BellaOnline Literary Review
Pompeii Dog by Ophelia Sikes

Table of Contents

Ashton Ashton

Ashton, 52 lives just south of Austin, in a town where one could get into serious trouble when they snitch their Dad´s cameras. Passions include the Blues, BBQ ~ cooking it and eating it ~ and photography. The photobug took hold of Ashton early in life from the time she was given that Kodak Instamatic and her love for photography has grown from that moment. Ashton loves to travel, whether it´s the US or just exploring the back roads of Texas...looking for BBQ joints and photo opportunites.

Valerie Austyn Valerie Austyn

Valerie Austyn has been writing since her early childhood in Texas. At 5, she was tapped to tell the Gospel in an all-black Baptist church, a real game-changer! Throughout school she took top honors for her storytelling and original writing. Drama degree in hand, Valerie moved to NYC, where she continued to pursue her interests in acting, performing and directing. After a long hiatus working in the world of finance and raising a family, she is once again sharing her stories and poetry.

Mark Berkery Mark Berkery

Mark was born to itinerant Irish parents which set the scene for a restless life. Like the Gypsy, he couldn´t accept the moribund values of a soulless society, what passed for important or posed as spiritual. The resulting roller-coaster of experience and inner conflict eventually gave way to a love of the simple sense of nature that he now lives - the best he can - as a form of meditation. He expresses his ongoing exploration of nature´s spiritual value through his writing and pictures at

Lori S. Blake Lori S. Blake

Lori Blake is a writer and hobby photographer from Raleigh, North Carolina.

Christine Catalano Christine Catalano

An English Lit major in college, Christine slipped into publishing by becoming the artist that had been lurking inside all along. She worked happily in graphics for many years. Now liberated from daily deadlines, she tries to tempt her muse with camera, Photoshop, and the occasional poem. Some of her artwork has been published in the San Pedro River Review, Crack the Spine, and Mused, among others.

Ruth Z. Deming Ruth Z. Deming

Ruth Z. Deming, winner of a Leeway Grant for Creative Nonfiction, has been published in Creative Nonfiction, Haggard and Halloo, Ray’s Road Review and other venues. A mental health advocate, she runs New Directions Support Group for people and families affected by depression and bipolar disorder. She lives in Willow Grove, PA, suburban Philadelphia.

Elizabeth Devine Elizabeth Devine

Elizabeth Devine currently attends a college in Georgia in the pursuit of a degree in Communications. She was first published at the age of sixteen in "O Georgia, too!" an anthology of poetry and fiction by young authors and worked as a photographer for a wrestling company for six years. Her website is She recently self-published her first bad poetry anthology entitled "What Makes a Mean Girl," available on SmashWords.

Maureen Donatelli Maureen Donatelli

Maureen Donatelli has had a long love affair with poetry but didn´t start penning her own poems until a little over a year ago after the loss of her Mom. Now she can´t stop and has no plans on even trying. She lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia where she received her BA in English from The University of the Fraser Valley. Besides all things poetic, Maureen enjoys photography and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Carrie Esposito Carrie Esposito

Carrie Esposito lives in Denver with her husband and children. Her first novel, No Way to Fall Off This Earth, explores the conflicts and unexpected attachments that develop when an American woman takes in two teenagers estranged from their father in India. This novel was a quarterfinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Carrie enjoys reading and working with her writing groups. She continues to write short stories and is also working on a second novel, Forgotten Downtowns.

Bob Evans Bob Evans

A late-comer to art photography, Bob spent his early career working in engineering. He finds that creating something from nothing gives a tremendous rush. Bob strongly believes in taking the subject ‘as-is’ - no posing, no moving of the subject matter. It is capturing the essential essence of the subject matter that is vital to him. As well as photography, Bob is also a keen sculptor and abstract painter. Visit or follow on FaceBook.

Laya Fisher Laya Fisher

Laya Fisher is a 3rd year creative writing student at Queensland University of Australia in Brisbane, Australia.

Elaine Frankonis Elaine Frankonis

Over the past 50 years, Elaine Frankonis has published poems in a variety of small presses and magazines. Her weblog, Kalilily Time ( has been active online since 2001. You can read more about her in the "About" section there. Having retired from the New York State Education Department in 2000 to be the caregiver for her mother, who had dementia, she now lives with her daughter, son-in-law, and home-schooled grandson in Western Massachusetts.

Deborah Guzzi Deborah Guzzi

Deborah Guzzi was raised in an interfaith family. She spent years examining the foundations of belief in higher power. Much of her writing expresses a shamanic love of nature. She is the owner of Empathic Touch. Acting as a healing facilitator, she specializes in Shiatsu, Lomi Lomi, Thai Massage, Feng Shui and Reiki.

Alan Hilfiker Alan Hilfiker

Alan Hilfiker is a trustee of the University of Rochester. In April 2014, he endowed a Professorship in English and a Graduate Scholarship Fund at the University of Rochester. The latter will help students pursue academic careers in English. Previously, he had endowed an undergraduate scholarship fund for first-generation students at the University who plan to study English or the humanities.

Lisa Hodges Lisa Hodges

Lisa is originally from Wellington, New Zealand, but for the last 13 years has lived in Canada; most recently in Saskatchewan. She has been writing only a short time and is delighted and very grateful to have her work recognized and published in MUSED. Lisa and her husband of 34 years have 3 grown children and one small and very lively grand-daughter.

Leslie E. Hoffman Leslie E. Hoffman

Leslie Hoffman is a writer; freelance editor of fiction and non-fiction; a member of Poetry Center San Jose´s "Caesura" Editorial Team, San Jose, CA; and Co-founder of Laudably Tarnished: A Poetry Workshop, Las Vegas, NV. Several of Leslie´s poems have been published in "Mused". Various other poems, short stories, and articles have been published in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. More of Leslie´s writing and photography can be viewed at:

A.J. Huffman A.J. Huffman

A.J. Huffman has published five solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. Her sixth solo chapbook will be published in October by Writing Knights Press. Her work has appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Samantha Hunt Samantha Hunt

Samantha attempts to take uplifting photographs and write half decent poetry, with occasional success. She is particularly interested in woodland and plants. She lives in rural Warwickshire, is a mother, gardener, preserver, and chicken keeper. She has had poetry published in Mused and various anthologies.

Ruth Fitzpatrick Michel Ruth Fitzpatrick Michel

Ruth lives in Kansas City, where she indulges her fascination for the craft of writing. Her short story "The Trip to Uncle Leon´s" was published in Mused Literary Review, Spring Equinox 2012, and she is thrilled to have a short story included in the 2014 Summer Solstice Issue. A hopeless anglophile and an avid reader, she enjoys the works of the great writers, and feels they are an excellent "classroom" for learning storytelling and technique.

Mark J. Mitchell Mark J. Mitchell

Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock. His work has appeared in the anthologies Good Poems, American Places, Hunger Enough, Retail Woes and Line Drives. His chapbook, Three Visitors has been published by Negative Capability. Artifacts and Relics, another chapbook, is forthcoming from Folded Word and his novel, Knight Prisoner, will be published in the coming months. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the filmmaker Joan Juster.

Lucy Gregg Muir Lucy Gregg Muir

Lucy Gregg Muir is a writer and middle school English teacher. When she’s not beating her students with a stick for splitting infinitives, or chasing one daughter out of tattoo emporiums and the other away from absurd My Little Pony videos, she writes.

Al Rollins Al Rollins

Al Rollins is a retired Local Government Budget Manager. Prior to his Budget Manager´s job, he worked on the Eastern Test Range, in Meteorology for 16 years. In connection with the Space Program he worked and traveled to many foreign countries. He also owned and operated a Photography Studio for several years. Al loves to travel the USA with his wife, Janet, and photograph all the wonders of this great country. To see more of his photography contact:

Kevin Saleeba Kevin Saleeba

Kevin has been a reporter and photographer for several Southern New England newspapers for more than a decade. He is currently an assistant publisher for, a site devoted to covering the New England Patriots. Kevin is now working on two writing projects: a fantasy novel called “The Squonk and the Horned Beast” and a sports book called “The Game that Saved the Patriots.” He also works with special needs kids and is the head coach of the North Providence Barracudas swim team.

Eileen Sateriale Eileen Sateriale

Eileen Sateriale is a Federal Government administrator who writes in her spare time. She lives in Methuen, Massachusetts. When her children were growing up, she wrote a school column for a local newspaper. She has had poetry, short stories and travel articles featured in print and on-line media.

Donna Sciandra Donna Sciandra

Donna has always been adventurous and loved to travel. She spent two years in Jamaica (as a teacher trainer in Kingston) and five years in the Solomon Islands on Guadalcanal (as a Community Developer in a rain forest living in a leaf house) with the Peace Corps. Donna is now a retired elementary school teacher who is enjoying her “free” time traveling and photographing North America.

Andrew Sciandra Andrew Sciandra

Andrew is a retired Alternative High School Art Teacher.

Kathleen Serocki Kathleen Serocki

Kathy Serocki lives near the beach in Fairfield, Connecticut with her husband. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Magnapoets, The Heartland Review, Writers´ Bloc, and elsewhere, and she has won several awards both for poetry and nonfiction. She enjoys music, travel, birding, practicing yoga, and is an avid Italophile.

Lisa Shea Lisa Shea

Born in Maryland, Lisa Shea has been contentedly nestled in the rolling hills and mossy forests of central Massachusetts since 1995. She is drawn to the ocean and cherishes quiet evenings as the orange glow of sunset glistens across wooden docks. Lisa relishes the challenge of conveying meaning and memorable characters in a measured bounding of time and space. Her stories, poems, and images celebrate natural beauty and serenity. Enjoy thousands of her photos at

J. Scott Shields J. Scott Shields

Years ago, Scott left the Midwest for the deserts of Arizona. Music, literature, and writing are his passions, and he strives to share his love of the written word with his high school English students each day. Scott’s writing has appeared in the English Journal, Mused, Canyon Echo, and Treoir magazine (a publication of Comhaltas, an international organization that promotes traditional Irish music and culture). He is also a regular contributor to the blog, Writing Is Cake.

Patty Somlo Patty Somlo

Patty Somlo has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times, was a finalist in the Tom Howard Short Story Contest, and has been nominated for the 2013 storySouth’s Million Writers Award. She is the author of From Here to There and Other Stories. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review, the Santa Clara Review, and WomenArts Quarterly, among others, and in twelve anthologies, including Solace in So Many Words, which won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Anthology.

Rachel Thompson Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson is a freelance writer and educator living in Washington D.C. She writes on a variety of topics including health and wellness, travel, and cross-cultural communication.

Marci Tomascak Marci Tomascak

Marci has been writing since the age of 11. Words, be they written, spoken or sung have always played an important part of her life. She is a wordsmith of everything from poetry, prose, songs and prayers to ad copy, websites, resumes, press releases and the occasional greeting card. She lives in New England with her obstreperous cat, surrounded by beautiful glass creations. Her creativity doesn´t stop at words. She also works at her brother´s stained glass and graphics studio.

Christine Tsen Christine Tsen

Christine Tsen is a published cellist and poet. Her symphonic experiences are rich with poetic inspiration, and her poetry has put the muse back in her music. Her poems are in THRUSH Poetry Journal, Requiem Magazine, Utmost Christian, and The Bark among others. More:

Benjamin Dover
Benjamin Dover submitted the work "Painted Silhouette".

Marchell Dyon
Marchell Dyon is from Chicago IL. She has taken various poetry workshops; she is currently working on her first chapbook of poetry. Her work has appeared in many publications including Medusa´s Kitchen, Rainbow Rose Ezine, A little poetry, Toasted Cheese, and Strange Horizons.

Sue Ellis
Sue Ellis submitted the work "Going Home".

Ellen Erlanger
Ellen Erlanger submitted the works "Dragonfly Love", "Mama Mockingbird" and "Orchids Speak".

Lee Evans
Lee Evans was born in Maryland, spent most of his life in that state, and is currently living in Bath, Maine. His poems have appeared in such journals as Four and Twenty, Poetry Porch, The Christendom Review and Anon. He has produced four poetry collections, which are available on

Michael Harty
Michael Harty lives in Prairie Village, Kansas, where he writes poetry and practices psychoanalysis, not necessarily in that order. His poems have appeared in Texas Poetry Calendar, Third Wednesday, Pearl, and elsewhere, and have received awards in the Inter-Board Poetry Competition online.

Vanessa Horn
Vanessa Horn started writing in 2012, during a sabbatical year from her job as a Junior High School Teacher. She has had several successes in short story competitions and at the moment is working on two full-length novels: one for adults and one for younger children. Now spending equal amounts of time on teaching and writing, she feels she has achieved the ideal working week!

Oshinn submitted the work "Visiting Henry Miller at a Nursing Home".

Ophelia Sikes
Ophelia Sikes was greatly touched by the power of the stories revealed in Pompeii, Italy. These were ordinary people living out their daily lives - loving, laughing, fighting, and forgiving. When Vesuvius erupted, the wall of heat hit most citizens so quickly that they had no time to react. Current research shows that they were instantly baked to death. Ophelia’s novels are at

Rebekah Tucker
Rebekah Tucker submitted the work "A Slug on the Shoulder".

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