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Editor’s Letter I love the holidays. We have quite a few family traditions that I carry on from my mother. My favorite is making cookies with my family. Christmas is my favorite holiday! I also want to wish my husband, Robert, Happy Anniversary! We wish you all Happy Holidays!

Table of Contents

Page 35 Sign it with a……Seal by William Maltese Page 67 Hate Men’s Fashion by William Maltese Page 81 Interview with Author Brenda J. Robinson Burgett by Wanda Julian Page 92 Interview with Shelly Rodgers about Belfast Alternative Fashion Week by Gordon Flynn Page 125 Kay Pike – My favorite Twitch Streamer Page 141 Books as Stocking-Stuffer by William Maltese Page 155 So, Tell Me Dahlink by Brenda Burgett

Sign it with a … Seal WILLIAM MALTESE

Many people are possibly familiar with signet rings, these days, but, likely, only as pieces of personalized jewelry and not as a means of identification; the latter is how they were used in earlier times. As far back as 3500 B.C., people of Mesopotamia were using seals to make distinctive impressions in wet clay as a way of identifying property that included sealed jars and packages. They were, likewise, used in ancient Egypt; even in the Bible, the king used his to warn against any interference with his sealing of Daniel in the lion’s den. Medieval times ushered in a period wherein signet rings were used to imprint seals into melted wax to secure letters and verify official documents. England’s King Edward II insisted that all official paperwork bear the imprint of his royal seal to make it legal. A broken wax seal, pretty much impossible to repair, provides easy indication of tampering. My fascination with signet rings and their seals derives from the family’s signet ring and amethyst seal having been passed down to me. There’s nothing quite so connective to history than dripping melted wax onto a document or envelope, upending a signet’s seal into it, to produce a raised visual little masterpiece depicting my family’s namesake bird of prey. Although not even I, a continuing fan of the handwritten letter, correspond as much as I used to, I still can’t help sealing envelopes with the Maltese seal on wax — made easier these days by waxes having been devised — at the demand of people just like me — that are flexible enough to allow seals to pass safely through the mechanized postal systems that for a long time shattered the harder waxes along the way. The more flexible sealing waxes, and embossed seals, can now be conveniently placed on Christmas card mailings and on the announcements of special occasions, even invites to balls. For anyone who hasn’t had a seal, individual or family, handed down to them through the generations, it’s easy to start the tradition on your own. The internet has a whole variety of sources that’ll make you a personal seal, of your own design, as well as supply you with the whole array of various types and colors of sealing waxes upon which to imprint it.

William Maltese, author of over 200 international best-selling books can be contacted at: williammaltese@

Growing up in the heart of Northern Ireland, Geoff McGrath considers himself blessed to having been surrounded by the beauty of nature. His earliest memories were of playing in the wild open fields of Co. Antrim, seeing with young eyes for the very first time, the rugged beauty of the North Antrim Coast. The visual drama and artistry of his landscape photographs then, comes from his deep passion to capture and convey that vision, that sense of awe he feels as he lives in this deeply inspirational place. Geoff grew up as the son of a busy wedding photographer and so from a very young age, was accustomed to having a camera in his hands. One of his earliest memories is of being taken by his father to the North West 200 motorcycle road races at the age of 9 and shown how to pan action shots on his little Kodak camera. Fast-forward to some years later and we see Geoff begin to assist his father until eventually, he himself became the lead photographer. A career in wedding photography, however, was not something that Geoff felt passionate about and so, after some time, he decided to leave wedding photography behind and move on to portrait and landscape work. In 2011 his work as a contemporary portrait photographer was recognised by the SWPP in his being placed as a runner-up in the Contemporary Portrait Photographer of the Year award. He then began to win Gold & Silver awards for Landscape, Fine Art and Event photography, developing over time a few arrows in his quiver of skills. Geoff ’s desire to contstantly push himself took him to college in 2012 to study an HND in Photography which he qualified from with a Distinction. It was during this time that his passion for landscape photography was rekindled and which for some time became his primary focus. Growing up, like many children, Geoff loved the comic book superheroes, so when, in 2014 he had the opportunity to start to photograph costumer players, or cosplayers, Geoff was in his element and its has been during this period of his journey when he begun to hone his photoshop skills with special effects. If you were to visit the homes of his clients today, you would see gorgeous framed images of Batman, Batgirl, Deadpool, as well as Star Wars character like Kylo Ren and Darth Vader. This year Geoff attended a portrait evening at his local camera club, Catchlight Camera Club, where he had the opportunity to photograph the Dapper Punk Barber himself, Garry Jackon who models the exquisite hand-made tailoring of Dee Graham. The image that Geoff produced of Garry, went viral and Garry & Dee were so pleased by his work that they asked him to attend the upcoming Belfast Alternative Fashion Week, which was being correographed and directed by Gordon Flynn. Not only that, the event organisers, Sherry Rodgers & Kieran Sherry soon were in touch inviting him to attend as a guest photographer where Geoff would be able to work his magic with a totally incredible cast of models, designers and make-up artists. There is a development in Geoff ’s work, a growth in understanding his craft better which has only fueled his desire to create beautiful artwork, whether it be Batman, international models, or the atmospheric beauty of the Wild Altantic coastline of Western Ireland. Today, Geoff lives in Co. Down, with Rosemary and their 2 little Yorkshire Terriers, Missy & Ollie where he continues to be surrounded and drawn by the beauty and power of nature. Geoff ’s work can be seen on his website at which is currently under revision and also on his face book pages which is his main fashion, portrait and landscape page and then on his costuming/cosplay page, . If you are interested in his atmospheric landscapes of Ireland, or in engaging him on a landscape commission or booking a portrait shoot please email him at for more information.

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Haute Men’s Fashion WILLIAM MALTESE


I confess to being a warm-weather person. Come winter, unless skiing, I’m most content to stay inside, sit by a raging fire, a good book in one hand, and a good cognac within easy reach. Occasions do sometimes persuade me to head on out into the weather. When those happen, I’m determined to keep warm. My success in doing so, it has been my experience, is usually no more or less than relying upon the truth of that long-existent old saw regarding the advantages to be had from layering. Every man starts out layering, in winter, or otherwise, with underwear, shirt, sports- or suit-jacket, pants, socks and shoes. The thing to remember is that even these basics can be improved upon for winter. There are underwear and socks specifically made for those who spend a lot of time in the cold. I still wear the thermal underwear and the insulated socks I wore when I climbed Mt. Rainier. Wearing a suit- or sports-coat, and trousers made of wool will effectively keep in the heat. A tie can be added to the mix to provide a warming snugness around the neckline, additionally supplemented, in finale, with a scarf and warm overcoat. Try adding a sweater or vest to the mix. If you think the former makes you look too collegiate, and the latter makes you look too formal, check out your closet for that denim or designer short jacket that you can substitute. The only drawback to layering is the possible resulting bulk problem, to the point where you may find yourself squeezing into your final layers with the concluding look of the Michelin Man. You can solve this problem by opting for a sports-, suit-, and/or over-coat in a size larger than you usually wear.

William Maltese, author of over 200 international best-selling books can be contacted at: williammaltese@

Interview with Author Brenda J. Robinson Burgett By Wanda Julian

Can you tell me a little bit about your book? The book is my second one. I found myself in a position of being used by well-meaning people and life. I hungered for a safe place to land. Somewhere I felt safe and at peace. As usual I write what I need to know. How did you come up with the title? It just arrived. Where can our readers get your book? It is available on Amazon, and Kindle is an option as well as paper. How long have you been a writer? I think I started telling stories as a very young child and didn’t get serious until it became obvious that If I didn’t start writing I would have to stop saying someday I would write. The shorter version of that is write the book or shut up! And of course, the last comment was not an option? Where can we find your blog? I have video blogs on Youtube. Brenda Burgett , Facebook, and Can we expect more books in the future? Yes, I have a novel and another spiritual book in progress. Where do you expect to see yourself in five years? Well, standard reply is Queen of my own small island, but I’ll totally settle for knowing I’m doing what I’m here to do.

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Interview with Shelley Rodgers about Belfast Alternative Fashion Week By Gordon Flynn

Q1 . Belfast Alternative Fashion week seems to of taken Ireland and Europe by storm . Can you tell us where this idea cane from ? A.......I wanted to bring the pages of Equal Fashion Magazine to life. Equal Fashion Magazine is an online fashion and arts magazine i created two years ago. Q2 . What is it you were looking to achieve from putting on this show ? A........I wanted to bring as many alternative designers,songwriters and models together to showcase and promote their work. I wanted to achieve a euphoric state of mind for both the audience and the people involved within the shows. Q3 It seems like you are breaking out of the ''Norm '' of the fashion industry with the designers and models you are using . What you made you go in this direction? A........i know an incredible amount of talented people and sadly too many talented designers and artists are being lost to commercial and mainstream dominance in the North of Ireland by being drowned out or submerged into obscurity. I always wished for an alternative fashion show in Ireland and eventually i got fed up waiting for someone else to put one on so i decided to go for it myself. Q4. How do you feel Ireland /Belfast has reacted to this amazing event you have put on ? A.....Extremely positive. We have already established great cross boarder relationships with our Dublin Alternative fashion friends. Belfast has taken to it very well and we have a lot of people anting to be involved for next year already including mainstream press and media coverage. Q5 - So tell us more about BAFW and what you guys do ? A.....Belfast Alternative Fashion Week is a celebration designed to shine a big bright light all over the richly diverse and alternative talent in society by bringing it to a live audience in acknowledgement of it's undying, enduring and creative life force which affects everything from past present and future fashion trends both alternatively and commercially orientated. Combined with a strong musical element it's main aim is to entertain the public by highlighting it's fascinating multi layered attractions bringing the world a new kind of experience for an evening or a night out that can be enjoyed fully leaving a positive landmark memory in your life. We hope this debut phenomenon will become an annual event in the City of Belfast. Q6 . Tell us more about what you have planned for the future? A......The release of the next edition of Equal Fashion Magazine coming out in January, the Development of ACE

The Alternative Commercial Equal Agency. A trip to London Fashion Week in February which we have never been to before i am delighted. I have my own events company "Equal Events" which i am going to help run two small local festivals in the village myself and my patner live in . Rostrevor Jazz and Roots festival and Rostrevor Harmony and Harvest festival all in 2018, hopefully , and we also are planning the first Dublin Alternative Fashion Week as well as the second BAFW. Q7, You must of had a amazing team of people . How did you all meet? A.....We have mostly all worked with each other over the years, i aam a professional photographer and have had the pleasure to have shot with some of the best MUA's and models in the country like Mr.Ireland Karl Bowe and MUA Julia Clements. Q8 The music was amazing on the night . Who were the musicians involved? A..... The support band were The Vicunas, they are a new alternative band that are fantastic, we wanted to promote them as we love them and think they are the one of the best alternative bands in the country right now. Kaz Hawkins Band were our headlining band, Kaz finished her UK Tour with us and i believe they are about to embark on an American tour next year.They say Kaz is the next big thing since Van Morrisson to come out of Northern Ireland. Kaz Hawkins . Q9 . Its always nice to credit all involved and in Journalism not many give the chance to give thanks . Who would you like to thank? A.....Firstly my Parents who sadly have all passed away now and missed the chance to experience this phenomenon, Secondly my partner Kieran Sherry for his relentless support of which i am eternally grateful, Kieran has been the back bone and a driving force from day one, Thirdly MUA and my second in command the wonderful and highly respected on both sides of our boarder Julia Clements and fourthly Mr Gordon Flynn for his fantastic work on our shows as creative director, model and designer. gordons advice, experience and guidance has been integral in making all the shows run smoothly and very professionally. Q10 . What have you got planned for next year? A....The next edition of Equal Fashion Magazine coming out January after i relax over Christmas if that is even possible lol. I am working on Dublin Alternative Fashion Week, it has never had one so i'm looking forward to see how that penny rolls. Developing ACE and planning the second Belfast Alternative Fashion Show, i want the alternative fashion shows to be an annual event. Myself and my partner Kieran have been invited to London Fashion Week which we have never been to so that would make a wonderful experience. Having been working all year on my own shows, this i feel will be a real treat to behold and i can sit back and enjoy the pandemonium and pleasure from the audiences perspective which would be a very welcomed change lol Q11 . Tell us more about ACE ? A..ACE is a new company,an agency that is open to representing all talent from all walks of life, trends and creatives. From dealing with Models, Artists, Fashion, Designers, Musicians, Businesses, Sports, Photographers, Dancers, Tattoo Artists both Alternative and Commercially orientated. We aim to stimulate, promote, advertise and bring employment into your life within various sectors of the community at home and abroad. We are an extension of Equal Fashion Magazine and both Belfast & Dublin Alternative Fashion Week as the Agency that will deal with connecting,processing and giving people advice on and providing jobs both locally and internationally!

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Books as Stocking-Stuffing WILLIAM MALTESE

The holidays are upon us, and that means it’s a good time to do your friends and relatives a favor and gift them with a printed book, even if so many of those people have come to prefer video games. There is, after all, something about the mental process required by actually reading, imagination needed to conjure mind’s-eye pictures to complement the written text, that’s hones an entirely different thought process from that achieved by merely observing the ready-made visuals supplied by games that shoot down aliens, gangsters, enemy soldiers, or robots. I’ve long ballyhooed the advantages of reading, and, as a writer I’ve tried, over my life-time, to author books for all ages, so everyone can have access to the brain stimulation only reading can provide. I’m not surprise that book sales have recently experienced a comeback as more and more people again realize that reading the printed page has unique advantages all its own. For children: Try my Dog on a Surfboard and the Rest of the Adventure (written by me as Billy Lambert), because of my early fascination with surfing, my love of dogs and world travel, as well as because my younger sister and a bevy of nieces and nephews often enticed me to entertain them with the telling of this particular tale. The canine protagonist finds himself separated from his master, while riding a tsunami that hits Hawaii, and embarks upon a literal round-the-world adventure in hopes of a reunion. Along the way, he meets new friends and enemies, like spider monkeys Georgie and Juliet, twin jaguar kittens Jack and Jock, giant anaconda Hugh Huge, eagle Helen Harpy, reptile Kerry Caiman, rapacious shark Walter White, and blood-sucking bats Victor and Vera Vampire. Speaking of vampires … For Young Adults: Try my William Maltese’s Flicker, #1 Book of Answers, that’s also gained a sizable adult audience what with its characters that include not only blood-suckers, but, as well, a shape-shifter, witch, warlock, werewolf, ghost, goblin, ghoul, dragon, and even a chimera. All the world’s magic inexplicably vacating all adults to focus in on one group of teenagers who converge within one small central Washington State town and try to deal with more power than some of them can handle, with only one of them destined to ascend to the all-powerful Grand Magician’s Throne.

For Women: I’m always recommending, when asked, my Love’s Emerald Flame which was the first SuperRomance I wrote (as Willa Lambert) for Harlequin and which ended up published in over fourteen foreign-language editions. Re-issued by Wildside/Borgo Press, under my real name, the book has since proven popular with each ensuing generation of young ladies to women who seem taken by this tale of love and adventure in the Peruvian highlands, in and around Machu Picchu, and in the jungle lowlands of Brazil’s Matto Grosso. Apparently, there’s just something genuinely enjoyable about the heroine, as she’s confronted, in this seldom viewed and exotic landscape, by romance and danger that includes artifact smuggling, a downed airplane, and a fortune in uncut emeralds. For the man of the house (who I’ve not forgotten, in that men read, too): Try my double-book #1 Incident at Aberlene and #2 Incident at Brimzinsky of my Spies and Lies series. There’s nothing quite like the machinations ongoing within the Grey Area of espionage where friends, one day, can be deadly enemies the very next. Even if you decide not to gift one of my books, do try at least to buy some author’s book this Christmas and pass it on to a friend or loved one. There’s just something about the joys of the reading experience that will benefit the recipient and have him or her thanking you for a very long time to come. Merry Christmas! William Maltese, author of over 200 international best-selling books can be contacted at:

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So, Tell Me Dahlink By Brenda Burgett

So, tell me Dahlink, is the holiday tree or your holiday icon in place for the season? Are you organized and cheerfully anticipating the holidays? If you believe in Santa Clause you might want to be truthful of some level about the last question. That is, of course, if you believe in Santa, otherwise it loses its importance. Is this the time of year for you when it’s easier to remember what or who you don’t have in your life, then what or who, you have or don’t have? If the latter is true about you then you are a part of a large group of souls, including me at times. So, is it important to look at this in a different way or is it comfortable for you to be unhappy? It’s fine either way. Remember, you are always the captain of your own yacht, or cruise liner. I’m sometimes taken back by hearing what some do to get out of the tear stained holiday wear they enjoy. One beautiful lady serves Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner to the homeless. There is a waiting list in my town to serve the homeless. I take food to the local animal shelter and do what appears in my world that I consider my thing to do. Remember if you tell about your good deeds then the good blessings fairies won’t leave blessings under your pillow. Not sure where that came from and you might not want to quote me? So, that having said the above, here are some rather simple things that make my mood more festive. I watch, “The Grinch that Stole Christmas”- the 1940’s, “It’s a Wonderful World”the “Everybody loves Raymond”, Christmas marathon- hug someone willing to be hugged, or an animal, who loves me. Enjoying a good cry and eventually attempt to count what I do have which is: reasonably good health-some family member who aren’t snarly- wonder pets- a finally housebroken second husband- two and a half good friends-, a bottle of really good gin (unless it has evaporated for lack of use). There are probably more, but my short attention span has dismissed them into the Universe. That in itself is a blessing at times. For your consideration, what if you were the most important person in your Universe? What if your value was measured by the powers that be? What if I told you that you are loved? I love you! There now get over you and have a great season. Would that make your world brighter? Then consider it the truth according to me. By the way, I’m available for events on yachts and cruise liners (where it is warm). Just give me time to brush up on my attitude. Have a meaningful holiday season. Peace and love to you all! And bring on the New Year!!!!

Citywatch on the air.. the show that takes you thru’ the in’s & out’s of business. We are very pleased to have Contessa’s Court Corner every quarter with Mrs. Wanda Julian.. Editor & Chief of Contessa’s Court Magazine. Mrs. Julian is exactly the type of guest we look for.. Smart & savvy with real style.

We are doing a new segment called Contessa’s Court Corner starting in October. Where Wanda Julian will fill us in on what is hot in fashion. Our next segment will air in January!

Podcast of the show w/Mrs. Julian… Don’t miss Contessa’s Court Corner with our special guest Wanda Julian!! Don’t miss “Citywatch on the Air.” Here is the podcast!

Credits Jan

Models Laine Melia & ACE Model Gordon Flynn , Designer Carina C ACE Model Gordon Flynn, Designer Dee Graham Tailor Made Suits ACE Model Gordon Flynn, Designer Emma Gilles of Crafty Belfast ACE Model Morgan Lawless, Designer Ka O'Strophic Dublin ACE Model Stacy Paris, Designer David Henderson ACE Model Katie Doherty, Designer Carina Cunningham of Cherie S Model Laura McDonald, Model Becky Archbold, Designer Carina Cu ACE Models Lisa Mills in styled by Binder Tohani, Sassie Scott Schilla Grajham Tailor Made Suit, ACE Model Cathy Cobain styled by Binde ACE Model Damon Armstrong in Designer Dee Grajham Tailor Mad Entertainments. ACE Models Cathy Cobain & Lisa Mills Hair & Make Up & Henna an ACE IKONS ..Ambassador of ACE Model Stacy Paris & THEE Face o ACE Model THEE FACE of ACE Heather Mclean , Designer Aleah Le Model Denise O'Neill Designer Aleah Leigh, Sassie aka Scott Schillad ACE Model Leon World , Designer Aleah Leigh Left to Right Adam Lightbody of Urban Tonic beard products, ACE M Model Sebastian Pawlik, Designer Dee Graham, ACE Model Damon Models Becy Archibold in Designer Carina Cunningham of Cherie St Model Samantha J Reynolds in Designer Kristina Lauryn

nuary 2017

Cunningham of Cherie Styling Studio Dublin

Styling Studio Dublin unningham of Cherie Styling Studio Dublin aday self styled, ACE Model Garry Jackson Srsb in Designer Dee er Tohani, Model Stewart Probert Jnr in Designer Fiona O'Sullivan, de Suit, Heather McLean Self Styled, Fire Girl Twisted

nd clothes by Binder Tohani MUA. of Ace Model Heather McLean, Designer Aleah Leigh, Sandra Stewart eigh day Make up & Body Painter Victoria Gugenheim on both.

Model Leon World, ACE, ACE Model Garry Jackson Srsb, ACE Armstrong , all wearing Designer Dee Graham Tailor Made Suits. tyling Studio Dublin

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Contessa's Court January 2017  

Contessa's Court is an international fashion and luxury lifestyle magazine focusing on fashion, beauty, travel, entertainment, food, and hom...

Contessa's Court January 2017  

Contessa's Court is an international fashion and luxury lifestyle magazine focusing on fashion, beauty, travel, entertainment, food, and hom...