Thursday, November 23, 2017




Etched in Tears releases on November 28, 2017. When a famous glass artist is murdered at his own exhibit, deadly secrets are put on display, and it’s up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb to see through a killer’s cover.

Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images in his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah’s first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis’s return home has her reflecting on the past—a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father’s records sheds new light on Dennis’s history, but it seems his present life wasn’t so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it’s up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.


Art Inspires Art – Filling the Well

Writing for me is exhilarating and at the same time exhausting. I tend to push very hard for several weeks near the deadline for turning a book over to my publisher. That means up to sixteen-hours a day living and breathing in my book world. I call this phase – book jail. As a result, I’m an exhausted mass of nervous energy and completely empty of words. At this point, I have trouble writing the simplest e-mail.

I’ve found a solution. I walk into a museum. I wander with no set plan or no set time limit. I just let the art wash over me and it begins to recharge my creative energy. For the artist, this is cross training at its most enjoyable.

I’m lucky enough to live near downtown in St. Petersburg, Florida. There are four museums within the space of a dozen blocks. In the 700 block of Central Avenue is the Chihuly Collection with a stunning, permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s unique artwork in a magnificent 10,000 square foot setting designed by award-winning architect Albert Alfonso.

When I’m in the mood for the Chihuly, I want to stay longest the gallery with the stunning installation titled “Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier,” whose red-hot swirls dangle from the ceiling. I also adore the multicolored chandelier known as “Milli Fiore.” After I’ve walked through the museum, I spend some time in the gift shop where items for sale are not the typical selection of cups and postcards.

On the north end of Beach Drive is the Museum of Fine Arts with a large permanent collection of French Impressionist paintings. They also host the Hot Gatherings/Cool Conversations/Wine lecture series that feature a touring glass artist. As part of a 50th Anniversary celebration, the Museum of Fine Arts is organizing Monet to Matisse—On the French Coast. Drawn from public and private collections in North America and Europe this project explores and compares for the first time ever Impressionist and Modernist visions of the Atlantic and Mediterranean Coasts of France. I disappeared into those paintings with joy.

Around the corner is the St. Petersburg Museum of History with a permanent interactive exhibition of the chronology of St. Petersburg's history filled with priceless artifacts, documents and photographs. The Benoist Pavilion houses a replica of the world's first commercial airliner which made the first scheduled commercial flight from St. Petersburg to Tampa on January 1, 1914.

Finally, at the south-end of the downtown area is the world-famous Dali Museum with touring exhibits as well as the largest collection of Dali art outside of Spain. Salvador DalĂ­'s art is often as shocking as it is brilliant. The Dali museum in downtown St. Pete offers the largest, most comprehensive collection of the famous Spanish artist's work in America. There are changing and special exhibits throughout the year, including children's activities, film, music series, lectures and more. I enjoy the Spanish themed Cafe and wander the waterside Avant Garden.

This technique for ‘filling the well’ refreshes my creativity and in little more than an afternoon, I’m ready for the next writing challenge. I highly recommend creative cross-training.

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Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband George design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.

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