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Afresh:  First Off, who are A&Z Fun-time Designs T-Shirts?

Anne:  A&Z Fun-time Designs T-Shirts is our “Brand” name we (my husband Zane and I) use to sell t-shirts on Amazon.  We wanted a Brand that fit us, so A&Z stand for “Anne & Zane” as well as “Amazing & Zaney”.  Fun-time is for t-shirts to make you smile so people can express themselves with some humor to brighten someone’s day.


Afresh:  How did you both get started as A&Z Fun-time Designs?

Anne:  I think I will let Zane tell the first part of that story.

Zane:  Anne did lots of drawing while she took care of her mom.  I thought she should put them into a book or do something with them to share them.  Then I heard about an opportunity through Amazon so I put my name on the waiting list.  I checked out some other places and I was very impressed with Amazon.  I told Anne to brush up on her Photoshop skills.

Anne:  My husband Zane worked hard to get our foot in the door with Amazon two year’s ago after extensive research with designing t-shirts and uploading them to Amazon to sell.  He saw a potential when I was drawing over 100 Owls and other images by looking at photos or scenery on tv while my mother, Darlene Mattas was so sick.  Mom wanted me to keep drawing and using talents God blessed me with before she died October 9th 2016. I promised her I would do that as my gift to her.  Zane searched for ideas where I could start using my drawings plus get paid for my artwork; and do something as a team to build a new future business for us someday.  So here we are now.  I think mom would be really proud of both of us.


Afresh:  How long have you been actually designing t-shirts?

Anne: We started in December 2015 at level one with Amazon but we could upload only 25 t-shirt designs until we sold 25 t-shirts.  It took us well over a year to do that cause you are constantly competing with over thousands of artists and t-shirt designs on the market.  Getting your own design to show up on page one or two after a search really takes some serious thinking so people will find you.  That’s why I personally feel it’s better to stick with your own Brand Name until they love your work and just shop specifically for Your Design Styles.  We get paid back in Royalty fees for our work when a t-shirt sells.  If it doesn’t sell within 90 days, it is dropped from Amazon’s listings so you are always creating new t-shirts.  Over 30 years ago I hand painted t-shirts for my son to wear to school.  I also hand-made a few to sell in my own store Anne’s Collectibles and Gifts but nothing ever as cool as this is.


Afresh:  What types of t-shirts do you design or have for sale now?

Zane:  We have a variety of Positive Attitude tees, Big Dill Pickle Tees, Motorcross/Motorcycle Tees, Wine Lover & Beer Drinking Party T-shirts, Outdoor’smen T-Shirts, Black Friday tees, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentines, and other seasonal holiday T-shirts, numerous silly Pun T-shirts like our Rats Ass T-shirts, Occupational T-shirts like our Corrections tees, Sports, Graduation, Big Rat Party tees, Country & Gardening,  Author/Writer, Reader tees and even a few Sarcastic t-shirts too.  We’ve made lots of different styles the past two years.  There’s something for everyone from youth to adult in men’s, women’s, and youth sizes.  We have over 300 designs currently for sale on Amazon.  You just have to type our Brand in Amazon’s search bar: A&Z FUN-TIME DESIGNS T-SHIRTS for them to show up easily.  Then start shopping!

Anne:  Our designs are great conversation starters, and a really super cool way to get noticed by someone too.  I always try to design in bold vibrant colors to capture a brilliant personality.  I want them to stand out and be read.  I want people to “feel good” when they wear them!


Afresh:  How often do you design new items?

Anne:  Oh gosh, everyday!  I have to draw something each day.  We try to upload new t-shirts daily to Amazon, too.  It varies anywhere from one to ten t-shirts a day or whatever Amazon sets our limits to.  Everything has to go through their own approval process first.  It’s a constant effort to keep trying to think of something new, classy, and trendy for people to wear that they will love to add to their own wardrobe or give someone else as a gift.  You have to do lots of research for trademarks, copyright, logos, etc.  Everything has to be your own idea and design!  It’s a big challenge.  People who think it’s easy have no idea how difficult it can be sometimes.

Zane:  Now it’s a dream we both want to be successful with.  We’re determined and I think our designs are looking even better than a year ago.

Anne:  It does make you feel good when someone says, where did you find that t-shirt?  When you can say, “I made it.  I sell them on Amazon”.  You hope they are interested enough to find out how to buy their own and you can hand them a business card explaining how to find the t-shirts.


Afresh:  Do you plan to design more than just t-shirts?

Anne:  Oh yes!  I am also a writer, so I am working on a series of ‘Owl Coloring Books’ and my husband Zane has already made really cute ‘leggings’ to sell on Etsy to go with our t-shirts and enhance other clothing pieces in your wardrobe.  There’s no telling what ideas may come to us next.  In fact LOVE OWL WISE COLORING BOOK is available right now on Amazon and it is an Adult Coloring book with inspirational quotes and some of my own poetry; however suitable for all ages to color.  It’s images of fantasy, fun, and real owls doing their own thing.  All of the Owl illustrations had my mother’s approval before she died.  I promised her I would publish them so eventually there will be four Owl books, then others in the future.  I’m really getting more excited about that too.


Afresh:  What other art mediums do you and your spouse enjoy?

Anne:  We both draw.  Zane is extremely talented as a metal artist.  He has won several awards too.  He’s great with wood working but it is very time consuming.  We both had fun with Polymer and PMC Clay art for awhile too.  Both of us design and make jewelry. Zane also takes care of our Ebay store:  AnnesCollectiblesAndGifts where we sell all sorts of things on-line so he is very busy with that.  We both really enjoy photography and doing interviews, making videos, etc.  We have our photography studio where he takes photos of the items we sell on Ebay.  We loved going to Rocklahoma.  Zane took photos with Tom and I did interviews with Christina.  Looking forward to doing that again sometime.  I paint, draw, do crafts, all kinds of photography, interviewing other types of artists and making videos.  I write and have several published books archived in the Spencer Library and Museum in Lawrence Kansas.  I still have a poetry book on Amazon called Heart Mind and Soul.  I’m also writing some children’s stories and doing my own illustrations for the books.


Afresh:  Do you have any great marketing tips or tricks?

Anne:  I tried the social site sharing thing on my personal page; however people don’t really get it.  Even family members don’t understand.  Likes and shares help posts show up on other feeds to reach other people that don’t know something.  Sharing doesn’t cost anyone anything and it could be giving someone a chance at change in their life.  Wouldn’t you want to be part of something so wonderful just by a simple share.  My mom always said the world needed more love and understanding.  She was very wise.  I keep trying though.

Zane:  It’s hard for any type of artist to make it until people see the product for themselves.  So in this case, until they buy at least one t-shirt to see how cool it is we have to trust people we know to tell their friends and hope word of mouth gets around quick.  We’re still looking into other marketing ideas but, unfortunately they cost money too.


Afresh:  From our discussion you both keep very busy so I have to ask, is your t-shirt sales your main source of income?

Zane:  We both work full-time jobs like most people; but it takes extra money to make it.  Sometimes you wonder if you will ever catch a break, but you have to keep trying.  You can’t give up.

Anne:  We are hoping that’s what the future will hold for us as our Brand Name gets out there or if the public loves what they see with the finished product.  Amazon’s t-shirts are a wonderful product.  We have several t-shirts ourselves! They wash and wear very nice.  The colors hold up great!  I love the bigger sizes for sleep shirts too.  They are so soft and comfortable, yet I was never really a t-shirt sort of girl.  They look really cute with skirts or leggings too besides the normal jeans and shorts thing. It’s a cool way to express yourself.  They make awesome gifts.


Afresh:  Did you go to school to learn the designing techniques?

Anne:  Zane and I did not go to college to become graphic designers however I can draw by hand.  I illustrate or draw in pencil and pen to create a character for a t-shirt idea.  Then we take it to the computer to various programs to color and enhance it to make it print ready.  It’s a slow learning process, but we work together as artists so we love it.  We have also joined groups of artists who are doing similar things to get feedback and keep up with the various trends.  We’ve also attended a few on-line classes too.  I want a chance a change if I am ever going to be able to retire in a few years.  I turned 60 in June, and sometimes I can really feel the age with my job walking on concrete 12 hours.


Afresh:  Do you worry about someone stealing your work?

Anne:  I’ve been stalked before by some really bad people.  I’ve had my own photographs used without my permission before by a crazy person.  She went so far as to put her own copyright over the top of mine even though I have all my original disks if I ever had to take someone to court.  Just like each one of my own drawings, they are unique and my own handwork!  It’s not like an sd card file with a digital photograph.  I draw it out on paper with my hands.  If someone steals from Amazon, they will be dealt with by Amazon first.  I don’t think I would want to have a Big Company like that after me for something insane like that.  They are very protective of their artists work; however I also keep all my originals with everything I create.


Afresh:  Do you have any hobbies for relaxation?

Zane:  Sometimes we go for a drive and listen to music; maybe take a few pictures, but we usually end up talking about t-shirts or a new idea.  We like spending time with our son and other family members.  Life is too short so you have to get some fun-time in.  We like watching movies and spending time with our two dachshunds Katie & Missy.

Anne:  I am a member of the Kansas Author’s Club so I attend meetings when I can, and I’m on the State Board.  I promised mother I would keep doing that.  She loved going to the first convention with me and listening to me read my poems in a group of authors.  I’m a people person, so I love meeting people and making new friends.  I also love spending the day with our son Kevin Jr.  He’s one very special young man.  Family means everything to me.


Afresh:  Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?

Zane:  Go to Amazon, check out A&Z Fun-time Designs t-shirts in the search bar and shop!  We also have a facebook fan page you can like to follow us and get updates from on new t-shirts.

Anne:  Tell others about my LOVE OWL WISE Coloring Book at Amazon and get several books for stocking stuffers. Join us on our Facebook Brand Page and give us some feedback as to any ideas of a t-shirt you might really like to wear.  I’m hoping Amazon will add larger sizes especially in men’s like 4, 5, and 6x in the near future even if they had to add a couple dollars more to those sizes; I think it would be worth it.  I know my own son said there are t-shirts he would love to buy but they won’t fit someone his size.  He needs the big and tall sizes.

Zane & Anne:  Have a Merry Christmas and very Blessed New Year too.  Keep reading Afresh Entertainment Magazine.  Take time to tell people I love you, and thank you for reading the article.

Afresh:  Best of luck with your future.  May 2018 be an Amazing year for the two of you in all of your endeavors. Thanks for doing an interview with our magazine.  Keep it fresh live real & rockin!



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Christmas is just around the corner and as we count down the days til the big day celebrating the birth of Jesus, many people love to express themselves wearing something joyful to bring laughter to the table, meet new friends or start up a great conversation.  Here is a preview of some of the best t-shirts ever that we found at Amazon by the brand A&Z Fun-time Designs t-shirts on sale right now.

These t-shirts make some of the best stock stuffer ideas for all ages.  They come in youth to adult sizes with 5 colors to choose from so all you have to do is follow the drop down menu at amazon tp pick your selection.  The designers Anne & Zane did tell us that although the women’s sizes are very nice; if you want a better fit for the more full-figured gals choose the men’s sizes for more length and room.  If you are one of those women who love sleep shirts, you will find the comfort is amazing too!  Get yours while they are hot off the press.  Buy two and get free shipping on orders over $35 at Amazon too.

Check out more designs at Etsy for leggings under A&Z Fun-time Designs!

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After Lots of tears and aggravation, and huge problems with hosting / domain / etc etc etc over the last couple of years…

I am glad to inform you that Afreshentertainmentmagazine,com IS BACK!

I have Missed you ALL and look forward to getting this site ROCKING!


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Kansas Author’s Club Convention to be held in Topeka Kansas October 2015

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The 2015 Kansas Author’s Club Convention will be held in Topeka, Kansas this year on October 2-4 2015 at the Ramada Inn.  The guest speaker for the banquet Elle Lothlorien author of “Kissing Frogs and Tumbling Down the Rabbit Hole: The Topsy-Turvy State of Publishing” will share some of her own insight to the Convention Guests.  Elle’s first self-published romantic comedy, The Frog Prince, became an Amazon bestseller in December 2010, and peaked at #1 on Amazon’s Top 100 List for Humor in 2012. She was one of the first self-published authors to take advantage of Amazon’s“ free promo days,” and gave away 45,000 copies of her books on Valentine’s Day, 2012 —catapulting her second novel,  Sleeping Beauty, to Amazon’s bestseller list.  You won’t want to miss the opportunity to hear or see this wonderful woman!

The KAC convention features a Youth Contest night on Friday evening for the youth members and non-members who have entered the yearly contest.  The youth have the opportunity to read their work to the adults that evening.  It is a wonderful way for youth and adults to interact.  Even if you haven’t entered the contest for 2015 but have written a piece of poetry or prose, youth guests are highly encouraged to read to the public audience and share their work.

The Book Room featuring books written by Kansas Author’s Club members is also open to the General Public so it is a fantastic opportunity to meet and greet author’s and have your book signed. Interesting and educational workshops scheduled for this year’s convention are:

2015 Convention Speakers and Topics:
  Know What You’re Doing: Craft, structure, genre, story in fiction writing

Mark Bouton

  Tips for Writing a Novel

Elle Lothlorien

  Dating Your Book: Understanding the Amazon Algorithm Through Online Dating

Esther Luttrell

  Creating Dynamic Dialogue and Believable Characters
  Writing and Publishing an Autobiography That’s More Than A Memoir

Max McCoy

  The Three Keys of Effective Research

Kevin Rabas

  Writing Mediatative Poetry

Kevin Rabas

  Using Decription and Imagery in Poetry and Prose

T. Dawn Richard

  Using Screenwriting Techniques to Plot Your Novel

T. Dawn Richard

  The Butler Did It! Tackling the unique challenges of writing a mystery

Dennis Smirl

  A Century of Science Fiction

Kansas Author’s Club was established in 1904.  You don’t have to be from Kansas to belong to one of the oldest organizations for writers in the world today!  People from other parts of the USA have joined the organization especially for the fantastic encouragement and growth in youth writing, and the KAC Outreach Project called “Writer’s in the Community”.

There is more information about the convention on the Kansas Author’s Club website, but if you want to learn more or join KAC, then here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions?

What is a super benefit of joining the Kansas Author’s Club?  You have the wonderful opportunity to meet and connect with real people just like yourself who have loved to read or write but just needed a little encouragement to keep moving forward.  KAC is a great way to learn new techniques in writing, share ideas and stories, get input from some of the experts in the field, find amazing resources for writers you won’t find anywhere else, learn about self-publishing or going through a Publisher, marketing tips from people who have already been through book tours, signings, etc.  The members of KAC are more than just club members.  They are willing to help each other and it is more like belonging to a family of writers and great friends.  KAC is also on the social site–facebook now so you can go to Kansas Author’s Club and simply like the page to keep updated.  Kansas Author’s Club also has a connection with the Spencer Library and Museum as a part of Kansas History so if you have published a book, you can have your own book placed into the Spencer library too.

Who qualifies for membership? Anyone who is interested in writing. Kansans and any writers with a connection to the state are welcome to join.  So if you lived in Kansas before, or have family ties in Kansas then this may be an organization for you.  If you haven’t ever lived in Kansas but have a Connection to the state in some manner, then join us!  Many photographers and media hosts have also become writers or written blogs before and joined.  People who frequently travel through Kansas and feel a connection should think about the rare opportunity to be a part of a family of writers who love to share and encourage others.

When may new members join? The Kansas Authors Club accepts new members throughout the year. Those who join after October 1 will be credited as paying for the coming year’s membership. Current members must renew their membership by March 31 of each year in order to remain an active member in good standing. Those who allow their membership to lapse may apply to the Financial Secretary for reinstatement before December 31 of the year in which membership has lapsed. Membership year is from Jan 1 to Dec. 31.

ANNUAL DUES Adult: $25.00* Junior (Student through 12th grade): $10.00 —25% of the state dues are returned to the Districts for local expenses

*Members may now pay dues for more than one year, up to a maximum of five years. The dues scale is as follows: One Year: $ 25.00 Two years: $ 47.00 (Savings of $ 3.00) Three years: $ 67.00 (Savings of $ 8.00) Four years $ 85.00 (Savings of $15.00) Five years $101.00 (Savings of $ 24.00)

The best and easiest part is you can now join on-line with payment through Paypal for your convenience so what are you waiting for?  It also makes a wonderful gift too!  As a parent, if you have a writer in your home–then encourage them to join and buy a membership for your child, niece, or young relative today.


For more information, please visit our website at  Kansas Author’s Club is a public charity under IRS code 501(c)(3).  Read about the History of KAC, a downloadable PDF file book.  See you at the convention!!!!!


Anne Shiever–KAC Publicity Chair

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Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on THE MAINE HITS THE ROAD W NEVER SHOUT




Burbank, CA – Sire/Action Theory Record’s artist, The Maine, will be supporting Never Shout Never, on a nationwide tour this fall.  The dates, which also feature “I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business”, kicks off October 19th in Seattle, WA and runs through November 27th in Chicago, IL.  The band is currently out on their first-ever headlining tour, “An Evening with The Maine”, presented by Alternative Press magazine.

The Phoenix five-piece is touring in support of their major label debut Black & White, which was released on July 13, 2010.   The Howard Benson-produced Black & White is the acclaimed follow-up to their 2008 Fearless Records release Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop.  Rolling Stone named the band one of “Bamboozle’s Five Breakout Bands to Watch”, and Alternative Press, which the band recently graced the cover of, declared them, “The new face of American pop.”
The Maine has been writing and recording and touring nonstop since they were barely out of high school. Their songs have garnered a collective 77 million plays on MySpace and they have sold 156k albums, 768k digital singles and racked up 2 million views on YouTube. They have been a part of four consecutive sold out tours and spent last summer as a marquee artist on the entire length of the 2009 Van’s Warped Tour.
New songs “Inside of You” and “Growing Up” off Black & White are available now at iTunes and all DSPs, and the video for “Inside of You” recently premiered on MTV.  Fans purchasing Black & White through iTunes will receive a bonus two-song live performance video entitled “The AP Sessions.”
Tickets for The Maine’s tour with Never Shout Never go on sale August 20th.  For more information please visit or
The Maine Headlining Tour Dates:
Aug 17, 2010 – Warehouse Live – Houston, TX
Aug 18, 2010 – Emo’s –Austin, TX
Aug 20, 2010 – The Rock – Tucson, AZ
Aug 21, 2010 – Soma – San Diego, CA
Aug 22, 2010 – House of Blues – Anaheim, CA
Aug 24, 2010 – House of Blues, Los Angeles, CA
Aug 27, 2010 – Nile Theatre – Mesa, AZ
The Maine Tour Dates with Never Shout Never:
10/19 Seattle, WA The Showbox @ The Market
10/20 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
10/22 San Francisco, CA The Grand Ballroom @ The Regency
10/23 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
10/24 San Diego, CA House of Blues
10/26 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
10/28 Tempe, AZ Marquee Theatre
10/30 Austin, TX La Zona Rosa
10/31 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom
11/02 Houston, TX House of Blues
11/03 Dallas, TX House of Blues
11/05 Orlando, FL House of Blues Orlando
11/06 Tampa, FL The Ritz
11/07 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution
11/09 Atlanta, GA Center Stage
11/10 Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre
11/11 Richmond, VA The National
11/12 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live
11/13 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of the Living Arts
11/14 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of the Living Arts
11/16 Hartford, CT Webster Theatre
11/17 Boston, MA House of Blues
11/18 New York, NY Nokia Theatre Times Square
11/19 Asbury Park, NJ Paramount Theatre
11/20 Allentown, PA Crocodile Rock Café
11/21 Pittsburgh, PA Club Zoo
11/23 Cleveland, OH House of Blues Cleveland
11/24 Pontiac, MI Clutch Cargo’s
11/26 Milwaukee, WI The Rave
11/27 Chicago, IL House of Blue
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Burbank, CA –  Red-hot pop sensation Jason Derulo has been nominated for three 2010 Teen Choice Awards in the music category, including the highly coveted “Choice Music: Breakout Artist – Male.” His double-platinum-selling single “In My Head,” has been nominated for  “Choice Music: R&B Track,” while his self-titled debut album has been nominated for “Choice Music: Album – R&B.”

Voted on by the public, the Teen Choice Awards will be handed out on Sunday, August 8th, at Los Angeles’ Gibson Amphitheatre in a ceremony that will air on FOX the following evening, August 9th, at 8 pm ET/PT. Fans can vote for Derulo at
The first artist signed to Warner Bros. Records’ joint venture with multi-platinum songwriter and producer J.R. Rotem’s label Beluga Heights, Derulo has quickly established himself as one of the breakout stars of 2010. With the triple-platinum “Whatcha Say” (which spent four consecutive weeks atop the Pop chart), and the platinum “In My Head,” Derulo became the first male solo artist to score consecutive  No. 1’s on Billboard’s Pop Songs radio airplay chart in the chart’s 17-year-history with his first two entries. “Whatcha Say,” which climbed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, Rhythmic, and Pop charts, has sold five million copies, while Derulo’s second single, “In My Head,” has sold more than three million copies, both worldwide, to date. The new single, “Ridin’ Solo,” is quickly approaching one million units sold, is No. 4 on the iTunes Top Singles chart, and is heading toward the Top 10 at Top 40 radio, while its accompanying video has earned 12 million views on YouTube. Derulo has sold more than eight million singles and 600,000 albums worldwide.
So far this year, Derulo has performed on American Idol, The View, Lopez Tonight, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Collectively, his videos have racked up more than 175 million views on YouTube, making Derulo the channel’s 20th Most Viewed Musician of all time.
In late January, Derulo wrapped up a six-week stint on the road with Lady Gaga on her sold-out “Monster Ball” tour of North America, which included four shows at New York City’s famed Radio City Music Hall. This summer, Derulo will hit the road as support for Black Eyed Peas in Canada in July, appear at the Summer Sonic Festival in Japan in August, and perform several dates in Europe, including England’s V Festival, before hitting the road for a headlining U.S. tour at the end of September and Australia and New Zealand in November. Confirmed upcoming tour dates are listed below.
7/27            Toronto, ON                                  Air Canada Centre*
7/28            Toronto, ON                                  Air Canada Centre*
7/31            Montreal, QC                                 Bell Centre*
8/01            Ottawa, ON                                   Scotiabank Place*
8/07            Tokyo, Japan                                 Summer Sonic Festival
8/08            Osaka, Japan                                 Summer Sonic Festival
8/19            London, UK                                  Shepherds Bush Empire
8/21            Chelmsford, UK                            V Festival
8/22            Staffordshire, UK                          V Festival
8/23            Manchester, UK                            Manchester Academy
8/24            Edinburgh, Scotland                      Edinburgh Picture House
8/26            Dublin, Ireland                              The Academy
9/15            Hamburg, Germany                       Docks
9/16            Berlin, Germany                            Astra Kulturhaus
9/18            Munich, Germany                         Muffathalle
9/19            Cologne, Germany                        Essigfabrik
9/20            Amsterdam, Holland                     Paradiso
11/02          Perth, AUS                                  Challenge Stadium
11/04          Adelaide, AUS                            Adelaide Entertainment Centre
11/05          Melbourne, AUS                         Festival Hall
11/06          Melbourne, AUS                         Festival Hall
11/09          Sydney, AUS                              Hordern Pavilion
11/11          Brisbane, AUS                            Gold Coast Convention Centre
11/13          Brisbane, AUS                            Gold Coast Convention Centre
11/15          Auckland, NZ                             Logan Campbell Centre
* denotes show with Black-Eyed Peas

For more, please visit

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My story

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Bitter Betrayal

My story–You’ll WANT to read this!!!

[Pass it on, cause someone you know could be next!]


Normally I don’t tell my story, especially when they are painful like this one; but at this point in my life the truth really needs to be told to protect not only myself but others out there who will eventually become potential victims. They always say that you know who your stalkers are and that is not the way I thought things would ever be for me.  My story is a Bitter betrayal, You WILL want to read this!!!!

Two year’s ago, I was networking on several social sites because I was a published author several times over with books archived in the Spencer Library and Museum in Lawrence KS; but I wanted to continue networking my artwork, jewelry designs, and my writing. I was proud of my accomplishments and so was my family, but I was craving some excitement in my life, too. I work a full-time job; 12 hour shifts and at times it gets quite stressful. My hobbies are what keep me focused with a positive outlook on life. I know everyone needs “their own escape” at times.

I was friends with some of the most influential people in the art, music, and entertainment industry and luckily I still am to this day; however I met the nightmare of my dreams when I met a photographer guy from the Bonner Springs area of Kansas. I had been ripped off many times by art galleries who displayed and sold my jewelry designs, and book stores who had tossed away books whenever their shelves got “too full”. I am very active in the Kansas Author’s Club and continue to hold both a District and State office. Rather than get totally burned out on writing and doing artwork, I needed something more to do with my life.

So I went back to doing what I love with photography. I had been taking pictures since I was about six year’s old growing up with all types of cameras and video equipment. I started doing local concert photography about five year’s ago when local venues had events here at home. I wanted to expand my horizons and learn more about professional photography for the national bands. That’s when my nightmare really came into my life.

I had been talking to a magazine editor who is one of my dear friends yet today and she told me I should meet a photographer friend of hers from Kansas City. I was very reluctant to make the call, but a couple months later I Read More→

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VFW Testimony Cites Backlog, Health Care

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VFW Testimony Cites Backlog,

Health Care as Top Legislative Priorities

Washington, D.C., March 9, 2010 – In his opening statement today before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees, Thomas J. Tradewell Sr., the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., testified about his organization’s concern with the national health care debate, and whether or not it will impact the health care programs currently provided to veterans and military retirees by the VA and the military’s Tricare system.

“Many promises have been made — by the president and by this Congress — that VA and Tricare will be protected, but a free press and an even freer Internet continue to fuel speculation that both health systems will be lost and/or absorbed into a larger national plan,” said Tradewell, who leads the nation’s largest and oldest major combat veterans’ organization.  “America’s veterans and military retirees look to you — our champions in Congress — to protect both programs, and to do so vocally at every opportunity.”
In his testimony, the combat-wounded Vietnam veteran from Sussex, Wis., addressed the number one VFW legislative issue: Fix the backlog of more than 1.1 million individual claims and appeals for compensation, pension and education benefits currently plaguing the Veterans Benefits Administration.
“The most important issue facing America’s veterans today is the unacceptable VA claims backlog, and an equally unacceptable processing error rate,” said Tradewell, referring to a system wide 17-percent average error rate that soars to 25, 29 and 38 percent in the VA Regional Offices in Virginia, Alaska and Maryland, respectively.
“This massive backlog has resulted in a six-month average wait for an initial rating decision, and a two-year average wait for an appeal decision.  That is completely unacceptable, [as is] asking a veteran to wait half of a year or more for a rating decision that could have a one-in-three chance of being incorrect.”
The VFW national commander commended VA Secretary Eric Shinseki for making the reform of the VA claims system a top VA priority, but cautioned against “silver bullet” fixes that could prove more harmful than helpful to veterans.
“We know that any single plan to make the overall claims process simpler could occur at the expense of the rights and benefits earned by veterans, their dependents and survivors,” he said.  “A quick fix plan is simply unacceptable, because fixing the backlog will require thoughtful solutions to avoid harming veterans and exacerbating the problem.
“VBA is the key to everything VA does, so the VFW will continue to offer its expertise to the VA and your committees so that we can solve this backlog problem together,” he said.  “Veterans have grown tired of the excuses.  They want and deserve action.  The VFW wants to help.”
Other VFW high interest issues addressed ranged from the proper care and treatment of returning servicemen and women with traumatic injuries to mind and body, the need for an integrated information technology system to bring the VA into the 21st century, veterans’ unemployment and homelessness, and military caregivers and survivor benefits.  Tradewell also provided testimony regarding further traumatic brain injury research and treatment, suicide awareness and prevention, and women veterans’ health care needs.
Joining Tradewell at the hearing were VFW and Ladies Auxiliary leaders from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Europe, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Read the full testimony and watch video of the testimony at
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Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on SMALL TALK

Small Talk Gets a Bum Rap

Brooklyn, NY – “Once again, the role of small talk is getting minimized—this time as a result of the recently published study on conversations and happiness.” says communications expert, Don Gabor, author of How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends.

“I agree with the University of Arizona researchers who performed the study that ‘the happy life is social and conversationally deep rather than solitary and superficial.’ But, contrary to the conclusions that media have taken from the study—that small talk leaves people unhappy—I maintain that small talk is an important prerequisite for those substantive conversations.”
After teaching and writing on the subject of small talk and conversation for nearly 30 years, Gabor extols the virtues of small talk as the following:
1.  Small talk, is a ritual that is part of our initial interpersonal contact during which we get a sense of who the person is and if we have any potential for a deeper connection.
2.  Small talk is the medium in which we directly and indirectly exchange considerable personal and professional information, opinions, attitudes and interests that allow people to identify a desire and potential for substantive conversations based on common interests, attitudes and goals.
3.  Small talk allows people to build rapport and a sense of trust so when their conversations do expand to more substantive areas, the speakers feel more comfortable revealing their true feelings and opinions.
Small talk helps you determine:
  • Your gut feelings about a person
  • Whether you like and can trust each other
  • If it is possible to initiate a business, social or personal relationship
Ask Don
  • How can you make your small talk count for something big?
  • How does small talk allow us to create a realistic picture of who we are?
  • How can you use small talk reveal and uncover common interests?
  • In what ways does small talk influence first impressions?
  • How can you go from small talk to substantive conversations?
Don Gabor is an author and communications trainer who teaches professionals from all industries how to network more efficiently and converse at home, work and everywhere in between. His books have been covered by “60 Minutes with Andy Rooney,” “Good Day New York” and Entrepreneur magazine, to name a few. The New Yorker called Don, “A gifted conversationalist.”
For a review copy of his new book, TURN SMALL TALK INTO BIG DEALS: Using 4 Key Conversation Styles To Customize Your Networking Approach, Build Relationships and Win More Clients (McGraw-Hill Professional 2009) and to book an interview with Don, please contact him at 718-768-0824, via email at or visit his website,
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Monday Update

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Thanks for reading AFRESH ENTERTAINMENT ONLINE MAGAZINE! Your hottest resource for all Art, Music, & Entertainment News.

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Mark Healey released new CD

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Angela Hagenbach

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Interview: Angela Hagenbach
What got this band together and started in this business?
The Angela Hagenbach Quintet started with my desire to sing. After months of private lessons, research and do diligence, including listening to musicians around town and selecting my favorites, I booked some gigs. The very best incentive to acquiring the guys I wanted.
Who writes and produces all the material for the band?
Some of the material I write or co-write with my musicians, some are covers with fresh arrangements by my musical director, Roger Wilder a/o me, others are compositions based on poems written by my poet friends, Phyllis Becker and Mark Schroer.
The band played in front of or with any acts our readers would know from the mainstream?
We’ve opened for Ray Charles at Jazz in Marciac (France) on his last international tour and also for Poncho Sanchez and Ramsey Lewis most recently. I personally performed with Frank Foster and his Big Band doing my arrangement of one of his compositions, Simone. I’ve also toured and recorded with Clark Terry and recorded with Russell Malone, Jimmy Heath, Tamir Hendelman, Don Bradon and others.
Where can people access your music on the web?
My music can be accessed on my website, or my new label,, also on iTunes, CD and Latin Cool Jazz.
Any embarrassing moments on stage?
Once on a debut performance at a LA club, the mic cable dropped out of the mic I was using during my opening tune during the first chorus! I just kept right on singing while the sound guy scrambled to fix it. It’s not the embarrassing moment but the recovery that makes all the difference. I got a standing ovation.
Any good stories you want to tell us?
So many stories, so little time…
Who is the bands musical influence?
Early on I had 3 major influences, Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis and Antonio Carlos Jobim. I’ve evolved much since then but am still a huge admirer of their music plus many others. The natural world or truly fine works of art often musically inspires me, be it audio or visual or just life in general.
What is your musical background like?
I grew up in a musical family. My dad was a professional jazz musician in Kansas City in the 30s and 40s. He played tenor sax, clarinet and flute. He also played piano and organ at home with my mom, a classically trained pianist. Being the seventh of eight children, we did a lot of singing in those days and we each played an instrument or two. Mine was the trombone.
Any other members in your family that are musicians?
My oldest brother plays piano and my youngest brother plays electric bass.
What is the TOP reason why you want to play music?
The top reason I want to play music is because I love it and it brings me joy. When I look into the faces of my audiences, I see a similar expression on their faces. Earning a living doing something creative I enjoy is a very close second.
What has been your best show?
Every show!
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Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on AFRESH ENTERTAINMENT TV

Here you will find video clips from some of our wonderful artist friends, musicians from around the globe, interviews and some footage of performances, how-to-dos, etc.  We hope you will enjoy!

{Features the founder of RAW PRODUCTIONS AND PROMOTIONS by Rachel Anne Wrhydar}

Due to current updates for fall/winter subject matter please refer to: then go to videos.

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Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on PROMOTING THE ARTISTS

Why do we read articles, listen to radio or television, searching over the internet air ways just to find “gossip”? Why do we “dig for dirt”? What prompts us to “add fuel to the fires”? Humans do some pretty strange things without thinking about the consequences at times. Once you have made the mistake of “talking trash” about someone or something, how do you think the public will really react to you later on when the truth turns up on top?

As an artist myself, I have been burned many times and I have many true heart-wrenching stories to tell. There is always something to learn from the mistakes we make, but at what expense! Sometimes, the truth hurts more than we care to speak about, and it doesn’t always help to talk about it. I found that out the hard way more than once.

I believe in order to promote the artists of any form (art, music, entertainment); you must begin with positive feedback! You decide what story needs to be told; then, be sure to tell it honestly. If you are a promoter, then you already know that all the work you do can Read More→

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Music brings people all ages together, and sometimes people call it the center to the soul for “WHEN WORDS SPEAK IN A WHISPER, MUSIC SPEAKS LOUD AND PROUD!!!”