In The Art of Time: A Mother-Daughter Sprezzatura on the Spirit of Time, Martine Therese and her daughter, Martina Franca, invite you into a lush world where time has no limits. Consisting of paintings, meditations and poetry, The Art of Time merges maternal & youthful wisdom into a one-of-a-kind artistic showcase with a powerful message: humanity’s experience can be enhanced by developing our minds into sensual thought.
A gorgeous book to be treasured by everyone from art connoisseurs to children, The Art of Time offers concepts and images that introduce readers to a new—and wonderful—realm of being.
Martine Therese was a practicing Certified Public Accountant when she became pregnant with her daughter, Martina Franca. She decided to leave her accounting job and focus on her daughter instead. The transition, while “brutal,” completely transformed Martine’s life, and opened up a whole new world of possibility.
For Martine, who has been writing poetry all her life, motherhood expanded her creativity, and she finally felt the courage to bring her work to the world. Martine and her daughter discovered a love for painting, and their artwork, combined with Martine’s poetry, form the basis of The Art of Time; A Mother-Daughter Sprezzatura on the Spirit of Time. The book is a token of their shared loves and talents.
Martine and Martina Franca are putting together a follow-up collection on the topic of what it means to be human, exploring the theme of building the potential of humanity. Martina Franca embraces her maternal side on a daily basis, be it with caring for her baby dolls or her puppy, Marcello. She gets a kick out of tailgating with Mom and watching people’s reactions, and playing practical jokes like hiding Daddy’s shampoo bottle, and she loves having conversations. She regularly chills out with Mom during yoga in their special “rainbow room,” a room just for the two of them to recharge. On sunny days, gorgeous rainbows fill the wall of the Rainbow Room, and Martina and Mom bask in those colors—which is why Martina loves infusing her art with rainbows.
From the city of Singapore to working on over twenty Hollywood blockbuster films and TV series such as “The Walking Dead,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Aquaman,” and “War for the Planet of the Apes,” comes one of the first books of its kind in the visual effects (VFX) industry.
With a unique blend of self-help, career strategy, and memoir-like elements, Vicki Lau speaks to the core of what it is like to work behind-the-scenes on some of your favorite Hollywood titles, covering strategies employed in order to maneuver her way into the upper echelons of the industry.
You will learn:
Detailed breakdowns of day-to-day studio activities
How industries and events impact your life and career prospects as a VFX artist
Key strategies and insights on dealing with Hollywood politics
Precise predictions on VFX job displacements and new high-growth skills
Self-clarity on your ambitions in life and what the VFX industry truly offers
Why I Do VFX is a must-have for anyone seriously considering a fulfilling life and career in Hollywood, film, and the arts.
After all, why spend a decade of your life uncovering the truths about this industry when you need only read this book to answer your own question:
Do you really want to do VFX?
Foreword by Leif Einarsson (VFX on “Stuart Little,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming”)
Vicki Lau is a VFX artist/generalist, virtual reality (VR) developer, TEDx speaker, entrepreneur, and educator from Singapore who broke into Hollywood as an outsider. She has worked with over 20 studios and filmmakers on major productions such as AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (Season 4), “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and “Aquaman” and teaches over 80,000 students worldwide.
She is a winner of the WeAreTheCity Rising Stars Editor’s Choice Award and nominated finalist of the WeAreTheCity Rising Stars Global Award for Achievement and WinTrade Award for Women in Tech. Vicki is also a bodybuilder.
In your book you mentioned the term “returnlancers”. Tell us more about this – how did you come up with this idea?
I did officially coin that word in the book, haha. Anyway, returnlancers are basically what one would refer to as “serial freelancers” or people who freelanced at a studio and then return to that studio again (and again) in the future for different project(s).
I’ve personally returnlanced before and this phenomenon is fairly common in VFX – where, after getting a project with Studio A, Studio A may let you go but then call you back months later for a different project. Generally, if you had maintained a good working relationship with that studio, you’ll get future work and projects from that studio – hence, becoming a returnlancer.
Since there wasn’t exactly a term that existed to describe this phenomenon (other than calling them “freelancers who return to that same studio again in the future”), I figured that returnlancers would be a fitting and descriptive term to describe VFX professionals who make a career out of frequenting studios they had worked at previously.
What is your writing schedule?
I generally do my workouts first before writing (just because my gym isn’t open 24 hours) and that would depend on the time I get up. Basically, my writing schedule varies depending on what time I finish my workout and/or if there are any events or meetings I have to attend first before writing. It’s purely based on convenience for the most part – i.e. I don’t believe there is a special hour or time of the day to write (it really depends on what else you have going on and any other things you need to do that has a closing time, for example).
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I am probably too familiar with my writing and quirks to be able to see them as what would be considered as interesting quirks – to me, these quirks are very normal. I suppose I will say that I am very particular with my contractions in my book: if it’s meant to be “I’ll” rather than “I will” because it rolls off better (or has a more or less authoritative tone of voice), then it will be written in the form that fits the context of the sentence best.
Alternatively, I am very particular with my use of the words “always” and “never,” and if I know for a fact that there is even a slight chance that the scenario I am describing could play out differently, I would say “most/less likely” rather than “always/never,” to be very accurate in my statements.
I’ll probably wait till I have more books down to make a call on what my quirk(s) could potentially be, but there you go.
What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
Getting pulled away from writing to do other tasks or attend meetings/events and the like, for sure. The process of writing and getting the book published isn’t as much of a challenge as it was to be called away to tend to other types of work I had to do, et cetera.
Also, waiting on platforms to complete their part of the job (for example, approving or reviewing a book/audiobook) was a challenge. I am not a fan of long wait times.
What is the last great book you’ve read?
Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve read a book I genuinely wanted to read (you know, ignoring the mandatory textbooks you had to read whilst in school) – my schedule simply doesn’t allow me to spend the time to sit and read a book. I suppose then I would say that the last great book I’ve sought after and read was Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil. I believe I read that when I was 20 and it was a copy from the school library. I had even borrowed a bunch of Nietzsche’s books not for the assignment but because I’ve always wanted to read them since I was exposed to his works years prior.
What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
I don’t actually remember – mainly because after that supposedly courageous thing was done, I just move on to the next thing. I suppose if I had to pick one that I can recall, it has got to be asking a guy I had a crush on out and then later asking to kiss him (this was back in Singapore so I was probably 18 or 19 at the time), haha. I was such a geek back then (probably still am today).
2021 International Book Awards Finalist in Fiction: Women’s Fiction 2020 Canadian Book Club Awards Finalist in Fiction Chosen as an August 2021 Pulpwood Queens Book Club selection Featured by the international NoMo Book Club in May 2021
What’s Not Said is a story about Kassie O’Callaghan, a middle-aged woman on a mission to divorce her emotionally abusive husband and start a new life with a younger man she met while on a solo vacation in Venice. When she learns her husband has chronic kidney disease, her plans collapse until she pokes around his pajama drawer and discovers his illness is the least of his deceits.
Then again, Kassie is no angel. The separate lives they lead collide head-on into a tangled web of sex, lies, and DNA. As she helps her husband find an organ donor, Kassie uncovers a secret, forcing her to decide whose life to save: her husband’s or her own.
With her court date set for her divorce and her plans with the younger man in the rearview mirror, Kassie O’Callaghan shifts attention to reviving her stalled career. But things get complicated when she unexpectedly rendezvous with her former lover in Paris. After a chance meeting there with a colleague and a stroll along Pont Neuf, Kassie receives two compelling proposals. Can she accept them both?
But Kassie’s decision process screeches to a halt when her soon-to-be ex-husband has a heart attack, forcing her to fly home to Boston. There, she confronts his conniving and deceitful fiancée—a woman who wants not just a ring on her finger but everything that belongs to Kassie. In the ensuing battle to protect what’s legally and rightfully hers, Kassie discovers that sometimes it’s what’s not true that can set you free.
Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. She earned a B.S. Marketing degree and an MBA from Sacred Heart University, as well as a graduate certificate in health care administration from Simmons University (formerly Simmons College). She had a thirty-year career in the financial services industry as a marketer and writer. Valerie is a published book reviewer with BookTrib.com; and a member of Westport Writers’ Workshop, Independent Book Publishers Association, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She enjoys practicing tai chi and being an expert sports spectator.
Valhalea lies in ruins, the victim of sorcerer Lucius Mordarius’ wrath.
In the black forests of Barren-Fel Ryadok, a rival sorcerer possessing a weapon capable of leveling the continent, snakes his destructive tentacles across Epthelion. Amid the chaos Destiny unites five unlikely allies: an ostracized mystic and his younger brother; a tradesman and a battle-hardened mercenary; and the daughter of a murdered nobleman–each a thorn in a sorcerer’s side and marked for death.
Battling nature’s wrath, the sorcerers’ relentless pursuit, and a land notorious for devouring its inhabitants, they find temporary sanctuary only to be thrust to opposite ends of Epthelion–the girl to the west where she falls into the hands of the blood-thirsty Horse Lords; and the men into the dark reaches of the shadowy east.
Victory is essential; defeat spells certain death for their world. The girl must survive the Horse Lord’s brutality and rally them to her aid in defeating Mordarius while the mystic races to destroy Ryadok before his sweeping holocaust.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
There are not many fantasy books that I think would 100% translate beautifully onto the big screen. However, I believe Sandra’s beasts, the lesser ones and the Destroyer, need to be brought to life in 2D or (better yet) 3D. Once you read Realms Of Glory, Realms of Death, I’m sure you’ll agree Sandra’s magical bringers of death need to be shown on a big screen.
Besides the beasts, what I adored about Realms Of Glory, Realms of Death is its plot/subject matter is not limited to one age group. As a parent, I look for books that my daughter and I can read and discuss. I don’t recall seeing any unfavorable words except whore. While I am not a fan of this word, it didn’t hurt the book or affect my rating. I would still recommend my daughter to read it. I would encourage you to read it also.
I can’t end this review without pointing out how much I appreciated Sandra giving props to women and their abilities. We are fierce. We are strong. We can fight. We are leaders!
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
I’m an Idaho native, a lover of chocolate, builder of kingdoms, and ever a dreamer. From childhood I loved a good story and spent hours lost in the wonderful and fantastic worlds I found in books. Even while pursuing a career in Information Technology I remained a voracious reader, and in 2003 began penning my own stories. My first three, a fantasy trilogy which I am currently reworking, were influenced by The Lord of the Rings. My current book, The Windwilder Haunting, arose from the arson fire of one of Pasco, Washington’s last landmarks, the James A. Moore House. The house’s rich and colorful history intrigued me, and I am proud to say I played a small part in its restoration. The Windwilder Haunting, however, details a fictional family and set of events. After relaunching the trilogy (in about two months) I will be working on a prequel to the Windwilder tale.
Fantasy and paranormal romance remain my favorite genres, but I am also working on a familial saga and a series of children’s books based on Timothy Wonder, an adventurous lad with a huge imagination.
When not writing, I enjoy photography, hiking, cycling, and playing the accordion.
TWO WOMEN COMPETE IN A MEN’S WORLD FOR RECOGNITION & LOVE
Eden Bauer grew up in a rough part of New York with an unsafe home life and took refuge in the neighborhood Taekwondo dojang. When the master of the dojang offered to train Eden as a live-in student, he started her on a journey that would eventually lead her to become the UFC featherweight champion of the world.
Eden loves competing and coaching the underprivileged kids of her community, but just as she’s getting comfortable with her champion title, a new martial artist from a legendary family comes roaring onto the scene with a dynasty on her shoulders. Brooklyn Shaw is a loud, cocky, aggressive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu genius who’s also unfortunately pretty dreamy.
Brooklyn and Eden’s rivalry attracts worldwide attention, but as they spend time together, Eden sees past Brooklyn’s showmanship to who she really is. They ought to be perfect for one another, but can either really fall in love with the person standing in the way of her dreams?
I received a complimentary copy of this book from R&R Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
Acceptance is not (always) easily given or received in the LGBTQ+ community. Many individuals are currently hiding their sexuality from family and friends because they fear their loved one’s reactions—the public’s reaction in certain scenarios.
Papa Shaw is one of those men who has preconceived notions that women should be with men only and vice versa. The world is not so cut and dry.
Every day, people are embracing their true selves. Brooklyn is one such person.
The Clinch is about two women fighters going from opponents to forever partners. It’s about family and all the drama that surrounds it. It’s about helping others in need. It’s about EPIC fight scenes. It’s also about showing respect to the craft, sportsmanship, or (in this case) sportswomanship. 🙂
While the fight scenes were outstanding, the sex scenes scorching hot, I’m glad Nicole Disney (the author) gave depth to her characters. They weren’t just out there throwing punches and kicks or tearing up the sheets. Eden, Brooklyn, Jin, and Laila gave back to the community – to the kids trying to survive in it.
THE CLINCH brings together Nicole’s two lifelong passions: writing and martial arts. She has been a student and teacher of martial arts most of her life. She won the 18th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition for Beneath the Cracks. She lives in Denver, Colorado.