Friday, June 22, 2018

March Blues by Carol Ann Kauffman

Small-town red-head Cat Collier runs an private investigation service called Red Cat Investigation out of her office in the beautiful Palazzo Castellano with the help of her secretary, Nola White, an ex-client Cat took in because she had nowhere else to go, her boyfriend, Erick “Carter” Larsen, and Carter’s father, the wealthy, influential, and shady lawyer, Detrick Bittmor.

In this third installment of the Cat Collier Short Story Mystery Series, Cat brings home a old friend of Detrick's, who have been living as a hobo.

Stories in the series;
     January Black Ice
     February White Lies
     March Blues
     April Yellow Moon
     Lavender Mist of May
     June Green Leaves of Deceit - Coming soon!

NOTE: These are serial stories. Each new episode is built on the previous ones. They should be read in order to fully understand the story.

Excerpt from March Blues:

March Blues
A Cat Collier Mystery
By Carol Ann Kauffman

My name is Cat Collier. I run a research service called Red Cat Investigation. I have an office in Palazzo Castellano, the gorgeous Gothic architectural masterpiece in the center of Heaton Valley, Ohio. My office adjoins the office of Attorney Erick Carter Larsen, my incredibly sweet, handsome boyfriend. His newly found millionaire father is bankrolling us. I’m the luckiest girl in the world.
Mostly I do online research for private citizens of Heaton Valley. Now, you might not believe this, but privacy is a thing of the past. Death certificates, birth certificates, and real estate appraisals are all public record.  Credit scores, bank account balances, and employment records are a little harder, but not much. Social media is a treasure trove of free and easily accessible information about relationships, new babies, new jobs, and current location.  Friends of mutual friends can yield a ton of sought-after data. With an Internet connection, a little luck, and minimal hacking skills, I can find out almost anything without leaving the comfort and safety of my lovely new office.  
Mostly. But sometimes I have to do a more physical kind of investigating.

“Hey, Nola,” I phoned my secretary, “I’m tailing the same white unmarked full-size Chevy van that picked up Lark Fairpoint, Case #7, three hours ago at the corner of Sinclair Street and Fifth Avenue.  2013 Express model, Ohio license plate number M 1538 C,” I said as I whizzed down Route 169. It felt good having someone I could check in with, someone who would know what I’ve been up to and my last known location. I found the private investigation business attracted some pretty shady characters.
“Okay, got it,” said Nola. “Do you need back-up?”
“No. I don’t see anything suspicious. They stopped at McDonald’s drive through, then went to Dunkin’ Donuts. Lark may simply be on a mindless eating binge or skipping school to hang out with her friends at the mall. That seems to be where they’re heading now. Did you ever do that as a kid?”
“Me? No. My mother would have killed me, revived me, and killed me again. Did you?”
“No. I liked school. What are you doing?
“I’m supervising Detrick while he does his leg strengthening exercises,” answered Nola.
“Hello, Cat,” yelled Detrick in the background.
“And he’s doing very well,” added Nola. “And Carter’s making ham and scalloped potatoes. The aroma coming from the kitchen is making us crazy, so don’t be late for lunch.”
“I won’t. See you soon.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Interview with British Historical Author Lizzie Lane

City of Bath
United Kingdom

Good morning, Lizzie, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. What have you written?
I’ve had over fifty novels published in a number of genres. My latest ones are usually based in World War Two by Ebury Publishing, a division of Penguin/RandomHouse.

What is your favorite genre to write?
Whatever I happen to be writing though I have a passion for history – and getting the facts right!

Favorite food.
Marzipan – but I choose to avoid it. One bite so easily leads to another.

Tea or coffee? 
Chardonnay – suitably chilled plus a few Kalamata olives.

Pizza or ice cream? 

Wine or beer?  
Definitely wine.

Where would you like to visit?
My dear Icelandic friends live in Norway and sometimes in Iceland, so either of those places just to see them again.

Favorite musical artist. 
I tend to like songs rather than preference for artists, say, Leonard Cohen, Adele, Ronan Keating.

Do you listen to music when you write? 
Sometimes though not for long because it does interfere with my concentration.

That depends on what I’m writing. It could be pop, blues or classic.

What makes you laugh? 
Politicians. They’re not quite up to speed with modern technology and don’t seem to realize we can easily find their weaknesses.

Favorite work of art or sculpture. 
Michaelangelo’s David.

We saw the David in Florence the last time we were in Italy. He is an unforgettable piece of art. How old were you when you started writing? 

Do you plan out your book with outlines and notecards? Or just write?
 I try to but my imagination takes over and presents me with something better than I’ve written down.

Describe your perfect evening. 
Family meal accompanied with a bottle of wine and followed by watching TV with my eyes half shut and my feet up. Who needs to go out?

Where do you get your inspiration? 
From inside my mind and usually based on some past experience of my mother who lived through the Second World War. They kept the Home Front going, turning scraps into delicious meals, blankets into coats, and adult clothes into ones to suit ever growing children.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
What is writer’s block? I choose to think it’s just that you’re waiting for the story to develop more strongly than the initial idea I was entertaining for a particular scene, character or plot. It’s all about getting it right.

Who is your favorite author?
Charles Dickens.

Best book you ever read. 
The Far Pavillions.

Last book you read. 
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
Property developer and interior design – though I am planning to do that anyway. I can’t sit still for long. Like being busy.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My late husband. He believed in me and had the best sense of humor of anyone I have ever known. I miss him.

New Paperback Cover coming out Jan. 24, 2018

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 think my previous answer will give you the clue to that. There’s so much I wish I’d said and so many things have happened since he died. Sometimes I find myself saying ‘Oh, I must tell him that.’ Forgetting I cannot tell him anything any more – not to his face. I’d also quite like to meet Henry the VIII and tell him that he did produce the heir he wanted – a strong ruler; except that she was a woman not a man. Queen Elizabeth the First.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Read, read, read. To be a writer you must also be a reader. I’ve met people at workshops blatantly telling me they wanted to earn tons of money a writer but didn’t like reading! I’ve been told I am a natural born storyteller – I can’t stop doing it. As a child I ignored dolls and toys and collected books. I was the kid curled up in an armchair with a book and a packet of custard creams

Do you have links for us to follow you?
Amazon: Jean G Goodhind: 
Amazon: Lizzie Lane:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Art of Peder Monk Monsted

Peder Monk Monsted was a famous Danish realist painter who was widely well-known for his landscapes. 

He was born in Balle Molie, south of Greñain the easternmost part of the Jylland peninsula in Denmark in 1859.

Peter studied in Copenhagen under Andreas Fritz and Julius Exner. And although he was well established in Denmark, he traveled extensively throughout Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Throughout his career, Monsted painted the Danish countryside and coastline. He was famous for creating romantic and poetic views of natural.

He became famous for his ability to see the grandeur and monumental aspects of natural landscape. He had an eye for color and detail. Peder used his extensive education in many artistic mediums to be able to combine natural aspects with the newer photo-realistic approach to his works. Peder died in 1941 in Fredensborg, Denmark.

Monday, June 18, 2018

February White Lies Excerpt

Join Cat Collier from January Black Ice as she starts her own detective agency, Red Cat Investigations, inside the gorgeous old Palazzo Castellano Hotel and solves her first real paid case, the case of Shotzie, the missing French poodle. Just when she feels she is destined to find lost pets and missing luggage for the rest of her life in her beautiful new office, complete with business cards, magazines in the waiting room, and her Red Cat logo painted on the frosted glass door, a lovely, mysterious woman named Ms. White hires her to find out who is stalking her. A dead rat on her car. Being run off the road. A car bombing. Someone wants her frightened or maybe…dead.

The trail of graft and corruption leads Cat into danger as she hides the mystery woman with the old, reclusive lawyer Detrick Bittmor for safe keeping.

Cat’s relationship with the handsome Erick “Carter” Larsen is put in jeopardy when she teams up with Officer Kiernan Scott from the Heaton Valley Police Department to unravel the mystery in February White Lies. 


“The roads are horrendous! It’s freezing out there. I don’t think you should go. His flight arrives in the middle of the night. He told you not to go get him. It’s extremely dangerous and inconvenient. He’ll find a way home,” my mother snipped.
“I’m sure he could find a way home, but I want to go get him. I’ve missed him.” I spoke calmly but glared at the phone, wondering if my mother called me just to make me crazy.
“That’s not a smart decision,” she said. I could hear her wrinkling up her nose.
Well, I’m going anyway, Mother.”
“If you’re not concerned with your own safety, then what about all the poor, hapless people who happen to be on the road at the same time as the daredevil Cat Collier?”
“I’ll steer clear of all other vehicles. Don’t worry about me, or any unfortunate soul on the highway with me. We’ll all be fine.  I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Good night, Mom.”
“Good night, wild child. Be careful.”
After the conversation with my mother, I needed aspirin and a nap before heading to the airport to pick up my boyfriend because alcohol, my first choice, would have seriously impaired my driving ability.
Hours later, I pulled out of the parking lot of my apartment building, refreshed, excited, and in happy anticipation as I slowly crawled through the icy, snow-covered, country roads to the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.

“Flight 211 from New York has landed. Passengers will be arriving at Gate Three,” the United Airlines flight representative announced. I scrambled to the gate and waited as the weary, red-eye travelers quietly trickled passed me from the gate. The sleep-deprived commuters shuffled to baggage pick-up in a zombie-like state.
But my eyes were glued on the doorway. Finally, I saw his gorgeous head of dark, wavy hair towering above the others.
Now, you need to know something about me. I never get the handsome guy. I’m never even in the running. I’m short, more round than the publicly sought after elongated image of beauty, and I have this wild mop of uncontrollable red curly hair. I have freckles. I’m stubborn. I have an odd sense of humor. I don’t like to be told what to do.
My mother says I lack social refinement. I don’t care. She also says I have bad taste in men and has never liked one of my boyfriends…until Carter, that is. Why this sweet, kind, smart, handsome creature left his underwear model girlfriend for me, I don’t know. But I’m deliriously happy.
Carter!” I shouted and waved. I startled some of the near-by sleepwalkers. “Sorry,” I whispered.
He searched the waiting crowd, broke into a giant grin when he spotted me, and rushed towards me as fast as he could without knocking over the stragglers.
“You’re here!” he picked me up, hugged me, and kissed me. “I told you that you didn’t need to come and get me. I would’ve rented a car. It’s the middle of the night. And it’s freezing.” His smile lit up the airport terminal. His hug was warm and strong. Everyone else was dragging, but the tall, dark, and handsome Erick Carter Larsen was full of energy. “Thank you for coming, sweetie.”
“Oh, my pleasure,” I said. I saw he had his carry-on bag. “Do we need to go to baggage pick-up?”
“No, I had the rest of my stuff shipped. It’ll all be here Wednesday.”
“Then let’s go home,” I said. I reached for his hand.
“Home. Sounds wonderful,” he said, clasping my hand as we walked out the door.
We slipped and slid our way to my old, red Chevy Cruze, clutching onto each other for support.
“Oh, safe!” he said as he closed the car door. “The sidewalks and parking lot are treacherous. Have these people never heard of rock salt?”
“It’s too cold for rock salt to work right now and… we’re not safe yet. The roads are slick. Luckily, everybody else is home asleep, so we’ll have the road back to Heaton Valley all to ourselves. Buckle up, honey, and hold on tight.”
I pulled out of the parking lot and slid sideways, just missing the unmanned ticket booth.
Carter shrieked and covered his face while I howled with laughter. I’m used to driving in this kind of weather.
“You almost took out that ticket booth,” he panted.
“The operative word being ‘almost.’ Quit fussing,” I laughed. “I had a good four-inch clearance.”
Carter groaned. “I think there are more dents on your car since I left you last week.”
“No. Some cowardly paint may have run off in fear, but no new dents.”
Carter raised an eyebrow at me.
“Excuse me, Mr. Larsen, would you prefer to drive?”
“No, absolutely not, Miss Collier. You’re doing a great job. Fantastic. No complaints.” He searched the floor and in the back seat.
“What are you looking for?”
“Helmet. Mouth guard. Knee pads. Shin guards. Rosary beads to wear around my neck. Holy water. Race car shoulder harness. Tibetan prayer shawl.”
“Rough flight, honey?” I laughed.

“Not until now,” he teased with a wink and a smile.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Schedule for June 18 - 22, 2018

Mon., June 18 - Excerpt: February White Lies, 
A Cat Collier Mystery
by Carol Ann Kauffman
Tues., June 19 - The Art of Danish Painter
Peder Monk Monsted 
Wed., June 20 - Interview with British Historical
Author Lizzie Lane
Thurs., June 21 - Bingata
Okinawan Textile Art
Fri., June 22 -  March Blues, A Cat Collier Mystery
by Carol Ann Kauffman

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Captain and the Ambassador by Carol Ann Kauffman

Ambassador Tull Redmond is looking for a quick ride home back to Earth after ending her twenty-year mission as peace negotiator. All she wants is peace, quiet, and to be left alone. 

She boards the Earth Starship Giuseppe Verdi with its questionable leader, Captain Ben Jacobs anyway. It's the fastest way home. Her quarters has a full bath, a space view window, and a large, real bed!

How bad could this rule-breaking, authority-defying Captain Casanova be? High Council hates him, true, but his crew loves him. Surely, she's too old and tired to be drawn into this bad boy of the quadrant's personal circus.
Will Ambassador Redmond get the quiet, uneventful ride home she craves?

Amazon Link:


Kauffman gives a try at sci-fi and it's an amazing story!
I love how Captain Ben Jacobs handles the situations, one of which he loses his ship and is going to get court-martialled. He is a very strong and compassionate man, who is willing to save Ambassador Tull Redmond's husband from certain death; especially since he was reported dead and the Captain and Ambassador fell in love.
You have to read how marvelous this book is written. I highly recommend it!

Again another scifi adventure, where your imagination take your readers to far away make believe places. Nice love story , interesting twists, nice ending. Good job, when is the next one coming!!!!!

Love is grand!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Van Briggle Pottery Museum, Colorado Springs, CO

The Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado houses a very special pottery collection, the Van Briggle Pottery Museum. 

Artus Van Briggle was a potter who in his early years experimented with the various types of clay from the Colorado region. He combined the  most important features of the clay he liked best from the Georgia and Tennessee areas to create his own very special mix.

 Next Artus made a plaster mold from the original clay piece. Then a liquid clay mixture was poured into the mold and left to hardened. 

The next step was to very carefully remove the now hardened clay piece, removing the seam lines and retouching the design. The clay piece was then ready to be fired in the kiln.

The Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum is free and open to the public. It is a gorgeous building with beautifully restored rooms. The courtroom is exceptionally well done. The Briggle Pottery Museum is just one of the many wonderful exhibits in museum. If you are in the area, please stop in for a delightful afternoon. of tracing the history this part of our wonderful country.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

An Interview with My Favorite Live French Artist Raphael Seygnovert

 An Interview with My Favorite Live French Artist,

 Raphael Seygnovert 

Raphael Seygnovert
French Artist

Dear Gentle Readers,

What a treat I have for you today! The wonderful French painter Raphael Seygnovert has taken time away from his easel to be with us this morning and I am thrilled to bits.

Good morning, Raphael and welcome to Vision and Verse, the place for Art and Authors. It is my pleasure to have you here with us. Tell us a little about your work.
When I realize a work, I try more to express a feeling than to follow strictly speaking a figurative approach with as a theme the landscape. I use an archaic graphic language impregnated with all my experience, all my musical and pictorial artistic influences. It is as if I were trying to express a distant memory that would not have root in our present life. As a vision the eyelids closed.

What is your favorite medium?
I love all the pictorial techniques. It is a real pleasure to apply and work the pastel with the fingers, I also like acrylic but I use it recently; I have a preference for oil, it is a very complete technique.

So what does our favorite Frenchman like to eat?
I appreciate French cuisine but as I am a vegetarian it is a bit complicated; I also love Asian, Indian and Japanese cuisine. Vegetables, cheeses ... And I love cooking too.

Coffee or tea?
I drink tea and coffee, but more coffee; In the north of France we drink a lot of coffee.

Pizza or ice cream?
The both!  Pizza "Sicilian" and Lemon ice cream.

Where would you like to visit? 
What piques your interest?
I love everything about ancient cultures, ancient civilizations, mysteries ...

Favorite kind of music?
I love acoustic guitar, folk music, mystical music, relaxation music, traditional music and Celtic music. I listen to many different things, I would hardly say my favorite artist.

What makes Raphael Seygnovert laugh?
I laugh easily, I like to laugh with my friends. The imitators make me laugh, the hidden cameras too.

This is my very favorite of all your works. You call them bluebells, but in my part of the world, we have tiny pale violet clusters called bluettes, or Quaker Ladies, that only bloom in the wet, wet spring, only in the woods or parks. They are my favorite flower. You cannot buy them in a store. You must clomp through the wet woods and get all muddy to find them.

How old were you when you began creating art?
I started to paint very young, then being an adult I stopped for a long time to resume after.But painting, art, is not a craft strictly speaking, it is a way of life. It's not a choice one day makes saying "it's an interesting job", or "I can make a lot of money like that!" Or "I will be famous." This is necessary to us, for we need to create, to express ourselves in this way, because it is part of us. I need, as an autotherapeutic way, to paint, it is my medicine ... which heals my soul. I think the important thing is to be in agreement with ourselves.

We all like to draw, paint, glue rocks together, snap photos, etc., but we are well aware we couldn’t make a living doing it.  
When did you know you made the right decision?
I am comforted in my choice by all positive feedback from the people I meet.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Nature is a constant source of inspiration, walking in the middle of the trees has always done me good, it is resource, we should try to preserve as many natural spaces as possible. My spirituality is also a source of inspiration.

What do you do when you get an artist block?
The artistic blockages I see more like moments of reflection that allow to take a new beginning, to have a new eye. We are all the time, internally, dying and reborn to evolve, to grow. Like the crysalid and the butterfly.

Favorite artist?
I like many different artists, I like the Impressionists, Monet, Van Gogh, Cross, Corot and also Modigliani ...

If you were not an artist, what would you do for a living?
If I was not a painter, I would have liked to be a professional guitarist, a singer, or a social job.

Who has influenced you most in your life?
The person who has influenced me most is hard to say; I have a thought for my father .. he was a great person ... courageous and much more, my mother too.. but I do not forget the others, all those people who cross your path and illuminate it even for a short time. I think we are all like sponges, every interaction, every encounter, changes our life in its own way.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be an artist?I will tell him to paint more and more, it is by forging that one becomes a blacksmith.I would tell him to expose ever more, meetings and criticisms are always very useful to evolve.To have his own opinion about his work and that of others.And getting to know one self, is the best way to be authentic.

Links to follow our favorite Frenchman:
twitter: @seygnovert

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us today. We at Vision and Verse wish you continued success in all your endeavors. Come back and see us again!