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Music and the brain
Musicians and artists use both sides of the brain more often than people who are not?! Wow that’s something to think about when deciding what programs to get your little ones or not so little ones into!
So after signing my two young boys up for music (piano/rhythm instrument) lessons, I was told that children who are taught music at a young age tend to use both sides of their brains more often than children who don’t take any music lessons at all. So I did a little research to see if that was true. I guess it`s not just children but musicians and artists in general, as they tend to look outside the box when being creative. So I`m thinking it was a good idea to put the kids in music classes! What better way to develop and mould a young child’s mind than through music! My boys love it! As I am trying to type this article my 2 year old is going crazy on the keyboard we have set up in our living room. He started the background music for “Titanic” and is really having a blast! lol
I was curious to see if there were any studies on the matter and found that there was a study taken at the Vanderbilt University, where psychologists found that professionally trained musicians more effectively use a creative technique called divergent thinking, and also use both the left and the right sides of their frontal cortex more heavily than the average person. Aha…. So there it is!
I had to add the video below as its just too cute! A fundraiser by the kids of the music for young children program, ages 3-12!
I had a look at the music program my boys are in and decided to share a few things from their site that may be interesting to some of the parents out there contemplating on whether or not to put their children into classes. Both my boys take classes in our town with the “Music for Young Children” program. This program is taught in 3 continents, with over 24,000 students and 900 teachers! And after only a few classes I am very impressed and enjoy going with them! It’s a great time to bond with your child and help in the learning process too. Check out the benefits for children and taking music classes on the "Music for young children website. Here is the link: MYC.COM
I hope this article gave you some great insight into the early benefits of music in your little ones lives, and not just theirs but for you as parents as well! Be creative and have a blast!
Much Love and Happy Reading to you all!
Anita Blake by Laurell K Hamilton
Anita Blake…. Haven’t heard of her?? Well how about Laurell K Hamilton?? I just started the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series written by none other than best-selling author Laurell K Hamilton. I hadn’t heard too much about the series when I started to collect them, so I had a fresh slate to start on. And after the first novel “Guilty Pleasures” I was hooked! It’s not your typical paranormal romance. In fact there isn’t much romance or steaminess in the first few books at all! I know, I know…. Where is the fun in that! NO SEX SCENES…. SAY WHAT??!! I have however heard that there gets to be some better sex or should I say not better but actual sex scenes closer to the 4 or 5th novels. But after being a little disappointed in the lack of sex, I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed the first book. Anita Blake is a slight woman with dark hair; she is also an “Animator” which is a person who can bring people back from the dead! Creepy! But it’s her job; she makes her living working for a company bringing folks back from the dead to get information from them. And the cool part about it, everyone knows that there are vampires, animators, and other crazy supernatural beings on earth!
I am now almost finished the second book (I have too many books and series started at once!) “The Laughing Corpse” and I have to admit it’s got some pretty gory scenes, but overall so far it’s even better than the first book! Anita is loaned out to the police force to help with supernatural investigations. She is called out to a multiple homicide in the suburbs; only to arrive to a house with blood spattered everywhere, a half-eaten and dismembered body in the living room and one upstairs in the master suite. Upon further investigation she realizes that there is a young boy missing, no body was found only a teddy bear covered in blood set in the middle of the boy’s room. So that was as much of a teaser as I am going to give you! The novels are definitely addicting and if the story line gets better with each book then we all have a lot to look forward to as there is a whopping 20 books in the series and the 21st comes out next year!
So go check out her books next time you are at the book store or go to her Amazon link below to order them! I promise you that you will not be disappointed in them!
Check out Laurell K Hamilton’s Site HERE
Check out Laurell K Hamilton’s Amazon page HERE
Much Love and Happy Reading to You All!! :)
"Are you afraid of the night
Do clowns and shadows give you fright?
Wind and rain howl in storms
You think your safe cause your indoors?
What lurks behind those inner walls,
A ghost could be the one who calls."
Sightings, encounters, apparitions, nightly hauntings and spooky happenings, all of it happening right in our own back yards. You looked outside, didn't you?
Here is the ultimate top ten list of haunted places in North America!
This 1800s-era cemetery has been largely abandoned since 1965, and since then has fallen victim to vandals. Among the toppled tombstones it is said that satanic and occultist groups perform ceremonies, and over 100 reports of strange phenomena have been collected.
Among them, ghost lights, inexplicable lights and voices, apparitions, strange photos, anomalous recordings and sightings of unbelievable creatures. There is also a nearby haunted lagoon, a phantom farmhouse and a stretch of haunted turnpike near Bachelor’s Grove.
If you are looking for eerie eating in Vancouver, check out the Old Spaghetti Factory in the Gastown neighbourhood. You may hear stories of inexplicable cold drafts and moving table settings, shenanigans attributed to the ghost of a certain train conductor who met his end during a tragic collision on the underground railway track upon which the restaurant is built. Enjoy the delicious food, but watch that your cutlery doesn’t float off on you!
Built in the 1860s by the Lemp family (who created “Falstaff” beer), the Lemp Mansion is said to be haunted by the family, which was surrounded by tragedy. William Lemp’s son died in 1904, and afterward William committed suicide in the house. In 1920, his daughter also committed suicide, and later so did William Lemp, Jr., and Charles Lemp, leaving the family completely torn apart.
Since then, the house was sold and became a boarding house and later, in 1977, a fine restaurant (which is still open today). Workers and boarding tenants have reported feelings of being watched, vanishing tools, strange sounds, apparitions, glasses flying through the air, a piano playing by itself, voices and other strange occurrences.
In 1912, the J.B. Moore family (the parents and their four children), along with two children who were staying over that night, was murdered in their beds in a shocking crime for this otherwise small, peaceful community. The murders were never solved, but since then many unusual phenomena have been reported in the house. The Moore home was restored and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, and today is open to overnight visitors.
Guests have reported children’s voices and laughter, falling lamps, moving objects, and odd sounds, while others have recorded audio, video and photographic evidence of supernatural activities. Psychics who have visited the home have also reportedly communicated with spirits.
A blocked off stairway, said to be haunted by a tragic bride, and a mystery missing room, rumoured to be locked forever to contain the family of ghosts that inhabits it, give rise to multiple tales of hauntings and eerie events in this historic and beautiful chateau hotel.
If you pass through the village of St. Louis, Saskatchewan, late at night, be on the lookout for the phantom lights out on the dirt road where the train tracks used to be. Whether these lights are a paranormal phenomenon or the perfectly natural occurrence, the curious appearance of these lights nearly every night has attracted curious onlookers for over thirty years. Some say the light is a ghost train, others the lantern held by the spirit of a conductor who lost his head on the tracks and searches eternally to find it. The realists claim that it is simply a refraction of headlights from the highway a few miles off.
The Hickory Hill mansion was built in 1842 by a wealthy man, John Hart Crenshaw, who owned several salt tracts. Although it was illegal to own slaves in Illinois at this time, it was legal to lease slaves from other states to work in the salt mines.
Crenshaw imprisoned slaves, some of whom were kidnapped, in the attic of the mansion in narrow cells and manacles. He reportedly tortured and beat the slaves for many years, and also “bred” his own slaves, until eventually his cruel practices were discovered and he retired to become a farmer.
In the 1920s, the house was opened as a tourist attraction where slavery existed in Illinois; however tourists began reporting sounds of people crying and moaning coming from the attic, cold chills, and whispers. Things intensified when a ghost hunter named Hickman Whittington went to the attic shortly after it opened and spent a few hours there. Though he was in perfect health at the time, he died a few hours after leaving the mansion.
Reportedly, hundreds of people tried to spend the night in the attic after Whittington’s death, but would leave, terrorized, before morning (one man did finally spend the night there in 1978, and reported strange sounds).
Currently, the Hickory Hills mansion is owned by the state of Illinois, and is scheduled to open as a historic site (but has not yet re-opened to visitors).
Sarah Winchester, a wealthy widow, built the 160-room Victorian Winchester mansion in 1884. It was such an unprecedented project that construction workers worked on the home 24 hours a day for 38 years. The home has many bizarre features, built to keep out evil spirits, including false doors, a room built for séances (where Sarah developed building plans that ghosts sent to her) and a stairway that leads to the ceiling, and many supernatural occurrences have happened there.
Sarah Winchester reportedly spoke to spirits nightly at midnight and since then people have reported organ music in the Blue Room where Sarah died, apparitions, cold spots, a smell of chicken soup in the kitchen, red balls of light and more. Today visitors can take tours of the mansion (including special night-time flashlight tours).
Howie, the affectionately named ghost of Regina’s Government House, has been credited with the opening and shutting of doors without aid of human hands, unaccounted-for footsteps on the stairs and the mysterious movement of items from one location to another. Some theories hold that “Howie” is actually the ghost of the former cook of Lieutenant-Governor McNab, who died in the house. However, others claim that there are more than one ghost inhabiting this historical mansion which once served as home to Lieutenant-Governors of the Northwest Territories.
This castle-like hotel in Winnipeg is rumoured to be haunted by a number of ghosts. Even a Canadian Member of Parliament was so convinced of a presence in her room that she fled from her room in the middle of the night.
Watch GHOST HUNTERS LIVE TONIGHT
Like T.A.P.S? Ghost Hunters video of memorable moments:
Do you have an interestting haunting or ghost story that you would like to share with What's Hot and On Top? Contact us via email at: info@whatshotandontop(dot)com. Subject line: Ghost stories
In case you missed this superscary 2002 thriller, here’s a synopsis: Before John Klein's (played by Richard Gere), wife dies from wounds sustained during a car accident, she draws eerie sketches of a mothlike being. After her death, Klein leaves his job as a newspaper reporter to investigate similar "mothman” prophecies. He strangely finds himself in a small West Virginia town where the presence of the mysterious mothlike creature is particularly strong.
The movie trailer
based on a true story:
more than 100 people in Point Pleasant, W. Va.,
reported seeing a nine-foot-tall mothlike being with glowing red eyes. Some said it spoke to them and warned of an impending disaster. On December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge connecting Point Pleasant to Ohio collapsed, causing 46 deaths. Today, Point Pleasant pays tribute to the Mothman via a Mothman Museum and imposing stainless steel statue."
Let's take a closer look into the events:
Scarberry and Mallette
"On November 15, 1966, two young couples from Point Pleasant, Roger and Linda Scarberry, and Steve and Mary Mallette, along with their young cousin, Lonnie Button, were traveling late at night in the Scarberrys' car. They were passing the West Virginia Ordnance Works, an abandoned World War II TNT factory, about seven miles north of Point Pleasant, in the 2,500 acre (10 km²) McClintic Wildlife Management Area, when they noticed two red lights in the shadows by an old generator plant near the factory gate. They stopped the car, and reportedly discovered that the lights were the glowing red eyes of a large animal, "shaped like a man, but bigger, maybe six and a half or seven feet tall, with big wings folded against its back," according to Roger Scarberry. Terrified, they drove toward Route 62, where the creature supposedly chased them at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.
A plaque on the Mothman statue provides a version of the original legend: "On a chilly, fall night in November 1966, two young couples drove into the TNT area north of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, when they realized they were not alone." Driving down the exit road, they saw the supposed creature standing on a nearby ridge. It spread its wings and flew alongside the vehicle up to the city limits. As they approached Point Pleasant, the Scarberrys reported seeing the corpse of a large dog along the roadside, an observation that was perhaps related to another supposed Mothman encounter.They drove to the Mason County courthouse to alert Deputy Millard Halstead, who later said, "I've known these kids all their lives. They'd never been in any trouble and they were really scared that night. I took them seriously." He then followed Roger Scarberry's car back to the old Ordnance Works, but found no trace of the strange creature.
According to the book Alien Animals, by Janet and Colin Bord, a poltergeistattack on the Scarberry home occurred later that night, during which the creature was seen several times."
"A Mothman sighting was reported on January 11, 1967 hovering over the town's bridge, and several other times that same year. Fewer sightings of the Mothman were reported after the collapse of the town's bridge when 46 people died. the Silver Bridge was a suspension bridge that connected the cities of Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Gallipolis, Ohio over the Ohio river. The bridge was built in 1928, and it collapsed on December 15, 1967. Investigation of the bridge wreckage pointed to the failure of a single eye-bar in a suspension chain due to a small manufacturing flaw. There are rumors that the Mothman appears before upcoming disasters and seems to try to warn people of them. After that, Mothman was never again seen in Point Pleasant."
"About an hour before the Scarberrys claimed to have had their Mothman encounter, Newell Partridge, a nearby rural resident, also reported an odd encounter. His story only emerged after the wave of publicity following the Scarberry incident.
While watching television at home, Partridge reported that an unusual type of interference appeared onscreen. At the same time, his dog Bandit began howling outside. Taking a flashlight outdoors, Partridge would claim that, about 150 feet from his house, Bandit was circling a large creature with glowing red eyes like he'd never seen. Seized with a sudden fear of the eerie creature, Partidge called Bandit to the house. When the dog refused, Partridge went back into the house to recover a firearm. But, anxious and afraid of the strange being with the glowing eyes, Partridge stayed indoors until dawn. Bandit was missing and he found no trace of the creature, but Partridge would speculate that the dead dog reported along the road by the Scarberrys was in fact Bandit
According to some sources, Mothman was never again seen in Point Pleasant after the demolition of the Silver Bridge.
In 1976, however, members of the Ohio UFO Investigators League re-interviewed several Mothman eyewitnesses, all of whom insisted their stories were accurate. Linda Scarberry claimed that she and her husband had seen Mothman "hundreds of times," sometimes and close range. She added "It seems like it doesn’t want to hurt you. It just wants to communicate with you."
Say what you will, Freddie, Mike Myers and Bozo the clown have got nothing on the Mothman. Stories based on true tale events are probably the most frightening.
"What do you look like?"
Indrid Cold (The Mothman?) replied:
"It depends on who is looking."
Buy the book by John Keel here
- Coleman, L. Mothman and Other Curious Encounters. (2002). ISBN 978-1931044349 (or ISBN 1-931044-34-1)
- Colvin, Andrew (2007). The Mothman's Photographer: The Work of an Artist Touched by the Prophecies of the Infamous MothmanISBN 978-1419652653
- Colvin, Andrew The Mothman's Photographer II: Meetings With Remarkabl
- e Witnesses Touched by Paranormal Phenomena, UFOs, and the Prophecies of West Virginia's Infamous Mothman (2007). ISBN 978-1419652664
- Sergent, Jr., Donnie Mothman: The Facts Behind the Legend (2001) ISBN 978-0966724677
- Fear, Brad A Macabre Myth of a Moth-Man (2008) ISBN 978-1438902630
- Keel, John A. The Mothman Prophecies (2007). ISBN 0-7653-4197-2
- Keel, John A. The Eighth Tower (1977). ISBN 978-0451074607
- Myers, Bill. Angel of Wrath: A Novel (2009). ISBN 978-0446698009
- Ressel, Steve. Perverted Communion (2010). ISBN 978-0978748357
- Troy Taylor (2007). "Unexplained America — "Mothman: The enigma of Point Pleasant"". Dark Haven Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-12-18.
- Clark, Jerome (2000). Extraordinary Encounters: An Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrials and Otherworldly Beings Santa Barbara, California: ABC-Clio, ISBN 1-57607-249-5, pp. 178-179
For more video clips of intriguing movies check out our Fiery Flicks section
Ok with Halloween coming I thought it appropriate to write an article about witches! Every year as a kid that’s the only costume I ever wanted and all I needed was some green makeup, a witch hat and a black garbage bag! Lol I know, I know!
So my fascination with witches and the culture goes back to my very younger days! But taking the subject to a different level I wanted to discuss the new hit show “The Secret Circle”. If you haven’t heard of it or watched it then you should! The series just started this year and is based on the novels by bestselling author L J Smith. Yes the author that wrote the novels “The Vampire Diaries” another series that was turned into a hit TV show! *Vampire Diaries show info found here
Well back to “The Secret Circle”. The series starts out with a young girl ‘Cassie Blake’ at the side of the road with a flat tire, on her cell phone with her mom. Within the first few minutes of the pilot show her mom is blown up in a house fire by a mysterious man outside their house. Not long after dear mom is 6 feet under the young teen is shipped off to live with her grandma in Chance Harbour, the place where her mother was raised. Having never been to her mothers and her own birth place, Cassie realizes there was a reason why her mother never returned. Cassie finds out after only a day or two of being in Chance Harbour that she is a witch and thinks the new friends she recently made are crazy.
So with the new five friends and then Cassie herself, the circle of six is now complete and their powers are magnified! I don’t want to go into too much detail as I don’t want to ruin it for those of you who haven’t watched the show yet. But there is lots of action and something new to keep you going in every episode! If you love “The Vampire Diaries” then you will be just as addicted to this excellent new series as I am. I am totally hooked, and not to mention; as with “The Vampire Diaries” there is a good amount of eye candy and you definitely can’t go wrong with some buff hotties to stare at or drool over lol!
So check out the show, it airs right after “The Vampire Diaries” every Thursday on “The CW” channel.
Much Love and Happy Reading to you all, or should I say “Happy viewing”!
Interested in writing an article for What's Hot & On Top? contact us here at info@whatshotandontop(dot)com. Subject line: Contributor
I began reading again a couple years ago when I first picked up twilight to see what the fuss was all about. Ever since then, I’ve been reading, joyfully discovering so many wonderful new authors. One of my favorites is JR Ward. She also happens to be the reason why I picked up the book “First Grave on the Right”. Darynda Jones’ sexy writing and hilarious, sarcastic wit had me coming back for more with her second book in the series, “Second Grave on the Left”. The very talented Darynda Jones also happens to be the winner of the 2009 Golden Heart for Best Paranormal Romance for her manuscript for “First Grave on the Right”.
Recently Darynda answered some interview questions:
What are your earliest memories of writing stories?
Before I could actually write, I remember scribbling stories on paper and asking my mom to read them. I wanted to write them down so bad. Even then, I had hundreds. I “wrote” my first story, a play, when I was six. I’d caught a piece of paper flying past me on the wind, scrounged up a makeshift pencil out of a tree branch, and started writing a story that had a very Cinderella-esque quality about it. :)
I was bitten by the bug early.
Authors have preferences for writing, such as using outlines or just sitting down at their computer and writing freely. What method is most effective for you?
I must plot! I actually have three distinct outlines before I ever begin a manuscript which basically entail a sparse outline, an outline/synopsis, and a detailed outline that combines the two. On the last one, I can add scenes I’ve envisioned, motivation, anything that will help me when it comes time to put pen to paper, metaphorically speaking.
Music is a big part of my life and I have eclectic tastes. As a reader, I sometimes hear songs in my head when I have strong feelings about a character. Do you listen to any music while you’re writing? If you do, could you share some of your favorite groups or songs that help you along in the writing process?
While songs are forever a source of inspiration for me (I’ve written entire books off something I thought of while listening to a song), my office is actually completely silent. I find myself paying attention to the music instead of my writing, and since my attention span isn’t exactly lengthy, I eliminate as many distractions as possible in my office.
I just finished reading your newest book, “Second Grave on the Left” and I loved it! Do you have a set amount of books you are writing for this series or are you leaving it open-ended at this point?
How did you come up with the idea for one of my favorite characters, Charley Davidson?
I came up with the idea of Charley while lying in bed with the sniffles one wintry morning, waiting for my turn in the shower. I’d been pondering what I wanted to write next for some time. I knew I wanted a strong heroine. I don’t believe many readers today will put up with a heroine they cannot root for. She has to earn the reader’s respect and admiration. No wilting flowers, unless that wilting flower grows and strengthens and does it fast. I also wanted her to have some kind of link to the paranormal world and it hit me. Why not a grim reaper?
And right there next to a medicated vaporizer, Charlotte Davidson was born.
One of the things I love about Charley is her humor. Do you find it easy to incorporate humor? Do you draw that from yourself or do you have someone that inspires you?
I find it easy now. While writing First Grave on the Right, not so much. It took me a long time to get used to writing humor, but now it just sort of flows out of me. I do steal anything and everything I can get my hands on. If you say something funny in front of me, I will call dibs!
My husband, my kids, and my brother Quentin are also huge inspirations in the humor arena. They say something funny. I steal it. It works out quite well.
I love the relationship dynamics in this series. Whether it is Charley and Reyes or Charley and Cookie, I find myself laughing out loud and crying too. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read “Second Grave on the Left”, but I was so touched by the reunion scene with Charley, her father, sister and step-mom and was very glad to get some insight into Charley's strained relationship with her sister. Is this a sign of things to come between Charley and Gemma?
It most definitely is! Charley and Gemma get closer with each book and, if things go as planned, book six will feature Gemma in a major way. I’m really excited about that book!
One of the reasons I read your first book, “First Grave on the Right” was because JR Ward (insert fangirl squeal) recommended it. How important is having someone like the “WARDen” encouraging her readers to give new authors, like yourself, a try?
It is VERY important. And I’d like to insert a fangirl squeal here too! I love me some JR, and when my editor told me how much JR got behind the launch of First Grave, I about fainted. It’s a dream come true to have someone that amazing in my corner.
Speaking of JR Ward, one of the reasons I love her Black Dagger Brotherhood and why I adore Reyes Alexander Farrow (despite the fact that he is the SoS) so much is because I LOVE strong, sexy, mysterious, males who aren’t afraid to be men. As a woman, writing from a woman’s perspective in the “Grave” series, how difficult is it to write about men and their behaviors and/or feelings in such a personal and real way?
Well, I have LOTS of material to work with. I grew up with three brothers, have been married for almost 28 years, and have two sons. I think that really helps in trying to understand a male’s perspective, though my husband is not the best sample. I think he is completely unique. He loves to have long talks. He loves to just hang out with me. He loves to go shopping with me. And, yes, he cooks and cleans house!
Clearly I won the lottery.
In your spare time, (if you have any) what kinds of books do you enjoy reading? Do you have any favorite authors?
I have so many favorite authors it’s unreal. JR Ward, of course! Julia Quinn, Terry Pratchett, Patricial Briggs, Jeaniene Frost, Stephen Hunter, Jim Butcher, Kresley Cole, Suzanne Collins, Stephenie Meyer, JK Rowling…. I could go on and on. And on. And on.
So, yep! I enjoy reading. :)
If you have not picked up Darynda Jones’ books, I encourage each and every one of you to head out to your local bookstore or click on the links below to order both of these fabulously funny and sexy stories.
Visit the official Darynda Jones website
Find her on facebook HERE
Buy the series! For Darynda Jones official Amazon page click HERE
One of my favorite craft supply stores now carries over 20 different colors of duct tape. People are making many different unique looking crafts, accessories and art using all of these colors of duct tape, sure to make Tim (the toolman) Taylor proud.
No longer are we privy to just the average gray essential but many of the bright and colorful variety. And it ain't bein' used on plumbin'. Okay, so don't ever use it on plumbing. My advise, "don't try this at home." Unless you are some of the talented people that know exactly how to take an ordinary roll of duct tape and make the most extraordinary items.
A sure fire sign that your talent is limited to the occasional holiday wreath, is to have a look at the art and items that people are making from a roll of tape.
Case in point is the Art of Vincent Ricottilli.
Incredible isn't it?
Want to see more color? Then here it is:
Check out the Etsy shop of QuietMischief.
Here is just a fraction of the duct tape accessories you can find there:
How about this for the Halloween season:
"New for this Halloween season, Melissa has designed an eyeball duct tape rose ring! This ring has a black center for a pupil, a circle of color around that, and the rest is white with some red petals as veins. This listing is for a custom ring, so order your eye color, any of the colors you see, or any other color or pattern of duct tape that exists!"
Rings in a rainbow of colors and here you can also purchase the tutorial
Like to know how to make a rose perhaps? Watch this
Or just in case you would like to re-visit your Star Wars inner child you may like this:
Duct Tape Star Wars Fan Art Model/Sculpture
This piece of Fan Art made in the form of an AT-AT
from the movie The Empire Strikes Back.
And it's not small topping about 46ft high and 50ft long.
Made of cardboard and wood then covered in Duct Tape. Permanent marker make the lines.
The piece consists of 5 pieces: the main body and four legs.
This was created for an art show: “Star Wars 33&1/3 anniversary” during Art Walk in Lethbridge Alberta and it took several rolls of duct tape and 30 – 40 hours to create.
I think it's safe to say that I will be sticking with the holiday wreath.
Source: Live for films
Interested in purchasing some of the jewelry and accessories from QuietMischief? Click Here
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If you are a crafter of unique items, an Artist or Author and would like to be featured here at What's Hot & On Top, email us at info@whatshotandontop(dot)com.