Tag Archives: art

A Match Made In Heaven

Please make sure to read the author’s note at the end of the story.

Illustration by Gabriel San Martin © 2022

The Blue Stone Bench

Karina Kantas ©2022

She’s there again. Just like clockwork, her and her dog. Every Thursday, ten o’clock in the morning on the dot, she arrives, coffee in hand. I wonder what she does or where she goes when it’s raining?  Why every Thursday? Why always this park, this spot, this blue stone bench?

Every time, I say I’m going to go over and introduce myself and talk to her. But every week my feet say glued to the ground. My mouth goes dry and my heart feels like it is about to jump out of my chest.

It’s her big brown eyes and the smile she gives to her dog. I swear she casts a spell that leaves me frozen.

Again, another week was wasted. Again, she bewitched me, and I knew at eleven o’clock she would stand up and leave the park. And I would have to wait another week before I see her again.

But fate had another plan!

“Benji, no!” I yelled as my small, patched Jack Russell scarpered off. I watched his little legs and the lead disappear around the corner before I registered what happened and started running after him.

I chased after him, but I’m not what you would call an athletic man. Don’t get me wrong. I’m tall and slim. You just won’t find me in a gym. That was made obvious as I had just completed a lap of the park, yelling for Jack (yes, I know, very original.)

And guess where I found him? Sitting beside her dog. I threw myself on the bench and held out my finger to her, hoping she would let me get my breath back, before she started up a conversation. I hoped she didn’t see my shaky legs that felt like they had turned into jelly and would have caved in on me if it wasn’t for the blue bench that became my rock.

The gorgeous lady looked at me. Her eyes twinkled with laughter.

I smiled, even though I hadn’t got my breath completely back. The lady held out her coffee to me. I shook my head.

“Please take it. You look like you need it more than me.” Her voice sang to me; smooth, clear and left me with goose-pimples.

She held the coffee out, and so I took it.

“Thank you.” I sipped the cooling dark, strong coffee. Umm just how I like it. A took a couple more sips when I turned to face her, intent on talking normal English words that would come out of a human, but instead, I just looked at her, with a half-open mouth and nothing coming out of it. Thankfully, she shot the embarrassment down and spoke first.

“I wondered how long it would take you to get the nerve to come over and say hi.”

Now my mouth opened wider in shock.

“I see. A man of few words.” There was laughter again twinkling in her eyes. “I’ve seen you and Jack a few times around the park.”

I knew I had to say something before she accused me of being a creepy stalker or something, which, okay I was watching her, a lot, but not stalking, and now it seemed my stealth wasn’t as good as I thought.

I sat the cup on the blue stone in between us and then held my hands up in defence and hopefully gave her my winning smile.

“Yes, we come here regularly and if you don’t mind me asking–Oh, shoot, my manners. Hi, I’m Mark.” I held my hand out to her, and she fitted her soft small hand into mine.

“Hi Mark. I’m Jessie.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Jessie.” I must have looked like an idiot just staring with this huge smile on my face. “Thanks for the coffee, by the way.”

She laughed. “You’re welcome.” She looked down at her dog and then looked up at me. “Maybe you can return the favour sometime.”

She looked so shy. I guess it wasn’t often a woman ask a man out for coffee. Well, I wasn’t about to leave her hanging. “Yes. That’s a definite IOU.”

Jeez, her smile warmed my chest. I could just stare at Jessie all day.

“Umm, you were saying before you introduced yourself to me something about if I don’t mind you asking. I don’t, so go ahead.”

Her hand reached over and touched my arm. No, electricity didn’t occur, but when she moved her hand away I felt the warmth leave with it.

“So, umm. I see you and your dog sitting here every Thursday at around the same time.” I saw her smile vanish, and she had a faraway look in her eyes. Gosh, did I just put my foot in it and ruin this chat? “I’m sorry. It’s none of my business. Just pretend I didn’t ask.”  I turned my head away while trying to think of something smart to say to her.

She shifted away from me, and my stomach dropped, knowing I had messed things up, and it didn’t look like I was going to get a second chance.

“Grace was my sister,” she said with a sigh. I looked to where she was pointing and saw a silver metal plaque with the words ‘In memory of my loving sister Grace,’ and two dates and then underneath was the line, ’Sing with the angels.’

“Oh, I’m so sorry, Jessie. I should never have asked.”

“No, it’s okay. It must have seemed strange seeing me here at 10 am every Thursday. My sister lost her fight with cancer on a Thursday at 10 am. She loved this park and used to come and sing. She had a wonderful voice, and people stopped to listen.”

“Then I can understand why this place and spot means so much to you. That was a beautiful thing you did for your sister, and I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you, Mark.” She smiled, and my heart lifted.

“I hope this is not too forward of me. But it’s coming up to 11 am when you normally leave. I don’t suppose you would like to go for a coffee with me?”

“I would love to.” She answered and held my hand as we walked out of the park with our dogs following behind us.

Author’s Note:

I manage the group Children’s book and illustrations, on Facebook. This is where authors and illustrators of children’s books can promote their work. When I saw the above illustration I immediately wanted to write flash fiction about it. The illustrator Gabriel Martin was very excited about the idea. And so above is the story I wrote using this wonderful Illustration as inspiration.

For more information and wonderful illustrations by Gabriel San Martin, go and check out the website. http://www.gabrielsanmartin.com

Please let the artist know what you think about this illustration.

I am an award-winning author of fourteen publications. You can find all my work and social media links right here.

https://www.linktr.ee/karinakantas

Maanarak Is Opening Up Her Soul.

I spoke with Maanarak about her soon-to-be debut book. As authors, we always give a lot of ourselves in our stories and many are biographical.

Maanarak goes even further by writing poetry and these are powerful words that she spins into a tale of past experiences. She opens up her heart and leaves it on the page. Such a gift many would love to possess. Not only does she write this amazing poetry but she illustrates using her unique style to tell the story of the poem. And she doesn’t stop there. With each poem, besides it, she tells the truth behind the words.

If it wasn’t bad enough bearing your soul in poetry, to then write the story of where the words came from, is truly inspiring and terrifying at the same time and I take my hat off to her, (if I was wearing one) for being brave enough to let it all out. She doesn’t hide behind make-believe she tells it exactly how it is and that makes it so raw and honest.
Come and meet Maanarak, the lady Behind The Pen.

You can find Maanarak on Instagram and listen for the announcement of when this more than poetry book will be published.
https://www.instagram.com/maanarak.4/

The Poet Jonathan Koven

Actually, Jonathan isn’t just a poet he’s a storyteller and a bloody good one as he just came second place in the prestigious Electric Eclectic Novella Contest and will be having his winning story, ‘Below Torrential Hill,’ published as a pocketbook this winter and will be part of the Electric Eclectic branding.

Back to Jonathan.

He’s a poet, an author and also an editor.

Jonathan Koven grew up on Long Island, NY, embraced by tree-speak, tide’s rush, and the love and support of his family. He holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from American University, works as a technical writer, and is Toho Journal’s head fiction editor and workshop coordinator. He lives in Philadelphia with his best friend and future wife Delana, and cats Peanut Butter and Keebler.

Take a look at his debut book.

Palm Line’s heartfelt poems speak to a transformative journey “to rediscover love as both a question and an answer.” Seeking hope, honoring family, finding love, accepting time’s passage, and understanding gratitude are all major themes explored in this dreamlike collection.

Where to buy

https://www.tohopub.com/product-page/palm-lines-jonathan-koven


Review Quotes

Palm Lines invites one into a sensuous natural world . . . [Koven] is a writer of tremendous skill.”—Tracey Levine, author of You Are What You Are and Asst. Professor of English at Arcadia University.

“These are ecstatic poems which wrestle with surrender. Even as they reach outward, they are reflecting back, mapping the story of our own hands.”—David Keplinger, author of Another City, winner of 2019 UNT Rilke Prize.

“In Palm Lines, everything is humongous because of the gravity of the beauty and emotion observed—and language is the catharsis . . . This accessible collection offers the reader an opportunity to take a deep breath and reflect.”
—Sean Lynch, editor of Serotonin

These heartfelt poems speak to a transformative journey “to rediscover love as both a question and an answer.” Seeking hope, honoring family, finding love, accepting time’s passage, and understanding gratitude are all major themes explored in this dreamlike collection.


Art

Now I must mention this amazing book cover above, which was illustrated by Tyler Lentini. It almost like a representation of a moving painting. And there is more of Tyler’s art work throughout the book.

Take a look at another illustration from this artist.

Just visualising this image, I can see a bird, a naked woman and a tree, but then I can see a cave with water rushing down into a waterfall and a forest. Art has so many concepts and it’s up to the eye of the beholder to take what they can from the image.

What do you take from this amazing painting?


Where to find Jonathan Koven

Omnikent

Can an idea accelerated by passion give wings to one’s dream?

Yes, it does for “Omnikent”.

Ominkent started its journey in 2018  with a set of three people, one idea and a dream. A dream to offer the best in class services and platforms to the ones whose writings we have grown up reading i.e. the Authors.

At Omnikent, the mission is to help the authors connect their writing with the right audience and become authorpreneurs, using technology, design, and data driven strategies. The services provided ranges from illustrations, custom web designs, brand building for authors through pre and post marketing services, E-commerce store set-up for author brand, book conversion to 2D/3D movies or web series.

The organisation is all-remote based out in Dubai with the team spread across the globe. On asked about what holds the team together despite geographical distances, Mr. Sanjay John Eapen, the CEO, Miss Sneha Ann Babu, the Chief Business Officer quotes, “Trust, Accountability and Transparency” as the key values which  drives the team and inspires them everyday to offer the best. The perfect balance of management skill and passion, helps them to provide the quality services by focusing on driving the entire operations of the organisation with utmost efficiency because of which the organisation today could successfully deliver 17+ projects within such a short span of time.

Going ahead, the plan is to leverage technology and design, to help authors get most out of their creativity and effort to be the best sellers in every market thereby, directing Omnikent to be the globally recognised brand that the authors can rely on, as in Omnikent we believe in nothing but “Authorpreneurship”.

Contact details:

http://www.omikent.com

Mail us at : hello@omnikent.com

Twitter : https://twitter.com/omnikent

LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/company/omnikentdigital

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/omnikentdigital/

IG : https://www.instagram.com/omnikent/?hl=en

Illustrator Extraordinaire

 

Jacks work is so detailed, professional and friggign cute!

Introducing you to Jack Foster. Children Book illustrator

Jack Foster attended the American Academy of

Art in Chicago. He was originally signed as a political cartoonist

for a Chicagoland newspaper, but finally in 2009 after years of

submitting work, he signed his first children’s book contract with

Guardian Angel Publishing. Since then Jack has illustrated over

80 published books. He still lives in the Chicagoland area with

his wife Aleithia. Jack has 5 children and 14 grandkids.

 

Here are a few samples of his amazing work

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Links

webpage: jackfosterart.com

blog: mrbiblehead.blogspot.com

facebook: facebook.com/jacktoon

twitter: https://twitter.com/jack_jacktoon

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jackfoster1428/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jack-foster-b72ab115/

 

Cover Reveal – Urban Fantasy

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Title: James: Witch-Hunter

Author: K.S. Marsden

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release date: 1st October 2017

 

Synopsis

~Prequel to the Witch-Hunter trilogy~

 

James Bennett is a Yorkshire lad, making the big move to Oxford to start university.

His ambitions involve getting a good education; impressing the Rugby Club; and not throttling his roommate. All perfectly normal drama, until Hallowe’en.

 

A girl’s murder throws James into the dangerous world of witches, and those that hunt them.

 

After playing a sidekick in the Witch-Hunter trilogy, it’s only fair that James gets to be centre stage in his own prequel.

This can be read as a stand-alone, and does not contain any spoilers. It may contain witches, bad jokes and cringe-worthy scenes; but definitely no spoilers.

 

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Book link:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35699046-james

 

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  Author:

Kelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life – books and horses.

Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has two successful series under her belt.

 

Excerpt:

Charlotte had just made her second coffee of the day, when she heard a very insistent banging at the front door. Not in the mood for visitors, she reluctantly opened it.

And was met by the sight of James.

In a dress.

“I’ll never get used to your humour, James.” She said, stepping aside and letting him in. “Fancy some fresh coffee? And when I say fresh, I mean instant stuff I’ve only boiled once.”

James closed the door behind him, and made his way through the narrow corridor to Charlotte’s tiny kitchen.

Charlotte promptly poured an extra coffee and added sugar, her normally bright eyes were red, and it was clear she’d been crying.

“I broke up with Nathan.” She said, looking embarrassed that he had to see her like this.

“I think my roommate’s a murderer.” James countered.

Charlotte handed him a mug of coffee, shaking her head. “When a girl says she’s broken up with her boyfriend, most people would offer… never mind. You win. Why is Hunter a murderer?”

James gently lowered himself down onto Charlotte’s rickety sofa. “I followed him last night. He was bein’ weird, and I have a tracker on his phone-”

“What?!”

“And he went to this warehouse, where…” James trailed off, his throat closing around the words.

Charlotte misread his inability to speak, and gently rubbed his shoulder. “It’s alright, you’re safe here. Who do you think he killed?”

“Bea.” James gasped out. “You remember the blonde, Scottish lass? They hooked up at start of term; then the other night she was looking for him; next thing you know, she’s dead!”

Charlotte put down her coffee cup, her hand shaking too much to hold it. She looked at James in all seriousness, “And you saw Hunter kill her?”

James shook his head, thinking back to last night, and the hooded figures. He was sure it was Hunter, “I couldn’t clearly see who it was, but why would Hunter be there? It’s one hell of a coincidence, that he bails on the Hallowe’en party and ends up at the same warehouse where the girl he was shagging ends up getting sta-”

“Did you physically see him there?” Charlotte asked.

“No, I was following a tracker.” James admitted.

“An illegal tracker, that’ll never hold in court, James.”

James snorted, “Trust the trainee-lawyer to say that.”

“Hey, I’m just trying to see every angle.” Charlotte said, punching his arm. “There could be another, perfectly normal explanation. Maybe someone mugged Hunter and stole his phone – that sort of person would be more likely to head to the dodgy side of town.”

“Ha, it’d have to be the king of muggers to get the better of Hunter.” James argued. “He’s super-fast, super-strong, and has anger issues. Which all adds up to someone very capable of murder.”

“How-”

“Do you not remember how we first met? It’s not often I get thrown against a wall, instead of the usual handshake. And I do rugby training with him – trust me, it’s like getting hit by a car-”

“James, you’re exaggerating.” Charlotte sighed.

“And I’ve seen him run – I forgot to show you.” James dug out his phone from the flowery handbag, and quickly found the video he’d taken weeks ago. “Look – look how fast he is! And don’t you find it weird that he’s never that fast in rugby games? It’s almost like he’s holding back.”

Charlotte looked at the video, and when the brief clip was over, she shrugged, “It doesn’t look that fast to me.”

“Well, it seemed it when I was watching with my own two eyes.” James tucked his phone away. “He’s not normal.”

“Yes, but there’s a huge leap between what’s not normal, and a killer.” Charlotte said, exasperated. “Don’t get me wrong; I want to help you James, I really do… have you been to the police?”

“Yes, I stayed there overnight.” James answered. “I got knocked out, and some cop must’a found me. Next thing I know, I’m waking up in a cell.”

“Oh no, what happened? Did someone attack you?”

James opened his mouth the speak, but he didn’t even know what to say. He remembered getting knocked off his feet by some powerful force, but that didn’t make sense.

“What did the police say?” Charlotte asked, when it was clear James wasn’t giving her an answer.

He shrugged, “Not much, just that Bea had died. They were dodging a lot of my questions.”

“That’s normal police protocol for an ongoing investigation.” Charlotte said, knowledgably.

James shook his head. “There was summat not right about the whole thing. It just felt shady.”

 

 

Giveaway

Link to Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b0183e5911/

 

To Ink or not to Ink?

Tattoo 101

The original word derives from the Tahitian word tatau. ‘ta’ meaning hand, repeated twice to represent the action. And ‘u’ which means colour.

Tattooing is an art form that can be traced all the way back to 3300BC.

Tattoos were first used as a symbol of rank, identification, for protection, to display someone’s lifestyle; such as gang members, armed forces, and prisoners. Nowadays, they have become a popular body decoration. Including cosmetic tattooing known as permanent make up. Tattoos that enhance the eyebrows, permanently colour the lips, eye lines, and even moles.

Tribal cultures cut designs into the skin using non-electrical tools cut from bamboo or metal, and then rub ash or natural dye in the wounds. This is a ceremonial, coming of age custom, which is sure to hurt!

These days, in European countries, tattoo artists use a hand-held electronic machine. Groups of needles are attached to an oscillating unit. Needles drive in and out of the (dermis), second layer of skin, usually at 80 times per second while ink is inserted.

*Did you know* Samuel O’Reilly invented the first electronic Tattoo machine in 1891.

Be safe

A tattoo is a wound, and like all cuts and scratches, prone to infection.

To lower the risk of infection, follow these steps.

  • Make sure the Tattoo parlour is clean. If in doubt, look for somewhere else to get your tattoo done.
  • Check to see if the tattooist uses an autoclave. (sterilizer)
  • Is the artist a licensed practitioner?
  • If you surfer from allergies, heart disease, diabetes or are pregnant, contact your physician before getting a tattoo.
  • Contact your health department for a list of recommended tattoo shops.
  • Make sure the tattooist uses disposable gloves, needles, and facial masks.

There is a risk of Herpes Simplex Virus, Tetanus, and Hepatitis if the instruments have not been sterilized correctly.

There is also a chance of an allergic reaction caused from the ink pigment. Most tattooists will recommend performing a patch test.

Does it hurt?

It depends on your pain threshold. Some say they feel a tingling sensation, others like being stung by a nest of hornets. Again, it depends on the size of the tattoo and on which part of the body the design is tattooed. A recent survey carried out, showed that the fear of pain is the main reason why people will not have a tattoo.

After care

  • The tattooist should cover the finished tattoo with a bandage. Leave the dressing on for 24hrs.
  • Make sure you do not touch the tattooed area.
  • If you see and redness or swelling around the area, use an ice pack.
  • Wash the tattoo with antibacterial soap.
  • Do not go swimming or lay too long in a hot bath after having a tattoo.
  • Keep out of the sun until the tattoo has healed. When in the sun, it’s best to use sun protection factor (SPF) 30 on the tattoo, this not only protects your skin, but it stops the tattoo from fading.

 

Removal

There are two ways to get rid of an unwanted tattoo. The first is what’s known as Cover-up. You get the tattoo covered over with another. Not a great result, but at least you got rid of your ex’s initials.

The second way is to have laser treatment. This procedure can remove up to 95% of the tattoo, but it is said that the cost and pain will be greater than when you first got the tattoo done. Lesson learned I think!

A recent survey showed that the most popular place on the body to have a tattoo is on the back. People spend anything from $15-$500 on tattoos. 50% regret having the tattoo done. Surprisingly, only 30% felt any significant pain. The most popular kind of tattoo in Europe is symbols, such as star signs, Chinese symbols, and tribal patterns. In America, stars are thought of to be the most requested tattoos.

Henna tattoos are the most popular form of temporary tattoos. In the tourist resort where I work, there are 14 tattoo parlors selling Henna and permanent designs. Everywhere you look women are walking around with Henna tattoos on their arms, legs and back. The guys have then on their upper back, below the neck and the top of their arms. The artist will trace the design onto paper and place it on the desired part of the body. The print remains on the skin and then is drawn over with a special pen. These tattoos can range from lettering, symbols, to animals and flowers. Draw your own design and the artist will turn it into a tattoo. Henna Tattoos can last between 7-14 days.

*Did you know* tattooists traditionally refer to the small bikini line tattoo as ‘Tramp Stamp.’ Might be wise to think about having your tattoo on the shoulder or ankle.

Greeks don’t have a love for tattoos, so there was no way my hubby was going to permit me to get a permanent one. Actually, I had no interest in getting a tattoo until I had my first Henna. I’ve been collecting frogs since I was 15, so a frog tattoo was ideal for me. I had the Henna done on my left ankle it looked as though the frog was climbing up my leg. It was so cool and I deliberately wore skirts just so I could show my tattoo off.  I was very disappointed when it started to fade. I wanted to grab a black pen and go over the design. However, I allowed it to die away, as hubby had already agreed how awesome it was and allowed me to get a real one. It hurt like a mother….

Paul, a professional tattooist from the UK, recommends anyone who is seriously thinking of having a tattoo done, to look through tattoo magazines, and when in a studio, ask to see the artist’s work. He said that people that come in already have an idea of what they want and pick a tattoo that means something to them.

Think carefully before you get a permanent tattoo. Many get them done on impulse and then regret their decision, soon after. Others love their life-long tattoo. It may be best to try a temporary tattoo first to see you can live with it. A tattoo is a big deal it’s a life-long commitment.

COPYRIGHT Karina Kantas March2012

Kabuki Mask from Chinese warlord. Thanks Nick (the bubble)

Geisha. Represents beauty, peace, tradition, and tranquility. 9hrs 2 sittings.

A tribute to lost family members

Doug is a fan of Fight Club

Will be blogging about this awesome TV show soon.
This awesome tattoo of SAMCRO's logo took five hrs to create and was done in one sitting. I will be doing a blog on the fab TV show Son's of Anarchy, so make sure you subscribe to this blog.