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Tuesday, 15 May


Book Review: The Ka by Mary Deal This Is My Truth Now

5 stars! After reading one of Mary Deals novels last year, I knew I wanted to read a few more. After checking out the list, The Ka, seemed like the most appropriate given my interest in Egyptian history, pyramids, mummies, and curses. I was definitely not disappointed; in fact, I was rather quite intrigued to learn a whole lot more about some of the pharisees and queens during this historical period after reading the book. Kudos to Deal for making the story so interesting that I didnt want to stop learning once I put it down.


Not a frequent paranormal reader, I wasnt sure how Id feel about that part of the story. Deal puts those concerns to bed rather quickly, as though there are elements of the past coming back in full force to the future in mystical ways, its not at all like the movie The Mummy (which I loved) where ancient creatures are chasing the archaeologists and inhabitants of Cairo. Theres something fantastical and lyrical about the way the past is connected to the current a romance re-ignited by a common love for discovering what lurks beneath the Egyptian pyramids and a quest to survive though youve been hunted by your rivals.

Deals approach to telling the story is a slow build at first, keenly pulling in rea...


Icarus and Daedalus, Charles Paul Landon, 1799 The Lion of Chaeronea

Icarus and Daedalus, Charles Paul Landon, 1799


Mad or Bad? Magrittes Artistic Rebellion The Paris Review

Ren Magritte, La moisson (The Harvest), 1943

Long considered aberrations in his artistic career, Ren Magrittes sunlit surrealist and vache pictures have recently been reassessed by art historians and critics not only on their own terms but also in relation to the notion of bad painting. The two bodies of work have often been discussed separately, since they are stylistically dissimilar and the latter was produced specifically for Magrittes first solo exhibition in Paris, in 1948. Nevertheless, there is good reason to think of them as related. Both series are almost unrecognizable as Magrittes, and one followed directly after the other, together spanning World War II and the immediate postwar period. Far more than a neutral background, historical events may have helped shape, if not determine, the nature and terms of these works more than has until now been presumed.

The sunlit surrealist and vache paintings are deeply, thoroughly weird, not only in their iconography but also in their departure from Magrittes long-established style, palette, and facture. Whereas previously Magritte acknowledged only the artistic influence of the Italian Surrealist Giorgio de Chirico, the sunlit surrealist works refersometimes quite directlyto late paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. But examples such as La moisson (The Harvest), with its harlequinesque, multicolored limbs, torso, and head, are far closer to parody than pastiche. Certain vache works evoke other artists: the sinuous contours of several female nudes recall those of Henri Matisse, and the intense hues and crude brushwork in other pictures have invited comparison to German Expressionism. With their penis-nosed grotesques, lurid colors, and bodily eruptions, the vache paintings have been described as look[ing] like nothing so much as the missing link between James Ensor and Zap Comix.


Book Review: Rocks, Roses & Riptides by Carolyn Dean This Is My Truth Now

After reading a few books in the Ravenwood Cozy Mystery series last year, I purchased the rest from Amazon last fall. Im closing out all books on my TBR that I currently own so on July 1st, I have nothing in my owned queue and can begin picking out new reads for the second half of the year. Dont worry, I have plenty in line 1200+ on my TBR and about 20 Ive agreed to read at some point this year! This week Im focusing on Carolyn L. Dean and the 7th book in her series, Rocks, Roses, & Riptides.

rocks.jpgI find Deans style charming and easy-to-read usually in less than 90 minutes. Her books are light and fluffy with a bit of fun sentiment, romance, and small-town investigation. While I thought the last book I read in the series was a little too simple, this one stepped it back up I was very happy with the mystery, investigation and outsiders coming to town for a TV reporting segment. Add in a few TV on-air reporters, camera guys, assistants and other staff, youve got tons of suspects when the not-so-nice female reporter suddenly falls face first into a cake shes sampling...


Book Review: Sun, Sand & Secrets by Carolyn Dean This Is My Truth Now

In the 6th book, Sun, Sand, & Secrets, of the Ravenwood Cozy Mystery series published in 2017 by Carolyn L. Dean, Amanda ponders the question of what it will mean to marry her sweetheart, James, a local police detective. In the course of her analysis, Madeline Wu, a local shopkeeper weve met before, goes missing, then someone turns up dead. Along the path, a neighboring towns mayor gets involved, and some new romances might be brewing around the lovely little Oregon town.


I enjoy reading about the comings and goings of Amandas renovated bed and breakfast / inn. This book felt more like a mini-edition, prepping us for Amandas upcoming nuptials, rather than a full-on mystery. While it was fun, cute, and cozy, the mystery was very light much more than usual. I enjoy light mysteries, but the crime didnt happen until about 50% into the book, and there wasnt a lot of investigating in the second half. It was a good read, but not a standout in the series. Still worth taking on, as its under 2 hours and I really do love the interactions Meg, Truman, Gram, and all the other wonderful char...

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Monday, 14 May


Gertrude Steins Mutual Portraiture Society The Paris Review

Portraits of Gertrude Stein by Picabia, Picasso, and Valleton.


Between 1908 and her death, in 1946, Gertrude Stein created over a hundred prose portraits, which she called word paintings. Most of her portraits were of her friends: Alice B. Toklas, Matisse, Picasso, Sherwood Anderson, Erik Satie, Hemingway, Man Ray, Jean Cocteau, Jane Heap, Carl Van Vechten, Virgil Thomson, Alfred Stieglitz, Francis Picabia, Guillaume Apollinaire, and others.

In some cases, she was returning the favor of a friend having made a portrait of her in another medium. Picassos Portrait of Gertrude Stein was followed by Steins Pablo Picasso, which appeared in a special issue of Camera Work, edited by Alfred Stieglitz. (The issue also featured Steins Henri Matisse and reproductions of works by Picasso and Matisse.) Stein would then write a prose portrait of Stieglitz, too.

Theres something precious and annoying about these artists mutual admiration, but also something admirably transactionalyou do me, Ill do you, and well both benefit. This mutual portrait project reached a new level of absurdity in 1923, when Steins A Portrait of Jo Davidson was published in Vanity Fair. Steins piece was accompanied by three photos: a photo by Man Ray of Davidson working on his recently completed sculpture of Stein (a bronze casting based on Davidsons model now sits in Bryant Park); a photo of Jacques Lipchitzs 1920 bronze bust of Stein; and a photo of Picassos 1907 painting.



The caption to Rays photo of Davidson reported that Stein had returned [Davidsons] complim...


pagewoman: Ballachulish, Glencoe, Lochaber, Highland,... The Lion of Chaeronea


Ballachulish, Glencoe, Lochaber, Highland, Scotland.

by jimbo0307


Castle by the River, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, 1820 The Lion of Chaeronea

Castle by the River, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, 1820


Ancient Egyptian limestone temple relief depicting Arsinoe II... The Lion of Chaeronea

Ancient Egyptian limestone temple relief depicting Arsinoe II (316-270 BCE), sister-wife of Ptolemy II Philadelphus.  Now in the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University.


Book Review: Full Moons, Dunes & Macaroons by Erin Johnson This Is My Truth Now

All I can say is wow. The fifth book, Full Moons, Dunes & Macaroons: A Cozy Witch Mystery, in the Cozy With Spells & Caramels Mystery series, by Erin Johnson, is my favorite one so far. In this fun tale, Imogen spends a lot of time with her newly found brother learning all about what happened to her as a child including facts about her birth parents, why she and her brother grew up separately, and how she fits into the world of Monsters Rise. When the concept of the mirror came into play, I totally found myself enamored again with the series. What intense and wicked imagination Johnson has!Full
But it doesnt stop there. MAJOR changes in the relationships among all the bakers and royal family members suddenly blast through the pages of this adorable story. Imogen is at the center of everything, including the murder of someone from the Fire Kingdom followed by a re-visit from the great fire monster of the past. The plot is truly immersive and cohesive in this latest edition in the series. I feel like were done with the initial world-building of this gem and finally figuri...


The Lion of Chaeronea turned 4 today! The Lion of Chaeronea

The Lion of Chaeronea turned 4 today!


Saint Paul (illumination from fol. 163r of Choir Book 8 in the... The Lion of Chaeronea

Saint Paul (illumination from fol. 163r of Choir Book 8 in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence), Lorenzo Monaco, 1397-1404


Happy Mothers Day This Is My Truth Now

Life begins with the concept of motherhood. The terms are virtually inseparable as you cant have one without the other under most conditions in the human world. And while mothers come in all different forms, today is the day to celebrate them no matter how theyre part of our lives. Whether its our own mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, stepmothers, mothers-in-law, or someone in our family or circle of friends, we all know one or many who have unbelievably touched us for the better.

My own mother is a prime example, and while she doesnt follow my blog (shes not online often), someone I know Im sure will tell her about this post. And when they do, they will tell her that I think shes undoubtedly the most generous, wonderful, and caring woman in my life. Shes done everything she could for me throughout the years and Ill be eternally grateful. From wisdom to gently knocking me upside the head (figuratively) when I needed to get back on course, my mother is a genuine and amazing role model. Thank you to her for everything Ive become, as it wouldnt have happened with you.


My mother is not the only woman out there who fits into this description. Perhaps youre one of them. Or you know someone who is. Tell them you love them. Let them know how amazing they are. And so to all of you who fit this description, you are amazing. Im glad were connected via our blogs, social media, or texting whatever the form of our communication: Thank you for being part of my life.


Sunday, 13 May


The Haunting Dancer, Gino Severini, 1911 The Lion of Chaeronea

The Haunting Dancer, Gino Severini, 1911


Kneeling sculpture (greywacke) of Hor-wedja, son of Sasobek, the... The Lion of Chaeronea

Kneeling sculpture (greywacke) of Hor-wedja, son of Sasobek, the Grand Vizier to the 26th Dynasty pharaoh Psammetichus (Psamtik) I (r. 664-610).  The sculpture was commissioned in Hor-wedjas honor by his son Meryptah.  Now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.  Photo credit: Walters Art Museum.


Reads & Reels: What a Team! This Is My Truth Now

When I published my second book, I knew I needed help with marketing and promotions so that I could reach a wider readership and meet new bloggers and friends. Over the last few months, Ive seen some of the fantastic books promoted on the Reads & Reels (R&R) Book Tours platform and felt excited at how well received and supported theyve been. I am thrilled R&R was interested in helping with Father Figure and couldnt be more grateful for the very reasonably-priced, custom package the team created with a Book Blitz and a Blog Tour to support the launch. Although weve only completed one part so far, and the other is scheduled for early next month, I can already see the extended reach this marvelous team has provided. I wanted to share my appreciation and let everyone else know about them!


I worked directly with Shannon (cute likeness above, right?!?!), who runs her own blog (Reads & Reels) in addition to the R&R Book Tours platform; she was instrumental in my novels initial launch periods success, and I am quite grateful especially for the central banner her team created for Father Figure. It had the perfect air of mystery, dreamlike lure, and sharp graphics. For most of last week, everywhere I turned, I saw pr...


Goddess of Youth and Cupbearer Hebe and Eagle of Zeus, Louis... The Lion of Chaeronea

Goddess of Youth and Cupbearer Hebe and Eagle of Zeus, Louis Fischer, 1827

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