Colors: The Base Of Life

Last year 2021, I started a series of short videos “Create Beauty Every Day”. It was a year under the influence of Mercury and Mars, two very strong entities that brought agitated energy into the world, in fact we have seen the results. I decided to create weekly short messages to get through the epidemic, uplift the spirits, to help others overcoming difficult moments by using beautiful things, learn to get surrounded with the nicest things, using colors in new ways and opening the way to new habits. Life might be rough in this exceptional time, but it doesn’t have to be dark, dull and full of fear.

Thinking of adding beauty in our daily life is like we plant seeds in a world hard as concrete, sordid and arid; when we manage to make a crack in that hard concrete a few seeds will come out, then many more will follow and that arid concrete will no longer have strength. Beauty is contagious and reproduces quickly.

Whether is art, music, nature, colors, fun clothes, love, a relaxing bath, a flower that fills the air with joy, or whatever beauty means to people, thinking of beauty daily it positions the soul in a new spirituality that helps understand the beauty of life. I repeat it: beauty is contagious and multiplies quickly.

In this video I read a passage from my book: RED-A Voyage Into Colors, Second Edition, Kindle and paperback.

I will return with the weekly short videos on how to Create Beauty Every Day in February. Ciao.
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here:
Amazon and Barnes&Noble


Autumn With An Author Ended

What a fabulous couple of months I had interviewing many authors, some were very familiar to me, and others very new that I wanted to get to know. I was inspired to see how they didn’t let the rough times we are traversing stop them from producing new books and putting many more in the working mode. I chose this season to shine a small group of authors to be the jewel tones of precious stones and colors of the Autumn. Each author’s name is highlighted and linked to the interview in case you missed it. Enjoy reading them and their uniqueness.

The first author to open the series was beautiful Sally Cronin from Ireland. In her books, she often ponders on life’s events and situations. She says: “There is a rhythm to life and everything in this world from weather to the smallest creature. There are highs and lows within that rhythm, and whilst we may like to think we are in control, it is only partly true. (…) My writing is a way of coping with this environment of fear that has been created about the future and offers me comfort and I hope those who read the poems or stories. (…)
I hope your new “Life Is Like A Mosaic” is doing well and wish you much success. Amazon Author Page

Author Marjorie Mallon from Cambridge, UK writes imaginative mystery books for young adults, sometimes with a paranormal twist. She says that the Corpus Christi Chronophage invented by extraordinary British inventor Dr. John C Taylor OBE, who she met in person in 2017, inspired her latest book. The extraordinary timepiece is situated on King’s Parade Cambridge opposite King’s College. She says: “Often, unsuspecting bypassers become my characters! Otherwise, (as is the case in Bloodstone,) a burst of frenetic energy creates the character and my writing flows forward from that.” (…)
She is developing some poetry/photography books, one of which is fairly developed and is called Do What You Love.
I wish you well with “Bloodstone, The Curse Of Time” and the new publications. Visit Marje here.

Mysterious Teagan Riordáin Geneviene from New Mexico, USA, always surprises me with her attractive book covers. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy. This year she is developing “Dead of Winter” a high fantasy book, published monthly in novelette-sized installments. She says: “It takes place in a world that resembles some lands in the past of our own world.  The heroine, Emlyn, is a 12-year-old girl who sees and hears spirits.”
Her message is “to thine own self be true.  Most of my heroines have to be true to themselves, regardless of the lack of acceptance that might come with it. (…) we can’t underestimate the value of our uniqueness. I cheer for that and wish you great success with your “Dead Of Winter” novelettes. Amazon Author’s Page

Author Robbie Cheadle from South Africa is a writer and poet specializing in historical, paranormal, horror novels, and short stories. She says about her latest book: “My intention with Behind Closed Doors was to create a record of my thoughts and experiences about a few subjects that disturb and distress me. (…) I have been reading dark fiction and true crime fiction since I was ten. (…) As an adult, I gravitate towards books about war and the paranormal, so this is my literary diet.” Robbie also writes with her son Michael and bakes the characters in her Sir Chocolate series. Wishing you good luck with the new Sir Chocolate book called “Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog.”  Visit Robbie here

If you want to know everything about Venice in Italy, you must read Kathleen Gonzalez from San Jose, CA. She says: “Within minutes of seeing the Grand Canal and the palaces, I was smitten and felt compelled to return that summer. That began a love affair with the city, and I return nearly every year. When I can’t be in Venice, I read about it, which led me to write about its people and history.”
Kathleen Gonzalez was quoted in Smithsonian magazine and by the BBC for her Casanova research and published articles on Casanova in l’Intermediaire des Casanovistes and Casanoviana. Her research on Casanova has also been used in a French TV documentary, a 2017 biography, the art exhibit “Casanova: The Seduction of Europe,” all about Casanova’s life, and in a local performance about women glassmakers in Venice. I hope your latest publication “A Beautiful Woman in Venice” and the spirit of Casanova bring you much success. Visit Kathleen here.

Author Didi Oviatt wrote her latest book “Weathering Old Soul” with author James Cudney IV and together they became a powerful force. I asked her if her compositional method was much in relation to their respective backgrounds and critical aims, or if she had to adapt to James’s style and vice versa. She said: “a mutual respect for views and likeness in opinions and culture is a must. Working with Jay has been so much fun! (…) We wanted our sweet little bookish child, Weathering Old Souls, to be seamless from cover to cover – without giving away to our readers who wrote what. His style is, how do you say it, more intelligent? Lol… All the while my writing style is a bit simpler and tends to lean on the emotional side.” She writes mystery/thrillers, short stories and she published her first romance novella “Skinny Dippin”.
Didi seems to generate her best ideas in the shower. I can relate to that I get my design ideas often in the showers.
I wish you great success with your new publications. Visit Didi here.

Author Rebecca Rosenberg from California brings us bubbles with her new book “Champagne Widows”. She says: “It is the story of Veuve Clicquot, who was tragically made a widow at 27. She did not want to give up the business she had started with her husband. She had no experience or education to make champagne, but read everything she could, and trained under other winemakers. She used her innate intelligence, talent, and perseverance to succeed.” Rebecca is a novelist, champagne historian, tour guide, and champagne cocktail expert. I wish you well with your new book “Champagne Widows”, Visit Rebecca here.

Author Eleyne-Mari Sharp from Rhode Island, USA, writes about colors. She is a certified color therapist, spiritual aromatherapist, jewelry designer, and crystal worker. She says: “If you don’t like how you’re feeling, change your colors. And I believe that color is a gift. Treating yourself to a color treatment is a smart idea, especially during these chaotic times. It may include all your chakras, which are the spinning wheels of energy within our bodies that we all have, although they are not visible to everyone. Whether you balance your chakras with crystals, irradiation, color breathing, or sound, I can’t emphasize enough how beneficial color is to balance your whole body, mind, and spirit. Color is a gift. It raises our vibrations and helps us feel better.”
Thank you Eleyne-Mari, I couldn’t agree more. Good luck, wish you great success with new publications to come.
Visit Eleyne-Mari here

Author James Cudney IV from New York, doesn’t need an introduction, his books speak for him. Among many publications, he wrote the series “Braxton Campus Mysteries” and “Weathering Old Soul” in symbiosis with Author Didi Oviatt. His publications have been translated in many languages, produced in various format paperback, kindle and audio books. I asked him if time has come to make a film. He says: “I would relish that! Early on, there were some talks about Watching Glass Shatter being turned into a film or series. (…) I would love to see the Glass family on the big screen even more than the citizens of Braxton.”
James writes in the family drama, suspense, and mystery genres. I wish you well with all your publications. Visit James here.

Amazon Author’s Page

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books on various subjects on which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. She never gives up trying new things and doesn’t fear failure. Some years ago, Valentina became a TV producer/host producing shows under her label: Valentina Design Universe. The goal of her shows is to entertain, inspire and inform, while she is living her passion. Find her books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Autumn With An Author: James Cudney IV

I am honored to introduce you to Author James Cudney IV, from New York City. He doesn’t need any introduction really. His name is a guarantee for a good read. James is a writing volcano, it seems he produces a new book every four-five months in every format and are translated into many romance languages. He writes family drama, suspense, and mystery genres. I met him in the blogosphere a few years ago, we clicked immediately and became friends. I let him tell you the rest.

Author James (Jay) Cudney IV
  1. James, you wrote among everything, a few book series such as Braxton Campus Mysteries.
    Do you take all your characters for a walk to make sure you still recognize them after a few months have passed by?

    I do enjoy writing in a variety of genres. Coming back to the Braxton Campus Mysteries is always refreshing but sometimes painful. There are almost 150 characters across the eight books (#8, Sleigh Bell Tower releases in December 2021), and while everyone is vivid in my mind, I can’t recall all the details about exact physical traits and their extensive histories. I generally remember the main ones, but at times, I’ll think… “Didn’t I say she hated cold weather in the second book?” and then I’m back to reading them again. Luckily, I maintain a spreadsheet with all the primary details and relationships, and I cut/paste descriptions of settings and people in a master document. I always wish I could conjure them up and go for an amazing walk!
  2. Do you always have a good relationship with your characters or do they appear in your sleep and tell you what to do?
    Rarely do they appear in my sleep. New characters will, but once someone is alive in a book, they are gone from my dreams. And that’s because they are real, so I don’t need to rely on my imagination as much. Occasionally, I’ll be in bed thinking about someone’s next adventure and it will spill into a dream… but the new ones fight hard to cross the threshold into my literary reality.
  3. Your publications have been translated in many languages, you have produced paperback, kindle and audio books. Is it time for a movie?
    I would relish that! Early on, there were some talks about Watching Glass Shatter being turned into a film or series. Truthfully, I wasn’t savvy enough in the industry and couldn’t split my time between writing, marketing, and filming. I’d love to revisit it in the future, though. I would love to see the Glass family on the big screen even more than the citizens of Braxton.
  1. If a movie producer turned one of your books into a movie, would you play a role? If not, which actors would you choose to play your characters?
    Great question. I acted in high school and college. If there were a small part, perhaps a walk-on or one with two or three lines, I’d definitely consider it. There are some of those characters who would lend themselves to me taking the risk of performing in front of the camera instead of behind it. When we launched the initial marketing for Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, we had contests to choose the actors for the primary roles. I had so many potential options to consider. I’ll always fall back on Meryl Streep playing Olivia Glass; she’d be the perfect actress to bring out the many sides of this matriarch.
  2. Are some of the people you know afraid of sharing with you their happenings, thoughts, feelings or events, risking to end up in one of your books?
    Definitely not. I have included a few lines people muttered in real life, but most of the characters are all fictional. Given there are murder mysteries in most of the books, that would be scary. I also tend not to be risky or intentionally offend anyone I know, so I wouldn’t put them in a strange position. But if someone angers me, they become the picture I see when I am writing murder scenes in the books. It’s cathartic and comforting without bordering on the insane and criminal.

  1. 6. With so many books published in a short time, I gather you are busy writing every day?
    Not anymore. Although I took three years off between my last corporate job and this one, I am now only able to write on the days I take off, at night, and on weekends. What used to take me three months takes me nine months, and even then, I’m exhausted from ten-hour workdays… writing is hard, especially while running a blog, social media, marketing existing books, and having a personal life. I’ve got the next book almost finalized for a December 2021
    Legally-Blind-Luck-Promo-Hardback-Ereader (2).png
    release, but nothing else is written… so I will be busy again soon.

    7. Do you need your wiring space to be inspirational, tranquil, and inviting or messy with noisy music?
    Pure silence. No interruptions. Don’t need to look at anything inspiring. I focus on the words and the screen, and it flows from my mind. But I need three to four hours when I can dedicate myself without anyone needing me or feeling the desire to check my work email or phone calls.

    8.You read a lot and review a lot of books. How do you manage it with your work, daily life and writing commitments?
    Not very well lately. I’ve slowed down a lot of things… when I’m writing, I barely get to read a book a week. When I’m not writing, I can finish three or four, so it balances out. I have no writing planned from Nov to Dec this year, but I will be outlining the two books I want to write in 2022. I try to maintain a schedule so workouts and work are done by 5:30. I have two hours to write or edit, then eat dinner, watch TV and read before bed. It’s mostly a matter of planning in advance, calendarizing my entire day so I have free time and dedicated ‘work’ time.

    9. Do you enjoy every book you read?
    Mostly. I prefer to read a book series and authors I already enjoy. For every four books where I choose them due to the author or series, I add in one from an indie or a friend I’ve met online. When it’s a genre I don’t normally read, it’s tough… unless there is a good story. Two good author friends write in genres I don’t read, but I love their stuff. You can usually tell from my book reviews if I liked it or not. If I have a light review or it’s generic, it means I hardly got anything from the book. I won’t give it a 5, but I might give it a 4 if it’s an author I want to support. If you see 3 or less, the book had a major problem or I just didn’t get into it. Some 3 ratings are purely in comparison to other books in the series that were so good, they got 4 and 5 ratings.

    10. If you had to describe yourself in just three words, what would those be?
    Organized. Diligent. Multi-dimensional. (Yes, that hyphenated word counts as one here.)

About the Author

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, mind, and body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full-length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels, and suspense thrillers. I conjure characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer
Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies, or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read two books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review, and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker
I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks,” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher
I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog
Next Chapter:

Social Media

Genres, Formats & Languages
I write in the family drama, suspense, and mystery genres. My first two books were Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I wrote a sequel, Hiding Cracked Glass, for my debut novel, and they are known as the Perceptions of Glass series. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with seven books available. Recently I co-wrote a psychological drama, Weathering Old Souls, with Didi Oviatt.
All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, paperback, hardcover, large print paperback, pocket-size paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links
Perceptions of Glass
Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)
Hiding Cracked Glass (October 2020)

Father Figure (April 2018)
Weathering Old Souls (co-written with Didi Oviatt May 2021)

Braxton Campus Mysteries
*Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)
Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)
Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)
Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)
* Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)
Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)
Legally Blind Luck – #7 (April 2021)
Sleigh Bell Tower – #8 (December 2021)

Amazon Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter

Hiding Cracked Glass

Father Figure

Academic Curveball

Broken Heart Attack

Flower Power Trip

Mistaken Identity Crisis

Haunted House Ghost

Frozen Stiff Drink

Legally Blind Luck

James, you are a powerhouse and I am honored to have you as my guest. Congratulations on your new release coming up. If you were any closer, I would have invited you to the TV station where I produce my shows and put on a small production for one of your books.


I feel intimidated by James, please allow me to do a small advertisement of my books.

Books by Author Valentina Cirasola

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. 

Get a copy of her books here:
Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Autumn With An Author: Eleyne-Mari Sharp

Today, there is no one better than author Eleyne-Mari Sharp I want to introduce you to. She is an expert on colors, lives in colors, teaches colors and breathe colors. She has been an inspiration to me ever since I met her. Her novels talk about colorful experiences, I will let her say the rest.

Author Eleyne-Mari Sharp

  1. You are a certified color therapist, please explain how a holistic color treatment brings balance and health to mind and body.

I always say ‘if you don’t like how you’re feeling, change your colors. And I believe that color is a gift.’

Treating yourself to a color treatment is a smart idea, especially during these chaotic times. It may include all your chakras, which are the spinning wheels of energy within our bodies that we all have, although they are not visible to everyone. Whether you balance your chakras with crystals, irradiation, color breathing, or sound, I can’t emphasize enough how beneficial color is to balance your whole body, mind, and spirit. Color is a gift. It raises our vibrations and helps us feel better.

  1. Do you think colors should be integrated when designing learning areas, such as classrooms, libraries and gymnasium?

Absolutely! And from what I’ve seen in magazines and online, it would seem that many present-day architects and interior designers have embraced this concept. I get so giddy when I see color being used to heal and inspire and I hope it continues.

  1. Is it true that wearing colored glasses daily for a short time can help a person with some kind of impairment? For instance, wearing blue glasses can help a person with autism staying focused longer?

One of my earliest introductions to color therapy was the original Color Therapy Eyewear by Terri Messer and I still use them today. I had purchased a set at Bread and Circus (which later became Whole Foods Market) and I was fascinated by their benefits. Later, the Violet glasses proved a godsend when I contracted Bell’s Palsy in 2003. The doctors really didn’t know what to do for it, except to tell me to rest. So I read as much as I could about holistic medicine and learned that Violet helps with anything to do with the brain and the crown chakra. After nearly three months, I had healed. I wrote about how I used Violet, Green, and Magenta in “Mad About Hue”.

Regarding autism, have you heard of the Irlen Method? About ten years ago when I was hosting Color Healing Radio, one of my guests was Helen Irlen, who created color overlays and glasses for people with learning disabilities and visual dyslexia. Her company, The Irlen Institute, also helps people with autism. While some people may use Blue, Helen told me that her method includes professional testing to ensure the correct color is prescribed for the brain because everyone’s brain is different.

  1. In your book “Mad About Hue: A Memoir in Living Color” you said:
    “Two days after the tragic events of 9/11, I found myself anxious, upset, and desperately in need of the color green.” Why green and not pink for self-love?

At the time, I knew little about the healing power of color as I wouldn’t begin formal training to become a color therapist until five years later. So I listened to my heart and my heart insisted I needed Green. If something tragic occurred today, though, I would seek both Pink and Green as treatment because I have found them to be complementary, like colorful BFFs.

  1. Do you suggest a color or colors to get on the conscious path to change something in our life and finally reach that oneness with the universe and nature?

Oh, I love this question! I definitely recommend Violet for anything of a transformational nature since it helps us forgive and connects us with the Divine. I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but I will say that the colors Violet and Pink play a huge part in my visionary fiction novel, Inn Lak’ech: A Journey to the Realm of Oneness. It’s about a teenage girl’s spiritual ascension and there are many color references in the book, including a special healing vessel called a Kroma. It looks like a boat but it’s actually a floating crystal healing bed that flashes all sorts of color healing rays. I wish I owned one!

  1. We know animals display colors when they want to be chosen as mating partners like peacocks do. Does beauty have a color?

What an interesting question! I think it’s all a matter of perspective, really, because what one person may see as beautiful, the other may see as drab. Normally, the word “beauty” appears to me as a peacock fan of rich gemstone colors like Emerald Green, Blue Topaz, and Deep Magenta Ruby. But I think it’s interesting you chose autumn to debut this blog series, Valentina. It’s my favorite season—I was born and married in October—and it personifies absolute beauty to me. Here in New England, we enjoy the most gorgeous array of coppers, golds, and reds. Sometimes the color is so spectacular that I cry with joy.

  1. I know your favorite color is teal. What do you feel with teal and what does it evoke to you?

Teal is definitely my favorite color, which is frequently mistaken for Turquoise. While they are both a mixture of Blue and Green, Teal is darker. But there’s no denying they are both beautiful colors and I think everyone looks good in them. In fact, most of my clothing is either Teal or Turquoise. And the day I met my husband we were both wearing nearly identical Teal-colored jackets, so I knew I had met my destiny!

I am obsessed with Teal—it’s throughout my house, on our front door; even the mailbox is painted Teal. I’ve decorated our home library with Teal and Copper accents for autumn. When winter comes in December, my color scheme will change to Teal and Purple. Last spring and summer, Teal and Seafoam Green were featured. I’ve never really analyzed my love for Teal, only that it brings me great joy.

  1. Do you use colors and colored stones/crystals when you concentrate on your writing?

All the time! In fact my office is filled with so much color and crystals that I don’t feel like I’m actually working in here—I’m either dreaming or playing. But when I’m writing (which is every day), I always have a piece of Aquamarine or Sodalite on my desk to inspire me. Blue-colored crystals enhance integrity and communication and help prevent writer’s block. I always have Citrine near me, too, because Yellow is good for concentration and I tend to write very early in the morning and late at night, so I need to be alert. If I’m writing something of a fantasy nature, I like to wear my Lavender Quartz pendant. Its soft Violet hue is gorgeous and peaceful and its vibrations make me feel like I’ve been transported to another realm.

I’ve been working on Moonwater Beach and my protagonist takes a trip to Arizona, a place I’ve never visited. For inspiration, I meditate on a large chunk of Mookaite Jasper. Its colors are Deep Red Tan, and Yellow, and it keeps me grounded.

  1. Why do so many people, especially the youngster who might not be aware of the power of colors, keep wearing black and grey?

I used to feel sad for people who never dressed in anything but “lifeless” colors. But when I stopped judging their so-called lack of color education, I learned that not everyone sees or experiences it in the same way. For the people who wear only Black and Grey, this may be their way of trying to fade into the background to protect themselves from the negative energies of the world. Perhaps one day they will be ready to shine their Light, perhaps inspired by a courageous and glowing person like yourself, Valentina, someone who is not afraid to wear colors that are bold and beautiful!

  1. Are you working on something new at this time?

Always—and would you believe I’m working on three writing projects? I’ve written the first draft of a spiritual play and I’m also working on the two sequels to Inn Lak’ech. Of course, I can’t help but include color in each of these projects because (as you know) I’m mad about hue and I never refuse an opportunity to play with color!

  1. In “Mad About Hue,” you wrote that it was probably the closest you will ever get to writing an autobiography. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a memoir about color experiences before. How did that idea come about?

As I launched Aura House School of Color and Light, Color Healing Radio, The Color Channel on YouTube, and the annual Color Therapy Month in March, people kept asking me when I was going to write a color therapy book.

At first, I balked because there are so many in print already and I didn’t feel there was much more to say. But when I got the idea to share my color meditations and exercises, along with my most colorful life experiences, I knew there was a book in the making.

Mad About Hue is a book of transparency, truth, and probably the closest I will ever get to writing an autobiography. Surprisingly, it was much more challenging than when I wrote Inn Lak’ech because you’re reflecting on your own past. You’re the protagonist in this real life story and you have to stay for the entire ride. You can’t pass go. You can’t change the outcome. It’s not fiction. It’s real. And what happened in the book really happened and some of it was painful, so writing it was challenging. But I think, in the end, I managed to show my true colors.

  1. You have been a professional writer for over 40 years. When did you first begin applying color to your writing and why?

After I first began studying color therapy, I wondered how the colors of the rainbow could help express our feelings and expand our creativity. Once I learned how colors relate to our emotions, I came to realize that the colors Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet are powerful tools for writers.

Since color is absorbed through the eyes and the skin, I figured that I could get the same emotional benefits from holding and writing with a colored pen, just as I would from breathing color or wearing a particular color of clothing. I experimented with this concept until my Write-by-Color method was born (now called ‘Rainbow Writing’) and I began offering workshops to adults and children, like ‘Rainbow Crystal Journaling’ and ‘Colors of the Sea.’


Eleyne-Mari Sharp (pronounced “Elaine Marie”) has been a professional writer and writing muse since 1980. She is also a radio show host/producer, book publisher, and the founder of FIRST WRITE, a 24-hour writing marathon that takes place on New Year’s Day.

She is the author of six books, including
Inn Lak’ech: A Journey to the Realm of Oneness,
Seaglass Christmas,
Mad About Hue: A Memoir in Living Color,
Write Awake: A Conscious Path to Creativity and Change.
Her writing is also featured in two anthologies: How I Found the Write Path and Simply Color for Everyday Living.

Sharp was the founder of a national writers organization and has conducted numerous writers conferences and workshops for adults and children. She also organized an annual screenwriters conference, taught screenwriting to children, and has been employed by television shows, advertising agencies, publishing companies, and film festivals.

As the director of Aura House School of Color Healing and Light, Eleyne-Mari founded Color Healing Radio, The Color Channel on YouTube, Color Camp, and the global Color Therapy Month. She created dozens of color meditations and color therapy workshops, including “Colors of the Sea,” “Rainbow Crystal Journaling” and “Rainbow Wellness.”

A certified color therapist, spiritual aromatherapist, jewelry designer, and crystal worker, Sharp lives in Rhode Island with her retired yacht captain husband, Nick, and their feline furbuddies, Tim and Holly.



Eleyne-Mari, I think you beautify the world with your colors, and without a shadow of doubt, I can say you beautify my world. Being born in October like you I know what you mean when you say I choose this season to shine a group of authors like the jewel tones of precious stones. It has been a pleasure learning more about you. From one colorful person to another, I wish you a colorful rest of the Autumn.


Allow me, please to push my books as well.

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here:
Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Autumn With An Author: Rebecca Rosenberg

What’s not to like about champagne? It’s bubbly, it’s happy, it creates an emotion, it’s fun to turn golden grape into a nectar that will never lie, it’s fun to write about it. I think award winning Author Rebecca Rosenberg had a load of fun bringing to light her latest novel “Champagne Widows”. Please welcome her with a sparkly energy.

Author Rebecca Rosenberg
Champagne Widows by Author Rebecca Rosenberg
  1. I was drawn to the title of one of your books “Champagne Widows” a historical fiction based on a woman with a great sense of smell, taking over the men’ world in the production of Champagne. What similitude did you find between your character and women of today who want to be in a man’s profession?

In the 1800’s women were not allowed to own businesses or even property. CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS is the story of Veuve Clicquot, who was tragically made a widow at 27. She did not want to give up the business she had started with her husband. She had no experience or education to make champagne, but read everything she could, and trained under other winemakers. She used her innate intelligence, talent, and perseverance to succeed.

I think women today can do anything they want, and they do it by being educated and using their instincts to succeed in much the same way that Veuve Clicquot does in CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS. For example: my daughter is in the top candidates to be selected for astronaut, a dream she has had since she was three. She’s worked very hard to have the credentials, 30 years of working for her dream. I believe she will make it, despite the obstacles she’s faced.

  1. In your historical fictions “Gold Digger” you focused on a life of a woman. Do women inspire your writing because of the complexity of our emotions and the courage often we display in tough situation?

I like to write about women because their stories have often not been told, and they are worthwhile. When I was growing up, I wondered why history was all about men. My first novel, The Secret Life of Mrs. London was about the wife of Jack London, Charmian London. She wanted to be a writer, but instead, focused on Jack London’s writing, editing, and typing for him and managing his professional and personal needs—until she finds her own voice. I think women learn to do it all, many times at the detriment to their own work.

  1. Would you have liked to be alive in the era of your book “Gold Digger” and married to a dashing bard?
    In GOLD DIGGER, Baby Doe was attracted to Horace Tabor because of his gutsy bravado and the way he turned everything to gold, but his bravado leads to scandal and financial demise. Baby Doe Tabor’s love of Horace Tabor resulted in a scandalous reputation and great loneliness and poverty. I love finding out about these women’s struggles and how they deal with it. With Champagne Widows, Veuve Clicquot, wanted to run a champagne house. But to do that, she could not be married again. She had to sacrifice love to own her winery. She must have felt so alone.
  2. The goal of historical books is to capture time, customs, fashion, colors, way of thinking etc. of a specific era to allow the modern readers to get immersed in an era that will never come back. Did you strive to stay historically accurate, or did you dramatize events/people?

I always strive to be historically accurate in terms of details, customs, activities, and beliefs that were lived in that particular era. But, as a writer, you do not know what people said to each other and what they were thinking. You need to really think about what the evidence says about the character, and interpret that through their language, actions, and intentions.

  1. Are your reasons for writing pure pleasure, a need to keep history alive, or to say with a book what you can’t say out loud and stir emotions?

I love to write about fascinating women who haven’t been given a voice. These women have gone through challenges that we all face: In CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS, Veuve Clicquot battled pandemics, mental illness, wars, and sexism. Sounds like challenges we have all faced the past couple of years, doesn’t it?

  1. Did you discover something new about yourself while creating your books?
    I have discovered the joy of making subconscious connections within the storyline, or between characters, showing that love is not perfect. I have discovered an unquenchable desire to uncover little known facts of life in different eras and bring them alive for people.
  2. What are your quirks and do they show in your books?
    I have discovered a hidden sense of humor. I have never been funny, but I always have a funny character. I really enjoy that sense of humor coming out that I did not know I possess!
  3. Some authors can publish books every month. How long does it take you before you can say your book is finished?
    The research takes a long time and continues throughout writing the book. CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS took me five years. GOLD DIGGER took five years. THE SECRET OF MRS. LONDON took two. I do about thirty rewrites before the book is finished.
  4. If you would read one of your books years later, would you still like it the way you wrote, or would you change something and republish it?
    I am sure I would change the book a little because I have changed as a writer. But I probably would leave the stories basically the same, because I had a point to make with the story.
  5. Any new books on the horizon?
    I am half finished with the second CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS, about Madame Pommery, of Pommery champagne fame. She has a completely different story than Barbe-Nicole Clicquot. Madame Pommery’s husband died as he was ready to retire, leaving her a single parent with two children and no way to support her family.

I’m also writing a sequel to GOLD DIGGER, about Baby Doe Tabor’s daughter, SILVER DOLLAR, who tippled precariously between stardom, mental illness, poverty, and religious fervor.

Rebecca Rosenberg Bio:
Rebecca Rosenberg is a champagne geek, lavender farmer, and award-winning novelist. Rebecca first fell in love with methode champenoise in Sonoma Valley, California, where she lives. Over decades of delicious research, she has explored the wine cellars of France, Spain, Italy, and California in search of fine champagne. When Rebecca discovered the real-life stories of the Champagne Widows of France, she knew she’d dedicate years to telling the stories of these remarkable women who made champagne the worldwide phenomenon it is today. Rebecca is a champagne historian, tour guide, and champagne cocktail expert for Breathless Wines. Other award-winning novels include The Secret Life of Mrs. London and Gold Digger, the Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor.


“This effervescent historical novel paints a richly detailed portrait of the enterprising Veuve Clicquot. The twinned plots of Clicquot and Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise and fall are filled with detail that give life to this far-off time. The prose is light, yet detailed, and peppered with moments of wry humor. Rosenberg’s characterization of Napoleon is well-crafted and give his character new life. Clicquot’s character is charming, and readers will love getting to know her. Rosenberg has a superb eye for blending humor with drama.” ~Publisher’s Weekly BookLife Prize.

 “For anyone who loves champagne, a must-read novel about Veuve Clicquot.” 
~ Judithe Little, best-selling author of The Chanel Sisters. “The sun-drenched vineyards of France, a real-life heroine who against all odds refuses to give up her dreams… and champagne. What’s not to love? And that’s just what Rebecca Rosenberg delivers in Champagne Widows. Barbe-Nicole Clicquot was a woman ahead of her time, a fascinating blend of ingenuity, heart, and sheer tenacity, with a nose for wine and a head for business. A 19th century widow who built an empire as war raged all around her. Note: This richly woven tale is best savored slowly, though with all delicious things, it won’t be easy.” 
~ Barbara Davis, best-selling author of The Last of the Moon Girls.

Rebecca Rosenberg, Novelist
Join my mailing list at to stay tuned to my upcoming novels!
Amazon – Champagne Widows
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Goodreads – Champagne Widows

This sounds very exciting, Rebecca, I can’t wait to read your new novel. I live in the Bay Area, it would be nice if I could meet you when I will come to visit Sonoma.

Please allow me to occupy a small space with my books, available on Amazon and Barnes&Noble.

Books by Author Valentina Cirasola

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Autumn With An Author: Didi Oviatt

I would like to introduce Didi Oviatt, a versatile, prolific author who often writes with the hands of another author and produces brilliant books. She is an upbeat person and although I have never met her, I feel to have known her for awhile. This interview turned out to be an alive conversation between her and James Cudney IV. She writes about multi-genre and I let her say the rest.

Books by Didi Oviatt
  • You wrote a mystery book with four hands together with Author James J. Cudney. Was your compositional method much in relation to your respective backgrounds and critical aims, or did you have to adapt to James’s style and vice versa.
    Ultimately, a mutual respect for views and likeness in opinions and culture is a must. Working with Jay has been so much fun!  I’ve co-written before in an ongoing interactive short story anthology, The Suspenseful Collection, and the technique that Kim Knight and I shared  couldn’t have been any more different than the technique that Jay and I ran with.
    With Kim — we passed our work back and forth, making clear distinctions on when one of us would stop writing and the other would start. It worked out wonderfully with the short story concept we were after.
    With Jay — we took a completely different approach. We wanted our sweet little bookish child, Weathering Old Souls, to be seamless from cover to cover – without giving away to our readers who wrote what. His style is, how do you say it, more intelligent? Lol… All the while my writing style is a bit simpler and tends to lean on the emotional side. So, we went in with a clear agreement that it was completely OK for either of us to add to, delete and/or alter whatever the other had written. Although neither of us ever actually deleted anything the other wrote, we found ourselves elaborating and adding on to one another’s stuff in a way that just worked. One of us would produce a good five to ten pages and then the other would transform that into sometimes double the content before writing another five to ten to send back. From here, the other of us would do the exact same thing with the freshly written pages… and so on. In a way, you could say that we adapted to and complemented each other’s work.  
    JJC: Didi said it all… and I’m not entirely sure I agree that my writing is more intelligent! I tend to go for those shocking connections and intricate clues, so maybe I might agree on that element… but Didi also sells herself short on the emotional aspect. Truly, when she revised scenes I wrote, I couldn’t believe the leaps and bounds they took. I’m entirely about plot and setting, but she brings characters to life with the details that make someone able to connect. And the descriptions of how a person’s actions mimic reality were so spot on, I had to re-read some of her stuff just to keep on absorbing the many different levels. It was like this perfect symbiosis during the 6 months we wrote the book. We had a rough outline, but the details in between were completely up to each person, and like Didi mentioned, we’d change some lines in each other’s work or move things around, but we’d hardly ever delete what was written. We deleted at the end when we had duplications or stuff that no longer made sense, but that was all.

Weathering Old Soul by Authors James Cudney and Didi Oviatt

  • Who came up with the plot of “Weathering Old Soul” and its characters?
    I’ve got to give Jay credit for the original concept 100%. He actually came to me with a few different ideas on a colab possibility, and I fell in love with past life regression ideas right out the gate. He was the king of organization and timelines too. We came up with each character and their backstories together, bouncing ideas off of one another almost daily until we were ready to dive into the manuscript. Putting together the plot and outlines were a breeze, I absolutely love writing with Jay. 
    JJC – I am a bit of an organizational freak. It’s my day job blending into my writing job. Thinking back, there were times when we’d have some ideas for a scene, but Didi’s previous scene ending was left unfinished (purposely). We did that to each other sometimes to keep us on our toes, but also to let creativity shine. If I had 80% of the scene worked out, but I couldn’t decide on a transition, Didi swept in and just carried it forward through til the next chapter. And I’d read her work, cry a bunch, and be inspired for what came next.
  • In psychology there is a concept of personality types based on psychological preferences, one of them is extroversion and introversion. Did your writing partner compliment you?
    In every way he did!  I like to think of myself as an ambivert. It’s like a mix between the two. I go in waves and phases – I’m moody, and change from day to day. I could easily hole up in my house for weeks, not speak to a soul and be perfectly content. Yet, I could also get out and mingle on a regular basis, and be happy and confident with this lifestyle too. Despite the occasional anxiety I’m able to adapt to circumstances and crowds. In writing Abigail’s story – Jay and I were able to work out a comfortable pace and write around each of our schedules and personal lives very smoothly. We accomplished a wonderful pace and encouraged one another creatively so I never felt rushed or pressured. With a consistent upbeat and uplifting approach, writing with Jay was a wonderful blend of laid back and accomplished.
  • Writing with four hands was an experience you would repeat?
    I feel like this is a loaded question lol. There’s a handful of authors that have reached out and asked, a couple of whom I’m considering a project with. I absolutely love writing with other talented authors and will most certainly do it again. The question is more of who and when. I have a few projects started on my own that I’ve promised myself to commit to first. I’m also picky. I’ll choose my next writing partner just as carefully as before. Both Kim and James are wonderful writers that I was extremely familiar with their work as well as personalities before we ever started creating as a team. I’d read their books and interacted with them for quite some time before making the decision to write together. Co-writing is a big commitment and you want to be absolutely certain that the partnership will work. 
  • Do you want each of your thriller books to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
    You know it’s funny, I really enjoy reading books that tie in with one another. My favorite writer who does this is L.J. Shen. I love how her Sinners of Saint books can each be read as a stand alone if you’d like, yet they all line up so nicely together too. Yet, in writing, I do best with stand alones that are each their own separate story and individual characters. Maybe it’s a commitment problem??? scratches head
  • Do you embed secrets in your thriller books?
    Every. Single. One.  
  • Do you dream about your characters, do they talk to you and/or suggest the next move?
    Some have and some haven’t come to me in dreams. Ahnia, the MC in Justice for Belle is one that I had a lot of dreams about. Which is weird and actually kind of worries me a little because her character was a killer in her sleep… That epiphany aside, I will say that most of my inspired thoughts have happened in the shower. Not sure how that works out or why. But something about the relaxing hot water and the sounds of the shower really just yanks the creative energy around, pulling it front and center in mind!     
  • Having a big ego – does hurt or help a writer?
    Oh that’s a great question!!  I don’t see it affecting the actual writing but when it comes to marketing and interacting with fellow authors I think it’s extremely important to stay humble and grounded.  A big ego isn’t a good thing to have in any aspect of life – writing included.
  • You have two kids, how do you manage your writing needs with their needs?
    I’m not going to lie, it’s hard!!  My son is autistic and requires a lot of time and attention. My daughter is so extremely demanding, she’s even more work than him. They are my priority in every way and I’d stop writing in a heartbeat if I felt it was taking away from them in any way. They are my whole world. Usually what I do is pull up my document(s) daily and just leave it all open. I’ll sit down for 10 minutes to an hour here and there as I can. I set goals and play it by ear every single day. I try not to be too hard on myself when I fall behind and remind myself of all the things they’ve accomplished or that we’ve accomplished together as a family instead of dwelling on their effects on my writing time.
  • Do you have unpublished books in your computer, that particular idea you can’t get to it?
    HA!  Several! I’m not above tucking manuscripts away for a year or two and then completely flipping them into a different story when I finally decide to open them back up.
    JJC – This is totally where Didi and I differ in approach. I’m too impatient. Once it’s written, I need it gone from my to do list! LOL I admire how much she has written and held for the future – she probably has the Best Seller hidden for the right time.
  • In this cancel culture we are living these days, do you see classical publications disappearing?
    I don’t. I feel like there are way too many literary lovers ready and willing to fight for the conservation of classics whether certain groups disagree with them or not. It’s important to keep history alive, and it’s also impossible to rid the world of all the works that have already been published. It saddens me to see books taken off the shelves, but it also gives me hope that those who already own such books will take care of them and conserve them until culture changes again and eventually brings them back. I’m a strong believer that if you don’t like something just stay away from it without taking it from people who do in fact appreciate the history in it.  It is possible to stay true to yourself without forcing your opinions on others who are only trying to stay true to themselves as well.
    JJC – Love this answer!!! Everyone needs to understand the time in which something was written. Doesn’t make it right, but it does help you to understand the hows and whys, as well as determine what to do to change for the future.

    Author BIO:
    Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Search for Maylee, Justice for Belle, Aggravated Momentum, and Sketch, along with multiple short story collections. She’s collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology, The Suspenseful Collection. Most recently, she published her first romance novella titled Skinny Dippin’ which was originally released as a part of the highly appraised Anthology, Sinners and Saints. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid-back outdoorsy lifestyle. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, and sun-bathing in the desert heat play an important part of her day to day lifestyle.
    Where to find Didi:

Listen to Didi Oviatt’s books on Audible:

Books by Didi Oviatt

Well, Didi, this interview with Jay was totally unexpected, I got two birds with one stone. I enjoyed reading and learning more about you. Some people discover to have a powerful voice under the running water of the shower, you get your best ideas for your books, therefore, if it helps you writing more books, just don’t stop taking showers. 😂

I feel intimidated and honored by these two giants, please allow me to place my books here with theirs.

Books by Valentina Cirasola

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Autumn With An Author: Kathleen Gonzalez

I have loved Venice since the beginning of my time, in fact, with all the lives I lived, I know to have been there in the 1700s, therefore anyone who writes about Venice becomes my hero instantly. I met author Kathleen Gonzalez from San Jose, CA, many years ago though the Little Italy organization I am a member of. Her writing about Venice takes me back to so many familiar places, emotions and experiences. I will let her tell the story.

Kathleen Gonzalez – Photo credit: Marie Ohanesian Nardin
  1. Your latest novel “A Beautiful Woman In Venice” portrays Venetian women from the Middle Ages to the end of the Republic. Previously you wrote other books about Venice. Where did the love of Venice come from?

I first fell in love with Venice when I visited it with my students in 1996. Within minutes of seeing the Grand Canal and the palaces, I was smitten and felt compelled to return that summer. That began a love affair with the city, and I return nearly every year. When I can’t be in Venice, I read about it, which led me to also write about it and its people and history. I simply can’t get enough of this unique city and its rich history.  

A Beautiful Woman in Venice – Kathleen Gonzalez

2. Did you do extensive research about Venice?

Yes, I first researched gondolas and gondoliers, and then delved into the writings and history surrounding Giacomo Casanova. I eventually wrote a book about sites in Venice that Casanova visited–for meals, trysts, gambling, spying, conversation, and other aspects of his life. 

After that book, I delved into the stories of Venetian women and their remarkable lives–stories that I want to highlight and share with others. For A Beautiful Woman in Venice, there weren’t many books about the women I was studying, but I found articles, chapters, letters, artwork—sometimes only in Italian, which took me more time to read. I used over 250 sources and reached out to a number of other experts who helped me find the details I needed.

Nowadays I’m learning more about artisans, glass and beads, festivals, the ecosystem–basically, it never ends!

3. Do you think there is a common thread between the Venetian women of a different era and the women in the world of today? If yes, what issues women are still battling?

What a great question! Venetian women were often expected to stay at home, raise the children, and not have much agency in their lives. They deferred to men’s needs and wishes, or stepped aside so that men could take the limelight. Many women today still face this pressure, though things are changing. So many Venetian women writers, composers, and thinkers weren’t given credit for their ideas; men created the narrative that a woman couldn’t have done that work, and they tried to discredit the women or ruin their reputations. While this blatant chauvinism isn’t so prevalent, similar treatment of women’s ideas and work still shows up. 

4. What would you say to Giacomo Casanova if you met him today?

I’m sure I would be completely tongue-tied! I’d probably run away, afraid that he’d try to seduce me away from my wonderful husband or that he’d find my intellect not up to his standards. He loved smart women. But if I did manage to say anything, I’d probably ask him what he was most proud of—One of his writings? The French Lottery? Friendships he developed? The pleasure he gave others? His memoirs weren’t published till long after his death; I’d like to know what he thinks of the legacy he and his History of My Life have left, both the false stereotypes and the contributions to our understanding of the eighteenth century. 

I asked this question of my blog readers, and they offered the following: “Who was your most influential friend?” “What would you change about your life or what would you have done differently?” “What experience stands out the most to you?”

Seductive Venice In Casanova’s Footsteps

5. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym, as Bernardo Guardi did, impersonating a man writer in the film Casanova, but in reality Bernardo Guardi was a woman?

Haha! No, I’m proud of my past work and happy to use my real name. My first published story was about my father and his cousins, and I felt so proud when it was accepted for publication in an anthology of Latina writers. And I love to support other writers, male and female, and be a role model or inspiration if possible (though my success is quite modest). I’ve nothing to hide.

6. What are the ethics of writing about historical figures?

This is tricky. Let me give you an example. When I first wrote Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps, I included an anecdote about his brief affair Casanova had with Giustiniana Wynne. The story is comical, and I approached it with a light tone. However, I later did extensive research into Giustiniana Wynne’s life and discovered that she was a serious scholar credited by many with initiating a genre known as anthropological fiction. I realized that my earlier writing about her didn’t give her due credit and may have given readers an unfair image of her value and contributions. Since then, I’ve really tried to be faithful and respectful to the person’s legacy; where I don’t know their motivations or emotions or interior life, I try to step back as a writer and leave some blanks rather than make up something that I don’t know to be true. I have great respect for the people I write about, and I hope that comes across in my biographies. 

7. Do people in Italy know you wrote a few books about Venice?

Yes, I’m fortunate to have a publisher in Venice, Giovanni DiStefano, the owner of Supernova Edizioni. He has published my Casanova book, which is titled there as Casanova’s Venice: A Walking Guide and is also available in Italian, translated by my friends Tiziana Businaro and Adriano Contini. Supernova also published A Beautiful Woman in Venice and a short book about one of the women, the Jewish scholar Sarra Copia Sulam. My last two anthologies, First Spritz Is Free: Confessions of Venice Addicts, and Venice Rising: Aqua Granda, Pandemic, Rebirth, have been promoted in Venice on social media, the radio, and other media, and the proceeds are donated to grassroots organizations that preserve Venetian culture and the environment. Most of the authors of these two books are Venetians, so they have shared the books widely. I may not be on a bestseller list, but I’m very happy that my work is shared and has been used by other creators; for example, my research on Venetian women glassmakers was incorporated into a short play performed at a summer festival. Book sales would be wonderful, but even more gratifying is knowing that my work is being used by others and helps people learn more about the people and stories behind my favorite city.

8. Do you like to write about romance?

Romance is not a particular focus of my writing. I don’t feel equipped to write fiction, and romance is usually only a side story in most of the research I do. That being said, Casanova was an expert at romancing women! So I do have a little practice trying to depict his love affairs and encounters. 

9. How long does it take you to write a book?

This depends on so many factors. I have a full-time job teaching high school, so I have to fit in writing on school breaks or evenings. My first book took me about eight years because I had no idea what I was doing and spent a lot of time with an excellent writing group finding my way and revising extensively. Writing my Casanova guidebook necessitated a trip to Venice to write the walking directions and completing some of the research, plus I relied heavily on other Casanovists to share resources and knowledge, so that stretched out the timeline. I similarly reached out to many experts when writing A Beautiful Woman in Venice, and that sort of communication adds a lot of time to the process. That being said, though, Beautiful Woman took about two years. I completed it in lightning speed considering how much research went into it. 

10. Do you have many unpublished books? If not, what are your plans for the future?

I have a lot of ideas, but nothing that’s just sitting in a drawer waiting to be published. I’m currently doing a series of blog interviews with Venetian artisans that I met this summer. I’m also slowly working on a second edition of Beautiful Woman, adding three more chapters. Beyond that, I’m considering a book of vintage postcards that feature gondolas and messages to and from people in many countries, in many languages. Does that sound like something people would want to buy? For many years, I’ve also gathered ideas for a book of historical tidbits; I won’t say anything more specific so no one can steal the idea! I also have a series of blog posts on Casanova sites in Rome, which some day may become a book. 

Author Biography

Kathleen Ann Gonzalez has published with various periodicals and on the Internet and has stories in three anthologies. She has independently-published six books: A Beautiful Woman in Venice, Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps, Free Gondola Ride, A Small Candle, First Spritz Is Free: Confessions of Venice Addicts, and Venice Rising: Aqua Granda, Pandemic Rebirth. She sells through bookstores, websites, promotional events, and in Venice, Italy, with Supernova Edizioni, who also published her book A Living Memory: Immortality for Sarra Copia Sulam.

For marketing purposes, she keeps five websites, Facebook and Linkedin pages, a YouTube channel, and a WordPress blog and presents at local bookstores or community events. She contributed to a collaborative book about teaching English, published by Pearson in 2013. Gonzalez was quoted in Smithosonian magazine and by the BBC for her Casanova research and published articles on Casanova in l’Intermediaire des Casanovistes and Casanoviana. Her research on Casanova has also been used in a French TV documentary, a 2017 biography, the art exhibit “Casanova: The Seduction of Europe,” all about Casanova’s life, and in a local performance about women glassmakers in Venice. Author Dianne Hales has also incorporated Gonzalez’s work into her own books. As an English teacher, Kathleen Ann Gonzalez has won various awards and recognition for her work. After 20 years at public schools, she now teaches at the Woodside Priory School in Portola Valley, California. Passionate about travel, Gonzalez finds any excuse to hop on an airplane, particularly to Venice. More details about her books are available at

Author website:

A Beautiful Woman in Venice

Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps

My Blog Seductive Venice



Allow me a small presentation of my books.

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Autumn With An Author : Robbie Cheadle

I would like to introduce a multi-talented Author Robbie Cheadle from South Africa. She often writes with her son and participates to anthologies. Her talents show up in various expressions of life, I will let her telling the rest.

Books by Roberta Cheadle

  1. Words have power. When did you realize you could use the power of words in your own book to tell people your opinion, feelings, ideas or fantasy?

I have always been a keen reader. I started reading at the fairly young age of four years old and have never stopped. I always had a leaning towards books that were dark and realistic in their messaging, for example, at ten I read The Stand by Stephen King, about a pandemic that runs rampant and leaves only a handful of surviving humans of varying natures, demographics, and backgrounds.

To answer your question, because of my reading I think an understanding of the power of words was intuitive for me. I always liked to write and wrote, what I thought at the time, were beautiful descriptive poems and words from the age of twelve. In my first year out of school (when I was eighteen) I attempted to write my first book. I never finished it, but I do still have that early attempt at writing.

When my children were young, I started writing poems to express my ideas and emotions about parenting and demonstrate my strength of feeling for my family. My poetry evolved over time and I also wrote about other situations and experiences that evoke strong emotions in me. Although I do share it and publish it, my poetry is very personal.

My historical writing is driven by my desire to share history in an interesting and accessible way so that people can remember the horrors and wars of the past and how they impacted on societies. My hope is that people will learn by remembering the past.


  1. Your latest publication is a collection of unusual poems called “Behind Closed Doors”.
    Was your intention to arouse strong emotions in the readers with your poems?

My intention with Behind Closed Doors was to create a record of my thoughts and experiences about a few subjects that disturb and distress me. How people feel about climate change, retrenchments, restructurings, asset stripping of companies, death and other upsetting topics are often hidden by the masks we present to the world. We keep our thoughts and emotions shut up ‘behind closed doors.’

I also wanted to share my Covid-19 and lockdown cakes project which were linked to some darker limericks about my personal experiences during this time.

These poems and artworks are expressions of my reactions and emotions. I hope other people will relate to them and know they are not alone.

  1.  Do your poems exhibit a rhythmical structure?

Other than syllabic poems, my poetry is intended to have a rhythmic structure. This is one reason I like to read my poetry on my YouTube Channel. I always pleases me greatly when readers comment on the rhythm of a particular poem because they I know they ‘got it’.

  1. You participated in a few anthologies and wrote a few books of your own.
    How did you select the names of your characters?

Often, the character appears in my head with a name. This was the case for Margaret from Through the Nethergate as well as Michelle and Tom from A Ghost and His Gold. My latest characters in my work in progress, The Soldier and the Radium Girl, are called Kate and Jake. They also ‘came’ with names.

I write a lot of historical fiction, so there are real people included in my stories and I don’t change their names. The names of the Boer characters in A Ghost and His Gold were trickier for me. Suné and Renette are names I ‘borrowed’ from work colleagues. I told them about it, and they were pleased I was using their names in my book. The other names are ‘common’ local names and originate from people I know or have known at some point in my life.

My WIP about climate change and the fourth industrial revolution is more international so I had to google names for my non-European characters. I just looked up newspaper articles and ‘borrowed’ the names of the journalists and people mentioned in the articles. I mix and match the first names and surnames.

I am not like some writers who don’t chose character names until the end of their book. My characters must have names as they become real people in my head and on paper.


  1. One of your books published in Jan.2021 “A Ghost and His Gold” is about a paranormal phenomenon of three phantoms who died during the Anglo Boer War. It seems a bit scary/violent to me. After you finish writing a particular disturbing scene, do you get scared or do you have visions of your characters being in the room with you?

I have been reading dark fiction and true crime fiction since I was ten. I devoured Stephen King’s earlier novels and read books like Helter Skelter about the Manson murders while I was in junior school. As an adult, I gravitate towards books about war and the paranormal, so this is my literary diet.

Writing war or dark scenes can be mentally exhausting as I get involved with the scenes, but they do not disturb me afterwards.

The research for my climate change book got me down a little, so I’m taking a break from it to write a section of The Soldier and the Radium Girl. What is happening in our world is very frightening and writing about a world plagued by chaos, death, pandemics, and devastation when it is happening all around you, is quite different to writing about events that happened years ago.

  1. What kind of research did you do for this book, if any?

I do a huge amount of research for my historical books and stories. For A Ghost and His Gold, I used about thirty different resources to piece together my account of the Second Anglo Boer War through the eyes of my three ghosts, Pieter, Robert, and Estelle. I used a variety of documents from diaries to official historical records and I even read fiction books written during this period to get a feel for the food, clothing, and way of life.

I also visited a couple of museums in South Africa dedicated to Boer history and their lifestyle during the ‘treks’.

My resources are listed at the back of the book.

  1. What was your hardest scene or situation to write, if any?

The hardest scene for me to write was at the end when Estelle needed to confront her past and decide on her future path – would she complete her acts of revenge or would she choose a different path.

Estelle is a poltergeist and very bitter and angry, but I wanted the story to end well with all the ghosts achieving redemption. I had to find a way of allowing her to reach a redemption decision while demonstrating an internal struggle of significance. It wouldn’t suit her character if she just capitulated and forgave the people who had harmed her during her difficult life. She also had a vendetta against men that rape and deceive and this also had to be resolved.

This is a short extract from this particular scene in the book:

“The door bursts open. Estelle explodes into the room, eyes blazing, and with some object held out in front of her.

Michelle strains to make out what the object is, it looks like a smart phone. As she watches a mass of phosphorescence bursts from the smart phone, twinkling in the dimness like stars.

A sharp sour smell fills the air. It is the smell of fear as adrenaline filled sweat leaches from the pores of the watching group. The room comes alive with shadows.

The shadows of women of all shapes, sizes and ethnic creeds. Women wearing the brightly coloured traditional colours and designs of Africa; Hindu women wearing saris; Muslim women wearing hijabs or burkas; European women wearing Victorian clothing; American women wearing jeans and T-shirts. The women have one common feature, their baleful and glittering eyes.

The shadows multiply into thousands. They swarm everywhere. Some have scarred faces and twisted bodies, but most are beautiful with the glowing good looks of youth.

Estelle starts to chant, “Me too, me too,” and the shadows catch the refrain. The words howl around the room like a strong wind. A loud crack fills the air, and the group, who are all still seated, launch themselves instinctively backwards.

In front of their horrified eyes, the floor splits open from the door, right across the room to the window. The crevice widens and a noxious smell rises from its steaming depths. It is a horrendous smell, the smell of suffering, death, corruption, and blood overlaid with the odour of burning and charred bodies.

Estelle’s eyes fix on Tom. “I’ve come for your soul, Tom. You and I will both pay for our crimes by burning eternally in the fires of hell.””

Chocolate Land Characters
  1. You also wrote books with one of your kids and bake some of the recipes in your books. How did your kid get involved writing books with you, his mom.    

Michael is an imaginative boy who loved to be read too. When it came to learning to read himself, he struggled, and we discovered he had an auditory processing learning barrier. The Sir Chocolate books came about because I wanted to find a fun way to get Michael to read and write himself. He came up with the concept for Chocolate Land and the edible characters Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet who go around their world putting wrong things right.

We made up the stories together and I converted them into rhyming verse which Michael wrote out in a book form. Initially, Michael also drew the illustrations for the books. He is artistic.

Later, when we were encouraged by a friend to submit these stories to a publisher, we added the recipes and the fondant, sweet, and cake artworks. My idea was that our Sir Chocolate Book series would be a fun interactive series for caregivers and children where they could read the stories and make the characters and recipes together as a family activity.

Michael used to enjoy fondant art and some of his art is in the earlier books. He loves to develop new recipes with me and to cook with either me, my mom, or my husband.

  1. Do you find writing with your kid exhausting or not at all?

No, it wasn’t difficult. We would just see something that triggered an idea and then we would chat about it and make up a story about it. I did the rhyming verse and then read it to Michael to see if he liked it. If we had other children visiting, they would also jump in with ideas. We had a lot of fun writing these stories.

  1. What are your writing plans for the future with or without your kid?

Michael and I are just finishing a new Sir Chocolate book called Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog. This should be published in early December this year. We are also working on a Haunted Halloween Holiday picture book for children.

From an older children perspective, mom and I are working on After the Bombs Fell, a sequel to While the Bombs Fell, and I am working on my own semi memoir about my girlhood called The Girl Who Loved Dolls.

I am also working on my climate change book called The Creeping Change and The Soldier and the Radium Girl. Another interesting idea struck me yesterday so I could soon have five WIPs.


  1. If you wanted to leave a message for posterity in one of your books what would it be? 

It’s quite difficult for me to limit that to just one book. My historical paranormal novels are aimed at ensuring history is remembered and that young people learn from the many mistakes from our collective past.

My climate change book takes our current situation and extrapolates it forward into a dystopian future where our lifestyles are greatly changed due to global warming, technology and its implications for the future of jobs, and on-going virus variants caused by mutations. This book is a warning as to the worst-case outcome if serious changes are not made to the way the world currently works.

Thank you, Valentina, for inviting me to be your guest. I enjoyed answering your questions very much.

Robbie, you are a fascinating woman, I enjoyed having you as my guest, and learned a lot about you.

Roberta Eaton Cheadle author biography

Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.
Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has 2 published novels, Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy, and A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.
Roberta has 9 children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.
Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.
Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written 7 publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.

Purchase Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s books

TSL Books (paperback) (ebook)

A Ghost and His Gold:

Through the Nethergate:

Amazon US –

Follow Roberta Eaton Cheadle at:


Please allow me a brief and small advertisement of my books.

Valentina’s Books on Amazon and B&N

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer/consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Her books are available in paperback and kindle on Amazon and B&N

Autumn With An Author: Teagan Geneviene

Today, my guest is an author from New Mexico with a vivid imagination. She writes fantasy books for adults. When I saw her on Google+ I was attracted to her unusual name Teagan Riordáin Geneviene and the striking cover of the book she was writing “The Delta Pearl”. The sepia tone of the cover and the entire imagery made me fantasize being on the river boat and immediately took me back to that Jazz era I like so much. People say don’t judge a book by the cover…
I let Teagan speak.

Author Teagan Riordain Geveviene

1. Your last publication is a series of novelettes called “Dead of Winter” that you started to publish monthly in Jan.2021. What is the series about and what inspired you to write it? Will it be over in December 2021?  

I’m not certain of the end date for the monthly publications.  I expect it to finish either this December or in January of 2020.

Dead of Winter is a high fantasy, published monthly in novelette-sized installments.  It takes place in a world that resembles some lands in the past of our own world.  The heroine, Emlyn, is a 12-year-old girl who sees and hears spirits.

The religious fanatics who took over Emlyn’s homeland say she is an abomination. She escapes, and is taken in by travelers belonging to the Deae Matres — a society of intelligent women who travel the world, seeking out and preserving knowledge.

Meanwhile, Emlyn’s encounters with spirits become more frequent, because the Veil, which separates the world of the living from the realm of the dead has become dangerously thin.  As the Veil deteriorates, chaos ensues when the dead begin to cross into the living world.  I invite everyone to Journey with Emlyn as she explores her world in Dead of Winter.

Dead Of Winter Novelettes by Author Teagan Riordain Geveviene

2. How did you select the names of your characters for this series?

I admit that I can obsess about names.  The importance of name meanings goes unnoticed in our modern world.  As I researched the real-world places and mythologies that were at the core of my various inspirations for the story, I also researched names from those areas – and their meanings.  For instance, the character “Osabide” in addition to being a teacher and mentor to the young heroine, used to be a healer.  One meaning for the name Osabide is healer.

3. What was your hardest scene or situation to write, if any?

There were two particular scenes that were difficult, but for differing reasons.  Journey 6, The Fluting Fell, includes the origin scene of a supernatural character.  That involved a brutal assault.  Through an accidental shared dream-memory, 12 year-old Emlyn experiences the assault as if she had been there.  As a survivor of abuse, I put a huge amount of thought into how to handle and word that scene.

Another challenge was the two-prong climax of the story.  In the part dealing with the arch villain, my original ending is unfittingly gruesome for the rest of the story.  So, a task ahead of me is rewriting that climatic scene.  I don’t want it to be that much more violent than the overall story.

4. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Hmmm...  That’s a great question, Valentina.  Haha, I hope not.  Certainly not in Dead of Winter.  In some stories I make references to things that not everyone would get.  However, those are not anything that would impact whether or not they understand the story.  For instance, in Hullaba Lulu, a Diesel-punk Adventure, I give a nod to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”  Douglas Adams fans would pickup on it right away, and laugh.  People who are unfamiliar with that classic would just think it was more Lulu zaniness.

5. What kind of research did you do for this series, if any?

Some people think fantasy stories don’t need to be researched.  Me, I research intensely for every story.  I did volumes of research for Dead of Winter, from the topography and lay of the land in the UK and European locations that inspired my fictional countries, to the meanings behind place and character names that I created.  There are well over 300 character and place names in the overall manuscript.  That’s why I include a list of characters and places at the end of each volume, which grows as the Journeys progress.

Some leftover research (legends that I didn’t use for Dead of Winter) ended up providing “loose inspiration” for my Atonement, Tennessee urban fantasy stories.  If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a huge research geek!

6. You write mostly fantasy books for adults, how did you come about to write in this style?  

Various genres were my favorite at different points in my life.  High fantasy and urban fantasy became my favorite books to read.  When I eventually took writing seriously, the most frequent “advice to writers” that I found was to write what you know.  I knew that genre best, so that was what I started out writing.  During the past decade I became fond of the may types of “punk” stories (steampunk, diesel-punk, atom-punk, etc.), and I started writing those too.

7. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Seeing the ending.  I’m very much a pantser, writing by the seat of my pants.  It’s very difficult for me to see the ending in advance.

8. Why did you decide to start writing books?

My author bio used to include a bit about how one day, I realized that I had read every book I owned several times, and there was no new book at hand to read.  So, I decided to write one – and I’ve been writing ever since.

9. Most artist like to be creative in their arts and don’t like to market their work. How do you feel about marketing and selling your books? 

Yes, I’m in that group who does not like marketing.  I didn’t even like touching social media.  However, as an independent (indie) writer, it was obvious that I would have to get over it.  That is an ongoing challenge for me.  I wasn’t simply brought up to be modest.  When I was growing up, if it even looked like I was about to say something good about myself, I was cut down harshly.

It makes me feel a little better about blowing my own horn if I can promote others.  That’s one reason why I enjoy featuring people at my blog, when I write my “three things” style of spontaneous serials.  I just started a new one in August.  It’s an “atom punk” fantasy (1940s – 50s for the level of technology) called “The Armadillo Files.”  I publish an episode each weekend, at

10. If you wanted to leave a message for posterity in one of your books what would it be?

I suppose, in a way, I’m taking a cue from Shakespeare with to thine own self be true.  Most of my heroines have to be true to themselves, regardless of the lack of acceptance that might come with it.  Whether they are just a bit different than their friends, or quirky, particularly unusual, they are themselves.  Sure, we all want to be accepted and be part of things.  However, we can’t underestimate the value of our uniqueness.

Valentina, thanks very much for letting me visit with you today.  Any of my books can be found via my Amazon author page.  Here’s a universal link:

It is a pleasure to have you as my guest, Teagan. I always admire your imagination.

I can also be reached through these social media links:



I am a bit like you, Teagan, when it comes to marketing my books, I don’t like to sell, but I must. Allow me to showcase my books. They are on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer/consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She writes about many subjects. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. She has conceived a few new books to be published in the immediate future to which she is working simultaneously. Amazon Author’s Page 

Why everyone should read The Divine Comedy

I studied the Divine Comedy in the middle school in Italy as part of my curriculum. It was required we studied in “vulgar” the old Italian and of course it was difficult. Today, I am very grateful of that kind of quality education.
It is a pleasure to reblog it from an author Ursula Hartlein who read it and appreciate it.

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, despite being over 700 years old, feels so modern and relevant, not like a book tied entirely to the Middle Ages.

Welcome to My Magick Theatre

Beginning on 8 September, Baylor Honors College, in conjunction with five other schools, will kick off100 Days of Dante. The objective is to read one canto a day, until finishing on 17 April (the Catholic and Protestant Easter). Though I just reread the Commedia earlier this year, in the Mark Musa translation, I’m really excited to begin all over again.

I got the much-lauded Durling-Martinez translation of Inferno, which is dual-language and has excellent essays and notes. Though I’m pissed that less than 24 hours after I ordered it, the price dropped by five dollars, to $9.95, and I was unable to be refunded despite it not having shipped yet! I’m keeping an eagle eye on the price of Purgatorio and Paradiso. They’re extraordinarily, unacceptably, ridiculously high ($24 and $33), but if they sink to $15 or lower, I’m jumping on them.

If they remain high…

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