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Calling All Bookworms, Book Lovers, Book-Nerds & Bibliophiles!

25 Sep

Hello everyone! This year I told myself that I would make more time for reading, and I’ve been doing just that. Another thing I wanted to do was to expand the genres that I read. Today, I wanted to share some of the books that I’ve read lately. I’m picky about the books I read and review, and believe me these books are great. I highly recommend them. There’s something here for everyone.

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Our Justice

by John W. Howell

Our Justice is a suspense thriller that will have you reading on the edge of your seat.

BLURB

The terrorist leader and financier Matt Jacobs figured out a plan to eliminate the President. He is relying on John Cannon’s stature as a hero to help him carry it off. John finds himself walking the fine line of pretending to help Matt while trying to figure out a countermeasure to the plan.
The third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy brings together two strong wills for a showdown. The question to be answered is who will feel the satisfaction that the achievement of justice delivers? John, Matt or neither?

You can read my Amazon review here.

 


The Heart’s Lullaby: A candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain.

by Natalie Ducey

The Heart’s Lullaby is a beautiful book of love poems.

Blurb

The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain. Love, in its purest form, is tranquil and soothes the soul. But love, as is life, can sometimes be cruel and unjust with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes. In essence, it is a journey of self-discovery. A continuous journey of becoming. Often, it becomes a delicate dance of holding on and letting go.

We linger in memories of ill-fated love; our minds can easily soil them, and our hearts can effortlessly polish them to perfection, altering their resemblance entirely. We can anchor ourselves to yesterday by zealous choice or solemn grief. So easily, we can become obsessed with what “might have been” and miss the beauty that lies before us. Our minds craft spectacular moments that will never be realized. Why? Is it self-indulgence, or are they necessary companions for our soul’s survival?

Love, its force so formidable, transcends time, distance, and even death. Eternal love is the epitome of its grandeur.

To feel the exquisite, majestic splendor of love is the greatest gift we can give or receive. To have another see the unique beauty in our imperfections, that will protect us and elevate us without greed or envy, a soul willing and proud to walk this journey of life with us and share in its joys and sorrows … this is love, a gift unmeasurable and unmatched by earthly possessions.

But two souls must be willing. Therein lies the intricate complexities of the heart. And in the end, we must never forget … love, as is life, is a continuous journey of becoming.

You can read my Amazon review here.


Lodestone: Witch-Hunt

by Wendy Scott

Lodestone: Witch-Hunt is a dark fantasy story with some romance, adventure and mystery mixed in.

 

Blurb

There’s a cauldron of trouble brewing in Valloaria…

Download Lodestone today and strap on your broomstick –you’re in for a hell of a ride: The Witch-Hunt Series.

Two tales entwine (excerpts below).
Sabrina and Lauren’s tales entwine – linked by blood and magic. Sabrina, a newly fledged healer, is thrust out of her sheltered life at Mistress Florisah’s healing school after the destruction of the witch-ancestor portraits. An anti-witchcraft militia is poised on Karthalon’s borders threatening full scale genocide, unless Sabrina, the last of Lauren’s bloodline, can destroy the Lodestone, and restore magic to Valloaria, but the Lodestone is buried deep within the heart of the Order’s headquarters. Sabrina struggles to accept this suicide mission, and is distracted by her inappropriate affection for Micah, a prospect monk. Lauren’s ghost haunts Sabrina’s dreams as her diary reveals the tragic events behind Lauren’s actions. With invasion imminent, Sabrina embarks on her quest armed only with a sliver of the Lodestone, and Lauren’s diary but how can a lone girl prevail against an army?

Excerpt – Lauren
They attacked me alone, in pairs and in mass with their witchy ways, but their magic fell short; I was immune. Blasts of power seared from their fingertips and stonework exploded above, below and next to me, but nothing penetrated the brilliant glow of the Lodestone and they fell back, shrieking in frustration. I glowered at those not fast enough to move out of me way and they vaporized in an orange flash, to black flakes that I trampled underfoot.


Excerpt – Sabrina
A shirtless youth, with his back to her, hummed as he brushed a dark horse. The horse was standing perfectly still as if the boy’s song had lulled him to sleep. Sabrina silently observed the prospect as he worked. He was tall with a slender build, but she could see the muscles in his tanned back and arms ripple with each stroke. His brown hair was caught up in an intricate knot threaded by two long feathers; one red, the other purple. She’d never met anyone like him before.
She shuffled forward to get a better view, but her brush whacked into the wooden partition. He whirled around and she found herself staring into the brownest eyes, framed by the longest lashes she’d ever seen. They gawked at each other for a moment before Sabrina rediscovered her tongue. “I … I was sent to care for your horses.”
He pointed with his brush, to the horses behind him and said, “I’ve finished the others. Only Alloni, the brown and white, needs attention.”
Sabrina scurried to the indicated stall. Where was his shirt? As if reading her thoughts, he casually reached down and grabbed a white shirt. Slowly, he pulled it over his damp shoulders and Sabrina hastily focused on the horse. Her strokes were a bit shorter and harder than she normally applied and the horse shifted beneath the brush. Before she could correct herself, strong fingers, radiating warmth, slipped over hers and a voice laced with musk, breathed into her ear. “Not so firm. Alloni likes long, languid strokes – like this.”
Heat blazed into spots on her cheeks as she followed his movements. After several strokes he said, “That’s it, you’ve got the knack of it now.”
He released her hand and stepped away. Sabrina felt as awkward as a newborn foal so she kept her eyes averted and silently busied herself with the horse. From outside, a muffled yell filtered through the stable and the boy said, “Deakon wants me. Will you be all right finishing up?”
She didn’t trust herself to speak. “Ah-ha.”

You can read my Amazon review here.


Empty Chairs: Much more than a story about child abuse

by Stacey Danson

Empty Chairs is a heart-wrenching memoir about the nightmarish young life of author Stacey Danson. This book will make you cry, but it will also teach you many lessons.

Blurb

Stacey Danson, lived through and beyond horrific child abuse. This book tells of her brutal beginnings, the streets of Sydney at the age of eleven were preferable to the hell she endured at home. She ran, and those streets became her home for five years. She was alone, ill, and afraid. Stacey also had an unshakeable belief that she would do more than just survive her life. She would not allow her future to be determined by the horrors of her childhood. She reached out for something different; there had to be more to life; if she could only find it. She had a dream of a life where pain and humiliation had no place. She was determined to find that life. Empty Chairs is the beginning of the journey. Now she is living the dream.

You can read my Amazon review here.

You can preview any of these books for free. I hope you are intrigued by at least one of them. Have a great week!

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Book Launch: Murder at the Bijou – Three Ingredients 1

20 Aug

Hello everyone! I have a very special guest today, author Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. She’s been a guest here before and I love having her. Teagan is here to announce the launch of her new book. I’ll let her take it from here.

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Announcing the Launch of
Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Introducing the second “three things” serial, in novel form Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.

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Yes, that’s the cover. (I love making covers!) I kept it similar to the one for the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story, but with different 1920s photos.

For those of you who are not familiar with my blog serials…

Ages ago I developed a writing exercise. I asked friends to give me three completely random things. Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things. I brought that exercise to my blog (Teagan’s Books), but I had the readers send me their things. I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters. That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to this culinary mystery. However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.

About the Book

As with the first serial, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is a spontaneously written, pantser story. I wrote by the seat of my pants and let the “ingredients” readers sent each week drive a new serial story. This is the “bookized” version of that serial.

This time the Jazz Age setting is Savannah, Georgia where our flapper, Pip, is “sentenced” to live with her grandmother and learn to cook. Pip gets caught up in a layered mystery that includes bootleggers, G-men, and the varied challenges of being a young woman in changing times. She meets new friends, including some animal characters.

If you have not read The Three Things Serial Story, be warned. This adventure contains a bit of a spoiler, but does not go into detail about it.

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is available through and Amazon and Create Space. If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon also offers a free app that will let you read Kindle books on your computer or other device. The purchase links are below. But first, here’s a snippet.

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In my imagination, a young Lucille Ball would play Pip.

Excerpt

Rutabaga Limbo

Either I woke up feeling horribly nauseated, or the queasiness woke me. I’m not sure which. I opened my eyes to complete darkness. There was no light, no sound. The way my stomach tossed reminded me of a small boat on the ocean. It was as if I sailed in a lightless limbo.

Oh… that was a bad train of thought to have with an unsettled belly.

Think of something else! Anything else, I told myself.

I stood unsteadily. The sound of a cricket came to me. Good. The utter silence had been very disturbing. I became aware of the cool moist earth beneath my palms.

Where the Sam Hill was I?

I sat back on my heels, focusing all my senses. My eyes might as well have been closed — it was that dark. Bare ground was beneath me. The air had a musty odor. A sickly sweet scent clung to my bobbed hair.

The cricket’s chirping was the only sound. Still sitting, I turned. My eyes widened and strained, trying to see in that heavy darkness. When I looked up I was rewarded with the sight of a thin line of pink light.

The faint glow allowed me to see vague outlines a few feet away. I stumbled over something and stooped down to let my hands figure out what it was. I felt a burlap bag and round lumps. Rutabagas? I felt around and found another bag. That one felt like potatoes. I moved closer to the wall and a tall shape. Yes, a ladder, my questing hands confirmed for my still foggy brain.

Gazing up at the line of pinkish light I realized I was in a root cellar.

But how did I get there?

***

Purchase Links

Amazon USA

Paperback 

Kindle 

Amazon UK

Amazon UK (Paperback)

Amazon Japan

 

Author Bio

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Image by Chris Graham

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. Now a resident of a major east coast city, she longs to return to those enchanting lands.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes 1920s stories and Steampunk. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

You can also visit me at:

Amazon
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Vashti Quiroz-Vega: The Fall of Lilith – #free until 2017-08-05! @VashtiQV

5 Aug

Hello and Welcome! I hope you are all enjoying your weekend. Author and Book Blogger, Karen Oberlaender is kind enough to have me as a guest author on her blog, My Train of Thoughts. Please head on over there and check out the post.

Also, don’t forget to download your free The Fall of Lilith eBook on Amazon. The promotion ends today! Please tell your bookworm, book-nerd, bibliophile and bookish family and friends about this promotion.

I appreciate the support. ❤

Download eBook here.

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Source: Vashti Quiroz-Vega: The Fall of Lilith – #free until 2017-08-05! @VashtiQV

Wandering Thoughts of a Writer | Free eBook The Fall of Lilith

4 Aug

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Happy Friday everyone! I’m very happy and excited to announce that Author Rebekkah Ford has featured me on her beautiful blog today. Please head on over there and check out the post!

Don’t forget to download your FREE (eBook) copy of The Fall of Lilith on Amazon! It’s free today and tomorrow only! 8/04 & 8/05

Click here to download your free eBook

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Click the link below to visit the post . . .

Wandering Thoughts of A Writer Blog

BOOK COVER REVEAL | The Fall of Lilith (Fantasy Angels Series)

29 Jul
The Fall of Lilith-logo-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-fantasy_angels_series-novel-book-dark fantasy-epic-fiction

Writing to transport you to extraordinary worlds with a touch of dark.

 ♦

“The Fall of Lilith is a compelling narrative that provides background on several well-known, supernatural figures. Though obviously religious in nature, Quiroz-Vega’s book strays far from traditional biblical text. Sea monsters, mermaids, and vampires share the stage with angels and demons. And illicit (and explicit) affairs, violent battles, and graphic injuries abound. Quiroz-Vega’s prose is incredibly descriptive. 

A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”

–– Kirkus Reviews

Words cannot express how happy I was when I finally received and read the review for my novel, The Fall of Lilith from Kirkus. The entire review was great but it gave away too much of the story. The excerpt above is taken from the last few lines of the review. However, if you don’t mind spoilers and you want to read the entire review, you may do so here.

Kirkus Reviews (or Kirkus Media) is an American book review magazine founded in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus (1893–1980). The magazine is headquartered in New York City.

**You can read an excerpt from The Fall of Lilith here.

The Fall of Lilith-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-fantasy_angels_series-art-Jeff Brown

Floraison by Jeff Brown  | Animation by CK Dawn (Book Cover Animations)

So, without further ado, here is the book cover for The Fall of Lilith.

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Cover Design by Damonza.com |  Illustration insert by Michael C. Hayes

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Blurb:

“I merely assisted you in doing what you desired all along.”

So says Lilith, the most exquisite of the angels. The two most important pledges an angel makes to God are those of obedience and celibacy, and dire consequences await any who break their oaths.

At first, the angels are happy in their celestial home, learning and exploring together. As they grow older, though, Lilith begins to question these pledges, which now seem arbitrary and stifling. Her challenge of the status quo leads to disagreement, jealousy, and strife among her peers. As the arguing and acrimony grow, lines are drawn and sides are chosen. Is war inevitable?

Filled with robust characters, incredible landscapes, and exciting action, The Fall of Lilith is an epic tale of seduction, betrayal, and revenge.

Free Will involves asking difficult questions and making hard choices, choices that require strength and sacrifice. These decisions can tear apart friendships and cause rifts between allies.

They can even threaten the foundations of Heaven.

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The ‘Falling Angel’ illustration is by Michael C. Hayes *Click on his name to see more of his work.

**The eBook for The Fall of Lilith is available on Amazon! Yay! Get it here. 😀

*The Fall of Lilith will be available in paperback soon.

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Connect with me on Social Media

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As a promotion for my birthday and to encourage book reviews, the eBook for The Fall of Lilith will be FREE on Fri. 8/04 and Sat. 8/05! 

 

SPOTLIGHT: Musician Mihran ‘Mino’ Kalaydjian

17 Jul

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It is rare today for a classical musician to have mainstream appeal and simultaneously garner critical acclaim. Mihran ‘Mino’ Kalaydjian sells out symphony halls with his talent and star quality. So needless to say, I am ecstatic to have him on my blog today.

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“The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.”

~Maria Cristina Mena

Award-winning Solo pianist and composer, Mihran Kalaydjian delivers heartfelt piano melodies with a rare level of artistry and emotion.

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 In his words . . .

On a personal note, I love the outdoors, comedy, bbq, reading and traveling. I worked in the beer industry in college, so I love talking about good beer. I used to be a competitive runner so (like all runners) if you make the mistake of asking me, I’ll tell you about my entire career and PRs. I also spent my youth working in restaurants, so if you’ve done the same, we can swap stories.

Music is more than just notes on a page or a series of different pitches. Music is an art, and through art we are able to discover who we are in ways that we never would through anything else. Music is the desire to draw inspiration from everything we see and hear, to truly be aware of ourselves and our surroundings, and to translate atmosphere into sound.

 

Mihran composed the following musical piece for my poem, ‘FATHER’

Father

by Vashti Q

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the facade of a brave man as his baby boy entered the world.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

What are my duties? There are no guidelines. Where do I start?

The babe in his arms felt so natural, yet so alien. A fire blazed in his chest.

“You are a father now.” The words were jolting, yet pleasing to his heart.

 

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the façade of a calm man as his son toddled, taking his first steps.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

What if he falls? What if he hurts himself? Then I would have failed as a father.

The toddler tottered to him embracing him with dulcet giggles.

As he held his son, it did not feel alien. His heart gave way for love to conquer.

 

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the façade of a cool man as his son introduced him to his first girl.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

What if he falls in love? What if she breaks his heart?

He embraced his son and slipped extra cash in his pocket.

As he held his son, it felt like love, and he rested assured his son was smart.

 

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the façade of a brave man as his son grew and had sons of his own.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

Did I raise him right? Did I teach him to be a good husband and father?

He embraced his son, and they were swathed by the love they both felt.

As he held his son, his questions were answered, and he grew calmer.

 

His son’s brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched his father wear the façade of a spent man as he lay on a hospital bed.

His son’s mind and body were consumed by overwhelming fears.

Am I doing the right thing? Who am I to decide when his time has come?

His face dampened with sorrow as he embraced his father.

As he held his father’s weary body and gazed into his dimming eyes, his questions were answered, and he grew calmer.

 

His brown eyes deepen into polished onyx, and upon them comes a mist of tears.

He watches with the façade of a pitiful man as his son reaches for that plug.

He is ready to leave this world and grateful his son has let go of his fears.

As his son holds his ruined body, and he feels the lifeblood drain from his eyes, he knows he has raised him right.

His mind and body are consumed with overwhelming love.

His son has given him the gift of peace, and his happy spirit travels toward the light.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-musician-Mihran Kalaydjian-quotes-music-Poetry-Vashti Quiroz Vega

Q & A with Mihran Kalaydjian

 

When and why did you start playing?

I grew up in a family of musicians. My mother is a piano teacher and my father was a conductor in Jerusalem, Israel. My mother had a large influence on my musical development; she was the one who introduced me to music. Thanks to her, I was surrounded by music from the very beginning. Since childhood, I remember listening Berlioz’s “Fantastic Symphony”, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto, Chopin Etudes and many other beautiful music compositions. It was one little song that inspired me to start playing piano. I loved the song so much that I would sing it over and over. I was only Four years old, and of course I didn’t know how to read notes, so I tried to pick up the music by ear. When I sat down to play the song, it came easily. It was joy for me to be able to “perform” my favorite song and share it with my family and friends.

I started playing on my own aged around 7 or 8. At 11 I had a handful of lessons by a teacher who struggled to sight-read my Grade 2 pieces.

Actually, although most people find this difficult to believe, there was never a time where I decided I wanted to become a pianist. Instead, my early passion for composing was the driving force in my decision to be a professional musician, and the pianist part just came naturally with that. Inherently, I have great angst when I compose, for I “hear” so much more than what can be created on the piano as it exists now or any other singular instruments for that matter. Having said that, the piano is truly unique and unparalleled.

 

*

What was the first tune(s) you learned?

The Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto 2. This was a piece that I’ve always wanted to play, since high school, and I never had the opportunity to. I think it’s one of the most dramatic pieces out there, and I really wanted the opportunity to play it with an orchestra

* 

Is your family musical?

I grew up in a family of musicians. My mother is a piano teacher and my father was a conductor in Jerusalem, Israel. My mother had a large influence on my musical development; she was the one who introduced me to music. Thanks to her, I was surrounded by music from the very beginning. Since childhood, I remember listening Berlioz’s “Fantastic Symphony”, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto, Chopin Etudes and many other beautiful music compositions. It was one little song that inspired me to start playing piano. I loved the song so much that I would sing it over and over. I was only Four years old, and of course I didn’t know how to read notes, so I tried to pick up the music by ear. When I sat down to play the song, it came easily. It was joy for me to be able to “perform” my favorite song and share it with my family and friends.

*

Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Mahler at first. A unique harmonious invention and a capacity to be granted no limits in language, nor at the same time to give nothing up.

Then, the composers-pianists Liszt, Scriabin and Chopin, to whom I dedicated several recordings (Complete Chopin Nocturnes, Complete Poems by Scriabin…)

Mine are Andras Schiff (I love his Hammerklavier sonata interpretation in particular, & his lyrical tone) & Wolf Harden for his Busoni Fantasia Contrappuntistica interpretation. But Busoni actually indicated breathing places in certain of his works.

So many it is difficult to pick! I love Pierre-Laurent Aimard, he is an inspiration. Argerich as well. I cannot live without her Prokofiev.

*

Who was your first teacher? Other teachers?

I had always loved music and I sang ever since I can remember. My mother tells me that I started singing, quite in tune, even before I talked.

My first piano teacher’s name was Augustine Lama & Colin Stone. Because I was only four years old, Augustine Lama at 65 was older than my grandparents, and looked so old to me as to be very intimidating. On top of that, when he asked how old I was and realized I was four, he told me that I was too young to start piano lessons, and then maybe I should wait another year. I started crying so much that he said, “Okay, I will put you to the test.” He started beating very complicated rhythms that I should imitate, then he went to the piano and played a few notes, then chords, while I was turned around, looking in the other direction. I was able to go back to the piano and play exactly what he had played. When he realized I had perfect pitch, and after seeing how I had a good sense of rhythm, to my delight, he changed his mind and said, “You can start Monday.”

 *

How do you enjoy performing lesser known contemporary music? Is this more of a challenge as far as selling the audience of the performance?

Learning contemporary music can be a challenge because our starting point of reference is not the same. However, I think any good piece will eventually show itself to be worthwhile and of real value. I think most of us love what feels familiar, even if we don’t think we do, so communicating the unknown to any audience, takes belief, commitment and perhaps some explanation to set the scene. Let’s not forget that all music has been contemporary at some stage or another!

*

Describe your first instrument. 

In the beginning, like many people, there was a gradual attraction to music and playing through the years of my very early childhood.

My interest in music and playing an instrument was the result of a gradual process of experimenting and playing around with pots, pans and toy drums, dancing and writing little songs. I remember really liking the tactile aspect of playing percussion instruments. By the time I was in primary school, I became very interested in writing songs. It was strongly suggested I learn piano as a means of developing this interest, but for me, I somehow had a very strong feeling I needed to play drums. I did however, start playing guitar a little bit and wrote songs on that instrument but not with the seriousness with which I studied and practiced drums.

 *

 What is the most unusual aspect of traveling as a concert artist?

When I travel to a distant city for a concert, sometimes I’ll stay in a hotel, but very often I’ll stay with a “host family”—a local family that is usually the patron of the concert hall I’ll be playing in or the orchestra I’ll be playing with. Living in their homes, I have developed very close relationships with these families who are like substitute parents for me when I travel. My host families have become some of my closest friends in the world.

*

 Do you play any other types of music other than solo?

I love playing chamber music. Chamber music encourages interactive collaboration as a value that every musician should learn to have. Being a pianist can be a solitary pursuit; chamber music is broadening the ways in which one thinks about and expresses oneself as a musician. It also opens the door to more performance opportunities, rather than pursuing a career purely as a soloist. A chamber performance uniquely offers the musicians the opportunity to cooperate with each other while simultaneously communicating intimately with an audience in a manner that would not be possible in larger performance situations. As a solo pianist, you spend most of your time practicing alone in a room with just your instrument for company. But with a trio, you have to be in tune—literally and figuratively—with two other musicians. The three of you have to find a common interpretation of the music, or you’re not really a trio—you’re just three people who happen to be playing at the same time.

*

What are you working on at the moment? Tell us a little about your current projects.

Composing is, for me, an inner necessity: music is a fruit of the spirit that can sometimes lead us to the Absolute. When you compose, it becomes possible to fulfill the desire to create a world of your own, a personal microcosm where you set the rules and also make their exceptions.

Make music that I love and be happy.

My current projects are moving me in two directions, which sometimes overlap. First, I am recording the words of Granados, whose works, including the complete version of “Goyescas,” are not really as well-known as they should be.

I have fallen in love with his works’ distinct Spanish flavor, color, and rhythm. In preparing the music, I immersed myself not just in Spanish music but also in Spanish art and literature; the music is very dramatic.

I will keep enjoying my collaboration as soloist, Composer recording for the music publication ‘Pianist Millennium Production’; a tour in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, New York for Christmas Melody, Texas,   at the end of the year with other concert activities as usual; and learn more Rachmaninov pieces!

In the opera version, two men meet a woman, flatter her, and fall in love with her. But eventually love turns into a duel to the death between the suitors, and the woman’s true love dies in her arms.

The second direction is finding ways to bring classical music to more listeners though the connections I have established with several world-renowned brands.

Dolce & Gabbana has supplied my concert gowns, and I have performed for Breguet, the distinguished Switzerland’s watchmaker, at the Frick Collection in New York. Right now, I am touring the showrooms of Roche Bobois, the leading French retailer of modern furniture.

While my music can be used to help these brands, I see these relationships as a great opportunity to bring classical music to new audiences.

*

What advice would you give to anyone serious about being a classical musician?

Everyone in every business talks about the need to network and socialize. I realize that’s true, even in the arts; I see frequently that aspiring artists are overwhelmed by the business side of things and neglect their artistic developments.

But you can never let these roles take too much time away from the time you spend on your art itself. You should never lose sight of your dream!

Mino-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-musician-spotlight-Mihran

 *

Tell us about your website/blog. What will readers find there?

http://www.mihrankalaydjianpiano.com/

http://www.mihranpiano.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MihranKalaydjianPianoMelodies

And finally, a few fun questions… 

A favorite movie?  Lawrence of Arabia
A musical instrument?  Piano
A composer?  Magnus Lindberg
A book?  The Black Swan of Nassim Nicholas Taleb
A city?  London
A song?  Bohemian Raphsody by Queen
A TV Series?  Juncal

“I’m an interpreter of stories. When I perform it’s like sitting down at my piano and telling fairy stories.”

~Nat King Cole

Connect with Mihran on Social Media

Facebook

Google+

Twitter

Instagram

*

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“I am still more and more aware of the true purpose of music and the people who play it: to heal and unite the planet.” 

~Mihran Kalaydjian

 

SPOTLIGHT: Teagan’s Books | Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

10 Jul

#CreativityFound is one of my favorite hashtags, but I use it sparingly, and only when the person or subject matter is truly deserving. Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene is clearly worthy because she is the epitome of creativity and imagination.

“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”

~Native American Proverb

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Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, is a true storyteller with a vivid imagination. She enjoys interacting with the readers on her blog and her readers take part in the creation of her serial stories. A southerner by birth, she was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. She had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest. Teagan writes many types of fantasy, from what she likes to call “quest type” fantasy, to urban fantasy, to fantasies with a dash of mystery. Her blog, Teagan’s Books contains serial stories written according to contributions from viewers.

Teagan’s major influences include Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

The novella version of the serial that helped establish her blog is now available.

The Three Things Serial Story is a spontaneously written (“pantser”) story. Everything in it — characters, setting, plot, was driven by “things” left by readers of the blog Teagan’s Books, episode by episode. Each week readers left three more things. The story evolved according to what those random things inspired. The serial began with oscillating fan, which brought me the vision of the 1920s setting. The era and narrator continued in two more serials that followed. While it was not great literature, it sure was a fun ride!  Here’s a trailer to put you in a Roaring Twenties mood.

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“Creativity takes courage.”

~Henri Matisse

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Check out Teagan’s other books here.

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Connect with her on Social Media

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page

Teagan Riordain Geneviene-author-spotlight-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-blogger-novel

Be sure to visit Teagan’s blog, Teagan’s Books. It’s one of the most creative, colorful and fun blogs you’ll ever visit.

 

Have a wonderful week and join me on Friday for ‘Haiku Friday’!

 

 

 

Pay It Forward – Author Diane Munier

22 Jun

Happy Friday everyone and a warm welcome to my blog!

Diane Munier-author-spotlight-The Writer Next Door-pay_it_forward-RRBC-RRBCPIF-Vashti Q

 

I joined a wonderful book club called Rave Reviews Book Club (RBBC). The RRBC is a virtual book club made up of many authors and readers. One of the club’s main objectives is to Profile, Promote and Propel their members. They do this many different ways and Pay It Forward day is one of those ways. So instead of doing my usual Haiku Friday post today I’m paying it forward.

What is Pay It Forward day?

On this day, members agree to give up ALL self-promotion and instead, promote one fellow member/author on their blog and social media forums. It is agreed that the MAJORITY of promotional tweets, Facebook shares and blog posts, etc., will be for the member/authors who has been assigned to the “promoting” member.

My assigned author for Pay It Forward is Diane Munier. As a new member of the Raves Review Book Club I’m just getting to know Diane and the other members of the club. I spent a good while looking through her blog and social media platforms yesterday and I liked what I saw. So here it goes.

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“There is no greater honor than to hear someone’s story. If you feel that way about the tales I tell, I would love to hear from you to keep you informed about upcoming work. Thanks for reading!”

~ Diane Munier

Vashti Quiroz Vega-The Writer Next Door-author-spotlight-pay_it_forward-RRBC-Diane Munier

“I write love!”

~ Diane Munier

Diane Munier broke into writing as a feature writer for a local newspaper. She spent the majority of her working life as a marriage and family counselor. These pursuits have done much to fuel her imagination and her passion/obsession for writing fiction. She grew up in a four-family-flat in the city of St. Louis but has lived rurally for most of her adult life with her husband on their beloved flat land in a small, fascinating farming community. This locale and a large, active family fuel her writing.

Diane Munier has written many books and you can see all her available work on her Amazon Profile Page.

Her latest novel, Running With Monkeys is now available on Amazon.

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BLURB:

1946. The boys are home from the war. Jules is looking for a way into polite society, but it seems like the moogs that didn’t go overseas have moved so far ahead he’ll never catch up. His luck seems to change when he goes to the movies with his buddies Bobby and Audie, the other two monkeys. They had marched across Europe together, and now they were picking up dames, drinking too much, and generally letting off steam, which translates into trouble. Jules meets Isbe at the movies. Close dancing in a smoky club leads to love. The same night, Jules hooks up with the Irish mob. Love is thawing his hard heart, the one needed for survival in his new and violent world. Isbe vows to stand by, but Jules likes it on the edge. That’s a good thing, because Isbe’s father is chief of police and it’s a tangled gray web he’s soon caught up in.

Review Excerpts:

~ Few people can tell a story like Diane. The way she describes people, places, dialogue, and events, is nothing short of transcendent.
~ Diane Munier is one of the most gifted writers I have ever encountered. Her first-person narratives are fascinating…
~ This author’s writing is so very rich. Lots of details that really demonstrate a level of research that is often not present in love stories.
~ Again I am mesmerized by this author and another awesome story. Great twists and turns…

Pay_It_Forward-Diane Munier-author-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-RRBC-RRBCPIF

In her words . . .

Living comfortably in the heart of America with the people I love. I live an extroverted life, but I’m a genuine introvert. An urban kid, I spent much of my youth running in various neighborhood establishments. There I met many colorful characters and I learned to love them and be fascinated by them. My love of story comes from them. I learned to sit on a bar stool or a kitchen chair or in a pew and hear story. Hear the voices telling story. See the mouths move and the hands clutching glasses or cigarettes. See and hear the laughter. There is no greater honor than to hear someone’s story. If you feel that way about the tales I tell…what more could I ask.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-RRBC-payitforward-RRBCPIF-Diane Munier-author

Be sure to check Diane’s blog, Diane Munier Author

 

Connect with her on Social Media

Facebook

Goodreads

Twitter

Amazon

I hope you enjoyed this Author Spotlight. I will be back next week Friday with Haiku Friday! Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

Spotlight: M J Mallon Author

12 Jun

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

~Maya Angelou

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Hello everyone! A warm welcome to The Writer Next Door! I’m excited to spotlight today the lovely and talented, Marjorie Mallon.

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Marje is a writer, poet, photographer, blogger, wife, mother––let’s just say she wears many hats. She keeps busy on her blog, M J Mallon Author, doing  Author Interviews, Spotlights, and Book Reviews . She is a very supportive member of the writing/blogging communities. In fact, she founded an organization on Facebook called, Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club to do just that.

What is the Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club?

It’s a friendly community of authors/bloggers/book reviewers working together to support each other in a multitude of ways – e.g. by writing or sharing reviews, highlighting author spotlights/book launches/interviews, and posting writing/poetry/blogging tips, or tips about writing reviews, or discussing general topics of interest.

I am proud to say that I am a member of the club. Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies have joined the club as administrators.

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.”

~ Anaïs Nin

M J Mallon wrote her first middle grade/YA fantasy novel, The Curse of Time, which is currently in the final editing stage.  She will soon be a published author and is already at work on a second novel.

The quotes on this post are some of Marje’s favorite quotes. You can read more of them here.

M J Mallon-kyrosmagica-author-spotlight-guest blogger-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q

In her words . . .

What can I tell you? Well before we start I’d like to suggest that you might want to pull up a comfy chair, sit back and enjoy my blog, Kyrosmagica, which is all about the magic of writing, my love of books, crystals,  laughter, and much, much, more! I’m writing a second novel, and blogging, of course, writing book reviews here, and on Goodreads, and Amazon, and in fact anywhere else that will have me! Being an open minded type of gal, I like to review a wide a range of genres as possible, including YA, Contemporary, Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Asian Literature, Detective, LBGTQ, and from time to time when I’m feeling brave I read dark thriller, or perhaps a horror story..

I have a penchant for travel and have relatives in far flung places, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore, (my birthplace.) I grew up in Bonnie Scotland, in Edinburgh, and now live in Cambridge. I love sunny, hot places, particularly Rome, Venice, Portugal, Barcelona, and I forgot to mention the sun drenched beaches of the Caribbean, how could I? I am lucky to have been blessed with two lovely daughters and a six foot hunk of a husband, who I met at the tender age of eighteen, who I fondly refer to in this blog as my black sheep. Considering how long we’ve been together I could call him my swan, but I think black sheep kind of suits him, a charming black sheep! His title Black Sheep originated from a family joke, which you can read about in my post Mother in Laws and Black Sheep! With my passion for travel, culture, beautiful beaches, good food, books, theatre, writing, art, photography and humour, I hope to keep you entertained.

M J Mallon-kyrosmagica-author-spotlight-The Writer Next Door- Vashti Q

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Maya Angelou

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UPDATE:

Author M J Mallon has launched her novel, The Curse of Time and it is now available on Amazon.

Read more about Marje here

Be sure to visit Marjorie’s blog, M J Mallon Author

Connect with Marjorie Mallon on Social Media:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Goodreads

M J Mallon-Author-spotlight-The Writer Next Door-author-Vashti Q-writer

Author M J Mallon

Have a great week everyone and see you Friday for Haiku Friday!

 

 

Spotlight: Olga Nuñez Miret Author/Translator

5 Jun

The devil whispered in my ear,

“You’re not strong enough

to withstand the storm.”

Today I whispered in the devil’s ear,

“I am the storm.”

I introduce to you today Hurricane Olga Nuñez Miret. Author, Psychiatrist, translator, blogger––these titles do not begin to describe the woman. It is difficult to keep tract of all of Olga’s accomplishments, believe me, there are a plethora of deeds. I am certain that you will take pleasure in getting to know Olga Nuñez Miret as much as I have because apart from being a talented author and fascinating woman, she’s also a lovely human being.

Olga is a great supporter of fellow authors, writers and bloggers. On her blog you’ll find many book reviews and author spotlights, so please be sure to check it out.

**Click on the picture below to read about a book event she and her mom helped organize in Madrid, Spain.

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LITERANIA 2017 | A Book Fair and Much, Much More . . .

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Author Olga Nuñez Miret

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In her words . . .

I was born in Barcelona and moved to the UK many years ago. I’ve worked as a psychiatrist, have a degree and PhD in American Literature and a Masters in Criminology. Yes, I like to study. I love books, and I’ve been writing since I was a child. Started self-publishing in 2012 and I’ve published a family saga, a YA story, a romantic book with three endings and a psychological thriller (collecting three stories with a psychiatrist/writer as main character). I publish all my works in English and Spanish. After working in the NHS for nearly 8 years I’ve decided to try other things. I’ll keep on writing stories and will offer my services as translator to other authors. Stories make the world go round. Apart from reading and writing I love to meet new people and learn about them, I also enjoy keeping fit. I’m trying meditation and I hope to stick with it. I love the cinema and going to the theatre. I crochet but don’t have much time for it these days. I don’t eat meat and love fruit and vegetables. I write a blog sharing the work of other writers, random thoughts, reviews (of books, movies, plays…) and anything else….Come along to meet me.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-author-spotlight-Olga Nuñez Miret-owl

Olga speaks, reads and writes both English and Spanish fluently, so if you are interested in translating your English books to Spanish follow this link (details are at the bottom of the page).

 

 

BOOKS

Olga’s 1st novel: The Man Who Never Was

(Also available in spanish) El Hombre Que Nunca Existió

The_Man_Who_Never_was-Olga Nuñez-Miret-books-spotlight-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q

Twin Evils? A YA/Adult novella (paranormal, fairy tale)

Also in Spanish: Gemela Maldad

twin-evils-Olga Nuñez-Miret-books-spotlight-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q

Click Me Happy! A romantic novella, where the reader can choose between three endings.

Also available in Spanish

clickmehappywithout-olga nunez miret-author-spotlight-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-books

Escaping Psychiatry A collection of three novellas (Psychological thriller)

(In spanish) Una vez psiquiatra…

escaping-psychiatry-olga nunez miret-author-spotlight-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-books

Family, lust and cameras (Psychological Thriller Novella)

(En español) Familia, lujuria y cámaras

Olga Nuñez-novels-author-books-author-spotlight-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-books

I Love Your Cupcakes (A sweet romance)

 

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**Click on any of the book cover images or follow the links if you’d like more information on any of Olga’s books or would like to read a blurb.

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**Check out Olga’s blog, Olga Author/Translator ~ Books, Writing, Life and Everything Else

 

Check out Olga’s Amazon Profile Page where you can find all her books including the Audible Audio Editions
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If you’d like to keep updated with all of Olga’s news subscribe to her Newsletter

Connect with Olga on Social Media:

Twitter

Facebook

Google+

Instagram

Goodreads

YouTube

books-spotlight-guest_blogger-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Olga Nunez Miret

If you’re wondering about the little owl pictures throughout the post it’s because Olga loves owls. 😉