Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Wedding Bridesmaid by Jennifer Conner

Amazon Buy Link: 

Jennifer Conner is a best-selling author from the Northwest. She has over sixty short stories and books in print, ebook, and audiobooks. She loves to write Christmas Romance, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, and Erotica.

She has hit Amazon's Top Fifty Authors list. Her novel Shot in the Dark was a finalist in the Emerald City Opener Romance Writers of American contests in Cleveland and Toronto.

Jennifer is an Associate Publisher with Books To Go Now in the Seattle area. BTGN pride themselves in helping new authors get their foot in the door with well-edited manuscripts, professional covers, and platform uploads.

This talented writer lives in the  hundred year old house she grew up in. She blows glass beads with a blow torch and is a huge fan of musicals.

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Art of Jack Vettriano

 The Art of
Jack Vettriano

 Meet my new favorite artist, Jack Vettriano.  His biography begins "born in Fife, Scotland in 1951." Now hold on, Readers! This Italian girl recognizes an Italian last name when she hears one...see the "o"? Intrigued, I continued reading to find out this talented man had to quit school and go to work in the mining industry. 

His girlfriend bought him a set of watercolor paints for his twenty-first birthday (Thank you, dear, whoever you are, you did the world a giant favor!) and from then on he spent his free time teaching himself to paint.

There is something about his work that draws you into the painting.  The first one I ever saw was his The Singing Butler, which shows an elegantly dressed couple dancing on the beach in the rain with their butler with an open umbrella. Their is such a romantic aura in this beautifully done painting. Love it.

And then I discovered a whole plethora of paintings by Jack Vettriano as his publishing company's website


where you can browse and buy Jack Vettriano reasonably priced posters, cards, postcards, calendars, journals, as well as canvas prints.  It is a beautiful and easy to navigate website.  

   I discovered Dance Me to the End of Love, a spectacular Audrey Hepburn-like beauty in perfect ballroom dancing hold with her striking partner.

Jack Vettriano was born Jack Hoggan to a Scottish father and an Italian mother. When he was 36 and newly separately, he moved to Edinburgh, took his mother's maiden name, and went on to become an international success with studios in both Scotland and London.  The Singing Butler has been the best selling image in Britain and is very popular here as well.

Those who criticize his work as "too erotic" have to be those guys who prefer to look at paintings of fish or maybe still life prints of fruits and veggies. Jack's paintings show human beings being human.

Please visit Jack Vettriano - Official Jack Vettriano Page on Facebook for  news on Jack's current and upcoming gallery showings and current work.  Some other very interesting links are:

www.allposters.com/-st/Jack-Vettriano-     Posters_c29036_.htm

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Schedule for May 30 - June 3, 2016

Schedule for May 30 - June 3

Monday, May 30
      The Art of Jack Vettriano
Tuesday, May 31
      Wedding Bridesmaid by
            Jennifer Conner
Wednesday, June 1
      Book Review
      Old Crimes and Nursery Rhymes
           by Jane Firebaugh
Thursday, June 2
      Belterra by Carol Ann Kauffman
      African Violets
      Note from Carol about blog consolidation 

Friday, May 27, 2016

KC's Hot Pick of the Week

2 Robbins Ave.
Niles, OH 44446

KC's Hot Pick of the Week is COACHES, the new restaurant that opened up in the Pine Tree Plaza in the McKinley Heights section on Niles, Ohio.

Opening a burger joint across the street from a McDonald's is a gutsy move. Putting it in the former home of the Arthur Treacher's at the corner of Robbins and Route 422 is another.

I'm not much of a burger girl, and my husband is a vegan. That said, we visited COACHES and I was pleasantly surprised. I had the Chicken and Greens Sandwich. It was a large marinated grilled chicken breast topped with sautéed Italian greens and provolone cheese on a big, fresh bun. It was juicy and delicious.

I heard rave reviews on the turkey burger with barbecue sauce on a gluten free bun and the salted caramel pretzel milkshake from an adjoining table.

My husband had the veggie burger.   

Will COACHES make it? I don't know. The place is small and dark. The burgers are expensive, from $4.99 for the single to $8.99 for the Cleveland Burger with Kielbasa on top and the Porky Burger with pulled pork on the burger. But the staff was friendly and efficient. The big salads, onion tanglers, and sweet potato fries looked good. 

Opening a small business today is fraught with peril, especially in this little corner of the world.  None of the area restaurants are doing a booming business, with the possible exception of Olive Garden on Route 422 across from the Eastwood Mall. The Go-Out-To-Eat budget in our area is shrinking along with the paychecks.

If you are in the area and hungry, I suggest you give COACHES a try. Just pass on the Veggie Burger.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bentley Square by Carol Ann Kauffman

Strangers meet on the train. She, a beautiful, wealthy businesswoman. He, a down on his luck office manager. They have nothing in common. And yet, they are drawn to each other with an undeniable hypnotic magnetism. This is the story of Rebecca Robbins, daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the country and Mark Ramsay, a man shrouded in dark mystery and hiding in the shadows from death squads amid international intrigue.

"I was captivated with the story from the very beginning, the interactions of Becca and Richard, the fleeting connections, the daydreams that become truths, the mysterious connection between the two, all this totally had me invested from the very beginning. The characters are developed so much you truly get a great understanding of the conflicts and perspectives, a lot of the narrative reminded me of Mad-Men and I really felt that this is a perfect story for a Hollywood movie adaptation. At the end I really felt that I had read a real classic and have already recommended this to my friends, you will not be disappointed with this gripping and truly entertaining love story."
                                                     - Amazon Review by M.S.

"Bentley Square is a fast paced love story that draws the writer into the lives of two interesting characters, a very rich heiress and a man who is almost homeless and jobless. Their platonic encounter after spotting each other on a train for years, and never approaching each other, finally happens coincidentally, and they feel like they know each other eternally. Their love story is timeless and they have to surpass many challenges in order to stay together, including murder, kidnapping, blackmailing, etc. It's full of surprises in every chapter and not a dull moment in their quest for love. If you like a love story that is timeless, and where the hero, Mark, is every woman's dream: totally romantic, a knight in shiny armor, ready to protect and save his damsel in distress at every corner, read this cozy yet action-filled romance! A "cameo" appearance by the author in one of the chapters was quite a smart surprise! Well done!"                                     
                                                        -Amazon Review by A.B.        

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

DB Jones' Madison Hart Mysteries

I want to thank Carol Kauffman for this opportunity to share with you a little bit about myself.

DB Jones
Roanoke, Virginia and Winter Park, Florida

Welcome back to Vision and Verse, Dee. I've read NIGHTS OF AUTUMN and I just loved it!  What is your favorite genre to write?

It depends on my mood. But presently, I love getting lost in the mystery and challenges of the story I’m creating. My mind is rushing along trying to keep up with my characters. This book, Storms of Winter, pulls some elements from my other two books in this series that will ultimately tie all three books together in a spectacular finish.

Favorite food.
Italian food is my comfort food. Even the Italian desserts!

I'm Italian. Come over anytime.  Italian comfort food is my specialty. Tea or coffee?
I’m a big coffee drinker, but there are times in the late afternoon I like to make a cup of tea in     one of my grandmother’s porcelain tea cups and sit out by my Koi pond. I guess it’s more for the ambiance, but it’s so relaxing.

Pizza or ice cream?
 Can’t I have both?                             

Oh, you are my kind of person.  Talenti has a Sea Salt Caramel Gelato that is to die for. Where would you like to visit?
I’m just a nester. I really enjoy staying home or visiting with family and friends, but I fantasize traveling to Tuscany or some Grecian island someday and looking over the sea as I write some spectacular mystery.

Favorite musical artist.
I don’t listen to much music, but when I do, I like it to be relaxation music. My late husband and I composed flute music for over 30 years, and I still enjoy listening to that type of music.

Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
When I write fantasy, I do listen to new age music or something that will stimulate my imagination into the worlds I’m creating. Usually flute music.

I bought a flute when I retired!  I am determined to take lessons...someday. What makes you laugh?
Sharing goofy things we’ve done in times gone by with friends and family.  
Favorite work of art or sculpture.
I love the art work and sculptures of my friends. I can walk through my home, and the pieces I love are all done by people I know personally, so it’s like revisiting them every time I admire a piece. 
Describe your perfect evening
Having an intimate dinner with close friends, a glass of wine and then early to bed with a good book.    

Where do you get your inspiration?
That’s a tough one. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and the story is running through my head, or I can be driving down the highway and see something like a sign or a unique house that triggers a story. It may even come from something I hear. 

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
The first time I had writer’s block, I panicked. I thought this is the end of my writing. Then I read something another writer said about his block, “Get up and do something totally different or just sit down and start writing on what-ever”. I’ve done both and often that will kick start my train of though and I’ll slid back into my story. I use a corkboard program and I will often pop onto it and write little sticky notes to formulate an idea and that too can redirect my train of thought back to my story.

Who is your favorite author?
Oh, My. You’ve put me on the spot. There are so many wonderful writers. Lately, I’ve been spending time reading books of friends I’ve made in the author world. 

Best book you ever read.
Although there have been so many great books written, I’d have to say I still love the old classics, but I’ve always been drawn to a good mystery. I know that didn’t answer the question, but I have no “best” book I’ve ever read. 

Last book you read.
Bentley Square by Carol Ann Kauffman

You know, I am just loving you more all the time!  What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
Now that I’ve dipped my toes into the waters of writing, I’m not sure there is anything else I’d rather do. I’m addicted, obsessed, and in love with the time I spend writing. Nothing else exists when I’m writing, but the story I’m following.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My late husband, Terrell was the biggest influence in my life. He encouraged me to do whatever my heart desired. When he became ill, I went back to school and got my degree in Occupational Therapy at age 50. Since I’m dyslexic, he created a formula for me to take my test and studied with me.   He encouragement me to believe in myself and supported any endeavor I pursued.

I am sorry for your loss.  He sounds like a wonderful man.  If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
There are too many people I would love to talk to, but if I have to pick one, I think it would be Gandhi. I would love to know how to stay in that place of peace in spite of all the chaos that surrounds us. 

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Just sit down and write and don’t worry about the “how to”. Just write your story. You’ll learn the rest later. Writing a book and getting it out to the reader is an ongoing marathon, a continuous learning curve. So don’t worry about any of that, just write your story!

The tenacious, young FBI Agent, Madison Hart returns to her hometown believing she is going to be investigating a missing person’s case. But little does she know the trail is leading her into the depths of someone’s dark obsession…and murder.
The leads are mounting as fast as the body count, and the closer Madison gets to the truth, the more her life is in danger.

Amazon International: http://authl.it/B010OSJG5M

It is a bizarre case that shakes the very core of Madison's quiet hometown of Maitland, Florida. Never in her career as an FBI Criminal Investigator had she come across such a twisted, complex but intriguing case. 
Once again she is partnered with Detective Josh Logan, but their tenuous relationship is threatened by her burning drive to solve this case. This might be the one mystery that will leave her with more questions than answers, and risk losing the only man that ever understood her.


Madison Hart struggles to juggle her life as an FBI Agent and a Private Investigator as she teams up with Detective Josh Logan of the Maitland Police Department.  What seems to be a simple case of a missing young woman soon escalates into a complex trail of greed, secrets, and murder. Investigating this crime has Madison questioning the direction she wants to pursue, not only professionally, but personally.


The unrelenting, gun-slinging FBI Criminal Investigator, Madison Hart, finds herself questioning her past as she investigates a murdered couple in her hometown of Maitland, Florida.  Close friends of her family, whom she had known most of her life are killed only minutes from their home. Solving this case is personal for Madison, but uncovering what lies behind the secrets of their past, may shatter the truth and memories of her own.
Once again Madison teams up with Detective Josh Logan, but she finds their relationship is getting in the way of her drive to find the killer. Will she find what she’s looking for in the past before she loses what’s right in front of her?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Interview with Author Dane McCaslin

Dane McCaslin

Good morning, Dane, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the place for Art and Authors. Can you tell us a little about what you've written?
I’ve written 2.5 books starring the irascible Caro, along with 2 stand alones. The titles are as follows: The Pen is Mightier (short story included in “KILLER BEACH READS”), A Bird in the Hand, When the Cat’s Away, Murder at the Miramar, and Becklaw’s Murder Mystery Tour. My current WIP is called ‘Photo Finished’, the fourth installment in a multi-authored series, and it comes out in October.

What is your favorite genre to write?    

Favorite food. 
Currently it’s hummus. Versatile and yummy!

Tea or coffee?
Coffee first thing in the morning, then a healthy dose of iced green tea the rest of the day.

Pizza or ice cream?
Pizza, particularly if it’s made with pesto and lots of mozzarella cheese.

Wine or beer?
Neither. Can I choose Peilligrino?

Yes, you can. Where would you like to visit?
I’d love to visit Quebec. Blame that on authors Louise Penny and Kathy Reichs.

Favorite musical artist.
Modern artist is Phil Collins. Classical is Verdi.

 Do you listen to music when you write? 
No – I’m a ’don’t bug me’ type of writer.

What makes you laugh?
Dry humor, as in Mark Twain. The comic strip Calvin and Hobbes.And my silly grandkids.

Favorite work of art or sculpture. 
Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’.Riveting!

How old were you when you started writing?
When I was old enough to ask, ‘how do you spell…’ I’m sure I drove my mother insane!

Describe your perfect evening. 
This is easy: on the beach (I like Coronado or Catalina) with a cappuccino in hand and my hubby next to me.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I’m at the risk of sounding slightly crazy here: the characters inspire me! In fact, there are times I’m positive I know the plot and Caro will come along and change it all up again. Caro, by the way, is the protagonist in my Proverbial Crimes books, and a force to be reckoned with.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Walk. Nap. Rearrange a drawer or three. Eventually is goes away, like a bad cold.

Who is your favorite author?
Not fair! I have a favorite author for different times in my life, but if I had to choose, Dame Agatha Christie wins, hands down.

Best book you ever read. 
Again, a tough question. I think we readers tend to have multiple faves. Currently, I’m in love with the prose of Elizabeth George, Her characters are fascinating!

Last book you read. 
I just finished ‘The Wedding Cake Murder’ by Joanne Fluke.

I love those Hannah Swenson books! What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer? A baker maybe? 
I’d be a librarian in a snap!

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
I’ve been blessed with positive influences my entire life, from family to friends. If I had to choose, I’d have to say Ida Mae Burnette Johns, my maternal great-grandmother. She was one tough cookie! ‘Survive’ was her motto and she did it with style.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Oh, Hercule Poirot! I’d love to pick those ‘little grey cells’ and get some insight into the criminal mind.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Keep it all – don’t erase or delete anything! I’ve got an amazing amount of ‘go-to’ paragraphs, phrases, and descriptions that have found their way into several of my books.

Do you have any links for us to follow you?

www.danemccaslin.co (not .com)

Thank you for being with us this morning, Dane. We at Vision and Verse wish you continued success in all your endeavors. Come back and see us again!