Special Feature: Sunday Stroll in the Gallery: featuring Kyra Leary

Sunday Stroll in the Gallery is a feature to bring new eyes to artists. Welcome to the Gallery and enjoy the view. Let’s meet Kyra Lyra.

My name is Kyra Leary and I live visually. I am not a professional photographer. I snap on impulse, capturing whatever pleases my eye or makes my heart skip a beat. In my world, a sunset is a sunset not a “colorful spectacle of light and hope”. It’s a photo and if it’s done right, it needs no description. All my nondescript photography can be viewed at www.kyraleary.com.
In addition to photography, I am the author of the Earth No. 105 series by Ame Terra. The series is a mix of science fiction, dystopian, paranormal romance. In short, a mutt. A lovable mix with something for everyone. Want to see the lovable mix for yourself? Everything Earth No. 105 can be found at https://kyraleary.com/www-whoisleader-com/.
In additional to photography and writing, I enjoy traveling, reading Indie novels, spoiling my son and dog and splurging on expensive wine. Read my “weird and witty” book reviews at https://kyraleary.com/book-reviews/.

Time to enter the Gallery: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All my photos are free to Indie authors to use as they wish – marketing, promotions, covers or simply for inspiration. A listing of some that might inspire can be found at https://kyraleary.com/photo-listato/ but Indies can request any photo I’ve posted anywhere by shooting me an email at ameterra@comcast.net.

My books are free to anyone who follows my blog simply by emailing ameterra@comcast.net. Shop for my books at https://kyraleary.com/shop/. They are also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and ebooks.
Here’s some other places I hang out:
Twitter @LearyKyra
Instagram beckettleary

If you are an artist and want to share your artwork, photographs, pottery, modern sculpture. comic or anime, then contact me here.  I’ve brought Sunday Stroll in the Gallery over to The Page Turner and welcome new, upcoming, established artists that want to have their work seen. Contact me at vicgoodwin@gmail.com to learn how.


Exciting Giveaways each week! Join in Weekly and Win!

If you like children’s book and middle-grade books or just family friendly books, then join us for our new feature.  The Feature: We’re Sharing with You is live now.

In the Facebook group, Parents, Find Children’s Books and Authors here, you can sign up for a chance to win a variety of prizes.  Children’s books, merchandise from participating authors, special bling, and swag will be issued to the weekly winners. With just a few hours notice, we already have authors lined up with prizes. Prizes will be drawn on Friday, August 18, 2017, and every Friday after that while supplies last.

We're Sharing

If you have never been on Facebook this is a wonderful way to begin. Sign in at Facebook.com and create a profile. Add a nice profile picture and you will be on your way. click the link and you will find yourself surrounded by authors, readers, parents, and more. We will show you the ropes.

One thing is for sure, these authors love to share with readers. Take a moment to meet the authors, meet the other parents, and other readers. It is a welcoming group what will love having you with us.  As readers, we love books as much as you do.

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This is the fabulous prize this week.  A signed copy of The Adventures of Nick and Billy by Michael Hoard.  By the way, if you are in Poughkeepsie Saturday, drop in at Barnes and Noble and meet Michael in person.

We can’t wait to see you in the group!

 

 

Guest Post: How Theatre Saved My Life, by Deborah Baldwin

 

My imagination (and later, theatre specifically) saved my life. When I was a child, my mother was quite ill and consequently to show respect to her, I controlled my emotions. so I didn’t want compound her stress.

I was the youngest in my family. With ten years between me and my next closest sibling, I rarely had anyone to play with or talk to. I depended upon my imagination to comfort me and take me away from loneliness I felt but wouldn’t admit to anyone. I learned how to slap on a smile and pretend everything was good with me.  I was quite a little actress.

When I saw movies, I would act them out and sing very dramatically while sequestering myself upstairs on the east porch of our house. It had no heat and I remember freezing to death for my “art”.

I thought I was crazy, though. I never told my friends about my make believe playing and when I would visit their houses, they never played make believe. So I decided I wasn’t like everyone else. I played make believe until I was twelve.

My father was a physician and my mother was raised in Japan when she was a child. Consequently, her wander lust was difficult to satiate and we traveled to many countries when I was quite young.

If it wasn’t hard enough being the youngest, my world view was very different from my fellow classmates. Just another thing to make me an oddity, at least in my mind.

My mother wasn’t at all supportive of my interest in theatre. She intimated I could end up like Elizabeth Taylor, “She’s been married seven times. Look at her…”Something was mentioned about me ending up on a “casting couch.” I didn’t know what that was, but by my mother’s attitude, I knew it must be bad.

Trying to be the good daughter,  I left behind my imagination and became a cheerleader in junior high school. It makes sense if you think about it. That worked for two years and I loved the performing aspect of it.  I was a rotten jumper.  No one taught me how to do a round off or cartwheel, so I taught myself.  But I could yell loudly and lead the crowd in cheers.  At least I could do that!

When I was in high school, I found exactly what I was seeking –the stage! I was cast in my first play as Madame Arcati in “Blithe Spirit”.  Since I had no previous acting experience, but lots experience playing the piano, I notated my script as if I was playing the piano. I used fermatas for pauses and crescendo and decrescendo signs when I wanted to speak louder or softer.

To this day, I grow nostalgic whenever I step backstage. The scent of sawdust, newly painted flats and the warmth of the stage lights are a magical elixir to me. I brush the back of my hand across a velvet grand curtain and immediately I feel I’m home.

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In college, I experienced an epiphany. It was the early 1970’s, and society impressed upon me to hide my negative feelings or only express those feelings most accepted by others. I realized by sharing myself hiding behind a character, I could express all my feelings and thoughts. I felt accepted universally.

That’s a heady experience which made me come back for more. Nearly forty years later, I’m happily stuck here.

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I became a director for a community theatre production of The Miracle Worker because there was no one else willing to do the job. Ha! I have a leader type personality and directing fit into my life.
I was quite young to take on such a challenging production but I took to it right away. I saw the potential of affecting people through stories that I created in my own manner.

Now, I adore making a statement through words and actions.

As of this writing, I have directed over 250 plays and musicals with adults and children alike.  I chose to direct and act at the community level for most of my career.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy professional theatre.  On the contrary. I’ve appreciated the professional positions in which I have been employed.

It’s just not where my life’s journey has taken me.  I’m always open to work in whatever venue needs me.

I’ve portrayed many beloved roles–Maria in “The Sound of Music”, Marion Paroo in “Music Man”,  Dot in “Cricket on the Hearth”, Penny in “You Can’t Take it With You” and many others. Above all, more than any particular role or any special production, I have learned about myself. 

Theatre saved my life.  It has given me great joy, creative challenges and great friendships (I even met my husband while acting in a show). 

I don’t know where I would be without it.

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Bio

Deborah is an award winning author, teacher and director.  Recently retired, she taught drama to elementary through high school students for thirty-eight years.  Among many other theatrical experiences, she has directed over 250 plays and musicals with adults and children alike.  Recently, she and her husband of thirty-four years moved from the Colorado Rockies to Kansas to be grandparents to their first grandchild.  When Deborah isn’t writing, reading or cooking she enjoys seeing movies and traveling.  Lastly, she serves as hand maiden to her two quirky cats who really run the show.

The Revisit of Arizona Highways by Sojourner McConnell

 

Revisiting the Arizona Highways

My grandmother, Mama Kate, always had copies of the magazine Arizona Highways on her coffee table and in her magazine racks. It was one of those magazines that she taught me you never tossed out. It was the magazine I could look through time and again. The sky was different than the ones we had back home in Alabama. The colors were more vivid and the clouds stood taller in the sky.

A November Desert Sky

The one thing that always stood out to me was the Reds. The reds of the dirt, the red of the Grand Canyon and the reds of the sunsets. The towering white clouds edged in red, contrasting with the turquoise sky between. Now I realize the photographer took the pictures of those tall massive clouds because they were rare.

In my mind that was Arizona. Arizona was a state with places like the Indian Children’s School on Indian School road. This was the school that my grandparents supported with financial donations all while I was growing up and we would receive little Indian dolls. These dolls were the gift my grandmother received for her devotion to the little school that helped the Indian children learn English, math, and science. As an adult, I have learned that they were not all happy to be here, but my grandparents helped both out of the goodness of their hearts and the faith in the beliefs of the times.
These memories provided the components in my mind that made Arizona special.

Today all those emotions and memories came flooding back when I saw a woman that had taken the time to get out of her car on the side of the busy four lane road during rush hour traffic in order to take pictures of the sky. The towering glimmering white clouds with the little touches of turquoise between were demanding attention.

Oh, did I mention the reds? Because each massive white cloud had just the faintest hint of red.

At that moment in my mind, I had just sat down on the floor with my back propped up against the cold marble coffee table with my grandmother’s Arizona Highways magazine propped against my knees. Turning the pages and dreaming of the day I could see this for myself. Forty years later, I am on that very road.

I remember this exact cover. Mama Kate kept her Arizona Magazines stacked in neat piles all her life. 

Today, I found myself wishing that I too could pull over on Indian School Road in Phoenix, to watch the sunset melt into the ribbons of red. It was then I realized I am living my own issue of Mama Kate’s Arizona Highways magazine.

 

As an aside:

I am sharing this story as a reprint,  as I wrote it several years back while living in Arizona.  I was thrilled that Arizona Highways shared it on their WordPress site several years ago. My love for the reds of Arizona has not diminished. Neither have the emotions that the reds conjure.

The Siege by James Hanna: A book review

The Siege by James Hanna

The Siege

  • File Size: 1488 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Sand Hill Review Press; 2 edition (February 27, 2014)
  • Publication Date: February 27, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IPROD3U

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

My Review:

The Siege is told in a gritty and realistic manner. The story is told in time sequence so you could see the event unfolding one hour at a time.

There were plenty of characters to meet and try to understand. I found likability to be missing for the most part. Everyone was tainted, jaundiced, or hardened by the system they worked and lived in. I did find the personal relationships between some of the characters to be interesting and hopeful.  The storyline is interesting as you see the corruption, bad decisions and what can come from those.

The darkness of the material kept me from loving this book. When I read the book I found that I needed breaks due to the harshness of the environment. If you enjoy realism and reading about a dirty, corrupt, and seedy prison underbelly this book will be perfect. It is well written and interesting.

 Where you can Find The Siege:

This thriller is available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

Life Lessons from the Little Intelligent Rooster by Sojourner McConnell

My grandparents lived in the suburbs of Birmingham Alabama when I was small. Once my grandfather retired from the steel mill they relocated to Mt. Olive, Alabama. This was the town they had lived when they were children and where they both lived during the time that they met and married. My grandparents chose to get a few banty hens and one little rooster to have for their retirement home. The rooster they named Bobby, and he freely roamed the yard daily checking on his hens.

Continue reading “Life Lessons from the Little Intelligent Rooster by Sojourner McConnell”

Deadly Spirits by E. Michael Helmes, A Book Review.

Deadly Spirits

Deadly Spirits

 

  • Series: Mac McClellan Mystery (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Camel Press (January 15, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Mystery
  • ISBN-10: 1603813497
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603813495

 

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

I am going to start this with, I just Loved Mac McClellan. He was clever, a bit of a smart mouth, a lot amazing, and ever so funny. Best part, he was a great Private Detective. I loved everything about this book.

I was supposed to read this much earlier, and I just now found it in my library. I loved this book. Mac McClellan is a great character. He is so real and so down to earth, he is just as you would expect a solid ex-marine to be. It is great detective work with a lot of raps on the head, and a lot of smoking guns, but it keeps you interested and enjoying every word.

The writing is great, it has this casual, fun tone even when you are reading about murder and other crimes. I loved the fact that you become invested in the characters. You want Kate to understand him, you want Dakota to not be hurt, you especially want Mac to stop giving the dog a beer.

I’m so glad I finally remembered to read this, I can not recommend this highly enough. It is what you want to find in a mystery. Solid clues mixed with solid characters created a solid five-star mystery.

The mystery was complex and the clues were interesting while the characters were just really down to earth. This is my first book by E. Michael Helmes, but I assure you it will not be my last.  When Mac’s girlfriend, Palmetto Paranormal Society, pushes him into joining her parapsychology group, Mac gets more than just a happy girlfriend. He gets a lot of mystery to solve.  Mysteries that take a lot of detours, side roads, and unexplained events come his way.

I highly recommend this to any mystery lovers, and if you have a taste for the paranormal, then grab this! Well written, amazing dialog and wonderful mystery.

Where can I find this book:  Deadly Spirits is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle.