Sunday, November 29, 2015

In Love with Paris by Sharon Kleve

Paget Murphy doesn’t expect to find love in Paris for the holidays, until she bumps into a handsome stranger at the airport. He is everything she has ever wanted in a man—kind, generous, and he loves art as much as she does! 
Christopher Paris can’t believe his luck when he bumps into a beautiful stranger. He is a curator at the Louvre and that is where Paget intends to spend most of her time in Paris. He plans to occupy every free moment with her—running, eating, and making love. 
With a continent separating them, will they find a way to spend the most memorable holiday together—Christmas?


Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Very Special Christmas Special

Dear Gentle Readers,

Beginning Sunday, November 29, 2015, Vision and Verse is running a very special Christmas Special.  There is nothing better than a short story about Christmas to put you in the mood, and each day we will be posting the cover, book description, and buy link of a short story with a holiday theme.

In years past we've done favorite holiday memories, holiday craft projects, and Christmas dessert and drink recipes. All have been very well successful. I think you'll like this year's theme as well.

Maybe you have the best Christmas season ever, filled with love and peace and happiness. Life is short, my darlings. Spend your time looking for the best, in yourself and others, and you will find it.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Gentle Readers,

Wishing you a day of peace and happiness, surrounded by those you love, feeling gratitude for all we have and the freedom we enjoy on a daily basis. A grateful person is more likely to be a happy person.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gisela Colón's GLO PODS

Gisela Colón: Glo-Pods

September 13 through December 31, 2015
Butler Institute of American Art
Gisela Colon has fused Op Art, Pop Art, and global art world trends in a dazzling synthesis of elegant, contemporary beauty. Influenced by the Light & Space art of the Minimalists of the 1960s and 1970s, Colón’s Glo-Pods are meticulously created through a fabrication process of molding and layering acrylic materials. This exhibition is presented in conjunction with Katharine T. Carter & Associates. (from the Butler website)

On a recent visit to one of my favorite places in the Youngstown, Ohio area, the Butler Institute of American Art on Wick Ave, we viewed Gisela Colón's glowing acrylic masterpieces, the GLO PODS.  

Pods of all sizes and colors were prominently displayed on walls and individual stands. They were clean lined, elegant, and beautifully bright. 

These modern masterpieces of minimal art are on display until the end of December. If you are in the area, stop by and see them for yourself!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Interview with Author Jean Murray

Jean Murray

East Coast, USA 

Good morning, Jean, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. Tell us a little about what you've written.
I am currently writing the last few books in my Key to the Cursed series, based on Egyptian mythology.
Soul Reborn
Soul Awakened
Soul Unbound
Soul Unleashed due to release 
      January 1, 2016

I have a few more books in the series to write. It’s hard to stop with so many great characters.

What is your favorite genre to write?
chose Egyptian mythology because I’ve always been fascinated by the culture. Not many have written novels based on this and I’m always up for a challenge.
I love to read and write paranormal romance. The darker the better with complex plots and soul wrenching experiences.

Favorite food.
Dessert of course – anything chocolate.

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee—dark roast, the kind that will put hair on your chest (well hopefully not) with cream. That’s what 20 years in the Navy will do to you. LOL

Pizza or ice cream?
Ice Cream preferably with chocolate and peanut butter.

Wine or beer?
Wine – dry red, merlot or cab – yum!

Where would you like to visit?
I would love to go to Alexandria (Thebes) Egypt. It plays a pivotal role in my series.

Favorite musical artist.
 3 Doors Down

Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
 For Soul Unleashed I dusted off Human Clay by Creed. Awesome inspiration for some very dark moments in the book.

What makes you laugh?
 I love slap stick humor. Family’s Funniest Videos—I fall out of my chair and laugh until I can barely breathe.

How old were you when you started writing?
 Thirty-nine (39) believe it or not. It started as a hobby and then it grew into something I never expected. My husband encouraged me to publish my manuscripts. I am thankful for every day and every story.

Describe your perfect evening.
 Curled on the couch in pajamas with the dog, kids and hubbie watching movies.

Where do you get your inspiration?
 It can come from anywhere. A picture or a person crossing the street. Honestly, my brain runs a mile a minute creating stories. I wish I had enough time to write them all.

My inspiration for my series came from my experience as a nurse. To be able to care for someone in their most vulnerable moments, whether in birth or death, is such an honor for me. The Key to the Cursed series is very much based in that concept of life and death and the balance in between. Taking a character from their lowest moments, fighting adversity to winning the heart of the woman he loves—it doesn’t get any better than that.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Take a break for a few days and then go back to it. Sometimes things are clearer and you can jump right back into it.

Who is your favorite author?
 Lara Adrian – I love her work. I think her character development is top notch. I like male focused series, but it’s nice to see strong female characters supporting the plot. The man is only as strong as the woman supporting him (that of course, goes both ways).

Not to mention, the woman is so nice to boot. She would be my dream endorsement on my book cover. Fanning self. So freaking fan girl!

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
I would say it was my dad. Funny how you realize that after they are gone. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do and he taught me that very valuable lesson. I learned how to change my oil and tires, spot weld a car, chop down trees, rehab a boat….I could go on and on. At the time it was hard and laborious and not what other girls my age were expected to do, but he taught me independence and the value of never giving up. Strong girls rule!!!

My one wish is that he would be proud of my accomplishments. 

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
I would say “ignore that inner voice” or “others” that tell you it’s not good enough or that you can’t do it. When I first started writing, it was a hobby, only because I thought publishing was out of my reach. Thankfully, I had a husband that encouraged me to try. I started studying the craft and absorbed everything I could to make my stories better. At one point I was even told by a fellow author my series would never sell. Well, my husband will tell you I’m as stubborn as they get, so I set out to prove her wrong.

I look back thinking on that moment. What if I had listened to her and shelved that first book? I would have never know the joys of getting that first sale or review or all the other books that followed.

Believe in your writing. And more importantly—Believe in yourself.

Soul Reborn is on sale for 99 cents!


Dark paranormal romance. Three sisters and their fated mates, Gods of the Underworld, on a journey of love, redemption and war.
THE HUMAN REALM, HIS BATTLEFIELD. Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore. DEADLY SECRETS BETTER LEFT UNEARTHED. Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only thing standing in the way of the goddess' undead army unleashing hell on earth. But Lilly has a secret—one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

THE SPORTS ROOM at Butler Institute of American Art

 Dear Gentle Readers,
Did you know the Butler Institute of American Art has a Sports Room?  Located on the first floor, this gallery is devoted to Sports Art. 

The paintings are
delightful, but it's the life-size sculptures dressed in full sports
attire that are the real stars. 

 I actually said "Excuse me," to this very lifelike swimmer woman in the red swim cap. 

The handsome guy with his hands in his pockets in my sweet husband.

If you are in the area, stop by the Butler Institute of American Art. You will not be disappointed. 


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Van Gogh at the Butler

Vincent Van Gogh made a brief stop this fall at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio and William and I were fortunate enough to be able to view it.

In the Dunes was painted by Van Gogh in 1883 and is in the collection of a private art patron, who generously allowed it to be loaned to the Butler.

Information from Wikipedia:

Vincent van Gogh
An intense man with close cropped hair and red beard gazes to the left.
Self-Portrait, Spring 1887, Oil on pasteboard, 42 × 33.7 cm., Art Institute of Chicago (F 345)
Born30 March 1853
Died29 July 1890 (aged 37)
EducationAnton Mauve
Known forPaintingdrawing
Notable workStarry NightSunflowersBedroom in ArlesPortrait of Dr. GachetSorrow
Vincent Willem van Gogh 
 30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Post-Impressionist painter. He was a Dutch artist whose work had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. His output includes portraitsself portraits, landscapes and still lifes of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers. He drew as a child but did not paint until his late twenties; he completed many of his best-known works during the last two years of his life. In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,100 artworks, including 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches and prints.

Van Gogh was born to upper middle class parents and spent his early adulthood working for a firm of art dealers. He traveled between The Hague, London and Paris, after which he taught in England at Isleworth and Ramsgate. He was deeply religious as a younger man and aspired to be a pastor. From 1879 he worked as a missionary in a mining region in Belgium, where he began to sketch people from the local community. In 1885 he painted The Potato Eaters, considered his first major work. His palette then consisted mainly of somber earth tones and showed no sign of the vivid coloration that distinguished his later paintings. In March 1886, he moved to Paris and discovered the French Impressionists. Later, he moved to the south of France and was influenced by the strong sunlight he found there. His paintings grew brighter in color, and he developed the unique and highly recognizable style that became fully realized during his stay in Arles in 1888.

After years of anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness,[1][2] he died aged 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The extent to which his mental health affected his painting has been widely debated by art historians. Despite a widespread tendency to romanticize his ill health, modern critics see an artist deeply frustrated by the inactivity and incoherence wrought through illness. His late paintings show an artist at the height of his abilities, completely in control, and according to art critic Robert Hughes, "longing for concision and grace".[3]

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Christmas at Star Lake

Dear Gentle Readers,

The long-awaited sequel to my best-selling Christmas short story, Madison's Christmas, is here and has two great reviews on already!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Romance reader on November 15, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
It's Christmastime, and when her secretary announces a visitor, Madison happily expects to see Kyle, the boyfriend she's meeting for lunch. Instead, it's the local police detective with horrifying news: when her father died last year, it wasn't a stroke, nor did her friend die of a heart attack. They were both murdered and it could be her fault! “Any one of the number of disgruntled thugs, bullies, and criminals that you’ve angered over the years, could've done it," Detective Carlucci tells her. Her systems analysis business is a front for the town of Silver Maple's "protect the innocent and help the helpless" operation. "You’re all in danger, and especially your boyfriend. Close up shop and leave town."

Can Madison save her boyfriend, her employees—herself? Or will this be her worst Christmas ever? And maybe her last.
Format: Kindle Edition
This story has everything: love, death, danger, madcap comedy--and Christmas. In this non-stop and ultimately very satisfying sequel to "Madison's Christmas," Maddie Rand and her beloved Kyle run up against a bad man who's supposed to be dead, and things go downhill from there... until they go uphill :-) The comedy of errors as Kyle and Maddie chase each other from hospital to hospital is a welcome spot of light relief, and hysterically funny.

Now, remember this is not a stand-alone story. It is the continuation of the story of Madison Rand from Madison's Christmas.
Still just $.99, with all author proceeds donated to St. Jude Children's Hospital.

Have a great day.

Friday, November 13, 2015

TIME FOR THE LOST by Chess Desalls


Calla's disappearance leads her family and friends to suspect that she’s lost. In a desperate attempt to find her, Valcas seeks help from a man he betrayed. A new search begins, one that sounds promising, even if it forces Valcas to confront his past.
The travel team reunites for a mission they never saw coming: a journey to a world caught between life and death, and hidden within the deepest recesses of time. Ivory rediscovers a friend and Ray learns the meaning behind his tattoo. But the connections they make between travelers and the lost may twist the core of the Time and Space Travel Agency inside out.
Time for the Lost is the third installment in The Call to Search Everywhen serial series.

Catch up with Calla and Valcas' adventure before the third book releases in February 2016!

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iTunes ~ Audible

About the Author
Chess Desalls is the author of the YA time travel series, The Call to Search Everywhen. She's a longtime reader of fantasy and sci-fi novels, particularly classics and young adult fiction. Her non-fiction writing has led to academic and industry publications. She’s also a contributing editor for her local writing club’s monthly newsletter. The California Writers Club, South Bay branch, has awarded two of Chess’ stories first place for best short fiction. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.

Connect with Chess on:


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Free Today!

Dear Gentle Readers,

Waiting for Richard, kindle format, is free today at

It is number 6 in the Kindle Women's Adventure Bestsellers List. If you're looking for a romantic adventure story with an older, feisty female lead, you'll like Waiting for Richard.

It is also available in paperback on


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Queen Catherine of Braganza, A Sculpture by Audrey Flack

Dear Gentle Readers,

The Butler Institute of American Art has acquired a new breathtaking beauty. It is one giant plaster sculpture of a woman, Queen Catherine of Braganza, a creation of American sculptor Audrey Flack. 

And even though she is big, she has 
a delicate beauty about her, her lovely 
spiral curls, her long, slender fingers
delicately grasping her alabaster sphere, the elegant flow of her beautiful gown, with one shoe pointing out, about to step off the pedestal.

From the Butler's New Acquisitions Article:
Flack’s 10-foot high plaster sculpture is an homage to Queen Catherine of Braganza, and is part of a series of sculptures by the artist based upon that theme. (The borough of Queens, NY, was named for the Portuguese-born monarch who later became Queen of England after her marriage to Charles II in 1620.)

The plaster statue features a steel and reinforced steel armature, and is presented standing on a half-dome base. An unusual element of Flack’s sculpture is an LED lighted globe that the subject holds in her left hand.

This plaster work was the prototype for a 13-foot bronze sculpture—a commission awarded to the artist by Lisbon, Portugal. The sculpture was a gift to the Butler by the artist, and is installed in the Beecher Center’s Novak Gallery, Youngstown.

Stop in and see this gorgeous lady at Butler Institute of American Art, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44502, Phone 330.743.1107, or online at