Sunday, December 30, 2018

SCHEDULE: January 1 - 4, 2019


Tues., Jan 1 - NOTE: 
A Note from Carol

Wed., Jan 2 - ART: The Search for Elan Vital
by Parker Kaufman 

Thurs., Jan. 3 - INTERVIEW:
Author Vince Guaglione 

Fri., Jan. 4 - BOOK: Charming Deception
by Carol Ann Kauffman

Friday, December 28, 2018

BOOK: I Need Christmas by Carol Ann Kauffman

After a depressing year of sadness, loneliness, and self-doubt, successful civil engineer and former All-American basketball star Elizabeth (Betsy) Curry returns home to Oakville, Ohio, for the Christmas holidays a depressed and broken women. 

Reeling from her bitter divorce from the handsome, charming, but morally-bankrupt Tommy DeMalio, her college sweetheart and first big love who left her after two years of what she thought was a good marriage for a stripper he met at an office bachelor party for her co-worker, Betsy feels lost and empty. 

Not exactly anticipating the happy holiday with her family and their multitude of joyful Christmas customs and long-time storybook-like traditions, she knows she needs them in order to heal. 

Once comfortable at home and feeling somewhat better about herself, Tommy shows up and claims he wants a reconciliation, throwing her back into the self-destructive cycle of doubt, hostility, and suspision she is trying so hard to escape.

She discovers her father has set her up with his protégé at work, the tall, handsome, athletic red-haired Patrick, who, try as hard as she can, she can’t find a single thing she doesn’t like about him.

So, what’s the problem? Betsy feels it’s too soon for her to love again. How can she love anyone again when she doesn’t like herself or what she’s become since the break-up. Also, she fears she will hurt the sweet, gentle Patrick.

Will the love, joy, and goodwill of the holiday season coupled with the many long-time holiday customs and Curry family traditions help Betsy to find herself again? Will she be strong enough to lift herself out of her self-induced prison so that she can take another chance on love ? 

What others are saying about I Need Christmas:

“I Need Christmas” is book two of the “Oakville Family Christmas” anthology and keeps to the spirit of the series 
nicely. Being surrounded by family isn’t always the picture of a Norma Rockwell painting. Far too often it’s the exact 
opposite. But in Betsy Curry’s case it could not be more the reality. Betsy is recovering from a marriage that was at
 best a nice arrangement for her husband, who by the way, abruptly returns wanting another try (with ulterior motives).
 Having been done with him and comfortably surrounded by a loving family, Betsy is having none of his nonsense. 
Enter mystery man, Patrick. What will happen next? Find out by getting your copy of “I Need Christmas.”

This was a very sweet and heartwarming story. It's short, and a wonderful story to read just before you go to sleep, 
as it's just the right length and will give you warm and fuzzy dreams. I thoroughly enjoyed it and want to read more 
by Ms Kauffman.

I just finished your book, "I Need Christmas," and found this to be a heartwarming story of family and traditions.

Set in Great Midwest, Ohio, the story takes you back to still present, albeit distant, small town America, the cutting 
of the family Christmas Tree, and of course, the tree trimming party!Recently divorced Betsy, is home for holidays 
and desperate to gain some feeling of normality. Can Christmas do that? With all of the commercial/retail marketing, 
constant pressure to shop, to spend, to buy! Or is the magic of the season enough? Can one finder her rudder? 
And a new Beau? Read this wonderful short story and find out!

It's Christmas at the Curry house and things couldn't be better, unless you're Betsy Curry. Her no-good husband 
dumped her for a stripper and she hasn't gotten over the pain of his betrayal. Just as she settles into the comfort 
and traditions of her family and starts a potential romance with a guy her parents tried to hook her up with sets in, 
her ex shows up looking for reconciliation and then to start trouble. This is a really good story and I enjoyed getting 
to know some of the other characters that were mentioned in the other books of this series.

This is a story set in Great Midwest and brings forth all the beautiful traditions of Christmas - the Christmas tree, 
the party, family and holidays. Betsy, who was recently divorced, is hoping Christmas would bring some normality 
to her life and is hoping the magic of the season would rub on her somehow. When she meets Patrick, things 
change. Will Betsy get her own Christmas miracle? Read this sweet story to find out!

Betsy Curry needs all the comfort and security of being with her family this Christmas after she divorced her cheating 
husband. What she's not sure she needs is their help in finding a boyfriend! this story is a realistic peek into the home 
of a loving family during the days leading up to Christmas. Kaufman's knack for heartwarming storytelling shines 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

ART: Vogue, The Art of Helen Dryden


The Art of Helen Dryden                            

Helen Dryden

Born November 5, 1887
Baltimore, Maryland
Died July 1981 (aged 93)

Helen Dryden (1887 – 1981) was an American artist and 

successful industrial designer in the 1920s and 1930s. She 
was reportedly described by the New York Times as being 
the highest-paid woman artist in the United States, though 
she lived in comparative poverty in later years.

Dryden was born in Baltimore and moved to Philadelphia when she 
was seven years old to attend Eden Hall. During her early childhood 
years Dryden showed unusual artistic ability, designing and selling 
clothes for paper dolls. Eventually she sold a set of her paper dolls 
and dresses to a newspaper for use in its fashion section. This in turn 
led to a position as illustrator for Anne Rittenhouse's fashion articles 
in the Philadelphia Public Ledger and The Philadelphia Press.

Dryden was largely self-trained, describing her works as 
"a combination of things I like, in the way I want to do them." 
Her artistic education consisted of four years of training in landscape 
painting under Hugh Breckinridge and one summer school session at 
the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Deciding that she had no real 
interest in landscape painting, Dryden focused her complete attention 
on fashion design and illustration.

Career in Fashion illustration
After moving to New York in 1909, Dryden spent a year trying to 

interest fashion magazines in her drawings. None, however, showed 
any interest in her work and many were harsh with criticism. Dryden 
was particularly disappointed in her rejection by Vogue. 

Less than a 
year later, however, Condé Nast Publications assumed management 
of Vogue and set out to make changes. Upon seeing Dryden's drawings, 
they directed the fashion editor to contact her immediately. The result 
was a Vogue contract that led to a 13-year collaboration (1909–1922) 
during which she produced many fashion illustrations and magazine 
covers. Her "essentially romantic style produced some of the most 
appealing, yet fantastical images on Vogue covers, frequently depicting 
imagined rather than realistic representations of dress."She also 
illustrated other Condé Nast titles, including Vanity Fair and House 
and Garden.

Costume design
In addition to her prolific career as an illustrator, in 1914 Dryden 
launched a successful career as a costume designer. She designed the 
scenery and some of the costumes for the musical comedy Watch Your 
Step, followed by designs for several other stage plays including 
Clair de Lune, the fanciful drama based loosely on a Victor Hugo 
romance. Although the play starred Lionel and Ethel Barrymore, 
Helen Dryden's costume designs were generally given equal credit 
for the play's success.                                       

Industrial design
Following the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs 
et Industriels Modernes, Dryden turned her attention to industrial design, 
producing a number of designs for tableware, lamps, and other 
housewares, for the Revere Corporation.[5] She had a highly paid job 
with the Dura Company until the stock market crash of 1929, at which 
point she was replaced by George W. Walker.[6] It seems Dryden never 
fully recovered from this blow. According to Christopher Gray, 
"The 1925 census recorded her living at 9 East 10th Street with 
her 25-year-old Philippine-born cook and butler, Ricardo Lampitok.

Dryden worked for Studebaker from 1934 to 1937, reportedly earning 
$100,000 per year.[7] Automotive designer Raymond Loewy contracted 
with her to help him design Studebaker interiors. Her work on the 
interior of the 1936 Studebaker Dictator and President that established 
Helen Dryden as an important twentieth-century industrial designer.
The advertisements by the automaker proclaimed, "It's styled by Helen 
Dryden." Dryden designed the Studebaker President throughout, and 
the press marveled that a woman had attained this eminence in 
mechanical engineering. She was considered "one of the top 
industrial designers and one of the few women in the automotive 
field." Dryden worked with Loewy through 1940.

By 1956 Dryden was again living in a $10-a-week hotel room paid 
for by the city's Welfare Department. At the time, she referred 
nostalgically to "her '$200-a-month' 10th Street apartment".

All in formation and images are from Wikipedia.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

NOTE FROM CAROL: Merry Christmas

We at 
Vision and Verse 
want to wish
all of you 
a very Merry Christmas
a happy, healthy, safe
We thank you for your support.
You are appreciated.


Sunday, December 23, 2018

SCHEDULE: Dec. 24 -28, 2018

Tues., Dec. 25 - NOTE FROM CAROL:
Merry Christmas!

Thurs., Dec. 27 - ART:
VOGUE! The Art of Helen Dryden

Fri., Dec. 28 - BOOK:
I Need Christmas by Carol Ann Kauffman

Friday, December 21, 2018

BOOK: Christmas at Star Lake by Carol Ann Kauffman

Christmas at Star Lake
by Carol Ann Kauffman

Madison Rand runs Rand Solutions, an unusual and very helpful agency in the beautiful little town of Silver Maple, New York. The police inform her that her highly qualified, specialized employees are targeted by a professional killer and being picked off, one by one. To save their lives, she closes down her business, sends them all away, and retreats to a friend’s cabin at Star Lake to figure out who is after them and why. 

Danger follows her to the cabin in the woods at Star Lake, where an old ghost from her past reappears on Christmas Eve, hellbent on revenge, and the madman tracks her through the underground caves at the lake. 

Shots are fired. A body drops to the ground. Is it Kyle Miller, the love of her life, who followed her to the cabin to propose on Christmas Eve? 

The air is thick with treachery and deceit. The body count is rising and old friendships are put to the test. But Madison Rand believes in miracles, especially at Christmas time.


July 18, 2016
Madison Rand gets blindsided when Detective Anthony Carlucci's makes a surprise visit to her office to inform her,
her friend, Bob Turner didn't die of a heart attack. Nor did her father die of a stroke. The coroner discovered a pinprick 
on Bob's shoulder and a highly toxic poison in both men's system indicating they were both murdered. Detective 
Carlucci suspects she might be next. Her boyfriend may be a target as well.

This Christmas story is packed with suspense, mystery and love. It's a must read that won't disappoint!

One person found this helpful

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November 17, 2015
I finished it in one reading, including during and annoying phone call. All I can say is don’t look away, and if you 
miss something go back. Author Carol Kauffman had me at the first murder. Yes, a Christmas book with a murder 
(or a few). “Christmas at Star Lake,” is a fast paced, page turner that will grip you and then slap you, all the while 
whisper merry Christmas. If you like fast paced thrillers this is for you. Hats off to Carol…

2 people found this helpful

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January 7, 2016
Christmas at Star Lake was the first book I've read by Ms Kauffman, but it definitely won't be the last. A fun and 
fast paced romantic mystery with a Christmas theme, it had me turning pages until the wee hours of the morning,
 as I simply had to finish it before I could sleep.

2 people found this helpful

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November 25, 2015
What a perfect holiday read! Kauffman has created a wonderful sequel to Madison's Christmas with this book. It's got 
just enough of everything that it's one you won't want to put down. Pick this up on your holiday break and prepare 
yourself to get swept into the adventures of Madison and Kyle! It's got action, adventure, laughs and murder. You 
might not expect these things to go hand in hand, but It's simply one of the best holiday stories I've read, and I really 
adore the character of Madison. She's entertaining, driven, smart and engaging, and this story kept me on the edge 
of my seat the whole time! It's just got enough action to keep you reading, but it's not too dark that you won't enjoy
 this book. Fans of action and thrillers you need to grab this book! I hope we see some other stories with Madison
 in the future, because that girl has a knack for getting into and out of trouble!

Grab your copy of this book today! You won't regret it!

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November 15, 2015
It's Christmastime, and when her secretary announces a visitor, Madison happily expects to see Kyle, the boyfriend
 she's meeting for lunch. Instead, it's the local police detective with horrifying news: when her father died last year, 
it wasn't a stroke, nor did her friend die of a heart attack. They were both murdered and it could be her fault! “Any one
 of the number of disgruntled thugs, bullies, and criminals that you’ve angered over the years, could've done it," 
Detective Carlucci tells her. Her systems analysis business is a front for the town of Silver Maple's "protect the 
innocent and help the helpless" operation. "You’re all in danger, and especially your boyfriend. Close up shop and
 leave town."

Can Madison save her boyfriend, her employees—herself? Or will this be her worst Christmas ever? And maybe 
her last.

One person found this helpful

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July 25, 2016
I just Love Carol Ann Kauffman's work! She really surprised me with this book of Madison Rand. This one is full of
 action and surprises and will leave you with your mouth open at parts. I can't wait for the next book!

It's been a year and now they find out that Franc and Bob were murdered and Kyle and Maddie are next. Madison 
ends up firing Kyle and sends him back to Cleveland. Mike helps Maddie by having her stay at his families lake 
cabin to be safe. Is she safe? Gun fire, bullets flying, people hurt, 2 dead, all on Christmas Eve. Now how is Maddie 
going to get her Christmas Wish/Miracle?

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December 7, 2015
Reading the first story where Kyle and Madison meet isn't necessary to enjoy this story but it does give you some
 background on the hero and heroine. With that said, you get into a secret about Maddie's family that shocks her 
and upsets everything she thought she knew. She runs away to the safety of Star Lake, which turns out to not be 
very safe at all. As the betrayals and lies mount, Maddie has to confront what she wants out of her life.

While this is marketed as a Christmas story, and it is, it's more of a backdrop to the main story rather than being 
a defining aspect of it. What you will get, however, is a great suspense story.

One person found this helpful

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November 16, 2015
This story has everything: love, death, danger, madcap comedy--and Christmas. In this non-stop and ultimately 
very satisfying sequel to "Madison's Christmas," Maddie Rand and her beloved Kyle run up against a bad man
 who's supposed to be dead, and things go downhill from there... until they go uphill :-) The comedy of errors as 
Kyle and Maddie chase each other from hospital to hospital is a welcome spot of light relief, and hysterically funny.

2 people found this helpful

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December 7, 2015
Author Carol Kaufman brings us a fast paced sequel to Madison’s Christmas. Christmas at Star Lake is a romantic 
suspense that keeps you guessing. When Madison’s past starts to catch up with her, she takes refuge in a friend’s 
cabin only to find out she’s not safe there. Take a ninety minute break and enjoy.
January 2, 2016
Suspense, murder, intrigue and love...a great combination in Carol Ann Kauffman's Christmas story. A short read 
with enough plot for a full length novel, this book will capture your attention and hold it!