Artist’s Studio: Weshoyot Alvitre

Photo: Arsenal Comics & Games

If you could tell artist Weshoyot Alvitre how much you enjoy her comic book art and other art, what would you say?

Some terms sound so boring and not exactly right but not exactly wrong either – amazing, awesome, stunning, amazeballs, etc.

I had to break down and Google types of compliments. The one that is fitting for Weshoyot is “You’re a Marvel.” Get it?! She is a Marvel who is also in Marvel. (Please don’t unfollow me for my love of corny jokes.)

So please, please, please visit Weshoyot’s websites and support her artwork.

Echo by Weshoyot Alvitre in Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices #1

Amazon: Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices #1. Affiliate link

Weshoyot’s Store on Society 6

Weshoyot’s Website

The Water Dancer: #bookreview

The Water Dancer on Amazon. Affiliate link

The Water Dancer begins in the river with two young men – Maynard and Hiram- trying to not get swept away by the river’s current. One of them cannot get away from the water and loses his life. The other man barely escapes with his life. They are half-brothers. One man is the heir to the plantation that enslaves the other man.

Hiram Walker has been gifted with magical powers and a photographic memory ever since his mother was sold to another owner. He and his mother were slaves or “Tasked” at Lockless Plantation in Virginia. Lockless is an ironic name for a plantation where the workers are forced to work

After his mother is sent away, he doesn’t have any real memories of her. The only thing that he knows for sure is that he wants to escape from slavery and to protect what his left of his family and friends. Hiram has a female friend that tells him about water dancing and the traditions.

“A water dance is a dance competition during which a dancer keeps a glass or pail of water balanced on his or her head while dancing and tries not to spill the water.” – Wikipedia probably

Corrine Quinn is the fiance of Maynard Walker. After Maynard passed away, Corrine reveals her true involvement in the Underground Railroad. I can’t figure out what her actual intentions are besides wanting to be in control. I think that she wants power. The way to get it is to run the show from the background. She confuses me at some points. Is she evil or good or something in between? Sometimes she does the right thing. I guess she does whatever suits her motives.

Hiram becomes an agent on the Underground Railroad. He uses his magical gift with water to hide the passengers in whatever way he can. Did you know that conductivity of water is a thing? So Hiram conducts water and the passengers in his section of the train.

The Water Dancer is beautifully written. It’s full of magic and sadness, tragedy and triumph.

If you like stories about overcoming adversity and using whatever strength and power that you have to make a new life, then you will enjoy this book.

I would imagine that members of the Ku Klux Klan that can read will not enjoy this book.

  • This book contains an Amazon affiliate link.

Sleep Deprived Music Review: Mereba

The Jungle is the Only Way Out. on Amazon. Affiliate link.

So far my YouTube suggestions have not totally failed me during this pandemic. When YouTube starts recommending crap, then it will be a sad day indeed. Today, Mereba of Philadelphia was on the list of stuff I might like. Oh my gosh you guys. She is amazing! Stop what you are doing and stream her music immediately.

Mereba sounds a bit like Erykah Badu – poet and soulful- but with more of an edge. Badu is edgy in her own right though. Mereba is a storyteller, a rapper, a poet, a singer. She is brutally honest and still relatable.

There’s a parental advisory label but don’t think for a minute that it’s because this album is vulgar. The Jungle is the Only Way Out is a beautiful work of art – cursing and all. So don’t pay attention to that label if you run the other way when you see that advisory warning. Does anyone really pay attention anymore? My personal favorite songs are “Kinfolk” and “Souvenir.”

Did you guys ever listen to an awesome album while getting ready to go out dancing or daytripping? I think this album is going to be playing if I ever get to go somewhere and wear makeup. Also, if anyone was going to make art, Mereba could provide the soundtrack.

Connect with Mereba:

Mereba’s website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

* Affiliate link included in this post.

A Christmas Wish (Sapphire Bay #3): #bookreview

A Christmas Wish on Amazon. affiliate link

Happy Holidays! I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season as much as possible. I mean, if we were in the same situation as Megan in A Christmas Wish, we would be on the run from terrorists. On the plus side, we would be stuck in a beautiful cabin in the mountains with our delightful niece and a very handsome agent, William Parker.

The setting is ideal. It is the place that anyone would want to have to trapped in for the holidays. People pay lots of money to have Christmas in a beautiful cabin. You would almost forget that you are escaping from dangerous criminals. Honestly, I kept waiting for the agent to let his guard down and then BAM! The criminals are suddenly in the driveway. It didn’t happen thank goodness.

Megan has custody of her niece, Nora, since her sister and parents were killed in a car accident. Megan had to rearrange her life. She was engaged to someone in Dallas, where she was a teacher. The fiance was not ready for a family so Megan moved back to Milwaukee to raise Nora. She knows that she is better off starting over.

How does Megan get so lucky to have an agent that is so kind and handsome? Would anyone else be that blessed? I would probably get some cranky old gym teacher type, like Agatha Trunchbull in Matilda.

So when the danger has passed, Megan decides to move to the town close to where the cabin is located. She found a new friend and business partner. It’s a nice small town. Of course, Agent Parker wants her to move to the town where she resides. They cannot agree so they decide to just be friends. Will they regret not taking a chance? Will Nora get her Christmas wish? What about everyone else’s Christmas wishes?

If you are a fan of Hallmark holiday movies, then this is the Christmas romance for you. It is really sweet and not full of smut or anything inappropriate. My mom would probably like this book. She has watched so many holiday movies.

If you are not into the magic of Christmas with beautiful scenery and a bit of romance, then you could spend time at the Grinch’s house I guess.

Connect with the author, Leeanna Morgan:

Leeanna and her husband renewing their vows. In Las Vegas with Elvis, of course.

Goodreads

Leeanna Morgan website

BookBub

Music You Didn’t Know You Wanted for Christmas: Johnnyswim

Johnnyswim.

Dear Santa,

You and I aren’t big drinkers, except for milk and cookies of course. However, I do think that we can agree on enjoying Christmas drinking songs, like “Pass Me a Pint” by Johnnyswim. There is a sense of commaraderie and togetherness – some would even say unity.

So let’s raise our classes of milk. Let’s toast to enjoying time together with the family that we can and to the hope of seeing everyone soon.

Love,

Holley Jolley Christmas

Connect with Johnnyswim:

Johnnyswim

Twitter

Quarantine Interview, Part 1: Dean England

Is Dean England charming because he is British or because charm comes naturally? Either way, we would like to welcome him to the blog for the latest Quarantine Interview.

Dean England has released a solo album, Feel, Think, Do, that is available in all of the usual places on the internet. There are a few links for everyone at the bottom of this post. Please keep reading to find out more about Dean England.

Where have you been staying in 2020?

Just at home, it’s been nice actually to get a bit of extra time with the family. 

What have you been doing during times of quarantine?

Writing! Lots and lots of writing ha ha. It’s been nice again to have more time to work on the creative process.

Have you found or re-found any hobbies?

Not really to be honest. I am reading a bit more then usual. Also I have been able to spend a lot of time doing these features with various different Digital platforms. Which has been very cool and something that I am greatful for. 

What have you been listening to lately?

Loads of old soul stuff, Sam Cooke mainly. Also some GnR and I have listen to my last EP a lot too checking out how it’s doing and which bits I will work on for the next recording. 

Has your songwriting process changed this year?

Not really although there has been much more of it. It’s been a blessing in disguise for song writers like myself. With the time on our hands. I have really enjoyed having the extra time. 

Is there any message that you would like to convey to fans or soon-to-be fans?

Yes. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Any followers I gain any tracks that are listed to I feel blessed each time. People who make it in this industry could not get anywhere without their fans! So cheers to your ears guys, it means the world. 

What is something positive that has happened to you during 2020?

I released Feel Think Do my new EP ! It’s out now guys on all platforms so go give it a listen. Fully if great riffs and soulful vocals blended well. Follow me at Dean England Music on Facebook and Instagram for all me stuff and some live feeds coming up soon. Peace and love to you all. 

Feel Think Do on Amazon. Amazon Affiliate Link

  • Affiliate links included in this post.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus: #bookreview

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. Amazon affiliate link

Just when you think you are the Christmas Cheermeister and know everything possible about Christmas, some new information will present itself on your Santa Claus radar. I had no idea until last week that The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum was an actual book. There is also at least one animated show based on the book. How could a Christmas Cheermeister miss out on such an amazing book for so long?

Claus was born near the forest of Burzee. Since he was abandoned by his parents, a kind wood nymph named Necile asks for permission to raise him. The immortal Ak the Master Woodsman allows Necile to raise Claus. Ak is always kind and fair to Claus. He even takes Claus on a trip around the world to show him the human world. The trip is instrumental in guiding Claus to making toys for poor and neglected children. Ak supports Claus in his endeavors to help the children.

When Claus is an adult, he moves from the forest to the Laughing Valley. I picture it looking like a remote area of the world. I don’t think Claus has any neighbors for miles and miles. Claus spends his time making toys for local children. This enterprise gains a following and before you know it, Claus is taking toys to children all over the world. Along the way, he builds a sleigh and finds reindeer to assist him on the yearly trip. On his journey, the stocking and Christmas tree traditions come into existence.

Illustration by Jesse Coons

Ak the Great Woodsman helps Claus to get permission to keep the reindeer. I pictured Ak looking more majestic than regular lumberjacks. The artist renditions that I’ve seen depict him as even more majestic than Gandalf. I think the headdress helps with the look.

Eventually, Claus becomes Santa Claus. He gets older and becomes ill. It looks as though the tradition of spreading joy to children could be at an end. However, everyone agrees that Santa Claus should be given immortality so that children will not be disappointed for all of the future Christmases.

Anyone and everyone who loves Santa Claus will love this book. It’s just as magical as Santa Claus himself.

If you are Grinchy or one of the Bah-Humbugs of the world, then you might not understand the beauty of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.

  • If anyone would like to donate to Toys for Tots, here is the website. You can also find local places to donate. It is not too late to get into the Christmas spirit!

Music You Didn’t Know You Wanted for Christmas: Dolly Parton

A Holly Dolly Christmas.

Dear Santa,

You probably know already but Dolly Parton is a national treasure. Maybe you didn’t know that when I was a kid I loved the Christmas special with Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. I still watch it whenever it’s possible – usually by myself because I thought I was the only one around here that loves Dolly. Who knew that so many people love her?! But also – how could people not love Dolly?

So you can imagine, how happy I am that Dolly Parton has a new Christmas album, A Holly Dolly Christmas. (Amazon Affiliate Link)

If you could bring it and a copy of that old Christmas special, I would be forever grateful.

Yours Truly,

Holley Jolley Christmas

  • Affiliate link included in this post.

Artist’s Studio: Clare Kolat

http://clarekolat.com/

Most of us love art, right?! Artists deserve to get the recognition for their work. In my opinion, art always makes a good present. Many artists will make arrangements to do commissions so their patron can get a one-of-a-kind work of art.

So I’d like to introduce you guys to Clare Kolat of Cleveland, Ohio. Their pronouns are They/Them. Kolat has some totally adorable and sometimes unexpected illustrations. My personal favorite piece is called “She Blinded Me With Stardust.” It reminds me of a Lisa Frank sticker that escaped my 9 year-old self. There’s still hope though. I could finally have my own day-glo work of art.

Links:

Linktree

Tumblr

Twitter

Flawless Friday Video: Keedron Bryant

Keedron Bryant on Amazon.. Amazon Affiliate Link

Keedron Bryant has released videos with different versions of the same song. Both videos are so powerful and beautiful. Please watch both! Support Bryant’s music by visiting the following links.

Connect with Keedron:

https://smarturl.it/IJustWannaLive

Facebook

Twitter

  • Amazon Affiliate link included in this post.
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