Thursday, August 30, 2018

BOOK: The Baslicato

When Dr. Brook Wilson agreed to take on celebrity Italian race car driver Jason Maxwell, known as "The Baslicato," as her patient, little did she realize their relationship would turn her calm, pleasant, well-ordered life upside down, sending her off on dangerous adventures in southern Italy and northern Ohio. 

As she prepares him for his big race, she must deal with his demented wife while driving her boyfriend, Dr, Garrett MacEgan into acts of criminal desperation in a attempt to hold on to her.

When tall, handsome British actor Richard MacKenzie wakes up in the hospital after an accident, he discovers he's a short Italian race car driver named Jason Maxwell, known as THE BASLICATO.

Amazon Link: 1

Basilicata is a province in Southern Italy. It's where my father was born. The Baslicato is the story of a young man born in Basilicata Province, but not my Dad. He did, however, like to drive very fast! The warmth, love, and humor of a big Italian family is evident in this story. I think Dad would've liked it.


“Mr. Maxwell? Mr. Maxwell, I’m Dr. Wilson. I’m a neurologist. Your father called me in as your specialist.” 
He stirred. He opened his eyes and gave her the most beautiful smile she had ever seen in her life. It was heart stopping. And those eyes! And just where have YOU been all my life,she thought to herself, surprised by her own reaction to him.
“Hello, my love, I am so glad you’re here. I’ve been calling you. Did you hear me?” He reached for her and pulling up toward her, hugged her middle tightly, burying his head in her breasts, and leaving her momentarily stunned. 
“Oh, my head hurts. Nothing makes any sense. What happened to me, do you know? Did they tell you anything? They won’t tell me a damn thing. They just tell me to rest,” he said. 
She hugged him back just enough to hit the button on the other side of his bed. Her two assistants came in and pulled him off of her.
“Nicole, love, what’s the matter? What’s wrong?”
“Mr. Maxwell, listen to me carefully. I am afraid you have me confused with someone else. I am your new doctor, Dr. Brook Wilson. Now, are you going behave and keep your hands to yourself or do I need to restrain you?” 
He looked at her and blinked. He became very agitated.
“Nicole? Keep my hands to my… What’s the meaning of this? You know me! You know who I am. Richard. Richard MacKenzie, your husband, not some… Mr. Maxwell. And you are my wife, Nicole,” he said unwaveringly. 
He paused and thought a moment and began to doubt himself. “Oh, what’s the matter with me? Nicole! Why don’t you know me? My God, will this bloody nightmare never end?” 
He held his head with both hands, visibly shaken. 
She very gently injected him with something to calm him down, to make him sleep a little, and give her some time to figure out what was going on here. 
She didn’t let him see the needle. Somehow, she knew he hated needles. She noticed he was dehydrated. What had happened to him? What had they done to him? She checked his chart. He didn’t come in through the regular emergency room route and he had not been given any kind of preliminary examination. And she wanted a thorough one.
“Where are his personal belongings?” 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

FILM PICK: Mission: Impossible, FALLOUT

Why exactly do you go to the movies? Is it to see a slice of life, closely resembling your own existence so you can see how others in your place would react to situations based on your own life?
           ...drug house opened on the corner...
  money to pay the rent...
           ...four new overdoses in town this week...
           ...was fourth grade this hard when I was in school...
           ...should have bought Narcan stock...
           ...why can't I get my kid to ride the bus to school...

The answer is probably no. You go to the cinema for escapism. Well, you are in luck with the new installment of the Mission: Impossible story, because Fallout is as wonderful, wonderfully impossible, fast-paced pure gem of escapism as I have seen in years.

And whether or not you like Tom Cruise personally or not (I do),  he is an outstanding actor, is aging well, and is still very physically fit. Whatever the 'it' quality is in Hollywood, he's got it.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Schedule for August 27 - 31, 2018

Tues., Aug. 28 - FILM PICK:
Mission: Impossible,  Fallout

Wed., Aug. 29 - BOOK:
365 Poems by Cindy J. Smith

Thurs., Aug. 30 - BOOK:
The Baslicato by Carol Ann Kauffman

Friday, August 24, 2018

And the winner of a SEA WITCH ebook is...

Sea Witch
Written by Carol Ann Kauffman
Cover by Beth Maddox of Cover It Up Designs

And the winner is ...

Judi Kensok!!!

Judi, I need your email address to send you your prize. 
Either private message me on Facebook 
or Email me at

Thank you for your support and participation. 
You are appreciated.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

ART: "The Backside of Reality " by Texas Collage Artist Parker Kaufman

Dear Gentle Readers,

I am thrilled to post a new art piece from our own Parker Kaufman today. 

As you know, Parker and I started Vision and Verse over five years ago. He was the Vision to my Verse. 

Parker stepped away from Vision and Verse to work full-time on his art. But he comes back to visit us every now and then. 

Here is "The Backside of Reality" by Parker Kaufman.

"Imagine that there is another side to reality, another plane of existence?

Imagine that the inhabitants of one plane could look through into the other? How would one view the other side? 

Would it appear as those on that side see it? Or would it be different, distorted, or incomprehensible? 

"Inspired by a recent exhibit of works by famed surrealist, Rene Magritte, I composed this 20' x24" work.

It is entitled, 'The Backside of Reality,' by Parker Kaufman, 01-27-18.

 The piece is composed of 50 hand-cut yardstick and poster board pieces affixed to foam board."

                                                                -Parker Kaufman

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

INTERVIEW: Fantasy Author James Quinlan Meservy

James Quinlan Meservy
Southeast, Idaho

Good Morning, James. Welcome to Vision and Verse, the site for art and authors. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is James Quinlan Meservy, and I love literature! I live in Southeast Idaho with my wife and children, and spent my childhood living moving all across northern Utah. I consider my home town to be Mendon, Ut, a small community near Logan, Utah in the Cache Valley.
While I love most breed of domesticated dogs, especially the Siberian Husky; absolutely adore red pandas; and greatly admire kestrels, my favorite animal is the wolf.

My family enjoys spending time together; playing with Legos, hiking, playing sports, watching movies, but we love reading together.
I have always had a fascination with falcons. I love the call of the Peregrine Falcon. As I said before, I greatly admire nearly everything about kestrels. But my favorite type of falcon of all-time is the Millennium Falcon. (Yes, I am a fan of Star Wars; specifically the films.)

When I am not spending time with my family, at work, fulfilling various religious responsibilities, eating, or sleeping, I am likely writing.

What is your favorite genre to write?
My favorite genre to read is classic literature (Charles Dickens is my favorite author), and my favorite genre to write is fantasy. Even when I attempt to write something that is not fantasy, my WIP becomes fantasy by the end of my first draft.

Favorite Food.
My favorite food is hamburgers.

Tea or coffee? I cannot stand the flavor or scent of coffee, and have only had a couple of teas that I enjoyed. My favorite tea is karkade, I was first introduced to karkade when I was in Russia. I am told that Hibiscus is the English translation.
Pizza or ice cream? I prefer pizza over ice cream. BBQ chicken pizza to be specific. Wine or beer or soda? As far as the choices between wine, beer, or soda is concerned, I would have to say soda. However, I recently cut back on my soda drinking, and have started preferring lemonade, raspberry lemonade when available.

Where would you like to visit?
I have always wanted to the Louvre, from what I hear, I can spend an entire month in the Louvre, and still have more to see and learn. Favorite musical artist. Do you listen to music when you write? What? When I was a child, a friend of mine introduced me to Garth Brooks’s Greatest Hits Album. By the end of the album, I had found my life long favorite musical artist. As far as what I prefer to listen to when writing, I prefer to put in earplugs and be enveloped in complete silence. What makes you laugh? I rarely laugh, I mean genuinely laugh. Not much makes me laugh. I'm sorry. How old were you when you started writing? The first time I really remember creative writing, I was in grade school. My teacher assigned us to write a Halloween story. I wrote a story about a magical wolf who could talk. That story served as the original inspiration for The United. Do you plan out your book with outlines and notecards? Or just write? When I write a new project, I start writing. I allow the story to take on its own life. Every time I have attempted to write out of an outline, the story takes on a new life and I end up tossing out my outline before I even get half-way through my first draft. Describe your perfect evening. I am not certain I have a perfect evening for all occasions. It really depends on my day. Some days I want nothing more than to be left alone so I can either write or work on the computer. Other days I would prefer nothing more than watching a movie with my family.

Where do you get your inspiration? Every story I ever wrote started with a dream. Then as I write, the dream takes on its own life as a written story.
What do you do when you get a writer's block? Some say writer’s block is a myth, others say it is an inevitable truth. To me, all writer’s block means is that my story is not quite ready to be committed to paper. So I read, or exercise, or spend time with my family, or otherwise do something else, allowing my mind to work on whatever problem that was blocking me. Best book you ever read. The best book I ever read was either ‘A Christmas Carol’ or ‘Bleak House’ both by Charles Dickens. Last book you read. The last I book read was The Great Siege by JN Tomczak. It is Book 2 of the Kingdom of the Faeries series. It is a fantastic fantasy series, which I greatly enjoyed. What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer? I presently work as a forklift operator in a dehydrated potato warehouse in Southeast Idaho. However, I seriously believe that if I were not spending so much time writing, I would be a professional archaeologist. Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why? The individual who has influenced my personal life the most is my wife, and conversely I believe I have had more influence on her life than anyone else. Sharing your life together, it is impossible not to be influenced by one another. I take her advice and suggestions on various things very seriously, and often find myself changing my mind, no matter how begrudgingly, after hearing her opinion on any given matter.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? Carol, that is just an unfair question. How can I choose just one literary character with whom to have lunch? I have so many favorite literary characters whom I would love to meet.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer? My advice to aspiring writers is to read, then write, then read some more.

Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
Yes. First, my friend Kollin Murphy was kind enough to sketch Lord Yrimwaque, a main character from The United, and I have decided to include that sketch as well. The pencil sketch plays an role in the story, and I am very grateful to Kollin for bringing that sketch to life. As a final parting note, I would like to introduce your followers to my newsletter. I send out a newsletter on the first Wednesday of every month. I give an exclusive 5K word short story, ‘Jackalopes: The Real Story’ to my followers. Jackalopes features a few different mythological creatures, including the Volkrog, a horned wolf with magical abilities.

The sign-up link is
Do you have some links for us to follow you?

Find me on the web at:

You can purchase The United at:

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

BOOK: Sea Witch by Carol Ann Kauffman

Sea Witch

Carol Ann Kauffman

This story is a blend of sci-fi, fantasy, and romance, with a touch of mystery thrown in the mix.

We have been conditioned to believe aliens will come from the sky is huge, metallic, saucer-shaped spaceships. But what if... they are already here, lurking in the depths of our oceans...waiting.

Book Description:
Dr. Laura Martin, Chief Extraterrestrial Life Scientist at The Touchstone Institute of Oceanographic Research, noticed subtle but troubling changes in the Atlantic Ocean. Before she could make sense of it all, her longtime personal assistant abruptly walked out. Laura hired young, handsome Scott Conner to be her personal assistant. 

Mayhem ensued, mainly because of Zara, the mermaid/siren/monster in the basement of the Touchstone Institute, who eyed on Scott as her possible mate in a plot for total domination of planet Earth. This mermaid is no Ariel.

“The Touchstone Institute of Oceanographic Research is the most fantastic, exhilarating place on the planet to work. It is high energy, exciting, sometimes maddening, often frightening, heart pounding work. It’s not a job. It’s a lifetime commitment. It gets in your blood. It grabs you by the throat and possesses you, body and soul. And it is work. If you’re not prepared to work your ass off day in and day out, weekends, holidays, your birthday, and your mamma’s birthday, leave now.”

What Others Are Saying:
"Within the Oceans of the World lie mysterious creatures. Beyond the ocean are humans, Beyond the stars dwell aliens. The question is can they all dwell as one on earth? The Sea Witch explores a complex system of scientists and government officials trying to save the human species. What happens is unbelievable and believable. Entertaining and Romantic. The book is well executed. I found this book to be completely enthralling. The author is a wonderful story teller. Loved it and recommend it to anyone exploring the outer depths of earth."

"If you like romance with science fiction, you're going to really enjoy this. It's kind of like Men in Black but with USOs (Unidentified Submerged Objects) but the main characters aren't government agents, but scientists (but they definitely aren't afraid to use a gun or kill when necessary). I won't go into the plot because that would spoil things but you get some real twists thrown into here with two very human characters, who don't necessarily remain that way. And, yes, the romance is quite good once you get past Scott's immediate and complete infatuation."

"The villain of the piece, Zara, even comes across as sympathetic... well, as sympathetic as an man-eating alien she-beast can be. If I had one ding against the story it was Zara's wildly shifting emotions. In a lot of ways, it can be explained by the events in the story but it is very obliquely done. Also, even better, there are plenty of seeds in this story for a sequel and I really hope that happens."

"What a wild ride! This story has everything: love, sex, danger, beautiful-scary alien beings, amusing alien beings, hard science mixed with sheer fantasy. Laura and Scott have so much chemistry together that even death might not be able to break the bond between them."

Would you like to win a kindle format edition of 
Sea Witch?
Just comment below for a chance to win! One winner will be picked from all those who comment and will be announced on Friday, August 24, 2018.

*Note: You have an extremely good chance of winning because, although Vision and Verse have a wide international readership, comment are few. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Schedule for August 20-24, 2018

Tues., Aug. 21 -  BOOK:
Sea Witch
by Carol Ann Kauffman

Wed., Aug. 22 - INTERVIEW:
Fantasy Author
James Quinlan Meservy

Thurs., Aug. 23 - ART:
The Backside of Reality 
by Texas Collage Artist
Parker Kaufman 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

FILM PICK: The Lost Room

Dear Gentle Readers,

 So many television channels and nothing to watch. Did you ever think that? I found a good one, completely by accident. The description did not pull me in, but there was NOTHING on and I needed a diversion, so I started to watch it.

Detective Joe Miller has this key thrust upon him by a dying young man. This key is to a motel room in Gallup, New Mexico that does not exist, Room 10 in the 1960's. Now I've been to Gallup, New Mexico, so this where it hooked me. More than that, this key opens any door with a key lock and a hinged door. But once you walk in, you’re in that missing motel room.  In the 60's. In Gallup, New Mexico.

His sweet and beautiful little girl becomes curious about this room and starts throwing her stuffed animals in one at a time. The stuffed animals disappear. Then SHE disappears, causing all kinds of custody court and police problems. 

Then Joe is forced to join forces with some wacky religious zealots who think this room, and it’s objects (like a pen, a comb, a box) are the pathway to God. 

It is on Tubi and also YouTube. Great writing. Great acting. Check it out. You won’t look at your comb or your pen the same way ever again. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

ART: David P. Hettinger, the Illinois Painter of Life

American David Hettinger is known as the Illinois Painter of Life.

He began drawing things he saw on television and movie cowboys around the age of eight. 

At thirteen he received his first set of oils by a local artist named Mike Spencer who ran a local barbershop near David's elementary school.


 His formal training began at the Academy of Art in Chicago under Joseph Van Brouck and learned  classical realism and the Techniques of the Fleming, Dutch, and Spanish masters.

After four years, David moved to New York City to study under famous New York artists David Leffel and Richard Schmid.

It is said that David Hettinger  paints "moments in life" or "emotion" rather than simply a scene or a place. He paints his personal recollections of a moment in time, complete with all the feelings attached. 

As usual, I claim nothing here as my own. 

Links to David Hettinger:

Monday, August 13, 2018

BOOK: FREE! Calming the Storm by Melanie Snitker

A marriage of convenience isn't exactly 
what she had in mind.  
After a rocky start, Rachel Peters finally has her life on track. Then a tragic accident takes away her sister and leaves her to raise her niece, Kendra, alone. About to lose custody of her last blood relative, Rachel is desperate to prove she can adequately care for her niece. On the verge of running away to keep Kendra, a new friend offers Rachel an opportunity she can't refuse.

Brandon Barlow has long admired Rachel. When her world begins to fall apart, he feels led to help. A marriage of convenience would enable him to provide Rachel and Kendra with a stable place to live, proper health insurance, and a viable shot at staying together. Once Rachel gained full custody of her niece, the marriage could be annulled.

His plan provides the perfect solution, until Brandon realizes he's fallen in love with Rachel. Through love and patience, can he help Rachel realize that, even when she experiences storms in her life, she's never alone? 

Buy Link:

 Brandon felt like his heart was in his throat as he led the way outside. He thought they could walk to the pond. The path was pretty this time of year, and it would give him a few minutes to work up the courage he needed to ask her. He didn’t think he’d ever been this nervous before. God, please give me the words to say and the strength to say them. If this is Your will, soften Rachel’s heart to the idea.
“It really is so peaceful here,” Rachel commented at his side. She breathed in deeply. “It reminds us just how small we are in this world, doesn’t it?”
“It does,” Brandon agreed. He took in God’s handiwork around him and suddenly felt humbled. No matter what happens, Father, thank you for what You have done in my life.
As they approached the pond, he led them to a bench overlooking the still water. “Let’s sit here for a minute.”
Rachel did as he suggested. Kendra was admiring a small patch of flowers growing a few steps away in the grass. Rachel watched her niece for a moment, then turned to him. “What’s going on?”
Brandon willed his stomach to quit doing flips as he began. “I want to help you and Kendra. It isn’t fair that this is happening to you guys. You should stay together — you both deserve that.” 
Uncertainty marched across her face. He said another silent prayer and took a deep breath.
“Marry me, Rachel.”
As soon as the words were out, she jumped to her feet. He stood with her, holding a hand out to try and get her to wait. “Please, listen to me. I’ve got health insurance, the house, the job. It would hopefully be enough for you to get custody of Kendra. My parents were going to hire someone this year to help with the orchard. Melinda doesn’t need to be climbing ladders to pick apples in her condition, and she’s been tired lately between the pregnancy and Benjamin. They said they would love to hire you, which means you can put some more money away and Kendra can stay with you.” He smiled toward Kendra who had a small fistful of flowers and was on the search for more. “When it’s all over and the adoption is finalized, we can have the marriage annulled if that’s what you want.”
“If that’s what I want?” Rachel looked at him as though he’d suggested she hold her arms out and fly. “I would think it would be something we’d both want.” She put a hand to her head and closed her eyes, massaging her temple. “If I even agree to this crazy idea. This is insane.” She pointed a finger at his chest. “You’re insane!”
 “I just know I’ve been thinking about your situation, praying about it, and I can’t come up with any other way to give you a chance to keep Kendra.”
Rachel’s expression was quickly changing from surprise to annoyance. “Look, I appreciate your sense of responsibility, even if it is misguided.” She fingered her braid and then tossed it behind her. “But I’ve been on my own and I’ve survived. I’ll be fine here, too.”
 “And if you have to run?”
 “Then I’ll start over. I used to do it all the time when I was a kid. I’m no stranger to it.” The fire in her eyes dared him to contradict her.
Brandon could tell he was treading on thin ice at this point. He sent up a silent prayer for God to help him choose his words wisely. “I have no doubt that you are capable of starting over. You’re one of the strongest people I’ve ever met.” He took a step closer to her. “But think about the details. If you run with Kendra, they’re going to put out a warrant for your arrest for kidnapping. When you get to your new destination, how are you going to find a job? You’re not going to be able to use your real name if you truly want to hide. They’re going to want your Social Security number, to see your driver’s license.” He paused, knowing that his words were upsetting her. But they had to be said. “You’re not being realistic. Going someplace and starting over like that is going to be complicated. You’ll have to figure out how to create a whole new identity.”
 “I can do that. I will find a way.” Rachel clenched her fist and opened her hand again. She turned back to the pond, working her jaw as she thought. Brandon paused for a few moments, knowing that she was going to have to think through it all to make a decision herself. He watched as she focused her attention on the little girl nearby.
 “Rachel.” He waited for her to look at him before continuing. “You deserve better."


Author Bio:
Melanie D. Snitker has enjoyed writing fiction for as long as she can remember. She started out creating episodes of cartoon shows she wanted to see as a child, and her love of writing grew from there. She and her husband live in Texas with their two children, who keep their lives full of adventure, and two dogs, who add a dash of mischief to the family dynamics. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys photography, reading, crocheting, baking, and hanging out with family and friends.

Follow Melanie at these links: