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C I T Y

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USA $7.50 INTERNATIONAL $9.50 Nov / Dec 2016 Issue

M AG A Z I N E

Foghat UNDER THE INFLUENCE

MODELING WITH STYLE

Keith A. Fluker FLOWING DESIGNS WITH

Emily Kramer

CELEBRITY CHEF

John Corey EATE GOODNESS BORN TO CR


CONTENTS 40

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21 COVER STORY 4 Celebrity Chef John Corey – Born to Create Goodness

FASHION 12 Alexis Johnson –

CELEBRITY 45 The Last Leatherman

of the Vale of Cashmere

46 Carlos Antonio León Likes

Model of the Month

to Play It Low

48 Mahogany Mignon 49 Brauninger McDaniel

Model of the Month

30 Emily Kramer Designs www.facebook.com/citytocountrymagazine/

with Unique Holiday Songs

21 Keith A. Fluker –

MUSIC 40 Roger Earl of Foghat 44 Rapper Spreads Christmas Joy

www.instagram.com/citytocountrymag/

www.pinterest.com/citytocountryma/ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm8242725/

www.twitter.com/citytcountrymag

http://citytocountrymagazine.com/ http://www.citytocountrymag.org


30 BOOK 50 Eat Happy – Gluten Free,

Grain Free, Low Carb Recipes For A Joyful Life

51 7 Deadly Sins

– The Actor

Overcomes

52 They Call Me Avenged

The Second Half of Chapter One

55 The Beauty In Darkness:

A Vampire Story

HEALTH 56 Meditating on Stress STORE LOCATIONS: 3R STREE DINER 218 E Main St Richmond, VA http://billofare.com/0002u01.htm DOWN BEAT DINER & LOUNGE 42 N Hotel St. Honolulu, HI http://www.downbeatdiner.com/ SMOKE SIGNALS 2223 Polk St San Francisco, CA 94109

President & Owner LISA SNYDER citytocountrymagazine@gmail.com Director of Operations/Business Adviser TAMMY KC HEGYES tammykchegyes67@gmail.com Executive Editor & Managing Editor TERRI R. BASSETT terrirbassett@yahoo.com Assistant Editor & Writer COVAN MAGEE Creative Director & Head of Layouts AMY PAYCANA ESPALDON amyespaldon@icloud.com Journalists Head Writer & Advice Columnist Freelance Writer & Interviews/PR Interviews (Owner/CEO at Wings By The Flock) Freelance Writer Arts & Entertainment Columnist Photographers/Photojournalists Sports & Entertainment Photojournalist at Sterling Images -Freelance Photography Photojournalist Photojournalist Photojournalist

SUE MCGAUGHEY MICHELLE MAGEE CAMERON HOLDER ROBYN WEISS JAY LUSTER BRENT GROH JESSICA ROSE ED SANDOVAL ERIC TIER

Write To Us: 1911 Market Street Beatrice, Nebraska 68310 CITY TO COUNTRY MAGAZINE LLC would like to thank our sponsors for their contributions and will be making changes to our digital and print issues to bring our readers and viewers the best of the best! Sponsors: Sue’s Coffee Talk and Bullzeye Entertainment For those who would like to become a part of our Team here at CITY TO COUNTRY MAGAZINE LLC, you can join us over at CityToCountryMagazine.com and show your support. For those who would like to advertise in and/or sponsor an issue, you can email us at citytocountrymagazine@gmail.com. CITY TO COUNTRY MAGAZINE LLC is a Bimonthly Magazine. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission from the Publisher/Owner, Lisa Snyder. Copyright© 2016 CITY TO COUNTRY MAGAZINE LLC. All Rights Reserved. Distribution by Ingram Periodicals, Inc. http://www.ingramcontent.com


JOHN COREY CELEBRITY CHEF

E GOODNESS T A E R C O T BORN

C

WRITTEN BY SUE MCGAUGHEY

ity to Country Magazine recently had a chance to sit down with the amazing Chef John Corey. As a child, Chef John grew up in a large Italian family with a Jewish mom. At times, it was as if he felt “guilted” into eating. Food was the core of the family. Regardless of which relative he visited, it was important that food was a vital part. John honestly feels that having the influence of family traditions, smells, and memories is what drove him to loving and having a passion for keeping the food customs alive. He says, “I think we’re losing our younger generations to premade foods today, because of the time it takes to get the food done the way our families learned.” Let’s face it, he may be on to something. After all, it is much easier and faster to drive through and pick something up than it is to cook a good meal.

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COVER STORY John gives credit to his Aunt Sue for influencing his cooking passion. He says, “Just saying her name, I can hear her voice, with that slight Italian accent and huge, higher-pitched ‘Oooo’ sound, every time she’d start a sentence. She was definitely one that I can say was a great influence on me wanting to cook more. Aunt Sue, together with my father and definitely my mother’s passion for food, really made me decide that cooking was my passion. I could recreate most everything I tasted from memory. I think they influenced me to always have a passion for what I do in the kitchen and to never accept ‘good enough.’ Hanging in my kitchen rests a sign that says, ‘Good enough…isn’t.’” John didn’t always know he wanted to be a chef. Even after high school, he had no clue. All he knew was that he loved to cook. “Knowing you want to become a chef really isn’t something you just wake up and realize. I think it comes with having the passion to want to be a host of a great experience,” John says. He recalls that his defining moment was when, at age 19, he was cooking for a broker and his clients. “Growing up, we didn’t have The Food Network at our fingertips. We had public television. The amazing thing about it was that we did have the greats like Julia Child, Jacques Pépin, Martin Yan (Yan Can Cook), Gordon Elliot, and even James Beard.” John reminisces about watching these icons who made you feel like you could conquer the world and do anything in the kitchen. He had a Saturday morning ritual of watching cooking shows with paper, pen, and cup of coffee in hand. He would take notes, jot down ideas, and then, after either immediately running to the store or taking what he had in hand, go to the kitchen to recreate what he had just seen. These days, Chef John is the one other people are watching and trying to learn from. He has been on shows such as The Food Network’s Cooks vs. Cons, Episode “Shrimp and Grits,” which is in re-air status. He was also in the 2015 World Food Championships, which were filmed for a sixpart series that was seen on Destination America and is now in syndication throughout the world. Chef John Corey feels very blessed to have cooked for some very high-profile people over the last 33 years. He’s had the honor of cooking for celebrities, athletes, and dignitaries. It’s something he takes seriously, and he knows that each client has their own direction or

agenda. John recalls one of the the most memorable times was the seven years he cooked for the three-time world champion San Francisco Giants! Watching young boys grow into men and witnessing their eating habits go from traditional, home-style cooking to healthier, athlete-driven meal services was pretty amazing for him. He had fun helping the athletes overcome the kicking, screaming, and “I know what to eat. I don’t make nine million dollars a year for nothing.” He says, “Now, honestly, this goes for us at home too. Eating to fuel, as opposed to just eating, is huge. We often eat just to eat, instead of thinking through a process of eating to fuel our bodies for the day.” Once the two-year hurdle of the change occurred, John and the team had come to a steady balance of traditional meets healthy, which gave the players alternatives. Whether the guys were eating for weight gain or to maintain, it worked. John loved cooking for The San Francisco Giants. It was an endeavor to feed 126 hungry young men and change them into healthy eaters, but for him, it was “a piece of cake.” He recalls one player whose PRE-workout breakfast had consisted of ten scrambled eggs, four yogurts, six hard-boiled eggs, two Belgian waffles, and a bowl of cereal!! (Athletes eat much healthier today, with most relying on salad bars and smaller, batch-made foods that contain traditional levels of gluten.) John accepted the challenge to hone in on an eating lifestyle that would be beneficial to these athletes. He often cooked the meals without any assistance. He still does. To this day, he does most of his catering, for upwards of 300, by himself. “It’s kind of a Zen thing, if you will. I go in early, I focus (music on, apron on, and hands washed), and it’s gotime, and I just go. Most I’ve seen take several days to do one event for 125. I take just five hours and get it done. I’m not bragging. It’s just something that keeps that passion alive for creating food that you can taste the love in,” John states. The San Francisco Giants honored him with a 2012 World Series ring, and he knows it’s a great honor to wear that ring. “It’s not about the bling,” he says. “It’s about the memories and being part of such an amazing journey.” You can surely bet John will never forget his time with the team. Chef John Corey has been blessed with many opportunities. One such occasion was cooking on a celebrity TV show on The Food Network. When City to Country asked John what it was like to cook on TV,

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here’s what he had to say. “Television cooking isn’t like cooking at home or at the catering kitchen. It does take some preparation, but when that clock is on, it’s go-time. There’s no turning back. Sometimes, having a hammer thrown into the ring halfway through can be tough, but when you’ve had a life of competitiveness growing up, you learn, and it becomes muscle reflex. I think it’s actually more relaxing, even though the pressure is on. When you’re catering, you’re cooking for people…large groups of people. When you’re on television, you’re cooking for show, demonstration, or judges. The pressure is different. Feedback about your food is always a given on television. Someone is bound to say, ‘I followed your recipe, but…’ That comes right back to the passion – finding your passion for why you want that dish and the love you put into it. To have the honor of being on television is huge. It doesn’t make you a millionaire. There’s still a lot to go on this journey. It’s a vision and dream I’ve had, and it took just 12 short years to get on my first show. I often laugh and say, ‘I have a face for radio,’ but in the culinary world and modern television, it’s not true anymore. I finally figured out the key about being me, and that’s what landed me there. The doors are opening, and you’ve probably heard that when one door opens, another one closes. Very true statement. This journey, for me, has just begun. I am so flattered and honored. The support and love that I receive is so much greater than the criticisms I get. It makes it all worth the journey.” Although Chef John is known as an award-winning celebrity chef, he is so much more than that. He’s a genuine man who lives with a humble attitude. He truly believes in what Zig Ziglar once said, “Help enough people get what they want, and you can have everything you want,” in being a positive influence on people, and in good for others hopefully coming from what you do. John is married to his beautiful wife, Jeannette, who is his biggest supporter. His family and friends have all been supportive as well. He says that having honest, open, opinionated friends has made being a chef even better, because it helps to keep him on his toes…to always do his best and to never say “good enough.” It is never good enough for Chef John! He humbly takes constructive criticism from his family and friends. “If you can’t be humble, you may as well hang up your apron,” he says. One thing most people probably don’t know about him

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is that he loves to shop! He claims that he can “shop until he drops” and that, “truth be told,” he’s “a watch whore.” He loves watches! Chef John is currently working on a book. He has wanted to write a cookbook for years, but wants it to be more than just a “cookbook.” He wants it to be about the journey, the motivation, the ups, the downs, the amazing people he’s met, and the opportunities he’s been blessed with. In addition to the recipes, he wants the story that’s been bottled up inside of him to be told. John feels that we often don’t see the signs, but when he finally sat down and started writing, he just wrote. “It was as if the floodgates of my heart opened up and started pouring out. I don’t write every day, but when I feel the urge to sit and write some more, I sit and write. There’s a desire to entertain, whether visual through television, voice with radio, or through writing my cookbook,” he explains. His book is called Growing Up Me and is the journey of his life so far. It includes his family history, recipes, photos that show off the dishes, and an amazing opportunity to create your own memories through John’s passion for his family, love, and food. Chef John Corey’s future holds many bright possibilities. One of his goals is to own a restaurant. He’s been catering for 33 years, but this dream has been there all along. He wants a restaurant that has just one menu for the night. That menu would be created using locally-sourced foods, could be simple and comfortable or complex and involve a seven-course dinner, and would change every day. John likes to motivate and teach young culinarians. He told City to Country, “A life without goals is a life of waiting. I don’t want to wait. I want to inspire and teach others to do things their way. Remember, there are no secrets. Guess what I learned? There aren’t, and the way I do it is not the way you would, and that’s okay! I want you to find your passion, your love, and your admiration. It’s there just waiting to happen.” With the holidays upon us, Chef John shared one of his favorite holiday recipes with us – his cheese ball. He feels that his cheese ball is a great way to start a family tradition. The recipe is simple and amazing. We are confident you will enjoy Chef John’s Holiday Cheese Ball as much as we enjoyed interviewing him and learning more about him.


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Chef John’s Holiday Cheese Ball

COVER STORY

Note: Recipe may be doubled or tripled, depending on the crowd and your love of cheese. INGREDIENTS 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature 8 ounces Swiss cheese, grated 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated ¼ cup sour cream 2 tablespoons sweet pickled relish ½ teaspoon granulated garlic ¼ teaspoon granulated onion ¼ teaspoon pepper Salt to taste 6 strips thick bacon, cooked crisp and chopped 4 ounces slivered almonds, toasted and chopped 1 bunch parsley, chopped well DIRECTIONS • Place first nine ingredients in a stand mixer or large bowl and mix until combined well. If too wet, add more cheese. If too dry, add more sour cream a little at a time. This mixture should form into a ball and hold when you form it. Make any shape you wish. • Mix the remaining three ingredients well in a shallow bowl. • Roll your formed cheese ball in the bacon, almond, and parsley mixture to coat the entire outside. You’ll have to continue to shape as you roll to coat. • Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in refrigerator to firm for one hour. This will also allow the flavors to meld together. Make in advance and keep refrigerated. • Place on serving plate with crackers and serve. Guests will love this amazing holiday cheese ball that can be served all year long. For more on Chef John Corey, please go to www.facebook.com/chefjohnaz.

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FASHION

ALEXIS JOHNSON MODEL OF THE MONTH

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JAMES MAHLA

Provided by ALEXIS JOHNSON

his month’s featured female model, Alexis Johnson, is a 34-year-old woman from Pennsylvania who was also born in a small town there. She has currently dedicated her life to speaking and raising awareness about addiction.

Alexis had a wonderful childhood that included being at the top of her high school cross-country team, graduating in the top five of her high school class, and showing horses throughout the country. She began attending Pennsylvania State University in 2000, where she later graduated with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. It was here that her life changed forever. Getting in with the wrong crowd and making decisions based solely on wanting to fit in, Alexis had three DUIs by the time she was 27. Because of her addiction, she has made multiple trips to prison and overdosed seven times, three of which stopped her heart. She has buried eight of her closest friends due to suicide and heroin overdoses.

In October 2014, after having been sober for almost three years, Alexis had to have an emergency hysterectomy. Due to the painkillers she was given, she eventually relapsed. She has been sober for almost a year and a half now, since she went back to prison and spent a year at the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Program in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a program which she claims saved her life. Now, through her modeling, Alexis wants to help smash the stigma of what the public believes a heroin addict looks like and show that it can happen to anyone from any background. To help raise awareness, she takes part in numerous fundraisers and has partnered with an anti-heroin foundation based in Florida. Her message of hope focuses on the fact that everyone is worth their hopes and dreams, and she wishes to inspire others to follow theirs by achieving hers. When she speaks, she focuses on letting the families of addicts know that it is not their fault and that addiction is a disease of the brain, and she is certainly not quiet about the fact that she is in recovery. Alexis believes that the problem will not get any better if people continue to stereotype addicts and stay quiet about the epidemic sweeping our nation. There is help out there, and nobody is too far gone to turn their life around. Alexis has chosen to leave her email address, in case anyone reading this article is struggling or knows someone who is. If you contact her at alexisjohnson1717@gmail.com, she will direct you where to go for help.

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FASHION DOROTHY SHI OF DOROTHY SHI STUDIOS

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FASHION DOROTHY SHI OF DOROTHY SHI STUDIOS

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JAMES SANTIAGO OF JAMES SANTIAGO PHOTOGRAPHYÂ

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JAMES SANTIAGO OF JAMES SANTIAGO PHOTOGRAPHYÂ

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JAMES SANTIAGO OF JAMES SANTIAGO PHOTOGRAPHYÂ

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NEIL TANDY OF IMAGE PHOTOGRAPHERS

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FASHION NEIL TANDY OF IMAGE PHOTOGRAPHERS

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ur featured male model this month, Keith Fluker, was born in Mississippi and raised in Germany, Maryland, and Virginia, just to name a few of the places he has lived. His dad served in the military for 30 years, which allowed Keith to experience other nationalities and cultures as a child. He learned how to communicate and socialize with people from all types of backgrounds. Keith’s contrasts and influences are fascinating and unexpected. He is an actor and a model, as was his mother. He is the proud father of two children, Jordan and Olivia Fluker, who are currently in college. Both also act and model and have had roles in Adam Sandler movies. Keith attended college at the University of Maryland on a baseball scholarship, where he played for the Maryland Terps and studied business. He has always had star power in his veins, so he decided to return to the entertainment industry. Starting in modeling, he has worked for brands such as Calvin Klein and Macy’s and is known nationally in New York, Miami, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. As an actor, Keith has appeared in commercials for Dunkin Donuts and Lunesta. In films, he has had roles in Shutter Island (orderly #1), The Game Plan (football player), The Equalizer (photo double for Denzel Washington and stand-in), and Patriots Day (police officer and stand-in), just to name a few of his credits. With Keith’s determination, dedication, passion, experience, and the success he has already had, he will surely continue to gain new opportunities and achievements as a model and an actor.

KEITH A. FLUKER PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY DUTRA

MODEL OF THE MONTH Provided by KEITH A. FLUKER

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY DUTRA

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY DUTRA

 www.facebook.com/kelly.dutraleal

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY DUTRA

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIMOTHY RICHARDS

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIMOTHY RICHARDS

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIMOTHY RICHARDS

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIMOTHY RICHARDS

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https://www.facebook.com/timothy.richards.1485Â


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EMILY KRAMER

FASHION

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Provided by EMILY KRAMER

t age 11, Emily was Laura Ingalls Wilder in the backyard plays of her suburban Chicago neighborhood, except she wasn’t just an actress. She also made the costumes for everyone on the cast. They were about what you’d expect from an 11-year-old who learned to sew from her grandmother. Since then, Emily has had years of professional costuming and fashion design experience. She has costumed for the Royal Court at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, historical reenactors of many different eras, short films, and the theater. She also served as head costumer at the Phipps Center for Performing Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin. Having shown fashion collections on Chicago and Charlotte runways, Emily keeps her flair for the dramatic, leaning toward red carpet and formal gowns. Her passion for recycling and ecofriendliness got her involved with designing dresses made of recycled materials. Most recently, she designed a dress made from leftover Opera Carolina flyers to help promote The Barber of Seville and their Opera Recycles program. When not designing fashion, Emily has a special place in her heart for art photography. She teamed up with Jeremy and Debby Deal, creators of Alchemy in Imagery, producing gallery art prints. Their recent project included musician and songwriter Emily Jane White, who modeled Emily’s red “Muse” gown in the woods near Charlotte, North Carolina. AWARDS Best Recycled Design – Charlotte Fashion Week (2016) Best Recycled Design, 2nd Place – Passport for Fashion (2016) Best Recycled Design, 2nd Place – Charlotte Fashion Week (2015) Best Recycled Design – Passport for Fashion (2014) Best Design, People’s Choice Award – Passport for Fashion (2014) Best Recycled Design – Charlotte Fashion Week (2013) Best Designer, 2nd Place – Simon Fashion Now (Design Wars) (2012) Best Emerging Designer – Charlotte Fashion Week (2011) Best Designer – Simon Fashion Now (Design Wars) (2011)

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If you would like to discover more about Emily and her designs, discuss a custom order, or model her fashions, please visit the following sites: www.emilykramerdesigns.com www.facebook.com/EKFashionDesign www.twitter.com/EKFashionDesign

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MUSIC

FOGHAT ROGER EARL OF

WRITTEN BY JAY LUSTER

“We’re gonna roll ‘til we’re old and rock ‘til we drop!” ~ “Lonesome Dave” Peverett

By the end of 1970, the British Blues-Rock band, Savoy Brown, had established themselves as a steady presence with US audiences. Though their album sales never reached the levels their founder, guitarist Kim Simmonds, wanted, their hard-working performances and driving Blues music strongly connected with audiences. Throughout their existence, Simmonds worked to keep the music fresh by constantly changing the band’s lineup. Following the 1970 tour in support of the album Looking In, three members of the four-piece band split-off. Simmonds found fresh sidemen and continued on, and a new band was established by singer/guitarist “Lonesome Dave” Peverett, bassist Tony Stevens, and drummer Roger Earl. Slide guitarist Rod Price, formerly with Black Cat Bones, joined the trio to form the powerhouse Blues rockers, Foghat.

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Because the split was somewhat other than amicable, Harry Simmonds, Kim’s brother and Savoy Brown manager, threatened the trio. Roger Earl says, “Harry said if we left the band, we’d never work in England again.” Harry made good on the threat for a while. Earl, with a laugh, continues, “We made some pretty good demos, six or seven songs. Our manager, Tony Outeda, took the demos to all the major record labels, and everyone said no.” Not deterred, Outeda introduced the band to Albert Grossman, who was just forming a new record label he called Bearsville Records. Earl says, “He had a deep voice, this silver hair, and a ponytail. We played our demos for him at this little club in London. Afterwards, he says to us,” Earl continues, imitating Grossman’s deep voice, “‘Is there anywhere we can get some tea and biscuits?’ So, we went across the road to a hotel, and Albert ordered tea and biscuits for us and said, ‘Hey, let’s do this.’” They signed with Grossman’s label and soon released their self-titled, debut album. Roger says, “Dave Edmunds, a brilliant musician and performer, produced it.” The very first song on the record was a cover of Willie Dixon’s Blues standard, “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” Beefed-up by Foghat’s signature double-guitar attack, which was led by Rod Price’s stellar slide work, the song went on to be their first hit. It broke into the Hot 100 on the charts and has been a staple of their live set ever since.

By 1975, Foghat had developed a solid reputation with their audience. Their live shows were becoming must-see events for high school and college kids across the United States. In September of that year, they released the album Fool for the City, which would eventually go doubleplatinum. The song “Slow Ride” climbed the charts into the top 20, partly due to “Lonesome Dave’s” sexy “Slow down, go down, you know the rhythm is right,” lyrics. This was followed with the song “Fool for the City,” and their catapult ride from club and theater staples to stadium rockers was complete. Foghat rode the wave of success into the ‘80s, but dwindling record sales and changing lineups eventually led to the band’s disbanding in 1984. A couple of years later, Roger Earl, the only remaining original member, reformed the band as a touring act with their ‘80s lead guitarist, Eric Cartwright, and bassist Craig MacGregor, while guitar player/vocalist EJ Burgeson rounded out the newest version of the band. After a few more lineup changes, “Lonesome Dave” Peverett, Tony Stevens, and Rod Price rejoined Roger Earl, and the classic Foghat lineup was restored. Their comeback album, Return of the Boogeymen, was released to strong reviews. Unfortunately, the band reformed right in the middle of the 1994 Grunge explosion. Connecting their stadium-sized, slide guitardriven Boogie/Blues-Rock to a generation of kids who

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MUSIC Home sold respectably well, but did not break into the album charts. Their newest record, Under the Influence, has not only broken into the charts, it has once again put Foghat back onto the national stage. Debuting at #17 on the Hard Rock album charts, this crowdfunded record is one of the best releases by any Rock band in 2016. When asked why this record has been so well-received, Roger Earl says, “We worked hard on it for long time, three years.”

were pining for the second coming of Woodstock was a difficult sell. Considered Classic rockers, their music didn’t fit Alternative or modern Rock radio formats, and Classic Rock stations didn’t play new music. Undeterred, the band continued touring up until 2000, when slide guitar virtuoso Rod Price left the band again. His replacement was Bryan Bassett, who good friends with “Lonesome Dave.” Sadly, a few months later, “Lonesome Dave” Peverett passed away. Earl says of Peverett, “He was a different guy off stage. On stage, he was a great performer and energetic, but off stage, he was quiet. He was a real sweet guy.” The two had played together on and off for over 30 years, and while they may not have been besties, the respect Earl felt for his bandmate’s talent was obvious. After his death, Peverett was replaced with former Ted Nugent and Humble Pie guitarist/vocalist, Charlie Huhn. It was this version of the band that recorded the album’s Family Joules and Decades Live. In 2005, Tony Stevens decided to move on to other projects, and the band welcomed back alumni Craig MacGregor. In 2007, they released Foghat Live 2 and then the stellar, heavy Blues record, Last Train Home, in 2010. Despite Roger Earl being the only remaining original member, longtime fans loved the record, and the consensus was that it felt and sounded like 1973 all over again. As with their previous few records, Last Train

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When they began work on Under the Influence, it was just the band in Deland, Florida, at a house Roger had dubbed Boogie Motel South. Roger describes it as “a big house in the middle of nowhere.” The name of the studio was a riff on their 1979 gold record, Boogie Motel, which was recorded in the north in Port Jefferson, New York. He continues, “We could all stay there and make the record together. I went there the day before the band was to arrive, and the AC was out. It was hot in the house, and I had to get a repairman to come and fix it. The guy remembered Foghat, so he came out that day and fixed it up.” With disaster averted, the rest of the band encamped, and the recording began. Earl continues, “At first, it was just the band writing and recording, while also touring. It took a long time.” In the album liner notes, Roger wrote, “Our resident genius, Bryan Bassett, was at the helm. As usual, Bryan was doing triple duty, playing, writing, and recording the tracks, all while touring.” With recording going slowly and because they had an opportunity to be produced by Tom Hambridge (too many amazing credits to list), they decamped from the Deland, Florida, studio and moved to Dark Horse Studios in Franklin, Tennessee. When the record was finally completed, it included a great bunch of new songs as well as some covers. Unlike Last Train Home, which was pretty much a Blues album, Under the Influence includes some Boogie, some Funk, some Soul, and some straightforward Rock. The only song on the album performed by just the four band members is “Knock It Off.” It has a kind of mid-‘70s AC/DC vibe to it. At the suggestion that Charlie Huhn sounds a bit like Bon Scott, Roger laughs and says, “Yeah, but Charlie can actually sing.” Laughing, he continues, “No, Scott was a good singer and perfect for what they were doing. We really wanted the song to sound like that though.” Huhn’s voice is much nimbler than Bon Scott’s and equally as powerful and compelling


MUSIC

as “Lonesome Dave” Peverett’s. The album features Scott Holt (Buddy Guy Band) on five of the songs. Holt had met Roger years earlier. Adding Bryan Bassett, the trio recorded an EP called Earl and the Agitators, and after that, it seemed natural for Holt to lend his talents to Foghat for their new project. Dana Fuchs joins the band for a couple of songs, a good cover of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and their original song “Honey Do List.” Foghat alum Nick Jameson appears on a few songs, and Rodney O’Quinn adds backing vocals and some bass work. On the outstanding song “The Upside of Lonely,” they are joined by old friend Kim Simmonds from Savoy Brown. Roger says, “I’ve remained good friends with Kim over the years, and it was great to get him to record with us. He’s a brilliant Blues guitar player, and we don’t get to play together very often.” For the last few years, when he’s not recording and touring, Roger Earl and his family have become involved in winemaking. Roger says, “I’ve always liked wine.” With a laugh, he adds, “It’s my beverage of choice.” He continues, “So, a few years ago, we played the California Mid-State Fair. After the show, this guy, Steve Rasmussen, came up to me and asked if we might be interested in

making wine. So, I said, ‘Yeah, I’d love to make some wine.’” It didn’t take long to realize that the name Foghat was a perfect name for the California-based winery. Earl says, “You know, the fog coming in from the coast makes the area perfect for growing the grapes.” Interestingly, this isn’t a product that just bears the name of the band. Earl explains, “It’s really great fun. We go out there, pick the grapes, crush the grapes, punch it down, and put it into the tanks. We do everything. We’re involved in every part of the process.” However, it’s not just the winemaking Roger finds appealing. He says, “Another thing I love about it is that it’s a great community. The growers, the farmers, and the winemakers help one another. They’re all in competition, but they all enjoy helping each other. It’s remarkable.” At 70 years of age, Roger Earl is showing no signs of slowing down. The band averages around 70 shows yearly and is still making albums on a semi-regular schedule, with a new offering every two or three years. When asked if he has plans to retire anytime soon, Roger Earl jokes, “Like the late, great ‘Lonesome Dave’ said, ‘We’re gonna roll ‘til we’re old and rock ‘til we drop!’”

www.foghat.net/ www.foghatcellars.com/

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MUSIC

CHRISTMAS JOY Rapper Spreads

with Unique Holiday Songs WRITTEN BY MICHELLE MAGEE

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he holidays are right around the corner, and people are already making travel, celebration, and gifting plans. This is the season for giving, and nobody knows that better than Robby The Elf. After years of serving as Santa’s go-to man and chimney cohort, The North Pole’s head helper, Robby The Elf, set aside sleigh maintenance and reindeer games when the Claus organization heard his demos and was blown away. Kris Kringle ordered Robby to stepdown as gift wrapper and become a real rapper, leading to the creation of a new musical genre dubbed Christmas Crunk. Being the world’s first elf MC didn’t come without its challenges. In the face of constant humbugs and “Grinches,” Robby learned that the best gifts to give during the holidays are ones of hope and love. He discovered this important lesson in 2005, when he officially became Robby The Elf. He explains, “I had become homeless again that December. I knew I was going to be lonely and depressed for the holidays. ‘Other people go through that too,’ I thought, ‘so based on my talents, what can I do that can help them?’ I decided on Robby The Elf, because elves help during the holidays. No one knows much about elves. Santa gets a lot of credit, but it takes teamwork. With the current state of

music today and all the hate, I wanted to give a little good.” That’s why positivity is the secret weapon in Robby The Elf ’s music arsenal. Without it, he wouldn’t have been able to prevail over homelessness or survive cancer. So, he’s spreading the word of its unlimited healing power with holiday originals like “Magic from Elves,” his first recorded song that landed at #1 on the Soundclick.com charts, and the rest of his 2008 debut album, The King of Christmas Crunk. His 2011 record, The Meaning of Christmas, has seven songs that also speak of good vibes and that raise awareness about the importance of elves too. Since then, he’s released a pair of singles for those who hate the holidays or are just haters, “Kris Kringle” and “Don’t Be No Scrooge.” “I realize that the holidays are not always jolly and jingle bells,” Robby says. “It brings sadness as well. I merely desire to help those less fortunate.” Robby The Elf lives in upstate South Carolina, where he continually records new material. He can be spotted yearround on television talk shows and at church functions and charity events. ​This fall, he will be releasing a song called “Somebody To Love,” which is about falling in love, not the holidays, and he will follow that with one called “The Holiday Craze.”​

For more on Robby The Elf, please visit the following sites: www.RobbyTheElf.com www.facebook.com/RobbyTheElf www.twitter.com/RobbyTheElf www.youtube.com/RobbyTheElf www.soundcloud.com/RobbyTheElf

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The Last Leatherman of the Vale of Cashmere WRITTEN BY JOSH MITCHELL

would like to introduce my client, 2016 Toronto International Film Festival  actor,  Bern Cohen (www.berncohen.com). He is starring in the festival’s official selection, The Last Leatherman of the Vale of Cashmere. The Last Leatherman is the story of an aging, gay leatherman who harkens back to the comfort zones of ‘80s gay leather bars in Manhattan and the Vale of Cashmere, a park he cruised for sex. See the official details at http://www.tiff.net/films/the-lastleatherman-of-the-vale-of-cashmere. Check out Bern’s IMDb for more photos and a full list of credits at www.imdb.com/name/nm1788789. I’ll be securing press, parties, and meetings for Bern. If you are looking to network with a decorated and prolific talent, hit me up.  For interviews, meetings, and casting, please contact: Josh Mitchell Wickid Pissa Publicity www.wickidpissapublicity.com www.pissingonthepulseoftheplanet.wordpress.com

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CELEBRITY

CARLOS ANTONIO LEÓN LIKES TO PLAY IT LOW WRITTEN BY MICHELLE MAGEE

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CELEBRITY

I

t’s been almost 20 years since actor Carlos Antonio León moved to the US from his native Venezuela. He didn’t come to act, but to discover new horizons. León explains, “I was tired of the industry. In 1997 in Venezuela, actors could only be soap stars, and I never liked soaps. Theatre and film were basically nonexistent or totally unappreciated in my country. I felt the need to move out and change my life.” After graduating from one of the top universities in the country, Washington University in St. Louis, León became a clinical social worker. He says, “Social work allowed me to work for the people, which I love. I developed a passion for activism through it. To properly serve the populations that I wanted to work for, Hispanics, addicts, and those with mental issues, I got my undergraduate degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in social work.” Carlos spent most of his first decade in the US away from the limelight, practicing his newly-acquired career. “When you have the acting gene in you, it never goes away. I needed to act,” explains León. In 2005, León was asked by his friend, Gilberto Pinela, to cohost a bilingual TV show called Enterate (Find Out), which aired through UPN (now MyNetworkTV) in several cities in the Midwest. By 2006, León signed with Talent-Plus, and then, his first feature film in America came through, Shadowland, an indie, vampire sensation awarded several prizes and sold in dozens of countries. He says, “I had so much fun playing a vampire! This movie brought a lot of attention from many in the sci-fi world, and I went to several Comic Cons to meet the many fans.” Yet, Carlos confesses that fame is not something he craves. In fact, it’s the opposite. With a very serious tone, he says, “I’m not here for the superficial things. I don’t care about being adulated. I see others suffering if they can’t get enough followers on social media or if the projects offered are not in primetime. Actors need so much reaffirmation, and fame provides that, but for me, all that attention makes me nervous and uncomfortable. I love acting, the craft, the moviemaking process, and that moment when creativity arouses and we all get to exercise our acting muscles.

That’s what I am here for. I am a working actor, not a celebrity. I am totally fine with that. I like to play it low.” Since Shadowland, many more roles have come León’s way. Suddenly A Film, an absurd movie where he plays an out-of-luck filmmaker, and Complot, where he plays a supporting role as a detective, were both filmed in Venezuela. In the US, León can be seen in the zombie thriller Sound of Nothing, the antigun drama Job’s Daughter (Doris Roberts, Corey Feldman, and Eric Roberts), the antibullying movie A Paper Tiger Burns, and many short films, including The Secret of Joy (Maria Conchita Alonso and Doris Roberts), a multiple award-winning fable about pediatric cancer in which he is also an associate producer. Producer has become a common title in León’s resume with the upcoming films in which he also plays starring roles, The 86 (shot in Venezuela) and Ann (shot in Miami). “These are two very different films,” explains León. “The 86 (Los OchoSeis in Spanish) is an actionurban drama that is set in the ‘80s and inspired by the true story of a famous gang that operated in Caracas. I play Casanova, a suave lady’s man with obscure connections. In Ann, I play a transgender woman in a very complex story about our egos.” Carlos hopes both films find US distribution, so they may be enjoyed by those who love the Latin cinema. He says, “The 86 is a big production with amazing takes and great action, while Ann is a very artistic film that was shot in only five days. It makes me happy that I am doing what I love to do. I would not change it for the world.” Carlos Antonio León trained as an actor alongside very famous stars at the very prestigious Beverly Hills Playhouse. Despite being surrounded by so much stardom, he continues to see this as a job, a career like any other. León concludes, “There is nothing glamorous about filming movies. The only time glamour comes along is at the premieres. After that, it’s just life as usual. Although I understand that doing interviews and press is an obligation when you are an actor and that I must help promote the projects that I am in, I try to keep it to a minimum. I like my life as is, normal and private. I hope I can keep it as private as possible.”

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MAHOGANY MIGNON WRITTEN BY JOSH MITCHELL

lease consider an interview with my talented, new client, host Mahogany Mignon (www.alwaysaimhigh.com). She is a United States Army Veteran, Celebrity Media Correspondent, Marketing Ambassador, and Speaker.

As a Celebrity Media Correspondent, Mahogany has accepted invitations from Harpo Studios and OWN Network (The Life You Want Weekend) as Seated Media. She also had the pleasure of coordinating Hair Hunt Detroit Tour for WeTV’s star of LA Hair, owner of Hair Hunt Salon and top stylist, Terry Hunt. Watch their live interview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_ 2JE3vt3Cc. During her spare time, Mahogany is a meditative writer, yoga lover, and student. She has an appreciation for the arts and bridging community awareness globally. She believes that lack of passion is fatal and works hard every day to imprint her legacy in the hearts of many. For interviews, appearances, and questions, please contact: Josh Mitchell Wickid Pissa Publicity www.wickidpissapublicity.com  www.pissingonthepulseoftheplanet.wordpress.com

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CELEBRITY

BRAUNINGER MCDANIEL WRITTEN BY BRAUNINGER MCDANIEL

I

f you take a trip to Nashville this fall, you might run into one of the city’s rising stars, Brauninger McDaniel. Brauninger, a Blues/Jazz and Country artist, continues to make quite a stir in Music City. Since her introduction in City to Country Magazine (May/June 2016), she has gained a lot of attention. While making the rounds in Nashville’s music scene, Brauninger is turning the heads of not only fans, but those in the music industry as well, including Nashville Artist Entertainment Group. She recently signed with the management team and is excited about the partnership. She says, “Working with Jill Santibanez and TJ Cates has been very exciting and eye-opening into the world of music.” Brauninger has also been added as a MTV Artist, and her video can be seen at www.MTV.com. As for her music, she has been busy writing new material. Her hope is to get into the studio soon to start recording her new CD, scheduled for an early 2017 release. When asked what her upcoming plans are, Brauninger was excited to announce her involvement with the Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee. She will be performing live with her band at a charity event called Wine Down Main Street in Franklin, Tennessee, which will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2016. All the money raised will go to help the Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee. The organization helps children stay off the streets by keeping them busy with after-school activities. It’s an environment where they can learn and get guidance from adults. Brauninger says, “I love kids, and it is great to know that there are people out there looking out for the kids.”

You can find more news and updates on her website at www.brauningermcdaniel.com, as well as links to her social media.

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BOOK

EAT HAPPY

Gluten Free, Grain Free, Low Carb Recipes For A Joyful Life

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BY ANNA VOCINO PROVIDED BY ANNA VOCINO

at Happy is packed with 154 delicious, gluten-free, grain-free recipes that are also free of any processed sugars.  Included are meats, fish, sides, soups, starters, casseroles, slow-cooker dishes, breakfast items, and even desserts that will satisfy any sweets craving you might have, all with virtually no sugar. If you are low-carb, paleo, want to keep autoimmune issues at bay, or just want to lose extra weight, Eat Happy gives you  comfort food, so you won’t miss the sugars or grains. Then, your body and brain can feel happy from eating real foods.

Angriest Trainer podcast with celebrity fitness trainer Vinnie Tortorich. Anna urges you to not only buy several copies of this cookbook, but to also tweet her pictures (www.twitter. com/AnnaVocino) of the dishes you make, so you can discuss it in front of millions of your closest friends on social media. Anna lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and little dog.

Beautiful Photos – Step-by-Step Guidance Easy-to-Make Dishes – Loved by Kids and Adults Alike The author of Eat Happy, Anna Vocino, is an actor, comedian, voiceover talent, and podcaster. She has performed in numerous television shows, films, commercials, and video games, which is a pretty good day job to support her real passion of being a home cook and food blogger. Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002, Anna made it her mission to create easy-to-make, delicious, gluten-free, grain-free, and sugar-free versions of her favorite comfort foods, which are now gathered in Eat Happy. She blogs additional recipes at www.AnnaVocino.com and cohosts The Eat Happy: Gluten Free, Grain Free, Low Carb Recipes For A Joyful Life is available on Amazon, iTunes, BN.com, and Kobo. The hardcover version is listed for presale on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Eat- HappyGlutenRecipesJoyful/dp/1941536883/. There is also a book landing page at www.annavocino.com/eat-happy/.

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BOOK

7 DEADLY SINS THE ACTOR OVERCOMES BY KEVIN E. WEST PROVIDED BY KEVIN E. WEST

7

Deadly Sins – The Actor Overcomes provides a unique approach to the profession of acting, which is a vastly different conversation than the artistic desire to perform. One could argue that the business of performance art may be the most difficult relationship you ever have with yourself. The desire to perform on stage is innate. The credibility afforded the actor who performs regularly on stage is well-earned. However, your belief system about the art, when challenged by the desire to make money acting on camera, can be an emotional and psychological conundrum. 7 Deadly Sins – The Actor Overcomes supplies a fundamental toolkit to increase the likelihood of success in your on-camera acting career, while protecting the delicate balancing act of offering your psyche and soul as a product for sale. This work will also guide you through many of the emotional and philosophical traps that snare actors almost every day. “I loved the book.” By Amazon Customer on July 17, 2016 Format: Paperback

REVIEWS

“I loved the book. It’s useful and entertaining, really funny and smart, and both philosophical and practical. Most importantly, it is persuasive and gets to the point. Having read the book, you just know exactly what to do (and what not to do), and you start seeing patterns. It’s a relief to discover that there are certain ways to have control over your career in this industry that seems to be all about luck and coincidence.” “If you’re an actor, you MUST buy this book!” By Pat Battistini on September 12, 2016 Format: Paperback “If you cross the borders of Los Angeles with the hopes of working in ‘the biz,’ this is the book for you. Don’t even try to start your career without reading it from cover to cover. Kevin E. West has helped so many careers with his advice and guidance. Seriously, you will waste weeks, months, or years stumbling over the mistakes you make without taking this book to heart. I know from experience!” Available in the following retail stores ($14.99 print, $9.99 eBook): Drama Book Store (NYC) www.dramabookshop.com/ Book Soup (LA) www.booksoup.com/ Samuel French (LA) www.samuelfrench.com/bookstore Available online at the following: Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Sins-Overcomes-Business-Insight/dp/1483571270/ref=cm cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 Apple iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/7-deadly-sins-actor-overcomes/id1117073797?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

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BOOK

THEY CALL ME AVENGED The Second Half of Chapter One

H

by Bestselling Author Cyndi Lord

e made noises in a pleading tone that she couldn’t understand. “You’ll just have to wallow. I have a terrified little girl to teach about love.” She slammed the gate shut and covered her ears with both hands to shut out his grunted attempts to communicate. The Cocker Spaniel mix ran to her little bed as soon Loretta approached. Her ribs were healed from the stomping her previous owner gave her for urinating in the house. He’d left her inside for twelve hours. His wife surrendered her to an animal control facility. The supervisor thought her leg was broken initially, but no one could get close enough to tell. She required sedation to be examined. It was revealed she had numerous lumps, bruises, and lacerations in various stages of healing. The man confessed to beating her with a fly swatter. Loretta wished she could catch the man out alone and bring him to her Animal Rescue. Spend a few weeks with him and a fly swatter, but she couldn’t get them all, and the two she had were enough. “Tina, now, now, no snarling.” She scooted closer to the little Tasmanian devil. Ten minutes later, she reached out her hand and touched the blonde head gently. The raised lip and rumble warned her just in time to raise her hand

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quickly. Teeth snapped together as the dog lunged upwards. Loretta didn’t move. She kept her hand a foot above the dog’s head then lowered it slowly. “Let me love you, honey. You’re a good girl. I won’t hurt you.” She petted the small head. Amber eyes turned to her in their sockets, and the growl came hesitantly. The dog never moved as Loretta wiggled her fingers and cooed gentle words. She knew not to stand, appearing large and threatening. Scooting away, to her delight, Tina followed her. “That’s a good girl. If you stop being so ugly to people, I can get a cutie like you a nice home. Wouldn’t you like that?” She ran a hand down the dog’s back a few times. “Let’s go outside, shall we? You can play with the others while I clean the pens and get your food ready. What do you say?” Loretta slipped a hand under the dog’s belly and lifted her slowly to her chest. She jerked her head back to avoid an unpredictable snarl and snap. Just as quickly, Tina hung her head and whimpered. On her feet, she rubbed the dog’s side. “It’s okay, you’re confused. I know you are. We’ve made a lot of progress. You’re a good girl; yes, yes, you are.” She set the dog on the grass, and the other two ran towards her in greetings of excited barks and wagging tails.


BOOK Each kennel had a sewage drain in the back. A subtle slope led to the grate. She used the waste pan and a small shovel to clean solids, removed the dog beds, blankets, and food bowls. Built in, continuous flow water troughs were raised five inches above the floor. She shut the lids then got the power hose from the wall mount. A tank with hot water and non-toxic soap brought a mixture down the lines. She sprayed down the walls and floor of each kennel. “Jeff, I’m not doing this for you. It’s because the dogs have sensitive noses, and you’ve really stunk your cage up.” He scooted to the back shaking his head, making redundant sounds of ‘no, no, no.’ “Oh, stop. It’s more than you did for Rex, isn’t it? You’re really ungrateful, aren’t you, Jeff?” She squeezed the trigger, and the cutting stream threw excrement and urine all over the walls and the man. Unable to stand because of the length of his chain anchored to the floor, he got on his knees. She sprayed his back down, and he crawled on his hands and knees to escape the pain. The diarrhea colored water ran down the walls and across the floor into the drain. Loretta raised her voice so he could hear over the noise of the jet spray. “Last chance, turn around so I can wash you down or you’re stuck in the filth.” She sprayed the last of the mess into the drain. He kept his back to her. Angered by his refusal to cooperate, she stepped closer and aimed the stream at the back of his head. It slammed him face first into the painted cinder blocks. “Oops, well you should have turned around.” Deep red welts crisscrossed his back and the top of his buttocks. She shrugged. No mercy. At least I cleaned him up more than he did his dog—for months. She used a window squeegee on the floor and gathered up all the food bowls. Putting them in the dishwasher situated in the feed and bathing room, she took clean ones from the cupboard and opened seven cans of prime dog food. Loretta scooped out high protein dry food and measured each with certain amounts based on the size of the dog then added hot water. Mixing the canned food in, she carried three smaller portions to the side yard. The tiny dogs, including Tina, jumped up to her as she placed their food in large carriers and coaxed the dogs inside. They ate, locked in under the shade of the patio. Loretta glanced at the fenced pen in the pasture. Three of her five horses grazed. Good, Juan has taken care of the horses. She walked to the side yard and saw his

pickup near the fence by the barn. Clearly an illegal, he followed directions and never approached the house or kennels. She paid him so well, his few hours of work in the morning gave him and his family a comfortable life. He asked no questions and did what she said, when she said. Perfect for her. A few minutes later when she walked by Jeff, he knelt facing the gate. His head and thighs were splattered with waste. He stared at her silent, pleading with his eyes. “Are you hungry?” He nodded. “Your ribs are starting to show. Did I tell you Rex was severely underweight when I rescued him? His ribs were showing, too. But, don’t worry, Jeffrey; I cleaned your pen first; that’s more than you ever did.” His face stayed toward the floor. “I’ll take off your gag, but none of the stuff you pulled last time, or it goes back on and won’t come off for five days. It’s only been three now, so think about it real hard. I don’t care.” The anger came up from the pit of her gut without warning. “Do you understand? I don’t give a rat’s hindquarters how much you suffer. I don’t care how cold you are, how thirsty or hungry you get, you pitiful mother’s vomit! I flipping hate abusers like you. Get it?” She pulled her knife from the side sheath and jerked his head back. His muscles went rigid and his face red. She put the blade close to his eyes and slid it down his face. A noise escaped around the gag as the razor edge sliced the side in two. He shook his head, and the strip of canvass fell away landing on his shoulder. Her breath came labored. She anticipated, wanted him—dared him, to utter one word to her. Blood pounded a beat in her eardrums. “Please don’t...” She shot her knee up and heard his teeth clash together. Blood came from his mouth, and he spat on the floor. “Good! I hope you bit your flipping tongue off. I said ‘not one word.’ Your whining pisses me off, you pathetic dung pile. See, the problem is you don’t care about anything or anyone but yourself.” The rage went into orbit, and she drew the knife above her head. “I should kill you right here. But, I won’t. “ She lowered the knife laughing. Her whisper came out demonic. She leaned close to his head, “I want you to suffer like Rex did.” Blood dripped onto the wet cement, and he sobbed silently through clenched teeth.

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BOOK

“Oh, gawd, you’re so pathetic when it’s your turn.” She re-sheathed the knife and went to the kitchenette. Gripping the edge of the counter, she fought the battle inside. Abusers had to pay for what they did to innocent children and animals. They had to feel what they made others feel. I can’t lose control. I can’t make a mistake. Her hands shook as she filled the four large bowls. She carried them to the kennels one at a time. On her way past Jeffrey, she chuckled. “You’re last.” She threw two soiled blankets in the washer and got them going. Behind bi-fold doors, shelves were filled with old quilts, blankets, and dog pillows, and on the floor, beds stacked in various sizes. She pulled out two, took them to the kennels, and hung them over the gates. Jeffrey shivered, bare and wet on the cool cement floor. Water pooled in low spots. She’d not squeegeed his floor. Screw him. I should turn the airconditioning higher instead of off. “Did Rex have a bed or a blanket? Hard to tell under all that dog waste. He didn’t have one; so you don’t get one.” She turned the cooling system off and opened the doors and windows. Jeffrey used the trough in his kennel to suck water and spit it in the drain. “Not one word. Remember what I said.” She threw two hands full of dry food on the floor. It soaked up water and blood. He knelt and licked the pieces into his mouth, chewing and swallowing fast. Satisfied his punishment continued sufficiently, she let the big dogs in one at a time and shut their gates as they ate. The small dogs roamed free in the back yard before eight o’clock. Juan’s pickup truck backed out of the barn drive. She waved at him, and he smiled broadly. The farrier’s appointment was at nine o’clock. Two

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horses she’d rescued from a man fifty miles away needed their wounds healed and desperately needed their hooves trimmed. She planned on having him join her at the ranch as soon as the guy in the pasture was buried. She shook the bag of dog food in her hand and fingered the bottle of water in her vest pocket. Better check to see if he’s still alive.


BOOK

The Beauty In Darkness: A Vampire Story

WRITTEN BY JAY LUSTER AND LEAH REISE

F

SUMMARY BY JAY LUSTER

rom the dank and rugged northern California coastline to the underground San Francisco club scene, Leah Reise has created a vibrant and surrealistic world and populated it with relatable characters. Her rookie novel features a sisterly love story, darkly passionate vampires, and rivalries between ancient, bloodthirsty factions. Freshly undead, Edrea is smart, sexy, and fiercely protective of her baby sister, a girl who looks for and finds trouble behind every iron gate. We all have childhood dreams. Some are realized in our adult lives, and some are not. One of mine was to write a fantasy book and share it with the world. Writing took me away from life’s troubles and gave me a voice, even if it was to be heard by only one or two people. When I completed my debut novel at 37-years-old, it brought me a sort of liberation I had never experienced before – a ray of light that will stay with me always. My name is Leah Reise, and I wrote The Beauty in Darkness: A Vampire Story, which was published in July 2016. This book was a delight to write, encompassing the joys and struggles of real people…their losses, hopes, passions, connections with loved ones, and deepest dreams. It especially helped me work through my own hardships, allowing me to dull the line between reality and fantasy, temporarily. Born into a passionate Jewish Sicilian East Coast family and living with a crippling autoimmune disease, severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, an escape from reality was needed. I created a world of wonder – a mesh of fantasy, science, philosophy, and romance – a vampire novel that was also a mirror image of my own life. If you love vampire stories and want something a little different, check out my novel on Amazon (paperback and Kindle) at https://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Darkness-Vampire-Story-ebook/dp/B01IAQMHOC/ ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1472411676&sr=1-1#nav-subnav. You can also “Like” my Facebook author page, Leah Reise, and my novel page, The Beauty in Darkness.

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Meditating On Stress WRITTEN BY JAY LUSTER

“Universities across the country are increasingly having to deal with students unable to consciously and healthfully handle the rigors of academic life on campus.” ~ Stephanie Eggert (Shabad Atma Kaur)

Between the years 2000 and 2014, the rate of suicide among college-age people increased by 24%. The leading cause is believed to be stress. During that

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same period, the number of people in this age bracket who have begun taking medications, such as the antianxiety drug Xanax, is around 18 percent. When you consider that there are almost 21 million young men and women enrolled in colleges around the country, that puts the number of people experiencing difficulties at around four million. That’s an astounding figure, and there have been many studies that have attempted to figure out how and why it’s happening.


HEALTH

Researchers have concluded that the cost of tuition, an increase in academic competition, campus crime, and the economy are the main factors leading to the bleak numbers. However, Taylor Clark, author of the book Nerve, observed in a January 2011 Slate Magazine article that fear of not being able to find a job is probably an exaggerated notion. He says, “I don’t know about your college experience, but my classmates spent about as much time pondering the future “job market” as they spent leafing through calculus textbooks for fun.” He continues, “These news stories have missed the truth, because they’ve overlooked one crucial fact. Students are becoming more anxious, because we’ve all been growing more anxious for many years.” He is right, because the same increase recorded in college suicide rates corresponds closely with the increase we see at all levels of society, except kids under age 20. Taylor continues, “Michael Davis, of Emory University, told me, ‘If you’ve lost the extended family and lost a sense of community, you’re going to have fewer people to depend on for support. Therefore, you’ll be more anxious.’ ” As we begin to reach adulthood, we have a tendency to grow more independent. This is just the way of things. Today, however, people have become insular. This disconnection is starting at earlier ages than ever before. Studies show that the primary reason fits right in the palm of your hand. It doesn’t take scholarly research to observe the number of people staring at their phones. When you look around, you see it happening in lines at grocery stores, at tables in restaurants, and most disturbingly, drivers in cars. Even so, it’s not just that we’re distracted by our technology. It’s also the type of information and the amount of it we’re exposing ourselves to. Clark observes, “Some neuroscientists believe that our brains simply weren’t designed to handle this avalanche of data. News organizations compete 24 hours a day on a moment to moment basis, telling us how horrible things are. Our fears are stoked with a constant barrage of stories about murders, terrorism, and how much we all dislike and distrust each other.” A century ago, psychologist William James wrote, “In civilized life…it has, at last, become possible for large numbers of people to pass from the cradle to

the grave without ever having had a pang of genuine fear.” Statistics bear out that we are, in fact, living in the safest and most economically-stable period in history. Whatever the cause of these feelings, they are quantifiably real, and the stress students are experiencing is a cause of worry and anxiety for our nation. So, what are we doing about it? Colleges and universities all over the world have studied the issue and are allocating resources toward alleviating stress within the student body. A New York university study observes, “The importance of establishing peaceful, relaxing spaces, where students can unwind or engage in stress-relieving practices such as meditation, has been documented and necessary.” Stephanie Eggert, an instructor at the University of Southern California, has collaborated on the creation of a program based on Kundalini yoga meditations, which studies have shown help with memory, focus, anxiety, and depression. She says, “More and more students are expressing that drugs, alcohol, and pharmaceuticals leave them feeling totally out of sorts and, oftentimes, worse. Meditation is something I’ve added to all my classes. End-of-semester feedback consistently shows that the thing students liked the most, got the most out of, and wished there was more of was meditation.” One of the elements used in Kundalini yoga meditation is music. For her classes, she has selected the new album by White Sun, featuring singer Gurujas, White Sun II. The music, as described by Journeyscapes’ Candice Michelle, is a fusion of “both modern and indigenous instruments with transcendental sung lyrics.” The lyrics are actually mantras set to music, creating “an atmosphere of being inside a sacred shrine or temple.” Eggert says, “White Sun’s recordings have the ability to shift the energy of a room full of college students like I’ve never seen before.” Her students are required to download it after the first class meeting and listen to it as frequently as they can wherever they are. In other words, instead of obsessively absorbing stressful information on their handheld devices, they will be listening to prescribed music designed

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to, as she puts it, “allow listeners to enter through lots of doors,” thereby encouraging relaxation while learning techniques they can apply throughout their lives. While yoga and meditation are not magic pills banishing all stress from college campuses by themselves, they are effective tools that are finding wider acceptance within academia and society in general. Eggert says, “Universities across the country are working hard to consciously and healthfully handle the rigors of academic life on

campus.” Driven by scientific research that demonstrates an acute need for social support and with increased student demand, USC is having no trouble filling up their Kundalini Yoga Meditation classes. As for the album, White Sun II, it debuted at #2, then rose to the top of Billboard’s New Age chart. Eventually, there will be scientific studies that will determine the efficacy of these programs over time. For now, the anecdotal evidence strongly supports the financial investment that is being made by the universities.

The following websites will provide more information on this subject: https://www.afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/ http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-statistics-information.shtml http://www.heri.ucla.edu/pr-display.php?prQry=55 http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2011/01/its_not_the_job_market.html https://www.nyu.edu/life/safety-health-wellness/live-well-nyu/priority-areas/stress.html http://www.whitesun.com/single-post/2016/08/27/Album-Review-of-White-Sun-II-by-White-Sun

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City To Country Magazine  

November / December 2016 Issue

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