Friday, March 30, 2018

The Bolaji Kingdoms Series by T.S. Valmond + Free Novella Offer!

SAMPLE FROM BOOK ONE (The Courier's Code):

“Voice identification confirmed. How may I help you?” The automated voice spoke in a clipped and impatient manner.
“I need to speak with someone about a fetch discrepancy.” 
“We deliver: we don’t ask, we don’t tell, the—”
“Courier always delivers.” Rasha tapped on the square, impatient to get a real live person. “I’m aware of the code, you robotic pumseed. No, this is above and beyond the code.”
“Please enter your job number.” Rasha sighed.
“Fetch & Drop Assignment 2-4879, confirmed, in progress, requested and accepted.” The computerized voice droned.
“Incorrect, not requested. I demand an audience with anyone in the Courier’s Keep. I don’t want to talk to an artificial—”
“Fetch & Drop Assignment 2-4879 requested by Luduru Moren, accepted by Rasha Jenchat.” 
“Requested? No, there must be a mistake.”
“Voice confirmation of Luduru Moren-62513 received.” 
“We didn’t ask for humanoid cargo.”
“Transport of humanoid cargo is cause for immediate dismissal and license revocation for all couriers involved. Moren-62513 and Jenchat-42769 licenses are now void. Thank you and have a nice—”
Rasha switched off the device with the tap of her thumb. She slipped the clear square back into her pocket before turning to Lu. He backed up but not fast enough. Rasha hauled him up hard by his vest and slammed him against the nearest wall.
“What in the yahtz did you do?”

Here are the links:

*A Special Note for My Readers from. T.S. Valmond:

"I'd like to offer you an exclusive FREE novella if you'd like to read something of mine before committing to purchasing the series: The First Kingdom is actually a free bonus to people who purchase the 3rd book(Quest) but I'll give you, the Vision and Verse Readers, the link to download it without purchasing the book."

Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Look at Italian Painter Guido Borelli

Guido Borelli was born into an artistic family. He was born in 1952 in Northern Italy. His family encouraged his interest in the arts and recognized his ability at an early age.

 The paintings of Guido Borelli show the heart and soul of Italy. He uses color and shadow to evoke feelings, maybe the feeling you had the first time you walked down the cobblestone streets of Venice.

Guido's interpretations of these gorgeous Italian sites shows more then the scenery. They show his love for Italy and it's perennial beauty. It shows his big heart and deep soul.

These gorgeous paintings of Venice, the Lake regions of Lago Maggiore and Lake Como areas remind me of my stays in the area and bring back such warm and magical memories.
 Venice at night is very different from Venice by day. Guido's paintings of the city at different times of day capture the personality of the city. If you have never been to Venice, take my advice: GO! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Meet Paranormal Thriller Author Susanne Leist

Susanne Leist
Woodmere, New York

Hello. My name is Susanne Leist. My book, The Dead Game, is a paranormal thriller with vampires, humans and human vampires. The action takes place in a small town called Oasis, on the coast of Florida. Linda and her friends are caught in a deadly game with the evil one controlling their town. They are led down dark pathways, where they must save their town from the evil forces at play.

Look through the palm trees,
Past the sanded beaches,
Beyond the swimming pools
And you will see the truth.
You can hear the raging winds,
Feel the spray of the tall waves,
Taste the salt in the air
And you will know Oasis, Florida
For what it really is.
A town living on the edge,
In fear of the nights,
Of the dark shadows.

Welcome to Vision and Verse, Susanne. It's a pleasure to have you with us this morning. What made you decide to write The Dead Game?
I've always been an avid reader. I grew up on Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes. In recent years, I've begun to read paranormal books. They bring fantasy and the surreal to life, but few combine paranormal with the classic murder mystery. I decided to write a paranormal mystery of my own. It's the type of book that I search for and love to read. Seven long years later, The Dead Game was born.
The Dead Game has dead bodies and suspects like a traditional murder mystery. However, it also has humans, vampires and vampire derivatives. And don't forget the haunted house-we must have one of these.

What are you working on now?
The Dead Game is the first book of three books. The first book resolves the murder mystery, but at the same time, opens a Pandora box of new mysteries. Its surprise ending leads to more surprises.
I'm presently writing the second book. My writing often leads me in unknown directions, so I won't know how the book will end until it does. So far, the second book is slated to resolve the mysteries of The Dead in the United States. The last book will follow The Dead and their deadly activities abroad.

What are your hobbies?
I love to swim and read books.

Who is/are your favorite Author(s)?
The murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie was the first murder mystery I read. I was ten years old. Soon after, I read most of her collection-and she had one big collection. My love for murder mysteries continued with Arthur Conan Doyle and Alistair Maclean. These books taught me how to analyze clues and crime scenes.
Today, my favorite authors are Brad Meltzer and Linda Fairstein. Brad Meltzer's Zero Game prompted me to write my own book. He doesn't write in a pompous way. He follows through with the plot and clues. I feel satisfied when all the plot points are wrapped up in a pretty bow at the end. His writing inspired me to take on an author's long and hard journey.

What education have you had?
My first career was in Finance. I have an M.B.A. in Finance. I worked in the fields of commodities, financial analysis and budgeting. The creative side of me felt trapped inside. I followed my heart and wrote my first book, The Dead Game.
I am married with two beautiful daughters. My oldest is married and is an inventory analyst. My second recently got engaged and is working in digital marketing.
My life is complete.

What do you suggest for anyone thinking of or wanting to write a book?
The best advice for a new writer is to have your author platform and marketing strategies ready before you launch your book. After Outskirts Press informed me I was published, I quickly checked my book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It sat on the two sites-alone-with no description. I panicked. In a few short weeks, I set up Twitter, Facebook and Google accounts. I created blogs on Tumblr, Blogger and WordPress. I researched articles and books about book marketing. It was a year later before I was able to sit back and take a breath.
My advice to a new author is to have everything in place before your book is published. Blogs and online accounts should be open and ready. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone but an anticipated event.

Are you familiar with Oasis, Florida?
There could be a town in Florida where the longtime residents hide during the day and come out at night. A place where dark shadows roam the streets after the sun sets for the evening. Dead bodies roll in with the tides and settle in the white sand. Beach communities have sunshine during the day and trade winds at night. The rest of the story could easily be the result of someone's imagination: my over-active imagination. 

What scares you?
Death scares me but not the type of death in my book. Death by vampire is a good way for me to deal with my fears. Here's to the bloodsuckers!

Do you have some links for us to follow you?



Monday, March 26, 2018

Charming Deception by Carol Ann Kauffman

Dear Gentle Readers,
Sometimes a single moment can suggest a storyline.  While on our second honeymoon in Clearwater Beach Sand Key, I woke up in the middle of the night disoriented. Jet lag. Introduction to mojitos. Who knows why.  But that single moment led to the book, Charming Deception. I wrote the first three chapters on my iPhone, because I promised this wouldn't be a work trip and left my laptop at home.

Book Description:
Samantha wakes up to a perfect life, with a handsome, attentive husband she doesn't remember. She has it all: a luxury vehicle, designer clothes, beautiful jewelry, and a condo on the beach. But this isn't the life she remembers. As time go by, Samantha discovers she is the object of an elaborate deception, one large enough to include, other worlds, body doubles, time travel, world-hopping, and a galaxy guardian as cold as ice. Is her charming husband in on this deception?


"This story is completely different from all the other books I have read by Carol Ann Kauffman. You get to see another side of her creative mind and I love it. She had me guessing all throught the book. She filled it with mystery, suspence, romance and paranormal. Her style is the same as her other work, maybe even better.
Open door ways can be wonderful and yet confussing to some. But to go throught a door way and wake up not knowing who you are or where you are can be unusal. Sam doesent remember parts of her life. Her husband is telling her that she hit her head and has memory loss. But she doesn't know who he is either. Jaxs is madly in love with his wife and would do anything for her, even switch places with Jackson Blake.
As the two of them resume their life together in Florida, Sam finds herself falling in love with her husband all over again. But is he really her husband? Then one day trouble happens and she is pulled into a cloud with hands all over her. She has no idea what is going on. But she ends up at a castle and remembers her father and everybody there, but how? Jackson ends up there too and wants to taker her home. The king is mean and loves to torture people. He goes after a tracker who found Samantha thinking that he killed his real daughter. So how many Samantha's are there? And is there more then one Jackson Blake?
As the story goes on, you find yourself trying to figure out why there are clones and who made them. Why would someone want more than one person that looks the same? Well the guardian has his reasons. Can this all be worked out? Or is someone going to die? Will all be disappointed in the end? You will have to read it to find out."
                                                                                                                          -Val R.

"This is a wonderfully twisted soap opera for the brain.  Samantha has me worried and Jakson, sweet as he appears to be, creeps me out.  Love the imagery.  I feel like I'm right there with these characters.  Them OMG... out of the blue, kidnapped, encoding, decoding.  Uh, just who is this Samantha Blake?  This was like driving carefree down a one-way street and suddenly making an abrupt left turn - where there is no road!  AWESOME!!!"        
                                                                                                                                         - Preston K.

Amazon Buy Link:

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Schedule for March 26 - 30, 2018

Mon., Mar. 26 - Charming Deception 
byCarol Ann Kauffman
Tues., Mar. 27 - Book Promo
Desert Moon by Maria Grazia Swan
Wed., Mar. 28 - Interview with Paranormal Thriller Author
Susanne Leist
Thurs., Mar. 29 - A Look at Italian Painter
Guido Borelli
Fri., Mar. 30 - The Bolaji Kingdom Series
by T.S. Valmont + Free Novella for V&V Readers!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Curse of the Jenri by Stephanie Barr

Excerpt #1:

"Send who?" Tander asked.
"You and the other men must return. Whoever we hunt can kill the husbands, instantly. I knew but I didn't appreciate until now how powerless we are to protect you. You must go."
Tander glanced behind him as if to see whom she was addressing. "To whom are you speaking?"
"Tander, this is not funny."
"You're damned right, it's not."
"You have to go. For your own protection."
Tander raised an eyebrow at his wife, his jaw jutting stubbornly. "Be damned if I do. I'm staying."
"You can't!"
"Just who do you think you're talking to? I'm not a water boy, no squire to be sent from harm's way. I'm Tander, damn it, a warrior, and I don't make a habit of running out on my wife when danger comes calling."
"This is not the time for pride."
"By Bastor's black heart, it's precisely the time for pride."
"Tander, please!"
"Tander, do not argue with me on this. I could not bear to see you as I see Carent."
"I am no familiar to take orders either, Layla. I promised Glendana that I would watch your back. I cannot see it from the camp.

Excerpt #2:
Tander has an overabundance of kitten familiars (six):
"Weren't you just telling me how magically endowed, or whatever, I was?"
"You have a great deal of magical power. However, there are people with talent, people with education, and people with both. The more you have of each, the better a sorcerer you are. Which category you fit into determines what you can do, and to some extent, how well you can do it."
"So, I'm one of the first and you're one of the second?"
Weird, curled up on Saldomar's lap, reared up and hissed. Saldomar closed his eyes and schooled his expression before answering carefully. "Actually, I like to think I'm one of the third, but essentially, you have the idea. You have a great deal of talent, but no training, no mindset, no experience. Actually, you have a stunning amount of talent, and now that I'm sensitized to it, it amazes me that I did not see it at once."
But we saw it, remarked Solace.
"So, why can't you give me some education, put me on the road to being one of the third? We have more than a week remaining; surely you could teach me something."
Magic is not something one learns in an instant, warned Stealth.
It's a skill, added Speed
It takes practice, said Serenity
And patience, piped in Solace
And you don't have the mind for it, concluded Silence. You think like a sword.
"Thank you very much!" Tander shouted, shaking a finger at the intrusive flock of kittens. "Bastor knows you know every damned thing, but I was hoping to get some of Saldomar's wisdom for a change. Now do you think you could keep your comments to yourselves so I can hear what he has to say without a running litany of my shortcomings?" Tander expelled a calming breath. "Sorry about that, Saldomar. Can we try again? What were you saying?"

Excerpt #3:

"Layla is my mate. There should be no life risked but mine. The rest of you, go and ensure everyone else is safe. Each of you has someone to live for. Everything I have to live for is clutched in that creature's arms. Do not throw those lives away needlessly."
"Is that what you would tell me, Tander?" asked Riko, from behind Cristo. "What argument will you have for me to send me from the kill? Kena is not here, not below, which can only mean she is no more. What do I have to live for, Tander?"
Tander's eyes closed at that. "Riko, I'm sorry, but you should not throw your life away. She wouldn't want that."
"What life could I live if her death is not avenged? Do not think to try to send me away, Tander. I shall not rest until her murderer has paid with his life. Trust me when I say I have nothing better to do."
Denra nodded. "And, as for me, Tander, I do not seek to supersede your claims of rescue for Layla. But she is not the only Jenri who must escape, for you, Cristo and Riko are as Jenri as she is. If you think your arguments will sway me, your brain must have been frozen in the cold. I will leave no brother or sister to face such peril to save my own skin, so be content that I stay. After all, you have no choice."
"Damn it, Denra, I wanted to say that. Now, I don't have anything clever to add, except I ain't going anywhere either," Cristo complained.
"You're all a bunch of stubborn idiots and will likely pay for your obstinacy with your lives. And for no point since I can guarantee there will be vengeance for Bromden and company."
"At the cost of your life?" Denra asked sweetly.
"Possibly, though I don't count myself dead just yet. I'm too stubborn to die."
"Well, if you plan to live through it, I don't see why we can't," said Cristo. 
"Actually, I probably won't live through it, but I'm an optimist," Tander said, with a tired chuckle.
"I don't see any reason why we can't be just as foolishly unrealistic as you. Now, what's going on?" said Denra, considering the matter closed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Interview with Author Christine Almstrom

Christine Almstrom
Croydon, NH, USA

Good morning, Christine, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the place for Art and Authors. Can you tell us a little about what you've written?

Mostly pre-K/early readers but also middle-grade fiction, poetry, and a young adult novel. More specifically: “How Do You Catch a Falling Star?”, “Popover: Little Mouse in a Big World,” “The Legend of the Black Grim,” “Seaglass: wayward thoughts of a wandering heart,” “Grandfather Thunder & The Night Horses,” “Wee Angus.” I’m currently editing my young adult novel titled “Blood Moon Eclipse” (for an October 2018 release) and working on illustrations for an upcoming book written by author Mary Morton Cowan. I’m also starting rough sketches for another project with the Thunder Valley Lakota Language Initiative in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. They provided translation for “Grandfather Thunder & The Night Horses” and have asked me to illustrate a series of traditional oral stories to preserve their heritage and language.

What is your favorite genre to write? Young adult urban fantasy.

Favorite food. 
Lobster, sushi, scallops...seafood.

Tea or coffee? 
Tea (especially chai)

Pizza or ice cream? 
Neither but gelato...that’s a different story.

Wine or beer? 
Beer, in the bottle, dark (stout, lager…).

Where would you like to visit? 
Ireland, Scotland, the Grand Canyon, The Black Hills, Yellowstone..
Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What? 
My music depends on my mood and my taste is rather eclectic: eerie violin pieces, ethereal instrumentals, heavy metal, grunge, alternative...I have different playlists depending on what I’m working on. My current novel “Blood Moon Eclipse” has a background playlist called “Into the Abyss.” Music can really set the mood for my writing.

What makes you laugh?
Kids being kids and animals.

This is an Art AND Author blog, so I am obliged to ask: Favorite work of art or sculpture. 
I’m partial to Salvadore Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” but also adore Monet’s “Water Lilies” and some of Jackson Pollack’s work.

How old were you when you started writing?
About eight.

Do you plan out your book with outlines and notecards? Or just write? 
I prefer to start with a spiral-bound notebook and just let the work flow. After, I’ll put it to the Mac and I’ve also starting using an app called Scrivener for keeping things organized but I really love the feel of pen on paper and the just letting the muse take over.

Describe your perfect evening.
Flannel pjs, snuggled on the couch with my family watching a movie that we all actually agree on. Chinese food would be a bonus.

Where do you get your inspiration? 
From my kids, from my childhood, everywhere! I don’t need much for inspiration to hit.

What do you do when you get a writer's block? 
I actually suffer from the opposite of writer’s block. I have writer’s flood! Ideas come at the worst times: the middle of the night, in the shower, driving in the car, sitting in church (sorry God), in line at the grocery store...I actually have a blog on my website called “The Voices in My Head” because I swear that’s what they are and they’re usually all trying to get my attention at once!

Who is your favorite author? 
That’s a tough one: Katherine Howe, Diana Gabaldon, JK Rowling...

Best book you ever read.
Tie between “Tuck Everlasting” and “Les Miserables.”

Last book you read. 
“The Lie Tree”  by Frances Hardinge

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer? 
I’m also an artist so maybe an art teacher.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why? 
My father. Despite a violent and negligent upbringing, he chose to rise above it. He left home at 16, joined the Navy so he could see the world, and chose to be a better person. He taught me the value of honesty, integrity, and hard work. Even through a long and painful battle with cancer, he never lost his sense of humor.  

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? 
I am of Native American descent (Blackfeet Sioux and Onondaga Iroquois) and very proud of my heritage so I would love to sit down with Wilma Mankiller. She was the first woman to serve as chief of the Cherokee Nation and a strong community organizer. She revitalized its tribal government and improved its educational system. I love her quote: “The secret of our success is that we never, never give up.”

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Don’t give up. The road is long, winding, and tricky but worth the journey.

A little about Christine:

    “A self-proclaimed Imagination Expert, Literary Addict, collector of shoes and sea glass, Christine Almstrom lives in New Hampshire with her husband and children (two- and four-legged) - endless source of inspiration and more than a little insanity. She enjoys reading, roaming, and all things oceanic or Steampunk. When not working on one of her own books, she can usually be found with her head buried in someone else’s.

    Christine is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators), BroadUniverse, and an author/presenter with CLiF (the Children’s Literacy Foundation). To learn more about Christine, her current projects and upcoming events, please visit her at: or follow her on Facebook (ChristineAlmstromAuthor) and Twitter (@calmstrom13).”