Feasts

Today’s featured artist is Lia Porto.

Lia is based in Argentina and works in mixed media and collage. Her work is informed by nature and takes on organic form.

 Find more about this artist at her website.

The Don and I had much to celebrate during the month of February, so we took an overnight trip to Santa Fe on The Rail Runner. On the drive, we passed some incredible graffiti, most of which I failed to capture by photograph.

While we were there, we visited SITE Santa Fe for the first time. SITE is a center for contemporary art and is currently housing an exhibit called Feast: Radical Hospitality in Modern Art, which came to them from the University of Chicago SMART Museum. We adore art, but neither of us have much patience for pretension, and we weren’t quite sure what to expect. We had a wonderful time. Our tour host was very gracious and in the end, we only wished we’d had a little more time to explore the exhibit.

My past experience with Santa Fe has been limited to the Plaza but this time we stuck to the Railyard district, which was terrific. I loved it so much that I briefly considered pitching a tent on the sidewalk and staying indefinitely. It wouldn’t have been terribly difficult to carry out this endeavor since there was an REI conveniently placed near the tracks. In the end, I decided I couldn’t live without The Don and came home, although he did offer to come visit me periodically.

We stayed at the Hacienda at Hotel Santa Fe and had dinner at the Amaya restaurant.

I found my new favorite Flying Star Restaurant.

And we made it home safe and sound.

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Caleo & Dome – both free on Amazon today

Feb 5th

Free Kindle Books

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Learn more:

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Every High School has their social outcasts. The band nerds, the math geeks, the chess club, the girl that chews her hair, but at Butler High, even the creepy nose picker in the chess club is more popular than Caleo Anima. No matter what he did, his pale skin, snow white hair, and piercing blue eyes always made him an easy target. He used to think that the only way things could get worse would be if someone found out that he was gay, but that isn’t even the tip of the iceberg of problems after a mysterious stranger shows up and changes Caleo’s life forever.

Hidden amongst our society, a secret and magical race of people known as ‘Leeches’, have been engaging in civil war for decades. Both sides are desperately searching for a weapon with unlimited power that will give them the advantage they need to rule their world. This wouldn’t mean anything to Caleo, except for one problem…He is that weapon!

Forget making it through High School. Caleo has bigger problems! As the search for him goes on, the world is quickly crumbling around him. He’s now fighting for his life and the life of what little family he has left. With the help of new friends, he has little time to try and master his newly found powers as he tries to figure out who he can trust, who is trying to use him, and who just wants him dead. One wrong step and being the awkward pale outcast will be the least of his worries.


Click here to claim your free copy on Amazon today only!


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What if you knew the exact date and time the world will end, what would you do?Sam Tucker was faced with that dilemma when he began getting visions of the Earth’s demise. Luckily for him, he was able to save his family and as many people as he could before the tragic event occurred, and he did so with the help of unknown visitors. With Earth now destroyed, Sam, his family, and thousands of other lucky survivors must live the rest of their lives on a faraway planet in a Dome that simulates life on Earth. But Sam’s mind can’t seem to rest as a few questions arise. Why did the aliens save them? How did they know about Earth’s sure fate? And exactly what are they hiding?

Emma Tucker begged for an escape from her boring life but never in a million years did she think it would come at the destruction of Earth. Living on a new planet and finding it difficult to get rid of her rebellious habits, Emma finds herself making friends with a member of the alien race and it soon develops into an unexplainable love; a love that is more dangerous than she could ever imagine. While her father is searching for his own truths, she has no idea that she is stumbling on a truth of her own.

Told from the point of view of both Sam and Emma, author Nova Sparks takes readers on a journey to discover love, fate, faith, truth, and the mystery of the DOME!


Click here to claim your Free copy on Amazon today only!

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Disciple: A Guest Post by L. Blankenship

I’m excited to have a guest blogger today. L. Blankenship is the author of Disciple Half-Omnibus, which collects the first three parts of Disciple into one meaty book. If you haven’t read Part I yet, you can try it for free. 

 And don’t forget to scroll way down at the bottom of this post to enter for a chance to win a free copy of her forthcoming book! And now on to the guest blog…

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DISCIPLE, PART IV arrives on March 1st!
 

I’ve been self-publishing for over a year now. A year and three months, to be more exact. I’m still waiting for the Fun Police to kick in my door and stop me.

Because while self-pubbing has been stressful and frightening and at times soul-crushing, it still feels like I’m getting away with something I shouldn’t be able to. I’m part of a group of writers who say a manuscript should be submitted around “until hell won’t have it!” so at first I joked that by self-pubbing I was catapulting my story straight over hell’s walls and they had no option about having it… bypassing publishing’s infamous gatekeepers and all.

 The joke wore off as it became obvious that my manuscript was probably sitting on a sidewalk inside hell’s walls, being stepped over and ignored.

 Nobody came to stop me, though.

 So I loaded up my second manuscript and fired that over the walls too. Then the third one. Each time, I went through the same ritual of betas, revision, and hiring a freelance editor. I plotted long-range character arcs and pondered the changes in narrative voice. I hired cover artists and squeed over what they sent me.

I was sure that would alert the Fun Police, but they still didn’t serve me a cease and desist order.

 Self-publishing is not a bed of roses unless you mean a bed of rosebushes rather than one of flower petals. I came into this with 15 years’ experience as a graphic designer, prepress technician, proofreader, and a small-press publisher in the tabletop gaming industry — and I still have my share of thorn scratches.

 Each of those is from the silence that follows a promotional post. An offer of free review copies that went unanswered. A Sunday that I went around to my sales sites to collect the “weekly eggs” as I call those strings of zeros.

 This is why writers need thick skins. The bed of thorns.

 I do catch the scent of roses, though. I still squee when my artist sends me sketches for my next book cover. When someone posts that they liked my sample, it’s a welcome ray of sunshine. Every time I go looking for zeros and find numbers instead, it plasters a smile on my face.

 I’m going to keep doing this until the Fun Police kick in my door and haul me away.

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Shrimp kisses and other bits of delightfulness

I’d like to introduce you to Erika Skublickaite. She’s the creator of Scuba Drawings, which is now two years old. If you aren’t familiar with her work, take a moment to drop by and enjoy her unique and whimsical approach and tell her congrats while you’re at it. It has been an honor to have her as aFeatured Artist at Ink & Alchemy for quite some time now and I’ve enjoyed seeing her business grow.

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January is gone and I’ve managed to squelch my perfectionism and keep my creative momentum going into the new month. This in itself is a small victory. I’m still working my way through Lifebook 2014 and will be all year so you’ll be seeing bits and pieces from that course. Here are a few images from this past week’s assignment:

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This month has been dubbed The Month of Amore in our house. February marks our wedding anniversary (the big three this year), our first date, and Valentine’s Day. The Don gets most of the credit; he came up with the idea and is an expert at coming up with small surprises and treats on a regular basis, but this year I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve as well. One of them is called The Boozy Brunch of Amore and will take place next Sunday morning. I got the idea from this book. I’m pretty excited!

Last night we dined on Shrimp Kisses with feta cheese, two different types of peppers stuffed with cheese, and baby pockets of brie with blueberries, which was adapted from the linked recipe. We used blueberries instead of cherries. The meal was topped off with Mary Pickford cocktails  made with fresh pineapple juice.
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You can see that I have my work cut out for me this month to keep up with my husband. Luckily, I don’t think he actually expects me to keep up with him. He’s pretty terrific.
I got started by making this rustic pear tart for dessert this evening.
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Have you noticed that we tend to express our affection through food?  I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. My life has been so much more delicious since I found The Don.
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In preparation to beginning a new project in the studio, I got out a nice, fresh sheet of paper. Guess what happened next?
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Yep. Groucho decided to roll around on it. I’m wondering if I should start adding “cat hair” when I list the media used for my artwork.
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And last, but not least, I was pleased to be nominated for the Leibster Award. Thank you, Ernesto San Giacomo! As part of the process, I’ll answer his 10 questions below, then nominate 10 other bloggers  and present them with 10 questions of my own.

1. If you could have dinner with any five people from history, who would they be? Steve Jobs, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Leonardo de Vinci, William Shakespeare.
2. How many pets do you own and what are their names? 2 cats and one dog (plus one temporarily adopted grandcat). Their names are Emma, Groucho, Chopper and Socks.
3. Do you know how to cook? If so, what is your best dish? Yes, but my husband is much better at it than I, so I stick to baking most of the time. My best dish is homemade bread.
4. What hobbies do you have? Art, writing, social media promotion.
5. List your five favorite films. The Notebook (Stop groaning. I can hear you out there.),  K-Pax, Slingblade, Legends of the Fall, The Sweetest Thing.
6. List your five favorite books. To Kill a Mockingbird, Cloud Atlas, Let the Great World Spin, A Good Scent from A Strange Mountain, The Glass Castle.
7. Do you practice any religion? Nope.
8. What is your dream vacation? Tropical beach with drinks and book in hand.
9. Where do you get ideas for blog posts? Anywhere & everywhere.
10. What prompted you to start writing? I’ve been writing in one form or another for a very long time. It just seems natural.

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And I’ll take the lazy girl’s way and stick with the same 10 questions for my nominees, although I’d like to offer the award with no strings attached. If you don’t want to answer the questions, you don’t have to. The award is still yours because I think you’re terrific!

My nominees are:

I’m wishing you a wonderful and creative week!