Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wine, paint and ghost stories

A snake in the glass
A brush on the canvas
A haunting evening of storytelling, painting and wine
April 22, 2017
6 to 9 p.m.
At Tracy's Place in Arvada.
$50 includes instruction, art supplies, one glass of wine and a signed copy of the book, "Fermata Cellars" by local author Gwen Clayton.
Fermata Cellars is the fictional story of a haunted winery in danger of being condemned by a corrupt city council. The winery's marketing director leads the campaign to save the land, learning the truth about the ghosts that roam the town of Rivervine - one of which was originally a pit viper living in Mesopotamia 6,000 years ago.
Must be 21 years of age or older.
Tracy's Place is located at 7330 W. 88th Ave. Unit E in Arvada. To reserve your spot, call (720) 476-4431. For more information, visit

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Book Review: Suffer the Children by Janden Hale

Just finished reading "Suffer the Children" by Janden Hale (aka Daniel Donche Jr). It's a quick read at 148 pages.
The Storyline: The US Army has conducted some experiments that affected all the children in the world who hadn't reached puberty yet, and now those kids have turned into canabalistic monsters. A group of surviving adults try to save themselves and their community.
My nowhere near humble opinion: It was well written and easy to read. The sentence structure flowed smoothly and contained enough $25 words to challenge the reader but not so many as to detract from the story. Donche does an excellent job capturing the spectrum of human emotion as people deal with crisis. The reader experiences the adrenaline rush with each turn of the page.
The paperback sells for $8.99 on Amazon.…/…/1541291050

Friday, March 24, 2017

A strong business network starts with good health

Note: This is the first in a series profiling business professionals in Jefferson County, Colo.

Dr. Homer Wall is a chiropractor, nutritionist and wellness consultant in Arvada, Colo. 

A healthy business community starts with healthy people. It’s only appropriate that I start my series of profiles on Jefferson County Professionals with Dr. Homer Wall, a chiropractor, nutritionist and wellness consultant who owns Vital Energy Wellness and Chiropractic Center in Arvada.

I first met Dr. Wall at a speed networking event March 21 in Arvada. The event was sponsored by the Jefferson County Business Resource Center, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce and the Arvada Economic Development Association, and organized by Firestorm, an organization that works to build business-to-business relationships.

Speed networking is a type of meeting where several professionals gather in a room. The tables are organized in a U shape with some people sitting on the inside of the U and others on the outside. When the meeting starts, the organizers speak for a few minutes to welcome the participants and explain a little about their organizations. One of the leaders offers some advice for successful networking, and explains the rules of the game.

When the whistle blows, the people on the inside of the U have 90 seconds to deliver their elevator pitches. Then the people on the outside of the table offer their elevator pitches for the next 90 seconds. At the end of the three minutes, the whistle blows, the pair exchange business cards, and the people on the outside of the U move along to the next person. The people on the inside stay seated. By the time the cycle has completed, each person has amassed a collection of business cards and made several new contacts to add to his or her professional network.

Networking is one of the most important business activities a professional can do. People do business with those they know, like and trust. Networking introduces you to new people, helps solidify bonds with current and prospective clients, and keeps your name on the top of everyone’s mind, which ensures that you are the one they call or recommend when they need the type of service you offer.

During the March 21 event, one of the first people I met was Dr. Wall. We spoke a few moments before the event, and afterward, we met for lunch so we could discuss my health and his marketing needs in further detail. It turned out to be an excellent match.

The human body is an amazing network of bones and muscles, veins and nerves, fluids and oxygen driving its vehicle from sunup to sundown. A roadblock in one area can cause backups throughout the entire physiological interstate.  

My physiological interstate could best be compared to the pothole-infested roads of Hazzard County.  I follow a horrible diet, hate to exercise and can’t stand spending too much time in the sun. As a result, I’m a mess from head to toe. I have rosacea on my face, acid reflux in my gut, and edema in my ankles. Each malady has caused me to schedule doctor appointments, examinations and multiple trips to the pharmacy. Yet, western medicine has not been able effectively treat any of my problems. The side effects of the medications have always been worse than the original malady, or else the medication didn’t work at all and I was out a couple pretty pennies.

I knew that the root cause of my problems was in my diet and I should see a nutritionist. When I met Dr. Wall last Tuesday, I could almost hear the archangel Rafael saying, “I told ya so.”

After lunch, we went back to his office and he examined me - a chiropractic evaluation, muscle testing, and everything else. I’ve been seeing chiropractors off and on since I was 17 and this was the most thorough exam I’ve ever had. But then, it was more than just chiropractic. We reviewed my diet, food allergies, lifestyle and the whole gamut of wellness factors. He's an attentive listener with a pleasant disposition.

I saw him again on Wednesday, and we are started the process of working on a wellness plan for me, as well as some marketing materials for him. Stay tuned as I’ll be promoting Dr. Wall more in the future. He really is a good doctor and I’m happy with the treatments I’ve received. I even spoke with another patient in the waiting room who said Dr. Wall was “the best.”

Dr. Homer Wall can be reached at (303) 229-5374 or His office, Vital Energy Wellness and Chiropractic Center, is located at 6355 Ward Rd, Suite 420 in Arvada. For more information, visit

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ghost stories paired with a spicy, bold wine

Local author Gwen Clayton will be selling and signing copies of her debut novel "Fermata Cellars" at Silver Vines Winery on March 18 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Fermata Cellars tells the story of a young marketing director who discovers the winery he works for is haunted. Adding to his troubles is the city council that wants to condemn the building as unsafe for human occupation. The winery owners and friends in the community - including the ghosts - fight to keep the doors open.

Gwen Clayton was born in Reno, Nev. and now resides in Golden, Colo. with her husband, Eddie. The couple recently moved to the Centennial State after living several years in Sierra Foothills of California where Gwen worked as the wine writer for the Amador Ledger Dispatch. The many interviews with local winemakers and  government officials inspired the story of “Fermata Cellars.”

Also appearing at the book signing event will be acoustic guitarist Reuben Gonzales who will be performing a tasteful mix of classic rock, pop and funk.

Silver Vines Winery is located at 7509 Grandview Ave in Historic Olde Town Arvada. Brothers Danny and Jeff Chayer started the business in December 2011 after working in the wine industry for nearly five years in Minnesota, Texas, and Washington. The Grandview Reserve is their top seller with its blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah grapes that provide a deep garnet color and notes of smoked cherry.

Admission is free, although guests must be age 21 or older to purchase or consume alcohol. Wine is available for sale by the flight, glass or bottle. Copies of the book sell for $10 each.

For more information, visit

Gonzales unites cultures with music

Reuben Gonzeles performs live acoustic guitar music and offers private music lesson in the Golden, Colo. area.

Acoustic guitarist Reuben Gonzales grew up the youngest of six children, listening to his father and brothers playing guitar in the living room of the family home. The last to learn the craft, he watched with pride and admiration while his father played as part of a Spanish guitar trio and his brothers rehearsed with their various rock bands.

It wasn’t until he was an young adult that he picked up his own guitar. The husband of a friend at church taught music and gave him lessons. That was 20 years ago.

Today, Gonzales can be found performing pop, funk and classic rock cover tunes around Golden at places such as Bottles and Brews or Buffalo Rose, as well as El Rancho Brewing Company in Evergreen. He also offers private guitar lessons at Launch Pad Studios in Golden. Gonzales is carrying on a legacy handed down from generations past, and doing his part to entertain crowds thirsty for the spirit of live music.

“I love music of all cultures,” Gonzales said. “Music is important to culture, and I like that music brings cultures together.”

He also enjoys giving private lessons, he said, because, “I learn music more by teaching it.”

To book Reuben Gonzales for your next event or to schedule guitar lessons, call (720) 243-6909 or email at He can also be found on Facebook and YouTube.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mother Cabrini Shrine watches over Golden

The Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden, Colo. inspires thousands of visitors every year.  

In my novel, “Fermata Cellars,” the local Catholic church was named Saint Bernadette’s after the young peasant girl from Lourdes, France. In real life, I moved to Golden, Colo. in 2017 and soon learned of a local place called the Mother Cabrini Shrine that has a similar story. Today, Feb. 22, 2017, I visited the site to compare and contrast the real life story with the fictional one I wrote.

Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini was a young woman who was born in Northern Italy in 1850 with the name Maria Francesca Cabrini. She loved the mountains west of Denver, and in 1902, she visited the Italian workers in the mining districts. In 1909-1910, she negotiated the purchase of a property on the east slope of Lookout Mountain to establish her Queen of Heaven Orphanage. The biggest problem was the only available potable water was from the stream at the bottom of Mt. Vernon Canyon. In 1912, some nuns complained to Mother Cabrini and she pointed to a rock near the house and directed them to start digging. There, they found a spring that has never stopped running. A replica of the grotto of Lourdes, France was built over the spring in 1929.

In 1912, Mother Cabrini led a group of girls and nuns up to the highest hill and placed rocks in the shape of a heart surmounted by a cross. They named the site “Mount of Sacred Heart.” The stones are still there, covered by a plate of glass. A shrine in its memory was established in 1917.

Also on top of the hill is a 22-foot statue of Jesus Christ that was built in 1954. A stairway of 373 steps was also built to lead visitors from the base of the hill to the top. Along the way are the stations of the cross and other stone mosaics depicting the life, death and assumption of Jesus Christ.

In my book, “Fermata Cellars,” Saint Bernadette’s Catholic Church is famous for its Crying Confessional every Christmas Eve. The story is completely fictional, although it was inspired by a trip I took to Lourdes, France in 1979. I have admired Catholic mysticism ever since. My character, Father Christopher is the reincarnation of a traveling minstrel who knew Mary back in Galilee. He loved her so much that even in death, he swore to watch over other young women as they traveled through unsafe territory.

Mother Cabrini, now Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, was canonized July 7, 1946 by Pope Pius XII. She is the matron saint of immigrants and hospital administrators.

The Mother Cabrini Shrine is located at 20189 Cabrini Blvd in Golden, Colo. For more information, visit

Monday, February 13, 2017

Author Gwen Clayton Upcoming Events

Local author Gwen Clayton will be promoting her debut novella, "Fermata Cellars" at events throughout Colorado.

March 4 (Saturday) 1 to 3 p.m.
Book signing Why Not Books 5975 N. Academy Colorado Springs

March 18 (Saturday)
1 to 3 p.m.
Book signing
Silver Vines Winery
7509 Grandview Ave

Fermata Cellars tells the fictional story of a haunted winery in danger of being condemned by the local city council. There is more at play, though than just health and safety codes, as marketing director Manuel Chavez finds out. The vineyard is actually the latest battleground in a six-thousand year war.

Copies of the book sell for $10 apiece, and are sold at Why Not Books in Colorado Springs, Colo; Hein & Company Bookstore in Jackson, Calif.; and online through Amazon.

Clayton is a native of Reno, Nev, but spent most of her adult life in California. She recently moved to Golden, Colo. with her husband, Eddie.

In the News...
The Daily Author radio show

Stephen H. Provost's blog Open Book Feb. 14, 2017.