2019 Musings and New Projects

Me in March 20182018 was the first year I did not reach my reading goal in a very long, long time. I thought I would be upset over that but surprisingly I am not. I still read a lot of books considering…  I want to focus on the quality of reads and I am wanting to really dig deep into my Presidents Reading Challenge. Also, I am starting new works on Layered Pages.

This year I will be posting about a variety of mediums. Including fashion, art, books, food and photography. However, I did a little of that last year but you’ll be seeing a lot more this time around and with a lot more creativity. Such as you’ll get to see guest posts from artists, authors, photographer’s and people who work in the nutritional industry. I am really thrilled about these new and exciting projects coming up on my website.

This week I finished reading. The Long Road to Mercy. I’m still thinking about how I want to discuss my thoughts on this book. There were things I liked about it and things I did not like. Tomorrow I am starting, The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau. She is among the very few authors whose books I’ll review anymore. Her stories are amazing!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Follow my closet  @artsycouture42 and use my code: ARTSYCOUTURE42 to get a free $5 credit when signing up for Poshmark! http://www.poshmark.com

long road to mercyLong Road to Mercy (Atlee Pine #1) by David Baldacci

#1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci introduces a remarkable new character: Atlee Pine, an FBI special agent assigned to the remote wilds of the western United States. Ever since her twin sister was abducted by a notorious serial killer at age five, Atlee has spent her life hunting down those who hurt others. And she’s the best at it. She could be one of the Bureau’s top criminal profilers, if she didn’t prefer catching criminals in the vast wilderness of the West to climbing the career ladder in the D.C. office. Her chosen mission is a lonesome one–but that suits her just fine.

Now, Atlee is called in to investigate the mutilated carcass of a mule found in the Grand Canyon–and hopefully, solve the disappearance of its rider. But this isn’t the only recent disappearance. In fact, it may be just the first clue, the key to unraveling a rash of other similar missing persons cases in the canyon. . .

blueThe Blue by Nancy Bilyeau

In eighteenth century London, porcelain is the most seductive of commodities; fortunes are made and lost upon it. Kings do battle with knights and knaves for possession of the finest pieces and the secrets of their manufacture.

For Genevieve Planché, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees, porcelain holds far less allure; she wants to be an artist, a painter of international repute, but nobody takes the idea of a female artist seriously in London. If only she could reach Venice.

When Genevieve meets the charming Sir Gabriel Courtenay, he offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse; if she learns the secrets of porcelain, he will send her to Venice. But in particular, she must learn the secrets of the colour blue…

The ensuing events take Genevieve deep into England’s emerging industrial heartlands, where not only does she learn about porcelain, but also about the art of industrial espionage.

With the heart and spirit of her Huguenot ancestors, Genevieve faces her challenges head on, but how much is she willing to suffer in pursuit and protection of the colour blue?


What Are Your Marketing Needs?

I’ve worked in the clothing/book retail business and have been blogging and marketing authors, artists, and book bloggers for years. I was formally on the indieBRAG Team for five years as their social media director and was a co-short-list judge for the 2016 Historical Novel Society indie award. I have reviewed books for the Historical Novel Society, and currently reviewing for various Publishing Houses, NetGalley and indie Authors.

My knack for marketing, branding and creativity in promoting different professional’s products and my passion for fashion, literature, art and photography is the inspiration for bringing outstanding products to the public.

Not only that, but my own endeavors in fashion, creating mix media art, dabbling in photography and my love for reading and writing gives me the advantage of finding new inspiring ways to spotlight different mediums.

My Poshmark Closet @artsycouture42
Use my code ARTSYCOUTURE42 to sign up for Poshmark and get a $5.00 credit!


L.A.P. it Marketing LLC

If you are interested in my consulting service or would like a promo of your work, please contact me at layeredpages@yahoo.com

Stephanie M. Hopkins

New Beginnings for Layered Pages

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Layered Pages will now be a blend of literature (Book Sales Starting on Friday), art, photography, and fashion! Be sure to tell your friends all about the new changes to Layered Pages!

My latest listings on Poshmark is now live! 10 listings in all! Be sure to check this out and my other items in my closet!  Make a bundle and get 15% OFF 3 or more items from this closet! Poshmark Website 

Use my code ARTSYCOUTURE42 to sign up for Poshmark and get a $5.00 credit!  

This past weekend I was going to get my art on but I did not get a moment to do so! Very frustrating but I shall make up for it soon and share with you all my upcoming creations.

What I’m reading: Sailing Lessons by Hannah McKinnon

On the shores of Cape Cod, the Bailey sisters reunite with their long-lost father for a summer of hope and forgiveness in this heartfelt novel from the author of the “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) Mystic Summer, The Lake Season, and The Summer House, sure to appeal to “fans of Elin Hilderbrand” (Booklist).

Wrenn Bailey has lived all her life on Cape Cod with her mother Lindy, older sister Shannon, and younger sister Piper. Growing up, life was dictated by the seasons with sleepy gray winters where only the locals stayed on, followed by the sharp influx and colorful bustle of summer tourists who swept up the elbow of the Cape and infiltrated their small paradise.

But it wasn’t just the tourists who interrupted Wrenn’s formative years; her father—brilliant but troubled photographer Caleb—has long made a habit of drifting in and out of his girls’ lives. Until the one summer he left the Cape and did not return again.

Now, almost twenty years later, Caleb has come back one last time, suffering from pancreatic cancer and seeking absolution. Wrenn and her sisters each respond differently to their father’s return, determined to find closure. But that means returning to the past and revisiting old wounds—wounds that cause the tightknit Bailey women to confront their own wishes and wants, and admit to their own wrong-doings over the years. In a place that brings both great comfort and great pain, the Bailey sisters experience a summer on the Cape that promises not only hard endings, but perhaps, hopeful new beginnings.

 What I’m listening to: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman-Fabulous so far!

“A psychological thriller that captivated me from page one. What unfolds makes for a wild, page-turning ride! It’s the perfect beach read!”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine book pick)

A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this taut psychological thriller debut–for readers of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Shari Lapena.

If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you? 

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .

Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?

Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?

Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman’s enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we’re tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves.


Collaborations Among Artists

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I have an amazing collaboration between two artists coming up soon that I can’t wait to tell you more about! It is brilliant! The project will be something you have never seen on social media before. When I started L.A.P. it Marketing, I wanted to create a whole new way of promoting literature, art and photography and we are finally putting the idea into action. It takes a lot of work and creativity but well worth the effort and will give our audience something new to get excited about! You will be seeing more of this thrilling venture in the coming weeks. To follow what we are doing, be sure to like and follow L.A.P it Marketing Facebook Page!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

On Calton Hill

Previously published on L.A.P. it Marketing  

Today’s feature is a dual collaboration between WSM Photography’s photo of Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland and a short story inspired by the photo written by Author Stuart S. Laing.

Edinburgh Scotland

“Britney Lourdes McKelvie! You better not be on your phone!”

I can always tell when Mrs Ossowski is angry with me, or anyone else in the class. She insists on using your full name. Getting labelled with Britney was bad enough but imagine going to Gorgie High School with the middle name Lourdes! My friends all know that it’s my mother’s fault for being mad keen on Madonna when she was kinda relevant, Madonna, not my mum, and before she turned into a ‘raddled auld trout’ (my gran’s description). I suppose I should think myself lucky when it comes to first names. Britney isn’t that bad compared to the Chardonnay’s, Mercedes’ and Porsche’s that can found on the class register. I’ve long wondered why folk that drive clapped out cars held together by masking tape and rust think calling their daughters after posh cars is a good move? And as for my mate Chardonnay, I know for a fact that her mum drink’s nothing but Buckfast. Imagine if she had been called that? ‘Haw Buckfast, yer dinner’s ready!’ I wouldn’t be surprised to hear there’s a lassie down in Leith called Fiat Panda, or a boy called VW GTi.

Slipping my iPhone discreetly back into my blazer I give Mrs Ossowski my most charming smile. “No,” I say sweetly. “I was just enjoying the view up here on Calton Hill.”

To be fair it is a cracking view. It’s like the whole of Edinburgh is laid out below you. The monuments, the castle. The Old Town and Princes Street. You can see why the tourists flock here. Personally the only place me and my mates go when we haul ourselves into town from Gorgie is to the shops on Princes Street. That’s more interesting than anything else.

Anyhow, back to what I was saying. There’s fifteen girls here listening to Mrs Ossowski talk about history. This is meant to be a learning experience for us (lucky us, eh?). A wee trip out the classroom, and all that. So we got crammed into the decrepit school minibus and driven across town to here. I can see the jannie who doubles as the driver having a fly fag behind the bus. Jammy sod. I don’t mean smoking. That’s bogging, but at least he isn’t listening to old kipperface Ossowski. Behind us is what she tells us is the national monument to the dead of the Napoleonic Wars. She mentions Waterloo but the ony thing I can think of is my gran belting out the old ABBA song at Hogmanay when she’s got wired into her Asti Spumante or Lambrini. When she turns her back and starts pointing out landmarks to her bored audience I take the chance and scramble up the tiers of the monument to get a photo of the haddies as they listen to her drone on.

When I stand on the top plinth between the dead tall pillars I’m surprised to find that there’s nothing behind it. I had thought it would be like a temple or something. It’s just a piece of land. Grass, bushes and old beer cans with a fair old drop if anyone was daft enough to fall off the back of the monument. Getting my phone out I quickly snap off a couple of photos feeling pretty smug that when I post them on Instagram and Facebook they’ll all wonder how I managed it without Ossowski going mental. Still, what she doesn’t know, doesn’t hurt me.

Actually the view is pretty impressive now that I take the time to properly look. I might as well take a proper tourist photo. My mum will love that. I just need to frame it properly in the screen. No, not quite right. I just need to take a wee step bac…..

I can’t believe I fell off the monument. God, it’s a wonder I didn’t kill myself. A wee check shows that nothing is broken (especially my iPhone) My mum would slaughter me if I broke this one. I only got it for Christmas and we’re not even out of January yet. Aye, Britney, don’t break the phone. Legs or arms are permitted, but not phones. With a groan I manage to get myself upright. My trousers have survived the tumble which is a surprise. They’re so tight I nearly panic every time I bend over in case the backside splits. Now I have to try and rejoin the others without anyone noticing I am missing. As I scurry around the corner of the monument I glance towards the minibus but it’s gone. That brings me to a halt. There’s a coach and horses standing where it was parked. And there’s another coming up the road to join it! It must be a wedding. Never mind that Britney. Have they gone back to Gorgie and left you here? My mum will go radge if they have.

As I get back to where the class had been standing I stumble to a halt. No class. No teacher. No tourists either. What there is though is a load of folk in fancy dress who are all staring at me. Good manners stop me from pointing out that I’m not the one dressed up like extras in Pride and Prejudice (we had to watch it in English), and anyway it’s rude to stare.

Britney, I hear a small, worried voice in my head say, never mind looking at the cast of Poldark, what’s happened to Edinburgh? I can hardly see the castle for the smoke belching out of every chimney and someone has stolen the Scott Monument. For everything that looks normal there is something that looks wrong. Princes Street looks almost normal but instead of cars, trams and buses all I can see are coaches, wagons and carts all pulled by horses. This is mad! Grabbing my phone I take photo after photo while men in tall hats and women in ridiculously wide skirts approach me nervously as though I’m the weird looking one. In my finest Gorgie tones I politely tell them to ‘get right tae…’ which produces much nervous fluttering of fans amid the women and looks ranging from amused to angry in the men. Sticking my phone back in my pocket I push my way through them all and run back around the monument to where I first landed. Now that I more aware of what is happening I notice it looks more like a building site with blocks of stone waiting to be put into place while workmen stare at me as though I have come from Mars. I need to get away from here. Feeling panic starting to grip me I turn again and try to run while I hear a man shout out a warning to be careful. Looking up I barely have time to register a large iron wheel on a rope swinging towards me. Duck Britney. Duc…

My head is banging like the big drum at Tynecastle on match days as I find myself lying on my back once more. I am almost too afraid to open my eyes to find I am back in the time of the dinosaurs.

“Britney Lourdes McKelvie! You stupid girl, you could have killed yourself!”

Nope, no dinosaurs then. Just a dragon.

With a groan I manage to sit up and find myself surrounded by my classmates with the red, angry face of Mrs Ossowski only inches from my own. “Listen,” I say urgently. “Something amazing happened. I think I travelled through time back to Victorian times!” (see, I do pay attention in my classes…sometimes)

Mrs Ossowski gives me the sort of look that normally precedes detentions and extra homework. I would shake my head but the pounding suggests this would be a bad idea. Instead I say, “I’m not lying. Look, I took photos on my phone. That’ll prove I’m not lying.”

“What? This phone?” Mrs Ossowki asks holding up the remains of my shattered iPhone.

My mum is going to kill me.

The End

 Story by Author Stuart S. Laing and photo by WSM Photography

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My thanks to Scott Moore and Stuart Laing for their spectacular collaboration.

If you want to learn more about how you can join collaborations and become a client of mine, email me at lapitmarketing@yahoo.com


L.A.P. it Marketing Giveaway Announcement

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As many of you know, I started a marketing firm for Literature, Art and Photography. Over at the L.A.P. it Marketing Facebook Page I will be holding a fantastic giveaway starting on February 1st. Several of my clients will be contributing to the giveaway and we would be delighted to have you enter and share about what’s to come. Please follow L.A.P. it’s Facebook for exciting content and giveaways!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Giveaway Package to one lucky winner:

$25 Amazon Gift Card

A Set of Handmade Bookmarks by Stephanie M. Hopkins

A 5×7 Vintage/Abstract on mix media paper by Stephanie M. Hopkins

8×12 Print Photo of Edinburgh Scotland by WSM Photography

Print book: Heart Soul & Rock ‘N’ Roll: A Mid-Life Love Story by Janet R. Stafford

Print book: The Immigrant by Alfred Woollacott III

Print copy of The Believers In The Crucible Nauvoo by Alfred Woollacott III

Kindle edition of Owen (Book one of The Tudor Trilogy) by Tony Riches

300 Writing Prompts Journal

My Heart Is Like A Singing Bird Quotes to Color book


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