Thursday, January 28, 2016

A New Cover for BELTERRA

Dear Gentle Readers,

My first full-length sci-fi romantic novel, BELTERRA, was in need of a facelift. The original photo I used on the cover was one I had taken on a trip to Tuscany in 2006. It was wine country in the Italian countryside. I was standing in the vineyards looking down into a lush, verdant valley below.

The original title of this book was Terra Nova, Italian for new land. At that same time, a new sci-fi series debuted called Terra Nova, so we changed the title to Belterra, short for Bella Terra, Italian for beautiful land. And the photo really seemed to work with that beautiful land concept.

However, the story does take a dark turn or two, and when I was looking for a new cover, I asked for something a little different.

And this is what we got...a beautiful cover, but a little dark, and a little bit scary. I hope you like the new cover as much as I do.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Interview with Artist David Sywalski

Oh, what a treat I have for you this morning, Vision and Verse Readers!  The very talented and ever-elusive stone sculptor David Sywalski is with us this morning.  For those of you living under a rock, (stone sculptor humor here), David Sywalski is an outstanding American stone sculptor. I first found his work on the internet, browsing the art sites as I often do. His work is widely recognized in the New England area, where he calls home. But his popularity is increasing and his work has received worldwide attention.

 Hello, David!

Hi Carol. I hope all is well with you....things have finally settled down here a bit.  We almost had snow last night.   

Thanks for the weather report.  David, I love your work. Can you tell us when you decided to become an artist?
It was in my high school years during the 1980's, I was sitting at a long desk that I had made with my dad, out of an old antique upright piano it had a very luminescent lacquered surface. I was studying music and art at the same time. 
For some reason I mulled this question over and over in my mindMusic/Art.....    Music/Art..... and this went on for a while. Somehow the art won out. I have been on that path ever since. I have worked for many other sculptors and artists over the years and learned a great deal from them. For now I do my own work and pass on all of my knowledge to aspiring sculptors....and I give away tools sometime too. I believe that you are what you do every day, and you become what you do, and for me that means sculptor.

I'm thinking on auctioning off a small sculpture carved in Basalt about eight inches. What do you think about that ?? 

I think that's smashing! (Get it?  A little more stone sculptor humor?) 

A busy man of few words, he is gone already. I will attempt to get him back at a later date for a little more of the amazing David Sywalski.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Leger's Birthday by Lacey Dearie

With Billy Johnston arrested for his recent crime, Leger and the clowder assumed he would be behind bars and they could all move on with their lives. However, it was not to be and after being released he becomes the victim of a revenge attack. Naturally, Nicole is at the top of the list of suspects but Leger knows she is innocent and sets out to find the real attacker in the hope that this will divert everyone's attention away from Nicole. What he finds out however, may bring him face to face with an old enemy he had hoped to never see again. Meanwhile, in need of a distraction from her recent troubles, Nicole decides to plan a birthday party for Leger. He doesn't want any fuss until it looks like the attacker might show face at the party. Then he welcomes the opportunity to meet this young man once again.

From Lacey's Amazon Author Page:

Lacey Dearie


Lacey Dearie is the creator of the best-selling Leger - Cat Sleuth Mysteries Series about a talking Glaswegian cat detective. She loves observing cats and their idiosyncrasies and has a particular fondness for black cats with amber eyes or pretty calicos. She would own a house full of pets if her allergies allowed.
After being educated autonomously from the age of 15, she spent a decade working on a portfolio of freelance articles which were published in various British women's magazines, as well as running a successful blog from 2005 onwards. She took a break to study and start a family, then decided on her return to writing to focus on fiction.

She is the author of chick-lit novel and Amazon UK Top 100 best-seller, The Tangled Web (currently available only in paperback from Createspace), chick-lit fairytale Cherry Lips, two nonsensical short stories about amorous foods and the soon to be released Candlelight Lane Mysteries which blend culinary cozies and magical realism. She is fiercely proud of her status as an "independent author", is a very vocal advocate of indie media and has, in the past, been a contributor to Canadian indie publication, The Silo.

In her spare time she loves to travel and is a regular visitor to Cyprus - a place that has influenced almost every story she writes as much as her home country, Scotland. She has a personal blog dedicated to lingerie and fragrances, studies perfumery and is mildly obsessed with ska.

Lacey loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted on Twitter as @laceydearie or on her Facebook page

Monday, January 25, 2016

January Black Ice by Carol Ann Kauffman

Dear Gentle Readers,

This is the cover of my newest romantic mystery short story, January Black Ice. I love the cover! It's by the same new graphic artist who did the new Belterra cover. 

When a writer changes genres, it makes our editors and publishers crazy. They say things like, you just found a following with romance readers, why are you confusing them?

I say, my readers are smart and not so easily confused. Yes, it's a story with mystery, but it has a fun romance, too.

You can follow the adventures of Cat Collier from January Black Ice to February White Lies if there is sufficient interest in the first book.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Midnight Owl by Viv Drewa

When the dismembered body of a young woman is found Detectives Joe Leverette and Philip Marsden are assigned the case. After investigating the Port Huron, Michigan area where the six body parts were found there’s a twist in the case: The murderer goes after each individual who found the parts, one by one. 
Leverette becomes interested in one of the women, Carole Sage, a sensitive, but because of the case he’s not able to take it any further. Everyone on the police force sees his infatuation, but Carole does not. 
Each of the six witnesses has a dream about the murderer removing the particular body part they found the night. They are startled awake and hear an owl hoot three times. None of them want to reveal their dream to the detectives. 
Carole sees the actual murder and each murder as it happens to the witnesses. The police chief, Billingsley, understands her ‘gift’ and sets up a sting to catch him. It fails and they have to regroup to think of something else. Two witnesses are dead and they don’t want a third to die. 
This books is for 18+ due to the violence. 

Author Viv Drewa writes:
"Joe Leverette was a character I created for a screenplay I was writing 30 odd years ago. I liked him so much I decided to use him in this series.
I wanted it to be more of a paranormal thriller but decided to use Carole Sage's gift only, she's a sensitive.
I loved writing this book and can't wait to write more in the series.
It started out as a trilogy but as I wrote it I came up with so many other ideas for stories that it'll be a series.
The only thing is you'll have to read the first three books in order, the ones following won't have to be.
Thank you Carol for having me on your wonderful blog."

Book Review:
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Carol Ann Kauffman on December 25, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This highly suspenseful, well-written murder mystery opens with a grizzly, horrific murder that gives nightmares to several people not related to the murder in any way. Likable, believable characters draw the reader into the nightmare, while the baffled but competent police work feverishly to stop the killer before he kills again. I highly recommend this book. Ms. Drewa, write faster!

Buy Link:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pete Ballard's "A Century of Fashion" at Butler Institute of American Art

These elaborately dressed "ladies" are in Pete Ballard's gorgeous collection called "A Century of Fashion" at the Butler Institute of American Art. The collection begins with fashions from the 1790s and showcases the fashion of the 1800s.

Detailed information on each costume is displayed, explaining the popularity of promenade costumes with Spenser jackets during the Empire period, and the difference between visiting clothing and home clothing, which are then further divided into morning costumes and afternoon wear.

Bridal costumes and ball gowns were also on display with information on materials used and where they came from.

Seasonal outfits with accessories were beautifully displayed. I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit. If you are in the area, stop by  the Butler on Wick Ave. in Youngstown, Ohio. The Butler never disappoints, except on Mondays, when they are closed. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Interview with Author Irene Helenowski

Irene Helenowski
Chicago, IL

Good morning, Irene, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the place for Art and Authors. Can you tell us a little about what you've written?
I have written a science fiction trilogy and am now working on a fairy tale.  I also write poetry in between.

What is your favorite genre to write?  
I do not have a favorite in particular; I am still a novice so am still figuring out what I’d like to write the most.

What's your favorite food?
I do like chicken paninis.

Tea or coffee?  
Depends on my mood, but usually coffee.

Pizza or ice cream? 

Wine or beer?  
Actually, neither; I really don’t drink.  Just maybe a little champagne on New Year’s Eve.

Where would you like to visit?  
Even since I’ve seen the Sound of Music, I wanted to visit Salzburg, Austria.

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What? Sometimes and I listen to all kinds, from classical to rock and pop.

What makes you laugh?  
The silliest things sometimes.  My mom and my brother have a great sense of humor and always make me laugh.  My 7-year old niece must have inherited my brother’s sense of humor because she says the darndest things too.

Favorite work of art or sculpture
Lady with an Ermine Painting by Da Vinci.

How old were you when you started writing? 
Always liked writing since I was a teenager but was not serious about publishing until after I completed my dissertation three years ago.

Describe your perfect evening. 
Relaxing with family and friends.

Where do you get your inspiration?  
Sometimes just from little everyday things.

What do you do when you get a writer's block? 
I try not to stress too much about it.  And I always get ideas when I least expect them.

Who is your favorite author?  Too many to list.  
I like all the classics as well as the authors I met during my writing journey.

Best book you ever read. 
Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz.

Last book you read.  
Housebroken by Sonja Yoerg.  I did find it shed a new light on a unique family dynamic.

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?  
I am a biostatistician by day.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?  
Definitely my mom.  She has been through so much in life but always keeps a positive attitude.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?  
Wish I could talk to my dad again.

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

Monday, January 18, 2016

MacKalvey House

Young American Michelle Rosemont visits England after graduation and decides to stay. She takes a job as photographer for a Historical Magazine and falls in love with Kenneth MacKalvey, an older British author with a shady past. Old families scars resurface and play havoc with Michelle and Kenneth's relationship, as she struggles to come to terms with her father's abandonment.

Book Review:

Most Helpful Customer Review

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another great book in the time after time series. Kauffman has created yet another pair of lovers, and they need to deal with all drama in their path to love. Michelle Rosemont has moved to England and fallen in love. Kenneth MacKalvey has a secret past, and is full of mystery and that's what leads Michelle down the wormhole. Just like the other books in Kauffman's time after time series, this has a outstanding plot, very well written characters, and intrigue and drama. It interests the reader, and pulls them into the world, as you root for the characters to end up happily ever after. Each book keeps getting better and better. This was a great read with romance, humor, drama, and some action. It's a great book to add to your reading list, and I promise you won't be disappointed! I thoroughly loved it, and look forward to more books by Kauffman!

Buy Link:

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Schedule for January 18 through Jan. 22, 2016

Dear Gentle Readers,

I have more interesting and exciting posts planned for this week.

        Monday, Jan. 18 - MacKalvey House Description, Review, and Buy Link
                                     This is my latest full length novel. It was delayed because it was in the
                                     Kindle Scout Program. It was then released and got lost in all the Christmas
        Tuesday, Jan. 19 - Interview with Author Irene Helenowski.
                                      This very smart young woman writes novels and poetry in her spare time
                                      when she's not being a biostatistician.
    Wednesday, Jan. 20 - A Century of Costumes by Pete Ballard, A Butler Art Exhibit
                                      This was a lovely exhibit of ladies costumes from 1790 through the next
                                      one hundred years.
       Thursday, Jan. 21 - Belterra Description, Review, and Buy Link
                                      The hauntingly beautiful new cover has shot this novel back up the bestsellers
            Friday, Jan. 22 - Midnight Owl by Viv Drewa, the author of  The Angler and the Owl and the
                                       Owl and the Sipan Lord, both terrific books.
                                       Book Description, Review and Buy
                                       This is a tight, suspenseful, fast-moving story. I can't wait for the next part!

Friday, January 15, 2016

"Hello, My Name is" Blog Hop Winners

Hello, Everybody!

Today I would like to announce the "Hello, My Name is...Giveaway" Blog Hop Winners. I'm so pleased with the terrific turn out. The response was terrific. Because I had so many responses, I'll be sending out an autographed paperback of Sea Witch to one winner and two Sea Witch ebooks, kindle format, to two other winners, so  we have three winners instead of one! Winners are:

          Paperback: Natasha Persaud

          Ebook:       Jan Lee

          Ebook:       Ashley Martinez

Please email me your street address for the paperback, Natasha, and your email address for the kindle ebooks, Jan and Ashley, at

Thanks to all who participated. Your support for our work is greatly appreciated. Thanks for stopping by Vision and Verse and come back again.