Monday, June 30, 2014

A Look at June and an Excerpt from LORD OF BLAKELEY

Good morning, Gentle Readers!

June has been an incredible month on Vision and Verse.  Our numbers have skyrocketed passed 27,500 pageviews. We have had some fantastic interviews and cover reveals.  Some of our favorites, like Lacey DearieMindy HaigLoretta Laird, and Cherime MacFarlane, have revisited us with their exciting new books.  Our own very talented Parker Kaufman brought us some terrific pieces from his latest line of artwork, and we introduced you to the fabulous Reina Cottier and her beautiful artwork.  We met the delightful Tim Kenney and heard about his amazing journey to paint 50 paintings in 50 states in 50 days.  And we hosted the amazing RaeAnne Thayne in a lovely interview. 
I am so pleased to be able to bring these creative dynamos to you. And with many of them, what began as simply an invitation to interview on Vision and Verse has become a deep and meaningful friendship.  I am grateful to you, Gentle Readers, for adding us to your daily reading list.  Without you, Vision and Verse would not be "the place for art and authors."  I thank you.  I leave you today with an excerpt from LORD OF BLAKELEY, my romantic time-travel adventure.


Chapter Five  
Heartbroken and Miserable on Remus   
Location: Stronghold, the Castle of King Aaron, Year 1022 Planet of Remus

“Where in the hell am I?” Aleese snapped at a young red-haired girl who walked into the room.
“You’re in the castle, Princess.”
“What castle?  Where?  And I am not a princess.”
“Yes, you are.  You are Princess Aleese.  This is King Aaron’s Castle, The Stronghold.  You are King Aaron’s ward.  This is the high country, Princess, the most beautiful part of Remus.”
“Beautiful?  This place is a miserable, cold, gloomy, deserted rock,” said Aleese, looking out the window at nothing but rocks; big boulders, medium-sized rocks, pebbles, and gravel.  “Not a living thing in sight.  Grey castle, grey stone, grey sky.  I shudder to think what the bad part of Remus must look like.  How the hell did I get here?  How long have I been here?  And who came with me?”
“Mistress, you have been here for three days now, in and out of a very deep, very strange, disturbing sleep.  You’ve been screaming, crying, and calling out for someone.  I don’t know for sure, but we think maybe your family sent you here to recuperate from some horrible experience, a loss, a… death, we think.”
“Here?  They sent me HERE to feel better?  Do they hate me?”
“No one saw you come, so I can’t tell you how you got here, but no one’s been here with you so we think you traveled alone.”
“So.  I am… all alone?”
“Well, not exactly, you have me!  Glenna,” she curtsied, “Glenna Flannery.  I work here in the castle with my five brothers, Cliff, Dean, Neil, Paddy, and Ryan.  You’ll be able to recognize them because they look just like me!  Shock of red hair!  And I’ve been assigned to…help you.  Princess, what do you remember?”

“Not a damn thing!  Nothing coherent anyway.”

Friday, June 27, 2014

SON OF DRAGONS by Andrea Cooper

Title: Son of Dragons 
Author: Andrea R. Cooper 
Release date: April 28th, 2014 
Genre: Paranormal Romance 

Book Description:
In a time of false peace, the dead rise as soldiers for the Warloc’s scheme. For thousands of years he has stood ready for the final battle. Though the witch and her cursed Elvin have destroyed his physical body, now with his protégé, he has honed a new way to wage war.
Shunned by her own people and weary-hearted from centuries of lost loves, Elvin warrior Mirhana scours the land to silence the undead. Her heart has turned as cold as the sword she wields, until a prince seeks her aid.
Never has Prince Landon met a woman like Mirhana. Both beautiful and deadly, she haunts his dreams. The battle at hand becomes more enchanting than fighting to remain true to his unseen betrothed.
When a traitor emerges, new alliances are tested and the only remaining hope is to follow the prophecy and find the ... Son of Dragons.

Book Excerpt:

“Don’t move or you’ll draw their attention,” a female voice like music to his ears whispered. With a movement like lightning, she scooped up the knife, and then sent it sailing into one of the Spider Kings.
The blow knocked the King’s crown lopsided. The cat sprang for another spider, and ripped the beast apart. Landon rose. When he looked back to thank her, the words stuck in his throat.
Green eyes chipped from emeralds stared up at him. The same eyes he saw last night. Her hair blacker than the night was braided, but wisps had worked free around her face. Even her skin glowed with the moonlight as if she bottled its light inside her.
“Watch out!” She rolled to the side as a spiked mace smashed into the ground where she had just been.
Landon moved into the shadows, away from her reluctantly. It was as though a seraph of his imagination had sprung to life. Then the Spider Kings shouted, but they merged with images of the boar-faced creatures. This was some type of sorcery. He dashed to his sword and kicked aside one of the yellowed creatures that squatted in his way.
As he stood, his blade sliced through the boar’s face. The creature kept moving. He would not hide away, but fight until either these creatures were dead or he was.
“Aim for the neck first,” the woman shouted to him.
His sword thumped as he hit the creature’s shoulder. With a spin, he brought the blade up and the head rolled across the ground.
“He’s got a knack for fighting,” another woman said. She was dressed in blue and her silver blades flew through the air.
In the distance, a horn sounded. “Quickly! They call for others.” The blue woman danced aside as one of the creatures snatched at her leg. “Melwyn.” His emerald-eyed seraph sent an arrow into one of the creatures scrambling down the hill. “Carry him to safety where the others wait.”

About the Author:
Andrea R. Cooper writes fantasy, paranormal and historical romance. Her favorite childhood memories revolved around creating vibrant characters for her friends, and then acting out their adventures. Inside her fantasy worlds of darkened forests, dragon-filled glades, and iced islands, nothing was banned. From the ethereal
Elvin to the most maligned Vampires, all were welcome in her fictional realities, a stark contrast to her home, where the magical and mythical was forbidden.
Divorced and disillusioned of love and believing all the love songs and books exaggerated, she put aside her creativity for life. Many years past before characters, from the familiar to the freshly conceived, came to her again, but this time teasing at a new passion, the written word. 
Gradually, her real life hero brought love and magic back into existence. During the time when her characters were getting reacquainted, the love of her life was showing her that true love never gives up and rekindles no matter how many times others attempt to extinguish it. Today, she is happily married with three children.
Andrea believes in the power of change and delighting in each moment. But most fervently, she believes in the magic of love and imagination again.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Interview with "50 Paintings in 50 States in 50 Days" Artist Tim Kenney

Tim Kenney
Norman, Oklahoma

Good morning, Tim!  Welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors.  We are so happy to have you here with us, especially on your 50/50/50 Tour!  What made you try and paint 50 Paintings in 50 States in 50 Days and how is it going?
I thought about this last April and I have been planning it every since.  I am painting 30x40's at every location and have met some great people and hopefully created some nice art for collectors.  I have sold 16 of the paintings already and as of June 21st I have 9 more states to complete by July 2nd which is the 50th day.  20% of the proceeds of these 50 paintings will go towards the "Nicole Jarvis Parkinson's Research Foundation".  Nicole is a friend of mine who was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's two years ago at the age of 38.  A great cause.

That is wonderful.  What is your favorite medium to work with?
I only work with oils which are obviously my favorite.  I use 99% palette knife for my paintings.

Favorite Food?

Tea or Coffee?

Pizza or Ice Cream?

Where would you like to visit?                                                       
I am in the process of completing a painting in all 50 states.   
I have 9 states left and I have 11 days do finish.  I would like 
to visit Normandy Beach some day.

Favorite musical artist?

I listen to music while I paint in my studio and it is a combination of Frank Sinatra, the Rat Pack, Nirvana, The Beatles and a combination of Jazz and Classical, it all depends on the mood.

What makes you laugh?
My kids and grandkids.

How old were you when you started creating art?
I was 52, six years ago.

We all like to draw, paint etc, but we are well aware we couldn't make a living doing it.  When did you know this is what you wanted to do wit your life?
Six years ago when I started painting I had a vision I could do this for a living.

When did you know you made the right decision?
When my wife and my children thought I could do it.    

Where do you get your inspiration?
The landscapes I see are always an inspiration and the landscapes I remember.

What do you do when you get artist's block.
That has not happened yet, I enjoy it very much and I never have trouble getting started on a painting or finishing one.

Who is your favorite artist?
Pat Matthews, out of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Favorite Painting
Pat Matthews Cabins

Favorite Sculpture 
Michelangelo's David

Oh, I saw Michelangelo's David in Florence in 2006 and it is fantastic!  Good choice! Best Book you ever read.
My Personal Best by John Wooden

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My wife Debbie who I met in high school and have been married to for 36 years.  She and I have grown together and watching her as a mother has taught me more than I ever could have imagined.

If you could site down and have a conversation with ONE person living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
My father who passed away 23 years ago.  I would love to have a nice talk with him again and let him see how great his grandkids have grown up to be.

Do you have any links for us to follow you?
Web site:
Facebook page:

50Paintings in 50 States in 50 Days   Web Site    50 Paintings in 50 States in 50 Days    Facebook 

The Angler and the Owl by Viv Drewa

5.0 out of 5 stars Wild Ride Down the AmazonJune 17, 2014
This review is from: The Angler and the Owl (Kindle Edition)
Once I started THE ANGLER AND THE OWL, I couldn't put it down. I was drawn into the story and soon found myself canoeing down the Amazon River with a famous ornithologist and her team, meeting danger head on. The well-drawn characters led me on an unforgettable adventure filled with wildlife, mortal injury, and self-realization. This is a quick read that will appeal to any action adventure lover or nature lover. I highly recommend it. Keep writing, Viv Drewa. I want more!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Interview with Author RaeAnne Thayne

 RaeAnne Thayne
Northern Utah

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including four RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews magazine. RaeAnne loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at

Good morning, RaeAnne, and welcome to Vision and Verse.  I am a big fan.  I love your books and I love your covers.  Can you tell our readers what have you written? 
I’ve written more than 47 books for Bantam Loveswept, Silhouette, Harlequin and HQN. My current series is Hope’s Crossing, a warm small-town series set in a fictional Colorado ski town. Coming up in November will be the start of a spinoff series, Haven Point.

What is your favorite genre to write?
Contemporary romance, especially stories set in small towns. I have been a voracious romance reader since I was eleven and love reading (and writing!) happy endings.

Favorite food.
Anything out of the sea. Salmon, halibut and grilled shrimp are my favorite.

Tea or coffee?
Neither, actually J I mostly stick to water. Boring, I know.

No, not boring.  Healthy.  Congratulations.  Pizza or ice cream? 
Pizza, especially my homemade pizza with artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes cooked on a pizza stone.

Where would you like to visit? 
Every country in Europe. I’ve only been to Italy, England and Spain, so have a few spots still on my list!

Italy is gorgeous.  I love Italy.  Favorite musical artist? 
Too many to count. I have very eclectic tastes, depending on my mood at the time.

Do you listen to music when you write? 

Jazz, especially tasty (not too acidic) instrumental jazz. Bill Evans, Chet Baker, etc.

What makes you laugh?
My husband. Always. I was first attracted to his sense of humor and twenty-eight years later, he can still make me laugh, even in the most stressful of moments.

That's the sign of a good husband. Favorite work of art.
Ooh, again, too many to count. I love Impressionist art and especially Monet’s many garden masterpieces. My sisters and I recently went to New York City and visited the Met. I could have spent the entire day in the Impressionists wing.

How old were you when you started writing? Non-fiction, I was in high school when I started writing for the school newspaper but I didn’t start writing fiction seriously until I was twenty-four and already had a degree in journalism and worked for the local daily newspaper as a reporter. I worked for many years as a newspaper reporter and editor before selling my first book in 1995.

Describe your perfect evening.
Taking a walk with my family in the mountains at dusk as the shadows are long and the colors are rich, then coming home and becoming lost in a fantastic book.

Where do you get your inspiration? 
Where don’t I get inspiration? Magazine articles, talking to friends, television, museums, walking in the mountains, listening to my children play, seeing an elderly couple struggle hand in hand together through the grocery store. Life is my inspiration.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Writer’s block to me usually means a scene isn’t working right. I give myself permission to do something else for an hour – read a book that moves me, listen to favorite music, take a walk or write something else – but then I force myself to sit back down and figure out where the story has gone off the rails.

Who is your favorite author? 
JK Rowling. Second to that would probably be a tie among a dozen or so others, including Mary Balogh, Carla Kelly, Georgette Heyer, Kristan Higgins and more.

Best book you ever read. I can’t pin this down to one. I’m sorry! I have certain books I re-read every few years because they move me every single time.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why? I have three amazing children but I would have to say my middle son has influenced me most. He is seventeen now and was born with severe disabilities (cerebral palsy, global developmental delays). I am his primary caregiver and every decision in our lives the last seventeen years – from where we live to the car we drive to our vacation destinations – has centered around the challenges (and privileges!) of caring for him. I am a much different (better!) person than I would have been without him in our lives.

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

Writing is hard, physically painful, mentally exhausting – but it is also an incredible, magical joy. The ability to create characters and stories out of nothing but my own imagination still seems like a miraculous gift to me. I try to cherish that gift, even when the going is tough. If you dream of being a writer, do it, no matter how difficult you find it. As others have said far more eloquently than I can, on your deathbed you will never regret having tried to write. If you let your fears or sense of inadequacy hold you back, however, you will always wonder what you might have achieved.

Do you have any links for us to follow you?