Jess Witkins Happiness Project ~ I’m Enough ~ Learning Lessons From A Mirror…

For those of you who have never had the privilege of meeting this beautiful red-haired lady, Inion N. Mathair would like to introduce you to, Jess Witkins. We met Jess, through another phenomenal red-head, Marcia Richards Blog. http://marciaarichards.com/blog-2 Super Awesome Blog (We’ll bring Marcia on another post!! ;) xo )

Jess Witkins is such an incredible young woman who blogs about Life, Love, Writing, Family, Books, Travel, Chocolate and WOMEN!! Yes, WOMEN…Strong, Supportive, Artistic, Brilliant, WOMEN!! Which is why we absolutely luv this lady!! She’s always dropping rays of her bright sunshine across the blogosphere and is a major supporter of Writers & Books. She’s utterly adorable and absolutely Fun!!

 

And…..

she recently tied the knot. (swoons) That post is a beautiful, romantic one that we highly recommend you check out. MY BIG FAT SECRET GREEK WEDDING ~ http://jesswitkins.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/my-big-fat-secret-greek-wedding/

Jess married in  Santorini, Greece. Uhh, yeah…cuz if you’re gonna get married, why not make the backdrop Greece!!

Recently we visited Jess’ blog & found a post we particularly loved. We wanted to Press that baby, but Jess’ blog isn’t WordPress so instead, we decided to do a post ourselves then give Jess’ Blog address and the video.

JESS’ BLOG POST: I’m Enough ~ http://jesswitkins.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/im-enough-learning-lessons-from-a-mirror-that-talks-back/

Does the mirror reflect your worth?

This is the question that a group of women from Austen, TX came together to answer. But first, they started a band.

Their group is called The Mrs.

Unable to connect with the songs they were hearing on the radio, well past the years of the teenage heartbreak and club beats, they sought to create music inspired by their own lives as passionate – and busy – wives, mothers, and girlfriends.

The all-female rock band is comprised of drummer Andra Liemandt, lead vocalists/guitarists Mandy Prater and Jennifer Zavaleta, vocals/keyboardist Larissa Ness, and bassist Jenny Mason.

They wrote a song called ‘I’m Enough.’ And from that song, they gave birth to a movement.

For the rest of this post, hop on over to Jess’ Blog & enjoy!!!

JESS’ BLOG POST: I’m Enough ~ http://jesswitkins.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/im-enough-learning-lessons-from-a-mirror-that-talks-back/

 

 

The Sisterwives

 

We got a little heavy with the last post, so we wanted to do something more near and dear to our hearts. And anyone that knows us well, knows Inion N. Mathair LOVES spotlighting other Artists. Throw in these 9 lovely ladies as the subject:

And well…..

So for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting these women, it gives us great pleasure to introduce you to a group of phenomenal writers and extraordinary ladies known as:  THE SISTERWIVES

Now the name alone, is quite unique and spawns all kinds of crazy images you play with from crazy Soap Opera Series…..

Country-music-Girl-Groups…..

To Southern relationships gone wrong…

But when put with these Dynamic Literary Diva’s well it’s just down right potent, utterly brilliant & all kinds of sexy!!! <3

A powerful Sisterhood that’s agenda is supporting each other and spreading that support to anyone else who might need it. All through the power of writing.

 

We can’t say it as beautifully as one of the Sisterwives did. (Lizzi ~ CONSIDERINGS)  http://summat2thinkon.wordpress.com/

“We allow people to see some of our very darkest moments because we know that to be able to find solace and the depiction of a darkness of your own, in someone else’s writing, is a very powerful thing indeed.”

“We reached out, tightened the bonds between us and prepared to collectively resonate so hard that we will be heard across the Blogosphere.”

“We will strive to let our readers know that whatever their challenge, they are not alone;”

Oh yeah…she’s that freaking awesome!! A deep thinker sensitive to life and others she gives oceans of her heart in every word she forms in that beautiful little head of hers!! And its all sincere and selfless making Lizzi Rogers a jewel among the blogosphere!!! Her blog: “CONSIDERINGS” takes the reader on a journey touched by sunshine and all kinds of positive energy to anyone who needs a dose; and with Lizzi~Girl, all are welcome!! ;) What makes Lizzi crazy loved by all who know her is her eternal philosophy that your cup is never half-empty but always half-full!!

Her constant support of those around her leaves her halo always bright & her wings never tired!!

And her positivity has spread through the blogosphere like a wild-brushfire!!!

However, she is but one of the 9 women who are living parts of this body of feminine-power called THE SISTERWIVES. So, let us introduce you to the others.

The next Sisterwife is no stranger to Inion N. Mathair and if you’re friends with us, then you absolutely know the Blonde-Texan with a warm heart and hysterical sense of humor. Beth Teliho “Bethie” as we like to call her, is without a doubt the essence of Female strength, touched by pure Southern charm. She is an animated creature larger than life, yet wholly accessible to all, in that she’s the “girl-next-door.” That perfect girl-friend that will teach you how to throw a right hook to knock out that bastard that double-crossed you.

And on Friday night give up her date-night to join you, (spoon in hand) to polish off a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s.

Now, for those that don’t know, I (Inion) have a bit of a “Girl-crush” on Beth…it’s true!! Sorry Bethie but I have to get it out there!!! (The stalking charges and restraining order are mere tokens) lmfao. But then everyone has a freaking crush on her once they’ve met her!! She’s that fan-fu**ing-tastic!! Her blog: “Writer B Is Me” leaves you laughing your ass off while you relate to every single word that comes out of that firecracker’s mouth!! With Blog-post-titles such as:

1.)  WTF’S, Beards, BJ’s, and Anniversaries. Related, But Not.

2.)  Did she just…grab my ASS?!

3.)  I’m A Whore

4.)  Nudie Resorts And The Ass Dance

The woman personifies what a truly perfect sense of humor should be!! Thus the “Girl-crush” And with eight of her Sisterwives present, I’m saying that knowing I’ll probably get my ass kicked!! ;)

Yet in the same sense, she has a precious warmth and soft side that captures your heart and mind, leaving you perplexed and intrigued with her vulnerability.

So, don’t wait!! After you check out THE SISTERWIVES swing  by her blog: Writer B Is Me and Ingest the Words. Like little blue pills, they will affect you.

http://bethteliho.wordpress.com/

Next Sisterwife we would like you to check out is one of Mathair’s favorite Poet’s. Deanna Herrmann is an Artistic Chameleon with too many gifts to list. Course Mathair considers her an indulgence and says her poetry is as addictive as Salted Caramel and just as sinfully delicious. Her blog: “My Muted Voice” is a favorite haunt of ours as we devour any and everything she writes. A gem within the blogosphere she spends most all of her time supporting other Artists and hosting more than one blog within the community. You’ll definitely want to check out this American Writer living a charmed  life in Germany while finding her, Muted Voice. And oh what a voice she has. A deliciously dark Diva, she is a must read.

http://mymutedvoice.com/                          http://tipsylit.com/about/

Now for the fourth Sisterwife but the first in Mathair’s book, we introduce you to a lady who’s blog-name is not representative of who she truly is. WHAT?! Was that an insult? We hate those loaded compliments that seem to be praises but are really a dis.

 

But with Sandy Ramsey, it’s always a compliment.

Her blog: “Mother of Imperfection” is a candid look at motherhood from a lady who’s mastered that role. Shown from her humble point of view, she is without a doubt one of the finest mothers on this planet and her words are filled with wisdom and utter love and devotion. Whereas some use Yoga, meditation, gyms or the Bible, Mathair likes to read Sandy’s posts to even her world while finding sound reason to her problems from Sandy’s experiences. Me, I just love to absorb her glorious “light that only gets in through the cracks.” And then there’s Mathair’s obsession with Sandy’s resemblance to Meryl Streep!! Wait…that’s a whole other post! ;) xoxo

 

http://motherofimperfection.com/

Our next Sisterwife is another Blonde-Bombshell from the Lonestar State but this star, shines brighter than any!!

Mandi has a brilliantly, strong mind with enough feminine attitude to keep you laughing and shouting for days!! Like a good Pentecostal meeting in a church below the Mason Dixon line, you’ll find yourself raising your hand, amen’ing~(is that a word? We’re going with it!) dancing, singing and speaking in tongues as you devour each and every story while laughing your ass off!! Mandi’s greatest gift is sharing her life while tapping into yours!! Can’t tell you how much we luv this lady you’ll just have to read her words for yourself. Besides, anyone who can strap a Blog-name: Cellulite Looks Better Tan and totally make that shit not only work but scripture…. SOLD!!!!!! ;) One of our favorite all-time posts:  The Penis Monologues is just one of the many brilliant ones this writer shares within our blogging community. So take a ride on the Reading Railroad, pass Go, collect your $200.00…..

Then head on over to: http://cellulitelooksbettertan.wordpress.com/

& be sure to tell Mandi, that her friends, Inion N. Mathair sent you!! ;) xoxo

Now, although we could research and write words that others have said…WE DON’T! Of the nine (9) women who make up “The Sisterwives” Inion N. Mathair is only close to five (5). Our loss for sure, because anyone who links themselves with these ladies above, has to be extraordinary. But we haven’t had the pleasure to spend time with them or read their work YET!! (Well…all except Laurie who we’ve been delving into off & on for the past few months between writing. Shhh!!!!! LUV HER~ So we’ll leave their names below and tell you that once we’re done with our book, we will be following their blogs and reading as much as we can, while finding out who these phenomenal ladies are and then….another post re-introducing them; and we absolutely can’t wait!!

Samara:

A BUICK IN THE LAND OF LEXUS ~ Fresh Hell Trumps Stale Heaven

http://samaraspeaks.wordpress.com/

Hasty Words:

Turning Tears & Laughter Into Words.

http://hastywords.wordpress.com/

Laurie:

Resilient Audacity ~ The Art of Bold Comebacks

http://hengilasinn.wordpress.com/

Jennie Saia:

http://jenniesaia.wordpress.com/

The Tip Of My Tongue ~ Where The Wild Words Are

And there you have them, all 9 of the Sisterwives. For now, we will tell you that these 9 women have tapped into literary cosmic harmony that is felt by all who share with them.

The Sisterwives Blog-site: http://sisterwivesspeak.com/

 Blog-rock-stars, famous for the impact they have made on so many lives through writing.

  

They will leave their Footprints on the world…

their Blog-print’s on our hearts;

Their words haunting our minds forever…

And their beautiful lights dancing above our dark world!

https://www.youtube.com/watchv=SRvCvsRp5ho&feature=player_detailpage

Okay, so it felt like a Bon Jovi moment…..sue us!!! Enjoy ;) xoxo

PUSSY RIOT

Russia has found its way back into the forefront of the news, but not in a positive light. It would seem that Russian President Vladimir Putin has dropped all pretenses and is letting his fureeek-flag-fly!!

He is now in the process of regaining territory. But this wanna-be-explorer doesn’t acquire unconquered lands the traditional way….Hell No!! Instead, he is taking what rightfully belongs to someone else. A valid independent country, in order to control land that once belonged to “Ole’ Mother Russia.”



Yep, not only has the Great Bear woken up from his long, nap; that bitch is on the hunt and hungry as Hell!!

Of course, it’s not like Putin has come out of the closet, shocking all of us by his actions. He’s been stepping out for quite some time, then running back in under the pretense of being Democratically Correct.

Most of the world, noticed the subtle signs in the beginning which have now become grossly obvious. It is one of these acts that we will address today. Not just to slam the Russian Leader for no reason at all, but to give some support to Sister Artists: Pussy Riot

Now if you don’t know the name, it’s certainly strange enough to send you running to GOOGLE to find out what it means. But most everyone’s heard of these 3 extraordinary women…..haven’t you?

This Punk Rock Band consisting of three brave women, were imprisoned because of their Art and political beliefs.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, nicknamed “Nadya” was born on, November 7, 1989 and is a Russian conceptual artist and political activist. She is a member of the anti-Putinist punk rock group: Pussy Riot, and has a history of political activism with the controversial street-art group Voina.

On August 17, 2012, she was convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” after a performance in Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. On December 23, 2013, she was released early with another Pussy Riot member.
Maria Alyokhina, (Masha) is the second band-member of Pussy Riot. At the time of her arrest, she was a fourth-year student at the Institute of Journalism and Creative Writing in Moscow, where she participated in the literature courses of Dmitry Vedenyapin and Alexey Kubrik. Masha is a published poet and has been involved in environmental activism with Greenpeace Russia, opposing development projects in the Khimki Forest, and was a volunteer at the Children’s Psychiatric Hospital in Moscow. She is a vegan and reportedly collapsed from hunger during the trial, as no vegan meals were provided in detention.

Masha: “For me, this trial only has the status of a “so-called” trial. And I am not afraid of you. I am not afraid of lies and fiction, of the thinly disguised fraud in the sentence of this so-called court. Because you can only take away my so-called freedom. And that is the exact kind that exists now in Russia; “so-called-freedom”. But nobody can take away my inner freedom.”
Following her release, Masha and fellow Pussy Riot member Nadya announced their intention to campaign for prisoner’s rights in Russia.

On March 6, 2014, she and Nadya were assaulted and injured at a fast food outlet by local youths in Nizhny Novgorod.

Yekaterina Stanislavovna Samutsevich, (Katya) is the third member of the band arrested. She was released on suspended sentence by a Moscow appeals judge on October 10, 2012 following an argument from her lawyer that she had been stopped by cathedral guards before she could get her guitar out of its case.

So there you are, the three members of the Punk Rock Band Pussy Riot; although the two, Nadya and Masha seemed to have suffered the most physical attacks.
On the 19th of February footage surfaced showing Nadya and Masha being attacked with horsewhips by Cossacks who were patrolling Sochi during the Winter Olympics.

So, what is it about this group that seems to garner physical assaults, verbal attacks and draws constant scrutiny from an irritated Russian government?

Pussy Riot~ What do they stand for? Well, that depends on who you’re asking. To Putin, they are a thorn in his flesh that must be removed.

To the Orthodox Church, blasphemers who must be silenced!

To the Russian teenager, fellow Artists and disgruntled Russians; they are heroines who must be celebrated and supported!

To the rest of the world, they are passionate Artists who believe in the right to free speech, the abolition of Censorship of art and dreamers who believe that the Russia from their dreams, can truly exist.

Pussy Riot is a feministic group of around 10-21 (at start) who hold similar beliefs and stand as protesters against Russia’s mistreatment of women, art and it’s tyrannical hold on its people.

In particular, they are the voice of reason that sounds against who they perceive to be the detrimental downfall of Russia, President Vladimir Putin.

So, to the criminal offense that put these women in danger, separated them from their families and stripped them of their freedom placing them in the middle of Putin & God.

The crime…..Pussy Riot’s “Punk Prayer”

Punk Prayer, a song that incites the Sacred Mother Mary to toss the Russian leader out on his ass!
When Nadia’s husband was asked why, he stated passionately. “The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is a symbol of government corruption to many Russians.

The church has started to act as if it is the propaganda wing of the government. Before the election, Patriarch Kirill said that it was ‘un-Christian’ to demonstrate. And then he said that Putin had been placed at the head of the government ‘by God’”

Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, called the punk prayer “blasphemous”.
Putin himself has called the punk prayer “disgusting”.

Members of Pussy Riot who remain at large told The Observer: “Putin is scared of us, can you imagine? Scared of girls.”

 

So Putin did what any man does when confronted by women of power.

 

And so these three girls we’re arrested for a song;

And after their arrest….a fire ignited that Putin never expected!

More than 100 famous Russian actors and cultural figures urged Putin to release the three while they we’re imprisoned – and more than 40,000 ordinary Russians signed the petition. Thousands of Orthodox Christians and Catholics called on Patriarch Kirill, pleading with him to change his position and support the release of Pussy Riot. But their support doesn’t stop at Russians. News of their arrests spread like brush-fire across the internet and opened the world’s eyes to how Russia was treating these ladies as well as the very act of punishment for “Freedom of speech;” Something that should be unthinkable in a country who has come such a very long way from the Cold-War. Right?
Amnesty has described Nadia, Masha and Katya as prisoners of conscience. While famous faces from all over lend support both financially as well as open statements of support.
Madonna travelled to Moscow for a concert but didn’t stop there. She turned her concert into a show of political support for the punk protestors. Madonna even stripped during the concert, taking off her shirt to reveal the words “Pussy Riot” written on her back.

“I am against censorship and throughout my whole career I’ve always promoted freedom of expression, freedom of speech. So obviously, I think that what happened to them is unfair,” Madonna told Reuters. “I think art should be political. Historically speaking, art always reflects what’s going on socially. So for me, it’s hard to separate the idea of being an artist and being political.”

How did Russia respond? The Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin hit the media with a statement : “Madonna is a whore!”

Sir Paul McCartney, Beatles member, has actually met Putin. He had tea at the Kremlin in 2003. McCartney might not be invited back though, after his public support of a group that seeks “to rid Russia of Vladimir Putin.

“McCartney wrote a letter in support of Pussy Riot: “Many people in the civilized world are allowed to voice their opinions and as long as they do not hurt anyone in doing so I believe this is the best way forward for all societies. I hope you can stay strong and believe that I and many others like me who believe in free speech will do everything in our power to support you and the idea of artistic freedom.”

Many stars joined forces to show support for their Russian Sister Artists. Names such as Bono of U-2, Bruce Springsteen, Lenny Kravitz, Adele, Jim Carey, Claire Danes, Ellen Degeneres and the list goes on and on.

Michael “Flea” Balzary, the band’s bassist, wrote to Pussy Riot: “Nadya, Katya and Masha, we love you and we support you. We are here to help you. I think about you all the time. I applaud your courage, I pray for your release, I will try to inform as many people as possible about what is going [on] with you.”

Peter Gabriel, the former member of the 1970s British rock band Genesis, expressed his support of Pussy Riot in a letter: “Nadya, Katya, Masha. You have the right to make your own prayers — from the heart. I hope you will be released very, very soon. We are all watching.”

Sting has joined Amnesty International in a statement condemning Russia’s treatment of the punk-rockers:

“It’s appalling that the musicians from Pussy Riot could face prison sentences of up to seven years in jail. Dissent is a legitimate and essential right in any democracy and modern politicians must accept this fact with tolerance. A sense of proportion — and a sense of humour — is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Surely the Russian authorities will completely drop these spurious charges and allow the women, these artists, to get back to their lives and to their children.”
Here’s a look at Sting performing in Moscow this summer:

Danny DeVito wrote to Putin, too, but used Twitter to do it: “Mr Putin… Pussy Riot…set ‘em free…” Short and sweet, DeVito got the message across in well under the 140 characters.

So there you have it…the truth behind Pussy Riot!! No worries the girls are out of jail and the incident is long over. But one has to wonder, what will Putin do next?

MERYL-THON

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Well, it’s that time, when Mathair goes on her Girl-crush rant about the great, Meryl Streep. Lord knows I’ve had to endure decades, of this inappropriate fixation of the Academy Award Winning Actress.

Mathair was 19 when she first fell in love with Meryl after watching the movie, “Heartburn”. From there she was gone, following Meryl on her long and lustrous career and gobbling up everything the woman ever did!

So, here are some: Meryl Fun Facts:

Meryl was born: Mary Louise Streep – Summit, New Jersey, on June 22, 1949. She received her B.A., in Drama, from Vassar College in 1971 but also enrolled as a visiting student at Dartmouth College. She subsequently earned an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama. Title: Doctor of Fine Arts (honorary) at Indiana University Bloomington, Dartmouth College, Princeton University, Harvard University, and Yale University.
Spouse: Don Gummer (1978) Children: Henry Wolfe Gummer, Mamie Gummer, Grace Gummer, Louisa Gummer
With 18 Academy Award nominations, winning three, Streep has received more Academy Award nominations than any other actor (male or female) in history.
Not only does Meryl select ideal roles, she also pairs herself with leading men that shine alongside her and a supporting cast that is nothing short of spectacular.
Read the choices, pick your favorite and be sure to tell us why in the comments. And have fun!!

A.) THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA – Meryl plays Miranda Priestly, a powerful fashion magazine editor. Supporting actor Stanley Tucci, is by far one of our favorite actors to star with Meryl. Delivering the absolute best line of the movie: “Gird your loins!” Meryl is a brilliant, but shrewd business woman and she wears it well!!


B.) BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY – Meryl plays Italian Housewife Francesca Johnson a lonely woman in Iowa who has an affair with National Geographic Photographer Robert Kincaid, (Clint Eastwood). This 1995 romantic drama earned Streep an Academy Award for best actress and proved passion can find you any time in your life.

C.) AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY – Meryl plays, Violet Weston the matriarch to a severely dysfunctional family in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Meryl’s love interest is her deceased poet/husband (played by Sam Shepherd) although I would say her daughter, Barbara (played by Julia Roberts) would be a better fit to the opposite role. Two great performances by two powerhouse ladies.


D.) IT’S COMPLICATED – Meryl plays, Jane Adler, a successful bakery owner and single mother of three who starts a secret affair with her ex-husband, played by Alec Baldwin, ten years after their divorce – only to find herself drawn to another man: her architect Adam (portrayed by Steve Martin.) This middle-aged love triangle is a comedic delight!! ;)

E.) JULIE AND JULIA – Meryl plays renown Chef, Julia Childs. Again Stanley Tucci takes the opposite role of love interest to Meryl. Luv these two together!! The film contrasts the life of Child’s in the early years of her culinary career with the life of young New Yorker Julie Powell, who aspires to cook all 524 recipes from Child’s cookbook in 365 days, while blogging about them.

F.) DOUBT – Meryl plays Sister Aloysius Beauvier. It’s 1964, at St. Nicholas in the Bronx. A charismatic priest, Father Flynn, (played by the late-great, Phillip Seymour Hoffman) is trying to upend the school’s strict customs, fiercely guarded by Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the iron-gloved Principal. But when Sister James, (Amy Adams) a hopeful innocent, shares with Sister Aloysius her suspicion that Father Flynn is paying too much personal attention to Donald; Sister Aloysius sets off on a personal crusade to unearth the truth and to expunge Flynn from the school. This movie is one of our favorites and the film’s four main actors were heavily praised all 4 nominated for Oscars for their roles in this.



G.) MAMA MIA – Meryl plays Donna. Sophie, Donna’s daughter (played by Amanda Seyfried) discovers her mother’s old diary & finds a description of intimate dates with 3 men (Sam Carmichael-Pierce Brosnan, Bill Austin-Stellan Skarsgard & Harry Bright-Colin Firth.) Sophie believes one of these men is her father & three months prior to the wedding, sends each an invitation, signing it, as her mother, without letting her mother know. In this musical honoring Abba, Meryl finds 3 gorgeous Hollywood Kings, to play her love interest and manages these heart-throbs quite nicely.



H.) MUSIC OF THE HEART – Meryl plays, Roberta Guaspari an East Harlem School Teacher. Inspired by the true story, the film opens with violinist Roberta having been deserted by her US Navy husband and feeling devastated. Encouraged by her mother, she attempts to rebuild her life and friend & love interest (played by Aidan Quinn) recommends her to the head teacher of a school in the tough New York area of East Harlem.

I.) BEFORE & AFTER – Meryl plays, Dr. Carolyn Ryan. In a small western Massachusetts town, Dr. Carolyn Ryan & her sculptor husband Ben (Liam Neeson) seem to live an idyllic life with their two children. But soon, the parents deal with the horrendous effects when their son is accused of murdering his girlfriend.

J.) DEATH BECOMES HER – Meryl plays, Madeline Ashton. Following her performance, the narcissistic, manipulative actress Madeline Ashton invites her long-time rival Helen Sharp (Goldie Hawn), an aspiring writer, backstage, along with her fiancé, plastic surgeon Dr. Ernest Menville (played by Bruce Willis). Ernest is visibly smitten with Madeline, which worries Helen, who has lost other men to Madeline in the past. Dr. Menville, breaks off his engagement with Helen and weds Madeline unleashing a love-triangle right out of hell. And Hell hath no fury like these two beauties scorned!! This dark comedy is one of our all-time favorites.

K.) DEFENDING YOUR LIFE – Meryl plays Julia. Daniel (played by Albert Brooks) dies and arrives in the afterlife only to find that he must stand trial and justify his lifelong fears in order to advance to the next life; or be sent back to earth to do it again. Daniel meets and falls in love with Julia (Meryl Streep), a woman who lived a seemingly perfect life of courage and generosity, especially compared to his. Written & Directed by Albert Brooks this charming romance proves there’s love after life!

L.) SHE DEVIL – Meryl plays, Mary Fisher. Ruth Patchett, (Roseanne Barr) a dumpy, overweight housewife exacts devilish revenge on her philandering husband (played by Ed Begley Jr.) after he leaves her and their children for glamorous, best-selling romance novelist Mary Fisher.

M.) HEARTBURN – Meryl plays, Rachel Samstat. A New York food writer, Rachel Samstat, meets Washington, D.C. political columnist Mark Forman (played by Jack Nicholson) at a mutual friend’s wedding. After a whirlwind courtship, they marry, despite Rachel’s reservations. With their seemingly perfect life and the birth of their daughter Rachel’s world comes crashing down around her after she discovers her husband is having an affair.


N.) LOVE AFFAIR – Meryl plays, Molly Gilmore. Two married strangers meet randomly, riding the train into New York City and become friends, then fall in love. Soon they begin meeting for coffee or lunch as the relationship grows, becoming far more serious eventually forcing both Molly & Frank Raftis (played by Robert DeNiro) to face their spouse and other life.


So there they are, some tasty films starring Meryl Streep. Tell us which one is your favorite!!

Winner of Shift Happens

So sorry this is late but it’s definitely worth the wait!! We recently interviewed the brilliant, JC McKenzie about her book SHIFT HAPPENS. First off, thanks to the lovely JC for coming by Two Voices….One Thought and sharing time with this crazy mama/daughter duo. We we’re so excited to talk with her about her phenomenal book she’s recently published.

Now, as promised, we have a book give-away for the visitors who took part in the interview by leaving their comments and chatting JC up. We made sure to do this the proper way by choosing randomly one commenter to receive their signed copy of JC’s book: Shift Happens.

So….drum roll please Inion!


And the winner is….

Curt Mekemson
So Curt, we’ll be letting JC know to send you your signed copy of Shift Happens. And thanks to all of you for taking the time to meet and greet our dear friend, JC McKenzie.

Meet JC McKenzie Author of Shift Happens


A while back when we happened to be knocking around this great, big, blogosphere, we accidentally bumped into another mother/daughter writing duo and got to know them a little better as well as their work. These extraordinary ladies have successful on-line platforms and between the two, many published works. They have been a part of the Artistic community for quite some time now. Funny enough, Inion met J.C. first friending her and began asking questions about her book she was working on, around the same time I ran into, J.C.’s mother & well known Author, Jo-Ann Carson. And yes….it was completely random.
Today, we would like to focus on the daughter, newly published Author J.C. McKenzie. Her book: SHIFT HAPPENS just released: March 27th, 2014.

Book Blurb:
Andrea McNeilly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.
Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.
Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.

For those of you who love the darkness and supernatural elements offered by Paranormal books as well as the Romance, why we think this Author’s book will be right up your alley!!

Along with launching a phenomenal Paranormal book that’s bound to slay the literary world J.C. also writes Urban Fantasy. A Genre Mathair & I just so happen to love!!

Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She is a member of the RWA and the FF&P chapter of the RWA. Her blog: http://jcmckenzie.blogspot.ca/ is a favorite haunt of ours & if you haven’t checked it out you should most definitely pop over for a visit!


J.C. we can’t tell you how happy we are to have you here on, Two Voices…One Thought.
(J.C.) No, no, no. Thank you! You have wonderful friends and great blog-fans. It’s a huge opportunity and pleasure for me to meet and interact with them instead of just reading their comments.
(I.N.M.) So, SHIFT HAPPENS tell us a little bit about this book without giving away any spoilers.
(J.C.) Well, the world is set in Vancouver, Canada, but in an alternate version where all supernatural beings (like, everything) have been exposed and are “out of the supe closet.” Andy McNeilly is my main character, and she works for the Supernatural Regulatory Division that’s responsible for meting out justice for supe-on-supe and supe-on-norm crimes. The story begins with an assignment that goes wrong and quickly unravels from there. She gets into a lot of trouble, and has to scramble to figure out why the hit went bad and who is ultimately responsible. There’s mystery, romance and a lot of bad-ass snark.

(I.N.M.) Wow! That sounds amazing. Can’t wait to jump into your book!! So tell our blogging friends how long it took you to write SHIFT HAPPENS.
(J.C.) I started writing Shift Happens in the fall of 2011. I was pregnant, hormonal and looking for something to focus on other than every-little-thing my husband did that annoyed me (poor guy). When our (beautiful and brilliant) son joined our family in Feb 2012, I took a few months off from writing to survive. After life began to normalize, I hammered out the final chapters and finished Shift Happens by mid-summer 2012. So by the calendar, it took almost a year, but realistically, it was probably closer to 6 months.

(I.N.M.) A true labor of love. And what about the publishing process J.C.? Did you go with Self Pub or Traditional and why did you choose that avenue?
(J.C.) Well, I submitted to the few big publishing houses that allow unsolicited, un-agented work and received form rejection letters (boo) from each one. I started submitting to small publishers and had a lot of interest. In the end, I decided to go with The Wild Rose Press, because they offer very competitive royalty rates and I just love them. No joke. They’re super nice and supportive. My editor actually rejected Shift Happens when I first submitted the manuscript to her, but she told me specifically what I needed to fix and asked me to resubmit. It all worked out in the end, and I believe, for the better.
I am personally hesitant to self-publish, just because I’m so new to the publishing experience. There’s a lot of up-front costs with self-publishing that I wasn’t willing to make. 1) I couldn’t afford it (teacher-by-day, here); and 2) there’s a possibility of making huge, costly mistakes. I tip my hat to indie-authors because they are a lot braver than I am!
(I.N.M.) So tell us J.C. rumor has it this is the first in a series. Will there be book #2 and how many others will follow to finish the saga?
(J.C.) It is a series! I follow Andy as she grows as a character. Each book has its own plot arch, so I’ve intended them to stand alone, but there’s also an overall story about Andy and her own development.
Book two has been submitted to my editor and at the time of writing this, am still waiting to hear back from her. Book three is finished and sitting. I like to wait a bit before I go back and tear it all to shreds. There’s inevitably going to be a ripple effect in book 3 from changes I’ll have to make in book 2. I’ve started to write the fourth book and am just in the first quarter, setting up my wicked plans. It’s a 6 books series (maybe 5 if I condense), and I know the major plot elements of the remaining stories.
(I.N.M.) Something to look forward too! Now, I’m sure you hear this a lot but we’d still like to know. Werewolves….what’s the fascination; and what about them appeals to your writer’s imagination?

(J.C.) LOL! Yes, there’s a fascination. Personally, I believe it stems back to our ancestral time when humans were more tied to nature. Now, with our “concrete jungles” and technology, there’s a lot of disconnect from our natural environment, for a lot of people. I’m not talking about a brisk walk around the park or a weekend away at the cabin. We used to sleep under the stars surrounded by all kinds of flora and fauna; we hunted and gathered; and so on. I think there’s a part of the human psyche still craving that connection. I believe the love for the (idea of) a human in modern times shifting into a wild animal is an ultimate representation of our desire to transform back into our more base natures.

Alternatively, some people have a lot of repressed anger and the idea of turning into an eighty pound, bad-ass werewolf, or having one fall in love with you, is a great form of escapism from our urban jungles.
That and alpha-male werewolves are sexy as hell.

(I.N.M.) Well now, we’d have to agree with you on that!! lol ;) So tell us J.C., the main character, (Andrea “Andy” McNeilly) is this based on anyone you know or have traits of anyone close to you or merely a creation your brilliant mind?
(J.C.) She’s a creation of my brilliant mind! She’s not based on anyone I know, but based on my idea of a kick-ass heroine. I’m too aware of many authors modelling their main characters to look like them. Ever read a main character description and then flip to the back of the book to discover they look just like the author? I do it all the time! So when I wrote Andy, I tried to make her not look like me at all. I made her taller and slimmer, with jet black hair, gray eyes and a mixed ethnicity. I even gave her bangs. Yet, the first thing my mom said when she saw the cover picture was, “she looks like you!” LOL!
(I.N.M.) Aha! Inside information. We love it. And speaking as another mother-daughter team, mom’s always right. (Mom rolls her eyes. Lol)

The Cover is truly intriguing instantly grabbing Mine & Mathair’s attention with a dark pull to the other potential readers who pick it up. How did you come up with the idea and who did your cover art?

(J.C.) First of all, thank you. When I received a copy of the proposed cover for my book I squealed like a little girl. To put it mildly, I’m very happy with it.
The wonderful and talented Debbie Taylor of DCA graphics did my cover. I absolutely love this woman and think I tagged her in about 10 or so FB posts to tell her that. For some reason she hasn’t blocked me yet.
How covers work with The Wild Rose Press is that I fill out a form to indicate what I envision/want/suggest, which they hand over to the artist. The artists wave their magic wand, create a masterpiece and send it back to TWRP. The decision to go with the cover ultimately rests with TWRP.
Knowing this, I filled out the cover art suggestion form as thoroughly as possible. I really like dark covers, with a mysterious edge. Debbie captured the essence of what I wanted brilliantly. I hope she will do my second cover when the time comes.

(I.N.M.) Love it when Artists join minds & create magic!! The title…Yep, we have to ask. It’s absolutely brilliant and a fun way to play on words more especially a phrase that is familiar to any and every one! How did this come about?
(J.C.) Thank you! I think it will be a hard title for me to surpass with the subsequent books in the series. As I said earlier, I started writing this book in the Fall of 2011. It was lunchtime at work (I’m a teacher) and I was thinking about my writing. I’d signed up for one of those lets-sit-around-a-table-and-attack-each-other’s-writing sessions for a different manuscript and was just so disenchanted with the whole writing process at the time, I almost quit. I sat at my desk, berating myself, and thought, “You can’t even think of a title for your current book.” Then I leaned back in my dilapidated chair and stared at the side of my large cabinet where I stored all my binders. On the side was an old, worn Earthquake Awareness sticker, which read, “Shift Happens.” A firecracker went off in my head. Ding Ding! That was it!

(I.N.M.) I just love those “magical-moments” that happen during our Artistic creations. And the title can be a bit of a thorn for many writers J.C. (us included). The book trailer…this is a part of the publishing process that many choose to pass up whether it’s because of money, time or preference. How about you J.C.? Do you have a videographer that works with you and is a part of your team or was this something new that you went with? And how much input did you have with the video and would you recommend this part of the process to other Authors? We’ll give you a little time to answer that barrage of questions! Lol ;)

(J.C.) I wasn’t willing to pay for a book trailer (teacher, remember?), so I set off to see if I could do it for free, and I did! I used free, royalty-free music and pictures. The only catch was I needed to give them credit in the credit section. Done! I have no problem giving praise where praise is due!
I really like to tackle new things, so I got up-close and personal with Windows Movie Maker, hacked my cover picture into different sizes and shots and slapped it all together. Yes, a bit more difficult than that. I lost some hair. I may have cursed. I feel the program I used was limited and couldn’t do exactly what I wanted, but I am happy with the end result. I’ve had a lot of compliments on my book trailer, and I hope they’re not empty ones!
Will this book trailer result in a sales increase? I have no idea, but I do recommend authors at least attempt the process. It really helped me nail down the essence of my book, which has helped with other promotion.

(I.N.M.) Nice…So, we’ve been talking about your book SHIFT HAPPENS, but let’s turn the spotlight on the Author for a brief moment. Tell us why you wanted to be a writer and a little bit about your journey to get you here to the launch of your book.

(J.C.) My mom is my inspiration, and as long as I can remember, she’s been writing. Whether it was articles for the local newspaper, an article for a professional magazine, poetry, a novella, a short story, a blog post or a novel, she’s been scribbling, and then typing away. I’ve always enjoyed creating stories, mostly in my head, but it wasn’t until I placed first in a flash fiction contest that I started to take it seriously. I had already finished my first manuscript, and decided to sign up for the will-not-be-mentioned-again-writing session. Luckily, that experience didn’t sap my love for writing away completely and when I placed second in an RWA contest (the Dixie Kane) for Shift Happens, I decided to really give this manuscript a go.
(I.N.M.) So, what’s next for J.C. McKenzie? Do you have any other projects you’re working on, events or guest spots we should be marking on our calendars?

(J.C.) I just completed the first draft of a paranormal romance short story, the Shucker’s Booktique. This is not a series and is not intended as one. Just straight romance with a paranormal twist! I really enjoyed writing it and I hope to get it picked up by a publisher. My next projects, in no particular order are:
1) Edit book 3 of the Carus Series
2) Edit the short story—The Shucker’s Booktique
3) Finish writing book 4
4) Write final books of the Carus Series.
I also have a few blog appearances and am planning a book signing for August in Vancouver. My events and appearances are listed on my website (http://www.jcmckenzie.ca/appearances.html).

(I.N.M.) Can’t wait J.C.!! We have one more question to bug you with before letting you go. As a mother/daughter writing team, it’s a rare treat for us to find another. What’s it like for you, being a published Author and competing with your mother who is successful and a respected published author within the writing community?

Author Jo-Anne Carson

Author Jo-Anne Carson


(J.C.) It’s not difficult at all, because it’s a non-issue. My mom and I don’t compete. We’re very supportive of each other and exchange chapters once a week to critique. It helps that my mom writes Romantic Suspense, which can be a very different genre to Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. We were never in the same category when we entered contests and even if we had been, I would’ve been thrilled to have my mom place above me. Her successes are mine, too, and I know she feels the same way.

(I.N.M.) Nicely said J.C.! I think the four of us are going to start a trend and family affair!!
We can’t thank you enough for stopping by and spending some time with us and our friends on, Two Voices….One Thought. And I’m sure we’re going to be seeing a lot more of you in the Blogosphere as well as your intriguing book, SHIFT HAPPENS .
As for our blogging buddies & visitors, we will leave links below where you can pick up your copy of J.C. McKenzie’s book: SHIFT HAPPENS. We already bought our copies and will be reading this deliciously dark story as soon as we sign off. J.C. has also agreed to give away a free copy of Shift Happens to one lucky commenter. So feel free to vent!! ;)
*Available Now* / Shift Happens: A Carus Novel/The Wild Rose Press
All Romance Ebooks:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-shifthappens-1570897-143.html

Amazon:

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shift-happens-j-cmckenzie/1119955961?ean=2940149823383

Chapters-Indigo:

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/shift-happens/9781628302592-item.html?ikwid=shift+happens&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=2

Wild Rose Press:

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=1154

Raffle Copter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/987e273/

THE 27 CLUB: ART & EXCESS


Okay, we’re probably going to piss a lot of people off with this post, but controversial topics spawn the best debates. As a matter of fact, it was this issue that brought Inion N. Mathair to a healthy verbal sparring the other day while we watched a bio about Robert Downey Jr.
(Inion: I’m a huge Robert Downey Jr. fan and have been since I first saw the movie Chances Are…. Just thought I’d give you that special note… and just in case RJD were to ever find his way onto Two Voices, One Thought.)
(Mathair: *Sigh*)
The bio, “E-True Hollywood Story” had a candid look into this actor’s brilliant career, most notably his tumultuous fall from grace. It truly was an amazing story that played out like a big Hollywood production. I’m sure to Robert it’s been a hell of a climb, but one he should be proud of.

Overcoming heroin, cocaine, marijuana and valium addiction as well as alcoholism, there wasn’t anything this young man didn’t try; including serving one year hard time at Corcoran State Pen, (famous for housing Charlie Manson).
During the show, a director, who was known for working with Robert Downey Jr. on many films as both director and screenwriter, made an unimaginable statement. “The actor I worked with has lost his edge. He’s clearly under some influence which has flattened him out,” Toback said. “He’s not, apparently, doing any drugs. He’s not going up and down. He’s on an even keel, and he’s become the most successful robotic cartoon character in movie history.”

Did he really say that?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/31/james-toback-robert-downey-jr_n_4183165.html

Let’s pull our shame-shame fingers out and begin the rants. Lord knows we did! No one in their right state of mind would tell someone that they were a better person when they were addicts: More interesting and much more talented where work is concerned. Would they?!
Before we begin crucifying a guy that said this socially unacceptable thing and came close to committing career suicide, check this out. The narrating journalist noted that more than four well-known directors that had worked with Downey during his addiction era knew that he’d been wasted on set while filming.
They were well aware of his dependencies, but the work he did was so “phenomenal, edgy, utterly brilliant” that they put up with the bullshit just to get those few moments on tape that were Oscar worthy performances.



We were wondering why those directors weren’t held accountable or at least verbally reprimanded for not only allowing Downey’s behavior on set, but condoning it. Why is it so morally reprehensible and politically incorrect to say you prefer a drugged out, loose cannon waiting to fire, but it’s perfectly fine to admit that you knew a man that was on a road-trip to overdose and overlooked it because the performance was so damn good? Isn’t it just as evil to turn your face and keep quiet?! Does the word H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E- ring a bell?

Now we know this is a rancid, taboo topic, but we had to ask ourselves ‘Does an artist’s work change when they come off drugs and does it leave their work with less of an edge?’
THE 27 CLUB is a nickname given to the grouping of artists who’ve died at the age of 27 at the peak of their careers. When we googled this name, we found more than 3,000 sites with articles from reputable journalists who were curious about the notorious age.
The common link we found in all the articles written about THE 27 CLUB was that most thought there was some supernatural curse or Karma balancing act that deemed it unnatural to live famous past this young age, especially given the death occurs during the height of that artists’ career. The similar cause was drugs/alcohol overdose.
To say these singers, actors, poets, these iconic Artists were gifted is putting it mildly.

Janice Joplin, Singer, Songwriter died under that same curse at 27. Was it heroin, alcohol or fame?! The coroner’s report stated: Probable Drug Overdose/Heroin.
Jimi Hendrix: Asphyxiation related to drug overdose
Brian Jones, founder of the Rolling Stones, guitarist, Multi-instrumentalist. His coroner’s report stated “Death by misfortune”, but it was later stated drugs.
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan: Keyboardist for The Grateful Dead.
Rudy Lewis: The Drifters/ Coroner’s Report, Overdose-Heroin
Dickie Pride: Rock-n-Roll- Corner’s Report: Sleeping Pills
Amy Winehouse: Singer/Songwriter-Alcohol Poisoning
Kurt Cobain: Lead singer and founder of Nirvana. Coroner’s Report stated death by self-inflicted Shotgun wound/Suicide. But so much controversy overshadowed his case that recently the Seattle Police Department have begun an investigation to find out the why’s in Kurt’s case. For example, the amount of Heroin in Kurt’s body was enough to kill a bull elephant. More than 3 doctors want to know how he was able to shoot himself as the heroin would’ve killed him within seconds. We’ll leave that one for another post and time!

We could keep going because the list was unbelievably long, but these are just a few.
Of course there are some that died much too young but managed to beat the curse; some by a year or two over: Heath Ledger, Hank Williams Sr.


Some by three or four years too young: River Phoenix (heroin), Sid Vicious, Frankie Lymon (heroin), Brad Renfro (heroin)

And some actually saw their 30’s or 40’s before overdosing: Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Chris Farley (herion), John Belushi (heroin), Nick Cantor (heroin), Rodney Harvey (heroin).

Norma Jean

Norma Jean


As we discussed this, we realized what it was about this question that bothered us most. We began to understand what a journalist from Rolling Stone Magazine said. “These gods of Rock and film are idolized by the public for their adventurous, flamboyant lifestyles of excess. We worship them, want them and deep down want to be them.”
But it’s that very lifestyle of excess that makes them bad-boys and girls. It gave them that feeling of invincibility and that nothing could touch them. They felt above the law, above life and death, therefore unable to die. That attitude seeps out of the screen and off the stage like lava slowly igniting us and consuming our hearts, minds and souls.

From the Rat Pack to the Brat Pack, the bad boys of Hollywood find a following in women who know that they are everything their mama’s warned them about. Yet we run to them like moths to the flame and are surprised when their lights burn out much too young!
So, what of the docile bad boy/girl? What about a bad boy/girl that doesn’t push the envelope, doesn’t live life like there is no tomorrow, but embraces and respects the fame, Art and life they were given? What would their music evoke and their movies inspire?
Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison wrote and performed under the influence, but what would their art have sounded like sober and/or clean? Would the end product be as great?

Edgar Allan Poe was said to have written while under the protective cradle of Opium. By submitting to the demon, he unleashed the darkness that enveloped his soul and tapped into a hellish fountain of brilliance that still has him idolized long after his death.

What say you?! Would these artists been as great on the sobering path to stardom? Or was part of their famed destiny meant to serve bright only to burn out fast?!

It’s a dark question….but one we think deserves to be answered! Let us hear your thoughts. Not for the number of comments, not to fill the space; Please open up on this dark topic & tell us how you feel? And if you have an idol that was bright, but burnt out fast, tell us!! ;)

Oh…& enjoy one of our favorites…..

Quote by Marilyn Monroe: “It takes a smart brunette to play a dumb blonde.”

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

Meet Book Cover Artist, Nick DeMarsico

Well June is upon us and July’s right around the corner and we promised a Summer full of talented, interesting and Sexy Artists. Wait….did we say sexy? No, we didn’t. So why now? Well, it just so happens that our next Artist we’re hosting on Two Voices…One Thought  fits that description.

Okay ladies, look, enjoy & be amazed at his talent while chatting him up, cuz our next interview is with our new Book Cover Artist, Mr. Nick DeMarsico. And not only is he brilliant and a sweet guy but he’s handsome as hell! And did we tell you he’s Italian? Yep, like Inion.

Nick’s joined our team of creatively brilliant Artists who work with us to bring our books to the Market. And we can’t tell you how excited we are to have him join us.

What made us pounce on this Artist? Nick’s visions are unique in that he not only pulls from the environment around him but uses that deliciously dark mind of his to bring forth real works of art. But whereas some Artist pick a genre and stick with it…Nick’s art knows no bounds as his creativity is limitless.

He has recently just finished the back cover to our book The Perfect 7 which will be republished, very soon. Drum roll please…..

For those of you who’ve read The Perfect 7, you’ll know what we mean when we tell you that the picture Nick created is intricate to the story; the Tattoo that the five boys get while on Isle Exodus.

What made this a tough job, is that we give a very vague description of the tattoo, so Nick had to virtually start from scratch, which is why we told him:  “Take complete Artistic liberties and dazzle us.” And he did just that!!

So, let’s get on with the interview:

(INM) Nick, we can’t tell you how happy we are to have you here on Two Voices…One Thought to help us reveal our latest back cover for The Perfect 7

(ND) Happy to be a part of the team.

(INM) So Nick…tell us a little bit about your gift. How long have you been working at your art; was this something you started as a child or did it come much later in life?

(ND) Well, I have been drawing all my life. As soon as I was old enough to discover what a pencil could do to a piece of paper, it is all I ever wanted to do.

(INM) Wow, amazing!! Your attending School right now, tell us a little bit about the School, what you’re studying and the direction which you’ll be taking this.

(ND) I am currently enrolled at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am a transfer student in the Fine Arts program. I have a strong appreciation and passion for every aspect of art. My current direction is more targeted towards Conceptual Art. I plan to attend Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, to pursue a degree in Illustration.

(INM)  Impressive, Nick. So, who are your greatest influences and tell us why.

(ND) A number of people have impacted me throughout my life… God most of all. On a more specific level, my influence has a name… Kaitlin Johnston, whose dedication, work ethic, and, most of all, friendship has helped shaped me into who I am today.

(INM) Sounds like an amazing lady and phenomenal supporter!! Nick, tell us which of your pieces is your favorite and what inspired you to create it.

(ND) My favorite piece is a self-portrait of sorts. It is an accurate depiction of what being an artist means to me. What inspired me to create this particular work is something that inspires all artists… a soul-defining idea that is unique within every artist… the desire to create. Through this artwork, I wanted the viewer to understand that anything is possible. The only limits in art are the ones that lie beyond the paper’s edge.

(INM) Nice….Nick, we can’t tell you how excited we are to be working with an Artist as talented as you. Clearly you’re passionate about what you do. Is there anything else that you artistically try your hand at or want too someday?

(ND) It is an honor to be a part of a team as talented and driven as this one. I want to dabble in every aspect of art. The area that intrigues me the most is sculpture. Rendering a three-dimensional piece of art that people can feel and touch that not only provokes emotion, but engages all the senses is what fascinates me the most.

(INM) Now that is truly unique our friend!! When you can tantalize the viewer by appealing to all their senses. Can’t wait to experience that!! Nick, The Perfect 7 was the first of our books published and as you know is quite dark. The ever-present battle between good & evil; it’s filled with demons and hosts the infamous Four Riders of the Apocalypse.

When Dawn (our third voice) finished reading it, she immediately came to us and said. My nephew is like you two. He has that dark artistic mind and is always coming up with twisted images!!! I really think the three of you should meet & join minds! (By the way…thank you Dawn!!!)

Do you find yourself leaning towards dark Art or do you find balance in your creativity and like to explore?

(ND) Balance is something we all strive for, not just in art, but in life, as well. Through practice, exploration, and continuing my education, I have begun to see balance in the body of my work. Despite broadening my appreciation for a variety of subject matter, I will always have a deep interest for the more twisted and darker aspects of art.

(INM) Beautifully expressed and couldn’t agree more! This next question may be a little tough but something we’re dying to ask you. Tell us the thought process to the actual fleshing out of the work, that is to say, your technique in which you imagine, (find) come up with ideas, embellish on them and get them to canvas, pad or computer.

(ND) I designed the finished product to appear ancient in origin, but altered with new-school tattoo influences. It was not until I did my research that the story emerged and an image appeared. I found that my imagination feeds off the knowledge I acquire and that which already exists.

(INM) Bravo! Nick, how long did it take you to do this project from start to finish?

(ND) The entire process took one and a half to two weeks from beginning to end. When I am presented with a project, it becomes a twenty-four hour, seven day a week excuse to do what I love.

(INM) Love the drive & dedication! Nick, what’s your future hold? What are you working on presently and what can we expect from Nick DeMarsico in the coming years?

(ND) I am currently in the process of building a portfolio to submit to Ringling College of Art and Design. My current projects range from story-boarding and animated short film to still-life and observational drawings. The projects never stop and I like it that way. I have been told if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life and I could not agree more.

(INM) Good advice & absolute truth. Nick, this is your first time working with writer(s) how do you like it so far; and I’m sure our friends and visitors would love to know, seeing how we network with mostly writers, would you be interested in doing anymore projects/books for other writers? (She clears her throat) of course after you’re done with ours first!! Lol  ;)

(ND) I enjoyed every second of it. It is exciting and inspiring to get a chance to work with other artists in a collaboration project. And yes, I am definitely interested in other job opportunities.

(INM) You heard it ladies and gentlemen. Nick, we get our best inspiration within our writing room when we’re bouncing off one another; or as we like to call it: “our make-believe time”. Where do you find your best inspiration?

(ND) I tend to find my best inspiration in the most unexpected of places. My inspiration is drawn from everyone and everything, such as life experiences and a plethora of emotions. More importantly, I feel my inspiration is drawn from a divine, more spiritual, source. It is virtually unexplainable where, when, and why inspiration strikes; I like to give all my attention to the inspiration itself, as well as acknowledge and give thanks to that higher power who has allowed access to these artistic visions.

Beautiful…Nick, and we want to thank you for coming by: Two Voices….One Thought and we look forward to working with you on our other books. We wish you the best of success in pursuing your Artistic Dreams!!!

 For those of you who would like to follow Nick’s career, friend him or inquire about his fees, schedule, or input on a project, please feel free to contact him.

 Nick DeMarsico, Charlotte, North Carolina

https://www.facebook.com/nick.demarsico?fref=ts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview With Author Tami Jo Rasmussen

Today, we would like to introduce our blogging community to a Sweet, vibrant woman & local writer and neighbor of ours: Tami Jo Rasmussen. Tami, is actually a part of the small group of local writers in Franklin, North Carolina who help and encourage each other while bringing light to the Art community by supporting the Arts. (Macon County Area Authors Co-Op) ;)  We had the pleasure of meeting her a while back and getting to know her at a local book event where we all had individual tables set up.

I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska in 1959. I have lived in Western North Carolina and Franklin for the last 25 years. I am a registered nurse and after working for many decades in healthcare, I’ve taken some time off to pursue a life-long passion…writing. You see how fragile life is when you have a career that immerses you in life and death circumstances; time is not promised. My children are grown and successful in their lives so, for me it was the right time to fulfill my dream. It was surely scary to take the chance! I saw a lot of eyebrows raised when I took the plunge but I am surrounded by a supportive family and friends.

Located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Franklin, North Carolina, Murmur is the Narrative of a horrific murder and the shocking history threatening a way of life in the remote location of White Rock Mountain and Hickory Gap. Murder, mystery, great fear and loss cloak this isolated mountain community. Murmur is about the mountain folks who live here and their perseverance during the tumultuous 1970’s. Without electricity, telephone service or running water Sonny Branch is in her element. Resisting modern amenities and lifestyle, she is a strong and capable mountain woman. Love and despair brings Sonny Branch to her knees when outsiders threaten the kinship for all of the colorful characters living in this small mountain commune.

(INM)Tami, tell our blogging community a little bit about this main character, Sonny Branch and how you breathed life into her.

(TJR) Sonny Branch is a compilation and tribute to the strong mountain women that I have met over time living and working in our beautiful mountain town. Sonny is a 40 something in transition and struggling to find her identity in the 1960’s and 70’s.  Living remotely is hard work and the creature comforts she took for granted growing up are gone, but the solace and beauty of her cabin and White Rock Mountain become a way of life that finally makes sense to her.

(INM) Love us some Strong Southern Female characters.

(INM) So, we have to tell you that we love the fact that Murmur takes place in our Smoky Mountains and even better, in our lovely town of Franklin. What was it like writing about the town you’re  we’re from?

(TJR) Murmur is dedicated to my dear friend and neighbor Dawn Lynn. A few days before Christmas in 2008, Dawn went missing. After an exhaustive search, she was found dead at the bottom of a ravine next to her house.  The temperature that day was the coldest in years.  Dawn, a frail older lady, was not able to climb up the steep embankment and sadly froze to death. That whole night and the days that followed were surreal and Murmur is a fictional tale loosely based on her tragic death in her hometown of Franklin, North Carolina.

(INM) Can’t wait to delve into this story. So tell us Tami, is Murmur your first book or do you have more published?

(TJR)  Murmur is the first in a trilogy of fictional novellas set to be released.  The Sonny Branch series will continue with “Still Cove” due to launch in 2015.

(INM) Fantastic!! Tami, your cover is quite beautiful we we’re wondering who did your book cover art?

(TJR) Tate Publishing provided me with a terrific graphic designer by the name of Rolly Galon.  After working closely together and several back and forths, I think Rolly perfectly captured the look and mood of the book that I was going for.

(INM) Tami, Murmur is a Murder Mystery/Action Adventure; is this the type of genre(s) that you prefer to write or do you cross genres or keep that open when writing?

(TJR) The genre found me. I never pictured writing a murder mystery, but the true life story of Dawn Lynn was so compelling that it took on a life of its own.  I had to pen it to paper.

(INM) Tami, you have such a bubbly personality and are always smiling but as you already know, Inion & I tend to write dark and prefer dark stories. What was it like for you to write something as dark as murder?
(TJR)  I love creating something dark and the tremendous artistic freedom that comes with it. We have all faced demons in our lives and I am able to channel and quiet my own through writing.

(INM) Tami, what are you currently working on and what can we expect from you in the future?

(TJR) I am currently working on Still Cove, the second in the Sonny Branch series of novellas.  Many people have asked why I chose to write novellas versus novels? It was actually a deliberate choice of style. Novellas have been around for hundreds of years. The series is an open ended story that I get to create as I go along. The same characters and location with a new murder and mystery will be the feature of each new novella. Also, I love the idea that it can be read quickly and I hope the length appeals to a very busy audience.

(INM) What writers are your favorite and why?

(TJR) Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird was one of my very first influences.

(TJR) John Steinbeck is my absolute favorite author. I love how he masters the story of the human condition in such great detail.  The Grapes of Wrath, in my opinion, is the best book ever written, and Of Mice and Men is second best.

(INM) It’s been a privilege and pleasure to interview you Tami and we know we’re going to enjoy your book, Murmur. We look forward to more of your stories and can’t wait to see you at the Summer Festival of the Arts, in Franklin, North Carolina on July 12th

(TJR) Thank you ladies it has been my pleasure. The festival is going to be great and a terrific way to spotlight all the amazing artisans of Franklin.

 

For any who would love to check out Tami’s book, Murmur or connect with Tami online just check out below:

Tate Publishing: https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-62746-871-8

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Murmur-Tami-Rasmussen-ebook/dp/B00JG0RWGU

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/murmur-tami-rasmussen/1116794728?ean=9781629027425

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1762600852&fref=ts&ref=br_tf

https://twitter.com/Tami_Rasmussen

Macon County Area Author Co-op:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/570042989673175/

Horror Fiction Writer Shaun Michael O’Neal

Today we are so excited to introduce our second male author on Two Voices….One Thought, this one much different from the last, as his work is Fiction. Shaun Michael O’Neal.

Shaun just so happens to hail from the State that Inion & I have been in love with all our lives, Washington: The Magical Northwest Pacific with its Emerald Green Forests. We shall take a moment to rear our ugly head of jealousy!

Okay…all done, now onto the artist.

We first met Shaun Michael O’Neal on Facebook, which is why we love networking, as it opens so many doors to artists that we might’ve never known. What made us instantly like Shaun, was his incredible sweet spirit, love for the Artistic community and……….

Yes, we’re going to say it; because you know we love, love, love DARK THINGS! We just recently picked up Shaun’s book: The Evil In The Dark and it’s sitting in our kindle begging to be read.

Last time we caught up with Shaun, he was trying get his book publically banned by the Roman Catholic Church. ;) So, let’s give Shaun Michael O’Neal a big welcome!!

(INM)  Hi Shaun, how are you doing? We’re so happy to have you here on Two Voices….One Thought!

(SMO) Thank you! It’s a pleasure to be here.

(INM) Let’s start this interview off with a little personal info. How long have you been writing and what made you want to become a writer?

(SMO) I would like to answer the second part first. I have been writing since High school. But even that was not the start. When I was 7 I was writing and preforming for the rest of the kids. I turned the garage into a stage.  A rope with an old blanket draped over it was my curtain. It was so much fun.

(INM) Now that’s how to get that imagination in gear! Shaun you live in Washington, so ya know we got to hit you up about this! What’s it like writing in what we believe to be the most magical place on earth? And please be nice and try not to wreck our dream!!! Lmao

              

 

(SMO) I must first say I was raised in Southern California; Fountain Valley 5 miles from the water and Huntington Beach, to be exact. I have been here 10 years and still not used to the rain. But looking out every day and seeing a forest, I live right on the edge of one, is pure beauty.

(INM) Can you feel the mental darts we’re throwing at you? We’ll behave now!

Shaun, we recently purchased your book: The Evil In The Dark, tell us what to expect from this read without giving any spoilers away!

(SMO) In a nut shell, I have a couple doing what they are told to do by their church. They live their faith. They never stop to question it. That’s not allowed. Along the way an unusual and supernatural plot unfolds that cause them to question everything. Friends are dragged in as well. Where it goes, you have to read it to find out.  I will say… it gets twisted!

(INM) Oh yeah….this sounds right up our demented alley!  Shaun, is this book the genre you prefer to write or do you cross genres when writing?

(SMO) This is a classic horror story and genre I love. It allows me to say so much without sounding to weird. I hope.

(INM) Yep, we jumped into that same genre so as to appear normal as well! Lol ;)

Shaun, the main character(s) of your book, Mark & Jesse are these based on someone personal or are these strictly fictitious characters?

(SMO) Mark and Jesse are completely fictitious. I did put a lot of my myself in one character and I won’t say who, not yet! The name, Mark is from a friend of mine. I was the best man at his wedding. Jesse: I always type to music. The song Jessie’s girl from Rick Springfield was playing. The name Jesse just felt right. So I used it.

(INM) Yeah, we’re the same way, listening to music when writing. Now, the backdrop to this book seems to be religious. The ongoing battle of good vs evil (a favorite of Inion N. Mathair’s as you well know.)

                 

Many readers find religious based books to be heavy reads, with content sometimes to dark or too intense to follow. What set’s your book apart from the other religious books out there?

(SMO) I have to admit. I did quote the old Catholic bible a few times. It’s key to the story. But it’s not done in the manner most people would think. The supernatural aspect keeps it from being as dark and heavy as it could be.

(INM) Nice balance our friend! Shaun, what was the initial spark that inspired this book and how long did it take you to write it?

(SMO) Back in the late 80’s one of the gentleman I was working for was one of the librarians for the OTO. ( Ordo Templi Orientis ) or in English, ‘Order of Oriental Templars. He himself a bishop in The Gnostic Catholic Church. He shared with me many very old Sacred text. I was hungry to learn. He was happy to teach. It was years after I got the idea for the book. I started outlining it in 2000. I tossed around many plots until I found one that worked and had my voice. I started writing it in 2009. I completed it on February 6 2010 and I was on real writers high. A few days later I was in an accident at work and was really hurt, so I put it away. From my bed with a laptop I started to search for an agent. 100 rejections, (no one would ever read it) and 4 major surgeries later and still no agent.  I decided to publish it myself.  It was not an easy decision; but it was the right one at the time.

(INM) Shaun, give us two writers that you admire and who have influenced your writing?

                       

(SMO) Wow, only two? Well, J. R. R. Tolkien. The next Rod Serling, wrote more for the screen and theatre but I always loved what he did. Holding a mirror up to the world and showing its problems. I have to add Edger Alan Poe. With that said I have taken a lesson from many of the greats. H.G. Wells and Hemingway. I just couldn’t do two sorry about that.

(INM) Well, you know we’ll let that slide when you start throwing names around with that kinda weight! Lol ;) Shaun, this is such a silly question, but a favorite one of Inion N. Mathair as we believe that a truly great book, will have a flavorful villain that will keep your attention! So, who is your all- time favorite literary villain?

                   

(SMO) That is a very tough question. I like my villains rich in character; the king that if just one thing was different in their lives, they might have been seen as the good guy. Of course pure evil without apologies is good as well. An example of this would be Cardinal Richelieu from, The Three Musketeers.

(INM) Shaun, another silly question: If you we’re stranded on a deserted Island and could only have ONE book….which one would you request?

(SMO) I would like a book on boat and raft building!

             

(INM) Well, we jumped into that one head first! :D  Now, we have it on good authority, that you have a bit of a, Ahem (they clear their throats) how shall we put it…………dislike? Nope! Not strong enough. Ahem; uncomfortable? Nope wrong word! HATRED? Ahh yes, Hatred, that’ll work! Whoop there it is! So what about this hatred for clowns! Okay, just know that anything you say on Two Voices….One Thought, will strictly be between the interviewee and us! No one else will hear, you have our word!

            

(SMO) Clowns are Evil! Really, I have never liked clowns. They have always seemed dark and unnatural, John Wayne Gacy Jr. notwithstanding. My latest clown came courtesy of a nightmare. If a nightmare is bad enough to wake me up screaming, I write the nightmare down for further stories.  Such is the case with my latest loathing of clowns.

          

(INM) Okay, one last question before we let you go. Shaun what can we expect from, that brilliant,dark mind of yours in the future?

(SMO) I have completed and have in edit now: 2 85k word stories. In these stories, I use supernatural creatures; some trying to maintain their humanity; others shunning it.  It’s filled with magic, very old Gods from different times and places. Love, blood, passion, pain, death, resurrection and a lead character struggling to deal with it all. The working title is, “The Blood Spot” I have another in edit with a working title of, “Cross roads” one novella and two shorts, all dealing with change. Again all these are dreams. Of course Garden Of shadows is out now. Would you believe I have a book of poetry? It’s not horror. That one… I’ll tell you about later.

(SMO) In closing, I would like to once again thank the both of you. You have helped me, taught me and been a friend. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

(INM) We blush, smile and send lots of:

                         

Garden of Shadows

Shaun’s book links:

THE EVIL IN THE DARK / AMAZON

GARDEN OF SHADOWS / AMAZON

Synopsis for: The Evil In The Dark:  An ancient evil besets a young couple. Seeking help and spiritual guidance from the old Catholic priest they have grown up with and trust implicitly. Mark and Jesse are propelled into a world of secrets and truth. With the help of Father Pat, they enter a realm hidden in plain sight. One that will shake the very foundations of their faiths and lives. A world of truths, lies and obfuscation. The price they pay if they fail? Only their lives and souls.

Synopsis for:  Garden of Shadows:  A compilation of short stories from Horror Master Shaun Michael O’Neal author of “The Evil In The Dark” Now offers you 13 Tales of Terror sure to keep you up or give you nightmares!

SHAUN’S NETWORK PAGES: (get to know the man):  http://www.shaunoneal.ocm

https://www.facebook.com/shaunmichael.oneal?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shaunshaunonealcom/322406061144066

https://twitter.com/AuthorShaun

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18088496-the-evil-in-the-dark?from_search=true

Shaun, we can’t tell you, what a pleasure it was to host you here on Two Voices….One Thought. You’ve been such a great friend to us! We wish you the greatest success with your books and we encourage all of you, our friends, when you have your “Must-Read” list down, to tag on Shaun’s book as he is a truly brilliant writer and wonderful human being!! We will also be leaving some links where you can friend Shaun on line and get to know him better!!

If you’d like to purchase “The Evil In The Dark” just head on over to Amazon and the link we’re leaving below and grab your copy of Shaun’s book. Also while you’re there, check out Shaun’s other book:

 

 

 

 

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