Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Artist Spotlight": The Rose

I thought it would be fun to post two "Artist Spotlights" this week to kick things off the right way. The next spotlight is on a unique artist, Kathleen DeCosmo, who creates themed roses, also known as Roses of Distinction. Kathleen and I met through Peter Bellis a few months back after she created a rose for The Conjure Man. I was especially excited to share this spotlight with everyone because I am such a fan of Kathleen and her artwork. Enjoy!

1. How long have you been creating Roses of Distinction/how did it begin?

I first introduced my roses to the world at the 2007 DeCosmo Family Reunion.

I designed a memorial rose of my husband’s grandparents to be passed out to almost 100 family members during a memorial service for our deceased. I was shocked and I mean shocked by the reactions to my roses. Grown men broke down and cried when they held the roses! It was quite emotional for all of us.

June 2007 I also designed a dozen Baby’s first year roses for my husband’s dear friend and colleague’s 1st grandchild.

I have a soft spot in my heart for this dear child Amelia Marie born prematurely on June 13th 2006. She shares her name with my mother in law Amelia (a nurse) and her twin sister Marie (a Doctor) born June 12th 1930. Little Amelia Marie’s mom is also a Dr.

I wanted to do something special to commemorate this very important first year of life for the family. I designed a rose for each of the 12 months and presented them to the family as a gift of life.

I have been actively designing and promoting my roses for many years and now I am ready to move forward and am very excited!

September 2009 I decided that I wanted to pursue KatieSheaDesigns as a family business.

My grown children are joining me. My youngest son is a graphic designer/artist. My daughter is in pharmaceutical marketing and also a talented artist. My oldest son has just graduated from college with a Business/Marketing degree.

February 2010 I introduced “Roses of Distinction”

I have made a lot of friends on twitter and I wanted to showcase some of my friend’s work and also promote them. I have had so much fun doing this. I have had a lot of requests to review people’s products for inspiration and to create “Roses of Distinction” for them and I am honored.

I also Blog and

My website has been in development and will be totally functional soon.

I also promote and advocate the use of LDN in treating Crohns Disease and MS. Please read LDN Beginnings on my blog @

I invite any and all inquiries. I can design for all occasions. Email me @

Please view my “Authors of Distinction Roses” @

2. Why did you want to participate with The Conjure Man book tour?

Well I was invited to participate when the tour started . I had spent some time with Peter Damian Bellis prior to his book release. Peter's passion and enthusiasm grabbed my attention immediately. We shared our creative processes we each have journeyed through the years.

Please Visit my Blog-->> Sitting with Peter Damian Bellis author of "The Conjure Man"
and also view "The Rose of Distinction" designed for "The Conjure Man"

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Artist Spotlight": It Started with a Logo

Over the past several months we have received feedback from artists, graphic designers, musicians and a movie producer, saying that after reading The Conjure Man, they felt inspired to create a piece of artwork to showcase their experience with the novel. In return, River Boat Books wanted to host an Artist Spotlight each week to share with everyone the wonderful people we have met. And yes of course, their beautiful artwork. I hope that everyone reading this takes a look at all of the artist websites, it is well worth it.

The first "Artist Spotlight" is on a graphic designer, Cara Miller, who has created the "A Book Read Around the World" logo you see at the top of this blog. She is tremendously talented and a lot of fun to work with. Cara came on-board the journey when Peter Bellis and I were discussing names for the campaign that would launch The Conjure Man. After just two emails describing what type of logo we were looking for, Cara Miller produced us the finalized logo. Here is a little more about Cara Miller!

1. How long have you been involved with graphic design/what got you involved?

I've always known that I wanted to do something with art, but it wasn't until high school that I narrowed it down to graphic design. There was just something about the process that came naturally to me. The experience that started it all was when my best friend showed me the first version of Paint Shop Pro. I was in love. She could make the most beautiful images and all I could think was that I wanted to do that too. So I took multiple design classes at my high school and quickly developed a passion for art and design. I now have 6 years of graphic design experience and will be graduating with BFA in Visual Communications and Graphic Design from the University of Dayton in May 2011.

2. Why did you want to participate with The Conjure Man book tour?

I wanted to participate in The Conjure Man book tour because I felt that it was a great opportunity for me to try something new, build my portfolio, and meet new people. Also, from what I've read so far, Peter Damien Bellis did a wonderful job writing "The Conjure Man" and I wanted to give him a logo that he could be proud of and that would raise awareness of his fantastic book.
More Artwork from Cara Miller!

Email Cara -
Visit her Website- HERE

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week Three - Central PA Arts Fest

The greatest part about being located inside of a Bookstore Cafe is not only the wonderful smell of freshly brewed coffee, but being completely surrounded by stories. We had such a great time sharing stories with the hundreds of people that had stopped into Webster's Bookstore Café. Thank you for a great time and we look forward to seeing you back in Central PA soon. Here are a few pictures from over the weekend! (Also put in a picture of me at Peter Bellis's Bed and Breakfast)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Central PA Arts Fest: Day 1

Let me recap our first day at Arts Fest. Beautiful artwork, hot weather, tons of people, food and live bands. What else could you ask for, right? We are set up inside Webster's Bookstore Café, a great place to connect with people, and that we did. We had over 100 people stop by, an interview with the Pittsburgh news channel, and The New York Times booth wanted to hand out Conjure Man Book marks to support the tour. It has been a blast, I hope you can make it out!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts™ State College, Pennsylvania

The Conjure Book Tour moves to State College, Thursday through Sunday! Come out and join us!

Follow the highlights on twitter!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sean Chumley -- Columbia Books Examiner

Check out all of Sean Chumley's reviews on Peter Damian Bellis HERE!

Reviewed June 13, 2010 by Joanne Chase

The Conjure Man by Peter Damian Bellis is a well written literary novel. Most definitely. It has been compared to Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, and I feel it is a good comparison.

The story is set in South Carolina on an isolated island……….

continue reading …
I have begun reading “The Conjure Man” and can understand why I quote “One early reviewer said this book might be the best book to come out since Huck Finn“!

To Purchase The Conjure Man