a very nice interview.  All of my novels are written under Carol Ann Kauffman.  If you're interested, here is the link:



Karl Magneson is an infinitely gifted photo artist.  He left a career in the pharmaceuticals
industry, to pursue his passion working behind the camera lens.  His photography studies  came at the Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX.

Magneson works in the fashion of a consummate chef, using the latest photo and optical technology, seasoning his subject matter with the perfect measure of light and color, blended with generous amounts of humor, serving up a delectable menu of photographic wizardry.  It is a great pleasure to present my interview with Karl here on Vision and Verse.

PK:       " Welcome Karl, we're very excited to have you here on Vision and Verse."

KM:       "Thank you, I'm really excited to be here."

PK:        "Are you ready for this?"

KM:       "Give it to me with both barrels."

PK:       "You left a great career in pharmaceuticals; how was the transition to 

KM:       "It was quite an adjustment.  Ok, that's putting it mildly, it was (expletive)
              traumatic!!  The change in lifestyle took some getting used to.  I was
              basically starting a new life.  I had to learn to think less practically, dump the
              the rigidity of corporate thinking."

PK:        "Had you always been interested in photography?"

KM:       "Yes.  I had one of those 35mm film Kodak cameras when I was young.  I took
              pictures of everything.  My mother once said that I took the worst pictures
              because I cut off people's heads and most were out of focus.  I thought they
              were awesome."

PK:        "Were there any photographers that particularly influenced you?"

KM:       " I really admire the work of James Nachtwey and love anything that Annie
              Liebovitz does.  But I think Jerry Uelsman was probably my greatest
              inspiration.  I'm amazed at how he combined 2 or more photos to create
              gorgeous surrealistic work."

PK:        "Your style is not traditional, so how would you describe it?"

KM:       "I would say 'FUN'  would best describe it.  I never wanted to do serious
              photography, there are plenty of great men and women that already do that.
              I like to focus on the beauty of minute details, textures, line, and shape.  I
              want it to appear serious, but be fun, humorous."

PK:        "You describe yourself as a 'photopig'...please explain that for our readers?

KM:       "Ha ha,  I dubbed myself a photopig because I have an enormous collection
              of really amazing and odd photos.  Three fourths of them I've purchased and
              the rest are my own work.  Some people collect books, I collect photos that
              speak like literary volumes."

PK:        "OK, now some fun questions.  Which would you choose?
              Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?"

KM:       "What?"  (laughing)

PK:        "Do you prefer Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?"

KM:       "Well, (expletive) Mayo!!"

PK:        "M&M's or Gummy Bears?"

KM:        (laughing)  "I'm sorry, this is too funny, uh, M&M's."

PK:        "CD's or vinyl albums?"

KM:       "Vinyl."

PK:       "Romantic comedies or action flicks?"

KM:      "Oooh, action flicks!!"

PK:       "You're enjoying this aren't you?  Coffee or Tea?"

KM:       "Yeah, I am, um, coffee."

PK:       "London or Paris?"

KM:      "Gay Paris, definitely!"

PK:       "Fox News or MSNBC?"

KM:      "(expletive) Fox, MSNBC all the way.  Am I gonna get bashed for that?"

PK:       "Nah,  Dogs or cats?"

KM:      "Dogs."

PK:       "What's your favorite holiday?"

KM:       "Christmas!!"

PK:        "What do you do to relax?"

KM:       "I read."

PK:       "What makes you laugh?"

KM:      "Other people laughing."

PK:       "What's your favorite color?"

KM:      "Periwinkle."  (laughing)

PK:       "Musician and name of last song you listened to?"

KM:      "You're going to laugh, but,  Rachmaninoff's 'Rhapsody on a Theme
             of Paganini'."  (laughing)

PK:      "Interesting.  Name and author of the last book you read?"

KM:      "We The Living, by Ayn Rand."

PK:       "What do you do for fun?"

KM:      "I love to garden.  I have an extensive pot garden on my back deck."

PK:       "Pot garden?"

KM:      "Vegetables and herbs in pots.  Sorry, no cannabis.  I guess I should have
             said container garden."   (laughing)

PK:       "Do you have a philosophy that you live by?"

KM:      "Yes, if you have a desire to do something, do it NOW, because if you think
             about it too long you'll talk yourself out of doing it."

PK:       "Any advice for fledgling photographers in our audience?"

KM:      "Fuel your passion for photography through experimentation.  Take chances,
             be bold, step outside of what's comfortable, there's no failure, just growth
             as an artist."

PK:       "Do you have any links to share with our readers?"

KM:      "You can step into my world at"

PK:       "Karl, it's been great having you here on Vision and Verse.  We wish you
             continued success and invite you to come visit us again."

KM:      "Thank you, this has been a great experience....just say the word and I'll
             be back."

Image above, triptych titled, "Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Scream Like Hell"  2012,
by Karl Magneson.

Friday, September 20, 2013



Arman,  (Nov 17, 1928 -  Oct 22, 2005)  was a French-born American artist.  Named Armand Pierre Fernandez at birth, he began life in Nice, France.  His father, Antonio, was a painter and photographer who taught his son about both art forms.  In 1946 Arman received his bachelors degree in philosophy and mathematics.  He then enrolled in the
Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs.  He graduated in 1949 and went on to study at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris.  There he delved into the study of archaeology and oriental art.  After finishing his studies he served as a medical orderly in the French military.
Arman was a painter who transitioned from using his painting tools to create art, to using the tools as his art.  He is also well known for dismantling objects and recomposing them in his work.  Arman believed in the concept of "accumulations",  large numbers of identical items arranged into one cohesive unit or work of art.  This would remain a constant element in his art.  Once of the opinion that his abstract paintings were of more importance than his accumulations,  public attention and reaction to his compositions convinced him of how powerful this art form could be.
Inspired by a German exhibition from 1954, he began his first major artistic endeavor which he called "Cachets".  By 1958 he was into his third solo exhibition in Paris.  He featured some of his 2D accumulations from "Cachets" which brought about a major course change in his career.
As an homage to Van Gogh, he initially signed all of his works with just his first name.  In 1957 he chose to change his name from Armand to Arman.  When he became an American citizen in 1973 he took the official name, Armand Pierre Arman.  Arman continued to be his public persona.
The years between 1959 and 1962 brought about his two most recognizable concepts, "accumulations" and "poubelles" (French for trash bins).  Accumulations amounted to concentrations of identical objects that he would organize either in polyester castings or in Plexiglass cases.  His first welded composition of like metal objects was created and exhibited in 1962.   Poubelles were arrangements of strewn refuse.  Arman's 1960 exhibition "Le Plein"   filled the Paris Galerie Iris Clert, with garbage, serving as a counterpoint to "Le Vide" ,  an exhibition there two years previous, by Arman's friend Yves Klein.  Both works made the European art community stand up and take notice.
Arman made his American debut in 1961.  He probed creating through destruction.  "Coupes" and the "Coleres" were works of burned, sliced, or smashed items organized on canvas.  Musical instruments were a major theme in these exhibitions.  He was enthralled with the New York art scene and after his 1961 exhibition at the Cordier Warren Gallery, he took up residence part-time at the Chelsea Hotel and soon after kept a studio in the Bowery.  Here he began working on large public sculptures containing furniture, automobiles, and other objects in various stages of dis assembly.
As one of the largest of Arman's accumulations, "Long Term Parking"  Is permanently exhibited at Chateau de Monteel in France.  The 60 ft high sculpture of 60 automobiles encased in concrete  was completed in 1982.  An equally impressive work created in 1995 for the Lebanese government and displayed in Beirut, honors 50 years of military service.  The work is titled, "Hope For Peace"  is a 105 ft monument comprised of 83 tanks and military vehicles.
In his personal life Arman married twice, first in 1953 to Eliane Radgue, and then to Corice Canton in 1971.  Between them he fathered 5 children.  In 1989, with Carrole Cesar he had his 6th child.
There are a number of interesting books about Arman worth checking out.
     "Arman - Vol II:  1960 - 62"  by Denyse Durand-Ruel, 1991.
     "Arman - Vol III  1963 - 65"  by Denyse Durand-Ruel, 1994.
     "Monochrome Accumulations  1986 - 89"  by David Kuspit,  1990.
Image above left, "Long Term Parking",  sculpture by Arman 1982.
Image above right,  "Hope For Peace",  sculpture by Arman  1995.

Interview with Scottish Author Lacey Dearie

Lacey Dearie

Welcome to Vision and Verse, Lacey.  Is that your real name? 
Lacey Dear is a pseudonym, I use it because I originally wanted to keep my life as a writer secret and separate from my personal life.

And where might we find the lovely Lacey Dearie? 
Ayrshire in Scotland

Welcome to States, Lacey.  I think you are our first Scottish author.  We are happy to have you here.  What have you written? 
I wrote an alternative mystery novel entitled The Tangled Web about spies who use social networking to honeytrap cheaters.  It reached number 1 in the Amazon UK free download chart in January 2012 and number 51 in the paid chart in February 2012.  
I have also written a bizarre love story about a donut and a chocolate √©clair entitled Baked! which reached number 1 in the German and French short story charts in August 2012 and in Germany again in July 2013.  
My most recent releases are Leger – Cat Sleuth and Leger’s Curiosity about a Glaswegian feline detective.  Leger – Cat Sleuth has performed moderately well in the US, reached the top 20 in the UK Cats, Dogs and Animals chart in June 2013 and went top 5 in its genre in Canada in July of this year.

What is your favorite genre to write?
Cozy mysteries, cat sleuths in particular.  There’s something really special about a cat and feline characteristics that mean they are both cute and believable as detectives.

What is your favorite food?
Moroccan.  All those spices and herbs and the flavors really do it for me!

Where would you like to visit?
I’ve had a dream to go to Hawaii since I was a teenager.  I have a “Hawaii fund” sitting on my dressing table which I add to whenever I can.  Of course, my dream began after reading a novel about the islands.  Maybe one day I’ll get there. 

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
Suburban Legends are my favorite band.  I can’t go for even a day without listening to one of their songs.  They’re just to fun and inspiring.  I don’t listen to music much when I write but I do switch the radio or my iPod on as soon as I take a break, usually to listen to Travis or Franz Ferdinand, as they won’t break my train of thought and they keep me in the right frame of mind to write.

What makes you laugh?
I love Adam Sandler movies.  He’s so funny.  But mostly, on a day to day basis, it’s my two year old son who makes me laugh.

How old were you when you started writing?
I started writing fiction almost as soon as I could write, so I was around six or seven years old.  I continued throughout my life but never believed that it could be a career until I was in my twenties and decided that, as impossible as it seemed, I was more likely to get a novel published than be taken seriously in my day job.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere!  From life itself.  If I’m at home in front of a computer I don’t get inspired.  I have to be out there, living and seeing and learning.  Even the silliest things can spark off a flame of inspiration in my mind – like a donut!

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I do something else for a while.  I talk to friends or indulge in some retail therapy or go and see a movie.  However, my favorite unblocker is to go somewhere with lots of people like a train station, shopping mall or airport and just people watch.  I like to re-write their life stories in my head for fun and as soon as it becomes easy to imagine who they are and what their story is, I know I’ve overcome my writer’s block.

Who is your favorite author?
Irvine Welsh.  His characterization is excellent and of course he writes in my native dialect so it’s very enjoyable for me to read.

Best book you ever read.
Around The World In 80 Days by Jules Verne.  A true classic.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
That’s a tricky question because a lot of people influence my life but it’s hard to pinpoint one.  I’d like to say my husband because he has always encouraged me to follow my dreams while at the same time helping me through the realities.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Charles Dickens.  His stories have been so influential in everyone’s lives whether they realize it or not.  Who among us hasn’t referred to someone stingy as a Scrooge?  I am in awe of Charles Dickens.  I would ask him how it feels to have created a character so well known and if he knew when he was writing A Christmas Carol that he was onto a winner.
What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Take your time, don’t be in a rush, and make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.  There’s no glamour or excitement in being a writer and you need to be resilient to deal with the rejection and criticism.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Cover Reveal
Ella Jade's

The Weekend Proposition by Ella Jade

I’m thrilled to announce the release of my latest book The Weekend Proposition. Thanks so much for helping me celebrate. Please check out the giveaway at the bottom of the post.

One weekend—no strings, no expectations, and no commitments. On Sunday afternoon it all ends, or does it?
No-nonsense businessman Spencer Cannon has a dilemma. He’s headed to Connecticut for the weekend to attend his cousin’s elaborate wedding. His whole family will be there in addition to his obsessed ex-girlfriend Ava. According to Spencer’s brother, Ava has been telling her friends she’s planning a magical reunion with her favorite ex-boyfriend. Spencer’s not in the mood to deal with her, but he can’t miss the wedding. He needs a plan.
Struggling Brooklyn waitress and aspiring graphic designer Dakota Vercelli has fallen on hard times. College debts, pending eviction, and her sick mother are taking a toll on her. A chance encounter with Mr. Cannon, CEO of Cannon and Carrington Advertising, leads to a proposition that may be just the thing to solve both of their problems. Spencer’s offer—spend four days with him during the wedding festivities and keep his ex off his trail. In return, he’ll compensate her generously for her time. He needs a weekend girlfriend, and Dakota needs the cash.
It was just supposed to be a business deal, but after sharing a room, kissing under the stars, and attending a wedding, their attraction is undeniable. Will the illusion end when the weekend is over or is the proposition just the beginning?
Content Warning: contains mature language and graphic sexual content


“I have a proposition for you.”
“A proposition?” What could he possibly have to offer her?
“I have to attend my cousin’s wedding this weekend. Actually, I have to leave tomorrow afternoon. I don’t want to go alone for reasons I don’t wish to discuss right now. I need someone to accompany me. I’m offering that to you.”
“And you think I’m ‘to the point’?”
He smiled but didn’t say anything. She couldn’t stand the silence. She wanted to figure out his game. There had to be some sort of catch.
“You want me to go to a wedding with you?”
“It’s in Connecticut. I would require your services until Sunday afternoon. All of your expenses would be paid, including a wardrobe which would be yours to keep after the weekend.”
“You need a date?”
“I would need you to appear as my girlfriend.”
“Is this a joke?”
“I wouldn’t joke about something like this. I’ve thought the entire thing through.”
“A man who looks like you should have no problem finding a real girlfriend to buy clothes for and flaunt in front of his family.” She thought for a moment. “Unless there’s something wrong with you.”
“There’s nothing wrong with me.” He raised his voice a bit. “I had planned on attending alone but circumstances have changed. I’m in a bind and from what I gather, you are too.”
Her instincts screamed to run in the opposite direction. She’d never been the type to fall for a scam. “I’m not interested in—”
“I’ll pay you two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for your time.”
“What?” Apparently a side of crazy came with those good looks.
“One hundred and twenty-five thousand today, if you agree.” He pulled out a check from the inside pocket of the jacket he had draped on the back of the chair. He slipped the mint green paper across the table. “You’ll get the rest on Sunday afternoon.”
“That’s fifty grand a day.” She studied the check. It would take her years to make that kind of money working these shit-end jobs.
“I’m aware.” He nodded as if the money meant nothing. “I’m asking for your time, a commodity I believe should be well compensated.”
Too good to be true.
“Do you make it a habit of paying women to be your girlfriend?”
“Pretend girlfriend,” he reminded her. “You would be the first.”
“Why me?”
“Does it matter?”
“What exactly do you expect me to do for that money?”
“I told you.” He narrowed his eyes. “I need a date for a long weekend. Everyone needs to think we’re a couple.”
“You’re willing to pay me to go away with you for four days. I’m supposed to take your word we’re going to a wedding in Connecticut? How do I know you won’t kidnap me and want to do all sorts of kinky stuff to me? You could be some sex-obsessed lunatic.”
“Kinky stuff?”
“Yeah, you know, like bondage and blindfolds.”
“Do you like that sort of thing?” He tried to conceal his smirk.

About Ella

Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can't be stopped.
Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two young boys. When she's not chasing after her kids, she's busy writing, attending PTO meetings, kickboxing, and scrapbooking. She hopes you'll get lost in her words.


The Weekend Proposition - coming 9/16/13
Get Lost In My Words... 

You can find Ella here…

Please enter the rafflecopter for your chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a coffee mug with The Weekend Proposition cover on it.
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